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The “School of Life” Can Bite Me. Part 1


Every day chumps send me nutty articles extolling the virtues of cheating. Most of them seem to come from the Daily Mail, a tabloid, so consider the source. Or the Huffington Post, who survive on tasty click bait. But every now and then you get the pretentious cheater apologists with their Ph.D.s telling us monogamy isn’t natural and such.

Indulge me in a momentary tangent on how natural polyamory is — did you guys see the article that men’s faces evolved to be punched ? Seriously! There is scientific evidence by researchers at the University of Utah indicating that we’re such an aggressive species, that men’s facial structures evolved to be resilient to attack.

The faces of australopiths, especially the males, evolved to be very different from those of chimpanzees and gorillas – their jaws grew shorter and more robust, their molars got bigger, their cheek bones grew bigger and thicker, and so did the bones protecting their eyes, said Carrier, a biologist.

Anthropologists had previously suggested these changes may have  been adaptations to changes in their diet, such as one that contained more nuts with shells that had to be crushed with hefty jaws and molars. However, Carrier and Morgan, a physician specializing in emergency medicine, used emergency room records as a starting point to explore a different possibility.

The hospital records show that when humans fight hand-to-hand, they usually strike and injure each other’s faces, Carrier said.

“The bones in face that break most frequently are the same bones that underwent the most increase in robusticity in australopiths,” Carrier said in a phone interview with CBC News.

He suggested that australopiths evolved thicker, sturdier bones in those places to protect themselves from blows to the face, which were likely becoming more powerful and dangerous at that point in their evolution.

So, I think the proper reply to Eric Anderson (Chief Science Officer at Ashley Madison) who tells us monogamy is unnatural is to punch him in the face. Because HEY! We EVOLVED to do that!

But back to pretentious cheater apologists — we have to add Alain du Botton to the douche list for giving us these two absurd articles on infidelity on his blog “The Philosopher’s Mail” — “The Pleasures of Adultery” and “The Stupidity and Folly of Adultery.” (Which goes on to say, really, it’s not folly at all. Marriage is folly.)

What is “The Philosopher’s Mail” you ask? It’s an offshoot of “The School of Life.” I know many of you are assuming that a place called “The School of Life” probably teaches essential life skills such as button sewing or small engine repair, but you’d be wrong. Those activities are actually useful. No, it’s a school to teach us “emotional intelligence.”

Why you’d need some snot-nosed Oxbridge prat like Alain du Botton to teach you “emotional intelligence,” I have no idea. Most of us manage quite well, but for those of you who need more bolstering in the EI department, consider the fine articles on his blog such as Cameron Diaz investigates the origins of happiness. (The secret is SPLASHING.)

What? You were expected Kirkegaard?

Hey! This is a FINE ESTABLISHMENT of LEARNING! Sign up now for a course on “How to Spend Time Alone.” It’s only 40 quid! Me? I’m a Jedi master at spending time alone — I go to diners alone, doctor’s appointments, movies. Hell, I’ve spent an entire year’s worth of Saturdays alone with nothing but mounds of laundry to fold as company. But you there, London jet setter — you need some help. Put down your sparkling social diary and go slumming with the proletariat. Try this… ALONE thing. It’s an essential life skill.

I was going to get around to the pleasures of adultery. Really, I was. It’s just that there is such a rich vein of things to ridicule on these sites. Beginning with the fact that whoever has written these edgy little articles on infidelity left their name off AND included no comment function.

So much for the free exchange of ideas, right? But hey, this stuff is spawned from the head of Zeus. Did you go to Cambridge? No. I didn’t think so. Sit down and shut up.

Infidelity is “wrong” sort of says The Philosopher’s Mail…

Yet no understanding will come from such a hasty refusal to acknowledge adultery’s full power over the human imagination. Before we can begin to call it ‘wrong’, we should concede that it must also, at some level, for a time at least, for some people (who cannot all be merely monsters) be profoundly enticing. What might a case for it go like?

For a start, simply how normal it is to contemplate. It would be deeply unusual to expect people to grow up in hedonistic liberated circles, experience the sweat and excitement of nightclubs and summer parks, be bathed in images of desire and songs of longing and ecstasy, and then one day, at the command of a certificate, renounce all further sexual discoveries in the name of no particular god and no higher commandment, just an unexplored supposition that it must all be very wrong.

But why?

To be provocative: what if there was something wrong in not being tempted, in not realising just how short a time one had been allotted on this earth and therefore with what urgent curiosity one might want to explore the unique fleshly individuality of more than one of one’s contemporaries? To moralise too swiftly against adultery is to deny the seductive powers of a dramatic amount: another person’s laugh or well-timed irony, a first kiss, a new nakedness – each of these a sensory high point in its own way as worthy of reverence as more socially prestigious attractions, like the tiles of the Alhambra or Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Isn’t the blanket rejection of such temptations a little too neat, an infidelity towards the chaotic richness of life itself? Could one trust anyone who would not, under certain circumstances, show any interest in being untrustworthy?

I know, my head hurts too reading this shit. And consider that I spent years as a think tank editor wading through such pompous academic waffle. My dreck muscles are conditioned. Dear God, the run-on sentences! Let’s start with:

at the command of a certificate, renounce all further sexual discoveries in the name of no particular god and no higher commandment, just an unexplored supposition that it must all be very wrong.

Right. You don’t with free will sign a certificate. No, that thing COMMANDS you to “renounce all further sexual discoveries.” (It’s all the certificate’s fault! Waah!)

