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Can Affair Relationships Last? Are You Super, Duper Special?

cheaters_as_dog_pooMany chumps sent me the HuffPo article “Here’s Why My Affair Will Turn Into a Healthy, Long-Term Relationship.” (Short answer: Because you’re really special, exceptional, and in love.) By “Claire.” (No last name, because pride in your relationship stops at surnames.)

So, let’s put it through the patented Universal Bullshit Translator.

Can relationships based on infidelity last?

Oh, many chumps hope so, Claire. Because there is no more perfect karma than for two cheaters to wind up together, making each other miserable in perpetuity with the little slings and arrows of their shittiness. But unfortunately, yeah, these things tend to fall apart when the sparkles wear off.

It’s such a funny question though — you just want to know if it can LAST. Well, plenty of things endure. Doesn’t mean they’re healthy and happy though.

But if it lasts then people won’t think you’re an idiot for breaking up the home of three kids. It all Had a Greater Purpose.

Had you asked the girl I was nine years ago this question, as I was entering into marriage (and of course having it all figured out at the ripe old age of 21) I would have given you a resounding “NO” and rattled off the reasons I knew to be true.

Of course a relationship founded on lies and secrets could not be healthy. How could you ever expect someone who cheated with you to not cheat ON you?

This is your sensible self talking, Claire. Listen to her. Or ignore her until you find the sext messages on his cell phone.

Would you always be suspicious of them and would they be suspicious of you? These reasons of course would lead any rational person to say, “no…there is no circumstance under which an affair can lead to a healthy relationship.”

Fast forward nine years. I am at the end of my marriage, have 3 children, a home, 3 dogs… and while I definitely still have a lot to learn about life, I will say I am nowhere near as jaded as I once was with the illusions of what marriage would be.

We failed at marriage in just about every way possible,

Always the royal We with you cheaters. No, you failed at marriage by cheating. I’m sure your husband wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t cheat on you, and he didn’t bail on three kids and three dogs — so I think this failure is yours. Please own it.

all leading up to me saying “enough is enough” when it came to his substance abuse and… in the end… my falling in love with another man.

Oh, well he had a substance abuse problem. That’s different. Of course you had to cheat on him. I mean, he sucks, right? Did he have a substance abuse problem when you married him? Had kid 1? 2? 3? When exactly did you become aware of this problem?

Did you try Al-Anon? Therapy? Honest conversations? A call to the divorce lawyer? Detaching with love?

This is about the man (let’s call him 40) that I have fallen head over heels, getting hit by a freight train, madly in love with and whether or not we will be able to translate a relationship started while I was still married into a happy, mutually respectful, healthy relationship. The logical, college educated part of me says absolutely not.

Horrible sentence construction, Claire. But from what I can tell, this guy you’re “madly in love with” is still not a sure thing? Because you’re not sure whether or not you “will be able to translate” the relationship into something permanent?

Best of luck with that. I’m sure he’d never throw a woman with three kids under the bus. That never happens. You know, guys who fuck married women for no-strings-attached sex, who are then suddenly available — yes, those men always fall madly-deeply-freight-train-in-love with you.

Guys who love no-strings-attached sex are just AWESOME at blended family life.

However, let’s just play devil’s advocate here. What if — in spite of the circumstances, and in spite of the underlying potential jealousy issues — we manage to make it work?

What if pigs could play banjos? What if eating a steady diet of cookies resulted in weight loss? What if owls were Soviet spies?

I mean, it’s possible.

And not only make it work but have the kind of love I once thought did not even exist. Does that mean that it is possible to trust someone you know is capable of adultery? I know myself and I know my heart.

Well, it’s nice to know you know you won’t cheat. Which tells you fuck all about him. See, that’s the thing, Claire. We don’t control people with our love. Just because we feel something doesn’t mean the other person does too or will behave ethically. Ask your husband about that.

I know that what I did was not something I should have done. I should have done the brave thing and left my marriage before starting a relationship with someone else. I could have spared more feelings by leaving when I knew I wanted to. But I didn’t. And now I am left with a bit of uncertainty about the future of my relationship with 40.

Spared more feelings? That’s a nice bit of minimization. You have to know your husband and children are devastated by your affair. Yes, the brave thing would have been leaving honestly before you cheated, and yes, your husband and kids would have been hurt by a divorce.

But then you would’ve been alone. A single parent. No fantasy to sustain you. It’s hard, hard work. Much better to toss them all over for The Great Love of the Ages.

And you have just “a bit of uncertainty about the future” of your relationship with 40?

He’s not putting a ring on it? Can’t imagine why not!

Adultery is a messy business. I would say to anyone that is considering an affair, in the middle of an affair, or just getting out of an affair, really spend some time looking at the reasons for your actions. I think the answer to whether or not you can make a healthy relationship out of an affair lies in these reasons.

If you were cheating just for the excitement, or just to get back at your spouse for their prior bad acts, the odds are you aren’t looking for a healthy relationship to come out of it anyway. I do think there is an exception though. I think that there are times, such as when your marriage is essentially over, and you are just in limbo mentally and emotionally, when a relationship that begins with an affair can end in a happy relationship.

Yes, of course, you’re one of the Better Class of Cheaters. You didn’t do it for the excitement, or to get back at your spouse (for say, his substance abuse). No, you Did It For Love! And that makes you different than other cheaters how exactly? You really think other cheaters don’t think they feel special butterflies too?

Your marriage was “essentially over”? Gee, did you inform your husband of that — or just your affair partner?

Marriages that are “essentially over” have consulted lawyers and have separation agreements, separate addresses, and separate finances.

“Emotional limbo” doesn’t cut it.

I know this is not the most popular opinion to hold. Infidelity is typically met with a great deal of opinion and judgment, and very rarely are any exceptions made in regards to how the general public views a “cheater”.

But I can tell you’re working really hard to change that, Claire. Why not write a nice HuffPo piece about it and change the world’s opinion of your Love?

But I would suggest, before rushing judgment of the woman you work with or know from your child’s school, that you take a moment to consider what could have led her to have an affair.

Her crappy character.

You most likely do not know the story of her marriage, and you do not know what sins were committed by both parties.

Chumps don’t compel cheaters to cheat on them. Infidelity is entirely on the cheater. See “therapy, divorce lawyers, separation agreements” above. You didn’t do those things, ergo, you suck. I’m sorry.

If she does make it work with the man she had an affair with, good for her. Maybe her ex has forgiven her and she has forgiven herself. Maybe she has asked God for forgiveness and she is working to mend that relationship as well.

Well as long as you’ve forgiven yourself! We’re all good! And Jesus forgave you too?

As the saying goes, it’s always better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

As for her and her new man, the best they can do is listen to their hearts and trust one another. Here’s hoping the love 40 and I have for one another will be enough to weather the storm we created. I am looking forward to calmer days ahead.

Claire, you were a piece of ass to this guy. Will he “listen to his heart” and trust you to “weather the storm”? I sincerely doubt it. Unless you’re of use to him — does he need a sofa to sleep on? Are you 20 years younger than he is? Do you have a trust fund?

Is he creepy? Did you meet him on Craigslist? Do you really want this guy around your children? Because pervy pedophiles prey on single mothers. Or is he just a run of the mill douchebag who sleeps with married women?

Get yourself in therapy, Claire. You’re not special or exceptional. You’re an idiot who threw away her marriage and intact family for a fantasy. Your marriage was difficult? Now, you’re looking at single motherhood with three kids. Your stock is not going to trade highly. The dream is evaporating and shit’s about to get very real.

Best of luck.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • What I wrote there:

    Affairs are abuse, period. But don’t just take my word for it, read what Dr Willard Harley has to say with respect to affairs.
    “But even if there were to be no risk of rekindling an affair, if any contact continues, the affair still remains alive in the mind of the betrayed spouse. Since an affair is the most hurtful and selfish act that one spouse can inflict on the other, any contact restores the memory and perpetuates the pain. Wives have told me that their husband’s affair was worse than being raped. Men have said their wifes affair was worse than losing a child. It’s the ultimate betrayal.”
    So here we have an abuser, justifying her abuse.
    I have no doubt the marriage is bad for her. However, is it also bad for her husband? Does he abuse alcohol to escape from his bad marriage?
    Affairs are addictive. Clair sounds just as addicted to 40 as she claims her betrayed husband is to alcohol.
    “Affairs are not usually difficult to prove. That’s because the affair is an addiction, and addicts are notoriously sloppy in covering their tracks. They also become progressively sloppy as the affair develops. They try to hide it, and are reasonably successful early in a relationship. But eventually they leave text messages, email, and telephone records in plain sight for anyone to observe. If a suspecting spouse is patient, it doesn’t take too long or require too much effort, to prove that an affair is taking place.”
    Finally, what is Clair teaching her children? That instead of dealing with problems head on, in an open, honest fashion, she resorts to deceit. The ends justify the means. You can do anything you want if the result is you are happy.
    We wonder where the entitlement mentality is sourced? It’s children, raised by parents such as Claire who learn it’s ok to lie and cheat to obtain happiness.

    • uniballer, that is totally an awesome post. You hit the nail on the entitled, deceitful head of the cheater. They truly do believe they are special, and more important than the chump and they are entitled to do whatever they want and if it hurts you, too bad, you made me do it.

    • I actually used that comparison when I told my ex how I felt about what he had done. Back in my early 20s, I had a boyfriend that liked to get high and one night was spent raping me while he held a gun to my head. Managed to get over that, was a very happy, fearless woman when ex came into my life. 11 years after we were married, he decides on his own the marriage was over (forgot to tell me though) and that his affairs were not cheating as he wasn’t married (oh really?). When I told him the devastation he caused was so much worse than that episode I went through (and he knew of), he told me to stop being so silly and dramatic, what he had done was not a big deal. o.O

      Idiot . . .

      • Heather64, big hugs to you.

        It is irrational that those we trust with our lives, past, present and future can act in way that leave us gutted. It is almost as if in their thinking they assume ‘ she got over that, she’ll get over this it’s no big deal. Assholes.

      • After seeing on TV a woman recount her experience of being gang raped, I told my ex about how terrorized she must still feel…his comment was “rape? It’s just sex. It’s not like she was killed”. Whether he actually believes that or said it to devalue something I was concerned about, I’m not sure. And he has a daughter.

    • I just read several articles on as linked in unuballer’s post. not impressed. some good points, but the therapist misses the main idea ***character flaw of cheater*** and reality that no one gets all their needs met in a marriage! AND once an affair is discovered, the solution is NOT for the betrayed spouse to better meet the needs of the cheater!!


      • He understands the mind of the cheater, and provides a means for those who want to recover the marriage (MRIC, IIRC) I’d never try it again. I’ve told my new bride that if she feels the need to cheat, don’t plan on me trying to win her back. If she doesn’t respect me enough to have an adult conversation, with words and proposed solutions and all, then don’t expect that I’d stick around for more of that.

      • I believe this unconfirmed affair/s is factual in my marriage. I have much proof, but deniable from spouse’s mouth. Catch 22. Unhappy, don’t trust completely, many other negatives resulting….. Maybe it’s my own feelings, projections affecting this. My belief is that whatever needs to be made known, undeniably, will happen at the right moment. Marriage is forever except with regards to infidelity.

  • Claire: What if we (AP) manage to make it work?
    CL: What if pigs could play banjos? What if eating a steady diet of cookies resulted in weight loss? What if owls were Soviet spies? I mean, it’s possible.
    IHH: Priceless!

      • You can put lipstick on a pig and it’s still a pig…keep wallowing cheaters…it’s still dishonesty and deceit!

        • LOVE IT!!! You are right Nain…’s still dishonesty and deceit and it hurts us. But we aren’t running from the pain, we are dealing with it so that when we do get in to a healthy relationship–ours WILL last!

          • Hey ladies:

            So y’all got cheated on. Either work it out or go out and find someone new. Y’all sound so bitter. Yes, it’s true, the next guy you find might cheat too, but better to have loved and lost than to sit around and be bitter.

            I was cheated on. But I realized early on that being bitter is not going to help me attract women. You guys have to get your mojo back. Stewing in anger and bitterness is not going to help you do that. It is interesting to read these posts. But with all the cheating going on out there, I just resigned myself to the fact that everyone cheats eventually. No way around it. So why be bitter and alone.

            • Armor clad—-Don’t waste any of your brain cells resigning yourself that I will ever be a cheater in my lifetime…. Sheesh! What an ignorant and irrational statement for you to make

              • I would rather be “alone” than with a cheater. How much more alone can a chump be if the cheater is out screwing someone else??? That’s just pathetic to stay. And you want to set yourself up as a CHUMP instead of being bitter and alone? What, you’re going to be happy with a cheater? LOL.

            • Ladies and gents, I suggest that we make a pact that no one responds to the trolls. They’re just cheaters (or affair partners) who are angry and bitter because they know in their hearts they are wrong,

              • Einstein, it is with the utmost respect that I must decline taking your suggestion of not acknowledge trolls’ comments. Why let them think they were right or they have silenced us and that we have no words to refute them? Fair debate is healthy, right?

              • I don’t know how CL’s sponsorship works, but it’s also possible each comment increases her revenue (or at least likelihood of revenue). Plus, the research shows that bullies do not stop unless they have consequences or are put in their place. And let’s face it, a few of these “don’t be bitter” posters are bullies.

              • Geez I have been reading this blog and responses and I am afraid to post. It seems as it everyone who disagrees with the typical sentiment here is skewered and labeled a troll or a cheater or an affair partner. Huh! What’s with that? I am not troll. I was cheated on, but my spouse reformed and now we are happy, 22 years out. I am sad that some here insist they would NEVER cheat. Have you had the opportunity or the invitation. I have. I think I could and I still do. I am still glad that I stuck it out with my spouse. We love each other and love is about accepting someone warts and all. This leave a cheater thing is so peculiarly American as in USA. The Y’all guy seems to be an exception to the puritanical hypocritical leave a cheater thing Americans embrace. Hit me with your best shot. I am all ears. I expect to be attacked

            • Well, aren’t you urbane? Cheating happens, get over it.

              NEWSFLASH–we are getting over it, by coming to CL and sharing in a community of people who have been hurt the same way. If we want to do so with humor and snark, as opposed to lecturing other people on how they should live their lives, we will. Thanks for playing.

              • Tempest, isn’t it generous that she has ‘resigned herself that everyone cheats eventually’? I never have and never will cheat. I have a high degree of resentment for her insipid and ludicrous remark.

            • I’m not bitter, but I’d far rather be that way than be an immoral fuck resigned to having zero integrity in a world of narcissism. But hey, you go ahead and enjoy the ride. I’ll thank God I’M not the poor woman foolish enough to date you.

              • I’m not bitter. I’m better. But thanks, armor clad, for completely missing the point of CL’s blog. She helps people who have been fucked over by narcissistic assholes understand that they can recover… from one of the most traumatic events imaginable. KInd of like sites that help rape victims or victims of domestic abuse. If you don’t find the comments of folks here helpful, by all means move on, but posting shitty, preachy comments just makes you look like a big jerk.

