Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

UBT: “Affair Proofing” Your Marriage

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest
Share on pocket
Share on print
Share on email

shrink“Affair Proof Your Marriage” articles are so ubiquitous, I hesitate to feed them to the Universal Bullshit Translator. It just rolled its circuits at me. Really? This crap again? Don’t you have some juicy psychobabble from a certified Yoga Imago Sex Therapist I can parse? Are you really going to make me read “keep the home fires stoked” again?  

Sorry UBT. The menace of Affair Proofing must be stopped. Or at least ridiculed a bit.

HuffPo recently ran “9 Steps to Affair Proof Your Marriage” by Beth Cone Kramer. Ostensibly the article is to point out danger zones we weren’t aware of (second cocktails!), but in actuality, is thinly disguised chump blame. We drive them to it, folks!

1. Address problems with your partner. When we don’t talk about what’s bothering us, we tend to want to find someone’s shoulder to cry on. Be careful about discussing your grievances over and over again with someone who isn’t your partner.

Chumps, if you don’t offer your shoulder to a cheater, they will find Another Shoulder. Cheaters, if you don’t unburden your unhappiness on your chump, they can’t dance prettier for you. Actually, you might try both tactics — discuss your misery freely with your chump AND tell the new shoulder she’s the only one who Really Understands You. Problem solved!

2. Be involved in your partner’s life. If a wife (or husband) has frequent dinner or late night meetings with business associates, why not suggest “Let’s all have dinner together?” adds Dr. Saltz. “Keep your partner abreast of what’s going on and let her or him know you’re interested.”

“Let’s all have dinner together because I am highly suspicious of this Bob character in accounting. In fact, if I invite myself to your company happy hour, you’ll back off Bob, won’t you?”

Meals together are such an affair deterrent! Because cheaters NEVER make chumps dine with their affair partners. That just never, EVER happens.

3. Watch out for that second or third cocktail. If you’re on a business trip with the “work spouse,” avoid that extra glass or wine or martini. Drinking can lower inhibitions. If you’re disgruntled with your partner, have had a few drinks and it’s midnight, it’s easy to share you’re miserable when there’s someone there.

The first indication you might be on a slippery slope is having a “work spouse,” but no matter — avoid the Bellinis. Keep the shields up on your “misery”! (Only desperately miserable people cheat, so lock that unhappiness in! Don’t let it escape with one extra beverage!)

4. Be honest with yourself. Dr. Saltz notes, “If you want to look nice when you get together with so-and-so, touch the other person or say things you wouldn’t be saying if your spouse were there, that may be a hint you’re crossing the line.”

… into a sexual harassment lawsuit. Drinking together and touching people you work with probably isn’t a solid career move. If we’re being honest with ourselves!

5. Keep the home fires stoked. Feeling desired may increase a woman’s libido. Engage with your partner to make sure she feels wanted and knows that you’re still attracted to her. Since the brain loves novelty, it’s easy to get sidetracked by the new guy or girl, especially if she (or he) is not getting attention at home.

Since the brain loves novelty, be seven different people! That affair proofs everything! Make multiples of yourself! Okay, if you can’t do that, desire your spouse. That’s why people cheat, because they don’t feel desired. You’re probably sexless, aren’t you?

Cheaters NEVER cheat on people who desire them and have sex with them.

6. Don’t air the dirty laundry. Whether you’re sharing marital complaints with your office mate or with an online friend of the opposite sex, you may be setting the stage for an emotional affair. When you’re sharing more with a friend of the opposite sex than you do with your mate, you’ve crossed that line. Add in some physical attraction and you may even be heading towards a physical affair.

Cheaters, I’m sure you just lack insight that sharing marital complaints is “crossing a line.” I mean, you would never deliberately tell an online friend you were a sad sausage just to get in their pants.

This affair stuff just creeps up on you! It Just Happens! One day you’re chatting innocently about your spouse’s toenail fungus and failure to listen, and the next you’re booking hotel rooms. It could happen to anyone, so be on ALERT!

7. Step away from secrets. One sign of emotional infidelity is secrecy. If you (or your spouse) is keeping a “friendship” secret, the likelihood of an emotional affair increases exponentially. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you need to clean house of all your friends of the opposite sex. But, be upfront about the friendship.

Cheaters, I’m sure you just forgot to tell your spouse about your “friendship.” Thanks to this handy HuffPo reminder, you’ll be full of transparency now.

8. Keep work relationships nine-to-five. If you’re meeting for drinks after work or grabbing dinner, perhaps you should invite your husband or wife along. Transparency is everything and may keep the relationship in the friend zone.

Boy we’re really hung up here on inviting chumps to dinner with the Special Friend, aren’t we? It merits two mentions.

Cheaters, arrange your covert fuck tests during office hours. Many hotels charge hourly. Cars work too! Consider a lunch hour blowjob in the parking lot.

9. Beware of crossing the line. Catching yourself if you’re heading into dangerous flirting territory. Consider if you’d be okay with your spouse sharing that slightly NSFW email or joke.

Cheaters, I’m sure you care deeply about those lines and respect them just like you respect your vows and your intact family and unsullied 401K. So you will careful when you get close to crossing a line. Sirens will go off and your hair will burst into flames if you so much as step a big toe into flirting territory. Keep your jokes to yourself. Unshared memes save marriages. (Ooh, the UBT should make a meme that says that.)

There may be no sure way to affair-proof a marriage like you would child-proof the cabinets, but you can lessen the chances with regular communication and trying to meet each other’s needs, both emotionally and sexually. It’s easy to fall into the pattern of being too exhausted or distracted after work or a day spent chasing after the kids. But, staying attentive to each other is essential to maintaining intimacy.

Bad marriages make people cheat, not bad character. Don’t chase those children! Don’t get exhausted or distracted, or your marriage is DOOMED. So put little safety locks on your cabinets and their genitals just to be safe. Maybe you can fit in a nap or something once you have them properly tethered. Best of luck! — UBT

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest
Share on pocket
Share on print
Share on email

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.
  • This is such an irritating article from someone who clearly has to understanding that cheating mostly comes from a person poor character and not from much else. She’s obviously never been married to a Natcissist or Sociopath. Good luck keeping them happy.

    • Mine started cheating six months after we met (that I know of). This is so off the mark!

    • Well this article was useless. I am very sorry for those of you whose spouses engaged in an affair with a co-worker. My STBX didnt go that that route. The internet was his pick up joint. That’s what hurts the most. He didn’t accidentally spend too many hours with another woman and ooops they screwed on the copy machine. He purposefully went seeking affairs! And the BS of keeping it interesting, engage in activities together, talk to one another, be each others best friend – all those how to affair proof your marriage tactics CAN SUCK IT!
      We did – I DID! But that jackass just didnt care! I agree with ChumpLady I am dealing with a character flaw. A selfish, self fulfilling, freaky charcter flaw. Is it because of poor mental health? Perhaps, but he refuses to continue therapy. I spent years excuses his behavior because some BS mental health issue. Bottomine if there is a mental health concern, then get treatment if you want reconciliation and a chance for a happy life. Otherwise I am gradually moving to the camp of “he is just a jerk, wanting to screw other woman!”

    • The Clip, I’m right there with you! Followed it to a “T”! But they forgot to cover the “magic” of Facebook, Meetme. Com etc. and all the other mystical ways to deceive and cheat and meet a hardup willing HO to fulfill his every wish! My bad! Guess I should have cut off the Internet to the home! Oh yeah! That’s right, he did this shit at work!!!!

      • Thanks, Roberta-my idiot did most of it at work, too-surprised, seeing that they pay for his phone and the company computers are probably loaded up with his trail of sexting and EA’s, that nobody ever noticed anything or wondered why they were paying so much for his phone plan. Or why he spends so much damn time in the bathroom : / Whatever. As my grandma used to say – what do you expect from a pig but a grunt? Happy weekend : )

        • Same here, Smart is Hard- he drives a lot for his job, so he would be driving and sexting/flirting/talking with God knows who, then come home and be bitchy because the house wasn’t white-glove-clean, or I wouldn’t fuck him like a whore!

      • I’ve always loved the ‘well, fuck me’ line. I’ve used it well and often. Also, ‘bite me.’ You should have seen his face the day his boss spotted me in their lobby and offered a job. I was fired, by my STBX, 2 weeks later. Can you imagine? I was cramping his style, on the phone and on the internet. God, I hated him. I remember hoping that he would spontaneously burst into flames, and me with no water.

    • Love it The Clip! Yep, like both you and Roberta, I followed the recipe (I now call it the Pretzel Recipe). Stirring the pot of this concoction while simultaneously doing the “pick-me” dance at lightening speed almost brought me to a breakdown. And who the hell is the naïve author of this ludicrous Huffpo article? Her recipe for relational bliss was certainly not inspired by Julia Childs….perhaps more like Lucretcia Borgia?

