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Dear Chump Lady, Do you believe in “Affair Fog”?

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reconciliation_fogDear Chump Lady,

My husband had drunk sex with a woman who works for him when our little boy was 9 months old and we had been married for just a couple of years.

He was remorseful (well he cried a bit and said sorry and, hey, at least he told me — yeah right, now I can see I was a chump…) We had a baby and a new marriage and I thought “we are better than this, this isn’t our defining moment.” Sure you know how it goes! Anyway, we carried on and I put it as far out of my mind as I could  and things went back to “normal.”

We were a couple with lots of friends and family, a gorgeous little boy — we had date nights and family holidays and plans — but it turns out my husband never stopped getting oral sex from this skank. Last Christmas — when I was 12 weeks pregnant — he “kissed” ANOTHER employee. Over the months that followed this developed into a full on affair until I eventually kicked him out.

I did all the stuff I thought would break it — called her, called her husband — but nothing would stop them and I had to practically watch them fall deeper “in love.” Six months on and I have just given birth to our daughter. He is still with this woman (seriously, what sort if woman could get involved with a man whose wife was pregnant??) and juggling his time and his finances between seeing our children and seeing her (she has now moved 2 hours away).

My question is if you have an opinion on the Fog of the Affair? Lots of sites mention it and I really felt that for him to walk away from the son he adores and his new baby there must be something to it? Sometimes it’s as if he has become remorseful and wants us to spend time together and tells me he misses us — or is this all just kibbles and cake?

I really don’t want him back (and my heart is slowly catching up to my head). I would not put our children through this again. I just want him to come out of the fog to a moment of clarity in which he sees how monumentously he has fucked up — or does this never happen?

Liz

Dear Liz,

I don’t believe in a great mythical fog that turns ordinary humans into assholes. I just believe in assholes. You know how you can tell if people are assholes? They behave like assholes.

The fog is one of those reconciliation canards that subtly (or not so subtly) absolves cheaters from moral culpability. Your husband didn’t really cheat on his pregnant wife and abandon his infant children. No, he was in a fog. This dark, wet cloud descended on him and muddled his thinking. He knows not what he does! At some point the fog will clear and he will have that “Oh my God, I fucked up” moment of clarity. He’ll return to his senses, return to his family, and be that person you fell in love with again.

Yeah, I don’t believe that. However, I totally believe in the “Oh my God, I fucked up” moment of clarity. But here’s the thing — it’s only a MOMENT. And then the vast majority of cheaters IMO do everything to not feel it. They drink it into a stupor. They shop for new shiny shit instead. They discover new affair partners. Anything to blot out the stench of failure.

Cheating is about entitlement. OMG I fucked up is about humility and lucidity. Entitlement feels better than humility. Lucidity means dealing honestly with the consequences of your appalling behavior. Serial cheaters like your husband are gluttons who need feel-good kibbles. As long as there is an affair partner out there who will shovel the kibbles at him, or he believes in the opportunity for more fuckbuddies when those kibbles run out — why would he change?

Because you hurt? Because your children are so precious and wonderful?

He already demonstrated exactly how he feels about you and your children. He cheated on you while you were vulnerable and pregnant with his child. Not once, but twice (that you know of) with two different women in a rather short span of time. His abhorrent actions tell you everything you need to know about how deeply he feels about his family. You did not matter to him. He is not a person who bonds and connects.

And Liz — that is NOTHING on you. It says NOTHING about how lovable you are or how precious your children are. It says everything about him and his character.

A “fog” didn’t make him that way. That is who he is. If the fog exists, it’s kibbles. It’s his addict’s high. Kibbles feel great — better than the love of your family. He’s sick in the head, and that’s nothing to do with you.

This is not a person who can love you the way you  and your children deserve to be loved. You refer to him as your husband, so I assume you are still married. Please for the love of God, get a lawyer. A kick ass, pit bull lawyer and leave this cake-eating piece of shit.

This column ran previously. Feel free to comment!

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Ask Chump Lady

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  • Liz, listen to Tracy and divorce his ass! We chumps sometimes are in the fog. Took me two years to realize I wasn’t the fucked up one he is. But I’m out the the fog of believing his shit! Divorce hurts, letting go hurts but better to be with someone you can trust “you” then with a flaming asshole. I feel better and getting closer to meh everyday.

      • G57,this is to piint. Love it so true. I did that wreck on sil(y) ation. And was once again shit on. But I own it put that hopium pipe down, put big girl panties on, yet once again, said buh bye assclown! Be happy, but now the fucking Karma bus showed up three fold. His now little whore,which is gf, we done is gonna be a mommy. Lmao. She is 23, he isa crying 52 yearold grandfather! Lol you reap what you sow! Truly living in the new shame. They are underground. Tee hee. He criec im depressed just want to come home.
        This woman, oerson, grandmother, was FIRED, awhile ago from caring.
        I said you have to own it! He cursed me. But the wheels on the bus still go round and round. But not in my head ir on my family.
        Cant wait till coward tells his flesh and blood!

  • So needed this today! Spent almost 2 years believing in the FOG. As a Christian, the reconciliation sites really like to spin this one. “The devil made him do it, he’s lost, he needs your forgiveness.” Believing in the FOG cost me $60,000. Thank goodness for Chump Nation and the fire of truth to burn this crap up! Bye, bye FOG.

    • So sorry you went through all of that pain and expense. As a Christian, I believe that we are free moral agents and we make choices. Cheaters choose to cheat. Fog is a metaphor for selfish thinking. It is all about them. Some cheaters do come to their senses. Most do not. It is mainly a question of character. Rest assured that God is watching. He knows what you have been through. He will never leave you or forsake you. Unlike cheaters, God is faithful. As you go forward, look out for the other chumps. Make good use of your experience and save the newly chumped from the myth of a fog.

      • God is faithful, really? If there is a god, why are all the cheaters still get their way? If there is a god, why we are the ones suffering? Who are we kidding? God my ass!

        • Now now be nice. I’m an atheist but god and religion can be very powerful for those who believe and whatever way us chumps can get comfort and heal is a good thing. Right?

          • Agree with you! I was thinking that the first thing I would want to do when I get to the Pearly Gates is point back with my thumb and say to Peter, “Seriously? What was that all about?!

        • There’s a difference between what God inflicts on us and what humans choose to do. Most faiths pay at least lip service to the idea that God permits free will, because otherwise we’d just be slaves and life would be nothing but a sick sadist’s game. Why was I the one suffering? Because *I* chose a sparkly cheater and turned a blind eye to all the non-cheating crap that made the marriage suck before I even found out about the other women. Because I didn’t TRUST THAT HE SUCKED and do something about it.

          You know what made my life better? Stepping out in faith that leaving him was the path God did intend for me. Praying for wisdom and clear paths so that I could get back on track. Believing that the track that God had in mind for me wasn’t the one that kept me under the thumb of a self-serving asshole. And DISCOVERING that once I did that, took the paths that lay open to me, trusting that God had endowed me with enough wisdom (or resources) to make life better for myself and my children, and using that wisdom to make more aware choices, that my life is 100 times better than it has been, not just since I met the cheater, but in my entire adult life.

          Yes, God is faithful. What happens to my ex is not my business. And I’m not suffering anymore. I don’t think it matters if you name the force that moves you forward God or something else. God doesn’t depend on us to validate his existence. Just like you don’t need your cheater to validate yours. Just step out in faith that things will improve. Whether you give credit to God for that improvement or not is kind of irrelevant.

          Feel better, sadface. I hope you find your Tuesday soon.

          • “You know what made my life better? Stepping out in faith that leaving him was the path God did intend for me. Praying for wisdom and clear paths so that I could get back on track. Believing that the track that God had in mind for me wasn’t the one that kept me under the thumb of a self-serving asshole.”

            I’m not usually very religious but your got this.

          • The problem is though, this is a subtle blameshift back onto chumps, and thats where it all falls apart. Because often, there are no red flags which denote a cheater, or they are so subtle that it can be considered ‘normal behaviour’ in the absence of anything else happening. For example, someone who cheats in their lunch break at work. How the fuck is someone going to know about that? Suffering because of lack of knowledge is disgusting – its pretty much saying you deserve to be punched in the face when you walk into a dark room and have no idea what is in there, but have to because of necessity. And thats not right.

            I agree with you, Sadface. Which is why I feel its my right to exact vengeance (in not-blatantly-illegal ways which will backfire on me, of course. Telling the truth = form of vengeance, after all!) if a cheater dares fuck with me or someone I care about. I give them the opportunity to fuck the hell off with their tail between their legs and proclaiming no right over anything – if they do not, or they actively start their narc-bullshit, they will wish they had never been born. No higher power is going to drive the karma bus over their arses in most cases, after all.

            • Thumps Up Lania. I have been held hostage for so long by just exactly that:

              ‘Because often, there are no red flags which denote a cheater, or they are so subtle that it can be considered ‘normal behaviour’ in the absence of anything else happening. For example, someone who cheats in their lunch break at work. How the fuck is someone going to know about that? Suffering because of lack of knowledge is disgusting – its pretty much saying you deserve to be punched in the face when you walk into a dark room and have no idea what is in there, but have to because of necessity“

              So eloquently said I couldn’t have expressed it this way but it hits the nail on the head.
              Thank you.

              • Yes, and some people do stuff that might be considered “suspicious ” and aren’t actually doing anything wrong. I spend a lot of time by myself, sometimes take a few hours off work just to “roam”, spend a lot of time on my phone. I wouldn’t be able to account for my whereabouts if I had to. I’m just an introverted, private person, not a cheater, even with my weird habits.

          • But then, how do you explain (to steal a question put by Stephen Fry to the Archbishop of Canterbury that… let’s say… ended the discussion) bone cancer in small children? Is that indicative of god’s plan for us all, because he loves us so much?

            I realise we are all going to think differently and if something gets you through and is not harmful or dangerous, great, but the mental gymnastics required to be god’s precious lamb and also nothing, a wretch, trembling before all-powerful god who is omniscient, powerful, terribly loving but also and at the same time allows the most despicable things to be done in his name… well. My boggle point is reached.

            • Precisely the reason I’m athiest. I can’t reconcile myself to the fact that an ‘all loving god’ will allow terrible things to happen to innocent children.

              • As an atheist I agree but if one holds god dear for comfort, I say let them. I have many people in my life who ate devout and I see how they get comfort from it. And to me its a good thing, not my thing but a good thing for them.

            • Caroline et al atheist friends,

              I respectfully acknowledge your human free will to not worship a diety.

              I have, however, had a rather ongoing relationship (lived in a rather orthodox framework of Roman Catholicism) with God while I lived life with Cluster B/alcoholic parents, assbastard mean cheater H and I care for dying children for a living.

              14 days prior to D day my mom was in a drunk driving crash and in an ICU and the day after I learned of husbands betrayal, I went to work and had a record 3 children die on me in one shift. Suckfest of Biblical proportions.

              And yet I still see Gods goodness even while the world He gave freedom to manifests evil. He stayed with me and gave meaning to my suffering and in a rare moment of gigantically divine compassion he struck my cheater dead (never saw that coming).

              and I have a great life and a blessed love and Im thankful to Him (which sometimes meant helping me be strong and mighty to do shit myself)

              • That doesn’t really negate whats being said by Caroline, but alright. Whatever tickles your fancy.
                I’d rather just take matters into my own hands and drive my life myself, rather than waiting for divine intervention to do it for me.

              • Unicorn, that was wonderful.

                God is love. I see His works all the time. When all hell is breaking loose around me, love surfaces in the most amazing ways.

            • I used to wonder about things like that, too, when I was younger. I’m reminded though, of when Jesus was asked why a man had been born blind, and whether it was his parents’ sin, or his own, that caused it. Jesus told them that it was caused by the sin of neither, but that so God could be glorified through his being healed (which he was). I think the hardest thing about all this betrayal was how much it affected my faith in God, initially. I had depended on God to save me and one of my sons from death by disease, which we were. But when I found out about my husband, I somehow couldn’t understand why He was expecting me to forgive my husband and work on my marriage, and why I heard so many messages about marriage being a covenant that you only escape by death. But day by day as I struggled to be better and prayed, and backslid into anger and depression and wishing my husband would die, I never stopped believing that God loves me. Finally, when the worst had happened, and I was a puddle on the floor, crying about how little my husband cared about losing me or his children, I was praying and asking God what He expected me to do in that situation–what to tell my husband that might make him change, whether God wanted us to be legally separated but not divorced, etc., and I felt an answer within me that made me realize I’d been listening to what other people said God wanted me to do, what the RIC wanted me to do, what well-meaning people thought I should do, but not God. Because my answer was, “Stop throwing your pearls before swine.” And I finally did, stopped obsessing about preserving my marriage and what my husband did or didn’t feel for me. I stopped caring so much that my husband was too stupid to appreciate his wife and children. And I felt that I had finally been freed, that my husband had been given every opportunity to repent and reconcile, but that he had chosen to follow Satan. And I realize now that, even though I sometimes feel I wasted over a year in wreckonsillyation, I am also free of guilt. I did everything I could do, finally found the scriptures and those knowledgeable enough about them to realize I don’t have to stay married to him forever or divorced but single the rest of my life in order to please God.

              It’s really annoying sometimes when I read about all the supposedly Christian cheaters. Christians have good fruit in their lives, and aren’t flaming hypocrites. These false ones cause other people to think wrongly of God or doubt His existence, as do many people who are very vocal about being Christian but who say all kinds of nonsense. And for those who think God allows injustice to go on indefinitely, and does nothing, I have to disagree. I knew my husband was an inconsiderate, selfish jerk, who was making me feel more depressed and alone every day. I didn’t know about his cheating. But the day I found out, it wasn’t because I suspected or was searching. And I believed his lies that it was just a game he was playing online with someone he’d never even met, and that she was the only one. But I had dreams in which I was told there was more, and an urge to look through his old phone, and I found out that he was in no way the person I thought he was. Some would call this coincidence or an inner knowing or simple logic, but I believe God led me to find out before it got even worse, before I ended up with a venereal disease or he took off with one of the tramps, leaving me jobless with four kids to support alone and no warning. Everyone is free to believe what they want, but I hope they don’t fall in the trap of believing that God sends or allows bad things to happen and doesn’t care. There is so much misinformation out there that it doesn’t surprise me that so many are turned off Christianity or God in general.

        • Sadface……
          I understand why you feel that way. I really do. I am a Christian who has had to really question everything I believe in due to my husband cheating on me and then putting me in jail and then moving his whore and her sons into my house and abandoning our daughters and his financial responsibility of them…..

          I get it. Because I have said What kind of “Heavenly Father allows his daughter to go thru such pain”

          God has alot to say about divorce….adultery and fathers. Trust me. I have read it all…..I had time. I had lots of time….10 months of it….sitting in the county jail. Yes.. me…..the stay at home wife and mother for 20 years sitting in the country to jail with prostitutes and drug dealers.

          God….he was faithful. God….he saw me there. God….he knows my broken heart. And…..God does see what was done to me….and each of us.

          Do I want revenge…..Effing right I do. But then it just takes away any dignity and self respect I have left. Not that I haven’t smashed a windshield or TWO…….

          I have to trust that what you reap you sow….it’s a universal truth…and I trust that someday….my Burger Meister husband and his Chicago Whore will reap what they’ve sown.

          Funny….our Farm we owned is called…..Fields of Grace…..or FOG…..

          Lmao…..

          • Plus, cheaters aren’t following God, they are following Satan. You know what the Facebook meme says “God won’t send you another woman’s husband.”.

            • I went to a bible study and the minister leading it told a story of a man who was telling the minister that he found the woman to marry. The minister said “You’re a liar. There’s no way God told you to marry that woman. You know how the minister knew that. Because the woman in question was already someone else’s wife!

          • And the whore brags about being a Christian woman. She was just sitting at a bar waiting for a married man to fuck and hang her rosary beads from his mirror. And her faith was in God to deliver a serial cheating sociopath into her arms. Amen. I was spared a life of abuse.

              • Kay

                By the grace of God….
                I don’t say that lightly.
                I spent a lot of time praying….reading. I know what the Bible says….I had lots of time to read it.
                Joseph had his prison moment….but he made it to the palace. …..I’m getting there…..

                My faith had been shaken…tested…and tried.
                God is great…beer is good and people are Crazy!!!

          • To commemorate his birthday, today I was perusing quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr. I printed out, “We remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends” for my middle school class door, and “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him” for my refrigerator.

            I don’t think I’ll ever lose the bitterness and disgust I feel about X, especially since he’s since transferred his mindfuck behavior on to our sons.

            I just don’t care enough about him to waste any time hating him. He no longer matters to me.

            • Ditto..after 36 years of FOG God suddenly exposed Satan and his whore to me while they had been hiding out together at work for least 15 years! Just prior to retirement the POS tells half the truth and asks for a non legal separation (hoever said there was no women involved) while all the while he planned on moving GF in the my new expensive house and was pursuing taking out his lump sum 401 k and cashing his pension retirement! Suddenly in all the confusion and chaos Satans bowel twists ( I say God reached down from the heavens and twisted it) and he ends up in the hospital for surgery! The coward had his sons waiting on him as I did not tell them what he did yet ! Asshole left his phone with the lock off when he was nervously heading down to go under the knife!! I examined the phone as I waited for POS to come out of recovery ! Guess what I found Schmoopi texts (When this is all over with I will be with you to tell you how beautiful you are)! Bingo I saw Peter Pan and ran to a lawyer before he was discharged! The lawyer told me this goes from bad to worst and it did! I really believe if a husband wants rid of you …watch out he could also try to kill you! They don’t like to pay child support, alimony, split there houses , assiets or just bad in front of there kids and family! God exposed all of My Exs behaviors as they were always in the Fog Zone before! I thank the lord everyday for escaping my abusive sociopathic narcissitic liar and his Jezabel and for just being alive!,,,

              • Very similar for me in some ways, Gail, except my ex had two AP’s at work he had affairs and group sex with for 17 years (of our 25 year marriage). And one day in a long drive after dropping my daughter off at college, a moment of discernment came to me and I just KNEW, as crazy as it seemed as he was such a “loving” husband and father. I got home and demanded answers and pushed till I got the truth — that took three days of cross-examination and exposure of lies. Then I kicked him out and told everyone what he had done. I have a friend who believes he and his AP’s (he is married to one now) may have tried to harm me in the past and might have tried it again in the future. Our children do not speak to him. Thank goodness he is gone.

