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Dear Chump Lady, My therapist wants to know how I caused my husband to cheat

shrinkDear Chump Lady,

I just finished reading your book. Your words about using caution when finding the right therapist were life changing for me. I found out after 24 years of marriage that my husband had been having an affair for over a year. In the many counseling sessions I have attended since D-Day, I found my self getting worse instead of better. I would wonder why I felt enraged after every session. Was something wrong with me? Was I crazy?

Then I read your book and it as if the clouds parted and I could see. As your book mentioned, if my husband had pushed me down the stairs, people would not be asking me what I may have done to cause myself to be pushed. And yet for over a year I had been seeing therapists who asked me to spend a lot of time thinking about what I may have done that pushed him towards cheating. One therapist even suggested that my husband may have been struggling with depression at the time and being mad at him over depression would be like being mad at him for having diabetes. What? Some of this therapy hurt me worse and made the recovery more difficult.


Dear Jones,

You’re not alone. One sad motif on this blog are the vast numbers of chumps who got the victim-shaming shrinks.

I’d like to take this moment to ask chumps about their D-Days. Folks, when you discovered you’d been betrayed, and the bottom fell out of your world, your marriage was at an all-time low, and you were nearly paralyzed with depression — was your first response to go fuck another person?

No? But you had EVERY EXCUSE! Clearly your spouse didn’t love you! You were depressed! Your marriage SUCKED!

But you didn’t blow your boss, did you? No, you danced furiously to save your marriage, didn’t you? You booked those shrink appointments and bought 50 infidelity books on Amazon. You asked yourself what you did to be so unlovable and how you could change.

Now then, cheaters — let’s say for the sake of argument — were confronted with the same stressors: depression, lack of love, sucky marriage — so why didn’t THEY dance furiously, book shrink appointments, and ask themselves how they could change?


This is fucking common sense, therapists! I’ll say it again — we don’t MAKE people hurt us. You no more made someone cheat on you than you made them shove your head through a plate-glass window. I’m sorry, you were irritating me with your Donald Trump memes… I had to hit you. Look, you might seriously be irritating. You did NOT make that person HIT you. They CHOSE to hit you. That was their crappy response to perceived irritation. Should you stop sending Donald Trump memes? Perhaps you should. BUT THAT WON’T PROTECT YOU FROM BEING HIT. Next it will be the way you cook oatmeal, or part your hair, or parent your children. Until the abuser’s ENTITLEMENT to hit (cheat) is addressed, the “provocations” are moving goal posts.

Here’s an example of this horse shit someone sent me this morning, from “AH Resources.”

Perhaps one of your greatest challenges in the recovery process will be accepting your own responsibility for the past condition of your marriage. I am in no way suggesting that the affair was your fault. It wasn’t. However, if you hope to enjoy a restored (and, perhaps, improved) intimate connection with your spouse, you will need to recognize your own missteps in the dance of your marriage.

The affair isn’t your fault, except that it is. We only ask people to “accept responsibility” for things that ARE THEIR FAULT. Otherwise, why mention it?

I’m not saying that meteor hit was your fault. I’m by no means suggesting that 700 burnt acres and that crater had anything to do with you. But one of your greatest challenges in the recovery process will be accepting your own responsibility for the condition of your planet.

Yes, if you’d only practiced better forest management, that meteor would never have obliterated Caldwell County.

Jones, you didn’t really ask me a question, but you did give me an opportunity for this public service announcement. We Don’t Make People Cheat On Us. It’s on THEM.

Thank you.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Amen!

    Thankfully, as I’ve posted before, I had/have a wonderful therapist and there was no blaming the victim….and this was even before I’d learned of the infidelity.

    These therapists HAVE to have learned about personality disorders, they HAVE to know there are wolves in sheeps clothing walking around with the rest of us. If they can’t wrap their minds around that then they’re bad at their job and I would be inclined to tell them exactly why I’ll no longer be seeing them.

    Good luck out there chumps, there’s way too much victim blaming going on.

    • Very true TheBetterJamie. Many don’t have any education at all when it comes to Personality Disorders. Over the past year or so I have been doing loads of reading books and the internet about Personality Disorders and now how people act makes so much sense to me now.

      It’s so sad that still today 2015 and now getting near to 2016 that so many people (therapist or not) don’t have any education in Personality Disorders. There needs to be some ground roots program in basic school and/or High School and even Higher Level Education that everyone single person in the world must take so our young people can have a better understanding and also to have health boundaries to stop this type of abuse. Something needs to be done to help the younger generation.

      • “There needs to be some ground roots program in basic school and/or High School and even Higher Level Education that everyone single person in the world must take so our young people can have a better understanding and also to have health boundaries to stop this type of abuse. Something needs to be done to help the younger generation.”

        YES!! I don’t believe that enough parents teach their children that they are responsible FOR themselves as well as having a responsibility TOWARD others. If more people practiced this principle, so many of our problems would be greatly reduced, and in some cases, even eliminated completely.

        Unless any of us was holding a GUN or a KNIFE to our cheater, the decision to cheat was solely on THEM.

        • I agree, I just don’t know how we do something like that on such a large scale.

          I think church used to be the common ground where you learned about right & wrong and what is & isn’t moral but, as we know, evil finds its way through those doors and sometimes into positions of power there, too. There really is no safe place, aside from here at CL. That’s until the trolls come lurking….but at least we have the ability to squash them when they kick up dust.

          • Trying to do my part–I teach about 200 students per year in a class in which it is directly relevant to discuss narcissism and its effect on relationships in the family & work place (+ how to avoid the losers). It has become a key component of that class (including Tracy’s piece on how infidelity is emotional abuse). Let’s hope it saves one person per semester, or two, or three.

            • Nice job Tempest, so glad to have you teach the young people the truth. When I look back on my MC with ex, I am shocked that the therapist did not mention narcissism; I think she was fooled by his sensitive, tearful, seemingly thoughtful quiet intelligence fueled by his sad story of how mommy didn’t love him. Therapists are trained, in general, to be client-centered, compassionate, to have empathy; so there may need to be a significant number of sessions before they see the narcissism. Sometimes therapists are new to the field and lack experience, or perhaps something was lacking in their master’s program. IDK. Personality disorders are taught, as well as all of the DSM disorders but who knows…

              I guess we could diss on therapists all day and I agree that any therapist worth their salt will see infidelity for what it is and NEVER blame the cheated-on. To even remotely insinuate it’s the cheated-on’s fault speaks I think to a large cultural problem – to the “find happiness at all costs” mentality that is widely prevalent, and of course to a plethora of dysfunction that is widespread in the world, e.g., “I was driven to it because the marriage was already over,” and on and on with the endless justifications for bad and immoral behavior.

              Blaming the cheated on is like blaming the rape or sexual assault victim. There has been a tremendous shift in not blaming victims of these crimes and that is something I have witnessed in my lifetime (not perfect, but good shifting). As we begin to shift our understanding of infidelity and when we begin to understand it as abuse, I am hopeful that a shift will also occur.

              I do my part on an individual basis to educate people on how infidelity EQUALS abuse and I don’t think one person on this site could argue that they did not feel it on that level.

              • My wife cheated 15 years ago, and we reconciled and thinks are excellent.

                The thing is people are imperfect. If someone cheats once and has been a good wife they deserve a second chance. If they continue to cheat or cheat again. Get yer butt out of the marriage. A new marriage is not the answer because the new person can cheat too.

                The fact is that both people cause one partner to cheat, SOMETIMES. I was engaging in various unloving ways to my wife. Am I at fault for her cheating, heck no.

                But the truth is I contributed. Yes she reacted in an immature way, but I gave her little choice.

                Love is about forgiveness. Giving someone a second chance is love. I read all chump ladies stuff, and it’s funny, but it does not pertain to all marriage.

                Chum ladies spouses sound like total losers from the getgo. I Hope her radar has improved when picking her fourth spouse.

                My wife was always a good wife and after her parents death, she went a little nuts, feeling old such. She’s over it, and has proved it many times.

                I am glad I reconciled.

              • JT, I’m happily married, thanks. The first two did turn out to be duds, yes. But like most people I made the best decision with the information I had available. I didn’t know then what i know now. Disordered people don’t come with forehead stamps. The losers were gainfully employed and educated.

                What makes you think 99.9% of the people here didn’t give cheaters second, third, or fifteenth chances?

                Nice of you to come to a support site and trumpet your exceptionalism for trying harder. (That was sarcasm.)

            • // , Does anyone have a few “fidelity positive” therapists they can recommend?

              The sort who might have taken this class?

              *hums: making a list, checking it twice…*

              • Um, no. Fuck this guy.
                Lots to say on that but first – I want you to know who this is coming from. I’ve been merely a lurker on this site, and I’ve reconciled with my cheating partner, and things have been good, and no he hasn’t cheated since (no contact with AP who was about as cruel as those you’ve all encountered, we moved to a place where there’s a smaller social circle for us where it’d be harder for him to get away with it, and we work together now – so yes, I’m sure). Only a couple of people in my life know, which was only out of necessity and unavoidable, so I’ve chosen to go it alone for the most part. I’ve always thought there were two categories of pain when you’re trying to get over being cheated on and staying with someone who hurt you like that – there’s the pain of terror over the possibility of it happening again, and then there’s the pain of what has already transpired, trying to deal with that existing hurt. While I can’t say with certainty that I trust him again, the latter kind is what I struggle with still. I am not healed, and I will never credit his shitty actions for getting our relationship to a better place. It was not necessary and I will never be happy that happened to me, so I’m with you guys on that one. Our relationship was no more flawed than the average one in which cheating isn’t done, but there were outside influences (grief, namely) that made life very hard at the time, and he was not happy – couldn’t really expect him to be. But I expected him to be faithful and never imagined he could do that to me.
                Anyway, since no one knows and that’s very isolating (especially in a culture that glorifies shit-behavior), I use CL and another site more reconciliation-oriented. I get different things out of each, even if it’s something as simple as “it’s not your fault”. I strongly disagree with a lot of what I see here, not that I doubt your experiences, just that they are different from mine and others possibly in fundamental ways and therefore I see a lot of judgement in the generalizations about reconciliation.
                So, coming from someone who is surely skeptical about some statements on here, who is happy with the partner they’re trying to forgive –
                It was only such an undereducated, falsely superior, condescending comment in which you applied your own personal experience to everyone else’s that truly annoyed me enough to speak up. I’ve been tempted before, but didn’t, and yet here am I now. Whether people are divorcing or trying to work it out with someone who actually repents, those of us who have suffered the indelible scars of betrayal get enough judgement from an ignorant, blame-shifting society without needing to hear it from a fellow survivor. I don’t belong to that narrative, about how we need to improve ourselves enough so that we can prevent being fucked over, or that it’s just as important that we atone for some real or perceived wrongs we committed that could have contributed to his thinking it was okay to cheat. To me, post-affair, my flaws and behavior may bear a valid relevance to how we can have a good relationship in general. But you know what, it really has no place in the discussion of his cheating. No one is the perfect partner, and similarly troubling offenses (on his part) were not met with cheating. Not even cheating was met with cheating.
                People buy into this concept because it’s the just world fallacy. People would rather believe that if something awful happens to someone (particularly, something that for all they know could happen to them though of course they won’t fully admit it), that there must have been missteps taken on the victim’s part that lead them to be victimized, and even deserve it. I can promise anyone who thinks that way:
                No one here deserved what their current or ex-partner did.
                No relationship or marriage is perfect, and for the majority of us there were no tell-tale issues that set us apart from those typical, lovely but flawed relationships. Except for maybe a personality disorder on part of unrepentant cheaters described on this site.
                We all know the long-lasting impact of cheating, and most of us wouldn’t do it to our worst enemy. There is no reason that forgetting to take the trash out or making more money than him deserved cheating. The false equivalency between cheating and pre-affair complaints is so great that they cannot be logically connected. Even in reconciliation, most therapists will stress that this is going to be centered around the betrayed’s recovery and that there needs to be a healthy distance between the pain of being cheated on and the clarification of the straying partner’s needs and hurt feelings.
                So going on a support site in which most of the members are better off without those partners and trying to move towards a new life without them, especially after many tried to reconcile, and tell them they needed to own THEIR wrongs and might have been better off had they committed to it the way you did, is infuriating. Their situations are entirely different but even if they were remotely comparable to yours, you CANNOT assume anyone could benefit from the advice of correcting themselves for being so unlovable as to not deserve faithfulness after their souls were ripped out. It hurts to be changed by something that someone else decided to do. It takes two people to have an affair…the cheater, and the AP.

          • My cheating asshat quit the first Christian marriage counselor, because he caught onto him (finally). Soooo – chumpy me reluctantly agreed to try another one. The second asked the cheating asshat to bring me a psych evaluation checklist, so he could determine what was wrong with ME. He asked cheater pants if I had any already diagnosed psych issues, because he read that I was going to IC. He wanted to call my personal/individual therapist to get the DSM codes aka my “crazy codes.” Wtfh? He hadn’t even seen ME or talked to ME yet! He’d only met with the cheater fuckwit once!

            And the third and FINAL therapist got pissed off at me for absolutely refusing to accept any responsibility for the “problems in the marriage keeping us stuck.” The problem was the asshat and his wandering dick. Again, WTFH? I was shaking and crying, because I was so angry and frustrated at him trying to push blame in my direction. He said, “you need to put on your big girl pants or you and your husband are going to stay stuck.” OMG. He. Did. Not. I was all like excuse me you fucktwit? I stood up and told him he was one of the worst therapist on the planet and I should report him for malpractice. He wasn’t worth my time AND just for the record, neither was that cheating bastard I used to call my husband.

