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UBT: Renegade Sex Therapists

mrNiceGuyRaise your hand if you think good sex is an important part of a good relationship. Oh, hey, is that all of you? I think most of us can agree that good sex is a Good Thing.

How do you define good? Well, that’s between you and your partner to figure out. (Enjoy those experiments, kids!)

One common assumption about infidelity is that cheaters must cheat because chumps suck at sex. Now look, some chumps may actually suck at sex or be sexless. In which case, honest conversations must be had, and ultimately, this may not be the best relationship fit for either of you. But sexual incompatibility is no excuse for cheating, which is abusive and endangering.

Inevitably when you try and have a conversation about infidelity, the battlefield is fought on sexual incompatibility. And the cheater apologist wants to argue on the grounds of Sex Is Important! (agreed) or No One Should Be In a Sexless Marriage! (agreed) That’s a Unilateral Decision! (So is cheating, and no one gets pregnant or infected by sexlessness.)

And then we inevitably spiral into Monogamy Is Not Natural. (Okay, so don’t agree to be monogamous. Problem solved.)

The New York Times recently ran an article “First Comes Sex Talk With These Renegades of Couples Therapy” featuring Dr. Tammy Nelson and Esther Perel’s thoughts on sex therapy. And it’s the same retread of chump sexual deficiencies make cheaters cheat.

In traditional couples therapy, which is about 50 years old, sex has often been shoved to the sideline. Practitioners are trained to work on underlying relationship issues, like blame or communication, many discussing sex only if the couple wants to talk about it.

But in the last decade, as coupledom itself has been legally redefined, a chorus of provocative voices in couples therapy has emerged, emphasizing the importance of good sex in relationships and sometimes suggesting the radical idea that couples fix the sex before tackling other issues.

Here’s a radical suggestion — maybe sex is not a separate compartment from communication and intimacy?

Anyway, here are a few gems from the article, which I will now feed to the UBT. Even though it is holding its nose and begging me not to.

The den mother of the group is Esther Perel, 56, the internationally known Belgian-born author of “Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence,” who asserts that mystery and distance could benefit long-term monogamy.

Ms. Perel, based in Manhattan, is writing a book tentatively called “Affairs: Cheating in the Age of Transparency,” and gave a TED talk about the topic in March that has been viewed about two million times. Her newest provocation is the idea that trauma-based language around affairs is limiting.

Mystery and distance unlocks erotic “intelligence”? So, uh, does that mean I’m stupid if I like my sex familiar and intimate? I think most people would like to know a person a good long while before they trot out the leather and whips, but maybe that’s just me.

And Esther? I’d be tentative about that book title too. It sucks. “Cheating in the Age of Transparency”? Cheating is about being opaque. Deceitful. Hiding it from your partner for the frissons of delight that is getting away with it. If you meant transparent, as in honest and above board? That’s not cheating, that’s “open marriage,” which has rules too, so sorry even polyamorists can be cheated on.

Her newest provocation is the idea that trauma-based language around affairs is limiting.

UBT: I know! Let’s divert cheating away from the ugly concepts of deceit and reframe it as a CHUMP problem! Ooh, that’s good. Betrayal is not a trauma! So stop using “trauma-based language”! That’s so limiting.

You wouldn’t want to be one of those limited, unintelligent people, would you?

“An affair is an act of betrayal and also an experience of expansion and growth,” Ms. Perel said in an interview. “It is a relational trauma, but it isn’t a crime. The family can often come out of it stronger and more resilient, and often an affair will draw the couple out of a place of deadness.”

The UBT has given up in protest.

“An affair is an act of betrayal…”

It’s not SINGULAR, Esther. Affairs are thousands of decisions to betray, one lie after the next after the next. It’s not an act (singular) of betrayal. That’s smothering the verb. It is betrayal. Period. The sentence is much stronger (and not to your point) if you write “Affairs are betrayals.” So you distance the language and say, affairs are just “an act” (one!), implied that there are no feelings of ill intent. That’s a hefty assumption.

“and also an experience of expansion and growth.”

Who’s against expansion and growth?! Chumps are idiot picketing members of historic preservation societies. Save our marriage! Don’t tear it down! Sorry, Esther needs a strip mall for the all-you-can-eat-pussy buffet. Don’t stand in the way of progress!

So acts of betrayal and expansion and growth are equivalent? In what moral universe? Bank robbery is an act of theft and also an experience of exhilaration and enrichment. You’ve got your thumb on the scale for the crime over the victim, but you’ve dressed it up nicely as being the same.

“It is a relational trauma, but it isn’t a crime.”

Actually, it’s a crime in most world religions. Some states still have adultery on the books, and it’s in our military code. But yeah, you’re not going to get sent to jail for cheating on your spouse.

As long as the “trauma” is in your relationship, hey, it’s not criminal. Wasn’t that the old rational for domestic abuse?

“The family can often come out of it stronger and more resilient…”

How’s infidelity working for everyone’s kids? Stronger and more resilient for it?

I’d say strength and resiliency come from leaving cheaters, not staying married to them and modeling dysfunction.

And WTF, Esther — you’re going to put this trauma behind you because the cheater is never going to cheat again? No, you just made cheating normal and “expansive.” A good thing! Why would the cheater want to stop when you’ve given them so many delicious excuses to continue? So, suck it up, chumps. Your family will be stronger for it!

and often an affair will draw the couple out of a place of deadness.

For who? The cheater? But it’s okay cheater, now that you’ve expressed your unhappiness, your chump will pick me dance her/his heart out! And you’ll get more kibbles. And if you don’t, hey, cheat again. It’s your right.

Does the chump feel dead? Nah, chumps love to pick me dance. They were bred for it and have natural rhythm.

But wait there’s more!

Another emerging voice on infidelity is Dr. Nelson, 52, a New Haven-based couples and sex therapist and author of “The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity.” She encourages couples to write their own monogamy rules, which can include extramarital sex on weekends or extramarital sex but only together.

“I describe monogamy as honest, perpetual dependency of some type,” Dr. Nelson said. “It can be whatever a couple wants, but it has to be fluid and flexible, and the couple has to keep renewing it, like a license.”

Boy, you make monogamy sound so fun, Dr. Tammy. Perpetual dependency? Sign me up!

It can be whatever I want? Monogamy as a holodeck? Today I am Bluebeard the Pirate! Find me a wench! But only on weekends.

Damn, I think the UBT has broken.

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  • This post is too long as it is, but I wanted to add that chumps can have absolutely scintillating sex lives with their cheaters and it’s not enough. They want strange. We can’t be Other. (thus my line about the pussy buffet).

    Moreover, the people in the dead sexless marriages are usually the CHUMPS, and they’re not cheating. They’re suffering while the cheater is giving it all to the affair partners.

    Just fuck these “renegades.” Ugh.

      • I appreciate your research via the UBT and hope it gets back up and running because your ability to dispel these contrived falsities, e.g., noting the, “retread of chump sexual deficiencies [that] make cheaters cheat,” and your ability to articulate heartfelt pain (especially when we are blamed) is a vital and I believe, vastly important (needing a revolution) contribution in the field of ‘get real about infidelity’ that you make everyday. I am stunned that Esther Perle can acknowledge “trauma” and then in the same breath minimize it. WTF? Is it trauma or not, Esther? I get so angry at these pedantic academics who harm other people by their abstract, seemingly innocent comments, who captivate audiences via TED talks (an organization that I tend to respect-though I had to stop watching her talk because it hinted at normalizing and condoning infidelity), and who profit off narcissists (those who really believe infidelity is justifiable “damn my spouse, she drove me to it”). Anyone in her league, insults our integrity, minimizes our pain, and to state this strongly, causes harm. And I don’t say that lightly. It is harmful to normalize infidelity. Period. CL, I am glad you checked her out because I think people who spout lunacies such as: “often an affair will draw the couple out of a place of deadness,” need to know that this is ludicrous, hurtful, rubbish to spew. Who says that? Who thinks that? It’s people like Esther that create these cultural waves of justifications that narcs surf on with glee. “Yipee, see it’s on the internet, she’s on TED talks, cheating is actually pulling my marriage out of its deadness and making my family stronger and more resilient.”

        All I can say is I trust that she sucks. Keep fighting this good fight for us and CN, CL.

        • Well, the Whore did ” like me being married to you “, Juliet, and you ” are good for me.”. She was “helping” our marriage :-). Yeah, if you call me hating your guts helping…

    • Yes, Tracy. EH withheld from me for years with no explanation whatsoever. I can only assume it had to do with my hysterectomy because that’s when he got weird. I tried and tried but finally gave up. But I never cheated or thought of walking out on him. I could have divorced him years ago for that. Chump me thought it work out somehow.

      My aunt was also in a sexless marriage. She had the body of a goddess at the time. Uncle preferred having sex with himself.

      Are they all getting it elsewhere or do they have a hang up? I mean, what healthy man doesn’t want to have sex?

      • My marraige was sexless for 36 years….we manage to have 2 kids !! But I think marraige actually attracts cheaters in a twisted, naughty deviant type of sex that they need to perform! Cheaters are no good at intimacy or honesty! My husband also his money , controlled and stole my money and inheritance through those years! We were married only 5 years when cheater was sleeping with someone else wife! He initially told the truth then changed his story! I was pregnant and stuck to work on the relationship! We went to marraige counseling and she identified him as having so many problems and stated he would need life long therapy! I a rescuer and a nurse thought I could fix him!!!!!LOL!!36 years later he sends me a I DON’T LOVE You letter…No Lawyers…i’ll take care of you all while he is trying to cash in his retirement assests! I filed and when him and shmoopie turned up the violence to drive me out of my marragial home! Borderlines are not capable of love, good sex or being honest! They are anti social thrill seekers! I am divorced 8 months —-No Contact!

    • My H complained about a “sexless” marriage, and I know some of that was my fault, we have young kids, jobs, etc.. but he also retreated to the basement nightly to “work out” for hours.. I would ask him to forgo the hours long workouts and hang with me instead. He said I never “initiated” but those were initiations…. what I wanted was intimacy, time together, attention from him, but he didn’t give that. What he wanted was sex when HE wanted it.. but didn’t want to put in the time of building on intimacy. I was here, every night and every weekend.. I wasn’t out partying and ignoring him. I was here, in our home. Would have loved more time with him. I was knee deep in baby, and he was out cultivating a relationship with the whore who has no kids, and no such real life encumbrances. I will forever be sorry for not paying enough attention to him and not realizing I wasn’t meeting his needs, but instead of working with me and on it together.. he just found someone sparkly who didn’t have all the “tie downs” that I did. His KIDS.. for example.

      He actually told me the other day that raising kids, laundry, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping… those were chores and really didn’t show him “love”. That floored me. Here I was all this time, thinking I was his best friend, partner, stayed with him through thick and thin.. and all those things I do to keep the home fires burning.. they aren’t showing “love”. That hurt me almost worse than the comparisons to the whore.

      This really sucks. Because he obviously prefers the whore physically, and all that I did for him in all those other ways is discarded. Along with the family we’ve built.

      • Oh and this is after months of pick me dancing where I tried to “up” sexual contact, but he would complain when I wouldn’t initiate at the right times. I started initiating in the morning, because evenings are tough with kids and well, life.. he is always working out and “tired”.. and he complained about that.. saying my initiations were all about when it was “good for me”???? Really??? Nothing I did during that pick me dance phase was good enough. He was already gone.

        • Been there, done that too…. Big hug to you ChumpATL. What a creep. everything he did was pretty much identical in y experience. Very, very unoriginal.

              • My goodness, such a familiar run of events. Me too, up to my neck in babies (still breastfeeding my youngest @ 11 months). Please newchumpatl and other posters here, do not see his “complaint” as your fault. It is not “your fault” at all.

                Not your fault.

                Cheaters “think like a smoker” as the Ex used to explain the way he lived his life to me. What he was always banging on about, was to be as opportunistic as possible, often telling me to do this with relation to getting exercise (yah, with three little kids). Quite an offensive point of view, I think. I’m not a smoker and I’d reckon a smoker might find that kind of analogy a little bit offensive also. I certainly didn’t get any kind of inspiration from this little pep talk that he’d toss my way from time to time.

                Needless to say, that he continued to follow his own advice, and hooked up with his training partner (recently single, female, no kids, two chihuahuas) while they attended a group training camp together last year in sunny Hawaii. A group camp of two.

                Then told me that I could not offer him what he wanted.

                Not my fault.

