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50 Shades of Moral Ambiguity


I’d like a bitter bunny bitcoin for every popular infidelity click-bait article that says, “Infidelity — it’s not so black-and-white!”

Black. And. White.

Moral judgment. How gauche. How narrow-minded. How dunderheadedly simplistic of you.

On Facebook the other day, I saw this criticism of a HuffPo piece by Jenny Ball, “Blind Faith — When Affair Partners Marry,” pointing out that it takes a lot of faith to marry a known cheater. Best of luck with that. (You call it “faith,” Jenny. I’d say “a staggering belief in your own exceptionalism.”) Any who… This comment later appeared on Ball’s Facebook page from “Pamela”:

Lots of judgment, black and white, no shades of gray, no ownership evident for her part in the unhappiness. As for whether affairs are ok, that question poses as demanding a simple answer when human relations are utterly complex. Who am I to judge.

Who indeed! You’re fine not judging people in affairs. But people writing about it? Gee, Pamela, you’ve got a lot to say about that — they don’t own their issues (that drove someone to cheat on them), they fail to understand Complexity (i.e., “you’re stupid”), and your personal devastation, Jenny? It’s no big deal.

No, no. Pamela’s not “judging” at all.

You see, affairs are very COMPLEX. Humans are COMPLEX. Infidelity is a GRAY area. Not so BLACK AND WHITE.

Yo, Pamela! Would you want to be cheated on?


Suddenly lost its complexity there, didn’t it?

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Do unto others… I know that is so “black and white” but it does embody a high ideal in human ethics. You don’t want to be lied to and cheated on? Well, then you probably should not do it.

    Love how hypocritical these “affairs are grey” folks can be—good job pointing that out CL. It is only grey as far as it serves them. And being judgmental only a problem as long as their actions are being judged.

    • I don’t know Divorce Minister. I don’t think any of the people around these cheaters have any morals. I do question if there is even a God and if he even cares. From what I gather with the ex and the AP he married and now has 2 kids they are living the perfect life. They haven’t paid for any of their sins. They are even church going people. I’m happy he is out of my life but I would like to see some kind of karma on him and her and people around them see what their true colors are. Many times also I really don’t think God or whatever higher being (if there is any) doesn’t really care also. I know my family didn’t and they took his side and even years later they still in contact with him. Still to this day that hurts.

      • Totally hear you, Beth. My stone cold abandonment cheater walked out with no warning leaving me to raise our special needs daughter all alone. Moved in with the affair partner and has the perfect life. He proclaimed to be a Christian also. Even said that this is what God wanted. Everyone tells me to forgive and move on. At times I’m so angry at the injustice and find myself waiting for the karma bus, “demanding a schedule.” But like CL points out, that keeps you focused on your cheater. At any rate, I truly understand your pain. Hugs.

        • Oh startofsomethingood there are no words to express how much an asshole your ex is. Many hugs to you! These disordered things are should not be called human beings. What he did and still doing is unforgivable. There is no nice words to say about him and is decisions. Many hugs to you and thank you for your kind words to me.

        • Same here, @startofsomethinggood: The Evil One left not only me, but our special needs daughter as well…he only sees her every other weekend, married his AP just 60 days after our divorce was final, does nothing with or for our daughter in between weekend visits. He is a piece of shit scumbag, but claims on his FB page that he is a “victim” of parental alienation!

          It roils inside me some days/nights about it, but I know that in the end, he will get his…in some ways he already has gotten his and I do get some satisfaction from it, but he’s not my problem any longer as Chump Lady says…

          • @UnsinkableMollyXinAlabama I totally feel your pain. I’m currently 9 and 1/2 months pregnant with our daughter who is very ill and will require life saving surgery as soon as she is born. My husband and I were married for 2 years next month and together for 10 years in total. We decided together for me to have birth and to have our daughter’s surgery at a hospital in another state over 5 hours away because it had the best doctors for her condition. Then about 2 months ago he tells me he doesn’t want to be married anymore and wants to be with his 23 yo girlfriend (he’s 45, i’m 31) he has been having an affair with for the last year. They are practically living together now in our apartment. Since then, I have only spoken with him a couple times when I tried to contact him with updates about complications with both me and our daughter. He told me i need to get over him because he has moved on, but he will send me some money every week to help cover expenses. Surprise surprise, or not surprise, the money stopped coming because despite making more than 2x what I do and recently getting his dream promotion, he has spent every penny of each of his paychecks on himself and his girlfriend. To me there is no gray area here. And what hurts even more is that while he is happy with his new girlfriend and new life pretending like he never had pregnant wife that he left, I’m here 5 hours from my home preparing to give birth to my first child alone who will have serious special needs as soon as she is born. Luckily I have some great friends and family who have given me some money to help me out financially, but I’m still waiting for his karmic retribution to come.

            • I’m stunned to hear your husband could leave you when you are pregnant, expecting a special needs child! Yes, I hope karma of all kinds rains down on his slimy head, but in the meantime, please see an attorney and visit your child support office! Give this jerk a little financial karma RIGHT NOW!

      • Karma sometimes takes years-several years but it still bites you in the a**.
        He will get his comeuppance when it’s his time to get biten. “Karma had no menu. You get served what you deserve”. And “everything that glitters is not gold”. From the outside it may look good but it’s what goes on on the inside that truly matters. Sending strength for your journey.

        • So true! Karma (or law of the universe) sometimes does take time, but it’ll happen. Plus don’t be so sure about the “perfect life” bit. One person I know never misses a chance to brag about her perfect, successful husband (he’s a lazy bum), her perfect children (yikes), her perfect marriage (she cheats at every opportunity, not too may opportunities though) and on Facebook she loves to go on about being curled up by the fireplace watching the snow fall in her lovely home on the mountain. Sure she has a fireplace and sure where she lives has lots of snow, just have to wade through all the debris to see the fireplace. To say her home is a pigsty would be an insult to pigs. Oh and she loves to play the part “to the manor born”. They are one step from losing everything and I mean everything. They have personally racked up 200K + in student loans under their kid’s names, not to be used for tuition but to play big shots with new vehicles and trips. They are under water with mortgages and have been living off credit cards for quite a few years. So not so perfect.

      • As my screen name indicates, I believe in the karma bus. It might not be the express, it might be the milk run, but it’s a-comin.’ Toot! Toot!

        • Thank you all for you wonderful comments. We are all in this together and the love and the support on this site makes it a great place for us chumps to express our thoughts and feeling and the events we had to deal with these nasty ugly disorder things and their nasty ugly disordered AP. Hugs to all of the Chumps out there!

          • I know it’s hard Beth, and it sucks! I know there are so many people ahead of me waiting for the karma bus to strike that I’m not sure I will ever see it. It’s frustrating but I just keep reminding myself that whatever time I spend thinking about Narkles the Clown, is time I take away from me and thing sI need to get done or want to do. It’s hard but No Contact helps, well that and a mile long to do list. Good luck and hugs.

            • Thank you AllOutofKibble, I fully agree with you. I have been No contact with all of them for many many years. Also there is some pretty big oceans in between us now. I just still would like something to happen to that bastard and for everyone to see what he really is. He has not clue from my knowledge where I am. That is fine with me. I know where he is and I don’t think he even has a clue there is other places like his great hometown. He can have it. Now it’s a nice town but way to small for me and his big narc head and his family. Ha!

              • Sometimes though, one has to drive the karma bus themselves (or at least give it a push-start).
                The fuckheads who just run their way through life with a trainwreck of destruction behind them, with no consequences, makes my blood boil. A lot of the time though its because 99% of people are too spineless to actually say anything or call people out on their bullshit – which is the jackpot to disordered arseholes worldwide: “Oh hey you didn’t say anything so I will continue to be a jackarse, and you won’t ever say anything so I WIN NER NER!”

        • With respect to those who believe, I’m not a fan of karma because wouldn’t that mean my being cheated on, lied to, financially abused and continually maligned to my children by their sick father is karma biting me in the ass?

          For what?

          • Exactly! I want to know what horrible thing I did to justify the shit storm I have been through as a result of my asshat cheater and his whore’s actions.

          • That’s what I’ve wondered as well. I’ve wondered why all this has happened to me. It was hard, but I had to move on from the “whoa is me…” Now, I realize I’m just incredibly glad to be away from the horrible situation.

          • If I may speak to my own situation, while my ex cheated on me, broke up with me and moved in with the other woman as soon as our lease was up, I have to say I really flourished after that. The depression led me to lose somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20 pounds, I threw myself in to my career thus making moves that have advanced me, I moved in with an awesome roommate allowing me to afford a nice apartment in a nice part of town I otherwise couldn’t afford and my social life became more active. I was going out and buying clothes that could take me from work to the bar/lounge/whatever night spot. As horrific as this experience was, it really changed me for the better and made me see relationships differently. I’m more cautious in them and selective about the treatment I deal with. That experience was put there for a reason. It can give you a bolt of energy to do things you otherwise wouldn’t dare do

          • I’m right there too. I was the best wife I could be with what I was given. I am a rule follower, I did nothing but save, save, save with my h for a decade to buy our condo (we don’t make very much and this was the start of a dream). And he sleeps with a skank and leaves me for her. She makes more money and I’m left crying. I’d thought SHE had been hit by the karma express because she’d gotten pregnant when my h slept with her and then was hit by terrible morning sickness and then miscarried and THEN got fired from her job, but now he’s going to leave to be with her. And the house and my life are being split in half to go to making a life with her. Where’s my karma? ☹️

        • Hey Karma Express 😀 I wish I could believe in karma (I did used to) but I’m not sure I do anymore. However, bottom line is they don’t know what love is and wouldn’t know it if it came with a full marching band and a big finger pointing from the sky! Maybe that’s the karma? When I was 18 I broke a poor lad’s heart and now I’m 53 coming up and I still regret the stupidity and I have to confess, narcissism that filled my head at that time. For all those years since I’ve considered everything that happened to me in love to have been my Karma for being such a little bitch at 18. So that was why I used to believe in karma. Now, well, I can’t imagine ‘the Great I Am’ ever even troubling his brain cells with anything like the same self-reflection, so no, karma isn’t gonna get him. But hey, in my book, he’ll never know true love in his life (oh, I gave him true love – he just didn’t realise what a truly wonderful gift that was).

          • This might get me deported from Chump Nation, but here goes:

            I cheated on my high-school sweetheart. I was with her for five years. I was 19 and messed around with another girl my girlfriend never knew. So, the “once a cheater; always a cheater?” Not true for me. I learned my lesson. It was reprehensible behavior.

            • and me Ian – I look back at my 18 year old self with disgust for how I treated that poor lad. While (at 53) I’m tempted to give the kid I was excuses – in the end I was old enough to marry, old enough to vote and old enough to die for my country, so bugger those excuses – and no, it wasn’t his fault – I was just a little bitch, full of herself and enjoying getting my ego-stroked.

            • I may get deported right along with you, I cheated on my first husband and I carry that guilt with me to this day, no excuses, so I guess 30 odd years later karma caught up with me when I got cheated on by my partner who was not my affair partner btw, from all those years ago. So all us chumps who think our cheater won’t get his or her come uppance, they will, I’m a firm believer in karma, but it can take a very long time and when they least expect it.

          • Jayne, 18 is still pretty wet behind the ears. The fact that you’ve lived with guilt for all this time shows you have a conscience, which adult cheaters don’t have. I’d like to think that you were the beneficiary of some good karma–the fact that you feel badly for what you did probably helped mould you into the kind, sweet soul you are today. Don’t beat yourself up about it.

      • An opinion within Judaism is that people whom God loves pay the price for their sins here, with a combination of repentence, faith, and real word consequences, while they’re still alive. That way when they get to the afterlife, it’s all done and taken care of.

        If you see someone paying no real consequences for their sins here, you can bet that things will not be going well for them in the afterlife.

        • HeatDeath – I love that philosophy. I do hope it’s true. Judaism rocks in a lot of ways!

        • I’ve heard a very similar thing taught by a Protestant pastor. Watch out if God pays you no attention! He only disciplines those He loves and accepts as sons/daughters as the Bible says after all (Hebrews 12:6). Cheat and no discipline? Guess that person is not embraced as God’s…aka destined for damnation.

          • DM, that is a fascinating thought from a protestant pastor. Thanks for sharing that. I have on many occasions thought about the fact that God drives all Karma buses and His timing is His, not mine. Chance after chance has been turned away by many/most (all) of these cheaters. Mine in particular who “thinks” he is a Christian. But this has not made me doubt God or His justice. In fact my life being slowly but surely restored in such beautiful ways is evidence that He cares and rescues. And holds all of us ultimately accountable for our decisions since we are given free will to choose or to deny.

          • On a similar note, in his encyclical on suffering, Pope John Paul II discusses certain kinds of suffering as redemptive. Included in the kinds of emotional suffering is watching the wicked prosper. I thought that was interesting, the idea of redemptive suffering.

