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UBT: “There Are No Right Answers in the Aftermath of Infidelity”

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herpesDear God, the UBT has a buffet of crap to choose from. A alert chump sent me this HuffPo article that ran the other week by Samantha Rodman, PhD entitled “My husband had a one-night stand.”

Rodman, who goes by “Dr. Psychmom,” pens an advice column.

Reader Crushed writes:

I just found out my husband had a one night stand. It was with some random girl from a bar in the back of our minivan seven months ago. We have been together 13 years, and he says this is the only time. He didn’t fess up, I called him out on it.

I just knew somehow. We have two kids and I am six months pregnant. I feel so betrayed and angry and I hate him. I can’t stop thinking about it, and I’ve always said that it would be the only reason I would ever divorce him.

And at the same time, I’m not sure I could divorce him; he’s my only love since we were kids. I’m so confused. I don’t even know what steps to take (aside from getting tested).

Rodman, having absolutely no clue if this cheater is the least bit sorry (the fact that he didn’t confess would imply not), immediately jumps on the unicorn bandwagon. You can save this!

Dear Crushed,

I feel for you. What a terrible thing to happen, and the timing couldn’t be worse, when you are pregnant and feeling overwhelmed. I want to assure you that your conflicted feelings toward your husband are completely normal. Dr. Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence believes that the “new shame” is staying with a partner who has been unfaithful, since nowadays, the common “wisdom” is to immediately leave someone who has cheated. Yet, many times, things are not that simple. For one, as you say, many times, you still love your partner, and have a family together.

Just because he did a terrible thing does not mean that your husband is a terrible person. There is the possibility that your relationship will grow, and you will become closer than ever if you can look at this affair as something bad that happened to your marriage, rather than you viewing your husband as the enemy.

I have written here and here about recovering from infidelity, and here is a guest post by a reader whose mother took back her unfaithful father.

There are many paths to recovering from infidelity, and many couples are able to look back at the affair as a time that facilitated tremendous growth in their relationship. Sometimes, it helps shine a light on problems in the marriage, or opens up a dialogue about sex and intimacy.

Right now you are reeling, so it is necessary for your husband to express his sorrow and to apologize, and to empathize with how you feel. This is crisis mode for your marriage. You will likely feel a lot of ambivalence, like you suggest in your letter to me. Some moments, you will hate your husband, other moments you will beg him not to leave. You will be consumed with questions and with figuring out if he has ever cheated before or wants to again. This would be a great time to get into couples counseling if the conflict escalates out of control.

At a later point, if you want to repair the marriage, it will be time for you both to empathize with the other. This would include you asking your husband how he felt that led to him cheating. This doesn’t mean that you excuse or condone his behavior, but that you try to understand it. If you want to build your connection stronger than even before, you need to be open to taking his perspective and understanding what this one night stand meant to him.

Maybe he felt overwhelmed with two kids and one more on the way. Maybe he has felt sexually unattractive, and he feels like a sexless dad rather than a sexual man, and this one night stand made him feel alive (feeling alive is a common reason that people have affairs). Maybe he has never felt confident in his ability to be with other women, since from what you say about him being your only love since you were kids, it’s possible you were his only partner.

If you want to reconnect on a deep level, you need to know where your husband was coming from. And, of course, he needs to completely acknowledge and validate how you felt, and how it may be difficult to trust him in the future.

Thanks for writing in, and keep me updated. And ’til we meet again, I remain, “The Blogapist Who Says There Are No ‘Right’ Answers in the Aftermath of Infidelity.”

Now for the UBT. Sorry, if this is long. Imagine the dreadful case of indigestion the UBT has after reading it.

Dear Crushed,

I feel for you.

By which I mean I have absolutely no idea what you’re going through. But I thought I’d throw that out that pleasantry. I feel for you the way my cat cares about the Syrian refugee crisis.

What a terrible thing to happen, and the timing couldn’t be worse, when you are pregnant and feeling overwhelmed.

Because being “overwhelmed” is the worst thing. Not like, say, having your health risked by STDs right before your pregnancy and your marriage imperiled.

I want to assure you that your conflicted feelings toward your husband are completely normal.

“Conflicted.” I’m conflicted over my choice between open-toed or close-toed shoes in April. I have conflicted feelings towards donuts. (Tasty, yet so full of sugary carbs.)

I am reduced to a convulsing, sobbing heap upon learning of my husband’s infidelity. My feelings vaciliate between murder and despair, paralysis and puking, leaving or lighting the family van on fire.

Pay no attention to my subtle minimizations of your pain. I feel for you.

Dr. Esther Perel, author of “Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence” believes that the “new shame” is staying with a partner who has been unfaithful, since nowadays, the common “wisdom” is to immediately leave someone who has cheated.

Where the fuck is this common wisdom? (And thanks too for the snarky quotation marks.) Staying with cheaters for the sake of the children is the OLD wisdom. You know, before the women’s rights movement and divorce reforms.

Where are all these people shaming you for reconciliation? Reconciliation is the recommended path in 99.9 percent of the literature and online resources. Not to mention the preferred option in most major religions. WTF, Esther?

Oh right, we shame chumps for staying. No, we shame them for being CHUMPED. All this shit is same blame the victim nonsense recycled into some kind of new enlightenment.

Yet, many times, things are not that simple. For one, as you say, many times, you still love your partner, and have a family together.

Right, because the people who leave cheaters didn’t ever love their partners or have families. That just makes you SO different.

Just because he did a terrible thing does not mean that your husband is a terrible person.

Good people do terrible things. I don’t know what terrible people do.

I mean, what’s the tipping point to Terrible Person? Drowning kittens? Molesting choir boys? Writing “Mating in Captivity”?

There is the possibility that your relationship will grow, and you will become closer than ever if you can look at this affair as something bad that happened to your marriage, rather than you viewing your husband as the enemy.

There is the possibility that we are all being manipulated by an international cabal of rabid squirrels. How else do you explain Congress? Do you have a BETTER theory? It’s a possibility!

You can look at this affair as something bad that happened to your marriage. Yes! A bad thing happened. Passive voice. Think of the affair as a toxic cloud that just descended on your minivan one day. No one controls clouds! Clouds gotta do what clouds are going do. Rail at clouds pointlessly if you want to. Your husband is not the enemy.

I have written here and here about recovering from infidelity, and here is a guest post by a reader whose mother took back her unfaithful father.

The UBT is not going to link to your articles. This is enough dreck for one day. But trust that here are some anecdotal unicorns!

There are many paths to recovering from infidelity, and many couples are able to look back at the affair as a time that facilitated tremendous growth in their relationship.

Yes. An affair strengthens your marriage the way shooting off your kneecaps improves your tennis game.

Sometimes, it helps shine a light on problems in the marriage, or opens up a dialogue about sex and intimacy.

That’s why people cheat — to have conversations. Nothing makes me want to talk about sex and intimacy like learning my husband has been hooking up with bar skanks in the family van. I get positively chatty.

“Problems in the marriage” — note my not so subtle blameshifting. He did this because there are problems. Problems you share. Problems that drove him to fuck bar skanks.

Right now you are reeling, so it is necessary for your husband to express his sorrow and to apologize, and to empathize with how you feel. This is crisis mode for your marriage. You will likely feel a lot of ambivalence, like you suggest in your letter to me. Some moments, you will hate your husband, other moments you will beg him not to leave. You will be consumed with questions and with figuring out if he has ever cheated before or wants to again. This would be a great time to get into couples counseling if the conflict escalates out of control.

I think the conflict “escalated” out of control when he fucked the bar skank. But yes, he needs to “express his sorrow” in the form of STD testing, full transparency, and a post-nup settlement. An apology isn’t going to cut it.

At a later point, if you want to repair the marriage, it will be time for you both to empathize with the other. This would include you asking your husband how he felt that led to him cheating. This doesn’t mean that you excuse or condone his behavior, but that you try to understand it. If you want to build your connection stronger than even before, you need to be open to taking his perspective and understanding what this one night stand meant to him.

Empathize with why he wanted to drown kittens. Ask him what he was feeling that led him to that river bank. Why did he buy that sack? Why Fluffy? Why Snowball?

It doesn’t mean that you condone drowning kittens, but just try to understand it. Haven’t you ever felt the urge to kill small animals? It doesn’t make him a bad person. Just a person who drowned a sack of kittens. It was probably his first sack of kittens. Figure out if he’s ever drowned kittens before or wants to again.

Maybe he felt overwhelmed with two kids and one more on the way. Maybe he has felt sexually unattractive, and he feels like a sexless dad rather than a sexual man, and this one night stand made him feel alive (feeling alive is a common reason that people have affairs).

And who can fault people who want to Feel Alive?! You, less-than-alive dullards there? Consider how ALIVE he felt when you’re feeling suicidal.

Maybe he has never felt confident in his ability to be with other women, since from what you say about him being your only love since you were kids, it’s possible you were his only partner.

I wonder if I can get it up with a stranger I met at a bar? That’s the kind of philosophical exploration worth losing your marriage over.

If you want to reconnect on a deep level, you need to know where your husband was coming from. And, of course, he needs to completely acknowledge and validate how you felt, and how it may be difficult to trust him in the future.

It may be difficult to trust him in the future, but hey, that’s where the deep connection comes from.

