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Tom Jones Eulogizes His Chump

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tomjonesandwifeWelsh lothario, Tom Jones, of “What’s New Pussycat?” fame, eulogized his dead wife Linda this week. They’d been married since they were both 16, and Linda was pregnant with their son.

“I realised that she’s always been very important to me, throughout my life, but I now I realise she might have been the most important thing in my life – and she still is.”

“I felt very lucky to have fallen in love at an early age. We were teenagers. We fell in love, not just in lust. A lot of teenagers fall in lust and then it doesn’t last. But we knew this thing was forever, for as long as we would be alive. That’s how strong the marriage was.”

How strong was it? Jones used to brag that he bedded 250 women a year, on average. But hey, he took precautions! A former lover reported he would dip his dick in Listerine.

And perhaps a well-worn, but minty fresh dick is the secret to marital bliss. Tom Jones would have us think so. The Telegraph reports:

A notable womaniser, Sir Tom is said to have had affairs with women including Mary Wilson, from the Supremes, Marjorie Wallace, the 1973 Miss World, and model Katherine Berkery, with whom it was revealed he had fathered an illegitimate child.

Despite this, Sir Tom insisted that he had never thought his marriage had been close to collapse. Breaking down in tears, he said: “No. Never. Never crossed my mind; it didn’t cross her mind. It was solid. We had a solid marriage that nothing could shake and we both felt that.”

To say that Linda Woodward was a chump would be a misnomer — she was a relic. Cut from the Old School of Stand By Your Man, she’d known of his affairs since the earliest days before he was famous. But she stayed on, faithful to him while he was unfaithful to her.

Tom has explained that they have had an arrangement since the late Sixties, when Linda stopped going on the road with him and it has worked well. In his own words: ‘She doesn’t ask.’

So what did Linda get for her lifelong investment in Tom Jones? A son, a mansion in Los Angeles that she rarely left (apparently she suffered from agoraphobia), depression, insecurity, and a frequently absent husband who rarely ever mentioned her.

‘I think from the very beginning, Linda was made to feel as if she mustn’t exist in his life.

‘It is sad because she is a lovely person, very warm, and if only she had got that confidence initially, she would have been very different, I am sure. She always stayed very much in the background.’

Tom complained that, alas, Linda had lost her spark and let herself go. So Linda obliged his celebrity and remained hidden.

But  hey, this arrangement is a love for the ages! Cheater and chump united in their belief that the cheater’s happiness is paramount, and fidelity and respect have nothing to do with a good marriage.

Was it worth it to be married to Tom Jones? To have his money and reflected glory? Sure those other women might come and go (or hang around for a couple years and bear him a child), but he Always Came Home to Her!

Really, he loved her All Along and those dalliances meant nothing! Tom Jones is a cheater cliche come to life. She didn’t understand him (and his pussy smorgasbord). He had needs she wasn’t meeting! And besides, she wasn’t all there mentally or physically, so can you blame the guy?

And now that she’s dead, he’d like credit for his Great Love of Linda. Now he’ll mention her. Now he gets on a stage and acknowledges their marriage.

And the narrative of I Loved You All Along is unchallenged, and the cheater garners the public’s sympathy. Poor bereft man. His oldest and dearest source of kibbles has died. How useful. Would you like to be Tom Jones’ next Great Love? Oh, sorry, You’re Not Linda! Try a little harder. Do you have a hankie? Because, you know, you remind me of Linda. She was special. Can you be special enough to heal that broken part of me that misses Linda? No, missed a spot. 

It’s so much easier to triangulate when one person is a ghost.

Let’s all hail the Marriage That Endures.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • It sucks that Linda was mistreated so badly, but there reaches a point when you’re no longer a victim or chump, but a volunteer.

    • When you know you are being cheated on and you stay, that is the moment you become a volunteer doormat. If upon being told or discovering the trurh, the next words out of your mouth are not “I’m divorcing you”, then you are a doormat, regardless if you remain in that position for 1 day or several thousand.

      • Are you new here? Because this site is for chumps — i.e. the people you’ve described as doormats because when we discovered infidelity, the first words out of our mouth were usually NOT, “I’m divorcing you.” A lot of us have multiple D-Days and got suckered by the reconciliation philosophy until we found Chump Lady and our inner strength. That doesn’t make us doormats and that kind of shaming is really out of place in the supportive community we have here.

        • Thank you! None of us lived this poor woman’s life and we have no idea why she stayed in this marriage. May she rest in peace.

          • For the record, I don’t consider Linda Woodward a chump. As I said, I think she’s a relic of a past time in which women stayed with philandering husbands and tolerated any kind of treatment. Since the 1970s (in the US anyway) we’ve had the women’s rights movement and divorce reform.

            She could’ve left this man and probably gotten a very fine settlement off him. She stayed. I think we can criticize that choice and still have some “there but for the Grace of I” moments of sympathy as well.

            However, I DO think she acted like a doormat. I know I did. I only tolerated 4 D-Days in pretty quick succession, not whatever 250 x 59 years of marriage is.

            I don’t comfort any “chump.” There are volunteers. We call those unicorns. There are people who value reflected glory and Partner To The Great One over their own dignity. Again, I teetered over that abyss and I get it.

            But CL is a place to bitchslap people out of those notions.

            The woman didn’t save herself. That IS on her. Tom Jones didn’t pretend to be anything other than a skeevy womanizer. And sold a lot of albums doing it.

              • In the hot, slow South, when my mother divorced my father, her own family treated her with contempt and ridicule. It was a different time that shamed women for being in charge of their destiny. However, I don’t think all women have the intellectual sophistication that CL has. CL can WRITE and THINK on a higher plane that 99% of the populace.

                It is like me arguing with people about chaining up their dogs outside. I actually want to blundgeon them into a coma for it (96 degree, no shade and no water, chaining them up…let me DO IT TO YOU) but they look at me like I am an alien.

                Are they cruel monsters or victims of this culture? Maybe both.

                Was Linda a wallowing martyr or beaten down victim of an asshole? Maybe both.

                Either way, it shows us, in spades:

                TRUST THAT THEY SUCK!!! She is now a footnote to his continued self worship, and she is gone. No more chances to be mighty.

                It is the bedrock of it all. If you get that….the path is crystal clear.

              • This 100000%:

                “I don’t comfort any “chump.” There are volunteers. We call those unicorns. There are people who value reflected glory and Partner To The Great One over their own dignity. Again, I teetered over that abyss and I get it.

                But CL is a place to bitchslap people out of those notions.”

            • What we chose to do for ourselves is one thing, but to criticize a dead woman because, for reasons unknown to us, she stayed in an abusive marriage is something I am not willing to do. Is she an example of what not to do? Certainly, but the view that she was somehow complicit in her mistreatment removes the focus from where it should be-on the wrong doer. She was 16 when she married, no job, no education and also suffered from mental and emotional disorders. He was a “super star”, who used his position to do whatever in the hell he liked. I do not consider her anything other than a victim.

              • I agree; people underestimate the horrible power of learned helplessness.

                Linda was not only a chump, psychologically beaten by that victimhood, but by a society that told her to look the other way, don’t rock the boat, and Stand-by-your-Man. And we all know how fair cheaters are (eyeroll) when someone tries to leave them–he may have threatened to make her destitute, take her son away from her (my narc father threatened that when my mother threatened to leave him–and she was of the same generation as Linda). Blaming the victim is just not cool.

                The term ‘learned helplessness’ comes from research by Seligman whereby two dogs were equally shocked in a chamber, but one dog had control over whether the shock stopped (by activating a lever). The no-control dog, having learned it was helpless, would not stop the shock, even when put into a chamber where that dog could press the lever, or escape in some other way. It.would.not.help.itself, despite terrible pain.

              • And dollars to donuts, her emotional issues were caused by being in an abusive marriage.

            • I apologize for my earlier comment. Re-reading it I realize I came across as some kind of Voice of the Community and Arbiter of What’s Okay Here. Obviously I’m not and my apologies for overstepping.

              CL, I’ve always thought you do an amazing job of balancing 2x4s of truth with compassion. And that has carried through to your blog community. This has been a life-changing place for me. That’s why I gotta disagree with the doormat language. For me, that led to paralyzingly shame – and yeah that’s my issue to work on. It was the compassion here that lifted me up when I needed it – the people saying, “Hey, we’ve all been there. You can do this.”

              So yeah I identify with Linda. But of course the stunner here is Tom Jones’s raging narcissism.

              • What he put her thru she was just a knotch in s bedpost shame on him having another kid an not taking responsibility still your kid oh I’m sorry she force him to have sex

        • arghhh did not know this about Tom Jones… how could I have possibly been under the impression that he was faithful all those years of the marriage. SIGH. Ok – so that’s shattered. Another one… same shit. Well Linda chose her life, at some level. Maybe her cancer was all her repression – all the shit she tried to bury. I know my cancer started with my ex-husband – and until I left him it grew. Once I left him and finally got to ‘meh’? I’m 12 years cancer free this year.

    • Exactly Lulu. As a child, you are helpless and therefore a victim. But as an adult, you are a participant. Linda was a volunteer at this point. Well said.

    • She seems to me like a chump who collapsed under decades of abuse. I don’t think of her as a volunteer.

      • Agreed. This kind of abuse is gradual and insiduous, leading to depression, loss of self esteem and helplessness. I’m sorry she was never able to pull herself out of this and I’m sure it was even more difficult with the pressure of his fame and the worlds eyes on her. It wouldn’t surprise me either if his managers, lawyers, pr people and other assorted hangers on were encouraging her to stay for the “good of his career”.

        • Good point. I also wouldn’t be surprised if she was threatened to stay in the marriage by said entourage. They may have convinced her she would get little to nothing in a divorce settlement and would be blamed and shamed all the way through it.

        • It was a different time. Divorce used to be so shameful people didn’t even say it out loud. My grandmother’s husband ran off with her best friend, abandoning my grandmother and her 5 children when my mom was a baby. Rather than tell people she had to file for divorce, she told people he’d been killed in a car wreck. When my mother and her siblings were old enough to date, some families didn’t want their son or daughter getting involved in dating a person from a divorced family.

          I can relate to her feelings of depression and helplessness. No doubt she developed mental problems because of her relationship, I know I did! Anyway, what’s really sick is how he’s now using her memory to manipulate people’s sympathies, when he had so little sympathy for her when she was alive. Thanks to Tracey for pointing this out so eloquently.

          • Lyn I grew up in the nineties and a friend of mine was abandoned by her dad and people at my church told their kids not to date her bc she came from a “divorced” family. My family wasn’t that way but some were/are. Who can help being abandoned??!!

      • Thank you, Better Days. Well said. This treatment falls under Abuse, so I guess so victims of abuse are, in reality, Volunteers. This shit warps your mental health, which is what sounds like happened to Linda. Is a little compassion for this woman beyond reason? To paraphrase The Breakfast Club, we are ALL Victims AND Volunteers. At least, that is my opinion. Unless you were of course in the perfect marriage, until your spouse fucked someone else. **sarcasm*** there.

        • I have a real problem saying that someone “volunteered” for abuse. It reeks of blaming the victim, and ignores real psychological forces that we are all subject to, to different degrees.

          • Tempest, I am not using the words Victim or Volunteer in a derogatory way at all. I hope it didn’t seem that way. Anyone who is abused is a Victim. That is just saying a person was mistreated by another. Which we all were. As for Volunteers , most/some of us were, in the fact that we were not in the relationship against our will. We didn’t choose the abuse/cheating but we did choose the relationship. For any number of different reasons.

            It is hard to get out of these relationships. Some don’t have the strength to do it I don’t say any of this lightly, because I have been in a relationship where I feared for my life, was hit, strangled, threatened with a gun, sexually molested, insulted, belittled, etc, etc, etc. (This was not the cheater, but someone before that). And, yes, I was there of my own free will, kind of. It changes the way you think, like you say . so yes, I was a Victim/volunteer. It’s not mutually exclusive.

            • I see your point, Anita. I do think we underestimate people’s ability to see exit signs or to know how to get to them. The mind can be a powerful thing, but it can also be a fragile thing (as yours must have been while you were in the physically abusive relationship). I’m glad you got out.

              • Thank you, Tempest! I do believe most people are much closer to, and more vulnerable to, complete ruin than we would like to believe. This stuff can happen to ANYONE.

              • I suppose I meant “overestimate.” I liken trauma to being in the middle of a twister/cyclone; if you’re in the vortex, there may be some vague sense that there is a calmer place on the other side, but from inside the vortex you can’t see any exit. It’s not until there’s a slight slowing of the cyclone, or someone’s arm reaches through that you realize you can get somewhere better if you just pass through the 50 mph winds first.

              • I thought that’s what you meant, Tempest. I always enjoy your comments, they seem so calm and rational. Very much appreciated.

              • Yep the mind is a fragile thing… I know I was in a state of dissociation as I could not make any sense of the nightmare that was unfolding before me with trickle truths and gas lighting !!! So this poor woman sounds like she was groomed to stay in the background and keep quiet. Is it any surprise she was agoraphobic? 🙁

      • Exactly. Labeling people who were emotionally abused and manipulated as doormats puts responsibility on the wrong party. Cheaters condition their chumps to stay in awful situations. Society encourages people to forgive and forget about cheating. It’s no wonder that so many chumps struggle mightily.

        While we chumps should evaluate why we missed the warning signs and why we chose to be with a partner like that in the first place, that is a far cry from saying chumps volunteer to be abused.

        • Just like I say that cheaters make choices, so do chumps. Yes, you can volunteer for this kind of abuse and I’m sympathetic to the mindfuckery and self doubt that makes people stay. But staying is a CHOICE.

          The whole point of this site is to remind people that they have AGENCY.

          No one deserves abuse. NO ONE. We can’t control people who cheat on us, we can only control ourselves.

          We owe it to ourselves to ask WHY did I tolerate this shit and not make excuses. There are many reasons we tolerate it, and some of those reasons are noble — and many are not.

          And if you want to fix that picker and realize your self worth, you have to do the hard work of figuring out why you tolerated crap off a KNOWN cheater.

          To not know, and be played, and struggle for awhile, I get. But this woman tolerated 59 years of this. I wrote the column to show how this guy is using his wife’s death as impression management — isn’t my marriage awesome? Wasn’t our love greater than the ways I treated her like crap?

          Stay with a serial cheater — that eulogy could be yours.

