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Dear Chump Lady, Maybe the OW is “The One”?

laterDear Chump Lady,

My husband told me in November about the affair he’s been having with a former (married-with-two-children) co-worker since September. The affair is emotional, except for one kiss they shared before a change in his career took us to the other side of the ocean from her. Since then, it’s been entirely online, as far as I know.

After my husband told me about the affair, I left him, only to take him back when he showed up on my parents’ doorstep two days later. After we spent a month trying to reconcile, I found out that the affair was still going on. Since then, my husband has all but stopped talking to me, and as far as I know (from reading the emails I initially discovered between the two of them, he is planning to build a life with this woman, whom he has known and has been friends with for approximately four years). I am done trying to save the marriage (as is he), and at this point am just focused on how to move past this.

The part I’m struggling with is accepting the fact that this wasn’t about sex, or some stupid fantasy fling, and it’s not about my husband being a narcissist, or about any of the personality-disorder, relationship-disorder things that affairs often seem to be associated with.

Instead, it just seems like my husband, who had had crushes on this woman for years, was given an opportunity to build a relationship with her and he took it. And it seems as though they might legitimately be in love.

He told me that once their relationship got going, he felt that a life with her was “fate.” Hard as I try, I don’t know how to get past the fact that even though I gave my husband everything—ten years together, three years of marriage, and our little boy—he has fallen in what seems to be legitimate love with this other woman (though I acknowledge that by building this relationship in the form of an affair, it was the worst possible way to build something healthy).

I don’t envy anyone who is dealing with a physical affair or with an insane cheating narcissist, but I also don’t know how to heal from the fact that my husband seems to have found someone he loves, respects, and admires, and it turns out that that person is not me.

How do I heal from the idea that I’m just not “the one” for the person who was “my one”?

Thanks for your help.


Dear Kate,

Please disabuse yourself of the notion that the OW is special and this is love. Your husband is a cake-eater. He’s not a special case. He can sit shoulder-to-shoulder with all the other personality disordered, narcissistic, cheating losers. He’s not a star-crossed lover who was Fated to Be with the OW. He’s not noble and the OW isn’t noble either. They’re plain, old boring banal cheaters.

But, but…. she’s The One!


Kate, you’re drinking the cheater Koolaid. That your husband and the OW are Compelled By Forces Much Bigger Than Themselves. Four years sneaking around and they only KISSED and he’s promising MARRIAGE? OMG. You believe this? Grown ups fuck. That’s what they do. Men don’t devote four years of attention to women they are not fucking or have not already fucked. He did not chastely fall in love with his crush object over Skype. He’s been having an affair.

And speaking of emotional affairs and Skype and an ocean between them, that IS “some stupid fantasy fling.” Key word: fantasy. She’s married with two kids. He’s married with one child. And they only thing they have is their clandestine life together, spent mostly in front of a computer screen. If that’s not a fantasy, World of Warcraft is real and I’m a druid shaman.

You want me to believe your husband isn’t a narcissist? He’s not disordered like all the other Bad Cheaters? No sir, he’s just a guy who’s spent FOUR years in an affair and THREE years married to you. (Do the math.) A man who made a commitment and a baby with you while he was in “love” with another woman? And now — that he’s moved you overseas and isolated you — he’d like to end the marriage and leave you with a small child, because of a KISS he once shared? He’s a liar. Oh sure, there is nothing disordered, selfish, or fucked up about him. (Rolling my eyes into the back of my head.)

Let’s next discuss how the OW is the special, anointed One. She’s so very special, that when you left him because of his affair, he begs you to come back and reconcile with him. Apparently, OW isn’t more powerful than CAKE. You take him back for a month and discover, hey, he’s still in his affair with her, promising her a life together, while he’s “reconciling” with you. CAKE.

Yes, she sounds really special. Kay Jewelers should make a diamond heart pendant for the sort of special occasion that says, “I like to fuck you, and fuck with your head, but I prefer to do it from the comfort of my marriage.” She must really know how cherished she is.

But now you’re done with him, so — hey! she’s the ONE. It’s really REAL!

Your husband is a piece of shit. He wants you to believe that he’s been “friends” with this woman for four years, but nothing happened back home except a “kiss.” And his “emotional affair” was only two months long — September – November. And based on this 8-week true meeting of the souls, he’s ready to chuck his relationship with you? Well, not really. He wants to stay married and eat cake. Except you discovered him eating cake. And since then, she’s the One True Love of His Life — and you’ll just have to understand that you were never as special as OW is to him.

Kate, I’m sorry. He’s been lying to you. Your whole marriage is based on a lie — and it doesn’t matter now. What matters is getting the hell away from him and stop buying his stupid, self serving narrative. You’ve got the same run-of-the-mill idiot cheater we all got — a weak, selfish, manipulative jerk. He’s not a special case.

So why would he want you to believe that he is?

Because then you’ll absolve him of his crimes and won’t judge his character. You’ll protect his image. And you’ll eat the shit sandwich that this is all nothing personal, you just aren’t The One.

Why would YOU want to believe this idiotic story?

Because if he’s a Good Man whose only crime is his heart wanted someone else, then you won’t feel like a chump. Like you were played by a character disordered asshole. You won’t have to connect the dots that he betrayed you with a lot more than a kiss, that your marriage was a farce, and that you were used. Instead, you were just Not Right for Each Other.

My advice to you is don’t stand in the way of this Great Love That Cannot Be Denied. Call the OW’s husband today and let him know immediately of this powerful force that grips his wife. Tell him to clear the way and let the two lovebirds be together. It’s FATE. And when fate calls we must all answer!

Fate is telling me you must call your divorce attorney. And stop believing in fairy tales. He’s not the “one” for you — and THANK GOD. He’s a cheater. Let him go.

This column ran previously. Feel free to comment!

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Character disorderd assholes. The lot of them. All we can do is divorce, no contact, move on, heal ourselves, dont look back. Fuckers.

  • Kate,

    Even if he is in his-version-of-what-real-love-is with someone else, don’t ever be upset that you weren’t The One for someone who would dishonor his vows, his family responsibilities, and our general Western Hemisphere moral code to start up a relationship with someone else in secret.

    This isn’t feudal Japan 800 years ago; the guy had plenty of opportunity to do things honorably, and he didn’t. He’s a louse, and you deserve better than to be “The One” for someone like that.

    Stay mighty!

    • Thanks for saying that Sephage. I never thought of it that way — don’t be upset about not being The One for someone who is dishonorable. I just hope that someday he meets his match.

      • He already did meet his “match.” A whore with 2 kids who would have an affair with a married man. I hope Kate calls the OW’s husband. Then lets see what FATE deals them. I just feel sorry for the kids. Now thats the shit sandwich that never goes away.

    • “don’t ever be upset that you weren’t The One for someone who would dishonor his vows” – thank you for that, sephage.

    • I remember learning in my psychiatry rotation (and I think Tempest has a degree or something in this area????) that you end up with your psychological equal. So yes Kate be glad you weren’t The One for this flaming piece of shit asshole. Gawd…. I wanted to stick my finger down my throat and puke reading this BS he fed you. Please please do not believe any of it. What CL said about him not wanting you to question his character gets to the core of the matter. These asshats will do anything to keep from looking at their REAL selves in the mirror and justifying their actions (its always star crossed isn’t it?), hence the narcissistic disorder label.

  • CL, Thank you sooooo much for cutting straight thru the bullshit!

    You are really helping me retrain my brain about how to see and hear and think.

    • My cheater-ass-ex recently introduced a New One (not the OW) to our daughters and is going to live with her. He has only known her for two months and she is “The One”. I confess I was a bit jealous at the beginning because he is doing everything for her that he hadn´t done for me in years. But then on further research I found out from someone who knows her very well, that she is the complete opposite from me and will probably dump him as soon as she finds a better option. She´s been through four marriages, has cheated on all of her husbands, is still married to her last husband but left him for a lover and then left the lover for my ex, all in a period of a few months. She is extremely sexy and open about it, but couldn´t care less about the consequences of using her libido to create pick me dances among her men. She smokes, is a meat eater and has never had a steady job in her life (I mention this because I am the opposite). She lives off the men she marries and her only property (a house on the beach) isn´t really hers because her husband bought it in his name and if she gets anything it will be half of that apartment. She has nothing but a crazy life to show (at 40) and my ex is in love because she is “exciting” and unpredictable and speaks French (I don´t). She has curly hair and I have straight hair, damaged toes from ballet (mine are cute and perfect) and can´t have children (I have two). She even has a name that I always hated and I use for when I have to give a fake name for commercial purposes. My complete opposite! At first I felt sorry for her when I knew she was dating my ex, but now I see that this is FATE and they must be together to either destroy each other or avoid each one from destroying the lives of more innocent chumps out there.

      Two narcs together must be twu wuv!

      Oh, Karma, sweet, sweet Karma….finally here!

  • Hell to the yes!! My handsome, charming,cake eating, and craptacular lying piece of shit X-hole had me mesmerized for 8 years. I believed every lie that came out of his lying liar hole until I couldn’t anymore. He still minimizes and lies and projects his shit on me but I don’t bite.

    Those disordered assholes turn you against yourself and you don’t even realize it’s happened.

    Kate…listen to CL, lawyer up and spray some Bitch-B-Gone on that shit and move on. It’s going to hurt likeva MF’er for awhile but you WILL survive and it will get better.

    Hugs 🙂

    • I’m just a year out from divorce. I’m only now understanding NCStevie; I trusted those lies and boy it’s true never trust the words that come out of a cheater mouth – TRUST THAT THEY LIE!!!

      The words they use protect them, justify their actions and devalue us and our family’s.

    • NCStevie – “his lying liar hole”

      I don’t know why, but I just love that you wrote that quote.

      “spray some Bitch-B-Gone on that shit”

      Love that one, too. I’ll think I’ll be quoting you a bit.

    • Well it must be something in our NC water. My STBX wife had me for 7 years of lies and deception that was so good, as she was living a 7 year double life affair…that she had me believing that I really was a monster for questioning her fidelity. LOL. Such a bad situation…however – when the truth came out…10-Day Long D-DAY…I was in shock with a sense of relief that finally there was some sense (insane as it was) to what had been going on for 3 years shy of a decade. Oh yeah 33 years married, 2 Kids, 2 Grandkids and she went off the reservation when we were married for 26 years. A huge hole, put into what I thought was the narrative of my life. Now 6 months after D-Day…I am feeling stronger, So time really has proven to be an ally. No Contact was key to begin the healing. The depths of how crazy a person who feels self entitled and self absorbed will go, to create their fantasy relationship with their AP is really only limited by their own imagination. As most, if not all cheaters are sociopaths – their lack of conscience – allows them to go where No Chump Has Gone Before! What it is…Is…What it is…Where you are is Where you are…and calling the Duck a Duck…even when it acts and quacks like one…seems to be an innate inability for us Chumps. We can be trained however, to peel back our Chump Lenses and gain the 20/20 vision that will protect us from experiencing the terrible trauma, our piece of shit cheaters so innocently and graciously offered up to us Chumps to experience. Thanks to Chump Lady and this Chump Nation for creating a protected reserve for us Chumps that without this kind of support, would be wondering around in doubt and self pity. This website really has been a God Send…and I just wanted to say thanks!

      • Iron warrior I totally relate to your sense of relief once it all came out. Same here. It wasn’t closure but the freedom of validation helped me move on.