Thanks for writing in, and keep me updated. And ’til we meet again, I remain, “The Blogapist Who Says There Are No ‘Right’ Answers in the Aftermath of Infidelity.”

Until we meet again, I remain the Universal Bullshit Translator, “Leave a cheater, gain a life.”

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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.
  • No right answers but here’s a whole column of advice….Ha! Disturbing that she does not make the focus change in the adulterous spouse. That is a good way to ensure a repeat performance in my opinion. You can’t control outside circumstances. You can only control your own choices and responses…he clearly has problems in this area. It’s called character. Cheating on your wife while she is pregnant says one has REALLY poor character.

    • Good point, DM. There are no answers, but here is ONE path — reconciliation. Absolutely nothing said about what to do in the very likely scenario he doesn’t act one bit sorry. (Hang in there! More counseling! Ka-CHING.) And yes, nothing about what this says about his character. Apparently cheating is just something people do to have better marriages.

      • CL– I nominate you the Queen of Good Sense!!! Seriously, the UBT had me laughing so hard I cried, snorted and spewed coffee on my computer screen. I love, LOVE the UBT.

        When’s your next book coming out? Seems to me you have a plethora of information here to do another.

        CL keeps it real for me and that’s why I’m here. Who knows maybe someday I’ll make a different choice for my life. Not easy to teach an old dog new tricks, but your blog certainly helps me with my self esteem on my quest for enlightenment! You’re doing a world of good.

        Thanks for sharing your intelligence and candor.

      • Once someone starts citing Esther P as a source, you know you are dealing with a screwball. Wonder if she is aware of where the good doctor got her credentials ( perhaps the same place as the author?).

    • DM, cheater ex cheated on me when I was pregnant with our only child. He confessed after our son was born. Most of you know my story and I stayed another 23 years after that. I know exactly how this is going to end for Crushed. Her cheater pants husband will screw anything that comes along that is willing to screw him. It’s as simple as that. Cheating is part of who a cheater is. I’m unhappy? My wife is my problem. Pussy of the month will solve all my problems. Then they’re sorry when they’re caught and they swear they won’t do it again. And then the cycle continues. Character is ingrained. Unless they undergo a transformation, the cheater will cheat.

  • Perfectly said. This is why you are the one and only Chump Lady! Too bad you can’t get this woman’s address and send her “good” advice!

  • Excellent CL! That but spot on. What a bunch of horseshit these people spew!!! Ew!!! Makes my skin crawl!

  • Ugh. That’s the same bit of psychobabble that kept me stuck in limbo for 4 months. I’ll just stand for my marriage. He’ll see how much our marriage is worth. Oh how I wish the UBT was around back then.

    • Same here Ashley – stuck in limbo. And DM is right – all that does is encourage a repeat performance. Once a cheater realizes his better spouse is willing to forgive him and ‘work through’ the issue, what does that tell him? It says “I can cheat anytime I want because she will ‘understand’ my position as to why I did it, so I can just do it again. And again. And again….”

      • Lady Strange…THAT is exactly what happened in my SHAM of a marriage. There was the first affair, then trying to understand, forgiveness and moving on.
        All that work and a lifetime, only to find out he was a serial cheater and the marriage ended anyway.
        My forgiveness was obviously license to forge on!
        Don’t give your life to these pitiful people.

        • Yep. Husband had a one night stand in the first 3 years of our marriage. I forgave him, “it would never happen again”. It happened again. My confidence and self esteem were now so low I stayed again. (FOO issues) We did a lot of counciling. He was “remorseful”. But in reality I never felt quite the same about him again. It killed something deep inside me. I was forever changed and it hardened my heart. I was so broken, hurt and angry that I felt I had an excuse to to cheat if I chose as “tit for tat”. A couple of years later I had a brief affair of my own with a man in another state, and wanted to leave the marriage. I was very young and beautiful, and told my husband amoung other things that I had never felt cherished and safe with him, that he had never protected or fought for me, that I was expected to defend myself when his friends made passes or a man was disrespectful or came on to me when he was present. My husband took this literally and flew to Colorado and punched the OM. That sure put an end to it. We had a week long separation, and husband wanted to come home and repair our marriage, and I let him, even though I wasnt ready. I was so confused and hurting. It took me 2 years to get over the affair. My husband and I had learned our lessons big time and vowed to move forward faithfully together. We healed, and forgave each other and a couple years later started our family. Fast forward 3 DECADES. “All that work and a lifetime, only to find out he was a serial cheater and our marriage ended anyway”. I discovered that he just got very good at hiding what he was doing and is the most accomplished liar I have ever encountered. But my hands aren’t clean because of my actions so long ago as well, so I feel like the proverbial “pot calling kettle black”.
          I know in my heart I would never have cheated on him if he hadn’t broken the vows, but i still have great remorse. It still wouldn’t have changed anything. I really thought we had learned not to play with fire. He just became a better liar. Such a shame. He’s had his cake for 35 years. What a mind fuck. Im sure many of you will have a field day with this, but I need to be honest.

          • So, you think your revenge affair when you were young and betrayed is equal to his decades of serial cheating? You got caught (or maybe you confessed and tried to exit the marriage) and vowed to change and YOU DID. And he DIDNT. You need to forgive yourself and recognize the difference. You are not the pot, not even close. I imiagine he felt your revenge affair gave him a “screw a ho for free” card – it did not. Im so sorry for your decades of shame. It makes me so sad.

            • Wow logo, thanks for that. I did change. And naively trusted that we had both hurt each other so deeply that we would never choose to go through that pain again. He never looked at another woman, (in front of me) and became more of a gentleman. I thought we were happy. Everyone always told me how much he adored me and that he talked about me all the time. What a joke. I can now count a probable 7 affairs and I’m sure there must be more. I filed when I discovered his year long affair. He is now living with schmoopie, and not responding to my divorce atty’s requests. Keeps lying that he hasnt received them. We will have to start playing legal hardball…. Just ducky.

              • ChumpChange, I am embarrassed to say he was the only person I ever slept with in my life. He had at least 17 partners that I know about when I look back and sort through the lies. I had opportunities but put my family first. Being honest is not a characteristic of the disordered. Forgiving ourselves for allowing the disordered into our lives and recognizing where their abuse led us is part of healing. Hugs!

  • First and foremost, CL, I want to thank you for your snark and the UBT. I am at the start of my super busy season at work, and I really need to laugh. Your description of our Congress is priceless. Your translation of the therapy speak is worth it’s weight in gold. I really, really , really appreciate you, CL, this morning and every time I read your posts. You make me feel like my dark sense of humor is actually a normal response to this crazy world. Maybe I won’t get carted off to the funny farm, but if I do, I might run into someone like you during my unfortunate incarceration

    THANK YOU!!!

    It sounds like the RIC answer to discovering that your husband has been unfaithful while you are pregnant with your third child is to seek mind numbing denial until you can come up with a good reason that he cheated on you. After all, taking care of 3 children is not challenging enough. Shouldn’t keep you busy — you really need another job added to your TO DO list for the day. Meantime — just think about what your poor spouse is going thru — all those bad doubts about his manhood, and no place to take his hook-up but the back of the family van. What a guy! Thinking only of himself, every minute. Bet he’s a great father, too! Don’t forget to thank the bar skank for having no moral compass at all! Between your dumb-ass spouse and the bar skank, you have been delivered that precious gift to your marriage, “The Affair that Saved My Marriage.” Of course, this is the ONLY one you know about at this moment. You may already have many, many gifts from your thoughtful husband. With a bonus STD test for you to take (while you are pregnant, no less) thrown in by the bar skank. How thoughtful! I would bet money on the fact that your loving spouse will continue to bless you with these gifts as long as you stay married to him. You know, he’s just following the natural order of things, it is not in a Cheater’s nature to be faithful. Good Luck with the RIC!

  • I have decided that our society has declined to the point where I am going to go and hide under a rock and wait for death.

    Now seriously – that can and the husband need to go!!!!

    He is an asshole.

    A friend of mine looked at everything I was going through at one point and I was trying to understand the whole giant skein in front if me ( maybe if I had worn different socks ?) and she summed it up simply by saying ” he is an asshole”.

    I was giving him too much credit. Like that he would stop being an asshole if only I could understand what he was going through. Nope.

    The sad thing here is that people get fed this tripe and stay with the spouse, only to discover later on down the road that he DID NOT CHANGE!

    And years, lives, health and finances are lost because we did not listen to who this person really is the first time.

    And if she had to call him out on this bad behaviour, what other stuff do you think he’s done that she is not aware of?

    He is a selfish man child who likes to fuck strangers in the family mini van.
    Ick. Run far far away !!!!

    • Lisa, sadly, we assume people can change. You might be able to change behavior but you cannot change your personality. It is fixed by the time you are an adult. I would imagine most people at one time or another think about sex with a person other than their spouse. The ones that act are the disordered ones. I would not wish those personalities on my worst enemy. Oh, wait. Your enemy is the person lying in bed next to you telling you all those lives.

      • “I would imagine most people at one time or another think about sex with a person other than their spouse.”

        This reminds me about the flack Jimmy Carter got when he said he had “lust in his heart” but this man never acted upon it & is still married going on 70 years.

        • I am reminded that it’s certainly possible to admire the eye candy without doing anything about it. I remember as a child, being outside while my great-grandfather and my teenaged cousin were doing yard work (my great-grandfather was a very hale man, even into his early 90s). A cute woman walked by, and my teenaged cousin, with all those raging hormones, nearly drooled on the plants. My great-grandfather gave him a dime and told him to go buy an ice cream to cool off.

