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Are There Circumstances When an Affair Is Not Immoral?

Premiere Of SHOWTIME Drama "The Affair" Held At North River Lobster CompanyAre there circumstances when an affair is not immoral? asks the Huffington Post. Ah, click bait. Plugging the upcoming Showtimes series “The Affair,” HuffPo puts the hay low where the sheep can get it.

Here’s a moral conundrum — let’s ask some actors what they think! Actors who appear in “The Affair” — Showtime employees who are, of course, completely unbiased. It wouldn’t hurt your contract at all to star as a cheater in a new series and then say, “The entire premise of this show is revolting. Personally, I find my character so morally repugnant I wouldn’t spit on him if he were ablaze.”

But they didn’t ask my imaginary actor, they asked Dominic West who plays the star-crossed, hunky cheater “Noah.” He thinks affairs are totally awesome, so long as you engage in them for the right reason — your happiness.

Yes. I think it’s a conflict between knowing that you can’t really be of any good to anyone unless you look after yourself, unless you are happy. And if you’re not happy then it’s gonna be hard to make your family happy, or to live. And in that way, I think if malice is not intended then I suppose you could say morality doesn’t come into it. It’s sort of, it’s an inevitability.

Does anyone in West’s moral universe derive any happiness from knowing they aren’t a total asshole?

I’m trying to wrap my brain around “if malice is not intended, then I suppose you could say morality doesn’t come into it.”

That’s a nice bit of word salad. It makes sense I suppose if you don’t understand the concepts of malice, intention, or morality.

Hey Dominic, next time you run over a kid while driving drunk, try that line of defense, that malice wasn’t “intended” and see how far you get. I was irresponsible? I broke the law and someone died? Hey, I didn’t mean to do it, no harm, no foul!

Putting aside the point we make here all the time — cheaters mean to do it. They are completely aware of what they are doing and how it will hurt you, which is why they keep it a secret.

But anyways…

HuffPo wants us to know that “The Affair” is breaking new ground by alternating the narratives between characters! (No, the Victorians never did this.) The story “alternates between Alison and Noah’s perspective of the events in their relationship. The storytelling mechanism allows the show to offer a much more nuanced portrayal of an affair than the stock ‘evil cheater’ storylines so commonly portrayed on television.”

Are there evil cheater villains portrayed on television? Did I miss something? I thought they were all poor, confused sausages like Alison and Noah. People fated to be together, but kept apart by cruel, cruel monogamy.

“The idea of the show is to tell the same story from two sides or two perspectives,” series creator Sarah Treem told The Writer. “And each perspective has valid weight. I think that’s radical in a love story because so often the woman is written as the object and the man as the subject. But in this show, they are both the subjects of their own story and the objects of each other’s. And the story changes depending on whose perspective we are in.”

You know what would be REALLY radical? Telling the story not alternating between cheaters (idiots on the same team), but between the chump and the cheater.

But I suppose that wouldn’t make for compelling television. Watch Helen, Noah’s wife puke as she discovers the affair. Watch her fall apart at work and lose 20 lbs in a week from shock. Watch her look after her children alone while Noah is busy fucking Alison.

No, we couldn’t possibly have that. People might feel sympathy for Helen. And they might judge Noah and Alison. Better to keep the chumps off screen as bit walk-on parts. If they must be seen, make sure they look frumpy and unfuckable. Mean and controlling. Who wouldn’t cheat on those schlubbs?

The camera pans back to Noah and Alison… and their “inevitable” romance. Who wouldn’t wish these beautiful people happiness?

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  • God this is sickening tripe: Joshua Jackson, action ‘ “What is your personal morality because obviously that’s a framework that you get to decide, or your personal ethics. And yes, I do think that there is a framework within which we’re sort of stuck in a modern world. You’re supposed to seek your own happiness and above all else try to live the most healthy and whole version of your life that you can. And sometimes that will create awful circumstances for people around you.”

    Really? You “get to decide” what is moral?

    This is yet more proof that narcissism is not only rampant, but worshipped in our pop culture.

    I’m shocked how many people believe the excuses for cheating because all the cheater was supposedly doing was “being true to himself.” Forget about being true to the person they promised to be true to.

    And how many of those people would excuse embezzling from your employer, merely because you wanted more money, and the strictures and confines of public morality “stifled” you from having what made you happy so you just went and took it?

    • “I’m shocked how many people believe the excuses for cheating because all the cheater was supposedly doing was “being true to himself.” Forget about being true to the person they promised to be true to.”

      But dontcha know Muse that since monogamy isn’t “natural” that we shouldn’t expect the poor sausages to exercise ANY amount of self-control (because self-control isn’t “natural” either)? That way the cheater gets to screw whoever/whenever they want.

      Aren’t we, as a society, supposed to have evolved FROM this line of thinking?

    • “I’m shocked how many people believe the excuses for cheating because all the cheater was supposedly doing was “being true to himself.” Forget about being true to the person they promised to be true to.”

      you and me both!! i am sick and tired of hearing how he “just wasnt happy” and his MOW telling everyone she “makes him happy”. all HE wanted was to be able to avoid responsibilities, avoid the consequences and drink as much as possible to forget that he is letting the people who love him down. it really had nothing to do with her except that she supported his drinking and his poor me stories. i have told her myself that if i wanted him back i could have taken him back from her, that she didnt mean shit, just like the last ones. but since i divorced him, she is all walking around like she “WON” something. stupid fool. now she tells everyone “if 2 people are happy together, leave them alone.” and “you are just going to have to accept that we are a couple”

      i HATE HATE HATE that whole “dont judge me” shit. they know what they are doing is wrong and they purposely do not care who it hurts in the process as long as “they are happy” because they have to “be real to themselves” GAG!!!

      i really wish i could have seen his unmoral and non values in the beginning and had walked away from him.

