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Dear Chump Lady, My friend doesn’t listen to your advice

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thanks-ignoring-friends-advice-funny-ecard-ecards-someecardsDear Chump Lady,

My friend reads your blog, but doesn’t take your advice.

I (and several other friends) have coached her through the hurts and heartaches of the past 18 months during which her husband had an affair (still ongoing!). And I love her, I have listened to all her horror stories (e.g. when he announced he wanted to divorce her just before Thanksgiving and spent the holidays with the OW).

But plot twist! The husband has just moved back into the marital home! And she is happy with that. And the mistress is still in the picture, and I am STILL the confidante who listens to all he puts her through.

I am getting tired of her not taking anyone’s advice. Not mine, not her other friends, not her family who have watched their marriage struggle for 20 years (she even got rid of her therapist who said that the marriage was doomed — her husband has an ONGOING affair, doesn’t take responsibility for anything, doesn’t want to divorce her, but has no remorse whatsoever, etc.).

I have supported her through this whole ordeal, and I am still trying to be a good friend, but we have stopped talking about the affair as she seems to have accepted the mistress. She and her husband are now in “don’t ask don’t tell” territory. He has moved back in the house, they are sleeping together, and she seems happy! She is allowing him texting and calling the mistress throughout the day.

I loathe the husband after everything he has put her through, but my husband is good friends with him. And of course my friend is married to this cake eater. So, for her sake, I try not to be too negative about him. But I just don’t know how to deal with this anymore. She is my friend, but this is whacko.

Should I just accept their reconciliation? I think he will cheat again. He is mean, dishonest, a liar, unreliable, uncaring, unkind, and she has now turned into a woman that will accept everything, and she is no longer the strong woman I always knew. How much longer do I have to support her in this craziness, because it is affecting our friendship. I feel like I no longer know her, and I want her to be happy.

Bianca

Dear Bianca,

Whoa. Before I untangle your friend — your husband is GOOD FRIENDS with Mr. Mean, Dishonest, Liar, Unreliable, Uncaring, and Unkind? The guy you loathe, who’s having an on-going affair? Have you had a chat with your husband about his values lately? If he’s a Switzerland friend, or worse, enabling Mr. Cheaterpants — you’ve got a bigger problem than a chumpy friend. No wonder her situation unnerves you.

As to your friend, she won the pick me dance, so she’s probably feeling exceptional. He came back! Their reconciliation has a chance! He still sees the OW? I’m not the only advice out there, Bianca. She’s probably read some reconciliation sites or books and may believe he’s “in a fog” or grieving his fuckbuddy. The MAJORITY of advice out there on infidelity is that she should “stand” for her marriage. And this nasty affair will just blow over if she stays strong and figures out how to improve herself so he doesn’t cheat again.

Don’t underestimate the incredible need to believe. Anyone going through something traumatic wants to feel some sense of agency, like they can control scary outcomes. That’s why the Reconciliation Industrial Complex is so seductive. Being a cold bucket of harsh reality isn’t a winning sales strategy.

Your friend has invested 20 years in this relationship. She’s probably been mindfucked for 20 years and doesn’t have the strongest sense of self worth about now. You mention nothing about her financial situation or her kids (if she has any). She probably feels like she has a lot to lose and lives with a lonely kind of daily terror, however “happy” she appears. (No woman is “happy” to live with colossal disrespect that is texting and calling the mistress every day.)

All that said, I’m sure she is annoying as fuck. A therapist has told her it’s doomed, a chorus of friends tell her it’s doomed, but her cake-eating asswipe of a husband? He doesn’t tell her it’s doomed — he tells her she has a chance! Dance prettier and you can save this!

That Dr. Simon axiom works on chumps too — “It’s not that they don’t see, it’s that they disagree.”

Your friend disagrees that she’s doomed.

So what do you do? You leave her to her doom.

It may be that your values don’t align and you can’t be friends with someone you don’t respect, and you drop her. That’s one option. Another option is to stay in touch, but refuse to engage on the subject of her marital problems. Point out to her that SHE HAS A CHOICE and this shit stops when she stops putting up with it. She is CHOOSING her misery. And then change the subject.

Abuser isolate. If you really feel like she’s in an abusive situation, I’d encourage you to keep the lines of communication open. Do the things together that you two enjoy. Keep it light and superficial and don’t have the long, skein-untangling conversations about Him. The most compassionate thing you can say to someone in this situation is “You deserve better. This relationship is not bringing out your best self.”

And then say a prayer that some day she begins to act like she deserves better.

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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.
    • True….and fortunately sometimes they (I) finally do (did) see the light and move on. I was so grateful to find a community who understood my craziness from experience!.

    • My first thought was the same as CL, “your husband is good friends with your friends husband who is cheating on her,” I would be more focused on my husband being good friends with the cheating husband than about my friend.
      Why would your husband want to be good friends with someone without morals or character?
      if a person can betray their wife they can’t be trusted as a friend.
      Why you aren’t you concerned? They say birds of a feather flock together.
      Ignoring the cheaters behavior and going along with his good guy image is a form of acceptance.
      I’d rethink my priorities and focus on why my husband is friends with this guy.

  • >Should I just accept their reconciliation?

    The fairy dust crop dusters & unicorn counters might even cringe at this tale’s definition of reconciliation?

  • Oh Bianca I was your friend, for 6 months, until all of the sudden it hit me, my ex husband was a piece of trash and I cut him off cold turkey. She can only figure it out for herself. I know that I needed people to talk to desperately, but chump lady is right, if it’s too much tell your friend. Your friend needs some honestly in her life. I never let my ex husband move back in, and I filed the papers, and even though I knew it was the only decision sometimes our hearts need to catch up with our minds before we can do what is necessary. Her reality is skewed, when someone lies and has lights you for so long it takes a bit to realize your abuser is the source to all your pain, and that being rid of them is a breath of fresh air. I think it’s okay to love your friend from a distance if that’s what you need. Oh and I agree about your husband, why does he think this ass hat is worth having a friendship with?!

  • Wow, I think the writer needs to have a serious talk with her husband. Why the hell is he still talking to that guy. I can tell you with 100% certainty that if he was my friend he would be a former friend or at least downgraded to an acquaintance at an extreme distance that I only talk to on holidays and nothing more.

    Sounds like her husband may be in line with what he is doing and she needs to have that talk with him. As I tell my daughter all the time, I am not going to tell you who to be friends with and who not to be friends with. What I am going to tell you is your friends define who you are. If you pick losers/idiots/questionable morale friends then that’s how everyone around you will see you as.

    It got my point across because she had an extremely questionable friend and they are no longer friends.

    • That is true…. Her husband should not be his friend. But what I found out is, that until you have been a chump you don’t really understand. I had a friend who had cheated on his wife with a two night stand. I thought that sucks and you should tell her. But I truly did not know the full force of the impact this behavior had on someone. I now know and never talk to him. He is as big a loser as my wife is….. THey don’t deserve to have me around.

    • I do have to admit, that most all of our “joint” friends did not cut off their friendship with my wife, but most of “my” friends did. Perhaps there are some sexist stereotypes that cheating women are understood to be looking for love, looking to get their neglected emotional needs met, so other female friends aren’t as quick to say “I shouldn’t be friends with her” but when a man cheats, we are quicker to say “he’s an asshole and you shouldn’t be friends with him for what he did to her”.

      (sorry – i’m usually the last person to bring up the gender/sex card, but mainly I’m just observing from my experience that my wife didn’t lose any girlfriends after cheating)

      • Buddy just remember…. she has shared her emotions with her friends. By the time the truth comes out she has already prepared the female friends to think the worst of us. Not all but what I found out, they all supported her in the fact she was already out and miserable and deserved some happiness….. All cheater cover but it worked.

        • Yep. Cheaters definitely control the narrative. They even have therapists convinced, which is probably because some therapists are cheaters. I personally think the woman cheating to get her emotional needs met is crap. Speaking as a woman, if you need a man to do something for you, you need to tell him exactly what you need. Nobody can read your mind, this isn’t some kind of vulcan mind meld on Star Trek. Hell, I tried to talk to my ex, didn’t get anywhere and I still didn’t cheat on him. I’ve also believe that sometimes you need female friends for some of this. If anybody stuck around to see how cruel cheaters can be, there would be no sympathy left for cheaters.

      • Buddy,

        You raise an interesting point. There does seem to be a Cheater/Chump gender-sex-sexuality double-standard.

        I don’t know how it’s playing-out in your world. In mine Cheaters of both genders seem to get a pass. Blaming the Chump and conscious-uncoupling have poisoned our thinking.

        Straight Cheater men for many years were the ones given leniency. Now Cheater women can be labeled “feminist.”

        Again, how it looks in real-life is more nuanced.

        It’s still a question worth asking.

        • Cheaters of both sexes should be prosecuted by law and drawn and quartered. Neither should ever get a pass. I had a friend in his early days get cheated on by the love of his life. He wanted to marry the bitch. She screwed him over big time and it took him a decade or so to get past it. So what does he do knowing how it feels. Right, meets and marries a girl within a year and starts cheating rifht away. Hes being divorced by his second wife as i write this. My thoughts for the day. Right he was cheated on and now dishes it out. What a bastard. This cretin is asswipes best best friend. Im not telling asswipe just yet ill wait until i move far far away. But wait till asswipe finds out his bestest friend tried to have a relationship with our daughter! Persued her for a intimate relationship a guy she called uncle who used to change her diapers. My daughter ran and ran far and its been eating at her for years to tell dad but she didnt want to break off the friendship. I had weird feelings about him a couple of times but thought naw i was imaging it. Nope i wasnt. Daughter is so tired of hearing dad fawn over what a great and upstanding guy he is. She beoke down crying and told me. I cant wait to tell asswipe that hes bestest friend ever wanted to stick his dick in his very own daughter. Once asswipe figures im not lying the back of his head will come off. No mincing words there. I cant wait.

          • I’d pay to see that Kar marie! LOL! Asswipe DESERVES to have the back of his head come off!

            satan’s head regularly explodes these days 😀 Awesome to witness!!!! LOL! The first time I saw it explode was as he was driving by and saw the giant orange moving truck outside our marital home. I was so amazed that I was present to witness it!!!!