            • ‘y’all’? You expect me to take advice from someone who starts sentences off with ‘y’all’?!? These are written responses – you do realize you don’t have to type like you talk, right?

              • He/she is definitely from the south. Although I deplore trolls, I will say – being from the south myself – that we tend to talk and write just that way. “You guys” just sounds completely weird.

              • Hully, the think you don’t understand that is different about you, is that your spouse reformed.

                Do you know what that means? That means he isn’t a narcissistic asshole. It means that he was capable of looking at the terrible pain he caused, imagining what that was like for you, feeling remorseful about it, looking at what shitty character and past issues HE had in order to do such a hurtful thing, and committing to change. In other words, he ‘reformed’. Making amends means changing the way you behave.

                I would have given my right tit for that. I would have forgiven and moved on and we would have gotten over it because at last I would have had a spouse who listened to me and given back, and it would have all been worth it.

                But I didn’t. I went through the second trauma of founding out just how character disordered he is (triple diagnosed narcissistic personality disorder) and that he had always been selfish, remote, and treated me like an appliance – and you CAN’T reconcile with someone like this. Narcissist MEANS ‘failure of relationship.’

                What you describe and what we have to deal with are two different things. It has been the worst experience of my life and I have been crushed and heartbroken to discover that I never had any connection. There is no way I would voluntarily choose this out of ‘bitterness’.

              • Patsy
                This really hit home for me. I am so sorry you were treated so horribly by your husband. I’m a reconciler, have been for 3 years. Sometimes I’m grateful because my H is doing just what you describe. He does show genuine remorse. He’s asked for forgiveness LOL even when I’m not mad! If anyone here has/had reason to divorce it’s me. sometimes I question my sanity for staying, reconciling, unicorn hunting.. Sometimes I wish I had just moved on, taken what belonged to me and assumed the devil may care attitude what happens to everyone whom this divorce would have impacted. I didn’t and I live with my decision and try not think about “what if”.

                I think I hear you say you wish you could have reconciled with your H but it was impossible because he’s a genuine, dyed in the wool, NPD incapable of change and consideration and ability to love anyone but himself. Don’t! Be grateful you didn’t have a chance. Be grateful you could and did get away from him. I think my H has narcissistic tendencies because he was raised by a NPD mother and co-dependent father. I don’t know can anyone be a little bit NPD? 🙂

                My life is pretty good but there are days when I wish I would have just cashed it in :/

              • BTW– I hate, hate when people say “you’re bitter” We aren’t bitter, we’re pissed!!! Big difference!

            • Armor Clad,

              I think I see a chink in your mail.

              “So, why be bitter and alone?”

              How about better to be alone than bitter? We are all here so we can be OK with alone without being bitter.

              That is why the soul slayer is NOT in our home and we have hope for an honest future.

              Beware, you have found a place where chumps dwell…

              • I am pretty happy, not bitter at all by now.
                I just happen to find these asshole cheaters fascinating in some weird way.
                It is fun to read about them and see their disordered behavior patterns.

            • I wonder if armor clad was married for 20 years, I wonder if his spouse fucked his best friend in their martial bed, I wonder if her lover was at their sons graduation, I wonder if she spent every dime they had, then spent the children’s inhertience that his father left for the children as he passed away just as she was beginning his affair, I am not only angry but I have damn right to be angry and I’m not ashamed of it!

              • So much hurt,
                Thank you, thank you, thank you! Anger is so misunderstood. I just got finished reading a BS letter about how my life would be better if I had no anger.
                No. I would be dead. Anger spurred me to keep going in my shoddy life. Anger spurred me to draw boundaries. Think about it… If a tiger is chasing you, the last thing to do is go pet the ‘kitty’… Smart People get angry and ACT.
                I love it when someone here laments the inability to get angry. That is a terrible handicap that stems from cowardice or severe brainwashing.
                My therapist said anger will destroy my relationships… So I try to just keep a small bit, but like a little penicillin it does wonders in this fight for my life. No more easy target here for all those predators. I got smart. I got angry.

              • somuchhurt:

                Your hubsster sounds like an ahole. What can I say. But for my spouse it was just sex, so what. I got over it. But I agree, your spouse is whacko and you have a right to be angry

                Every sitch is diff.

              • Friend, Yes! Anger is “misunderstood.” Anger propelled me forward.

                From Psychology Today. The Seven Most Important Anger Questions to Ask Yourself
                No one likes “those angry women” so why not stay depressed and self-doubting?
                Published on November 24, 2013 by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D. in The Dance of Connection

                Anger is something we feel. It exists for a reason and always deserves our respect and attention. We all have a right to everything we feel—and certainly our anger is no exception.

                But If feeling anger signals a problem, venting anger does not solve it. So there are questions about anger that may be helpful to ask ourselves:

                “What am I really angry about?”

                “What is the problem, and whose problem is it?”

                “How can I sort out who is responsible for what?”

                “How can I learn to express my anger in a way that will not leave me feeling helpless and powerless?”

                “When I’m angry, how can I clearly communicate my position without becoming defensive or attacking?”

                “What risks and losses might I face if I become clearer and more assertive?”

                “If getting angry is not working for me, what can I do differently?”

                These are the questions I address in The Dance of Anger, not with the goal of getting rid of our anger or doubting its validity, but of gaining greater clarity about its sources and then learning to take a new and different action on our own behalf.

            • Gotta love a redneck hick parading around his fuckwaddery of ‘don’t be bitter’.
              Couldn’t you be even more predictable? I’m waiting for a ‘Its not what I did but its your reaction to it’
              I’m not bitter – I cleave fuckheads out of my life who employ shit character. Major difference. Bitter would imply that I would want a cheater’s terrible life.
              Makes you wonder what is going through the mind of morons like this, really.
              ‘Armour clad’, huh? Guess you have to hide behind that because one poke and you’d be crying on the floor.

              • PS: I can say with 100% iron will that I will NEVER cheat. Know why?
                Because I don’t have shit character.
                Sucks for you if it means sinking the bar so low that you put up with garbage from other people.
                Are you perchance projecting your shitty morals onto everyone else? Doesn’t take much to realise you’re a cheater or cheater apologist, in which case it means your pathetic mindset means nothing. Fuck off.

              • Lania:

                You have never met someone who just knocked your socks off after being married for years? My spouse did. It was just sex. No biggy. Maybe you just haven’t met him yet. Stuff happens, my friend.

                BTW: you sound like a vulgar mean girl. Can’t we all just get along. Be nice. No need for name calling.

              • “Who’s that tromping across my bridge?” The littlest billy goat gruff just met ANOTHER troll. Do you remember what happens to the troll at the end of that story, Hully?

                Now leave Lania alone and go back to your sippy cup. Circle Time is about to start.

              • Tempest:

                Stop being so American. An affair is just sex. I am not troll. Be nice. Anyway, I bet your cute when you’re angry.

                And trolls don’t upset me in fairytales, either. Sippy cups are for people that are so scared by life they attack and accuse anyone who disagrees of being a troll.

              • Ah, so we have yet another fuckwit who claims “Its just sex” and rounds it off with claiming I’m being vulgar? You’re the one being vulgar by saying “Its just sex” and trampling on the boundaries of a place meant for chumps, you fuckwad. I’ll call you what I fucking please. If you can’t handle me calling you out on your shit, I suggest you piss off.
                If you want to debase yourself being married to a slut, be my guest.
                Fact is, I’d write off their name – with their own blood, if they even thought about doing that.

            • Dear armor clad, if cheating and forgiving work for you, that’s fine. For the people who come to this board and write, cheating has meant many levels of devastation.Many people here forgave and forgave and the cheating never stopped.

              Most people who get STDs from a partner or have all of there money stolen or found out that the the affair partner has been on expensive vacations with the spouse while they stayed home with the kids are angry, even enraged. That’s healthy. It’s not normal to be abused and then feel nothing. You can decide to stay in your marriage. And while many of us may encourage our friends who have been and are presently being abused to step away from the abuse and start a life over, I know of no person here who has been castigated for making that choice.

              This board provides key information to many people who have been abused emotionally, financially and psychologically by cheaters. I had no idea about the narcissist’s “devaluation and discard” stages of relationship and spent month wondering what had happened to me and the relationship, seemingly overnight. He left with my money but no explanation.

              Feel free to continue what appears to be a form of open marriage. That’s your choice. I prefer fidelity.

              • Oh, yeah, Jackass, I forgot to tell Hully about that, about the forgiving and working on the relationship whilst he does absolutely nothing, and then finding him with OW again. Forgot about that. It HAS to be my bitterness! Hully, did you find your reformed spouse back with OW again after promising you the earth? That is the difference between reforming and being an an abusive uncaring asshole

            • Yes for every narcissist serial cheating asshole that dates women who think they are SPECIAL I would suggest the OW check his phone records and think again.
              Spring is just around the corner and my Ex has already contacted his reserves. Those are the other women he returns to for a thrill while you are working. They like you have no problem screwing married men. Now he is SINGLE. Why do you think he wanted his EX wifes health benefits? He said it was because he didn’t want to marry any if his whores. In our divorce settlement court date he said he thinks about me all the time. Your his latest fuck buddy nothing more. Oh yeah your also not the first to get caught up in his florida DREAM. Haha I am free. He has already tried to contact me. You can’t be with him every minute. Enjoy the drama you have I am sure the fighting has already started. The thing he loves is his you fight for him. He’s not a good guy. Happy spring!

      • Going back to the original post – as somebody trying to maintain my equilibrium and look after family amidst diabolical revelations of multiple affairs and defrauding kids and I of a lot if money you are a sanity saviour worth cherishing…

    • Fantastic article! Owls that are spies? I laughed out right – you forgot ‘ I had to lie to over and over again to you because I didn’t want to hurt you’ -I guess herpes or the clap are ‘painless’!!!

  • Outstanding article, Chump Lady. Right on the target, on so many points. And I love how, at the end, it says “filed under Bad Infidelity Advice” lol! You can say that again!

    About her comment, “And not only make it work but have the kind of love I once thought did not even exist. Does that mean that it is possible to trust someone you know is capable of adultery? I know myself and I know my heart.”

    Riiiight, Miss Cheaterpants. You say this NOW. But didn’t you also say that once before, when you married your Chump? It’s like my Ex used to say, “well, I WAS madly in love with you at the moment I said it.” Cheaters excel at situational truth. Even the few who actually believe what they’re saying at the time they’re saying it (yeah, most are just liars) find out later that their character is too weak/ shitty to follow through on promises/ commitments. And that’s the issue here. NOT how much you love this guy or how much you FEEL you won’t cheat. But how well, when the going gets rough, you can be strong and stay the course, compromise, and work things out. And history shows that you can’t. Instead, you screw over your best friend/ partner/ mate and your own kids. You’re a cheater.

    • I love that she asserts that she knows her own heart, when she simultaneously claims that the affair started because she DIDN’T know her own heart. Funny, that.

      • That’s because 40 is just so awesome, he provided the road map to her heart. (Although I fear she’s going to have a crash soon. If only she’d taken the high road.)

        • No, I think they are taking the train. The train wreck of love that cannot be denied. It’s heading straight into her heart.

        • OW told sbxh that ‘there is a brighter light for us’ – as soul mates of course there is – if only it was of nuclear proportions 🙂

  • When you ask Jesus for forgiveness, he forgives you and says, “Go and sin no more”. What part of, “Sin no more” does she not get?

    A new relationship will never last or be fulfilling built on top of the one destroyed by cheaters.

    The physics of humanity does not work that way.

    • I want to clarify when asking Christ for forgiveness it is on your knees, completely humbled, head bowed in deep sorrow for the pain you caused others and Him because of your transgressions and then you SIN NO MORE.

      Nothing worse than a sanctimonious Jesus-forgave-me-why-can’t-you. Barf, vomit, wretch.

      I doubt any cheater could begin to comprehend the depth of sorrow and regret that must accompany their request for true forgiveness in order to be forgiven.

      If they could, they never would have cheated in the first place.

  • Self-delusion much? So let me get this straight. Claire has three young children and an ex-husband with “substance abuse” problems (another polite term for a drug addict), a mortgage and no mention of employment. Sure, “40” is just foaming at the mouth to jump into to that situation-not. Is she really that stupid? Well,duh…

    More likely 40 was looking for a quick fuck and “poor” Claire was looking for someone to rescue her from her fucked-up life. And by his actions, Mr. 40 has shown he does not have the strength of character to be a good stepfather to the 3 children Claire mentions in passing. Does she not understand that he probably chose her exactly because she was in no position to demand an authentic commitment from him?

    Through many years of hardwork, X and I were able to achieve a measure of financial stability, which OW thought would soon be hers. Boy, was she suprised to discover an ironclad trust controlled solely by me! And when X, who loves money more than people, discovered AP’s lust for money, he dropped her so fast she thought she had been hit by the proverbial freight train. That was the only funny thing in the entire reality TV show that my life became for a time- watching her disbelief that X would not give her a dime after she lost her husband, job, and home. To this day, she tells anyone that will listen that her “relationship” with X bankrupted her. Financially perhaps, but she was morally bankrupt long before X declined to be her sugar daddy. If Claire thinks Mr. 40 has any intention of rescuing her from the disaster that is her life, she is in for a world of disappointment, which she so justly deserves.

    • Violet, I don’t know about a train, but it sure sounds like the karma bus rolled over your ex and the OW.

  • Wow, the entitlement is just oozing out of Claire’s writing…. seriously? all she and Mr. 40 have to do now is “listen to their hearts” – what about her husband’s heart? the one that was maybe still in love with her when she went off to fuck Mr. 40? The one that she didn’t bother to TELL that the marriage was “essentially over?” Oh yeah, that’s just a side issue for her… she was entitled to the cake of her “over” marriage and all the benefits it brought to her.

    And what is it with cheaters and trains? Mine told me he “tried to fend OW off like crazy but she was all over him like a train wreck.” He also, like Claire, said “I left you a long time ago, Muse. I just didn’t bother to tell you.” Wow how deep. I would have preferred that he had told me back when he was cheating with two prior OWs… I would have ensured that he left me for real, I would have kicked him out.

      • LOL mine had a loco-motive, because he was loco (yes) and said when fending off her train-wreck attack on him, he was motivated b “defending us, Muse, I was defending US, against HER!” yup, just plain loco.

      • My wife started cheating right after I found I have cancer, I found out by accident a friend was telling me how he google is name and couldn’t believe what was in there , when I got home I google my name and then my wife’s I couldn’t believe our address show it as been her former address, the pain and humiliation I’m feeling I can’t possibly explain , I’m lost and feel less then a man

    • “Mine told me he “tried to fend OW off like crazy but she was all over him like a train wreck.”

      Yeah, he really TRIED to fend her off, poor guy!
      My ex told me that his two OW were both coming on to him like crazy, so instead of telling them “NO,” he figured it was best to tell them that the only way he would sleep with them is if they agreed to a threesome. Because THAT would surely put them off, right? Of course, they agreed, so how could my poor ex get out of having the affairs? Cheater logic and refusal to accept responsibility at its finest.