Actually, you just commit. It’s a really simple concept, du Botton. Like being alone. I’ll pass over no particular god — okay, you’re an atheist, how very hip. (Yawn.) I’ll pounce instead on “an unexplored supposition that [infidelity] must all be very wrong.”

Well, it’s NOT unexplored. Chances are you’ve probably fucked around a bit before you get married, and you decide to commit to this person you love. So, you explored the options, love this person exclusively, and want them to love you exclusively. If you don’t want to love each other exclusively, you don’t sign the certificate. You don’t get married.

And, douchebag infidelity IS wrong. That’s not unexplored. You want to explore it? Go spend some time on my site, or other infidelity boards and read what newly minted chumps are writing — about puking their guts out, and their traumatized kids, and their missing savings accounts, and their PTSD. Someone willfully did this to them for a little strange. It’s not “an unexplored supposition” you trustafarian wanker — it’s an unassailable truth. Infidelity HURTS people. It’s abuse.

I’m sorry. It’s not abuse. It’s a “sensory high point” like a Bach Mass in B Minor.

Why should you deny yourself! You’d be cheating yourself! Or as you put it: “an infidelity towards the chaotic richness of life itself?” (God I love it when you mindfuck all pretentious like that.) Yes! Missing the sensory high points is the REAL CRIME here!

Some people (lesser people), they’re contented with their Bach Masses — but other people like to fuck bareback with people they meet on Craigslist. Who are we to critique the rich multifacetedness of the human condition? Don’t let CERTIFICATES and nameless Gods tell you what to do — grab all the sensory high points you can, people!

The adulterer is meant to feel ashamed; the betrayed party is encouraged to be furious – with every right to an apology. And yet, from another perspective, shouldn’t the latter sometimes be the one to apologise to the former? Adultery may be the lightning conductor of modern indignation, but are there not other, subtler ways of betraying a person than by sleeping with someone outside the couple; by omitting to listen, by forgetting to evolve and enchant, or more generally and blamelessly, by simply being one’s own limited self? Rather than forcing their ‘betrayers’ to say they were so sorry, the ‘betrayed’ might begin by apologising themselves, apologise for forcing their partners to lie by setting the bar of truthfulness so forbiddingly high – out of no higher creed than a jealous insecurity masquerading as a moral standard.

Anger against adultery evades a basic, tragic truth: no one can be everything to another person. It is only a child who can believe this (wrongly) of a parent. Yet rather than accept the ghastly thought with dignified grace and melancholy, betrayed spouses are encouraged to accuse their ‘betrayers’ of sin. However, there may be only one cardinal wrong: the ethos of modern marriage, with its peculiar brittle insistence that one person must embody the complete sexual and emotional solution to another’s every need.

Yes, that’s why you were cheated on, chumps. You “failed to enchant.” And isn’t that a crime equivalent to finding your 401K spent on prostitutes? You didn’t sparkle sufficiently and now you have herpes. Shouldn’t you apologize to the cheater who gave it to you? I think you should.

You set the “bar of truthfulness so forbiddingly high”! And this is coming from a PHILOSOPHER, okay? Dude knows about TRUTH. There’s truth, like keeping your word, and there is truthiness — the sort of truth. Maybe some of you less enlightened individuals call that sort of thing “lies.” That’s so ugly. Say you’re sorry.

We can’t be all things to all people! The real problem is marriage!

So Alain — bro, don’t get married. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Consider it a life skill. That’ll be 40 quid.

You’re welcome.

 

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  • “I’m sorry. It’s not abuse. It’s a “sensory high point” like a Bach Mass in B Minor.”

    For some reason I am thinking it’s high-sensory input less like Bach and more like listening to “Constantinople” by The Residents while having your teeth drilled without Novocain by somebody who is not a dentist but likes doing that sort of thing… if only to see the look in your eyes.

    • Yes, but only for the chump. For the cheater, it’s a Bach Mass in B Minor. It’s sublime! And that’s who really matters here — the cheater. Not the poor chump taking him at his word. That person set the bar too high!

      • I wonder if Bach is rolling in his grave at this?

        Bach Mass in B minor is an exhortation to God, the same God that brought about the two shall become one institution in the first place.

        to liken this piece of music to a cheater getting a cheap thrill from the laugh or the nakedness of their side piece is repulsive.

    • I can think of some “sensory high points” that might have an epiphany with the strategic application of a cattle prod. 😉

      But, since we live in a “civilized” world I’ll just have to go with the old axiom:
      “The quiet application of terror is also a form of communication.”

      (And a quite appropriate one for lawyers to employ on behalf of Chumps.)

  • I know this is not the point or anything, but I just have to say I find Cameron Diaz completely disgusting. She is not, not ever has she been, physically attractive and she seems like such an attention whore. Why is she in like every movie?

    • I don’t know. But she’s a cheater apologist too. If you want a laugh, check out her happiness article. She’s skipping about half naked on the beach with a wine glass. This is the stuff of Bach Masses in B Minor!

  • “School of Life,” LOL! That dude reminds me so much of my ex. Not in the fancypants bullshit psychology and philosophy of modern life, which is way beyond my ex’s pay scale, but in the free flow, meaningless mumbo-jumbo that clearly was intended to impress the rest of us with how “deep” Alain whatever-his-name-is is.

    Mr School of Life sounds like just another narc to me. He thinks his shit don’t stink, and his “brilliant thoughts” are truly gifts to be bestowed upon the rest of us, who are also apparently stupid enough to pay him to learn how to be alone.

    No different from my ex, who now claims to be a talk show host, where he earnestly explains how he never allows a single negative thought into his head, how to be a great father, and how he is hard at work on God’s mission to eliminate bullying from the world. Oh, and he has a lot to say about how to have good relationships.

