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UBT: Joseph’s Letter

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unicorn_limboIf you’ve spent any time on reconciliation boards, you’re familiar with Joseph’s Letter. It was written by a member of a defunct forum “BAN”, but appears at Surviving Infidelity and Marriage Builders.

It’s a plea from a man (Joseph) to his wayward wife to please answer questions about her affair instead of doing the ol’ rug sweep. “I don’t remember” or “Let’s stop bringing this up and move forward” or “Telling you would only hurt you more.” Rug sweeping is the nice word for it. Minimizing, lying, and mindfucking are other terms. We don’t really know what kind of mindfuckery is going on in Joseph’s marriage, only that Joseph’s wife has been less than forthcoming and it’s torturing the poor guy.

Joseph’s letter is invoked as as sort of holy relic in unicorn circles. A resource by which chumps should model themselves when approaching “waywards.” (The nice word for cheater.) That is to say, approach with deference. Assume the very best qualities in your cheater — that deep down they’re good people who love you as much as you love them, and are every bit as invested in the marriage. Acknowledge that the cheater’s pain is equal to your pain. Tell them how much you love them.

Joseph’s letter is quintessentially chumpy — kind and forgiving, and glazed with more spackle than an army of dry wallers. When I read it, my heart breaks for the man. He clearly has a big heart and he’s trying to share it with someone he delusionally assumes cares for him.

But it also makes me want to slap Joseph. “DUDE! She’s DOESN’T WANT TO TELL YOU BECAUSE SHE PREFERS YOU DON’T KNOW!” That’s what her ACTIONS say. Know why she doesn’t tell you the details? Because she doesn’t want you to know them. It’s that simple.

But Joseph persists. Maybe if I explain this thing like a jigsaw puzzle missing a few pieces, she’ll understand! Because that’s what she lacks — insight! Did it every occur to Joseph that maybe his wife prefers the power seat of knowledge over him? That talking about it makes her uncomfortable, or calls into question her self regard, so she puts avoiding her discomfort over his pain? Did it ever occur to Joseph that his wife is a selfish bitch?

So today I thought I’d put Joseph’s letter through the patented Universal Bullshit Translator.

First, here’s the letter:

To Whomever,
I know you are feeling the pain of guilt and confusion. I understand that you wish all this never happened and that you wish it would just go away. I can even believe that you truly love me and that your indiscretion hurts you emotionally much the same way it hurts me. I understand your apprehension to me discovering little by little, everything that led up to your indiscretion, everything that happened that night, and everything that happened afterwards. I understand. No one wants to have a mistake or misjudgment thrown in his or her face repeatedly.

No one wants to be forced to ‘look’ at the thing that caused all their pain over and over again. I can actually see, that through your eyes, you are viewing this whole thing as something that just needs to go away, something that is over, that he/she doesn’t mean anything to you, so why is it such a big issue? I can understand you wondering why I torture myself with this continuously, and thinking, doesn’t he/she know by now that I love him/her? I can see how you can feel this way and how frustrating it must be. But for the remainder of this letter I’m going to ask you to view my reality through my eyes.

You were there. There is no detail left out from your point of view. Like a puzzle, you have all the pieces and you are able to reconstruct them and be able to understand the whole picture, the whole message, or the whole meaning. You know exactly what that picture is and what it means to you and if it can effect your life and whether or not it continues to stir your feelings. You have the pieces, the tools, and the knowledge.

You can move through your life with 100% of the picture you compiled. If you have any doubts, then at least you’re carrying all the information in your mind and you can use it to derive conclusions or answers to your doubts or question. You carry all the ‘STUFF’ to figure out OUR reality. There isn’t really any information, or pieces to the puzzle that you don’t have.

Now let’s enter my reality. Let’s both agree that this affects our lives equally. The outcome no matter what it is well affect us both. Our future and our present circumstances are every bit as important to me as it is to you. So, why then is it okay for me to be left in the dark? Do I not deserve to know as much about the night that nearly destroyed our relationship as you do? Just like you, I am also able to discern the meaning of certain particulars and innuendoes of that night and just like you, I deserve to be given the opportunity to understand what nearly brought our relationship down.

To assume that I can move forward and accept everything at face value is unrealistic and unless we stop thinking unrealistically I doubt our lives well ever ‘feel’ complete. You have given me a puzzle. It is a 1000 piece puzzle and 400 random pieces are missing. You expect me to assemble the puzzle without the benefit of looking at the picture on the box. You expect me to be able to discern what I am looking at and to appreciate it in the same context as you. You want me to be as comfortable with what I see in the picture as you are.

When I ask if there was a tree in such and such area of the picture you tell me don’t worry about it, it’s not important. When I ask whether there were any animals in my puzzle you say don’t worry about it, it’s not important. When I ask if there was a lake in that big empty spot in my puzzle you say, what’s the difference, it’s not important.

Then later when I’m expected to understand the picture in my puzzle you fail to understand my disorientation and confusion. You expect me to feel the same way about the picture as you do but deny me the same view as you. When I express this problem you feel compelled to admonish me for not understanding it, for not seeing it the way you see it.

You wonder why I can’t just accept whatever you chose to describe to me about the picture and then be able to feel the same way you feel about it.

So, you want me to be okay with everything. You think you deserve to know and I deserve to wonder. You may honestly feel that the whole picture, everything that happened is insignificant because in your heart you know it was a mistake and wish it never happened. But how can I know that? Faith? Because you told me so? Would you have faith if the tables were turned? Don’t you understand that I want to believe you completely? But how can I? I can never know what is truly in your mind and heart.

I can only observe you actions, and what information I have acquired and slowly, over time rebuild my faith in your feelings. I truly wish it were easier.

So, there it is, as best as I can put it. That is why I ask questions. That is where my need to know is derived from. And that is why it is unfair for you to think that we can effectively move forward and unfair for you to accuse me of dwelling on the past. My need to know stems from my desire to hold our world together.

It doesn’t come from jealousy, it doesn’t come from spitefulness, and it doesn’t come from a desire to make you suffer. It comes from the fact that I love you. Why else would I put myself through this? Wouldn’t it be easier for me to walk away? Wouldn’t it be easier to consider our relationship a bad mistake in my life and to move on to better horizons? Of course it would, but I can’t and the reason I can’t is because I love you and that reason in itself makes all the difference in the world.

And here is the translation:

To Whomever,
I know you are feeling the pain of guilt and confusion.

Joseph, your cheater isn’t “confused.” She knows exactly what she’s doing. Does her guilt pain her? Perhaps, but not as much as you knowing about her affair and nattering on about it pains her.

I understand that you wish all this never happened and that you wish it would just go away. I can even believe that you truly love me and that your indiscretion hurts you emotionally much the same way it hurts me.

Put down the spackle, Joe. Her affair doesn’t pain her the way it pains you — it’s NOT EVEN CLOSE. She enjoyed the affair — that’s why she did it. And went back for seconds and thirds. Ego kibbles and cake are awesome. That’s what her actions say — she had an affair because she wanted it, not because it “pained” her.

I think in your chumpy little brain you have to imagine your wife is in the same kind of pain you are, so there is some kind of justice. Gee, it’s all just one big clusterfuck and we’re all hurting! NO — she DID THIS TO YOU. And yes, herself. But for her to want understanding for her self-inflicted pain is like the guy who murdered his parents wanting clemency from the court for being an orphan. Fuck her, Joe.

I understand your apprehension to me discovering little by little, everything that led up to your indiscretion, everything that happened that night, and everything that happened afterwards. I understand. No one wants to have a mistake or misjudgment thrown in his or her face repeatedly.

Well, that’s true. No one wants their mistakes thrown in their face. But this wasn’t a mistake (singular) or misjudgment (singular) — this was an affair. It’s betrayal. It was completely pre-meditated, unlike a mistake — which is spilling wine accidentally on a friend’s sofa. You pay the cleaning bill, and yes, you hope no one mentions it again. But what you’ve got Joe is a much bigger mess to clean up. If you want to reconcile, she’s going to have face it (excuse me “have it thrown in her face”) for YEARS — because that’s how long it takes to heal. If it ever heals in reconciliation. (The Universal Bullshit Translator is very skeptical.)

No one wants to be forced to ‘look’ at the thing that caused all their pain over and over again.

“Their” pain, Joe? There you go assuming again that she feels pain the way you feel it.

I can actually see, that through your eyes, you are viewing this whole thing as something that just needs to go away, something that is over, that he/she doesn’t mean anything to you, so why is it such a big issue? I can understand you wondering why I torture myself with this continuously, and thinking, doesn’t he/she know by now that I love him/her? I can see how you can feel this way and how frustrating it must be. But for the remainder of this letter I’m going to ask you to view my reality through my eyes.

And there’s your problem, Joe. She will NOT view reality through your eyes. To do that she’d have to have EMPATHY, which she just demonstrated through an affair that she is lacking. Now, I know to reconcile, you have to believe that this lapse in empathy was temporary, brought about by the fun of naughty sex and such, but consider that it might go deeper, that lack of empathy might be who she IS. That’s her character. And character changes very slowly and painfully and isn’t brought about by heartfelt letters, but things like consequences. The most empathy deficient? Consequences don’t even get through to those idiots. They keep doing the same stupid shit over and over again.

You were there. There is no detail left out from your point of view. Like a puzzle, you have all the pieces and you are able to reconstruct them and be able to understand the whole picture, the whole message, or the whole meaning. You know exactly what that picture is and what it means to you and if it can effect your life and whether or not it continues to stir your feelings. You have the pieces, the tools, and the knowledge.

You can move through your life with 100% of the picture you compiled. If you have any doubts, then at least you’re carrying all the information in your mind and you can use it to derive conclusions or answers to your doubts or question. You carry all the ‘STUFF’ to figure out OUR reality. There isn’t really any information, or pieces to the puzzle that you don’t have.

Joe, you don’t share a reality, or values, or much else. There is her reality and your reality. She’s looking at this through the lens of ME, and you want her to see her world through a lens of OURS. She doesn’t do that. She’s got her own agenda. Not telling you the truth is about her gaining advantage over you. It’s for her own protection, so you won’t know the full truth about your life and what she did, so then you won’t impose consequences.

Now let’s enter my reality. Let’s both agree that this affects our lives equally.

Let’s agree that leprechauns run the state lotteries. Let’s agree that I’m Baroness Penelope Snootypants and I live in a castle. Let’s agree that Tori Spelling is a Rhodes scholar.

The outcome no matter what it is will affect us both. Our future and our present circumstances are every bit as important to me as it is to you. So, why then is it okay for me to be left in the dark? Do I not deserve to know as much about the night that nearly destroyed our relationship as you do? Just like you, I am also able to discern the meaning of certain particulars and innuendoes of that night and just like you, I deserve to be given the opportunity to understand what nearly brought our relationship down.

Of course you deserve to know, Joe. It’s just that your wife (as you dimly suspect) doesn’t think you deserve to know, because you’re a lesser being. A chump. Not the sort of fabulous, deserving person she is. This isn’t a contest of equals here.

Also, you’ve got to let go of the idea that it was “a night” — singular. Where’d you get that nugget? Let me guess — the wife who’s lying to you and not filling you in on the particulars, right?

To assume that I can move forward and accept everything at face value is unrealistic and unless we stop thinking unrealistically I doubt our lives will ever ‘feel’ complete. You have given me a puzzle. It is a 1000 piece puzzle and 400 random pieces are missing. You expect me to assemble the puzzle without the benefit of looking at the picture on the box. You expect me to be able to discern what I am looking at and to appreciate it in the same context as you. You want me to be as comfortable with what I see in the picture as you are.

No, she doesn’t expect you to be able to “discern what you are looking at” or “appreciate its context.” That’s spackle for SHE IS STILL LYING TO YOU.

What she expects is for you to shut up about it already.

When I ask if there was a tree in such and such area of the picture you tell me don’t worry about it, it’s not important. When I ask whether there were any animals in my puzzle you say don’t worry about it, it’s not important. When I ask if there was a lake in that big empty spot in my puzzle you say, what’s the difference, it’s not important.

The puzzle is a nice metaphor, but this isn’t a children’s game. You’re not seeing a tree or animals. You’re not seeing unprotected sex, or multiple partners, or all the emails where she tells her affair partner what an asshole you are.

Then later when I’m expected to understand the picture in my puzzle you fail to understand my disorientation and confusion. You expect me to feel the same way about the picture as you do but deny me the same view as you. When I express this problem you feel compelled to admonish me for not understanding it, for not seeing it the way you see it.

You wonder why I can’t just accept whatever you chose to describe to me about the picture and then be able to feel the same way you feel about it.

She doesn’t care how you feel about it. You aren’t expected to understand the puzzle. That’s the POINT.

So, you want me to be okay with everything.

Now you’re getting it, Joe. Keep connecting those dots.

You think you deserve to know and I deserve to wonder.

Yes, that’s it exactly.

You may honestly feel that the whole picture, everything that happened is insignificant because in your heart you know it was a mistake and wish it never happened. But how can I know that? Faith? Because you told me so? Would you have faith if the tables were turned? Don’t you understand that I want to believe you completely? But how can I? I can never know what is truly in your mind and heart.

Oh, she totally understands that you want to believe her completely. That’s how you manipulate chumps and abuse their trust. They want to believe.

I can only observe you actions, and what information I have acquired and slowly, over time rebuild my faith in your feelings. I truly wish it were easier.

So, there it is, as best as I can put it. That is why I ask questions. That is where my need to know is derived from. And that is why it is unfair for you to think that we can effectively move forward and unfair for you to accuse me of dwelling on the past. My need to know stems from my desire to hold our world together.

It doesn’t come from jealousy, it doesn’t come from spitefulness, and it doesn’t come from a desire to make you suffer.

Joe, it’s not jealousy when your wife is fucking another man. That’s righteous anger at being betrayed. Who told you those feelings were “spiteful”? You deserve to be in a marriage where your wife isn’t fucking another man in secret. You don’t have a desire to make her suffer? Well, she sure as hell doesn’t care if YOU suffer.

It comes from the fact that I love you. Why else would I put myself through this?

Because you’re a chump and you’ve got spackle issues.

Wouldn’t it be easier for me to walk away?

Walking away isn’t “easier.” It takes a huge amount of guts. Keeping your 401K and your family together is the societally accepted path. But I’ll give you this, doing what you’re doing is self-inflicted torture and much more painful. You should consider walking away for your sanity and self respect.

Wouldn’t it be easier to consider our relationship a bad mistake in my life and to move on to better horizons?

Easier? No. Healthier? Yes.

Of course it would, but I can’t and the reason I can’t is because I love you and that reason in itself makes all the difference in the world.

Love the all-powerful spackle. Joe, some love isn’t good for us. Some relationships are toxic and it doesn’t matter how much you love the person, you need to walk away, because they don’t love you back with mutuality and respect. They love you as a superior loves an inferior. They love that you’re of use to them. They love the kibbles.

Love yourself more, Joe and burn this letter. Stop spilling your guts to a woman who demonstrably doesn’t give a shit about you. You’re better than this.

This column ran previously. Feel free to comment!

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Excellent column, CL!

    I remember my xW telling me the OM meant nothing to her when I confronted her about him and she lied to my face about having sex with him. Then she called him right after that confrontation (after talking with her mom first). Such a common lie. Cheaters probably tell their longish term adultery partners that their spouses mean nothing to them as well. But that’s closer to the truth.

    And right on about the agency piece. She’s the perpetrator here of the soul rape. That ought to change how she is approached.

    • DM, I got the same thing. Even a longish list of very specific reasons latest OM would be a horrible match for her (e.g., he never showed any emotion, he never read books, he completely lacked any creativity, he “didn’t know how to treat a woman,” etc.). And of course after I found out she was cheating with him (more than the merely the “emotional bond” she claimed) and divorced her, she married the guy. Ha!

      • The lines are so common that I am convinced a spiritual reality is at work in infidelity. Downright demonic. So not imaginative! The lines are almost or totally verbatim.

        Mine used this line to try and dismiss the subject of her cheating. She even tried to convince me that being with another man had nothing to do with our marriage problems. And this from a marriage therapist!

        It is not that they do not know what they are doing is wrong. They like the power.

        • Dam, I completely agree! I know not all here are spiritual but it’s one of the first things my (our) therapist said to me upon learning of his infidelity; he said he couldn’t place infidelity on anything less than evil, demonic behavior.
          No good hearted person who’s not run by darkness would or could ever be so callous and so cold and so remorseless.

            • Well, cheaters do cause blockage in the beautiful river of life. So dam is appropriate. 🙂

              Narcissists don’t have a soul. That’s for sure. I think they’re also vampires. It’s so common for people to get sick after the discard. It’s not just stress and self esteem, I think they finish off their prey when they leave. Call that demon if you want. Mosquito demons.

          • So very true BetterJamie…..this was my life and despite the fact that our therapist wanted him to talk about his affair…he couldn’t face it. Instead moved in with the OW so he could avoid responsibility and accountability. My cousin, an Episcopal priest, sat with me one night and shared this is TOTALLY evil, demonic behavior…nothing less. I totally loved your last line…”no good hearted person who’s not run by darkness would or could ever be so callous and so col and so remorseless.” THANK YOU!!!!

