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A Public Service Announcement for Chumps?

narcissistegokibblesWouldn’t it be nice if there was a public service announcement on the effects of infidelity?

I mean, gee whiz, we have them on smoking, drugs, drinking and driving — why not finding your spouse has been hooking up with random snatch online?

As chumps, I think we’re a pretty witty, hip bunch. Madison Avenue’s got nothing on us. Our public service announcements wouldn’t have to be lugubrious and heavy-handed; they could be droll and full of snark. As I often point out, there is a deep vein of absurdity to mine with infidelity. Look no further than Stupid Shit Cheaters Say. “I didn’t cheat on you. I cheated on your BELIEF that I wouldn’t cheat on you.” The material writes itself!

As pompous and absurd as cheaters are, the effects of cheating are certainly damaging. I’d take high fructose corn syrup and black lung disease over a marriage to my ex-husband any day. STDs aside, these people are public health hazards.

ChutesAndLadders describes the costs very well in a comment last Friday. She wrote:

I think we as chumps need to continue to do what we can to change the view from “wink wink everyone does it now” to the horrific mindfuck cheating is on the ignorant spouse and any unsuspecting children about to discover their world is blown to bits.

Let’s get the fear of not being able to buy baby formula because the Very Important Cheater stole the grocery money to pay for champagne coolies for his skank out there.

Let’s talk about the shame of talking to the accountant during tax time and inadvertently discovering the retirement accounts have been gouged, and you’re a stay at home mom who trusted and depended on their spouse to provide for her future after insisting she stay home to raise their children.

Let’s explain the humiliation and embarrassment of having a bank representative call to tell you your credit line is maxed out, and then cough when you insist you never “bought” anything from a store named “Ashley Madison.” And then have him explain exactly what “Ashley Madison” is.

Let’s talk about the calls we get from schools about our children getting into fights, or crying jags, or wetting pants all of a sudden. And shouldering the shame of hearing teachers talk about the effects of divorce on academic achievement, knowing they blame you because you are the one who picked up the phone. And how lectures from teachers about character and parenting are so condescending and insulting when you know you had no clue anything was wrong with your marriage. But you have to eat it because naturally, your cheating spouse is at “a business dinner.”

There’s more, right? Bring it.

Seriously, let’s bring it.

What would your “Cheaters Suck” public service announcement look like?

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Buyer beware, I look like a handsome, charming fireman, yes I know, they asked me to be on the calendar. But really, I am moody and angry and controlling. And in 29 years, after you raise two children alone, I will cheat on you with our insurance agent. You’re in good hands!

    • Chump Lady,

      Can you please explain why that post was deleted? I’m glad someone else noticed.

      I thought that discussion was significant if we are going to talk about the reality of infidelity!

      To remove it makes me feel like real-life experience is too much for this board. If those of us that were crushed by what was done to us by the cheaters are not welcome here, where do we turn?

      • Rebecca,

        Please don’t feel you are not welcome here, I’m sure you are.

        I didn’t see the post about suicide awareness, but for what it’s worth, I too felt so crushed I thought of suicide. The thought of hurting my parents, siblings, extended family and friends stopped me, but at best, I would say I prayed for the devastating pain to stop – and if that meant death – then so be it.

        I actually believe that suicidal thoughts are part and parcel of being human. I believe that when we feel overwhelmed by our circumstances and that life is out of our control, then we consider what we can control, and choosing whether or not to remain alive and participate in what can sometimes truly feel like a nightmare, is something we believe we can control. Sometimes it may look to us like the only thing we can control.

        I don’t advocate suicide. I am fortunate to have people I care about enough to never want to visit that particular horror on, and, despite how bleak life seems during those dark times, things do get better. I’m just saying that I believe suicide ideation is a human coping mechanism, common and natural and understandable. I don’t know whether acknowledging this would help people facing those dark thoughts and feelings, or whether it would encourage incidences of suicide, I sincerely hope it would help people struggling with those thoughts to know that other people commonly face those demons too, that they are not alone and that there is hope for getting beyond those desperate, dark places.

        Anyway, Rebecca, I hope life is looking less bleak for you these days and that you are managing to, if not feel like you have more control over your life, at very least feel you can continue breathing in and out while you wait for the wheel to turn and your life to improve. It will – really. Perhaps it already has. We don’t really get a great deal of time on this wonderful planet as it is – death comes to us all eventually anyway, why not wait until time’s up naturally – who knows what wonderful things you’ll miss if you choose not to stick around? In my dark times I’ve thought about all the joyful things that have happened that I could never have predicted, so just because I couldn’t imagine ever feeling joy again, doesn’t mean I haven’t or won’t. Reminding myself that I couldn’t see the future, just as I couldn’t in the past, helped me to resist turning suicidal thoughts into suicidal reality.

        Best regards and loving hope to you


      • It’s nothing to do with being unwelcome. Everyone is welcome (well, except trolls and I even tolerate them up to a degree.) I know the post was helpful to a lot of people, but I also think people in my real life (who know me, who know Cheryl) don’t need the contents of my 2 a.m. brain dumped on my blog. So I took it down. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I reserve the right to edit. Thanks.

        • I’m sure people will understand. Heh, heh. We’re the ones emailing you to edits when we screw up and put the OW’s actual name in our post.

        • I liked your take in that post, CL.
          Chumps are mostly programmed not to fail. To accept with humility that failure is an option and gather yourself from the dust to start to survive and thrive again is perhaps the beauty of life

      • Rebecca, you are welcome here and on the forums where you can post and get support. May I also suggest you visit the there you will find a tribe struggling with such thoughts, though not infidelity centered, it is a good place. I hope you are seeing a good therapist too. Jedi hugs!

  • This viewpoint that belittles our experience as chumps is commpn in the psychological practice. I wrote Chump Lady on her thoughts on Shirley Glass, a preeminent and now departed figure in infidelity research, and her view of reconciliation

    HM: Can all relationships [after marital infidelity] be fixed?

    SG: No. What I look for is how the unfaithful partner shows empathy for the pain that they have caused when the betrayed spouse starts acting crazy.

    Chump Lady correctly tore into the word crazy. You know, Chump Lady was right on the money. This is the kind of bullshit thinking that belittles our experience.

    Dr Glass has a solid point on empathy and infidelity from good research. Showing empathy, humility, and honesty for the direct and collateral damage they caused is critical to demonstrate whether there is real remorse.

    However, I agree with Chump Lady in saying Dr Glass is a jerk to use the word “crazy.” Dr Glass goes on to describe crazy as “post traumatic reactions to infidelity.” Chump Lady made a point that this is normal grief, not “crazy.” When someone is shot, or a kid goes missing, and the person wails and gets hyper vigilant, we don’t say they’re “crazy” — we recognize that’s an appropriate response to the horror of the situation.

    • in my case, i really did act “crazy”. it doesnt bother me to have someone else point it out. what he did, what he said, how he acted made me act crazy.

        • I have to say as well that after the devastating trauma of discovering then-husband’s infidelity, I was desperately casting around for ANY advice that could save my marriage. Unfortunately, I landed on Marriage Builders or Surviving Infidelity — or possibly both. The whole thing seems like a horrible, gauzy dream now.

          The standard advice there was to find a way to expose the affair to everyone the cheaters care about. Spouse, if there is one, parents, in-laws, boss, even children, if they are old enough. The consensus was: exposing the secret, disgusting behavior to the light of day would kill the affair. Veterans on the site assured me that this was what I needed to do, en masse if possible, and quick.

          Looking back, what I did seems crazy to me now, and I would describe it that way. I was acting from a place of complete emotional instability. I was in shock. After an extended Google search, I ended up on the phone with the mother of the mistress’s ex-husband, if you can believe that. I was on a mission to get the ex-husband’s phone number so I could tell him about the affair, and how I felt that this new information might be of interest to him since his ex-wife has primary custody of his 11-year-old daughter.

          The ex’s mother heard something nuts in my voice and refused to give me any information. I’m grateful for that now. I should have just filed for divorce and kept my dignity.

          When then-husband found out what I had done, he told me he was shocked that I was capable of doing something so crazy and potentially damaging to an innocent child. (Which — Hello, pot?) I said, “I will show your mistress as much regard for her family as she showed for mine.”

          It gives me chills to remember that I really did say that. After that, the entire focus was on how crazy and stunningly venomous I was. It was no longer at all about what my husband and his mistress had been doing to my family for a year and a half. Marriage Builders (and its ilk) gives advice that further fucks the chump.

          I do see Chump Lady’s point about a mental health professional calling it crazy, rather than describing it as normal grief. But, wow, I can remember that time and shudder at how nuts I felt.

          • Yes, I think you make an important distinction. In the gaslighting days, I think my behavior and thoughts were so confused and I was so disoriented and frightened that I was a bit “crazy.” The whole point of gaslighting and blameshifting is to break down the chump’s reality, to make the chump believe things that aren’t true. Add to that intermittent reinforcement, where the cheater lovebombs one minute to keep the chump on the hook and giving out kibbles and then turns around and atttacks and diminishes the chump the next minute, and you have a recipe for feeling crazy. All of those symptoms went away after D-Day. The moment I saw the FB page, everything that had happened snapped into clear focus and the relief was immediate.

