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Dear Chump Lady, My wife is a serial cheater.

Dear Chump Lady,

November 19, 2014 I learned that my wife had slept with another man in our bed while I was away at a work conference.

Naturally, I was devastated. She swore up-and-down that he was the only one. I found out who it was, grabbed a weapon, and went to visit this man.

He said something that spurred me to act in a civil manner. I never showed him the weapon, I was never violent. Although I suspected he was being dishonest with me.

Several days later, I told my wife that I had installed spyware on her phone, that I had cloned every text and email.

Over the next several days, she admitted to being with two other men, including being with two men at the same time.

If I believe her, she only engaged in intercourse four separate times… But there were several other instances of oral sex or other acts of infidelity.

Our son is almost 2 years old. The first act of infidelity occurred approximately four years ago. The last one in April 2014, whilst our son slept in the next room.

The very day that I found out, I moved most of my stuff out of our room. I took all my pictures off the wall in the master bedroom, all of my certificates and accolades.

I moved into a hotel room, but this was very short-lived. We do not earn very much money at all.

I am currently living in our basement in my office. I have not worn my wedding ring, and basically consider us separated while I figure out how to process this devastating news.

We saw a counselor once, together. Then we both saw the same counselor separately. A close personal friend confided that the counselor told my wife that the counselor was on my wife’s side 150%.

I was suspicious of the counselor after our first meeting, and decided to record our session. She basically told me that I’ll never find anyone as perfect for me as my wife. She said that it would be very expensive to separate and to divorce. She cited websites that explain how expensive it is for me to pay support/childcare/another apartment for my wife, etc.

I’m so busy with work right now, I’m trying to ignore this for the time being. I’m hoping that a little bit of time, and reading some good books, followed by sessions of introspection and simply knowing myself will cause the answers to bubble to the surface.

It is the search that let me to your website. I have singled out 18 separate, and specific things that I object to with what my wife has done. My wife is very sorry, and swears it will never happen again. She is very committed to moving forward and trying to start things over. Hell, we were in the process of trying to have a second child.

Somehow, I feel like I will be “settling” or living life at half measure if I stay with someone who could do this to me.

I look forward to any comments or insights you may have to offer me. I also look forward to comments from your readers. I am normally quite a strong man. Considering this though, I feel like I wish I had someone to direct our guide me.

Maritally lost,

James

Dear James,

What have you become? Dude, since your D-Day you’ve gone to confront a man with a gun, installed spyware, secretly recorded a therapist, moved into a hotel, moved into a basement, and seriously considered living the rest of your days in “half measures.”

I ask you, James — is this your best self?

And the most stalwart IRL advice you could find out there was to not divorce because of the cost? Because this sociopathic bitch is perfect for you? Does this therapist hate you?

James, you could do better marrying the raw sewage that Roto-Rooter just pumped out of my septic system yesterday. You could swing a cat and hit any perfect stranger who would be a better partner than your wife, just by virtue of the fact that person hasn’t fucked two men in your marital bed.

I cannot believe your quack therapist! (Except I can, you should see my mail.) You must feel like you’re in a Kafka story. Only instead of waking up a fly, your metamorphosis is some alternate universe in which serial cheating isn’t transgressive, abusive, and disrespectful — no, it’s perfect for you! So you’re casting about online trying to get a reality check that what’s happened was WRONG.

James! It was WRONG. Sick-in-the-head wrong. Unfixable wrong. Fucking a man in your bed is an act of aggression, a sick power play to humiliate you, for her own sexual jollies. How are you going to explain that away? Mental illness, addiction, sad sausage brokenness? Look, whatever that quack therapist throws at you by way of explanation, it’s still WRONG. Serially cheating on you is either a deal breaker for you or it’s not.

Let me suggest that it’s a deal breaker, James. Because the person you’ve become trying to adjust to the reality of her deceit is falling-down-the-rabbit-hole crazy. You can’t control this. You can graduate phi beta kappa from Marriage Police Academy and you still cannot control this. No matter how many people you tape record, how many key loggers you install, no matter how many times you cross examine her, she will still remain a person capable of casually betraying you.

That is who she IS.

Don’t let her disordered, abusive whack job self drag you down with her. Don’t wind up in jail fighting some idiot Other Man. He’s not worth it. She’s not worth it. I’m sorry she’s the mother of your child. Hang out here a bit, and you’ll find you’re in good company — most of us have bred with fucktards. It’s painful, but it works out over time.

So James, your job is to take your life back. Make a plan, see a lawyer, and figure out what you want in a divorce. (I’m not going to advise you about reconciliation. A) I’m the wrong person and B) You’ve got nothing to work with.) Will it be costly? Yes, but not nearly as costly as staying married to such a person. Life with a serial cheater isn’t lived in “half measures,” it’s soul death. It’s denying yourself intimacy. It’s shackling yourself to someone who doesn’t give one shit about you.

There is a whole bright world out there of people who can and WILL love you right. Why would you waste one more moment with her?

Be a strong, sane parent for your son. Would you want anyone you love to stay in such an abusive marriage? You’re not letting your son down by leaving, you’re modeling strength and good mental health (qualities your wife doesn’t appear to possess). Your son needs you to get yourself together. Forget revenge on the OM, forget your wife — focus on you and your healing.

Know your worth, James. Talk to a lawyer,  go no contact with her (except over logistics over your son), and get out of the basement. Come up the stairs, into the light, and hang your accolades on a new wall far away from her. I see a new cheater-free life — and it’s just perfect for you.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • James.. No.. Do not stay with her!! There IS better out there. Two men at once, eh? That’s just NASTY! Get yourself checked for STDs STAT!

    • It might be an idea to have a DNA check on your son, chance are if it’s been going on this long the child might not even be yours. I wonder what your MC would have to say about that?

  • Not only does she not give a shit about you, she is aggressively abusive AND a bully who recruits other bullies to bully you into maintaining her status quo.

    I can assure you that this woman has a character and personality disorder. I am VERY concerned that her behavior–bringing strange sexual perverts around your toddler son–is a DANGER TO YOUR SON.

    You need to get away from this woman, and pronto. You need to fight for major, if not sole custody of your son. Do not mention to anyone else anything about your gun.

    You also need to contact a life coach. I suspect that there might be something about your personality or way of thinking that makes it difficult to recognize when someone is abusing you, let alone recognize that it is fundamentally wrong. You might be like the last letter-writer, an introvert. For you, I would think that living with this woman has been emotionally exhausting apart from the revelation that she is sleeping around. You’ve been escaping her at work. This woman smelled an opportunity with you that had nothing to do with loving you. That’s not about you, it’s about how disordered she is. She’s a parasite, not a wife, not a mother.

    BTW, her promiscuity isn’t just sexual. She’s got serious problems that will not be fixed by you nor by anyone else. She is majorly toxic. She is absolutely NOT a good fit from you, far from “perfect.” There is a better match for you. Your first order of business is to divorce her and protect yourself. The longer the marriage goes on, the more expensive it will be to divorce her, in terms of alimony.

    • Sunshine nailed it.
      And, do not rely on some therapist to explain the financial implications of divorce. The therapist is no expert on this.
      See a good divorce lawyer. I bet you have a good shot at custody.

  • “I was suspicious of the counselor after our first meeting, and decided to record our session. She basically told me that I’ll never find anyone as perfect for me as my wife. She said that it would be very expensive to separate and to divorce. She cited websites that explain how expensive it is for me to pay support/childcare/another apartment for my wife, etc.”

    WHO THE FUCK IS THIS THERAPIST YOU SAW?

    Get an attorney who specializes in high conflict circumstances as they generally have the most experience dealing with narcissistic nut cases. A good attorney may be able to get your a good chunk of custody if she is providing an unstable environment for your son. I left with a 3 month old and a 1 year old in a state that believe only men should be working and the women should stay at home. I did and it so can you.

    • My thoughts too MEIANJ – I thought at first it was the wife just telling her friend a bunch of lies but for the therapist to actually say these things to James – hell, he or she should be struck off.

      James, whatever professional body exists for counsellors or therapists in the USA, please report this individual.

      • My first thought was find a new therapist! Yesterday. And forget you ever recorded the first one- it’s illegal in some states. Do nothing, like taking a weapon to talk to the OW, ever again; the last thing you need is to be charged with a crime. You have the misfortune to have married a very disordered person. Not only must you protect yourself, you must protect your young son. It’s your parental obligation and, believe me, he is going to need you.

        Unfortunately, there are alot of bad therapists out there. I should know. After being told that I was somehow responsible for my X’s cheating, I learned the OW was related to the therapist,who NEVER mentioned the kinship. Maybe that’s why the therapist told me the details of the affair didn’t matter. What mattered was why my X was driven to cheat! It was a bunch of bullshit, just like the bullshit-and wrong- advice you are now being given. Who knows or cares what that therapist’s agenda is, get the hell away from her, and your wife, as soon as possible.

        There is a better life ahead for you and your son. Don’t let anyone rob you of your future.

        • Yes to all of the above. Maybe wait to find a therapist until after you are out of the house, have filed, etc. A normal therapist will tell you leave, that she is dangerous and you need to protect your son. You already know all that. If you need help dealing with that until you find a therapist, let us know because the majority of us has seen one and can give you some good tips.

          Please ask your attorney to see if you can ask her to leave due to her bringing the scariness into your home and temporary full custody to protect your son until your hearing. I know you said you don’t have s lot ofoney, but there are attorneys who will do this for free or a sliding scale. Contact your local bar asap! And talk to a few attorneys if possible.

        • I found out my wife slept with my lifelong friends her best friends husbands, a woman down the street, her friends husbands brothers, her friends brothers. I know about 10 people. I found out oct 2012 I think it started in 2006 we got married 2001. We have one child. I went to Cosa meetings and therapist thinking I could save the marriage.
          When she realized I couldn’t get over the nuclear fallout she went on the attack. Restraining orders, divorce, still in court.
          It was all my fault. All I wanted was revenge to everyone that hurt me.
          I didn’t and it was the best thing I ever did!
          What I did do is neclect my son, business and myself.
          I still don’t know how anyone can keep that shit inside, never will.
          I’m still not better and have been crazy for four years. Drinking had a gold digger girlfriend move in. Being super aggressive to anyone that I thought threatened me. Spent months on the couch or in bed.
          I’ve been lucky. Got rid of the girl. Realizing I need to fix myself. Now I am going to do!
          YOU CANT STAY WITH SOMEONE CAPABLE OF LEVEL OF BETRAYAL!

    • James–Report that therapist, now, to the American Psychological Association, if the person is a member:
      http://www.apa.org/ethics/complaint/index.aspx

      There is no way that a therapist should outright counsel a person to stay with a cheating spouse, esp. when it is clear the person seeking therapy is opposed to that.

      As for “you won’t do better than your wife,” call Bullsh*t on that. I’m in the same boat–my H is a highly successful, very-well-educated, good looking, designer-dressing, entertaining & urbane person. He is the epitome of Mr. Sparkles (as your wife may be Ms. Sparkles). Be he is also a narcissist with a tendency toward infidelity and emotional abuse, as is your wife. My H’s friends, and your W’s friends, may wonder how I/You could divorce such a talented, sparkly person. Our true friends will wonder why we didn’t do so sooner.

      Take CL”s advice and disentangle yourself from this wreck of a marriage partner. It hurts, a lot, but not as much as staying in the relationship for some long term abuse.

      • Tempest, I agree!! Report this therapist, ASAP. She sounds like she’s got a personal axe to grind, if you ask me.