      • Yes, me too. I had been treated SO strangely for years and years, and I felt like I was always trying to catch my balance in my marriage. He loved me, then he ridiculed me. He put passionate moves on me, then he said I was plain and ignored me. He wanted all my attention morning, noon and night, and then he disappeared to someone else’s house, or the bar, and wouldn’t tell me anything. It all made sense, when I figured out he was a serial cheater and porn/hooker lover. It WAS a weird kind of relief, and my life started making sense! Then I found CL, and it really made sense!

    • Oh my goodness, NCStevie, you had me laughing! I visualized the Bitch-B-Gone spray. I need to buy some!

    • There might be a bunch of Chump Druid Shamans roasting marshmallows at Yosemite this coming summer :)!

  • Hi Kate,

    I was sort of in your shoes at one time. Boy does it suck. The ex in my life pulled the same shit. Told me it wasn’t about the sex, yada yada yada. He never did it before but “our marriage was over anyway.” Except I didn’t know it was over.

    We still told each other we loved eachother every day. We were still going on vacations together, still having sex. And oh yeah, he didn’t tell me he wanted a divorce.

    We did the whole get back together thing after dday( for three of the longest years of my life) and I got to see up close and through a different set of eyes that he was really no different then any other cheater on the planet.

    The two of them found twu wuv from the safety of their marriages and in the end their great love couldn’t even withstand the discovery of the affair. He dumped her, sort of. CAKE while I did the pick me polka and had fits every time his whereabouts couldn’t be accounted for. CAKE.

    I left and made it easier for the great loves to be together forever! It bothered me that he discarded me after 25 years together for their great love and they were probably better suited yada yada yada.

    Then I realized it was crap. One time, twenty times, they still lie and cheat and eat cake at someone else’s expense. Let them be together for as long as they all miserably live! At least it’s a couple of disordered wing nuts paired up with the best possible match which hopefully makes the world a better place!

    It gets better I promise. Soon you will see that they did you a favor. Now you are free to find someone who truly cherishes you or just be mighty by yourself. It’s far better than letting a cheater suck the life out of you!

    • This is exactly my story as well. We where married for 23 years, 2 kids no problems in marriage. Never ever did he tell me he was unhappy. Discovered affair with married smoopie in 2012.
      He also told me that they only hugged and a kiss on the cheek, and nothing else happend. Promised me he would not see her anymore, but that was a lie. The affair went further underground and it was harder to proof but not impossible.
      In the meantime he would tell me he loved me and we had regular sex…
      Cake, cake and more cake??
      After 9 months I realized that I was the one reading all the books about making this marriage work. There was no remorse on his part. We went to Counceling 2-3 times and he stopped going, which was for his benefit so he can say it did not work. I filled for divorce with in the year and he did not stop me. Now 4 years later she is divorced from her husband and they moved in together with her kids. She is trying so hard to be buddy buddy with my kids, texting them cute things but my teenage girls don’t want nothing to do with her and pulling away from their dad.
      And all that of course is my fault.
      He thinks I talk bad about him, and turn the kids against him.

      He is not happy with our kids that they don’t talk or text him much. He keeps telling them that it’s not right how they treat him and that he loves them very much… If you would love them that much you would not be so selfish and destroy their family. If you loved them that much if you gave all the attention you gave to whore to your wife it would have been a good marriage.

      • Wow33, same story here, my X chooses appalling courses of actions, and then puts on an Oscar-worthy poor sausage performance when faced with the consequences of his behavior…

        NC is the best way to deal with that mindfuck, even though eating shit sandwiches is inevitable if one has kids with a cheater.

        • Cheaterssuck, Wow33 & Chumptitude –

          I am going to have to join your club. Exact same shit happened here.

          I think that’s what made it so horrific at the time of discovery -hearing the words…and having sex up until the morning of discovery -then right after discovery in the afternoon -now I am hearing “ILUBINILWY” and “I haven’t been happy with you ever”. All within a 12 hour period!

          I am divorced 3 years now and mighty. It seems as more time passes and while I gaze back at what she did it just keeps on getting more pathetic. She did teach me how to dance though, LOL.

  • “Grown ups fuck”… CL nails it again. My teenagers wouldn’t carry on a 4 year “love” affair with someone they kissed once. She may be The One if you define “one” as some skanky bitch that carries on with a married man behind her husband’s back. They so deserve each other.

    • I agree with CL and CN that most “emotional affairs” were most likely also physical affairs that cheaters just don’t want to admit. HOWEVER, even if the affair was “only” emotional, that is a huge betrayal of loyalty, fidelity, and trust. My cheater had multiple emotional affairs he is (how shall I put this politely) L-IMPaired, thus I rather believe there was no actual action. Doesn’t matter. Cheating is cheating and still completely unworthy behavior towards the chump.

    • On Day I asked cheater ex if he had had sex with the OWhore & he said no but that he wanted to. Hum, then how come I ended up with a STD after he moved out?

        • 800 mcg of folic acid daily + B12 is a preventative measure you can take so that you don’t develop abnormal cells. (Frankly, everyone should take 800 mcg daily Folic Acid–prevents birth defects, may prevent chromosome abnormalites & cancers, + good for heart health).

          • Thank you Tempest! I will try that. My CH swore nothing sexual went on but the lab tells a different story.

            • Linda2–the old adage about “how do you know he is lying? His lips are moving,” obviously applies to your X.

    • The funniest thing I ever saw was a text from OW to Satan’s Stand-In saying “I don’t care if your text to your psycho ex-wife was about your son, you shouldn’t be texting her EVER. I don’t understand how you could possibly be nice to the kind of woman who referred to me, your life partner as a ‘skank’? How can you be gentle with her whilst accepting emotional violence to me? You didn’t even challenge her about it! You allowed your horrible ex, who is out to get me (and you) and who you don’t even like and never loved, to call the incredibly wonderful love of your life, a skank. I hate you for that.”
      Followed sixty seconds later by, “I’ve tried to call you 16 times today and you won’t answer your phone. I don’t ignore you and neglect you like she did. I love you so much. I think it’s time we got married.”
      Yawn… ? ? ?

      • Actually I didn’t refer to the Incredibly Wonderful Love of His Life as a ‘skank’. I said she was a ‘lying skank’. ?

  • All I had to read was that the cheater felt that life with the OW was “fate.” Right there– that’s your sign. Cheaters love to use the vocabulary of romance novels. Ditch him and tell him to funnel his overblown proclamations into a career writing for Harlequin. Seriously? Fate? Do grown-ups really believe that meeting romantic partners involves some mystical force that controls us and makes us powerless to make our own decisions? Good grief.

    • So true!!!! That romance novel vocab reflects their overall level of maturity. When mine started talking about being swept off his feet, I was tempted to stick a paci in his mouth to shut him up.

      • Fate, swept off my feet. Added to my red flag mental checklist. You both are right… and yes good grief.

    • Agreed. Mine said that the OWhore “saw the lost little boy inside of him” and that I had failed to see this. Barf.

      • Mine declared with such passion that his love with the dick-sucking ghoul was “the real deal”. After a season of doing the pick me dance, I decided to get out of the way of their real deal. I was literally two hours into my journey to a new town with a car loaded with kids, a dog, our life, when their true love started to crash and burn. What a fucking waste. And a lifetime of pain for my kids.

      • The skank OW said EXACTLY the same thing to Satan’s Stand-In! The crazy bunny thinks she was the first and only woman to ‘see’ that in him! Its never occurred to her that every single woman in his life ‘saw’ that too (because it’s an act he has perfected over his lifetime! – he INTENDED us all to see it!). But she is sooo SPESHUL of course. Until the next one ‘sees’ it too..

        • And after the O-ho “sees the little boy inside of him,” she gets to see (taa-dah), his little wiener inside of her. GROSS.

          • I’m really not into “little boys”, or middle aged ” tennagers “. I like actual MEN. Like Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. Grown up men. Adult men. Not boys.

            • Can sure relate to your-hate-the-penis thing. I get it.
              But, of course, we all understand and know that many men aren’t as well ‘endowed’ as others; same as women not having ‘big breasts’, if that’s your thing.
              Size does not matter! Right? 😉

  • Yes as soon as they are caught, the lines come out, love at first sight, the one im meant to be with, soul mates, fate, i was always missing something. Puke, barf, puke, and double barf! So he says til the next one comes along…..
    Stupid stooopid man. Fucker.

    • We have to put an end to this whole fairy tail of love at first site, destiny blah blah blah. Walt Disney and just about every ‘girl’ movie for generations promulgated that crap. From what I have learned here, disordered assholes (who as we are discussing are not very creative) know this line of culturally accepted bs works. I have fallen for it. I bet every chump here has fallen for it. We need to teach ourselves that love, good relationships are based on friendship, mutual respect, reciprocity and chemistry. Thank God for Frozen and a bunch of new movies that are taking on that narrative, not because there is some general acknowledgement that this is the first line out of a ClusterBfuckers mouth but because they want to empower women to solve there own problem. I would like to see a ‘girl’ movie that shows a heroine, developing a friendship and waiting and watching to see if he can do more than unbuckle his sword.

      • My favorite Disney film has always been Mulan–she defies gender roles, works hard & becomes a kick-ass warrior, saves the country, and snags the polite man who likes her as a kick-ass woman (and who has the singing voice of Donny Osmond).

    • Yes, ex’s schmoopie#1 insisted post D-Day that they were the “loves of each others’ lives.” Certainly stunned me and her husband to find out. 10 days later ex told me he was going to marry her.

      My response? “You are marrying someone you had group sex with? For 15 years??”

      Nuff said.

    • It is amazing. The most unromantic, unemotional man I knew justified blowing our family apart “because she’s in my head and I can’t get her out” and “she’s in my heart and I love her too much for anyone else”, to which I replied,”Oh, your poor widdle feewings will be sad if you don’t leave me to be with her.” and he got furious for my “mocking and belittling his feelings and emotions.” I said when those feelings and emotions are making him choose the stupidest decision possible, damn right I’m going to belittle them. I reminded him that he did this to the OW behind her back whenever she did something stupid (she was a very close family friend so we all knew each other’s business) and funnily enough, he didn’t have anything to say to that. So he can make fun of everyone else including the dim bulb he was fucking at the time, but no one better dare question his obviously intelligent and well thought out decision making.

      It was infuriating. Either greeting card platitudes about how much they loved each other, it wasn’t supposed to happen but they couldn’t be without each other, or flat out refusal to discuss anything I wanted to know. If I had a dollar for every time he said, “I’m done.” whenever I’d press him for reasons why or details, I probably wouldn’t need child support.

      • CakelessinKalamazoo, what I think these morons don’t realize is that the “other person” isn’t what is creating the “unequaled love”, the situation of the affair is actually what creates the feelings of ” love”. I use those terms loosely. But most ap if they were just dating in normal life would probably have a mundane, probably short lived relationship. Like most relationships turn out.

      • Right?? I’m a year post d day….he left me for her…..the one that was just a friend, under another name in his phone…..for 2 years.
        My kids ( 18 and 24) don’t speak to him at all and now he’s trying to use me to get through to them so he’s actually a bit kind these days ( he’s stopped calling me a cunt so that’s cool). But he had totally discarded me and I had found my joy in that, now that he’s back to speaking to me to “heal the kids”( who don’t want it, btw) I just find myself anxiety ridden over it….ugh!!
        I became the villan in his story. As he would tell it, she was his affair partner briefly 15 years ago and they ran into eachother again ( 3 affairs inbetween) and we’re” just friends” for 2 years before he spontaneously asked me for s divorce…..but I’m the “cunt” apparently for not buying into the narrative that they were just friends until roughly the day after he moved out…..nobody here is buying that story.
        Keep it real dude…..own your shit. I get the ” we’re so innocent” story all the time and then when I ask things like why the gps on his iPhone tracked him to a hotel months before he left……crickets. I get the “let me tell you why I’m great” or the “I don’t have to tell you shit” whenever he just can’t explain his way out of it……my personal fave when he just has no good answer is “well?? What about you? We were both responsible for the breakdown of the marriage”…….uhhhh, I don’t think so….
        No contact is the only way to go…..they are master manipulators.
        I learned to be happy in that no contact was easy because he wanted nothing to do with me because his affair partner would not allow it. Now he’s back to speaking to me…..but only from work and only from his work phone……anybody here surprised by that?? Lol
        Thank god for chump nation. I’m glad my ex exiled me to no contact land, I’m pretty sure he had no idea if be so happy there……think I’m going back.

