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Dear Chump Lady, Is Affair Fog real?

reconciliation_fogDear Chump Lady,

My husband had drunk sex with a woman who works for him when our little boy was 9 months old and we had been married for just a couple of years.

He was remorseful (well he cried a bit and said sorry and, hey, at least he told me — yeah right, now I can see I was a chump…) We had a baby and a new marriage and I thought “we are better than this, this isn’t our defining moment.” Sure you know how it goes! Anyway, we carried on and I put it as far out of my mind as I could  and things went back to “normal.”

We were a couple with lots of friends and family, a gorgeous little boy — we had date nights and family holidays and plans — but it turns out my husband never stopped getting oral sex from this skank. Last Christmas — when I was 12 weeks pregnant — he “kissed” ANOTHER employee. Over the months that followed this developed into a full on affair until I eventually kicked him out.

I did all the stuff I thought would break it — called her, called her husband — but nothing would stop them and I had to practically watch them fall deeper “in love.” Six months on and I have just given birth to our daughter. He is still with this woman (seriously, what sort if woman could get involved with a man whose wife was pregnant??) and juggling his time and his finances between seeing our children and seeing her (she has now moved 2 hours away).

My question is if you have an opinion on the Fog of the Affair? Lots of sites mention it and I really felt that for him to walk away from the son he adores and his new baby there must be something to it? Sometimes it’s as if he has become remorseful and wants us to spend time together and tells me he misses us — or is this all just kibbles and cake?

I really don’t want him back (and my heart is slowly catching up to my head). I would not put our children through this again. I just want him to come out of the fog to a moment of clarity in which he sees how monumentously he has fucked up — or does this never happen?

Liz

Dear Liz,

I don’t believe in a great mythical fog that turns ordinary humans into assholes. I just believe in assholes. You know how you can tell if people are assholes? They behave like assholes.

The fog is one of those reconciliation canards that subtly (or not so subtly) absolves cheaters from moral culpability. Your husband didn’t really cheat on his pregnant wife and abandon his infant children. No, he was in a fog. This dark, wet cloud descended on him and muddled his thinking. He knows not what he does! At some point the fog will clear and he will have that “Oh my God, I fucked up” moment of clarity. He’ll return to his senses, return to his family, and be that person you fell in love with again.

Yeah, I don’t believe that. However, I totally believe in the “Oh my God, I fucked up” moment of clarity. But here’s the thing — it’s only a MOMENT. And then the vast majority of cheaters IMO do everything to not feel it. They drink it into a stupor. They shop for new shiny stuff instead. They discover new affair partners. Anything to blot out the stench of failure.

Cheating is about entitlement. OMG I fucked up is about humility and lucidity. Entitlement feels better than humility. Lucidity means dealing honestly with the consequences of your appalling behavior. Serial cheaters like your husband are gluttons who need feel-good kibbles. As long as there is an affair partner out there who will shovel the kibbles at him, or he believes in the opportunity for more fuckbuddies when those kibbles run out — why would he change?

Because you hurt? Because your children are so precious and wonderful?

He already demonstrated exactly how he feels about you and your children. He cheated on you while you were vulnerable and pregnant with his child. Not once, but twice (that you know of) with two different women in a rather short span of time. His abhorrent actions tell you everything you need to know about how deeply he feels about his family. You did not matter to him. He is not a person who bonds and connects.

And Liz — that is NOTHING on you. It says NOTHING about how lovable you are or how precious your children are. It says everything about him and his character.

A “fog” didn’t make him that way. That is who he is. If the fog exists, it’s kibbles. It’s his addict’s high. Kibbles feel great — better than the love of your family. He’s sick in the head, and that’s nothing to do with you.

This is not a person who can love you the way you and your children deserve to be loved. You refer to him as your husband, so I assume you are still married. Please for the love of God, get a lawyer. A kickass, pit bull lawyer and leave this cake eater. You deserve better. Know your worth.

This column ran previously.

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  • I totally agree. I waited and hoped the “fog” would lift. My now ex wife sat and watched me cry, while never shedding a tear herself. I’m so glad I only waited a few months before catching her texting a different married guy and kicking her out.

    • Same here, Steam: I sat and sobbed and reasoned and begged while my now XW stared at me expressionless. I clung fiercely to this “fog” bullshit since it implied a temporary state, delusion, insanity–something that would dissipate, run its course, be cured….And something over which I had some hope of power to control. To think that my beloved life partner would simply decide to continue on a course of actions that would utterly destroy me, our small children, and the sacredness of our family was just not acceptable to me. In other words, yeah, there was a fog: mine. Her? She was and is simply a mind-bogglingly cruel, selfish, BPD/NPD. Mine eventually cleared. She still is who she is and I and our children still bear the deep damage.

      • “In other words, yeah, there was a fog: mine. Her? She was and is simply a mind-bogglingly cruel, selfish, BPD/NPD. Mine eventually cleared.”

        Thank you David – this is very perceptive. I was also the one in the fog, not my cheater. It was only when MY fog cleared that I started seeing him clearly.

      • David, it kills me to know that men like you are out there. Men who adore their wives and children and who value the sanctity of ‘family’, while all us Lady chumps got stuck with our arsehole cheaters! Where is the justice? Why can’t all the cheaters just stick to their own kind and leave us alone? Oh yeah, right, silly me – its not fun to do it with someone else who is just as deceptive and disgusting as you, the fun comes with convincing, deceiving and ultimately crushing the unwitting chump! I hope you meet a kind and compassionate woman who is worthy of your heart and can help stitch up some of those wounds. You deserve it mate 🙂

        • Thank you, KJ. Four years after D-day and two years after divorce, I’m searching for just such a woman:-)

        • I grew up in a family where my brothers are happy, healthy, emotionally stable men. So YES ! I KNOW there are many many many great people out there. I see it in my siblings, I see it in some friends and neighbors. Relationships aren’t perfect . Being in a relationship with an emotionally healthy adult would be perfect for me!

          • I don’t have much faith in finding a “soul mate” since I’m surrounded by poor examples of human beings. My ex’s father and brother are both cheaters. Close friends have suffered the same chump fate with their exs. My own sister came to me shortly after DDay #3 to tell me excitedly about her recent male “conquests.” Mind you, she was married at the time. I had no idea she was capable of such deception and treachery. My now ex-BIL was devastated as she coldly told him, “you just don’t do it for me anymore.” If I don’t even feel my family is trustworthy, how I can look anyone else as trustworthy?

            • That is how I feel Done4good. My mother left my father when I was 12 only because he was very mentally ill with BiPolar/Schizophrenia and a major alcohol addicition to cope. For those 12 Yrs they were best friends, companions and lovers. Despite the toll that such an illness has on a marriage they were utterly devoted and faithful to eachother. In fact a neighbor who was hitting on my dad once told him ” Something is wrong with you if you wont take a female offering herself to you.”
              My mom eventaully had to leave with me for safety reasons. Not that my dad would’ve intentionally hurt us but perhaps in a delusional moment…
              Fast forward 5yrs later. I walk in our house and find my stepfather and another woman walking out the door. I couldn’t comprehend for years because the idea was so foreign to me. Since then I have watched family and friends deal with betrayal after betrayl and am currently 3 months past discovery of my own husbands infidelity. He cheated 2months after marriage, 5mnths after a new baby, 4 months after my step father died and 2 weeks after i was hospitalized for Sepsis and almost died.
              My trust in the goodness and possobility of faithfulness had been completely shattered. Every single person in my life has either cheated or been cheated on. Except my real father whom i took care of until his death while i was pregnant with my first son.
              I found it cynical and humorous that in my case it was the man who WAS mentally ill that was the faithful husband. He talked about my mom until his last breath and she suffered such guilt and remorse for leaving him. I had a rough childhood and i suffered many scars but I am aware enough now at 33 to appreciate that despite those issues, for 12 years I was shown by my parents what real love, respect and loyalty are. However it seems so far in the distance of my memory, so bogged down by the negativity of what im surrounded by and what im feeling…… That it seems like grasping a dream. Something that no longer exists.
              I found a letter he wrote me on my 9th birthday while he was hospitalized. He talked of how much he loved my mother and she was the greated thing God put in his life. How much he loved me. That the world was no longer the same, people were no longer the same and nothing is sacred anymore. To not get married or have children, but to educate myself, live my dreams and be happy.”
              I see the irony now of my early ways of being a young caretaker and giver of a very good gentle loyal spiritual but sick father set me up to be a codependent who would end up attracting narcissists- the very opposite of what my father was. Lessons hard earned.
              Finding his letter 3months after discovery was a sign to me that its ok to move on and be happy. I deserve it. It was a reminder that not everyone is cruel.
              Thanks dad.

              • Yea these people are assholes.. i was in rn school working 16 hr shifts at the hospital full time school and work. My husbands says “oh im soooo sorry” but then continues to cheat and lie. Going on eight months i finally have the strength to divorce his sorry ass! Oh and for the whore thats fucking my husband.. shes another lost cause

      • “…beloved life partner…”

        That says it all. We were choosing a beloved life partner while they were just in it for what? I don’t know.

          • Heartbreaking Fog. Gaslighter pretended to me my beloved life partner, for nearly 40 years. It’s a cruel blow to have to reframe a lifetime of memories with a covert Anti Social Pathological Narcissist. I so want to move forward without hate and remorse, and stop being mad at myself for being Chumped. Working on letting go and accepting.

            • That’s just staggering, Chump Change. Really. I’m sorry. This is incredibly hard sledding, and I identify with so much of what you said. I wish you the strength to get to the other side, and that you ultimately find the joy and happiness in your life you always deserved.

            • Agree with JK, Chump Change, just staggering. I’m in a similar situation, 31 years with a malignant narcissist, now learning to be my own person. I can’t imagine going through this after ANOTHER decade! The process started out in abject pain and misery, but now two+ years down the road, there are more and more moments of absolute exhilaration. Freedom! From abuse, from sadness, from the twisted soul I was deluded into thinking was my faithful husband and best friend.

              “The truth will set you free…” not such a cliche for so many of us here!

              Good luck! The best people in the world are chumps! I’m proud to be one!

          • Same here, his version of love is “you make me look so good!” He described our relationship as the stable island he always came back to… There was no fog in his head, just plain duplicity and a suma cum laude talent for passive aggressive vagueness.

            In contrast, DDay instantly cleared my fog. The fog created by years of heavy hopium consumption. NC and a messy divorce process have only served to solidify my resolve in banning that lying poser from my life. It is going to take time and more work given the ongoing shit sandwiches I gobble down for the sake of our kiddo.

            But I am closer to Meh today than I was yesterday :)!

      • David, I could have written these exact words. I did the exact same thing. Even after I kicked him out 5 months after DDay #1. I even hoped, begged, and pleaded for the following year — even after I finally filed for divorce. Even now, 8 months after filing I will get into that mindset but now most days I see the futility of those actions. My head knows he sucks and is not compatible with me – that I could never be with him again. My heart is catching up. I try each day to be NC (emailing re kid stuff only) and most days I’m successful. I have whole hours when I don’t think of him and what happened. After 25 years together, I’d say that is a victory. I also believe CN that as long as I’m in the divorce and custody battles I will not reach meh — it’s a huge motivator to keep pushing the dissolution forward.