        BUT. I think your wife has been getting ahead of the narrative with her–she may be speaking to her alone, without your knowledge, filling her head with all sorts of lies. The woman you are married to is a pathological liar, and this is what they DO. The therapist may believe all sorts of nasty things about you, and you can’t defend yourself as you don’t know about it.

        Therapists are a dime a dozen and they are just like any other profession–there are good and bad. This is a HORRIBLE one and you should get away from her.

        Maritally–
        I am so sorry you are going through this. These types are some of the worst, IMHO.

        Read Tracy’s “When Your Cheater is a Sicko”.
        http://www.chumplady.com/2014/07/when-your-cheater-is-a-sicko/

        That might clear a whole lot of things up for you, sir. Your wife is a sick, sick person. She’s got issues that you can’t even imagine or touch, let alone live with.

        She slept with a man who is not your child’s father, who has no connection to your family or loyalty/concern for the safety or wellbeing of your child—WHILE THAT CHILD WAS SLEEPING IN THE NEXT ROOM???

        That, my friend, is called child endangerment. This man could have killed her and your child and been gone–and you would have no idea who he was. She CLEARLY has ZERO boundaries, ZERO common sense, ZERO respect, ZERO good judgement—shall I say more?

        This is what you want to stay married to? You want her to teach your child that these things are okay–because you aren’t going to control that if you continue to allow her near your child, you know.

        You need to get her to admit what she’s done—and you need to surreptitiously tape record it. Smart phones are wonderful, they are so visible yet nobody seems to understand that those buggers are listening devices by design.

        Whether or not it’s legal in your state to do that (one party recording)–you do it. Then you take every other piece of hard evidence you have—and get it to a lawyer. Let THEM tell you how to deal with her. You may walk out of this with your child and never having to see this woman without court supervision again. I hope you do.

        Good luck to you.

        • It is illegal in many states to tape record any conversation unless both people consent! Under no circumstances should you do so unless you have received thoroughly researched advice from your lawyer. It is a felony, punishable by a prison sentence of five years in some states that require two party consent; the person recorded can also sue for damages. Judges don’t like that kind of stuff in divorces, so find another way to get admissible facts to present to the court. Under no circumstances should you do anything to endanger your ability to seek custody, no matter how badly you are hurting. As CL says, use you anger to propel you forward, don’t let it lead you to foolish actions you will regret later.

      • I agree. If I have one regret over this situation, it’s that I didn’t sooner. The longer you stay, the more abuse you subject yourself to, the harder the climb back to healing. PTSD from these nuts is a real thing. As I think Scott one said on here, once you get away, take 6 months, go to the gym, watch comedies, read and don’t date anyone. You WILL heal.

  • OK, this is my training coming in. Was your child in the house when this shit was going on? I am guessing there was some drug use. If CPS gets wind of drugs being used I can just imagine what decision will be made. You need full custody.

    • I have dealt with CPS on LOTS of occasions. Call them. Tell them what has been going on and if they take the case, they’ll give you a case number and talk to your wife. CPS has A LOT of power in court. You need to contact some type of authority because the judge will put weight on this. If CPS takes this on, child custody will work in your favor.

      • My, I don’t want to disagree with you because each of us has a different take on this. Also, each state has its own protocol. I know he said money is tight but he will need a really good atty. Altho he might not need more than an hour to find out juvenile laws for his state but he needs one familiar with them. In small towns some lawyers do everything but in a case like this I think he needs to spend that money up front, get an expert and get advice on how to proceed. For one thing, if he works away from home CPS might think he can’t protect his child. I always tell people try not to get too many entities in their business without a lawyer there.

  • James,

    My heart goes out to you, man! That really stinks!!! Whatever you decide, please do not go back to that therapist. As CL calls her, she is a quack. Four years of lies and deception is a very long time. Your wife has very deep character issues to cheat and lie for that long of a time. I have to say not everyone can pull off that level of deception and betrayal. CL is right; better options exist for you than that.

    Also, it is your wife’s bankrupt character that is the problem. A good therapist or pastor can see this obvious fact. Don’t give into your wife or her therapist bully!! That’s what they are doing: they are trying to bully you into staying using fear of child support/alimony to manipulate you. Don’t buy it.

    If you decide to stay (which I agree with CL is probably not the best idea given the level of deception here and lack of demonstrated character), I highly encourage you to find a therapist or counselor who is tough on adultery. Google Dr. David Clarke and find a counselor on board with his approach (laid out in his book: I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE). What he outlines for dealing with adultery will tell you quickly if your wife is really sorry or just sorry to get caught.

    Either way, I encourage you to consult a divorce lawyer. He or she will be able to tell you the truth about what to expect if you choose to go down that road. Knowledge is power.

    Blessings and hugs!
    DM

  • The sad part is that she may have done a mental calculation about what was on that particular phone before “coming clean” about what she figured you already knew. Take it from me. There may have been other phones, other men, other threesomes. Cheaters never tell the WHOLE truth. They never take responsibility for their actions. They are ENTITLED to do whatever they want, and what you are seeing now is one in damage control mode. Let me guess? She chose the “therapist” who gave you that load of bull?

    James, trust that she sucks. You need to look after your son and yourself. You can do it, and you will have a better life sooner if you do it now. No more anchor kids.

  • Get. Out. Now.

    Cheating *is* an act of aggression. That is all you need to know to understand that you are in abusive relationship.

    Oh and yes, what would you say to your grown son if he came to you and told you he was in the same situation? You’d probably say ‘get the fuck away from that bitch’. So now that’s all you need to know.

  • Your wounds are fresh and when the walls come tumbling down, you are thrown off balance. My best advise is the take a step back and just breath. Once you get your footing stabilized, ask yourself if you can tolerate being a marriage cop, because that is what you will be. The betrayal cuts deep and is forever etched in your mind. There is nothing & I mean nothing you can do to change a disordered persons behavior. As the saying goes around here, trust that she sucks. Read the archives. There is a weath of advise in them. I hate to point out, but if she’s having sex with other men, do you really want to go through DNA testing? What she has done is cruel. Someone here previously used the term soul rape- that is exactly what has happened to you. Best of luck to you.

  • James, I have been in your shoes. Let me be blunt: your hopefully soon-to-be-ex has a giant hole in her depraved heart–a hole that only hundreds of strange dicks can fill. This is an absolute fact, albeit a sad one. Run as far and fast as you can. Really that’s all you need to know, but I feel compelled to say a bit more.

    What you just described is almost identical to what I found out about my husband after 13 yrs together. What you identified is the twisted double life of a sociopath. My ex brought women into our home & our office as often as he could over TEN YEARS of marriage & I had no clue & never suspected a thing. I’m at 2 hour dinner with my parents because he has a headache & he’s fucking the single neighbor woman. I think he’s at the gym for an hour? He’s fucking some other guy’s wife in the county park bathroom or his car. Your STBX will be in line to pick up your child from school while giving some strange man a blow job. That’s just hat sex-addicted sociopaths do.

    I was lucky to find a fantastic counselor who laid it all out for me. Some people appear normal but have no soul. They are so deceitful that they can make you feel like your marriage is great–in fact, they prefer that everyone thinks that, as it’s an important part of their cover. We were also trying to have to a baby when I found out about the other women. They are master manipulators. Then when you find cold hard proof, they will blame you…I was too heavy & he hated my long hair (preferred a pixie cut!). Those were the reasons he gave me for what he’d done.

    What she’s told you is the tip of the iceberg. There are likely dating sites, Ashley Madidin, Craigslist hookups. I found dozens of other women, hundred of thousands of texts, almost constant porn site use, you name it. Be prepared.

    Sex-addicted sociopaths don’t use condoms, by the way. Go get tested for STDS right away…it will take up to 6 months for the HIV test to be definitive. If that doesn’t make you comprehend how shitty of a person she is, nothing will. Trust me when I say the types of men who are banging your wife with your son sleeping in the same room are Total Scum. Trash attracts other trash: these people will always find each other while trying to use us Trusting Chumps as “proof” that they are decent.

    I’m so sorry for your pain. It is soul-crushing & it forever changes how you look at the world. But you will get through it. And once you’re on the other side, you will know joy, real joy, like you’ve never known it before! Take care & good luck!

    • Yes – there are always more stories they never tell you about. Please get tested for everything and if, by chance, you are still sleeping with her, stop.

    • Oh my Sara, so much of what you said sounds like my ex, down to the refusal to wear condoms ever. Luckily my STD testing was clean post D-Day. Only difference is he fooled me for 25 years. These freaks are clever. As I’ve said here before: sociopaths suck.

      • Mine got a vasectomy after our second child which in his eyes, got him the “get out of jail free card” when it came to wearing a condom. When I asked him if he did he told me that “he thought she was fine because she was married?!” What a total buffoon huh? I asked him when he graduated from medical school so he could do the tests that determined that fact and he stared at me dumbfounded.

        I proceeded to get tested for everything under the sun and refused to have our insurance pay for it. The kicker is it would’ve been totally free because I work for a giant lab conglomerate and they do every single one of those tests. If you use their labs it’s absolutely free to their employees but there was no way I was letting anyone at work know what was going on. I was mortified. Testing cost in excess of $500.00 when everything was said and done and when I paid the bill, I put his credit card down as payment.

        My paycheck was direct deposited into our joint account so technically I paid part of that bill too but he absolutely hates to pay for any kind of service; especially doctor fees. He only likes paying for expensive toys and “stuff” that is tangible. I know it chapped his ass to have that on his credit card so that was the best part. Gotta get our digs in when we can right?

        • Good for you, cheaters suck, mine looked at me like I was crazy when I suggested he may have gotten and given me an STD, and when I told hi. I was going for testing laughed like his getting an STD was just impossible. This despite the fact that he was having a 17-year long sexual relationship with 2 co-workers which involved individual affairs and group sex. I had thought we had a great marriage and I could trust him, and so did my family, friends and community. Their level of deceit is amazing, I am sure there is much more that he engaged in but at that point I knew all I needed to know.

          • Kelly, I am so sorry for what you went through–that is just awful! Their ability to deceive is truly unbelievable unless you’ve lived it. My ex used to read Christian devotionals & share kindthoughts about the topics often, sometimes daily, with my Dad, who lived out of state. He faked pretty much our whole life. He also had a genius-level IQ, so he could truly ‘play’ anyone. My ex was sleeping with me & other women on the same days! And I never, not once, suspected a thing. I’m a lawyer & business owner, & I’ve worked with & managed hundreds of people. And still I had no clue, no warning signs. We can’t beat ourselves up for not knowing someone is hiding such evil–but what we can do is run when we figure it out!! And we owe it to ourselves to be happy again–that is the very best revenge!! 🙂

            • Sara, my ex was very smart, photographic memory, very smooth, also completely fooled me and my family. And yes, I am ALSO a lawyer, partner in a well-known law firm in our area, and considered very smart. We do owe it to ourselves to be happy-I decided after D-day that I’d be damned if the last story in my romantic life was the awful con my ex pulled. I started dating, thought it was too painful, and gave up thinking I would just be alone the rest of my life, and comfortable that I still had a good life. By chance though I reconnected with my brother’s best friend from high school who had been chumped years before me, went on one date with him….and we were married this past June. It is a world of difference from my ex, so real, true and NON-SPARKLY. I now know what I was missing all those years. We are smart women (and men) but were fooled by these freaks. But we can be happy again, with or without a man. (((HUGS)))

  • James,
    Once you’ve made the decision to leave her and end the marriage, things will be clear. There is absolutely no point in trying to reconcile. You will not be able to trust her again. See her as the adversary she is. She does not love you. Why try any more.