    The truly delusional, grandiose narcs like spewing their crazy talk, which they actually believe. At least Mr School of Life figured out a way to make some money off his narcissistic delusions. Not sure how my ex thinks his “talk show” is going to pay off. But both are best left alone.

    • Well the difference between the dancing Yeti and Alain du Botton is du Botton has a trust fund and can run his own think tank/blog WTFever he’s operating. He’s also a best-selling author on philosophy, believe it or not.

      Some poor soul had to edit those sentences.

      • He definitely dings the narc radar. And his Wikipedia page says that negative reviews for his writing usually mention that he’s pompous & lacks focus.

        • “And his Wikipedia page says that negative reviews for his writing usually mention that he’s pompous & lacks focus.”

          As a former books columnist, I feel I should say that this in no way makes Mr. du Botton special. Unfocused pomposity is the literary curse of our age.

          • de Botton. Whatever. Other things his Wikipedia page mention is that he never did complete his PhD and that one of his remote ancestors was a noted rabbi and Talmudist — poor bastard must be just SPINNING in his grave

            • Initially I made the same mistake with his last name as you, ANR. Frankly, I think it’s a better name for him. 😉

      • Glad, I think there’s a tax deduction for marrying a pod person. I’m looking into for next year. Just saying.

  • “by simply being one’s own limited self?”. We should apologize to people who break commitments for “being our own limited selves”, i.e. expecting them to keep their commitments. Wow.

      • It’s our fault for ” setting the bar of truthfulness so forbiddingly high”.

        You know, like when we insist “Don’t fuck other people, treat me like shit, and then lie to me about what is going on”. We need to apologize for such impossibly high standards.

        For fuck’s sake this guy is an asshole.

      • I guess when my ex called me “not exciting and zesty enough,” he really meant “not enchanting enough.” LOL, “enchanting”! What adult man actually uses that word?

        • I guess I wasn’t enchanting enough either for my ex. Ah well. I think some of the spell of the OW is perhaps wearing off by now too.

          His standards of appropriate expectations seem a little uneven. It’s too much to ask someone to keep a straightforward promise to be faithful, but yet it’s normal to expect someone to perpetually enchant and evolve? I don’t recall making my ex any promises to perpetually enchant and evolve.

    • I think he’s implying that they don’t choose to be dishonest and manipulative (among other charming shared traits), but are somehow “limited” to it. Last time I checked, it takes a lot more effort to maintain a fiction/pack of lies and gaslight people than it does to just be honest. Heck, one might even be forgiven for jumping to the conclusion that being limited isn’t the problem; limits, boundaries, and so on don’t seem to be in that picture, right?

      I must be missing something.

  • ARG! What a creep!!!

    “Before we can begin to call it ‘wrong’, we should concede that it must also, at some level, for a time at least, for some people (who cannot all be merely monsters) be profoundly enticing.”

    What about theft or even murder? Aren’t they enticing to people? What does that have to do with whether or not something is wrong? No one would be talking about wrong things that nobody ever wanted to do. This guy is failing philosophy.

    The amazing thing, though, is what you point out. We actually know what the consequences of infidelity are. It’s not a mysterious new thing.

    It’s strange, too, that he seems to think someone has to tell the betrayed spouse to be angry, hurt, jealous, etc.

    • Hey, this from the guy who teaches course on how to be alone. He seems to have made a business of rebranding obvious things as new insights, and rebranding bullshit as virtue.

      Mindfuck.

      • Lesson 101, how to be alone… preach about how being abusive to your spouse is super cool sneaky fun.

    • agreed!! Child abuse is enticing to predators, is that ok? Are they on some plane above all us non-child abusers, should we apologize for being so boring and LIMITED in our age-appropriate attractions?

      • CL, he looks like he would be an expert on being alone, which may explain why he probably drinks a lot before writing, or so it seems from reading his writing.

  • So, the betrayed are encouraged to accuse their “betrayers” of sin. Who or what encourages us? Are we encouraged by some pesky, trifling commandment–do not commit adultery? Is it Dante who is encouraging us? He did write that betrayal brings one closer to hell than murder. Well, whatever. Clearly, God and Dante have nothing on the people who write these articles.

  • From the “Stupidity and Folly” link above:
    “Periodically, frustration breeds an impulse to seek a utopian solution. Perhaps an open marriage would work. Or a policy of secrets. Or a renegotiation of the contract on a yearly basis. Or more child care. All such strategies are fated to fail, however, for the simple reason that loss is written into the rules of the situation. If we sleep around, we will put at risk our spouse’s love and the psychological health of our children. If we don’t sleep around, we will go stale and miss out on the excitement of new relationships. If we keep an affair secret, it will corrode us inside and stunt our capacity to receive another’s love. If we confess to infidelity, our partner will panic and never get over our sexual adventures (even if they meant nothing to us). If we focus all of our energies on our children, they will eventually abandon us to pursue their own lives, leaving us wretched and lonely. But if we ignore our children in favour of our own romantic pursuits as a couple, we will scar them and earn their unending resentment. Marriage is like a bed sheet that can never be straightened: when we seek to perfect or ameliorate one side of it, we will succeed only in further wrinkling and disturbing the others.”