            Shitty ass therapists. Most of the ones I’ve had or heard about simply help these sick cheating fuckers to abuse you even more. It’s criminal. WE weren’t “stuck.” He was a cheating, lying POS who detonated a bomb on my ass (and our kids too) and I was just trying to collect some of the pieces and hold it together for God’s sake even if I wasn’t doing it very well.

            I urge anyone to stop going to any therapist or marriage counselor who tries to blame shift or make you, the betrayed spouse, accountable for ANY of the cheating fucker’s nonsense. The whole thing nearly killed me. Banging my head against a wall for months and months, therapist after therapist…..don’t do what I did. It only serves to help the cheating fuckticks abuse you and hurt you more with that horrific twisty mindfuckery. Kicking his cheating ass to the curb was a far better method for getting unstuck. Now I just have to STAY unstuck, because once I threw down, he totally “changed” his tune, and as hard as it is – but I’m just not buying it.

            • Chumpedup, what an absolutely shaming trauma you endured. I am very sorry that happened to you. And I am in awe of your power and intuition that said, F you to the therapist, stood up (I had a great visual of your mightiness) and getting the hell out of there. I am glad you had the strong mental wherewithal to know the truth about your situation. And anyone who says “put on your big girl panties….” ugh, how unprofessional is that.

            • // , Who were these therapists? It would be wise to seek out therapists who are “fidelity positive”.

          • // , Even aside from right and wrong, a brief introduction to basic Logic could give young students tools to draw their own conclusions.

            Give a man his morals, and he has morals for a day. Teach a man to observe and apply sharp judgement, and he can catch himself morals for life.

        • I’ve always wondered why they don’t teach ethics and logic in any level of school. It should be required. After all, these are the basics of human decency.

          • My son actually did learn about personality disorders in a genetics unit in 8th grade science. He pointed out his dad’s narcissism very early on. It was mostly scientific and not relational but it’s a start.

          • // , We had a lot of serious logic and philosophy courses where I was taught.

            Mind you, “close your eyes, and imagine, what if this room didn’t actually exist? What if it’s all a dream?” this was NOT.

            “As modus ponens, does the following argument contain FORMAL fallacies?

            If P then Q
            Therefore Q”

            This is actually the source, I suspect, of the “P’s and Q’s” in the old “Mind your P’s and Q’s” saying:

            I was surprised, when I tried a stint in “normal” school, that informal, syllogism Logic was not a fundamental part of every student’s curriculum. There wasn’t even a section in Boolean logic in Mathematics class!

      • I so agree.

        I’ve lived in our town for a very, very long time. 3 generations of my family went through our high school (my son is in the midst now). I do not know when this started, but, there is a required Financial Responsibility course that is mandatory for Juniors, which I totally applaud.

        I am an acquaintance of the school psychologist, so I might just ask her this upcoming year about the prospect of such a class. I think it is JUST as important as financial responsibility ….

    • TBJ, I too was lucky, no victim blaming from my therapist either. I have a hunch that my therapist is a fellow chump, except her ex walked away from her and the kids without a backwards glance. I asked her once what my faults were in the marriage and her response was that I lacked boundaries. None of this, you didn’t put out enough, you didn’t iron his shirts, etc, just that I wasnt taking care of me by setting boundaries, and she is right.

      As for learning of personality disorders, I had to know a good part of the DSM 4 when I took college level psych classes. I am almost positive that therapists would be required to know the DSM when they go through school. I can’t imagine they wouldn’t be trained in using it as I’m pretty sure it is the bible of the profession. I’m willing to bet it has much more to do with character flaws of the therapists. We live in a very selfish society. I wonder how many of these therapists are cheaters themselves or chumps who have learned to spackle well.

      • In fact, anytime I tried to blame myself, something I am very good at, she would stop me and tell me that I am too hard on myself.

        Many of us chumps were conditioned by narc parents to take the blame. I am one of them. I am very good at putting myself last. She is working on that with me and I am in turn working with my children on being kind, generous and thinking of others, while simultaneously making sure their needs and boundaries are being respected. Their biggest lessons come in dealing with their controlling narc father.

        • HeHid, I too tried to assign my own responsibilities in the dissolution of my marriage and my therapist told me any flaw I may have had nothing to do with why my ex cheated, withdrew and then abandoned his marriage & family. It’s as if I really wanted to own my part, being able to place some blame on myself felt very realistic to me.

          He did tell me that my biggest flaw is “taking strays home”. He said it’s fine to care about people and to want to help them but I have to stop thinking they’re worth dating. Seems obvious but apparently I struggle with this idea. Lol.

        • Now that my STBX moved across the country to live with his affair partner, I’m working to “undo” some of the damage done – to our son.

          His treatment of me is sometimes similar to how his Dad (STBX);treated me. There is a sense of entitlement – often. However, our son has genuine empathy and knows right from wrong. He, by choice hasn’t ever tried drugs. He sipped wine on his 21 St birthday — but said, “Yuck! Alcohol vis NOT for me”.: I think in time, I can train his Narc FLEAS out of his mindset.

          I hope he grows up to be healthier than both his parents! :o)

      • Your therapist sounds like a good one, but.I do question one thing. I’m not saying we are perfect. However, why is it our job to set up boundaries in a loving marriage between two normal adults? (assuming normalcy here, which is a leap, I know)

        My wife did not have to set boundaries for me. I just tried to treat her as I hoped to be treated. Had she simply done the same, I would still be the happiest guy around.

        I know it is something that has to be done when the stuff hits the fan. But if I had known I would need to set up and enforce boundaries to preclude cheating, blame-shifting, gaslighting, etc. I just wouldn’t have married her. I don’t think normal people have to do that in the course of a relationship.

        • Amen, ChumpGuy. The setting boundaries thing is horseshit. They know what the boundaries are, because if they didn’t they would not be SNEAKING and hiding. That is your proof right there.

          • I don’t think that you can set boundaries for other people — you set boundaries for yourself. This is acceptable, that is not. Many chumps have a tendency to blame themselves for other peoples problems. We try to spackle over behaviors that are not acceptable to us, and hope that things will get better. We do not see the red flags, and we turn a blind eye to bad behavior.

            I agree that the cheaters know what they are SUPPOSED to do, and that is why they lie and cheat and blame shift. But when we allow them to get away with these behaviors, when we walk on eggshells trying to keep the peace and hope that they will suddenly grow a conscience and start doing the right thing we are not enforcing our boundaries.

            I don’t think any of us would say “I want to marry a liar and a cheater.” Of course they were pulling a con job on us from the very beginning. We thought we were in agreement, but when we find out there was no agreement, or we were lied to, and we do nothing, we have violated our own boundaries. There have to be consequences for bad behavior, and they are certainly not gong to impose those consequences on themselves.

            • I think you hit the nail on the head Portia. I certainly didn’t enforce my boundaries after I found out the ex cheated. I stayed with him for three years, let him say the most ridiculous shit to me and not call him on it, and did I mention I stayed for three years? I was afraid to enforce my boundaries because I was afraid he’d leave me. I think that’s silly now. I mean who cares if a lying, cheating scumbag leaves you? If I would’ve realized that then, I would be 5 years into my new, awesome life.

              • Me, too. I once asked my therapist if i had set enforced boundaries, the marriage would have lasted. He told me no, it just would have broken down sooner as the disordered ever respect others boundaries.

              • I set boundaries early but at year 18 in our marriage my disengaged ex fell in love (lust) with his skank racquetball partner. It’s amazing how alike in stupid they are and every chance they get they will spout off with how miserable they were in their previous marriages. So boundaries didn’t help. They just forced my Cheater ever more underground until he stumbled on an AP who gave him an ultimatum. Leave your wife. Or I will tell. Either way she had him. I wasn’t up for sloppy anything.

            • Well said, Portia. My responsibility lies in not setting boundaries. I stayed ‘reconciling’ for five, deeply humiliating abusive years.
              Thank you for that comment Arnold. It is a massive help for me. To be honest? I think I ‘polyfilla’ed’ (British for spackle) because I instinctively knew this.
              I really must forgive myself and know that I was managing it to the best of my ability as a SAHM of small children.

        • See hope49 s comments below. What my therapist was saying is that I didn’t see the red flags in the beginning. Well, actually I saw them, but I have been conditioned by my own narc mom to not trust my instincts. I didn’t set up healthy boundaries initially which led me to enter into an unhealthy marriage where over time my voice was acknowledged less and less.

          One that is ringing a bell right now, my ex told me when we were dating “don’t try that crying stuff HeHid, I have sisters and that stuff doesn’t work on me”. Spackler and people pleaser that I am I quickly assured him that I am not a crier anyways so he has nothing to worry about. Looking back I now see that he was testing me to see how much I would stand up for myself and that he was ultimately telling me that I wasn’t allowed to have feelings.

          So, had I been in a healthy loving marriage, my partner would have been looking out for my best interest and my boundaries would have been respected regardless. I wasn’t in a healthy loving relationship though. I was in a controlling, power hungry, emotionally abusive relationship with a narcissistic asshole. Therefore the rules of the game changed significantly.

        • Like CL always says (paraphrasing), if you find yourself trying to explain how to be a decent human being to your adult spouse…it’s already too late and you’re fighting a losing battle.

          • True, I think I have said this before but I used to send my ex articles on thinking errors and articles with bullet points on how to apologize. “He will see the light, I will help him, I will, as you said Scotty, ‘explain how to be a decent human being’…”. What a sick dance that I was dancing and I do think my dancing is worth examining in therapy as “my part.” I am lucky that my personal therapist never blamed me. In fact, she spent a lot of time with me on examining all that I did right.

      • My therapist was a chump, too, HeHid, and has been great at dispelling the “your actions caused your partner to cheat” nonsense.

        Therapists can range from Ph.D.s & Psy.D.s, whose 5-6+ years of training will almost definitely include knowledge of the DSM (though not necessarily in-depth coverage of how to treat Cluster Bs, esp. in a marriage counseling setting). Other therapists may have only 1.5 years of training under their belts. This doesn’t necessarily make them less effective, but it is clear that they cannot have been exposed to as much research or information unless they seek it out themselves.

        • My ex didn’t just have a NPD, he had a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Tried to run rings around the marriage counselor, and wasted our time and money with his games. I think he knew what he was, and enjoyed it.

          • One of my friends is in a psychologically abusive relationship with her husband, a PhD in Developmental Psychology specializing in bullying. Bullying goes beyond his academic interests, as he is an entitled asshole who’s at the very least carried on EAs with former colleagues and grad students. My colleague got access to his online journal, which revealed that he considers her to be a weak person.

            He’s been extremely manipulative with their small child, telling the child about how unstable mommy is, and how they’ll probably have to get a divorce and it’s mommy’s fault, and that mommy doesn’t know her own mind. What’s worse is that he actually wakes the child up to tell her this shit.

            My friend tried to drag him to marriage counseling, but he doesn’t want to go because he’s a PhD and because he has a reputation in his field. In the meantime, he’s also convinced her that she’s worthless and stupid, despite having a degree with good grades in a hard science area that required more math than he’s ever had.

            He is evil.

            • What a sick sick man. Mine tries to manipulate our 6 year old, but he isn’t very intelligent and his attempts are very transparent. Whenever she tells me what he has said I talk her through it so that she can trust her instincts and come to her own conclusions.

              Can your friend get her daughter into counseling? Her father isn’t just setting her up to be mistreated by him, he is setting her up for a lifetime of being bullied and mistreated by those around her.

      • // , Can you recommend the name, or at least the overall Firm or Area, of this therapist?

  • I would report this so called therapist to what ever board he/she is licensed. Don’t let it go. This therapist is unprofessional and unethical to blame the victim for a another grown person’s action. We all have FREE WILL and your spouse is a grown nasty adult and responsible for his actions. You are NOT to blame at all for what they (the cheater) do and their choices. PLEASE for the love of whatever is all mighty report this therapist and don’t brush this under the carpet. Don’t believe for one second what your spouse did as your fault. It is NOT your fault!!!! Mighty hugs. Leave the cheater, report the therapist, and gain a wonderful life. It is so much better on this side-Cheater Free that is! You are mighty and don’t take this shit from the therapist and the cheater.

    • Beth, I do not believe that the therapist is ‘blaming’ the victim. I think what the therapist is essentially saying is that there were likely red flags that the victim ignored or perhaps she spackled and that THAT is a failure to have or maintain boundaries. Let me give you two examples where in my own case I failed to see the red flags and maintain boundaries:

      1) On our second time we got together, my STBXH got pretty intoxicated. He started saying horrible things to me. I was stunned. When he sobered up the next morning I talked to him about it and he just dismissed it and said he was drunk. 2) When he moved in with me 3 years later I learned he had approximately $5,000 in unpaid school loans. He told me that he wanted to declare bankruptcy. I looked at him and said,” I can’t respect you if you do that as $5,000 is not THAT much.” He had just landed a job. So you know what he gave me the checkbook and each month for about 3 years I made monthly payments and paid all the household bills. His outstanding school loans were paid. As soon as that was accomplished he then took back his checkbook and took over his money and the bill paying. Now move ahead 31 years. During that time he had an affair with his secretary, could not and would not save money, declared Bankruptcy once, failed to repay my parents a CHUNK of community debt. Looking back, I should have dumped his ass when he got drunk and spoke to me horribly. Now I was 21 years old and thought , “Poor sausage I’ll just love him lots and work on his issues” I was a GIANT spackler. I believe I win the World Cup in Spackling. Now, I know that verbal abuse is wrong. I let him get away with this when I would have gone ape shit on him if he did it to someone else. I should have really clued into his not wanting to pay the government back for all his school loans and ended the relationship there. There were just SO many things. So many ‘Red Flags’ I failed to assert my boundaries- I understand what that therapist is saying. She is correct.

      • Well, he’s dumb too, because student loans are the one debt which cannot be erased through bankruptcy.

