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There’s No Excuse for Cheating… But Here Are 7 Reasons Why It’s Your Fault

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I always enjoy my mindfuckery when it’s wrapped up with Shutterstock photos to look like innocuous relationship advice. Double bonus points if it’s a parenting site. Oh thank you Parent Society for this craptacular piece of blameshifting — 7 Reasons Your Partner’s Affair May Have Been Your Fault.

Have you let yourself go? Do you not listen? Not as horny as you should be?

Well, don’t be surprised then when you find your spouse on Craigslist hook-ups courting all manner of STDs. I think you drove the cheater to it. Yes, you there in the sweatpants — I’m talking to YOU. Put down that pizza slice and look at me — you suck. And it’s your suckitude that creates the billion dollar married dating industry. It’s all driven by lousy people who take their spouses for granted, don’t understand them, and who don’t make pot roast correctly. (CELERY! I told you to add CELERY!)

One wrong step, people and it’s chumpdom for you. You better up your game!

Let’s put 7 Reasons Your Partner’s Affair May Have Been Your Fault through the patented Universal Bullshit Translator.

You’ve just discovered that your partner has been cheating on you. You are shocked. Devastated. Angry. And maybe to blame?

Only maybe?

There is no excuse for cheating, of course, but the betrayed spouse may well be part of the reason the marriage went off the rails in the first place. Are you guilty of any of the following?

Do you realize that sentence is completely contradictory? Do you have an editor at Parent Society? You state “there is no excuse for cheating” (of course!) and then immediately follow that with “the betrayed spouse may well be part of the reason the marriage went off the rails.” You can qualify it with “may be” all you want, but you’re clearly stating the chump is part of the reason for the cheating.

And that’s an excuse. HellOOOOooooo.

1. Letting yourself go.
Losing interest in your appearance and general well-being can happen, especially after the chaos and stress of kids enters a marriage. But this can also make your spouse lose interest in you.

As long as we’re blaming people, I’m glad to see you added kids to the mix. Speaking for myself, I know my midsection has never been the same since I pushed 7 pounds of baby back-asswards through my vagina. (Which probably isn’t as taut and lovely as it once was either, if we’re being honest.) Stretchmarks, squidginess. All the pilates in the world doesn’t make that shit right.

That must be it. I got cheated on 8 years after I had that kid, with some idiot that seemed to like my body enough to marry it. But apparently, I let myself go and that’s probably my kid’s fault. Okay.

My cheater, meanwhile, gained about 60 pounds of beer gut after we married, which didn’t seem to slow down his horn dogging whatsoever. Huh.

2. Taking your spouse for granted.
It’s often said that we treat strangers better than our own spouses. Sadly, this can be true — common courtesy, politeness, and even basics like “please” and “thank you” easily fall by the wayside during the grind of everyday life with a longtime partner.

I’m sure if you polled all 22 million members of Ashley Madison why they’re having affairs, the failure to say please and thank you tops the list, right after “my partner won’t do anal.” This is what happens when you don’t use basic courtesy, chumps — dating profiles. I can’t even imagine the horrors that might ensue if you don’t put your napkin in your lap or talk with your mouth full.

3. Directing your attentions elsewhere.
You may not be carrying on an affair like your partner is — but are you devoting all of your finite time and energy to your children, or your job, or maybe even caring for an ailing parent? In every marriage, there are outside factors competing for our attention all the time; that’s just the nature of life these days. But if either partner is neglected for too long (even if the reasons are valid), he or she may start to look elsewhere.

Yes, it’s all equivalent, really. Raising children, devoting yourself to your job… cheating. Hey, it’s energy directed away from the marriage! Raising children has to be done, because hey, you made them. And working a job is rather necessary to, oh, food and shelter. And carrying on an affair is necessary to… kibbles.

Is your mother dying? You need to tell her this isn’t a good time now. Your marriage needs you. “I’m sorry, mom. One wrong step and Bob’s going to be on Illicit Encounters! You’ll have to go to those chemo appointments alone. I need to keep vigil over my marriage. I knew you’d understand.”

4. No longer investing in the marriage.

“Investing” in your marriage need not mean a ton of time or money, but a healthy relationship requires some of each. When was the last time you had a dinner out together, or sat down for a fun TV-free talk, or locked the bedroom door for some private time while the kids were napping?

No longer investing in the marriage is what an affair is. But you’re saying my lack of investment created THEIR lack of investment? Huh? Then why I am I not having an affair? Oh that’s right… I’m too invested in my kids and my job and I let myself go.

5. Falling into the blame trap.
Does it feel like your partner can do nothing right these days? If you’re playing the martyr, your partner may have decided that he was done being the fall guy.

Yeah, no one likes to fuck mommy. (Well, unless you have a MILF kink.) That whole parentification dynamic is a real turn off. Oh, and you know how that happens to a marriage? One person is a perpetual fuck up and the other person has to pick up the slack and be the grown up. And they get pissy about it. BE A FUCKING GROWN UP!

And then because you’re such a buzz kill, that’s the pretext to have an affair. You’re no fun. You want to do taxes and laundry and shit.

6. Letting sex fall by the wayside.
You’re crazy busy, and tired, and stressed out — so is your partner, probably. But sex is the one thing you and your partner do together that makes that relationship different from all the others in your life. When it disappears, a big part of the marital bond does, too (and for men, especially, no sex = no fun).

The old sexless marriage trope. You know who finds themselves in sexless marriages? Chumps. Because the cheater is getting it elsewhere. Doing that “one thing you and your partner do together that makes that relationship different from all the others.” Except it’s not different or exclusive, it’s shared and then brought home. Wouldn’t you like some sloppy seconds or thirds? Or maybe they’re too tired for that. Poor sausages are exhausted by their fucking around.

7. No longer listening to your partner.

Sometimes in a marriage, we hear what we want to hear — and sometimes we don’t hear much of anything at all. Your partner may have been expressing unhappiness for a while now, either overtly or subtly. If the message just hasn’t been getting through, he may have decided to find a sympathetic listener — and more — somewhere else.

Ah, the subtle sounds of the unhappy cheater! It’s your fault that you weren’t receptive to their subtle expressions of disappointment. (CELERY damn it! Pot roast needs CELERY.) If you’d been better attuned to their unhappiness, this whole affair thing could’ve been avoided. So up your game now and make their happiness your supreme focus. Do the pick me dance and do it pretty. Ignore children, dying parents, and your job. Go to the gym and have more sex with your spouse. And don’t age, or have needs, or get distracted from your marriage. And you too can have an AFFAIR-PROOF marriage! Everyone who failed to do these 7 things is a chump and they deserved it. The cheating is their fault, really. Says so in the headline.

What’s really insidious about articles like this is they distort seemingly common sense relationship advice and turn it into exquisite blameshifting. The fact is, it’s cheaters who don’t invest in marriage, direct their attentions elsewhere, and don’t listen — but hey YOU DID IT FIRST. So it’s your fault and it’s all equivalent.

Your faults, flaws, and inadequacies did not cause your cheater to cheat. Their poor character did that. They had a big decision tree of available options to deal with their unhappiness — therapy, divorce lawyers, an improving hobby — and they didn’t choose those things. They chose cake. You weren’t so awful to divorce. You’re just awful enough to cheat on. Apparently, they’re simply blameless… and that’s why you didn’t cheat. Because they have no flaws or inadequacies. Okay, now that they’ve cheated, it’s STILL about you and your inadequacies.

Isn’t that weird? Even if you go by this logic that your crappiness made them do it — what’s crappier than having an affair? Aren’t they the penultimate distracted, uninvested, sexless spouses now? Where the fuck is THEIR pick-me dance? Where is their 7 point article?

Much easier to blame this shit on chumps. Because you’ll buy it and try harder. Win, win for the cheater. Remember to say please and thank you after your mindfuckery!

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • 1. I workout on the treadmill 4x a week
    2. We said “I love you” daily
    3. I felt like a single Mom with direct deposit (he babysat occasionally)
    4. We often went out to eat or see a movie (he would rather stay in)
    5. Does starting projects and never finishing them count as doing something right (him)?
    6.Depression and sex don’t mix, especially when one of you stays in your bathrobe (him)
    7. He was unhappy (with everything), all I did was listen…
    I know this is one sided but that’s my story and I sticking to it!

    • You know – Christie Brinkley got cheated on. So did Jennifer Aniston. So did Princess Diana. Not one of these gals “let themselves go” as that article clearly states as a blame factor. It has NOTHING to do with any of that crap in that article – the blame is on the CHEATER. A narcissistic asshole with a kibble addictions would screw a knothole in a tree over a smoking hot supermodel if they got the kibbles they desired. I was in great shape after having had a bit of a post-second baby weight gain – I lost it, got fit, had sexy Victoria’s Secret undies – I was smoking my second “peak” at 40. And while I was looking fantastic and never felt better about myself and my life with him – my husband was planning a special birthday meal at the Four Seasons with an alcoholic special ed teacher at a union conference. When I called him on it (found the email) he said “Well, she’s had a hard life and we are just such great friends and I can always talk to her and – well – she needs me to be there for her sometimes.” He denied anything more than an emotional affair (which I found out later was a lie.) Now this woman was rough – in appearance, in attitude, in life. Polar opposite from me – at the best I’d been since my 20s. And there he was – focusing on her because she made him feel important. That is the reason – the neediness of a cheater is boundless and knows no particular type – physically, socially, mentally – as long as it feeds their need for kibbles – anything goes and the chump will always be on the short end.

      • Char
        “And there he was – focusing on her because she made him feel important.”
        I completely agree with you. My ex’s OW was widowed, he ‘comforted’ her on his regular visits, she cried on his shoulder and told him how kind he was. So ‘kind’ that he walked out on his wife and kids.
        It doesn’t matter who we are, it’s never about us.
        It’s about them, always.

      • Yes! Mine found a woman on craigslist who was married. He then tried to take her to divorce support groups to convince her to leave her husband, so he could create a situation where he was helping an unhappy woman out of a bad marriage-SICK! All he wants is someone subordinate to make him feel like a knight in shining armor. I think there is an element of this 75% of the cheating stories I’ve heard.

        • Yup. Mine picked from the ‘as is’ bin. He had to crawl into a sewer so he could feel superior to the people around him. She wore cargo pants to business meeting, but was very impressed by his suits. And her ability to swallow. So that’s where I failed my husband, my 16 yr old, my 14 yr old and my 8 yr old. Banana bread, french homework, and doctors appts be damned, I didn’t blow him in hotels at lunch and swallow.

      • So here is something I’ve been pondering lately… ever notice that cheaters are so much ‘less than’ those they cheat on? Every person i know who has been cheated on, every single one, including me, well their cheating partners sucked in comparison to them. I don’t just mean once you found out they cheated but even before, waaaaay before.

        I had a girlfriend who I’ll use as an example. She was awesome, amazing, the best ever. Smart, sexy, capable, driven, so much more than her boyfriend at the time was and so much more than he could ever hope to be. He was lucky to have her… and yet. Citizens of chump nation know where this is going. Yep, you guessed it. That dumb, fat fuck cheated on her with some floozy in the basement of the bar he managed while my girlfriend brought in hundreds of dollars at the restaurant across the street, money she would eventually use to put herself through veterinary school btw.
        Anyway, this is not an anomoly; I’ve seen it happen time and time again. Some loser partner cheats on their partner who is so much more than they are and usually with someone who is so much less. For fans of arrested development, they will recognize this as “Her??”
        I am wondering if there is some sort of correlation happening here. Thoughts?

        • I think you are on to something here, HM.

          Your post reminded me of an incident that occurred during the first month with my cheater X. I was waiting for him outside of a bar to walk home, and he said good night to a girl. Even from a distance I could see that he was flirting with her, and it made me so uncomfortable that I said something to him about it as we walked home. (She was cute and an awesome person in my opinion). He told me that he had to flirt with her so he could “knock her down a peg by ignoring her in the future because she was so arrogant.” Yeah, okay, BIG red flag! Lesson learned the hard way.

          • Its because no self-respecting woman (or man) with intellect or morals would lower themselves to be that trashy.
            Authentic people wouldn’t even fart the way of some lowlife flirting with them.