      • It’s ironic how they will hate you for choosing to love yourself and walk away from there bullshit …. Yet their argument to try and make you stay is they love you , If such things were true you wouldn’t find yourself questioning anything , you wouldn’t be doubting your own self love. And you dam sure wouldn’t be torn apart because you have to leave someone who you saw a future with, it’s a shame people can’t live up to expectations they create for themselves , then blame us when we expeced to much. When in retrospect we never really asked for much at all,just reciprocation of the love we have to give…. Joe Brock . This guy sums up everything nicely . Good Instagram follow

    • Yep, I cried for days after DD#1, and Captain Asshole just ignored me. The only time in the whole process when he got choked up was when he talked about having to leave the precious house he built himself. Not a word about our two kids. Gotta love those deep feelings for inanimate objects…

      • Mine has brainwash the kids against me and has made his affair something so simple but so deceptive to the children. He doesn’t understand that the kids are playing both sides I have a 12 and a nine-year-old. Although he has treated me like a piece of crap the way he’s treating my children is appalling and every other week I sit here and pick up the pieces. I left him because I wasn’t willing to wait for him to make a decision and now he thinks it’s best to leave our children two weeks out of every month I’ll stand strong to the hatred on my 12-year-old I know eventually common sense will prevail but the hurt of my children is so much more unbearable and the heart to me. 24 years of blindness faith and trust and he thinks it’s appropriate after three months to introduce them to the other woman

      • Mine has brainwash the kids against me and has made his affair something so simple but so deceptive to the children. He doesn’t understand that the kids are playing both sides I have a 12 and a nine-year-old. Although he has treated me like a piece of crap the way he’s treating my children is appalling and every other week I sit here and pick up the pieces. I left him because I wasn’t willing to wait for him to make a decision and now he thinks it’s best to leave our children two weeks out of every month I’ll stand strong to the hatred on my 12-year-old I know eventually common sense will prevail but the hurt of my children is so much more unbearable and the heart to me. 24 years of blindness faith and trust and he thinks it’s appropriate after three months to introduce them to the other woman

  • Really, a fog or a booze or drug induced stupor makes you screw around on your partner! That is such a piece of horse manure. Funny how the fog or stupor never prevented lying and covering up or spending marital funds on cheating websites while stone cold sober. Seems cheaters only “lose” control when it comes to “sneaking” around and getting their jollies. They don’t seem to do their crap in front of others. In other words their fog is not affecting them at all and is just a smokescreen to hide their duplicity. True fogs or stupors make it hard to hide our stupid acts because not only do we not see our betrayed partners but we also can’t see anybody else who might be watching…
    Assholes are assholes and love to do everything surreptitiously because then it’s just so much more fun to make fun of those pathetic trusting spouses.

    • For each and every DDay that I discovered it was also revealed that there were quite a few other destructive behaviors going on simultaneously with my ex-wife’s cheating. I used to say to friends and family, “ it’s like there is a black cloud hovering over her again.”

      Examples:
      She was caught shoplifting at JC Penny with our small daughter by her side (DDay #1) – mind you we are financial secure.
      She opened credit cards under my Mom’s name (DDay #1) – her excuse was that she was mad at my Mom because my Mom said ex-w coddled the kids too much.
      She would have my 3 kids in the car while she is picking up her baggies of cocaine (Dday #2) – at least 2-3 times per week.
      She would be reaching out to even more married men while in the midst of an affair with my sister’s husband (DDay #1).
      She would binge shop for shiny new things constantly and rack up huge CC debt and hide the bills. – When I addressed it with her she threw her own Dad under the bus and said she “lent him the money” from our CC account (like I wouldn’t see the itemized charges on the CC). (DDay #2)
      She would be an in the closet drinker – by the time I came home from work, she was somewhat sober.(DDay #3)
      She would be in a texting-frenzy mode demonizing me to whomever would listen to her. (DDay’s 1,2 &3)
      She would lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie – Oh did I mention she would lie!!! (DDay’s 1,2 &3)
      She got caught during at our local supermarket stealing meat.(DDay #3)

      Lots more but my point is these are all destructive behaviors that were happening alongside with her cheating. Obviously she has major issues. In between the DDay’s, not a one of these or any destructive behaviors would surface – quite contrary she appeared to be the girl that I loved and married. Nothing but sweetness and love from her. Especially between DDay #2 and #3 (4+ years).

      So is a “black cloud” or “affair fog” real? ONLY AFTER they made a conscience choice to engage in these destructive behaviors. One thing to do when you are in fog (if you want to call it that) … TURN ON YOUR DAMN HEADLIGHTS! – Cheaters are incapable of doing this because they suck!

      Fog, smog, log, blog call it what you want Cheaters and Wrecko Ind. I just call it shitty character AND entitlement AND lack of empathy AND selfishness.

      • Your EW sounds just like my mother. Takes young daughter on shoplifting trip and teaches her to be a cute decoy, check. Dad comes home from business trip and asks what mom has been doing and young daughter imitates smoking a joint, check. Dad finds out mom has been taking young daughter into bars and letting her sip mock cocktails like mommy, check. Picks adolescent daughter up for visitation and daughter has to help steer the car because mom is drunk, check. Mom borrows money from daughter who just got her first job, check. Mom steals daughters identify and destroys her credit before she’s even 18 (my sister), check. Way worse things involving moms multitudes of “boyfriends” that daughter doesn’t ever talk about, check.

        Daughter (and her sister) both cut mom out and go NC when they hit 18. Mom serves multiple stints in local lock up and state prison. Mom dies alone.

        I’ve said this before and I will say it again, I am an honest ethical woman because of my father. My sister retired from the military. I started there, but went into law enforcement. I knew my dad would sometimes want to pull his hair out when we were rebellious teenagers and when he set boundaries we didn’t like. We would yell that we wanted to live with mom. We so did not want to live with her and knew it even then, but we were teenage girls who pushed back at the rules (add the other two girls he gained through marrying my step-mom and the man should simply be sainted).

        I truly hope for your kid(s) safety and future well being you have full custody. I’m sorry you are going through this. I know that a lot of people equate cheating with being a bad parent. I agree in principle, but I hope at least some of these cheater parents can be good, or learn to be good, to their kids.

        Oh, and for the record, I used to believe in the affair fog. I also used to believe in the tooth fairy. Reality is a bitch.

          • Absolutely. You don’t have to be the perfect parent, you just have to be the sane parent. Your kids will always know that you love them and will be there for them. Even when they’re being difficult and seemingly lost-the-good-sense-that-God-gave-them teenagers.

        • What’s with the shoplifting? My XW did this too. Just “little” items casually and impulsively, but still. It freaked me out. I would talk to her like she was a child, incredulous, explaining that she could be arrested. I guess it’s a manifestation of sheer entitlement: I want it; therefore I will take it.

          • I saw a guy in front of me at the supermarket put some energy drinks in his pocket while waiting in line.. had to be about 60 years old. He gets to the register, puts all his stuff down, takes out a big wad of cash .. I say “you going to pay for those energy drinks you put in your pocket?” The look on the cashiers face was priceless as he took it out and said “oh yea, almost forgot those”. They do it for the thrill.. I was happy to give the old guy the rush of getting busted.

          • Tempest may know. My mom stole insignificant items when I was young. I remember hairbrushes, tweezers, and those really big pink curlers. In my teens she graduated to stealing purses to support her drug habit. I had just been promoted to sergeant in the military police and she was being sentenced to prison as a predicate felon. Ah, the memories. Thank God I had a sane father.

    • The whole drunkenness issue is yet another attempt from the cheater to keep the Chump in the fog!

      When I was young and naive (i.e. before Dday), I was talking about this with CheaterX, who adamantly maintained that, even while drunk, you knew what you were doing. Now, at that time, I knew that CheaterX didn’t drink, though he was starting to drink really sweet stuff (moscato, the super-sweet martini-style drinks)–which I knew was Schmoopie’s influence, as he had gone on a couple of corporate outings, and I knew she drank this stuff.

      What I didn’t realize at the time was that when CheaterX told me that, he’d started sleeping with Schmoopie, and yes, it happened on one of those corporate trips. He never admitted as much, but I started to connect the dots and discovered that in fact, I was pretty accurate as far as the timing of the start of the PA.

      So yeah, blaming the alcohol is just another way to shift responsibility and create more fog for the Chump.

      The more we start to recognize these ploys, the more the fog is lifted from our eyes, and the easier it becomes to trust that they suck.

  • My soon to be EW came out of her fog recently , after 2 years , I thought she was an alien for a bit back in the early days. I nearly fell over when she asked me to work on our marriage, oh the fuckery, no way. Been there. I did laugh on the inside a bit, because after I realised my worth, there was no going back , and from cheaters point of view why exactly would you walk away from a chump. Not sure about the “fog” maybe a “twilight zone”.

    • Many, many times **I** felt like **I** was in the Twilight Zone experiencing the mind fuck of the cheater’s agenda.
      Ie: “how could he keep doing this to me? Does he not realize I have feelings? Has he no regard for me and what I have done for him?”

      Cheaters aren’t in any sort of fog; if anything it’s a disdainful kibble induced “I’m getting something over on them” high and nothing more.

      I know this for a fact. When asked why he did it, his reply: “it was only a game, I wanted to see what I could get away with.”

      Game over, fuck face.

      I call him POP—Predatory Opportunistic Parasite……wonder why?

      • I remember explaining to my mother that my husband just didn’t seem to comprehend or understand how he was hurting me. She answered, “He completely understands, he’s doing it on purpose.” That was really the first time I’d considered that he wasn’t just emotionally clueless.

        • Your mother is right. He completely understands, just doesn’t care that he’s hurting you. He’s not emotionally clueless, he just doesn’t give a rats ass. And this is a personality disorder to lack empathy like this. People like this aren’t good at relationships. I dumped my ex for this exact reason. It’s a fundamental flaw that may never change and I can’t live with someone like this. I dumped him and never looked back. Not normal.

        • Yup, Mom made a good point.. he wasn’t having trouble comprehending or understanding, he was getting his rocks off on the control and power. Getting away with screwing you over is intoxicating for them. They feed on your pain. Fog is just more bullshit that they sling to help everyone believe that they had no control over choices, they were led by some supernatural force. My wife actually said at one point “It was like an out of body experience”… Bull crap… talk about not wanting to take responsibility for your choices. Yea, it was some ghostly spirit floating on the astral plane that led you off to a motel,.. wasn’t you. Of course the fog pulls them in, they don’t choose to go into it.. then when they get caught, they realize that getting pulled in was a mistake, not a choice. Ooops.

          “In the fog” is a nice way of saying “Was really enjoying the hell out of screwing you over behind your back and playing you for a fool. It sucks that you blew it up by catching me. Guess I’ll pretend it was all a mistake now and I see the light, that I wasn’t thinking or seeing clearly… my thoughts were foggy.. they’ll probably buy that. I’ll go to church and read a self help book to buy me time until I find a new affair partner and my spouse gets over it”

          Fog=Bullshit.. They should call it bull fog.

          People that aren’t assholes don’t seek out fog, they don’t get sucked into fog. They avoid fog like the plague because they have respect for themselves and their marriage.