              • That’s great, Gail. Hope the whores got nothing, or at least as little as possible. What pieces of shit. Just like all the rest.

            • Kelly…..WTF….is right. Talk about a FOG…..
              I lived in this FOG for a long time.
              BUT….. it was in jail.that I was truly sequestered. In THAT…..I was able to really focus on just me.
              I NEVER ever take the time I was in jail as a bad thing…….
              While in jail I found out from another inmate how my oldest daughter set me up with her father to PUT me in jail….. so I saw the whole truth. Had I been out….free….finding this shit out….I would have killed someone
              Truly….I was so distraught…..

              JAIL saved my life….and that son of bitch husband’s.

      • Yes, God is faithful. There are consequences for our behavior. We are called to forgive, but we are not called to remain with an unrepentant, unremorseful adulterer. I Don’t Love You Anymore, by David Clarke, PH.D is a good book that discusses this. Even with a remorseful and repentant spouse, walking away is a legitimate choice.

        • Best Christian book ever on this subject! No silly reconciliation drivel- it has real advice in an empowering, caring way.

          • I am an atheist, I believe we are all connected via shared energy but it’s physics based. However, I have a very good friend who believes devoutly and I cannot say she is wrong. Nor would she say I am wrong. Love and empathy allows us to be friends even if our view of religion is on opposite poles. It’s tolerance, it’s understanding and it doesn’t separate us unless we insist there is only one way to be. The world has a wondrous diversity in it, it’s part of life’s charm 🙂

            • I don’t believe in god, i don’t usually against people who do believe, but when i heard people say” trust god”” god is faithful”, my triggers are all come back. I sort of knowing a story from bible: there is a woman name Mary, she married a guy name is Joseph, but one day Mary is pregnant, not by her husband, but by someone name God, then God told everyone” i didn’t have sex with that woman, she is still a virgin, i just magically put a seed inside her”, later Joseph helped Mary delivered a boy who is from his wife and another guy, the child name is Jesus, the end. Is it sounds familiar? It’s like what happened every day here in CL.

              • Um that’s a punch below the belt Sadface I dont know if you intended it, but you sound like a hater at this point. Your words are very hurtful. We can respectfully agree to disagree and not let it get ugly. By the way Joseph planned on quietly divorcing Mary for her unfaithfulness but God told him not to because she wasn’t unfaithful. Now I know that if you do not believe in God that doesn’t matter to you but just know it was addressed in the Bible.

              • How’s it a punch below the belt and how is that being ‘a hater’? I just see Sadface stating facts.
                You have described the ‘mindfuck’ that goes on, but in that particular instance its the fucking OM whos saying it! Divine intervention, a random arsehole, its all the same.

            • The OW in my case is a Christian, she goes to church every Sunday, she prays every meal and every night, but she had no shame when she approached my husband, she is married and have 2 children. she even used her religious to get her way, one email she wrote to my H said when she was praying one day, god sent her a message telling her that her ture love is coming soon, WTF? Of course I’m a hater now. I’m not afraid to admit it, I’m even starting to read bible now, just want to find out what kind of evil Christian she is.

              • “God told him not to, because she isn’t unfaithful”, just like all the cheaters said to their wifes and husbands ” no, im not cheating on you, we are just friends”

              • I have some relatives that are religious people, before D day, when they were praying at the dinner table, i looked at them with respect, because they are the children of god, they believe in something good, but after the D day, when i see anyone doing the pray stuff, my heart is racing, my head is boiling, because i know, under that, lots of them have skeletons in their closet. Right now, as I’m taping this, I’m shaking uncontrollable, my heart is pounding so fast, the tears are running down my face, I’m a mess, I’m pathetic, my life is ruined all because of a bitch who claim she is Christian and god sent her a message to cheat.

              • Sadface, God didn’t send her a message to cheat – I hope you know that. She’s projecting her crap. Using faith as a mask. God doesn’t work that way.

              • Sadface- I truly am sorry you are going through this. It is incredibly painful. My husband claims to be a Christian and the OW was his Sunday school teaching partner. This all happened at the church where were married 20 years ago. God has the final say in all this but from what I see I do not think they are Christians in any way. The Bible says we know true believers by the fruit of their spirit and that is love, patience, peace, kindness, joy, faithfulness, goodness and self control. Cheaters are the opposite of all these things. They use religion to hide their evil hearts and deeds. Your husband and the OW definitely deserve your anger and contempt but real Christians do not so leave them out of it.

              • Nicole S, Sadface says she is not religious. For you to keep shoving it down her throat, especially when she says she is triggered by it, is extremely disrespectful. Stop it now.

              • I’m sorry Sadface that this woman used the name of God to try to justify her sins. The Bible describes a God who detests adultery. It says in Hebrews 13:4 that “God will judge the immoral and the adulterous. Psalm 7:11 says that “God is angry with the wicked everyday.” Please know that she is not a Christian but a poser who is full of crap. She will have to deal with it when said crap hits the fan.

  • There are many things we can read about what motivates behaviors, and I think they can be convincing because they are truthy. You know, there is a piece of truth in them, so it’s pretty easy to stretch them to look like more than they are.

    In the end, though, the question is, does the motivation for the behavior justify the behavior? If I punched you because you said something rude to me, would it be OK that I punched you? Would your rudeness make it less abusive or illegal for me to physically assault you? Of course not.

    Maybe he was in a fog, whatever. The question isn’t whether fog is a real thing, because fog or no fog, he has weighed all of his available options and this is the behavior he has chosen, repeatedly.

    Consequences suck. Nobody likes them. But the behavior was his, so the consequence of losing his family is his, too. Whether he cares about losing his family also isn’t the issue. His inability/unwillingness to see his family as top priority doesn’t diminish his family’s actual importance.

    CL is spot on. My heart goes out to you.

  • Liz,

    Actions tell the real story. They reveal the heart. The fog junk is a line to obscure the difficult reality that your husband lacks character and repeatedly CHOSE to cheat. Please see his actions for what they are…demonstrations of bankrupted character. And please take that reality seriously.

    DM

  • Liz, I am so sorry he did this to you. Not much shocks me anymore but it’s so hard to believe someone can be this callous. One thing you said really stood out – “I just want him to come out of the fog to a moment of clarity in which he sees how monumentously he fucked up”. If there is an “Affair Fog” the only one it effects is the chump. He knows what he did and he knew what he was doing while he did it. He didn’t fuck up – he IS fucked up. Good riddance.

    • “He didn’t fuck up – he IS fucked up.” Excellent! I’ve heard ‘the fog’ here, but have never been to a reconcilliation site so I assumed it was CL’s term. They’re really pushing this? Oh, please…

      There’s no ‘duh, I don’t know what’s happening, what’s going on, where am I…’ The fog intimates not seeing clearly, proceed with caution – not a racing heartbeat, all systems on alert for cover, planning, excitement, the thrill! Cheaters aren’t sad sacks wandering in circles, confused ’cause they can’t see ahead. They drive maserati’s, can see the whites of your eyes at 100 yards, and run you over anyway.

      Liz, I’m so sorry. It’s not fair. I can’t understand throwing such a beautiful life away. CL has good advice, please take it. One day the pain will go away and you’ll be so grateful you hired a pit bull to protect your family. There’s enough on your plate with a baby and young son. God, what an asshole.

  • Liz,

    I, too, thought my wife was in a fog, or a midlife crisis, for a very long time. She was having a very out in the open affair with a neighbor and co-worker, and I convinced myself that she just was in a bad place and they would eventually call it off. That never happened, and she humiliated and emotionally abused me for many years while I waited for the “fog” to clear. I always wonder how much quicker my kids and I would be on the path to Meh if I didn’t even believe my XW was in an affair fog.

    IMO, the affair fog is just a rationalization by the chump to find some explanation why our spouse would hurt us and our children is such a horrible, cruel manner. Tracy is exactly right – they feel entitled to, plain and simple. Cheaters don’t care about anyone but themselves. It is scary to realize that people are that awful, but they are.

    Best of luck to you and your children.

    • GMA had a spot on yesterday concerning “mid-life crisis”. Research has proved there’s no such thing according to this report.

        • It is nice someone thought it was a worthwhile topic to pursue. A midlife crisis is a narcissist starting to crack. They cannot keep up the lie anymore.

          • After my narcissistic XH cracked, I made a “midlife correction” and booted his ass to the door. I got tired of hearing how “confused” or “In a fog” he was. Those are just place holder pleas to keep US in our place! No more.

            • Perfect! I made a ‘midlife correction’, too. I also got tired of hearing (and seeing) how ‘torn’ he was, and that he ‘loved’ us both. I told my friends that I handed in my resignation from his Harem!
              I know I deserved more than that, after propping him, and practically his whole family, up for years, with a smile on my face. I thought at the bare minimum I’d get loyalty after all that!
              Yep, his ass got booted. His lifestyle plunged down 99% from what we had. Not my problem anymore.

              • Hey, cheaters read the RIC too. It emboldens them to continue treating you like shit cause they think you will put up with that crap 4 Eva, which is what a lot of RICers and reconcilers and Standers do. Every thing they get away with puffs that ego out a little more. They are totally shocked when you pull the plug and boot their ass.

          • “A midlife crisis is a narcissist starting to crack”. Wow!! Perfectly put. I was talking to a friend yesterday and she said exactly that: my ex was exhausted with keeping up with his lies of being a good man, a good husband and a good father. My friend said that with authentic people what you see is what you get: if they say they love books, they actually do love books, or films, or exercising or whatever. Their actions match their words. With narcs it is all lies and manipulations and fog curtains. Only that once in a while they crack. And then you get to see them for what they really are.

      • Lina, I am in Australia and I watched that article on GMA. I totally agree that there is no such thing and it just another weak excuse to back up the cheater. Cheaters have so many excuses made for them and on their behalf it makes me sick. They are never held to account for the trail of destruction they leave behind them in their pursuit of twu wuv and happiness. I am going so well now thanks to CL and CN. I don’t think I would be alive without the support I have found here but I still suffer terrible humiliation to think that after devoting 46 years of my life to a rat, he is now off living the life of Riley with a 23 year old prostitute and her two boys. To think I meant so little to him ever, is the part I beat myself up about still. I don’t know why I feel humiliation. Maybe it is because he replaced me with someone 40 years younger than myself and he is making sure I see and hear about his happiness but I truly don’t care about him anymore. So he can have his ‘mid life crisis’ and he is looking very haggard indeed because of his youthful sex partner.

        • Maree,

          Why beat yourself up for years? He PAID a woman to have sex with him. You could do the same but choose not to do so. He has different “values” than you or my dad, for example.

          I would stop listening to any updates about him and focus on time with people who share your values.

        • Don’t buy into his happy show–23 year old prostitute is not a recipe for anything good, and topping it off with 2 kids that aren’t his? He is full of shit–if the misery hasn’t started to descend upon him yet, it soon will. If there is a 40 year age gap between them, she is using him and it is probably obvious. Don’t spend anytime wondering what or how he feels. Get on with your own happiness, but rest assured, there may be times when the cheater goes on to live the “life of Riley”, the situation you describe is definitely NOT one of them!

        • Maree, he is just a meal ticket to her. She hopes he dies soon so she gets his money. In the meantime she has a roof over her head. Your ex is clearly making dumb choices, but you need to make the choice not to look at what he’s doing any more. Block everything to do with him, close your Facebook account if you have to. Your peace of mind is worth it!

        • Maree,

          Don’t beat yourself up over that. I wasted too much time thinking about what was wrong with me instead of what was wrong with her. He will exploit your insecurity and make you think you are the reason why he left. My XW had me convinced I was the problem. I truly believed it until I found CL.

          You are better without him.

        • Maree–Ain’t no way that is going to end well for him. Mine appears to be “succeeding” in all areas of his life, but you and I need to buy some popcorn and wine, and sit back to wait for the Karma bus to hit both of them.

          I know you have suffered more than most of us by your X’s actions because he charmed your kids into siding with him. And I don’t think some supernatural power will come along and smite the cheaters for their sins. But your X’s situation has “Disaster” written all over it. When he falls, it is going to be ugly, and you and I will raise our glasses of Sauvignon Blanc (or whatever is your pleasure), and say “Thank you, Karma.”

          • My shout Tempest as it would be my absolute pleasure. I am not sure if you have ever tried some New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but you wouldn’t drink any other Sav Blanc again. However, I now love my pink bubbles, Just my 2 bobs worth !!

            • I believe I have enjoyed some New Zealand Sauv Blanc, and am happy to partake again. And I never turn down bubbly. It’s a date, Maree! We just have to sit and wait for his downfall. 10, 9, 8 ….

        • The ‘mid life crisis’ is pretty much just a term to refer to a narcissist or otherwise disordered person who was too fucking lazy or entitled to do things in their 20s, and wants to make up for it now. Or they are delusional to the point where they really do believe they are still 20 years old. In other words, its a crock of shit and just immaturity in a nutshell. Two words: GROW UP.

          Maree: I think the reason why you think that you’re somehow ‘lesser than’ is because he has scraped the bottom of the barrel for his 2-dolla whore. And that he (and your kids) thinks that is ‘better’ than being with you. It shows that they obviously can’t value for shit – that they think a 3rd world prosti-tot is better than someone who actually has decent values and worked a decent day in her life. It shows his lack of character too – that he has to get a mail-order bride to even get someone who will look at him – no decent woman would go within 50 paces of him and his fucked up mindset.

        • Maree, Anyone in their right mind who knows your ex is certainly thinking the man has gone off the deep end… No respectable human would view his behavior as anything other than that of a despicable old FOOL. He IS fooling himself if thinks his paid prostitute has fallen in love with him — he was nothing more than an easy mark. The player got played by a hooker and he is too stupid to see it because of his narcissistic ego and zero moral conscience. She found a sucker and a free ride — so much easier than turning multiple tricks… He will get the boot as soon as the $ runs out or his health starts to fail — she won’t stick around to play nursemaid to him… NONE of what he did is a reflection of some kind of failure on your part. He, plain and simple, is sick bastard. You are not alone in feeling humiliated at being chumped and replaced — your ex led a double life and deceived you. He is a liar and you know it. He has NOT changed. You, my dear, have been relieved of the duty of caring any longer!! Adopt the mindset of no longer giving a damn — whatever the pipeline of information about him is, shut it down. 🙂

        • I heard from X so many times how he was seriously concerned for my mental health, told me I was Bi polar, psychotic, these are just a few of his diagnosis of me. He would say these things so often I began to think that there had to be something wrong with me. X told me that I was the only person he didn’t get along with.., oh, and if I did see a professional the therapist would ask him WTF was X thinking marrying me and want to know why X hasn’t divorced me.
          I forgot what else I was going to post.., oops

          • Yes, Brit, I got to hear about how Crazy I was, nobody liked me, they thought I acted Weird, blah, blah, blah. Funny thing is I have no problems like that. Everyone always talks about how easy going and laid back I am. Imagine that.

          • brit and Anita, it appears we Chumps are all fruit loops. Funny about that!! My own son told me I was bipolar the night after he called the police on me and he had the nastiest look on his face that I have ever seen. On the particular night in question I was sitting at home reading and my phone went. The caller introduced himself as an officer and gave me his name and the station he was calling from. After a little chat, I asked him if my son had called him and he told me that my son was actually sitting in the police station. I started to cry because it nearly destroyed me and my disbelief was overwhelming to think that my much loved son could do this. I said to the young policeman, “my son is gay and he is a drama queen”. The policeman said “I can see that”. The office also commented that I sounded like a lovely lady. I cried a bit more and through sobbing said that I was. I have never gotten over what my son has done and I know I will never forget it either. My son was doing his sperm donor’s dirty work for him. It still makes me very sad to think of this situation.

            • What a fucking heinous shitbag. I seriously want to punch that prick you call a son in the face. And I don’t even know him. But I know enough to know hes a waste of space and an oxygen thief. And its obvious who he takes after – its certainly not you.

          • Brit, EX’s favorite thing to tell was, “You need help” which hurt so deeply. ME? I’m just standing up for myself – Finally!! and I’m the crazy one?

          • Yea. When. I started to disagree vehemently and not cooperate beyond what was necessary I was labeled mentally unstable. Funny enough he took no action to have the children removed from my care and wanted to reconcile and live with my ‘ crazy’ ass. I called him on that shit fast. Told him I could see through it and he quit. His behavior however all screams insane.

      • I believe a mid life crisis is when the Narc’s mask falls off. It is like watching the air come out of a balllon. But yes I agree there is no such thing Just another label like the affair fog. Sells books, makes chumps see unicorns and validates really horrific behavior.

        • I believe the fog or their mid life manopause is happening because as others have said gets harder and harder to maintain the mask as they get older and the real them comes out. Asswipe is cheating on whore juice big time and they’ve only been back together three weeks. Whore juice has a inflated ego bigger than his and blinders on to what’s going on. Losers both of them. I will be so happy when I’m completely out of the fire range and untouchable by them and what they do anymore.

  • Cheater fog is just another tactic used to try to excuse their behavior and poor character. They’ll blame you, everyone and everything else to keep from taking responsibility for their choices.

    I’ve said this before – I believe it’s the chump that can be in fog. After I kicked cheater out, like many of the other folks on this site, I spent months feeling depressed, ruminating, crying, hoping he would change, etc. Looking back on it now, I realize this was the clearing my head of the many years of lies, manipulation, gaslighting, triangulation, etc. that I had been caught up in with him. The long, slow degrading process with tidbits of charm to keep me hooked took a huge toll on me but I was so wrapped up in “our” love that I couldn’t see it until I found out about the affairs and was away from him. I felt like the fog my brain was in had lifted. I’m still working through things in my head and probably will be for some time to come and that’s ok. For new chumps – you can and will get through this. It’s tough but you can do it.

