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The New I Do WTFever Makes Me Happy

newIdoSeveral alert chumps last week sent me the article on Huffington Post about “The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists, and Rebels” by therapist Susan Pease Gadoua and journalist Vicki Larson.

I guess the Huffington Post must be a skeptic about these new marriages because they put the article on their Divorce page.

Shockingly, by contrast, the HuffPo Wedding page is full of retrograde stories about commitment, like “Daughter Holds Beautiful Hospital Wedding So Her Dying Mom Can Be There,” or “7 Ways I Knew My Husband Was the One.” Bah! These unsophisticated people and the way they cherish each other.

I’ve put Vicki Larson through the patented Universal Bullshit Translator several times before, most notably for arguing you should be friends with your ex-cheater and that forgiveness is “essential.” IMO, this is New I Do is just a new shift on victim-blaming — oh hey, you shouldn’t expect monogamy. None of the cool kids (aka “realists” and “rebels”) are doing that.

Look, if you want to swing openly — fine. If having a colorful flotilla of sexual partners is what rocks your world, I’m unclear on why you want to be married (the tax break? the dress?) If “consensual non-monogamy” works for you, consent is the important thing. Everyone is on board. No harm, no foul.

So if I’m cool about your penchant for open marriage, why on earth don’t those “rebels” and “realists” respect MY sexual choice of monogamy? Why the monogamy bashing? Moreover, why go to pains to excuse affairs?

Even though people today are growing up in more diverse families than ever before and are much more open to and accepting of broader views of gender and sexuality than generations past, society still tends to view non-monogamous relationships negatively. Just look at the language that’s used to talk about it. Those who engage in it are either promiscuous, putting themselves and others at risk of sexually transmitted diseases, or cheaters, with a breakup being the expected outcome once an affair is discovered. It’s all about diseases, betrayal, secrecy, and deception.

We use the language of cheating for CHEATERS, not CONSENSUAL non-monogamous relationships. Cheating is, yes, negative. Cheating IS about diseases, betrayal, secrecy, and deception. DUH. There’s no “deception” if you AGREE to it. Why the muddleheaded word salad talk, Vicki?

I hate to break it to you smug rebels, but swingers are just as vulnerable as chumps when it comes to cheating. As Larson points out in the article, polyamory has rules!

But like many others in open relationships, they had rules–the sex was always safe, there were no sleepovers, and every arrangement was to be agreed to beforehand.

All it takes to be a cheater is to break the rules when someone trusts you to abide in them. Who breaks rules? Oh, you know, rebels and shit. Good luck with that.

Breaking agreed upon rules is about having shitty character, NOT monogamy.

Still, they believe there was something incredibly brave and empowering about their decision; a “badge of courage,” is how Kira describes it.

Really? Gee, here I thought they gave courage awards for fighting Ebola in west Africa, or hiding Jews in your basement from Nazis, or some other self-sacrificing act. Kira deserves a badge of courage for fucking a coworker?

“For a lot of people, it doesn’t even occur to them that they can be anything other than monogamous, and they get into a situation and then realize they maybe feel differently. I also feel monogamy can be dangerous even without sleeping with other people. Just having a sense of your own sexuality, being attracted to other people, being able to flirt with other people; when you can’t do that, it just shuts down a part of you. It changes who you are in your marriage and so long-term, that can be really damaging,” she told us.

Kira, I’m glad you brought up the dangers and miseries of monogamous marriage. It was a weak and shut down Edith Windsor who challenged the U.S. Supreme Court on her love and devotion to Thea Spyer, which won a landmark case recognizing their same-sex marriage. We should all be so feeble.

I’m sure there are people who want the freedom to eat cake and have sex with whomever they want while “married.” I don’t think they inspire anyone. Sure, they may award themselves badges of courage for their edgy little acts of derring do, but who aspires to that kind of love?

The love that moves people is the singularity of one’s affections. The unwavering devotion. The focus. Being cherished completely.

I hate the cynical work of hacks and quacks like Larson and Gaduoa that question such love as “unrealistic.” Who are you to presume you could ever be CHERISHED?! Dream on! Life is the pursuit of individual happiness and the unfettered ability to fuck whomever we want to when we want to. You have a problem with that? Then you’re conventional, over-bearing, hegemonic with your monogamy.

DannyI give the Badge of Monogamy Courage Award to Annie and Danny Perasa, the couple featured on many NPR StoryCorps. Danny worked as a horse-betting clerk in Brooklyn.

“When a guy is happily married, no matter what happens at work, no matter what happens in the rest of the day,” Danny said, “there’s a shelter when you get home, there’s a knowledge, knowing that you can hug somebody without them throwing you down the stairs and saying, ‘Get your hands off me.’ Being married is like having a color television set; you never want to go back to black and white.”

He wrote his wife Annie love letters every day.

As she nursed him through pancreatic cancer he said:

“I could write on and on about her. She lights up the room in the morning when she tells me to put both hands on her shoulders so that she can support me. She lights up my life when she says to me at night, ‘Wouldn’t you like a little ice cream? Or ‘Would you please drink more water?’ ” Danny said. “I mean, those aren’t very romantic things to say, but they stir my heart. In my mind and my heart there has never been, there is not now and never will be another Annie.”

People pulled over their cars and WEPT listening to their stories on the radio. When Danny died, Annie received over a thousand letters of condolence from around the world. She read one every day in memory of Danny’s love letters.

See if you can listen to this with a dry eye.

“It was a gift to be married to him.” — Annie

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Can I start things out by saying get a new name to the “badge of courage” skank quoted in the article?

    The Danny/Annie story made me cry.

  • If everything was upfront then we could decide if we are willing to be with them and waste our time or not. But you cant expect honesty from dishonest asswipes. Cheaters fuck our chances of meeting someone decent, who are in the same wavelength as we are and unrightfully waste our years, because they are narcissistic, selfish, entitled assholes…

    • I was out hiking the other day and it occurred to me that I was vaguely lost. — Then it occurred to me how analogous that was to my marriage: I felt like he & I always knew where we were going. He never stopped to say, “Hang on, this might not be the right trail [for him]. We should reassess.” Now THAT I could’ve respected, not happily but even so.

      But he never clued me in that he wasn’t where he’d wanted to be until he was already on a completely different trail with a different partner, a trail I wasn’t allowed to hike on, too. So I was left on my own trail, alone, lost. All because he never stopped to actually THINK about whether he knew where he was or not. — A little conscious self-examination from time to time with him would not have gone amiss, followed, of course, by honesty.

        • You’ve expressed this feeling very well. I, like others here, was not allowed the chance to even know there was a problem much less try to fix it.

          It’s a little disconcerting to find myself here at age (52) – redefining all of my hopes (that were our hopes) and dreams. Fixing the enormous credit problems he left behind (fighting over this would have prolonged the pain plus I got away with my pension so it was very much worth it to cut that line as soon as I could). Say a little pray for me today Chump Nation – waiting to see if I can finally move in to my own place (it’s so peaceful and compact – I already visualize a lot of healing continuing there). I’ve been staying with friends and family for 9 months — healing from spinal surgery (yeah – the creep ditched me right before I needed surgery – makes me question ever trusting such an empty and heartless person)

          It’s not Tuesday yet – but it does hurt a little less as I move forward, baby step by baby step.

          • Saying a prayer for you, Chumpfor21. I hope you get the peaceful place you desire. I wish that for myself someday. I wish it for all of us. xox

          • Dearest CF21,

            YOU are a faithful, loyal human! Celebrate that! Yes, I believe you will find that peace in your new, little, compact place. ‘Tuesday’ will be here before you know it!!!!

            I, too, spent some months flitting from place to place before I scored my ‘peaceful & compact’ place. The ‘peaceful’ you experience there will still ebb & flow, just like life.