            The shame with a mental health professional using a term like “crazy” is that the professional is using a highly charged pejorative term to describe someone who is being abused. If a woman was being beaten with a bat and screamed during the beating, she wouldn’t be “crazy.” Once the abuse is exposed and named for what it is, then the victim can begin sorting out what is helpful and not helpful in terms of response to that abuse. Those are the terms my therapist uses—“That way of thinking about or responding to this problem is not helpful.” Even if what I have done is pretty crazy, she gets me to look at my response to the problem as either moving me forward in a healthy way (helpful) or not.

            • I’m ok with the term “crazy” as long as it isn’t dismissive.

              I got a little crazy. I did. You can call it by its professional name, but I got crazy–lost weight, became hypervigilant and shaky, texted horribly awful things to xH about himself and the twat he’d taken off for, even had sex with him after bomb-drop. Twice. Now THAT is crazy.

              I not offended in the least by the term. Sometimes people with certifiable diagnoses are crazy, act crazy.

              Just don’t blow off my concerns, my righteous indignation and outrage as “crazy.” The other stuff? The wild-eyed beaten-down mania I experienced? Crazy. But I got through it, thanks to Tracy and y’all.

            • oh no it wasnt just the gaslighting and lying that made me crazy. i was really doing crazy things. i am a seeing is believing type of person. had tracker in his truck, blind to what was going on in my house so i was trailing him, looking in windows, really crazy crazy stuff. in my defense, i really KNEW something was going on. i really am NOT like that. i refuse to let negative people around me or in my life and yet my XH was the biggest negative person i kept trying to keep in my life.

              i am so glad all that is done, although i am super sad that my marriage ended. i finally realize just how toxic my XH really is. and the people he likes to hang around with are just as toxic. now i focus on keeping them all away from my children

          • Rally Squirrel–I think it is good advice to tell everyone about the affair. I realize that a child will be hurt by the revelation, but that’s on the cheaters, not on you. I wouldn’t confide in the child, nor toss a bomb in the child’s presence, but children deserve to not be gaslighted.

            It’s bad advice to tell a chump that the telling will end the affair, because that’s not at all how it works, and it’s not why you should tell.

        • I certainly felt crazy in the worst of the pick me dance. I struggled with deep depression and was ready to do just about anything to make the pain stop.

          • Lynn, I had that many ‘red flags’ drapped on me, you could have tossed me in a bull-ring & I would have pranced around waiting for the clowns to save me! haha 😉
            The PSA should say, ‘Would you like a set of stake knives with that cheat because, you’ll be pulling them out of your back soon enough!’
            Your normal Lyn as, crazy making behaviour/gas lighting/triangulation/lying/manipulating/controlling makes us all ‘crazy’.
            Remember though, we can recover whereas they are pathologically/terminally crazy forever!
            Mine said, ‘You look great in red, you should wear it more often!!!’
            Red Flag sale now on! hahaha ….keep the faith Lyn 🙂 x

        • Oh yeah…I went ‘crazy’ too. Who wouldn’t under those circumstances?? The OW had SO MUCH FUN telling everyone how bat shit crazy I was and she totally justified herself fucking a married man because after all, he had a ‘crazy ass’ wife.
          She ‘saved’ him from me. She’s so dang special.

          • i totally think that is what SHE says about me too. even thou i quit playing a long time ago, she is still trying to bring the crazy. i think that is the only thing the 2 of them actually agree on, how crazy i am and how i didnt treat him good (cant get an example of how i didnt treat him good, just you didnt treat me good, its your fault) i actually think that without me in the equation they dont have much to talk about and that is why she keeps trying to bring me into it. now that i stopped i think she is just making shit up to tell him i did. and his bitchass believes her because after 14 years with me, he still has no clue what or who i am.

            i am sure they all feel like they “saved” him

            • @ MRSVAIN 🙂
              Welcome to ‘Crazyland’, your in good company.
              Please take a seat (if you can find one?)
              Have your books ready for Narc 101.
              We are currently running advanced diploma courses in Sociopaths & Disturbed Characters. You’ll receive extra credits for surviving one 😉
              Now, grab your special pack of CL Kibbles & relax.
              Your in good company here & if your a little stressed the oxygen mask will deploy above your head & your support crew will assist. 🙂
              Thank you & Enjoy 😉
              Disclaimer : Please note, oxygen is pure & not those toxic fumes you’ve become accustomed too so, you may feel light headed & positively alive. Good Luck 🙂

    • I don’t accept the term. I’m not crazy. I’m dealing with the trauma resulting from the actions someone deliberately inflicted on me… evident on the previous thread. (THAT was a trigger! Wow. Nearly a verbatim statement from my asshat and his LTOW, but written by a stranger!)

    • Thank you for posting a link to Shattered Vows. Just wow. It brought light to things I hadn’t considered re my serial cheater. I’m in the phase of breaking away and finding my own happiness.

      Laughing with my partner about something about the OW, not in a million years. That’s just visualizing the shit sandwich for eternity.

      The only move is to get away, save yourself. A narcissist cheater does not care about you, trust that he sucks. They will never be held down in a reality based relationship.

      When put on the spot and relied upon for loving support to them, the Narc, you become a needy emotional burden. They label you as killing their happiness (“babe who is your scantily clad new Facebook friend”), and crazy (“you said you went to the restaurant I remember clearly but not with her”).

      Betrayal is self serving gratification and intentional infliction of emotional trauma. Who wants to work on that, Save that?! Knowing it was perpetrated against you, as they look into your eyes and tell you it is you that they love, and live with that.

      • well in my case (and i am still not sure if my XH is a narc or not, borderline, yes) however…it took me a long long time to even see what he was doing was betrayal. all of 2013, i was a head case. he would tell me it was my fault so i tried to fix it. if i asked more questions about what it was that i was doing wrong, he would evade, project, devert the conversation, and at the end of it i was like “WTF was that! i still didnt get an answer, maybe i need to ask it in a different way, differnet tone, different whatever…”

        so it wasnt until 2014 that i finally realized HE SUCKS. and this was after i found out about the ow. because i was STILL trying to fix it up until that moment (Feb, 9, 2014).

        but you can beat your ass i didnt want to work on it after that. and reviewing last year, and reading this site. i have came to peace with it. who wants to live with that? she can have him. and i am grateful for it since having her “take care of him” has prevented him from calling me up in the middle of the night, drunk and suicidal. by the time karma hits them, i am hoping to be well out of the picture.

  • Ooh – this is spooky! Only this morning, I’ve sent my own somewhat Closed Circuit Public Service Announcement re Narc Alert and the consequences of tangling with them!

    I received a copy of a letter tosspotopath sent to my solicitor on Friday and – yes, yes, – I know I broke the cardinal ‘NO CONTACT’ rule and yes, yes – I know it isn’t Meh – so shoot me – but I emailed him refuting his version of reality. Ironically, tosspotopath has been successfully practicing ‘No Contact’ on me since May, when he announced he wasn’t going to pay the mortgage anymore but ‘he wished me well’. So, I put a tracker on my email and it turns out he’s forwarded it on to at least 5 other IP addresses (hey look – see how crazy she is – I’m not a bad person – she made me do it)!

    Anyway, this morning I sent him another email, headed Group Message (with attendant email tracker) (and yes, you don’t have to point it out – it’s Contact and it’s not Meh) -and this is what it says:

    ‘So you know what you are complicit in:

    Peter chose to make utterly disastrous financial decisions. Peter chose to destroy his marriage. Peter chose to deny me important information about both the state of our marriage and the state of our marital finances. Peter chose to mislead me and thereby deny me agency in my own life, preferring to tell me ‘We’re fine. Trust me’ when I asked him (frequently) how we were financially, and should I find another job, and that our marriage was perfect; ‘for me there could be no other woman, I feel like I’ve won the lottery with you, I’ve never been so happy’.

    When the consequences of his choices caught up with him, Peter chose to run away. Fortunately for him, his sister had a spare house and so he left me in a house that was costly to maintain, and set up for himself an agreeable arrangement where he paid no council tax, water rates, fuel bills, tv licence, tv & broadband services. Just a relatively small all inclusive ‘rent’ to his sister. Peter secured himself a job netting £3500 per month, makes a nominal payment of £100 to his creditors (who still think he lives at this address) and for 4 years pretended, on and off, the chance of reconciliation with me – in reality, a weekend booty call.

    Meanwhile, I am left living hand to mouth from one end of the month to the next. I earn less than a quarter of Peter’s wages but have to pay out over half my wages just to maintain utilities in this house. I have no savings and no opportunity to make savings. I don’t have a family member with a spare house. My options? Wait until the bailiffs turn up and throw me out on the street once the mortgage company repossess. That’s it.