    • I agree…..the FOG….is our fog….the haze of lies and manipulation we were living under. My husband actually went to my sister and told her I was Bi-polar….that he was committed to.getting me treatment and medication and therapy.

      Bi-polar. ….yes….I am. I believe in a total OPPOSITE way he does…I’m the North pole…he’s the South….”he’s one of those South Pole Elves”……

      Bi-polar my ass….. I was depressed, anxiety ridden and sad….for years that I was ignored…manipulated and lied to on a daily basis.

      • The snake has been promoting the idea I am mentally ill for years. I bought into being clinically depressed. I believed it was all biochemical, and all I could do was medicate and cope and go to therapy, etc. My bathroom looked like a fucking pharmacy when I left him.

        Until I googled gaslighting, which led to learning about narc abuse, and my eyes were opened to the impact his abuse had on me.

        The more that knowledge sinks in, the more my fog has lifted. I’ve actually gone off two of my meds now, since leaving him. I weaned off one right away. The other I saved for when I thought I’d need them, but when I did take it again, I realized how shitty I felt when it wore off, so I’m done with that one too.

        Knowledge is power.

      • Tracy, you and Snakebit just made me remember that cheater went to my sister years before I found out about his cheating and told her I was mean and angry all the time so I must have some mental issues. My sister didn’t tell me about it because she 1. didn’t want to get involved in our issues and 2. thought he just needed to vent and everything was ok otherwise. When the cheating surfaced, she mentioned this conversation with him and that led she and I to realize there were other times through the years that he tried to play she and I against each other (can you say, triangulate?). ugh – there has to be a cheater handbook out there that they all follow….we need to find it and rewrite it to save others from this misery!

        • Another page out of the playbook. Mine said for years I was depressed and needed medication. Talked to a doctor and counselor about it and neither thought I needed medicine. Turns out I didn’t, I just needed a new life without her!

          • +1 – My STBXH told me last month that I was like my mother – a difficult person and likely a narcissist – and I was going to negatively affect his health, as I was too mercurial. Because when I found continued affair evidence I told him that lying was not a problem solving tool. He responded by going ballistic and bashing the furniture. Screaming, “I am not having an affair!”

            I told H that I’d only had these types of exchanges with 3 people in my life – all narc abusers, one is my mom. Probably why I married one. H had to move to a new place where no one knows us, to be able to tell his version of why our marriage- his second- failed. You can’t control what they tell people. Anyone worth dealing with will notice they have no friends -and limited to no family interactions – from the first ~50 years of their lives. Those they do have in their orbit are being lubricated with cash.

            • My husband has ZERO….friends from childhood…..and has never moved from the area he grew up. He is 57. How do you not have one single friend from high school and you live 20 minutes from your old high school???? It was weird to me….plus….he was one of the Top athletes in the county….he has county records in football. Not one single friend….as an adult from his past.
              It’s bizarre. I didn’t see it then but now it’s a Vegas Billboard sign of a red flag.

              • Absolutely. When we married he only invited guys he then worked with, whom we’ve never seen since. And one very odd friend from college whom we’ve never seen since. Big red flag.

              • Mine has no friends either! I think they got tired of him. His family doesn’t have contact with him anymore —how strange!

              • Snake doesn’t have any real friends either. A guy he worked with for decades, and occasionally socialized with retired and moved away a few years before the snake did. We visited them a time or two, but snake just ended contact with them, and it didn’t seem to bother him at all. I think it bothered ME more. I really thought they were friends.

                He’s VERY close to his brother though. Who is a serial cheater. Whose wife has spent hours on the phone with the snake crying about the brother’s misdeeds, looking for sympathy from him. WTF is that all about? He talks poorly about his sister behind her back all the time, but he subsidizes some of her bills, so he has a kibble source when the brother and OW aren’t around, I guess.

                Go figure.

              • Just wanted to point out that some chumps, like me, don’t have any friends, either. My two closest friends from high school deserted me when I needed them most, when I was abandoned, pregnant, by my boyfriend (who I later married and was abandoned by again). I have always been shy and it is hard for me to make friends. When I met my current (cheater) husband, I tried, but couldn’t make friends with his relatives and friends (nearly all Mexican when I am not). My husband even got jealous of one woman I visited a lot, so I stopped. Sometimes life (and sometimes abusive husbands) make it hard to develop friendships. Not having friends isn’t necessarily a red flag. Sometimes it just means the person isn’t really outgoing and has a hard time trusting people after multiple rejections, and only wants friends as loyal as they, themselves are.

              • That’s very true, Trusting God. My first husband was an abuser, jealous of everyone, and I got used to being a loner. I spent so many years alone that’s what I know. So I spend time with myself, reading, or watching TV, or playing games. I hate clubs, girls’nites, etc.

                I don’t stay friends with exes either. Several of mine are dead, and most just aren’t someone I want in my life. There are also a few I broke up with that I don’t communicate with, no hard feelings on my part at least, but they are all exes for a reason.

      • Exactly. He told my daughter and the babysitter AP that I had mental issues due to depression and a chemical imbalance due to going through menopause. I started believing it myself and started medicating. Amazingly enough – now that I’m going through the divorce process (and my mom says I’m finally finding my balls) I no longer feel depressed. Funny how getting rid of that douche bag has helped my mental state

    • I completely agree and would go on to say that the fog extends to the chump not being aware of the affair, or going into complete denial of obvious clues. My XW left me, so I did not have the option to leave, but it took a long time to realize she is a POS and I am better off.

      • Scott, I can’t image the added complexity of being left by the cheater so my heart goes out to you and the others that experienced this form of devaluation along with everything else. They SUCK and you’re right, it takes a long time to realize that we’re better off without them in our lives.

        • It does hurt to get dumped by the cheater, but I know it was the last stage of being involved with a narcissist – being discarded. It hurts because I took so much abuse hoping to turn around a failed marriage. I would strongly encourage anyone to file once you know there is an affair.

      • Scott, mine left me as well. It’s initially a real blow to the self-esteem until you come to CL. Then you realized we are lucky that they left. No extended fu**ing with our emotions. It does suck but I know that I wasn’t the fault for the ultimate failure of my marriage. I feel like I took back some of my strength by actually filing for divorce. Even if I didn’t really want it at the time. They do truly suck!

    • Thank you for digging in. I hear it referred to all the time, sometimes post affair, sometimes it leads to the affair, sometimes it’s the betrayed who is in the fog. What the hell. It’s all bullshit. ‘All of you are in a shitstorm. You’re pretending it’s fog because that’s better than honestly facing your spouse is a drama diva, is hooked on pain and causing it in others, and you’re on the hopium. It’s not fog. It’s garbage’

  • Cheater apologists and the Reconciliation Industrial Complex have actually tried to validate the “Affair Fog” on the basis of science by saying that cheaters are addicted to neurotransmitter for pleasure, the hormone Dopamine. Liz, if you’ve been on Surviving Infidelity or any other forum besides Chump Lady, you’ve probably been subjected to the “Dopamine Defense” in discussions of the “affair fog.”

    Here’s an article that thoroughly debunks the “Dopamine Defense.” http://www.infidelityhelpgroup.com/2014/11/10/affair-fog-dopamine/. First point: “Scientists established that the dopamine system activates before we reach a goal/end point. Dopamine is released as part of our motivational process, not in response to achieving or experiencing something pleasurable (or unpleasant).”

    Well, look at that! Dopamine doesn’t make you cheat on your partner; it just gave a person who already wanted to cheat a little extra bounce in his step while he was already doing what he wanted to do!

    • Good article and good point. Yes, if Dopamine is what drives us, I’m in a cookie fog, or a coffee fog, or a pinecone elf fog…

      So many fogs, it’s a wonder I get anything done.

  • I was married to a cheater for 23 years, Dday #1 was 6 years into the marriage, and we had a 5 month old baby and a toddler. He’d been cheating for my entire second pregnancy. We “reconciled” and I did pick me dance, spackled, and tried to trust for the next 17 years. Dday 2 was three months ago.

    CL’s observation should be shouted from the mountaintop: “Cheating is about entitlement. OMG I fucked up is about humility and lucidity. Entitlement feels better than humility. Lucidity means dealing honestly with the consequences of your appalling behavior. Serial cheaters like your husband are gluttons who need feel-good kibbles. As long as there is an affair partner out there who will shovel the kibbles at him, or he believes in the opportunity for more fuckbuddies when those kibbles run out — why would he change?”

    • With age comes wisdom. I wish I had accepted the fact that he was toxic…

      STBX is a no good, dirty-rotten scoundrel!
      28+ years married to an entitled, spoiled, Mama’s boy.
      Dday # 1 at 9 years, 2 small children, and I was a stay at home mom.
      Dday # 2 at 27 years.

      Cheaters cheat!

      • And all the other times before DDay, and in between that somehow got unnoticed because we trusted and believed in the goodness of their hearts … SIGHT 🙁 I need to put that sticker on my mirror: Good morning beautiful, remember NO BONDING POSSIBLE WITH CHEATER PANTS, BE AWARE HE WILL SCREW YOU OVER IF NOT TODAY TOMORROW FOR SURE.

  • It’s all part of the syntax cheaters use. They love speaking indirectly. “Sex happened to me” rather than “I had sex with someone else”. They love acting like they weren’t at fault. “The affairs happened to me… chemistry… fate… feelings, oh the feelings that were happening to me…” rather than “I decided that I’m too fantastic to have only one partner for sex so, since I already had you nailed down, I picked up strange women in bars until I found one who had so little self-esteem and was so desperate she would do me regularly even though she knew I was married.” Because, ouch, that direct and factual syntax is too bright a light shining on the truth of what’s going on inside their disordered minds.

    So here we have The Fog — indirect syntax using a metaphor which suggests this is something that happens naturally and randomly which turns perfectly fine upstanding citizens into air-humping dogs. It’s complete bullshit. Ever notice that The Fog only happens AFTER the humping has already started? And ever notice that The Fog never clears until air-humping dog is good and ready for it to clear? Usually when his situation starts to fall apart and he’s no longer in control of everyone’s weather?

      • LUD, my ex stated that “it just happened” when he had sex with a prostitute in S.E. Asia but having gone over there with the specific purpose of having sex with a tramp. He also commented that “he felt terrible after it happened”. Yeah right and that is why he has now relocated to S.E.Asia and is now with a 23 year old prostitute and her 2 boys and he is pretending to have saved her and her kids from poverty and a they have a happy life together. What a good and decent guy he is. Give that man a medal!!

    • This would fall under stupid shit cheaters say: „ I never penetrated her“ Huh ? After sharing a hotel room with Desperate. Well, you know and in addition she had her own separate room.WTF!!?

    • I didn’t plan it. It just happened. (After, of course, I put up dating profiles and met up with various women from that site. But, really, I had no idea sex could happen!)

  • Liz, I’m a year out from exactly where you are. I love what you said about “my heart is slowly catching up with my head”. It takes time and it’s a roller coaster but much better as you journey to meh. Lawyer up, find someone to talk to and look after those amazing children of yours. Apply no contact as much as humanly possible. My prayers are with you.

  • I don’t believe in cheater fog. The know what they’re doing and they’re not foggy about it. However, I do sometimes believe in Chump Fog.

    In my case, after I found out about my X having close to a year long affair, I was definitely in shock. Everything was surreal, like I was walking around on a different planet. One night I went to bed and he loved me, I woke up the next morning and he didn’t. Bizarre.

    And yet for a time, I still believed this asshole loved me even though his actions clearly demonstrated he did not. Hell for all I know he never really did. People who love you don’t fuck other women in hotel rooms on Friday afternoons when they should be at work. People who love you don’t suck all the money out of a shared bank account. People who love you don’t emotionally rip your heart out. But being a chump, for a little while there, I still believed he loved me. So there’s your fog.

    I had to get real. The only way to get past the heartbreak of it was to look at him for what he was. Rationally. There is no cheater fog where they wake up one day and realize what they did. In order to do that, they would have had to value what they had in the first place and they just don’t. He values his dick, and the attention he could get from women other than his wife.

    Some people get their jollies cliff-diving or hopping out of airplanes. Mine got blowjobs at Hines park. I”m definitely not foggy about that.

    • Rumblekitty: I know of a Hines Park so can share in your angst. My cheater stayed to the downtown area knowing I would never be in the vicinity. In order for them to do what they did, no value was placed on their family, so true. I was devalued as well as our grown kids. None of us could make him feel as good as he needed. How pathetic cheaters are. So very messed up.

      • Dowtown, parks… Mine would call me under the guise of being the dutiful husband who was checking in. What he was really doing was locating me so he could go about his business screwing around without being seen by me. I later discovered he was often not where he said he was,

        • And that’s one of the later realizations that make your head want to explode. I had to pull over once, while driving, because I was losing normal consciousness from thinking about some of Cheater’s devious lies to me. It was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever felt. Hallelujah for Meh!!
          When I was married, I worked a lot, because X was becoming more and more allergic to jobs! He also did that checking-in thing. Ooooh thanks Honey, for caring so much, where I am, and when I’ll be home! My gut told me one time, to double back in my car to the house, after I had left for work. I had been told X was at the store. Here comes his car down the street, pulling into our driveway, with insane neighbor lady beside him in the passenger’s seat! He was shopping, but he was with her, playing pretend happy couple, so disgusting. Well, we know how Narcs can’t do anything without someone to hold their hand, and be an audience! He was such a joke.

  • You never get the truth. U get a version of the truth. You will never know how many times or with how many people. Its a game that they created , made up the rules, and failed to tell u were playing. Thats the power. Thats the entitlement. You catch on to some of the rules and they switch it up and tell u you arent following the rules or that your cheating and or they are all of a sudden unhappy with how u are playing. Its called the mind fuck game and you might be knee deep in the mind fuck game before you realize you are playing some kinda game.
    I think a lot of cheaters learn the mind fuck game pretty early on. They know the people who they can play it with and gravitate toward the people they can manipulate. For years you are unknowingly feeding this beast. The biggest rush for them is watching u try put together the pieces and fail or submitt. Its just a big mindfuck… And you never get to enjoy the cigarette after.

  • Take it from someone who stayed way, WAY too long… The “fog” = what’s under the mask. It’s what he is when he relaxes, stops pretending and gives in to what he REALLY wants. He IS the fog. It’s not something he’s in, it’s what’s inside of him. It’s his hidden dungeon where he shows his fangs and invites like minded women who are willing to colluded with him.

    And don’t think you can reach in there and heal his foggy insides. You may as well try to change his DNA with the power of love or some shit. He doesn’t want to be changed anyway. Why the hell would he give up getting new strange every five minutes in favor of coming home to the ol’ ball and chain with crying kids at home? He’s got no-strings-attached fun out there to be had. He has women he has no obligations to, no kids to deal with together, no bills to share together and no bad habits to see with all these affair participants. I mean, you can’t beat all pros and no cons, right? All the fun with none of the yucky adult stuff.

    Then when he’s had his fun, he can come home to you – the wife and kids who make him look good to the public. See? He’s a nice family man! All while he straddles the fence and gets all the credit for being a great husband and father while still having all the fun of a single life. Meanwhile you’re walking around with dozens of kick-me signs on your back :/

  • Chumps are the only people in a fog. We are gob smacked by the reality that the person we trusted the most took the knife and stabbed us deeply in the back.

    We walk around in a daze because up is down, right is left and nothing makes sense anymore. So we take the fog that envelops our thinking and we project it on these soulless creatures because we so want to believe there is a reason. Some alien force that abducted them and made them do those horrible things. If we don’t believe there is a reason; some evil outside force, then we have to admit we lived with a monster that was more than capable of doing this. We also have to come to grips with the signs we missed when we chose those monsters as our life partners and parents to our children.

    The only fog that exists is the one chumps project on their cheating asshats.

    We have to walk out and let our foggy brains clear before we can see them for what they really are!

  • Might be old but very relevant.
    I only believed in the cheaters fog for a moment but there is definitely a chump fog. I agree with everyone above that it takes time for the heart to catch up with the head. We spent so much time spackling and to look back and realize that you wasted x number of years with a waster who just threw a portion of our lives into the garbage when they felt like it is a hard thing to take.

    I’m still working on it.

  • My version of the “fog” is this: cheater is discovered, or confesses to, whoring. To his delight, his normally sensible wife does not divorce/throw him out/try to kill him. He now has fuckbuddy and wife on the string. He’s a stud!! He’s the man!! Look at me, I’m fucking two women and they both know and accept it. So to me, the “fog” is how the cheater sees himself, it is not that he doesn’t know he is doing wrong, he just thinks he’s so damn special he deserves it. (Whoring, I mean).

      • So Glad it was helpful, Rachel. It’s all just different terminology for CAKE. So glad I found Chump Lady cause that was the one thing that threw me off. Ex was a whoremongering cake fiend.

        • Yep, mine too. I didn’t realize what a big part of his identity was tied to people admiring him and his sexuality.

          • Near the end that’s all I heard how many other women wanted him and how he got hit on all the time. Then after 27 years how he cheated on every woman he was ever with and proud of it! Told me call them if you want I was the best lover and anybody they had after me was bad. I ruin woman for other men they never forgot what a fantastic lover I was. That’s the first and only thing he’s really proud of. Told him put that on your tombstone.

            Asswipe.
            Man whore
            Rotten husband, boyfriend, father, brother, son, friend
            Heartbreaker, liar and cheater
            Died cheating on his wife
            Fucking a skank.
            Appreciated nothing in life…
            Except his dick.

            Told him I’ll get them all together after you are dead and we will all piss on your grave.

            What a stinking shitty ego from a rotten human being. Fun making the tombstone quote. Would be a great post.

  • OMG, I needed this today, my husband had an emotional affair before we got married (no sex he swears but sexual messages and meeting up for coffee with another woman). When this ended he started to send sexual messages to another woman. I found out about both of these in D-day 1 (April 2013- about 7 weeks before we married) and then about two and a half years later (Nov 2015)he has an affair with a co-worker when I am pregnant with our second son (the affair was apparently a meaningless sex thing – she asked him to fulfil a fantasy for her and he said yes – several times!!; again I second the “what kind of woman asks a married man with a 1 year old son and a pregnant wife to have sex with her” question).