          It was a wonderful lesson that some things are in the “look, don’t touch” category. It’s normal to get all hot and bothered, but part of becoming a responsible adult is learning that it’s not a good idea to let yourself be ruled by your hormones. You can always go cool off.

      • thats the thing isnt it. i can honestly say that i saw of few guys that if i was single i would have made a pass at. there was this one state cop who was H*T as h*ll and he was a good friends of mine brother. before i hooked up with exhole i wanted him but he was faithful to his gf at the time. when he got single i was with asshole. but i knew…..i just knew….given the right time and place and enough alcohol, i just MIGHT do him.

        at one point ex and i were going thru difficult times, and i was going over after work to my good friends. this was after i mistakenly married the ex. and was troubled by finally seeing his true colors which werent all that pretty. anyhow, after work i was on my way to my friends. for some reason i called first, and she told me that her fine ass brother was there and they already been drinking for a while. (of course she didnt say fine ass, that is just the way my mind interpreted it) and i thought hell yes!! i could get drunk enough to jump this guy. but of course i was marriage. so i didnt even go. i told friend that i better not go. she knew how i felt about her brother, she tried to get me to go, but i just flat out told her i couldnt, not with the shit going on with my husband and her brother there would be too much of a temptation. and even thou she was pissed, i held to my guns and went home to my defective man. YEA ME!!!

        throughout the remaining years i got hit on several times and always just thanked them for making my day and told them i had to go home to my man. of course exhole did not return the favor a few years later and ended up not being worth the effort i put into it.

        • Hey, MrsV!

          I turned down a college sweetheart, who was-and still is-totally hot and my match in every way. Several times, when I was ‘married’, I got drunk just enough AFTER it all happened, and, well let’s say I left Europe with a bang and not a whimper….and it was great. He wanted me for ME, what I AM, not like Mr Fab, who needed me for what I could add to the PR effort.

          Narcs LOVE a prize to show off-a son who is a sports star, a clever daughter, flashy car, and so on….a hot wife. Shit, my exhole only kissed me when someone else was looking! Something that saves me is somewhere in this blog-he wanted something good from you. Remember that, and that you still carry that goodness.

          And look up a few old friends. Even if you don’t get laid, you’ll get a cuppa and a catch up.
          ;-).
          x-Mehphista, feeling kinda Tuesday and wishing you well.

          • i am currently NOT looking. i am still cleaning up my life and taking care of my kids. the exhole in my case left a good woman for the party girl. she is so much FUN you see. while i was not, dealing with bills, cleaning, taking care of the boys, and dealing with my grief from losing my eldest daughter to the disease she was born with, you know i just wasnt too much FUN at the time. of course had he just waited a year or so, i would have bounced back to good old MrsVain. but he thought i wasnt worth the wait.

            i am good, i am doing one day at a time. i figured if there is suppose to be a man in my life, God would find a way to send him to me, because He knows i am not looking. i am crazy busy this week getting ready for my youngest child to get his first holy communion. life is good.

  • “Maybe he has never felt confident in his ability to be with other women”

    Yes because this is vital in a marriage.

    • I know, WTF? and “sexless dad rather than a sexual man” seriously? Dad and Man are mutually exclusive?

      • But he’s tired of those small creatures taking up space in his house, so he goes down to the bar at night while his wife changes diapers, loads the dishwasher, brushes multiple sets of teeth, reads books to the creatures, changes a diaper again, breaks up a fight over a toy, puts toys away, answers where daddy is again, puts the kids in bed again–you know the drill.
        Maybe? For a sex man, that is too boring.
        So at the bar, well, they know how to treat him like a sex man and not a dad!
        And, so what if he IS resentful because that woman in his home does not take care of him, too–just the little creatures.
        What?! Do you expect him to take care of himself AND sometimes the little ones?
        Bar skank NEVER has to load the dishwasher! She NEVER asks him to mow the lawn for the millionth time! He NEVER takes out the garbage at the bar, and bar skank RESPECTS him! She’s HOT! Woman at home is tired!
        Sex man can’t help it if this is the truth.

        • Oh yes, THIS ^^^^^. Why sit at home and be a “Sexless” -family man instead of a “sexless” man with a family??? The poor sausage- poor, poor him having to find mindless sex at a skanky bar instead of being home with his (I’m sure) exhausted wife which he could/should be home with!!!!

          My God, the back of the mini-van?!?!? I hope he had the respect to at least clean the damn thing out afterwards- can you imagine that bacteria growing?!?!? EW!!!!

          • Can you imagine herding your children into the van the next time they need to be transported somewhere? What about odd fluids and stains? What about lost underwear? What about common decency and a modicum of respect for the woman you live with who is taking care of those children that have 1/2 of your DNA????

            • Yes, imagine my delight at finding out that cheapskate ex and the skanky OW fucked in our family truck–right across the bench seat in the front. Just soiled the damned thing. Must’ve given the Coward and the Twat Troll a BIG giant thrill to have a secret like that. They knew, but I and the kids didn’t know. What a big, giant, double-barreled “FUCK YOU,” when I or the kids slid in on the passenger side the next time we all went anywhere.
              These POS’s are vile.

              • Miss Sunshine,

                What you describe is just so rancid and despicable on so many levels I feel that there may not be karma sufficient to wallop your Ex or his Skankosaurus. Gross and barf.

              • Thanks, *snif!*

                What is especially so offensive to me is the idea that somehow the chump deserved this, or did something, or didn’t do something that could have saved the marriage from cheating.
                You look at what trash these cheaters and APs are, and tell me that being married to entitled jerks is some sort of privilege, that the cheating just suddenly overtook a good wife or husband. Suddenly they went from dream spouse to selfish, abusive jack-asses.
                Bull.
                Cheating is often just the last straw–the final wake-up that shakes all the spackle off, so the chump can see what a crappy person he or she has been married to all along. But because the crappy behavior didn’t rise to the level of sexual infidelity, it got smoothed over. We tried and tried, and blamed ourselves for the unease we felt, for all the insults we took, for feeling a bit resentful for the passive-aggressive or overtly aggressive behavior that the coward cheater committed. We told ourselves to suck it up and keep at it–for the sake of the children, for the sake of our futures.
                And then the bomb went off in our homes.
                Some of us realize right then and there that a sacred trust has been broken for good, that there is no saving something that never was, and we wake up right away and realize we have pulled the “Get Out Of Jail Free” card. (It’s not free, of course, there is crushing heartbreak and lots of work to do.) Others will try to rebuild with nothing–with no help but sabotage from the cheater and AP(s) before finally realizing that there is nothing to work with. For either camp, that’s where Chump Lady and CN come in–to reinforce that, in spite of any detractors, you are doing the right thing in leaving, OR, to show you another way if you are determined to fix something that is not fixable.
                I thank the stars every day for this safe place. Everyone here is an ambassador for the truth, each of us will create ripples of righteousness in spreading contradiction to the popular notion that chumps should have tried harder. We will be able to come to the assistance of the next coward cheater’s victim, until the victims become the victors.

              • Miss Sunshine: “Cheating is often just the last straw–the final wake-up that shakes all the spackle off, so the chump can see what a crappy person he or she has been married to all along. But because the crappy behavior didn’t rise to the level of sexual infidelity, it got smoothed over.”

                I very much like how you said this. It rings so true with me. X is very crappy. I found out after D-Day that some people in our social circle didn’t talk to me previously because I was with X and they assumed I was a jerk because X is. One person, upon hearing I’d broken up with him, said “I was wondering when you’d wise up.” (The person wasn’t being mean when they said that, BTW.)

                I feel foolish for having put up with the bad treatment and bad behavior. And, observing his behavior with 20-20 hindsight, I suspect his OW from D-Day isn’t the first OW, just the first one I discovered.

                Now I know better. Will trust my gut next time, if there is a next time.

              • Amen Miss Sunshine. Love this.

                “Cheating is often just the last straw–the final wake-up that shakes all the spackle off, so the chump can see what a crappy person he or she has been married to all along.”

                I got left in the dust by the ex idiot. He finally ran off with the blonde. Didn’t even look back. I think there have been many OW over the 20 years we were together. Once I dropped the it must be me scenario, I mustn’t be doing something right, I realise now how crappy he was. How entitled and so totally selfish he was. Towards anybody who didn’t go along with what he wanted EVER!! My son who is 19 said to me the other day that he does not have one good memory of his father. All he remembers was his total absence and his anger if he ever was home.

                Our home now, with my two kids and myself is such a loving, calm, beautiful place to be. I truly do love it on every level and thank the higher power everyday that he did leave. It has enabled me to be me for the first time in my adult life. Such a good place to be.

              • “Cheating is often just the last straw–the final wake-up that shakes all the spackle off, so the chump can see what a crappy person he or she has been married to all along.”

                YES!!! I have been the tolerant, supportive, loving wife while he has moved from job-to-job, overdrawn our accounts hundreds of thousands for his “special-necessities” while I was bitched at for buying make-up or shoes with MY money…but his AWOL nights have truly been the last straw…plus the fact that he refuses to be held accountable and explaining or telling me who-where-he was!!!

