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Dear Chump Lady, I put her through med school. She put me through hell.

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paralysisDear Chump Lady,

I don’t know where to go from here…

I’m a 40+ year old struggling male that has two beautiful kids (10, 13), two beautiful dogs, nice house in the suburbs and a beautiful wife of 17 years that I would do anything for. (And still do not want to live without).

I have a successful career (that I’m getting tired of) that enables us to have a pretty comfortable lifestyle. My wife quit her job and stayed home with the kids for the first 10 or so years when the children came. All part of the plan. When she started talking about going back to work she didn’t want to go back to the same old thing and decided to go back to school. I was all in — all I wanted was for her (us all) to be happy.

So back to school she goes, which I know was a huge undertaking and I was always proud of her (although never communicated). It was a local school so commuting was ideal and a couple years later she received her degree. Now off to medical school for her doctorate. I’m all in — the closest university was two hours away and I helped her find the perfect apartment, set her up and took on the full-time single parent role with her coming home a couple times a week. Medical school is tough (I could not do it). She studied a lot and I tried to give her all the space, time and resources she needed. (I felt like I gave, gave, gave and did everything I could).

I knew that we had that “taking each other for granted” phase going on, but I knew it was just temporary and school would be over soon and we could resume the perfect family life. She did have a few issues in the past with anxiety issues and she had counseling — she learned from it and even said it would be good for us to go to counseling to help us resolve some (perceived typical) issues of connecting — in all I felt the counseling was good for her but made me look a bit like a jackass. So I blew it off and told myself we were on the right tract. She is concentrating on schooling and I would be happy when it was over. Paradise was within reach!

D-Day: November 2014 — I get a social account message that says my wife has had an affair with one of her professors from the local college. “Bullshit” I say — I trust her with all my heart and we have it all! I couldn’t imagine my wife with someone else – she’s never really been that “into sex.” This doesn’t sound believable. I did some investigating and get some questionable but painful results so I confronted her. Turns out my perfect wife cheated on me for about a year! (August 2013 through August 2014 she estimated) and is relieved to get this “off her chest.”

I’m in a complete fog for about two weeks while she comes clean, answers all my questions, explains to me it was an emotional relationship that was far more than sex (makes it worse), she thought she loved him, he filled in the gaps from our relationship with intellectual conversations and positive influence. Stuff I was too busy for because of keeping our “life” going.

He was one of her (our) favorite professors (our age, super smart , blah blah) and I even thought he was an okay guy. He also was into fitness and helped her with diet / weight issues while in school and I didn’t even have a problem with them working out! I knew they were close (I thought it was a professional relationship) and totally trusted her — I wanted her to be happy.

After she graduated the college where he worked, it turns out he started pursuing her while away at school, telling her all of the right things. Working his way into her heart and using his knowledge of her (from previous schooling, weight issues, along with the stress and anxiety issues of the tough schooling she was going through, etc.) to FUCK HER for about a year. She knew it was wrong, felt trapped, tried to get away from him and broke if off a couple of months before I found out.

I do feel she is remorseful and truly does wish she could take it back. We have had so many late night conversations recently full of tears, apologies, new promises, and even some beautiful love making and laughs. We both want to move on — have a better, stronger relationship — but I am struggling. The gut-wrenching pain of the affair, year-long charade keeps coming back to me.

Now what?…

I am totally heart broken, having trust issues with her, can’t get over that fact that she fell in love with another man! I constantly go back and question everything that had happened within that time frame — where we had lots of fun trips, family vacations, Christmas, anniversary trip, concerts, etc. Meanwhile – She was using the life I set up for her in another town to fall in love, fuck, and dream of their new lives together, etc. (I’m such a chump.)

We have a large group of friends, mostly professionals, that I cannot bear to talk to about it — I would be devastated if I had to bear the shame, guilt, embarrassment to one of our close friends. I’m even more terrified someone close to us will ever find out somehow. I have a bad taste in my mouth from previous counseling relationships and I feel totally trapped. I don’t feel like I can talk to anyone.

I fight daily (minute by minute) swings anger, sorrow, affection towards her, self-doubt, etc. — questioning everything the last 20+ years of my life. My family means everything to me. I will do anything to keep us together and happy — I just want to get over this pain. This crippling gut-wrenching pain.

Help.

Please.

Erratic

Dear Erratic,

You’re within days of a D-Day and out of your mind with pain. (Totally to be expected.) Let’s recap.

You work hard at a career to support your family.

Your financial success enabled your wife to stay home with the kids.

You supported her decision to not return to the workforce, but retrain for another career.

You did single parent duty through her bachelor’s degree. What was that — 2 years? 4 years?

Then you support her to go even further — medical school. With all the rigors and expense therein.

She doesn’t commute — no she gets her own apartment. You now have less physical proximity to your wife and have physical custody of your kids, doing single-parent duty again day and night.

Meanwhile, you still provide family vacations, concerts, anniversary trips, etc.

I knew that we had that “taking each other for granted” phase going on.

WE???!! No Erratic, only ONE person in this story was taking the other for GRANTED and it was HER. And for granted? That’s a nice way to put it. How about she shat upon your monumental generosity by fucking another guy!

Oh right, but it’s a noble kind of fucking because she lost 20 pounds. Oh hang on, no it’s a noble kind of fucking because she fell in love with him, because he filled in the gaps from our relationship with intellectual conversations and positive influence. Stuff I was too busy for because of keeping our “life” going.

The only gap he filled was the one between her legs. Dude, you were busting your ass to support your family and support your wife through MEDICAL SCHOOL, don’t let this dreadful woman blameshift her affair on to YOU. Oh, you left gaps in the relationship did you? Forgot to brush up on your Kirkegaarde between schlepping children to appointments, working a full-time job, and cooking dinner? She gets to fuck him because you were too busy??? 

Busy doing WHAT Erratic? SUPPORTING HER ASS.

Yet the pretext for cheating on you is that you weren’t there for her enough!

Change the narrative, Erratic. SHE WAS NOT THERE FOR YOU.

That’s the truth.

Oh, hey, but look! You managed to keep it in your pants. Funny how that works.

How much scintillating banter are you getting, bro? Having intellectual chats with the 10 and 13 year old are you? So, who exactly were YOU fucking? No one but your wife? Connect the dots E — her affair has NOTHING to do with your imaginary inadequacies and EVERYTHING to do with her shitty character.

You were both in the same marriage. She cheated. You did not. The difference is you’ve got morals. You accepted a much greater burden of marital life than Dr. Cheaterpants. Your burdens didn’t land your genitals on the first willing volunteer. Why? Because you accept your burdens and try harder for your FAMILY. Out of love and honor. Dr. Cheaterpants is in it for HERSELF. Affairs are about entitlement and stifling empathy for you spouse and family. Cheaters do the cost benefit analysis, and fucking around wins out over your welfare every time.

After she graduated the college where he worked, it turns out he started pursuing her while away at school, telling her all of the right things. Working his way into her heart and using his knowledge of her (from previous schooling, weight issues, along with the stress and anxiety issues of the tough schooling she was going through, etc.) to FUCK HER for about a year. She knew it was wrong, felt trapped, tried to get away from him and broke if off a couple of months before I found out.

This is bullshit. Every single line.

I’ll wager you my Australian shepherd that her affair began when she was at the college where he worked, not after. I’m sure the “get me an apartment” idea played nicely into the existing affair.

He did not pursue her. That’s crap. She LET him pursue her. Unless he raped her at gunpoint, the sex was completely CONSENSUAL. She didn’t try to get away — no, she went back for seconds and third and fourth helpings. “She knew it was wrong.” Yeah, so wrong that she  swapped low-carb recipes and did lunge squats with the idiot. Yeah, his advances sure sound unwelcome! That’s why she claims she’s in LOVE with him. For over a YEAR. (That you know of, that timeline is bullshit too.)

She didn’t break it off. She was BUSTED.

Her entire narrative is self-serving.

And that, my friend, is genuine imitation Naugahyde remorse. You don’t have a damn thing to work with on this marriage, because she’s not one bit sorry. She’s sorry she got caught. She’s sorry your inadequacies drove her to it. She’d like you to just move on and not tell anyone! (Keeps cake alive.)

[I have] a beautiful wife of 17 years that I would do anything for. (And still do not want to live without).

There’s your problem. Start considering doing without her. As long as staying with her remorseless, fake-sorry ass is a non-negotiable, I cannot help you with your gut-wrenching pain.

As long as you’re okay being in a relationship where you give, give, give, give, give and she’s all “Hey, you missed a spot” (intellectual conversations there, under the sofa…) — you’re doomed to misery.

You want help with the pain? This is what you do. Pick yourself off the floor and find your badass. Stop accepting her shit. YOU call the tune. You decide if this relationship is acceptable to you, if this person has the values and character of someone deserving of your commitment. Me? I give her a failing grade. She’s a cheater, she fucked another man, and gives you blameshifting “apologies”, and has sex to distract you. (Oh hey! She found her sex drive after all!)

Start protecting yourself. Get tested for STDs. See a lawyer (don’t tell her, just do it). Ask for a credit report. If she won’t give you one, that’s your sign that she has debts and P.O. boxes she doesn’t want you to know about. Check all your financial records. If you insist on reconciling, get a post-nup to protect your finances and your custodial rights. She won’t do that? There’s your sorry. Only she controls if she cheats again. She doesn’t sign it, that tells you how serious she is about not cheating.

Next, get over your shrink fear and get a counselor for YOU. Not a marriage counselor, a person to help YOU. If you’re more of a do it yourself sort — read over at Dr. Simon’s site and Outofthefog.net.

Finally, drop the shame. You didn’t cheat. SHE DID. That’s no reflection on you. You’re a good man who busted his ass to provide for his family and give his wife every single advantage in life. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Tell people. Sing like a bird if you want. Get the support you need to get through this. Stop protecting her image. If she’s sorry? SHE will wear the shame. It belongs to her. She destroyed her family, she destroyed your trust, she can do the heavy lifting to repair this.

But I doubt she will. I’m sorry, Erratic. Stop buying her sorry excuses, and put your energies back on yourself.

(((Big HUGS))) from Chump Nation. We’re here to help. We’ve all walked this path before and gotten out with our souls intact. You will too.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Erratic, you sound like a really good guy. I’m guessing that most of the single women posting here at Chump Nation would give an arm for a guy who would do all the things you did for your wife. There are better women out there and it sounds like this one doesn’t deserve your (very generous) support.

    Remember that she is still very much dependent on you financially. She’ll have a hell of a time trying to finish medical school and residency (and potentially having to pay you child support if you keep the kids) all the while going through a divorce. Hope you live in a fault state.

    • YEp, i was wondering if he was single yet….. why is it i can NEVER find a guy like this. you know one that actually pulls his own weight in a relationship, and more.

      she is not ready for you to leave her yet. that is a good point about finishing medical school and residency. she probably has him in the back burner or better yet on prowl for a new one.

      WHen i took XH back after the first time (well it was his 3rd time, learned about 1, 2 & 3 all at the same time) and was stupid enough to take him back. he said all the right things, did all the right things, but i believe in the back of his head he was always looking for the NEXT one. when i wasnt the bitch he thought i was going to be, when i forgave and forgot, when i didnt throw it in his face, when i honestly trusted him and believed we were ok, (i always did give him more credit then he deserved) he FINALLY just did it anyway. found the first hood rat that made him feel better at being a drunkass loser who was thinking of leaving his wife and kids. and fucked her. and somehow it is MY fault too!!!!!!

      please get a lawyer, keep your kids (you already have them) and kick this cruel selfish bitch to the curb.

        • Fred, you’re very brave to announce that here! 😉 xox You’re too young for me, but what state are you in? Perhaps a chump who is ready and geographically desirable can start flirting with you.

          • Yes, Fred, single men of character are hard to find, probably too busy living, working, and raising their children, but there are lots of good unattached women looking for Mr. Right.
            My advice? When you are interested, just start a conversation! I imagine running into someone doing what I love but it’s great too when you can recognize that you can both have different interests and still be a great match. Be open to new experiences, groupon is a great way to save, and I often play tourist–it’s a great way to meet others and have fun too. Don’t overlook everyday places. The coffee shop, library, fitness club, beach, park, thrift and antique stores. Classes at the local college, volunteering, and walking in the neighborhood allow you to meet others too. I have learned some lessons, pay attention to actions(aka values), slow down, and honor my gut (beware those red flags!). In the meantime enjoy being single, my young daughter believes you have to date at least eight people to know what it is you want, and I am beginning to believe her, lol!

      • Erratic – listen to Chump Lady and all the Chumps on this site. Last year, Oct. 3, I was you. I was numb. I was suffering PTSD something bad after catching my moron serial cheater, and after two kids, and 24 years WASTED on this cheating, lying, fucktard. Your STBXW ABUSED YOU!! She emotionally, and physically abused you – putting your mental and physical health at risk by her asswipe selfish behavior! She’s continuing to abuse you because she’s making you THINK there’s hope, by screwing you. It’s not love – it’s just a behavior to keep you baking cake for her to eat. Whores don’t magically change into someone you want them to be. Her character and actions are screaming at you who she really is. You have ignore the words and trust the whore’s actions!! You just can’t process all of this right now.

        You NEED to get a lawyer, and DO NOT tell this whore what you’re doing. You have got to get your kids as their primary custodian, and make this lying, cheating whore pay YOU back. You need to add up ALL the expenses you put into setting this whore up in an apartment each month, multiplied by the number of months/years you did this, PLUS figure out what you spent for all the education you paid for. Make this whore PAY IT ALL BACK to you. Get it wage assigned or garnished, if possible. Take the excuses out of the equation. If it takes her 40 years to pay you back – GOOD! We’ll call it “a life-long lesson from my time being a whore.” Make her pay YOU child support, and for half of all of your kids’ counseling, and as they grow into teens, for half of all additional expenses in addition to the basic child support formula: car insurance, cell phones, etc. And then, after all of this, if the whore is ever even able to finish her Ph.D. after her financial ruin, make sure you take her back to court to have that child support formula adjusted based on her income. This isn’t about, “But I feel bad doing this to her…” FUCK THAT!! Did she think of the traumaic pain you’d experience if/when you found out?? NO. She was too busy – on your dime – scheming against you and your precious family, with her legs open WILLINGLY fucking another man while you helped your awesome kids with their homework. TRUST THAT SHE SUCKS!! And she likely sucks much more than just at being a good spouse, or mom. TRUST THAT!!

        Change your passwords NOW, and document EVERYTHING she does/says on your tablet or phone. It begins as diary to keep track of what the hell is happening as you’re reeling from her betrayal and abuse. But if needed, can become documentation of her abuse and disengagement with her kids. See?

        I don’t know how many times I’ve had to repeat it to myself this whole year since DDay: A GOOD spouse doesn’t pursue and FUCK other married people while they’re married to me and then abandon me and our child. A KIND spouse doesn’t pursue and FUCK other married people while they’re married to me, and then abandon me and our child. A DECENT spouse or person doesn’t pursue married ho-workers while married to me, then abandon me and our child. A spouse or person with ANY morals and values wouldn’t put their freaking genitals and free ego kibbles from married whores at work above a 23-year commitment, our marriage, a loyal, GIVING wife, our children, and our futures!! But guess what?? These whore assholes WILL do all of the above – BECAUSE THEY SUCK!!

        You’ll have to repeat something similar to yourself every 10 minutes until you BELIEVE it, because it’s the truth! You are stunned because the brain of a loyal, good, kind, and decent spouse can’t process the level of selfishness, deceit, scheming, and disgusting behavior someone we were married to IS capable of. They’ve already proven it!! None of us need any more evidence.

        PLEASE get a lawyer. There can be NO doubt now that if you allow this whore to remain a cake eater (oh, and she’ll be on her BEST Oscar-performing behavior), you will put her all the way through the doctoral program (BE USED) and then she’ll throw you away for good, and likely abandon her kids. P L E A S E don’t allow this to happen. Read every article on this site that you can. Get into counseling, talk with your pastor and read about adultery and recovery, do daily exercise for endurance, because whichever path you take on this, you’re gonna be worn through and need to be mentally, spiritually, and physically fit. You ARE the only sane and true parent your kids have. It’s only just been verified. Your kids need you now more than any of you even knew. That’s what a scheming “Mom” whore gets them.