      • Hope49, One thing you need to remember is that you were not there during Jones’ MC sessions. So there is no way to know how things were said to her. I do believe that the therapist was blaming her because I had that some type of treatment from a therapist also and with so many post from CL and others on here it is still going on today. Remember that these cheaters love to the victim and there so many therapist that take the side of the cheater. This is just another form of abuse and there is no way to sugar coat. This is clear abuse of power that the therapist has and this therapist must be reported because I’m sure 100% that Jones was not the only patient that this therapist has blamed. Let’s agree to disagree!

  • I guess I lucked out by finding a great therapist. She has made a world of difference. Thanks to her I spent very little time blaming myself or doing the dance. I have found our sessions to very informative and empowering. These words helped me get past my own self-blame:

    Me: I am struggling with what my part is in all of this. I have no idea what I did wrong…

    Therapist: You’re struggling because you have no part in this. His affair is his to own. It’s not about you.

    • The guy I went to was very good, as well. But, this was for IC, in the aftermath of the discovery.
      I had gone to another one before discovery, trying to figure out why I was so anxious and why my wife seemed to hate me. This therapist must have been pretty perceptive. After I described what was taking place, she asked me to read a book , “After the Affair”. I was perplexed, as the concept of my wife cheating had not entered my mind yet.
      Apparently, what I was describing as the dynamic in my marriage was full of red flags for cheating. I can see that , now. But, back then , this was all new to me.
      Anyway, that woman therapist had it right. She saw it when I did not.
      The guy I went to , after the discovery , was also great. He is one of the people that clued me in on personality disorders. He also told me that a high % of his business was with couples affected by infidelity, When asked about his success rate in keeping couples together, He said about 10% of couples where there has been infidelity remain together.
      None of this Willard Harley bullshit claims about 100% success rate (absurd, eh?).
      Neither of my XWs would go to MC, although I suggested it.

      • Yeah, Arnold, my narc wouldn’t go until I had asked for a divorce 3 times after D-day. Then he behaved like an ass during the session (even though he had asked for MC); MCounselor told me he “wasn’t relationship material.” Duh. The disordered don’t do therapy well.

        • The disordered are almost impossibe to get to therapy, or if they go, they only stay if they can fool the therapist. That is why requiring a formal dx is near impossible and the partnef is often the only one in a positikn to make an asseesment, even if it is a lay one.

      • Totally, Arnold. This is what my IC said to me: Patsy, you and Mr Patsy have taught me a lot about affairs, and about insult to injury. And you, Patsy, have a very high tolerance to insult.
        He also told me later that in his whole practice, reconciliation after infidelity had happened once. Exactly once. And that was because the betrayer would come in session after session and sob. Sob. He GOT what an unbelievably shitty thing it was to have done.

        Once. And this guy is qualified to the wazoo.

    • I have read that narcs need 1 to 2 times individual sessions per week for approximately 3-5 years, consistently, in order to learn how to “manage” symptoms of their disorder with a focus on learning empathy (much like the Asperger client learning social skills), however, they are too good for therapy and reject it almost immediately. My ex went to MC and then to IC for 4 or 5 sessions and then returned one day and said, “I have outgrown her. She used the word ‘intimate’ incorrectly. I’m done.” Ha! It’s funny to look back at this shit.

  • If you recall the UBT post from Handout Boy he stated in his email (blackmail) to his parents “I don’t know what LadyisaChump’s problem is but she definitely has one”. THAT IS THE PROOF THAT I DIDN’T MAKE HIM DO WHAT HE DOES. BTW, he’s currently joined Classmates and is “reconnecting” with a woman from high school. That’s low hanging fruit if there ever was. I guess she doesn’t have that mysterious unnamable problem that I have. 😉

    • yet another commonality cheaters seem to have – HS sweetheart do overs (no pun intended). They must be stuck in their horney teenage years.

      Mine reconnected with a HS ‘friend’ at a reunion long before I discovered his serial cheating. She works at a major airport so he began scheduling his work trip layovers (again, no pun intended) through that airport so he could ‘f’ her while he was there. Yes, low hanging fruit.

      • Yeah, the STBX did the same with me. HS sweetheart do-over. I feel soooo sorry that he had to make do with me instead of the high school schmoopie, what an ordeal it must have been to endure for over 30 years. Guess all those times he told me I was the best thing that ever happened to him should have come with a disclaimer in small print. Oh well, the best thing that ever happened to ME was finding out he was a serial cheater and dumping his *ss. No disclaimer!

    • Oh yeah, Saddam signed up for that, ostensibly to reconnect with old buddies but he found a woman that he had never hung with who was up for an affair. WTF is that about? I find it creepy

      • My second XW’s affair was with her HS boyfriend. Unbelievably, she had cheated on him in HS, when she began banging her soccer coach. He found out and put up a banner on her folk’s front door telling her to “Go Fuck Your Soccer Coach'”
        he was out of the picture for 20 years when she reconnected with him. The idiot was so stupid, he could not see that he was dealing with a sociopath who not only had cheated on him, but was , presently, cheating on her husband and kids.
        I guess he was devastated when she began cheating on him with the married , current HS Boys basketball coach.
        She married the basketball coach about a year ago. Should be interesting to see how things develop.

      • Tempest it just cracks me up every time you refer to your x as Saddam. I need an evil nickname for mine – I can’t even stand using his given name when referring to him. My brother suggested dumb ass but I find that too kind. Any suggestions?

        • My sister renamed her ex dumbass after she dumped him for cheating on her. They divorced 22 years ago so I adopted that name for my serial cheating ex as well. I use dumbass when he ticks me off but mostly I simply call him cheater because he’s not worth the extra effort.

        • I call mine “Pig Fucker” (and have to his face repeatedly). It’s how I have him saved in my contacts on my cell phone and the only way I refer to him ever to anyone anymore except our children.

          • My wise sister suggested “fufucingfucktard” but that’s kinda long. I settle on “Sad Sausage” — with all credit to CL. Works real well on email and cell phone. Be creative! Be bold! Just do it!

            BTW, 2 days out from mediation! Went very well! Thanks to Roberta who was my inspiration!

  • Yes, the “my spouse sucks” line is usually just an excuse. I think CL also mentioned in a previous post that many cheaters actually admit that they were “pretty happy” in their marriages (including sex!) but felt entitled to cheat anyhow.

    Embarrassing story: During our first therapy appt., the therapist started in on the spouse blaming, and it really triggered my anxiety. Keep in mind, I was in the throes of early DDay and was a nervous wreck…couldn’t hold down food, panic attacks, sobbing bouts, already, and this just made it worse. I was barely making it through the session, trying to hold down my food, in a nervous sweat, and even had to run to the bathroom. His assessment? Paraphrasing, he said ‘Well, I can see why he wanted to cheat, you’re so nervous all the time.’ WTF?!?!?!

    I dumped that guy and found two excellent therapists who helped me step out of purgatory. Thank heaven for them.

    • OMG! What an ass!

      Sounds like an excuse my EH would have used by the way.

      Glad that you found others to help you.

      • LiningUpDucks – What a f-ing asswipe!!! That moron is NO better than that asswipe “husband” who cheated! Really?? That dumbass couldn’t even recognize basic symptoms of PTSD?? What a douche!! I wonder what he tells suicidal clients?! “Suck it up – you’re being dramatic!” Stupid!!

        You should have refused to pay that f-er.

        (((hugs, girl)))

        • Thank you, KibbleFree_MightyMe and Lina, for the encouragement! I completely agree, he was an ass, but also partly just not a very good therapist. He likely didn’t have much experience/skill and shouldn’t have been the in professional in the first place. Heaven help all chumps stuck with morons like that.

    • Same THING. Our MC also concentrated on my anxiety. When I revealed that I had MONTHS of calls to the Owhore daily (texts too), he BOUGHT H’s line about “they are just friends”. Annnnddddd.. back to my anxiety. Even encouraged me to go on meds. Which I DID.. chump as I am. He continued to see her behind my back, lie and gaslight me, and overall treat me like SHIT.

      Recently I saw that MC and told him about recent developments.. he was VERY embarrassed and apologetic. I said “Next time when a woman walks into your office and tells you her husband is cheating.. BELIEVE HER”. IDIOT.

      • newchumpatl…… first attempt at a ‘therapist’ before DDay was a female who stated that maybe the 25 year old really did work for him at his company and maybe he doesn’t tell you everything about his work. WOW!
        First off this person was recommended by my own doctor AND was female, which is what I preferred (I thought), thinking that females would understand a female better than a male therapist would. I also felt like she was implying as if I was too suspicious etc. WHAT A JOKE! Of course I did find out later that he was cheating with the 25 y/o (he was 50 at the time).
        After a few other female therapists I went to a male therapist thinking why not! Well, he was the best thing that happened to me! So moral of my story is that it doesn’t matter what the sex of your therapist ends up being, just find one that works for you!

    • Lining Up Ducks….thank you for validating my first therapist experience. She was a shmuck. The second one, who I respect deeply, had only one flaw, in that he loved to call me out during our MC sessions as having an “authoritative tone” that could be construed as “threatening”. Yes, I do speak with conviction, in a deep, mellifluous voice, and with no hesitation. I am seldom at a loss for words. My “timid forest creature” would do the “look, she’s yelling at me again, I’m so threatened….” I think the therapist felt sorry for him, it was the only thing he could come up with that seemed to be on me. The cheating, on the other hand, was completely on HIM. I’m keeping the “tone”. The husband, not so sure about : )

      • But no one would question your authoritative tone if you were a man.

        Mine accused me of talking to him like I would one of my high school students. UBT says he couldn’t handle that I was finally setting boundaries. What they really want are doormats for spouses, but they can’t resist trying to reel in and dominate strong independent partners.

      • Oh HeHidBehindAMask, I got the “tone” thing too. I am Italian: passionate, on the med-high end of the volume dial, (my family members are loud, talk over one another, finish sentences, we are quick, enthusiastic, no feelings ever get hurt; same with my friends). I tried to be more quiet, to adjust my tone, to dial down the volume, to even walk softer (as I got the ‘why do you storm around all the time’), but guess what it didn’t work: still cheated on!

        • Ps, In thinking it over, I was quick and ‘stormed around’ because I was actually the only one scrambling to get the cooking, cleaning, shopping, and tending to kids things done.

          • ChumpB, I think no matter what you are like (and who wouldn’t love a loud, feisty Italian woman?!) the Cheater is always going to have a “problem.” They need to blame us for our “problems” because it allows them the opportunity to Cheat because that’s who they are. My ex was always irritated when * he* wasn’t in the spotlight (he needed kibbles everywhere we went), it bothered him when people paid attention to his family–any one of us, he would pick stupid arguments (ie I would know an answer and he would insist he knew and that I was wrong!) about crap things, was evasive when it came to our future, and deep in his affair (and I was clueless), would tell me to “shut up.” I seriously thought he had a brain cancer. I guess we could call all our Cheaters APs that!!

            • You are so right, they need to blame us. I am slowly getting this but your words of wisdom really do help me.

    • And how many of us chumps had anxiety that started going away the further we distanced ourselves from our cheaters? Of course you’re going to have anxiety when you are being devalued and gas lighted. The whole process is crazy making.

      • It is the worst. One starts doubting one’s sanity and perceptions. Really, these folks are cruel to the max.

  • No, my DDay did not consist of fucking another man. That’s not who I am, but quite honestly, what I did do made me feel less dignified than if I would’ve.
    Because he’s a cowardly pathological liar, I found out about his cheating through the Troll Hobbit ho-worker. And she was very very detailed…it was disgusting and traumatic.
    I screamed, cried, had a panic attack and literally thought I was dying because I couldnt breathe. I broke 75% of the coffee mugs by throwing them at him. I even broke my beloved Keurig by smashing it on the hardwood floor. He was a big coffee drinker…I guess I wanted to kill whatever he loved at that moment, but it hurt me too…those things are pricey!
    Let’s see…piled up his clothes and poured bleach on them, ruining a bit of my bedroom carpet in the process, tossed his rare framed Grateful Dead picture outside, called him every name in the book, and spit in his face (to me that is one of the most disrespectful things in the world). All the while, sobbing and choking back the vomit. I blacked out, went mentally blank, and broke his nose. Seeing the aftermath, I know it happened, but I have no rembrance of actually doing it.
    Looking back, I’m ashamed of my behavior. I’m better than than that. I have more integrity and dignity than to reduce myself to that level. What I did could’ve gotten me arrested or worse, and then what would happen to family? I get sick thinking about how I mentally lost my shit that night and tossed that bastard so many kibbles.

    • FFC,
      I know you might not have meant to but you just gave me the best laugh. Oh, I was so passive when it came to my XH’s stuff I put it on the verandah all neat and tidy the shit that took him months to collect I packed it all in boxes and stored it in the garage.
      When I found out I did not hit him or yell at him or scream or cry, I was numb, I had a pain in my chest like some one had punched their fist in it and pulled my lungs out.
      You broke his nose, that is priceless. Do not beat yourself up for that. You are mighty. This will make me smile for days.

    • Wow, so many things I wish I had done – I was still too worried about being “nice” and “fair” to my cheater. It was immature, irrational and irresponsible… and sounds freaking awesome! Please temper any shame you feel with the knowledge that someone out there (me, for one) is impressed by the chutzpah. 🙂

      • I wish I had done that to his shit, and broke his nose AND the whore’s.

      • Hand up in the air ~ took the high road. Never confronted. Just upon confirmation of my worst fears, packed up what was left of his stuff, rented a storage locker and put the remainder of his stuff in it and mailed him the key (to his apartment where he was “working on him” for the past week – B.S. and sent him an email outlining the things that were being cancelled, etc. My parting comment was in reference to a conversation between him and OWhore…..he knew he’d been caught. My little justice came in a preemptive email to his folks thanking them for all they had done and letting them know he had a new “love” interest. Boy would I have liked to be a fly on the wall when he got the email (at work) or when his folks got ahold of him. Bring out the popcorn!