      • Right there with you, Boudica Reborn…thanks to sites like Facebook (although I love it- I use it for the right reasons!!!), Zoosk, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. he has unlimited access to available female “friends” for him to smorgasbord-himself with an unlimited buffet while I’m sitting at home with our child wondering, “What the hell is wrong with me?!…Where/How did I go wrong?!”

  • My X bought me a book about affair proofing our marriage. This after 20 years and multiple affairs he was still trying to convince me it was all my fault. From his momma to our MC, i was told maybe i just don’t show him i love him enough or that he needs lots of attention. I didn’t get love and attention and i didn’t go on a cruise with another person right before our 20 year anniversary.

    This is the man that was so caught up in another woman while i was pregnant that he barely showed up for his own kids birth, then turned around and left me to deal with a new baby and 6 yr old by myself. He just couldn’t be bothered with me.

    So, he buys me the book, informs me his love bank is empty and he is so desperate that i read it he even gets the audio and downloads it on my phone. His love bank is empty? he is screwing other women and me and his love bank was empty? Never bothered to inquire about mine of course.

    The last book he bought, “how to help your spouse get over your affair” really set me off. He bought it two years after his affair! Idiot!

    Divorce is done and he is long gone!

    • “i was told …he needs lots of attention”

      This has always irked me. (S)He *NEEDS* attention. The trouble is, just HOW MUCH attention is ENOUGH????? At what point do these…people…say to themselves, “O.k. I get enough attention from my partner. I don’t *need* any more”??

      Unfortunately, they confuse ‘needs’ with WANTS. They WANT a ridiculous amount of attention that their spouse couldn’t possibly provide. Ironically, the cheater would feel absolutely put-upon if their spouse demanded as much attention FROM the cheater as the cheater demands from THEM. The cheater couldn’t handle it.

      • In a nutshell gypsy. Mine wanted attention every single minute and a snap to attention attitude as well. I had to hang on his every word or I didn’t love him. Even the kids got tired of it he listens to no one. His loss.

        • Yep, mine too!!! I had to listen to him read headlines from the Internet, watch his stupid ass cats-playing-with-a-Coke-bottle videos, had to listen to him espouse his opinion on everything under the sun, and agree with him, otherwise I didn’t love him— he never said that out-right, but that was his attitude!!!

          He never listened to me either- he always pestered me with, “I can tell you’re upset or mad about something, what’s up?”, so I would proceed with whatever it was that I was upset about, only for him to respond with defensiveness, projection, denial, and just plain anger that I didn’t agree with him, or didn’t like something he said or did!!!

          Fucking asshole.

          • Ugh, I just remembered I had to watch first husband (not the cheater) play video games for hours on end. Lol. Good times.

            • STBX has the same playbook. I engaged, asked questions, during the stories and tirades, to show interest. If I had something to say, it was met with silence. Why, he must have wondered, is she talking…I don’t hear my name in any of this. CL once said, “Christ, I can’t tell any of you apart and neither can anyone else.” Amen.

          • UnsinkableMollyX, clearly you were married to my husband. Asses. If they had anything smart or interesting to say, maybe we would have listened better.

            • Smart is Hard: Knowing him and his “secret, double life” who knows? You live here in Lower Alabama?!?!?!?!

              I know, right?! I used to LLLLLLOVE when he would make comments and tell me how to my job, but would get pissed that I wouldn’t know every code, rule, and law applying to his manual labor job!!!!

              Oh yes, plus lest not forget how he would get ssssoooooo pissed if I “liked” or “commented” on one of his stupid ass shares/pictures on Facebook, then I was “Stalking” him!!! WTFEverrrrrrrr!!!!

      • Yes, the empty account. Poor sausage. That is why internet porn is SOOOO Handy (pun intended). All you have to do is log in and have your credit card ready. Those sympathetic women never sleep, and they are always ready for a love bank deposit. Helpful HOworkers are instantly available too! Ms. Quickblow? Could you step into my office and help me with something? It will only take a few minutes.

        Yes, it is so strange that you are too tired to fill up the love bank because you are working full time and doing all the household chores, and taking care of the children, and your spouse can’t make it home from “working late” until 9 or 10. Of course, by then, you might have fallen into a coma you are so tired. But, drink another cup of coffee, and listen to all spouse problems. Take care of that empty love bank account — because it is all up to you to fix, and save your wonderful marriage. Your spouse is just waiting for you to do everything, and satisfy every whim. You are So Special! So is your spouse!

        • My story exactly, Portia. I was doing EVERY fucking thing while his lazy ass did nothing. I mean NOTHING!!

          • Cheater X was always washing the sheets after screwing whores in my bed. So nice. But he left the dog dander her dog. By the way X hates dogs and never ever wanted one. And didn’t want to care for our granddaughter because he was done with kids. His words. She now has a grandchild. They should really get to know the good guy before the move them in. X already complaining about not enough attention and looking. Oh well.

        • Same here, Portia!!! I did EVERYTHING around this house- even when his fat, lazy ass was unemployed— and he couldn’t even handle the dishwasher without getting pissy!!!!

          His attitude was that he “wasn’t a mind reader!!!…all {I} had to do was ASK him to do X, Y, Z…”!!! My response was always, “You bitch that the older kids don’t have any initiative, yet you don’t seem to either!!!” GAH!!! The fuckery!!!

    • I never bought into the reconcile BS so never read any of the books you mention. I do remember my XH reading a book entitled “sex begins in the kitchen” and his raving about how good it was and that I should read it. Never did, is that why he cheated?
      Nooooooo it is because he is a dysfunctional fuckwit that has externalised every single shitty decision he has ever made and should he ever internalise it I hope the asshole spontaneously combusts.

      As for the empty love bank. This coming from a grown human being is concerning. I use this exact thing with my 10 and 12 year old girls to help them identify when the are feeling low. And they have just freaking cause. It is fixed with a day of hugs not that other shit.

    • Oh yes, attention. One of the ways I’ve disappointed him as a wife is that I didn’t provide attention to him while he’s snoring on the couch. He said I was always on the damn computer. Well, my options after the kids are put to bed is to sit quietly and listen to him snore on the couch, or take the 1-2 hours of my only available “me” time during the whole damn day to do something I like. Which was researching my family tree. The horrors! I spend time on the internet looking up genealogy while he sleeps. His internet use consisted of porn and trolling Craigslist along with messages to schmoopie. But I’m the bad guy.

      • Oh my yes- he has said the same damn thing- that since I started playing Candy Crush or Pet Rescue, I basically shat on him (i.e. neglecting him)…Like you, ohthisagain, those games were my only outlet, and I never spent a dime on them, but I’m the “neglectful” one!!!

        • Ditto, X complained like a baby if I spent 15 minutes playing candy crush, went shopping, spent money on my children, or wanted to dress up and go out. Boring. Now I’m not bored and never play games. Too busy enjoying my better life.

          • Yep!!! However, it’s been A-OK for him to troll through Facebook, Craigslist, surf stupid videos, Instagram, SnapChat, etc.- plus, let’s not forget all the nights he’d go AWOL without even so much as a text or call from him to me, nor would he answer his phone or respond to my texts asking him where he was and what he was doing…

            I have come to realize that by the time he gets around to actually backing up all the “…I love you’s…we’re working things out…” I won’t even care anymore, nor want him for my husband– well, him at least — any longer…

    • Oh I’m sorry, I HAD to rape because my “love bank” was empty. Fuck those guys. Anyone who abandons someone who’s pregnant or has a new baby is preapproved for hell. That credit card was maxed out with a thousand percent interest rate long before 20 years of marriage came around. You are not responsible for that soul debt. Stupid fucker!

      • Your mc might as well have said people don’t rape if they get enough attention. Gah. I love this blame the victim thing.

    • ChumpedtotheMax, I hope you shoved every fucking book that he ever bought right up his ass while divorcing him! What a fucking idiot!!

      PS: As usual another great post Tracy! Girl you simply rock!

  • The article reads to me like “How to NOT Be an Asshole.” But the thing about assholes is that they aren’t looking for advice on how to change. Maybe if we changed the title to “How to Be the Most Important Person That Ever Lived,” that would reel a few assholes into reading it. But they’d still be assholes.

    • My ex-SIL, upon my telling her her brother had cheated on me and I was devastated, suggested I read a book about Ultra-Sensitive People, so I would better know how to handle him. Informed me she was one, too… those special, extra sensitive sausage narcs. LOL.

      • holy fuck! Yes , read this book so u understand how U have to modify YOUR behavior to make me feel better…. I am just waaaayyyy toooo sensitive!!!!! H O L Y F U C K. Tell her to slip into some bubble wrap ( that should protect her sensitive little corpse) and join the rest of us out here in the real world.
        I have a sensitive child… I know all about this Goldilocks shit. Try and find a pair of socks for an ultra sensitive person…there are none… Too tight… Too loose… Too high… Too low. Try flip flops? Noooo… My toes touch the air. I know allll about it. Guess what? I cant change the world for her… So she has to fit into the world of socks that never feel right… Bright light and loud sounds. Told my kid the same thing… We gotta find the right kinda bubble wrap so u can be in the world. She gets it. And when she has to she finds a happy safe place for herself when she needs a break from a big world that is overwhleming…. But she aint an asshole.
        Love how the fucking cheater mind can and will use any excuse…. And always the flip..

