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Dear Chump Lady, Do I believe him or the proof?

assunicornDear Chump Lady,

Four years ago I found out my husband was interacting with women online from a sex website. He was active on the website for 3 years before I found out. He swore to me none of the women meant anything to him and it was all merely sexual.

We went to couples counseling and began to rebuild my trust in him and our marriage, or so I thought. Recently I was given copies of messages between a woman from that site and the pseudonym my husband used at the site. The messages were sexual and personal, not to mention emotionally intimate. It was not simply sexual gratification.

From what I can tell the online affair lasted for 2-3 years (possibly longer). That means my husband lied to me for all those years I thought we were rebuilding, (he also lied during counseling and to the counselor), and to this day he will not admit he knows her and he sent the messages. He claims he has no idea how his name got on the messages, but he did not send them. My trust in him is gone. I feel as though I am losing my mind. Who do I believe? The biggest pain for me is the fact he will not be honest with me. Don’t get me wrong, I despise him being on sex sites, and knowing he formed a bond with another woman is gut-wrenching, but seeing the truth on paper and him continuing to lie is the worst.

We have a young child. If not for my child I would be gone already. My questions for you are — do I believe the papers in front of me or his adamant denials of not knowing this woman? Do I stay in the marriage for my child, so she will not come from a broken home, or do I give her the best life I can as a single mom? Is an online affair enough of a reason to bag a marriage and start anew with myself and my child?

Betrayed Online

Dear Betrayed,

Where to begin? Let’s start with the “broken home” nonsense. Your child already lives in a broken home. You’re married to a man you cannot trust, who lies to your face, and continues to cheat on you after discovery. What do you call that? Wholesome? Happy? Healthy? You think Norman Rockwell is painting that shit?

Quit with the single mother shame. Single mothers rock. Of course it’s hard work, but it’s a hell of a lot easier than staying married to a gaslighting, cheating fuckwit who doesn’t respect you.

Next question — do you believe the proof in front of you, or his “adamant denials”? That’s the Richard Pryor joke on being walked in on while he was cheating with another woman. To his wife: “Who are you going to believe? Me, or your lying eyes?”

Trust your eyes. If you believe him, it’s going to take a ton of spackle to convince yourself that some guy using his identical handle just happened to communicate with a woman on a sex site he admits to being on for three years. Hell of a coincidence! Whoever this strange woman is, she’s determined to invent entire YEARS of communication. The nerve of her! What a hobby she has, incriminating total strangers.

Betrayed, you believe the proof. Even if you don’t want to believe it. I’m sorry the fictitious alternate reality was nicer — he was busted, got clean, and kept his promise to never do that again. That’s not the truth — he DID do it again. (And again and again…) Despite knowing how much it hurt you and how much it destroyed your trust in him. He put his desire for sexual gratification with strangers over your marriage.

His actions are sending you a clear message — learn to tolerate his online affairs, or divorce him.

You want to be a unicorn and reconcile? He’s given you nothing to work with. You went to counseling. That was his price of admission for cake. He continued to lie to you and hook up online and he continues to lie to your face about it.

Oh, but it’s “just” an online affair.

Is an online affair enough of a reason to bag a marriage…?

Let’s unpack that.

First off, it’s a sex site. Call me crazy, but people who meet on sex sites probably want to have actual in real life SEX. Sure, they can jerk off on camera, or send each other racy notes and sexts. But chances are after years of this, your husband has met some of these strangers. Get an STD test today, okay?

Sex sites are run for profit. They are not benevolent societies for the hard up and horny. They make money. “Monica is nearby and ready for adventure!” Enter your zipcode here! People pay the membership dues not to have pen-pal chats with new friends, but to have sex. To meet hookers or affair partners or both.

Even if it’s just, shall we say, interactive pornography that ends with a sticky keyboard, he’s lying to you about it. He’s having fantasy relationships with these women, emotional relationships — that’s time and attention (and money) that he’s taking from your marriage. You are either okay with that, or you’re not.

I’m going to assume you are NOT okay with it, because he’s hiding it from you. He knows that if he gave you the actual truth about what he does, you wouldn’t stick around. Now people like Dan Savage might argue that a few lies won’t hurt you, be monogam-ish, and look the other way. Let me ask you — do you trust him to protect your health? Your finances? Are you okay with a wink, wink, nudge, nudge I’m not going to guess what you’re doing right now, carry on! kind of marriage?

Some people are. I’m not one of them, FWIW, and you asked my advice. I think you deserve a full partner who respects you and your health. I think people who live double lives are creepy and disordered, and feel shivers of delight getting over on chumps. The most generous interpretation I can give for your husband’s behavior is “addiction” (if you believe in sex addicts…) — that’s he’s helpless and broken and needs 12-step to not whore around. Addicts lie. Addicts like substances and objects over real people because they don’t have needs or make real demands on them. Addicts are escapists.

I don’t recommend a marriage with either the disordered or the addicted. You’re already alone. Start living in the truth.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Betrayed…. If you have to ask the question… Then you already know the answer. One thing I learned fairly early on is that they( the POS Cheaters) will continue to live in your house playing the part of the devoted spouse…. UNTIL…. Until you start asking questions… Until you call them on their BS… Until you blow their cover. I say let him sit at the computer wacking the chicken… You now have time to make a plan to exit this farce of a marriage. While he is screwing the pooch aka Dog Fucker( my name for people with closet sex habits) he will be way too absorbed in habit to realize you are off meeting a lawyer and copying all the bank records. Now is the time for your academy performance… You carry on as chumpy little self… Get your crap together and get out.
    It will be one of the most painful things you will ever have to do… Let go of the image in your head of the perfect family… Let go. Read these words on this blog and learn what you must do to set your self free from your dry humping weasel of a spouse.

    • Betrayed Online: TheClip is 100% correct. I will also add that your child is likely to be BETTER off without a sociopath father in the house. I had terrible trouble with my youngest daughter’s behavior for years; I threw crapweasel out of the house after discovering his infidelity, and voila–my daughter is now better behaved, and a reasonable early-teenager (okay, 85% of the time).

      • Tempest said: “I will also add that your child is likely to be BETTER off without a sociopath father in the house.”

        She’s right. I stayed with the freak for 25 years. My two older children are a mess, the middle one is probably a narcissist herself, and the two younger ones are scarred, but not damaged the way the older ones are.

        Leave now. The marriage is broken. Ending it merely acknowledges the truth.

      • I worried about the whole “single mother thing” until I realized I had been a single mother my entire marriage. Just because there is a warm lump on your couch doesn’t mean that he is a fabulous dad. Seems to me that your spouse has been way to busy to concern himself with receiving the “Dad of the Year” award. Plus you don’t want your daughter married to someone like him one day do you?

        • Stayin, you are so right! Me too when it comes down to it though I’m sure my XH would be all put out by my saying that. Goes with the entitlement – I am entitled to be a Father when I feel like it and when it (or the kids) reflect well on me…..

    • DOGFUCKER!!! LOL!! Clip, I actually found, in one of my crazy, marriage police, I’m gonna figure out exactly what you’re up to days, a pic of a woman doing a dog!! Ewwwwwe!!!!!! I was horrified. Of course the disordered fuck told me those kind of images pop up by “accident”. And he was not into THAT kind of thing. Yeah. Ok. Riiiight. These guys are so disordered. I agree with Tracy. Those who live double lives are creepy. I can’t get shut of this fucktard fast enough. Of course he is stalling the divorce, going through lawyers and getting continuences. I feel TRAPPED.

      Betrayed. RUN. I mean it. He has shown you who he is. Believe him. I wasted 8 years trying to fix this. You can’t and he won’t. Guaranteed. LINE up your ducks. Save and document ALL of the texts, emails and web site stuff you have. Protect it because he will try to erase it or get rid of it. Ask me how I know. 🙂 Then hire a pit bull lawyer. This guy is just like all other cheating, sex addicted, phony, lying sons a bitches. They all are so similar it’s almost funny. We chumps got their number for sure. Read on this site. You’ll see the same story over and over. Fucktards gotta be a fucktard. Good luck and move quickly. Time is of the essence.

      • In my marriage police days I found incest porn! My CH left me twice years ago to live with his sister. I have no clue what this really means. He swears it is nothing. But what normal person looks at that?

          • The first time I caught my ex looking at porn : 1) I was 8 months pregnant with our first 2) he was watching a guy f—ing a women with no limbs… so sick.

            • First time I caught mine, I was 9 days shy of having our 3rd child. Middle of the night, I was hot, went to turn the heater down. I still don’t know what prompted me to look in the computer room. But I did. Lesbian porn, shorts pulled down. Gross. If someone had hit me with a bat it would have been less painful. That’s how this road through hell started for me.

        • I would consider myself a fairly progressive person, but I don’t even want to mention what kind of porn I found when I finally got into my ex’s downloads and browsing history. All I can say is that it scared me enough to be completely moved out within a couple of weeks.

          I think the common wisdom is that “all guys do it.” Thanks to the fine men at CN, I’ve learned that this is a load of crap.

          • I discovered my husband erases the browsing history or uses private browsers. Also he periodically clears history and clears cookies. Is there a way to find downloads and history that have been erased? Also I think there are secret skype accts too. I am looking for the hard proof of money spent and of the chat room/ hookup sites/webcam hooker sites.

            • Yes WillowChump. There is a free program (at least it was 6 years ago). It’s called “recover my files”. It will recover hard drive data. They can delete history all they want. It’s STILL on the hard drive. I will warn you however. If you find child porn or illegal porn, you will have to contact the police. I recovered 16,000 pictures and videos but stopped there because it made me so sick. It was enough for me to know who exactly who he is.
              Also do not tell him you’ve recovered the files. Download all of it into a thumb drive. Mine took all the hard drives and destroyed them. I had no idea he had done that. By then it was too late. Save it all as ammunition.

    • Yes, yes, yes. Please play the chummy role and get organized secretly. DO NOT TIP YOUR HAND. Research online, find a good lawyer, know your rights, stash cash and your valuables. He is not going to change I promise you. Trust he sucks. If not for you, for your daughter. She deserves better (I come form a divorced home with a weak Mum who stayed….and it taught me all the wrong things). Those things have stayed with me until I finally saw a therapist who said my crappy marriage was in part due to the terribly low expectations I learned form my parents. Please, please, give your daughter a kick ass role model.

      Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will get there. I am doing that right now. It bloody hurts, but it’s finite as CL tells us. Birthing pains to a new life. Once you get your head around that, you can push through it. Don’t let him waste anymore of your time. DO not waste another thought on him. You are amazing and you are what matters. You get strong for your daughter and you now. And chump nation is here and has your back.

  • Everything Chump Lady said is right on! It’s amazing how similar cheaters are. They only admit to what they get caught red handed doing, but they will still try to get out of it even then.

    As far as your kids, I get it! Mine were 3, 2 and at my clear STD test I found out I was pregnant. I spent a few months with him on the couch, claiming sex addiction. He went to counseling, I did….and all the while he was banging 5 other woman. I made him leave. It was scary. Single mom of 3 small kids?!? My kids will come from a broken home! Well, 2 1/2 years later, after therapy all around, my kids are doing great. It’s been tough since their dad moved to another state when the baby was 3 weeks old. But they are happy kids. I have a fellow chump boyfriend now. He’s amazing! One day we are driving along & my 4 year old goes “who am I going to marry?!?” My 5 year old goes “my mom & dad use to be married. They fought all the time! You guys never fight.” He was 3 when his dad left. Those last few months after D Day were me trying to hide the fighting & my crying. But a 3 year old knew that was not a good situation.

    One day my kids will figure out why we divorced. I can only hope I give them the example that you don’t put up with this shit. Life throws crap at you, but you can choose to have a happy life.

    After I left him, I had many people who found out come up to me. Either woman who stayed and said their biggest regret in life was not leaving because their lives were awful, or the children of these people who have said they had so much sadness and loss of respect for their parent who wouldn’t leave. I will never regret leaving, even when my kids do say they wish we were still married. It happens a little. But we all are a thousand times better off!

    Hugs!

    • Exactly Tallula! My biggest regret is not dumping his ass ASAP and listening to his half truths, lies, outright denials for another 3 years after the Dday, then to find out later that the mother fucker was still cheating on me those 3 years as well, while crying to me with real tears, telling me how much he loves me. Cheaters only love themselves and don’t change.

      Betrayed Online, dump him ASAP because this guy is a lying, cheating, nasty sack of shit! Cover your ears to what he says and listen to his actions and his actions will tell you all you want to know. What you know is probably tip of the iceburg, you only know 5% and the rest 95% is hidden. He is gaslighting you, he is just like my POS ex! Don’t believe a word he says, Tracy’s advice is right on as ALWAYS! If you don’t dump him, I can assure you, you will waste more precious years and you will regret it and more Ddays will follow!! DUMP HIM!!

      • Hear hear. Don’t be fooled by real tears…..they are crying for themselves because they got caught and can;t continue there selfish dual life. Mine did, and he fooled me once….then I wised up. Selfish sacks of shit – all of them. (and remember anger is a good tool as it propels you forward, don’t get bitter just get better 🙂

        • My ex cried real tears. Didn’t want a divorce.