      • You are to be commended! These asinine people /so called Therapist who justify infidelity are lost people in our world. They lack morals & values to justify such a hanious act! What the difference between a cheating spouse & an alley cat? None! They lack morals? That’s all there is to infidelity. If your not happy in your marriage – stop being a coward – speak up /get divorce but don’t cheat! Otherwise, the reason you cheated in the 1st place has to do with your own personal deep rooted insecurities/lack of values/or just a coward! So stop your bullshit about placing blame to women letting ourselves go & so on & so on. Most of the men who cheat are ugly, balding, useless emotionless penis, boring, etc. etc. Times are changing where women are catching up to the lack of morals – but we shouldn’t judge them- after thousands of years putting up with husbands cheating. – perhaps a taste of your home brewed medicine should help you cheating alkeycats get a scratch of your own nails! At end, if marriage is to be sacred – infidelity should never be justified. Then What’s next to be justify???Murder? Stealing? Drug trafficking? Because life is getting more challenging than ever, and one can find a reason in times of dispair to justify a betrayal?!?! However, it’s only through one’s personal respect, morals & discipline can mark the outcome of personal intrinsic success or devastation! It’s that simple!!!!

      • It is always about them.. and they were raised by their mothers and fathers who taught them the art of being a loser….remember… ‘Train a child…..’ they were trained to be that way and they continued in that way with insurmountable lies.

    • I can relate to that list.

      1. Ditto. Went to the gym 5x a week and got some bike riding in too.
      2. Ditto.
      3. Ditto, except I’m a single Dad.
      4. Ditto (she didn’t like being out long – made her cranky).
      5. I have a number of hobbies that I’ve never let go of.
      6. I was depressed – happens when your wife either acts like you’re a part of the furniture, rages at you or belittles you in front of other people. We would arrange to have sex (we have a kid) and she would seem keen right up until the last minute. Then she’d get angry, which made it very difficult to stay in the mood.
      7. Ditto. Although I stood up for myself for years. This just generated more rage. Eventually I gave up and just took it. Made me very resentful.

  • I have been through it and I was totally stunned when my pastor told me if I had only been there for him he wouldn’t have to go look elsewhere.
    I thought what the fuck, what did I do?
    I’m still trying to get past all the blame, where it’s all my fault the mindfuck cheated. Fuck them all, moral values are more important to me!
    Here’s the thing: cheaters believe they are married so the spouse will always be there for them. Ha!

      • I had 2 priests tell me to be a good wife, do penance for sinful x ,as in cold showers or fasting, pray very hard for God to rid him of his lust…..an on and on. Pudpuller actually said to me that he ”did not get married to be celibate!” After I refused to be intimate with him after finding him , yet again, with his teen porn. He disgusted me. He wrecked me. I could not stand for him to touch me. And is it about these asshats starting projects, tearing things to shit, then never finishing?????? WTF? I walked the walk of shame for years, trying to be his siren and take care of 4 children under 6. It did not work. As he told me (tearfully) when I threw his ass out, ”you did everything you promised when we married, and I have done none of what I promised.” You can say that again MFPOS. And you can cry over your cornflakes about how damn sorry you are. I don’t care. You were never sorry enough to stop. Asshole.

        Also, in that piece of shit article, when someone makes a statement”cheating is never right” and then says BUT, they really mean, disregard what I just said and now I’ll tell you what I REALLY mean” that’s what Dr Phil always says. He got this one right I think.

  • “I can’t even imagine the horrors that might ensue if you don’t put your napkin in your lap or talk with your mouth full.”
    This is going to keep me laughing all day. Thanks again CL for another great post.

  • As far as reason number three goes–my husband neglected me and our marriage for years and I still didn’t cheat. It is the cheater who neglects the marriage and the spouse. The cheater also neglects the children. How is the cheater being a good parent when they are more concerned with their affair partners?
    I guess I was really no fun during the years of my marriage. After all, I was home doing the work and he was off getting laid.

    • I agree with you, it is the cheater that neglects the marriage. My Ex, a cop started working at a school as resource officer, and he started talking to women secretaries, women teachers getting all kinds of attention. He would confide and tell them about the kids, things about him. Stuff he should have come home and shared with me. He pulled away from me and our marriage so slowly I did not realize it at the time. He failed to put bounderies up in the relationships he had with these women.

      Then all of a sudden he starts beein more outgoing, wants to go and see places. That I think was the start of him thinking oh wow these women like me they compliment me…

      • Yes, mine was neglecting me as well and “palling around” with a married coworker. Going by that list I too should have been the one to cheat, except I was caring for an elderly parent, my 90 year old father. It didn’t matter that my father was paying ALL the utility bills in the house (he lives upstairs) in return for my help. Bum was living partly off a senior’s SSI but still thought he was being hard done by. I also worked two part time jobs, but they weren’t the kind of jobs HE wanted me to have so he’d scream at me to get another. I did everything around the house but cut the lawn. Nope, still wasn’t enough. A beautiful dinner every night, his favourite homemade desserts (I was making him fat). I had to have a complete hysterectomy at age 42 (ovarian cancer) after which he withheld sex for the rest of our marriage (guess he considered me damaged goods) and when he left actually used no sex as one of his reasons. Yep, that was my fault too. Would never discuss it with me but it was all my fault. I guess I planned to get cancer. It had NOTHING to do with his “friend” at work.

        • Mine told his women friends all his issues with me, all about our marriage, I was so horrified. I had no idea our marriage had issues or was in trouble until I heard he had been in an affair 6 months. And here I was the one who was going to be true to the VOWS barf even though he was checked out of the marriage.

      • wow33 My husband is a police officer as well and he collected many woman’s phone numbers while on the job and would go out to lunch or arrange to spend time with a few. He would complain about his marriage and how unhappy he was and get sympathy from these woman. This of course developed into more. I took care of the house, 2 toddlers and worked part-time. No lunch dates for me (; My husband is blaming his cheating on his job. I’m not buying it.

        • Sheesh. Someone needs to put out a PSA about these douchebags complaining about their wives. After we got married one of our friends came up to me and said she was glad we made it since we’d had so many rough times. I remember wondering what the hell she was talking about. Now I know my ex was on a smear campaign. Asshole. Btw, he upped the talk about rough times after we started trying for a baby. Of course I had no idea we were struggling. I’m really glad I unknowingly married a four year old. Selfish prick. Or as Agent Smith says in the Matrix movies…”me…….me……….me….” “Me too.” That’s what it was like in the end, fighting a million Agent Exes.

      • Funny..my exh..is a school resource officer as well.. I should have seen the freak clad flying. I was wife number five and he’s on number six already..a school teacher go figure.

      • Funny. My ex was a school resource officer too.. I should have seen the freak flag flying..I was wife number five and he was already with six before I moved out. And go figure she is a school teacher.

      • Wow33, mine was a cop too. I look back at the last 21 years and he neglected our marriage, our life, our kids from the day after we were married. Never had any boundaries with any women. Thought it was perfectly fine to flirt with everything that wore a skirt and slowly he started to pull away. I think there were many many women over the years, no idea how many ended up as physical affairs but definitely EAs. I think I pick me danced for my entire marriage.

    • Supreme Chump, “As far as reason number three goes–my husband neglected me and our marriage for years and I still didn’t cheat.” RIGHT ON! The first 5 years of our marriage (I was 24, he was 30) he never brought me to orgasm. Not even once. He didn’t even care to ask. My first thoughts after finding out the first of many affairs, was, “What the f**k, I was the one neglected. If anyone should have been cheating it should have been me.”

  • I always think these type of articles are written by cheaters themselves. Or Narcs, or as CL points out, by apologists for the married-affair INDUSTRY.

    I heard every single one of those excuses from my Ex. The only one not on there is “you only care about money,” apparently because I was the only one in the relationship actually earning any money and supporting our household. See, he was the tortured, deep, spiritual, artistic sausage who needed “more” (more pussy apparently and he was getting a lot). Mindfuckery indeed.

    • Similar to my ex who used to call me “materialistic” even while living off of my money for the entire eight year relationship. He, too, was deep and philosophical so desiring to MAKE money was something that was beneath him, but dreaming of having tons of money was his favorite pastime.

    • I heard the “you’re all about the money” after he screamed at me to get a third job. Classic projection. I wore Walmart and thrift shop clothes while he regularly bought two or three pair of $100.00 + sneakers.

  • I went down through that list and relate to every single one of those points – except I wasn’t the cheater, he was. He did basically every single one of those things: let himself go, took me for granted and was rude and surly to me, directed his attentions to everyone but me and the kids, seemed barely interested in me or the marriage, blamed me for everything, and never listened to me when I tried to talk to him. And this was years before the affair (who knows, there may have been others that I just never knew about and that he never admitted to) So according to this list, I should have been out there having an affair instead of doing what I did which was trying everything to get him to invest in us.

    • Yes! I thought the same thing! I KNEW I should’ve nailed that gorgeous compassionate lovely guy who worked at my clinic when I had the chance! But, nooooo, I felt all constrained by things like COMMITMENT and MORALS and RESPECT to act on my impulses. I guess having the impulse-control of an infant has its benefits after all, and now there’s a Parenting article to back it up. Lovely.

    • The infidelity literature is rife with the idea that the neglected partner is the one who cheats out of desperation for intimate connection. While this may occur, I believe this is the minority case. I think much more common is the case where one person constructs a power dynamic, motivated by entitlement, characterized by manipulating the partner into a position of servitude and weakness, thereby enabling themselves to have their non-intimate needs fully met. Since they can no longer be fully attracted to a controlled servant, and since marriage and managing a household is “hard”, they stray to get their surface emotional, sexual, and inauthentic intimate needs met. Why the infidelity literature fails to recognize this common dynamic is beyond me. Or perhaps I am just projecting, for I, like Kira, was FULLY engaged, longing for intimacy and sex and connection from my neglecting, withdrawn wife years before she eventually cheated. Looking back, I now see that she took advantage of my endless efforts to meet her needs and to get what she wanted, while making absolutely no effort to me my needs. So yes, allowing that, putting up with that dynamic is on me.

      • Though I agree with most of what you said I take exception to one thing:

        “The infidelity literature is rife with the idea that the neglected partner is the one who cheats out of desperation for intimate connection. While this may occur, I believe this is the minority case.”

        Actually it’s only the second sentence that I don’t agree with at all. It doesn’t occur to people who don’t let it. Cheaters, cheat because they can: period. There is no minority cases of anything other than selfishness. Once we make an exception for one it becomes a slippery slope.

      • Oh, A to the men on this. What a great post!!!! I’ve always maintained that when you strip it all down (no pun intended), it really is about power.

      • Buddy, THIS. But could you put it into simpler English? Because that deserves being cut and pasted on every single RIC site out there.

      • Buddy F: your comment is a great example of why I read this CL forum feedback. Intelligent people really offer some thoughtful insites. You nailed it here; completely accurate and got to the essence of my experience with my ex-wife. She is/was a charming narcissist and not keen on sharing decision making and power.

        Household life, parenting challenges and illness hit our family and it was “hard”. Her side boyfriend offered some sort of escape I guess, and I got the blame for being a drag. I was so invested and engaged in that marriage, making is absolutely devastating when I uncovered the nonsense.

      • Yes! I knew it! After i uncovered the affair and the lies and gaslighting etc etc, he would not leave me alone! Now, we were not married and didn’t have children together so there was no excuse for a long drawn out ‘divorce’ if you will and yet there he was emailing me, texting, diving by my house etc (all while he was screwing the OW btw). So i figured, i must play some role in this man’s life otherwise why wouldn’t he have just told me the truth, why wouldn’t he have left, why won’t he leave me alone now?? The answer is that i must have met *some* need, what that was baffled me since he was screwing someone else, never wanted to see me or spend time with me or have me be a part of his life. Well anyway once i figured out that i served some purpose, that’s right you guessed it, i shut it down and took ME and whatever role i played in his life away from him. Fuck him. Thanks Buddy for clarifying.