                When cheaters move the goal posts and deliberately keep you in the dark about it, they’re being nothing more than fucking opportunists (which I reckon in my book, is another form of being freakin lazy). In my case, he was and continues to be. I’m lying in wait for the distant time when my kids work that out about him. A while away yet.

              • it is NOT that he prefers the OWhore. it is that the WHORE doesnt have any other responsibilities or duties to distract her from worshiping HIM!! i was like you, doing the right thing ” I was here, every night and every weekend.. I wasn’t out partying and ignoring him. I was here, in our home. Would have loved more time with him. I was knee deep in baby,”

                but the oompa loompa hood rat he ran to bailed on her own marriage, abandoned her own children. she did not have a job, did not have a vehicle, did not have a house or apartment. she had no bills, no children, no worries about anything except where her next beer was coming from and to make my husband “feel better” for being a shitty dad and husband. they have been together for over a year and she STILL does not have her children, still doesnt have a house. they both are living with someone they know.

                i did not want to live that way. i wanted more out of life then the next beer bottle, the next party, the next all nighters with the same people who are still doing the same shit they were doing last year and the year before that. i wanted more then to rely on the goodness and kindness of other people to determine where i sleep, if i sleep, if i shower or eat. and i damn sure wanted more then a man who thought of only his own needs, wants and desires, who put himself first over his own children and wife and who ran off to drown himself in a bottle every time life got a little bit bumpy.

        • When I was doing the “pick me dance” up a storm, my nowdeadH said “all this you are doing to save our marriage, its pathetic”…one of the few things he was right about in that era of his life (…that and buying life insurance)

        • Well, fucking his whore was “good for him” and DEFINITELY not good for him!
          What a fuckface. Seriously.

      • i can relate, because in the aftermath of dday, my cheating Ex said that I had failed to pay enough attention to him, over the years. When I pointed out ways he failed to pay attention to me he listed all the household chores he did. He didn’t see my working and paying for all his food for 16 years, his cell phone and 95% of our housing cost as doing anything for him. Not to mention that I did all the grocery shopping, paid for all the groceries, cooked all the meals and did all the indoor housework. You see, he mowed the lawn and did the home repairs, that was something he should get a big bitch cookie for.

        • I got the, ” you never initiate” line also and it was BS! Everytime I did, he would turn me down and if I got upset then he would remind me that there was more to life than sex! WOW! I can’t wait till his Schmoopie gets that line! Of course we all know how she’ll handle that little problem! Karma is a bitch!

          • Also, once these assholes start screwing around and sneaking about, the dice are loaded and you can NEVER talk good sense or have a fair and balanced conversation about any issue! You ARE going to lose. They make sure of it because they want to move on to the newer, shiny object of their affection. They want you to go away quietly and stop making trouble. That’s when you get the lawyer and hammer their asses!

            • Exactly. Got my lawyer and a restraining order again the OW. And he actually tells people (and my kids and friends) that I’m the crazy bitch

          • That would be the situation in my case. If he initiated, he expected me to drop everything. If I initiated, he was too busy, too tired, etc. Ah to be the fly on the wall when he tries that with Schmoopie!

            • It’s funny how it works that way, isn’t it? If we don’t stop, drop and do it at a moments notice, we are accused of being unreasonable and ungrateful. However, if he’s not in the mood, it’s ok. Either way, look at all the things they have done and sacrificed for us…

              My entire marriage was based on sex. He had little to do with me outside of the bedroom. I was very lonely yet I did the pick me dance – was a good wife and good mother – for 23 years. I trusted him and never questioned him. I believed all of his lies…

              When he hit his 40s he became impotent! Had to take his little blue pills to get it up and even then it sometimes didn’t work. He used to ask me if should take a pill 30 minutes in advance when he wanted to have sex because they were expensive and he didn’t want to waste one if I wasn’t going to put out!! How sexy is that?!

              It was around then that I discovered his cheating. I often wondered after we split up how he gaged the likelihood of having sex on any given night without spilling the beans to his object of interest about his need for a pill!! I have to admit I was rather satisfied that Karma deflated his manhood. That really had to hurt his giant ego.

          • i got the “you never want to do anything” which really fucked me up in the head because i was super depressed over losing my daughter and actually really did not want to do anything. BUt he had been using that excuse for longer then i was depressed.

            recently, i remember him saying that i didnt want to do anything or go anywhere but when i would make suggestions to do things on the weekend, he didnt want to go or wasnt interested. So it wasnt that i didnt want to do “anything” or go “anywhere”…it was more that i didnt want to do “what HE wanted me to do” (which was to drink more and bail on my responsibilities) or go “where HE wanted me too” (which was out drinking with his loser alcoholic and druggie cousins).

            it DID NOT matter if i wanted to go and do other things. it DID Not matter that i wanted him to do more things with us as a family. it DID NOT matter that i did go and do just about everything he wanted to before. all that mattered was that i was not doing or going to where he wanted NOW…..

        • Yes the house hold chore equality.

          Mine even made special mention in his court doc that he put the bins out every week and brought them in again.

          Bitch cookie and a glass of milk.????

      • And what would their excuse be for “not feeling loved by you” if you had neglected to do all those things that he said “did not count”?

        If you kept the house as a PIG PEN, refused to cook or grocery shop, let the kids run around filthy and not help them with their homework, let the dirty laundry pile up until there was nothing for anyone to wear, ditto for piles of dirty dishes, ignored paying the bills AND spent hours and hours holed up in your own private “space” doing God knows what instead…THEN perhaps he could say you did not show him love.

        I suppose it would not occur to them to get off their butts and help clear some time together when you were not already exhausted from doing everything alone?

        • PREEEEEEEEEEACH, Sweetz!!!! Everything you said is EXACTLY what my STBXH says…I “neglected” him for Candy Crush!!!

          Sex HAD to initiated by him, otherwise he wasn’t in the mod…and I had to be like a porn star or “pretend you’re with someone else”- yep, he said that!!!!

          I’m so glad I’ll be free of him soon enough!!!!

        • ironically the man i married really did leave me for someone who “kept the house as a PIG PEN, refused to cook or grocery shop, let the kids run around filthy and not help them with their homework, let the dirty laundry pile up until there was nothing for anyone to wear, ditto for piles of dirty dishes, ignored paying the bills AND spent hours and hours holed up in your own private “space” doing God knows what instead…”

          so it is possible that he might have stayed with me if i did all that but i just couldnt lower my standards any more then i already had. ironically he would bitch about the house not being clean enough, but the hood rat he is with is a PIG. ironically he would expect me to have dinner ready, but the hood rat he is with NEVER COOKS. he expected me to take care of any detail that had to do with the kids, and STILL whined about how i undermined him and didnt back him up, and yet the hood rat he is with doesnt even HAVE her own kids, isnt raising them, doesnt wake up with them, take them to school or feed them. all she does is cry about how much she misses them and loves them (just like he does). he expected me to take care of all the bills, and would throw it in my face when and if the water or electricity got turned off but the hood rat he is with doesnt pay her own bills, begs people to pay her phone bill (you know so she can keep in touch with her kids that she doesnt have), sponges off of other people, living off of other peoples kindness for a place to sleep, shower and eat. he would get pissed off if i was on the computer when he came home, but his hood rat has her face in her phone all the time. she is on facebook MORE then i am.

          i dont get it. but i dont care either. if he thinks that some b*tch who left her husband, and bailed on her kids will treat him and love him better then the boys and i did, then she is welcome to him. i am almost to the point where i dont even care if Karma hits him. the longer she keeps her claws in him, the longer he is away from me and the boys. and the STRONGER i get, the more i get over him.

      • NewChump, I hope there comes a time when you will forgive yourself for not reading his mind. He sounds like an ordinary, cheating shithead who blames you for his shortcomings. Don’t fall for it.

      • you just told the story of my life only difference was i was the one who had to initiate sex, his idea of initiating was to poke me in the ass with his morning woody. i also NEVER said no, up until the point in sept 2013 after having some mind blowing sex at 5:00 in the morning only to have him jump on the computer to check out your local available skanks showing all their glory. made me feel so worthless and unwanted, like i was just an object to satisfy his need to pop off a nut. so i stopped initiating and stopped paying attention to the pokes. if he couldnt put any more effort into it then that, i just pretended i was asleep. but ya, i wanted more intimacy. i did so much for him and my family only to have it all forgotten at the drop of a hat. 14.5 years of standing by his side, pulling him out of the gutter, bailing him out of jail and keeping him above water did not mean a single thing to him, not to mention keeping the house, yard, garage, bills, kids, food, vacations, laundry, etc, etc while he gave up not even 1/16th of what i was giving him.

        exhole gave up his loving, supporting, understanding and forgiven wife and trusting children for another mans wife and children. who the fuck does that?

    • I agree 100%…an affair(s) is not one betrayal but a whole host of betrayals. The lies about where they are, what they’re doing, and in my case, “she’s just my work friend, she’s not even attractive”. Add that to the humiliating and ego-crushing pick me dance, the FBI-esque snooping & interrogation tactics, and feeling like the most horrendous looking women on the planet because Mr. Wet Dick cheated on you with a dim-witted female version of Rocky Dennis. Every last bit of BS stemming from his fuck up is a betrayal of any trust/respect/dignity/basic human compassion/you name it that you ever had together. Period.
      When I read that cheating is an opportunity for growth & expansion, I laughed. Growth? Oh…like Pinocchio’s nose when he is attempting to cover it up with lies? Or perhaps “growth” as in the cervical lesions from the HPV he gave you?
      Our relationship ended…no growth nor expansion. Simply me growing up emotionally to see him as he really is (pathological lying pervert) and expanding my life to include more things that make me smile and less that don’t (his lying, pathetic ass and bat shit crazy sister).
      I’m amazed people actually pay for “therapy” like this…wtf??

  • Wow! How do we agrue with the cheaters when the “professional” therapists take the cheaters’ side?! These therapists need to STFU & don’t tell me how I should feel or deal with a cheater! They’re all probably cheaters too! Cheaters suck!

  • I read their texts, and then I listen to my guts: it’s wrong, it’s evil, it’s perverted.
    Following the advice of these “experts” is guaranteed to destroy your soul.

    Besides, whether sex is good or not is closely tied to the emotional state. A sparkly performance that seems to come straight from porntube, or from some mistress deperate to obtain a visa, is not as enjoyable as a more common routine that is executed with a pure heart.

    • Pure heart? Wow, my ex cheater appeared to not have a heart! One lame remark I heard towards the end of our 27 yr marriage was I didnt “appear” to enjoy sex with him which he needed daily doses of!

      • Sorry Mehbound, my English is not always good – what I was trying to say, is that awkward or shy moves with sincere love are better than an acrobatic performance with no love (with porn images in his head, or vivid memories of OW who would try anything because of the visa). This is why I totally disagree with these “therapists” who say that cheating brings some improvement.

  • Esther us just another Whore Monger in “couples therapy” clothing. Telling other whores What They Want to Hear. Doesn’t make it anything other than the crap it inherently is. I looked at her Facebook page. It’s full of quotes from famous people about truth and honor. What a laugh.

  • oh where to start?

    I agree with everything CL said. Sexless marriage would suck …there were times when our kids exhausted us and it was less frequent, but it never stopped. By the time he headed into his “fooled around and fell in love” big affair, our sex life had recovered from the era of little kids and was really great. Im not owning any of that excuse.

    I agree that society needs wider definitions for relationships so that people can enter them honestly and with understood boundaries …if people want to be poly then they should say right up front.

    I dated a guy after my husband died who made it clear that monogamy was not a possibility. Looking back, he handled it rather well and decently. I learned in that relationship what I needed to know about me…that I needed monogamy. When I started dating my to-be-in12-days husband, we set the boundary of absolute monogamy as a boundary from the VERY start.

    My deadhusband claimed to espouse the values of the Catholic Church…he chose that, when we were married, I was not Catholic, he was the one who made a “big to-do” about it. He made this decision freely…his siblings had left the Church and no one lynched them. No gun-toting robe-wearing clergy stormed into his dwelling and threatened him if he did not enter a “Catholic” (monogamy required) marriage. Early in our marriage, he gave me a very serious talk that he could never forgive adultery and I needed to be faithful if our marriage were to survive.

    And with that freely-chosen and stated value set, he chose to cheat; I have reason to believe at least 3 affairs if not more.

    How did it work out for him? He was likely lured in with some promise of “expansion and growth”…some stupid lie that our marriage would be better. How did it turn out? He became a HUGE ASSHOLE and It fucking killed him.