        • Ian and David, I stopped hanging out my wierd psycho friend after she had an affair. And this was before I was even married. It’s not considered feminist, disrespecting people.

          • I’m not sure why anyone would think being a whore makes you a feminist. I cringe when I see a woman saying she has “power” over a man cause she’s wearing heels, or dancing on a pole in lingerie, or getting money for sex. Same goes for cheating. That’s not power. These guys do not respect you.

          • One of my younger sister’s former friends and apartment mates liked to have affairs with married men. My sister was disgusted with her.

            This woman fancied that all the men–EVERY man–wanted to get into her pants. My sister found out that she was carrying on an affair with a man who was not only married, but had 4 young children. My sister confronted this woman, asking her how she could destroy not just that man’s life, but the lives of his unsuspecting wife and their young children.

            The woman’s answer? “He could have said ‘No.'”

            This was unacceptable to my sister, who found another apartment mate as soon as her lease was up.

      • I am not sure if there is a double standard but more of conflicted loyalties and unknowns.

        My x-wifes best friend (of over 20 years) when confronted about what my X did simply said she would not do anything because they are best friends and she will continue to support her. She never grasp the concept that what she is telling everyone around her is that she is ok with someone committing adultery and then lying through the teeth about it to the point of trying to put their spouse in jail for crimes they never committed.

        I still remember her best friend on the witness stand. She was suppose to lie under oath for my X but instead chickened out on the stand and told the truth but tried to dance around it as best she could without saying full out lies.

        So in short, some people just wont get it till it happens to them.

        • It’s true–cheaters lie to other people as well (gasp!). They also accuse us of lying. My X was miffed that some friends who swung my way refused to have dinner with him and his new GF (probably an AP). He told them that I was telling untrue things about him (stupid, because I showed these friends the physical evidence), and that HE should have divorced me years ago. He just made himself look stupid, but I know other friends have been swayed by his oh-so-smooth manipulation.

      • I had a friend who left her husband and two kids for her married boss. At first, I tried to stay her friend. I’d absorbed our culture’s crap ideas about infidelity — uncoupling, there’s always two (equally valid) sides to a story, cheating may be the result of deeper marital issues. And the biggest was, “Who am I to judge?”

        But ultimately I felt so uncomfortable around her that I couldn’t be her friend any longer.

        The Entitled One had no such qualms about his friends who traded in their long-time wives for younger women. He admired the hell out of their hip new lives of travel and adventure. So, yeah, if a person has shitty, shallow friends, that’s a huge red flag for me.

        • Yeah, what I got from “joint” friends was “we love and care about both of you and want the best for both of you”. In one sense, they know she had an affair, but they don’t know the egregious, abusive behaviors that illustrated her narcissism and her ability to treat her husband like absolute crap (not that cheating itself isn’t enough to illustrate this, but when you give close confidantes the sordid details, they start to understand the depth of abuse and lack of empathy. which is a whole other point as illustrated by Esther Perel’s “well, not THAT type of cheating” reply to chump lady a while back. as if somehow cheating isn’t that bad as long as you don’t do it in the marital bed, have sex with your spouse on the same day, or don’t neglect the family, or don’t get an STD or get anyone pregnant. as long as you are a responsible careful cheater, then you are just feeling alive and no harm no foul)

          • That’s part of what I don’t think some people understand. It is the mind fuck these people do on the chump. The lies the accusations…. make you feel like you are truly going crazy! On top of that they are playing with our health and lives. Sex in todays world is a dangerous act…. especially with these people who seem to think they have super powers and no STD can effect them…. Mine climbed into bed with a 26 year old she knew for 1 week no protection. Not even on birth control. Kept this up for 4 years. Boggles the mind….

      • Living in a loveless marriage is no justification to cheat. I told my now X husband 6 years before D’day that I wanted a divorce, confiding in friends who I trusted that I was sick of living in a loveless marriage. The friend laughed and walked away. My entire marriage I remained faithful only to learn 6 years later that my X had not. At which point I was still expected to remain faithful to the nob sucking waist of space.
        Is it wrong of me to want to send his new wife a condolence card ???

          • Worse. Just came face to face with her at my local shops, when I realised it was her I held her stare. All she could summon was a meek smile. No flash of triumph now I think about it that you would expect from a newlywed. They were married on Saturday but have postponed their honeymoon till May. Some fantasy of spending the month in rural France. I don’t care while they married I was on a night cruse on the Hudson taking in the Manhattan skyline, which was amazing for a chick who has never left Oz before.
            Sucks to be her.

    • Lothos, my Dad used to have a saying, “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you what you are.” It’s so true!

  • There’s that old saying:

    A man convinced against his will
    Is of the same opinion still.

    Or in this case, a woman–but it still applies.

  • Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is let them fail and pray that they survive. Some just don’t learn. Some take longer to learn than others. I hope your friend is the latter. I would be more concerned about your husband who has douches for friends. What does he think about all this?

  • Can’t help those who won’t help themselves but I agree, she needs a friend as abusers are isolating. Just keep it superficial, let her know you will be there for her when she works it out but don’t be there for all the venting if it’s making you nuts.

    On the other hand – Cheater McCheaterpants was very much there for his abusive friend as he was going through a divorce. He enabled his friends abusive attitude towards his wife and kids ( behaving worse to us as that was the example he saw) as well as hanging with him in bars at night when he didn’t want to go home. Of course I spackled like crazy that he was preventing the friend from going off the rails but now am pretty sure he loved the excuse to trawl for ho’s to flirt with.

    You might want to have a chat with your husband about his loyalty to his shitty friend.

    • Bianca really needs to rethink what is happening in her own marriage. That “friendship” with her friend’s husband is a red flag the size of something you tarp over a vehicle or the roof of your house. Any man with intact values would not be friends with somebody who is fundamentally at odds with his life partner’s values. Start questioning hubby on his stance about cheating and how he really feels about circumstances that could “cause” it. And question his condoning such disrespectful behaviour ie. would he appreciate somebody doing this to his sister or mother or daughter.
      I ignored that niggling little doubt when the x regaled me with the tales of his navy buddy who would have a girl in every port as well as his pretty little wife all loving and loyal waiting at home. Buddy would regularly go barhopping on returning to home port before actually entering his marital home. Apparently pulled a few one nighters or BJs in the club’s parking lot before going home to the wife and kids. He loved to make fun of the little wifey all trusting and faithful.
      Guess who the POS was actually talking about. I was the butt of all his joking tales about his “buddy”. Makes me cringe to remember going to navy parties with his friends and their spouses all knowing I was so bloody stupid. And he managed to hide it until half way through the mediation for divorce.
      Your friend has her own stuff to work through. The RIC gives some of false hope that if we soldier on through issues we can build up and maintain our marriage/life/identity as we always thought it was. She’s stuck in the losing her identity phase and is hanging on to maintain that facade of happy marriage and happy family. She just hasn’t realized the marriage and the husband were never what she thought they were. Once she realizes that she being placed in a position with no self worth she might get angry enough to dump his ass.

      • Well the Cheater used to tell me tales about his boss screwing around with someone, then telling me how she would try to boss him around because she knew he knew. It never smelled right and I once saw her following him around outside at work, he looked towards where I was waiting for him in the car very briefly and then they went inside. It was a milisecond but my gut churned. My youngest was a newborn.

        Fast forward 10 years. Now that I know who he really is I look back on that time and fully believe he was fooling around with her and his boss probably found out. Wouldn’t put it past him to create the whole story so that if the boss told me he could say that he was lying to cover his own ass. He used to bitch about that girl endlessly.

        The depth of the lies, the half truths and the twisted stories and humiliation are truly diabolical.

  • Bianca, I can understand how frustrating it must be to see your friend putting up with such disrespect from her husband, but try and hang in there and continue to be her friend. She is probably putting on a brave front, whilst experiencing incredible turmoil within. I imagine it must be quite confusing to have you encouraging her to see her husband for who he truly is, while your husband remains one of the cheater’s best friends.

    • I agree with this advice. I am glad my friends stuck through those times with me. I suppose I could debate if tough love would have been more effective, but I am glad they stayed the course and were there to support me. At the same time, I tried to avoid being a broken record, so I only “asked” for support occasionally or when they brought it up.

      But they knew I was unhappy and suffering, and they wanted the old me back, but they were patient with my path.

  • We have to make our own mistakes and live with the consequences. I would go after my husband being good friends with a guy like that but we cant make others act or think right. I would also delagate a friend who cheats to a non friend. The letter writer can be supportive but nothing she can do. I hope her friend realizes self worth and throws his ass out. Its really sad to eat shit sandwiches. Ought to be a law. Sigh.

  • Regarding the letter writer’s husband … I definitely think she needs to start thinking a bit more carefully about her own husband. Warning: off topic inserted here! Some years back, the movie Sideways came out about two middle aged men having a buddy trip before one gets married. The one about to be married has a quick fling and the other friend feels uncomfortable about how badly the object of that fling is being treated so he lets her know what is going on. The piece of shit guy gets his jaw busted by the fling victim. My comment while watching the movie with my cheater was that he definitely deserved it but my husband was disgusted at the other guy for ratting out his friend. VERY TELLING!!!! Pay attention to such obvious windows into the character of others. Sorry to hijack.

    • Reminds me of a scenario 2 years ago. So Judas is picking a fight with me before he leaves for Las Vegas (he started picking fights – looking back, I’m sure it was to justify any shit that went on in Whore Vegas). So anyway he is telling me this single friend of his, Corey, had a fling with a woman here in town whose husband was dying of cancer. I looked at Judas and said something along the lines of “I really liked Corey, but I have zero respect for him now.” Judas then turns evil and makes a statement saying that SHE is the one who is married! SHE is the whore! I said ya, but Corey KNEW she was married. Anyway – to be honest Judas never gets his stories straight or makes shit up along the way, so I do not know whether that is true or not (I’m thinking not). But just the attitude trying to justify his single friend fucking a married woman – She was in the wrong because she was married, but because he was single, it was ok. What a dipshit.

  • If your friend is reading the chump lady on the regular it may be the first step. You can’t be hit upside the head every day without some of it sinking in eventually. I read for 8 months before I went into action. It was another 4 months before I moved out. Apparently I’m a slow learner!