  • Ha! Affair proof! I call BS! Ain’t so such thing. His dickness is so stoic and emotionally closed up most of his life I couldn’t get what he wanted for dinner! Whadayagot? so he could choose! Ha! Only emotions he ever shows is anger, rage and frustration! Affair proof?! Ergo relationships lost. I didn’t everything he wanted and then some. Not enough. Just a cheater and a hater cause he hates himself first.

  • Here’s a thought on Affair Proofing Your Marriage: DIVORCE THE CHEATING FUCKTARD! Immediately! Works every time. Let any potential cheating future fucktards know that cheating will never be tolerated. When I was young I had a friend who always told her husband”if you cheat on me, I’m divorcing you; “. I always thought that was crazy but now I get it.

  • I hate these gimmicks with the fire of a thousand suns, mostly because they provide the false hope that someone can control outcomes and people. I established a guideline with my spouse: If you think you are interested in someone else or want to have an affair, just tell me. That way, we can talk about our options.

    I thought this made me a pretty cool wife.

    His response was simply to walk out when he found a new piece of tail.

    The point is that if someone doesn’t want to be married, they don’t want to be married, and if they want to cheat, they cheat.

    The article seems to be aimed at people who might accidentally kind of trip and land in someone’s lap.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Cheaters cheat because 1): they want to, and 2): they can. It’s never an accident. Never.

  • We are the chumps who are hurt the hardest because we did love and care for the X. Why do these idiots that write these article’s justifying adultery and feel they can put blame on us? We are the innocent , vow keeping, and committed spouse? These X’s don’t even see the hurt and pain they cause, they go on living in a self centered world. Thinking only of themselves. I was married 33 years, yes my XH had and is still in a relationship with the work secretary that he hired many years ago. They stayed in contact without me knowing. The secrecy, lies and deceit are my fault? I refuse to take the blame for his choices and for breaking apart our family. This was a church going man that prayed with me. Where was his conviction in all this? He even had the balls to tell me in an e-mail me deserved to be in a relationship with her. What the heck? I’m still the one in pain but getting better.

    • Same here ^^^ Waiting for MEH: He has never been a church-going man, but his evil, dark side has finally emerged!!!

      I’m asking the same thing, “Where is his conviction?…When is he going to feel like the piece of shit he really is for fucking me up after over 12 years of love and devotion?”

      To be honest, I don’t want him any longer for my husband, however, I am still in pain that he took all of my love, commitment, loyalty, faithfulness, financial support for over 12 years and just took a big ol dump on it!

  • Does anyone know what an NFSW joke or email is? I’d hate to accidentally share one inappropriately, and land on the nearest available dick by doing so .

      • Thanks, willochumpx30, that’s great. I used to use GG with the cheater then tell him “that’s cheater speak for gotta go” (when spouse enters room). He didn’t like that.

        Cheater and the Whore loved those tacky email jokes and spent a good portion of the work day forwarding them to each other and their email group. He sent me this crap when we were dating, and got mad when he asked if I’d read them because I never did. They were stupid. Not my thing, at all. I tried but it was such a waste of time. Maybe we can add that to the huffpo list.

        Guess that’s the cement of his and whore,’s soulmate relationship. A mutual love of someone else’s seventh grade humor. Have at it.

  • So ridiculous! I almost emailed this article to CL but knew she probably already read it! Lol

    Yes, you just aren’t doing this affair proofing right if he cheats……it’s all your fault his emotional bank account is depleted, etc. Let’s try to understand the poor cheater and never mind the victim. After all, it must be her fault….she should have read mores books, twisted into a pretzel, met him at the door in Saran Wrap, wiped his needy ego.

    No one can affair proof a relationship with someone who feels entitled to cake.

  • It’s interesting how these articles prey on fears and an illogical (and largely inaccurate) feeling of potential “control” on the part of one spouse over the other spouse’s behavior.

    Now, if instead of affair, the author was discussing preventing divorce, or preventing potential marriage crises, it would make WAAAAAAAAY more sense.

    The fundamental fallacy here (upon which the article is built) is that cheating is somehow an acceptable – or at least logical – outcome of a marriage that falls into the pitfalls mentioned.

    Whoops! It’s not, and it’s a choice made by someone who is (or is at least acting like) an entitled a**hole!

  • That article was so annoying, mostly because it naively believes that if the Cheater reads it, they will suddenly realize the error of their ways. X was told by several people that his relationship with AP was inappropriate, and he hung onto the “I’m not doing anything wrong, we’re JUST FRIENDS, no one understands” until the very last moment he could. So I’m so sure an article would suddenly make him see the light. And to #9, anytime I told him if the situation were reversed and I was acting like that with a JUST FRIEND he would be pissed, he claimed no he wouldn’t. Let me tell you, yes, he would have been pissed. But he knew I would never in a million years do that.

    I was made to go out to dinner with X and the AP, because, after all, they were “JUST FRIENDS” and I and her husband were just jealous and controlling. They flirted all through dinner.

    • Ugh, that’s awful Kira. And yes, this article makes a lot of assumptions, like the idea that anyone who has already started down the Cheater Path would be checked by reading such advice, or would even take the time to read such advice.

    • Me too Kira on the dinner. They were “just friends”. I didn’t want to go and it was as the most miserable experience. He wasn’t acting like himself and putting on some kind of “persona” I didn’t recognise or like. I was “imagining things” and being a bitch. It was so humiliating.

  • The article is lame, but it’s the mainstream ideology that cheaters are innocent victims of circumstance and if they’re not careful they might end up doing the “Groin Macarena”. This article seems to be talking to four year olds…don’t take candy from strangers, look both ways before crossing the street, don’t put objects up your nose, pooping in your pants behind the couch in secret is not really a secret….

    Seriously, if an adult needs a step by step guide to keep them from cheating I guarantee they’re mentally challenged.

    The truth is cheaters know exactly what they’re doing and there is no amount of step by step guide to keep them from it.

    • PF,

      Agreed. Should be obvious and commonsense. Yet like my xW, I suspect many a cheater wants “rules” to say “I didn’t cheat!” when they know they did. E.G. We met in public; so, it wasn’t an EA even though I told him our marriage was in trouble and how.

      • Oh…the “met in public”, therefore it’s technically not cheating excuse. Thank goodness for the general public to be witness to her not cheating….lol…

    • I agree. Cheaters know what they are doing every step of the way. They know when they are flirting or being receptive to flirts from others. They know when they are giving or receiving kibble attention. They know when they are sharing things they aren’t sharing with their spouses. They even know that the other person is looking at them slightly differently. They might decide to pretend to be in denial, but they know everything every step of the way.

      So when the friendship or flirting or attention giving starts, if they don’t immediately put up a boundary to protect and respect their marriage and their spouse, then reading an article on the subject wouldn’t make any difference because an article doesn’t impose consequences. Only the betrayed spouse can impose consequences, but since the kibble seekers are keeping secrets the betrayed spouse is in the dark and thus unable to impose consequences. But if its already gone that far …

      • I work in a medical office & get flirts almost daily from married male patients, Pre dday & post dday, it never occurred to me that they “wanted” me. I see it as just friendly flirting & we all just go on our merry way. I’ll never know why my cheater burned his boundaries.

  • You cannot affair proof a marriage any more than prayer can make a gay man straight. Or you can train a pathological bullshit artist to be honest.

    Seriously?

    1)I talked to my ex about my concerns, often, all it did was fuel his ability to play on my insecurities.
    2)I spent hours watching him attempt to play sport, while I didn’t quite recognise that he was flirting with his team and the opposition.
    3) if we ever went out I drove and I never went out without him so alcohol feuled hi jinxes was never a concern for me.
    4) be honest !!!!!!!!!!!!!?
    5) I encouraged and desired more sex. Yeah, not a pleasant result but stupidly chalked it up to him being a “Virgin” when we married. And I just considered he was a pathetically slow learner. I also accepted stress at work as an impotence excuse. Or my favourite “if we have sec I might get too hot and then I won’t be able to sleep, and then I will be to tired in the morning” I know I am the slow learner. Chump!
    6)I never spoke poorly of him to others I believed a christian wife honoured her husband and yes I spackled like a fucking pro. This ended with D’day.
    7)Secrets? I found myself apologising for shit I did before even meeting my XH as I desired an honest relationship. but when at the end of our marriage I questioned what was it he was hiding from me. He just stared through me like I was speaking a foreign language. No clue. No honesty, the secrets just keep coming.
    8)??????
    9)Keeping it 9-5 some of these moron should be in solitary confinement. Mine hooked up at work on their time, at lunch time and then justified being late home from a 8-4 job because he had to finish things but never got over time.
    I am surprised he didn’t get sacked more often.
    My XH is so dumb he went to “see a client ” hooked up with some random guy on the way back to the office, got bashed as a result. Lied to police, his boss, me, and everyone else who knew. Took an immediate 5 weeks of work spent 7 months on compo and then had the nerve complain when they walked from the job as soon as he was cleared. Oh and two years later around the time of D’day I discover he was attempting to claim financial compensation for the loss of his wedding and engagement rings and his watch. Because as he saw it he was entitled to something.