    He came from a line of really long living people on both sides, he was a marathon runner and US Marine. Right after he died, I remember reflecting that he knew he didnt feel well for a long time and refused to go to a Dr…I think there was some “suicide by pigheadedness” going on. I could tell he hated himself and I had no idea why…he seemed to have a terrible secret from way in the past…I though it was a childhood thing, not a cheating thing, he was THAT good of a liar and I think he was humiliated for falling for “the oldest trick in the book” read the second half of the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament…written almost 3000 yrs ago and it didnt help my late husband.

    • Hmmm, my XH is from a long line of people that live into their 90s and is a marathon runner also. I wonder how this stuff will work out for him! He is unremorseful and I think this stuff is caustic which can manifest physically (well, I can wish anyway).

    • Unicornnomore, it’s uncanny how alike our husbands were! Mine: retired USMC, marathon runner, turned cheater and is now very sick, but still with his Schmoopie! Was something in the water on one of the Marine Corps bases( except LeJeune) that we didn’t know about that triggered the “asshat gene”? Me thinks it’s possible! Ha! Ha! Ha! Oh well, don’t care cause the 20/20/20 rule for divorce still applied for me! He can go and let Schmoopie take care of his sick, tired old ass! Serves her right! Me? I’ll live my life to the fullest!

      • Doesn’t the fact that they worked under the banner of “Semper Fidelis” just torque you off? Always faithful? to what? You may have read in an earlier post that OW was a vendor and deadH was an Acquisitions Officer so he fucked the Marine Corps as well. It seems that he also planned his retirement ceremony around OWs schedule, forgot his kids (one of whom couldnt go because of the date H chose) so he fucked them too. Epic fail all around.

        I wish he had lived to see me marry my guy…H always said that tall white guys got promoted easier and he resented them to no end. H retired as a Major. My soon to be husband is a tall white Colonel. neener neener

        • Ditto, retired USMC Major, runner, and cheater. Too bad mine didn’t drop dead ;-). Instead it happened so long ago that Chump Lady didn’t exist and so I did the reconciliation route, but I am the one who threatens to leave now if I don’t like his treatment of me or our son, and he tows the line, because he knows I can and will gladly take him to the cleaners and let his other 2 children and the rest of his family know what a piece of shit he is if he pushes me too far. When I first found out, you can bet I threw semper fi in his face. I told him I guess that it only meant always faithful to himself. Lol. Now he needs me to keep my mouth shut as he is climbing the civilian ladder, and I can make or break his career at this point. Sucks for him, because now the power is in my hands and not his and there is nothing he can do about it, unless he wants his career to end right where it is and he could climb very high in the civil service or even corporate, but he can’t do it if his stupidity and entitled shit is exposed. So now he knows how it feels to worry about his world falling apart because of someone else’s action. Karma baby!

        • Mine retired as a Major also and judging from your deceased husbands title it seems they just possibly could have crossed paths. Uncanny really! My Ex has longevity in his family also, but I don’t think he’s going to make it too far! He smokes heavily, has COPD now and PAD along with a plethora of other ailments! But he assures me that Schmoopie knows all about his health issues and makes him “feel” young! I call BS! I cannot wait till she has to wipe his wrinkled ass and place a depend on this SOB! Want do you want to bet he dies alone? What a delusional asshole he is!

    • My STBXH has a Schmoopie, although he down-plays her to me (“We’re just ‘talking'”!!!)…anyway, he cannot sleep, he says he only sleeps about 3-4 hours a night, “his brain can’t shut down”- he says he sits up all night writing/drawing pictures of mechanical devices/inventions in notebooks, “feels dead inside”, has NO desire for sex- at all, doesn’t eat much, is diabetic, sleep apnea, obese…told OW #1 that he “didn’t give a shit anymore”…and that his life was going to be “short-lived” anyway…he confessed that he got in touch with his maternal grandmother and asked pointed questions about his paternal grandfather- who basically went insane/dementia before he died- he described to her all the things he’s drawing, the same words running through his mind all the time, the things he’s writing— his grandmother told him that his grandfather did the SAME things before he died… Poor sausage!!!!

      I think he can’t sleep or eat because the demons of his secrets and lies have come upon him like Scrooge on Christmas Eve, but what do I know???

      He says “part of” the reason he’s divorcing me is that he thinks he is going insane and before I have a chance to lock him up in a mental ward, he’s divorcing me. Dumbass doesn’t realize that I am the mother of his only living child known, and she’s 7, so I trump his own parents in that decision….

      Anyway, I just keep praying to God that He will keep us (me and our child) safe from his evilness, and keep claiming the scripture, “…the plans of the wicked shall not prosper…”.

      All I know is that whatever he decides to do, whatever happens to him, whatever he says is NOT my fault, not MY problem- him and him alone with suffer the consequences of his actions.

      • UnsinkableMolly, these assholes can’t sleep he says deep down inside they know what shit stains they really are and regret is a very hard pillow! They robbed themselves of peace by chasing their “feelings”! Dumbasses! You don’t make life decisions based on feelings. The heart is deceitful and rolling on feelings alone will mess you up each and every time.

      • whenever the exhole feels bad, or cant sleep because he made some fucked up choices in life, he drinks that feeling away. he will drink until he passes out. there is NO WAY he will ever face up to what he did nor will he face up to his bad feelings, guilty feelings, etc. he cant handle confrontations especially with himself. he cant own up to the shitty things that he did that fucked up his life, he cant do the work or self recrimination needed to better himself. as long as his hood rat whispers sweet nothings in his ear to make him “feel better” and as long as he can drink away all the feelings he has, i guess he is doing ok.

        but thank god i do not have to deal with that shit anymore, as it is going to get harder and harder for him to drink it away. i dont even want to be around that train wreck when it takes more and more alcohol to numb his pain. nor do i want to be subjected to his self hatred and loathing. there is just NO WAY to say anything to make him feel better when he hits that point.

  • CL,

    You wrote:

    “As long as the “trauma” is in your relationship, hey, it’s not criminal. Wasn’t that the old rational for domestic abuse?”

    I was a member of a popular forum for domestic abuse ‘victims’ for several years. The ‘bible’ on that forum was a book by Lundy Bancroft called, “Why Does He Do That?” Bancroft DOES take the stand that cheating *IS* A-B-U-S-IV-E.

    Abuse is about power and control. Abusers get their ‘power’ by having one-up on their target(s). They WANT to feel like they’re ‘in control’ (of their relationship(s)/partner(s)/narratives, etc.). They take advantage of the fact that most of the time, the chump doesn’t know the truth. Denying them the truth is a leg-up on the chump. They do not want an equal relationship. They don’t want to control their selfishness and greed. They want MORE. Isn’t it ironic that the cheater doesn’t afford the chump the same luxury of having ‘more’, too?

    John Gottman–world renowned researcher of marital relationships–has stated many times that the ONLY way a relationship can be successful is if there is EQUALITY in the relationship. Unfortunately, the cheater doesn’t want equality; they want to be “one-UP”.

    • And…as far as monogamy goes, why is it that the cheater wants to change the ‘rules’, ONLY when they’ve already broken them?

      OH. The things that make you go, “Hmm…”!

    • Gypsy, yes, power and control.

      To me it It is a perverse pleasure to see an abuser of any sort who has finally overplayed their hand. I was a very compliant wife for a long time but after the affair, he heard “no” from me and it was a shock to him.

      Cheater: “Move to California”

      Me: “No”. He followed with every form of saber rattling he could muster and I never went.

      There were other smaller examples where I finally wised up and refused to submit to his abuse of authority. One day he was trying to push me into something I refused and he nearly spun in circles when he realized that the dance had changed. I had also socked $40,000 away in my escape fund … needing to leave was a real possibility and I was trying to ready myself for it.

    • Hi Gypsy, hey I recommend Lundy Bancroft’s book in resources. And if you read here often, I say infidelity is abusive. Preaching to the choir! 🙂 Yes, it’s about changing the rules for yourself, to gain advantage over others.

      I’m just pointing out that if you changed “cheating on your partner” for “hitting your partner”, Perel’s arguments stand out clearer as the bullshit that they are.

    • +++++++++!
      So true with my NPD cheater and so ignored by the conventional “wisdom” of everyday MC. Our MC wanted me to acknowledge in front of cheater, that he was at least a “good provider”. Heck, I did everything possible to minimize my reliance on him because I sensed he was using it to justify his betrayals and as a way of maintaining power and control. MC never tackled that issue, instead shifting the focus to the poor sausage being under-appreciated. In the meantime, I was begging for sex/intimacy and communication that he continually withheld, and working as a professional in two jobs + maid of all work and handyman around the house.

      • I had a terrible MC too. I went in there more than willing to own my part of the problems, the marital problems.. but the MC never challenged my poor sausage on his daily phone calls/ texts to the MOWhore, basically accepting the poor sausage’s lines on it. Every session was them both ganging up on me, my anxiety, my stress levels, my lack of sexual interest.. it was all my fault. I think he was doing the “timid forest creature” thing with H. Anyway, months past, more evidence on their “friendship” came to light, and I recently saw that MC (after we had terminated him), told him all about it. How my instincts were right, and how in the future, when a woman walks into his office with a gut notion that her H is cheating, he might take that more seriously. He was really remorseful with me.

        There are a LOT of BAD MC out there.

    • Gypsy that is my life for sixteen years: “Abuse is about power and control. Abusers get their ‘power’ by having one-up on their target(s). They WANT to feel like they’re ‘in control’ (of their relationship(s)/partner(s)/narratives, etc.). They take advantage of the fact that most of the time, the chump doesn’t know the truth. Denying them the truth is a leg-up on the chump. They do not want an equal relationship. They don’t want to control their selfishness and greed. They want MORE. ”

      And Lundy Bancroft’s book really helped me immensely to understand that my Ex’s raging anger and blameshifting for years were never about me.

  • I can tell you why my marriage was sexless even if we had sex once in a while…it was because of my cheaters character, staying up to watch porn, or chat with his OWs (now that I know what he was doing…I always thought he was “working”),, never doing anything interesting or provocative in bed, always expecting me to be the one who initiated (I got tired eventually, and he started calling me a “prude”), always criticizing me, always angry, hated the idea of make up sex, …A few months before Dday, he started going to sleep at 2 am dressed up in sweatsuits (so I wouldn´t touch him) so I thought he was going through a midlife crisis depression and suggested therapy but what was really going on was that he was being faithful to his asshole OW who required him not to touch me! And he thinks he is a brilliant intellectual who can speak arrogantly about “ethics” !

    I think unconsciously chumps start to reject or feel something is “off” with the cheater before we know they are cheating and we will not be as caring and giving, and sexual as we were in the beginning of the relationship. I know that everything went down the drain in my case after I discovered the first OW and went into false reconciliation for 8 years until second (or third) OW…I never ever felt the same love for him again after first Dday, and always had the doubt that he would cheat again. I can´t have good sex if I don´t feel safe and trusting.

    Conclusion: If the sex is bad its because the cheaters get their sexual excitement from the lying, hiding, deceiving.while the chumps are most sexually fulfilled and active when they feel safe, appreciated and in a committed relationship.

    • “Conclusion: If the sex is bad its because the cheaters get their sexual excitement from the lying, hiding, deceiving.while the chumps are most sexually fulfilled and active when they feel safe, appreciated and in a committed relationship.”


    • chumpita,

      You made me think of something I read recently…..

      A study caught my attention. Research from the Indiana University School of Medicine has shown that women’s libidos drop significantly when they’re in long-term relationships. While men’s do not. The authors were quick to note that this didn’t necessarily make monogamy easier for women “These women are losing their desire to initiate sex or to have sex with their partners, which does not reflect sexual health.” (Dr. Aaron E. Carroll and Dr. Rachel C. Vreeman)

      I read that and thought Hey professionals? what if some of the women in the study were like me and what might the impact of living with intimacy avoidance, secrecy, deception, denial and sexual deceit for countless years. Could you please add that to your equations. (those years before the discovery).

      (What’s really going on here) for that matter what is sexual health? and who determines it? When countless numbers of people seem to remain sexually un-awakened or unappreciated by cheating spouses. Me – I was Shelved. Is it Primarily because the cheaters have intimacy disorders seeking sex with “safe objects” outside primary relationships?

