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Dear Chump Lady, Why are cheaters so brazen?

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cheater_outDear Chump Lady,

Why are cheaters so brazen?

Lori

Dear Lori,

Because we are such chumps.

Really, can you imagine anyone cheating on Vladimir Putin? Couldn’t happen. He’d have every room bugged, every phone wire tapped, and the Other Man would be trailed by the KGB and slowly poisoned by radioactive isotopes during his next overseas vacation.

If you want to go through life like Vladimir Putin, chance are you won’t get chumped. Don’t put your heart out there, don’t trust anyone, and spend your life spying on your friends and enemies. What you term brazenness is really laziness. It’s easy to fool someone who trusts you. Brazenness would be cheating on Vladimir Putin and spray painting “I fucked your old lady” on the Kremlin sidewalks. Cheaters aren’t brazen — they are duplicitous. Their “brazenness” is predicated on the love of a chump.

As I say on Chump Lady, a big part of the high of cheating is the deceit. It’s no fun unless it’s a secret. Living a secret life, I suppose is brazen. That’s what makes it fun for them — ooh, I’m so edgy. I’m getting away with something! You aren’t the boss of me! Nannernannerbooboo!

Over time cheaters get sloppy. Maybe that’s because they need more of a high-wire act to keep the high going. Maybe it’s because they’re lazy and they get so used to you being a clueless chump that getting away with it is their normal. At some point, the house of cards falls down. And that’s when they’re going to appeal to your chumpiness, to trust them. Either they’ll gaslight you into doubting the evidence (don’t you trust what I tell you?), or they’ll make up some bullshit about how they loved you all along and are just confused right now.

That’s when the “brazenness” gets exposed as entitlement. What? You aren’t going to keep this sweet cake gig going?

Funny how not brazen they are after exposure, with pleas not to tell the children or ruin their reputation, or tell the affair partner’s spouse. Suddenly it’s all about caution and rectitude and not doing anything rash. Funny how not brazen they are when you stop being a chump.

This column ran previously.

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  • “pleas not to tell the children the truth”

    Ugh. tell me about it. The problem is that the system is aligned with them. My kids still don’t know the full truth after almost a year and a half because I am afraid of being accused of parental alienation…

    • I also herd please don’t tell our son, it would only humiliate X, I thought I’d take the high road and not mention why Dad left our home. I read that it was best to never say anything negative regarding your spouse, how important a relationship is for the child and the other parent. Anything negative said about your spouse might damage your child’s self esteem and your relationship.
      Meanwhile X manipulated and rewrote history, gave son the poor sausage story, as a result I am the alienated parent. Out son has nothing to do with me. I was devoted to our son, volunteered in his classroom, room mother, field trip mom, book fair, and more every year he was in school. My son was my world. X was disinterested, rarely paid much attention to our son until X decide to leave. X then used our son as another means to torment me.
      Be careful, you shouldn’t be taking responsibility for the break up of your marriage or relationship. Cheaters are responsible for their Cheating and destroying the family. Unhealthy to give them every lurid detail but an appropriate honest, simple, explanation, (age appropriate).

      • Cheaters love to re write history for the children to view them in a better light.
        My Ex would not even tell our kids he had been unfaithful just left it all up to me, eldership wanted to shield them and expected that I would put in writing what I wanted to tell the kids and have it approved by them first as ex did not want a divorce and neither did the church and so it was put to me if I wanted to end the marriage it was mine to own. thankfully I never did as my youngest was diagnosed with leukaemia a month after D’day and it shit all their plans of us playing happy family to hell.

        For those who have followed my journey my daughter had her last bone marrow test yesterday and is now 6 months post treatment, she is cancer free and we are praying that she remains that way and is given the all clear in 5 years time. we have ongoing check ups till then.

        one very massive problem with this notion, don’t tell the kids. my then 14 year old son had found homosexual porn on his fathers phone, and had known of the fetish for 4 years, suspected that his father may have been having an affair with one of his teacher, he unfortunately lost his capacity to cope at school and blurted all of this out to a group of his friends. One of them insisted that he tell me. To prevent the other two learning through gossip at school what had happened as they all went to the same school I told them in a way that was simple for them to understand. Ex is disgusted that they were told as they where never to know, in his view I tainted him in there view. They know he is in the closet and that he has married another woman to save the facade he built himself with us she hs even my place in our church ( it is as if I have died, non of them call me or check on me I just do not exist) and he gleaning all the friends he can through her connections in our children’s school as she is a mother of a kid in our youngest child’s year. But the reality is they know their father for who he is and choose to love him anyway as I have never discouraged that. but they also see all the games he plays and the chaos and drama he is always creating, so when the day comes that they choose to say enough I know that it has not been because of me but because they will be able to make an informed choice.

        • I’m so glad to hear about your little one’s recovery!

          The older ones already know anyway. You might just not know that they do. My youngest who’s 13 told me her best friend had seen STBX out with the OW but was too afraid/shocked to tell anyone. The friend didn’t know what to do and cried once DD told her about the divorce feeling she may have somehow contributed.

          Lying, deception, and adultery hurt more than just our own kids. They hurt whole families, school communities, neighborhoods, and entire churches. There is a ton of collateral damage.

          Their poor choices and lack of character even impact future generations. My kids feel betrayed by his duplicity and will never be the same. I had planned on us playing with our grandchildren together one day. Yeah, that’s not gonna happen.

        • Thankful–I am grateful that your daughter’s checkup showed her to be cancer-free. And that your life is largely free of your human tumor.

          Funny you mention the grandchildren–I was just thinking about a feeling of grief that came over me this week, and realized I don’t miss X, and (while I miss marriage) I don’t miss marriage to him. What am I grieving (a little)? The ideas I had for the future that I would be sharing eventual college graduations, and weddings, and eventually grandchildren, within the intimacy of an intact family.

          But I am grieving an ideal, not a reality. X would have ruined every significant event (as he did in the past) with his cold-shoulder behavior, and his orneriness and his inappropriate behavior. He would have been a third wheel to me and my daughters whenever a celebration did not hinge on him, and certainly at the births of any in-the-future-grandchildren, because he doesn’t really like birth or children much. Grieving the future with him is like grieving that I will never see fairies.

          • That is so right Tempest, you are grieving an ideal that would have never existed. I am too. Thank you for your comment. So perceptive.

          • Tempest, I am at that point now. Grieving what was lost while knowing it would have never been right. I just found out yesterday that I am divorced and I am sad and the grief has hit again. While my ex (no longer stbx) did not behave inappropriately publicly, in fact people thought he was a nice guy, the truth is he was very uninvested and uninterested in our son, me, our life together. He was just going through the motions. As my marriage is over shortly before our 36th anniversary (next month) and our son will soon be engaged, I am keening over the thought that we would live our life together, see our son get married, be grandparents together. In the year since he last got caught with a 7-11 phone, he has seen our son once and talks to him by text monthly. I get to see the real thing up close. I go the the city to see my son, I get to hug him and have dinner with him and his girlfriend. We don’t talk about fuckwit but we are bonded as we have always been, and I think the bonding has been somewhat deeper because of this profoundly torturous thing we have been through together. When I called my son yesterday to tell him the divorce was final, he said he was happy and relieved. He said he was excited about my future. I don’t feel that way yet. I am grieving what I thought I had, what I wanted to have, and this new reality where I have yet to accept that he is gone and what he really was- was smoke and mirrors.

            • Lostandfound–I know you are sad about your divorce yesterday, but congratulations are in order (it just doesn’t feel like it now). I, too, had many years invested (24), but our lives were not with people who were invested in us. We now have the choice to share our days with people with integrity, who *want* to be with us, who cherish our company. We were in love with a fiction, but it takes a while for that to sink in. Hugs!

            • lostandfound, your grieving is understandable and I hope that you are speaking to a therapist to help you through. I was married for 37 years and I have ploughed headlong into my new future and I have only spoken to a therapist once, which was last year and I decided I could “get through this” because I am strong. Well, out of the blue last week I had a melt down and I knew then and there that I need to speak to a professional or it isn’t going to be pretty. I have my 1st appointment with her next week. However, the one thing that struck me when I was speaking with my new doctor to schedule my therapist meeting was her kindness and when she stated that she will help me get through this and to teach me about my self worth. I know that by me not having any self worth or confidence was what attracted my ex to me and supposedly my morals and as they say, the rest is history. Be grateful for your son because my 2 adult children have rejected me and I need to understand why and why I will never see them or hear from them ever again, hence my appointment with a therapist. Our grieving does soften over time but it takes time. My best to you.

              • Maree,

                Your story is truly heartbreaking and if wishes could heal, you have to know that you would be at meh. It’s hard enough to get through the betrayal of the one person who was always supposed to be there to offer help and support, but to also lose your kids is unimaginable. I read your story and others here and think that mine is barely worth mentioning. I think that’s why I use snark most of the time and hope it will make someone smile. I have not lost the love and support of my boys, my sisters, my dad and stepmom. I don’t have kids who are under 21 and have to deal with “co-parenting” or child support. I don’t have a sick child or parents, or worse, one who was murdered. I wasn’t treated like a servant while pregnant or made to feel like a bother during delivery. I’m not a man whose wife got pregnant by someone else. I did not have any great financial loss. I do not have to pay child support or alimony to a cheat. The OW has not contacted me or stalked me. My ex does not harass me or bully me. I am so sorry and sad for everything everyone here has had to suffer at the hands of the one person who vowed to love them and put them above all others. I am amazed by the strength of everyone here.