                OMG, the bench-seat of the truck!?!?! That is just horrid- or should I say, “WHORE-ID”!? Who fucking does that?!?!?!

            • Miss Sunshine, you rock! You are MIGHTY. I only have one kiddo, and am outnumbered….you hold me up every day, and I hope it is likewise.

              What you say about sex life versus family life is true both ways-Mr Fab made me feel -while I was raising our kid-almost ’emasculated’ It was like I had no right to sex-except on his terms. And he just plain took a turn for the kinky…yeuch.

              And the kids wise up pretty quick, alas, because when they stop supporting the PR campaign, the narcs turn on them as they did you. My dad did that to me-no college money for you! Because I grew up. My exhole will do the same. But screw him, I will work it out.

              love to all CN!
              x-Meh

        • ugh!!! that is what the oompa loompa hood rat told me “SHE RESPECTS HIM”; a week later she is driving his low rise truck off the curb. respect huh. apparently her respect is way different from mine.. later on she tried to tell me that “she doesnt hate me, she respects me”, i said the same way you respected my marriage? no answer.

          so that is a trigger for me………….She R E S P E C T S him,……indicating that I did not respect him. i only cleaned his underwear, house, yard, made sure his kids were taken care of, fed and in bed at a certain time, i made sure all the bills were paid, took care of appointments, schools, and extracurricular activities for the whole family not just the little boys. planned vacations, grocery shopped, fixed the house and planned for our future…….but right. i didnt respect him. oh and i was boring because i didnt want to go to the grocery store with him or out drinking at his drug dealing cousins…… ….. ……… the poor man,

          • That whole respect thing–for cheaters at the bad end of the narcissist spectrum–essentially means “she worships me” or “he doesn’t see how empty I am” or “for a little while, having a secret infatuation with the AP feeds the black hole of need inside me.”

            Words like “love” and “respect” and “trust” don’t mean the same thing to these hyenas as they mean to us. If we get a UBT lexicon, maybe CL will define them.

          • No, we don’t have to defend ourselves especially to a whore whose claim to a relationship is screwing him in her vehicle. They think they are so entitled. Yes, the ho gets the bed wetting, hard if hearing, limp dick with a pump, balding, complaining, pathological lying, serial cheating narc who gets HIV testing with his annual exam. It’s a package deal. She has to wonder if he’s really at the gym, jamming, working, out of service area,picking up supplies, or stuck in a call. She will have to live with the knowledge that he easily cheated on his wife with her. She will think he’s so neat and clean and wonder who he is cleaning the house for and never realize he brings his girlfriends home while she’s working. She will never know he recycles his previous AP’S and screws around with his customers and searches for new supply while he is with her. This is what the other woman got when she replaced me. Yes, I lost so much it makes me giggle.

      • Sexless dad? That’s another way cheaters say “You emasculated me!” As if the chump alone could take credit for a diabolical plan to Beta him. C’mon! The only one who can create this sexless, emasculated, Beta dude is the dude himself. Time for therapy and owning your shit, not blameshifting your actions on other people.

    • “Maybe he has never felt confident in his ability to be with other women, since from what you say about him being your only love since you were kids, it’s possible you were his only partner.”

      Following this (il)logic, conversely this would mean that Cheater McVanfucker was Crushed’s only partner. Did she also feel a loss of confidence in her ability to be with other men? If so, how should she have handled it? Perhaps she needed to have a quickie with a bag boy at the local market while grocery shopping to reassure herself of her ability to be with other men. Or perhaps she was too busy being a dedicated wife and mother for it to occur to her that the only way to feel confident about herself was to fuck a stranger (or several).

      Ms. Rodman should really more carefully examine the advice she pulls out of her ass.

      • Oh that name–Cheater McVanfucker–I can’t see for all the tears in my eyes! Thank you for lightening up a heavy day.

      • Ms. Rodman should really more carefully examine the advice she pulls out of her ass.

        I think she should indulge in a heavy duty laxative first, to get her head out.

  • Miss Samantha’s article should be titled,”Dancing Lessons for Chumps.” She states, “right now you are reeling, so it is necessary for your husband to express his sorrow and to apologize, and to empathize with how you feel. This dim-wit assumes cheaters are capable of empathy… what a joke!!! If they were capable of empathy they wouldn’t cheat in the first place!

    Praying that Crushed will find her way to Chump Lady. This is the kind of fucked up advice that sets chumps up for health issues, depression and financial ruin.

    • What she meant was, “right now you are reeling, so it it is necessary for him to PRETEND to” express his sorrow and apologize, because that is what looks good for him and helps establish that he’s just a nice guy that this terrible thing happened to… so he could build his self esteem by having sex with other women since you hijacked his life by being his “only love,” and turned him into a “sexless dad.” barf.

      • Muse, X certainly build his self esteem! Problem is the ‘one love’ they have is themselves. There is no ‘we’ in the relationship. I kept ordering up the number two narcs sandwich. It looked good but when I bit into it it tasted like shit. He kept saying no there’s nothing wrong with it so I ordered another and another but it always tasted like shit. Finally I took off the bun peeled away the cheese and there it was, a quarter pound of shit. Piled on top was the hopium.

  • “Just because he did a terrible thing does not mean that your husband is a terrible person.”

    Ummmm… That is EXACTLY what it means. When you do terrible things, you ARE a terrible person. If there is one thing I am thankful for after the demise of my marriage (actually there are about a million), its the fact that I now see people via their actions, not their words. And it has paid off in spades.

    • Dani, I too am finally at a point where I can see the many ways I’ve grown from this horrid experience. I’m thankful I now understand that “everybody’s got something.” I’ve also learned to value actions over words; have learned to listen to my intuition, and have developed a pretty good sense of disordered people.

    • “Just because he did a terrible thing, it does not mean he is a terrible person” – sure. Just like Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Scott Peterson n other charming men who did TERRIBLE things are not terrible people. They just made a mistake (and kept compounding it) n are NOT the enemy…

      Dr.Pyschmom – you are a psycho… Stop advising on areas you have no personal experience…

      • The ex’s father likes to tell me that. Whatever you have to tell yourself to sleep well at night.

        • For chumps and the kids, it never matters if the cheater is a decent person (temporarily) with other people. The bottom line is that the spouse and kids are the LAST people that anyone should hurt at a deep, visceral, and traumatic level. Stephen Covey said something like this in “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”–that if a person mistreated or abused or neglected his family, it doesn’t matter how well he treats acquaintances and strangers. (I’ll try to find that passage in Covey’s work.)

    • Dani, I couldn’t agree with you more. Cheating on your spouse DOES make you a terrible person. Would anyone ever say, “Well, he cheated on his pregnant wife, but he rescued all those kittens yesterday. I guess that makes up for the cheating.”

      NOPE.

      • Remember CL’s UBT — he DROWNS the kittens. I wouldn’t trust him with my kittens, my children, or even my plants. EW!

    • A daily dose of reality again here at CN.
      To all of the above Yes, yes and OMG YES!

      My Xh was given and has used the ultimate excuse for a Jesus cheater. ” he cheated on me for best part of a decade with multiple partners because he was inflicted with an unclean sexual spirit, several months after confessing what he did and emphatically stating that it was all in his past, he apparently was delivered from said spirit” at that point it was expected that I would realise it was not his fault and that I would end my ungodly behaviour of wanting to end my marriage. But I didn’t because although he was talking a good game his actions sucked. And have only gotten worse over the past year. Yep you can talk all you like but I am going to determine my relationship with you by your actions.

  • Suggestion for the Chump Nation’s own playlist for Dancing Lessons for Chumps: These Boots are Made for Walking

    • For all the Aussie’s out there, in honour of Anzac Day,
      ” wish me luck as you wave me goodbye, cheerio here I go on my way”

  • “Maybe he felt overwhelmed with two kids and one more on the way. Maybe he has felt sexually unattractive, and he feels like a sexless dad rather than a sexual man, and this one night stand made him feel alive (feeling alive is a common reason that people have affairs).”

    Does Rodman not see the contradiction in terms? lol – a sexless marriage? Really? His wife is 6 months pregnant… obviously, he’s having sex with his wife. It seems that making a new life doesn’t make him “feel alive” enough. This selfish asshole is insatiable.

    Get your child support set now, Crushed, before other women start petitioning for it. While his hunger to “feel alive” through fucking strangers in the family vehicle is infinite, his income is most definitely finite.

    • And frankly, for a lot of people, taking care of their kids and having a new baby makes for a VERY ‘alive’ feeling! What’s with ‘the best way to feel alive is to get some strange’?

      • I regret all of those times I wanted to feel alive raising four kids alone. If I had know it could have been resolved via my vagina and random penis, !WOW! that would have immensely improved my life. I would not have seen myself as a sexless, lactating, staph oozing, exhausted woman. This would have made me more alive and feeling like a sexual woman! Dang.

  • CL, your UBT skill is magnificent.

    Samantha Rodman is a moron and representative of many quacks who should have their licence revoked.

    Really….feeling alive….screwing a bar tramp in the family van makes someone feel alive. Hopefully, if Samantha Rodman has a husband he should get him some “alive therapy” with a bar tramp in the back of Samatha’s Lexus.

    Samantha Rodman is better suited to be a bar slut. Yeah…shut down your office and take up a grease stained bar stool and offer your services to men in the back of their vans who want to feel alive. Maybe you and Esther Perel could be tag team bar sluts and change the world with one bang at a time.