      • Beth u are singing my song. I’m a religious person and I have doubted my faith a time or two after my ex jerk left me and our 3 kids for his ho worker I really almost lost it when my boyfriend of a year broke up with me because of my ex jersey and his bs!! I dunno when he will get all the karma he so richly deserves. But I know for a fact he’s already cheating on her. He also had prostate cancer and had his prostate removed. I know it’s unpopular, but I wouldn’t be sad at all if he kicked the bucket right now!! I just wouldn’t want my kids to hurt more. But as for me? He can take a long walk off a short pier!!

      • Hey Beth, I’ve been on the journey of trying to understand why things have happened in my life and have been finding a lot of answers by watching Dr. Charles Stanley’s messages on YouTube. They’re helping me so much! I believe that for some that karma bus might hit them at the end of their lives on this earth. If it happens then, they will be screwed forever.
        Here’s one good video to watch of the many available by Dr. Stanley. Hope it helps, stay mighty and have faith.

    • Cheating is not a problem, being judgmental is. Calling things out for what they are is mean. Who are you to hold someone accountable?

      It’s craziness!! If these kinds of attitude were applied more freely, we would live in a lawless society. And as more people buy into this relative moralism the more the world heads towards chaos. The very values that keep society functional is going away. I think cheating is one symptom of this sort of mentality and look at all the people that get hurt from it. Imagine when things like rape and genocide become grey areas. Scary.

      • Sorry Michael, but we hold a “wing-nut” viewpoint and are subject to marginalization, particularly by the young. It is not our world any longer. Time for us to pass the baton. I hear there is an explosion of entitlement and narcissism on the other side- perhaps the pendulum will swing back to some extent to a happy medium. I dunno.

        • Actually, the biggest study on narcissism among the young has been carried out in California for the past two decades, and finds only a mild increase in “narcissism” (the equivalent of 2 questions on the NPD). But this increase is only among Caucasian women, and Asian-Americans (who are typically lower than average anyway on the NPD questionnaire).

          I spend more time with college students than I do with anyone else and don’t believe that they are any more entitled than our generation. As one of my students pointed out, the helicopter parents who come into college offices can seem pretty damn entitled, too.

          • Good to hear Tempest! I guess I am in a zone where there is a pocket of this thinking: whether it comes from an erzatz Christian self-righteousness or an uber liberalism of social mores. They both seem to collide with common sense and decency.

          • I think part of the reason it’s easy to believe that the entire generation of today’s youth is all about narcissism and YOLO (you only live once-blech) is because that entire generation grew up with social media.

            The views of a few are perpetuated and it seems to be a bigger problem than we remember but that’s because our views weren’t plastered all over facebook and twitter. I work among a lot of young folks and there are some that are entitled but the majority are very hard workers and don’t expect the world to stop spinning for their pleasure.

            Just my humble opionion.

            • My h is 34 so on the old end of millennials and I believe the problem with social media and cheating is it gives easy access to OW they may not have previously had access to AND he believes he will find 100% happiness in a new relationship. He told me “I see people that are 100% happy and I have to believe that’s out there and OW might be the answer.” Um, no. I’ve NEVER met ANYONE who was 100% happy in their relationship. But Instagram and Facebook paints an unrealistic picture of “happiness” and in my case has helped to lead to the end of my marriage.

  • There are only grey areas until one of the affair partners cheats further on down the road. Then there is black and white outrage.

  • Oh man. I do love me some Chump Lady! Thanks for the support Tracy. I tagged you in that post because there I was, on my break at work trying to be all righteous and I just couldn’t do it on my little phone.

    What killed me about her response was the sheer Victim Blaming. “No the other person is NOT to blame. You need to look at what YOUR PART of it was…what led the spouse to cheat” (not word for word but basically what she had said).

    Bullshit. BULLSHIT. Never ever any excuse to cheat. Ever. I don’t care who you’re married to or how dismal your relationship is or how utterly unhappy you are. Cheating is never justified.

    Thank you so much for once again so eloquently having my back, friend. You are a goddess in the world of divorce. So freaking honored to know you.

    • Well, jeez. Pam sure did inspire me to “own” my part in my X’s affair with grad-whore. Here it is: My part was doing 90% of the parenting and running of the house, and only getting 5 hours sleep a night, so that my then-H had the leisure time to woo the grad-slut in coffee shops, attend department parties with her (instead of me), and fuck her on her twin bed. And I allowed him to get 9 hours sleep a night so that he could get those boners and screw her for hours. Had I made him man-up to the household tasks, he wouldn’t have had the time or energy to have an affair. My bad.

      Arlo–bitter bunny badge needed, pronto.

      • I thnk you are right Tempest, we do need to own what we did to allow the affair to happen. Affairs don’t happen because of some unexamined suckitude on our part, but because we got involved in relationship with the chronically entitled. We failed to set boundries. We failed to demand respect. We failed to expect reciprocity. We failed to demand to be treated the way we ourselves treated our spouses. We failed to have magical narc detecting glasses. This was our role in the affair. but somehow I don’t think that was exactly what Pamela was going for.

        • THIS is it right here! My only blame is for being this person who accepted so little, didn’t set boundaries, gave so much, but expected so little in return — a total chump.

      • ^ THIS. Same for me. Except replace your ex’s professor job with my ex’s pretty much minimum wage cool-kid job silliness. And replace grad-whore with waitress-whore.

    • Unfortunately in the very very early days after Dday, I said these words “what was my part.” Oh I got slapped right into full awake state after finding Chumplady and Chumpnation. And thank goodness. Now I know X sucks and he will always have to live with the truth–no matter how hard he tries to whitewash it and deceive others. Truth is he sucks. Out loud. In a huge way.

      • Ah, yes, I did the same when I was in false MC and trying to “save” the marriage. “I realize it is complex, blah, blah, blah.” makes me sick to me stomache how I did not stand up for myself and all faithful partners!

  • Cheating is stealing. It steals the chump’s emotional health, time (sometimes years), resources, mental stability.

    Hey, Pam, where’s the defense of Bernie Madoff (grey area, complex)? teenagers who knock down toddlers for their Halloween candy? Burglars from the poor side of town who steal middle class people’s big screen TVs? Rapists? Mugabe in Zimbabwe who stole land and houses and equipment from hard working farmers?

  • I always wondered what kind of life do these people lead when they married the AP? The ex did that with the last thing he was screwing around and now they have 2 kids. From what I can gather they have the “perfect life”. He got away with all of the mess he created and looks like “karma” never visited either of them. Sometimes I do question if there is a God! Really boils me up about this. No one around them even questioned this at all. Any thoughts anyone?

    • Cheaters surround themselves with like-minded people (my X’s three best friends are all cheaters), or they capitalize on other people’s desire to avoid conflict.

      As for “perfect life”–as many of CN know, what seems “perfect” to outsiders is not perfect on the inside. One of my X’s colleagues considered us the “perfect couple.” Really? Because while my public persona may have been cheerful, it masked the effects of decades-long emotional abuse and mounting panic attacks. Not so perfect inside the marriage.

    • Beth, I think about this a lot. My ex married his AP very soon after the divorce was finalized. They live in the same city. What I have found a lot of comfort in, is the fact that many of my friends run into them quite frequently. And they all know what transpired, how awful it was for my kids and me, and what a shoddy job of parenting he’s done since then. I’d like to imagine they feel something that resembles shame or remorse…but honestly I think they are devoid of feeling anything other than smug superiority. Like they won the freaking lottery in each other and the rest of us just “don’t get it”. It sucks.

    • From what you “can gather.” Trust me, these people aren’t happy. In fact, my ex’s sister and BIL (yes, it clearly runs in the family) got married after they blew up their first marriages (him while his poor ex was pregnant, yes it clearly runs in the family). They look like Ken and Barbie, they have TONS of money, they have four beautiful children. But, you know what? He frequently leaves for whole weekends or weeks at a time to go to football games with his “friends” (sure…). They are constantly at each other’s throats. They are obscenely shitty parents (calling their children morons, telling them that they were all accidents, too wrapped up in their own narcissism to even pay attention). My point is, they project an outward appearance of happiness (sparkles!) in order to garner attention from others. They have flashy cars and a big house. But, this is shallow, immature, and disordered. They aren’t capable of true connection or joy. It’s sort of sad really. And I feel exceptionally sorry for their poor, poor kids.

    • Karma, if you want to call it that, usually doesn’t come around as soon as we’d like. My ex also married his affair partner, they’ve had at least 1 kid, and all looks well. Only I know his financial situation is a shaky house of cards, at best. But that wouldn’t fit his image so he presents only a great life to his inner circle of similar low-lifes.

      And oh yeah, he’s a self-entitled pouty jackass, which means there’s NO WAY my ex is living in his perfect dream world. He is NEVER satisfied.

    • Personally, Beth, my thought is, give it time. BS has a way of stinking once it sits long enough. There is no possible way, in my mind, that a relationship that started out by sneaking around and lying can ever have a healthy foundation, no chance that a person who started it that way can ever give that specific relationship enough true and lasting respect to keep it working.

      Cheaters love fantasy. As soon as you become reality, you are private enemy #1.

      • “Cheaters love fantasy. As soon as you become reality, you are private enemy #1.”

        Amiisfree–that goes in my notebook; great insight.

      • Think about it. A relationship can only be as healthy as the people who are in it. They get to live with themselves and each other. As Chump Lady has said, it’s not like our exes will have some sort of personality transplant. Whatever we dealt with from them – poor coping skills, addictions, self-absorption, laziness, entitlement, lack of empathy – it’s all still there, because it’s who they ARE. Maybe just dormant in the wake of “sparkly newness” but that stuff will rear it’s ugly head in due time.

        • Amen. This is incredibly true. And true in every life circumstance outside of relationships. Previously posted about NPD/BPD couple who owned a restaurant that I was employed at. In the 10 months of my employment, I worked under 3 chefs, 2 sous chefs, 2 pastry chefs (this place had a bakery, so this was like an executive chef), and 3 night managers.

          Idealize, devalue, and discard played into every one of those relationships, without exception, including my own.

        • I desperately hope so! Because I can’t stand the idea of my h and that whoremat being happy! She’s a freaking train wreck! She has a kid that is the product of her ex fiancé raping her, and then she had an ex steal her SSN and bankrupt her, and he other ex was an alcoholic, cheater who abused her and stole her 401k. And somehow our relationship was codependent and unhealthy BUT I’m SURE they will be happy forever and ever and ever since he’s a cheater too. I HOPE the “relationship” blows up in his face ASAP!

      • Exactly right, Amiisfree!

        Years ago, my older woman friend was listening to me go on and on about my heartbreak at being rejected by my then BF. I’ll never forget her reply at the end of my lament, “But .. it’s you who really doesn’t want HIM.”

        It’s true – why would I want someone who constantly put me down, wanted to be other women while we were together, and was never around when I needed him? I was focusing on my feelings of rejection instead of realizing I wouldn’t want to be with someone so mean, shallow and unreliable!

        I finally saw him as a cruel, pretentious jerk. That’s still the truth, even if he’s living a sparkly-appearing life with his current girlfriend (Facebook photos of the happy couple on vacation, eating at nice restaurants and both posting mushy sentiments about the other). I know what she doesn’t know: he visit hookers and massage parlors, cheated when he was married, is a drug fiend and has friends who are married cheaters. I realize his GF is easily swayed by “generous” displays and material things. In many ways, they are a better match.

        But that’s not the kind of relationship I want – one built on lies with everything dependent on how things look on the outside only. I wouldn’t want him or the stupid drama back. No need for the karma bus here .. I trust that he still sucks
        (thanks to CL and CN for reminding me that liars don’t change)! Hugs to all.

    • I think people who marry their partners in crime go out of their way to pretend to the world that they have the perfect life. Why? Because to do otherwise is to acknowledge the shittiness of their behavior and that is something they will never do. It’s all a facade. I know of a woman who broke up long term marriage. She was less well off/ educated than her spouse and acted like she won the lottery. Perfect house, perfect kids, perfect life. We all knew the old hound dog was cheating the entire time but she just looked the other way. Finally, he started cheating closer to home and was caught redhanded by one of his new brood. The cheaters then made a big show of counseling, “recommitment” ceremony, big new diamond ring, expensive new car, and all was perfect was again. Except for the fact that he continued to cheat! She is now stuck because she gave up her career, such as it was, for him. The kids are a mess-drugs, legal problems, etc. And she still pretends to have the perfect life! Cheaters do not change; just because they hide their mess from view does not mean all is well in Cheaterville. We may not see it, but karma is a bitch!

      • Shortly before I left him, my cheater XH told me, “if it hadn’t been her (his married girlfriend) it would have been someone else”. This is how desperate he was to have a cake-fueled fling outside of his 26 year marriage. Well, now he and that woman are married, which I’m sure for him was strictly Image Management. Good luck with that you crazy kids.

        • ‘If it hadn’t been her, it would have been someone else?’

          Hmmm. Now there’s a savoury biscuit of exclusiveness which really should be shared with the Other Woman.

          Feel the specialness, right there.

    • Beth–many of these affair marriages rot from the inside out eventually. The participants and anxious, scared that the partner will cheat, etc.

