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The Full Life Circle of an OW

karmaI like to read the New York Times obituaries. There’s something fascinating about condensing an entire life into a 800-words or less essay. Recently, I read the obituary of Happy Rockefeller — the second wife of Nelson Rockefeller — with a kind of lurid interest.

She was Rockefellers’s mistress. Eighteen years younger, the two broke up their first marriages to be together. Rockefeller had been married for 31 years and had 5 children, and was in his second term as governor of New York. Happy Murphy (as she was then known), was Rockefeller’s secretary (oh the cliche) and married with four children, whom she abandoned in 1963 to marry Rockefeller.

Back then this was a scandal, and yet, Happy Rockefeller hit the campaign trail pregnant, winning people over. The New York Times reports:

“The first shock waves generated by the marriage of Governor Rockefeller to the former Mrs. Murphy seem to have simmered down to a ripple,” Gwen Gibson reported in The New York Herald Tribune. “One look at this wholesome, dimple-chinned woman, and the most critical matron is apt to remark: ‘She doesn’t strike me as a femme fatale.’ ”

Walk out on four children? Hey, it’s fine so long as you have dimples!

(Happy’s chump, not surprisingly, is painted in an uncharitable light for not wanting to grant her a divorce or custody of the kids. He won the kids, she got Rockefeller.)

So how’d that work out for her?

Well, the obituary, not surprisingly, is full of her charitable society deeds and grace as a first lady. Rockefeller lost the Republican presidential nomination thanks to the scandal, but did manage two more terms as governor of New York and was Vice President under Gerald Ford. They had fabulous homes in fabulous places and raised two fabulous children in their second marriage. (The other nine children ate shit sandwiches, collateral damage in the Great Love That Could Not Be Denied.)

And now the karma you were waiting for… An interesting tidbit scrubbed from the linked obituary (that DID appear in the first iteration in the Times… hmmm…) — Nelson Rockefeller died of a heart attack in the arms of his 25-year-old mistress, Megan Marshack. His “assistant.” To whom he reportedly left money and a NYC apartment a few doors down from his. From Wikipedia:

Rockefeller died on January 26, 1979, at age 70 from a heart attack. An initial report had incorrectly stated that he was at his office at Rockefeller Center working on a book about his art collection, and a security guard found him slumped over his desk.[83][84] However, the report was soon corrected to state that Rockefeller actually had the fatal heart attack in another office he owned in a townhouse at 13 West 54th Street in the presence of Megan Marshack, a 25-year-old aide. After the heart attack, Marshack called her friend, news reporter Ponchitta Pierce, to the townhouse, and Pierce phoned an ambulance approximately an hour after the heart attack.[85] There was some speculation in the press regarding the possibility of an intimate relationship between Rockefeller and Marshack. For example, long-time Rockefeller aide Joseph E. Persico said in the PBS documentary about the Rockefeller family “It became known that he had been alone with a young woman who worked for him, in undeniably intimate circumstances, and in the course of that evening had died from a heart attack.”[86]

I guess the old saying proved true — when a man marries his mistress, he leaves a vacancy.

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  • From an archived New York Magazine:

    Nelson thought he was coming, but he was going.” That was one quip following the news that Nelson Rockefeller—New York’s four-term governor, former vice-president of the United States, and the most prominent scion of America’s most famous wealthy family—had succumbed to a heart attack at the age of 70, while in his midtown townhouse with his 25-year-old assistant, Megan Marshack. Preferred joke: How did Nelson Rockefeller die? Low blood pressure: 70 over 25.

  • Very pathetic. But somewhat poetic of an ending to that relationship and Mr. Rockefeller. A cheater to the bitter end.

    It is amazing how foolish the population can be to put these cheaters in power…if they violated the most sacred human vow to their marriage partner, what makes one think they are opposed to violating public trust if/when it suits him/her? That’s one thing that boggles my mind when it comes to politicians who are cheaters (both sides of the isle).

    Can’t outrun character or lack thereof.

    • Theres actually a very simple reason why: A non-narcissist wants nothing to do with the spotlight and instead wants to live an authentic life not being hounded by the media and such. A narcissist, on the other hand, feeds on that shit. This is why, far more often than not, ‘famous people’ are disordered in some way.

    • Well put DM! My father was a Deputy Sheriff (working Homicide before he retired). When he would hire someone on his staff, regardless of their position, he had them sign an agreement of conduct that included a spousal fidelity clause: if an employee was discovered cheating on his or her spouse, it resulted in immediate termination of employment. His philosophy was – if your own spouse/partner can’t trust you, then we can t either. He passed away just a couple of months before my first D-day. Heartbreaking for me on so many levels.

      • Oh, wow, Boudica Reborn – what an incredible man your Dad must have been! Wasn’t worried about getting sued for having a moral coompass. I can only hope to find someone with views on family and marriage like your Dad’s. Amazing. ((hugs)))

        • Thank you both for the hugs! Dad was always a bit of a renegade, but he was on legal solid ground (at least at that time – have no idea how that would roll now). He was adamant that the potential employee read and fully understood the conduct contract before they signed – and he applied no pressure. If they refused to sign the contract, he would quietly smile and politely show them to the door.

  • I’m going to come right out and make some Chumps weep in their Cheerios: A lot of times the Cheater and his/her Cheat-of-Choice live happily ever after.

    Yes. Yes, they do.

    They have ‘fabulous’ friends, family that love them, accumulate nice toys, take spectacular vacations, and generally live quite happily ever after once their old Chump unceremoniously hits the discard pile. Best of all: they’re never burdened by their conscience.

    The shittiest thing about Karma is you can’t bank on it.

    • That is absolutely true. You should not predicate your healing on “karma.” Just get on with your own life and work towards meh.

      That said, when delicious irony presents itself, I think you’re allowed some schadenfreude.

      • My brother recently visited me. My family knows about the affair, and are very supportive of me, but they’re all about 18 months behind me in their processing of the deception that is their STBX son-in-law/brother-in-law/uncle.

        My brother told me that it’s tempting to go after revenge, but really, the best one is to live a good life. That said, if you get a ring-side seat for when the karma bus comes by, enjoy the show.

        That’s pretty much how I feel. I’m sure that STBX won’t be happy with Schmoopie and that he’ll self-destruct in less than a year, but if he doesn’t, why should I care? I’ll be living a drama-free life that is oh so much better for not sharing it with a man who clearly has no respect for me.