    I am devastated. I am a romantic who believes in true love (a bit embarrassing I know). I thought we had it, me and him a team against the world. I’m not quite three months past my second d-day and I am still struggling to believe he sucks (sometimes I think only the last one is a true d-day so maybe it’s just one affair- that is an adjustment crisis to married life with very little children – and he really does love me he just messed up).

    All I want is him to wake up and feel the devastation I feel but the most he can muster is “I’m sorry, I do love you or why would I stay to put up with your tears and your anger”. I know what I should do but I am scared. I’m scared I’ll never feel love again, I’m scared that the love I search for doesn’t even exist, and on the other hand I’m scared that just maybe unicorns do exist and I’ll give up on mine when I should have tried to make it work. We’re still living together and have planned to make a decision when the baby is about six months. It is killing me.
    As for The Fog, I think when you give something an name it makes it exist (like a broken arm or something). It becomes a thing that descends and is separate from the person making it less their fault. In reality, it means what lies a person tells themselves to rationalise their selfish actions (sadly these rationalisations can then devalue the faithful spouse and the life they offer to a point where the cheater no longer cares about you deeply when discovered). They are then considered to be in a fog. I also think sometimes “the fog” is when the cheater just isn’t quite ready to leave the chump and the security of that but cannot be bothered with the effort of reconciliation. Finally, I think it can be when the cheater won’t admit to themselves the enormity of what they have done so it is easier to devalue what they had and again make rationalisations so they never have to look at how fucked up their behaviour is. These people do not take long hard looks at themselves, their actions, or the consequences; that’s not what cheaters do as a rule.

    • Ambivilant chump, his “apology” tells you everything you need to know. He’s a chronic, serial cheating lying asshole. I personally would like to slap the shit out of his smug ass. But do him one better, and dump him.

      • Ambivilantchump

        Your asking the wrong question. It’s not what woman would screw a married man with a child and pregnant wife!!
        It’s what type of a married man would disrespect his pregnant wife with another child. It’s a serial cheating entitled asshole.

        They cheat when you are at your most vulnerable. They could give a fuck about your NEEDS. If allowed he will rob you of every cherished moment you look forward.to.

        He has no consequences and will NOT stop. He is an asshole and the cure is finding a lawyer and divorcing his ass. Do it and spare yourself years if mindfuckery and lies.

        • This.

          No matter how terrible the OW is, she did not force your husband to have sex. He wanted it. He could have said no. He should have set up clear boundaries that indicated he was not at all interested, not even noticing her.

          When you look at your husband and see that he’s a man who’s capable of cheating on his pregnant wife, the mother of his child–that’s when you know that he sucks. No moral human being would do this.

          You will see that he is cheating because he treats people like things. You and your child are the Family Appliance. It’s nice to be able to show off Family Appliance, and of course you want to maintain it so that it runs well. The OW? She’s OW Appliance. Sure, she’s a total asshole for sleeping with a married man, but he’s using her just as she’s using him.

          The only way to get out of this is to find a good divorce lawyer, file, and go through with it.

          You can do this!

          • Both the OW AND the married man suck in this scenario. I say run and let them self destruct together. When that happens, they will likely break up and move on to destroy other people’s lives. My thought is why be the one in the crossfire?

    • Ambivalent Chump–I’m hoping some regulars like UnicornNoMore & others who reconciled once, twice, thrice, only to find their cheater had continued betraying them for another decade or more, will chime in here. Their stories are what convinced me to leave with knowledge of only one affair from 8 years prior–no way was I going to allow my cheater to do that to me again. One D-day was enough. Learn from their experience so you don’t waste decades of your life. Leave him.

      • I had more d-days and reconciliations that you can count on one hand (perhaps I was in a delusional chump fog). It went on for years! Then I found this bit of info:

        The permanent forms of pathology are noted for its Three Inabilities (Brown, 2005):
        • Inability to grow to any authentic emotional or spiritual depth
        • Inability to sustain positive change
        • Inability to develop insight how their behavior negatively affects others
        These inabilities are the hallmark of chronic disorders that create chronic problem relationships.

        If your spouse has done this numerous times and has seen how much it has hurt you, and has done nothing to repent or change, then it’s pathology. Sad, but true.

      • Ambivalent Chump – I only actually had one – extremely prolonged – D Day (he denied, denied, minimised, denied some more, swore on his daughters grave, deflected, ignored, gaslighted, denied yet again). However, once the initial “I’m sorry, I do love you or why would I stay to put up with your tears and your anger” wore off (yes, I got several versions of this – all in answer to the latest piece of proof that his current story wasn’t the truth) – it very quickly became ‘You’re so bitter’, ‘there’s something wrong with you, you should be over it by now’, ‘I’m leaving. You won’t let this drop’. ‘I’m leaving, your eyes are too sad’ (after I’d ‘let it drop’). We then had 3 years of him leaving, coming back, leaving again – each time his ‘please take me back, I just want to prove to you I love you’ was blown away by some petty, or even made up offence I was supposed to have made (for example, he left one time because I’d implied – only implied, mind you – he’d grown up as a protestant not a catholic – this is because he wasn’t and isn’t a catholic, and the city we grew up in had very strong divisions based on whether you were protestant or catholic, and the assumption in the city when we were kids was that if you didn’t attend a catholic school and go to catholic church – you had to be protestant! It was this strange, and amusing to me, idiosyncrasy I was discussing with him – not actually his faith! But apparently, this man who’d never professed any spiritual leanings whatsoever, decided to walk out, yet again, because I’d offended him so terribly)! Of course, had I found CL there never would have been 3 years of him emotionally torturing me (and it really was torture). When I did find CL, took on No Contact and started to come out of ‘Chump Fog’ (Oh yes, it does exist) I started to be able to look back and put two and two together. I came to realise there were at least 3 ‘inappropriate relations’ with other women, that I knew about. In an effort to deflect from the affair I had discovered (and perversely, in an attempt to get me to believe that affair hadn’t happened), he’d confessed 2 ‘affair-ishes’ when we were first dating. So that actually made 1 affair I proved undeniably and 5 ‘affair-ishes ! We were together 13 years (15 officially, to divorce). I ended up broke and homeless. I learned that barring a life or death situation, I will never, ever again beg with someone to treat me with the respect I deserve just because I’m a human being. I learned that if someone is prepared to ‘lead a double life’, lie, deceive and betray you, they will have no qualms whatsoever in leaving you dead in the dirt, once they’ve made sure ‘they’re alright Jack’.

        Ambivalent Chump. It’s heartbreaking, I know. And it is so, so new to you right now, but please – don’t give him 6 months to get his ducks in a row, screw your head up (and it really will) and delay your healing. Tell him to leave. He chose to cheat on you and your babies – he chose to do that!
        He’s a piece of shit.

        Wishing you all the strength you are going to need [[Hugs]] xxx

        • Ambivalent Chump–god I wish I could sit down over a cup of coffee with you and share my own story. My first D-day was also before getting married. We went to counseling, he acknowledged that he had issues and I actually thought we came out stronger. I married him and over the next decade had 4 more D-days. What did I get in exchange for my love and forgiveness? Over time he became an entitled abusive monster. The worse his cheating got the more mindfuckery I received. Right before the 3rd D-day when I asked him, kindly and gingerly if he was having issues with his “problem” (sex addiction) he berated me and called me sick, saying that I couldn’t let the past go! Less than 2 weeks later he was caught. After a decade of this wearing down on my self esteem I felt truly locked in–with all of the questions you have. (what if he is a unicorn, what if what I want doesn’t exisit, what if I never have anyone, yada yada yada.) Well I finally went NO CONTACT, moved out and moved on and guess what. I am so happy and have a new loving partner and can’t even believe that I ever tolerated such bullshit. You deserve better. Cut your losses. Don’t give him one more day of your precious life. The world and happiness is waiting for you. Get out now!! I Promise you wont regret it, no one who lives a cheater ever does!

          • “Cut your losses. Don’t give him one more day of your precious life.”

            We don’t want to hear it chumps, but this is the answer to the question.

          • Getting there bonniesew – thank you 🙂 Still pissed about the abuse, but couldn’t give a flying fuck for him.

            I can so relate to what you said about ‘asking kindly and gingerly’ – oh, God … I remember that so well! One time he came home and brought everything from the glove compartment in his company car into the kitchen, and there was an anonymous form from an STD clinic – and, I can’t believe I was so beaten down, that I apologised to him before asking him about it (oh, it must have been the guy who had the car before me) and apologised to him afterwards for asking! God – I’d forgotten about that!

            • … to clarify … the STD form was AFTER I’d found out about his affair – so KNEW he was a cheater, but still I apologised for ‘putting him on the spot’ by asking about it! What sort of madness was that!!! (When I say I couldn’t give a flying fuck for him, I guess I could – because I really wish I could shove that form up his arse sideways and with barbed wire enforcement)!

              • The crazy memories are coming back. After my final D-Day, and unprotected sex with 4-6 strangers in a 6 week period while I was with my parents trying to figure out what to do, and after a pregnancy scare (with one of his playmates) and herpes, I was STILL insanely trying to “work it out” with that selfish asshole! About 8 weeks after I returned home he as about to go on a business trip. I was a bundle of insecurity and hadn’t asked him ANYTHING, so as not to “shame” him. But I was so worried about the trip, that I finally managed to work up the courage to very sweetly ask him if we could talk, because I was feeling a little afraid, with him going out of town and I just wanted to check in on whether he had engaged in any “behaviors” . I wanted a little reassurance. He totally blew up at me! And oh god, I apologized. UGH!!!!! The stories go on and on. Jayne I can relate so much–and I hung around for another 6 months after that! Let’s hope that Ambivalent and some of the other here can see themselves in these stories and save themselves some heartache and humiliation! Cheers!

              • Me, too.

                I lived with someone who had cheated and had me afraid to ask him about his comings or goings otherwise the pressure might be too much for him. Him asking me when I was going to “just get over it” as if my pain was inconvenient for him. I see me now, trying to trust him, going along with anything and everything to make the marriage “a good place to be,” never challenging anything and when I suspected he was cheating again, trying not mention anything for fear I would upset him and he would leave. Uuuugggggghhhhhhhhh! So glad to be away from that!

      • I wreckonciled for the benefit of my children only to realize MUCH later that it didnt benefit my children. I really shoul dhave never married him, but I dont want to wish my childrens’ existence off the planet, so now I wish I went full on badass at Dday…I was married for about 7 years too long.

        He died with me thinking that he had been faithful until we were married 18 years then had one affair with Susan of Seattle but after he died I learned his cheating was a life long disorder.

        I know the fear of leaving, so much so that I never left I was freed when he died…Im now disgusted and disappointed with myself that I tolerated the abuse I did. I found love with a guy I dated 30 years earlier and were very happy and he’s not a cheater. For my whole wreckinciliation I heard “cheaters cheat” and I didnt believe it, “mine had one slip up” I thought….no, he was a man-whore cheaterasshole.

    • Okay, affair fog — you wrote “In reality, it means what lies a person tells themselves to rationalise their selfish actions.”

      So, the RIC idea is that you try to contradict those “lies the cheater tells themselves” to make them wake up and value you, or give it time and they’ll wake up and see sense.

      That’s assumes we can REASON cheaters out of CHEATING because they had mistaken thoughts and rationalizations.

      I’m sure they think all sorts of crazy, rationalizing things — but the bottom line is what they DID.

      Cheating is about ENTITLEMENT. They weren’t mistaken about cheating — they went after what they wanted because they felt ENTITLED to it. Sure, they may have made up reasons why they deserved it, but the only “fog” they’re in is one of narcissism, IMO.

      You have to judge a person based on their ACTIONS. That’s the fall out you’re dealing with. Anything else, the cheater’s motivations, fog, or WTFever is untangling the skein of fuckupedness.

      He’s not going to be a better person when the baby is 6 months older. He is who he is NOW. He did what he did. You need to start protecting yourself and get real about the kind of person you married. A guy who felt entitled to destroy your world for easy fucks and kibbles.

      • Absolutely can attest to that. I was cheated on through both pregnancies. The second time he actually made it a long term kibble supply, she is still on a long leash with him after 12 yrs., Long distance since we live far away ( That’s what he can deal with best to keep it rolling) texting every day and sporadic built in quick visits when alibi allows, next to 2 or 3 other’s from some dating site. It’s so mind-fucking disturbing when you finally see it for what it is. I am so torn and embarrassed that it took me so long to make sense while kept in this NEBULA. ARGHHHHHHHHH!!!

    • “I’m sorry, I do love you or why would I stay to put up with your tears and your anger”. I know what I should do but I am scared. I’m scared I’ll never feel love again, I’m scared that the love I search for doesn’t even exist, and on the other hand I’m scared that just maybe unicorns do exist and I’ll give up on mine when I should have tried to make it work.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Contact a lawyer, get your ducks in a row. He is doing nothing to get to the root of his problem. You have nothing to work with. Love yourself more than you love him. Read CL’s article on Real Remorse VS GINR.

      • What memories! My X used to say these types of things to me. He would say I had “trust issues.” Oh yeah? Well you have sticking your dick in whores issues!

        And yes, if he didn’t love me, he would have left a long time ago, blah blah blah. Same bullshit. It’s always our problem alone to “get over”. No amends ever made. They take no responsibility. Remember, he caused those tears!

        • How is this for irony? My ex later remarried and decided to have an open marriage. It blew up in his face. The GF cheated on him and her BF with several other guys neither knew about. After this, he decided he wasn’t cut out for open marriage and demanded his wife give up her BF. His wife decided to keep seeing the BF behind his back. He found out what the wife was doing because of his (and I quote) “PARANOID AND DISTRUSTING NATURE.”

          Don’t be surprised if your ex later turns out to have “trust issues” of his own.

        • Issues….yea…my h1.0 was ENDLESSLY, acutely and absurdly critical of me…24/7 he tore me down by the minute. Gaslighting, mindfucking, lying, manipulating and he further criticized me by saying that I had a “siege mentality”. Well yes I acted like I was under siege, because I WAS !!!

          • I didn’t hear not one unkind word or fights or anything bad til he met whore juice and then he turned on me like I was the plague. Calling me nasty nasty names and proceeded to tell me everything wrong with me and whats perfect and flawless about her! I was astonished that this creature him turned into this nasty snarling monster who tried to blame everything on me and remind me of things I wasn’t even aware of. He thoroughly destroyed my life, my heart, my future. I still am having trouble that all of this even happened once he came out of the newness phase, you know he never felt that way before, he’s so much in love they get along great, yada yada yada, I told him you’ve been through all this before, your first wife, me, they convienently forget all that! He and i got along fine, never fought, same tastes, lots of common interest, him and her, no, they don’t fight every day but they fight a lot. Now he thinks he’s a god in this fucked up world and a king of some kind. He has toned it down a lot and stopped blaming me, now he hates himself. I guess he always thought too much of himself and needed to be put on a pedestal and needed the bitch to do that. But now she wants to be on the pedestal and have him do the bowing. Affair fog, my ass, us chumps get stuck in there not them. They are in the cheater ego entitlement fog of lala land. He hates when I tell people what really happened says it cold and heartless to say that, yep, just like he did to me, cold and heartless, told him your the liar, not me I live with the truth and reality that’s where I live I don’t live in the world where people fuck each other over because they can and everyone is fine with it. And the land of whore juice where fucking a married man is a wonderful thing. He better keep her away from me cause I will tell the truth. Took me a long time to come out of that fog but I’m better now. Still gonna go get therapy to erase him from my brain forever. But he’s being nice and kind to me now cause he wants to be good friends. Just biding my time right now til I get the rest of what I want and then bu bye motherfucker.

    • ““I’m sorry, I do love you or why would I stay to put up with your tears and your anger””

      That is just so cold, and blamey and nasty. I’m so sorry. My DDay timeframe is the same as your but I’ve been married to the asshole for almost 19 years. I have a feeling he cheated before but I just didn’t know it or wasn’t opening my eyes enough. That would have been around the time my son was born.

      I hate to tell you but I think you have a bad one. I know you need the time to get to grips with it, I know I’m most of the way there but still working to get over the “hump” that will take me to freedom. It’s hard to know that you wasted time and energy on a loser.

      I don’t think it will get better,just worse as he becomes more entitled. I’m sorry you have to go through this as a young mother but at least you can get out early and not waste decades of your life on this. It’s a shame to lose the dream, but you have time for a new one.

      • I agree. “I’m sorry, I do love you or why would I stay to put up with your tears and your anger” is cold, blamey and nasty disguised to look as if it’s ‘strong and supportive’, as if he actually values this marriage and this wife. Argh makes ya sick.

        “I’m sorry, I do love you or why would I stay to put up with your tears and your anger” simply means “Your tears and anger don’t affect me much. I can witness them, no problemo, because I don’t have a heart with heartstrings to pull and I don’t have a conscience that can be bruised. I find the emotions on display here a bit irritating to put up with, but not irritating enough that I want to lose my home over it or anything like that. No no, I intend to put up with your irritating and tiresome emotions because I want you to get used to what an awesome fuck monster I am who collects women like other lesser men collect baseball caps.

    • Ambivalent Chump – I really need to say this. Sorry if it’s a 2 x 4 but . . .

      You found out about two fucked up things before you even married this dirt-bag. Three months ago another one. I have news for you: It’s never going to stop. You’re not going to wake up tomorrow with a decent husband. He is exactly who he’s shown you he is.

      Most importantly, you will NEVER be happy with this guy. You can’t trust him and you sure can’t feel safe and cozy with him. Don’t waste your time wishing he was a better man. He’s not, and he never will be. IMO, take that energy and start protecting yourself. Get a lawyer.

      And this bothers me . . . “sometimes I think only the last one is a true d-day so maybe it’s just one affair- that is an adjustment crisis to married life with very little children – and he really does love me he just messed up.”

      AC, people who love you don’t fuck other people. This isn’t an adjustment crisis. This isn’t because you have children. He’s an asshole. Please oh please get a lawyer and set yourself free.