  • I’m touched by how much she cares about her kids. I mean, look at those countless times she mentioned them, and her concerns about how they were coping with the divorce, and if they would like Mr. 40 and if he’d be a good stepparent…

    No. No wait. That never happened.

    Yes, I get that wasn’t the point of the article. But it is interesting that the only time she mentioned them was once in a throwaway line about how her marriage was over and she had 3 kids, a home and 3 dogs. And the rest is about how great the love of her and Mr. 40 is, and will it last the test of time, and they’re going to try, and Mr. 40 is sooo fabulous, and why she broke up her marriage for noble reasons, etc. SELF. INVOLVED. NARC.

    Sorry, guys. That was just triggering for me for reasons that have nothing to do with cheating, and everything to do with Narcs and kids.

    • Excellent point, Kira. What I notice is lots of “I” sentiments to the exclusion of other people, and lots of passive sentences to avoid responsibility, as in “what sins were committed by both parties.”

      • Yeah, let’s just say I’ve read a whole lot of crazy Narc writing in the last several years, and they all have a “sameness” to them, for reasons you point out. Especially the exclusion of other people. Also the “the whole world is against me” thing, that seems to be a common theme.

        • Yep. And self pity. The disordered always spin themselves as innocent victims.

          • Always the innocent victim, GIO, and if that victim card doesn’t work, play a new one. Just got that reminder today from one of the Narcs in my life – if a particular victim story is no longer flying, just try a new one. Always a poor sad sausage! This after having to having to deal with X yesterday. I think I’m all stocked up on crazy for the week and its only Monday.

          • It’s amazing to me that anyone could be so self-absorbed, especially consider the pain and devastation that is in store for her husband and children – and probably his wife and children.

            I never cease to be floored at the callousness of these people.

            • Yes, that is exactly how they all are- callous. Yet they seem to think of themselves as highly evolved, sensitive/romantic types.

  • Ah cheaters, brain made of pretzels. If this doesn’t hurt so much i think i’d laugh.
    Even if i were that much of narcistic i don’t think i’d be able to mind fuck myself with these lines of justification, maybe i’m too logical that way

    • Wait until one of the kids got sick or get into trouble and see how the incredible mr.40 will react. In their cheating world there are no responsibility and boom they’ll go to real life and have to deal with messy business of raising kids, busy morning, running errands, paying bills, dirty house, driving to soccer pratice, less date night, and he’ll see your makeupless face and messy hair, warts and all.
      Oh yeah, i see calmer days ahead for you Claire. Let’s just hope mr.40 can keep it in his pants when a single girl bat her eyelashes at him

      • You are assuming cheater pants will take 3 kids and 3 dogs – how about a more likely scenario of cheater pants dumping kids and dogs on chmp XH so she doesn’t have to face the mess she created on a daily basis. Then she is freed to fully focus on her happiness. There seems to be absolutely no concerns for what her actions have done to her children and how the kid’s happiness has been ruined. I am also assuming the kids didn’t think Mr 40 was great or she would have been horn tooting how they accept and love Mr 40 too so it will be 1 big happy blended family and proves how she made the right choice. Her silence on the kids says to me the kids aren’t cooperating.

        • My exh wanted the dog… until I told him “If he was YOUR dog all along, as you claim, you owe me for the boarding, care, food, and vet bills from the last year after you moved in with your girlfriend and left me to care for him at my own expense. (And didn’t visit him) ” When he heard $1k (ended up with a large vet bill), he quit asking for the dog.

          There was NO way I was letting him take my furry best friend. I even put it in the divorce decree that the dog stayed with me. I simply knew if I told him he had to pay (consequences) for the bills he left me with, he wouldn’t want to.

          Cheaters don’t actually want anything they might have to care for (kids, relationships etc) unless it gives them some sort of image boost. Even then, the person/pet/relationship is going to suffer as a result of them being unable to care about anything but themselves and their images.

          • Actually the only item my XH was being a dick about was signing over the registration papers to the horses – I am pretty sure he thought that they were worth money (they were in their late teens and we had owned them their entire lives) and he wanted to force a sale of them so he could get the money from it. After all, who gives a shit anout the horses feelings and what the hell happens to them anyway – dog turd. I did the same thing -presented him with the total with what he would owe for said horses, including a hefty vet bill in an early version of the divorce settlement and he immediately ended his interest in the horses. Instead the divorce settlement had a line forcing him to sign he registration papers over to me. As an asside, he never expressed any interest in his child or the dogs and cat. These NPD types absolutely don’t carr about anyone but themselves. They are not capable of caring for another living creature. One of my new tests for people I meet is whether they have a pet or not.

  • “You most likely do not know the story of her marriage, and you do not know what sins were committed by both parties.”

    Last time I checked, the Ten Commandments did not go “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery Unless…” Also, sins don’t compel us to sin. A wicked heart leads us to sin…oh, I guess she’s following her heart. Watch out!

    • Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”

    • This might also be a good place to replace infidelity with other forms of abuse: “before rushing judgment of the man you work with or know from your child’s school, that you take a moment to consider what could have led him to physically abuse his wife.

      You most likely do not know the story of his marriage, and you do not know what sins were committed by both parties. “

        • My STBX is currently peddling the ‘ yes I had an affair but you have only heard her side of the story’ narrative. He is desperate to leave the notion in people’s minds that some how my actions have contributed to him seeking sex outside our marriage.

          My actions did not cause my husband to be selfish, deceptive, self serving, manipulative, or entitled. Nor did it caused him to seek sex with other men.
          Because for me to be able to cause these things, would mean I have one twisted super power. In the interest of public safety and to prevent any man in my future from suffering the same fate would it be best if I place my self in isolation. ????

          • @Thankful, I am sure the wives in your community would like you in isolation in case your powers cause their husbands to stray. On the other hand, the husbands in your community would probably like your husband locked up so they don’t have to worry. (Of course, hopefully the husbands don’t really have to worry).

            In my case, I told my therapist that once my divorce is final, I should issue an APB to all wives in my community whose husbands are doctors or lawyers – “Wealth-seeking recently single narcissist posing as sexy siren muse with slightly broken wing on loose!!! Please keep your husbands indoors, especially if they make over $200,000.”

      • And let’s not forget:
        “Before rushing judgment of the man you work with or know from your child’s school, or you know, life with, that you take a moment to consider what could have led him to drink like a fish.

        Because I’m sure “Claire” was rushing home to clean house, cook dinner, get the kids ready for school and finish homework, right?

        • Never mind engaging in the relationship with her husband. He’s just an accessory you know

    • Her husband also doesn’t know the story of her marriage.. thanks to her telling 40 all her troubles instead of him. She forgot to mention the part where she didn’t tell him that she ended his story, and started adding a secret chapter to hers…

      • Yes, Raging, and that’s what these cheaters rob us of, the real story of our lives. When we look back, we wonder how much was a lie–What was real? What was false? We deserved to know, we deserved to make our own decisions. What is the value of stealing months, years, and decades of our lives? That is the real horror.

        • That is so true!! It’s what’s been bothering me the most – knowing that the past 10 or more years have been a fiction

          • I have this problem too. Got rid of most of the photos ( saved some for the kids ) from the last 16 years of my life.
            Feels slightly surreal.

            From this day forward my life will be 100% genuine!
            No one will be allowed to rob me of my own reality !!!

            On that note, CL – when are you starting your chump dating sight.

            As far as I can see from where I stand in the dating pool, there are too many sharks in the water.
            Us chumps need to stick together!!!

  • Shaking my head in disbelief. Did Claire get paid to write this tripe?
    “And what is it with cheaters and trains?” I don’t know about your ex but mine was a train wreck. I remember when his behavior was kind of cute until it wasn’t. Train wrecks are red flag behaviors for me now.

  • As I’ve said before, why oh why can they just say, “I’m an asshole. My poor decision making hurt people. I only want to make it work is because I would be too uncomfortable laying in the bed I made. . . By myself.”

  • I think Claire might be Jackass’s MOW, except “40” is younger than the Jackass and Claire has a college education and can spell.

  • Cheaters sure have a lot of time on their hands to write a lot of bull. That wasn’t even almost logical. She was just grasping at straws for anything that might, kinda justify her behavior.

    I hope Claire will write another lame article in a couple years and let us know how “happy” she is.

    • I agree. She didn’t even provide a single argument supporting why HER affair relationship would last. She was basically just hoping it would last and asking us not to judge her.

      Once reason I am a CL fan is that she provides rational arguments that describe reality. Her critics and various professional affair experts (Esther Perel for example) have not yet, to the best of my knowledge, been able to offer rational counter arguments. However, prior to finding CL, viewing Esther Perel youtube videos almost had me convinced that affairs are normal and I should just eat the shit sandwich. (Of course, the cheater is fully aware of their spouse’s sense of obligation and takes full advantages of that.)

      • Yes, Buddy. My STBX tried to convince me that I just wasn’t urbane enough to accept that affairs happen, and that my lack of forgiveness was due to “my ability to obsess about things.”

        Master mind manipulators, these cheaters.

        • Mine said that I was prone to jealousy and thus would not understand or accept her new friendship.

  • So nice to start a week reality therapy. Thanks, CL!

    I have unfortunately witnessed two couples in my community who ended their marriages with adultery and married their APs and now proudly attend community events with their happy ” in love” heads held high. The message to their kids, and mine, was: when you fall out of love with your spouse and fall in love with someone else’s, it is ok.”

    Now i know why XH did not have same stance as i did to these affairs and remarriages. Duh.

    Today’s post reminded me of the time XH said ILYBIANILWY. I recall saying something along the lines of …yes, that happens in long term marriages like ours..people fall in and out of love..marriage is not a feeling, etc etc

    Oh if only i knew then what i know now!

    I do not read Huff Po and am disturbed by these articles about legitimizing infidelity. Another poster today chuckled that this article was filed under “bad infidelity advice”… Haha i thought that meant Claire’s article was filed that way on HuffPo!

    • Yeah, I think the comment that the public doesn’t regard cheaters very highly is no longer true. There are no more Scarlet Letters. I know that XH continues to have friends flock around him & his restaurant with no more than a sotto-voce “tsk,” while they’re raising their glasses in a toast to him & his fabulous new girlfriend.

      I guess it’s OK that he fell in love with her while he was still married to me and HAD to leave the marriage to follow his d—, I mean “his heart.”

      • NWB,

        I think public approval of cheaters is a complex fugue state of, among many factors: ignorance, denial of own vulnerability, poor character, and never having been knowingly abused in this way. I also believe dark forces are at work in this mix.

        I for one am cheerfully going forward with my own public education reform. One by one, I correct faulty assumptions about adultery, narcissism, blameshifting, etc. I have hope. After all, there was a time we humans believed the world was flat! and chewing sugar gum (anyone remember Dentyne?) was good for our teeth.

        I am following the Good Wife tv show to see where they go with all the infidelities. Watched most recent episode with my college daughter and did not have do a public service announcement to correct misinformation. In fact, in this episode, all cheaters clearly sucked. Amen!

        Btw, thanks for adding to my working vocabulary today. My education campaign is NOT be sotto-voce.

          • Similarly–I was recently ‘friended’ on FB by a woman I didn’t know, but we had many mutual acquaintances. I mentioned this to a friend and she said, “oh, you know she was the one who broke up so-and-so’s marriage, right?” Well, I didn’t– I didn’t know so and so (and from my POV of course,she’s the OW, and the husb in that marriage broke it.


            I hastily unfriended her. I didn’t make a stink, since I got the info 2nd had about a third had part…if it comes up, I certainly will ask though! Boundaries, people.

            I don’t want to be make friends with cheaters, even if I don’t know it, if that makes any sense. I’ve been trying to come up with phrasing for a question to the OW if she re-contacts me…. like: so, did you cheat with so and so? Tell me, what was you role in the ending of his marriage? or, what?

            • If you ask her the latter comment, she’ll spin some lying blameshifting shit, no doubt.
              I do the friend-cull too if someone has shitty behaviour – I have no patience any longer for people who are liars and cheaters of any description, be it relationships or otherwise.
              Might suck to have learned this lesson before the age of 30, but I’d rather go through life not sticking my head in the sand. 🙂

  • First of all, Claire’s piece was horribly written. At least Esther Perel can string together a series of words coherently.

    A few points

    * I’m always impressed by how many flaws in a spouse’s character cheaters discover only *after* they become besotted with someone new.

    * There are only 2 kinds of men who hook up with married women: (1) Scumbags who love conquest more than relationships and who are not at all interested in long-term commitment and (2) Extremely naive and delusional “white knights” who fool themselves into believing that they are “rescuing” poor, miserable women like Claire from their monstrous husbands. If 40 is a #1, he will be gone the moment she announces she’s leaving her husband. If 40 is a #2, he’s going to become quickly disillusioned by reality once we finds himself saddled with Claire and all her baggage.

    * Assuming that Claire’s husband really is a drug-addled loser she portrays him to be — and yet she still chose to marry, have kids and purchase a home with him– then it’s fair to say that Claire is an extremely poor judge of character who repeatedly makes catastrophic life decisions. Therefore, why should anyone trust her assessment of the 40’s merits? Once she’s actually in a relationship with him, she’ll probably find a whole host of character flaws, maybe even some that make her husband’s drug addiction seem like a cake walk. Here’s the first red flag I notice: He was will to fuck her while she was still married and contribute to the break up of a family. A decent man would say, “Call me when the ink is dry on your divorce papers.”

    • P.S. I also know of a woman who cheated on her husband, who she referred to as a drug addict. The truth: He was severely injured in a construction accident and became addicted to pain killers in order to cope with the constant, excruciating pain. Talk about warping the truth to suit her narrative.

      • I hope the construction worker’s constant, excruciating pain diminished when his cheater wife left.

        • My STBX’s OW also claims her H has a drug problem. Thanks STBX for including someone married to a known drug user in your collection of whores and then coming home and having sex with me.

          I wonder if Claire bothers to protect good ol’ 40 by using condoms.

  • It’s amazing how she starts the article justifying her affair – “marriage to a man with substance abuse etc”… And two paragraphs in she mentions ” while still married in a healthy, respectful relationship ….” Blah blah…. Is it just me or do all of you see this fucked up logic? If she was in a healthy relationship then why did she fuck around? If she was not (still no reason to fuck around) then why say it was a mutually respectful healthy relationship but also say it was his “substance abuse” problem that made me cheat – what’s mutually respectful or healthy in that – his issues or her mindfucking him after the fact?

    This just shows how cuckoo they all are. Yuck!

    • Chumped n well, this reminded me that my cheater said that one of his many APs who happened to be his longest AP that I know of, was unhappy in her marriage because her husband was addicted to porn. Now apparently she had no plans to leave her husband and my cheater had no plans to leave me so it was simply convenient, ongoing sex between them. Yeah, the convenience was that they did it in their cars at work or in nearby cheap hotels that rent by the hour. But I digress, as usual. She justified her cheating and he justified his….