    Just be there for her but back out of any conversations that lead to him. Hopefully, like me she will get there eventually. If she hasn’t done so already I would tell her to pay close attention to the “tell me how you’re mighty” articles. It reinforces that that there is a much better life out there post cheater!

    God speed.

  • I would be more concerned about your spouse. In my experience the friends who were aware of my Ex’s affair were the ones who sat on the fence and or covered for him. They were also friends who had loose behavior of their own and my Ex covered for them. Ask your spouse some pointed questions about his friendship with this man. Ask your spouse what he values about this fellow. And ask him if he knew. I think you will be surprised.
    I would also stop talking to your spouse about your friend, that is if you do. Anything you say about her is going strait back to her husband. You are helping feeds this fucks ego.
    Ask some questions.

    • Yup. Every one of my ex husbands friends who kept him as a friend has turned out to be a cheater too. Shit hangs with shit.

      • Same story with mine Tallula, they were all covering for each other. “Bird’s of the same feather flock together”.

      • Same here. Boys night out, club nights out, guys trips, friends’ birthdays, football games all cover-ups.

        • Yep. same here too — “XYZ is having a hard time with his wife…” which would result in him being out all night and NO real answers/explanations the next day…”hanging out at ______’s house…” “…so-and-so died and such-as-such is have a wake/bonfire at his house..”

          Yeah, always ended up him being in NO contact all night, wouldn’t come back until the next morning, and always broke…

  • There was a song around 2012 called “Somebody That I Used to Know”. I’ve never put too much thought into lyrics; but the summer that song was popular, some of the lyrics in that song really struck a chord, and sent me down the road to end the shitty situation I was in.

    One of the lines is: “You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness”. This is very, very true. One can develop a comfort in “what is” – whether is it a good, or bad situation. Change is hard – it is harder actually to MAKE a change, rather than have to accept one. It sounds like your friend is addicted to her sadness and just wants to vent without doing the work – because it’s actually too comfortable, versus the alternative.

    Definitely agree with CL. Gently remind her that she has a choice – let’s move onto another subject.

    • Ugh onthehill…I HATED that song for the same reasons…

      I still can’t listen to it without bad memories surfacing. So painful.

        • That’s interesting to me that the song is so hurtful to you all. I had already given Mr. Cheaterpants the heave ho before that song came out, and found it very empowering. I love some of the lines the guy sings. He’s all butt-hurt and it makes me happy.

          “But you didn’t have to cut me off…
          But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough…
          Have your friends collect your records and then change your number…”

          By the time the song was released I was treating my ex-husband like a stranger. I had quit taking his phone calls and he was almost completely out of my life. I know he wanted to have one of those friendly divorces, and I suspect he’s still angry about how I cut him off. The song makes me smile.

          • It’s all in the timing, I guess. Plus mine was one of those who walked away and never looked back, so I didn’t really have a chance to cut him off. I didn’t get that satisfaction.

            • Fifi, I wonder did you suffer more because he abandoned or does one suffer more when they linger and keep wounds open. But even though I got addional hurt after during the trying to get me back crapolla I at least got to yell, scream kick and cry with and at him.

              • Hey, JackiesDone, I hear it’s better if they don’t try to come back and that makes sense to me. But I’ve had such a hard time letting go, and maybe it’s because I didn’t get to have my say, except in phantom conversations that exist only in my head. To have any chance of a happy life, I’ve got to jettison that baggage. I don’t know why it’s so difficult. But your pain, with him stil hanging on, that does sound worse because the path ahead is littered with him and his shit. I wish us both luck.

          • Me too Elizabeth. Song was popular right before I pulled the trigger to divorce ex after 3 years of wreckonciliation. He loved that song and he also thought we would have one of those friendly conscious uncoupling type divorces. That was my doing because I led him to believe that until we went to court. Then I cut him off without warning. Blocked him on every venue except email.

            Every time I hear the sad sausage dude whining I laugh and turn the volume up higher. He is officially now just someone that I used to know and I’m proud of that!

          • I love your perspective on it Elizabeth 😀 It triggered me cause I was right in the middle of the hell and I couldn’t imagine thinking of satan as just someone I used to know…now notsamuch! So…yeah! I’m gonna listen to it again with FREE FROM satan ears 😀 Thank you!

  • I forgot to say something about the writer’s husband. There’s an old saying: “You are known by the company you keep”. Although the husband may not be a cheater himself … I would be concerned about what he found morally acceptable.

    I agree with Clip – a sit down here would be a wise thing.

  • Bianca – I was your friend at one time too. I recall when I first found out about his little fuck phone, I left for 2 weeks then went back home. A good friend encouraged me to leave/divorce the entitled pos. I remember telling her “But I’ve invested 23 years with this guy – this is all I know!” So I gave him a chance, but no remorse. I left again for 6 months and he asked me to come home. I stayed for 14 months and once again, never was there any remorse. he got rid of the fuck phone, but just went out and bought himself an iphone in which he just locked all the time, had on vibrate, turned upside down, NEVER left his side – it was pathetic what I was witnessing. I was finally done. I did not deserve to be treated like that! I left May 1st last year and I know I repeat myself to my friends. They are SOOO wonderful listening to me and helping me get through this. BUT they have always been there for me regardless of how stupid my decisions were. Of course now they are encouraging me to continue and praise me for getting rid of Judas.
    All I can say is she needs a friend and support. BUT she has to be the one to realize she deserves better. Continue to encourage her to leave the jackass and point out the shit she is putting up with.

  • “This relationship is not bringing out your best self.” I completely agree with CL that the gentlest thing is to remain her friend and redirect conversations elsewhere when she wants to talk about how hard the path to recovery/reconciliation is.

    Her former therapist was too forward, but that does not mean that your friend should not seek another therapist for IC specifically for infidelity trauma therapy.

    Bianca, can you help your friend find a trauma IC so she can focus on defining her own needs and build her self-esteem? From there, she can gain a broader perspective and demand more respect from all her relationships, including staying or leaving her husband from a place of higher self-respect.

    • Interesting enough – “This relationship is not bringing out your best self” was told to my cheating wife from her enabling charlatan girlfriend.

      Mind you, I was a loving husband and father. That was the narrative they concocted in order to justify her cheating and deceit. Quite a hoax in retrospect. I still get a good chuckle about the idiocy.

      • Indeed SureChumptedAlot, there are very different definitions of “your best self.”

        To Chumps, “best self” means remaining at high levels of integrity, transparency and respect for others and ourselves.

        To cluster Bs and enablers, “best self” becomes putting my happiness and desires and needs first and seeing “unconditional love” as the acceptance I expect of others to make all the needed concessions to put my desires and needs first especially when they conflict with their needs and desires.

        Cue to stop untangling the skein :)…

      • Yeah, this is a BIG pet peeve of mine: much of the advice and actions that are useful to and recommended for victims is also celebrated by narcissists on their “selfless path of procuring entitled true love!”

        Journaling, individual counseling, yoga, meditation, spirituality, massage, exercise, reading books about vulnerability by Brene Brown, reading Pema Chodron or Eckhart Tollle, this or that Ted Talk, studying Radical Acceptance, etc etc etc.

        narcs use all of this to justify their affairs and to justify lack of guilt and lack of empathy, and to just think they are better than you

  • Hi Bianca, I’m so sorry for what you are going through! Your situation brings to mind how my sister kept telling me “it is time to put an end to this,” but I just couldn’t do it! Hopium is such a powerful drug, it’s incredibly addictive. At the time my sister was begging me to leave his sorry ass, I was still hoping and praying that he’d come to his senses. I was terrified of facing my future alone. I’d say your friend is so afraid of being alone that she’s willing to accept abuse rather than face the big, empty hole inside herself.

    A friend of mine went through something similar to your friend. She got to the point that she attempted suicide twice. She would go on and on about how horrible her ex was, but she couldn’t seem to stop calling him, or looking at what he was up to on social media. Everyone told her she needed to go no contact, but she wouldn’t. Eventually when she’d call with her latest crisis I’d just repeat, “I’m so sorry, I don’t know how to help you any more. I hope you can find a good counselor.” Some of her other friends did the same, eventually forcing her to stop looking to others for help. She had to learn to start helping herself. Luckily, my friend eventually found a good counselor and did the hard work of turning her life around.

    It’s very hard to watch someone struggle, but you also need to protect yourself. She will eventually hit rock bottom, and then hopefully she will turn her life around. It’s very similar to watching an addict struggle with breaking their addiction.

    • You know I think another part of the acceptance is realizing that probably – your cheater (general you) doesn’t really care about you (the Chump). I think it is a super harsh reality to embrace. Like this person who you believed loved you and wanted you by his side actually sees you as inconsequential at best and actual annoyance at worst. It’s a huge blow to the self-esteem. I said to a friend when I told her I filed “It will be fine. He doesn’t care about me. I’m the wife appliance that he hopes just keeps chugging along and is resentful if he has to do any maintenance.” This a good friend who is 100% Team CAGal, and she actually got a little sad and said “Oh, that’s not true.” I said “yes, yes it is. He does not care about me at all. He acts like he cares, but he doesn’t.” It took me 3+ years since I first started having to say “I think we need some better boundaries with Ho-Worker” and nearly 2 years and multiple D-days to get there. And we have never actually moved apart (though I am in the guest room) or stopped acting operating like married people. I can see where 18 months in, going through the struggle of a separation, but not yet actually understanding that He does not give a fuck about you… it would take some time to get there.

      I filed at the courthouse on Friday and he gets served tonight. Wish me luck.

  • Have you considered the possibility that maybe your friend actually enjoys her situation?

    Yeah, she might complain about her husband a lot or dislike what he does in principle, but she might be on of the many people out there who like being part of a soap opera and get emotional highs off the constant highs and lows of their relationships.

    I agree with Chump Lady that your biggest beef isn’t with your friend, it should be with your husband.

    • “…many people out there … like being part of a soap opera and get emotional highs off the constant highs and lows of their relationships.”. This is a proper remark, Lulu, and I don’t remember reading it anywhere. Indeed, they manufacture chaos, and turn a quiet life into a cheap soap opera. Adrenaline is there.

      Other people (like me) can’t stand the drama, find it destructive, and just want the peace back.