    Sorry for the rant. A little stressed will have to endure XH and his GF both Saturday and Sunday this coming weekend. Happy thoughts my way would be appreciated.

    • Oh my word, your ex and mine were clones! I’m sorry you will be reminded of his dysfunction this weekend. Be sure to keep your anger solely directed at him and not at yourself. You did what you knew at the time — trying to cure him with love. You know better now, so you do better. Big hugs.

    • Thankful, I’m so sorry that you have to see your XH (and the GF is just a rotten cherry on top of the shit sundae) over the weekend! In a lot of cases you might be able to limit your exposure to the toxicity somehow! Hope you’ll find a way of not being in too direct of a contact. 1 year after my DDay (about 9 months after I left) I ran into my ex in a completely different town, in a random small supermarket. I was quite over him at that point but it still felt like he had a horrible vortex zone of madness all around him and I did NOT miss the nauseating feeling of getting sucked into that. (Or maybe it was just my heightened sensitivity to his ridiculous, bullshitting existence)

      Sending lots of positive thoughts your way!! You know what’s what and your slimy ex can deny reality all he wants, he’s not going to change a single thing. JEDI HUGS

  • 6. Don’t air the dirty laundry. Whether you’re sharing marital complaints with your office mate or with an online friend of the opposite sex, you may be setting the stage for an emotional affair. When you’re sharing more with a friend of the opposite sex than you do with your mate, you’ve crossed that line. Add in some physical attraction and you may even be heading towards a physical affair.

    THIS ^^^^ YES!!!

    Of course, thanks to Facebook, that’s ALL he does- make friends with single females and flirts, jokes, and otherwise embarrass the shit outta me!!! Oh yes, calling him out it is just “so wrong” of me— he always spits back, “What?! I can’t joke around with my friends?!” but then he’s always quick to try to flip the switch on me and bring up my guy friends posting TBT (Throwback-Thursday) pics of me from 25 years ago and say, “I didn’t say anything about that!!!” Poor sausage, he just doesn’t understand the difference between that and him “joking” with a female friend about being her boyfriend, poor, poor sausage!!!!

    This whole list is total bullshit, they are who they are- con men/women, liars, thieves, cheaters– and nothing is going to stop them from being selfish pricks/bitches!!!

    I have just about tattooed this list, or similar lists/facts on his forehead and he still doesn’t get it…fucking asshole.

  • “it’s easy to share you’re miserable when there’s someone there.” Wait, what? Couldn’t get past that one. Shouldn’t you be sharing the fact that you’re ‘miserable’ with your spouse? Bring some honesty to the table and maybe work things out, instead of using any bullshit excuse to justify your cheating? “oh shmoopie, my home life is unbearable. She keeps buying the rippled kind of toilet paper, and I like the quilted kind. If she loved me, she would just know automatically that I prefer quilted to rippled. Thank goodness I have you, my soul mate who truly understands me, to take me away from that hell on earth. Together we can be happy forever wiping our special asses with quilted toilet paper ’cause we were meant to be.” “oh wait–did you buy creamy peanut butter?”

    These fucking cowards.

    • Yeah, mine wanted to have “the talk” about what I could do to make him happier 4 months into his affair, as the AP was pressuring him to leave the wifey. Kinda late for that (and I let him know I’d been so unhappy for years at his asshole-ness that I wasn’t doing ANYthing more for the marriage).

      • X’s whore gave him the ultimatum after sleeping with her in a hotel. X didn’t want me to ruin it two week later. Bragged the pig didn’t care he was married. Affair proofing what? The disordered? They match and are equals on so many levels. Leaving the fucked up behind and never looking back was the best outcome. Got a ride home from a cute guy from work today and was asked to go out to lunch. Yup, the anchor was lifted. Single. I like the sound of that!!

      • I got this EXACT SAME THING! Also at 4 months after the latest affair started (but before I knew about it). I told him I wanted him to help more with housework or kids (I also work full time and he was doing ZERO around house). His response: “I look at helping around the house or helping with the kids that I’d be PAYING YOU FOR SEX”. Thank God Voldemort is gone!

        • Doing his part of the work would be paying you for sex ? How twisted is that !!! Disgusting

        • OMG, LOL @ “Voldemort”…and a holy shit at his response to your requests at what EVERY fucking spouse should be doing!!!! If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to ask him to do shit around here, I’d be able to live in a 50-room mansion by the sea.

  • You guys are cracking me up this morning ! People probably think I’m crazy, just bursting into spontaneous laughter every few minutes.

  • Wait, they already think I’m crazy from all the seemingly random crazy behavior I exhibited when reconciled with fucktard. I know what to look for now in other people who are in this shit.

  • Cheaters are motivated by their need for power and control. This article says it’s opportunity and temptation. What a crock of crap.

  • Affair Proofing Your Marriage:
    Demand respect
    Never tollerate lies
    Be sure actions match narrative
    Never accept responsibility for their behavior
    Never try to fix a spouse
    Have firm boundaries
    Have expectations
    Divide the heavy lifting
    Take care of youself

    • I think the formula to affair proofing your marriage is be a person of high integrity and to marry a person of high integrity. Unfortunately, I married a man of fake integrity. He was so good at it too.

      • Bingo NicoleS! My short list for all relationships from now on:
        1). Values / morals come first … Check em and test em. A person with integrity will pick up on what your trying to get at and they’ll APPRECIATE it instead of becoming indignant
        2). Keep my own “love tank” full of self love … cheaters/narcs are intimidated by anyone with a genuine life. They can spot it and they avoid it. It scares them shitless to see their empty reflection through our eyes
        3). Pre-nup cheater clause: you cheat, you lose EVERYTHING, right down to your underpants lol.

  • It is hard to believe that the man who sat next to me night after night with his face in his phone, or watching sports on TV while I sat next to him was suffering from not enough attention from me. Though that is what he claimed in his blameshifting phase.

    And some of those affair-proofing tips are ridiculous: “2. Be involved in your partner’s life. If a wife (or husband) has frequent dinner or late night meetings with business associates, why not suggest “Let’s all have dinner together?” adds Dr. Saltz. “Keep your partner abreast of what’s going on and let her or him know you’re interested.”

    What if your spouse is LYING to you about where they are going? What if they claim they are at work but they are in fact at OW’s house fucking her? Should I have asked to get together with him and the whole gang of OWs that he secretly fucked behind my back over the years? How would that work? “Hey, Cheater, why don’t I come WITH you to ‘work’ today?? wouldn’t that be fun?” I had a REAL job to go to.. I mean, SOMEONE had to pay our bills … He was going to her house day after day for several weeks in a row having sex with her there after lying to my face about his plans for the day, and making sure he knew my schedule. Then he’d come home at night and complain about his busy day at ‘work.’

    You can’t “affair proof” any more than you can “LIE proof” a liar.

    • Absolutely, Muse. I’m not interested in socializing with my own co workers so I definitely have no interest in his. Um, no.

      • Exactly. Mine got on his laptop and stayed on there literally for months his entire waking moments when he was not sleeping, working, driving, etc. Course when he was driving he was in the cell with the whore, lol

    • I recently found out that two summers ago, when my STBX husband was “working,” in a nearby town he was really visiting the OW, with our son…he took our son there almost daily during the week and left him with HER son while they screwed around in his vehicle…the OW’s loser son showed my son how to access porn on his DS, thank you very much! What a fucktard. Now he’s on to a new OW, moved in with her but refuses to admit it.

    • This is awesome, Muse! Yes, this article is beyond stupid and written by someone who’s never been cheated on. It comes from a position that “the cheater is telling you the truth that they are at dinner with a coworker and things are bordering on inappropriate”. Cheaters lie CONSTANTLY, so all of the assumptions in this article are wrong. This is like reading an article titled, “How to get through and survive cancer treatments “. By someone who’s never had cancer.

  • Orrrrrrr… you could just be a decent human being and actually live up to the vows you took on your wedding day. I mean, really, it’s that simple.

  • The best way to affair proof your marriage is not to have an affair. It’s an individual decision. I think this article is really for people who haven’t had affairs to avoid occasions of sin. There really is nothing you can do to keep another person from cheating.

  • This is why i’m a convert to CL. Just tells is it like it is.
    I wish I known about you guys prior to my humiliating pick me dance for the first 2 months after d day

  • Subtitle for “How to Affair Proof Your Marriage”: How to Pretend You Can Control Someone Else.