    • Screw being embarrassed, that was awesome!!!! Chump fighting back!!!! Love the broken nose…you made my day!

    • Freedom…….yep, you made my day too! CRACK! Bet it felt good!

      Wish I woulda brass knuckled his newly done porcelain veneers or ripped out his hair plugs! Damn! I missed my chance! Guess I’ll just fantasize…..

    • I wouldn’t be ashamed at all. I have a friend who is highly respected in the community, upstanding leader in her profession and church. Everyone who knows her respects her and her judgement. She beat the crap out of her cheating ex after her first Dday when she saw him in the car with the OW when he was supposed to be NC and working on the reconciliation.

      I now totally understand crimes of passion. No one understands the temporary insanity that can occur when your whole foundation turns to sand.

      • Yeah, no one seemed to be upset by Elin (not sure of name) Wapping Tiger Woods with that golf club. Maybe cause she’s a supermodel and all.

        • I am so glad I am not the only one who went temporarily insane. I was half crazed with rage and pain. I would attack him and myself, I ended up with cuts and broken ribs AND FELT ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. When I look back I cannot believe the loss of control, and the fact that I was hurting so much, that physical pain didn’t even register.
          Nobody can ever hurt me like that again. Seven years on, I don’t feel pain any more, just tremendous sadness. We didn’t have a bad marriage, there was a lot of love. I hope the sadness fades in time as well.

          • In biblical times, we could have stoned them. Hell, they still do that in some Muslim countries. Brutal, yet understandable.

    • No sympathy for this schmuck at all. It’s like that Jeff Foxworthy comedy shtick, “Well, if you have more than two rusty cars sitting up on blocks in your front yard for more than 6 months, you might just be a redneck…”

      Well, if you willfully shatter your family’s world just because you could, when you are the person who is sworn to have their back, well, you might just get a real bad reaction. Tough luck dude, go get your nose fixed, get out of her life, and be glad she didn’t hurt you worse.

      P.S. Hopefully goes without saying this is not a two way street for guys. But I have heard of male OM who have fared badly, and my reaction is pretty much the same as above. Play with fire, you might get burnt.

      • I do feel a little better about my lapse of judgement and rationality.Thanks for the support, as always:) I have to admit, it’s quite empowering.

        LOL Man…I’m feeling like Drago from Rocky IV! I MUST BREAK YOU!

        All those cheating douche canoes better watch out. Apparently this chump has a mean swing.

        • May not be popular opinion FFC but I cannot laugh at that or applaud the violence you inflicted. I can understand smashing inanimate objects and possibly destroying his stuff, I can’t imagine hurting him physically, breaking his nose except in self defense. I hope you’ll consider exploring what caused you to react that way and work on it in therapy.

          Jedi hugs!

          • Dat
            Agreed…. I am not an advocate of violence…. However… If someone wanted to beat him up…. Lets just say I wouldnt be all that broken up about it.
            I pray for a bus to fall out of the sky and flatten him. I figure the odds of that happening are what ? Millions to one? So if a bus does fall out of the sky and flatten him dead…. It will be due to divine intervention.

            • Cheaters love their phones. Usually surgically attached. All it takes is one flush. Works every time. Dry off and presto. “I don’t know what happened to your phone. Perhaps you dropped it.”

        • While I’m not a proponent of violence, I believe there’s not one person on this site who can’t relate to the depth of feeling that was triggered causing FreedomFromCrazy’s reactions. I too went ballistic with temporary insanity. It landed me in court with a civil stalking injunction filed by AP claiming I was emotionally distressing her. Beware, here’s what I did: a strong but appropriate email to both on DDay (a classic, ‘I caught you, you lying cheats’), about 5 texts to OW asking her to get cheater to pay leftover bills from the divorce (they were seen all over the place having fun climbing, biking, skiing and it just burned me up while I was being hounded by bill collectors for his debts), 3 VM’s (short, quick – we had talked before when I implored her to get out of our family and she agreed, lies), and then the clincher, a very nasty hurtful letter calling them out on everything, using bad language, lashing out, going for jabs about his penis size, etc. Very inappropriate. I do regret my behavior but at the same time, my hard-wired anger was out of control like nothing I had ever experienced in my entire life. Very painful and upsetting just recalling it.

          Even though our civil brains can all agree not to be violent, I hope we can support each other when we aren’t civil and degenerate like so many of us did.

          FreedomFromCrazy, that’s not really who you are; and same with me. We reacted in a way that we regret, but can’t we agree that that feeling of darkness is understandable and forgivable?

      • And, the rationale for it not being a two way street for guys, Chumpguy, is…….?

    • They call it ‘seeing red’ – and I’ve been there before. It really is a temporary loss of sanity and, if you have been through it before – you know you can’t really remember anything from that time except the thought about causing serious pain to the person who made you snap.
      Case in point: I’ve beaten the shit out of a guy three times my size because of that – many years of bullying, and catching me in a particularly bad mood finally made me snap. And I don’t regret it one bit.
      My mentality is this: If you’re stupid enough to do something which is destroying my life – I will smash your face in. Or break your kneecaps. An eye for an eye, I say. It may not be literally – but it might be, if you piss me off enough and are stupid enough to get in my face and gloat about it. The obvious solution? Don’t deceive me or fuck me over.

  • OMG. The lies and justification that came out of the ill educated, unqualified and self proclaiming counsellors (aka church elder ship) following my d’day was equally as damaging as the adultery its self. I was told my XH only cheated to get at me, I wasn’t told what it was that he was getting at me for, but it was stated that I needed to work on me as I had over stepped my bounds as a women and there for needed to acknowledge that part of the blame was mine wether it be 70/30 or 80/20 they could not say but it takes two to fail a marriage, that if I had had a better father figure growing up I would have responded to what was happening better (not be upset or angry), that I should forgive my cheater even if it was a cold blooded decision, that my cheaters choice of oral sex with strangers in public toilets was only physical not intimate, and that even though they agreed that I had every right to divorce, I had No right to say my marriage was over because they had hope for my marriage, they believed that in time my cheater could be fully restored and I should hold off on making any decisions. This was later added to by being given 5 pages of bible verses I was expected to work through on my supposed spirit of rejection that had lent its self to the need of my cheater to act as he did, and was also the reason I was now 2 months after d’day pulling away from them.
    Bearing in mind that this was unfolding simultaneously with my daughters cancer diagnoses.
    I pulled away because I began to realise they were dangerous, they hid my ex and expected me to do the same. But I didn’t, I got a good therapist, and found CL about 4 months out and grew strong.
    20 months post d’day I still get frustrated at the shit my ex is trying to triangulate me in but I am not drowning in emotion anymore and I am thankful.

    • Yikes…talk about a bunch of elders missing the boat when it comes to infidelity! So heartless.

  • Jones, I am curious to know if the therapist asked you a variant of this question ‘ what do want to do about your marriage?’ and if you said ‘ save it’ my experience has been when i said I wanted to save my marriage the therapists angle was two people= two problems. Not necessarily the same problem. Therefore I was asked to look at what I wasnt doing to support my marriage and not his affair.
    When i sought out a therapist just for myself the question from the therapist was different ” are You ready to make a decision about your marriage? ” and yep, i sure was.
    I think therapy/ counseling are important. But at some point you need to break free… Much like a parental relationship… I have helped you guided you … Now you gotta try it on your own… I am always here if you need me.
    If you have decided to end your marriage find a counselor that will support that painful process.

  • I don’t think therapists can be reported, where I live.
    There are psychiatrists, who need diplomas in medicine, and can be reported. There are psychologists, who more or less have university diplomas.
    And then there are a shitload of self-proclaimed therapists of all kinds, who are merely people who hated their corporate jobs and wanted to venture in a more “humane” domain. They follow cheap week-long workshops, they attend seminars, they end up with a certificate provided by someone more or less famous in their new-age circle, who themselves got certificates from self-proclaimed gurus.
    At the end of the day, the quality of the therapist depends entirely on its personal ability to tell good from evil, natural empathy, intelligence, and motivation to help. That’s a lot of risks we are taking as patients.

    In my case, someone recommended a woman who lives close to my work. She owns a large house. She made me enter a room with a sofa and a thick red carpet that had magical properties (wtf?) and should not be soiled with shoes. She let me talk during 45 minutes about the betrayal, the uncanny events, and my misery. All I wanted, was emotional healing. Then, with a soft voice and faked empathy, she explained that she had been an engineer in the very company where I work (nooooo !). She asked me how I felt her presence on my skin (???), and then asked in which way our marriage was not nourishing enough, so that he felt compelled to cheat. And she said there were only 2mn left.
    The bitch let me go with tears in my eyes, she did not care that I was feeling much worse, she just took the 50 euros, and wanted another appointment. Hell, no. To this day, I still want to send insults to her. I want to punch her nasty homely face so bad.

    • Sometimes, the best “insult” is to factually tell the person what they did, how it made you feel, and how damaging her therapy technique is so that she might consider not trying it with others. Write the note/email and stick to the facts, which are damning enough. Then send it.

  • Right on, CL!!!!

    I went to a MC a few times early after my D-Day (he refused to go), she wasn’t very helpful at all- I had to ask her questions about NPD and if I was wrong in thinking his actions were wrong/justified? I just realized that I “got this” and didn’t go back. I agree with the other posts, Jones- report that idiot!!!

    My STBXH has been the projection poster boy- everything he’s done, he’s tried to say I’ve done. I have held him accountable for everything he’s said and done, and he hates it!

    He told me the other day that for the last 12 years we’ve been together I have “put [his] business out there to everyone”, to which I responded, “Stop telling lies about me, and I won’t have to tell the truth about you!”

    • “Stop telling lies about me, and I won’t have to tell the truth about you!”
      When I can finally get him out of the house I am using this line!

      • That line is awesome! I’ll have to add it to my repertoire. Thanks

        • That’s what I sent mine in an email. I have decided my new line will be “I don’t share his tastes in prostitutes.”

  • Sometimes it’s subtle too.

    I thought my first therapist was very compassionate. As time went on though,she started saying things that bothered me and that I knew were unprofessional. I would leave the appointments feeling very bad. Once she said I could take 10 to 20% of the blame. She also tried to label me a co-dependent that had made him my whole world, something I totally disagreed with as does my new therapist. I had many activities and friends of my own. I loved him and loved being married but don’t consider this co-dependent. I agree with Tempest (I think it was) that being called co-dependent is a form of victim blaming at times.

  • A self-righteous therapist (pre D-day) told me that I was boring; he could not blame my then-husband for going out and drinking himself into a stupor every weekend to get away from me. He pointed his finger at me and said “Do you know what the problem is with people like you?” I didn’t hear his response to his own question, because I was so focused on that I had a problem.

    XH blamed me for quitting that therapist because he was getting at the root of our problem…me. That crappy therapist believed in “let it go”. If you accept your partner for who they are then nothing with bother you. Both the therapist and XH are dicks.

    Afterwards, I found a great therapist. Who believed that my then-husband was cheating from day one of our therapy sessions. After d-day, after divorce day and still today, continuing to see her. She has the same philosophy as CL. Love her and Love the CL. Both women have kept me sane.

  • Welcome to the club, Jones.

    The MC that my ex-wife and I saw made clear, “We’re not blaming you, JC. We’re blaming *the relationship.*

    I replied, “There are two people in a marriage (ideally). So, if you’re blaming ‘the relationship’ for an affair, then you’re blaming BOTH people.”

    And then our MC and my wife would dance further, trying to come up with a way to claim that they weren’t blaming me…while they were blaming me.

    Well, my friends, my family, and I have common sense. Therefore, we don’t blame me. We blame my ex-wife, and to a lesser extent her slimy law enforcement colleague.

    And the beat goes on… .

    • Blaming the relationship? That’s a nice bit of word salad. Glad you deconstructed it for her.

    • JC: I can relate. My X is still blameshifting his cheating onto “marital problems.” The main problem I see is that I agreed to marry jackass to begin with.

      • Mine recently told our daughter that the reason our marriage failed was because we were too focused on her. We made everything about her and forgot how to love eachother. He actually said that to her. She carried that weight around for days. Who the fuck says that to their kid? Wait … I know the answer… Mother fuckers. He hit a new low.
        I spent an hour reassuring her that she was and is the most important person in my life and her dad just needed to make up a story for why he chose to cheat and leave. It easier to blame your mistakes on something else verses admitting you are wrong.

        • The Clip – What a POS. I want to cut his dick off for telling her that! Coward!!! Poor girl – you are a good Momma.

  • Our MC (by the way, LOVE the cartoon, that’s what they all look like!) was terrible. He bought every one of STBX’s lame lines that he and the Owhore were “friends”, I was overreacting, and he was just having “issues” with me.. not enough sex, not enough connection, I was too anxious, blah blah blah.

    I went along. The sessions degenerated into non stop bashing of my anxiety and all the wrong ways I was responding to his “needs”. One session, I wrote out a bunch of my feelings (thought I was doing my homework and being prepared).. they BOTH sneered at me, calling me LONG winded. OMFG.

    When I got more definitive proof that contact with Owhore had NOT been cut.. and we terminated sessions with him.. I sent him a strongly worded email noting that my instincts had been right all along and that next time a woman comes into his office saying her husband is cheating… to LISTEN because women are rarely wrong about this.

    I saw him a few weeks later and he was VERY apologetic. Idiot.

    I since have been seeing a therapist on my own who has been VERY helpful, very validating, encouraging, and challenging. She has helped me to see this in a new way.

    Lots of bad MC out there. It’s one thing to take some responsibility for the state of the MARRIAGE.. I was willing to do that.. but you are NOT responsible for someone else’s choices. Cheating is a CHOICE not a mistake.