          It’s all BS so they can keep the nibbles coming. Plug your ears, what the actions while you are running hit the door!

  • Betrayed Online, believe the evidence. Your husband is a liar. A big one. So is mine. My stbx has a porn addiction, has physical affairs, and enjoys phone sex. He has withheld all sex and intimacy from me for over a decade. We did marriage counseling and he still kept at all his destructive behaviors and actions. My Stbx also acted like he didn’t want a divorce.
    Online affairs are affairs. It’s all cheating. It’s all adultery.
    My stbx signed up with a porn site where you can hook up with others. This porn site let people upload their own homemade porn and everyone could exchange their personal info and meet up if they wanted to. A great time for all!!
    It’s gutwrenching to find out about this, but your husband is going to keep lying to you. My stbx denied evidence and lied to my face when confronted.
    Honestly, you would be better off without him.

    • ‘ My Stbx also acted like he didn’t want a divorce.’ They act like they don’t want a divorce, because they DON’T want a divorce. They want you to continue to be their spouse and provide comfort and a good image to them, while they continue to do … whatever it is they feel like. And they’ll lie and cry as much as necessary to keep their ‘have my cake and eat it too’ lifestyle.

      • ^This is sooo true.

        I would still be married if I hadn’t left. XH was perfectly content to let me be his social planner, medical appointment arranger, cook, cleaner, household maintainer, payer of bills, buyer and supplier of cash for vacations and techy doodads. And of course, play the role of “the wife” for respectability.

        That’s why they get mean when you want a divorce because you are ruining their good time.

        • My stbx is refusing to leave & claims that he doesn’t want the divorce either. Of course he is doing it to keep up the image and cake. He comes and goes and acts likes everything is ok & frankly I don’t care anymore. It’s better for me & the boy when he is gone alot. In the meantime, I am continuing my stealth divorce planning & will petition the court to sell our house. I think stbx should get the message then & he will have to get out!

          • Mine did the same thing …. for three months he just went right along with his EA and rubbed my nose in it…. I moved out of our bedroom and he just went right along pretending as if nothing were going on whatsoever. Fuckwit! He has been gone 3 months now and he pretends as if nothing ever happened. And he acts like I’m the CRAZY one??

    • Same here Supreme Chump. When I told him all porn was fantasy and the women are airbrushed or photo shopped, he told me with great indignation that the site the site he frequented was married men making porn with their wives. That it was raw untouched photography and that these women were fucking beautiful. He said it with such a weird gleam in his eye. I had to walk away or I was going to punch him in the throat.

      • Irish-when I confronted stbx about the porn & told him it wasn’t real & it was just fantasy, lights, mirrors, make-up, etc-He exploded & screamed in my face that IT IS REAL TO HIM!! It was really creepy/scary……he actually believes what he is saying that it is his reality.

        I got the point loud & clear-He is beyond ANY type of help. He wants to live the fantasy & who am I to begrudge him that? Disordered crapweasel!!

        He can have “the fantasy reality” all to himself for the rest of his life without me & our son.
        Me & the little guy are outta dodge as soon as I can wing it!!

        • You go Current Chump !!! Get the hell out. They never and I mean never change. I went through 6years of not know in and 8 years after #1 of many many DDays. His lying just got better. But I got better at spotting it. Oh the crying and boo hooing he could do after I confronted him. At first I was so sorry for his pain. It was pain alright. Pain for getting caught and the kibble reduction. He would spend 4 hours in the middle of the night when we were woodworking to find that perfect image to whack off to. By the end, he could not function with me at all. Of course I blamed myself and tried to help. What a chump. 🙁

            • I hear ya Irish-
              I wasted 18 years with the closet porn/hooker addicted stbx. Had been shut of out of love, affection, sex for years. He could barely function with me. Of course, like a true chump, I thought it was me. He would tell me that he wasn’t 18 anymore, he was tired, Cialis or Viagra give you a boner, but it doesn’t make you want to have sex. He had every excuse in the book. Every once in a while I would find random porn DVDs in the house or car & we would get into HUGE fights…..the DVD’s would disappear, he would try to be with me for a while to smooth things over and then back to penis-rations. I can’t tell you how many cycles of this we went through. Then, the iphone came into the picture 3 years ago. iPorn, hookups, and webcams unlimited for free at his fingertips. Craigslist & massage parlors followed. He was draining all of our data on our phone plan every month. He ended up increasing it to cover his needs. I can tell by the data stream on the bills for his phone that he is watching this crap first thing almost every morning before he gets in the shower (so he can do his thing in the shower) during the day at work & at night when I am sleeping or he has some phony “errand” to run. Before he learned to clear his browser history, I couldn’t believe the amount of time he was spending EVERY SINGLE DAY, multiple times a day on this crap. It is truly pathetic. I know he has a 2nd burner phone & god knows what is on his work computer. His boss is a scumbag too so I know he wouldn’t care. I already told him that I know his office has his whole other life set up there so he needs to go live it. And yet, he refuses.

              Before I busted him at the Asian hooker palace, I knew something was very wrong in our marriage but I had no tangible proof. On that fateful day-I parked behind his car (which was right in front of the ho-tel), waited, & watched him walk out of that place with my own two eyes. He will never be able to take that away from me. I walked into that place when he drove off & saw that he signed his real name on the ledger…..and the barely legal, half-naked asian girl who walked out & asked if I needed help-I SAW HER-I WAS THERE-IT WAS REAL. He can never deny that or take that away from me. The bottom line is that I SAW THE TRUTH-THIS IS WHO HE IS & he will never be able to change that or who he is.

              Everything I found after that day just further supported what a screwed-up crapweasel he really is. I only wish I would have been employed at that time & had somewhere for me & the baby to go because he won’t leave. I’m sure someday he will get busted by the police at some massage parlor raid or get busted by how to catch a predator because of his young girl preferences.

              In the meantime, I am giving an academy award winning performance as a chump wife until the last duck is in a row. I am close and can’t wait for the day. He wanders around in his narcissistic glory thinking that he is so sparkly awesome & has me fooled.

        • “When I confronted stbx about the porn & told him it wasn’t real & it was just fantasy, lights, mirrors, make-up, etc-He exploded & screamed in my face that IT IS REAL TO HIM!! It was really creepy/scary……he actually believes what he is saying that it is his reality.”

          That’s just it, isn’t it? For my ex, his online life (and fantasy affair with EA/PA Schmoopie) was more real than I was, or anything we had built together. There’s not a single thing you can do to fix that other than leave. Wishing you and your son the best!

        • My porn junkie said the same shit – what he watches is not regular porn with actors and exploitation by Big Porn. Oh, no, it’s Real Homemade Erotica with People Who Really Enjoy It and Enjoy Sharing It with Others. It’s not fantasy, it’s not exploitation, it’s not airbrushed, it’s not for money, it’s not scripted, it’s not gross, it’s not perverse. It’s the All Natural Real Thing! Oh, so vanilla! Perfectly normal to deprive your wife of intimacy and sex for over a decade, while gaslighting, destroying her self-esteem, and lying to the marriage counselor about the nature of the problem so that you can pull your own pork as a closet voyeur.

          And as another poster said above, they get so nasty when you blow the whistle, set boundaries or expose what’s behind the mask. Your broken heart needs to see remorse and amends from the person you trusted most in the world, but what you get instead is escalating abuse.

          DISORDERED DELUSIONAL ESCAPISTS WITH NO CONSCIENCE OR EMPATHY.

          I also got real tears, first I’d ever seen in 20 years. Desperate pleading, suffering, etc. IT IS NOT REMORSE. They are not suffering from regret. They are suffering from their own pain of having to face consequences.

          You can wait around until you have the ‘perfect’ amount of incontrovertible evidence, or you can read the writing on the wall and learn from others, save yourself a little heartache. Stealth prep and then cut and run. It is a horrible thing for a good person to have to do but if you don’t, you will pay.

          And he will still see himself as the victim in the situation, and therefore all the more entitled to self-medicate and blameshift at your expense.

      • That gleem in their eye and excitement they display when they ‘share’ their perversion is so fucking sick. The mask is off and they expose the creature that has been there all the time. When they display this openly it’ helps us understand just how much they enjoyed inflicting their sadistical torture.

        • Mine was ASHAMED of his porn addiction… I didn’t realize it at the time… but when i found his DVD’s and confiscated them he went underground. No more DVD’s. He added the internet to his phone plan (unlimited everything) and he would NEVER have allowed himself to get caught anywhere in the house looking at it or otherwise. Once I found the secret forum on Craig’s List and threw that in his face he put a lock on his Ipad. Shitbag.

  • ‘If not for my child I would be gone already’.

    BECAUSE of your child you should be gone already-not sure what age yours is, but anyone who thinks their dick is more important than their kid is an atrocious parent. I speak from bitter experience. It is your choice- model the tolerance of abuse, and pass it on, or step ip and be the sane parent your kiddo needs. I did the pick me dance, and the cake walk and the only one to benefit was Mr Fab’s ego. No contact was the only way.

    Good luck, Betrayed. Chump Nation has your back.

    love to all,
    x-Meh

    • I agree with Mephista completely – leave BECAUSE of your child. My experience growing up in a home with two married parents in an unhappy marriage (alcoholic father) taught me nothing except how to spackle. Your child doesn’t need that lesson – trust me! Even if you think your husband’s activities are hidden from your child they will find out and, possibly, grow up believing that his behavior is OK. They will sense the distance between you and your husband and grow up believing it is normal. When I found myself, years later, married to a disordered asshole I was an expert spackler. I ignored all of the red flags and believed all of his lies for years; I didn’t know any better.

  • If you really want to go above and beyond to explore whether there’e anything to save here, I’d ask your husband to take a polygraph. They’re not flawless, but I’ve used them in my profession and found them remarkably accurate with a good operator and a narrow line of questioning (e.g., “Have you had sexual intercourse with anyone other than your wife during your marriage?” “Have you had oral sex with anyone other than your wife during your marriage?” Etc.) A thorough pre-test interview is the key.

    If you husband balks IN ANY WAY at the idea of doing this, you have your answer. Any hope of reconciliation would depend on him being fully committed to protecting you, which includes doing ANYTHING in his power to limit the emotional trauma he’s caused you. He resists? Then he’s protecting himself at your expense. And that’s simply not spouse material.

    I’d estimate that there’s a 2/3 chance he’ll refuse the test or invent barriers to taking it. If he takes it, I’d estimate there’s a 2/3 chance he fails. As CL says, grown people don’t carry on intimate sexual relationships for YEARS without eventually having sex. As in, IRL, face-to-face (or however they arrange themselves) sex. If he takes it and passes? Then you have to decide whether intimate emotional betrayal and dishonesty are deal breakers. But I really don’t think you’re ever going to get to that question.

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. All of us have been there. It will get harder before it gets easier, but it will get easier. And you have better days ahead.

    • Unfortunately, polygraphs are often ineffective with psychopaths, as they don’t have any feelings of anxiety while lying. Plenty of convicted serial killers, for example, passed polygraphs with flying colors.

      In the absence of definitive proof, a polygraph would be helpful for her peace of mind… but she already has definitive proof but her husband continues to lie. If he took the test and failed, he would likely be dismissive of the test and continue lying… and she is right back where she is now, except short a few hundred dollars.

      Betrayed Online, your choice isn’t whether to believe him or not believe him. Your choice is whether you can continue to live a healthy and happy life, and be the best parent you can be, while being married to someone you can’t trust.

      • Fair points all, but I wouldn’t consider “peace of mind” a trivial thing. If asking your cheater to take a polygraph gets you information you need to move forward (at little or–since they’re likely to refuse–no cost whatsoever), its invaluable.

        • I suspect what is most valuable about asking the spouse to take a polygraph is their *response* the request. As Nomar pointed out earlier, a refusal to do so tells you more than the polygraph itself might.

          • Absolutely. I think we can all agree (all of us here “on the other side”) that any marriage in which you have to hook your spouse up to a bunch of electrodes to measure their vital signs for clues that they’re lying is no marriage at all.

          • I asked the asswipe to take that test, he agreed and the same day he was online, secretly searching for how to pass a poly test for sure, even when you are lying, when confronted;

            Him: I am not good at taking tests, so I was just trying to make sure I would pass the test.

            Me : if you are telling the truth and will be telling the truth, when you take the test you have nothing to worry about it.

            Me : If you are telling me the truth like you say, sign a document that says, “if I fail the lie test, I will owe Nicolette $10,000.00”

            Him: Fuck that!! I don’t have that kind of money!!

            Enough said!!!!

          • Yeah. I agree. Its the reaction to demanding the polygraph thats the real answer, rather than the polygraph itself. Any denial or trying to weasel out of it = he has something to hide, and therefore its bye bye.