        • I agree, DM. A friend of mine and I had that same eerie experience when we were talking about things our Xs said and she said, “It’s like they were given a script.” And it really is like someone is feeding them the exact same lines.

          • Stepford cheaters. Auto bots programmed to follow exact patterns depending on input given.

            Try the timid forest creature input you get callous, cold hearted cake eating crap thrown in your face.

            Try the angry input you get called bitter n how u MADE them cheat output.

            Step ford cheater product description will look like this:
            exactly 10 unique inputs n corresponding outputs available. Delivery of dialogue may vary. Available dialogue delivery modes: narc rage, pitiful puppy, sad sausage, satisfied smirk, Cheshire cat grin.

            Product is very strong and will not break upon being subjected to chump rage or consequences.

          • In “The Screwtape Letters” the demons whisper into the ears of folks to try to convince them of stuff. It is UNCANNY how similar the cheaters are to each other. Read Proverbs Chapter 5 …the warnings are things we have all seen play out in the lives of cheaters.

            In Roman Catholicism, we believe that there are sins that are so bad they are an actual threat to your soul..the Holy Spirit must leave you if you as in a sin that bad…I saw it in him…he became inhabited by darkness…not what he thought would happen when he fell in lurve with Schmoopie.

            You can repent and return from the Dark Side but it is a process. He did come back from the worst part of his darkness and I think he was not in Mortal sin when he died, but he was still delusional about the extent of damage he had inflicted.

        • My take on the spiritual side is that it shows God has a sense of humor. He says, “You cheaters want each other so bad? Fine. HAVE each other.” And then He sits back and has a warm chuckle of justice.

          I especially liked ex-wife’s line that AP “doesn’t know how to treat a woman.” I learned during false reconciliation that she was talking about an instance when he referred to them as a couple and began, “Although neither one of us would be mistaken for a supermodel, . . . .” Yes. Yes, she was furious that he noted she wouldn’t be mistaken for a . . . supermodel. Reality check: she was at the time a mother of 2, 45 years old, with a stripe of gray where she parted her hair, carrying 50+ extra pounds, and fond of ample garments in loud prints from Target. Nothing wrong with that in middle age, except the insistence that, yes, she MIGHT be confused with a supermodel. And to say otherwise was a mortal relationship sin (unlike, say, cheating for a dozen or more years?).

          Why does the Blue Plate Special of entitlement *always* come with a side-order of self-delusion?

          • This reminds me of my cheater ex. He claimed he looked like Christian Bale…lol…he looked NOTHING like Christian Bale. He is an out of shape, middle aged, drunk…Delusional is the only way to explain it.

            • I think my ex-wife truly believes she looks like Courtney Cox in the Bruce Springsteen video for “Dancing in the Dark.” From 1984. Because someone once told her that. In 1984.

              IRL? My ex looks like a cross between Paula Deen and a very desperate circus tent. But whatevs.

              • Nomar,

                “My ex looks like a cross between Paula Deen and a very desperate circus tent. But whatves.” I would pay to see your stand up routine. LOLOLOL!!!

                My STBX looks okay, but his AP? She thinks she looks like she looked over 20 years ago. In reality? She is a personality-disordered, lumbering wildebeest – and I mean no disrespect to the wildebeest for the comparison. After all, the wildebeest is supposed to look like that.

        • I totally agree with you on the spiritual battle that seems to be taking place. I can’t think of a single couple I know that has not had to deal with this is some form or other. My wife was diagnosed with BPD and depression but that really doesn’t answer the bigger question of why some people can do this (In my case repeatedly.) With the disordered I feel there is an emptiness in their personality (a hole if you will) that never developed. It leaves them longing and if that empt
          iness isn’t filled with goodness it becomes filled with evil. It’s very easy to accept the psychological explanation for disorder but I think those explanations are just renaming the effects that occur, never getting to the core causes of this sickness. M. Scott Peck’s book “People of the Lie” does a good job of addressing this phenomenon.

        • Divorce Minister, I believe that you are onto something with the demonic forces behindadultery. They all do and say the same things and I know my cheater didn’t read up on this. It’s like something is whispering in their ears.

          Also, my first husband was an alcoholic and a physical/emotional abuser. Naturally I read everything I could about that and how to stop it. It totally amazed me that everything my h said and did was exactly what the people in the books said and did. There is a script behind all these evil actions and supernatural influences make as much sense as anything else. Cheater was actually fairly decent acting except when he was with Whore. He really did act like he was possessed by Satan when he was in contact with the skank.

      • Nomar, they sound like a blissfully ignorant, soulless, manipulative match made is narc heaven. Or, chump hell…however you choose to look at it.

    • Mine called MOW a few minutes after I confronted him with months of daily calls/texts. The very second we got off the phone, he called her. He wants me to believe it means nothing.

  • I don’t know how you do it. Every day new chumps come hurtling here like bullets with their unbelievable pain and then I read the anniversary comments and see healing. So that is why you do it. I think every person is on this planet for a reason. This blog is yours.
    Maybe he has found happiness. I hope so but if not I hope he has found this blog.

  • Ahhh Joeseph, I sure hope he emerged from the narc fog shortly there after. I recall where he was, upon writing this. I was there once, weren’t we all to some degree? You mistakenly believe that your partner loved you equally and that this one “indiscretion” was just a bad acid trip…..sleep it off, it’ll be over in the morning and the world as you knew it will be restored. Then you get enough facts to prove the contrary, you continue to be abused and you crawl out from under that disordered boulder your narc placed over you to block the sunlight and facts from getting in to find that nope, you just married a shapeshifter.

    Clever trick, parasites of the world. Luckily we have CL & CN to help us out from that bewildering existence.

  • It’s so difficult for Chumps to get it through their heads that cheaters are not normal. Engaging in normal conversations or having normal expectations is futile. My mother (psychotic/narc/bitch) said to me once, “well don’t you believe Steven loves you?”. She truly did not understand why I didn’t believe this man that had cheated on me for 25 years loved me. I didn’t know how to explain something so patently obvious. I responded with “well if that’s love then I would be scared shitless of what he would’ve done if he hated me.” They aren’t normal and there is nothing anyone can do to change that. You can write all the letters you want but they will never respond in a normal fashion because they can’t.

    • If love is….. Screwing other people…. lying for years to cover… accusing us chumps as being psychotic, crazy and mentally unstable for thinking they might be cheating. I would rather no one ever LOVED me again!

      • I agree. I may date eventually but the guys will know upfront no marriage no moving in or me moving it with them. The one thing I am absolutely sure of in this world is I can trust and depend on myself!!

  • My ex has no empathy at all. But he is a honest upright man who honors his promises and commitments! Uh no! Two years and can’t say his sorry he hurt me and mean it. So much for believing he was a great guy for thirty years. End the commitment your already in dufus before you start another! His life sucks and he lives in two worlds and guess what? He’s not happy!! Poor baby. My comment fired me remember? I’m playing the game til the house sells and then see ya fuckhead! Joseph needs to run the other way and fast!!!

  • As chumps I think we get so confused about ‘love’ and ‘feelings’. “If they loved me, they wouldn’t have done this, if they had feelings for me they would stop”. Infidelity has nothing to do with love or feelings, it has to do with selfish behaviour and poor character. When I finally internalized this, I was able to let go. NC has certainly helped along the way, you don’t have to hear any more of the mindfucking and you can get on with life, get your head straight and start to heal.

  • “No one wants to be forced to ‘look’ at the thing that caused all their pain over and over again.”
    He said it himself without realizing it: staying with her would be a bad idea.

    • Mine said he felt so guilty that he didn’t think he could reconcile. Seeing him reminded him of what he did and made him feel bad about himself. If only I’d had another dump truck of spackle I might have been able to make him feel better and save my marriage!

        • Yes, Trusting, mine used that line too…’it hurt him to see the hurt on my face’. They are so twisted in their thought process,

          • I threw the now X out the door upon discovery, went NC and filed for divorce immediately. He ran and never ONCE reached back…in any form whatsoever. This was a four decades plus marriage. My therapist says that he does not want to talk to or see me as then he would have to acknowledge who he really is and what he has all done. Scumbag…

            • BA, mine did the same. I filed and he took off, never looked back after 33 years of marriage. My therapist says the same. If he looked into that abyss of who he really is, he might not be able to live with himself.

  • I remember reading this letter and even in my early days, when I was pretty bonkers and willing to buy into anything, thought this was a load of crap.

  • That poor, poor man! In the beginning I was the same way. I had no clue what to think or what to do. I was in such a deep fog myself. I knew looking back now deep deep inside my soul I knew it was over. I just didn’t have the courage to walk away at that time. All the ex told me was lies upon lies upon more lies. He just moved on to another woman then another woman and then another woman while I thought he was working on saving our marriage. These people don’t change. They just don’t see what they are doing is wrong. Wish I could speak with dear Joseph and maybe he could see what she really is. Poor, poor man! He is in such pain and all she is going to do is use that pain for her own reasons. Those reasons are just pure evil. She doesn’t deserve such a wonderful caring person in her life like Joseph. I hope he can get out of this fog and fast and see life will be so much peaceful and better without that trash he calls a wife. This is so sad! My heart is just breaking for Joseph.

    • My heart breaks for anyone who has to go through this shit. And so many of us. I could never do to anyone what has been done to me. If they are entitled let them be entitled and get the life they so richly deserve. My ex has dug himself a huge financial hole and the new whore is helping him make it bigger. I will be far away one day clear and smiling!!!!! Thank you Tracy and chump nation for helping me get through every single day! Need chump meetups in Florida!!!

  • I’ve been raped, this has been so much worse.

    At least my rapists didn’t try to convince me they loved me. They didn’t think they were owed forgiveness. They didn’t think I was a bitch for being angry. They were total strangers, not people I trusted and depended on. They didn’t try to convince me that there was something wrong with me that justified their actions. Even soul rape is too mild a term for this horror show.

    • This is one of the things that the Reconciliation Industrial Complex has right. Dr Harley said he had clients who had been betrayed by a spouse, raped and/or lost a loved one and the most hurtful thing they experienced was the betrayal.

      They may not have a realistic view of cheaters, but some do understand the hurt of betrayal.

        • I’m not saying cheaters are rapists. (DM says soul rape, I say abusive…) I’m pointing out that if you say the pain is WORSE than these other horrible things, aren’t you then minimizing that statement by advocating saving that relationship?

          • I think “emotional rapists” fits them exactly (similar to “abusive”, but with more of a punch).

            • Well I am a guy… who has issues with being emotional and all… I feel like I was robbed… raped and spit on… so raped is not to far off…

              • DavidB…. Not to minimize your pain…. But its nothing like getting raped. Speaking from experience. The only way I would liken them is to say the rapist and the cheater took liberties. None of what I am going thru now ever compared to being violently sexually assaulted and nothing that I went thru then equals the pain I feel now. All I know that is true… Is I survived both.

              • Since DavidB was responding to my use of the term “emotional rape” I just wanted to say that neither I nor (I assume) he meant to equate infidelity with the pain of a violent rape. It’s like that game my daughter plays, “Would you rather…” (“Would you rather be burned alive or eaten slowly by piranhas?” Who knows, they both f*cking suck) . And I never meant to minimize the pain of rape at all, ever.

                What I meant iby “emotional rape” s that infidelity, esp. extended infidelity, plus all the blameshifting, lying, gaslighting, etc. that accompanies it, is a violation of our most fundamental emotional dignity and personhood, from which one can never return to the way one was before the violation.

              • I did not mean it as a true comparison as I can not make that judgement. Nor mean to offend anyone who has suffered through that trauma. Emotional rape…. maybe a bad term after all!

              • I guess I’m holding firm that it is an appropriate term. Divorce Minister has used “soul rape,” which I understand. However, since I’m not religious, I can’t really relate to that. The infidelity was, imo, a rape of my emotions, trust, stability–a complete violation of much that I held dear. It is not meant to downgrade physical rape at all (hence the qualifier “emotional rape”)–I, like TheClip and several others here, was raped (though not violently), and I think the analogy stands.

      • Interesting. I have experienced the death of a loved one and it was painful but nothing like betrayal. I have a friend who’s husband committed suicide last week and after the shock and sadness for my friend, I thought “I wish my husband would have chose that instead.” Betrayal really is gut wrenching. Trusting- thank you for sharing. You are a person of courage.

        • I think the worst thing besides betrayal, is the death of a spouse and then you find out you were cheated on! No chance of a confrontation and no chance of any questions answered, but a permanent answer to the problem of “should I stay or should I leave” !!!

          • To a degree this is me …put my square green body and red claws on the poster.

            I knew that he had an inappropriate relationship, but he gaslighted, minimized and denied the extent of his betrayal…even as far as to make the excuse that he “never left”…uh dude, do you REMEMBER the 18 months you spent in an apt 3000 miles away.

            Then after he died I find travel receipts that disproved his whole convoluted story.

            Our whole stupid reconciliation was based on lies and denial…stupid waste of my life.

            The money I got when he died, it will never replace what I lost, I was never for sale…but I WILL go out and have as much fun as humanly possible now

          • My heart goes out to you two. It’s already a mindfuck but when you find out like that afterward the cheater also drags a piece of your soul to hell. Like being stuck in the underworld or limbo when you’ve done nothing to get there. Or maybe there are just truly no words for how evil and awful that is. Hugs x a million.

  • Last night I watched a typical French movie. And the night before, another one. Both about a bunch of people in their forties living in Paris, who criticize everything and everybody, and cheat with each other. There is this guy who tells his girlfriend enthusiastically at an unappropriate time: “I want children with you, let’s get married”, and the next hour sleeps with an old mistress and says he has made the decision to leave his girlfriend. And then he suggests to go on vacation together. And she waits eagerly at the airport until the last minute, and he arrives, the old mistress smiles as a winner, but he shakes his head and leaves the airport to return to his girlfriend, YAWN, etc. etc. I am ashamed that my country produces so many shitty movies. Always about cheating superficial idiots who are supposed to sound deep. I don’t even understand what we are expected to think while watching these. But it does remind me of an experiment that was published in a science magazine a long time ago: if you put rats in crowded and stressful conditions, the males are unable to court females properly, they become brutal, their behavior is crazy.

  • “Know why she doesn’t tell you the details? Because she doesn’t want you to know them. It’s that simple.”

    It’s the secretiveness, concealment, subterfuge–I have come to realize that this is a profound part of a cheater’s psyche, walking hand in hand with their self-obsessed, self-absorbed persona and lack of morality or conscience.

    They are frauds, and so they cannot survive without cover up and lies. Being open and honest, telling the truth (something taken as a given, and so seemingly simple and obvious to a chump), is alien and unappealing to them, quite outside of their repertoire.

    • These freaks cannot exist in a relationship as equal partners – they always have to feel that they are in the one up position. Thus, the subterfuge and secretiveness keeps them in the one up position. To be on equal footing with someone or, God forbid!, to be in what they interpret as a one down position is something their egos can’t handle.

  • I believe once caught, they google all the information they can on reconciliation. Then use the information against you. I have heard about the affair fog….. the I dont want to hurt your feelings more by telling you the details…. Its all an excuse for their bad behavior…. nothing more. The truth is always bad…. it was not a mistake…. my wife had to plan out her time with her boy toy…. she enjoyed it…. she liked it… and will not stop just because I discovered it!

    • Yes, they selectively use the reconciliation info they want to appear to be remorseful, and discard any inconvenient advice (like telling the truth).

      Mine said he looked at many sites to “re-build trust.” Every damn one of them recommends transparency. Yet he continued to lie about even the most mundane of things, and big ones–pretty sure he remembers taking slut to Mexico. When did I hear about that? Two days before the divorce hearing FROM A FRIEND. Pathological liars, the lot of them.

  • “in your heart you know it was a mistake and wish it never happened. But how can I know that? Faith? Because you told me so? Would you have faith if the tables were turned?”

    I remember this. Back after Schmoopie dumped X, and he wanted to come back, he claimed “it was a mistake and I’m sorry” but he could never understand why I didn’t just drop to my knees and thank the universe and welcome him back with open arms. I think I said something somewhat similar to him, about how he lied, betrayed me and broke my trust, why did he think I would immediately believe him now that HE says he’s sorry?

    Interesting thing about the whole, “if the tables were turned” thing. I think if you are in a situation where you have to ask that in a relationship, you might as well not ask, because I think the answer you get will either be a lie to make themselves sound magnanimous or because they are secure in the knowledge that YOU would NEVER do the bad behavior, so they don’t have to worry about it. I know that was the case for me and some of my Chump friends, our Xs claimed they wouldn’t care at all if we texted all night to a “just friends” member of the opposite sex, spent hundreds of dollars without telling them, refused to wear our wedding rings, stayed out all night without telling them where we were, etc. And we all agreed, that yes, they would care. If WE did it, that would not be OK with them, it was only OK if THEY did it.