            However, your comment about never trusting such a ‘heartless and empty person again’……No! Never! Trust ones such as yourself.

            Remember, too, my dear….There is no ‘fixing’ of these types! ‘Knowing’ his issues would have been for naught! So, now that you are on the road to healing, focus on being the kind, compassionate, caring, precious person all us chumps seem to be! THAT, my Dear, is the ‘default’ our Creator put in us.

            That is why all the comments Tracy made are so true. Our Creator designed us to be faithful, loyal and bonded. To ignore that only leads to trouble. (What happens if we try to ignore the Law Of Gravity?! Same difference!) We all are fully aware of that.

            That is why the ones who choose to cheat & even the ones that choose ‘open-marriage’ are always apologizing or always using monogamy as the starting point of their deflection into ‘polarmory’ (sp?) apology.

            So, yes…..You WILL be in many prayers tonight.

            Love to all

            Forge on, Chumpfor21……ForgeOn, all ya all…….

            • Thank you for your wise words and kind prayers. You are right – I am tender hearted and kind. And I like that about me. I don’t want to be hard and angry. It’s a choice and I’m glad for the reminder. Forgin’ on!

      • That is a great analogy NW-I never got a clue that my ex was unhappy either. One month prior to the beginning of his affair and two months before I found out; we went on a Caribbean vacation. If he had sent out a memo, I never got it. Of course they never do that because it would be honest, fair and brave.

        The other sad reality is that I don’t think they’re that unhappy at all. They want what they want and they use whatever convenient excuse is available to justify getting a little side dish action and some more sparkly kibbles.

        Sending good energy your way chumpfor21. I hope you get to Meh soon and light the way for the rest of us.

        • Thank you so much. I rely so much on this site for help, sass, inspiration and ….. and I’m so sorry so many of us are here. You all have my prayers and best wishes.

  • “Breaking agreed upon rules is about having shitty character” – HEAR! HEAR!

    That’s why in the end we are better off without them – they have shown us who they are and we get to be free. Of course it doesn’t feel that way at first…

  • Wow! Listening to that did make me cry, and I’m always a sucker for uplifting love stories both in real life, on television and in romance novels, and I DO believe there can be happily ever after. What a wonderful show of mutual love, honor and respect. What saddens me is that this type of relationship doesn’t seem to be the norm, as I hear about the constant struggles of abused men/women who are cheated on, lied to, degraded and constantly disrespected, while crying out to be simply loved, appreciated, and supported. The marital bond appears to be minimized today, and monogamy is frowned upon. What an honor to meet this wonderful couple by listening to snippets of their lives, and the Monogamy Courage Award is richy deserved from Chumplady.


  • I’m in a 1.5-year monogamous relationship now (do all chumps always feel compelled to say “at least I think it’s mongamous” after that, or is it just me?) after my 18-year marriage ended with him cheating. Wondering if I’ll ever get back to that idyllic, romantic notion of love again. I just have no desire to be married again. We’re having fun but I just don’t see him stroking my hair as I take my dying breath.

    My gut tells me that someone is always losing in open relationships, that one partner pressures the other into it, or that, yeah, it’s fun while I’m out with someone else, but much less fun when he is, or that eventually the web of polygamy spills out of its boundaries into someone else’s “monogamous” relationship. If polygamy is part of human nature, surely one can’t deny that jealousy is also part of human nature.

    • “I’m in a 1.5-year monogamous relationship now (do all chumps always feel compelled to say “at least I think it’s mongamous” after that, or is it just me?)”

      It’s not just you. It’s not that I spend my time worrying that BF will cheat, but I do feel like it’s always going to be in the back of my mind that at any moment, he could up and leave. Like I sincerely trusted X, that he would not cheat and that we would be married forever. And now I just don’t 100 percent trust anyone anymore. Working on that with a therapist, but I honestly don’t know if that’s just me now or if its fixable.

      • Oh – and me too Kira! Other than a lobotomy – have no idea how I could possibly forget how blindsided I was. The only way to fix being able to take the chance with anyone else is to accept that no one, at all, is completely trustworthy. I hate, hate, hate that I’d managed to make it almost to my 50’s before I’d had to learn that – yet another reason why I loathe ‘The Great I Am’.

      • Part of me wonders if it isn’t a more realistic view of the world. Most of my important relationships have ended because of my partner’s infidelity. Being prepared for the possibility of it happening again seems like a rational reaction. I don’t know if it’s bad luck or a faulty picker, but this last one almost killed me and I don’t want to risk it again.

        • I’ve never been cheated on before, Trusting – though cheater apologist SIL insisted ‘ as far as I knew’ – grrr, fuck her for trying to screw over my romantic life history just to ‘normalise’ her fucked up brother!

        • I have been cheated on by all but one GF or wife. I know a lot of others that have an almost 100% record of having been cheated on, too.
          I never really thought about it before but when I look back, it is true.

        • I used to hug my stbx and tell him that he was the only man who I trusted. He knew that every serious relationship I ever had ended with my partner cheating and lying to me about it.

          I will never arrange my life around another man’s life again.

          I will follow my own path and pray that one day somebody might want to join me.

          As far as joining them on their path and abandoning mine – it will never ever happen again.

          After many battles to keep my head above water after BD, i am now just starting to find my own way.

          I working on the trust thing, but so far no one has been trust worthy. I have yet to meet somebody who has shown me that they have my best interests at heart. All I have met is selfishness and self centeredness.

          Hence this article of hogwash. I will love you as long as you let me do whatever I want. And if you question me – you are the bad person. Sigh….

      • “It’s not that I spend my time worrying that BF will cheat, but I do feel like it’s always going to be in the back of my mind that at any moment, he could up and leave.”

        Kira, I feel that as well. I’ve been dating Nice Guy for over a year now, and although he has never shown me any reason to suspect him of being anything other than devoted and honest, it still sometimes crosses my mind that maybe he is really just using me, or pretending to care about me to get sex, or waiting until someone better comes along before dumping me. Or I wonder if one day, he’ll dump me with an announcement of how he never really cared about me, and then list all the things “wrong” with me. It’s sad to be so damaged, but I figure the fact that I’m with a man at all after my ex’s craziness is pretty good.

        • GladIt’sOver, I feel the same. I think about this too. If/when I devote myself to somebody, will he just leave one day. Will he clean out the house while I’m at work. Will he belittle me and make me feel its all my fault. Will he make me feel like I’m not worth hanging around with but just great to have at home to be the babysitter. I have met some amazing men in the last couple of years but find it really hard to make that step into a committed relationship. Don’t know if I ever will.

          • Jode70 –

            You’ll know, because next time you will MAKE SURE he devotes himself as much to you as you would to him. JUST AS MUCH and don’t settle for less.

        • ” Or I wonder if one day, he’ll dump me with an announcement of how he never really cared about me, and then list all the things “wrong” with me.”

          THIS exactly. That’s how I feel.

    • ANewWoman,

      Never say never. After being chumped for 16 years, I thought I’d never, ever, marry again. Ate that shit sandwich and didn’t want another. Then six years ago today I was diagnosed with cancer. I was five years into a monogamous relationship with another former chump. I remember thinking that if the narcissistic ex was still in the picture, he would have left instantly on hearing the news. Instead, I had someone who held my hand for eight hour chemo treatments and told me I was beautiful with or without hair. Someone who was supportive and loving and normal while everyone around me sorted themselves into three categories: crisis junkie, instantly unavailable folks (who said if I needed anything, just call), and real people who get that it’s not contagious. I married that wonderful man four years ago because he is a keeper and he’d shown that consistently for seven years. He passed the test, and it was a rigorous one.