        • This right here, kb. I have just come out of a week of useless rage towards my STBXH who is happily living with his AP who came a week after we moved to separate apartments. Is he ever going to get down on the ground and beg my forgiveness for not telling me this was planned for months? Nope. So I need to put my energy into making that best life.
          I especially echo your last sentence – let’s remember that lack of respect and move on!

          • Agreed. Hanging around and waiting for the Karma bus to back over the cheater in your life never works out.

            The best you can do is live your best life and be happy that they are someone else’s problem.

            If you get to hear about the Karma bus running them over and backing up again for good measure; consider it a nice bonus but you shouldn’t hold your breath. The bottom line is even if Karma does catch up with them, they’re so devoid of morals to begin with that it’s unlikely they’d even realize that Karma was doing it’s bidding.

            • Karma in hindsight was the day he called her and LOST the respect and support of family. If they find happiness with a prostitute or fellow cheater and have no support system at least they can see their reflection as they gaze into each other’s eyes. I prefer to travel take care of myself and meet heathy people who share my values.

              • Exactly Donna! What happens to him from here on out is his problem to deal with and more power to it! My life is calm and peaceful. He can keep his drama queen side piece. That’s really all he has left now. It’s really quite pathetic!

              • Mine also lost all support of his family. He had no friends either so no support system except for OW. She’s the only one he knows since he moved 3000 miles away from everyone. My counsellor told me that when relationships start with an affair, neither one can really trust the other person since OW screws married men and the married man (stbx) has no regard for marriage vows or any promises made to others. Lack of trust is hard enough to deal with when you’re married to a cheater. How hard must it be if you both started the relationship based on lies and deception? Don’t know why that was such an ah-ha moment for me. Guess I’m nowhere near meh yet.

              • Karma works in mysterious ways and the whole point of getting to meh is losing that cheater and gaining a life.
                If that life is spent waiting for the cheater to suffer then we are still tied in to giving them power. Maybe they are doing well, maybe not, we can never really know. Even if they end up all alone in the gutter it will not add anything worthwhile to our lives…no, meh is neutral.
                The thing about karma is that if and when it strikes in a measurable way then we should be too busy getting on with our own cheater- free lives to feel that it is essential to our own sense of being.
                He and OW have a swanky new car, they are on yet another holiday,the sky has not fallen down on their heads…..fine.
                They are not getting on, he is cheating again, she has walked out, their cat has died…meh!!!

    • Well, if you are a religious person, like I am.. you can always rely on the fact that none of us outruns our sins.. we all eventually get what’s coming to us.

      • AMEN. You may live out your days happy here……BUT….. And by happy i mean being fine with leaving and cheating on your ex spouse and kids. Cheating them out of the life you promised…

      • I agree ChumpAtl, for those who believe we don’t have to count on Karma. My ex was always the first in the pew on Sunday! He invoked God into his affair many times! Just vomit worthy stuff! He’s 60 and ain’t in great shape. Who knows? Maybe he’ll go out like Rockefeller, but way more poor. Anyways, good riddance!

        • The cynic in me suspects that lots of cheaters would consider that having a heart attack aged 70 when on top of a 25 year old is really not such a bad way to go.

          • The irony is that a spouse would have done everything to revive the bastard. Perhaps he would have survived. Over the years of nursing the X’s bad back I came to the conclusion it was a performance injury. When we look at their actions it really speaks to entitlement. You can have all the money in the world and damn if you can’t recapture the glory days. Or die trying. Lol.

            • Here’s a tidbit of karma: the draw with ex and AP during the last 3 yeas of my marriage was doing a plethora of sports together , e.g., climbing, mountain biking, ice climbing, to name a few. Divorce and one year later, AP had the nerve to show up in court for our child support modification hearing (a tidbit left over from me not following ‘get legal advice’ from the outset and now trying to rectify) and had a giant brace on her leg due to a torn ACL, which I heard about from my daughter. No more climbing, no more mountain biking, no more ice climbing, just surgery, doctor appointments, rehab. My therapist said wait until there are clipped toenails on the floor and she is sitting around for 6 months as a test of their relationship.

              What I want to admit is that YES, it felt good in my whole soul to see her crippled and helpless. One co-worker said, “why would you feel good about the suffering of another?” and another co-worker said, “Hey, it’s okay to feel that feeling; it’s a feeling, and it registers with most of us as a ‘yes, ah ha, take that you lying home wrecking cheating scoundrel’.” She said, “It’s not like you acted on it and stuck out your foot to trip her.” No, I didn’t but then the image of that fantasy popped up of me tripping her and seeing her suffer. I guess my point is: it’s okay to have these feelings, revenge hits a natural nerve in all of us. Of course, the trouble begins when acting out on those feelings in destructive ways. Pretty obvious, I guess.

              My other point is that I am still focusing on them. CL says over and over, and so do the Chumps on this site, focus on yourself, focus on yourself, be better, live a life of integrity. I know this is the truth and the answer, and there has been some progress, but this is my most difficult challenge in not focusing on being replaced, discord with my oldest child (due to ex Narc and mind games), thinking of them when I make coffee in the morning, seeing their cars parked together on my way to work. I am still a newborn regarding the growth I need to do and sometimes I wonder if I will ever do those things without regard to them. I can only hope.

              • Chumpb, the day will come when you least suspect it. Luckily for me X has few interests and our lives rarely intersect. Change your route to work so your not triggered. After a year I rarely think about the disordered as I make authentic memories. I used to feel like something was missing but came to realize what was missing was the chaos he created. The toxic complaining and lies are behind us. Being married to a cheater brought nothing but pain. Being single opened up a whole new world of peace. It will happen as you enjoy and surround yourself with normal honest friends and family.

              • I was going to say what Donna said, change your route. Focusing on you and minimizing the head space they occupy is a conscious decision that takes some effort. When you find yourself thinking of them, mentally stop and think of something about yourself. Am I hungry? Look at that sky! Distract distract distract. Pretty soon, you just don’t think of them much at all. It takes time though, so don’t worry, you’ll get there. The great thing is that you want to get there. Not that I still don’t have my moments of obsession, but they are much fewer and further between.

      • “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” Newchumpatl, I feel that only then will my husband truly know my pain. And he will feel it ten-fold.