      I think that the single biggest reason that cheaters and APs get away with it is that they believe the narrative of the cheater. Even if the affair clearly started in the marriage, people will believe the “marriage was already over” and all the other lies. The only way to combat that is to tell everyone the truth. They will say that you are crazy, but who cares?

      At this point, I don’t know what my advice would be other than to have no contact. It’s not worth the drama to expose the affair at this stage.

      But honestly, they are liars whose relationship started with a lie and betrayal. I don’t predict good things coming out of that in the long run.

      • Fact is though, they’re gonna say you’re crazy anyway, because of cheater’s spinning of the “sad sausage” story, when the reason for the marriage dying comes up.
        You might as well get in with the truth and then that way it at least plants a seed in some people, that maybe this twit was the cause of the marriage implosion. Or if they don’t, it makes clear to you that they are supporting the cheater’s side, and you can jettison them as a result.

    • Beth,

      It’s early in the game. There is NO free lunch in this world. It does catch up to them. I have had two ex-husbands who looked like they won the lottery after they left me with two small children for a new fuck. Fast forward, 20 years (sometime it’s that long, sometimes shorter – ask Roberta) their lives are a mess. The screw no longer holds a place of honor and they are left with the shit hole they dug.

      Patience. (I swear you will not even care once you are at meh.)

      I know you don’t believe in God, but vengeance is His and I have seen His work with my own eyes done in a manner I would have never imagined. Perfect timing and searing hot to such a degree I actually felt sorry for the jack asses.

      My prayer for you is to find peace during this incredibly painful time. Wondering about whether that mother fucker gets his takes time away from you. Don’t let him steal one more minute.

      • Calamity Jane is right; justice is not always swift, nor obvious, nor evident.

        E.g.–My X is sitting pretty, top of his profession, in his new million-dollar mansion, with his picturesque new GF. In a recent picture I saw of a dinner party he attended, he is smiling like the cat who swallowed the canary. But…he’s already complaining new GF isn’t intellectual enough for him to some mutual friends. Her sexual novelty will wear off in 10, 9, 8, …..

        I also found out that a job offer he received years ago but then evaporated was because the women in the department balked at hiring someone with his sexual reputation. He doesn’t know that was the reason, but it’s still karma; he really wanted that job.

        • The serial cheater in his position has a lot to worry about, too. While he’s sitting pretty, banging a lot of grad students who may believe that screwing their way to the top is how to succeed in the academy, it’s a ticking time bomb as to when he screws the student who’ll decide to go after him once she fails her quals or otherwise runs into trouble.

          That’s one reason why I didn’t see the warning signs that XH was carrying on with his Schmoopie in an EA. I saw that she was pursuing him, but I didn’t see that he was dumb enough to go along. I do remember telling him that she was a sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen, since she needed money and the company was already engaging in possible wage discrimination.

          At any rate, the day your X screws the wrong grad student is the day that University Counsel will decide he’s too expensive to keep.

        • Tempest – ah ha! ah ha! ah ah ha haha! 😀 So conversation about ‘One Direction’ is proving a bit dull for him, is it? 😀 Hahahahahhahaha! 😀 xxx

      • Calamity, you are right about this! Trust me CN, my ex and his Schmoopie and their Twu Wuv fell to shit in record time! Old boy got a cancer diagnosis, she began to show her true colors then! She was pushing him to change his will and beneficiaries and he found out she was a closet “Jesus Freak”! He endured evenings of prayer meetings with her Mom who claimed to be a Pastor. They would sit in Mommy’s living room banging a drum and tambourine praising the Lord! The Ex was confused because this was a woman who would drive over four hours and a state line to screw him in any hotel room and suddenly she turns into Mother Theresa and he can’t say a cuss word in front of her because it’s a sin and NOT gentlemanly! The woman was a nut case! But then “old boy” experienced some ED problems and wasn’t her sexual Romeo anymore. Plus he was unemployed and what little money he did have was coming to me! Pissed her off to no end! Her solution was to go behind his back and hire a lawyer to get him to take me back to court to get the settlement modified even though there was clearly a no modification clause!!! This all took place in a short four months of them shacking up together! He realized she was a nutbar! He couldn’t run fast enough from her! Yes, Karma visited in record time! Just be patient folks, it does happen. Yes, I admit mine came epically and fast, but it does come!

        • Wow, this is amazing. I kind of hope the cancer was ultimately cured because I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone but damn if it isn’t the BEST karma bus story about cheaters I’ve ever heard.
          And I’m so stunned! She was a Jesus freak and he didn’t know such a huge aspect of her personality? How could he not know her so well? A woman who I imagine cheater ass said was his one true love, the woman he had been hoping to meet all his life, his twin flame, no doubt his soul mate?
          Cheaters know and understand their affair partners on such a deep and cosmic level don’t they? Know each other like no one else does? After all it’s twu wuv. That’s why the sex is so sparkly isn’t it? Because of the deep feels not the illicit nature of side ass. What a huge shocker to discover that actually no, the person you have been balls deep inside for the last God knows how many months/years is actually pretty much a stranger. You don’t say?!!
          Sigh, they’re so incredibly stupid.

          • So true Ninjachump! These two idiots “met” on Facebook. She was married to a VERY successful man, lots of money, beach type lifestyle,etc. This foolish woman and my ex “hook up” and fall in Twu wuv over their Facebook personas. Her husband finds out she is screwing around and divorces her pronto! I warned my Ex about little miss fake and I remember telling him exactly how it would end….badly, but no, according to him this little viper snake was “so sweet, so incredibly smart, his wet dream come true!! We divorced in March, he officially moved in with her in May. The last thing I told him was, “I give you six months and I think I am being generous. This WILL end badly!” He was back at my door in September. I had heard from my BIL that he was miserable and very unhappy with her by June, but he got a devastating cancer diagnosis and was stuck with her until he had surgery. Once he healed he was out of there! I believe it was mutual because the fantasy lovey dovey lifestyle got blown up by reality and it was very ugly! Trust me! These assholes have no idea who they are screwing until they have to live with them and then it’s a shocker! I mean, really, mine “fell in love” after three days of screwing in a hotel room with his Facebook Schmoopie! Really??? They are ridiculous!

            • Any novelist that made this stuff up would be unpublished because their stuff was deemed unrealistic. smh

            • Ah Roberta I’m sorry you got tangled with a couple of immature freaks too. These cheating losers just don’t do “adult” very well. Honestly 6 year olds make better decisions. Here’s to a new life for you amongst your own kind – grownups!

        • Same thing happened to my good friend (I’ll call her Wife One). After 2 years of excellent marriage, he dumps her without warning for a Special Schmoop. Rather, he returned from a week-long ‘business trip’, plonked his suitcase down on the floor, and announced he was leaving. He shook the sand out of his suitcase (ehem, ‘business’ on the beach, then?), re-packed his bags, moved to Schmoopietown, and immediately developed prostate cancer. The fantasy romance with The True Love was completely ruined by two years of doctors and treatments and injections and scans and hair loss and nausea and all the rest of it. They then spent the next two years quickly producing two children– Duct Tape and Spackle. Spackle wasn’t even out of nappies and the cancer survivor serial cheater was at it again, packing bags and boxes to be with yet another True Love Special Schmoop. Who he left a few years ago… when Wife One lost track of him.

      • Thank you so much CalmityJane for the wonderful comments. Now for the record I do believe in God I just question is he is real and also if he is even concern about what his true faithful is dealing with. That is what I question and that is ok to question that.

        • Yes beth HE is there right beside you and HE knows your pain. I’ve shed many tears, screamed, and asked the hard questions as to why. Why would an awesome GOD allow such horrible things to be done to me. Don’t you have my back GOD? I went deeper into my scriptures and many started to resurface. He is near the broken hearted, warnings against abandoning the wife of your youth, and not providing for your family. I can Iidentify with david of Psalm 70-71, Job and even the husband of Gomer.
          His answer is that I placed a human being in HIS place, one that is fallable and filled with sin. My husband and I were not equally yoked and as a result as I drew nearer he chose a diferent path. It took me many years and so many life experiences and trials but this failed marriage is part of a group of experiences that make me who I am. I am to take all that learned including the failed marriage and pass that on. There is life after all this pain, but the real trajedy would be if I lost me in the process.

          Be the best person you can be. Focusing on your ex or waiting for his reaping waste precious amounts of your time here.

          • Yes. Beautifully put Renewed. I have learned a lot by reading about Joseph. A book called “waiting on God” Love it. Joseph’s prayers were answered in God’s perfect timing, when Joseph was ready to receive them. God was with him always, through all his trials. HE is with us too.

            • I am rather anti-organized religion in general. Bible was too hard to read and I was brought up old-fashioned Luthern – with those old sad songs. Hated it all, except if there was a pastor who could deliver a good sermon (unlike the one the full church heard the day after 911 – which had nothing to do with people’s pain – and I lost a friend in the towers) Nah, no relief there.

              But, there is no way I don’t believe in a higher power.
              IT gives us the chance to stare at butterflies just coming out, or new blossoms on spring trees, and flowers and so much beauty in life. I never would have thought of creating all that, and that is all good stuff. But, life, especially as we get older, seems to give us more challenges. Death, divorce, kids dying, dogs dying, you name it. The older you get, the more pain you see and go THROUGH it, never around it.

              For me – this is one of the best threads I’ve read on CL, it touches so many of us.
              So, for me, at the moment – you guys are my Spiritual Leaders, although I’m sure you didn’t create the butterfly, just yet. 😉

    • Beth,

      When I think of the Limited I believe he did find a perfect life. Serial cheaters eventually have to land somewhere. They land with others who share their need to be special. I see it as he found his soulless mate who believed his lies and ignored his lack of loyalty and the ability to grow as a person. For years he created the illusion of a family man devoted to his children. Man, was it a mountain of shit for me to support his image bathed in his pathology all those years. Karma is that they take their serial cheating asses someplace else. So they recreate the illusion with someone who shares their lack of morals and character. What are we left with during the discard? Blame.

      This brings me to the assessment of the cheater. What are they good for? Nothing. Once I saw him for what he was, a serial cheating, pathological lying, sociopath it became easier to dissolve the illusion of the fucker I kept on a pedestal despite the truth. I finally saw him. Mask off. So the limited takes the whore on vacations = credit card debt, buys a new vehicle =credit card debt, gets her a new car= more debt, and recreates the magical dreams which a serial cheater can not obtain because they are delusional. We paid our debt, didn’t we? You know the truth Beth and regardless of what image they create its a bubble of disorder. That perfect life is just another illusion. Let them act, its what they are good at. Switch the channel as its like watching a rerun.

    • Hey Beth. I hear your unspoken question. Yes, there IS a GOD. He loves you and he pursues you with great abandon. I knew, even when my world was falling apart around me at DDay, I knew God was with me. He does not punish us. Even when we feel like life is giving us lemons, we (He) can use it to grow stronger and smarter. And we can learn to love deeper. Much love and hugs Beth.

        • Yes it was Donna. It was a blessing. I see it so clearly now. I couldn’t see it at the time it was happening but I see it now.

          Single and Free, that’s me! (and you too!)

      • Yes, God is real and He loves us. He loved me so much that He woke me up from a deep sleep the night I caught my STBXH out for drinks with a new divorced woman. I went to bed thinking he was out with lawyers at a business dinner. I had no reason to doubt his story and I didn’t give it a second thought and went right to bed. 12:30am I was startled awake and got a horrible feeling in my gut. My first thought was he went to the strip clubs with the lawyers (not that he has done this recently — that I know of — but it was my first thought.) Long story short, GOD WOKE ME UP! I don’t like what I’m going through at all, but God loves me so much that He doesn’t want me to be in a relationship with a cheater and pathological liar.

    • Things to come around…. IN the grand scheme of things my ex moved on to his perfect life– significantly younger wife, now two kids, etc. but our daughter is NC with him given everything, and he occasionally sends pathetic email messages to her “I thought about you today and wondered how you were doing… your sister did X and I remember you doing that at the same age…” stuff like that. Dude, your choices led to her keeping you away!

      He also tells me after he sees our son (3-4x per year, including 6 weeks in the summer) “He is a wonderful young man”
      No duh, dude, he lives with me and I see him every day!
      Never thanks me, though, no acknowledgement of my hard work.