        Everything you’re feeling today is exactly what this whore has done to you as “thanks” for all of your hard work and loyalty. Now be mighty for you and your kids. Massive ((((HUGS)))) to you and your kiddos. We’re here for you, E. Don’t wait. Make the call tomorrow morning and don’t settle on the first lawyer if he/she isn’t right.

        • Your wife is a remorseless bitch , NPD to the max. You sound like you have taken s lot of shit from her for years, Erratic.
          Start researching the Cluster B disorders. She is NPD or high functioning BPD., most likely

  • Erratic, my heart bleeds for you. You have experienced the worst kind of betrayal imaginable. The pain is overwhelming, isn’t it. My d-day was just over four months ago and what you’re going through is still fresh in my mind. My advice is to listen to Chump Lady’s response, follow her advice, and read her book if you haven’t already. What is probably weighing you down the most is your sunk costs. You have invested so much in the relationship, you don’t want to walk away. I know the feeling. I literally nursed my ex through a stroke and two heart surgeries (in the same year!) and then he ran off with someone he met at a week-long self-improvement retreat. He told me as well that he didn’t feel emotionally connected with me, but he felt a connection with her. (Probably their genitals connected, too, but he denied it.) He told me that there were gaps in our relationship–gaps that I could indeed have filled but he just wasn’t willing to put in the work. He wasn’t willing to invest in me the way I had invested in him. He was ready for a “fresh start.” (Maybe he said, “fresh tart.”) In any case, your story is played over thousands of times and everyone here at Chump Nation has a version thereof. So know that you’re not alone, that your wife is not that special, that she’s just a different flavour of a fucked-up cheater and the sooner you and your lovely kids can get away from her, the better. Show your kids that what their mother did was wrong, it has consequences, and model for them what true love and good character really are. Please visit this site daily, listen to our stories and contribute when you’re ready, and we wish you all strength.

  • You will soon discover that living without her isn’t any different than living with the idea of her sharing an equal partnership. Because you were doing 100% of the work in the marriage and family. Sorry for your pain, Erratic.

  • Here are the key lines right here:
    – her affair has NOTHING to do with your imaginary inadequacies and EVERYTHING to do with her shitty character.
    – Affairs are about entitlement and stifling empathy for you spouse and family.

    And this last one is all you really need to know the truth: She didn’t break it off. She was BUSTED.

  • This made me cry, it’s like a weight lifted from my soul when I hear someone else speak the truth. I left my cheating hubby the day I found out about his six-week shagathon with the town whore (I’m not even being mean, she has been arrested several times for prostitution! I was brought up on the motto ‘if you lie down with dogs you will catch fleas’, so I dumped him and his flea-infested junk!) What I experienced afterwards was even more painful than the realisation that my knight in shining armour was just a dick in a tinfoil hat, I ended up being ‘the bad guy’, because I wouldn’t believe all the reconciliation bullshit! You say ‘affair fog’, I say excuses excuses! But almost everyone (mutual friends, my in-laws, all of his friends) believed his snotty-nosed sobbing and heart wrenching apologies, and somehow I became the cold, unforgiving, bitter wife!! I’m not saying that I’m not heartbroken at my husbands cheating, I’ve never felt pain like it, but I didn’t dump him out of anger or haste. Believe it or not I have no desire to hurt him. I just know myself well enough to know that I would never get over his betrayal, I will never love him like I did, and I certainly don’t want to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder wondering when the next blow will come! He couldn’t make it ten years into our marriage without cheating, but I’m supposed to believe that he will be faithful for the next fifty years? NAAAAHHHH! I didn’t break it, so I certainly will she’d no effort trying to fix it. I’m so sick of people bombarding me with pleas on behalf of my ‘poor sausage’ husband, how remorseful he feels, how he can’t live without me, he’s so ashamed, he will not contest me in any way about the divorce because he doesn’t want to cause me any more pain but wishes that I would hold off and consider counselling. Blah blah blah! I don’t need counselling, I’m not the cheating fuck-up! I’m going to send a mass email to everyone who is falling for his sorry bullshit and direct them all to this site. I am not some vengeful, bitter harpy. I am a chump and I TRUST THAT HE SUCKS!! I wish all the chump ladies and all the chump men (Erratic above sounds like an amazing husband and some chump lady will appreciate him if he can find the strength to leave his disgusting cheater whore wife) could meet one another and live happily ever after in a land without cake! Stay strong chumps xx

    • He couldn’t make it ten years into our marriage without cheating, but I’m supposed to believe that he will be faithful for the next fifty years? NAAAAHHHH! …an EXCELLENT point !!!

      • YES!! that is what got to me too… like WHY didnt i think of that??? but thank you for saying it.

        and good for you for being STRONG and MIGHTY!!! You go Kristen Jacqueline

        • I truly wish I had out my intelligence rather than my emotions into gear and realized that a guy who was unfaithful from the first year of our marriage would never be faithful 10 years down the road.. Not to say 50! It took me 14 years to realize that! 🙁

    • (Snort) “Dick in a tin foil hat” – Brilliant !

      Thanks for the laugh. I really needed it today! You are a WARRIOR !

    • Don’t bother with the mass email, when you go through with the divorce he will make every effort to fuck you over, then your friends and family will see who he is. Let us know if I’m wrong and he truly Does not contest you, I highly doubt it… Jedi hugs!

  • Sorry Erratic, but when i read this, well….

    “We have had so many late night conversations recently full of tears, apologies, new promises, and even some beautiful love making and laughs.”

    See my cheater and I did this too after D-day, many times. Unfortunately he just went back to the affairs the next day. It’s their MO.

      • I’m sorry you are here, man. But you’re in the right place.
        I know your pain, I really do.

        My cheating wife immediately offered marriage counseling, signed a “home charter” that defined boundaries, a no contact letter was sent and she still called him the next day to confirm they would be travelling to a conference in Budapest for 5 days.

        Anything she says right now is complete bullshit, anything she does in the bedroom is to divert your attention and manipulate your feelings. Anything she says about timeline, frequency of sex, how she felt bad, and the end of it has to be considered as coming from a lying, selfish and emotionally unavailable ugly woman and not from the loving, supportive, beautiful and honest woman you married. She is gone, dead and will not come back. The marriage you had with her is over, and all you have now is a decieving stranger who used your resources and distanced herself from you and your family to fuck a guy who charmed her pants to the point of falling in (cough) love with him. And while in deep love, she had the sudden moral realization that it was wrong, she was a victim and severed ties.
        After a year.

        After multiple fuck sessions, dinners, sleepovers, and god knows what else…AND being moral and upright, remorse and truth drove her to a tearful and honest confession to you out of a deep respect for you and desire to make it all up to you for the rest of your life, right?

        NO – You found out from a person who had the decency to send you a message to clue you in!

        (Probably the OM himself to get back at her?)

        Repeat after me:
        Your marriage is over. Your wife is not who you married. You are listening to Bullshit. You’re fucking a stranger and you have to man up and remove her from the life you thought you had and crteate a new one without her.

          • That has been my mantra after the second d-day and 2nd false reconciliation. Two weeks ago I discovered a 3rd d-day from a one nighter with an old “just friend” type thart was months before our wedding.
            I was not surprised because:

            Repeat after me:
            Your marriage is over. Your wife is not who you married. You are listening to Bullshit. You’re fucking a stranger and you have to man up and remove her from the life you thought you had and create a new one without her.

            • KD, you should record this, repeated on an endless loop, and offer it for sale to Chump Nation. Sorry this is your reality. Sorry it’s mine, too.

              • I totally wish there was a like button! “Your marriage is over, your marriage is over” It really does need to be on a loop.

                Sad truth: Once they unilaterally make (bad) decisions about your health and finances, and family they do not love you anymore. No matter what they say, they stopped loving us when they slept with someone else. It’s a hard truth to face but once you get that everything else falls into place.

        • And here’s another point. She can’t commute to med school, but the OM can commute to the apartment Erratic pays for in order to have sex. And more sex. For over a year. Connect the dots, Erratic. And is this guy married? Or in what his partner thinks is a committed relationship? Have you talked to his wife, if so? Your informant may well be that individual; if your wife has been gone from that community for a year AND THE AFFAIR STARTED AFTER SHE GRADUATED, who in that college community would know? Connect the dots. Erratic. Someone else has likely gotten hurt in this train wreck, aside from you are your kids.

    • Same here, Freeatlast, same here. The first couple months after I agreed to take my ex back in bogus reconciliation were probably the best couple months of our entire 20-year marriage. Too bad it all turned out to be a con game, and in reality, he never stopped cheating and never intended to.

    • Your wife has been drilled too deep. You are fucking a veritable Typhoid Mary look, affairs are like cockroaches: if you see one there are ten unseen.
      The vast majority of affairs go undiscovered forever.
      What do you think the odds are that this is her only one?
      You know the tip of the iceberg about this woman. Middle aged folks do not just start cheating suddenly for the first time.
      Research her background. I bet you find she has done shit like this to others, either as an OW to a married man or as a cheating girlfriend.
      These folks have a lifelong pattern of dishonesty, not only in the sexual fidelity realm.
      I bet if you research her past( assuming you have access to folks who knew her back then) you will find she lacks integrity in many other areas as well.

  • Dear Erratic,
    Dday for me was end of June, 2013. I had been married 23 years and I honestly thought happily married. My STBX and I met in grad school when we were both grad students. I had always put him on a pedestal and completely sacrificed my career for him and family. I have a beautiful daughter who had just turned 14 and our wonderful pets. I too had a fantastic old historic home, etc. I also thought we were just going through a phase but would reconnect on e our daughter went off to college and it was just the two of us again.

    Then, days before we were to leave for our big summer vacation trip Mr Cheater pants runs off – turns out he had been having an affaire with another woman with a young child. He walked out the door and never came back – just moved in with her and abandoned my daughter and myself. He claims it was only an emotional affaire – said lots of the “Stupid shit cheaters say” lines. I was willing to do anything to get him back in those first months. I was shattered my daughter was going to now have as part of her story coming from a divorced family. I felt like a complete failure as a wife, I will be the first to get divorced ever in my family. I did get lots of psychological counseling and I have come to realize that his relationship with OW was more than emotional and that he was lying about that – would a divorced young woman kick out her parents and invite a married man into her home with her young child if they only had an emotional affaire? I doubt it. He also confessed to having had 1 other emotional affaire. I have now come to the realization that are constant moving and him changing jobs (supposedly for better career opportunities for him) was more likely due to affaires coming to an end and needing to get out of Dodge. I have been essentially no contact with him. I told him he had better confess to our daughter that he was having an affaire or I would – this was pretty much right away. I said I was t going to take any blame on a failed marriage in our child’s eyes. He was pissed and didn’t tell her, instead she figured out what was going on and got it out of him. She “disowned” him and has changed her last name to my maiden name.

    He is a flaming narcissist and my mother and her psychology friends all think he has NPD. He made a few feeble attempts to see our daughter in the first few months after he ran off professing his deep love for his daughter. I did get the jerk to counseling for a few sessions and the psychologist (I selected a male) told him he needed to move out of the OW, get divorced first and resolve his relationship with his kid that he flamed he loved so much. He was warned if he didn’t that his relationship would be ruined. He refused to move out and work on his relationship with daughter and they essentially don’t speak. She doesn’t give him ego kibble so she is not worth his time. She has seen him once for a few minutes in 6 months and he emails a sentence or two on e a month (I may be exaggerating ).

    Like you, I had been a single parent to my kid already for years. My daughter has been playing the viola for 10 years and he has never heard her play at a concert. He didn’t even know where we boarded our horses ( we have had these horses as part of our family for 16 years ). He has never see. the pets since he left and could care less about them. He essentially left the entire contents of the house and didn’t even take any photos of our daughter. He literally just walked away.

    It was devastating to me. However, I got a fantastic job in another state and my daughter and I have moved on with our lives. I am happy to report that we are both extremely happy now and realize how much our life sucked before he ran off. He did do us a favor. His disappearing act also made it much easier for my daughter to move on – it is clear to see what a selfish bastard he is.

    I would like to add that I did contact a divorce lawyer about 1 month after he left and WOW was he PISSED! He was still trying to give me the BS about how we would still be best friends and if it didn’t work out with OW we could always get back together. I guess me contacting a lawyer burst his bubble and meant he wasn’t controlling the narrative. Since then he has been a flaming jerk on the rare occasions we have had any contact. The oddest thing however is now that I really want a divorce and have completely moved on (I was initially trying to do collaborative law, but he fired his collaborative lawyer and hired a pit bull claiming the process was not moving fast enough (he wanted to be divorced in 6 months), code for I am not getting my way) but I wanted to wait until I had a job offer so I knew what my financial situation would be – as soon as I had my job offer everything changed and he is majorly foot dragging. Strange.

    Read Chump Lady, it helped me survive. Like so many others will tell you – you will survive, hold onto your kids, tell them the truth and don’t take any blame for what your loser wife has done. They are old enough to know adultery is wrong and you don’t EVER want them blaming you for her shitty deeds. Tell everyone what your wife did – your real friends will support you 100% and get rid of the fence sitters. Sorry, in the case of adultery there are no friends with both parties.

    Good luck and know we are all here for you

    • Great job, Mommy Chump!
      That was interesting what you said about moving a lot, and then you think it was to get away from an affair partner. My X finally agreed to move West like I had always wanted, 19 yrs ago. I was so happy, he was willing to help me be closer to my siblings! I do remember he made a comment about ‘getting away from certain people’. Didn’t figure that out.
      After his huge affair with our neighbor blew up our marriage, I found out his secretary had a 19 yr old son, and guess who he looks exactly like?? I hate him for making this kid, and also for abandoning him! I hope he never figures out who his father is, and thinks it is her husband.

  • Erratic…
    This advice might sound harsh right now but TRUST that it’s not. Every single emotion you describe is what i went through. And in the end… I HAD TO TRUST MY GUT. That was what lead me out. And now i look back on 23 years of marriage and i realize the half truths. You feel your situation is unique. But read the stories here.
    My heart break for you.
    Good luck!

  • Dear E,

    Whe working on our doctorates and raising children, a friend of mine and I discovered that our spouses had betrayed us. I (and most likely my friend) would gladly have given an arm and a leg for the support you offered your wife. (It sounds as though you even paid for her med school tuition. My cheater claims that he fully funded my education although my universities paid my tuition and stipend. Cheaters know no bounds when it comes to entitlement and deception.) Your wife bit the hand that fed her, serving her sustenance on silver platters, no less.

    I, too, wanted to keep the family together and find relief from the pain. I didn’t start getting relief until the last D-day, when I stopped caring why he lied to me and broke many promises and i stopped trying to find a way to make our relationship work. (Our cheaters aren’t working on our relationships.) Removing the ‘Kick me’ bandage from one’s forehead may seem unbearably painful during crisis as removal requires acknowledgement of the loss of a fantasy (marriage and family life), but the wound will probably heal much faster than you would guess once exposed to the light of day and the fresh air of an authentic life.

    • Rockstar, I already had my doctorate, was a full time professor, and was caring for two babies when my “brilliant” also professor cheating husband started bringing colleagues and students to our home for “meetings” so that he could be closer to the family. So, he didn´t even need to commute, but started seducing them under my nose. Seven years later I figure out that he has cheated on me with at least two colleagues and a grad student that I know of. So, it couldn´t have been the lack of interest in what he does (we worked on many projects together). I gave him all the time he needed to work on his stuff, trusted him when he went to conferences, or when he worked with female students on their thesis. Erratic: I also paid back most of his student loans, found the beautiful home we live in and paid for most of it, let him buy thousands of books we don´t need, planned and paid for most of our vacations, was patient with his angry temper, tried never to disturb him while he was working, etc, etc like you I gave, gave, gave. What for? to now realize we were both in love with the same person: him! Now that I am learning how to love/like myself again, I realized that only someone who doesn´t care about themselves would allow for abuse, and then forgive the abuser. Erratic, your wife will only become a better cheater if you take her back, She is already an expert, having deceived you for many years. She will not stop, she can´t live without that excitement any more. No matter what the cost. Cheaters think that children are not involved in this, so they actually think that their actions will not affect them or SHOULDN´T affect them, it is none of their business, or anyone else´s, not even their spouses. WHy did you have to ruin her so marvelous life where she was living as a single person, a student, but also a mom and wife! She had it all and now you just ruined it for her…! (this is how she is thinking and this is why she is trying to get you back into your state of denial again…don´t buy it for a second…RUN! and take your kids with you! And show them what a responsible parent does when the other one doesn´t give a shit!)