                As gut-wrenching as it was to discover that my pretend best friend and pretend husband lied, deceived, defrauded, and cheated on me, it could have been so much worse. You are a testament to that. I no longer have a husband, which I’m beginning to realize is no great loss. I no longer have a MIL, which is even less of a loss. I do have Chump Lady and Chump Nation and I could not have made it this far without you. So thank you for telling your stories, sharing your grief and your recovery, and for always being welcoming.

              • Maree – Your resilience in the face of the terrible betrayals you have endured from your X and kids has been a source of strength as I forge on to Meh.

                Please trust your gut, keep trying different therapists until you find someone you feel comfortable with. I have had to try a couple of therapists before finding a no non-send trauma therapist that was a good fit for my recovery needs.

                (((Maree)))

            • Congratulations on your divorce. I know it may take a bit to process and the feelings will still ebb and flow, but it will get better.

              • Annie, for some reason I couldn’t reply to you 6:14pm post, so I am writing it here. Your heartfelt message touched me so very, very deeply, and you are so kind to acknowledge all the horrors that so many spurned spouses here have been forced to endure. This forum is a place where we can all bare our souls, and it is such a privilege for me to read the heartfelt comments that are written by such strong, genuine survivors. (Including you!)

            • lostandfound almost exactly the same as my story. My marriage was 34 years and my stbxh discarded our son in favour of the AP and her 10 year old daughter but not before taking half of my retirement savings and cheating before her with a friend of ours. He now doesn’t want to give me half of what’s left or pay me back money he borrowed for his business from mine. He does have contact with his daughter. He is fake through and through and truly evil. I am working 2 jobs to try to cover his share of the bills and he refuses to settle. It just slays me that that is how he rewards my 34 years of loyalty and constantly twisting myself up to try to keep him happy living well above our means because he wanted to live like we had a money tree in the backyard.They really do suck..

            • Hugs to you, lostandfound–
              It all feels so anticlimactic, to discover you’re now divorced. It feels profoundly lonely, and like there should be sirens or a procession–something, anything–to mark the occasion. But there is just a notice, and we grieve to ourselves.

              I experienced that. My divorce was very deliberate. I spent thousands of dollars and time and pain to sever myself from someone who would hurt our children and me so deliberately. I followed along, providing information, signing papers, crying, paying attorney fees, collecting and filing copies, moving to the next step and the next. I knew it was coming. I was ready–I wanted it. I couldn’t WAIT to pay him off and walk away once and for all.

              And in the end, I got a text from someone, that she saw an announcement in the paper, on the Vital Statistics page–right there under Births, Engagements, Marriages, and Divorces–there we were, my ex and I listed together, I having filed for divorce against him, Sunshine Coward vs. The Coward, just one more couple in a list who were now divorced. And that’s how I found out that I was divorced–no joke! I was stunned for a moment, and then I had to get ready for my middle son’s graduation….

              Life goes on. I’m just glad I live in a place that affords me the right to keep what I earned and to rid myself of a prick.

            • Tempest, for the last few weeks I’ve been grieving the life I looked forward to.
              I pictured us as a couple being proud parents attending our son’s college graduation, celebrating with family, someday spending time with our grandchildren, the familiarity of sharing stories of our young life together, travel and being financially secure. The trigger for me has been seeing photos of friends on fb with their families, graduations, vacations and a recent high school reunion with photos of friends I’ve known for 40 years. We all married at around the same time and they’re still married living the life I looked forward to.
              I didn’t attend the high school reunion because I thought it would be too painful. Being in larger social groups with couples we knew as a couple (fortunately this group has been supportive and not Switzerland friends) has been difficult for me.
              The last time I went to a birthday party and my friends were there with their husbands I walked in and suddenly broke down in tears, sobbing. I surprised myself, I’m not normally a crier. I was so embarrassed.
              Looking back In the last years of our marriage Cheater when we did go anywhere he was distant, removed, giving me the cold shoulder. To outsiders he would be charming, funny, articulate. He had left our marriage mentally long before he left physically. He was no longer the man I married, he didn’t want to be married to me. If I had taken a step back and taken time out from spackling, and interpretive dancing I should have known. It was like he hit me in the head like a two by four and I didn’t notice. Like you I’m grieving the should have been, the dream.

              • This is so hard. I know I’m there too. Last year I went to a museum we visited many times as a family and just together. I loved that museum. I walked through the gates and couldn’t stop crying. I walked around by myself for 45 minutes before a gave up and went home. I have no friends left that aren’t his and my family is all in Arizona. I had to delete my Facebook account. It’s worthless anyways and I go to places we never visited. Today I went to an arts and music festival. I was a little pissy driving there because of all the things you mentioned. I went alone and hoped I didn’t run into him and the OW and I didn’t. I had a good time. Spent way too much money on two gorgeous summer dresses that I will now force myself to go out in, and I sang rock songs all the way back home. Loud. With the windows down.

                It still sucks, but hopefully by creating new memories for me the memories of us will begin to fade. Hopefully.

              • Brit and Annie,

                I too am where you both are as far as grieving. I cannot enjoy simple things, I cannot rejoice my freedom and the opportunity to start over. I cannot.

                My divorce was final in May. I’ve been congratulated, there’s been celebration but none of the happiness that others feel for me is sinking in even though every morning I get up with my dog and promise myself a better day. Grief is in my way, and I’ve resolved to let it flow through me for now. I too have been experiencing random bursts of tears, my emotions suddenly all over the board. I’m thinking it’s our mind/body’s way of detoxing the poison of promises made by someone who said they would love us til the end. With that in mind, every time I cry now, I let it happen, knowing that I am letting go of what wasn’t.

          • Tempest–
            I was there. I remember dropping my son off at college for his second year, and driving away alone. That’s hard to do as a mom when you are married, let alone a lonely chump. I felt sad about missing my son, and angry that xH wasn’t there for me when I needed him.
            But you are right–he couldn’t be, and more often than not wasn’t there even when we were married. Always an excuse. And if he was there, he was such a sour puss, so anxious about everything, such a stick in the mud, no fun. So what exactly was I missing? Nothing that was ever real….

        • Thankful

          Thankfully your child is cancer free. Your children are fortunate to have an amazing mom.

          Tempest, my grief was replaced with the knowledge I now have a future minus the slug.

          Grandchildren are the greatest blessing ever. Mine is almost 16 and I have the honor of having her in my life six days a week while she is rehearsing for an upcoming show.

          She is over the abandonment of her grandfather and thriving. My daughter is planning her first child this year.
          Life is good.

        • Thankful. Congratulations on your daughter’s good report. I’m very happy for you both, and wish you both strength and good health going forward.

        • Thankful,

          Hearing that your daughter is cancer-free is amazing. Hugs to your strong daughter and her amazing mother.

          • Thankful, I’m really glad your daughter has a clean bill of health for now. A friend of mine has a son with leukemia and the bone marrow transplant was harrowing. So happy to hear the optimistic outlook for your daughter.

        • So happy for your daughter, Thankful, wishing you and your family the best possible cheater-free life!

          • Same here, Thankful. So glad you and your kids are past that hurdle. Also sending you hugs.

            Hugs to you too, Sad and Maree. I’m keeping you all in my prayers.

      • Ouch. My POS is a secret porn addict, an alcoholic and drug user, among other things. His reputation was paramount after discovery. He signed a Settlement Agreement giving me everything I wanted and more. HAHA. He trusts little honest chumpie to keep his secrets. The divorce is pending.

        He is depending on me to keep quiet. I have so far, although my own adult sons know some of it, and are currently, trying to see “both sides”, which really hurts. His adult kids don’t have a clue, I cannot imagine what stories he has told them and friends about why we are divorcing.

        After the divorce is final, I plan to tell the world. I did not sign anything to prevent me doing that. He has caused my world to fall apart. He has been ungoverned during the divorce, his narcissism is rampant. Be quiet? I don’t think so. I will not take responsibility for his sickening choices. I give not a flying f about his precious reputation. Trust his little chumpie? I am not that chumpie any more. I am mighty. Giggle.

        • You go girl! I told EVERYONE. Some didn’t believe me but I learned who my real friends were and shook up a very small town church that REALLY needed it!

        • Lost and Found

          My three children and I were always close. This has brought us much closer over the past two years. Adult children also go through the grieving process as we do. They have come to accept his limitations as a father and see him a few hours a year. On Father’s Day he was driving by my daughters work probably looking for her. He spent the day alone. Of all the things he was capable of I would never have predicted this. His loss.

          • They have come to accept his limitations as a father and see him a few hours a year.

            This is pretty much where my kids are. And while they are sad about it, life goes on for them. At least they have one sane parent. I think knowing that they know and accept his limitations is very helpful to me, so that when they tell me about meeting with their father, and it feels like a kick in the gut to me, I am able to remember this. They need a father, even one who is limited. I don’t think of this with any glee, mind you. I wish my kids had a really great father whom they could respect absolutely. But they don’t. I failed in that regard, but I forgive myself. I was young and naive.

