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How Not to Be a Cheater?

wayward_cheaterApparently people need pointers on How Not to Cheat. Today’s post comes at the urging of my husband, who thought this HuffPo column “3 Tips for Former Cheaters Who Want to Stay Faithful” completely dunderheaded.

But hey, cheating sucks, “staying faithful”? What’s to snark about? That’s a nice sentiment. Except it underscores an uncomfortable premise that from the cheater’s POV, “faithful” isn’t the set point — cheating is.

Is this writer owning her shit? Or it is just more cheater apologist hogswallop? Let’s put it through the patented Universal Bullshit Translator and find out!

1. Force yourself to pause.
If you’re going to drag your relationship through the mud, you’re going to do so after CAREFUL CONSIDERATION, dammit. Over at Glamour, Gena Kaufman outlines a smart four-step prevention plan (which applies to both cheating and shopping), the purpose of which is to force you to think over what you’re about to do and how much you want it. I will say that, while this strategy does not work for me when I want to eat French fries — ’cause I’ve tried it — I have found that it helps a great deal when it comes to maintaining relationship fidelity. Walking into a different room at a dangerous time can save you so many tears; just do it.

Because cheating is so much like shopping? It is if you cannot distinguish a sentient, feeling person from a hand bag. But really? This is your tip? Change rooms? So much temptation! How could you ever control yourself around a random attractive person? (I dunno… boundaries?) Pretty people are wily though, they might escape from the confines of rooms. Had you considered concertina wire? Moats? Bunkers?

2. Learn your triggers.
It’s crucial to figure out why you cheated in the first place in order to prevent it from happening again. For example, after a few weeks of therapy post-split, it became clear to me that one of my biggest emotional triggers is when someone cancels plans on me at the last minute. So, in my current relationship, I communicated my need for reliability early on. Now, when plans do change, as plans are wont to do, my boyfriend makes it clear that he’s not blowing me off. I am better able to reassure myself that he loves me, and the world spins madly on.

Yes, the reason you cheated was other people. When they do X, you do Y. So if you can just prevent them from doing X, then you won’t do Y! Communicating needs is great. Everyone should do it. But, alas, you still only control yourself. If your needs are not met, and dear God, someone cancels a dinner date, it’s not an excuse to cheat. This is where your character kicks in. You weren’t reassured? OMG. You’re going to have to sit with an unpleasant feeling! And not self-medicate it with fucking someone else in retaliation.

Fucking other people because you feel “triggered” is about you. Not the chump. You’re responsible for YOU. See how that works?

3. Be honest with yourself.
Hey, if Dr. Phil says so. But seriously, when I cheated, I was in the deepest state of denial a person could be. I was partying a ton, eating almost nothing and utterly convinced that I could handle an affair just fine, no consequences. This did not last. I think if I had just been honest with myself earlier about what wasn’t working in my relationship, I could have at least bowed out gracefully, or maybe even worked on those bedrock problems with my then-boyfriend. In my current relationship, I am honest to a fault, both with myself and my partner. So far, it’s making for a much healthier union.

I can’t fault honesty. But again, there is subtle blameshifting going on. I think if I had just been honest with myself earlier about what wasn’t working in my relationship, I could have at least bowed out gracefully, or maybe even worked on those bedrock problems with my then-boyfriend. You didn’t cheat because there were problems in the relationship. Every relationship has problems, and some boyfriends, yes, deserve to be dumped honestly because they aren’t a good match for you.

But that really doesn’t have anything to do with your decision to cheat on him — that has everything to do with your lousy character. The issue wasn’t that there were problems. The issue is that your reaction to those problems was to party and fuck around.

What you weren’t being honest about wasn’t Problems. (I should’ve admitted I had problems!) No, you weren’t being honest about your entitlement. (Pleasure! Escape! ME!)

If you need a list like this, you probably aren’t relationship material. Sorry.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “it became clear to me that one of my biggest emotional triggers is when someone cancels plans on me at the last minute. ”

    EGADS. Does the thinking go something like this?–

    Partner: “Honey, I’m sorry I can’t meet you for happy hour; I tripped and fractured my arm and have to go to the emergency room.”

    Writer of HP article: “Damn! {whimper} He obviously doesn’t love me enough if he puts an arm fracture ahead of my plans. Who can I fuck? [looks around]

    • It’s funny, one of my biggest emotional triggers is when someone cancels plans on me at the last minute, or is vague with plans, “let’s get together this weekend!” then never makes concrete plans, either calling up last minute to finally make a plan or cancel or just plain never calls. Does it hurt my feelings? Hell yes. Do I think its incredibly rude? Hell yes. I don’t get the mindset of – “He said we were going to do something this weekend, then never called! I’m going to have sex with that guy right there!” WHAT? Because it’s too hard to say, “Hey, if you don’t make concrete plans with me, I’m not sitting around at home waiting on you” or “You keep canceling plans at last minute, if you don’t want to do something, say so upfront.” (Both are things I’ve said to people in the past.)

      • Yes to both of the above and also…
        WTF if the biggest canceling of plans isn’t suddenly realizing that your spouse has cancelled on the little plan of the REST OF YOUR LIFE together, possibly for months or years, without even a phone call of cancellation. Entitled assholes! Geez..

      • Oh hey, you know who used to cancel plans on me last minute all the time? My cheating ex. (Double lives require some juggling.) And yet I kept my pants on. Huh.

        • Tracy – did you read the equally dumbass blog also on HuffPo right now, “4 Huge Mistakes I Made as a Wife” ? It’s absolute crap! Ok, so she nipped at his heels a lot, and didn’t give him his daily recommended dose of Ego Chow, but THOSE are reasons why she sees now that she contributed to HIS CHEATING?! WTF?! How can she not put blame for cheating squarely on the CHEATER?! Wasn’t there a REASON why she wasn’t in a “reciprocating” mood with her f-tard?? How loving, or honest, or helpful was HE?! He wasn’t, and it was driving her to hold resentment! He was getting kibble elsewhere, because it wasn’t about HER. He was selfish, a schemer, and an asshole!

          I was livid after reading it, and even saw myself in some of her “reasons” why she’s the ex-wife now, and I KNOW why I was angry and resentful in my marriage now. It was just ME in the marriage!! But then to read the, “well, I can see why she got cheated on” bullshit in the comments under it… Un-freakin-believeable!! Tell me I’m not nuts about this one.

        • Right! The Cheating Vortex… when the cheater triggers you b/c s/he cancels plans with you, to cheat, and claims it was b/c you triggered him/her by canceling plans….

          Blameshifting, much?

        • Me. too. Kept the old pants on. And, believe me , it got painful when I was rolling around in the tumble dry cycle( on the rare occasions I laundered them)..

          • Oh, Arnold!!! You are a hoot!!

            ROTFLMRO! at the mental pic!

            I always enjoy your comments, especially when it is salted with sass!

            ForgeOn, Arnold, ForgeOn, all….

        • My cheating ex was late EVERY SINGLE TIME we made plans to speak or meet. Did it hurt my feelings? Yes. Did I mention it? Yes. Did he apologize and then do it again? Yes. Did I sleep with someone else. No.

          Did I speak with him about not feeling we were compatible numerous times, including when he was treating me like shit when he was off with early stage pregnant married OW? Yes. Did he tell me he loved me and thought we were very compatible while he then complained me to his counterpart shithead OW? YES! (to his own admission!)

          Now I ask you: Do these people have to be “more honest with themselves?” They would not know honesty if it turned into a tiger and bit them in the ass. (My son asks to watch the Katy Perry music video Roar somewhat often—hence the tiger image ; ) They suck. What they write sucks. And thank goodness for the universal bullshit translator. Or else we would all have migraines from trying to make honest sense of this shit. You can’t make sense of it because it’s inherently dishonest. May they be spat upon by passersbys due to their corroded and corrupt natures. Just yuck.

        • Actually that’s what I was thinking too. Even in the beginning I would make plans and he would show up when the fuck ever and it would drive me crazy….but I married him anyway and stayed faithful ALL that time. That was a ted flag right?

    • Yes, this! Who the fuck cheats because someone canc ls olans???!!! Seriously! The writer needs serious mental health help! What would she have done if he didn’t even cancel, just stood her up? What if he had done a million worse things than cancel plans? If she’s so insecure that him canceling plans makes her feel bad about herself, then get help, or break up with the guy if you don’t feel good about yourself around him. But jheesh, cheating on him? That’s like the guy who pulled out his gun and shot someone for texting at a movie. Seriously? That’s your response? Cheater, you are a disgusting, no good, immoral piece of shit, who’s only humiliating yourself further by writing this garbage!

      • People who cheat because their significant other has to cancel plans are typical, self-absorbed assholes.

        “I cheated because you didn’t adore me when I wanted you to” has to be one of the most twisted of cognitive distortions out there.

        Translation: “I cheated because I value my needs more than yours, more than anyone or anything else. Deal with it.”

        What’s sad is that these articles still get published. Whether its for shock value or because someone actually believes this bullshit is tragic.

      • I seriously believe she cheated when plans were cancelled as a way to punish her boyfriend. ‘Oh, cancel plans will you, well I’m gonna fuck this guy over here and that’ll teach you not to take me for granted’! … I can hear her self-dialogue clearly! Typical cheater narc – it’s not that she’s hurt / had her low esteem lowered further – it’s that she thinks she’s all that and a bag of chips – so, ‘how very fucking dare you not be existing merely for the honour of being in my company’!

        They’re all the same. Self obsessed, entitled, controlling, abusive. End of.

      • Wow, cheating over canceled plans. I would imagine canceled plans followed by dirty undies on bathroom floor and a “he didn’t notice my haircut” would have warranted an orgy with all of his best friends, siblings and coworkers. Those damn triggers (aka, shit that happens with people in life.)

    • Decent example of some variation of word salad in these rules. See, if the writer makes it sound sort of evolved and self aware (“one of my biggest triggers etc.”), some readers just gloss over the substance of what she is saying.
      As CL points out, when you really stop to think about what is being written, it is quite pathetic. Seriously, what normal person cheats as a response to having plans changed last minute. What normal person needs to change rooms when around an attractive person?

      • True, Arnold–alter the example to see how ridiculous it is to leave the room because an attractive person is in it:. I like cinnamon buns. I like the smell of cinnamon buns. Do I avoid that wing of the mall because otherwise I would be tempted to tear the cinnamon buns out of people’s hands and gorge on them? No. Why? Self Control. Empathy for the people who have actually paid for those cinnamon buns. Realization that eating cinnamon buns is not healthy. Problem solved.