      (go investigate the partners ‘secret’ behavior) Bet that study would rock off a cliff

      Where is the truth telling? anywhere……

      • Exactly….I know that all I need is to feel safe, loved and corresponded and I will do anything that we both like…or even that he likes and I don´t so much, as long as I feel respected and loved. There is no absence of desire to love or be loved on my part, and even though I have never experienced it, I am sure that in a long term committed relationship with the right person, the sex can only get better because both partners are honest, participating and dedicated to creating stronger intimacy.

    • Chumpita
      Yes to everything you said. Every time he cheated and we got back together we were in the infatuation stage. Until the asshole stopped and the devalue stage reared it’s ugly head. The criticisim would start and I was ALWAYS expected to initiate. I was an object nothing more. X lived for that stage of feeling like a teenager and still does. X is a user and found a new object. Always tired, doing paperwork, going to the gym. It never ended until I had enough. X admitted she was not a DREAM GIRL as he called ALL of his whores in his redivilioud recycled poem. X said it was the thrill. Fuck that life. What a true relief it is to be free from that abusive cycle with the disordered.

  • I try not to get too serious about the UBT stuff, and avoid the cheater justifying articles and blogs (they were all I saw for months, until I found CL). I sometimes even laugh and snort at CL’s translations.

    That guy last week was pretty outrageous, but who cares, that was just some random guy.

    But this bothers me much more. This comes from supposedly objective, trained professionals essentially acting as an advocate for cheating, and glorifying it as “mystery and distance”. It gives this guy from last week the perfect platform to say, “Hey, it’s not just me, this is what the forward thinking professionals say, too.”

    BTW, I always love the passive language. It’s never, “I cheated and I was unfaithful”, or “I betrayed you”, or “I hurt you”. It’s always, “an act of betrayal”, or “what happened to us”, or “IT hurts, I know”.

    Also, BTW, “It isn’t a crime” is a pretty laughable rationale. There are, oh, about a gazillion ugly things people do that aren’t codified criminal acts, but that cause incredible misery to kids, spouses, other family members, friends, pets, etc.

  • I think both Esther and Tammy have very suspect credentials from institutions that are not very highly regarded and in fields unrelated to their alleged expertise. Same with Dr Laura Schlesinger and Dr Phil.
    I am no snob when it comes to educational credentials, but these “experts” come off as very superficial and their takes on things lack any real analysis.
    I mean, seriously, how do they get around the dishonesty component and the theft of the betrayed’s time component of cheating. I do not, necessarily take issue with their view that for some % of people, monogamy is too boring or stifling or whatever. But, they consistently ignore the fact that divorce is readily and easily available to just about anyone in our society. Sure, it may cause one to take a step backward finanacially or may impact other areas of life unfavorably, but if someone really has a sense of fair play and integrity, that should be a price he or she is willing to pay in order to avoid damaging the betrayed spouse needlessly.
    This fact, that there is no real necessity for cheating with access to divorce, seems to always be ignored as does your point on open marriages, CL.
    It is like talking to a wall. No one here , on this site, seems to take issue with a couples’ right to agree to an open marriage. Monogamy may, very well, be boring or distasteful to some people but how does that lead to the conclusion that one partner is justified in fooling the other?
    This is not a hard point to understand. It is not nuanced or obscure or anything like that, yet they never seem to address this in their advocacy for infidelity.
    I think Perel’s lack of analysis is well shown by her feeling that adultery not being a crime, somehow has meaning in supporting her position. I am sure many of us could come up with all types of activities or deeds that are not criminal but are well accepted as harmful and wrong.
    I, simply, do not understand how someone can be taken seriously who uses criminality as a the sole measure of what is right or wrong and I , really, do not understand how these people , consistently, ignore completely the dishonesty and deception components for infidelity.
    I think one just would get frustrated debating these folks, especially in front ot the type of audience that would be drawn to attend one of their presentations. You could make all these points, as you do, CL, and you would still lose the audience would still disagree with you , in large part, I believe, because of their bias and the fact that people like Perel use word salad type of phrases that have a sound and feel that these tyoes of folks really like. They do not analyze what is being said. They lie the ring to it etc.
    These two women remind me very much of my first wife, a serial cheater. They carry themselves with an air of authority. They are glib and polished. The substance of what they say is not important to the type of person they appeal to.
    You are fortunate, CL. You are articulate and good at ridiculing them, justifiably.
    But, you take the typical betrayed person and he or she tries to take on one of these types. especially in front of the type of audience drawn to them, and a person could be made to look really bad.

    • But they want it BOTH WAYS, Arnold. Cake time! I knew I was missing something and almost figured it out. Then I read CL’s Unified Theory of Cake. BingO!!!

    • I recall that I debunked some Dr. Tammy HuffPo stuff awhile back. Her bio on HuffPo stated the institute she got her “PhD” at and it was some fake diploma mill at a strip mall in Orlando.

      She’s taken the name of that institute off her website and bio now. (Maybe she read the link back here?) Now it’s all the illustrious people like the NYT who quote her. So, hey, she’s an expert!

      Same with Perel. She has a one-year masters in art therapy from a third-tier teacher’s college in Massachusetts.

      • Yes, I recall the stuff re their “credentials’. I seem to recall Perel claiming something about an affiliation with Columbia that turned out to be exaggerated or false.

        • I CAN, I WILL and I DO get sniffy about their credentials, otherwise my Masters ain’t worth Jack Shit…..

          If any if these folks were a qualified therapist/pyschologist, I might give them an ear, but, sadly not…..

          As to the topic of this post, you have reminded me of something I amazed myself by saying at the time…

          Freshly caught ‘husband’ ” Well, I only cheated because you are frigid”

          Mehphista ” BullSHIT. The objective criteria for getting it on with your wife is to get in bed with her when she is awake.” (he had been staying up late-texting schmooze e and watching porn) for years.

          And, being perfectly honest, I DID go off him-what is it women have to keep their appearance up, but pot bellies, nose hair and receding hairlines get a pass? He was so fricking demanding-after kids, I am working three jobs, and he gets on my case for not being kinky enough….MEH.

    • I think the Perel-types use the frequency and existence of infidelity as rationale that it is somehow a normal or moral behavior. Since 10 to 40% of marriages experience infidelity, therefore these can’t all be “BAD” people, therefore we must strive to understand this phenomenon in order to justify it.

      (note: passively voice snarkily intended – “whoops! my marriage accidentally experienced a light case of infidelity)

  • People who seek validation from their genitals are messed mentally messed up at their core being. The Esters and others who try to normalize cheating in committed relationships, those relationships where both parties accepted monogamy, are rationalizing inexcusable behavior.

    Great sex is great! If you cannot have an honest relationship with your partner, then get out of it. The sneaking around for the thrill of hooking up is immature and dangerous because most of these assholes who love this thrill forget to use protection or discern that the creeps they cheat with are intrinsicly “clean” because they are a minister, local teacher, other married person, etc…

    The repressed sex thing was thrown on me after careful analysis by the MOW. Uh, no. When your SO is investing their energy into fucking strangers and APs, what’s left is a robotic responsibility to fuck your spouse. Listen, I could have had the same physical relationship with a cucumber. Once the emotional connection is dead, so is my fire for the physical connection. Sex without (emotional) intimacy is robotic and unfulfilling.

    The Esters of the world don’t GET IT- yeah I love the physical connection, but to satisfy that with random ho’s because I.Have.Needs! is a bullshit excuse not to work on one’s committed relationship to get that at home. And if you cannot get it at home, be an adult with integrity and end that relationship before heading to Craigslist.

    • “The repressed sex thing was thrown on me after careful analysis by the MOW. Uh, no. When your SO is investing their energy into fucking strangers and APs, what’s left is a robotic responsibility to fuck your spouse. Listen, I could have had the same physical relationship with a cucumber. Once the emotional connection is dead, so is my fire for the physical connection. Sex without (emotional) intimacy is robotic and unfulfilling.”

      Beautiful, ANC. Just beautiful.

  • (Visa-hungry OW taught him a lot, he completed his training on his own with porn videos, and all of a sudden I had Rocco Siffredi in my bedroom !!! Worst sex of my entire life. Although to these experts above, I earned something from the cheating, because the performance was better. They can’t understand sincerity, simplicity, calm and comfort, they call it “deadness” and recommend higher levels of adrenalin, because being worried all the time and eating shit sandwiches is so exciting… ).

  • The only person who felt dead was me. Mr. Pornsturbater, the king of his own dick, able
    to fuck anything and anyone with a stroke of his hand, felt VERY VERY much alive. That was his whole stupid life. Looking for hours for the “perfect pudwhacking image” while his children and wife slept. Finding the perfect image, whatever that may be in the smorgasbord of strange that internet porn had to offer, then spanking that tiny monkey all night long.
    In the morning, as I was taking care of 4 children under 6, he was just so tired from all the FUCKING PAPERWORK HE HAD TO DO ALL NIGHT LONG. Oh yeah, I bought that shit for 6 YEARS. SIX. So when I found out, the only person who went dead inside was me. Not him. He was only sorry not sorry. He just found better and more freaky ways to do what he lived to do. And it sure as hell wasn’t me.

    I lived with the dead feeling. Me. As long as he had porn and Kleenex’s his world was ROCKIN’. After all, as he told me in one of our MANY D-Days- ” You don’t understand Irish! These women are fucking BEAUTIFUL!!!” Emphasis his. Oh I felt dead alright. And trapped. And terrified for my life. And it turned out that I was right.I had the bogeyman living with me. And all the freaky sex in the world with him would not change him from the bogeyman into a great husband and honest person. He likes who he is.

    So all these supposed sex experts can go fuck themselves. Sorry NOT sorry. Stupid assholes.

    • “And all the freaky sex in the world with him would not change him from the bogeyman into a great husband and honest person. He likes who he is.”

      WORD! Irish, WORD!

    • Irish

      X proclaimed he had to masturbate daily in the basement to porn. He gleefully exclaimed he didn’t have to do that anymore. We lived with the untouchable perverted pornsturbators for sure.

      My day is so much brighter when these posts remind me what I lost was largely a massive gain. Don’t miss that!!

    • Irish, the way you described your ex gave me some giggles, but damn it all, my very next thought was that this is sad as hell. I fully understand the dead inside, trapped feeling. The staying up to “work.” How he could barely be roused from bed in the morning because he was up half the night (in my case) sexting coworkers and swapping pictures. Most sobering of all, my ex also likes who he is. He got regular sex from me and then secretive jollies with snap-happy OW. What’s not to like? So I’m right there with you: the “experts” can go fuck themselves. They don’t live in my reality.

      • Sara it is becoming the normal with anything goes free porn internet. Would spend hours at night scouring the net for the perfect image. It is sick. He is a pervert. I escaped by the hair on my chinny chin chin. It was a humiliating, horrifying thing to go through.
        And I think there are so many just like him. They are masters of con jobs. And blow jobs hahaha. Sorry couldn’t help myself. 😉

        • During MC, Saddam occasionally told the truth. Once I said that he had a problem with looking at hard core porn every day for hours and that was why he couldn’t have sex with a real person. His answer? “Fine, if it makes you feel better I can’t even jack off to porn anymore”. His garbled shit after that was unclear but I gather I was supposed to understand that was the reason for his latest cheating. It did not help that in private he said he’d had the same issue with sex in his other relationships, by then playing poor sausage had no affect on me.

        • Irish, exactly! So Humiliating Perv is in vogue now. Great. Interesting how Bill Cosby went back under the radar.

        • Applauding your escape, Irish! The “con job” is it exactly. Mine swore he wasn’t into porn at all…then I found his massive collection focusing on a specific sex act he also swore he wasn’t into. There isn’t anything he wouldn’t lie about.

    • Doesn’t matter how awesome our sex life was, I was never going to be an anonymous dude from craigslist sucking his dick. He knew that before we got married or pregnant. We had the talk about monogamy. It seems to me that there’s this underlying opinion that once you get married you have somehow given your permission to be blamed for abuse, theft and rape by your spouse and if you have kids it gives the sperm/egg donor the right to abuse you indefinitely. Sort of the he/she asked for it argument. Sorry, marriage (or agreed upon committed relationships) and affairs are two separate things. Just like what she/he was wearing and rape are two separate things. There is no such thing as legally or relationally justified abuse. Fuck the marriage counsellors and family court judges and lawyers who think so.