      • UGH!! My XH actually told me that it was “NONE OF MY BUSINESS WHO HE HAD IN HIS TRUCK” when we were still married. so yep, that is how they feel and think. she is just giving you whatever you want so that she can get back to doing what SHE wants while YOU pay for all of it.

  • Erratic,

    I know what you’re going through. You had one narrative for your marriage, but it turns out your wife was acting out an entirely different one with another man. I had the same experience, the same mixed feelings about reconciliation and love for my wife, the same dilemmas about the future of my three kids, and the same feelings of shame and inadequacy after I discovered my wife was having an affair. Right now my pain is still as fresh as it was when I found out this past May. The thing you (and I) have to realize is that the person who looks like what we thought was your wife is not really that person. It’s the most fucked up feeling in the world; you see the same face and body and person that you loved and trusted, but the realization that it isn’t what you thought it was turns it into a nightmare rather than a place of love, safety, and comfort.

    I also thought my family was ideal. You have to get rid of that notion. I know that my “ideal” was just a sort of farce, that the person I trusted is/was a narcissist with no capacity for remorse, that she fell for a complete douche (her gym trainer), and that I (and my children) never entered her mind, either during the affair or after (it kept on going even after I found out and offered her a chance at reconciliation).

    I think I am going to file for divorce this week. I have been working each day on thinking about what it would be like to be alone. At first it was horrifying, but each day the thought gets a little less daunting, and now, seven months later, I’m starting to think I might like being without her. She is unreachable. She will never change. That’s the hardest part to get through your head. She is not who you thought she was, and if you want an apology or gratitude or genuine remorse it’s just not going to come.

    So here’s my strategy (right now): instead of viewing the past 16+ years of my life as time wasted with a selfish woman, I am going to remember the good things about my wife; I will cherish the three children we had together; and most importantly, I will try my best to remake myself into an even better me. I don’t have any desire to date or even socialize right now, but maybe once I get right in the head that will happen.

    Anyway, just know that you are not alone. Everywhere you look there are people who are suffering. You just can’t see it. There is no pain like the betrayal you feel when your spouse cheats. But maybe talking about it helps, and knowing that there is an army of chumps out there who did their best. This is not your fault!!! You are not the one who dropped the ball. Imagine if your wife had done for you everything you did for her. Would you have made the decision to risk your whole family? Or would you have been eternally grateful and work your ass off to show your appreciation and your love?

    Don’t give up hope, but most importantly don’t blame yourself. You are the strong one here, not your wife. She is the one who failed, who couldn’t hack it in the world, who turned to affair/sex for self-validation. And if you’re like me, the initial pain of discovery was/is accompanied by a desire to win back what you had. But it’s gone. Time has not helped me; it has just made me more resentful of what my wife did, and what her actions have forced me to do: 1) stay in the marriage and sacrifice my dignity and happiness; 2) divorce and live with the fact that my children will have to suffer for their mother’s decisions.

    You will be ok. Just keep telling yourself that. Putting the world on your shoulders doesn’t make the world any lighter.

    Charles

    • You are mighty, Charles, and wise. I can tell you, from the perspective of a year out, that living without a cheater in infinitely better than hoping a cheater will change. It sounds like you’ve done the hardest work already. Blessings.

    • My family has supported me 100%, but the revelation that STBX is a cheater has affected them all. They liked him and welcomed him into the family. He had his eccentricities, but in a family filled with eccentrics with strong opinions, that was okay. This past Thanksgiving, I visited family without STBX–the first time he’s been absent from those celebrations for 25 years (we’ve been married 17, but known each other much longer). Everyone remarked that not having him was a bit like experiencing a death, but with added anger, as everyone felt that his betrayal was also a betrayal of the family.

      That leaves the question of what to do with all that shared history. Was he really a schmuck all those years? My mother has opted to say that she knew STBX when he was an honorable man. I think that’s a fair thing. At one time, he had honor. He chose to abandon that honor. That’s very sad.

      I think that, absent a situation where your spouse is a serial cheater, this is probably a decent way to think back on those years together. At one point, your spouse had honor and integrity. At some other point, they chose to abandon those qualities. That’s very sad, since they chose to be less. But it also means that the metaphorical death occurred before you were even aware of it. Since that time, your marriage was a dead thing, even if you didn’t think so, but at least it was alive at some point.

      Hugs to all the Chumps.

      • Kb, your last two paragraphs brought tears to my eyes. I loved my husband. But as the years progressed he became someone I couldn’t love. As gradual as his love for me failed, his pursuit of others and his selfishness increased. Nothing could have saved my marriage, once he turned his back on his good character and integrity it was over.

  • Erratic,

    I once stood where you stand now. Not med school, but similar. When I met my ex-wife in college she was failing half her classes. She only graduated because I took hard courses with her, gave her my meticulous notes, and typed her term papers. Married 22 years, 2 sons. She stayed at home a while after the second child then started a business with the financial support of my professional practice. Her business ultimately flourished (largely due to the efforts of her two hard-working partners), six-figures per year for each. But her affairs blew all that up several years ago, ending the marriage and leading her business partners to force her to sell out.

    Erratic, you are a classic giver, and your wife is a classic taker. The only relationship you can ever have with this woman is one where you are giving and she is taking. Do you want to save that? Do you want–for the rest of your life–to be the tired old dog to your wife’s fat happy tick? Because that is what you will have to accept to reconcile. You are a host, you are food to be consumed, you a blood supply to a well-educated parasite. It really is as simple as that.

    FWIW, it is now nearly 5 years post-divorce and I am happily, contentedly, securely flourishing in a second marriage to a fellow chump. A fellow giver. The ex? She married the final affair partner. Another cheater/taker. They now rent a HUD foreclosure in a questionable neighborhood and she works the same entry level job she held 25 years ago. From what my youngest son tells me, that house is not a happy place.

    I think the math is true for every profession, even doctors like your wife and entrepreneurs like my ex: Taker + Giver = exploitation and abuse. Taker + taker = insufficiency and backbiting. Giver + giver = abundance and gratitude.

    What do YOU want, Erratic?

    Choose your path wisely. Wishing you strength for the journey ahead.

        • Nomar, loved this, “do you want-for the rest of your life-to be the tired old dog to your wife’s fat happy tick?” I always felt like this, I did all the work. My ex, the star, just showed up; he likes that dynamic! Life being about what he wants, when he wants it. Screw everyone else. From now on I will only accept someone who treats me like I matter.

    • Hi nomar. I always enjoy your posts as they are most helpful. Can I ask you a genuine question please? You have stated that you are now 5 years out and happily remarried. Do you think you will ever recover from the betrayal, rejection and abandonment from your ex wife or have you? I read everyones posts and I get the uneasy feeling that the wounds we Chumps suffer remain for the rest of our lives no matter how good life becomes without our cheater exe.

      • Maree, thanks for the kind words!

        Having been married to a serial cheater will always be part of who I am. It will always hurt to ponder. It’s like having been in a terrible accident. When the weather changes, it still aches. But in a few seconds, it passes, and frequency and level of pain lesson as time goes by. I simply can’t sustain self pity when when the past is so inscrutable and I am so very blessed in the now.

        I am very happy with my life. Not just the present and the prospects for the future, but even with how I got here. Having been cheated on for years and humiliated and made to face the most terrifying things I could imagine (and many I could not have imagined) made me a better person, and a person I like more. That disaster, and those scars, a part of who I am. I am more compassionate, more grounded, and more grateful that I ever could have been without that experience. And though I would never thank my cheating ex for her betrayal, I also would never trade who I am now for what might have been. Looking back, it’s beginning to be hard to imagine it could’ve been any other way.

        So, time doesn’t completely heal all wounds, but I believe it has the potential to turn them into some very handsome blessings.

        Good luck!

        • Many thanks Nomar. I read a great saying from the actress Dame Maggie Smith and she was referring to when her husband passed away and people kept telling her that “it would get better”. She stated that, “it doesn’t get better, it just gets different”. Maybe this is how we Chumps will find peace one day and I am starting to. A terrible journey that has turned into a blessing in many ways. Thank you again.

          • The Dowager Countess of Grantham rocks. “It’s the job of grandmothers to interfere!” Etc.

            Along similar lines, I’ve heard it said that there are some things you don’t “get over,” you just get past.

            • Ah, LOVE Rumi! Strong medicine, his poems. There is a wonderful translation of one of his by Coleman Barks (“Love Dogs”) that preaches starting over after/despite great emotional loss and goes in part:

              The grief you cry out from
              draws you toward union.
              Your pure sadness
              that wants help
              is the secret cup.
              Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
              That whining is the connection.
              There are love dogs
              no one knows the names of.
              Give your life
              to be one of them.

              Great performance by Barks here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A72qJkvrfDY

              “There are love dogs no one knows the names of / Give your life to be one of them.” We chumps would save ourselves a mountain of grief if only we’d stay away from folks who don’t feel likewise.

        • I know i’ll get there someday, working through it and not be reduced by it. Thanks for the inspiration, Nomar

        • 7 months out of D-day and am about to leave the family home and cheater behind and move to a new state to be with one of my adult daughters and start afresh. My children are all grown and out of the house so he will be alone – probably not for long – I’m sure there will be someone to take my place on his arm fairly quickly (but good luck to them they can have him – hmmm I wonder if he will tell them of his fetish for young buxum prostitutes on the 1st date – I’m pretty sure that most of the women around town will hear from someone eventually so that’s possibly going to be a problem for him datingwise).
          I feel reassured after reading your comment nomar – I have been with my husband for almost 30 years and thought we were happy – at least I knew I was – there were problems – he was always distant but I blamed that on his issues with his FOO and to the world we looked like a good family unit I nurtured his career, focused on family and cared for our 4 children. I worked part-time as a teacher was on every committee at their schools and in our neighborhood – I honestly thought my husband was pretty wonderful- now I discover there was at least 15 years of prostitutes – I always trusted him I had never before examined credit card bills or checked up on him …. but feeling uneasy and knowing that ‘something’ was going on last year I began what became 5 months of watching him very very carefully – finding out passwords etc – I had that unnerving gut feeling one which I had repressed for years and it finally sent me snooping and once I had started – I.could.not.stop.
          Nomar,I am now reassured to know that even though I will carry this pain with me forever that there is the possibility that I will be happy again in the future. That the sadness will only prick for a moment before I remember that I am now somewhere new and that he has moved to my past.
          Since D-day I have realized that he was not so wonderful as I thought – it is amazing looking at him with the knowledge I have of him now and seeing him for the sad, pathetic, damaged and isolated man that he is – I see now that he had very few actual friends although he considered himself very popular – they all deserted him when he was exposed – except the other cheaters – they welcomed him into their miserable circle and yet I have a wonderful and ever growing circle of beautiful faithful friends who love and care for me – I was so focused on him all of the time I didn’t even notice that they were there because of ME not him. This is the thing – I think when we start to get the cheater out of our lives we can finally begin to see our value again.

          • Kristil, When you describe your ex there are so many echoes of my own cheating ex. I am happily remarried to a former chump as well. My current husband knew my ex and could not believe the double life he lead and the way he abandoned even our children at the end. We were talking about it yesterday any current husband described my ex as “profoundly broken.” I think that describes so many of our cake eating exes.

            • So glad to hear you are happy Kelly and with someone who understands what you went through….. double life ….profoundly broken…. it’s so true …that was my man…

        • It’s NOT just a mirage! Thanks, nomar, very very inspiring. Congratulations on your hard-earned new life. Wishing you many many more years of happiness!

        • I also really enjoy your posts, Nomar. You should blog if you don’t already.

          I myself am about 7 months from Dday, and I know it’s too soon to be confident, but I feel like recent events have really helped shine some light into my life, light I thought I might never see again: I turned 50 a couple weeks ago, held a Thanksgiving Day dinner, went out this weekend and cut down my own Christmas tree and put it up today with all the decorations *I* like, …. You know what’s funny? It turns out I like me.

          What happened with XH was just a really unfortunate accident, now a closed chapter in my life. What’s he doing? How’s it working out with OW? Does he have regrets? Could I have seen it coming and/or changed it somehow? — Who cares! Time to move on. I don’t know what’s coming, but I’ve been alone before and it’s not so bad. XH was bad news, that’s the bottom line.

          Like you, I wouldn’t wish the pain I’ve been through on anyone. And I’ll bet there’s more ahead. But I’m gonna be OK. — It left a scar, but I’m still gonna be OK.

        • nomar, this was beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. I was just thinking earlier today that I did not wish that I had never married my ex because I would never be where I am now in life otherwise. I was thinking more geographically and circumstantially, but you’re right…this experience is also making me stronger, more fearless. And I know I have more compassion and a better abililty to understand loss and grief.

    • 7 months out of D-day and am about to leave the family home and cheater behind and move to a new state to be with one of my adult daughters and start afresh. My children are all grown and out of the house so he will be alone – probably not for long – I’m sure there will be someone to take my place on his arm fairly quickly (but good luck to them they can have him – hmmm I wonder if he will tell them of his fetish for young buxum prostitutes on the 1st date – I’m pretty sure that most of the women around town will hear from someone eventually so that’s possibly going to be a problem for him datingwise).
      I feel reassured after reading your comment nomar – I have been with my husband for almost 30 years and thought we were happy – at least I knew I was – there were problems – he was always distant but I blamed that on his issues with his FOO and to the world we looked like a good family unit I nurtured his career, focused on family and cared for our 4 children. I worked part-time as a teacher was on every committee at their schools and in our neighborhood – I honestly thought my husband was pretty wonderful- now I discover there was at least 15 years of prostitutes – I always trusted him I had never before examined credit card bills or checked up on him …. but feeling uneasy and knowing that ‘something’ was going on last year I began what became 5 months of watching him very very carefully – finding out passwords etc – I had that unnerving gut feeling one which I had repressed for years and it finally sent me snooping and once I had started – I.could.not.stop.
      Nomar,I am now reassured to know that even though I will carry this pain with me forever that there is the possibility that I will be happy again in the future. That the sadness will only prick for a moment before I remember that I am now somewhere new and that he has moved to my past.
      Since D-day I have realized that he was not so wonderful as I thought – it is amazing looking at him with the knowledge I have of him now and seeing him for the sad, pathetic, damaged and isolated man that he is – I see now that he had very few actual friends although he considered himself very popular – they all deserted him when he was exposed – except the other cheaters – they welcomed him into their miserable circle and yet I have a wonderful and ever growing circle of beautiful faithful friends who love and care for me – I was so focused on him all of the time I didn’t even notice that they were there because of ME not him. This is the thing – I think when we start to get the cheater out of our lives we can finally begin to see our value again.

    • Nomar, that is just classically beautiful Chump wisdom, and common sense. That went straight in my notes to read!

    • Excellent, Nomar and Charles .
      I hope Erratic sees his way to divorce his wife like you guys have done or are doing.
      I have never been more at peace than in the last several years single. The contrast between my life now and my life with my XWS IS AMAZING.
      They are truly mean, cruel women, Erratic, and your wife sounds very much like them.
      I predict your life improves if you jettison her.

  • Erratic, the person who truly loves you and appreciates you doesn’t go and spread their legs for someone else, especially over and over for a year or more, which by the way I am not buying that it was just one year. The cheaters minimize everything, if they say one year it means much more, like couple of years, if they say it was one time or it was just a kiss, it means they fucked many many times, adults don’t meet secretly, just to sit there, just to talk or kiss, they fuck. She is sorry ONLY because she got caught, think about it, if you didn’t get that message you would’ve never known what she did and was doing behind your back and she would’ve continued letting you live a lie while you busted your ass to provide for your family. That message was sent to you because I suspect she was still fucking him while fucking you over and the person who sent you the message wanted you to know what your wife was doing behind your back, whatever their reasons might be, but now you know the truth, you know what she really is and what she is capable of, a lying cheat and believe me, cheating is never a one time thing and I doubt this was her first time and it wont be the last. Ask me how I know, ask all of us here how we know…

    When someone shows you who they are believe them the first time. So now you need to protect yourself and watch your back in everyway, because she sure wont. Don’t listen to what she says or what comes out of her mouth, look at her actions and judge her by her actions. How could you trust anything that she says, when she has proven to you that she is a lying cheat. Don’t expect a proven liar to be honest with you, now or in the future. And I am sorry this has happened to you and we all know how gut wrenching this shit is, big hugs Erratic and like Tracy said, we all are here for you.

