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Deconstructing Frumpiness (and Chumpiness)

It’s been awhile since Holly Petraeus and her cheating husband General Petraeus have been in the news cycle, but I thought it was time to rerun this column on Your Frumpiness Compelled Me to Cheat. Not being perfect human specimens is just another way the world blame shifts infidelity on to chumps. (Unless you’re Christie Brinkley, or someone, and then I guess it was your blinding blonde hair that intimidated your husband into fucking teenagers to boost his self-esteem.) So without further ado… here’s Holly again.

Poor Holly Petraeus. It’s not enough that she’s publicly humiliated by her husband General Petraeus’ infidelity scandal, the world has to snark about her matronly pant suits and gray hair. Oh sure, she’s a class act who does a world of good for military charities and families of deployed soldiers, but have you noticed that she looks like a 63-year-old woman?! Menopausal, squidgy around the middle, not exactly fashion forward. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Just saying she’s not winning any West Point fitness awards. (Oh hey, come to mention it, neither is Paula Broadwell.)

When people talk about Holly Petraeus, they use the “f” word —  frumpy.

You know everyone is comparing her to Paula Broadwell and thinking: can you blame the man? Broadwell is 20 years younger than Petraeus. Okay, so Broadwell appears to possess all the moral sense God gave mold spores — but you can bounce quarters off her abdomen! She’s taut and firm! And when it comes to getting a bit on the side, some men can overlook a flaming case of narcissistic personality disorder (especially if they may be similarly afflicted).

After reading all the digs at Holly Petraeus’ appearance, I’m wondering — is it a crime to be frumpy? Is there some causal relationship between frumpiness and cheating? One holiday appliqué sweater and your man is cruising Ashley Madison? Is that how it works?

I, like many women, was raised to think that beauty was an insurance policy in life. Maintain an ideal body weight, style your hair, and put on some lipstick or Terrible Things Will Happen. My grandmother used to spend an hour dressing for dinner each night and was prone to utterances like “that maternity outfit is not very slimming,” or “if you stood up straight, you’d lose 10 pounds.” As you can imagine, she was a joy to be around. But what she lacked in subtlety and compassion, she made up for in good looks. The woman had an enviable complexion into her nineties and a designer wardrobe to die for. For a woman of her generation who couldn’t go to college, being beautiful worked for her. She married a successful man who was devoted to her.

But I don’t think pretty people should get smug that infidelity can’t happen to them. Halle Berry, Christie Brinkley and Eva Longoria were all cheated on, to name just a few supernaturally attractive people. You wonder if beauty insulates them from at least some of the hurt of betrayal. I imagine people saying to their utterly forgettable partners — dude, WTF were you thinking?! Whereas the Holly Petraeus’s of the world hear, “Dear God, she’s let herself go. What can you expect?”

Age conspires to make frumps of us all. Some of us succumb to frumpiness and some don’t go gently into that good night. Of course, there is the danger of tipping into the “mutton dressed as lamb” demographic, but the world generally gives you an A for effort. We much prefer our public figures to be botoxed, dieted, and tucked into some approximation of eternal youth. Woe to the frumpy.

We deconstruct frumpiness in women, especially in cases of infidelity. What do her looks say about the state of her marriage? Here is my arm chair shrink analysis, FWIW.

After infidelity is discovered, the cheating spouse often wants the betrayed spouse to compete for attention with the affair partner. I call this the “Humiliating Dance of ‘Pick Me’!” And I think a lot of betrayed spouses fall for it. I will up my game! I will use my gym membership! I will dress sexier! My feeling is that the game is rigged and there is no winner. The goal for the cheater is just to stay central in the dramatic contest for their affections.

I think there is a corollary to the humiliating dance of pick me for those who won’t play, but continue to stay married. Let’s call it the “Passive Aggressive Dance of Fuck You I Don’t Give a Shit.”  Do you want a youthful looking spouse? Fuck you, I’m going to age conspicuously. Do you want me to dress sexy? Fuck you, I’m wearing turtlenecks. Do you want me to lose weight? Fuck you and pass the gravy.

This dance says — I can’t win this game, so I’m not even going to try.

Are Holly Petraeus’s dowdy pant suits saying that? Do you wonder if maybe this isn’t Petraeus’s first rodeo and she gave up trying to compete long ago?

Or maybe she’s just a woman who was secure in her marriage, who thought she was loved, and thought it was safe to age in the manner that 99.9% of us do — imperfectly.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • The sooner chumps realise appearance, attractiveness, beauty has nothing to do with cheaters fucking strange the better.

    Cheating is all down to disordered character, opportunity and entitlement.

    Fellow chumps, it has nothing to do with you. It’s all on them.

    Fuck them, move on and be happy with who you are. We are mighty!!! ??

    • Spot on Deloris! Zero to do with appearances or beauty of the new supply, all about how it makes these disordered assholes feel. Just knowing that this despicable shit makes them feel GOOD should be enough. Fuck them is right!

      • You are both soooo right. My ex’s AP and now wife, looks old enough to be his grandmother! She dresses like it’s the 70’s, wear’s no makeup, bad hair and is at least 30 lbs overweight. But hey….she’s flexible!! After 14 years, that is what he traded me for? This proves cheaters are disordered and feel entitled to do as they please, cuz it’s all about them!!

        I not only look good at 62 years old…..I have a great job, exercise regularly, and nice man that I’m dating–thank God that narc is out of my life!!

      • I am not bragging but I have always been complimented on my looks! My Ex Was the frumpy one and a serial cheater! Cheaters are not all good looking. My Ex’s work wife looks like a toad…but acts like a Ho….I think Chump Lady hit the nail on the head when she said ….they want strange!
        36 years married!
        1 year divorced! Still separating assets!
        No Contact. 2.5 years,

    • That’s for sure. My ex left for a guy who has a tribal tattoo on half his face, some old English letters on the other half, and ear lobes that would make an old Masai tribesman jealous. A guy worthy of the Jim Rhoads circus sideshow. As long as they are being fed kibbles, it really doesn’t matter what they look like. It’s all about them willing to put out.

      • Michael, wow! interesting description of the tattoos! WTF. My ex left me for a woman who was missing her 2 front teeth…she was a corporate lawyer too. I have all my teeth and they are in great shape. Go figure!

        • My STBX left me for a woman covered in tattoos and piercings, never thought that was his type. But she is 15 years younger and has a very wild past so I’m sure she does lots of things I wouldn’t do. Looks definitely don’t matter to cheaters, it’s all about who strokes their ego the most!

    • So true, Deloris. There will never be a Pick ME ballet a chump can master to make a cheater love them more than random lays.

      It’s not YOU, chump. It’s THEM. Take off your dancing shoes and become mighty and awesome.

  • Well, as women we often hear we have a ‘shelf life’ and once we exceed that, we’re just supposed to quietly fade away, I guess. I often read about middle-aged men on dating sites looking to date 20-somethings and women their own age being disgusted with the whole thing. Men often use the excuse that they aim for younger women because biologically, they’re ‘programmed to procreate” – but procreating is about the LAST thing they’re looking to do with these younger women. So it all seems like bullshit to me.

    Whether Holly Patreus gave up long ago or not is unsure. Why she chooses to humiliate herself and stay with this pig is another story, I guess.

    • This is a long time snark of mine. We transcend our biology all.the time. We need food to survive, but when we are hungry and see someone else weaker than us holding food, we don’t punch them and steal their food. That has to be one of the strongest biological urges we possess, yet somehow, we easily bypass it.

      Perel’s biology excuse is ridiculous. If pursuing youth was really all about biology, the cheater would display many other biologically driven behaviors. Finding youth attractive, sure, that’s probably biochemical. Pursuing the young to satisfy a bodily desire for sex is a sign of immaturity, of lack of development, of an inability to view the world through a healthy adult lens. It exploits those perceived to be weaker and/or less experienced. It feeds the ego, which is psychology, not biology.

      • “Pursuing the young to satisfy a bodily desire for sex is a sign of immaturity, of lack of development, of an inability to view the world through a healthy adult lens. It exploits those perceived to be weaker and/or less experienced. It feeds the ego, which is psychology, not biology”.
        Ami, I could not have put it better. You see my ex husband is 63 years old and he is shacked up with a 23 year old 3rd world prostitute in Cambodia which also includes now raising her 2 little boys. He is in heaven &/or paradise as he constantly is bragging. She can have the idiot and he is where he has belonged always, in a hole.

        • “Pursuing the young to satisfy a bodily desire for sex is a sign of immaturity, of lack of development, of an inability to view the world through a healthy adult lens. It exploits those perceived to be weaker and/or less experienced. It feeds the ego, which is psychology, not biology”.

          I agree with Maree-Thanks for that Ami. Now I know exactly what to tell my son when he gets older about why his 47 year old dad blew up our family for barely legal, Asian sex workers and porn!

        • @ Maree Narcs brag. They love dysfunction and they brag the most when things are most dysfunctional. It’s all part of the immaturity/illness. 🙂

          I am so sorry you had to/have to go through that. What a kick in the gut. You are mighty and you don’t need that BS in your life. Good riddance to that dude.

          @Current Chump, same.thing, I am so sorry you had to/have to go through this. There are many people who don’t get that when porn and fantasy replace the sex life with the partner it’s also infidelity. Add paid sex on top of that and yowch.

          The one thing I have never been able to mentally reconcile is the danger they are willing to put chumps in. It takes a truly cruel person to be willing to risk giving their partner a sexual disease. That’s just mean, any way you slice it.

          • Thanks Ami-it really is a horrific reality and I was just lucky I didn’t catch anything from his ‘pay for play’ slut adventures.

            I’m just worried for my baby that his next step-mom is going to be an underage Asian sex worker, hooker, masseuse, Craigslist hook-up

            • CurrentChump

              Having your child parented by one whatever these pigs assholes pick up is one of the reasons I stayed married to a serial cheating asshole. Doccument everything and try to get full custody. My heart goes out to anyone in this situation. Talk to your lawyer and go for NO overnight visits given his history.

              • I’m trying Donna-so far the courts here on the west coast don’t seem to care what he does because he has never been arrested (yet) for any of his ‘pay for play’ underage hookers or massage parlor trolling. It doesn’t matter to them about all the verbal abuse (yelling) or the excessive iPorn either-because they don’t consider that abuse. Sigh. AND if I’m not careful about how I present proof, it looks like I’m a smear campaign to strip custody from him since he has no prior legal record of any lawbreaking behavior/instances. I guess I have to wait for him to be arrested as a prostitution ‘John’ or he has a surprise appearance on ‘how to catch a predator’

              • Current Chump, I 2nd what donna has told you. You are in a worse predicament that I am. My daughter is 36 and son is 33, so they are 13 and 10 years older respectively than their sperm donor’s ‘girl’. However, they accept her and have rejected me. You have the opportunity to be mighty in this awful situation and show your son just how lucky he is to have you as his mum. Like donna, I too stayed for possibly the wrong reasons even though I did love my ex husband. I now despise him because I see him for what and who he has always been. Be strong and don’t buckle under the pressure and you will survive. I wish I could give you a hug and tell you that everything will be alright and it will be.
                PS – You are also correct about the ‘predator’ comment. I am just waiting for the ex to be caught, although he is a very clever manipulator. Just ask my kids because they love him and hate me.