    • I was filled with awe (as in awe-dacity) when I read the article written by Ms. Rodman. Her response to this traumatized woman has totally annihilated any vestiges of Samantha’s credibility as a Therapist IMO (though I believe she was well on that path long before this latest BS-disguised-as-sound-advice). Lucy from the Peanuts comic strip was much better qualified to offer counsel.
      Having said that, PT’s response was priceless, along with the hilarious offerings from CL’s UBT and all the fellow contributing Chumps. Thank you and keep it up!

  • “That’s why people cheat — to have conversations. Nothing makes me want to talk about sex and intimacy like learning my husband has been hooking up with bar skanks in the family van. I get positively chatty.”

    Laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe! Thanks CL for the awesome snark!

  • Yes, and it’s like they wait for the most vulnerable position for you to be in ( pregnancy, menopause, death in family etc etc ) so they can take advantage of you! You can never really be vulnerable with these types and thus no deep connection. It’s all about opportunities. Some partner in life that is! Get out now !

    • Because it’s about power, and having one-up on the hapless chump. When the chump is pregnant, undergoing chemotherapy, just suffered the loss of a parent, they are at their most vulnerable. It’s not even a battle–the cheater gets to WIN and it’s as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. Cheaters love that–tips the power balance in their favor and they hardly have to work at it.

      • Tempest, agreed, it is always about power, control, through sexual encounters with skanky whores. That is exactly how it starts and ends. I’ll keep the compassionate, loving, nurturing, moral, wife and mother of my children and sleep around with screwed up whores who have nothing going for themselves and are willing to fuck anything in their path. It’s always your fault and they take no responsibility and have no consequences. There are no accidents just entitlement. This lifestyle works for them and they get off on being forgiven, sharing the details, and upping the threshold of pain inflicted in their spouse instead of getting a divorce like a normal human being. These are very sick individuals. They are disordered and untreatable. It NEVER gets better. The calculated immorality they posses is toxic. They prey on insecurities and spend years manipulating the person they say they LOVE. This is what I wasted my life on.

        Reconciling with a cheater excites them knowing they were able take away your power. They are addicts. They want another fix. The behavior is repeated. Listen to them! Honey I fucked a whore on the back seat of out van. The same van we bought to keep our children safe. Oh yeah, and I know your feeling fat and stressed about supporting three children. What are your options bitch!!

        A cheater makes a decision to fuck someone else while they are married. Believe you married someone unworthy of your love. Face the pain and get as far away from the person disguised as a human being as you can. Never doubt yourself. Never ever reconcile. Once is enough.

        • Donna–very well-said. I, too, wasted too many 2 decades with an entitled, emotionally abusive serial cheater (though just found out the cheating bit in September). However, I refuse to play victim or give up any more years or months of my life to him or his memories.

          As a result of tearing off the weight of regular criticism and being with He-Who-Could-Not-Be-Pleased, I feel 28 again. And I intend to live accordingly–no more negative, toxic people in my life for any reason. I will balance work and fun, and I will relish the small things in life.

      • Tempest, you are right on target. In my non-expert view, that’s one reason why so many of these losers are into triangulating (staying in the marriage long-term while having secret affairs at the same time). Such power they think that gives them. All those secrets. All that manipulation and control of others’ lives.

    • To drop the bomb while the faithful spouse is dealing with other things is callous, to then use their focus on those things as a way of not having to deal with the consequences of cheating I personally find horrendous.

      Five weeks after D’Day and a week after my daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia, someone who felt it was their job to manage my XH and our marriage had the audacity to tell me to “put my marriage issues aside and focus on my daughter” this worked so well, as XH was out living the single life and when he did attend the hospital dismissed me like some volunteer babysitter. This lead to large amounts of mental and emotional anguish. It wasn’t pretty. But during this time not one of my Xh’s support crew realised my marriage was my entire life and the things I gone through with the closeted gay narc to try and make it work, so “putting it to one side” while they dealt with him was one of the most effing ridiculous notions I had ever heard.

      Oh cheater and those who choose to support them are ef’ed up.

  • I think this particular article by Samantha Rodman really truly gets the Super Duper Biggest Grand Prize of All Time for the Biggest Load of Stinky Bullshit on Infidelity. I have never read so much crap in such a small article. It was amazing how much sheer craziness she crammed into that one little response. Fucking a drunk bar skank makes someone feel alive? Sexless marriage but his faithful wife has given birth to three of his children? He’s got feelings that need to be expressed, so she needs to listen, before or after she cleans the van carpet? Really, the bullshit is astounding. People are crazy. And this chick is a therapist? God help us.

    • Well, and there’s nothing new in the letter response, either, is there? I mean, isn’t it the same old bullshit cliches about the poor cheater and what you did to make him cheat?
      Nothing original AT ALL.

    • I like the idea of a super duper biggest load of bullshit grand prize.

      How about it CL….kind of like the oscars for “bullshit relationship experts”. How about a spectacular gold plated jumbo sized turd trophy for the winner and a place in the moron advice hall of fame.

      So far this year, I nominate Esther Perel, Samantha Rodman and Dan Savage.

    • The whole thing sounds like the tried and true adage…If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.

  • “I mean, what’s the tipping point to Terrible Person? Drowning kittens? Molesting choir boys? Writing “Mating in Captivity”?”

    That line alone will keep me chuckling all day. FU, Esther. I get glorifying feeling “alive” from sexual experiences. But why is glorifying DECEPTION socially acceptable? Oh right, it isn’t, unless you’re the one being deceptive. If it’s so Enlightened, Ester, where is your endorsement from the Dalai Lama?

  • “Good people do terrible things. I don’t know what terrible people do.

    I mean, what’s the tipping point to Terrible Person?”

    THIS!!! A thousand times THIS!!!

    This is the crux of the entire matter, seen with that laser intelligence and articulated clearly and succinctly by Chump Lady in a way that even a simpleton could understand. If you make the decision to have sex with a stranger while your wife is pregnant, you are either a moron or a terrible person. Those are the only choices available to you. Anything else is a rationalization for why you are a terrible person. Was John Wayne Gacy a terrible person before they discovered the bodies? Everyone said what a great guy he was. Image creation and perception management is not the reality of who a person really is. John Wayne Gacey was a terrible person before the bodies were discovered – otherwise there would have been no bodies to discover. Cheaters are terrible people before we discover the cheating, otherwise there would be no cheating to discover.

    The Chumps were in the same marriage as the cheater, enduring many of the same frustrations, doubts, etc. (sometimes more, because many cheaters, by their very natures, are selfish individuals), but did not make the decision to cheat. What do cheaters have to do to be adjuged terrible people? Go all Investigation Discovery and kill the Chump? Is that the moral tipping point? Or would it be just attempting to kill the Chump? Would that be the tipping point? I could go on and on with the absurdity of it.

    For my money, the Samantha Rodmans and Esther Perels of the world need to have a seat in the Clueless Asshole Corner and sip on a nice cup of Shut the Fuck Up.

  • Um, wasn’t it the idea that “there are no right answers” part of the reason you ended up with an infidelity problem in the first place?

    Yes, Dr. Pyschomom, there are right answers. Just because you don’t know them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Shamefully bad advice from this woman, both professionally and morally.

  • Thank God for the UBT as I stopped reading as soon as I saw Esther Perel’s name. Boom! Done. Anyone quoting her is not worth my time but UBT’s version was hilarious! My STBXH used to use the family minivan to rendezvous with strippers and such since we oh so conveniently took out the middle seat to accommodate our large dogs. And when I think about the pillows and blankets we kept in there for the kids to use on car trips… Yeah, setting that fucker on fire definitely crossed my mind (either the minivan or the STBXH would qualify as ‘that fucker’ depending on the day) more than once.

  • I don’t believe in the whole Good Person/Bad Person horseshit anyway. Too many people hide behind those labels. You are only as good or bad as your actions. Every Single One of Them. There is no hall pass for your character. Your character is defined by your actions.

    • I agree, not Juliet. The issue isn’t whether cheaters are generally good or generally bad. The issue is that they are cheating, lying, gaslighting, and generally behaving as if their partners have no rights–none of which is acceptable behavior. So even if they are contribute to charity, do important jobs, and “feel the pain” of other people (aka Bill Clinton), they are still abusing their partners.

  • I would think, that if we would go back to the old testament days, there would be less cheating. In today’s world, there is no real punishment for breaking ones vows. With the widespread issue of deadly STDs, there should be some legal recourse for this! There are no mistakes… adultery is planned… it is something they want and feel they deserve. I am one of the lucky ones in the fact I am still STD free….. my wife thought since he had a fiance, he was safe…. I guess she never thought a 26 year old who would screw her might be doing the same thing with other women…. I guess she at 40 was to good and he would not stray?

    • DavidB – you have something here. I plan on suing my STBX for reckless endangerment (although he doesn’t know yet cuz I don’t want to top my hand) for pursuing craigslist hookers n countless other sites for MAKING him break up with his supposed ex-GF ( stupid me for thinking ex-GF meant they broke up already) …

      I read up the definition of reckless endangerment – “Reckless endangerment: A person commits the crime of reckless endangerment if the person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.” It is further explained as:

      Reckless conduct is conduct that exhibits a CULPABLE DISREGARD of foreseeable consequences to others from the act or omission involved. The accused need not intentionally cause a resulting harm. The ultimate question is whether, under all the circumstances, the accused’s conduct was of that heedless nature that made it actually or imminently dangerous to the rights or safety of others.