    • Niclolette, every time my husband was caught he told me it was only one time… a lapse of judgement, a stressful time in his life yada yada yada. You’re SO right!

      oh, and his newest tactic is to say it happened after a stressful event… “it was right after your father died… it was right after my sister passed away…” oh, ok. I guess that makes it okay, because I wasn’t struggling, right? He must have been so much more distressed than me (sarcasm).

      • When my Mom died I went into deep grief, that’s when my ex hooked up with the last OW. I wasn’t paying enough attention to him and of course he couldn’t be bothered to help me for once in our relationship. selfish, entitled assholes with no ability to reciprocate care.

        • Dat–isn’t that the most painful? They don’t care enough about us to tend to our needs when we are at our lowest. My jerk cheated on me 5 months after my mother died suddenly & prematurely, sending me into an emotional tailspin.

          • My dad was dying as my first XW continued banging strangers she met in bars.
            Two weeks after he died, she announced she was heading to Chicago to “visit museums” with a male member of her AA group. They shared a hotel room.
            These assholes do not give a shit about anyone.
            How could she cheat like that,Erratic, after all you did for her?
            What a complete bitch.

        • My story too. my daughter past in 2012 (natural) and i dont remember any of 2012 at all. in 2013, i was coming out of the fog. or course while i was in the fog, i STILL took care of the bills, children, house, etc. i was on autopilot but shit was getting down with very little help from him, he got a job in late 2012 and by summer 2013 i STILL did not know how much he made an hour and what his paychecks were because he wasnt even helping me out with money.

          2013 was a f*cking train wreck. i went thru so much, kept trying to fix my marriage, not fully and completely out of the fog so i was still struggling with getting my own head straight. PERFECT timing for him to gaslight the hell out of me. i was forever wondering what i did to “make him mad” or “hurt his feelings” and of course he needed that excuse to stay out all night drinking and GOD know what else.

          i kept fighting, until i just couldnt anymore. i had kicked him out new years eve 2014 when he didnt come home again. and this was after i talked to him and asked if he wanted a divorce (of course he didnt), after my parents talked to him, after my 20 year old son talked to him and a few of my cousins talking to him. His own cousins are his supporters and enablers, they think it is perfectly okay to stay out all night when you are married and NOT tell your spouse anything, and have NO explanations. THEY think it perfectly fine to be marriage but have a boyfriend/girlfriend. they are the people he turned to, because he really did not want to save or fix the marriage (he has other cousins that would have told him to do the right thing, etc) he wanted someone to support his decision to leave his wife and children AND make him feel better.

          i still have NO CLUE what happened. i have NO CLUE what he was thinking, wanting, needing, hurting, or dealing with even thou i asked him over and over. after i found out about hoodrat (feb 9 2014) i filed divorce. i just couldnt deal with any of it anymore… of course everything is MY FAULT. he told me i didnt treat him right, REALLY? in 14 years i didnt treat him right? that is a long time to stay with someone who didnt treat you right. he told me i got boring? REALLY!!!! i got boring!! i am super sorry that my depression over losing my 28 year old daughter got so boring for you and wasnt entertaining. again after 14 years of me standing by all his mistakes, his fuckups, his bad choices and he couldnt stand by me for 2 years. WOW.

          • Mrs Vain–WHO CARES what he was thinking, feeling, wanting or needing? Of all the stories on here, yours strikes me among the worst psychologically, and I hope your X takes a beach vacation to the eye of a tsunami. Yes, he is odious for not supporting you through the death of a child. If that’s not evil, it’s pretty close.

            I know from your posts how much you hurt, but think of it this way–you dodged a bullet. Without his cheating, you may have been stuck with him THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Yuk. A man with zero empathy and razor blades for a heart.

            And birds of a feather flock together–his trash relatives who think it’s okay to stay out all night and cheat on your loyal wife validate your X’s sick morality. He was probably as mean as he was because he knew he was morally and socially inferior to you.

            • Thank you Tempest. and really? is my story really that bad? i used to always think that my marriage was good. that my XH was a good man just had some issues. i truly believed that all marriages go thru trouble and that we were just going thru ours. it never dawned on me that the trouble we were having was NOT NORMAL in any sense, but due to his selfishness, childishness, hatefulness, dishonestness, unfaithfulness, etc

              i do take comfort in the fact that i honestly and truly tried to make my marriage work. i truly gave it and him my all, and sadly it just wasnt good enough for him. i am a believer in being happy with what you have and never want for what others have. i guess that is why i was able to stay so long. i only regret that my XH did not value our marriage and kids the way i did. and that i gave him too much credit and held on for WAY to long.

              it is you tempest and others here that give me strength to carry on, that open my eyes to what a really asshat my XH was and IS… You all never condemn my love for him or my pain in losing him but instead are always understanding which helps me get past this bump, this hill, this day, this moment. i honestly dont think i could have made it this far without all of you by my side (metaphorically)

              it makes me sad that erratic (and so many others) is just starting his journey. i wish we all did not have to make this kind of discovery.

              • I loved my cheater as well MrsVain I wish so much that I didn’t but I did… every imperfect part of him – didn’t care – thought he was mine .. its so painful to let go of someone that has filled your life and thoughts for so long particularly if they have been good at hiding their double life and have put on a good act to keep you in the marriage.

      • Mine claimed “mid-life crisis” (56 and screwed a 24 year old). For F’s sake, couldn’t he be more original?

        • Tempest, my ex never claimed anything but at 60 years of age he decided an 18 year old Cambodian prostitute who couldn’t speak English was what he needed to make himself happy!! I want to vomit every time I think of it but I distract myself because the grief that I suffer is not worth it.

  • That’s well-put Nomar. I’m becoming aware more each day of the ways my wife has exploited me. I don’t know why I allowed it to happen for so long. As someone said on here a few days back, you develop a sort of Stockholm syndrome — believing somehow that it is your job to give and to be the strong/reliable one in the marriage. The fact that my wife never expressed gratitude or acknowledged the things I did just led me to do more. Strength and reliability are of course good things, but they have to come from both partners.

    • So very true about the Stockholm Syndrome and believing it was somehow up to us to keep things going. Why else would the cheater sit and list all the things you ‘didn’t do’ when confronted with their cheating? If our job is to be perfect in the relationship and to never, ever have needs of our own or to always be there for our partner when often they are never really there for us when it truly counts then fuck me, we can’t win at that game.

    • I think sometimes the Giver in a Taker/Giver relationship gives up on getting anything back, gives up on reciprocity and doubles down on giving. The only words more important to me than “reciprocity” rom reading on this site are “narcissist,” “entitled,” “ego kibbles” and “lady boner” (shout out to Rumblekitty).

      • You can’t give enough to satisfy a Taker. You can’t teach them by example. They will take until you have nothing left to give, then they will find a new host to exploit. Nomar is absolutely correct. Givers in a cooperative relationship with other Givers are the happiest people on earth.

          • Indeed. My ex gave a lot at the beginning and for a long time after that. Or at least enough that it felt fairly normal. I don’t want to get fooled again.

          • Time. Paying attention. Refusing to spackle. Paying attention to intuition. Looking at the track record.

  • Erratic, you are my brother made over. He was the one who worked a full job while his wife stayed home and did who knows what. Certainly not the housework, cooking, or looking after the children. When he came home he cleaned the house, cooked the food, fed the children and put them to bed all the while trying to recover from a long-term illness. He was barely back on his feet when his wife decided that the grass was a lot greener over there with those druggies and left. That’s when his body fell apart. That’s when his children lost whatever innocence they had left.
    Do not for a moment think she’s not going to cheat/leave you. She is going to be with all those doctors, some of them married, some of them not. Someone is going to catch her eye, after all they’re all in the medical profession together and guess what will happen. She’s cheated before why not do it again. And who are you? Just the schlep who has held the family together…….. you are chopped liver. Pay attention to Chump Lady, she knows this stuff, she almost has a crystal ball, she sees what’s coming, protect yourself!

  • Erratic,

    You wrote,

    “Turns out my perfect wife cheated on me for about a year! (August 2013 through August 2014 she estimated) and is relieved to get this “off her chest.” I’m in a complete fog for about two weeks while she comes clean, answers all my questions, explains to me it was an emotional relationship that was far more than sex (makes it worse), she thought she loved him, he filled in the gaps from our relationship with intellectual conversations and positive influence.”

    That’s cold and cruel of her to tell you that it was “far more than sex.” Also, she is far from a perfect wife. A perfect wife does not blame-shift her affair on you. Nor does she commit adultery to begin with.

    Also, I note a lot of talk about her pain and fog. Where’s her empathy towards you? She clearly doesn’t get it to say the cruel thing she said. It sounds like she is still in love with Dr. Cheaterpants from that statement. As CL says, you don’t have really anything to work with here. These confessions don’t sound genuine to me. Plus, she is saying this to get this ‘off her chest’ (notice it has everything to do about her and not about caring for you in the pain she inflicted on you.)

    My heart goes out to you! No one deserves such contempt. Don’t buy her narrative and lies that you had ANYTHING to do with her affair. That is 100% on her. She made some bad choices from her BAD character. It says volumes about HER, not you. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise–professional counselor or not.

    Hugs!
    DM

    • Agreed, DM. Erratic–you have a cardboard-cutout wife whose resume and (perhaps) dress-sense may be perfect, but who has no 3-D soul (or she wouldn’t have carried on with a year-long affair while you were living the life of drudgery to enable her escapades).

      And think of this–when she is attending medical conferences in the future, and you’re home minding the kids, do you honestly think you’ll be calm & trusting? Or do you now have cause to worry every time she spends the night away from you?

      I have a 13-year old still in the house, too, so I know it’s hard. But the personality traits and character problems that allow someone to f*ck around will also present further problems that will suck your soul over time. Leaving is hard, but staying is harder.

  • Erratic, I think CL covered most of it and everyone else will fill it the blanks but for what it’s worth here’s a few bits of advice:

    • Stop fucking her. Seriously. If you keep fucking her you’re going to mess your own head up worse than it already is. It’s not going to unfuck the other guy and you’re going to end up feeling gross. Been there. Don’t do it.

    • I gave and gave and gave and did everything and somehow I too managed to not quite be enough and that was my ex’s reason for fucking around. Give. Me. A. Break. I was doing everything while he was going to work and screwing around. Sure, he provided a nice lifestyle as far as money goes but anything and everything else? He was not there at all, yet I was accused of being lacking. You weren’t lacking and you shouldn’t feel you need to be perfect.

    • Get therapy. Now. Alone. Learn to stand up for yourself and to set boundaries.

    I really wish you enormous luck. It sucks and it hurts and it will suck and hurt for quite some time. If you stay with her it will hurt longer because I would almost guarantee it will happen again. This wasn’t a ‘whoops’ kind of thing. This is a woman who spent long nights with a man who wasn’t you – in an apartment you paid for. That is beyond galling.

    • Agree 1,000 times with “Stop fucking her.” So important yet so rarely said. If you are an authentic person you can’t see the person you can’t make love to someone and also see them as an adversary. Chemically and psychologically impossible.

      Reminds me of that old saw, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Perhaps, “When you find yourself chumped, stop fucking.”

  • Erratic, god I feel for you. We all feel for you.

    CL, gives outstanding advice. I know it is difficult to accept because of the agony you are in – but believe all of us here – it will save you from more years of even greater agony.

    So you say you want to protect your perfect family.

    Firstly, start doing that by doing 3 key things: 1) go to see a lawyer, 2) get tested for STDs, 3) go to counseling for yourself. No need to tell your wife any of these things. Just do them. They are to protect your family.

    Secondly, why are you embarrassed? Really, why? There is no reason to feel embarrassed. I would however, wait until you have talked through a plan with a lawyer before you tell anyone anything.

    Thirdly, and this is really, really harsh…I know….You need to accept that you tried your best but this marriage had huge, huge problems.

    I invested in 17 years with my exH. He cheated multiple times, gaslighted, lied and did god knows what else. At the end, my self esteem was negative zero and I was exactly like the cartoon above – paralyzed.

    It feels terrible right now….the pain is huge…There is no way to make it go away but to start taking action and responsibility for your own life.

    You need to make a new plan now that sees YOU happy at the end.

    You are strong. Keep going!

    Hugs

    • I’ll go a bit further as far as what will see Erratic happy: Focus on you YOU Erratic. Forget about what your wife wants, needs, says. Listen to yourself. Make sure your kids are ok, think about what is best for you and your kids. Which is exactly what your wife did not do. What do you want? Sure, you want a happy and intact family. And your wife knows it. She knows how important your family is to you and she’s using that. Don’t let her. You are a family with or without her. She is the one who blew it all up, so now it’s up to you to figure out what you want the future to look like.

  • Not sure that I can add anything to what is written here.

    Words are cheap. After all, her vows probably said something like you exclusively. Look at how valuable those words were.

    I’ll not tell you if you should reconcile or not. What I’ll suggest is that you look for real action on her part. Action that makes her a safe spouse. One who doesn’t shift blame for not coming to you first if she has unmet needs.

    I might buy the whole unmet needs thing. As other have said, it’s unlikely in your scenario that your needs were being met.

    The difference is how you addressed the situation. You looked at it as a temporary thing and that once she was out of school, your needs would be met. She looked at it as an excuse to justify her breaking her vows.

    Same marriage, same lack of need meeting, two different responses.

    The solution is not for you or her to better meet needs. The solution lies in what will she do when she has unmet needs? That’s going to happen in marriage. If she has that itch, is she going to come running to you, or will any man do?

    If you are not the first one she considers to get her needs met. If you are not the first one she tells she has an unmet need for conversation or sex or whatever, then why remain married?

    Don’t blame yourself for her failure to act like a mature, responsible, open, honest and loving spouse. You have no control over what she does.

    Can she change? Can she learn new behaviors? Maybe. None of us know. You don’t know either. As you’ve learned, you didn’t know her as well as you thought.

    So I’ll leave you the words of Ronald Reagan to ponder should you consider trusting her, “Trust but verify!”

    • I like what you say here. There are always ups and downs in marriages, unmet needs by one, the other, or both, at various times. How you handle that is really who you are. My ex, whenever he felt he was getting less than his required 150% of my attention, apparently felt perfectly ok making up the deficit with other women. That tells me who he is and I imagine, not that it matters, that he will repeat this pattern going forward, just as he did before he met me.

      Then again, I don’t even think it’s unmet needs. I think it’s just that some of these people put their need for new sex ahead of everything else.

    • I tried the ‘trust but verify’ route. It turned into a full-time job of being the marriage police. And when I would eventually find the new dating profile or the phone records showing multiple multimedia messages back and forth and confront him, his response was, invariably, ‘I knew you were checking on me so I did it to teach you not to snoop. I WANTED you to find those. Do you think I’m stupid enough that I won’t get caught if I don’t want to?’

      ‘Trust but verify’ will only teach you to TRUST that they suck when you VERIFY that they do not change for long.

  • You’re wife is the woman who literally had it all– There was no leaning in for her, she dove right in with a great husband, children, years spent as a SAHM, and then continued her education. She was able to study for medical school in her own apartment while you brought home the bacon, cooked it, and put it on the table two hours away. There is no excuse for fucking (literally) that up.

    That is someone who thinks she is entitled. I mean, she gets to walk away from this with a doctorate, a career, a lover, a husband, and her family in-tact. What do you get?

    If you decide to leave her, please make sure she takes any student loans she took out to finance her education. WSJ and Forbes have some articles on this. She is a doctor, she is at fault, and they are her loans. They belong to her.

    You are a really caring person. Does she really deserve everything you have to offer?

  • PS: Just to put this in perspective.

    When I decided to pursue my doctorate, I had to go to the local university, which is a great school, but my husband would not dream of relocating for my education or career. He probably would have loved it (!) if I stayed two hours away because I’m pretty certain he was not alone when I at school during the evenings. He did not put a dime toward my educational expenses; in fact, I was required to pay him money out of my stipend even though he made nearly six-figures. He literally kept a spreadsheet that even split our grocery list costs based on items I ate and items he ate. No assets were in my name.