        • Yep Nomar the duck and weave after asking for a poly is an answer in itself. When I asked my stbx to take a poly, he said “to what end? I have failed every polygraph I’ve ever taken for the department. (he was a sheriff’s deputy) I asked how he got his job if he failed the poly. He said they were “inconclusive”. Whatever that means.

          • I asked stbx if he had been receptive during his pre-employment polys with the Sheriff’s department and he said yes. ‘Nuff said.

          • When you are facing “lie and deny and gaslight” as a response, the request shifts the ground to “I don’t believe you. You have no credibility.” The polygraph request calls the cheater bluff. I can see why a spouse who has been to that point faithful and blameless would be outraged at a request for a polygraph. But getting caught cheating is like getting caught in any lie–the cheater can’t expect to be believed, especially in the face of proof to the contrary.

        • If asked to take a polygraph test, I’m positive that Betrayed is the kind of guy who would say “Of course I have nothing to hide!” and if he failed, say the test was wrong (“You see why polygraphs aren’t admissable in court?!”). He’s already lied in face of 3 years of damning evidence.

          Betrayed has all the proof she needs that her husband is a cheater. She needs to trust and believe in herself in order to get over her current paralysis… not provide her husband with more opportunities to try to manipulate her reality.

    • I’ve heard about people asking their spouse to take a polygraph and I have to say that if you’re at the point where this is a consideration then just leave. It’s absurd that anyone would feel they have to give a lie detector test to the person they’re supposed to trust most in the world. Fuck it. Get out and forget the whole mess. Don’t stoop to the level of this sort of nonsense.

      • This is, of course, the logical course of action – but us as expert chumps wants to be ‘sure’ before taking action, we’re afraid of maybe perhaps being wrong – and that can manifest itself as that temporary insanity stage.
        That being said, I 100% agree.

  • Betrayed Online,
    The proof is in the pudding, as they say. He lied, he continues to lie. Accept that, and move on. My exH FINALLY admitted to a suspected affair towards the end of our marriage. It had occurred 13 yrs before! I had confronted without evidence, etc., but he lied, etc. When he finally copped to that phyiscal affair, “it was only one time.” Yea, right. Even when there was no reason to lie, he still was.

    There is no such thing as a broken family. I still remember my college cultural anthropology class. Some cultures have polyandry (one wife, multiple husbands), some do not have marriage– kids raised with the mothers extended family, all in the same household.

    Everyone here knows it is tough. You can do this, and be the best parent ever for your child.

  • I was also a chump who wanted to “stick it out” for the sake of the children. Let me tell you from experience that it RUINS children’s sense of what a healthy marriage and healthy relationship looks like. If I could rewind, I would have called it quits in 2000 when it became clear I was married to someone who hated me. Maybe then, my kids would have had a shot at growing up in a home that didn’t always have that tentative cease fire feel to it. My kids and I always waited for dear old dad to explode. He was always on the verge.

    My son said it best yesterday as I was driving him to school. We were talking about how I was trying to get a third job so I could make ends meet. “Dad doesn’t get jobs, Mom. He just gets people to do things for him instead.” This is the same son who so articulately described his father’s relationship with his sons: “Dad only cares about us if we care about him first.”

    P.S. I have a love-hate relationship with Norman Rockwell’s art. On the one hand, it’s a lovely slice of American fantasy life. On the other, how many families felt inadequate because we could never measure up to the bliss shown in the portraits?

    • C&L, I agree w/ you about Rockwell. For the most part — it can be awfully sappy and sweet. But he hit the mark now and then as he did with “The Problem We All Live With.”

      xox

    • Chutes, the kids DO get it. About 6 months after separation, the ex was calling and texting the kids more than usual. I said ‘your dad must be missing you.’ To which my son (12 ys old at the time) replied ‘yeah, he misses us when HE’s lonely’. My kids also say their father’s love is a half love; he loves the receiving, but not the giving.

      I too wish I had left earlier, by 3 or 4 years at least. I was worried about how much custody he’d ask for (default here is 50% of time with each parent), and still had that chumpy hope that he would ‘get it’ and we could have a reasonably happy intact family to raise our kids in. The kids are in SO MUCH better shape since the separation, and guess what? He only ever asked for 15% of their time, and dropped most of that within a few months anyway.

      • Chutes and KarenE – your kids are perceptive. After my ex and I separated, I found out my kids are too, more than I realized. When my ex would come back from month-long trips, he would walk in the door and ask them….”did you miss me?” – never telling them he missed them (because he didn’t!).

      • Thank you for that link…never had any idea about Norman Rockwell’s life – imagined it was imbued with wholesome Americana.

  • You leave and give you and your daughter the best authentic life. If you stay, it will be your slow emotional death and the unhealthiest environment for any child.

    By staying you permit your Cheater to live behind a facade of normalcy which you are unwittingly endorsing. Cut that shit out.

  • Betrayed, you have all the proof you need to take steps to get out. You don’t have to hire a private investigator or follow him. You already know….and it’s gut-wrenching. I remember the anger I had at my STBXH about his decisions to lie and cheat and disrespect me. And I was LIVID that he was making our son a child of divorce. Six months out…we are both doing ok. I am better than I was with him. Strange to realize that. I have peace and free time. I am not knocking myself out make my life work….and it’s still working. Huh. That’s nice. It’s hard i the beginning. Big changes always are. But this will pay off in long run. See the proof in front of you and believe it. Believe NOTHING he says to you. He’s a lying cheating asshole.

  • I agree with Mehphista, your child is the reason you should leave, not the reason you stay. Show your child what a healthy relationship is like, a healthy person. Also, if you decide to stay, be warned, he’s just waiting for the “perfect hook” before he takes the leap and leaves you. Some person on the other side of that computer will say “exactly what he wants to hear” eventually for him to take the leap – and then you’ll feel worse. Take the bull by the horns, not blindly but by deliberately making a plan.

    I don’t say any of this to be cruel. Quite the opposite, I say this from experience.
    Best to you.

      • Sure thing. That is what happened to me. Took him back years ago after long term affair, many lies and painful years later he done exactly the same thing again except in a bigger, sneakier and less guilty way.

        • Mine did too, he left me for internet EA from Thailand who couldn’t even speak English, I got the BD just two weeks after he had found her. Worst was later finding out that he had many other EAs and had been looking for his soulmate almost half our marriage. Truth is she was just the one that finally met his match, she’s a gold digger but all she really got was fool’s gold.

  • No kidding!! Four+ years ago I threw a temper tantrum for my STBX not only buying his teenage daughter yet ANOTHER new phone (every year for 6 years in a row & said NOT another one) but ADDING the internet to a cell plan he already couldn’t afford. NOW I know WHY!! Because HE wanted access to the internet without all of those DISGUSTING pop ups showing up on our computer…. once his oldest son moved out…. he couldn’t BLAME it on him. I never KNEW that “Craig’s List” has SECRET forums??? Ya just GOTTA love it when these idiots are not so computer savvy…. HELLO McFLY!!! CLEAR the HISTORY & COOKIES!!! I also never knew how disgusting some people are…. I actually browsed the “seeking” sections out of curiosity….. what a bunch of TRULY SICK F*CKS they are. Unfathomable!!! Some of those PIGS actually post pics of their parts… seriously wtf??? I find myself wondering, and can’t begin to imagine…. WHAT had he been doing ALL of these years when I wasn’t policing??? I shudder to think!!

    I understand your pain Betrayed…. I’ve said the EXACT same thing about my situation “If it weren’t for my son I’d be gone already”. Everyone is right though…. our children deserve better. I KNOW my son deserves to see me treated better and he deserves to grow up in a better environment. I don’t know about you… but the selfishness of my STBX is SO obvious even in his parenting. CL is right, they are helpless and broken addicts…. they either don’t know or don’t care that they are broken and therefore can’t be helped. Mine even stated “I told you I needed help!” Well… yes… he did… but he also wouldn’t break “contact” with his AP and was an asshole in counseling and still blamed me for everything.

    You CAN do this… BE MIGHTY!! you are a grown ass woman, you are a Mother…. FIGHT the bullshit!!!

      • Yes ML it absolutely is….”REPULSIVE” isn’t even adequate. I didn’t really think I could be surprised much at this point…. WRONG!!

    • There’s a study that shows that AIDS rates go up by 14% in communities when they get a local Craigslist. Syphilis rates go up by 19%. So yeah, looking for anonymous sex online is a good way to catch an std. Anyone surprised to hear that?

    • I had no idea about Craig’s list either. I also used to shudder to think of what I don’t know. Now that he’s out and I’m waiting to finalize the divorce, I don’t even want to know. Hard to believe how much perversion is out there. OMG.

      • And there was the Craigslist murderer too. Killed women he hooked up with from there. I think Craigslist is the devil.

        • I used to only them Craigslist because they ‘sold’ puppy-mill puppies to anybody. I wanted to shut them down for that alone. Had no idea that’s where I could go for sex. NOT!

  • Hi Betrayed Online:

    I’m sorry that you’re now part of the club. All of us have experienced infidelity, either emotionally or physically.

    First, you need to know that cheaters cop only to what you know. You know about the sex site. He can admit that, but tell you that it’s “merely sexual,” as if that doesn’t matter. Sex DOES matter! Try telling the Chumps who contracted herpes, or–much worse–HPV types 16 or 18 (responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers). If your husband is telling you that affairs are okay because they’re “merely sexual,” he’s full of bullshit! Did you consent to take that risk? No! He unilaterally decided that your health was unimportant.

    Second, as most Chumps here can tell you, no emotional affair goes on for 2-3 years without there being some actual physical sex involved. If your husband has ever gone out of town on a business trip, or been to a conference, or even told you that he has to work late–yep, he can meet up with someone for sex.

    Third, staying married for the sake of the children isn’t good for your children at all. You are modeling a dysfunctional marriage. You want your children to recognize a good partnership so that they can find decent spouses when the time comes.

    So believe the evidence. You saw it. The OW has sent you the evidence. Your husband has lied to you and is lying to you now. I’m sorry, but he hopes that you’re stupid enough to believe him instead of the facts.

    See a lawyer, line up your ducks, and file.

    • Betrayed, you signed your letter accurately. He betrayed both you and your daughter, I stayed for my children because loving mom’s always want to put their children first. I was a young mother with no way of supporting myself and I loved him with all my heart. What I know now is that I never gave him consequences for his actions. Disordered men up the anti when we forgive and stay. This has been going on for three years and he agreed to go to counseling. They are masters of deception and their selfish love of themselves makes them feel entitled. You are accurate, nothing has changed. Their words never match actions. If there was a chump nation when I was younger I would have known that I should put MYSELF first. We are not selfish but sometimes we have to learn to be in order to rid ourselves of disordered individuals. It is degrading to put up with someone who does not respect his own wife. You deserve to be respected and cherished. The best thing I did was to get copies of every current bill, credit card number, bank account numbers, tax records, and savings. I gathered it and put it in my friend’s basement. It is important to get a current credit report also. The reason I say this is that the minute you file, his mask will come off and he will hide everything. The disordered will make promises they are unable to keep to protect their image. Mine wanted a divorce and waited three months to file in order to hide his assets.

    • I would add that all he needs is his lunch hour. My cheater took long lunches and once in a while took days off without telling me to spend the day with the slut. He would call me on his cell phone and tell me work was having trouble with the phones. Hindsight is 20/20. These jerks lie and lie and lie. They never admit to anything you don’t know.

  • Addicts always lie. My xh said it was only virtual, all online. Then I discovered a prostitute, he said it was only once. Then months later it became twice. Then months later it was 12 prostitutes over 5 years of our marriage. 4 years later I find out that it was years and years of prostitutes before we were even married. There is no end to the lying. I am out now, through utter hell to get a divorce but the other side is sooo much better for me and the kids. I have a whole life ahead of me and baby step by baby step I plan to make this half better. Leave and don’t look back.

    • How true Free. My XH said they were just friends, within our last argument I found out so much more. I wanted to believe the lie but couldn’t – the truth was smacking me in the face left and right. Turns out, he was just waiting for the right time (with this one), to make his dramatic exit.

      There is always more (not less) going on than what they’ll admit to.

    • My STBX, like Free’s XH, hooked up with prostitutes and multiples partners of all types before and during our marriage. He revealed information in trickle-truth style. By the time I found out about his sex with prostitutes and men (while single and married), I couldn’t truly care any more–I had been emotionally and financially decimated–and was almost legally decimated. I spent months after first D-Day feeling dead and trying to keep the family together. After first D-Day, life got much worse. Cheater become much more aggressive and started calling me names, trying to kick me out of our home, leaving without warning in the middle of the night, withdrawing financial support, and doing a myriad of other heinous things. I hope that these things don’t happen to you, but I think that stories like ours generally go this way–downhill. I should have spent the time between first D-Day and second D-Day preparing the kids and me for life after scary Cheater moved out. Like the rest of us chumps, you will not get the Disney Cinderella marriage, but you don’t have to wait until your married life becomes a classic Grimm’s fairy tale, which ends horrendously, as mine did. You can now write a new story. For some of us, writing that new story is not easy, but doing so is better than sticking with the doomed project.