      This definition fits cheating to a tee. There is a reckless disregard of foreseeable consequences ( spouse divorcing you, spouse needs to take an STD test etc), conduct is that of a heedless nature that makes it actually AND imminently dangerous to the rights n safety of others ( yes!! If I get an STD or worse a cervical cancer because he fucked a buffet of hookers, he knowingly and willingly caused a danger to me and consequently my children …)

      My lawyer is surprised I want to do this but I’m going to nail his ass if it’s the last thing I do…

      • Wow – I LIKE YOU Mind Logic! Reckless endangerment/reckless conduct….. Definately something I will bring up to my lawyer as well. I like your thinking (Nail his ass if it’s the last thing I do…). I got your back there and I HOPE and PRAY that you do just that!

        • Thank you LadyStrange!

          DavidB – I’ll post updates as I get them… It’s going to be slow in my case as I still have 2 yrs to the 10 year mark… I’m not going away quietly n hand over kids n money to the crapfest that is my husband n his love ( read trashfest mess schoompie) … So I’ll wait to hit 10 year mark then I’ll get half of his social security benefits etc… I stayed home to raise kids and have nothing to my name right now… So I’m building up to the level I need to be before I nail his ass. I’m collecting evidence now and consulted with a lawyer… But I’m sure he is NOT going to stop cuz his words ” you are lovely, warm n forgiving… You are everything I hope to be one day…. ” that basically means u are a chump n I can manipulate you. So between now n when he gets charged with reckless endangerment I’m gearing up to be self sufficient.

          Also David, you might have enough evidence to actually charge her if you have hard proof that she didn’t use protection.

          I don’t have that yet… Just emails to n from hookers n setup of dates etc… So if I don’t get definitive evidence of unprotected sex… I’ll try to convince courts that cheating, lying about it, perpetrating fraud by taking money from me to fund lifestyle that did not include me and was specifically excluded from marital vows is reckless endangerment … Fraudulent behavior with General disregard to emotional, physical n financial health of the family he created with me…. Lawyer thinks we can do this but had never heard of anyone doing this before… So I’m also shopping around for lawyers who can help me win this… So like I said, long n slow n expensive process.

      • I would like for updates! I have written proof to multiple sex events and no condoms. In a world where some say 1 in 10 have HIV, this should be a winner!

    • Amen to that, “adultry is planned”! My STBX told me it just happened, it doesn’t just happen, he planned meetings with her, made up lies to tell me, got me out of town with the kids so he could spend all weekend with her (while making me feel sorry for him because he had to “Work”). And he definitely feels like he deserved to cheat because it is true love and our marriage was over anyway (news to me). I got tested for std’s asap when I found out that all the OW’s ex boyfriends were drug dealers and pimps! She told my STBX that he was her only boyfriend who hadn’t been a loser, you know except for the fact that he was married with four kids and she knew that when they started hooking up! And thankfully all my std tests came back negative.

      • My STBX told me the other night that he needed to go work on a paper at Starbucks so he wouldn’t fall asleep while working at home. Of course, if he did his work sitting at a desk instead of propped up by pillows in his bed, he’d probably not doze off BUT what I heard was “I’m going to go spend the night with my girlfriend, but I don’t want to tell you so I’m going to lie through my ass.”

        My UBT was working. In my town, Starbucks isn’t open 24/7, and it certainly doesn’t have showers–or spare changes of clothes!

        Yeah, adultery is planned, but the lies! Oh the lies!

    • The MOW…..where do I begin. This doesn’t include his fuck buddies, just this MOW who engages in swinging lifestyle, has had multiple affairs while married and asshole, the one I married NEVER USED CONDOMS. He, the asshole, had the audacity to say, “she’s clean!” No she’s not. She is a Petri dish with herpes and who knows what else. Get tested,David. For the next 5 yrs at a minimum.

    • DavidB, there are still many countries where adultery is punished like in “the old testament days”. No sex before marriage, and stoning. I think I had rather endure cheating than spend a whole life without freedom.

      • I do not propose strict theocracy laws….. just if you marry someone and cheat thus risking their lives, there should be some punishment!

  • Ahhhh. The fucked up narrative of living a lie! Where is Det. Mullins and Special Agent Ashburn when you need them? Although he (the cockwaffle) wouldn’t have been called out as a john – I’d love to pull his sorry ass out of the ‘minivan’ (WTFUCK FUCKITY) and strong arm that loser fuck while I call his wife on the cell.

    So sorry to hear this dry ass fuck has wasted your time. Keep reading and getting stronger. Hugs to you and your beautiful offspring.

  • Good people do terrible things. I don’t know what terrible people do.

    I mean, what’s the tipping point to Terrible Person? Drowning kittens? Molesting choir boys? Writing “Mating in Captivity”?

    I think all those are deal breakers in my book 😉

  • Reader Crushed didn’t say she was overwhelmed. Bloody overwhelmed by her D Day, sure … but doesn’t Rodman make a big assumption that she must have been feeling overwhelmed, what with being the mother of 2 and pregnant with her third? Isn’t this her point with the ‘timing’? For all Rodman knew, Reader Crushed was excited and happy and mighty before she discovered she was hitched to a sodding cheater. I’m smelling another subtle blameshift onto ‘baby brain’. Grrrr!

    • And who the F cares if the poor chump was “overwhelmed”? That is an excuse for cheating on her? How about an excuse for helping her?

      Having been there, using “my partner is overwhelmed with childcare” is akin to blaming someone for vomiting because you gave them food tainted with e coli. Why is the chump “overwhelmed?” Because the entitled cheater is doing NOTHING. And then it’s the chump’s fault for not being available for the cheater. Lose-lose for the chump. Win-win for the cheater.

      Sorry–hit a nerve.

      • Lose-lose until she figures out that he’s a HUGE drain on her. When she kicks his ass to the curb–stops washing his underwear and cooking for him, and having sex with a man who clearly hates her, then it will be lose for him and a win for her.

        This touched a nerve with me, too. For many of us, I’m sure. Ugh! Jerks!

          • You are onto something here. Deep down, I seriously believe that my Ex hated me for a very long time. He hated his dependence on me. He hated my career success and parental success and my bond with my children. He hated me. He used that to justify his abuse of me, and his cheating then his discard. You are 1000% correct, Donna. No one can possibly love someone they make an affirmative decision to lie to and to deceive, over and over again, over a long period of time.

            • Yep, my ex hated me. When he said, “I never loved you,” I think he held back from speaking the full truth, which is that he hated me. That was part of the thrill in cheating. It drove him to become my enemy when he found and clung to OW. His hatred of me fueled the passive-aggressive behavior throughout the entire marriage. He made me the embodiment of all the women in his past who’d fucked him over–I paid for that. When we were younger, and he said, “Women are a pain in the ass,” he meant it. Oh, how he meant it.

              • Sunshine, I’m thinking it likely that his issues with women was well-established by the time you met him. You could have been Mother Teresa, Oprah Winfrey, Sandra Bullock and Madame Curie combined and he would have treated you as the enemy. My therapist would call that “contempt for women.”

              • Yes, but I think all cheaters are contemptuous of the opposite sex. Well, probably of everyone besides themselves. Hell, maybe of themselves. Who knows.
                Ulkgh!

            • TheMuse, he hated me for the reasons you listed. He was always wishing for things yet never had the backbone to set a goal and follow through. There I was the ‘fixer’ providing encouragement and the problem solving skills to be successful. I sincerely thought he must have gotten brain damage from a car accident he was in years ago. Dumping his self hatred on me is so over. Can’t fix that.

  • Thanks for unleashing the tireless and apparently uncloggable UBT on yet another bad psychologist. (Eagerly waiting for the Michele Weiner-Davis takedown.) Apparently the party line from both the American Psychological Association or American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy goes, “Infidelity is traumatizing to the betrayed party, but inevitably he/she created the conditions that led the partner to stray.” I poked around their sites and good luck finding a direct statement acknowledging that cheating damages people or that affairs destroy families. Also It’s obscene that a therapist who is a cheater can somehow be considered competent to treat someone who has been betrayed or counsel a couple after an affair. Is it OK with those professional organizations if a therapist convicted for domestic violence treats couples abuse? How about if an obese therapist treats eating disorders? Or a smoker treats smoking?

    • WTF? Do you have links to these claims? I would certainly like to address those agencies if that is, indeed, what they are are claiming.

  • Chumplady, I’d love to see a column devoted to “preferred cheater-sex-locations”. I thought I was the only one with a HUGE newfound distaste for Lexus SUVs and Minvans!

    Maybe do a statisical analysis with a short surveymonkey survey to quantify the percentage of cheaters resorting to the rear of family-friendly vehicles? Hahaha

    Thank you for today’s UBT column – it cheered me up immensely.

  • There is the possibility that we are all being manipulated by an international cabal of rabid squirrels. How else do you explain Congress? Do you have a BETTER theory? It’s a possibility!

    That’s GOLD.. Pure GOLD

  • Kudos! Seriously CL, I think this is your funniest and wittiest and cut-to-the-quick article yet. I am laughing out loud, repeatedly, in my office (the secretaries are wondering what the hell is going on in here). There are too many great quips in this one article for me to quote, I’d be here all day.