      I think the best match for someone who has had to accommodate a selfish demanding person to his or her own detriment is another person who has had to accommodate a selfish demanding person to his or her own detriment. A cooperative relationship with both people working together to make each other happy is a very amazing thing. i wouldn’t have believed it possible back in the bad old days.

      • Survivor: Your story makes me cry (both the cancer and your second marriage story). I am still in that trying-to-harden-myself phase (only 2 weeks since I filed, with the drama of settlement coming up), where I have to convince myself that being alone is still better than the deception, gaslighting, and emotional trauma of living with a cheater.

        It’s good to know that there are upstanding people with whom one can have intimate relationships. I can’t give in to hope yet as a hardened-heart helps my resolve, but perhaps I can in the future.

        • Tempest,

          Being alone is not a problem. You’ve probably been alone for longer than you know. Being alone is solitude, tranquility after the storm. You can read in bed. Cook what you like. Stay up late or get up early. Reconnect with friends and family who were nudged out of your life. It’s about recreating your self after having to turn cartwheels to try to keep someone else happy, and always coming up short in someone else’s mind. You can be anyone you wish.

          So now, to protect yourself, you should get angry, and stay angry until your proper walls are rebuilt. Value yourself. Value what you have to show for the time lost to a loser. Nothing is wasted. You are stronger now for being treated like a doormat because a doormat can’t do what you can. You can shake off that misery and find peace and quiet and a new life. It will take work on your part, and it will take time. But it will be real.

          In the words of a long ago mentor, “Courage is all you lack. If you need to reach down to your toenails to pull up your strength, do it!”

          Good luck to you, and stay strong my friend.

          • Survivor–thanks! you made me cry again (but in a good way). You’re right that I have been very lonely for most of the 24 years of my relationship/marriage (my therapist said the same thing after listening to me). And I have TONS of hobbies and books to read and excellent friends with integrity, so I am looking forward to a period of “me” time to indulge all those things (couldn’t do so before because of mr. cheater’s demands on me).

            I have no problem being alone the rest of my life; still beats the alternative of this lonely marriage. But it’s also nice to know that there may be options–alone with lots of hobby time & reading, or a fulfilling relationship in the future.

            Thank you so much–I needed that pep talk today!

            • Tempest,

              You will have such peace when you are done with the process of getting free. And you will have every option open to you. When you hear the clang of the prison gate shutting behind you, you will turn around to face the sun, and it will feel good. Trust that it will. Water yourself like a garden, and you will blossom. You will have a full life. A long wait for that, but hey, these things happen.

              Take care of yourself. You are precious, and mighty!

          • I found incredible peace living alone, no longer wondering what type of shitstorm I would encounter each night.

      • Survivor, your story is so inspiring, not just for beating cancer, but finding a new love. I’m happy for you both. I hope a good and honest love is in my future too.

    • In a million years I will never understand the concept of an “open relationship”, because as I’ve heard mentioned here, someone is destined to get the short end of the stick. Just like everyone else, I also ask, what’s the point of even getting married? I just don’t get it, and will always consider this to be cheating. I also wonder how in the world does it even come up in a conversation? (lol) Hugs…

      • I could never be in an “open marriage”. Too weird for me. It would not offer the security I want.

    • Yeah, I think this too. But I see it as healthy cynicism so that we don’t wear the rose coloured glasses and smoke the hopium pipe too hard ever again. Cynicism about people being shitheads is never a bad thing – I call this my ‘bullshit detector’.

  • Way to aim low, Vicki and Kira. Why try to accomplish anything meaningful or find anything good in this world, when distractions are all around us, like fast food joints lining the highway? Go ahead. Stuff your moral maws with fat and salt and sugar—and self delusion. It suits you.

    Me? I’m holding out for something better. I want to sit down at the feast that Annie and Danny made for themselves. Having dumped my cheating “fast food” spouse, you can find me in the kitchen cooking up something special with my sweetheart. I suppose you might call it . . . Thanksgiving dinner.

    • Beautifully said, Normar. I want the same for you, me, and all the chumps here at CL. There rare days when I can imagine that I’ll love and be loved again, and for a brief moment I’m filled with joy and adoration. The best I can say with my broken heart is that I am cautiously optimistic.

  • “Just look at the language that’s used to talk about it. Those who engage in it are either promiscuous, putting themselves and others at risk of sexually transmitted diseases, or cheaters, with a breakup being the expected outcome once an affair is discovered. It’s all about diseases, betrayal, secrecy, and deception.”

    Wow. Um the risk of sexually transmitted diseases comes from having sex, even with one person. And it goes up the more partners you have. That’s a medical fact so yes, they are indeed putting themselves and others at risk of sexually transmitted diseases. I’ve had more than one partner. I am fully aware that my risk increased not only for myself but for other partners. Duh. Cheating is about secrecy, betrayal and deception since it’s all about breaking rules unilaterally and keeping your sig other/spouse in the dark. “It’s all about diseases, betrayal, secrecy and deception.” Yes indeed. I couldn’t phrase it better.

  • Wait a minute, I think we have something here. I place for cheaters to go!

    Oh, hold on, cheaters don’t like OPEN relationships. Where’s the fun of deception? How can they practice their lies? The secret is no longer a secret….how boring. No danger, no excitement.

    ….I won’t be special !!!!

    At least I know my chump is faithful. I need my foot in intimacy even though I don’t know what it really means other than it feels safe for those moments I need safe, stability, loyalty, admiration as a devoted spouse, father, mother and love.

    SO, sorry chumps, you won’t find most of our cheaters going there.

    **Poor Vicky Larson. She thinks she can sail without a rudder. Obviously she has never been out to sea in a storm.**

    **Patently bullshit.**

    • Vicky is not the sharpest tool in the shed. We have read her idiotic stuff on here before, as CL mentioned.
      I seem to recall a little back and forth between CL and Tracy ( or maybe it was one of the other interchangeable writers on this stuff at Huffpo).
      It was pretty lopsided. Too much Candlepower from CL. I am sure it would be much the same if Esther took her on, as well.

  • Listened. Cried. This is all I ever wanted!!! But I did not get.

    God….I hope someday I have that!!!!

  • I always explain my divorce by saying that my ex decided that we should have an open relationship, he just forgot to tell me. I will never be someone’s back up plan again! If this is what you want DON’T get married.

  • The people who argue the fact that cheating is just to be expected from a marriage are either cheaters themselves, never experienced being cheated on or are chumps that contiueously forgive and spakle the rest of the life of the marriage.

    I have a cousin that was cheated on and she took the route to “save ” her marriage and claims that it’s the best thing for her kids. She claims that her spouse really does love her although he cheated on more than one occasion causing her to have a physcotic episode. Yet when she recovered from that she stated that forgetting all the past and moving on with her husband was the best thing for her family. She boAsts that now that they have two homes and happier than ever.

    My take is that behind closed doors it’s different that it seems. I choose not to stay married to a cheater, not to ignore the fact that he cheated, I trust that he sucks and that this is best desicion for my children in the long run. I respect her choice but I stand firm on mine no matter what hell my stbxh puts me thru in the divorce process.

    • Yeah, that’s precisely what it is – the only ones who condone that bullshit are the ones who do it themselves.

  • My cheater did the very common cheater thing of becoming abusive while he was having his affair – but maybe these people feel it is some kind of badge of courage for a man to physically threaten and emotionally abuse his wife and children for getting in his way of the pursuit of his non-monogamy. Those little children deserve to have their dad calling them assholes for taking up the time he could have spent pursuing happiness!

    • Very common, indeed. Both my XWs ramped up their abuse while cheating( and, it had been formidable , already).
      In a way , it made leaving them a lot easier as they had killed my love even before I found out about the cheating.