    Peter (and particularly now he has stopped paying the mortgage on his house) could easily financially assist me in resettling. He chooses not to. It appears my refusal to take his disgraceful treatment of me without complaint, and of course, my insistence in naming him the immoral shit he is for treating me this way, is good reason enough for me to suffer this fate. Apparently, you must also believe this.

    I ask you to consider how lucky you are that you have a significant other who would never see you facing homelessness or destitution as a result of their disastrous decisions. Or are you so lucky? Are you sure? Do you think I knowingly chose to marry a man who would actively pursue a mistress in less than 6 months from the marriage he pushed me for? Do you think I knowingly chose to marry a man who would put a massive hole in the boat then take the only life raft and fuck off and leave me to drown? Take a look at your own love and imagine this in your life – either happening to you or happening to them. I’m here to tell you – because I’m living it – love won’t save you. A belief in the decency of your significant other, won’t save you, trust in your own ability to spot evil people in the world, won’t save you. While you lie in your bed and listen to the rain and wind, perhaps snuggling down to that warm, and dear God let’s hope it’s true, loving body next to you, comfort yourself further that you were spared my fate – the fate that you, by indulging Peter’s smear campaign, by not confronting him about his treacherous, callous behaviour, encouraged him and gave him justification for bringing it about. You should all be ashamed of yourselves and I guess you must be really, really praying that karma doesn’t really exist’.

    Anyway, I wait for confirmation that he has read it, and have no doubt he will forward it on to the immoral gang he has enlisted to justify himself. I guess all I get from doing this is the satisfaction of having done it (yeah, yeah, yeah – I know – I should be spending the time selling the furniture to help me get re-housed – that’s next on my action plan list)!

    Not exactly the snarky, informative warning about cheaters – but in the ballpark I feel!

      • Google -‘whoreadme’ – sign up and then I created my email in drafts from my email account, then copied and pasted it to be emailed via ‘whoreadme’. My email account doesn’t have a read receipt facility so now each time the email sent via this tracker account is opened I’m notified by email that it has been opened and the IP address of where it was opened.

          • Ha mrsvain – even though I KNOW it’s’ who read me’ – my brain still tells me it says ‘whore ad me’ every time a notification pops up in my inbox! You are not alone! 😀

              • Perhaps we hould change our collective name to “Twisted Nation”! I read it the ‘wrong’ way, too!!! :0

                (Sorry I don’t have a “Public Service Announcement” to add to this post, but my creative juices have run dry! Maybe another time?)

                Forge on, Twisted Nation…..ForgeOn!

          • Hahaha I read it as whoreadme as well!
            I just laughed until I googled it & then laughed more 😉
            I also thought ‘who read me’ was appropriate as I finally ‘read’ him & his motives fully! 🙂
            Mine used to call anyone that wasn’t up to his standards a ‘handicap’.
            From where I stand, he’s the biggest handicap & I am so glad he’s gone 🙂

    • Think the coward will forward this one without editing?

      The thing is–cheater cowards don’t care how they hurt others. They twist their tiny little reptilian brains into thinking you deserved it somehow, or you’ll be fine without them. And their fair-weather friends “don’t want to judge,” and “don’t want to choose sides,” because, you know, “it takes two to tango,” and also, “if a (wo)man’s not happy, what can you expect?”

      So, really, all these PSAs are a bit of a waste of time to anyone BUT a chump. They help us to see that it’s not we who are crazy–just shattered. (Well, full disclosure, sorry to disagree with above posts, but being on the receiving end of infidelity does make you a little forgivably crazy.) Of course, the cheaters and those complicit–the OPs and all their coward friends, will continue to label us as crazy–they don’t want to hear the rational truth, because it’s such a buzz-kill. And, it’s better to think That Could Never Happen To Me (I belonged to that camp once!) So, in that regard, better to leave it alone, and get on with life. I still believe in NC wholeheartedly. Choose your audience carefully when it comes to discussing your pain, and even then try to focus on your recovery.

      You are strong and incredibly intelligent, Jayne. You should have a gig as an author! I’m hoping you’ll have the best revenge, and that is by doing well. Truly, you are better off without that spineless rat.

      • Aw shucks – blush – thanks Miss Sunshine – that’s probably one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about me – you’ve shone a little ray of sunshine in a grey, rainy, windy spot in Liverpool – thank you 🙂

        • Ps Miss Sunshine – who cares if he edits and passes on or not? I was surprised to see he’d passed on the first one to be honest – major challenges to the narrative he must be peddling to them – if he’d edited that one – well basically it should have looked like a blank page 😀 Having listened to the crazy self-justification he’s spouted since D Day, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he’d forwarded the email in it’s entirety. And, because he’d done that, I wouldn’t be surprised if he forwards this one in it’s entirety too – but in the end, I don’t really care if he forwards it or not. I know I’ve sent it, I know he’s read it. I feel better knowing that I said it and aimed it at the people I wanted to hear it. I can take a well educated guess at who his those people are – perhaps if he is as deluded and crazy as I believe he is, there is a chance those people will get to read it – and there are a couple of them who might actually be mature enough to squirm. Who knows? Ultimately, I feel like I got to speak truth and at least direct it towards those I feel should know the truth 😀

    • It’s too bad you couldn’t figure out who the recipients were & cc them on this gem yourself. It truly is a gem.

      I doubt he’ll have the balls to forward it; it clearly outlines what a avoidant coward he really is.

      I’m in the same boat as you are, Jayne, and I have two kids along with me for the ride to rock bottom. We’ll be OK in the long run but the stress & anxiety of the journey is overwhelming. The financial fallout/mess they leave for us to clean up is terrifying.

      I’m praying for you.

      • Moxie that’s so kind and I am at least fortunate not to have to worry about children in all this. It’s a terrible worry isn’t it – not knowing where the hell you’re going to end up. Until somehow (God knows how, truly) I manage to find somewhere else to live, I simply can’t get on with my life – I can’t make any plans, I can’t really even slam the door shut on tosspotopath’s face because I’m still living with the consequences of having anything to do with him. One thing for sure – wherever I land, I’ll be taking a good long shower to get the stink of him off me forever! 😀 Cor blimey – but they are bastards, aren’t they (no offense to bastards – I was born out of wedlock meself :-D).

        • Being born out of wedlock does not make you a bastard Jayne. It makes your parents human and I bet you were loved very much. 🙂

          • Ah yeah – they’re ACE my mum and dad! Truth though – we love each other very much, but only cos we don’t live together! There’d be ‘tears before bedtime’ if we had to – which is why moving back in with them is NOT an option for me 😀

        • I’ve been facing endless financial disaster for nearly 3 years. It’s horrific. And the one and only reason I’m in this situation (with kids! yay!) is because I trusted ex. It sucks.

          • Nord – he’s 30 years + as a Financial Adviser. You wouldn’t believe how much debt he’s in – We had some nice holidays but honestly, the cumulative cost of those holidays barely make a mark in the amount of money he went through. The only things of monetary value he gave me were my wedding and engagement rings (pawned last year to pay the gas bill) and a second hand car he crashed and wrote off a couple of weeks before he left me. So now I’m 10 miles from work (1 +1/2 hours public transport – one way) and 15 miles from my family. I can count myself lucky that none of that personal debt is in my name – at least I was spared that horror.

            • Buy a bike! When ex made me sell the car and I couldn’t afford a new one I bought a bike and ride it everywhere. Also, that’s a long public transport ride. Are you north or South UK?

              • Good idea about the bike Nord – though not a biking weather day today – is it? 🙂 Where are you?

              • Can’t answer below but I’m in Europe. Biking is great. Good workout, of course, but also a good time to think and clear the head.

  • Public Service Announcement.

    Please be warned that sex with a serial cheater will not only guarantee you a life long disease but, a constant lifelong reminder you were cheated on!
    Those pre-cancer cells caused by the STI’s will probably lead to a major hysterectomy which, plays havoc with your hormones & removes the large muscle that is your uterus. That means that this also removes your ability to fully experience orgasm ever again!
    Oh & you’ll still have the STI’s which are a relationship spoiler for future relationships &, you will have to embarrassingly humiliate yourself in all future intimate relationships if you are brave enough to have any! Skull & Crossbones on Warning & Crime Scene Tape!

    • So very sorry for you. I found out that I have Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasm, level 3 about 2 weeks ago from a bad pap. Sometime after my last child, and negative HPV test, I caught HPV 16. Biopsy is scheduled next week to see how invasive it is.

      It fucking sucks. It sucks worse that the cheaters don’t even care. Mine gaslighted everyone after my results, said he was tested and everything was clear. But that didn’t stop him from texting me at 1:00 in the morning on Saturday to tell me how sorry he is and to let me know he will do anything to help.

      The only solace I know is that Karma always catches them. My STBX was slapped with a lawsuit from his former employer last week for stealing documents, procedure manuals, financial records, and vendor contracts, then quit while his company was in negotiations for a merger, then took all that info to a competitor to open the exact same type of business a mile from his former employer.