          • Raging,
            When I discovered texts from my cheater husband’s phone to the AP last January he was actually telling her that he was led to believe they were two parts of one soul split into two bodies in this life. When I confronted him he said that when they first met in Europe at a university he was looking for a room to rent and she was offering hers. After their first meeting they hugged, as is customary in Europe, and were “electrically glued together for about 15 min until he had to physically untangle himself from her.” This meeting led to the 1-year affair although she was married while he was single. This was 15 yrs ago. They parted ways after graduation and went back to their respective countires but remained in contact. Then abt three yrs later we met and got married. He never told me about her or the electric hug. Well..she apparently always wanted him and at the very first opportunity after one major fight between us they rekindled in London where they both went for a “business trip”. Now I know why the cheater never had vacation time and was always super busy…he spent it all with her under business trip disguise. This lasted for 12 years. All the distancing, critisizing, withdrawal from intimacy and sex, creating major fights to escape bonding and justify time alone to unwind- all of this was premeditated lies and manipulation while I was giving 100%of myself to try and fix things and please him. I pickmedanced without knowing the term and I hated myself for enduring this emotional abuse and humiliation but I married once and forever and was going to work it out no matter what. So 12 years later when I found the texts and confronted him he told me about the electric hug and that he had spent all these years trying to understand it because this was “out of the body experience”. When I pointed that they were both good looking young in their early 30s or late 20s and hormones may have played a role he didmissed it because how can I, a simple human being, be able to understand this out of body experience. There had to be something bigger, some mystery..until he found it. A few months before DDay he met a guy in a bar that claimed he had studied some shamanic things and he shared this story with the guy. The guy supposedly told him that the only explanation was that they were parts of one soul that split into two and they met to learn about each other and life. That’s what the soul desired to learn in this life. He not only genuinely believed in the story but he also wrote to her about that and was now telling me. Mind you, he still did not disclose the affair but told me that the affectionate texts were because he really liked her and also now he knows there is something bigger connecting them. Fog, you say? He fogged me big time. Because I, trying to earn his love back, engaged into an extensive research of split souls and read tons of articles and literature and shared stuff with him thinking that if he sees that I try to understand him he will start looking at me with friendlier eyes. He will love me back. Ughhhh. 5 months into that “pick me dance” and he finally confessed into 12 years of affair with her and serial sex flings with others. Then put up a show, cried a little, gave me “let’s save the family” pitch and bought me into more pick me dance during reconciliation. As soon as I was my old self, loving and caring and trying hard to forgive and forget, he resorted to his entitled ways. I asked him to delete all her contacts and he told me he just would not discard people from his life. Especially the soul. How could he do that? Their connection is on another level. His words: “I can’t promise that I won”t talk to her. I can promise that I won’t continue the affair. But if something happens to her I may have a soul calling and then I will have to rescue her. I know that I killed her in our previous life and I have to save her durig this lifetime to make up.” Fog, you say? When I asked him why then he would not just go and live with her happily ever after since they confessed love to each other, he told me that her soul had been degrading recently and he did not want his part of the soul go that route with her. So he disengaged. In reality he did not like that she slept with a 20 year older guy to help her move up a career ladder. Although he was quite aware of her multiple sex flings, as she was of his, as well as spouses and children. Pretty fucked up fog I would say.

            I only started to see through it when I found CL and CN. They are my headlights.

  • Dear Liz, I’m so sorry!!! I think the fog is real…for CHUMPS. We have a chump fog that we walk around in for a while after discovering the deceit. Shock, denial and false hopes of a cheater “coming to his senses”. What actually happens is you come to your senses and see through the bs. You realize you gave him more credit than he deserves and that he wasn’t who you thought he was, at all. Stay strong and kick ass in the courtroom for your babies’ sake. The man you knew as your loving husband was just a fake performance…a really bad one. So don’t waste your time waiting for him to “come around”. Take your power back and accept that this situation is beneath you and cut him off. Hang in there dear, we all know how crappy things are for you right now, but they get much better, I promise!

    • Agreed! As I read today’s post, chump fog was going to be my exact response.

      For me, 25+ years of his lies, gaslighting, triangulation, manipulation, blame, etc. had my head spinning in a fog. I didn’t realize that was the case until his cheating surfaced. Once he was out of the house and I realized he wasn’t who I thought he was, I felt what I think was my brain in detox mode. My head started to clear and I was able to realize that his inconsistent behavior started very early on in our relationship. This certainly didn’t happen overnight – I spent months crying over his sorry ass while in this “detox” period. The memories have slowly surfaced over time, popping in my head and bugging me until I realize that was him manipulating me, etc. This is when I realized that he will never change and began to trust that he sucks.

      • ByeBye, I agreed with your comment. I wish my neighbor wife could read ur post. Her husband of 17 years has and is cheating on her…Half of my neighbors knows his cheating ways for years. He took advantage of me. I told him I’m not that kind of a girl. He wanted something more, something I can not do. I told his wife., they went to the police to files charges but laterly dismissed. He was forced to tell his wife and the police his cheating ways…throughout the marriage. His wife is still with him. They don’t have children together but he has 4 with his 2 ex wife….People say she knows but is in denial….If she can not figure out about her husband now after 23 years together, she will never…love is blind….
        Best of luck to you ByebyeCheater…may u find someone someday…

        • Best of luck to you too Lost. And to your neighbor…I hope she wakes up one day and kicks him to the curb. No one deserves to be treated like that.

    • No doubt the chumps are in a fog of their own. The cheater fog is just them extending cake time and figuring out how best to deflect/maintain image/cake/land on their feet.

      The chump fog after D-day is like you’ve been hit in the head really hard. You see a flash of light, then your ears are ringing, and it takes a little while until you can see and think straight again. That’s a chump fog, except it takes place over the course of several months instead of just a few minutes.

      But after the flash of light, the ringing in your ears goes away and you finally get your wits about you, boy can you see through bullshit like a damn x-ray machine.

      • OMG soooooo true Blindside… that’s how I now instinctually know when he’s gone off behind my back and what lies he tells me to my face…. It’s crazy. Never thought in a million years I would encounter someone like that… Mindfuck and a half! Good thing I’m gone in just a few more dayyyyyyys

      • Blindsight,

        “You see a flash of light, then your ears are ringing, and it takes a little while until you can see and think straight again. That’s a chump fog, except it takes place over the course of several months instead of just a few minutes.”

        This. Exact description of how I felt after a few DDays.

        How about if I tell you that I ended up apologising and pick me dancing every time I confronted him with hard evidence because he managed to turn things around and succeded in gaslighting and manipulation. I had to say sorry for being “egoistic” after I confronted him in the wrong time with deleted texts to his AP’ers. He was sick and taking care of his dying father in ICU and working and I just decided to confront him in those most difficult times. He recalled all my previous similar confrontations and convinced me I did the wrong thing in the wrong time always and that’s why he could not talk to me ever and we could never connect on a “genuine level”. I said sorry and I love you and yes I am egoistic for acting this way. Talk about the fog…

  • Not only do you deserve better but your children deserve better too!
    Don’t model this behavior that says being treated like shit is OK.
    They deserve to know that kind loving people exist and that you don’t settle for fuckwits when you can’t find the right one for you. Instead you take care of you! You take care of your family, you fix your picker, and when the time comes you try again.
    I know that feels far away right now but find that lawyer ASAP, file for divorce and push it through.
    You’ll be surprised at where you are a year from now.

    • I agree, Fog is an excuse Cheaters using “I was in a Fog,” is as believable as ” I was abducted by Aliens,” or “someone put a spell on me.” Translation= Cheater not responsible for this outside entity that put them in a trans.
      A local deputy recently found himself in a “fog” while he was guarding female inmates fog clouded his brain and he was engaging in sexual relations with female inmates, he has since been fired and has earned a jail cell of his own. This deputy is a newlywed he had a beautiful wife and a gorgeous baby boy. I hope his wife doesn’t blame herself and gets the help she needs to get rid of the scum. He lives up to his last name which is Dingleberry.

    • This. Maybe fog is real. Doesn’t matter. Fog is a distraction from the point, a symptom of the mental illness that causes the behavior. Fog didn’t cause the behavior. Choices did.

  • My cheating ex never had the fog. He literally never apologized. He’s the step over your wailing, seizing body and grab a hot pocket kind of guy.

    Now, his whole mantra is “We need to focus on communication for the children.”

    When I communicate a spreadsheet full of expenses with attached scanned invoices and receipts to him for reimbursement each week (via email), along with a copy of the order where the judge says he has to pay half of said expenses, I always hear crickets…

    Maybe I’m doing it wrong?…

    • Right? Yeah, communication means everyone does what the cheater wants. It’s right here in this modified cheater dictionary.

      • Oh, that’s where you find the details about communication. My STBXH has been hounding me relentlessly about improved communication. He says”I feel as though we have lost our way” and “I want, and think we need to communicate more and more effectively” because “the way that we interact (during separation or divorce) can be extremely significant in terms of a child’s outlook and ongoing development.”
        Funny, I’ve been compiling regular emails with all pertinent financial, logistical and child development issues for the last number of years, yet somehow I fall short on the communication front. And, in one particular memorably “lack of communication” incident, I told him of a health issue of one of our children within 17 minutes of finding out. He stood there and yelled at me for my lack of communication.
        I believe, Amiisfree, that you have finally helped me solve my lack of communication problem – I am no longer doing everything the cheater wants.

        • Yep, that’s how my ex-husband is. GAG! He’s all, “We have to communicate better! For the Children! You’re doing it wrong!”

          It’s like all he wants is me to text him pictures of the kids at dance class or swimming lessons having fun. You know what would be fun? You answering my email requesting payment for your half of those dance classes and swimming lessons, Jackass! Then you’ll get your damn pictures.

          Come to think of it, maybe I am doing it wrong…

          Actual quote from today’s email:

          “I have not had any response, email or otherwise, from you from my previous email on [Date] regarding the girls’ expenses and reimbursement.

          Ignoring the situation is not in the best interest of the girls. You, yourself, said that you wanted improved communication in your last text to me on June 27, 2016.

          Ignoring emails regarding the girls’ expenses is not improving communication.

          Poor communication is not in the best interest of the girls.

          Good communication is not defined by only discussing what you wish to discuss while ignoring other situations that you don’t want to deal with.”

          • Don’t take his bait – that’s my two cents. He is trying to make it evaluative and emotional for you while seeming to act rational. Don’t let him. His opinion doesn’t matter. The facts matter, and facts are all he needs. And pix are only share with those who participate is a good boundary, too.

      • And I had the complete opposite! My cheater had so much remorse, ((after seeing the light)) after the fog lifted that I ended up living in such a difficult position. I tell everyone who tells me that being unfaithful is a dealbreaker to put it in writting w mariiage vows, “If you cheat on me, dont ask to come back, its much to painful…”

    • That’s for sure. My stbx is exactly the same Kelli. Cc the lawyers on your email to him. I find that speeds up the payment process. Amiisfree: exactly … “communication means everyone does what the cheater wants” right from their handbook

      • Mavis, emailing the ex’s attorney the copies is a rookie move, friend! My ex has one of those $300/hour attorneys who has a minimum billing time requirement.

        I faxed copies of everything to his attorney. With cover letter, letter explaining everything in like 14 point font, 3 page spreadsheet of itemized expenses, and copies of every invoice, receipt, cleared check, etc. One per piece of paper, of course.

        He was ordered to reimburse me for health insurance, which is payroll deducted from my paycheck. So I sent copies of every paycheck stub showing the deduction.

        He was ordered to pay half of dance expenses, so I sent every monthly invoice, every receipt, and even printed the item description for jazz and tap shoes off of amazon, along with the order receipt.

        My favorite part? I would shuffle it all around. It was over 100 pages, but the receipts and backup paperwork was randomly shuffled and nowhere close to the order of everything on the spreadsheet. So his attorney had to pay a secretary to put it in order each time. Which was a cost passed on to my ex.

        Finally, I would send the whole damn thing each time I had a new expense. So, I ended up sending a fax four days one week. Each time, the new receipts were hidden in the middle of the 100+ page fax.