    • Kar marie, you hit the nail on the head here… “as soon as they are caught!!!” This is really what offended and hurt me so much at the time and for a long time after, if Ex and OW were really “meant to be together” all those many months possibly a year or more, than why didn’t he leave??? (Cake.) It was fine for him to carry on secretly w/her while eating food paid for by me, cooked by me, and living in a house paid for by me. Until he was caught and then it was some horrible imprisonment for him to have been here. WTF??? As CL says, it’s all about the Cake, and my Ex even admitted to me, when I said, “if you are in wuv with her, why didn’t you come to me and tell me?” and he replied, “I needed to make sure it was a sure thing with her first.” In that moment I saw him clearly as the cowardly opportunist he had always been all along.

  • Dear CL and CN, I’ve been reading this blog for a few months now. I still can’t get over how the cheaters are all so much alike! They even say the same things! My STBX will NEVER admit to having any type of affair, physical or emotional. But I KNOW he has in some capacity. I caught him out (long story) over a year ago having drinks until 1:30 in the morning with a “friend.” Then I saw the flirtatious emails he sent her. But he insists she’s just a “friend.” NO. She is a friend who he was pursuing so they could be more than friends some day. I’ve been such a major chump all these years, but didn’t know it. When someone tells me something, I believe it. I’m a pretty trusting person. But now I realize that I shouldn’t look at only words anymore. I should look at words AND actions! His words always said one thing, but his actions sad another thing. I’m learning. I don’t want to be a chump again. After over 20 years of being together, I finally started exposing him to my family, his family (they didn’t like that!) and my friends. I kept all of the lies and bs all to myself all these years. I didn’t want to be the kind of wife that talked bad about her husband, so I kept our marital stuff to myself. THAT was a big mistake! Thanks CL and CN for sharing freely your stories with me. It’s made me feel less alone and not crazy. I felt crazy so much in my marriage. Like I was seeing something or feeling something (my gut) and he’d tell me that what I was seeing or feeling wasn’t true. I now realize he was having his cake. Wife (slave), kids, dog, house, meals prepared, everything taken care of for him and then he could have his “friends” on the side who gave him endless attention and admiration (narc supply.) I know it’ll be a long time until I feel better and I have a lot of work to do, but I can’t wait until the day that I can look back and say I’m happy to be out of this relationship. I’m not quite there yet as I’m scared of what the future holds. But everyone says it’ll get better, so I’m trusting that it will in time.

    • Well this sounds familiar. I realize now I was his secret keeper, a well trained and ground down one who was happy with the meager kibbles of him behaving affectionately with me around other people (well,not his friends) and him telling me how he told everyone I was the best thing that ever happened to him.

      I’m such a chump.

      • I, too, was a secret keeper extraordinaire. I loved him and wanted him to be loved by friends and family. Yet he talked me down with friends. I protected him but it came back to bite me. To new chumps I would advise telling your truth. Post divorce I look like the bad guy since I kept so much to myself.

      • I hear you. I was the keeper of his secrets… deviant sexual fetishes… I was his biggest promoter (spackler extraordinaire) telling everyone how wonderful he was for almost 20 years. He hid behind me and my children; it was his mask of normalcy, but he is NOT.

    • Good for you JenJen! Hang in there. The toughest part for me was mentally unwinding the the 27 year farce that I thought was a marriage. CL really helped me to see the reality of things. Having a cheater vernacular was a tremendous help as well, because finally, I could name the craziness I was steeped in. He lied and lied, even when I confronted him about events I knew were true; he made me feel like I was going crazy: gas lighting. I wondered why he didn’t just ask for a divorce if he was truly so unhappy, wondered why he would beg for forgiveness, and then reconnect with the whores: cake eater. CL and Chump Nation have been right so far, so I have to believe them when they say things will get better. Keep hanging out with Chump Nation, and before you know it you’ll be unentangled from your a-hole cheater and looking forward to whatever the next day brings.

    • I never could figure out how they learn cheater speak. Maybe a hand me down through generations. Maybe a course like cheater speak 101.
      Then one day I found my answer reading here. I think DM said it. “Satan is the author of all lies.”
      Same script by the same author. It’s the only common denominator.

  • He totally IS a narcissist. Oh my goodness — how do you think he’s NOT one of the disordered ones. And Tracy is right — grown ups fuck. Don’t believe men who say it was only emotional. If there’s any sort of attachment, they fucked and she’s a whore in the bedroom.

  • These disordered folks know that being straight about the sexual infidelity would be a game-changer. Never forget that. The “‘just’ an emotional affair” junk is ambiguous enough to keep you on the hook. It is about power here. Why would a cheater give up power knowing you’d kick his butt to the curb if you knew he was screwing her?!

    • I don’t think that a cheater wants to have a genuine, open, honest conversation about their infidelity because they don’t want to change their ways. They don’t want to give up cheating and have a monogamous relationship with their chump. They want cake at the chump’s expense.

      • I haven’t read all the posts yet but wanted to point out to the OP that just because your husband has said that OW is “the one” doesn’t mean that there haven’t been other “ones” before her. My X also said on D-day that he was “having a midlife crisis,” that OW was “the biggest opportunity of his life,” that “it just happened,” that it was that twu wuv from up above, i.e. CHEATER 101. For about six months after this I basically believed him. I even reached a point where I forgave him, I mean, golly gee whillikers, love was just like a lighting bolt from the sky that struck these two star-crossed fuckers, right????? Then about eight months later one night I was toodling about my laptop and opened up a file that should have just contained some old photos of our house… except it was an email outbox folder and showed me that Ex had cheated before, that he had been sending these emails to a woman I never heard of, five years before OW/Schmoopie/the Wuv of his life… WTF??? I was devastated even more than when I found out about OW. So Kate, hey, I hate to break it to you but this might not be your husband’s first rodeo. And yeah, I was also told that I just wasn’t the One for him, and current Whore of the Moment was. I’m sorry to break it to you but your H is probably also a serial cheater. There are people for whom this is a LIFESTYLE. Not “one little mistake” as my cheater tried to convince me so I would give him 50% of our shared assets.

        • My Ex even proclaimed he’d made “One Little Mistake in Sixteen years!” and accused me of over-reacting. He never thought I would find out abut the other affairs. Don’t trust anything he says, Kate. A person who will easily tell one lie will easily lie for any reason or no reason.

  • NCStevie, “Those disordered assholes turn you against yourself and you don’t even realize it’s happened.” Never a more powerful truth spoken!!!!!

    Kate, I do get how it hurts for these words to be uttered, ‘she’s the one,’ etc. so I first want to acknowledge how painful that is to here. As far as your husband, please look to his behaviors. Men of decent character do not do what he has done. CL has summed him up perfectly as a cake eating narcissist. The more you research narcissism, the more you will see it beyond the sting of what he is saying about meeting “the one.” I can say from firsthand experience, and tons of research (which I recommend you do) that your soon to be ex is definitely a narc. Most of the advice here and most of it online says RUN from these disordered people, which is the only way to deal with them: don’t play, don’t engage, go no contact (easier said then done but truly possible and has been the best thing for me).

    Ps, someone posted a great link to an article on esteemology (a website devoted to info and recovery from narcs) asking the very question you are asking: will they be happy with someone else? CL truly nailed it and this article will help too. They are NOT “happier” with their “soul mates.” The article is great because it basically says they WILL return to their miserable asshole selves and that their default settings are charm, rage, and self-pity (poor me). I promise in time you will see all this but right now you are most likely hurting big time and I am so very sorry. Keep seeking support here. This site has been instrumental in my healing.

    • Truth, “Cheaters turn us against ourselves and we don’t know it’s happening”. Glad I’m not living in that turmoil of pick me and spackle. Believing the crap that he fed me for years and blaming myself for not living up to his standards.
      X said he found someone he had more in common with but they never did anything until he moved out of our home. I was expected to believe him.
      Sounded good to him and he could maintain his squeaky clean image, the man of integrity.
      More in common apparently than 20 years of marriage with me, and life ups and downs, a child, a home etc.
      They’re all full of crap.

      • Multiple types of narcs exist from my experience and research.

        On one end of the spectrum, you have the overt, gregarious, boasting, plate-throwing, verbally abusing narcs. On the other hand, you have the quiet, manipulating, waif-like, “shy”, subtly emotionally abusive narcs.

        Just because a narc doesn’t throw plates and overtly verbally control/abuse you doesn’t mean they aren’t a narc.

        I’m sure if Kate were to describe their relationship in more detail, we’d see the signs of selfishness, subtle mind-fuckery and lack of caring/compassion/empathy.

  • Yeah, she may be ” the One” for now, but it’ll never last. You see, these cheaters are immature assholes that have never grown up and developed. They have no idea what real love is and never will! When you’ve been with someone for a long time, you think you have ‘real’ , ‘deep’ and ‘mature’ love, that has been built and grown over time,but these freaks never leave the surface. You think of all the years of things you’ve been through together like the birth of your children, the death of some loved ones or parents, the struggles to buy a home, make a family, of the dirty diapers, the flu, the family pets, the day to day drudgery and hard work you put in every day. And you think you’ve seen him at his worst and he’s seen you at your worst, you know each other warts and all, and that’s what real love is about…hard work, committment,struggles, sometimes boredom, good times too…and this is really what all of life is!Good and bad, taking the good with the bad, overcoming together. It’s getting through all that together and having something strong, mature and enduring. But, nope…these freaks would trade it all in for someone that they’ve known for a couple months and got a kiss. Because they’re dreamers, idealists, they fall for all the surface stuff like a pretty face or ass, whatever! they want the pretty princess who never farts, the facade of living in some castle and being the most envied person on earth. Its like the kid’s book, Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munch. They don’t care what’s inside-they only care about the illusion. Just like in that book, he’s no prince…he’s a bum. He doesn’t deserve you! This is your opportunity to get rid of him and go find the real thing!

    • Right on movingon51 – You nailed it!

      I am almost 3 years divorced from ex wife and your words are my exact thoughts. Of course the hard part was so painfully getting to the point to live and breathe your exact words. These words bring so much understanding and closure to the devastation that these cheaters inflicted.

      I am not one to sit at the bus stop and wait for the karma bus but I have to admit that it would be nice that one day some of our exes land on this site (because they eventually got cheated on) reading your most awesome words/post!

    • movingon51, You mentioned “They don’t care what’s inside-they only care about the illusion”. So true but that’s what is so disturbing -that the “illusion” trumps their life with spouse and kids. WTF?!?! To me it’s no different than a crack whore choosing to suck on a glass dick opposed to your happiness with your family.

    • So true, 51! (PS – I used to read The Paper Bag Princess to my kids when they were little. 🙂 Loved that story!)