      It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Take care of you. Stress only allows the HPV to do more damage. You’re in my thoughts, sister!

      • Praying that you will have the best possible health news. And very glad you are done with this disgusting,selfish, cheater.

      • Thank you Kelli & I am sending you the strength you have given me 🙂
        Mine also gaslight’s everyone & plays two factions off at work against each other so, I truly get where you are coming from. Covert narcissism in all it’s pathological glory.
        These creatures really are evil & evil causes stress & stress causes cancer!

        I will see you at the finish line of that marathon & I’ll be holding the winners trophy for you.
        I wish you great health & love always sister 🙂

      • After 17 years with only one man, I ended up with HPV too. I had to have one of those lovely procedures to remove precancerous cervical cells. It could be at the top of cruel acts he committed against me to risk my health and life. Fucker.

    • Just an FYI…I had a hysterectomy years ago and I never noticed any difference whatsoever in my ability to have earth shaking orgasms. (<;

      • That’s great news Syringa 🙂
        It’s definately been different for me but, we are all designed uniquely.
        I am glad your still shattering that earth sister 😉
        Stay mindful of your health & remember STI’s are not called the hidden epidemic for nothing. If your lucky to escape a cheater unscathed then you are indeed fortunate. Carriers have no idea until symptoms show & sometimes they show up as abnormal pap smears with no mention of STI being the initial culprit.
        This is sad but, true. I was under a top gynacological professor that told me most women are never told the real reason for fear of their reaction etc….the devastation can be life altering. Some never put two & two together especially if they are unaware of partners cheating. The cheat always denies it anyway & the STI doesn’t come with a name tag!
        My ex knows he’s a carrier & chooses to expose women & that’s criminal in my book!
        Stay healthy & aware.
        Love & Light xoxo

      • Syringa, I had to have a complete hysterectomy (ovaries too) because of endometriosis several years back–while my asshole husband was having a baby with his whore (they eventually married and had another kid). My orgasms are not as frequent as I would like, my (new and better) husband is always trying new and exciting things to make sex more pleasurable for me. 🙂 my new love gets an ‘A’ for effort.

        So sorry for you folks got the ‘gift that keeps on giving’ from the narcissist fucks that were our exes ( or soon to be). Bastards. I really must live with the hope that Karma will be knocking on their door sometime in the near future—or maybe not so near, just so long as it happens.

  • Have an affair, they said. It would be fun, they said. Yeah, right.

    Here’s a public service announcement to all those of you considering doing that “new” hip thing called cheating on your spouse.


    It is neither hip nor fun in the end.

    How fun is getting tested for STDs? And how fun is losing money and possibly your job for lack of good judgment? How fun is watching the look in your spouse’s eyes after they learned that you just raped their soul by sleeping with another person (or two)? How fun is having people think you are a whore (or man-whore) just because they inferred it after learning the truth about your own cheating behavior?

    If that is what you want, then by all means continue on your merry way and enjoy that “new” hip thing called an affair.

    But don’t say you weren’t warned!

  • This is extremely timely, considering I received hostile text messages all afternoon yesterday because I refused to let my children go to my cheating STBX’s cheater brother’s kid’s birthday party on my weekend. After taking the high road for 6 hours, Cheater’s Cheating Brother told me that I was a bipolar narcissist who needed to own my part in making his brother cheat on me. This was my response (warning–I have a potty mouth when upset):

    “You and your family all must have studied together for your MDs from the same goddamn community college. Y’all can psychoanalyze the fuck out of me from your armchairs.

    It’s funny you say that I’m a bipolar narcissist. Especially when I admit my mistakes. Freely. Willingly. Publicly. I have no problem owning my bitchiness. Im sarcastic. I have a filthy mouth. There’s my controlling need for the outward image of perfection to mask the inner chaos. Daddy issues. Mommy issues. And being a motherfucking chump.

    For some reason y’all demonized me. Called me crazy. Diagnosed me as a DSM Cluster B Nut Job. No one has ever even mentioned that Justin will have a 6 month old when our divorce is final. If he’s not already a convicted felon by then. Guess that’s just your version of the Flower in the Attic.

    Bottom line, I never said I was a perfect spouse. Nor did I say our marriage was without its problems. I chose to deal with those problems with therapy, marriage counseling and Trying Harder. Your brother chose to deal with them by fucking other women. That’s the reason why I filed for divorce.

    But that’s just my little opinion. You can take that with a double barreled fuck you, slide it in your arm chair side pocket and psychoanalyze the shit out of it.”

    So that’s my PSA 🙂

    • STANDING APPLAUSE KELLI 🙂 sure, like my own breach of the ‘no contact’ rule – will make not a jot of difference and will probably shore up their flimsy excuses for demonizing you (I don’t think you were demonic, by the way, measured and considered I thought 🙂 ) but hope you felt good for having said it. After all, whether you say something, or not, they are still going to make their judgements, aren’t they? Still, great text from the lass! 😀

      • It did feel good! Really good. Ok it felt awesome!

        I know it won’t make a difference. It probably even solidified their determination that I’m crazy.

        I’ve always been very chumpy where his family is concerned. I wouldn’t enforce healthy boundaries because I wanted everyone to get along.

        I finally just got tired of all the bullying and abuse and their confidence that they can manipulate me because I’ve never stood up and said No.

        • You are wise to hold to the custody and visitation schedule for now. Tell STBX if things go well on all fronts, you will consider being more flexible, but for now, if people don’t treat you and yours well, very well, then he and his family will have to live within the letter of the law.

    • “Own your part in it”…. Screw HIM!

      I recently got that line from STBX. In hindsight, there are a lot of things I wish I had done differently in my marriage. Dumping his ass at the very 1st red flag is #1.

      Owning a part in his cheating doesn’t make the list.

      Kudos to you for standing up to this bully with a mouth bigger than his balls.

    • Kelli wins. I swear, I was sitting here tonight, bored out of my tits, and realised that I will have to deal with ex’s family at a few events in the years to come. They all act like I*m a bit meanie for cutting them all off but what’s a girl to do when the whole fucking family is making excuses to the kids about why ‘dad just had to cheat’, particularly one family member who knows it wasn’t just final OW but loads of other women. Fuck all of them. I swear, I was running things through my head and now a double barrelled fuck you sounds just about right if they actually try to say anything to me. One of the worse thigns about this is the fact that his entire family devalued me – and I was closer to them than he was, did more for them than he ever did, and always stood up for him to them. They can all suck a fart out of my ass.

      • I’m counting down 5 days before our daughter’s wedding. Yesterday was the rehearsal dinner and thankfully only the ex and his child bride were there. That was plenty. The Jesus cheater made us all hold hands in a restaurant while he said grace out loud, and afterward the whore hung all over him — fake tan, fake nails, fake boobs. I didn’t have very much of an appetite, so I just had soup.

        Honest to God, it’s like being back in Jr. High.

        • My friend went through the same thing a few years back – (the daughter’s wedding, not the bizarre hand holding, grace-saying commune with Satan) – I must say she did a brilliant job. On the day she looked absolutely stunning as the mother-of-the-bride, she had a new boyfriend (though I’d have organised a whip-round for a male escort for the evening – just company folks – nothing fodgy! – if she hadn’t) – and she danced her cotton socks off all night. I was awestruck by her! I wasn’t the only one to notice that her cheater ex couldn’t take his eyes of her all evening – even though he was sat next to his new beau (to be fair, not an official AP as she wasn’t around when he was married to my friend) – ha! Hope you do as well Chumpalicious – I’m sure you never thought this set up was part of the deal when your daughter was born – what a crock of shit. Good luck and make sure you look stunning and shine! 😀

      • I’m in the same boat. During our “separation” phase, before D-Day, I threw his 74 year old grandmother a surprise birthday party. I found out later from phone records that STBX was late because he pulled an all nighter with his whore.

        I stayed with his mom at her invitation for the weekend, all while she was scrutinizing every little thing I did to gather ‘evidence.’ For example: “Kelli can’t handle custody of the kids. You HAVE to get sole custody. When we were at dinner, she let [our 2 year old] play with a sugar packet and eat the sugar while we were waiting for our food. Those girls will end up with diabetes.”

        I swear it never ends.

        Oh, and Cheater Brother also suggested I go spend about 6 months in Africa and get some “perspective” on the important things in life–like allowing my children to hang out with him when I’m not legally obligated to do so.

        So, it’s ME who needs perspective on what’s important in life? Ok. I’ll play along. In addition to raising two girls by myself, ages 2 and 3 born 10 months apart, I am the PR manager of a large regional Cancer Center and was recently told that his brother gave me HPV resulting in cervical cancer. He? Deals poker at a riverboat casino.

      • Nord, I must thank you. I just got off the phone with my ex. We fought…I yelled. I have a potty mouth. It has set me up to have a terrible day. Then I came on Chump Lady and started reading. You’re “they can all suck a fart out of my ass” made me burst into laughter. I soooo needed that! I’m stealing that one too! Brilliant.

