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UBT: “My husband has stopped cheating on me after 35 years.”

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unicorndreamMany people sent me this article that appeared in last week’s Guardian,My husband has stopped cheating on me after 35 years.”

“Kate Simpson’s husband was serially unfaithful all through their marriage but she chose to ignore it. At last she has an exclusive relationship with him – has it been worth the wait?”

At last! Cue Etta James! Swell the violins! He’s decided to keep it in his pants!

Yes, he’s been waving it around for the last 35 years, but now it’s all hers! Flaccid, pockmarked, riddled with STDs, it’s home to stay. Everyone can relax. The Marriage Has Been Preserved.

I don’t generally UBT chumps, just infidelity dreck in general. But this article irks me to no end. Decide for yourself if “Kate Simpson” is the queen of all chumps, suffering from Stockholm syndrome, or some vapid Stepford wife standing by her man for the lifestyle. This whole “the chump knew the whole time” narrative pisses me off.

Because that’s how many commentators (and especially affair partners) want to see it — chumps were in the know. There was An Arrangement. And aren’t you pathetic? Clinging to this prize of a man who doesn’t want you.

If we conclude that chumps Know At Some Level, or turn a blind eye because they want their matching silver napkin rings and country club memberships, then it’s okay to secretly loathe chumps. And deny them sympathy. And feel safe in the knowledge that infidelity could never happen to us.

I know many people — myself included! — stayed and tried to reconcile. But if we are going to believe in unicorns, they should at least LOOK like unicorns — remorseful and underground with their affairs. This guy was an overt horn toad and she took it. That’s not being a chump, that’s being a volunteer.

Now to the Universal Bullshit Translator…

We’re still together after 35 years because I refused to ever consider splitting up, although Matt’s been unfaithful to me for most of that time. We met at university and he’s all the classic things – tall, good looking, bright, funny.

… and sociopathic. But hey, he’s TALL.

Very few women can resist him. I’m not excusing him as the pain he’s caused me is immeasurable but he was sent to boarding school aged eight and from a very early age the only person he could depend on was himself.

I’m not excusing him, but he received an elite private school education. It’s tragic the way Etonians have to fend for themselves, what with the wait staff, char women, and Oxbridge tutors. If I blame anything, it’s the knee socks. Short pants and knee socks can scar a person.

I watched as Matt broke one heart after another, always warning them – “I’ll never settle down, I’m a really bad lot”

Because when a guy says, “I’m a really bad lot” — what he really means is “except for you.”

– but they were all willing to give it a try. He was from a very army family and I knew that I was the “right” sort of girl for him so I played it very cool, which he wasn’t used to.

It took all my willpower not to fall into his bed but I finally agreed to dinner and an old-fashioned courtship. We got engaged on my 22nd birthday. I managed to keep his hands off me until our wedding was booked and by the time I was pregnant with our elder son Tom three years later, I was sure Matt was tamed.

With a whip and a chair and my virginity, I tamed him.

He worked hard, earned a lot and we both loved socialising. I’m a teacher and when we had the big chat about child care I happily agreed to give up work. We didn’t plan on having Simon quite so quickly and having two children under two was as tiring as everyone says it is, but I was proud of myself – getting fit really quickly, looking good and always ready to jump into bed with Matt when the babies were sleeping.

Whatever Matt wants, Matt gets. I’m never too tired or too fat for Matt!

After Simon’s christening, I wanted to get him out of his slippery christening robes so I left everyone eating and headed upstairs. I opened Simon’s bedroom door and Matt and Chloe, my best friend from school, were having sex on the teddy rug on the floor, so engrossed that they didn’t hear me. I swiftly closed the door and tiptoed to our bedroom, shutting that door loudly.

I didn’t shriek, I didn’t thug kick their sorry cheater asses on that teddy rug — I shut the door. (How’s that for a metaphor?) That’ll show them!

Less than five minutes later, Matt appeared, totally hyper, which I ignored. He stripped Simon out of the christening gown before dancing him round the room and making him laugh. When we went back down to our guests, Chloe was sitting on her fiancé’s lap and barely glanced at us.

I ate shit sandwiches for God and Country. Stiff upper lip and all.

Simon was cranky and I sat up half the night with him, going over everything in my head. I felt sick and full of rage. I wanted to pull Matt out of our bed and scream at him but I knew that if I did, there was no going back. Even if we didn’t split up there would be terrible rows and our lovely, happy life would be disrupted. I had no idea how long they had been seeing each other but by morning I was sure of only two things – we were staying married and from now on I would know everything.

The Marriage Police are on the job.

I was pretty sure Chloe would be history soon, but I was always watching, wondering who was his latest conquest. I was convinced that if I said nothing, he would never leave me for anyone. He loved me and the boys, he loved our lifestyle and his good name was very important to him – no way he’d give all that up for a fleeting affair.

If I let him eat cake, he’ll stay. What matters here is Matt’s good name… not my soul.

It wasn’t easy and it was tiring being on full alert. I remember at a PTA wine tasting watching Matt talking to another mum, who was about seven months pregnant. I was actually relaxing and thinking that surely someone like that was safe but then Matt slipped his hand up the back of her maternity blouse and round to cup her breast for a second. She beamed at him, while I stood in horror wondering if it was his baby she was carrying.

Surely a hugely pregnant, hormonal woman is safe! Damn her pheromones, she seduced my husband with her swollen breasts.

When Laura was born I think Matt was faithful to me for months

Entire MONTHS.

because he was so besotted with her, but about a year later everyone started using mobile phones and that opened up lots more misery. I checked Matt’s phone constantly and although his texts were always brief, some of the stuff his women sent was practically pornographic.

Matt is brief, but those women are positively pornographic. They should all stop throwing themselves at my husband. I also blame mobile phones.

That alternated with long periods of peace where he didn’t appear to be seeing someone else and that was always enough to convince me I was doing the right thing. The children doted on their dad and I didn’t want them to have a broken home or lose out financially if Matt had to run two homes.

It’s the children that could lose financially. Exposing them to a serial cheater, who letches on anything, is doing The Right Thing. Modeling my pathological codependence? Improving! But divorce? Never.

I still loved him and refused to let any other woman win over me,

Pick Me Dance Gladiator. #winning

but more than anything I was convinced that if I just hung on that there would come a time when his libido would calm down and I’d be enough for him.

Surely erectile dysfunction will stop him? Then his limp dick and I can grow old together. It will be worth the wait!

I did get tired of dropping friends I knew Matt was seeing but that was my limit – I didn’t want to see them hanging round him. Some of my girlfriends tried to warn me but I cut them off as even acknowledging what they were saying meant I would have to do something about it. The thought of being pitied was the worst of all

Acting pathetic is okay. Anyone actually thinking I’m pathetic is not.

but I became an expert at smiling outwardly through it all, especially at social events where I knew I was talking to someone who was sleeping with my husband. There was no way I was going to be the pathetic frump, so I made sure I was as slim and elegant as ever and breezed through life.

Because slim and elegant is what matters. You may be sleeping with my husband, bitch, but my thighs are thinner than yours.

Our youngest child, Emma, was two when we hit a really dangerous point. Matt was seeing someone new and I was still reading his texts, though I’d also started on his email as he never used passwords. This woman was seriously pushy and for the first time it looked as if Matt might confess or even leave me so I simply stopped in my tracks.

I didn’t talk, eat, sleep, wash, look after the children. Within a week, he had me at the doctor, completely out of his depth as family life ground to a halt. I don’t know if I had a breakdown or if I engineered it, if I’m honest. All I knew was that all my hard work wasn’t going to waste now and it was even worth being away from the children as I was hospitalised and Matt was left to get on with it.

Have I engineered my insanity or am I truly insane? I don’t know. Mummy is in the madhouse. Who cares? I stopped the affair.

Six weeks of juggling everything without me worked. I was sure the other woman was out of the picture, though I could no longer access his phone or email as he was using passwords. He probably guessed I’d been prying but said nothing. Once, after too much wine, I asked him if he had ever thought about being unfaithful and he acted completely shocked and dismayed – if I’d pushed the conversation it would have ended, not mended, the marriage. My way was best.

Truthful conversations are what ends marriage, not fucking every single woman of my acquaintance. The shit sandwich way is best.

That was 20 years ago and I think he stopped seeing other women about five years ago, when we both reached 50 and our first grandchild was born.

Our second grandchild is on the way and Matt and I do almost everything together. He still works long hours but we cook, go to Italian classes, socialise, walk the dogs and spend a lot of time with our family, who are all very close.

Of course he’s working long hours. Those late nights? He’s practicing his Italian.

This is our time now and my prize for sticking it out is every anniversary celebrated, every quiet moment together relished. Very occasionally I look at him and feel so angry I could scream but I recognise that I made my own choice. I outlasted any woman foolish enough to think the affair would lead to something and, in the end, it was worth it.

I relish every quiet moment where I look at him and want to crush his head with a boulder. I outlasted any woman foolish enough to challenge me to the pick me dance. His aged, limp dick was worth it. I got an anniversary card.

Read it and weep, bitches.

As told to Joan McFadden. Kate Simpson is a pseudonym

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “Overnight my blue couch turned red!”
    “The lilies I planted turned into orchids!”
    “At the zoo, right in front of me, the leopard changed into a tiger. With stripes!”

  • Wow, just wow! Unbelievable. I cant wait for asswipe to buy me out of the house and haul ass. To nc and she stayed all that time! And i thought i was an idiot!

  • How very sad. Rather than yank out the splinter, bear the pain and let it heal, she kept tap-dancing on it for years. News flash to the long-suffering chump with the world’s best blinders? Your husband stopped cheating because not many other women will have him now. And when he “slips up” again, it’s going to be that saucy widow down the street’s fault or worse yet, your son’s slut fiancée because she had too much wine, was getting cold feet and needed a shoulder to cry on. Not your pig of a husband’s fault because he just can’t help it and you’ll have to go through the pick me dance/broken heart all over again. Apparently fifty is the next fourty. Get out while you still can and love those grandbabies.

    He hasn’t stopped. He’s in a holding pattern just waiting for the right desperate woman to come along so he can rub it in your face by not rubbing it in your face all over again. *shakes head* Don’t bet any of his future nurses in whatever future care home he ends up in will be safe, either.

    No wonder I’m staying single.

    • Sorry, OT: Not sure if you’re really in Kalamazoo or just using it as a screen name (‘cuz it *is* a fun name to say!). But very sorry for what Kalamazoo is going through. Tragic.

      • Yes, I’m actually in Kalamazoo and thank you. It was really surprising since this is a fairly quiet college town and not much ever happens. We are certainly keeping all the affected families in our thoughts. Not to mention I’m blind and a mother of four, so we actually take Uber fairly often and are planning on doing so tonight. I’ve explained to the kids that one never knows what will happen and though it can be scary, we still have to get out there and live, much like we’ve been working so hard to do over the last year.

        Thanks again.

  • Women’s Rights are so important in the election campaign, and yet women still are expected to live in a society with men being excused to cheat on women due to their “natural needs.”

      • I don’t know what her life is. Neither to you, to the point.

        Various people on this board keep bringing her up. Keep politics out of it please, even subtle (not so subtle) digs. Darling Donald has been married 3 times, endorses cheating, leers at his daughter, and was accused of marital rape, with cause.

        Enough.

        • What grates me is seeing memes and what not about the fact that Bill cheated on Hillary. I’m always saying, what exactly does that have to do with her running for president? Why is his cheating something she has to answer to? Makes me sick . . .

