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Affair Enablers

enablerDear Chump Lady,

How about a post on enablers, i.e., people who assist cheaters in their pursuit of The Most Magical Romance the Universe Has Ever Known?

First off, there are the enablers who help the affair along. They might be people who fan the flames, encouraging someone else to violate his or her marriage vows in the name of romance, getting a second piece of ass, or whatever vicarious stupid shit floats their boats. They might be part of the Undercover Adultery Assistance Squad, helping cheaters to cover up their tracks and deceive their unsuspecting spouses?

Then, there are the assholes and sundry other useful idiots who enable cheaters to avoid any kind of moral self-reflection once they’ve been discovered. There are those who mean well, but don’t understand human nature — especially narcissists — one whit. These include the starry-eyed marriage counselors, therapists, authors that “don’t judge” or “don’t apply labels”, who want to see every marriage saved, no matter how one-sided and awful the problems are. Then there are the amoral jackasses who simply stick by the cheater no matter what he does. These are people who say “friends need to support each other no matter what,” even if those friends are breaking up a family to move in with their favorite strippers.

In my case, my soon-to-be-ex mother-in-law was one of those last types. Once I caught her daughter cheating, we tried going to a marriage counselor. My soon-to-be-ex lasted one session of it, then had her mother come to help her set the stage for life with the other man while I was out of town. She went with her to siphon money into a secret separate account, smuggle away valuable items we both owned, and “corroborate” the lies that she wasn’t seeing the other man.

When I got home, my wife told me what was going on, and that she was actually a serial cheater who had only been caught once. I got to hear the classic “I keep doing these awful things, so there must be something wrong with YOU” speech. When I said that I felt betrayed, as I had thought we were working things out, my mother-in-law said “I hope you can make the changes needed so that my daughter doesn’t feel the need to have all these affairs.”

WTF? I replied that there was nothing wrong with me, and that my wife should be making some changes. As you might guess, I’m not a fan of “reconciliation” attempts.

Don’t worry, this story has a “happy” ending. I gave up on reconciliation once it become obvious I was married to an unrepentant serial cheater (though her moving out made it easier). I got all the stuff they stole back, and she only managed to make off with $200 out of the bank account. I’m picking up the pieces, and each day things get a little better. Your site has helped me to realize that there was nothing wrong with me, and that I will find someone better.

As for my cheating ex, the relationship with the other man lasted all of one date after she left. It turned out the Prince Cheating really wasn’t still living with his ex because “there were no apartments available.” In fact, this woman wasn’t an “ex” at all, he was still married, and had no intention of moving in with my wife. Karma’s a bitch.


A Chump Who Loves Being Cheater-Free (aka Jim)

Dear Jim,

Well, congratulations on your new beginning. Sounds like you navigated this shit storm quite nicely. Affair enablers? So you saw Esther Perel’s latest TED talk, huh? I’m sure Chump Nation would be happy to weigh in on the subject of Cheaters and the People Who Indulge Them. I can think of several reasons why people encourage affairs.

1) They’re fucking your spouse. An interesting Venn diagram would be the people who are “neutral” about your spouse’s cheating and the people who are actually, in fact, cheating with your spouse. Being an affair partner certainly presents a conflict of interest on the whole social opprobrium thing.

2) They’re cheaters themselves. If they’re not fucking your spouse, they’re probably fucking someone else, have done, or are thinking about it. They’re splendid people. Your wife is a splendid person. Let’s not call their character into question. That’s very ugly of you.

3) They’ve never been chumped, but have Great Unquestioned Assumptions about it. Your vulnerability is terrifying, so we have to make up some excuses why you deserved this. Hey, your wife was unhappy, and the pursuit of happiness is paramount. You must have Had An Agreement. You’re sexless. Anyway, everyone’s marriage is a mystery, but your suckitude isn’t. That we can assume.

4) They’re related to your cheater. Your MIL has probably been hearing for years how awful you are and how much her precious darling suffers unjustly. It’s much easier to think poorly of you than re-examine how she feels about her own flesh and blood.

5) They’re Marriage Do or Die freaks, which in my cynical opinion, means they’re probably also 1, 2, or 3. These are the folks who think divorce is the big sin, not infidelity, not untreated addiction or mental illness, not child neglect or abuse — but DIVORCE. It not what they did, it’s your reaction to it that’s the problem. Your job is to hang in there trying. Indefinitely. Because no matter how much they fuck up, that’s not a pattern — that’s potential.

6) They’re amoral romantics. Those girlfriends who were egging your wife on to have affairs got to live vicariously through her drama. Wow, a Harlequin romance come to life! Tune in for the next exciting chapter of Prince Cheating and the Jim the Dullard who is thwarting twu wuv.

How nice to be a cardboard cut-out villain in her epic saga.

Anyway, Jim, as you realized, you don’t need these people. I wonder if these jerks ever tune into the karmic ending when Prince Cheating goes home to his wife? Nah, the Undercover Adultery Assistance Squad is probably on to its next affair adventure.

This column ran previously. 

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  • Just to be clear, this is not the “Jim” ( me) who has been posting here for awhile.

  • My ex monster in law was one of those enablers. My exN had a long term affair with an employee of their family business. She (monster in law) said to me, “If you were nicer to him, none of this would have happened.” My response, “Well, you’re the one who hired the whore!”

    It has been seven years and she is still enabling him and doesn’t believe he did anything wrong. She is also the instigator of all the continued drama. Get a life lady! I am not the root of all your problems!

    • I’m with you. The bitch he called mom actually INTRODUCED him and his whore. She knowingly and gleefully catalized the affair between two married people; she even had the gumption to not only condone his behaviors but take responsibility for his choices when she showed up to my home for my sons bday when I was 7 months pregnant. She’s an empty vessel of wasted space who will continue to enable him until the day she dies. It’s really, really sad.

    • My ex-MIL was the worst of the worst. After only 5 weeks of marriage, I caught her golden boy (only child) son cheating on me and apparently he had been for YEARS. I had no idea and was the chump of the century.
      Evil, chinless MIL called me and told me repeatedly that I needed to “be a good girl and do the right thing” by “taking him in my arms and forgive him because boys will be boys”. Ex-MIL would not accept it, and blamed ME for everything and claimed that I had ruined her precious son’s life by choosing to end the marriage. She said I was not being a good wife because I was not willing to forgive him for his mistakes that I needed to “get a grip and be the wife I was supposed to be”.

      She’s the old-fashioned, Northern-England type who believes women should not work and should be wives and mothers only. Needless to say, we did not see eye-to-eye.

      I filed for divorce within 24 hours of learning of his affair(s?) and have never looked back.

      • what exactly did the “wife you were supposed to be” look like… a robot? a stepford wife? a brainwashed shell of a woman???? my gosh!!

      • “She’s the old-fashioned, Northern-England type who believes women should not work and should be wives and mothers only.”

        I can’t say I’ve come across this attitude in any generation in Northern England. Careful not to stereotype, please.

    • Suspicion of Workplace Girlfriend
      + “Men’s Issues” Therapist focusing on right to happiness
      = End of Marriage

      A proven equation I wish I’d learned in college. Would’ve saved me from a year of dancing.

    • Ex-MIL#1 was a cheater and once told me that her son getting blow-jobs by whores before we were married doesn’t count as cheating because we weren’t married, and once we were married and he did cheat, she was angry at him, but more angry that I didn’t have anywhere to go and stayed with him…years later, she has now become a low-level invalid and her H2 has been cheating on her for years with none other that my ex-husband’s (her son) XW#3 — talk about Karma!!!

      Ex-MIL#2/TEO’s mom is a super-chump— Ex-FIL has cheated on her twice that I know of, probably lots more, —one affair lasted 2 years while he was stationed out of the country in the military; the second was an AP that he left MIL for, moved out of state with AP, never filed for divorce, but then reconciled with MIL after living with AP for about 6 months— turns out, AP wasn’t as awesome or sparkly as he thought I guess.

      EXH#2 spent the last two years of our marriage building up a smear campaign against me with his parents, and I didn’t have a clue, but as far as I’m concerned, I lost all respect and care towards both his parents when my daughter was born and they did little to nothing…plus, when FIL cheated/left with the AP, and she took him back —- that was it for me, so I haven’t heard from either former-in law of EXH#2 in over 15 months, so the hell with them.

    • I see things so clearly these days but when I first met the “future MIL & FIL” back in the 90’s I swear there was something not right about them. I just couldn’t put my finger on it at the time. I mean they seemed normal (square but normal), had a home, jobs, kids and were very nice but something was just off.

      As time went on I was able to finger what it was – why I felt something just wasn’t right – what it noticed was their approaches to help resolve a specific problem for their daughter or anything life challenges them with. Their approach was so dysfunctional that they actually perpetuate and exacerbate the problem/s EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

      xMIL put the blame on me for her cheating whore of a daughter’s harmful conduct she inflicted in me. The way she did It was pure covert lunacy. I think the xMIL does it because of fear and insecurity which inhibits action.

      I really believe XW was – still is – and always will be addicted to her folks enabling especially her inept mommy and atheist daddy. A shoebox has more character then these pack of rats.

      • I recently had a Somalian experience. When I found out my STBXW was cheating. Her parents came to pick up get stuff and we had a conversation and all they were doing was making excuses for their daughters actions. fIL would say it was my fault for not catching her changes in time. MIL said it was my fault for being controlling. I’m sorry but I expected my wife to act like a wife and not like party whore. Doing drugs behind my back and hanging around her disfunctional friends. I noticed a pattern if I brought up an issue to my STBX she would reply my dad would let me do what I want. I don’t think these people have a clue of what they are doing to their daughter. All I know is that I’m done with the whole stupid family

  • My stbxw swore that only one of her friends knew about her affair. Of course there were more…one of which I suspect was egging her on was someone who had/has absolutely no moral compass what so ever, worked as a prostitute/escort, drugs, swinging, lone parent, has men by her lavish presents and treats them like shit…I could go on.

    Then I found out both her brother and sister knew months before i found out. They have pretty much been on my side throughout the last 2.5 years, and have little to do with my stbxw (As far as I know). I don’t really hold anything against them for not telling me, I don’t know how I would handle that if my brother were cheating and whether or not I would tell his wife?

    What I do know is that my stbxw since being exposed for being a cheater has surrounded herself with like-minded people. There are a few people in our social circle that have been exposed as cheats, I never liked these people and have since distanced myself from them. These are other people that despite being seen as decent people with families and good jobs, have been caught up in the seedy world of taking drugs, dealing in drugs, crime, prostitution, swinging etc…Its like they all gain acceptance from each other to justify their deviant, dis-orded ways.

    • I feel the same way. Also just found out about my STBXW and friends are doing the exact same thing. When we got married they left us alone but when ever they came around I noticed my wife would start fight and act different. During the week life was peachy on the weekends she want to party with her friends. All of them have disfunctional families no husbands a lot of kids and drug problems. Middle aged women obsessed with social media status and selfies for attention. Just know that your x made a choice. And it wasn’t your fault. She cared more about her friends than you. I feel you ! Keep moving forward

  • Amen, CL. If you help a cheater cheat, you’re a cheater, too. #ionlydrovethegetawaycar

  • Thank you for #6: the amoral romantics. You identified the C grade couples therapist my ex and I saw during the brief time we were “working on our marriage” post my discovery of the truth. This marked the absolute nadir of that whole episode. In this narrative, the chump is the stick in the mud foil in the romantic comedy. Fun!

    I believe “the heart wants what the hearts wants” came out of this expert’s mouth. I think my heart wanted to choke this woman. It could not have been a worse time in my life to hear that, I thought the world was crazy. Our daughter had cancer, I was in the process of dropping 50lbs. and was nearly losing my marbles. After discovering the affair my then-wife’s defense was “I couldn’t help it, I fell in love”. So, it was great to pay $125/hour to a gaslight assistance professional!