    • These younger women are there looking to upgrade their husbands for more successful middle aged men. I guess the sight of gold overshadows a wrinkly non-functioning dick. If these younger women were not gold digging, maybe these old men would not have the opportunity to fuck them behind their wive’s back. I was chumped this other way. Didn’t work well for the Ex, she got dumped shortly after I divorced her.

  • In South Africa, there was a woman wearing a straw hat in our local mall. She WAS SO BEAUTIFUL that I had to turn my head and look at her.
    It was Halle Berry, who was filming on location. I did not recognise her until that moment, my head turned at how stunning she was first.
    She got cheated on.

    • Think about Jackie Kennedy! My mother tells a similar story to this one of seeing her on a NY street once.. and she was just STUNNING!

  • I guess I can’t speak for every male out there, but physically the bbbhore wasn’t the same as when we married. 3 kids later you’d expect it not to be, but I wasn’t tempted to cheat. A real man loves and honors his wife, a real woman loves and honors her husband. I’m pretty sure that most of us here would have been uncomfortable or scared to point out any flaws to our SO so as not to provoke another fight or more hurt feelings. That isn’t our downfall and that isn’t the reason we were cheated on, it’s as Deloris said above. It’s all on them.

    • Amen to this accubonded. My husband is the one who let himself go in our marriage. He gained a ton of weight and his health is not good. I took good care of myself and it is paying off in my 40s. But none of this really matters- I loved my husband and didn’t care about his physical appearance. I expected the same from him. When I said my vows I really, really meant it. People with good character and mental health don’t just detach themselves from a person they’ve raised a family with for 20 years and run off with another person. There is nothing OK or normal about this. It is truly all on them.

      • Married 23 years & when i looked at my H i still saw the 22 year old college student i fell head over heels for.

        My vision? Fine. My character? 20/20.

        • Me too, I didn’t care how he aged cause I loved him. Final court date Nov 16, 2015. Why the fuck does it still hurt so damn much and when will it stop?

          • Divorce finalized 9 months ago today. Still hurts like hell. But, there are long periods of time when I don’t even think of her. If nothing else, time will easy the pain so it is bearable. Watch out for triggers that take you back 2 steps. The recovery from those also gets shorter with time. Be strong, kar marie, you will notice improvements. Celebrate them. 🙂

            • Thanks marked, I’m trying. Getting rid of everything he gave me, or throwing or giving away everything. Have to see him still quite often on account of disposing of the house. Once I can move away, I will leave all care, trouble s and thoughts here. He’s been given six months to buy the house if not I sell it and I don’t care if his business goes under. Him and the new ow wife can deal with it. Burned all his pictures and burned the wedding album in a bonfire last Halloween. He can have the house and the whore let them live with the ghosts. He announces his wedding before even divorced on fucking facebook.! I hate Facebook. Can’t wait til I can move then I believe I can finally start to heal. Thanks for your kind words. I really want to start a group of chumped survivors. What comfort we get here I wish it could be in person. Who’s in Florida?

              • Someone needs to organize a Chump Nation convention. Maybe in New Orleans 🙂 Yep, mine went trolling on Facebook for old high school boy friends. Found one going through divorce and left me for him (he makes more money). Married 28 years, together 30. It was a great moment when we sold the house. I bought a nice one bedroom condo downtown with a view of the Sears Tower. Small consolation, but a great view 🙂 Rid myself of anything that she gave me or that reminded me of her. Sent her all my albums that had any pics of her. Told her to deal with them. Two last things before I’m totally free. My annulment is being processed and my alimony will end if she marries him. 🙂 still hurts like hell, but I know I’ve taken all the right steps to forget her (and 30 years of memories). Be strong. Time will numb some of the pain.

              • Bless you, kar marie and marked711. I know whereof you speak. Tomorrow is the 1-year anniversary of the date I moved out. She moved in a week later. They found each other on facebook. I don’t have a facebook account, thank God so I don’t have to look at their shiny happy PR. They’re engaged now. Yes, it still hurts like hell. And yes, I will be OK with time. Took up jogging a few months ago and it’s been a lifesaver. My first 5K is next Sunday. Marked711, count me in for a Chump Nation convention. Hang in there, kar marie. If you can, practice taking it moment by moment. You can deal with a moment. And then another moment. The moments are rather nice, actually. It’s when you add past hurts and future anxieties to the moment, that’s when you get pain. See y’all in New Orleans!

          • KM

            Just as the paralysis ends so does the pain. I felt so pathetic yet now I know he is the one that lost. He lost the closeness of a loving wife, three amazing children, and a beautiful granddaughter.

  • Guilty of beating myself up after DDay thinking it was my size, looks, or wrinkles. Hey,when your partner of 41 years moves in with strange after screwing her in a hotel a few weeks later it MUST be my fault, after all!

    But alas, she’s grotesque enough she never has to buy a costume for Halloween. Drugs, alcohol, and mental illness didn’t matter. The thrill if that chase ended his disguise in a heart best.

    Then thers the truth. It’s all on the cheater. Their needs are never met in any relationship. While we spend our energy on self improvements to please the unappreciative they work on the next source of supply.

    Yet, I’ve come to appreciate the changes I made for MYSELF after DDay. I look and feel better and standing up straight with your head held high works. Whores come and go for the disordered.

    Defining ourselves through the eyes and logic of the disordered is a full time job without pay. Who do we admire in our lives? I work with many who have to overcome so much to accomplish small things we take for granted. I admire them. I admire people who make a difference in others lives. I never see frumpy, just mighty.

  • –Yes, I am sure Dean McDermott only cheated because his wives were frumpy. Oh wait….

    People only cheat because they can, they want to, and that matters more to them than their partners. Period.

    And often, it’s the cheater who is Frumpy, or squidgy, and in some cases has a face that scares small children and leaves you asking what the poor chump thought they saw in them because it sure as hell wasn’t superficial attraction.

    Which brings us back to … because they can: and almost anybody can. Heck, if Kim hate-the-homos Davis can convince at least two men to cheat with her and even pair up for a total of 4 marriages, and the 2nd and 4th being the same slightly bigoted dude who wears the same shirt on most days and do this looking not exactly svelte and–let’s be honest–a face that makes you sad just looking at it–it’s not about being frumpy. Frumpy people cheat too. Sometimes they cheat on better looking, nicer partners who have better jobs who apparently thought they saw something in their frumpy cheater that just wasn’t really there.

  • If a person no longer finds their partner suitable, then the right thing to do is either try to make it work, or END the relationship while still monogamous. Bringing a third party into just adds salt to the wound.

    To me, the real wrong in infidelity is simply that it is done with deceit. The result is that the reality of d-day hits both one’s sense of self image AND one’s assumptions that a moral contract (fidelity) was in place. Makes it a double whammy that renders chumps so emotionally fraught that they are in no shape to fight for their rights.

    I can relate to the frumpiness, at 57, I am a far cry from my 52 year old self. Fortunately I met a guy who is still an athlete at 57 and he has gently helped me back into exercise, justifying health as the motive. I can attest that it IS possible to reverse the frumps if one wants. It takes work, but I done it for myself and feel better and sleep better. I don’t care if it makes me attractive or not, it’s just a heakth choice.

    • I think if you leave your spouse because of physical changes then you are a shallow jerk who didn’t take your vows seriously at all and I would lump this kind of jerk in with cheaters. My cheater is the one who got frumpy in our marriage and I took very good care of myself and I would have never ever cheated on him or left him because of his physical appearance. I did encourage him to take care of himself and told him I wanted to grow old with him. What a joke now.

    • Marci, so true. If a person doesn’t want to keep their original relationship agreements, they can put on their big kid pants and say so. Adults do that. Cheaters are children mentally. “I want” supercedes all.other thinking. The deceit is arousing. They aren’t playing ball on the same field as chumps.

  • Yep, it’s all on them. The stbx and I dated for months before I knew he had been previously married (oops, didn’t I mention that?). Once securing our relationship, he used me as bait in order to stick it to his (soon-to -be-ex) first wife. Then he would say “See, I told you she was crazy”. She jumped through hoops, altered her appearance and lost a lot of weight (even though she was beautiful the way she was). I had never been involved with a sociopath before so, I believed him. Seventeen years and two children later, I am in the same boat. The only difference being, I know WHAT he is. I did the opposite. I wore sweatshirts and went without any makeup around the house. Maybe, subconsciously, I remembered the first wife’s “pick-me” dance a vowed never to repeat the same. Maybe, subconsciously, I couldn’t find a way out and I knew becoming frumpy was a quick way. Sure enough, he’s cheating on the new gf with not one, but two other women. They all believe they are treasured. I will wait patiently until the ink has dried before I let them know what they are dealing with. I hope they believe me.

  • I slid into a horrific depression as a result of emotional abuse in my marriage. My woefully inadequate coping mechanism was good. I gained a lot of weight– a fact that he harped on relentlessly. 17 months ago when he came to me to tell me he wanted a “trial separation” so we would “take some time, clear our heads, figure out where we’re going” (where he was going was straight to another woman) he also had a list with him. He had a legal pad with a list of all my faults in it. The list consisted mainly of physical attributes that he found repugnant. He checked off each of my perceived flaws with a pen as he read them aloud to me. Not only was I overweight, but I had stretch marks from being pregnant with our twin boys, my breasts weren’t firm like when I was in my 20s, and on and on. He then when in to say I would never find another man to love me because of my “appearance”. This all from a balding, paunchy, ass-less man who was sprouting hair out of his ears & nose, who was endlessly flatulent, snored like a freight train & thought he was just too sexy parading around the house in baggy boxer briefs, his hairy hit hanging out, white socks and what remained of his hair sticking up all over the place. But I bought into it. When I asked about our sex life, he said “you know men have a huge need for sex because I actually did it with you”. He says the end of our marriage was 100% my fault, he was forced to so what he did. I’ve never felt more like dying in my life. The past 18 months have been hell as I have navigated this situation (he’s not paying bills, he’s stopped seeing his sons because the refuse to take sides against me & refuse to meet his new woman, he’s lied to his family & broken ties with them, run up huge debt, abused his corporate credit card, etc.) but I’m coming to realize all that BS he shoved me in the beginning is his issues NOT mine. The absolute irony of it all? About a year ago his “affair partner” got my cell number off his phone & texted me a picture of them together–that woman is mug ugly. She fell out of the ugly tree & hit every branch in the way down. Oh well. Chump Lady your blog has saved my sanity. Screw him!! I’ve filed for divorce & am moving on with my life– a fact which, apparently, enrages him. Good riddance to paunchy, bald rubbish!!

    • What a dick he is, a list of your faults and it’s 100% on you. Glad you are getting shut of that asshole.

      Jedi Hugs!

    • “About a year ago his “affair partner” got my cell number off his phone & texted me a picture of them together”

      Insecure already is she?

    • What a POS he is Lynn – an absolute dick. You’re better off without that POS – give yourself some more time to heal and you’ll see that all too clearly.
      Hugs to you.

    • Lynn that is awful. Please don’t buy into his shit. He is just trying to convince himself he is justified in destroying his family. If you were a supermodel he would have made up some other bullshit to blame for his own behavior.