    A lack of money need not be an impediment to divorcing. At least you won’t have to pay her much support if you don’t make much. Just gather all the evidence you can (of her behaviour) to support your custody claim. If you could nail her on a drug charge that would be ace.

    We may sound harsh here, but we’ve been through our own d-days and cheater-mind-fucks. The longer you keep wallowing in the details, the longer you will suffer. Cut her loose asap.

    Best wishes to you.

  • “We saw a counselor once, together. Then we both saw the same counselor separately. A close personal friend confided that the counselor told my wife that the counselor was on my wife’s side 150%.”

    Who chose the counselor?

    Lawyer up ASAP. Leaving the marital home could be seen as abondonment. Maybe you should get back into the house.

    Good luck to you.

    • Wife is a manipulator, she did a job on the therapist. That means the therapist is totally unqualified, she’s also an asshole. Find yourself a personal therapist just for you.

      • Wife is also a pathological liar, Dat. The whole story of “Counselor is on my wife’s side 150%” is probably wife getting in front of the narrative–salting the earth, so to speak.

        Friend says, “But WHY would a counselor be so on your side! There MUST BE SOMETHING HE DID, right?” Well, of course. IF that story is true, therapist needs to be confronted and then reported.

        The highest likelihood is that the “friend” heard this from the wife—and it is a total and complete fabrication. She’s soliciting sympathy and support by lying and turning the tables on Maritally. He’s not defending himself, because he doesn’t know about what she’s doing—and he still loves her.

        True, loving people don’t just turn off their loyalty and love like these sociopaths do. He’s defending her inadvertently by staying quiet about what she’s done.

        He needs to “sing like a bird”, as Tracy said—tell everyone. See how this all shakes out when she’s exposed for the liar that she is.

        I see hopping around in a sleeping bag then toppling over into the swimming pool in her future. 🙂

  • My ex’s therapist told him that his abusive behavior toward me was just him “finding his voice.” I don’t know who these crazy ass therapists are, but you should never, ever go back to that one. YOU get to choose who you want in your life. You’ve made it pretty clear that you don’t want what either of them bring to your life.

    I’ll tell you the same truth that I finally had to accept about my ex: he didn’t want to be a cheater, but he WAS one. (Still is.) Same with your wife. She may be sorry, she may want to reconcile, she may swear up and down that she won’t do it again. But she will, because it’s who she is, whether either of you like it or not.

  • James,

    I just wanted to chime in to reiterate what everyone else has already said. You are not crazy. The situation you have been put in is abusive, and crazy-making, and flat-out wrong. Chumplady got it right when she described what you’re experiencing as “Kafka-esque.”

    I remember reeling after I found out about my ex’s affair, and having him explain to me the many things that I did to cause his behavior (including my depression after learning the truth — that pushed him into the OW’s arms). I would argue with his logic at home, then we took it to a counselor — who said nothing, but seemed to nod in understanding while he put this flawed logic out there. And the affair was ongoing. The OW would post things on social networks about how “crazy” I was. Meanwhile he was still visiting her. I felt isolated and confused — who would believe me?

    They are fucked up people that I had to step away from. I knew it was crazy while I was still stuck in it, but my hurt and confusion kept me stuck in it for a while. Now, after time has passed, I still see that they are poisonous, damaged people who lack a normal sense of decency and humanity. But they no longer get to play with my head, and I don’t have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for staying with someone who treated me with disdain. It’s so much better once you start to put the cheater in your rear-view mirror.

    Take back control, James. What happened to you is real, and it matters. That counselor is a quack. Trust your gut. Model strength and decency for your son, and get YOU back.

    Best of luck,
    LilyBart

  • James,
    Decide on your principles (what you want your child to learn) and stick by them. Think of the founding fathers who broke away from England. It is time to say Enough is Enough.
    My parents stayed together for the ‘sake of the kids’ and it was a shoddy way to pass their issues on to the next generation. It is horrible growing up in a home where basic principles such as integrity (openness and honesty) are impossible to believe because of sick love/lies.
    In my state, the first one to file for divorce has a major advantage. Get out now. Her abuse is evil. 100 PHDs cannot explain evil.
    You have a long road ahead! Get started now, and don’t look back.

  • Hi James, I am afraid that I am going to have to agree with everyone here. I am actually willing to cut some slack for “moments of weakness.” For example suppose someone is away on a long trip for several months, and well, things happened. That might be something worthy of forgiveness. However this is not your case. In your case these are things in your home, in your bed, with your son in the next room. Clearly this is a person with little to no self control, and these actions are deliberate. I am not hopeful that a person like this can work with you to build a sound stable family. This person may stop for a week, or maybe a month, but will eventually go back to the same behavior when she is not afraid to be caught. I think it is time to give up, move on, and maintain the best possible relationship for the sake of your child.

    • If you’re on a long trip for several months, there are plenty of other options. (Kinda NSFW) Hands and an imagination. Phone sex with your partner. And other methods such as employing your self control. These cheater fucks never consider any of these because they are entitled pricks.
      There is NO EXCUSE for cheating. EVER.

  • She’s cheated with more than one man.
    She’s cheated with more that one man at the same time.
    She’s cheated in your marital bed.
    She’s cheated before the pregnancy.
    She’s cheated after the pregnancy.
    She’s cheated with your son in the other room.
    She lied when you confronted her.
    She lied by omission or commission every time she had sex with someone else.
    She exposed you and your baby to STDs.
    She sat by when you took a weapon to confront one of her APs.
    She only confessed to multiple partners when you claimed to have her correspondence.
    She was willing to stick with a marriage counselor that she claims is 150% on her side. (That shows a lot integrity, there, going into marriage counseling with the game rigged ).

    You say you have 18 specific things your wife has done that you object to. I don’t know what all of them are, but I’ve got 10 dandy ones listed above. What more do you need? You might need a paternity test, tests for STDs, and some good advice about filing for divorce and at minimum, 50% physical custody and shared legal custody. You need to look at bills and other records (cell phone, charge cards, debit card and bank records) to see if she has diverted assets.

    When you say “we don’t earn very much money at all” that’s you thinking as a couple. My guess is that you are the primary wage-earner. So of course she doesn’t want a divorce; if she wanted a divorce, she would have left before she was unfaithful. She wants a chump to bring in a paycheck, give her respectability as a “wife and mother” while she gets in on with multiple partner. And I guarantee you she likes the secrecy, the deception, and the delicious feeling of using and abusing you–hence the remark to a third party about the therapist being on her side. The tip of the iceberg you’ve encountered is the sexual infidelity; the huge mass of cold destruction below the surface is this person’s horrible character. She’s a cheat, a liar, and a person who relishes walking on the kinky side and putting her husband and her son at risk. And when you run off with a weapon to challenge one of her ho-boys, you fed her a metric ton of ego kibbles; when the counselor prefers her to you–more ego kibbles; and the pick-me dance she’s got going is a gold mine of ego-kibbles. If you stay and put up with more of this shit, if she gets over on someone to that extent, she is the goddess of ego kibbles.

    Shut down the kibble and cake factory. Figure out what you want, unless you are OK with ending up in prison or with a life-threatening STD or a child that isn’t yours. Don’t worry about money. If you were planning to have a second child who will take a half million to raise through college, there’s enough money for a divorce.

    • Amen to everything you just said, Lovedajackass! It can be hard to believe that the person we love could be this evil but for the amount of damage she has been willing to inflict on you in a few years time you have to wonder was she ever what you thought or did you see in her what you wanted to? Not trying to be negative but chumps tend to see the good where it may not exist. I know I projected onto my wife deep remorse and guilt(because that would be a normal reaction to destroying everyone you love) only to discover that was an act as things went further underground. Do not believe anything she says and begin to make plans to take care of you and your family. As far as testing for DNA that is a personal call, I haven’t and don’t plan on it, what purpose would it serve? You already love and accept your son

  • First off, you’ve got nothing to work with with your wife. What she did is absolutely NOT okay. Her continuos affairs are not your fault. I’m sorry you’re in this mess. Don’t go back to that therapist. Do find a new one, one for just you.

    Dude, you just put in writing 3 things that could put crimes on your record and land you in jail, depending on the laws where you live. I sure hope you did your homework before pulling the spyware and tape recorder stunts. While that therapist is a quack, she could sue you and potentially win. If you win you’d still have to foot the cost of defending yourself in court on top of the cost of trying to divorce. Your ex could add another level to screwing you over in the divorce proceedings if you put the spyware on illegally. Please, please do your research BEFORE taking action. If you did do your research then good, I hope it was thorough enough. If you divorce it may be wise to disclose those actions to your lawyer. The last thing you want is your wife laying that on you in court and your lawyer being surprised by incriminating evidence when they’re trying to work on your behalf.

    It’s okay to be angry. You can yell, curse, smash your wedding china on the sidewalk, release your anger in another alternative way. It’s NOT okay to bring a weapon (immediate assumption is a gun but you didn’t specify what it was), with you and go to the guy’s house with plans to assault him. Healthy anger finds an alternative release option and self control stops you BEFORE you find yourself on the dude’s front door. You wrote “He said something that spurred me to act in a civil manner.” Yikes! You had a weapon with you and your self control was completely externalized. Bad, bad combo. What would have happened had the guy said something uncivil? You’ve got young kids. The scenario you described does not bode well for you b/c it’d be all to easy to label you as a violent threat, which I’m guessing would most likely make you lose any chance for custody of your kids etc. I’m guessing that’s the LAST thing you want and the LAST sort of leverage you’d want your ex to use against you. If I’m on a home visit for work and a parent tells me they did what you did, I’m going to be running it by my supervisor and likely making a call to CPS or the local police, since I’m a mandated reporter.

    Maybe I’m off, but based on the actions you took during the discovery phase, you sound a little impulsive and the kind of impulses you’re acting on aren’t going to work in your favor. Find your safe anger, find a new therapist to work with you, find a divorce lawyer and get yourself to a healthier you.

    • I agree 100% with Fiestypants, James. Your admission to bringing a weapon to the affair partner’s home, installing spyware, and recording conversations is very troubling. If your wife knew you had a gun but didn’t warn her AP that you were coming, perhaps she gets off on the triangulation? Face it man; you’re being gaslighted and set up. Here’s my thoughts on next steps…

      Give your weapon to a trusted friend to hold for safekeeping until you’re past the rage phase.
      Get a divorce lawyer FAST. There’s nothing left to save in that relationship. Sorry to be blunt.
      Be the best parent to your child. Seek custody.
      Know that you will not tolerate anyone who uses you ever again.
      Check in at Chump Lady for support and encouragement. We’ve walked the walk, too.

  • Dearest James!!

    Please, Oh Please! DO NOT have another child with this bat-poo crazy witch!

    Please, Oh Please, DO NOT get into bed with her ever again……

    I feel it is divine intervention that you have arrived here at the ‘Nation’!

    We have all ‘been there / done that’ to one degree or another. The chumps here are the real ‘experts’, not that delusional piece of trash you encountered that passes herself off as a ‘therapist’.

    You are receiving a boatload of excellent direction, counsel and advice from Tracy and the Nation. LISTEN and APPLY!

    Additionally, the resources that Tracy has listed are not just a bunch of amateurs. They are professionals who have proven to have superior insight and advice for anyone dealing with ‘crazies’.

    For instance, William ‘Bill’ Eddy is both a licensed counselor and an attorney. He specializes in family law. He has an enormous number of books, videos & workbooks designed specifically for those in your situation. Stuff that works!! Many of his resources are being used in Family Courts in California & in other parts of the world. You can check out this valuable information at High Conflict Institute.