    • Love that, “cheating is a choice, not a mistake.” My STBX needs that tattooed on his AP’s (aka true love’s) forehead, so he can be reminded of it every time he looks at her!

      • After you “gut” these cheating MFER’s they finally “get it” everytime they have to s few the skank! I know mine knows now that his OW, that supports him now, is a manipulative, liar who ruined him! Serves him right! He just couldn’t see her for what she was until his assets went flying out the door directly to me! Tough shit asshole! You thought she was so wonderful so now lay with that piece of human garbage and beg her for the money every month to pay my alimony! I love it actually! What a delightful picture of how each and every month starts for him!

        • I meant, “every time they have to screw the skank”, if he even can anymore!

      • Yes, and in general, as Roberta notes, one reaps what one sows. I can’t imagine the mental gymnastics and denial required to tell yourself that a person who willingly SCREWS AROUND with another woman or man’s spouse.. most of the time with CHILDREN involved.. will at some point be a decent partner/long term relationship.

        Totally defies logic and reason. But then again, these folks are not reasonable.

        • Yes, goodbye to that family you once treasured, that home you built, that person you once “loved.” Would hate to be him. No character, no integrity, no legacy.

          • Problem is that the type of person who chears, really, has no conscience. So, i do not think they feel bad about what they have done, except to the extent it messes up their lives.just like the crooks i represented in my first job after law school , as a public defender.
            These guys, contrary to what the victims wanted to believer, were not sitting in jail remorseful over how they had hurt their victims. They never even thought about their victims. Just pissed or sad about doing time. No remorse.

            • Yep. I know it’s really common for chumps to wonder if their ex ever thinks about what happened and feels bad, or misses them, or has some sort of remorse about the pain and destruction they caused. I myself occasionally think this way. But then I remind myself that the answer is NO, the disordered do NOT ever feel remorse, think about what they have done or accept any responsibility.

  • The tricky thing here is that therapy can be immensely helpful, and I would hate for anyone to avoid it out of fear of a bad therapist.

    My therapists were both great (one marital and one individual). I went into therapy pretty blind, as I had never participated in this kind of work before (and was reluctant to start), so I guess I was lucky.

    But most therapists will do a 10 minute phone consultation to help you see if your needs match their skills, so I’d encourage any chump looking for one to put their cards on the table and say, “I want to work on my marriage, but I will not accept responsibility for my spouse’s actions. How do you handle infidelity when couples come to you with that problem.” If the therapist starts to talk about finding out the causes and how both parties contributed, etc., you’ll know to make a call to the next therapist on the list.

    Therapy fixed nothing in my marriage, but it did help me recognize that my marriage was a lot worse than I’d been willing to admit (out of my desire to save it, not fail at marriage, etc.), and it was important to me, very important, to feel like I’d done all I could to save my marriage.

    In retrospect, my marriage was a house blazing away with all the neighbors staring from their driveways, and I was on the lawn with therapy (like a squirt gun) trying to put it out, yelling in a falsely cheery voice over my shoulder, “No, no, you don’t need to call the fire department (divorce lawyer), I think it will stop burning soon.” I was probably an idiot. But I was a sincere and sad idiot, and I don’t regret valuing marriage enough to exhaust all my options before I left my spouse.

    • What an eloquent post. Thank you. You said, in few words, what I have been journaling out for a year.

  • “I had been seeing therapists who asked me to spend a lot of time thinking about what I may have done that pushed him towards cheating.”

    Exactly what does that mean? pushed? Did you call around, ask friends if they knew anyone looking to screw your spouse? Maybe you set up some online dating profiles, or gave him a gift card to”? I’m betting you didn’t.

    Maybe my MC didn’t go so hot because the first thing I said after meeting the therapist was “I’m not here for victim blaming.” Later I would be told my anger was “not productive.” Yeah, that was definitely not helping me deal with Narco boy.

    I’m with JC, common sense puts the fault of the affair squarely on the person who decided to cheat on their marriage. As far as I am concerned CL should stand for Common-sense Lady because that is what she provides.

    • Anger, IMHO, is very productive! Mine was like firing up the engines to the space shuttle, and I had every right to be angry. That POS lost me my home! Not to mention what his crap choices did to our innocent kids. What a fucked up legacy! The only thing he was thinking with was his dick! They deserve one another though. Two sorry CHEATS.

    • All,
      push or baited him? Like you set up a trap with a hot piece of ass in it and you patiently waited for him to walk into it right? And when he went for the bait the trap door slammed shut and there he was with his dick stuck in the bait. But he will flip it on you and say it was something you did to cause him to walk into the trap…. It wasnt the bait. Mother fuckers… All of them.

  • Like I said yesterday, I got lucky right out of the gate. I spoke with a friend who was seeing this therapist for alcohol issues, so what I was seeing him for really wasn’t his bag. But my friend swore by him so off I went.

    He let me talk, he made notes, and I remember at one point he held up his hand reached over and grabbed a book, and pointed out the definition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He said, “Bam – there’s your husband.” I told him of my X’s family and their history of cheating, and just stopped me and said, “You can’t fix him. He’s going to do this over and over again.” He recommended I secure a lawyer post haste. He set up weekly appointments for us to meet and every week I’d spill my guts. He’d even call me at home if I canceled an appointment to make sure I was OK.

    Reading here and visiting with him helped me immensely. There were a few occasions where I’d be discussing things with friends and they pulled the “it takes two people to ruin the marriage” shit. I don’t speak with these people anymore. If I have a “friend” or therapist who believes I am even partially to blame for my X flushing our marriage down the toilet, I don’t need to associate with them.

  • Oh yes! I didn’t make her cheat but it was my fault to a point I had to own up to my part in the failed marriage. And aferall, we are all narcissists. I was told this by my “Christian” counselor and of course my in-laws.

    I guess 6 months post divorce, it’s still all my fault. It’s my fault I don’t call or email her constantly, filling her in on the daily activities of my two teen boys and myself. It’s so wrong of me to take communion because I have not forgiven her. And shame on me for not STILL revolving our lives around her.

    I dropped counselors, pastors and especially most of her family. I know I made mistakes but my biggest one was letting her walk all over me for 20+ years. My marriage failed because I’m not a mind-reader and married someone with too few morals and too much faulse image.

    • That was interesting (but hard to read). I’m glad a professional is calling for less finger-pointing at the chumps, and more attention to our needs post-discovery of an affair, or in my case, serial cheating from the very beginning! 35 years, that is. The mindfuck was complete, and encompassed every aspect of our lives. Heck yeah, that is trauma! I do feel that I have PTSD. Defining and accepting that has helped me a lot, and given me a sense of peace. I’ll get better on my own timeline, because there is just so much to get over.
      I was helped immensely by my therapist, two years ago, even though she had JUST passed her test, and gotten her license! She had what I value – common sense. She never, ever put the blame on me, and she told me many times – that qualifies as Domestic Violence. I didn’t know, for instance, that him forcing me to spend my paycheck on his expensive, useless, garage, was financial violence. I just knew it made me cry, because I wanted to spend my money on, say, our sons needs, or the electric bill! Her name is Suzanne, and to me she was sent as an Angel, to help me see. And then, get free.

  • this is a very important post and topic. send it to friends, therapists, pastors…and everyone who is still uneducated about infidelity.

    most therapists are still trained to believe that affairs are caused by bad marriages. until it happens to them or until they are exposed to Chump Lady and reality, it will continue. at some point, graduate schools and supervisors will start teaching about infidelity as a sign of Axis II character disorder. until then, Chump Nation must help educate the current batch of therapists!!

    help stop infidelity ignorance. send this post to every therapist you know. TODAY. Especially the ones who didn’t get it…

      • yay, all out of kibbles! (great moniker btw). i sent a link to my current therapist – who gets it – and asked her to share with colleagues.

        i also want to thank Gaby for the link to Dr. Minwalla and her article about complex PTSD (C-PTSD) and how common it is with partners of sex addictions. if any chumps find articles about C-PTSD for infidelity, please post here and on forum.

        on that resource note…for all the chumps who were blamed for being “too anxious” in the marriage…isn’t it fascinating how your anxiety went from high to low after cheater was out of your life?? i did not understand why until i read an article in Forum resources about how being in relationship with a sociopathic or narcissistic personality disordered partner elicits anxiety in normal people.

        my chronic anxiety was an honest alarm that kept going off…but i thought it was a false alarm. lesson learned.

        • Chumpette, you are very welcome! My wasband did a great job in convincing me I was the problem. I’m studying to be a counselor and I was shocked that they really teach that at school. That we caused this and were codependent. I therefore was extremely grateful to find chumplady and Dr. Minwalla’s perspectives.

          I’m a Christian and dr. David Clarke has also a non nonsense approach to infidelity. His book “when he says I don’t love you anymore” was my first lifeline. He insists: “he is not your friend, he planned this, you need to protect yourself”.

        • I agree Chumpette, this is a very important post dispelling the prevalent myth that we caused this and a part of the problem. Clip, love the bait analogy. Drew, I loved how you acknowledge the productivity and importance of anger, “…firing up the engines to the space shuttle.”

        • OMG Chumpette. The other clue is alcohol use. Since he has gone, I have gone back to the alcohol intake I had before I met him (2 units/week).
          With him? I was a borderline alcoholic.
          With depression and anxiety on top.
          I am really holding my hands up to my part to play in the marriage, but it is like Arnold observed: the selfishness and lack of empathy that makes a cheater, makes them pretty horrible marriage partners in the first place.

    • I’ve been tempted to send CL’s book to these therapists as well!

  • Problem is, the counselling business isn’t really regulated, it seems. Any knob can hang out a shingle.

    One of my ex-colleagues who took voluntary retirement early, in his fifties, from being a teacher, told me of his intent to set himself up as a relationship counsellor. I asked him what his qualifications were and he said “the university of life”. I told him he had no business misleading people just because he fancied himself as a wise guy. He did look pretty shit faced when I said it.

    I’m so damn sick of cretins “blaming the victim” — whether it be rape, infidelity, mugging, financial fraud…it must be that people just “don’t want to know” so they invent myths around why bad things happen to others. Then they figure they can make a dollar by blogging about the subject.

    I say it is increasingly necessary to simply depend on one’s own common sense. Have your own finances right through a relationship, it maintains the balance of power. I did that and was able to toss the asshole to the curb on d-day itself. All the crap fom the OW about it being my fault because i wouldn’t let him smoke in the house, and wouldn’t buy him his own bachelor pad (WTF!?) was complete malarky…and if I’d hung around she probably would have gotten more personal about it. Instead, I called her a few ripe names which hinted at the fact that if he were dissatisfied with me then she wasn’t far behind. I know, it’s mean to turn the tables on them, but c’mon, is it possible to be mean to the devil?

    • “I’m so damn sick of cretins “blaming the victim” — whether it be rape, infidelity, mugging, financial fraud…it must be that people just “don’t want to know” so they invent myths around why bad things happen to others.”

      Tell it, Marci!! Exactly. Calling it outwardly what it is–blaming the victim–is the best way to dispel these myths (or at least make people think twice about spouting the same bullsh*t again).

  • Truthfully, marriage counseling or counseling for him was never an issue because he is very anti psychotherapy, counseling etc. (Plus he wasn’t doing anything WRONG, snort). His sister is certifiably bat shit crazy, and the more therapy/meds she gets, the crazier she is. It doesn’t help that any time she is in a facility that helps her, she runs home to non certified crazy mother and gets even worse.

    I did see a therapists about a year after the whoring was exposed when I found out he had not broken contact with the whore. I developed extreme anxiety and could not focus on anything. Therapy didn’t seem that helpfuo so I quit after about six months. I do read a lot of general psychology and that seems more helpful than anything. I know myself better than I thought. I knew in my heart , after multiple D Days that I couldn’t love or forgive a nasty ass slut fucking whore monger, and in actuality that I hated him. Perfect diagnosis.

  • Jones, Like many here, I can really identify with your story.

    One set of counselors-a couple from church–my (now) ex-wife and I saw were especially horrible. They didn’t exactly blame her cheating on me other than ignore it and focus on me as the marriage problem (she had admitted to an EA by then). I was anxious and angry coming out of those sessions regularly. But kept coming back as I was desparate to “save” our marriage. She loved going to these counselors…apparently because they were so easily manipulated by her into ignoring her cheating ways as well as they were hard on me.

    It was cathartic today for me to hear stories here of other chumps who had simliar feelings of anxiety and anger going to alleged MCs. I think our spirit often times “knows” more than our heads. We were reacting to threats to ourselves and our marriages.


  • Scratch a therapist who tries to get the Chump to own part of the affair and you’ll find therapist who has cheated or is contemplating it. Any professional who tries to make someone else responsible for a person’s choices and actions should have their license revoked. I doubt very much that these same therapists would sit across from a woman with a black eye and split lip and ask her what she did to make her husband beat her. It makes me sick that these people are allowed to practice.

  • Our bad therapist: “What was he motivation to tell you the truth if her knew you would react badly? Why should he tell you everything without some commitment from you that you will forgive him and work on the problems in the marriage?” Um, because some people care about honesty and don’t have squishy morality. She let him take over every session, and concluded that we had very different “values.” I could have told her that for free.

    Our good therapist: “So what did she do that was a deal-breaker for you? Why are so angry? Can you name the actions that you say caused you to behave this way?” Then she would say, “Really, does that sound right to you? Did you want to hurt her?” He said “yes!” She so had his number. I didn’t even know he was cheating then, but she did.

    • Wow, that first sentence is a mess. “What was his motivation to tell you the truth if he…”

    • “What was he motivation to tell you the truth if her knew you would react badly?”
      Um, how are you expected to react when your spouse tells you they have been cheating? Happy? Grateful? Joyful? Of course you would be upset! Yes, that was a bad therapist indeed.