    • Lynn, my heart goes out to you as I read your story. Your ex was especially cruel, not even a human really. The list of faults, etc. was similar in my case. It was shocking to me to find out how cold and calculating my ex really was when I found his journals and read what he’d written about me. It takes awhile to get over that kind of blow but you can do it. I always tell people it took being discarded to find my true worth. Now we’ll recognize that type of abuse when it first starts, before we get so worn down we just give up.

      • Do you think that your ex meant for you to find his journals? It’s just the sort of passive aggressive/cruel stunt these idiots would pull.

        • Just saying, I found my ex’s journal when I was packing up to leave, and it mostly predated me, I think I was the last entry, but it was a page-turner. How he’d lied to his last girlfriend. And cheated on her. Lied to and cheated on the girlfriend who stood by from high school until grad school and made him clothes. And curtains for his little funky guest house where he lived in grad school. And how cool they were after she brought them up for the weekend and hung them for him. And how totally assholian it was to hear that as soon as she left, he called another woman and invited her to come over to see his new curtains.

          Assholes are assholes even if they look like nice guys for a minute or 16 years.

          • Survivor,

            What an apt statement. Too often we beat ourselves up about what we “should have seen,” but people who behave this way can pretend to be what they aren’t for a very long time, whether that be five months or, in my case, fifteen years.

        • My ex had a public online journal when it was still a new thing. He would write about spending money on crap then email me about his money woes and ask to skip support payments. He also lied about me a lot on there. I don’t think he meant for me to read it or he wouldn’t have tipped his hand. I think Narcs like attention and he was getting a lot of mileage off of other people believing his crap and showing empathy – probably a great way to troll for more codependent teenagers.

          Had he left it around the house, though, I might think he meant for me to read it. Deceitful cheaters are calculating and manipulative. They know how to hurt us and they don’t mind doing it.

          God, the BS. None of us need that shit in our lives.

    • Lynn, just think if you lived in a time or culture where divorcing the POS was not possible, and you were stuck for life. It’s hard to feel fortunate when your heart is broken and your pride is in a million pieces all over the floor, and your self-respect is hiding out under the bathroom sink. But you are fortunate. You know what he is and that everything he says is a lie. You never have to be under his fetid hairy thumb again. You are going to be OK, it takes time as they say. He lies because he’s desperate and out of control and has to blame it on someone else. That’s his life sentence. You are free.

    • He wrote a list of your faults and read it out loud?!? What a horrible excuse for a human being! What kind of POS needs crib notes to verbally abuse someone?

      Even if every one of the things he wrote were true, and I guarantee they aren’t, you win in a comparison against him. You might be heavy, but he is EVIL. Some of the people I love most in the world are heavy. I can’t love anyone who is evil.

    • Lynn: Things we say spring from a well deep inside of us; your X was dark and evil and spilled forth dark and evil things. They had nothing to do with you. Glad you’re almost rid of that pile of excrement.

    • Your post made me want to beat the crap out of your stbxh. I’m so very sorry you had to live through that. My mantra has become “If I have to ask, ‘How could anyone do (or say) something like that to someone they love?’ The person is toxic. Run for the hills.” I’m so happy that you’ve found the strength to walk away — and that is some enormous strength given the level of horrendous abuse you experienced. I wish you all the best going forward!

    • Oh, Lyn-

      He is an absolute shit ball. Glad you dont have to live the rest of your life being treated like that.

      You deserve better.

    • What an absolute turd your ex is. He is mad that you are divorcing him after he brought out that list? I bet it is his wishful thinking that you won’t find a new, better partner. It’s not like it would be hard for someone to be better.

      Mine tried to tell me I wouldn’t find a new partner. That was also just his wishful thinking. I have dates lined up almost every week so far. I may be 25 pounds overweight (working on it) but I am cute, have lots of interests and hobbies, smart, financially independent….But no one wants that.

    • Ew!! Your ex is really nasty!

      Like a lot of these idiots, he has zero introspection/insight. Zero. No self-awareness whatsoever.

      Time to purge yourself of all of him, and find your SELF again.

      I think a lot of the time, our so-called partners made us tired and depressed with their can’t-quite-put-a-finger-on-it behavior. It’s the cheating that finally opens the shades and sheds light onto what pieces of shit they are. Meanwhile, we internalized so much of their ugliness, and it affected us adversely. Get rid of his judgement and blame. Be your SELF. Find her and be her! You’ll be beautiful–only you can be you, and nobody is better at it.

      I hope you saved the legal piece of paper with all your check-marked “flaws.” When he comes back as a sad sausage, you can give it back to him, tell him to roll it up tightly, and shove it up his ass. Follow it up with a page dedicated to him, and tell him to add that to his rectum.

      I got the list of faults (not to the degree you did) years before DD, when the Coward was in love with another blonde (actually there were two at the time, if I recall), different from the one he left me for. He was a cheap and withholding jerk, passive-aggressive and lazy, lying about his friendships but not his crushes, and then the cherry on top was a demand for more sex. Because after a diatribe, I guess it would make me feel more attracted to him, or something–but that’s not the point, is it? Who cares what I wanted? The only thing that mattered was what HE wanted–and he was, as you might surmise, simply fabulous and really, really attractive, a legend in his own mind–zero self-awareness. When one of our friends told him he was lucky to have a wife like me, I guess it was too much, and he finally got lucky enough to dump me for an older but not completely physically unattractive blonde loser. Well done, asshole!

      Ah, whateryougonnado. Except get a life.

      If it hadn’t been for the hurt he caused my sons, I’d say this was a total win for me, ultimately, after I got over the pain and humiliation of being unceremoniously dumped.

      (And he admitted that he missed our sex life–wah-wah!)

      I did set out on a bit of a self-improvement course, certainly aided by the divorce diet, but really this was for my own benefit, and I liked the self-confidence I earned for myself. As for the Coward, he’s really let himself go. Ew. Ewwwwwww…. What a relief to not love him any more. No returns, OW! No returns–you bought it with your shriveled up soul, you own it, woman!

    • Applause for your sons, Lynn, for not taking up his cause to do you in. You raised them well there. They know who the sane parent is.

    • To quote Lynn: She fell out of the ugly tree & hit every branch in the way down.

      Laughing out loud funny! Also describes both Cheater #1’s and Cheater #2’s APs. I may not be Halle Berry or Christie Brinkley, but even a seeing eye dog could tell that both cheaters traded waaaaaaayyyyyy down.

    • My Ho-husband uses my sexual past (and we are talking 15 years ago, when I was in high school…) as his list. Because it proves how terrible I am that i would sully the waters for him. Before I knew him. And like every high schooler does. So… Past transgressions, totally on me, totally (not actually me being promiscuous just a normal teenager)- horrible. Had me pulling along thinking I was so fucking lucky I had a guy who would deign to be with me, and omg I am and will always be terrible because you can’t change your past actions. Pretty infallible- foolproof! Rag on past deeds! It’s not like weight- it’s truth wether you like it or not, you can’t jog off blowing a guy in a car. (Wowza. Holy crap was I under his thumb) …. Fast forward, sparkle spackle sparkle spackle… Underwear in his pocket… Texting escorts and massage parlours, especially when I am out of town… But yeh – I’m the ho. gross. Years ago He skipped his uncles 2nd wedding because it was to an AP, his whole family congratulated him on having the balls to stand up for that, while they all went… So 1) rules don’t apply to him (he can judge but he’s immune) 2) sparkle sparkle sparkle image management and relationship control trumps all. 3) I don’t expect his family to leave his side, I hope they all catch whatever ho-bugs he has probably given me.

      I’m sorry we both had douchenozzles. I’m sorry if you ever took that list to heart. I know I did. But now we are mighty. And we are Loveable.

  • To anyone who gets the ‘f’ word thrown at them – think who its coming from: Someone who thinks that the be-all and end-all is looks alone. In other words, shallow as shit.
    In real life – I don’t spend hours primping myself just to go out someplace or to work. In fact – I barely even wear makeup and are a jeans/shorts and T-shirt kind of person. Why would you want to wear crap that destroys your feet and makes you look like a hooker? No thanks.
    In fact – anyone who judges me on not wearing that crap – can frankly go fuck themselves. Its a great way to weed out the narcissistic fucks, to be honest.

    • A-men! I gave up makeup when I was 18, heels in my 20’s. Mr Fab took longer than either I or our teenage daughter prior to going out, if he knew slag-in-law was going to be there.

      Reminds me of a tune we all know……

  • I was watching Broadwell in an interview with Jon Stewart in an effort to promote her book. she said that she regularly jogged with Petreaus. After being on another relationship message board for a bout a half year already, my first thought was “uh-oh, sounds like the making an EA.”

    I was half right.

  • I think 40 ‘s suck. I am just on my way out of my 40’s and will be glad to shed the media/ peer pressure of keeping up with the likes of Chris Kardashian… Pick yr 50 plus star who looks ten years younger. Sucked out. Puffed up. I will be happy to ‘ settle’ into my 50’s. I am healthy. Very Healthy. Doesnt mean i wont be stricken down with some rare pneumonia or Cancer. I have boxed since my early 20’s ( before it was cool and cross fit ) and have always been incrediably active. I have skied in four differnt countries. I was a second on an eco challenge team. Ran up to my 7 month of pregnancy and did arial yoga. I play tennis. Snowboard, ski, mountain bike race and white water kayack. I sail, scuba dive and windsurf. I hate Christmas sweaters. I however, love comfortable shoes, bunny slippers and fannel jammies. Always have.
    When my Idiot started sleeping with an 18 year old… Gross I know….my self esteem took a beating. His other flings varied in age but all atleast 15 years younger than I. In all honesty I tried to be shinier… Dancier ….and sexier… Epic fail. Pathetic. Like Joan Rivers trying to pole dance pathetic. It aint in me. I aint that kinda sexy. I am the … smells like outside with fannel shirt kinda sexy… With bed head.
    I think we often forget that everyday above ground is a gift. To age is a priveledge. Not everybody gets to do it. Hate your legs? There is an amputee who would take them. Grey hair? Cancer pt would love some hair.
    Remember Fried Green Tomatoes? Twanda? I love the parking lot scene…

    • “Everyday above ground is a gift.” And yet so many people fail to appreciate this gift they have been given.

      • I’m with you Clip. My sexy is not Kardashian sexy. It’s I just built my own campfire in the great outdoors after chopping wood and digging a pit with my hands sexy.

        And, here’s a funny thing, all those guys on dating sites who say they like hiking, camping and active sports outside in the fresh air….most of them can’t take care of themselves in the great outdoors.

        • When my Ex gave me the good bye letter he gave it to me through the mail and then the coward ran out of the house when it was being delivered, My Ex wrote I no longer love you….As a matter of fact I haven’t loved you for 15 years, He then asked me to stay one more year to fix up our house and sell it together, He agreed to give the car that I made payments for! He agreed to pay me back the $30,000 dollars extra I paid on it! He told me he would take care of me and the kids but NO LAYWERS! He stated there was NO GF! I found papers where he was trying to cash out on his 28 year pension and 401 K and may have been considering retiring (age 57) ,Needless to say I was stunned and we went No Contact for 2 months! He became ill at my inaction and his bowel twisted landing him in the hospital, For a week he was contacting someone on his phone and ignoring me! When he went into surgery after 5 days of the bowel not untwisting I found his cell phone unlocked…The text read “When this is all over I will be with you to tell you how much I love you and how beautiful you are! This is when I found out who his mistress was, her age, her job (she was a co worker, her marriages etc.)! I ran home collected all my papers .,,,,ran to a lawyer and filed, 2 years later were divorced…he fought me like hell alienated my 2 sons from me and stoked lots of money,,, I still have no regrets and am starting to see he was always an asshole… I was desperate to be with him….not any more!