    He did tell me several times not to “worry about the money” when I started but did nothing to alleviate the financial burden. I even went without some of the textbooks and supplies I needed. Meanwhile, he enjoyed a few new cars, a cosmetic procedure, and all of the newest Apple products as soon as they hit the market.

    I was constantly reminded my field of study was bullshit and my career choice was bullshit.

    He left me a week after the first semester ended for another woman.

    So you are frankly a saint.

      • I know, right? If he wasn’t eating, sleeping, or getting laid, he was working on a spreadsheet. It must be some sort of effed up cost/benefit analysis. As in, “According to the spreadsheet, I paid for the ground beef last week, so this week I am allowed to have an affair.”

        From “Waiting to Exhale”: “I bet you there are serial killers less anal.”

        • LOL at your last line!

          Anytime I read about the spreadsheet thing on here, I think of that post that made the rounds on the Internet here a few months ago, about the guy who kept a spreadsheet of how many times he asked for sex with his partner, and how many times they actually had sex. All I could think reading that is, “There is a man that never wants to have sex again.”

          • Mine had spreadsheets up the wazoo. On the one where he claimed he spent $18,000 over 16 years (yes compared to my $60,000) on our groceries, he included the birthday cake he bought me on my birthday one year.

            • Mine was a spreadsheet lover too. He was always worried about money and then went and spent a fortune while I was careful. Loser.

              • Jackass’s Xwife (also a cheater) was the spreadsheet queen. She used them to try to pry money out of his pockets when the actual receipts wouldn’t justify her demands. They love bogus “evidence.”

              • OMGod – raising hand here. Another Spreadsheet partner. In the end, all he really cared about was money money money. Hope somebody puts that on his tombstone.

        • Ha! My cheater put together many spreadsheets this past year outlining his extramarital activities, the number of times No Contact was not really no contact, and now the best one I requested: all the $ he stole from his kids (and our martial assets) to entertain his lady friends.

          E- find a therapist, find a lawyer and begin the process of protecting your children and yourself. I am still with my cheater one yr out after discovering his 17 yr dual life and decade long girlfriend. I gave so much of myself to a person who simply took, exploited, and endangered me and my children.

          Every single day around him is horrible. If I had kicked him out instead of being immobilized by the enormous disbelief of discovering that my partner, who I thought had my back but was the one stabbing me in the back and inviting his fuck buddies to stab me too, I would have more emotional relief. You don’t see sexual assault victims living with their rapists. I do believe there is a sort of betrayal blindness some of us chumps harbor early on after discovery. The assault to your soul perpetrated by the person you trusted the most is unbelievably devastating. What remains of your relationship is not healthy.

          There is zero possibility of reconciling with dangerous people. Get your finances in order, get an attorney and work on healing yourself with a therapist. Never forget you were also in the same marriage as your wife. Never forget she chose infidelity instead of addressing her issues and needs with you. Never forget you chose to honor your commitment to her while also experiencing the same issues and needs in your marriage.

          • ANC love your advice and totally agree …living with him for a year must be so difficult for you how do you manage it?? You are right about how frozen many of us chumps become at discovery … I know I did…..I still have my cheater in the house 6 mths out from Dday and it seems to get worse rather than better…I like that you are at least getting him to do spreedsheets to provide YOU with the information YOU feel you need to heal (or to leave,whatever). I’m definitely going to copy that one.

            My husband actually told me (the day after I told him that I knew about his unfaithfulness and was going to tell our children) that I should do a ‘cost benefit analysis’ of what our relationship offered me and he felt he was sure I would find I was better off with him than without ….WTF???? similar to the spreadsheet approach !! Perhaps we should just call those documents they create ‘spreadshit’s’ or the cheaters ‘spreadshitter’s’

            I have done that cost benefit analysis and of course I have now realized that my life would be better WITHOUT him… but it was also made evident to me why his life was SOO much better with me in it. He should have done his own spreadshit on that before he fucked around

      • I think the spreadsheet think is tied up with being a taker. As in, they want to make sure that they are receiving more more value than they are giving. If they are net-taking (they think), they are (in the words of Mr. Sheen) “winning” the relationship. It’s all zero-sum. I win/you lose. Dismal, Cut throat. Who wants to be married to pre-haunting Ebeneezer Scrooge and live in his frigid counting house?

        In contrast, givers look for opportunities to net-give. Because it feels good. Because that’s the person they want to be, someone who wants to add value (a smile, coffee in bed, compliments–whatever, doesn’t have to be big or expensive). Some might say that’s it’s own kind of sickness (“Shouldn’t they love you for who you are, as opposed to what you do for them?), but I don’t think so. At least, not if you pick worthy people to have in your life–usually other givers. If you do that, a marriage is just two people holding a big, joyful, ceaseless Rube Goldberg gift machine between them. And how cool is that?

        • Nomar- “Who wants to be married to pre-haunting Ebeneezer Scrooge and live in his frigid counting house?”

          Cracking up here. When Ex was in severe contempt mode towards me – we got in our first physical fight in 36 yrs…over the thermostat. Prior to this he had started to make sure most of the house (and this is a big house) was dark once the sun went down – and started turning off lights I needed to cook with! (really getting neurotic)

          Then, the heat – my God, you’d think we didn’t have a dime. I live in a humid climate on the coast and when it dips below 50*, it’s like -20 in the dryer areas of the country. I turned the heat to 71 from 66. He got up and turned it to 65. I went back and reset it. This went on a comically shameful amount of time but he was determined to win. Anyway, short story long – the last time he got up to turn it down, we were face to face and hateful and I (Totally Accidentally) hit him square in the side of his ear with my elbow.
          I felt awful, of course. But, I won!! He went to bed.

          Nah – don’t miss his miserly ways. I was always the frugal one compared to all the ‘Winning Toys’ he needed for his ego. So, nah, I don’t feel bad for the elbow fuck to the head.

  • Erratic, CL says reconciliation is a Unicorn. I am here to tell you that’s true. He cheated, I threw him out, we got back together, he left. All the while I did the pick me dance, lots of sex…he said, I came back too soon, I’m confused. Fast forward one year, getting the divorce I should have gotten in September 2013. False hopes and failure in the end. Over one year wasted, same outcome. You will never trust her again, (my experience)! Stay Strong! Protect your heart and your children!

  • Erratic, I’m sorry you’re suffering. I know the pain of betrayal is the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life.

    I relate to your feelings of shame — I have so much shame and humiliation that my husband used up my money, cheated on me, and then demanded I leave or he would. Why should I feel shame and humiliation? He did those things, not me. But still, it’s tough to kick. Chalk it up to a damaged self esteem, I guess.

    The bottom line is what you can live with and what your deal breakers are. For me, even though I thought I still loved him and wanted him back, fucking another woman is a deal breaker for me. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I’d never stop thinking about them together so I knew I had to let go of him.

    Other commenters have mentioned it, but I’ll repeat it: cheaters just barely admit to what they have to admit to and no more. In other words you should doubt the length of time that this affair took place — it was probably longer.

    Another thing people have touched on is your wife’s sense of entitlement. It makes me feel she might be a narcissist, which MANY of our cheaters are. This website can shed light on people with Narcissist Personality Disorder and it may help you to see your wife as she really is: https://afternarcissisticabuse.wordpress.com

    Your wife has wrecked havoc on your life and your children’s lives. The future you envisioned, whether you stay together or not, will not be what you hoped it would be. Hard decisions will have to be made and suffering will occur, these things are the fallout from affairs — everyone gets hurt.

    Stop for a moment and ask yourself if your selfish wife will ever give back to you or be the mom she should be to her kids. The answer is probably no. And soon enough she will be hanging out with other doctors and she’ll be tempted all over again. In the end I suspect one of you will decide the marriage should end. I’m so sorry for that.

    Whatever you decide, we’ll be with you every step of the way.

  • OMG, Erratic, you are a DREAM GUY, the kind of man most women would KILL to have as a husband/significant other. Seriously, I cannot even IMAGINE a husband as supportive, understanding and helpful as you have been to your wife. And how does she repay all that? By balling her professor for a year, and then dumping her bullshit, “I’m only sorry because I’m busted” apologies all over you.

    Erratic, I remember the mind-boggling pain you are in right now. I remember the terror, the anger, the grief. It seems like a nightmare that just doesn’t end, but you know what? Eventually, you DO wake up and you realize that your cheating spouse does not DESERVE to have you – never did, never will.

    You don’t have to make a permanent decision right now, but I STRONGLY, STRONGLY suggest you at least pay a visit (DO NOT MENTION THIS TO YOUR WIFE!) to a divorce attorney and get information. Because really, how and why would you ever trust this cheating, lying, disgusting woman again?

    She has shown you who she REALLY is. I suggest you believe her. I’m so sorry you have to be here, and have to go through this. Hang in there, it gets better, but it’s one hell of an awful ride on the way to meh.

  • First things first. Get STD tested. And tell your cheater once you get the results. Then tell her no more sex until she gets tested and shows results. If the Prof was shagging your wife, he may well have been shagging others in the undergrad pool. So heaven only knows what you are exposed to. This is a first step toward levying sme consequences.

    Then do the financial stuff CL says–get a pre-nup written in your favor as to property and child custody and child support, with no alimony in case of adultery. If she won’t sign that, well, CL explained what that means. Meanwhile, shut down the med school support factory. She wants to go to school, then she can borrow money, get a job, blah blah, just like the rest of us. And I have a doctorate; I know whereof I speak as I have paid for every single dollar of tuition from undergrad to Ph.D., either in cash or through fellowships. No more apartment. Set up a basic budget and cut family costs as much as possible so that you can change your own life.

    Because once you get into therapy, start thinking about what makes you happy. Right now, all you can see is “your beautiful wife.” All we can see is a liar, cheater, user and betrayer of major proportions. A gross, narcissistic, entitled woman who essentially walked away from her family to pursue her own life apart from them.

    For months after D-Day, I thought I still loved the Jackass and I never saw him. We weren’t married; he just walked away from his commitments to me to hijack his mother’s house and live 3 blocks from his married OW, her husband, and her three kids. You need to do a LOT of reading about narcissism and entitlement. And a LOT of reading about reciprocity in relationships. That’s what it took for me.

    She got busted. When Jackass got busted, he lied and denied and blamed it all on…me. Yes, I hurt his feelings! So he could steal my money and run my heart through a shredder. He had already shifted camps, so getting busted simply meant never talking to me again so as to avoid having to lie to my face, which I wasn’t buying. Your wife is turning back to you because—CAKE! She didn’t want a divorce, you silly man. She wanted an apartment. And a lover. And free time away from her family responsibilities. And a big career, maybe, so once she left you, she and Prof could maintain the lifestyle to which she is ENTITLED. So you find out and she has to reel you back in. That’s what all the talks and the sex and the tears are about. You are threatening her cover, her livelihood, her plans for HER.

    If she loved you, she wouldn’t have cheated. She wouldn’t have been working out with some loser professor (and I can say that, as I am a prof myself). And most likely, she would have figured out how to do med school without being away from you and the kids. You can’t get passed the pain because what she did is heinous. Simply heinous. And you don’t trust her now because she has not shown she is worthy of trust.

    Does she still have the apartment? Is she still living off your efforts? Pull the plug on the great lifestyle. Live modestly, save your money, plan for the next phase of your career and the education of your children. Tell her she had her shot at the family resources and she blew it. Levy some consequences. Find a counselor or therapist who specializes in helping people recover from trauma, but make sure that person is a no-nonsense professional who will not in any way condone your wife’s behavior. Spend the next year figuring out YOU and taking care of the kids. And watch what she does, not what she says.

    • And PS: the horrific pain is your friend. It is the worst thing I have ever been through, and I came from a home with an abusive narcissist mother and an alcoholic father. I thought at times it would kill me. But. Feel it. Live with it. The pain is telling you something is terribly wrong in your life. Don’t medicate it with sex, promises, romance, beer or creme brûlée. Feel it. Move through it toward a life that will never again have that pain in it. If you want a shot at saving your marriage (though I have no idea why you would do that), the only shot you have is to become a man who is truly paying attention to what he feels. What did you feel when she worked out with another man? When she moved away? When she complained that you weren’t doing enough for her entitled ass? Now you are in horrible pain because you didn’t listen to your instincts that would have told you that the whole scenario was screwed up.

      And finally, looks to me like you have one of those cheaters who LOVES the secret life, who loves to get over on the spouse, kids, family members, etc. Why? Because she introduced you to the OM, and you say the OM was “one of her (our) favorite professors (our age, super smart , blah blah) and I even thought he was an okay guy.” Yeah, and Jackass told me all about his deceased friend’s “little sister” who wanted to buy his mom’s dining set…and was hooked up with him on Facebook…all the while he was still with me. Some cheaters don’t cheat for the sex, but for the power and the thrill. You might have one of that type, and if so, you will need to be very careful with yourself and your kids. These people are very disordered.

  • Erratic, you sound too…nice. I know that’s hard to hear (it was for me when my wife cheated). And probably a lot of what Chumplady (CL) says sounds too aggressive or angry or vengeful.

    But, it’s all true.

    Take the steps she recommends.
    After 1 week, all the while reflecting on your life with your wife and your situation, come back and read her reply again.
    Then read it again 1 week later.
    And again.
    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    You’ll come back to reality sooner than you realize. You’ll begin to see your wife’s behavior for the appalling thing that it is, and you’ll stop trying to make things right (not your job, as you’re not the one who screwed up).

    The point is, your brain is still in the “loving husband” mindset…even though your wife gave up on being a loving wife a long time ago. As CL often says, someone who cheats on you is NOT your friend.

    Your wife doesn’t respect you. She took and took and took from you, and now she’s trying to take more because she thinks that she can. She sees you as a supportive, long term caring man who will help her raise a family. But she does not see you as someone she wants to f***…and it sounds like she hasn’t in a while. This is not your fault, but her’s.

    Marriage requires many things, including the “sacrifice” of not getting to bed other people because you made a commitment to your spouse. Your wife is trying to come up with “reasons” that she didn’t stick to that commitment…which is really her attempt to redefine “commitment.” Commitment means you stick with something no matter what, not that you stick with something as long as you want to.

  • Erratic, I put my husband through college as well. When he finally got job that had great hours, benefits and pay (mind you I found it and I applied for the job for him, all he did was show up for the interview) he decided to trade me in for his married co-worker. I later found out that he had only waited that long because nobody else along the way would take him up on his offers. Your wife is an entitled piece of shit, and no matter how much you love her, it will never be the same. Are you gonna die? No. Now it’s up to you to decide how you’re gonna live. Sounds to me like you have a lot more to live for than her.

  • Erratic, please listen to the folks on this board. I did not know about Chump Lady when I had my own DDay more than 3 years ago. I decided to give reconciliation a try and while I have all of the hallmarks that CL notes are necessary for true remorse and reconciliation, I’d like to let you know that it is a long and hard road. Even now, more than 3 years out, things can still hit me in the gut. (Just the other night we were watching “In a World” on Netflix and I had to turn off the movie when it dramatized a side character’s DDay. Too painful to watch and certainly not entertaining. I could barely speak to him for nearly a day after that, as I experienced the trauma memories.)

    I think it is tempting to get lost in the fantasy of reconciliation. Here’s what it meant for us: 3 years, and counting, of individual therapy with a psychiatrist and a psychologist for him. Nearly 3 years of marriage counseling for the 2 of us. Individual therapy for each of our 3 kids for 6-12 months (varied by age of child), and for 18 months for me. Psychotropic medication for him to control his bipolar illness. Months of separation, no sex or failed sex (ED issues for him, trauma for me) for months after he moved back in. Ups and downs as we negotiate triggers and trauma, including hours of intense conversations. I still don’t wear my wedding ring, and I requested that we stop celebrating our wedding anniversary as it was too trigger-y for me. (We have been married 21 years now.) Don’t be seduced by the idea that reconciliation is an easier option — YOU HAVE NO EASY OPTIONS BEFORE YOU. I’m so sorry but that is the truth.

    Given the details that you know and have shared with us, I don’t see reconciliation as a viable option for you at this time, because of the length of her affair and her current inability to emphasize with you at all and accept 100% of the blame. I agree that it is likely that you know only a fraction of what really occurred. Here’s the truth: You have already been single parenting for years now. Your kids have already absorbed some of the impact of not having her present in their lives every day. Your finances will probably be better off without her, and in any event, you have already been able to absorb the impact of two households on your income. Take the steps everyone here is encouraging you to take to protect yourself, your children, your finances, and your emotional health. She is not worthy of your protection.