    • Ambivilant Chump,

      I, too, married someone who cheated on me before we got married. In fact, we broke up twice while we were dating because he was dating other women because of all of my “flaws.” (Apparently, he didn’t have any – his lying and cheating weren’t flaws of course.) We get married after he returns to me because he really loves me, I’m the only woman for him and he will never cheat on me again. Fast forward several children and 25 plus years of marriage – he finally leaves me for one of his affair partners because “we were never compatible.” Once I was away from him and began to recover from the 25 plus years of living with this abusive piece of shit, I realized that he had most likely cheated on me the entire marriage. Easier to try to convince me that I was flawed than to admit to himself that he was an asshole.

      It is very difficult to give up the dream of what you wanted and what you thought you had with him and accept the reality of what you actually got and what you actually have. It is beyond heartbreaking. It is painful and difficult. I won’t minimize it. It is frightening and immobilizing. But staying is soul-destroying. It will not get better. Staying with these creeps after they cheat teaches them that we will accept their disrespect and mistreatment, so they continue to disrespect and mistreat us. Love is a behavior – and cheating on you is in no way the behavior of someone who truly loves you.

      You deserve better Ambivilant Chump and I’m sorry to say that I don’t believe you will ever get what you truly deserve if you remain in this marriage. Don’t be like me and wait for him to leave you 25 or 30 years down the road. Get out now and begin making a life for yourself and your children that reflects what you want and what you deserve – and what they deserve. And it isn’t life with this cheating belly-crawling snake disguised as a husband and father.

    • Ambivalent Chump, Here is the point that stand out to me. He cheats on you multiple times. But he says, “‘I’m sorry, I do love you or why would I stay to put up with your tears and your anger’.” Forget the “I’m sorry.” He’s sorry that he got caught and has to “put up with your tears and your anger.” That’s about the shittiest thing he could say without directly insulting you.

      You are hurt and angry and have EVERY RIGHT to be. He did a terrible terrible thing that broke your heart, your trust, your marriage and your family. Yet–he’s the one “putting up” with predictable response to his actions. You may be a romantic who believes in true love, but a man who says this does not have the first clue about love. Not the first clue. And one person cannot make a marriage. He’s shown you what he is. If you stay, you will live this nightmare over and over again. You aren’t ambivalent about your pain or your suffering or the risks to your kids, are you? Because he can leave you high and dry, sue for joint custody and let his next bimbo take care of YOUR kids, and pay no child support.

      Go into Mama Bear mode. See an attorney. Protect yourself and your kids. Get child support ordered and get on with your life. I always say that you can remarry at any point when he’s demonstrated what you did not see before you married him the first time–that he is capable of love, commitment, honesty and fidelity. That he cherishes you and would never do anything guaranteed to cause your tears. Romantic love–meh. We treat it like it’s the end-all, be-all. How many of us fall into “romantic love” because a man is good and honorable and kind? There may be such a great guy out there for you and your kids, but you will never find out if you spend time being “ambivalent” about a guy who has ripped your heart out and run it through the shredder.

    • Ambivalent, I could have written that almost word for word 7 months ago. Leaving my cheater was the most painful thing I have ever had to do. It is so hard to give up on true love. I felt so guilty. Like I was telling the person I loved most in the world, my best friend, my partner, that he wasn’t worth forgiveness. That I never truly loved him. Because if you truly love someone, you never give up on them.

      Oh the bullshit we tell ourselves to keep from making the difficult, painful, but RIGHT choice.
      It’s time to be brave. Walk through the pain and come out on the other side with some very valuable knowledge about what you are worth.

      And I promise you will never discover how precious you are until you get away from that man.

      I am happy now. And safe. And I know what I am worth. It is so much better than having a unicorn.

    • ambivilant chump, decent people don’t go and ‘have coffees with random women’ for starters.
      This prick you call your husband has some serious boundary issues, which are a dealbreaker in itself, EXCLUDING the cheating. And yes, that ‘coffee date woman’ he was cheating with her too – whether or not it was sexual is 100% irrelevant. The fact he was hiding stuff from you, or telling her things that should have been reserved for you – is a blatant lack of respect for you.
      He has shown you, after he was caught, that he was very happy to escalate the situation from ‘coffee dates’ to full blown sex. In short – hes a disrespectful piece of shit.
      Line up your ducks and go full blown nuclear on his arse. There’s nothing to save here.

    • Excuse me, Ambivalent, the poor man is putting up with your tears and anger? Bless his heart, give him a bitch cookie! He’s PUTTING UP WITH your reaction to his heinous behavior?

  • If the “fog” is real, then it is entirely self-generated. Cheaters are like fog machines…when they feel something inconvenient, *poof!* It’s foggy in here! Spit out a little fog to confuse the situation and problem solved. They know how to pull the plug on the fog machine, they just don’t want to because then they loose the sweet, sweet fog of self delusion.

  • The FOG. I too bought into the Fog concept. There is some truth, but IMO it goes like this.

    My Cheater wife’s FOG was lovey wit co-worker, best love, true friend etc. etc… The “FOG is were they believe in an altered reality of their relationships: Chump and kids are the worst and the AP is the Best!

    There is the CHUMP Fog as well…. This were we still believe in the cheater, we trust the cheater will see their wrongs, they’ll see the light, how could they not; right? After 25 years?

    I was just the Chump that paid the bills, cared for the kids, made dinners, paid her mothers bills, and provided for our future. I was the worthless one, that believed in marriage, love, friendship, growth, independence and trust. I truly loved this person that no longer exists.

    Tuesday is getting closer… thanks CN/CL

    • Chris, how did you get out of The fog? What’s your story? I’m stuck now in limbo and not knowing how to break this spell I’m stuck into. My cheating wife has this mostly emotional affair (though some sex was there, too). Now she’s seeing the guy from time to time, she spends 99% of the time with me and our daughter, acting like the perfect wife and mother. We even have sex. She insists to sleep in the same bed, maybe because she knows I cannot resist her. But she still texts, talks on the phone with the guy daily. And she claims she cannot decide, she blames me for the rough patch we had in the last 2 years (it’s true I was stressed, angry and detached from her) and that she cannot trust me anymore that I will not be the same in the future. Should I just give up and leave? How did you break out? Thanks

      • Steve! She’s SEEING this guy? Having SEX with this guy? And TEXTING this guy? And you’re still living with and having sex with her? She’s a cake eater! Shut that shit DOWN.

        Yes, leave. The only thing you’re “giving up” here is being abused.

        Protect yourself and don’t announce yourself, just do it. We will support you.

        • Definitely protect yourself.

          Some ideas:
          – If you haven’t already, cut up and cancel joint credit cards.
          – Open a personal savings/checking account.
          – Change your direct deposit of your paychecks to your own personal account.
          – Contact an attorney for legal advice.
          – If advisable, consider transferring half of a joint savings into your own personal savings.
          – Take photographs of all possessions in the house.
          – Collect bank statements and credit card statements.
          – Keep track of any paper trail.
          – If she spent money on the affair, take any proof with you to the attorney
          – Consider writing a journal with dated events of her actions.
          – Get STD tested to be on the safe side
          – Do not let her run roughshod over your boundaries. If she calls or contacts you to bitch at your or threaten you, tell her she can contact you (about necessary stuff with kids, etc) when she can talk civilly.

          Also, I found it easier to break out with a support system. Even if that means this site or an online support group like daily strength. I also went to a divorce care group. They have a search for local meetings on their site divorcecare.com.

          P.S. There’s some irresistible faithful women out there too.

      • Leave, Steve. Save your self respect and leave. She is not irresistible. Hundreds of men see her each day and manage not to have sex with her. You can be one of them. The sex with her does not mean to her what it means to you. She is using it as a way of keeping her cake going. You are using it as a way to have an intimate connection with her. She doesn’t have to decide. You do.

      • Steve
        Read your post it is crazy. You can’t resist her? Kick her out of the bed/house and maybe….you could resist. You can ” break out” a number of ways and usually the first thing is someone gets the boot. You didn’t mention kids so in that case it would be easier to get through this..I

      • Steve,

        Run, do not walk, as quickly as you can away from her. Don’t accept the blame for her behavior. Cake-eater is too nice a term for what she’s doing. Her blaming you is a way to rationalize her total disregard and disrespect of you. If you allow it, it will continue. Leave her and find someone who will truly love and respect you. Run away from the skanky, over-used and indiscriminate vagina that she has convinced you is special. Run toward self-love, self-worth and self-respect – and that is nowhere near this malevolent, empty dress posing as a wife and mother.

        Good luck.

      • Steve, getting out of the fog is a time thing. It gradually hurts less each day until one day it doesn’t hurt anymore. The pain will carry on as long as you stay in this limbo, it prevents the healing and moving on from starting.
        I don’t know how much use this will be to you but I’m going to share what helped me (I don’t think I’m completely healed but I’m well on my way.)
        1) Leave! You must leave the situation. After you have left you must go as non contact as you possibly can. ONLY communicate via email when absolutely necessary for dealing with practical matters. Difficult, but the biggest step. Never ever reply instantly to their email communication. Always wait at least 2 hours to reply, it prevents emotional knee jerk responses which they love and use to suck you back in (hovering).
        2) Establish a daily routine. Like timetable to the second. Have every moment of your day planned out, know what you are going to do and when. I even timetabled “do laundry” “buy Starbucks”. I was spinning and confused so badly that I needed to not have any decisions to make. It gave me a structure when the rest of my life had non and allowed me to be on autopilot if necessary to still function in the world. This will pass, but it certainly helps for the initial painful first months.
        3) Commit to not thinking about them for just one day at a time. Like an addict in recovery. Don’t wonder how you will live without them forever, or what forever will look like. Just commit to not contacting them or ruminating on them for just today. Then, make the same decision tomorrow.
        4) Fake it until you make it. Even when you desperately want to talk to them, ask them questions, point out their flaws DON’T. It will hold up your progress. Act as if it’s five years in the future.
        5) Eat well, exercise, rest and sleep well. Sounds like cliche cheesy advice but it does help enormously. It’s another timetable distraction plus it helps your self esteem to look after yourself when you have been treated with such disregard.
        6) Learn about character/personality disorders. For me at least understanding their craziness helped me to let go of it.
        I hope this helps somehow. I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this but don’t think of the big picture right now. Go through the motions and break it up into manageable parts. The day will come when the pain will lessen. It’s well worth breaking free.

        • Bravo Ninja Chump – excellent, excellent advice!

          Steve – at the very, very least (I know sometimes it isn’t practically possible to get them, or you, out of the house). Stop sleeping with her! Every time you have sex with her you are strengthening the chemical bonds that tie you to her! She doesn’t care – sadly it doesn’t seem to work both ways (ask me how I know) when one partner has one foot out the door anyway. And on that subject – if she can’t make up her mind – you or him – make that decision for her – tell her you are no longer an option! I know you love her, and you want her to choose you – but Steve – you weren’t born to be ‘option maybe’ for ANYONE! Fuck that noise! There a hundreds of female chumps here, lamenting the fact that there doesn’t appear to be any decent men out there (we thank God for a male chump posters to prove we need not worry about that) – guaranteed, there a real, good, true authentic women out there who would cherish you, and who you could love and feel truly loved by.

          Good luck to you x

        • Jeez, Ninja Chump, this is brilliant. Wish I had this list when I was a quaking, feverish, sleepless, exhausted, humiliated, flabbergasted protoplasmic pool of hopelessness.

          Immediately I was afraid that I might die. And later afraid that I wouldn’t.

          To all newbies in the Chump FOG (which I survived and hence, believe in) ~~ take heed of Ninja Chump. Sweet advice.

          • Virago – oh how I relate to your comment “I was afraid that I might die. And later afraid that I wouldn’t.” That really sums it up. Glad you’re free.

        • Steve

          She is TOXIC. That sums it uo. To detox from an ABUSER you have to maintain NOCONTACT. You will start seeing everything clearly. There is a thing called cheater logic. It kept me stuck for years. ABUSERS BLAMESHIFT. making you feel it is your fault. These monsters are selfish and take care of their own needs. You deserve respect. DUMP the whore.

          • Freefrom I hope it helps. Stay strong reclaim your power. It does get better. Just do it one day at a time. Hugs

      • Steve, please leave this situation. It is not good for you. She is going to keep you on a string for as long as she can. Either pick up and go or kick her out. The best thing you can do is go No Contact. I swear to you once you stop interacting with her you will begin to see the truth. The toxic environment you were soaking in will seep from you and you will see the truth. It takes some time. but it will happen. If you are waiting for her to see the error of her ways it will not happen and if it does she would never admit to begin wrong or that she did anything. She will simply blame shift to what you did or did not do right. Steve, it’s time for you to go.

      • Steve, are you wanting to be in a polygamous relationship? Bc you are. You have a wife and brother-husband. Ok with that? That what you were hoping to teach your kids about? They learn what they see. They see you taking the abuse, they learn to live with that kind of instability and mindfuckery in their lives. You looking forward to the next 20 years of this?
        What do you really want?
        How do you break out? You decide this isn’t ok with you, you see a lawyer, and you divorce her ass. Read everything on this site and learn about personality disorders. See a therapist. You shift from abused husband mode into protective father mode.

        • Arlo is right about the kids, Steve, I was raised by a narcissist father and a chump mother and grew up and married, basically, my father and, for 36 years, lived my mother’s life. Run! And model healthy relationships for your children!

          • +1 – I was raised by a narcissist mother and chump father and could not become attracted to anyone who was not a narcissist. I married a narcissist and lived my father’s life. Except worse, because my mother was not a cheater. This dysfunction culminated in living in a long-distance polygamous marriage for 3 years. The only one in a FOG was me. I’ve finally taken the steps to divorce the monster. And believe me, he too could come around and be charming, present me with flowers and cards and sleep with me. It keeps you addicted – trauma bonded. At a minimum, until you are ready, you can’t sleep with her or pay her bills while she is involved with this other man.

            • Truth Janus!!!

              Only distance and NC can give you the clarity needed to cut the trauma bond and actually SEE the disordered pathology you think you are in love with. With time and self care you are able to cut the ties and walk away with confidence in yourself, knowing you can be happier, healthier and free of the constant chaos and drama these dysfunctional, unhealthy relationships thrive on.

              Get out and be free and mighty for yourself and your children Steve 😀

      • You might have been angry. You might have been detached. Did you fall into someone else’s vagina? No? Then it’s all manipulation. All of it. She could have left you. She could have made you a line in the sand and said ‘we need counselling or you have to leave’ she could have said ‘can we work on building ourselves back’ nope. Not her plan. She found a new guy, uses it to punish you and has both of you at her call. This is awful. Awful. Get a lawyer. Get financials. Make a plan. Make sure you understand your legal rights for parenting & visitation and support etc. Then ask her to leave. Being angry doesn’t excuse infidelity.

      • Steve, I’m a fellow male chump. Here is your to do list, here are some things I did, or wish I did:

        Phone a lawyer, figure legal stuff out.
        Phone your doctor or go to a clinic, get tested
        Phone as many friends as you have, even if you have not talked to them in a while, most people are willing to listen
        Find out if it puts your access to your child at risk if you leave
        Do some math, figure what you can afford, if you need to sleep at a relative or friends’ place, and it doesn’t affect custody do it
        Tonight, get some blankets, either a, sleep on the couch or the spare bedroom (install a lock if you don’t feel safe)

        Your world now consists of two people, you and your daughter. If you do not get to see your daughter, you make sure you can phone or send her a message everyday.

        Protect yourself, be the best you can be, for you and for your daughter.

      • Hi guys, and thank you, thank you, thank you for your support and advice. My D day was 13 November and I was shocked and like leaving a nightmare for the last two months. I told about it only to my best friend, who’s kicking my butt for being an idiot, like you guys.
        To Ninja Chump, I don’t really need to learn about personality disorders, she’s diagnosed Bipolar. I went through a lot with her and this is the only thing (and probably the last) I didn’t experience in the 22 years of marriage (or maybe I don’t know about it). I always hoped things will be better, for her, me and daughter. This probably tops it.
        I’m worried about my kid. She’s 16 now and I hope she’ll understand and navigate without too much pain through the separation.
        My only real option here is to leave. I can’t make her leave the house, the laws are as such around here. I’ll just tell my daughter why and go.
        Thanks for the checklist, ninja chump. I’ll keep you informed guys.

        • Steve–Step 1 is always COPY the FINANCIALS–former tax statements, retirement account statements (including from the year you were married), bank accounts, credit card statements for at least as long as the affair has been going on (and you probably don’t know, so at least a year), life insurance policies. THEN call your lawyer. As soon as cheater-wife knows you are making moves to leave, she may start hiding or configuring assets.

          • Steve….Tempest is right. I now work for an attorney…..getting divorced and paying over $70,000 in lawyer fees and I am still not divorced…..
            DIVORCE IS ABOUT MONEY.
            And I have seen men come in the office and get shafted…and the wife is the cheater.
            Get the financials…and the proof of the affair documented.
            Your daughter is my daughters age when our life imploded….. she is old enough to see the truth. Be prepared she may take her mother’s side.
            My other daughter sided with her cheater asshole father. And embraces his whore. It sucks….I can’t help that.
            What I did do was help me….secure my assets and the daughter who was kicked to the curb with me.
            The law sucks……
            but do what is suggested…..get the money documents and proof…..
            then exit, gracefully.
            Because that wife of yours….will go Linda Blair on you when she senses the jig is up.

        • Steve, sounds like you’ve had a rough go of it for a very long time. I guarantee you’ll be surprised at how well your daughter manages. My teenagers stunned me with their maturity and composure. You and your daughter will both be ok.

        • Steve – glad to see you have an exit plan.
          There are plenty of male chumps on here too like me.
          I spent 8 years with my BPD/NPD ex hoping things would get better. It doesn’t because they don’t want to change – taking her to therapy etc.
          The fact that she blame shifts onto for causing the affair tells you everything you need to know about her. Mine tried this too along with blaming everything else shitty in her life.
          Like you the affair was the final straw for me.
          Stay mighty

        • So sorry Steve that she put you in this situation, there is no good option when you’re married to a person that chooses lying and disrespecting you as their preferred problem solving strategy (ask me how I know…)

          I agree with all the CN comments, it is key for you to protect yourself. Stop having sex with her and put your financial and legal escape game plan together asap.