  • To use Biblical language, these authors have exchanged the truth for a lie. Bad words are used to describe bad things like cheating and possibly exposing unsuspecting faithful partners to stds. It sounds bad because it IS bad!

  • I don’t really have the energy to squabble with the non-monogamists about their decision to have sex with everyone they are attracted to. But I do take issue with the way they promote non-monogamy, and I do wonder why they feel a need to promote it. In every single written piece I’ve read, that is designed to promote open relationships, the standard MO is to criticize monogamy. In that article alone, open relationships and their participants were described as (exact words) exciting, having a badge of courage, brave, empowered, exciting, confident, and outgoing. The words used to describe monogamy and monogamists were, dangerous, shut down, and damaged. Now, something is wrong with THAT picture. Who the hell are these people to hinge their entire argument on crap like that? I know a lot of people who have monogamous relationships and they don’t strike me as any of those things. Nor are they uninterested in the happiness of their partner, another claim made against us, because gee, if it would make your partner happy to fuck the entire neighborhood (a dubious claim) then you are a bad, horrible person for not wanting that for him or her. Something about that kind of logic gives me a migraine, but the swingers are all over it. I feel that their perceptions about what happiness is, and who is responsible for a persons happiness are askew, but my guess is they aren’t capable of understanding that. But I find their argument that your partner being happy (via having sex with other people) is more important than your jealousy, to be specious at best.

    Another thing that makes me laugh about these folks are their rules. No overnights, no cuddling, etc. I even read one article about open relationships and one couple had a no kissing rule. All of this flies in the face of their claims that they are so trusting and they want their partner to be happy. Apparently, they don’t trust them enough to kiss during sex. And what if that makes them happy? They can’t simultanrously claim one thing (I trust, I am secure, I want my partner to be happy) and then set up rules that point to the fact that, hey, those things aren’t necessarily true.

    Ms. Larson responded to my comment that their rules are a joke by saying that monogamists had rules. I beg to differ. Monogamists have VOWS, and there’s a big difference. Most monogamous relationships don’t have rules until someone breaks the vows, and that tells you all you need to know about rules vs vows, as well as the primary difference between open and monogamous relationships. But, they can’t see that because they are too caught up in beating up on monogamy as their argument for non-monogamy. But there’s no argument there. They just need to own the reasons they have decided to be non-monogamists. I understand why they are loathe to do it though, because in most cases, it’s s painful bunch of crap to admit to, IMO.

    • I think self confident, honest and brave people don’t prattle on about what they do, they just do it. People who believe in themselves and the path they have chosen don’t have the need to disparage the paths of others who have chosen an honest path.

    • of course they must have rules. because nothing says you trust your partner to have sex with another person without having rules in place. because sticking your tongue in the other persons mouth is betrayal but it is ok to stick your dick into the other person who ha. because staying overnight means you are investing too much time, and effort into that other person, but as long as it is just a quick fuck at her place then it is understandable, and agreeable. cuddling indicates some kind of affection, where blowjobs, handjobs and sex is just getting their needs fulfilled….

      who the fuck thinks like that? how can they even say they are ok with their partner fucking some other person. would it be okay if i hit my XH in the head with a two by four every time i had an orgasm when we used to have sex? what if that is what made me happy?

      • I’ve no problem at all with people who conduct ‘open relationships / swinging lifestyles’ just as I have no problem at all with people who choose to be celibate – so long as these choices are made openly, honestly and with the full knowledge and consent of anyone being touched by these decisions. I actually think people who choose an authentic polyamorous lifestyle must obey at least one rule we know cheaters are incapable of abiding by – RESPECT. There must be a conversation that goes on with truly authentic swingers where either party can bail on the arrangement at anytime it makes them uncomfortable to continue with the lifestyle. TRUST – the other low value emotion according to cheaters – must, surely, be high value to authentic polyamorous couples. I can believe there really are people who can live authentically in this lifestyle, just maybe not as many as people like this Larson woman would like to believe. I am amazed a ‘therapist’ can’t figure out what fundamentals are missing in the cheater character that excludes them from the call to polygamy these facile arguments are meant to represent.

  • Cheating is lying. No other explanation needed. I don’t want to be married with a liar.

  • Loved the Danny and Annie story even if it made me cry a little. The Viki and Susan story, yeah not so much.

    Polyamory isn’t for me but I don’t begrudge the people who practice it because to each his own right? It’s also not the same thing as cheating but I have to say that I do so enjoy the way people twist things around to make their own justifications. I think I’ll pass on the word salad and have a healthy helping of sweet potatoes instead!

  • OK – I haven’t listened yet (Tracy’s introduction had me crying a bit before I even pressed the big white arrow).

    Just before I go voluntarily to reduce myself to a blubbering wreck I just want to say – Tracy you so make me laugh! – ‘Who breaks rules? Oh, you know, rebels and shit. Good luck with that’ Hahahaha 😀

    My favourite smile angels are ‘Modern Family, Terry Pratchett and YOU Tracy – thanks so much for the giggles 😀

    Right – so got that out there before I go all maudlin’ – Euston, I’m going in …….

  • Oye! Yeah my cheater decided half way through our marriage that we had an open-marriage, just forgot to tell me about it. I think it’s hilarious that some of these poly folk think they are so much more enlightened than us, and are impervious to lying and deception.

    Ha! My X is a prime example of that. He claims to now be poly and have open-relationships, but he is a lair to everyone! No matter who he is with, or new sexual orientation he claims to now be, he lies. Simple. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya’ !

  • Why, oh why must we insist on saying lying, breaking promises/commitments, gaslighting, blameshifting, and lack of empathy for those close to us are terrible things?

    Obviously it’s mind control enshrined in pejorative language with words like “cheater” and “asshole” and “liar”. The thing to do is create words that sound nicer and hand out badges of honor to anybody who would normally be described like this.

  • Danny and Annie are special people, awesome clip. God bless them. One sad thing struck me though. I thought I had this type of relationship for many, many years, and I suspect many others here did too.

    • well said. and i agree. i did think i had that kind of relationship. it never occurred to me that he didnt feel the same way that i did. i bet danny and annie had issues, trouble and problems in their marriage just like everyone else, but they managed to work thru those and stay together. i used to think that the problems and issues i had in my marriage were workable and fixable. i never realized that he wasnt even trying to work it or fix it, his answer was to go out drinking and fuck the first hood rat that “understood” him and agreed “he wasnt a bad person”….. i definitely did not know that he was capable of betrayal, dishonesty, and unaccountability that he showed me in the end. it truely shocked me how cruel and hateful and evil he really is.

      • I did too. My XH and I worked at the same place and I had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphatic cancer. I couldn’t be in the sun at all because of the chemo and a call was put out in the company newsletter that I needed some help. This sweet man (XH) showed up to help me. He was so good to me and started helping me around my house with other things. Before we knew it we had fallen in love and he would come to chemo with me and hold my hand. I thought God had sent me an angel. When they told me that I was in remission I agreed to marry him. Three years after we were married he was diagnosed with Stage 4 head and neck cancer. His treatment was a nightmare. It made mine look like a day at the beach. He almost died several times. Once they told me not to expect him to live through the night. After his treatment they didn’t think it was successful and his specialists told him ‘to get his affairs in order.’ The thought of losing my precious husband was excruciating.

        Somehow he beat it. He insisted we renew our wedding vows on our anniversary. Four months later I caught him fucking Skank Woman at a sleaze bag motel.

        I haven’t been able to trust a man since. Most days I’m at Meh but some days I’m not. The holidays are approaching and they get hard. He’s still with her. Living the good life, I guess.