        • Tempest,

          So you’re saying bun eating = cake eatlng?
          LOL. I will never look at a Cinnabon store the same way ever!
          btw, I remember your story and you totally rock. You recently found out your XH had cheated several years ago and you booted him out. Good for you.

          So many people would have wanted to spackle over the discovery of long-past infidelity and attempted to console themselves with “it didn’t matter, it was in the past, he’s different now…”

          Wrong – It DOES matter, it is now part of MY present, and no, he’s NOT fundamentally any different.

          i love the way you took the bull by the horns and made the best choice for you. Reconciliation is NOT a right, cheaters are not entitled to a free pass, and as far as I know, there is no statute of limitations requiring chumps to give cheaters any 2nd chance.

          • Chumpanzee: Thank you!! I’ve had two minor emotional setbacks this week, so your post made me feel great again. CL is right–these people have underlying character issues regarding entitlement, so second chances are not warranted without their undergoing a brain transplant (and even that is no guarantee). STBX was not going to get a second chance to disrespect me that greatly. And saying, “stop obsessing about my past affair and start obsessing about what you did to make me unhappy at that time!” was NOT a good strategy on his part. Hasta la vista, cheater.

            • Tempest, I found out my STBX’s first (known) infidelity just 3 or 4 years into our marriage. I was young, at my most attractive, sex was fine, etc. His reason? “I don’t know why I did it, you were cold to me, we got in a rut, waah waah, I still love you, but I love her too, what am I to do, boohoo.”

              None of it made a lick of sense at the time, but unlike mighty you, I was too hurt, too scared to be on my own, still wanted to believe in unicorns, etc. so I gave the idiot another chance. Told him if it ever happened again he was OUT.

              Several years passed before he regained my trust, but he finally did, then…oh snap! flash forward 25+ years later and 2nd (known) Dday and I now have an alcoholic, lying, emotionally abusive spouse who did not learn one freaking lesson from the first experience. So I kicked him out, started divorce proceedings immediately.

              I am proud of myself for not taking the sh*t the 2nd time. I am prouder of YOU because, you, on the other hand, had the guts to pick up the sword and wade into battle immediately, without wasting any more time. I wish that young girl who was me had found that kind of resolve and courage so many years ago. You just awarded yourself more quality years of life that a lot of us will never get back. Congratulations!

              • Oh Chumpanzee! I’m proud of you girl! Please don’t give yourself a hard time over the second chance you gave the shit for brains who took you for a fool! Of course, in hindsight, it would have been better if you’d have kicked him out the first time, but then again, in hindsight, you’d never have gone anywhere near the man in the first place!

                I hate that we all wasted good years we’ll never get back on undeserving losers, but we can’t change any of that (sadly and maddeningly). All I know now is we did the best we could at the time. Tempest, and all our other fellow chumps who got good and damned mad and kicked them out straight away are fantastic, mighty folks, but us daft chumps who believed in unicorns or simply couldn’t believe what the fuck was going on right in front of our eyes, well we still mighty because we got there eventually – we found ChumpLady, we found each other, and we recognised evil does walk the earth and it sometimes takes the guise of the people we love – that was a hard, hard lesson for me, as I’m sure it was for many others!

                Chumpanzee – you rock! 😀 xxx

              • Chumpanzee–what you have to realize is what an inspiration you and others were to help me hold firm on getting rid of cheaterpants, even though his affair was in the past. All these compassionate, funny, warm, intelligent people who gave their cheaters reconciliation after the first D-day, and the cheaters repay you with a 2nd or 3rd…. d-day 1 year, or 5 years, or 24 years later. That, and CL’s posts, convinced me that infidelity is due to an unchangeable issue of character, that also underlies the blameshifting, gaslighting, and other forms of emotional abuse.

                You, and people like you from CN, were the ones who gave me the courage to throw him out without reconciliation. You are all mighty! Hugs to everyone who posted their stories for the rest of us to learn from.

              • and, if I am honest, I knew I wasn’t strong enough to live through another D-day (whereas you were).

              • chumpanzee, Don’t go blaming yourself or woulda, shoulda, coulda yourself, today is another day. You rock! sending Jedi Hugs your way for the rockiest parts.

            • “stop obsessing about my past affair and start obsessing about what you did to make me unhappy at that time!”

              I know now that it’s not the cheating that keeps me from going back as much as the fact that cheaters are fucking idiots.

              Rock on, Tempest.

              • Yup, CalamityJane, mine was a fucking idiot, with an IQ of 150 (yours, too, from the sound of it). Just goes to show that intelligence is domain-specific.

    • It also means she’s put the boyfriend on notice that if she cheats it’s because HE triggered her. Still not taking responsibility – or rather, making sure she’s set it up so that if she is ‘forced’ to cheat it’ll be all his fault. She probably sits there with a stopwatch, hoping against hope he’ll pass the magic minute and she’ll then have the all clear to bone some strange.

      • Well, it’s guaranteed that he’ll pass the magic minute because she is the one who makes us the arbitrary “causes” and gets to decide if it’s OK to cheat.

    • Tempest – your response was funny and priceless! I was reading it while trying to swallow a mouthful of water – part of which took a detour through my nose…resulting in a notable “snot rocket”. As for your subsequent remark, you are indeed mighty – even when you’re not feeling it at the moment. I’m sending you hugs and the knowledge that you have fellow chumps coming along side you – lending strength….because that’s what Chump Nation does…so well.

  • I really need to read things like this. I still wonder what I did wrong so I can’t hear enough that it was him not me. I just wish it would sink in. Logically I know but emotionally I’m still a mess. A year and a half and I’m still a basket case, even with therapy once a week. Thank you.

    • His cheating is not yout fault !
      There’s problem (althought mostly cheater create this in their own head) and there’s a reaction to the problem, cheating is like throwing grenade to a house because it needs repainting

    • Lina–we don’t need to be perfect to be loved, and respected. If we did, NO ONE would be loved and respected. Did you love cheatersh*t? Yes, right? Was he perfect? Hell no.

      Of all the legacies my controlling, criticizing cheater left me with, the implication that I had to be perfect to warrant his love and fidelity enrages me the most.

    • Ooh my wife is not paying enough attention to me (cue in screaming toddler, colicky baby, ringing phone, boiling pot on stove, pet clamoring for food) so I’ll go screw my neighbour’s wife.

      My husband didn’t get me that perfect birthday present that was just over our budget; I’ll have have an affair with my work colleague.

      Wifey doesn’t want to do certain kinky sex acts because they might be painful or humiliating . Self absorbed bitch needs to be stepped out on!

      If hubby won’t clean out the gutters and rearrange the garage I should be looking to hook up with somebody who listens to my wants and needs.

      Jeez, the cheaters in these scenarios are completely at fault. Because these are ordinary problems. I wouldn’t stab my husband for buying the wrong brand of mustard why should he be able to go on Ashley Madison because I forgot to pick up Cheez Whiz last Monday.

      The more I read other chumps’ stories the less I feel like I had any blame for sham that was my marriage. And some of the mighty chumps that have been on this site make me feel humble because I only had a basic cheating liar but not a full on physically, financially and life destroying abusive spouse.

      Anybody who thinks they are to blame for a spouse cheating take a deep breath. Repeat the following to yourself:


        • Lina, you are far from being all alone in the misery you are in now. A year and a half after I discovered the whole thing I was barely functional. Being cheated on and having your trust broken is plain trauma. Hang in there.

          • Thank you. I feel so lame. I wonder why I can’t just pull myself together. I hate that he’s stealing precious time out of my life.

            • Lina–it happens to all of us; we get bogged down in their mindfuckery.

              But STOP letting him take up precious mental time. We can’t think about two things at once–do something else to get your mind off the loser. You’ll be moving forward at the same time!


            • Lina, I´m almost a year from DDay (Jan 15) and I feel awesome though I cried everyday for ten months. But I have worked the whole year on myself and read a lot of stuff, read CL every day, videos, exercise, meditation, walks, etc. And after I got the ANTS (Automatic Negative ThoughtS) out of my head I realized that I was wasting so much time worrying and lamenting for what I could have done better or if only I had…until I finally understood that I need to have fun myself, meet new people or just be by myself, but learn to appreciate everything about me and my accomplishments. He is only getting older, uglier and more cynical while I have lost 10 pounds, 10 years off my face and feel better than ever. Every time I see or hear him he only confirms how lucky I am to not have him in my life anymore, and how unlucky (and deserving) the OW is for having him now. Your cheater will not change, he will not have a personality transplant for another woman, he will eventually cheat on her and disrespect her the same way he did you. You are winning not losing without him. See him as an obstacle to a fulfilling life and to finding someone who will truly appreciate you and love you for who you are.

              • Hell, I am close to my four year mark and I still have bad days! Not that I would ever go back, but there is a loss that remains. It is like the death of a loved one, because a relationship that was, for me at least, once a source of comfort is now gone. My X wasn’t perfect, far from it, but he wasn’t this awful person either…until he was. We had a good life, raised wonderful kids and I thought we would be together until one of us died. To have that all ripped apart was traumatic and it has taken me a long time to regain my balance. I decided to give myself permission to grieve now and then. I don’t wallow in it, but I also don’t avoid my emotions. Once I allowed myself to acknowledge my feelings, I began to feel better on my way to meh.

            • Lina…don’t be so hard on yourself. I am 17 months out from DDay and days away from divorce…but I am still a mess, I am in as bad of shape now as I was in the beginning….time has made it all worse for me…each month that goes by I realize how many things he done. You know you don’t realize all the BS at first! We will get thru this we have no choice and we will be better people for it! You hang in there I’m sure it takes some of us longer than others to accept all that happened!

    • Lina, I’m at a year and a half too. I’m in a much better place mentally than I was but still a long way from where I need to be. I know and accept that and like you, I’m working with a therapist and trying hard to take care of myself. I relapse from time to time when things trigger me, including him. I’ll get to a much better mental place someday and so will you. Stay strong!

    • Lina,

      Please be kind to yourself. One thing I learned from the mess that it takes whatever time it takes for this to sink in. I should have kicked him to the curb 2 years and 364 days after the speech. But for whatever reason it took me a long time to get through the grief, disbelief, bargaining and serving up the cake.

      Almost 5 years out from BD, I (within the last year) finally forgave myself for tolerating being treated that way. For me, it took a long time to find my self-respect again after 28 years of M. In my case, I believe it took EX a long time to be willing to blow up his family, so I am ok with taking as much time as I needed to recover from his choices that affected his whole family.