  • I would say file for divorce and primary custody of the kids since you have essentially been a single-parent all along anyway.

    Let her pay child support, etc.

  • Erratic, I’m confused as to why you wrote to Chump Lady. You seem to want to reconcile with your wife. If you’ve read Chump Lady’s advice, you know she’s going to tell you to dump her. Are you looking for someone to tell you your wife isn’t so great and you need to get divorced?

    If you do want to stay with your wife, here’s the most charitable way to look at what happened. She was away from home and the two of you were too busy with life to spend time together, so she fell for another guy who was there and pursuing her. People can feel love for more than one person, they just don’t have time to really give enough love to more than one person. It doesn’t mean she stopped loving you.

    I’m more pro reconciliation is sometimes possible than Chump Lady, but I agree 100% with her that you need to see a lawyer. You need to figure out your rights financially. If you’ve paid for her schooling, you may be entitled to future re-payments from her earnings – you invested in her.

    Just a reminder – you paid for her to stay home, but that wasn’t a favor to her. That was her caring for your children and home, etc. You got something out of it. (You are, however, a great husband who has worked hard for his family.)

    I would say that if you are going to stay with your wife, she needs to do more to show she is sorry. First, the two of you need a good counselor. Second, she needs to take the responsibility and be sorry about it. This didn’t happen because you were too busy; you were busy because life is like that for two working parents. Yes, you should have gone to counseling with her and done more when she expressed dissatisfaction, but that does not mean you are to blame for her actions.

    I think you also have to talk about what needs to change so that things can work again. It doesn’t work for your family to be apart half the week; what is she going to do to fix that? Can she live at home and commute? How can she avoid seeing the professor?

    Again, I’m wondering if she’s finished medical school. Is she depending on you to pay for her tuition still? Do you want to do that? You don’t want to keep paying for someone if they are going to cheat again in a few years or if they are staying with you for the money. On the other hand, if you get divorced, what is going to happen there? Do you want to end up with her not having her career?

    So my bottom line is, I can see how your wife ended up doing what she did. I think she needs to do more to show that she is sorry if you want to stay together. I think you need to see a lawyer to protect yourself no matter what.

    I also keep wondering, do you want to reconcile or not? Are you looking for someone to tell you that you shouldn’t and give you reasons not to reconcile? Because anyone who writes a letter here is going to get that advice.

    • Diana–astute. If Erratic wrote to CL, I think he suspects what he should do long-term (frankly, didn’t we all?).

    • Diana L — I don’t appreciate the characterization that I have some sort of knee jerk anti-reconciliation take on all situations. I read the letters to me with care and consideration. I have posted letters here where I say — hey, you DO have something to work with here in terms of remorse. IF you want to go with reconciliation. BUT I do not think reconciliation should be the default position or assumed. Even if someone ticks every remorse item, the betrayed party is not obligated to reconcile. The cheater broke the contract. Period.

      Why am I a steady drumbeat on the long odds of reconciliation? Because you have to have something to WORK WITH beyond a chump’s fervent desire to not lose what they thought they had. You need demonstrable ACTS. You need zero blameshifting. The cheater needs to own their shit. The chumps need a credit report, a post-nup, and a good visit to a lawyer and their own shrink.

      Sadly, I don’t see a lot of chumps who have remorse they can work with.

      Advocating for self protection is not advocating against reconciliation. The truly remorseful should be at pains to give chumps those assurances. Sorry is as sorry DOES.

      IMO it’s crucial to point out to hopeful, hurting people that they are NOT getting the things they need and to stay is subjecting themselves to further harm.

      It’s fine and well to say “oh, your wife really loves you, she just got lost and should be doing these things.”

      SHOULD. She is NOT.

      I reply to what is real. What people write to me. Not to what they wish they had. It’s that kind of hopium that keeps people stuck.

      I make many reasoned arguments on this blog why I think R is a long shot. How affairs are based in entitlement and R in humility. I do not believe that people who can cheat on you “love” you in a healthy way.

      Erratic wrote to me for validation and a reality check. Which, oh hey! are useful if you want to reconcile or divorce.

      • MY BAD–I only read the first line of Diana’s post, and agreed that anyone who writes to CL probably knows what they should do (make plans to leave).

        I do NOT agree with the rest of Diana’s post, especially the “I can see how your wife ended up doing what she did.” That’s f-ed up. There is NO excuse for what wifey did, esp. when the rest of us would scale Mt. Everest to have a supportive man like Erratic.

        I seem to recall Diana expressing similar pro-reconciliation sentiments in the past? Not sure why you frequent CL.

      • Amen, CL. As someone who has pursued reconciliation, I would like to say that I have received nothing but support at this site, and the clear-eyed talk from both you and the Chump Nation has helped me draw boundaries and stick to them, and also an ongoing reality check about the progress of our reconciliation. Diana, I think you come off as a little defensive here. Please see that CL and her community are helping everyone translate the language and customs of this new world we are suddenly and without choice thrust into.

        • Still a Chump, I’m glad you feel supported. I’d have given anything for my STBX to have the desire to reconcile as I think it’s worth a try — I was robbed of that. I am envious that you have been given that opportunity AND I wish you the best with it. I think sometimes people think we’re just anti-reconcilation, period, and that we must be bitter or jealous. Not so.

              • From experience, beyond day 3 and into the many days following, the tidal wave of anger is not only directed at the cheater but also at yourself- how could I have been so stoooopid!?!?!?!

                Here is where we need to learn to forgive ourselves.

              • Ummm… kinda funny that these are the comments I get after noting how supportive I’ve found Chump Nation to be.

        • Still A Chump–I think people are supportive of attempting reconciliation armed with knowledge and boundary-setting; unfortunately it hasn’t worked for most of us. The commenters after your post above sound like they’ve tried and then had to confront further d-days, painfully. I never really tried reconciliation because the few tests I set up led to Imitation Naugahyde Remorse, so I never re-invested in the relationship. Again–information from this site helped me avoid pitfalls that others fell into with dire consequences.

      • Sorry, CL!! You know I have your back! I’m now horrified I commented on Diana’s post after only reading the first line, given the tenor of the rest of her post. (That will teach me to keep my impulsive fingers off the keyboard when I only have time to skim comments between meetings. Lesson learned.)

        • I am a long time lurker; divorced cheater many years ago. When I read Diana’s response something just did not sit right. Thanks ChumpLady for saying what I was feeling.

            • ML

              Thanks for the welcome and yes I have a peaceful wonderful life. I left my cheating exh when my DD were 3 and 4 with nothing but 2 garbage bags of clothes. My DD are now 23 and 24 and are smart, beautiful and kind. Life was not easy in the beginning being a single mother with no support from the ex, but over time things got better. Now I make an excellent living and I am happy and enjoy life.

              Peace to everyone

          • Glad to hear your voice Jaded61!

            Yeah, what didn’t sit right with me is Diana L saying “So my bottom line is, I can see how your wife ended up doing what she did.” No, hell to the NO. That is bullshit blame shifting, I don’t care what your spouse does, there is NO fucking excuse for cheating when TALKING is possible and failing that, divorce is readily available.

      • CL, I think my comment was eaten, but if this is a duplicate, you can get rid of one.

        I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and I think you’re against reconciliation. You have said that even if a person is sorry, you don’t think it makes sense to stay together, because the trust has been lost. You’ve said that person who is really sorry, should let the chump go. You’ve said that a cheater might change, but that they won’t do it for the chump and the relationship is broken. If that’s not what you think, you’re not being clear enough.

        I have seen letter after letter where you tell people to dump the cheater. Many times the cheaters behavior is outrageous and it’s hard to see how anyone could reconcile. Every now and then something sounds more hopeful to me than to you.

        Your slogan is leave a cheater, gain a life. That’s your philosophy and that’s fine. As I said, the fact that erratic wrote to you makes me think that he has mixed feelings about reconciliation.

        I am sure you read the letters carefully and think about them. I don’t expect to see you supporting reconciliation when you answer them. I think you present one point of view on this issue. There’s nothing wrong with that.

        I know you don’t like hearing this, but if I’m honest, I have to say, if someone writes to you, they’re going to get the reasons to dump the cheater. That’s what you provide here.

        • Diane L, I think CL provides valuable counsel to people sitting on the fence. After Dday, many of us searched for reasons NOT to leave. Coming here, you get the unvarnished truth. And then you do with it what you will. If Erratic’s wife is all cuddly and sweet and sorry now, does that negate the fact that something in her character allowed her to ditch her vows and her children to have a fling? It does not. That is not a mistake. Marriage and family are some of the most important things in life and chosing to risk that or not valuing it at all tells you something very important about how the cheater thinks.

          History shows that many, many people who are actually able to bring themselves to behave so selfishly, then are forgiven, tend to “re-offend”. What CL points out to people is the ACT of cheating is one thing, but the person who does the cheating is very flawed and most often character-disturbed. These are traits that are at the very core of the person’s character (of which they are not even aware) and lying, hiding things, and having a covert life gives them feelings of power. That does not change simply by being caught.

          If a person wants to reconcile, that is fine. But knowing what you are dealing with as you go forward evens the playing field. CL helps people decide if they want to invest the rest of their one and only life on a very long shot.

          I’d be interested to know if you’ve cheated, been cheated on and reconciled or some mixture of each. I’m not certain, but there seems to be a tone of defensiveness in your posts and I wonder where that comes from.

    • “People can feel love for more than one person, they just don’t have time to really give enough love to more than one person. It doesn’t mean she stopped loving you.”

      Are you shitting me? Did you actually mean to post this under “Stupid Shit Cheaters Say?” Because it sounds EXACTLY like the sort of word salad cheaters spout after being busted.

      The wife in this letter had PLENTY of time to fuck some other man, all the while lying and using her husband. If that doesn’t scream, “I stopped loving you,” then I don’t know what would, other than maybe clubbing him over the head with a 2×4.

      • I’m not sure what Erratic’s wife felt for her lover, but having sex with another man in an apartment Erratic is paying for does not sound like “love” to me. Just sayin’.

      • Maybe if his “wife” hires a hit man to bump him off in the future, she’ll see how his “wife” wound up doing what she did then too?

        Next up on Dateline…. he put his wife through medical school….

      • Glad-I read the sentence on loving more than one person and went “oooooh boy, she’s gonna get her ass handed to her for that comment.” Sure enough. I think it’s a bad sign when I notice a pattern in myself saying that…

        • You mean lying, diverting marital assets, and even using gifts from a faithful spouse and re-gifting them to an affair partner and then blameshifting that bad behavior onto the faithful spouse aren’t received well here?

          On weekend nights, there isn’t much on TV, so I have seen more than a few episodes of Dateline, and if you want to see just how bad some of these things can get if they are allowed to continue, that program will provide a baseline for just how depraved the whole business can get.

          For some reason, I had always thought it would be faithful spouses acting out in anger that would be more common on episodes of that program, but after watching a bunch of them, I have noticed that it is more often the cheating spouse that decides to murder the faithful spouse for any number of narcissistic-hard-to-understand reasons (sometimes it’s money like life insurance, sometimes it’s because they don’t want to be thought of as a cheater and widowers are more kindly regarded, and so on), but… those outliers share a common trait with cheaters in general: they do what they do to avoid some perceived consequences.

          • Exactly, TimeHeals. Scott Peterson, Jeffrey McDonald, Charles Stuart, etc. They all share the same story. Supreme narcissists, baby on the way, mistress(es) stashed everywhere. Because these men saw their wives as only extensions of themselves (not real people) when their masks were close to coming off, they just got rid of their unmaskers. McDonald also killed his young daughters, probably because he decided to have a different life from that point on. Wanted to be a swinging bachelor (which he was until they finally convicted him) and two children would cramp his style.

            I suggest all chumps read “Fatal Vision”, the story of Jeffrey McDonald. There are many printed transcripts of interviews with him in the book, and they are insight into the workings of a narcissist’s mind. In his own words. It will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

            • Uneffingbelievable–You’re right–Fatal Vision was a chilling book about a narcissist-turned-killer. Perhaps I should read it again to make me realize it could have been worse than just D-day.

            • Lori Hacking in Utah was a loving, faithful wife who found out her Hubby had lied about getting accepted to medical school. He even pretended to be going to the U of Utah, carrying books around and ‘studying’ ! She talked to him one night, and she really wanted him to just come clean about it.
              So he shot her while she was sleeping.
              Kind of shows you how they can carry out the subtrefuge, but can’t face people knowing what they’ve been doing.

      • I think my reply got lost to the captcha.

        Yes, I think people can feel love for more than one person. That’s why polyamory – agreed to, honest, multiple partners – is possible.

        I don’t personally think that people have time to give love to more than one person.

        I used love in two different ways in the sentence, one referring to a feeling and one referring to actions.

        Of course, as others have pointed out, in erratic’s case, his wife was cheating on him which is not a loving way to act.

    • Are you seriously fucking kidding me? There is NO WAY that he is responsible for this shitty behaviour of his wife. Jesus.
      Why is it that you ALWAYS post cheater apologist bullshit every single time?
      I’m pissed off on behalf of everyone who triggers at being assigned ANY sort of blame for having their lives imploded, being financially destroyed, being left while pregnant or with child(red) or being given an incurable disease.
      You disgust me.

    • To clarify my comment – I do not blame the husband for what his wife did.

      I also can understand why she did what she did. She was living away from her husband half the week and probably very busy with medical school. An interesting guy pursued her. Of course she should have said no, of course most people do say no. We can also understand why someone would want to cheat. Wanting to cheat is a normal part of human nature.

      I think we should be able to hold people accountable for what they do and to understand why they do it.

      • Diana, when I read your post, my reaction was that to say you can feel love for more than one person was perhaps true, in the abstract, but not helpful to someone who has just found out that his spouse whom he is supporting through med school financially, emotionally and logistically, has admitted to an affair that spans her time living apart from the family. I get the distinction you made later about feeling love vs. love in action and through actions. But in the context of Erratic’s post and his situation, the comment was insensitive. Of course it would trigger stuff in other chumps, as many of us have deep, painful emotions about our own D-Days and about the on-going lies and betrayals and broken trust caused by someone who thinks it is OK to “love” more than one person while enjoying the benefits of the exclusive commitment of an intimate partner or spouse. You seem to miss, in your thinking, the power issues when one partner breaks the contract without revealing that to the other, when one partner takes tremendous advantage of family resources of time and money to enjoy “falling in love” with someone who has not only invested nothing in that family but is actively engaged in ripping it apart at the foundations.

        While I “understand” that a woman living apart from a family and tackling the rigors of medical school might be tempted by a fellow student (for example), I don’t understand how she shacks up with a prof from her undergrad institution 2 hours away while her husband is back home paying the bills and raising her children. That reeks of entitlement. That reeks of utter selfishness. And it seems far more likely that she set up the apartment deal to carry on an affair that began in undergrad school with “working out” with her good friend, the professor. And as someone who teaches at the college level, it disgusts me to think that this so-called “professor” was involved in destroying this woman’s family.

        So that’s MY opinion. Erratic’s wife didn’t write to CL to get some understanding. Erratic wrote her because this selfish, immature twit gutted him and his family. Of course he wants her back right now. We all wanted our supposed loving partners back. We all get that here. But most of us know that at best it will take years to recover from what she did to him. And that staying in that marriage will likely offer very little in terms of trust, comfort, and reciprocal love.

        I can’t recall ever seeing you share your story of being chomped. Sorry if I missed that. I am, however, well aware of a number of people who post here who are attempting reconciliation at some level or who deeply miss, still, their abusive, cheating spouses. There are probably others who come here in the aftermath of D-Day, decide to stick with the marriage, and stop posting because reading the new stories re-opens those wounds. I know for sure that I wish everyone here the best life possible. But this is not a site that is optimistic about reconciliation. And for those who are involved with truly disordered cheaters, the remorseless, predatory cold-blooded types who want a marriage on one hand and freedom on the other, it is absolutely life-saving to have a place where there is no slack cut to cheaters.

    • About the comments:

      Wow.

      If you don’t follow the party line around her, you must be a cheater. And you are disgusting. And anything you said in the past is suspect.

      And people have to apologize for having agreed with your comment.

      Don’t worry, you’re in the clear for having maybe agreed with the wrong person?