            • Gail, that’s awful. I’m glad you weren’t paralyzed into inaction. You were a champ and he is a loser. I hope your sons will come back around.

              • My youngest had some compassion for me but he goes wherever the wind blows. He talks to his pos dad and pos whore because he thinks if he’s on their side he will get money. Dad goes off for strange and money. Son too. I never told my kids to take sides, with me out of the picture there is very little glue. Dad was a good provider but completely and intentionally emotionally unavailable all their lives. And since all this shit started three years ago has pretty much ignored them. Now that other woman has kinda sorta dumped him except for best friends. Right? He’s pick me dancing for the ho and his kids. My daughter is not buying it. Recently he posted pictures of my daughter and him on Facebook from two years ago saying he was bad and should have put them up sooner. She called me crying cause he posted over 40 photos of him and whore on his page and we ate not even divorced yet. She said why does he keep sticking knives in your back mom why, you never ever hurt him! And nobody calls him to ask why, they call her or me. She is pissed at him for not respecting me enough to wait at least till we are offially divorced. I said I’m sorry honey but he sucks.he’s lost her and he doesn’t realize it yet and its all his fault. Cheaters do not realize how people other than the spouse get hurt nor do they care. No fucking soul none!

    • Twanda…..yea I did that to the back of my husband’s car in the Walmart parking lot….didn’t go so well…he took n out a PFA on me… my lawyer said…that only works in the movies.

      • I dont recommend that! In the movie the young skinny bitch steals her parking place and says’ Face it, we are younger and faster’ and then Kathy Bates smashes the crap outa their convertible.
        There are always benefits to being older and wiser…

    • When STBX and I were married and living together, for months STBX rated my performance as a wife on a scale of 1 to 10 (to the nearest hundredth decimal), just like judges in beauty contests. I often received scores below the critical point for failing. During wreckonciliation, I once asked him if he wanted me to rate him and provide comments on his performance as a husband (in order to better communicate with each other in an attempt to improve our marriage). He said that rating him wasn’t necessary. When you’re attached to a serial cheater/abuser, you can NEVER win the beauty contest–and it’s not worth trying to win.

      • These two comments right here are why you need to run and run fast from cheaters. They all think of you as a thing. Let that sink in a moment…..

        • So true!

          Rate them? What?? Why??

          Someone here aptly called chumps “appliances” to cheaters. That resonated with me.

  • My ex was always complimenting me and telling me how good I was looking, right up until he’d left our home to move into hers. So, almost two decades of false flattery? I don’t think so. I believe he’s an attention whore and it’s the new relationships that get the attention and are so exciting, not the boring old stable marriages. I couldn’t stay the shiny new thing that he wants.

    • You’re lucky. I was conditioned to stroke his ego – I would tell him 6 times a day he looked good, and be asked 4-13 more times- “do I look alright” and say it again and again and again. And all the while, I was a puppet. A stand in pylon. I might as well have been a cardboard Han Solo. If we were going somewhere nice, and I dressed up, he might remember to say I looked good, but usually I had to ask. And then he would ask about him. Again.

    • This! Mine did the same. There were so many red-flags I failed to see at the time. He would say things like ‘you are so thin’ or even get upset if I was dressed ‘better’ than him going out. I didn’t lose weight and I didn’t change my style when going out. It wasn’t until I saw his regular mistresses that the whole thing clicked. He was cheating from 20 years younger to 20 years older than him, but his regulars were older, heavier than me and dressed differently.

      Like creativerational says, it’s about their ego. These cheaters are insecure to the core.

        • We’re all trying to make sense of the incomprehensible. We try to get validation that we are not irrational from the fact that so many others are going through the exact same thing. It really sucks.

  • With my ex, there was no winning. If I dressed sexy, he would say “Why do you have to look so nice all the time?!”. If I dressed casual, he would comment on that, too.

    • This. I got “it’s your fault I have to work so much” (we agreed I should be a stay-at-home-mom when the kids were little), but when I got my degree with straight A’s (going part-time for 7 years), he freaked out that it wasn’t worth anything because he didn’t think my degree of choice would bring in enough money and he still had to work too much; then he freaked out when I started making more than him because if I made too much money, I wouldn’t want to be with him anymore. Well, that wouldn’t have been an issue at all except for the two decades of cheating I discovered. Asshat.

        • Yes, xH kept all “his” money when I worked part time, and told me to suck it up, that if I wanted anything, I would need to work more–it was my CHOICE to work part time and raise the kids, he said, sooooo smugly.

          Well, when I finally went back to work full time, and he began his affair a whole 3 months later, he screamed that it was because he was LONELY! And I didn’t NEED him!

          Ass. Just a total ass.

    • I agree that it’s all about winning. It’s wielding power and control, just like any other form of abuse. They discover areas where we have low self esteem and then exploit those areas to control us.

      Criticizing our aging bodies or cheating with a younger partner are ways to control us as we go through the normal anxiety-prone process of watching ourselves age.

      The best defense against an abuser is to raise your own self esteem.

      • Best defense against a cheater is to RUN. Even people with high self-esteem can be worn down over time by their emotional abuse and criticism.

        • This is so true! Healthy people get worn down from all the put downs. Once we leave the cheater, we really can recover.

  • Doesn’t matter what us chumps do or don’t do. Asswipe married and fell in love (ha) with me for exactly who I am and I with him. Fast forward to a huge list of my faults, of course he has none, and how screwed up our family is and the whore is perfect flawless and her family and friends are perfect and flawless. One day the asshole will open his big mouth about how our kids have disappointed him and he resents them for it. They will never hear his words from me I punched him when he said those words to me. Her girls are way better than our kids could ever be. What a deluded stupid asshole. He is doing the pick me dance for her right now, she dumped him, manscaping weight lifting. Trying to look good for her! He thinks a 15 PD weight loss is gonna make a 40 PD belly go away. He has a very ugly heart and no soul. Fuck him can’t wait to be rid of him.

  • This whole debacle happened the same time as my own DDay. In my case, the OW is 18 years younger but less attractive.

    Granted I have the menopausal spread, MS and am + 6 years to my Asshat ex. But I am attractive. I know I am. Plus I am funny, irreverant, and lively. Smart. My own kids, adults, who have met and had to spend time with OW tell me how stewpid she is and just a drunk. So it wasn’t physical ness in my case.

    My ex was having his midlife crisis about mortality; getting old etc. As I would tell him sarcastically, the cure for getting old is dying young. Do you want that?

    The MS made me less than in his eyes. She buttered him like a piece of day old toast, playing the helpless female who was being rescued and he fell for it. I told him you are just a wallet with legs to her. She has no financial sense; whereas I do.

    I had to retire due to the MS, so in spite of his ‘we’ll get through this together’ he cheated with this ‘thing’. I mentioned breaking up due to the diagnosis before the affair. He would get angry, no I don’t want to divorce. I love you. So instead he lied and did the horizontal mambo with a woman who was universally hated at our (yes we worked for the same organization) workplace.

    I am divorced now and Mighty. I have my own home; he spent his money on lawyers to no avail. I have a comfortable living and my kids are on their own. Grateful, faith strengthened that God loves me more than my ex ever did, I am determined that this last 1/3 of life will be the best.

    I felt sorry for Holly but Paula was clearly a predator. Are they still married? I hoped she’d kick him to the curb, after kicking him soundly all over his lying, jogging addicted bod. Holly has class, her gray hair is beautiful and the woman does so much good for so many. I found myself humbled by her list of accomplishments.

    We can’t ever be 18 years old looking again and I wouldn’t want to be 18 again for all the money in the world. Be happy with who you are, put on makeup, wear your silver hair like the badge of courage it is as are those wrinkles.

    Age on women says, ‘ I have lived, loved, experienced life and I am ready for more. Bring it on. I can’t take anything thrown at me. I am Mighty’.

  • Great points CL, being chumped is one of the most vicious attacks on one’s self-esteem, and for chumped women, yep it concentrates around guilt about their appearance and looks, no matter how intelligent or accomplished the chump is.

    I used to beat myself up, wondering if I should I have been more alluring, sexier, etc… And then I think of Elin Nordegren, Sandra Bullock, and Gwen Stefani. They all remind me that cheating is not about about the chump’s appearance or intellect or accomplishments, it is about the cheater’s flawed character, especially their entitlement and double standard of “them before anyone else.”

    Thanks to CL and CN, today’s post reminds me that self-care and building my best life is the sweetest form of revenge.

  • My new husband Colonel Goodguy (who briefed General P a time or two) said that when he became a Colonel, they got a lecture that included the buzzkill detail that “you didn’t become better looking when you became a Colonel” (you are the same dork you were as a Major so the people now trying to screw you are lusting your power not your body!).

    The late Major Cheaterpants (who never met General P – his pissy attitude caused him to hit a glass ceiling in his career) once told me that his goal was to marry a trophy wife. He said this while we were married and he was clear that this trophy he referred to wasn’t me. I was so burdened by his abuse and criticism and endless threats of divorce, I did look frumpy…I was barely surviving his tyranny.

    After he died, I bloomed …a friend got drunk and told me how much better I looked as a widow. oh the irony.

    (Pictures of Col Greatguy at the end of his marriage show him looking frumpy and bedraggled too…oppression and abuse will take the spark out of anyone. Photos of us now show happy people aging in a healthy manner)

    Paula B was actually smart and accomplished in her own right which is a fascinating detail considering she became famous for being a douchbag ho. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer opportunist skank.

  • My ex told me I wasn’t “young enough, thin enough or pretty enough for him anymore.” Then, after he nearly starved me out of our home during the divorce, he said “You look great! Why wouldn’t you do that for me?”

    So yes, those assholes are shallow puddles of sludge. Throw some kitty litter on them and sweep them into the dustpan where they belong. Not everyone looks like a supermodel after decades of living, and when you consider the source of the criticism, you have to wonder if they don’t have a mirror or a best friend to show them the truth about themselves.

    • They are shallow fuckers. Mine was so heartless, he remarked that Petraeus’s wife deserved to get cheated on for being frumpy (I was already starting to dislike then-H, that was one more data point in my disgust of him).

      When he was supposedly working to win back my trust (ha), I gutwrenchingly asked him if his 22-year old gradwhore had been prettier than me; he said “Hmm… not prettier than you were at her age.” MFer couldn’t even say the empathetic thing after he’d felled me with betrayal because looks were all that mattered to him. And he wonders why I hate him.

      • Tempest, when I pointed out that ex’s mentor had jettisoned his wife, WWT war bride, the mother of his two now adult kids, for a student a few years back, and I thought that made him jealous, he just thought a minute and came up with an ugly grin. “You noticed that?”

        Yes, Asshole. You needed the newest bestest thing because otherwise you will be left behind.

        I get how insane you are.

      •…Tempest. Complete and total mindfuck. Bad question to ask this asshole. He would totally take advantage and attempt to dismantle your self worth to build his. Especially after you called him on his assholiness.