      You will get there with baby steps. It truly helps to go NC and focus on you! I finally got busy with MY life and embraced the reality that I couldn’t, nor should I want to, try to control him.

      Acceptance takes longer for others than some. And you know what, that’s ok.

      • I really appreciate all the helpful comments from you guys. This place is the best. So much empathy. I’m here all the time now. Don’t know what I’d do without you all. Thanks to you all and Tracy for all you do.

    • Linda, how about this? Your X or STBX did the very worst a spouse could do. He betrayed you in the most fundamental way. And did you react by years of serial cheating? By taking someone else into your marital bed? By lying and gaslighting and then blaming the person you were cheating on?

      I didn’t think so. We chumps get confused by the difference between the predictable struggle and growth in all human relationships (and particularly by marriage) and being in a relationship with someone who chooses to betray you. The people (spouses, partners, children) who are betrayed experience TRAUMA. You don’t traumatize a person by using paper napkins, gaining weight, or choosing the wrong Christmas present. I am not sure why betrayal is so traumatic, although the lying. slighting, blame shifting, and knowledge that you have been so devalued by your partner is certainly part of it, as is knowing that your most intimate thoughts and moments have been spent someone who is both a traitor and unknown to you at the deepest levels. A writer named Sam Harris said that lying is a fundamental rejection of human relationship: “Lying is, almost by definition, a refusal to cooperate with others. It condenses a lack of trust and trustworthiness into a single act. It is both a failure of understanding and an unwillingness to be understood. To lie is to recoil from relationship.”

      That’s what we all have lived with–people who do not understand and are not willing to be understood. There’s no room there for relationship with a healthy, normal person–and by “healthy” I just mean “not willing to destroy others without thought.” And that’s just the impact of lying. Gaslighting is essentially torture. And I’ve come to believe that the Jackass enjoyed betraying me, fooling me, getting over on MOW’s husband.

      Therapy is only helpful to the extent that the therapist is willing to come out from the “non judgment” position and give you facts about disordered people. That’s why this site is so important. We all need to hear that the cheaters we’ve dealt with are not some special species for whom we weren’t “good enough.” We can move the process on by studying character disorder (as if we were getting a college degree in it.) Read, read, read. Figure out how your experience fits the patterns describe.

      Finally, CL says “fix your picker” because that, in essence, is what we did wrong: we did not recognize a dick, disordered predator behind the normal facade. There are lots of reasons for that, not least the cultural notion that marriage is “happily ever after” and we should move heaven and earth to avoid divorce or breaking up or exacting consequences for horribly destructive behavior. Our issues are about boundaries and learning to protect ourselves from people who lack empathy and the capacity for love.

  • This reminds me of some of the silly reasons the characters in Seinfeld couldn’t form lasting relationships:

    Man hands
    Soft talker
    Jesus fish bumper sticker

    Are some people REALLY that shallow? It boggles the mind…

    • Yes, they are either really that shallow, OR looking for rationalizations for cheating due to their shitty character.

      • My cheater”s reason after 3 children and 36 years of marriage?

        Wait for it. I went to our senior prom with. someone. else.

        • Nain……dont have quite the longevity in my relationship..10 years……and thankfully no kids, but his reason…….she lived 3 miles away and you live 300 miles away. Wow, I had no idea how much I meant to him was measured in distance!!

        • Because we all know that particular part of our life is worth anything more than shit, right?
          Its funny you say that though, because at my equivalent of ‘prom’ many moons ago (its not called that here) I discovered the rage-factor of a cheating ex who was in the same grade as me. (I had found out about a month prior to it, and immediately turfed the moron – he was screwing his best mates little sister, because I refused to attend a party with him (I was never, and am still not, a person who goes to pointless parties for the express intent to get completely trashed and do stupid things) – way to go cheater logic!). Even if that wasn’t the intent, to piss him off (due to the fact that I no longer gave a single fuck towards what that turd-monger said or did). Bwahahaha!

    • I also struggle daily with wondering what I did or failed to do! The “why”?? I know deep inside that it has NOTHING to do with me and everything to do with his sense of entitlement! The “excuses”
      He gave were absolutely ridiculous!! Shallow?? You bet they are! They are beyond shallow! But I also know these so-called “broken” people run on their faulty feelings and what they “feel” is generally fleeting and fickle! They are like children in a candy store! They can’t choose just one thing and change their minds often! I know one of the idiots are eventually going to find something or someone more “sparkly” and then these fools can sit and wonder “why”! Karma!

  • This kind of article makes me thankful for divorcing stbxh. It’s not much different from every other article written by cheater,
    a. i’m just a human being magically sucked into the fuck fog in which they had not control of, or
    b. my relationship is terrible, but i can’t leave because think of the children !

    I was reluctant when he got us in a counselling session but i was grateful because i finally saw his definition of sorry.
    He said both point above, there was also lip service “it’s my fault BUT (insert point a or b or both)”
    He just refused to completely own what they did cause it’d make him terrible person, it’s not because he enjoy lying, or fun illicit sex, or the thrill of new pussy. He’s flawless and the sick thing is he sees himself as the hurt one too.
    That was my fuck-this-shit-i’m-out moment

    • Yeah mine said that too. Would never own what he did. He would say “I know you didn’t deserve that(cheating) but,…….” …….I’d stop him in his tracks and tell him he’s making an excuse. Then he’d defiantly say he wasn’t making excuses! These people truly are psychotic. The sky isn’t blue, it’s pink! OH ok..sure…..

    • Java, in my case, my cheater initially told the true reason that he cheated when I confronted him and kicked him out. He said he cheated because he was arrogant and thought he could get away with it. He was right – he did get away with it for many, many years until I figured it out. Months later in counseling, he turned to me and said, ‘you want to know why I cheated?’ and I replied ‘is this a different reason than you initially gave me – arrogance?’. And he said, ‘I cheated because…..blah blah blah (insert various blame shifting reasons here)’. His first answer was the most honest answer I’ve gotten from him. I truly believe that when you catch them in that moment of deep shame, you get the most honest responses from them. Fast forward a few more months and it happened again when I followed him to a cheap motel and confronted him when he came out. He went to that place of deep shame for a few minutes, admitted his prostitute usage throughout our marriage and then the entitled narc came back and started blaming me. It still took me a lot more time to realize that he doesn’t have the strength in him to work through that place of shame and be the right kind of person. He’ll never be able to do it so there was no point in me continuing to make effort.

      • Forgot to say that when he admitted the prostitute usage, he said ‘I can’t stop’. I asked ‘are you admitting you’re a sex addict?’ and he replied ‘yes’.

        I’m not sure I believe he’s a sex addict but I know he’s a serial cheater. It wasn’t his intention to replace me altogether, he just wanted the thrill of the chase and sex with other women and me. He’s genuine pig and now he can have sex with whomever he wants but it won’t be ME. EVER. AGAIN!

      • Mine said he wanted to see if he could get away with it—–He’d done is a zillion times to other women (and got caught) but I was far more of a challenge because I have a degree in psychology and worked for an attorney as an investigator, taking tiny clues and turning them into iron clad cases. He used to tell me I was ‘too curious/too smart’……fuck him, he was right!

        • To Hesatthecurb. Oh my! That’s what my STBXH used to say to me when I questioned his secretive behavior (and more evidence started coming to the surface). He knew when we married that, like CL, I have my background in print media (in my case, for decades), and I did, among other things, news-related investigating. He keep accusing me of being “too snoopy” (read: too curious).
          Yes, yes I am – to his detriment.

    • Oh, the dreaded counseling session that the liar insists on having for damage control! Here’s my story…

      X insisted on a joint counseling session with our son’s therapist. I reluctantly agreed because to be honest, my X was scary. If you want to know that kind of guy he is, please refer to “8 Tactics Used by Abusers to Gain Control of a Spouse.” He mastered every single tactic.

      Still, our son had attempted suicide and we needed to help him. I sucked it up and went to the appointment.

      When I arrived, X was already there. He refused to acknowledge me in the waiting room. But when the therapist invited us into his office, he made a big show of saying, “After you.” As soon as we settled in, X pulled out a friggin steno pad with pen poised to take down my every word. I saw the writing on the wall (pun intended) and went white. And then, mute. The therapist asked X why he wanted to take notes, and he replied, “I want to get [her] responses down so my attorney and I can refer to them at the custody hearing.”

      In typical psychotherapy fashion, the therapist asked me how I felt about that. I told him I wasn’t comfortable with that at all. I didn’t come to be interrogated, but to help [our son]. Then I got up and announced I was leaving. He said he didn’t blame me. X said, “So your deliberately refusing to help [our son]?” I didn’t even respond. I got up, told the therapist thank you for his time, and walked out.

      Our son’s therapist called me later that afternoon. He said it took him a few minutes to figure out X’s motives and that he was gobsmacked. He agreed that I did the right thing in leaving the session immediately and offered to meet with me privately to discuss our son.

      Fucking douchebag X couldn’t even mask his selfish motives for 45 minutes to discuss what was best for our son. I hate him for that.

      • P.S. My X is still scary. But now that I’m impervious to his tactics, he has no bite to his bark any more. 😉

        • The note book. Omg mine takes notes on everything. He has also kept notes on every sermon he has attended for the past 20 years not that it had any impact.
          Good on you C&L

  • This flaky HuffPo column makes it clear that the views of Chumps and Cheaters about personal relationships are pretty neatly opposites. Chumps want to believe we control others, that if we are giving and forgiving enough we can keep our loved ones on the right path and make them love us. Cheaters, on the other hand, want to believe that they are controlled by others, that if they are treated improperly they are not responsible for their selfish choices. We fit together like dysfunctional peas in a hellish pod.

      • I think they’re part of a two-step responsibility shield system. “You’re not the boss of me” is trumpeted by cheaters before they’re caught, and “You made me do it” is deployed after sh*t hits the fan.

        • Hey Nomar:

          Everyone who writes for the huffy Huffington Post writes flaky stuff, IMO. Have you ever read the content at that tripe website.

    • So well said! I’m certainly struggling with accepting that I had no control over the situation. My therapist suggested that my constantly ruminating on my past decisions in an attempt to understand is an attempt to escape my pain. I think this is likely true, but it occurs to me as well that I punish myself for not doing other than I did because I still haven’t given up the idea that I had control of the outcome.