    • Yes, I thought I had this kind of relationship. But, my Spidey sense was also tingling! We were so close, and yet, he was hiding and I could tell.
      I think what Annie and Danny had, that I didn’t, was a deep respect and admiration for each other.
      They are so cute!

      • I loved the Annie & Danny story. So beautiful!

        I think I knew deep down that I did not have the Annie & Danny relationship. Before I discovered D-Day, my mother was dying in the hospital and the love that I saw between her and my father moved me so deeply. They had been married 50+ years and you could feel the love they had for each other in that hospital room. I remember being so struck by that because I knew in my gut that if it were me lying in a hospital bed, I’m not sure my STBXH would have been right there beside me. He probably would have been chasing some nurse down the hallway. Ugh! Even then I knew he sucked and never had that love for me.

  • Hey Rebels – here’s an idea – why not rebel against your own rebelliousness and NOT cheat – how Cool would that be?

  • “Just look at the language that’s used to talk about it.” –> What they say about monogamists who criticize non-monogamy. Well, like I said, they don’t have an issue with doing the same thing to monogamy. Indeed, that’s THE PRIMARY WAY they argue for non-monogamy, by beating down monogamy with all sorts of negative connotations. Non-monogamists are freeeeeee, loving, trusting, secure, exciting, courageous, brave, etc. ad nauseam. Monogamists, well, we’re just big ole sticks in the mud, we hook our partners up to balls and chains, we are jealous, controlling, shut down, DANGEROUS, and we really really don’t want our partners to be happy. HUH???? (Now, what if I need monogamy to be happy and my spouse wants to screw around? Whose happiness counts here?) Their arguments really don’t have any place in the dialogue, but now that they’ve made them, I’ll say they are all shallow, specious, stupid, and fly in the face of sound logic. They are a House of Cards. They need to own their desire to have sex with other people. Or, own their desire to keep the peace with a partner who wants that. Whatever it is that caused them to want a non-monogamous relationship, OWN IT. Because all of this criticism of monogamy, it’s just plain old bullshit. My guess is most of them ended up in a non-monogamous relationship after one partner proved incapable of monogamy. And it’s just too painful for them to admit that and so they create scenario that they are so loving and brave that they want this lifestyle that they’ve chosen. Yeah, whatever. You go girl with that twisted way you explain your reality!!!! I’ll take being single, celibate, and divorced from someone who thought losing his entire family (grandkids included) was worth fucking an attractive co-worker. If that’s the kind of stuff that brings him happiness (screwing co-workers), I’m glad he can do it now, because TRULY, I do and did want him to be happy, but my happiness counts too.

    • Hooking our partners up to balls and chains huh? Snarky me would say ‘but that could be quite kinky if that’s what floats your boat’ and that would be considered the opposite of ‘boring’ – but that might be a wee bit too far over the line. 😀

  • I think “realist,” “rebel,” “sophisticate,” and “modern” have become synonyms for “narcissist.”

    • I hope not. I like to think of myself as a fairly pragmatic person in terms of social awareness, and my inclination is to suspect anything that wants to tear everything down and remake it according to some ideological ideal, especially when there’s no indication that other views were even considered.

      I would call that being a realist. I would call the fact that value placed monogamy has not only not gone away, it’s kind of in resurgence, and there just might be a reason for that people might want to consider before they write off the value others place on monogamy, for example.

  • “Just look at the language that’s used to talk about it.” –

    D’you know, I really really hope that ‘therapist’ Susan Pease Gadoua has clients who refuse to pay for her counseling, and that journalist Vicki Larson has publishers who refuse to pay for her articles – and then when they go to court for BREACH OF CONTRACT how they’ll manage to do that without using ANY negative language!

    Oh please Susan and Vicki, please tell us boring, uncool, monogamists who insist on pissing on the parades of wannabe polyamorists with our negative language, just how are YOU going to manage YOUR breach of contract – I’m waiting with baited breath for that lesson!

    • I don’t know why espousing infidelity is considered “cool” or “edgy.” Who is cooler than Jon Hamm? And he has been in a long-term, faithful relationship. I happen to think Stephen Colbert & Jeff Bridges & Jon Steward are pretty hip–all faithful in long-term marriages.

      Any other examples?

      • Many years ago I used to really admire that Mel Gibson was a father of several trillion to his wife of many years. I assumed he was monogamous and honorable and, at was the ‘Brad Pitt’ of his time. Sadly, he fucked that all over, turned out to be a fully paid up member of the Narc fruitloop brigade, and now I can’t even bear to look at him, let alone watch any of his movies – stupid sod!

        I love Brad Pitt as an actor, but – along came Ange -narcypants -llina, with her red flag history of shite, and I’m getting to the same stage with Brad – can’t watch him anymore! As for ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’ the film the apparently got it together on – grrr – I’d sooner watch ‘Today in Parliament’ than those two gettin’ it on!

        • *correction to earlier post–Jon Stewart

          It’s true that monogamous-today people may turn out not to be later. I keep my fingers crossed that that won’t happen. However, Jeff Bridges has been outspoken about not cheating (though some people took his subtle sarcasm, “Well, live and learn. Go ahead and do it, and we’ll see how that goes.” to imply that he was for it. I like to think of him as a thinking-woman’s sex symbol–not as stupendously handsome as some others, but talented & smart & honorable. Same for John Lithgow, who has been married to the same woman for decades, and (be still, my heart!) writes children’s books. By all accounts, Paul Newman was also faithful and talked about “why go out for hamburger when I can have filet mignon at home?” It doesn’t get much more handsome than Paul Newman at his prime (and frankly, even at 70).

          I find it interesting that since my growing dissolution with my narc Alpha-Male, I shifted from finding bad-boys like Alec Baldwin appealing, to preferring Jeff Bridges & John Lithgow. Let’s hope that portends a trend in my future relationships, too!

          • I always thought Jeff Bridges was pretty hot. Did you ever see him in “The mirror has two faces.” He was dorky but I thought he was smokin! Maybe that’s just me.

            • Thanks for the film recommendation, cheaterssuck.

              But–did a bit more reading. Bridges may actually have cheated, from the sound of it. Another one bites the dust.

          • Paul Newman admitted to cheating on and divorcing his first wife, with whom he had children, for Joanne Woodward, his AP, who became his second wife.

      • Hugh Jackman, Pierce Brosnan, as far as I know they are happy in long term marriages.

  • Let’s just assess the underlying premises of the “realist” and “rebel” positions–they typically use Darwinian theory to justify that monogamy is unrealistic or impossible. I know Darwinian theory, including its application to behavior, pretty well. The “realist” arguments are misplaced.

    Yes, an URGE to spread one’s seed may be innate (especially among men, who have little investment in the pregnancy + birth side of the equation). But we also evolved a PREFRONTAL cortex that is designed to suppress primitive urges, both based on reasoning and knowledge of the consequences of acting on those urges. For example, Cosmides & Tooby explain our urge to eat salt & fats on an evolutionary basis–this urge would have been adaptive in environments where salt & fats are sparse. Does that mean we should all gorge on potato chips every day? NO–because our prefrontal cortex & modern science tell us that to do so is unhealthy and has health consequences, especially in our current environment where fats are so plentiful.

    Other examples? If I am hungry, I might have a primitive desire to yank the cinnamon bun out of someone’s hands at the mall. Why don’t I? Because my prefrontal cortex tells me to suppress that urge so that (a) I don’t act immorally & take something that belongs to someone else, and (b) that the person might rightly slap me for doing so, ergo–negative consequences would ensue.

    And let’s face it, if someone steps on our foot while standing in line for the movies, we primitively feel a frisson of anger and have to suppress the urge to push them off. But our prefrontal cortex accepts their apology, realizes there was no ill intent, and that it would be over-the-top to hurt them back.