      • Thank you all for the wonderful and powerful comments! I am so grateful for them all. Many reasons why I love CL and CN. I have been years out of the marriage and the divorce. The AP he married is many many years younger than him (shocking right). I think when they got together was just a few weeks after I had a miscarriage (well 2nd miscarriage). He tried for years to talk me into having kids with him but I never had a good feeling to do that. I guess the red flags I had all the years and also he cheated on me before. From what I know know that he cheated on my all the years we were together (over 15 years). This last AP he left me for was about 18 years or 19 years old and he was in his late 30’s. I’ll let everyone do the math with that. I know they got engaged in the middle of our divorce, bought a house together and got married not long after the divorce. During our years together I always had red flags about his odd behavior and sadly I didn’t have any knowledge or education about these Personality Disorders. I only gain the knowledge and education in the last couple of years or so. I know they have at least 2 kids maybe 3. I have been no contact with him and his family and friends for many years. During my divorce with him I found out that my family would tell him in great detail about things I would do and I would get phone calls from him questioning my actions and behavior. The divorce was almost final and I got my dream job and I was able to move very far away (oceans away) and I found out more details that my family was in contact with him and the AP. I decided at that time to have no contact with my family and friends also. I do have contact with someone that I can fully trust that checks on the ex and his “followers” (that is what I call them). I pretty much has dropped off the planet in a matter of words. I have a great new life with true friends. Just sometimes I do wish the bastard and his followers (including the AP) would get a nice kick in the ass with karama. Now I do believe in God. I just question sometimes if he is “real”. That’s all. I am a very spiritual person and yes religionist also. I know God understands if we question him at times. I would just like some justice with all of the shit and the hell he pulled during my time with him. Thank you once again for helping me confirm things that I always think about just need to see how others look at it also. Many hugs to you all!!!!!

        • Beth, the justice has been served. You got away and have a wonderful life. This is the sweetest justice of all. I have an empty gold birdcage above my bed with an open door to remind me I am no longer his hostage. Don’t look back!! You are mighty!!

          • Thank you Donna for your kind words. Too be honest with you I don’t feel like it is any justice and also I do think or feel I am “mighty” one bit. I do feel like a fool and just plain stupid for not listening to gut and running away from the ex when the red flags I saw even in the beginning weeks and days of our relationship. I do recall him telling me he loves me on our first date and I just gave him this look knowing there is no way that could be true. Love doesn’t happen that fast and even didn’t even know my last name as long as anything else. The childish behaviour of his was so many red flags and I could never fully understand why he would do what he did. Of course I had many “excuses” but even those reasons didn’t make sense to me also. With the first D-Day I wanted out and told him it would not work out and he begged me I mean begged me to stay and promised me the moon and the stars and even went to couple’s therapy. How he would act in there was unbelievable. During couple’s therapy I knew something wasn’t clicking within him. Something inside of him was missing. Even outside of therapy he would say things and act that I knew something was missing within him. Many years later after the divorce and being able to study and really asking some serious questions about his behaviour and other things about him I know now he is without no doubt Cluster B Personality Disorder being. He and her and his other AP and his family and sadly mine had NO empathy what so ever what happen and what was done to me and my life. So I don’t feel mighty and I don’t feel like any justice has been done. I am very hurt and just heartbroken that people that I loved more than life itself did this and got away from it. I am sure so many can related to the pain and the darkness that these people do to our lives. There is no excuse for it. He got what he wanted in his life. I really don’t think he will get any pay back for what he did. I do not feel mighty at all.

            • *correction with the first few sentences* I do not feel “mighty” one bit……I never have felt that at all years later.

              • Beth, for a start, you are mighty even for surviving a relationship with a Cluster B. Sadly, not everyone does. While we’re not necessarily fully cognizant of it at the time, navigating a relationship with a Cluster B is like being forced to do a Crazy Golf Course from Hell where each and every overwhelmingly difficult and absurd obstacle does some kind of damage to you. You played on, and you made it out of there intact. Look back at what you survived. That in itself is a demonstration of extremely high levels of strength and self-preservation.

    • I know of a married man who got his affair partner pregnant 16 years ago. He divorced his then-wife and moved in with his affair partner shortly before she gave birth to twins. They married when the children were about 4 years old. Today the children are 15 years old and his wife has gone back to work, after suffering a health crisis, to a minimum wage job to save up for a divorce. She is tired of his constant drinking, disappearing acts, emotional abuse and neglect. I am aware of at least one instance of him cheating on her. She cannot go home to her mother’s house because her mother, who is now having health issues, threw her entire lot in to have a mother-in-law addition built onto their house. Her mother takes cleaning work when she can get it. The wife, her mother and the two daughters now have a plan to leave once the women have saved up enough money to go. This is one case of two affair partners marrying who are not living happily ever after.

      • So very interesting, xh moved in with ap when kicked out. Then were planning my demise, stay tuned.
        Whore lives him after 5 months, she called me everything dont care she 22 and stupid lol daddy issues.
        X tries to wreckoncile, keep him at bay . Two children, two grandchildren. He runs and takes escapee whore back, like teenagers
        However, when i first found out i said”whatcha gonna do when whore gets pregnant? No answer.
        Guess what 23 year old, now gf, pregnant!
        Karma train showed up. Yesss
        I love children and our grandchildren, but wont end well.
        My son said “dads a mess”, he leaves it alone.
        Howeever my daughter said” i love dad, i will be here for him to talk to” but i will not allow her to be part of me.
        Choices, hmnm guess they work shit out lol

  • Anyone who makes a commitment with someone, example marriage vows. There’s never a grey area that permits anyone to break promise. Cheating is a choice, black and white. People with character, don’t cheat.

  • It’s not the person being judged it’s the action. I am very comfortable saying that cheating is wrong. There is no gray area for me. In my judgement – cheating is wrong. I am being judgmental. I am judging. I have no problem judging. Judgement – the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.

    • People carry out actions, with deliberation. I judge the person, too. Cheat? You’re a shitty person. Entirely? No, even Hitler loved his dogs.

    • Agreed. I’m sorry, this is gonna sound arrogant, but those who cannot tell the difference between someone judging an action and someone judging a person just don’t have the intellectual clout to hang with me.

      Whenever my daughter asks something like “do you hate mommy?” I never say yes, because I don’t really hate her. I only ever say “No, I do not hate your mother, I hate some of what your mother did.”

      People fuck up. Some people fuck up so badly that they don’t deserve to be in your life any longer. But generally, hate is such a waste of time that I don’t go there. Focusing on living starts to put that stuff far enough behind you that you can sort of not care about it (unless it harms your kids, of course).

      • I understand your point, sephage, but am sticking with my original position. Actions require an agent. Multiple actions within an affair create a pattern of deception, cruelty, and neglect that negatively impacts the chump and the cheater’s family (even if they are not yet aware of the affair). The person who carries out that pattern of immoral acts is worthy of judgment. They need not be ALL bad, but part of them is morally or ethically diseased and I don’t shy away from saying so.

        • Tempest – we’re on the same page. We can judge the actions to the point of making justifiable decisions to jettison a perpetrator from our lives (as much as reasonably possible with kids) forever.

          There’s no conflict between my stance and yours, I think.I guess the point for me is that I don’t judge my cheating STBXW in the manner that these lame-ass blame-the-victim articles and comments would insinuate. If it’s being judgmental about a person to not want them in my lives after they’ve repeatedly fucked up that life, then I guess yeah, I am judging that person (and thank god for me and my kid that I am doing that!).

          The way that I see it, we’re making perfectly rational decisions about cheaters (that they are dangerous enough to our lives that they must be logically removed from them) based on their repeated terrible and immoral actions.

          • I agree with everything you said, and we are on the same page. But I’m probably meaner than you–I certainly judge my X to be a bad person (despite his great impression management-induced persona). Perhaps he’s worse than most in that he used his position of power to seduce young women (who themselves deserve moral blame, too; my 14 year old has more moral sense than those women had in their 20s). One young woman who wouldn’t sleep with him got downgraded and drummed out of the graduate program. That’s enough for me to declare him as evil. And, given a lot of the stories of people in CN, I’m willing to declare a big swathe of the cheaters as evil, even if they rescue stray kittens in their spare time. That makes them only 85% evil ; ).

            • See – if it were the person who is bad then they wouldn’t have any control of changing, they are just bad people. I think narcs interpret judgement as a personal attack. It is internalized that they are bad people. Perhaps that’s why they have low self-esteem. A judgement is an opinion. If I own my choices and opinions and recognize that I have control then I build self-esteem. If someone doesn’t like my purple hair then that doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. People may not agree or like all of my choices and I’m okay with that because that doesn’t mean the person doesn’t like me they just don’t like some of my choices. No two people agree 100% on how they judge things. Some people have a mental disorder that affects their thinking and judgement. That’s why narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder.

              • Narcs do not have low self-esteem. They sometimes pretend to when they are in the “pity” stage of trying to manipulate people, but there is mounting psychological evidence (thank you, George Simon) that neither narcs nor bullies (thank you, Ray Baumeister) actually have higher-than-average levels of self-esteem.

                and I happen tho think one’s identity is defined, in part, by their actions. Immoral actions = immoral person. Hitler doesn’t get off the hook because he was patriotic.

              • Having a mental illness does not *guarantee* that you perform certain actions; they are still under your control. DSM diagnoses are not laws of physics, and a person doesn’t get a pass on cheating because they have a personality disorder, IMHO.

            • I think that so long as you reach the conclusion to push a perpetrator out of your life, and keep them there, then it doesn’t matter if you did reached it by concluding that they’ve done too many bad things to be trusted, or if they are fundamentally bad and therefore cannot ever be trusted. Either way, they are a spiritual cancer and your life is going to be better in every meaningful way by not allowing them back into your life.

            • I didn’t say that they get a pass on their behavior. What I said was that the action is bad not the person. Mental illness doesn’t give someone a pass but helps to explain their actions. I do think narcs have low self esteem. The definition being – self-esteem – noun, confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.

              • Good, kind, decent people sometimes do bad things. The difference is it affects their conscience, which propels them in to action to make amends for what they have done. Bad people do bad things without any consideration to how it will affect anyone else and instead of a guilty conscience, they merely hope they don’t get caught.

              • Narcs have an over-inflated sense of self esteem. They really think that they are better than everyone else – and they feel entitled to do whatever the fuck they please because in their minds, they are #1 and mere mortals must bow down to their awesome self.
                Someone who has a low(er) self esteem would downplay their achievements or feel undeserving of praise. Narcs are the complete opposite of this. And so are bullies.

      • If you do bad things, you are a bad person. Period.
        Its the same mindset like these twits who say “They cheated but they are a good mother/father” – because we all know that devoting time that was SUPPOSED to be spent on your kids – on pursuit of some whore, constitutes good parenting, yeah? No. Just no.

      • I’m trapped in that right now. It’s only been a few weeks since d-day and I still desperately love my h. He’s an idiot and a fool. He made the worst decision ever. But he only did it once and knows how fucked up it was so I have hope he’s not an evil person, BUT he’s also not a reconciliation unicorn either. So it doesn’t matter. I have to hate on him because he is leaving. And if I don’t then I don’t think I’ll make it. Too heartbroken.

  • Ah, affair partners and the baseless articles they write to salve their wilted consciences. As with all marketing, you have to pass the message on frequently enough so “the stupid people” (a.k.a. your readers or customers) will begin to swallow your branding crap. A new idiot article every week or so claiming there is a plus side to betrayal seems to be the designated pathway these days.

    Thank God for Chump Lady.

  • My own Sister-in-Law (my brother’s wife) – said this to me; “It’s always the two people’s fault why *that* happens” It royally pissed me off, and it hurt like crazy. I asked her so if my brother cheats on you, then it must be your fault? You’re not doing something to make him *happy*?? she got all flustered, and said “yes, maybe it is my fault” – They are just ignorant, they’ve never been there, they really don’t know how much Infidelity fucks with your self esteem, and your self worth. And saying something like this to a Chump – it can set you back for a couple of days in rage. Until you come to a place like this, and learn differently.

  • Cheaters and their cheater freak affair partner own shades of gray. They can keep the color gray, it’s not a great color, it’s the color of old underwear, it’s the color of dust, it’s the color of mold, it’s the color of mystery meat, it’s the color of an ashtray, it’s the color of stinky cheese.

    It’s ironic how cheaters and their cheater side pieces judge those who judge them.

  • My Ex-douchecanoe is marrying his affair partner (who was also married with a kid) in 5 weeks. On. April. Fools. Day. Seriously people, you can’t make this stuff up.

    On one hand I am disgruntled about sharing my daughter with this horrid woman, but on the other hand I do not want my daughter who has been living with OW and OW’s daughter for 2 years, half her life, to have a person she cares about ripped out of her life. It’s truly the most excruciatingly painful character building experience of my life.

    My the case of my ex he is so obsessed with his image and making sure people know he is SUCH a GOOD GUY. He even wrote in his bio on his professional website that he made post divorce he is “an all around good guy.” I suspect that he is marrying OW to save face and show the world that he didn’t implode his life for just anybody, he did it for his ONE TWUUU WUUUVVV.

    It is perplexing to me, and has been from day 1, as to why these two cheaters (who both have a long track record of cheating) would be able to trust one another. I wonder if every time he goes on a business trip is she is obsessing over his time. I wonder if every time a woman comments on his facebook page if she is worrying about who that is since she brazenly did that while they were having the affair. I wonder if every time he sleeps with his phone under his pillow if she is worrying about what he is keeping the phone from her. In my wildest fantasies I hope she cheats on him. I love the analogy of building a house on a rotting foundation. I’ve long been calling OW – J with the magical pussy, but mink-lined works as well.

  • Oh Pamela. I judge. That’s who.