    • Loki was jealous if I watched the presidential debates too closely. He was jealous if I spoke to my brothers or invited them over. And yet, he spent countless hours courting potential OWs while we were married. Strange. I was never jealous. I knew that I treated him good. He didn’t have that reassurance. Dipshit.

    • I heard the EXACT same shit, Kira. Yet a little later on he got mad cause one of my brother’s friends wanted to sit beside me in a photo at a family party. Mr. Not Jealous couldn’t stand it. Lol.

    • I asked my STBX the same question, “how would you feel if I cheated on you and was leaving you for another man?” He said he would be hurt but would realize that this other man made made me happy and gave me something he couldn’t. I was like bullshit! He would have hated me had I done this to him but he expects me to forgive and forget. He couldn’t stand for me to go out with friends becaue I guess he was worried I would hook up with some guy. Just because he cheats (this is the third woman he has cheated with and he “loved” everyone of them and was ready to leave me and I stupidly kept taking him back) doesn’t mean I do!

  • One word that stands out to me… EMPATHY… it made me reflect on how when I was sick or in some type of pain, my wife would walk away from me and say something negative. There was never a reciprocation of taking care of like I would do for her. She has empathy for everyone else on planet (for show) but me I was an inconvenience.

    • Yes, DavidB, one of the big “tells” as I looked back on my relationship with my ex– He acted like he adored me, but in a fight, he could cut me dead with something so mean or nasty, walk away and not worry or even be sorry. I remember thinking he did not seem to have the normal limits I or most people I knew had, he was always willing to go much much further than a loving spouse should in what he said or did. Well, it turns out that was right, he did not have “normal” limits, because he lacked empathy, a conscience, and any sort of real love for me and his children, or anyone else besides himself.

      • As I am doing my “relationship inventory” this is one of the things that I was reminded of. A discussion would turn into a fight and he never seemed to get my side, would blow a gasket and on a couple of incidents called me names and told me he hated me. I should of packed up then, but being an award winning Chump (unbeknownst to me), I apologized and tried harder to put HIM first even more. Obviously, he had no empathy, or conscience and regardless of how many times he said he loved me, he obviously didn’t or hie wouldn’t have made the choice to cheat, lie and steal. And not look back at the devastation in his wake. This chump cannot reconcile the person I thought I knew with the person that has blown up my life.

        • WAC-15…”Obviously, he had no empathy, or conscience and regardless of how many times he said he loved me, he obviously didn’t or hie wouldn’t have made the choice to cheat, lie and steal. And not look back at the devastation in his wake. This chump cannot reconcile the person I thought I knew with the person that has blown up my life.” Oh so me Chumps…I still just can’t believe it!! I must be Chump of the Universe.

      • Hey, Maree! I was wondering where you had been; I hadn’t read any posts from you in a while. Maybe I missed them. Glad to see you’re post!

        The XDoucheBag from this household hit at 15 of the 20 on that list. And yes, EVERYONE considered him nice as hell. He’ll nice you to freaking death, but will never mention that he is a serial cheater/kibble whore for 17+ years of the sham “marriage.” Asswipe. I’m so glad he’s gone. Funny. Things are just at “nice” without him around. He contributed ZERO to this family, our future, raising our kids, mentoring them – NOTHING. Just a selfish douchebag.

    • Oh shit, Gollum is at 17 or 18 depending on whether what I consider poor behavioral control is what a doctor would also consider it. If he was sexually promiscuous he’d be at 19 but I have no idea of his sexual partner number and he has only ever been in long term relationships (1.5-6 years) so it’s possible he didn’t sleep around before meeting me at 22.

      The disproportionate affect while describing ones feelings is s good one. Our therapist pointed that out to me that when Gollum would project all his heinous behavior onto me during their sessions he would say them with little to no voice inflections and sometimes with an odd superficial smile. Creeeeepyyyyy

      Cue the twilight zone music again!!!

    • I have filled in the blanks related to sociopath or narcissist… but she really does not score high on them… reality is, she was a virgin when I met her…. she wanted to go have some discovery and some fun…. pure and simple selfish act… her biggest fault I see is… she thinks other people should make her happy… which we all know no one can do…. not making excuses by any means…. if she wanted open marriage, she should have told me…. I passed up many opportunities in the last 3-4 years because I was married!!! At least have the decency to let me know!! But us chumps should be home and faithful……. when they need the stability…. Yes I know….. rambling a bit!!!

      • DavidB, my ex pegged at 17 so my suspicions about him were correct all along. Can I say to you that I have only ever been with one man and that is my ex husband and I have never for one moment ever considered having sex with another man and I am talking 40 years of my life because I loved my ex. Some discovery and some fun is a crock. If you really love a person you would never destroy what you have with them and nearly destroy them in the process.

        • Let me say…. I am not making excuses for her affair… She is a selfish ass… There is no love or care in the person who has affairs…. There is no concern for your spouse… She has issues that can not be filled by other people but she will blame them for their failures… and do what she wants…. She is a liar and a cheater!!!! Not a loving spouse!!! Just does not score high on the Narcissist or Sociopath test…. at least not in my assessment of her… hell it may be she is that good at covering it up!!!

    • Nomar, thanks for the link to the psychopathy test. There are varying degrees of awful narcissism, ranging from annoying high school classmate Facebook over-sharers to vomit-level Sanford/McDermotts. My ex-wife (luckily) scores way in the mild range of those 20 bullet points.

      But here’s the thing with being a self-serving cheater; you don’t have to be a monstrous sociopath (although it helps). All it takes is possessing an unfillable maw in your soul that eclipses empathy for anyone who challenges your bullshit brittle self image.

      So, best of luck to her long-time affair partner and now serious boyfriend for learning the crazy dance steps I used to do. It will be a thrill a minute to see how their relationship pans out considering he was also cheating on his wife (and four kids) during their affair too. What interesting antimatter field appears when narcissists come together lacking a too-kind and compliant chump to do amazing feats of bending and flexibility to accommodate the bullshit? Who knows? No one, because 2 shits we do not give.

    • Depending on how accurately I assessed Cheater McPsycho, when I added up his score for Factor 1 and Factor 2 he came in at around 20 or more. I actually pegged him lower in those things in which he consistently exhibits the behavior, but at a higher or lower level. Even giving him the benefit of the doubt and giving him a zero in those categories over which I hesitated, he’s at least at 19.

      The next time I question whether or not he’s REALLY as bad as he seems, I will remember this number. I’m not diagnosing the man mind you, I’m just adding up some numbers.

      • My former cheaterpants nailed a 24, but only because he was ambitious and successful, and equally successful at avoiding law enforcement. In most of those categories he could have been a 3 on the zero to two scale. And that monster was an acclaimed clinical psychologist with research funded for decades by our taxpayer dollars. I guess it gives credence to the notion that disordered people find good fun places to hide, like child molesting clergy and coaches, or power happy officers of the law.

  • I never read that before. It’s so terribly sad that this man could fall so far and have so little respect for himself.

    AS a chump, I tried to get my wife to see the error of her ways, as I briefly believed she was somehow “lost” or “wayward.” She and I did write back and forth a few times via email to “resolve” our issues, although I never wrote such a groveling, subservient letter.

    But I did make lame analogies similar to the “puzzle” analogy that Joe uses. I used euphemisms about “your errors” instead of telling it like it is: “You regularly told me you had to work late, met your colleague at his place after work, had hot sex, and then came home to me and lied straight to my face.”

    Avoid euphemisms. If you, the chump, can’t even state in plain language what your cheater is doing, then you’re still playing by your cheater’s rules. Even if you think you’ve got a unicorn on your hands, you will be best served by using straightforward descriptions of what your cheater is doing (or did) and what it indicates about his/her character and regard for you.

  • Quick correction to CL’s article: When you put up drywall you use joint compound, not spackle. Spackle is just for minor quick fixes, like holes in the wall where you hung pictures or whatever. Joseph uses buckets of joint compound.

    The one I quickly found after d-day was the “marriage 180” in which you basically try to win your wife back by being indifferent and working on yourself. Has anyone else seen that?

    • I saw the 180 on forums when I was in false reconciliation. It’s just a pick me dance with a dash of delusion.

      • Yes. That’s how I saw it. It allows chumps the illusion of maintaining dignity while still being chumpy.

        • “the illusion of maintaining dignity”–that would be me the 8 years I was (not-so-blissfully) unaware of my X’s banging a graduate student, and sat across from all our friends who did know at copious dinner parties.

            • Nope, huge R1 university, but with a tight social circle within the department. Also, no matter the size of the department, if you bang a graduate student, 90% of the other graduate students know.

              • Hell, Tempest, I went to a Faculty Wives tea and heard what a class act I was to show up now that we were separated. Um, news to me.

              • Survivor–WTF? X (or STBX) had told people you were separated? or they inferred it from cheater’s behavior?

              • My X told others that we had split up as well. Family. It was news to me as well. Interesting that he was home sleeping with me, being somewhat part of the family (doing the cell phone tango and hiding out in the bathroom), telling me he loved me and kissing and sleeping with me every night….but I guess we were “split up” somehow. WTF?

              • Tempest, X told them so they wouldn’t have a problem with him boffing a student or a daughter of a collegue, or a student. According to some sources, we separated many times I wasn’t aware of. Well, until I saw someone I hadn’t in quite a while and the “while you were separated” questions came up. And the fucker was asking for me when he died over a decade after the divorce because he couldn’t ever find a bigger chump.

              • WhatAChump, that shit only works if they remember who they tell and compartmentalize efficiently. Sometimes they don’t.

              • Tempest. Your ex is such a cliche. That in no way minimizes your pain but I’d look at him and think he was a total loser. He certainly lost an amazing woman.

                What a chump 2015, my ex did the same thing with our friend group. It’s part of the phase leading up to the discard with narcissists. They prep and triangulate the friend group, work group etc so they look good when when they discard you for someone else.

                If there’s one thing I am still pissed about it’s that my ex managed to deal with NO repercussions in his social standing at all. In fact he had them convinced that somehow I put up with years of bullshit and supported him and parented my stepkids just so because I wanted a baby and that the minute I got knocked up I left with the baby leaving him as the victim. Gotta hand it to him he ran THE perfect smear campaign. He ends up posting pics of him dating when I was six months pregnant and pics of him with a new brady bunch family of his girlfriend and her two kids and my stepkids three months after I gave birth. His family doesn’t bat an eye. Our little league parental friends didn’t bat an eye. His work gives him airline miles to show up where I live now and bully me. The narrative being I abandoned my stepkids, was too jealous, and was a gold digger, respectively. I am usually a well liked person and I Hate having my integrity smeared. But yeah, at our wedding one of my friends was saying how happy she was that we worked out our issues. I was like what are you talking about? Ex ditched me while I was sick one night and told everyone that I wasn’t sure I wanted to go on with the relationship and that I was having doubts and fighting. At the time I was taking a bit of a step back because I caught him looking at craigslist ads. I believed him when he said he was “just looking” but called him on it not being comitted behavior. We were engaged at the time. That prompted him to start laying the groundwork to look good for when the shit hit the fan. No one ever just “looks” at craigslist ads. Knowing what I know now I would walk away in a second if I caught a partner doing that. He’d already been cheating for about 9 months at that point.

              • Kat–thanks for your kind words. He is a total cliche–years of screwing students and playing the poor sausage, “my wife doesn’t have enough time for me/doesn’t understand me” card. I did make sure he told everyone who already knew about the affair why we initially “separated,” so that there would be no public-relations-glossing over by him later. However, he continues to lead this highly-successful, well-paid, academic career, being invited to give talks all over the world (so who knows how much he learned from it).

                Your X is a complete ass; the karma bus will hit him some day for his smear campaign. Jerks who cheat on their pregnant wives, IMHO, are the lowest of the low on the phylogenetic cheater scale. Add in Craigslist surfing, and he falls even further. What a gross, disgusting creature. You’re well-rid of him (though I know how much it hurts, until it doesn’t). The worse these cheaters are, the easier to disengage emotionally from them in the end–just bloated carcasses. You can’t save them, move on.

    • Ugh, the Save the Marriage book refers to something like this 180 you speak of. It basically ensures you that by making your own moves in your relationship your partner is forced to take action based completely on the balancing act of the 2 people involved. They even drew a stick figure diagram to prove its authenticity.
      *Snort*
      First off, reeeeeeally tough to act indifferent to match their indifference when you’re living in fear of losing “the love of your life” and being told that YOUR shitty partner qualifications are why you two find yourself in this disarray to begin with. You wouldn’t dare rock the boat and make your withdrawn and abused husband feel even less loved by matching his apathy, would you?! That’d surely drive him into the arms of another woman. So I never followed through with the 180, didn’t have the strength to keep up that lie. But I can bet you it wouldn’t have made his sociopathy disappear if I had.

      Just a hunch 😉

      • I read all about the 180 on the unicorn websites. It’s a weird ass backwards pick me dance orchestrated to try to make the cheater come running back from the AP to you. If you ignore them and act all indifferent they will come running back to you? Say what? It is all such a load of manipulative bullshit!

        It’s very nefariously giving out the message that your behavior can control someone else’s behavior and we all know it can’t. Some of the people on those sites tell everyone and their mother to “Do the 180”.

        So clear to me now but when I was chasing the unicorn, it seemed perfectly logical.

        • I haven’t been on any other websites and I am not educated on the 180 but I can sure as hell tell you that “indifference” doesn’t work on these assholes. Once they have made the decision to DEVALUE and DISCARD you….your ass is finished. The game is over as well as life as you knew it….. and they don’t CARE who they hurt including their own kids. Normal people do not DO what these selfish disordered assholes do. If “indifference” works it’s because they WANT to stay and they will just find ways to continue the same behavior behind your back until they are ready to blow everything up completely. It is all about CONTROL…. and they MUST have it!!

    • I think the spackle metaphor still works for me. No amount of spackle will ever properly cover that gaping hole in the wall. It’s an impossible task.

      • Plus joint compound makes our relationships sound like they had arthritis. Now I did preparation h the hell out of my ex’s behavior. You know, cause he was such a burning asshole. 🙂

  • So Joseph’s letter is the Holy Grail about how to “approach” waywards to get truth about their affair?

    Here are my recommendations for how to “approach” waywards:

    1-with a 2′ x 4′
    2-with a pen and divorce papers

  • “But for her to want understanding for her self-inflicted pain is like the guy who murdered his parents wanting clemency from the court for being an orphan.”

    Wow, you know exactly how the man I married thinks.

    • not just yours, i know it fits exhole too.

      he has been mia for 11 months and all of a sudden decides to take child4 out to lunch without calling me first AND THEN he doesnt understand why i said no. he complained to the secretary “I knew she wouldnt let me see my son” YA, he KNEW after he was denied access and wondering why he just cant go take the child to lunch like he used to……

      so my version is “he is like the guy who ran off with a hood rat and forgot all about his kids for almost and year then wanted access to his children the way he did before he bailed on us”

      • Me too Mrs.V!! X-hole told son on the phone one night that he would pick him up the next day. I told him he wasn’t allowed to make plans with our 7 year old, plans have to be made through ME. He gave up the right to full access when he abandoned ship and son. F*cker. He showed up anyway and we had a SHOW DOWN. I won. Idiot is driving on a suspended license and suspended plates, when he started throwing shit I said “LEAVE or I’m calling the cops.” Whoa!!! That pissed him OFF…. but he left. Now… when son asks to make plans…. X-hole says “you need to check with Mommy”. Yes…. asshole…. NOW you have the picture. Fortunately for ME….idiot is SO screwed up with the law & back taxes that he is in a very precarious position, amazes me that he is stupid enough to continue to punish me…. in the end it will cost him dearly.

  • The entire aspect of having to beg for the truth, so you can at least make an informed decision about the rest of your life…the constant frustration of not getting the answers, of being deliberatly left in the dark….the fact that the numbers don’t add up, and th continuiously replaying memories to try to figure it out for yourself….The power they weild over you with the secrecy. All kibbles. All exquisitely delicious ego food for narcs.
    This, in the end was as bad as the betrayal. Begging him to let me in on the secret, so I could start to make some sence out of my world, and stop swimming in a cess pool of doubt and emotional turmoill. The pain and trauma were unimaginable. That was why I finally left. His callous need to hold onto all the power in the relationship. Seeing this was finally enabled me to break the trauma bond.

    • Kim, the information void is intentional. It is to deliberately deprive the chump of the facts required to make an informed and rational choice about how they feel about the situation and what action to take. Another way to bend the chumps will to do whatever the cheater wants, which usually means maintaining the status quo of cake AND a side of kibbles.

      • Your insightful comment here leads me to think that if we don’t get answers that make sense to questions, if we don’t get verifiable facts and “numbers that make sense,” if what we hear from cheater pants doesn’t match up to what we know, if the behavior has no explanation that makes sense–we in fact have an answer. No answer is an answer. Silence is an answer. Absence is an answer. Disengagement is an answer. I didn’t get any words of explanation from the cheater in my life (other than outraged denial and blame shifting) but I’ve come to see that the behavior is the explanation: “Yep, I am a jackass.”