        Surely, that idiot would know after being married to me for 6 years that I will find creative ways to exact revenge. He ended up with over $20,000 in legal fees for our custody fight. My attorney is my stepmom. I pay her in dinners and pedicures.

        • Kelli, love it! Covert revenge – provides satisfaction yet completely plausible. I’m taking notes! Bwahahahaha!

          • About 4 months after my paper bombing of his attorney’s office, my step mom and I were at lunch and had this conversation:

            Her: I got an email from [ex’s attorney] yesterday afternoon.

            Me: Oh yeah? What did Playskool’s My First Attorney have to say?

            [the ex’s attorney is only 27 or 28 and fresh out of law school]

            Her: He politely requested that you stop sending faxes to his office. Technically, it looks bad if you try to contact him as the opposing attorney. But, my guess is that all of the faxes have caused his bill to shoot up, and I’m guessing that [the ex] isn’t paying his legal fees.

            Me: Ok, what should we do?

            Her: I’m going to send you a digital copy of my stationary, digital signature, and fax cover sheets so that you can just put everything on that before you send it over to his office. Just be sure to send a copy of anything you send out on my letterhead to [her paralegal].

            Me: Ok, but it will still show up as coming from my fax number.

            Her: Good point. Can you send it from another fax machine in the hospital?

            Me: Yep!

            Her: Alright, it’s a plan. You want to share an order crab rangoon?

            • Brilliant Kelli. One of the mistakes I made was to deal with ex directly to save on lawyers, he was the only one saving. Never do that! Send a settlement agreement and let the stbx use the attorneys. Don’t respond to bullshit lousy changes, if your stbx really wants a change to the agreement let them pay the attorney to make that change and present it. How I wish I’d realized this before I blew thru so much in attorney fees while his attorney finally filed with the court to say she did not represent him, only advised him cos he wouldn’t give her a retainer. He still convinced her to fuck with me quite q lot, never underestimate a liars ability t manipulate

        • Kelli, it’s just sad that I am so completely heterosexual because I think I love you. Having just paid a bill from my own attorney for her sending me a copy of a letter that I also received (so she didn’t need to send it to me at all), I shudder at the thought of those multiple 100+ page faxes – in a good way. What a brilliant revenge!! I adore the way you and your step mom think.

          • Thank you for all of the kind words of encouragement!

            To update on the email to the ex, keeping in mind that I texted him letting him know I sent it and copied his mother and grandmother (who are the two people who are always stuck bailing him out), I have heard nothing but crickets.

            I’ll never understand the mind of a malignant narcissist. The last time he was held it contempt, it was over $1,075. The judge tacked on another $400 in fines and fees. That’s a 40% increase to the principle. I’ve seen better financial arrangements made on The Sopranos in back alleys and dark corners.

            Now he owes over $5,400. I don’t get why someone would risk jail (this is the 3rd time I’m taking him to court for contempt for him not paying his half of court ordered reimbursement for the girls’ day care, health insurance, and dance tuition), and then get another several hundred dollars tacked on by the court. Makes no sense.

  • Ughhhh, the Affair Fog. One of the founding principles of the RIC. They don’t know what they are doing is wrong. Seriously??? They know it’s wrong enough to shall sneak around and hide their shit, don’t they? They can’t help what they are doing. They are addicted to their whore. Again, seriously??

    Whenever I hear about the affair fog, I think of Cartman on South Park, stomping his little foot and saying “I do what I want!!!”. So attractive in a grown man or woman. Not.

  • I tend to believe in the fog, but not that it is any sort of excuse. It’s like alcohol. Sure, you can make poor choices when you drink. When you are in a drunken stupor. But you still made the choice to drink until you got to that drunken stupor. You didn’t take any preventative steps to make sure you didn’t get drunk.

    The same is true with tripping and falling on a random penis. It doesn’t just happen. There are many preliminary steps and choices you must perform before that happens.

    I do believe the fog does happen AFTER they’ve made enough of those choices.

    But do trust that if they allowed themselves to make those choices, they do certainly suck.

    • I tend to agree. I think once they’re in the depths of the affair, any semblance of good judgement goes out the window. And why not? They’re getting all the fun and benefits in a relationship, with none of the downsides. Tastes great AND less filling! They can have a fun, wild emotional high while someone else provides the rock-solid, dependable, and respectable comfort at home. Until everything unravels, of course.

      That said, I don’t think it matters at all whether it’s real or not. As you say, Uniballer, they’ve still made choices to get into the affair, long before any “fog” enters the picture. That’s still a character problem. And even if they are in some kind of altered emotional state…why is this the chump’s problem? In fact, if the cheater is in some kind of state where he/she can’t control his actions, why on earth would I bother trying to fix things? His/her brain is now wired to run off with the shiny, sparkly Twu Wuv, no matter what the cost, so why should the chump try to coax him back to Boringville?

      • “That said, I don’t think it matters at all whether it’s real or not. ”

        Exactly, as I said in my recycled from January comment on this article, fog or no fog, does it really matter? What matters is what you are willing and unwilling to tolerate.

      • “I think once they’re in the depths of the affair, any semblance of good judgement goes out the window. ”

        Obviously if they are in the depths of an affair, they never had much in the way of good judgement to begin with. So it’s just more of the same… The lies get bigger, the bullshit gets deeper.. but it was always there. No mysterious force pulls them in. It takes a certain type of character deficient person that can lie every day for months and compartmentalize without feeling empathy or remorse. They instead get off on hurting people. That’s not an ‘oopsie I slipped into something bad’, that’s just plain bad character you don’t want to be around unless you want to get stabbed in your back.

        Fog my ass… Fog is the high they get from screwing people over and getting away with it.

        The ‘fog’ lifts slowly as they trickle truth in and blame shift and gas light.. those tears, those are the fog lifting, not them trying to get you to feel sorry for them so you won’t kick their sorry ass to the curb and kill cake… it’s chemicals in the blood, not bad character… chemicals that make you want to be an asshole.. I bet there’s a cheater dna that can be traced.. the ‘fog’ gene.. they should develop a test.

        The fog is the ability to compartmentalize and suppress empathy for people that love you.

        The fog is the ability to blame others for your own shortcomings.

        The fog is the ability to justify shitty behavior with weak ass stupid excuses that deep down you know are bullshit but you don’t care, because you “do what you want”

        The fog is the ability to lie every day to people and not have any problem at all with keeping it all straight or needing to keep them all lined up.

        The fog is when I say ‘motel’ and she says “It was a HOTEL, not a motel”… as if that’s a more classy place to bang the boss…

        The fog is that they actually believe the ‘only 1 time’ story since they’ve told it so many times.

      • Traveling, I don’t think any of this bullshit needs to be tied to a LTA or short term fuckbuddies. It’s tied to the wiring of these assholes because there is NOTHING In their characters that makes them stop and think about their actions and resulting consequences (zero empathy). They just do this shit = failed marshmallow test .

  • What is it with men leaving their babies and young children?? My STBX chucked us less than two years after adopting the most exquisite daughter from China. And we weren’t young! He’s 50 and traded our family for a 24 year old coworker. I think it’s the responsibility of people, God forbid, DEPENDING on you that reveals an essential character flaw that fuels the cheater to run for the hills. An Affair Partner requires nothing, needs nothing and has no expectations, while a young child and new mother needs their partner in new and profound ways. I think it is because of this that some cheaters decide to go off the rails. I don’t think my STBX could deal with my vulnerability. He liked the “strong, kick ass” me, not the me that needed my partner to show up while I navigated motherhood.

    Anyway, good riddance! I see him for what he is, lawyered up and am working hard to reinvent my life with my amazing little girl in tow!

    Good luck, Liz! You can do this!

    Chumpbunny

    • “What is it with men leaving their babies and young children??”

      I know, this scares me. But it’s not real men who do this, it’s people who have personality disorders. They bail on you when you are vulnerable and need them the most. They can’t be relied on and often times, make things worse. I dumped 2 boyfriends because of this trait. One of them yelled at me in front of his friends when I got sick on a cruise and needed to see the doctor, and another other guy, who was visiting me for the weekend, didn’t even accompany me to the doctor when I had an infection and had to go to the urgent clinic. You can’t rely on these assholes and I’m out when something this fundamental shows up in their character.

      • Not til after time and distance let me look back did I realize how my x only seemed to show interest or concern for me if others were watching. I had migraines frequently in my thirties. If a friend, neighbour, coworker or relative was around he was all solicitous (dimming lights, reducing noise and letting me rest in a dark room til the meds kicked in) Nobody but me and toddlers around he would wake me up, turn on the lights and ask me to fix dinner and make little moues of disgust if I started vomiting from the noise, light and pain.
        This same POS wailed and whined the day I came home from surgery (I had lost a lot of blood and was severely anemic and tired ) about how he had nearly lost me and what would he have done having to raise his sons alone (they were 14 and 17; hardly helpless little babies). Somehow my inconvenient surgery wrecked his earnings for that month because he had to stay home with me even though the oldest child was perfectly capable of driving me anywhere and both kids were already doing all the household chores while x just sat around surfing porn. Later found out that x started hooking up with his best friend’s wife at this time and used the excuse of setting up our oldest at uni a couple of months later as the perfect excuse to continue hooking up with her when she moved out of the marital home and established herself in son’s university town. Makes me raging blood boiling mad that he used my inability to help my kid move to uni as a cover to travel to his AP’s new digs and use our son as an excuse to spend more time with fuckbuddy. All of this unbeknownst to me, my sons and his “best” friend
        And when he was ill he’s the one who carries on like his cold will make him die! poor little sausage! me me it’s all about me! fluff my pillows! make me soup!! turn the tv more that way! we need a bell to ring in case I need you! You know where I would have put that bell if I knew then what I know about him now!!!!!!!!
        Gaghh!!I think it’s the chumps who live in a confused fog made by the cheaters’ lies and deceptions.

        • Justanotherchump – “Nobody but me and toddlers around he would wake me up, turn on the lights and ask me to fix dinner and make little moues of disgust if I started vomiting from the noise, light and pain.”

          What a sadistic asshole, I have smoke coming out of my ears when I read your post. I’m telling you, these mentally disordered folks are useless and make things worse when we are vulnerable. We’re so much better off without them. They are like vultures ready to prey on us the minute we show any weakness. I’m so glad you are no longer with your ex, he’s a real POS.

    • @ Chumpbunny. Yeah, that’s what I thought too. We had been married 16 years, together 18 and had finally started our family after getting his architecture practice built up. With a one-week-old baby and a toddler, I got traded in for the secretary. I thought it was a mid-life crisis or that he was overwhelmed by the new responsibilities of children. Eventually, people started coming out of he woodwork to tell me about affairs and would-be affairs he had been having (and trying to have) since the first year we were married. I’m 11 years out from DDay and almost 10 years divorced and was just recently informed by an old college friend about how he pursued her for two years early in our marriage until she threatened to tell me. (Gee – it would have been nice for me to have known back then – but she thought because she put a stop to it that was enough). He had been cheating all along!! He had one particular mistress for 10+ years. It’s just the cake was so good she was never a threat to my marriage – hahaha. When the kids arrived his servings of cake were smaller and it was harder to “be gone” and in my opinion the extra responsibility of parenthood made him want to escape the marriage. I thank God he did. I gained a new life! Then I met my current husband (fellow chump) and he loved that I had kids. Hubby loves family life – including all the boring stuff like chores – and has since adopted my kids.

      • Thanks Miss Delta, I’m in pretty bad shape. I’m packing up my beautiful house, I’ve been sick, I just feel beaten up by this horrible, unthinkable year. Thanks for your optimistic words from “the other side.”