  • Can’t speak for everyone but my cheater never threw out the “sexless marriage” excuse. He never gave an excuse, or to be generous, a reason, at all. I just got a lot of “I’m sorry you got hurt.” All of his language places him squarely in the “you’re not the boss of me” did it because he could camp. Nothing at all to do with deficiencies in our marriage. Cheating was exciting, so much better than that whole how to pay the mortgage and who is going to get the kids to their activities conversations. At what point do these so called experts address the real issues people face instead of these theories and ideas. I double dog dare these people to have a concrete discussion about real life.

  • What all these cheater apologists fail to notice is that they’re championing “open” marriages or polyamorous relationships. As long as everyone involved knows that the relationship is not exclusive, then no cheating is involved–unless one partner unilaterally decides to change the rules of the relationship and hides that change from the other partner(s).

    Cheating isn’t about how many sexual partners one has going at a time; it’s all about hiding how many sexual partners one has going at a time.

  • I’m sure that all these sexperts have never been on the receiving end of the “expansion and growth” of being chumped. This is just more psycho-speak word salad telling the cheater that they are either au currant and are in line with the new norm, or that they are in touch with their primitive biological instincts. It all depends whose doing the spewing. What is never in question with these quacks, is that the chump is basically uncool and judgy (sp?). I really resent the head quack Perel’s attempt to minmize the damage of cheating by trying to control narrative and making it wrong to use “trauma-based” language is describe the soul-crushing experience that chumps go through. Fuck-you Perel! How’s that for language?

  • Yes, let’s talk about sex in couples therapy first and not discuss blame or communication. Cheaters must sit in silence during these sessions given blame shifting is not the focus.

  • My husband left his email up. That was my Dday. He had a whole kinky sex life thing going on with a married woman and lots of strangers off the internet. He was or is, into something called a humilation fetish. The things he would make these women do!!! I’m talking eat dog food and other horrible, degrading things and that’s what he got off on. I had no idea. NONE! and yes I had to get VD tested while pregnant with our third daughter. I can honestly say if he had come to me and said, “this is my fantasy . This is what i am into” No I would not have been game. BUT I feel he knew this about himself from the get go and should have come clean and let me find a husband and father of my 3 children with someone who matched me sexually. I mean those DDay emails make me look like a misogynist and yet I have 3 daughters with him. GREAT> and the caliber of women who could be potential stepmoms aren’t the strong independent women that I would want – more like the kind that would crawl on the floor and eat dog food.

      • That’s really fucked up Nowire, it’s insane the complete facade and perpetual lies these people tell. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that shit. Jedi hugs!

    • Yeah, run the “eat dog food” kink by Esther and see how “expansive” that feels. Hey, I just want to degrade women to get my dick hard. I feel more *alive*! (Her other excuse — “the quest for aliveness.”)

  • Sorry…I meant trying to control the narrative and making it wrong to use “trauma-based” language to describe the soul-crushing experience that chumps go through.

    It’s so depressing that these mopes get such high profile forums.

  • “[Dr. Nelson] encourages couples to write their own monogamy rules…” Apparently, Dr. Nelson wasted a lot of money to get a doctorate when she could have simply consulted a basic dictionary on the meaning of “monogamy.” If you have other partners, it is NOT a monogamous relationship. You do not get to redefine words on your own as if they have no meaning and you decide their definition for the rest of society. This is part of the craziness cheaters foster–i.e. their own private definitions (wrote on this phenomenon just yesterday: Crazy!

    • Divorce Minister, I love your blog and your no nonsense attitude toward the sinful, unrepentant cheaters we see today. (I subscribed but it thought I was Spanish speaking. Need to try again. )

      I honestly believe that all the garbage spouted by cheaters and their cohorts is planted in their minds, directly from Satan. It’s uncanny how they all say/do the same things. And, no, this doesn’t excuse it at all, but I think it is a component.

      I noticed this a long time ago with my first alcoholic, abusive husband. He acted exactly like all the garbage i read said he would. Exactly.

      My Cheater ex acted very much like the first husband (not drinking or abusive physically, but mentally evil, when he wasn’t before )/ Anyway, keep up the good work, it’s very much appreciated.

    • Creating their own definitions is lying. That is something that really bothers me. It’s the whole distortion of reality that has so contributed to my trauma from this relationship.

    • I also wondered what this was supposed to mean: “in the last decade, as coupledom itself has been legally redefined” ??? How has coupledom been legally redefined. And what is coupledom?

      • I assumed that the whole thing about the redefinition of coupledom was word salad for same sex marriages.

  • One thing I’ve noticed, especially after Cheater Ex, is that most cheaters are SORRY in bed. Ex seriously was one if the most lackluster, pathetic sexual partners I’ve ever had. But that’s not my major criteria for a relationship anymore so I was cool with that. Even when we were younger and dating, he was not very sexually motivated. When he was older, on libido reducing meds, etc. it was easier for him to place his deficiency on me. Not where it belongs, which is on him. The only time sex with him was vaguely exciting was the Hysterical Bonding phase, which thankfully wore off pretty quickly.

    • My cheater certainly lacked skill and empathy in the bedroom. We had a very poor sex life due to his laziness, no matter what I tried to encourage. His OW was basically a lot like me, personality-wise, from the sounds of it, except not interested in foreplay or orgasms. And also with plenty of energy and spare time for him due to being much younger and child-free.

      It was the hysterical bonding stuff that convinced me I was better off single, because it wasn’t actually any fun for me.

      One of my ex’s final demands of me was that I not tell his OW that he needed Viagra.

  • Cheating isn’t just about sex. It’s about dishonesty, looking at the person who is supposed to be one’s life partner and lying to them over and over again, usually on a daily basis. It’s about destroying trust, the bedrock of a good relationship. My x was old and sick and physically incapable of Olympic-style sex. But for him, sex wasn’t really the point. Hero worship was; he wanted someone to blow smoke up his ass on an hourly basis. I was trying to keep the whole house of cards from falling in and he was looking for someone to assure him he was still master of the universe. I left him because I could no longer trust him, because our marriage was not as important as his ego. These so-called expert offer advice that is a mile wide and a inch deep because it fails to examine the true reason unfidelity is so destructive-because it destroys the glue of all marriages, the ability to trust.

  • “An affair is an act of betrayal and also an experience of expansion and growth,” Ms. Perel said in an interview. “It is a relational trauma, but it isn’t a crime. ”

    Yes, actually, it is. It’s called battery. And can also be argued as assault. I can commit battery upon you, whereby you can sue me AND WIN if I lie to you (even if it really is for your own good) as a healthcare provider. About anything.

    I am not sure I get why most people don’t understand their civil rights in the case of sexual malfeasance…it’s battery and assault if you do not inform a partner of STDs or the potential for them. It’s reckless endangerment as well. In the case of infidelity, you are unknowingly and more importantly, UNWILLINGLY (or else your cheater would be telling you all about their sexcapades with the Russian hookers) being made a participant in endangering your own health.

    And of course, as we ALL KNOW that hookers and cheaters and affair partners NEVER lie about their shit, right?

    And at the end of the day….CL is right….if monogamy is unnatural for you, don’t do it.

    • Unfortunately cheaters don’t bother to get tested for STIs, so you can not take them to court because under the law they have to have “knowingly” exposed you. Trust me, if I could have I would have taken eX to court after he infected me.

  • If you are “playing” a “game” with someone, and you want to “win” so badly that you “cheat” by changing the rules and fooling your co-player into thinking that you are playing “fair and square” you really have not “won” at all. You have basically admitted that you did not feel you would “win” without cheating. The “game” was “fixed” and no one could win.

    I can believe that people’s sexual tastes and habits will change, somewhat, over time. If I marry someone and we are both young and inexperienced, curiosity and maturity may lead us to investigate new ways to “play”. But when one partner decides to go off in a new direction without the other — the mutual trust and fun game is over. If the couple is to survive, the changes have to be agreed on and mutually enjoyed.

    If you meet someone who is mature, and who presents his game preference one way, while secretly sneaking around and playing an entirely different way — that person is a serial cheater who has never given you a chance to play the game fairly. No one can win with a serial cheater — it is not the gaming activity alone that the cheater enjoys — it is the deception. By the act of hiding it, and lying about it, the cheater is already acknowledging that it is “wrong.” There is something to lose if caught cheating, after all.

    As for the “pick me” variation of the game — I do not want to be forced to accept unacceptable risk and awkward activities that are not “fun” for me. Just because the AP says that she/he likes and accepts some variation does not mean that I will like and accept it. It is another game. If I do not enjoy porn, or S&M, or swinging, and I did not sign up for those games, I should not be expected to want to play. If my spouse suddenly feels dead and does not want to play the old game anymore — fine — be mature enough to say so. I don’t believe those of us who were told we were sexually compatible and desirable suddenly become a prude. I think we were deceived from the very beginning, and what the spouse wanted from us was something other than the pick me dance.

    I cannot guess what the motives of the AP are in accepting a role of game playing with someone who is married. I am sure they all can come up with some goofy line of reasoning — but it has everything to do with them and nothing to do with me. I don’t know them, and they don’t know me, so all they “know” is “gossip” given to them by someone with an ulterior motive. I only know how the “game” has been played in my bedroom. As time went on, my spouse made less effort to “play a good game.” My spouse was also less able to play — ED changes the whole game. If the AP was happy with the game my spouse could play — then she was welcome to him. There was nothing there that I wanted anymore. When trust is gone, and has been replaced with the threat of STD’s and stealing and lying — there is no game left to save, for me.

    All I can say is don’t lay the blame at my door by saying I didn’t want to Pick Me Dance. I never agreed to share. I never agreed to risk taking. I played by “the rules” of the game. I did not find it necessary to lie or to cheat, or to steal from my spouse and family. So sorry if the spouse was feeling he was dead, or in captivity. As far as I’m concerned he was an idiot Zombie — a member of the Walking Dead if you will. Rotten already,, and getting riper every day. Have a nice game AP!

    • Well said Portia.

      Over time, the game becomes so draining and stressful and traumatizing, that at some point, I just say to myself “I never asked to play THIS game. How in the hell did my life become this twisted, messed-up, abusive, one-sided, harming game I never asked for. I just need to exit the game. I am no longer a willing participant.”

    • “I never agreed to share” – exactly. If those were the rules at the beginning, fine. My Ex actually said to me on DDay when I was devastated and begged him to stay with me, “No, Muse. That would never work. I already ran the sharing idea by her, and she won’t go for it.” I was horrified. “the sharing idea?” like that was some normal “option?” and he asked HER, but not ME?

      • TheMuse
        X’s whore said he couldn’t talk to me. A scuzzy whore. I agree with Portia I finally ha to end the game.

        What gets me is the divorce game. They should be humble but no, they aren’t really done with us yet. X wanted me to lose anything that was meaningful to me as I did throughout the marriage. X was furious as many cheaters are when they lose supply.

        Indeed he lost a loving faithful wife, the respect of his children, and his business reputation.

        I believe chumps do win despite them. For all the hardship, pain, and stress they caused in the wake of their sickness, we now have the freedom to live cheater free. This is regardless of our age.

  • -Ms. Perel, a Belgian who speaks nine languages, has a French-sounding accent that implicitly seems to bolster her authority. –

    Well, there you go.

      • Zo, eef I pewt on a rahdeekulouze accent, zen I vill be seen as Eurhopeayan and zerefore smarterr?

        Funny how Ms Perel has published nothing in her native language, huh?

  • Whats fair about one partner having sexual ‘freedoms’ while hijacking an unaware partner?

    When we live in an age of such sexual freedoms who are we becoming as a culture Ester P?

    What is this darker need to hold unaware partners hostage? (I have no answers only questions)

    Hey, fine go ahead and have sex with millions – just let me go/ and don’t get married in the first place. Hey Ester what is “really ‘going on under the sheets?'” when now we KNOW as you say, that even in “Happy Marriages.” people cheat?

    I am daily shocked and horrified by my personal experiences in contrast to people like E Perel glib and coy stance. Countless individuals feeling “Justified in their “One Up-ness,” There appears a vast sea of betrayed partners men and women) conveniently socially made, invisible. And undeniable Darker side to Human emotional and Sexual Deceit which is willfully ignored. Fueled by narcissism, sense of sexual privilege and Entitlement, where masked people secretly, and silently justify making unilateral decisions for unaware partners. Like “Spy’s among friends.” Withholding hidden agendas. And this perverse and pathological need to hold their partners/spouses as victims – betrayed partners held hostage. Why?