    • Second that, Kim. I got “you keep playing movies in your head (about the decade long affair with the MOW)!” Well of course I’m playing movies! When you get partial information i.e trickle truth, you fill in the gaps with the info you do have.

      It’s about power and control, and their continued power and control over you. Now I just don’t give a crap. What’s done is done. I don’t want to help him discover what empathy is all about. Let him play with his thousand puzzle pieces alone or with someone else.

    • I realized that the information void is intentional to keep plan B in play otherwise they may be accountable for their actions. There was a sense of justice in denying my cheating wife plan B.

  • Joseph reminds me of myself before I knew I was a chump. That’s what selfish disorderd cheating spouses use to keep us unbalanced. The hope that it was a ‘mistake’ and they really really wuv you keeps them from being accountable. We only know the details when they are caught, poems, love letters, texts, porn, hotel receipts, hidden phone numbers, condoms in your garbage, presents, righteous whores defending their behavior, Other women calling and saying he told them he was seperated, and unfortunately stds/crabs. Cheaters have many WISHES but they never wish it didn’t happen, rather they wish they never got caught. Chumps believe the cheater really loves them after all getting married and having children together points in that direction. No it doesn’t hurt them emotionally because they can’t put themselves in anyone’s shoes. They lack the ability to understand anyone’s emotional needs. As a matter of fact when your emotional needs are at a peek (pregnancy, using a home , death in the family, empty nest) they cheat. And as far as wondering if fucking someone outside your marriage stirs their feelings that goes without saying. Serial cheating narcissists seek out many victims and typically have multiple partners. No one person satisfies their needs regardless their current situation. Finally, cheaters Don’t have the tools to maintain fidelity. Their tool box is filled with cunning, false hope, pathological lying, unprotected sex, a lack of remorse, narcissisistic abuse, and the list of victims who were willing to believe he was a GOOD GUY. The only success I had was to throw his shit out if the house, get a therapist that has expertise in narcissistic relationships, gather all the evidence of cheating and account numbers, hire a GOOD lawyer, have NO contact and divorce the disordered. And especially know you are never alone with chump nation to give you the strength, love, and support to finally exorcise the parasite from your life. I am proud to be a chump in recovery.

    • well said and so very true. i am waiting for the demonic hood rat home wrecker to get hers back. she did not care that she was helping destroy mine and my childrens life. on one hand i think they might actually be a good couple, they both dont care about anyone else but themselves (and now each other) they both have zero accountability and responsibility, morals or values. they both have no issues with PARASITIC LIFESTYLE (new word i learned today), they both drown their emotions and feelings in alcohol or drugs so it is possible he might stay with this one forever. on the other hand my mind just cant see how a relationship like that would work so i pray she crashes and burns in the most painful way dragging him with her.

    • Well stated, Donna! “Serial cheating narcissists seek out many victims and typically have multiple partners. No one person satisfies their needs regardless their current situation. Finally, cheaters Don’t have the tools to maintain fidelity. Their tool box is filled with cunning, false hope, pathological lying, unprotected sex, a lack of remorse, narcissisistic abuse, and the list of victims who were willing to believe he was a GOOD GUY”

      My cheater wanted me and everyone else (family and friends) to believe that he just “fell in love” with OW because I wasn’t paying enough attention to him and he was so vewwy unhappy. In the six months after DDay I believed that too, and was acting accordingly till I stumbled on irrefutable evidence of a prior OW five years earlier. It blew my mind all over again. I didn’t give up and found more irrefutable evidence that for our first 9 years living together, he was still having sex with and involved with his “previous” girlfriend. The fact that he had been a serial cheater all along, totally blew me away but also explained the callous, robotic, cruel way he treated me when I found out. No cheating is “less” bad than others but I believe there must be a special place in hell for serial cheaters operating behind a mask, consciously gauging how much they can get away with and always going for more, more, more, the more trusting you are, the more they will fool you.

      • unfortunately i was VERY trusting. so i wonder just how many times did he cheat on stupid foolish loving forgiving me. ugh!!!

        The fact that he had been a serial cheater all along, totally blew me away but also explained the callous, robotic, cruel way he treated me when I found out.

        thank you for that, it also explains why exhole was cruel and hateful in the end too. after he figured out he couldnt fool me anymore and i expected accountability.

        • The disordered seek out likeness in the OW/OM. When we divorce them that is what they are left with in their lives. Choosing not to dwell on what they prefer in a partner is a relief. They just want someone willing to play the game we used to play. They choose someone equally disordered. We can find our own equals. I seek out intelligence , honesty and kindness They will continue to cheat and we are free. There is nothing disordered in our lives. Yes!

          • “They just want someone willing to play the game we used to play.” Exactly. And that’s why they inevitably leave a reasonably normal person.

  • With all due respect, this article is wrong. I am a former cheater. None of the speculation here pertains to my thought process.

    After the affair, I was deeply ashamed. Seriously, I had a mini breakdown. I can’t even explain to myself why I risked all for the low life other women who invited me to have an affair. Denial maybe. I just couldn’t turn down her constant barrage of sexual invitations. I know I am a scumbag for engaging with her, and hurting my wife, but the reality is I thought she would never find out, the affair would fizzle out and things at home would go back to normal.

    I did not count on my lover snitching on me. She even admits she snitched only to start trouble not because she wanted to leave her own spouse. She said she was angry because I would never tell her I loved her and kept reminding her that the original request by her was only to have a brief affair. She apparently changed her mind.

    I never contacted her husband and neither did my wife, and my married other woman is still married to her husband who is none the wiser about her affairs.

    The real reason I did not initially want to reveal details was that I did not want to inflict more pain on my wife. Also, I blocked a lot of the details. That’s what my shrink calls it, but I agree that maybe it’s just convenient to forget the details.

    I really wish I never met my affair partner, and I wish I could take back the affair and the pain it inflicted on my lovely loving wife. I really can’t believe I had an affair some days. I always hated cheaters. Sigh! We were having a dry spell regarding our own bedroom habits, but I should have sought counseling.

    Go ahead, guys and gals, beat me up emotionally, I deserve it.

    Also, I never ever loved my affair partner. She was more like a living sex toy. She had numerous affairs before me, and she presented herself as a free spirited fun loving woman who only wanted extra sex.

    • Jonor: We appreciate your honesty, but I suspect you are in the minority among cheaters. Most of the stories on these pages highlight cheaters who showed very little true remorse or empathy at all.

      The one thing I will beat you up over is not providing details if your wife asked about them–it seems counterintuitive that hearing details about your spouse shagging someone else would be therapeutic, but it is. If your wife asked for details, and you obfuscated, they you were hurting her more than helping her.

      I hope your marriage can survive the infidelity, as long as your wife can be truly happy after it.

    • Jonor – boiled down your letter says “I’m sorry I got caught because I risked loosing my wife” and “I couldn’t help myself, she threw herself at me” and “I didn’t want to hurt my wife, so I didn’t want to tell her everything” and “I rationalize why I did it (no sex from wife), I realize I should have gotten counseling instead of cheating”. At least afterward you regret what you did and maybe you recognize the pain you inflicted on your wife. It sounds like you are still rationalizing and blaming others (the affair partner) for what you did. And that’s what could lead you to do it again, if you felt safe from any repercussions. If your empathy for your wife’s pain actually ends with your fears vs truly being able to understand and feel her pain.

      • Have to agree Dat.

        Jonor, you ARE a douche. Stay in therapy. Let your wife heal without having to see your lying, cheating face. Tell the slutbag’s husband too. He deserves to know and get tested for STDs, like your wife.

        Wake up and get over yourself. Might be a nonsense thing to say, because you lack empathy (gee! How would I feel if my lovely wife began fucking random dudes behind my back?) and integrity ( you are in a legal relationship with your wife. You shared vows of fidelity.)

    • Jonor!
      You are in ALL kinds of DENIAL. Serious. There is no such think as a living sex doll!

      I hope your mental breakdown escalates and lands you in prison, you writhing scum.
      People are not objects and never will be. Even (decent) dead people should be reverenced. You walked into an affair with the mentality of a sociopath.

      • Well, mind you, it wasn’t a full-blown breakdown. Just a “mini” breakdown. I suppose all he did was have a “mini” affair?

        Somehow I don’t think the damage he did was “mini.”

        Lots of minimizing in that letter. Use of the passive voice, blame-shifting to the horrible affair partner, whinging about his marital sex life. All the cheater cliches. Just because you slip a half-hearted “sorry” in there doesn’t begin to make things right or make you a decent human being.

        Friend, you have a long way to go to earn any sympathy from me. Lots of hard work ahead. Own your hurtful choices. YOU made them. You ALONE. And YOU ALONE caused unspeakable pain to those around you. The time to start making amends is now. If you work at it hard for three or four decades, you’ll have made a good start. Good luck.

        • Nomar–your use of “Friend,” I assume was intended for Jonor (not for “Friend” who wrote the critique of Jonor. Friend’s story of what her cheating X did to her is *so* horrific, I just wanted to make sure she didn’t think the “you have a long way to go to earn any sympathy from me” was meant for her!).

        • Jonor’s letter reads like a stereotypical and perhaps ineffectively satirical version of an online “I had an affair but it’s not my fault” column. Nomar’s analysis of the minimizing, passive voice syntactic structures, blame shifting, and “whinging” pretty much explains it. We all ought to keep an eye out for these attention-seeking narcissist trolls.

      • This is what I told my cheater when he had all the typical responses. (Comment on “sex doll” above). Boy, that is a real Inconvenient Truth isn’t it? There is an actual person attached to that pussy!! Bummer.

        • Yeah, the fact that this dude thinks telling us he viewed the woman he cheated with as “only a sex doll” is reason judge him *less* harshly speaks volumes.

    • Junior, you cheated. NO woman has the power to make you have an affair. Sorry, it sits right beside the she kissed me excuse. And no sex in the bedroom? That’s another cheater excuse. You will always be tempted. An affair takes planning lies and fucking. Commitment takes empathy appreciation and trust. And did you get caught? No you lied until the OW exposed you. Your talking to a lifer chump please! Your lover? Should have could have blame shifting sorry you got caught cheater. Bullshit!

    • “I just couldn’t turn down her constant barrage of sexual invitations.”

      Well boo-fucking-hoo. The rest of your post needs to go through the UBT. If you and your wife were having a “dry-spell”, I can imagine how much so loves fucking you now.

      “Also, I never ever loved my affair partner. She was more like a living sex toy. She had numerous affairs before me, and she presented herself as a free spirited fun loving woman who only wanted extra sex.”

      See, you never loved her so that makes it not so bad? Are you for real? I could pick out a hundred other things wrong with your post, but it’s already starting to bore me. I’ll give you another year before you do it again, and frankly, I hope the next time your wife throttles you with the best lawyer in town.

    • I can’t resist giving the UBT a try:

      “With all due respect, this article is wrong. I am a former cheater. None of the speculation here pertains to my thought process.”

      TRANSLATION: I am a special unique snowflake of special unique specialness.

      “After the affair, I was deeply ashamed. Seriously, I had a mini breakdown.”

      TRANSLATION: It was a mini-breakdown… just like my affair wasn’t one of those serious affairs, just a mini-affair.

      “I can’t even explain to myself why I risked all for the low life other women who invited me to have an affair. Denial maybe. I just couldn’t turn down her constant barrage of sexual invitations. I know I am a scumbag for engaging with her, and hurting my wife, but the reality is I thought she would never find out, the affair would fizzle out and things at home would go back to normal.”

      TRANSLATION: It’s not the OW’s fault, it was fine! I’m just so irresistable and sexy and I was helpless to the magical seductive powers of this temptress! I thought I would just be able to have a little fun behind my wife’s back and then when it got old or boring, the affair partner would just disappear.

      “I did not count on my lover snitching on me. She even admits she snitched only to start trouble not because she wanted to leave her own spouse. She said she was angry because I would never tell her I loved her and kept reminding her that the original request by her was only to have a brief affair. She apparently changed her mind.”

      TRANSLATION: I am so stupid that I actually believed a woman capable of lying and cheating on her husband would never betray me. And what really hurts my ego the most is that she did it not because she wanted to run off with me into the sunset and have me all to herself, but simply out of spite. What a bitch!

      “I never contacted her husband and neither did my wife, and my married other woman is still married to her husband who is none the wiser about her affairs.”

      TRANSLATION: I didn’t want to get to be publicly shamed or have my ass kissed, so I never contacted her husband. Conveniently for me, my chump wife is probably too scared that if OW leaves her husband, then she’ll be available and I’ll run off with her. Win-win!

      “The real reason I did not initially want to reveal details was that I did not want to inflict more pain on my wife. Also, I blocked a lot of the details. That’s what my shrink calls it, but I agree that maybe it’s just convenient to forget the details.”

      TRANSLATION: If I really cared about my wife, I would’ve never had an affair in the first place, but what fun is that? It’s much easier for my wife to rugsweep, and much easier and more convenient for me, to just omit all the nasty details. My shrink, who has a financial interest in making sure my wife and I are in therapy indefinitely, agrees.

      “I really wish I never met my affair partner, and I wish I could take back the affair and the pain it inflicted on my lovely loving wife. I really can’t believe I had an affair some days. I always hated cheaters. Sigh! We were having a dry spell regarding our own bedroom habits, but I should have sought counseling.”

      TRANSLATION: I wish my wife would’ve never found out about the affair!

      “Go ahead, guys and gals, beat me up emotionally, I deserve it.”

      TRANSLATION: Waaaahhhh!!! I’m the one who is really in pain! I am incapable of empathy but I fully expect to be a martyr.

      Also, I never ever loved my affair partner. She was more like a living sex toy. She had numerous affairs before me, and she presented herself as a free spirited fun loving woman who only wanted extra sex.

      TRANSLATION: How dare the OW behave like an actual human being (with her own feelings and often unpredictable behavior) instead of an inanimate object existing only for my pleasure! If it hadn’t been for that slut, my wife would never know that I’m a cheating asshole.

          • Lulu; So good I did not notice typos!! Bravo! Jonor, no offense but we have heard all the excuses, lines, angles and levels of rationalization. Some can read with amusement because it has been years since their Cheater D-Day, but many are smarting still years later, or recently found out and are full of righteous anger!! A Cheater cannot know how deep this cuts, or they clearly would have made different choices of which there are many. Go to a Cheater website/blog if you want understanding. Even though you seem to regret your decisions, the key is why do you? Usually selfish reasons, not the kind a cheated on person could trust going forward.

    • Jonor, you get credit for coming clean like that in a den of enlightened Chumps.

      “I just couldn’t turn down her constant barrage of sexual invitations.”

      She obviously had a loaded gun at your head too. What was it like having an affair with such a violent, gun wielding criminal? Did she keep the gun on you all the time? I would have thought she needed to sleep, or I’d imagine when you were in flagrante delicto you could have knocked it out of her hand, but so it goes.

    • apparently i still need a lot a lot of help because i actually BELIEVED him when i read it. i was think h*ll if my exhole thought like that we would still be together. that must be why i was with the cheater so long in the first place. i just cant see them coming i guess.

      i am just too damn gullible and want to believe that someone who cheated really feels bad about it. or at least that it is POSSIBLE for someone who cheated, betrayed, lied, gas lighted, and exploded their marriage might actually feel regret making that really horrific and beyond bad choice.

      hence, that is why i am a chump. i better stay single because i just cant tell the difference between fake sorry and really sorry. and apparently i am the most stupidest forgiving person in the world!!! hahaha

      • MrsVain, you are NOT stupid. I believed my x for 41 years before I saw the light. My therapist told me NOT to judge myself. We operate from a place of do no harm and have compassion and empathy. Cheaters and women who are so desperate to sleep with married men are the stupid ones. They gain nothing and continue to live in a distorted reality. We work through the pain and heal. I recommend a book called ‘women who love too much’. It speaks to the ‘why’ we are so tolerant of the disordered. You are kind and compassionate.

      • That’s one benefit of these attention trolls. They test, in the safest place possible, our ability to tell a phony from the real thing. 🙂

    • Jonor you are a douche bag. And just like every other sack of cheating shit the ONLY reason you feel badly is because you were busted. Its not really your wifes feelings you were concerned about it was impression management. You even said it ” the reality is I never thought she would find out” that statement alone tells me you are nothing more than an entitled self centered sack of dog shit. Feel sorry all u want … It doesnt change what you did… And the bottom line mother fucker if you didnt get caught… You would still be fucking your two bit whore. Ya u would… It would just fizzle out… Like you and your wifes own sex life. But thats her fault. You let things fizzle out and thats the way you role. You couldnt break it off with yr two bit whore… U wanted it just to fizzle out . U lazy fuck. And you have the balls to say yr wife held out on u. U let that fire go out…yr solution? Stick my dick into something else that i wont have to be resposible for.
      I give you noooo credit for coming down here… You were bored. And needed some attention. So now you can fffffffizzzzzzzzle out.

    • 28 instances of “I” or “Me” in that piece of drivel, and you expect us to be like “oh boo hoo little boy its ok Mummy will give you a kiss and everything will all be better”. You are seriously delusional.