    • Cheaters want to fuck strangers whilst inventing a new moral high ground in an effort to avoid judgement, which is like kryptonite for narcissistic personalities. Only cheaters create art that is sympathetic to cheating. Shows like this perhaps seek to legitimise cheating behaviour in some way, but I think maybe this topic is pretty hot ratings bait. I won’t be watching, though.

    • No, I think they’re right. We should all do what makes us happy. Sticking his wee willie in my sister’s twat made him happy and chasing him around the house would have made me happy.

      What do you mean you are hurt I cooked you on the head with your favorite golf club. I was just trying to be happy, being true to myself! Don’t you want me to be happy? You are so selfish! Besides, you are totally overreacting. It’s not like I killed you. And attempted murder is such an ugly word and you were only in a coma for 2 weeks, so I prefer we call it an extra hard love tap. Anyway, I was shooting for 3 weeks, so aren’t you glad I didn’t hit you harder. You should thank me that I at least called the ambulance when you were lying broken and bleeding at my feet. Where’s my cookie?!?

      *note the golf club fantasy is just fantasy and no ex-turds or sisters were harmed in the making of this post.

      Seriously, do none of these narcs think about where their “choosing their morality” can lead to. If we all thought that way, there would be looting and chaos in the streets. If this is what passes for entertainment nowadays, thank goodness for my bluray collection.

        • Yeah :-/ Someday, I may tell my story, but honestly it happened a long time ago and I’m mostly over it. It’s just every so often something comes up and I think “oh, wow, I remember feeling like that.”

          • My dear Kender the same thing happened to me sans the golf club! It was a long time ago, but mny cuurent husband has also cheated on me after joining a dating site! The OW says there is obviously something wrong with me as my husbands feel compelled to cheat!

  • If you want more reality, you can watch Dateline. On Dateline, just about once a week you get some narcissist who decides to bump off their spouse while having an affair (or multiple affairs) because they don’t want to split marital assets, or … more often because there is life insurance, a trust, or some monetary incentive.

    Again, though, they are only looking after their “happiness”, but at least it’s not all some depraved masturbation fantasy where nobody really gets hurt, and survivors are interviewed, consequences are discussed, etc.

    • Or if you want reality AND good entertainment you can watch “Snapped”, where the chump bumps off the cheater because they also don’t want to split marital assets 🙂

  • And we thought getting rid of lead pipes and banning lead base paints would fix stupid !

    I stick with free air broadcast signals so I don’t have to wallow in that shit !

  • I can’t even watch the commercials for this TRASH! Who watches this crap??? I guess all the cheaters out there who want validation that it’s okay to cheat.

    • Too many tv shows are triggers now to me, Mistresses, Parenthood (Julia especially), Greys Anatomy, and don’t even start with Scandal. I’ve stopped watching those shows since dday

      • we dont have TV at our house at all. havent for 4 years. i dont want my boys watching that crap they call cartoons now and there is literally NOTHING good on tv. we watch old videos, westerns, cartoons and comedies. i have old yeller and rin tin tin. much better then the sewage they show on tv.

        they are desensitization our children and then they wonder why there is so many school shootings and teenagers beating up people to death.

        • I stopped tv in my house a long time ago too.
          Dad had 3000 stations And wireless internet – so they are still exposed to stupid every day. But not on my time!!!

      • I took out the TV in 1984. Raised all four kids without TV. Best thing I ever did.

        I admit they were out of it with their friends, but I couldn’t compete with the BS on TV while trying to parent.

        They could watch it at their friends or relatives, it just did not exist in my home.

        They had reality. Period.

    • Who watches crap like The Affair..and all the other shows & movies that make affairs looks like fun..or at least “understandable”? Um…everyone. Except us chumps.

      My 21 year old daughter (age 18 Dday) gravitates towards this stuff. Especially Mad Men. Probably trying to understand why her dad did this. And the messages she is getting does not help her healing, and arguably, perpetuates the narcissistic story line as being…normal or OK.

      My sane chump voice and what she observed in me–dazed look for so long, major weight loss, relocating from community of 25 years etc — is the juxtaposed Reality TV Show. But this does not get the spotlight.

      Oh, there’s an idea. Instead of a Chump Convention that lets us all meet and cheer ourselves on, perhaps a reality TV is show needed??

      The first scene is from CL’s HuffPo analysis: Camera zooms in on Chump getting weak in the knees with DDay news, rushing to the bathroom to vomit (on knees that can no longer stand…) and it proceeds from there to more REALITY.

      any writer/producers out there who will take this and run?

      pretty please? 🙂

        • Agreed! Caught the first episode by accident. Major triggers but at least it was real. She’s going to get the finger pointing I suspect due to her past life with Hef, but she seemed like she was all in and true in her young marriage and growing family. Since its reality tv, it all feels like rubbernecking, regardless of who is portrayed sympathetically. I would prefer a TV series, but that’s not going to happen. Even my 11 year old son looked me in the face in the midst of my pain and said “who wants a sad mom?” Yeah, nobody.

  • Oh God….PLEASE let me rewrite that one paragraph! Here goes…….