      I thought my comment was a mild case for if you want to reconcile. Because erratic did say in his letter that he loves his wife and wants to keep her.

      I agreed that he needed to see a lawyer and a counselor and that his wife needed to show more remorse. I didn’t think I was actually all that encouraging. Read my comment carefully and see if it’s a ringing endorsement for staying together.

      I didn’t think what I said about his wife was flattering or took the blame off her.

      What would happen to someone who really had different opinions who came here?

      What about people who are more sensitive than me and end up feeling they can’t say what they think?

      What if hearing some different opinions could be useful to people sometimes?

      So wow.

      Discussion and differences of opinion are not okay here. And that’s not okay with me.

      • Diana–I agreed with your first sentence (though perhaps not how you had intended it). If Erratic was 100% committed to reconciling with his wife, he would NOT have contacted Chump Lady. Thus, my thinking is that if someone DOES contact CL, there is some core piece of him/her who suspects that reconciliation is (a) not going to work; (b) perhaps not in their best emotional, or financial, or long-term interests. [It was my bad not to read the rest of your post, with which I DO strongly disagree.]

        If a person wants advice on how to reconcile with a cheating spouse, no matter what, there are hundreds of other sites on the internet.

        Furthermore, your original post reeked of blaming the victim; this poor man has been holding up 150% of the effort in the marriage and yet his wife still thought it okay to deceive him, and not contribute any time to the family that she used to f*ck someone else for over a year. That is NOT okay, and if you had read anything at all about infidelity (start with Shirley Glass, and “Not Just Friends,”) you’ll find that most research indicates it is the LESS-invested spouse who cheats. Your post, and too many other sites on the internet, go on to tell the poor victim of infidelity that (a) they should have done MORE to prevent the infidelity (research also indicates this is false, as it is largely a CHARACTER issue as to who cheats: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/there-is-no-recovery-from-infidelity); and (b) the situation was such that the cheating spouse *understandably* couldn’t keep their pants on.

        Sorry–your post buys into that blaming-the-victim. I can only assume you have never been cheated on, nor read the hundreds of stories on this blog that indicate that chumps were typically blind-sided, and many are the victims of serial cheaters (who continue to cheat even while espousing undying love for the chump who is trying to reconcile with them).

        Thus, you can think that alternative viewpoints are not well-tolerated here *because the rest of us have lived through the damage caused by your arguments*, and that damage has been heaped on top of the already overwhelming burden of having been cheated on.

        This is a SUPPORT site, largely. If you want academic discussion on causes of cheating & likelihood of reconciliation, there are other places to post. Frankly, I am an academic, and one who DID look at the evidence after I found out I had been cheated upon, and the research evidence more likely supports CL’s view than your own.

      • One last thing–we chumps have typically tried to see other people’s perspectives, at the expense of our own needs & perspectives, which is how we have put ourselves in a position of vulnerability to cheating spouses.

        To emphasize that you can see how Erratic’s wife might have done what she did, is to remove support from Erratic at a time that he *dramatically* needs to take his own viewpoint into account. It is now no longer therapeutic in that marriage for him to “see her side.” THAT is why people were so upset with your post. Those of us who have lived the nightmare of being the victim of a cheater know you need to go into self-preservation mode immediately. Otherwise, both your self (and the marriage) are lost anyway.

  • Ugh, I know just exactly how you feel. Here’s the thing I’ve had to acknowledge, even though accepting it remains an ongoing struggle: what you’re trying to hold on to is already gone. Your marriage is gone. Your beautiful, dedicated wife is gone. Your intact family is gone. You are mourning something that is already dead, and it hurts like a you-know-what. Wanting to accept her tearful apologies even though you see the gaping holes in her justifications is a bargain that your brain is trying to strike. My brain does mental gymnastics like you wouldn’t believe to try to understand, empathize, and “move past” my husband’s affair. But no matter how much crap my brain navigates through, I always smack into the bottom line: he willingly had lots of sex with a woman that wasn’t me. THAT is the truth that stands between the marriage I am mourning and the marriage that I actually have. There is no changing it. It is gone. Dead. Kaput. It is a horribly sad, horribly unfair truth. You have a painful road ahead, and I am so sorry for that. But chump nation is here to hold your hand through it. <3

  • Lots of good advice here Erratic. It’s all so familiar to me. I too had a storybook narrative of how my life was supposed to go. My husbands deception wasn’t part of it, so I didn’t see it. You’re still too close to D-Day to make sense of it. In time you will begin to see her for the narcissist that she is. I’m just getting past the “broken home” stigma that wasn’t supposed to be part of my story. Well… it is now. My new approach is that life is a journey. My life is no longer “perfect”, but it’s genuine.

    You’ve been beyond selfless. Don’t ever let her convince you that you’ve somehow failed HER. And one more thing… If any therapist ever tries to tell you that you need to accept your part in the whole debacle, just walk out. My husband came home from therapy with the notion that things would never get better until I accepted my part in it. My answer: “Yes, I have contributed to this mess. My contribution is that I didn’t leave you the first time… that I allowed you to think it was okay to treat me this way.” (btw, my H has been seeing the same therapist 2x per week for the past 2 years with no sign of improvement… I suspect he’s fucking her too).

    It’s not you… It’s her. Really.

  • Do the 180. If she doesnt own this shit 100%, walk away. Funny how you were in the same marriage and didnt cheat. I feel for you bro, i did the same thing for a few weeks, then it hit me, and it will hit you too, shes a user, a pig and a narcissist. Draw boundaries for you now or leave. Shes already destroyed your happily ever after. Dont worry about keeping hers intact.

    • I’m sorry, fuck the 180 – it’s bullshit. Be who you are and feel what you feel and do what you need to do. Just fuck the 180.

  • If it makes you feel better ( and it won’t ) – I survived a similar situation and have made it pretty much to Meh and beyond 🙂

    My stbx came home from a very lucrative job and announced that he had missed his calling.

    He too went to live in the kingdom of Far Far away where he got to relive his 20’s and become a completely different person while I worked to pay for a home for my children and myself.

    Long story short, he fell in tru lurv with a woman who was another student and their little group of friends became his new family.

    I was kicked to the curb a short 6 weeks after we moved to another city for his dream job and MOW separated from her H shortly after.

    I was dumbfounded and destroyed. I have never seen one moment of honest reflection from either of these freakin’ Jesus cheaters.

    I have a good but modest life on my own. I have a new Career and I respect myself. I wish I could have found chumplady sooner, but she has helped me realize that the giant black soul sucking hole is not mine to own.

    I don’t try to understand why. I don’t want answers because I won ‘t get the truth.

    Time and common sense will be your friends. You can own your truth. When people ask I to them that he chose not to be married to me any more.

    If somebody deserves more information I can tell them more. But you know your worth and you deserve a gold medal for your efforts. She gets the booby prize in the end because she cannot run away from who she is – and she sucks!

  • Been there…put my own fucktard thru college…while I held the fort at home. Heard it all. the weeping in eachothers arms…. It doesnt change. Lawyer up. Let her figure out how to manage the rest of medical school and residencey. You have already been managing without her and managing finacially. Do your math…see what you can manage with to remain comfortable and well into retirement. Court likes the status quo for custody and settlement. Use it to your advantage. Dont discuss anything with her.
    The dialogue thats going on in your head will never change…unless you get a lobotomy…so I recommend the non surgical method in dealing with your pain…cut her loose. It will be the best medicine.

  • Erratic,

    I’m so sorry that you’re being put through this. We’ve all been through it — and the early days after discovery are so incredibly rough. You don’t deserve the pain, and nothing you did could justify her behavior, which is deplorable.

    Hold her to the same standard to which you hold yourself, Erratic. It’s as simple as that. You don’t need to justify her abuse of your trust or her decision to use and betray you. You don’t need to try to justify her behavior. It seems to me that you were under a great deal of pressure, and you chose to work harder, commit more. She *chose* to betray you. That is her character.

    I don’t blame you for wanting to protect the marriage that you thought you had. I did the same thing for a long time before I saw things as they are. Just please take care of you. Do something nice for yourself. Talk to a trusted friend or family member, or a therapist. Get a massage. Go for a run. Do whatever helps you take care of yourself, because you’re going to need all of your mental and physical fortitude to keep yourself moving forward.

    Be well,
    LilyBart

  • Erratic….
    If you would have confronted her a month earlier… Same story, she ended it a month ago. It’s just cheater talk!

    I can tell you from experience, you will never forget, thirty plus years, trigger after trigger, day after day! Run ! That’s all I got. Run !

  • Your story is very familiar to me. My exwife is a school teacher and we are from Michigan. There are no teaching opening in Michigan so she took a job in Florida. She got her own house and everything. I sent her money every week because Florida is more expensive and teaching doesn’t pay that great. I sent her gift, gift cards to restaurants and I flew her home to Michigan for all her breaks, Thanksgiving, Christmas, East,er and couple weeks in the summer. I bent over backwards for her from here to try to make things easier and happy for her there. Guess what she was doing all that time? She was fucking a married man for 2.5 of those years. All the way I am helping her do it. The restaurant gift cards were used for him. When she finally comes clean with her half truths she says “It started innocent but it built to something real” and “He is a big man, he believes its his job to protect me” and “He is outgoing, not like you Fred. I just wanted someone to go places with” *SIGH* Look lets just keep this simple. She is a cake eater and was taking advantage of you. She is not going to change. Just watch, you can believe in that unicorn for awhile if you want to but watch. The red flags of dishonesty are going to be popping up everywhere. Protect your kids from that toxic situation and get her out of your life. Thats what i would do.

  • Erratic, your story is so similar to mine, although my ex was a professor and had an affair with his married grad student. They also worked out together during lunch, jogged together, took trips together, emotionally supported each other, yada, yada. My ex traveled all the time and left me home to take care of the kids, keep the home fires burning, work my job around his schedule, deal with paying the bills, etc. That’s why this line in CL’s reply brought tears to my eyes:

    “Change the narrative, Erratic. SHE WAS NOT THERE FOR YOU.”

    How do we end up feeling like we didn’t do enough when we did so much more than our cheaters did? How does the shame they should feel get transferred to our shoulders?

    Anyway, Erratic, don’t let one bad experience turn you away from counseling. There ARE good counselors out there, you have to find the right fit. Counseling is a life-saver. You need it. If you don’t feel like telling your friends at this point that’s okay, but make sure you get the support you need.

  • Oh Erratic – this is a horrible place you are in right now. I’m so sorry. I remember it well – the shock, the grief, the questioning all those things you thought were true of your life during the timeline of her deception – it truly is a hell on earth. I’m one of those chumps who tried reconciliation. It didn’t work, if anything, the shit sandwiches got worse and more frequent. I went from wife, to girlfriend, to weekend booty call. His remorse went from blubbering tears to ‘shut the fuck up already’. I found the final split up after multiple reconciliations (he kept walking away because I hadn’t gotten over it yet) was even more painful than when I tried to end it on D Day. I do believe there a few of our fellow chumps who are in reconciliation at the moment and are working cautiously through it. Unfortunately, my experience of it was like very, very slowly taking a sticky plaster off a gaping wound. Agony, terrible agony, but same result in the end 🙁 (Actually, worse result in the end, because I’d lost a lot of dignity and he lost any smidgeon of respect he might have had, had I stuck firm to my boundaries and deal-breaker).

    It does get better, but right now, I reckon you’re in the phase I was were all I could say was ‘I breathe in, I breathe out’ and that monumental effort on my part, at the time, was an amazement to me.

    Super hugs Erratic

    So sorry xxx

  • No matter what she says or does, you can’t unfuck someone. I’ve seen it pal, the cornerstone of the cheaters marriage is the cheating for the cheater and the faithful. Reconciliation is a joke 99.999999% of the time. Walk away. Best story I have ever heard was a woman comes home, admits to her husband she cheated. He says nothing, packs up, leaves. Never talks to her again. Perfect. And of course she regretted it blah blah blah…give me a break. Walk away dont look back, shes no prize. 3 billion women on the planet. One of them is bound to love you without strapping a neon “open for business” sign on her crotch.

  • I’m really sorry Erratic. That hurts like crazy.

    My STBX was “sorry” too until I asked for a divorce and told him to leave. Then, he was a mean drunk who threatened to take my child. Once the jig is up, these cheaters show their true colors. Be careful what you reveal.

    I’m sorry to say this but if she truly loved you she would not inflict this kind of pain on you. Love shouldn’t hurt like that. Nobody signed up for this shit and there is no way you caused this affair. She made a shitty choice and the consequences are hers to own, not yours. Yes, you’ll have to rebuild and let go but staying with a cheater seems like a lifetime of pain and sadness.

    I told everyone I knew about his cheating. I sang like a bird. In the early months I too felt somewhat responsible for his cheating but then I snapped out of that and realized that no, I really didn’t own any of it. I’m pretty sure if he’d asked me if it was ok to fuck someone else I’d have said no. You didn’t cause this. You sound like a great husband and nobody in this world is perfect. The good folks will stand alongside you.

    It’s hard to step away from something you love. I loved my husband very much but I knew that there was no going back. He really had changed and this wasn’t what I wanted in a husband any longer.

    I’m a year and a half out. It does get better. It’s hard and yes, I have tough days but I know they don’t last. I’m grateful for the kind people in my life and for the folks who stood by me. And yes the experience made me kinder and more compassionate. I’m a happier person now, more engaged with life. I’ll likely take this hurt with me along the way but it won’t own me.

    Whatever you decide, I sincerely wish you the best.

  • Not much to add to all the advice you’ve gotten. I do believe that once a cheater with you, always a cheater with you. You forgive her and you’ve taught her that you will take that shit and stay. She’ll do it again. I took back my ex after an episode and 10 years later, he did it again. Turns out, he never really stopped the cheating. So maybe with someone else she will be faithful, highly unlikely it will work with you. More importantly, for you to be happy, you will need to fully trust her again. If you can’t do that, don’t go for the Unicorn.

    One last thing from my experience. My ex came to me shaking, crying and begging me to take him back, swearing he loved me and insisting on sex. I gave into that, I agreed to reconcile. Turns out he went directly from the APs bed to mine that day and he gave me an STI. He went right back to her bed the next week. So, you can’t believe the tears or any of the words.

    Jedi Hugs Erratic!

  • Erratic – You sound much like the husband of one of the women my husband was screwing. He and I talked right after discovery to see how their stories lined up and I listened for over an hour while he told me how wonderful, amazing and even sexy she was. He, too, blamed himself even though he had given her so much and put her through grad school. He couldn’t stop talking about how much he loved her. He also did not want anyone to find out, did not want people to see him as a victim. But he is and you are. You need support and help from friends and family. They will be there for you.

    Eventually my husband got around to giving me more detail – I guess part of it was they bonded over not just talking about how mutually horrible their spouses were, but also sharing details of their other affairs. I let the other husband know about those other affairs and it destroyed him to find out that rather than being a one-time mistake, she had a second entire life revolving around lying and cheating – on him and their children, because the kids really do get cheated, too.

    The best thing you can do for you and her and your marriage is to throw her out, to initiate divorce and to see if she can earn her way back. The second thing is to destroy the professor. Fuck him. Report him. These days professor-student contact *is* a fireable offense. Be sure he is named in the divorce papers.

    Oh and sorry to say a degree and the money put into it is not usually considered an asset or marital property. I should know, I put my sorry-ass husband through graduate school TWICE while doing the majority of housework and raising the kids.

    • Here’s an old newspaper clipping about divorce where the supporting spouse did get some compensation, but she had to fight for it.

      http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1345&dat=19840216&id=6bMSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=gvkDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5514,16654

      I was personally acquainted with the wife of Dr. Shagaholic, and even though she won, it was still a travesty of No Fault Justice. She was some 10 – 15 years older than he was, and he was the oldest graduate in his class at age 35 or so. So she wasn’t a spring chicken that could just “move on” and “start over” Fortunately, no kids.

      Erratic sounds like he’s in a good position to 1) quit paying for Med School 2) hire a really good lawyer and 3) claw his investment back even if he has to take it to his state Supreme Court.

      Trying to do med school AND a prolonged, expensive divorce is something she should have thought about sooner.

  • Great advice here, Erratic.