    …seriously, wtf? If you follow this guy you may as well just forever live in isolation, I mean really, what other option is there? Wow, yes, heaven forbid my 3 year old actually, you know, grows up and becomes an adult and lives her own life. Shit, here I was thinking she was an immortal child. Well, looks like I need to find a new vampire to fix this mess up. That sparkle stuff was a hoax! Woe is me!! …*cough*…*hack* BARF

    Love the bit about face punching CL. You know, if they really want to go on the whole ‘evolution’ thing maybe they should just focus on ducks. Females ducks got fed up with being fucked around so they evolved and now have corkscrew shaped vaginas. Male duck penises are one of the longest (if not the longest) penises in the animal kingdom too and considering they only mate for life (even death does not free them), there’s only ONE freaky long corkscrew shaped penis that’s even capable of entering that vagina for life. Ducks are just so backwards and behind the times like that. (CL, if you haven’t googled that yet, you should, you’ll get a kick out of it).

    • “Marriage is like a bed sheet that can never be straightened: when we seek to perfect or ameliorate one side of it, we will succeed only in further wrinkling and disturbing the others.”

      I make my bed every single day, and have never had a problem in getting both sides of the bed sheets straight and without wrinkles.

      Reading the word salad this guy writes makes my head spin. It’s almost like a parody of pretentious, pseudo-intelligentsia bullshit. If this guy was actually serious when he wrote it, then he is beyond disordered.

    • Let us parse these truly astonishing sentences:
      * “If we keep an affair secret, it will corrode us inside and stunt our capacity to receive another’s love.”–What, pray tell, is “it”? The affair? The secret? Seems like simply not having the affair will solve the “interior corrosion” problem, whatever “it” is. And as to “it” [stunting our capacity to receive another’s love, the Cheater might look in his own living room in order to “receive another’s love” without concern about secrets or corrosion.
      * “If we confess to infidelity, our partner will panic and never get over our sexual adventures (even if they meant nothing to us)”.–If the affairs/adventures “mean nothing,” why do them?
      * “If we focus all of our energies on our children, they will eventually abandon us to pursue their own lives, leaving us wretched and lonely. But if we ignore our children in favour of our own romantic pursuits as a couple, we will scar them and earn their unending resentment.”– So children growing into adulthood “to pursue their own lives” is abandoning the parent. That is pure, unadultered narcissist speak. The alternative is to ignore the children. There’s some logic, there–all or nothing. And a straw man argument, as no one should either focus “all” of their energies to the children or ignore them.

      Absolute bullshit at the level of argument. And I only looked at 4 sentences.

      • Good call on these, the last one in particular. The all-or-nothing thinking, setting up straw man arguments….I have so many examples of this from my ex. I’m betting that everyone else in Chump Nation does too. It goes to show that all narcs play from the same playbook.

      • I know, the guy seems to think we’re either burning hot or freezing cold. There’s a setting on the thermostat for 70 degrees dude. Check it out. Um that’s 21.111ºC. For those who use celsius. Which I guess is every country except America? Anyway, 70ºF is like that medium temp where the wife is too cold and the husband is too hot. I mean, it’s supposed to be the happy medium temp.

        Perhaps our faces will further evolve to handle the facepalm.

    • From the same article above: “Spouses who remain faithful to each other should recognize the scale of the sacrifice they are making. There is nothing biologically ‘normal’ or cost-free about sexual renunciation.” He spends the ENTIRE article talking about how BOTH monogamy and sleeping around come with costs. However the hardest cost he can think of with monogamy is “becoming stale and missing out on sexual adventure.” Oh man, how do people live with monogamy! It’s SOOO hard! All that adventure just waiting!!

      Hmmm, he does a very poor job indeed in his argument when he flat out says over and over again how the costs of adultery lead to destruction of trust and love, destruction of psychological well-being of children, spouses and families, betrayal, “loss is written into the rules of the situation,” no one really wins. Wow, staleness versus all that? Oh yea, sure, that’s a commanding argument right there… Furthermore his entire premise is resting on marriages being “perfect.” There are no perfect marriages but the whole point of marriage is you remain faithful and you CHOOSE to enter it knowing it’s going to be hard. “My spouse isn’t perfect” is the shittiest reason ever to cheat.

  • I like this line:
    “The betrayed party is encouraged to be furious”
    Now, thanks to Alain, I know I was doing it all wrong. When I read those texts, & realized that the entire evening we spent trick-or-treating with our daughter, he was walking 15 feet behind us because he was busy sexting with 2 women, not because he was tired. Instead of the pounding heart, queasiness & sweating, I should’ve understood that he was merely enjoying the “chaotic richness of life itself” I should’ve apologized immediately, for forcing the poor man to lie.
    Doh!

    Also this line:
    “Could one trust anyone who would not, under certain circumstances, show any interest in being untrustworthy?”
    I’m not certain, but I think he’s telling us that if a person doesn’t wish to be sleazy occasionally, we shouldn’t trust them?
    I can’t untangle this skein, anymore than the I can untangle the one I’ve lived with.

    • Hmm, you can’t trust somebody who is trustworthy?

      And Freedom is Slavery. I think George Orwell covered this topic well in “1984”.

    • “Could one trust anyone who would not, under certain circumstances, show any interest in being untrustworthy?”

      This hurts my head. I’m trying to understand that sentence, but it makes me all hurtie. I wish I was smart like an Oxford scholar. Damn it!

      • I’m telling you, it’s Newspeak right out of Orwell’s 1984.

        You can only trust people who cannot be trusted.

        “Freedom is Slavery. The independent man is doomed to fail”.

        “War is Peace” because it unites us against our common enemy. The “Ministry of Peace” is responsible for waging war.

        The “Ministry of Plenty” is responsible for rationing supplies to people.