        • Thank you! I am so tired of Hilary bashing! Unless you are inside a marriage, you don’t know shit about it. After my X’s cheating was publicly exposed, I was the victim (a word I despise) of a very vicious case of “she knew and looked the other way because she liked the money/power/prestige.” Nothing could have been further from the truth. I was crushed by the affair. Everything I thought was true turned out to be a lie. Then, when I did something about it, I was the cruel, heartless business woman, who did not care about a sick, old man. Both versions of my public shaming were completely wrong, but I was damned if I was going to give the gawkers and gossip mongers the inside view to my very private misery. I have learned to give not one flying fuck about their opinion of me.

          Sadly, the woman in this article, if she actually exists, believes that her life is better with her cheater. I know lots of people, both men and women, who are simply afraid of being on their own. A bad relationship is better than no relationship in their eyes. I feel sorry for these folks. They have become prisoners in their gilded cages and truly do not see a way out of their situations.

          • I’m not a fan of Hilary or any of the GOP candidates (particularly Trump, but I digress). What always bothers me about attacks on her stemming from the infidelity is the assertion that she wasn’t “woman enough” to keep him. Like if she were some kind of little Stepford she wouldn’t have been publicly embarrassed. Now, I get that people like to take their lowest shot at whatever candidate is running for president and I’d bet that after all these years in the public spotlight her skin is thick enough that she simply doesn’t care… But still, what kind of message is that? Jackie freaking Kennedy was cheated on constantly by JFK. Trump only dates/marries model-quality women and he cheats on them repeatedly, and sometimes even divorces them. There’s no bar high enough to guarantee you won’t be cheated on. It all comes down to your partner’s character, and that transcends political affiliation. Ugh.

            **end rant**

            • Yup all about the cheater bill not hillary. No matter who she is she got chumped like the rest of us. Me im staying forever single wont get chumped again! Brings to mind the who wont get fooled again. Im gonna rewrite that song just for me! That would be a great post. Rewrite song lyrics.

      • Whoa, guys–I didn’t take LivingMyLife’s comments as a bash against Hillary. It’s well-known he’s been a horn dog since their marriage, and she has stayed married to him. Does she feeling like bashing his head in with a boulder? We’ll never know.

        • I’d say Hillary’s gotten on with living her life without hanging her identity on Bill. Whatever their understanding it’s none of our business, but she’s the farthest thing from the woman in this article, who built her life entirely around monitoring her husband and plotting to keep him as against the threats of other women. She was chumped publicly, but still went on to be a senator, secretary of state, and viable Presidential candidate. She’s mighty in my book.

          • True, though if Kate raised 3 children successfully, there’s honor in that, too. I’m sure we all just wish we could go back in time and give her some “inner bitch” to respect herself enough to get out.

        • Nor is it any of our business to know. The query was, “Isn’t that Hilary Clinton’s life?”, as if Ms. Clinton is in the same boat as the woman in the article. It is those kind of snide comments that are constantly made about her and which, I believe, miss the mark. Whatever goes on within the Clinton marriage is their private matter. I consider Ms. Clinton to be a highly accomplished woman in her own right and feel no need to disparage her because of something her husband did. Don’t like her, fine. Don’t want to vote for her, fine. But please do not assume you know anything about her private life.

    • Bashing Hillary is not new to this election. Hillary was bashed when Bill was running, and while Bill was Pres. She could never do anything right, according to some “social interpreters.” No matter what she did or said, she was a well educated and intelligent woman who evidently had enough stamina to sustain her professional goals even while she was constantly criticized. As far as I am concerned, whether or not we like Hillary, or the President, or any of the presidential contenders is beside the point. We should be concentrating on what they say and actually DO. Promises are cheap, especially campaign promises. What can ANY of the candidates actually accomplish with the House and Senate so deeply contentious and the American electorate so divided on all the issues? Is anyone who has taken an oath to serve the public interest actually doing so? I think there are a few who are trying to accomplish a few goals, but overall, it seems Washington is the land of “let’s make a deal,” and “what will that do for my benefit,” and “what have you done for me lately.”

      In many ways the American voter appears to be like the woman in this story. “Tell me what I want to hear, dear. Act like you are the most wonderful caring candidate while you are in public, just full of wonderful solutions for all our problems. Promise to make me the Love of your Life, AGAIN, and show me how you will shower me with all the material wealth and goods in the world so that all the other people in the world will be so jealous of our status and star quality lives! ” Really??? We have so many serious issues and problems it would take a whole panel of genius level thinkers to come up with viable solutions which MIGHT solve some of those problems, and another whole army of workers who would be willing to role up their sleeves and get dirty to accomplish the hard work that needs to be done. Who is going to help solve the problems? Who is willing to sacrifice and compromise and meet those with opposing views in the middle with a workable solution? We have to pay attention to politics, and we have to let politicians know that calling each other names and criticizing each other’s personal lives is not acceptable. We have to stop the posturing and agree to work together – we just cannot uphold idiot statements like “I don’t care WHO he nominates, that person will not be confirmed.” Could you at least consider a candidate’s qualifications for the job before you accept them or turn them down? Even Judge Roy Bean knew there needed to be a trial before he hung an accused felon.

      I find the entire field of candidates for both parties to have serious flaws which need to be considered, but the nasty nature of political name calling and threats of violence and bully behavior and the use of language and antics that would not be acceptable to any thinking person when there are children not only in the crowd but also in front of the tv screen watching our political process in action is disgraceful. We should be deeply ashamed as a nation that we have not found a way to get our campaigns out of the gutter – think about how much time we have wasted throwing trash instead of finding a way to work together to clean it up.

      Personally I think a political campaign is like a divorce with children. You don’t have to like your soon to be ex partner, but standing in the court room calling him names is not going to accomplish anything. He may be guilty of everything you say — but when the day is done and the judge makes a decision the assets need to be divided and most importantly the children have to be provided for. All other issues are history. When we vote, we should not be concerned about whether the candidate is black or white, young or old, rich or poor, female or male. We should think about our children — who is going to see to it that there is a viable world where our children can be raised, and where they will be able to have shelter and food and care? Anyone who is not focused on doing that job — seeking solutions instead of stalemate — should not be in office, no matter what party affiliation or race or gender they happen to be.

      My name is Portia and I authorize this rant.

      • Wow! I agree Portia!!! They should DO what they were elected to do and stop working against each other. I don’t think most of them even know how hard it is to make ends meet anymore in America. It is scary. The things that really matter just do not seem to matter anymore…it’s like the whole country went ‘politically correct’ crazy!

        Portia for President!!!

      • Amen! The state of the union is a mess, and I for one, want WHOEVER is in office to be acting in the interest of the people, not the oligarchy that many of them swan around in.

        Speaking as a working class person in a city that is undergoing rapid gentrification, if some of the issues surrounding labor and national economics are not addressed, many more people will be living in poverty in the next 20 years. And we all know that poverty is what breeds so many social ills. For chumps, this is an especially important issue. Financial independence is what enabled so many of us to leave cheaters. If you are poor, you are economically vulnerable, and thus more likely to put up with a bad situation for longer than is necessary.

  • Oh. My. Goodness. I think this could help us all as a fast forward to what our “unicorn” could have looked like. Divorce seems so scary. I just filed in January. It’s now finalized. I ask myself over and over. Am I sure this was the right thing to do? But what if I’d done this? Or what if I’d done that? If I’d just gotten over it our family would still be in tact. We would still be normal. And then I read something like this and understand that these things slowly drive you insane. It’s not good for anyone in the family. I remember a counselor telling me “you want the fantasy so bad you will overlook reality. You will be the one who will pay the price. You will suffer from depression and find other coping mechanisms to numb your pain”. Smart words. They were hard to hear but were true. It hurts like a bitch to break up a family with a 4 year old and 1 year old. But this life above described is a slowly released life mind fuck. I have to keep remembering that.

    • you want the fantasy so bad you will overlook reality. You will be the one who will pay the price. You will suffer from depression and find other coping mechanisms to numb your pain”. Thank you for this

            • That’s unfortunate. And I’m sure wasn’t very helpful to you. This guy was good. He was a straight shooter. It hurt to hear but he at least told me the truth. Another thing he said was “this is going to be painful no matter what way you go through it. You can go through the pain now. Or you can delay the pain and go through it later. But you will go through pain.” It’s hard to pick a next step that’s painful in the moment. But it is sometimes necessary even though it’s the most painful step in the present moment. Good luck to you Jeep. God bless.

              • Thank you Peaceful chump 🙂

                I am living for the most part in Mehville now 😀 YA!! But I imagine that good information rather than information that pretty much kept the blame on me would have speeded up my journey. Being told that satan’s insanity was probably because I ‘might’ be codependent only served to validate his abuse rather than help me move toward healing.

                I think most counselors / therapists / whatevers do not understand exactly what relationships with a disordered cluster b is like. I don’t think they have any idea. Most people tend to believe that ‘there are 2 sides to every story’…never realizing the duplicitous lives these disordered narcs live…I know I had no idea what I was dealing with. I thought satan had a brain tumor! he left that morning the man I married and came home satan…it was mind bending to witness.

              • It’s going to be painful no matter which way you go through it. At least in this way there’s hope for a brighter future. Staying or keeping a candle burning for our cake eaters to come back meant giving up big pieces of ourselves that would never get put back together again.

    • My dear Peaceful Chump – With children so young, I suspect you could not be out of your 30’s. As difficult as it may seem, your children and you will be far better off than if you stayed. Your children have so much time to adjust, and you still have the prime years of life ahead to heal and have a long, authentic relationship with someone who deserves you. Never look back and wonder if you did the right thing – you did. And be grateful you found out earlier than later. There was nothing but more pain ahead.

      A lot of us did not find out for so long that we were 50+ and 25 years in before D-day with a serial cheater that we later found out didn’t stay faithful for a two years after the marriage. We’ve unknowingly spent a lifetime and raised children with someone we did not know – endured a lifetime of unmet needs while meeting everyone else’s – and many of us even tried to forgive the unforgivable for a time before throwing in the towel. You will be spared that by making the hard but necessary decision you did.

      By the way, you received excellent advice from your counselor – take it from one who “paid the price” and found “other coping mechanisms” (not involving infidelity – but still not good ones). Applaud yourself for your courage, and start treating yourself and your children to the great life you deserve.

      • I think those unmet needs are a giant red flag. I was married for over 10 years to my XH the Drinker (not the Jackass Cheaterpants.) As the years went by, he gave less and less attention, less and less love, less concern, less time, until there was almost no time we were home together that he was sober. But I held on because I didn’t want another divorce, because I had loved him since I was 21, because there were still things I liked and admired about him. And because I hate to “lose.” But there were moments when I was so hurt and angry I would have left in a minute if I hadn’t been hanging on to the relationship in my head. There is nothing worse than being alone when your marital partner is living in the home. My list of shit sandwiches I ate for this guy would shock you. Flip a coin: was the narcissist gaslighting me, cheating, lying, stealing and discarding me worse than my X refusing to have sex with a woman who was at the time a size 12? (And let me say that eating was one way I numbed all that pain.) Was being chumped worse than the fact that my husband never once went with me to visit my mother who had dementia (“She won’t know who I am anyway.”)