    So anyway, I kicked my ex out of the house about a month later and got divorced. I couldn’t help it.

    • Ha Ha! So glad you did. The very notion of paying $125 an hour for more abuse is galling.

      • For a while that crappy therapist figured prominently in my revenge fantasy along with my ex and her affair partner. I pictured them in a car together going off a f*cking cliff . I couldn’t help it.

        • My gaslight assistance professional told my cheating turd to continue to maintain his close friendship with his enabling serial cheater best friend but to just not let me know about it, to say he was somewhere else when he saw this friend. The therapist said this in front of me. Hang on, weren’t we in therapy because he had been telling me he was somewhere else while he was banging his dating app side piece hoe, all while I was pregnant and at home putting our toddler to bed. Oh and the enabling best friend recommended the dating app.

        • I get why you would do that!

          I’m actually thinking of giving feedback to the counselling organisation that ‘supported’ us. The guy’s ‘support’ was so irresponsible. He fed my X lines that he later used to justify his cheating and abuse and it culminated in his becoming extremely violent towards me. He minimised my feelings and reactions and focused on my X’s FOO issues and therefore reinforced a sad sausage. Don’t get me wrong, this was entirely the responsibility of my X- these were his choices and actions and he is long gone from my life. However, I kind of want the organisation to know that inadequate and irresponsible counselling has real consequences for people and I’m sure the cllr didn’t anticipate the effect he would have.
          It was 2 years ago- should I just leave it and forget about it?

          • No–give the person feedback. It *might* (slim chance) make the person a more responsible counselor, and you’ll feel better.

        • While I love my therapist, she would often get sucked into the Narcissist’s charm and would go from… “have you thought about working it out” to “oh yeah thats right he is freaking crazy” over the course of our sessions. It got a bit exhausting trying to remind her that he was a Narc and not a nice charming person. ugh.

        • Champion I don’t know how you kept it together I’m sorry you had to go thru so much and the ultimate mindfuck of that counsellor … My MC thought reading the Dalai Lama and
          Ekhart Tolle would help my cheater WTF !!!

  • My exwife had a cousin who had cheated on her husband and left him to live with a real scumbag. My ex always looked down on her cousin and spoke condescendingly about her poor morals.
    That is until she, herself, found her own married workmates soulmate Schmoopie…then her cousin and scumbag became their “best friend” couple! She secretly took Schmoopie to their home to get cousin’s approval of her Twu Wuv, before dropping the bomb on me on DDay.
    That cousin and her scumbag had been in my home, ate my food, drank my liquor…AND I loaned them money!!! (Face-palm).
    Anyway, Karma eventually supersedes…the happy couples can now enjoy each other’s company for all I care…haven’t had to look at any of their lying,cheating faces in years!

    • Kind of amazing how cheaters are terrible people to our cheaters, until they themselves cheat, isn’t it?

      My cheating STBXW had a cheating father, a cheating step-brother-in-law, another brother-in-law who’s first wife cheated on him, and I think 2-3 friends who got divorced because their husbands cheated on them. All of those cheaters? My ex thought their actions were terrible.

      She cheated anyway. 😛

      • Sephage, yep same story here!

        During the epic meme weekend a few months ago, Chumpasaurus Rex captured this double standard brilliantly:

        • Oh, but haven’t you heard? Their affair was special and unique. Not one of those sordid and dishonest ones that everyone else they complained about had. They deserved that special affair – and so did you.


          • One of my X’s enablers has a unique twist on this–the enabler himself left a wife with two small children because he couldn’t handle the stress of family life (esp. in light of the beautiful young woman who appeared before him). This enabler/cheater is very susceptible to my X’s claims about how I paid attention to the children at his expense, [shed tear here], and thus —>marital problems–>he couldn’t help but have an affair.

          • My ex said,” it just…happened”
            Yeah every MWFSatSun before and after and sometimes during karate class and every day before work (“im going to go early to beat traffic”) and BBQs at our houses. Oops! It just happened.

          • We had a neighbor who cheated on her husband. At that time X was disgusted, calling her names etc.
            A few months later were ran into the husband who was still distraught over his cheating wife leaving him. After our conversation I mentioned to X thatI felt so badly for our neighbor and couldn’t understand why his wife would cheat.
            X had a more understanding of the cheating wife and said well, maybe they weren’t getting along.
            Definitely a glaring red flag moment, I should have taken more seriously.

        • FAN-EFFING-TASTIC, Chumpasaurus REX!!!!!! How were you able to post that??? Inquiring minds wanna know!!!!

        • Hehe! Thanks for the shout-out! This phenomenon around cheaters totally reminds me of Shakespeare: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” My ex-hole used to always talk about how horrible cheaters were, how it made him sick, blah blah blah. It was still okay for him to do it though. Narc much?

          • Chumpasaurus Rex, your meme is a gem, the best summary of my X’s duplicity!

            And yes, it would be great to have another round of memes for the 4th of July weekend, maybe inspiration for chumps to forge on and regain their independence :)?!

      • Oh yes, they do a good job of casting stones at others and acting like they have the highest moral standards before their secrets get out in the open!!

          • Yes~X was Mr. Integrity, constantly reminding me of his high moral standards and pristine moral character. Never missed an opportunity to point our others infractions even strangers in parking lots who left their carts and didn’t bring them back to where they belong.. tsk, tsk..,

        • Yes mine was so outraged after his 1st wife left him for another that he did exactly the same to me. I think even used her lines-iLu but iniLwu…Everyone had to listen to his rousing speeches on the amorality of cheaters, so now everyone must believe he is the victim and didn’t really have an affair…OW must be a narc too as the same drivel works for her. I Wonder how wonderful is the reality of a relationship with 2 narcs in it? Hmmm…. Where’s that karma bus?

      • Same here sephage!!!!

        EXH#1 came from cheating-parents; EXH#2’s paternal grandfather and his father were/have been life-long cheaters— they both, actually all 3 of them have gone from woman-to-AP/woman-to AP/woman…it’s a sick cycle of them claiming to be “wanting to be alone” and yet having a woman by their side….

        Oh my God, I just realized something:

        Years ago, when EXFIL#2 was having an affair with OW, he planned on leaving MIL for months before doing it— selling his shit on eBay, etc., storing his shit in a storage container that he wanted to take when he left, all the while my (now ex)MIL knew what he was doing and didn’t say shit to him about it, but that’s another story….the point is that FIL wrote these scathing letters and mailed them out just before leaving MIL with OW citing all of these personal afronts and ways that his father, his mother, her mother, father, brother, cousin, etc. slighted/disrespected him over the years. I n each letter that he sent out, he claimed that all he wanted to do was to “be alone and spend his remaining days with his son (EXH#2) and grand-daughter — no, no mention of me in the letters, though I had been his DIL for over 5 years at that point.

        He did move down here and he and the OW (I still seethe with rage at this) stayed in MY house for about a month, contributed NOTHING towards bills, and then got a place of their own here in town and guess what??? My then-husband was so happy his daddy was coming back to him, he was so looking forward to having his daddy around again— guess what????His dear daddy didn’t spend any more time with his son and grand-daughter than he would have if he was visiting in town for a few days, asshole. He and the OW broke up within a few months, and (depending on who you believe) went crawling back to MIL or he was threatened to returned, or he was begged to come back by MIL….

        I say all of that to share that the number one reason that EXH#2 left me was so that he could “be alone”— even though he had OW/Schmoopie right by his side from Day One… it just dawned on me that was the same spiel his dad used years before, fucker- can’t even be original in your reasoning to leave me.

    • Mine refused to talk to his little sister for a couple of years because she kept hooking up with asshole cheating abusers. He always talked down about his older sister’s husbands abusive ways.
      After DDay, I told him he was just like them. “We see things differently.” I was told.

      • Sounds so familiar, X would put down our cheater neighbor lady who he claimed to despised. Guess who X came friends with when he left. I questioned him mentioning how much he hated her. he replied, he sees her differently and “has a new understanding of her.”

  • The military has a subculture of enabling cheating when you are away from your spouse – known as “Wheels Up, Rings Off.” The underlying expectation is that the dependent spouse is so desperate for benefits that they will turn a blind eye. Turning your spouse in has negative effects for the dependent spouse, so they become trapped in a cycle of abuse. My stepdaughter has recently referred to it as “Dad’s girls.” I had no idea what had happened in his first marriage – he lied about it and his parents, sister and her husband did not tell me. His ex-wife could have told me, but she was looking to me to help take care of her kids financially.

    So eventually, the same thing happened to me. He went overseas for work, found a target and her whole family and his new crew of work buddies all bought his story of how terrible his second wife was. I did eventually get an anonymous email telling me he was funneling money to the AP, but that may have come from her sister to try to force a divorce. Congrats, they are now getting it. I guess to poor Brits any American with a credit card is something worth fighting for.

    • Janus, I have seen this first hand. I felt like I could not get out of my abusive marriage because I didn’t want to turn in my Narcissist for abuse and face the repercussions. Additionally, the Narcissist would come home from deployments and tell me about all of the men who cheated, and I am sure he partook in the same activities. Some of them had children and families in the other countries they went to. Some of the guys would talk about the freedom of being able to “f*ck without a condom” because the people would never find them again. The sad reality is that many wives learned about the cheating only after the men gave them a STD as a homecoming gift.

    • The cheating in the military is rampant. And it goes both ways. Here in Canada we used to have a joke in the navy about how the sailors would go to sea and the wives would signal the “tide’s out” by putting a box of Tide in the window.

      x told me about one of his shipmate’s who used to have a girl in every port despite a loving fiance in home port. One day she sent him off to sea with a beautifully wrapped box with a big blue bow. As the ship was leaving the dock she held up another beautifully wrapped box with a big pink bow. Confused he opened the gift to find a large package of condoms. By the time he got back from deployment she had cleaned out their joint accounts, cancelled the lease on their apartment, sent all his personal items to one of his friends, parked his car at the airport (not nice and damned expensive) and sold the engagement ring. And she of course left no forwarding address.

      My x while in the guise of a loving husband used to say cheaters were scum and regale me with tales about cheating shipmates. He even told me about how he saw the Catholic chaplain from his ship enter a brothel while they were in Puerto Rico. Funny thing it never dawned on me how he could have seen that.

      In retrospect I should have clued in but like all chumps everywhere I was blind to the red flags. Now some of his stories and such are actually a source of amusement (especially the cheater who had to pay a stiff parking fee to recover his car)

    • They get away with keeping us trapped and isolated. Most bases are in the boonies and they only want to talk to the service member if you try to get help.There is no support for a spouse to escape and the service member can do or say whatever.

  • #6 – DING, DING, DING

    I call them the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ friends. Mix that with some nonjudgemental listening skills and a side dish of your standard spousal secrets of their own and it’s a WIN-WIN, for them and you cheater spouse anyway.

  • And those individuals who feed contempt for the faithful spouse also help the cheater along the way to adultery. It is the opposite of what they promised to do at the wedding in so far as supporting the marriage. So, they are liars as well.