    Sadly for me I see it more and more as New Rule of the land “I can do onto you what you can not do unto me.” “I’m having my cake and stealing yours too, and the children’s if there are any”

    Why form a partnership or marriage? I can’t comprehend what I see as criminal phenomenon of holding others hostage, and intentionally, to the devastation of secrecy, deceit and disease?

    • These cheaters aren’t open about what they want (multiple partners) up front because they know it would severely limit their choices. Many people are not into that, they want a normal marriage, thank you very much. To limit themselves to people the whatever % of the population who are polyamourous? Unthinkable! Cake is much more fun, and a power trip, too.

  • I wanted to throw something else out there, I did stop wanting sex. He kept doing things I told him I didn’t like. Flicking my nipple as a ‘come on’ , putting my hand on his penis with no lead up, etc.. I would tell him I didn’t like it, tell him what I wanted/needed. He knew, because he used to do it.
    After DDay I figured out that the problem was he was treating me like one of his many prostitutes. They get oh, so turned on when he does anything! They enjoy being humiliated and uncredited for, that’s what he needs! Why can’t I be that way?! He has sincerely convinced himself that the pros love suckling his old tiny dick, and the money is just a bonus so the girl can finish college… it’s straight out delusional.

    Now, I have herpes.I would really love to be told how this wasn’t abusive to me. How it wasn’t a trauma to find detailed ‘reviews’ of his experiences with prostitutes younger than his grandson where these poor young women are rated. How it’s not abusive to consistently and repeatedly lie to the person you share a bed with, who nursed you through 3 surgeries and literally cleaned up your shit.

    In any other contract, these behaviors would be deemed ‘fraud’. If you claim you are a roofer, and I bring you into my home but it turns out you are really a demolition expert- it’s fraud. If I believe I am in a monogamous relationship and so don’t use appropriate protection, it’s sex through fraud. If I invest my time, energy and resources towards what I believe to be a long term relationship, it’s theft through fraud. Marriage is a contract. If you don’t want to abide by the standard contract, you add a codicil (commonly a prenup).

    All these people, especially the so-called experts, are con artists pure and simple.

    • Sometimes I think they do things they know you will not like and have told them you do not like so that you will turn them down, or to start a fight. Then they can use that to justify their actions. “See, she/he turned me down again.” Things they never did early in the relationship — or being drunk and offensive, or not brushing their teeth or taking a shower or wearing deodorant. I don’t like being flicked either, and I hate anyone taking my hand and putting it anywhere. I don’t like being jumped coming out of the shower, or while I’m washing dishes. I don’t like being asked “How about sex?” I don’t want to see a picture of a penis. Or porn.

      When the relationship began I was asked out to do something specific — “Would you like to go to dinner and/or a movie, ballgame, etc.” There was conversation. Both talking and listening. Always showed up clean and smelling good, in decent clothes. Did thoughtful things, things that showed he had paid attention to my life and had anticipated my needs. Sex was not added to my list of things to do, like a chore — but was mutually enjoyable. No whining or complaining about wanting to buy something we couldn’t afford, or telling me what my “duties” were.He knew how to get me in the mood, and I was often in the mood.

      After I found out about the cheating — I found him to be very unattractive. His actions and attitude killed my desire. His not keeping a promise, or helping me with all the work and the bills killed my desire. The types of things I found he was interested in sexually killed my desire. I don’t think I caused him to cheat and lie. I think that his cheating and lying caused me to grow cold and distant. I think the mask he wore while he was convincing me to marry him fell off, and when I saw what was really there I found it very ugly indeed. If anyone was “captive” it was me. If anyone had a right to feel “dead” it was me. He would have kept on eating cake forever, if I had not figured out he was a fraud/con man.

      You cannot ever please someone who is empty inside. No matter what you do, it will never be enough. After I realized that, I didn’t even want to make an effort anymore.

      • Yes. I used to call my wife’s fake overtures “boy who cried wolf sex”. It was like Lucy with the football etc. I would be heading out the door, late for work and she would start groping me saying weird things like ” I need the pennis” (not misspelled. that is what she would say.)
        There was never any opportunity for sex at these times, unless I wanted to be disbarred.
        Once, when I was cooking dinner for us, she started caressing me etc. I stopped and inquired if she was in the mood and, perhaps we should retire to the bedroom.
        Her response. laughing” Of course not I just wanted to see it “”””I still got it.”” “.
        I got turned down for sex so regularly I gave up. Might have had something to do with the regular rejection and comments she made like “You are just like a woman.” and ” My husband has no penis”.
        I tell you, sex to these NPD freaks is all about control and power.

        • I told my ex he must be mistaking me for his other girlfriend when he turned into porn hub robot. I didn’t realize how true it was.

          • I had one of those moments too, Sara.

            Whenever X had a long week of work that stretched into late nights — coincidentally on Thursdays and Friday nights, I used to jokingly ask how his other wife and family missed him as much as we did when he was with us. He also once insisted that he took me to a restaurant for a work function, to the point that he began to describe what he (not me) wore that night. I replied, “I’ll bet I looked amazing, too.” He was pissed I didn’t remember. That’s because I NEVER, EVER went to that restaurant, and certainly not for a “work function.”

            Joke was on me.

            P.S. Don’t miss him at all now!!! 🙂

            • Figures, Chutes. He gets mad at you for not participating in his hallucination. I’m so glad you no longer miss him.

          • It did feel like he was doing (not loving) someone else in those moments. That, or he watched so much porn he memorized what he thought looked best. It’s disturbing how they don the traits of the newly idealized. I remember thinking, since when does he say “I’m gonna’ bounce”?! He never ‘bounced’. He would have sneered at ‘bouncing’ back in the old days–you know, a whole week prior to that.

  • I did every kinky sexual request my Ex asked for and/or demanded of me over the years and we had frequent sex, anytime he asked for it. Not once did I ever ever ever even tell him I wasn’t feeling well, or said no. Yet it still wasn’t “enough”to stop him from multiple affairs over the years that I didn’t even know about until after the last OW. We were together 16 years but not married so nothing was stopping him from leaving at any point.

    And as far as “intimacy”, while sex with him was not intimate (it was, well, I realize now, inspired by porn, and involved control by him, and degradation of me), this was a man who daily said, “Love you!” to me. Right up until the day of D-Day. How does that fit into the sexpert’s paradigm that he needed to go elsewhere to “escape” from this “deadness” to get “aliveness”? They don’t really address the essential fact that many of these fuckers are simply living a double life and getting off on the power and control.

    And it really pisses me off that these self-proclaimed experts never delve into the issue of financial abuse. Many cheaters, both male and female, clearly stay married or in a relationship with the Chump because they are financially dependent on the chump, therefore the double life.

    • “They don’t really address the essential fact that many of these fuckers are simply living a double life and getting off on the power and control.”

      Yes, a thousand times, YES.

  • I’ll admit, the sex had become somewhat infrequent and predictable in my marriage. I take my share of responsibility for that. It wasn’t a major problem for me, but it was enough of an issue that we should have addressed it. Was it “too” infrequent and too predictable?

    I can’t answer affirmatively. When my spouse and I went to marriage counseling, she did say our marriage had gotten “boring,” but she never bought up sexual infrequency as an issue in those sessions. Instead, she focused on the fact that I couldn’t provide the novelty of conversations that someone brand new can.

    So, even though lack of sex wasn’t a complaint of my wife’s, our MC said that we had to “spice things up,” “rediscover one another,” all that other affair unoriginal advice. So, I took my wife out on dates, gave her more physical attention, and initiated sex at unpredictable times of day / situations. How fun I was!

    But, after a few weeks, my wife complained to her sister that “JC wants to have sex all the time! I mean, it’s a nice change to have the physical attention, but I’m just, like, ease up already.”

    Hearing that, I saw how the deck was stacked against me. This was (once again) proof that no matter what I did, my wife would find a way to be upset with me. She had to. Otherwise, she couldn’t justify her actions to herself or anyone else. She had to keep finding reasons to be “unhappy” in her marriage–not enough to leave, but enough to cheat. Instead of appreciating me for trying to make her happy, she was twisting my attempts to make her happy into reasons to stray.

    In that conversation, her sister did try. Her sister said, “Do you think JC is doing that because he thinks that’s what you want?” And my wife’s reply was to change the subject. She said something along the lines about needing to take a trip to get away from me, from her AP, and her life, and go on a vacation to Southeast Asia! (Nothing solves problems like avoiding them for a month.)

    This was at the end. D-Day number 5 or 6 or whatever was during that same conversation with her sister. So, I had begun the mental preparation for divorce, and I was now ready to take that step. But, it did suck to hear that my wife was determined to cheat on me, no matter how sexually satisfied she was.

    I did wonder, afterwards, what my wife’s justification became. After all, I had filed for divorce and left her, so what was her justification for continuing her affair? She was no longer “unhappy” in her marriage, given she wasn’t married. And yet, my wife came up with new reasons to be the OW, to aid her AP in cheating on his wife, both before and after he was married.

    Lesson learned: If someone is willing to engage in an affair, whether the cheater or the AP (or in my wife’ case, both), (s)he will always have an excuse handy.

    • Because they are con artists who enjoy the thrill of pulling one over on someone else. It makes them feel powerful and in control. I don’t believe it has anything to do with us as individuals at all, which is why there is nothing we can do to ‘fix’ it.

      • Yes. A huge part of the thrill for the truly disordered is the lying, the sneaking around, the doing something “dirty” and wrong, the knowing that they are fooling their spouse. I now believe that is the part that most excited my ex.

    • JC.. your post rings SO true to me. My STBX and I also had these same issues. Not sure if you are like us, we have two young kids, two jobs, all the stresses of family/professional life. At the end of the day, we are just pooped. I probably did concentrate too much on the kids. I didn’t put enough attention into him. I feel terrible for that and will regret it the rest of my days. But there were two people in that boat. He would disappear into the basement all night. He says that I never responded to his love overtures but that just isn’t true. I do think our love languages were different, but those things could have been fixed- we could have worked on them together.. and like you, after BD.. I did just that.. and like your wife, my H also complained about my efforts. It was NEVER enough.

      By the time he told me about how miserable he was, he was already knee deep in with the whore. I was in a contest and didn’t know it, and was losing every battle. She likely lopped on the charm, I was busy wiping asses and noses. We didn’t SLEEP the first two years of our younger son’s life, he had ear troubles…. so sex was an afterthought.. we were so busy, so tired, and life did get monotonous.

      But isn’t that how it is for everyone raising little kids? Maybe I am just weird, but while I would have liked more sex and more “adult” time in general, I am patient enough to know this is part of life. A “season” if you will. Our youngest child is only 4. We were JUST NOW coming out of the desert…. things were about to get better…. when he lopped this on me. It feels so unfair. Of course I can’t compare to MOW’s unencumbered lifestyle, no kids, city apartment, separated from spouse, totally free…. I am up here in the burbs running carpools. You can’t compare that to someone who has unlimited time to dispense kibbles. My kibbles are in the form of raising his kids, keeping his home, holding things together.. but those things apparently count for little. What he wanted was kinky sex and attention. And I didn’t give it well enough. I will forever regret that.. regret that I didn’t see it coming.. but at some point I’ll have to forgive myself.

      Thanks JC for validating what many of us have experienced.

      • Newchumpatl, just remember we weren’t born to be kibble dispensers. Maybe that’s the Whore’s calling in life but we are meant for better things. If the men /boyscan’t participate in raising their children, it’s their loss. There is nothing more important that you can do. Screw the kibble whores. To quote Janis Joplin, freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. His whore has nothing

      • Don’t feel bad, newchumpatl. There wouldn’t have been anything you could have done. No amount of kibbles would have been enough. At the end of the day, someone has to do the child care and pay the bills, and that someone was you. Any attention you paid to to those things would have been considered wasted to him. He should have had the sense to know that those are actually the best kibbles ever, taking care of HIS kids and making a great home.

      • newchumpatl, yes you hit on the essential unfairness… “I was in a contest and didn’t know it.” I said to my Ex, you didn’t even give me a chance… he retorted, “I gave you 16 years of chances, Muse!” but that’s overlooking the fact that as you said, he and the OW carried on in secret behind my back for 2 months that I can prove and a full year that I suspect; and that later, after DDay I found emails he’d written 5 years earlier to a prior OW, someone I never heard of, so again, secret. How the hell is anyone supposed to “compete” in a pick me dance with a blindfold on and their hands tied behind their back?