        Brene Brown writes, “There is a particular sort of betrayal that is more insidious and equally corrosive to trust. In fact, this betrayal usually happens long before the other ones….I’m talking about the betrayal of disengagement. Of not caring. Of letting the connection go. Of not being willing to devote time and effort to the relationship.” That’s what cheaters do, in spades. It’s also what addicts and drinkers and people incapable of intimacy do. Nothing in my life ever hurt more than D-Day and the months thereafter. That was like an earthquake, reducing my life to rubble. The disengaged marriage, though, was like a terrible chronic illness wherein I was in a hopeless situation, trapped by my own inability to admit I was being abused. My therapist told me I was a person who went from shock to another without feeling or stopping to ask what was happening to me.

        And I didn’t even have kids. I just had an attachment to the idea of family, somebody sitting around the Christmas tree, a few presents on the table on my birthday, the extra dollars coming in from him to help me as I carried the main financial load. Looking back, of course I shouldn’t have married him, knowing what I did about him. And the night in the first year when I took my cat in the car and drove 50 miles to an all-night Walmart because I couldn’t bear to be in that house I should have just kept driving. I didn’t want to hurt him. I didn’t want to fail. The only thing I didn’t care about was myself. And really it took the Jackass chumping me for me to see that I have to treat myself as someone precious, someone worth protecting.

        • I love that phrase — the betrayal of disengagement — it is so accurate! I was definitely programed by Family of Origin to hold on to the idea of family and tradition. I fought for a long time to make “it” work. But trying to survive in a joyless environment is like trying to breathe when there is no oxygen, Either way you are suffocating, and you know you are dying.

          It is hard to make ends meet when even basic food and shelter are so expensive, but the cost of putting up with this type of relentless abuse without remorse is too high.

          I think we all have wanted to drive on into the night, away from all that unhappiness. I do believe though that sometimes it is useful to use your drive time to and from the midnight Walmart run to plan your big escape. We may realize we have to leave, but we don’t have to leave without a plan in place. The disengaged lying cheating disordered POS is not entitled to everything. I worked hard to provide my children and myself with a few material possessions and comforts, and I needed to make sure I moved on with a few of those things in tow. There is a difference in your psyche when you are working toward your own goal. You may have to endure a few more nights of living with Nowhere Man, but you will have somewhere to go and he will still be Nowhere.

        • The betrayal of disengagement is a great description of what it’s like living with the disordered, particularly once the affair starts. It is also one of the most damaging things. I knew something was wrong but not exactly what. And I was so busy keeping the house running, keeping my ex afloat at home and at work when she disengaged with life in general and the relationship that I didn’t properly take into account what it was costing me personally (unmet needs, advancement at work etc).

          Thanks for sharing that pearl of wisdom and glad you are out of that situation now like myself.

            • That was my marriage as well, he became completely disengaged, neglectful and mean in the end. I get it all now, he was also picking up prostitutes along with the affair with the co-worker. No time for me at all.

          • Ohhhh “the disordered” I cant with this bs Psch analysis………..how about this one…fucking low life……….period…of lets all look up disordered Cluster B…get the f…out of here…one crack in the head with a bat to the skull maybe that will help there delusional self absorbed condition and hitting them in the pocket should help even more…..then embarrassing them with everyone they know…..with there fabulous selves

      • Your advice comes from the heart… I wasted 36 years.. And at 54 he finally came out with the truth as he was ready to cash out on his retirement and force me out of our marital home! I woke up hard and fought him 3 years in court as he contested to save his assets! I tell everyone to be careful when they marry…mine hid his activities for 36 years and the he suddenly want out to be with his affair partner…at times I swear he could even murdered me because of all rhat he wanted!

        • Wow Gail! Same here! Thirty-six years and 3 years to divorce…ugh! …and yes, satan did try to kill me… I am so thankful I wasn’t hurt worse than I was. he is lucky too…if he had killed me his life would be living in a jail cell somewhere. I don’t think he ever even thought about the consequences. he is just that special in his mind.

  • It is astounding to me that she could simply suck-it-up for 35 years. Equally astounding is that she somehow considers this a badge.

    One must wonder, that in her quiet and reflective moments, if she isn’t profoundly disappointed with her life, her choices and herself.

    • She sounds very… Traditional. I’m much younger but come from a similar background. I’m chasing a unicorn at the moment (so far so good), but at least I know in my heart of hearts that one more time would be the last time, no questions asked. Someone with the same values from the older generation would have a very hard time leaving the marriage. In some circles, divorce is socialized as a huge moral failing. Ironically, I’m no longer extremely conservative in most other areas of my life, but it’s been hellish to overcome the voices of my childhood past telling me that I would be a miserable, lonely failure if I ended up as a single mother. Yuck.

      So, yeah, believable. I bet in her quiet moments she feels sick with her choices and the hand life dealt her, with the person she’s become. At this point, though… sunk costs. She won’t leave. I’m glad there are so many these days reminding us that we have other options.

    • I think many, many women who married in the 50’s or 60’s have done this. Either with serial cheaters and/or serial abusers. My mother for one, divorced my serial cheating narc father and fell straight into the arms of an abuser and so did two of her sisters both married narc, cheating alcoholic men. My mother has been married to him for 54 years and she is praying for the day he dies. He is 93 and failing in inches.

      This kind of conversation would be had amongst the women of my family around the kitchen table discussing other women’s relationship with their ‘tomcatting’ husbands. In fact I have a cousin my age, who has a serial cheating, abusive, alcoholic husband whom her children have begged her to divorce. She stays though. She has a life entirely separate from him, but she stays.

      As much as us chumps, wish our X’s were different, the end of life scenario with these assholes can be really dreadful. You either end up martyring yourself taking care of a man you secretly despise, or you, yourself end up sick and dying first with a jerk who isn’t particularly interested in taking care of you. The only winning in this game is getting the fuck out and living your own authentic life.

      And this is why we teach our children to have their own careers. To never, ever trust anyone to take care of you financially, because as we all know, it can happen at any time. My son, caught his girlfriend cheating and instead of saying to him, well you needed to take better care of her blah, blah. I said, you are a good person, and you don’t deserve this. Walk away with your head held high. Learn from this and know she is never going to change.

      CL and CN are changing the narrative and changing the culture. Life will be better for our children.

      • Same story for my mom, ringinonmyownbell…so sad. She just literally blossomed when she divorced my narc, alcoholic abusive father and another narc snatched her up, she eventually divorced him also but continued to attract and date narcs…until she died at the young age of 65 from complications with the treatment for AML. She was the best thing that ever happened to all of them and they couldn’t appreciate or respect her. My narc father (now almost 80 and suffering with alcohol related dementia) doesn’t remember she is no longer with us and begs us constantly to take him to see her.

        God Bless our mothers.

        • wow Jeep. so sorry. and scary to me as I fear I too, am a narc magnet. 2 cheating husbands. Combined 26 years of my life.

          • You are so awesome TheMuse 😀 Future narcs will find themselves shakin in their shoes if they try to mess with you I bet!!! You are mighty!

            But, yes, when I look back over my life I realize I have had many, many narcs in my life as well…my father, my first husband, most, if not all, of my bosses over the years, one of my brothers is a raging, alcoholic narc just like my dad…there have been a lot of coworkers – male and female – again narcs… These monsters walk among us and look like human beings. Ugh!

        • I haven’t read the whole article yet at the Guardian. But I really must say that “Kate,” the chump in question, seems to be something of a shallow person herself, if her words are given credence. She said her Asshole husband “earned a lot and we both loved socialising”. As a chump myself, I really cannot relate to this at ALL. Literally not one iota of my chump investment in my marriage was based on my Ex’s earning “a lot” or our both loving socializing. Are we expected to sympathize with her when she gives such a shallow rationale for why she never even let “Matt” know that she knew he was cheating?

      • Completely agree Tempest, when I read it I was thinking that it must have been a common story in the Mad Men era.

        But choosing this kind of “life” in the Western world in 2016… Really?

    • Think of what you spackled over. I found a diary from 10 years ago where I basically went total stepford- “better to be in a sexless Lonely marriage with a man who loves texting hookers than start over with someone who could hurt me worse”
      It’s like a terrible naive comedy…. What the fuck was I smoking. (Hopium?)
      1) who texts hookers and doesn’t actually use them?
      2) what the hell do I mean this is better than a chance at new… Seriously. This sounds like the absolute worst ever.

      Then…. I spackled so hard I actually forgot all about it. Only remembered when I found the journal and then a year later… Panties in his pocket.

      Now I have assumed: every night he crashed at a friends, every time he took cash out for something else… All of it is full blown suspect. I don’t care if some of it is legit. Because a ton of it isn’t.

      I wore full blown blinders for ten years. No fucking clue. Because that’s what they do. They make you think that this is all your worth. They take away your choices (SAHM’s for instance)…. This woman has to smile because otherwise she would throw herself off a high rise.

      Poor, idiot, idiot woman

      • I had a six year mind meld with XH where I began to think along the lines of -oh well, better the devil you know…. ‘Devil’ is not really the kind of description you should have for a life partner. But I just didn’t know how to leave him ( and his porn, prostitutes, abuse etc) behind. I accepted it and his view that ‘all men are like this’ -so why try and leave.

        I think ( and this might be controversial) that dealing with ongoing crises with a partner can be a huge distraction from your own life. Letting go of the drama/other person and having to face yourself ( with all your own issues) can be very scary. It might not be a conscious ‘choice’ but maintaining the status quo of a cheating etc spouse can seem safer.

      • You really can’t spackle over walking in on your husband porking your so-called ‘best friend’ on the floor of the bedroom though.

        • That was where I stopped suspending disbelief in the narrator’s credibility as a chump. That is denial.

          Someone above mentioned the narrator might have attachment and abandonment issues. I looked at the article as a piece of text that ChumpNation is having an interesting and critical discussion about. Parts of the story are not plausible, and I believe, at best it is fictionalized auto-biography.

          However, it is possible that the psychological type behind the narration would have experienced extreme trauma as a child (sexual, physical, and/or abandonment by a parent/caretaker). If this were true, many people with C-PTSD (complex PTSD), and or BPD (there is overlap in the presentation of the disorders), can display this type of schizoid reasoning.

          It originates in a form of psychological protection the mind creates to help a small and vulnerable child overcome the pain of betrayal and abandonment by a caretaker. Unaddressed, these adults with extremely traumatic childhoods in which no form of secure attachment is possible, go on to live in interior worlds that will not (and in their minds CAN NOT) accept the reality in front of their eyes. They do not recognize healthy relationships and attachment because all they have ever known is insecure attachment and abandonment. Therefore they bond easily to sociopaths. When presented with the reality of a sociopath (this Matt character is far beyond narcissism), they apply the schizoid reasoning pattern that helped them survive their traumatic childhood.

          I recently had a former employer/owner who was married to a man who was clearly NPD (a pretty extreme case, 7-8 of 9 criteria from the DSM-IV) Her reactions were very much BPD, and her passive agressive, manipulative behaviors were responsible for a web of dysfunction that enmeshed the restaurant. A manager and I discussed the fact that the restaurant was playing out an enmeshed family dynamic in which the NPD/BPD owners were the horrid parents. It was a miserable place to work. THe BPD owner’s former husband, also a classic NPD, had an affair for 18 MONTHS right under her eyes (she knew about it) with a hostess, and he ran off with her. The BPD woman reacted in many regards just like the narrator above.

          I think CN just got a big dose of the picture of the landscape between a BPD’s ears. This does not read like normal psychology…because it isn’t.