    • Divorced minister ‘ my husband moved into my sister-in-law ‘s house now his affair partner was indruced to her and her children . We’re not yet divorced I have been there 3 decades talk about enabling . Now since I exposed his affair they haven’t said two words to me and i can feel them talking about me assassination of who I am . I have resentment towards them its painful ‘ and there a Catholic Christian family don’t believe in divorce don’t believe in abortion so please tell me what you think ._ thank you

  • My ex MIL ( FIL too actually but I think he’s just more trying to go with the flow and not anger MIL by saying their son is a POS) was famous for that. No matter what happened she always found a way to put it on me…..if I was better to her sweet angel than none of this would of happened ( with 4 different women over 20 years).
    She’s welcomed the affair partner as the one that saved her son from such a horrible existence.
    I’ve never met an individual with a more dysfunctional relationship with his mom than my ex. She was the ULTIMATE enabler….everything he did was magic. She adopted him at the age of three and removed him from an abusive home. She has not missed an opportunity to remind him that she “saved” him in all the years I knew him. She’s #1, the puppet master.
    I love that my in laws are the AP’s problem now. She will be just fine as long as she can navigate that shit storm, respect the pecking order ( my MIL will always be first with her son, don’t get it twisted), and deal with that carnival freak crazy. Maybe my MIL is the AP’s karma bus stop. Lol
    Free at last!! They surround themselves with the cheerleading squad of their fucked up-ness. They will always be who they are as long as there’s someone there to feed the kibble.

    • I can’t give the silent partners a pass in the enabling cycle. I have observed a common cycle where one person is vocal and obvious about abusing others while the partner sits silently and watches it happen. At worst it’s because the partner agrees and enjoys watching the abuse, but even those who simply don’t speak up or reach out to say “just ao you know, I don’t think that way” are implicated as accessories to the psychological crime IMO.

      My whole family thinks my grandfather was the saint that married the demon, my grandmother, who disowned everyone who crossed her. By my observation, he appeared to be completely capable of asserting his opinion and intervening in the crazy parade whenever he chose to do so. He had legs, a car, and money, and could have visited any person in the family any time he wanted. He made his choices, too.

      • Yes, the silent partners are just as guilty, because they let the cheating occur when they are aware of it and choose NOT to say anything. They are complicit in the crime, 100%. Bad things happen to innocent people, because people stand by and say nothing. These people are just as guilty.

    • I couldn’t stand my ex MIL. She too is just how you described yours. What shocked me is that not only did she call me often after the separation to find out how I was doing, but about six months in she told me her own story. My FIL left her when the kids were small and disappeared for a month. She ended the conversation that we were both survivors and that I would be fine.

      Except for one text in April, I have not heard from her since. One of the best thing about divorce is that he gets to keep his family, but they also have no choice but to keep him. Yes, she could probably cut him off, but I get why she wouldn’t do this. Mothers even visit their murderous children in prison.

      She had no reason to treat me as she did for the 28 years I was married to her precious son. Even though it killed me, I was raised a certain way, so I was always polite, respectful, and inclusive. And I am the mother of her grandchildren. I also forced my exh to attend functions with his family that he did not want to attend because he’d rather dismiss them then engage (shit, I just realized this was another red flag). Anyway, the OW doesn’t have anything on me with regards to reasons why my ex MIL should have treated me with kindness, so I imagine she will make the OW’s life a living hell. Good luck with that, hahahahahaha (insert evil laugh and rubbing of the hands together).

      • My evil ex MIL used to bitch to anyone who would listen about how I didn’t dress up enough or wear enough makeup. WELL… now my ex is living with Brandy the Stripper/Fluffer who wears enough makeup for 5 women. I *guess* Brandy’s skin tight sequin hooker pants count as dressing up? At least they are “dressier” than the jeans I usually wear. Oh, it makes me laugh. Just goes to show you – be careful what you wish for.

        • What a weird thing to bitch about. Why is anyone concerned about anyone else’s makeup and clothing choices? Your XMIL sounds like she needs to get a life.

          • I know. A grown elderly woman is concerned with someone else’s makeup and clothing. Talk about having nothing else to do and living a pathetic existence. WHO CARES!

            • It’s all about image. My MIL is the same way. Of course, her husband was only concerned about not having ugly babies…meanwhile he was a narcisstic functional alcoholic….wonder why the whole family is SO concerned with how things LOOK to the outside world….

  • My X’s whole family enabled him, From siblings that lied to cover up his affairs to his mom who called me and told me “I didn’t love him enough.” Then the therapists that kept us together. In the end, I was more mad at the guy who drove my X to the airport so he could board a plane for his romantic cruise with his old GF than i was with my X. I realized I was messed up and needed help to get out of the whole mindf——.

    Once I finally started admitting the abuse and affairs to people, I realized I did have love and support, they were just waiting for me to wake up. Thank God that is all over.

  • #4 and #6 are right on. In the end she surrounded herself with only divorced or cheating friends. They gave her even more justifications to fuck me over. About her mother, let just say “the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”.

  • My ex in-laws covered up for my ex husband, even though they knew he was cheating before we got married. One of them was a cheating narc and the other was a stay-married-at-any-cost/don’t judge/my child can do no wrong hybrid. No surprise that the ex felt entitled to cheat having grown up with that dynamic and getting family support.

  • Lots of people the ex worked with knew about the affair. It was pretty obvious to me after dday when I had to attend a work function with him. Everyone who knew couldn’t even look at me that night. They were all the folks he was drinking with regularly after work for about 3 or 4 months prior to that. That was an awesome night for me!

    I have nothing to do with any of those people anymore or any of my ex in laws or any Switzerland friends. The funny thing is, I really don’t miss any of them either.

    • All of our friends sat across from me at dinner parties for 8 years, knowing about my X’s most significant affair with a student, and not one of them said anything to me. I understand why they wouldn’t want to intervene given my X’s power, but an anonymous note would have made me pay attention to X’s shenanigans more, and saved me precious years of my life.

      • I hate that for you, Tempest. It’s infuriating that there was not one person in the bunch who had the fortitude to come forward.

  • My own children became enablers as well as the xmil. Along with the double life the Limited was behind the scenes complaining and building his narrative for supporters of his lifestyle.

    Every spring as business slowed he dated. Out of nowhere he said we wern’t getting along and needed space. This however was set up well in advance.

    He played the sad sausage so well he was allowed to move in one basement or another. He went as far to have his children fix him up with their friends single mothers.

    The finally was telling his daughter we wernt getting along and conning her and her husband into letting him miove in within a week of cheating with the whore. They finally saw the pattern and are disgusted.

    The MIL told him she didn’t like the whore after years of telling him he deserved to be happy. Go figure. I took care of her mother, his grandmother and uncle who was disabled for years.

    I believe the limited panicked when I filed after a few weeks of the pick me dance. He never fought for me, once

    The rage was disturbing. He ended up moving in with her immediately leaving his belongings at my daughters until she changed the locks and made him take his shit.

    Everything is for show, the cars, vacations and the spending. At the end of the day he can say whatever he wants to the audience of one -the clingy whore.

    I’m dog sitting and the driver for one amazing granddaughter’s rehearsals this summer doing what matters.

    I ended up with a life and him, he got a fast fuck sleasy whore with conduct disorder. I deserved much more and found a better life.

  • My mother spent years telling me how wonderful Narkles the Clown was! I would tell her the awful things he had done, before I discovered the cheating, and she would tell me how hard he was working or take up the responsibility for things he should have been doing. Always felt like she’d rather have had him as her child instead of being saddled with me. The only picture of me for anyone to see in her house is from when I was in high school. Pics of kid and siblings everywhere. Pic of my kid with my siblings even. Pic of me? No. After D-day I when I told her what was up I had to show her the proof. Even then it took awhile for her to come around. I still keep her at arms length. Not sure she will ever meet anyone I have a relationship with. I just can’t risk it.

    • My mother was like yours AlloutofKibble. I was dating an asshat at the time that she was totally enamored with. I was telling her that I was seeing signs that he was cheating when we were dating, and her response was: Oh once you get married, he’ll stop the cheating. I dumped this guy fast, and she cried buckets of tears while I didn’t shed a single tear. Doormat of the century my mom is.

    • Allout, that is TERRIBLE. I don’t think arms length is far enough. I’m sorry. 🙁

  • When I was desperate to Save My Marriage to a cheating whore, I actually went to ex’s mother, in hopes she would at least talk to him and convey the message “It’s wrong to fuck around on your family” from someone besides me. No such luck. Even though I had proof, not of the fucking but a minimum of sneaking around with whore. The dizzy bitch actually said to me ” I’ve been accused of things I didn’t do, too. “. And that she ” didn’t want to get involved”. A light bulb moment. I then knew where his (lack of) morals came from. What a difference from my parents, who would have drug my ass to hell and back if I cheated on my marriage. And she got “involved” anyway, when I threw his nasty ass out, and he moved in with her.

  • I just went through a situation where my eldest stepson, 24, and his girlfriend have “friended” the OW on Facebook. I explained to them why I was hurt by this action and their response was “it’s only social media.”

    So, I told them that I needed to unfriend them on FB. The response,”I’m sorry you feel this way. I hope we can still come and see you and my little brother.”

    WTF. They are 24 – shouldn’t they have clarity about Adultery?

    Mr. Sparkles left their Mom (having never married her)… for another woman with whom he had children… then he left THAT Mom… and then came along me and we had a child.

    The fact that he is still loyal to his Dad and now #4 is just a foreshadowing of some serious issues he is going to have to face himself someday – beginning with learning about boundaries.

    • My kids in early twenties. They go visit their cheater sperm donor at his out of state home he bought for OWhore. I know I shouldn’t feel betrayed by this, but I do. I try to instill integrity, but they need a relationship with their father. I know his weak attempts with the kids he devalued and abandoned are all image management. He thinks more highly of OW kids. I have made it clear that if they friend OW on social media, our relationship will be forever altered. OW posts constantly about their happiness together. She thinks she has won over my kids.
      This is another serving of a shit sandwich that is difficult to bear. Other kids their age will not have anything to do with disordered parents. Not them.
      How do I reconcile this “approval” of their father’s abhorrent behavior and choices?

      • Kids can’t pick their parents is the short answer. Half of their DNA comes from your ex and they love him despite everything. Most kids still love their parents even when they abuse them. It’s a shit sandwich that sucks, I get it.

        I don’t know what kind of relationship my (adult) children have with their dad and his Owife. I don’t ask, they don’t tell. The topic very rarely if ever comes up and if they do speak of their dad, they only speak of their dad. They didn’t even tell me he’s married, I found out by a birdie named facebook.

        Which brings me to the next topic. I would highly recommend discontinuing the pain shopping on social media. Block the OW and your ex and anyone remotely related to them. I did that the microsecond I found out about the ex’s affair. There is no reason to look at her facebook page to see her advertise her wonderful, fake existence. How did I find out she was married to him if I blocked her? Well it turns out name changes propagate all the way to your blocked list. Who knew? Still better than seeing her ugly mug on social media! Trust me on this one!

        • Ditto, block the whore on Facebook. Then you won’t know who it is friends with. Kids will stick with their parents most times, even cheater scum who ruined their lives too. As sad as it is, many times accepting a whore is the price of admission to have a relationship with a cheater parent. Plus, I think a lot if Young People don’t really put that much importance on Facebook anyway.

        • My adult child just referred to X as “my distant cousin.” Speaks volumes about their relationship, doesn’t it? Who does that—discards their family of 35 yrs? POS do that!

      • I spent my whole life pick-me-dancing for my Bio Dad. It wasn’t until his mask came off a few years ago that I stopped. I am nearly 40. Now, looking back, I can see I never felt “safe” with him, which is why I unquestioningly accepted everything he did. Unfortunately, I also had his morals and standards of behavior, which I am proud to say I have lost, and now am a decent human being. But it took being away from him (and homeless, broke and hungry – karma bus for me) to get my head on straight. When he completely disowned me in front of his second wife (denied I was his daughter to a friend of theirs) and her three daughters and then disparaged me in further comments (in the next breath told this friend I was the neighborhood tricycle and probably a prostitute – which is why I have three children with my second husband) that was when his mask came off. I saw what he was, and it made me sick – and enraged on behalf of my Mom. It’s only now that I can see how lonely her life was the entire time I was growing up. He triangulated me with my own Mom. Your kids will come around, but it may take their Dad being a real ass for it to click with them. That’s what it took for stupid me.