        Mother fucker was lucky to have you. He knew it. He saw the writing on the wall with his dastardly deeds. It showed him you knew your worth when you threw him out.

        • Yeah, I know–never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to, esp. when you’re asking it of a heartless bastard. I’m sure he just thought he was being “objective.”

    • I know right Survivor?
      The infidelity diet made me lose 25 pounds. (All the nausea and weeks of only being able to choke down rice krispies and almond milk.) And suddenly it was “why didn’t you do that before?” Absolutely no clue how unhealthy the whole thing made me and how physically ill I was, just concerned about how I looked.
      Pardon me while I take this new body for a spin and get my self back int he dating pool.

      • Survivor and AllOutofKibble same here…satan said, ‘what’s wrong with how you look (57 pounds lost at that point!) you like to look like that!’ …asshole…

        Fast forward to a month before the divorce would be final…I had gained back 12 pounds by then…my lawyer told me to meet satan and talk…I met him for dinner at a crowded restaurant…he cried and begged me to let him come home…I told him to go live with his Kroger’s customer service ho…he absolutely said to me, ‘you are a beautiful woman Jeep…I can’t stand the thought of you with another man!’ …wha??!!!

        …I told him to enjoy his life and left…

        Disordered assholes

      • OutofKibbles,

        I gained weight because the shit I married would not eat dinner (his only meal) unless I would eat as much. I can’t go all day without eating so that plumped me up. After years of force feeding, I was called fat. Then he left for a younger thinner, prettier version of me.

        I was surviving on two crispy taco bell tacos a day. They cost $1.57, while I paid $2300 a month on the house and $160 a month for the housekeeper, and $180 a month for the gardener. And paid the rest of the bills. I wasn’t allowed to let anything go but myself. I lost 35 pounds inside three months and then WOW, I appeared acceptable again. No thank you. But I had my fun too. Cigar parties in the nonsmoking house. Meat products on the vegan BBQ. Cold delicate only clothes washed on a different cycle. An underpant hide and seek, so he (and/or the new child) could find any number of odd lots in the drawers and random places around the house. Amazing what you might find at Goodwill or donated by friends. “How did THAT get inside the piano?”

        I laid out a display of all the diet products I’d found while packing the house, just to shame the anorexic I married. [5′ 8″ (claimed 9″), and dieted strictly if he passed 130 lbs.] Who not only worked out for hours a day IN LEOTARDS and TIGHTS and WITH A THIGH MASTER (my christmas gift one year) but stocked every corner of the house with diuretics and diet pills and laxatives. Human growth hormone. I wanted all that stuff I’d never seen out in the open.

        Be Happy Again! Laugh, dance, eat when you want and sleep when you want. Fuck the shitheads.

        • Survivor, you’re talking about a dude? In leotards, tights and a thigh master? I trained at a known ballet school in NYC, so I’m used to guys in tights. I am assuming your X was not an aspiring dancer, just an A-class asshole.

          What a douche.

  • When you put folks like Halle Berry and George Clooney into the chump camp, you have completely destroyed the looks-had-something-to-do-with-it argument with respect to cheating.

    A personal anecdote:

    For my job, I regularly travel the world to beautifully picturesque locales, spending a good deal of time with women in PR who are usually unattached, thousands of miles from home, and attractive. Oh, yeah, and the trips center around the business of alcohol. It doesn’t totally suck, I’ll admit that. You’d think it;d be ground zero for cheating, right?


    Now, I have been told by women that I am funny, talented, and “super sexy-looking,” though generally I do NOT think of myself in those ways (working on it, folks, working on it!). So it’s not like I am a totally annoying, ugly jerk who actively repels all members of the opposite sex, etc. There has been serious opportunity for me to piss all over my wedding vows. Once, in Europe a few years ago, I was having lunch with a fellow traveler on my work trip, who happened to be one of the most stunning women that I’ve ever seen, let alone hung out with for several hours, and was from a country on the other side of the world, and who eventually propositioned me to sleep with her that evening.

    Guess how many times I took her up on that offer? Guess how many times I cheated on these trips?



    It wasn’t because my STBXW was hotter than the women who wanted to sleep with me. It had NOTHING to do with looks whatsoever, in fact.

    I never cheated because I thought about my vows, my promises, and my kid.

    In other words, I never cheated ****BECAUSE I F*CKING HAVE INTEGRITY, HONESTY AND DIGNITY!!!!!!!!****

    I really do think it boils down to being that simple, and anyone who tries to over-complicate the issue of infidelity beyond that is either a) a cheater with the requisite cognitive dissonance screaming at them in their heads, b) makes money from over-complicating such scenarios (RIC), or c) simply has not yet realized that there is a simpler, more elegant explanation and is trying to exert some sort of control over their life having been exploded by someone who lacks integrity, honesty, and dignity.

    • sephage, thank you for giving me hope. There ARE men in the world with integrity.

      I also was tempted to cheat when I was in my 30’s, working with an attractive man who was kind to me when I felt neglected at home. I couldn’t do it because I would never do that to my kids, or my family. I couldn’t do it because it’s not who I am.

      • Great comment Sephage.

        My ex is a handsome wealthy man but he dates (and cheated with) vulnerable women. He likes it that way because he’s a creep. Period. Cheaters cheat because they are weak.

        I had an opportunity to cheat as well. Did I? No way. There was no way in hell I’d do that to my family and I’d hate myself. That cheaters go on and think nothing of it speaks to their lousy integrity and morals. It’s never about the betrayed partner. Saying so is victim blaming and cruel.

        • Ditto, thensome. Mine is handsome and wealthy, but preys on people with issues (in addition to finding like-minded shallow, immoral people). Toxic, toxic, toxic.

      • I also was tempted to cheat when I was in my 30’s, working with an attractive man who was kind to me when I felt neglected at home. I couldn’t do it because I would never do that to my kids, or my family. I couldn’t do it because it’s not who I am.

        Same! He was gorgeous and attentive, and made it abundantly clear that he was available if I was. I thought about it, and decided that it would NOT be me who looked into my sons’ eyes and told them that I’d blown up their security, all for selfish and prurient impulses. It wouldn’t be ME who taught them that women are heartless and hurtful. I refused to abandon my kids for fool’s gold. The love I had for my husband was enduring, if not shiny and sparkly new all the time. I recognized then that I had a good-enough marriage and a very good life. And I have no regrets whatsoever. That’s how awesome integrity feels–and it shows in my aura. I really believe that.

    • Thanks, all – very kind of you. I am **very** happy that my comments helped some of you!

      “Cheaters cheat because they are weak” – that sums it up, right there. I’d add that cheaters are weak in ways in which no one can help them but themselves. Personally, I am completely done with trying to “help” my stbxw “see” what her destructive behavior has done to me, our families, our kid, to her… DONE. Can I tell you, even though emotionally I was a wreck at the time, I was standing over my printer as it was spewing out the papers I needed to sign to file the divorce, and the intellectual side of me was like “WHY can’t this thing print FASTER?!??? C’mon!!!!” I couldn’t sign & mail those docs fast enough! 🙂

      • In all this I learned that I could not control (or even influence) the inner relationship he had with himself and it was toxic. It would have terrified him to admit that his misery came from within, so he blamed it on everything external to himself which most often had (in one way or 20 others) something to do with me.

        And with me being the source of all misery, the universe owed him the freedom to cheat. Imagine what it was like when he learned that his perception about this was completely wrong.

        I have a friend who is a devout Catholic but gets “messages” and after he died, she got a few from him. One day she said she felt a rage come forth that was so dark and terrifying she is scared of ever perceiving anything like that ever again…I think that may have been the day.

        • Thanks, again. I’ve got to say, I don’t really view it as a gender vs. gender perspective, just a character (faithful) vs. doucheblossom (cheater) perspective. 🙂 We chumps tend to forget that, I think, and default to self-blame instead of just looking at the facts and keeping it simple (example: Who betrayed their vows again? Oh, right, that WASN’T ME, it was my ex-ASSHAT!).

          “And with me being the source of all misery, the universe owed him the freedom to cheat.”

          I got this from the stbxw, for sure. She gas-lit, moaned, abused, blame-shifted, and kept right on being a Grade-A-bitch to me, refusing every opportunity to try any form of reconciliation, and talking about wanting a divorce. Of course, she never filed, because that has consequences and responsibilities and stuff, which are all icky and what-not.

          One of my favorite quotes from that period: “You won’t give me a divorce!” Uhm… I don’t recall my lawyer telling me that I needed someone else’s permission to file?? 😉

          • I am where you were, but my slow printer is to get the cash out our former home. 50-50 bickety bam, and done. Why has Fedex not invented lightspeed yet? But then I am done, YIPPPPEEE from having to deal with Mr Fab and responsibility allergies and can just live a regular ole human life!


    • Ding!
      Points for Sephage today.
      I travel a bit too for work often meeting up with old friends, some of whom are old flames.
      But when I dine with them it’s also with their wives, totally above board, wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea here, nice to meet you Mrs. Old Flame, tell me about your life.
      Why did I always do that, because I never wanted, for one moment, there to be the impression of me doing anything wrong, out of respect for my then husband, and for their spouses.

      • Thanks, AllOutofKibble – now, if I can just get you to put in the good word with some of my perspective dating partners, that’d be awesome ;-).

        Great example in your comment about the fundamental difference we’re talking about – having character vs. not having it. It’s why I literally scowl and laugh out loud whenever I see that crap about a) “anyone will cheat if they had the right opportunity” (uhm, NO, how do you explain us, then?), or b) “cheaters generally feel as though they have no alternative” (uhm, I don’t give a shit if they FELT that way, I’ve lived it also and I KNEW there were alternatives because I used my actual brain instead of my genital glands to guide my choices)…

        • Given your comments here today, and all your funny gifs, I suspect your dance card will be full at any Chump meetup.

          • We need someone to organize a Chump Nation convention in New Orleans some time around Mardi Gras. If I remember correctly, Chump Lady says there are healing powers in a trip like that 🙂 (not me, I can’t organize myself out of a paper bag).

    • Ditto, sephage. Very strange getting propositioned by single and married men while doing a road tour. Like you, I put my integrity and respect for my partner FIRST and honestly told those guys NO or No..and to fucking respect their wives/gfs.

  • Hey, if they can’t blame you for being a good spouse, then they have to blame you for something, right? It’s gotta be the chump’s fault somehow, right?
    Pfft. I call these kinds of people “Me People”. The ones who base everything on looks are “Shallow Me People”.

  • Cheating is about the CHEATER and HIS/HER inadequacies, it’s not about the Chump at all. There are plenty of excuses cheaters come up with. If the chump is attractive (not to brag, but I am 5’10”, 125 and modeled in my 20’s) they will just come up with some other excuse. The chump was frigid. The chump didn’t give enough blow jobs. The chump didn’t make meatloaf for dinner. The chump didn’t wear high heels (this one was for me), the chump spends too much time on the kids. The chump is too critical. The chump expects too much. Blah Blah Blah.

    Marital problems are pretty much universal. You can’t be married to someone and live in perpetual passionate bliss forever. Real life afflicts us all. No matter what the players look like. The problem is the cheater can’t deal with his/her inadequacies in a healthy way, so they chase the unicorn of greener grass. The easy peasy slut, or the easy OM who says the things she wants to hear. In short, they choose fantasy over reality.