    • Chump bunny, I don’t think it has anything to do with “the responsibility of people.” He would have done this regardless. I tried many times to understand and figure out why Durtbag did what he did. It is because he lacks character and no other reason. People don’t suddenly become cheaters. It is their character. It is not because yours was suddenly responsible for others, it is because he is a disordered jerk. Could you EVER conceive of cheating on him? Probably not. Because you don’t want to hurt the ones you love and married. I hate to say it, but he probably had others. She didn’t have a magic pussy, she was just easy to manipulate and control.

      In my beginning days, I rationalized and tried to excuse durtbag’s behavior. Throughout our relationship, I spackled over things that were suspicious. He was really good at hiding things, but I have a strong bs detector which I did my best to ignore. When I first started on this site, I would think “well dirt didn’t do that…..” Until I stepped away from my own fog and realized he absolutely did most if not all of the things in the cheater playbook. Give it time and distance and you will stop making excuses for him or trying to figure out the whys, and realize the why is because he is not the man you thought he was. He was wearing a mask, which he ended up dropping. You and your daughter will be better for it once you are through it.

      Ugh these people do terrible things to the people who love them. Hugs to you.

    • Good luck you too! Mine started an affair 2 years ago with a women 30 years younger. We have a 11 years old daughter that is my great joy. We are very close and unfortunatly she was the first to find out her father has another fiance( that is what she told me). We know that whore cas she passed her self as friend. She is married and her husband is friend of my. But is ok with his wife having his friend as lover. What an asshole my H. He is not even sory. And aspects me to be ok with that. Unfortunatly I dont have where to go, yet but I told him that we are no longuer togheter. I m preparing to by an appartament an leave him. Mans like that don t deserve our tears … I m stronger that he thinks , I have a job and friends so he can go to hell.

  • If we are recycling articles, I want to recycle my comment 🙂

    =======

    Frankly, it doesn’t matter if there is or isn’t a fog. What matters is what you are willing and unwilling to tolerate.

    For the sake of discussion, let’s say there is a fog. Then what? Free pass? Never again?

    It still comes down to what you are willing to tolerate.

    Frankly, if my spouse is so dumb as to allow herself to become disoriented in the fog, maybe it’s good I found out before I really needed to count on her.

    If it’s just B.S. why do I need someone who thinks so negatively of me that she thinks I’ll fall for that?

    Pragmatically speaking, it really doesn’t matter if there is a fog or not. What matters is what are you willing or unwilling to live with.

  • “I did all the stuff I thought would break it — called her, called her husband — but nothing would stop them and I had to practically watch them fall deeper “in love.” Six months on and I have just given birth to our daughter. He is still with this woman (seriously, what sort if woman could get involved with a man whose wife was pregnant??)”

    Liz, it’s not your job to manage his behavior. This is the trap of narcissistic control. He is cheating and you are fighting to keep him. He had no consequences the first time he was caught and he cheated again. You are asking the wrong question. What sort of husband could get involved with another woman while his WIFE is pregnant twice? It’s him. He has no conscience. You can’t control. Believe in HIS actions. He will never be husband or father material. Divorce him. Stop fighting, he’s not worth it.

    • Exactly. Are the OW reprehensible? Absolutely. But they aren’t the core problem. The cheater is the core problem.

      • Amiisfree, I agree. I never felt much of anything for the OW’s, aside from calling the final one during our marriage a twatwaffle – the one he eventually married and is mutually unhappy with.
        What he did is all on him and his choices. Twatwaffle, like the family he destroyed, is just collateral damage in the Crapweasel’s search for ‘happiness’.
        No blame shifting here. It’s him, not the aiders and abettors.

  • I think Chumps want their cheaters to have that moment of clarity and realize they fucked up not so that they will come back to the marriage but rather so that they maybe actually understand the pain they caused for one brief moment. It would be nice if the cheater felt some pain and loss rather than gazing back at us with that snake-eyed look of indifference as they trot off to the next kibble source. It is a fantasy of course. Most of them seem incapable of feeling empathy and the ones that do are probably just mirroring what they think empathy looks like for image management. They are empty, soul-less people. Good riddance to them.

    • Cheaters depend on and use our trust against us. The moment of clarity? Wasn’t that when they got married? They value Nothing. Once they blatantly show you their dark side believe it is just the tip of the iceberg. There is no need to dig deeper or reconcile.

      Men who cheat serially are typically sociopaths in my opinion. It’s what allows them to disengage from a wife who is pregnant AND blame her in what should be the HAPPIEST time.

      Liz, dump the fucker. If you say BUT he…stop! Covert narcs can show what appears to be empathy and remorse. They can attend famiky events. What they can’t do is sustain a normal healthy Relationship. I lived this life. It always resurfaced. RUN LIZ RUN. Save yourself and your children. His pathology runs deeper than you know. Trust yourself. Face the pain now, as it compounds annually.

    • DixieChump,

      You said, “I think Chumps want their cheaters to have that moment of clarity and realize they fucked up not so that they will come back to the marriage but rather so that they maybe actually understand the pain they caused for one brief moment.’ This is very likely true for many chumps. I didn’t feel that way, though. I realized shortly after D-Day #1 that my adulterous, abusive husband was a borderline, narcissistic sociopath so he would not truly acknowledge to others or even to himself what damage he had done over the decades. Even if he had, so what? If somebody runs over me, I don’t really care whether the driver feels remorse or empathy for me. I am injured and feel pain or am dead. What the driver feels does not affect me. What he/she thinks/feels does not affect my well-being once I’ve been run over. I think that it makes sense to direct precious resources (e.g., time and money) toward creating a happy, healthy independent life based on an adulterer-free life rather than using those resources to figure out what Cheater is doing/thinking and why.

  • “I did all the stuff I thought would break it — called her, called her husband — but nothing would stop them and I had to practically watch them fall deeper “in love.”

    These two subhumans are not capable of “love”, they just feed off one another and that always comes to a crashing end. Get out and while some people may disagree with me, I would not encourage a relationship with the kids. Don’t force visitation, let him blow it off as we all know he is more than likely just going through the motions, grandstanding, PLAYING the part of a parent. Sure get child support but please do not let your children get too attached to this piece of shit, he will only disappoint them time & time again.

  • I saw a fog descend on my thenhusband and it so much looked like the for that the RIC describes that I took it for “affair fog” and assumed that the presence of a crisis induced fog clouded his judgement and he ended up in a fog.

    I now believe that he had carried on a dangerous and duplicitous double life of a chronic cheater for a long time and having THAT affair discovered threatened to crash his house of cards and the stress of knowing at any minute his whole life would crash put him into a stress induced stupor that precluded normal behavior.

    But being a Queen Chump, I absolutely ignored the “cheaters cheat” philosophy and never for a second thought that he might have ever in the past done this – no this was a singular crisis to be triumphed over.

    Mix his capacity to hide shit (and pick very discreet APs) with my chumpiness and the older affairs were never discovered AND his stonewalling denial that the discovered affair never became fully sexual and he got away with the whole damn thing.

    CL’s words: “Cheating is about entitlement. OMG I fucked up is about humility and lucidity. ” This explains why entitled people seem lost and confused when they are confronted with the truth, they refuse to clearly and lucidly take accountability for their actions and will feign confusion before they will accept responsibility full on for what they did.

    One night at about the time I had discovered his affair with Susan of Seattle, he literally rolled around on the floor feigning some sort of incapacitated fugue state. Asshole…next time I make a mistake of Biblical proportions, I can just roll on the floor pretending to be insane – except Im a fucking adult who takes responsibility.

    So 5 years ago, I would have been an apologist for the “fog theory” and I have fully changed my opinion to the “asshole theory” and its not changing back.

    • OMG!!! My ex did the same once discovered. He feigned a mental crisis and walked into the woods behind our house, mumbling incoherent words, and walked me to the place that he “lost his soul”. WTF. I was such an idiot for buying it it. I cuddled him and we cried and I walked him home so he wouldn’t self-harm. (I was pregnant at the time)

  • The so-called fog and the expectation that a cheater just needs a shot of fresh oxygen to see the error of their ways is a fabricated myth sponsored by the cheater apologist reconciliation industry.

    The truth is cheaters are not in a fog, they know exactly what they’re doing. It’s a mentality that they are entitled to be married and single all at once.

    For cheaters it’s not a stretch to be married and having a boyfriend or girlfriend experience on the side. For cheaters it’s like ordering dinner with fog pickles on the side.

    The truth and reality of cheaters it’s fog farts coming out of their mouths when they get caught.

    Interesting, how cheater groins supposedly get trapped in a “fog”, like they can’t recognize where they they are sticking to or getting sticked by someone who is not their spouse.

  • “I just want him to come out of the fog to a moment of clarity in which he sees how monumentously he has fucked up — or does this never happen?”

    Fog, really?? This guy knew exactly what he was doing with every decision, every action he took. He is a shark navigating in the clearest of waters. The person in the fog is the chump, who is deliberately kept in the dark, feed horse manure, and in denial and in a daze thinking that the other person has morals and values and someday will finally come to their senses. The cheater doesn’t care and is operating from extreme clarity. It’s the chump who is in a fog, who needs clarity in seeing what’s really happening, that they are dealing with the enemy and getting royally screwed over.

  • Fog = another convenient excuse that adds to the mindfuckery. Anything to keep the status quo with their chumps.

  • After OW 2 came in our lives I went into full “I can fix this marriage mode” by reading every single blog, article and book I could get my hands on about affair fog and mid-life crises. They all had the same theme running through them. With perseverance, hard work and a strong belief in marriage and family, it is possible to turn a spouse around and help him through the fog and over to the other side. The problem with all of these sites and marriage experts was that the solutions to bringing my spouse out of his fog were all completely one-sided. Every single thing I read told me that the fog prevented him from seeing anything other than the shiny, new AP and that it was up to me to get him see that I was the better option. That involved showing him how wonderful I was, how I made actual, real changes to myself in order to make our marriage better. I was not allowed to get angry at him, talk about the AP (past or present) or try to force him to see the error of his ways. As we say here in CN, that turned out to be a Vegas-style, all-you-can-eat, shit sandwich buffet.

    But I went ahead and did all of those things with the understanding that, as all of these experts warned, after implementing all of this relationship-building, affair-proofing and marriage-standing my partner may never come out of his fog. That’s probably the hugest shit sandwich of all. Turns out, after all your hard work and selfless dedication to your wayward spouse while putting your own needs to the side and swallowing a poison pill day after day, your poor, lonely fogged-in spouse may never see the error of his ways and will continue on his, merry misdirected way completely unaffected by your loving, devoted efforts to save your train wreck of a marriage. There are no promises, guarantees, refunds, etc., but you will be able to move on with your life with the knowledge that you gave it your very best and at least YOU didn’t give up on the marriage. Do I wish I could get those two years of my life back? You’re damn right I do.