          • Wow ChefBella! Amazing…I learn so much here that helps me understand what I have experienced in my x marriage to satan. Thank you! All of you. Amazing…

            I googled DSM and read about satan…wow. Thank you! Knowledge is freedom!

  • I’m wondering if the kids really don’t know or if they found out somehow (like she did) and how it has impacted them.

    I also love this line near the end “I relish every quiet moment where I look at him and want to crush his head with a boulder.” I had a similar experience. There were a few months where I suspected his cheating and was searching for proof. I was sitting across the table from him in a restaurant one evening and had this sudden urge to punch him in the face….kinda like you see in movies where it plays out in your head but doesn’t really happen. LOL – knowing what I know now makes me wish I had actually done it.

  • These two don’t have a marriage. They have a household and family facilitation arrangement. It’s sickening to know she feels victorious now he’s too old or tired or whatever to cheat. Or his prospects have dried up. If that’s winning, then I’m proud to be the loser I am. Hip hip hooray. 🙂

    • You certainly get the impression it’s about winning for her. Winning him. She even uses the term ‘prize’. It’s there throughout the course of there relationship, even from before they were together. She thinks he’s wonderful and invested everything she has into clinging onto him.

      It’s genuinely tragic. She’s not won anything. She’s allowed her own precious life, her potential, to slip through her fingers while she’s placed him at the centre of her universe. She’s a victim, but a conscious victim.

      It makes me think of what Othello’s Iago said about jealousy. Something along the lines of beware of jealousy- it is the green-eyed monster that mocks the meat it feeds on. In other words, it will make you obsessed/sick/deranged. This woman has allowed herself to become possessed with jealousy and a drive to win Matt.

    • Once a cheater….my guess is that he is still cheating. He’s just slowing down a little. So long as he’s into image management, he’ll stick around. But that woman is in trouble if he meets a young schmoopie and decides to leave.

    • I agree arlo…fuck all that noise! I have a friend that is living that life…and that is exactly what she tells me…’he’s too old and messed up physically now to cheat…’ Wha? It hurts me to think what she must go through mentally and emotionally. So sad…

  • Ever watch the video of Miranda Lambert’s song, “It’s not your Mama’s Broken Heart”? Maybe it’s a generational thing? I don’t know — I had some chumpy moments when the children were small and finances were tight, and I was hoping for a miracle. I dreamed of him spontaneously combusting into flame, or dropping into the great void while I waived goodbye and said “Have a nice trip, dear.” Kind of gives the phrase “pleasant dreams” new meaning, right? Nora Ephron expressed the feeling well when she talked about wanting to be a good looking widow in a sexy black dress at the cheating husband’s funeral, instead of a scandalous divorcee in her book, Heartburn.

    What propelled me out of chumpdom was an inability to deal with cognitive dissonance. I couldn’t pretend to be living the dream when I was actually awake in a nightmare. Also, the cheating was like turning off my libido with a powerful dimmer switch. I just lost all interest in pretend intimacy, and I couldn’t stop thinking about where those parts had been. The lies and the avoidance of responsibility caused me to lose all respect and desire for him. I wasn’t trying to punish him — I just no longer had any interest in him.

    I chumped for my children and to buy time to get my financial ducks in a row — but the weight of the evidence against him never left the safe compartment I had put it into in my mind. It was always there, whispering to my mind that one should NEVER believe anything a liar tells you. He might mess up and tell you the truth every now and again — but you just can’t count on it.

    I wonder why this woman believes that a man who had been a successful cheater for 35 years would ever stop? Erectile dysfunction will not keep them from cheating. He probably still tells himself that what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. It’s just harmless fun, don’t you know?

    • I had an older family member who could have wrote this just change a few details. Their marriage lasted a little over 50 years until he died from complications of chronic degenerative disease. She probably got 10 years of fidelity because he couldn’t leave. Years after he died she told me if she was to do it over again she would have left him.

  • You teach people how to treat you. She taught her husband that it was ok to treat her like that. And he did. How sad to live like that. He is truly in a holding pattern, waiting for that 25 year old to come along and make him feel young again. He will be her sugar daddy and leave the pick me dance champion to be with his young thing. It’s just a matter of time.

    • I’d also like to think you can find people to be in your life that you don’t have to teach.

      Does every potential suitor/spouse need to be taught
      – not to impregnate other people who aren’t their spouse?
      – to focus their romantic energy on the marriage?
      – why it is good to stick to a budget?
      – not to physically or verbally abuse their spouse?
      – to share the work of parenting and earning money?

      Hopefully not.

      That being said, if you do happen to marry someone who does all these things, then yes, you’d better impose drastic, severe consequences pronto.

    • I’m starting to disagree with that statement, esp. when it comes to the disordered. It was a big joke in my marriage that my then-H never seemed to learn from consequences. I DID try to train him how to treat me; in some superficial ways he got better but the criticisms became covert rather than overt, and the rest of his pathology he just took under ground. I am not a pushover, I screamed & hollered, I threatened to leave, I berated him for his bad behavior toward me and the children. But he just got more subtle.

      The disordered cannot be trained, and it is not *our* fault if they don’t improve despite our best efforts.

      • Thank you for this.

        One of the hard things I have had to learn about XH is that not only does he not apologize for anything, he also doesn’t learn from consequences. I suppose this is a sign of being disordered. If you don’t own your shit to the point where you can apologize, you’re in denial of the consequences. Of course you can’t learn from it!

        I had not connected those dots before.

      • Tempest,

        Well said.

        I was trying to think of a more apt adage.

        “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,” came to mind. But I don’t like the Chump-blaming “shame.” This article offers a better version allegedly from 1650.

        https://www.quora.com/Proverbs-Sayings-and-Adages/What-is-the-origin-of-the-phrase-Fool-me-once-shame-on-you-Fool-me-twice-shame-on-me

        “He that deceives me Once, it’s his Fault; but Twice it is my fault.”

        I quite like that one.

        • OMG I have thought of that quote so many times over the past year. I’ll give him the first round, but a second round? Screw this! Get me out of this relationship. I aint waiting around to be a fool next time around.

  • 35 years of crazy? I wonder how many times she fantasized about murdering him? I always wonder how many times he or one of the other women fantasized about getting her out of the way.

    • OMG I haven’t heard the word der used in forever!! That was the duh of my generation and geographical location! Love it!!!

  • She STILL doesn’t know what he’s up to… so she brags about all she DOES know, call it The Truth, and declare to the world (anonymously, of course) how very much it suits her.

    Because that’s all the control she has.

    She has confused vanity with pride. What a sad woman. She’s still 22, trying to make it work, and has merely survived his life instead of living her own. :/

  • Sounds like a match made in heaven. I dont necesarrily feel badly for her. She got what she wanted. She is not a Chump. This is a gal who is more concerned or consumed with the game than the actual relationship. She wears her husband like a ten carat diamond ring.

    • Clip, I feel the same.

      Two sociopaths who found each other.

      I would love to hear from their children. If the wife caught him, you KNOW the kids did. She taught her daughter how to look the other way and her sons it’s OK to fuck around on your wife.

      Wretched woman proud of her resilience to emotional abuse for the prize of saying she’s been married 35 years.

      The horror, the horror…

    • I think she has Stockholm Syndrome, and probably some attachment issues from her childhood that lead her to hold onto that marriage with clenched hands. She’s rationalizing why she stayed, in part because some women from that generation were trained to hold the family together at any costs.

      I hear a lot of pain in that letter. Hate to hear us jump on other chumps.

      • I heard that, too. She sounds completely conquered. When I was reading it, I was envisioning a woman in Victorian garb. It sounds like it was written in the 19th century.

      • I don’t see her as a completely different generation… She is checking texts and emails.i didn’t read her as a generation behind me…I am almost 50… She didn’t strike me as much older.
        She seems to be proud of the fact that she finally won. Don’t get me wrong… It’s an incredibly sad story..but I don’t think she intended to come across as anything but a champion and that she had the tenacity and forgive this but….she was more of a woman because she tuffed it out.
        Now she could be masking all the pain and be a brainwashed bag of potatoes… But something in the smugness of the article that either suggests it’s fabricated or she is disordered too.

      • I stand corrected on calling her wretched. But, I do not think she is a chump. She has never confronted her husband with his numerous infidelities, according to the article, with the exception of a slammed door. She monitored all the women who came into contact with her cheater in case any of them got close enough for him to jump ship.

        She became physically ill when one of them almost wrested him away.

        She is as big as liar as he is for not confronting him and acting like all is well for the sake of her lifestyle and long term marriage. This is disordered. I know I was disordered in allowing an abusive sack of shit to commandeer my life at the expense of my children and my own well being. I have to admit to this for healing purposes and a new improved picker. I know everyone’s story is different.

        If this “broad” is real, she has chosen to KNOWINGLY live a life with a man who had no regard for her as a person for the sake of having a ROOMMATE in old age and a ring. Barf-a-loni.

        This dame is a cheater’s dream girl.

        After she was chumped, she stayed in the game and wrote about it.

        • “That alternated with long periods of peace (so it was hell during the affairs) where he didn’t appear to be seeing someone else and that was always enough to convince me I was doing the right thing. The children doted on their dad and I didn’t want them to have a broken home or lose out financially if Matt had to run two homes.”

          This is the number 1 reason chumps stay in a disordered relationship. Why chumps are shells of their former selves and the kids are fucked up and this author is PROMOTING IT!

          Trust me, the cheater would have been long gone if it were reversed.

          The article ends in her triumph of keeping a cheating mother fucker because in the end, now that he is impotent, her sacrificing was worth it.

          B U L L ** F U C K I N G *** S H I T.

          I demand to speak to the children of this happily ever after couple.

          • ‘if Matt had to run two homes’

            What, so she can’t get off her backside and get a job? I think this explains it, really. She doesn’t want to work, and can’t afford to live without that twit.

      • Yeah, I agree. Definitely has some childhood issues, this is not normal behavior. Also, her version of how she “landed” her husband seemed a bit calculating to me.

      • Whoa, wait a minute, Tempest. If the letter is to be believed, the writer is 55 years old, and so is her cheating husband. I’m 51, pretty much the same age. Not that old, not some long-ago generation. This woman is NOT some 80 year old in the convalescent home. She got married in the 1980s, same as I did.

        • Fair enough on the time line; she isn’t the Mad Men generation (just sounds like it). The letter is a mix of pathetic and shallow, with a frisson of unbelievability (she merely closed the door on her H screwing someone? And didn’t say anything? Unlikely.). I’m almost swayed it’s pure click bait written by a cheater, except for the bash-his-head-in-with-a-boulder; that is clearly a chump emotion ; ).

            • I admit on a second reading of just “Kate’s” letter by itself, there are some strange aspects to it; I only noticed its pathetic side at first and it activated my “You MUST be saved!” propensity.

              You are dead-on, Calamity, about the effect on the children (in your comment above). That’s another narrative that needs to change–that staying together “for the children” is always healthy, when one parent is clearly more damaging than helpful. And that parent can be damaging only to the other parent (and not the kids), but the kids will still be adversely affected. As you know, I stayed in my marriage 8 years prior to D-day because a clinical psychologist told me my children would be damaged by a divorce. Instead, they were damaged because I didn’t divorce the jerk.

              • I remember you taking about this, Tempest. Terribly misguided advice from the clinical psychologist.