      By the way, while living with STBX, for months, I had insomnia and nightmares about not being able to hold up my children when the tide came in (although I was a lifeguard), losing my children, and going into houses containing a monster to save people who had saved my kids and me). Now I dream that I am welcomed and supported by people who care about me.

      • Wow, rockstarwife…..

        Our dreams really do tell us a lot about what is going on in our life!
        Love that you shared that.
        I, too, had lots of terrifying nightmares & scary dreams. Mostly gone now that I am away from the ‘crazy’!

        ForgeOn……

        • I once had a very chilling dream…I was out somewhere with my ex and our children – they are grown up now but seemed to be of indeterminate age in the dream.
          We were outdoors in a large grassy park area with slopes and winding paths and there were lots of people around acting normal and having a good time.
          They walked too fast for me and I got separated from the group and left behind. I could not find them and was panicking but nobody seemed to notice my distress.
          I decided to phone one of them then realised that I had all the phones with me so no way to make contact. I was helpless and afraid and unable to get home.
          One of the phones rang and it was my ex. He said everything was fine and I was worked up about nothing and would frighten the kids by being upset when all was well. He said that he could see me in the distance and to stay right there – do not move – and he will come and get me. I could see him halfway up a hill but there were too many people in the way and he disappeared from view.
          He did not come and all the phones went dead. I woke up very sad with a huge sense of loss.

    • I literally could have written this. First it was just online, then it was only once, then it was only a few prostitutes, then it was lots of prostitutes…etc etc.

      The extent of it doesn’t even really matter. These people are literally sick and evil. It takes a long, long time to heal from this kind of abuse. Better get started on it ASAP so you can have the rest of your life back.

  • *”Quit with the single mother shame. Single mothers rock. Of course it’s hard work, but it’s a hell of a lot easier than staying married to a gaslighting, cheating fuckwit who doesn’t respect you.”*

    No truer words ever spoken. Ask my teenager.

    By the way, not for nothin’, but, if you *wanted* to go this far to *totally* bust him with this, if the person who sent you the communications is willing – I *think* you could get from that person, the unique computer ID code (forget what that is called at the moment) the communications came from (emails will have these codes in the Properties section I think). And I’m sure there is a way to get that code and look up the owner of the computer somehow. You might have to go to a PI, not sure.

    I know some people (I am one of them) need to have that nail-in-the-coffin so to speak. 😉

    • IP Address. That will trace back to your home computer or his work computer. Bust him – Betrayed – in the court of your heart (as someone on this site put it recently). You are asking because you don’t want to let go of who you thought he was. He is not. Get. out. now.

      • As CL said previously on another post…. He is showing you WHO he is. Believe Him. (We’ve all been there, it sucks, it’s hard)

  • One tactic I used was to tell my spouse, “I know. I know a lot more than I’ve told you I know. I wish you would have respected me enough to realize that.”

    This threw her off her game. Suddenly, she was the one who was in the dark. I had evidence that I *wasn’t* sharing with her. So, she wasn’t in control. She couldn’t respond to anything because nothing specific had been leveled. I kept my sources and my evidence to myself, and instead just told her I had more.

    So, she had to reply. She did some more trickle-truthing, admitting to more than she ever had before (although still nowhere near all of it). You’d be surprised what cheaters do when they think they have to engaged in damage control. It’s…comical…if it weren’t so pathetic.

    You could give that a shot, Betrayed. Although, really, I think you understand that if your relationship is at this point, there’s nothing worth saving. Only one of you is putting in any effort. The other is a gaslighting P.O.S., as all cheaters are.

    • Yep. Withholding information is always a good tactic. It’s so difficult putting yourself into their “mode”–it’s what they do to us, the withholding (a.k.a. lying by omission).

      I did that for awhile and still do on occasion–especially when XH is being a bully. He’ll be inches from my face, saying something obliquely threatening (they’re good at that too. veiled threats that you just can’t get anybody else to believe are actual threats)—and I’ll just smirk slightly and say, “Whatever. You have no idea who I talk to or who I know—and who THEY know and talk to.” This made him absolutely INSANE. Throwing things, red faced, storming out—he actually told me once, “YOU KNOW HOW THAT MAKES ME FEEL. You withhold information that I NEED!”

      Listen, Betrayed. This is all part and parcel of the Marriage Police and Pick Me Dance Routine. Please don’t get stuck in this–especially since you have a child with him.

      I’m from a broken home. Not one that my parents split up—one that my parents despised each other secretly. Do you HONESTLY think that this kid doesn’t know? Seriously? Have you MET the kids of today? They are computer savvy, so interconnected with their friends it’s obscene—and people talk. People gossip. Not only will she pick up that it’s okay to stay with someone who abuses you (and her)—she will hear all sorts of humiliating stories from her friends. Or online.

      The thing that scares me about the online stuff? That stuff is OUT THERE FOREVER. It’s on some server somewhere, all of the sex messages, the pictures, the forums—it is OUT THERE. Who has it? Do you know them? You trust them to keep it all under wraps? What if one of these sex hookups is truly crazy and comes after him—now you’ve got even more problems. YOU DON’T KNOW.

      Get away from him, Betrayed. Luck to you.

      • “You withhold information that I NEED!”

        As we say, SphinxMoth, they all play from the same handbook.

        8 months into my divorce process, when everything was file and we were just waiting on the court to stamp the forms, my ex-wife asked me which one of her friends had talked with me and told me what was going on.

        I told her that it didn’t matter. We were getting divorced.

        And so she replied, “Well, if it doesn’t matter, then why won’t you tell me?”

        I didn’t. That night, I realized that even after she’d destroyed her marriage, my ex-wife was still trying to control the narrative. She needed to control information, and by extension control her “friends” and “family.” I use those terms loosely, as I don’t think either should be controlled.

        Betrayed, they all play by the same rules. Do your best to believe your “lying eyes,” and move on.

    • JC, I did the same. I told him I had hired a PI for a few hours and that my information may not be complete and it may not be recent, but I know what he did and who he did it with and to quit insulting my intelligence by denying it. He never did admit it, but the fact that he stopped denying it was enough. Better still, it shut him up.

  • I am going to address this from a biological standpoint. He is who he is. He was born with a certain genetic makeup and then exposed to a childhood that combined to make him who he is. He could start attending church and confess his sins, he could go to counseling and “talk it all out”, he could promise you on his mother’s life but he would still be who he is. Psychologists do not like to label someone a sociopath or a narcissist before they are adults because it is a damnable diagnosis. What it means is that personality is set in concrete and will never change. You husband might clean up his act for a while but an argument with you, problems at work or even a suggestive tv ad and he will be right back at it. He is who he is.

    • Yes. My therapist said, by the time he is this age (in mid 50s) it’s really too late. If someone was perhaps in their 20s, and did “a lot of work” there might be a chance. But by the time they are the age of my Cheater, it is literally too late. There is no “cure” for NPD.

      • I’ll agree. I’m relatively younger than a lot of people here (mid 30s). But, I know that my personality and view of the world did not develop over 6 months, and it could not be changed in 6 months.

        Changing a person’s character takes years…or decades…if it can be done at all. Cheaters didn’t become that way over night. Yes, maybe they were born a**holes, but they learned to manipulate and get what they want in life…repeatedly…so these “skills” became permanent parts of their personality.

        As CL says, a change in personality would require humility, taking ownership, putting off gratification, and a big dose of effort for the benefit of others and not for themselves.

        How many cheaters do you know with those traits?

        • Exactly. It is their core, their essence – it is who they are, how they got where they are, they are pathological users of other people. Cheating is only one aspect of their M.O.

          • Yes, yes, yes, “Cheating is only one aspect of their M.O.”

            Even if my cheater came clean of his addiction, he is still a major a-hole for everything else he is and has done.

            • The best way to describe personality traits is to use the analogy of eye color. I have blue eyes. I could put in brown contacts but when I took them out I would still have blue eyes. By the time you are grown you are who you are. In my field of work I quickly found that most people with a PD never see a therapist. Those that go are either trying to pull a snow job on a spouse or are ordered by the court. If you are married to someone who is disordered you are in for a life of hell. I saw it every day. And the children, who expect their parents to make sense of the world, pay a very heavy price for the constant mind games played their homes.

              • “Those that go are either trying to pull a snow job on a spouse or are ordered by the court.”

                I was the former. Wife lied before, during, and after therapy, saying the affair was over the whole time and I needed to make her life more exciting.

                Therapist bought into it all. Claimed I was part of the problem. Actually advocated for an open marriage TWICE.

                Needless to say, I filed a formal complaint with the state’s certification board. No therapist, anywhere, should be advocating for an open marriage as part of affair reconciliation. What a joke!

              • Wow, JC, mindfuckery on both ends of the MC couch. I’m sorry. What has happened to the therapist?

              • Unfortunately, I wasn’t the patient of record. My wife was. (The bill went on her credit card, because by that time I had broken financial ties because I refuse to finance an affair.) So, the board said they couldn’t investigate the claim.

                I’ve thought of going onto Yelp and adding a one-star review to the therapist’s otherwise impeccable portfolio. But public revenge just feels…cheap. It feels like I’d be trying to “prove” my side of what happened. And I would be further judged for that.

                Although, if I could save someone else from going to that therapist to deal with infidelity, I would. I learned the hard way that marriage counseling is to an affair as mustard is to a milkshake. If I had to do it all over again, I would never go to MC. It just validates the incorrect view that I did something wrong that “contributed” to the situation.

                Fact is, I didn’t cheat, I didn’t force my wife to cheat, and I can’t stop my wife from cheating. So why did I go to MC to address my wife’s cheating?

                Answer: Because I was a chump.

                Live and learn.

              • Give the one-star Yelp review with an explanation. You may save someone else, less strong than yourself, from months of misery. It’s not cheap, it’s accountability & public service to make people aware. Therapists can have a lot of sway over people’s mental & emotional life.

  • “Quit with your single mother shame”
    Chump lady is so right. I enjoyed being a single mother and never quite understood why anyone would feel sorry for me or my son. I kind of suspect it was so they could feel superior about their families.
    The perks of being a single mother included not having to consult with anyone about my parenting choices. I did not have to compromise my plans to include another adult. I got to take my son to all kinds of fun places, like Disney World and NYC. We bonded over those experiences.
    My ex and I got along well enough to share school issues and back each other up. We left our personal problems out of that area.
    There are financial challenges, but I would rather face that than feel like a chump.
    It seems like our cheaters are addicts in general. Yours is addicted to porn and stranger sex. Mine had a drug/alcohol/gambling problem. They do not have control over themselves and nothing we do can help them gain it. Decide if you want the pain of knowing you can’t trust your husband, or the challenge of breaking out on your own.

    • I saw a number of therapists over the years. One I was referred to by my doctor in the aftermath of him moving out, false reconciliation and his whore storming my house said this – Mary, did you ever know this man at all?

      With hindsight the answer to that has to be NO.

  • I stayed with my stbxh for 7 years after the FIRST affair (that I found out about). We did the counselling thing, blah, blah. A year or so later (when I thought things were going well with us) he butt-dialed me on a ‘coffee date’ with another woman. Asshole. I too stayed for my children. I couldn’t believe that he led a double life. He lied to perfection. I’m sure that there have been numerous other women that I don’t even know about but, because he portrayed such a ‘normal’ version of himself in our home, I put my blinders on and stayed. My self esteem suffered and at the end I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I was depressed and trying to win his love :P. My daughter said to me the other day: “Wow, it’s so much easier without him being here” and it’s very true. The only thing I regret now is the time I lost putting up with his bs and lies. There was no way in hell that he was going to change. We all want to believe in “the dream” that we are fed by society but you need to be on your own, regain your self-confidence and inner peace in order to be the best person for your child. Separating from him is the hardest decision you will have to make but it will also be the best. You can do it and you will be a happier version of yourself – for you and your child 😀

    • Bunny, my daughter has made the same comment about life being so much easier now that stbxh is no longer living with us. The kids are affected by the chaos these cheaters bring into our lives no matter how much we spackle.

      • My kids too, and I think it’s a combo of things; life is so much easier and more peaceful without his negative critical attitude around the house, and I’m so much happier and calmer not having to deal with him, which makes me a better mom.

        My only regret was not kicking him out sooner. But he was the MASTER of improving just enough and just long enough for me to start thinking ‘oh, it looks like it’ll be ok, after all’. In a way, the (2nd) affair was a gift, as it clarified things so much!

        • KarenE–as mega-painful as all of this has been, on Thanksgiving when I wondered what I was thankful for, the first thought that popped into my head was “his cheating, because it allowed me to finally leave the emotionally abusive jerk.” I was surprised by that thought, even as I had it.

  • CL, I think this is one of your best posts. As a mom of 2 young children (one 6 months old when affair started), I struggled with staying in order to provide my kids with an “intact” family. But that would just be an intact family on the surface, on paper. To be with someone who has broken the trust, gaslighted you, emotionally abused you, is to live in a broken family on the inside, with just one extra person in it. My children and I live together now as a whole, intact family albeit minus a moody, angry, selfish, deceitful person blaming his wife and kids for his misery (I think/hope that now that my ex has limited time with the kids that he is better able to control his moods/temper when he is with them).