    • Your poor stepson, to have a father like that. He’s probably chased after his father all his love, through stepmother after stepmother. He may have learned his only hope is to “play nice” when the musical chairs game starts up again. Of course you should stop interacting with him on social media if that makes you uncomfortable, and it was kind of you to explain your feelings about it. But I hope you and others don’t take FB “friendship” as anything meaningful. Most kids under 25 left FB for Instagram and Snapchat and probably 3 other things I don’t know about.

      But we all should make smart decisions about using social media. Pain shopping is a bad thing, whether it involves social media or skulking around the X’s new neighborhood to look at the house and imagine how happy they are. I did my share of pain shopping and FB page creeping. It just kept me hooked. So block the cheater pants, the AP(s), defriend the Switzerland friends and the enablers, end the old page and start a new one just for your own friends and relatives, or just get off social media entirely.

    • Sometimes kids are just shits. At 24, I’m sure they are smart enough to know that “friending” the OW will bother you. My X step-son did the same thing literally 1 week after D-day. Mind you, he was just at our home the weekend prior and we had a BBQ and bonfire and all the happy horse shit family does. But a week later, they are “friends”? Awe hell no. After that, I purged my Facebook of everyone related to or friends with my X.

      Harsh? Maybe, but I could give a fuck. I’ve actually had people question how I could write off my step-son, just because his Daddy cheated on me. The answer to that is it was easy! He was always a disrespectful little twat anyway so regardless of the 11 years I was in his life, he got flushed with the rest of them.

      Life is too short to let other people make you miserable.

      • Bravo, Rumblekitty. My SS25 is facebook friends, if you can believe it, with the same tennis coach who ruined his parents’ marriage 15 years ago, by very publicly farking his mother. It was well known by all what happened, and the cheater mother got dumped by the tennis coach, who continues to prey on married women in our community. Chump father was close to suicide over it at the time.

        Then SS thinks he can come to our house and play Switzerland, ask his chumped father for money on a regular basis, while socialising with the same creep who did this?

        Chumped father was suckered in until I showed him the son’s facebook page, and asked why the blazes SS would be friends with the guy? Chump father doesn’t do facebook at all so didn’t know. I wish I’d been a fly on the wall when he questioned him…I notice the money train abruptly stopped.

        • I heard a few petty comments about doing that . . . “he’s still family”, or “It’s not his fault because his father cheated”, things of that nature. And I agreed with that, but when you are openly disrespecting me, you can piss up a rope.

          People get mighty judgie when the person who gets cheated on doles out some well-warranted fuck you’s.

          Glad to hear the money train stopped coming to SS Town. Maybe the tennis coach can loan him some $$$.

    • Agree completely with everyone’s comments.

      The shit sandwich eating never ends for the child who longs for their abandoning parent’s love.

      I’m signing off of FB… Not much “reality” on there anyway ?

      But I’m glad we here at CN all agree healthy boundaries are the most reasonable solutions to living with the mess these disordered fuckwits leave behind on their twu wuv journeys.

  • My ex-MIL and ex FIL let the Exhole and his twu wuv stay at their house. He even brought her to family gatherings and introduced her as his new wife. Good riddance of the morally bankrupt assholes.

  • Don’t forget those silent enablers who know the truth but stay friends with the cheater. They don’t say or do anything to discourage the cheating. They aren’t cheaters themselves, but their silence certainly communicates to the cheater that the behavior is acceptable. After all, Cheaterpants isn’t their spouse. No skin off of their back. Right?!

    • Yes and they excuse their behaviour by saying they are “not judgmental”. To me that means they have no moral standards.

      • Exactly. I suppose this kind of falls under the category of “not knowing because it has never happened to them”. However, I DO make character judgments and assessments of people to determine who I do or don’t want to become friends with. I prefer not to hang around with people whom I know are morally bankrupt…

  • #2 and #4 are the the ones I experienced.

    #2 They’re cheaters themselves. Swiss friends that decided to support us both – the H would support cheater and the W would support me. Interestingly, the W and I were never that close but I gave it a try at the time. Turned out that my now-ex was lying to the H about the extent of his cheating and even when H found out that he was being lied to, they (yes, both) decided to support cheater. Why? Because the H is a cheater himself and she stayed with him. Would be hypocritical of the them both if they didn’t support cheater.

    #4 They’re related to your cheater. His family lives several states away so they only know what cheater tells them. FIL cheated on MIL and left her to be with MIL’s wealthy BFF. Devastated MIL (emotionally and financially) but the kids were Swiss about it. MIL ignored me after she found out her son was cheating. FIL passed away several years before but I’m sure he would have been proud of his son. They can have him and the lies he is spewing to make himself look good. I’m happy to be done with all of it.

  • Yes asswipe thinks more highly of the whores kids than his own cause they are perfect and flawless unlike his own kids. At least my kids arent fake and phony. Asswipe had one good friend cheering him on and the whores entire family. Apparently noone in that bitchs family realizes hed do it to her to and he has noone has caught him yet but they will since hes a bad liar. All of “our” friends jumped on his side. Would have been nice to hear just once sorry this happened lets stay in touch but no asswipe rules! Fuck them too.

  • #2, but not #4. The 3 friends who have been my X’s biggest supporters and believed his lies (“just one eensie weensie affair”) are all cheaters who have themselves broken up marriages, 2 of them with children.

    #4–X doesn’t know this, but his own family supports me and thinks he is a shit. (they live in a different country so not much contact. And when he does see them, he mainly talks about himself.)

  • I wish that I could honestly say I don’t care what these people think of me. That is not completely true but it is a point of view I am working towards. Cheater is telling a pack of lies to all his friends and family as to why we are getting divorced. I would not expect anything different. I remind myself often that it just doesn’t matter. I know the truth and MY friends and family know the truth and support me. That is really all that matters. His failure to tell the others the truth is largely the reason they support him. And he knows it.

    So he has to go through his life knowing that everyone loves him only because they don’t really know him.

    I doubt that thought crosses his mind very often, but it has to be somewhere inside of him and I am hopeful that just maybe that truth causes occasional pain. If I ever break NC and say something hurtful and unkind to him, I believe the meanest truth I could share with him would be that one statement.

    • You’re giving him too much credit. Self-reflection isn’t a strong suit with these idiots.

  • Let’s see…. There is MIL who is on 5th marriage whose advice on being happy is screw around! She would host ex boyfriend over to her house. Always there for daughter to encourage her to be happy! And I noticed once one heads down the slippery slope, they seek out all the people are known cheaters and become close friends with! I have learned once a person states “I deserve to be happy!”, they are headed to cheaterville!

    • I think we were all raised to beware of the company we keep, but I guess if you pay attention you will figure out that cheaters draw other cheaters like magnets to metal.

      “Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.” Colin Powell.

    • I have learned once a person states “I deserve to be happy!”, they are headed to cheaterville!

      Yup EXACTLY!!

  • Crazy bizarre timing on this subject. The Cheater ex just took his Ugly Whore to meet his parents out of state. He piggy-backed this introduction on my son’s “Jamescation”…his annual week with his grandparents. My son was devastated when he found out the Ugly Whore and her son were going and told his Dad that he didn’t want them to come. The worst part? I am going to pick up my son a few days after they leave. And no one, not even my ex-MIL bothered to inform me or my son that the Ugly Whore was coming until 3 days before my son’s trip. I took it hard. It was the re-opening of that betrayal and trauma. I was going to change my plans and basically fly down, get my son and turn around and fly back home. I spoke to my ex-MIL. She was shocked (why?) that I was so upset. She thought we had all come to a “peace” here (what??) and that me and Cheater Ex communicated (no the hell we don’t). What does he tell her??? Anyway, she knows everything because *I* told her. Every bit of it. But she wants peace above all so…she even wants our relationship to be the same!!! I know I can’t do that but I do appreciate the sentiment even though I know she will never understand the devastation and abandonment of us by her son. I mean, I’m so “strong” and so all is well right? Hell no. My default is strength. I still have feelings….the full spectrum of feelings as a matter of fact.

    As the Cheater Ex and Ugly Whore are living together and time is passing, I think she merely tolerates my son when he visits. And apparently she extolled the virtues of Cheater Ex’s fathering skills on Father’s Day. I guess she is referring to how he treats HER son because he abandoned his own flesh and blood.

    • The grandparents are very foolish. As kids get older, they are less interested in taking a week out of their vacation to spend with relatives; they’ve just given him a reason to stop wanting to visit. So sorry people are such clueless idiots.

      • LAJ, agreed that kids become less interested in a week with relatives particularly when they hit HS and beyond. They have jobs, can drive, and want to spend time with their friends. They shouldn’t be forced or coerced into extended visits with relatives. Ex does not understand this at all. He’s been using the ‘grandma’s health isn’t good’ to manipulate our D to take time off work to travel with him to see his family just so he doesn’t have to go alone. She’s even rolled her eyes when telling me that “grandma’s dying….again”. I’ve simply said “you can always say no” but of course, she doesn’t. I haven’t said any more than that – she has to learn to stand up for herself.

    • I like what you said–gave me a bit of a light bulb moment.

      I’m strong, but I still have feelings.

      Such a simple concept, but I never really articulated that to myself. I truly have thrived after DD, and from the outside it might look like I haven’t skipped a beat, but my heart did and still does. I am really strong and much happier than when I was married. I have everything, including a boyfriend with whom I am madly in love (lemme tell you how AWESOME it is to love a grown-up!) But the devastation of abandonment, even by a coward loser, is a trauma that leaves a scar. And you feel it from time to time, even when you’re strong.

      Thanks for what you wrote! I think you’re doing the right thing by flying out and back. No need to get sucked into that drama. Kinda sad that your ex and the entitled whore have put a pall on everything. But that’s how it works. They do whatever they want, leaving a path of destruction in their wake, and the rest of us have to make choices.

    • Conniered–the grandparents are moral cowards. They prefer peace and “can’t everybody get along?” to taking any kind of moral stance. I had a friend like that (emphasis on past tense). I suspect your son may be less enthusiastic about grandparent visits in the future.

      • Yep. Kiddo considers her paternal grands (who she now sees once a year) as chocolate teapots.

        You see, they were happy to hate on my bro in laws ex for years, always rolling their eyes when she stuck up for her kiddo, barely tolerating her….but once it was found out that she’d been fucking their middle son, she was back at Sunday dinner, back in the fold, and I was out.

        I asked my ex bro in law how long he thought it was going on (they has been split up for over ten years). He said I have no idea, so I said it could go waaaay back. Are you going to paternity test your kid, coz, you know……

        His response, “Either way, XXX is still one of us.”

        True, XXX did nothing to deserve such a hobag mom, or a uncle now stepfather….but…….spackle much?

    • Conniered, you are strong AND you have the full range of feeling? You are a real human? INCONCEIVABLE!

  • My exMIL who I was previously very close to was very quick to pass blame on me after news of the affair broke. “Well you are so mean and snippy to him all the time, no wonder he cheated on you.” She took his side and badmouthed me to anybody who would listen, even invited OW to her wedding a few months later when both of them were still married and just pretended like she was me. Slid me right out of her life and slid OW into my place.

    Something clicked or snapped or maybe the other family member talked some sense into her but after about a year she really changed her tune. She started apologizing to me, started standing up for me, and ultimately ex-Douchecanoe and OW are no longer in communication with her and my exMIL just visited me and my daughter last month and wants to pay for me to come to her state for a visit later this summer. (I’m not going, because that is weird.) In my case there is a happy-ish ending, but in the moment it was agonizing. I wanted to defend myself, to tell her why she was a shitty person, but I kept my mouth shut and my head high and she sorted it all out in the end when I wasn’t behaving in the way he was claiming that I was behaving.