  • To anyone in the above situation…. plot a course and run like hell!
    One of the things that stuck with me is when CL said, she’s not special, he hasn’t found happiness, he’s doing to her what he did to you for years…until the mask slips.
    Try going over the exact information you have right now after 2 months of no contact, 4 months of no contact, 6 months of no contact. You won’t believe how clearly you can see things then.

    In WoW terms, he’s Blackhand, you’re Yrel, it can never work.

  • Kate, Kate, Kate. Anyone who will tell his or her faithful spouse that they have found “The One” and it is “fate” BUT they still want to work on the marriage is full of shit. What they really want is to spur their spouse to work harder and do more and pick-me dance like a Rockette while they boldly pursue their affair partner. They want the understanding and support of their spouse and all the benefits of marriage while they do whatever floats their boat with whomever “fate” sends their way. They want an open marriage that only opens in their direction. They want no consequences. They want CAKE.

    Run, sister, run. You’ve already spent your entire marriage to this asshat as Plan B. It’s time to call it a day.

  • I can relate to this . . . I thought I was the “one” too. Ahem . . .

    For 11 years, my now X husband never forgot a birthday, holiday, or anniversary. Always with the mushy cards with sweet little sayings such as “You are the love of my life.” “Without you, I’m not me.” “Just wanted to make you smile today baby.” I had a huge box filled with cards and things he had given me all those years before I tossed it into a big bonfire in the backyard.

    Anyway, when I found out about the affair, and back when I had masterful hacking abilities, I was able to get into my then husbands Proflower account and look at the slew of flowers and gifts he had sent his AP. A few times, he even sent us the exact same flowers with the exact same sentiments of love on the cards. You’d think I would have been crushed to see this, but I remember actually feeling some relief, because that’s when I knew the type of person I was really married to. He was pathetic.

    I learned that everything he’s ever said to me he’s said to her. So it makes you think, how great can their love be if he doesn’t even have an original thought? He knew I wouldn’t dance and bolted. Suddenly she was his great love. IT WAS DESTINY!

    Even though he was the idiot who asked ME to marry him and put the ring on my finger, somehow that was all wrong and do-over, no . . this one over here, THIS one is my TRUE true love. Yeah ok. When you look at it for the absurdity that it is, how bad can you really feel?

    The way I look at it, maybe she really is his “great” love. That’s cool, she’s a cheater who left her husband for another cheater. Mazel tov! Maybe they are really suited, what with their lack of character and flimsy moral code. I don’t want him to be my “great” love. That would be awful if that fucker was the best I can do.

    • Good point, Rumblekitty. My ex did a lot of the same things to woo the OW as he did with me. He is also continuing similar patterns of behavior that I saw in our marriage in his marriage to her. The only thing he’s done differently so far is take her on vacation to a place that I’m not interested in visiting; we had gone somewhere similar years ago, and that was enough for me. I also burned a gigantic pile of romantic, lovebombing letters, postcards, and cards from him in my backyard bonfire! I’m sure the Owife is being inundated with similar flowery missives! 😀

    • 😀 I had that same bonfire Rumblekitty! Thirty-six years of lies fueled mine!!!

      Awesome post! I agree, no way satan could be the love of my life.

      • Me, too… There’s something cathartic about watching that stuff go up in flames. I also tossed in my wedding bouquet which I had dried and preserved because it was so beautiful…

        • I left with just my clothes after 24 years. He gets to sit in the decay and have the bonefire. My life became all new lol even clothes from weight loss shortly after and even new hair since I lost that, too.

    • Haven’t gotten around to the bonfire yet as it hasn’t been cold enough here to have one, so I mull over the possibility of sending them to the affair partner with a note saying “I guess these were for you”

      • Oh ha ha haaaaa! I am loving this idea, even though in reality it would just make them think you’re still hung up on him/them. But I still get a grin just thinking about doing it.

      • Eh . . . tempting but no. In my book, nothing is better than crickets. Have yourself a sweet bonfire. I did it by myself with a bottle of Vodka and my dog. Fan-fucking-tastic.

        • I did the bonfire also…thought I was being smart and using a fire pit in the driveway. The fire pit had a hole in the bottom and I still have the black mark on my concrete driveway as proof, six years later. Every time I look at that spot, I inwardly laugh.

          • BTW, do you know how large of a fire it takes to burn a pair of cowboy boots? Does not smell so good also.

            • I did the opposite. Bagged or boxed up all his shit and left it downstairs by the front door, and told him to get it out of my house whenever he’d come to pick up or drop off the kids. I gave him a week. He refused. Finally, I moved all of it outside into snow drifts around the front walk. Out into freezing rain. Out where anyone could have walked off with it. Most of those days the temps didn’t even break 30 degrees. I hear below freezing temperatures and damp aren’t good for electronics like all his game consoles, his radio, computer components etc.

              I also took the condoms he and I used on occasion (sometimes had to take a break from my shot) and threw them and all the bottles of his favorite perfume I’d stockpiled into a bag with all his clothes. Even the little box we kept said condoms in, not that he’d start using them since he didn’t all throughout the six years he was cheating. I hid those little surprises in the middle of his bags of clothes so when he’d dump them out to dig through them, out they’d come and they’d both get a little jack in the box reminder of where he came from.

              Clothes I missed? Hmmmm… Some were used to clean up kitty messes, some were ripped to shreds and well… uh… I won’t say what I did with some of his favorite concert tee shirts. 😉

              Even when I let him have some of his furniture like his dresser, a desk, etc., I “accidentally” dropped my end and a few drawers fell out and broke on the concrete driveway, his favorite office chair “slipped” fell over and lost a wheel and the baby just happened to have a really bad spit up on the back of the old, ripped up sofa they’d fucked on the day I let him take it after buying the kids and I new livingroom furniture out of that year’s tax return.

              It’s the little things to show you don’t care… 🙂

  • What you have here is a regular garden variety cheater your brain just won’t let you see that yet, it’s a weird form of self preservation. You still believe he’s the guy you thought he was because you think he would never blow your life up unless it was actual true love that swept him away. Yes he would and he did. Don’t ascribe your values to him, his aren’t the same. If it hadn’t been this irrelevant whore it would have been someone else because he’s just a cheating bag of rat mucus. It’s who he is, he’ll do it again. Just believe, one hundred percent that you must get out. This is why it’s hard to leave a cheater, you have leave a relationship you don’t want to end and didn’t realize was broken. Its a mindfuck and can keep you stuck for years. Don’t waste your precious life get out now. If you wait to fall out of love with him before you walk away you’ll be waiting a long time. The falling out of love happens after you get away from them. This is why the pain of being cheated on is so unique, you have to walk away from something you still value, only after you’ve gone do you know it was worthless.

      • I just trust they all suck. The ex will never be a better man for anyone, his kids, family, noone, everyone has to take him like he is and fuck them if they dont! For cheaters noone is the one only the current one! Hes cheating on her now and they live together so no she is not the one and she will find out on her own and deserves everything she has coming to her for trolling and sleeping with married men. And neither knows real love since both decided cheating is ok. She was ok him cheating on me, fun, good times but told him if he cheats on her she will kill him and hooks up with him a known cheater who tells her hes a cheater and most likely will cheat on her and does. Sound desperate? Effing bitch.

        • Kar, when she finds out he’s doing it to her can I come around and watch the shitstorm with you? I’ll bring popcorn.

          • I would love that! I will supply lounge chairs, drinks and tissues for the crying laughter! The whore weighs as much as he does over 200 pounds. Should be a hoot!

        • I really loved something my therapist said to me after D-Day/Divorce: “After this is all said and done, it’s not like he is getting a personality transplant. He is going to carry the same poor relationship skills into his next partnership. It won’t last.” Lo and behold…she was right. After I went NC and they could no longer torture/triangulate me by throwing her skeezy underwear in my work bag, taking her to an (ex) friend’s wedding we were invited to as his date, going on fancy dinners where he claimed to “know the head chef” (lies-I know the head chef and I never introduced him-but, SPARKLES), or trolling my social media accounts, it lasted about three months…so much for twu wuv…

    • Wow, Ninja Chump… so well put. All the reading on no contact and healing etc all fails to lay it out as you have.

  • I too, believe X has met his twu wuv! They are a perfect couple…

    …of hemorrhoids. I can’t call them perfect assholes, because assholes work and X does not. Still, neither one of them serve any purpose except to occasionally annoy and cause pain.

    No worries now; I have my lifetime supply of Preparation H!

  • Yeah, I initially bought that too… That is until I found out about the others, lol. Many many many others. He even cheated on his OW with OW. LOL.

    CL, thank you so much for telling it like it is and giving us back our dignity and some sort of grip on reality. A broken heart can really mess you up. This site and the support here allow my HEAD to lead and pull my heart out of the gutter.

  • “Kate,”

    I wonder where you are today. How did this all turn out? I think we are all dying to know. Hope you’re okay. “Your husband is a piece of shit.”

    If there IS a new person reading this post today, please know that us folks here in Chump Nation live under the benevolent reign of the all-powerful Chump Lady. She of the UBT and Spackle-B-Gone. (And apparently some sort of shamanic druid deity too!) Anyways, I speak in a short-hand with lots of acronyms and lingo. So do most of the Chumps here. Don’t let that throw you. Stick around. What may seem like a bunch of “bitter bunnies” might just save your life. They’ve saved mine.

  • I believe that at least on the surface, some of these assholes manage to nearly completely convince themselves that it really is FATE.

    Fucktard’s OWhore bought into the whole Fantasy of “IT IS FATE!” although she didn’t put it that way. She even acknowledged that they had hurt me, but, leaving me was “THE RIGHT THING TO DO!”:

    “If you were to choose to be with me, you would be a man who walked away from a long dead marriage. (Funny how the constant “love you!” kinda had me fooled!) Yes, you chose a bad way to do it. Yes, you . . . we . . caused more pain than necessary. But it would have been the right thing to do. You are an honorable man who made mistakes.”

    Yes, these disordered cheaters and AP’s are able to convince themselves that not only are they NOT EVIL for cheating, they are somehow noble and HONORABLE. And you want SO BAD to have them acknowledge their disorder. And it ain’t even gonna happen.

    • Chchchchump, that’s my Fucktard Ex’s mentality exactly = “I’m an honorable man who made a mistake and am dissolving this marriage with honor and integrity to be with my twu wuv.” (in an honorable, integrified way, of course)

  • “Bitch-B-Gone”
    What they said. And we are all soooo sorry. Bless your heart…and pass the ammunition. ?

      • During one of our marriage counseling sessions during the pick me dance, my stbexh said he didn’t mean for “it” to happen and “it” was an “accident.” I couldn’t help flash back to when I was a young girl and I overheard my mom tell my dad that our neighbor got “accidentally pregnant.” I knew the very basics on sex since my dad bred dogs. The mental image my ten year old brain conjured was of my neighbor and her husband lying asleep in bed and his penis moving snake like to the objective. I didn’t understand accidental sex. I still don’t.

          • Yep. I finally had to ask my mom about accidentally getting pregnant. I didn’t want to risk one of those things coming at me in my sleep. With three other sisters, we had to be on our guard. She had to explain that a penis didn’t just act on its own accord, and I got age appropriate information. Too bad this information wasn’t imparted on my stbexh.

  • Kate, my situation was very similar to yours, except my XH took up with an old girlfriend of his from college after we had been married for 25 years. Here’s the end of the story: I divorced him, the old girlfriend divorced her husband and married mine last year. So the cheaters got each other, and I GOT A LIFE.