    Ironically, since I filed for divorce, I’ve gotten so many emails (and still do), saying he can’t live without me, he is miserable without me, misses his family, why can’t I give him a second chance, etc. I find this amusing and confusing, as all throughout his affair (with a girl 20 years younger than him), and even beforehand, he was constantly telling me that I was the cause of his misery, that if it weren’t for me, he would be making more money, have less stress in his career, have less conflict with his parents and siblings, that I was a terrible wife who neglected him and didn’t pay enough attention to him (because of my work and the kids), that he never wanted to marry me in the first place, that I gained too much pregnancy weight, that my hair was thin and gray, that life was too short and he needed his freedom to pursue true love and happiness and I was the only obstacle in his way. Now that he is free, I wonder why he isn’t just ecstatic that he is living is dream.

    • Another thing, you need to leave FOR your child. The most important thing your child needs now is a sane, mentally healthy, devoted, loving parent, and that is obviously not your H, who is off in la-la-land. The longer you stay with your H and his gaslighting/abuse, the more it will wear you down psychologically, the more psychological stress you feel, which may result in depression/anxiety, and that will make you a less effective and loving parent and may even result in your taking out your stress on your child.

    • I think we were married to the same f$&kwit. I was mad because after all the hurt he put me through, that he was still not “happy”. Serves him right!!! Onwards towards Meh for us!!!

  • This will sound harsh but I really don’t believe that most of the addiction programs work — not because the programs are bad but because the “addicts” really do not have the desire to overcome their addiction. They see nothing wrong with what they do, and they only go into the programs to avoid going to jail, or working, or for their families to give them another chance, and other things like that. They fully intend to go back to the lifestyle they prefer, as soon as they have convinced others they are cured. Being a chump, I did not want to believe that. I know, some people have turned their lives around — but I believe they are the rare ones. I do not have statistics to back up my belief, so I may be dead wrong, but based on the people I know who have been thru “rehab” and joined 12 step groups, and the amount of backsliding I have seen, I came to that sad conclusion.

    There is a book by Patrick Carnes I read several years ago, called Out of the Shadows, which talks about the internet and porn, and sex addiction. It was a real shocker for me to read. I had no idea of the extensive reach of the porn and sex industry, or the amount of misery that is spread by those who become addicted to it, and the participants. I recommend you read it, especially if you are as naive as I was. I never considered myself to be a prude, and I thought I had read some racy literature, but I can assure you I was a babe in the woods when it came to this stuff. It is the type of thing that normal healthy people do not even imagine. It takes an activity designed to epitomize love and intimacy and reduces it to pictures and angles and numbers and interchangeable parts. There is no thought given to safety, or commitment, or honorable behavior. I think the cesspool runs so deep, and the currents are so strong, that once people become involved in it, they rarely make it back to safety and sanity. I don’t believe in recovery from “addiction” for the same reasons CL doesn’t believe in the reconciliation industry. Look at how much time and energy you committed to your relationship, trying to make it work. All you did was waste more of your precious time.

    Online dating sites are perfect for a predator’s playground. Fresh victims are presented every day — most vulnerable and many still hurting from their last relationship. They offer way too much personal information about themselves, quickly, and willingly. They want to believe they will find the perfect mate. Predators can work these sites like a good salesman will work a call list. All he has to do is get a contact to start talking, and he moves in for the kill. I know from my personal snoop-a- thon observations that my EX contacted between 25 to 50 women a day, starting with innocent sounding gambits, like “May I tell you that you are a very beautiful woman?” or “Your preferences sound just like mine — I think you might be my soul mate!” He followed up with the ones who answered him back. It didn’t matter if they were close or far away, he could get some kibbles from them. You’ve got to realize that even getting a woman to exchange phone or Skype “sex” provides free sex kibbles for a predator. He can then use these pictures and videos to post on porn sites, where they exchange pictures and videos as part of the price of admission. There are groups of these sicko’s and they do not care one bit that the women thought they were exchanging something private and special. It is just a fresh package of interchangeable parts to them.

    If you think this cyber stuff is harmless to you — think about this. What is he thinking when he is with you? Do you really think anything you do or say matters, as long as you are providing kibbles of some type? Do you think your children are better off with this type of parent hanging about? Do you ever want him to talk to your children about dating and sex? Seriously — do you not feel betrayed and degraded by this behavior, just because it didn’t result in actual physical contact? What about those who are close enough and willing to participate in the real activity? Is that how you want to spend your marital funds? STD, anyone? Harmless Fun??? Hardly.

    If you want to believe in unicorns and fairy tales, go to the children’s section of the library. I don’t think you can catch an STD there. I may be wrong??? But anyway, realize this is all fantasy. Make sure your children understand this is fantasy. Understanding the difference between fantasy and reality might just save your life.

    • As someone who spent several years researching addictive behavior. I agree with Portia. Although the people who create and run addiction recovery, especially 12-step, programs, are generally well-meaning people, real (unbiased) scientific evidence does not show much success, as defined by recovery, either permanent cessation of harmful behavior or elimination or reduction of the urge to engage in these behaviors. These programs demand that the ‘afflicted’ person ‘admit that he or she, as a (nearly) powerless person, rely on a ‘higher power,’ instead of placing responsibility for his or her behavior where it belongs–on himself or herself. I think that many of these programs don’t delve deeply enough into why a person feels compelled to engage in the particular unhealthy behavior, especially if that behavior (e.g., unhealthy sex, unhealthy/excessive spending) doesn’t involve a physical addiction (as do heroin and cocaine use).

      Also, although some people who do unhealthy things are addicts, many people who repeatedly engage in unhealthy behavior are not. They just want to do unhealthy, immoral things and will do these things until stopped by someone else (e.g., the police) or something (e.g., death by emphysema or AIDS).

      I’ve dated someone who I think was truly ‘addicted’ to sex with prostitutes. I married someone who I don’t think is addicted to sex with prostitutes but engages in that activity just because he feels like it (‘I’m in the mood; my wife won’t know; why not?’) I wouldn’t count on anyone who repeatedly engages in these behaviors, no matter what the etiology (cause).

      • I also heard that the founder AA was a rampant adulterer who would prey on young women joining AA, so this philosophy seems aligned with excusing his bad behavior.

    • Portia, your information about the online world of sex, porn, and dating is right on. Certain personality types are drawn to it and are soon addicted to the extremity of it all — requiring more and more kink to get the same high. I love sex but feel sorry for anyone who thinks their next orgasm is worth the risk of losing their family.

      • Those sites are probably more destructive for certain personality types than an old fashioned PA with a real live person. They are always available, complete fantasty, no strings attached.

      • And for these addicts, it progressively gets worse and worse. They have to keep pushing the envelope to get off on it. So my Ex went from “rough” sex to rape fantasies and bondage fantasies, and fantasies about underage girls in our sex life; I always thought if I gave him what he wanted/demanded. he would not seek it elsewhere but I was wrong. He turned out to have a secret, double life, which I only know the tip of the iceberg. I know he called weird numbers all over the country. I know he fucked OW behind my back while still pretending to be happy with me and “love me” and I know that he fantasized gay men were lusting after him at parties we went to, that he flirted with every waitress and cashier, and even my female family members, that he had secret folders and secret computers and password protection on everything of his (indicating porn use, that he later admitted), still, I stupidly always thought that if I did the submissive thing he demanded of me, that he would be faithful to me. But this kind of a person is insatiable. They have to keep pushing for more, more strange, more people, more conquests. It is so sick that I almost feel sorry for Schmoopie, who appears to have led a very strait-laced life and thinks he’s just a poor sausage who wasn’t getting any; which couldn’t be farther from the truth of our 50 shades of abuse sex life. Yuck, TMI, sorry.

        • Portia, the statistic that Dr. Omar Minwalla, psychologist at The Institute for Sexual Health told me when I spoke to him that recovery from sex addiction is maybe 5%. That they all “slip”. I spoke with him about 10 times in 9 months about my stbx and the problems we were having. He told me to run. He said “I know exactly who this guy is. He is not a sex addict he is a sex offender. Get you and your kids away from him. And be careful”. He was right. The day he got served he broke into my house and ended up going to jail for domestic violence. He had gone through SAA,counseling, men’s help groups, priests, Catholic retreats. Nothing worked. I don’t think they ever recover fully. And I’m not betting mine or my children’s life on it.

          • wow, just googled that Dr. Wish he was in NY, I’d go see him. I bet a lot of fellow chumps need this kind of help too.

            • I can vouch for that. But, I’m really glad that such an institute exists, and that there are scholars doing research from a trauma-based (rather than co-dependency) model. It is really important work, especially now that most kids are learning about sex online and at ages and in ways that are stupefying.

            • He is a wonderful man. I had not a time and I emailed my story. His secretary called me and set up a phone call. He talked to me for about 20 minutes the first time and about 30 every time after. Very supportive and definitely validated what I was feeling. Made me realize that I was not going crazy. He has week long and 3day seminars for partners of sex addicts. I just could never afford to go. Dr. Installs is the one who suggested a polygraph. And he told me what the creation might be to my request. He was spot on. I believe he is the foremost authority on this in the U.S. Nice nice man. Helped me immensely. He is the one who guessed that my stbx would turn violent. Again, spot on. Luckily I listened to him and prepared myself. But as whole still managed to break into my boss and get me any way, despite my preventative measures.

              • Arghhhhhh!!! Not a dime. Dr. Minwalla. Break into my house.

                And yes, he uses the trauma based model. He clearly told me that my stbx was abusing me and emotionally torturing me. And that in order for him to even HOPE to change, that it would take at least 5 years of intense therapy and even with that, the 5% rule still applies.

    • Dear Betrayed-
      Please believe your lying eyes!! Please get STD tested STAT!! Thank god that you are here. I believe that you know deep down that the marriage is dead & that you are dealing with a very deranged individual-You need to admit it & accept it. A lot of us chumps here have ex’s or stbx’s that are porn, hooker, Craigslist, massage parlor obsessed/addicted-it does not and will not get better. There is only so much online crap that these idiots can consume before they start trolling for it in real life. Trust that there is so much more that you don’t know about him and what he has been doing. And know, that if you dig, what you will see or find will never be able to erased from your mind or eyes even if sulfuric acid was involved! Portia was telling the truth about the deepest cesspool of human flesh available or for sale. It is truly horrifying. I don’t see how anyone can stay with a spouse once they know they are involved with any of these things. This experience changed my whole world as I knew it & there is no way to go back EVER and act like it didn’t happen. I was lucky that all my tests came back clear but I refuse to spend my life looking over my shoulder or being the marriage police. I refuse to assist a side-show sex freak in perpetrating the fraud appearance of a happy family & him pretending to be a regular husband & father.

      I had never considered myself naïve before. When I caught stbx at the asian massage parlor and then started checking his iphone-I got a crash course in the underworld of hell. Backpage, Craigslist, Humaniplex, RubMaps,…the list goes on forever. In southern California, I swear that there are at least 2 asian massage parlors or foot massage parlors on every block! My stbx likes barely legal & asian girls. The last time I had even bothered to look at his phone he was on some 18 year old school girl porn website. Trust me when I tell you that these girls look nowhere near 18-I was physically sick. But there are tons of these things/sites out there FOR FREE & as long as they post the legal law code saying these girls are 18 they get away with it. AND all of these depraved sites have links to hook-up and webcam sites….how convenient for the sickos right? Everything for free right at their fingertips. That whole cesspool underworld was something I never wanted to know about or be exposed to. I am still furious with stbx over that. I wonder if I will ever trust another man.
      Now I spend alot of my time figuring out how to shield my sweet young son from his dad’s skeezy exploits. I know my son’s future stepmom will be an underage Asian sex worker.

      • Current Chump, I can unfortunately relate to everything you wrote. That’s just how things were at my house, too. Finding all that out about someone you loved and trusted and considered honourable is a shock beyond description, and getting out as soon as I could was the only way I could protect my girls. Nobody who partakes of that shit is of healthy mind and heart.

        • My ex is into underage girls too. I have no proof of the web access, but this is what he pretended he was doing, when he was having sex with me over the sixteen years gradually getting worse and worse. I have evidence that he actually did it, when he was in college, long time ago.

      • Yep. Stbx phone history revealed his preference for ‘”Hot sexy teens” and “Teen Nymphos” “Little Angels”. You get the idea. And no, none looked like they were 18, but when I questioned him about the age of the girls, he said that all of his “sites” had disclaimers that all girls were 18. Yeah pornographers are highly respected and trustworthy people. WTF?

        • Oh yeah-in the past, stbx’s iPhone seemed to frequent “finally legal” “teens love big __cks” “18 and abused” and the last new one I saw months ago was “18schoolgirlz”

          I don’t care about those disclaimers, there is no way any of those girls are 18 and over.
          GAH-it’s distgusting AND VERY disturbing. His own niece is 17.