          • Spot on! It’s one thing to be duped, not know, find out and then struggle with leaving a cheater. But to *know* full well he’s a philandering pig, womanizer, who bedded god knows 250+ women, and stay with him for 60 YEARS afterwards. That is a choice.

            • I’m stuck on the total presumption of what she knew based only on his words to the press. We know the mythology that was put out to the press about the 250 women a year nonsense. We know nothing of her side – so how is buying into that not buying into impression management?

              Since when is victim blaming the same as helping someone sort out personal responsibility? Shame doesn’t redirect people to agency, does it?

              Find one article where she spoke for herself about what she knew and her choices, and then I can understand calling her a volunteer. Until then, it’s nothing more than the same vitriol that people express towards Chumps for staying even a minute longer than they think they should have. It’s not any different.

              • Okay, let’s say for the sake of argument that she didn’t know about any of his affairs. She was in the dark. Lied to. Chumped.

                She did know about the DNA test and his other child and the lawsuit. There’s ONE affair she certainly knew of. And the way this guy disavowed that child, leading up to a DNA test.

                We can judge Linda the same way we judge cheaters — by her ACTIONS. She did not leave him.

                Is that sad? Tragic? Understandable? Yes.

                Victim blaming is saying that she MADE him cheat. By aging, or losing her spark, or WTFever those critics say.

                I’m not victim blaming. I’m saying about a dead Linda what I’d say to any living chump — YOU HAVE CHOICES. YOU HAVE AGENCY. YOU HAVE WORTH.

                You are the captain of your soul. You get to decide who is worth keeping in in your life and who is not. You get to have boundaries and enforce them. And we are responsible for doing THAT work in our lives. That is not victim blaming.

              • But I was addressing the comments and not the blog at all.

                The comments where she was called a volunteer and an idiot – neither one of those words were about supporting agency or personal responsibility. They were expressions of disdain and they were victim blaming in the context they were shared.

                In the comments, her being referred to as an idiot equal to and deserving of him totally devalued her – how is that comment supporting anyone’s worth? This is what is pissing me off.

              • Yes, we all do have Agency, but people don’t always *feel* as if they have agency. And that makes a difference to what they do. I’d bet any money he threatened to get custody of their son if she left him, and plenty of us put up with tons of shit when we thought it was for the good of our kids (even if we now know better).

          • I see where you are coming from but still feel that this is very much a case of essentially Stockholm Syndrome. She was with him from the age of 16, surrounded by his staff, supporters and hangers on, I very much doubt she had access to anyone that could hit her on the head with a 2×4 and very little access to reality. That’s the great thing about this blog – reminding people who may have forgotten that they do have agency. My feeling is that this woman forgot that a long time ago and had nobody to pull her out of it.
            A gilded cage indeed.

            • Agreed. How many of us would have stayed and tried to wreckoncile if it were not for CL? Abusers isolate their victims. Linda didn’t have the internet or any other support network. It’s easy to point fingers and judge her from a modern standpoint with different cultural attitudes and all the resources we have at our fingertips. But a little modesty and perspective goes a long way. The person we should be pointing fingers at is the cheater Tom Jones, and his enablers.

          • In the Resiliency literature, all it takes for someone to pull themselves out of a horrible situation (poverty, abuse, trauma) is ONE person who has your back.

            Tom may have either isolated Linda to such an extent that no one had her back, or her support system encouraged her to stay with such a handsome, wealthy man.

            Let’s face it–most of us had someone or something (e.g., this blog) who gave us the courage to leave. Linda may not have.

            • To have someone in my life name a specific thing right after it happened, so I could remember it as it actually had happened, that how my xh was treating me was abusive, that was my first eye opener. Then I could hear other friends and relatives asking me to leave him.

              It took one voice to help me see through his mask, and a small group to help me leave safely.

      • I agree @renewed. I am having a very hard time with the majority of the comments aimed at Mrs Jones. We don’t know this woman AT ALL other than the most basic of information. She is DECEASED and deserves respect.

        Reading some of these comments is like knowing the vultures that circle above my ranch are about to pick apart a dead deer.

        Of course I realize Tom Jones was a shit hole but she deserves nothing but compassion particularly now that she has departed this Earth.

        • Totally agree. I feel despair at changing the way the public views infidelity when chumps themselves can’t even feel empathy for a fellow chump, especially from a different era when women had many fewer options.

    • Whoa… way to miss the point. The shaming and lack of empathy you two are expressing towards the wife by referring to her as a doormat and a volunteer is something people can experience anywhere on the Internet or by having a conversation with, like, anyone. You should know better if you’re on this page, and if you don’t, go and re-read some things. Not cool. Not cool at all.

      • From what I read, it seems she was a volunteer. One of Tom’s mistresses even said the following: “She added: “Linda knew (of the affairs) and didn’t choose to make an issue of it. She wanted to stay married to him, that was basically what he told me in a nutshell.”

        • Yes, the word of a known lying cheater is always so reliable. Actually, two liars, Tom and the Whore. “That is basically what he told me in a nutshell_” I’m sure. And that absolves both of you of responsibility.

          • Yeah, gotta say one of the most damaging things was learning what The Entitled One was telling his whores and enabling friends about me.

            • Exactly, however when I actually talked to his last OW before the divorce she dropped him like a hot potato. She found his lies when met by reality didn’t mesh.

              • This exactly: “his lies when met by reality didn’t mesh.” The Entitled One left for the pussy smorgasbord (love that, CL!) not a particular OW but I believe he’s in a relationship with someone now. All I can think is: man, is she in for a surprise!

          • The cheater said his wife was fine with it? Super original statement from a Very Trustworthy Source (TM).

            I’m not buying it. Linda may have looked the other way because she felt she had no options, because she hoped he would stop cheating, because her mental health was deteriorating from the abuse, and so on. But that doesn’t mean that Tom and his affair partners are absolved.

        • “One of Tom’s mistresses even said the following: “She added: “Linda knew (of the affairs) and didn’t choose to make an issue of it. She wanted to stay married to him, that was basically what he told me in a nutshell.”

          And exactly when does an OW Slut who sleeps with a cheater speaks truth. Sounds like image control.

        • There is no actual quote from
          Linda Jones anywhere on the Internet about her own marriage – so everything anyone knows is via Tom Jones. And this mistress… who didn’t know Linda Jones and is regurgitating things told to her from a cheating husband.

          They did not have an open relationship – this was well known. He had even shared how she punched him upon discovery of one of them. He portrays his marriage as don’t ask don’t tell, after a certain point, because it suits him. At the outset, his affairs were hidden. After that, he could depend on her reclusiveness.

          The point being, don’t assume her a volunteer before you assume she was so far down the rabbit hole that she couldn’t see herself out. Depression has a wonderful way of keeping someone down. Way down.

          • So how do you suppose chumps get out? If depression and cheaters are so powerful, what’s the point?

            His affairs were NOT hidden.

            She could look the other way and stay (what her actions tell us she did) or she could get help and leave.

            Was she beaten down? I’m sure she was. Many here were beaten down for years and LEFT. Many suffered depression and got treatment.

            We are responsible for how we allow ourselves to be treated. I’m sorry if that’s not a popular view here on my own blog, but it’s the truth.

            We do NOT deserve abuse. No one deserves to be cheated on. But we are responsible for how we REACT to abuse.

            Take it, smoke the hopium pipe, accept crumbs, continue to be of use, or foment revolution and say enough of this shit and leave.

            It’s scary and hard and I get why people stay. But I do criticize that choice, even though I have sympathy for it.

            • I’m not saying he’s powerful at all, I’m saying we don’t know her side.

              And if anyone knows about depression, part of what needs to be changed is how it’s received socially. This isn’t about abdicating personal responsibility, I’m addressing the distinct lack of empathy expressed for what as far as I can see, is no reason.

              What I guess I want to know is what is the value in referring to her as a volunteer, as complicit, as an idiot which is written down below on someone’s post? When does the timeline of staying turn someone into a volunteer? If this woman should be judged and criticized this way, why should any Chump here hope for anything different?

            • I think this is hitting so close to home that people don’t want to hear it. He is a douche. She knew. She stayed. It may have a lot of abuse stuff on it but she could have been like others who reached their limit. When we knew, when we stayed, we were doormats. That we stopped our lives, stopped the abuse, that’s what makes us chumps, not relics.

              • ^^^This.

                Sad to find out that Tom Jones is such a POS.

                We’ll never be sure how much of the cheating his wife knew of. But, speaking for myself, even before my 2 D-Days, I knew for a long time that SOMETHING was way off. Every day I regret that I didn’t listen to my own gut. I did feel like a doormat. I wasted many years of my life on a fuckwad cheater. Thanks to CL & CN, those days are over.

                For me, the message in CL’s post is not so much directed to his wife, but to Chumps: exercise your agency and take control of your life before it’s too late.

              • This: ” I knew for a long time that SOMETHING was way off. Every day I regret that I didn’t listen to my own gut. I did feel like a doormat. I wasted many years of my life on a fuckwad cheater.”

            • I get where some may feel there is a lack of empathy for Linda and true the woman is gone now so respect the deat, etc. However, I think what is being communicated here is about Choice…making no choice is a choice. A cheater chooses to cheat, makes a choice to lie, to be deceitfult. The “chump” has choices too, to stay and turn a blind eye, to stay and demand respect or to leave and gain a life.

              I read/visit other infideliity sites and something struck me the other day. There was a betrayed husband (BH) stating he feels trapped with his cheating wife. He pays all of the bills, he is the sole provider – his wife is a stay at home mom (SAHM), doing what she wants, openly cheating on him, but he feels he cannot leave because of the kids. He controls the money, pays for her car, which uses to cheat, pays for the cell phone, which she uses to cheat, but he feels trapped.
              The next post is from a SAHM whose husband is openly cheating on her and she feels trapped because of the kids. She has no money, she has no job, she depends on her husband. How can she leave with no way to support her children. As I read both accounts it struck me that both, in very different circumstances, felt the same. They felt trapped with no choices, but they had choices and did not make one and in doing so, made a choice. They may not have liked the choices, but they had them.

              I guess I am rambling, but I get what CL is communicating here; we have choice/Agency. You do not have to live with 59 years of a cheating spouse unless you want to live that way.

          • So true. Look at how many of us who are out of our relationships still struggle and some teeter on the brink of depression? Abuse begins in the mind. Stockholm syndrome is real. After a while that pattern of behaviour became what she knew. She was with him from 16. Can you imagine your teenage self and the belief in forever love? Abusers isolate. After a while she self-isolated. Her agrophobia I believe was a direct result of the humiliation she felt from his cheating. I can’t conclude she was a volunteer, unless I mis-construe the meaning. Here was a woman who was psychologically battered. Had he been beating her she would have been a battered spouse who ended up dead. Instead, she died inside. 59 years is a long time. It is long enough to completely mentally subjugate a person. Been watching Roots on the History Channel and it is true…slavery begins in the mind. Kunta Kinte had just arrived in the US and saw slaves looking like himself working. He said to them that they could revolt and flee since there were more of them (Africans) than Europeans. What he failed to realise was that they were not Africans anymore. They were slaves. Their minds had been colonised. To an outsider we imagine that Tom Jones’ wife had the ‘power’ to leave. Her mind was shackled. She really did not. This is why I cannot agree that she volunteered in this. She was present. She was the recipient.She was passive in the end. She lost any fight she might have had. and Tom….is a sleazy, disgusting, selfish, self-pitying shit!

            • I can relate here. When Ringling Bro.s wanted an obedient elephant, they would first break his or her spirits with almost year-long chains and abuse.
              Many of us had spirits broken in marriage. I got out because I kept an open mind. There is a saying, “It is easier to believe a lie you have heard a thousand times, than a truth you have never heard.”
              If you cannot understand why a victim stays, then Thank God, because those who understand have probably been there.
              That said, freedom is worth the escape! I am still gathering strength and healing, but the emotional toll of PTSD is real. There was no healing for me until I found this site. The truth here really resonates with my core.

            • Thank you! I’m really disturbed by the victim-blaming comments regarding Linda. Not one of us could imagine what it must have been like to be married at 16 to an eventual celebrity with infinitely more power than she, in a society that demonizes divorce, and endure more than half a century of mental abuse to the point that she was unable to leave her house. But sure, she “volunteered” for this.

        • “She wanted to stay married to him, that was basically what he told me in a nutshell.”

          ‘Cuz cheaters have such insight and empathy to convey what a chump is thinking and feeling. Mine told myriad women how his marriage was sexless and dead, even as he screwed me 4 times a week, had date night every week, attended back-to-school nights with me, purchased a puppy for our daughter, etc.

          Cheaters say whatever makes them look good, and gets them as much strange as possible.

        • One of his affair partners said? Tom can say whatever he wants to say to justify his infidelity. None of us knows what went on behind closed doors. Clearly Tom wasn’t the ideal loving husband and she spent a lot of time alone if Tom was sleeping with 220 women a year.
          Teary eyed Tom, looking for sympathy and more pussy. I know, this is the perfect time to write a book on how much I miss my dead wife, whatshername. Women everywhere will be competing to replace her, imagine all the pussy throwing themselves at me!! Hurry let’s write this book.

          From looking at photos of her over the years Linda doesn’t appear to have had a very high self esteem especially for a women who had the means to take care of herself.
          My guess is Tom is a selfish,cruel man who feels superior and expects to be worshipped.
          I suspect he was verbally abusive. Tom behind closed doors with Linda was very different than with one of the 220 women he slept with every year.

          She in my opinion was a victim of mind control. My ex father in law had similar control over his wife, she was afraid of him. He controlled everything, from what she ate, to what she said. She was never allowed to spend money, I wouldn’t have believed it unless I hadn’t seen it for my own eyes.
          Looking at Tom,

      • Nicole-

        I really don’t think anyone is calling anyone here an idiot. You asked the question: “When does the timeline of staying turn someone into a volunteer? As a chump that stayed for three years of wreckconciliation let me answer that honestly. I volunteered the night I found out he had an affair and opted to stay to try to work it out.

        Was I getting craptacular advice from the RIC? Yeah sure who hasn’t? Was I looking for a unicorn in all the wrong places? You betcha! Am I proud of that? No but it doesn’t change the fact that I volunteered. I’m an adult woman living in a free country.I didn’t deserve to be cheated on but I didn’t think enough of myself to hit the bricks after I found out. I’m also a woman living in the 21st century with a good, professional job. It made my choice to eventually leave a little easier to be sure and I appreciate that.