        Orwell was satirizing Stalinism and the sheer amount of obvious cognitive dissonance officially endorsed and promoted in that totalitarian regime.

        Makes you wonder about this guy that he uses the same kind of weird language to promote whatever it is he is promoting.

        • Time Heals,
          You are right on the money with that Orwellian Assessment and seems you have found the holy grail of cheaters, 1984~

          CL,
          You are often funny but this post really had me laughing out loud along with the comments and insights by everyone here.

          Good Choice for the Guest of Honor, Alain of the Enchanting Buttons or as they say in France, Botton.

      • Because you can be trusted to do the right thing, you are not to be trusted. Aka: we can be trusted to ruin the cheaters’ fun.

    • “The betrayed party is encouraged to be furious.”

      One might ask, by whom? Who is in that cheerleading section of fury? Clearly written by a man whom has never felt his heart jolted by the adrenaline of D-Day discovery, which “encourages the betrayed party to think he or she is having a heart attack. Nobody encourages the shock. And “fury” is a poor fifth behind shock, grief, fear and disbelief (e.g., how could he/she do that?).

      • Well said, Loved-that perfectly describes my reaction to seeing all those texts. I know I certainly wasn’t coolly assessing what society might want me to feel. The horror & shock hit me right in my gut. And the last time I felt my heart pounding like this had been the moment when I saw the positive sign on my pregnancy test. And fury? Not for a few weeks, I was reeling & in agony, because the worst of the cheating, & the completely rotten way he’d been treating me & my kiddo, was during the year my dad was slowly dying of cancer. Probably because he wasn’t getting all the attention he expected. Plus he had plenty of free time-my mom & I managed somehow to provide 24 hour care for my dad for his final 4 months. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, & like a typical narc, my douchebag was kicking me the entire time I was down. Right up to the night before my dad’s funeral-the freak fed me a line about running to the corner gas station, & didn’t come home til 2:30 am. So when I finally saw the reality, it was barely 3 months after my Dad passed.
        I think this meathead Alain is no different-lots of nonsense word salad to justify being a pathetic selfish little piggy.

        • Ok, that’s it. I am deciding to believe in hell. Because I have to. Because MammaLynn, your ex belongs there…like so many of our exes. I’m so sorry.

          • That’s so funny, I totally decided the exact same thing-that there has to be a hell, otherwise there would be no justice. I think all the narcs should go there, anyone who dedicates their life to making innocent people, and kids, for crying out loud, suffer. As for mine, he should be able to take comfort in the fact that his mom will be there as well. 😀

  • “And, douchebag infidelity IS wrong. That’s not unexplored. You want to explore it? Go spend some time on my site, or other infidelity boards and read what newly minted chumps are writing — about puking their guts out, and their traumatized kids, and their missing savings accounts, and their PTSD. Someone willfully did this to them for a little strange.”

    My favorite part. Wish he and all of ’em could read that.

  • “Anger against adultery evades a basic, tragic truth: no one can be everything to another person.”

    Based on what I read here, the Chumps should then be the ones doing the cheating because we were certainly closer to being “everything to another person” than the Flaming Cheater Turds were to being “anything” to us. And that bar he thinks we Chumps set “too” high? Yes, most of set a bar moderate enough that you could barely limbo under it. Fuck Mr. du Botton and the STD-racked Cheater on whom he rode into town.

    No wonder they are removing philosophy from the curriculum in college, if this is any indication of who has been majoring in it. The world that gave us Jean Paul Satre and the Roosevelts now produces Alain du Botton and the Kardashians? Kill me now.

    Perhaps I should write a philosophical piece covering the compromised brain synapses of today’s current “philosophers” and “cheater apologists” and the shit for brains they possess which causes them to spew verbal diarrhea. Nevermind. The highly-esteemed and verbal sword master Chump Lady has already handled many of those lightweights.

  • “read what newly minted chumps are writing — about puking their guts out, and their traumatized kids, and their missing savings accounts, and their PTSD. Someone willfully did this to them for a little strange. It’s not “an unexplored supposition” you trustafarian wanker — it’s an unassailable truth. Infidelity HURTS people. It’s abuse.”

    Aww wise CL – this just sums it all up in one brilliant and crystal clear statement. This is why we read!!

    • I’m quite tired and fed up with adulterers in general and the one I’m trying to divorce! I’ll just take a break at this point and let my attorney “enchant” the idiot!!

  • So that’s it! I failed to ENCHANT! Well fuck I had no idea! My poor X husband was suffering from the crushing weight of a bar raised too high! That poor son of a bitch. I haz the sadz now.

    I admit, the OW in my case really enchanted my then-husband in the front seat of his car during lunches with her mouth in his lap. Had I known the lure of strange, I would have issued him passes on Friday so he wouldn’t be so stressed over his infidelity. It’s all completely my fault. I see it all so clearly now. Thank you Alain du Botton, you are a fucking genius.

    Like I said before, if you want to fuck other people, don’t put a ring on somebody elses finger. It’s pretty simple, it doesn’t take an Oxford scholar to figure that out. And hell, if you want out of the marriage, do it with a little fucking decency and try not to emotionally and financially rip apart the person you’re leaving. If it was as simple as just cheating, maybe I could forgive and forget and just get divorced and wish him well as a friend, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the lies, the plotting, the stealing, the maliciousness that comes with “just” cheating. It’s him talking shit behind my back while sleeping and snuggling with me at night, it’s cozying up to my friends and family who think he’s the greatest guy in the world, and who have no idea that he’s fucking other people during the afternoon. It’s deliberately breaking every promise they ever made to you, and then blaming you for it. It’s living with someone who has declared war on you and you have no idea. THAT’S fucking CHEATING!