    • I actually did a double take at that sentence too, but it turns out she just messed up the structure. I’m assuming she didn’t proofread it, because hey, people with poor impulse control don’t usually take the time to measure twice. She wrote: “This is about the man (let’s call him 40) that I have fallen head over heels, getting hit by a freight train, madly in love with and whether or not we will be able to translate a relationship started while I was still married into a happy, mutually respectful, healthy relationship.” And it can be reduced to this sentence: “This is about the man (OM) … and whether or not we will be able to translate a relationship started while I was still married into unicorns.” Unicorns being the happy, healthy relationship. That cheaters would be sooo good in creating, if only they weren’t chained down by the horrible person that is their spouse. That they themselves chose to marry. Ugh.

      • Lina, thanks for pointing that out. Oh unholy hell – it IS very poor sentence construction n poor chumpy me read it to mean whether or not she can get the same mutually respectful healthy relationship she has (in her marriage now) in the future with Mr.40. I guess she was just mentioning in PASSING that she was married while trying to get into a mutually respectful healthy relationship with some other dude. Mind bogglingly SICK.

        • When I first read that nightmare sentence, I actually thought for a second she literally meant the man she fell in love with had been hit by a train. LOL!

  • This is good however there are plenty of single moms with three kids in middle age who have been cheated on (I am one). Your last comment about stocks not being high for women in that position bites a bit. I trying to believe I am better off alone and even that someone may show up one day who is really great but I guess maybe I am overestimating my stock rating!

    • The difference between you and Claire is that once you are a single, you won’t have to lie about the reasons your marriage didn’t survive in order to avoid scaring off decent men interested in dating you.

    • I think CL meant that Claire’s stock wouldn’t trade well because she has lousy character. She’s a cheater. Not because she is a single mom with 3 kids.

      • Conniered, yes that, and also I do believe it’s hard for single parents to date. Something APs don’t think about when they’re so sure their schmoopie will be there for them.

        • Chump lady, just because you got chumped don’t be bitter. Be happy and work on your marriage lest you end up chumped again. I was blindsided by my wife’s affair because I was too busy working. I wasn’t paying attention.

          • Chump Lady…we need another bitterness bunny. Sorry armor clad, you got chumped (if you really did)not for any other reason than your wife has shitty character. You were too busy supporting your family and she was too busy having sex with someone that wasn’t you.

            We don’t make excuses for cheaters here. Nobody is perfect in any marriage but working too much does not make it ok for the other spouse to cheat. Sometimes when that happens in grown up relationships; people who don’t have shitty character speak up and tell their spouse that they’re unhappy.

            Chump Lady isn’t bitter. She’s happily remarried to a wonderfully, supportive man (scroll down, won’t you?) and she’s changing the conversation about infidelity. You know the one: everyone assumes that the betrayed spouse has done something to “cause the cheater to have an affair.”

            We like the unvarnished truth here. Join us in a little reality won’t you?

            • Cheaterssuck, you are on a fantastic roll today! I really enjoy reading your responses…So fierce! And lovely! You are spot on. People CHEAT because they have shitty character, loose boundaries, and crap life skills. My experience has made me bitter, but it’s only towards one disordered wingnut, not the whole species.

              • Thanks 🙂 I’m with you Drew. I’m only bitter about the one disordered wing nut but I’m getting closer to meh every day. I have faith that there are good men out there and maybe one day when I’m ready, I’ll meet one. In the mean time, I am just fine with being alone. I love chump nation!

    • There’s nothing wrong with being a single mom. I was one for many years. But the truth is, it IS a more challenging dating situation. You have to juggle, and of course you have to be very selective about who you allow to have a relationship with your kids.

      I think cheaters get caught up in this fantasy that they’ll be so very desirable — either their affair partner will want them immediately, or they’ll be fighting suitors off with sticks. (Cake! More cake!) When the reality of single parenting is — it’s HARD to date, period. And yes, childless people have an easier time of it than people with kids.

      IMO, people with integrity will always be a stock that trades high, no matter how many kids you have. But the applicant pool will be smaller. My neighbor, in fact, was a single mom with 4 kids and has been happily remarried for over 25 years. Another woman from my church was a single mom with 5 kids, and again, happily remarried for over 30 years. (Both of the men were single, no kids.)

      But cheaters often can’t see past their own special exceptionalism. They had a comfortable situation dating with a chump Plan B. The reality of the open market — their cheating, their train wreck personal life, three upset kids — is a hard sell.

      • It’s also much harder to date when you don’t have chump spouse providing free babysitting when you’re off having sex with someone else.

        • or, like mine, they don’t fight for custody and simply work out visitation so they see them once or twice a week for a short amount of time. This way they don’t have the responsibility of parenting and can be Disney dad/mom instead. They can lie to their new partners and tell thing things like 1) I did what my kid wanted 2) my ex lied and the courts believed them 3) I travel with my job too much to get custody, etc. etc. This really affords them the time to spend trolling for more sex partners and have sleep overs whenever and with whoever they want.

          • Sounds like my Ex. She did not want custody of the boys. She thought the kids would have a relationship with her AP. “He will be a part if their lives.” she told me. Now that she’s living with the asshole for the past 5 months, she has been seeing the boys less and less. Visitation night are now barely an hour long. Even the weekends are getting very short. She’s not even a good Disney mom. Her one weekend per month (her choice) is spent bouncing from one in-law house to another. But hey, she has dreamboat, old man, and a free lifestyle while I have to be the only real parent.

      • Not to mention the kids themselves–my 13 year old (admittedly still reeling from a fairly recent D-day) has forbidden me to date until she leaves the house. While I’m sure even she realizes that that edict is a bit harsh, a surly teenager is probably not a selling point during dating.

        • As one of a trio of chumped sisters in law/sisters, all with kids, all between 50-62, I now believe it’s much more about age than kids: if you’re under/around 40 ish, regardless of having kids, you’re much more likely to find a new partner.

          Those of us in the over 50 category? Well, let’s just say that men still “marry down” in terms of age, sociologically speaking, so our peers are looking at the forty year olds, and for the most part, we are S.O.L. It’s just a demographic reality. Of course there are exceptions, but they just prove the rule.

          I think the deal is to find a way to make your life fulfilling without a partner. And that too is damnably hard, when everyone is coupled up. OTOH, how many of those couples are like my cheater Ex and his new sugar mama? Wouldn’t want that in my life for anything.

          Me, I’m teaching my dog German–she’s great!

          • I’m worried about my age, just turned 50 in May and found out about my STBX in September of this year. The affair has been going on for 3 years, she works with him. I kicked him out and got a Lawyer. He’s such a LIAR! and Ass!

            • I’m in my early 50s and found a great new guy who is just a year older. Age is not a barrier. Please don’t be discouraged.

          • No all guys go younger. I’m 44 and my new friend is 50. My ex will be 50 next month. I can’t be the only one who prefers slightly older women… And I don’t mean those really young guys looking for cougars either.

            • Actually that’s a damn good match, Chumpdad! Women in their late forties and fifties rock. To all those dating or contemplating it, it’s just a matter of numbers. Dating and meeting a nice person requires meeting many people. You are not going to meet someone if you don’t change your routine either. Do new things. Take a class, enroll in dance lessons, etc. You don’t want someone just because it’s convenient. Meeting quality people is a bit like job hunting, you have to get out there and do it, with intention, and we all know how hard that can be! Too I think for those of us who haven’t jumped back into dating it’s because we have work to do or are happy just making our own life good. 😉

          • I strongly concur Namedforvera, in my early forties no kids (dating or contemplating dating is hard – kids or no kids- actually you may have the opportunity to meet more people whilst out and about with kids) and 3 years since DDay, online dating attempt last year a disaster. I couldn’t get past their profile preferences i.e. age preferred “18 – 35yrs ” and these guys are in their 40-50s !!!!! so I gave up, all the guys at work that aren’t married are dating younger ladies or married to the younger ‘foreign’ variety and plus there are so many red flags waving it seems much better to work on me……..

            ChumpDad – pity there aren’t more guys like you around 🙂

            Drew, I agree and I am out there but not meeting quality people because I seem to keep meeting potential Narcs and people like my XH, maybe my picker is on too high alert or I am too fussy, I make no apology for that, listening to my gut this time…………..

          • Teaching your dog German? Careful, she may become power hungry and start invading neighboring countries. She may form alliances with Japanese dogs and Italian dogs.

      • I have no doubts believing that dating will be harder for me than my STBXH simply because I do have custody of our son. IF a good man does decide to take a chance at being with me it will be because of my character. And he will know that my son comes first. I feel like such a damn cliche: mid-forties, divorced, with a child. It makes me sound like such a loser. And what makes it even worse is that I know the cheater makes up a false narrative about why he is divorced… and gets dates. He’ll never tell the truth and say he cheated. No. He says, “I wasn’t happy so I left.”.

        ByeByeCheater, my STBXH did the same thing- no argument about custody and he has become the Disney Dad. He hasn’t even kept our son with him for an entire weekend yet. We’ve been separated since August 2014.

        My son thinks I SHOULD get married. He’s 7. Poor kid didn’t know a divorced person before his Daddy cheated. How sad it that. It is so scary not knowing if I will ever find true love. My son has to be my priority if I am to continue to live with integrity and character. And that makes the dating pool much much smaller. Also, I am concerned that if I did have a relationship that was serious, there might be competition between my son and “my dude”. He will be a big guy (my son) so physically he could be intimidating. I don’t want “my dude” thinking he needs to have control over my son to boost his ego. He would have to be able to look at him and see him as a part of me and love him for who he is. And my son would have to feel that and trust him. So. Big challenges to face if a guy wants to be “my dude”.

        • This is a great way to teach your little boy a very valuable life lesson about being married to someone which is the icing on the cake of a mutual respectful relationship between two people who are loving and giving – and not just some random twit with crappy character.

      • This. All the chumps are here because we all thought we had what CL currently has. But no, it was ripped from us. We’d all rather be “alone” than with those who cheated on us. And when we DO get over it, it will be on our on time. So shut the hell up!!!

        • Sorry. This comment was meant for Angie the troll. It got put under the wrong string when I hit the wrong button on the keyboard.

          • Why is everyone who disgrees with Chumplady a troll. Chump lady was banned from SI. Is she a troll?

            • No, CL is not a troll. Whoever was responsible for banning her from SI is a troll.

            • I’d be a troll if I got on their site and gave them shit. As it is, we parted ways over 2 years ago and I haven’t been back since.

              There are respectful ways to disagree with someone, and then there are trolls.

              • Chumplady:

                I don’t see any disrespectful disagreement from armour clad. I just see disagreement from him. You however are disrespectful. Why? And your readers are making fun of his southern accent.

                I agree with armour clad. I got past my spouse’s cheating. I love my spouse and if I ever cheat on my spouse we will stay together. Love is about more than sex. Affairs are just about lust. I haven’t cheated, but I am smart enough to know that anyone can be tempted if the sitch is right. But sex is not love. Some cheaters are ass wipes though. Not all.

            • So this is about SI again. Why do you think we give a shit if CL was banned on that site? Frankly, I could give a flying fuck about that site, so your comments make you look like a fool. In fact, while you claim the folks here are bitter, YOU are the one who seems to carry alot if bitterness. Perhaps your efforts to pretend that betrayal is just a fact of life aren’t working?

              • Violet:

                just an outside objective opinion. You DO sound bitter, and vulgar and disrespectful too. Are you going to attack me and curse at me now too?

              • Hey Hully–I am vulgar, bitter, and disrespectful, and lovin’ every minute of it. I also have fighting betta fish with more compassion than you, so toddle on, dear.

              • Tempest:

                If I toddle on, you know you will miss me. Be nice. No need to be angry with anyone who disagrees with you. What’s a betta fish? Is that something else American. I don’t understand your culture so well.

                Can’t we all just get along. I know that’s an American slogan, I saw it on the news.

            • You that Sandra/other moron twit from SI under a different nickname, all pissy because you didn’t get your own way and have everyone fall to their knees in adoration after what you said?
              Piss off.

              • I have a lot of time for SI. It got me through a really tough time. Why is there an anti SI faction here? They provide support and aren’t pro cheater in anyway. The wayward forum is tough on cheaters, too.

              • Matt–I don’t think the sentiment is so much anti-SI (as a number of CL posters have used it); there is more anti-sentiment about SI trolls coming here to tell us to “stop being bitter” and move on, OR to encourage us to acknowledge that we caused our spouses to cheat by ignoring them.

                If all they did was to say, “there is an alternative site for those who want to try reconciliation,” that is simply providing people with information. But one of the posters explicitly said to me that he wasn’t surprised my husband cheated on me (on a different day’s article). I can take it, because I don’t give a damn what a troll thinks, but there are a lot of people fresh off D-day who really cannot take even implicit hints that they did something to cause their spouse’s infidelity. Aside from being false, it is cruel to say that.

              • Hi Tempest,
                I’ve been on SI since the beginning of 2013 and I haven’t seen a single person suggest that the betrayed spouse had done anything to cause the infidelity. Quite the opposite. In fact, it’s only the new members in JFO (Just found out) who come to SI with the naïve opinion that they did something to cause their spouse to cheat. They are very quickly corrected by EVERY single veteran on there. The entire site is focussed on either divorce and moving on or reconciliation under the strictest circumstances where the cheater demonstrates true remorse (not immitation remorse). I suppose it’s possible than it may have been different a couple of years ago, but it’s not like that now. At all

      • My therapist told me the same thing about my chances for finding a good relationship, given my age (0ver 60) and some other factors, including my involvement in some traditionally male areas of interest. She said that I will have a smaller pool to work from than some other women my age, and not just because they won’t be attracted to me, but because I am learning how to set my own higher standards. So I think lots of factors narrow the pool of potential partners, but far and away the most important one is kids, because (as we learn from dealing with APs), it really matters whom we allow into children’s lives.

    • Liv–you’re fabulous!! I’m sure you’ll have no trouble dating when you’re ready (just save coins to pay for babysitters!)

  • I do know 3 couples that have “made it” after starting off as cheaters. ne couple, she cheated on her husband when kid #2 was barely months old. Rumor has it had been cheating on him for a few years. Ended up splitting up from husband, moving bf in, and that was 15 years ago, it was weird at first, but he won the kids over, and they are one giant happy family. Crazy but true. I know of 2 other couples that ended up married and together after cheating. Not the best way to start, but we also cant be fatalistic in saying it isn’t possible, i think a small % might actually make it. I’m all for the chump nation support, but I do find it sometimes extreme on some points, i’m not sure if it’s to make ourselves feel better or what. Cheaters and cheating sucks, but what I find is usually the cheater goes off to live a happy life, and thats what makes it worse. n fact its when they stay that everyone is more miserable.

    • It is true–I know 2 couples (including my brother) who have gone on to long-term marriages. However, in both, the same personality traits that caused strife in the first marriage (and the entitlement that helped lead to the affair) are present in the second.

    • Fair points, parkster, but I’m not convinced the cheater goes off to “live a happy life.” I think they go off to live a superficial life.

      I just don’t think deep intimacy comes from a relationship born out of deceit and entitlement. Sure, entitlement looks “happy.” (Kibbles!) But I don’t think it’s deeply satisfying, and I’m not sure how you ever feel that this person truly has your back, especially when times get tough, and you can’t sparkle. As long as everyone has their health and money, how hard can it be?