    • There was a time when his company would pay for free meals at nice restaurants with free alcohol and my stbxh would glutton down. His belly would be getting bigger and lop over his belt and he even tore his black pants while bending down. I remember him sitting in the bedroom with sad eyes while asking me if I was attracted to him. I told him that he was a great-looking guy and that I was attracted to him, but he needed to just watch what he ate if he wanted to stay healthy. I guess that hurt his feelings and gave him a license to cheat. After all, HE viewed my words as harsh and unloving. I even suggested that we start jogging together or join a gym together. He obviously had other plans. I guess a fuck from a stranger on Craigslist is just enough to boost that falling ego! eh?

      • My ex was 25lbs overweight. I never said a thing. When I left I took all the supplements with me including the ones he took but left a few weightloss ones in the middle of the empty cupboard. My size four pregnant self didn’t need them. Too bad they don’t have a pill to cure assholery.

      • This happened with my MrFab. I actually stayed in good shape, because he quit caring about ‘our kids’. Our dogs, who always kept us running and exercising daily. I found myself having to do it more often by myself – (he was busy watching Mad Men) and he started getting fatter. I don’t mind fat necessarily, but he was a fat-hater – his old g/f was ‘fat’. Well, that’s not in my genes. But, SHE was so much important to contact while I was gone with 450#’s of dogs out running for an hour. Also, he’s got high b/p now and, was diagnosed with serious prostate cancer – in fact, the day our Divorce became final. (ooh, who gave me all those voodoo pins? Sorry, sick humor – just don’t want to think my Karma worked!) Another post.

        Yep – the less he did as he concentrated on this whore, the worse his health got. NO hobbies! No extra friends. I thought that was bad for the spirit. I do believe he may have been depressed because, as he works from home, he wouldn’t shower, shave or get out of his robe. I wonder if she knew he looked like that from his office, while they were sexting…lol.

        But – she filled his need for a bigger ego. I wonder if that was an ego issue attached to his expanding belt-loop size…and his lonely life, once he discarded the family that loved him. (btw, unlike children, dogs recover much easier) I’m sorry for all the kids hurt in this stupid adult play world of make-believe – all for their ‘fragile egos’…I guess.

        I’m just glad my Ego is intact and I can go forward with my head high and be mighty. Divorced Sept 16th. 🙂

        • SheChump, congratulations on your divorce. Life sure is a journey, but we can make it a good one (even if it’s a tad bittersweet at times).

  • Who wrote this bullshit – a rep for Ashley Madison?

    Can someone please tell me why cheaters seem to warrant sympathy and some sort of perverse respect from drivel like this while the poor chump is told to “get it together” and blame themselves? It’s like that old kids/bully game of “stop hitting yourself”! “Does that hurt? Does that sting? Does that make you cry? Stop hitting yourself!” as they manipulate your arm into a weapon against your own head. No difference. My God….whoever wrote that for a PARENTS blog ought to be fired.

    • I am not surprised that this article came form a parenting source.

      My cheater found his OW in a “child centered” birth community that we went to for birthing classes. The OW and her executive director best friend and my childcare provider also a doula and birth educator of the organization did their best to show me in public that I was not “up to their standards.” Only I really did not care at the time. I found their domestic competition sad and deathly unappealing.

      Once at a party I hosted at my home I said that there were different cheeses but I did not know which was which. She then invited us to her home and when I walked in I saw that her cheeses were labeled. Yes, she had the time to do this. I had a sick sense in my gut at her home and when she was at mine–really a sick sense when all of these “mama friendly” people came into my home.

      I was working on my marriage, caring for my child, working two jobs, and taking a full course load. I really did not make much of it at the time. Never mentioned it or thought much about how I felt. I was focused on my then husband and child.

      She increasingly got bolder and criticized my toilet paper as being “too rough.”

      She would loan my ex books for my child and for him. Lazy triangulating ex gave me them to read. When I talked about some of the ideas I had about what I read with her she hissed at me saying “I don’t think about books that way, I read for pleasure, I just enjoy them.” As though I did not.

      The executive director asked me to help fund a film event showing Pregnant in America. The filmmaker asked for 5K! She agreed to pay him that sum although she could not pay rent for the organization. When he came he talked to a group of women advocates and complained that his wife was paying too much attention to their babies and he hated when she sat in the back seat when they drove together. THIS shithead got 5K and the executive director was pleased.

      When I was told of ex’s affair I looked into the executive director and she too had an affair. THIS from a woman who loved cloth diapers and says she supports moms. She could care less about moms and women.

      My point is that these “parenting” mags and groups are often run by women who are no credits to their gender (to quote CL). They are all about COMPETITION. They live in a world were women compete for the best baby that you wear on your hip for eye candy, best in the kitchen, best snark, best exclusive click, and will get show you how better they are than you–see your husband wanted me! Oh they are “the best”

      My answer is to out these mindfuckers as CL does so well.

      Speak in a clear strong voice.

      Women are women’s worst enemies. We are not inherently empathic to one another. Women can be the worst misogynists. That is what this article is: Hey ladies: get your game up or someone else will nab your man.

      HEY shithead: You can have any man that would have you.

      • Absolutely true. Absolutely what MOW tries to show. See what a better wife/mother I am and would be, when I make us ice cream, he gets the bigger bowl and spoon!! I get up at 2am to make him dinner when he gets off from his off duty job! You are a cheating, lying narcissist bitch. It has nothing to do with him or your feelings for him. It is a show, and one that will get old and become a rerun and he will flip the channel, like he did on me. Women are women’s worst enemy as much of us are taught you better look better, be smarter, than the rest or you will lose your man or never get one.

      • “Women are women’s worst enemies. We are not inherently empathic to one another. Women can be the worst misogynists. That is what this article is: Hey ladies: get your game up or someone else will nab your man.”

        This is sadly true.

        • My h’s ow told him that she had had a shitty upbringing and had to raise herself, so her 4 boys were going to have to grow up sometime, meaning her affair was something to help them fucking grow up so she didn’t have to do the hard work. Her husband did. She was busy blowing my husband. And I’m a smoking hot rock star, my kids tell me I’m the coolest mom and that they respect me so much for keeping a home they want to be in (cozy) w their friends, introducing them to funk, folk and “I’d like to teach the world to sing”, and being where I say I’m going to be when I say it. The ow looks like a dirty pillowcase and is my age, 45. My husband, former athlete, has a barrel on him that flops all over. While he cheated (unbeknownst to me), I helped w homework, showers, the whole thing. He told me our marital problems were my fault? I got therapy, a life coach, fucking acupuncture, and the first job (writing for Disney ) I’d had in 16 years, because fuck if it’s my fault, I can fix it. But I didn’t listen to him. the ow did, because she couldn’t talk with his dick in her mouth. And she swallowed. I’m in a bad fucking mood.

      • I can’t even imagine what kind of Martha Stewart on steroids would think to label their cheeses on a snack tray. Or comment to someone else about the quality of their toilet paper.

        WTF.

      • Love that last line, Chumpectomy: “HEY shithead: You can have any man that would have you.” Yes, Cheaters Suck. And they’re not very discerning. My ex had everything until one day he didn’t, and he never saw it coming. Just toss him into the Stupid people who make Stupid decisions category. Who wants to save that!!?!? Chumps feel the disconnect because Cheaters as people really don’t exist. Grow the fuck up is right. My ex’s whore posted her photo all over his social media pages as if to lay claim to her married man. Google him and her photo would come up. Barf, barf, triple barf. Disordered as hell. Both.

  • “So up your game now and make their happiness your supreme focus… Ignore children, dying parents, and your job. Go to the gym and have more sex with your spouse. And don’t age, or have needs..”

    Even if you do this, it’s never enough. Never. Enough. Despite Herculean efforts, cheaters will find a “reason” anyhow.

      • So true! What’s sad is my X used to say this to me all the time about his minimal efforts. I wasn’t appreciative enough of what he did! Again minimal effort and unfinished projects everywhere. Of a project he did manage to finish he spent thousands of dollars to do something as simple as building a desk. Guess I should have been more appreciative of that. SMH.

        • I heard this a lot too. I wasn’t “appreciative” enough, nothing was ever “good enough” for me, i was “impossible” to please. When asked what i should be more appreciative for? I was told “that i don’t leave you”.

          Nice. There’s the door you motherfucker.

    • Exactly! No matter how much you do for him, the kids, the house, his family and friends, etc. etc. It will never be enough. They are soul/money/energy/time/mind sucking leaches!

  • And the fucking couples therapy is just as bad where somehow you’re supposed to both agree that it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other that caused the breakdown. I think I’m going to go round and demand my money back. He cheated again after the therapy twice and for five years while subjecting the entire family to bullying mean behaviour

    • Couldn’t agree more, kissy!

      We went through 3 MCs in our false reconciliation and all wanted to focus on what I was doing wrong to cause her to cheat. Would really like to hear from some MCs out there why this is? Are there any chumps here that have experience with MCs that didn’t blame us for the affairs?

      • TwinsDad, my MC was a joke. We went for maybe 3 months… I came to find out recently that xmc and exh are now facebook friends.
        I guess to me it just goes to show their character as well. MC used to discuss cop stuff with x as the mc’s son was in jail. Yep, no favorites there…. quid pro quo….
        And yet, who do you think was paying the bills….me.
        They both can rot, and I say that with a smile and laughter in my voice because they are both gone from my life. 🙂

      • My X didn’t even make it through one MC session, and that was basically because she called him on his at the time EA (though I sincerely doubt it was an EA now.) She asked both of us what we thought the problems were, he said “She never lets me do anything” she asked him for an example and he said something random like, “I want to go skydiving.” Which the only time I ever remember him saying that, he checked about the price and said it was too expensive. So. She asked me, I outlined all of the stuff about the EA, all of the comments he made about the AP, the times that I told him his relationship with her made me very uncomfortable and he blew me off, etc. She asked if he had problems with boundaries with other women and especially the AP and he said “She’s just a friend, and I don’t understand why my wife, her husband and all of our co-workers can’t understand that.” She suggested that since practically everyone around the parties involved were saying boundaries were crossed, then perhaps boundaries were crossed. He got up and left.

        • Yes! The few times our MC started questioning my STBXW she left! Why we had 3 different MCs. She was shopping around to find the ones that wouldn’t question her and just keep heaping the blame on me.

          • I think it’s a common tactic, TwinsDad. My BF told me his ex-wife did the same thing – walked out on their one MC session when the counselor starting calling her on her shit. She later did the same exact thing when she went to one family counseling session with their child, walked out when the counselor did the same thing. It’s like if they can’t gaslight the counselor, they want no part in it or want to find someone else they can gaslight and manipulate.

      • TwinsDad

        Our first MC actually told me he thought ‘The Great I Am’ was a psychopath! Unfortunately, I was still thinking psychopaths were mass murderers in those days, so didn’t give that as much credence as I certainly should have done. Our second MC simpered at his feet and did the ‘well, no point in crying over spilt milk’ thing. There was so much stuff she should have pulled him up about, but never did. Instead the sessions became more about how my subsequent depression was having a negative effect on our relationship. Jeez, I felt abused sat there in her office and ‘Mr – I Do No Wrong’ was ruddy delighted! Ugh!

        • Jane
          Our MC called STBX a narcissist but I too thought “but that’s someone who is….and STBX isn’t like that. The last words she said to me were “Watch your back”. Oh how I wish I would have of know then what I know now. But I do cut myself slack in that I wasn’t ready to know then like I am ready now.

          • Wow Sewandsews!

            Don’t know about you, but there was consolation in knowing that MC could see the ‘wrongness’ in him, so quickly too. Of course, since then, the learning curve on all things psycho and narc has been enormous and it has been like a flat-earther discovering the world is actually round! I resisted believing the ‘diagnosis’ for him for absolutely ages – didn’t want to give in to demonizing him I guess – but in the end I just had to finally accept that the first MC was totally right (God Bless him). I do believe it was during one of my marathon googling sessions trying to untangle the skein and find another explanation OTHER than psychopathy that I finally found Chump Lady and all the wonderful folks here. So, clouds and silver linings, eh?
            What was it got you to accept your nightmare x was a narc? and God Bless your MC too. 😀

            • The EXACT same thing. I was googling his “symptoms” for the hundredth time and the word narcissist came up again. I “amazoned” books about it found Sam Vaknid’s book And spend the whole next week saying “son of a bitch.” I didn’t really start healing until I came across Chumplady. A true God Send.