    I don’t care what a chump looks like, how frumpy your clothes are or how beautiful you happen to be… NONE of us can compete with fantasy. We can’t be NEW to our spouses.. not EVER. So if they are looking for excitement.. we won’t ever be able to give it. We’ve lost that game.

    The OW in my case wasn’t half the woman I am on any level. Not smarter, not more attractive, not more compassionate, certainly not the moral fiber, not a mother/caregiver. She was just “there”. She was EASY. She was reaffirming. I was over here with expectations and she had none. She validated his angst that I supposedly caused. I think most of the time, this is what happens. It wasn’t about her either, it was about him.

    I stopped comparing myself to her long ago. She’s not fit to wipe my boot.

      • High heels, Victoria’s secret underwear, & red lipstick, are no antidote to cheating. I have multiple pairs of fuck-me shoes, two drawers of lingerie and at least 12 shades of red lipstick, all of which I was happy to wear during the marriage to keep the MFer happy. Didn’t stop him from serially cheating on me in every situation in which he found himself.

        Christie Brinkley also admitted she had dressed up for, watched porn with, and been willing to be sexually adventurous for her last H. He had one of the most beautiful women on the planet, and still shagged the teen neighbor.

        Cheaters are shallow, but most often are merely opportunistic.

    • Funny how “marital problems” are experienced by both members of a marriage, but only one of them seeks out stranger’s genitals to comfort themselves.

    • That was it….she validates him…in all his evil…she cheers him.on…then sucks him off. I held him accountable to who he claimed he was…husband…father. She doesnt… she is just there for the Splenda….he is a Splenda Daddy because he doesn’t have the funds to be a real sugar daddy….I’m taking that.

    • Beautiful, newchumpatl.

      Heck, I have a friend whose husband does NOT like her heels because it makes her “too tall,” amongst various other criticisms…. So far, no cheating, though. He’s a real man.

  • I’m good looking and very fit. My husband left me for a homely looking, four times married, serial cheater. It has nothing to do with looks. That being said….Mrs Petraeus looks a hell of a lot better than her husband and Broadwell looks hard and cold. Broadwell also has a good looking husband, yet was spreading her legs for that old ugly fart. Hard to believe he was smart enough to be a General when he was dumb enough to be played.

  • I was so rude to have aged after going through having two kids and surviving cancer. Although my ex lost all his hair in his early 30’s, he was really into his body. I admit that after feeling like I could never do enough to please him in the “look like a 20 year old forever” department I gave up and just started being comfortable.

    I was never overweight, average I’d say, but definitely gained weight in middle age. My ex was bald and his nose had grown to the proportion of a toucan’s beak, but I always told him in my eyes he was 17. Unfortunately he didn’t feel the same about me. He was always looking at Victoria Secret magazines, younger women, etc. He wanted me to dress in things that were too tight, and would be more appropriate on a teenager. Trying to dress like that made me feel older and uglier, so I didn’t do it.

    What’s funny is I’ve pulled out pictures of me from before the divorce and compared them to pictures of myself now. I look SO much better. Now I’m smiling in the pictures, my hair is brighter and longer, and there’s a glow to my skin. I look YOUNGER now. The person I’m dating tells me I’m sexy. When he first said that I almost fell off my chair in shock! I couldn’t believe anyone thought I was sexy after a lifetime of miserably failing to live up to someone else’s impossible standards.

    It’s amazing how much better I feel about my appearance now. No more will I give a rat’s ass about what someone else thinks about my body. I love my body, it’s been through so much, I just want to take care of it. If it’s not good enough for someone else they can just keep looking for perfection in someone else. They can also take a good, long look in the mirror.

    • Love it, Lyn. Happiness and confidence is attractive. My ex liked slutwear too, so I made sure I left all those ridiculous outfits he gave me behind for my much younger, thinner and prettier replacement. Hope she liked leopard prints.

      • There were things Narkles the Clown bought me but I never got around to wearing. Funny thing is, they disappeared when he left the house. I’m sure I know who will be getting them as a present, but probably not with a card that says “I bought these for my ex-wife but now I’m giving them to you”

        • Recycle, recycle, recycle. Imagine his response if he got a double rejection on those incredibly thoughtful things.

  • I once heard a preacher say that when counseling a couple the woman admitted to thinking of killing her husband. If only that wasn’t illegal how many of the assholes would be dead by now!! We would rid the world of many of these entitled mindfucks. It is never about you it is all on their distorted view of reality. Mute the useless @%*$ and shift your focus on taking care of YOU!

  • Lynn, like you I still saw the 18 year old I first met but apparently I was not the 18 year old he first met. He is a skinny bloke who lost most of his hair in his 30’s but I still loved him. As he aged, he become squarer in the trunk with a paunch, he has skinny arms and very skinny legs but I still loved him. Like you, I now look younger than when I was with my ex who constantly compared me to other females. I have my dark but rapidly greying hair cut in a beautiful style which I am constantly being complimented on. In recent months due to me seeing his new life splashed over Facebook I have lost 24 lbs without realising it was happening until I saw my rib cage, hip bones and every other bone sticking out. I am doing my best to address the weight loss as medical tests have all come back negative. My demise would have pleased my ex and our 2 kids!! I have always dressed well but I dress even better these days and I am very comfortable with me and it has taken 63 long years to get to this point. In fact, a friend who has worked with both my ex and myself commented the other day, that not only does my ex look old and disgusting, she stated that I look fantastic but she did say that looks should not come into it but anyone who spends time with me will find out very quickly just what a decent and lovely person I am. That made me feel good about myself for once, so I am getting there.

    • Good for you, Maree! I’ve seen the same thing happen with a friend of mine who’s ex left her for a young coworker. Her ex looks awful, bloated, wearing his hair ridiculously long and trying to fit in with his new wife’s younger friends. All the people who see him say “that guy has LOST it.” On the other hand, they come up to my friend and tell her how great she looks, how pretty she is, etc. He looks older in trying to look younger, and she looks younger now that she’s free of him.

  • At the point my marriage hit rock bottom, I was at my fattest, was breaking out in hives on a regular basis and not having much energy to dress well or make an effort to maintain my appearance.

    This wasn’t the cause of my ex’s cheating; it was a result of it. I was overeating out of loneliness, the hives were stress-related (and not allergy-related as I thought) and I didn’t bother looking pretty for a husband who was barely around.

    To his friends and family, I let myself go, when in reality, he let me down.

    The hardest weight I had to lose was the 190 pounds of cheating asshole. The remaining excess 20 pounds around my thighs and ass was shed with relative ease after that.

    • Key words : “in reality He let me down!”

      Lulu, you are so right! Don’t we all think that at some point.
      How can they love anyone when they do not even know how to.

    • I’d gained weight as a result of misery and drinking. Stopped drinking, lost 30 pounds. Have a pretty decent figure for my age now.

      He’s still trying to prey on other women.

      So, later, asshole…

    • My lawyer coined the phrase “you lost a 200 lb. ass” and when complemented on how wonderful I look, I add this statement: “and 30 lbs!”

      Oh what a relief it is. I have this great old ugly pic of the sad sausage that I put in photobooth on my phone. Shows his old balding grey hair, wrinkled dry skin, and permanent scowl in a double image like a mirror. Some day I’ll send that congratulating him on not having to lead a double life anymore. Good luck with your 25 yr old you old goat!

      • We can lose weight and gain strength, I lost a bed wetter with a stick dick who sleeps with a heating pad and a pillow between his legs. One of his last sadistic statements was that he wished he could have done things with me. Yawn. Their list of our supposed falts is fucking laughable. Why do I cheat on you, let me count your flaws.
        Fuck them and their delusional quick fuck strange fix for deluding themselves with distorted thinking. An aging serial cheater doesn’t look so hot and sexy without all the props we provided. Believe this.

  • Ahh…yes…the memories of bomb drop day com fluttering back! It started with: “I don’t know if I want to stay married to you. I do not think you’re attractive.” I asked, like an idiot: “You’re not attracted to me? Physically or emotionally?” He answered back: “Both”. I, in extreme moment of shock and chumpiness: “Do you want me to get plastic surgery?” He didn’t answer. He never did fess up about OW/now wife tress. I had to find that shit out on my own, but only after having my self esteem wounded. Lucky for me, I had a sociopath that just walked. Not much of a pick me dance for me – just utter shock and instant devastation.

    • I feel you. I got “I need an attractive wife.” Well guess what asshat? I need a spouse with integrity!

      • My says I need to wear make up more. Don’t know why we never went anywhere or did anything. I got “well my ex wife needs to be beautiful, I have a reputation to keep up!” WTF!

        • Funny thing is the whore is hideous. She’s younger and runs half marathons with him, but I would think he’d have to put a bag over her head to have sex with the gutter twat. Plus, hygiene is not her strong suit. One day while I was rehabbing my post op ACL knee at PT, ex decided to go for a run before he picked me up at PT. Holy cow – the rancid smell of sex you didn’t have. We had to drive with the windows open. He laughed and said he had “High uric acid”. What a chump I was.

        • Kar
          All the bulkshit they spew after DDay is intentional. None of it is true. X used sadistic horrible comments throughout our relatiinship to have power and control. The exit strategy they use is meant to maim. Consider the source and know it’s used to keel you stuck. The parting words mark us as theirs even though they discard us like trash and erase years of our lives as if it was meaningless. Liars, lie, cheaters cheat nd the dusirdered never want to be accountable. They are dumb.

  • Guys, the key to what cheaters want is just STRANGE. It doesn’t matter what you look like. You’re familiar. They want the strange. The newness, the thrill of the chase, etc. All that crap that melts away once you actually get to know a person. You will never be able to provide that to them again, because you’re familiar. They know your smell, what your hand feels like in theirs, what your mannerisms are. So you are physically incapable of thrilling them in that short-lived and shallow way that they so desire.

    It happens to all these beautiful celebrity women that we’re citing as examples, because they can become familiar just like anyone else after being around them long enough. And I know from experience that the AP(s) can be vastly less attractive than the spouse (which is even more maddening. Instead of “oh a hot chick, makes typical sense that he would want her” I had to realize “holy crap, he hates me THAT MUCH, he’d get with that thing to get away from me”). Again, it all comes back to strange.

    So don’t worry. The AP(s) are not immune to this, the Great Leveler of All. They will become familiar too, eventually. And the craving for strange will never end. And that’s the one thing in the cheater’s sad, ever-shifting, murky existence that you can actually trust.

    A cheater may try to spin all kinds of lies about why they’re the saddest sausage ever and you should feel sorry for them. But the one reason that’s legit to feel sorry for them about is that they will never know real love. The kind that comes after the newness is gone. The deeper appreciation, the depth of feeling that can happen once you don’t even see someone’s outward appearance anymore, they’ve become such a seamless part of you. The part where you truly know who someone is, down to their toes, where words are almost entirely unnecessary.

    Whether they were with you for 5 years or 35 years, they always kept their affections on the very surface of who you are, never scratching that and getting down deep into the real love. They don’t know this kind of love exists, and they will never have it, because they don’t have the capacity simply just to stay. To ride out the awkward phases of a relationship (I often think of the “awkward phase” of growing out your hair, which yields long beautiful locks if you have three freaking ounces of patience) to get to the waves of true beauty beyond. How people can get so bored in such a short life I will never know. But there you have it.