    • BehindTheEightBall, you are so right. Chumps should not hold their breath waiting for a piano to fall on their cheaters head, or expect them to croak in flagrante delicto. The high Buddha-type level of meh is total not shit-giving because you have switched over to making good karma in your own life.

      Having said that, schadenfreude may be not very enlightenment, but boy it feels good.

      • My cheater recently needed some stitches to repair the cut in his head courtesy of his new schmoop mate. Now he’ll have a dandy scar to remind him of their “loving” relationship.

        Schadenfreude? Yes, please.

    • It’s worth remembering that we don’t always see karma. You may not know when Cheaterpants gets up to old tricks or how much regret a man or woman has for abandoning the kids from the previous marriage. And we don’t know what goes on in their “new” homes when the doors are closed. After all, we don’t even know sometimes what our spouse or partner is feeling or doing. I would have sworn that a certain jackass was happy in our relationship.

      • True, LAJ. Mine admitted that, once he moved into his own apartment, he would wake in the middle of the night crying & with panic attacks over what he had lost. Too bad he didn’t consider those consequences for the 8 years he was screwing multiple students, frequenting adult sites, and flirting ostentatiously with women less than half his age in full view of our friends.

          • So it’s been a year and I have made my life my own and suddenly the narcissist reemerges and sends a text accusing me of doing something ridiculous. Triangulation rears it’s ugly head once again. Living a double life for so long takes a toll on the disordered. I was discarded and finally detatched from the power and control. I realized detachment for them is a hard lesson learned. This is why we need to continue with no contact. One simple text oozing with rage and threats.

      • Exactly, LAJ!!! My EXH#1 has spent the last 13 years + 3 more wives after me regretting every day what he threw away and mistreated…over the last 13 years, he has been jobless, car-less, homeless, lost all respect and care, medical scares and problems galore, and all I’ve done is sit back and remember that gloating In his miseries was fun for the moment, but that if I didn’t want the same miseries to come back on me, I moved on content with the knowledge that I was right all along…Dumb-ass!!!!

      • Absolutely, LAJ. And sometimes it takes a while. I met a couple about 15 years ago, and it always seemed like the guy had a wandering eye and was just a little too friendly. After knowing them a long time, I found out they had been co cheaters. And guess what, a couple of years ago he cheated on her. And you guessed it, she was surprised. And bitter. And is his friend on Facebook, doing the pick me dance. Lol.

    • Depends on your vision of karma. What do they have? They have each other and to me that is karma enough because they’ve both inherited someone who lies to their family, their children, their friends, their work coleagues their spouse and to each other. As an ad for a new relationship its not very apealing.
      We on the other hand are one step nearer to meh every day
      Don’t get me wrong though i wouldn’t bat an eye if they got hit by a bus.

    • Except their karma is being them…and that karma is immediate! I would add that just because the relationship looks good from the outside, a look on the inside might not look so idyllic.

    • We live in America, we demand “Instant Karma”

      It should be available at drive through establishments nation wide.

      Of course, I don’t know if I’d want such a thing. After all, I’m sure I’ve been deserving of some IK in my lifetime, and will probably make future mistakes.

      So let’s hold up on this product development.

    • Eightball… I dont believe that the cheater/ cheatee live happily ever after. Not to minimize anyones pain or cheating story but if your spouse screwed around , fessed up and left. That is vastly different from the years of manipulation/ cheating disfunction. I think some cheaters are capable of narcissitic acts…have remorse… Leave and move on. But not true narcs… Most cheaters fall into the blantant disorder narc or sociopath. Thats the difference. Oh…. The narcs can put on quiet the facade and life can appear perfect… Blissful even… But they pick their partners well.
      nothing good comes from lies, dishonesty and manipulation… Dress that pig up any ole way you want… It aint happily ever after. Its as fabricated as Disney and most certainly plastic.

        • Donna, I agree. I think One Republic sums it up best for me… If I am given the opportunity to live 96 years on this silly planet I hope I can tip my rocking chair back with a satisfied smile and say ‘ I did it all’

          I owned every second that this world could give
          I saw so many places, the things that I did
          With every broken bone, I swear I lived

          Hope that you spend your days, but they all add up
          And when that sun goes down, hope you raise your cup
          Oh, I wish that I could witness all your joy and all your pain
          But until my moment comes, I’ll say..
          I, I did it all
          One Republic

          • TheClip, that song says it all. Finally, I am able to step back and see every aspect if my life clearly. Once we get through the pain we can finally process the truth and act rather than react. I was adamant about paying for rent in out family home and the rental I needed for my work. I kept my family intact and provided stability for the past year. It was not without suffering as we kept our heat at fifty degrees and it was cold. We are chicken legs and rice. All in all I no longer compare myself to the disordered couple. They will always live in shame regardless of their perception. While X never displayed respect, my children see me as a capable, strong woman who when faced with the unthinkable, became stronger through hard work. They leave a legacy of dirty deeds. I will spend my life with grace and dignity. Thank you.

  • So this brain-child of a 25 yr old mistress (and her chum) let him languish on the floor (or keeled over dead) for an hour before they decided to get help? “What do we do? We cant let anyone know he is here…oh my he is turning colors…that gasping is a terrible sound…we could call his wife…what should we do? Oh my he turned purple now …dont they have that new system to get help…is that 911 or 411?”.

    • No. She phoned a friend who came over, helped get the dead guy ‘staged’ and THEN called the ambulance.

      You don’t call 911 when your dead, married cheater is naked post coitus, or mid coitus.

      This is what I interpreted between the lines.

    • “So this brain-child of a 25 yr old mistress (and her chum) let him languish on the floor (or keeled over dead) for an hour before they decided to get help?”

      According to the article at the family didn’t allow an autopsy and had him cremated. Nobody cared if he died immediately or she let him die due to medical neglect. Maybe he was poisoned.

      Nobody cared.

      And that’s the final story of a cheater. Nobody cares. If they are loved by a normal person, the cheater will manage to destroy that love. In the end Rockefeller was surrounded by users.

  • “I guess the old saying proved true — when a man marries his mistress, he leaves a vacancy.”

    Yes for the faithful spouse to move on eventually with a partner of integrity.

  • Did he really think these women would have been with him if not for his money and/or position?