      • Never read it anywhere, just an observation.

        I’ve known a lot of people (including my ex) who revel in toxic relationship dynamics and just eat up all the attention they get from sympathetic loved ones.

        A shit sandwich to one chump might be cake to another.

      • I’ve realized that there is a specific type of narc, one type of covert narcissism, that LOVES that drama and mostly LOVES to be the victim. They may not look narky in the classic. ‘I’m so wonderful’ ways, but in the end, everything is about them, they use their poor sausage-hood to draw in kind-hearted people, and they DO feel entitled to keep making bad decisions and whining about the results, as well as feeling entitled to extra layers of help and support from others.

        Now, how do you tell a reasonable person who is currently unhappy, living some truly dramatic things, and who needs support, from someone who is a covert poor-sausage narcissist?

        The same ways you figure out any other narc; consistency of behaviour, lack of true reciprocity, and continued poor decision making without accepting that there will be well-earned consequences. And that on-going theme song ‘me, me, me, me ….’

        • Karen, you just described my Ex to a “T”! He’s exactly that kind of narc, and nothing in my first 18 years of life had prepared me to recognize it when I met him and fell in love in college. I think I definitely had some issues of my own, in retrospect, that drew me to his sad-sausage approach to life. I spent 25 years uplifting him, giving him a better life than he ever could have had on his own, and making him look like a normal human being to my family and our children and the rest of the world. But in the end his mask slipped, because it always does, and the narc cheater was revealed.

          Your observations about how to spot someone like this are very helpful and astute, and I am going to write them down and use them for future reference!

    • Yeah, she might complain about her husband a lot or dislike what he does in principle, but she might be on of the many people out there who like being part of a soap opera and get emotional highs off the constant highs and lows of their relationships.

      “…many people out there … like being part of a soap opera and get emotional highs off the constant highs and lows of their relationships.”. This is a proper remark, Lulu, and I don’t remember reading it anywhere. Indeed, they manufacture chaos, and turn a quiet life into a cheap soap opera. Adrenaline is there.

      Other people (like me) can’t stand the drama, find it destructive, and just want the peace back.

      Never read it anywhere, just an observation.

      >>>>>>>>I’ve known a lot of people (including my ex) who revel in toxic relationship dynamics and just eat up all the attention they get from sympathetic loved ones.<<<<<<>>>>A shit sandwich to one chump might be cake to another….Yes, and now it is calm, structured, sane, peaceful…. a boring bullet right to a narc heart.<<<>>>>>I’ve realized that there is a specific type of narc, one type of covert narcissism, that LOVES that drama and mostly LOVES to be the victim. They may not look narky in the classic. ‘I’m so wonderful’ ways, but in the end, everything is about them, they use their poor sausage-hood to draw in kind-hearted people, and they DO feel entitled to keep making bad decisions and whining about the results, as well as feeling entitled to extra layers of help and support from others.<<<<<
      ^^^^Yes, everything gets twisted up in his mind to make him out to be the victim and I'm just oh-s0-horrible for holding him accountable for his continuing actions, not just the past actions…

      Now, how do you tell a reasonable person who is currently unhappy, living some truly dramatic things, and who needs support, from someone who is a covert poor-sausage narcissist?

      The same ways you figure out any other narc; consistency of behavior, lack of true reciprocity, and continued poor decision making without accepting that there will be well-earned consequences. And that on-going theme song ‘me, me, me, me ….’ <<<<<<Truth right there.

      ALL of these comments apply to my ex- The Evil One and I can't thank you all enough for putting into words what I was feeling reading this post tonight!!!

  • Hey Bianca,

    You did what a friend should do. Now she has taken him back!

    You job is done.

    My advice is sit back an wait. Your friend will wake up and see the light and understand you did try to help. She will say thank you in about 6 to 9 months. Cheaters do not change!!!

    I did this with my sister. Told my family she made the decision to take him back. I said let it be. Sure enough she left the cheater 7 months later.

    She told me that she saw it more and more till she hated him….

  • I had/have a dear friend that was there for me thru the while shitshow. She was pointing out to me that shit was not ok the whole time I was going on about how coooompliiiicaaaated everything was. Once I did get my head on straight, and that just takes its own time, I just thank her every chance I get for being so constant and steady for me. True friends will be with you thru the worst. That being said, Bianca, you don’t have to untangle the skein with her, or tell her that what she’s putting up with is OK. Be that steady voice of reason and reality, point her to an IC, and like CL said remind her that she has a choice.
    Also have a talk with your husband about his choices.

    • It’s funny because I have sort of come around to the reality of my situation and started being brutal honest with people, they have been very nice and said things like “well it’s tough, this stuff is complicated.”

      6 months ago I would have said “Oh yes, I understand why there is the it’s complicated button on FB right now.” … but then one day I was like “gosh, you know it’s really not. He’s a lying liar who lies and I don’t want that in a partner. So Imma get divorced. That’s pretty simple actually.”

    • Bianca, I was your friend for about 6 months…the first 6 months of agony at satan’s hands I really didn’t know what I was dealing with…brain tumor?…possession? Then I saw his super secret cell phone and…6 months later – after much ramped up abuse from him – my youngest son came to me and told me I could come with him under my own power or he would carry me over his shoulder…either way, up to me. He told me I needed to divorce dad. I filed the next Friday morning with my son at my side. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I struggled with the second guessing myself for the next 3 years, but I made it through. I was a burden on all my loving friends and family the whole time. Thankfully they hung with me and put up with me. Just be there for your friend without stressing yourself out so much.

        • SureChumped he is an amazing man, yes. Both of my sons are despite the insanity we have been through. I am truly Blessed 😀

        • I swear Blue I am constantly amazed at how alike they all are. I know Chump Lady jokes about cheater manuals being produced by evil elves under cabbage leaves or something like that but WOW huh! They must be like Borgs or something…one mind! Just WOW! I’m sure the insanity is just to keep us off balance till they can decide what they really want…us, the ow, both of us, all of us…assholes…but SERIOUSLY how in the world do they all decide to do the same things!!! satan is only original with the meowing but…all in all he behaved exactly like all of our cheaters. Wow. …evil bastards…

      • The revelations of my ex’s double life were revealed over two horrible days and nights, 4 years ago. Our older two children were in college/law school and so thankfully not present for the drama. But our youngest, a then-12 year old son, was still home. Halfway through the debacle, I went to his room to check on him, sure he could heard the arguing, accusations and sobbing.

        And I’ll never forget what he said: “Go ahead Mom, get a divorce, I want you to.” He is now a wonderful, happy and healthy 16 year old who has not seen his father once since that day.

        Best. Advice. Ever.

        • Awesome young man Kelly. God Bless his heart. We are so Blessed to have such so much love and care. I don’t know where I would be right now without my son putting his foot down on the abuse. I was in such a bad place and couldn’t think coherently, thank goodness my son could see the reality of the situation since I couldn’t. I’m so glad your son was there for you too!

        • The kids tell you true, at times.

          When my sister tried to soft-pedal what my X was doing, starting out with “Uncle X is not in his right mind, and has a girlfriend,” my then 10-year-old niece would have none of it. “Aunt kb should divorce him!”

        • Hi Bianca, and thanks for touching base!

          I agree with CL. There’s not a lot you can do for your friend other than to let her know you’re there for her. If she’s with an emotionally abusive asshole, she’s probably been isolated from her former social network, and feels that her cheater is the only one who’ll love her. Plus, she has major sunk costs. If and when she works out for herself that she deserves better, the best you can do is be there for support.

          Perhaps gently encourage her to seek individual counseling. Talking with a therapist could help her discover just how controlling her husband really is.

          With respect to your own husband, that’s a tough one. I have seen college students refuse to acknowledge that someone they knew raped a woman. They spackle, saying that he “took advantage” of the victim. They can’t bring themselves to admit that this was rape.

          I don’t think there’s anything you can do about your husband’s attitude, either. He has to figure things out on his own. Maybe you can help him connect the mental dots–and perhaps help him understand that his friend’s mention of suicidal thoughts and depression are there to gain attention. Your husband pities his friend instead of seeing him as emotionally manipulative. I don’t think you can do anything save note the inconsistencies between what the friend says and what the friend does.

          Perhaps if your husband finds his friend emotionally tiring to be around for long, the two of you could have limited interaction with Mr. Cheater and Ms. Chump.

  • One thing that hit home for me here is her husband being friends with this cheater. You know the saying “You are who you friends are.” Wanna know who someone is? Look at their friends. Maybe she does need to stop looking in their window and clean her own house here a bit. Her friend is a Chump and her husband’s friend is a Cheater. I would want to be sure that my husband and I are on same page with this and as a pair go up against these two friends and the sad choices they are making.

  • Once upon a time, a long, long time ago . . .

    Five girls attended a small college, and became very close friends. Even though we were very different girls, from very different backgrounds, and we moved around after graduation, we stayed in touch and kept up with each other. We would show up for life events. Three of the five married, early. Two of those divorced, and later remarried. The third probably should have divorced, but hung on and dealt with hubby’s alcoholism and depression. We all supported one another. Of the two single friends, one was fairly happy being single, and although some of her dating choices were questionable, she did not marry until very late in life. The other constantly looked for a husband from the time she arrived at college, dating one unacceptable man after another, always hoping he would be “The One.” Finally she found a man willing to marry her, at age 34. He was awful. She said “Love will change him.” The rest of us cringed. We actually begged her not to marry him. She said “If I don’t marry him, I may never find another!” The rest of us cringed. We pleaded with her, on her wedding day, to please leave the church with us and flee — get away from this man and the future he will provide. She wanted to walk down the isle and be Bride for a Day!

    Needless to say, her life was a living hell. She constantly called her group of friends to listen to her tale of woe, and we did. We offered consistent advice: get out, save yourself. She would not consider that, she did not want “to fail.” Finally, we could stand it no more. As much as we loved her, and as much as we were willing to help her DO SOMETHING, we were not going to listen to woe anymore. So we told her, we will talk about anything else, but not him. If you want to talk about him, see a therapist.