  • What a load of cruel hokum. You can’t affair proof your marriage any more than you can terrorist proof your commercial airline flight.

    Those people on the planes that flew into the Twin Towers didn’t do anything wrong. They didn’t fail to sufficiently charm their attackers. Their planes were hijacked by terrorists who unilaterally took over the controls in the cockpit and drove them into a fiery disaster. The decisions that doomed them were made in cabins from which passengers were entirely excluded.

    Similarly, my first marriage was hijacked by a sociopath. She made decisions about our marriage alone, in a space from which I was excluded. She pointed our family toward chaos and misery and there was nothing I could have done to stop her. Nothing. Hell, I didn’t even know what was going on in the “cock pit” (an apt nickname for my ex wife, come to think of it).

    People who sell “affair proofing your marriage” books and courses ought to be criminally prosecuted like the hucksters who sell potions and elixers to “cancer proof” your body.

    Note: when in doubt, comparing serial cheaters to terrorists seems to explain most aspects of infidelity.

    • “Hell, I didn’t even know what was going on in the “cock pit” (an apt nickname for my ex wife, come to think of it).”

      LOLOLOLOL!!!!! Hilarious!

      “Note: when in doubt, comparing serial cheaters to terrorists seems to explain most aspects of infidelity.”

      I actually told STBX that he was an emotional terrorist; that his repeated ill treatment of me amounted to emotional waterboarding. I should have known he was a sick fuck when his response was feigned surprise and, “Emotional waterborading? Really? That’s not good.”

      • Nomar. letting the cheater lead always led to chaos and misery. This was my life. It was off balance because of the double life. X couldn’t go anywhere with me for years as we could bump into a girlfriend. There were so many and the criteria essential to file for a divorce was a beach pass and their willingness to pretend he was good in bed because of his penile prosthesis. Well X relocated, has a beach pass and found a hard up gambling drunk drug addict who is more than happy to use his money to gamble and fake it. And still picking up bimbos to screw in her dumpy apartment. We really do suffer, however divorcing them is such a relief. Fuck the 9 ways to keep the character disordered. They create a life of hell on earth. Let them have that shit. It’s amazing to relax and explore freedom. Living and loving it!!!!

    • Cock pit! Good one! Why did you two break up? “He commandeered the cock pit and flew us into a ditch.”

  • I like the mentions about dinner with the “possible” AP to so you can thwart the possibility that their genitals may smash.

    My X wanted me to go to a party at a “friend’s” house a few weeks before I busted him fucking this very same “friend”. The kicker was the party was actually a BIRTHDAY party for her husband. So, these two sick fucks actually wanted me and her husband in the same room, clueless, I guess so they could cast knowing glances at each other all night. Dangerous and sexy!

    To this day, I still can’t figure out why they thought that would be a swell idea. But the disordered, . . . there’s no figuring it out.

    • They get some sick pleasure out of it. My STBX and his owhore were sexting at her niece’s funeral. How f’d up is that? Talk about character disordered. Hope there’s a special room in hell.

    • I hosted dinner for stbxh’s secretary and her children… and yes, unbeknownst to me they were AP’s at the time. Nice, huh? I do think they enjoyed the secrecy and danger; probably the only reason he was able to get it up for her.

      • This is painful stuff. I let the X play with his OW in my pool and then they proceeded to the steam room, laughing all the time. I’m like…ya, sure – this is normal. I’m not jealous. Me and her (now) X sat in the kitchen drinking tea when they finally came out. Doh – I sure didn’t get it even after all that. Trust – that’s gone from me. Yeah, they loved playing with the danger all right. What a thrill that must be! Stupid wife, her stupid husband, in the kitchen having snacks and more than ready for bed. Now that I think of it, I think I did go to bed alone that night. doh doh doh
        I really do want somebody to flatten me with a skillet.

        • Shechump, what an awful thing to experience. Just truly sickening. But the only person who needs to be flattened with a skillet is your shithead ex. Oh, and his shithead ho. What a pair of disgusting losers.

          Someone on here called this kind of ‘playing with fire’ cheating “duper’s delight.” It’s not enough just to cheat; it has to involve a degree of danger and preferably right under our noses. My POS ex was into this sick game, too. God, I am so freaking glad to be away from that crap.

    • Yes the daring triangulation of having your wife in close proximity to the whore fuck was always exciting for X whore boy. Bonus points for picking up the bar whore while we were together. Nice to bring one to the hospital when I delivered my second child. Shit, this is triggering me to pray he gets run over by a truck. Haha.

      • LOL, Donna!!! You just reminded me of that country song by JARON AND THE LONG ROAD TO LOVE: “I[‘ll] Pray for You” — I listen to it and it just makes feel giddy and at peace!!!!

        • I find myself laughing more at just how delusional cheaters appear when we put it in writing. I was just reading about how cheaters can thrive with their new found love IF they have a candid conversation about why the cheated. The psychiatrist is a relationship expert. This was related to the shit sandwich article we read today. Since cheaters lie and CHEAT I assume the candid conversation is a pitty me approach filled with blame shift, entitlement. and getting laid.
          My wife wouldn’t have sex.

          It was disturbing that you ACCIDENTALLY went in a child porn site.

          My wife didn’t give me affection.

          It’s hard to be with someone who drinks and smokes pot daily. And goes to casinos to hook up with scum.

          You need to work in yourself no one would want you the way you are.

          No one wanted me because I wasn’t leading a double life. I would never have random sex with a stranger. I did work on myself and the first step was divorcing a pig. Yes I am desirable and dating but I’ve raised the bar.

          Yes have a candid conversation with a sociopath. This is the key to having the relationship with the ow/Om thrive. Be sure to provide plenty of kibbles.

          • Yes, Donna, exactly!!! As soon as Asshole said he was “done” with us, I made appointments with a marriage counselor and she gave me some worksheets for building communication- this was when he came back after being out on his own for a whopping 5 days crying that he was “sorry he hurt me”- he looked at the worksheets and said, “Oh YOU have homework, eh?”

            He lasted 2 weeks in my house before I called him out on his bullshit. I packed up whatever shit he had here and sent him on his merry way.

            I guess I just didn’t “work hard enough”!!! FUCK. HIM.

  • Don’t feel bad Scott. I did the dance for 2 1/2 years post dday until I found chump lady. Exhole had his affair in 2010, I stopped dancing in January of 2013 when I found C.L. I started to make him uncomfortable because the sad little sausage “couldn’t even watch TV in front of me if there was something about an affair on the current programming.” It was so sad and hard for him….boo hoo.

    I asked for a divorce in August of that year and that was the best way to affair proof my life!

  • To resolve this issue once and for all, I propose a new concept which I will call “wedding vows.” These wedding vows will be part of the marriage ceremony and spoken out loud, witnessed by friends, family, clergy and other members of the community. These vows should includes works like “faithful”, “honor”, “cherish”, “love”, and “forsake” so that it is clear the extra-marital affairs are not allowed.

    With said vows made in public, the marriage is now affair-proofed.

  • The inherent problem with these articles is the audience. Most people wander aimlessly through life not looking for preventative measures for looming relationship catastrophes. Even so, there’s an assumption that if all those criteria aren’t met, your partner will cheat. So let’s face it, most of the readers are chumps, not cheaters. They don’t give a flying rats…
    I agree whole heartedly with CL, this is simply a character issue. Should you work at your marriage, yes. If your partner cheats is it because you did or did not work on your marriage? No. From DDay on I made the statement, I did nothing wrong, period. These articles make it seem like chumps are the bad guys, when we more than likely did everything on this article, but still didn’t get the respect and decency we deserved. As if! Huffpo once again bathes in the glowing sunlight of ignorance while the truth is only exposed to those who live the horror. Thanks for screwing the victim again Huffpo.

    • And when you read the comments section in these types of articles, you learn that every chump was causing a sexless marriage, not meeting their partners emotional needs, withdrawn from the marriage, or completely neglecting the poor sad sausage.

      The poor neglected spouse was trying so hard to thoughtfully engage their neglectful spouse in an intimate connection, giving with all their hearts and sweat equity, only to be denied and rejected year after year after year. What were they then to do? Become a monk in their marriage? Of course not – their only recourse was to have an affair. Their suffering was just too great and they couldn’t just abandon their kids.

      And when a chump writes in with the truth of affairs, the affair-defenders reply, “Well, I didn’t mean THAT type of marriage to an abuser.” Yeah, when they hear the true story, they always say, “well you are the exception who was married to a truly horrible person who cheated on you” – not the sane respectful engaged cheater they seem to be defending. You know, the typical one that puts forth every effort to reinvigorate the marriage, stoke the fire, and work hard for the family.