            • I went through a very similar experience to you Jayne when in psychological counselling it was suggested to me that my ex wife’s behaviour (extreme moods, delusional jealousy and serial cheating, coupled with rejection and abandonment feelings) had all the hallmarks of borderline personality disorder and possibly narcissism as well.
              I didn’t have a clue and like you it was a steep learning curve understanding what I had been through during our relationship. Before this and before I became aware or the cheating (with mutual, married friends) I blamed myself for the breakdown of our relationship and marriage.
              The long-term consequence of this relationship are the effects from the emotional abuse I was subjected to and from which I still suffer.
              When I was told by my psychologist that my distress and physical symptoms suggested emotional abuse, I found it difficult to believe. As a guy, the abuse I recognised and could deal with was physical. Way was this emotional abuse? She gave me a series of questions to answer about our relationship, and there it was. It was obvious.
              I think that many correspondents here are also suffering from the effects of emotional abuse, of “mind fucking” as it is often termed here.
              It’s not until you have been in a relationship with a disordered person (who may also be suffering himself or herself) that you truly know how (if you actually realise it) damaging it is.

        • Kids’ therapist asked me if x was/is bipolar. I said that it has been diagnosed in his family and I have suspicions because I have seen/experienced the highs and lows, but that I think he is very NPD.

      • I, or we both, were told we were to blame for bad communication.

        Really for me it was me NOT blasting my boundaries and makes my needs expressly know. For him, it’s based on me not reading his fucking mind and the fact that he has the emotional maturity of a 2 yr old.

        Although he did spit out reasons 1-7 as his whys. It doesn’t matter. I’m getting off the pot. This shit stinks.

        • “For him, it’s based on me not reading his fucking mind”.

          Me to. I was accused by my ex-wife
          of “not picking up on underlying messages or understanding what the real problem was”.

          Somehow without being told I was magically support to know what the problem was. That problem, as I later learned, was her false and delusional jealous belief that I had cheated on her. It was a belief she concealed from me. I had no idea. It did give her an excuse to conduct her own, clandestine serial affairs.
          I fo

      • I had both. The one who was good is still my IC. I’ve also seen over 15 different psychiatrists/psychologist over the last 20 years because of my husbands “issues” and the fact that we moved so much. So here’s what I think are good credentials based on my experiences: over 70, female, suspicious, tough, caring, and not afraid to piss someone off. Everyone else pales in comparison.

      • I am a marriage counselor. Once someone cheats, any complaints they may have about their spouse become moot as far as I am concerned. The one and only “issue” in the counseling has to be the infidelity and helping the chump with their healing. Any other problems in the relationship that need to be addressed have to take a backseat until the chump feels safe. There is absolutely NO blameshifting in my office!

    • Kissy,

      Hi. Are you me? I was thinking that today. I wonder if there is any way for me to get my money back. I wasted so much money that I could really use right now on a therapist who said, “Your relationship is messed up. You’re both to blame. What can you do to fix it?” Um, I have a great idea: How about you call my husband or on his crap instead of blaming my anger?

  • Char,
    Your comment is so true-
    “the neediness of a cheater is boundless and knows no particular type – physically, socially, mentally – as long as it feeds their need for kibbles – ”
    I just thought my husband was “difficult”-then the cheating started. And the neediness-even though I was-am- a successful attorney and really did everything for him and the family while working full time..I was dedicated to our family while he was dedicated to himself..
    My husband will try to get kibbles from anyone-even the bank manager commiserated with him over the separation. The PO Office lady told me the other day how wonderful he was..Ugh. No one knows what he has done or what he is really like except me-so that is why he punished me for 32 years.
    But I am done done done…We have separated for 2 years and thank god we did not try to reconcile. Tomorrow I meet with my attorney to begin my dash to freedom!

    • BostonIrisher –
      You are on your way to freedom – hard earned, not without lingering scars – but true freedom from the emotional abuse of a cheating spouse. 32 years….you will have moments where you will feel like your whole adult life was a lie (I still do) – but it wasn’t. He was the one who brought that card to the table. You worked hard, were smart, successful and from what you said managed the balance between work and a family very well. At some point on that path – he just plain old jumped off the side and rolled down the hill into the gutter. You have a strong arsenal – you are an attorney so you know how the game is played – go get him and remember – you still have your family, your true friends – really at the end of the day the only component missing is the one that caused all the trouble – him. Remove him and be healthier and happier in your new life adventure!

  • If you ask me, and I know you didn’t, here is what I think is at the core of cheaters and cheating. A complete fucked-up misunderstanding on the difference between ego and self-esteem. Building ego is validating oneself through the eyes of others. An exceptionally stupid, volatile and noxious way to feel good about yourself causing one to need a constant supply of “kibbles” in order to maintain a false sense of feeling good. Self-esteem is validating yourself from within and does not seek or need others to stroke your. . .whatever. . .to feel good about yourself. That is just my 2 cents on the matter.

    • I believe this is the best explanation of ego vs. self-esteem I have read to date. if my husband had been willing to work on himself and his self-esteem issues, he would not have had to fill that gaping hole in him with ego-stroking. He had everything, and it was never enough. Now he is with one of his ego-fillers and completely miserable, has lost friends that truly loved him, and is losing the respect of his children. Some men are so broken they are beyond repair.

    • This was great TigerLily. I would try to tell the x about that huge hole that was his ego, was going to be the end of our life but he just couldn’t understand that. And his fantasy lasted about 6 months and came crashing down on him. That didn’t faze him apparently because he’s out doing the same thing, trying to get different results. I guess you can’t help stupid.

    • Well said, TL. Both my husband and I were well aware of my insecurities and my low self esteem, but in the end it’s become clear to me that my self esteem isn’t that bad and his ego is out of control. All he cared about was validating himself “through the eyes of others” as you said. But me, I was more or less comfortable in my own skin. I’m going to be okay, but him? He’s still got that ego.

    • Absolutely true for my ex-wife TigerLily. Low self-esteem and trying to validate herself with serial affairs. Who was the one that was always there for her when each affair relationship fail? Well diddums here!

  • Here are a couple of reasons my ex gave, someone should get a laugh. He told the therapist “she sits in front of her computer all day” – um, I telework and it’s my job…

    The very funniest now; his mother called to try and talk me into dropping the PO. He had convinced her the gun wasn’t loaded….ahem. So apparently she decided the PO was about the cheating, so at one point she said that ex really loved me, but, he told her I wasn’t taking care of myself, her example? “You stopped shaving your legs”. Srsly, she said that…

    • OMG DAT!

      I’m shocked – I’m really shocked!

      What were you thinking????

      CL write to that mad publication immediately with reason number 8 – rampant body hair! Perhaps we can start an awareness movement, maybe Gwyneth can organise a charity fund-raiser for wax pots. Some one write a song – I’ve got my lighter lit ready …..

      (shakes head sadly at DAT) 😉

      • I freakin love ya Jayne, rampant body hair indeed! LoL.

        What was I thinking? What was I saying is more like, I was so fucking traumatized I actually EXPLAINED why I didn’t shave my legs, like WTF, I Blame that on the Xanax now, heh. I told her I had been depressed over my Moms death and why would ex care since he cut me off from sex years before. And, I asked her if she thought not shaving my legs drove him to pull a gun on me…she didn’t answer that one. Frankly, the most ludicrous part was her insistence that the gun was not loaded so it wasn’t a big deal. The gun was loaded, trust me on that. But what still gets me is that in his mothers mind, if it wasn’t loaded it made a difference so she argued with me and started on the crazy blame shifting, that’s when the hairy part came in, hahahahahaha.

        What do I think now? I wish I’d told her to go fuck herself or hung up on her or simply laughed hysterically. I can laugh at it now…

        • Seriously DAT, you don’t even have to qualify that with assurances that the gun was loaded (though I totally believe you). I can’t even imagine how horrific that must have been listening to her talking that shite. I’m so glad the witch is out of your life – guess you know where he got the evil gene from eh? Just horrific.

          Mind you, with your hairy legs …. well, it’s more than any mild mannered janitor can be asked to bear – that’s all I’m saying. Me and Mad Mary from Madsville 😉

      • Yes! ^^^This^^^ I worked out at the gym for 1 1/2 hours and was allotted 2 hours of child care time there. So, 30 minutes to strip down, shower, get dressed, put on make-up, grab stuff and run to child care to get kids before it clocked me as late. I shaved on Saturday mornings and again on Sunday afternoon/evenings because that was the only time I saw him (maybe) anyway.

    • This was one of the reasons that I got too, did not shave legs as often as he would like. Amoung other things like not taking care of myself , like not wearing make up, not fixing my hair, did not lose the baby weight, the way I dressed, etc.

      If he would have helped with the kids instead of me being a single mom while married maybe I could have kept up with those things.

      Now that we are separated and he lives elsewhere on his weekends with the kids I have time to shave my legs, get my hair did, do my make up, I lost the baby weight( after dday lost 30 pounds in 3 months), and I have spruced up my wardrobe.

      So now that I am looking nice and shiney wasband wants me back after married howorker cheated on him , with another howorker and dropped him like a bad habit.

      No thanks. I fine on the road to divorce and meh. Feeling mighty.

      • No it wasn’t the hairs on his chinny-chin-chin
        It was all down to the hairs on your shinny-shin-shin

        Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are callin…..

        Altogether now …… we can rid the world of this epidemic ….. 😀

    • Um, this one was shaved almost every day and almost bald ( which always felt weird and porn oriented). Did it to be nice for my ex. My ex shaved his junk like every day. I asked him one time if when we got to a certain age could he stop shaving and just be natural? I got a funny look for that question. Never ever trust a dude who insists on being bald below the waist. There are red flags and then there are hairless flags.

      • YES!!! Exactly!!! Mine shaved his junk for his birthday. I didn’t put it together until later that it was for AP – not me. I trim, but not shave. getting regrowth rash is no fun.

    • Keep legs shaved=keeping idiot x…..check
      Keep legs shaved=not getting gun (unloaded, mind you) pointed at you….check
      Keep legs shaved=avoid blameshifting from crazy mother-in-law….check (I wonder if the b@tch would like to have that gun pointed at her)
      Just taking notes for the next relationship……

    • Meanwhile, your husband’s OW took a fresh bath before they met, shaved her twat into a heart shape & got down on her knees like any woman would in the presence of such Greatness!
      One of the reasons I thought people wanted to get married was to be “comfortable” around each other and not be under constant scrutiny!

  • Well said, Chump Lady. Well said!

    Much of these points reminded me of messages coming out of pulpits teaching how people can protect their marriages. I think I sat through a few sermons or talks about such things with my cheating ex-wife even! It frustrating that such advice continues to be peddled and the real problem ignored–i.e. poor choices and lack of character on the adulterer/adulteress’ part. The Church of all places ought to get this, but it usually does not.

    As a side note, I remember a prominent evangelical rock star pastor getting in major controversy during the Ted Haggard fiasco when he implied Haggard cheated with male prostitutes because his wife let herself go. This is stuff is toxic and all too prevalent! (Here’s a link on that controversy: http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/thou-shalt-not-let-thyself-go-mark-driscoll-haggard)

      • Yeah, I was aware, Elizabeth Lee. My former in-laws are/were members as Mars Hill Church, and my ex-wife did some training there in their pastoral care vehicle called Redemption Groups. I am thankful light is being shown on the situations there, and the victims/powerless are finally being heard.

    • Interesting article. Of course it gets me wondering if idiots like Driscoll think men are immune to aging or “letting themselves go”? Do they live in some suspended space/time continuum? Never experience erectile dysfunction? Never get a beer gut? Or lose their hair? Do women ever get a free pass for cheating when that happens? Oh dear, shame that Esther cheated, but did you see Fred’s male patterned baldness?

      It’s a shame that writer has to waste her scholarly brain debunking something so patently stupid.