  • My ex-SIL was privy to the fact that the fucking cheater was having an affair and was planning on making his exit by abandoning his family. She stood by him and encouraged him to be happy. A few years later her hubby left her for the AP. On her FB page she is constantly posting about how awful it is to be discarded by your spouse and made to feel like nothing. Looks like she got a little taste of karma ! Now if that bus would just run over my fucking cheater and his whore.

    • It will if it hasn’t already. I know of a couple of cheaters that left their spouses (basically blew up two families) and married shortly afterward. Although it took about 13 years, the husband has now dumped the wife. However he was cold as ice for YEARS and she clung on for dear life. So he was miserable being with her and she was miserable because he was, you get my drift. On the outside she tried to present a fabulous life and many bought into her delusion. Well now she is on social media talking about how karma will get him, etc. She flaunted their cheating relationship in his former wife’s face and now her speaking of karma is really rich.

      • I know a couple like this too. Where the OW got the cheater and they married. The entire time of their courtship, the OW flaunted their (cheating) relationship to the original spouse on social media. And lo and behold, all of a sudden, the OW is cheated on! Karma bus rolled around. Now the OW posts on social media how she was done wrong, how she has to move into a smaller place with her 2 kids, how she’s alone and can people help her send her kids to school. It’s a shitshow, but the original spouse must be laughing now.

        • Too funny, Yeah she is posting all sorts of crap because she is frustrated that he has dumped her and is no contact. FB is the only way she can insult or try and shame him (good luck with that) because his kids (first marriage) as well as his first ex are all on FB. I am quite sure the original spouse is smiling these days. Although I am sure she knew this was coming eventually as her ex has a history of dumping/discarding in a very cold manner. True narc

    • One of my brothers in law has mental issues, but is, in fact, also a nasty person underneath. It’s not just mental illness or medication interactions that make him as he is; he’s just not a very good guy.

      So, several years ago, he was going through a manic episode, and he called my husband to assist him in “going off the grid.” Apparently, he saw one of those class action lawsuit commercials on TV, the ones that say have you or a loved one taken this medication, and if so, you’ve probably suffered a terrible side effect, so join in this lawsuit and you’ll be awarded a metric butt ton of money. He just jumped on that, and made this insane plan to abscond with all the dough, leave his wife of over thirty years, and hide out. Thus, he tried to enlist my husband. Husband, until very recently, was in thrall to this older brother, and never believed he could do any wrong.

      When my husband told me of the plan, I told him it was both insane and wrong! I stated that I doubted his brother was going to be receiving any money, but that I was going to call his wife nonetheless and inform her that her husband was looking at ways to leave her. She’s kind of horrible, too, but I think it’s a lot because, number one, she’s as stupid as a crate of bricks, and, number two, she’s taken direction from that asshole for so long. Regardless, she certainly didn’t deserve to be left high and dry.

      My husband came around, grudgingly, to seeing my point of view, and anyway, insofar as I know, nothing more was ever said about the windfall or going off the grid or anything else related. A few months ago, my husband and his brother had a terrible, relationship-ending fight, so I no longer have dealings with these people, but I think I made it clear that I will always, always, inform a spouse about to be betrayed.

  • Elle…..hahahahahaha! When the Karma bus is done with your cheater and his whore, please send it skankboy’s way! TY

  • This is one of those columns that should re-run every week because we need so many reminders about it. I have to say that ultimately, my spouse’s cheating and the weeks of faux reconciliation and all the humiliation that went along with that was terrible, but it was over after a few weeks. The trickling realizations about various enablers around town, however, took years, and still happens occasionally. Browsing social media and seeing a person you totally thought was fine friends with you, all hugged up on Rasputin over there. Invited to a party and excitedly open the Facebook event invite, only to see the host has invited AP so you know *exactly* where they stand on the matter. Having a “friend” who previously went out of her way to vow never to let the cheater into her house and around her kids ever again, end up having him over many times with your child for “playdates.” And so on, and so forth. Eeeeeesh. These are the things that last, long after the scales about your spouse have fallen from your eyes. I’m happy to immediately cut these people off; I mean, they’re unsafe and they’re not real human beings. But for a long while, it felt like every day brought a fresh cut and a new person to have to chuck into the “reject” bin. Thank you for your honesty and for calling out the bullshit with simple facts, as you always do, CL!

  • #2, #3, and #6 for me. Told all her friends that she was unhappy and deserved happiness – and that I was the source of the lack of happiness. Apparently happiness is running around with other women’s husbands. If that’s what it takes to find happiness then I guess I’m shit out of luck.

    • Blindside, Happiness is losing a Cheater and winning a life. My hope is that we will all eventually stumble upon a sexy, single Chump whose morals, sense of humor, and idea of a good time will match ours. (Like CL here has!)

  • My daughter who was 22 years old at the time was the biggest enabler.

    Added her mother onto her cell phone account so I wouldn’t be aware that mom was cheating/talking/sexting and trolling for hook-ups. Was basically my ex-wife’s toxic best friend. Bought her mother two pregnancy tests during her affair because she thought she was PG with fuck-buddy’s kid (I had a vasectomy 15 years ago.) Went on trips to adult bookstores and sex shops so mom and daughter could explore sexuality together (YUCK!) I believe mom/daughter/AP/ex-boyfriend began having group sex. Encouraged her mom that ‘sex didn’t matter’ and she would have ‘left me years ago and gotten with AP.’ Found out through my daughter that mom was also hooking up with the next door neighbor.

    A counselor once told me that this was as worst, either incest or at best emotional incest and how truly perverted and abhorrent this behavior was. I am still trying to navigate and rebuild my relationship with my daughter. I’m not 100% sure I want to; some things are just beyond the pale. Four years later, it is still pretty raw .

    • I don’t say this lightly, but there is something horribly wrong with both your XW and your daughter. There is a lot of bad shit we hear about on this board but this is just degenerate. Perverted, as your counselor said. Horribly abusive to you. Evil. I’d say talk to that counselor in depth before you try to rebuild anything with this person. I’m just shocked.

    • This …

      How could your daughter ever justify this? What did she say?

      What is left of your relationship with her that could be rebuilt? She razed it to the ground.

      • My daughter never did justify it, she just said that her mother asked her to help and daughter didn’t know what to do. I explained to daughter that even when someone who you love asks you to do something wrong, you have to be strong and tell that person NO. That was one of the reasons I first suspected my ex-wife was cheating, all of the boundary issues with daughter as she was getting older. I suppose I am equally responsible for not modeling good ethics and integrity for daughter when she was younger, I don’t know…

        Daughter and my relationship had been pretty bad all through her high-school years, I was the disciplinarian, mom was always the cool parent. I think as my daughter got older, her mother did manipulate her and live vicariously through daughter. I have only brought it up a few times to daughter over the past four years, I have an uneasy feeling that I am being trickle-truth or outright lied to when I speak to her…like there is something more under the surface. Anyways, like others have said here, I will watch her actions not her words, and I will love her and forgive her from a distance. I no longer provide advice or financial support for anything daughter does and her relationship with her mother is no longer my business.

        Like someone wrote here earlier, up to this point, I have survived 100% of my worst days. I am looking forward to this no longer is in my head.

        • Wow, I would never tell a parent to dump their kid, but this could be an exception. The only other thing I can think of is that your daughter was going overboard trying to please her dysfunctional mother. In any case your daughter should bend over backwards and try to make this up to you and you should stipulate that she get psychological help.

        • ffghtr67, I have three children all in their twenties who are learning about life so I may have a different opinion re your daughter. At 22 she is still an adolescent, still exploring the world, still learning about love, still learning to trust, still learning to tell good behavior from bad, still learning about healthy boundaries, still loving her parents…even the one who has made some major fucked up life choices. I have been there. My children were there too, not so long ago. And witness to it all. Thing is, Your daughter will always love her Mom, just as she will always love you. Remember to cut her some slack. Messed up parents do all sorts of things that are unhealthy around their children. According to you, your ex’s behavior grew worse as your daughter herself was becoming a young woman. This is classic Narc. Unhealthy parents compete with their children in unhealthy ways, push unhealthy boundaries (i.e. over sharing info re sexuality, and share secrets)onto them, and are not “parents” in normal ways, they do not protect their children (even those in their twenties) like most healthy parents will. Your daughter speaks the truth when she says she didn’t know what to do. My advice? Spend time with her. She has been betrayed as well. You are and always will be her “sane parent.” And you will have to continue to be strong. Address the past. How it made her feel (at this time in her life) and how it made you feel. And address the future (my guess is that there will be more issues). I have let my children know that it is okay for them to love and have a relationship with their father but I also need them to respect my boundaries in that I have nothing to do with him.(Happily NC) I also need them to recognize when he is placing them in harm’s way, so it’s also important for them to set healthy boundaries as well. It takes a great deal of intentionality and practice. Wishing you the best. Mom of three.

          • Great advice, Drew. I agree. Daughter has been groomed by her gender parent. Kids are a blank tape who gather information from their parents and outside world on how to survive. Continue to speak the truth, stay strong and give it time. Be an example to her for the men’s world. Don’t give this role over the the scum in your xw’s life.

            Her mother is one sick fuck, but she isn’t the first one I have heard about or had the misfortune to encounter.

        • Agree, your daughter was groomed and corrupted by your wife while you were trying to instill values and discipline. Wife is an evil pervert. I hope it is not too late for your daughter. She needs help for your wife’s abuse. So sorry for what she has done to you both.

    • Well, I’d have a real hard time mending that relationship. But as I stated above, sometimes it’s best to just walk away. I don’t know how you’d rebuild with that kind of shit rolling around in your head. Oy . . .

    • That’s evil incarnate and you do not need that influence in your life. That’s all kinds of wrong.

      • But…. I do know of families were the kids were junkies and have managed to rebuild their relationships. One such person was in and out of rehab more than 20 times over a period of 25 years. The parents set stome significant boundaries had a strong belief in God and refused to let their kid be lost. The son is now a middle aged man, and new person.

        If you want a relationship with your daughter it’s going to be lots of hard work that both of you will have to commit to.
        Her behavior is all kinds of wrong. Forgiveness means you set boundaries. That’s a hard one. It’s hard to give up on yor kids.

    • “I am still trying to navigate and rebuild my relationship with my daughter. I’m not 100% sure I want to; some things are just beyond the pale. Four years later, it is still pretty raw.”

      I am so sorry ffghtr67, for what they have done to you, this is beyond disgusting!

      You might hope to build a relationship with your daughter, but her actions are really her choices. Ask yourself: What is your daughter doing to rebuild her relationship with you? To regain your trust? Please do watch her actions over her words, and trust your gut! If she does not demonstrate genuine remorse, please protect yourself from further harm!


    • I’m sorry Ffghtr67, that is a horrifyng tale. As Chumptitude mentioned, your relationship with the daughter needs to be defined by what SHE is doing to make it up to you, not vice versa.

  • My ex-SIL was a cheater herself, and whose marriage ended because of it. No surprise when one summer she asked me if my then-husband, her brother, could come up to her cottage just to spend a few days’ brother-sister time together, uninterrupted, because she was so “lonely and missed her big bro”. These two were already in their forties, we’d been married 15 years, and had two kids. I thought how nice it was for them to spend time together.

    The cottage neighbours were the ones who spilled the beans. Apparently SIL invited along one of her cougar, divorced friends who had her eye on my husband (unknown to me). The neighbour, who was older but could no doubt see through the situation, described to me the bikini-clad woman draping herself all over husband, swimming with him, beach BBQ’s into the night…basically a party for two. When I asked him about it, his answer was “oh that dreadful girl just showed up for an afternoon”. He did not know the neighbour had kept a precise diary (nosy, but useful) and the other girl was there the whole time. My heart sank, here we go, another d-day shrouded in mystery, but stinking of evidence.