    • Mine is chasing down his ex from his early 20’s. I’m sure it’s “fate” and they are “meant to be”. She’s a fat sadsack whose husband divorced her for cheating on him years ago. She also cheated on my husbands best friend (with my husband) and cheated on my husband too. That caused one of their two breakups. Lovely. And this is the person who is worth my childrens lives and family.

      They deserve each other. Cheaters together. Hope they drive each other insane.

      • OMG! Same here! The Old Flame got in touch when we were still married. He responded enthusiastically. Don’t know whether they cheated on her H. Don’t care.

        It is twu wuv. Absolutely.

        • And a caution to all chumps: Disordered cheaters never delete your access information. They will land back at your door/phone/email whining about how unfair the world after you has been and wanting to make amends. Then YOU are THE ONE they never should have carpet bombed. Please, please don’t respond. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Don’t even think about giving it another go with someone who is looking to clean you out again.

      • My X’s ex-fiance kept trying to contact him. Through letters.
        Yep, she was still after them and I read them all. Very manipulative person and he caught her cheating on him right before their marriage.
        Today, she is wider than she is tall, went crazy and is now in a mental institution under the care of her family.

        I thought he should go back to her.
        She was the one who taught him to kiss, after all.

  • As others have said, what does it say about each of them. If she thinks “He’s the one…” her idea of the one is someone who will betray his spouse to be with another.

    If he thinks, “She’s the one…” then his idea of “the one” is someone who is ok with screwing with a married man who is not HER husband.

    Being “the one” in this scenario seems to be overrated and frankly meaningless. I think she’s better off NOT being the one.

    • Logically and rationally, I understand how the cheater and the affair partner are each getting someone of questionable moral character when the cheater is married or in a committed relationship and the affair partner knows. On an emotional level, it is devastating that the person you thought was your “one and only” could idealize and need someone else, especially someone else of questionable moral character. When you think of all the things you have shared in your relationship and how those things are unique to you as a couple, you then realize that your partner has a whole other relationship with someone else and that relationship has things that are unique to them as a couple. Even if it is someone of questionable moral character that they needed, what hurts is that they needed someone else at all.

      • Chumptacular said, “Even if it is someone of questionable moral character that they needed, what hurts is that they needed someone else at all.”

        I won’t try to talk you out of feeling sad or any other feeling you might have.

        I will ask you to ponder, thing, meditate or consider that you may not be the problem here.

        If what you are suggesting is that it’s somehow your fault, that you were somehow not enough, that’s a largely fruitless road.

        What I’m not saying is that you or your marriage was perfect. What I’m saying is none of your faults really matter when your spouse is unwilling or unable to be open and honest about needing more or less of something.

        I.E. he should have said I need more blow jobs and bacon and less sweatpants and salads if that’s what he believed was missing.

        But the typical cheater doesn’t express these unmet needs. They don’t tell you about them. Nor do they ask what you might be needing and not getting, or what you could do without.

        The sad part isn’t that you were not enough to meet there needs. You can’t meet needs you don’t even know about. The sad part is the cheater typically doesn’t use his or her words to say what they need or want and just take the easy route.

        They are like the person who goes into a store hungry and without a shopping list. They just buy crap off the shelves with little planning or forethought. Maybe they get what they needed or wanted. Maybe they get even more. Or more likely, they don’t get everything they need, just what they noticed in the moment.

        So when that person comes home and realizes they forgot something they needed, is it the fault of the store? Of course not, it’s the fault of the haphazard shopper who doesn’t take a moment to really consider their needs and wants.

        It’s never your fault when your spouse is that haphazard shopper who doesn’t give you their list or doesn’t revise the list if it changes. You can’t fill needs you didn’t know existed. You can’t stop doing things you didn’t know irritated them.

        What I believe is sad is that I’d say most cases of infidelity that are blamed on “unmet needs” be they sex or romance or bacon could probably be solved by having an adult conversation with your spouse.

        If you haven’t had that conversation and asked your spouse what he’s missing, but just run down to the store and buy the first thing that catches your eye, then how is that your spouse is the primary problem here?

        Don’t feel bad wjem you don’t measure up when it comes to Mr or Mrs Cheaterpants. Cheating is an act of deceit. One can never measure up to someone who is deceitful because they will simply reshape the lie to keep you off balance. One of the principle tools of Mr or Mrs Cheaterpants is to keep you feeling bad and off balance.

        For the TL;DR

        It’s not you, it’s them, mourn, but don’t blame yourself for their failure to be honest and honorable.

  • Hi Kate–

    I’m sorry to be among those welcoming you to the club no one wants to join.

    I’m a little over 3 years out from Dday and 4 months from divorce. It does get better. As time goes on, you start to process more about the mindfuckery and hurt. It does hurt like a mofo to realize that your spouse, the person you loved and were loyal to, tossed you over for someone so dishonest that they’re willing to be co-conspirators with your Cheater. It feels like a betrayal because it IS a betrayal.

    Then you realize that you were loyal and true. Your cheater is not. Your loyalty and love deserve someone who values those qualities. Your cheater merely manipulates them.

    Cheating is about a lot of things, but at its core it is about kibble and cake. Want to know why all Cheaters sound alike? It’s because they ARE alike! Each one wants kibble and cake. If your husband truly thought that OW was The One, he would have honorably divorced you, given you a favorable settlement so that you could raise his son in comfort, This would have hurt, but it would have been honest.

    He didn’t do that. Why not? Because he liked being married to you. Being married meant that he had lots of kibble. He had meals with the family, sex when he wanted it, a son, a wife who takes care of him. What a great life! Kibble! Loads of kibble! The affair gave him cake. It’s all fantasy, even the sex part (and yes, he had sex–at least when they were in the same country together, and probably you wouldn’t want to see the sexts they sent each other).

    CL is right. Don’t stand in the way of this Great Love. Find a lawyer, line up your ducks, and file for divorce. Oh, and contact the OW’s husband to let him know what’s going on. I do not know what country you’re living in now, but file under the country that has the most favorable outcomes for your situation.

    You deserve to live your life with someone who truly loves and respects you. Your POS husband does not.

    Oh, and by the way, be ready for him to fall on his knees to beg forgiveness after you file. These crocodile tears are because he’s just realized that a divorce will cost him big time.

    Remember, you are MIGHTY!

  • Hi there Kate, I have an extreme amount of empathy for you, my deepest sorrow that you have to go through this cruel process.

    You mention you are having a hard time to accept that he “was given an opportunity to build a relationship with her and he took it.” Yes he did! Set aside the fundamental reasons why he chose to cheat like his shit character, lack of commitment /loyalty/integrity, etc. Also set aside for a moment his narcissism, cluster B, etc. Let’s look at this from a spiritual viewpoint – God presented him in one hand the blessing of having a family, child, and wife – in the other hand he presented a whore. You husband has chosen the whore. Because of his choice – you should see him for what he is -a truly selfish and cruel person. He is incapable of loving you the way you should be loved. He failed the test!

    His “legitimate love” that you mention is only an emotional love. It’s shallow and will wear with time. Since he is incapable of building a deeper more long lasting love similar to the love you have for him, he goes and chases “in-love”, “puppy love” etc. From his actions he is a cruel person that has no idea what nobility is.

    “How do I heal from the idea that I’m just not “the one” for the person who was “my one”? You will heal in time but you will have to accept that HE is not “the one” for you.

  • Historically, this cheater affair love bullshit derails pretty quickly when they have to have a Real relationship. But, let’s say it doesn’t. Guess what? This guy is a lying, cheating prick. As is she. They don’t matter. Just be glad he’s gone.

  • Let the whore have him… believe me, neither of them are particularly special. And 9 out of 10 times, these TWU WUV situations blow up in their stupid faces. But you won’t care when that happens. Meh.

  • Even when twu wuv soulmate schmoopies stay together, they still have their own layer of self imposed hell to deal with. Knowing the sort of person they’re dealing with must be tough.

    They don’t magically morph into better people once they’re w/o us. They’re just as shitty w/APa as they were w/us. The only thimg is, they pull their toxicity outof the dating poo, briefly when tthey’re together.

  • Infidelity is such a bitter pill to swallow. I don’t know if it goes down any easier whether they say it was about sex (which makes you feel inadequate as a sex partner) or because the affair partner was “the one” (which makes you feel you were not good enough for a person who knew the “real you”). It is all so diminishing, especially at first, and you feel so inadequate and rejected to the core as a person – and to make matters worse, you hear that you were partly to blame for what they did to you.

    The cheating husband did more than kiss this woman. You never get more than the tip of the iceberg from the cheater. You will realize it as time goes on. You will also come to realize that despite what you want to tell yourself about him, that he was not a good and decent man who just got drawn by fate into a relationship with another woman. He is the same as any other cheater, and you are more valuable than anything he deserves.

  • To the newbies out there (since this post has run previously).
    No such thing as “meant to be.”
    It took some time in MC for ex to admit the affairs. Finally he admitted to the first affair (but he was in love with her…). Two weeks later he admitted there was a current woman, but she had nothing to do with our divorce since our marriage was long over. Although he claimed nothing physical, he loved her far more than he had loved the first one (and he admitted to a physical affair).

    Pfft. Whatever.

  • He’s a cheater. He’ll always be a cheater. Your past is her future. Turn your back and RUN! CL and CN don’t need a crystal ball to call this game.

  • All I heard after D-Day was how Jake From State Farm was Sparkly Sunshine in and Perfect in Every Way, was no, not smarter or pretter or more successful than me but superior to me morally and chock full of cheerful goodness!!

    Now riddle me this- how is a desperate, lawsuit ridden Cunt Canyon who would send a known to be married man 5000 texts in a month, drawing his attention away from his family at baseball games, movies and Disney World superior to a bubonic boil, let alone the woman who’s at home washing your skiddy britches and making you 5 star Michelin Meals, while out earning you by 150% and paying 80% of the household costs?

    And that woman, who is tired of years of cleaning up after your ungrateful child and washing said skiddy britches and must beg for a millisecond of affection or attention- how is she remotely going to be Polly Miss Sunshine? She’s going to be HURT, RESENTFUL, NEGLECTED and PISSED. But she isn’t going to cheat She’s going to keep pleading to know what the fuck is going on and be gaslighted and accused of hot paranoid nonsense.

    Never mind, OP. Leave these two Speshul Lurves to their own devices and without the teenage glitter magic of Fleeting Lunch Pumps and Sacred Snooky Kisses, it gets old quick. The OW didn’t even last to the quickie divorce. But of course there was the gift that keeps giving- a Love Bun of Reckless Passion if you will.

    I guess the wasn’t the ONE after all. Because to the cheater, the One is the One Over There.

  • This made me shake my head in wonder because I experienced the same things, but had many more years of marriage to remember what I thought was the truth and realize they were lies. I was also told it was only an emotional affair. What helps me is the massive amount of stupidity he is showing. The OW is “the one,” yet while I was doing the pick me dance, she was getting my stbex to fight with another one of her married lovers over her. They all worked together and apparently my stbex was the “winner” and they are now together. It didn’t take me long to know I am so lucky to be rid of him. Our children are over 21, hers are under 15; I have a steady salaried position that earns more than him, she makes minimum wage; I was faithful for 28 years, she enjoyed two married men with children competing for her attention; I am honest, true, and competent, she is just pathetic He bought a new red truck with a lift, wears clothes my 21 year old said were just sad on an old man, and they both left their old jobs to work at a new company and he’s now being sued by his old company. I just paid off my car, youtube “How to….” when I need to fix something, and I have since dry-walled, trimmed in a door & hallway & stairwell, fixed my dishwasher, and changed the headlights in my car. I can do anything, and am mighty. He is pathetic. I don’t care if they enjoy their life or not, I just want my divorce to be final before his fog clears and I get everything, since he stupidly signed a document giving me everything (literally). My personal theme song is by the Beatles, “Here Come the Sun” and I sing it loud & clear.