          • My ex-brother-in-law’s children are like this. My ex-BiL cheated on his first wife with a teenager who was working for him. He’s been on a slow, downward spiral ever since, and has hit up both of his daughters, both of whom are working their first jobs, for money. Both have unfriended him on Facebook, and the older daughter recently wished her mother a Happy Father’s Day.

      • Brit, I did the same things for my kids and ended up alienated also. X was also to chicken shit to tell the kids so I had to. He also pleaded with me not to tell ow’s husband. They really are cowards

      • We also have to be aware that our children are more intuitive than we give them credit for. I have tried to keep most of this garbage away from my 5-year old but she has seen me cry and heard some heated back and forth with her father in our home. When she asks me a question I answer her honestly but age appropriately. I encourage her one-on-one time with her dad. Even though his husband skills suck he is a good dad and tries to spend as much time as he can with her. Still I was unaware of her view of him until she recently told a family member that “daddy is mean to mommy.” Ouch that hurt. Up till then I had no idea she has made that connection in her brain and I tried to explain to her that mommy and daddy really loved her and that I would never let daddy be mean to me so not to worry about that. It’s tough though, dealing with little ones through this shit storm with no good answers.

    • My 3 kids witnessed the whole ‘confrontation’ unfortunately, It’s the only regret I have that they witnessed the meltdown. Looking back it was heartbreaking and very upsetting for me and them, and telling them that me and their mother would be splitting up as she has a new boyfriend was awful. But I am also glad they got to know what a lying, cheating whore their mother is and didn’t get some watered down version of events post D-Day.

      I also told her family and mine straight away…she hated that, I guess I did what could be termed as ‘Counter Narcissistic Espionage’..I got my (Truthful) side of the story in first to our families before she could spin her version of events. I’ve no doubt she’s done the smear campaign since and made out she’s the victim in all this, but what I have learnt though is that people who see through these disordered types and your true friends will stand by you no matter what.

      • The MOW came to our door in the middle of the night. DS was still up. They are brazen and there was no hiding what was happening. It was like a really bad soap opera. A few days later Dodo said I had won. I looked at him and said, “I won the booby prize.” He was gone a month later. So I guess she won the booby prize in the end. I hope they’re both very happy.

      • Unfortunately my youngest (20) was also witness to my explosion and his sad sack father with his head down saying he was just waiting for the right time to tell me. Good for you for getting the truth out first. I didn’t only because I didn’t know what to do. It was even hard to breathe those first few weeks.

  • “pleas not to tell the children or ruin their reputation, or tell the affair partner’s spouse”

    Got all of that and then got hit with “so there are more than 2 people in this marriage now” after I told the OM’s poor wife. Brazen and hypocritical.

    • Yes, these cheaters are so brazen, that they don’t want anyone to know about their cheating and cowardly cover up their actions. Eye roll.

  • The children….or anyone else. I got “this is between us”
    Ha! Well it was until you brought someone else into it.
    Now I don’t care who knows!

    • Reputation is everything …. trouble is, Chumps are too embarrassed as well, so the thing feeds itself. I woke up one day and decided it wasn’t my job to protect her reputation and, whilst I wasn’t going to broadcast it, I certainly wasn’t going to hide the fact we’re divorcing because of her shitty behaviour. Be careful about what you say – in the days following DDay, I apologised for whatever the fuck I did wrong in the marriage and texted her to say the marriage broke down for lots of reasons. Despite her 2+ year affair, she is now showing the text to the world saying that, “see, it was all his fault”.

      Reputation is everything….

      • Great point. I too apologized to my ex wife for my faults etc etc while she sat there and listened to me grovel, knowing full well she was fucking our daughters boyfriends father on the weekends.
        2 years out I can see how chumpy I was, thank God I found this site and now clearly see how disordered she really is.

        • Sad how we feel the need to apologize to these fuckwits for our own admitted faults but if we somehow manage to get an apology from them it comes out sounding less than sincere. “Sorry my whoring around behind your back seems to have caused you so much mental anguish but could you please stop openly sharing your feelings with me because your pain is making me uncomfortable.”

          • Yes, I remember apologizing so deeply and sincerely before I knew the full extent of what was going on. He never once apologized to me for his affair, just kept telling me it was all my fault. Hearing him say it was all my fault was like being kicked after he’d already knocked me down.

            • Yep. I heard right after D-Day, well if you had been able to fill the void in my heart there wouldn’t have been any room in there for anyone else.

              It would have been less painful if he had just pushed me down a flight of stairs.

              • My ex-husband is the same (divorce was final june 24th, 6 months after D-day). He thought he didn’t hurt my feelings, because he was sure I didn’t love him anymore. But that was only what he told himself to justify his cheating. When I said he was a cheater, he said: “I don’t like that word, I don’t like you using that, it’s too harsh.” He just doesn’t want to acknowledge what he is.

          • Or I got, “Sorry that this happened, but it never would have happened if we’d gotten help sooner.”

            This said, by the way, several years after dday1 when I tried to get him to go to marriage counseling and he refused.

        • To kbchump,It’s amazing that it takes so long to realize how foolish we behave as chumps. it also took me two years to laugh at myself and say “you were that upset for two years over a man who didn’t think you were worth a dime!” WOW what a waste of time. The stress actually caused me to have a heart attack doctor said. No high blood pressure, no high cholesterol and I’m not over weight. it was prolonged stress. Nice huh.

      • Yep. Me too before Dday #1 and #2 during MC. I even admitted that I too could have cheated. What a lie! I could never have cheated. At one point I wanted to tell him I had and make up all kinds of specific details of what I let some other man to do me just to make him suffer. I’m glad I didn’t. It would have just made him feel more justified for his actions and made me look more pathetic or made me suffer more for my lie.

        • I read my comment, so let me just clarify. I admitted that our relationship had become so bad that there was the possibility of me becoming susceptible to someone else’s advances. I wish no that I had never told that lie. But I wanted to make him feel better. What a chump.

          • My relationship with my ex had become very bad as well. Shortly after dday1, I was ringing bells for salvation army. I had gloves on covering my wedding ring. A guy came up to me 5 times to put money in the kettle. One time he even bought me hot chocolate. The last time, he gave me his phone number. I COULD have called that guy, but I figured it was better if I didn’t. I was, after all, trying to work things out with my ex at the time. That’s the difference between us and them. When we have problems in a relationship, we seek to work through those problems and we set boundaries to avoid the remote possibility of falling susceptible to another’s advances.

            Cheaters, on the other hand, set up dating profiles when something doesn’t go the way they like. A lot of times, they didn’t just fall susceptible. No one seduced them into setting up the AFF or Ashley Madison profile. They did that of their own free will because they felt entitled. Then we get spoon fed lies like…I didn’t plan it, it just happened even though that makes no logical sense given the dating and hookup profiles.

    • Funny, it was my ex mother in law who attempted reputation damage control with me.

      Circumstances surrounding my ex’s affair were extra icky, and I was full no contact with him at the time so when his father had a serious accident, I stopped in to visit as I felt it was the right thing to do. I wasn’t there five minutes when my MIL shifted the attention from my FIL to a story depicting my ex as a hero for calling 911 as his father lay on the ground. I kept quiet for that one. She then inquired as to whether or not I had relayed what was happening between her son and I to family members they were fueding with and could I please not tell them?
      Clarity struck like lightening in that moment: they knew what their son did was disgusting and wrong. Wrong enough to cover it up. I informed her that I had no problem answering questions about the situation if asked directly.

      From that day on, I no longer existed to them. Twenty three years of history with these people dismissed in order to save face. At least I know where my ex gets his talent for deceit.

      • 24 years with my cheating ex too, and poof when she left so did my in laws. I called my ex FIL soon after and my ex MIL answered and acted like she didn’t recognize my voice saying “may I ask who’s calling” when I knew damn well my name came up on his caller id. Twisted.

        • Wow, this is so ridiculous. Now I see how your ex can be disordered and a cheater. He came from a family of mentally disordered people. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

          • Absolutely ridiculous.

            Hindsight is both devastating and wondrous.

            I now know that my ex inherited his self entitlement and delusional behavior. I now know that my in laws, much like my ex, probably never loved me.

            I’m better off now, I never quite got the hang of spackling so those important to me know the truth. The rest will go down in the mudslide of deceit my ex has created. Should be interesting, Tough Mudders they are not!!

          • I’m getting this treatment too. My ex inlaws know if the affair and her dad gives me the cold shoulder and won’t speak to me. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree but to think I ate from the same same fruit tree for 20 years and am now treated this way is crazy!!!

            • No worries I got it! And yeah you are right, way after I got together with my ex I learned her mother (ex MIL) actually screwed my exes first husband before they were married! So happy to be rid of all of them

        • My exMIL was a real piece of work. I used to think of her as Marie, from Everybody Loves Raymond. But at least she was pretty decent in the beginning. I think that maybe she thought we’d get back together. Once she learned I filed, not a peep from her. That’s okay by me. My only issue is that I moved from my family in Arizona to his hometown in New York. For 28 years, they were every holiday, anniversary,and birthday. I’m flying west a lot more these days.