    It’s not complex. I’m an expert at “human-ing.” I get to judge. And I judge you to be an adultery apologist and a coward. You’re not happy with your spouse? Tell him you’re going to go have sex with another person. See how black and white his response is.

    @Beth Sorry your X “seems” to be having a perfect life. This needs no answer to the god question. There are humans that are bad actors. You picked one to marry. Again, sorry. But my experience is this: in the couple of months post D-Day when my STBXW was still puppeteering me, I mentioned to her that everyone on Tinder (OkC, etc.) seems to be “poly” these days. Her response? “Eww.” I kid you not. “Eww,” she said.

    Yeah, cheaters have two sets of rules. One for themselves and one for the Chump.

    I have no idea if you’ll ever see your X hit by the karma bus Beth. Let’s say you don’t. Maybe for example, he has an open relationship with his new wife. Ewww. Not my game. And not my STBXW’s game either. But, here’s the unseen karma. My STBXW and your X got the booby-prize. They have to live with the knowledge that their twu lurve broke up a marriage to be with them. They are trapped in their own hell. Who’s got the truth-deficit problem now? Cheaters!

  • As far as I’m concerned the cheating is just the tip of the bad behavior iceberg. After years of therapy and no contact it has become increasingly more clear how emotionally diminished I was in my marriage. Gas lighting, demeaning, belittling, contempt, etc. I married too young, trusted too much, and twisted myself into knots trying to make a Cluster B happy. Immediately after DDay I filed for divorce and the beast was released. Four years on I continue to receive the nastiest, most insulting emails and texts and due to the fact that we have kids including one who is disabled I need to have some minimal contact. I can send an email regarding visitation and receive one with the answer to my question along with the comment that I’m a fat pig and no one will ever love me. At least in my case I feel the situation is extremely black and white. He cheated, I divorced him and he has since launched a campaign of financial and emotional destruction. Not a lot of gray there.

  • Apparently cheating is very common. I read that half of married men and nearly that many married women cheat. Its not surprising that people would write these blameshifting articles…probably written by and enjoyed by cheaters themselves. I am so grateful for CL. She tells the truth. And her writing is so much better than these garbage articles trying to excuse the inexcusable.

  • Thanks for this post today. The other day there was something similar on Humans of New York’s facebook (HONY) which is a page I usually enjoy because the photos of various people on the street are always accompanied by a little quote telling something about their “story.” This one the other day showed a gray haired chubby guy looking dejected on a park bench and the accompanying story was the confession that he had cheated on his wife multiple times and now realized it wasn’t worth it.

    The comment section was FULL of Pamela-type nonsense about Don’t Judge!!!! As if the worst possible wrong or crime anyone could commit was never as bad as someone stepping forward and saying, “you, that’s wrong and goes against the general rules of morality that we as a society have aspired to for millenia.”

    What these “Don’t Judgers!” are really saying is they are narcissists themselves, who believe that it’s okay for anyone to do anything they please to anyone else as long as they believe they are justified. That’s really it in a nutshell. It galls me to see people justifying lying to someone who loves and trust you, which is what cheating unabashedly is. I guess it’s fashionable to blame the victim but the Don’t Judgers fail to see that with their victim-blaming comments they are Judgers as well. They just prefer the perpetrator’s side.

      • Thanks for sharing about the HONY post! I missed that one. Looking forward to my lunch break and reading through the comments. #betterthancable

    • I really enjoyed the polarized debate under that picture, it was a microcosm of the attitudes that exist. Love HONY.

  • I hope Pamela drags her “utterly complex” human ass over here to Chump Lady.

    Now defend yourself Pamela. Oh, nothing to say?

    We are just bitter bunnies?


  • “Yo, Pamela! Would you want to be cheated on?”

    I don’t see Pamela giving a black and white answer there. I see her answering, “Well, it depends…”. Perhaps because she has never been cheated on in a marriage (to her knowledge), feels vows are just window-dressing words for a traditional “ceremony”, is close to someone who has cheated in a relationship and buys their bull-crap, has fungible boundaries within relationships/marriage herself, or is a chump in the making.

    She sees herself as a nuanced thinker and therefore boundaries and black and white thinking are just so judgmental, restrictive, and wing-nut.

    • Yep. I would not want to be a passenger in her car when she comes to a red light and ponders on whether it’s too restrictive or black and white.

  • I have had quite a lot of things happen in my life. But being cheated on is categorically the worst thing that has ever, ever happened to me. From one moment to the next, everything you thought your life was, was a lie. You actually do not know this person, your assumptions were a lie. Nothing is worse than the extreme unsafeness of that.

  • This is the kind of advice I found about affairs before I discovered Chumplady:

    The article suggests that affairs are part of a relationship system that both spouses take part in, and gives false hope that the marriage can heal and become ever stronger after discovery of the affair, if the couple can just let go of resentment and forgive.

    I’m so glad there’s an alternative to this kind of advice now!

    • That very advise had me in a mindfuck for 10 months. How dare anyone suggest we forgive and forget and it can be better than ever? How dare they.. when we are in that state of shock to put all the burden on us. These articles are written by Narcs or people who prey on your state of mind and unicorn hopes to make money. I actually bought tapes and listened to how to forgive and reconcile while he went on a trip to heal from his affair which I allowed because I read that they mourn their affair and I had to respect that. Oh My F’ing you know what. Really???? Really???

    • Lyn, god what a pile of horseshit that was. Starting with the Esther Perel quote. What a waste of DNA.

    • One of my major issues with this type of infidelity site is that the chump needs time away from the cheater to really see what is going on. When you’ve been living with abuse like this, sometimes for years, and then experience the horror of a D-Day, the last thing a chump needs is a cheater wanting to save the marriage and press for forgiveness. If a chump takes the time to get counseling with a good therapist, takes time to do an assessment of the relationship, and takes time to see how the cheater reacts to actual consequences like separation, then it might be possible to make an decision that is not informed by social expectations or abject fear and shock.

    • After reading that article Lyn, it is indeed the typical way therapists and Wreconcilation experts (So Called) talk about the complexity that is Infidelity. (Their Words Not Mine). Thank God again…for what (Tracy) a.k.a Chump Lady has created and the support of the Chump Nation. The reality for me now, 7 months after D-Day…a nuclear holocaust of a 33 year marriage due to a 7 year double life affair/relationship by my STBX is this: Any AFFAIR…even mine being nuclear as far as affairs go…are not complex.. In my case I don’t even like the term affair since it went on long enough that if we were in Florida it could of been a common law marriage. LOL. However I digress…only in the camps of Purists, The Holier Than Thou Crew, The Don’t do as I do crowd, do as I say…councilors, preachers, teachers…and overall idiots; do we find words like Complex, Grey or Shared Responsibility, when speaking about evaluating, counseling or describing the devastation of a spouses infidelity. Only here…at Chump Nation…will you hear the truth spoken in its simplest form. Infidelity Sucks. The person that commits the act of Adultery is wrong, it was their choice. There is no fog, or temporary insanity defense to be excepted, when offered by the unfaithful spouse. Cheaters – It really is this simple: there is no Perfect Relationship and No Chump ever said in a marriage vow that they would be or even try to be perfect. Therefore My Dear Sociopath Cheater be it known that never, ever is it the Chumps fault for causing the wayward spouse to become lost in sin or become temporarily misoriented with their understanding of morality. Due to my friendship with Mr. Hind Sight, which I developed over time and by staying strong with No Contact…I can finally see what really is going on with this “thing” we all have in common called Infidelity. The truth my fellow Chumps is this: Infidelity is not Complex – It’s Simple…Our STBX’s or X’s Suck! They have major issues that will do nothing to enhance our lives as members of the human race, and that the sooner we part ways with our Cheater…as Chump Lady states. (Leave a Cheater, gain a life) yes fellow Chumps it’s true…Leave, run don’t walk and Gain a Life. There is no complexity to celebrate in the Cheater’s actions…let complexity be a topic to describe you and celebrate your new life in MEH. – Enjoy the Journey. Ironwarrior a.k.a. The World’s Strongest Chump.

      • I believe it all boils down to a cheater becoming unhappy about things in the marriage they don’t know how to express, and feel entitled to have, so they “solve” their relationship problems by looking to someone else to give them those things (i.e. adulation). They’re too scared to look inside themselves for answers, or to think they could be doing something to contribute to their unhappiness.

        I managed to get my ex to counseling a couple of times before discovery of the affair because I was so upset about his “relationship” with his coworker. In counseling he never said much of anything, didn’t open up, didn’t have suggestions on things we could change, nothing. However, on D-day before he left, he told me “we went to counseling, and it didn’t work.” He did everything except tell me how he felt, or what he wanted me to do differently! In our long marriage I remember thinking he must not have any true emotions because he never expressed them, especially once the kids were born. Even now my kids tell me he never asks them how they’re doing, or what their wives are doing. The only way they can get a conversation going is to ask him about himself. He’s a brilliant storyteller and can entertain a crowd for hours, even have people laying on the floor laughing, but one-on-one he is utterly silent. I can’t tell you how many meals I sat through trying desperately to start conversation while he stared at the TV. In the end I just chalk it up to the fact that you can’t work things out with a person who won’t talk to you about anything except sports or work.

        • Lyn-I believe we married the same man! He rarely showed real emotion and once during one of our marriage counseling sessions he TOLD the therapist he did not have feelings. She argued the point with him but as I sat there looking at his blank face, I realized that he may actually be right about that.

          I am now nearly 2 years divorced from him and he is and has been living with the OW for about 3 years. I really did not believe it would last this long. I no longer care and I’m mostly at “meh”. What I know for sure is that she is living with the same person I did for 23 years and I am nearly 100% certain he hasn’t changed. I am glad I no longer am giving my emotional self to someone who can’t, won’t or doesn’t feel anything back!!! THAT is a total waste.

  • I just don’t get these knuckle-dragging idiots. Are affairs okay? No. No gray area. At. All. Marriage vows say “forsaking all others”, “love, honor and cherish”, “til death do us part”, blah, blah, blah. It is a contract that is usually witnessed by a hundred or more of your nearest and dearest, and worse, those of the Christian persuasion invite God into the mix as well. Breaking a contract like that in any other area of life would open you up to lawsuits and even criminal charges. If there were huge consequences for the one who breaks that contract, most infant/adults would think twice about entering into such a contract.

    I’m going to urge my child to have a pre-nup with a cheating clause. Everyone should. If your betrothed balks at that, then you know what their character is before you waste 20 years of your life with an asshole who thinks only of themselves. I’m so freaking sick of morons like Pamela prothelitising about affairs when they have no clue what it is like to be the one cheated on.

    I’ve never once read anything by a betrayed spouse that says affairs are okay, that there are shades of gray involved in affairs. Until you’ve been on our side of an affair, Pamela, shut your giant pie hole.

    • @uneffingbelievable

      In my life, I’ve seen some of my older-generation family members deal with adultery. The couple that is still together post infidelity would both say the same thing as Pamela: “It’s complex.”

      Undoubtedly Pamela is a victim, or a perpetrator, or maybe a parenting someone in an adulterous relationship. But now that Pamela has been involved in an adulterous relationship, she has a LOT invested in the “complexity of human relations” trope.

      If Pamela were to judge, she’d find herself guilty.

  • Jane Ball’s piece came right on time for me. My ex and his AP are still together after almost 3 years, and I realized today that I am grateful for her continued presence in his life. She’s a shitty person with shitty values, and she’s got a shitty cheater boyfriend who will devalue her magic pussy just as he’s devalued everyone who came before her.

    What I am grateful for is her bang-up job of keeping him the hell away from me and my life. If he didn’t have the distraction, he’d be all up in my business trying to sparkle me back. I know I’m still vulnerable here, so the distance is just what I need as I continue to strengthen my resolve. When the magic wears off for them and life gets real, I’ll be ready to nod sympathetically as I tell him “Sucks for you, babe. Good luck with that.”

    • Me too meadowlands. I might not be able to stomach the term “grateful” but I am glad the constant promise of sex from the Flying Whore keeps him out of my way and in the No Contact zone where he belongs.

      • It’s weird, I know, but being grateful helps me to diminish her centrality, like she’s doing me a service. It cuts out that bullshit narrative of “their love is real” with a fresh burst of reality. She is temporary. She isn’t special. And she’s of use to me while she’s letting him suck the lifeblood out of her like he did to me.

        One of my goals is to exile my ex completely from my emotional life, and for that I need lots of time and distance. I loved him very much, and that feeling isn’t fading as quickly as I want it to. So she’s buying me the time and space I need to get healthy and strong again.

        • BINGO! I swear it has taken me this long to be thankful that Tweeny is in my Ex’s life. I actually feel badly for her at times…. It passes quickly but none-the-less… I know she is just entering womanhood and has been so manipulated by this predator. She may continue to blindly believe his story and that will secure her position in his life. I realized it is that particular quality he was looking for. When and if she ever askes the question is when her time will end. If she is as insecure as I think she is …. She will suck it down for a long time. Poor kid. Live and learn

          • I have the same twinges of pity for Gashley, too. (Not so much that I can’t make up immature names for her, but I’m only human.) She’s falling into a trap, some of which she’s made herself and some of which he’s set up for her. After I first found out about their affair, I wanted to be the “special” one. But now? I wouldn’t trade places with her for anything. I’m glad to be almost free and clear of the wreckage.