          • Yeah, after re-reading the letter, I think it’s just clickbait. No matter how much of a doormat, I find it hard to believe she caught her husband balling a good friend at their child’s christening, yet simply closed the door and never said anything about it. And then the list of all the OTHER friends the husband balled over the years, sheesh, what sort of social circle does this woman have? The whole thing sounds like a cheater’s wet dream to me. The delusional daydreams of a disordered person.

            • I am pretty sure that 99% of people would, if they caught their husband fucking some slut in the act itself, storm in and drag the bitch out of the room and out of the house by her hair.
              The other 1% would murder them both in their sleep.
              (Maybe not literally, but I’m pretty sure those thoughts would be happening, at least)

    • I think she is still a victim even though she’s knowingly a victim or even though she prefers some form of denial. I think she is still deserving of having a husband who doesn’t cheat on her. She never explicitly agreed to an open marriage.

      I think infidelity is a huge mindfuck that results in so many internal conflicts and so much confusion that I still have compassion for those who stay in bad marriages.

      The obvious analogy is victims of domestic violence who stay in bad marriages. There are real fears associated with staying and real fears associated with leaving. Same for infidelity.

      Victims are all at different places in their education of themselves as victims of abuse.

      As a victim, it’s hard to know at what point the abuse is severe enough to leave the other person, and so when we look at other stories, it might be clear to us that they have suffered enough abuse to leave the other person, but judging others is a slippery slope.

      But yeah, the next time she discovers yet another episode of infidelity, hopefully then she leaves him. 🙂

    • I concur. This person is more concerned with social realities than with personal integrity. I’ve spent most of my life single, and women like the narrator here, spend a lot of time looking down their noses at single women. We have failed in their eyes, to be good enough to have the 10 carat diamond ring of matrimonial status bestowed upon us.

      In the meantime, I just think, who the fuck waves around that big piece of cubic zirconia like a prize to be won? I got the luggage, I’m going to Taos. Next time San Fran.

      Nothing against a healthy happy marriage. I just want the real deal. I always think of Mae West, “Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution yet.” This lady definitely got both sides of an “institution”!!

  • Being an attractive doormat is not something to admire in a partner. This is a Pathetic and sad story. My heart goes out to their children.

  • Ladies and gentlemen of the academy I’d like to thank you all for my chump lifetime achieve.and and champion shit sandwich eater award. Its been quite a journey. Along the way I’ve learned some valuable lessons- leave your dignity by the wayside, ignore your husband groping women in front of you, pretend that hes really just working late, never tell him youve seen his sects, take the occasional vacation in the psych ward and spin the STD prize wheel every chance you get. Maybe someday you too will be able to spend your golden years with a man who treats you like something you scrape off the bottom of your shoe!

  • Maybe it’s because I have not been properly caffeinated yet, but I’m having difficulty with the timeline. . . Mostly because I didn’t realize texting was so popular in the 1990s. And I thought my family was hip for having a car phone.

    But seriously, the ages, technology, and length of marriage anachronisms are too distracting to pay attention to the happy ending.

    • Something about that timeline doesn’t make sense. If they got engaged when she was 22, have a 35 year marriage, she would be closer to 57, not 50, right? Assuming they got married within the year of engagement. I started ignoring the details just to focus on the plot.

      • I think it’s clickbait. It may even even be written by an adulterous man, living out some kind of sick fantasy of his own. ‘I screwed everything that moved, and the wife still STAYED because I WAS WORTH IT!’

        But I was consoled by the comments, because the overwhelming majority of the ones I read seemed to think she was a fool to stay with such a toad. There was very little to be heard from people claiming to have done the same thing themselves, and oh, how wonderful it was to finally have hubby back after all those years.

        There is hope for the further rise of Chump Nation, if that’s the case!

    • I think the story is fake, as well. Kind of reminds me of one of those Penthouse Forum letters, only not pornographic. But the gist of the story is real enough…. personality disordered folks are damaged from the beginning and do not ever change. And despite their damage, they almost always manage to find someone willing to play the chump role. Sometimes the chump wises up and gets out, but very often, as in the story here, the chump chooses to remain for a lifetime of abuse. Or at least, until the cheater replaces the chump with a newer model.

    • I traveled a bit in the late 90s and found that texting was much more pervasive and popular in other countries before it became popular in the US because at the time, long distances rates in those countries were much more expensive than a 10 – 25 cent text message.

  • Normally this kind of situation would make me so very angry but instead I feel so unbelievably sad for her. All of that abuse for so long to win something she really didn’t get. Her whole life is a lie. All those good times now, not real. She missed out on real love and stayed with the wired monkey. No. Words. For. This.

  • So when she has another “episode” and really does bash his head in with a boulder ….. Which would be worse ? Putting up with this for 35 years or getting out while you are still sane?

  • This reminds me of all the people who said that it would take 2 to 5 years for a relationship to recover from infidelity (I don’t know who pulled that number out of their ass, but lets just say it’s true for a moment). All I could think about was lying on my deathbed and wishing that I would have those 2 to 5 years for something else, like writing a book or learning another language.

    The idea that someone would knowingly put themselves through an entire lifetime of this misery is completely unfathomable. Kate would be better off with the Devil… at least he gives you a lifetime of worldly pleasure and success when you sell your soul.

    And what reason does she have to feel safe and comfortable now? Why does she think he wouldn’t throw her overboard for a younger woman or blow all their money on a sugar baby? How does she know she won’t get cervical cancer from HPV or that a love child won’t show up on the doorstep to demand their due?

    Who will she turn to when that happens? She doesn’t have any friends because she drove away the people who cared enough about her to warn her. Her children can’t possibly respect her because she’s blatantly neglected them in order to manipulate her husband, who walks all over her.

    What a waste.

    • I agree. As Mary Oliver wrote: “Tell me, what is it you will do with your one wild and precious life?” I thought about staying together for the sake of the children, but the idea of those ten dreary, miserable years stretching out in front of me like a prison sentence made me want to die. In the end, I decided the kids shouldn’t grow up with their dad bringing home girlfriends and their mom putting up with it as their model of man/woman relationships. God only knows how the kids of the person in this article are faring as adults, if indeed this is a real person.

    • Totally agree; I decided I didn’t want to feel “broken” for 2 years until I healed (oh, yeah, and because my X was an arsehole anyway. Naugahyde Remorse, anyone?).

  • OMG! 35 years of this BS? Why do you feel like you won? This man has been disrespecting and devaluing you for over a quarter century and you’ve been allowing it to maintain social status. He waited until you got married to have sex because he was already having sex without you.

    If anybody here second guesses divorcing their narc this should serve as a reminder as to what life would’ve been if you hadn’t. A trip to the mental health ward while the kids wonder where you are.

  • Geez…

    Sometimes I think that some people don’t know the difference between being married and having a MARRIAGE.

    Anyone can get married and do all the ‘mechanical’ things, such as go to work, clean house, have sex, give their spouse a birthday gift, have children etc. In those cases, it seems like being “married” is simply saying “not divorced” or “not single”. If neither party files for divorce, regardless of the state of the relationship they’ve “won” something. Being married seems more like a ‘status’ than anything else.

    But having a *MARRIAGE* is actually a LOT different than just being married.

    Too bad Kate doesn’t realize that, and UNmarry.!

  • Matt blah blah… blah Matt… blah … Matt… Quite a co-dependent, she is !!!

    She must be physically strong too, to put up with this for 35 years. I endured such a situation only 1 year after D-Day and it was so much pain and stress that I felt I was losing my sanity. I became a shadow of myself, entirely focused on Ex’s crappy deeds instead of doing the constructive/creative things that I am able to do.

    By the way, folks, I talked to the pastor of the small local church. I discovered that he accepted appointments for discussion, so I grabbed the opportunity.

    I had several questions, and one of them was about what to do when you discover adultery.
    I was expecting him to answer that you must forgive, over and over, according to Paul’s scripture.
    Much to my suprise, he answered that when you partner cheats on you and is discovered,
    – your parner must cut contact completely and immediateley with the affair partner
    – your partner must express remose and present excuses to you
    – your parner must improve his/her behavior consistently
    – you must stop blaming your partner to give him a chance to resume a “normal” life
    Only then, you can consider continuing with the marriage.
    If the parner is not showing any remorse and keeping some form of contact with an AP, then it is better to divorce, because otherwise the partner will drag you down.

    I translate the best I can what my French pastor has said, anyway what I want to express is that his suggestion was VERY much in line with Chump Lady.
    This means that reconciliation sites that train you to be a doormat are not as “Christian” as they would like you to believe.
    Yay !!!!

    • ChumpFromF – I also went to my church for counseling and questions I had following M’s departure for our 3rd separation. Up until that point, I only had circumstantial evidence and a gut feeling that he had been unfaithful in some kind of capacity. At church, I had one counselor focus solely on the fact that we should never have been married because we were unevenly yoked – which is faith-based language for the fact that I was a believer and he wasn’t. The second counselor asked me if I had any concrete proof that he was actually cheating, and if I didn’t, why was I looking for an excuse to divorce him. She told me I must take the time of separation to focus on my faith and pray for my husband to come home. I bought into it for a couple of months, praying constantly and mostly just crying. Finally, I came across proof that he was in a full on relationship that is broadcasted all over Facebook. It was at that time, I came across Chump Lady and Divorce Minister and it has made all the difference. I realized that I don’t have to eat a crap sandwich for the sake of my faith. I may be having a rough time lately, because I still miss the jerk or who I thought he was, but I’d also prefer to be alone the rest of my life than to have to eat a crap sandwich and pretend at marriage like the author of this article.

    • When I told my pastor, ironically the same person who presided over my wedding, that Mr. Sparkles and I were divorcing he said, “As Christians, we want to believe that God brings people/things to our lives. Yet, we should accept that God can also take them away (to redeem us from evil).”

      God won this round 🙂

  • Oh dear god. When boarder line personality disorder meets narcissistic personality disorder the boarder line always wins. Abandonment issues anyone?

  • Matt and Chloe, …, so engrossed that they didn’t hear me. I swiftly closed the door and tiptoed to our bedroom, shutting that door loudly.

    Gee that’s exactly what Mr Carson did in last nights episode of Downton Abbey when he walked in on Lady Mary or Lady Edith in a celebratory lip lock. ‘Just shut the door’. Must be proper British etiquette.

    • In 2016, some people still live with the deeply ingrained idea that if you are not a couple, you are a failure.
      I tend to struggle with this idea, that has been implanted by my mother and the rest of the family, although they were modern and upper middle-class. The “Spinster” is still a boogeyman. Being alone is still viewed by many as the worst fate, and you don’t want to be looked at with pity, right ? Hey, even on this site, you mock cheaters by saying “he is now alone”, even though we are alone too after the discard that we did not deserve.

      In parallel, there is a new generation of people, now 40-50 years of age, mostly in the elite layer of the population, who believe that they are far better off living alone, that it is a luxury, that they know that the couple is full of compromises and prevents individuals from reaching their full potential and doing what they really want in life. At first, when I heard these intelligent and good looking men and women, I thought they were bragging, but no, they seem to really mean it…

      I am somewhere in the middle. I appreciate being alone, and at the same time it scares me.

      I understand that in an environment where people believe strongly that marriage is the only enviable situation, people can be driven to hang on to their marriage at all costs, at the sake of their sanity. The approval of others is such a powerful force ! And this recipe to misery is not going to change any time soon. Look, Facebook introduced the “Like” button, to rate the approval of others… to train you to rely on other people’s opinions… to focus on pleasing them at your expense

      • ChumpFromF–and chumps may watch their social circles dry up because they are no longer a “couple.” Is it written somewhere on stone tablets that dinner parties must contain an even number of people? Downright insulting.