          • Losing all those horrible holidays with his family was the best part of my divorce. Then, at my daughter’s college graduation, the quite-wealthy brother and his wife gave my daughter an envelope containing only a $.99 card with only their names at the bottom and not even a hand-written message of congratulations.

            • I neglected to mention that my daughter spent her four years of college across the country in the same city as this uncle and his wife, and they NEVER even invited her to their home for Thanksgiving, or any other meal, in fact. Four years of school, including many, many sports events that she participated in less than 10 miles from their main residence, and neither they nor their daughter (the only cousin on that side) ever bothered to contact her. Unfathomable to me, but that was the type of disordered family that my ex-husband came from. No wonder …

        • Thanks. I think that us Chumps have had such a blow to our self-esteem that we over think every little thing. I did get asked out once after I kick Fucktard out. I had just put the guy in handcuffs for theft, so I don’t think that qualifies. When I told him he was under arrest and would be spending the night in jail, he replied, “But I’m free tomorrow.” Funny guy.

  • AOOK, yeah, “this is between us”…and our marriage should have been between us……stupid idiot!

    • I got so pissed of at the “this is a marriage issue so should remain between the two of you, no one needs to know and it will make it easier to deal with”. this was the bullshit line I got form the eldership of my church.
      In my head I was questioning, ” this is between him and me as it is a marriage issue?’ how is that? you lot have taken full control of everything, with the expectation that you will just fix the marriage give it back to us like it was a broken appliance and we will be on our ever special better than ever restored way.
      But by my reckoning it was way beyond being between he and I as the elders knew – thats 2, the pastor and his wife knew – that 2, the affair partner knew – thats 1, all the oral sex partners knew – that 20, as stated by my husband when asked how many partners were we talking over 8 years of intermittent infidelity. so on d’day when I was told what he had done and that I was not to tell anyone as it was between he and I, being a marriage issue. 25 people already knew before I did. How is that between he an I? Were they kidding. the most hilarious comment was from the elder when I asked why my husbands infidelity was not exposed to the church. ” we are not telling people as that would cause people to judge him and that would hinder his restoration………… OH POOR SAUSAGE!

      • Until adultery is viewed as an equal or greater sin than divorce in the eyes of society, this will continue to be how it is dealt with.

        • Sadly – neither one are viewed any more as sins just as “these things happen”. Thanks to the idiot who dreamed up the term no-fault divorce.

        • At this point, I’d settle for adultery as being perceived worse than any of the following
          – requesting that your cheater stick to a budget and not spend the family into debt
          – the crime of whistling while you cook the cheater dinner
          – requesting that the cheater not cheat
          – telling one’s closest friend that your spouse is a cheater

          I might be exaggerating a bit, but the cheater tries to the spin the above into the following, respectively:
          – my ex was so controlling and wouldn’t allow me any discretionary spending
          – my ex was so annoying, living with him was hell
          – the passion died between me and my Ex and he was afraid to be vulnerable and intimate
          – my ex betrayed me by sharing our closest secrets with others; he’s just not trustworthy

          And those cheaters will even try to spin such things to the kids.

          • What a shock–a cheater who feels entitled to spend shitloads of money with no consequences. Consequences like debt, or like compromised trust, or like all the spending NOT resulting in happiness, or like being exposed for selfishness and immaturity….

            Real head-scratcher there. Well, after divorce the cheaters can spend whatever wherever whenever they want (and good luck with that!)

    • Same here, NMSB–mine wanted us to say “we had grown apart.” Imagine if he’d spent as much effort controlling his dick as he did trying to control the narrative.

      Since I found out he was a serial cheater, I fancy myself Tweety Bird, ‘cuz I sing like a canary about his escapades.

      • Yes, I gave the ‘grown apart’ story to the kids – when in reality I kept growing up while she was putting out runners into nearby pots.

  • “Funny how not brazen they are when you stop being a chump.”

    That is so true. For so many years I shut my mouth and backed down from him because I knew he would just yell, give me the silent treatment or walk away. I hated those times. So I kept the peace and stopped voicing my opinion.

    But when the affair was out in the open and I had decided to divorce, I finally stood up to him. Grew a spine and spoke my mind. The funny thing is he would get pissed, but it didn’t last long. Then he would return with an apology and a softer voice. He didn’t expect it from me and it almost shocked him. Wish I had figured that out when we were first married.

  • “it’s easy to fool someone who trusts you.” Truer words were never spoken except by Chump Lady. There are very few people I trust completely and with my whole heart. After dday, there was one less person. This is why there was such a short period between the first dday and the last dday. I was not to be fooled twice.

    • It makes sense to me that it’s easy to fool someone who trusts you. It’s just hard to make sense of the fact that the person closest to you would actually do it, and for so long, and that your good friends would take part. These people are in the inner circle, and are supposed to have your back. For a person who could never do what they did, it’s hard to entertain the notion that they could betray you, even when your gut tells you otherwise and things don’t feel right. Your beliefs work against you in that you attribute your values to them. You end up figuring you are just imagining things. You think, “There’s no way they could do that to me.” I think they must know that, and it is a key to their going undetected.

      • You’re correct. Not in a million years would I have imagined that he would have betrayed me this way. That was pure projection because I could not have cheated on him. The very thought of him finding out I had sex with another man and having him look at me with distrust, hate, loathing, would have been too much for me to handle. So add that to another reason I didn’t cheat, I never wanted to break my husband’s trust. The bastard.

        I did get an ego boost this morning. The mail guy stopped in my office and we began a discussion on taxes. I told him I was being hit hard on my taxes after changing my marital status from married to single. He looked at me and said, “Who would divorce you?” I laughed and said, “No one. I divorced him.” I know I could have gone into a whole chump discussion, but it felt kind of good the way he said it. So I chose to take it that way.

        • Now that I think about it, maybe he was saying that because I’m heavily armed which can scare the shit out of most people? Nope, I will take it the other way.

          • Haha. That’s funny. This may be the wrong day to suggest trusting anyone but, trust me, it was meant as a compliment (no foolin’) ?

  • Here’s a Narc rationalization for you – that he put in court papers: The plaintiff was well aware of my relationship and the timeline when she filed. If she had thought it was adultery, she should have said so then. She can’t change her mind now.. (Not verbatim)

    SERIOUSLY. SERIOUSLY. This is the depth of person you are dealing with in a cheater.

    For the sake of the kids, I wasn’t going to call out the adultery – but then when he had a very public personal ad on AFF looking for women/couples/groups, I figured… what the hell… let loose the dogs.

    The truth only hurts for a little while, a lie keeps on giving.

  • yes, it was all done in secret to protect Cinderella’s reputation as a “wonderful, good person” in the community and to protect his reputation as someone who would never do such a thing. All their dates etc were done behind closed doors or out of town, because if someone saw the two of them together!!!

    If someone who wasn’t in the know came over to her (their) apartment – all photos and his belongings had to be put away so the secret could be kept. Well, buster after I busted you the 2nd time, I felt no compunction about protecting yours or her reputation. I told anyone who asked why we were divorcing.

  • Mine confessed, not sorry, no, you can trust me I am a changed person. I got straight up entitlement, endless continues entitlemant.

    he confessed it, now it is in the past, no one needs to know. (keep your mouth shut your telling people is as equal a sin as me getting a blowjob)

    what she said our marriage is over, its not over she just thinks it is. (her choosing to end our marriage is a sin, I have not chosen to end the our marriage so, that is her breaking our vows not me)

    I didn’t provide cake and when he knew that the supply was gone he began to boost the supply form sympathetic souls who thought that I was not allowing God to give me something even better than I had by staying married. Staying married would have only lead to the grave as it has taken 2 and a half years of solid therapy to so get as far as I have and come to understand the emotional abuse and he still seeks to use me as narc supply. even now.

    Are they Brazen, IMO yes, if they think they can get it over you and control you and the narrative to suite themselves and leave them looking like the abandoned spouse. Or when you know that they are fucking around but they think they can still convince you that you are crazy, when you ask them outright to their face if they have done X and they claim they do not have a clue what you are talking about. Mine took that stand yesterday when I asked him outright if he was now cheating on his new wife, he has not changed as I have seen the same response every time I asked if he was being unfaithful to me. I have seen it so many times I know the lies and the patterns they from. They are as dumb as a bag of rocks.

    But at the end of the day who really gives a shit if they are brazen or entitled, they are a waste of space and we should do our best to not feed the ever ravenous, emotional voids.

    • Thankful – I felt/feel the same way about divorce being a sin and would not file for a divorce. He had to do it, but I fought it until I found out about the adultery. God will judge both of them when the time comes. I upheld my marriage vows, he did not. I committed no sin. I told the truth when asked after I knew the truth. So telling the truth about the demise of your marriage is not a sin. Committing adultery and being unrepentant about it is. I was then at peace and accepted and welcomed the divorce. I can hold my head up high.