    • Yes, mine said this too. “Why would he tell you the truth if he is worried about your reaction”. OMFG, because it’s the RIGHT THING TO DO maybe??? Why would your teenager tell you where he was Friday night if he knows it’s going to get him grounded???? Uh, because you want to teach them that being honest and accountable is the way to live your life. Sheesh!

      • You all had blame shifter therapists, that is exactly the excuse lying assholes use for their lies of omission! “I didn’t tell you because I knew you would be upset, see you are upset” NO you fucking asshole, I’m upset BECAUSE you lied to me!

      • We never went to a psychologist because my STBX always said they would just blame him for everything and he didn’t think that was fair. When I asked him why he didn’t tell me how unhappy he was and that he was starting to have feelings for one of his employees, he said he didn’t want to start a fight. I said yeah, cause lying, sneaking around, screwing someone behind my back and basically breaking my heart is much better than a fight! He didn’t want to tell me the truth because he was worried about my reaction and he wanted to sleep with her, he didn’t want me telling him to have her transfered, so we could work on the marriage. I may go see a psychologist without him to deal with my depression and anger issues but I will do that for me, not my STBX or our marriage.

  • Great “light bulb going on” comment about chump reaction to D-Day vs. cheater entitlement to cheat based on “unhappiness”. I wanted my wife back, I wanted things fixed (yeah, I know). She wanted to play around.

    Apres D-Day, W said she would go to a marriage counselor. She went, maybe two times. He told her some things she took issue with. Basically, she felt I needed to do the pick me dance to prove to both of us that things could be better, then maybe she would feel that she wouldn’t ‘need’ to cheat. He said this was backwards, and that other issues were involved. She, ‘disagreed’; that was the last visit to him, he ‘wasn’t helpful’.

    She went once to see the counselor I had been talking to, who she had seen before for bi-polar and depression issues. He talked with her about bi-polar influencing her behavior and also her drinking. He later told me that she had little interest in his take, that she felt she had all that under control.

    His comment to me was along the lines of how serious her disorder was (bi-polar coupled with likely being a high functioning alcoholic) and that the question was how long I could live in an insane situation without it making me insane.

    I had a really good guy who got it. He’s nearing retirement, and I fear for the alternatives out there in the therapist world.

  • I may have read it on CL but I read it somewhere….if you need to see a marriage counselor the marriage is already over. I hope that is not true but this blog sure makes a good case for getting out and getting on with your life.

  • The idiot stbx that I married is/was so twisted in his justifications and his fucked up sense of logic – one of the counselors we tried actually told him to his face he had a “crazy way of thinking”. We never went back to that one. I have to say I don’t think asshole had any counselor fooled he is that obvious.

    First affair I found out about I confronted him when kids were asleep. He danced around an admission and I punched him in the face. It felt good to do it too. ( I’m not advocating that – I’m not a violent person) Kicked him out of house only to let him back in a month later. I regret that more than the punch.
    Ten years later found out about another one. (that I knew of) Kicked him out again. Only to feel sorry for him because I bought the bullshit midlife crisis defense. I actually felt sorry for him he wasn’t handling middle age well. I WAS STUPID. But at least this time I filed for divorce and only put a stay on it during attempted reconcillliation. Finally got a little smarter….

    Found out 6 months into reconcilliation and he’s at it again. Finally my switch flipped. Kicked him out. Had his clothes in garbage bags in less than 30 minutes and out in garage. Called his family, my family, our friends, told everyone the truth. Told the kids. There isn’t one person who knows the two of us- that doesn’t agree that he is totally the fuck up here and him alone. That is a huge consolation to me.

    So the it takes two people to destroy a marriage is horse shit. Plus why don’t these geniuses regard infidelity as an ethics violation? severe character flaw? Lack of integrity? That’s somehow supposed to be a chumps fault??

    • Midlife crisis is simply realizing you can no longer attract coeds without being filthy rich.

      • Lol!! Mine claimed “midlife crisis” when he WAS screwing co-eds because he is famous in his field.

  • “Cheating is a symptom not the cause of the marital problems.” I believed this for so long and turned into someone I didn’t recognized to please the cheater. Did he stop cheating? Of course not because HE was the cause of the problem. Last I checked, I didn’t have the power to change his character.

    • I heard the same thing over and over about how the affair was just a symptom and not the cause of the marital problems… How does a wife of 15 years stand a chance to his married girlfriend of 4 years? When I found out, I made an appointment with a therapist within 24 hours, because I knew that I was going to need all the help that I could get, but it was just for me. I found a wonderful therapist that changed my thinking from ” I feel like a loser” to ” I married a loser.”

      He did talk me into seeing a MC and she acknowledged his relationship with the OW and how painful it must be for him end things with her, after all those years. He replied, “thank-you for being aware of my feelings and what I am going through.” WTF?!

      • Yuck. Hope you continued to see the other counselor, the one who told you that you married a loser. Because that couldn’t be any more true.

    • Cheating may be a symptom and not a cause of marital problems, but the symptom is one of many that the character-disordered exhibit.

      His behavior–the passive-aggression, the begrudging attitude and gestures, the lack of support, the cheapness, constantly being in love with other women throughout the relationship, the moodiness–ALL were symptoms of his character disorder. And, while I was NOT a perfect wife, I can say with conviction that I was a very good wife, and that the cheating was really NOT the cause of marital problems, either–not until the very end, when his character and behavior became intolerable. Only THEN could I see him for what he was and still is.

      In fact, it was the cheating that finally made me realize what a dick my xH had been all along.

      • Very true. Cheater ex appeared “kind”, he really did. But with time and distance from him, I could see clearly he is character disordered. Also passive-aggressive, lack of support (“you’re a big girl, you can make your own decisions” was his all-time favorite line when I asked his opinion on anything major – he was too busy navel gazing to lend support or thought to my concerns). Oh the darn moods. Yuck. I, too, was not a perfect wife but even cheater admits I was a wonderful wife. Even my counselor said that there is absolutely nothing you could do with a narc. She said in her over 30 years of practice, there was only one narc who successfully changed because he was willing to do the hard work.

  • These counselors….the ones who want to assign a percentage of the blame to the chump sound like they really want to be insurance adjusters.

    And anyone who wants to talk you into excepting responsibility for your cheater’s actions is probably a narc cheater themselves, and using their spouse as a guinea pig.

  • Wow – I have been hesitating to write today because this topic is such a hot button for me, and I’m afraid I might go on a diatribe. The resources and information out there now for the general public about the empathy and character deficient that live among us is growing rapidly.Tracy’s wonderful book, along with additional literature from such authors as Robert Hare, George Simon, Sandra Brown, Martha Stout, Jane and Tim McGregor, Donna Anderson – the list is so expansive! These are esteemed writers regarding emotional predators. Many of them have the academic and clinical chops, others have “in the trenches” experience (and there are those that have both). ALL of them are sounding the warning bells about what Ms. Brown calls “the most dangerous people on the planet”. Credible statistics report that one in 25 to one in 30 can fall into the continuum of these horrendously disordered individuals. If the Center For Disease Control applied those stats to a discovered biological pathogen – it would be all over the media that we have a pandemic! The facts are in, backed up by sound research, and yet there are Mental Health “Professionals” who are clearly in the dark about what is actually going on, and it’s manifesting in deeply hurting, if not destroying, innocent people – including the devastating blame-and-shame ploy applied toward the true victims. This really makes my blood boil! Thank you for letting me vent.

    • I think one problem might be that the professionals are also part of that 25-30 percent population that fall into the continuum. There are probably just as many sociopaths who are counselors as are in the general population. Now that would be an interesting study!

  • If psychologists, therapists, and counselors want to be taken seriously as medical professionals, they ought to act like medical professionals. When you consult an oncologist about a mass growing on your kidney, she doesn’t ask how you *feel* about the mass and she certainly doesn’t waste your time having you contemplate whether you brought this mass on yourself with your inadequacies and failings. She tells you what the mass is, describes what is likely to happen if you ignore it, and describes one or more plans of action to deal with it. Mental health providers ought to follow this example.

    I saw several shrinks after my D-days began. The most helpful was very clear and practical. She asked very few questions. She heard my story each time I visited and that spoke in declarative sentences, saying things like, “She doesn’t want the same marriage you want,” “You can’t make her be faithful,” and “Stop trying to build consensus with someone who has shown she will say anything to make you leave her alone and then will do whatever she wants.”

    It was damn painful to hear sometimes—a kind of talk-chemotherapy—but it got me unstuck and started me on the path to healing.

    • Funny, Nomar, I consider my STBX a mass that needs to be dealt with.

    • Great metaphor, Nomar. I’m actually a cancer survivor and that makes sense to me. Although the doctors all formulated plans of action, I also did a lot of soul searching to determine whether I’d done something to bring the cancer about. Even to this day I blame the extreme stress and lack of sleep I had for 5 years dealing with two very sick children mostly by myself while trying to work. Of course, it could have been caused by some chemical exposure years ago, I’ll never really know. I’ve come to terms with the idea that I’ll never really know what all was going on in my marriage either. LOL

  • Ex and I went to a MC shortly after our bogus reconciliation began. At our introductory meeting, I sat there for the hour barely getting a word in, while ex spilled out his entire story — the sex with men, with women, how he wanted to be a good Christian, yada yada yada. I hadn’t even known some of the stuff he revealed at that appointment. At the end of the hour, the therapist said he did NOT recommend we reconcile and he gave us our money back. Oh my God, I wish I had ended the charade right then and there.

    Ex and I then went on to do Retrouvaille. We did the weekend and the followup classes, and continued to dialogue for a while, then slowly dwindled off. I actually think Retrouvaille is a really good program for those WITHOUT infidelity, personality disorder or severe dysfunction in the marriage. A marriage with run-of-the-mill communication issues could benefit from Retrouvaille’s techniques. But in my case, it was simply another tool my ex used to emotionally abuse and mind fuck me.

    I also insisted ex go to individual therapy to deal with his untreated ADD and other issues. He made a huge fuss, went to two appointments (and skipped several weeks in between the appointments) and when the therapist suggested he seemed manic and delusional, ex never went back, saying the therapist was “not on his spiritual wavelength.”

    • GladItsOver: I can’t imagine having to hear the entire story, spilled out like a novel, in therapy. Bravo for your therapist for calling the shots. My therapist also told me that the marriage cannot be saved, and to stop trying (although, he did keep our money, but I don’t mind, since the advice was well worth it).

  • after reading all these posts I have concluded that there should be a rule that if infidelity has been involved, unless both spouses were unfaithful, they should not be encouraged to do joint counseling. They should do separate individual counseling, but not together. there’s already a generally held idea that mediation is never appropriate when there’s been domestic violence. there should be a similar rule here. It sounds like the majority of the therapists seem to think they have to be “fair” and “equal” which just cannot work when the balance of power has been so egregiously shifted by betrayal.

    • Yes! No hope of reconciliation here, but at all times my counselor said that W would need to get help to sort out her own issues before even dreaming some type of “couples therapy” would help.

    • I agree Muse, cheating is part of domestic abuse and Lundy makes a very clear and rational case for not doing MC with an abuser, all the stories here are evidence he’s right

    • It’s also a strong argument for having a lawyer who knows how to negotiate with these people (as they so often go scorched earth). I could never figure out why POS ex harassed me and then vandalized the house two years after walking out. And why he is still uncooperative in re to the pension. My poor credit won’t even allow me to get a job cashiering (mcDonalds, etc) because he chose not to pay our mortgage (walked out on our kids’ college expenses too). There needs to be a major change made to our family laws too.

    • “…unless both spouses were unfaithful, they should not be encouraged to do joint counseling. They should do separate individual counseling…”

      Yes, Muse. Complete agreement with this.

  • To put victim-blaming therapists in perspective: after I filed, my STBX requested reconciliation (on his terms). And I was talking this over with my therapist, and said that I felt that being married meant you got (yet) another chance to work things out if you possibly can, so I felt that I should try. His reply? “I probably shouldn’t say this, but why would you want to be with that asshole anyway?”

    It was among the most illuminating moments in my therapy sessions.

    • Smart therapist, Enough. Many years back, long before Dday, I was in therapy for my anxiety and phobias. I’d been seeing that therapist for several months, when he said, “You know, Glad, if all your anxiety disappeared overnight, the first thing you would do is leave your husband.” I was stunned, because I knew his words were the absolute truth. I couldn’t face that at the time, so I buried the knowledge deep inside and continued in that sham of a marriage for years more. In fact, if ex hadn’t finally pulled the Dday, maybe I’d still be there.

  • My cheater has a degree in Psychology and used to spout off about this and that (being an educated man), however, I find it interesting the be able to get a degree by not be able to see yourself in the education. And then using said education against your spouse. So, like the plumber with the leaking plumbing, I got the psychologist (on paper only) that was a covert narcissist/sociopath. Maybe these educators might consider evaluating the students before giving them ammunition to destroy the lives of others.

    • I had one of those too, and he used his students as ammunition to destroy my life.

    • Mine had a psychology degree too, and the only thing he used it for was to know how better to manipulate people and use big word salad ingredient words.

      • One of those vocations that attracts people who don’t like to show what they are and want assumed trust.

    • Hey I was married to a peace officer that held a FT position with the state but still worked PT at the other family court affiliated with ours, for two years he did this so he could figure out how best to screw us over. Oh, and he married his OW, a marriage and family therapist. She knew what she was doing that’s for damn sure. Those two dementors (HP reference!) deserve to be together. 🙂

  • When the chump gets blamed for being cheated on that really, really boils my blood. “What did you do or not do to make him/her cheat? It takes two to make a relationship/marriage work”, which is a crock of shit! It seems people who have never been cheated on and/or ever lived with a liar puts the blame on the chump right away, such as “what did you do? “Etc. etc. which I can go on forever. Being in a relationship with a cheating liar is a one sided, one person relationship/marriage, and the ONLY person who is/was truly committed and truly cares is the chump. If your partner cheated on you, he/she made that decision on their own and that’s not chumps fault in any way, therefore that relationship isn’t worth holding onto, so the best thing for the chump is to dump the cheating, lying fuckwits and move on, because really, who wants to stay with someone who can so callously betray you in the most worst way possible.