    Is there such a thing as affair fog? This is a pretty sensitive issue to me. I honestly don’t know, but to me, the word “fog” seems to be a lame attempt by marriage experts and therapists to put a label on unacceptable behavior in an effort to excuse a cheater for actions that are supposedly beyond his control. Fog is an element of the weather. We can’t control the weather, can we? “Look, I know what I’m doing is wrong and hurtful but I’m stuck in a fog of which I have no control over and it’s up to you to prove your worth to me and help me out of this fog.” How many of us have been told by family, friends and even MCs that we needed to own our part in the destruction of our marriage? True, I made mistakes in our marriage. I admit I’m not perfect. But those mistakes didn’t include pretending to be someone I’m not, abandoning my family, sneaking around to have sex in a parking garage with a nasty sex vulture, lying, gaslighting, eating cake and so much more vile behavior I can’t even remember anymore. I can’t speak to all the reasons why people cheat, but my ex was no more in a fog than Charles Manson is an upstanding citizen. My ex knew exactly what he was doing and had made up all the reasons in his fucked up brain as to why he was entitled to do them. The fog didn’t prevent him from doing terribly cruel things to the woman who loved him. His lack of empathy and character did.

    • That should of been “the fog didn’t cause him to do terribly cruel things.” Too early. Not enough coffee.

    • I guess “the fog” could be compared to pleading insanity at a trial. It’s an attempt to resolve a person of responsibility and accountability.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly Done4Good,

      My take on it is that the feeling of “in-love” that these cheats feel with their AP is more grandiose than anything else in their world – spouse and children included – then it must be out of their control. It is also readily justified by them and their cheater enablers/apologist counterparts (Counselors & Wrecko-Ind included) – Puleasssse!

      That is a most convoluted, polluted and toxic excuse cheaters use. Cheaters aren’t in a “fog” – more like a smog – and that smog is filled with the toxic and polluted elements like entitlement, lack of empathy, selfishness and really shitty character.

      • SureChumpedAlot, “That is a most convoluted, polluted and toxic excuse cheaters use. Cheaters aren’t in a “fog” – more like a smog – and that smog is filled with the toxic and polluted elements like entitlement, lack of empathy, selfishness and really shitty character.”

        NICE!!! absolutely agree!!!

  • My ex said nasty things to me, and did extremely child-like things (gross stuff) when he was in “the fog” … really nasty, and yet I was compassionate and sucked it up. After he finally moved out (with some prompting), he turned very serious and mature, all grown up overnight, wanting to be friends apparently. Still wanting to hold him accountable, I said, “You said really awful things to me.” He denied it, saying that he didn’t remember (okay … he had been in a fog), but then he said too much. He said that if he did say those things, which he didn’t think he did, then he’s soooooo sorry. It reeked of sarcasm and not so much of fog remorse. Also denial that he was in any way to blame.

    A year later (he’s still with the shithead), I reminded him that he said nasty things to me, and he said, “Oh, a lot of that was so that you’d break up with me” (not having been able to make that decision himself). Nope … not fog, but rather intentional abuse. He just admitted he intentionally emotionally and verbally abused me, and knew what he was doing all along.

    • I believe my ex did the same, only instead of being verbally abusive he just stopped interacting with me. Once I remember telling him I was so lonely I cried myself to sleep at night, and he just stared at me. Guess he was hoping he’d make me so unhappy I would leave and then he could say it was my fault. Really cruel.

      • Yes, they shut you out and it’s total rejection. It’s so hurtful and cruel,and it’s all deliberate, because they no longer wish to be with you. It’s passive aggressive with an intent to reject you.

  • The fog is a denial mechanism and a mind game. The minute you step in to a cheater apologist hug-box, you see it being tossed around with the rest of the psychobabble catch phrase terms. The fog allows a chump to convince themselves that their partner really didn’t choose to betray them, because they weren’t in their right mind. That kind of compartmentalization and insulation from reality is absolutely necessary to stay with someone who treated you so badly. The fog also gives cheaters an escape hatch from accountability and consequences if they can mindfuck their chump into buying into it. Nobody can even really define what the fog means. Because it’s not real. It’s like a made up disease. It serves a function.

  • To me, the rationale behind the affair fog, (although the RIC won’t say it directly)is that the affair partner has such a Magic Crotch that the Wayward Spouse is Spellbound. They have been bewitched with a Love Potion and can’t break free.

    What has actually happened is that they are getting away with cheating with no consequences so they feel no need to stop. They emerge from that fog real damn quick at the sight of a consequence. Like finding themselves in their mother’s basement, paying child support, etc.

    • I would also like to say that one thing that keeps chumps in the RIC believing in the affair fog is that they think they are applying Consequences, when in reality they are supplying cake.

      That was the case with me. Being the Marriage Police is not a consequence. Counseling, marriage or otherwise, is not a consequence. Begging them to quit seeing the whore is not a consequence. Fighting , then having sex, is not a consequence. Cheaters eat that shit up with a spoon and come back begging for more.

      • My opinion is that as long as the cheater still has the spouse and the sidepiece, consequences have not been applied. I finally realized cheater ex loved all my attention on him and whore, while claiming to hate it. I believe it makes them feel like James Fucking Bond or something. I’m such a stud!!! Cat fight !

  • I completely agree with “The Chump Struggle is Real”… For 40 years, I was the one totally enveloped in the fog (chump fog), not knowing my worth, always trying to prove that my sparkle was brighter and my butterflies flew higher than everyone else’s. It took a great therapist and lots of time on the couch for me to finally believe that I was, in fact, “good people”, and none of this was about me.

    While my ex cakeeater might be in a fog of his own, he has yet to emerge and have an “Oh shit, what have I done?” moment; it’s been 4 years since he left me for his married coworker (neither seemed concerned that they imploded 2 marriages and 2 families with 5 children). Recent news came to me by way of the grapevine that he’s still with Tinkerbell, but assuming his MO hasn’t changed, I have no doubt he’s squeezed in 2-3 more lovelies on the side. Good for them…I figure, as long as he’s with her, he’s staying away from me! When the sun is shining, and I’ve had a great workout at yoga, I actually feel a bit sad for Tinkerbell since she has no concept of whom she’s dealing with; after spending 4 decades with this boy in a man’s body, I could save her a lot of time and pain if only she would ask! ?

    I can honestly say, our divorce was the best gift I ever received from him! I’ve actually converted it into “the gift that keeps on giving” by maintaining a strict Zero Contact boundary… it has saved my heart, my soul and my sanity. I am happy, at peace, standing strong, and oh so ready for what comes next.

  • My neighbor’s wife is in a fog…Her husband took advantage of me. I told his wife. They went to the police to try to file charges of harassment. Later it was dismissed. It only force him to tell his wife and the police his cheating ways. His wife is still with him…knowing he cheats. Half of my neighbors knows for years…I wish I knew instead wasting 3 years of friendship with him. He wanted more something I can not do….Why the wife stay…is the million dollars question. They been together 23 years but married 17 years. They don’t have children so what makes her stay…..love is blind….

  • That “Fog” is actually Testosterone. It has clouded the vision of many people throughout history; just look at Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. That fog changed history for the past 500 years.

    • Doubt it was testosterone. My ex wife had no interest in sex for years before the affair. I doubt she had any testosterone in her system.

    • I really, really hope you are being sarcastic. Fiend’s abuse on this issue was and remains searing. In his Google search history was a query that led him to a bunch of RIC or RIC-sympathetic or just flat-out victim-blaming sites about why men cheat.

      Now he tells me he no longer worries about what seemed to him like abnormal compulsion to him in college. He’s just got higher than normal testosterone.

      All the good men who statistically must also have high testosterone, and yet do not cheat?

      Uh, as uniballer1965 points out, women who cheat?

      Henry VIII? This is the only clue that makes me think you’re being sarcastic. If that’s true, the sarcasm isn’t clear. If it isn’t, you might want to consider whether or not you think this position helps victims blame themselves.

    • It has zero to do with testosterone. Zero. It is about being a self-absorbed, entitled shit head with a personality disorder. Durt didn’t really even care so much about the sex, it was the power and ego boost he was after. Just ask his many harem women, many of whom never actually screwed him. It is not hard to recycle dick shots in order to get tit, ass and pussy shots. The hard part is the mindfuck to get women to do this. Not so hard when you have mastered the manupulation craft and aren’t discriminating. When you target anything that moves, even a low success rate is plenty.

    • The fog has NOTHING to do with testosterone, and EVERYTHING to do with entitlement.

      Many people w/high testosterone and/or a high libido are faithful to their partners. And I’ve known several cheaters who were actually having very little sex w/the AP, just enough to keep them hooked in and providing kibbles, lots and lots of kibbles.

      • Spot on KarenE! If they didn’t want sex with their wife, except masturbation assistance, they sure can lead on an AP with that for awhile.
        You know, until she’s hooked on his charm, while she cooks his favorite meals and finds herself searching for a new vibrator.

        That guy ain’t gonna change for nobody! pfffttt-

    • Lyn, thank you for posting the link on self care. I need this reminder as I am currently struggling with dysfunctional family drama.

  • Lawyer up and get out for good. My CH did the same thing to me when my kids were babies. Twenty years later I discovered that he had never stopped. He just got better at hiding it. I asked him once if it worried him that God is watching. He said he didn’t care. But I take comfort in believing that God does watch, does care and knows I did my best.

  • This happened to me October 2014. After a 14 year relationship, I caught my husband cheating with 2 women (one married with 2 kids and a single, never married, 40+older woman that he met on Tinder). I was pregnant with our first baby. He wasn’t sorry. He left me at my most vulnerable and moved in with the older skank. I contacted her and told her I was his pregnant wife, she didn’t care, told me to mind myself and the baby and let him go. I go through pregnancy alone, baby is born early and with some health complications I’m in the NICU for 5.5 months with a baby on deaths door, he never showed up for the birth, refused to sign the birth certificate and then this fuck-face is jetting off to Paris, America, New Zealand and Japan going out to expensive dinners, theatre shows, buying new clothes and “getting on with his life” as he calls it. WTF. Its sociopathic how little emotion or care he had once he decided to walk. Our son is now 14 months old and he has very little contact. He now has this skanky 42 year old woman pregnant. – huh (he thought because she was older she wouldn’t want kids) . I wonder how long he’ll stick around before he cheats on her too.

    • You in the NICU with a tiny, fighting-for-life baby while that certifiable sociopath was…. I am so sorry. You are amazing.

      RIC and any other cheater fog theory believers: thewife2003’s example may be extreme (though I have seen as bad and worse in my recent self-education), but whether the betrayal is this obvious or much less so — FOG?

      How about this, instead? Place safer bets. Tell betrayed spouse to withdraw for a year or two, to get IC. Tell cheating spouse to: get MMPI tested for cluster B; irrespective of MMPI, to attend a few intensive workshops on toxic relationships. To get his or her own IC, pronto, and go religiously.

      That way, when the VERY few not-entitled, not serial, not disordered, cheaters emerge to do the hard work of real love (and assuming the victim of their cheating wants to try to stand it), you’ll get your 3% of post-cheating intact reconciled couples who report satsfaction. And you’ll stop normalizing crazy. And, guess what, most of you who are therapists? Best of all? You will avoid further traumatizing a psychologically and abused human being. Isn’t that your job?

      thewife2003 – I hope your 14 month old is doing better. He has all he needs, emotionally: a fiercely loving you.

    • I hope you and your child are doing well. Maybe it is a blessing he refused to sign the birth certificate? You and the baby are so much better off without this toxic piece of crap in your lives.

    • I’m so sorry you had to go through that. As a mom of triplets, all of whom were in the NICU with serious issues from prematurity, I can relate to the tension and worry you must have experienced.

      But maybe it’s a blessing your husband refused to document his paternity by signing the birth certificate; this opens the door for the next authentic man who enters your life – and loves you the way you deserve will be loved – to happily be your precious son’s forever Daddy.