    She was outraged. She felt betrayed and abandoned. Where were her friends when she needed them?
    We told her we loved her, but we stuck to our decree — no talk of or about him. She finally sought out a counselor. Strangely, the counselor advised her to get out and save herself. It took her two more years, but finally she did leave. We helped her move, consoled her through her divorce, kept her busy as she learned to be single again. She thought she was “doomed” to be divorced forevermore. Eventually she met another man (an improvement over her wasband, but not by much) and did remarry. She never really took the time to work on herself, or fix her picker, but she got luckier the second time around and found someone she could at least live a tolerable life with.

    The point is, you can love your friends, you can be supportive, you can offer advice. But they choose their own course of action. For some reason each of us here at Chump Nation made a choice we later deeply regretted. But we eventually figured it out, and we eventually chose to be happy and get out. Having good friends and family to love and support you and help you makes life easier, but you have to choose your own actions. You are the one who suffers if you stay aligned with a horrible person. Cheating is not the only crime that will dissolve a marriage. It may be the one that wakes you up to how unhappy you are and it may be the one that motivates you out the door. Our homage to the douchiest of the douchbags a few days ago show that most of us had plenty of reason to leave before the cheating became the issue. You cannot tell someone else what to do, but you have to realize that continuing to listen to someone who WILL NOT seek a solution is an act of futility. Draw your boundary to protect yourself, and do not waste your time. Your heartache for a friend will not stop the friend’s heartache. Refuse to listen to unproductive rants by those who are unwilling to help themselves. Tell them that is what a therapist is for. Maybe if they talk to a therapist they will finally move away from the horror. Maybe not. It is hard love, it can be seen as a bitch slap. It is necessary for you to maintain your peace of mind. It doesn’t mean you are not a good friend. It means that you recognize that you are not responsible for how another person chooses to live their life.

    No one lives happily ever after, life is hard. But some lives become worth living when you make good choices.
    THE END

    • Great post as always Portia. The longer I live and I am 64 now I do realise that, “no one lives happily ever after, life is hard. But some lives become worth living when you make good choices”. My life is now worth living even though it is still very hard and very lonely at times but no more than when I was married.

    • Great post, Portia. When people stop enabling the bad relationship by allowing their friend to vent the anger, frustration, humiliation and disappointment, then sometimes the friend has to find a way to deal with the powerful emotions that used to be processed through the venting.

      Here’s my own example of how that works. Years ago, I had a serious relationship with a divorced man who got along well with his XW as they raised their kids. She, however, was highly dissatisfied with life in general. One day she told me she was leaving her 2nd husband. I asked what her plans were about keeping the house, getting a job, etc. We went through the whole conversation with her brining up one obstacle after another and knocking down any reasonable suggestion. Finally, when I said her skills and education might allow her to get a job in a particular field, she said, “I can’t afford to work. It makes our taxes too high.” Then it hit me like a brick that she had no intention of leaving; she was just using me to vent her unhappiness. That was the last time I talked to her about her own life. After that, I kept conversation to small talk about the kids. Listening to people who are stuck in bad situations because they won’t change does them no good; it’s also very destructive of the “friendship” because the listener is being used; part of the frustration of dealing with these stuck people is that we feel simultaneously concerned about the friend’s and that after all the talk, nothing changes. And after enough venting situations, we come to suspect that we are being used to maintain that unhealthy situation.

      • LAJ, I am going through a situation at the moment of being used by someone I thought was a very good friend. However, she will not help herself. Yesterday after one of her many 2 hour long phones calls where she says the same thing over and over and I just listen and try to help her with what I have learned in my journey. Yesterday she had the cheek to tell me that if I keep on giving her my opinion which is stressing her out even more, she will have to stop talking to me. Well, she doesn’t have to bother about stopping talking to me because I won’t be taking her calls any more. 14 hours a week of her complaining about a situation that she won’t walk away from and she isn’t even married to the chap. She did tell me that the 20 years she has spent with him with no children has damaged her far more than my 46 years with my ex and my 2 children abandoning me. Now this is not a competition of who has suffered more as I have been trying to make her see she is better off leaving and she won’t. I am no longer going to sit at the end of a phone or drop everything for her. It is her call now but greed is playing a huge part in her staying in what is now her own created misery.

      • LAJA

        When I called the whore to pass the torch she asked me why I stayed with him so long. The Limited led her to believe it was because he supported me. Wow, hearing that from a worthless slunT was damaging. Unlike her I worked my entire life often working two jobs around my children’s lives.
        The real question is why did he stay with me while leading a double life. The truth is he had a great life and family he never appreciated and I forgave the asshole. I never knew him as he was a nice guy, pathological lying serial cheater, narcissist.
        He stayed with me to keep his image and I paid his income taxes for over 20 years. Once the exemptions went away he thought he’d be better off downsizing. As much as I struggle financially, he has had to pay the piper. Our accountant knew what he did and was pissed. Last tear he had to take out a loan on a credit card for a four year loan to pay his own taxes. Add to that his car died from all the travel to see the whore and he had to take out another loan for a car. She was driving a junky clunker and there’s yet another loan. Add this years taxes and since he left me he has gone into at least 35000 dollars of high interest debt. So staying and cheating benefited him for many years. This does not include the yearly vacations and their alcohol and drug habits. He’s meeting uo with his children and giving them 30.00 gift cards to the restaurant they ate at to pay the bill. What a fucking loser.
        On the other hand while I’m broke I’ve paid down most of my debt in 20 months and will be able to buy a home in the future.
        “I can’t get anywhere with you.” He’s eating the shit out of his parting words. Now he can blame the whore. Such devience catches uo with them.

    • Fantastic post.

      My friends, nor my Mother – who I adored, could talk me out dating and subsequently marrying and having a child with Mr. Sparkles.

      Nor could they make me leave after the first D-Day. BUT, they never left me and never stopped believing in me… that’s what friends do.

      But for sure, they now push me to remember the past… remember the actions… remember the bad… they won’t let me smoke hopium anymore than they’d let me shoot heroin.

      And, truly, because of your all here at CN and CL’s giving us a place to gather… I’m even more blessed.

      p.s. My current custody orders STANDS… thanks for the prayers!

  • Ahhhh the abstract memories, seems like yesterday.

    Just as Bianca’s friend, I also lowered my morals and integrity to just below pond scum foolishly engaging in an 18 month dance-a-thon. I just would NOT accept losing my wife and 3 kids over phuck-phones and “ILYBIANILWY”. Because her affair was so abrupt and her reasoning was just puerile, I was convinced that she would get out of the fog (more like smog).

    Some people, including myself, needed to PHYSICALLY SEE the debauchery in order to propel myself back into the life that I was once so grateful to have had. Well, I got to physically see it – it was very ugly – but I will admit, it validated everything! Because of that and from that point on – to this current day – my emotional recovery was more inline of a jet-stream into a cool breeze.

    • Its interesting your husband continues to remain friends with a man who cheats on his wife. I’m wondering who the cheater said he was with when he was picking up women? Married friends typically have something in common. Shift your focus to looking in your own back yard. I would distance myself from them as a couple given the circumstances.

  • I agree with everybody above; set YOUR limits on the conversations whining about her husband, be there for her and let her know you will always be there, and have a serious talk with your husband about his Switzerland reactions. Also encourage her to write about her experiences with her cheater, as it does help diminish chumpish over-optimisim.

    But please, also encourage your friend to WATCH HER BACK! Too many people here have had a ‘false reconciliation’ in which their cheating partner used that time to organize everyone’s lives in such a way that they gained advantage when it actually came time to divorce. Changes in the cheater’s job status and income, pushes for the chump to go back to school or to work or to change their work commitments and income. Purchase or sale of assets, hiding of assets. Cheater investing way more time into the kids than they ever did, in order to get a more favourable custody arrangement (and therefore less pay less child support), etc.

    This is why I’m a big fan of ‘divorce first, THEN try reconciliation if you feel you should’. Offer to go with your friend to talk to a lawyer if necessary, just to know how she can protect herself. Help her access or gather financial docs. Reassure her that she has not only the right to do these things, but the obligation, to protect herself and any kids they may have, and that if Cheater finds out and reacts badly, then she knows exactly what she’s dealing with – an asshole. Yeah, we know that already, but it may take her awhile to get it.

    • Absolutely right!! I had friends who didn’t agree with my wreckonciliation. He spent 4 years getting ready to discard me, lost half of our retirement savings in his business,lying about it,in fact lying about everything all the time. He didn’t work the last year so no spousal support. I wish I could turn back the clock, I would have listened to my friends and dumped his sorry cheating ass. The one thing he didn’t do was carry on cheating. He did everything else including abusing every way he could.

    • Yes: “This is why I’m a big fan of ‘divorce first, THEN try reconciliation if you feel you should’.”

      And for all the reasons you lay out. There is a short window for chumps to line up the ducks in the most favorable way, including having the energy and anger to push for the best settlement. If the cheater wants to reconcile, that should be apparent in the behavior during the divorce process.

  • I had a friend in a similar situation except she didn’t marry her abuser, she adopted him! As he grew up he started all the narc manipulation. He played the sad sausage to the nth degree. He was so traumatized, of course he couldn’t be expected to hold a steady job or go to school. He committed a serious crime that she bailed him out of, since she believed that he should never be held responsible for any of his actions. She is working 2 jobs at 66 to support his sorry ass while he sit and plays video games. She has walked away from almost all of her friends because they were critical of “junior”. She told me that I was jealous of him after I kept telling her that I was concerned for her after being friends for 30 years. She actually turned that concern into me being abusive to ” junior”. She even expected me to call her back so she could verbally abuse me over my concern for her being hurtful to him.

    Ahhh, no. Time to get off the crazy train. I was as done at that point.

    Bottom line, some people volunteer for destruction. I draw the line when they start ragging on me for not joining them in LA LA land.

    Only you can decide when it is time to bail or not bail. We can’t love anyone into health. Past a certain point all we are doing is enabling the craziness.

    • I have to wonder..if the kid is actually traumatized, couldn’t he make a case for a mental illness and try to get disability?

  • Bianca, I have no doubt you realise that things for your friend may get a lot worse before she wakes up to what’s happened to her — she may need you then.