      • My daughter has asked me to go to a youth service tomorrow night. I am going for her 🙂
        I get to watch stbx and Miss Piggy ( both Ministers ) produce a youth service while stbx’s family all warmly embrace the two cheaters and all the wonderfulness that is them.
        I have had to do this for years. But this time I know that the divorce is almost final and I can move on with my life without their brand if organized religion.

        They are like those bags of chips that seem so big but once you open them and look inside there’s really not much there – and the chips are stale.

        Their warning lable should read ” May Expire Sooner Than You Think “.

  • Mashley Addison: Have an affair; everybody’s doing it!

    We at Mashley Addison pride ourselves in providing the absolute best level of customer service to anybody looking to deceive their spouse and family. Life’s short; have an affair!

    Don’t take our word for it, though, just ask a satisfied customer:

    “At Mashley Addison, I was able to hookup with a number of women who weren’t bound by outdated modes of morality. Of course, my kids will no longer speak to me, my wife is in therapy after having a complete breakdown and is divorcing me, my in-laws think I am Satan, a comfortable retirement is now a pipe-dream, and I lost my house, but on the whole I would say it was worth it and do it all again’. – Brett from Waukegan

    Another satisfied customer representing the “fairer gender”:

    “The thing I like about Mashley Addison is that you can meet married men that aren’t local. Local men all avoid me, and I think it’s because their wives all know my reputation, and they’re jealous. Either that or some nosey busy-body has told them I have herpes. People are too judgemental. If I had known about Mashley Addison years ago, I might not have gone into local bars to pick up men, I might still have custody of my children and be able to use them to get more money out of my ex-husband.” – Claire from Stamford

    Mashley Addison, helping people abuse their spouses and families since 2001.

  • Oh, Divorce Minister. “You just raped their soul…”. For two years I have been trying to articulate this feeling. The stunned speechlessness. The PTSD. You nailed it. I finally get it. Thank you.

    • Rape of your soul well said and so true. As I have been reading posts here for the last year and 1/2 plus going through my own betrayal I have thought “How can I even compare myself?” My H’s affair was all smoke; an EA that went no where did not cost me money, did not expose me to disease and did not hurt children as we have none. But in my very being he has destroyed the love I felt for him. Changed me in ways I don’t like. I won’t ever get the pre affair me back. I am now older sadder.

      • Ah Janet, For two years tosspotopath vehemently insisted they hadn’t had sex – so I was left with the evidence of an Emotional Affair (he did try to deny even that, but 18 months of morning, noon and night text messages were, in the end, impossible to describe as some sort of hallucination – though he tried damned hard to sell it as such) – I was utterly devastated. Don’t ever feel any less betrayed or cheated Janet. I totally get it, and you have every right to feel as hurt as you do.

        Yes, it’s impossible to unlearn the dirty truth, and we lose the innocent that was us before we learned the dirty truth.

        I’m sorry. I hate to do this to you but welcome to Chumplady – you are a fully qualified member (sadly) 🙁

        Love to you xx

        • He eventually decided to admit to the sex by the way – so it wasn’t ‘only’ an emotional affair. More insult to injury – already devastated by the EA – then further destroyed by the two years of being told I was a horrible person to even suspect him of having sex with someone else.

  • Do I have a Deal for You!
    You can be my third world country.
    I will make fine treaties with you.
    (Break them. Take all your stuff, and leave you with nothing but a long legal road you have not been educated to pursue).
    I can keep this going for a hundred years.
    I will steal your home, your property, your children.
    I will put you on a reservation where no one can see you.
    You get to be the Indian.

    • “and leave you with nothing but a long legal road you have not been educated to pursue”

      Yes and yes – this is one of the saddest truths.

    • Psychopathy writ large. I never really made the connection before. Cheaters and con men rule, because decent folk are blinded by their own decency. We think they might actually play by the rules they set up. Sucker!

      • And it shows the basic dynamic, that cheaters feel superior to those they are lying to and deceiving.

  • Painted on the non drivers side of his van in block letters under his name and company slogan: “we keep our promises”. BUT NOT OUR MARRIAGE VOWS. I HAVE A MISTRESS.

    No idea who did it. I was out of town and heard about it later. ROFL.

      • Apparently the dork drove all over town, including parking at the supermarket. Several people mentioned it afterward. He is well known in town and it started some good gossip. No more swaggering around for him. Wish I could thank whoever did it…

        • Since it was on the driver’s side, I was hoping that he drove around a while before he found it. That’s priceless!!! Wouldn’t you have loved to have been a fly when he finally discovered it?!? Ahhhh…….reward!!!!

      • Let me formally and publicly thank that chump conspirator here and now. Saves me from having to tell folks why we split. Even those without facebook accounts.

        • I suspect the painter was his best friend’s wife and their teenage son…they both despised him for cheating on me. She herself was a chump so probably had strong opinions. I never asked her, but she does smile sweetly and ask how I am doing.

  • Cheaters who steal the lat child bearing years of your life with promises that never come true, while thru already have multiple kids by multiple women…die in a fire..,

  • SCENE: Kitchen. ANNOUNCER and YOUNG MAN are standing in front of a stove. Announcer has an egg in his hand. A cast iron pan rests on the stove, with the heat on.

    Announcer holds up egg between two fingers.

    ANNOUNCER: This is your marriage.

    He cracks the egg into the pan and points to it.

    ANNOUNCER: This is your marriage on drugs.

    He adds hotsauce, pepper, salt, then scrambles the eggs vigorously.

    ANNOUNCER: This is your marriage on infidelity.

    He takes the pan, pulls the front of the young man’s pants out, and pours the hot eggs in. The young man screams, drops to the floor, and writhes in pain.

    ANNOUNCER: And this is what betrayal, shame, incurable STDs, lifelong financial instability and loss of respect from everyone you care about feels like.

    Announcer looks at the young man on the floor and sighs.

    ANNOUNCER: Any questions?

  • As a child counselor, I think I would have snippets of children looking into the camera and stating gems like the following:

    “My dad spent our vacation money for DisneyWorld on some coworker instead of me and my mom. I really wanted to go to the Magic Kingdom, but now I have to come here instead. (Pan out to show child in the waiting room of a therapist while he plays with old toys).

    Dad can’t stop crying and yelling because Mom goes out a lot at night and comes home smelling funny. So I have to sit here (Pan out to show waiting room of a lawyers office that is slightly ajar with dad talking to attorney and shaking his head in his hand).

    Daddy made mommy sick because he is a cheater. But I’ve never seen them play any games. (Pan out to waiting room of an ER, and mom is having her stomach pumped).

    Tag line… “Making important people wait. Sure, cheating is thrilling.”

    It’s rough, but I think it could work.

    • Oh wow – that is suitably chilling. God Chutesandladders – do you work as a PSA developer? And if not, why not?

      • I was in the advertising business long ago in another life. Still, this just writes itself.

        My new career is school counseling, and can tell you that the snippets above happen all the time. We live in a very selfish society, and cheaters treat their kid like possessions, hobbies and accessories. I’m sick to death of it. Thank you, Chump Lady for the opportunity to respond to the “pro” cheater sites.

    • How about this one, with a child petting his dog: “Mommy and I have to move because Daddy has a girlfriend and she want our house. Mommy says we can’t afford our house anyway since Daddy is keeping all his money for himself. It will be OK, Mommy says. But I just hope the girlfriend lets us keep Skipper.”

  • Public service announcement:

    Don’t steal a married man. He’s just proven he can’t keep a promise. History always repeats itself. You know you’re not THAT special, honey.

  • Public Service Announcement:

    Warning! Prolonged exposure to a cheater will result in the following mental and/or physical symptoms: the inability to tell a lie from the truth, unintentional weight loss, anguish, anxiety, disillusionment, feelings of abandonment, poor self-esteem, possible STD’s, loss of emotional well-being and a completely shattered heart. JUST SAY NO!

    • Ooh, good one, lovehonorcherish. I think chumps are the right audience for a PSA, anyway. People need to be warned. Just leave.

    • and financially, it will also result in the loss of your savings, (empty bank, retirement accounts) your house, complete devastation on your finances, not to mention excess debt.

  • Here are some well-known old ones that can be recylcled:

    Friends don’t let friends . . .stay with cheaters.

    It’s ten o’clock. Do you know where your spouse is?

    Just say no . . . to infidelity.

    Cheating kills.

    A life is a terrible thing to waste.

  • I would just show a montage of clips from my ex’s various videos. Those show the “reality” inside his head. Running underneath, subtitles would list his accomplishments in real life, including: currently living in an RV parked in sister’s driveway, son no longer has anything to do with him, bankruptcy, foreclosure, no actual job, deadbeat dad, staggering level of infidelity, diagnosed NPD, blackmailer, con artist, fakes injury/illness, tax cheat, closet gay…. I’m sure there are more, but the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet.

  • Do you have trouble sleeping at night because your spouse isn’t home or is home texting/talking to an affair partner?