    I never challenged him on it again, but I never trusted him or SIL again. Instead, I monitored his activity and sussed out his affairs, slowly planned my departure on my time and terms. So funny when I filed for divorce, that same SIL accused me of “probably being a cheater”! I didn’t even grace her with a reply. Cheater husband completely surprised by my departure. I hope he and SIL look after each other in their old age.

    • I would have told her off myself. Told her what I knew, and, called her out as a pimp.

  • The only enablers I knew of were my XH’s idiot dance “career” friends and co-workers. In his arguments with me, he kept on pointing out that “everyone involved” thought he should be with the OWhore and “everyone involved” thought I was acting crazy.

    Me: Who’s “everyone involved”? Who are these people?

    Him: Oh, hmm, you know, just my friends.

    Me: Which friends? Anyone I know?

    Him: Well… no, I don’t think any of them have met you.

    Me: But they’ve met [OWhore]?

    Him: Oh, yeah, they love her!

    Me: So a bunch of people who have never met me but are good friends with [OWhore] and have never heard my side of the story and only know of me from what you and her say about me think I’m acting crazy and you should leave me for their good friend, is that right?

    Him: Well… yeah.

    In reality, almost everyone who knew both of us thought he was out of his mind to be leaving me for her and told him as much, or at least thought that he should wait until the divorce was final before dating again. He decided to listen to the most biased idiots imaginable instead.

    Funny how this pack of very-good friends who gave him such life-changing advice never seem to be around for him when he needs them now.

    • Wow Rarity, awesome focus during what must have been a painful exchange.

      That stuff keeps seeping back to me. So many people who never met me are sure X&OW are meant to be together and I must have been crazy/insufferable/mean/terrible.

      • I think it’s sexist bullshit that wives / ex-wives / ex-girlfriends are often cast as “crazy.” The OWhore called me “psycho” in one of her e-mails.

        I’m not really surprised that cheaters so often reach for this trope.

        • Ah yes . . . bitches be crazy! SMH. I always loved that characterization myself. Double fun when it comes from another woman “involved”. Eeesh.

        • Yeah, we’re either crazy or insecure. It’s always our fault. Meanwhile the cheater is the disordered one. Eye roll.

            • Don’t forget how “Jealous” we all are, too!!! Fuck these losers .

              • ^^ This! If I hear the jealous thing ONE MORE TIME…it’s infuriating! I’ll not jealous, you can have him. I’m ANGRY that my kid’s childhood is now this big disordered clusterf*ck because of two idiot’s selfish circus. Angry…✔ Jealous? Hell to the no. It should be legal to slap gloating OW in this country and get away with it.

              • He he, I actually like pigs. They are cute and I hear they are smart. But I could be wrong.

    • Rarity, I think that’s part of the gaslighting. Cheaters try to make you think that “everyone” thinks you’re wrong or crazy, to make you doubt yourself. Ex tried to do the same to me, saying that “everyone” thought I was mentally unstable for telling all his family and friends about the affair. Turned out that “everyone” was HIS family and friends, and, of course, this was all according to him and based on what he told them. In any case, who care what the f*ck they think; unless it has some bearing on your divorce settlement, doesn’t matter. And another benefit of divorce is to get away from these toxic, enabling people.

      • I found it absurd that he considered a bunch of people who had never even met me to be “involved” (which was his exact word) in the matter. This was just bar chatter to them. They were no more “involved” with me than I am with President Obama when he takes a shit . . . I know it happens on some technical level, but it’s none of my fucking business!

        • They were no more “involved” with me than I am with President Obama when he takes a shit . . . I know it happens on some technical level, but it’s none of my fucking business!


  • Jim, the karma bus has visited that SIL in the years since then. She remarried and her second husband cheated. He also then filed for divorce and took half of what she had from her first marriage! She is a big drama queen and my ex can now deal with her to his heart’s content. You know, I wonder if she would even recall that old pimping episode! She herself thought it was OK to humiliate her first husband by bangin’ the kids’ football coach, and wrecking that guy’s family.

    I hear that my ex now avoids his sis.

  • My X-MIL. She tried to force my 15yr old daughter to have a friendship with her father’s NewAge Life Coach AP before the divorce was even final by inviting them both to Easter dinner and telling my daughter that she should “be nice to her when she gets here because she’s helping your father get well.” When my daughter called me in tears begging me to come get her before the OW showed up, I called my MIL of 18 years to see if there was anything that could be worked out. Instead of respecting my daughter’s feelings and trying to understand our pain, she told me that my STBX had in fact NOT left me to shack up with the AP because “my marriage had been over for years!” WTF??!! (Not sure how having a faux marriage negates the fact that he left us and moved in with her.) Additionally I was “poisoning” my children because I was not “teaching them to forgive.” Apparently my kids needed to accept and forgive their father’s serial cheating according to HER timeline. Took me a long time to get to Meh on that one.

    • Amen, again that’s my MIL. The kids should “respect” him because he’s their father. Forget that they watched what he put me thru. Forget that they know I tried to kill myself(just being dramatic, according to hubby and AP). Forget that they walked on eggshells for over a year not knowing why their mom was always crying and dad always gone. Forget that he told them he was leaving because I was MENAPAUSAL. Forget that he gave us 4 days warning that he was moving out and turning off the utilities. Forget that he had introduced them to AP and her KIDS as “friends”. Forget all that……,we all need to play nice, do family events together…as you know….a family. ANF ABOVE ALL RESPECT HIM!!!!

  • My post from when this column ran the first time:

    You want to hear about enablers?!? Woah boy . . .

    My X FIL, who was actually LIVING with us at the time, was giving my X his credit card so he could get rooms with his butter-faced whore on Friday afternoons. See, she was married too, so aside from blowing my husband at the local park during lunch, Friday was the days they picked to smash genitals. Because I knew about all our credit cards and withdrawal activity at the bank, dear old dad stepped in and gave X his plastic. I had no clue.

    And here I am, making this son-of-a-bitch delicious sandwiches, tasty dinners, and emptying his waste basket because he was too lazy to use his catheter in the BATHROOM. When I think of how many times this guy actually missed the basket, I want to stick his face in it.

    When D-day hit, I threw them both out, post-haste. My X then proceeded to tell all who would listen that I threw him and his poor invalid father out into the street and they had no where to go and were forced to sleep in his car. GASP! He failed to mention the events that led up to his dismissal; all his chums on Facebook then swarmed around him in support telling him what a fine, upstanding dude he was.

    At one point, I heard that some people thought less of me because I should have let Stinky McPoop-pants stay at my house until the X got settled somewhere.

    Um, fuck all that.

    • Rumble kitty – you are darn mighty! I applaud you for throwing the trash outside, where it belonged. Not in your home.

    • Fuck all that is right rumblekitty. My FIL passed away many years ago he considered me and introduced me as his daughter. We loved each other dearly i still miss him. I know if he was still with us he would have disowned his son and come to live with me to help me. I miss him alot he would have never condoned what asswipe did more so the way asswipe did it. I was lucky in such a FIL. Right was right with him. Im glad he didnt get to see what a pos his son turned into. Dad would have thought ok be an asshole asswipe but be honest with her do right by her and let her go she devoted her life to you and the kids and never asked for anything but love, trust and loyalty. Asswipe is now a sorry sad sack of shit, moaning and groaning and pissing away how much his life sucks. In pain and termoil every day. Fuck him he gets what he deserves.

      • Kar Marie, sounds like my FIL. My in-laws were great. My FIL backed me 100%. He called me often and right after I told him about the affair he was pissed at his son. He removed my Ex from his Will and removed him also as executor of his estate. He told my Ex that Schmoopie would never be allowed to cross the threshold of his home, (but he would hide Schmoopie in a hotel while he went to visit), his Dad told him in no uncertain terms that his life was going to end up in a shit pile, but my Ex didn’t believe him. Unfortunately my FIL had a massive coronary and passed away just before our divorce was finalized. Maybe just a coincidence, but the Ex had just left to go back home and was on the road when he got the news that his Dad had a heart attack minutes after he and Schmoopie left town. Dumb fuck had to turn around to go back and help plan his Dad’s funeral. Schmoopie was tucked back into a hotel room until she could rent a car to get out of town before the whole family arrived. When his siblings found out that he had just been there to visit his Dad and had Schmoopie in town, they had no doubt he was trying to shove his lover down his Dad’s throat. They blame him for the stress he put on the poor man for his death. Of course, no one will ever know what took place, but my FIL was a fairly healthy man and his idiotic son and his whore drove him to the depths of depression. My FIL was my rock and gave me so much love and encouragement. It was a blow to me when I had to go to mediation without his advice and kind words. He encouraged me to strip his son of every asset he had. He told me that he removed him from his Will because ” I don’t want him buying that whore a Porsche or anything!” He was not one to bite his tongue about Schmoopie. I loved him and I miss him a lot!

    • “My X then proceeded to tell all who would listen that I threw him and his poor invalid father out into the street and they had no where to go and were forced to sleep in his car. GASP!”

      I can just see your X and his creepy old dad with their noses pressed against the window, too funny!

    • Wow, Rumblekitty, just when I think I’ve heard it all! What a boatload! Such entitlement and ingratitude on both their parts. So sorry you had to endure this.

  • XMIL, XSILs, cousins and xfriends. people love the drama and hedged their bets on the forth coming train wreck. I also unfriended. Don’t fall for the forgieness is a doormat trap, that’s just more manipulation. Now I understand why ex is the way he is as there were very few people in his formative years that helped him to develop moral values.

  • My cheater’s whore/wifetress had her friend stalk us while my cheater and I were having lunch in a restaurant the month before he bailed on me for Schmoopie. Cheater got very uncomfortable when she walked into the restaurant with her husband and family and made a beeline to our table. She introduced herself to me and my cheater told me how they are co-workers. She asked many questions about my braced leg. I was more than chatty telling her that I was having surgery in two days to reconstruct my ACL. 3 months later – just a few days after I was served with divorce papers the day before my 43rd birthday, she sent me a friend request on Facebook. I didn’t even remember her from her photo and sent her an email asking how she knew me. I was finally realizing by this point that there was a whore somewhere. I found that my cheater had used an airline companion ticket to book him and his whore a flight for a romantic trip for his birthday (his cheapness bit him in the ass). Once I had the whore’s name, everything unraveled quickly. I’m friends with several of his co-workers and it turns out that the restaurant bitch is Schmoopie’s BFF. I told her I didn’t want to be her friend and unfriended her – but only after I had a rather unclasp moment and posted OW’s name on FB for the world to see.

    • Wow, I get some odd friend requests. Never thought about it being whore related.

      • And by that time, whore was my first thought.

        When I think of that day, the cheater bought me there knowing that the whore enabler would be there. I think the enabler was deployed by whore to verify I was going to have surgery. He left me a few weeks after the surgery – guess he thought he owed me the post op care.

  • Enablers? Cheater ex’s AA buddies who taught him a few things about cheating and divorce like quitting a well paying job and taking a minimum wage job to pay much less in child support. (That backfired big-time as schmoopie was actually after his paycheck and dumped him when he was suddenly poor.) Or signing a quit claim deed on our jointly owned house. (That backfired too.) Their advice wasn’t too great for him, come to think of it. Of course it was all my fault.

    His family was a given after the years of the smear campaign cheater ex had carried out. A nest of narcs. They exacted their own revenge.

    There were no common friends between cheater ex and I. Mine thought he was a jerk. I’m sure his felt the same about me. He refused to do anything jointly with me.