          I stopped looking at his phone a few months ago because I already know what he’s doing and what a shitbag he really is.

          But I did take pics of the web browser history/sites on his iPorn with my phone in case I need it later for the divorce attorney. And I can use the data usage reports from the phone bills as more evidence.

    • I’ve seen the numbers on how few addicts really stop their addictive behaviour for the long term. They’re apparently really low primarily because most people who do something excessively or do things that are harmful to themselves and the people they care about JUST STOP. They don’t need groups or rehab or treatment. They just stop or bring it under control. And so they don’t end up in the statistics.

      So the ones who end up in 12 step groups or treatment programs are the ones with the strongest addictions, the ones whose genetics or lives or both have created the biggest difficulties. They may never be able to stop, and even if they do, may continue to be extra-difficult people (classically known as a ‘dry drunk’).

      So my rule of thumb is, if you’re dealing with an addict, you can chose to give them a chance. ONE. You shouldn’t have to convince them they need to change, only set your own boundary. If they don’t change or do whatever is necessary to change, they’ve shown you who they are. Might not even be their fault, but at least it’s clear. Time to detach, with or without love. (Somehow it’s easier to detach with love when it’s alcohol or gambling or an eating disorder, than w/cheating and sex addictions.)

      • I do see my husbands cheating as a kind of addiction. He’s always been obsessive and compulsive about certain things. Before I even knew he was cheating I suspected something was wrong with his sex drive; he was downright obsessive. So bizarre… I even wondered if OCD medication or anti-anxiety meds would be helpful. Our marriage therapist scoffed when I mentioned it. I’m not sure why… He’s had at least 160 hours of counseling, and hasn’t made much progress. He’s less angry, and more active with the kids, but I know he’s still screwing around, and surfs porn sites. He hasn’t addressed the real problem, so I feel my only option is to file for divorce.

        I would like to, and have been working toward “detaching with love”. It really saddens me to see him throwing away the wonderful life we have. We’ve got wonderful, responsible, self-sufficient kids. We built a successful business together. I’ve done everything I can to help him. It blows my mind that he would throw it all away. He’s so broken. I pray that our divorce will be his “rock bottom,” and that he’ll try to fix himself. I also pray that I will feel even half this magnanimous when he shows his fangs, which I know is coming.

  • Betrayed Online, you already know you were betrayed the first time– and the betrayal was not some one-time deal but went on for years, taking time, money and affection that should have gone into your marriage.You quite generously give him another chance and what happens? You are given (presumably by the other party?) letters that show an ongoing relationship during and after your reconciliation.

    Your Cheater Husband lost the benefit of the doubt after the first betrayal. You don’t need him to confess. Your source would not have given you those letters unless he was involved. I think you know this or you wouldn’t have written to CL.

    So either you are willing to give him another chance and another, only to see him lie and hide and obfuscate and gaslight you, or you get your ducks in a row and file for divorce now. If there is any counseling, he’s the one who needs to do it. If he is innocent, he needs to get to the bottom of who is slandering or libeling him and clear that up for you–because he lost the benefit of the doubt the first time you caught him doing something that was less emotionally invested than is the case this time. (And by the way, I think you only know about him online sex chat activity–what is he doing on FB? is there an AP at work? What you see is always just the tip of the cheater iceberg.) If he is truly remorseful, you will see big changes in everything. He will be an attentive parent. He will live an absolutely transparent life. He will listen to your pain and show, by actions, that he understands that HE–not you, and not “we”– needs to rebuild trust. You didn’t break the trust. He did. What has he EVER done to fix it? Other than go a little deeper underground with his cheating.

    I’m not sure why so many people believe that the one relationship where trust can be broken and abused over and over is marriage. That should be the one relationship where you can relax and trust that it’s OK to gain a few pounds having a child or that your gray hair is OK because your partner is aging too and you love each other from the inside out. Dr. Phil talks about being your partner’s “soft place to fall.” If you stay with this jerk, you can end up with a life-threatening STD. He can get some woman pregnant. Or he can decide that marriage and parenthood is too hard, too expensive or too restrictive and he leaves you after having depleted the marital assets. Protect yourself and your child. You had every reason to leave him the first time. Either he blew his second chance or you’ve learned that there is something about him that will not allow you to trust him. Either way, you’ve got a dead marriage.

    • The only other person that might have access to these documents would be the AP’s spouse/fiance, etc. So I’m thinking the source is good, either way.

  • Yes, leave FOR the child. I stayed for 2 years for my kids and when I finally left, it was for my kids. I finally accepted that I couldn’t be the mother they needed under those conditions. I accepted that I was fooling myself to believe staying was giving them the sort of family I wanted them to have. I accepted that dream had died. Like Tempest, my daughter’s behavior IMPROVED after the separation! I’d been so afraid that the separation would hurt her, but I think she’d been internalizing all of the bad energy in that house.

  • Betrayed,
    I’m gonna try not to write you a huge essay…Lord knows I can be long winded (handed) on this site when something I read hits especially close to home…but this will likely be long anyways. Lol. But, 14 months ago I was exactly where you are, minus some minor details. I too have a young child, 2 years old, that I share with STBX. He too was lying through his teeth and my heart ached at the decision to leave or stay. My MAIN reasons were not to have my child come from s broken home and because I believed he could be a better man. For one full year I prayed for irrefutable signs to leave, got them, then stayed. I didn’t believe in divorce.

    Here’s the reality:
    What you’re seeing is who your husband really is and he’s not going to change. You must put yourself & your child first because he’s putting himself first. You and your child DESERVE BETTER. Staying together through an unhappy, unstable, unfulfilling marriage will guarantee you damage to your child. Getting out and creating a healthier life will guarantee your child a better chance at normalcy. While I know that my child was my first & main focus, let’s also talk about you. YOU deserve better. Alone & divorced is better than alone & married, trust me.

    The trust is in flames, he’s done damage that he proved can’t be undone or fixed, HE can’t be fixed. It’s so hard, trust me…I know. I know leaving seems like a dark abyss and you feel lost but you will make it one day at a time. You’ll even be surprised by how much easier it can be when you run your own life. My STBX’s grandmother told me “if he keeps threatening divorce then take him up on it. Say ok and see what happens. But take care of yourself and your child first.” So I took her advice. The next time he mentioned divorce instead of pleading and crying I said “ok”. He beat me to the filing….but I’m glad he did it brvause now I move forward with no regrets, I know I did all I could. So have you. You’ve given many chances and he’s still the same guy.

    A little analogy: try taking your emotions out for a moment and look at the facts logistically; You are the CEO of this company and this man is costing your business money. His productivity is low, his workplace morale is crap and he spreads negativity everywhere he goes. Since hiring him your sales have gone down dramatically and your business is suffering. What do you do? You fire him. You cut the cancer out, heal from the wound and if it suits you, someday you can replace him with a person better qualified to fill his position. You lived before him & you will live after him.

    • I want to add to refocus your blaming the split family & divorce on yourself to your cheater. Your husband carries that burden, even if he blames you, which he likely will, it is HE who broke your marriage. If you leave all you did was make a decision with the information HE gave YOU.

      Sadly, staying will only prolong the pain. You don’t want to waste 20/30/40+ years in marriage you already know isn’t worth keeping. Literally every client, friend and coworker of mine that knew my situation and had been through it themselves or could at least imagine it told me “you’re young, you have so much life ahead of you. Be thankful this happened so early.” And I listened. These are from people who dedicated a lifetime to their cheater. Many of the members here have been in the same boat and I bet they’re all glad to be rid of the dead weight, at any age.
      I’m assuming that since you have a young child, you too are young. Either way, though it doesn’t matter. I’d divorce a cheater at 90 if I discovered infidelity.

      The sooner you take back your life, the sooner you’ll heal.
      Sending you positive vibes!

        • hmmmm…..Computers and technology…….Maybe they are related to the cheaters—–Can morph without notice!

          Was an interesting ‘twist’ on your name, nonetheless….Thought we had a newbie there……

          The BetterJamie, I just want to take this opportunity to thank you from my heart for your comments, insights and, yes, your ‘essays’! You have so much wisdom to share and I am so glad to be in this same awesome ‘Nation’ with you.

          ForgeOn……

          PS: Love your CEO analogy. Plan to use it!!!

          • Thank you, ForgeOn 🙂
            That put a big smile on my face after a rough night.

            I’m so thankful for the support here and I hope my experiences can be of comfort to at least one fellow chump.

  • A few things:

    I think you already know the answer to your questions betrayed. Most people who write to CL know the skinny. They’ve read the articles and know what kind of advice they’re going to get. Her stance on this topic is consistent. You just have to decide what your deal breakers are and act accordingly. As it has been said before your children should be the reason you leave, not the reason you say.

    There is a quote (not sure by whom) “That it’s better for children to be from a broken home than to actually live in one.” If you stay your children will continue to live in a broken home.

    One last thing to remember is that when a cheater’s lips are moving they’re lying. Take that statement and bank on it being true! He’s only copping to what he thinks you know. Chances are more than good that he’s actually taken it to a physical level but even if he hasn’t he’s lying. He’s also trolling and looking which means as someone else already pointed out, that if he gets a fish on the hook that looks better he will leave you then.

    Beat him to the punch!

  • I spent 9 years of a 10 year relationship telling myself that people didn’t actually meet up off those sites. I know, naive and really stupid and yes I have been tested for STD’s and thank God I didn’t catch anything. I cant’ count how many times I had the proof in my hands and chose to believe his adamant denial of any wrong doing. I heard every excuse in the book and it was always my fault until I left and then he would admit it was wrong and promise to stop, which he never did. After we were split it blamed me for the hurt he caused me, in his own words, “:It is kinda your own fault I hurt you, you kept taking me back. Any other woman would have never put up with what I put you through and kicked me to the fucking curb years ago.”

    You lose, you never win, you will never get the truth, he will continue to do what he is doing and even though you know the truth you will pray that he gives you a good enough lie you can continue to lie to yourself until one day he buggers off with one of the women he has been screwing and leaves you high and dry and blaming you for your own abuse. You should have known he was lying, he can’t be blamed for your gullibility.

    You don’t want to face the truth, it is not your happily ever after, no one wants what they get when they get with a narcissist. Life sucks sometimes and not everyone is honest, sometimes you don’t get the truth and you still have to believe your own eyes and your gut. He is never going to be honest, not until he is heading out the door to his new chump.

    You have a daughter, do you want her learning that this is the way a man treats a woman and the woman just takes it? or do you want your daughter to grow up knowing she is valued, worth being treated with respect, honesty and faithfulness. Do you want your daughter to grow up trusting her own gut instincts or doubting what she sees with her own eyes? Do you wish this on your daughter? Because by example you are teaching her that women have to take infidelity, dishonesty and disrespect. You will probably say that your daughter doesn’t know and isn’t affected by the problems between you and your husband and I call bullshit. kids are much more perspective than we give them credit for, they feel the tension, they see the tears, they wake up in the night and hear the fights and as they get older they put two and two together on their own. Take it from someone who lied in bed at night listening to my dad threaten to leave my mom, and blame my mom. I tried to get my mother to take her head out of the sand and see that dad was fucking the neighbor lady and those weekends away when he didn’t have a number he could be reached at were not work related. I thought it would never happen to me, I was determined that no man would ever treat me with disrespect. I went to counselling, I read books, and I did really well until I was in my 40’s and found myself in ‘love’ with a man just like my dad only worse. My mom couldn’t understand why I stayed for 10 years, “Gee mom, you taught me well, it’s a wonder it didn’t happen sooner.”

    if you can’t think of yourself, think of what your daughter is learning.

    • LadywithaTruck–I had that same revelation several weeks ago, as more truth trickled out about my STBX (not just the one affair–probably man-whoring around our entire marriage).

      My father was somewhat coarse, not well-educated (despite having gone to college), with a sex/porn addiction, narcissism/sociopathy, & the emotionally abusive traits that go with each. I married a Ph.D. Englishman with the proper Queen’s English accent, in Armani jackets, with a lot of charm when needed. What does he turn out to be? Sex-addicted, narcissistic, emotionally abusive sociopath.

      Scary, scary, scary.

    • “You lose, you never win, you will never get the truth”

      Exactly.

      Once you accept that you can no longer believe anything your spouse says, even if he/she is telling the truth, it’s time to leave.

      Past action is the best predictor of future action.

      • Sometimes when you lose you win… 🙂

        oh and I use to say that to my cheating fuckwit “the best predictor of future behavior is the past behavior” and boy did that drive him insane lol! especially when he kept playing the “I have changed, I made mistake(s), I will never do that again, hurt or lie to you, and I promise to be totally honest with you from now on and earn your trust, all I am asking is one last chance.” This, of course after he continued to lied to me, gaslighted me like crazy in that last 3 years after the Dday..not counting the other 6 years before that. Idiot!

        • The only thing worse than dealing with them is: “WE COULD BE THEM”!!!

          Thank goodness we are not; Instead, We are ChumpNation!

          So good to hear all the experiences, clear direction and advice “Betrayed” is receiving. Has certainly helped me!