  • The late Dr. Stephen Covey once wrote, “Self-awareness plus self-control are the key to good relationships”. I absolutely agree with him. We need to have enough self-awareness (and honesty) to know what our weaknesses are, and enough self-control to prevent them from bringing harm to others. This means controlling vices such as our own greed, envy and lust, all rooted in the number one vice of all: PRIDE.

    Good work with the UBT, Tracy! Keep up the outstanding interpretations!


  • Shallow is right. This author needs to dig a little deeper. Sure, cancelled plans might be a trigger for bad feelings. However, she needs to dig deeper as to why she finds cheating as an acceptable response to these bad feelings. What lie does she believe that makes it “okay” in her twisted universe? She needs to reinforce the truth that cheating is never okay. Externalizing the problem is not going to help her NOT cheat again. Circumstances will likely arise again where the lie kicks in and cheating then–sigh–happens after the “trigger.” The only way to REALLY deal with the issue is to make NOT-cheating your own value and reinforce that value by reminding yourself that however bad you feel that cheating is still unacceptable.

  • Yes, thank you for this and all of your great posts.

    I want to emphasize your final point: People who believe this shit are NOT safe partners for romantic relationships. Stay away from these manipulators fellow chumps.

    Equating cheating with impulse buying says it all.

    No, actually, playing someone for a fool, wasting years of their lives by spinning a false reality and denying their reality, slandering them so you can feel okay with exposing them to STD’s, lying and humiliation while denying their feelings and experiences to create a false “safe” reality where they spin headfirst into a psychodrama unbeknownst to them and get sick from your gaslighting–not to mention, draining their resources, abusing trust, manipulating children, and in my case engaging in organizational corruption —no assholes, it’s not all about your inability to walk away from temptation or not act out based on your insecurities. May you blame-shifting cheaters get eaten by a tiger, and quick. May we all become smarter in who we choose to let into our lives, and who we walk away from.

      • Yes! my son has been watching the Katy Perry Roar video : ). I am influenced! I wish I were a real tiger, I would chase them down and bite their heads off : )

  • Oh my…I read this on HuffPost a few days ago and gagged as I read it…so glad you posted it and your commentary. My soon to be ex said he was a “target”, because he was such a successful and handsome businessman..and he couldn’t hurt a woman’s feelings…and his “trigger” was negativity, like if I was having a bad day because all three kids had chicken pox at the same time…or a toilet overflowed….or my mom died…..Seriously, WAKE UP, cheaters…you are seriously flawed.

    • Yes, wouldn’t want to disappoint those horny masses attracted to his savoir faire! Plus, you burned the toast this morning and were stressed after dealing with sick children while Mr. Handsome Businessman took time to read the paper and comb his luscious locks. Just BEGGED to be cheated on by the successful guy! [vomit]

    • At one point my STBX told me that he would never be able to turn down any woman who propositioned him because he “can’t bear to hurt people’s feelings.” Except mine.

  • Nomar’s 3 Tips For People Who Need Tips to Not Cheat:

    1. Don’t f*ck people you’re not married to.
    2. Don’t lie about f*cking people you’re not married to.
    3. Don’t blame other people if you do f*ck people you’re not married to.

    But I guess HuffPo’s figured out that stating what is morally obvious isn’t great click bait.

  • My cheater’s excuse was that I got bored at horse shows. Also, although I helped shovel stalls for his horses, I was just doing it for him, not because I truly loved horses. So if I had loved horses more than him, he wouldn’t have had to have an affair with OW who loves horses.

  • I realize I am not Cheater, and don’t understand their mindset, but the first one is the one that makes me think something is wrong with me. As Chump Lady pointed out, the translated version is, “How can I ever control myself around an attractive person?” Why do you assume the attractive person is interested in you??? Is that everyone’s default mindset but me?

    It may be where I live or it may be, I dunno, my brain, but when I’m in a relationship, I don’t know that I notice attractive guys, or they just all disappear off the face of the earth. I think its partly me, and partly the area. It’s not like I was constantly bumping into hot guys when I was single.

    And when I DO notice an attractive guy, single or not, like the movie-star-level hot guy at the grocery store a few months ago, I do NOT in the least assume he is interested in me. I may spend some time texting a girl friend about the incredibly hot guy in the grocery store – Why is he here? He can’t be from around here! Oh, he just told the cashier he was visiting the area, I knew it! – Talk to the hot guy? No. If the hot guy starts up a conversation with me, I’m going to assume he’s just being friendly. Because Hot Guy is not interested in me.

    In fact, I didn’t assume BF was interested in me when we first met, and spoiler alert, he was! Me to Friend, “He’s really nice and we had fun. I don’t think he’s interested though.” Friend, “OMG, he’s been texting me that he really liked you but doesn’t think you’re interested! Please quit texting me and text him!”

    • Wanted to clarify, now I got some caffeine in me, that I live in an area that has mostly a population that are around my parents’ age or older, so its hard for any single ladies to meet any single guys that are in our age group and not our parents’.

    • Kira- kinda related– I NEVER noticed other guys when I was with exH (23 years!). When in MC, he asked if I was ever hit on during our marriage. Never, at least not that I noticed. Him– all the time, and that is his explanation as to why he never liked attending work conferences. I think he must have set off an “available” vibe to women. He was always very flirty and a knight in shining armor type.
      Similarly, when I was in high school, no one EVER offered me drugs– I think I just had a “not interested” vibe.

      • Thanks for making sense of what I was trying to say in an uncaffeniated state, zyx321! LOL. I think you’re right, we put off an “not interested” vibe, and the Cheaters put off a “I’m VERY interested” vibe. It’s our boundaries and their lack of ’em.

        • I have never, ever been sexually harassed at work. I have never, ever been flirted with when I didn’t want it. I have never felt stalked or ogled by strange men. I am an attractive woman and well endowed(not bragging, just sayin..). I comport myself in a dignified manner. I don’t give off any vibes or expect any vibes. I was and am committed to my marriage (well sort of now :/) but mostly I’m committed to my own values and integrity. I don’t need some strange, shaggy assed man to pay attention to me to validate my self worth. But if being attractive, vulnerable, scared, personally defeated, “triggered”, are reasons to cheat well look out guys cause I must be ripe for the pickins!!!! And they’d be lucky to have me!!! And yet somehow I manage to control myself. HHHMM amazing right??? Articles like this just make me hate people even more.

          • I was terribly sexually harassed by male bosses in my younger years. Thank god for discrimination laws and awareness. For a few years in my 20’s I was a checker in a grocery store and had a couple of scary stalkers.

            I’ve had men hit on me all my life. But you know what? I didn’t cheat on my husband. Not once. When our store had a grand opening they published a picture of the employees in the showroom and an old boyfriend saw me in it and came in the following day. I told him straight up that I was happily married. Too bad the XH couldn’t tell the OW the same thing.

        • Kira…….yes my X POS was interested in anything with a hole! He stared at women (and men) right in front of me and it was highly uncomfy, and it wasn’t just a glance, but a long, rude stare! In fact at times I would comment on it, trying to say in a nice way that its not nice to stare! This included one of my BFF’s! I can not even imagine how he acted when I wasn’t around! So so many things come to the surface now that shoved under the carpet……dismissing it. I’ll never understand why I settle.

      • Sorry to hear you were deprived of recreational drugs, at least free one, zxy. Hopefully, you got your hands on some, regardless.

      • I know what you mean, xyz, I only had eyes for him during our marriage and don’t really remember thinking anyone outside the marriage was interested in me either but throughout our marriage, he would always tell me about all the women who were “giving him the eye” (his words) it kind of annoyed me because I really didn’t care who thought he was good looking as everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I didn’t see why he always got such a kick out of telling me.

      • On target, Kira. I figured it out > when STBX cheater was with me he acted married because of his image, without me, he acted single. He flirted and looked for who would catch the bait. Flirting never crossed my mind. I dont even know if I was hit on, ever. I didnt send out the same message. Now that I am single again I notice men differently, though I am not ready yet. But I have been getting reactions from men that didnt ever happen during my 20 year marriage and I have noticed that if I want to send the same vibe, I will get a consequence. And I am not getting any younger … Conclusion, cheaters cheat because they want to. Thats it. It is not an accident, or confusion or depression…They do it because they can and want to…

      • The “not interested” vibe is a big thing. I realized early in my teenaged years that some boys have Do Not Touch signs on them. When I became a married woman, all men had Do Not Touch signs on them. Or maybe I hung a Not Interested sign above mine. As a result, I never dreamed–let alone noticed–if a guy was interested in me. I think if a guy had approached me at work, I’d considered it harassment!

        zyx321’s comment reminds me that STBX would often talk about how women would hit on him.

        Guess he never learned to hang a Do Not Touch sign over other women and a Not Interested sign over his own head. 😉

    • Regarding self control while around an attractive person—-bawaaahhh….I have seen a few of the women he cheated with (gulp)

      • You have a good point too, Hesatthecurb! Attractiveness is not necessarily a needed feature for the Cheater. (Obviously they don’t want anyone with moral attractiveness!)

    • “As Chump Lady pointed out, the translated version is, ‘How can I ever control myself around an attractive person?’ Why do you assume the attractive person is interested in you??? Is that everyone’s default mindset but me?”–No, it’s the narcissist mindset. They assume they are ENTITLED to the interest of what they think is an attractive person. That won’t necessarily be the best-looking person in the room. It will be the person who is attracting the narcissist with a display of potential kibbles. For example, Jackass goes to a memorial service and sees his deceased buddy and spots his buddy’s married sister. She’s married, three kids, plus size but vivacious and has probably had a crush on him since she was a kid. Hits all his bells. She is pre-disposed to worship him, to spackle the mess he’s made of his adult life. She has a husband so bonus points for being able to take her away from her husband. And to matter more than her kids?? Kibble mother lode. So that’s what attracts them–the relationship dynamic that can feed the giant black hole inside of them where the capacity for love and empathy should be. When I asked my therapist what he saw in her, because objectively, she isn’t someone a rational person would leave a relationship to play around with, my therapist said, “She worships him.” It really helps to understand that ideas we carry around in our heads about love, attraction, fidelity, loyalty and honor just simply don’t apply to them.

      Secondly, they would never move on someone who would not respond to their love-bombing. The target has someone revealed vulnerability to a narcissist. They have highly tuned pickers. Looking back, Jackass tried his act out on me two or three times when I involved with other and not available. I deflected him. Another notable time, he came around and seemed “interested” but was married and so I had boundaries there. But all of those time he could come around and scarf up some kibbles because I was attracted to him and then, when the time was right, I got love-bombed, over-valued, then devalued and finally discarded. Took 30 years to run the whole cycle. CL is NOT kidding when she says these people are not wired like we are.