    • I agree, Meadowlsnds… if they keep with the AP it gives us clearence to heal, stops the fake trying to get you back. The more of them that stay together the better. So let’s all agree that it is black and white that the cheater and AP together makes it a safer place for us.

  • My ex has been living with a woman for well over a year. We’ve been divorced for two months (two months TODAY!! Yay!!) so you can do the math there. The woman he lives with called me a few weeks ago (at 1:30 am which was not cool). She started by asking me if my ex was really a monster as I had said in a Facebook post (she stalks me on FB apparently). I told her that yes he is. That is what I call a man who regularly spent half his take home pay on his penis activities rather than on his family, leaving his family always short of money beyond the basic necessities. And who, of course, blammed me because he was “increasingly unhappy in the marriage” something he didn’t bother to mention until AFTER I caught him cheating. She told me that he told her that he had never been faithful in our 30+ years together. And you’re questioning whether you should be with him? That’s not blind faith, that’s blind stupidity. But not my problem. If she wants to believe that he will be faithful to her (or maybe doesn’t care since I have reason to believe that she’s a stripper like the vast majority of his APs so maybe she just wants a meal ticket) then good luck to her. I have absolutely no faith in his ability to change. I trust that he sucks. And not just at fidelity. 😉

    • “He told her that he had never been faithful in our 30+ years together.” This is no ‘intimate disclosure’ shared to bring two cheaters closer together — he was issuing her with a warning. Chumps know the cheater lingo and she does not. We know that he just told her straight out, fair and square, that he intends to fuck around forever because that is what he does, every time, all the time. Her continuance in the relationship after he threw that down is a complete joke.

      • I agree HandG. As I said, I have reason to believe she’s a former (or maybe current) stripper as were most of his APs so it’s entirely possible he’s nothing more than a meal ticket to her and she doesn’t really care what he does as long as he keeps paying her bills.

  • I totally agree that cheating is the fault of the cheater and not the faithful spouse. However i do believe that affair partners who get married can be happy together. I think it is wishful thinking on the chumps part that they lead miserable lives because of their behavior. Life isn’t fair and sometimes people who do terrible things suffer no consequences.
    I do my best to not care what kind of life my ex has. She is still with AP I assume but I really don’t know for sure. I don’t care if she is happier or not. the bottom line is she freed me from the bonds of an apparently unhappy marriage(even though I thought I was happy) and I got out with my integrity intact. My life has only improved since I was discarded. My focus is on me and my son, not her.
    Will I enjoy it if the karma bus comes. I suspect I will. But the best outcome would be if it comes and I don’t care one way or the other. That would mean I really have attained meh.

    • chew,

      Argue like you’re right, listen like you’re wrong. (I stole that.) I’m always looking for reasons why I’m wrong. I come to Chump Nation to get my ideas hammered-on. The karma bus is problematic. I’m not a perfect person. I hope the karma bus makes a detour around me.

      chew you make some excellent points.

      chew, you said:

      Life isn’t fair and sometimes people who do terrible things suffer no consequences.

      Kim Jong-Il comes to mind. (Query? Is my STBXW as bad as a war criminal? Or thousands of others who got off Scot-free.) (What’s with the Scottish bashing?)

      Lil' Kim

      I’m not beyond caring what kind of life my STBXW has. In my case, because: divorce proceedings. But I think the operative word here is “happy.” Is she happy? Well, I’d argue that as this point after 10 years together, I know my Match Girl better than anyone else on the planet. I’m judging her trajectory now. (Stole that too.) I judge her happiness based on her self-proclaimed idea of what happiness would look life in her own life. She values monogamy. (LMFAO!) She wants to be financially secure. She wants a satisfying career. She said she loves being childfree. So I took her at her word. So by her own definition, her new life isn’t “happy.”

      So, when I look at people who apparently get off Scot-free I get to decide if they have suffered any consequences. I get to decide if they’re happy. I have a definition of happy that is different from others. But I like my definition. And my STBXW does believe somewhere in her skein that she is happy. She’s delusional.

      But what about the argument that she’s changed? She’s better now? She learned her lesson. Well that’s where meh comes in. I won’t begrudge her happiness. But I don’t want any part of it.

  • Fundamentally cheating on a spouse is wrong. You entered a contract. You made promises.

    I do not care who my non marital business partner has sex with but I do care if my business partner spends our money for private gratification and then lies to me about where this money is being spent. If my business partner makes arbitrary decisions without me, breaks the law, embezzles our funds it is very black and white that my business partner broke our contract.

    But in marriage my business partner is also my sexual partner. My sexual partner has signed paperwork and vowed in front of God or an administrative body, family and friends to be faithful.

    Faithful is defined as:
    loyal, constant, staunch, steadfast, resolute mean firm in adherence to whatever one owes allegiance. faithful implies unswerving adherence to a person or thing or to the oath or promise by which a tie was contracted

    It does not mean lie to the person you swore unswerving adherence to.
    It does not mean remain loyal, constant, staunch, steadfast until somebody better comes along.
    It does not mean remain loyal until your partner becomes fat, ugly, depressed, emotional, cold, busy, or “insert whatever adjective the cheater uses as a reason to stray”.

    The marital business is creating a home and family for companionship and financial and emotional safety. Cheating, lying, leaching monies and time from this home and family is not a grey area. in black and white terms it is deception, embezzlement and in some parts of the world breaking the law.

  • When I was swimming in the aftermath of Dday, like so many others, I googled it. OMG the wealth of sites saying how to forgive and reconcile. I felt overwhelmed. It was as if all the work, all the fixing, all the everything was on me as the betrayed!!! I had to read terrible narc written articles about why men cheat and they basically told me because I did not adore him, or I nagged, or I gained weight or this or that. Guess what??? He nagged, he did not adore me and he gained weight!!!! Over and over again, how to forgive and if I forgave I had to let it go and not beat him up and allow him to show remorse and transparency! Oh, yes, as a little girl I grew up dreaming about having to check my lover’s cell phone records, have him call me to tell me everywhere he was and is going. So, I had to forgive, babysit and love and adore him so he would not feel the need to cheat!!!!!! OMG. Really? I thought I was INSANE. I know all this information was flooding at me,, so it must be me. It must because everyone everywhere is just okay with this and it is the betrayed spouses fault and the burden of all of it lies with the betrayed.

    Let me tell you, if it was my fault (not) I have been punished. Lesson learned. I just could not even get a grip on any sort of reality until I found this site. Do you know why I stopped adoring him?? Because he was a piece of shit! Do you know why he cheated, lied and betrayed? Because he was a piece of shit.


    • As for if a cheater and his/her AP can live happily ever after? I hope so. Why? Because it keeps both of them together where they belong and neither will be able to suck in a good loyal person and leave them in ruins.

      If they are together, the world is a safer place.

      • Oh, Jackie my hope is he stays with her for a long, long time. Its not a happily ever after in my mind. Its- you got exactly what you were looking for all these years. It was always the thrill of the chase. I changed the dance step and filed. Now he’s stuck with IT. The Limited expected a repeat of the infatuation stage with me as we cycled through it for YEARS. Why do they settle in with the OW and reproduce while they discard their wife and children? Image control, the recreation of the illusion of living a better life. Its a repeat performance. Its not a better life, its acting with a different cast. Brainwashing through the slow boil, kept me stuck. The past two times I saw the LIMITED with his crazed whore he looked pathetic, an underdog wanting to be saved. The FIGHT or dance to keep him ended. There is not a doubt in my mind he wants to be saved from the hell life he was forced to live when I had enough. Our grief is real. They mourn the loss of spackle, kibbles, and supply. New supply, not so attractive anymore living in a dump, massive debt, and a crazed psycho druggie with conduct disorder. Now he’s in the pumpkin shell. We get to gain a life and not look back.

        • Donna… my ex threw me out of our home which wss in his name. Never married or kids.. but 23 years. He, I later learned, cleared me out to have her move in. So… he tells her and she ditched him. She had cheated on him 6 of the 12 months and moved in with the other one. See, she was 25 yrs younger, no job, 2 kids and picked whoever moved faster to house and care for her. And… he left another AP for her… threw me to curb. But the entire time he begged me back he was seeing another girl even younger. The no contact is only working because he is preoccupied. So he is dating her begging me back. I see a happily ever after there!

  • I want to curb-stomp anyone who ever says, “There’s two sides to a story” or “it takes two to ruin a marriage” or “it’s not a black and white issue”.

    In my case, I had what I thought was a pretty great marriage, until I didn’t anymore. Yes there were some chumpy red flags in hindsight, but I was happy, and he relentlessly said he was happy too. This wasn’t expressed to me after I prodded him to tell me he loved me or sat at the edge of the bed grilling him about how devoted he was to me. This was a man who would wake up and hold my face in his hands, and tell me how much he adored me. All our friends and family thought he was happily devoted to me. This was the same guy that welled up with tears when we stood in front of our newly purchased dream home, telling me how happy he was that he finally had everything he ever wanted; a great house, awesome job, and he was married to the love of his life. At the same time, he was banging a whore in a hotel room a few cities over every Friday afternoon for at least a year.

    That’s what cheating is. It’s cake at the expense of someone who has no fucking clue. It’s really that simple. And people who cheat lie to everyone else that believes them to be an upstanding person. Cheating is a lie to everyone, and I haven’t even touched on what it does to kids involved.

    So when anyone ever tried to smugly tell me that there’s “two sides”, or I should “forgive”, they feel my wrath. I’ve never stood down from any idiot who has done this to me. When you deliberately cheat on me, destroy me emotionally, rape my bank account, lie to our friends about what happened, and then abandon me and the step-kids you claimed to love so much, that’s not “gray”. That makes you a scumbag. Anyone who defends these people, their motivations, or their actions, they too, can fuck right off.


    • Rumblekitty…

      “There’s two sides to a story” or “it takes two to ruin a marriage” or “it’s not a black and white issue”.

      Agreed. It can take ONE to ruin a marriage. Cheating will do it. It is a one sided act and that is why it is hidden from us. They know it is wrong, they know they are pieces of shit. They are masters of deception and lead everyone to think otherwise. But that statement right there when read by us in early stages of learning we have been deceived is nothing less than mind fuckery.

    • Rumblekitty–were we separated at birth? The urge to “curb-stomp” people–love it! Thus far, no one has had the courage to pull the “it takes two” line on me, and the one person I know who might think that has quietly sat while I ranted about the absurdity of that view. She now prefers not to talk about my divorce. Funny that.

    • #ohhellno is right on Rumblekitty!
      On the rare occasion I get that shit it takes two or forgiveness BS I start to sound a little like Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) in Pulp Fiction doing the Ezikiel 25:17 scene. You know the one….”and I will strike down upon thee….”

    • Oh Rumblekitty! – you’ve probably heard me say before, but the ‘Great I Am’ used to tell me how happy he was, how much he loved me, how I was the only woman for him, how he felt he’d won the lottery with me. None of these DAILY declarations were as a result of me fishing for them. And yes, there were red flags about THIS MAN (primarily the attitude he had towards his last partner of 17 years and the mother of his 2 children – I could never understand the level of hatred he had for her and tried to reason with him about it on many, many occasions) but I too, thought we were blissfully happy.

      In fact, he was VERY happy and VERY greedy and had a VERY bottomless pit of need where his soul should have been.

    • Well said!
      My personal philosophy is anyone who cheats, irrespective of who it is, is someone I don’t want to have anything to do with, and will cut them out of my life. Same with cheater apologists. I might not have many friends as a result, but fuck if I’m cavorting with people with questionable morals and people who can justify heinous lies.

  • What a dingbat. Until you’ve been down in that rabbit hole don’t even try to comprehend what it’s like to be cheated on!

  • The black/white vs. grey things still irks me. While in false MC ex told me that the problem was that I see everything B&W… my stupid response (as I was trying to save the marriage) was that I realize life is complicated, etc. Blech.
    Divorce has been final for almost 3 years. Just within the last 6 months, daughter sent her father an email message (first one in over a year) re: cheating and lack of respect for the partner. His response was basically– if you use infidelity as the only yardstick then yes, I am to blame, but marriage is complicated and your mother and I both f*cked up.

    Yes, he used profanity in the message, and no, he STILL does not take any responsibility for his actions.

    I have a good friend that has tried to take the perspective that people are good, just sometimes their choices are bad.
    A mutual friend said that first friend finally admitted that my ex cannot be a good person given all that he has done (multiple affairs, moving away and leaving his children, etc).

    As others have said, folks who say there are two sides to every story do not get it. Cheating= stealing= wrong.

    • zyx321, this is similar to what STBX believes: “people are good, just sometimes their choices are bad”

      The last time I spoke to him (about a month ago) he kept reciting, “I made a mistake, but I am not a mistake.”