    • // , “Did he really think these women would have been with him if not for his money and/or position?”

      No, why would he think otherwise? It’s not pathetic, just shallow.

      Not everyone wants real, lasting love. Some people would rather have a series of short, “meaningful” relationships than a life-partner.

      Certain folks just manage to turn that situation to their advantage in a mutually beneficial arrangement.

      I think is one of the crasser applications of this way of thinking, but it’s really not hurting anyone, especially compared to something like Ashley Madison.

      Ashley Madison: Incorrigible assholes, with the “externalities” of cake eating, misery, and presence in the gene pool.

      Seeking Arrangement: Incorrigible assholes, being shallow to each other, slowly taking themselves out of the gene pool.

      In Seeking Arrangement, involved parties know what they’re getting. On the other hand, I doubt that Happy Murphy married the guy for his great soul and character, or that he married her for hers.

      Mr. Murphy and the first Mrs. Rockefeller, however, seem to have not been given a fair shake. THAT is pathetic.

  • Happy basically sold her soul… she gave up her family to live the high life of a Rockefeller. I don’t think I person like that is capable of feeling much shame, pain or outrage by his affairs in the same way that people of character do.

    Some times the karma bus comes, other times it doesn’t. The longer you wait for it, the longer you put you’re own life on hold.

    • Happy was an Opportunist, a MOW. She sold nothing. She made a choice. And she pranced on in her supremely selfish life.

      • Does anyone else wonder if her parents, in naming her ‘Happy’ set this woman up for a life of, if not narcissism, then at the least, entitlement? Not trying to excuse her in anyway, but the question came to me as soon as I read her name.

        • Happy was her nickname. Google her and you’ll find her real name. She moved in the same circles as the Rockefellers. Her husband was a big doctor and they socialised with Rockefeller and his wife – which must have made this all the more sucky all around.

  • I wonder about the 9 kids who had to eat the shit sandwiches…. no one ever mentions them in articles like this… how did they feel about their parent/step parent… what were those relationships like? No good I expect.

    Selfish people do selfish things. Sometimes, you are on the receiving side of a narcissist’s love and sometimes you are on the other side. No one stays in their good graces forever because it’s impossible, they get bored, and because people are expendable, they move on. They feel nothing.

    Too all the OW and OM out there who think their schmoopie love is somehow special, take this as a warning. Anyone who can leave their family, children, home and marriage for you can do it too you.. and they can do it to you EASILY. It gets EASIER each time. Their desire for kibbles gets more desperate with each new shiny object.


    • Best comment ever newchumpatl. Wow, so right! Thank you. I really needed to hear that today. “Selfish people do selfish things. Sometimes, you are on the receiving side of a narcissist’s love and sometimes you are on the other side. No one stays in their good graces forever because it’s impossible, they get bored, and because people are expendable, they move on. They feel nothing.” And the fact that it gets EASIER to expend is also a powerful comment. Thank you so much.

  • I remember reading about how Frank LLoyd Wright left his wife and children and eloped with another women. They went overseas and returned to the US and he continued his work like it was normal to abandon his family for another woman. I think that our society just keeps accepting more and more that happiness is the goal in one’s life and it is OK to leave people in your wake if you are pursuing your own happiness. Sad that loyalty and commitment and character are not valued more than being happy no matter what the cost to others.

    • Sad that loyalty and commitment and character are not valued more than being happy no matter what the cost to others.”

      i can think of many people and cultures that value loyalty, commitment and character…chump nation, my family, 10 commandment followers, my best friend and college roommate, et al. Truly wise and stable people know that happy is not found in another person.

      Today’s post about the shelf life of “Happy”…. play on words not lost on me!

  • I don’t know if you read,or saw, about the Google executive, and father of five children, who died of a heroin overdose on his boat. His mistress, a woman he met online, watched him die, drank some wine and stepped over his still warm body as she left the boat. She is doing time. Oh, the tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive. All I thought when I read about Rockefeller’s death was “good riddance to bad rubbish”.

    • My Ex partied on that boat a year before D-Day. Hanging out with a really “classy” crowd. When I read that story, “going out for an evening cruise,” took on a whole new meaning.

  • This brings up a question I’ve been pondering about politicians and people in positions of authority: does power give a person entitlement to cheat, or are cheaters more likely to seek positions of power? I tend to think it’s the latter. My stbx is a law enforcement officer, and I eventually found out that he cheated in every previous committed relationship, long before he decided to go into law enforcement. That suggests to me that people who feel entitled to cheat also feel entitled to call the shots in other areas of their life (and everyone else’s).

    I think it’s a combination of extreme narcissism and feelings of inadequacy that they choose to allay by exercising their “you’re not the boss of me” and “my position proves my fabulousness” muscle groups. But really, all of this speculation comes down to: which came first, the cheater or the turd?

    • I think that people with narcissistic tendencies tend to gravitate toward positions of power. There has to be some kind of conviction in one’s own greatness in order to survive the crap that it takes to get to the top in some of these fields. You also need to be very extroverted. Hence you’ll run into a lot of sparkly narcs in the political arena, as humble, hard-working introverts tend not to do well at sound bites.

    • I think it is a little of both, but mainly that narcissists tend to gravitate towards positions with a lot of power or glory: politics, sports, entertainment in particular. I’ve read that a very high percentage of large company CEOs qualify as sociopaths. I consider that the majority of high level politicians, regardless of political party, are narcs.

      Making it to the top of extremely competitive field requires a cut throat mentality, ruthlessness, an extreme desire for the spotlight and a total lack of compunction about what it takes to get to the top. Non-narcs generally don’t have what it takes to make it amongst such sharks.

  • Now that I have experienced chumpdom, the pain of those not written about and not celebrated is what stands out for me. Before, I too was probably guilty of ignoring the shattered lives of those married to and born to celebrities who cheated. Now I know the pain and devastation and the need to fight for sanity for the children. It would be nice if the press focused more on the real shattered lives of the betrayed, and the strength they display picking up the pieces, as opposed to painting them as bitter or unable to move on.