    Sending love, prayers and peace to you……

    ForgeOn, James……ForgeOn, all…..

  • James: As a chump that endured 3 excrutiating D-Days, I assure you she will not change. Nor is she sorry. Get out as fast as you can…for youself,

  • Few things, just real quick (I’ll make it as simple as possible, because you’re still in the acute discovery phase and too wordy you’ll not remember this stuff)
    1. Your selfish fuckwad of a ‘wife’ is an entitled parasite and the scum of the earth. There were far more than just 3 men – I can bet the house on it. Cheaters will only admit what the evidence shows, and sometimes not even then. She has shit character and is a bad person. More than enough (and it should be enough) to say ‘see ya!’ and file for divorce.
    2. This woman is making unilateral choices about your health and your life while screwing around behind your back. And using you as a free meal ticket (and possibly even a free father to look after the kid which may not even be yours – given her behaviour). You need STD testing and paternity testing, pronto.
    3. Why is it that when cheaters get exposed, its the chumps who move out? Move back into your house. And kick that bitch out. She did the heinously wrong by you – shes the one who leaves. Simple. (And your child stays with you, too).
    4. Quack therapist. Thats all I have to say about that scumbag. The cheating is 100% on your scumbag wife. Anyone who tries to assign any sort of blame on you, or ‘own your part of the cheating’ crap needs to be kicked to the kerb. Unfortunately, a lot of therapists are like this, so you need to find one who doesn’t tolerate that shit.
    Nothing to save here. Remorseless entitled bitch. File for divorce and get away from her. Test for STD’s and paternity. If the kid’s yours, push for full custody. Report the quack therapist.

  • James, I stayed for over two decades with a serial cheater. It.is.not.worth.it. Sure, it will be expensive to divorce but nowhere as costly as staying with a serial cheater. As someone once posted here, if she can’t be faithful for 4 years, how the heck can she be for the next 50?

    Please do not go back to that quack. I went through a few quacks who focused on my anger as an issue. What the heck? I was angry as hell because my ex was cheating! Talk about a mind fuck.

    My ex confessed his first affair when our child was a few months old (he cheated when I was pregnant) and I threw him out then and we reconciled. I wish I could talk to my twenty-something self then and shake her to her senses. I am now shaking you to your senses, James. Get out of that marriage. The therapist said she is the best woman for you? Boy, does that therapist live in Planet Slime?

    This are early days for you. You are shell-shocked. it’s okay to feel confused, out of control, beaten, etc. As long as you know your end game (divorce your wife), you can navigate through this mess. Keep coming here for support. Don’t do what I did – waste a lifetime on an asshole who pretended he wasn’t.

    Trust me, you are better off alone than with your serial cheating wife.

  • James, GET. OUT. By kicking your wife out and staying in the house with your child if you can, contact a lawyer NOW to find out how to get this done and get a divorce pronto. Your wife is evil, and that counselor was a set-up. Seriously don’t want to sound paranoid but is she even a licensed professional? Either way, see a lawyer, make a plan, and get out. These people are soul sucking sick monsters who will destroy you if you let them. Godspeed.

    • James, there is no reason to put up with anyone who devalues you and your son in this way. When we are comfortable in a relationship and suddenly the rug is pulled out from under us we fall hard. Now it has to be about you and your son. I would ask her to leave your home and let her live alone. I wouldn’t want my child to live with her.

  • James, I understand your feeling of rage. After my D-day I experienced anger and rage I never believed myself capable of. Our cheating spouses point their fingers at us and say we’re crazy, but believe me when you get away from the crazy situation they’ve put you in you feel so much better. Please, find your own counselor and stay separated until you can figure out what to do. The suggestion above to give your weapon to a trusted friend until you get through the rage stage is a good one. There’s already been enough tragedy in your life. Don’t compound it.

  • Such great advice and I just wish I could log-in sometime and not find another person going through this! Feels like an epidemic.

    I asked then-H to paleeease give me 30 days to sort this whole shit out and to move into our travel trailer.
    Please just GO – give me space.
    I justified it by saying our 4 big dogs needed their routine.
    I immediately changed the locks. No, probably not legal, but, the under the counter-advice from my atty told me it was OK since I was afraid of him and what he ‘might’ do to the dogs.
    Although, he was never violent and did love the dogs.
    It worked!

    I know he must have hated all that very much. He is a control freak.
    I KNEW he wanted to have ME leave so his tramp could finally move in and take over my place.
    It was hard – but I had so much strength to yell so hard to get the Fuck Out RIGHT fucking now, for 30 fucking days! He was afraid of me – lol. But, my anger…(no, I’m not physical but I have a cutting tongue when it comes to cheaters)

    He didn’t challenge it, and truth be known, you are NOT safe going thru this shit, no matter how much you think you know this person. People you think you know can suddenly get violent. In my 36 yrs of knowing X well, he was so gentle . . until he got violent one day. All he did as a big man, and me sort of small, picked me up with my arms completely bound by his (he was a wrestler) and literally threw me out of the room. Landed on hands and knees.

    I didn’t need to report that – I wasn’t hurt except for my legs. When he did that, I swooped my legs all over his home-office desk and everything fell to the floor. All his Bloomberg computers! ha. (hey, I have strong legs!)

    It was a win-win…and right then, is when I knew we were in big trouble.
    I hope this was on-topic.

  • I’ve yet to share my story on CL James. The truth is we chumps are wonderful people with good intentions who tend to see the good in people especially those we love. I understand I really do. I can tell you for 22 years I’ve been married and for the last ten of those years my husband began emotional affairs, dating sites and hook up sites and two long term affairs (that I know of ) My point is THEY NEVER CHANGE. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with HPV 16 and shortly after that cervical cancer,multiple surgeries, chemo,15 rounds of radiation that I knew I had to leave. Still unsure of what my future holds for me as my white blood cell count is still way off. I pray alot more these days. Our now 18 year old daughter is disabled and it has been a financial hell for both of us. My point is James I floated around for three years thinking it would only be worse if I divorce ….. It took my gyno telling me staying with him could litterly kill me to make me understand THERE IS NO FUTURE WITH THESE SERIAL CHEATERS. More than likely a sociopath . James, please get away. You life is at risk.Please don’t be me.

  • James, I agree with all of the above. I will also add that, since you can’t leave immediately, it’s time to be an oscar award winning actor. Don’t tell her what you’re thinking or doing. Get your ducks in a row. Your wife is particularly scheming and manipulative and for all you know she’s getting HER ducks in a row right now.

    The honest truth is that she wants to reconcile now because she was caught off guard. The moment she finds the right next guy to shack up with, she’ll be gone. It’ll be MUCH better for you and you son to be the one making the first moves.

    Take that gun to a trusted friend’s house or some other safe place to store it. Don’t tempt yourself. From now on you’re Sherlock Holmes. You can do this. You were left with no choice.

    xox

  • James, discovery spins your world upside down. Yep you will be living at 1/2 measure and very likely a lot less. Shit who am I kidding it will be soul destroying and full of hopium. I lived two decades smoking the hopium pipe and swallowing a whole load of crap. You have been delivered another shit sandwhich and the sorry part is truly part of that. You are is shit storm right now and it feels like a hell of a journey to exit. You can do it. We are here to help. Lurk amongst the wonderful archives from CL and Chump Nation to help with the crazy, confused feelings that cheating fucktards create. Get informed with legal advice and walk, walk, walk.

  • Dear James, Perfectly rational, intelligent, and kind people find a sort of wrath that only exists in the bowels of hell during infidelity. I will not kill a poisonous spider, but the day my husband stuck his ass in the air to change a water filter in our crawl space, I had to step away to stop myself from kicking it and him in it.

    If her infidelity got you hot to the point he took a weapon over to confront another guy, it’s time to heave-ho.

    So not worth it.

    • ” I will not kill a poisonous spider, but the day my husband stuck his ass in the air to change a water filter in our crawl space, I had to step away to stop myself from kicking it and him in it.” Loooooool!!!

      Boy, I really wish you were my doctor. That was the funniest thing I read today. Thanks!

  • Why in holy hell are you moving out of your life to accommodate such a hoar bag? Seriously James, kick that awful bitch out and reclaim your life. Whatever you do, don’t leave your child.

  • Oh and one other thing, come back to visit us … and often. Read the archives, you will find the support you need here.

  • James-

    I agree with what everyone else has said here. Sleeping in your marital bed with someone else is definitely an act of aggression on your wife’s part. You need to treat this as if you are in danger; as if your wife is chasing you with a knife. Lawyer up, document, document and do some more documentation for the hell of it and get out with your sanity while you still can.

    Cheating for 4 years (what she’s admitted to and believe me there is always more) means that she has being lying and deceiving you for just as long. She’s made unilateral decisions about your health, your finances and she’s decided to blow up the family all for her selfish pleasure.

    Please come here for support but above all else; just follow chump lady’s advice and save yourself. There are other woman out there that will treat you with the love and respect you deserve but you can’t pursue that until you keep your cheating wife swiftly to the curb.

    Sending jedi hugs your way.

  • James, holy smokes. You’ve gone through the wringer, and the pain you’re in right now must be excruciating. I am so sorry. Your wife is human garbage, and I’ll echo what the other chumps have said in that you’re probably aware of only the tip of the iceberg. These sick freaks only cop to what they think you already know, so please believe there’s more. Much more, unfortunately. Plus, you wound up with the therapist from hell. That’s the kind of betrayal that really should cost someone their license.

    But the good news is that you found your way here, and it’s still early days for you. You don’t have to waste decades on a relationship that will slowly suck every last ounce of hope and joy and self-love out of you. You also don’t have to subject your son to some seriously skewed example of what a marriage looks like. But you gotta be smart now, and you gotta be strong. Please, see a good lawyer as soon as you can, and I beg and beseech you to find a new counselor (an individual one). Sad to say, I don’t think marital counseling at this point would be worth the time it’d take to claim a session on your Blue Cross, but that’s just me. Save your time and energy for you and your son. You are so worth it, and you *will* come out on the other side of this. Please keep posting, visit the forums, and good luck! Big hugs to you and your son.

    • Very true. For some reason, many of us seem
      To think that most affairs are uncovered. The truth is the vast majority of them are never discovered.
      Do, James, if you know of three guys, odds are very good there are more.

  • James,

    Good on you for finding the strength to find CL. Take a few minutes now to picture how that scene could have played out, and picture yourself spending the rest of your life in prison for murder, and your son being raised up by that woman. Get a grip, get rid of the weapon, reach out to a friend/family member for support. I agree with the above advice not to mention to anyone IRL how close you came, not even a therapist, who as a mandated reporter, might feel it necessary to file a report on the near-incident because there’s a child in the house. That means you have to play this smart and save yourself from walking down that path.

    Don’t leave your house. Tell your wife to leave, and file for divorce. Go for 100% custody. Go no-contact.

    Agree also with above advice not to do a paternity test unless you believe it would make a difference to you. If you already know he’s your son, it may not matter whether or not he’s your child. If you go that route, take the test to an independent lab and get the results anonymously, pay with cash or some other untraceable means. Burn the results once you’ve read them.

    Speaking of cash, secure your bank accounts. Set aside any cash you can. Don’t be afraid of reaching out for help financially. Fuel assistance, child-care assistance, finding child-care, food stamps or a food bank, anything that will help you prioritize funds for a lawyer. You’re in for the fight of your life with an enemy that knows you like she knows the back of her hand.

    You said you consider yourself separated from her. Try to consider yourself divorced, or even widowed. The woman you loved is gone forever. Mourn her, and release her, and turn towards your future. It might seem like a bleak landscape now, but there is life and hope beyond this for you and your son.