    “The idea of the show is to tell the same story from both of the cheaters and leave out how this affects their partners!” “And each perspective has absolutely NO weight at all!” “I think that’s radical in a LUST story because so often the woman is a slut and the man is just horny. But, in this show they are BOTH horny sluts who are the objects of each others horniness!” “And the only story that changes is the one we aren’t showing you because it makes it all too fucking real!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  • Thank you for calling out the utter stupidity, unbelievable selfishness, and gross greediness of Hollywood. Soon these people will be talking about the “fog”. That utopian playtime where everything you do with your lover is so wonderful nothing else matters. Fog schmog. If you are in a fog you can’t remember to get dressed, change tires, pay bills, go to work, interact with other people and just go about your daily life. No, what you are doing is lying, cheating, and stealing time from your spouse and your children. That is what you are doing. If you are looking for your own happiness at the expense of others you are not worth shit. We are so proud of being independent that we forget we are pack animals. We are supposed to look out for the people that we belong to and those that belong to us. Narcissism wipes that out. It negated any sense of family, it negates any sense of belonging. It is “me, me, me”. That is what Hollywood adores. Entertainment these days is all about selfies, being in the public eye, being adored. Now we are subjected to celebrities naming their children unbelievably stupid names so that not only do we now get “me, me, me” but we get look at “my wonderfulness and my child!” I just don’t watch television anymore. I think it’s the reason we are slowly dumbing down in this country.

  • Why is it that true love is always portrayed as if it’s my 16 year old daughter telling the story? Yep, she’s “in love”. Guess what? She does not live with her boyfriend. He does not see her popcorn bowl thrown in her floor, her hair clogging the shower, her curled up with the cramps, her inability to utter a kind word first thing in the morning, her clothes covering every surface of her bedroom, her make up all over the bathroom counter top, her debit card perpetually over drawn, her tears because she has ‘nothing to wear’ or anything else that is less than attractive. We won’t even get into what she never sees about him. Of course they’re in love. He shows up all dressed and showered, picks her up all prettied up and they go see a movie. Yep, that’s pretty deep and that’s as deep as all these idiots playing “star crossed” lovers. Let them move in together, Pay bills, share a bathroom, etc….. It’s so fucking stupid that I can’t begin to understand why anyone would watch.

    • Bev, clearly you live with a teenager. You’re bursting my bubble. I thought girls were easier. I’ll see your popcorn bowl and raise you a week’s worth of Gatorade bottles and pizza crusts.

      • My 18-year-old son is apparently incapable of putting dirty clothes in the hamper or dirty dishes in the sink. I routinely find half-eaten bowls of cereal in the bathroom and remnants of food and drink surrounding the computer.

        It drives me crazy, but he’s an awesome kid beyond that, so I figure I’m pretty lucky. Oh, and he also sucks down Gatorade like it’s water.

        • Just to give you all hope, my son used to steal food from our pantry and hide it in his closet like a squirrel to keep his brother from eating it. He never picked anything up in his room, and wouldn’t keep sheets on his bed. At one point I considered getting him a futon and letting him sleep on top. He used to complain he didn’t want to deal with sheets, so slept in his sleeping bag on the floor. I decided there were bigger issues than his room to fight over, so I just shut the door and went on with my life. About once a month I’d go in and clean up to keep the health department away. Here’s what’s funny…he complained constantly about how messy his roommate was in college! Then the woman he married isn’t much into housekeeping and guess who’s now cleaning and straightening all the time so the house looks good? You got it, my son! They CAN actually grow out of their messy phase.

        • My son was like that as a teenager, but what really got my goat was the hamper thing. His hamper would be empty and all his clothes would be piled up next to his hamper. Now he’s all growed up, an amazing young man and, weirdly enough, is able to put his clothes into the hamper. (I know because he still comes over about once a week to do his laundry 😀 )

      • Ha! I have a teenage son too! I’ll cover the Gatorade bottles and pizza crusts and raise you the PE clothes that have been in his locker for a solid year and brought home to wash…. AKA throw away with a hazmat suit 🙂

        • Uh, actually, I think that I kept my PE clothes in my school locker for a year–well, at least for a semester–before bringing them home to be washed. That memory makes me want to go to my teenaged self and have her take a deep whiff. Really?

          Frankly, at times I have no idea how my parents managed to survive all of us during our teenage years.

        • I am in too. Three of them. I just want a clean bathroom floor. I’ll pick up Gatorade bottles. But the piss everywhere. Uggggggg

      • Gatorade bottles? Pizza crusts? Amateur….

        I can give you a green tub (hair dye), complete with now tie-dyed shower curtain; tweny minutes to put on makeup in order to go to the store for milk; disagreements that go straight to 11…..

        I wouldn’t trade her for the world, though! Her opinion on seeing the add for this show? “What a bunch of wankers”

        x-Meh.

        • These make me smile. I have 16, 14 and 8 – the smells and mess they can produce is fantastic. And I embrace it all – oh soccer and hockey smells! Oh the hyperbole and drama and eye rolling! Omg what the hell happened to this bedroom??? The toenail clippings in bizarre places. Trash everywhere but in the barrel, clothes everywhere but in the hamper. The amount of flatulence produced in enclosed spaces. I will inhale every bit that my h was willing to toss away for an ego boost. They are awesome in every sense, and he missed dinners, school events and funny funny interactions that make me smile even when I’m crying.

  • The happiness defense. So over-used.

    What about the happiness of the chump? How does that figure into the plot line? Oh, that’s right. We don’t care about those harmed by the “inevitable” affair–as if the cheater had no choices.

    Morality doesn’t factor into the equation? It’s adultery. I am pretty sure committing adultery–even for happiness reasons–is still considered by all major religions as a moral failure. Just saying. Sounds like the show is engaging in reality denying practices. Disgusting.

    • DM, it’s the constant pursuit of “happiness” in the wrong places. What I don’t get is that history clearly shows that affairs do not end well and yet no one learns. Everyone engaged in affairs think they’re different. It’s like delusional people thinking that death only happens to other people!