    • I agree buddy. I now look at high profile cheating cases differently. (and all cheating) Demi Moore, Tori Spelling and others. they end up in the psych ward or “rehab”. Thats probably what happened to Brittany Spears too. it is unrecognized by laypeople how emotionally devastating and abusive infidelity is. the press makes it out that all the chumps are crazy with out looking to the cause. The new big secret abuse is Infidelity. This is emotional rape. It is so insidious because of the fact there is a ripple effect. it’s not just the chump that gets hurt. its kids and extended family. so the chump keeps it secret due to shame and protecting others. The cheaters experience NO consequences (or very little) for inflicting this on the victims. Very Little support for the chumps unless you know where to find. It is always the victims fault. society somehow blames the victim. He/She must have done something to cause it. This forum/blog is the grass roots move to expose infidelity for the crime it is and hopefully it will grow into something where laws can be made to provide meaningful consequences for the perps (like better settlements in cases of infidelity). just my two cents.

      • It will be interesting to see if infidelity ever takes a turn on the revolving door of what is considered “abuse” or what is considered an important public health issue.

        • It already has Buddy. Infidelity is likened to rape evident in a significant amount of current research. Common outcomes that rape victims experience are: hyperarousal, obsessive thoughts, flashbacks, difficulty concentrating, self-blame, depression, substance abuse, sleep problems, anxiety, feeling numb, and I am sure more which all fit under the category of PTSD. These are the same outcomes that those of us who were robbed of our lives, homes, and families feel. I am not minimizing the devastating effects of rape and please do not misunderstand, I am just saying that both are currently considered abuse with resulting similar outcomes of experience evident primarily in symptoms of PTSD.

    • I agree Buddy. It’s like the discussion yesterday about how these articles on “affair proofing” miss the mark. How about some articles on 9 ways your selfish affair gutted your spouse and devestated your kids.

  • Just another example of “once a cheater, always a cheater.” Rockefeller cheated on his first wife & then on his second one. Wonder if Happy ever cheated on Rockefeller? No I don’t wonder – I just don’t care.

  • It is hard for a person who is empathetic and who thinks logically and who has morals, character and boundaries to fully accept and understand the way this type of person thinks and acts. They live in the NOW. They have delusions of grandeur, see the future as rosy, a place where they will have riches and adulation. They do not care what anyone else thinks about their actions — they only care about how things appear IF they think it may cost them in some way. They may want to appear “normal” — for the advantages it provides them, not for any real moral fiber. They would rather be a character and have all the attention, than have character. Other people in their life are just props on the great stage where they perform. Nothing is real to them except what they feel at that moment in time — and it should always be pleasure of some type, even perverse pleasure. Death to them is not getting what they want when they want it. Delayed gratification is out of the question.

    If you are seventy years old and have lived a life where you always have plenty of money and can go where you please and do as you please, you don’t care what anyone thinks about you choosing a 25 year old playmate. You are only thinking of your own pleasure. The 25 year old is only thinking about what he/she can get out of providing the pleasure to the 70 year old. There is nothing natural or loving about such a relationship. In this case, Happy would not have been surprised, and may not have cared at all. She chose what she wanted long ago, and then became a rich widow. No tears for her, and probably no tears from her.

  • I’m from the NYC area, so the Rockefeller family name was second-nature in conversation. I’m pretty sure my relatively liberal mother admired his politics, although she had a problem with his philandering. (Isn’t that always the way, JFK?) Actually, for a relatively younger person like myself, the fact that there were “Rockefeller Republicans” known for their moderate / liberal social policies is somewhat difficult for me to wrap my head around, given the evolution of the party since then.

    As for Rocky’s serial cheating…well, that’s not really a surprise. I know there are some cheaters who stay with their APs forever, but those are few and far between. When I was married (and before with my girlfriend/fiance), my wife would somewhat proudly explain that she had cheated on previous boyfriends because those relationships weren’t “right”…and that she would (of course) be faithful to someone to whom she’ married. Chump that I was, I believed her. So did my family.

    Best that I can tell, my wife did make it without cheating the 8 years that we were together. As I’ve said before, my ex was a terrible liar, and quite poor at covering up her affair–so, I tend to think that she didn’t cheat prior to the affair that ended our marriage because I would have known. Of course, I can’t be sure. But, I do know that she had an addictive / childish view of attraction and connection, and I was the object of that attraction. And then it was someone else’s turn!

    Cheaters cheat; it’s not a question of “if,” but a question of “when.”

    • Same here, my STBXH told me before we got married that he had cheated on every woman he had been with before (although never married). But he said he would never cheat on me. I should have run for the hills!

      • My friend’s BF told her the same thing. He told her that he had “something on the side” in every relationship he had, but that he was “too old” to “play those games” now. Same deal. She bought it, and ,,,, well you know the rest.

  • Of course I was wondering about Rockefeller’s first wife, so I just read her NYT obituary, found here:

    One excerpt:

    “Mrs. Rockefeller worked hard at being a good First Lady. She continued to be a companion of the Governor on his political trips around New York State, and on journeys he made in his official capacity, until just a few months before the couple announced their separation in November 1961.

    Looking back in 1996, Geoffrey C. Ward wrote in The New York Times Book Review that Mr. Rockefeller’s ‘marriage to Mary Todhunter Clark, of Philadelphia’s Main Line, produced five children but soured because of his wife’s unease with the public life she hadn’t bargained for and her unhappiness over his fondness for young women, which in our more intrusive times might have aborted his career.'”

    What a civilized explanation for what must have been a rather messy marital end. The obit goes on to say that she obtained a divorce in Reno on the grounds of “extreme mental cruelty.” Hmmm. Sounds about right!

    • Yup, such a nuisance when one’s marriage happens to just sour. We were getting along just swimmingly, sickenly sweetly and … POOF! the marriage sours!

      I HATE it when that happens

  • Thomas Jefferson coined the phrase “all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson owned over 200 slaves and one of his salves was his mistress whom he fathered many children with.

    Many presidents had mistresses, Franklin Roosevelt, JFK, Lyndon B Johnson, to name a few. Let’s not fail to mention Martin Luther King, who’s mistress was staying with him at the motel the day he was assassinated.

    The irony of some of those who champion freedom, equality, integrity, honesty, is really just hot air and a grab for power or martyrdom, sometimes both.

    There’s something about power and a public person that either attracts narcissistic hypocrites or turns them into one.

    These folks are Machiavellian in their double standards and they live in a parallel universe, one in which they do as they please and project a false persona in the other. That’s how it’s done in order to succeed and how to keep the “sheep” in line.