    I’m so sorry that you’re going through this excruciating experience. Please make use of the experience on this site to help save yourself. You were so close to losing the rest of your life. It’s so hard to think clearly when you’re under this kind of assault, but you essentially were given a second chance. Prisons are full of people who didn’t get that. Be the person who uses it to choose your future.

  • James, I’m sorry you’re here. DNA your son. You said your wife’s first cheating episode happened 4 years ago and your son is 2? Time for a DNA test.

  • James,

    I was married to a serial cheater. I had no idea. When I found out about final OW it opened a very, very painful can of worms. I assure you that she is only telling you what she thinks you already know. And I can assure you that if you stay with her she will most definitely cheat again.

    This will be the most painful thing you ever go through and it will be truly awful for longer than you think. But staying with her will be worse, because there will be no end. Leaving will give you an ending. A painful and difficult one, but one that is finite.

    Take the first steps to get out. Keep moving forward, know that the light at the end of the tunnel will eventually appear. Just a small flicker at first but it will get brighter and brighter. I think we will all carry a bit of this pain around inside of us forever but we will all come out of it stronger, better people.

    Chump Nation is full of people at various stages of this fucked up merry-go-round and there are few more supportive places on the Internet. Listen to people here, share your story and worries. We’ll keep you together the best we can.

    Nord.

    • “I think we will all carry a bit of this pain around inside of us forever ”

      Nord, I’ve been thinking about that but hadn’t articulated it really to myself. I hope the pain continues to lessen with time (as for me, mine has dramatically lessened to this point in my healing, 1.5 yrs past dday), but I was surprised a couple of weeks ago by my own reaction when I listened to a CD I had not listened to in about 10 months. Just hearing it accessed a level of pain I hadn’t felt in a long time. The music took me back to the acute pain of the early months; I guess music is particularly powerful like that. That evening was hard, but it passed. Since dday, I know that my experience with this kid of pain has made me a much more compassionate person with other people going through grief and pain. I just didn’t get it before because I had never expereinced such a deep pain before.

      • I don’t feel much pain anymore but little things can bring a twinge. It’s a bit more than three years since I tossed him out so I’m further along. But I think there is always some sort of pain there, particularly when it comes to my kids, the pain they still feel, the bs they still have to deal with due to their messed up father – and that they still look into the future and see that things will never be anything like they imagined, right through marriage, grandkids, all that stuff. My younger one still finds this really upsetting.

        • Yes, Nord, the hardest thing of all is the control my disordered POS ex still has over our children…. Who want to believe. Five years out! My marriage apparently was a lie; years of living with that belittling entitled ass still has me at my wit’s end and yes he will never “get it.” Not one child (they are all in their twenties) chose to see their father over the holidays (we are all barely making ends meet and apparently they are getting tired of his shit). So now he messes with our finances. He must not be happy with just stealing money, allowing our house to foreclose, and blowing his family to pieces. James, if nothing else, just know this. Everything you love and work at, everything sacred, your family, your son, your assets, your home, your work, your life, will be destroyed when your wife decides “this is not the life she wants to live.” She will look at you like you are gum she scraped off her shoe and tell you it’s all your fault. Call her bluff. You own your choices. Leave this toxic woman and show your son better. The cost now is nothing compared to what it will be years down the road. Choose a better life. You and your son both deserve better.

      • NorthernLight, I’m exactly 1.5 years out as well. And I’m just approaching a state of Meh, I think, punctuated still by moments of intense sadness and paid just as you described when listening to that music; it’s brought on by similar triggers: seeing a painting, or view out the window of my house, that reminds me of him and of the woman I used to be. But now I know it is finite. I know that it’s just like feeling freezing cold when I’m walking down the street but I know I’ll soon reach the coffeeshop on the corner and be warm again. It still hurts like hell when it’s happening. But I am approaching Meh more and more each day knowing these moments are shorter, and less frequent as time goes by. Hugs to you ~~

  • James, please, please please do not have another child with this woman. If she were honestly repentant and actually got what it is she did, she would not want to throw a baby into the mix until she figured this out. It’s her way of securing her marriage and her life with you, which is what she wants. For now. It’s difficult for “normal” people to understand how cheaters think, but look at it as if she is a thirteen-year-old. She wants what she want when she wants it, so she goes ahead and does what she pleases. Her thinking is ‘I’ll deal with the fallout IF I get caught’ and non of these Einsteins ever believe they’ll get caught. How many teenage girls get pregnant purposely, thinking it will be the way to keep their boyfriend?? Too many to count.

    This is not a ‘mistake’, this is not a bad decision, this is a CHOICE that she made. Over and over again. Which proves she is capable and willing to think only of herself. She didn’t even consider the safety of your son when bringing some man into your house. She was only thinking of what she wanted. That is a shitty resume’ for a mother, so why would you want to saddle another child with that?

    This is her character. This is the way she thinks. A mature adult mind says ‘I’d like to get me some strange, because I’m bored and restless, but if I do that it will blow up my family, devastate my husband and hurt my children.’ An infantile mind says ‘I want, I want, i want’. She’s not sorry she did it, she’s sorry she got caught. Please understand that, no matter how painful it is. The proof? It happened more than once.

  • I was married to a serial cheater too. 27 years married to him. I didn’t leave because basically I was afraid. I had two children to care for, and didn’t think enough of myself to get out. I’ve got to say that those years of feeling like I wasn’t enough and to be worried about where he was, or if he would get home in one piece (he is a heavy drinker), killed my self esteem and self worth.

    I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone. Do yourself a favor, and love yourself enough to end this relationship. Love does not betray. It does not have sex with others when a marriage vow was made. She has deep rooted problems that no one but she can help herself with.

    Your therapist told you that? I’m sure that tossed up a BIG red flag. Find one of your own, who will take care of you. Gather up your proof and keep it safe. Shut down all credit card activity – close all your accounts if she is on any of them. Keep just what’s in your name alone, and if she is an authorized user, take her off. Find a good lawyer.

    Don’t be afraid because money is tight. Money will ALWAYS be tight – the more you make, the more you spend, but know that it will get better once all of this is said and done. Your little boy is counting on you and your wife isn’t thinking of either of you – she could bring someone into the house that’s dangerous for all you know.

    Don’t live your life like I did only to find yourself 30 years later going through it. Get tested for STD and get the heck out of there. You deserve better!

  • Dearst James,
    I am going to,follow the same vein as Fiesty Pants and Chutes….. I fear that you are being set up and you are blindly falling down the rabbit hole. Your wife can use all these acts of ‘ violence and invasion of privavcy’ against you in a settlement … While she sits there like a rose’ he scares me’
    Trust someone … Me… I got a scary ex spouse who doesnt hestitate to use force and tactics to get what he wants. But he was the cheater.
    Did I do crazy? You bet. Craziliy combed thru emails , our phone bills, called a few of the whores…. But threaten one? No.
    Its all crazy making stuff…. And there is no where…. Trust me James… No where to stuff the pain. Beat the shit outa one of her interests … Release… Yes… jail time? … Yes.
    Use your head….from your letter you sound educated….. And introspective. Distancing yourself while in Hulk mode is a good move. Find a gym….. Start walking. … Or punching the crap outa some sand in a pillow case. For we women… We cry… A lot.
    You have a child. I understand he/ she is quite young…. But you can still be the example. What does a man do? Does he harm to rid himself of pain? Be the example for your child. You will never regret that.
    James…. The pain doesnt go away… U just find ways to deal with it… And hopefully on a more productive level. Like getting your shit together and filing for divorce and getting a good custody agreement. You unfortunately will have to deal with her until yr child is 18 years old. So make it on your terms. Forget revenge…. That bitch will only come back and bite you in the ass.
    Your wife joins an ugly club of cheaters and liars… She is not new. She is just another example of a self centered piece of shit who can live covertly and put on a great show. You have been duped James. Just like all of us here. Its a hard thing to swallow … A bitter pill if you will. But like the rest of us pill swallowing chumps… U come to a realization that u deserve better. And that should be your goal.
    And maybe I will be stereotyping… Forgive me… But please avoid and male driven advice from the side of bar… The only bar advice you should be following is from yr lawyer…. Not Bobby’s ‘ the best way to get over someone, is to get under someone’ nothing like a raging case of herpes and a paternity test when you are going thru a divorce. Dont do it… Practice some self love…on all levels.
    Keep reading James… You are on the right path. Stay there.

  • James,

    Sorry to hear you are going through this trauma. an extra-marital threesome without your consent? You and your wife have vastly different (incompatible) views on marriage. I don’t see how any amount of counseling can ‘fix’ that discrepancy and will make you feel good about your marriage. Couples’ therapy almost always made me feel worse, especially when the (quack) therapist told me that I (not cheater) was lying. My cheater would claim that I didn’t want to save our marriage when I said that I didn’t think quack therapist So-and-So was reasonable or helped us as a couple. The two reasonable good therapists couldn’t help us resolve even basic issues. The inability to answer even these questions (Where will the kids stay this week? How can we peacefully co-exist–for the kids’ sake?) in therapy was a sign that our marriage was untenable.

    Regarding money, as an unemployed chump, I get that concern. I comfort myself with the fact that staying in my marriage was very expensive, too. Cheater was using money that was supposed to be put in our kids’ college savings fund for sex with prostitutes and affair partners, among other things that shouldn’t have been bought under any circumstances. Cheater told me that I told him to stop investing in our kids’ fund. Lies on top of lies for decades. With cheating spouses like ours, who hold the motto ‘I just felt like it, so I just went ahead (over and over again), the more you hang around, the more likely you are to be subjected to lies.

  • The gun was a seriously stupid move. Seriously. Stupid.

    Chump Lady always says kids need at least one sane parent.

    Gun play = insane.

    Your son has a fucktard for a Mom so you are your son’s only shot at having a sane parent.

    Please get rid of that gun. All your guns. Another stunt like that could earn you a criminal record and make your job of getting as much custody as you can much harder.

    You have had a lot of wake up calls in the last few months. Learning that your own judgement is shaky is one I don’t hope you miss.

    I really wish you the best, ML. Good luck. Please be safe

    • This is a fantastic example of what tough love should look like (emphasis on the love). Great job, NoMoeNarcs.

    • NoMoreNrcs,
      I agree that this is wonderful tough love! And I needed to hear it as well. Because of my situation (we own a business and I have investigated and proved that stbx is diverting significant income from the business for his own use and to devalue the business as an asset) I have recently become aware that my ongoing investigations may be causing me to cross lines I previously wouldn’t have considered crossing. It’s just that the more I find, the angrier I get and the more I want to find. It’s time for me to reign it in and be smart and not let the anger take control. I just get so wrapped up in what I’m doing, I forget to stop and think whether or not I should be doing it! Thanks for the wake up call!

  • Oh… One last parting comment… Something inside me tells me that you will show her these posts… To ‘ show’ her what a sack of shit she is and how what she did was wrong…..’ See honey everyone thinks your a sack of shit ‘ DONT DO IT .
    She will never… And I repeat never buy in…. So dont blow yr chance to get some sound information…. Plus she can use that shit as character defamation.
    Repeat this …. Until it sinks in… And u believe it …..’ trust that they suck’

    • “Trust that they suck” means a number of things around here–but primarily it means don’t assume that the person you are dealing with is honorable or decent or capable of empathy or has even a rudimentary moral compass. If she will sleep with another man in the marital bed, and lie, and lie, and and gaslight you with a therapist “150% on her side,” imagine what she will do in front of the job to protect her kibbles and cake AND to hurt you, because at that point, the fact that she’s your enemy will be quite clear.