    Alain du Botton can color it anyway he wants but it’s all bullshit. I guess the guy needs to make a living somehow.

    • “It’s living with someone who has declared war on you and you have no idea. THAT’S fucking CHEATING!”

      THIS

      • Yes. That’s it exactly–“someone who has declared war on you and you have no idea.” Well said!

        • These cheater apologists always write as if the only issue was the “sexual adventure,” which of course is a horrific betrayal of the contract of marriage. But the other betrayals–the telling of marital intimacies and history to the OW/OM, the criticism that goes along with devaluing the marriage, the loss of time for the family and emotional support, the gaslighting and mindfuckery, the lying. Sam Harris calls lying “is a refusal to cooperate with others. It condenses a lack of trust and trustworthiness into a single act. It is both a failure of understanding and an unwillingness to be understood. To lie is to recoil from relationship.” Now, there’s someone who has actually thought about something at a deep level–to see that liars (and all our cheaters are liars, by definition) refuse to cooperate with those they lie to and are “unwilling” to be understood.

    • Rumblekitty, I wish I had your way with words. You are very funny and descriptive. My ex told me my standards were too high and this was at the end of 37 years of marriage. In the beginning he told me he would not be with me had I been a tart and in the end, it was my standards that repelled him. By the way, my standards are still the same but his certainly aren’t !! 🙂

      • ” My ex told me my standards were too high and this was at the end of 37 years of marriage. ”

        At the end of our 20-year marriage, my ex told me that I was “willing to settle for mediocrity.” You just cannot win with these crazy freaks. It’s funny, what he considered “mediocrity” is what sane people simply call “normal.”

        • Hey Glad?

          Would you like for me to anonymously mail him a bumper sticker that reads:

          LEARN SOMETHING NEW: DARE TO BE ORDINARY!

    • ” It’s living with someone who has declared war on you and you have no idea. THAT’S fucking CHEATING!”

      That’s precisely the way I saw it. So, I mustered my armaments and took it to them.

      In Chess there is “check” and there is “checkmate.” They put me in check but failed to checkmate me. Big mistake.

      People who declare Guerilla Warfare from inside the dark jungle underestimate those who aren’t afraid to use Agent Orange and Napalm. (metaphorically speaking)

      • Same here. I got everything AND the damn dog.

        I would have been more pliable had he say, treated me like a human being, but he didn’t do that. He was malicious and wanted to hurt me as much as possible. So I took everything he had and left him to his mouth-breathing whore.

        (Insert sad trombone sound here)

      • “It’s living with someone who has declared war on you and you have no idea. THAT’S fucking CHEATING!”

        “People who declare Guerilla Warfare from inside the dark jungle underestimate those who aren’t afraid to use Agent Orange and Napalm. (metaphorically speaking)”

        Okay Rumblekitty and notyou,

        Please forward these SUPERB lines of philosophy to Mr. du Botton to show him what REAL, INTELLIGENT, WELL-THOUGHT OUT, philosophical thinking and writing looks like. You two are my current oracles and I thank you for your insight and brilliance.

    • This is exactly what happened in my life. Damn if only my narc mother had a moment for me, she may have taught me how to enchant my husband!!!!! Chumps, I’ve been screwed all the way around.

      Aren’t there some kind of memos that these enlightened people send out so we Chumps can be in on the “enchantment”? Don’t they need to make sure that there is some kind of network where we can make sure our f’ing cheater can get some kind of fact sheet that we poor, “unenchanting” chumps can follow so we don’t make life any harder than it has to be for the cheater. The inhumanity of us trying to make a family with these fucktards, of being to mean and demanding some kind of reciprocity from them. Where will it end people??????

      • All the reasons the cheating idiots give are bullshit. Those reasons are just as much a lie as anything else they spewed to us chumps. It’s ALL because they WANT TO. The “reasons”, while entertaining, are simply tools to keep us “pick me dancing”. “Why did you cheat on me?” Can only be answered honestly in one way. “Because I wanted to. “

    • “It’s him talking shit behind my back while sleeping and snuggling with me at night,”

      This!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And all the other stuff you said, but this pisses me off.

  • This must be his course on how to be alone.. tell this crap to any potential dates, and poof.. another night with mary palm.

      • I blame my loss of enchantments on my spouse telling me I had enough enchanting dust when in fact she had given my pouch of enchanting dust to the guy at work.

        • Exactly! When was the last time my stbxh took on the task of enchanting me? Oh, that’s right…he was too busy enchanting Miss TrampyPants to waste any time and effort on his wife. How silly of me!

          • Shakespeare pokes a lot of fun at “enchantment” in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” when he gives the faeries the magic dust that makes mortals and faeries fall in love with the first person they see. “Enchantment” is about as stupid as “charm,” in my book. I don’t want to be “enchanted” or “charmed” because thousands of years of human history and culture warn us that those who would “enchant” or “charm” us are really manipulating us for their own benefit–just as spackle is self-enchantment, our own way of seeing what we want to see.

            • I’d like to order an Enchantment Sundae, with plenty of sparkles, and smothered in limerence. It’ll be delicious for about 12 to 24 months, and then I’ll need another one. (Burp)

              • And why not order two or three at once? A veritable buffet because variety and “adventure” is key…

  • Haha. Alain de Botton was actually one of my XH’s favorite writers, so maybe there’s some connection! XH said he wished he could live de Botton’s life–living off rich banker father’s money, traveling the world, writing philosophical musings all day and I suppose dating various girls.