      • I know my being honest about my situation is not a sin, but that is what they claim as it helped him to excuse his cheating. It also helped him to build a foundation of lies when courting the new chump. Because I had filed. He claims that his adultery was due to demonic possession and so god has freed him and forgiven him for that but the marriage ending was because I was not willing to deal with my own sin, there for the marriage ending was not his fault. Remember I am dealing with a high functioning covert malignant Narc. so form that point of view he was free to marry because his adultery had not ended the marriage my unwillingness to deal with my anger ended the marriage. Lets not try to understand that anyone living with a narc for 20 years would have some level of anxiety and anger. surprising how that went when I decide to divorce and only raises it’s ugly head when having to deal with him and his ongoing games.

        • Demonic possession? Wow – get thee to an exorcist right now then so you can be cured….Mine is convinced his salvation is still in tact since he can’t out sin God’s forgiveness…

      • Demonic possession? Well, that might be beyond brazen and closer to blasphemy. I’m so sorry you had to deal with infidelity AND all of that crazy falllout, Thankful. I agree completely and feel exactly like you, lldod60.

        • It is brazen to choose Mortal Sin and then blame forces outside of himself for what he chose. Cheating IS evil, it will and does cause the Holy Spirit to flee from one’s soul leaving them prey to evil that happens to come by but it is by their own choice, they are participants, not victims.

          God gave us free will when He created us and we can choose good or evil. When we meet our Maker, He wont be accepting any excuses.

          • unicorn, “God gave us free will when He created us and we can choose good or evil.”
            x said something like this to me, except that he said that God “already knew” that he would do bad things and God wouldn’t “stop” him. I was flabbergasted and that was one of the things that cemented my having to divorce him. I had always told x that we have choices that “we” have to make, God doesn’t “interfere” He waits for us to make the choice.

            • It was either D day or shortly thereafter when I asked nowdeadhusband “How can you reconcile your actions and your Faith?”

              he looked me square in the face and said “Im going to burn in Hell”

              I then went to Mass for his soul almost daily for 7 years

              I spoke to the Deacon from Church and referenced him in Purgatory (eventually destined for heaven) and the Deacon expressed concern and doubt over it and I said “I sacrificed and suffered too much for him to go to Hell…I want him in Heaven but forever in a different neighborhood, I never ever want to see him”.

  • I think the brazenness is often simply that they lack empathy and simply don’t give a shit who gets hurt as long as they get what they want.

    I think acting contrite upon getting caught is an act designed to buy them time to figure out the next move whole still getting what they want.

    I think they seem to “go back to the old ways” more because they never really stopped than because they stopped and restarted. Because stopping would mean what? Yep, not getting what they want.

    Two years old, mine mine mine, waah waah waah.

    • Yes I agree. Nowdeadhusband hid his cheating very well so wasn’t outwardly brazen for most of his cheating but was very brazen in denying the impact it would have on him, me and our family – total lack of empathy, responsibility, reason or decency.

      I now think his brazen cheating was justified by the “what she doesnt know wont hurt her” and “we have an agreement to an open marriage” narratives (of course neither being true) that he may have later (for brief moments of epiphany) realized were wrong but as his actions were so brazen at the height of his cheating days, he created a history so deep and dark that any subsequent relationship with me would only be one of secrets, lies and very superficial intimacy.

      I believe my husband created for himself a really awful hell where he cheated on a person who he held no regard for. After the cheating was over (I dont think he cheated the last 5 yrs he was alive, after Susan of Seattle was over) I came into my own and became a person he may have been ashamed to have betrayed so badly but by then, there was no fixing it…he had painted himself into a deep black corner. The more I tried to be a great wife and enjoy our life together and thrive as a person and impact the world positively – it all made it worse for him.

  • Sing like a canary (after the divorce settlement is safely signed, of course!) These bastards have no right to keep their respectable, pillar-of-the-community reputations. I feel absolutely no shame about revealing his dirty laundry … it is HIS, not mine. I hope it makes him squirm. Chances are it won’t trouble him much, but out there it shall be! As for today’s post, yes, I believe I made more excuses for him then he ever did for himself. I made it super easy for him because I loved and trusted him and required few explanations for obvious discrepancies. I was a fool in love. Now I am neither.

  • They are empty shells. No brain, no heart and no feelings for anyone but themselves. No children, no family no spouse OR even the OP does not matter. One day they would even cheat on the person they are cheating with. As long as they can continue to cheat and enjoy the thrill of the chase and quite right, all the secrecy they are kings/queens of their castles.
    Chumps – hold your heads high. We are great people. We know what real love is and we also know how to be honest people. That is why we can never wrap our heads around all the “brazenness”.
    Hugs to all.

  • Actually, the ex has gotten more brazen as time has gone on, rather than less. Look at me — I’m polyamorous! I have six different girlfriends on the trot at any one time, plus a string of fuckbuddies, and I love them all, even the ones whose last names I don’t know! I’m all about love and no one understands me because I’m so edgy and countercultural! Anyone who criticizes me is a prude and a bigot!

  • Every cheater is a manipulator.

    Cheaters not only chump their spouse but also chump their family and friends. Odds are when a spouse is chumped the cheater relies on their chumped family and friends to buy into their act. There’s always someone who will defend the “good character” of the cheater.

    Cheaters know they can fool people all the time, and can easily depose of those who don’t buy what they’re selling. It’s a take a number and next in line of defence to protect their agenda.

    It’s a smorgasbord buffet of chumps for the cheater to define their victimhood with the bonus dessert special that includes the cheater apologists and monogamy allergic new age “intellectuals”. Lot’s of chumps and just as many willing cheerleader cheater participants to gratify their ego.

    It’s not a brazen act for cheaters to cheat, for cheaters it’s their “right” to cheat and way of thinking, and if they cheat it’s the fault of others to fill their exhaustive black hole needs. Cheaters are “winner” enthusiasts, they see cheating and manipulation as an asset.

    That’s the difference, chumps see lying and deceit as a negative trait but cheaters cheater see it as a positive trait.

  • I had been acting my way through a year of quiet evidence collecting before getting out of there, so I was locked, loaded and completely without a heart when I hit him with the big goodbye.
    My lawyer knew we had him on the ropes and I got a great deal.
    I made sure to calmly explain to the kids that mom isn’t angry, she just made sure to enforce the rules of the marriage contract. I made sure they knew well in advance who the other gal was, lest he try to concoct a story that they started dating after the divorce. And I informed everyone bluntly that I divorced my husband because he was having an affair. No drama, no ghastly emotional scene. Then I made sure to copy all relevant evidence and send it to the affair partners hardworking, clueless spouse. He still hasn’t made a move..

    I like to sit around with my divorced girlfriends, drink wine, play cards against humanity and laugh and laugh.

    • That’s what I’m talkin’ bout right here. My only regret is that when I found him at the hotel room, I should have just drove away. I wish I had the fortitude to quietly get my shit together and then WHAM! I would have paid all MY bills with our money, and let his go in the red. I would have taken half of the money in our checking and opened my own account.

      My X’s whore had invited us over to her house for a birthday party for her husband. (No shit). I should have went with him, and laid out all my evidence at her house, with her husband there, in front of all their friends and family. Also, I’d serve my then husband right there in the family room.

      That would have been spectacular. Sigh . . .

      • I have that fantasy, too…. I wish I’d have bought new tires for my car and an expensive new washer/dryer set, just quietly and happily, blinking at him with innocent eyes. I wish I’d have not groveled and begged and cried and insulted him out of hurt and anger, and just gone straight to relief that it was finally going to be over with him.

        Ah, forgive yourself. Your heart was all broken and stuff.

    • Omg I bow down in awe and admiration. So wish I could turn back the clock and slap my former chump-self into action. Thinking back he was so good at manipulating me that I don’t know if I would even have believed myself. There’s an article I read about being thankful for the betrayal. I thought it was crap until I realized that if it hadn’t been for her(OW) I’d still be a kibble feeding super-chump.

  • I didn’t give him the chance to say don’t tell our kid. D was 16 at the time I kicked him out and I told her that he wouldn’t be coming home because he was cheating. I didn’t say anything more than that. He talked to her a few days later but I have no idea what he said then or anytime after that. Of course at the point where he realized I wasn’t going to let him off the hook and continue being a chump, he started his smear campaign against me. Mostly common cheater blame lies like, I withheld sex from him throughout our marriage, I’m mean, crazy, etc. The real kicker was when combined them all and said that I had been planning this all along – I forced him to cheat by withholding sex and being mean to him so I could take his money. LOL – I forced him to cheat!!

    • You should write a book … I think everyone out there would love to know how to get rich slow by tricking their spouse into being cheaters so you can have all their money!!! Sounds like a neat trick!

    • OMG! X said the same thing! Apparently his cheating for ten years with our best friends wife was master planned by me to get rid of him!! Blew my mind, glad to hear it is just a chapter out of the cheaters handbook

  • “they get so used to you being a clueless chump that getting away with it is their normal.”

    This. These cheaters are disordered and because chumps are so considerate, giving and kind, as people in normal relationships should be, that the cheaters take advantage of this. And they escalate the dysfunction over time, because that’s who they are. The dysfunction was likely always there, but it wasn’t turned against the chump, but signs were always present that the cheater didn’t think, act or behave normally. It’s not that chumps are wrong, it’s just that chumps are in the wrong relationship with the wrong person.