      • Or how about when they lose so much weight that they have no muscle tone and think that looking like a 14 year old boy makes them look good. Ugh…

      • Driscoll takes a different angle with men. He shames them about whether or not they are “providing” for their families. I won’t go into all the Biblical exegesis on his proof-text. Suffice it to say, he is distorting Scripture to serve his own interpretation and shaming men with it. I can speak firsthand as to how painful this shaming technique can be on a young man honestly trying to get started in one’s career field. It is rather sad and culturally unaware on his part. He tells the men to make money, and the women to look pretty. You can’t build a lasting relationship on either. Maybe that’s why the Bible does not tell us to do so?!

  • Insult to injury, this stuff.
    I tried for years to try to address the issues caused by HIS selfishness, HIS lack of attention (he couldn’t even be bothered to ale me to the movies).
    Yes, that turned me into a nag, and that is on me.
    We had a great sex life – I really loved him. But I have since discovered that sex isn’t intimacy, and intimacy isn’t sex. Sex can be a band aid.

    It was his affair that taught me beyond anything else that he can’t do relationships. Funny, he ‘never meant to replace you, she was just a fantasy’.

    I would have loved to have grown together and meet him half way for a better relationship. Unfortunately Parent Helpline or whoever you people are called, counselling and talking is hard work and doesn’t come with ‘an exciting new c*nt, and an exciting new pair of tits’ (EXACT QUOTE)

    • He seriously said that to you? That last sentence? That is truly sick and I am so very sorry you ever had to endure 5 minutes with that jerk.

      Just wow! It never ceases to amaze just how much they really do suck!

  • CL, I hope you sent this to that publication.

    I am so sick of these articles with their shitty qualifiers before attacking and laying blame on the faithful spouse.

    No doubt everyone in a marriage contributes to the good and the problems in a marriage but their is only one person to blame when there is infidelity and that is the infidel!!!

    As usual great job CL. You and your readers have truly been a God send in my life!

  • There are so many fundamental flaws to this contradictory nonsense. Any of these things; letting yourself go, putting attention elsewhere, etc. implies that the cheater was NOT doing those things and was being a perfect partner.

    Oddly, this ideal partner has decided to have a secretive romantic and sexual relationship with someone outside your marriage… which trumps any of these relationship misdemeanors.

    When my ex-wife blamed me for being “negative”, etc., it was like getting a life sentence for a parking ticket while she was (metaphorically) drunk driving and running over children. If only I had put money in the parking meter she would not have driven drunk and killed all those people, my fault!

  • Yay! Standing cheer for Chump Lady!!

    A Query: What do you/we/all think is the best way to be in touch with these people (strikeout–morons), and apply the UBT ?

    Is it possible to not only understand amongst ourselves, but shift the conversation (paradigm, heh.) .

    Can we make them see click bait in more accurate “articles”??

    just thinkin’

  • Yep, I see there are a number of us who feel the same way.. that list could have also applied to us, yet we didn’t cheat. I agree 100%. Most, if not all, of those applied to my ex as well. I DID tell him I wasn’t happy, we were living like roommates, I wanted sex more, he ignored me like I didn’t exist, etc. I guess we were all just stupid.

    • I should add – I will own up to problems in the marriage, but as others have said, I will take 0% responsibility for MAKING him cheat. That seems to be a concept people just don’t get. Nor do they get that we could have just as easily cheated but didn’t. But we never get any kudos for being the stronger/better person. We just get blamed.

      • I, too, own up to the problems in the marriage, but the cheating was all on him and that damn huge ego that had to be first in our relationship.

  • At first, H tried to blame me. He saw that I wouldn’t take the blame for any of it, so he changed his tactic. Well, he must be a sex addict. He has no power over it and that’s why he did it.
    I finally had the guts to stand up to him and tell him I didn’t buy the addict version of what happened. He asked, “why would I do this then?” I answered, “Because you can.” He looked at me like I was the biggest idiot on the planet. He went on, raging about how I just thought he was an asshole then. Ummm, yep, pretty much.

  • What a bunch of happy crappy. My XH and I had a robust sex life, told each other we loved each other every day, got along fine and I remembered to put CELERY in the pot roast.

    What happened was The Ankle started a flirtation with him at work and my XH, who happens to be the weakest man on earth when it comes to pussy, just COULDN’T turn that strange down. Because that’s his character flaw. No skein to untangle. There wasn’t anything wrong with our marriage and I never saw it coming. One day he was madly in love with me and the next day he was madly in love with The Ankle. She thinks she’s such Hot Shit because he left me for her, little does she know…he cheats on her every chance he gets. Actually I do think she knows but she also knows how ugly she is and thinks she can’t get any other man besides this putz so she hangs in there.
    She’ll stay with his cheater ass until he dumps her for the next one. He’s getting a little long in the tooth for chasing pussy but we’ll see. They tell me cheaters never change and he has been cheating on wives and girlfriends his entire life.

  • Every time I weaken and think maybe, maybe it would have been different if I only……

    I immediately head to this website and get the strength I need to remember that “if I only” is mind fuck in the first degree.

    Those MFr’s don’t have the “if I only” sickness. It was injected into us by their, “If YOU only…” MFing, crappers, turtledicks. (no offense to turtles)

    Thank you CL. And once again, thank you to all the wonderful chumps.

  • While we can hope that it’s laughably clear to anyone reading that article that the author is an idiot, CL’s follow-up shines a useful light on the area of secondary abuse.

    I am in therapy right now, trying to unpack some of the baggage accumulated in growing up in an abusive environment, having been in an emotionally abusive marriage for years, and dealing with a work environment that got pretty toxic for awhile, but one of the recurring themes is that the people from whom you hope to get help assure you that you deserve the abuse.

    I was talking to the therapist about some pretty horrific treatment by a coworker one day. His response? “My advice is that you should stop keeping score.” I found myself sobbing into the dog’s shoulder the next morning, which helped more than T’s advice.

    To his credit, I went back the next week and explained that the comment and my reaction left me raw, and he was open to hearing that. I’ve started to explore the pattern I’ve heard many times, in many different circumstances, which boils down to, “This is your fault, you have the power to control this by changing yourself. So change.”

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the underlying message is, “I really don’t have time for your pain. I will give you a few minutes of advice so that I can feel good about my compassionate and wise self. After that, you need to get your act together.”

    Your mother is beating you; start doing nice things for her and you’ll learn to love her.
    Life with your husband is a nightmare; start going to church with him. What? You can’t control the crying when you sit next to him, as he sits their grinning obliviously because everyone will see him next to his family and know how wonderful he is? Pray! If you pray, God will be merciful and keep you from crying. (Could I make that up?)
    Co-workers indulging themselves in a little mobbing behavior? I don’t know why you can’t get along with other people.

    I can’t shake the idea of how different my life would have been with a little bit of different advice. When something is true, it shines like a light through the fog. A few weeks reading these articles and responses, and I’ve called the lawyer, and submitted paperwork to start the divorce proceedings.

    • Dear EnoughAlready,

      I’m so sorry to hear your therapist was so dismissive about your concerns. I’m not a therapist, but I seriously doubt the ‘stop keeping score’ comment could be anything other than abusive and dismissive. I could be missing the point I suppose, not being a therapist, but I just don’t see how that would be helpful or ‘healing’ in any way. I really hope you have the opportunity to find another counsellor. Out of interest, did he have any explanation for what he thought he was doing by offering this (IMO useless) advice? Bullying in the workplace is a very common phenomena. Do they have a HR dept? They really should have policies in place to deal with these things. I know it’s difficult confronting these things directly (you don’t want to invite further bullying, further alienation, possibly risking your own job if the whole bloody lot of them are bullies) but this is the sort of advice you need – not patronising ‘play nice children’ attitude you seem to be getting from your therapist.

      I am so glad to hear that you got your badass on and have started the divorce proceedings – really, very well done. Way to stand up and wear your sobriquet with pride 🙂

      All the very best to you,

      Jayne x

    • Congrats on taking the first step to freedom EnoughAlready, well done! Now, interview some therapists, the one you have now sounds like an asshole. I recommend calling your local women’s shelter for referrals if you don’t know where to start on that. Learning or relearning boundaries is tuff in all areas, you need someone who will help you navigate this, yes, you have to change how you react and interact with ppl while you learn. But you need someone to help you not fuck with you while you do it. Jedi hugs!

      • I totally agree with Datdamwuf. You are on the road to a better life and you don’t need some shitty therapist with a bad attitude talking to you that way. My therapist always calls me on my bullshit – kindly and compassionately, of course – but she never, ever makes light of my issues or insults me, thank goodness. I hope you can find someone to truly support you because what you are doing is hard, hard work!

  • Wow! After reading these 7 “Reasons” for having an affair on your spouse….I realize that should have done just that!

    Let me touch on each one……
    1. Yes….he let himself go (right up until he found OW…then he went every day of the week)! He wanted to look great for her!
    2. Yes……. he took me for granted every day since wedding day! 23 years!
    3. Yes…… he NEVER directed his attention to me, our children or our home.
    4. Yes…. he NEVER invested in our marriage (which I believe is one of the reason it failed).
    5. Yes…….I was blamed for EVERTHING!
    6. Sex never fell by the wayside until he met OW.
    7. Yes…..he NEVER listened to me for 23 years!

    When I read this list……..I just can’t figure out why I wanted it to work out so bad.

  • Can we just make it against the law to get old already?

    My ex’s mother died earlier this year. In her eighties and not lookin’ that great. I guess somewhere along the line she “let herself go” and since she died, she must have “given up the will to live” and “moved on”. The old satyr she was married to escaped to the great beyond 15 years earlier. That was probably her fault too.

    I wish I could be there when Peter Pan’s barely-out-of-adolescence Owifey explains she’s no longer attracted to him because he’s “let himself go”

  • Oh, “7 Reasons Your Partner’s Affair May Have Been Your Fault.” I read that column. It was in a collection of essays along with other great columns, like:

    “9 Reasons Your Father’s Schizophrenia May Have Been Your Fault”
    “6 Reasons Your Mother’s Breast Cancer May Have Been Your Fault”
    “8 Reasons Your Brother’s Lactose Intolerance May Have Been Your Fault”
    12 Reasons Your Next-Door Neighbor’s Cat’s Skin Condition May Have Been Your Fault”
    “14 Reasons the War of 1812 May Have Been Your Fault”

    We chumps are waaaaaaay to eager to believe things are our fault. Gives us a story to follow, gives us an illusion of control.

    Sometimes there is no story. Sometimes there are just crappy people in our lives. Not much to explain. Just a matter of taking action.

    • I explained to my daughter this past weekend the trap of the blame shift, where you get caught up in the tar baby of trying to prove a negative because it’s a natural instinct to want to defend yourself. The appropriate response is, “You’re crazy, fuck off”, and no other. Once you appear to even be even slightly entertaining their nonsense, that’s as good a validation for them and they never let up.

      • A great lesson for you daughter. Kids should be empowered to call crazy crazy, even when (especially when!) it’s coming from adults. We teach “Just Say No” about drugs–why not about sociopathy and narcissism?

        Mindfuckery is the ultimate Stranger Danger.

        • Mindfuckery begins at home?

          I was raised with a whole extended family full of *normal*, that believed that if you didn’t have something nice to say, you didn’t say anything at all. Consequently, I was totally unprepared when the personal attacks started coming from someone who should have known me better than anyone else in the world. Still takes my breath away.

          • Chumpalicious, I can relate. You wouldn’t think I’d still be naive at this stage of my life, but the vile words that my husband said to me and his mother and father were utterly SHOCKING to me. It’s funny, now I look back and in the midst of fights I had begun to beg him not to call me names and he would not stop. It was though I could handle any other type of abuse, but the name calling was like knives in my side. Takes my breath away, too.

      • Here’s one for the history books: narc-abuser husband(?) actually said, “it’s not fair, you get to breastfeed, and I only get use this bottle!” —So it’s my fault? and *GOD’S* fault? that I’m a woman?!
        I should have told him to go F-himself, but I’m pretty sure that’s what he was doing anyway. But that would be my fault too–right?–I mean those pesky babies and their needs.