          Above all else, stop listening to her, and only assess her intentions through her actions. The person you thought you married is not real, she only exists in your head. Your wife is a horrible person who is abusing you and is getting extra-sweet cake from her AP and you, she is hoping this impunity will last forever. This situation will continue until you work on your self-esteem enough to be rightfully angry about how disrespectful and callous your wife is to your marriage and your kid.

          Please give us updates, CN is here to help you through this.

        • Oh, I see you have an exit planned. Think about whether your daughter at 16 might prefer to live with you. If you file for custody, and this is her preference, you might get it. Or at the very least, joint custody. Don’t assume you won’t have a chance at that.

          • Tell your daughter why you are leaving (if she doesn’t already know). This (a) makes you the parent she can trust, and (b) makes it more likely you can get more custody time.

  • This is similar to my experiences with my ex Idiotic Twat that I started having a little baby panic attack. Ok, ok, so I was just a little twitchy and a racing heart… But still, the PTSD is real.

    The inability for the malignantly disordered to realize the consequences of their actions just baffles me. For example, Idiotic Twat warned me two years ago that he would not “pay me to babysit our children,” i.e. Child Support. And, for two years, he got away with it by stalling our case and keeping it from going to court.

    In January of 2015, a year ago, the judge ordered him to start paying me. He refused. I filed for contempt. He paid about half of what he owed me the week of court IN AUGUST, and was held in contempt. The other half of what he owed me turned into a penalty, and was tacked on to what he already owed me. Basically, his debt doubled.

    I thought that *might* make him realize that the judge means business when he ordered him to pay me. The next month comes around, and no check. I filed for contempt again, and we went to court in November. He was ordered to pay more, and it was garnished from his check.

    Earlier this month, I still had not seen the first check, and knew something was up. I called the payroll office at his employer. She never received the papers. Yet, the clerk of court has a signature on file that the order was, indeed, served to his employer. His employer happens to be his mom’s boyfriend.

    I sent the papers to the payroll office myself, and finally got the first check this week. YAY!

    Unfortunately, my daughter, who is 4 and was born 14 weeks premature, has to have some dental surgery. I texted him letting him know, and telling him his half that he has to pay after insurance ($500).

    Idiotic Twat demanded proof that my child needed the surgery before he would agree to pay half. He accused me of using a fake surgery for my child as a ploy to swindle him out of $500. My response to him:

    “Why would I use a fake surgery for my child to try to swindle you out of $500 when you owe me over $5,000? That’s the dumbest plan ever. Pay the dentist directly.”

    This is how you know you are dealing with the malignantly disordered. My thoughts just don’t work like that. But, his first reaction was to think that I sent him a text to con some money out of him, especially when we only communicate via text, and only about once every 2-3 weeks. Sheesh…

    • HI, Kelli,

      I feel your pain, the oain of dealing with those who aspire to be dead beat parents. My STBX, like yours?, uses the strategy of ‘The best defense is a good offense.’ He has even told me, ‘The Court doesn’t care about the truth….it’s just a game,’ and he plays it, saying ‘Nothing personal; just business.’ Then he tells me that he loves me and wants to reconcile. What mind-f–kery.

      My STBX took me to Court and keeps getting away with abuse–to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars because our current judge thinks my abusive, lying STBX is charming. I don’t get it. Is she terribly biased, or is she just convinced that the earth is flat if he says so? My very expensive lawyers (plural) have been virtually no help. Like vampire bats, they just gorge themselves on almost 40 years of my life savings. I look on, as I have no legal recourse and nothing left with which to fight, as my assets and dreams for my kids and me get sucked away. If I had fully realized that I couldn’t get justice, then I would have gone pro per (represented myself). At least I would have saved tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees.

      I hope that the legal system starts smiling upon you and your daughter, giving you way better treatment.

  • I believed in “Affair Fog” too. I had read so much about and I just knew, I KNEW I could get him to come out of it (ha ha, it’s so darkly humorous now). “My love for him will transcend all and HE WILL COME OUT OF IT” thinking and all that nonsense that we chumps really, really do believe in and think that our cheating spouses believe in too. It’s been two years though for me (a new kind of DDay is coming for my stbx – I’m calling it Divorce Day!!!) and not only does he still profess to love the affair partner, he’s a complete asshole to me. His actions tell an even stronger story! He’s not willing, has never been willing and doesn’t even attempt to make ammends AND make the move to move forward with our lives. I see that in your story as well Liz. Keep that “I don’t want him in my life anymore” attitude. You’re so much better off without the drama, gut wrenching pain and humiliation he brings to your life!

  • I really hope for an “I fucked up” moment. I’m barely hanging on every day and would even accept that as payment for this suffering, just some realization of what he did and what he lost (his comfortable existence, being loved, etc.). But he seems just fine. 11 years together… Like it never happened.

    • SiS, I am very sorry that you are in such an awful situation. I don’t know how long you have been coming here to CN but please keep coming back here every day and read. We have all been “barely hanging on” at some point in this terrible journey (I don’t know what else to call it !) but please do not wait for him to apologise because he isn’t going to. I know that it hurts your heart to hear that but trust me, eventually the hurt will become less and whilst you know what he has lost, he doesn’t and he wouldn’t care it he did. I wasted 46 years on the ex and he never even looked over his should as he walked away. Hard to believe that I meant absolutely nothing to him at all. You will get to a place of acceptance and peace but please stay with us here. I wish you all the very best. xo

        • Maree:
          I can so related to what you wrote. Mine did not looks even once. It was like one day I stopped existing in this world and in his world. It been a while and I’m still not over it . Mostly I feel ashamed of how I acted after D Day and blame myself for being such a lousy judge of character.
          I’m waiting for the Karma bus but I’m starting to doubt it exists.
          Case and point: My friend was cheated on by her husband when she had cancer. They had know each other since kindergarten. He married the other women (who as also married at the time with two kids) in 2004. They are still together and happily married (as far as I know) while my friend endured a life threatening sickness and all the agony of a divorce and the abuse that cheating spouses inflict. I don’t think there is Karma.
          Sorry! A little of topic and a bit of rant but “looked over his shoulder” comment hit a nerve. I guess the red head and him with be forever in ‘Twu Wuv”.

      • Maree, I just want to add that the fact that you meant nothing to your husband after 46 years doesn’t say ANYTHING about you–it speaks volumes about that piece of shit excuse for a human being. When you see this clearly, this situation will cease to have emotional power over you. Think about it–objectively. What kind of person would or could do that? Let the rejection and pain roll away because it was never about you. In fact, he probably was able to prey upon you because you are a kind and loving person. I have to say, hearing your story I would almost bet that you haven’t seen the last of him. But when and if this old man tries to come crawling back into your life, I hope that you won’t be open to even speaking with him!

        • He won’t come crawling back of that I am certain because he really is in love with his little piece. I can state with my hand on my heart, he is safer in S.E. Asia than he would be back here in Australia. I could not be within 100 miles of him because I would vomit and then go to gaol for attempted manslaughter. I am joking on the manslaughter although a while back, who knows but not now. I don’t care what happens to him and our 2 adult kids will have to handle everything. I won’t be told of his demise if it comes about because my kids have cut me out of their lives. They prefer their predatory sperm donor and his little piece.

          • Just wondering if your kids preference has anything to do with the hope of a substantial inheritance or any other funding from your ex. Hard to believe the kids would be ok with his relationship with a young prostitute with her own children if they had nothing to gain ($$) from their Dad. If that is the case, well more than likely your kids will be very disappointed as Dad’s new girlfriend (& her family) will do what they can to wipe him out.

            • Hope Maree won’t mind me saying – but unfortunately for Maree, her children inherited the ‘complete narc bastard’ gene from the sperm donor.

              • Agreed Jayne.

                KB22, my kids have lost everything I worked hard for, for them. A 3rd world illiterate and her kids are now the beneficiaries of everything I supported him in accumulating our retirement wealth and now nothing. My family has lost more than money could ever buy.

            • Maree, a prostitute is NEVER an upgrade. It’s not even possible. Forget that Pretty Woman movie horseshit. I drive thru an area known for prostitution daily and they don’t call them Lot Lizards for nothing. They would have to pay me to touch them, and I’m not for sale, lol.

              • Maree…. everytime I read your story my heart aches. You know my adult daughter as well had chosen her father and his whore and her 3 sons over her own sister and Mother. I watched how she bounced between he and I for awhile. Until I drew a line in the proverbial sand. She allowed him into my rental house….several times when I was not home. Then she denied it. Then she set me up in a restaurant with dinner with her….and her Dad hiding in a corner….only to have him call the police that I was in violation of his protective order. …off to jail I went….She picked the restaurant.
                She stole my jewelry and sold it….she emptied my bank accounts while I sat in jail for 20 days.
                Nice huh???……I feel like I gave birth to the Omen child.
                I have learned….you may be my biological blood relative….but that doesn’t mean you’re “family”. My friends are my family. They have never wavered.
                My daughter….from what I hear….is following in her Dad’s footsteps….her boots have been under quite a few men’s beds in 3 years. It makes me sick. 2 of them….while Dad was downstairs screwing his whore in my bed.

              • Tracy, as much as we love our children and that love will never die, we have to face the reality that our daughters are not our friends and I can also add my son into the mix. Both of mine have played a terrible part in my betrayal and abandonment just like your daughter has done to you. I have now also drawn a line in the sand and I know in my heart that there is no going back. I would not tolerate for one second from a stranger what my 2 kids have done to me. I am happy as long as they are healthy and happy. I have done my job. My love and best wishes to you. We are worth it !!

    • Sad in Seattle, I wanted an ‘I fucked up’ moment, too. Or at least an honest accounting.

      I used to think we could talk about anything. Now, in the handful of times we’ve talked, he’ll avoid any hint of blame by saying, “I am not safe in this conversation.” WTF?

      He was “safe” fucking prostitutes, fucking strangers he met in bars, posting naked pictures of his erect penis on Craigslist ads…but he’s not “safe” talking to me about those activities?

      He carries a loaded gun everywhere, studies martial arts…but not “safe” telling me about his teenage webcam girlfriend he sends thousands of dollars to…

      He also doesn’t want to talk to me because I make him feel like he’s a “bad” person and our minister assures him he’s not.

      PS I also live in Seattle, if you ever want to meet and commiserate

      • Wow Roaring… Were we married to the same looser? Prostitutes, stranger sex… Did yours sleep with men too? What about transsexual hookers?

        I took the the blame, as expected. Just days into every DDay, his tune would change from “oh pleaaaase forgive me” to “get over it.”

        Ps – I would love to have a coffee and chat but I don’t live in Seattle 🙂

    • SiS oh yes I remember so well that feeling of just barely hanging on. It will get better soon, much much better. Trust me on that.

      Like others have said, there is no “OMG I fucked up!” day. If they were capable of feeling even half the pain they put us through, they wouldn’t be cheaters in the first place. Because empathy is the gate that comes down and stops us from being so hurtful and cruel. No empathy? No gate.

      Your detaching from him emotionally is the best revenge possible because it deprives him of his power over you. When you realise that you’re your own agent and he can no longer manipulate you and make you dance on a string, that’s the only time he’ll feel anything like regret. Regret for himself, obviously, and a dent in his ego.

      • Thanks, Hope. The whole “I fucked up” concept has so many layers. I bet they’re not happy paying alimony. Then there’s having to secure new supply and organize their own lives (pay bills, grocery shopping, etc.). These things are regretful.

        It’s funny how he actually claimed to want the whole marriage and kids thing then fought me tooth and nail for his freedom, all the while insisting he wanted the marriage and kids thing. Now he’s 45 and all the fun of chasing 20 year olds will get old soon once there’s no angry wife shaking the rolling pin at him. So yes, he’s lost that power over me. Now the sex with these whores is not secret and dirty. He is actually available to these women.

        He probably regrets giving up the show life we had because now he has to act quickly to find someone new to marry, knock up, buy a house, etc. I know these assholes work fast but it’s still work for him, finding someone educated, professional, acceptable to him and his circle (blech), and willing to put up with his crap (sexless marriage, cheating, spendthrift, liar) and sweep her off her feet to regain what he’s lost. Perhaps there’s some regret for that. But never for what they did – never, never, never.

        • Very wise! You hit the nail on the head — so many of them DO want marriage, kids, family life. Oh but, um, AND they also want tawdry stained-sheet arrangements with some woman who does tawdry stained-sheet arrangements. One isn’t any fun without the other. One without the other makes him have a sad.

          Seems to me that, frequently, not just the spouse but the AP are both lied to and manipulated into the situation so that Mr Wants And Needs gets his. He even lies to himself. He pretends, for a week or a month or ten years or however long it lasts, that he’s a badass 15th Century sultan or something with a harem of willing ladies all craving his attention because he’s so awesome. Hilarious the truth is that he wouldn’t have had any women at all, ever, had he not been thoroughly deceptive and duplicitous from the get-go.

  • Instead of “fog”, my STBX refers to it as “a really fucked up place”. As in, “I was in a really fucked up place when I was doing this!!”…..twice a day, everyday, for six months with his ho-worker.

    • The language they use is always about externalization. I was “in a place”. A place, something separate and apart from me. Not a part of who I am. No buddy, you weren’t “in a really fucked up place.” You were a really fucked up person. And you almost certainly still are.

    • I’m now recalling (3 yrs back) my now ex saying “oh no, that wasn’t me….that was the addict.” This kind of double talk, double life, disorder was twisted, yes! Getting away from this cheater was the gift! I try not to dwell that almost 3 decades was spent with someone that I had no idea was so messed up to say the least. Whew!!!! Fog or no fog……gotta gain a life and that entails leaving a cheater. Pronto

  • What kind of male person (not a man) would choose a skanky ho–the type who would get involved with a married guy who has a pregnant wife–over his wife, and the mother of his children?

    Answer THAT.

    Because there’s a troll whore under every rock if that’s what you’re into. And apparently that’s what he’s into.

    See, he’s not the type who’s into long-term commitments, protecting his family, circling the wagons, loving his wife and kids, seeing things through to the winter of life, realizing that his values have made him a rich man.

    No, he’s into cheap whores.

    And the point that he realizes he made a mistake? It won’t be because he suddenly changed values, nor because he realized he HURT you and the kids, nor because he’s ready to be the guy I described above. No, it’ll be because he misses the part about you being useful to him (something I finally learned from our Chump Lady.)

    This takes time, but you’re well on your way to clarity.

    Please stay off the RIC sites. They are hurting you emotionally. One day you will truly truly understand that your ex is incompatible with you, and always will be. Stick to YOUR values, they are righteous. Go live a value-based life. You’re likely to find a good man out there who’s looking for a girl like you.

    • “What kind of male person (not a man) would choose a skanky ho–the type who would get involved with a married guy who has a pregnant wife–over his wife, and the mother of his children?” ANSWER: the same kind of female person who chooses a fucking loser magic penis man and does the exact same thing to her spouse and children.

  • CL is right, as always. You know when you will really see that “Woah I fucked up” look on his face?? When you follow the advice that she has given you and lawyer up and impose the much deserved consequences on his ass.

    These assholes aren’t sorry, and they never truly connect, it’s all an act. Quite disturbing how much you realize this after being discarded and wading through the destruction. The whole “we’re so happy together” act doesn’t fool me.

    I’ve watched my X-hole tread deeper and deeper into his own destruction over this past year, if OWhore made him better he would be living better, making better choices and behaving like a normal human being. He’s not. She believes the lies, just like I did, and I can only hope that he causes chaos in her life and it costs her. She deserves it, I didn’t, neither did our son or his children and wife from his last marriage. He hasn’t done ONE single thing right since the day he walked out our door and I can’t wait to see karma and consequences bite him properly in his disordered ass.

    Good Luck Liz, you will get tons of good advice, laughs and encouragement here. Xoxo.

    • That’s true. It won’t be “Oh man, I fucked up. I’m SOOOOO sorry I hurt my spouse and kids. It will be “Oh man, I fucked up. I’m SOOOOOOO sorry I got caught and lost my fake happy family image and half my money.”

  • The more I read the more my heart hurt. So many stories like you guys said. We are afraid, in denial etc. Sometimes we have no option to be in the fog full of poop ? while we line our plan or make a decision. These POS❗️

  • I would argue that the question of whether or not the “fog” is real or not is irrelevant.
    If I understand the theory, the “fog” is the emotional high that cheaters get on once they’re in the midst of the affair. Their brains have the same reaction to the feely-good nature of the affair (i.e., “kibbles”) as a heroin addict does to his chemical addiction.
    First, if that’s the case, that still doesn’t excuse why they got into the affair in the first place. There was no “fog” then. There was a willful, conscious choice to get into an illicit violation of the marriage vows, with full knowledge that this would hurt the spouse horribly. See Tracey’s comment about this, always and ever, being a character problem.
    Second, if cheaters really are in some kind of physical addiction that makes it almost impossible for them to walk away from, that makes it MORE imperative that we chumps ditch them, not hang around waiting for them to stop tearing our hearts out. If your spouse is caught up in something that his body is addicted to like a hard narcotic, how likely is he to actually give it up? All the more reason for chumps to give up on the lousy bums as soon as possible.

  • So much truth. And the clarity of this statement made me laugh “You know how you can tell if people are assholes? They behave like assholes.” Way to bring it to the crux of the issue!

  • Cheater fog- is this the carebears or some other children’s cartoon where they make bad stuff ACtUAL things? oh my god call Rainbow Dash! If it came around once, and we have to forgive, chances are that pesky cloud is going to come back…. That’s the dumbest shit I have ever heard. I fucking LOVE butter tarts. If I eat too many, I get really fat.. So I choose to get my butter tarts from one place I like the best. I really care that the owner operator gets my business, and nurture the consumer relationship. fog just means they get a pass for making bad decisions and try to tell us that it was a phase, they didn’t pay for or think about what it does to everyone for eating all the butter tarts. Nope. Mullets, acid wash jeans, giant shoulder pads, that time you wore 6 inch stilettos to Disneyland. Those were bad choices, they are forgiveable. An affair is the equivalent to a face tattoo- you own it, you’re stuck with it, you will probably regret it but never say that, and it affects a lot of shit, forever. Feeling bad or regretting it doesn’t make it go away. Fog. My ass.