    I am going to read and re-read……hahahaha I cannot stop laughing!!!!!!!

  • My teenager has my own UBT inching to the red, so it was nice to get a UBT injection from the Master Herself today. Thanks, CL!

  • “There is the possibility that we are all being manipulated by an international cabal of rabid squirrels. How else do you explain Congress? Do you have a BETTER theory? It’s a possibility!”

    *stands up from desk*
    *applauds*

    Bravo, UBT.

  • Maybe it’s because she was addressing the woman who wrote the letter and not the husband, or maybe it’s just me. But I saw where the wife has to try to understand the cheating husband’s perspective, know where he was coming from, and empathize with him.

    I couldn’t find much about him atoning for anything – just making some sort of an apology. What would work? An apology like “I’m sorry I forgot to pick up the bread while I was at the store.”

    Or does it rise to the level of, “I’m sorry that I forgot what you told me you wanted for your birthday present. I hope this Chia hippo works for you.”

    Or even better, how about an ‘apology, but’? “I apologize to the extent this has hurt you. It wasn’t meant to. But I think if you try to see it from my perspective, I’ve been unhappy for a long time. Some of that is me. I’ve been working hard. I’m in a bad place right now. But some of that goes back to you and how you relate to me. If we are to move forward you have to acknowledge your part in what has happened.”

    Does he get to be righteously angry if something from the above doesn’t work for her? I mean, really, is he supposed to say he’s sorry forever?

    Clouds and cheaters gotta do what clouds and cheaters gotta do.

    • He should be sorry forever for what he did. But cheaters don’t work that way. And far from being sorry forever, he’ll only be sorry insofar as he himself is inconvenienced by her reaction to his own behavior. But his sorry will be her fault, of course.
      He will be righteously angry about whatever he chooses.
      Hopefully, she will see that his fucked-up thinking and behavior and entitlement is incompatible with being happily married to him, and she will move on before more damage is done to herself and her children.

      • Chumpguy: Personally, I would have forgiven my cheater ex everything, if he had ever given me a surprise Chia hippo for my birthday! LOL – NOT!

    • Love this, Chumpguy! Yes, she’s supposed to eat all the shit sandwiches as long as her cheating POS husband can utter “I’m sorry I fucked a barfly” in the same tone of voice he uses when he says “honey, I forgot to clean out the cat box. Sorry about that.”

  • The UBT was razor-sharp as always. I am amazed that thing is still working with the massive bullshit overload you fed into it.

    The letter from Crushed made me so sad for her. In the astoundingly ridiculous response from Rodman, there was no attempt to understand what she’s going through or what she’s been through. Crushed said, “I just knew somehow.” Lemme tell ya Rodman, those feelings don’t pop into your head out of no where. There’s a back story here of behavior that must have been shady as fuck for months. Maybe he’s been going out the bar 6 nights a week. Maybe not. Maybe they’ve been fighting about this one night for months while he gaslit and insulted Crushed’s intelligence. Maybe not. It’s just an educated guess, but there’s been a truckload of psychological torment that’s been dumped at Crushed’s door already, even before the bar skank revelation.

    And why are we even taking the cheater at his word that it was just a one time thing?

    Crushed, I really hope you find this column. I’d like to give you a huge hug. He’s shown you how much he values you and your child by cheating on you while you are pregnant. The potential health implications are huge; please get tested ASAP. There is absolutely no justification that can ever undo what he has done. He knew this was the one thing that would lead to divorce. He still did it.

    It’s a hard choice, but a clear choice.

  • “That’s why people cheat — to have conversations. Nothing makes me want to talk about sex and intimacy like learning my husband has been hooking up with bar skanks in the family van. I get positively chatty.”

    Yes! CL, you are spot on!

    While we were going to marriage counseling (I was still a chump, after all), our therapist said that I needed to find a way to be sexually curious about my wife again. I felt so confused, and I flat-out told our therapist that my wife’s cheating made me close up. It made me feel LESS curious about her, less connected to her, and certainly made me want to have sex with her LESS, not more.

    When I was 14, women who were slutty were attractive. But I’m an adult now. I find sluts to be unattractive, especially when they’re betraying me in the process. I’m not sexually interested in women who are f***ing other men.

    My stance on this is not unique. This is not nobility. It’s dignity.

    • JC, the mindfuckery is SO confusing. I am sorry your therapist added to the blame shifting. There was never normal male role model in my life. Never true understanding or compassion. My therapist was the first male adult that opened my eyes and forever had a positive impact on my life. His words were exact, “He is disturbed”, “He is a serial cheating narcissist”, “He never respected you”, “This is NOT your fault”, “He cheated when your emotional needs were the greatest”. This was within the first hour of therapy. I was married to a psychopath for 36 years. Nobility and dignity are still alive. Thank you for that. I will not let him color my world anymore. He told me to file for the divorce. I didn’t know at the time this was the first step in getting my soul and power back.

      • So glad you got such a brave, honest therapist. My therapist used non-clinical language to say the same thing… after listening to me talk for three sessions, he asked one question: “Muse, has your Ex ever had any psychiatric treatment that you know of?” I said no, why? “Because this is some fucked up shit,” he said. Then he gave me a list of books to read starting with Dr. Hare’s book.

  • Laughing ang giggling uncontrollably here! Not at the content of psychomom’s advice because it is atrocious and WRONG!!

    The UBT was spectacular CL. I am often shocked it doesn’t break with the phenomenal amounts of bullshit it must decipher! You could have a whole book just with UBT translations!!

    I disagree with the reader who said you broke it down so even simpletons could understand. Such an insult to sole tons everywhere to put them on the same knowledge level as cheaters!

    Cheaters would not understand the humor here!

  • Ugh. My cheater and the OW told eachother that they made eachother feel “Alive” too. I never understood WTF that meant. Chumpy me actually felt bad when I read those texts. How dare I ask him to come back to his family and stop feeling alive?
    This article makes me want to vomit.
    Good news… He finally found a place to live and he moves out in less than a month. From our 4000 square foot dream home to a shitty condo. I hope he feels alive there.

    • It means they are dead inside. All the time. Only clandestine fucking other people and fucking over other people makes them feel “alive,” whatever that means. It means they are rotten to the core. And now you know. So now you know to get the hell away from them.

    • No more dancing, ha that fleeting feeling of being alive is what buried them alive. Yes honey you have a used vagina bar whore that made your limp dick /brain give up everything you should have cherished in your life. Now you have the used up ho and live a shitty existence.
      We live better.

      • Ex said to me, “she opened my eyes to the fact that was not living a complete life.” Then I kicked him out and he went and replicated the same parasitic relationship with her that he had with me for 16 years. Yup, so “alive,” so “full”, so “complete.”

  • Reconciling with a cheater is just like giving another bullet to the person who shot at you but missed the first time. When you take back a cheater, you are telling them that there are no consequences for their terrible behavior (and yes, they are terrible people because they did terrible things) but even more, you are telling them that you are a chump willing to stick around and eat shit sandwiches for as long as they want to dish them up. Believe me, cheaters understand this, and they take advantage of it at least 90% of the time. Once you let an abuser know that you are willing to take abuse, why would you think that they are going to stop abusing you? And that is what reconciliation tells them.

    As for that stupid advice, I had never had sex with anyone but my ex until long after our divorce. And you know what, I had no problem with that during my 20 year marriage. I never needed to fuck other men to feel “alive” or to “feel confident about my ability to be with other men.”. What a load of crap.

    My ex also fucked his OW in our minivan. He told me that during our bogus reconciliation. How classy.

    If I was Crushed, I wouldn’t assume that one-night stand in the van was the only time he cheated, either. More likely, it’s just the only time she knows about, because disordered people are exactly like icebergs… there is always a lot more under the surface that you can’t see.

    • Right on, GladIt’sOver,

      I’d add that affairs are like icebergs. We only know the tips of it–the parts that they couldn’t hide. But we’ll never know the full extent of the the iceberg, because they don’t want us to. And that’s fine. Just steer the ship as far away from the iceberg as you can.

    • Read what Crushed says, and HuffPo advice quack ignores–the cheater didn’t cop to the one-night stand; Crushed called him on it.

      Crushed, men don’t have one-night stands in your minivan with women they randomly meet in bars. No, men routinely have one-night stands in your minivan with women they meet in bars or on craigslist. This is NOT the first time he’s done this.

      It’s the first time you caught him.

      He’s going to be more careful next time. Get tested and lawyer up.

  • My favorite thing is the notion of talking to a cheater to find out why they cheated and what they feel. Because we can trust what they say about these issues, right? We’ve established that they are a liar. So it stands to reason that they can’t be trusted. That’s why they make up shit-for-excuses, because they are liars. That’s not an opinion; it’s a fact. Discussing anything with these people makes no sense. It’s a complete waste of time. Going to therapy with a cheater is a colossal waste of time, energy, and money. Because liars tell lies, so what’s the point?

    • Let’s see. They “feel” Horny, and cheat “because they can.”. I think that about sums it up in my mind. At least at much as I want it summed up, lol.

  • Carol, I think many Chumps desperately want to find that cheating was caused by something they had done. That way they can “fix” themselves and all will be right in the world. The old reconciliation bunch makes loads off that dream. People cheat because they want to.
    If you start reading blogs written by cheaters, either married ot the AP, you get the “poor me” crap until you feel like gagging. Tons of narcissists on the web.