        • Ann…Really? I mean Really?? He was bummed because you got to breastfeed the baby and all he got was the bottle to feed the baby with? And that stupid shit actually came out of his mouth?? Jeeze oh hell oh bells. Another one from Planet Asshole.

          • Yep, so unfair. You ladies are soooo lucky with the biological hand you’ve been dealt. You get all the fun, like pap smears and breast exams and UTI’s and yeast infections and gaining 35 pounds during pregnancy and preeclampsia and a musk ox standing on your bladder and hemorrhoids and labor pains and episiotomies and, and, and. . . .

            So you get the bonding of breastfeeding–and this guy is jealous? WTF?

            What a fucksqueak.

            • Nomar,

              Yes! Creeped me out so bad I thought maybe he *really* wanted to be a woman.

              Now I found out Mr. Wackado also writes “novels” and decries as part of his story line that all women really want from men are nice houses while they take antidepressants!

              His thinking is so sick and twisted.

            • hahahahahahahaha!!!! Thanks Nomar!!!! You are awesome! I gotta say, though, that I dared mine to do it and he thought I was a wacko. (I am, but not for the reasons he thinks.) I was messing with him.

      • “You’re crazy, fuck off.” OMG, I love it. I spent two years defending myself against the most ridiculous and always changing list of my shortcomings when the truth is, he is crazy and I should have told him to fuck off a long, long time ago. Good for you that you are teaching your daughter how to see when someone is pulling this crap on her and how to walk away from it.

      • Absolutely right. Fantastic advice. I tried reasoning with my ex-wife that I hadn’t cheated on her, to no avail. You can’t reason with someone who is irrational. Also, she was projecting her own serial cheating onto me; using her delusional belief to justify and validate her own behaviour. Admitting she was wrong wool completely destroy her own belief in herself; that she was “an honest person”.

      • There goes the coffee out the nose again and the kitty in my lap along with the three currently sleeping (well, not any more) on my desk are all glaring at me completely bespeckled! Really guys…..not my fault…..Bwahahaha….snort, snort!

  • Yes, the old “Perhaps infidelity is not the best answer to a mutual problem, BUT… these things don’t happen in a vacuum, there are reasons, you never, you always, you didn’t, yada, yada”. Bottom line, “Yes, maybe I did ‘stray’, but it’s really your fault, there had to be something that drove me to it”.

    I suspect most here have had at least some moments of wondering if it really wasn’t our fault, or certainly if we weren’t at least partly to blame. After all, we wouldn’t cheat and didn’t. Heck, I thought we had a pretty great marriage. Somebody must have done something pretty bad to have driven these poor people to take such a step.

    Very frustrating when (presumably) sane people provide cover fire for this crap. Having been through plenty of blame-shifting from W, I try to avoid these articles, they simply invite self doubt and setbacks and provide little insight.

  • Well, if this advice is so good, maybe we should apply it to all sorts of other relationships.

    Seven Reasons Why the Bank Robbery May Have Been Your Fault Mr. or Mrs. Branch Manager

    Has your bank been robbed? Maybe you are “part of the reason” the thief targeted you.

    1. Have you been letting the establishment go—failure to trim the shrubbery or install a new and flashier security system can make your bank look welcoming to thieves.

    2. Have you been taking your customers for granted? Do your tellers say, “Have a nice day” to every single person who walks in and out the door? Letting even one of those marketing courtesies fall by the wayside might lead your customers to feel you don’t treat them right, and to respond by treating you poorly in response (possibly with an automatic weapon in hand).

    3. Have you been directing your attention elsewhere? Spending time responding to the documentation requests required by a bazillion federal agencies can lead your customers to feel neglected. If you put too much time into online security, national security standards, and FDIC regulations, a thief might decide he’s entitled to the contents of your safe.

    4. Have you stopped investing in the business? If you put your time into mortgages and investments, don’t be surprised if a customer at the walk-in counter steals you blind.

    5. Do you blame your customers for overdrafts and bounced checks? Customers who are asked to take responsibility for their own financial choices don’t want to feel like the fall guy. If you blame them for their decisions, they might just help themselves to the cash you keep on the premises.

    6. Did you stop putting out fresh donuts and coffee? Do you expect customers to accept ordinary donuts rather than colorful ones with special sprinkles? Customers like to get tasty treats, and if you aren’t providing them, they might just take your money to go buy some elsewhere.

    7. Have you stopped listening to your customers—really listening—when they say they need higher interest rates on their savings accounts or bigger home loans? Well, that can lead to unhappiness, so if you aren’t sympathetic to these requests, then you shouldn’t be surprised when the customers take things (like your liquid assets) into their own hands.

    So, step up to the plate banking folks and stop looking to the guy (or gal) waving a pistol around in the lobby to scapegoat.

    • Spot on Eionwy and so clever!!

      If customers felt they were being treated poorly by the bank, the sensible thing to do would be to leave. Since it’s a business, you probably don’t need to have any up front discussions but maybe you might if you think it would change anything. If not, you take your business elsewhere. You don’t rob the bank!!

      Cheaters have the option to leave too. Of course an open, honest discussion about their unhappiness would be warranted also since it’s a relationship with a person and not a business; but hell I think most of us would just be happy if they asked for a divorce and left without explanation than exposing us to financial abuse and STDs.

      It sounds so ridiculous when you apply it to that scenario but it’s exactly the same the thing! Why don’t people see that?

    • Muwahahahaha. In my opinion anything involving the mishandling of donuts should be a federal offense. I will be happy to inspect them and can you tell me where these banks with donuts are? Please and thank you!

  • This is right up there with sex addiction. When does the cheater ever take responsibility for their actions? I am so tired of it being my fault. It’s not enough that my XH blames me for his infidelities. I have to read it too? Let’s get the facts straight … the only one to blame for cheating is the cheater. It was a choice HE made. HE chose to take off his clothes and have sex with the whore that spread her legs for him because he fed her a pack of lies that she bought. It is also HER fault because she knew HE was married and she chose to have sex with him too giving no thought to the wife (that would have been me). I refuse to accept any blame in this at all. He was no picnic to live with but I was committed to the relationship. I didn’t go elsewhere because he let himself go, because he didn’t listen to my problems, because he refused to have sex with me. And even after he did all of his cheating, I still stayed to work it out. He still cheated. And he is still cheating on her only she’s not smart enough to know it. NO! Lay the blame where it deserves to be .. firmly at the feet of the cheater. Stop alibiing their actions and letting them feel like it was owed to them.

  • Back when you did that Honey Boo-Boo’s Mom post, the fact that people responding to the original article made me think of the whole Sandra Bullock/Jesse James affair, so I went digging to see how that played out, and to his credit, Jesse James didn’t try to blame Sandra for his infidelity.

    He did blame her for the consequences, though, so it’s not like he threw out the whole Cheater Handbook; he just appears to have discarded the part where he blames her for his cheating in public statements (who knows privately?).

    To paraphrase him, he just “wanted to screw around” and “the honorable thing to do would have been to get a divorce first”.

    Sadly, I think he’s just typical, but PR savvy enough not to float the “she made me do it” story.

    • the fact that people responding to the original article made comments about her looks/weight.

      ugh. this is what happens when I multi-task.

      • Ugh… The whole Sandra Bullock/Jess James scandal came out around the first time my husband started trying to hook up online. I was pregnant when it started, and he loved to make offhand comments about how Sandra was really boring and that’s why Jess decided to cheat with the tatted-up skank. (Don’t get me wrong, I actually love tattoos and think that good ones are art. I just don’t think covering yourself in them automatically makes you a more interesting person.) His comments made me very uncomfortable, because I was days away from delivering our first child and quite boring (hey, it’s hard to be exciting when you can barely walk thanks to sciatic nerve pain). Also, I look a little bit like Sandra and I’m def. more girl next door than fun, crazy tattoo lady.

        Well, turns out he was looking for some strange online during that time. (And I do mean strange…) I found out a few months after I had my daughter. At the time, I tried to keep my mouth shut about his opinion because I thought I was being paranoid/overly sensitive. Seriously, does any hetero male actually like kind, fun women who aren’t crazy (like the Sandra Bullock persona)? Because I’m really tired of being compared to crazy people and failing to pass muster.

        • There is a Chinese curse that translates roughly as “may your life be interesting’. The implied meaning is that if your life is complicated, that’s not a good thing. Chinese spirituality tends to focus on ‘balance’ a lot.

          What I am trying to get at is this: It’s OK to be what some folks consider “boring”. Heck, if you can’t appreciate calmness, maybe a cool breeze, a bird sitting on your fence, and a lot of things people might consider “boring”, then that’s probably a curse of sorts. I don’t know that endlessly pursuing distraction really leads to fulfillment, anyway.

        • Kindness is hugely underrated and Sandra Bullock is an incredibly gorgeous woman. I don’t have fake tits, bleach blonde hair and a preference for all anal. I’m classy and seriously anti skank. This has left me wanting in some guys’ eyes. Competing with crazy or porn is pointless because the prize is always an asshole. And who needs two assholes right? I hope someday you find a man who appreciates you period. Until then, ignore those who try to depreciate you with crazy. They’re not worth your amazing, kind heart.

          • This chump’s name,

            “Competing with crazy or porn is pointless because the prize is always an asshole. And who needs two assholes right?”

            You just described my marriage. I am going to post this on my refrigerator to remind me of why divorce doesn’t have to be a negative.

  • 1. let yourself go
    2. taking your spouse for granted
    3. directing your attentions elsewhere
    4. no longer investing in the marriage
    5. falling into the blame trap
    6. letting sex fall by the wayside
    7. no longer listening to your partner

    This is supposed to be what a chump has done that causes their spouse to go fuck other people?

    My husband did all of these things and more and I didn’t cheat on him, I figured I picked the biggest lemon prick on the planet to marry, and since I took vows I was stuck with him.

    Then the bomb of his affair hit, and what did I do? I was still true. Kick me.

  • Number 6 I have to add, about letting sex fall to the wayside. I don’t like wayside it reminds me of the poor little confused waywards on their kibble path to things I have to block my eyes.

    On number 6 I wish I knew that my marriage was in trouble when besides him not wanting sex with me, for him to even be in the bed to sleep with me, he had to scoot way over to the edge of the bed and cling to it to not fall off. What about me repelled him?

    • geechump, nothin repelled him, he was probably to lazy to wash off her stink and was afraid you’d smell it. Jedi hugs !

    • geechump, in my situation his affair partner was easy. She didn’t talk with him about boring things like mortgages and car payments. She didn’t expect him to share household chores, etc. She was more fun. That is a true fact – she *was* more fun than me for him. She had no demands or expectations of him. They shared times out at restaurants or road trips, only seeing the fun free-flowing parts of each other. He and I always had a blast on vacations or road trips and we would both talk about how much closer we felt after a much needed vacation together, or even just a night out with the promise to not discuss any household topics.

      My guess is that he wasn’t repulsed by you as a person, but he may have been put off by the idea of his responsibilities in your marriage now that he had a more “fun, zero responsibility toy” on the side – so he tried escaping to the edge of the bed. One of the main issues with cheaters is that they don’t want to stick thru the hard parts so they escape. Your husband’s bedtime behavior shows that very clearly! Sorry that happened to you. It’s a super lonely feeling to be laying right next to someone who is miles away in their heart. Wishing you the best future.

  • Yeah, I got the blame for his actions and of course a good deal of it was even true. Yet for the weeks or months where he was deciding to cheat and pulling away from me, I didn’t stand a chance. By the time the chump realizes what’s happened, the cheater is so far gone emotionally.

    Today’s comments are good for me even though they make me sad. I have to be reminded of his deceit and the pain he caused me so that I continue to move on with my life.

  • No wonder I got cheated on. I asked him to tidy up as he went along…you know, when buying numerous camping items from ebay to not just dump all the wrapping on the floor and leave large and bulky items in the loungefor days on end. Only a mean woman would say a word about picking dirty socks and underwear from where dropped.
    It was all to do with my lacking…I mean OW insists on shoes off before entering the house. The things they do for love!