  • James, so sorry to hear all this. The wife is horrible enough – the one who was supposed to have your back stuck a dagger in it. And afterwards tells you it’s really your fault she was made to do that.

    Then you talk to a therapist who is supposed to be a professional who is bound, legally and morally, to have your best interest at heart and to help you sort through this incredible maze you never thought you would be in. However, instead of helping, the therapist pushes you deeper into the quagmire. In the meantime your wife keeps changing the maze around. Probably when you feel there just might be a brief moment of clarity, she changes the rules of the game somehow and you cannot know which end is up. Is it the good partner I thought I married, or the evil twin today?

    It’s incredible what has happened to you, but please realize that just about everyone here is living through some stage of this same type situation. There are some variations in differences in the crap sandwiches we are served, but it’s the same menu, and it’s all made from the same crap. And I am seriously awed by the strength and courage of people here who have managed to escape quagmires far worse than mine.

    No real advice (I’m still in the quagmire myself) other than a couple of legal suggestions. I suggest that you tell nobody, and that means NOBODY, other than your lawyer (after you retain him or her) about the weapon incident, the taping of a conversation, etc. But tell your lawyer everything. Some here may disagree, but that is my strong view. Maybe, maybe your therapist, much later in the game when things have sorted out and once you have dumped the charlatan. I would ask your lawyer about even that.

    Also, my wife is bi-polar and I suspect strongly that your wife is somewhere on that disorder grid. When my attorney told me about 90% of the cases she handled involved these disorders, it was a huge comfort. I know a ton of lawyers in my city, but I found her through my therapist. A good therapist can point you in the right direction toward many things. You probably need a lawyer first, but the point is using all the resources you have at your disposal.

    Stay with this site. Peace.

    • Chumpguy is right on the full-disclosure to lawyer advice (once retained). However, under NO circumstances consider going to that therapist ever again. ever. again. ever. That therapist is not there to heal you and has her head so far up her ass that it will require surgery to disengage (I’m in a related profession–trust me on this).

      FIND A NEW THERAPIST, PRONTO.

  • James,
    You have no further need to do any detective work to discover her infidelities. The new details can hurt you over and over. Just let that part go and focus on your future path. If you have not yet accepted that IT IS OVER, then do yourself a huge favor and make a decision. i played detective for far too long and it tore at my guts each time I found further evidence.

    She’s a serial cheater, she’s weak, she’s actually quite a head case. You know that. You don’t want a partner like that. These folks are attention whores…sound familiar?

    Get over the notion that reconciliation will work. It rarely ever does. The only people who advise it are either making money from the industry or misguided folks who have never actually experienced chumpdom. You know darn well you can never trust Ms. I-swear-I-wont-do-it-again. Did she just slip and fall on all those dicks?

    Run away and work on getting custody of the child. No need for “examples of good behaviour for the child” for the time being since child has no clue what’s up. Just make sure he is safe. You can be the good Dad in the years to come.

    Right now you are still in shock, but this will change as you get used to the new normal. Just let the grief process run its course, but get away from your nutbar so you can start healing. Yes there are good, faithful women out there and yes we are attractive so your chances of happiness are good.

  • James, I commented before but read the additional comments and just wanted to add something I have been thinking about in my own situation recently. You have to understand that these types of people are profoundly evil, and that as humans with a soul and the capacity to empathize and love we will NEVER understand them and NEVER be able to trust them except to know that they will always harm us, that every interaction will lead to disappointment and confusion. It is the ultimate mind fuck. I think this quote is from that old movie War Games, but I often think with these sociopaths, “The only way to win is not to play.”

    It’s hard to wrap the head around it early on as you are….I am three years out and remarried to a wonderful man (so know in the back of your mind that good honest people actually do exist). As my fellow chumps have said, I am so over my marriage but not over the damage, and I will probably never be completely over the damage since I was married to a serial cheater living a double life for most of our 25 year marriage. I now see him crawling back to try to re-establish a relationship with our children and every interaction with leads to trauma for them since he does not know how to do anything other than try use those who used to love him.

    In the meantime, we understand how much you want and need to believe the wife and mother you thought you knew and loved is still in there somewhere, but she is not, she is long gone and probably never really existed. Just protect yourself and your child.

  • James, I’m in a similar situation, but I’ve been paralyzed by uncertainty and fear for 2 years, so I’m still married. Most of the advice here is right on. You’ve been advised, but I can reiterate to you from my own experience that:
    1) Cheaters don’t “get it.” As unbelievable as it sounds, they have no comprehension, or desire to comprehend the suffering they have caused. My cheater still thinks I need to “accept my part in our marriage problems.” Total bullshit.
    2) Your therapist is a quack! It’s natural to trust that because they have a license and training that they should have a certain level of competence. That’s also bullshit. My therapist recommended that I “pull the covers” and expose my husbands infidelity and lies, so he would be forced to work on them. All this did was drive his activity further under ground. Now he’s better than ever at hiding his cheating.
    3) Cheaters only fess-up to what they think you know. I was shocked at how much my husband was hiding. He would swear, and passionately profess when questioned “that is everything”, “there is nothing else,” and then I’d find out another affair, and his response was a predictable “… but that was it, it was only once, there is nothing else.” …and it never ends.
    4) Cheaters cheat… a lot more than we think. My mother used to say “for every mouse you see in the house, there are 10 you can’t see.” I’ve come to realize it’s the same with cheaters, and their sex partners. It’s mind-blowing.
    5) Cheaters get off on watching our reactions to their cheating… from keeping the secret. It’s some kind of sick perverted game for them. Don’t act out. Get rid of the gun. I’m sure there is nothing that would give her more twisted pleasure than seeing you go off on one of her sex partners. Her sick mind would interpret that as 1. you’re crazy 2. her sex partner is the problem. 3. she’s a victim
    She’s not worth it.

    Take good care of yourself. Work on just taking care of YOU, and your baby. Others here have suggested, and I agree, don’t do a paternity test unless you would act on the results. Go easy on yourself, and don’t beat yourself up. You’ve been through quite a trauma.

  • Hi James,

    From the sound of it you know that divorce is the only option but you’ve gone tharn (frozen). It’s OK, once you find your decision is solid, you’ll get past that soon enough. I don’t blame you for moving out of your bedroom, I can’t imagine the anger and grief knowing your wife brought other men into your marital bed. That at least I was spared.

    If you stay, then yes, you’ll be settling for a life with someone you can never trust to have your back. Someone you can never be sure truly loves you. It will bear you down until the weight becomes so heavy you will have to leave. By then you’ll be a different person, and have wasted years of your life that could have been better. You will lose respect for yourself if you continue with your wife, she’s violated your core values, betrayed your trust over years. She’s stolen the most precious thing each of us possess, our time on this earth. Don’t be me, I forgave and found ex was cheating again 10 years later. Don’t be like me, you are strong you know, you are simply numb and a bit lost at the moment. Your inner strength and resilience will get you through this.

    PS: I’m not sure what country you are in, I’m guessing the UK, so no legal advice aside from the bit about putting spyware on your wife’s phone – you told her you did it and she didn’t object to it so I think you are in the clear there. Any issue with the weapon would be a he said/she said situation, unless you’ve told people who could be subpoena’d. I can’t condone your reaction, to physically harm the other man – I can understand if it was an anomaly, we can become confused and somewhat crazed dealing with manipulative people.

    Jedi Hugs!

  • James,

    I don’t have much to add because I think you’ve gotten excellent advice from Tracy and commenters. When I read your letter, however, I was curious how you found out about your wife’s infidelity. Did you discover it on your own? Did your wife tell you? Did some external circumstance or person reveal it? I’m guessing it was not your wife who told you, based on other things you said about her in your letter. But even if she had brought it up to you of her own free will, I would wonder if she did it because she feared you were about to find out anyway…

    You have a very difficult journey ahead of you. It will likely be the most difficult period of your life. But, if you choose to leave, divorce, and start over, there will be an end to the hell. And with time, things will eventually get better and the pain will become less raw, and you will find a new normal. Most days will be pretty good, and the sadness will only pop up every now and then and it is a dulled pain/sadness at missing who you thought your spouse was (but not the reality). You can make it through this, and you can rebuild. And we’re here for you.

  • Yep, been there done that crap! Get tested ASAP and DO NOT give her another ounce of your soul! NO MORE kids… she’s trying to trap you!!! She knows you are better off without her.

    My ex-H says (while we were married – towards the end with OW on his mind I’m sure)….”I want to have more kids.” I then reminded him that he got himself fixed between affair #2 and #3. He said we can practice and then he’ll get it undone. RED FLAG! It was a trap and him just being extremely selfish. I said, “NO THANKS! I don’t want to bring more children into this mess.”

  • I’m in a bit of a rush so haven’t time to read everyone’s posts, unfortunately (but will go back later). Has anyone else asked if this ‘so called Therapist’ was actually legit? We’ve discussed some real quacks when it comes the MC’s but, honestly to be telling James that this woman is ‘perfect’ for him – and that basically he doesn’t stand a chance of getting away from her without a world of financial pain? Well, I just can’t believe any sane person, let alone an actual trained professional would allow those words out of their mouths! Is is possible at all that cheater wife has set this up entirely with a friend playing the role of ‘therapist’? Also, what’s with this close friend reporting back that the counsellor is 150% behind cheater wife? There’s something very, very wrong about this set up.

    James, did you actually see any proof of accreditation for this counsellor?

    I think it’s easier to believe you’ve been conned by your pathologically lying wife and a pal of hers, rather than believe a trained professional would talk such tripe – and that’s even knowing there are a lot of accredited charlatans out there!

    James, I’m so sorry your going through this – you have to get away from her as soon as you possibly can, she’s poison.

    Jayne x

    • Jayne, I was wondering if cheaters network and share resources much like we chumps do. Got a pissed off chump? Take them to this therapist, he/she will get them back in line. . . . Chilling, but entirely possible.

  • When I read James’ description of the encounter with this person, I thought of the scene in “How to Lose a Man in Ten Days”. “You owe me $300.”

    James, amending my suggestions to support the notion of full disclosure to retained lawyer.

  • James –

    Get rid of the gun. I really mean it, get rid of the gun.

    I don’t own a gun for a good reason…I’m scared to death I might use it.

    We get your pain and we get your confusion–“Should I stay or should I go, now?…”

    Go, Go, Go and while you are OUT, you will figure it out. Or better yet, help her move OUT. Your son needs one sane parent and you are it.

    Wives don’t bring strange men into their home and screw them in the marital bed because they love their husband and child, capiche?

    I’d feel more hope for reconciliation if I found a dead horse’s head in my bed. (sorry animal lovers)

    • CalamityJane – you just made me laugh!

      “I’d feel more hope for reconciliation if I found a dead horse’s head in my bed. (sorry animal lovers)”

  • “Somehow, I feel like I will be “settling” or living life at half measure if I stay with someone who could do this to me.” James, you will not be “living” at all. In twenty eight years together I always felt like something was missing. I was surrounded by everything I had ever wished for except a spouse who loved and was committed to me or our marriage. I would often look around and see others and wished I had what they had. I even addressed this with ex. My family was “perfect,” but it’s a grand cover for our disordered spouses. We do all the work. Sound familiar? Pay attention to your gut James. Red flags are never present with the sane.