  • I saw this advertised in the subway station on the way to school with my child. In a rush came the subtext of his father’s punishing passive aggression and reason for my child’s exhausting life. My child looked passingly at the advertisement, I initially cringed inside, decided it would be a snore of a show and we both walked on. Another creepy shallow series to come and go.

    The actor uses moral language: you can’t be of use to others if you are not happy—to cover up how cheating harms and damages the unknowing spouse. He does not at all address why one has to get their happiness by lying. You have to completely bracket out the experiences of the cheated-on spouse or make them into awful characters to make this show work.

    I hope one day there will be a series about the chumps lives and experiences—that is a show I would watch!

    On a related note, I watched the movie Blue Jasmine last night. I know, Woody Allen is a piece of crap, but I like Cate Blanchett and thought the premise of a woman losing her mind was something I could benefit from watching ; ). In the movie, the character Jasmine was cheated on, but I found it hard to empathize with her because she was warned by her sister and friends and stuck her head in the sand when she saw all the blatant signs. No one told her outright because they did not want to hurt her. In the end, she had no real connections with anyone. She built her life on lies because she liked the status and wealth and then when it all came crashing down she had no other identity.

    It was a good message to me to live above ground with open eyes. To make the best decisions possible based on actual evidence I see, hear, understand, experience and know so as not to compromise my soul in this life. Life is really short. You can lie and cheat or actually do something with your time.

    • I am sorry you had to watch your child seeing that advertisement. I’m with you 100% on this, and this is what CL talks about when she talks about cake: “why one has to get their happiness by lying” — they DON’T. They could do the honorable thing and tell their partner/spouse that they want a divorce. Then go off tra la tra la and fuck their OW. But they are selfish cowards (= narcs) and instead they want both.. fuckbuddy and faithful loyal partner waiting at home with dinner ready on the table. Piss on this fake TV “happiness.”

  • Anyone with teenage kids knows that conventional TV is a doomed medium. The folks in charge there are clearly desperate. Rather than half-measures like “The Affair,” why don’t they just cut to the chase and program round-the-clock fetish porn interspersed with ads for Mountain Dew and the latest iPhone?

    • One of the best things I ever did for my kids was throw the TV out of the house when they started mimicking crap they viewed. They never really missed it and became avid readers. Unfortunately, it was probably one of the early salvos in the marriage wars because the ex had just bought a big set (before the days of flat screens) solely in order to be able to see the little white box with the baseball stats during his games. When he moved out 8 years later, that was one of the first things he did — get a new flat screen and order up cable and internet.

      My kids grew up on Dickens, Twain and the like. Here’s what the ex’s love child gets for intellectual enrichment: http://www.boonthegoshow.com/
      …….and I thought Sesame Street was an insult to their intellegence.

      Garbage in………garbage out.

      • Reminds me of the ‘do you know what your kids are watching’ commercial where the little girl is having a tea party, and she’s telling her stuffed dog to take out the rat fink other stuffed animal for selling her out. 😀

  • Uh, nope. Although someone will probably give the example when the spouse is in a coma for ten years, the other spouse can’t get a divorce, etc. And this happens how often?

    • Yeah, that tired old example is about as realistic and helpful as a claim that, “Sometimes it’s not immoral to sew your cheating ex inside their bed sheets while they sleep and beat them with a baseball bat, for instance, when the Zombie apocalypse has begun and you suspect they’ve become infected.”

      Could happen, right?

      • Ha! Thanks for that laugh. I suppose it is apt to compare the cheaters to zombies…they both leave devastation in their wake, destroy the ones they loved, and they are both mindless, soulless, drooling, moaning, abusive, inhuman creatures driven by only one goal…the FLESH!

      • Yes, Nomar, thats a lot more glamourous and exciting than the standard excuse. “My spouse is frumpy and unfuckable.” Lol, although somehow cheaters do manage to get around that, they just “dont enjoy it.”

      • Hahahahahaha, maybe that’s why I started watching The Walking Dead right after ex was removed from the house, I missed having a real life zombie around, wait, I mean a real dead zombie around.

  • I guess it boils down to how one defines happiness. If it means keeping your word, peace of mind, causing others no harm, doing the right thing, then having an affair won’t even occur to you. Now if happiness means pursuing any thought that causes a stirring in your loins, then an affair is the answer. I am just so glad I got rid of the loin whisperer.

  • Thank you for sharing this – I also found it offensive that the new docuseries by Morgan Spurlock on the same channel features the creator of She’s a Homewrecker not as part of the show Lust but Wrath, as in the cheated on spouse commits the sin of wrath because she creates a website outing all cheaters. What we suffer and our kids have to endure is not a sin, our cheating spouses do not commit reprehensible actions and selfish decisions – it’s all about what? Love? Heavenhelp us.

  • Ah, the “happiness” excuse!

    Let’s look at which line of reasoning makes more sense:

    Reasoning A:
    1. I am married to Ted.
    2. I meet and fall in love with Mary.
    3. Mary is married to Jim.
    4. My love for Mary and her love for me make us happy.
    5. We want to be together because that would make us happier.
    6. We cannot be together because we’re married to other people.
    7. We have an affair because we can be happy for at least part of the time.

    Reasoning B:
    1. I am married to Ted.
    2. I meet and fall in love with Mary.
    3. Mary is married to Jim.
    4. My love for Mary and her love for me make us happy.
    5. We want to be together because that would make us happier.
    6. We cannot be together because we’re married to other people.
    7. We initiate divorce proceedings so that we can be together and happy all the time.

    Reasoning B wins out! Sure, divorce sucks on a lot of levels, but the pain is finite, and once you end up on the other side, you can marry the love of your life (or at least the love of this phase of it). Your ex-spouse is also free to find someone who loves them, and your kids will see that adults handle their problems authentically.