      And as to Nomar’s point above, the Chump idea that we can “control” our partners by doing good things, walking on those eggshells properly, forgiving the most egregious transgressions and minimizing our own needs to serve a partner is just exactly what a narcissist wants in a partner. That’s what attracts them. Gavin de Becker, in his book “The Gift of Fear” talks about how predators test the boundaries of people by chipping away at them when they say “no.” So a target will politely refuse a stranger’s offer to help carrying her groceries, refuse a second time, and finally give in. What the predator has learned is that he can chip away at those boundaries until he gets what he wants. That’s our challenge as we end these bad relationships–to recognize how limited we are in our thinking about other people. I like Rumblekitty’s term “hyenas.” Some people are hyenas and we have to learn to spot them.

        • Soooo interesting. I was being pursued recently by someone who would occasionally attempt to steer conversations in an explicit direction waaay before it was really appropriate.. I would object. He would drop it. And then try again! Eventually I just cut things off. That’s exactly what he was doing. Never again. Not from the beginning and not ever am I going to live with this low hum of discomfort and feeling compromised just to have companionship.

        • LovedaJackass,

          I love your comment. It is true, jackassses just need someone to worship them. In their twisted mind, they are replacing us for someone better, but what they see as a prince/princess is just a frog prince/princess. I call the OM “ugly face” for a reason. But the one thing he did that I didn’t do was worship her.

          • Ha, ha. “Better” means “willing to be a kibble dispenser on demand.” At least in my book. 🙂

      • LAJ, my eyes are only slowly opening to all of this after the fact (another reason why NC is essential)

        If I take the wisdom from your comment and add UBT to some key statements my ex-narc used to say – let’s see what we get…

        Narc says, “it took me 13 years after my divorce to find someone as special as you”
        UBT says, “it took me a long time to find someone with as much to offer, who allows me to exploit her for kibbles so consistently”

        Narc says, “i just don’t like most people”
        UBT says, “Most people don’t dance for me”

        Narc says, “Eat shit and die”
        UBT says, “How dare you enforce a boundary, you’ll pay for that!”

        Narc says, “Why do you have to have everything now?”
        UBT says, “I never thought you’d make me hold up my end of the bargain”

        Narc says, “Your kid is a spoiled brat”
        UBT says, “You’re stealing my kibbles”

        The list could go on and on… And I stupidly considered some of these things complements or minor slips of the temper. WTF?!!?

        • Yep. Exactly. The last thing Jackass said to me before he went AWOL was in response to my saying I didn’t think he loved me any more.

          What he said: “We’ll have to do something about that.” There’s no good translation other than “It doesn’t suit me that you see the truth.”

      • Awesome post LAJ 😀

        The only thing I struggle with though, I adored ‘The Great I Am’ – he could not have been ‘worshipped’ any more than I ‘worshipped’ him. Honestly! D Day was the big REVEAL – up until that point I had him pegged as a wonderful, together, moral, fine, upstanding human being (there were a few iffy points, mind 🙂 ) but I did truly believe in him and thought he was the dogs bollocks! turned out, he was just bollocks – but, you know CL’s shark mask cartoon? That was my life D Day!

        • Oh my goodness, Jayne, me too! Everyone (incl me) thought we were the perfect couple. People would see how affectionate we were together and ask how we kept the passion alive after 17 years! I laugh now thinking about how many people used to ask my cheater and me, the biggest chump, for marriage advice!

          Anyway, like you, I also thought he was the bees knees. And he was cheating the whole time. No wonder he was so happy, lol. And Stupid me, I was totally oblivious to all of the red flags! Although it Hurt like hell when everything came crashing down, now I couldn’t be happier. Hooray for being free and clear! 🙂

        • Yeah, behind their masks, in their disordered minds, with their poor character, they devalue the “adoration” or “love” or fidelity that we give them. They are not responding to what we give objectively. They aren’t looking at us at all. We have nothing to do with it. I was HS valedictorian, lead in the school play, Student Council officer, fundraising chair, sports editor of the yearbook and a cheerleader (etc). My mother: “Why aren’t you prom queen?” The

          Trust that they suck. Meaning, trust that they are black holes of suckitude. Whatever you give just gets sucked into the black hole.

  • AAARRRGgggr…

    Cheaters have the depth of a cookie sheet and I plop on it like cheerful cookie dough to be baked, eaten and crapped out.

    wow wow wow


    • laura, that was one of my ex’s reasons too. I worked all day outside of the home, just like him, and one night a week I liked to watch Teen Mom. Yea yea, I know it was just trashy but I liked it. He would get furious that I liked it. The other six nights a week, he would watch whatever the heak he wanted while I did all the cleaning up and baby tasks. They will use ANYTHING to justify their abuse.

  • I read this column on huffpo too. My take on the author is this: “I got into therapy so I could realize I have borderline personality disorder and that my biggest fear is being left or unappreciated by my partner. I’m now able to realize that sometimes I take things personally that are intended as such. For example, when my partner has to cancel plans at the last minute because something comes up (as things tend to do!). Now, rather than childishly acting out and punishing my partner for having a life that doesn’t revolve around me, I try my best to walk away.”

  • Mine cheated because I wouldn’t let him touch me in bed when I was trying to fall asleep, didn’t squeal with delight when he bought me flowers, and put a cat figurine he bought me on my bookcase instead of my desk. Disordered much?

    • My jerkoff ex BF had no ‘reasons’ why he cheated–he merely did it because HE COULD AND HE WANTED TO. He had been a cheater from his teen years; he cheated on every woman (including 2 wives) who was ever unfortunate enough to cross his path.

      In one weekend, he left me to go ‘visit his mother’s grave’ in another city but actually ‘entertained’ his ex GF who had moved there, and at least 2 other women from Match. He then came back to my area and spent 2 days entertaining his local OW. He finally dragged his ass back to my home drunk as a skunk, my Mercedes was trashed, sprinkled with glitter from some gal’s sweater. In his stupor, I got his phone and camera which documented his ‘cuddle face’ pics while he was out with them. The rest is history–as my username implies–LOL

      BTW–the first woman mentioned and the last both knew he was living with me and colluded to spend time with him. I have a hard time referring to them as ‘women’–vermin is a better term.

        • Gotta make sure I see it again. I am sure MY jackass and I watched it but I don’t remember a thing about it. I would imagine he was being intrusive and disruptive with drunken behavior as usual and I couldn’t concentrate on anything else at the time.

          Funny, I have him under Jackass (and not his name) in my phone’s contacts. Your username rocks!

          • Well, the name fits. 🙂

            I was referring to how all of the things that the “wolf pack” guys in “Hangover” recorded all of their “forgotten” exploits on their phones.

  • CL, Your patented UBT(tm) works quite well. This Huffington post essay could have been written by my ex, she is able to be somewhat clear and honest about what is going on in her head, but she has this incredible narcissistic bias towards not owning anything and blaming anyone else. Yes, people will disappoint you (they can be late, not wash the dishes…) and why the next logical step is to lie to the person you are the closest to is just draw dropping.

    All relationships do not work out. Here is something you can say to your mate that cancels plans: “I don’t like it when you cancel plans at the last minute, it makes me feel ignored…etc.” Ta da! Either a rich discussion ensues or things devolve and you take responsibility and end things like a fucking adult.

  • It’s remarkable that someone writes like a teenager with depth of a puddle. Poor girl thinks she’s being deep and takes her self seriously, but then again the huff post published it. I guess it’s the equivalent of dumb downing to reach the core audience who are impulse shoppers and impulse cheaters.

    As absurd as that article is, it’s a clear picture of the mentality of shallow narcissists and how very basic they really are.

    • And I am offended that she compares impulse shopping to cheating. If I give in to an urge to buy a sequined top long after New Year’s is over, at 75% markdown, it’s victimless. Cheating, not so much. Just ask my children, who are now in a single parent home.

    • You are so right PF. It reads like a bad freshman comp paper. She thinks she’s being intellectually introspective, but it reads more like an essay about an outre hobby: “I know this is a bad thing (that I really think is sort of mod), so here’s why I like to do it and how I justify my predilection for sexual novelty.”

      • “I know this is a bad thing (that I really think is sort of mod), so here’s why I like to do it and how I justify my predilection for sexual novelty.”

        OR, to better reflect the writer’s maturity level and intelligence:

        “I know IMO, like, this is, like, a bad thing, (that–lol–I really think is sort of rad), so, like, here’s why I like to do it, and you know I can TOTALLY justify my wanting sexual novelty, YOLO.”

        (let’s face it, Charles, we’ve both probably graded papers written that way!”

  • She had me at “be honest with myself.” NO, you idiot – how about being honest with your boyfriend????? WTF? Is there any question remaining, that cheaters = narcissists supreme?

  • The idea of a “trigger” that might make you cheat on your spouse is completely foreign to me. When I asked my wife after I discovered her affair what she would do if she caught me having an affair she said she would be irate, and that she would take revenge by having an affair of her own. I was trying to get her to understand my grief, but for her grief wasn’t really a part of the equation. Her reaction was more about the rage she would have felt, and how she would get revenge by reciprocating the injustice. That totally floored me. I have no idea how one would even begin to “have” an affair. I guess you just approach people you know at work or the grocery store and flirt with them, knowing that 90% of the time they’ll think you’re scum — but the other 10% of the time you’ll get your freak on if you play it right?

    I haven’t exactly figured this one out, but I think (maybe, at some level) the rage versus sadness response might index a clear difference between narcissistic cheaters and chumpy guys like me. I don’t feel rage. I just feel sick and overwhelmingly depressed.

    • Charles

      When a cheater shows you who they really are believe them. Your wife had no conception of empathy. She did not put herself in your shoes, instead would not tolerate what she’d done to you if the roles were reversed. For the great majority of cheaters, they are hypocrites and they know it and to will exploit it.

      • PF–the alternate strategy is for cheaters to minimize the damage of an affair. Mine threw out gems like, “I would have forgiven you a year-long affair as long as I knew you still loved me.” As I was reeling from D-Day, he even offered to let me have sex with someone once or twice to feel better about his affair. When I angrily suggested I should screw someone else the same number of times he screwed grad-school-whore, he turned pale with alarm. When I pointed that out later, he denied that it had bothered him at all–“not a big deal.”

        Either way, it’s mindfuckery.