  • “My story exactly, Portia. I was doing EVERY fucking thing while his lazy ass did nothing. I mean NOTHING!!”
    This resonates with me and is kinda driving me crazy. I keep wondering if I somehow enabled his bullshit; if I had been more of the nagging W “making” him complete tasks on a “honey do” list etc., would he have been more engaged and connected to his family. Sometimes I think “yes”; others “nope would have caused more grief sooner”. It is sad and depressing to realize that your H, even if he really did love you for the first 10+ years of your relationship, may have never been capable of really being an equal partner – never really connecting (and he is not a narc; just a regular old immature, selfish and entitled POS). How did I miss the lopsidedness of our relationship for so long? He basically admitted that his “I haven’t been happy in years” really kicked in after we had the kids – who fucking says that??!!?? Sure life can be more challenging (and more rewarding) after kids – but to “not be happy”? And now since D-day he is acting like father of the year – grrrr! – what a fucking waste of skin…

  • “They get some sick pleasure out of it. My STBX and his owhore were sexting at her niece’s funeral. How f’d up is that? Talk about character disordered. Hope there’s a special room in hell.”

    My stbxh went to his howorker’s mother’s funeral and shook hands with her husband. The next evening they had their hotel hookup for 3 hrs and she left the hotel SMILING (courtesy of PI video).

    I have 3 friends that have lost their mothers too young – and I asked if they could have possibly done that the day after burying their mothers (people greive differently) – all gave a resounding NO (see I even gave the howorker the benefit of the doubt…what is wrong with me).

    So due to that and a few other observations, I’m pretty sure the serial cheating howorker is a sociopath. Good luck with that stbxh!

  • No list of “affair proofing your marriage” is complete without some mention of massage parlors. “Be sure to offer your spouse frequent massages so they aren’t forced to wander into happy-ending massage parlors where they could find their next affair partner or STD.”

  • “How to Affair Proof Your Marriage” makes about as much sense and would be as successful as implementing “How to Dog Proof Your Tree.” Dogs pee on trees. It’s what dogs do. Cheaters lie, deceive and cheat. It’s what cheaters do. Their minds function in entitlement, immediate gratification and lack of accountability mode. They don’t lack the knowledge on how not to cheat, they lack the necessary tools – morals, integrity and character – to not cheat.

    The STBX and his “Twu Wuv” were involved over 20 years ago. She threw a party in which her then husband and I were in attendance. She and The Flaming Turd spent the first hour and half huddled with each other in another room while her husband, me and our respective children (and the other guests) were left to our own devices. There are particular disordered fucktards (this OW and the Flaming Turd being two such disordered fucktards) who actually get off on having you as an observer. It’s all kinds of sick and wrong, but then so is much of what they think and do.

    I don’t know what the person who wrote this asinine article for Huffingtonpost has been smoking, but she needs to either pass or put down the pipe because she’s had enough.

    • They are sick, Chump Princess. My ex also invited his coworker and her husband to our son’s wedding. Then he spent most the night dancing with her and her daughter instead of me. I didn’t want to ruin my son’s wedding by getting upset so I said nothing, but it sure did hurt. So glad I don’t have to endure that kind of flagrant disrespect anymore. I always wondered why this kind of behavior never seemed to bother her husband, but I’ve given up trying to figure any of them out.

      • To me, this is one of the worst aspects of cheating–the public humiliating. Particularly egregious when it involves dancing (of the pick-me variety). When cheaters force you into the pick-me dance in public, and your kids are there to observe it, they show the true colours of their character disorder. The fact that it happened at such a milestone event–wow. Could the guy be a bigger douche?

        Lyn, the only person who ruined your son’s wedding was your POS ex. What he did doesn’t reflect on you in the slightest, but it sure says a lot about him. Like you, I’m so glad I don’t have to endure that kind of flagrant disrespect anymore. In the 20 months since D-Day, I’ve come to see it for what it really is: ABUSE. Never again! Big hugs to you.

        • Thanks Foolmetwice. What I remember is that I cried when we got back to our room that night over his behavior, but I told him I was just tired. He actually hugged me and said I was a good mother. That’s the part that was so confusing, my gut was screaming that something was going on with those two, but then he’d do things like comfort me, which made me doubt my intuition. No wonder I was so depressed!

    • “They don’t lack the knowledge on how not to cheat, they lack the necessary tools – morals, integrity and character – to not cheat.”

      ^^^THIS!^^^

  • “Meals together is such an affair deterrent! Because cheaters NEVER make chumps dine with their affair partners. That just never, EVER happens.”

    My STBX, whom I call Idiotic Twat, actually pulled this number:

    I was working out of town 5 days a week in New Orleans for 12 weeks, which is about 5 hours away from where we lived. When I started traveling, our youngest was only 3 months old.

    We had a great support system in place. Both of my parents live in town (they are divorced), his dad lives in town, his mother lives about an hour away. Also, we are fortunate enough that all of our grandmothers–both his and mine–are retired, in good health, and live less than 20 minutes from our house.

    So, with all of that, I felt confident that we would be just fine with our infant daughter and toddler daughter during the week. I drove the 5 hours home after I got off of work on Friday night each week, and I drove back Sunday night after the girls went to bed around 7pm.

    About 3 weeks into this arrangement, and despite all of the grand-parental help, Idiotic Twat convinced me that we *needed* to hire him some help in the evenings so he could have an extra set of hands to help change diapers, make bottles, give baths, and rock babies. Since I was making an extra $1,000 per week for a travel allowance, but rarely used even half of that, I agreed.

    Of course, he had the extra hands already vetted….

    He told me that she was one of his part time employees. A 21 year old college student trying to make ends meet and needing additional cash. I agreed to pay her $10/hour for 3 hours a night to help him from 5:00pm when he got home from work until 8:00pm, when the babies would be asleep.

    What I didn’t know was that I was paying this 21 year old girl to play house in MY house, rock my babies to sleep, screw my husband, and then sleep in my bed.

    When I found out several weeks into their little plot after finding text messages, Idiotic Twat gaslighted and said it was only emotional–no sex involved. After separating for a few weeks, we reconciled. But, I did tell Idiotic Twat’s boss of the situation and I emailed The Baby Sitter’s fiancé, who lived about an hour away, and apprised him of the situation. The Baby Sitter quit soon thereafter and moved in with her fiancé.

    Ironically, two years later, when handing over my personal computer to a forensics examiner because Idiotic Twat stole company documents and took them to a competitor because his boss demoted him when she found out he was sleeping with yet ANOTHER employee, the examiner returned the computer to me, and had found files with pictures confirming that Idiotic Twat had a sexual relationship with The Baby Sitter. Luckily, I had already filed for divorce, because I, too, knew about his affair with the second employee.

    Ironically because I found their texts on his cell phone.

    Moral? Delete your damn text history if you’re gonna cheat, you damn idiots…. Or, like, stop trying to find the answers to your marital problems in another woman’s vagina…

    • Oh Kelli! That is just so low! To have you paying your husband’s AP is despicable. My ex pulled some crappy stuff like inviting his coworker, her husband and kids to visit with my kids when I was out of town (AFTER I’d made it clear I wanted nothing to do with this woman and her family). But to abuse your trust like your husband did is just awful, he’s lower than a snake’s belly.

      • Tip of the iceberg, Lyn, tip of the iceberg. There are many stories in many compartments tucked away in my brain that, thankfully, only come out in times like these when triggered by blogs like these.

        I trust he sucks. I trust that I am awesome (in a humble way, of course), and I know that I am exponentially better off.

        But, thank you.

        • Like you, Kelli, I only confirmed my narc was cheating while playing marriage police. He was such a great liar and I wanted so badly to believe. Thank God these assholes are so confident in their deception abilities that they don’t delete Facebook/BBM/text messages – at least until they’ve been caught a few times and start to clue in.

  • This article is crazy – I go to conferences a couple of times a year, filled with work dinners, cocktails and hotel stays without my stbxh. With those three together this article makes an affair seem inevitable. Particularly as i had a job, which the author seems to assume is THE place to meet an AP. However did I manage to stay faithful?

    Yet we went on a group holiday where we had all our meals together and he still managed to find time to have sex with one of the other girls on the holiday (I literally left him alone for 2 hours in the afternoon to go souvenir shopping). BUT WE HAD LUNCH TOGETHER AUTHOR!!! How did this happen?

    Integrity. I have it. He doesn’t. Simple as that. Roll on divorce.

    PS. Chump lady, you’re awesome! The only blog I found post d-day that wasn’t feeding me the unicorn myth. It didn’t sit well with me and I’m so glad i found you and everyone else here – hearing all your stories is really speeding my journey to meh!

  • “This affair stuff just creeps up on you! It Just Happens! One day you’re chatting innocently about your spouse’s toenail fungus and failure to listen, and the next you’re booking hotel rooms. It could happen to anyone, so be on ALERT!”

    This seems a common theme in these type of articles. Cheating just happens! Ghandi could cheat! Mother Theresa could cheat! Ghandi and Mother Theresa could cheat with each other! It has nothing to do with character!