    Do you have an unnatural fear of doctors because you’ve contracted so many STDs from your cheating spouse?

    Tired of dealing with your children’s trauma from knowing something is not quite right, but not being able to identify what it might be?

    Feeling confused because you know your spouse is lying to you even though they constantly deny doing so?

    Do you think you may be experiencing gaslighting, blameshifting and and other mental and emotional abuse?

    You may need Cheater Be Gone. One tablet daily will help you throw out and keep your cheating spouse out of your life.

    Warning! Side effects of cheating, not the medication, may include: severe emotional trauma resulting in rapid weight loss, loss of financial stability, homelessness, fear, panic and anxiety attacks, your children’s trauma, thoughts of suicide and occasionally unpredictable violent thoughts directed toward your cheating spouse and affair partner. A mental health professional may be able to assist you in helping alleviate some or all of these side effects.

    Try Cheater Be Gone today! It may be just the medicine you need.

    • 😀

      For some reason Cheater Be Gone reminded me of the lyrics to the Alisha’s Attic song, I am I Feel:

      ‘I clicked my heels together three times
      They sparked a little but nothing happened,
      And the big, bad wolf’s still in my bed’

      But the Cheater Be Gone pill sounds just the ticket! 😀

  • Public Service Announcement: Infidelity Ruins Live [Director cuts to each speaker sitting in front of a plain screen]

    Speaker # 1: I was married for 10 years…
    Speaker #2: …for 25 years…
    Speaker #3: ….for 5 years, and my life changed overnight.
    Speaker #4: I found out my husband was involved with another woman…
    Speaker #5 ….my wife is having an affair….
    Speaker #6 …my spouse had dating ads on Craig’s List.
    Speaker #7 I found out when she left her email open…
    Speaker #8 ….when I found his secret Facebook page
    Speaker # 9 …when the other woman called me to say they had been together since we got engaged….
    Speaker #10 …when my 6 year-old came home said that Daddy had brought his friend, who’s a girl, on an outing to the zoo with our kids.
    Speaker #11 …when my wife admitted she was pregnant and her lover might be the father.
    Speaker #12 My whole world has been shattered.
    Speaker #13 I have no idea how I am going to pay the bills now that he’s gone.
    Speaker #14 It looks like I will only see my kids twice a week. And the affair partner will be their everyday Daddy.
    Speaker #15 I was a stay-at-home mom and I have no idea where I am going to work or who will watch my newborn.
    Speaker #16 I can’t eat…
    Speaker #17 …or sleep…
    Speaker #18 …and my kids are devastated.
    Speaker #19 …I’m ready to retire and may find myself homeless and without a pension.

    Cut to the whole group. Voiceover: Cheating isn’t sexy; it isn’t exciting, it isn’t fun for those who are betrayed. And when families are broken, it hurts us all.

  • Are you single and find yourself dating married men? Constantly feel the need to justify it? Losing friends over it? Order your handy dandy wearable ethics adjustment app now! For just $9.99 you too can discover ethics and learn how to apply them in your day to day life! The Ethicmatic is easy to use and so small no one will know you need it!

    Guys, gals, whether cis, gay or any gender ID in between can benefit from the amazing Ethicmatic. That’s right, you too can learn ethics effortlessly despite your past mistakes. Order now and and the Empathymatic is included at no extra charge.

    Warning: the Empathymatic may cause extreme stress during initial boot up, we bear no responsibility for ill effects and recommend a qualified therapist be on call and possibly medication may be required.

    • Chump warning: if your spouse has been cheating and suddenly develops a conscious be sure to do a full body search, the Ethicmatic and Empathymatic have not been tested for long term effects, removal of the device will result in a return to assholery.

  • Oh, oops I didn’t do one for chumps.

    Cheating is not like monopoly, giving your cheater a “get out of jail free” card will not land you on Boardwalk. It will land you on Mediterranean Avenue, the cheapest property in the game, and it can’t be reached without passing “Go” in the false reconciliation game. Save the “get out of jail free” card for yourself and use your cash for a good lawyer enabling you to pass “Go” and get a divorce.

  • Here’s another one…

    The googly-eyed affair partner sees the free drinks, suave, debonair man telling her she is “the ONE” and that he has never known love like this before. She looks lovingly at the man while she starts to think of her wedding day with him, and there’s a close up of the cheater from her veil. Fade to the chump dreaming through the same veil, seeing a younger version of the man telling her the same thing at their wedding. Only the chump’s revelry is interrupted by a child in a baseball uniform waiting on the front step for Daddy and asking where he could be, while her teen is yelling at her that it’s all her fault that he left. Our chump has mascara running down her cheek from crying and wondering how she’s going to pay the bills when the phone rings and it’s cheater saying he can’t pick up Billy because he has a “business meeting.” Pan to him at a bar with his bimbo.

    “Cheating destroys families.”

  • Good one Chutes – I’d add….’and pan to black’. (or whatever they say in the movies)

    (I actually know the #1 female producer in Hollywood – maybe she can help)

  • (Here is an ad for the OW, otherwise known as Chump in waiting…)

    How’s the view from the top of the pedestal?

    You don’t know what it’s like to keep “forgetting” that your husband told you he was going to out late, and with whom? (Because he told you, you were standing right there in the kitchen when he told you?)

    Or the joy of telling your kids “Daddy will be right back” as he goes to return a text during the one dinner he is home that week?

    You are not yet a world-class egg-shell walker?

    Fret not!

    Eau de Boiled Frog

    The scent that sneaks up on you.

    For the woman who has everything (including your ex-husband.)

  • Bob Barker hosts “the Chump is Right”, guess the correct door and win a chance to get past the pain and gain a life, choose wrong and you get to eat a shit sandwich until the money runs out.

    Door #1: reconciliation
    Door #2: accept the situation
    Door#3: file for divorce

    As each chump picks a door a different fucked up scenario unfolds (1 minute acted out). Door #1 opens and the chump is on the floor as her husband steps over asking where’s dinner and shut the fuck up about the affair already, it’s over while he’s texting his OW. Door #2 opens and we see the chump in bed as her husband leads his OW in and says, now You can both get me off at the same time, I deserve it. Finally the third chump picks Door #3, birds start singing and a rainbow appears as the chump climbs into a bubble bath with candles and glass of champagne.

  • Wow, there’s so much talent here! When do we get to pick the best one and do a Kickstarter to actually produce it?

  • I would liken cheaters to Voldemort and horcruxes. So maybe it’d be phrased something like: PSA: Cheaters live the making of a horcrux daily. RUN FAR AND RUN FAST!!

    To cheat, especially serial cheat, you have to rip apart your moral code (of course, not every cheater is going to have a moral code to start with, in which case they’re just beyond help from the get-go). I know that was my experience when I cheated. I was engaged many years ago, wouldn’t have been old enough to drink at my wedding. I realized I needed to call the wedding off and in a matter of about 2 weeks I had taken my ring off, cheated and called the wedding off. It was a simple as I had an opportunity and failed miserably to follow precautions. It was a long time coming when I finally realized we weren’t a good fit but he was a good guy and my actions were uncalled for regardless. It was nothing to do with him failing me but everything to do with me just being incredibly stupid, selfish, immature, irresponsible, the list could go on.

    I broke my moral code and my body and conscience wouldn’t let me forget it. I made myself physically sick throwing up all over the place. I knew I had violated my moral code as well as his, there was no way in hell I could deny that and I knew I needed to keep/restore my code. For someone to continue cheating, whatever moral code they had gets purposefully shattered and ripped apart, soul splitting until the death no longer phases them.

    I think any cheater that has a code knows they’re in the wrong and they choose to murder their conscience. It’s a serious thing when a person continues to ignore their conscience and their body’s responses to the violations being carried out. It was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done and any ripping I do on cheaters is also ripping on myself b/c it was so stupid. I’m not afraid to take any heat for the stupidity of my actions at that time b/c I’m the first one throwing the curses to begin with (and I’m very, very snarky at that. If you’ve read any previous posts you’ve picked up that I have a snarky side).

    My husband survived infidelity in his first marriage, he knew my full story very early on. Cheating isn’t worth it. I hate saying that I know the lesson from the other end of experience too but nonetheless I know it. Soul splitting isn’t something to be messed with. At least I’m glad I still have my soul.

  • Actually told this to a friend the other day. Wish I could draw the following cartoon of my STBXH: Scene with a dying tree, apples filled with worms and bugs, lawyers with bags of money approaching the tree, bill collectors with handcuffs walking toward the tree, his three kids plugging their ears and running away, his parents shaking their heads in disgust and poor misunderstood asshat crawling up tree with his pockets empty, current overweight, high blood pressure/cholesterol gut hanging over his pants with three chins added to his face, look of horror on his face and my favorite, his soul drifting away from his body falling into a bucket of bleach. Scene Name: CHEATER REAPING WHAT HIS SIN HAS SOWN…and all the worm infested apples dropping on his head, breaking open with rotten insides filled with bugs…if only I could draw I would send that to him tomorrow, Federal Express Overnight delivery!!