  • James, even the most hopeful and trusting soul could not believe in a unicorn emerging from this mess. Someone capable of the behaviour that you describe does not love or respect you and cannot be trusted to tell the truth about anything.
    Staying in this marriage will destroy your soul and your sanity so just do what is right for your child and yourself. She is not worth going to jail for so stay away from weapons and revenge fantasies…just be a father to your boy and get the hell out.

    • And another thing James, Do not have sex with her. She has probably already been advised that sex after her “confession ” of the affairs = forgiveness. The court system views it this way as well.

  • Wow is about all I can say right now. I am very fortunate to have found this site, and I genuinely appreciate that my email was posted, and really blown away by all the responses… every one of them. Thank you all so much for lending me your advice, information, and hard-earned wisdom. I would like to clarify a few things… as if this information would/could really change anything.

    – 3 to 4 years ago she had sex with a guy in our living room while I was away, not the bedroom
    – 3 to 4 years ago she had sex with that guy, and another guy while they were in the same room,(his house, not mine) she swore it wasn’t like a threesome you see in porn with both dicks in her at the same time, just taking turns… (good God, I sound like I am defending her!)
    – I found out form someone who knew one of the men. Wife has admitted that she was never going to tell me.
    – then this last year, while our son was sleeping, she invited another different guy over, she got drunk, and banged this guy in our bed while our son slept in his room.
    – all three men she knew from work (she has been at home with our son since he was born)
    – she claimed all the sex was with a condom
    – I only bluffed about installing spyware, and she then said ” well if you did that, you will read a few things you won’t like,” and admitted the other two men.
    – I live in Canada
    – I knew it was about the stupidest thing I could do going to that last guy’s house armed. She did call him as I left the house.
    – she is desperate to stay with me, and I had her write down every act of infidelity… she did so. (I felt like this would either help me heal, or I could use it in the divorce proceedings.
    – When I moved back into the house, I drew up a few paragraphs sticking to the facts… that I moved out after learning of her infidelity, took off the ring, won’t sleep in the same bed with her, etc and had her sign that. (I did that I guess to see if she would sign it… she did)
    – yes, she did suggest the counselor.
    – I am sure that recording the therapy session violated a law.
    – I haven’t told any family about this, and It seems like there is no consequence for her right now… other than she doesn’t like it that I don’t wear my ring, and she doesn’t like sleeping alone
    – I bring in all the money into the household. She is a stay-at-home mom.
    – We have been married for 7 years on the 25th of January, and together for 14 years. (this anniversary will be spent reading books to help me get through, and/or understand this situation)
    – For a few days while I was discovering the truth, the story got worse, and worse so I did ask her to put her hand on our son while he was sleeping, and swear on his life that she had told me everything. She did so.
    – I broke down several times while reading everyone’s comments. I guess this is going to happen from time to time. Maybe I was raised to not show emotion, but at 42 years old, I have only cried as an adult once prior to this. I didn’t think I could cry like this.
    – we were trying for a second child when I found out, Obviously, my whole life with her has blown up now
    – My wife does not know I recorded the therapy session
    – I do feel numb, and lost at this time. I find myself simply ignoring what is now my present reality.
    – my wife told me she considered suicide in the first few days of my discovery. She said she imagined cutting her wrists at the thought of all the pain she caused me. I was really angry with her obviously, and was saying mean things I am sure.
    – some of these responses I would like to respond to individually, as they are really amazing for me to read at this point in my healing.

    A special word about the therapist… My wife found her, and she works in a government office… something about “family services” here in Canada. Because of our lower income (only one source – me) we get subsidized counseling. I guess it’s a perfect example of you get what you pay for as our sessions are only $20 each. (My wife is almost 10 years younger than I, and is very physically attractive – I am 6′ tall with 8% body fat, so I can’t be too hard to look at) Therapist told me that not only is my wife about the most perfect match for me… (“you’ll probably never find anyone else out there who is more perfect for you” – I think were her exact words) but that my wife would have no problems finding many men if we separate. This absolutely infuriated me. She went into great details about how difficult it would be financially, and remember, I have the recording, so if anyone wants direct quotes, I can provide them to avoid any possible “emotional inflating” of the things she told me. Therapist told me I need to “tell my wife I need to know everything, then you digest it James. Then you move on and realize that we have today, and the future, and that’s it.”

    Thank you all for your words. Yes, I think I am still in shock, or the “discovery phase.” I promise everyone that I will not, and will never harm anyone unless my life, or someone in my charge is in danger. Yes, I exposed myself to some pretty severe consequences simply by leaving my home with the weapon (laws in Canada are very strict here) but that was a momentary lapse, and I am over the “drop to the floor, holding my head in my hands sobbing” phase. Besides, I need a clean criminal record for my vocation.
    Sincerely grateful,
    James

    • James–you will cry a lot going through this. Though a woman, I rarely ever cried as an adult. Now I can sob like a baby–curled up fetal position, head in hands, leaning over the sink, you name it. You need to.

      You do (a little) still sound like you’re defending her–give it up. Seriously, who cares if it was two dicks at once or serially, on the kitchen counters or the bedroom? She sucks.

      My H is very good looking, highly successful, highly intelligent, dresses better than Richard Gere in American Gigolo, and can be fun. And I still want to tattoo “WARNING–TOXIC” on his forehead as I send him out into the world. All the Armani jackets and intelligent conversation in the world can’t make up for his very deliberate infidelity and emotional abuse (‘cuz that’s what it is). I just spent 15 minutes in tears because someone said something understanding to me after I revealed a flaw. Why should we come to expect abuse (and then get teared up at kindness) just because a husband or wife is a “good catch” (on paper–someone who will fuck around behind your back and deceive you and risk breaking up your family is NOT a good catch. Ever.)

      There have to be other therapists available through the same services. Do NOT go back to her under any circumstance. I’m not kidding. You don’t need more emotional rape. And stay on ChumpLady–you’ll get more support from random strangers for free.

    • James, my ex too was doing threesomes, and after he convinced me he had used condoms during years of affairs and group sex, my neighbor, a savy nurse and divorcee sat me down and told me that I was the most naive married person she knew, and that there was no way they were using coneims during threesomes– Just. Not. Done. I went back and confronted him and he admitted the sex had NEVER been protected, he had never used a condom (I have come to learn that sociopaths usually do not). Luckily my STD tests came back negative (I had them done on my 51st birthday).

      Anyhow, your wife is lying, if her lips are moving she is lying. Always always remember that. For starters, if she was that drunk how would she know if they used condoms anyhow. It’s all lies, and there is so much more but you know enough now to move forward with your life. if you don’t, despite her signed affidavits and protestations, she will continue doing what she is doing and one day she will leave for good. It happened to me, it happened to so many of us. I regret that I did not realize what was going on until I was married for 25 years. But even as a 51 year old woman I kicked my ex out and three years later I am happily remarried to a wonderful man. My only regret– I didn’t do it sooner. James, you have that chance I didn’t have — you have the get out of jail free card while younare still relatively young and your child still too young to really understand. Run-Run-Run and do not look back. (((Hugs))))

      • So glad to hear James’ answer tonight. I had hoped we didn’t scare him away – an awful lot of blunt and sincere advice to absorb. You don’t expect everybody to respond the way James did. I know it’s hard but, this site got me to my end much quicker than I ever would have otherwise (those Ducks!). No, I’m not happy I’ve lost my husband and life we had planned (but I did shower today)…This is very heavy stuff. Thanks for your positive attitude in this, James, and responding with so much of the pain you are going through. That is not always easy for men, but this is not a gender thing. We all need to express what we are going through and heal from it. It sounds like you’ve done a lot of reading and have a really straight head. You are Mighty Man in my eyes tonight.

  • James, all I have to say to you is if her lips are moving, then she’s lying, lying, lying. Don’t believe a word she says. I don’t care if she swore on your baby’s head, your mother’s grave, her mother’s grave or in front of the pope himself. These people don’t care who they hurt what lies they tell and only care about themselves. She’s not the one for you. Do YOU think she’s the only one you can get? Well think again brother. There are 7 billion people in this world. Do you REALLY think that she’s the only one for you and you should be happy about it and just suck it up?

    No sir ree—– Get out of a bad situation – it is NOT going to get better. Even if you stuff it under the rug in hopes it will – you’ll be finding yourself here again in 5-10 years broken all over again. Do you want that?

  • Well, a couple of thoughts.
    First, I would definitely hold onto and put the written confession in a safe place that she cannot access. These things seem to have a way of “disappearing” when divorce proceedings start.
    Hopefully, she gave enough detail in the written confession so that you can establish that the liasons took place in your home with your kid present for the last one.
    I had really good evidence of infidelity but it was meaningless here in Minnesota UNLESS the kid’s welfare was somehow compromised. I think it is hard to imagine a court not viewing bringing a strange man into the home for banging purposes as a risk to the child.
    Second, you need to be aware that at your age, in your present physical condition, it is you, rather than your wife who will be in the most demand among the opposite sex. Your wife will, undoubtedly, be able to find men to bang her, but, with a kid in tow and a history of infidelity she is not as marketable as you. (even if you get custody of your child, there will still be a large demand for you).
    I was 42 in 1996 when I divorced my first wife for cheating. I was in really good shape, had a good job and had two young boys. I am not, by nature, promiscuous, but opportunities for all types of relationships or activities presented themselves.
    42 year old heterosexual men, particularly those who are well muscled and have jobs, have no problem finding nice women or even promiscuous ones out there.
    James, your wife is depraved and that is not going to change. As others have mentioned, the manner in which she chose to engage in the fucking is quite disturbing. She will do multiple guys is a session. She will bring men into your home with your kid present. This is significantly deviant behavior, not your garden variety one guy at a time in a neutral setting deal.
    I hope her written confession will give you a leg up in custody. Run it by a local divorce lawyer or three and see what they think.
    Start researching personality disorders.
    Also, see if you can, before starting the proceedings and before letting on that you intend to divorce, get your wife out of the house and back into the labor force. This will help you in the custody battle, the child support deal, and any attempt for spousal maintenance.
    Try to convince her that you might consider reconciling if she finds work. Let her establish an earning capacity then divorce her.

  • James,

    If you’re still around – wanted to add one thing. My wife had an affair after 5 years of marriage. We separated, I was ready to move on, but she convinced me that she “owned it”, realized what a horrible mistake she had made, was truly sorry, etc. We did some “couples” counseling with a very qualified guy. I asked her to please, if she had any thought at all that this might ever happen again under any circumstances, let me go so both of us could move on and neither of us would have to deal with this ever again. No kids, and we were just getting going financially. It would have been hurtful but very manageable.

    We reunited and had a child and many happy years. She told me many times I was her soulmate and how lucky she was.

    Well, here I am 25 years later, and she’s done it again. This time with no remorse, though. And the financial stakes are, well…pretty serious.

    I guess there are no absolutes. But one thing I have become convinced about through my experiences and hearing those of others on this site – cheaters are who they are. They will cheat, sooner or later, and they will do it again no matter what they say. You’re one of their ilk, or you’re not, period.

    Hang in, and stay on this site.

    • Chumpguy is right , despite the fact that it is politically incorrect to take the position that folks , simply, do not change in this area.
      I know, there are folks like that EI person on TAM, that have convinced a lot of people that they have changed blah, blah ( although her narcissism bleeds through in every one of her posts if one knows what to look for.
      See , in this area, the infidelity deal, unlike some other less heinous types of offenses, the amount of deception and the comfort level these folks have with it ( not to mention their comfort level with things like putting a kid at risk or exposing their spouse to STD’s etc) clearly demonstrates that they are fundamentally wired differently than a person with a conscience or empathy or compassion.
      James, I bet if you step back and really look at some other areas of your wife’s life, not just the fidelity area, you will see that she is significantly deficient in integrity, empathy, compassion etc. She may treat others as less than herself. She , probably, has a huge sense of entitlement (which might explain why, with only one child, she feels entitled to stay home , out of the labor force and put the entire financial burden on you ((Imagine the amount of free , leisure time she has compared to you, assuming you work full time)).
      You need to play smart, get her back to earning some decent $ and then pounce.