      But even if the cheaters go off to be deliriously, truly happy with their affair partners — it doesn’t change the reality of the chump’s life. You still must gain a life. It cannot be dependent on the “karma” that may or may never visit the cheater.

      In this article, the author makes it pretty clear at several points she has ZERO commitment from her AP. Just wishful thinking that it will work out. Which, yeah, educated guess, makes me pretty skeptical of her chances for bliss.

      I don’t think it’s “extreme” to be skeptical of cheaters’ happiness potential. Wherever you go, there you are. If you have crap life skills, entitlement, narcissism — you tend not to get a character transplant in your next relationship.

      • completely agree with you CL. As with any relationship, it all comes down to the commitment from both parties. If Mr 40 isn’t into it or giving her more, then they are doomed. f both cheaters are all in, I can see it working, or working and then collapsing for whatever reason as most relationships do. I think I’ve learned relationships of all kind are not black and white and can not be categorized.

        But I also completely agree that chumps need to move on and not wait and hope the cheaters new life goes sour just to get their revenge. The best revenge is to have the EX see you move on, regardless of how their own choices turn out.

      • Yeah, this is my comfort: “…but I’m not convinced the cheater goes off to “live a happy life.” I think they go off to live a superficial life.”

        I, too, know several couples who started as an affair (Brad & Anglina, anyone?), but I can’t ever see XH as conveying the deeply committed love I had for him and had hoped for FROM him, to anyone … ever. He’ll always be shallow, and if his Schmoopie is OK with that, then I think they’ll do fine.

        • My XH is still with the woman he left me for, and they had a baby a couple of years ago. I have no idea if they’re happy or not. I kind of hope so, to be honest. That’s how meh I am — I wish him well.

  • The thing that always gives me the pips is the attitude of affair partners during the honeymoon stage. It is the attitude that she is special, and he is special, and that rules are for all the other “normal” people in the world to follow. It is the complete lack of practical analysis — where was 40 and what was he doing while she was married 9 years and having 3 children with someone who is addicted to substance abuse. Does she use/abuse substances, too? How about 40? How is the money going to work? Where are they gong to live? Does 40 have an X (or more) and children? How did they meet and decide it was ok because it was so special for them to have an affair? Will those special circumstances happen again in the future, especially if there is a stress element (like substance abuse) in the picture? How about if one of them just grows tired of the “special love” that is unbelievable and unsustainable?

    The other attitude that makes me angry is the one that says “SOMEONE” will rescue me from this awful life I have helped create. You can try to run away from reality — but it always seems to follow you and prior acts and attitudes seem to catch up with you, too. A person can change himself/herself if he/.she wants to bad enough — but it’s not easy.

  • Well. Now that she’s reached the ripe old age of thirty. Thank Jesus there was no world wide way to embarrass myself twenty years ago with my own genius insight. But look on the bright side: Her kids can unearth articles about mom’s heartfelt adultery in years to come and scrapbook, or bring to therapy in torment, maybe even justify some genetic link to infidelity. We can only wonder what she’ll have for us by forty. I’m guessing she’ll switch teams entirely and really confuse the kinder.

    How about the Golden Globe for best dramatic series going to The Affair.
    Another blow to The Good Wife. Maybe 30 and 40 await a fabulous future after all.

    • What would an adultery scrapbook look like? I bet it would have lots of glitter.

      • LOL at the glitter! And lots of pictures of the Cheater (self-absorbed). Because it’s all about THEM.

      • A literal example of ‘glitter’ as follows:

        If we were to review the ‘scrapbook’ of my xbf cheater’s history with me, we would see glitter all over the interior of my car and pictures of him cuddle facing with OW who is wearing a rather ugly glitter embellished sweater that no one with any fashion sense would be caught in.

        Upon discovery of said glitter and pics, his weak ass explanation was ‘she’s an old friend and asked me to accompany her to an event’. Really? I mean, REALLY? You are living with me and you squire women around as their escort?

        Turns out, while he was at the ‘event’, he was telling his ‘new friends’ they were welcome to hold their wedding at MY HOME. Yes! he told me this! Delusional idiot telling complete strangers that could use my home for their wedding!!!

        BTW-Ms Fashionsenseless wasn’t an old friend–she was a Match conquest.

        • Hesatthecurb, I had forgotten about your glitter in the car story when I wrote my snarky remark. I hope it didn’t trigger anything! Guess your XBF wasn’t sparkly enough that his ho had to add her own?

          • Karma—-no worries, my dear! I wasn’t triggered at all—just trying to be amusing by giving an anecdote of just how entitled, delusional, deceitful, morally decrepit (and all other negatives out there) the j’ off was.

            Another anecdote—we met on Match (yeah, I know but it was my first attempt to meet someone well after my divorce and BOY, was I naive). In his profile, he referred to himself as ‘being transparent’. Yeah, he was. There was NOTHING inside of him. On the other hand, he was as transparent as mud.

            I’m really getting close to ‘meh’ cos I am seeing more and more humor in his idiocy everyday. His life is really in the crapper right now and I couldn’t be happier for him.

        • Hmmm…….yeah….that’s where my ex met most of the women he cheated on me with.

    • My SXH would say EVERY time I would watch The Good Wife … “There’s no such thing.” He’s hilarious. The OW tweeted her disgust that the wife did not know he was having an affair in The Affair. Sh**ty people made for each other.

    • Yeah, and I LOVED (sarcasm) the last minute thanks to the director’s (?) husband (had to be reminded to thank him by the actors standing behind her!), and the little pithy quote about how the show is a reminder to us about the sacredness of marriage, or some such shit! I admittedly have not watched the show, but, ummm, how does it attest to the sanctity of marriage, exactly?

      • In her defense, I am sure she was nervous and getting there but it looked bad for her – It would be intriguing now to watch it to find out what her comment on marriage is exactly (creator/producer) but I don’t think I have the stomach for it.

  • My bio father was a narc and a cheater, and he did marry his OW. They were together for the rest of his life. Were they happy? I doubt it. Did he stop cheating? I have no idea, but doubt that too. He actually told my mother, shortly before marrying OW, that he “did not love OW,” but she “gave him his space.”

    As for Claire, author of this pathetic article, at first I thought she was just gullible and deluded, but at the end, when I read her defensive “You most likely do not know the story of her marriage, and you do not know what sins were committed by both parties,” and her declaration that “Maybe her ex has forgiven her and she has forgiven herself. Maybe she has asked God for forgiveness,” well, then I could smell her disorder coming right through the screen.

    Claire and her twu wuv won’t be together by the end of 2015 is my prediction. I hope her ex gets the kids and screws her over in the divorce as well.

    • “He actually told my mother, shortly before marrying OW, that he “did not love OW,” but she “gave him his space.”

      Oh GIO…I can’t tell you how often I have recently read comments like this from (especially) men. Seems that many of them really don’t love their spouse, but they marry them for other reasons. Makes me wonder if when the cheater utters those famous words, “I never loved you”, if they’re actually telling the truth.

      I’m almost 3 years post D-day, and I’ve dipped my big toe into the dating wading pool. I’ll tell you, it’s SCARY out there. I’m convinced that there really aren’t a lot of ‘good men’ (and women) out there.

      So, so sad.

      • If a cheater is incapable of love, that unconditional (ummm okay some conditions!) reciprocal kind, then I think it can be said that a selfish entitled disordered Narc can never “love” anybody. Think of the character traits we want to see in our significant others and then compare them to our exes’ choices. My ex falls in love with his dick first. Then he scrambles to make sense out of it.

  • Wow! This sure came on the right day!

    Today, I picked up STBX’s “other” cell phone, only to see that OW had texted him not to contact her again because she’s tired of his games–apparently she’s under the impression that the divorce is going slowly because he’s accommodating me! Well, Schmoopie, the divorce is going slowly because he’s been slow about getting his documentation into the attorney. Divorce is a hassle. It’s much easier to have a Schmoopie for you Twu Wub and a spouse who’ll take care of the day-to-day stuff.

    Anyway, I have seen these kinds of texts before. Schmoopie is probably drunk. She’s a drama queen, and once she needs money, she’ll realize that STBX is very good about giving her lots of money. He’s her White Knight, and she’s probably a BPD waif. I really hope they marry. I’m very nearly tempted to contact her to tell her that I’m stepping aside for Twu Wub to overcome all. 😛

    How does this relate to Claire?

    Well, Claire, I’m sorry you’re married to someone with a substance abuse problem. I don’t think you need to be married to someone like that. If you’ve tried Al Anon or other support services, if your STBX won’t go–well, there’s not a lot to work with there. But you should have seen a divorce attorney and done the right thing.

    As it is, you’ve hooked up with someone who feels entitled to have sex with a married woman. Hint: married people have bit Off Limits signs on them. Your “40” thinks that he doesn’t have to follow those rules, which very likely means he doesn’t recognize that the Off Limits sign applies to him, once he marries you (if he does).

    And you? Well, you feel entitled to cheat under the “right” circumstances.

    So, two people who feel entitled to cheat are going to be monogamous?


  • Why is Chumplady still living in the past if she is happily remarried?

    I fear her anger and bitterness have permanently broken her picker. Maybe? Yes? No?

    Also she spends waaaaaay too much time focused on her past negative spouses. So much time that I fear she will spend too much time wallowing in negativity and ruin her new marriage. Not to mention all the time she wastes here focusing on long dead relationships.

    take heed chump sycophants. The lady’s attitude and entrenchment in the past is toxic, IMO. Run. Ruuuuuun like the wind. Stop focusing on the past. Move on. Forgive your spouse or don’t, but for cripes sake move on,

    • Also she spends waaaaaay too much time focused on her past negative spouses. So much time that I fear she will spend too much time wallowing in negativity and ruin her new marriage.”

      Angie, Chump Lady’s husband here. Thanks for your “fear,” but it’s as misplaced as it is disingenuous. Married for going on 5 years now and never been happier. Also proud beyond words of the supportive and healing site my wife has built and maintains here for victims of infidelity. Can you even imagine what it’s like to get to share your life with such an amazing person? For the 22 years I was married to a serial cheater, I couldn’t. Let me tell you, it feels like sex and champagne and a sunset on Lake Como in Italy all rolled together and multiplied by a thousand. Every. Single. Day. That’s what “gaining a life” is all about, Angie.

      I hope one day you find peace and understanding that will release you from your troll-ful suffering.

      • Aww. Can you imagine how incredible it is to have a husband as supportive and awesome as this guy? 🙂 Can’t imagine why I’d want to start a blog telling people it’s better on the other side…

        • I hope you never ban Angie from this site…Her less than sane and irrational posts serve as a reminder that I have landed in a safe place, with intelligent people … Forge on Chump Nation!

          • Also? Plus, too, in addition, moreover, … Cl & many posters here (looking at you Nomah) are hysterically funny, and worth a read no matter how…moved on we may be. Funny’s funny, and nothing as good as making a time of sorrow in one’s life into a thing of hilarity! Especially when the jokes on a cheater or more.

          • “Her less than sane..” Cletus? I’m new to the blogging world but “Angie’s ” tone and cadence , as well as certain words used , seems more in line with ” Angie ” being male. Felt that one other time I saw Angie Troll. ( I’ve been following CL for a few months) Neither here or there…just putting an observation out there.

            • Chumpalongtimesays:

              Can you guess my gender? There is a computer program that uses cadence and pronouns at speech patterns and claims to know gender. It is wrong 68 percent of the time.

              It’s rude to level accusations without facts. Be nice. Why is everyone here so angry. Love is all you need. Love makes the world go around, not hatred and false accusations.

        • CL and Mr. Chump Lady, A match made in heaven! “Sex, champagne, and a sunset” anywhere works for me! And don’t we all deserve someone with integrity. I could be happy and grow old with that!

      • Wow, what a catch, CL — nice job!

        And, Angie, I’d be dead if it weren’t for this blog. I *AM* getting on with my life, but the blow dealt by such betrayal from a partner of ten, twenty, thirty years is not something you just “get over.” If you do, you’re probably a bit of a sociopathy yourself.

        I have plans, I’m moving forward. But sometimes… sometimes… I get stuck. And coming here reminds me I’m not alone, and it does get better, but it’s OK to have down days.

        Also, those of us who have been chumped have to deal with an increasingly tolerant public perception that “these things happen”.. from friends, from society in general. Yes, they do happen, but they suck tremendously. And pretending like it’s all just peachy-keen & fine, well, that’s too much to bear. Having CL around to call Bullshit is a breath of fresh air.

        Find your own path, Angie. Clearly this one is not for you, which is fine. But … umm, buzz off, m’kay?

        • BUZZ OFF INDEED Angie. This site is saving me – and humor – that is a proven healer. CL is merely the conduit and Bullshit Translator that we need right now to navigate the life we are left to continue.

          • And why are you here Angie? Are you trolling thru some chumps FB page or do you have massive guilt? Better hurry off to Mr. Cheater or the sparkles might fall off

      • Yes, CL, I want what you have. A good marriage, a blog that saves someone every day-It does me 🙂 -and the ability to communicate that Cheaters Suck. They really do. My life was blown apart when my ex walked out. A disordered entitled Narc is not a great life experience and I think our world deserves the truth. We need to stop lying to ourselves. Lives are changed. I want better. Infidelity destroyed my marriage, my finances, and my children’s way of viewing the world. Mine too. I have no home, was forced to abandon my job and my community, and am scrambling to make ends meet. I am dealing with three children who are incredibly hurt. They are stuck because they want to believe the fairy tale, even the one that says blended families work (even when it resulted from cheating, lying, and stealing from others). Here’s the truth though I will no longer tolerate abuse. From anyone.

      • Mr. Chump Lady is so sweet. You are so lucky CL (as you know!)
        Sigh… one day I hope to find my Mr. CL.

      • I really don’t get how they arrive at “bitter”. Caustic and deliriously funny, yes. Bitter, no.

        To take something as CRUSHING as infidelity, say something so true and profound in a way that makes you laugh is an incredible gift. The laughter makes that great big shit sandwich go down just a little easier.

        You guys Rock!

        • Wow, Einstein, you REALLY ARE smart! LOL

          Seriously, your comment was on point. I am now trying to take my tears and turn them to laughter by analyzing closely how idiotic my XBF’s comments, reasons, excuses and all around crap was.

          • Besides, some bitter things are mega-healthy or tasty:
            brussels sprouts
            tonic water (okay, tasty)
            dark chocolate

      • Mr. Chumplady: (is this chumpladies hubster?)

        Me thinks thou dost protest too much. My spouse used to say the same things ’till my spouse met the affair partner. 5 years is not long enough to say things are perfect. You two are still in the honeymoon phase. It doesn’t matter. For my spouse It was just sex. Temptation is everywhere. If you really love each other a spouse can forgive one lustful divergence.

        But if your spouse was a serial cheater, I don’t blame you for leaving. Every sitch is diff.

        • Hully,

          No disrespect, but this really ticks my turtle. The “just sex” equates having sex to taking a crap. It minimizes a very intimate, sacred act between two committed people.

          If it was “just sex” why NOT take back a serial cheater, Hully? After all it was “just “sex”.