    • ‘An affair is the equivalent to a face tattoo-‘ … Oh God, I wish I could tattoo loads of stuff on his face! … it would be like a public health warning! 😀

  • I believe in the “fog”, to some extent, but not it’s implications.

    Cheaters are definitely disordered. There is literal mental illness there. Virtually everything my wife did in her life, going far beyond just the serial cheating, was self-medication of one form or another for profoundly deep-seated self-esteem issues and depression.

    The problem with calling this mental illness “fog” is twofold:

    One: Real fog eventually lifts, and is completely external to the things it obscures. The tendency to commit adultery, the ongoing incapacity to accurately predict, let alone care about other’s responses to your actions, is a deep-seated and almost certainly permanent defect in the cheater’s character. This “fog” is part of them, and will not lift. To call it “fog” is to latch onto the false hope that it may eventually go away. It virtually certainly won’t.

    Two: Calling this mental illness “fog” gives the impression that the cheater is not morally responsible for their actions while they’re in the fog. Like someone who bumps into you in dense fog because they can’t see, it’s not their fault. This is, not to put too fine a point on it, bullshit. You can accidentally bump into someone in fog. You might even be able to accidentally shoot yourself or someone else (if there’s a gun handy) if you’re depressed. You can’t /accidentally/ carry on numerous affairs over a period of several years. It just doesn’t work that way. Like the song on the old kid’s show: “One of these things is not like the others…”

    • Excellent reply, HeatDeath. “Virtually everything my wife did in her life, going far beyond just the serial cheating, was self-medication of one form or another for profoundly deep-seated self-esteem issues and depression.” This. Totally this.

  • Seeing the question about whether or not this fog is real, reminds me of discussions on whether or not sex addiction is real. Dear god, I wasted so many years wondering what was in my husbands head and caring about what he was going through and how he felt. Low self esteem, sex addiction, fog, does it really matter? Our OWN feelings have to matter more to us than theirs! I am not promoting the kind of narcissism these guys exhibit, but there has to be balance in a relationship. When we allow someone elses feeling to consistently trump our own, we aren’t being kind or loving, we are being chumps! My high standards of what I expected from myself as a wife and partner kept me in an emotionally abusive cycle with a serial cheater for 10 years. I expected everything from myself and virtually NOTHING from him. I was a non-stop kibble machine. Thank god I finally saw the light! Save yourself–get out!

    • ‘My high standards of what I expected from myself as a wife and partner kept me in an emotionally abusive cycle with a serial cheater for 10 years. I expected everything from myself and virtually NOTHING from him. I was a non-stop kibble machine’.

      Standing Ovation bonniesew! – Those are wise, wise words. Thank you 🙂 x

    • Fact is though, people with low self esteem don’t cheat. They still realise that fucking someone over like that is wrong on the most fundamental of levels.
      Its the same drivel that people say re. bullies, that they have low self esteem.
      No. They (and cheaters) genuinely think that they are better than everyone else, therefore they can do whatever the fuck they please. And everyone bows to their might and ego.

      • Totally agree, Lania–the evidence does NOT support that bullies have low self-esteem; quite the opposite (Ray Baumeister has a lot of work on this). Same with narcs–the “low self-esteem” is nothing more than a pity play to manipulate chumps. They tend to think quite well of themselves, cheater narcs.

        • Tempest, I know this from experience – I was severely bullied by a group of girls for quite a number of years. All of them thought they were entitled to treat me like complete shit, and their outward appearance to others was that they were a ‘model example’ of what was ‘upper class society’. Not to mention the gaslighting mindfuck where teachers accused me of having issues, and the embarrassment of them proclaiming publically that that was the case. Its always fun when you have dozens of people hear, in a public setting, that you have mental issues.

          The funny thing is though, anger was what got me through it, and anger was what eventually stopped it (I nearly killed one of them with my bare hands when they went too far one day, and I snapped). They left me alone after that. Its why I always tell people to harness their anger – but don’t let it completely destroy them. If it destroys you, it only affects you and not the bastard who is doing wrong by you. Sorta like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.

  • A “fog” didn’t make him that way. That is who he is. If the fog exists, it’s kibbles. It’s his addict’s high. Kibbles feel great — better than the love of your family. He’s sick in the head, and that’s nothing to do with you.

    It’s chemical romance, not affair fog. To me, FOG is the, “Fear | Obligation | Guilt” that my cheating narcissist wife used to steamroll me into submission; all the while she was giddily playing luvie-duvie with her piece-of-shit-asshole boyfriend.

    Our bodies produce bonding neurochemicals when we meet somebody we’re attracted to; dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxycontin, etc.. They’re addictive. They make us feel fanTAStic! Want MORE! Arrh! Arrh! Arrh!

    But when we progress into a long-term relationship, our bodies produce enough vasopressin which supresses the dopamine and norephinephrine – we don’t seem to want to hump anyone else. Not the narcissists. Exactly as Chump Lady says, the cheating piece-of-shit assholes are just addicted to feel-good kibbles.

      • With all due respect to science, I still think it comes down to choice. I love man oogling. God made some nice specimens. I however do not become overcome with lust and seek to bed them. And I am no prude. I will do most things…just with one dedicated partner.

        • *Looking* is fun, it can be natural and harmless! I look at women, too. People are visually stimulated, and we all like eye candy. I love what you said, just do it with one dedicated partner, cheating is NOT the next step!

  • We don’t buy into the idea of rape fog, or petty theft fog or burglary fog, why would we accept affair fog?
    This whole notion makes no sense to me.
    What my cheater did was cold, calculated and intentional.
    I’m betting it was the same way for everyone here.
    The affair fog premise is as believable as Narkles the Clown saying it was an accident.

      • Perfect analogy for any deliberate act. Is there pre meditated murder fog? Criminal acts require intent and the act. Murderer decides to kill rationalises it and gets tools to do act. Cheaters decide yo cheat rationalise it and get the tools to act ( extra cell phone, new underwear,etc.). They will claim they did not intend to become physical with that person. They are right…it could have been anybody. But be sure that they had already rationalized cheating before they did it.

        • Mandie101, ex went ALL OUT for the whore. Home phone converted to cell so he could whore in private, traded family van for SUV, chest tattoo (ughhhh), new clothes, new dog, new fake ass personality. He should have just brought the check book and paid the slimy whore directly, that is what she requires, apparently. His efforts must not have paid off, cause he did me the (alledged) favor of “honoring his boring commitment to his marriage”. What a fucking loser turd.

  • I’ve never understood the ‘cheater in fog’ thing. I found dealing with a cheater more akin to dealing with a violent drunk.

    • Because cheaters are timid forest creatures and we must tread on eggshells to not piss them and their precious ego off!
      (When, in reality – calling cheaters out on their bullshit is the only correct way to go about it)

      • Exactly right! The whole analogy of the fog is used for two reasons. One is so that cheaters don’t feel bad about what they’ve done – who could be blamed for getting lost in a fog? The other is to make chumps feel bad about being angry about it – only a complete meanie could be angry with a poor sad person lost in a fog.

        However the fog analogy doesn’t bear any resemblance to the reality.

        Dealing with a drunk or high person is much closer to the mark. For one thing, no-one ever wants to get into a fog. There’s no pleasure there. However cheaters are actually having a great time. They do it because it’s fun – just like people enjoy being drunk or high. Secondly people make a choice about whether to drink or take drugs or not – just like a cheater makes a decision to cheat. They have moral agency. This is demonstrated by the fact that society makes people accountable for what they do under the influence – e.g. the offence of drunk driving for example. Similarly it does society and the cheater themselves no favours at all to fail to hold them accountable for the damage they have done. Finally, for the chump, it shows clearly why it’s best to get yourself to safety. You would not allow yourself and your life to be at the mercy of a violent drunk/addict. You need to protect yourself, physically, financially and emotionally in that situation just as you do if your physical safety, financial security and emotional well-being is at the mercy of a cheater.

        • Society excuses adultery like it excuses little else. If your business partner of 15 years embezzles $50,000 for his own purposes, the court readily holds him accountable to the partnership. If Charlie Sheen exposes women to HIV, he is reviled and sued. But in many states, even the Chump’s own attorney advises the Chump – subjected to emotional and financial infidelity and STDs – to get over it, move on, cut your losses, there’s not much to be done. As though you are high schoolers breaking up.

          The lack of adequate consequences is what allows this to continue. As others have noted, we don’t refuse to prosecute tax evasion or murder, regardless of the reasons or provocation (See Betty Broderick.). In most states, you can’t sue the affair partner, even if for years, s/he has taken money belonging to from your family. If s/he were another company that benefited from embezzlement, no one would bat an eye if you sued, which you could readily do. That’s why it is like the Wild West out there. We are largely lawless and the punishments available don’t fit the crime.

  • How can cheaters be in a fog when they’re the ones that know exactly what has been going on the whole time? They know when, where, how many times and why. They know where all that money went. They know how many partners they have been with. They know exactly how they hid everything from us. They know everything about the affair(s). We only know what we were lucky enough to figure out on our own.

    And yet RIC websites want us to believe that cheaters are the ones in the fog? I mean, come the hell on!

    • Right on Lost2015, when I first saw stuff about the affair fog online, I laughed out loud for exactly the reason you give. The cheater is very clear, if anything it is the chump who is left in the fog of trickle truth and figuring out how deep their disordered spouse went into deceiving the chump.

      I also believe that the density of chump fog is directly correlated with each chump’s self-esteem. The lower a chump’s self-esteem, the more they buy into the narrative of the cheater making a mistake, and even further, chumps with low self-esteem might believe in the co-responsibility of their cheater starting an affair so often cited on RIC website.

      But the higher the chump self-esteem, the more they are able to see the cheating for what it is, a selfish intentional act of entitlement from the very person that promised to have the chump’s back.

      So the higher the chump self-esteem, the less they will be in “chump fog” and the faster they will get to the anger point needed to leave their cheater and reach Meh.

  • I completely see the the cheater’s “fog” – what I call chemical romance. I saw it in my cheater wife’s eyes while she cheating. When we were out together or as a family, her eyes were sullen, dead, resigned, etc. Then her phone would buzz and her entire body reacted to the chemical release – her eyes lit up and she shook like a puppy (I think she may have even piddled a little bit).

    But what I don’t buy into is that the ever “fog” lifts. I allow myself to be angry – though it’s against the chump rules. My anger is what cuts through her “fog” and shuts her bullshit down quick. Anger is what prevents my own fog from forming so I can see clearly.

    • BetrayedNo More … whoever said getting angry was against chump rules? I advocate chumps get angry, get good and righteously angry. That’s what saved me, my sanity and frankly my soul. It was the righteous anger that I found in CL (and the permission to be so) that finally got me to say ‘STOP. NO MORE. THIS IS ABUSE AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE’! Up until then, I was utterly overwhelmed by my grief and confusion, and felt ‘less than’ when faced with the RIC complex, which was all I’d found on the internet up until – hallelujah ChumpLady and Chump Nation.

      Make no mistake, infidelity is abuse and getting angry about that is completely appropriate.

      Embrace your anger, it’s you loving you at last!

      • It’s against the chump rules” – [My first reaction was to write, “I’m sorry…” Hi, my name is BetrayedNoMore and I’m a chump.]

        I was raised by narcissists. It was literally beaten into me as a child to think of everyone else before I could even consider expressing my own wants or needs; and even then it was frowned upon. We (chumps) stuff our thoughts and feelings to keep everyone else happy. Narcissists feed off of our desire to keep everyone (but ourselves) happy and simply employ a little FOG (Fear | Obligation | Guilt) to bring us back in line (“When I asked what you wanted for dinner, why did you say ‘Italian?’ Why can’t you pick something I want for dinner?)

        That’s what I meant by “chump rules.”

        I absolutely agree with you – use your anger and emancipate yourself from hell.

        • Anger is the weapon you use to cleave through bullshit. It protects you from their narc-rage when they realise you aren’t taking their shit anymore. Its necessary.

          • I have been ridiculed for my “anger”
            Gee….I don’t know…..I am sitting in the county jail while my husband is fucking a woman in my bed…. all I did was show up at a restaurant to eat dinner with my daughter…..got arrested….
            then I went to my church….he shows up.with his whore…..at my church….I confront him….I get arrested again….
            Yup…..I am angry…..Fucking angry….
            I sat in jail…..he heard my voice over my daughters phone….I got arrested.
            Angry….
            But notice the mother fucker pansy ass is still ALIVE……
            Proof I can control that Anger.
            Anger is what fueled me to tell my leech lawyer to go fuck herself and I found another lawyer and ended up with a full time job with that firm….I have a criminal.record thanks to my husband and his whore. I couldn’t get a job.
            My husband and daughter said I stole a gun…..so I had 2 felony charges on my record.
            Mind you…..I was a stay at home.wife.an mother for 19 years. ….now I’m felony criminal…..wait….that mother fucking tampon is still ALIVE….. I suck at being a criminal then…..

            anger…..yes…..I have it…..and it jet fueled me to demand 60% of the estate and retirement and 4 years alimony…..
            this angry bitch got it…..
            I love fucking anger.

            • Tracy, it makes you realise exactly why people will murder OM/OW or their partners when they are caught fucking other people, doesn’t it?
              The only reason that people get all pissy about anger is because they can’t handle it being directed at them. Maybe people should start correcting their shitty behaviour, instead of being royal pricks to others, yeah? Or, as the other saying goes: “If you don’t like the heat, stay out of the fucking kitchen”

  • Frankly, it doesn’t matter if there is or isn’t a fog. What matters is what you are willing and unwilling to tolerate.

    For the sake of discussion, let’s say there is a fog. Then what? Free pass? Never again?

    It still comes down to what you are willing to tolerate.

    Frankly, if my spouse is so dumb as to allow herself to become disoriented in the fog, maybe it’s good I found out before I really needed to count on her.

    If it’s just B.S. why do I need someone who thinks so negatively of me that she thinks I’ll fall for that?

    Pragmatically speaking, it really doesn’t matter if there is a fog or not. What matters is what are you willing or unwilling to live with.

  • If there is no affair fog then how did they fool us so thoroughly and for so long? My husband became a different person while in this infatuated state. You would not recognize him. Now he is “himself” again but i dont trust him. Will this so called FOG come back?

    • Yo, it’s easy to fool someone who is not suspicious of you. Plus, from what I’ve seen, and in my case, I was so busy working, and child rearing, and cooking, and cleaning, etc. I didn’t have much time to sit around wondering if he was a liar and a cheater or not. Dumass said he was at work, I believed he was at work. It didn’t take a master mind or anything cause he’s definitely not one. All they have to do is find a cheap easy whore who will date them in their available slot.

    • Because we trusted them. They created a facade and using gaslighting techniques that when our spidey senses pricked up, them had some sort of plausible answer. We trusted. They call this manipulation FOG once the chump determines there is a loser hiding behind the curtain (DDAY), not the great and powerful Oz.

    • yo, he fooled you because lying and deception and manipulation is part of the high. He “becomes a different person in the infatuated state” because the mask he wears to his what he is slipped and you saw the real person–someone who puts the high of the affair above the people he promised to love and care for. He is “Himself” again because for whatever reason, he want to stay married and so up goes the mask again. He is “back to normal,” which is to say, “back to pretending to be committed to the marriage.”

      If you don’t believe what others here have to say about the the fog (etc.) think about this: You are living with someone you don’t know, whose behavior you can’t predict, and who has not earned back your trust. That is, what work has he done on himself that would allow both of you to figure out which of these two people he is? How much honest self-reflection have you seen? When I think back on Jackass, what strikes me is that while I “knew” him for 30 years, it’s clear that I didn’t “know” him. He showed me what he wanted me to see.

  • UB it is about tollerance for chumps. Under what circumstances would we invest all of our energy into taking Italian classes to prepare us for a trip to Italy only to find out they changed the classes to French. Oh no, we would ask for our money back. Too bad, there’s no refund it’s not what we signed up for. We saved our money, made our plans, invested our time and damn it we want to learn Italian! It’s not about disappointment, I made an investment.
    There comes a time we have to face the facts. We were conned. Hire a lawyer and make the fuckers know we will not tolerate the rug being pulled out from under us. I didn’t sign uo for this. Time to fight for yourself. Know what the deal breaker is and stop investing in an asshole.

    • So true, Donna. And that’s the difference between us and the Affair Partners. Their resume with us presented the cheaters as decent human beings. We would have dumped them otherwise. The resume with the co cheater shows them to be lying cheating whores but the AP don’t care. Most people wouldn’t spit on these losers but they think they are a prize. Maybe they are in the biggest fog of all.

  • I have to say that I just found CL a few weeks ago and it has been a very odd combination of relief that my take on my situation is 100% correct and a sinking feeling of disbelief over what a chump I have been.

    My STBX has been “in the fog”for about 3 years and dragging me along with him. It started with the “She’s just a friend” and progressed to some amount of dance of pick me. The gaslighting, the narcissism, the emotional affair…and probably the physical affair, the “I’m so depressed I don’t want to loose you” wailing. We have talked about getting divorced. I say “OK – go ahead and file. I won’t stop you.” But then he tries to act good for a while. All the while I try to set limits and cut off the OW which is basically impossible (because of course it is a ho-worker).

    A few weeks back a bit of gossip got back to me through the grapevine that lifted ME out of the fog. A casual friend asked STBX why we just didn’t get divorced and STBX said “Well I don’t want to give her half.” … I’ve asked him this exact question and he has said “Oh no, I love you and I don’t want to lose you.” with the tears and everything. The same friend in the grapevine made the comment “Yeah, there is no way you are hanging out with a gal like that and not getting your dick wet.”