    My STBX tried to justify his cheating behavior by saying almost every male he had spoken to had similar urges to screw someone other than their spouse. Hey, I grant you your urges. I have them too (had George Clooney showed up to try & seduce me before his marriage, I would have had pretty strong urges to take him up on his offer. But I WOULD NOT HAVE, because I was married). Have your urges, admit them. It is *acting on* those urges and ignoring your prefrontal cortex that I have a problem with.

    Furthermore, Darwin would not have agreed with the application of his theory to justify cheating. He was an immensely moral man.

    (okay, diatribe over).

    • Yes – and watch any natural history programme and you’ll soon see that it is a natural instinct to ‘pair bond’ until at least the offspring are raised to independence. Also, note how many social animals ostracise the males (sorry, male chumps – just don’t recall ever watching this happen to a female) who do not successfully mate and ‘pair bond’ – if cheaters and cheater apologists must insist on referring to innate instincts, lets get the full picture, eh?

      • and btw – ‘The Great I Am’ was too cowardly to be even able to punch his way out of a paper bag – so highly unlikely he’d have been an ‘alpha male’ contender!

        • LOL. Well, I think humans have always been a mixed bag, and there have always been people who would take great offense over their partner taking up with somebody else while they were busily doing the same thing.

          And there have always been people who cared about their partner to the point of not considering such things.

          I think they whole pseudoscience of “blaming it on my genes” is just a more recent incarnation of “the Devil made me do it”. Apologies to Flip Wilson.

    • Absolutely. Only cheaters, toddlers and those with impaired characters think that just because they feel an urge, they have to act on it. Being a human being means supposedly being able to suppress instincts or desires with rational thought. Too bad cheater-apologists are apparently unable to do that, at least when it comes to their urges for sex. I’ll bet they have no problem in using a toilet, refraining from inappropriate behavior in front of their boss or not picking up a piece of food off the street and eating it, however, all of which are unnatural behaviors. It’s funny how their “evolution and instinct trump rational thought” bullshit only applies when they have an urge to fuck somebody.

    • What these fucktards fail to realise is that there are women who do this, too.
      Case fucking closed on their shitty evolution-meaning-uncontrollable-urge-to-spread-his-seed shit.

  • They are weak minded people making poor arguments for weak minded behavior. People who own their actions do not excuse their actions. The harsh reality is, life isnt fair, but simply keeping your word is all a good chump ever asked for. If we qpplied the poor logic of the huffpo contributors it would be okay to steal from a client because its rebelious and realistic, right?

  • The Danny & Annie story was just one of many of those “I will love you till you take your last breath stories pitched to me by my cheating xSO. He’d cry every time because he was sentimental that way and because his health was deteriorating. I move in, improve his overall health(medical records for documentation) and within 6 months he was ready to take on a new chump. Bye-bye Chumpy. He also tole me the time and effort I spent was me being “up in his business” and my being “controlling”. At least his Mom & Sis were grateful. Jerk will probably outlive me now and he’s 10 years older. Go me. Pfffttt!!!

    • Chumpy–they do just take and take until there’s nothing left to give, don’t they? Soul suckers. Thank goodness we chumps have so much goodwill that we always have some to give even after the cheater has tried to suck us dry.

  • I work as a care assistant and see elderly couples look after one another and share deep love long after the sexual spark is a distant memory.
    One man had a brief and horrible marriage to a lying cheat followed by a lengthy hospital stay when he got TB.
    While in hospital recovering a pretty young woman was admitted and they became friends. She dedicated a song to him on the hospital radio system and became his second wife.
    Sadly she became ill in middle age and required total nursing care for the last few years of her life…could no longer speak, do anything for herself and doubley incontinent.
    So did he look out for a new woman…NO. He kept her at home. Still bought her the perfume she had loved to wear. Red roses on valentine day. As she could not write any more he displayed her last cards to him on special occasions.

    I believe in forgiveness in as far as not holding on to the rage and bitterness goes. I do not bear malice. I realise the truth in the saying that resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other guy to suffer and die. It does not mean that I accept the way I was treated…just that I accept that it happened and whether or not it destroys me is my own decision. Forgiveness is claiming back the power in your own life and I think the best revenge really is too live well.

    • {{Me standing on tall bench waving pom-poms!!!!}}
      Beautifully put, Mary!
      And, thanks for sharing that amazing account!

      ForgeOn, Nation…..

  • If a couple wants to have an open relationship where BOTH parties buy-in and make mutual rules then they should do that.

    I had to give this analogy to my cheating asshat because he will never GET it:

    “Think of our marriage as a two person game. There are rules, codes of conduct and public vows, legal contracts. During the game when one player decides unilaterally to change or modify the rules unbeknownst to the other player in order to “win”‘, that’s cheating.

    So when you decided that our marriage had “caveats” (his term to forgetting his vows, etc..) and didn’t tell me, you began to exploit me. Moreover, when your fuck buddies, both long and short term, knew about me and your caveats, you had introduced additional players to our game without my knowledge.

    If I had known about all of your rule changes and additional players, I would have had a legitimate role as a player in our game. You denied me that basic courtesy and simply exploited and used me so you could win indefinitely.”

    Who knows if this message got through his poor tortured black hole. There is ZERO mystery about monogamy- it’s based on trust and honest communication. The authors of that article are mixing apples (monogamy) and oranges (open relationships).

    • Interestingly, the non-monogamists seem to believe that there is no dishonesty in their relationships. Surely they aren’t that deluded. They don’t think that the possibility exists that their partner *is* spooning with someone? Or having an overnight when their rule is no spending the night with a fuck buddy? They don’t think their partner can develop an emotional attachment that threatens their “primary” bond? They seem to believe that because they have these “rules” and they have this super-duper open communication, that there’s a greater chance they won’t be betrayed. I call bullshit. People don’t betray each other because they have rules or vows. They betray each other because they are assholes, and I have no doubt that there’s a similar percentage of people who are assholes in non-monogamous relationships as there are in monogamous relationships. They embarrass themselves when they write these articles are try to make themselves sound like shining examples of humanity, not capable of betraying a loved one.

      • One of the OW at the end of my marriage was in an open marriage. Her marriage apparently had rules, however, one of which was that she could only fuck certain other men, none of whom were my ex. That didn’t stop her from not only fucking him, however, but also having threesomes with him and another women, and triangulating with that other woman like crazy for ex’s attention/affection.

        So much for those “rules” in keeping their open marriage “honest.”

        • The fun for cheaters is breaking the rules and maintaining a power differential in their favor.

  • My STBX likes to say how monogamy is not “natural,” and in some ways she was just acting according to the dictates of nature when she had her 6 month affair (which still seems to be lingering; I can’t exactly tell but I don’t care). But nothing in our culture is specifically dictated by some sort of unchanging natural essence. As so many have stated very eloquently, cheating is more about betrayal than it is about actual sex. To be betrayed by someone you had absolutely trusted is a form of violation that you can never come back from. I am still with my wife, and at times I forget briefly what happened. But then it all rushes in on my again and I feel the same shock and horror. And that horror is about both recognizing and not recognizing the person I thought I loved. It’s the craziest thing, and most nightmarish reality, that I have ever dealt with.

    Now I wrestling with when to file. Before or after the holidays really kick in. We have three kids, and I don’t want to ruin things for them. But I can’t stand being around my wife for one day longer knowing how horribly she shredded my heart.

    • Charles–especially with kids, this divorce process takes a long time. Go file. One, it gives you a psychological boost to know that you have taken agency over your life after a long period of deceit. Two–I have been moving quickly, but am still being told there is no way to make the 60-day waiting period & that the divorce can’t possibly be final for at least a month after that (even though my STBX and I are trying to come to full agreement).