      Dry spell in the bedroom? Use your fucking hand and your imagination of your wife, don’t fuck another woman. Or it could be that the sex you’re providing in the past is the same old shit over and over and over again, without one thought about her needs or desires? If you actually spent five fucking minutes on that, maybe she’d be a little more responsive? 30 seconds of ‘tug tug grope grope now let me stick it in’ isn’t going to have her screaming like a porn star. Given your self indulgent bullshit that you typed above, I can bet with near certainty that she was ‘cold’ in the bedroom because you only think of yourself.

      If this slut you screwed (And yes, shes a slut. Whos husband should be 100% aware of what shes really like. I dare you to tell him. Or provide us with his details so we can tell him) was really a sex toy – then the above would be especially relevant – that she didn’t care how bad the sex is, she’d just gobble it up and want more.

      If you were 100% truly remorseful towards your wife, your post would have said the following: “I am a cheater – a scumbag and I treated my wife like absolute shit. She never deserved this crap which I flung at her. My wife deserves to know all the details, which I provided to her upon her request without question. It is now on her to choose what to do, and I accept any and all consequences. If she divorces me, I will give her a more than fair settlement, as consequences for the heinous act I have thrown at her. If she does end up deciding to stay with me, I will show her, for the rest of my life, that it is a gift given to me.”

      Its really that simple. Grow the fuck up.

      • As someone who sees these things very simply nowadays,I have to say that this is almost exactly how I view Jonor’s post. Well said, Lania!

  • Great UBTranslation, as usual. I respectfully disagree with only one statement, “Walking away isn’t “easier.””

    Walking away isn’t *easy*, but it is *easier* than the psychological scurvy one develops from months of eating shite sandwiches and having to live underground. One only has to read blog about “betrayed spouses” (start with ‘Shattered by my Husband’s Affair’) to think, “Hell no! Why live on antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds waiting a full 11 months to have ‘more good days than bad this week’?” That site alone convinced me to bail (and thankfully, I found CL a few days later).

  • In the Big Book of Alcoholic’s Anonymous, it is written that anyone can recover… EXCEPT those individuals who are, for whatever reason, incapable of being honest with themselves.

    I guess I should have seen this trait in him when he would rewrite history in front of my face. He spouted off SO MANY false equivalencies that would take mental gymnastics to process.

    When I tell people about false equivalencies, the vast majority of people don’t get it. I think the scales of balance are pretty warped.

    For example: The guy takes milk from the baby. I reach for it. I go to jail. Detective G says that [me] reaching for baby milk is an act of aggression and I go to jail for “family violence”. (I never hurt anyone)

    Did anyone catch, GUY TAKES MILK FROM BABY.

    Who is messed up here?

    argg…. preaching to the choir… notice, my rants are getting briefer.

  • I recall the day my 47 year old ex changed his FB status from married directly to in a relationship with whorebag. The day after he moved out with a large transcontinental loan from Daddy.

    I sent him a long chumpogram begging him to reconsider, or at least to understand that he was making terrible destructive choices that I couldn’t participate in. That he would have to pay for the full cost of the divorce or dissolution, and I would publicly name whorebag and have her served at work if need be, because I had not caused this situation and there was still time to reconsider. It was an exceedingly nice email, though. I just wasn’t having any blameshifting or shameshifting. I poured out my heart.

    Here is the response I got from Cold Slab O’Meat: So, you won’t pay your half of the dissolution?

    No, and since you did not lift a finger to save our marriage, I will not help you with anything in your mess of a life going forward.

    After that day, he never got a moment of my visible pain to feed his Narc engines on. Cold truth and indifference. He’s conatcted me by email several times for help with things as if we should be buddies, and he gets…silence.

  • Jonor, what you describe is what I have always thought was going on w my STBXH. I feel sorry for him. I miss him and am divorcing him with my head, not my heart.

    But here’s the thing–you guys blame us. Abuse us, criticize us, to justify your behavior. Even more than the betrayal, I could not deal w being denigrated, raged at, criticized. Blaming me for the betrayal, like my housekeeping or my cooking or some imperfection made me deserve it. Muffin top, habits, age, children…whatever. The old saying is true-you gave up 80% of what you wanted or needed to go chase the 20% you were missing.

    I think some of you just really can’t count the cost. You put the charges on the joint account and don’t believe there will be a reckoning. When the roof falls in, all you can do is deflect the enormity of your clueless stupidity onto your spouse-they somehow deserved it. (Have you TOLD your wife what you told us??)

    And it’s not what you say, or think, or feel. It’s what you do. Eventually we have to make it stop.

    • “The old saying is true-you gave up 80% of what you wanted or needed to go chase the 20% you were missing.

      I think some of you just really can’t count the cost. You put the charges on the joint account and don’t believe there will be a reckoning. When the roof falls in, all you can do is deflect the enormity of your clueless stupidity onto your spouse-they somehow deserved it.”

      THIS so much!

      • They are missing 100 percent of their character, trustworthiness, and ability to change. Maybe they are operating on 20 percent of their potential as a spouse.

    • “The old saying is true-you gave up 80% of what you wanted or needed to go chase the 20% you were missing.”
      ^^^^THIS^^^^
      Girl, you said it ALL on that one!!!! I have NO actual proof that he has cheated, but I’ve seen enough on one Facebook Private Message, some sent emails to Craigslist “hmu”‘s with his picture and cell # (He totally denies this), and close to 10 times in the last six months he’s been AWOL for over 12 hours overnight without so much a text or phone call to check on the well-being of me or our daughter like he would if he were actually working…all the money he’s over-drafted…OMG…that should be proof enough, but I still want that Perry Mason moment, or at least that scene in Diary of A Mad Black Woman (CN, we all know which scene that is)… not to mention the creepy sex I’ve had to endure…
      Needless to say, we have been non-talking. I haven’t demanded one single “truth” from him, and I think that makes it all the harder- for him- that I’m not begging, pleading, screaming, crying, threatening in any way…I have been cordially silent on the whole matter…
      He has found a new place- I haven’t even asked for the address.
      He’s moving out in a couple weeks- I might cry about it then…

      • UnsinkableMolly, he’s been out overnight even once? That’s all the Perry Mason moment you need. Anyone staying out all night is up to no good. That’s proof, right there, of a total lack of empathy, of consideration for you, of responsibility as a husband and a father, of the basic kindness and decency required to be in a relationship. You’ve got proof that he’s a totally inconsiderate, selfish, lying douchebag. If he’s not cheating, he ought to be at home. I never had proof either, but once I saw the FB page with his MOW as his only “friend” I pretty much figured out why all of a sudden he didn’t have time for me. He denied the cheating but when I saw the FB page, all of the bizarre behavior suddenly made sense to me. I knew. I KNEW and I felt it in my body. Trust your instinct. We all want “evidence” but sometimes common sense and the gnawing in your gut is the best evidence you can have when you are dealing with a practiced liar and manipulator. And any guy who can stay out all night and come home expecting you to overlook that behavior? A massive manipulator.Trust yourself.
        Be strong. So sorry you are going through this.

  • Jonar, I wonder how long your affair lasted and if you felt “deeply ashamed” prior to OW snitching on you – we tend not to repeat behaviour that causes us to feel guilt and deep shame as living with these emotions is not easy.
    A drunken one off is possibly a mistake but anything that takes continued effort and planning is surely a deliberate decision.
    If a low life man issued your wife with a string of invitations to meet for sex and she claimed it was a case of him wearing down her resistance I wonder if you would feel that it lessened the impact. We tend not to have clandestine sex that we do not want just to please another person – a firm no usually does the trick.
    I do not think things at home ever go back to normal after disclosure – if you are very fortunate then maybe a new normal can be built. I wish you luck with that.

  • Interesting translation, Datdamwuf, But somewhat self serving.

    Are you perfect? Were you withholding sex, too? Did you think that was okay?

    The fact is even the marriage counselors (we went to three different ones at my wife’s request) stated that she contributed by not wanting sex. It was a ten year dry spell. One counselor told her that withholding sex is also a form of marital infidelity. ….a form of breaking marriage vows. I am not sure I agree, but it’s still not fair.

    She balked, when the first counselor told her that, and we then went to to other counselors who all agreed with the first, and they also suggested several books that mentioned the same, she settled on one counselor she liked.

    I did try to talk to her about the dry spell, but she would just laugh and push me away. She would also tell me I was a sex maniac because I wanted sex once a month at least.

    Anyway, I agree, I should have simply filed, but I did love her.

    My wife, does not work, so I don’t need her pay check. Also, I am a high wage earner and often told I am attractive, so I am not afraid I could not find another wife. In fact, it would likely be easier to divorce my wife now and move on, and find a new wife.

    My wife however wants to work things out. I offered her and uncontested divorce with her receiving more than the required 50/50 assets.

    I know no one here wants to believe this, but I cheated, rather than divorce her, not because I was insecure, but because I do love her. No, it wasn’t about cake eating, either. I wasn’t having my cake and eating it too,

    Whatever. Have at me, if it makes you feel better

    • This site isn’t for you Jonor. It’s for chumps. We aren’t going to hate on you or dissect your relationship for you. You have your own chump — go talk to her.

      And for insulting my readers by implying they’re sexless (the old trope that forces people to cheat) — consider yourself banned.

    • About withholding sex. Lack of communication can be the issue. In my case, he thought I was pushing him away, he resented it, stopped trying and said absolutely nothing ! While on my side, I thought he was not interested at all (he had never had a high libido, unlike me), so I decided to not complain and simply accept the lack of action, we had a good life even without it. Complaining to get laid is not sexy. Dressing up and going out to a nice restaurant is sexy, but it would never happen, he would keep his old worn out jeans and sneakers, so no one was in the mood. There has never been any conversation on the subject, and he resolved the problem by cheating with a Russian cow.
      Anyway, Jonor, thanks for giving your point of view. I am surprised that you felt guilty and ashamed. This for me is so hard to believe. My cheater wrote to me that he felt a lot of shame and indeed looked that way. I would like to believe it, but it defies my internal logic. How is it possible to feel shame and guilt for something that was enjoyable ? For something that diverted from the rut ? For the material with which novels are made ? If there was no guilt/shame at the moment it was about to happen (the moment when ‘no’ is an option), how can there be guilt/shame afterwards ?

      • Hey, let’s please not take the “sexless marriage” bait. We’re making a chump mistake thinking Jonor wants dialogue with us. And with some helpful, personal, sharing comments we will impart insight.

        There are a bazillion places on the internet for Jonor to justify his affair and say how sorry he is, and harangue chumps about reconciliation. This is not one of them.

        I don’t ban people lightly, but I’ve got a much more itchy trigger finger after troll attacks here.

        I don’t want conversations diverted to some cheater’s personal problems. This isn’t the place. I have welcomed OW, other cheating POVs here — but you have to own your shit. I agree with the comment that this guy is in denial and blameshifting to the OW. And his wife (lack of sex).

        Buh-bye.

        • Huzzah, Chump Lady! Well played! Once again, you rise above the cheater-chatter to keep the prize in sight. Huzzah!

          • Good call CL

            That creep came here to rub it in to chumps. It’s not enough he has his own chump to dump on, and that “living sex doll” who threw herself at him for no strings sex. Funny how he could call the ow a living sex doll with a straight face and also say he didn’t want his wife to know all the details cause he didn’t want to hurt her. Oh, by the way, his wife barely wanted to have sex with him….and he wonders why….perhaps it was that faint odour of shit that repelled her.

            That creep came here to claim victim status and cling to the cheater narrative by insulting the posters here.

            Let him go back to his man crib and cry for a nipple to suck on.

            This shit reminds me of types of losers my wife cheated with. Birds of a feather.

            • I know this is not the time or place, but the entire Dead Bedroom concept that cheaters use for sympathy is revolting.

              What they don’t follow up with is that they are also manipulating and Gaslighting their spouses and devaluing their spouse by their covert, overt or passive aggression. Of course you will have a Dead Bedroom, or at least some sort of infrequent robotic sex that makes the other person feel so horribly used…a dispensary.

              What person wants to share themselves completely with a person who is constantly fucking with your head, constantly demeaning you? When your gut goes to DefCon 10 with your mate, the idea of expressing your most intimate self in a shroud of trust (and enjoyment) goes dead.

              • ANC–ding, ding, ding!!! You are so right; cheaters set up the dynamic for a poor atmosphere in the bedroom, then blame the chump for lack of enthusiasm to justify having an affair.

                Mine was a critical a**hole much of the time, and I used to engage in the act thinking, “Why am I doing this? I don’t even like him.” Guess who got blamed for causing him to have an affair (despite ‘servicing’ him at well above the national average per week. Yup, that was enjoyable. not). Funny how I became very enthusiastic about sex again after he left (with no outlet, of course, but at least my interest returned).

              • Okay, perhaps oversharing above, but the “blame the victim” narrative burns me up.

        • This isn’t supposed to be a place for cheaters to defend themselves or debate with chumps. I resent the fact that Jonor decided to invade this safe space, and I hope you’ll continue to have a heavy hand with the ban button.

        • Thanks CL, I actually laughed out loud at his attack on me given my ex withheld sex from me for 5 years, and I stayed without cheating. His attack misfired on me, LOL

          • We had a “dry spell” that started on our engagement and lasted pretty much the course of our long marriage – sex went from infrequent to never in the final 10 years.
            This caused me huge sadness and fixing it became my project with him as a reluctant pupil…ok, we will have that talk that the latest therapist you dragged me to has suggested – but lets keep the tv on with the sound turned down while we have it. I kid you not – this is real.
            A lot of it was “mother issues” from his FOO who were riddled with secrets and lies regarding sexual stuff.
            I got to be “mother” while “son” engaged in naughty and forbidden sex behind my back.
            Final OW apparently witheld sex as a tool to encourage him leaving home for her. They are now together in a small rental so lets hope the place rocks with all that sex they are now allowed to have.
            As for me – well lets say I have had more sex in my 50s than when I was 23, newlywed and, with hindsight, a rather pretty young blonde.
            As I had to weep and beg to have sex at all back then that would not not be a difficult record to break!

  • I really identify with poor Joseph. After my d-day, I spent months trying and trying to express myself to my cheater, hoping to stumble across the perfect metaphor that would finally make him understand what he was doing to me, to us, so he would stop doing it. I spoke eloquently, I wrote letters, I yelled at him, I swore, I sent texts, I tried everything to get through to him, even things that were just not my usual style. I was consumed with belief that there was some perfect combination of words to magically turn him back into the man I thought he was. Of course, we all know in hindsight that it’s impossible!

    Finally, instead of creating understanding in him where there could never be any, I created understanding in myself that it wasn’t a matter of not understanding, it was a matter of him not caring. I hope Joseph figured it out one day.

    • ahhhh the “Perfect Combination Of Words” Stage. i was all over that stage. not only twisting myself to figure out HOW to word it but HOW to say it, what tone, should it be worded as a suggestion or a question. should i avoid using the “I feel” or is it better using “i feel”…….

      n the end it didnt matter HOW or WHAT i said because he had stopped listening a long long time before that point. i was still stuck in that Stage for a while before i realized it thou.

      • Yes, if only we could get that bit right. The wrong tone, or even facial expression, can set progress back by months. Do not get me started on the minefield of timing…not late when he is tired….not after work as he needs to unwind…not during leisure time as he wants to relax.
        If only we could have found the right words – book – MC – time -place – all our marriages would be thriving.

  • phi slama jama mama:

    I am sorry your spouse cheated on you. Why not give him a second chance, if he is making amends.

    You said that he was: “Blaming me for the betrayal, like my housekeeping or my cooking or some imperfection made me deserve it. Muffin top, habits, age, children…whatever. The old saying is true-you gave up 80% of what you wanted or needed to go chase the 20% you were missing. ”

    Well, slama jama mama, those are superficial things. I agree. He could have helped you lose your muffin top and talked to you about your inability to cook. He must have known you couldn’t cook when he married you? So yes, his bad.

    Still, people say the craziest things when discovered. It’s really blathering. They are searching for any excuse not realizing most stuff they pull out of their silly hat will only make things worse. I bet he meant none of it.

    I know 20 people, married men and women, in my neigborhood and at work that are now as we speak rumored to be having an affair, but their spouse don’t know. So, how do you know the next guy will be faithful?

    Really, I am the last person who I thought would cheat, but I did.

    If you love your spouse, and he wants to work on things, why not give it a chance.

    Actually, our marriage is better now. It’s definitely not the same marriage, but we do communicate better. The counseling really helps. Without the affair, she would never have agreed to counseling. I had broached the subject numerous times and even made an appointment with a counselor about the dry spell, but she simply did not show up at the session.

    But for the rest of the people here bashing me. If believing you did nothing wrong in your marriage makes you more able to justify not being willing to give your spouse a second chance, then how are you any different from the cheating spouse who demonized his spouse to justify and affair?

    I think if you love your spouse, most would be willing to give him one chance. If your spouse is a serial cheater, IMO, he hasn’t learned his lesson, if he continued to cheat after discovery. So, yes, divorce him/her.