    Yeah. YEAH! He’s a lying cheater who cheats and lies. He is a narcissist who always thinks the rules don’t apply to him, that he’s the smartest guy in the room, and thinks nothing of manipulating to do get what he wants. I realized that he just lies to me because he can and there is no recognition that there is a person on the receiving end of those lies who is hurt by them. I am dead serious. Once in counseling he even said that I needed to get over things and not be “so emotional” and our counselor actually said to him “Dude, people respond and have feeling about the things we say and do to them. That’s normal” How fucked up is that. Everyone should just take what he dishes out and say “thank you sir, may I have another.”

    Anyway – someone asked me why I was so calm considering I’m about to file for divorce. I explained that my STBX is a cheating narcissist who lies and has no consideration for me as person. That is not what I want in a partner, so I’m not going to have him as a partner any more.

    Thanks guys… I’m going to go back to lurking and reading archives.

    • And, I hope you’re going back to the copy machine, to document every single financial! He is probably going to put up quite a fight so he doesn’t have to -(gasp) give you half. Protect yourself, and good luck!

    • Him- We’re married to the same guy, same time frame. He actually wanted both and was willing to give me money to go along with it. Now that I said no, he’s cut way back. We’ll see if he signs the property settlement agreement giving me my half.

  • This story should be required reading for everyone whose cheater says “I’m sorry” and “it’s hard to put up with your tears, your sadness, your emotion.” Your counselor was certainly on the ball to call him out.

    • Oh dear (embarrassed cough) I once believed in “affair fog”.

      Despite everything my cheating ex did and said I still believed that it wasn’t really him.
      It was he was besotted with his AP, she had bewitched him. If only I could make him see sense then he would stop this nonsense and get back to being the man he was. The man I married.

      Realising that it actually was him, and that he was acting of his own volition and there was no “affair fog”, filled me with the same disbelief and horror that I felt on discovering that the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus didn’t actually exist.

      This realisation was a psychological blow of untold proportions. How could I have been so wrong about him? How would people react to me when they found out? Would they think I had poor judgement?

      It was tough for me to accept that I never really knew the man at all. I saw what I wanted to see. I imbued him with qualities he didn’t have.

      Hindsight is always 20/20 vision. The clues were all there. There were example of poor behaviour which I excused. He worked shifts and was tired, I’d upset him, I was “too demanding”, etc etc etc.

      The only fog in the marriage was the one I was in, and it was starting to clear. I was asking for more from him. I wanted him to take on his fair share of household tasks or employ a cleaner (he resisted both) I was no longer prepared to pick up after him so left his clothes where he dropped them. I stopped allowing his sulking to affect me. I stopped cleaning his car for him etc etc.

      Instead of knuckling down and doing his bit he distanced himself more from me and withdrew. Unfortunately the fog wasn’t quite clear at this point enough for me to guess what exactly was happening. He was looking for a more compliant replacement.

      Sadly, Chumplady’s astute and sassy site wasn’t available then.

      I’m not going to put a label on him like BPD but he was selfish, entitled, lacked empathy, emotionally abusive (sulking) and manipulative. And guess what, he found someone just like him. They have been together for years because they are perfect for each other! They can play manipulative games, trade both verbal and physical blows, and live in a rollercoaster of a marriage punctuated by sulking and door-slamming.

      Cheating doesn’t come from nowhere – it’s based on the same character and views that the cheater always had, sadly people like me take some time to accept that.

  • When I found out about the MOW, I got on the internet and looked up everything I could find about cheating and recovery from cheating, my goal of course being to win the pick-me dance. I found a reconciliation site that explain “the fog” and how going “no contact” would bring him out of the fog. So I went “no contact” except for taking care of required business. But he wasn’t in a fog. He was involved in an affair, clearly emotional but maybe physical too. Now 26-27 months down the road, I can see that even if he had dumped her, apologized and “come back,” I would be in a relationship with someone who was in truth a stranger to me. I thought I knew him. But I only knew the person he was pretending to me. Looking back, he said about his former marriage that sticking it out 10 years nearly killed him. He stayed with his ex because he had a child, a house and a business and he didn’t want to give those up. And I know he had something going during that marriage because he constantly talked about how jealous his XW was. So I don’t think there’s any “fog.” I think cheaters don’t live by the same rules or values we do, so we have trouble understanding how they think, the choices they make. And we think we know them when we don’t. So their behavior looks like an “affair fog,” but it’s just a cheater wallowing in kibbles. And if cheaters come back, it’s only until they spot another tasty supply.

  • Liz, I am 3 years after where you are now and my baby is almost 2. I just want to tell you it gets better. It will be so much better after he is out of your life and you stop grieving that person who you think he is but never existed.
    One day you will wake up and tell yourself thank you God for him leaving me and choosing ow. You won’t believe me now but you will get there. I was actually siting today at my new house looked at my kids and thought how happy we are now and how thankful I am that he didn’t waste More years out of my life. If he didn’t leave j would never have a chance to find out what it’s like to be in normal relationship and feel reciprocity and how amazing it is and how different from what I had before. I don’t think I would be able to leave myself being pregnant and having another baby and valuing my family.
    So this horrible thing that is happening to you right now will open so many opportunities for you you wouldn’t believe me now. You will see just stay strong and keep putting your head first, your heart will get there

    • Mommy of 2, it’s 3 am and I’m reading this, so it’s kind of a rough night. Thanks so much for writing this. I took a screenshot of it. I have days where I feel this way too, but not always. I don’t know what I’d do without this website. Nights (and who am i kidding, days too) would be so much harder! But I just wanted to say, your words are a blessing.

  • I still have days….when I do question why did this happen. But then I have days when I see it was a blessing. Can you imagine me.getting a terminal sickness….he would have never cared for me. I watched that happen to a friend. She thought her breastfeeding cancer would “open her husband’s eyes”…..oh it did….to the skanks whore he had on the side….while he told his wife he didn’t want a ” freak “….she was told she needed a double mastectomy. She didn’t have the surgery….or any treatments…..she died….slowly….painfully and with her husband watching….not giving a shit.
    I think of her….alot. That would have been me.

    • Wow. That choked me up. Your poor friend. So much for “to love and cherish…in sickness and in health…”He never loved her. What a selfish nothing he is. I hope he gets whats coming to him and you get to see it.

    • Tracy, that would have been me also. My sister got bowel cancer 15 years ago and is alive and healthy today with the support of her fabulous and reliable husband of 44 years. I though back then that if I got some form of cancer, I wasn’t going to tell my then husband and I was just going to let it take me because I had a feeling that he would have welcomed the news. That is how little faith I had in him to support me. Maybe I saw the writing on the wall and everything I thought we had just died a slow death.

  • This whole topic went far afield.

    With regard to the “Affair Fog”, I used to believe in it…H was betraying me (more than I knew) and he was in a “fog” but I thought that the fog caused the affair but I later amended my opinion that the affair (and its accompanying chaos) CAUSES THE FOG !!

    I made the mistake of trying to “wait out” the fog (perhaps the WORST idea in history). You cant fix fog but if you have any impact on it at all, it would come from them suffering swift and painful consequences…real acts of chump badassery.

    • In a lot of articles I have read borderline fog it is defined as how the borderline manipulates others with fear, obligation and guilt! That is how we stay longer than we should ( in my case 36 years)!

      • Those with Borderline personality disorder might cheat and people who cheat might have BPD but not everyone who cheats has BPD.

        Many of them have NPD and some of them not sick enough to be diagnosed can still be rather serious assholes.

        I denied any and all signs of NPD while nowdeadhusband was alive…I saw his traits clearer after he was gone.

        • I understand the BPD / cheating link. But in truth it bothers me that there’s an underlying assumption that all BPD cheat.

          I was diagnosed with BPD in my early 20s. I went to therapy (including EMDR) in my mid to late 20s.

          Guess what? One thing my mother ingrained in me really, really well was sexual morals. I never cheated on my husband, not once. I never entertained it. Cheating was a super- wrong, super- hurtful thing to do.

          She also was very clear to me to never sell my body in any way. Never did that either. And never had blurred lines regarding consent.

          How did my BPD express itself? By being impulsively suicidal for years and having unstable, intense relationships. The guy would leave and I would end up in the hospital.

          BTW, my father was a cheater and an alcoholic. Despite BPD I didn’t become either. I don’t drink at a or do drugs etc.

          BPD is just as awful to HAVE as it is to live with, in fact, I hate to say it as it may seem very callous: but its actually worse.

          After EMDR, I went through some truly horribly, traumatic things BUT they were actually more easy to cope with than how my brain functioned with full-fledged BPD just day-to-day.

          My husband was the cheater in our relationship. For six years I tried to fix things. He was told by our therapist he was a “sex addict.” So then he started treating it like a title to live up to. I cannot describe the pain, matched with a total lack of empathy from him.

          Yet on paper at the time, we would see “oh she has BPD and he’s not diagnosed with anything. She’s probably the cheater whack-job.”

          BPD seems to be the flavor of the month, armchair diagnosis to pin everything on. Much like the ADD of the ’00s.

          Ironically enough, all it would do for most BPD people is cause a whole bunch of extra shame because without treatment we lack the capacity to accept criticism.

          As well, it is terribly ironic that a group of people (BPD sufferers) are constantly terrified of being excluded, criticized, shamed and abandoned are often characterized at the right hand of Satan in so many forums. Like being almost 100% to blame for the cheating that goes on. Is she/he cheating? Oh they probably have BPD. Doubtful. Cheaters make up 25%+ of the population. BPD (treated and u treated) doesn’t affect anywhere near the amount of people! Even when combined with NPD, it’s nowhere close.

          So if anyone’s spouse lacks an actual diagnosis of BPD, it might be nice to assume that they are just an asshole. You don’t need a diagnosis for that.

          • Well-said, Alexandra. All Cluster Bs don’t cheat, nor are all cheaters Cluster Bs. And having a spouse with a diagnosis is no excuse for cheating. Unhappy? Leave.

            I dated a full-blown narcissist just before meeting my Husband-to-be. The guy was impossible, but I knew he would not cheat. Most diagnoses increase the likelihood of certain behaviors, rather than guarantee it.

            I personally think there should be a DSM diagnosis of “Asshole” but the American Psychological Association hasn’t gotten on board with this.

            • Thank you.

              I will say this: my husband didn’t use my mental health history as an excuse to cheat. But he did at one point try to use it for custody purposes and it ended up making him look so bad that it went against him!

              He ended up (for that and other reasons related to alcoholism) losing even SUPERVISED visits for two months until HE could complete an evaluation.

              Never tried that again.

          • I think the reason that BPD is the armchair flavor of the months is because many chumps and codependents put so much effort into their marriages for years and know something isn’t working correctly and can’t pin-point the disconnect. The the chump/codependent finally reads some articles on BPD and has an ah-ha moment – “that’s it” – and finally you understand and everything makes sense.

            Now, egregiously nodding along to every sentence in a BPD article doesn’t mean our armchair diagnosis is correct, but it is still a moment of enlightenment and understanding.

            • I understand that. I totally do. However at different points in my relationship I remember looking over my own BPD resources and wondering if my husband had it. He isn’t. Really isn’t.

              At another point, after being abandoned for the nth time with no warning (but lots of blame!) I started going over more “Narcissism-geared” material because my father is diagnosed NPD. I could totally see the NPD-like behaviours.

              However the two are NOT co-morbid. And that “diagnosis” would strictly be from my own perspective, not an overall pattern of interaction and behaviour.

              Plus, due to my own issues, and his triggering, it would be largely subjective.

              Furthermore, about six or so months after my husband quit drinking, his personality underwent radical changes and he became calmer, more rational / lucid etc.

              Many addicts are going to present as being either BPD or NPD. Especially when they want their fix.

              Cheating often releases the same “Delta Foss B” linked as a precursor to addiction. That’s typically why we hear so many stories of “he completely rewrote our marital history.” Of course, he’s like an addict justifying his need to get a fix. He’s going to be an a-hole.

              Cheating really cuts right through the center of everything. Most rational people realize that. But a cheater on a mission to cheat? You’re just trying to “wreck their fun” so they need to sneak it, or freak out at you to keep you in line etc etc etc.

          • BPD , NPD often overlap and vary in degree of severity! Somatic, histrionic, manchuesen types are the most severe and have a higher correlation with nurse ring their spouse for money! That being said my presented as a milder BPD with sexual promiscuity but as time passed over the 36 years he turned into a fun fledged narcissit causing me to run out of the marriage for my life! These types will take out a life insurance policy on you or your children! The courts or law don not protect you! It’s an invisible disease where the victims need treatment!

          • Alexandra,

            It was kind of you to tell us about your side of this. My mom is BPD and of all the things she did, cheating was never one of them…she is still married to my NPD dad for over 50 yrs…..so you are right, BPD is not a certainty for cheating.

            What an awful thing (considering the feelings that haunt BPD sufferers experience) for a person who fears abandonment to actually BE abandoned.

            As much as it has been a night mare to be the “less favored, same gender” child as the BPDer in my life (these 2 things together often spell doom for the emotional life of the child) I grew up, found my emotional health and live a contented life which is something my (selfmedicating alcoholic) mom lost a LONG time ago so I believe you when you share that having BPD causes a lot of pain to the person with it. Im sure that is true.

            I hope that you find the healthiest, most contented place you possibly can

  • This is a very interesting and relevant similarity. My STBX is also estranged from her family, has no long-term friends, and her exs have no contact with her whatsoever.

    This confirms the NPD/BPD traits. Maybe NPD are ostracized from family and BPD torture their families. Simplistic? Yes. Too common to ignore? Hell yes!

    • Simpler explanations are what Chumps should generally seek. Spackle is at its core explanation with unjustified complications (e.g., he cheats and steals and lies because he has LOW self esteem, for which he compensates by over-asserting his wants). Sorting out infidelity is largely a process of what philosophers call “preserving appearances,” that is, believing what you see right in front of your face (e.g., he cheats and steals and lies because he has excessive self esteem and feels entitled to do whatever he wants).

    • One caveat here. Some people are estranged from a lot of their families either because of abusive families and or long term isolation by an abuser. Friendships the same and ex’s if they were abusive. Not questioning you perception of your ex but those could also be symptoms of a long term codependent.

      • Thank you Finally Awake for this comment as I’m one of the chumps who’s been thrown out after years of isolation and constant moving to support x. No longterm friends and no family within thousands of miles. Everything this little co dependent did was to further his career while he yanked us all over the country to follow his development. kids’ school, kids’ friendships, my career, our wants needs or desires were second to his. All my cash was for the family, all his for his toys and funfests. x even remortgaged the house to finance his motorcycle etc
        It feels awful to admit I have no close friends and my family is miles away but at least I’ve learned to rely on myself as he used to move us around and leave for weeks on end for his job. Any friends I had were fleeting as we kept moving; any longterm friendships were ones he had with people like his friend whose wife he had a longterm affair with.
        Please don’t place some of us without longterm friendships in the same genre as these cheater parasites.

        • Well said ! No. 1 tool abusers use is isolation from family and friends which could end end up being decades ! My prayers to you in healing !

  • I stuck around believing in “the fog” as a possible theory since my “ass” was acting so strange. (This is before I discovered CL & CN!) I was the one who got lost in the fog, not him!
    I believe the fog behavior is because the OM/OW is still in their life, and they are often denying it…saying it is over, the person moved away, blah, blah, blah. They either are still in it, or still pining over it’s loss IMO.

  • I, too, believed in the affair fog. That was the only reason why I stayed with a serial cheater for over 2 decades. Affair fog, my ass. While he was in affair fogs, he managed to hold a high paying job, do volunteer work, do extreme sports, never missed paying a bill, etc. In short, his “fog” was limited to his fucking someone else. The rest of his life went smoothly. Affair fog is simply a generous explanation for bad character. Nowadays, when I read anything on affair fog, I simply replace the word “bad character” for “affair fog” and any temporary insanity on my part disappears in a hurry. Try it, it works. Spackling begone!

  • Shortly after Dday, I read everything I could get my hands on about affairs. At first I bought into the affair fog. After finding CL and CN, I don’t believe in it. I believe my ex is nothing but a narc, entitled POS and his mask finally feel off! Let her have him now, good luck!

  • Looking back, if I had tried as hard to Leave him as I did to Be-lieve him, I would have been far better off! Trying to bypass my own better judgement and and gut was a great offense against myself. So sad in retrospect. He didn’t have to work very hard to find excuses, I was trying to figure them out for him. Ugh.
    Thank goodness for this Tracey, this site and you folks!

  • Tracy thank you so much for being the one who called BULLSHIT on the whole ‘affair fog’ phenomenon (phenomenal excuse, more like) When I first found out about my husband’s classy drunken shag in a dirty toilet of a smelly pub (yup, real Mills & Boone height of romance) I read every ‘affair blog’ I could find, including one by a ‘wayward spouse’ who’s arrogance and blame-shifting towards his betrayed wife only heightened my anger. He fully peddles the whole ‘fog’ narrative and even declares that he would have left his wife had she not given him the support and understanding as he ‘grieved the loss of his affair partner’ (he also blames his wife for his affair, and has several other highly selfish demands of her that he claims he would have left her over if she didn’t comply, such as “If my wife had outed my affair to everyone I would have walked out the door then and there” and “If my wife didn’t stop with the questions and trying to punish me I would have walked!”, a real gem of a man, isn’t his wife lucky that he deigned to give her another chance with his most fabulous self?!) Had my husband even so much as suggested that he was in a ‘fog’ he would have been greeted with my understanding in the form of a frying pan to the face!! The whole concept of ‘affair fog’ is just another way for them to weasel out of responsibility and gain kibbles in the form of sympathy. And it’s so easy for chumps to buy into this lie because we so desperately want to believe that this person we love and shared a life with would never do anything like this to hurt us INTENTIONALLY. But they did. Cheating is not a ‘mistake’, nor is it one bad choice, it’s a serious of bad choices which at any point could be stopped before it gets to the point of a full-blown affair. Thank you Tracy and all of Chump Nation for breaking the cycle of abuse and cover-up, we do not need to accept these ridiculous blame-shifting lies!!

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