  • This stuff makes me crazy. Why is there some excuse for a terrible and ultimately unecessary behavior? I didn’t lock him in a dungeon to prevent his escape, he wasn’t in fear for his life if he left me, he willingly committed to me decades ago and had the freedom to leave at any time, so why? Why is it my fault he didn’t just say, hey, this isn’t working for me anymore and I think we should get a divorce? You know, PRIOR to hooking up with another woman? Oh, I remember now. It’s because he needed intimacy that I wasn’t capable of providing to him – the only intimacy I can understand is physical while she gets him on an intellectual level. She needed him when she was going through a bad time and they could really talk and be there for each other. I, on the other hand, was always tired and depressed and didn’t want to discuss psychology with him. I just wanted sex and his paycheck. Yes, this is one of his many explanations. We didn’t, of course, discuss that I might be tired and depressed from caring for a disabled child, running the household with zero help from him – he never even took out the garbage or cut the grass, and knowing my husband was obssessed with a woman who worked for him. Yes, I can see how it was all my fault.

  • BTW the first one was also married and stayed that way so he is with a new tramp. Who at least is not married though she knew he was when she took up with him. Who is also jealous because he is still “close friends” with the first MOW. This man is a real prize, ladies!

  • After my ex and I split it seemed all the guys thought I was desperate or something, all the married men started come out of the woodwork. Couples we had known as a couple and who I thought were happy, all of a sudden the husband is coming on to me because I was now single. HE was still married. I don’t understand how they think they are God’s gift to women, who is telling them this? They should be so fricking thankful for the beautiful woman they have, they are kissing her feet. Both guys that made a play for me look like hell! and I have seen them at home and how they dress. One guy missing most of his teeth and he can afford to fix them, wearing his dirty work clothes all night, grubby hands, unshaven. His wife? dressed nice, no beer gut, hair done, makeup on, making a nice supper while she throws a load of laundry in. Him sitting on the deck drinking his beer, wearing his boots in the house, leaving his tools laying around, the deck railing he started to put on 5 years ago still 1/2 finished. And he is bitching because she has lost interest in sex and thinks him and I should have some “fun”. What a fricken insult. (and I told him so too btw)
    There must be women that take these guys up on their offers or they would give up. For every guy that has an affair there is a woman fucking him, what is wrong with these women? where is their loyalty to their gender. I mean these guys that hit on me waited until my ex and I split to make a play (gag me) They have more loyalty to their buddy than their wife.

    • Yeah…Carrie…I’d be hard pressed to count all the married and taken men who have ‘offered’ sex to me in the past several years. You know, I’m just an old horny broad DYING to get laid. It’s Beyond Insulting.

      One guy has done work for me and likes to whine about how his wife won’t give him sex. I saw him at the gas station this weekend and couldn’t help but notice the hair growing out his ears and nose. And his unshaven neck. Eeeewwww. They think they’re Lady Killers and we think they’re Icky.

    • I had a good friend’s husband hit on me. I laughed in his face and walked away. I’m sure he went elsewhere.

      Several women who fucked my ex knew me. One of them fucked him literally behind my back. Another joined my extended family for a meal just days after fucking ex.

      People are screwed up is my take away. I just cannot imagine, even for a second, doing any of the shit I found out about. Every single woman ex fucked knew he was married and had kids. Every single one. Blows the mind.

      • Yea. That still boggles my mind. Every single fuck buddy knew he was married, had kids, etc… And yea, I knew some of them too. That’s the biggest FU I’ve taken from my gender.

        I used to wonder why some of these women would not look me in the eye when I attempted to talk with them. It makes you feel so foolish, and then really really pissed at back stabbing bitches.

        He really enjoyed watching it play out. I was the clueless one set between him and his fuckbuddies. What a shit head.

    • IMO, They hit on you because they know you are going through heavy shit and they think they might get lucky, if they catch you on a bad night. Also, if your cheater is telling stories like they are likely to do, he’s told them YOU cheated, or some other rot. And let’s not forget, So many movies and series use that grief begets sex trope that creepers believe it.

    • I actually had a guy (mutual married friend of my x and mine) offer me a PITY-BABY! Lol.
      He said he’d known that I had been thinking of starting a family and my x was never ready yet. Soooo, this character decided to swoop in and make my world – by offering to sleep with me in order for me to finally have a baby! What a delusional freak. Yes, some of these guys DO think they are a gift to us chumps!

      I’ve definitely started to see people thru a very clear lens since this whole cheating experience. I could have done without the years of tears and heartache, but I have learned a lot about myself and other people.

      • Yup….know that one. I actually had TWO of my ex cheater #1′ s BROTHERS hit on me after I left cheater #1″s sorry ass. Kicked them both to the curb. One was a “saved” godly man who lied his butt off when I complained to ex cheater # 1. I was standing right there while he lied said butt off. He had the gall to accuse me of smearing HIM! Asshole!

  • Ermmm …..

    1. No. Sexy as a very sexy thing, me.
    2. No. Told him he was glorious, morning, noon and night.
    3. No. Enjoyed all HIS hobbies and interests, all the time! I expanded his horizons, came up with loads of great stuff we shared together.
    4. No. I married him 6 months before the one affair I found out about – how more frigging invested did he need me to be?
    5. No. Blame ‘The Great I Am’ for anything? Moi? Don’t be silly!
    6. No. I refer you to point one and, believe me, sex was outstanding and plentiful.
    7. No. Hung on to his every word like a sycophant.

    That only leaves the one reason he gave:

    8. His less than perfect nose job (utterly unnecessary, and failed in his mind meant not straight within a nano-centimetre) made him need an ego-boost.

    I hear he’s looking after getting a pet chimpanzee and possibly a theme park (perhaps that’s where all the money went)?

    Feck and Arse! 😀

  • Blame shifting Bollocks. Used to be a popular word with STBX. Bollocks, not blame shifting. He didn’t need to do that as his version of events was the right one. As in I had ‘left the door open for ….’ Well it wasn’t just the OW. The chronological list was porn, EAs, prostitutes (paid for by stealing money from me), sex with anyone who would when he was drunk… and finally Ms ‘misunderstood by my partner so I want your husband’.

    Yeah I left the door open- for reconciliation because I’d bought into the addiction skein and thought he’d get with the programme and get sober/grow up. I thought living separately, setting boundaries, pulling back the financial support would make him see sense. The ajar door was to let shit out, not shit in. Now I see that was misguided and never going to work. But as Natalie Lue says on her site Baggage Reclaim “I used to be that woman but I’m not anymore”. Counting the days to the Divorce Absolute and being single again (as an aside I hate the term divorcee and to borrow from some cheater speak- I am not defined by my former marriage!)

  • Thank god I stumbled on this website shortly after DDay, so I didn’t waste any time reading drivel like this.

    Even if you took this as gospel, it still doesn’t help anyone. The cheater still sucks and the chump still stays with a person who sucks. It’s a lose/lose situation. Even if you remedy all 7 things, it’s still not going to make the relationship any better. I wish these articles didn’t exist. Ugh.

  • I got cheated on because I went back to school and got my Masters Degree. Yep, how awfully selfish of me to want to improve myself. (At least, that’s what he said…)
    Oh, almost forgot. I don’t like sports. That got me cheated on too- the whole “nothing in common” shtick.

    • I don’t care much for sports either. I played them a little up until High School (was never very good at any of them though–smile). Playing them wasn’t boring like watching them, though. I like hiking, bike riding, and being active on occasion, but I am bored silly in the bleachers. Football, basketball, baseball: they all might as well be golf or curling as far as I am concerned.

      And I’m a man! That pretty much cuts down on your social circle if you’re male. Only geeks and artists don’t seem to immediately think “watching the game” is a great bonding activity 🙂 I can’t tell you how many times I have been forced to sit through a game while my eyes glazed over and I had to suppress the urge to say, “Well, now what are we going to do?” within the first 5 minutes of game play 😉

      • Lol TimeHeals 😀

        X is a massive soccer fan and I had to develop an interest or basically be bored to death for 14 years (on reflection X didn’t have much conversation other than soccer, horse-racing and himself). I remember one time him coming back from loo during the match on tv and asking me what had happened, what had he missed? ‘Well’ says I ‘First they all ran that way, then they all turned round and ran back the other way’. This earned me a tut and a roll of the eyes but frankly, he’d have heard the roar of the crowd if there’d have been a goal – and really – unless aliens had landed in the middle of the pitch – what else could have happened? Unless he expected me describe land speed, sliding tackles, how close they got to the goal area – I don’t know!
        I’ve known quite a lot of guys who haven’t been at all interested in sports, I’m sorry you haven’t got to meet many of them! 🙂

      • Another man with you there, TimeHeals! I was never so happy as when my older son lost interest in watching NHL hockey and I could stop watching too.

  • I finally got tired of all the “If Only”s in my head so I wrote them down on a piece of paper I have stuck to the fridge. Pretty much every day I look at it, I think, That’s a stupid list. — It helps. He was always gonna do it anyway.

  • Other than letting himself go, my ex was the one who committed all of those “crimes,” and yet I never cheated, he did.

  • Speaking of taut vaginas, I am reminded that I sat stone faced as STBX explained that OW had c sections & could out kegel me in a contest.

    I could trained for it I guess but I didnt realize I was competing.

    Hash tag reasons why they SUCK! 🙂

      • Can you imagine?

        No he just wanted to clearly outline to me his reasons for going back for more from final OW.

        I’m too lazy for any kind of “Couch to Kegel Crushing” 12 week training program. I just wanna be prepared for my next sneeze.

        “Twatwaffle the Terrible”, he’s all yours!!!

        • moxie……I for one hope to hell the manhole is so great at the kegel that she can cut your cheaters pecker right in half!!!! Who says this shit?!

  • How could anyone put their name to that article? (oh wait, no one did)

    I could go on and on about how my X perpetrated almost of all of the seven reasons, and I was guilty of some of them as well, but only one of us decided to value cheap, easy attention over commitment or honesty.

    Lately, that’s what it’s boiled down to for me. Whenever I get the mind movies, the “what if’s”, the “I wonder if she’ll be better for someone else’s”, I just remind myself that none of it matters. The only thing that matters is that we don’t (and likely never will) share the same values.

    • Although it hurts, I have to call bull shit on Rabbi Shmuley.

      STBX cheated for years under the radar but getting a terrific new job title with higher pay was the catalyst in bringing down our house of cards. He began to cast his net wide & loudly where he had previously been sneaky/discreet.

      He contacted old girlfriends, was on every dating site imaginable (even the ones that make me throw up in my mouth). Thought he had really “made it” & was quite the big shot/big deal in his head.

      It reminds me of a quote I saw somewhere that said something like, “You can tell a lot about a woman’s character when she has nothing. You can tell a lot about a man when he has everything.”

      No offense to the chump fellas. I just dont buy any more of this “men with low self esteem are victims” B.S. anymore.

      • Yeah, this made me a little bit sick-not a thought for what the Chumps and Chumplings face as a result of poor, special little sausages not feeling like Big Boys….

    • The wisdom of Rav Shmuley: “A man cheats for the ego boost and for affirmation. Women almost always cheat out of neglect. You know, the studies really show that wives whose sexual, emotional and romantic needs are addressed in marriage don’t really cheat.”

      There you go — my fault.

  • Um, no no no no no no no. After getting out of the pool today I realized I forgot to bring my pants. I thought I’d share that because being a pants forgetter is probably a good reason to get cheated on. I mean because none of those other things happened. And having to wear a wet towel skirt over my underwear is pretty shameful.

  • My ex told me that if I would have allowed him to make our relationship “Facebook official,” it would have made it harder for him to cheat on me.

    My ex blamed me for being overly attentive (aka, not ignoring his shitty behavior). The next day he would claim that I “never supported” him when I couldn’t make every single one of his band’s performances (because I had a social life of my own). Even though my presence would have made it harder for him to cheat! Then I was accused of “trying to change” him, when I attempted to address his hurtful behaviors. Ignore him, he pouts. Pay attention to him, and he’s stifled. Poor, little lamb.