        Not only have I received fewer dinner invitations since divorce, but I’ve been subject to, “I hope you find that special person” (said with a pitying tone). I did–ME. Never again will I be disrespected in a relationship, and since I’m convinced my picker is permanently fucked (4 narcs in a row; married the last one), am perfectly content to have a fulfilling life solo.

        The lines from Glenn Close’s character in Dangerous Liaisons resonate, “One of the reasons that I never remarried…despite a quite bewildering range of offers, was the determination never again to be ordered around. I must therefore ask you to adopt a less ”marital” tone of voice.”

        • Tempest, your picker is not permanently broken. You attract them like flies. Hard to pick something different when you are surrounded by flies. I am in the same boat. I married a narc and have had one other small romantic adventure with a narc or psychopath. Had another one pursue me, says he is divorced. He is not. Has 3 domestic abuse charges against him and as I now know is a notorious womanizer. Stepped away from that nut job after one date. Now I have another one pursuing me and he is fucking married. Geez louise. They pursue us! I was telling my therapist about this. She says that I don’t look my age, am energetic and some what coquettish and pull them in like magnets. Read Sandra Brown’s book, Women Who Love Psychopaths. I know it describes me and I would be money that it describes you. So now you need to be able to see them coming. You need to practice that skill. I hope that one day, a good match and a person who can get past my narc-B-gone spray will find his way into my life. Every chump deserves no less.

          ps. Chumps, court records are a great first screen. Anything in the records beside a simple divorce… step away.

          • Thanks, Ringinonmyownbell. Yes, our situations (and I suspect, our psyches) are very similar. But what if our cortex can detect & reject narcs, but our limbic system is only attracted to those types? That’s my real worry.

            • That is a worry… I hadn’t thought of it that way. Only time will tell. Perhaps there is just one man out there that is not a narc and can get my limbic system going.

              • (In the voice of Oliver): “More [data] please.”

                My limited revenge-motivated forays into Tinder and OKCupid mere weeks past D-Day quickly proved to me that I am limbically drawn like a bee to pollen toward cheater narcissistic women. Not again my friends. I’m broken in my own peculiar way.

  • She is delusional if she thinks he hit 50, got a couple of grandkids and suddenly stopped cheating. Dream on, lady, dream fucking on.

  • Kate,

    You are a “wife-appliance.” When you finally (and soon) come to your inevitable end-of-life, planned obsolescence, your husband will “lease” a replacement.

    Your husband is still cheating. He sucks.

    Please check back in in another 10 years. From what I understand, you are approaching the “discard” phase.

    I hope you will someday realize that you deserve better. “You are not a wife-appliance.” You are a Chump.

  • She hasn’t heard the Theory of Cake, or understood that he had her in a permanent Pick Me Dance, and I agree with Tracy that he’s probably practising Italian as he “works” late. He’s having a great time. It doesn’t sound like she is. I urge her to line up ducks. She sounds well enough off financially to hire a PI and her husband is obviously not heavily invested in deception. He knows she knows. It’s more fun for him this way.

  • Unfortunately I recognize some of this woman’s thought processes. She’s turned a blind eye and stuffed all of her rage in order to keep her family together. She’s willing to sacrifice her own needs and desires for the good of the family. She’s scared to death to be alone. In her mind she’s being noble to make these kinds of sacrifices, and in the end she wins because she kept the family together.

    My mother always told me to never love anyone more than you love yourself, and to make sure I had a college degree “I could fall back on” so I wasn’t dependent. Somehow I ended up being dependent, even though I was college educated. My husband had a prestigious job and ended up making 5 times what I did.

    Most of my girlfriends also supported their husband’s career over their own, and it made sense because their earning capacity was so much higher. It was expected for us to be responsible for the majority of child care. I ended up opening my own business and working from home so I could care for our two sickly children. Even though I didn’t have a big career, it was still important to me to contribute to our family’s income.

    Now I see my daughter-in-laws with degrees and jobs that allow them to earn as much if not more than my sons and I’m happy for them. They married at later ages and both had lived on their own, they had different experiences. I hope financial equality gives them more power in their relationships than I had in mine.

    It’s pretty clear the writer of this article feels she can’t survive on her own, emotionally or financially. Focusing all her efforts on keeping her husband distracts her from examining her deepest fears and feelings of inadequacy.

  • I don’t understand why the writer thinks her husband has stopped cheating. He’s only in his mid-50s, hey, that is not exactly decrepit. Why on earth would he ever stop, with a doormat wife making it so easy for him?

    At any rate, the only thing interesting here is that it does show how the disordered are broken from the beginning (she knew exactly what kind of guy he was long before they married — hell, he even gave warnings) and never change. It also shows that the old saying is true; there’s a lid for every pot. No matter how disordered, how freaky, how broke or unemployed or how narcissistic…. there is a woman willing to sleep with, pay for, play mommy to, and take in the disordered man.

  • Tracy: Putting aside the insane tragedy/sadness of this situation, your UBT translations were hilarious! ? Did you ever do stand-up?

    Also, just want to remind the victimized women posters on here: There are countless men out there who were victimized EXACTLY the same way by their wives….men who served as doormats for their perpetually wandering hoes. Statistically, that gap is closing rapidly, if it’s not already even. So do not just focus on this a-hole Matt, and his perpetually wandering, self-entitled, Devil dick. There’s lots of wandering cum dumpster wives out there, jumping with reckless abandon onto any dick they can. And I do mean “any”. With the same Narcissist mindset. Luckily, I caught on with my STBX and put all the pieces together. Nightmarish and surreal as it was, I knew what I had to do. I may be severely depressed with lots of PTSD sprinkled on top, but I will take that any day over Pick Me Dances and Shit Sandwiches.

    • Yes sammy just as many women as men. Ive known several and booted them from my life but have stayed friendly with the guys. One poor guy, she went crazy, left him and their three small children for a guy she hooked up with over a weekend never to be heard from for three years. He picked up the pieces and is raising his children solo. Whore mom shows up three years later missing her munchins and demanded custody! What a bitch. The littlist one didnt even remember her! Father won, she stayed long enough to make lots of trouble and promptly took off again. I feel bad the kids lost mom but they are better off being raised by one sane loving parent than a loser psycopath.

    • Yes, many of the OW we hear about are married. So there is a chump on both ends of that Cheaterpants hookup–male, female, straight and gay.

  • Thank you CL for the UBT. Love it. Chumps, you may want an ‘Ignore’ button for my reply to this.

    I may be off kilter today, but I don’t for a second believe in the authenticity of this article. It seems like a cheater’s piece of prose. Their ultimate dream of endless kibbles and cake. Mental masturbation. Stupid desires repeated without any attachment to reality. The big ‘O’ comes (pardon the pun) when the Chump starts to REALLY believe it is over. Let the games begin!

    • I want to believe this is made up. Fictional cake. But honestly, as someone who is supposed to be third wave feminist, and totally capable of pullin up my big girl panties and ruling my own life, I know how much I spackled. I didn’t just cover the lies. I was full on sensory deprivation girl by what I can figure now, I was basically in a coma. I am on a women in science board. I don’t allow my friends and fellows to call things “girl” or “boy” toys, I am mighty. Oh except for the fact that I should have known what was up ten years ago and walked away, instead I was FULL chump, full idiot. I’m pissed at myself now, for wasting so much of my time. But she… With her generation and her genteel sounding demeanor? She didn’t stand a chance. If it’s not real, it’s still reflecting some poor sops life.

      • She’s only in her 50s , which means she grew up in the 70s and 80s, not the 50s, so this stuff is not generational. I’m only a tad younger than her and no way were we told to behave like doormats in that era.

        • Depends where you’re from and your upbringing. Bonkers conservative mysogonistic servitude and image management can be nurtured as values any day in age. I get it, it might be bullshit. And yep- the writer or editing staff may have added or subtracted 10 years to hide her identity, generalize the story.. No question this is fodder. But it’s not impossible. I went to Uni and graduated in 2010 – not too long ago. In a fairly urban liberal Canadian city and a fellow student was a 23 year old who was marrying her “soulmate” and couldn’t wait to move in (no overnights that would be tawdry, but no it’s not a religious thing, it’s appearances) and have all the babies, who believed that her role in life was to stay home and starch and iron her bed sheets and change them every three days so they’re always fresh and crisp. She totally bought the 50s housewife thing, her mom had done it and their family was “perfect”. Fast forward two years and mom and dad bought her husband out of their honeymoon house and they’re fast tracking a divorce because he’s cheating on her and she gets a job with Tory burch, and reading “why men love bitches. I have no idea where she is now, but she was shattered. She was never my favourite, but even she didn’t deserve that, even if her ideals were… Out of a 1950s home ec handout now used as a joke.

  • What I don’t understand is why following along in secret? If she’s somehow okay with this behavior (honestly, I think she has a mental illness) and feels it is somehow natural, why not say, “Hey, I get it. And let’s have an open relationship.” I personally don’t think open relationships are a healthy choice but there’s no way that this must dishonesty is okay. Her tacit approval sickens me.

    • She would be afraid that suggesting an open relationship would end the marriage. What her precious Matt likes, is the secrecy. No secrecy, no fun.

  • I tend to agree with Virago, there is just something too ‘neat’ about all of this.

    Hard to tell which is worse, his behavior or her acceptance of it, but it strikes me that this Devil’s bargain is almost like prostitution-“he can abuse me however he likes, but I get to live in the house and raise the kids.” Must be some house/life/country club, etc. if you trade your sanity for a cover story…..

    love to Chump Nation
    x-Meh

  • “Pick Me Dance Gladiator. #winning”

    “I relish every quiet moment where I look at him and want to crush his head with a boulder. I outlasted any woman foolish enough to challenge me to the pick me dance. His aged, limp dick was worth it. I got an anniversary card.

    Read it and weep, bitches.”

    OMG…Perfect!! CL drops mic and walks away… Standing ovation!!!

  • If ever there was an article or post as to “why leave a Cheater?”, this one is it. What a horrific, horrific life this woman has led (and continues to lead). I doubt she’s going to be “proud” of herself on her deathbed. She’s going to look back and realized she wasted the only life she’ll ever be given on this Earth on a waste of oxygen Cheater.

    • “She’s going to look back and realized she wasted the only life she’ll ever be given on this Earth on a waste of oxygen Cheater.”

      EXACTLY… It is NEVER too late!

      • “I doubt she’s going to be “proud” of herself on her deathbed.”

        Unfortunately, I believe that like many chumps, Kate is going to realize his true nature when, and only when she is discarded. From the heart wrenching stories CN has shared, I will venture the discard will occur after all the kids are out of the house and there is no more need for the “united family” concept in HIS mind.

        Then he will move on, and she will be left there, like many chumps were, faced with the realization of how many chump years she invested in that unworthy disordered illusion of a “husband.”

        • Chumptitude – your right. He will end up discarding her, it’s going to happen and she’ll be left like a lot of us. I think this story is real too, for I took way too much shit in the name of keeping my family together than I’d like to admit. I turned a blind eye to lots of things that I am not proud of and ashamed I did so. Although, when he was caught, I didn’t keep my mouth shut like her, but I did make the mistake of taking him back. I knew there was no real remorse and/or change. I took him back anyway out of fear. I definitely didn’t have enough love and respect for myself back then.