        • Muse, you never did a damn thing wrong. Your ex was a wolf in human’s clothing. Of course you could never be the same as him because he’s a wolf and your heart and soul are too good to be that kind of predator. And yeah, I bet he’s trying to make you feel like a sheep now and maybe you do feel like he preyed on you. But you’re not a wolf or a sheep. You are one of the goddesses of inspiration and he’s a fucking animal wearing pants (or probably not). And even as a predator his power came from deception, not any sort of true superiority. There was nothing you could’ve or should’ve done because he was always fundementally and intrinsically a different species masquerading as a people. The only thing I can give these guys is kudos for is their acting skills. And in your case the good stuff came when he acted the most in accordance with your amazingness. The trick is to see the wolf for what he is and still be able to howl at the moon because it’s who we are!

          For the record I like real wolves, just not the kind that put on pants and pretend that their kinkiness is real love. Some day I hope to know what it’s like to be partnered with a non wolf.

        • Mine also said.. “I loved you for 20 years” when I asked why he didn’t want to give me another chance. As if there is an expiration date on a marriage. Your 20 years is up newchumpatl!!!! NEXT! Let’s see if the fantasy whore will be happy picking up his socks, listening to him pass gas and snore. And oh, when they have the kids, wiping the noses and dealing with a snarky pre-teen who LOVES his mother and is most assuredly going to HATE HER GUTS. Bets on how long this lasts. LOL

        • X was telling me he loved me right up to DDay. I think whore gave him an ultimatum. X led a double life. Shit he wet the bed and couldn’t get it up. Guess it was looking like his last chance. Glad it’s over. Sex? You call that sex. I can do better. I know that now.

          • “X was telling me he loved me right up to DDay.”
            Mine as well. Then on DDay, it suddenly changed to he had never really loved me like a man should love a wife, we had nothing in common, he never should have married me, yada yada yada. Of course, he denied there was someone else — or two someone elses, which was the reality.

            • Mine said, “I don’t know what happened! One minute I was 100% committed to you, then the next minute I was 100% committed to her!” Laughing my ass off about that now. But at the time, god it hurt. And it has taken me two years to finally start recovering…. Now I finally understand about NPD, I see how this is possible for someone who cannot love, whose “commitment” is all about getting the most kibbles, and from the most opportune source.

      • “I was in a contest and didn’t know it, and was losing every battle.”

        Yup, that was me, too, newchumpatl. The first time I realized I was in a contest, I moved out on my ex. I told her that I refused to continue to be compared to a fantasy.

        Months later, in therapy, our MC would try to state that my wife wasn’t comparing me to her *former* AP. I replied, “Oh, don’t worry! I already know that I’m a better man than he is!”

        That went over like a lead balloon. The last thing my wife wanted (or any cheater wants) was for me to re-discover my own confidence.

        • Completely unfair to compare a mother/father who is providing, taking care of children, doing the loyal work of being a spouse with some unencumbered whore man or woman, who makes no commitment at all. Sick. It really is sick.

      • newchumpatl, don´t go over what you could have done….that is continuing your chumpiness…cheaters have such poor character, that they think they deserve to cheat because their wife is taking care of another person! But its also HIS baby! The cheater´s baby! So he is such an asshole that he thinks he is competing and being unfairly deprived of sex and kibbles because there is a new person in the family? Sorry, nice guy chumps, but though I know women cheat as much as men (or are complicit OWs) men who cheat because they are competing for attention from babies and/or toddlers deserve to be tarred and feathered and a double decker Karma bus! WTF!

        • Late to the thread, but if you are still around, I’m with you on the tar and feathers. And guess what, it can work the other way too. Some Dads work demanding jobs as the sole breadwinner, and still are 100% there for the kids. I suspect that women get the crappy end of the stick more often, but lopsided divisions of responsibilities can cut both ways.

  • I know this is wrong of me, but if I saw a news article that something bad had happened to Esther Perel, I would laugh.

    And I would rather have mediocre sex with a man who truly loved and cherished me than great sex with a man who treated me like crap and really didn’t care if it was me he was fucking or someone else. There is always hope for the mediocre man — together, we can learn to make the sex great. But the man with bad character? He is always going to be bad news and you can’t stay in bed forever.

      • GIO – ‘would rather have mediocre sex with a man who truly loved and cherished me than great sex with a man who treated me like crap..’

        ^This is great^

        Isn’t this truly what it’s about? Love and cherish, even tho some of the other issues like lousy sex, become secondary.

  • I HATE these people who try so hard to explain and excuse the wonders of cheating. 31 years married, SAh cheated since the beginning. I was his ‘COVER GIRL” not the kind you think. Gave up my career, raised 3 amazing kids, kept myself in great shape, still look good for 58 yrs old (better than he does I might add) Forgave so many times I lost track. Did the dance, believed the BS, and now know I AM DONE!

    My point here is that I was ALWAYS there for sex and I was always sexy :), but what started to happen –common with SA, is that he couldn’t get it up for Me nor could I initiate sex either. He just couldn’t perform. I just didn’t work for him. Im glad now to think and know the humiliation he suffered being and impotent at 45 (only for me though) I started to hate him and the loveless, sexless marriage he ALONE created. He was turned on by porn since he was 10 —and hid that from me for 29 years. The affairs, strip clubs, pornography, lust for the filth, masterbation, perverted lifestyle he had created for HIS sexual releases, eventually wore him out and made him useless to me—faithful spouse! its 100% his to own and he can now have this life he chose and secretly protected to have and keep. He is no longer has me to hide behind.

    I hope and pray someday i will find real love and someone who can make me feel like the woman I am. With luck my divorce should be finalized in about 3 months. LEAVE A CHEATER, GAIN A LIFE…… leave sooner than I did though. they don’t deserve even 1 mistake, chance, slip whatever the fuck you want to call it!

    • I love the word ‘slip’. I was just walking along, minding my own business, when.. bam.. I slipped and landed in a strange vagina!

    • Fireball, you are mighty! Mine had a secret deviant sexual life as well, and actually slipped up and expressed some of his perversions to me during sex, articulating that he really wanted to fuck an underage girl. This was his expressed fantasy that he verbalized during sex with me, many years. I was creeped out but I loved this man, so I submitted and even play acted for him. I thought such was my duty as a woman. I am ashamed to say that I went along with this. … After DDay I found indications that he had acted on that impulse yrs ago but I have no legal proof. And I too, was his “cover” of normality, me and my three kids, and our typical middle class lifestyle while he had unprotected sex with me always, never protected, so why would he use protections with the creeps he was secretly fucking and getting blow jobs from male and female. No, “infidelity is not a crime” but recklessly giving someone an STD or exposing them to the chance of it, should be.

      None of that fits into the sexperts’ sugar-coating of why people have affairs, now, does it?

  • I would like to hear from the couples whose relationships were mended and made stronger from these therapists. Where are these people?

    There is something so amiss with these therapists. They postulate theories that we are cavemen – that desire drives everything. Great sex requires desire plus a whole host of other things – trust, communication, maturity, confidence, vulnerability, openness, able to give and receive, sleep….bla bla bla…. These are the same things I consider to be part of a good relationship.

    Recently I read something very interesting written by a high school teacher who teaches sex ed. (I am going by memory here, so likely am butchering it.) To the question “when do I know if am ready to have sex” — he says you are ready when you can talk about your concerns, birth control, STIs and be responsible to your partner.

    Perhaps the discussion should not be about monogamy by about the fundamentals of being a mature adult.

  • Okay, I couldn’t resist some anagrams:

    Dr. Tammy Nelson = Moldy Remnants


    Ms. E. Perel = Repels Me

    • Normar

      Awesome! anagrams! (I also secretly wish Ester P would get caught……. cheating…)

      And I’m still reveling in your:

      “Rules don’t apply to THEM boundaries can’t contain THEM, and budgets don’t consider all the complexities of THEIR fabulousness.”

      You capture the spirit of the infidel so beautifully and would make another fantastic bumper sticker

  • What about the “Den mother of the group” phrasing? Wouldn’t “madame of the group” be more accurate? Possibly “pimp”? Den mother makes her sound so … chumpy.

    • Other, more-accurate description for Ester might include:

      Narcissist in Chief
      Duchess of Doubletalk
      Empress Cheaterpants
      Patron Saint of Side Dishes
      Countess of Slutsylvania
      The Twatinator
      First Lady of Fucking Around
      She Who Cannot Be Shamed
      President of the Big Skank Think Tank

  • I blamed myself each time my husband had an affair or his many one night stands. He was always stuck in the honeymoon stage. He wanted blow jobs every time we had sex. Then he wanted anal sex which I said no way. Eventually I said no more often. He kept track all the time. He had all the excuses on the book. Sex was always about him. He did not make love to me, he masturbated on my body. There is no love there. He left on Sept. 2013 and went to live with his bar fly. She is a desperate fifty year old bar fly who lets him do all of what he wants. Blow jobs, alcoholism, she dances in front of him when he plays his guitar in an aging rock band. God I want to really puke sometimes. She let him build a bar in her garage. It goes on and on. Thank you CL and CN. I have finally realized my destiny and it is not with this asshole that I wasted my time with for 25 years.

  • I’m in a bad mood today, so also want to add this:
    In what relationship is betrayal ever good? How would these “therapists” feel if one of their clients rifled through their files on other patients? Gave them fraudulent insurance information? Had a highly communicable disease and purposely exposed them to it? Lied to them in session after session? Violated the relationship by showing up at their home. Most therapists won’t work with PDs exactly because of thsee types of behaviors that don’t respect Normal social standards/ boundaries.
    How would they feel if one of their partners in their practice was breaking laws or engaging in fraud, putting them in financial and legal danger? Sex isn’t some special get out of jail free card for betrayal or repeated dishonesty, and it also rarely occurs in a vacuum where the betrayer isn’t also being dishonest in other areas of life. If you can lie straight faced to a person you live with, who else are you deceiving?
    I try to explain to others that it isn’t the sex so much as the repeated and constant deception. He didn’t come home from a convention wracked with guilt, apologizing for a drunken one night stand. That’s something you could work with. He made plans, syphoned off money, and on and on. Once I looked through his computer, the degree and consistency of the constant deceptions was in every area of life. What I took as “fish stories”, harmless exagerations, actually became a part of a pattern of consistent and pervasive conscience lying. That’s when you realize that you have no idea who the person sharing your home and your bed is or what they are capable of and it is terrifying.

    • “What I took as “fish stories”, harmless exagerations, actually became a part of a pattern of consistent and pervasive conscience lying. That’s when you realize that you have no idea who the person sharing your home and your bed is or what they are capable of and it is terrifying.”

      I didnt think that deadH was a big liar at first but at some point he had to start lying when he started cheating. Years into our marriage he also started telling fish stories, “yarns” he called them, “Men tell yarns” he said. I specifically asked after he had driven cross country and told a very specific story [he claimed he was at a gas station and it was held up and he saw a frightened child and took control of the situation by throwing scalding coffee on the robber] he told it like it was true and he had me believing him. He later laughed at me for believing him. Why make something like this up?

      Im beginning to think he may have been a good liar all along

  • The only times I’ve grown is when I’ve put others first. The only times I shrank into myself was when I lied. She has it completely backwards.

  • I’m not surprised this broke the UBT. It’s really weird.

    I can’t think of any other time in life where we say betrayal causes opportunity and growth. Oh yeah, your business partner took your life savings, but hey, just think how you can be a much better person now. And what a great chance for you to talk honestly about the business.

    Jumping a bit, if you redefine your relationship to include extramarital sex on weekends, you’ve decided to have an open marriage. You’re not doing monogamy anymore.

    Words have meanings because there are real concepts to talk about. We need a word for sexually faithful relationships between two and only two people. If you want to do polyamory or swinging, say so. If you can’t say the words, maybe you’re not really okay with what you’re doing.

    Thanks once again for taking something absurd and making me laugh, CL.

  • Just popped in. The no sex thing pisses me off. How many chumps were cut off from sex by their cheaters and then blamed for no sex after DDay? That is what my ex did, I even begged for sex no was left without for years. First MC session he says we hadn’t had sex in years as an excuse, no shit you bastard, you’d rather jerk off than have sex. Go to hell.

    • X left our bed when I was eight months pregnant with our first child because he needed sleep and I looked like I “was about to blow.” That crack hurt me terribly.

      He never came back to our bed, choosing instead to sleep on a pullout next to his homemade bar in the cellar. Sex became a thing we did when he got his drink on. It sucked for years.

      Then he intimated to people that I was frigid. Not that he was a booze hound or anything like that.