        People living in that era, women in particular did not enjoy a lot of the same benefits I have enjoyed and I acknowledge that and it sucks but it’s still her choice.It wasn’t a great one and maybe she didn’t feel like it was but the facts are and continue to be that was the choice she made. I don’t think anyone is belittling her by stating the facts.

        Quite a few people on this site have called Hillary Clinton a volunteer and I agree, that when it comes to putting up with Bill’s extra curricular love life, she is too. That doesn’t make it her fault that Bill cheated but she has a choice too. Maybe she doesn’t feel like it because she wants to get to the white house herself and she sees that as the best path. Still a choice, still the facts.

  • Great, now I’ll be singing “why why why Delilah” all damn day. Obviously it was her fault he became a cheater

  • Yeah I read this via http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-36458643. Just more SELF promotion as he was at the Hay Literary Festival. The telling line?

    ‘A tearful Sir Tom was at the book festival to……… discuss his autobiography.’

    It’s only three months since Linda died but hey the show must go on for a Cheating Legend-and nobody ( but Chump Lady) calls him out on this heinous hypocrisy.

    • Please indulge me in a little imagined trip into Tom’s mind:

      “Linda is gone, oh my God, she is gone, I am at home, in this empty house, no more house kibbles, for the first time since I was 16… The horror, the emptiness!

      Need kibbles, must get kibbles!!!

      Oh wait, I had this bozo write that book for me. I could get sympathy, I could promote/sell a book that is all about ME!!!!

      Linda I know you would have wanted me to do this, what a darling you were, I miss you so much…”

      Tom almost forgets his coat and luggage on the way out…

      “Linda used to do so many things, oh wait, I have that gal’s number somewhere…”

  • How convenient for him to get the feelz about her now that she can no longer ask that he demonstrate his words. Words are cheap, and they come so much cheaper when no one is around to hold you accountable for them.

    Oh I’m sure he’ll miss her, much like he’d miss his favorite armchair that’s not allowed to be in the living room among the “good” furniture.

  • Cheater logic: I cheated on you thousands of times for decades but you “never objected at the time” (my Ex’s response to my pointing out his abuse of me for almost 20 years) THEREFORE, Our Love Was Stronger Than that of Non-Cheating Spouses. Yup. Umm hmm. Go ahead and believe that, narc.

  • In honor of Sir Tom finally realizing Linda was a good wife – one of his hit songs re-worded to reflect his marriage:

    Want Some New Pussy-Snatch

    “Want some new pussy-snatch!
    Whoa, whoa, whoa
    Want some new pussy-snatch!
    Whoa, whoa, whoa, oh.

    Pussy-snatch, Pussy-snatch, I am married,
    I’ve always carried that hag with me!
    But she understands that I need some strange every day.

    Pussy-snatch, Pussy-snatch, I’ll bang you!
    But when I’m through,
    I’ll go run right back to my wife.

    Want some new pussy-snatch!
    Whoa, whoa, whoa
    Want some new pussy-snatch!
    Whoa, whoa, whoa, oh.

    Pussy-snatch, Pussy-snatch, my wife’s boring,
    And you’ve been whoring around my town.
    Go ‘head and blow me – my wife doesn’t even care!

    Pussy-snatch, Pussy-snatch, I’ll fuck you,
    The whole night through!
    Then go and kiss my spouse,
    Just like a slimy louse,
    Cuz I’m just too fabulous for . . .
    Her-er-er!

  • He makes sure to say that her problems preceded his abuse. The lovely woman wearing a bikini in a public place in the photo doesn’t come across as an agoraphobic, severely depressed person who doesn’t believe she should be alive to me. I wonder how she got that way, Tom?

    When you say she let herself go, do you mean she let your abuse destroy her, Tom?

    Poor sad sausage. They say smell is a great stimulator of memory. Maybe, when you feel sad, you can stick your sad sausage in some more Listerine to bring back the sweet nostalgia of abusing your wife with serial cheating.

  • “And now that she’s dead, he’d like credit for his Great Love of Linda. Now he’ll mention her. Now he gets on a stage and acknowledges their marriage.” Exactly CL! Now that she’s dead, he’s singing her praises. 2 idiots who got married and who deserve each other.

  • CL’s analysis is brave and brilliant because it illustrates two critical points:

    1) It is easy to waste your entire life living off the stale crumbs of a cheating narcissistic jerk freak
    2) Narcissistic cheaters do not change and hoping they will change is a fool’s errand.

    What a mockery….to cry crocodile tears over her death when he shoved her nose in his whorish lifestyle for decades and she lived in isolation and betrayal.

    This also spoke to me right on time because the Freak I was engaged to was so appallingly cocky that he acted like the few months he was faithful to me (if that is even true) he was doing me some grand favor or gesture….a sacrifice.

    He was no Viggo Mortensen, was a drug fiend, and had the manners of a baboon at a tea party. He inherited money from his family and this fueled his arrogance and entitlement.

    In his sad little circle of drug morons, he was like the celebrity because he has money. He said to me one time: I can’t help it these women want to sleep with me.

    He behaved in the same manner as the minimally talented Mr. Jones: Could I dare ask such an awesome piece of manliness to only sleep with JUST ME? Why, it wouldn’t be natural!

    “minty fresh dick”…..classic!

    If Linda had gotten on this site, before she died, she might have had a better, joyful destiny. I don’t blame her and consider her a volunteer. I think sustained abuse makes people lose their way and the ability to think properly.

    CL’s site is the only resource that just flat out tells the truth about cheaters. Imagine the New Age Therapists telling Linda to look deep inside of herself, and consider what negative energy she was putting out that forced Tom to seek succor with others? Perhaps she could meditate on their marriage or use some healing crystals to bring positive energy back into their home.

    Linda should have lawyered up with Gloria Allred or some other L.A. barracuda and taken half of everything Jones had and found someone who did not delight in humiliating and torturing her.

    • Great post, SabineSavoy. Love this: “I think sustained abuse makes people lose their way and the ability to think properly.”

      Yes. Only after The Entitled One had been gone for a few months did I realize I’d lost the ability to make decisions. So many things around the house, related to money, trips, etc. didn’t get done because I couldn’t decide what to do. I think it was an outgrowth of spending 10 years unable to decide whether to leave my marriage. In the end, I didn’t leave. HE did. Then came back for wreckonciliation and left again. If he hadn’t, I wonder if I would have snapped out of it and left, or if my life would have ended up like Linda’s — ever smaller, constrained by worsening mental and emotional problems, dominated by a cheating narcissist.

      • “Yes. Only after The Entitled One had been gone for a few months did I realize I’d lost the ability to make decisions. So many things around the house, related to money, trips, etc. didn’t get done because I couldn’t decide what to do. I think it was an outgrowth of spending 10 years unable to decide whether to leave my marriage.”

        I experienced some of these same issues. Eventually I took back my power and filed. The old me is returning, I’m FREE!

      • Hi Better Days!

        I understand on a cellular level. Staring at the ceiling…..unable to move or function. After the First D Day, I could barely brush my hair.

        I think you nailed it: the mental energy you spent on pondering your marriage with The Entitled One took every ounce of strength you had. Life shrinks to a keyhole when you find out the person you molded your life around IS A FRAUD. You wonder: What was real?

        As I am moving through this, I find that people who have not been catastrophically betrayed do not understand the IMPACT it has on our bodies and minds. It is like gutting a fish. We are the fish.

        I hated it when I read that he left you BUT…BUT…He did you a huge favor. You truly might have been stuck in that putrid purgatory with a Cheating Narcissistic Maggot, and keep toking off the hopium pipe.

        From what I can reason out, the only way…the only way to Nirvana is NO CONTACT. It is the path out.

        And, I don’t want to be petty, but I think it also gives them a major mind fuck! I know the MAGGOT that cheated on me is in shock…as emails, texts and VM pile up and are unreturned…I can tell he is baffled.

        And after all the ANGUISH that son of a bitch caused me, it helps me get up in the mooring.

        I hope you have a WONDERFUL MIGHTY DAY!!! Because we are so much better than these cheating cockroaches.

        • My dad was a serial cheater and I caught him once on the phone. Only years later did I realize how bad my mother had put up with it so she must have known. They didn’t have the anti-anxiety or antidepressant back then for her like they do today, and she suffered horribly. She was painfully shy and she cried and cried and cried all the time. I never knew back then why she was crying so much. Now I’ve figured it out and it makes sense. I told her to leave him one day but she was totally dependent on my dad and was from the old school. She died very young from cancer at age 60. So, I have seen with my own eyes how much destruction this behavior can have on somebody raised in the 40’s and 50’s. She would have been so much happier without him.

      • Yes, Sabine Savoy, I can say exactly this, “Life shrinks to a keyhole when you find out the person you molded your life around IS A FRAUD. You wonder: What was real?”

  • Bravo!
    For all those who exclaim, “for every pot there is a lid!”…. Poor Linda’s lid was on so tight the steam never escaped. We only hope that TJ’s pot boils over and he is left with a scorched bottom.

  • Breaks my heart. It IS abuse. That poor woman.

    I sometimes about chumps with cancer – if cancer is all that anger turned inwards? I can believe it.

  • This blog hits really close to home for me. This was my parents’ marriage. My father had many affairs, beginning in the early years of their marriage, and my mother chose to not ask. Much later, after he died,
    I asked her about it and she said that she was never worried about him leaving her (which I find very hard to believe.) She also, over the years, said such things to me as “Men are weaker than women … you must not burden them with your emotional needs…. you have to take men on….. George couldn’t find his socks in the morning without me…my friends who left their husbands after an affair are lonely and regret it now… men are like dogs — they always stray, but they always come home.” After he died, everyone celebrated their 50+ year marriage. I have spent a lot of time trying to get away from this history.

    • Yeah it’s an attitude… You know about the cheating and choose to ignore it and pretend to be superior because you dismiss the abuse as mere childplay.
      I understood this and tried it for myself during the pick me dance but could not avoid seing the abuse for what it was. I guess I am not cynical enough. The fact that he needed me for everything was not a consolation. I don’t want to be his mom.

      • I used to get so upset at my husband’s behavior with his married coworkers, but there was never any definitive proof. I was made to feel that I was overly jealous and insecure, so I stopped bringing it up. Nothing was ever resolved when I brought it up, so I also decided that as long as he kept coming home that it was probably just my own insecurity causing my doubts. I’d say that “don’t ask don’t tell” was party of our marriage agreement. It wasn’t until I discovered his journal and read what was really going on that I understood that I’d been lied to and manipulated all those years.

        After being raised by a mother who was abandoned by her father and seeing what that did to her family, getting divorced was the last thing on my mind. Although, I do believe if I’d had concrete proof I’d have put an end to our marriage. So, I can sort of relate to what his wife went through, although it sounds like she had concrete evidence.

        • Hi Lyn,

          Definitive proof is hard to find unless you play Sherlock, which is demeaning and demoralizing. Your well founded suspicions were used to make you out to be a needy, insecure jealous nag. Think of the mindset that would harangue you for expressing concern when they KNOW they are chumping you. It is a hair away from being a sociopath. It is a gift you free from him.

          New Rule: If someone makes us feel the need, any itch at all, to become an investigative reporter : BUH BYE.

          Here is when I first knew something was very very very wrong:

          Before he would leave, standing in my garage, the Cheating Maggot would say, to me:

          “Keep those legs closed.”

          Projection 101. And so classy.

  • What also sickens me is how every single woman he bedded knew he had a wife at home–and obviously didn’t care because it was par for the course. Poor Linda. A whole life taken for granted, for years. But she chose to stay with this pig for whatever reason. His shallow utterances feel so detached, like he really didn’t even know her (or care to) and is using her death to just get laid again. I wish there was a way people like this could feel every iota of pain experienced by a chump.

  • A loving and devoted husband, I’m certain Linda was first and foremost in his mind while he was making plans and “making love” to 250 woman a year .
    Occasionally some of these woman were considered a long term relationship. One really special lady became pregnant with his second son. A DNA test proved he was the boys father, Tom refused to acknowledge or meet the boy
    Tom refused to have a relationship with his son even after repeated attempt of the boy, now a young man attempted to meet his biological father and Tom refuses to even speak with him.
    Toms just like a sensitive man, Tom, Tom can’t have just one, Tom, Tom wants everyone..,
    Who knows what he was like behind doors with his wife. She could have been suffering from Stockholm syndrome. My guess is Tom isn’t Mr. Nice Guy behind closed doors.

  • I did not know that Tom Jones was married! Like others have said his wife collasped under the many years of abuse and her beautiful home became a guilded cage. My ex’s parents parents marriage ended the same way. She stayed with this man while he battered her and cheated on her. Many times she would talk of living her life after he died. She died first.
    I believe my ex grew up in this environment wanting a “wife” like his mom. Well he had a good wife, but very much unlike his mom. I was very outspoken to put it midly and when the time was right I left.

    So sad.

  • How many others here have ex in-laws where one was a serial cheater and the other was something like Linda? My ex MIL took her serial cheating fuckwit back at least twice. One time was after he moved her to Australia for a year under the pretense of a “sabbatical” but really to be close to his AP. I learned this years into my marriage and always felt sorry for her since it seemed she, like me for a long time, couldn’t let go of the dream (intact family, kids living with me all the time).

    • “like me for a long time, couldn’t let go of the dream (intact family, kids living with me all the time).”

      That is so hard to let go. That dream means everything to us.

      • ““like me for a long time, couldn’t let go of the dream (intact family, kids living with me all the time).”

        Agree, this is the hardest part!

        • The dream of letting go of that “intact family” – that without doubt was the hardest for me also (possibly for Linda too).

          Even after my ex-wife explained ILYBINILWY after yet another Dday, I was still willing to stay in the marriage – she was also wanting to stay in our marriage (cake of course).

          To discard my values, morals, integrity and self-respect for an intact family? Is that all what my marriage and self-worth was about? As important as that is, wasn’t there anything deeper in my marriage than that?

          In retrospect and only in retrospect, there wasn’t really anything deeper in my marriage. Mostly because ex-wife was a very shallow person. She had absolutely zero passions in life (no ambitions, no initiative, no hobbies, few interests). Conversations with her were rarely intellectual, stimulating or deep mainly because she didn’t have that capacity. She was also emotionally immature . Her communication style with me or anyone in her life was the most passive-aggressive I have ever seen.