    • Yes. I think he planned “bonus fucking time” into his travel schedule for years, but with Susan of Seattle, he planned a longer than normal outing during a business trip and asked my “permission” to take some extra days to go on a “white water rafting trip” with some colleagues that would extend his normal business trip. He was not a Nervous Nellie packing his bags for that trip…this was really just an extension of his normal.

  • Chump Lady:. As usual, your words are timely and true.

    “Why are [cheaters] so brazen?”.
    “Because we are such chumps.”

    Life’s lesson throughout the world. Because we are trusting, history’s atrocities repeat. RIP victims of Nice, France.

  • I actually got this after D-day #1 (hotel room receipt/texts/phone calls to Craigslist hookers)… “It’s up to you where we go from here. But if we stay together, then we need to fix ‘us’.”

    Funny… there was no “we” when Mr. Sparkles was fucking strangers in hotels, but suddenly “we” had to “fix us” when he got caught.

    Smacking my forehead. I stayed for 5 more years of that gaslighting until he left me for #4.

    Cheaters gonna cheat. Liars gonna lie.

  • Jackass’s first response to confrontation was not a denial but more gaslighting: “But she’s my friend’s sister!” (detail; gaslighting). His second: “You better not tell anyone” (image management attempt; implied threat). His third: “I’m done with you” (meaning “you saw behind the mask”).

    We don’t need to lose the best aspects of our chumpiness–our capacity for love, for trust, for connection. We just need to stop spackling the holes and gaps their disorder creates in their lives and relationships. We need to stop projecting our notions of their goodness onto them. We need to live with our eyes wide open, willing to see people for what they are. All that means is to look at what they do and not what they say. Actions will tell you what you need to know, including actions that say “You aren’t the boss of me” and “Your feelings, your needs, your life is not a priority.” That’s one reason I’ve decided one strike and your out.

    • So true, LAJ. Our chumpiness is admirable, when directed toward the correct targets–children in the sex tourism trade, rescue animals, a friend who has just lost a job, victims of tsunamis. Compassion should never go to those who cannot treat us (or others) with respect.

  • At first, I was the chumpiest of chumps. I wanted to believe that he was the man I thought he was – honest, honorable, protecting etc.. But people advised me to get a head of the narrative. So, I told one of my eldest, and the other one overheard me on the phone to my sister…..and I thought and actually felt guilty about telling them why dad wasn’t home anymore without him next to me. Come to find out, he called the two oldest the next day after Dday and told them I kicked him out because he was working late all the time. You know, providing for the family.

    Don’t trust these fuckers. Whatever you thought they were or whatever they pretended to be they aint!!

  • Oh, good grief. *denial” not “detail.” “You’re” not “your.” ARRRGGHHH. It’s early for me…

  • Mine told me it the only affair I am having is the one in your mind. Until I stole his phone and made public his “Let me lick you” texts to his Lickolotta Lolita Whore.
    Funny…..I didn’t know you could lick imaginary friends. HMMMM?

  • Mine never wanted to try to fix things; he wanted out (although he did tell me to read a book to be more interesting – gulp! This knowing full well I am a voracious reader but haven’t had the time in years because of work and kids). Then he told me that he was ticked when I told people because “we should’ve collaborated together and shown a united front when we told people”, and this was another example of how incompatible we are.

    Really? Were we a united front and collaborating when you were f&@!king OW?

    • Mr Douchebag took to the Internet to learn how to “Get People to like you in 90 Secounds”, and ” How to pick up a woman and get her into bed”. Seriously and when I confronted him with the evidence on his laptop his responce “I don’t know what that is or how it got there”. Seriously demented Douchebag!!!

  • Also some cheaters are brazen because they have personality disorders. They truly think the world revolves around them and have huge entitlement issues.

  • I thought X had big balls to do what he did. I now realize he is a coward. He is only brave when he is surrounded by his friends or hiding behind a keyboard. A brave person doesn’t have to lie to defend his actions. A brave person owns their shit. A brave person doesn’t have to hid behind lawyers and resort to trickery. An honest person of strength doesn’t have to constantly post on FB that they are honest and strong. Cheaters are the biggest cowards ever! WE are the brave and strong ones.

    • I actually laughed out loud when I saw the number of “I have great character” memes posted on Facebook by the other woman. It was almost as if the number of times she insisted on posting it was in direct correlation to the number of times she was screwing married guys that week.

      • The whore in my scenario does the same thing. She’s all about Jesus, and walking through the storm and coming out a better person crap, or don’t judge me, and a lot of memes about Karma. Like she’s been wronged somehow in all of this. Yeah . . . ok.

        • The only way I could see an OW being wronged is if she didn’t know he was married. Unfortunately, plenty of OWs DO know that he’s married. Nonetheless, I’m sure he will put her through some crap if he hasn’t already. On one hand, she should hope karma exists to get him back. On the other hand, she should hope karma doesn’t exist, because it has reason to get her back too. I’m sorry that she’s a Jesus OW. “Christians” like that drive me crazy. I believe in Jesus too. I also believe he’s not okay with the way our exes and their OWs/OMs have treated us. I’m not so sure I’d be too keen on believing in the Lord if I acted like they did. I think I’d probably hope He didn’t exist if I was them.

    • NDD…nowdeadhusband and I went on a “marriage retreat” which I begged him to go on because I could tell that something was terribly wrong…it had NEVER occurred to me that he would ever cheat so I had no idea where his bad attitude came from. All during that time he was a mean pompous ass.

      When we got there, they asked us to say one nice thing about our spouse. I said that he was “brave” (and honestly it was the only nice thing I could muster but he had been in combat, so I figured he was “brave”.

      6 months later I got the bomb-drop and during it, he was full of gaslighting bullshit about how he needed to divorce me because I was such a bad wife. He assured me there was no one else (odd since it was the last idea on my mind).

      If he had been brave or had a modicum of integrity, he might have said “I have decided that I no longer wish to be in this relationship, but he couldnt muster that up. It took me a LONG long time to realize that he handled everything in our marriage with profound cowardice…so ironic in light of be telling everyone in the room that he was “brave”.

  • I got the confusion trip. She was so confused that she snarkily said to me “I’m sorry for doing this to you” then taking off for the weekend with the OM. She was so confused that she promptly moved out to stay at her mothers. And so confused she’d text some bait every few days to see if I was still on the hook and to ask who I’ve been talking to.

    It’s just a ploy to manage their reputation, because if they’re confused then there’s something going on that’s bigger than them and they themselves have fallen victim. Funny how they know exactly how to play everybody to keep the “confusion” going.

    • “I got the confusion trip.”

      Yes my friends and I have also gotten this line. We know it’s code for “there’s someone else in the picture”. Because as you said, they’re not confused to fuck around, move out and conduct their lives perfectly as they wish.

      • I got the great “For what it’s worth I AM sorry” apology, after she left me and our daughter to move in with AP.

        Ohhh so sweet ..thanks…Barf.

  • My ex cheated with the neighbor. I told everyone including my daughter. She pretty knew since he took her on outings with the OW and told her not to tell me! My daughter is now 10 and I keep nothing from her. its his job to fix their relationship not mine. I also get sick of hearing children need 2 parents. They need 2 SANE parents. He now lives 9 hours away. How can you be a good father seeing your daughter a few times a year? She has me and my family who love her very much and fill the void.

        • I’ve thought about that a lot. I think it might actually be harder if Fucktard had died and then I found out. I would have mourned deeply for the great love (choking here) we had. Then I would have gone into t tail spin uncovering his secret life. But on the flip side, I would have had all that life insurance money to pay a really good psychiatrist. I think of Unicornomore and I think that girl would have derived great pleasure in facing the cheater. He denied her this by dying.

          Now I don’t want Fucktard to die. I just want him so miserable he wishes he was.

          • Now I don’t want Fucktard to die. I just want him so miserable he wishes he was.

            I love the raw honesty there. Some people would be aghast at that statement, but they also haven’t been through this crap. I’ve had the same feelings and I don’t blame you at all for feeling that way. Admittedly, I used to think that I would have been better off as a widow. If for no other reason, I would have at least been richer. Now, I’m doing better, so I think he can keep living as long as it’s far away from me.

  • Mine was so proud of his abilities to lie and con people, especially me, that he bragged to ex-coworkers about his then current distribution warehouse job being a veritable cornucopia of college girls to choose from (summer jobs for the girls in Northern Illinois College town) and when it got back to me I tried to leave and got the whole “I’m sorry, I love you, it’ll never happen again” BS which chumpy me fell for. I did insist that he find a new job which he did, but dragged it out for 6 months.

    Fast forward 2 years and he has found God. We start going to church and eventually he decides he wants to become a Pastor. Great, I think, he has turned over a new leaf and is becoming a better man and a better husband. Yeah, ok. He starts studying with our Pastor and in the meantime gets laid off from his then current job. My Daughter’s good friend helps him get the Maintenance Man job at the Nursing home she works at. The same place my Daughter had just quit her nursing job because she was expecting our first grandchild.