    She’s doing a ‘Miss Havisham’, sadly. Roaming around in her decaying wedding gown long after her husband has gone — shutting out reality, shaping her world around the pain of what he did to her, normalising and accommodating it, allowing it to define her completely, because pain is at least a vestige of the relationship and something reliable to hang onto. I’d wager that most of us Havishammed at first — at least a little bit — until something brought us out from under that spell.

  • I had a cadre of friends that supported me thru the hell that was the end of my marriage…I tried not to dwell on my marriage problems with them; I was always careful to ask about their kids, their marriages, their parents. One woman who I had considered one of my closest friends (even though we lived in different cities) got all huffy with me during a phone conversation when I called to tell her that I had to move yet again (6 times in 25 years of marriage) and to give her my new address: She told me that my husband was a narcissist and that I should divorce him. Then she proceeded to drop me like a rock. It was shitty enough to be cheated on by CheaterP., to be emotionally abandoned by him, but then to be emotionally abandoned by a ‘friend’. I agree, with ChumpLady, tell your friend your opinion, and that at this juncture you won’t discuss her Cheater. My friends that had my back and did not judge me for the choices I made are worth their middle aged weight in gold. The false friend, well, its her loss.

  • Teh best advice you can give, whether she stays or leaves, is to improve herself ad find interests outside the sphere of her husband.

  • This post really hit home for many reasons. I was the chump, living with a lonely type of daily terror. I was the one afraid and doing the pick me dance with a vengeance after a 35 year marriage. I NEVER accepted or condoned his relationship with the OW but he lied to me about it and I continued to believe him. What was lucky for me was that I had/have the most wonderful best true friend who talked me through this (and continues to do that), who lived through the terror with me, who believed him up to a point when I still believed in him, and who finally advised me to throw in the towel, even when I didn’t want to. She and her husband had been our best friends so she also felt abandoned and lied to when the ‘nice guy’ they thought my husband was, turned into a dirt bag. All those hours she spent/spends, holding my hand, assuring me I would be fine, going over the finances with me because I was afraid I would lose my house, the times she went to the doctor with me and took care of me when I was sick (cancer)- all these things are things a husband/partner should provide, but I got it all from my best friend. Even now, ten months past the last D-day, I have dinner with her and her husband two or three times a week. She calls me every night to make sure I am okay. She talks to me when I am still grief sick. She has been a rock. My rock. My other friends have been supportive up to a point They, like Bianca, think I should be over it already when the truth is that I will never be entirely free of the decades long mindfuck. Life is a road and not everyone will make the journey with you. Those who do, like my best friend, are worth everything. I am still untangling the skein and she is right there beside me, helping me do it. Be patient with your friend, Bianca. She needs you. She already knows what you are telling her. She just can’t accept it yet.

    • Sounds like you have a wonderful gift of a friend! I hope she knows how much you appreciate her! I try to let my friends know how much I appreciate them, because I do! I even sent flowers to a freind right after shit hit the fan because she was so supportive. I sent them to her work and her co-workers thought she was a lesbian after that LOL! (She is single :-)) She said she had never received flowers from a friend before – in fact, never even received flowers from a bf before…..

  • Bianca, Please listen to CL on both counts. I don’t know what I would have done without my personal support system. It took me sitting down and finally asking myself, “What do YOU want from life?” Until that moment, he had all the control. I was horrified that this was happening to me after 27 years of marriage. I was only responding to things he did, said, or made me feel. When I asked myself that one question, I didn’t have an exact answer, but I took control back when I said, “Not to live like this for another year, much less 27 more.” I filed for divorce the exact day the mandatory six month wait was up.

    Most days I’m happy, but there are times, like sitting in my doctor’s office explaining to her why I need the full STD testing, that I leave depressed and I need my support. It’s important to know that they’re just a phone call away. I am so thankful to them for sticking with me through my bad decisions and for still being there when I made my hard decision to take back my control.

  • I suspect that this scenario — a chump sticking it out with a disordered person — is not only common, it’s the majority outcome. The disordered can be SO persuasive when they want to be, and are generally so skilled at the mindfuck and manipulation. Plus, chumps are often worn down and living in a fog after years of bullshit…. and let’s face it, many — if not most — chumps were preconditioned to accept bad treatment/disorder, so it doesn’t feel wrong or bad when it happens.

    At any rate, no one can convince someone to do something they don’t want to do. The friend will either eventually come to her senses and leave, or perhaps she will stick it out for the remainder of her days. If she’s the type who likes drama (no shortage of those people around), then the marriage will blow up, they’ll get back together, it will blow up, they will get back together…… on and on, while she complains endlessly because that gets her attention, pity and drama.

    Bianca has to decide whether she can tolerate hearing about this bullshit, or it’s just too much, in which case, she needs to walk away. But trying to open the eyes of her friend is just a waste of time. As it’s been said, the friend sees, she just disagrees.

  • I had the first thought that CL and many others here had–I hope you can closely examine the reasons why your husband is still friends with the cheater. In hindsight, this was one of the first major red flags I ignored.

    One of STBX’s closest friends, whose wife was a good friend of mine, cheated on her when she was pregnant with their first (and only) child. He lied to her about it throughout the pregnancy and she finally found solid evidence a few weeks after the baby was born and went into a deep depression.

    STBX remained friends with this man, even after he hired a “father’s rights” attorney and tried to get sole custody on the basis of his wife’s depression. As horrible as that situation was, it’s actually no worse than what your friend is going through, and I would be very concerned about why your husband chooses to remain friends with this man. It turns out mine did because, well, who was he to judge after all?

    This all happened many years ago, well before I discovered his cheating. But his enabling of this friend eventually became one of the red flags that helped wake me up. STBX not only continued to support this friend through the ugly and destructive custody battle that ensued, he also accepted his status as a victim of the “pro-mother” court system.

    When the man lost his job, STBX set him up with a new one. When he fell behind on the child support payments he was ordered to make after he lost his custody battle, STBX donated to the Go Fund Me page he set up, before it was taken down for being in violation of the rules (there’s $500 I’m never going to see again–you can’t make this shit up).

    I hope for your sake that your husband does not end up going to such lengths to support your friend’s cheater, but I wanted to lay out the progression that I witnessed in my own marriage so that you can be on the lookout for any other red flags that might appear down the road. But I agree with others that the simple fact of remaining friends with this man is one of them.

    Not to be all Debbie Downer on you! You deserve many kudos for hanging in there with your friend through such a traumatic situation and for being caring enough to try to help her and to seek out advice here. While I am grateful for the close friends who continued to listen to my tales of horror well after I should have left, I will say that one of the 2 by 4s that helped me get out was when my BFF finally threw her hands up and limited her responses to, basically, “Well what else is new? You just need to file and get out” and left the conversations about STBX there.

    She still listened, but she no longer fueled my impotent rage by joining in on the chorus of my righteous indignation. It did help me realize that there was nothing more to say or do other than to get the hell out of the marriage.

  • First, Bianca: What you can do is to refuse to socialize with your friend and your husband as a couple. Many people have pointed out that your husband’s friendship with this jackass points to a character problem with him. Now, I get it that if they have been friends since childhood or played ball together (etc.), your husband might be reluctant to just drop the friendship. But that doesn’t mean you should go along with all that. If you think your friend should leave this Cheaterpants, then show her how to set a boundary by setting one at home yourself. “No, we aren’t going to that party if Cheaterpants is going. I will not socialize with him as if he is a decent human being.” And when your friend asks, you can say “This guy is abusing you and I will not witness it, condone it, or be party to it.”

    Diane Rapaport, above, makes a great suggestion for your friend to focus on improving herself and her own life, outside the sphere of her husband. If your friend reads here, she knows one aspect of “improving ourselves” is “getting our ducks in a row.” All married people should do that as a matter of course, since cheating and divorce are not the only ways that we can be left alone; our partners can die or become disabled, and then we have to be prepared to take care of business. That means knowing your financial situation, having copies of all key records (financial, birth certificates, documents about the home, bank records and records of other financial investments, retirement, anything related to kids, etc.) That means insisting on regular financial meetings with the Cheaterpants H to discuss how money is used and where it is going. Your friend should talk to a lawyer and find our her financial rights and how to protect her own interests because there is an OW in the picture AND THE DECISION TO SEPARATE ONE DAY MIGHT BE HIS. Or the OW might turn up pregnant. Your friend should make sure that any wills are clear and made in her favor, entirely. She should run regular credit checks to make sure assets aren’t hidden. I don’t mean this as a “marriage police” activity, but rather that if she chooses to stay with the guy while he keeps a mistress, she needs to get real about her financial interests. Instead of focusing on the affair and the OW, in other words, or putting her head in a bucket of denial, she should focus on taking care of her own interests, legally and financially. And of course, she needs to see the doctor regularly for STD testing.

    You can encourage her to get fit, get strong, and get healthy because stress can kill you. You can encourage her to find out what makes her happy and invest in that. Go back to school, adopt a pet, take up photography. Imagine the happiest, healthiest version of herself and work on that–whether she stay or goes, she has to figure out what to do with her “one wild and precious life.” If she starts to take care of her self–her body, her finances, her need for activity that feeds mind and soul–she may value herself enough to make a change. That’s not doing to “pick-me” dance because her becoming stronger, more independent, and more confident will not necessarily be thrilling to the Cheater. But that will serve her well no matter what else she does.

    • Thank you, LAJ. This is great advice for everyone, even those of us that are post-divorce and trying to map out the next phase of our lives.

  • Like many others, I think Bianca should have a good look at her own husband. Is he hoping she’ll learn to accept her friend’s situation? Is he thinking he’d like a similar lifestyle?

    My dirtbag ex had a colleague, who had been his dissertation chair in grad school. One evening, Dirtbag bore bad news. His mentor “Bob” was leaving his wife of 30+ years to marry a student. A very young, very leggy, very blonde student. I was horrified, but I had a fleeting bit of insight. Dirtbag was jealous.

    Fast forward several years. Dirtbag evened the score with “Bob” by bagging himself his own too-young-for him student to marry while married himself. Keeping up with the Joneses is what some people feel compelled to do.

  • Bianca, you are a great friend. It is difficult to watch a friend’s constant self harming/self destructive behavior….sort of like watching an alcoholic do the same sh** over and over and over. Some of us are freakin’ slow learners and hopefully there is a rock bottom or eureka moment.