  • 1. Esther Perel. Okay, she lost me right there.

    2. “Just because he did a terrible thing does not mean that your husband is a terrible person.” Actually, it might. Typically, when one does something terrible purposefully, it is entirely reflective of that person’s character. This isn’t a car accident we’re talking about. This is a choice to ignore the existence of one’s partner and to willfully demonstrate a complete lack of respect for that partner’s health and well-being. I think that makes the cheater a pretty damn terrible person.

    3. “the timing couldn’t be worse” Oh, because there’s a right time for cheating. Maybe if he had cheated in their first year or marriage before there were kids, or if he had just waited until after she had the baby… those times would have been much better!

    4 “There is the possibility that we are all being manipulated by an international cabal of rabid squirrels. How else do you explain Congress? Do you have a BETTER theory? It’s a possibility!” CL, you clearly have the entire world order figured out. That’s exactly what I think is going on in Congress! 😀

    5. Oh dear God: “Maybe he has never felt confident in his ability to be with other women, since from what you say about him being your only love since you were kids, it’s possible you were his only partner.” Yes, poor, poor ex-cheater met me when he was 21, and I clearly stole his youth and his ability to sow wild oats. Never mind that he had almost all of his college years to sow away before he met me, but… wait… no one wanted him? He only dated a couple of women for a couple of months each in all those years? Huh. Well, it’s still my fault. Clearly, there was a line of women waiting for him once he started dating me.

    Why anyone would want to stay with a cheater, let alone a remorseless asshole cheater, is beyond me.

  • What’s most offensive about this article is the complete lack of compassion Dr. Rodman shows for the woman writing to her. She can make up a dozen paragraphs of excuses for the husband (based on the little she knows of him) but not one word of practical advice or comfort for this betrayed woman who reached out to her.

      • Ditch the therapist!! I swear I feeling like going postal every time I hear of a mental health “professional” (I use the term loosely) blaming the victim. Civilians who don’t get it, fine, perhaps they can be made to see the light. Clients should not have to educate their therapists, on either how to conduct therapy, nor on empathy.

        Run, and interview therapists before booking them to make sure they are not of the same ilk.

        • I will second, third and bajillionth that. Watch out for mediators. Arbitrators, cool. Mediators are RIC drones.

          Mine was a betrayed spouse herself, that was worth tons. So were her PhDs. Look for psychologists, members of professional associations, and yep, interview them. Might feel like the very last thing you want to do, but worth it.

    • Agree. It’s the same spiel: chump, in order move ahead in things (R OR D), you must figure out what the cheater is feeling. The whys of What compelled your super special spouse to get it on with strangers. Fuck that.

  • I don’t have much to add to the wisdom above (both from CL’s UBT and Chump Nation). But I will say that moving past the 20-month point from the height of the gaslighting phase, I do not detect a scintilla of awareness from Jackass that he did anything wrong, and his MOW is deep in a social-media recorded depression because the Karma bus ran over her. They think they are lovely people to whom bad things happen, including people accusing them of things they actually do. I’m thinking that’s what poor Crushed is faced with–a guy who would cheat on his pregnant wife would pretty much do anything. I’m sure there are people who cheat who regret their actions, who go to therapy and change, who really understand that they caused terrible pain, etc. I just never met one.

    And to ChumpFromF–hope you ditched the therapist, too.

  • Mine didn’t feel Alive, he felt Young!! Guess cause he was young when he knew the whore. Not sure how a dried up old crotch connected to a middle age dried up whore made anyone feel young. Sure doesn’t show in the mirror, lol. I guess Chumps aren’t the only ones with vats of Spackle in their closet. Has Chump Lady ever done a post on Cheater Spackle?

    • That was Jackass too–right back to his HS years, when he was a senior and he expected to be a huge success in the world and the MOW was 12 and worshipped him. These people have no future–just a ticket back to some past they never really had.

    • That is hysterical!! Yes X also found a dried up old crotch connected to a classless desperate ugly gruffly voiced sexless middle aged dried up whore piggy. He will go broke sparkling that dog shit slut that assaults men.

    • My cheater also said, as one of his parting shots, that he wanted to “get back to being the guy he was when he first came to [Name of our city].” ..i.e. when he was 30 years old, not 53. Though OW is older than me and I was already 5 years older than him, more evidence he really wants Mommy.

  • Holy crap.

    “Just because he did a terrible thing does not mean that your husband is a terrible person.”

    No, he’s a wonderful man who does terrible things.

  • I don’t know that this is the UBT at work here. It was an excellent rebuttal, of course, but not a translation in the previous UBT sense of decoding cheaterspeak.

    And the author doesn’t seem to know her math. A six months pregnant letter-writer finds out her husband had a one-night stand seven months ago. The reason can hardly be that he felt like a sexless dad with another on the way. In fact, if they were trying to get pregnant, there was probably a lot of sex going on!

    Clouds gotta cloud.

    Reconciliation is so rare because so many things have to come together to even make it possible. The chump doesn’t need to understand the cheater. The cheater needs to examine themselves, AND fully understand why they cheated, AND decide they don’t like what they see, AND commit to changing themselves AND actually succeed AND prove it to a mistrustful chump who rightfully doubts them. I don’t see that the chump has much to do with that process at all except be willing to stick around to let the cheater give it a try. It’s that feeling of the results being completely out of the chump’s hands that’s the hard part for them.

  • Its too bad the UBT is not an App or a device like … A babel fish… That you could pop in your ear and every ounce of cheater bullshit is easily translated. No wasting precious time trying to do the cypher or ‘ disinformation.’ In my mind the UBT sounds very much like the late George Carlin.

  • The UBT cracked me up, thanks! What stood out to me is that overall the advice was that the chump has to do a huge number of things to fix it and all kinds of reasons it’s the chumps fault and she should be able to overcome it while the cheater’s relegated to offhand “of course” statements about small shit the cheater has to do in return. Brings us right back to the timid forest creature post. I also really hope he didn’t give the LW herpes, she is about to give birth.

  • I think Hopeful Cynic is correct–and that should be the first thing new chumps focus on, once they can breathe and walk at the same time: “The cheater needs to examine themselves, AND fully understand why they cheated, AND decide they don’t like what they see, AND commit to changing themselves AND actually succeed AND prove it to a mistrustful chump who rightfully doubts them.” Maybe the chump sense of not having control of the situation will be mitigated by taking action: dumping the responsibility and the consequences for cheating square on the cheaters’ heads. We didn’t have a choice in the cheating or in what we lost because of the cheating, but we do have control over our own responses and choices.

    • Exactly. That’s why on DDay, after demanding the truth from Cheater when I had the phone log evidence right in front of me on the computer screen though he didn’t know it and initially lied and laughed in my face when I asked “were you out on a ‘date’?”, after his then confession (because he had no choice), I asked him point blank did he want to save our relationship. When he said no and blameshifted, I told him then and there he had to get out of our house. It killed me to do it but kept my self respect intact. I gave him a chance, he refused, so he had to go.

  • Wow, bringing a child into this world is a blessing…. Why would anyone in their right mind sully that…? I too am another parent who was not in any way “overwhelmed” by the task of raising our babies, they are such gifts. My ex like most Cheaters just showed up, while I did a majority of the hard work and made it look easy, while playing the supportive spouse to my ex’s IMPORTANT life. I was with asshat for twenty eight years but my best memories are of spending time with my children, I don’t have very many of my ex, it’s like he never really existed. I think that is what living with a Cheater is like, there is something missing and we are forever making excuses, it’s such a mindfuck, but our relationship never got better (hard to do when a third party’s involved). My ex stated that he did “everything to make himself happy” while living his great lie with me. Crap character is right. My asshat did not come home to chaos, he created it. Disengaged, entitled, dishonest, incapable. That is not what any of us needs. My ex failed at everything important (being a good spouse, being a good father, being a good role model) but hey at least he gets to fuck his new whore.

  • Drew, sounds so familiar to me. Are you certain we weren’t married to the same person? When I sat down and really looked back on every significant moment or memory in my 40 year marriage I realized that I was married to the “ideal” of marriage! I lost nothing really. My cheater was so totally disengaged it was astounding in retrospect! How could I have sparkled so heavily? They are like leeches! They just hook on to you to give themselves a veneer of the “perfect family man”! They couldn’t really care less!

  • OMG I read that when I was almost asleep and it woke my ass right up with laughter! Thanks for the UBT I LOVE it!! I had to Share on FB!!!

  • The title of this article says there are “NO right answers” regarding cheating. then it proceeds to give what it , and 99 percent of Adultery advice gives, it’s real agenda. Cheating is o.k., you are the one with a problem with it, so you the Chump are the problem.

    There are only two real answers. Cheating is o.k. or Cheating is not ok. Then they hurl out option three, Cheating is o.k. SOMETIMES. Which is just Cheating is o.k., reworded and dressed up like a pig wearing lipstick. It’s still a pig. No offense to pigs, I think they are cute but I’m an animal lover. Cheaters, not so much.

  • I think Samantha Rodaman is a pretty sorry Dr. She writes these stupid articles about solely her degenerate opinions. These days you can buy followers on FB. I doubt there are that many stupid ppl who think she has skills. She begs ppl to review her book that has ZERO substance. I love how you called her out.

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