    Six months later a “friend” at church pulls me aside after service and asks if I’m ok. Confused, I ask what she means and she proceeds to tell me that Demon Spawn husband has been telling everyone about what a control freak, mentally unbalanced person I am and he is giving me 1 more chance to get right or he is leaving me. News to me. I’m freaking out thinking I have done something wrong and am going to lose my 18 year marriage that I had fought so hard for and I had no idea why.

    He starts treating me like garbage, starts arguments out of thin air and of course being on call for work starts having to go in at all hours to b unclog toilets, buff floors and whatever other bulletin excuses he can come up with to leave. All this time still pursuing his “righteous path to become a Pastor.”

    He is so convinced that he is impervious to being caught in his web of lies that he either forgets or just doesn’t care that the women he is chasing after and screwing around with are friends with my Daughter!

    I start realizing I am being conned and start spying to find out the truth. I start listening in to his 1 on 1 “Bible Studies” with our Pastor to learn that not only has he been bragging to Pastor about his conquests at work, but Pastor is so conned into believing H’s lies about me that he ENCOURAGES H to divorce me and continue with his infidelity because “God wants him to be happy.”

    This is where I start with all the typical stuff…hacking his email, finding and changing his dating site profiles to make him sound ludicrous (on Christian Mingle he called himself Churchman1…lmfao!), combing Facebook, calling some of the women I learn about, velcrowing the VA-DVR, and then of course the humiliation for my Daughter and I when her friends and some ex-coworkers start talking.

    Longer story short, this Demon Spawn POS felt that he was so sparkly special and entitled that his brazenness was epic. But then why not. I spent 2 decades being so chumpy that he didn’t even have to try hard.

  • My Brazen AntiSocial Pathological Narc (learned his Cluster B Status FOR SURE from counseling with Jenn @Saferelationshipsmagazine.com) told our adult sons they needed to meet Schmoopie because they had been together for 2 years already…. Gee, that’s funny, because STBX and I were in Wreckonciliation the first of their magical 2 years. Wreckonciliation that had nothing to do with Schmoopie! I was just realizing that he was a serial cheater but thought it was rare 1 night stands – like that makes it any better…That’s when I kicked him out. Sorry, I digressed. Schmoopie actually told my youngest (18) that “we weren’t together when your parents were reconciling.” Can’t they count? Where was Dad at Thanksgiving, Christmas, our big 35th Anniversary Celebration? Um, with me and our sons and friends! Gaslighter actually sat there and let her say that? But of course he did. Let’s rewrite history. Except my sons have to realize that is a blatant lie don’t they? How can they not? But they want to believe him too. They are being gaslighted as well. What an entitled sicko. Um, if Schmoopie wasn’t fucking Daddy while Daddy was pretending to be loving Mommy, then why did Mommy file for divorce after nearly 36 years of marriage? It just illustrates that he is lying and conning Schmoopie too. Who would want him if they knew who he really is? A con. Liar, cheater, in lawsuits for fraud, an alcoholic, very bad credit, owes back taxes, deep in debt. I wonder how he can even look at himself in the mirror. He thinks he is God’s gift! hmmm I can see him thinking “Chump Change was believing all of my lies, but now that she has seen through my mask, it’s not such smooth sailing anymore. No problem, Let’s go after young widow Schmoopie with a rich daddy! What a mark! Score!”

    I heard he is already cheating on her. Just want all this to be over and done with. What a time suck of my life. Get me out of his tangled web and free!!! I want nothing to do with him. Wish he would just vanish into thin air.

  • Brazen indeed. Asswipe went out with that whore everywhere no secret except to me. When i asked why he didnt be honest and tell me first thing out of his mouth i wanted to see how long i could get away with it. You know dupe the chump, took me two weeks to figure it out cause he is an awful bad liar. And the lies continue even to this day. Lies, lies and more lies. I just give him the i know you are lying look, flip my hair and walk away. I tell him find someone else to lie too im not listening anymore. Whole world of decent women and whores to lie to go and find one the decent women will send you packing! He asked me what i will tell people about our divorce. I looked him dead in the face in his lying eyes and said i will tell them the truth unlike you the truth cause i dont lie!. He said well thats really rude and cold it will make him look bad and hes such a good guy. Ha! Image management i guess he wants everyone not to know who he really is. Too bad fuckwit you drew first blood.

  • The Limited was too lazy to go through his things and I kept the contents of the home. As I packed his shit I kept things I would need and didn’t want to replace.

    As I was going throuh my home in preparation for a possible move I found his gold ring and high school ring. I sold them today and smiled.

    The Limited grew his brass balls the day he was served. I set it up so I would see him. The rage was so intense the veins in his neck were popping out. SlunT and manboy brazenly told off his lawyer screaming and she withdrew. Reportedly, he is set at that mode continuously now even when the slunT is absent. The kids set up boundaries to see him without her. I was hoping for spontaneous combustion. I’ll settle for him extinguishing himself. Poof.

  • Funny how not brazen they are after exposure, with pleas not to tell the children or ruin their reputation, or tell the affair partner’s spouse. Suddenly it’s all about caution and rectitude and not doing anything rash. Funny how not brazen they are when you stop being a chump.

    Oh I shut that shit down early. When my cheater wife started with the oh poor me! pleading about possible retaliation or repercussions I let her know she lost all rights to maintain her and her fuckbuddy’s image after I found all their sexts and selfies. I sent everything to the boyfriend’s wife, his wife’s extended family, his extended family, and all their neighbors. If he enjoys showing-off with my wife all day / every day then he should be fine sharing with everyone else.

    Oh, but what if he retaliates and sends my cheater wife’s pussy-pics to all my neighbors? Tough shit; she should have thought about that before she did anything she would be ashamed of. If she’s brazen and entitled to do whatever she wants; then so am I. Besides, option 2 is to drive over to his house and beat his head in with a baseball bat.

    The irony is that I learned that technique from her – she’s a preschool teacher. When dealing with difficult little toddlers, you have give them limited options to choose from, “We don’t have mac-n-cheese. Would you like a ham sandwich OR a peanutbutter sandwich?.”

    In my instance, “You lost your ability to control your own image when you hit the send button with your fuckbuddy. Would you prefer I inform his friends and family that he’s a serial cheating piece-of-shit OR I beat his head in with a baseball bat?” And, “You can do everything I demand of you without complaint or negotiation, OR you can leave.

    THAT I learned from Chump Lady.

  • X said I was “cruel” to out all his plotting, cheating, evil ways. I told him I thought it was “cruel” also when I found out about it.

  • I am 59. My cheating father abducted me and my siblings when I was 4 and we were raised on the other side of the country by OW and Dad.
    Recently I spent a holiday weekend with biological mother and some siblings.
    A few months ago we spent a holiday weekend with stepmother who raised us.
    At both weekends a recurring theme in conversation was WHAT REALLY HAPPENED because we still do not know the whole truth, and which version to believe. The split was extremely messy with back-and-forth, concurrent pregnancies, and worse.
    Dad has long since died, no doubt thinking he was a great guy, we were all resilient etc.
    I am here to tell you that lying to your kids will last a lifetime, and beyond.
    My niece, pregnant with the first of the next generation (great-grandkids) recently asked me “So who is from which mother, and how did that happen?”.
    Tell the truth to the kids NOW so they know who to trust.

    • My father married the OW behind his adult children’s backs. Talk about cowardly…pathetic loser.

      • ED, my “cowardly…pathetic loser” of an ex husband who is now 64 married his 24 year old 3rd world prostitute with our 2 adult children, my son-in-law and his cheap mother all present and I found out via Facebook. My heart was ripped out of my chest once more by the betrayal of my children who are 37 and 34 years of age. It is a very sick situation. I haven’t looked at Facebook or anything else for that fact for about 6 months but I have to learn to get beyond this betrayal which I doubt I will.

        • Just want to extend a hug, Maree. Every time my kids mention spending time with their father and say anything positive or fun about him, it’s like a stab in the heart. Every time they criticise me, especially after the betrayal I suffered at the hands of their father, it is a slap in the face. I cannot bear the thought of suffering what you have–I can only try to imagine it with minor parallels as another chump. I’m so sorry for the lack of respect. I can’t imagine what they see in their father’s utter dysfunction.

    • “I am here to tell you that lying to your kids will last a lifetime, and beyond.”

      I agree. I read somewhere that the truth hurts for a little while, but a lie hurts forever. And I believe the Truth to be very healing, because then you can trust that it’s exactly what happened and deal with it, rather than facing a situation that is grey, convoluted and confusing.

  • The excuse mine had fo finding a “friend” was that SHE let him smoke indoors. When he was with me, he kept begging me to help him quit!

    True to type, I actually came across a “vaping” advertisement the other day with none other than a photo of Cheater, holding his newborn baby in one arm and taking a drag on a vaper (ot whatever they call it) claiming that this was the “healthy choice” he had made for his children. What a dork. If it weren’t so pathetic, I’d have had the usual laugh about their fabulous (NOT) life.