          So why would I marry her? Well, I THOUGHT her love she expressed for me along with her sweetness, selflessness and thoughtfulness would prevail. She presented herself as the most loyal woman in the world. She made me feel safe. She was my girl and I really loved her for who I thought she was – imperfections and all.

          Her cheating was easily justified by blame-shifting her unhappiness and malcontent onto me. This is what ILYBINILWY meant to her along with coincidentally meeting someone that was shiny and sparkly with a minty fresh dick.

          • “Her cheating was easily justified by blame-shifting her unhappiness and malcontent onto me.” This sums it up. Darkness was unhappy. He left because he said his happiness was more important than my happiness, or the kids’ happiness. He is a fool and will never know true happiness. True happiness is never external, it comes from within. There is power in understanding this, because it means you have control over your own happiness. True happiness is about loving yourself. And loving oneself is about feeling worthy of love. Liars and cheaters do not feel worthy, do not love themselves, and therefore are not happy. And nothing they do is going to change that, unless or until they learn to self reflect and live a life of truth. Nothing and no one is going to “make” them happy.

    • My ex in laws had the same dynamic. One of them is a narcissist who had numerous affairs spanning decades. It’s no wonder their child ended up being an abusive narc who married a chump (me).

    • My STBXH was raised by a narc cheating father and codependent wife whom he treated like crap until the day he died. Older brother is a raging narc serial cheater as well. His wife is just now divorcing him after 35 years of marriage and countless affairs. But she is letting him take his time because she feels sorry for him… For many years, I wondered how my STBXH could be so different from his father and brother, and the answer is… HE ISN’T. So yeah, I feel a little foolish.

    • My STBXH was raised by a cheating father and a mother who stood by her man. I want to break the cycle and teach my son (and daughter) that this is not cool to do to anyone you claim to love.

    • The X was raised by a father who went EVERYWHERE with his wife’s younger sister. She moved in when she was 21, the X was a baby. His dad ignored, or scoffed at, his wife, and went shopping and running around town with her sister! WTF? Both women fawned all over X. A recipe for disaster, and I didn’t figure it out until we were married for about 15 years. I really think his father was messing around with his aunt, but the whole family looked the other way. I always hated the way X’s dad talked to his mom, like she was stupid and not worth listening to. So sad, and that’s how you raise a cheater!

  • This statement from that Daily Mail article says it all:

    “In one interview this week, he said they’re happiest when talking on the phone. ‘When you’re face to face with somebody, you realise that time has gone on, but when you’re on the phone we’re both young again. We haven’t aged on the phone. You’re not looking at one another, I’m looking at an old picture I carry around with me and leave by the bed”

    If that doesn’t scream Narc……..

      • Tempest, you are so quick witted. I am rolling. I love his faux downcast, grief stricken look…I am wounded…sniffle sob, I need a hanky. I am a sad Welsh Sausage widow now.

        I wonder if that he how he looked when he was getting his dick sucked by groupies?

  • I can’t get past the horror of what it would be like to be married to a man who dips his dick in Listerine. Or who thinks he needs to disinfect it.

  • Hearing that man’s voice has always turned my stomach. Why? Because my disgusting cheater ex idolizes him. Now I finally get it…

    Also, it took me two years to finally give up on my marriage. My ex was also abusive. When I told my parents, they said, “why do you let him do that to you?” When you are in these types of situations, it isn’t easy to remember your own value. People always want to blame the victim, and that makes them complicit in the abuse in my opinion.

  • Sad, all of it. How many have, are and will endure such a pathetic life? It is just too easy to be so complex. Life does not have to be all this messed up. Linda let herself go…. Was not satisfying his needs… those lines the chumps get… but the age old question, which came first? the infidelity or the letting herself go… hum… have to wonder. Which came first? The chicken or the egg?

  • You haven’t heard of Listerdick?
    Maybe the new ads for Listerine can take that and run with it.
    I guess that means he doesn’t need protection.
    I like the one with the woman with model good looks swanks her way across a crowded city area and pulls her dress up revealing that she is wearing a diaper! Who knew diapers were so sexy?
    TomCat-What a man-whore.
    Somebody called it above when they described it as a call for new kibble sources-hopefully to be put in place right at the funeral!
    Eulogy and new pussy (cat)
    Also CL called this one, most would have let it slide by feeling sorry for poor Tom.

  • She was a relic of days past, UK Chumps speak up here, but my UK mother is much the same way as was my grandmother and great grandmother. Stay, keep up appearances, the failure of a marriage is on you, stay for the children but underlying all of this was the economics. Housewives with little or no education and laws that wouldn’t give them half of the marital assets could end up in the work/poor house or worse. So women stayed and made a bargain with the devil. My mother did and lives with that old asshole now.

    I just finished watching Beyonce’s lemonade, and she found her Sasha Fierce in the begining and went for mushy wreckonsiliation at the end. We are part of a new wave that even Beyonce hasn’t completely turned this corner.

    We are leading the charge, not so much me, because I stayed for 32 years but for our daughters, who are smart, savy and educated. Middle fingers UP!

    • Great thoughts, ringinonmyownbell! As a woman, I definitely got the message that the failure of marriage would be on me. When you think she might not have gotten much in the way of a settlement, you can see how she might have felt trapped.

      My grandmother worked all kinds of odd jobs trying to keep her family together and ended up being hospitalized for exhaustion. At one point my mom remembers her mother driving her and her sister by an orphanage and telling them it was a nice place. She was probably on the verge of giving them up. Things were desperate for their family and the ramifications have passed through the generations.

      I do have hope for my daughter-in-laws because they have equal earning income. I think it affects the balance of power in a relationship.

      • I do think it is equality of income too but when children enter the equation, it gets hard to balance things.

        • Yes. In Caribbean we had the same. Marriages lasted a long time but we’re not necessarily good. Multiple children from ‘outside women ‘ were common. But with women as housewives not bringing in money these women tolerated alot. Most married young. Would not have been educated and not expected to work. few dared leave. Those who did knew the financial cost. Men’s pay always higher. As things improved and more women were educated and started to work more women walked away from the ill-treatment. It was optional. The men’s solution? Look for the weakest women…poor,uneducated,young,single mothers. But women who can do dor themselves see the signs and know that walking away is a real option. The stigma of leaving is shifting. Now the stigma is in staying in shit.

  • Trapped into marriage by pregnancy at age 16? She may have never had a chance to learn who she could have become. Maybe she never completed her education. That’s not a good foundation for empowerment.

      • Sorry C/L…first time I’ve ever disagreed with you. But, even though it was reported she drank Dom Perignon (according to him), I doubt the thought of having access to that money was something she didn’t care about or, was conditioned to think she had no access to it. My mom thought she was worth nothing since she didn’t bring in an income (and he controlled it all anyway) and she brought up 5 kids within 7 yrs by herself. He was always gone. I bet she just didn’t have the guts anymore than I did to get a lawyer but I did, and she probably didn’t have C/L and C/N to guide her to the process. What a shame. Or the divorce laws of today.

        Did she not have any support around her to get her out of her situation?
        Unless, maybe she didn’t want out. Hard to speculate but I bet her family has some stories to tell….

        Wait for book by her family, coming up on Amazon.

  • For all those chumps staying with cheaters afraid the cheater will finally realized what they had with you and become a better person after you leave the fucker, Tom Jones proves you are right, they do get enlightenment…after you are dead. ASSHOLE.

    Edit this for me Tempest. I am seeing red.

    • No editing here. I agree with you, and have a personal tale to support it. My father was a classic narcissist, power-oriented cheater. My mother was a 1950s, Catholic gal who had no family history of divorce (or of standing up to the patriarchy). He cheated on her at least once that we know of, flirted with women who worked for him (even those 40 years younger, much to our embarassment), and had a steady supply of on-line porn once he got a computer.

      She tried to leave him, and he threatened to get custody of the children. This was no idle threat–she had life-threatening asthma and other health problems, he was a charming & successful businessman in the town. My mother knew it would be the psychological death of the children to be raised by him, so she stayed (also, her Catholicism & lack of any income contributed).

      In public, he said how wonderful my mother was, gave her toasts at Christmas, bragged up his children’s achievements to the extended family & neighbors, all the while treating her (and us) like shit most of the time. Image management is key to narc/cheater’s existence. Brag up the family to other people because they are appliances to be lauded.

      When my mother died, he was distraught, and rightfully so, as she was an amazing woman. He was lonely, had no one to wait on him, and had lost his sexual perks. He mourned her for a few months, and then decided to start inviting young women (grifters, mostly) to live with him. His children (including me) were appalled, but nothing could talk him out of it–not logic, not reason, not telling him he should respect our dead mother’s memory and house. Grief is finite, often skin-deep, and easily gotten rid of when other appliances show up.

      Thus, I do have sympathy for Tom Jones, who lost his wife, but find myself unable to feel all that badly for him after he psychologically decimated another human being. I do think Linda may have had options, but did not either see those options, or view them as viable (e.g., if Tom threatened to take their son). The bulk of my pity is with her, and while some of his grief may be legitimate, the fact that he’s pulling the sad sausage routine to sell books triggers my BS alert. I guess we’ll see how he honors her now–by living with integrity in her memory, or by shagging 250 women each month.

      Totally agree with you Calamity–our worth to cheaters becomes evident after they’ve lost us.

  • I think that CL nailed it when she said this marriage was a relic of another time!

    When women did not have rights, they could not choose their husband. If he died, another male relative (usually his) took over his possessions. If you go back in the Old Testament, I am pretty sure it became his brother’s responsibility to marry the widow as his second wife. Wouldn’t that make for a happy household???

    So if you live in a world where women have no rights, where marriage is bartered to seal deals like land ownership, or fealty, or other such non-romantic issues, it is no wonder that the mythology of the Wayward Spouse was created. Oh yes my dear, it is your responsibility to make yourself attractive (at age 13) for your new husband (at age 70) so that he will not stray! How excited would any spouse be at such a relationship?

    I know I am using extreme examples, but they lead to attitudes like — as long as I pay the bills and provide for the family, I am entitled to do whatever else I please with the rest of “my” money and “my” time. I can have mistresses if I can afford them. They have no rights either, of course, they just “earn” their “baubles.” So we create a world where all responsibility for maintaining the man’s interest (and wallet) is put on the shoulders of the female, and it is always her job to accept whatever he decides to do as if it were some divine right.

    So educate yourselves, and prepare yourself to lead a life by yourself if necessary. Make choices that enforce your boundaries, be authentic. Even if you are lucky enough to find a compatible match — you could always end up a widow. If the relationship does not work out, for any reason, you are able to carry on your own life. These “relic” relationships will disappear when both partners decide to enter into a relationship because they are compatible and have joint goals and values. I find great comfort in the fact that I had the choice to leave a mirage of a relationship, without having to live in poverty or starve my children.

    Linda may have grown up in a dysfunctional family or environment where this type of thing was the norm. Tom and his never ending legion of bed warmers may believe they were just “having fun.” I remember a time in the woman’s liberation movement, after the creation of effective birth control, where women were told they could choose to sleep with anyone they pleased, “just like a man”. It was “Sophisticated”, don’t you know?

    Even without Aids and other annoying std’s — this attitude ignores the attachment that develops and is very enjoyable when two partners choose to be exclusive — or at least one of them believes it is that way. Monogamy may not be “liberated” or “sophisticated” as some people interpret those terms — but it can be very enjoyable and comforting and it can reinforce and strengthen a relationship if it is treated with respect and valued.

    • I agree with this. I think there is a generational gap here between what was considered acceptable behavior for men in the past and what is considered acceptable now. Most women aren’t raised now to believe that they must accept philandering, and many now have enough independent financial resources available that they no longer need to stick around if they don’t want to.

      I see this gap in other places, too. Older celebrities still support convicted child rapist Roman Polanski and probable child abuser Woody Allen, but I don’t think those guys would get a pass on their behavior if they hadn’t earned their celebrity in the swingin’ 70s. Bill Cosby strikes me as a man who thought what he was doing all those years was a-okay and he was entitled to drug and rape women because people around him knew and didn’t do anything about it. I don’t think he could get away with it for decades if he started today, though.

      • Definite child abuser Woody Allen–he took suggestive pictures of Soon Yi while she was a minor, and while he was functioning as her stepfather. Marrying her later doesn’t obviate that. He’s a sick MFer, despite his directing talent.

        • I was more thinking of Dylan Farrow’s allegations, but yeah, I’d lay money on it that Woody was grooming Soon Yi while she was underage.

          • I suspect you’re right about the grooming, though I was wrong about the timeline of the photos (they were taken when Soon-Yi was in college). The whole article link is worth reading (though long; see below), but this passage really struck me, especially Woody’s targeting of “the most sheltered person”:

            “The author Priscilla Gilman, Matthew Previn’s girlfriend in high school and college, was constantly in and out of Mia’s apartment. One day, she recalls, Matthew called her at Yale and said, “ ‘I have to come over. It’s just so horrible.’ He was green, and he fell on my sofa. ‘Woody’s having an affair with Soon-Yi.’ Soon-Yi was the last person I would have thought of,” she says. Matthew showed her the naked photos of Soon-Yi that Mia had found. “They were extremely pornographic—really disturbing.” Gilman says she had always thought Soon-Yi, whom she characterized as the nerd of the family, had a crush on Matthew. “He definitely picked on the most sheltered person,” she continues, referring to Allen.”

            http://www.vanityfair.com/style/2013/11/mia-farrow-frank-sinatra-ronan-farrow

        • Tempest,
          About Woody Allen-
          Most of his movies not so secretly are written from the perspective of and for the cheating partner, almost blatantly. From Crimes and Misdemeanors to Match Point, as the director, he is rooting for the cheater every step of the way.

          Imagine…you help bath a child, prepare her meals and snacks, maybe even wipe her in the bathroom…and then you want to fuck her?

          And Hollywood accepts this.

          • Woody Allen is so disgusting. You know, you just need to have limits. Like no sex with family members. Adopted, step, half, natural, whatever.

      • You guys might not realize this, but the divorce rate was far higher in the 1970s than it is today. There was a tsunami of divorce through the 1970s and 1980s. It’s not like the Joneses were married in 1850.

        • There was a spike in divorces in the 70s, but it didn’t hit Catholics as much (having grown up in a very, very Catholic household, the power of church doctrine on individuals is pretty strong).

          divorce rates_religion

  • I think this is a great real life example of what it looks like to stay with a known cheater. I, for one, do not want to be this woman. I feel empathy for her for the abuse but also infuriated that she did not leave!!