  • I’ve sung the Bach B Minor Mass. It was an exhausting and exhilarating experience. The really cool thing about it was, I walked away knowing that I didn’t have to steal anyone’s marital funds, drag anyone through court, or hurt anyone’s innocent spouse and/or children to benefit from it.

    My ex saw me performing it with that particular choir before we actually met one another. He should have given it a whirl instead of sticking with me for almost two decades and going for the Bach-As-Adultery experience three children and many mixed marital assets later. Kyrie eleison is much easier on the soul and the finances. 🙂

  • I’m sorry, what? I omitted to listen.

    CL – How can you bear reading this tripe? Some people should not be allowed near a keyboard.
    🙂

    • ^^THIS^^

      My thoughts exactly. I can’t even get through the first paragraph. It makes my blood boil when “writers” put credence to cheating. It’s not like cheaters need any encouragement to do what they do, but let’s just give them a little more ammunition as to why it’s ok to go fuck around.

      • well, I think he (de Button) must be a cheater. The whole thing about how betrayed spouses are insecure if they feel anything sounds like it to me.

      • It so brings to light the blubbering stupidity of it all. Makes it much easier to laugh at the reality of a cheater and take what we have all experienced a little less seriously if only for a moment. Cheaters are ridiculous even with the trail of pain and destruction they leave in their wake. If you just look at what they do and say and remove yourself from it, it is quite farcical and very funny.

        In the words of Monty Python….”It’s only a flesh wound”.

  • “but are there not other, subtler ways of betraying a person than by sleeping with someone outside the couple; by omitting to listen, by forgetting to evolve and enchant, or more generally and blamelessly, by simply being one’s own limited self?”

    OMG, so just by being my own limited self I betrayed my spouse and caused him to cheat. If only I’d turned into someone else!! Like his married coworker — if only I could have changed myself into my husband’s married coworker. Then I wouldn’t have given him a reason to cheat. Gosh, I’m sorry!!! I should have known. All I needed to do was read my husband’s mind, understand that he wanted his married coworker, then turn into ner!! Forehead slap! That’s so easy. I can’t believe I never saw it before. I am SO SORRY to have stayed the same person. I could have spared my poor ex the pain of having to cheat on me, sell our home, break up our family. I really do owe him an apology. I think I’ll give it to him the second Tuesday of next week.

    • We get both a false analogy (cheating is apparently the same thing as “forgetting to evolve and enchant”) and categorical error (i.e. placing acts of omission in the same category as commission–i.e. one has to willingly/consciously cheat).

      Here he is even making a weak admission that cheating IS ACTUALLY betraying another person in order to minimize the badness through putting it in the same category as forgetting. For someone claiming it is outsiders labeling cheating as sin, he sure is doing a bang up job reminding himself and others that even he thinks it is wrong while trying to make it look like a palatable wrong. Pathetic.

  • Dr. NotYou, S.H.K. (School of Hard Knocks) with a bit of help from William of Ockham has the compleat and definitive rebuttal to Alas du Bottom-Feeder’s premise, and it is:

    “If you neither understand nor appreciate the concept and practice of monogamy, stay the FUCK away from those who do!”

  • Adultery may be the lightning conductor of modern indignation, but are there not other, subtler ways of betraying a person than by sleeping with someone outside the couple; by omitting to listen, by forgetting to evolve and enchant, or more generally and blamelessly, by simply being one’s own limited self?

    I am back struggling with THIS again. I am sure it is the last bastian. When he says to his daughter (via email) “I am guessing you are still not ready to forgive me yet, but as you father I do and always will love you. I am sorry it has turned out this was between us but I am here (600 km away) to talk whenever you are ready”, I can’t but help wonder why I am the only one who doesn’t have the right to talk about this with him, why HE was SO angry with ME. And it seems sometimes like it must be because of my own limited self, but, oh I dunno, just having a moment I guess.

    • Just look at the language–“I am sorry that itnhas turned out this way.” What is “it” and “this”? So handy they are, those indefinite pronouns that allow slippery people to make their slippery arguments and faux apologies. Note he doesn’t say, “I am sorry for hurting you”–or for “hurting the family, for putting some skank ahead of the people I promised to love and cherish, for lying and sneaking, for betraying your mother’s trust, for ending up living 600 km away instead of in the same house as you.” It’s not an apology if “it” and “this” are what he’s sorry for. Part of the mindfuck here is that language works also at the unconscious level. We hear what sounds like an apology, but the unconscious grammar analyzer, our built-in interpreter of language, registers a disconnect we can’t quite articulate unless the words are in print and we can take them apart because we’ve studied fucking linguistics. It’s gaslighting at the linguistic level.

      • Ha! Actually after having a reread, what he said was…I wish things had turned out differently between us. I don’t know how to fix or whether the relationship between father and daughter can ever be repaired. Not a sorry in there anywhere. All too much effort!

    • I’m going to attempt to decode your ex’s BS-you probably know him better than anyone, but they all come from the same mold, & the self pity & not-my-fault mentality gives them away.

      “Just get over it already, you know I’m SuperDad, so why aren’t you adoring me? I’m sorry you actually think there’s a problem, since I truly Know Best, & if you would just stop feeling things, & accept my superior knowledge, you’ll be happy or whatever”

      His anger toward you, & refusal to discuss anything with you, well that’s simply because you actually stopped following his rules, our job is to shut up & eat the shit sandwich. He’s angry because he suffered consequences, now he’s throwing a tantrum. It means you’ve outgrown him, let him piss & moan. Poor thing.

  • Poor Mrs de Botton.