    Makes me sad for the future of humanity.

  • I remember another case of Narcisist meets narcissist when Harry Helmsley divorced his wife of 33 yrs to marry Leona who they later nicknamed ” Queen of Mean.” Yes, they had everything material but she died alone estranged from all family and left her billions to charity.

  • Prince Charles and Mrs Camilla Parker-Bowles. While I admire the organizations he is patron of, I still can’t believe that people have accepted his marriage to his mistress. While Diana, Princess of Wales certainly had her own demons, Prince Charles had cheated on her from the start (When pictures of his mistress fell out of his diary and cufflinks she gave him with 2 “C”s intertwined appeared on his wrists on Diana’s honeymoon). These two cheaters drove Diana mad and put her on the path to her early death. Princes William and Harry were also just collateral damage in the quest for the cheater’s happiness.

    One of the most disgusting things to me is that Camilla (Duchess of Cornwall) actually has the titles that were Diana’s in her marriage. They have, for PR reasons, elected not to use “The Princess of Wales” title for Camilla. Also, seeing her in what would have been Diana’s chair at William and Kate’s wedding was also horrendous.

    • I have heard that, despite public appearances to the contrary, they are not very happy together. Many times, in spite of its best efforts, the Universe will give you exactly what you think you want.

      • Henry vIII has to be one of the biggest all time narcisists! He was married to Catherine of Aarogan for 20 odd years before he finally got to be with his long time love, Anne Boleyn . He even had to break with the Catholic faith, make his first child a bastard, Mary , and look how that ended! Anne got be headed when he grew tired of her- that’s how special she turned out to be! Of course he didn’t stop there. These types never find true love because they themselves are incapable of it.
        Even though I have long reached meh and am very grateful to be outta my previous life , I almost feel sorry for my ex. No matter what he gets in this life, he will never have what I have the potential to find now… And I want the real thing, and am determined I’m going to find it!

        • Good for you Movingon! You give me inspiration!! While I’m almost 2 years out, I’m feeling stuck moving forward. I think I’m allowing myself to be paralyzed with fear. I don’t want to go back, but I’m afraid to move forward. Had a good heart-to-heart today with a great friend and I’m looking for a life coach!

          • Cindy, you can do it! I wish I could say something more helpful, but know that your life moving forward (even in the midst of pain, which is very normal) is still better than what you had with cheater.

            • Thanks ChumpB. I agree, a cheater free life is more authentic and a much better life to be lived.

        • In a barrage of mean texts my X once chided that “haha at least I’ve (he’s) got sot someone”.. I on the other hand don’t believe in the “real thing” anymore. But I did like what you said about him not having the potential like I do to find….well….for me, life and true happiness and excitement, and fun, and the me he will never ever have known. And that IS his biggest loss!

          • Nat1 – what a freaking DOUCHEBAG. Really?! “Haha at least I’ve got someone”? Yeah – they each got a KNOWN lying, scheming, cheating, low-life, predatory whore in one another. What a black-soulmate match!

            At the VERY least, that is all they will get – the known whore in one another.

            You stay at the top, Nat1. NOT having a scheming POS stabbing us in the back relentlessly is WAAAAYYY better than just “having someone,” and no thanks to the whore lives they live.

            (((hugs, girl.)))

      • My new English suitor rode the fox Hunt for many years with Prince Charles. He told me that Camilla is detested in England and that she is horribly profane and mean. He also knew Diana and her sons, and was very fond of her. He believes her death was a hit, that she was murdered because she spoke out publicly. Stranger things have happened.

        I’m getting much much closer to Meh and looking forward to a pleasant trail ride with my new beau tomorrow. Nothing serious, taking it very slowly, but it’s really fun to have compatable male companionship of the type who has no desire to cheat “one woman at a time is plenty”…

        Have a Happy Memorial Day Everyone!

        • Yay Chump Change! How wonderful for you! A trail ride sounds very romantic to this American Anglophile! Wishing you a splendid weekend!

    • Yeah, when I think of “Cheap OW” I think of that old skank.
      I’ve never accepted their relationship as anything more than laughable, really. And yet, she still tries to insert herself into the lives of Diana’s children. If I were William, and with the recent birth of his daughter, I’d be keeping her the fuck away from Old Skank, and rightfully telling her to piss off. Just a case of the pick me dance, really. You cause the death of my mother, you get no rights in my life – sorta thing.

  • And a generation prior, poor princess Margaret couldn’t marry the love of her life because he was divorced. such screwed up values.

    • With apologies to all my British friends, the values aren’t all that is screwed up. Seriously, who buys this “bloodline of kings/queens” anymore? The amount of inbreeding amongst royalty in the past basically guaranteed that 50% of individuals within the Royal Family would be dolts. And the entitled existence or Royals guaranteed that 40% more would join them.

    • Yes, HRH The Prince of Wales doesn’t seem to understand duty and the sacrifice that goes with it, nor did his Great Uncle David, The Duke of Windsor. Perhaps the monarchy is archaic, but when one receives the gifts bestowed upon them simply by their birth, maybe they can be a little less selfish in how they behave. I like HM The Queen. She made a promise to serve and has done so to this day. Her parents seemed to live that promise as well. I hope that William will follow, not his father’s example, but the Queen’s example of duty and service. Also, I’ve never once heard that the Queen betrayed anyone, including her husband.

      • The thing is though at least David was being honest. I think it was better to abdicate than to find a suitable woman he didn’t love and marry her then cheat with the woman he did love. And yes they have privilege and gifts bestowed upon them simply by birth, but they also have no choices in life. they really have no freedom. In a way it’s actually kind of cruel.

  • When I think about my life now it is with joy! I appreciate the time I spend with my children and granddaughter. We have developed a deeper love and respect for each other once we detached from living a lie. They kept saying “we get it”. They too looked back at the chaos of living with a cheating father. X lost their respect. Yes, it is sad and disappointing however we have adjusted and are thriving. I have what I always valued. Wherever a cheaters behavior brings them in life is now in them. Aren’t the children really better off having honest genuine loving people in their life than an imposter? This has been a win win situation for me personally. Out of sight, out of mind. We are happier as a family!!!

    • Very true Donna. My new life is so peaceful now. I am able to get a full night’s of sleep without all the worry and the mess that came with the ex.