    Reasoning A is for losers. You can never truly be with your lover since your marriage gets in the way. In order to get time with your lover, you need to lie to your spouse and family. If you want to have happiness time together in a setting more romantic than the minivan in the Walmart parking lot, you’re not only going to have to lie to your family about that business trip, but also spend marital funds–essentially stealing from your family.

    This means that in order to have your happiness, that is your affair partner, you need both to lie and to steal from your family. We do not lie and steal from those we love, ergo, you do not love your family. Since you do not love your family, you need to get a divorce.

    The logic is pretty easy.

    • But what they are really thinking is
      1) I am married to Ted
      2) Ted is pretty good at making money, so we have a beautiful house and two awesome kids
      3) but it gets pretty boring paying bills and driving the kids around. I’m not happy.
      4) I will start screwing Jim. Mary and Ted will never find out, and I get to be happy all the time!

    • well I disagreed.. You had no business falling in love with Mary because you were already married to Ted. It’s call forsaking all others not until I meet Mary!

      • ^^^^^^^^
        This is it exactly, there is that forsaking all others bit in the vows as well. Yes, we are human and will find ourselves attracted to others, but love can only happen if the relationship is nurtured. Don’t nurture the relationship, the falling in love part won’t happen. As adults we can choose to honor the commitments we have made to our families. ’til death (not ’til someone better comes along) do we part and forsaking all others were the promises we made. I don’t know about others, but for me being left for someone else was just as painful as finding out my significant other had cheated on me. I also never truly believed that they hadn’t been having an affair, I just could never prove it.

    • Either A or B, Ted and Mary need better boundaries. After all, to kindle the fires of love on their spouses time is not forsaking all others now is it. They still Suck!

  • I am so glad you posted this. I read it and couldn’t believe they where touting “both sides” when “both sides” was only the cheaters perspective. When is cheating moral? Umm, never. But the actors couldn’t say that, could they? Of course, DM’s word salad is telling. Joshua’s is just “baffle them with BS” IMO. But i adore him so i bury my head in the sand. 🙂

  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I simply do not have enough middle fingers to flip at these dead-inside oblivious assholes.

    • That’s really the program synopsis? Take all of the affair stuff out and make it “The psychological effects of a relationship between a waitress at a Hamptons diner and a teacher who spends his summer at his parents’ estate on the island.” and that still sounds boring as hell. Is sample dialogue, “You understand me!” “You could never understand me, we’re just too different!” BLECH.

  • CL it’s time for you to make a trip to Hollywood to pitch your new reality series to AMC – it’s new, edgy, real, involves sex, violence, running mascara. abducted children and outrages like parents allowing them die while they text their affair partners. Cheaters are so stupid and predictable you could probabLy get one “bust” on tape per week. Think Dateline meets Storage Wars meets America’s Most Wanted crossed with the Brady Bunch.

    • I have said before I’d like to write a fiction book about the “reality” of cheating. In novels I’ve seen it goes one of three ways: either it’s about the magical affair, which NO; it’s about the husband/wife’s affair and their brave spouse who takes them back and the affair makes their marriage better, which NO; or affair is found out, spouse divorces them and then IMMEDIATELY finds a new and even better partner, which can happen, but immediately? I’ve never seen that happen.

      Maybe reality is too depressing? I don’t know, fellow Chumps, would you want to read a novel that’s more realistic to what we’ve been through?

      • I did read a novel called revenge of the Middle-aged Woman, or something like that. Of course, *I* found it poignant and moving! but maybe if all you watch is Game of Thrones, that’d be boring.

  • a.) I hate Huff Post. b.) it’s that season again because nothing engages viewers like infidelity.

    I noticed that True Tori is about to come back as well. In the preview her cheater husband is complaining about how badly she’s treating him, also Tori decides she wants to see a photo of the OW and by the look on her face she doesn’t like what she sees. And, yay, Tori might also be pregnant.

    You can’t make this shit up.

  • “Hey Dominic, next time you run over a kid while driving drunk, try that line of defense, that malice wasn’t “intended” and see how far you get. I was irresponsible? I broke the law and someone died? Hey, I didn’t mean to do it, no harm, no foul!”

    Based on my own experience, and what others on this site have talked about, cheating and DUIs go hand-in-hand. Some people value their own immediate happiness over the health, safety, and lives of other human beings.

    • Cheating and DUIs? Oh my gosh, really? There’s a noted (anecdotal anyway) correlation? My POSX did both. And he was mad at me for “not supporting” him after the DUI. I have no idea what that means.

      And the “I didn’t intend to …” bullshit? Wow. Are all cheaters the same?

      • “And he was mad at me for “not supporting” him after the DUI.”

        Yup, mine too. After DUI#2, when he totalled his truck, I found him on the kitchen floor sobbing, punching cabinets, and hitting his head with his fists. I told him he needed to knock this shit off. He later claimed that I *should* have comforted him — that my reaction drove him to OW.

        Yes, because the *normal* reaction to a drunk, self-pitying, self-centered man who outweighs you by 80 pounds and is violently flailing on the floor is a big-ol’ momma-bear hug and butterfly kisses. Sheesh.

  • Welcome to Hollywood, the land of “I just want to be happy”. Lala Land is like travelling to a new dimension in reality. This is the land of narcissist nirvana that portrays itself as an advanced intellectual study of humanity that is disguised as art.

    It’s a tv show , it’s revelence is as revelant as Gillian’s Island, Dynasty, Breaking Bad or the Price is Right. Take your pick, perhaps the Reality-Non-Reality programs as the Bachelor or Survior, maybe American Idol, Fox News, it’s a buffet of non-sensical entertainment. Reality and fiction in Hollywood are as revelant as string theory which is based on theoretical hypothesis and debated as if it’ a real science.