    Some in our church suddenly stopped talking to me, and would walk away if I approached them. Found out later he was telling them I was a hooker among other things. They had no idea what he was. When the shit hit the fan, suddenly they wanted to be buds….ahhh…

    None of these “people” are in my life today, thank heaven. I only have room for nice, loyal, healthy folk. The rest….meh.

  • Thanks for the post. It took me a long while to realize that it is no surprise that my ex-MIL and ex-SIL tried to blame me for my ex’s affair. If only I had paid more attention to him, said my SIL. “He is someone who needs to be taken care of. He needs a wife who can do that. He can’t take care of himself.” As part of his dysfunctional family dynamic, his mom, who lived with us, and his (childless) sister, who would come over all the time, would do everything for him, including picking up garbage and dirty socks that he just threw on the floor. And then his mom would chastise me for not picking up after him, because he was so busy and needed to concentrate on his career. And I have a full-time job and two young kids (whom ex barely lifted a finger to take care of).

    After I discovered the affair and told ex’s family members about it, SIL kept on repeating that he deserves a better wife, someone who truly loved him and was devoted to him, because I was too inconsiderate and selfish because I focused too much on my career and kids. Part of me said, “Fine. I’ll divorce him and then he can find a better wife.” Then after I filed for divorce, SIL and MIL berated me for not sticking by him like a good wife, after all that he did for me, and said they didn’t want us to divorce (my guess is because of financial reasons).

    There is a reason that cheaters are who they are. Chances are they grew up in family that enabled and excused their behavior.

    • Heads they win, tails you lose – so frustrating.

      “There is a reason that cheaters are who they are. Chances are they grew up in family that enabled and excused their behavior.” – Young
      I think that sums up a lot!

    • “He is someone who needs to be taken care of. He needs a wife who can do that. He can’t take care of himself.”

      Did she say this for real? you would think she was talking about a mental invalid or a vegetable. Not a grown man who lives in America. So bizarre these people. A real man would take care of his family, not the other way around, to have his frigging family take care of him! Shaking my head…

  • “Undercover Adultery Assistance Squad” === U-AAS(S)

    Yep, these people are truly assholes. ‘Nuff said.

  • Birds of a feather. These cheaters hang around people who have the same derelict morals as them. After all, a person with good values and morals wouldn’t tolerate this type of behavior. I have a coworker who is a cheater, and his friends are all in shitty marriages and relationships. They egg each other on and they all tell each other that it’s ok to cheat. After all, they deserve to be happy. Eye roll, each other is more pathetic than the other.

  • FWIW, I live by the motto that it’s not my job to campaign.

    What I mean is, I don’t have to explain what happened in my marriage beyond stating the facts that my STVXW cheated and committed a rage sizeable amount of financial infidelity.

    What I tell anyone who pushes the issue of “trying to make them choose” or “pick sides” or whatever, is that they’re off the hook totally, because **I am the one who is choosing.*** If that person doesn’t understand that a spouse having a totally secret life is morally wrong, then I cannot help them. I have to choose to exclude those people from my life, because we fundamentally have different value systems. The end.

    This is complicated with former friends, neighbors, and family, but usually not impossible. Remember, you don’t have to have anyone *understand* your boundaries, they just need to *accept* your boundaries.

    • Sorry, should read “my STBXW cheated and committed a rather sizeable amount of financial infidelity.”

  • My MIL was great. She told everyone in the family she wasn’t going into detail, but the divorce was not my fault, I had done nothing wrong & she still considered me her daughter. Ray of light in a dark world…

  • My Ex MIL enabled my ex-Narcissist’s abuse. She came to stay with us for a month while her marriage was falling apart and turned a blind eye to all of the abuse I was taking. She encouraged the Narcissist and fed into his ego. Mostly because she felt guilty for abandoning him as a child and making him that way to begin with!!!!

  • My ex is enabled by the entire PCUSA church that turns a blind eye to what he has done and still allows him in the pulpit.

  • You support the Coward Cheater and Ho-bag Twat?

    Good to know–GOOD to KNOW.

    Then I don’t have time for you. Enjoy that mess, and good luck!

    • xMIL supports the new thing, as does xSIL. They’re both victims, so they embrace xH’s victim status. He’s a victim of a mean ex wife who threw him out and moved on (at least that’s what it looks like from the outside.) xH loved to bad-mouth me through the years behind my back to his mommy, and she ate that shit up with a spoon. She didn’t much care for me, though I was good to her son, good to her, great mom to her grandchildren (even as she and xH criticized my mothering.) OW is not as uppity as I am–like, not as into working and stuff as I am–and so she’s a really nice fit for the dysfunction of that family. And xMIL can rescue and nurture the new couple who will persevere in the midst of persecution and misunderstanding against all odds. How touching.

      Blecckkh! Good riddance to the lot of them. They can now openly bad-mouth me, and if it gives them temporary reprieve from feeling like slobs, then good for them!

      Oh, well, then there’s xH’s good buddy from high school, thrice married and divorced who moved to Asia to satisfy his narcissistic fetishes without having to work very hard. He is very supportive of the new thing, too.

      xH has it made. Must be really nice to be so solid. (Ick.)

  • The enablers of cheater in my trauma were:

    1) daughter’s godfather — whom i now suspect is/was a cheater too
    2) his therapist — who married one of her patients (his AP was a patient)
    3) his siblings; their own father did same to them
    4) cultural entitlement and XH’s ending narrative, “i was unhappy the whole marriage” – news to me at year 23

  • One more thing–

    Before feeling hurt that anyone supports the cheater? Consider the source.

    Even if you thought these were good people before they supported the cheater and AP, something about taking the wrong side is very insightful, isn’t it? Do you really need weak, amoral, immoral people in your life? No, you don’t. And now you know something about these folks. Diseased wood–cut it off.

  • In my case the enablers fell under #6. But the unique thing was everyone of these people had never met in person. The cheerleaders were all Schmoopies Facebook friends. They became “friends” with my ex through her. I might like to add that these were mostly women in thier late 50’s who were in stable marriages. One woman was giving them aid by passing messages through a Facebook page they had created with thier cute little nicknames for each other. My tech savvy daughter found it and because these people aren’t too original she was able to guess the passwords. WOW! I was devastated to know that these assholes had followed Schmoopies orders to a “t”! One woman told my ex to get a throwaway phone on Schmoopies orders. They also left my Facebook page the very day my ex started sleeping with Schmoops! There is a warmer place in Hell for these idiots. I hope it happens to them. That’s all I have to say.

    • Gosh Roberta, you were internet bullied. By people in their 50s… pathetic.

  • Oh, these assholes also knew for months, while being “friends” with me on Facebook, that these two were heading for an affair. Not a one clued me in! They thought it was sooooo romantic! Just makes me so angry I could chew nails! No moral code with these cruds!

  • My ex had lots of support, direct and indirect;

    – the one friend he actually spent any time with in the years before Affair #2, the guy was a huge cheater who finally ended up divorced, then years later they got back together, and everybody is a happy family again! He bragged a ton to my ex about his conquests, and fed ex’s delusions that he could cheat and there would be no consequences. Of course my ex NEVER told me this about his friend, despite telling me tons of other things about him, until well after our own separation.

    – my ex’s parents, such GREAT examples! Ex’s father is a huge cheater, as well as violent and generally an asshole. And his mom, who put up with the violence but did kick him out for the cheating, continues to pine after him. More recently, his mom was bragging about being the fuck-buddy of a younger man (married).

    – the otherwise-pretty-good couple’s therapist we saw, who provided that common justification for his first affair; ‘unmet needs’. Yeah, needs to be constantly adored no matter what a jerk he was being, to have a scintillating sex life while made no effort to make it better and he treated me like crap, to get everything he felt entitled to all the time, while reciprocating very little. More like ‘unmeetable needs’. But at least she was holding him to account for repairing the relationship – so of course he refused to continue that therapy – it was ‘too hard’.

    – the OW, who ‘understood about cheating and didn’t judge him’, because, of course, she was a cheater herself, blew up her own kids’ family prior to hitting on my ex. She’s also the ONLY person or source of info he consulted about how our kids would do with our separation – such a neutral and objective source. Amazing how ONE sentence from Schmoopie removed ANY doubt, guilt or concern he had about his kids in all this.

    – every fucking movie and tv show that treats adultery as not much, or just another thing that happens in relationships or a source of comedy. He said to me after Affair #1 that ‘affairs were so common, look at books and movies’. I told him, yeah, so are fatal car accidents, cancer diagnoses and murders; they need something to get the drama going. That doesn’t mean it’s OK to INVITE those things into our lives.

    – ME. By my reactions to his first affair, by my buying into the RIC, by my providing him with a super soft landing and no consequences after that first affair, by my working so hard to make our relationship better, I set him up for the second one. Despite my saying very very clearly that it could never happen again or I’d be done, that was easy for him to ‘forget’, and I think he really believed I’d pick-me-dance and take him back, again this time.

    The fucking around is 100% on him, and none of these things would have pushed him to do that if he were a decent person, if he actually loved me or his kids. But it isn’t fun seeing how many others support cheating.

    • Well said, KarenE. I too provided that soft landing after Dday #1, thus fairly ensuring that there would be another episode. So glad I stopped smoking that hopium pipe. At least I stopped at two. Looking back, I can see I did all the work of reconciling and he was happy to enjoy the newer, working-even-harder-to-please wife. I am now a proud member of Enablers No More, and delightfully dwelling in the land of Meh.

  • “Then there are the amoral jackasses who simply stick by the cheater no matter what he does. These are people who say “friends need to support each other no matter what,” even if those friends are breaking up a family to move in with their favorite strippers.”

    This! In my case, I think that his “best friends” were “there for me” in the immediate aftermath because they are sociopaths too and were deriving some pretty heady schadenfreude from the whole situation. Needless to say, I haven’t spoken to them in almost a year. He can have them. I cannot recall who said this the other day, but I loved it: “Is it winning if the prize is a shit sandwich?”

  • I never knew if anybody helped facilitate the cheating, I never cared to find out. But when I went looking for support among my friends, most of them didn’t want to hear anything about it at all and brushed me off with a noncommittal “You’ll figure it out”.

    One friend was a Great Unquestioned Assumer at times, and other times not. She said that the cheating was a “wake up call” for me to figure out what was lacking in the relationship. But then in the next breath she would say that I needed to kick him to the curb because I deserved better. She constantly flip flopped between attitudes. I think she just liked to parrot back things she read in women’s magazines or saw on daytime talk shows. Nothing she said was ever actually meaningful, just pop psychology buzz words and self-help catch phrases, so I tuned her out pretty fast.

    One of my oldest and closest friends is a Do or Die freak and it turns out, a cheater apologist. From the start, she aggressively pushed me to forgive and reconcile. I decided to give my ex a list of reconciliation demands but drew my line in the sand and made up my mind to end the relationship if he put one toe over that line. When he showed that he wasn’t going to change and I ended the relationship and went total no contact with him, Do or Die freak got really angry with me. She said “I guess it’s best for both of you since you’re not committed enough to stick with him through the hard times”. When I told her that I was completely committed, it was my ex who chose to break his promise after he said he’d do whatever it took to save the relationship, she said “it was just a setback, and you used it as an excuse to bail instead of doing the hard work”. I told her that it wasn’t my obligation to do any work, I wasn’t the one who cheated, and she refused to see my point. I don’t really talk to her anymore, it turns out she’s a long-term chump with a serial cheater husband so I understand why she feels the way she feels, I rocked her boat a little too much by holding my ex accountable.

    And once the cheater became the ex, all the friends who didn’t want anything to do with the situation have approached me to pat me on the back and congratulate me for kicking him to the curb because I always deserved better than him. It doesn’t feel good at all because that was what I needed to hear over and over back when I first found out about the cheating, not “you’ll figure it out”.