    • I so agree with that. I hate hearing about staying together for the children, not wanting the children to come from a broken home, not having Mom/Dad in their life. When you are talking about a character disordered parent, the BEST thing you can do is to ensure they have as little influence as possible. Ask anybody who had a narcissistic parent what life with them was like and ask about the baggage they carry as adults as because of it. No parent is way better than a toxic one.

  • “I guess the old saying proved true — when a man marries his mistress, he leaves a vacancy.” Now that is a saying I need to remember. Thanks again for the laugh Chump Lady. As always per genius.

  • I can think of two more examples of famous OWs. They both got cheated on, but had success in other areas of their lives.

    Mary Leakey had an affair with Louis; he left his wife for her. It’s always irritated me that Mary Leakey gets credit for being some kind of feminist when she seems to have just been a self-centered person who wanted the guy she saw and didn’t care if he was married. Louis’ wife had actually been in the field before she met him, but when they had small children she wanted to live in the then healthier environment of London. Anyhow, Louis’ wife divorced him. His university gave his fellowship money to her. Louis and his OWife got stuck in poverty in Africa. They didn’t really have a choice about bringing up their kids there and I imagine Mary was afraid to leave Louis on his own in Africa. Still, they managed to make amazing finds and did well in their careers.

    However, Louis Leakey seems to have been known for womanizing and picking younger female proteges. So Mary married a cheater and then got cheated on.

    Georgia O’Keeffe was a great artist, but sadly, not so good as a person. She got involved with a guy named Stieglitz who was married. Stieglitz had apparently married his wife for her money and when she ran out he dumped her. Stieglitz’s daughter was institutionalized fpr depression and hallucinations. O’Keefe and Stieglitz married. Stieglitz helped O’Keefe, but in the end, she was a much bigger artist than he was. He cheated on her and at the end of his life he was living with his much younger mistress, not O’Keefe. Mysteriously, O’Keefe was disgusted by the mistress.

    So O’Keefe had a successful life as an artist, but predictably the guy she cheated with cheated on her.

    Of course, these are examples of famous cheaters. For every one of them, there are surely many more who don’t have the talent to make great paintings or the luck to find an important skull.

    In a way this all seems less like karma and more like the law of gravity. An OW may be successful in life, but if she gets the cheating married man, she will be cheated on. She will feel the pain, although she may not connect the dots to what she did wrong herself.

      • That’s awesome considering what a total narcissistic bitch when she spoke of Edward’s late wife. I didn’t know he’d already moved on to someone else. Serves her right!

        • I read Rielle Hunter’s Autobiography on Kindle. I think it was about $3.00. It was the one where she wrote in additional comments after her Apology. What a vile nasty human being. She looks like a horse too, lol. She made horrid comments about Elizabeth Edwards. She was always screaming at “Johnny”. Maybe so. If I had a dead son, terminal cancer, and a cheater husband with a knocked up whore, I’d be screaming too. Anger is a primary symptom of PTSD. If you can stomach Rielle’s book, it’s a great look into the empty mind of a self centered sociopath.

          • I just hate over-paying for stuff. LOL. Actually I wouldn’t want to contribute any money to that cheating whore anyway. She actually bitches about the $5,000.00 a month she gets in child support from Edwards. There are people that work 60 hour weeks that don’t take home that much money! Total bitch.

            Maybe I can find the book in the library for a good laugh!

            • I hate spending money on it myself, but it was fascinating. It’s like an entire semester of abnormal psych in a few hundred pages and for three dollars, lol. I’ve said it before, I love real life “celebrity” cheaters. So slaggy and stupid. They never disappoint.

      • And it’s the tell-all book that he’s mad about because he feels betrayed? So he doesn’t like betraya!!?!?!?

        And he was a presidential candidate, something you need to have the thickest skin in the world for, but he couldn’t handle his betrayed wife screaming at him? Which I doubt was true anyway.

  • I know I know…. some of you will say I am smoking the hopium pipe…. which I am not! But I agreed to the councilor visit with my cheater…. what happened was beyond belief. She is a christian C. She blew my wife up from one end of the world to the other. Told her she had no right to demand anything till she made true amends if possible for her adultery. Exposed her for what she is! Not sorry no remorse….. just concern for herself! Yes I know it is a R factory but it was something to see. C refused to allow any blame or past events to be used as a reason to screw someone else. Wow moment!

    • DavidB–wish we could have all been there with popcorn and soda to watch a cheater get ripped up by a therapist! (Just don’t be fooled that it will change your cheater).

    • DavidB, I can’t remember the name of the Christian marriage counselor who has a very similar take on adultery. There is no excuse for it. Unless the adulterer can take full responsibility and do the heavy lifting, there can be no reconciliation.

      Divorce Minister probably can supply the name.

      Anyway, good for your MC!

      • Dr. David Clarke is the MC who takes that sort of no-nonsense approach to adultery. Glad to hear that another MC counselor exists who has a backbone to deal with this junk without accepting “The Shared Responsibility Lie.”

        IMO, this approach is the only truly Biblical one out there. And it stands the best chance (still extremely slim IMO) of snapping the cheater out of it and possibly bringing about marriage resurrection if the chump wants it (completely up to the chump as well IMO).

  • I admit I do enjoy a good karma story, but I don’t expect one in my ex’s case. I’m one of those chumps who’s been blessed to have almost no contact with my ex, nor am I curious about him or look up what he’s doing. In fact, if someone tries to tell me what he’s up to I stop them. It’s likely that my ex is very happy with his new family, he’s probably not glanced in his rearview mirror more than a couple of times. Knowing him, I’m pretty sure I rarely cross his mind. He always seemed to live in the present and didn’t have strong attachments to anyone.

    As for another karma story — My uncle cheated on my aunt of 50 years and ended up marrying a woman his daughter’s age. He’s been very happy with his new wife, but karma comes in the form of being cut out of the lives of the children from his first wife. It bothers him a lot now that he’s in his 90’s, but he still expects them to come “make up” with him. When he refers to having an affair on his first wife he winks and says. “I know I was a bad boy, but I just wasn’t happy.”

    • Lyn, it’s seriously disturbing to hear an old lech probably in his 70s refer to himself as a “bad boy.” Eew, just eeew.

  • krking911– Well, the Karma certainly whacked happy upside the face. I guess she was not so happy after that. He also got whacked with some Karma because it further showed him as a pig who couldn’t keep his pants on.