    The truth is the vast majority consumers of entertainment want to be entertained. The Roman Colosseum was built as a diversion for the ignorant mass, much like Hollywood is the Colosseum of today’s ignorant mass of today.

    Actors are just actors. Their job is to pretend to someone else’ on stage or screen, it’s quite hilarious to ask a “pretender” a serious question about the role they’re playing and being paid for pretending to a “character”. What relevance is there to ask an actor ” playing”a doctor about medicine or an actor who portrays a cheater in a television series about an affair. Actors play parts, and to ask an actor philosophy about about the greater meaning of a made up character and the connection to it’s relevance in reality is just a dumb question.

    Actors are entertainers, they pretend to be someone, it’s a job. What’s fascinating is how the media and popcorn consumers a actually take these actors seriously.

    • I apologize for the typos…mans hands and the small keyboard cell phone thing.

      Just wanted to add, that if morality and ethics were left up to the entrainment industry is like going to an AA meeting at your local liquor store.

      Huffington Post is rag journalism and might as well sell itself as alternative toillet paper.

    • Ah, the Bachelor, that self-made pick me dance between a bunch of narcissistic bitches fighting over a guy who isn’t even a prize anyway.

  • I’d really like to go to these studios and spray the ruddy lot of them in lovely, smelly silage with my silage-sprayer. I don’t mean it maliciously, it would just make me really, really happy, and y’know, I’m a real crank and not a bit of good to anyone unless I’m happy! 🙂

      • Nah – I don’t. But throwing handfuls of poo wouldn’t cover much 😀 Years ago a farmer here in the UK was so pissed at his bank he went and covered the whole frontage of his branch with silage using his silage-sprayer. It still makes me laugh 😀

        • Ha this is how much of an urban girl I am – I meant slurry NOT silage! Sorry for the confusion there – and of course, the farmer was spraying liquid manure – NOT his livestocks food (silage)! Doh – makes a lot more sense now I use the right word!

  • My STBX cheater is a working actor.

    I am going to go out on a limb here and say that actors, as a profession, are not the best, unbiased cohort to poll on this topic.

    He liked to tell him all about the other people he knew having affairs…because, silly me, I didn’t realize that by not having an affair, he was not normal.

  • I love your answer, Monika. No. I’m working on this with my ten year old . Yes or no, ninety percent of the time is what I want. Not the five minute rambling convoluted answers she prefers, lol.

  • Sarah Treem, creator, writer and executive producer of The Affair says “We kind of go into it believing that (Noah and Alison) were two good people who were committed to their marriages, that they weren’t serial philanderers. They weren’t looking to destroy anyone else’s happiness. But by chance, they’re both in very vulnerable places, and by chance, they meet somebody who they ultimately come to think is their true love”.

    Really Sarah? By CHANCE, they meet somebody? Is it like two strangers bumping into each other in the night? Only, one doesn’t say sorry for bumping into the other – no, one of them says: “Hey – let’s get it on, you and me. Only, not just once – let’s do it many, many times. Won’t hurt a soul, especially not my spouse. I’m feeling kinda vulnerable right now and you’re just the ticket. Trust me, I’m a very nice person.” Is that the scenario?

    What a pile of dog shit.

    The TV critic from my newspaper also writes “Also, be forewarned, the first episode of The Affair is a bit slow in places. Obviously there’s a lot of groundwork to lay”. Slow in places? How could that be? The high excitement of Noah and Allison relating their affairs “from their different perspectives” should have the audience perched at the end of their seats.

    I, for one, will not be watching this piece of Hollywood drivel.

  • Where did I go wrong? I only lost 8lbs in the first week of finding out about the 5 year long affair. Anyway kickstarted the plateau on my diet

  • None of these people are even attractive. Yuck! Disgusting of them to even play a part in this show. What has this country come too? Lack of morals.

  • Anyone remember Richard Gere and Diane Lane in Unfaithful? It’s been years since I’ve seen it, but I seem to recall that it portrayed both Lane and Gere as sympathetic characters, all the while maintaining that Lane made a crappy choice with disastrous consequences.

    • I remember Unfaithful. And it did portray Lane as a pretty sympathatic character.

      I was thinking about it and off the top of my head, I could not think of a single movie or TV show that does not portray cheaters as “evil cheaters”. Often they may be evil, but always for a whole host of reasons other than the cheating. And always, always, they are attractive, edgy, star crossed, in a fog, powerless in the grip of forces larger than themselves, glamorous people. Cheating is just one of the forces that beset them and make their already complicated lives more complex and difficult for them.

      There may be some movies out there that take a stark moral stance against cheating, but I sure can’t think of any. And please don’t cite Fatal Attraction. Scary? Maybe, but the Michael Douglas guy was portrayed as a sympathetic character who made a mistake and found himself in the snare of a deranged woman’s fantasies.

      • I loved “Up in the Air” with George Clooney a couple of years ago. The perspective was mostly on George’s character, who was chumped. Heart-breaking — and it felt genuine to me.

        • Yes Up In The Air w/ George Clooney and Anna Kendrick. Great movie. Also another one in which George Clooney stars is The Descendents. Worth a look too. Then Click by Adam Sandler. A masterpiece, IMHO.

          • Adam Sandler in “Spanglish” is also a good look at being chumped. His pain is believable.

            And yes, the Decendents is a good one too. That one shows more of the pain of being left in the lurch with no explanation.

            • This may be mean but one of my first thoughts when I saw the Descendents was “At least his cheater is in a coma”. I loved that movie though. I thought it depicted the pain of being chumped, and I didn’t think it made the cheater look sympathetic at all. I didn’t feel at all bad when she died.