  • Mine said “Please don’t tell our friends, you’ll destroy me. You cannot do this, I know that you are a good person.” Well, mostly he was worried because he and ho-worker had a pretty good chance of being fired afterwards since some of my friends worked at their firm too. Whelp, I told people. It got out. They got called down to HR. They both got fired! Oops! I guess he was right though, it was my fault that his life was destroyed, right? I mean, I forced him to sleep with his secretary. These fuckfaces seriously cannot even take an iota of responsibility for their own shit. It’s unbelievable-if I hadn’t already lived it.

  • In my case, yes, xH got a thrill from the deceit, and being able to scream silently behind my back, “You’re not the boss of me, bitch!!”

    We haven’t discussed this and probably won’t, but I think he came clean for one of two reasons (maybe both)–someone threatened to tell me, OR (and?) he wanted to kick me in the gut, he so hated me. He was pretty freaking proud of himself–so maybe it was that he thought I would be happy for him for meeting someone SO AWESOME, and then I could just get mySELF a boyfriend (he suggested it, gleefully). Either way, I think he was exhausted living two lives, but also thrilled at the prospect of dumping me as his romantic partner (but maintaining me as his sexless wife appliance) and attaching publicly to the beautiful OW.

    I think he had it all worked out in his mind, that he would have it all, including the respect and admiration of his kids, because, after all, Kids Are Resilient And They Are Happier When Their Parents Are Happier. (Except that he will never be happy, even after cannibalizing bits of his own kids’ security and happiness.) So, really, in the end, he didn’t have to gaslight me, because he was ready to dispose of me–in fact, he was very open about being done with the intimate relationship I thought we’d had. (The appliance thing though–no? I didn’t want to maintain the appointment calendar and wash his undies while he traipsed off with the vapid twat? No? Sure? No?) I think xH was brazen in the end, because he wanted to be caught, wanted to be done, didn’t care if he hurt me or the kids, but kinda enjoyed the thrill, too. He knew it’d be over when I realized what was happening. Pretty much had to club me over the head with it, too, so clueless was I, even when it was obvious in hindsight that he was a cheater.

    *sigh*

    Well, anyway, with xH, I got, “I Never Loved You.” (I actually think that’s true.) And maybe THAT’s why he was so brazen, really.

    • I never understood people like this, who propose to you, make vows, have children with you and then tell you they never loved you. They were faking it the entire time then? during dating phase… and then in the marriage? That makes them charlatans and con-artists. If he never loved you, then he should have never proposed to you, and let you meet someone else who would have adored you. What a jackass this guy is! I’m sorry you went through this.

      • “I never understood people like this, who propose to you, make vows, have children with you and then tell you they never loved you. They were faking it the entire time then?”

        Yes! They were faking it the entire time. They have Cluster B personality disorders. Cluster B’s are not only charlatans and con artists, but they are Oscar-worthy actors that can carry on for years, decades, as long as they have a need for you and you are providing them with narcissistic supply. For a Cluster B, a wife and kids are the perfect disguise for normalcy.

        They attach, but do not bond like normal people. So they can’t really love. They can fake it, but they can’t feel it. That’s why it’s so easy for them to detach and go to another person who they find to be a better source of supply.

        Sandra Brown likens the romantic partner of a Cluster B to a recliner. When the recliner gets worn out and old, it’s so easy to swap it out for a new one. As another chump mentioned, one of the great gifts of Chump Nation was this link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/relational-harm-reduction/2014/10/24/after-a-pathological-love-relationship-hes-moved-on-and-is-with-someone-new

        • xH had an interesting and sad childhood, so I am perfectly inclined to believe that he has a personality disorder imprinted from birth. He suffered a series of abandonments from day 1. It really is sad, when you think about it. His mother taught him to be a victim of life, and so he is, and he has expressed a great deal of anger toward me for the divorce, even though leaving me for her was such a thrill for him in the early days. Did I set up the secret liaisons for the two of them in hotel rooms when he was supposedly at work? Did I purchase the secret texting phone for him to communicate with her? Did I teach him how to PM her on FB? Did I lie to me about his whereabouts? Did I tell her that he would love her like no other? His anger toward me is misdirected, but it’s an outlet, I suppose. It must be devastating to take responsibility for such a catastrophic mess that he created. (In the early days, I warned him that he would have crushing regret–and I tried to get him to blame OW, which was also misguided. I warned him that he would grow to hate her, and resent everything about her….)

          So, while forgiveness is not on the table (not the way I think of the word), I am pretty much at my personal goal of indifference toward him. I even from time to time have pangs of sympathy and pity for him, such as when writing this post and remembering that he was once an innocent little baby and then a sweet little boy. I do hope for his sake–I swear it, at least for right this second–that he finds peace.

          Gosh, I may even find it in my heart one day to forgive him, if he expresses true remorse. I gotta believe that he buries that shit every morning and every night when he lays his head down–it would be tough to swallow on the daily. On the other hand, there I go projecting again–maybe he’s perfectly content now that he is away from me. I really do think he and OW are perfect for each other. Bless his messed-up heart.

        • BTW, ChampChump, I love that link, and a couple years ago it actually gave me a tremendous boost toward “meh.” I am 5 years out, and I can point to different moments in that time that were serious “Ah-hah!” transformative moments, and listening to this podcast was one of those. I’m listening to it again, which I recommend, because at different phases in our healing process we are ready for and glean different messages even from the same lessons.

      • He really, really did not want to propose to me, but I had already given him something he thought he wanted and that he had specifically asked me to give him, and that was a baby. So our marriage, however reluctant he was about it, would be the start of the normal life he thought he wanted and had road-mapped in writing in a folder he kept (I’m not kidding.) He’d been unable to attract a blonde for my part, so I would have to do. He’d asked all the blondes and a few brunettes in our grad school class out already–openly, since he’d asked me not to tell anyone we were seeing each other. BOY, did that hurt. But they all rejected him, and I, the Day 1 chump, kept the faith. I was an easy supply of affection, and this made him resent me–as it should have, since I clearly had no self respect. (I was young and inexperienced, nerdy, sheltered, desperate for any semblance of love–and I forgive myself now.) I swallowed the bitter combination of humiliation and dread (what did these other women reject?) and kept right on. After marriage, he continued this pattern at work, falling in love with a succession of blonde techs and nurses–again, openly. He frequently showered me with resentment and emotional neglect, even as I took on blame (his and my own misplaced guilt) for not making our marriage strong and happy. We had some good times, for sure, but he was restless.

        And now he has a blonde! A skinny blonde who has no obligations besides him! (Well, and 3 ankle-biter dogs that I am sure he is passive-aggressive toward, if I know him.)

        NC has been easy for each of us. Life is very good for him and for me, too. It’s such a kick to be with a man now who shows me consideration–someone who desires to please me as much as I please him. What a joy it is to discover real love.

        As I have said repeatedly on this forum–the cheating was a gift. It was the ultimate Get Out Of Jail Free card, like no other levels of disrespect before it could have been. I’m free! I’m free!

      • And hugs to you, Kellia and everyone here, for none of us deserved this trashing. None of us.

      • “”I never understood people like this, who propose to you, make vows, have children with you and then tell you they never loved you. They were faking it the entire time then? during dating phase… and then in the marriage?””

        This is interesting…my ex wife said this exactly when breaking up with me..that in 24 years “it never felt right”…NEVER??!! I started arguing of course and bringing up the good times etc etc (yummy kibble) but now see it’s her disordered brain. She just packed up and left the whole family. Bizarro.

        • KB, your ex wife can go to hell. It never felt right, yet, she agreed to date you, become serious, accept your proposal, go through a wedding and have children (likely), make all these conscious decisions every step of the way for 24 years and it “never” felt right. Seems pretty psycho to me. Where was her brain the entire time? I’m sure you didn’t put a gun to her head to marry you. These people are insane. And we supposedly live in a free country, where people have free will, yet choose not to use it. Go figure. I’m so sorry. You’re better off without someone who’s this mentally disturbed.

  • “As I say on Chump Lady, a big part of the high of cheating is the deceit. It’s no fun unless it’s a secret. Living a secret life, I suppose is brazen. That’s what makes it fun for them — ooh, I’m so edgy.”

    Haha! SO universal in the cheaterdom. My own human pustule of a husband and his skanky, stupid OW have maintained the secrecy despite the fact that we have been separated for 2 1/2 years, I have dated openly, everyone knows, and there is no need. In fact, every once in a while the pustule announces he has dumped the skank, but I think it’s only to refresh their delusional need for secrecy. SO weird.

      • For some reason I can’t chime in on the thread I wanted to reply to…anyway, I was painted as the one who alienated my daughters from their father because I told them about the affair. But I only did this because they (at the ages of 10 and 13) asked me directly if dad was cheating on me. Would it be right to lie to them? Lying isn’t part of my personality and it isn’t how I raised my daughters.

        Overall, I am not sure lying to children is the best way to protect them from life’s difficulties. And I am glad to see I’m not alone in this thought. I just found a wonderful article in the Guardian about just this subject: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/21/cant-protect-children-by-lying

  • LOL, in my case, I might as well have given permission for being cheated on! I had something in him which is called as – trust, and oh, blind faith. I took her words on face value.

    My children (at 4 years and 19 months) are too young to understand what happened, but my older one does pick up on our conversations.

    Cheaters are brazen because they are shameless.

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