    • Charles my ExH said the something about floored me too. He said “if you cheat on me to get even for what you THINK I did (he really DID have multiple affairs), then I will cheat on you to get even!!” Like you, I wouldn’t begin I know how to have an affair or even WANT to. That would just lower me to his level and miss the whole point which is I am better than that

    • “The idea of a ‘trrigger’ that might make you cheat on your spouse is completely foreign to me.” Of course. Because you are not a narcissist. “Trust that she sucks” means, in this context, “trust that there is something horrible wrong with her character that will not change.”

      That way of thinking is foreign to you because you are not f***ed up.

  • From reading this one, it seems that cheaters have problems with IMPULSE CONTROL. That is a deeply ingrained psychological setting which is very hard to change. It is why I subscribe to the notion “once a cheater, always a cheater”. No second chances. The trust is gone, move on.

  • My cheater’s excuse was the OW listened to him about his depression, ptsd and suicidal thoughts, wtf? So did I, every freaking day! Get some help, not a girlfriend!!!!!

    • My ex did that for me, and then decided that she’d had enough. I never hesitated to thank her over and over again for supporting me. I’m at a loss not that she isn’t still doing so.

      What I really want to say is thank you for being there for someone with mental health issues and I’m sorry that he didn’t appreciate you the way you should have been appreciated. I don’t know you, but I love you for the support you gave. Thank you.

  • If you need a 3 step plan, which resembles that of a plan to take your vitamins daily, to not cheat, you’ve got a much bigger and deeper problem going on that needs to be addressed.

    1) Force yourself to pause:
    Hmmm, where did I put those vitamins again? Oh yes, they’re in the other room. But I want the potato chips, they’re so tasty. But I know they’re bad for me, which is why I put the potato chips and vitamins in a separate room in the first place. And the potato chips are up high so I can’t reach them and I took the ladder away on purpose! Must go to the other room where the vitamins are! Must!

    2) Learn your triggers:
    Ah damn, it’s the smell of potato chips that gets me every time! And the trigger is doubled if I just had a crappy day at work! I crave the smell and then the taste! Must resist smell and take vitamin instead! Smell the vitamins!!

    3) Be honest with yourself:
    I really don’t want to take the vitamins. I want to eat the potato chips. Maybe if I had just been honest about that to begin with I never would have started trying to take vitamins in the first place.

  • “Fucking other people because you feel “triggered” is about you. Not the chump. You’re responsible for YOU. See how that works?” Were this the case, I would be fucking around Every.Single.Chance.I.Got! I’m thinking of changing my middle name to Trigger! Quit blaming your spouse, your Mom, your Dad. It’s all on YOU and your character.

    • “Character”—that’s one of the last words my ex BF heard come out of my mouth. I told him his lack of character was a MAJOR REASON why he would never see me again

  • That’s funny TH. I found my EX’s secret email, and Trigger was part of his password.

    It was my fault EX cheated since I didn’t pay enough attention to him because:

    *I was taking care of his blind mother and father with Alzheimer’s. Drove to all doctor appts., bathed, fed and changed father. Supplied associated supplies. Made sure they ate decent meals, took MIL out once a week to socialize, took her to hair appointments, took her on vacation to visit her mother.,etc.

    *I “only” worked outside the home 3 days a week and should have been working full-time in my chosen profession because, hey, “what was I doing all day?” It must have been the house fairy that took care of the yard, meals, bills, laundry, car repairs, and oh yeah-your sons!

    Yep, that’s me. I sat around all day watching soaps and eating bonbons. Big apologies for not worshipping the ground you walk on and stroking your ego!

    • Ruggermom– you took care of his parents and then got blamed for not doing enough?
      Wow, talk about an entitled a**hole.

      • yep zyx. I could have been cloned x5 to take care of his parents, home, children, etc., and it still would not have been enough. He was just so super-duper and I was killing myself trying to be superwoman. Live and learn.

    • I really identify with this. You did much more than I even did, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea that I took her for granted (as she put it).

      A year before she left me we made a mutual decision for her to quit her job and go to nursing school part-time (2 classes, usually 2 days a week). I continued to work full-time in addition to being treated for depression and a genetic disorder than leads to fatigue. I treated her son as if he was my own including paying for his health insurance. I was constantly in trouble for not coming home from work and helping out enough around the house, all while hearing about her daily bicycle rides and jazzercise classes.

      I’m having a tremendously difficult time accepting that no matter what I would have never been able to give enough. I blame my depression for the relationship ending, but I tried so hard to buy her love and support by giving her all that I had to give. It wasn’t enough, and now she’s gone.

      • Which, so sorry you are hurting and framing her abandonment as a loss – hopefully the day will come soon where you see what you’ve actually gained with a cheater free life (tons). Peace

      • Which, undoubtedly you were married to a NPD. Nothing is ever enough for these folks. You could spend 23 hours a day catering to her and it would not be enough, They are bottomless pits.

        • Ditto the above comments about how you could never have done enough. I have only recently accepted this myself, 1.5 years from DDay — no one can please him. I supported him with free food and housing and the cell phone he used to cheat with, for 16 years. He, too, said I “took him for granted”. The word that comforts me lately is INEVITABLE. It was inevitable that this relationship would end because I am a good person and he is a disordered Narcissist and probably a sociopath or worse; It was the cheating that opened my eyes to who he really was all along. Sending comforting thoughts to you, WhichWayDidSheGo. In time you will be glad she is gone and won’t care where she went anymore either, just that she stays away from you.

      • Thanks everyone for the support. I’m in a bind… my depression tells me that I’m a loser who was lucky to have anyone at all, that I’m too much of a burden to make loving me possible. I know I was gloomy and negative quite a bit and fixated on working through my trauma, but I was working through it (apparently not quickly enough or to her satisfaction). I thought that if I made up for it by giving her everything I could and that I was capable of that loving me would be “worth” it to her.

        I will say that I learned a long time ago that being nasty or aggressive towards someone else is not the answer to my anxiety, so I never took my depression out on her; in fact, I was careful to let her know that it had nothing to do with her. I was shocked when she left me. I remember saying something like, “but I was so nice to you!” She said that it takes more than that to be happy, that she should have left me three years ago. At least if she had I wouldn’t be looking at an empty bank account that was cleared out when she quit working to go to school. Funny how she decided she wasn’t happy at about the same time she needed to get a part-time job to help out with bills.

        I have a lot of work to do on my depression, my codependency, my low-self esteem, etc. I truly can’t see ever being loved by anyone every again. I feel like she was my best, last shot. Of course I feel that way… she was always reminding me that she was the best thing that ever happened to me.

        • Which,
          That is such a typical mind control game for these narcs. Don’t buy into it. Have you ever thought that maybe your recovery from depression, self-esteem, etc. could be taking longer simply because she WAS in the picture? She sounds truly evil.

          • Hang in there which. Treat your depression for your health and know that her shitty character has nothing to do with you or your depression. She was NOT the best you could do; she in all likelihood was the worst (or at least one of them).

            Cheaters are all the same. Cowardly and entitled and if you’re really lucky narcissistic too! This will get better and someday soon (it will be a Tuesday) you’ll realize how much better off you are in your cheater-free life!

        • Fuck that self-absorbed narcissistic bitch. She was probably the reason why your depression is still lingering. Someone who cleans out your bank account based off her ‘want want want’ is fucking disgusting.
          Never, EVER feel you’re ‘less than’ because of the words of someone else, especially a fuckwitted someone else.
          You’ve got love and support in the form of Chump Nation. Never feel like you’re alone.
          For the record, you’re not a loser – and even people who don’t have depression have negative times. We can feel your pain through those words, and you’re not. Please don’t ever believe that.
          Fact is: You could have been perfect in every way, and she would have still found a reason to cheat, just based off the fact that she is FUCKED UP. She’s not wired like a ‘normal’ human being, and will never be able to appreciate a caring nature such as yourself.
          Might seem like an awful time to say this, given its still raw, but life WILL get better for you. When the wheel of fortune drops you to its lowest point – the only way is up again. And the wheel will stall when you’re at the top, haha.

  • My ex-husband’s trigger to cheat was the fact that we had had crab cakes for Thanksgiving, I had a job not a career, I had been snippy to a cashier about 15 years ago and I left my previous job because I didn’t like it. After 26+ years together who knew?

    • Let me run that through the UBT: I’m entitled to do whatever I want, including cheating, but since you need reasons for cheating, here are the only things I can think of.

  • LOL, “triggers” for cheating! The disordered ALWAYS look to blame someone/something else for their wickedness, they are never responsible for their actions.

    My ex said he cheated because I didn’t tell him I loved him often enough. Funny, if he had paid me some attention, had sex with me, not spent all of his time cheating both physically and emotionally with others, I probably would have been inspired to say those words a lot more frequently. Of course, he also said he cheated because he needed a Christian woman to take to church, so obviously rational thought/sanity is not his strong point.

  • I’m reading all of this and thinking about my narcissist mother, who raised her kids to be hyper vigilant about her needs instead of their own. People who think like her seem normal to me. The UBT is very important as we learn–we LEARN–to recognize that we have dated, married, lived with, had kids with (etc). some deeply disordered people and that their thinking is built not on reciprocity in relationship but in using others to fill their needs. That’s why reconciliation is so difficult if the Cheater is truly disordered. It would be like trying to have a relationship with a cardboard cutout.

    • LAJ, you are describing my mother also. I posted the other day about my treatment from the moment I was born but I left out that my mother was also schizophrenic. So, for me and my 3 siblings that made for a very rough upbringing of which many people have suffered. Your posts are so close to the bone for me.

      • Every day I work on trying to figure out why I gave myself away to so many disordered people. I used to think I needed to “get past” picking alcoholics because I had an alcoholic dad. Now I see the real problem–thinking everyone is like Narcissist Mom and my job is to FIX it.

        • OMG mine too. She is the only relative I have beside my child. I believe I picked my X because he was similar. This was how I was brought up to live. How the hell DO you fix this? I’m older and I don’t have much time, lol !!

  • To the author:

    How to be faithful:

    Grow up, and don’t flirt with others if you are married (seriously hard to cheat if you don’t flash your charms). Trust me when I say other people can live without your cuteness in their pockets. Flirting includes the “boohoo” that women do too. Save it.
    When I was a waitress, I was not oblivious to the men that would wink, flirt, and stare at me when they had a date. Please. I had enough self esteem not to eat it up because I am not 16. If rejection is a trigger to infidelity, then you are a seriously ungrounded individual and you need more help than a fling can give.
    Fidelity is a mindset. If you have to have steps, it may be too late. It was ingrained in me from choices I made as I considered consequences to my future. When I would dress nicely, I would think… “Who am I trying to impress?” Every woman dresses with a purpose. Learn satisfaction in pleasing yourself not other men.