    In my case, everyone was very polite or went out of their way not to talk to me. No one was direct. No one pointedly said my EX was cheating, and/or he was being a real douche and that this was not fair to me. When EX eventually left saying “he needed time to think” — they still said nothing even though they knew that he had moved in with OW#2 .

    I have asked some of my friends why they said nothing to me. They said I looked fine to them/I looked like I was thriving/I didn’t look like a trainwreck so it wasn’t having any impact on me. And “you know what he’s like”. The truth is that my 20 year relationship had slowly taken its toll on me – so much so, I thought that maybe it was 60% bad and 40% good. In reality, it was more like 85% bad.

    In my case, OW#2 was the only person who was “honest” with me. While her ‘honesty’ was pure manipulation to get me to go nuclear — it worked.

    I have thought a lot about what someone could have said to me to open my eyes.

    My advice is to be direct but always kind. Also, be firm — like that concept of tough love.

    So, this means saying things like: “Do you believe that this is a healthy way to live?”, “I can’t watch you be abused in this way and if you want to make a change, I will be here for you”, “This really sucks but you tried your best but you know you can’t continue on like this”.

    • Also, it can be incredible difficult to acknowledge that you invested so much of your life with a fucktard. Uggh…I was married to a fucktard.

      • Yup. Being married to a Fucktard is a bad investment. Waiting for it to turn around and become profitable is even worse. Cutting one’s losses is hard, but necessary to start over on a more level playing field where the goalposts aren’t always moving. I think cheaters love to draw out the whole process so that by the time the depleted chump is ready to make a run for it, their friends and family will be nowhere to be found for support.

    • Scratch that. (Loaded question fail.)

      Let me give it another go.

      Bianca, has your husband stopped cheating on you?

  • Hi Bianca,
    Firstly, thanks for being a great friend. We here in Chump Nation have all had people that have helped us through the awfulness of being blindsided by being cheated on. I agree with you setting your boundaries but still being there for your friend. Make sure you talk to her about your life as well. I am grateful when people listen to me when I say I am over talking about my separation and chat about themselves.

    Bianca, I had my husband mocking work colleagues of his who were talking to overseas women on-line, only to discover his poorly written love letter to the Ukrainian scam artist on the spare bed. This only happened just over 9 weeks ago and I am so lucky because he didn’t want to reconcile and he is just about to move out. Please start investigating your husband. In the 9 weeks that I have had to investigate mine I have discovered how bad the financial infidelity has been. Before our separation he had spent over $7000 on credits for Anastasiadate.com, he had sent over $4000 to overseas scam artists via Moneygram (that I know of). Your husband may not be doing anything, but hanging around his mate and seeing his wife putting up with it is normalising this aberrant behaviour.

    I knew my husband was going through something, I knew we didn’t have as much money in the account as we should have, I thought he was having a little crisis and I would give him a year. Don’t do that. Dig now, I would have found out everything so much sooner if I had checked the history on the computer. He had joined multiple dating sites. Doesn’t look like he hooked up with anyone but getting STD tested after 17 years of being faithful is a slap in the teeth. I hope you have a good marriage with a man who is trying to be a good friend, just be the best friend to yourself first. Good luck.

  • Bianca,

    In all seriousness, you are in danger.

    Are you simply, “asking for a friend?”

    As a guy, I know that I cut cheaters out of my life like malignant cancer. Give your husband an ultimatum. You are actively contributing to your girlfriend’s demise. Your husband is feeding your information straight back to the Cheater.

    Lots of good experiences here. I’d recommend the tough love approach. How about you give your girlfriend an ultimatum too? Tell her unless she gets a post-nup and a lawyer you’re cutting her off? Then a month of no-contact with her if she refuses. If you husband won’t go along with the no-contact then you are in a pit of vipers.

    No-contact is the solution to so many of these problems. It can’t be explained. Only in practice and absence does the mind clear enough to see through this fog of cheating.

  • Bianca, after I separated from my husband of 20 years, I realized that he would have had to have a complete person-transplant in order for me to go back to him. One of the reasons included that all of his closest friends were douches. Liars, cheaters, womanizers, all of them. And I thought he was the good one. I told him several times that he needed to hang around friends that held his same values and upgrade his friends’ list. Ha-ha, joke was on me. He and his friends did hold the same values; they were all morally bankrupt. Do your own housecleaning and let your friend do hers.

    • Rachel, “and I thought he was the good one” That was exactly what I thought that the x was. He had a cadre of friends and bandmates that were all cheating scum. I thought that the x was a better man than that. Boy was I mistaken. Now looking back, I believe that the x was worse, he married me. At least the scummy friends never have married any one of the many, many SO’s that they have had through the years.

  • I too have a friend who is investing in her unicorn. She has three kids and no job skills to speak of. I get to hear how great everything is. They have tons of money and travel a lot. Then once every couple months I get the other her, the one who is sad and knows she needs to go back to school or get a job of some sort so when the time comes she can make it on her own. I promised to be there for her when she makes the decision to leave. I am confident it will happen one day, maybe when the kids are grown. It saddens me but we’ve been friends for nearly 40 years. I hate seeing her when she is sad about it but she knows I’ll be there when the day comes.

    • “When the kids are grown” is way too late for anyone to start thinking about the ability to be independent financially. Whether a person is male or female, there is never a guarantee that a spouse won’t get sick or die in an accident or just leave. There is never a guarantee that the business won’t close or that there won’t be another recession. And as we get older, our options for employment begin to close, even for people who have great educations and a strong resume. People who believe that “someone else” is going to work and pay the bills until the moment of their death are delusional. I’m of course speaking as someone who has supported myself since I was 17 and got my first summer job. Even if I married a millionaire, I wouldn’t give up my job or put myself in a position of dependency because the 1950s are over. Those who are fortunate enough to have high-earning partners should certainly enjoy all good things; however, I watched my cousin become widowed in her late 20s with three kids, one an infant. Her husband was not even 30 when he died. And I watched my SAHM trap herself in a marriage she said she hated because she had no skills or work experience and of course my father “didn’t want her to work.”

      If I had a daughter, I would drill this into her head: do not be financially dependent. A high-earning partner, at the very least, should be banking money into an account solely in the SAH spouse’s name for as long as the person is out of the work force.

      • Excellent advice, LAJ. Although my mom was insistent I got a degree so “I’d have something to fall back on,” it really wasn’t an option to be single or completely support myself. This set me up to marry someone who was very ambitious, and to drop my career aspirations in deference to his. Now I wish I’d stayed in school all those years ago and pursued a career of my own. When I see my daughter-in-laws, who make as much if not more than my sons, I can’t help but wonder how different the power balance will be in their marriages.

      • So true LAJ. As the poem goes “futures certainly do have a way of falling down mid flight.” While I understand how hard it can be to juggle being a mom and working a full time job, or how much money day care costs, I always tell the younger women that work with me to NEVER take their foot out of the work place. Work part time if you have to but work. Give all your money to day care and consider it an investment in your future.

        Fortunately my mom gave me this advice as soon as I could talk and it was advice I actually listened to. The future that falls down mid-flight doesn’t have to be divorce. It could be death or illness or whatever unforeseen life circumstances that pop up out of no where all the time. Hopefully that message is getting out there.

      • Yknow it’s funny, my mom always drilled that into me, be self-supporting, don’t ever rely on a man for money. I really internalized that, and made my life that way. But it somehow boomeranged on me and I ended up with a man who relied on me for money, and then started to resent me for that and then cheated on me and now here I am. Lol, at least I still can and do support myself. Wish my mom had added a little footnote to that good advice. Or rather, that I had been smart enough to realize that it can and should work both ways. Hmm, there’s that reciprocity thing again. Lots to learn!

        • arlo, that happened to me, too. I towed a few losers through life but that ended with Jackass. But I am so grateful that I had a strong life foundation so I could survive the betrayal without being homeless or bankrupt.

  • I think what’s more disturbing than the “pick me dance” is the achievement it’s seen as to the chump, at least in the beginning, anyway. I know my dumb ass thought I’d “won” the contest when I made him call at least three of his dozens of mistresses, although really, I just wanted to make him squirm and them panic over getting caught (since two of them have morality clauses in their employment contracts) and worry about whether or not I’d go “psycho” (aka what they call chumps in hopes it’ll embarrass them into keeping quiet) and tell their bosses.

    I gloated in my triumph; finally nailing them all to the wall. Really, though, it’s all cold comfort. In the end, the chump has still been chumped and the cheaters, along with their colluders, will move on and put it all behind them long before the chump has even caught their breath and can make it through the day without anxiety, nausea, panic and devastation. The icing on the cake is that they all generally have their stopwatches out, waiting to let you know when THEY say you should be over it. ???

    • Yep. Even much later, after my life got better, the infidelity still has long lasting effects. Some of the effects are actually positive and some are not. I may be stronger and more self sufficient now. I’ve gotten better at learning to lean on multiple people instead of becoming overly dependent on one human being. I learned about this thing called boundaries and I’m slowly learning how to stand up for myself. At the same time, I no longer get to be blissfully sheltered or naive. I’m not sure where realism turns into cynicism, but it is hard to not be skeptical of people’s words now. While, I like to think I’ve made some progress in the self-loathing department, I can still remember every harsh word my ex said. Sometimes, the words still sting. It has taken me a long time to get close to a friend. I have to stop myself from wondering if that person thinks I’m horrible to be around like my ex husband did. And it does not help my social awkwardness if I start thinking like that. I guess I would miss out on some of the positive things I’ve worked so hard for if I didn’t have to walk through the pain. Still, I think many of you can understand wishing the pain hadn’t happened.

  • Bianca,
    I was a bit like your friend too for a while chasing the unicorn in wreckonciliation (though certainly I wasn’t aware of the affair still continuing). One of the things that really made me see the truth was when a good friend and confidant of mine said they couldn’t talk to me about it anymore. One minute I was leaving my ex, the next I was staying and my friends were dealing with my wilding swinging emotions. I realised then how much I was leaning on them and that I needed to make a decision. I kicked the ex out and never looked back and all my friends were very relieved and supportive.
    So don’t be afraid to take a hard stance on this with her.
    Cheers,

  • What about when you have to see him at a family wedding and he is now “back in the family” after dropping a complete bomb in my Aunt’s and cousins’ lives? Do I have to talk to him? Everyone else has taken him back on facebook and the such, I think I am the only hold-out. I absolutely refuse to accept him but I know I will be admonished for not “supporting my aunt” – ICKKKK.