    I wonder how many times he’s cheated on her and whether he actually used this drivel to justify himself to her.

  • “Failed to Enchant”. Fucking Hell!

    Do Not let that one get into the well known book: “American Shushing of Spouses wHo (uncover) Other Lovers, Etc.”, AKA, (ASSHOLE) — You know, the book they all use to find the same trashy excuses and justifications…..

  • CL I am glad to see at the end of the first paragraph by this crack pot your head hurt. I had to read it a few times to get what he was saying and then just thought, I need another coffee the first was not strong enough. Do people really buy into this shit or am I just naive?
    and as for this fresh steaming pile,
    ‘but are there not other, subtler ways of betraying a person than by sleeping with someone outside the couple; by omitting to listen, by forgetting to evolve and enchant, or more generally and blamelessly, by simply being one’s own limited self?’
    I know my situation is different to most but if I was willing to accept this it would indicate that my husbands infidelity is the result of my forgetting to grow a penis, as if I could simply do so by remembering evolve. But ‘generally and blamelessly, by simply being MYSELF I am limited”. Hallelujah evolutions not that freaking simple.

  • What I find very interesting in all these “philosophical ” theories is that the philosophers insist monogamy is not natural but fail to grasp clearly that the same rules – fucked up screw around on the partner cuz monogamy is unnatural – only applies to one party. Usually the male but some “superior” women are included in that thought. Why is that? If other species screw around freely to propagate their species the screwing around is accepted of BOTH males n females n perfectly natural. But this whole YOU failed to evolve n enchant n hence I went wandering n gave u all manner of crap (literally!!!) … Now THAT I find unnatural.

  • Reading this was like listening to my cheater X’s reasoning for everything. Kind of glad I didn’t get a philosophy degree. I wouldn’t want to be lumped in the same category as this ass.

  • Infidelity IS wrong. We are not discussing what it means to be single or couples who choose to be in an open relationship. When we enter into a committed relationship most people have a very clear idea of what we want. After seven years of dating and many discussions regarding our values and what we wanted our lives to be like (and at twenty, I already knew and had communicated what my two deal breakers were: drugs and /or cheating and my POS ex was at the time very aware of this ) it just never occurred to me to pencil in that cheater clause. You know after that forsaking all others crap. Hey I too appreciate beautiful people, most artists do, but as much as I love to look, love to flirt I do not go around believing that I need to fuck someone else because “it’s a great life experience”. As a thinking adult I make choices. I live my life with intentionality. I don’t believe in “if it feels good do it” and I am not religious. I believe in that old fashioned saying, “Treat others….” Life is beautiful when you can grow old together and still realize you learn something new every day. Who says marriage between two educated adults can’t be fun even when life is challenging!? This modern day run from my problems and shallow fucking just doesn’t do it for me. It fails our families and it fails our communities. These people aren’t “evolved” or whatever the hell that means. When we place our needs before all else it HURTS others and has consequences we can not even begin to imagine. I was not nor will ever be under the impression that when I said my vows, in front of friends and family, that what they actually meant was I could actually fuck whoever I wanted because my spouse will never be everything to me. Uh, duh! That my spouse, who saw our three children come into this world, could pick any fault of mine! and because I was no longer “enchanting” hop into the nearest village idiot’s bed. Ask my kids how, after five years of chaos following their father’s unilateral decision to blow up and walk away from a family who adored him (at the same time annihilating all his financial and personal responsibilities-you know the wife of twenty years and those pesky young adults going off to college, the house on twenty acres, etc!) how it feels to spend a graduation Father’s Day weekend with a father who destroyed their family. He will never have back our children’s respect and I suspect that in a few years more he will no longer be welcome to share in any meaningful part of their lives. Those consequences are coming. The truth does set you free. My ex gambled his entire life’s work and mine for a piece of ass. That is his legacy. No wonder he looks like shit. As for Infidelity, I humbly believe its popularity will begin to fade with our very next generation.

  • I also wondered “is this guy married? if so, his wife should put a VAR under the seat in his car, it sounds like he’s cheating and deep in a fog of self delusion”

  • None of what the great philosopher made any sense to me whatsoever. Thankfully the link to C. Diaz’s rationalizations was broken.

    How about Hippocrates…if we are going all philosophical-Do no harm. I can find other quotes from other philosophers that make more sense than Alain’s.

  • This mental mushroom gives philosophy a bad name.

    Back when I was a philosophy major in college, we had to learn this stuff called logic, including the Latin names for various logical fallacies. The one that seems to apply most often to don de Botton is “Adhæsit caput ejus rectum hic.” Which translates, “This one has his head stuck up his ass.”

  • CHUMP LADY please speak about Amanda Biderman who is the wife of Co-founder of Ashley Madison and now is the face of a billboard. She came out on The View last year and interview is on Youtube and her responses were baffling.

  • I’ve never laughed so hard since I first started reading “The Onion” or saw my first MST3K episode! Thank you again CL for sharing your immense talent and wonderful sense of humor!

  • I’m a radical feminist. I’m anti-marriage. And I’m here to say I loved this.

    Alain de Botton is SO OBVIOUSLY a sexual predator that I don’t know how anyone can take him seriously. Frankly, I think he created this School of Life with the specific intent of grooming women. Their insistence to normalize and “accept” sexual violence is just too obvious to ignore.

  • I’m just reading this now, but this is crazy on top of crazy. Who the hell would read this shit and actually believe it. I guess I’m having a rough day, but come on…marriage is the problem?? I’m with CL on this; you don’t like marriage then don’t get married. It’s as simple as that.

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