  • Love how these people need to give themselves pep-talks and cheat-sheets(LOL) in order to TRY to behave like a decent human being. Hilarious and sad all-in-one.

  • “Because cheating is so much like shopping? It is if you cannot distinguish a sentient, feeling person from a hand bag.”

    Well, yes, I think cheating IS related to shopping. Specifically continuing to shop after you promised you had decided, chosen and committed to what you already had.

    When I was in the market for a new car last year, I noticed cars around me. I was shopping, and there were interesting cars everywhere . When I narrowed in on two models, I began to notice them multiple times a day. Guess what . . . after I purchased, I no longer noticed cars. Zero interest. Because I’m not shopping.

    I think if you’re not still shopping, your twinkie is 100% less likely to fall into a ho-ho.

  • This reminds me of another piece of crap Huffington Post “divorce” article. My stbxh sent me an email last week with a link to a HuffPo article titled “4 Huge Mistakes I Made As A Wife (I’m The Ex-Wife Now)”
    Quote from the article:

    “At first it was easy for me to point every single finger and toe at my husband for obliterating our 10-year marriage. He’s the one who cheated and walked out without looking back. And long before that, he repeatedly shut me out, choosing to bury himself in his work to avoid what was happening to us at home.”

    article goes on to say…

    “Because obviously being a lying, cheating, family abandon-er trumps anything I did to our marriage in the past decade. Right? …Wrong.”

    Then article goes on to point out it isn’t the wife’s fault if she “put her children first” or she “didn’t bother to learn to fight the right way”! OMG, where do they come up with this crap?

    stbxh’s email said, and I quote, “Not exactly our situation but I consider it a good read.” UGH!

    • Lizzy–I’d be quite happy if someone else used the line I thought up for when my STBX keeps firing minimizing and blameshifting BS my way (as I may never get the chance to use it now):

      “That is called Blameshifting. Thank you for confirming that my decision to divorce your sorry ass was the correct one.”

      • LOL! Good line, Tempest. The stbxh has defintely mastered the fine art of blameshifting and he is really good at finding these crappy articles on the internet that validate his thinking – this isn’t the first link he has sent.

        • Uuurrrggh! This is why I got a new e-mail account during the divorce and set my old e-mail to vacation mode. I set my vacation message to something like “I will no longer be using this e-mail. Please direct all e-mails to “. My ex told me with authority that he would NOT be sending e-mail to my dad. I ignored that. Very shortly after that, he sent his e-mails to my dad. Kind of messed with his ability to bitch at me and ignore my boundaries. (I also blocked my ex at my new e-mail address.)

          With a situation like this, I would simply say. Thank you for thinking of me. I am taking responsibility for my own life. If you need to civilly discuss any business related to the children or divorce proceedings, feel free to contact me. Until then, I suggest you simply take responsibility for your own life and stop sending me links to articles you’ve read.

          It might also be possible to filter e-mails with links from huffington post into the spam folder or the trash.

    • I’m sorry that your ex sent you that! What a total crap weasel! The ex in my life would never send me anything like that. Not cuz he’s full of character and remorse; mostly because he doesn’t read: “even about things he enjoys”.

      I’m sure if he had the reading comprehension of 6 year old, he might though. I am continually surprised by the new lows that cheaters can reach…just when you think it can’t get any worse!

  • They get their lines from the same playbook.

    My cheaterpants husband said this after his first individual counseling session, after I asked him how it went. “Well I know that my big issue is that I didn’t communicate any problems I have with you”.

    What great joy it was to hear that his big issue wasn’t his addiction to porn, his dating profiles, his emails to Craigslist hookers, his emotional affair with a ho-worker. No, no, no. His issue is that he’s too much of a martyr to tell me of the many ways that I suck.

    As far as communication goes, I am the partner who is always down to communicate and have asked him over and over again to tell me when he has a problem. Let’s have a small fight now rather than a snowball fight down the road. His selective memory strikes again.

  • Cheating has not EXCUSE!!!

    But I guess all cheaters think there is excuse for such low level selfish behavior.

    My ex gave me many excuses, but the most lame were

    1) I prayed to God that I wouldn’t do this to you (perhaps hinting that since she still did it, God approved of her cheating)
    2) we just have nothing in common ( cauze this causes cheating apparantly. Oh, and it took four years of living together to figure that out)
    3) there is things I hate about you ( there is things I hated about her also, and I was still faithful till the very last minute)
    4) if you had gone on the motorcycle ride with the OM and I, perhaps this would have never happened ( oh so me not wanting to go on the motorcycle ride with who I thought was just her co-worker, caused cheating).

    Freaking selfish piece of shit!!!

      • Lyn,

        Are you serious??? Wow, I can’t imagine hearing that after been with someone for 36 years. I have so much respect for you because to be honest, I don’t think I would survive if I was you. I bow down to you. Your mighyness is gigantic and you ex is a piece of crap!!!!

      • Lyn, my ex said the exact same thing, although we only had 20 years together. Funny how up until that point, he had always said I was his best friend.

      • Crikey Lyn, I got the same too. After 25 years. I also got “we are fundamentally different”. I told him well I guess we are “you cheat. I don’t”

  • We all know that the blame lies 100% with the cheater – that being said, I have to give 2 thumbs up to this writer, who is getting the notoriety she is seeking based on her article, however, I suspect she and Huffington are getting slammed with a ton of negative feedback from those who have been cheated on and seriously wondering, “What the heck is she talking about?” Love what mountainlily said, “Fidelity is a mindset and don’t flirt if you’re married”. The fact is people cheat because they want to, not because they are “triggered” into doing it, and it certainly can’t be compared to any other verb of convenience. Hugs…

    • Ro, sadly all responses or times the article was read count. The more hits the more from advertisers and the more chance she has getting articles published. Best way to keep her off Huffpo is not read the article. Computers keep up with everything.

  • OMG…That stupid fucking article…is the Huffington Post hurting for stories?Cheating triggers? are you fucking kidding me? it just shows me that people can and will make excuses for any behavior! No ownership! No integrity.How about its wrong, you stupid fucking half wits?!! Its just that simple,Or are they saying its learned? like toilet training, eventually u stop pissing in yr pants.cause you learned it was uncomfortable walking around in pissy pants all day… its socially unacceptable to stand there and piss in your pants.Learned? So these fuck wits who have no impluse control its their fucking parents fault?Oh, poor them…its my moms fault I have to stick my dick in a piece of strange…cause I triggered….what the fuck else is bad parenting going to be blamed for? cause certainly thats the next excuse I never learned…blame Mom. Triggers???..Rightt!!! What a weak ass excuse.And what about my triggers??? ask me about my fucking triggers….cause after the fourth lie that came out of the Idiost mouth I was certainly triggered to bash his head in with a rock..

    • TheClip…….I LOVE LOVE that there is no holding back with you! Tell it like it is girl!! You make my day when I read your stuff. I have much HATE; not sure if you do too, but it sounds similar to what I feel! I really want it to pass….the HATE……but I still might leave it to be my name on here! LOL
      Here’s another thing that drives me nuts on here…….some people choose to use the word “Cheaterpants”. For me this sounds so juvenile and hurt free…..I always picture a cartoon! I know some don’t want or use foul language BUT come on!!! Lets think of something else that really is what it is……demeaning, demoralizing, no character, entitled, narcissist, sociopath and on and on……..but lets just go with dickhead, fuckface, jackoff, cheating fuck, etc etc. PLEASE! no more cheaterpants!

      • Whats wrong with hate? It sure as hell fuels the desire (and the cajones) to get the fuckwads out of our lives.
        People who whinge about hate are the ones who want to hammer you back into a docile, subservient existence. Fuck that.

        • Lania………totally agree. I actually like the hate feeling right now. WAY better than the shock, sadness, denial, rejection, etc etc feelings!

      • Hate,
        Yup I hate hate too… Hate what he did, hate the effects on my life, my child and my future. Hate that he doesnt get it… And never will. Hate that he lives 6 blocks away. Hate that i have to deal with him for 6 more years. Hate that he is a scary MoFo. Hate that i dont have lazerbeam eye balls that could blast his nuts off. Hate that i cant unload a pack of ninja stars strait into his forehead…the scenarios are endless… In my mind I have tortured him in a number of macabre ways.
        Yup …. I got some hate going on. Does it help? Not sure. But its where I am at. And maybe it gives me or offers me some self protection as I am scared shitless of him…
        I shouldnt even give him the honor of a thought… I guess thats Meh… And i aint there yet.

  • Here’s what I want to know – does the author of the this article truly think that someone without appropriate boundaries in place to not cheat is really going to 1. take the time to seek out this article to read and 2. review these ‘tips’ before they cheat? I mean really…how ridiculous.

    • To me this is Whore speak. It’s one thing to get pulled in by a serial cheating narc who is a pathological liar preying on his next victim. She justifies her actions because like French fries she can’t eat only one!! Maybe a better strategy would be to get takeout and shop online. My last and final pick me dance was short lived this time because I realized after I spoke with her tha they were EQUALS. Mirror image narcs justifying their behavior.

  • Let’s say we take her at her word, and this is really how she views the world. I can’t imagine living this way: having to leave a room to avoid an unbearable urge to grind up against some dude? Fighting an insatiable urge to sign onto Ashley Madison because plans changed? What? Why not read a book or see a movie?

    That sounds like hell. Good luck to these people. They probably all failed the marshmallow test, and now they fall to pieces whenever the wind blows funny.

    • LilyBart–love that you brought up the marshmallow test! Cheaters probably did fail it at age 4, which further supports the point that it is deficient character and lack of self-control that makes them cheat (not triggers).

      • It would be interesting if they did a follow-up study with the kids in that study to see whether there was a correlation between eating the marshmallow right away and cheating on their significant other. Then we can either get them some early intervention to prevent it, or get them into a database so they can be avoided.

        Ok, no. That’s too Orwellian, even for me. 🙂

    • I actually asked my cheater whether at any point he felt a pang of conscience, or thought, “sh*t, I can’t do this, I have a wife.” He said, “no, at that point lust just took over.” Points for honesty, I guess. Marshmallow, p*ssy–what’s the difference. Partake.

  • And my cheater’s reasons were: 1) “You don’t snowshoe” and 2) “You don’t make me look good” when he no longer found me attractive. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    • The blame shifting became so laughable this final time. He whimpered and said I always wanted to surf!! Shit, I think that boat sailed, you can’t hear, you sleep with a pillow between your legs, you wet the bed frequently, and use a heating pad every night. Magical! I kept him from his dream.