    It makes me think of a woman I recently friended at the gym. She’s lovely, with twin girls and she is separated from her cheater husband. BUT, she has recently disappeared from the gym and she won’t respond to my texts…..I fear she is doing the unthinkable and entertaining the idea of staying with him. And if that is the case, she can not be my friend at the same time. I am a reminder of what she is denying in her own life. I left my cheater and gained a life. Makes me sad.

  • I do believe both sides of it. He’s an abuser and she was a victim….and she also was a volunteer.

    Hear me out.

    Not “volunteer” as in….”Please sir, may I have another”. She was a volunteer after being beaten down psychologically to the point that volunteering for it seemed acceptable to her. Cognitive dissonance.

    I read a group of abuse stories on HuffPo the other day about the “reasons why women stayed” in particularly horrendous situations. Love. Money. Fear. Isolation.

    I particularly felt sick when I read about the two women….one who insisted that she would “love him” out of his cheating/abuse (and he pulverized her face in the backseat of a car, with her head stuck under the front seats…only THEN did she decide that loving him enough really wasn’t working)

    The other was someone I don’t feel an ounce of sympathy for INITIALLY. She was “tired of being broke” and he offered her The Dream. She liked her lifestyle. She hated having to pay all her bills and have little left over, so she kept going back to the douchebag. Until he shot her twice.

    Dead is dead, folks. Is money worth it? Is “intact family” worth it? Is “social stigma” worth it? Because STDs can also kill you. So can crazy affair partners. (Long Island Lolita comes to mind)

    Money is such a huge motivator, it seems. I can’t get my head around it. Linda Jones may have had this mental disease at first, as well. The fame, notoriety, and money is very alluring.

    The common thread, to me, other than the abusers that is, was that each of the women wanted “the dream”. They didn’t want to see reality, they didn’t want to acknowledge any type of failure, they didn’t want to THINK of these things happening to them. Of course, after being discovered, not before.

    Tracy is right. Choosing to not see and accept reality is a mindful, purposeful thing. Choosing to stay because of whatever—-love, fear, for the family—whatever…..is something, INITIALLY is done willingly.

    After time, however, it turns into a psychological problem with the victim. They are mentally unstable. Period. The REASONS for that instability are irrelevant. They are unstable. Depression is real. Mental illnesses manifest themselves in ridiculous ways—her “agoraphobia” is most definitely within the realm of possibility as a result of what he’d done to her. He probably never laid a hand on her—but psychological abuse can be so much more insidious.

    And here’s something that nobody wants to maybe accept.

    Ever think that Linda may have been psychologically disturbed going in? Maybe she was an inverted narcissist? a co-dependent?

    There are absolutely ZERO rules that say either one of them are or were, mentally healthy BEFORE the marriage.

    You don’t know. Nobody does. What Tracy is trying to say is….that for those people who SEE and are willing to ACCEPT the situation….a.k.a. REALITY…..and make conscious choices based on FACTS and not “the dream” and “emotional baggage”—there is agency to remove yourself and your kids, from a situation.

    Yes, it does take time. And personally, I prefer reality to “the dream”. It’s hard and it sucks, but my self preservation gene kicked in and said….”You’re not coming near me with that thing, I have no idea where it’s been.”

    I feel sorry for Linda and for anyone who convinces themselves that money or God or their neighbors are more important than their self worth and maybe their very life.

      • She actually lived a long life, despite being a raging smoker – that somebody said. Maybe she was happy?
        Most miserable people in a marriage like this seem to die younger.
        I wonder what she had worked out in her mind.

        I sure wouldn’t want to be photographed in public every time I went out with Tom Jones!
        You become completely unnoticed.
        Especially, if you’ve aged.

    • The problem I see is we really do not know why she stayed. She’s dead and was born of an era were fat shaming was ok and it was acceptable for a man such as Tom to cheat. So we simply do not have hours of interviews or books written by her to explain why. What we do have are snippets by Tom’s ex hoes and a few “close” friends and their opinions. We also have the insane ramblings of an narc cheater and his take on it her shortcomings. That’s enough for me. Regardless of any issues she may have had the it is cruel to even insinuate that she may have had a mental illness or to blame her for her treatment or hint to her volunteering for it.
      She has paid the ultimate price and that in itself is more than enough.

      • We STILL live in an era where it is acceptable for spouses to cheat. And abuse their wives. Look at the fact that Tom Jones was knighted in 2006. He still has staying power, enough that he is getting media attention over this even now. Courts do not want to hear it. My ex-husband actually accused me in court of munchausen by proxy, and I had to defend myself. He did this with regard to our youngest son, who was diagnosed at 14 months of age with a degenerative disorder of the brain. A genetic disorder, which testing revealed was inherited FROM MY EX. Of course, I had medical records to disprove these allegations immediately. But they were serious, and for a minute I faced jail time. What do you think happened to him for bringing these extremely serious false allegations? Not one thing. During 14 CPS investigations that he brought against me and were proven invalid? Not one thing. CPS told me they don’t even bother to think twice about this until at least 30 false allegations have been made.
        I stayed because I sadly believed that my husband was ultimately a good man, and we could fix things. I didn’t want my kids to go through the horror. And because after 12 years of psychological manipulation that no one can understand who hasn’t been through it, I didn’t realize that it was okay to expect more for myself. That may sound very simple, but it is simply true. If he can make allegations like he made against me with no fear of repercussions, imagine how he mindfucked me behind closed doors.
        Nobody volunteers for this, but hindsight is always 20/20. And Renewed is right that we actually have no idea why she stayed. But I can say from personal experience that now that I have healed, now that I know better, I would never stay again. But I don’t blame the old me for not knowing what she didn’t know.

    • And here’s where the disagreement lies. If you believe, “Choosing to not see and accept reality is a mindful, purposeful thing.” then you will call Linda co-dependent or a volunteer.

      As a psychologist, I disagree with that statement. In some circumstances (including Linda’s), the inside of the cave may be all that you see.

      • If that had been what I meant by my statement, Tempest, then I would agree with you. But it wasn’t.

        She wasn’t in a cave. She could see the adultery. She knew. THAT is what I mean by “purposeful, mindful refusal to see reality.”

        You either see it or you don’t. You were chumped, fooled, blindsided…or you weren’t.

        SHE WAS NOT. She SAW what he is and she CHOSE. Just as those of us who stayed—for WHATEVER REASON —do not care which, it’s not my job to judge, everybody had their reasons–SAW EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED….and CHOSE to do what we did in order to stay with the cheater.

        I don’t parse words or actions. I chose to stay, for my own reasons. I don’t explain myself to anybody. But I also take full fucking responsibility for the outcome of my decisions. I don’t need anyone to fee sorry for me. Poor OU812—-she is just so put upon!

        I made my choice, I knew what I was doing after I found out….and I regretted it. I put on my big girl panties and took responsibility for the results of those decisions.

        I did not live in a cave, and no one—I mean NO ONE—-does. She led a life of celebrity and she had eyes and a brain. She may well have been abused, but that is NOT what you are arguing here.

        You are arguing that she was just….for 60 years….in the dark. Just couldn’t see any truth to anything, from anyone, ever.

        Uh. No.

        Not buying that crap. Sorry to be so blunt, but I am tired of listening to anybody say….that they were SHOWN PROOF and they “were kept in a cave” and just didn’t know.

        It’s a defense mechanism that allows people who make bad choices, not responsible for those bad choices. And staying with a cheater, no matter how you slice it….is a bad choice.

        • After thinking about it, I agree that staying for 60 years did involve a choice. But focusing on the young Linda, there was a time when she did NOT see how she could exit, and felt quite helpless and traumatized. It does cause a kind of inertia that many on this page have underestimated. If you’ve worked with trauma or abuse patients, how they perceive their situation and their agency is different from how we as outsiders perceive it.

          • Agreed. So let’s call it what it is, then, shall we? Inertia. Comfort zone. Fear.

            Whatever is it, it is NOT “I just never knew anything and therefore, how could I possibly be held responsible.”

            I AM a victim of child abuse–by an older brother. Please don’t ever assume that you know what someone has in their background.

            And I knew one fucking thing for damn sure. I can READ. I KNOW that sexual interactions between siblings is SICK.

            Ergo, my plan was set. Because I CHOSE TO MAKE THAT ESCAPE PLAN, and I wasn’t about to sit there, all….”Whoa is me. My life sucks eggs. This is just how it is. I like my parents paying my bills, and having my brother expose himself to me is just part of the package. Whoa is me.”

            Nooooooooope. And YOU do NOT know what “young Linda” was or was not seeing. Period. Nobody does.

            I get soooooooo sick and tired of people passing off responsibility for their actions. We constantly say that Cheaters are responsible for THEIR choices, right?

            Oh. But if you’re a victim of abuse, you are absolved, according to this argument?

            Well, what if the cheater was abused as a kid….a pass then for reprehensible behavior?

            Sorry, Tempest. I don’t like and I don’t buy the heads I win tails you lose thing.

            Just because I was abused does NOT give me the right to treat others with disrespect, steal, lie, murder—whatever. I am SICK of people giving a pass to abhorrent, reprehensible behavior BY ANYONE, because of their “abusive backgrounds”. Because if this is the case, Tempest….I get a fucking pass to rob the next bank I walk into. My childhood was that bad.

            I don’t use my past as a crutch. And I see those who wallow in this self pity thing—as just another form of irresponsibility. I’m not responsible for my behavior because I had such a sucky childhood or marriage or whatever.

            Nope. Nope. Nope. I’ve been in emergency medicine for 25 years. Not buying it.

            • This argument is now akin to beating a dead horse. All positions have been laid out, and I don’t have to agree with you fully.

              I NEVER argued young Linda “didn’t know”–there’s ample evidence she did, and my argument hinges precisely on the fact that she DID know about the infidelity and was psychologically distraught about it. In fact, I would argue it is innate to be distressed about sexual betrayal.

              I’m sorry you were abused as a child, and glad you had the wherewithal and eventual resources to get out of the situation. Not everyone is that lucky, and not to acknowledge that lacks compassion, IMHO.

              I clearly do NOT absolve people of responsibility if you read my copious posts over the past 1.5 years. But I do make a clear distinction between people who victimize OTHERS (as cheaters do) and people who victimize themselves (as I am arguing Linda & all people who stay with cheaters do). Ethicists make the same distinction, the law makes the same distinction.

              If you want to sit in righteous superiority to the young Linda, or to me, or to anyone who remains a victim for longer than your standards say is permissible, have at it. I won’t comment on this particular blog thread any more; it’s been an unnecessary blood bath.

            • This is how I feel about it, in a nutshell. There was a quote from some movie once that I saw, that really made everything black or white for me.

              “Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society’s understanding.”

              This can be applied to everything. There is a point, Tempest where each of us is responsible for our choices and behavior, irregardless of what led to those choices and behaviors.

              NO ONE can force me to kill another human being. It’s a choice I would have to make. Would I do it? Yes, for the right reasons. Those reasons are mine, and I would have to take full responsibility for them.

              But that guy was holding a gun to your head and forcing you to kill that other person!

              No. He was holding the gun, yes. But I could have allowed him to simply pull the trigger and refuse to murder another person.

              But self preservation kicked in. It was kill that other person, or I get a bullet. I’ll do it to save myself. Or my kids. And I will take full responsibility for it.

              This is how I see it.

              You stay with a cheater? You know that he/she is having sex with random people, people who you also don’t know who THEY are having sex with? This can kill you.
              You stay with someone who steals all of your money and deprives your kids of a decent life? This can kill you AND them.

              I’ve seen enough “but it’s not my FAULT!” bullshit to last a lifetime. When you’ve got all of the resources that we have in this country, there for the asking—and you CHOOSE to stay in a situation that can/may kill you or your kids?? And cheaters risk JUST THAT, make NO MISTAKE. It’s NOT hyperbole.

              I find it puzzling and absolutely ridiculous that someone would say, “Yes, I stayed with this man/woman, knowing that they’ve fucked hundreds of random people…because I want this really nice house. I never had a really nice house when I grew up. I’m used to this house. And if I have to put that body part that’s been God knows where….inside my body somehow….well….that’s just part of the package. Because you know. I like my house. And he/she’s nice to me sometimes.”

              Take responsibility for your actions and your choices.

              • “Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society’s understanding.” yes, they do, that is why abusers and rapists rarely go to jail, people like you giving them a pass.

  • When we look on the outside as to why she stayed with this guy, to be honest I am furious at the current leaders on both sides of the presidential aisle. On the one side we have a known cheater and womanizer. On the otherside we have a candidate who stayed and by all reports the spouse still cheats. Everyone involved especially the souse of her cheater narc husband has money, power, and fame. is she talso being a doormat or a volunteer.
    And the other candidates wife, what does that say about a woman who knowingly marries a a cad?

    • The Clinton’s always have seemed more like a business/power arrangement to me.
      I have a friend who stayed with her cheater husband, and has never slept with him again. He cheated 10 years ago and she says she stayed because she has no interest in sex anymore now that he has done this to her. They were both virgins when they got married and it ruined that purity for her. Now he sometimes begs her and she tells him where to go.

      • A power couple maybe, but it’s scary to think in an age of empowerment for women this type of marriage is being paraded by a feminist. Staying together for the sake of the children or business it’s all the same. The billon dollar music mogals or the political power couple, of the homemaker who stays because she wants to keep an intact family.

      • I don’t actually think this is true. When I’ve seen Bill and Hillary together in public appearances, I don’t think there’s any doubt that they are supportive of each other. They have a child and grandchild in common; they’ve been through experiences together that no one else can share; and whatever accommodation they’ve come to is no one’s else’s business. I don’t see any evidence that Hillary is beaten down, mentally ill, or wretched like Linda Jones. Who’s to say Hillary is required to divorce Bill to prove she’s a feminist? She may be over and done with Bill sexually for all anyone knows, but still reaping enough benefits from the relationship to feel it’s not worth blowing it all up. She doesn’t strike me as someone who’s incapable of making tough choices and I’m sure she’s made her position clear to him, whatever it is.

        • “She may be over and done with Bill sexually for all anyone knows, but still reaping enough benefits from the relationship to feel it’s not worth blowing it all up.”

          When I first read the article and others I see a one sided opinion being presented by Tom Jones himself. Looking at their relationship from the outside and Linda could have very well told Tom to F off while she kept the benifits of her home and lifestyle. Maybe sex with a listerine dipped penis was not her thing.