  • I think we need a “Chump Lady Fisks Famous Fictional Portrayals of Cheating” feature. What’s that one classic film about the couple that meets once a year to cheat? Same Time Next Year?

  • Yeah, nothing says True Love like banging a whore on the side, and your spouse at the same time ! Get a fucking DIVORCE.

  • Yea I saw a commercial for this show last week and rolled my eyes. “There’s no way there’s going to be a good impact from this show” I thought. Yep. That will hold true. Just more trash. Noah’s actor is married. Why don’t they get a quote from her on what she’d think if her husband followed his “happiness” to another woman?

  • Our american culture, sadly, is so vapid its revolting. It wont be long before our entire way of living is dictated by the narcissism of the moment, the pleasure at all costs crowd and the entitlement state. Its too bad we simply cant cut the country in half and let the cheaters have one side where they just demolish each other and put the rest of us on the other side where we can actually live with decency and values and a semblence of long term thinking…

  • Haven’t had a chance to read all the comments yet. But let me expose my age here. Years ago (as in the early 60s) there was a soap opera called “The Secret Storm” that featured a young college girl, Amy Ames, engaged, who got into an affair with a married professor. She got pregnant by the professor, he got divorced, but only after much angst and realization that cheating is wrong. Fast forward through several thousand soap opera crises and Amy comes home one day to find a woman’s bracelet on her night stand. Her prof husband is having an affair! The audience has of course known this all along, since we watched the two cheaters work up to this terrible act of betrayal in poor Amy’s marital bed. At that point, I was maybe in 10th grade and we hated the cheaters–we hated Paul for betraying Amy for the evil Belle Clemmons. We hated Belle for years. There was no notion that people were “fated,” just that they were cruel or weak or selfish. That storyline stuck with me while I can hardly remember any of the rest of what went on in that soap because the writers showed the pain of the discovery and the rest of the characters roundly condemned the cheaters. And poor Amy learned that when you marry a cheater, you get a cheater. I don’t watch the rest of this tripe–anyone whose had a D-Day doesn’t find adultery entertaining, although I don’t mind if it’s a comedy in which the cheater suffers amusing and appropriate consequences, like boils or erectile dysfunction….

    • I remember watching the show growing up. Like most TV of yesterday, morals and morality were always enforced in the story lines. Greed, lust and violence weren’t glamorized like they are today.

      I think the steady decay we see in society today can be traced back to the smut they put on TV, because it absolutely sets the tone for what is seen as acceptable.

  • What strikes me about the article is that not one of the actors mentioned his wedding vows or his children, real or fictional, when answering HuffPo’s question. Hard to conclude that cheating is immoral when you completely ignore the moral nature of marriage or a long term commitment. They treat marriage like a series of dates where you can opt out whenever the mood strikes.

  • Gads and barf. That’s all I have to say. Now let me pop some corn and go all Mystery Science Theater on this piece of crap.

    Better yet, instead of triggering thru the tripe, I’ll just read some good, old Dave Sedaris stuff. Did you all catch his AMA yesterday?

    • Woul LOVE to have a Mystery Science Theater with Chump Lady! Make it a weekly or monthly thing with guest stars!! Even a web realtime video (yeah, my untechiness is showing). Live comments!

  • This is the reason that other than sports, Netflix and the occasional Hallmark movie, I can not stand to watch TV. Pretty much music only for the last 2 years. Cheater apologists everywhere and an instant trigger. Where is morality, integrity, honor? I guess I should have just been trying to bang every skirt within an arms reach for the last 20 years!!!

    Fuck off media!!! I’m just going to find another obscure Pandora channel to include in my shuffle.

    On a completely off topic boast, today I received the quit-claim deed the court ordered in April 2013. Only 18 months late! YAY me!

    • sports is the original and only true reality TV!! I’m with you there! Really the only thing I watch, other than Netflix on occasion. I wouldn’t even have a cable bill if it wasn’t for the Redzone and extra ESPN stations!

      • I would vehemently disagree with you. I hate sports. Good reality tv is This Old House, Nova, Nature, America: The Story Of Us, American Experience, etc. That is TV worth watching. 😉

  • I am happiest when I am on a three day bender. It follows that:

    Therefore, I can’t be of use to anybody unless I am on a three day bender.

    I have a moral obligation to go on a three day bender.

    If I don’t go on a three day bender I let the people I love down.

    • Kendoll, I agree and have often thought these TV shows and movies, Huffpo articles etc. excusing cheating simply must have been written by cheaters or their abetters.

      • wow, that comment got in the wrong place!! I meant to post that above to kendoll but also wanted to say, bonkti, that I love your pretzel cheater logic!! Of course it only makes sense that cheaters show the people they love that they love them by fucking someone else and betraying the people they supposedly love… but wait, what kind of “love” is that? oh yeah, cheater “love.”

  • You know, I saw that headline and was ready to consider something difficult like:

    Your wife has early-onset Alzheimers and doesn’t know who you are anymore;

    Your husband is in a coma;

    Your parents married you off at 15 and divorce is illegal;

    You’re the King of England and you had to marry someone you don’t love in order to prevent a war;

    You’re gay and it’s a time or place where being gay gets you sent to a mental hospital; or

    An evil dictator threw your husband in prison for life.

    I might have to struggle a little with the question then. I mean divorce would be bad or impossible and it would be hard to live without any love/sex.

    Instead we get, “if you’re not happy then it’s gonna be hard to make your family happy.” I guess that actor was picked for his looks.

    “You need to take care of yourself so you can be good to your family” means when you’re yelling at your kids all the time, go get some exercise or read a book or have someone else watch your kids for a while.