  • PSA. Montage of a life together: moments in a family’s life, good times and even those bittersweet. Shots: Falling in love, a wedding, birth of a baby, children playing together, a funeral shot close up of two adults leaning in on one another and holding hands, milestones, birthdays, graduations, two old people on the front porch swing. Sappy love song playing in the background. Cut to teary eyed spouse holding and flipping through photo album. Cut to black screen and this: Cheating is never a great legacy.

  • My PSA would probably be a very sparkly unicorn in a grass, flowery meadow under a blue sky with wispy clouds. It’s sunny. The wind gently blowing its long white mane and tail. The unicorn’s stance would be majestic, with its head turned slightly to look directly into the camera.

    Either a voice over or script would state in a soothing manner to shift your narrative! Discard and rearrange your true moral essence! The unicorn CAN be captured and loved if you, the viewer, will be believe it its magical aura by smoking from the pipe of eternal happiness and hope!

    In the far right corner is an idyllic couple sitting on a blanket under a large oak tree. The oak tree is also majestic. With its sturdy limbs and branches covered in thousands of brilliant green leaves. The couple is admiring the beautiful unicorn. Its sparkles are dazzling in sunlight. The couple’s faces, from the angle that you can barely make them out, are in a state of euphoria. Beside them is a hooka pipe of discernible size with two smoking pipes.

    (I can see the image. The text is harder for me. A PR person needed to come up with clever text.)

  • “I’d take high fructose corn syrup and black lung disease over a marriage to my ex-husband any day.”

    True that!!!

  • @datdamwuf

    “Finally the third chump picks Door #3 [divorce], birds start singing and a rainbow appears as the chump climbs into a bubble bath with candles and glass of champagne.”

    Jesus H. Christ! This kind of crap is what makes those prone to cynicism suspect that CL is profiting from the divorce industry. Divorce is not rainbows and singing birds and bubble bath and champagne, it’s losing 80% of what you have worked towards your entire life to lawyers and other family court parasites. It’s watching children cope with having their entire lives exploded.

    It might be the least worst thing but it is still a goddamned HORRIBLE thing!!!!

    I like this site and I think it helps a lot of people but a solid 10% of it is truly vile and evil.

    • Alyosha, apparently my attempt at humor upset you, my apologies. However, I’m afraid I’m not interested in your judgement that I am “truly vile and evil” (along with whichever 10% of the rest of us you want to label) since I’m notyou, and your opinion is extreme. Nor am I interested in your bullshit suspicion that CL is somehow profiting from the divorce industry, that’s utterly paranoid shit right there.

      For me the divorce door #3 resulted in my ex physically attacking me and eventually his threatening to kill himself and me, not to mention the chronic health issue he left me with, and loosing more than half my shit to him and the lawyers. BUT, at the end of that journey it is a happier life and it is not controlled by an abusive asshole. IMO, It’s not the “least worst thing” or “horrible”, it’s the best decision out of the options available and it can result in regaining peace and happiness.

      • Let me guess…. No kids?

        I’m not interested in your solipsism or your lies (or your lack of reading comprehension).

        Let’s be very clear here. You rock! And anyone else who doesn’t think so is obviously utterly paranoid or a narc or some other scary thing from the DSM. We’ll just leave it at that and let you get back to urging others on to divorce no matter their own particular circumstances. Because ….hey…. It brought you so much peace and happiness, right? How can it not be the only sane choice for every single person who faces infidelity?!?

        You’re mighty!!! Whatever you do is 100% great!!

    • I will have to go with Datdamwuf… you know when I was still with my cheating POS ex that last 3 years, I couldn’t sleep, became insomniac even ambien didn’t work, eat (thus fell below size 0 in juniors), the happiness and the joy was sucked right out of me daily, THEN I finally dumped the cheating, lying, gaslighting POS! kicked him out of my house and out of my life! and you know what??, since then I fucking sleep like a baby every fucking night, my finances are for the better, since I don’t have to carry a dead weight no longer, while he had spent his money on himself or on his whores. I gained back my weight and I am turning heads every where I go again, while the ugly douche bag ex has to deal with white trash just to get laid! My son and I are more happier than we have ever been and our life has never been more content, more peaceful! Just like CL, I say lose the cheating mother fuckers who didn’t give a shit about you to begin with, get on with your life and it may not be “birds start singing and a rainbow appears as the chump climbs into a bubble bath with candles and glass of champagne.” right off the bat, but boy it eventually feels and gets to be like that for some, specially for me!

      AND Its only your opinion “a solid 10% of it is truly vile and evil.” Not from where I am standing! I think CL, this blog and all of its members rock!! so get a grip…

      • Anyone who thinks it’s a bad idea (and a plain lie) to characterize divorce as singing birds, and rainbows and bubble baths with champagne needs to “get a grip.”

        Got it. I’ll seek help immediately to get my mind right.

        • Anyone who posts that they believe CL is in cahoots with the “divorce industry” (whatever that means) to make money off the site and calls 10% of us “truly vile and evil” in response to a joke PSA does have some issues, I don’t diagnose people over the internet, or IRL for that matter. Have a good life notyou.

          • I think you know that I never said at any time that I believed that CL is in cahoots with the “divorce industry”. I follow this site and I know that others have indeed suggested such things. I, however, never have. Ever. To state that I have is simply a lie. Not surprising coming from you but it must be called out for what it is.

            This is what I said: “This kind of crap (comparing divorce to a bubble bath with champagne) is what makes those prone to cynicism suspect that CL is profiting from the divorce industry.”

            In other words, outrageous garbage like your post doesn’t help CL in this regard. Could the divorce industry have any better advertisement than comparing divorce to a bubble bath with champagne? It’s all not only painless but downright luxurious and relaxing. Jump right in!

            Further, I never called 10% of poster’s here truly vile and evil as you state. What I did say is that a solid 10% of what is posted here is truly vile and evil. I stand by that. Whether it is trumpeting the glories of divorce or advising others to make sure your spouse has nothing left after your lawyers get done with them. etc. etc. It’s all wrong…. and yes, evil and yes, vile, and yes, INCREDIBLY irresponsible.

            You don’t diagnose people over the internet but you will suggest that they have some issues. Hahaha. How parsimonious, and of course, responsible of you!

            10% isn’t bad at all in my opinion. If I skip your lies and the rah rah “take everything he’s got! you go grrrrlllll!!!” crap, it will probably be significantly less.

            I’ll stick around.

  • I think I would go for simple, relatively boring PSAs aimed at potential cheaters:

    Warning: Infidelity causes divorce.

    Warning: Infidelity harms your children.

    I guess you could jazz it up with a guy having some cheap thrills and then big regrets.

    It would be good if the PSAs showed real people cheating – i.e. people with pot bellys and bald spots hunched over a computer rather than movie stars gazing soulfully at each other.

    I think some religious groups could put up something about it being wrong – you know, the 10 commandments and all that.

    Plus I’d like to see something aimed at the idea that cheating is not proof that the relationship has a problem. It is about you, the cheater.

  • I love the PSA idea! I just think it should be geared toward teenagers and young adults. We warn them about Predators – pedophiles, drug dealers, on-line psychos, the domestically violent – but what about warning them about the soul-sucking, Spackle-loving, kibble-devouring, duplicitous narcissists who will ruin their lives and make retched their destiny?? Warn them about the shiny, sparkly, non-human black wholes that will ruin both them and their future offspring.

    List the warning signs:

    1). If “me-me-me-me-me” isn’t a warm up to singing, but actually their whole song -RUN!

    2). If they can’t pass a mirror with out a look and a smile – RUN!

    3). If they tell you they can’t live without you, that they want to spend every second of every day with you, but then you don’t hear from them for two weeks because they were “busy” – RUN!

    4). If you feel the need to check your watch after asking them the time – RUN!

    5). If they say that John Edwards, Anthony Wiener, Brad Pitt (or any other well known cheater) are not bad men, they just did a bad thing – RUN!

    If we could get to the Chumps when they’re young and undo all the things that will make them future Chumps then the would-be Cheaters would have no one to victimize.

    Tag Line: “To Thine Own Self Be True”.

    • I’d like to see a psychology course requirement freshman year of high school. First they’d cover the most prevalent mental health issues and teach there is no stigma and getting help is no different than doing so for a physical health issue. Then required reading would be “Gift of Fear” and “Why Does He Do That”. I’m sure there is at least one more book that should be there regarding boundary setting but can’t make up my mind to any that are really excellent.

      • Exactly. Health classes cover smoking, drinking, STDs, etc. all of which come with huge risks. Being involved with character-disturbed people comes with huge risks as well. I know that I jumped in with both feet because of my father (and to a lesser degree, my mother). I would have benefitted hugely from a class that teaches self-esteem, that you don’t need to turn over your soul for “love”. I never saw what a healthy relationship was, so I went with what I knew. I’m doing everything I can to be sure that my son doesn’t base what he sees as love and commitment on the disaster of my marriage. I want to give him a fighting chance.