          But we often criticize celebrities in particular who do stay. Power, wealth, and education for women (except black women) are direct indicators as to the frequency or likelyhood of divorce. I personally do not follow a lot of feminist doctrine, , but I’ve heard a lot of voices supporting divorce in these circumstances rather than choice.

          So why hasn’t she divorce the cheating SOB instead of standing by her man?

          • Chump Lady does indeed go against the flow. She and we are a small group of outliers. Education, wealth, and power are strong indicators that most women will choose to stay in a long term marriage to a cheater.

        • For some women, and Hillary might be one of them, having a husband who sleeps with other women isn’t all that terrible. Oh, they don’t like it I’m sure, but it isn’t the soul-crushing experience that we have all had. For them other behavior might be FAR more problematic: like having a husband who is doing things that might land him in prison, or a husband who is a terrible and uncaring father, or a husband who can’t keep a job, or a husband who gambles away the rent money, or a husband who is violent and emotionally unstable. And so on. It would not surprise me that some women who have famous husbands who are “exciting” and successful and have all the other trappings of wealth and celebrity, are able to “overlook” or in some way rationalize cheating behavior. And perhaps are able to do this easier than we think.

          I only share this because I know a couple who fits this dynamic to a T. He is fun, interesting, charming, a good provider, has a very interesting and exciting life to share – and he is also an occasional cheater. She is exasperated by this… but not devastated. She loves the life she has and when I see them together, they do seem genuinely loving and happy. I’ve known them for 30 years and it’s been fascinating to observe. From my conversations with her, she is from that old school of “boys will be boys” and “that’s just how they are,” shrug. I honestly don’t think it bothers her that much. It’s been fascinating to observe.

          • “She is exasperated by this… but not devastated. She loves the life she has and when I see them together, they do seem genuinely loving and happy.”

            Sounds like image control to me.I lliked Bil, still do but this guy was having oral sex in the white house and the whore’s semen stained dress was paraded on the national news. If this wasn’t soul crushing then Hilary has no soul.

            Cheaters by nature or at least mine was all bubbly and charming. He is the best in his field. Fascinating, no. These type of situations are farces and just image control. Family man is much more marketable than playboy…if you don’t own the company.

          • My mom stayed married to my stepfather even though he was verbally abusive because she’d been divorced before and didn’t feel like going through the hassle again. They owned property in common and she didn’t want to divide it up. He cheated on her, and her response was to cheat on him, with another married man she’d been dating before she met him. I honestly couldn’t stand either of these men and really wanted her to divorce my stepfather, but she knew she had choices and didn’t want to, full stop.

            I don’t share those values in the least. I just remind myself that people are complicated and, frequently, disappointing. Now he’s passed on and she ended up with all the property, so yay, I guess?

  • I don’t know a thing about this woman, didn’t even know Tom Jones was married, but why is everyone assuming she is a broken-down victim, abused into submission? I mean, that may very well be true, but it could also be true that she chose to stay because she liked the lifestyle his money provided, or she had lovers of her own, or she was a closeted lesbian…. who knows? But she was not a child, and she COULD have left if she wanted to. Just about everyone here managed to do so, and many people here were in far dire straits than Mrs. Jones. Perhaps there is other info on her elsewhere stating more about her story, I’m only going by what is written here. He certainly is a disgusting pig, though, hopefully the Listerine will eventually shrivel his dick off.

    As for him eulogizing her so lovingly, that doesn’t surprise me at all. Typical narc thinking. He’s just using her after death to garner some attention and sympathy, and going all lovey-dovey makes him sound like a great guy and gets him more strokes. I have absolutely no doubt that if I croaked tomorrow, my ex would post a loving tribute to me on Facebook because it would get him a ton of “likes.” Narcs will continue to use their supply even after death if there is benefit to be found.

    • “I mean, that may very well be true, but it could also be true that she chose to stay because she liked the lifestyle his money provided, or she had lovers of her own, or she was a closeted lesbian…. who knows? But she was not a child, and she COULD have left if she wanted to. Just about everyone here managed to do so, and many people here were in far dire straits than Mrs. Jones.”

      That’s true.

  • Please imagine this is teeny, tiny writing – but actually, I like Tom Jones. For at least the past 10 years (that I can recall) he seemed to never let a public appearance go by where he did not say how much he loved Linda, and state his gratitude for having a marriage that lasted for so long, despite his behaviour. I know this is contrary thinking to the CL / CN raison d’etre, but – even knowing some of his philandering history – I think they did really love each other. I don’t consider Linda doormat, volunteer or victim. I feel very sad for the both of them and I do believe Tom Jones is heartbroken right now.

    Funnily enough, I had a conversation today about Franklin D Roosevelt and his incredible wife … and his incredible harem of OW.

    • PS …. and not just heartbroken because he’s lost his kibble dispenser … but I genuinely believe he is grief-stricken for his life partner. I don’t feel comfortable about tearing a new one off someone who is suffering the hell of grief.

      • I don’t doubt that he misses her. And I don’t really doubt that he loved her. I don’t, however, think it was a healthy love that anyone should aspire to.

        I also think the guy is a narc, and gets a kibble high on publicly loving his wife. What a guy! Doesn’t matter that he serially cheated, and did so knowing full well how much it hurt her, he wants the narrative that He Loved Her All Along.

        Maybe he did. I can do without that kind of love. And the point of this blog is to encourage other people to do without it too.

        • Ahhh – yep, he’s a narc and a serial cheater. Sorry for showing sympathy for a 76 year old widow – quick everyone – pick up sticks – let’s get him while he’s down!

          • “I don’t consider Linda doormat”

            I do consider her a doormat, since she knew he was walking all over her and she just accepted the dirt .. I do think she loved him, but I also think that if he really loved her he wouldn’t have put himself first and continued to abuse her love. I do think he loved the way she made him feel, and he loved that she continued to love him.

              • Oh, you got me.. I forgot we were supposed to be sympathetic to him instead of calling him out for his crappy treatment of his departed wife.. because he’s old and you’ve liked him for 10 years now.

              • OK – I’m sorry Raging. Linda died 10th April – barely 2 months ago. Clearly this vulture feast on both her carcass and the state of their private relationship based only on media reported accounts (unless you actually knew this couple intimately, what the hell does anyone REALLY know)? and the denigration of a 76 year old man 2 MONTHS into widowhood has really offended me. It could be simply because I would hope humanity would show more empathy, it could be because I know from personal experience that Worldwide celebrity doesn’t stop a person from being a human being – capable of suffering. It may be even be that I have a very tentative link to Mr Tom Jones. Whatever. I hate that a 76 year old, newly minted widower is being ripped apart. I just hate it. I feel like I’m addressing a bridge full of trollls. He may well be a narc, he may well be a serial cheater. What he definitely is, is a human being in grief. Is he milking the sympathy, or, like the grief I felt when I discovered my marriage was dead due to cheating, is he incapable of talking about anything else? Rest in peace Linda. My heartfelt sympathy Tom.

              • Frankly, Tom could give a fuck if you feel sorry for him because he’s a newly-minted widower. Tom would instead expect you to lay supine so that he may properly grieve over you, or any other fan that tosses their panties at him. Because he’s fantastic you see?

                I have a hard time feeling bad about a guy who made a career banging women while he had a wife at home. I just read an article that states, “He’s admitted his wife has knocked him about when she’s found out about his infidelities, the most famous ones being long-term affairs with Mary Wilson of The Supremes and former Miss World Marjorie Wallace. But part of it, too, is a quiet acceptance that certain things are not confronted.

                ‘You shouldn’t be questioning one another all the time. If somebody is on at you too much, it can turn you off — and she has never done that to me.”

                Poor widower my ass.

        • Jayne,

          I am not a fan of Tom Jones’s music. But I try to imagine if the same article were written about my revered Sir Paul McCartney and his late-wife Linda. I’d be livid. (Not comparing facts, comparing my reaction.) So I think I get it.

          I was not born to wealth and power and I did not marry into it. I have no idea what it’s like to live in the blindingly hot spotlight of media scrutiny and fame. But, from what I gather, more than a few chumps here do have these experiences. Some (most?) tend to hold-up people in the media as god-like figures, and some of these celebrities and politicians start to feel like our friends and family.

          It’s at an arm’s distance, and with an eye to critique them as part of a larger narrative, that I read these stories on Chump Lady. It’s much easier to be 100 percent certain where I stand when the stories are “normal” people. Too, I try to remember we are all participating in an rapidly changing narrative about victims of adultery that had previously held steady for X number of years.

          Finally, I do think that I try to judge, because I do judge, my reactions and comments by how they’ll be perceived by history. (On a good day). It’s all well and good to say, “I am absolutely certain that this is common knowledge, and any compassionate person should stand and be counted in support of this position” but even my beloved U.S. Constitution viewed a certain color of people as only 3/5 of a person. Hindsight is 20/20. (Unless you’re orange (couldn’t resist.))

          I have found at least a kernel of truth in almost everyone’s comments today. Thanks for letting me have a look into y’all’s points of view.

  • I don’t think this has been mentioned yet, and I’m not saying this SHOULD be the reason to stay (definitely not), but could the fact that Linda was Catholic have had something to do with her thought process, including her “decision” to stay?

    • YES! I am a Catholic, I stayed, and my cheating narc sociopath left me. I love my religion, and hope not to get bashed for that, but I believed I was doing the right thing. I learned that I deserved better; but only through force. My cheater leaving is what eventually taught me, his absence cleared my head, his crazy started to become clear. If he hadn’t left, I don’t know where I’d be, in all honesty.
      It’s so important that CN exists to show people they have a choice, and had I found a site like this back then, maybe I would have seen things differently. But I think it’s important to not find fault in people for choices they made that may be different. You catch more bee’s with honey…

  • What role did Tom and Linda’s son play in their lives? They had him when they were very young – he must have endured a lifetime of living with a depressed mum. Apparently he was and maybe still is, Tom’s manager. Perhaps the son colluded with Dad, leaving Linda with no support within her family. Could be an example of a textbook narcissistically enmeshed family.

    • Jayne: Read the original article in which he eulogizes his wife. Apparently he was in the Phillipines when ‘he got the call that she was terminal’. He flew home and a week later she was dead.

      So, here’s the problem for me. He knows his wife is very sick with cancer, but he still jaunts off to the Phillipines. Probably to give a concert. He needs to give a concert at 76, with a multi- million dollar bank account? Like he needs more money? He couldn’t have devoted himself to her in the few remaining months of her life.? Nope, cause it meant more to him to go to the Phillipines to do business than stay home and take care of his ‘beloved’ wife. Narcissists never change.

      • ok – you got me. My understanding is that the diagnosis wasn’t in until he ‘went to work’. But ok – let’s all beat up the old bastard why not – we get such a buzz from it!

        • …And here’s the rub – we hate that our cheaters renege on their commitments .. yet tour dates are set years in advance … should Tom be vilified for not being prescient? As far as I understand it – he honoured his commitment to his tour dates and then cancelled when he found out how ill Linda was, travelling home to be with her. So, exactly what is your beef? That he continued with his career because she went to the doctor’s? That he should have known her diagnosis before he doctor did? Not getting you.

            • Jayne: Even if Linda was not given a doctor’s diagnosis of cancer until a week before she died, she had to have been very sick before that. No one dies of cancer in one week. No cancer is that quickly growing. Sorry. Maybe because of her agarophobia she didn’t seek treatment – who knows?

              If he was a good husband, he would have seen how ill she was. He didn’t see it, for that matter, neither did the son. Curious.

              • so, you are actually saying he should have known her diagnosis before her doctor did? Hmm – ok – I have to throw up my hands. Throughout my entire life there are things I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN before they were actually revealed – MY ENTIRE LIFE! How about you?

              • So, no matter which way you slice it, the optics of Tom’s relationship with Linda at the end of her life are not good. He could have gone to the Phillipines, knowing full well she had cancer, or he could have gone leaving a very sick woman, a week away from her death. Hard to have sympathy for him.

          • I’m not a cheater apologist – what I am is a person who hates to see the vulnerable set upon. In my opinion this is an elderly man newly widowed – fuck what his job was, fuck what the chattering classes think they know – this is an elderly man, newly widowed. What’s wrong with you people.

            • No Jayne, the point is not that she should have known her diagnosis before her doctor. The point is that when you are as critically ill as she must have been, that your nearest and dearest step up to take care of you – before diagnosis, during diagnosis and after diagnosis.

              Tom Jones didn’t cherish Linda in life, nor in her dying days.

              • … and you KNOW THAT for sure, do you Tflan? Spoke to him lately? Spoke to her? Her son? Her doctor? Anyone? Are you speculating? Do you know anyone at all who really knew what was going on within 100 miles of them? Did you? Got chapter and verse on that ‘if you die within a week of diagnosis of cancer and imminent death must be utterly obvious to anyone around you’? You totally sure Tflan? Are you a medic? Are you a close family member? Are you perhaps just imagining ‘he must have known’ like people speculate chumps ‘must have known’ they were being cheated on? Ever not believed someone was going to die because they’d told you they felt ill? I knew someone once who sent her daughter to school but it turned out the daughter had measles. Was she a shit mother? Should she have been prosecuted and her daughter been put in care? Do we hurl stones at EVERYONE who didn’t ‘know’ a terrible, fatal occurrence was going to happen to someone they loved? Ever had someone die when you were away on vacation TFlan? That’s happened to me – and a few of my acquaintances over the years – should we have ‘known’ it was going to happen? What if it’s someone who’s poorly for years? No vacations til they die? No business meetings? no work? TFlan – unless you were present in their relationship – you haven’t a bloody clue, it’s all speculation and, God forgive me, but her body hasn’t even bloody rotted in the grave yet.

            • His wife was vulnerable. Tom…not so much. Old age does not make one a saint. Becoming a widower does not absolve one of wrongdoing. Tom is grieving? Sure. As only a narc can,by making it all about him. Poor old widower my ass. Sympathies for the son and her immediately family and friends. For him who knowingly and repeatedly shit upon their union till there was hardly anything left of her? No. If he has genuine regrets now she is dead those are the consequences he reaps. We can’t get away.

  • I can only imagine she became numb to her broken heart, dull to the ongoing trauma and abuse, afraid to gather the strength to confront her demons. It’s easy to use wealth and comfort to distract us from that which keeps us stuck. But at least HE gets to lead a life of adventure, excitement and glory.