  • I love how the article gives those 9 easy steps to affair proof your marriage and then totally contradicts themselves at the end by saying that no marriage is affair proof. Who does that? “Listen to my good advice…it’s totally irrelevant but listen anyway.”

  • I went to dinners, office parties, informal gatherings, etc., with my wife, who didn’t return the favor when it came to my work functions. It didn’t stop her from having a long-term affair with her boss and “lending” him upwards of $200,000. I also, while the affair was going on, did freelance work for the guy at my wife’s suggestion, and attended a course, for which he was one of the instructors, at his and my wife’s place of work. That didn’t stop her banging him. Nor did the fact he’s met our children, or that my wife was “”friends” with his wife, who also went to dinners, etc., and who was actively involved in a related business and in and out of the office frequently.

  • I actually don’t think this is bad advice, so long as it’s directed at potential cheaters and not at betrayed spouses. The advice pretty much boils to down (1) Maintain strong boundaries (2) Communicate and (3) Invest time and emotional energy in the marriage instead of elsewhere.

    Obviously, this advice is useless if you’re talking about someone who is personality disordered but for people who didn’t grow up with examples of healthy relationships and the few unicorns out there who don’t want to be assholes anymore, this could be helpful.

    • Lulu, cheaters have no boundaries, they communicate through sexing, and they could care less about anyone’s emotional needs. It’s about the thrill. They don’t spend a lot if time reading, unless it’s to go on craigs list or booking a hotel.

  • Ooh…two triggers in today’s post. The term “Work spouse,” and asking your chump to socialize with your crush.

    My ex had a boss who very proudly claimed that he was her “work husband.” She was his boss for about 10 years, and called our house in the evenings to discuss her sex life with him (so professional). Should she keep dating the guy she had great sex with? Or should she go out with the nice guy that’s more boring in the sack? Did I mention she wore tight red leather pants to work but complained her male coworkers didn’t respect her as an equal? Sometimes my husband would come home from a business trip and announce they had practiced their presentation in her hotel room. Apparently when I get upset about this behavior there’s something wrong with me. I’m just “too jealous and insecure.” I learn to stuff my emotions because expressing them gets me nowhere.

    Enter coworker affair number two. She moves down the street from us and proceeds to do extra-curricular activities with my husband as I’m driving OUR kids around to different after school activities. Gosh, I wouldn’t expect him to wait at home because he might get bored. Although he hates shopping with me, he shops with her to buy Christmas gifts for ME and the kids. Isn’t that sweet? As I get increasingly worried about this relationship, I tell my husband I’m not comfortable socializing with this woman and her husband any more. Does that stop his behavior? No, it just goes underground. He starts meeting her to discuss work projects at her house, but I’m not aware of this. Gosh, we wouldn’t want her to have to hire a babysitter when her kids are sick, would we? Not that my husband ever took off to help out with our kids when they were sick. No sirreee, that was MY responsibility.

    Anyway, nothing will stop a cheater when they’re determined to have an affair. What I wish I’d have done is had stronger self-esteem and the ability to support myself. Then I wouldn’t have put up with this for so long. I’d have realized I deserved better.

    • Lyn, every day without a cheater builds self esteem. You deserve better now. It’s never too late to do all the things you couldn’t do while living with an asshole. I got my degrees one or two courses at a time later in life with three children at home. Look at all the hard work you have been doing. Chumps are not lazy we used our energy on the worthless cheaters rather on ourselves. Every step you take from now on to better your situation will take that mightiness out if hibernation. We have something the character disordered lack, life skills. Yes, while they focus on lying and cheating we were building character.

    • One lesson from being chumped: when I feel uncomfortable about my partner’s contact with another woman, there’s a reason. And if he doesn’t listen to my feelings and change his behavior, I need to levy the consequence. I can’t make a man give up another woman, but I can make him live without me.

  • Yes, affairs are accidents. And accidents can be prevented if only we’re not silly and careless.

    Leave a banana peel unattended on the floor and you get a slip-and-fall. Leave a vulnerable spouse unattended in your marriage and you get, what? A slip and f*ck?

    Affairs are not accidents, they’re choices. And we don’t control the choices other people make.

    It’s not complicated unless you want it to be.

    • Love this^^^ “a slip and f*ck”. I needed this laugh today!

      He made his choices by f*cking his whore. Plain and simple. It’s not complicated. Agreed.

  • Mine had me accept her friend request on Facebook because he just knew I would get a kick out of her humor and idiotic antics! Little did I know it was a foolproof way for those two to know what and where I was all the time! Also, what I thought was innocent chatting about out terrific husbands was just a way for her to figure out his likes and dislikes and have some background on how to reel him in! I was so damn stupid and it makes my blood boil to think about how sleazy and sneaky this skank really is!!

    • No Roberta you are NOT stupid. X’s whore taunted me for no reason. They are creatures to take pride in hurting others. Neither one of us could be THAT.
      You have dignity and class. This intimidates them because they will never have either.

      • Thanks Donna, I just look back and could kick myself for a lot of the things I did, but I just never could have imagined this shit was going on! If I had it to do over again I would have questioned some of those things, but who knew? Certainly not me! And yes, she loved taunting me once I was aware of the affair! I wonder where they are deriving their jollies from now since they both got dumped by the faithful spouses. I would imagine it’s not so much fun anymore for them!

  • If they had morals, they wouldn’t be cheaters. It’s as simple as that. They didn’t accidentally cross the line they made a conscience choice to cross the line. In cases like with my cheater, repeatedly!

    1. Address problems with your partner. I attempted this on many occasions and was either ignored, told I was trying to create drama in our relationship or told he would make more effort which he of course never did.
    2. Be involved in your partner’s life. He stopped including me in his work events, not that I was included much anyway. He just didn’t tell me about them or lied about where he was.
    3. Watch out for that 2nd or 3rd cocktail. Since he picked up random women in bars, I’m sure he always had more cocktails with them first – especially when he’s charging it to his company!
    4. Be honest with yourself. Right. Honesty is what a cheater values.
    5. Keep the home fires stoked. Yeah…why didn’t I feel desired when cheater came up behind me and rubbed his d!ck against me? Must be my fault.
    6. Don’t air dirty laundry. Hmmm, if you’re following #1 and #4, you really shouldn’t have any dirty laundry to air. But sometimes cheaters make up dirty laundry just so they can get what they want.
    7. Step away from secrets. Again see #4. Cheaters love their secrets. It makes them feel powerful.
    8. Keep work relationships 9 to 5. LOL! Cheater did exactly what CL said – arranged his ho worker fuck fests during office hours in the office, in the car, at an hourly motel, and anywhere else that he could. When he was home, he had to catch up on his work and used the excuse that he was just swamped at work.
    9. Beware of crossing the line. Why? That’s exactly what they want to do.

    Like I said, if they had morals, they wouldn’t be cheaters!

    • #8–yes, Cheaterssuck, mine, too. Home for dinner every night, called if running 15 minutes late, date-night every Saturday, took the dogs to the creek every Sunday. But, lots of sex can apparently be fitted into an academic schedule 9-5.

    • What truly aggravated me about this “advice” is that it includes so much of the cheater playbook. They know they have to devalue the spouse/partner in order to cheat. They need alone time with their AP targets, so they stay away from home or hide their activities. These are not warning signs–these are tactics by which they conduct affairs. They don’t want to affair-proof their marriages; they are entitled to the excitement, novelty, and sense of power that cheating creates.

  • The go to line for people who got nothing better to say, or who can’t own their own sh*t is “sexless marriage”.

    It’s another weak excuse for crappy decisions. That’s all it will ever be.

  • The Cliff Note version of “Affair Proofing” your marriage: give up ALL of your own interests, career, ignore the children as necessary, greet your spouse in stripper-wear when he/she comes home (and consider installing that stripper pole), do not confront them on their bad behavior, accept their criticisms of you & vow to change, whitewash your own identity, devote yourself to your spouse’s pleasure 24/7, and THEN, maybe THEN he/she won’t cheat.

    OR, since you are no longer an interesting person in your own right (having done all of the above), he/she will cheat because you are boring.

      • Whitewash your own identity. This is so true Tempest! And in the end they create a new identity narc style. After the discard I asked him, “what ARE you”? Evidently he didn’t know. It was right there in front of me for 41 years. X is a serial cheating, whore fucking. Pathological lying, alcoholic, pot smoking, porn addicted, wannabe drummer, limp dick, entitled, blame shifting, asshole to the core. My blinders were very thick. Now X gets to keep that package. I have detached!!!

          • Haha, yes this triggered me today. That is what I divorced. And I knew all these years he cheated and just kept trying harder.

  • TOTALLY off-topic, but OMG…watching Family Feud right now: Top 7 Answers on the board, “Name something a husband wouldn’t want his wife to give him?”

    #1 Answer: Crabs/Disease!!!
    #2 Answer: Divorce

  • I’m not that opposed to this list. Only #5 bothers me, because it’s typical chump-blame (lack of sex/novelty, so your spouse will cheat).