  • Wow! This is like my life story! My hubby has had numerous emotional affairs but denied them all. He came to me in 2005, after 3 kids and 25 years of marriage, and said that he was having yet another emotional affair and leaving me. I had been 100% loyal and did everything he wanted. Came out of the blue. He blamed me for everything. Said that I was only after his money (I never even asked for new underwear over the years). He stated that he was going overseas with her and not to expect a cent from him as he would rather work in a refugee camp as a volunteer than give me any child support or help.

    I was in shock as I’d always been the trusting wife and he hadn’t allowed me to work so I had no money of my own or way to survive with our kids. He had totally isolated me.

    To cut a long story short, it didn’t work out with his new girlfriend and he came crawling back telling me to think about the good times and that we are made for each other. I believed him and sort of forgave him (as it was all my fault for some reason).

    After a couple of years, he lost his job as he was having an inappropriate relationship with someone under him at work. Again, it was totally innocent and he just enjoyed talking to her about blow jobs, etc when they went out for coffee. We lost our home and had to leave the country as he had taken me overseas by then, isolating me even more. No remorse yet again. I had to feel sorry for him as his reputation had been tarnished publicly.

    After a few more years of putting up with the “Poor Narc” stories, he just happened to bump into the ex girlfriend and go out for coffee with her. He became really nasty again, ending up in him semi-raping me (I was in so much physical pain and sobbing that I didn’t say ‘no’ so I don’t think that it’s considered full-on rape).

    I still put up with him as I can’t give the kids a proper home without his money (now it is down to that and I’ve told him). I have a small amount of work but, with this recession, can’t get anything that will pay the bills on a regular basis. He works in another city but comes back every couple of weeks. I try to keep my boundaries up, after years of counselling, but it’s really hard when you get the sob story or he gets frightening. I wish that he’d just do the right thing and pay me out and give child support.

    I’m still stupid and believe a lot of what he tells me but, when I read stories like yours, it makes me realise how naive I’m still being, it’s not my fault and that I’m not alone!

    • Chris, his cheating is not your fault. You taking him back IS. You not getting a lawyer about that child support is your fault. You need to start protecting yourself and see this abusive fuckwit for who he is. This is a 2×4. You need to get some professional — as in LEGAL — help here. Call a domestic abuse hotline. Rape is abuse. Infidelity is abuse. Financial abuse is abuse.

      Get OUT.

      • I echo this.

        Go talk to the lawyers. Talking doesn’t mean that you’re filing. Retain an attorney experienced in high conflict divorces. Retaining a lawyer doesn’t mean you’re filing, either. You file when you’re ready to file, but learning what options are out there will help you plan your exit.

        Find out your rights under the laws of your state. If you’ve been working part-time, or if you’ve stayed full-time with the children, you may be entitled to temporary spousal support while you retrain to reenter the workforce.

        My late mother-in-law stayed married to her cheater for 20 years, all the while he was living and sleeping with OW. The OW was never mentioned. The sons were told to respect and obey their father. I wondered why she’d stay married, and while I’ll never know for sure, I do know that a lot of the older women said they’d do the same thing: stick it out until the cheater died.

        Well, unfortunately, she died 5 years before he did. She was a timid woman in a lot of ways, and I think being married to a man who definitely was Cluster B for so many years made her second guess her own shadow.

        Chris, you do not want to end up like my late MiL.

        Get a lawyer, line up your ducks, and file. You will model self-respect to your children. If you need to suck it up for a bit while you get some training to be self-sufficient, then that’s okay, but the point is that you will be a happier you once you lose your Cheater, and if you plan it out, you’ll be that much closer to gaining a life.

    • Chris what you describe is rape because you didn’t consent and it seems that would be pretty obvious given that you were crying. You don’t have to say no or physically resist sex; if you don’t actually consent it’s rape. Your relationship is very abusive and you need to get some real life support as soon as you can, perhaps a domestic violence helpline or your health visitor. And definitely find out where you would stand legally were you to divorce. So sorry this is happening but only you can stop it x

      • When I tell him he’s abusing me, he either laughs and treats me as if I don’t know what I’m talking about or gets angry with me. He says that he doesn’t like labels and that I shouldn’t say to him that his behavior is narcissistic. He believes that psychiatrists (who told me), psychologist and counselors only do the job because they’re not clever enough to do anything else so he has zero respect for anything that they say. Until I put all this in writing, I didn’t realize how nasty he is.

        I’ve started looking for an exit strategy for when he returns to live here full-time now. First time I’ve ever seriously done that even though I’ve been told by multiple times by counselors to leave. Thank for opening my eyes more! I needed that! Just hope I can keep up the strength!

        • I’ll quote a little bit from Lundy Bancroft’s book The Batterer as Parent 2, because your post made me think of it, Chris:

          “We have observed that the higher a batterer’s level of entitlement, the greater his apparent perceptual tendency to reverse abuse and self-defense. The typical batterer defines his abusive behaviours as efforts to protect his own rights and defines his partner’s attempts to protect herself as abuse of him (Jacobson & Gottman, 1998). For example, he tends to interpret occasions when his partner refuses to have sex with him as her efforts to control or manipulate him (Mahoney & Williams, 1998). Batterers therefore often claim to be the victim of the woman’s abuse or violence (Pence & Paymar, 1993). Entitlement can lead a batterer to have double standards, such as the belief that he can have outside sexual relationships but that it is not acceptable for his partner to do so.”

          Your relationship sounds very much like mine with my ex husband, Chris. I was worried about how I would cope financially also, but I did cope – and even having to claim benefits, I was more financially secure and in control with more peace of mind knowing exactly what money I had and that only I got to decide how to spend it. Staying with my ex into old age would have been disastrous – as he screwed me financially all our married lives and again in the divorce, when in fact I discovered the house of cards we were sitting on financially anyway. I put up with sexual abuse and verbal abuse too – and it’s soul destroying it took me a long time to recover; not just my mental health but my physical health too was in a mess from the abuse. I’m in a new relationship now, which couldn’t be more different and I’m so happy – but I was happy on my own as well, free of ex. I won’t go as far as to tell you to leave, but I really recommend it. Please look after yourself xxx

  • ChumpLady is exactly spot-on – as always… It’s NOT their words, but it is their ACTIONS. I clicked over to the reddit adultery pages to spy on the enemy. There are several threads where they provide tips and techniques for chumping their stupid ignorant-assed chumps. What got to me was how proud the piece-of-shit asshat cheaters are of themselves for cheating.

    For example, one tells her chump husband she is going to the salon to get her hair colored and then has peel-the-paint-off-the-walls animal sex with her “twu-luv.” When she returns home a couple of hours later, she asks her chump husband how he likes her new hair style. When he doesn’t notice anything different, she spends an hour berating him. She finishes her rants by extracting an apology from her chump for being so obtuse and not complimenting her new hair style. She then adds “LOL!!

    Another piece-of-shit asswipe husband sets up his fuck-fests by introducing and talking about “business trips” and “training conferences” with his unsuspecting chump wife months in advance. He always “flyies out” on a Sunday and “returns” Fridays so he can spend weekend quality-time with his kids; he hates the routine “weekday bullshit.” He then adds “LOL!!

    They squirrel-away cash whenever they buy things; they add the cash to secret debit-cards and then use the debit-card on hotel reservations. They trade tips on which hotels are best for their nooners. They create plausible alibis for being out; they join gyms, have drinks out with “the guys/girls,” they go shopping, get their nails done, get the car washed, and sign-up for photography classes. They find “interest” in activities they know their dumb-assed spouses won’t enjoy and won’t want to share; anything to get out of the house for a few hours. They also call it “image management.” They add “LOL!!

    The cheaters trade techniques for when they’re caught: a) Minimize their own cheating “it was JUST a kiss!” b) Elevate their own misery “I’m SO unhappy!” c) Blame the chump for being a chump “you don’t consider MY happiness!” d) Jump back onto the reddit adultery club and receive high-fives for being SO smart “I have the right to my OWN happiness!” And then they remember to add “LOL!!

    They use our love and trust against us. It is pure insidious evil. LO…

    • Some people do get boners treating others like shit. I don’t understand it either. You’d think if you want to fuck other people so bad, just end the marriage. But no, that’s too easy. Instead I’ll turn someone else inside out or smash them in the head with a shovel. Assholes . . . LOL!

    • BetrayedNoMore- I have been on that site and it is utter vile. However it does give one a glimpse inside the narcs twisted minds.

      Even if some cheaters aren’t verbalizing their deception on a site, they are visualizing the deception it in their own head. Scary shit if you ask me!

      It’s become so sociably acceptable to condone this cheater behavior and just minimize the devastation that it causes the spouse, kids and family under the context -“I have the right to my OWN happiness!”. These cheaters are cowards and they just plain suck!

      • I would counter that the cheating piece-of-shits are not cowards at all. It takes chutzpah to intentionally lie to, malign, and betray. They use, abuse, and then discard chumps intentionally – because chumps!

        • You are so correct, “chutzpah” is very fitting. They are cowards though for not coming clean to us. Cake is just do damn delicious!

          • Yes indeed. The coward part is not being honest and up front like a real good human being should be. I was told i didnt want to hurt you! So no hurt me every day for two years instead thats much better! He is a cowardly, emotionanless, extremely stoic, pussy ass little whiny bitch! Pod creature.

  • With my cheater, I was her “soul mate.” I was “the one,” etc. She love-bombed me, and I believed every word of it, so much so that I believed that she was MY soul mate…MY “one.”

    And then, eight years later, I wasn’t any of those things to her. Her AP was.

    This is what cheaters do, and what they believe. Each person is their one-and-only soul mate that they’ve been waiting for…until he’s not.

  • “I didn’t think I could feel this way again,” he said.

    Considering I’m his second failed marriage and his third failed relationship that produced children, I had to laugh out loud at his words. He obviously has an immense capability to “feel that way again.”

    Upside for him… he’ll have a lifetime of OW to “make him feel this way again.” (In fact, he’s already got personal ads posted to meet the next victim while playing the role of loyal boyfriend suffering through a drawn-out divorce with a crazy woman.) Yup, the OW is the big winner with this guy.

    Me and my son… we’ll have freedom from his lies and his distorted version of love.

    Rock on Chump Nation!

  • I had to read and re-read this post. It rings so true…
    ExH: Haven’t you ever met someone you knew was just “right” for you? Can’t you understand that?
    Me: Yes, I have. That’s why I married you.

  • I don’t know what would be worse. Mine won’t say that. You can’t claim the slunt is a soulmate when you pay for it. And pay for tons of random it. But it just means they care even less to bother lying? Or they think you’re their soulmate but not their bedmate? Fuckers. They’re just awful.

  • You know your are ready for Chump Lady grad school when you are reading the Chump letter and saying, “NO! NO! Don’t believe him!!” And “Oh, my God, he’s convinced her it’s twu wuv.” And “Why are you believing him when he LIES???” Another great classic that I missed when I binge-read the site after D-Day.

  • StillStanding, Lots of cheaters like to compartmentalize their lives. Mine loved, loved loved to have two places to live. I didn’t get that at first. Thought we were buying a vacation home, but he managed to live there 1/3 of the time, “to write.” With other women around. Once I was onto that, I started looking, He’d done the same thing to his longtime girlfriend before me. One place near the university and another place back home. The GF would come up for the weekend and bring him new curtains she’d made. As soon as she’d left, he’d be calling other women to come and see how he’d redecorated his place. These aren’t normal men.