          Therein lies the poop.

          • That’s disgusting. Even think that sex equates to crap is an odd way to think. Who would say that?

            Were you a virgin when you married?

            Even if you were. Sex is sex and love is love. Hully’s thought It in no way equates sex to taking a crap…….t it puts love above sex.

            Love is about forgiveness and accepting each faults and all. A serial cheater or someone who smacks you around is toxic, but just one affair, is not a huge transgression.

            • “A serial cheater or someone who smacks you around is toxic, but just one affair, is not a huge transgression.”

              Hold on there, cowboy or cowgirl. Regarding that serial cheater, “Love is about forgiveness and accepting each faults and all.”

              Sounds like hypocrisy to me.

              As far as the virgin part goes, we were ALL VIRGINS at one time. What is the point of this comment?

              Not that long ago, creating babies use to be done only through sex and was not something anyone should take lightly. Ask anyone with STD’s or AIDS or has a child or had to make the very difficult decision of not having that child.

              “Just sex” Phooey. You make it sound like intimacy, commitment and love is exclusive of sex and visa versa.

              When you are committed to someone in a relationship and the other party has, in their opinion, “just sex” it minimizes the intimacy us chumps have of the act: “Oh, honey, it was just sex, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you.” Bull fucking shit it doesn’t mean I don’t love you.

              But thank you for your post, I now have another gem of the mindset of a cheater.

              • Calamity Jane:

                I agree with Hully. Sex is JUST sex and love is love.
                BTW: I agree, that you using the analogy of sex and taking a crap is a very telling analogy, by any psychological standard. It suggests you see sex as dirty, akin to a crap. Whoa girl. That’s not good.

                If you can’t forgive a spouse for cheating once, that you don’t understand what love is. Now someone who cheats get caught and does it again and again, well that’s dangerous. But, if you love someone you can forgive one time. But, if you never loved your husband, it’s good that you are letting him go.

              • Another troll!! What fun! But I’m curious–do you guys multiply by sexual or asexual means? Are you like affairs–for every one you see there are 10 more underground? Do you really eat small puppies? How often do you bathe? Is it hard to find makeup to complement your green complexion? Do you have to file your teeth, or are they naturally pointy? I’m sure I’ll have more questions later!

        • Hully,

          I find your comments to be a little bizarre. ‘5 years is too soon to say everything is perfect’? Obviously he is speaking of the present – which is all any of us can speak of. What’s he supposed to say? 15 years from now we are perfect… ???

          And if ‘it’s just sex’ and it means nothing to you, or your spouse – well why go to the ridiculous extremes to hide it? And if they didn’t – and don’t – have to hide ‘transgressions’ in your relationship, well that’s called an open marriage, and it’s not cheating.

          I suspect you are a cheater wearing the mask of a chump, but the mask is ill-fitting, and we can see your true face behind it.

          • Wow, Jobin:

            Assume much. Are you psychic? What about me, am I a cheater or a cheatee? Oh, and do you also try to guess if a writer is a man or a woman based on syntax, like the other chump who posted that silly statement.

            My sister went to West Point. She talks, walks and barks orders like a man, but I assure you she is all woman. Don’t assume, it makes one look foolish.

            • Ha ha sorry YY – I made a guess (starting a sentence off with ‘I suspect’, I thought it was clear I was making a guess – but you didn’t catch that… I GUESS)

              My suspicion (again, made clear I thought by the words ‘I SUSPECT’) was based upon this persons extreme willingness to forgive affairs because they are ‘just sex’ and you know, the other person ‘knocked their spouses socks off’ – this sounds like they have an open marriage or Hully is not what he/she says he/she is, because frankly I have never, ever heard a person who has been cheated on write like this.

              I notice you didn’t touch on the first paragraph of my post – which again was in my opinion another example of the strange things Hully was expressing.

              So no, I am not psychic. Nor did I claim in any way to be. No, I don’t try and guess genders based on syntax. Why would you ASSUME that? I heard somewhere assuming makes one look foolish.

              In all seriousness, thanks for the laughs.

            • “But, if you love someone you can forgive one time.”

              YY if you want to forgive or ask forgiveness for a one timer, by all means forgive or ask. That is between you and your SO. A priest, pastor, rabbi, if you are so inclined, are good listeners, too.

              Defining love for everyone here is pretty presumptuous and a bit arrogant to say the least. I’ll bet you more than half the people here forgave the “one timer” only to find two, three, four or more, “just sex” episodes.

              If someone is “knocking the socks off” with your partner, and it’s “just sex”, it should be a big red flag something is wrong at home, if you DON’T have an open arrangement.

              You are coming to this site for something other than to upset the barrel of apples.

              What is your fear, YY? We’ll listen without judgement, but we always give our two cents.

      • Yikes , troll invasion. WTF ? They sound dumber than rocks. They seem to have no moral compass. They will dilute the gene pool if they procreate.
        Many sound like products of incest. Cosanguinity.

        • Arnold: What is a troll? Is it someone who disagrees with you. Or based on your German comment, maybe a troll is a German to you. Your German comment about the dog training, makes you sound bigoted and small minded. I won’t judge, just sayin’.

          I bet you will name me a troll, too.

          • Yes, YY, we will call you a troll. Because on this site, when we see a troll we call it a troll.

            Plenty of people on this site disagree with each other on certain things. You are an instigator, and an instigator to people who are trying to heal. That makes you a troll.

            • Oh, I get it now. This is not a discussion site. It’s a cult and everyone here blindly worships their self-annointed guru, self-proclaimed expert, without associated credentials, named the chump lady, A.K.A Tracy Sutton, based on a quick google search.

              Geez. Why is it not posted clearly at the top that counter opinions are not welcome. Or, maybe you guys simply like to bait people so you can transfer your anger from your cheating spouses to some poor soul that comes here to discuss a different opinion.

              You are an instigator, so you just self-labeled as a troll. Where are trolls green? I don’t think they are all green. Who cares if they are, too. That would be bigotry.

              • Weird how you ‘expose’ Tracy Sutton with your google sleuthing when her background, name(s) (she has been married before! GASP!) etc are fully available here. She is actually quite up front about her education and where she is coming from on this subject.

                But I digress – so if I understand your opinion – sex is just sex. Love is love.

                So if your spouse is just having sex with strangers, but doesn’t love them, you are fine with it – is that your opinion? Or is it ‘sex is just sex but only one time with someone who knocks your socks off’ – and if that is it, is it ‘caught one time’, and you have to catch them a second time for the gig to be up, or do they get to have ‘just sex’ one time, then it’s your turn, then it’s their turn, etc?

                Whatever it is, it certainly is different. If that works for you guys, more power to you.

    • Angie, Angie, Angie–why are you here? Tracy is not bitter, is very forward looking, and is an upbeat person. Why does she write a blog that for most of the time has COST her money to run? Out of the goodness of her heart. Unfortunately, new chumps are made every day, and this site serves as a beacon of hope for a better life, as opposed to staying with cheater by needing anti-anxiety and anti-depressant prescriptions.

      Do you have no moral compass? The vast majority of the public finds infidelity troubling and WRONG. Some of us who are over the worst panic attacks of our lives come here to help others, and to get the occasional boost we need on bad days. Why still bad days if we have “moved on”? The American Psychological Association now lists being the victim of infidelity as a common cause of PTSD.

      Why not frequent ebay for bargains instead of critiquing people who have been as hurt as they thought humanly possible?

    • Angie, CL has very much moved on. What she is doing is helping the rest of us who cannot find support anywhere on the internet. At least once a day CL gets a comment about how her guidance and website saved someone’s life. That is no small thing. I’m one of them: she saved my life. I’m glad she didn’t “move on.” I’m glad she realized there was a way to help the rest of us chumps. Whatever your motivation, I suggest you just don’t come back here and viola! your troubles are over. You’re the one who needs to move on.

      • Angie, I’m newish to this site (6mo – XHB left 1+years ago) and it has helped me to no end! Is it bitter? No! Is it in your face? Yes and happily so. I can’t thank Chump Lady and Chump Nation enough for helping me realize I am not crazy and making me laugh out loud! I have since sent other Chumps (new and old) this way. At the same time I realized that one of my Chump friends was not ready since she doesn’t consider herself a Chump .. he just “wandered emotionally” and they are working it out … hmmmm. I agree if you don’t like this place, don’t visit, no one is forcing you. But for those of us in pain and figuring out how to move forward in this murky new landscape it is a beacon of light!

        • Onthemend:

          I am sorry. Your husband was a nutter. If he wanted to leave he should have asked for a divorce, not cheated. But why attack people who are happy. It’s just a diff perspective. I understand your pain. But you know what they say about crisis. it’s an opportunity. Now you can move on a find someone better.

          Hanging out here too much licking your wounds is not going to help. Believe me I know. It’s fun to read these silly blog post now and then but if you make it your life, it becomes your life……Look up morphic resonance. Go somewhere where people are open minded like me. And who have liberated themselves from hatred. Forgive you jackwad spouse and move on.

          • I am not “making it my life”, I am finding comfort in knowing I’m not crazy and it is helping me cope. I wish I were ready to “move on”, but I’m not and who made you the arbiter of how much time I must take? How do you know licking my wounds will not help? I will take the time that I need, read what I wish and forgive who I want when I wish. And if he doesn’t deserve forgiveness, he doesn’t get it. If he were a decent human being who could be civil after this happened, things would be different, but he continues to be a difficult human being that I have to deal with because we have a child together. He has never acknowledged the pain and destruction he has caused, why should he get off scott free? I am a happy person with wonderful friends and a terrific attitude about life, but this situation sucks and I want to share the pain with those here.

            • I agree…this site is an outlet for difficult emotions that it may not be appropriate to share elsewhere. We are all at different stages of moving on – which does not follow a straight line – and can vent here to others who understand. We are not here to judge, just listen, share and support each other. Some of us are bitter and will have to work through that in our own way and in our own time.
              There are other sites for people who wish to take a different path and we respect their right to feel whatever they feel.

    • Why do people “concern troll”? The “I fear…” as if “I am only thinking about what is best for you…” nonsense always comes off with cloying fakeness.

    • Sorry for feeding the troll, but angie says raises a good point in why I appreciate Chump Lady’s contributions.

      Chump Lady could have chosen to put all matters concerning infidelity behind her. This would have been the far easier course. Instead, since she is aware of the pain and trauma so many of us are experiencing, she instead chose to do something about it. Writing a blog article every day is a tremendous amount of work and a tremendous sacrifice. I can’t imagine a harder profession – if you disagree with me on that, then try it – every single day write a meaningful article that improves people’s lives. It takes blood, sweat and tears, passion and persistence to make people’s lives better by writing everyday about human suffering and pain.

      This blog is an honest conversation that examines and discovers truth and happiness.

      If you see anger and bitterness, it is not coming from Chump Lady. Sure, all of us chumps have experienced anger and have acknowledged that anger, but your anger towards this blog is misplaced and probably originates from something else.

    • I don’t post here very often but I do visit daily. It is therapy for me. There were days I could barely get out of bed. Chump Lady is helping me through one of the most horrible moments of my life. She is no saint but darn close. So FUCK OFF!!!

      • This is my first post.and I must say that CL has saved my life and sanity. Because of her, I was able to leave ass wipe and begin Divorce! Before finding her, I was ashamed, confused and thought I was insane. My friend finally convinced me to check out CL. Yeaaaaa! I have a life again! I have the words to speak to the turd ass and anyone else. I ripped my MC a new one when he tried to say “It takes two.” No it doesn’t!!!! AND THEN I TOLD HIM TO CHECK OUT CL!!! He sings a different tune now!!
        One day I will write my story. I’m a pretty big chump but until then much love to CL. And I payed it forward and referred a friend- now CL is saving her also. Much love to Chump Nation!!! Also shout out to Calamity Jane…we have to be within a stones throw of each other

          • Thank you. You all are amazing and inspiring. CL truly rocks and how wonderful that her daily post seems to address my question or doubt. CL saved my life… Because POS is the great manipulator.

    • Angie…….once something monumental happens in your life, something life changing, it is part of your life forever. My husband cheating on me and breaking my heart and stealing my faith in human nature is part of my life forever. The cheating is long over now. My heart is healing. My faith in human nature is being restored. But the past is always with you. It doesn’t ever leave you. This site helps those suffering from trauma to begin healing. It helps to express anger, fear and to know you are not alone.

      I think the bigger question is why you are here on this site at all? To pass judgement?? To argue?? Why do you care what we say or think? Just curious………..

      • Kimmy:

        If you loved your spouse you would have forgiven him.

        Meanwhile, don’t be too trustful. Ever. Don’t even trust yourself. There is no one that is immune to an affair, if the circumstances are right and the person is a human being inhabiting earth and has a pulse that actually beats.

        BTW: Did you know that a very large percentage of people who have been cheated on go on to cheat on their next spouse, according to some studies. Sounds ghastly and surreal but it happens. And, the people who claim they will never ever never cheat are typically the ones most likely to cheat. Shite happens. That’s life. Get real.

        • Ooh, YY–your post raises more questions. Do trolls have pulses? Do they have hearts or just gears? Do they nurse their young or feed them mashed up food (like birds)? Do you prefer to live under bridges, or is that just convenient? Sorry to bother you, curiosity always gets the better of me!

        • If I had really loved my husband, I would have forgiven him?

          I DID love him. Which is why I never cheated on him, “opportunity” be damned.

          I have forgiven him. He’s an entitled twat chaser that I am better off without. May he be ever so happy that his 3rd marriage doesn’t tank. Because he contacted me after his 2nd marriage to the other woman did. *eye roll*

          I refused to “mask, ignore, overlook, cling to a mirage.” that my marriage turned out to be.

          Cheating is proof that HE didn’t love me. It never mattered that I loved him. People who love you don’t go do shit that would break your heart. Even if getting their rocks off was the primary goal and your pain was simply collateral damage.

          You act like, given a chance, everyone would cheat. Or given an outstanding opportunity. I’ve never cheated. We have a choice in this. We can look that “opportunity ” in the face and DECIDE not to do something horrible. We could all steal, murder, and defraud our insurance companies too. …..oooooo… I’m guessing we should check your criminal record. You’ve already told us that given the opportunity, you’d decide to do all of that too.

    • Perhaps you’ve not read much of what is going on here. I see very little about CL’s ex. I see a fair bit of information about cheating spouses.

      The funny thing is, they all operate from a very similar script. Those who’ve been betrayed could probably recite the lines.

      — I love you, but I’m not in love with you.

      — It’s not you, it’s me.

      — We should have never married.

      — If you loved me, you would have known what to do.

      — Don’t you want me to be happy?

      — If you got to know him, you would like him.

      — We’re soul mates.

      — We’re just friends.

      I could go on. The cheater’s playbook and script is well worn and seems to be universally used.

      If one is a new betrayed spouse, getting the proper translation of what these utterances mean is crucial to the emotional and often physical survival of the betrayed spouse.

      That’s not bitterness, that’s pragmatic and practical assistance during a difficult time.