    It’s just that, I am so sick and tired of when people makes comments on sharing the blame when your partner cheats on you and that never being one sided. Let’s see, as we all know that a murderer is sentenced along with his/her victim who must have done something too to deserve to be murdered, or a thief who shot you point blank to rob you of your valuables, so hey, lets sentence the victim too, after all the victim must have done something too to deserve to be robbed and shot. (rolling my eyes here)

  • Victim blaming has been around forever, and happens in all sorts of situations. I’ve often read how targets of school bullying need to look at themselves to see what they might be doing to draw the attention of a bully. The following article explains why people feel that blaming the victim upholds their belief in a fair and just world in which the same thing couldn’t happen to them.

    • But I do wish marriage counselors were better trained to attack the problem at its source instead of asking what the Chump did to cause their own betrayal. Whether they do this because Chumps are willing to look at their own behavior and accept blame, or because they want to keep the chump coming back, I don’t know. Maybe they don’t confront the cheater because they know the cheater will bolt.

    • Been there, done that. Its the reason why I never saw a counsellor when I was younger and actively refused it.
      Because apparently I was the ‘one with issues’ while being mentally tortured for years by a group of bullies at school.
      I put my foot down and said ‘Hell to the fuck no’. And my parents agreed with me at the time, too.

  • Here is an expensive lesson I learned. There are some personality disorders that have no “cure”. The reason it took me so long to find that particular truth is that I did not immediately learn about the existence of these disorders. When I did, it was like finding the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle and finally being able to see the whole picture. Everything made sense.

    There is a lot of talk about owning your part in marriage difficulties. The advice you get for this will only work if you are dealing with two rational and otherwise sane people. If the marital problem is one is a saver and one is a spender, or one leaves the seat up and one wants it down, or squeezing the toothpaste in the middle as opposed to the end — these are solvable problems. Even problems like one being a workaholic and the other being tired of attending to everything besides work outside the home can be solved. There are serious issues that people can find a solution for — or issues that you may never agree on, but can come to a rational agreement to an amicable divorce.

    You cannot solve a marital problem with a narcissist, You cannot solve a problem that the other will not even acknowledge. You cannot solve a problem with someone who has no intention of changing anything he/she is doing. They may lie and promise and beg and act like they are full of remorse — but the proof is in their actions. A serial cheater is not going to stop cheating — for you, for any other AP, for their children, for their family, or even for their job and their perceived place in the community. All of those reasons to be rational mean nothing to someone who only views people as useful or not. They can always move to a new partner, a new job, a new community, they will always go where “others” will appreciate them. Until others see the truth, and then it is time to move again.

    There are too many places to go for a “fresh” start. People are too trusting. These con artists get better at what they do with each new experience. If you think you imposing boundaries is the first time a con has failed for them — you are sadly mistaken. Some of these folks start working on family members, and/or learning from them, in their family of origin. From early childhood they have learned how to manipulate and get their own way, and how to hide what they are doing and shift any blame to others. This is who they are, and no counseling will ever change that.

    Sad lesson, painfully learned.

    Marriage counselors can only help a couple who both want to be helped, who truly desire to save the marriage. Most of them will not even attempt to work with personality disordered people — if they have even been trained to recognize them. The disordered don’t have marital problems, because they are never truly married — they may have mouthed the vows, but they never intended to keep them. The disordered look at any relationship as an opportunity to get something they want — it may be sex, it may be money, it may be property, it may be a career — the list is endless. What it will not be is love.

    Yes, we were fooled. It was not fair, it was not just. We did not deserve it — no one deserves that! We did nothing to cause it, but we paid a price for falling for the con.

    Marriage counselors and the whole relationship advice community are really not prepared to deal with this type of con. Some of them probably know that, and will take your money anyway. Some of them may still have blinders on because they choose not to see. Whatever their reason, it is up to us to choose whether or not their advice is working for our particular situation.

    There is no shame or blame in walking away from anyone who is not holding up their end of the bargain. In fact, the quicker you walk away, the better it is for you. You don’t have to give up on making agreements — just give up on staying in agreements that are not working.

    • One thing I’ve learned too, Portia, is that people who “jump” from thing to thing are usually unstable. I have some of these in my extended family. New job, new house, new church. All the time. One cousin changes churches three times a year, I’m serious. And they always love bomb the new, and blast the old. Every time.

    • Oh, this same cousin also lies about her wedding date. Just bizzare. Says it’s June when it’s really August. They had a big anniversary party one year, and there was a matchbook with the correct date in it. In August. I knew when it was because it was after my first husband’s death in July. Why do people do this ??

    • And my cousin acted like I was the crazy one when I said it was in August. I’m not crazy, lol, you are a liar.

    • “You cannot solve a marital problem with a narcissist, You cannot solve a problem that the other will not even acknowledge. You cannot solve a problem with someone who has no intention of changing anything he/she is doing.”

      This is so true, Portia!

      • True. It’s not the marriage that is the problem. It’s who you married.

    • Spot on as usual Portia.

      “but the proof is in their actions”
      I absolutely agree. Unfortunately it took me way longer than it should have to realize this. It’s a lesson that I have learned and will carry forward in future relationships and friendships.

      “The disordered look at any relationship as an opportunity to get something they want”
      In my case, and probably for many others, he used me, our family, home, etc. to look like a good guy. We were a facade so he could hide the type of person he really was.

      When cheater was seeing his SA therapist for individual counseling, I asked him if he had shared a certain piece of information. His response ‘it’s his job to ask me the right questions so he can find this information out. I’m not going to help him do his job.’ Wow, just wow – proved he had no interest in making effort.

      • Omg! I got this ALL the time! If I didn’t ask the most detailed, specific “right” question, he would lie or omit or minimize and then when I’d find out the WHOLE truth he would say “well, you didn’t ask me THAT.” This kind of crazy-making for TWO fucking years is indeed what I believe led me to finally have a mini stroke and develop serious heart problems. Too bad it took such dire happenings for me to wake the fuck up. I’m now trying to reclaim my life and everything I’ve missed, not just the past 2 years since DDay, but for the whole 25 years. Going to the beach with my BFF and just our kids. Asshat is pissed as hell he wasn’t invited. Go figure. The good thing now is that I’m able to shove off the shitty feelings he tries to dump on me. Before I couldn’t do it. Guard your hearts and minds above all else…..maybe I’m using it out of context, but that’s from the bible somewhere and I like it. It’s a mantra I can get into and make work for me most of the time. Since I could never prove he had PAs, only EAs, it’s more difficult to get behind the God hates adultery theme. My class A jerk cheater reminds me all the time that he “really didn’t DO anything.” UGH! And, he has demanded a polygraph and says I won’t let him prove his in innocence. Wtf?! All the shit he DID do was already way past MY red line. I don’t need to know if or when there was actual genital contact. That just grosses me out beyond words. In MY mind and heart he committed adultery regardless of whether he used his PENIS during his AFFAIRS or not. Damn self-righteous pious fuckwit.

    • Great post. And you also cannot solve a problem you don’t even know about… so when the cheater says he was actually miserably unhappy for years but didn’t tell you “because I am a coward!” and claims that led him to cheat, you couldn’t have solved that. Especially when he said “I love you” every day until the day you caught him cheating then suddenly he claimed he’d never been happy with you.

      • Yep. Mine announced one day he wasn’t “happy”. He ” hadn’t been happy for YEARS.”. Then he had “never been happy with you.”. Fucktard seemed pretty happy til he started banging a whore. Who, I might add, in all his years of unhappiness, he could have dated INSTEAD of me. But the slut just wasn’t all that irresistible when they were both FREE to date.

      • This is something that pisses me off, Saddam told me he loved me every fucking day, he emailed me with a signed “love you” every day too. Then bam, he never loved me, blah, fucking blah, liars lie and manipulate for their own reasons.

        • Same here, Dat. Twenty years of he loved me, I was his best friend, he would never want to divorce me. Then bam, Dday and suddenly he never loved me, never should have married me, we had nothing in common, he didn’t want to be married anymore. Still denied he was fucking a couple of side pieces though. In fact, he had been in a threesome only an hour or two before meeting me for coffee and telling me he didn’t want to be married anymore, but “there was no one else” and it was just that he’d been miserable since the moment he met me.

          • Me too. Said he loved me all the time for 25 years, until I caught him cheating. Then it was all “I’ve just felt disconnected from you for a long time” and “I lost hope a long time ago” and “we should’ve never gotten married…” Blah blah blah same as Dat said. They ARE just flat out lying, cheating, history-rewriting fuckers.

        • Same here Dat … Until I asked the question… Then i became the enemy.

  • When I told Dumbass I was finally filing for divorce, he was incredulous. He followed me around from room to room bleating like a little lamb, “Let’s go to marriage counseling. Let’s go to marriage counseling.” (This despite the fact that I had begged for years to see a family therapist, only to be met with a contemptuous “You can go by yourself and I’m not paying for it.”) I replied that I did not think marriage counseling would help us now, I was not interested and I was not going. Dumbass continued to croak out “Marriage Counseling” like a dying man asking for water in the desert. He seemed to regard it as some sort of magical spell that would poof our marriage back to health. He has since told everyone we know that the divorce is my fault since HE wanted to go to marriage counseling and I refused.

    • Join me in this boat Eve. I too request counseling multiple times only to get the same response. It wasn’t until I discovered his affair that he wanted to go. I later found out , while at lousy therapist’s session, it was the OWhore who was telling him we needed to go. Even that horrible therapist looked at him and said “you can see why that would be upsetting to her?” Only silence answered that question.

    • Eve, my ex did the same thing! I tried to convince him for years that we should go to MC. I ended up going by myself and the counselor said if my husband wouldn’t participate in the sessions, it was pretty much pointless for me to be there. I wanted to save the marriage. She suggested that I “not rock the boat” to maintain the peace. When I filed for divorce after 23 years of walking on eggshells, he bawled like a baby and begged me to go to MC. I told him it was too late – I had been there, done that – and as far as I was concerned it would be like beating a dead horse. He and his whole family blamed me for not trying…

      • I have to add that I wanted to go to marriage counseling (after the birth of our first child) because there was a lack of intimacy in our marriage. He only wanted to be with me in the bedroom. That was the only part of “marriage” that he was concerned with and it was never good enough to suit him no matter what I did. I didn’t discover the affairs going on under my nose for 2 decades! I was busy kissing his ass being a good wife, living with his verbal and emotional abuse, and raising our children. I couldn’t understand why he was so emotionally disconnected until I found out he was carrying on with his “band groupies” on the side. That’s when I filed for divorce.

        • As happens with most narcissists, you found that he could not accept a child. Little ones need attention too, and they want it all. It’s that simple.

        • Lack of intimacy is a big red flag. With ex for many years but felt he was disengaged, there was always something missing. Addressing problems in our marriage was like trying to catch a buttered pig.

          • LOL Drew! “Addressing the problems in our marriage was like trying to catch a buttered pig.” Never heard a better or funnier analogy of the mindfuckery we endure when we try so chumpy-much to address the REAL issues. It is indeed like “trying to catch a buttered pig!” 🙂 Boy I needed that laugh today, so whether you meant it to be funny or not, thank you.

  • The moment someone blames me, I will ask for a total refund and tell them to KISS MY ASS!….. Pretty simple! I actually have found good solid people through the church. Adultery is adultery to them no excuses period! And they state I have the right granted by God to throw her to the curb if I so choose…. I think the ones who play the game of its your fault actually have studied metal disorders and know that if they play to the cheater, the odds of the couple coming back are higher than if you place blame on the cheater…..we chumps are in such a state of shock they know they can play us for cash!!!!

    • Your church rocks! My church is very much the same way. What a blessing!

      • Ditto. My priest said “He’s incredibly selfish. You must pick up the pieces on go on” (without the jerk–no mention of reconcilation).

      • Yes they do….. Now as with most, they will assist with reconciliation but as they say…. its my choice to make…. not hers. Once I make a decision they are willing to work in either direction. Pretty good people!

  • Our first MC was excellent. He even said “I only do 8 sessions and if things don’t change after that then it is because one or both of you is not mature enough to do the work this takes and I will no longer work with you.” He never blamed me, he said my husband had very serious emotional issues. Of course, he scared my husband and my husband said he couldn’t connect with this counselor. So chumpy me found us a new counselor who was a major wimp and seemed scared of my husband. At this point, I KNEW my husband had checked out and there was no point in wasting the money on marriage counseling so I didn’t go back. Instead, I went and got two great counselors, one my doctor recommended and one my church recommended, and they were both amazing and they both said my husband most likely has Narcissistic Personality Disorder and to get away from him. I’m still with my Christian counselor. She has helped me so much through this and I feel like a year later I’m really getting my self esteem and life back and have come a LONG way. I would not be this far along without her.

  • I feel so guilty bc I don’t know if I ever tried to repair my marriage as the moment I found out, inside my heart, I knew my marriage was over. 4 yrs later & still in limbo hell, the thoughts of ever being in her place sexually just turns my stomach.

    We went to mc, but all they kept telling me was that i needed to “hear” husband, to listen to his story… She felt he was very remorseful, which he was, cause he was losing me & the life he built for the past 30 yrs. but I just can’t get past the fact that the 30 yrs meant nothing when push came to shove. He just put himself ahead of his family….it just all hurt way to much to rebuilt our life, and now the life I love, and always wanted is gone for me and I struggle everyday to find my way. It’s still s very rough ride.