      I guess it was a mistake to spend our life savings on porn and prostitutes. Advertising himself and his teensy erect penis on Craigslist was a mistake. Fucking strangers met in hotel bars…a mistake.

      Ironically, STBX is a “family values” conservative. You should hear him rail against Bill Clinton or other liberals who engage in extramarital affairs.

      But he’s not in their boat…’cuz he just made a mistake.

  • Yeah, my cheater pulled out the same moral ambiguity speech. “Nothing’s black and white,” she said, with all the wisdom of a college freshman who had just come out of her first philosophy course. Sophomoric statement, to say the least. “I know I’m supposed to be a terrible person because I cheated, but nothing’s so black and white.” This, mind you, before I had done anything to suggest she was a terrible person. Oh, I believe she’s terrible now, but that’s after months and now years of being an intolerable bully during and in the aftermath of our divorce. She expressed no remorse for her cheating and and whitewashed all manner of abuse under the flimsy justification of her supposed “empowerment,” of which I suppose her affair was also supposed to be an exercise.

    No, cheating does not automatically make someone a terrible person. Someone who cheats need not be completely devoid of redeemable qualities. There are people who have undeniably done a lot of good for the world who were unfaithful. But it makes you a bad spouse. It makes you untrustworthy, and it makes the person you cheated on totally justified in wanting to get away from your shit. And all that being said, it turns out that cheating and being generally awful DO go together more often than not.

    It’s easy for cheaters to throw out this kind of moral obfuscation when it suits them. Sure, there are gray areas in life, but what an astonishing coincidence that those grey areas just happen to cover precisely the actions you are trying to evade judgment for. Cheaters manufacture these gray areas to hide in and avoid guilt. And if they were suddenly to be on the receiving end of that treatment, I think they’d find the ethical judgments far more stark.

    • Spot on Mike. Particularly when it comes to how they’d not be so fond of ‘grey areas’ if it had happened to them.

      When cheaters and cheater apologists cry ‘grey area’ they do so with blinkers on against the attendant abuse that goes with cheating. The betrayal, lies, gas lighting, inevitable discard (cos new sparkly things are so much more interesting and exciting than what you know you already have), blame shifting, broken promises, misdirection, secrecy, disregard for health and safety (how many of us discovered that the AP was seriously fucked up and potentially dangerous – I know I’m not the only one), abuse of trust, abuse of the friends and family who are also chumped into believing the false face of loyalty.

      Cheating and it’s consequences don’t take much thinking about – but I’m guessing for a lot of people thinking isn’t really their strong suit.

  • Cheaters want their cake and eat it too…and want their chump / spouse appliance to bake the cake, feed it to them and clean up the mess and shut the hell up and just do it…

    satan wanted it all and cried foul when I took the fork and left the vicinity. 🙂

    • Waaah. That’s my fork. I want cake. Give me cake.

      No, it’s my fork now, asshole. Be glad I didn’t gouge you and your fuckbuddy’s eyes out with it.

      • Rolling on the floor laughing Ian 😀

        I think I saw his head explode as he drove by the day the giant orange moving truck was sitting beside MY old house loading MY forks 🙂

      • It’s gonna be 60 this Sunday – satan drives by my new house now – weather permitting Beau and I will be frolicking in the field across the street flying a colorful BUTTERFLY kite 😀

        …yep…his head is gonna explode again!

          • Well thank you jumper 😀

            I guess I said that wrong though…its gonna be 60 degrees 🙂

            I won’t be 60 for a few years yet 🙂 But thank you!!!!!!

  • Ha! I’d like to think it was a “complicated” issue for my squishy brained, depraved, immoral ex.

    I hope he scratched his greasy head and thought, “hmmm, on the one hand, Lucky35 does everything to make my life a breeze for my lazy goals….on the other hand, it sure is fun screwing a divorced deli counter manager who speaks Italian and adores me…..oooohh, which woman do I want????? It’s so hard!!!”

    Ultimately though, I’m sure he knew deep down I just wouldn’t go through with a fantasy themed elf/LOTR/Game of Thrones wedding with cosplay characters. Good thing the deli counter manager is so obliging. I wish them much happiness with their “complicated true love”

  • Rumblekitty gets to the heart of this issue above; “That’s what cheating is. It’s cake at the expense of someone who has no fucking clue.” So of the “two sides” in a marriage with a cheater, one side has all the information about the relationship, including the affair. The other side is missing a vital chunk of truth. And that is deliberate, because the point of cheating is maintaining the marriage AND the affair. CAKE. Whatever problems and issues exist in the relationship are exacerbated by lies, emotional disengagement, gaslighting and manipulation– all from the cheating partner.

    Having been married to a non-cheating alcohol abuser, I can say that there were of course problems and issues I brought to the marriage, or I wouldn’t have married someone I knew abused substances. However, the fact that he was almost never sober when I was home from work, would not go into rehab and in fact lied to his doctors about drugs and alcohol–those were all his choices, and he clung to them like the addiction life raft they were. So while there may be “issues” on both sides, the decision to drink or take drugs or carry on an affair takes the relationship damage out of the dynamic of a relationship. The alcoholic is not available to BE in a relationship; the alcoholic puts alcohol at the center of life. So it goes with a cheater. The affair is the indicator that the cheater has unilaterally ended the relationship as the partner understood it.

    • LAJ, I think you highlighted something really important. Alcoholics, as we know, are having their intimate relationship with the bottle. Cheaters usually have ended the intimacy to pursue someone else, while hoping that the shell of the relationship they discarded (their choice),will remain behind like a toy you can pick up and discard at will.

      After leaving Voldemort, I considered going to Al-Anon because he was abusing alcohol during our relationship. My therapist looked at me and said, “Bella, you haven’t left this relationship yet. You believe that by going to Al-Anon, you’re going to make him better. Do YOU want to go to Al-Anon?” I said no, I had no real interest in it. Later she stopped the conversation dead in its tracks, and said abruptly, “So, I’m going to an Al-Anon meeting tomorrow, do you want to come with me?” I thought she had lost her mind, but I remember the lurch in my stomach going “No, goddamnit, I don’t want to go to that fucking Al-Anon meeting.” We then processed what happened. Addiction and narcissism present the same way, according to the same therapist above.

      I often feel that people who are in relationships with disordered people get some of the victim blaming that is also directed at codependents in relationship with substance abusers. Yes, there are problems and issues we all have, but no body really wakes up and says, “Hey, I really want to marry a heroin addict.” Nobody really wakes up and says, “Hey I want to be in a relationship with a narcissist.”

      To me, a lot of codependent behaviors are ineffective coping mechanisms to deal with the pain of being attached to someone who doesn’t give a good goddamn about you and your needs. We just need to teach people that we can’t control other people, and its ok to have needs, and go get them met in a healthier scenario.

    • That’s too much! Next thing you know they’ll move to Denial, Mississipi and buy a house on Delustion Street.

      • Haha Nomar! I thought it was weird at the time but after reading today’s post it really couldn’t be more perfect. I feel bad for when their child grows up and questions the strange name.

  • Pamela believes we are responsible for their unhappiness. No doubt she is the OW somewhere polishing her specialness with a married man. Every special one shared the same qualities Pamela. Let me describe them for you and perhaps you can see yourself. You have been waiting for a knight in shining armor to scoop you up on his horse. Your life was littered with unhappiness because of the choices you made. You, suck. You have battle scars from all the missteps you made in life. Along comes a married man. You know him, the one who tells you his woeful tale of his horrible life. Pamela, he wants to get laid. You know it. Back home is the woman who has provide love, support, and joy to his life. Alas, he wants you, that dance, that kiss, its magic. You can make him happy. Congratulations! You are a No. His whore is number 18 I believe. I lost count. I do know there is a 19 he still sees and 20 he hooks up with in Florida. Happiness with a serial cheating narcissist cannot be obtained. Next time you take a number at the meat counter know there is always a next.

  • The marriage was over when the affair began. It just took 8 years to die. Everyone says that it is his (the stbx) fault and not the OW’s fault. Not entirely true. She knew he had a family at home and she had two kids at home and yet she continued to carry on an affair with him for YEARS. She knew exactly what she got- a liar and a cheater and by associating with him, she became exactly the same. My point is- the vow is everything (and I am not religious). Once it is violated, it takes EXTRAORDINARY EFFORT on the part of the cheater to make things right, and because they are liars and morally ambiguous by nature (or they would not have cheated), they rarely make the effort. I blamed myself for everything and fought so hard for a marriage that was already dead because he was emotionally invested elsewhere. My stbx finally left (after five years back and forth) with the POS OW. The divorce is not yet finalized (but papers are signed) and things are already going bad for him and schmoopie. In the 9 months since he left, he has still not moved to FL (from NY) to live with her and he had to go in patient alcohol detox for a week because he made a ‘terrible mistake’ and ‘feels so guilty’. Why do these pathetic husband stealing women do it? Lonely, desperate. They believe the same lies we believe. However, we (the chumps) believe that we must do no harm. These OW don’t care who they step on to get these cheating bastards. I am single now. And I will never get involved with a cheater. So, in my opinion, it is black and white. These cheaters are drama queens/kings. They thrive on the pick me dance. They thrive on the game. In my case, I believe he thrived on living a double life. There can only be two people in a marriage. She could have said no but she didn’t because she is as morally ambiguous as he is. A perfect match. Now she can have him and his drama. Anything I may have done in the marriage is washed cleaned by all of his crap, because I genuinely loved him and I really tried. And I never lied. So while the cheater and the OW may be ‘grey’, I am not. I am black and white on the issue. Absolutely black and white.

  • I remember back in the day when ex and I were discussing the fact that the whore had snuck out on her then husband to have yet another affair behind his back and funny enough, he was happy to judge right along with me. “Any relationship you have to keep secret from your spouse, whether it’s just emotional or something else, is totally cheating. Just like when you’re a kid and you have that gut feeling you’re doing something wrong, well then that’s cheating. If her husband was okay with what she was doing, then fine and that’s their business. But she’s sneaking off, telling him she’s visiting her friend who is also cheating on her husband, and that friend is lying for her. That’s just plain wrong.”

    About ten years later, this is the person he left us for, and he had a long list of justifications for why it wasn’t entirely his responsibility. I could never be happy. I didn’t always want to spend my free time with him and his friends doing the same old shit every night. I didn’t accept him for who he was and didn’t respect him. The latter because I was encouraging him to leave a job he hated and find a better one or go back to school. I guess that isn’t respecting someone for who they are because I didn’t want him to settle since I thought he was better than that.

    The whore was fucking around on my ex and thinking I wouldn’t tell him when she told me about all the sleezy shit she was getting up to prior to my finding out about her affair. She was Skyping “Doms” and doing topless jumping jacks for them when she was supposed to be baby-sitting my kids, but it was okay because they were sleeping and at least she refused to masturbate in our kitchen like he’d asked her to. She was trying to talk married old flames into coming to see her “to work out her feelings and end it face to face.” The whore promised my ex that all her cheating (after he confirmed it from a mutual friend rather than the shifty spiteful source that’s me) –sexting, audio chat sex with dozens of guys all over the world, arranging hotel trysts with married men–was over now that she had my ex, and all the child neglect and endangerment were just a phase and no one but me would still hold those “occasional incidents” against her because “It was a long time ago” even though she was fucking around on my ex as recently as four months before he left us, was still a barely functioning alcoholic and had at least one open case with child protective services on D-Day.

    My MIL even had the nerve to suggest I didn’t try hard enough “You did spend a lot of time in your room.” Hmmmm… Because I was getting paid to write and did my writing in my room, and was also severely depressed because I couldn’t figure out why my husband was losing interest and refusing to spend time with me as the years went by.

    So apparently being depressed about being in an isolated, one-sided and lonely marriage makes it okay for your spouse to cheat because my attempts to go out on dates, take him to marriage counseling and just talk it out didn’t count.

    To anyone who says it’s conplicated or there are gray areas, fuck right off unless it’s happened to you. Come talk to me after your kids are so messed up that three out of the four are in therapy and on meds (fourth is only two and a half thankfully), you not only lose your ex but the admittedly flimsy friend network you shared because they are all of similar moral character and when your oldest daughter is frequently in tears at the thought of having to see the woman she thought of an an auntie after she willingly destroyed our family.

    I like gray clothing, gray furniture and have even gotten a few gray hairs from the hell on earth my life’s become. I refuse to tolerate gray in my relationships.

    • Hugs, Cakeless.

      It is a special shade of shit when the AP is part of your ‘support’ network. But it sounds like the Karmas bus is revved up for her. I still get a bit of sick in the mouth when I think of it all.

      This ‘gray’ area is a symptom of moral relativism, which is really fricking dangerous. As to Pamela’s statements, yep, I would love to ask, “And what personal experience have you had with this issue?”. It’s kind of like thinking you know what your gay/black/trans friends’ experiences are all about.


  • When I met Mr. Sparkles, he was “separated” but living with his stbxw who was moving back to IL from NJ when school let out (we met in April). But, if I’m being honest – and with you all, I need to be… I was love-bombed into becoming the OW before she ever left the state.