      If there are any issues regarding custody or financial arrangements, it will take a looooong time. Might as well get the process started, and grab control of your life–it feels good. I even filed on my daughter’s birthday (with her blessing) so I didn’t have to wait a minute more after a contentious weekend with my H.

      • Thanks Tempest. It’s such a huge step. It scares the hell out of me. I know I am a chump but I still feel like I will be the cruel one when I file. It has to be done though. I can’t live like this. The worst part I think is that my wife will not express regret. She says “I’m sorry my actions hurt you” in a matter of fact way. But she refuses to go any further. I know I am not perfect of course, but the more I read on this site the more I think I married a person with no conscience. I have this constant sense of subjective vertigo — like I don’t know who I am or who anybody is. I know I’ll find my way eventually but (as I’m sure most on this site know) this is tough stuff. I read all the time that I am supposed to be working on “me” right now, but I can’t seem to get myself together enough to start doing that.

        • Charles–I know, I was struck by the absolute enormity of the decision to divorce when I was handed the lawyer’s contract. It is scary beyond anything I (we) have ever done. But think of it as small steps–filing is just a small step, and all states have a waiting period before a divorce can be final. So you could change your mind (and you’ll occasionally think about doing so. but don’t!).

          Yup, maddening, but you are probably married to someone who has no conscience about having deceived you, but is only (perhaps) upset she got caught. We don’t think like them; that’s why we were chumped.

          And you absolutely MUST do things for yourself–I’d strongly advise therapy (I had not ever had a therapist before d-day, but it was the best decision I made). I then started to going to plays, made a new friend, etc. And ask for social support *anywhere* and from *anyone* you can Small things make a difference to healing. You have to take care of yourself, because cheater-wife will not. That is the one certainty in all of this.

        • Charles,

          Your wife sounds just like my ex wife. She will show absolute ZERO empathy. She will only say “sorry” in a sarcastic way. It infuriates me so much. Our divorce was finalized just about 2 weeks ago. It went fairly fast even though she did stall it a couple times. It was filed in July and finally november 12th. However we did not have any kids between us.

          You say you feel like the cruel one if you file. Please Please Please don’t say that again. How so cruel it was of her to do that to you. Think of how so cruel she behaves now in regards to it as if she didn’t really anything all that bad.

          Take control of your life. Show her you are not a doormat anymore. Divorce is the result of her actions and it is HER fault. She consciously made the decision to spread her legs and let another man stick his dick in her. Her husband and her kids were at home while she did this. Did she care? NO! Is that the kind of example you want around your kids?

          Believe it or not your kids can feel this tension in the air even if they don’t know exactly what happened and this tension is causing them stress. Its not doing them any good to stay in that toxic situation. I would recommend that you get all the evidence you need and get to an attorney and let the attorney handle everything.

          Don’t wait on this. Get the process rolling. If you want to wait til after christmas to actually serve the papers then okay but at least get them filed. Take control of your life. NOthing is more liberating.. I am not lying to you. I read your story and it sounds so similar to mine. We did not have our own kids between us but there were my step kids that i was responsible for and I worried about them as if they were my own. I am very angry at her for the examples she set for them. Unfortunately I have no rights to them. But you do. Exercise those rights and protect them from that toxic situation. That is your job as a father.

          Please join our discussion board and post anything you are looking for advice on. the board is a little hidden right now as chumplady is under contruction but if you click the contact tab on the top scroll down to where it says “Chump Chat” and click “private general” after you log on. I really hope to see you there sometime.

          I am wishing you luck brother.

        • Charles, I second Tempest’s advice. And BTW, “working on you” can be very simple stuff. Do you eat right, do you need some exercise but haven’t pulled yourself out to do it? Doing those things is working on you. Just thinking about what you want out of life is working on you. A therapist can help you through this stuff, you do need someone you can fully unleash to without worrying about burdening them or upsetting them. Jedi hugs!

          • Thanks Fred and Datdamwuf. Finding this site has surely been helpful. It’s nice to know that you’re not crazy, that the shit you’ve experienced is seriously whacked out nuts. And just in response to the original post, maybe monogamy isn’t “natural,” but neither are butt plugs or lingerie or satin sheets or Viagra or whatever else we use to enhance the pleasures of sex. But I want to put in a good word for monogamy anyway. I know that it’s what I want, not just because I like to think of sex and love as linked, but because it enables you to feel like your life is padded with love and trust and hope. Without those things the world can be a scary place.

          • Datdamwuf–as an aside, I sent the article you wanted to the email at hotmail (just let me know if you received it to make sure I didn’t mistype your email address and have it end up in the mailbox of a very surprised person!)

    • I’ve been there, Charles, and much of it sounds very familiar. “I’m sorry that this has hurt you, it was not my intention to hurt you.” “But there are reasons that this happened.” Very scary to have that breach of trust, the hurt, and almost surreal at times. The lack of empathy and insight from maybe the only person you trusted to really have your back can also be mind warping. I would wake up in the morning and be momentarily OK, and then it comes flooding back. Much, much more, we could go on for hours.

      I’m so sorry you are here, but trust me that it is a good place to be. You can search the internet for months and it is rare to find something that validates your feelings. And as far as friends and families go, they can be terrific (or maybe not so terrific), but I am absolutely, absolutely convinced that unless you have had this happen to you, there is no way to truly understand how it feels. The people here really get it, and we all very much need that.

      • Scary is right. But, once it was done a d I was out for a while, I had much more peace in my life.
        On the faux apology deal, I think it is extremely rare that these cheaters give a normal, sincere apology acknowledging that they alone are responsible for the abuse they inflicted. I think you will see this tendency/trait displayed in many areas of their lives.

    • Charles-I’m sorry you’re here and divorce is a big step. I was married for 27 years and I was sometimes paralyzed with being overwhelmed about how to untangle those 27 years. It was so hard to wrap my head around but as someone said before me, it’s a one step at a time process. Take the first step and eventually you can move to the next and so on.

      A good lawyer can help you figure the logistics and I’ve heard many people say on this site that the first person that files is usually the one that is favored in the settlement. Do it for that, if for no other reason. It’s hard to move on with your life with your cheater still entrenched in that life.

      Jedi hugs to you.

  • What I find most interesting is that the “open” agreement had plenty of rules. Rules that could be broken at any time and lied about. So it isn’t full on trust, now is it? What? You kissed her? You cuddled her? You forgot your condom? Cheaters are cheaters are cheaters.

    • Exactly. But, they are claiming that there is less “cheating” in non-monogamous relationships. I really doubt that. People are people are people. I don’t think non-monogamy is a cure for betrayal. But, they make that argument when they promote non-monogamy. I guess they have some study that backs that up, you know, because people tell the truth about telling lies. SMH

  • If divorce and marriage wasn’t such big business they could give us a test to make sure we are mentally and emotional qualified to make a commitment to one person. All I can think when I read about these quacks is “If you don’t believe in monogamy don’t get married. DUMBASS”.

    But of course they will never do anything like that. They encourage divorces. Its amazing how many divorces are filed in one small town every single day. Why is this? because people get rich off divorce. It costs about 400.00 just to file the papers that you filled out yourself.

    People are more likely to be encouraged to have failed relationships than to be committed and loving in their relationships. Hey its no big deal right? Millions of people get divorced every day and I think it was said 75% of them are due to cheating.

    This is a sick world we live in. There is no end in site. How depressing. Before I even consider remarrying I am going to want to make sure my partner is for real. But how can I do that? I am going to find a test and make sure she doesn’t have any hidden narcissist tendencies that I haven’t noticed.

    I think that should be a requirement.

    • Fred–I think we’re all now more aware of warning signs in people.