          ForgeOn, all you wise, honest, loving and insightful ones……

        • Nicolette, if I had a dime for every time the assclown said that’s to me……they all use the same playbook. I HAVE CHANGED! Do you realize how bad this hurts ME!!! I am in such pain, you have NO IDEA!! I promise to be… (WAIT FOR IT) TRANSPARENT!!! I hate that word. Lies all of it.

          • I got that transparency promise, too. But the computer remained off limits, and the phone was still locked, and so forth.

          • The X said to me a few months ago ‘Do you think I have learned nothing? I would never do that to you again!’
            Well, what he conveniently forgot is that I found out just last year that his secretary’s son looks exactly like him. He’s 19.
            So, I was able to tell him, yes, you learned nothing, because you didn’t learn anything from knocking up the office help! I told him he’s just incorrigible.
            Maybe he did learn one thing – I will leave! I found some scraps of self esteem, and divorced his wandering ass!

  • Just a couple of days ago, CL posted about being the marriage police. If you find yourself contemplating lie detector tests, searching for IP addresses (a lot of these are dynamic IP addresses and therefore impossible to trace), or any other kind of detective work, please stop and ask yourself if you want to spend the rest of your life living like that. I’ve been there, too. I know how crazy it can make you feel to have your spouse tell you you’re crazy and ALL of the evidence in front of you is wrong. If I could go back and tell myself one thing it would be, “trust your gut.” All of the evidence makes sense. His behavior makes sense. And it all points to him cheating. I encourage you to walk away and trust that he sucks. Then take all of that energy that you’ve been wasting on this man (who isn’t worth your time) and pour it into yourself and your children. Big HUGS to you. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

    • “Trust your gut”!!! That gets me every time. Trust your gut, he sucks, trust your gut, he’s lying to you, trust your gut. You want this thing to go away but it never will. He is what he is, a shark in a human suit. That feeling that you will never be safe in this relationship, trust your gut, because you will never again be safe in this relationship. My children are young adults, one of the comments that I got from them was, you stayed with him because you wanted to, not cause you needed to. Cut me to the core. I wanted that intact family for them, but that’s not what I got. Model a good, tough, strong mother to your children, that will help them way more in life than you sticking it out for the sake of not being a single mom. I’m sorry that you are going through this, Betrayed, but you will get through this and you will be mighty.

  • Yes, it is better to cut loses than waste energy trying to prove your case. In the end, he will not be sorry, he will just be angry you caught him.

    With my ex, it helped enormously that I just gave up and didn’t try to rub his nose in it. His ego problems were so severe, he would have come at me like a tiger if I had exposed him to himself. Instead we separated and built separate lives. Years later he tried to lure me back in and that was just laughable. (But don’t laugh in front of him).

    One really funny anecdote: when we first separated he refused to keep my son overnight. He rid not want to allow me an evening to myself. While dating the woman he would eventually marry (and divorce) he agreed to keep my son overnight, if I could pick him up first thing in the morning so he could attend “church” on Sunday. When I arrived in the morning, he answered the door with his shirt off, girlfriend obviously had spent the night and they were no where near being ready to attend church. I was obviously set up to witness this. Fast forward a few years later. He arrives slightly early to pick up our son. I am out walking the dog. He pounds on the door, jus ego damaged that it was not answered immediately. My boyfriend fresh out of the shower answers the door, with shirt off. I didn’t even plan that.

  • Best thing I ever did for my children was tell them I was divorcing their dad because he was unfaithful. It gave them the message that it is NOT okay to treat someone you claim to love that way. Worst thing I did for my children was the 4 or 5 years after the first DDay that I stayed and tried to make it work because I had to lie to them and hide the pain I was in. I should have booted him out the door the very first time I had proof that he cheated. My kids are older and obviously the message has to be age appropriate but lying to them while demanding their honesty was wrong and unfair. Everyone, except the cheater who wreaked his relationship with two fantastic human beings who loved him unconditionally (three counting me), is happier now that he is gone.

    • Daisy, I loved my ex husband of 37 years but when he orchestrated my exit without telling me, our 2 adult kids took his side and do not speak to me any more and they are very happy that I am out of their lives. I am so puzzled by this that deep inside it still brings me to my knees but I must accept that I am the ‘bad’ guy to them. They gave their father a surprise 60th birthday party and when I turned 60, I sat in my apartment on my own and never even got a text. They love their father and I can honestly say it is because I covered over many things which of course were not the kids business. Suffice to say, I should have shown him up for what and who he really is. A RAT!! So, by putting myself last, it has backfired on me and I am paying a very heavy price. No family.

      • I want to hug you Maree!
        Can my son & I adopt you????
        But just know that we do have a family here at Chump Nation

        My mom has a saying that is “God waits long & pays well”
        Even if you think your cheater ex got over he will eventually get his due and your children will know the truth.

        I hope that day comes soon for you!!

  • Betrayed I know how you feel. My STBX was an overbearing bully. He was definately a narcissist with sociopathic tendacies. I found bank statements with dozens of hotel charges, Tiffany jewlery, Coach handbag store, a weekend at a “lovers resort” in the Poconos all while i was caretaking his kids… I could go on. His response? Glad you asked! “Uhhh Im helping a friend cheat!” WTF!! Who does that? Not to mention 2 that i know of emotional affairs and a small ransome of porn!! He stuck by that story for 7 yrs. I too didnt want my kids to bea statistic from a broken home Didnt wanna be a “single baby mama”. Til the azzhole left me for the side piece. Im better off for it. Hes her problem now. My 11 year old asked me why didnt i leave a long time ago! If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and quacks like a duck…its a narcissistic selfish abominable creature with a garbage dump for a soul!!

  • I do agree that staying and looking the other way when your husband lies in order to keep your “picture perfect” family together is rough. I did it for many years. My kids are grown but one told me he’d suspected his dad of having an affair since he was in middle school. He said, “but I didn’t want to believe that about my dad.” I told him I didn’t want to believe it of my husband either. Anyway, there’s a price kids play when parents keep secrets but project that everything is fine. When it all comes crashing down it changes the meaning of their memories.

    Betrayed, my advice to you is trust your gut. Your gut knows the truth long before your head accepts it. Your husband is draining energy from your marriage, and he’s hurting you. He’s destroyed your trust. Don’t stay 36 years like I did, just to have him dump you in the end. Consult with an attorney, a financial planner, and find a good counselor. Make sure you have a credit card in your name only. Foster friendships and family relationships. Get your ducks in a row and make a plan. Put your efforts into preparing for life on your own. That way you’ll be better off no matter what happens.

  • Run! Run away! Run fast!

    First, let me interrupt by saying that I totally agree with CL: Your home is broken now. When the cheater leaves, or you leave the cheater, it’s like gluing back together that figuring that your kids broke after you told them not to throw balls in the house. It’s a bit wobbly at first, but the glue dries, and you can put it back on the shelf, and your great aunt will never know the ugly thing was broken.

    Point? Your life will be wobbly after you initially split, but in time, you won’t even be able to notice that it was broken.

    When asked by my custody consultant (another rant, in and of itself) what my thoughts were on raising two children from a broken home, I told him very quickly that my home was broken when the girls’ father lived there. It’s quite mended now, thankyouverymuch!

    You’re marriage is broken now. You have the proof that your husband is doing Something Bad. He’s on sex websites.

    As I am not a frequenter of these sites, (I’m a square, just ask my ex) I’m picturing it like a naked version of Facebook. I digress…

    So, he knew you didn’t like it, but he did it anyway. He knew that you informed him quite clearly in counseling and I’m sure many “loud discussions” that you would not tolerate such behavior. He did it anyway.

    Let me tell you how this tends to shake down: My STBX also gaslighted (gaslit?…) me. He denied everything outright, but I found the text messages. He thought he was being clever by changing the names of the women and using his friends’ names for their contact info instead, but I seriously doubt his male friend from elementary school that lives 4 hours away and is single would invite my husband to go to a sonogram with him. He insisted this was the case, but dude, really?!…

    Your husband is trying to pull that same crap with you.

    Right now, you know that he messaged the one woman, whom he denies messaging. Well, let me give you the punch line to that joke: At the end of the day, my STBX had one girl pregnant, another girl texting saying she might be pregnant, another couple girls he was having sex with, and several women sending him naked selfies. That was just on his cell phone.

    When I subpoenaed his work records, I found more affair evidence, like when I cross referenced days he was “out of town” to when his boss said he was out of town. I saw the write up where he was reprimanded for paying for sex on Bourbon Street from a woman while on a business trip IN FRONT OF HIS BOSS. She also documented that he didn’t use his hotel key until the next afternoon at the hotel. And, I found a write up where he was reprimanded for getting caught having sex in his office with an employee. While I was in ICU. The story made the local news (not the sex part).

    While I was going through this, my STBX was written up for getting a BJ in his office from his 20 year old employee.

    http://www.arklatexhomepage.com/story/d/story/feist-weiller-cancer-center-holds-bone-marrow-bl/20916/UB2QLjtP7U28cx0Y3R8_AQ

    Let that soak in…

    So, trust me, you don’t know everything. You DONT WANT to know everything. You know enough. Do what you need to do to protect your child and your health.

    For me, it all boiled down to my refusal to model for my girls (age 3) that it is ok to allow a man to treat me this way. In another article, CL says that children see bad people as bad because they do bad things. No one says that the Big Bad Wolf was just misunderstood and confused. No one blames the little pigs for looking so damn tasty. The wolf just had to try and eat them–they were asking for it! Wouldn’t you have done the same?

    I didn’t want my girls to equate the love from a man with accepting this behavior. If daddy cheats on mommy, he doesn’t love her. A man who could do that to his wife doesn’t love anyone, deep down, other than himself. I want my girls to run away from men like this. I don’t want to teach them to hold on to men like this from my own actions.

    And you know what you say when your toddlers ask why daddy and mommy don’t live together anymore? You tell them that daddy broke a promise, and promises are supposed to be kept. You reassure them that you will always be there to love your child, and buy the ‘good’ apple juice, and you will never leave him or her.

    Good luck and big hugs! We are all here for you.

    And one day, when your glue dries, and the asshole checker at Home Depot makes a snarky comment about your work load for your husband, you will hold your head high, and inform him just as snarkily that you didn’t like your husband’s girlfriend… Or the way he painted the trim in the bathrooms. And, then you will walk away, and you’ll laugh. Because your glue is dry.

  • I’m here, and I’m reading. I have not wanted to believe what all of you are telling me. I am tired of being the husband police. I am tired of trying to decide if what he gives is good enough. You see, he is not unkind in our daily lives. To most of our friends and family we look like the perfect couple and family. He pulls his weight, so far as household chores go, and he does not speak ill of me to anybody. Our life together looks charmed to all those looking in.

    To most his actions would speak to him being a wonderful husband. Of course, they do not know what he does in secret. How did I get here? I am an intelligent and strong woman. I have never been a doormat or a fragile flower. Why is it this decision cripples me? How can he seem so perfect and be so not perfect? We have been married for over ten years. I will not admit how many of those have been years of lies and deception. I am sure you all can do the math from my first post. It is quite possible it was over half our marriage and the probability it was all of it is quite high. I am such a fool. I believed every kind and loving word. I believed the actions of appearing to be invested in our life. It is scary how easy it is for him to have actions that appear so normal, so loving and helpful.

    How?

    • Welcome Betrayed Online! Read up on disordered people. Check out my resources page, the books, the links to other sites. These people are freakishly common. You have to accept that he doesn’t connect like you do, doesn’t see the world the way you do, doesn’t love like you do. You have to stop projecting your goodness and fair-mindedness on to him. He’s playing you. He LIKES his other life. His actions communicate very clearly. Stop listening to what he says and start paying attention to what he’s doing.

      We’ve lived this and survived. You will too. (((Hugs)))

    • And you’re not a fool. You’re a person who loved with their whole heart. Nothing to be ashamed of! But now that you know who he REALLY is, it’s time to protect your good heart and your child. Lawyer up and get the finances in order and do it on the sly. And some counseling for YOU too. Just you.

    • You say he pulls his weight as far as chores and looking like a husband from the outside. But what about your heart? What do you expect from a husband? What is your idea of how your partner should love you, support you emotionally, and have your back in a world that can get rough? If his loving words were meaningful, he wouldn’t be doing what he is doing.

      It takes a long time to recover from the abuse dished out by a narcissist spouse or partner. But listen, listen to CL. You MUST do the reading. You must educate yourself about this kind of person. It’s not you. It’s him. But get to a tough lawyer who has dealt with a few of those folks, and make sure your counselor has an understanding of his behavior as not just “sex addiction” and is not going to encourage you to step into a codependent enabling role and waste 10 more years.

      Start with baby steps. Start the search for a lawyer and make an appointment once you find 2-3 that seem like they might be right. Copy your financial records. Including taxes. Make sure you have other vital documents for you records. Take a look at bank and credit card statements and see what’s there. Run a credit report to see if he has opened cards you don’t know about (I had an XH with thousands in debt that he didn’t tell me about). Be braced to learn things you wish you didn’t know. Get the STD tests. Start thinking about life on your own and how you hope to organize that. One step at a time. You can take these steps as you read and learn about disordered persons.