        • Ditto Disgusted, your story reflects mine except I ran from a disastrous 19 marriage to a Disordered Character & smack bang into the waiting arms of a Sociopath/narcissist!
          I learnt through much needed self awareness, therapy etc…that I viewed dysfunction as function & accepted the unacceptable. It all came down to never being valued myself for myself or by myself.
          I am well in that higher path now but, what a mess & my son has struggled with my choices 🙁
          I am working at changing the cycle of abuse & dysfunction & have succeeded with my daughter & will do my very best to save my son.
          Keep the faith & know you are free & worth your own effort as is your boy. 🙂

          • Awareb4 – thanks for your kind words and glad you are doing better : ). Many kindred spirits here . . .

  • Wink wink public service announcement, your wife thinks your idea of having sex with a bimbo is a joke. There is so much more to a relationship than that. Your family enjoyed having their world blown to bits, your oldest was going to stand in front of a train in after arriving at her new college from the news of her whoredaddy. And your wife, during the main hit of this, tried to figure out how to get in a wreck on the freeway so it would look like an accident. Isn’t cheating fun, thank you for cheating your family for what they thought they were in, you asshole.


    Do you suffer from being surrounded by people less important than you? Do you feel like your spouse gained one too many pounds and is just do damn ugly to deserve your attention? Do you wake up every morning and feel like those kids you willingly chose to have are cramping your awesomeness and getting in the way of living like a rockstar? Did you take up the offer from that whore at work that never seems to wear underwear? Are you frustrated at trying to find hard drive space for all that porn?

    You may suffer from chronic NARCISSISM! Yes, narcissism, that incessant feeling that you’re the center of the universe and everyone around you should be just kissing your ass. Narcissism is the reason why no one ever seems to meet your incredibly high standards. It’s also why you are the most socially evolved person in the universe. Narcissism effects many people, assholes, cheaters and entitled AP’s alike!

    SPEAKER NO. 1: “I woke up one morning and thought that I had slept with a troll, then I realized it was just my wife! Ever since those three kids I begged her for, her body just hasn’t been the same as it was when she was 19. I mean, what’s her problem? I’M still perfect, what’s her excuse?”

    SPEAKER NO. 2: “Yeah, I know he’s married, but, his wife is such a frigid bitch, what does it matter? We are MEANT to be together! If we weren’t, then the universe wouldn’t have sent him such a shitty wife. She needs to just accept that she wasn’t his soul mate and move on! I mean, he told me he was going to divorce her, it’s just that he got busy this week and couldn’t go to the courthouse…”

    SPEAKER NO. 3: “Well, what did my husband expect? I’m a goddess. I deserve to be treated like one and Santiago from El Salvador does just that! I don’t care if our son had soccer practice, it’s not fashionable to be seen among women like…THEM. Who does he think I am anyway? Some sad soccer mom in elastic jeans? Psh, I deserve Apple Bottoms. If he can’t afford that, then he can’t afford me. Santiago takes me on CRUISES.”

    Actual reality can get frustrating for today’s complete and total Narcissist, but there is hope! Yes, there is a treatment that can alleviate or completely eliminate the issues associated with chronic Narcissism. Patented and FDA approved treatments for Narcissism include:

    A swift kick in the ass
    A good punch in the face
    A divorce settlement from your ex spouse so harsh that you will owe them your own feet by the time it’s over
    Being forced to actually spend all your time around your affair partner like a real relationship
    And of course, having to find your own damn job because your spouse won’t babysit you anymore.

    If you think you may be a huge fucking Narcissist, call 1-800-GoEatABagOfDicks. Operators are standing by!

    • Kara,

      THIS IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE!!! Madison Avenue needs this right now!!!


      • I would love to do this and youtube it. I can imagine the second speaker being one of those stereotypical dumb, desperate, selfish bimbos with a really bad perm and bleached hair and the cheating wife speaker having fake boobs and a velour track suit and too much makeup. The first speaker would have to be one of those mofos that looks like a neckless walnut with eyes. Y’know the type that has pretty much zero room to be criticizing anyone else’s appearance. You’d probably find him on OkCupid with a dating profile that says he will only respond to 90 pound 20-year-olds even though he’s pushing 60 and was never anywhere near 90 pounds.

        It’s fun making characatures of these idiots. Kind of helps to bring attention to the absurdity of how they operate. Laughing at them takes away some of their power.

  • Do not begin construction with your “equipment” unless you know where the underground powerlines are. There may be an extended power outage for all affected

  • A prenup isn’t just for gold diggers, don’t forget the cheater clause in your prenup, call 1-800-all ourshitbelongstomeifyoucheat today! If you intend to have children also call 1-800-Igetfullcustodyifyoucheat, ensure your children will be taken care of . If your heart is broken the last thing you need is dealing with division of assets and the fear of being separated from your kids. Remember, if your beloved truly loves you, a prenup is just a piece of paper.

    Now see I wrote that and then I realized a truly psychopathic person might sign that and then set YOU up so zie can prove You cheated. That’s kinda the reason I’m not sure a postnuptial after cheating would be so effective

  • Does your husband “seem different” these days?

    Do you return home, after yet another extended break overseas with your “training partner”, to find him exhausted, lonely and withdrawn?

    Do you wish you’d married someone who’d be more “emotionally supportive” of your dual professional and sporting careers, instead of this shadow-of-a-man who offers you nothing but childcare-on-demand, his entire salary to pay the mortgage (hey, you’ve got trips to fund, shopping to do, sporting equipment to buy), a decent meal every single night (with the requested balance of protein, carbohydrates and anti-oxidants), catering for your little training group get-togethers, a quiet home every morning so that you can get the sleep you need to perform at your peak, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to complain to, an ass to kick and a source of admiration, concern and love when your external sources are just too busy to focus on you?

    Does this jerk you married sometimes get angry? Does he act out by raising his voice, or crying out of frustration because he “can’t get through” to you? Does he sometimes shy away from your little “praise parties”, preferring to hang out in the kitchen, or with the kids?

    Is your husband less interested in sex? Does that wimp complain that your silent treatment, “gaslighting” (WTF is that anyway?) and raging turn him off wanting to have sex with you? Have you been forced to find affection, and sexual satisfaction, elsewhere, with real men who actually understand you and don’t just want to fuck you because affairs are just really exciting?

    Your husband may have a “personality disorder”. He may be dangerous.
    Most personality disorders are intractable. You cannot have a real relationship with this man. His character is permanently, irreversibly flawed. There’s nothing anyone can do to help him.

    For your own safety, you need to devise an exit strategy that will allow you to break free without putting yourself, or your children, in harm’s way.
    Remember: it’s not you; it’s him.

  • Prenups are not always iron clad and sometimes postnups can get iffy, but Not if you get a property settlement without dissolution of marriage. That clearly lay out who gets what, alimony, custody, the house etc etc. If he/she cheats file for divorce and whatever was agreed on that settlement will be same on the divorce papers, there would be no fighting in courts, its a done deal and no need to prove cheating took place either.

  • i keep wondering why the MOW hasnt had the thought “Why is his XW not fighting for him?” or wonder why i so easily let him go after i found out he was with her? funny how they never think of that, they are sooOOoo in love and were meant for each other. who cares if he was married and if his children needed him at home. who cares if she is married and has left her children so she can act like she is single. all the both of them seem to care about is being able to drink all night, sleep all day, and start drinking again.

    apparently she hasnt noticed how horrible he looks. pale, gaunt, never looks her in the eyes, wasting away and how he only smiles when he is drunk. on the other hand, she is so super happy she has a man that she is gaining weight and looking more more like the tramp she really is.

    it is just a matter of time.

  • I just thought of another one. Anybody remember those “Real Men of Genius” radio ads? If not, here’s one of them. It’s hilarious. (Mr. Silent Killer Gas Passer)

    So in the same vein, Chump Lady user Kara presents, Real Narcs of Genius

    Singer: Reeeeal Narcs of Geeeeniusss…

    Today we salute you, Mr. Bathroom Selfie Taker

    Singer: Mr. Bathroom Selfie Taaaaaker!

    You’re not ashamed of that beer gut preventing you from seeing your own penis. To you, that’s the body of a god!

    Singer: Uuuuunfortunately it’s Bhuddha…

    You’re gracing the pages of Ashley Madison with your hairy visage and thumb-sized penis with the confidence of an underwear model.

    Singer: I swear it’s just cooooold!

    No one can see the unflushed toilet behind you when they are distracted by that odd birthmark on your left thigh.

    Singer: Whaaaat in god’s name is that?

    So crack open that computer of yours, sir. Your sparkles are the stuff of dreams on Ashley Madison.

    Singer: Mr. Baaathroooom Selfie Taaaaaakkeerrrrr!!

  • How about a PSA direct to potential OWs?

    “If he cheats with you, he will cheat on you.”

    And then show examples of celebrity former OWs who ended up marrying their affair partners and got cheated on themselves, e.g., Tori Spelling.

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