    There you have it. An explanation, and a reason for genuine pity. Of course, pitying someone doesn’t mean you stop being gray rock. 🙂 Mighty on, CN!

    • ^^^This^^^

      Yes, STRANGE. Yes, something new. They even have a name for it on the Reddit adultery blog (I looked there once, got sick and left) – they call it “NRE” – “new relationship energy” It’s the first sip of beer post-workout, the new car smell, the icing without the cake. A sugar rush.

      I used to have a garden that was haunted by a woodchuck. Damn rodent would invade just as the tomatoes were getting ripe, and take a single bite out of each one.

      Sooooo familiar.

      • Yes. Love the woodchuck analogy. That is great. Cheaters are pretty much as predictable as those on the lesser rungs of the animal kingdom.

        • Chump-tactic.

          That thrill is a never ending cycle. I thought I knew him inside and out yet I never really knew he was capable of discarding every aspect of his life.
          I thought there were no consequences for his behavior. But as I’ve read about the many cheaters who pointed out their spouses flaws I’m reminded of the flaws of Cheater Speak and Dick Think.

          Dick Think says, my life will be better and I will be happy. The payoff of giving up your entire life for a temporary thrill will cause them to resent the pig who as he bragged, didn’t care that he was married. She better not let him down in her performance as the leading blow job. The trust and respect of his children is gone. His granddaughter no longer wants to spend time with him as he abandoned her also. The biggest flaw thinking with his dick is he can NEVER go back. Sad, yes. The hole they dig is deep.

    • You really are on to the crux of the matter, here. There are superficial differences among each of our cheaters, but the one thing they have in common is their inabiity to love authentically. Even before I discovered X’s infidelity, I became aware of his abiity to turn off his deep emotions. He could fake love well for a short period of time, but when it came down to it, I never saw him really empathize with another human being. It was one of the reasons he could stay calm in a crisis. He didn’t panic because he didn’t feel. As we aged, his detachment from human emotion became more pronounced; I used to wonder if something was wrong with me. I began to think I felt too much. Now I know I was the normal one and he was the emotional zombie.

      • You have nailed my ex exactly. Only time I ever saw him cry was when his whore wouldn’t take him back and he didn’t cry for that. He cried over the loss of two of her Grand babies and they weren’t even hers. Her daughters wife’s kids. Both of our grandkids were adopted away never to be sceen again. His blood. No tears for them. Mother dies. Stoic. Father dies. Stoic. He needs serious counseling will he go to be a better person and father. Nope. Alpha male asshole. My youngest 29 would sit on ow lap and called her mommy if shed give him money and she would she buys love. He’s this close to losing his daughter he’s already lost her respect. Guess that’s what happens when he ignored her for almost three years. Asshole.

  • OMG….I’m an Absolute Beauty Queen compared to Skank Woman. I wish I could post the pictures to prove it. She’d make a train take a dirt road and it’s sooooo gross that XH can even stick it in her. A double bagger on every level. It looks like she pours shoe polish on her dead, lifeless hair. No makeup whatsoever. She looks like the underneath of my Subaru. Oh! and fat to boot. Bwahahahaha.

    I did have a ‘friend’ ask me after Dday if the OW was ‘skinny’ …I guess implying that I wasn’t skinny enough. She then proceeded to tell me that is all men care about…if a woman is thin or not. Ha! I’m with a gorgeous, grown up real man who finds me enchanting and can’t get enough of me. Lucky me.

      • Let’s be a little sensitive here. Saying somebody is ‘fat to boot’, doesn’t really help anybody. Fat, or heavy or skinny or whatever, is not what this is about. There is nothing wrong with being heavy – we are all made different sizes and what a boring world we’d have if we all looked the same. So many women seem to bear the brunt of this – after having children and just, automatically gaining weight. Or, hey – ever broken a leg and and arm at the same time? Let me tell you, that will put the weight on too. Not all of us can get out to exercise for a variety of reasons.
        Just sayin’ – let’s quit saying somebody is ‘lesser’ somehow for being ‘too fat’ or ‘too skinny’.
        Doesn’t mean much when it comes to cheating, anyway.

  • Another thing…..I look So Much Better since we’ve divorced. I see it in pictures and everyone else does too. I grew about 10 years younger looking and I’m not kidding one bit. I completely lost myself being married to that guy. Soul death as my best friend calls it.

    • People who have known me for 20 years have walked right past me. I look soooooo much better now than I ever did with him. I love it. I regret I didn’t divorce him sooner. What a waste of my 30’s.
      I am seeing a man now that tells me how gorgeous I am and what a fool my ex was. He has shown me such love and genuine friendship that I don’t miss anything about my ex.

  • Chump Nation…. Court is continued until January 28 2016.
    It went well. I and my 2 attorneys were well prepared, organized and all wearing Power Red. I also work for my attorneys, so they really have my back. It started off strong… made my case early that he ruined most of the items I was requesting…or.burned them… we had 24 exhibits…we got thru 7….and when my husband argued he wanted my bake ware….I had a projection screen with decorator cakes plastered all over it. He said his girlfriend can’t do any of that but he need the cookie sheets for pizza rolls and garlic bread.
    He also said he counted the individual pieces of glass in our Tiffany Lamp….228.

    By 3:50 pm….and hours of testimony over hanging baskets and…..the judge remembered his girlfriend said that she would wipe her ass on the couch…..and I said I didn’t want it.
    It was continued…..until January.
    My attorney sent me a text…today that I handled myself well…laid the foundation to wrap this up.

    2 days before the hearing I get this random text from a California area code. I live in PA. Stating my husband’s girlfriend got caught.having sex with our female neighbor… husband doesn’t know….
    It’s the girlfriend texting me….untraceable of course. Wtf…….
    What will she do for entertainment once I’m gone. That….that will be his karma.
    So… goes on for now.
    Thank you for the love hugs and prayers and MoJo…..I felt it….I really did.
    Chump Nation….thank you. What you say on hear helps the newbies…helps the in the trenches….truly….it grounds us that we are not alone. Prayers for all of you!!!!!

    Oh….and the asswipe came up to our daughter and asked how she was….my friend said just fine and this is not the place….my daughter said I don’t want to speak to you and walked away. He was left standing there……
    She is finding her voice. She said to me…he didn’t miss me when he kicked me out of the jouse. That was a year ago. He has made no attempts to contact her. Yet blames me. She sees…..she is getting stronger too. That’s what I want for her….strength…dignity…and the power within herself to walk away from bullshit.

  • Question. Before affairs wife was overweight. Went on a hell of a diet workout regimen while screwing around. Now caught she is gaining all her weight back saying she wants me. I am ok with her weight, this is not a bash fest. The question is why do cheaters put on their best for fuck buddies but not their spouse? I will leave soon but not related to any visual deficiencies but because she is a liar and a cheat.

    • Before I knew about affair my ex started losing tons of weight. Drinking this weird weight loss drink that kept him in the bathroom all the time. He started to look anorexic but whenever I voiced concern he said he felt better than ever. He was drinking some weight loss stuff OW was selling. He was always into how his body looked. By the time we separated he was so thin and had lost so much muscle he didn’t even feel like himself when I hugged him. It was like hugging a stranger.

    • I didn’t notice cheaterpants exercising more. The biggest indicator was his need to manscape. He had never been dedicated to the optical inch before.

      That was his only grooming change. he is neglectful to his overall physical health and is a yo-yo dieter. He hasn’t had a physical in years and hasn’t been to the dentist for a long time and his teeth are rotting! His is a functioning alcoholic, a hobby shared with his LT MOW, and is a binge junk food eater. He would shame me if I did not participate in his hobby of heavy drinking and crap living.

      Post Dday, wow! He’s still in self destruct mode. Now it’s flavored with sad sausage tones because he can’t legit be with his MOW and his wife just doesn’t give a shit anymore…not my monkeys.

  • What’s really sad to me, is that Snake grew more attractive to me with age. I loved every line on his face, every gray hair. I never stopped loving his body, despite changes with age. His arms around me still felt like heaven, despite some extra pounds around the middle.

    It affected my views of male attractiveness in general. Young baby faces didn’t look so good to me anymore, a face had to have some character to be interesting to me.

    Snake was sexy in my eyes up to the very end…

    Not sure how much of a carnal pull to him I will still feel, the next time I see him in person now though. I would have to be able to imagine I see some love in his eyes, and I don’t think that’s possible anymore.

    • I hear you loud and clear. I loved my husband’s body, his wrinkles, his hairy belly, his physical presence. It’s been quite an adjustment to be without that. One year tomorrow, and counting… I appreciate seeing a handsome young man, but the young ones don’t do it for me like they used to. I like a bit of age on a man.

  • The affair partners have a screw loose as far as I’m concerned. There’s really no other explanation. The worldly , think she’s just too fucking sexy for the planet roadwhore dimwit ex cheated with was just thrilled shitless that she attracted my blobby balding middle aged cheating lying ex. That’s a real prize, let me tell you. Especially weird is the fact that she thought she was so superior to my fat, lazy, over 50 ass. If I’m so pathetic, why was she so thrilled. These stupid mother fuckers have no self esteem, that is why they get excited by attention of any kind.

  • Uggh…the double standard…seriously has anyone seen porn star Ron Jeremy?

    It has taken a long road to get to meh and some days I still have to shake out those lingering ‘frumpy’ comments from the EX. I will never understand his suggestions that I dress like Kim Kardashian at my job as a professional in the business world. (Keep in mind that, in good times, I have roughly the same measurements.)

    Just like the other posts, after my EX and I had split, I was surprised to hear so many comments telling me how great I looked. One female friend told me “You’ve always been attractive. I don’t what has changed but now you are HOT.”

    I firmly believe that bad relationships affect our appearance and health.

    • moving forward, just remember what an effort it takes to look like a Kardashian. I have always said that it takes a lot of effort to look cheap and I stand by that comment. I like class and no amount of money can buy it. You are born with class and it remains who you are for life. I heard a saying many, many years ago and it is “It is breeding that counts in the long run”. I like it.

      • Saw a picture today of Ellen DeGeneres in her Karla Kardashian Halloween outfit! It definitely takes an effort to look like her version, but only for the butt and boobs.

    • The stress and toxic environment wear you down. One of my friend’s spouses asked her what the hell I’ve been doing because I look so much better. He said I glowed, looked younger etc…. Getting rid of toxic waste greatly improves your emotional and physical health. Your “beauty” radiates from the inside out, completely changing your appearance.

  • They do not marry the whore but they really want to be with a whore part-time. They are eating cake trying to avoid taking care of the whore’s kids. I kept thinking if he was previously living with other women at a younger age ..why he “picked me as the wife” ? (Lucky cinderella) this chump never had a boyfriend before and he brainwashed me. thanks to this website I know it was not love it was convenience. CN is my only outlet!! They can cheat but the chump is not going to. Bastards!!! At least our son is not a son of a B!:. But on the father’s side a son of an a$$.