    Whether your decide to stay or go, you do need to do the following”
    * See a lawyer (don’t tell your wife)–Find out your custodial and financial rights.
    * Get tested for STDs–Just as a precaution.
    * Get a therapist for YOU–It’s good that you’re a giver, but not that you’re a door mat. Find one experienced in infidelity and spousal abuse. Yes, this happens to men!

    Her cheating is 100% on her. Listen, I would have loved to be married to someone like you. I’m used to being around creative people and academics. I understand that some work isn’t 9-to-5. I completely trusted my STBX when he worked late (IT job), or on weekends because I work late and on weekends.

    I agree that neither of you had needs that were being met, but the difference was that you looked at this as a temporary situation while she used it as justification to fuck around with some other guy.

    Also, she’s offloaded all the blame to you, and you’re owning the problems. You’re saying that it’s YOUR failure, YOUR communication problem, etc. I don’t see her owning any of this, but if true reconciliation is to occur, she needs to be able to say to you, “Erratic, I’m so sorry for what I’ve done. I abused your trust. I took advantage of the sacrifices you made for me and our children, and thought only of myself. I don’t deserve to have someone like you as my husband, but I promise that if you give me another chance that I will go to therapy. I will do whatever it takes to earn your trust again.”

    There are a lot of women out there who would love and cherish you for all you’ve done. You deserve better.

  • I have to say that most of the time (after 8 years) I no longer miss my xh of 38 years, but the pain of the broken family will always be with me. And I believe that that is what many of us feel after a certain period of time. You can finally let go of the idiot to whom you were married for all that time, and recognize that most of the effort you put into the marriage was to keep your family intact, b/c it was SO IMPORTANT. A nuclear family is a precious thing, and most of my regret now is that the family that was so important to me was of so little value to my xh. You will get there too, at some point, and you will recognize that you have many many people in your life who love you, and only one who does not. It is a hard path but doable. My family is now complete without him. I’m sorry for your pain.

    • OlderWiser, I could have written your post and I am getting there after 37 years of marriage and 45 years of so called friendship and the heartache of my family being destroyed is hard to cope with. However, my family is complete without ME, and I was the one and only constant in my childrens lives. They have decided that I am not worth the effort now and that their father is the person they want in their lives. I will never understand it but I have to let it go or it will destroy me.

  • Go see a lawyer. Even if you aren’t ready to get divorced today, there may be a way to play this over the next 2 – 3 years. In some states, once a couple has been married 20+ years, they owe each other permanent alimony. You might want to time your divorce for for 1 day after the 20 year line. Right about the time she ends her residency and starts making big bucks. In the meantime, you arrange your business to make many capital investment that will pay off long term but drag down earnings today. Your earnings are depressed for 2 – 3 years pre-divorce. Congratulations to her, she is the high earner! Imagine her surprise when the judge tells her that she owes you alimony! For the rest of her life! And for professionals, alimony is often calculated based on what they can earn if employed full time, not on what they actually earn if they choose to work only part time. She becomes your wage slave. Payback served very cold indeed.

    I know, everyone here will tell you not to worry about her and move on with your life. A life well lived is the best revenge. That is true. And your #1 best choice to move forward. But if you can’t bring yourself to cut the cord today, maybe you can lay the grundwork for cutting the cord in a few years when she repeat offends (as she most likely will).

    • Deliciously evil, but I like it!
      Only thing is though – the mindfuck of having to put up with that shit and wasting more of your life to something worthless – it might pay off in the end, at the expense of tying yourself down.
      Oh, and the chance that she might divorce before the 20yrs are up.
      Theres good and bad to both really – but realistically having an authentic life free of dramatic bullshit would pay off more than tying yourself to a fuckwad for a few more years.

  • Erratic-

    You sound like a wonderful, caring man. I’m sorry that your wife treated you with such disrespect. Please do the following:
    1. Listen to Chump Lady
    2. Stay away from infidelity websites
    3. If all else fails; refer to number 1!!!!

    I remember the late night talks and the crying and the sex but your head is playing tricks on you; please trust me! You know what’s funny about infidelity websites? Okay, nothing really but there is some irony. It’s ironic that the topic of “The Fog” is often given as a reason a cheater, cheats. As in our cheaters are in such a “fog” of emotions and strange nooky that they get swept away and they “know not what they do.”

    If there is any type of fog, it is the one the betrayed spouse is in after they find out about an affair. You are confused, angry, upset and you want your life to go back to the way it was before your spouse detonated a bomb over it. That fog clouds your judgement. In one of the weirdest phenomenons known to man; betrayed spouses look to their cheaters for comfort; to help them out of the fog as it were. I can think of no other scenario in which we would ever look to a person who harmed us for comfort but there are millions of chumps out there just like you and me that do it every day.

    This woman does not have your best interest at heart, erratic. She has her best interest at heart. Cut your losses and move on. I have lived this lie; I wasted three more years of my forties with genuine imitation Naugahyde remorse from my ex. Let my life be an example of what you shouldn’t do.

    Hugs to you

    • Excellent points, especially about the “fog” being about the chump state of mind, not the cheater’s. As for turning for comfort to the abuser, that is the whole life of abused children. The only thing they have is their parent(s), so when the active abuse stops, the child look to that abuser for comfort and reassurance that life won’t end right here, right now, because children are utterly dependent on their parents.

      The ideal of “life-long” love and marriage is so powerful that it comes to mean more to many people than their own individual survival, especially emotionally and mentally. When we are abused by people we love, whether as children or adults, it is very hard to recover.

  • We have a lot in common, Erratic. Children about the same age, wives we thought just weren’t that much into sex, and who we supported and took on extra household tasks for so they could change careers. A year and a half after my wife told me about her affair during a fight, I am finally on the road to first separation, then divorce. My advice is to get her out of your life as much as possible as soon as possible. My wife is intent on getting as much out me financially as she can, despite having brought divorce on herself by carrying on a 17 month relationship with her boss and lending him $200k she has yet to recover,There’s her remorse, and I bet your wife isn’t any bit sorrier than mine. It’s heartbreaking, but your marriage isn’t worth saving. But you are. As soon as you feel strong enough, get on that.

    • ANR, totally agree, “It’s heartbreaking, but your marriage isn’t worth saving. But you are.” Erratic, pay attention to your gut. The day my ex started his affair was the day our marriage ended.

  • A great part of the pain of recent discovery comes from feeling powerless. You can’t undo what happened. You can’t make your wife feel remorse. You can’t change her mind through amazing sex (read up on hysterical bonding, by the way). You feel like you are stuck in horrible limbo waiting for your wife to have an epiphany about how amazing you are and transform back into the woman you thought you had.

    While that isn’t impossible, it’s extremely rare. There’s no point in sitting in torturous limbo for months or years to find out if you might be one of those lucky rare cases. Start the separation process. Stop paying for her schooling and her apartment and her expenses. Stop having sex with her (and get tested for STIs). Focus on your children, and on yourself.

    If she’s genuine in her remorse and truly does love you and want to be a better wife, she will understand that those reactions are necessary for you based on her actions, and she will be willing to do ANYTHING to prove herself and re-earn your trust. You’ll find that this is a lengthy process as you overcome the trauma of your implosion of your marriage.

    If she’s not, then you’ll soon find out that reconciliation is doomed to failure when she behaves in any other fashion, and you can proceed with divorce and work on getting on with your life, free from the selfish pod-person look-alike who murdered your real wife.

    The pain comes from the feeling of paralysis, like your world has crashed down and you are waiting to see if the person who caused it will rebuild it. Odds are, you’re going to have to do it yourself, without such a dangerous person anywhere near it.

  • Well, I am concerned that NOT ONCE did Erratic say how his kids (10 & 13) were dealing with the fact Mommy went back to school and he had to do everything (like she did for 10 plus years.) It’s like they don’t even exist in his story? And she took off to her apartment. Do either one of them really even care about those kids? That bothers me. And punishing each other financially does NOTHING to help these kids.

      • I think Dianne has her own agenda 🙁 Because, let’s think about it: why should the faithful spouse be told to feel guilty about the kids? First, it’s natural that you will (no getting around that), but the reality is, the faithful spouse didn’t disregard their family;the cheater did that. The cheater blew it all up.

        On top of that, this particular cheater as part of her pursuing the life as a single person without telling her spouse or kids about it has been away from her kids and living a secret life that neither her kids nor her husband don’t even know about. Not exactly the kind of intimate bonding, prioritizing family stuff that makes families work.

        Dianne makes a point of trying to guilt trip him by pointing out that she was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years and compares that to what he is doing as a single-parent right now.

        Problem: when she was a stay-at-home mom, the kids still had a father around who prioritized his family above things like chasing tail and pretending he was single. There is no valid comparison. The guilt-trip taps into the protective instinct of a good parent and then uses a false-equivolency to try to, once again, force the faithful spouse into carrying the burden for the cheater’s choices.

    • Erratic’s letter states that he has two beautiful children…and then he lists their ages because, yes, he’s thinking he can save them too. That alone speaks to the fact that he loves them and worries about their well being. My heart goes out to you, I was reeling for two years…. A lot of families make sacrifices, around jobs, school, family. We do it because we love and support one another. We do it because it’s right. We step up when we need to. Erratic’s fairy tale ended with his wife’s affair. A lot of great marriages survive challenges but Cheating is a whole other ball of wax. Actions. They define us. Supporting his wife as a SAHM, then as a student, speaks volumes about Erratic’s commitment to his marriage, to his wife, and to their children. She destroyed her marriage when she chose to cheat. As complicated as life is, this choice isn’t. Every minute, every hour, every day in a year, his wife made that same choice. Cheating, in my humble opinion, is the ultimate deal breaker.

  • I expect this is pretty fresh for Erratic, Dianne. I would not assume that because he did not mention the effect in the kids in his inquiry , that he is unconcerned about them. He is pretty traumatized at this point.
    Nor did he mention any intent to wreak financial havoc on his wife. Not sure where you got that idea.
    His wife has demonstrated , by cheating on her kids, that she cared very little for them. Additionally, her fucking other men has impacted their lives negatively .
    Erratic has been a good dad and husband. His wife likes to fuck other men behind his back. You cannot blame him for her proclivity in that regard.
    Would you stay with a husband who wants to fuck others behind your back?

    • I am beginning to wonder if SHE is erratics wife. trying to make herself feel better for her crappy choices and gaslight all of us into thinking it was somehow erratics fault and his wife is not “that bad” of a person.

      going through the pain of betrayal myself. i would never sympathize with the cheater in others stories. as soon as they open their legs for another man or stick their dick into another woman, i have ZERO sympathy for them. they are selfish, hateful, inconsiderate, spineless, unmoral individuals with no integrity.

      i could GIVE a fuck on what their reasons were for cheating. IMO there is NO excuse for cheating!! EVER!!! funny how cheater sympathizers always forget that the chump was in the same marriage. how is it that erratic did not cheat on his wife, did not find someone to help him with the responsibilities of taking care of the kids, or why is he not fucking the maid that came once a week?

      this guy is going over ad BEYOND the vows he took at the beginning of his marriage. he is working a job and working at home; meanwhile is “perfect” (gag) wife is taking a vacation, not having to deal with ANY responsibilities, get to focus on creating a new career, and has time to workout and fuck her professor. AND YET SOMEHOW IT IS HIS FAULT? he wasn’t giving her what!!!!???!!

      i totally agree with arnold, that just because he is not mentioning his kids doesnt mean he isnt worried about them. at the beginning of my divorce, i worried about the kids alot but was so traumatized over what he did to ME that they were in the background of my pain. i dont think this DIanne has ever had to deal with the pain of being betrayed or cheated on from the stupid shit she is posting.

  • His kids will be better off away from their lyi g , cheating NPD mom.
    Fuck , who wants to be raised by a NPD? That will fuck a
    kid up quite badly.

  • If he can leverage the cheating to get child support, it would be edit the kids. Away from a cheater + child support = chance for a decent childhood.

  • KA – ‘Scott, your ploy is absolutely bloody bleeding blooming marvellous. High five.”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. You devious ingenious sob. lol!

  • This story is so common, one of these days I’m going to research its pathology. As a research scientist and doctor, I can’t help but notice the pattern of repetition: Good spouse takes care of cheater spouse — financially, emotionally, etc. — and after some period of time, cheater spouse trades in for young freewheeling AP, leaving Good Spouse to wonder WTF just happened?

    Sometimes I think there’s a parental dynamic that gets created. I know *I* frequently felt like XH’s mother more than his lover, and I told him so, repeatedly, asked him to pull his own weight because it felt creepy to me how much I felt like his mom. — I wonder if he, too, didn’t feel like my child and so when he reached a certain level of “adulthood” (umm, okay, cheating isn’t really a responsible adult’s behavior, but whatever…), which I had provided for him, by the way, then he “grew up” and “left home” to go pursue his REAL adult life — I mean, it’s a “real adult life” that entails his 39-year-old ass sleeping with the 25-year-old (also recently divorced!) waitress that works for him, but, again, whatever….

    Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying we chumps are to blame, not at all. I think you’re supposed to give your all into a relationship, and I’m glad I did. But I wonder if it isn’t perceived in some neurotic way by all these cheaters as OK to leave once they’re done with us? Just thinking out loud here….

    • also, the “not into sex” thing. Mine, too. I was SO disappointed in our sex life, but, again, I wonder if it was a mom thing (eww). (BTW, FWIW, we don’t have any kids, thank god.)

    • Yeah, I think the dynamic is often that the cheater: 1) wants to be taken care of, like a child; 2) resents feeling like a child; and then 3) has affairs to demonstrate their “grown-up-ness” and independence (i.e., “You’re not the boss of me!”).

      True suckitude, to give and give and give to another and then to be resented and punished for it.

      • I think in most cases it’s much simpler, the cheater wants to BE us, they are attracted to our strength and other caring qualities. They “try” and fail, they don’t have the ability, the empathy or the strength. At that point they resent us for being who we are. I didn’t say this very well and don’t have the energy to fully flesh it out on the keyboard.

        • Maybe. I’d have to think about that. In my own case, I don’t think XH ever wanted to be me. He seemed to just generally resent me at the end, maybe even the last year of our marriage. I think he just wants things to be “fun” and “easy” all the time. All this adult responsibility like household chores and compromising on the day’s activities is Such.A.Drag, Man…..

          • I think it’s cheating that makes them resentful. The I should be able to do whatever the fuck I want because it’s what I WANT. My last two years with my POS ex were with the stranger he had become. Nothing he did made sense and he was absent, argumentative, and angry. Around everybody else the same Sparkly Mr. Nice Guy. He was in effect getting rid of me and building a future with her. Burning bridges. Sex with him then sucked too but I could not figure it out! I just always jumped into the shower afterwards. Lol!

  • “I can see how your wife ended up doing what she did”

    If you haven’t cheated, or aren’t cheating, saying this tells me that you’re a risk to cheat. This is what I call a red flag.

    I can’t see how someone does what she did. I had opportunities, even when I was being neglected and my wife was being cold and pushing me away. I still managed to say ‘no’. Probably because I never had that “I can see how people cheat” brain pattern.. I have a “I can’t see how people cheat, it makes no sense to me” brain pattern.

  • “Wanting to cheat is a normal part of human nature”

    Really.. I guess I’m not normal, I was into the not wanting to cheat thing. I actually had value for my marriage, was proud of my relationship and didn’t even notice when I was being hit on because I wasn’t looking. I cherished and loved my wife, and would have taken her over any other in a heartbeat.

    Diana sounds like she’s high risk for cheating. If I were dating her, and she said some of these things.. now I would run like hell. In the past I would have been concerned, but might have continued in the relationship. Now I know a red flag when I see it.

  • You guys do realize there are two different Diana’s posting on the thread, right? Their last initials (C, L) are different and the things they are posting are in response to different concerns, but they are both playing devil’s advocate.

  • The wifes medical degree is marital property. Go after future earnings. Take your power back Erratic!. Get angry! Protect your children, and yourself.

  • Omgosh.

    My fiance is allowing me to study. I would never in a million years cheat on such a caring and understanding human being. He’s sacrificing so much for my wants….i never want him to be sad….ever

    God if I ever make a mistake like that woman…give me a lethal STD.

    My fiance is not the most educated. He has a decent job, but his family and core values are solid. He’s so supportive and so kind. I’ve dated wealthy hot over educated douchebags and none are anything like my fiance.

    I’m so proud to have him as my man and I owe him my life.

    I feel AWFUL you got mistreated. Not all women going back to school are like that.

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