  • well it’s interesting that she waited an hour to before calling for help. Apparently Rocky was still alive, unconscious, but alive. Why wasn’t charged with reckless endangerment or something? Why was she allowed to still inherit the million dollar town house and 50 grand. It’s possible she let him die to get the inheritance. I mean seriously, what 25 or 27? year old wants some 70 year old huffing and puffing on top of her. Really, except for the money.

    • No charges because back then (and even now, although to a lesser extent) a family that powerful would have things hushed up and it was probably, to their minds, better to hush the story than have all the sordid details come out, although they eventually did anyway.

    • Oh yeah…..she was in it for the money. No mystery to me why she waited for him to die before calling the ambulance. I suspect she’d been praying quite furiously.

  • Perhaps you could let me know what you think… I am unclear on the following.. Is one getting the karma antler smack on the head if one doesn’t realise that he/ she is being karmad? Case in point : my father-in-law just like his son after him left his wife for an affair partner chosen for her abilities to be a perfect mirror mate, a little mini-me. He lost the respect of his children ( or at least the daughters) but they were willing to cover the true state of heart due to filial obligation ( both being highly religious). To this day this man has NO idea that they don’t respect him as much as they would have had otherwise. Also he got to live with his OW in perfect contentment while his first wife was left alone and never got to find a mate for herself ( although she tried, socialized etc) . As far as he is concerned , he made the perfect decision those 30 years ago. Never felt the icy cloak of guilt wrapping his shoulders according to those who know him well. Happy as a lark, did very well for himself ..the OW ‘s children never took to him but once again, he truly beleive himself to be the cat’meow and never saw anythin amiss in their behaviour toward him.

    As far as I can tell of the 6 spouses who left their mates for their affair partner, only one regretted his decision (after being dumped in turn by his 20 years younger mistress) . The other reconnected with her spouse a la duchesse of York, the other threes who had chosen affair partners very similar to themselves hardly remembered how to spell their former wife’s name after a couple of years.. Karma perhaps is knowing what the kids really think of you I suppose.

    As much as I like a good karma story, in today’s all-for-me-I-and-myself society, these are probably getting rarer and rarer it seems . In my ex’s case, all his friends and family ( except for his own children ) seem to find his great love that cannot be denied very touching . Like his father he has no idea of his children’s true feelings or lump it up as a sad ‘phase’ … Sad all around indeed

    • Sorry my math is failing me … One cheater is missing…still living happily with his former student …

      • Good. As much as they don’t think about you or whoever they left behind, it’s best not to think about them. Let the cheaters and everyone who supports them keep each other in their little bubble world. Be glad you’re not a part of their drama anymore, because in this me-I-myself society, you still have your own integrity and self-respect. Live life with your children and show them what it really means to be human beings.

        • very true indeed Keep On Thriving. We stand at the altar and profess we are gonna love that man for the rest of our lives, but the children, they are the ones we truly love… 🙂

  • Not trying to be a bitch or nothing, but did anyone else notice from the article and photo that Happy Rockefeller is buck ass homely. That’s probably a factor in her being “accepted” by the American public. I don’t judge people by their looks, except homewrecking whores , of course. The Mr. Wasn’t a winner in the looks department either.

  • I’ve been able to sneak a peek into my X’s love nest with his amazing OW. My daughter was staying with them recently. She told me the OW was complaining X had checked out on her. Always in his office working! He had recently left her to go off on a golf trip while she was saddled with unpacking his new digs! After all her hard work, she went on to complain to my daughter, X hadn’t bothered to give her a birthday present!!! Ahhhh, poor OW. Later during that visit. OW blared music at 1 am drunk, yelling at X about not giving his phone back. Hmmm, trouble in paradise for these two cheaters?! Hilarious!!! Great for some laughs!

  • Here’s the thing. I know I’m guilty of this in my down moments. I compare my inside to someone else’s outside. When I do this, I’m just setting myself up. When I feel joyful and at peace, I don’t compare myself to anyone. So for me, the minute I start thinking of cheater ex and his seemingly fabulous life with OWife, I go back to reminding myself that something is off with me, that I need to take care of me. What do I need right now? Most of the time it’s self-compassion, just acknowledging that I feel shitty and allowing myself to let things as they are without spinning a story. It took me a long time to get to this point and I went through the (very long phase) of hoping to hear news that cheater ex is unhappy. The funny thing is, once I got to meh and found out cheater ex’s life is not all roses, I just shrugged.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am not beyond a good karma story. I have seen it happen over and over again, and I still find myself smiling. So, Tracy, thank you for today’s post.

  • I’m a chump, and I’ve got a dear friend who was also chumped by his XW many years ago. My buddy is the poster child for how to be graceful about dealing with a cheating ex-spouse. He is amazing; he is friendly to her, never talks smack about her to anyone (especially not to their children), and is totally comfortable in co-parenting with her, etc.

    Recently, despite his grace, even he was down on himself about momentarily comparing his state in life (unmarried, not happy with his job) to his ex, who is seemingly totally happy having hooked up with her AP, gotten a promotion at her job, etc.

    I had to remind him that any comparisons of that nature are probably a) mismatched since his ex is no doubt only displaying the most sparkly aspects of her life, and b) missing the most essential element of all: integrity.

    Cheaters (and willing APs who know that the cheaters were married) ARE NOT PRIZES WORTH KEEPING OR “WINNING.”

    Why? Because ***they willingly gave up their integrity.***

    Seriously, their life stations are NOT worth thinking about as a result. They’re totally damaged goods, at best; hopeless cases at worst. If you tap into your self respect, you see that it’s better to let them go, and hope – but NOT own – that they eventually come to realize that it’s wrong of them to inflict that level of pain onto others.

    Who gets them after we let them go? Who cares?

    In my case, for example, I care only so much as it impacts my daughter, as I share custody of her with the STBXW. If STBXW couples up and it causes an issue or unsafe environment for my kid, then I’ll be hauling the ex’s ass to court ASAP to up my custody percentage. Otherwise, I don’t spend any time considering what my STBX is up to right now.

    I’m not going to call it “meh” yet, but I think the path to that state is much clearer – and shorter – when we accept that there is very good reason to accept that cheaters are not good for our lives, and move to unhook the bite of these emotional/social vampires.

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