    • Susan, you cut to the chase and didn’t waste your time dancing for a loser. There should be no guilt there. If you read folks here, most of us didn’t gain anything of value flogging a dead horse. Instead, we lost months or years of our precious lives. You will be just fine when you realize that your best is still to come.

    • Susan, come on the forums, you need some support, that guilt seems misplaced. Jedi hugs! It will get better

    • Susan, it’s the wasted years and what you thought your life WAS! And, you want back all that the cheater took from you. I get it. Been there and still end up there too much of my time. CL was helpful to me with this particular area when she said that it isn’t MY life that was a lie, it was HIS life that was the lie. As difficult as it is, as painful as some of the memories are, I have to admit it was more painful believing MY entire life was a lie. I couldn’t even look at our family photos or work on the kid scrapbooks for a long time. But CL was right, MY memories are real and mine. I wasn’t pretending, HE was. All that said, I still sometimes struggle with resisting his faux remorse and false attempts to repair. It gets better, but it’s not easy. I’m sorry you’re going through it. Another very mighty chump once wrote “hope dies a slow death.” Forgive me for not remembering who said it, but I know it was someone who’s been on the board for awhile supporting others and being mighty. If we could just walk away from these cheating vampires without all the bad feelings, we chumps probably wouldn’t be here. You’re not alone even though it might feel like it at times. You’ll find great support here. Everyone here helps pour much needed light on the dark places we can’t yet see for ourselves. Keep fighting.

      • So true…the pain of the past is also the awakening of the future and the new and smarter you! Be happy you can say that is your past…some people aren’t lucky enough to get out!!! God Bless 🙂

  • It was not about cheating but I was seeing a recommended therapist about someone who was treating me horribly. I told the therapist two or three painful examples and she said, “Let me play the devil’s advocate here…” and started telling me why she thought the person might be acting cruelly. I thought, “WHAT? I am my OWN devil’s advocate! I don’t need a devil’s advocate! I need an advocate for ME!” Thank goodness (in a weird way) that I had seen enough therapists in my life (some well-meaning but kinda useless, others horrible, my current one…almost perfect) so that I was able to make that my first and LAST session with Miss Devil’s Advocate! In fact, you could say I got two sessions for the price of one…first and last, ha! My point is, do not assume that because thinks they are a great therapist that they are — save your OWN life.

  • Therapists blame all sorts of people for the problems they present with. I think it’s just their default method. My son is dealing with a whacko, control-freak, narcissistic ex. She is engaging in Parental Alienation, and it is a classic textbook case. Anyone who knows of the situation and googles “Parental Alienation” can just tick off the list of signs and symptoms that are obvious in this case. The ex took their child (my grandson) to a therapist that attends her church (a cult, really). Of course, it is so wrong for the therapist to accept the case, as she has a dual relationship with the mother. And, of course, she believes everything the mother says, because no one who goes to her (cult) church would be anything less than perfect, and is totally oblivious to what is really going on in this situation. The therapist acted outside the limits of her license and encouraged my grandson’s mother to stop visits between my son and his son. Because, without meeting with my son, the therapist decides that the mother is telling the truth and my son is the problem! They demand that my son meet with her so she can straighten my son out. LOL The truth is, my son hasn’t done anything to warrant this mess, he’s a loving and devoted dad, and the mother is a whacko, always has been, always will be, and my son has been dealing with this nonsense since before his child was born, and he’s had her ass in court on multiple occasions because of this craziness. My son’s attorney tells him to go meet with the therapist and tell her to go f**k herself. LOL He goes to meet with the cult therapist and OF COURSE, she wastes no time in asking my son if he wants to share what he did to cause the problems. She can’t see AT ALL that the mother is the problem and my son and his child are just pawns in this game of Parental Alienation. I’ve lost my faith in the entire profession, actually.

  • Chumps don’t need to go to marriage counseling. The marriage isn’t the problem. Cheaters need to go to psychoanalysis. They are the problem. My ex-husband abandoned me a few hours after I told him that I knew he was having an affair. I had no proof, but I finally reached the point where I didn’t need any proof, so I just announced that I knew and that he needed to get honest with me. So, he left. Then, about 18 months later, after virtually no contact, he emailed me and asked if I could forgive him and let him come home. I responded that I wasn’t sure I could ever forgive him, but that if he was interested in doing what he needed to do to repair the situation, he could enter therapy and do the work necessary to discover what was wrong with him that caused him to betray me. To my credit, I at least understood that it wasn’t “the marriage” and it wasn’t anything I did, and I don’t believe all that Esther Perel bullshit either. But, that wasn’t the answer he was looking for, I guess he was looking for me to grovel and ‘fess up to whatever my faults were that caused him to want to screw a co-worker. Uh, no, not happening because there wasn’t anything to ‘fess up to. I was being the best wife I could be, I loved him, and we were both in the same marriage and I wasn’t screwing around on him, so nope, that whole mess was squarely in his court. Of course, he wasn’t going to humble himself and admit that he’s an asshole, so, that was it, game over.

  • The first counselor we went to zeroed in on Cheaterpants and read him like a book. So of course Cheaterpants quit that counselor… I continued to go to the first counselor alone, for me…..He was quite helpful.

    The Second counselor was a personal friend of Cheaterpants and the sessions were very weird: Cheaterpants would sit there and say no more than one or two words. I talked way too much, and the counselor let me…and would be critical about my choice of language….didn’t like me referring to the Other Woman by anything other than her name.

    The third and last counselor seemed to be channeling a Kindergarten Teacher: spoke with a baby voice and asked the burning question: “if you had a magic wand what would your life look like?” I had made a concerted effort to let Cheaterpants do the talking. Cheater had agreed to go to counseling, he made this statement to the counselor: Our Developmentally Delayed Son (16 y/o at the time) and I were “A ball and Chain” as far as Cheaterpants was concerned. You should have seen the look on the counselors face.

    • You should see the look on MY face! What a complete and unredeemable ASSHOLE! I’m sorry for you and your son. Unchain yourself and your son from that crazy selfish fucker. May he fall into a septic tank where he belongs. What a POS. You get on with being mighty for you and your son.

  • Cheater begged me to agree to MC when I kicked him out. I told him he put us in this situation so this was his to fix, not mine. It was up to him to find a therapist and schedule the appointments. He agreed but when it came down to it, he drug his feet and used every excuse in the book. Eventually, I booked an appointment and gave him the option to show up because I was going to see her regardless. He came and she was a godsend. At the end of the initial session, she suggested that he have an individual session with her next. He did, then we had a joint session. In the joint session, she had him confess to more affairs (initially, I only knew about the one I caught him with). She then scheduled an individual session with me. This is when I found out how lucky I was to have chosen her. She had worked with sex offenders in her past so she pegged him in our initial session as a serial cheater, narc and possible sociopath. She told me she saw no future for me with him and it would be best for me to get away from him right then. She also told me that she was uncomfortable working with him based on her conversation with him because of his complete lack of morals and empathy. She wanted to refer him to a male therapist because he wouldn’t be able to charm him. She said she would continue to work with me and support me if I wanted to continue to work on my marriage or if I wanted to leave.

    He went to the male therapist and had several sessions with him before we had a joint session. In that joint session, he admitted to even more affairs. But he continued to lie to the therapist and me. Each time he admitted to more affairs spanning more years, he would say ‘that’s everything, there’s nothing more to tell’ and of course, more would come out eventually. And then I found out about his prostitute usage and I was done (yes, it took me that long). He quit counseling after that. I certainly wasn’t in their individual sessions, but I believe this therapist was not as tough on him as he needed to be.

    Of course throughout all of this he blamed me for his actions. It was subtle at first but as more of his secrets were revealed, it was harsh and pointed.

    I see him now for what he really is – an outwardly charming but egotistical shell of person who is actually pathetic and has low self esteem. He’s always looking to make others appear inferior to him while they are making him look good. He’s a user of people, without an ounce of regard for anyone else unless it benefits him at that point in time. On the outside he appears to be a good person but once that mask has slipped, it’s very clear that’s not at all who he is.

  • The MC we saw was invested in saving the marriage no matter what and convinced me to keep trying even after the STI. After he’d pulled a gun on me the MC sent me a bill, I wrote her back and said she should collect that from Saddam, I was damned if I was going to pay her for her contribution to my near death experience. I never heard from her again.

    • Dat-

      That’s awful! But mighty of you to tell her to fuck off! My situation was much less grave, but the therapist still gave my cheating asshat fuckwit “weapons” to use against me. Asking me if maybe he WAS doing all he could to repair the marriage and maybe I was simply being “a pain in the ass” ??? Telling me to “put on my big girl pants” ??? I told him he might as well have given cheaterass a real weapon, because he would surely load these up and use his words to abuse me more. He did. Took great pleasure in telling people the therapist (who had a PhD and supposedly had extensive MC training) said I was a pita and more basically that I was responsible for the problems we were having. Worse, I found out that during one of the ICing sessions, this “Dr.” told my fucking narc cheater, “there is something wrong with her.” WTFH? He told Mr. Self-righteous Asshat “there’s just something wrong with her.” That finally blew the lid off my kettle and I’m going to file a complaint. The only thing wrong with ME, was being stupid enough to think there was any chance in hot hell of “saving” a sham marriage with this heinous narc serial cheater!

      I’m happy to hear that some of us had better experiences than me and especially Dat. I’m so sorry and outraged to hear stories like yours Dat. I’m glad you got out and I hope you are still safe from him. They sometimes never go away and I pray that’s not your situation still. (((Hugs)))

  • I got the tennis court analogy and how I needed to keep my stuff on my side of the court. My ‘stuff’ was him sleeping with prostitutes and lying about everything under the sun for years.

  • I went to counselling today and discussed how gullible I had been for someone who is reasonably intelligent, so many missed signs, so many red flags – she said simply ” you were married to a deceiver”.
    Did I know all along – no, because I did not want to face the facts.

    • Mary, the disordered are great actors, they have to be to pass as normal. They are chameleons. I was fooled too. At seventeen I lacked wisdom and life experience. Most of us were young, naive, and trusting. I think as the years pass the disordered just grow more crazy and they have a hard time juggling life. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You did the best you could. I look at my ex now as missing key ingredients. He presented well but through the years he became more and more disengaged. Normal people engage.

  • Dummy me. I initiated MC after I busted the creep. Stupid me. I wasted about $2K in these sessions over one year and he was still in contact with the MOW during the first 3 months. Crazy me. I didn’t have the emotional strength to kick his ass out immediately.

    The MC never blamed me, but wanted to save the marriage at all costs. The greatest cost was my sense of integrity. To be in collusion with the liar and keep marching on with the sham in front of my kids. That’s when I pulled the plug. The cheater needs IC because they are douches, and the chump needs IC to recover from the abuse. How can two damaged people have a relationship to work on when that relationship was built on lies, manipulation and abuse? No logic in that, just $$ for the MC with the mantra, “We’ll get there.” Where the fuck is “there” anyhow?

  • Fuck marriage counseling with an infidel (Latin for unfaithful, treacherous). It should have occurred BEFORE the breach of trust and disloyal act.

    Individual counseling first.

  • My ex walked out to be with his OW. And it wasn’t until he said, “I want a divorce,” that I suspected there was someone else. It just never occurred to me that he would so deeply betray me; I may be a Chump but I knew I deserved better and I let him know it! Right up til Dday. Cheating was my deal breaker though and my ex knew this from day one. All those past crappy choices of his finally made sense then. It was like watching all the puzzle pieces falling into place. I always gave him excuses for acting poorly but I now know that Cheaters destroy their old relationships to get onto their next. I knew I could not save my marriage so I did not try. I talked with everyone I knew, way past being healthy, but it worked. My family. My friends. My coworkers. They were all supportive. So I didn’t see a marriage counselor, I knew I needed time to recover and spent the following two years just taking care of myself. And my kids. (We were isolated and far away from family at the time.) I of course read everything, stumbled onto an old book Sudden Endings, and then Runaway Husbands. Then discovered CL around 2012, her blog had been mentioned on FWW, and have been hooked since. IMHO, Her voice/message is relevant and the only one to listen to when it comes to infidelity. A lifesaver for sure.

    • Drew, I couldn’t agree more – I too am so glad I found CL!

  • Well said, Drew. Your story is mine exactly. When the puzzle pieces came together, I knew the marriage was over and there was no way I was playing any pick-me-dances. He owed ME one, not the other way around. I found C/L immediately and kicked him out without a chance. I KNEW there was no way I could go back to him. And, I KNEW he really didn’t want me either. I refused to play the fool. (not saying those who try are fools, just that I was onto C/N before I could flip my head) – I knew what I needed to do for me even though it was the last thing I wanted to happened in my life. And, I loved him. (which makes this harder)

    This has been a nightmare beyond proportion, but I would like to brag about something I did for the ‘Pick-me-dance’, during his guilt phase.
    I knew it was the end of the marriage but I booked us into the most expensive hotel room we could afford on Maui for 10 days, and I just sort of did my own thing while he did his. Me by the pool. Him up in the room texting schmoopie.

    After all this time wondering if I did the right thing during this or that (I was immediately DONE), I’m just glad I got that one last freaking trip out of him.
    Since he took Schmoopie on many trips, I made sure she knew this was one of those knock-out trips and hope she wondered if he was screwing me.
    And, No, he never made a move on me once, hanging on the side of this beautiful romantic bed – I guess, thinking he was cheating on her. That makes me laugh now (loser), but it didn’t at the time.

    As soon as we landed, I immediately filed for divorce.

    Yeah – it was bitter-sweet ending, but that was the last of the relationship I had with him.
    Hey – the pool-side pina coladas were worth my time.

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