  • One of the most devastating things was that for eight months I thought the reason asshat devalued and discarded me after 25 years was because 0W is 15 years younger, “sweet” and innocent – she lives at home with her parents after all! She is not complicated and overwhelmed like me: I’m 48, raising 4 kids, one with serious emotional issues, running a real estate company, practicing law, traveling for work, single handedly keeping big house and gardens up, etc…. Asshat “worked” (?!!!) so he “couldn’t” help do anything he didn’t want to do (eg anything at home or for kids or rentals)! WTF?! I put up with that shit for 20 years! I ran half marathons with asshat, lifted weights with him 3x a week, hiked, biked, etc. I’m fit, healthy, strong, toned and small waist despite having 4 9lb babies, classically Swedish-beautiful with long blonde hair, sparkly blue eyes, white straight teeth, clear skin, very few wrinkles (yes, I’ve used Botox for 10 years so no frown lines despite asshat giving me plenty of reasons to frown!). My breasts are perky enough and 32D even after nursing each baby for 3 years. Look fantastic in a Victoria Secret bra set! Still, he fucked the young uncomplicated girl so I felt it was about me– my disappointment in his lack of participation in our life, my feeling overwhelmed at times and telling him I needed more emotional support.

    As of last week, though, I see I was a fool! He had many earlier affairs! The one I learned about last week is in her 40s, BIG, Indian with a lot of facial and body hair. Pretty and successful BUT anything but young, sweet, uncomplicated. She’s a kick ass e teepee eye who apparently screams at asshat– who was her company’s corporate lawyer. So, yes, I totally agree with other posters: it’s ALL about them! They want whatever they can get that is STRANGE. It never was a competition that I could or would ever enter. That was just an illusion based in his gaslighting and manipulation of the facts. I wish I hadn’t demeaned myself and done the “pick me/ pick our kids/ pick our family” dance for 8 months. What a waste!

    • So OW is 33 and still lives with her parents? She sounds like quite the catch……Sweet & innocent my foot- more like lazy, unmotivated and defective. Sweet & innocent women do not date married men.

      • She smokes dope every day and has a useless master’s degree so works as a gopher run around girl at a court reporter office. Asshat and I are partners at big law firms.

      • Neither do nice and kind women sleep with married men. Whore sleep with asswipe on the very first date. Can you say slut?

  • After I started the separation I went to visit my aunt. She said “You look really good”. This is from a woman who is usually hyper critical of everyone. I said, “I’ve been losing weight”. She said, “No, that’s not it. You just look good overall.” She then repeated it to a couple of relatives after I left.

    I guess losing a poisonous relationship does wonders for lots of us Chumps.

  • In my 20’s, when we met and dated, I was kind of goofy and awkward looking, very nerdy. In my 30’s, when we married and I had my son, I was still all that and also definitely frumpy – hey, motherhood and grad school played hell on my wardrobe, not to mention my body.
    Now, I’m in my 40’s – finally figured out my diet, exercise, hair, clothes that fit – no shit y’all, for the first time in my life, I’m hot.

    So he fucks around with a 20 year old pimply awkward nerdy frumpy pudgy girl.

    • Arlo, these blokes simply cannot step up and be MEN!! That is not a lot to ask but somehow they run towards the 1st young thing that bats their eyelashes at them. You are so much better off without the idiot.

    • Arlo, I hear ya! I definitely don’t wish I looked like I did twenty years ago but I sure wish I had all that time back 😀

  • Cheater ex told everyone when I was pregnant that he wants our child to have my brains and his looks. Good grief, what a narc. Of course, he cheated when I was pregnant. Our son does look like him, has my brains but has my character. Whew. Glad the generational cheating stopped.

    • They really do all play from the same book, don’t they? X told one of my sons that he was glad that son had his looks and my brains! Not that X was much of a looker, ever, but I suppose he still thinks he is in all his 300+ pound, greying, arthritic, impotent glory…… At least he finally figured out who the smart one in the relationship was!

  • I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: My ex cheated on me when I was young, slender and quite attractive. He cheated on me when I was older, squidgy and middle-aged looking. He cheated on me when I was a young attorney and made very little money. He cheated on me when I became a partner and made a very good income. He cheated on me when I was dependent and needy. He cheated on me when I was independent and strong.

    Get the picture? (Aka a cheater is a cheater is a cheater)

    • Oh and this just rings a bell- 15 years before D-Day I asked ex if he was cheating on me with one or the other of two of his co-workers. His response? No, he would never do that, and anyhow they “frumpy.” He literally used that word. Yet as it turns out ex was cheating on me with both of them all along, and has now married the one he found the “frumpiest.” She cannot hold a candle to me in looks, income or integrity, and has the appearance of a manly Miss Piggy.

    • Thanks Kelly. I’m tired of hearing about “I have perky tits” and OW is ugly. It doesn’t matter what you look like!! Please get this. Your telling us how great you look compared to AP is useless and just goes on to perpetuate the idea that if only I looked better…..sigh. We know he sucks because he’s a cheater not because you look better than the OW. ((Hugs)) Chump nation, you’re value does not lie in What you look like!!!

      • “Your ” to fix the bad grammar and definitely not a slam towards Kelly or anyone else just loved what she had to say.

        • Thanks Sketchy, it’s hard not to feel insecure and then perplexed by the cheater’s “choices” and to compare ourselves to the AP’s and wonder “why.” To try to understand the unexplainable, And to scoff at the cheaters for giving us up. I think that’s just the anger talking and a way to buoy ourselves up when the abandonment is about to overwhelm us. But you and Sephage who commented below are so very right, it is NOT about looks and not supposed to be about looks. Our real strength will grow when we realize it is who we are inside and what we do that matters. The cheaters are the one who are perpetually concerned about the superficiality of the external, at least my cheater ex was ?

  • I always felt average in the looks department, nothing special to look at but with my STBX I never felt like I was lacking physically and felt like I looked beautiful to him. He himself was not a knock out but due to love goggles I thought he was so handsome. Fast forward 13 years and he’s now moved on to someone else that he feels complements him more. Objectively I can admit she is more attractive than I and that she dresses better than I. I suppose I’m the Holly in this case, although I’m only 32. From prior conversations, it’s become clear that he believes he just settled for me because no other woman was giving him attention. I’m a schmuck and a chump and did the pick me dance over and over again. Dressing differently, trying to be more feminine because all the reconciliation sites say to make yourself more attractive for your spouse so that his attention returns. I chased that unicorn so hard horseshoes fell off.

  • Dress the way that makes YOU feel YOUR best, YOUR happiest, YOUR most comfortable. Then work it the way only you can.

  • Looks have nothing to do with it. MIne cheated with a 47 year old woman that looks 57 and seriously needs an eye lift. I’m 32, former model and look 25 at best. Not that age matters, I’ve seen much older woman who are insanely beautiful but let’s just say she hasn’t aged well and is nothing to right home about. Not trying to be conceited, but in no sense is she that attractive. Stbx even admitted that it was all about ego and how she seemed to want him so bad and admitted he never found her attractive physically. Puke.

  • One more thing, I wish CN would stop comparing themselves to the APs.

    If the ap knew that s/he was an ap, then in my book that makes that person the moral equivalent of a piece of dogshit. You wouldn’t bother to compare yourself to dogshit in any normal circumstances, right?

    Asking Is the ap taller/skinnier/Richer/hairier/heavier/smellier to me is like asking was the dogpoo crusty on the outside? Flat and runny? Hard and hairy?

    Who cares?!???

    Bottom line is that the cheater is broken inside and likes to eat moral dogpoo for breakfast. Those type of people have little to no place in your life, so eject them.

  • sephage , that analogy made my day! Since the sank has a public FB I used to look once in a while why?! like you said why compare yourself with a turd. It is not about us. JUst kibble if she is soo friking awesome why he doesn’t leave?? and keep the “whoremance” a secret ?Kibbles will go away & she will become a routine as well. This weekend I slept like a baby. The TURD & POS will not take my peace away at least for now!! Assholes. Not easy to pretend that I do not know. Hoping both of them will go back to misery in his hometown upnorth one day!

  • The OW in my case is, I think, like that. She is a single mom with a medically-fragile daughter, and she’d been twice married previously. Hubby #1 was the daughter’s daddy, and apparently he was an older guy who got her pregnant. He provided child support, of course. Hubby #2 was likewise short-lived, also older. He’d been out of the picture for about 6 years before my STBX came on the scene. OW was seeing another married man, but he dumped her when his wife found out.

    STBX hired her to work in his department. She’d slept with upper management, and was working her way down. I remember telling STBX that he needed to be careful with her. Her daughter was about to turn 18, so she was about to lose child support from X #1. She needed a sugar daddy. STBX was happy to swoop in to the rescue.

    I’d feel sorry for him, but he chose this. And now that I know he cheats, I wonder if he cheated with any of the other women he hired on. If so, ugh. Some of them were college students. Schmoopie is 12 years younger.

  • I looked up Holly Petraeus. I guess her flaw is just looking like what she is, a woman in her early sixties. Her wedding pictures show her as a thin, beautiful, young woman.

    None of us can be in our twenties forever. Although cheaters sure as hell are intent on trying. If the only way I can keep a man is looking a certain way, I really don’t want him. The whore can have him.

    • I do think she has aged very badly while her husband remained in shape. On top of that, her style is awful.I know a lot of women in their early sixties who effortlessly remain decent looking.The difference in attractiveness is too big in this couple.
      Does it excuse cheating ? No. He should have convinced her to do domething about it. Or he could have divorced her. Or not married her in the first place.

  • I have just spent the last couple of hours reading the posts and comments here at CL. I can never thank you enough and I thank God for leading me here. Its late so I cant go into my whole convoluted story. My wife had an affair 3 years into our marriage. I didn’t find out until 7 years and three children later. It has been 24 years since Dday and after reading all this I feel as though I have wasted half my life. Pretty disturbing. What is more disturbing is I realized the lack of empathy almost immediately but have been trying to fix it ever since. I am really sad right now

    • I’m sorry, Paul. Many of us have spent two decades or more with our cheaters, and it is gut-wrenching to find out that we have given up so much for so little honesty in return. Most of us have been on the hamster wheel trying to win approval from people who did not, will not, and cannot cherish us. Sometimes our sole consolation is that we got terrific kids out of the bloodletting.

      However, realizing that our spouses are the way they are, and cannot be changed, comes with the freedom that we no longer have to try to talk sense into them. Sometimes the most power is gained when we let go.

      I wish you didn’t have to be here, but under the circumstances, you are in the best hands possible. There is more collective wisdom here than a temple full of monks.

  • Thank you for this.

    Even at 24 years old, after having dealt with (and miraculously recovered from) an abusive relationship with a cheater AND a chronic illness that resulted in a 50 lb weight gain and hair loss… My mother (and I’m sure there are other horrible people) INSIST that the cheating and discard was because of my looks. My mom repeats this victim blaming mantra over and over: “Men want somebody they can show off! You let yourself go! I couldn’t BELIEVE the way you presented yourself around him.”

    As if that were a reasonable excuse for his disgusting behavior! BULLSHIT.

  • late to the party on this one but this post hits so close to home, reading the comments just brought tears to my eyes! Ex left me with: “no one else will want you because you’re an overweight 40 year old (old) bitch” and for years after DD his words really confused me because in all other areas of my life, work, friends, family told me I was a sweet compassionate person. The brainwashing did what it was suppose to I guess. Years later, I am petrified of dating, I just assume that every man I will meet will think of me as the aging overweight bitch I’m suppose to be. Yep, he also robbed me of all self esteem.

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