      Unfortunately, the Narcissistic Personality Inventory is easily fudged by smart people. My cheater came in at “normal” range on technicalities, and everyone at the table in the bar laughed out loud because he is so obviously narcissistic.

      • Yeah, my super narcissist STBX would never admit he has those qualities, but all you have to do is meet him once to see that he does.

        • Try really researching the Cluster B disorders and , also, run your new GF or BF past your friends and family and LISTEN to their impressions. Assure them you really want their true impressions.
          Post divorce a lot of folks came forward with stories they had kept inside for fear of pissing me off. I wish they would have told me. Not sure i would have listened. But, now , I would.

  • The one and only counseling session I went to with my ex, I told the counselor how she threatened to kill me. Poor cheatzilla responded, “I was messed up, you know I didn’t mean it.” to which I responded, “You told me you’d never cheat and you lied about that. How did I know you weren’t going to act on your words?” To which, and it’s the only thing I give the therapist credit for, he nodded his head in agreement. The problem is, once you’ve lied about the most intimate and special bond you have with your spouse, there’s really nothing you say or do that ever comes without the caveat that as a cheater you are capable of lying about anything. At that point there really is never a relationship based on trust, on whole faith, on the innocence of belief. Which is why I’ve maintained my own strict code, cheat and you’re gone. 10 months later we were divorced. Thank God.

    • The other day my STBX said, “I lie nine times and you accuse me of lying for the next 900 times.” I almost laughed in his face.

      • 9 times? Somehow I doubt it was only 9 times. What did he get caught lying about 9 times? If some of those lies were him saying stuff like “yes, he wants to spend all day taking his mother-in-law shopping”, I don’t think you’d be as upset. I’m going to guess that all those lies involved bigger betrayals of trust. In which case, one lie is enough to destroy anyone’s ability to trust him again.

  • Thanks for the decode on this trash.

    My problem with these types of articles is that it positions these people as ‘evolved’, ‘adult’ and ‘mature’ because they set their own terms. And, more importantly they ‘understand’ and ‘support’ each other. They talk through their issues and their fantasies.

    Hmmm….Sounds like what a good relationship should have.

    In reality, though, that is not the case.

    My EX told people we had a open relationship. But, woops, he forgot to tell me that part!

  • So basically, they’re trying to dress up cheaters with word salad bullshit and try and make it honourable as ‘open relationships’? Get fucked, you stupid sluts Susan and Vicki. You’re so far fucking removed from reality to not even be able to tell the fucking difference between deceit and truth. Fuck you.

    • So many of these arguments are made from a philosophical technique called reductio ad absurdem, a false assumption or fallacy in the structure of the premise, and thats why it bothers those of us who live in logical structures. A promise to a chump is a promise. A promise to a cheat is full of conditions that only they know because of their propensity for hiding their truth. Articles like this justify by bad logic. So Lania, my academic explanation aside, bravo, I concur.

  • I teach, and today a student from last year came in to ask for help on a college application. He had been vocal in class during a discussion on marriage and polyamory, and later he privately told me he was in a polyamorous relationship. He defended it (apparently my anti-cheating bias had been evident) and asked why he should want to reduce the enjoyment of someone he loves by inhibiting her actions? She should be Free, tralala. I laughed and told him to come back in ten years and we would discuss it.

    So tonight, one year later, he tells me his former girlfriend is now in a monogamous relationship with his best friend and that they had asked him if it was ok before they got involved. He recognized that he was a hypocrite if he said no, so he said it was fine, “but” he said, “now I have to deal with the jealousy and all that”.

    I laughed and laughed.

    (All the other players had also dropped out and he is now practicing celibacy.)

    • Well gee. He didn’t want to reduce her enjoyment by inhibiting her actions? WTF? What if she enjoyed spending having lots of expensive jewelry and the way to accomplish that was to rob banks? Is he going to encourage her to do it? Their logic, surrounding happiness and enjoyment and their partners, gives me headaches. It’s just such a House of Cards, so specious. It sounds great…who doesn’t want their partner to be happy? But, to just go along willy-nilly with all kinds of craziness? That’s just stupid. So many people in the comments section of that HuffPo article were impressed with the whole “her happiness is more important than my jealousy” outlook. Well, sign up for that. Let’s see how long she’s happy and how long you can deal with your end of the shit sandwich. Happiness is NOT found by doing every little thing you want to do.

    • I used to grieve the likely fact that I’ll never have that. But, I’m over it. I have a pretty good life and I’m not even sure that I want to give up my freedom, even for a “good” relationship. I enjoy living alone, not having to coordinate everything with another person, not having to shave my legs and share my closet or worry about someone else. It takes a lot of my energy to work (I’m a bedside nurse on a transplant unit) and I have lots of hobbies, and I have three grown kids and five little grands. My life is busy and full. I don’t need a man and it’s a relief to feel that I don’t even want one!! And I’m grateful for the other thing I’ll never have…a bunch of bullshit to contend with.

  • I have not had time to read all the responses yet, but will tonight.
    IMO, the crime of cheating (being non monogamous in a monogamous relationship) is that the Chump gets all the responsibility and work in the relationship, and the other person, the Cheater, gives all the good stuff the Chump should be getting away to someone else.
    It is as though if you are a man, you will be used as a paycheck, a growing 401K, a father to the children, a helping hand around the house, and a front to the world that your relationship is traditional. If you are a woman, you are an extra paycheck if you work, growing 401K, a maid, a cook, and a mother to his children, etc. This is a crime to be used in such a way while your spouse/significant other is giving all the good stuff to someone else. This is also why the shock of the often low quality person they do this with. You say WTF? Give everything we have up to have THAT?? It can be quite a shocker and an insult to see what kind of person can do this to your life..
    To propose that people ought to be OK being used as a worker bee/slave labor while they are out cavorting with others wining & dining, getting/giving the compliments, companionship, passion and intimacy with someone else is wrong on every level. Isn’t intimacy and the desire to have it with this one person the reason people get married?? The reason for the change in behavior of cheaters is they are getting all these needs met elsewhere, and now your value has plummeted. The cheater likes to think no harm is done if you don’t know, but in their selfishness they withdraw these same things from you and then deny it for a mind screw on top. It is all in your imagination. It is all about them and you haven’t even been considered.
    This kind of article is scary regarding the direction this world is going in. Maybe we can just have the maturity level of teenagers our whole lives and to hell with taking on adulthood. I sure wish I hadn’t made the investment in someone who was not making the same investment in me.

    • IMO, the crime of cheating (being non monogamous in a monogamous relationship) is that the Chump gets all the responsibility and work in the relationship, and the other person, the Cheater, gives all the good stuff the Chump should be getting away to someone else.

      Yes! I have often felt this way. I felt totally jipped of the good stuff when I was married to my cheater ex. In fact, this is one of the reasons I turn down married guys that hit one me aside from the fact that I have morals and I’m smart. I feel like his wife is working hard at work or at home and taking on the less pleasant side of marriage, but he is going to deny giving her the affection, sex, loyalty and companionship so that he can give that to some other woman who isn’t putting in the work while his wife gets to put up with all his crap. It really isn’t fair. She deserves better. All the guys that have cheater wives deserve better too.

  • Just realized this is an older post I think I missed. It is a good one. Bravo Carol for your insights into the BS!

  • I like the Danny/Annie story, but this line cracked me up:

    Danny said, “there’s a shelter when you get home, there’s a knowledge, knowing that you can hug somebody without them throwing you down the stairs and saying, ‘Get your hands off me.’

    Ha ha. I’ve NEVER thrown a guy down the stairs for trying to give me a hug. Now, I have gotten a little pissed if my butt gets grabbed, especially if the hugger was married. But, a platonic hug? No, I would not throw you for that.

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