      • part of the mind fuck that is happening now is that he is NOW saying, that “I’m not letting him be on the certificate” ignoring the fact that he had his lawyer write me a letter on day 3 of life telling me he didn’t want to be included. When the time came to talk about end of life care, and possible hospice for the baby he showed up 2.5 months later to a Dr meeting and wanted to be involved in those conversations, but realized he gave away his power of authority by not wanting to be on documents. So while he wanted an end of life care plan, I wanted to fight on for our son’s life.

        You’re right it is a blessing. I’m just having a hard time separating the man I married to the person that he’s now become.

        I also can’t think of a “next man” I’m torn to bits and don’t think I’m worthy of love because I don’t have the perfect body. That I won’t be able to trust again….. It’s all so raw still.

        I can’t believe you went through the NICU with triplets! Wow so much stress, anxiety and worry x3. You’re a supermom!

        • I’m torn. I want the OW to go through the same hell you did, but that would mean hurting another baby, so I have to tell my vengeful side to chill out.

          • I’d settle for a long and painful childbirth with a baby with a big head that ends with a 4 degree tear from hole to hole and a need to wear adult diapers the rest of her life.

  • Still grappling to understand Cheater Fog. Like Rob a Bank Fog or Plan and Execute Murder Fog? Is agency, control over one’s actions, especially when an act involved a long series of carefully-planned steps, just a myth? I think not, but the Reconciliation Industrial Complex seems to think that Cheaters have no agency but Chumps do.

  • The only “fog” involved in such a scenario is the one that most chumps find themselves in right after Dday. It’s a horrible nightmarish fog of disbelief, denial, terror and self doubt. This fog often keeps chumps dancing in a desperate attempt to dispel the clouds and restore clarity, but in reality, the fog only lifts once the chump gets the hell away from the cheater and lets time plus NC work their magic.

    As for the cheater, they are never in a “fog.” They are perfectly clear on what they are doing, they just don’t care about the consequences or the impact on those nearest to them.

  • I wondered very seriously, what kind of man would profess to love and be attracted to the sort of woman who would willingly hurt his kids with an affair–not to mention the wife. The OW connives and lies and feels joy that her affair partner is lying to his family. She feels happiness when his kids are crying and when they are eviscerated by the pain of infidelity. She smiles while his kids and wife weep. Does she get a sexual thrill from it, too? It seems like it. What sort of woman does this to another woman’s family, and what sort of man loves that sort of woman? And what sort of woman would love a man who would cheat on his family? How is that attractive, a man who would lie and cheat and steal and disregard the mother of his kids, and who would lie to their precious faces?

    Well, when it’s the woman who is cheating, how is that selfish, anti-maternal behavior attractive to the other man?

    They deserve each other.

    • Those are the types of questions I have wanted to ask Cinderella since DDay. I know that she is a self-centered person with no regard for anyone but herself and her needs. Both Prince Charming and Cinderella lack empathy for the thoughts and feelings of other people.
      They also deserve each other.

    • “what sort of man loves that sort of woman?”

      That’s the million dollar question right there.

      My ex said that he was drawn to the OW because they understood each other. I guess what he meant was that they both understood they were low-character human beings with zero compassion and empathy for those who trusted them. I honestly didn’t understand why a woman would choose a man she knows could throw another woman (his wife) away like a piece of garbage with barely the blink of an eye. Not really a prized human being that you’re winning here. She deserved what she ended up with. Accepting an unrepentant cheater into your life is like inviting an arsonist into your home. Eventually, he’s going to burn your house to the ground, perhaps with you still inside.

      • Done4Good,

        “Accepting an unrepentant cheater into your life is like inviting an arsonist into your home. Eventually, he’s going to burn your house to the ground, perhaps with you still inside.”

        ^^^^ I love this !

        And yet some women marry these guys and then even have kids with them, I’ve never understood that…..

    • I keep asking that question myself… not only did the married whore who took up with my husband leave her own husband and kids, but why on earth would she have an interest in a married man with kids? Perhaps Tinkerbell thought she’d been granted immunity and my cake-eater would never cheat on her.

      All I can say to her is, “Tinkerbell, only time will tell if you hit the jackpot with my ex. But while you’re waiting, honey, just know that you are #14, so I suspect your days are numbered. Have fun!”

        • But at the nucleus of this, it is all so terribly …..just gut churning sad. Peeking over the fence, plotting and lying, exchanging body fluids with strangers, while we were in love with someone who viewed us as expendable. It changed who I am. It made me bitter and empty.

          • Sylvia is Sad… I feel exactly the same way. I believe this experience has changed me… It has opened my eyes to Narcs and how I can work to fix my picker and read the warning signs right away instead of hoping for false miracles. I truly hope that it doesn’t change you forever… If so, then you’re letting him WIN. We can’t allow them to win. That’s part of the sick satisfaction they get from abusing… They want to see you fall hard and stay there. The best thing we can do is come out swinging and fighting for a better life. It’s within our reach and our control…

    • Chumps tend to spend a lot of time wondering how the cheaters can act without empathy, can hurt others without caring, can move on without a drop of remorse or guilt.

      Think about it this way: Do you expect a shark to feel sad after it devours a seal? Do you think a snake, in the act of eating a rat, wonders how the rat’s family is going to cope? No, because their reptilian brains don’t waste time in self reflection or emotion. They aren’t even capable of such thought. The really disordered cheaters are similar; they let their reptilian brains control their actions, so they never have to feel bad about what they do. Those of us who caught our cheater in a rare moment when the mask slipped, and the cold, dead, blank eyes stared out at us with hatred, understand what I’m talking about. The same eyes as a great white. At least the shark serves a valuable purpose in the ecosystem, unlike cheaters, who are just a waste of oxygen.

      • 100% true, and it is very therapeutic when you finally let this sink in.

        Can’t even be mad at him any more. He just isn’t capable.

    • Stephanie, the x picked a woman who did exactly that, she befriended my daughter, because they all worked together, the x, my daughter and the the OW. This f*ing bitch befriends my daughter and they hang out and go to workout and other stuff. By the time I found out about his cheating, this had been going on for months, and unfortunately, my daughter says nothing for a long while, but when she does, she begs me not to say anything to her dad, “because he will know where I am getting my information”. Mindf*ck times two. So I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place for a few months, but true to form the x decides that he will reveal all, not by straight out telling me, but by letting me find out about it all through a cell phone bill.

  • “A “fog” didn’t make him that way. That is who he is. If the fog exists, it’s kibbles. It’s his addict’s high.”

    Right here, lust, taboo,strange and the excitement of getting over coupled with a little bit of oxytocin makes for an extreme high. And just like a someone fiending for their next high he/she is off to capture that same feeling with someone new.
    Liz’s husband is one of those type of people. Take yourself out it or you are in for a long ride of anguish.

    • Ok, let me explain further. The feeling you get from cheating is like snorting coke, smoking a blunt, shooting heroin, etc for the first time. I’ve been told addicts are constantly craving that first time feeling. Liz’s husband gets that first time high everytime he gets some new strange and the pick me dance just makes it sweeter. Those type of of relationships burn out because you can’t maintain that level of intensity. Then it’s off to a new one.

    • +1 – “It’s his addict’s high.”

      I remember before I married my now ex-wife – when we were young and dating – it always puzzled me how she was always drawn to coke. She would never refuse it and after a while started chasing it. I did tell her she has a problem with it but assured me that it was under control. I know, obvious red-flags that I chose to overlook. It actually continued into our marriage for her – in the closet while I was at work.

      I have read a lot in regards of the intensity that coke give someone vs. very similar intensity with cheating. Lots and lots of the same chemicals are being released from the brain. I do believe this played a part of my now ex-wife’s serial cheating – she was chasing the cheating high and stepping on anyone to get it. The other part was her really shitty character, selfishness, lack of empathy and entitlement.

      • Cocaine is not physically addicting, unfortunately the shit street coke is cut with IS very addictive and some people do lose themselves in that. But being addicted to a substance, whether alcohol or other drugs, does not absolve you. Being an asshole and hurting people has very little to do with addiction. The addiction is another symptom, witness how often cheaters blame sex addiction. I drink, I don’t treat people badly when I get a buzz on. It’s still character at the end of the day.

        • “Lots and lots of the same chemicals are being released from the brain. I do believe this played a part of my now ex-wife’s serial cheating – she was chasing the cheating high and stepping on anyone to get it. The other part was her really shitty character, selfishness, lack of empathy and entitlement.”

          I agree it’s all about character, but serial cheaters mine in particular was chasing that high.

  • What good are cheaters? All they do is suck up all the good air we breathe. Can’t we annihilate them??? Just sayin’

  • Let’s just entertain the belief that these cheaters are in a fog. So what? Imagine they suddenly have the fog lift and run back to thier chumps and want to start over. They will sit and gush apologies, beg, cry and, in my case, throw the crummy OW under the bus! Big deal! But let’s admit to ourselves that we all dream of this scenario while toking on our hopium pipe. I know I did. And then just eight months after our divorce was final and four short months after he moved in with Schmoopie, it actually happened! You would think, “finally, my dream has come true!” Think again! These losers come back because in most cases real life with thier whore du jour did not live up to the hype. Or the whore decided that Prince Charming wasn’t the storybook lover he made himself out to be. Real life got in the way and it ruined all thier fun! Waaaaa! So these losers come back wanting to just sweep it under the rug and go on as if they did nothing wrong. They are too lazy and willful and selfish to put too much work into actually restoring the marriage that, by the way, THEY alone destroyed.
    Might I suggest to chumps that while these whiny little cowards are on thier knees looking all puppy eyes, that you recall all the shit they ignored that you had to deal with alone. Like pregnancies, medical emergencies, devastating diagnosis of cancer and resulting treatments and surgeries! Where were they? Did they call, visit, run to assist you in your hour of need? HELL NO! They were plugging Schmoopie!
    Anyways, I suggest that if you are not divorced, then get to an attorney and dump the asshole! If you are already divorced then send them on their merry way! Fog my ass! Don’t think for a minute it was a fog or that they have changed! It just doesn’t happen!

    • SylviaIsSad ‘Never be afraid of losing somebody who does not feel lucky to have you.”

      Truer words have never been spoken better. Thank you.

    • CL has had many requests for a chump site, but she said she’s afraid cheaters would hit it for easy prey. I imagine she’s absolutely right.

  • The only fog is the one WE are in, the one that says if we work harder, be patient, accept responsibility for “our part” in the affair, that eventually they will wise up and realize we’re the best. HA. I’ve been patient for 23 months, and he still claims his EA partner (who he’s had NC with for 15 months) is “very important” to him.

    All our mutual friends say I should be happy he “picked me.” Oh yes, I’m just thrilled to live in this sham of a marriage, where I do everything right and I’m still not the perfect soulmate he met a few times 2 years ago. HE says he “picked me” — but I’m sorry, I’m just not feeling the love. I’m blocked because I can never trust him again? I’m the one with the block? Sure. As you still go on and on about how important your stupid friendship was to you and how happy I should be that he gave up this true love and best friend for the sake of me and our marriage?

    Clearly I AM the block. I should just let him go be with her. Oh, wait, she’s married and by all accounts very happy with her husband. She just loved the little side thrill of getting my husband to slag me and tell her how much better she is than me over email all the time.

    I recently read the story about how the novelist Jonathan Safran Foer tried to leave his wife for Natalie Portman after some hot-and-heavy — sorry, DEEP AND MEANINGFUL — emails, but Natalie was like, WTF? No. And then Nicola Krauss, Foer’s wife, said, this is BS and she and her two kids packed up and left HIM. Two years later, Foer is living with Michelle Williams, but still sending Portman meaningful emails. Gag. Gag. Good on you, Krauss. I’m starting to think I should do the same.