    What is done is done. Tom can’t put those years of disrespect and selfishness back in the bag. I’m not seeing a vulture feast here. Shit sandwhiches bring forth so much sadness, despair and frustration and i think that is what we are seeing in the comments. And that is why infidelity sucks so much.

    • He sure knew how to rock those swim trunks.. that bulge is like a billboard sign attracting the ladies. Hard to put any blame on the OWs… I’m a dude and I want some of that, thing is enormous. 😛

        • OK Jayne: This is going to be my last post to you.

          Measles does not equal cancer.

          Yes, I have had people in my life die while I was away on holidays. They have died from a heart attack, a stroke, trauma from a car accident, complications from chemotherapy – a sudden death,.

          Linda had end-stage cancer. She did not arrive at that state suddenly, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed..

          I don’t know of too many well-meaning husbands who would screw off to the Phillipines, knowing how sick their wife was. .

          • Tflan – at no point did I equate measles with cancer. You know I didn’t and so to suggest otherwise is, at kindest, being deliberately obtuse. I recognise THAT kind of argument – thank you very much!

          • Agreed- I had always wondered about that. When a person had end stage lung cancer there are many signs. Vomiting blood is one of them. It could not have been a surprise to her that she ended up in the hospital. Poor Linda. How she suffered.

      • Raging, I think I am on my own here because I never have and I never will look at a male crotch. I have only ever seen 2 penises in my life and that is my ex husband’s and my son’s. I am not interested. Is it any wonder I am on my own and will live out my life that way, Also Raging, just remember that it is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog !! 🙂

          • Sorry Raging but I didn’t until I read your comment. You see to me, there is more to a man than his penis. Maybe that is where I have been going wrong. Don’t know !!

            • I’m only teasing, didn’t intent to offend anyone .. Was more about the tight shorts guys used to wear, plus wanted to say something nice about the guy since his wife died, nice bulge is the best I could do at the time..

              • 🙂 I knew you were joking Raging and no offence taken I can assure you. I do have a sense of humour now and again. Keep up being funny because sometimes that is all we Chumps have. Have a great day.

              • I am so pissed off about hearing this (not to mention about the Beatles too!) Paul Anka can go to wherever they put singers like that.
                BUT, I loved Tom Jones.
                Everything about him, since I was 16, and still did to this old age of 59.
                I have all his albums.

                NOW, Gad, I feel like slime reading all of this about him.
                Why didn’t I suspect all these years.

                But then, I never really knew the affects of cheating either until it happened to me.

                I’m throwing away all his albums right now.

                And, yes – that friggin Delilia song has been going through my head all day.
                Pox on the poster that put that in my head!

      • Dunno if it’s a dude thing, Raging, but I was also gobsmacked by that gorgeous schlong.

        She’s a lady was written by Paul Anka but it was a Tom Jones hit. The lyrics make me ill.

        Well, she’s all you’d ever want
        She’s the kind I like to flaunt and take to dinner
        But she always knows her place
        She’s got style, she’s got grace, she’s a winner
        She’s a lady
        Oh, whoa, whoa, she’s a lady
        Talkin’ about that little lady
        And the lady is mine

        Well, she’s never in the way
        Always something nice to say, and what a blessin’
        I can leave her on her own
        Knowin’ she’s okay alone and there’s no messin’
        She’s a lady
        Oh, whoa, whoa, she’s a lady
        Talkin’ about that little lady
        And the lady is mine

        Well, she never asks very much
        And I don’t refuse her
        Always treat her with respect
        I never would abuse her
        What she’s got is hard to find
        And I don’t want to lose her
        Help me build a mountain
        From a little pile of clay, hey hey hey

        • Since we’re onto revamping his lyrics, how about this:

          Well, it’s all you’d ever want
          It’s the kind I like to flaunt and use to store my dinner
          But it always knows its place
          It’s got style, it’s got grace, it’s a winner
          She’s a refrigerator
          Oh, whoa, whoa, she’s a refrigerator
          Talkin’ about that little Jenn-Air
          And the refrigerator is mine

        • “Well, she’s all you’d ever want
          She’s the kind I like to flaunt and take to dinner”

          OMG, all these years I always thought he was saying, “She’s the kind I like to PUMP and take to dinner….” LOL, I thought that was kind of nasty, some of you might be too young to remember this, but “pump” was a slang term for sex back in the day.

        • Ian – that was written by Paul Anka? It absolutely makes me puke now.
          I guess i was a naive 16 yr old into my late 50’s.

          Puke puke puke!

          • And, I’m angry at you all for putting all these songs in my head! But, I do love your lyrical interpretations of his songs.

            My long-standing crush has completely dissolved.
            Gee – that’s never happened before. . . lol

  • I think the best thing to be observed from this article is that a Narcissist will not change. They will always seek centrality (good or bad). And, even at the moment of our death, they will make it all about them.

    As CL suggests… what do you want your eulogy to be? Mine will NOT be “Here lies a hopeless romantic who looked the other way her whole life.” It will be “She got her ducks in a row. She filed. She was the sane parent. She lived… and she is missed.”

  • Rumblekitty – I’m not actually a ‘fan’ of Tom Jones. My years of hero-worship are long gone behind me (though Terry Pratchett, God rest his soul, was perhaps my last ‘idol’). I think the references to my ‘blind idolatory’ is a deliberate attempt to denigrate what I’m actually objecting to – the public mauling of an elderly, newly minted widower. Listen everyone – if you really want to be the type of people who will pick up sticks and beat a widower of less than 2 months – then DO SO – know that THAT IS WHO YOU ARE. Don’t try to hide it behind some idea that you are winding up ‘the FAN’ – cos I’m not.

    I’ve spent months, even years on this site – people who know me I really hope will know that this is the first time I’ve ever gone off the deep end about anything – I hope people who know me, know me well enough to know this assault on a grieving fellow human is enough to have tipped me over.

    If you want to spit on Linda and you want to spit on Tom – have at it. Know who you are and know i know who you are – that’s it.

    • @Jayne—-xoxoxoxoxo and lots of {{{{{hugs}}}}} and deep respect from me who sees vultures from time to time 😉

    • I’m not wanting to be argumentative but feel I am in a unique position to possibly offer perspective. My parents have been married for 52 years. They haven’t lived under the same roof for at least 30 of those years. My father has had quite a few girlfriends with one of those relationships being more serious. He is a very successful man and has been mostly a kind and loving father. My mother is old school catholic and vowed she would never divorce. Personally I think she is a weak person and now that I have been cheated on and slugged it out in a horrible divorce I am quite sure she chose to stay and avoid the hassle with the catholic thing being an easy way to explain it all away. My parents mostly carry on like married people socially except they go home to separate homes and his “other” life has remained largely a mystery to me and my siblings. The situation has been enormously painful for the both of them and us kids ( all in our 40’s and 50’s). Smiles on the outside but especially as they are getting older they both are increasingly bitter, angry and lonely. I’m not looking forward to dealing with either of them as they decline. I feel sad for both of them for wasting their one precious life on secrets and lies. All of that being said, it is my hope that if my mother dies before my dad their will be some honesty at last. If he goes on about their great love I will punch him in the mouth. In my opinion their staying together in the way that they did was selfish, lazy, and very destructive. They both could have and should have made better choices.

    • Jayne. Shut the fuck up already. The “newly-minted” widower, the life-long cheating elderly superstar does not get a fucking pass. Stop it already. It’s fucking nauseating.

      Welcome to Chump Nation. We don’t protect the cheaters. If he’s your uncle, sorry. What the fuck ever. There are boards for people who want to support cheaters. Find them.

        • Rumblekitty, exactly, he doesn’t deserve any support, and I’m sure he isn’t grieving much either. Sleep with 250 women a year, that’s the most fuck up thing i’ve ever heard.

      • Funny how once he hit 100 years old and his penis stopped working, all of the sudden he felt bad about how he treated his wife… No chance he could have had that light go on when he was in his say, 20’s or 40’s… 50’s?

        • Rumblekitty, Sadface, Raging … you miss the point. There are more than enough cheating arseholes out there to target without us having to make sport of a grieving man (and, by extension, a grieving family and a newly deceased woman). I don’t think it forwards the cause, nor changes the narrative on cheating to be willing to do so.

          Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gadaffi, Benito Mussolini – all undoubtedly evil men who were responsible for unimaginable misery and suffering. Yet, yet … the way the mob behaved at their execution and how the mob defiled their bodies afterwards, is appalling.

          I hope never to stop being the type of person who would be appalled by witnessing good people turning into monsters. I hope to never become the type of person who thinks attacking a family in grief is acceptable – to never think ticking the box ‘it depends …’ is an option.

          Rumblekitty – yes, therefore I’m happy to fuck off. I too was hurt by a monstrous narcissistic arsehole without the basic ability to feel empathy or compassion – I don’t want his legacy to be that I became like him.

  • Around 1990 ish, I saw Tom in concert in a small theater-in-the-round. It felt intimate and he was chatty, and made some clever remark about getting with some of us. Someone hollered out something about his marital status and he said “I’m not married”. This brought about dead silence (I think we were confused) till he said “My WIFE is!” .
    After our loud collective disapproving groan, he went back to singing and finished the concert.

  • I too initially used the “slave mentality-” paradigm to try to figure out my marriage.

    I am a male chump who was physically battered and mindfucked with financial ruin too.

    We *are* talking about a wealthy white woman in 20th-century “first world” conditions.

    Compare her story to Beyoncé’s perhaps?

    I don’t have any insights yet. Just injecting some thoughts.

    I’ll follow and see what y’all say while I consider victim/volunteer status.

    • The data says the more education the less likely women are divorce. This excludes black women which currently the most educated group.

  • I’ve really enjoyed the times I’ve seen him in concert. He’s an excellent performer, yet I have no doubt he’s a narc. I remember seeing an interview with one of his former band mates. The band were dumped unceremoniously when Tom became famous and were really struggling while Tom was doing well. Tom offered one of them some of his old suits to help him out, then when He went to collect them, Tom demanded six pounds for each suit which was a lot of money.

    It’s in the guys autobiography. Tom also got a kick out of doing runners from restaurants without paying.

    Nibbles indeed.

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=T2uWBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA141&lpg=PA141&dq=vernon+hopkins+suit&source=bl&ots=9FZksbdSvs&sig=w6L-ZcT95fGSxhPRLVbJ9-kXeYc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjthKrP25bNAhUKBcAKHSQ-Bv0Q6AEIJDAD#v=onepage&q=vernon%20hopkins%20suit&f=false

  • Now I don’t know the first thing about being a celebrity, or living with a celebrity. I’m just one of the “little people”……But…..

    A thought struck me. I wonder about his handlers. You know all the people in his employ whose job it was to make sure everything runs smoothly and the celebrity will continue to rake in the money. If they were denying Linda’s existence early on, how hard is it to believe that whatever the celebrity chose to do was touted as being just dandy for his image and don’t rock the boat…don’t ya know. If you make waves…he will lose his career….you will both wind up poor and it will all be your fault, Wifey. What would be the effect on a person’s mental health after so many years of this? The idea of being surrounded by droves of paid professional flying monkeys all saying only HIM and his career is important, not the wife who wasn’t supposed to exist for how many years. How much more invalidating can it get.

    Makes me shudder.

    • Very well said, Tessie. This must have been a major factor.
      Like being married to Tom Cruise, at a much lower level, but look how he controlled things at home through his ‘church’.
      Katy, his x wife was damn mighty to get out with her kid when she did.
      Nicolle Kidman wasn’t allowed to see her children, from what I understand…or they were turned against her. Whatever.

  • This is a very lively conversation. I’ve been what might be considered a fan of Tom Jones for years – Tom Jones the performer, not Tom Jones the man. I’ve read most of the comments and I think this is becoming heated because this particular story hits almost too close to most of us. Many of us can look at what happened to Linda and realize that there but for the Grace of God or the universe, we are. I also think some of us may have felt that some us, including CL, were being too strident and not sympathetic enough toward Linda. I think our emotional investment in our own lived experience (subjective reality vs. objective reality) is not allowing us to focus on CL’s message – Don’t do this, be like this. Let this woman’s life be a warning. I didn’t see it as a true criticism of Linda as much as a warning to all of us and those that come later.

    The most important things we do know are that they got married at 16 and that all the information we are receiving about Linda is being coming from Tom and people who are loyal to, on the payroll of or invested in Tom in some way. So we know nothing of Linda except what is clearly obvious – in spite of being repeatedly cheated on and disrespected in her marriage, she chose to stay. If she married him at 16, I am assuming she went directly from her parents’ home to being his wife – thus, we can speculate that she never lived independently. What knowledge or skills did SHE believe she had that would enable her to live independently? How do you explain the sun to someone who has never seen it? Harriet Tubman lamented not being able to free more slaves because they didn’t realize they were slaves. Harriet actually carried a gun which she had to use most frequently to force people to keep going to be free. There is a saying about not seeing the elephant in the room because it was there when you moved in so it doesn’t appear to be unusual. I agree with CL that she had agency. Unfortunately, Linda couldn’t see that she had it. And it doesn’t matter if she was born blind, lost her sight or was blindfolded without the knowledge that she was able to remove the blindfold – she still couldn’t see.

    The debate about whether Tom “loved” Linda is interesting and depends on how you define “love” I guess. Did he care for her? I don’t think you can have someone in your life for 60 years and not have feelings for them, not care about them on some level. For me and what I believe love should look like, I don’t think it can co-exist with lies, abuse and disrespect. Does he miss her? After 60 years? How could he not? Plus, he’s 74 and facing his own mortality and narrow prospects. He was sure of her love and loyalty. Is that love for her or appreciation of her love for him? Context and intentions matter.

    The movie “The Stanford Experiment” is very instructive about abuse and what we are willing to tolerate depending on our beliefs and the conditions under which we find ourselves. I was amazed when it showed that when the Professor walked in to abruptly end the experiment, most of the “prisoner” students could not initially take it in – they just stood there still in their roles, unable to comprehend that they were “free.” This was after only six days.

    I appreciate CL’s stridency and truth telling in trying to save us from ourselves. That’s why I once referred to her as Harriet Tubman. Sometimes someone has to point the proverbial gun at us to keep us headed to freedom. Too bad CL came too late for Linda Jones.

    • Mulling over your distinction between advice we would give Linda, vs. how her life turned out. And that seems to be at the base of the conflict. If Linda was having a cup of coffee with any of us, we would fire her up, tell her to leave Tom, to not tolerate the infidelity, and give her an empowering pep talk, “Yes, you can do this!!” The same pep walk we give to newbies every day.