        • If we never discussed the past and the wrongs in it dear Angie – how could progress be made in any context? Guess it would be “OK” to have to endure the holocaust or slavery or spousal abuse, rape, etc. and just move on. Angie, as CL’s husband states, we are victims of entitlement. It’s “OK” for us to discuss. We realize then how common, how weak and how base cheaters are. So we learn and grow. I “When you know better, you do better.” M. Angelou

    • I thank God for chump lady, chump nation and this site everyday! When I was searching the internet for help after my DDay all I could find were websites telling me to forgive someone who just murdered my heart and soul! BS!! I wasn’t buying that crap….and I was never so grateful when I found this site!

    • Aah, another patronising condescending prick who is probably a cheater themselves.
      Whats with all these fuckwads coming out of the woodwork today? Fuck off.

      • PS: ‘I think’ you will spend too much time focussed on this website too, but I guess the coin doesn’t fall that way because you’re ‘special’.

  • Claire, even husband’s with “substance abuse” issues have feelings — you stomped all over his and carefully don’t even mention how he’s coping but you imply he may have forgiven you. Idiot.

    I’d be willing to bet that “40” was also married and had kids. Here again you simply can’t fathom the extreme pain you have caused his wife and his children (nor can he). Did you not mention it because you fear being judged? You are being judged: you’re both idiots.

    You have no idea if your new relationship will last. It was built on lies (how long did you fuck him before you left your husband?) and now that you (hopefully) have some responsibility for your kids — the whole dynamic of your relationship with “40” is changing. You’ll settle into hum drum. He’ll settle into being a step-dad. Suddenly ALL the excitement is gone. One or both of you will soon seek it out again. Your relationship is an idiot’s house of cards.

  • I read this on Huffpost (click bait central) and knew it had be passed through the patented bullshit detector.

    After our (hopefully) last mediation appointment stbxh broached the subject of introducing OW. I said I personally felt he should wait until the divorce was final (now not for another 6 months because he had failed to return required responses for months), besides, I said, how was he sure he wouldn’t cheat on her, or she on him? (She cheated on her open marriage with him and is also in the process of a divorce — because TRUE LOVE!)

    He laughed in my face. The idea of either of the cheaters cheating is so ridiculous as to be laughable.

    What could I do? I laughed to. And went back to no contact.

    These kinds of article are galling because I think it is natural to wish retributional karma on our abusers and this plucks at those strings. I personally am getting better at “so what if they do live happily ever after, I am better off without him.” (then I worry a bit about the kids spending time with these two who put their love above everyone else –including his kids–until I remind myself again: “15% time with them is crap for my dating but good for the kids.”

    Thank you Chump Lady and community for being that safety net this chump was used to denying I needed (but then I find myself reading HuffPost Divorce and am once again thankful you are here,)

  • I just love the ” Jesus forgives me ” BS…….what is it with these high-horse Christians????? Please don’t bring Jesus into your messy life…He told you adultery is WRONG!!!!!! Just don’t do it and for heavens sake, don’t jusifiy your crappy behavior by saying you are covered by God’d blood of forgivness……might as well just go an pi** all over the Bible with that kind of reasoning!!!!!!

    • Had to look it up. I’m not exceptionally devout, but I was raised Roman Catholic. We all know about Commandment 7. I think number 10 applies as well. What IS it with the Jesus Cheaters? Those who blissfully forget the basic tenants of their own Christian religion?

      No, Cheater. You are not absolved from your sins. If you lived during Biblical times, you would be stoned. Quit rationalizing or justifying your crappy behavior.

  • I have heard the line ‘I never thought love like that even existed’ before (not in my case, but a relatives) and it always makes me angry. What? You thought your spouse was ‘just ok…’ when you decided to spend the rest of your life with them (presumably)? How deluded and infantile are these people?

    Call it ‘the fog’, call it hormones, call it whatever you want – people seeking to justify affairs always seem to be exceptionally STUPID.

    In the case of my relative, I asked her outright – “Where do you see this going? You have a family, a good, supportive husband who would do anything for you – where do you see this supposed otherworldly connection with this other guy going?” She said she didn’t know, she was afraid to ask the other guy… So my question was – you have such a deep connection that you never knew existed, yet you can’t ask supercreep if you are just a fuckbuddy?!?

    Given the mind-blowing swath of destruction we could all see coming, I never cease to be amazed and the doe-eyed naivety of these morons…

    “Oh but WE’RE different!” – every cheater

    “Go fuck your special selves” – everyone affected by cheaters

    • Usually it’s women who come up with that line, but Mark Sanford proves every rule has an exception. His “I never knew love like this existed…” love lasted up until he finally won another elected office, and then he jettisoned his “never knew love like this existed…” love.

      Que sara, sara.

      • I thought she dumped Sanford, no? [Could be misremembering–I tried not to keep up on news of the odious guy]

        • Naw, that was the way the first stories quoting only Mark Sanford presented it, though, so I think you can be forgiven moving on from that story before Mrs. Hiking-the-Apalacian Trail spoke up 🙂

          After 5 years, she expected him to put a ring on it and told him so, and after the election he made that weird public statement instead. 5 bucks says he had the next one lined up already.

          • ewww. Sanford is so creepy that if he were the last man on earth, I would choose celibacy.

            • Hey Tempest, Mark Sanford here, just wondering if you’d be interested in hikin’ the Appalachian Trail with me some time???? ;}

              • lol!

                Um, sure, Marky baby, if I can take a photo of you reeeeealllly close to the edge of a cliff. Think of it as a photo op.

              • Wow, people here advocate pushing someone off a cliff. But they can’t forgive an affair. Yikes. Scary place.

              • Jeez, I merely asked to take a picture of him on a cliff, for a photo op. Projection, much?

            • …Or if he was the last man on earth Tempest…we could demand a recount??

              Btw… XH cheats on his Twu Luv Schmoopie!!! Can you believe it?? And she puts up with it. She really doesn’t care as long as he’s in her bed at night.

              • anonymouslblalalbla – I feel real bad. I seem to have confused you and caused you consternation. You see, Mark Sanford didn’t really post on here, inviting Tempest ‘to go hikin’ on the Appalachian Trail’ – it was me, Jobin. And Tempest (I hope you don’t mind me speaking for you Tempest) didn’t really believe she was responding to Mark Sanford.

                This is called “Humour” or, “a joke”. Google it, maybe take a workshop, your life will be less stressful and more fun!

                Best of luck!

      • Mark Sanford looks relatively physically weak. I bet I can kick his ass.
        Just looks like he lacks upper body strength.
        Yeah, I am pretty sure I can take him.

  • Claire
    The saying “This will not end well” should be at the top of your little, peewee brain right now. You were a bad chooser with addict boy(and for Pete’s sake you BRED with him 3 TIMES??? WTF) and now you’re an equally bad chooser with affair boy.

    You have fun with that 🙂 and please write back when you figured out you effed up.

  • My favorite thing about cheaters is how they are the first to tell everyone why their spouse is so shitty and their affairs are justifiable, but then they leave the kids behind with the shitty spouse. That speaks volumes to me. “My ex is (crazy, mean, drug addict, alcoholic, financially incompetent) but I’m sure that won’t hurt the kids I am leaving in her/his care. Yeah, it’s so bad that you can’t stand it, but the kids will be fine. Just more selfish bullshit from the cheater’s playbook.

    • Excellent points Stayin Strong! Amazing how the logical inconsistencies start piling up like firewood if you look for them.

    • Yep, Staying Strong – my XH tells everyone what an idiot I am, but I’ve been raising the kids virtually by myself since they were born. All three are in the 98th percentile academically, and the two oldest scored high enough on their high school entrance exams (the youngest is still in grade school) to be awarded scholarships to the parochial high schools of their choice. All with *NO* thanks to XH – a college professor – who says that private schools are a waste of money. In his opinion, they’re smart because they have HIS DNA, not because I paid the tuition, did all the school runs, and helped with all the homework. Ridiculous!

      • Oh, jeez, Diana–another one of us with professor-cheater hubbies with entitlement issues. Let me guess–with a student? (Mine was with a grad student, then a budding EA with an undergrad a few years later)..

        • I am also in the club…professor-cheater-narc husband had three OWs that I know of, all from his working group of admiring colleagues and students. Two of them married, last one of them divorced with a child (chump turned OW)…I read somewhere that narcs need to be in professions where they will always have kibbles from admirers (politicians, professors, military, priests, etc). Funny thing is, I am a professor too but I don´t need the hordes of admirers …I just needed one, but I wasn´t ever enough for him….idiot… his loss, my gain

          • Me, too, Chumpita–a professor, but high teaching evals are all the ego strokes I need.

            • Mine is a professor also! He’s soooo smart he screwed up his life! So much for good use of his PhD! Ha! Ha! Aren’t these guys just brilliant? NOT!

            • I have resigned myself to not receiving the super high teaching evals that exH got. Students say I am enthusiastic and care about their learning. That is enough for me.

          • The first postdoc my cheater-professor-ex hired was a woman who he was attracted to (he admitted this after DDay). This was at the beginning of our marriage. I talked to her after DDay – she said nothing happened because she didn’t let it (and she wasn’t interested), but that he was definitely up for some action. He even arranged that they be alone traveling for conferences. He was so selfish – of course she thought she was hired for her academic abilities, but it was about looking for kibbles – disrespectful to women in all realms of his life. I am angry at myself for not trusting my gut when I felt unsettled whenever I asked about her (only with regards to work since I never imagined there could be anything else). It makes my stomach turn that he disrespects our daughter by disrespecting her gender. Despite his neglect and lack of validation, she is a strong, accomplished, young woman who has a strong sense of self and now has keen narc-detecting antenna.

          • Yup, My exH was a prof, too. Three EA/PA that I know of… Fellow grad student, uni colleague, then fellow professional outside the uni. (she’s now the OWife). We worked at the same place, and he also got his ego stroked by getting me to kiss him outside the classroom. I disliked PDA like that at work (so difficult for women to be taking seriously in the classroom) but he wanted it, so I did it.
            He has quit academia, claiming he never wanted to go that route. Whatever, dude.

      • Diana, you are here too? I have really liked your work for years, had one of the early releases actually.
        Knowing other women do so well with their families and careers keeps me motivated despite the shit sandwiches.

    • Stayingstrong:

      Your man sounds like a Turkey. Your better off with out him. Your case is not the norm. Many people cheat once and straighten up and fly right thereafter. It’s a case by case thingy.

      • Is anyone else starting to find these trolls hysterical? I know, I know–I started out trying to point out the flaws in their reasoning a few days ago. My bad. Now I am just finding them funny. It’s like listening to 3 year olds explain why these deserve more cookies just before dinner. Or like that woman hyped up on acid in the Woodstock documentary contemplate whether jealousy is red or green.

        Incomprehensible, but kind of intriguing at the same time. Thanks for the laughs, trolls.

          • Tempest:

            BTW Jealousy is whatever color you deem it to be. Science says we all see colors differently.

            • No, science does not say that. And you should be scared by me; I have very sharp teeth.

  • “What if pigs could play banjos? “.

    Everybody knows pigs would prefer to play dobros or even harmonicas over banjos if they could play instruments. Geez. lol

    I don’t know what all the fuss is about either: she has forgiven herself for cheating hasn’t she? It’s all good.

    I am being very sarcastic, of course 😉

    This is the problem, though, with waiting for the Karma Bus to hit your cheating ex-spouse: when it happens, they won’t know, and they won’t connect the dots because they are not wired to connect those dots. They have a story to tell, and confirmation bias handles the rest. It’s all about their happiness, you see?

    • Waiting for the Karma bus to hit someone, might bring the karma bus back to you. Why not get off the Karma bus and be happy.

  • I don’t give a flying toss what happens to Cheaters when they hook up with each other. It’s like trying to make sense out of an asylum full of loonies.

    My Ex’s OW dumped him this week after taking him for thousands. And she was the woman of his dreams, and I just ‘had to understand’ that and be happy for him. I’m very happy now.

    He doesn’t get it. He actually thinks people should feel sorry for him.

  • Claire is delusional. No surprise there.

    I’m pretty sure that after I left my ex and filed for divorce, she tried dating her AP, because she would lash out at me and insist that we “both made mistakes” and she “won’t beg for our marriage.”

    Three months later, she started asking me for another chance. I soon found out why: her AP *got married* to his baby-mama…who lives 1,000 miles away in another state!

    Needless to say:
    My marriage ended.
    My ex-wife’s relationship with her AP ended.
    And yes, the AP’s brand-spankin’ new marriage lasted 3 whole months before it ended.

    Class. Class all around.

    The world is full of trash: cheaters and APs abound. They deserve one another, and the pathetic drama they create.

    • JC,
      The worst part of finding out your ex was trash (which I did too) is you start questioning your own judgment in people.

      After losing my ex to an absolute oxygen-wasting, grossly overweight, trashy, bleached-blonde whore, I decided I was spackling things, and firmly set my boundaries for the next time, if there is one.

      He used to say I was “out of his class”. Only true thing he ever said.

      • Agreed, Marci. I’ve had to look at myself and my “picker” (as CL puts it) and ask what red flags I spackled over when I chose my ex-wife in the first place. And, yes, there were signs.

        At least we can look back and say that we were foolishly hopeful, instead of intentionally hurtful.

        • JC–the last sentence of your post is priceless, one of the best I have ever read. It would bring me to tears if I let it but I won’t. No more tears shed over he who does not deserve them 🙂

  • Dear Shmoopie:

    You should probably know that, at the one & only marriage counseling session he & I attended — BTW, did you try MC with your Husband, or were you too busy fucking mine to make the time? —

    Anyway, at that one & only session, the counselor told us that men will go through periods of self-doubt at certain times in their lives: usually once around 40, then again around 50 years old. My XH is 40.
    And do you know what his take-away message was from that one & only session? (as told to me by a good friend who’s as disgusted by his behavior [almost] as I am)

    XH said, “Well, the MC said I was going to do this…. And that I’m PROBABLY GOING TO DO IT AGAIN!!” He’s already PRE-excusing his abrupt departure from you (and maybe kids, too, huh? what with you being only 25 & all) ten years from now!

    So save your pennies, Shmoops. You’re gonna need ’em.

    So much love,

    • Wow, NWB, isn’t your X forward-looking?? Already planning his escape and his excuse.

      • NWB and Tempest, my ex was very forward thinking and he did the same thing by planning his escape. At 62 years of age he isn’t getting the women he thought he would, so he visits Asia a lot to get his fix. He is actually now planning to move there. Poor Asia.

        • I recently spent some time in Vietnam. A lot of perverts go to Asia for their fix.

          • CoH, I have called my ex a predator to his face and he actually laughed in my face. He relies on the vulnerability of the weak and the poor. I dare say I have thought him to be a pedophile for some time because his thing is teenage girls mainly in Cambodia. That is where he will move to.

              • Many of these young girls are not prostitutes. They are looking for an American Husband to take them out of poverty. It’s sad and sex predators take advantage of these young ladies. Disgusting!