    Any words of advice CL?

    • No, you absolutely do not have to accept a cheater back into the fold. Your morals, your boundaries. Be prepared for family pressure, but hold firm to what you believe in.

  • A lot of us here were Bianca’s friend at some point for varying lengths of time. Just curious if anyone else began to have the experience of getting The Look from your friends. The one you get when you’re talking about wreckonciliation and how maybe you can work things out and how you’ve invested so much in this relationship and how you don’t want to destroy the kids’ lives and how maybe he’s (or she’s) really changed. And your friend gives you The Look. The one you know means, “Are you CRAZY? He’s an asshole and you’re talking about taking him back?! How many times do we have to go through this???” But they don’t say that because they want to be supportive and kind and maybe they’re afraid you’ll stop talking to them.

    That Look.

    I was laughing with one of my friends about how he gave me The Look during my brief wreckonciliation over the holidays. I’m going to go to all my friends who gave me The Look and tell them to straight up tell me not to be an idiot if I ever lose my mind again and agree to wreckonciliation.

    • There is something very liberating in that moment (or moments) where your friends realize that you are almost there and they drop the facade of trying to be fair or not alienate you by speaking poorly of the Cheater. I was hit with the 2×4 when I found out my STBX was telling his bar buddies that the only reason he hadn’t gotten rid of me was that he didn’t want to give me half. I was sitting there in a restaurant processing this and I sort of blurted out “I think I need to get divorced.” and my friends were like “Absolutely, you need to get divorced, or someone needs to move out or something. But this is not healthy and not fair to you.” Gone was the pretense of trying to be fair or caring about each of us. He sucks, you are awesome, GTFO. And yeah, once one says it, and you build up your confidence, each person you tell is like “Good for you, seems like it’s for the best.” Not a single person I have told has suggested I rethink or change my mind.

  • The wife isn’t ready to move on and she will do so on her own time. But her friend needs to not listen to any more of the craziness and disengage. Everyone is exactly where they want to be. When the wife finally gathers the courage to leave this dysfunctional marriage, then the friend can be there for her.

  • Thanks CL. This is a major source of conflict between me and my husband. He has been friends with cake eater for over 30 years – since their teens.. And cake eater has always been a respectable man (at least to outsiders). This affair flabbergasted all of us.

    • my husband believes the cheater needs support too as apparently he is cut up about it, depressed, suicidal. I don’t want my husband to loose one of his few close friends (for now!) But I won’t let this destroy my marriage.

      But what do we do now the couple is back together? We try to be there for both and visit them every now and then to see how things are going. We are part of an enormous group of mutual friends, mostly couples, we’ve all known each other for over 20 years.

      • Suicide threats are often used by the disordered because they know how seriously a rational person takes them. It’s another way for a cheater to manipulate the situation. Don’t let those threats determine your standards. The cheater is responsible for his own life, and neither you, your husband, nor your friend are responsible for saving him from himself.

        • Well said, AliRose!!!

          Cheaters will use whatever tactics they know will work to keep his fan-base going.

          If he was so tore up about it, then he should be doing whatever it takes to repair the damage he caused with his wife, not spinning both worlds around like he is.

          I am truly sorry for your friend, but in the end what ends up happening in her marriage is going to be up to her. I hope that when it does crash down around her, that she has strong, supportive friends to rally around her…all you can do is wait…

      • Thanks for responding. The group dynamic isn’t your responsibility, your husbands friend is responsible for those waves and nothing will be like it was, certainly not while he continues his behavior. He needs to man up. I’m not convinced he can be that “cut up about it” if he’s continuing the affair, it’s just sad sausage victim behavior now that he’s been caught and a delaying tactic to continue the affair.
        Your husband and all of your friends need to realize that actions are everything. Your friend is a major cake eater and your group is enabling it by refusing to hand out consequences.

      • He’s holding your entire group- including your husband- emotionally hostage by talking suicide while also fucking someone under his wife’s nose? And you all pander to him? Because his poor feelers are so damn hurt? Sit down and listen close; the whole group needs a full on A&E intervention. He’s using you all for kibbles? No wonder this woman has no f-Ing clue that she’s worth more and will be alright without him. No one around her is acting like he is amoebic waste, the way his behaviour deserves. Big group of friends? A whole bunch of enablers if no one starts the “I can’t deal with you because of the abuse you dole out on your wife”. Not friends. Reconciliation bullies. Eek. Bianca. You’re her only hope

        • My ex-cheater also threatened suicide – to me. I called him out on what he did and wrote him a letter giving him an ultimatum. His letter back was whiny and it mentioned “I’ve been thinking a lot about killing myself lately.” He also tried to say that he hoped we would be friends if it didn’t work out. I said “If we get divorced, I never want to see you again.” To which he replied, “Well, I might as well just kill myself then…” This was after he told me every word out of my mouth was annoying, I was no fun, he kept leaving the house just to get away from me, I wasn’t normal, etc. If he feels this way, I don’t even understand why he wants to be friends, but the manipulative suicide threats are just sickening at that point.

      • in summary : You’re frustrated with your friend for not taking advise. You have gotten tons of very good advise – and are not taking. You see how this goes?

        I say examine what you’d tolerate. Would it be okay for him to continue the friendship if the guy was a pedo? A wife beater? A thief?- Is cheating a minor thing of a major thing?

  • There are some people out there that have been cheated on and just choose to stay. I don’t necessarily think that they are chumps anymore after such a long time and such a vigorous defense of their cheater and the lives that they lead. I have a friend whose husband had a “one night stand” (jury is still out on that one in my opinion) and ended up having a baby with that woman. My friend found out about that baby around 5 or 6 years later, she has never shared how she found out, but my friend will not “lose” her husband so she proceeds to get pregnant on purpose. She has always been religious, so when she ends up having a son, the affair baby was a boy, she takes this as some kind of sign from God that she should keep what is “hers”, aka her cheater husband. In the following years, they have been married for 35 years, there have been many, many instances of extremely shady behavior by her husband. Plus she has been told on more than one occasion about his cheating by her own cousins, and her response to that is to eliminate these cousins from her life. She believes the most ridiculous stories and why she tells us about them is beyond me. We, at work, would not know any details of their life except what she chooses to tell us because we do not socialize outside of work. She is adamant that “keeping her marriage at all costs” and “forgiving” are the most important things in her religious life. Her own sister cannot tell her anything contrary to her relationship, because her sister and family just “don’t like him”. Funny thing is, is that we are of the same religion, and I sure as hell don’t see how enabling evil is going to look good to God on judgement day, intact marriage or not!!!!

  • Remember there is a saying: “We can see faces but not the heart” she might be still in one of those stages that CL mentioned, fog , opium wreckociliation. she might be in my situation where A$$man control all finances and she is afraid since there is no money. I am holding as well because he isolated us and got control of all the finances. I am “getting my stuff together” I feel mighty since I found a good job. Mr cheaters pants is so involved in his ? that doesn’t realize what I am doing saving $ for a lawyer. In a year and a half I already got $3,000 and I am making copies etc. I keep reading CL and everything is clicking I am less afraid and I know she might do something @ some point. sHe will explode one day and will kick his ass. I am dreaming of my day. iF she is reading tell her to start taking the “chill” pill and make copies of all the tax returns, banks accounts and offer her a place to hide it, but do not tell your husband with all respect he might be a double agent. ?

    • Good for you! It is indeed mighty not just to have found a good job and saved a good bit of money, but to face your fears and line up your ducks so that no matter what happens, you have options.

  • This shit takes time, basically, before the head and the heart are in alignment. I’m sure the friend knows somewhere deep down inside that she’s in a crap situation but she’s hanging on in hopes that it really isn’t true. He’ll do that one thing that will send her over the edge and hopefully someone will be there to catch her fall. It’s going to be epically ugly.

  • Your friend is definitely fucked up. I don’t really know what’s best for you to do. Your husband being such good friends with the cheater makes it look like you are in Switzerland to others. Personally, I think this situation is dangerous to your own marriage in a lot of different ways. I wouldn’t listen to the stories about the cheater any more and cut my contact way back.

  • I told my friends and family to pick — Me or cheater! None of this, we love you both” crap. If they picked him then stay the hell away from me NC ever. My 3 kids, (young adults) I told them the truth about their dad and said you need to decide what kind of relationship you want with him and me. WE are not US anymore and he didi 100% of the death of 31 years. No friendship here, cheaters do NOT change, and people who remain on the fence aren’t worth it. That means they condone the cheaters character.

  • I can sympathize with your friend. I really struggled with accepting the harsh light of reality at first. I knew I was probably going to be okay financially, had no kids and had only been married a few years. It was still really difficult! I felt so mindfucked and believed all the reconciliation industrial complex’s crap. I can only imagine what she is going through after 20 years. If it was me in the position of being a new chump’s friend, I would probably be really frustrated too. I don’t think I would abandon her. I know how badly you need friends when your spouse is hurting you like this. Plus, cheaters can be very emotionally abusive and abusers isolate. She needs someone who will be there for her. I might ask her if she’d like a hug, if there is anything I could do to help her. I would ask her to please call on me if she needs a friend. I don’t know that there is any point in bringing up cheaterpants to her, but at least staying a friend gives her someone to reach out to in her pain.

  • Yes. And definitely start a financial plan as well. In my situation, I used online banking. I opened up my own checking and savings accounts and started putting some money in there. One night I gave my ex an ultimatum. I realized I was never going to get anywhere with that. He was still trying to fuck with me. After he fell asleep, I took his wallet into the other room, took out the joint credit card and cut it the hell up. Then, I called the credit card company and canceled that account. Then, I went online and transferred some of the joint savings into my own personal account so we each had half. Of course, I changed the password. Within the next couple of days, I got a cashiers check and transferred some of the money from that bank to a new account at a different bank that he didn’t know about, just in case he was able to hack the password. By the time little Mr. Sunshine figured it out, my financial plan was already executed. Go me!!!

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