      I spent 4-5 months after DDay and 3 months before that asking the same questions you are asking–how could my beloved friend of over 30 years (and then a partner) have fooled me so completely? Because he is a narcissist and narcissists are good at the con job.

    • That was my marriage too Betrayed, from the outside looking in everyone envied us. We had a fair division of chores and the ex was very handy around the house. He was real good about finishing projects too.

      What he wasn’t real good at was being honest, trustworthy and keeping it in his pants. He only admits to one affair and I never suspected him before that but now I see all the little (and giant) red flags that I missed. I wasted a ton of time with that asshat and another 3 years after dday.

      I honestly believe that the only thing faithful spouses get when they stick around after dday is another dday. I left before he had the chance but I guarantee it would’ve come eventually. Read all the stuff CF suggested and you’ll start to uncover things you may have spackled over with love.

      Sending hugs your way.

      • I remember telling my DIL that my ex had so many wonderful qualities…but unfortunately loyalty wasn’t one of them.

    • Betrayed, I’m so sorry that you are here with us, but I’m so glad that you found CL so early on. The disbelief that you are going through is completely par for the course. Not one of here wanted to believe what we saw, what our gut told us, what others told us. The man that you married was fiction. Had you known that this was what you would go through, would you have married him???? Not a one of us here would have married our spouses or had partnered up with them at all. It sucks so bad when you finally get confirmation from others stories that you were played by a master manipulator. The pain that you feel, we have felt it too. There is no going back to any kind of trusting relationship after you find out what you married. After he shows you his true colors, there is no going back. The lies will get more elaborate, your gut will scream, you won’t be able to parent the way you would want to because you have so much other stuff going on. Do what the others on here have said, get yourself a good lawyer, hunt around until you find one that is a fit for you, copy financial records, help yourself, because the person that you thought would have your back forever is a mirage, a fake and such a fu*#er, that you won’t even recognize the man you loved and that was loving towards you when it suited him to be. Run, Betrayed, just Run. The heartache will be horrible, but the life you want to keep will be even worse.

    • Oh Betrayed,
      This above post hurts my heart, I know those desperate feelings.

      Many people from our lives thought my ex and I were the perfect couple, as well. Even the first marriage counselor spoke of how respectfully we communicated and how healthy we seemed. And from the outsiders vantage point I can see why she would say that; he puts on a good show and I was still in the fog, blaming myself and I wasn’t ready to “throw him under the bus”. I felt like a bad wife for literally just telling the truth about him.

      You’d be surprised by how many people and whom come out of the woodwork after you split to tell you that they never liked him, didn’t trust him, had a weird feeling about him, had an uncomfortable experience with him and thought you deserved better. My ex focused on bullshitting the important people like my family & close friends but some more distant friends, acquaintances, coworkers and girlfriends of a few of my guy friends caught another side of him. Those people were just too far out of my circle to overstep the boundaries & say something. Recently a wife of a male friend of mine told me, upon learning of our separation that my ex paraded me around like a trophy and spoke of me when I wasn’t in ear shot not like a human being, but a possession. My ex also showed my male friend, her husband, personal nude photos of me meant only for my husband. My friend was so shocked and appalled that he told his wife about it but told her he was too uncomfortable to tell me. HOW EMBARRASSING & HUMILIATING.

      Moral of the story. Who cares what others think, you know your truth & you should speak it. If people think of you as wrong for leaving that’s on them. Let those judging you endure what you are and see if they’d stick with it. If they would stick around….we may just see them on Chump Nation eventually.

    • Betrayed: I myself had that husband/life that you mention – helpful around house, perfect couple, living a charmed life, etc., yet I find myself here…we all do. Thank your lucky stars you found CL early on. All of us here have been in your shoes and the advice given to you is because we have lived it. Read and reread and then go back and reread it again. Then, take action.

      I had two ddays, 6 years apart. I stayed for my kids and well, because I loved him. But, in those 6 years, things only got worse. It completely went underground and got even more sickening as I dug deeper. I have read every comment here and they all resonate, in one way or another.

      I had my 2nd dday while I was pregnant with our third daughter. Went into pre-term labor and my daughter was born at 30 weeks. She is 8 years old. She has cystic fibrosis. She’s had two major surgeries and 11 procedures…all before the tender age of 6. She is oxygen tank dependent, 24/7.

      My little angel gave the strength, through her tenacity and determination in dealing with her own battle, to decide to leave. It took some major planning and one militia move to get out but I did it, three daughters in tow. I write this as to say that if you need reason to act, take a look at your beautiful angel. Do it for her, but just as important, do it for yourself.

      Not to say it wasn’t done without tears and pain…but to say that it is possible to get past the unanswered how’s, why’s and but-if’s. They don’t matter…you matter. Make yourself and your angel the priority. Act accordingly.

      PS: as my daughter told me, “I don’t need Dad. He can’t even carry my tank the right way”. My oldest daughters, 16 and 11, about fell to the floor crippling from the laughter. We’ve since got a healing puppy who is more loyal than exH will ever be!!! And he helps carry the oxygen tank…properly.

  • My friend found out that her second husband of 3 years was on sex sites, had made a profile, was describing himself as “unhappily married” and offering to meet women within a radius of 20 miles.
    First he denied it, then said someone had hacked into the system, then that he done it a long time ago just out of curiosity and only done a profile to access the site – not to meet up with women. He had forgotten all about it after setting it up.
    She told him he had been on it that very day. “Oh yes, I remembered today that I had made that profile months ago and went back on to remove it”. He had not removed it because he could not work out how to cancel it…it was done “for a laugh”.

    It was nonsense. He knew it and she knew it but she decided to go along with the story.

    You know it too. How badly do you want to stay with this guy? Where do you draw the line? If you go on policing him – you will – and discover intimate photos shared, that he has spoken to a woman on the phone, that he has met just for coffee, that he has met but not had sex, that he has had sex but only one time and he thought of you all through it…..

    These lies are like an onion skin – there is always another layer until you get closer to the core when it turns out to be a rotten onion. You can cut out the rotten bits for a while until you can no longer deny that the centre is black and rotten.

    I swallowed all sorts of shit to remain in my lousy marriage at all costs until he moved out anyway. Six years on I am much stronger than before, in another relationship and doing just fine.

  • Betrayed,
    Your letter reminded me that years ago, my first cheater/narc ex-husband gave me an STD. And when confronted, he told me that there was no way it came from him and that I must have picked it up from a toilet somewhere. And even though I knew that wasn’t possible, I chose to believe his lies. Want to know why? Because I wanted to believe him more than I wanted to believe the proof and more than I wanted to believe myself. How sad is that? Please, PLEASE…want to believe yourself more! Believe in yourself!!! You already know the truth and you don’t need any more proof or validation that the proof is enough.
    The sad end for me is that I stayed, married him, and found out that he was (and always had been) seeing prostitutes. But then I left, because I was through believing him over me. You can leave, too! You can do this!

    • Dear Betrayed Online,
      I so feel your pain. I found drug paraphernalia (fell out of a book one day) and actually believed my ex when he said it wasn’t his. I’d find crap on the computer and he would resolutely insist it was not his, the dog was watching porn, whatever. I kept wanting the truth from someone incapable of giving that to me. The farther away I get the more I see: oh, thaaaaat’s why he (pushed for me to take a vacation by myself–twice–didn’t invite any of his family to the great party he threw for me) on and on. It is stunning, not in a good way. Like you got punched in the face stunning. I’m guilty of watching (1st time and only because the guy who cuts my hair won’t stop talking about it, suuuure…) one episode of Beverly Hills Housewives yesterday. It was pukeable but one line was pukeably useful: “if you spot it you got it.” Trust you. I didn’t want to, I could almost un-see something, I wanted so badly for my marriage to work. With a guy that was so duplicitous it was truly maddening. He was a *different person* in public. That kind of thing costs us our sanity. I also considered myself strong and independent–the humiliation of ending a marriage after walking in on him and the Fucking Computer shredded my guts. He fought hard enough to leave me in bruises rather than let me see who–or what–he was doing. I’d seen enough by then but that was it for me. Once I felt that kind of betrayal there was no going back, even during times of spackle. I knew I knew. He also lied at therapist’s…what a waste of time and money that was. He is telling you the truth: he will never tell you the truth. You already know it. Be gentle with yourself but stay strong in your knowing. It has not been easy but I would rather be alone than with a man who would actively participate in my devaluation–no matter *what he said*. It, they, his ex, the incredible leaping cyber squirters, “meant nothing to him.” Well what about “it is destroying your wife” do they disregard without a second thought? It’s inexcusable, and unfortunately, not un-do-able. It’s not your fault, like CL says there are a lot of ’em out there these days. You are on the right track. I wish you the best.

  • Oh Mighty Mite….me too. I spackled for Years and years until after 22 years of marriage (25 total ) only with him in all of these years. My doctor had to inform me I had cervical cancer as a result of HPV 16. Two surgeries, 10 rounds of chemo, 15rounds of radiation and still unsure of my future. Even in a no fault state, I got EVERYTHING. Everything including a possible death
    sentence. PLEASE DON’T BE ME. PLEASE !

  • Betrayed….I found my dickwit in the bed with one of his skanks. Do you know what he confessed to? NOTHING, nada, zip. According to him, nothing happened, I was making something out of nothing, blah, blah, blah. He never did own sleeping with her, or any of the other 100 he screwed after that.

    Life is too short to spend with a liar that doesn’t give two craps about you.

    • I know a chump who attended a party at a neighbours house along with her husband and decided to head home as she could’nt find him after a while and was’nt having a good time.
      She took a short cut across the garden and entered into her living room through some french doors instead of using her front door key.
      Her husband was sitting on the sofa with a woman from the party kneeling on the carpet performing a BJ. They leapt up in a panic and actually said “this is not what you think it is so please do not jump to conclusions”!
      Seventeen years before when expecting their first baby a close friend told her he was cheating…she stood by him when he denied it and cut the friend off.

      The signs are usually there early on. The red flags wave in our faces. Still we soldier on until our cheater gets too old to continue or, as most of us have found, finds an AP with a better supply of cake and kibbles to offer when we have been sucked dry.

      Going by the standard of the posts on CL many very smart and educated women stay for years, accept ridiculous stories, overlook all sorts of things that only half make sense, blame themselves, blame OW and really think that our cheater will one day morph into a trustworthy and loving partner. How often does that ever happen?

      • “Her husband was sitting on the sofa with a woman from the party kneeling on the carpet performing a BJ. They leapt up in a panic and actually said “this is not what you think it is so please do not jump to conclusions”!”

        This actually made me laugh out loud. Is there already a thread called “Ridiculous shit cheaters do?”

        • She fooled herself for a bit longer that it really was just a bit of drunken tomfoolery that had gotten out of hand and tried to preserve her marriage until he went off with the other woman and refused to let her know where he was living.

          • Well, there you go. We either take control of our lives or watch the bottom fall out when all our options are gone.

  • Goodness yes leave! Don’t waste another minute of your precious time on earth on a person who doesn’t know the meaning of love!

    It took me a while too but I’m so thankful I’m on the other side of it now. Take care of yourself. Read CL’s exit strategy and protect yourself and get out of it.

    Kim Saeed’s site, ‘Let Me Reach’ is a great place to learn about this disordered personality you married. But then come back here and get support and clear cut as only Tracy can advice you can trust. Thank goodness for Chump Lady and the Chumps!

    You don’t need to be abused the way you are being abused. You deserve better! You deserve true love and respect. Not a full grown child to mother till he’s done with you.

  • I really wish I had found Chump Lady closer to D Day 1 vs 4. I had enough evidence to know he was not trustworthy, but kept chasing that unicorn. I heard so many “I’m sorry, I love yous” that it stopped meaning anything to me. His lack of remorse, continued lies and mockery of MC showed me where I stood with him. The only good thing about taking it slow to divorce him (other than expecting baby 2, which I wanted) is that I’m a hell of a lot closer to meh and not wearing blinders where he is concerned anymore. As I told MOW last summer: he’s yours now, no returns!

  • No matter where your politics lie, you have to admit that being the child of a single mother didn’t hold our current president back… I can think of a lot worse things than raising kids without a cheating fuckwit asshole. Being a single mom is no picnic, that’s for sure (an article I read recently likened it to simultaneously drowning while on fire). But it’s so much easier without him around.

  • I just wanted to mention that staying together “for the sake of the children” is a really really bad idea. I learned the hard way. First you spend years of your life trying to cover up your spouses lying, cheating, freeloading, disordered behavior. Then he will likely leave anyway to go with one of his affair partners. Finally since you spent so much of your time and effort trying to cover up your spouses behavior your child will believe he is a saint. A lot of these guys turn around and brainwash the kids and in-laws into thinking that you are the one who was lying and cheating. They will imply to your friends that there is something wrong with you and that is why he left.

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