    • I sort of think continuing an affair is the same thing as being a serial cheater. You go fuck somebody else over and over again, whether it’s the same person or a bunch of people.

      And I object to the idea that anyone on this board is “bashing” you. How would you like it if your wife cheated on you? Perhaps you can’t tell can you because you are incapable of putting yourself in that position. That’s how narcissism works.

      If you don’t want to be “bashed” don’t post on a board for people who are trying to put the pieces of their lives together from the rubble of their spouses’ affairs.

    • One chance? Are you serious??? I am sure the vast majority of us here gave our Xs’ many, many many “chances”, hoping against all evidence to the contrary that our spouses would change their cheating ways. And suprise, suprise, it never happened. So excuse me while I barf when I hear your plea for one more chance…

      And as for your “she hated sex” mantra. Maybe she just hated sex with you, something the two of you should have worked on mutually and HONESTLY. Perhaps attending to her needs was not high on your list of priorities. As for me, I loved sex, until X withheld it due to his limited abilities and his need to keep his whore “satisfied”. Funny how my sex life radially improved once I threw his cheating ass out!

  • I wonder why we chumps even expect to be told the truth by people who have spent weeks, months and often years going to great lengths to keep us in the dark about the reality of our own lives.
    Most of what I was told was not what really happened when actual facts were uncovered by means other than the word of my ex so it is unlikely that I was given accurate information at all.
    He told me as little as possible and used omission and twisting of words even then. The laugh of it is that for a long time I continued to believe whatever I could not disprove just because he said it was true….how gullible was I!
    There is little point and no dignity in begging these characters for crumbs of truth as it is all power and kibbles. They have what you want and knowledge is power.
    Act on what you do know and can verify – then remove yourself from the toxic mess.

    • Agreed, Mary.

      A big turning point for me was realizing, through conversations with my family, that I would *never* know the whole truth.

      I’d been trained, like an abused dog, to distrust my spouse. So, even if my spouse came forward and told me ALL of the truth, I wouldn’t believe her.

      When you reach that point, what are you trying to save? Nothing.

    • I agree, Mary. It doesn’t make a bit of sense to expect a cheating, lying, manipulative jackass to tell the truth. The two best things I learned in therapy about dealing with alcoholics: 1) if their lips are moving, they’re lying; and 2) they aren’t available for intimate relationships, so no amount of effort will yield what we really want. Those two things apply to disordered cheaters, too.

  • Mary:

    I support you in divorcing your spouse. He sounds nasty. Still lying and twisting after being caught out. That is just too mean.

    I did not lie. I did not reveal all the facts, however, until the counselor advised me to do so. I am still not sure it was a good idea to tell all, but I followed the counselors advice. IMO, some of the details hurt my wife, and they were at that point, inconsequential to me.

    Mary you asked me: “If a low life man issued your wife with a string of invitations to meet for sex and she claimed it was a case of him wearing down her resistance I wonder if you would feel that it lessened the impact.”

    I mentioned that factor only as a way to point out that I was not smitten by this women’s looks or personality. I was only attracted to the fact that she offered easy sex. I did not love her and that is why I mentioned those factors. The other woman insisted she only wanted an affair. She was not looking for love or so she claimed, and neither was I.

    However, I do think I would prefer my wife had to have her resistance worn down, rather than being eager and ready, and I do think it would lessen the impact. Now if I read that she said she loved the other man or if she told me she did, that would be more difficult. Nevertheless, I would give her one chance….just one….to make amends.

    • Jonor, the only thing you have proved is that you would trade easy sex for your own integrity. Not attractive. Same for your wife’s purported lack of sex (based on your word only). Instead of divorcing her, you cheated on her. Work on your character, then things may improve for you.

  • I want to make an observation that may be unpopular, but since I have paid my dues as a chump several times over, I think I have earned the right to share a little of my perspective with chumps who may not have had as much experience or time as I have to pack their suitcase and start out on the road to meh.

    The observation is this: Sometimes you have too much information. Sometimes your obsession with gathering information slows down your healing process. I don’t have a magic formula about how much is enough, but I know that personally I collected too much information and it made me sick. Physically sick, not just emotionally sick. I was already emotionally sick and I thought information could fill the void in my soul. But when I hit information overload I went into a state of Rage and Despair. Those are not healthy places to go. Anger can be a good motivational tool you can use to propel yourself forward. But Rage can blind you, and cause you to think about doing things that would send you over the edge and hurtling to Hell. Unexpressed Rage can eat you alive from the inside out. You have to find a safe outlet and get the rage out, and it is not a pleasant experience. It is like letting leeches suck the bad blood out. Who wants to attach a leech to their flesh??? Those who believe it is the only alternative to get rid of something that is killing them.

    Despair is also a horrible state to be in. It makes you not want to get up in the morning and not care about anything. It makes you pretend not to hear your children crying in the other room because you just cannot make yourself get out of bed and go in there to comfort another soul because you have no comfort for your own soul. I remember someone told me once you cannot Despair, because that is like turning your back on God. When you Despair, you abandon all Hope. You cannot go forward and live your life in a positive way unless you have Hope in your life.

    When I was young I loved books and plays and movies. I spent a lot of time in my head in these fictional worlds where there was an organized story line and an orderly plot, and conclusions made sense and there were many beautiful and interesting people. I still visit this land because it is a much more pleasant and interesting place to go than the real and sometimes ugly world we live in. But you can’t live there because it is not real. You have to live in this world and face the night terrors that walk around us all the time. Anyway, I had read a lot of mythology and I knew about the character of Narcissus. I thought that meant that I understood Narcissism. I am here to testify that I did not understand.

    I had no idea that N’s could have so many faces and so many variations, and that N’s could be so destructive. I thought they mainly ruined their own lives by being so stuck on themselves. I had no idea that there was a whole family of personality types that lived to destroy normal chumpy people like myself. I was looking for a hero, and all I got were some nasty old N’s.

    I didn’t start to put all the pieces together until I was in my 30’s and then I realized I had been under the influence of a N since the time I was born. My dad started the destructive process on me, and unfortunately for me, I had to have at least two more bad personal experiences, and several bad working experiences before I was able to start healing. When I finally wised up enough to stop believing what people said and start researching and observing what they did, I joined the Marriage Police force with a vengeance. I became very good at spying. I wish I had been less adept, because when I cut into that dark underbelly of what the N’s were REALLY doing, I found a whole new dark, sickening perverted world that I had no clue even existed. Some of the things I found out will haunt me for the rest of my days. The cruelty and the callous nature of doing things because they could get away with doing them was too much for me. I had children with one of the N’s — I worry and wonder sometimes if any of that darkness will show up in my children. I cannot help it, I know too much. A level of awareness and fear will always be with me because of what I know.

    I didn’t really need all the details of any of the lies to decide what to do. I didn’t need a complete picture, or a complete puzzle. I just needed to know that they were indeed, LIES. I didn’t need to know how many times I was betrayed — and I still don’t — because the act of Betrayal was enough. I don’t need overwhelming Evidence. A Preponderance of the Evidence was enough.

    Don’t kid yourself about changing another person. You may have a modicum of influence on raising your children, but if someone really has a personality disorder your best bet is to change your location. You can do that much easier and at a much lower emotional cost that wasting your time trying to change their mind or habits. If I could change anything that happened in the past, i would learn about the disorders much earlier than I did. Then I would not have wasted time trying to please ” He who cannot be pleased.” If I had learned to protect myself earlier with knowledge about the Evil people can and will do, instead of the tawdry details of what one particular N did when he was supposed to be in a relationship with me, I could have gotten on the road to meh sooner. I slowed myself down with the details.

    Joseph already knew all he really needed to know, but he had not accepted it yet when he wrote the letter. He is looking for remorse and redemption in the wrong place. He doesn’t need to know all the details of the evening of debauchery. Nothing is really new — it is the same old story of something in, something out. The important thing is she did not have the character to stop the betrayal then, and is exhibiting no sign of remorse or regret or any intention of not doing the same thing again the first chance she gets. Why hang around for more pain? When you recognize the Destroyer N in your life — plan your escape. Your survival is winning, anything else will just give you more scars.

    • Portia–I see your point, and think that the need for information sometimes emanates from a very different motivation than is obvious.

      Information is Power. The cheater has LOTS of information that the chump does not have. Continuing to withhold information from the chump (esp. if the chump has asked for the facts) increases the cheater’s power relative to the chump, thereby adding insult to injury.

      Do chumps really need to know how many positions the cheater and AP adopted in a given session? No, sometimes the chump wants to know, “will this cheater TELL ME if I ask, thereby giving up some of their power over me?”

      And there are individual differences–my therapist advocates NOT knowing all the facts, but that drives me CRAZY. The more I knew about my X’s sordid escapades, the easier I found it to distance myself from him and the marriage. I came to trust that he sucked much faster than most (7 months from D-day and no more pain. at all. Anger, yes–mostly about what he still won’t tell me, but no pain).

      Unfortunately, healing from betrayal and grief is not a one-size-fits all, and there can be a multitude of reasons for wanting to know information.

      • I understand — some of the information I turned up when “on the MP Force” helped me to get over it faster. But I found that when I asked a question I already knew the answer to, he lied. And when I asked a question I didn’t know the answer to, he lied. So no matter what, he lied. If his lips were moving, he was lying. The fact was, for me, the important thing was not the lie he told but the fact that he was always lying and always would lie. You cannot ever believe someone who is always lying. There is no reconciliation. So, some information was necessary to know that he was a liar. All the details were not needed to know he was a liar and a cheater. I did not feel the need to make mental movies with what action was actually going on. That may have put me off of food entirely for awhile.

        I was so disappointed that I had such a bad picker that I had allowed myself to get into a relationship with, and even have children with, someone who had no moral compass, AT ALL. I can, and do, size up people all the time at work. I size up strangers I meet. I am generally accurate — but evidently if my emotional/vulnerable switch gets involved, I lose my mind. Or, I used to.

        I was really just trying to warn others that having all the information doesn’t make you powerful. Sometimes it makes you sad, or wretched in some other way. Deciding to get away from the liar and out of the dysfunctional relationship is what truly gives you power. When you know you need to walk away, and you can walk away, and you do walk away, you have found your power. When you own it, you will never be susceptible to the Liar/Cheater again.

        • I stopped asking anything awhile ago. What would be the point? The time before this last time, I wanted certain details because we were supposedly “reconciling.” I did not want him taking me places he took her, using phrases with me that he had picked up from her, etc., as I know this is how he is. I ended up knowing too much and, in for some things, probably not enough. Even some of the things I thought I knew were incomplete or half-truths.

          If someone lies, cheats, deceives and behaves in an all around duplicitous and reprehensible manner, expecting real honesty from them is chasing after fairy dust.

          At this point, I know he is a liar and a cheat with little to no authentic integrity, character or morals. It has become apparent to me that I shared a life with someone who did not respect me or love me, and actually appeared to hold me in contempt. Knowing that, anything else I discover is just background noise.

          • Of all the things I learned post D-Day (including decades of cheating, unprotected group sex etc. etc.), in the end, the fact that my ex held me in contempt was the most bitter and humiliating reveal of all.

        • Portia, I tortured myself for years and had enough information to leave early on. At some point we DO have enough to run. Much of my pain was self inflicted as I did not recognize his narcissism and never saw him as he is a master of deception. The truth I realized was his words never matched his actions. That is what chumps need to see. That is enough evidence in itself. I have finally rid myself of the toxic pain I allowed myself to endure based on all the false beliefs I once held.

    • Portia, I think I agree about getting too much information in a lot of ways. Cheater claims not to have had a physical relationship with the whore, and truthfully I will never know. I do know I have a fair amount of information about a useless whore stuck in my brain. Other than getting senile or dementia or brain damaged I really wish I could get rid of it. Thoughts of crap these two said, or foods or music she likes , or trivial crap like that pop up randomly and ruin a lot of things for me. I feel like the fact that I know things about her makes me feel like she has power over me, because she really is irrelevant.

    • I think a need to know the facts such as who, when, where and why is necessary for most chumps. Obsessing over prurient detail is probably unhelpful and unhealthy. After DDay 1 I had a burning need to KNOW…what they ate, what they talked about, where they visited. I even used a mail order catalogue to get him to identify the type of underwear that she wore…ghoulish I know.
      With OW2 I did not feel the need to do this as I knew it did not matter anymore…the marriage had died.
      I would say to anyone attempting reconciliation that doing what I done is not a good idea as you will torture yourself with the information you discover. If he answered my questions it was hell…if he did’nt it was another hell. The damage was just too deep.
      Yes, occasionally couples do make it. Usually when it is what they both want very badly.
      In cases like that I would recommend professional help to discuss the affair and try to rebuild trust. Of course, just because a couple do not split up after an affair does not mean they are truly reconciled. I think the vast majority just stumble on amid growing distance and rancour…that is what we did.

    • Portia, there was a time when I would have given most anything to hear Jackass tell me every detail of how he hooked up with his disgusting MOW. But now that I am through the worst of it, I absolutely agree with you. He was already lying to me–lying directly, lying by parsing his words and deflecting my questions, and lying by omission. He had also disengaged emotionally and physically. He smirked at me and blamed me for the very things that were hurting me. I think it’s possible that I caught him in the “courtship” stage with MOW and they hadn’t consummated the relationship. Who cares? He had withdrawn his energy, time, loyalty and affection from me and he had zero remorse for the pain he was causing. That’s enough information, right there.

  • Lately I’ve been thinking about people who inflict horrific pain on others but refuse to acknowledge it. Whether it’s a defense mechanism or a missing part of their brain that renders them unable to feel empathy, I don’t know. Lately the trial of the Boston bomber has me thinking about this common dynamic. One person tries to explain how devastated they are, how their whole life will never be the same. The perpetrator refuses to acknowledge the pain they’ve caused, or they blame the victim for bringing it on themselves.

    So why do the victims of the bombing keep giving testimony while the perpetrator sits stoic? Maybe it’s because in sharing their stories with each other they get a measure of comfort. Other victims really understand what they’re going through. People in the audience cry, which validates what they’ve been through. Maybe that’s the only way to heal from trauma. Forget the perpetrator. Share your story with people who really understand.

    http://www.masslive.com/news/boston/index.ssf/2015/03/martin_richard_boston_marathon.html

  • Friend says

    April 22, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    “Jonor!
    You are in ALL kinds of DENIAL. Serious. There is no such think as a living sex doll!

    I hope your mental breakdown escalates and lands you in prison, you writhing scum.
    People are not objects and never will be. Even (decent) dead people should be reverenced. You walked into an affair with the mentality of a sociopath.”

    I am sorry your spouse hurt you. Ranting does help, so have at me. I am strong. I can take it.

    BTW: of course there is no such thing as a living “sex doll” it was an analogy and a metaphor for a meaningless lifeless relationship rooted only in sex, not love.

    Anyway, I am sorry your spouse harmed you so. It sucks.

    • You abuse the English language. You are not sorry. You are not strong.
      All those “therapists” who helped you abuse and bully your wife should be fired.
      You have a thick skull.
      You are not special. You are a cold hearted jerk.
      Nomar is right. Three or four decades (of banging your head against a prison wall) might give you a clue.
      I don’t have much, but man, I have enough sense to reject your haughty breed.

  • I was in the same place as Joseph after DDay but the difference is that I kicked my cheater out and made him stay out. In hindsight, that was one of the best decisions I ever made. He accepted that and told me he would do whatever it took to make things right between us again because he loved me so much. I told him I loved him too and would be there to work through this with him but it was up to him to make that happen. He agreed. Of course, his ACTIONS did not match his WORDS – he said all the right things but didn’t put the effort in and instead made excuses. He really just wanted the rug sweeping. And things went downhill from there as more was revealed over time. Then the blame shifting kicked in to high gear. And here I am 2 years later, NC (best thing ever!!) and waiting for the final divorce papers to arrive any day.

    But I’m still stuck on what I don’t know. How long had his serial cheating really been going on? Knowing that might help me to understand how much of my life was a lie, a facade for him. I’m sure I’ll never know the answer and, in the long run, it may not matter. I guess I need to figure out how to let that go like I figured out how to let him go.

    • There were some early incidents when our kids were young that I’d like to know the truth about. The time I found the love note in his pocket from a “student who had a crush on him.” The strange phone call from a man asking me if I knew where my husband was. My ex explained these incidents away, and since I had 2 young children who were very sick I couldn’t imagine actually leaving. I wanted to believe my ex, so I did. But I look back now and wonder if my suspicions were true. It might make me feel better to know the truth, that it was going on even way back then.

      • I can almost guarantee that he was up to no good, even then. If it walks like a duck and quacks like one, it must be a duck.
        I’m so sorry, Lyn.

        • How true! I can only gasp at my own naivety like being unable to make contact with him for two days when I took our children to visit family. No cell phones back then. His work told me that he had taken time off. He said they got that wrong and the phone had been faulty.
          When mobile phones came in all of his had problems with the signal, the ringtone or the charger but always worked just fine when “work” called him in at odd times.
          My own gullibility astounds me as I am far from stupid – a case of believing what I wanted to be true.