        • I met her when they were out one night. He downgraded with an ugly crass bar whore who picks up guys every weekend and takes them to hotels. She has a lengthy arrest record for assaulting previous hookups. She knows he is a cheater and won’t let him out of her radar. He lost the respect of our adult children and family. She thinks he’s a good guy. What I realized is that as serial cheater narcs age they become desperate and will cling to anything. In the end I got the biggest prize, my dignity and freedom. Never looking back!!!!

  • What a crappy article!!! As many have pointed out already, I too had a cheater who failed miserably at being on time coming home from work, from being out with his pals, from skiing, etc., etc.

    The tone of this article (“Oh, I just flayed myself about cheating-so badly even my therapist took pity on me, it’s all about me”) reminds me of the recent movie “Wild” which many a critic would have you believe is about a woman fearlessly hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Actually, it’s the soporific tale of a cheater who manages to guilt her chump ex into sending her packages of supplies while she mysteriously takes 4 months off to hike the trail, sleep with anonymous men and ‘forgive herself’

    • Lucky 35, I know. I just started to read that book, and had to stop when she started describing how she cheated on her husband then was elated to find out that he got a job in another state so she could get rid of him. Doubt I will finish reading it, nor see the movie.

    • Glad to know that is part of the plot so I can avoid it. I had heard good things…but the person who was talking about it did not happen to mention the cheating part. But…then again, before living through dday, I would have not thought much about a cheating subplot. I would have disapproved, but I would not have decided to not watched a movie because of it. Now? I won’t watch a movie with that theme, unless it’s from the chump’s perspective and the audience is rooting for the chump.

      • Wow, and I thought I was stupid for doing this too.
        Any book, film or otherwise which promotes cheating, narcissism as ‘normal’ or other immature shit gets culled from my list. Immediately. And if I’m midway through, I stop.
        Like that 50 shades of trash (that seems to be on the reading list of so many female cheaters) – ‘Oh hi i’m a vapid moron who’s fallen for a narcissistic fuckwad but I’ll tolerate his physical and emotional abuse because he has money and buys me shit. And then tolerate it even more under the guise of an S&M ‘relationship”
        Hell to the fuck no.

        • Lania,

          Please educate me, my ex owned 50 Shades of Gray and I knew it was a book about sexual desires, but is it about cheating also?

          I know this might be a dumb question, sorry.

          • No idea. I skim-read a bit of it, to see what the rage was all about – was laughing through the terrible writing of it, but the moment it started mentioning prices for items the guy bought her, I thought ‘Just another fuckwad who thinks he can buy love with money to make up for his shortcomings in everything else thats part of a healthy relationship’.
            I don’t think cheating was involved, but who knows. Emotional and physical abuse is rife through it though.

        • On-point. What is it with cheating women and the 50 Shades of Fucktards? This drivel was a bonding, pun unintentionally intended, experience for the cheater and his MOW. They enjoyed their role playing. Yuck.

        • This is the ONLY way to listen to 50 Shades of Grey. It is Gilbert Gottfried reading it, in the style in which it should be read (hysterical, definitely NSFW):

  • Sounds like the author wants us to deny our animal nature. Sheesh an advice column from a cheater for cheaters. Deny yourself the ability to hump like dogs in the street? Behind every one of these reformed cheater stories is the sad truth that they never fully own or realize the hole they have in themselves. Thats what it comes down to. They are screwed up, and they assume everyone else is too.

  • To me, the fact that an article like this is even written and/or published by HuffPo is such a statement on the sad state of affair (no pun intended) on our society today. Next, are we going to need “advice” articles entitled, “How to Not Rob a Bank” or “How to Not Murder Your Neighbor When You Catch Their Dog Pooping On Your Lawn”?

  • Hmm, I don’t think I have ever, in my entire life, had to consciously make a decision NOT to cheat because I can’t make a decision on something that doesn’t occur to me. I don’t drink coffee so I don’t to decide what flavor I want because it’s unnecessary.

    Maybe the author should focus more on how to develop character that counts (work from the inside out) rather than manipulating the outside circumstances and hope they align with her cheater-free strategy.

  • Sounds like she’s trying to “recalibrate” her moral compass, but is using her inflated sense of entitlement as her tool to do it. Sorry, looks like the compass is still broken.

  • How does chump lady say it? “Blah, blah fuckity blah!” Seriously? The only part of the article I agreed with is her parenthetical reference to the How Not to Cheat for Dummies. Only cheaters are actually dumb enough to believe that drivel.

    When I was married I respected boundaries, e.g. if I went out with my co-workers for after work hours drinks, I didn’t stay behind to hang out with any males one on one or put myself in a situation where signals could be misread. I don’t think that’s quite the same thing as ‘leaving the room’ because a guy is hot??!! I do think there are certain lines you don’t cross while you’re in a committed relationship-but that doesn’t seem to be what she’s talking about.

    I agree with the other posters here who wonder why huffpo even publishes this crap.

  • You know, I was walking out of my vet’s office today, after dropping off my elderly dog for a tumor removal from his eye. I was puffy faced, teary eyed…terrified that my poor dog wasn’t going to make it through the surgery.

    As I was walking out the door, a very nice looking man with a young child was coming in with their dog. He held the door, looked at me and said, “Are you okay?” I said, No I am not, and mumbled a couple of words about my dog.

    He said something nice about things will end up okay, and then he proceeded into the office—and I got in my car to go home.

    Wedding ring on his finger. Child in tow. Even though I was having a horrible day, needed support–and if he was the type of person that this “author” clearly is—he could have taken advantage of that situation, chatted me up—maybe score some points.

    This is where BOUNDARIES come in. He may have been attracted to me, I thought he was very nice looking and very kind—but ding ding ding ding!!!—WEDDING BAND. You can be nice and kind and smile and be friendly to people, WITHOUT fucking them at some later date.

    My cheater used the whole “you never wanted to do the things I like to do”. I tried. But he had one hobby…absolutely obsessed about it, to the point it took over our every day lives–and I like to do a variety of things, not just one thing all the time. Would he go with me to do my things? Nope. “It’s as if I handed you a list of things that I HATE TO DO, and you do them!!” he said.

    What is it that you like to do other than your one singular hobby? Nothing, he said. To the exclusion of even knowing anybody outside his hobby or even finding/accepting a job that might cut into his hobby time.

    I learned HIS hobby, but he never learned MINE—so does that mean I should have been fucking everyone at work?

    Gah. I hate cheaters.

    • Oh and the author’s problem with the blowing her off thing. The Constant Reassurance Test. You must pass that to be with any of these sociopathic narcisissts.

      You must have a constant and steady supply of reassurances about every single thing. You can never, ever let up with that–because that is the perfect excuse to fuck around.

      YOU DIDN’T TELL ME THAT YOU LOVE ME EVERY SINGLE TIME I SAID IT TO YOU. Ergo, that means you clearly don’t mean it.

      Cheater would ask me the same thing a billion different ways. Do you like the way that I do this? Ok. What exactly do you like about it? Ok. If I do it THIS way instead of THAT way, would you laugh at me? Ok. What if I did it with my old jeans on and a ratty shirt, would it still be okay? Ok. What if I shaved my beard and only had a soul patch and didn’t eat breakfast, would it still be okay? Ok.

      Every day. On and on. Even toddlers aren’t this relentlessly insecure. It was absolutely fucking exhausting. I finally started staying at work more and more in order to avoid the childishness of it all.

      Well, THAT was just the perfect thing. YOU DON’T SPEND ALL YOUR FREE TIME REASSURING ME. Ergo,
      I get to cheat.


    • SphinxMoth, my cheater ex said nearly the same thing to me on d-day #1 (I never did “fun” things he wanted to do). The idiot only had one hobby too: playing pool for a good 6-8 hours every Friday night and getting drunk. I spent a lot of Friday nights trying to be interested in pool and finally fell into the habit of just being his designated driver Friday nights…..nevermind if I needed sleep, or wanted to get up early to do things I like/needed to get done (farmer’s market, graduate school work, gardening, exercise). And did he ever do things I liked to do? Well, ONCE he came to the farmer’s market with me and acted like a wet blanket the whole time. In some ways, wish I could bill him taxi fees for all the nights I was his designated driver so he could get drunk and no doubt flirt/have sex with bar sluts.

  • Cheating, especially repeated and long term cheating, is a deliberate and calculated decision. It is not a mistake and never just happens. It takes careful planning and requires sustained effort. To live a double life is hard work…all that manipulation and mindfuckery, alibis and excuses, covering up and pretending, telling barefaced lies and half truths and remembering the script, thinking on ones feet in the event of a slip up, multilple deceptions, omissions and distortions. Keeping secrets is hard work…there is always someone who knows or suspects, all that watching and waiting, forward planning and being careful. Bluffing when the story goes wrong or the inconvenient truth gets in the way. Making plans that can be innocently scuppered by a childs illness, a spouses change of work schedule, anunnnanounced visit, a domestic emergency, a sick dog.
    All this and more to keep another person in the dark about what is happening in their own life…kids too, extended family, friends and colleagues. For weeks, months and even years…think about it.
    This sort of lifestyle is about control and arrogance and shows a strong contempt for the unwary and trusting suckers who are being fed this shit and played for fools. In an old black and white film about the sinking of the Titanic I remember the silly women worrying about dressing for dinner and whether or not their bridge game will be able to go ahead….the men know that the ship is sinking but pretend otherwise. Our ships were sinking too.
    I do not care whether or not the chump nagged, wore red sweatpants, never gave blowjobs, laughed too loud and rolled her eyes on occasion. They still have the right to make an informed decision about their own life.
    If a relationship has run its course then so be it. If you no longer love, desire, or even like the person you married then that is sad. If you want to make a new life with another then the law allows it. Anything else is cowardice…and cake.

    • Mary ,
      Well said, I would love to print this ( I won’t) and send it to the STBX and his support crew.
      Thank you for sharing.
      Hugs to you.

    • Totally agree. The original article is utter garbage – a cheater’s attempt to save face and turn herself into some sort of “hero” by graciously handing us all some lessons from the brink. Fuck all of them.

  • Mary …please write that up in contract form…Cause I will present it to the next ( If ever) person in my life….I will say …”this is my deal breaker if you think you can hang…sign on the botton line . Otherwise move along and thanks for being honest.”
    Better yet….let it be known as the chump credo….

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