    The karma bus came for me less than 5 years later (or at least, that is when I had my first D-Day). And, the karma bus kept running over me for the next 8 years because I was afraid to leave.

    He’s gone now. Moved on with an OW that he met before we separated. She and her two kids are his next victims. And, the karma bus has already arrived for her in that I found him recently still doing his “wild thing” on Adult Friend Finder. She won’t find out until we’re in court again on the divorce/adultery issues.

    There is black and white. I pray for God to forgive me every day. I pray to forgive myself every day. I was not the exception, I was #3.. She will not be the exception… she already isn’t.

  • A lot of FAITH??? Oh, puh-leease!!!! The affair is HOPE in the ability to destroy an existing relationship and the subsequent break up is the REALIZATION of that hope and the final step in marriage is the “Fuck you, I can do what YOU could NOT do!” However, I know several cheaters who married their fuck buddies, and they cheated on the new woman, too. Both of the OW (now the wives) are constantly suspicious, and rightly so! They have no FAITH, they just now have the HOPE that they don’t end up the new chumps. As you point out, CL, good luck with that.

  • In the early days, a good friend told me she doesn’t believe in karma. Her ex cheated on her when she was pregnant and the OW was also pregnant. He left my friend. Fast forward 15 years later and my friend swore her ex has changed. He was still married to the OW. And then a few months after our discussion, she called me to tell me that the OWife called her (they had some sort of relationship since their kids are the same age). OWife was sobbing since the cheater was cheating on her with two OWs! She told my friend, “How could he do this to me?” My friend retorted, “Ehem, you did the exact same thing to me 15 years ago!” Apparently, the last 15 years have been rocky, littered with OWs. Cheater left the OWife after he decided which OW he wanted. So, my friend happily admitted her ex is still an asshole to the core and has not changed. He just mastered impression management until he couldn’t.

  • Its a bit rich when this sanctimonious bullshit is thrown around about how we are too ‘judgey’ about cheaters – yet they scream indignation when it happens to them. However – its fairly simple why: narcs have a set of rules for themselves and another set that everyone else must adhere to.
    In their personal case there are no rules and they can do whatever they please. And nobody is allowed to cast judgement on them because they are #1 almighty and the universe revolves around them. Everyone else’s rules basically state that you have to pander to the narc, or else – hence the rage when that isn’t adhered to.
    To be fair though, anyone who pulls the ‘Don’t be judgey’ crap or any of that word salad nonsense to justify arseholery, can be kicked to the kerb. Its a great narc-filter, really. Kinda “You’re spewing bullshit, now fuck off out of my life”.

  • When I read through the comments I saw several from fellow chumps struggling to understand how God or Karma can allow the cheaters to often seem to win so to speak. We’re not the first one’s to struggle with this. The writer of the 73rd psalm also saw it The truth is the evil of this world often prosper and seem to get ahead and it stinks, but I believe it is only for a short while in the frame of eternity. The psalm writer said he couldn’t understand it either and it hurt him to think about it until he got God’s perspective and saw their end. Below is a portion of that psalm. I hope it helps someone.

    1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. 7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. 8 They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression. 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. 10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. 11 They say, “How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?” 12 This is what the wicked are like— always carefree, they increase in wealth. 13 Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning. 15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed your children. 16 When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. 18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. 19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! 20 As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.

    • I know this is late to ‘the party’, but as one who doesn’t know much Scripture. I sure related to this. Thanks Outspoken!

    • Sorry I’m late here but, I just read every single excellent point, learned a lot but everybody replied just like I would have; so they said it all.

      For me? Best.Post.Ever.From.Chump.Lady..thank you all.
      For the record, the X is living in a trailer in a trailer park – this is his ‘freedom’, along with losing both sides of his family over it – not to mention he got his full prostate out the day our divorce was decreed.
      Doubt the wicked witch is still around. Must be lonely.

  • Without the even trying hard I can think of five marriages that happened after cheating. Not a single one ended happily.
    I read a memoir, The Sisters Antipodes, about two families of diplomats who changed spouses. The fathers did not see their daughters for 7 years. One daughter abused alcohol and had drunk sex with anything that moved and one died of drugs. I am sure whoever started the cheating wrung their hands and wondered how their child got so screwed up. For all you parents who are doing what you do to give your kids a stable life bless you. For anyone who abandons their children I hope your skin falls off!

  • ______________________________________________________________________________________________
    And isn’t that the truth? Aren’t these people, the ones who put on their hardhats and get down to the dirty business of helping dismantle marriages, aren’t they the most faithful among us? They truly believe in a higher power. They believe that they are immune to the plague which took down the relationship before them. Whether it’s because they have a mink-lined vagina or dick for days, whether it’s because they’re younger or smarter or richer or just plain -er in every way…they believe they are exempt. They believe it’s not going to happen to them. They believe in it, with such a fervent heat, that they start brand new, shiny lives with the ones who so casually disregarded their previous ones.

    I’ve done some shitty things in my life but I never cheated on my spouse. While dating post-divorce, I have been involved with a man or two who did, though. On one hand, yay for honesty! Let’s lay all of our dirty cards out on the table early on, I say. I’d rather they find out about the skeletons in my closet- about my dysfunctional family, about the bankruptcy and foreclosure I endured after the divorce and about the blog I have where I discuss the damage adultery does to a family- at the beginning and from me, rather than later on and from an internet search.
    ——————————-^^^^^^^^^^^^^^THESE^^^^^^^^ ———————————————————————–

    Wow, EXACTLY (again!!!) what I needed to read today and remind myself of WHY I am at MEH!!!!

    The Evil One has been on my mind a lot today, not because I long for him, or that I wish he would come back, far from it, Chump Nation, don’t worry… but more like, “Here I am alone and he’s off with his new “happy” family with Mrs. Dumb-ass and her two young kids…” that kind of thinking…then I start thinking of all the shitty things he’s done and all the fucked-up-ness that makes him The Evil One and I am OK again…

    Good luck, Mrs. Dumb-ass. You weren’t the first one to come along in his search of new kibbles/sparkles, and you damn sure won’t be the last. If I wasn’t such a damn Chump for him, I would have tossed him out back when you were still in high school, hell, maybe even middle school!!!! However, you were the one that was just what he needed/wanted. You were the one that has believed all of his lies and bullshit. You are the one that runs a blind eye when he goes bat-shit crazy on the mother of his daughter because she parked too far away from him at the exchange… but I digress, back to the topic of today’s post:

    No, “Pamela” it IS black-and-white- you cheat, you are an asshole. You marry the one that you chose to abandon the family God gave him for YOU – oh, don’t you feel special and awesome?!?!?! For the record, I own my shit. I know I wasn’t always all that and a bag of chips too with The Evil One, but dammit- I was in it for the long haul, I took my vows seriously, he didn’t obviously…”Who are you to judge”??? No one, sweetie. You are no one, when it happens to you, dear “Pamela”, we here at Chump Nation will be here for you, just be sure to ‘fess up and own your shit too as I’m sure it wouldn’t be all your husband’s fault he cheated and went off and married his affair partner.


    Molly X

  • Waiting for the karma bus? The show ain’t over till the fat lady sings.

    I have seen it hit some people so hard that it isn’t funny and I’ve actually felt sorry for them. And I’ve seen other people get away ‘scot free’, until I find out years later that actually they didn’t.

    And there are some people who I will never know about in this life, but I will see it all on the Other Side.

    If you are of a Christian persuasion, it helps to remember that God says ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay’. It’s just that you may never see it – He doesn’t promise you that, and you’re not supposed to ill-wish people, even if they’ve really wronged you.

    If you can’t live with that, you probably need to talk that one over with God, because He makes the rules. It’s got something to do with the fact that all of us hurt other people, more often than we know, and harder than we know.

    If you don’t want God zapping you with lightning because you cut in front of that old lady at the supermarket queue – and she prayed that you’d be zapped with lightning, and she is an innocent and good old lady who has bunions – then don’t ask him to zap everyone else. Let Him sort it out in His own way. I can assure you that He will; I have seen it with my own eyes. He can do it better than anyone else can, and to maximum effect. Mostly it’s by letting us reap what we’ve sown …

    He knows the injustice and hurt that was done to you and your kids, and He WILL sort it out, even if it’s just by ensuring that you have a much better life once you get away from the abuser and their partner/s in crime.

    In the meantime, don’t let the desire for vengeance eat you alive. That’s just allowing them to win, and giving them valuable real estate inside your head that you need for: your kids, your new hobbies, your new hairdo, your plans for the weekend, your new job, your dog, your cat/s, Netflix, beer, welding, manicures, pasta bake, balancing the books, taking the bastard to court and winning, getting your degree, buying funky second hand clothes, painting the bedroom, and spending time at the beach decompressing.

    • Lola, not religious but when my ex asked me to forgive him, i told him that is between he and God. I do believe he hurt himself more than anyone. My pain and suffering is also between me and God as what he did to me he could never comprehend. Sad, all of it. We had it all and had nothing.

      • Jackie, everything you wrote here is what I’m hoping to feel down the road. Thank you.

      • Jackie, my last cheater was religious, and was convinced at the end that he’d wounded me so badly that I couldn’t function ever again.

        I would have agreed with him earlier, except by that stage I’d started reading helpful blogs and had learned to detect the note of satisfaction underneath his harrowed-with-guilt voice.

        So instead I burst out laughing and thanked him for telling me, and the next day I really did feel like I’d lost 110 kg of unwanted weight. I realised how he’d been undermining and devaluing me: sniping at my looks, my beliefs, my way of worshipping, my health problems. And fucking with my head by being ‘the perfect gent’ and opening the car door and paying for the restaurant dinners.

        And of course that little thing about texting married women. All. The. Time. And the 20 year old articled clerk at his work who, for some strange reason, everyone at his work thought he was going to marry, while I thought he and I were still going out. Funny how some people’s relationships overlap.

        No wonder he had to stop talking about our on-again, off-again thing and work, and just pretended I didn’t exist any more. People couldn’t keep up with the scene-changing. And it also explains why they were always surprised to see me turn up at his work. Oh boy, it took me so long to catch on – that I was the dirty little secret, when I thought I was the Faithful Friend and Future Wife.

        I certainly look and feel a great deal better now, and I was amazed at how fast I got to meh. I’d spent five years in agony over this idiot, and suddenly it all fell away like an avalanche.

        So yes, I can forgive him gladly, but every time I see him and The Next Chump, he can’t get away fast enough. He’s suffering quite enough just from knowing I’m out there, and from his continuous habit of lying to himself about every single thing under the sun. That’s enough.

      • I was/still am devastated (only 9.5 weeks from D-day) but I totally think my h ruined himself as well. He wants to “fix himself” but he’s very fearful he can’t. I’m angry and hurt but I’m really scared for him. Obviously it wasn’t a great idea and suddenly he and OW are maybe not so much in twu wuv now. So it was all for nought in the end.

  • Decades later, it is about to hit an old neighbor of mine. He had an affair, left his wife and kids and married the OW. These folks are in their 90s. She has been ill for a while. His children cut him off when he left and likely have no idea where he is living and certainly don’t give a F! His stepdaughter informed her mother a few years ago that while she would help her/them as they aged, that if her mother dies first, she won’t be there for him (he isn’t a nice man). He did nothing to rebuild a relationship with his kids….

    My neighbor is dying. Her days are numbered. He will end up in a nursing home totally alone. I have felt sorry for her for a long time because he really is a jerk, to the point that her only child rarely visits. But she made this bed (even her daughter says that.)

    So it may take a while, a long while, but the roosters usually come home to roost.

  • A woman I went to school with is a relationship therapist. We haven’t kept in touch but when it was discovered her husband had a twelve year affair, it was basically swept under the carpet as to not ruin her reputation as a couples therapist.

    I think image is very important to most people and often these “experts” need to drink their own kook-aid to placate themselves.

    Anyone can be a chump.

    As for Karma. They are stuck with themselves. That’s the only payback I ever needed. Don’t care if they’re million dollar lottery winners screwing Cindy Crawford. No longer my circus.

    Freedom from crazy is beautiful.

  • Cheating aside, most of these arseholes werent good or great spouses before dday! How many vacations, holidays, outings did they ruin? For me..every single vacation. How did they treat their children? Mine was mentally abusive and physically a bit when he was angry. How much did we have in common with them? Other than basics needs like eating, bathing, and drinking, I have no common interests. I have tried to think back to when I was happy in this marriage. (Im in it for 22 yrs) 8 yrs at least but so long I cant be sure. I may still be in this marriage but daily reflection, lots of readings and blogs like today make me see clearly!! Im stashing funds, and making plans! F*ck that f-er! I know him and he isn’t a prize …cheating aside!

  • I don’t really think there is a lot of Moral Ambiguity in life. Cheaters and other sleazy types just want you to think there is. Like the ex, he excused all his lying to cover up his secret “friend” as “white lies.”. Not wrong, not meant to hurt anyone, a good thing actually, so my feelings would not be hurt. No, loser, you were telling lies to avoid consequences, and you knew it. The intent to deceive. Not morally ambiguous. Just wrong.

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