      • Lyn, I’m a teacher. I’ve worked at the HS and university level. If we get “innocent” love notes from students that is a potentially dangerous situation. There would first be the issue of continued contact with a smitten student, especially if that student was in a course; then there would be the potential for a sexual harassment suit, which could result from either inappropriate contact OR rebuffing the overture. So the last thing an teacher should do is stick the note in a pocket and carry it around. So I can say with 100% conviction, that when you found that note, you busted him. Predictably, he lied. But a student with a crush is not a small thing. And the best thing a teacher can do is tell his or her spouse and supervisor and to document receiving the note and put it in a file. A teacher who is innocent would be worried about that note. It’s not a comfortable situation, or one to minimize.

  • BBC, your last paragraph is applicable to me also. I learned to ‘let that go’ because me knowing will not change the outcome and only cause me more grief than I need or want. Once I realised that, it became easier but not easy. I find now that my ex had moved to Asia I am finding it easier to move on and forward because I have no choice.

  • The UBT validates my sanity and reality. Aaaaaah.

    No contact helps me maintain reality. And I am developing my own nascent inner UBT (Thank you, CL). But others I care about (adult daughters, his family, my stepdaughter, shared friends from over the 24 years) are starting to believe him (I was so unhappy, it was 50/50, etc)…in part because of my silence. I have cut out a LOT of “friends.” Only a few of his family members reached out to me (their father did the same thing 3x to their mother…so it is “normal” to them).

    But Cheater is SOOO convincing and perhaps now believeing his own lies or the evil in this (who really knows??) that he has “won back” some people who initially thought cheater was the liar and cheater they are. again, in part due to my silence.

    Maybe CL can do a post (or appendix in new book?!) that can serve as a generic UBT template for non-chumps, with good character, who are fooled by cheater mindfucks, deceit, etc. I would LOVE to give this to people I care about. I think changing the cultural narrative, largely writ, involves non-chumps too. IMO, the belief there was “something wrong” with the betrayed partner, the marriage, or it’s no big deal (movie plot entertainment) is not only ubiquitous, it also impairs chumps’ social healing and recovery.

    • Chumpette, even my two best friends were sucked in by my ex at first. What I didn’t realize is that he was telling them stories and I was not telling them anything. So they believed him. Tell you story, tell the people you value the truth. If they do not believe you and still want to be friends with the person who fucked you over, drop them. Don’t let your ex take your friends from you without at least giving them the benefit of hearing your reality. Jedi Hugs!

  • We don’t all want to marry someone who looks like Christian Bale. We may be content with stocky and middle-aged. But it is amusing if the person thinks they are a Christian Bale lookalike and uses that as the motivation to cheat.

    • So true Tempest. However, my ex looks like Mr.Burns from the Simpsons but that never stopped him! I am serious. He is a skinny and scrawny little bloke and is called ‘he fossil’ by his work colleagues but he thinks it is all one big joke. He found that he can’t get sex and the girls here in Melbourne so he has moved to Asia where I hear he is having great success. My stomach just heaved.

      • If your X has to pay for sex, he might consider that he just isn’t that sexy (just sayin’).

        What I find sexy these days is good character and concern for other people, whatever physical vessel it comes in.

        • My ex was presentable when we got together some 40 tears ago but he wasn’t Rock Hudson but he was just so gentle I thought I had found a lovely man. More the fool me. Apparently he doesn’t pay for sex, all he has do is buy these girls (hostesses) drinks and he is in like Flynn.

          • In many poor Asian countries, the ‘bar girls’ are paid by the bar to get the tourists to buy drinks – with really jacked-up prices. Sometimes they’ll have sex with the guys, for ‘gifts’ and ‘tips’. It’s all prostitution.

            • Hi KarenE, yes I know it is all prostitution and it turns my stomach. My ex husband pretended to be so moral, that is how he won me over. I like decent men and I was a sitting duck. He has sunk so low or maybe now he is showing his true colours!!

      • My ex, 69 years is now on his umpteenth girl from Thailand. We had been married 41 years, and the very first time he went to Thailand with his golf buddies for a golf trip when he was 65 he was hooked on the prostitutes. Prior to his trip he was the most loyal and faithful man you could meet. I am also in Australia. When he returned the first time from Thailand in 2011 he seemed different, distant, and I questioned him, he said I was delusional. I was looking at his new smart phone that he had purchased on his return because suddenly he wanted a phone with Internet, when I found messages, porn videos and photos of Asian women that were highly inappropriate, and too many “I love you and miss you” messages to half a dozen different Asian women, not to mention a dozen new female names added to his contact list. Long story short, we separated for 3 years, lived under same roof, then this Easter Sunday I found a another FB account by mistake and many photos of him in bed with the same woman when he returned to Thailand last October for the 5th time. I attacked him and he finally left, have seen a lawyer and am In the process of dividing assets before divorce. 69 years and oh so stupid. I wasn’t checking up on him when I looked at his phone, purely,because my phone was mucking up and I needed a new one and I thought if his is easy to use I will buy the same one, he was outside mowing the lawn. Call it fate?

        • Alex, I am very sorry for what you are going through at this stage of your life. I hope you have been tested and if not, do so. My ex was bragging about his conquests to his work colleagues like a teenager which turned my stomach. These blokes are absolute morons.

          • Here the thing Maree, I am 9 years younger than ex and at the time ex went to Thailand for the first time I had stopped having sex with him because I was going through menopause and sex was painful and I would bleed. Having had a conversation with him about this he didn’t seem to get it. He also was having trouble maintaining an erection because he was put on blood pressure tablets. So I don’t get it, can he suddenly have good sex now or was it just me. I am so angry today, he has left the house two weeks ago and is so cocky, I can’t stand it. I don’t know if he has a woman here and one in Thailand, but he seems happy and settled where ever he is. He 69 years old, what is wrong with him? He has no guilt, no shame while I live here with our two adult special needs children and a 12 year old grandson, and he having a honeymoon with no responsibilities. I have now informed his family who live overseas, they have no idea and they are staunch Catholics.

            • Alex, my ex and I are both 63 and he was the one having ED issues. I lovingly accepted that as a normal part of him getting older and I was more than happy to adjust but he had other ideas, they always do. Interestingly, you used the word ‘cocky’ and that is exactly the word I used to describe my ex’s behaviour to my sister and trust me, my ex was never cocky. They think through their penis and that is why these idiots are all heading over to South East Asia. This was supposed to be our time in the sun. Like you, we had done the hard yards and now we are left by ourselves. Be thankful you have your children because my 2 adult kids have taken their father’s side and cut me from their lives which is more painful to me than the ex going. My thoughts are with you.

        • If you have read about sex trafficking in the U.S., NZ, Australia etc just remember that it is twice as bad in SE Asia. Those women/girls are being exploited, or are so desperate that they will do anything for money. Their families are often so poor that their parents have sold them to traffickers. Your Xs make those pimps job so much easier, and certainly more profitable. There is no fool like an old fool. Those girls hope to escape their lives and they will grab onto whatever idiot they find. Your Xs just want to believe they are still desirable. I am a female so I don’t get men’s fascination with their penises. If how you define yourself is by your job and have to retire and then your pecker stops working you had better have a backup plan. Going to Thailand and getting an STD is not it.

  • I do understand this chumps pain. I also see a theme amongst many reconciliation sites that claim the pain of the cheater is as much as the pain of the chump. Try to call them out on this and you will be ostracized. Don’t ask me how I know.

    I am in R, but I think it is a bunch of bull that the cheater’s pain is anything near that of the Chumps. I am certain that the cheater, if s/he is truly remorseful (a rarity I know), may feel quite a bit of shame. But, to put that shame above the pain of their betrayed is still the height of selfishness and self-centeredness.

    I would guess many here think I am tilting at windmills in my effort to R. But, I just wanted to say that not all chumps attempting R are doing so quite so blindfolded.

    TL xx

    • TigerLily–good luck to you; just make sure the cheater’s “pain” is actual remorse rather than the pain of being caught.

      • Tempest, thank you. I think the reason I come to CL is because you all are so great at pointing out potential places where someone might be wearing blinders, or at least rose-colored glasses. Doing my best to approach this with eyes wide-open, no blinders, no rose-colored glasses. Day-by-day. . .

        • I wish you luck TigerLily. Most of us attempted R so it’s not like we don’t understand. I reconciled with ex, regained my trust of him, and 10 years later caught him again. I’d give quite a bit to get those 10 years back, or at least the last 5 anyhow. Sometimes I think the only way to know if the cheater really will go the miles is to tell hizzer you are going to get laid and do it. Then see if your spouse still wants to reconcile, course most of us could never actually do that. Jedi Hugs!

          • Dat, I know you have walked this path and so appreciate the insights here. After d-day, I told my husband I could promise him 100% complete honesty, but that given all he did I could not promise him fidelity just yet. He told me it made him sad, but that he understood my need to work through that decision and it was mine to make. He would be faithful, loving and do whatever he could to show me that we are worth saving. And, no, I have not acted upon it.

            We’ve seen so many on SI, with statements like “living my happily ever after” and “reconcilED” and it is something neither of us think is healthy as they imply that reconciliation is a job that can be finished and forgotten. It is not. Another reason, we are not so well liked on SI! Just taking it a day-at-a-time.

            Thanks Chumps for your wise counsel through having walked the path before me, and understanding of my desire to try regardless!

  • In the weeks after d-day, when I gave a f***, I had questions for serial-cheating XH. He either declined to answer because “we don’t need to bring up painful memories” or he only shared the information he knew I already had. He did send an email titled “My story” which was chock-full of excuses for his behavior (foo issues, his discontent with our marriage, whatever else he could think of to try to make me feel sorry for him). There were no answers to my questions about who/what/when/where – only the lame excuses for “why.” (NOTE TO Jonor: I was NOT withholding sex!).

    Now he still sends messages saying “if only you knew the whole story…” or (to my daughter) “you are only getting one side of the story.” In other words, he wants us to believe that we are missing some puzzle piece that – if we had it – would magically make his misdeeds seem…OK, or something.

    Of course he will never give us that missing piece because it doesn’t exist. Or, more likely, it does exist but he would rather keep it hidden.

    • Cheaters love to think that their Story is oh, so deep, when it’s really just I love to fuck around. Which is fine, if you aren’t married.

  • I wrote a few similar long, well-thought-out (in a sense) letters to my ex in the months after D-Day. It changed nothing about his treatment of me. Nothing. It took me ages to accept that all of the empathy and understanding and compassion in the relationship was mine, and I was giving it to the wrong person.

    You can write the most eloquent love poem or the most rational thesis ever written, but if you hand that beautifully-crafted missive to a selfish, disordered person you will never get the response that it deserves. Never. I hope Joseph moved on and found someone deserving of his love, even if that person is himself.

  • I forgave my wife because I love her. Love means something to me.

    I always told my children there is “NOTHING THEY CAN DO TO THEMSELVES THAT WILL MAKE ME NO LONGER LOVE THEM”. How could my children believe that statement any longer, if I could not forgive my wife, and give her another chance. ”

    My wife is a good women who got carried away by lust. It’s not the worst thing in the world.

    I am happy, now. In some situations if the cheater continues to cheat. That is abuse. IMO, everyone is allowed one mistake and gets one do over.

    You know what too. When my wife cheated, she really did not do anything to me. Other than opening my eyes to the fact that no human being can be trusted, she only harmed herself, not me.

    I can live with that, if she can.

    I want to show my children what the meaning of true love is, and I have.

    • Ace, trustworthy people can be trusted. I agree that it is possible for someone to make a mistake. And while we love our children no matter what, unconditionally, we also know that there must be consequences for bad behavior or we raise monsters who lack empathy for others. But a man who would cheat on me has broken not only the trust but the agreement that allows me to be fully intimate. What’s love or marriage if you must sleep beside someone you can’t trust? And I think it is possible to love someone who cheated and betrayed you without continuing to put your legal, emotional, financial, social and family life in their untrustworthy hands.

      I’m glad you are happy and hope your wife has learned to value what you offer.

    • “I forgave my wife because I love her. Love means something to me.”

      Love means something to me, too. I was prepared to forgive my husband if he would have shown any remorse, stopped lying to me, and stopped having sex with other people and blaming me for it.

      I will never accept that leaving a person who rips your heart out means not understanding the “true” meaning of love. My love meant nothing to my ex, and he made that crystal clear through years of consistent disrespect and selfish behavior. Save your self-righteousness.

      • Exactly.

        I could have forgiven, if my wife stopped cheating and recommitted to the marriage. But, after D-Day number 1, she didn’t (although she claimed otherwise). After 2, 3, 4, and 5, she also didn’t stop. So…what’s a chump to do? (HINT: If you say “wait,” then love means *nothing* to you.)

        My wife had no intention of (a) stopping cheating, or (b) ending the marriage. So, no forgiveness was possible.

        A harmful act must be OVER for it to be forgiven. Ergo, If your spouse refuses to stop cheating, there’s nothing to forgive.

      • As far as I’m concerned, letting someone mistreat you does not have one damn thing to do with love. That kind of love can go on down the street. Been there, done THAT. never again.

      • LilyBart, your post brings up something I’ve been musing about lately. I wonder how many people on this site would have and could have forgiven their cheating exes and continued their marriages if the exes had TRULY been remorseful, TRULY been horrified at their own behavior, TRULY worked on themselves, TRULY made promises to change and stuck to them and became better people in the process – in short if they had been real unicorns and capable of genuinely doing whatever was needed for reconciliation and to restore trust, could we have gotten over the fact that they had sex with someone else? I suspect the answer would be, in most cases, yes. Nobody here wanted to give up on their marriages and did so only after the horror show of lies, betrayal, blame-shifting, cruelty, non-remorse, etc. continued. For myself, I can honestly say that the sex part, him having sex with another woman, was not the most terrible part for me. The ongoing horror show was. Had it been only a drunken one-off for which he felt terrible and used it as a catalyst to change himself, I think I could have forgiven him and not been haunted by it the rest of my life. Does anyone else feel this way?

        • Firefly, I did forgive my ex and trust him again the first time. He did it again 10 years later. I now know he never actually stopped cheating all those years. If he really had stopped I wouldn’t be haunted at all, as it is I wasted an additional 10 years with him, my prime years really. I really wish I’d divorced him the first time I found out.

          • Firefly – “For myself, I can honestly say that the sex part, him having sex with another woman, was not the most terrible part for me. The ongoing horror show was. Had it been only a drunken one-off for which he felt terrible and used it as a catalyst to change himself, I think I could have forgiven him and not been haunted by it the rest of my life. Does anyone else feel this way?

            I can definitely relate to this. I don’t throw a 35 yr relationship away very easily or quickly and don’t think he cheated before but, I’m with you. It wasn’t even the sex that really bothered me. (except, he never wanted much with me and I just thought he was undersexed – so that threw me for a loop) It was the awful deceit and meanness afterwards; blame shifting, gasligting…blah blah, that went on to destroy me. I could have forgiven but he wouldn’t give her up after he said he had. That’s what really did it for me in the end. He tried to stick with us both thinking I wouldn’t know it?

            I’m on my way to meh…6 months and counting.

            • Shechump,

              “I can definitely relate to this. I don’t throw a 35 yr relationship away very easily or quickly and don’t think he cheated before but, I’m with you. It wasn’t even the sex that really bothered me. (except, he never wanted much with me and I just thought he was undersexed – so that threw me for a loop) It was the awful deceit and meanness afterwards; blame shifting, gasligting…blah blah, that went on to destroy me. I could have forgiven but he wouldn’t give her up after he said he had. That’s what really did it for me in the end. He tried to stick with us both thinking I wouldn’t know it?

              I’m on my way to meh…6 months and counting.”

              THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Took the words out of my mouth!!!

            • I think I would have forgiven a singe drunken escapade of stupid sex with a coworker. It would have sucked but would not have been as soul crushing as what he did.

              With the luxury of years of retrospect – I got “the speech” 10 yrs ago, learned of the affair 3 months later, sep for 18 mos, contrived reconciliation for 7 years then learned the truth after his death. I am much less affected by the knowledge that they had sex, I am irritated that he planned their big rondez vous (claimed it was happenstance) but the soul crushing moment I will never get past was the speech.

              To assuage his guilt over what he was doing, he needed to “end the marriage” which he did by telling me of his imminent intent to divorce me because I had “been a bad wife” followed by a laundry list of my failings. He was so strong and self assured and unrelenting, and firm and it was so cruel…I think I was literally bend over blubbering in tears and he pummeled me with harsh accusing words over and over for at least 2 hours. He said there was no one else involved in his decision to do this.

              At the end of the speech, he asked if he could stay for the few weeks before his military retirement and I said yes (planning to do a wild version of the “dont leave me!” dance) so he got CAKE. A few weeks later he told me that my attempts to save our marriage were “pathetic” and he was probably right.

              My mom had just been discharged from an ICU after a BAD car crash that left her in a coma for days. I think he had intended to give the speech earlier but waited til mom was “out of the woods” – he never accompanied me to her bedside, he stayed home and most likely spent his time writing lovey emails to OW.