          I feel very badly for Kate – although, I must say – when he does finally leave her, and she take the time to grieve – The back half of her life will and should be a wonderful mix of her choosing. I hope she works on making herself happy for a change.

          • In the self analysis of my experience – it wasn’t until 20 years into my marriage that I had discovered that my then husband was cheating. Up to that point I had turned a blind eye to a lot of other less-than ideal behaviors. (I know now that I had been married to a covert narcissist.) I was a stay-at-home mom and over all we had a “good life.” He didn’t physically abuse me so as the years ticked by I clung to that hope that he would one day grow up and appreciate what we had. I loved him and wanted our marriage to work. All the while I was carrying the burden of trying to make the marriage work, he was secretly involved with other women.

            When I found out about the affairs, my line of thinking took a big turn. I did not keep quiet but I did, however, make the mistake of believing him when he said he was sorry and I gave him the chance to redeem himself. It was another 2 years before I found out that he lied and that the cheating had been going on our entire marriage!! I filed for divorce. I felt I had wasted half of my adult life on him, but I wasn’t going to waste the rest of my life with him.

            By then our kids were nearly grown. I had given up my career when we started our family so I was middle-aged with no work history. He begged my not to leave him and wanted yet another chance. It would have been easier to stay because we were financially stable and had a home, etc. BUT I was so disillusioned and emotionally devastated by him that I could not RISK trusting him ever again.

  • Geez, I really hope this story is NOT true. The timelines didn’t make sense when i was reading it because it seemed like both of them should be closer to 60 than 50. Who knows maybe it is true. I can’t throw stones though because I stayed for 3 years after I found out. In fact, one of the first thoughts I had after I found out and we decided to “work it out” was I’ll be damned if I’m going to let some low life bitch just take over the life i worked so hard to have at that point!

    So for three years I ate the shit sandwich and did the pick me dance. Thankfully I finally realized that the “life” I was fighting so hard to lose wasn’t much of a life. It definitely wasn’t worth losing my sanity over. When I started believing I deserved better, it was much easier to leave. I think this poor chump needs to realize she deserves better.

  • Regarding the discussion of politics and Hillary Clinton … this topic for me is NOT politics and is vitally important . I’m a lifelong Democrat and would love to support a Democratic nominee in the general election. If she is that candidate , I will stay home . I almost threw up when I saw her quote a few weeks ago that we should always support and believe victims of sexual assault. Apparently unless they are one of her husband’s 14 accusers since 1969 of rape , sexual assault , or sexual harassment …then she got busy completely trashing these e women and their reputations , enlisting the help of the media , and ruining what was left of their already dramatically altered lives. In my opinion , Bill Clinton is a sexual predator , as is Bill Cosby . And , no , Hillary is not responsible for his behavior , but she is responsible for her own behavior . Bill Cosbys wife didn’t publicly trash the women who came forward , Hillary Clinyon made it her job to do so , ruthlessly every time . I respect her choice to stay married to a serial consensual cheater , if that’s what she wants to do, because it’s her choice. i won’t vote for someone who enables a sexual predator for any office , much less President .

    • Actually, Bill Cosby’s wife has suggested that the women accusing him of rape are doing it for money or because they were ‘rejected’. She seems to have the same mindset as the woman in this article, as Camille Cosby was very well aware of her husband’s wandering dick, something she has spoken about publicly.

      • Yes, Camilla Cosby was aware, and yes, initially she did believe that the sex was consensual, and yes, she did believe that these women had ulterior motives and yes, she did trash them to her friends. As might any Queen of Chump. Apparently, she now believes baed on the number of women that came forward, that her husband is guilty of the things he has been accused of. Even if she didn’t, that wouldn’t change the facts. The difference is she did not hold public press conferences with the express purpose of trashing the women, either collectively or individually. She did not enlist the media’s help in that, she did not hire private investigators to pry into the details of the women’s lives and try to ensure their silence with threats, mentioning their children and grandchildren by name, she did not have the IRS go after them. If any of Bill Cosby’s victims were asked if Camilla Cosby supported them, the answer would be “no”. If they were asked if Camilla Cosby personal hurt them, threatened them, investigated them, I think the answer would also be “no.”

        • There’s a case to be made that Camilla and Hillary stayed with their cheaters because it gave them access to resources. That’s fine by me.

          /backing away from flamebait/

          *** must not comment ***

          ### hold your tongue ###

          Hillary 2016!

          #ImWithHer

          ^^^ this ^^^

      • If Camilla Cosby ran for president and chose to stay married to a sexual predator, I wouldn’t vote for her either.

  • I commented on this article yesterday. Kate is very likely to be a totally vindictive woman if her precious Matt suffers illness or injury in his later years and she becomes his primary caregiver.
    My loving MIL was not very nice to my FIL when he got primary progressive aphasia (a gradual loss of cognitive abilities due to an old head injury). Somewhere in the 90’s his POS son actually introduced me and my then elementary school aged kids to his FIL’s OW. Talk about surreal…should have been a frigging red flag the size of a barn!
    And then when the old man got ill MIL started being less then helpful and respectful to her “former” cheater (I actually could pity him cause by then he lost enough faculties he may not have realized why she was being mean to him).

  • I was one of the ones who sent ChumpLady this article too…. OMG!!!! I almost puked when I read this article. IMHO these dudes have not ‘come back’…. but realized that they are aging. They will most definitely need a nurse and someone to put the bib on them when they drool. He’s had this chump for years – he doesn’t respect her, but she is someone who will fill his needs. Supply. Just like the toaster.
    I also believe this woman has never known herself. She has never experienced her own life, happiness and joy. Worst of all? the children have been via osmosis experiencing this mess on a subconscious level …. they know it all (I did when I grew up) even if they don’t realize it. And they have been living a huge lying shit sandwich.
    I have a neighbor who is now in his late 60’s…. he was a long distance truck driver for many years, cheated with prostitutes the last 30 years on his wife and she is exactly like the lady in this story. The kids are grown and now this dude is “retired”, and home. HOME???!!! WTF? just being around them (we played cards every saturday night in the neighborhood) is the ugliest vibe ever. And? she would not talk to/with me and later told my other neighbors that she thought that I was making a play for him. YUCK… PUKE….. omg…. i’m ranting.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Wendy. When I told my EW that I did not think I could get passed the “two affairs” she cried her eyes out stating “I’ve lost my looks and my body has changed and I will have to live in a cheap apartment.” I asked her, “that’s why you want me to stay? Because you think you aren’t attractive enough to get other guys now and you won’t be able to live as well?” She said, “oh, no, no, no, I love you too.” So meaningful. Fact is, I took care of everyone (working on that) and made the kind of living that provided her a lifestyle she could never have had without me. She wasn’t afraid of losing me – she was afraid of losing her meal ticket.

      • It burns just to read your comment JK, so sorry you had to hear this from your disordered wife…

        Good choice on leaving her to live through her earned consequences, stay mighty, and keep forging on to Meh!

        • Thank you. It is painful and disorienting to find out that there was a backstory to your 20 year marriage you never knew about in which you were really just a support person for a person whose “feelings for you changed two years before” she married you, and whose love, affection and passion was going to others. It’s not much consolation that everything makes sense now, but it does help me to know that I was not crazy all those years.

          I’m glad I forced myself to do what needed to be done, even though I had a hard time turning loose in spite of it all. I kept reminding myself that the person I had loved so long never existed. I am going to deal with this and be grateful I did not lose more of my life to her than I did, and for the two most marvelous children a father could ever hope for. Thank you again for your encouragement.

          • JK –

            Apart from different time lines and # of kids, I could have written your comment, which goes to show that the character disordered we unfortunately chose to believe, trust, and marry are all from a similar breed of disturbed.

            Yes, focusing on our kids and on building a cheater-free life is a much better investment of our time than untangling their skein of fuckedupness.

      • JK,

        Your comment by your wife about her looks brought back a three-month-old memory. I never attempted reconciliation with my wife of ten years, but in the hours after D-Day she too told me, “I’m not getting any younger. I fucked him by mistake. I’m 39 and now I’m too old to get a good husband. You wasted the best years of my life.” FUCK that hurt like hell.

        Yeah, different outward emotion (crying, anger) but the narcissistic intent is the same, i.e, me, me, me!

        • Ian: YOU wasted 10 years of HER life? SMH, these cheaters are spectacular in their ability to pretzel logic into a (sad) sausage.

        • I’m sorry, Ian. I know that hurt like a MF. Those words don’t seem to find an exit door out of your thoughts for a long time either.

          You’d like to think they are feeling empathy FOR YOU when you learn of their affair(s), but they say things like that that show you its still all about THEM – and reveal how they really valued you as a person.

          I’m not following how you wasted HER years. She was making the decisions she wanted for herself, and keeping you from leaving a marriage you would never have been in if you had known the truth. She was controlling both of your lives. You didn’t waste anything of hers. You just ruined her con by refusing to continue being a chump.

          • JK,

            Your story is a balm for my pain. You said: “Those words don’t seem to find an exit door out of your thoughts for a long time either.” Those words have had the effect of killing off all sweet memories I have of the time I spent with my wife. She is empathy-deficient. You wouldn’t have stayed your marriage had you known the truth. Now you have wrested control of your life from a psychopath. Thanks for your kind words.

          • Chumptitude,

            I love your no-dancing story. You had deal-breakers, and you stuck by your guns.

            Also good to hear that your X’s sinister aspect is being negatively impacted by your liberal application of Cheater-B-Gone.

        • Wow, Ian, just… wow. That warped logic of cheaters is incredible.

          No dancing for me either, I was seeing a lawyer two weeks post-DDay #1, and he realized quickly that I was serious about divorcing him. That is when my cheater tried to convince me that his cheating was a good thing because we would all be happier post-divorce.

          Huh, really? I wonder why then he hasn’t looked anything close to happy since I have been singing like a canary about his affair as the reason for our divorce… Good riddance!

        • Ian, I am so sorry. It seems she failed to realize the good husband she had all along (you). Ah well, Cluster Bs love to swan dive into their operatic self-pity when presented with reality and consequences.

          • ChefBella,

            Thank you for your continued kindness.

            Yeah, one of my cheater’s avocations was singing opera. She’s a diva alright. Her narcissistic performance was worthy of a Swan Lake performance. Operatic tragedy indeed. And I was the one who (nearly) died at the end.

  • All I can say is “Whatever floats your boat.”. The fucker I married cheated on me, but I NEVER agreed with it, said it was OK, etc. This lady is crazy for putting up with this nasty old dick. And I bet he is still a cheater. Even if he is not, who would want him!?? Ughhhh

  • I don’t get the “we are still together because I REFUSED to divorce”. ummm, so that makes you superior to those who had no choice? And 5? Isn’t that about the time they trade you in for a 30 something? She makes it sound like its all over and “she won” . She is delusional. Maybe it is fake and make us buy into the “if we are just “X” enough he would stay” I played that game for years, as I think we all did.

  • What a sad history! I can understand the fear of leaving or trying to make it on one’s own, especially if one (chump, like me) is unemployed, late middle-aged, and a mother (or father) of young children. My childless boyfriend (friend of decades and fellow chump) left me on our anniversary this weekend (perhaps fear of commitment, getting hurt again, being tied down by my (good) kids although I have asked for neither support nor commitment). I am devastated. I have even envisioned going back to my scary, abusive STBX because I don’t know how to support my family on the wages I earn from my underpaid part-time job, which wears me out and I often hate, and I, even with advanced degrees and work experience, can’t find a full-time job that pays enough to cover rent in even a dangerous neighborhood. Those of us who stay in or consider retuning to bad marriages don’t always do it for love or to maintain a high standard of living. Some of us just don’t want to slide into abject poverty.