  • StillStanding, your husband (STBX I hope) is a run-of-the-mill cheater with all the standard behaviors:

    Compartmentalized thinking? Check.
    Word salad explanations (“intimacy without guilt”–WTF?)? Check.
    Excuses to spend lots of time apart? Check.
    Quasi-religious rationalizations? Check.
    Re-writing of family history? Check.
    Dishonesty? Check.
    Cake eating? Check.
    Trading down? Check.

    That is a toxic stew of disorder that can’t be made palatable any more than you can remove the burn from a $4 bottle of whiskey. If you have haven’t already, hope you GTFO *pronto*.

    Wishing you strength for the journey.

    • Excellent summary, as usual, Nomar. All the boxes are checked for my disordered ex. I’m sure most of us could have benefitted from this checklist earlier in our Chump lives.

  • “I like to fuck you, and fuck with your head, but I prefer to do it from the comfort of my marriage.” – love this!!! A Powers

  • It can be GREAT to be Not The One for the cheating spouse you thought was The One (for you). After I met the affair partner considered The One by my abusive, cheating husband, I felt relieved that I was Not The One to my husband. My husband’s The One (most recent extramarital sexual partner) was a drunk-driving habitual home wrecker. Like most chumps here, while you courted and when you married your husband, you probably saw sprinkle-covered turd. When your cheating spouse’s core self came to light, you saw past the sprinkles or the sprinkles fell off. In many ways, I am sorry that my STBX’s relationship that prompted our divorce did not last. Such a marriage might have taken two very harmful disordered people out of dating circulation (at least for a little while). Although financially my kids and I are in worse shape now, I am glad that my STBX filed for divorce. I don’t like to sleep next to turd. Now I can sleep next to a friend of several decades who is a wonderful partner and a good example to my kids. And if he ever leaves, then I will be happier as a single person (even though I used to hate being single) than I could be married to my abusive STBX.

    • RSW, “Such a marriage might have taken two very harmful disordered people out of dating circulation (at least for a little while).” I too had hoped that the ex and his schmoopie would stay together and not go out to mess up some unsuspecting people with their sparkly turdness! But alas, twu luv, only lasted 6 months, what a shame!!!

  • This older post helped me so much. I finally realized that I wasn’t crazy, but I was living in crazy, with a crazy making, gaslighting, lying, piece of crap for a husband, shark wearing a human suit fuckwit.
    It was like the light was shining through finally. The jewelry saying is priceless. Makes you think about how absolutely ludicrous these cheaters are, how they, for the most part, use every cheater play book move and how they are all out for themselves only. For the new or fairly new chumps out there, there is light at the end of this shit covered tunnel. It’s not easy and it is so very, very painful, but you will be better off without the “person” you loved. You will finally get to a place where that love that you had is a distant memory, painful, but distant and you will be better off for getting away from your cheater. Cheaters have nothing to offer you and you deserve better.

  • Kay Jewelers should make a diamond heart pendant for the sort of special occasion that says, “I like to fuck you, and fuck with your head, but I prefer to do it from the comfort of my marriage.”

    This kind of biting humor applied accurately to these very painful situations is exactly the kind of thing that woke me up to my reality and helped me begin healing. Truly priceless, CL. ❤️

    • Or perhaps a pendant for affair partners made of a rhinestone-encrusted dog turd dangling from a loop of used dental floss, with the slogan, “For the one who is special enough to blow me in my minivan at lunch, but not quite special enough to acknowledge knowing publicly!”

  • Yes!, “Just a kiss” is nothing more than plea bargaining, copping to a lesser offense in hopes of a lighter sentence. It’s never just a kiss, certainly not after 3-4 yrs.
    Chump Lady nailed this one, Kate. Believe her, me & the entire Chump Nation when we tell you that the farther out you get from the initial shock & dismay, the more you’ll see it/him for what he is —NOT ‘the one’, among other things.

    You’ll get there, promise! Hugs.

  • Ughh. Trust that he sucks! I was married 25 years. My high school sweetheart left me for a ho worker. He had unprotected sex with a ho worker! I had to get tested for STDs because the one person I trusted and loved had unprotected sex with a ho worker. Reality check….. He cared so little about my health and well being that he had UNPROTECTED Sex! Trust that he sucks and she sucks!!

  • I’m a little over a year Dday and 2 months post divorce. Still trying to unravel WTF happened to my life. I struggle with this so much. And it makes me upset that I’d even allow those thoughts to cross my mind: Maybe she is better than me? Maybe we were terrible together? Maybe I am too hard to love? Maybe our marriage was awful? Maybe he did find his soulmate? Maybe they are in love and totally right for each other? Maybe I’m not a good person.
    Most of the time I know it’s ludicrous and I’m wasting my time worrying about any of it. But dang it! Trying to discern between all the gas lighting and lies, the 4 year affair with a married with kids co-worker, the uprooting of our family and kids and all his projection has real F’ed with my head.

    CL, your words really help this girl to get a grasp on the real shit for brains my ex really is. Thank you… Searching for Meh.

    • Oh, LemonSqueezy, this sucks.

      But there are just people who love the drama of it all. They’ve decided to live in la-la-land because 1. they’re selfish and want only to satisfy their baser desires and 2. they know they suck so the only way they can live with themselves is to pretend to themselves.

      They’re living it up in the Hotel California…and they can never leave.

      My adult daughter asked me early on, when I could barely grasp what had happened, if I would be happier being STBX and living with that or be me and living with my pain. And even at that desperate moment, I knew I did not want his pain.

      They suck. They just really suck.

      • Roaring, thanks for your reply. Yes, they ABSOLUTELY suck. And it is so true, I wouldn’t want his circus show back…living in truth even with all the pain and heartache of it is so much better.

    • Oh Lemon Squeezy,
      I feel for you – and I could have written your exact post. You and I are trying to row our way back to shore in the same leaky boat. And we both need to stop paddling and bailing in the hope we’ll somehow find land – and instead just abandon ship so we can swim to somewhere that isn’t sinking.

      I’m 2 1/2 years out from D-Day and 1 year post-divorce after a 37-year marriage. My fuckwit narcissist left me the indirect coward’s way: he made our life so unbearable I eventually ASKED him if he still loved me. And, as if that weren’t enough, he also finagled me into ASKING him if he wanted to leave me!

      Prior to those questions his OW had certainly been pushing him to get me to pose, he’d been particularly awful and cruel to me for months (as opposed to the “usual” awful and cruel behavior with which he had filled our unhappy marriage). But it was only after a miserable 3 week bike trip through Italy (his idea, since he knew I hated biking), during which he actually once intentionally sent me heading – on my own – in the wrong direction (thank God the tour director eventually found me) that he declared he needed “time alone.”

      Said I was too emotional and that he preferred living in a windowless basement apartment to staying married to me. (He even, at once point, suggested he might be gay. Turned out NOT.) Also turned out his “windowless apartment” was the c**t of an East Coast lawyer he’d been screwing for the past 9 months. Though I didn’t discover this for another 7 months – and then only because our 30 year-old daughter, who wasn’t buying his bullshit, hacked his email and figured out his dick was dating both coasts.

      I knew there’d been at least one previous affair (in the end I came to know there were MANY MANY more than that), but I thought, with our couples therapy and my patience and love, we’d worked through all that. Ha!! In the end, all the counseling $ and my herculean effort did was buy him more room to shop for new OW’s. So I left the beautiful house we’d shared (we had to sell it anyway to settle the divorce), skipped town and moved to another state so as not to run into him (since he took an apartment 3 miles from my house and flew the OW out to visit him 2x/month) and, since then, have been trying to move past what I now know what not a healthy nor a happy 4 decades of marriage.

      I got custody of our two goldens, bought a little house in Seattle and have, bit by bit, been trying to build a new life. But despite the language classes and gym membership and constant support from our two adult daughters (neither of whom ever want to speak to the X again), I can’t seem to stop slipping back into the rabbit hole of thinking the OW won.

      As miserable as my marriage often was, at least it was what I KNEW – and seeing the happy photos of the X and that tramp online (the latest being their in-astoundingly-poor-taste wedding announcement on The Knot) makes me feel I lost the Pick Me Dance. Maybe with just cause. Maybe I wasn’t smart enough or attentive enough or lawyer enough (like the OW) or maybe I just wasn’t … enough. My head understands perfectly what happened: that I married a flaming narcissist whose needs I could NEVER have met, no matter how many obsequious emotional backflips I mastered to try and keep him happy – and that the OW is surely slated to eventually be the recipient of the same impossibly demanding narcissist I struggled to please for all those years. And, like me, most certainly cuckholded when he finds a new shinier-object OW.

      But still … I can’t stop thinking of him – and her – and their upcoming October wedding (which is scheduled on the exact same date he married me, most likely so he won’t forget the new anniversary). And I can’t even count the number of times he crosses my mind each day. Sometimes I think about vengeance, sometimes I cry. But almost always, I still have to work demonically hard to remind myself that my current life is better than the one I had before – because I’m free of the gaslighting and the cheating and the cruelty. I remind myself I’m better off without him. But all my heart seems to feel is the “without.” I don’t want him back. No way. But, as Pink says in one of her songs, “Want back my ignorance and bliss.” I’m an intelligent woman, but this “overcoming and moving on” seems to be a task at which I repeatedly fail. I told my therapist I wanted an “ex-ectomy.”

      So I hear you. And I know how much being in this place sucks. My narc and his tramp aren’t spending one minute of their day thinking about us. I want to be like that too. Let me know when you find out how to master that. Until then, I guess all we can do is cling to the ever-sage CL and her wise minions and try to believe their assurances that, one day, this all won’t hurt so much. Until then, I wish you the peace of mind I’m still chasing.

  • Dorian’s #3OW was his twu wuv. He took her to Paris for her 40th (my dream – they really don’t have an original thought). Proposed on the Tour Effiel, she made sure she wore her first engagement ring on her other hand so her new ? was bigger – narc much, and 5 years down the track, he’s on his own and her ex (supersizedchump) has moved back into their former marital home cos she couldn’t afford to keep it once her “fiancé” moved out. Not my ??. As many wise people before me have said “don’t make someone a priority, who only makes you an option”

  • We went to marriage counseling way before d day and yep before he came out of the closet. My husband told the MC his complaint about me was I didn’t wear enough makeup and wear designer clothes!!! He was serious! We lived in the Silicon Valley. I wore tasteful amount of makeup and jeans mostly! We were married for 30 years and he came out on dday in some bar in Idaho. Yep he was leaving me for some married NY socialite and he sleeps with men. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Longest weekend of my life. Now five years later, our kids have zero respect for Dad and hate the OW. They constantly fight in front of kids cause OW doesn’t trust him. I’m thrilled to be free! Life is great!

  • This is my 1st reply but I can totally relate to every comment! My brief story is hubby of 23 years and 2 kids together living the typical family life together all of a sudden he started to change got really withdrawn and seemed disconnected was always texting on his phone and for work reasons he needed to start traveling…. Why I believed this is beyond me but he had always been a stand up guy in my eyes I never had a reason to not trust him. After months of this I had this terrible feeling and during that time I was constantly questioning him only to end up feeling ridiculous. He told me he loved me constantly our sex life was active but I just knew something wasn’t right. I went and got phone records found out the nonstop texting was a married whore in the town he just so happened to stay out for work . How convenient huh? I kicked him out that day he denied and lied for weeks and then I had the conversation with Ow husband and immediately filed for a divorce. She had a open marriage but is now leaving her family so the lovebirds can be together. It makes me sick how quick the personality change happens and who I thought was a great father barely sees his kids because he is always with her. A woman who hangs at hotel bars 3 times a week to have a fun night with the traveling married men that stay there. Still waiting on divorce to be final and my biggest fear is ow being around my children!!!