              • Tempest, we are Australians. One day when I learned of the ex’s behaviour upon having to be tested when he return home after one such trip, I mentioned to him that he along with anyone who frequents countries on a regular basis are monitored. He smirked and commented “we are all being watched for something”. Here in Australia it is amazing how many women my age (63) I speak to, everyone 2nd or 3rd one has been dumped after 30 to 40 years so their ex husbands can go and find themselves a girl in Vietnam, Cambodia etc. I could literally blow my ex our of the water for a few things but I won’t. I have 2 adult kids who love him and who have rejected me. However, they condone his behaviour and I suppose it is because they will have somewhere to stay when they visit over there. I wait and I pray that he brings himself undone. He is a smartar*e and smartar*es usually bring themselves undone eventually.

              • Maree, I’m posting this as a reply to your ‘we are Aussies’ remark – I’m Aussie too, and I think you should still take a serious look at that FBI site – I think the best karma would be him getting nailed to the wall by the FBI for sex tourism, haha!

                And your ‘I could blow him out of the water but won’t’ is still spackling, unfortunately. Nail his balls to the wall. Whats the worst that can happen? Having your kids hate you? They already condone his shit.

          • It is a hotspot for underaged prostitutes, some of whose parents sold them into prostitution for financial reasons. If any of your Xs or STBXs routinely go there, may want to alert the FBI, who tracks johns of international underage prostitution rings.

      • My XBF set out his excuse the NIGHT I MET HIM!!! As the evening wound down, he told me his ‘former GF just couldn’t accept they were broken up and if he and I became a couple, she might inject herself and try to come between us’.

        Well, he certainly continued to ‘inject’ her…..

  • Another great article, Chump Lady. You are my hero. And it really, really warms my heart to hear from Mr Chump Lady. Gives me a glimmer of hope for the future.

  • Matthew 10:36 “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household”…

  • Chump21 , YES!! Situational truth…like lying for convenience…kinda the same thing no?

  • The thing is, a relationship that *lasts* is not anything close to the same thing as a relationship that is *worthwhile* and objectively good. I could still be sitting in my miserable marriage to a dishonest, seriously troubled person if I chose to stay in it — waiting to receive my Fortitude Award. I would weigh 90 pounds and be dead inside. But, yay — winning.

    • LilyBart, exactly! I stayed with my ex for 26 years and a lot of people thought we were the perfect couple. Appearances are easy to manipulate. One’s interior world can be totally concealed that’s why we should never compare our inside with anyone’s outside.

  • I had to comment regarding Claire blaming and asking everyone to understand why it was her husband’s drug abuse that caused her to cheat…

    So Claire if you believe in this theory then why shouldn’t your H be able to blame you and ask everyone to understand the reason for his drug abuse was because he couldn’t cope living with you so he was forced to use whatever drug he is abusing…wasn’t his fault, it was yours.

    Hmmm….pigs is pigs is pigs!

  • What I can never get over is the “…but I am not a bad person.” crap I here from the likes of “Claire” and my soon to be ex-wife. As I also way retort, “How do we know that someone is a shitty person? It is because they do shitty things”. It seems to apply to everyone else except for the entitled narcissist.

    • Yes, when I found out about his affair from 8 years ago, reported “I was an a**hole then, I’m not n a**hole now.” Except then I found out about his potential EA-going-to-turn physical 2 years after that. So even 6 years ago he was an a-hole (and terminally untrustworthy).

  • When I saw the word “healthy” I just about barfed. What about cheating is healthy? It wasn’t healthy thousands of years ago (go check the Bible, Claire), it’s still not healthy today. No matter how we package a turd, it’s still a turd.

    You know, my ex married the final OW when his last attempt to reconcile failed. I wasn’t surprised at all he married her. He is all about impression management and he needed to make this look right to the world. “See, I finally met my soul mate, and we are going to live happily ever after. This wasn’t an affair, it was destiny.”

    “It’s such a funny question though — you just want to know if it can LAST. Well, plenty of things endure. Doesn’t mean they’re healthy and happy though.” – Tracy, my counselor said the exact same thing. She said she has seen affair partners get married and stay married even if they are miserable because they don’t want the world to know they screwed up. One thing for sure, I’m glad I’m not the OWife.

  • Angie,
    Did you get booted off your blog? Your blog buddies dont wanna play anymore? Whats yr deal that you have to come a slum down at the Chump Nation? Happy to have you here…however…u are kinda going against the grain…and certainly that was your point. Or maybe Ghandi, I mean Angie, It was to enlighten us…test our little impressionable brains…because we are obviously so very maliable that we couldnt possibly come to this site for any other reason other than to be sucked into the bitterness of Chump Lady…as they say misery loves company….she of course feeds/profits off that bitterness and polarizes our thoughts…emotions…and is empowered…hahahahaha …finally!!!! She is vindicated! She has POWER. We will be signing over our paychecks and retirement funds to the CL Foundation. And Tracy will have that great Mercedes she has always wanted…

    Hey Angie….thanks for the concern…now run along…its Kool- aid time over here at Chump Nation….

    • Clip, you fired that one at Angie with laser beam precision. Ugggh, my tummy’s full…..drank too much Koolaide

    • Angie, do the posts here remind you of the truth, and dissing it might make them less true for you? I have moved on after being with a serial cheater. I continue to post here because I feel the pain of the chumps. It’s real and it takes a while to process, some longer than others. Because Chump Lady has helped me tremendously in paving the way for a cheater-free life, my heart continues to bring me here because I want to pay it forward. I can understand the pain, the anger of finding out you have been duped. I stay because I want to rejoice with the chumps when the healing and the joy come of finally knowing that there is indeed a wonderful life after cheaters. The journeys I read here and the subsequent victory show me how the human spirit can endure. And I also know that the support we provide each other here, especially Chump Lady, is invaluable in that victory. You have to experience it first hand to understand. It’s not about being stuck but being available for the chumps who need support. Chumps, especially newly-minted ones, are very fragile. Your words can hurt them. Please don’t do that. If you cannot be kind, then please don’t cause hurt.

  • Special one, you aren’t the first and you won’t be the last. Your fuckship started with woe is me bullshit. Men/women downgrade from being with a loyal spouse who clearly lived with an abuser incapable of respect to having sex with the first person willing to fulfill their needs. Your entitlement, selfishness,and lack of self respect somehow led you to disregard your spouse and children. Your wonderment is self serving.

  • CL writes: “It’s such a funny question though — you just want to know if it (the affair relationship) can LAST. Well, plenty of things endure. Doesn’t mean they’re healthy and happy though.”

    Exactly. Some other things that “last”:

    The Herpes Virus
    Nuclear pollution within the Chernobyl “exclusion zone”
    Coprolite (fossilized dinosaur poop)

    So, yeah, relationships that begin as affairs can endure and have as much integrity as, say, those things. Hoo-ray for you, Claire! You and Mr. 40 are surely headed for viral, nuclear, monster-size relationship bliss. Just because he hasn’t dumped you. Yet.

    BTW, your man is nicknamed “40?” As in a large bottle of malt liquor beer? And you claim you were essentially driven into his arms by your husband’s substance abuse problem?

    Don’t look now, Claire, but I think your red flag is showing.

  • Hey Amor Clad…u know this aint a dating site…..were you looking for a little sumpthin..sumpthin?
    throw some bitter bait out there…and us poor Chumps will jump on that? Cause you know how us angry bitter people are…just waiting around for mr/mrs perfect to fill the gaps in our pathetic lives…hahahaha.
    Keep fishing….
    for the record…aint bitter….I am better!

    • Wow. You people sound really nasty. You are not nice people. I read clad’s post and he seemed nice. Do you think everyone who is nice to you is trying to pick you up? That’s just weird. …..narcissistic much?

        • Tempest:

          That’s so mean. I am going to cry. If you are happy posting here,then post. I just thought some other posters offered some good advice about moving on.

          But you know. You guys need to do what makes you happy. If posting here makes you happy then post and be happy. I just agreed with the move on and let go of hatred posters. Is that so wrong?

          You are so mean I am going to move on now. Be happy.

  • I agree with CL’s accurate dissection of the Claire’s rather indigestible word salad, but I wanted to throw this one little thing in. I want to emphasise in advance that it doesn’t justify Claire’s actions at all. Two wrongs, of course, do not make a right.

    I had an ex – the one right before I met my spouse – who had serious addiction issues. We dated, broke up, got back together… probably three cycles of bad craziness before a good friend of mine sat me down and explained the situation to me like this. When you’re in a relationship with someone who’s an addict, the addict’s primary relationship is with the substance. That makes you – whether you’re a GF or BF, wife or husband – the OW or OM. I realized I had inadvertently become the OW to my now ex’s relationship with drugs. I would do the pick me dance hard enough for there to be a break in the drug usage, then things would gradually and inevitably veer back to the drugs. What this good friend said snapped my eyes open, as she knew it would. I had way too much self-esteem to remain the OW for a second longer. That time I walked, and made it stick. I have her to thank for that.

    I don’t know if she knew he had drug issues at the time they got together; the article doesn’t seem to be clear on that. But if he was in active addiction before she met “40”, then technically, he cheated first. Not that it justified how she later responded. And no, her current relationship doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. She’s not the kind who “found true love”. Her case isn’t the least bit special. Whether she understands it or not, her affair is one of retaliation. She’s got bigger problems than just thinking cheating’s ever justified. She’s the kind who’s willing to settle for the intermittent crumbs that are part and parcel of Other Woman-hood.

    • Truth! Claire is just “crappily” (new word! Lol) moving from one abuser to the next. Not a great way to happiness. IMHO, Choosing to be the OW (and married with children!) is all kinds of fucked up.

    • What the fuck.
      You said ‘Technically he cheated first’ when you first said that you didn’t condone the behaviour? What sort of blameshifting crap is this?
      You PERMANENTLY remove the relationship first, addiction aside, you don’t just do the wallowing waltz to the next hole.

  • Loved this post.

    “Your marriage was “essentially over”? Gee, did you inform your husband of that — or just your affair partner?”

    I confronted my ex about this – told her that she ended the marriage without telling me first.

    She didn’t like that very much.

    Also, regarding forgiveness: Claire – your ex husband and your kids do not forgive you. The best you’ll get is their acceptance, but they’ll never just forget it.

    Your ex had substance abuse issues – that was the red flag that should’ve told you to get out. But you didn’t. Because you’re gutless. You can’t bear the thought of facing life alone, even for a little while. It’s intolerably shameful for you.

    My ex would love your little post, Claire. Peas in a fucking pod.

    FYI – my daughter, who will turn 12 this year, is already starting to detect the narcissism in her mother’s character all on her own. I haven’t had to say a word about it. You can look forward to that, too.

  • Someone very close to me had an affair and the destruction was terrible for all involved. She then escaped (almost got murdered) and fled to a nearby town. Became involved with a married man and ended up marrying him. It was the most hideous of marriages…but it endured. She became an alcoholic just like him and took the free pills that he got from the Veteran’s Hospital. Between the booze and the pills it was a horror show. Her family tried to do an intervention but it didn’t work. She ended up being the most miserable people in the world and I felt awful for her because I loved her. She was my own mother. Yes, so these marriages can ‘last.’ I’ve seen it happen. But at what cost?

    • That’s a painful realization–I’m sorry you had to see your mother like that. You’re brave. You’re better.

  • My X married the OW two weeks after the divorce was final. She celebrated it. I was actually kinda happy bc X is an unstable fucktard on his own & that was scary.
    Are they happy? From my experience with him, I am certain that she is not.
    One of my kids said, “Mama, Dad makes OW cry too.”
    Yep… Train going full speed ahead…
    Good luck. Should I have warned her about the misery? Nah.

    • Friend, a dear friend’s ex also married the OW. My friend’s kids stopped visiting their dad because the OW screamed at him all the time. Fast forward 10 years later, friend’s ex is teetering on bankruptcy and OWife has a boyfriend. But they’re still married. True love or can’t afford to divorce?

  • A threesome with a Yeti?!?! Isn’t that beastiality?!!

    Euuuuwwwww and extra ick!!!!

    ForgeOn, Glad! Love you to pieces!

  • Chump Lady, you should really patent the UBT because it is awesome!! My oh so special entitled- ex -ass told me and everyone else that would listen that our marriage was “essentially over” when he had his affair. (although essentially is kind of a big word so he probably used another modifier)

    That was very confusing to me given that just a few weeks before he started getting physical with his twu wuv schmoopie, we went on a vacation to St. Thomas. I didn’t know that marriages that were essentially over included vacations to the Caribbean? Like “40” I did not get the memo about the end of our marriage either.

    Could it be because we were both married to entitled cowards? Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking.

    • cheaterssuck, my cheater actually said this to me as well, on the night of DDay, “I left you a long time ago, Muse, I just never bothered to tell you.” Very effective in blameshifting and justifying while at the same time letting me know I was an insignificant speck of dust on his shoe, who didn’t deserve a say in ending our relationship of 16 years. Cheaters do suck. They reek of entitlement.

  • Let’s see what Claire’s life might look like if she stays with 40 (which is probably his IQ):

    In my sitch, the ex-cheater married the OW. She moved her two kids a few hours away from where they grew up to move into my former martial home. My three kids are there once for a weekday overnight and EOW. So, they get to parent five kids when everyone is there together.

    On the outside, ex-cheater and OWife put on the big show. They come to every little school event, paste on their big smiles, and parade around as though they are Parents of the Year. Very Mike and Carol Brady. Very convincing… if you didn’t hear what goes on at home.

    My kids hate going over there. It’s been almost a year and a half since my ex married his Ashley Madison special and moved her in, and my kids still cry when they have to leave me to visit (and for the record, I am very stoic and encouraging of the visits… the kids have to go, so I do everything I can to reassure them that the visits can be fun). None of my three kids likes the Owife; my younger son hates her. The kids describe her as a tattletale and a pouter. They think that her kids are spoiled and difficult, and all they want is to spend time alone with their father, but he’s always too “busy,” despite the fact that he sees them about six days per month. Nice.

    For the record, my kids are all pretty young right now– wonder how life will be like when they are teenagers? If it’s not easy now, it’s going to be a A LOT of fun in a few years! I’m sure that Claire didn’t think about that and doesn’t think about her children much at all.

    My eldest has told me that he has witnessed several arguments between the ex and the Owife (not that arguing isn’t normal, but gosh… I thought life over there was supposed to be a little slice of heaven?). The cheaters have had to deal with a massive plumbing leak, significant damage to Owife’s car when the ex hit a deer with it, and all of the requisite bumps and potholes of everyday life that aren’t the least bit romantic and really don’t have much to do that with that Harlequin Romance notion of love being like a “runaway train.” Frankly, their lives sounds pretty ordinary and even a tad bit depressing to me. I might be alone, but at least I don’t have to parent someone else’s kids who don’t like me, and I don’t have the dirty secret of cheating dogging me for the rest of my days.

    I don’t know if they’ll stay together, but I don’t envy their situation one bit. Blending families under the best of circumstances is hard, but when you add the fact that one parent shit the bed and is now expecting the fellow shitter to come around and play Happy Family with the betrayed kids, I don’t see much happiness or success for the cheater couple in the future. Perhaps the two of you can cling together in shame, Claire, which is what I expect my ex and his fellow cheater will do. Sounds like paradise.