      But Linda is dead; we can’t give her that empowerment talk, perhaps no one ever did (in fact, may have told her to stay), and a post-mortem analysis that includes she “should” have left ignores myriad factors in her own life, that none of us know anything about. To tsk tsk that Linda should have left does sound like blaming the victim, when erring on the side of compassion is warranted–this is a woman who may never have known a day of empowerment in her life, going as she did from her parents’ house to marriage.

      What we recommend can be separated from how we understand what she went through.

      • Exactly. I don’t think anyone here is advocating that Linda should have stayed in this abusive relationship. I certainly am not. What I am suggesting, however, is that to somehow blame her for her inability to leave that relationship is uncharitable, at best, and borders on a “blame the victim” mentality. That isn’t what I am about; the lack of empathy for this poor woman expressed by some here is troublesome to me.

  • gonna show my age here 🙂

    Maureen Starkey (Ringo’s 1st wife)
    Cynthia Lennon (Johns first wife)
    Jane Asher (Paul McCarthy)
    Anita Pallenberg, who bore 5 (five!) children to Keith Richards before a dumping and humiliating discard by Richards

    on and on. It was pervasive in those days. the very oxygen that was breathed. I am guessing that most of those women got out of the toxic relationships b/c the men wanted to remarry.

    Does the expression “Rock god” ring a bell?? Entitlement on methamphetamines.

  • She sounds like my mum- agarophobic, and in an unhappy marriage ( though no cheating, I think). Mum never went out- but she listened to everything on the radio, knew more about current affairs than anyone, revelled in classical music, was the first person I know to watch South Park- even a limited life may be rich in some ways. maybe Linda got to read all the Russian classics uninterrupted, or maybe she was into fanfiction, who knows. remember that he is still controlling the narrative of her life- he’s not going to say ” when I go home she teels me how fat I’ve got, and asks me to sleep in the other room becuase I snore” is he? he going to make it sound like sh’e desperate for him- maybe she was, maybe she no longer gave a flying fuck.

  • The very thought of calling a victim of abuse a volunteer because they didn’t save themselves is in effect blaming the victim. Where does this ‘you asked for it mentality come from? Is staying a choice for the victimized who develop emotional or psychological problems secondary to their abuse? Severe prolonged trauma leads to learned helplessness, PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Control is established through a gradual process of being degraded and devalued.

    It’s simple to say, “You have a choice.” Let’s not overlook the lack of resources the victims perceive as truth through trauma bonding. It’s easy to judge others. Yet there is a lack of understanding and ignorance associated with Stockholm Syndrome. It took me 41 years and not once did I volenteer for abuse. Staying should never be an option.

    I’m disappointed.

    • Saying the “victim is a volunteer” is suggesting that the victim had some kind of moral failing by not leaving. Abusive relationships ARE addictive and she didn’t owe any of us her own leaving. I think it’s pretty sick that THE VICTIM of a 59 year cheating mindfuck is being judged.

      Who knows what psychological landmine she had to step through every day to have even a basic kind of function. My mother lives with my father, and for years you could see it was psychological torture and conditioning that was extended from childhood. It’s unlikely she will ever leave my father, although their relationship went through quite an evolution after she caught him cheating. I think he was quite shocked not to be able to bully her back in line.

      I don’t see my mother as ‘weak’ or ‘having failed’ by not leaving my father. It was HER CHOICE not everyone else’s. If she felt the trade-off was worth it, that’s her decision.

  • If there is a silver lining today, at least the First Amendment is alive and well on CL!

    Now off for a drink after reading all the comments….

  • I’m probably going to get flamed for this, but the reality is, not a one of us know this woman’s situation. To me, the overwhelming consensus that she was a battered, broken, damaged victim of abuse totally unable to take any action for herself actually takes away any shred of dignity she might have. She was not a child. I assume she had a normal level of cognitive ability. She may very well have chosen to remain in the marriage for reasons that made sense to her. We might not agree with her decision, but it was hers to make.

    There are many, many stories here from people in devastating situations who did make a choice to leave. Chumps in the midst of cancer treatment, chumps who just gave birth, chumps isolated from family in foreign countries, chumps subjected to physical violence or threats of physical violence, chumps with absolutely no money, chumps with varying levels of depression and extreme anxiety. People leave when they reach the point where they simply cannot bear to remain in the situation any longer. Perhaps Linda Jones never reached that point.

    As for me, I would rather be thought of as a person who made a bad decision and then chose to stick with it, rather than infantilized into a broken woman with no ability or agency to take action for herself. But that’s just me, and I have no idea what Linda Jones would have said.

    • Why would anyone flame you? I actually like your point about infantilizing her. You have a valid point, of course, although that wasn’t my intention. It’s just that the growth that is possible moving from living with your parents at 16, and then moving to a situation where you’re dependent on your husband and pregnant CAN be limiting. Of course, since we really know little to nothing about the ACTUAL PERSON who was Linda, all we can do is speculate as to what motivated her to make the decisions she made.

  • GladItsOver

    We will never know the reasons why she stayed. What I do know is the isolation victims feel regardless of what it looks like to the outside world. His affairs were publicized and yet the fucker is called SIR? Was it her legacy to be called a volunteer? There was no interest in this woman until she died. Where the fuck was her support system. I doubt very much she had one.

    We can further shame her fior her choices by outing her from chump status. Staying is a choice for many here in the hope the cheater will get better. We all realize this because of CN. I for one find her suffering throug a lifetime of abuse as a tragedy.

    All the money in the world is useless when we feel that we are broken and have no voice. This is what I take from her story.

  • I don’t think anyone on this blog lacks empathy for Linda. I never knew she existed before today, but my heart breaks for her. I don’t know the answer to why she didn’t leave after learning of his serial infidelities. None of us do, but I just wish she had. I think we all want her to have had a chance at a better life. I’ll bet she did too.

    All of us who stayed after D-day can attest to the forces that pull so hard to keep you in a long term relationship that includes kids and decades of life invested in someone you love. With the blood running from the wounds in your back, and the assassin finally unmasked, so many of us still try reconciliation. It’s astonishing, and incredibly hard to make the decision to save yourself, especially with all the bad advice you receive.

    But, at some point your survival depends on recognizing your partner for what they are, that you don’t matter enough to them, and that you deserve a whole lot better. If you are going to have a life, you have to do what should be so easy but seems so difficult – choose yourself and leave the abuser behind.

    God bless you, Linda.

  • If I were Linda and I read these volunteer comments I’d crawl back into bed and cry. If the fact that she had feet to walk assumably money to leave and a brain yet she did not leave doesn’t show how messed up she was,then I don’t know. I guess we are expected to all agree that those of us who knew of the cheating but stayed were all willing volunteers….not the cheery kind though. The ones who are fearful and anxious and indecisive and paranoid and fked up. The kind that can’t sleep or function at work. Those kind of volunteers. It’s called abuse for a reason. It is identified by a certain pattern of behavior by both parties that makes no rational sense. But okay. Poor ole Tom. Good ole Linda the volunteer! I’m off to volunteer my day away. I’m sure I will be able to exercise agency in most parts. I do believe strongly in personal responsibility. However I am sure there will be parts I won’t be able to opt on. Agency is fine when your mind is fine. If you are screwed in the head…. that’s different. As someone above said the mind is a fragile thing. I am always amazed at the lengths it will go to protect the individual by trying to make sense of crazy. Like ours minds did.

    • I agree 110%.

      Most victims of abuse don’t leave while they are repeatedly getting kicked in the head. I can’t imagine the psychological pressure this woman would be overwhelmed with everyday.

  • Something else occurred to me yesterday, so instead of responding to those who pilloried me for my lack of sympathy for someone who stayed married to a known cheater for decades, I thought I would leave this.

    It is entirely possible that she was no chump at all. We know few details of her life, but it is within the realm of possibility that she was completely ok with her situation. She may have had lovers or companions of her own, which being a private person instead of a public person, we know nothing of.

    Consider the case of Warren Buffet’s wife Susan. She established residence apart from her husband, and lived separately from him for 27 years. By all accounts they maintained a congenial relationship and visited each other. The remained married until her death in 2004. All the while (since 1977) he lived with and maintained a romantic relationship with another woman, and not only did Susan know full well about this, she introduced them. So, for 27 years Warren was in fact cheating on his wife, with her knowledge. Does this make her a chump? I would say no, it does not. She enjoyed the security and legal entitlements of marriage to Warren, while living her life as she chose, and while maintaining a friendship with her husband.

    Did Linda Jones spend her years sobbing and wringing her hands over her husband’s infidelity? Maybe. I don’t know and no one else does either. What we do know is that her husband had multiple sexual partners and relationships over the years, and that Linda chose to remain married to him.

    I would also point out that they married in 1957. When people point out that societal attitudes have changed towards things like divorce, I would point out and remind that they were married through the 60s and 70s, a time when people started getting their freak on, women started burning their bras, and divorce became oodles more acceptable. We’re not talking about pre WWII here folks. Those 70ish year olds you dismiss to the realm of the nice-elderly-folk have done way freakier stuff they most of us would consider doing – hallucinogenic drugs and key parties included. Divorce wasn’t some terrible, shameful thing to society.

    So, I don’t know what transpired within their marriage, and neither do you. Maybe all that went on was perfectly ok with Linda and maybe it wasn’t. But the fact that she chose to stay married for 59 years to a man that had sex outside the marriage tells me that she doesn’t need you to be her white knight or to pillory her husband. She made her choices and lived with them.

    Also, before taking some stance on Tom’s music, remember that he is an entertainer. He is not a pillar of society. He is not a clergyman, a politician, a hero, or someone else worthy of emulation or worship. He sings and entertains. Big deal. Does anyone really care about the private life of the band that plays the local tavern on Friday nights? Doubt it. They entertain you while they are there and that’s likely the extent to which they occupy your thoughts. Just because millions of other people also enjoy someone’s music, and just because that has translated into wealth and press coverage, does not mean that they are deserving of being placed on a pedestal or of being deified. Stop worshiping entertainers and their private goings on will cease to bother you. Whether Tom Jones fucked 1 woman or 10,000 is completely irrelevant to me personally. He sings. He’s moderately good at it, and I like the songs. What he does when he is not singing bears no importance to me whatsoever because, not worshiping either him or celebrity, his only use to me is his performance. It is entirely possible to enjoy someone’s product while loathing the person, or to loathe the product and like the person.

    • It doesn’t sound like it started that way, or ended in a very healthy relationship like he’s trying to portray. I bet she’d tell a different story than he would. ———————————————

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3267126/Lonely-world-wife-Tom-Jones-humiliated-star-cruelly-said-s-lost-spark-rare-poignant-insight-marriage.html#ixzz4B0Y5lPgh


      His road-manager, Chris Ellis, said that the next morning, after sleeping with Tom, Linda started to weep. ‘When I think of that b**** lying on these sheets!’ she exclaimed.

      Her anguish, though, did not stop Jones from his womanising. He had another long affair with Marjorie Wallace, a former Miss World, in 1976. They were far from subtle about it and were pictured together numerous times. Linda confronted him — and, as he has said on several occasions, hit him. He said: ‘I stood there and took it. She chinned me. When she let fly, Dai [his then minder] just left. I said: “Go ahead!” She punched and shouted.’


      (link from a previous post above)

      • Thanks, Raging, for that extra (but horrific) research. I had decided to steer clear of any continued debate about whether Linda was a victim vs. “chose” her situation (given how contentious it was yesterday), but this bears saying:

        If we all believe that infidelity is emotional abuse (since we’re all on this blog), then EVEN if we think Linda chose to stay with Tom Jones after a careful cost/benefit analysis of the pros/cons of leaving him (count me as dubious, but I’ll play along), there is NO way she avoided the gut-wrenching emotional consequences of that emotional abuse.

        If I had to list 5 psychological laws, this would be one of the 5: People living in toxic situations will suffer deleterious consequences. No exceptions. The manifestations of those emotional consequences will differ from person to person (e.g., agoraphobia in Linda, intense anxiety in others, scratching one’s self while in the worst of a devalue from a cheater), but cannot be avoided. EVEN if Linda “volunteered” to stay, she suffered, and her abuser’s comments about her state of mind, nor the organic nature of her mental health issues (rather than accepting that his abuse caused them) should not be trusted.

        Moving to a different house, living your own separate life, while staying legally married, is not the same thing.

  • I have a friend that was totally against divorce, Catholic mentality, that gave me the most horrible advice. She said that we, I am Catholic too, should “stick it out”, eventually the cheater would wind down and see the error of their ways. Ya right. There are really a lot of factors that could have played out in Linda’s choice to stay in the marriage. But seriously, she could have left after 18 years, if her idea about sticking it out was avoiding the loss of her child. He wasn’t going to stay little forever. The son would have come of age around the ’70s, about the time when women were divorcing and not being stigmatized so severely, but for some reason she didn’t. We will never really know why she stayed, we probably wouldn’t know if she was still alive, God rest her soul. But the fact of the matter is, is that she was married to a narc. He will not change, he cannot change and it doesn’t make a difference if he is “old” now, he is probably still a narc. They don’t change for life, marriage, children or death. They are what they are. My friend’s ideas of why she was going to stay were crazy, but she was certain that she could “outlast” her cheating husband and that he would eventually “come to his senses” and value the marriage they had. Why would he ever do that, he had his cake and kibbles and he was not going to miraculously “change” the way that he had been “allowed” to live for the last 30+ years. No he wasn’t going to change, he was going to wait her out until he could freely continue to be the f*ing asshole he had always been.
    Funny thing was that while she is telling me about the “horrors” of being divorced, x abandoned me. What was I going to do, hang on to the f*ckwits leg so he wouldn’t walk away? Ummmm, no, but due to bad advice and not wanting to “lose” what I “had”, I spent many, many months second guessing myself and my decision to not go “back” ever again. It was horrible and painful and demeaning and hurtful. We will never truly know what Linda went through, we may never know if she tried to leave time and again and was hoovered back in, we may never know if she just sat back passively and just took whatever shit TJ gave her and we may never know what life she had at all, but we do know this, there are basically no recovered narcs, they start out as narcs, and they stay narcs until the day they die and they demand and expect kibbles and cake from where ever they can get them, even through sympathy for a totally sympathetic situation like becoming a widower at 76.

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