              I have found some degree of peace the lies, the selfishness, the treating us like we dont matter, the refusal to take accountability…but that speech…I told a friend that I would have preferred that a bunch of thugs had beat me bloody and left me to die on the street. It was “soul rape” by the person I had chosen to trust and in a way I will likely never fully recover from that 2 hour moment in time.

        • raises hand also. when i found out he was with a hood rat 4 years ago, i forgave him and actually forgot the whole incident. (i also found out at the same time that he had cheated on me 2 other times before this one). i completely and 100% forgave and never brought it up again. we didnt even talk about details, i just forgave him and loved him like i always did love him, unconditionally.

          i probably would have forgave him this time and we would STILL be together except for a few changes.

          1. i couldnt forget the last time.
          2. his girlfriend called me to tell me that “he doesnt want you” with him sitting right there next to her (on hind sight she was struggling and worried that he would come back to me)

          and the most important
          3. he just didnt think our marriage was worth fighting for. (had i done all the work like i did all the times before, we would still be married) he did not think he needed to do anything, i was the one that was suppose to fight his hood rat (you know to prove my love for him), beg him to come home (where he belonged) and promised to be a better wife (while he didnt change) and remind him how much the kids and i loved and needed and appreciated him (because poor little boy kept forgetting)

          you cant save a marriage by yourself. if my exhole had giving just an inch, i would still be holding on. well he did give me a few chances and opportunities to fight for him, and he did get me some bait and line routine. when i begged him to just tell me he doesnt love me anymore…he tells me he did love me, but he loved me enough to let me go because he just cant stop hurting me.

          and i remembered from somewhere “if someone tells you who they are, believe them” so this time i did.

        • I hear what you are saying. It’s a very emotionally mature POV for a cheater to actually be truly remorseful. If that is indeed the case, the truly remorseful cheater needs to get their shit together alone and away from the betrayed spouse in order for the betrayed spouse to heal. That would also be respectful, something the cheater never gave two shits about to the spouse while frolicking in fantasy land.

        • Yes, Firefly, I would have been able to cope with a drunken one-night stand, if that’s what my wife did. It would have shown that she’s capable of human weakness and remorse. I’m not saying I would have forgiven her the next day. I still would have demanded she seek help. But, if she’d shown remorse, I would have believed in her.

          But, as noted by you and others, that’s not what happened.

    • My love for my children is unconditional; my love for romantic partners (adults) will NEVER be unconditional. Kids are smart enough to know the difference, and why.

    • And I’m calling bullshit on this, “My wife is a good women who got carried away by lust. It’s not the worst thing in the world.”

      She got carried away by lust, and deceit, and power, and having one-up on you, AND she betrayed your trust and that of your children. Those things collectively, if not the “worst” thing in the world, are pretty close.

    • Ace, the judgement in your post is strong, you might consider that many people here did the same thing you have done. I hope you got the unicorn, I really do. I thought I had one when I forgave and trusted again. 10 years later I found out what a chump I was, lost years with a liar. Good luck, I mean that, my chumpy soul wants your marriage to work!

      • I suspect Ace is another troll from the Reconciliation sites today. Since they keep getting taken down, he thought he’d sound a bit more sincere than the average troll. But….same BS message.

        • Well, I give the benefit of the doubt because I could see me posting that you should give a cheater one chance to prove themselves to you and carry on. After all the first time I discovered my ex was cheating I gave him another chance because “love”. I didn’t understand he didn’t really love me, I didn’t realize that my forgiveness equaled his assumption that i would stay with him no matter what. With over 3 billion people in the US I should have just moved on the first time.

          • i agree with you Dat…i forgave him the first time i found out he was cheating. (even if i also found out about the second, and third time too)

            but in my heart and my mind, i KNOW i gave it my best shot. I KNOW i was a good wife and i tried EVERYTHING to make my marriage work. it was not ME who threw our marriage away even if i was the one who filed the divorce papers.

            i have a clear conscious on that and i always have. so forgive the first, yes. but over and over and over, nope i cant do that. (and if he really knew me, he would have known that). he thought he could do whatever he wanted and i would forgive him instead of seeing it as a second chance to do the right thing and keep his family.

            all of my kindness was taken as weakness.

        • Yeah, Ace and Jonor, both. Jonor completely missed the point about blame- shifting. He states that somebodies cheating husband could have “helped” her with her muffin top, or “talked to her about the fact that she was a bad cook…they could have gone into couples counseling over these issues, instead of his cheating. How narcissistic is that? Then Ace has the sanctimonious attitude to insinuate that love means nothing to chumps. This is an attempt to make us defend ourselves and our decisions, thus, lower a boundry. This is classic manipulation and a strategy. Read some of Gavin Debeckers “The Gift of Fear”.

        • Tempest, I would agree with you on that one. The message would seem to be the same. …..Give em another chance…….have enough love in your heart to try one more time…….( we might just be morally superior because WE DID hang in there)….Yadda, Yadda, Yadda. We are going to educate the poo ignorant quitters….

          What some of these folks don’t seem to get is that a high number of our cheaters have nonexistent consciences, zero empathy for anyone but themselves, and the amazing ability to give oscar winning performances to procure and keep cake and kibbles. They not only use people, they use people UP! They don’t give a rat’s ass about who gets hurt in their selfish rush to get what they want at the moment. They only care about getting caught if it costs them. Doing what’s right is foreign to them.

          In my book if they cheat, and do not think they should be held totally responsible for their actions, giving them another chance is like lying down in front of them and inviting them to kick you some more…..stupidity coupled with lunacy!

          Cheater apologists….you think I’m being mean and unforgiving? Well let me tell you something. If I had not taken my kids and left cheater ex, both my kids and I would be dead along with cheater ex.. Not all of these wing nuts have a good heart. some are just plain evil. Cheater ex was. In the end, between him and his family, they took almost everything they could take from me but my life, and the life of my eldest son. My youngest son wasn’t so fortunate. They took.. ..my child, whom cheater ex murdered, my home and my pets, whom cheater ex’s family burned down with my dog and kitties inside, along with everything else I owned.

          Do not presume to lecture anyone here who has suffered under the thumb of these disordered cheaters. We know all about unconditional love as we have forgiven and forgiven and gotten kicked in the teeth for it again and again.

          As far as taking the moral high ground, well, I have forgiven cheater ex and his family. It took praying for them for five long years but I could at last pray it and mean it. I did not do it for them. I did it for myself. I did not want them to have the power to make me feel bad for the rest of my life. Healing is an ongoing thing, and will be ongoing for the rest of my life. I have forgiven but I have not forgotten. Cluster “B”s and their crazy drama will never have any place in my life again.You want to sit in judgement of me cheater apologists?
          Go right ahead. I don’t give a rat’s ass. I’m too busy living my life, doing my best to be a blessing rather a curse.

            • Tessie, you have a story that takes you from a scale of 1-10 to a 12. Almost impossible to read, but I’m hoping you are getting back the love of the people who do read it. It’s some amazing stuff, and some people don’t get that any of that is possible, so it is only more important that they hear it.

  • I just got back from therapy, wherein I had a long discussion about me feelings about my XH (not a cheater) who is a substance abuser. I loved him and still do. I think he loves me, insofar as he can. But I spent an evening with him this week–pleasant enough–that reminded me I have spent many years hoping for him to be a more engaged partner–someone who would be an emotional support, someone who would reciprocate my delight in doing nice things for my partner, etc. I told my therapist that sometimes I felt as if he were stingy with his time, his affection and his money.

    She said, “You’re assuming that he knows how to love and just refuses to. It may be that he doesn’t know what to do or how to do it. And at his age (past retirement and long past separation) he isn’t likely to figure it out.”

    I think that applies to cheaters. Certainly they don’t want to tell us the truth. They lack empathy, don’t care about our pain. They only see themselves and what they want. And I think that’s because they are missing some significant pieces (the empathy, primarily, but also a conscience in many cases.) Now, my XH has a conscience and he is very good in some ways to people he cares about. But drinking and empathy don’t go together. Substance abusers also abuse the people in their lives by holding onto relationships that are just secondary to the substance(s). There is never full engagement. My experience with a cheater was far sharper and more painful, but in the end it comes out in the same place: these people aren’t available for full intimate partnerships because their own needs blot out the sun.

    In the end, my therapist reminded me that as much as we love others, we can’t keep giving ourself the tiny sliver of pie, the cracked dinner plate, the worn-out car, and the full load of responsibility while others abuse our generosity and commitment. We need to love ourselves, too.

    • “these people aren’t available for full intimate partnerships because their own needs blot out the sun.”

      Perfectly put, LAJ. No matter what we do–try hard, make our own needs small, it doesn’t matter. The relationship is due to failure, and bound to be unfulfilling before it fails.

    • exhole was an alcoholic….and i assumed that he just didnt understand what love was because his parents were so f*cked up, in fact all of his family was f*cked up. i honestly thought i could teach him what honestly being loved felt like and that he would never leave me. we met when he was 24.

      14 years later, he still doesnt understand what or how real love is and he is not going to learn now. although i see him doing things for this hood rat that i believe he learned from me. i dont think he will be able to maintain doing that for a long period of time. she thinks he is super wonderful because he is actually a good guy. but he is super shallow, and when the shit hits the fan, he has zero coping skills. running, drinking and cheating are in his toolbox of life skills.

      i just couldnt live like that anymore. His needs really was blotting out the sun.

  • Ace, my parents survived infidelity and have been married 59 years. Sometimes couples do stay together and it works out. I wish you the best.

    • Hmmmm.
      I believe infidelity and the character that goes with it yield consequences… Hidden or not.
      Eventually… the actions have results.
      (eg. his precious daughters may give cheating a go one day.)

  • 21 years post discovery. yesterday. my first XW texts me and asks me if I could use some set of dishes she is about to give away. WTF is wrong with her. We are not friends. She has never come clean despite my showing her the evidence I had.
    It is surreal.
    Last week , she texts me to inquire if I recall the year we graduated law school so she could write a biography. Fuck, who does not remember something like that?
    The woman is nuts. She is still trying to be my friend and act as if this is all forgiven and forgotten by virtue of the mere passage of time vs any confession and remorse.

    • Arnold , do what I do when he texts me something random… Text back ” who’s this? ” They get the point after a while.

      • I like that, clip. I used to respond with phrases like: “Affair Partner Details” or “Infidelity is abuse”, complete non sequitters to what she would text about.
        She stopped for a while, but , lately, we have had to communicate about my son’s treatment logistics. So, apparently, she feels we can now socialize, as well.

  • I always thought that letter was bullshit. I guess I just don’t get it. I never wanted to know all the gory details, I just wanted ex asshole to stop cheating, full stop. I did my fair share of detective work but it was only to verify that what he SAID was a lie, every single time it was a lie. I had to do it because my gut was screaming and he was lying about cutting off his cake. Most of the pain was not due to the cheating itself. It was due to his stringing me along with lies and blame and gaslighting bullshit for months afterward. It was his not being willing to simply tell the truth, in his case that would have been “I want to stay married to you and continue to act single while fucking my friend”. He did not tell that truth because he knew I would not agree. CL said before and I agree 1000%. It’s not that they don’t understand you, it’s that they don’t care.

  • Not sure I can say the pain from raped is any more or less than the pain inflicted by my husbands cheating . I was raped at 27 yrs by a man I knew. it was a very violent assualt and it took me many years to move past it. Cant say that I am entirely past it. Its a different pain.Both cheating and rape I consider violations. Certainly I can identify with what a rape victim feels ,just like I can identify what a chump feels. Is one worse? I dont know. I do know that I have survived both and have learned that I didnt deserve either. The only thing that I say is equal in both situations is both offenders thought they could take what they wanted from me without reprocussion. I am forever changed by both events.They are pieces of me that I have to reclaim. How does one want to claim the damaged parts? No amount of counseling or time changes what happen..just how you deal with it. Will I forgive them ? No. I don’t feel I need to be whole or healed. I think If I will forgive anyone…it will be myself. Thats the hard work.

    • TheClip–I was already horrified enough by your psychopathic cheating X-with-a-badge; to know you have lived through an assault, too has haunted me all day.

      Your strength of spirit in light of it all is astounding. I think you’re amazing (but you knew that).

      • It was 20 years ago…and i was a different girl then. I try to remember her prior to that date. She never came back. It changes you. I am changed. I am a survivor.

  • Sorry…when I respond on my work computer( when I am on break of course) it places the reply at the very end of the thread.The above comments are a reply to Trusting and CL comment on rape and cheating. My previous comment belong sway up there ^

    • Dear TheClip; I was very moved by your deeply truthful and authentic post. I feel true empathy for you getting this pain overload in your life. Who would want to have another experience so painful to compare with being cheating on by your most trusted person? And have this rapist be someone you knew is very disturbing….hits right in the trust gut again.
      The scariest thing many have mentioned is seeing a complete stranger where a friend/lover/confidante
      once was. This is so hard to reconcile, especially when the abuse escalates or lying continues.
      I am also trying to accept myself where I am, with who I am, realizing I never would have written it this way but it is nonetheless my life/story. This may be the biggest challenge of all. But at least we have the perspective to be honest with ourselves having had such life experiences. It seems Chumps are people who are insightful, honest and have made a lifetime of working on themselves.
      I wish you didn’t have so much to work past, but I know you can do it. Some days are bad days. My condolences.

  • Arnold, the only thing that cuts deeper for me is the pain my child has had to endure. She is the true victim.

    • Yes, the kids really suffer in all this, Clip. I can remember packing up and driving off as my 4 year old son stood I the window watching me drive off. He was crying.
      21 years later and he has been a heroin addict for 8 years. He lives with me and is now in treatment in Malibu just getting g off methadone ( which they say is tougher than Heroin).
      I wonder if his mom’s destroying our family to chase strange dicks played a role in what he became.

  • “It comes from the fact that I love you. Why else would I put myself through this?”

    “Because you’re a chump and you’ve got spackle issues”

    Nailed it again chump lady

    OMG I wish someone would’ve said this to me. Would have saved me three (torturous) years of my forties!

    Poor Joseph. I didn’t write anything like this to the ex fucktard thank heavens. Even in the throws of unicorn chasing, I knew a letter like this would be wasted on him.

    RUN JOSEPH RUN!

  • Speaking of sexual violations, I applaud all who have gotten through them. I bet there is not one of us women who have not been somehow molested growing up – because I think it is the Bane of being a young innocent woman. My first, and he’s still my brother-in-law, who groomed me from age 12-15 to let him touch my titties. Sounds innocent enough but, I’m 58 now and it still bugs me. Another was a chiropractor – who also wanted my 14 yr old titties. I mean, you don’t have much defense at that age when your mom never even told you about Periods!
    Talk about Naive.

    Then, my first job – that boss full out raped me at a Halloween party. He never got justice because there was nobody I could turn to at the time (late 70’s). It would have been funny but I was dressed as a little black man and he still did it. It changed my life and I ran away from home, missing my education and took me a long time to get back on track.

    I’ll never be over those experiences – yes, they shaped me – and I thought I truly met a good man 35 yrs ago.
    I believe soul-rape is the worst of all.

    That X is the one that broke my true spirit.

    • Can’t say that’s ever happened to me – but to be quite honest, when I was younger I kept well out of the range of people like that and did all I could to be inconspicuous. (This is NOT intended to be victim blaming, btw. I was kinda ‘invisible’ when I was younger)
      Could also help that I was trained in self defense from a young age, and kind of let it known that if anyone dared lay a finger on me, they’d be missing teeth or be in a LOT of pain. Not exactly proud of using violence to get a point across, but these sorts of situations you gotta do what you gotta do, and its akin to reasoning with 2 year olds if you try to reason with the disordered.

  • Not to mention the asshole boyfriends who got Daddy’s big car, drove way too fast while drunk at 2am and just wanted sex no matter what. They didn’t call it date-rape back then. It was called, suck it up, Chick.

  • Jonor, you don’t get it. There is no muffin top. My cooking is fine. I turned myself inside out w the pickmedance, until I couldn’t. If my husband had tried to fix things, been able to leave it alone, I would have worked with it. And I think he loved me, loved his family…it wasn’t enough.

    We also know it takes two to make a marriage, and to break it. But when half of the team is elsewhere, betrays his best friend, most staunch ally, what is to be done? I am trudging, slogging through a dreadful divorce, with an angry son and a baffled world. But it was never about my cooking.

    Here’s what we know: we trust that they (and you) suck.

  • Was there something wrong with the reconciliation boards yesterday that these morons need to come over here trumpeting how sorry they are (Jonar) or how noble the are for “forgiving” (Ace).

    I’d be willing to bet they are the same person. Kibbles, Kibbles, feed me, more Kibbles!!! Nom nom!!

  • I didn’t know where else to post this but there was a great post the other day by someone here about how the Other Woman is lesser than or that they are like a wounded animal the cheater goes after since they are easy prey or something like that, might have been English Lady that posted it. I can’t find it but wondered if any of you have that post. I know another part said if they happen to be pretty then that is a good wrapper.

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