    • I had an uncle tell me the same line of shit; that this was a trial in the marriage and we needed to “work on it”. Ha! I don’t need to work on shit. And this coming from a guy whose first and only wife cheated on him for FIVE YEARS only to dump him, marry her AP, and leave the state with his kids. He did nothing but sulk, which I couldn’t understand. Yet this man felt compelled to give me advice?!

      He once said,”This doesn’t seem characteristic for X, maybe you should get him some help.” Yes, let’s rally around X and get him to a therapist post-haste. I’d rather have a fucking root canal. From then on, I stopped answering the phone when he called.

      Uncle has been nothing but a martyr his entire life. There’s no way I would live like that. Nope.

  • My stbx’s sister, whose husband cheated on her years earlier (and they stayed together). After telling me: “He loves both of you.”, once he stuck it to me permanently she became great friends with the OW whore. Oh also, my fil, who called me on my birthday (thinking I was the OW- he was confused), telling the OW how wonderful it was meeting her, she’s just a “doll” and he can’t wait to see her again. (This is after II spent 40 years with his son and helped him get into assisted living). None of them every spoke to my son again (who is also the stbx’s son) so I guess it wasn’t important to see how we were doing and out with the old, on with the new!!! So I guess you could say that the (rotten) apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    • OMG – ‘He loves you both of you’. !!!!!!! What the FUCK!
      She actually said that – the same words out of fucker-X’s mouth….But, honey, I love you both.
      This makes me sick and a huge trigger.
      Sorry for swearing.
      I would have wiped that nice grin off her face with a glass fork…or whatever.

      And, to add insult to injury, She also loves you both! How sickening, and she’s now buddies with the Ow.
      Well, we know her character just from that.


      • Did she mean you and your son, or you and the OW? I may have read that wrong.

  • Meant to say that none of them ever spoke to me or my son again.

    • I’m sorry about your son, but I’m glad they are out of YOUR life.

      Scats, they are.

  • Oh, and most important, the mc we went to for years who agreed with him that there was no need to upset him to talk about the affair; the sex he was withholding would be forthcoming if only I wasn’t such a nag; even though he was an alcoholic, it was okay to do ‘controlled’ drinking (huh?); it was our son’s fault that my stbx was mad at him all the time; I should get a third job so my husband could retire; and that it was all of MY childhood issues that made him cheat. When I emailed her AFTER the fourth and final D day because I wanted her to know how off target she was about EVERYTHING, she said she would talk to me about my problems but wouldn’t talk about him. Oh, and she would still charge me!!!

  • Perfecting timing for this post. I’m away with friends, and everyone has a story about a cheater in their life (mostly a parent) and one was even the OW. Of course, she tried to clean it up, saying they were sleeping in separate rooms, living separate lives, yada, yada, yada. I’ve known her for a while, but first time I heard the gory details. And me, being a chump, am again traumatized and mortified at the non-chalant attitude, shrugging of shoulders regarding this matter.

  • My double digit years marriage left me with no self-esteem and a mega-ton of self-doubt. Add an in-law family full of enabler type #5s and whatever tiny little bit of me was left, was crushed. These people that told me they loved me and wanted to help me (they knew how I was treated and about the other women) did a 180 degree turn the second they found out I had filed for divorce. I was told “It takes two to ruin a relationship”, “The Lord is refining you through this test”, “It’s a sin for a women to break their vows made before God”, “Your selfishness is going to ruin your children’s lives.” That’s a tip of the iceberg summary of how when I was what I thought was my lowest point, they came in with a tank and smashed me even flatter. They are now enabling him out of their Christian duty to “help” and have cut all contact with me. It hurt a lot at first, but I now realize what a blessing that is.

    I missed Quote Day, but mine is fitting here too: “God sometimes removes people from your life to protect you. Don’t run after them.” Unknown.

    • UL, sorry to read about the in laws from hell that you had to endure. You deserve so much better. Sending you hugs. So glad you’re free of their damaging lies and hypocrisy.

  • MIL here too. Used to have OW for lunch, and loved it when OW visited her.

    When I was outraged, kick-ass therapist said ‘how she supports her son is none of your business. Anyway, why are you going to THE SOURCE OF THE MADNESS, and expecting it not to be mad????’

    I love my gay, marxist kick-ass therapist. Even though I am a Conservative capitalist Thatcherite and we have nothing in common. He kicks ass and has helped me change my character for the better.

  • I don’t know if I would consider stbx’s boss an enabler or a corruptor. It should have been a HUGE red flag from the start. Stbx has worked for the same guy over 25 years. He’s a multi-millionaire from overseas who has little to no regard for women, and has been divorced twice. His boss was always trying to take him on trips abroad-Amsterdam, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc. Each time I put my foot down and said no. His boss would then bring pictures back of him and the other men that were on the trip with young girls (obviously the paid local talent) and go on & on about how all the women there were so beautiful & kind. When we would attend these swanky business functions, the other men would also openly talk about which countries you could go to if you wanted to “meet” pretty young girls. Oh, and said to him (in front of me) that these places weren’t somewhere that you take your wife. Niiiiice.

    Don’t know why I was surprised to find him frequenting Asian massage parlors/hookers/etc. He just got around not being able to travel out of the country for international strange. I’m sure his boss told him where to go & that it had been going on for years during our marriage.

    Thank god he is no longer my problem & that all the STD tests were clear!

    • I believe one of the hot spots for this is Costa Rica in a town name Jaco. (wacko)
      You can get anything in the world there.

  • To Whom It May Concern – specifically the woman with two children (boy and girl) who’s husband cheated on his wife with my niece. I hope you are on this board. Yes, they had been dating at least six months while you were working and raising your kids. They were co-workers and he looked at her and said to himself…..I just HAVE to have THAT! (my niece) And, by God, that’s just what happened. He’s at least 15 yrs older. They were so madly in love, breaking up two families (she has 2 girls) and I understand you are very upset and I don’t blame you. They had a big huge wedding – she wore black, interestingly enough.
    He’s a nice enough guy but she is your classic narc. Always posting pics of herself on FB – you know the type.
    You have never met a more self-centered person in your life, and she’s always saying how easy it would be just not to be married – in front of him.
    Like, she could bolt at any time and doesn’t need him.
    He looked miserable when she said this a few times around a group of people and she obviously wears the pants. If he doesn’t want to follow her on her trip around the world? (you know, he has to work and she took a year off) So, she’s going ALONE! whoopee.

    Always posting pics about allllll the great trips they go on and how much fun they’re doing zip-lines, and bungee jumping, and of course – all with the kids!
    Except their many vacations where you have the kids.
    Your daughter was extremely unhappy at their house and eventually left for good. He and my niece didn’t get along, apparently.
    Also, I’d like to say, your X doesn’t look all that happy either.

    She disgusts me and we have had too many fights to count.
    She didn’t want to hear at all about my marriage break-up, of course.

    So, I am done with her.

    She can take her cheating ass ways to another relative that is not me.

    Sorry if this was off topic. But, I’ve wanted to write that for a long time.

  • Gosh, I absolutely love my MIL – to me, she is like a Mother and I will always feel that way. She doesn’t like what her son has done, but hey he’s her son. That doesn’t mean she needs to disown me. Her son doesn’t like it, but she set him straight right away. She said – “Look, she is the mother of my grandchildren and I love her like a daughter and nothing is going to change that – do you understand me?”

    She even took me to Hawaii with her ha ha ha… I love her to pieces. I’m truly blessed I believe.

    As for the ex, he’s a cheat – and supposedly – his new wife was cheated on by her first husband – but who’s to believe what. I don’t really know the truth other than about him – I’m almost at Meh because I don’t really care – neither of them have any integrity and they really do deserve each other and their disfunction.

  • My ex had a whole community of enablers. HIS friends were locals in a resort area who were all into drugs, alcohol, and (I learned later) swinging. They all covered for each other’s bad behavior and I was outnumbered from the beginning. Amongst them were a number of past, current, and (in his mind) future fuck buddies. In addition there were “friends ” on social media fixing him up with “nice” women because he had conversations inced them I was the psycho bitch from hell. All this was happening while he was married to me, and I was supporting him because he was a musician and was too good for a day job. So glad I got out!

  • My FIL and MIL are wonderful! They have been nothing but supportive and loving as has the rest of the douchebag’s family. He doesn’t speak to them, hasn’t in over two years. In-laws flew DS and I to Arizona this year. It was a much needed rest and a joy to visit them. Thankfully he ran off with the whore and is 50 miles away.

    I haven’t heard one word from his friends, but they are his coworkers. He doesn’t really have friends. I could care less about them.

  • Huh. Funnily enough, my uncle who got cheated on is named Jim. The details are different, but damn.

  • My mother-in-law and father-in-law were ministers in their church. Didn’t stop them from paying for the OW’s flights from Tx to Mich to visit their son, my husband. Didn’t stop them from letting them use their home and cabin for the little love fest. When they appeared in our divorce court holding bibles with their crosses around their necks I could feel the hairs raise on my neck. When the judge awarded me everything I saw their jaws drop. God works in mysterious ways.

  • In laws inserted MOW into my old role without a blink of the eye.

    My X husband and his Tru Lurv were both working on their Masters of Divinity when love struck them.

    Enablers were their group of friends, the clergy, the staff at the college and pretty much every blood relative on both sides.

    In Laws even got her a job as a curate at their church when she got ordained ( the church we were married in ).

    I was discarded in a spectacular way and no one seemed to notice!

    Blood might be thicker than water, but I think that “the burny place” holds a special hell for the JC Cheater fan club.

  • The Enabler was a combination of #2 and #6. She was a cheater herself, but as a former child actress, loved the romantic ending that Hollywood might have given my XH. She was a high school friend who listened when XH complained about his wife and long-time OW. No one could make him happy! When he hit on her, the Enabler decided to fob him off on another one of the high school crowd, another malcontent looking for romance after 3 failed marriages. So new category, #7, the matchmaker enabler aka Madam.

  • POS ex hung out with four other men at the club. His so called friends. Spent a lot of time there. Complaining about their wives and children. Within five years all had left their marriages. Who knew?!?!? Ex used to get “massages” too, how healthy! but was pretty quiet about those “services”… I never saw a receipt though. His State vehicle was broken into one day while parked, ex had this BIG story, took me a while to figure out where It took place (hint, wasn’t at the club). #sketchybehavior #happyending #hookers Another red flag. Sigh.

  • One great thing about the Enablers, no matter what variety. Just because they assist in the adultery, or approve of it, whatever, it still doesn’t change the fact that it is WRONG. ALWAYS. Once Chump Lady and Divorce Minister, and several others, helped me get my head back around that fact my fog cleared. Now it doesn’t matter. One person, or 500 people, or every one on the damn planet can defend adultery, and it’s still wrong. Always. So fuck off cheaters and enablers.

  • I thought I had gotten away without one of these assholes in my life…. not so much unfortunately. Ran into my Ex’s best friend at the grocery store while doing a late night shop with my kids… oops. Turns out he is “sorry” that I am left with sole responsibility for 3 kids but that Ex isn’t a bad person and that he did talk with Ex about paying his child support but what else is he supposed to do?! I mean it’s not like it’s worth their friendship to make the Ex live up to societal standards or anything. .. I saw how deep this went when he testified about Ex’s character at his criminal trial… which is AWESOME but he hasn’t had any solid contact with Ex for 10 years…. they barely speak, but yes Ex is AWESOME!! Stand up guy who just cost the affair partner $250k, before that he cost me $100k and before THAT he cost his previous wife several $10k… but he is such and AWESOME guy!!

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