    But aside from #5, the others are just tips to the would-be cheater. I call these tips “common sense.” It’s common sense not to form an emotional attachment to a coworker. It’s common sense to have boundaries.

    But, cheaters don’t have common sense; ergo, the author is trying to give them VERY simple instructions to use in place of common sense. It’s like the author is talking to a 3-year-old.

    People with poor character are capable of cheating. So, the article (primarily) addresses those individuals. I wouldn’t call it “affair proofing,” per se…as poor characters manage to find a way to cheat even when they’re happy as clams. But, I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world to remind sh** people that they make sh** decisions due to their weaknesses and selfishness.

  • Besides the obvious flaws in this article, I hate that the general assumption is that the cheater is making the marriage a happier place to be. My ex marriage had a lot of ups and downs and while exhole was cheating I was utterly miserable and I couldn’t figure out why.

    He was not doing ANYTHING to ‘make deposits in my love bank”; unless of course you include the occasional awesome 30 seconds of selfish sex I got. Without any romance or kissing. I did not cheat. By the time I figured out what was going on, I definitely wanted a divorce but I never cheated.

    If the marriage sucks, it doesn’t only suck for the cheater! I have never heard a betrayed spouse say how awesome their marriage was when their cheater was having an affair or how wonderful the cheater was before they cheated. They all tend to be selfish, entitled cowards with either a hint or a lot of narcissism added in. By their logic and the logic of all these “affair proof wing-nuts” wouldn’t the betrayed/hurt spouse have all the reason in the world to cheat??!!

    I’ve never understood that logic and I never will.

    • Well I didn’t get love it respect so shouldn’t I have been the one out fucking around ?

  • I have as much antipathy for the idea of “affair-proofing” as anyone here, but I have to say that – with a few exceptions – this article is actually better than most. What I mean is that most of the time I hear of “affair-proofing” from the perspective of what you can do to keep your partner from straying. Make sure her needs are met, or else she’ll go somewhere else to meet them, or some such thing. I can’t stand that stuff.

    But this article seems more focussed on advising people to set appropriate boundaries in their relationships so that *they* don’t cheat. Some of the items, like number 5 in particular come from the opposite, more noxious direction, but most of them actually seem like good advice.

    I don’t think it’s hard not to have an affair, but then again, you’d be amazed at how not obvious some of this boundary stuff is to some people. I don’t think I’d want to be involved with someone for whom such discretion was not obvious, but it doesn’t change the fact that some people legitimately have to be taught how to keep good boundaries.

    While I hate the term, if “affair-proofing” means setting a hedge around yourself to keep yourself from straying, then it can be valuable. If it means you setting a hedge around your spouse to keep them from straying… good f-ing luck.

    • Agreed, Mike. This article is better than most. It’s most about affair-proofing yourSELF (except tip #s 2 and 5). Some of us don’t need such obvious advice. But others do …
      … whether they take that advice is another matter!

      • It’s most about affair-proofing yourSELF (except tip #s 2 and 5).

        This is one of the problems I have with this article. It jumps back and forth in whom it addresses. One time, the cheater, another time, the chump.

        I’ve noticed this also about articles regarding Emotional Affairs. Of course, it’s easy to close down a friendship of your own. But to close down a friendship of your spouse, not so easy if he/ she is ready to put up a fight. ie “you’re so controlling……”

  • These “tips” are better served for a cheater to read, not a chump. And its common sense stuff, too. But then you remember that cheaters are disordered and would be loathe to do this stuff – so its a moot point.
    What gets my blood boiling about this travesty of an article is the word “may” being thrown around. This is liar-speak for “It won’t work but I’ll spew some random tripe to get idiots hopeful” – you see it all the time when it comes to a lot of new-age psycho-babble stuff.
    If this list was written for chumps, it would be simple: “If your partner is doing or saying things with someone else, which instead should be shared with you, run like hell.”

    • I agree Lania. I was ultra aware of boundaries while I was married. I didn’t go out with co-workers much after work but if I did, I made sure I wasn’t ever alone with the opposite sex. When the crowd left, so did I.

      There was one time that I went out with a group from work to see a baseball game. Most of them were about 10 years younger than me (At the time I was in my mid thirties and they were all mid-late twenties). After he had a little too much to drink, one of the guys tried to kiss me. He was 12 years younger than me and pretty easy on the eyes but it freaked me out regardless. I told him to knock it off; immediately went home and never went out with that crowd again. They were too immature. It was a little awkward at work because I made it clear I wasn’t interested and his ego was a little bruised but he never tried that again and I never put myself in a situation like that again.

      I didn’t need an article on huffpo to tell me what my common sense already knew. Cheaters are going to cheat. The end. They are entitled to their happiness and no one is going to tell them what to do. Most of them would never be inclined to read an article like that anyway.

  • Know what…by the time this “affair proofing” kicks in it is already too late. If people want to cheat they will and having their spouse present for meals with a third party to whom they are sexually attracted only provides kibbles and stokes the interest up.

  • See, this is what pisses me off about these articles and blogs. They take what COULD be good marital advice and turn it into a way to shame the chump. Like you do all of these things perfectly and you’ll NEVER get cheated on!

    Bullshit, the truth is you could do all of these things and still get cheated on. These things won’t magically create a barrier around your spouse’s genitals when they go outside. The problem with this stuff is it is predicated on the idea that you can control what your spouse does with YOUR actions. You could be doing everything on this list and the only person’s actions you’re controlling are yours.

    And the worst part of it all is these are nice things you can do in a marriage. It IS nice to ask your spouse to come to dinner with you. It IS good to maintain boundaries with your co-workers. It IS smart to know your alcohol limit. And yes, if you have to keep a friendship secret from your spouse, it’s likely that there is a big problem. You should never keep your friendships secret from your spouse.

    But be that as it may, it doesn’t “affair proof” you.

    • Free Vixen…

      …that’s a familiar painting in your profile image. What is it? Do you happen to live in Colorado?

  • Interestingly I was the one who was always trying to have those conversations where problems/concerns/issues could be addressed. Ex didn’t like those conversations. They made him uncomfortable (because he would have actually had to deal with shit) and felt ‘attacked’. Then it turns out he sort of expected me to GUESS if he was unhappy, why he was unhappy, and what I could do to solve it. I only got that memo after I kicked him out. Luckily Final OW is on the job and she’ll make everything right in his world. 🙂

  • Yesterday, I made an appointment with a new therapist, to help me get trough the emotional turmoil. (The one I saw last year after D-Day was more interested in understanding my STBX than helping me).
    I exposed my situation during half an hour. And then she spoke. Her first sentence: “What was it in your marriage that was not nourishing enough ?”
    I instantly felt I had lost 55 euros, and went home with tears in my eyes.

    • ChumpFromF, You’ll find a better therapist, do phone interviews first, I did many of those before finding a therapist that was any good.

    • Chump From F, you should have said “my whore of a husband, that’s what’s not nourishing.”. They cater to the cheaters to keep the money rolling in.

  • The “keeping a “friendship” secret” tip is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. Yeah, you just accidentally forgot to tell your spouse about the that new friend you made. Listen up, tell your spouse about that friend and save your marriage! Keeping a friend secret is hard work in a marriage, it’s not an accident. And of course when your spouse finds out, don’t forgot to insist that you are “just friends” with the person and accuse your spouse of being controlling when she wants to meet this friend…

    • There does come a point in which that new “friend” will refuse to stay in that “box” you provided for him / her……. and will bite your partner in the butt.

  • How many of us have palled up with a co worker of the opposite sex and began meeting for lunch, confiding, texting and meeting up away from work in all innocence with the last thing on our minds being that an affair might start. All we need to do is not be secretive, invite our spouse to join us and make sure our marriage comes first.
    That is not how it works. Our cheaters were not little innocents who just stumbled from a chat at the water machine into a fully functional and full blown affair. All along the way they made decisions. Some of them had done it before.
    I hope that OW he is now with has affair proofed their set-up as I heard from my daughter that a younger and junior female colleague called him up on his phone when she was there. The woman was being treated for a serious illness and ex was supporting her in an innocent bossly kind of way. He was even riding his motorbike to meet up for coffee with her.
    Another retired ex colleague lady keeps in regular touch and has him visit for tea and cake while discussing mutual problems. I guess OW knows her as well and sometimes joins them – no risk.

  • I came across your site chumplady.com from Google search, and found your site is not rank on Google page #1 for some of important “buying-intent” keywords. Do you want to have your site chumplady.com get found on Google #1 page for some profitable keywords?

    I have written and prepared the SEO step by step report specifically for your site chumplady.com for you, and you can get it for 100 free of charge now. It’s super easy to follow. You don’t need to have any knowledge in SEO to rank your own site now.

    You can claim your report for free here if you want – http://www.zennetsecrets.com/seo/?domain=chumplady.com

    Thank you,
    Steven Tan
    SEO Coach & Consultant

  • >