  • I have the same feeling… My serial cheating asshole of an ex, has never been happier… They travel all around the world, spends money he never did with me, looks better, dresses better… My kids love OW ( they’re young)
    It’s just SO frustrating, I gave that men 14 years of my life, 2 kids, and he never seemed that happy… Now with OW is all rainbows and unicorns…. It’s so very hard.

    • My STBXW found a rich man, and her family loves him. I feel you BRchump. Gender-roles persist.

    • 1) They are both PondLife and you are not. 2) Kids are undoubtedly being ‘bought’ and they won’t be fooled by insincerity forever. 3) Outward appearances are the expensive wallpaper that initially cover cracks and damp. Both eventually become visible again. 4) Unless he has undergone surgery to his brain, your ex is still who he is. A lying, cheating pus-filled scab on Satan’s backside. Hugs to you, BRchump xx

  • For what it’s worth…the OW will find out, and sooner rather than later, that A Man Who Will Cheat WITH You, Will Cheat ON You. Oh, sure, he has morals and ethics and standards, and they’re all FULLY adjustable and subject to change on a whim. Let him be HER problem. You’re well shed of him, as much as it hurts you, because it would hurt far more after you had even more time and effort and treasure invested in a relationship with someone who was obviously still in the market for Ms. Right.

  • It is freaking scary how similar all our stories are, whether male or female. Reading this site has been a real sanity saver so thank you to everyone who shares their story. Because it does help in the healing process.

    I’m six months post ex after finding out he’s involved (emotional affair at first) with the married wife of a couple we met while traveling a few years ago. He said that the OW is devoted to her husband and will never leave him, plus they live in another country so why do I have such a problem with him having a “close” relationship with her? I asked him how that would work. He flies over a couple times a year so they can sneak off for a few weeks while I stay home and do his laundry? Blank stare and *sounds of crickets*

    He said he didn’t what to share with me what he likes about her “as that wouldn’t be fair to me.” Plus, he figures he’s only got 10-15 good years left and he doesn’t want to be “on his deathbed proudest of the fact he was faithful to his spouse.” He said we could stay married “as long as I allowed him to have close relationships with other women.”

    Excuse me but that dog don’t hunt.

    He has since moved out and I got the house. Which for the past few months has been good for me, to be in familiar surroundings. However, it’s very isolating and I’ve had enough of that in the relationship with the ex. So I’ve put the house up for sale and just heard from my realtor that he wants to buy the house. Because the property has been in the family for years. (Bit of a mind wipe on his part…if he hadn’t fucked around, he’d still be living here.)

    He has to show proof of financing by Feb. 29 and I know he doesn’t have the cash (unless he lied about that, too) so is probably borrowing money from friends and family, which is fine. And NOT MY PROBLEM!

    What prompted me to write this really long comment is I heard from a mutual friend yesterday that the ex is handing this purchase while in Europe for the next three months…where is he spending time with his married girlfriend. How does that work, exactly? Does her husband know they are having an affair? Does he know and not care? Or is he completely in the dark (as I suspect) and they are lying to him like they did to me?

    Thankfully I’m at that stage of healing where I kinda would like to know but not really. Even two months ago, this news would have sucked up all my energy. Today I ponder for a minute or two, then snort in laughter and relief because NOT MY PROBLEM!

    I’m signing up to follow this site because it’s awesome and fabulous and healing. Big recuperative hugs to all.

    • Blogdramedy,

      I think you’ll find that collective wisdom here at CN is that if you want to and can, go ahead and reach-out to OW’s husband. He might know, but you get some power back by controlling that unwanted relationship. Not sure what’s best for you, but glad you’re here.

      Welcome to The Club Nobody Want to Join.

      • “The Club Nobody Wants To Join” Excellent title…thanks for the laugh. As to reaching out to the OW’s husband. My natural inclination is to just let it go, which is part of the reason why I let this marriage go on for so long. *shakes head* I let things go. This other couple live in Denmark and I don’t know if cheating is accepted there and maybe he knows and is fine with it. I’ll think about it. Thanks for the kind welcome to “that” club. *grin*

        • Yes, welcome. Im glad in spite of the reasons for being here we are here to help and comfort each other and yes have some giggles. Me, this site saved my life and sanity and as long as im on the planet and chump nation keeps on i will be here for myself and to comfort others. I would be lost without all of you! Big giant hugs!!!!

          • Good to have such an informative resource. Sad it’s even necessary in the first place.
            Thanks for the warm welcome. *smile*

        • I’m not absolutely certain but I’m pretty sure cheating isn’t just a-okay in Denmark!

          I also entertained these concerns about whether OW’s husband knew about the affair and was OK with it – in the end I came to my senses and realised if he was, hearing about it from me would be no skin off his nose, whereas if he wasn’t, it could potentially save him from some disastrous life choices, and/or sexual diseases.

        • Most recommend telling the OM. You are making up reasons not to tell him because you are – though you shouldn’t be – embarrassed. If you had “let it go” you wouldn’t be writing about it. Europeans aren’t all into infidelity. Do you want to remain a party to gaslighting this man like you were gaslighted? If you must, give somebody his contact info -with proof of the cheating – and they can tell him.

          The OW of my STBX also lives in Europe. OW’s sister wrote to me. (She said she was the sister, but used a fake name – though it rhymes with OW’s name – so X claims it wasn’t them. X says it was spam. Except it was all true.) Sis is married and knew all about the cheating. She said she would have wanted someone to tell her.

          A big part of CN is combatting the social meme that cheating is no big deal – like we are all in high school – and we should just “get over it” and “move on.”‘ Don’t treat OW’s deception of her H like it is no big deal.

          • As IUsedTo says, if he is in an open marriage he won’t care. But they were traveling together, not with APs, so I doubt he knows.

  • I hope this helps those who just learned that their spouse isn’t who they thought they were. Those are dark, horrifying days. It does get better! I’m 14 months out from DDay – 24 years of marriage 4 kids- met in law school – thought we were best friends- rarely fought- had a great sex life. I was completely blindsided. OW is 18 years younger, no career, lives at home with her 26 yo sister and their psychiatrist dad. She knows all about me and our kids as does her dad – they don’t care. Adultery doesn’t bother them. I found his journals where he wrote that she was his soulmate and made him happier than I ever could (oh, the heartbreak when I read that!) having his 4 children and giving him my all for 25 years counted for nothing apparently!

    After 5 months of marriage counseling and his continues lies about the ongoing affair, he abruptly left. Didn’t see him for months. No visits with the kids, who are devastated (drug use, suicide attempts, dropping out of high school and college…. Complete disaster).

    Fast forward 6 months. A woman I know (older Indian woman) who is my husband’s client calls and says she had a 2 year love affair with H. He told her she was his soulmate – that he would divorce me for her etc etc etc. he took her on trips! He bought her the same love poems and gifts he bought me. She was calling because she just learned of the young AP #2 and was “devastated” and wanted my help destroying them…. WtH????

    Fast forward another 6 months. Young AP has broken up with H. He lies and says he broke up with her because of the incompatibility of the “age gap.” He wants to “reconcile” but takes zero responsibility. Says the affairs were because I was critical and never accepted him. “Made him feel inadequate.”

    I filed for divorce 1/4/16. Am trying most days successfully to be no contact. I feel like my sanity is returning. I watched an entire movie the other day. I’m on vacation in Hawaii with two of my kids (which I paid for with MY income) and I’m reading a book- I lost interest in all my normal passions (books and movies) after the affair. I’m still thin but it looks good. I workout every day. I have a host of friends. I have a guy-friend (with mutually exclusive benefits!). I’m not yet at Meh but I’m headed purposefully in that direction!

  • Just a few days behind in my reading, but oh Lord, am I glad I read THIS one. Speak to me Kate! Speak even louder CL! What a release this is. I’ve been eating the shit sandwich of he’s just not in love with me, wasn’t happy, they connect, have passion. ALL those things I apparently couldn’t provide, after 25 years together and an amazing family.

    THIS is what he wants me to believe: She’s the One True Love of His Life — and you’ll just have to understand that you were never as special as OW is to him.

    But really, .THIS: Your husband is a piece of shit.

    And THIS: You’ve got the same run-of-the-mill idiot cheater we all got — a weak, selfish, manipulative jerk. He’s not a special case.

    And most of all, THIS: Because then you’ll absolve him of his crimes and won’t judge his character. You’ll protect his image. And you’ll eat the shit sandwich that this is all nothing personal, you just aren’t The One.

    Sometimes, when I’m thinking clearly, I don’t care if they actually are “meant to be.” Without batting an eye, he dumped me so fast, my head was spinning. Let’s not even mention all I did to support him throughout the years, be his faithful companion, attempt to make us closer, talk to him, etc., Let’s just concentrate on the fact that he decided it was totally okay to shit on the mother of his children, the person who squeezed them out of her body in love, who suffered anxiety over the health of one of our babies, who has and continues to do everything in support of their well being. You don’t treat ANY mother like that, let alone the one who mothered your children.

    He’s an asshole. And for as long as I live, he’s going to know I think so. Not in defense of myself, In defense of my children who he completely disrespected with his assholiness.

  • Hi Kate,
    Please don’t believe this rubbish your cheating H is spouting, it’s straight out of the Cheaters’ Handbook. It’s a bizarre way of trying to justify what he did.

    On DD my exH told me that – ” they had a special connection, they didn’t talk but they ‘communicated’ ” (pass the sick-bag!), that their wonderful relationship was spoiled with all the guilt” (not enough guilt to stop it though !!) that she was the most important person in the factory he worked at (she packed widgets in boxes on the production line with 20 other women).
    I came to the conclusion he was a disordered fantasist.

    She was so wonderful that he stayed in the affair for 7 months until DD, instead of leaving to be with her. When he got the financial settlement from the divorce he bought a new car, instead of putting a deposit on a house for them. They finally got married 4 years later when she got pregnant.

    She’s not special, she was just available, willing to have sex with a married man and be his dirty little secret.

    She can’t hold a candle to you, so don’t make her more important than she is.

    I’m sorry you’re going through this.

  • It’s amazing how many things a cheater only does once. Probably just one little peck on the cheek.

  • “I want to be with someone who trusts me 100 percent…”

    Of course this is what he wants, because as others have mentioned here, trusting him 100 percent allows him to do whatever the fuck he wants without any sass from you. It’s pretty simple. My X said a variation of this after I caught him cheating. He said, “It’s never going to work out now. You’d have me under house arrest.” He also said, “You don’t trust me. You can’t have a marriage without trust.”

    This is after I found him in hotel room banging another man’s wife. So, yeah . . . trust. Ahem.

    This is akin to, having your spidy senses tingling and you search through your cheaters phone. You find beyond a shadow of a doubt evidence of their betrayal and they say, “WHAT!? HOW COULD YOU VIOLATE MY PRIVACY LIKE THAT??!” Yes, I even got that one.

    The advice you’re getting here is fantastic. I will only add to say, you need more time to be free of this. You’re only 8 months out and the divorce is not even final. You are not to blame of anything. And when you get more time under your belt, you will not believe how much better you’ll feel. Allow yourself the time it takes to heal from this. Eventually you’ll realize what a complete asshole he is.

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