    • Allie, my situation is scarily very similar to yours but I got fed up and left just after DDay#2 (which happened only a few months after DDAY#1). At first I was in the FOG of self-delusion and thought I could live with the fact that he “picked” me there over this howorker whom he considers his One Twu Wuv and Best Friend. But after a few emotionally-charged conversations with close friends, they helped me see through the fog of bullshittery and that gave me the strength to leave. I’ve now imposed No Contact and have been feeling better. Now I just need to deal with filing for divorce..

      I am not giving him “another chance” because Hell NO, that is really giving away another chance to screw me over.

  • Like the ILYBNILWY its a standard cheater message….. one before getting caught one for after….. I for one believe in God and know that the devil does pull people in the wrong direction….. so the fog is dancing with the devil. IMO… but that does not mean it is an excuse for their choices!!! They freely went into the fog… stayed in the fog… and enjoyed their time there…. no one drags them into it…. they make a conscious decision to go cheat… they make daily decisions to keep cheating… I look back and see there was a whole lot of thought and effort for her to stay in the fog!!!!!! Pure simple evil…..

    • I like what you said DavidB about the standard cheater message.

      STANDARD CHEATER MESSAGE:
      Before the cheating = “Fog”
      After the cheating = “ILYBINILWY”

      THE BETRAYED TRUTH MESSAGE:
      Before the cheating = horrible character, entitlement, selfishness and ability to suppress empathy.
      After the cheating = horrible character, entitlement, selfishness and ability to suppress empathy.

      • David – ” I look back and see there was a whole lot of thought and effort for her to stay in the fog!!!!!! Pure simple evil…..”

        Yes, it was Evil. The thing us young kids grew up knowing not to tempt, even with little religion on my side, but he’d read the bible twice.
        It was Jekyll and Hyde – that was a seriously good story!
        The fog perhaps made them crazy, being sucked into a mysterious Stephen King kingdom and taken over by young, red-headed sluts who….I won’t go into detail, seduced them into the dark tunnel of ‘love’.

        And, then well – he remembered he was married to a pretty tough woman behind the gentle soul.
        I’m from a hard working farm family turned city-girl but I have street smarts.

        After I discovered his 3 year affair with my best friend, I’m proud to say, I took the bible and our vows much more serious than his hypocritical soul and turned that back on him by kicking him out immediately, changing the locks – legal or not! and filing right away. Since we were both from the N. Western prairies – you’d call that taking the bull by the horns and I got him before his head started to spin.
        And, I kept it spinning through a yr long divorce.

        I feel so much stronger for it.
        I don’t know why more people don’t file first.
        There is a very good tactical advantage for doing that.
        Besides, getting your narrative on the record of WHY the divorce.
        I listed all details of his adultery in my home and vacation vehicle, and he signed away on that, agreeing I was right.
        Had we gone to a judge – he may have been beheaded, so we settled well enough.

        But, all that is now in the official records.

        It’s a bit of public revenge that I got in while he was off balance.

  • There is fog, but the cheater ain’t the person in it. It’s the betrayed spouse/partner that’s in a fog. After dday, we walk around for months in an utter state of confusion because up is down, right is left, etc. A bomb has been detonated over our lives and the worst part is that it was lobbed there by the one person who we truly believed had our back. Who wouldn’t be in a fog after that?

    The fog is made more dense by the reconciliation industrial complex but even without their help some special chumps (me, me, me) unfortunately then proceed to do things that only make the fog thicken. We try to untangle the skein; we accept all the blame for their affair and we do the pick me dance. All of these actions just cloud our vision and puts the focus somewhere it doesn’t belong (on them) and takes it away from where it does belong (on ourselves and getting out!).

    It’s only when we begin to accept that we have no control over what other people do; trust that they did this because they suck and focus our energy on ourselves, does that fog begin to clear.

    I also think there are some chumps that project that fog onto the cheater because we all want to believe that there is a reason (other than they suck) that they did this horrible thing. Because acknowledging that they suck means we have to admit to ourselves that we picked a partner that sucks. That’s a tough realization!

    I used to be pretty hard on myself about having such a screwed up picker but true mistakes are only bad if I don’t learn anything from the experience. I have forgiven myself for choosing a horrible life partner and I am working hard to fix my picker.

    My fog has definitely cleared!

    • I find it difficult as well to trully accept and acknowledged that I picked someone with such bad character to be my life partner. One thing that helped me balance out this realization is thinking, “If I knew he would screw me over, I wouldn’t have chosen him”.

      Yes, it helps to acknowledge the truth, and it’s also possible to balance it out and not be too hard on ourselves.

  • I learned this the hard way: People do what they want. Do not accept any other excuses, fog states or qualifiers.
    The carnage they leave behind is a blip on their reptile brains. This is what is so hard to swallow: they simply do not give a damn that they crushed you.
    Once you truly understand this horrifying character defect, you understand a relationship with this person is a promise written in the morning dew.
    It does not take away the grief, but it takes away the doubts about pulling the plug.

  • Once explained to me by a cheater-now-ex-friend-of-mine:

    The fog as they call it is actually their “high”.The “fog” or “high” is the intensity of how the cheating makes them feel whether the high comes from the AP – or the deception – or both. They start getting this high/fog once they start to have “in-love” feelings for the AP. Cheating has a similar high as cocaine. This cheater claims when you are in the “fog/high” very few things matter other than being with your AP.

    I asked him “don’t you feel that shitty character, being selfish, suppressing empathy and being entitled has anything to do with it also?” At this point he felt that I was attacking him so he walked and we haven’t spoke since. I believe I touched a nerve/truth with him. Very clear that cheaters don’t like accountability,

  • “Fog” is the term assholes and their champions use as a substitute for “I’m a greedy, self-absorbed, whiny-assed titty baby, navel gazing asshole.” They are not in a fog – they are emotional toddlers with an overwhelming need for instant gratification in every area of their life – entitlement, taking the form of I want what I want when I want it. Sometimes their mistreatment of you is really based on indifference – they are so self-focused that how you feel, the fact that they are married, have children, etc., that their behavior is hurtful and destructive is not a bleep on their radar. They are not in a “fog,” they are vacuous and indifferent. I believe this is how they come home, tell you that they love you (those that do) and the next minute are texting their “twu wuv” saying the same thing. Everything is in the moment. I like you right now. Ooops! You want me to adult and I don’t wanna! I don’t like you anymore. I like [insert name of current twu wuv] now.

    Chumps are in the fog of thinking we are actually in a mature relationship and we’re projecting how we think a mature, reasonable, adult should respond. Instead, we have unknowingly been trapped in a relationship with some warped version of the cartoon character Baby Huey attempting to nurse them into maturity, except that Baby Huey had more morals and character. It’s a losing proposition for Chumps to listen to anything these Cheaters and Cheater-Apologists have to say – it’s all so self-serving and without any real meaning behind it. It’s like listening to someone tell you that they are going to get clean while mainlining heroin. They are only trying to do impression management and/or mitigate any negative consequences because it is always all about them. They can call it a “fog.” Chumps need to call a lawyer.

    • “Everything is in the moment. I like you right now. Ooops! You want me to adult and I don’t wanna! I don’t like you anymore. I like [insert name of current twu wuv] now.”

      ROFL! This sounds exactly like my STBX! There was no motivation at all to take care of his paperwork before we got married. My gut was actually asking me then, “Are you really going to be okay living with this person?” I wished I didn’t ignore my inner warning system before jumping the gun. Few months after our wedding, he emotionally cheated with a ho-worker which he claimed to be his ‘soulmate and best friend’.

      • And if I may add, I finally got fed up with this immature person and I walked away. I absolutely REFUSE to own Baby Huey’s SHIT. He’s a fucking adult now and should be capable of cleaning his mess/changing his own shitty diaper.

  • At some point the fog will clear and he will have that “Oh my God, I fucked up” moment of clarity. He’ll return to his senses, return to his family, and be that person you fell in love with again.

    Yeah, I don’t believe that. However, I totally believe in the “Oh my God, I fucked up” moment of clarity. But here’s the thing — it’s only a MOMENT. And then the vast majority of cheaters IMO do everything to not feel it. They drink it into a stupor. They shop for new shiny stuff instead. They discover new affair partners. Anything to blot out the stench of failure.

    ************^^^^^^^this^^^^^^******

    I remember being on my knees in front of him begging for a valid, rational reason for him to leave me after 13 years — he got a tear or two in his eye but absolutely refused to say anything, just stared blankly into my eyes for a minute, got up and went in back to his slut -shack.

    Fog, my ass.

  • I think the ‘fog’ idea seems reasonable to us because we can see how incredibly stupid the cheater’s choices are, and because we don’t understand that cheaters DO NOT value our relationship, family and our life together as we do.

    A chump would have to be in some major altered state to do the things cheaters do. It’s frankly unthinkable.

    But to a cheater, it’s easy, it comes naturally. Look for life’s shortcuts, the cheap thrills, the endless kibble supply.

    They won’t come ‘out of the fog’, because they were never in a fog. They’ve just, finally, shown us who they really are.

    • KarenE,

      Great post ^^^^, great summation !

      A pity some of us chumps couldn’t have seen what was under our noses all the time… sigh….

  • It’s weird to me how memories just randomly come up in your mind. I just though of a time years ago. Cheater ex had a problem with his vehicle. It was a Saturday and we were both home. I was in RIC mode, and just super nice, and super sweet, and super helpful to this turd. And he was really into me, too. Or so I thought. He had to go to work that night. I checked his phone records that night and he was on his goddamn phone to his fucking whore before he even reached the end of the street. And this fucker has the audacity to wonder WHY I hate his nasty whoring ass ,???

  • I will be honest. I don’t get the fog. Is it linked to clouded judgement? Or gloomy Oulook? Is it like post partum? Or PTSD? What trauma causes this fog? How does one in a fog wake up day after day and prance off to work and function? Why are these foggy thinkers not foggy all around? Ohh. I know. Cause there is no fucking fog!
    If as I hear, the fog being more of a high , wisdom says never trust an addict.

    Cut them off like a gangrene leg. Loved that leg but it ain’t good no more.

  • When I was trying to figure out how to “get Jackass back,” I read about the “affair fog,” and was desperate to lead him out of it.

    But it isn’t a “fog” caused by another person or “the affair.” It’s a blank space where character and moral values should be. There’s not fixing that.

  • Those of us who caught our cheater in a rare moment when the mask slipped, and the cold, dead, blank eyes stared out at us with hatred. ****THIS****

  • Fog is famous in San Francisco.

    In affairs, its a myth.

    I took CheaterP back and waited for his ‘fog’ to lift, but received the cold, dead, blank eyed stare for seven years before he died of cancer.

    Not a good way to live.

  • IMO, claims of “affair fog” from cheaters is just a dressed-up BS way of pleading the fifth. Refusal to incriminate themselves. Refusal to be accountable. Refusal to be a responsible adult. etc

    The only “fog” in play is the smoke-screen of lies and deceit — subterfuge they intentionally create — in order to hide their affairs and all sorts of other bad behaviors… It really sucks to be them when the wind changes direction.

  • Does it matter? If a spouse betrays you because of some trance or fog or external circumstances, isn’t the betrayal even MORE of a deal breaker? Who wants to be married to someone who could at any moment fuck another person because they lack self control?

    • Buddy,
      my married neighbor cheaters on his wife throughout the marriage..People knows for years. Why the wife stay is a million dollars question. they don’t have children…..we all pity her…

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