  • Dear James:

    I’m glad you found this site, and I’m profoundly sorry to welcome you into Chump Nation.

    I understand your initial rage. The big thing to do now is to sit back and look at your situation with unbiased eyes. While this is not a pro-reconciliation site, the decision about whether to try is ultimately up to you. That said, consider the following:

    1. Talk to an attorney. Do not tell your wife you are doing this. Your goal here is to discover your rights under the law. Does your province allow for “fault” divorces? Does infidelity make a difference in custody? In division of property? How can you make a case for taking custody of your son? It’s tough for fathers to gain primary custody, but it can be done.
    2. Shore yourself up financially. Secure your credit, if at all possible. Start monitoring card use and debit card use (look for cash withdrawals along with grocery bills). Start setting aside cash in a safe place so that you can have a fund for a lawyer.
    3. Find a different counselor. Your current counselor should be reported to whatever the Canadian professional oversight board may be. No counselor should ever tell you that your spouse is the perfect one for you, or that the spouse would have no problems hooking up with someone else. That is guaranteed to incite jealousy in you. Cheaters never have problems attracting people. The view between the legs is very much the same for everyone. Remember that celebrities get cheated on, too. Go call the local women’s shelter to see if they have any recommendations for therapists. I’ll wager a cup of Tim Horton’s and a doughnut that they have a list of the good subsidized counselors.

    Right now, you are in pain and shock. I get that. Just remember that you need to keep your eyes on the goal and your mouth shut. Do not confront your wife with this site. Don’t let her know you’re taking charge of your finances or seeing a lawyer. Until you figure out what your goals are, you’re better off keeping very quiet so you don’t damage your long-term strategic chances.

    Now, consider your obstacles for reconciliation.

    1. Is your wife an alcoholic? The old excuse of getting so drunk that you have sex with a random stranger doesn’t hold water, though I bet you wish it did. Consider this. Why was she entertaining a man in your home without you present? Does she typically drink too much? If she’s trying to pass this off as a one-shot, she’s gaslighting you.

    Also, if she’s an alcoholic, she needs to own that 100% and she should have volunteered to go into rehab. THis is the difference between genuine remorse and genuine Imitation Naugahyde remorse.

    2. How comfortable are you being Marriage Police? If you reconcile, you have no guarantees. You have to take on faith that she won’t betray you again, and you see how well that worked out the first time. You will need to do a lot of fancy detective work for a long time before you can trust–if you can ever trust her again! Is this something you feel you can do?

    3. Are you dancing the Pick-Me Dance? Your wife and counselor make it sound as if your wife is a lovely person with a body to die for, and that you can’t do any better. That’s crap. Lovely people don’t cuckold their husbands. They just don’t. You deserve someone who really wants to be married to you.

    4 Is your wife really sorry? Or sorry she was caught? If she were sorry, she’d not have needed for you to go all detective or threaten her with more disclosure. Nope. She would have fallen on her knees, begged for forgiveness, and then started walking that walk. Instead, she sides with the therapist, which means she’s telling you that she’s the best you can get. *snort*

    Anyway, there are a lot of good articles on this site. Read them, and get your ducks lined up so that you have a better idea of what you want to do.

  • yeah, I have to agree with the “leave her” opinion here. My husband’s wife cheated on him just a month after their marriage, well, 2 actually, since they had a month long honeymoon. It didn’t stop with that one, nor was that the first. He divorced her after he found out he was supporting her AND her live-in-boyfriend, while “she was going to college to learn how to run the family business.” We did a paternity test, though not a DNA…get a DNA. There’s always been rumors my husband’s son, though of his family blood, might not actually be HIS son. She then went on to do the same thing with her next husband, only with him she also made the false allegation of him raping her, admitted it was a lie, and now is saying “the cops made me do it”. Soon after he got out of jail, she made new allegations, this time, landing him in prison. And, yes, she had a “new” man, right after he got arrested and in their home, soon after his sentencing, and yes, they’d been “friends” before even the first “allegation”. Unfortunately, these type of women don’t change their spots and get progressively more aggressive in their behavior. yes, some women do “make mistakes”, but this is way beyond that. I’m sorry for you, and I’m VERY sorry for the child, but you deserve better.

  • About paternity/DNA testing.

    This is a really tricky area. Regardless of who the biological father may be, that is the son you’ve raised and love. I always caution against assuming that a child is not the biological offspring of one of the parents due to lack of physical resemblance. Genetics are complicated, and it’s very possible for brown-eyed parents to have a blue-eyed child, and for blue-eyed parents to have a brown-eyed child. It’s possible that the child may have features more reminiscent of a grandparent or great-grandparent. One of my nieces, whom we used to think favored her mother’s side of the family, strongly resembles my maternal grandmother. Ah, the joys of adolescence!

    Paternity/DNA testing may excuse you from the obligation to pay child support. If you believe the child is not your own, this is a route you can take, but doing so also means that you lose your rights to see the child.

    It’s a tough call, and one reason my heart goes out to all the male Chumps here!

  • James, I checked back and was very interested in the additional information you posted. Think about this: she is of course desperate to stay with you, as you are the only wage earner and she is well aware of the reduced life style she faces. Your wife likes what CL calls “cake,” which means she has you and your son and a decent place to live and someone to support her and respectability AND AT THE SAME TIME sex with people she doesn’t appear to care about. There is no doubt in my mind that she has serious, serious problems.

    If there are no consequences, what she will learn is that it just takes you X weeks or months to “forgive” her and things will be fine. That’s a green light for her to behave as she has in the past.

    Find a few extra dollars and get the name of a top-rate therapist. Book an hour of therapy. Spend your hour telling this story and see what that person says. You indeed get what you paid for. The jackass cheater in my life did nothing as disgusting as egregiously destructive as your wife and the first thing my top-rate therapist said was “You can never go back.”

    If you are staying, even for a little while, get a pre-nup. And tell your parents. You need support.

    • And the fact that she signed a paper saying what she did? She’s a liar. If she signs a legally binding pre-nup in an attorney’s office, that’s different.

      And if you don’t tell anyone what happened, she will never ever understand that her lying, sneaking, and highly disloyal behavior has costs beyond you moving to the basement.

  • Copying this from Arnold’s post above: it’s worth highlighting.
    “The amount of deception and the comfort level these folks have with it ( not to mention their comfort level with things like putting a kid at risk or exposing their spouse to STD’s etc) clearly demonstrates that they are fundamentally wired differently than a person with a conscience or empathy or compassion.”

    Your wife is “fundamentally wired differently than a person with a conscience or empathy or compassion.” There’s no fixing that. There’s no fixing the Jackass either and I’ve known him for 35 years.

    • It’s called sex addiction, it has nothing to do with the chump and only the SA can get the help they need to “manage” the addiction. It is soul crushing to the partner and takes an act of God to break.

      I do believe, with God, anything is possible. That is my belief and I would not impose it on anyone.

      Damn, horrible, relationship destroying, human-made disease that replaces common sense, family and love.

  • Yeah I can relate to that counseling appointment. I went to one appointment basically under duress because of the threats my cheating spouse was tossing around when I just wanted to end things and get out. I think I felt more emotionally abused by the counselor’s bullshit than anything else. A lot of ‘your spouse wasn’t in his right mind’, and ‘of course he turned down your ultimatum to stop having an affair, that’s common, they need to grieve their affair’. I swear I will never set foot into a reconciliation-oriented office again.

  • James,
    Glad to see your response. Many people have an email posted here, get responses, and never post again, and one wonders how they’re doing.

    Also glad to see that you are at the breathing-in-and-out stage again. A few random comments in no particular order:
    ” it wasn’t like a threesome you see in porn with both dicks in her at the same time, just taking turns… (good God, I sound like I am defending her!)” No, you don’t sound like you’re defending her; you sound like you’re normalizing the abnormal, and to some extent, attempting to make a molehill out of a mountain. It’s symptomatic of people who have been abused, which you have, grievously. And besides, your taking her word for it. She has lied to you by omission and commission. Why believe her about anything?

    I have to believe it was a huge ego stroke for her to be called perfect for you, attractive, etc., by the so-called therapist. Expect her to feel empowered by that, and expect her to try to seduce you. Clearly she has a lot of confidence in her ability to do that. Subtle things, maybe, or a `have a glass of wine and let’s talk about our son’ kind of approach, or oops-forgot-my-towel-could-you-bring-me-one-oops-just-dropped-a-bar-of-soap stunts. Just expect it, be ready for it, decide before it arrives how you’re going to respond. Know that if she does succeed at this, it will increase her sense of power in this situation, and restore what she considers to be an imbalance that needs to be corrected.

    She is gaming you. “I feel so bad for you I almost hurt my precious self.” WTF? To the greatest extent possible, I suggest going no-contact. Hard, I know. But an appropriate shut-down to that would be, “I can understand why you would feel that way.” Then get up and walk out of the room. Learn to recognize when you are being triggered by a conversation, feel good about learning to set boundaries, to say, “I can’t talk to you right now.” “When, then?” “I don’t know. Not now.” Pick up son, and leave room. Leave the house if you have to. Make a point of not leaving him alone with her if possible.

    Know that when something happens in a conversation that makes you feel worse, it’s part of a game plan–not perhaps a deliberate one, but it’s a pattern of behavior that’s worked for her in the past and she expects to have continue to work. `Therapist’ was pushing those buttons for her when talking to you: “How could an old sod such as yourself ever hope to lay hands on such a delectable morsel again?” is designed to diminish your confidence and sense of self worth. When we are weakened by stuff such as this, we are more malleable and cooperative.

    It’s hard to break off conversation because of history, because of the interweaving of our lives. She was the love of your life. You’ll have a new life now, and someday you’ll find a new love of your life. For inspiration and solace, I highly recommend you visit Divorce Minister’s website. He’s an excellent example of someone who found a new love of his life, too, after being devastated by infidelity.

    Wish you had not had to go through this, but glad you found this site and are taking some measures to find sanity. I’d also encourage you to ask a lawyer about reporting her to child protective services. Just laying a piece of groundwork that might become very important later. If she does something else that puts him at risk for harm (and having your caregiver that drunk is putting him at risk), having a prior report filed might make it easier to get legal protection or custody. It also might get her attention to realize that not everyone thinks she’s “150%” “perfect”.

    Lethargy and depression are very normal responses here, and will not be your friend. They encourage us to put up with the status quo, to find a new normal. It’s so hard to take action, but it’s like living on the edge of a growing volcano. People see the danger, but they don’t move because they’ve always lived there . . .

    Do you have a support system? Family that loves you and will help you raise your son? Child-care offered through or near work?

    Think that the advice to get your spouse out into the workforce pronto is a good one. You may have never wanted your child in daycare, but at least you can be reasonably confident that if you find a good one, the caregiver won’t be getting drunk and bringing in old friends to fuck during naptime.

    Good luck with tomorrow (day-at-a-time with this stuff) and please stay in touch.

  • This was posted 2 months after D-Day. I for one wonder if James got out of this toxic situation, and how he is doing. Any way to follow up on this, 2 years later, and post it here (with his permission, of course)?

  • Your son won’t trust women when he grows up. He’ll become possessive over them because his mom cheated on his dad.

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