    • RSW–as if your story isn’t bad enough. I am so sorry for your breakup, which must sting on top of all the other events you’ve had to suffer through. Words are inadequate here. Huge hugs your way.

    • I agree with CL, I doubt he’s really only taking Italian when he’s out.

      Also, she probably hasn’t figured out the new apps that allow him to keep his affairs further underground……IF she’s real (because something about this story just did not ring true to me).

    • I’m sorry for what you’re going through, RockStar. I pray for all of us, but you’re going to get mentioned by name tonight. I wish you good fortune and brighter days ahead, and options that don’t include going back to a “scary, abusive STBX.” Have courage. You don’t know what the future holds. Tomorrow may be the day the best thing that ever happened to you knocks on your door or walks into your life.

    • I am so sorry to hear about your breakup RSW, on top of everything else, you didn’t need another devastating disappointment! I am sending you massive hugs.

      • Thanks, Tempest, JK, Kelly, and Chumptitude. Incredibly grateful for the support and inspiration of Chump Nation!

  • This woman is such a sad case. 35 plus years of checking up on her husband’s affairs must have been exhausting as well as devastating. The constant “play acting that her life was wonderful” reeks of some sort of psychosis. There is no way she had “good times”, only times when she couldn’t find proof of his cheating. What the heck did she actually win?

  • My thought — the theme of the story is how strong and indominable this women sees herself as (“Kate,” that is). I see this letter/essay as her triumphal account of going through what she sees as hardships/challenges to the ultimate victory of her will over her husband, her husband’s mistresses, her husband’s lies, etc. She starts her story by saying how she stamped down her impulses to get her husband to marry her — and the rest of her life was spent keeping what she sees as a prize. That’s what she wanted from the marriage, and that is what she got and retained.

    I think she even gets a kick out of the affairs her husband has — or else why would she describe seeing her husband having intercourse with another women after her child’s christening ? I think she gets off on it — on having her husband desired by other people. Kate wins again ! And look how she keeps describing herself as “slender,” etc., and “sailing through life.” This woman puts her will — and her victory gained by her will and resolve — above everything else.

    • I know right? And the thing that gets me is they have the baby christened at church, like it’s important to bring the baby up to know the Lord. Then, right after he goes and bangs someone in his house while company is still there celebrating the christening. I mean really? It takes a special kind of fucked up for both of them to have sex at a christening celebration, with company present and both their significant others in the other room. Honestly, I don’t blame her for being scared to let him go and go out into the unknown as a single mother, but wow, she deserves so much better in life. And some of her friends suck too. I would NEVER do that to a friend.

  • I think the numbers don’t add up because they’ve changed them a little to help hide the identities of ‘Kate’ and ‘Matt’. Accurate numbers like ages and their children’s ages could well give them away, when paired with their lifestyles etc.

    At risk of blaming others — above this comment is a thoroughly justified shit shower on them both so I’m going to raise a different point — something else gets me about this article which makes me wonder how real it is. What the hell kind of friends do these people attract, exactly? Why are so many of them willing to bump uglies with this married guy, knowing — and they must have known, because groups of friends mix with each other — that he’s dipping his wick into anything that has a pulse? Sorry but NO man is that good looking. Especially Miss ‘Friend from Schooldays’, who doesn’t seem to mind rutting on the floor of the nursery while the man’s baby looks on, and then… AND THEN… going downstairs to SIT IN HER FIANCEE’S LAP? While some other guy’s porridge dribbles out of her? Christ almighty. If these are ‘friends’, these people must exist inside one of Hieronymous Bosch’s paintings.

    • Yeah, that grossed me out too. And I wonder about people who can be cheating in one room and ten minutes later sitting with their spouse/partner, acting “normal.”

      • Or inviting the mistress around constantly, like my ex did. Both of them would bump uglies in the afternnon, then I wouls pick up my AND her kid from school, cook dinner for everyone while they usually killed a six pack or a couple bottles of wine…..megachump that I was, I saw that as my family….

  • Believe it or not, someone suggested to me to “wait out” the cheater ex’s infidelity, suggesting that he will no longer want to cheat when he gets old. Visuals for my future were:

    Wipe his cheater ass and feed him Wheatena …. or
    Hit the beach.

    I have to think about that. Not.

    • Someone also told me that I should wait out the cheating x. She and her husband are about 6 years older than I am and I am 4 years older than x. So her advice was for me to stick it out for about another 6 years and then the x would “get over his want of cheating”. And she was speaking from “experience” as her husband of only 56 years old was “too old to get it up” and he finally after 33 years “stopped cheating”. So even if this story sounds unbelievable, there really are women like that out there. My coworker is living proof. Her method of coping with it all is to be as devious and harmful as she can to some of her coworkers. She let’s nothing go and she let’s nothing get past her at work. She will work for months to get someone, anyone, me included. And she is very, very persistent. You know what the sad thing is is that she helped me get through the worst parts of the cheating. She heard me speak on it ad nauseum and was helpful. She just would not see any of the parallel instances that were happening to her as they were happening to me. And she is an intelligent woman, but damn, she will believe the most ridiculous excuses from her husband. The man came home from an overnight “fishing” trip with only one shoe. What adult man comes home without a shoe. It’s not like he’s five and lost the damn thing and gave up looking for it. Or the time that we had a major snow storm and he has to go back to work to get his laptop. He gets stuck in the “snow” and can’t get back home, 8 miles away, so he stays at work. Who the hell believes that kind of shit and why in the hell would she even tell us at work about it. But if you contradict her or him in any way, you better watch your back. Here’s the kicker, her husband had a child with another woman, while she was pregnant with her second child. And she doesn’t check up on him or follow him or anything. There were no consequences for him at all from what I can tell. I asked her about that once and she said because “he is mine” and I can’t do mean things to him, but “I can hate that other woman” because she should have known he was married and stayed away from him. No consequences for him, I guess he’s just a special kinda bunny!!! And she is the main bread winner, so he isn’t going to let go of his sugar mama. I just don’t understand it.

      • ” The man came home from an overnight “fishing” trip with only one shoe. What adult man comes home without a shoe.”

        LMAO!!!!!!!!!! The mistress kept it so she can cuddle it while he’s away. OMG! This had me crying!

        • petite87, You should have seen me when I was listening to this story. I went from incredulous to trying not to giggle. I thought that if this had been my husband I probably would have beat the “truth” out of the f*er with the remaining shoe for that reason haha

  • I cannot begin to imagine this woman’s motivation. I think a divorce is just the beginning of what she needs. She needs therapy : years of it.
    Her husband is a complete scumbag, and her BEST FRIEND is screwing him in the nursery? Her pregnant friend is grinning while he’s feeling her up? Why does she choose these people as friends and why does she think it’s better for her kids to watch this play out while she spends a life time waiting for his penis to fall off? He’s going to cheat whether or not he has erectile dysfunction. Somehow she seems to believe that she is being noble. Masochism is not noble. Letting someone shit on you does not translate into integrity. Kate, save yourself and for God’s sake, save your children. Get out of that house with the kids (if they are still at home) and leave those rugs, linens and bedclothes! YUK. AND GET TO THE BEST OB- GYNECOLOGIST in YOUR TOWN! Take it from me, I ended up with HPV from one one year affair. God only knows what’s going on in your privates, girl!!
    Peace, Love, and a whole lot of ?????? Go to a therapist!

  • PS. Come to think of it, that article HAS to be a complete fiction..Someone made” Kate” up to create some sort of perverse “good wife ” model. It has to be fake. Please let it be fake.

  • My God, that’s exactly what the wife of my ex-affair partner is thinking 🙂 These women exist more than we think!!!! Makes me want to puke. I didn’t know about her btw, as soon as I did I ended it.

  • Words almost fail me. She seems pleased with the outcome. She was not a chump. She knew.. She was his enabler in his and her destruction. Sadly this is the premium many women place on marriage and image. I find men don’t feel the need to stay for image once the cheating is out and the love is gone. But women I find will hold on for dear life thinking they are stopping some interloper. I take a biblical view. It warns us to chose our relationships carefully. I believe for this reason. Once attached and bonded we are to remain that way. coming apart is meant to be traumatic to discourage causal separation. That said some awful and destructive bonds are formed. The result is psychological chaos for all.

  • Good God that was positively stomach turning! I had difficulty reading the entire thing it was SO pathetic.

    If I had EVER walked IN on X-hole bouncing on another woman, and IN my house… I’d have beat the ever loving shit out of them both! I do not have that much restraint, nor would I have any desire to.

    There is no doubt in my mind that my refusal to look the other way is the reason mine is gone. I couldn’t lie to myself and I wouldn’t want to. Buh bye asshole. I told him from day one that I don’t share, I meant it.

    Who on earth would EVER want to live like that?

  • Giving some thought to this article, I just cannot buy this as anything but a work of fiction generated by some cluster B somewhere.

    Look at the things in her life she touts as the most valuable. Having a husband who is making lots of money. Socializing with a bunch of people who come off as some combination of personality disorders. The image is everything (Matt fondling the breast of a strange pregnant lady in front of a ton of people and no one is offended???) (really???)….ease and comfort of being well off trumps good character……. smiling at the current ow at social functions, (not rocking the boat for good old Matt). Oh, and winning is everything….another ingrained narc belief.

    It all comes off sounding like a narc wish list.

    • Don’t forget he jumped on her friend during a party at the house, a Christening for the new baby… with a house full of people, and no locked door, and they didn’t hear her walk in because they were so into it on the rug… (rolls eyes)

  • I can see this as real. My (now dead) MIL lived that life. Her husband had a number of affairs, when the shit hit the fan with my marriage I was told off for being “too angry”. Her whole attitude was ” boys will be boys”., wait it out. In her own case she retaliated by an affair herself, but it did not stop him.

    She had a long and miserable marriage, over 50 years, where they were endlessly mean to each other, and their focus was on their social status and money. She kept her big house and although the entire facade was pointless she felt vindicated. She became the “boss” of her village, while her husband worked away.

    She raised 6 children, 3 now divorced, and all they are interested in is money too. I would say the girls are even more avaricious than her boys. Nice role model – NOT

  • He’s doing her best friend during the baby christening upstairs? Sounds like a story from Penthouse mag.. Sleeping with her friends motivates her to stay thin… he’s helping her stay healthy. Tall AND thoughtful.

  • Jaysus. Great comments all!

    In my case, I HAD NO IDEA he was cheating. But, for some bizarre reason, I TOLD the OW via text – she was too chicken shit to answer my calls or talk to me in person (a woman I had counted as a friend for 31 years at that point) when she texted me that she had been fucking my love – eight weeks after he ended it with her – that yeah, I KNEW all the time. WTF??? I often wonder why the hell I did that? I think at the point of shock (we were at a friend’s birthday party and she never showed up) that I wanted to look like I wasn’t such a chump that I didn’t know that the man I totally ADORED was cheating on me? I mean, yeah, I knew where he was and I was not that stupid??? Pretty fucked up. Like all of this shit is. Sigh.

  • This is me right now-Have I engineered my insanity or am I truly insane? I don’t know. Mummy is in the madhouse. Who cares?

    or definitely would be if I stayed in that marriage, scary that could be me in 35 years

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