    It does not mean, I’m going to spend all the Christmas money on presents for me so that I’m happy and then I can be good to my family. Even that wouldn’t involve lying and breaking promises the way cheating does.

  • They say now that the reality show Teen Mom actually decreased teen pregnancies. The reality was so scary that kids paid attention to using birth control.

    So yes, maybe a reality show about Cheaters would make people think twice. You’d see the real effects on the family. You’d see the OW/OM and bathroom texts in all their glory. And you’d see the consequences for the cheaters.

    • Interesting thought. I think a documentary on the aftermath of an affair would be quite enlightening for those who haven’t been through it.

      • Yes, just the lies and financial betrayal alone would spoil any modern person’s decision regarding entering a marriage. IMHO, Prenups should be our next generation’s future, financial planning should occur way before the wedding, and there should be a clause addressing cheating. Think of the impact cheating has had on politicians, celebrities, and athletes and the trickle down influence it has had on us). We need to remember these Chumps are “just like us.” I no longer care for Arnold Shwarzenneger and won’t be paying to see his movie because of what he did to his wife and children. As to television shows, even questionable ones, drama sells and some do reflect real life, though clearly reality tv is just manufactured crap. I like Mad Men. The show reflects those years, the characters are fascinating, complex, and some are clearly messed up. It’s a Disney train wreck for grown ups. Make believe, good guys vs bad guys. And as in real life those who don’t have firm boundaries are always going to choose what pleases them most, to hell with others and those pesky consequences. A bit like my ex, slogging through life, thinking with his dick. “It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic,” right? It’s make believe. I watch tv because I can escape from my dreary life and this does not hurt anyone. I am not going to betray my beliefs just because people behave this way on TV.
        To digress I have often thought it would be great to have a Chump art exhibit. To “paint a picture” of what it means for a marriage to be ruined. I have a collage in mind: years of family photos, keepsakes, tender family moments (on film, perhaps?) and then evidence of what really caused our marriages to fail. It’s a big deal to have worked hard only to have lost your family, home, community, job, and life’s savings to somebody whose decision it was was to fuck someone else.
        I don’t see how people can justify cheating for any person who is married. I never had a vow that stated, “until something else shows up, or until I fall in love with someone else.”

    • I don’t see how you could do a play-by-play reality show–scripted or otherwise–about cheating as the feature concept. A documentary about the aftermath and affects, yes.

      Cheating by its very nature involves deception, gaslighting, and–at least initially–trying to not get caught. I can’t imagine somebody signing up for a reality show under the pretenses that they are going to cheat in the future, and then having a production crew follow them around and participate in all that deception.

      I, at least, don’t want to believe that a whole film crew would join in on that just for $$$.

    • I HATE the word “affair.” There’s no way a lovely afternoon luncheon by the lake, or summer lawn party should be synonymous with the ugly betrayal of a spouse/significant other. Just wrong.

  • Yes being “happy” will make it moral in their universe. My X really believed that his cheating made him a better husband. “I believe I was a better husband because I cheated”, were his exact words to our therapist.

    • Good grief. I can’t even fathom how the cheaters could think this way. Mine said he thought cheating was the right thing to do since we were having problems. You can’t make this stuff up.

    • Good Lord,

      I can almost see the little hamster wheel turning inside his head:

      “Remember the times I bought you flowers, told you how great you were, and hugged you for no reason? That was guilt. Cheating made me a better husband because I wouldn’t have done nice things if I didn’t feel a little guilt.

      PS. Please forget every time I acted like an ass and every time I lashed out because you asked me to change my plans or something, and I was on my way to screw a fuckbuddy. Thanks. “

    • I had a similar comment from the cheater:

      The cheating makes me a better FATHER.

      (Kinda FU to the spouse though and really during this time, this sentiment was echo’d by the Mary Kay pig. In fact they created a wonderful narrative together of how I was reonsible for emasculating him. Really. Both of those idiots have NO idea what the term means and he could barely pronounce it. The dude did NOTHING around the house or with the kids. I guess it emasculates him to watch me use fucking power tools and handsaws to fix shit around the house and yard while he’s guzzling beers all weekend long planning his next outing with the latest pig. )

  • There is a movie made in 1997 called Firelight. The family is wealthy, the wife can’t have children, he pays a French woman to have sex with him and have a baby. He does, she does and he takes the baby back to England. Several years later she gets herself hired on as nanny. A relationship develops. His wife is in a coma. He decides he wants a new life so he opens her bedroom window and she freezes to death. Last scene is him, the nanny(lover, bio mother) and child leaving for a new life. I guess this is where the ends justify the means, or my needs were not being met, but this is the typical wife in a coma trope. I guess it was considered art because of the European background but it was murder. I have no idea if the movie ever made it to theaters but it shows up on tv.

  • My cheater was not happy. Nor was the OW. She had’nt been happy in her first marriage. She had an affair with an older and long married colleague and it ended his marriage and I guess she must have been happy for a while, long enough to marry this man and have a second chance of finding that elusive end of the rainbow thing…married happiness. We are all entitled to get it wrong once…this being the real deal.
    So for a while its happy then the rot sets in once again. Where to fish but back in the same old stagnant pool. Enter her new soulmate, my husband. Another colleague and friend of her last true love.
    So the whole dance begins once again with two people who were meant to be together and just needed a few trial runs to be sure.
    Happy couples…hat is what we all want to see.

  • I may have said this before some time ago, that I heard this comparison of avoiding screwing others is like a toddler learning not to crap his pants. Sure it would feel great to just crap wherever you are; work, the Mall, a concert, etc., but a “grown up” learns to control themselves because there are consequences. Once you are past the toddler stage, you should know this, crapping your pants makes a big mess. Control yourself, that is what the big people do!

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