    He once told me “relationships need to be based on more than just sex!” when I tried to address his waning sex drive (chasing other women is just SO exhausting, after all). Any excuse is a good excuse to people who need to make excuses.

  • Chump Laaa- hay-dee – you’ve knocked it out of the park with THIS piece. This one, it’s everything.

    Post, repost, print, copy, paste – Everywhere. Cuz it rocks. It’s right. It’s righteously ridiculously just this sweetly perfect.

  • It really irritates me when self-help books and articles start with “There is no excuse for cheating” and then give excuses for cheating. If you GENUINELY believe there is no excuse for cheating, then don’t give excuses for cheating. Period. Otherwise, you’re misleading your audience to believe one thing while saying another. Hey, isn’t that what cheaters do? Yes, I can see now where that sympathy is coming from.

    As for the reasons for cheating, #6 is bullshit (well, they’re all bullshit, but # 6 is a big load of bullshit because there are cheaters who’ve admitted they got plenty of sex at home but just wanted variety). My favorite, though, is # 5. As if this entire article isn’t a blame trap.

  • My STBX cheated (repeatedly) because he’s an asshole with an overly inflated ego and a gargantuan sense of entitlement. He’s with the OW because he is a materialistic, greedy asshole with an overly inflated ego and a gargantuan sense of entitlement.

    To say he cheated because I was not “perfect” or “nearly perfect” would be to imply that he was. Mr. Chronic Halitosis? The first time I smelled fresh breath, why didn’t I swoon and cheat? I guess I felt I just was not deserving of someone with breath that didn’t smell like unwashed ass.

    I call bullshit on articles like this. To be in a position where we spend so much of our time and energy holding our families and our marriages together, to be told we are responsible for the totally selfish, navel-gazing, irresponsible behavior of our spouses is having elephant shit dumped on you after being pissed on by a herd of buffalo.

    Fuck these people.

    • Chump Princess, Succintly put. 🙂 There is always something else, beside the new pussy/dick. My ex wanted her “family” business. I guess her relatives got tired of her poor personal choices (sleeping with clients) and bought her out! Karma!

  • You know what I absolutely hate? People writing about topics they know nothing about. So, the author of this article probably googled affairs and possible causes, and voila! she has written an article that hurting, vulnerable, desperate newly-chump folks will devour. Where is the sense of responsibility in that? To summarize this article, all it says is that we control other people’s choices. Really, now. In which world does that happen again?

    • My ex told me that it wasn’t that I didn’t listen but I didn’t respond and listened like ow. She was supportive and listened to his problems while I was more short and my responses didn’t feel like I care. Really? Is this all that you got?
      All of this while I was pregnant, working full time, raising a newborn, and doing all household duties because he was on a fmla leave and couldn’t do anything.
      Screw that. I refuse to accept that I contributed anything to his cheating. I didn’t pay attention enough? Well, sorry I tried my best after sleeping 3-4 hrs every night for a year with a baby screaming and then going to work during the day. He also refused to get up at night bc he needed his sleep.
      He can get all attention from ow now.

  • ARRRRGG!!! Reading a book called “Divorce Poison”, about how to speak constructively to children about the other parent. He recommends not just staying silent and “taking the high road”, but this is a direct quote from the book.
    “A woman becomes pregnant in the course of an extramarital affair and decides to leave her husband and three sons to move to another city and marry her lover. Naturally, the children know what the mother has done. And they are liable to blame the divorce on her behavior. But even in this situation, the information can be relayed to the children in a manner that does not encourage them to reject their mother. Without condoning the mother’s behavior, the father can explain to their sons that he was not able to make their mother happy enough to stay in their marriage.”

    Okay, I need someone to help me count the things that are wrong with this, because I ran out of fingers and toes. Good news is I’m going to have all this extra time that I don’t need to spend finishing reading this book.

    • Does that advice hold for the children, as well? Their “mom” has a new baby, you see. Therefore, you simply explain to the children, “Sorry kiddos! 🙁 You weren’t able to make mommy happy enough to stay as your mommy!”

    • That’s disgusting. One of the best things I think I ever did for my kids was tell them the truth about what ex-cheater and their now-stepmonster did. Why do we teach our children that when THEY lie, there are consequences, but if we don’t lie and spackle to make the cheater parents look good, then we are somehow harming our children? Shouldn’t our children see that when you cheat on someone in a committed relationship, the fallout is a break up/divorce, people getting hurt, etc.? Why would I cover for ex-cheater and not let the kids know when I don’t want them to make the same mistakes?

      I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but I HATE when I read things that equate honesty without editorializing to alienating the children from the cheater parent. Like the great bank robbery comment above, we don’t allow people to steal from a bank and get away with it, so why would we let people steal from a relationship and say it’s okay? The children need to know the truth and that what the cheater parent did was NOT OKAY.

  • Yep, same marriage for both me and my ex-wife. Neither of us were having sex with one another. When I’d try to sit with her on the couch, she’d move elsewhere. When I’d ask her how things were, she would respond “fine.”

    Yet she had an affair with a man old enough to be her father.

    I was miserable too. The only difference, I took to hobbies and was willing to wait out her wanting to put more time into kids and being a SAHM than into her marriage.

    It’s not the grass on the other side of the fence that’s greener. It’s the grass you water and feed that is greener. If you want green grass, invest in it. Don’t blame the grass you ignore for being ugly. If you want a great marriage, invest in it. Even if your husband isn’t invested the same way you are, it doesn’t mean he’s not invested.

    In fact, if both of you were identical, one of you would be redundant. If you expect him to be someone he’s not, then maybe he’s not being the person he needs to be to provide balance in your marriage. If he’s not romantic, but makes good money so you can stay home and be mom, then maybe that’s a contribution worth more than the plot of some bodice busting romance novel or the next RomCom on TV or the movies?

    I’m sure men also fail to value the contributions of their wives. After all, men and women are involved in affairs in essentially equal numbers. Unless men are having affairs with other men, the numbers are darn near equal. Those women, married or not, know he’s not her husband.

    So I don’t buy the men cheat more than women line folks try to sell. For every man cheating, there is a woman involved and vice versa.

  • Missed this yesterday but the important words for me in the article involve the cheater “looking elsewhere.” That’s exactly what cheating is: instead of looking at their partner to see what the partner needs, what the partner is going through, why the marriage might be running on autopilot, the cheater looks elsewhere. Cheaters don’t turn to their partners with love and concern and effort, and they don’t look within. They look elsewhere, in an entitled hunt for kibbles and cake.

    Marriage (and committed relationships) are supposed to be a partnership. If one partner is over-burdened with working too many hours, kid, sick parents or has begun to show signs of losing their own self of self, that’s when the other partner is supposed to say “We need to talk. I am worried about you. How can we simplify our lives? Live on less income? Ratchet the kids’ activities down and reconnect in our marriage and family? Take better care of ourselves?”

    But cheaters? Instead of stepping up to the plate when they are most needed, they “look elsewhere.”

    • This was exactly the reason my x gave. We’ve talked a lot over these past years, his affair was 10 yrs ago and we tried a rec but that never felt 100% so we’re only friends at this point..
      Anyway, he said that he felt overwhelmed by just buying our first house, the huge commitment of that, my talking about having kids, basically wanting us to grow as a couple was too much for him. So he said it was easier on his mind at that time to be away from “us” more and that his affair partner lived with her mother, had no demands of him, and was “easy” to be with because she was still in the party phase of her life and he could just go have some drinks and hang out and have fun with no responsibilities together. Then he also had the comfort of his stable home with me, knowing that I’d go to the ends of Earth for him. I was his rock and she was his roll! Made sense to him. That type of mental division would drive me crazy and I do not understand how cheaters can be fine living two separate lives for months or years. Mind boggling! I would truly hate myself all of the time if I had to live that kind of lie daily.

  • “Even if you go by this logic that your crappiness made them do it — what’s crappier than having an affair? ”

    This is what got me. It’s what still gets me at my weaker moments. I was told again and again that it was MY FAULT, that I drove him to treat me the way he did (awful) and that I ultimately drove him away.

    I tried so hard CL, so, so hard. And yet, it was my fault. His crap behavior, his mean, nasty, horrible words; his lying, his cheating, his sneaking around – they were all my fault. Ultimately he told me that yes, he should have told me the truth, he should have been honest but he was too afraid to – it was MY FAULT for making him afraid of me. (I believe the exact quote was “congratulations for making me afraid of you”) He also said “I didn’t tell you because I knew you would leave”
    Well, which one was it then? Was it because I would have left your lying, cheating, filthy ass in the dirt or was it because you feared me? Maybe it was that you FEARED that I would LEAVE your ass 😀

  • When I read an ‘article’ like that one, I always know the person that wrote it is cheating or about to cheat. They have the entire list of ‘reasons’ from the cheaters handbook ready to go, page 2.

  • As I told my lying, cheating, stbxh asshole, if being neglected is a reason for cheating, I should have started cheating 20 years ago! The only one he didn’t do was #1, because he was meeting MOW at the gym every morning!!!!

  • I agree this “7”article is an example of mindfuckery, the same kind from which i am still recovering. gleefully so. my emotional abuse was directly caused by my X, but it was ALSO pre-reinforced by commonly touted and very dangerous myths in our culture…found in this article. In short, i believed it all. Chump Lady for POTUS…or at least Secretary of State.

  • My response to this idiotic list:

    (1) Yes, I gained weight. It’s called “growing a new human being for you.” My pregnancy weight gain was within the recommended healthy range (about 30 lbs) and after the baby was born, I lost 18 lbs and 2 dress sizes from my pre-pregnancy weight. At 6’0″ tall I was 145 lbs and a size 8 when he decided an emotional affair wasn’t good enough and began f***ing another woman.

    (2) I said “please,” “thank you,” and praised what little positive effort I saw. He never said “please” or “thank you” and treated me like his mother, nanny, and housekeeper all rolled into one. Sounds like I’m the one who should have had an affair.

    (3) He was working 6-7 days a week, going in early, and staying late long before OW #1 (the emotional affair with the co-worker) entered the picture. Where’s my affair? (Honestly, though, what a stupid list item. The horrors of a spouse who devotes time to a job, child, or ailing parent. God forbid!)

    (4) He wasn’t making any effort to spend time with me, with the working 6-7 days a week. Nor did we have a lot of money for dates since he insisted on working a crappy job that paid less than minimum wage. On one occasion, he asked for a date with me, had me go through the trouble of arranging a babysitter, then flat out stood me up. I somehow managed to keep it in my pants.

    (5) “I was tired of the cops pulling me over and issuing me tickets for mild speed violations, so I decided to hit someone with my car.”

    (6) I have a much higher sex drive than him, which means we had sex when he wanted it, not when I wanted it. Again, guess I should have given this whole affair thing a whirl.

    (7) He said not a peep about his problems with me until he was between the legs of another woman. Then he suddenly had 8,000 reasons for why I was such a terrible spouse that I deserved not the slightest inkling of a chance with him. In contrast, I sat him down and gently tried to solve problems with him, offering compromises and bottom lines as much as possible. He would agree with me verbally and then just keep doing the same crap that was upsetting me.

    This list should be called, “Why I Should Have Had an Affair, But Didn’t Because I’m a Moral Person With a Conscience and Not An Entitled, Sociopathic Snot”

  • My x withdrew from me even before the wedding. I got pregnant within a week or two. within a couple of months he couldn’t get it up, and despite the frustration, I continued to try, and this went on for about three and a half years. He was a military reqruiter, and was always working, never really involved with the family, and I got tired of stroking his dick, and feeding him kibbles of frustration, and longing….I got tired of stroking his narcissistic ego with my anger and pain, and I decided to withdraw {or detach, if you prefer} myself. I went to therapy, and six months later started at the local University. In short, I quite being his Narcissistic extention, or simply, I became bad supply, or not very appatizing cake. I realize that he was probably cheating right from the start.
    Looking back on it now,

  • Mine lied for years. I suspected but just found out. I did want to have sex and HE neglected ME for them! So…? I coulda cheated and DIDN’T! HE HAD NO EXCUSE. I haven’t gotten it in years 🙁 pretty messed up imo. If he had an issue, he should have manned up and discussed it.

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