    • I spent most of the 20 years I wasted with my ex begging for sex. He was always saying he would come to bed earlier, he’d be more attentive, blah blah blah. I once suggested that maybe his low sex drive was due to low testosterone and said he should get it tested. He got angry and replied that there was nothing wrong with his sex drive and nothing wrong with his testosterone levels. Yeah, his sex drive was plenty high, just not for me. When it came to banging strange men in gay bath houses, he apparently had sky-high libido. And towards the end, for married women, orgies and threesomes as well.

  • X didn’t just cheat by fucking a bleach-blonde, cross-eyed, “Yes sir!” skank. It’s what he did after that that has hurt so much deeper. The “fuck you” that keeps fucking us over. Talk about control. This man is going to orchestrate something to control from his grave.

    He cheated when he stole and hid our family’s money.
    He cheated when he moved his dying, unconscious father’s hand in a hospital bed to have him sign a trust that wrote me and our kids out of his will.
    He cheated when he lied about our home life.
    He cheated when he lied about our relationship. And our sex life.
    He surgically executed all of these vile things to make himself look like the poor, put-upon, sad sack who had a controlling, frigid, hateful wife. His powers of transference continue to amaze, disgust and frighten me.

    Nobody cares about his continued nasty, venom-filled email and texts to me. Or how he parks his car in front of my driveway so I can’t get in or out without his implied “permission.” Or how he continuously badmouths me to our kids, who just want to gain his approval. He has rewritten history and is shoving it down their throats at every opportunity. It’s sickening. And criminal.

    Yes, X “cheated” on me when he fucked the bimbo. But, he continues to cheat his kids, with the pittance of what he should pay for child support (he’s unemployed sitting on his pile of inheritance money), and with his running commentary on his miserable marriage, which translates to our kids as THEIR fake, miserable childhood memories. He’s cheated them out of a childhood and unwittingly serves as a bad role model of how to treat women. I’m frightened for them as men who will more than likely have intimacy issues.

    THIS IS CHEATING. Ain’t nothing alluring or sexy or kinky or new or mysterious about screwing up you own kids.

  • Lots of interesting people in the world. I think we chumps already know the cheater’s first retort is to blame the chump. That’s just the nature of the cheater’s personality, or lack thereof. We expect that now that we understand their warped reality. But it’s really hard to stomach when people who should know better can’t take a stand against behaviour that is [so many negative adjectives I can’t type them all]. Perhaps those people who just don’t seem to get it are chumps in the making. Watch out, Karma can be a narcissist looking for an enabler with a good excuse and a forgiving nature.

  • The “quest for aliveness” bullshit ALWAYS comes at the expense of loved ones in affairs. Always. Every time. That makes it not ok. Want to feel alive? Handle poisonous snakes, drink 10 shots of espresso, get a mohawk, go skydiving. Fucking people over to feel alive is pathetic. Slimy. Cowardly. Decent people better themselves on fair terms.

    Also, my stbx was pretty one-note in bed. Yawn. I had the sex drive, I wanted to experiment, I got turned down for sex, I couldn’t get MY needs met. I hope he’s enjoying his milk-toast sex with his plain and flat-chested mistress. (When he started going on and on about how much he loved my chest after 9 years together, it should have been a clue that he was tangling with someone a little less…fortunate in that department.)

  • “Abuse counselors say of the abusive client: “When he looks at himself in the morning and sees his dirty face, he sets about washing the mirror.” – Lundy Bancroft, “Why Does He Do That?”

    “Never argue with someone who believes their own lies.” – Quote on Baggage Reclaim, Natalie Lue

    “What is not good for the swarm is not good for the bee.” – Marcus Arelius

    When my STBX asked me to marry him, I was very clear regarding my desire to have a monogamous marriage. I didn’t waiver once when discussing it with him. I explained to him that I did not believe marriage was for dating – except each other. I told him that if he wanted to date, he should not marry me. I even explained to him that if he changed his mind at any time he should tell me – that I would be hurt, but I would prefer that he always be honest with me and end the marriage with some integrity. He insisted that he wanted what I wanted – then proceeded to cheat the entire marriage, while lying about it and gaslighting and ultimately blameshifting all of his shitty behavior to me – I made him do it. If I had the power to actually “make” him do anything, why would I choose to “make” him do the thing I didn’t want as opposed to the thing I wanted? This crap is just so ridiculous – if a cheater is cheating because of lack of sex or unhappiness with the sex they’re getting, as their partner, I would think that we would also be suffering from the same lack (or worse), so why are we able to control our impulse and not cheat? Cheating has nothing to do with lack of sex – it has something to do with lack of lack of values, lack of morals and lack of character. “Coupledom” with whomever you want – just leave me out of it.

    People like my STBX, Esther Perel, Tammy Nelson and the like do not have the capacity to be decent human beings so they create “new realities” and “new language” (is it like pig latin?) in order to rationalize their inability to live with any real integrity or to develop any character. The “cheater gaze” is an interesting thing to behold as it is turned constantly inward. They appear to never move beyond the developmental stage of a demanding toddler, concerned with nothing more than getting their own needs met, completely unaware of the needs and autonomy of others, while gurgling made up words in an attempt to describe it.

  • How old is Esther now? 58? I am wondering what Esther would write about if she found her husband Jack dry humpin a 21 year old freshman against the library building at Columbia? Ya know ther are things that you have to experience before you have a set idea about them or offer advice about…. Like giving birth… Or raising a child… Having Cancer… Getting a divorce… Oh and surviving an affair. I wouldnt even wish this on her….but… If her husband had an affair… I hope he uses everything she have ever written to defend himself… Because she would understand. Right? Love to see her choke on her own words.

  • I am downright inspired after reading Estrus Perel and not-a-Dr. Tammy. I, too, want to give a TED talk and be interviewed by the NYT for espousing deception. But, claiming “infidelity is hip” is so 2005. Instead, I will advocate embezzling from your employer. That’s right–stealing company funds in order to advance your own life style is a movement we can all get behind (granted, unless you’re the employer). The frisson of excitement when you start stealing from petty cash! And once you’ve fooled enough people, siphoning funds from the holiday party account! But don’t stop there–as your poker face and ability to place blame on newer employees for the missing fund improves, Bernie-Madoff style embezzlement and trickery will up your game.

    Think of the adrenaline, the power of having it over on hapless people who are so much less wily than you. If you get caught? Just claim the motive of “self-fulfillment” and look down on honest people, who evidently are not as sophisticated as you. Yoo hoo, NYT, where are you?

  • Sadly there’s a lot of bad advice and therapists out there. Our couples counsellor told me my ex shouldn’t have to go no contact with the AP if she felt forced too. Same that I needed to find better ways of approaching my requests about the affair with her so she felt comfortable talking about it – you know don’t make her talk about stuff she didn’t want to and all… Needless to say I got rid of him and her… The ex also called the affair a singular mistake – that really pissed me off. And as for sex – she always had it available. She was the one who never wanted it (I’m considerably younger and more driven) – too stressed, depressed, tired etc. I even taped a show called 7 days of sex for couples trying to get intimacy back in their relationships when we were in a 3 month drought she imposed. Apparently the idea of watching the show disgusted her. But she’d do anything for him to try get him to tell her he loved her and wasn’t just using her (he was) – idiot!

    • Unbelievable. I also had a MC who basically accepted STBX’s ridiculous claims about his “just friends” MOW. Calling her DAILY and texts too, and MC bought it and every session ended up being about my “anxiety” and how I should find a way to do a better Pick Me Polka.

      Later I saw that MC- long after I fired him- told him I had uncovered ample evidence STBX was still seeing the slut. Told him next time a woman tells him her H is cheating, he should listen. He was very apologetic.

      Funny, my anxiety reduced once I knew the truth and it became clear I wasn’t “crazy”.

  • “She encourages couples to write their own monogamy rules, which can include extramarital sex on weekends or extramarital sex but only together.”

    Just like alcoholics are allowed to have no more than 3 beers on the weekend parties or drug addicts are allowed 2 hits on a Friday night?
    Grow the fuck up, you New-Age nambly-pambly, politically correct fuckwads.
    Seeing stuff like this makes me seriously lose my shit at society these days.

  • I’m sorry, I’m having a bit of a problem with writing rules for monogamy ??? What part of the meaning of “monogamy” are they having a problem understanding? I see NO ambiguity at all!! Don’t these over intellectualized folks have access to dictionary’s? I read this tripe they spew and it just reinforces my belief that chumps are so much better off stepping out of the slimy hole these idiots have created for themselves and moving on with decent people! Just the thought of wasting another moment of my time trying to figure out what a cheater is thinking to justify their affair is a waste. It’s like listening to a toddler try to explain bad behavior! Trust that they are cases of selfish arrested development and run to the nearest exit. No doubt you will find other people who are much more worthy of your time and energy. It gives me great pleasure to know that I divorced an immature, selfish POS and placed him on his Schmoopies doorstep! Now SHE can deal with her Dream Lover. Wonder how that’s going? Ha! Ha! Ha!

    • These people seem to have a deceptive way of spewing foolishness that almost sounds smart, like saying that polyamory is the new monogamy, but only on weekends. It’s just nonsense but it confuses allot of folks. Or maybe it just serves to enable people who are entitled anyway. They seem to think they are the ones chosen to redefine vocabulary. These people are narcissists who tries to covertly justify narcissism.

  • Things like sensationalist NYT articles and attention ho’s-of-the-moment like Esther Perel … it’s just today’s media’s sick idea of what sells.

    I had a chat with my single, 26 year old son today. He is in the phase of life where he is dating and trying to decide the “sort” of woman he should prefer as a life partner. I dont see him often since we live 4000 miles apart. However, I now have the opportunity to counsel him (he asked for my opinion) and wondered if fellow chumps could contribute to my thoughts. He is a newly graduated lawyer with a good permanent job, handsome, and while very rational, also is a sweet and thoughtful guy. I want to avoid being overly cynical with him.

    Here is my list of suggested qualities:
    1. Kindness
    2. Financial sense, similar education level
    3. No tendency to drama
    4. Meet her family – are they screwed up
    5. Her mother is what you will be married to in 25 years

    Any other ideas?

    • Someone who does the right thing because its right – not because they get attention, fame or riches from it.
      With #4, its not always ‘the apple don’t fall far from the tree’ in all situations. Its dependent on their attitude and mindset regarding that – for example: if they can correctly identify shitty behaviour and call it for what it is – then that is acceptable too.
      All of your suggestions are great though. With ‘financial sense’ – you should pair it with ‘not frivolous spending on designer shit that isn’t needed’.

  • Hi – I was cheated out of sex for 35 yrs. It was all about him and masturbating. There was never any reciprocating, not even a back rub! Since everything else seemed ‘perfect’ in our relationship, being besties and doing every extracurricular activities together, I decided to accept this living arrangement and did enough masturbating myself alone to wear out many vibrators. Looking back, I’m so angry that I put up with this for so long and I am working on WHY I did.

    What I would like to know from C/N is, is there any way this man would be any different to his new lover? Doesn’t it seem most likely that he’s NOT going to change his selfish sexual behaviour for somebody else?

    It would give me a lot of satisfaction if you all agreed that he probably does this to her too. There’s no way he enjoys the smells and messiness of sex unless she is the one Goddess that brought out completely different behavior in him.

    Comments welcome!

    • Shechump,
      My experience of it tells me he may put on an act with her for a while, but his true preferences will come out eventually. Depends on the balance of power, if he has something she needs, then she might accept strange behaviour that you might not. Or maybe she’s asexual and prefers to watch him! The true answer is not worth occupying your head space, after all, far better to focus on finding a good man who will actually offer the back rub option. I endured a lonely, virtually sexless marriage for many years and now can hardly believe how much better my sex life is. I have basically forgotten what it was like with the ex, except that I do vividly recall lying on my back looking for cobwebs on the ceiling..

      • Thanks, Marci. I agree with you. Eventually, his true colors/desires will surface and she’s enough of a doormat that she’ll probably put up with it. I think she’s just after his money anyway. At this point I can’t imagine having sex with anybody again (not sure if I know how to! lol) but geez, I’d sure consider it if it led to a back rub. That would be a good start. Glad to hear your life is normal with somebody else. It gives me confidence. And, you are right – I am done occupying my head space with what they must be doing.

  • OK… So… I write and speak for a living. I consider myself as having an educated opinion regarding the English language. As a general rule, we don’t get to redefine words that already have well-established meanings. Words like monogamy, infidelity, abuse…

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