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Dear Chump Lady, I lost the moral high ground when I told people my wife was cheating

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wish-you-were-here-the-view-from-the-moral-high-ground-is-spectacular-dcdd3Dear Chump Lady,

I had some feedback for you about something you might not have thought about discussing before. My wife had an affair with another man both online and mostly in person. Secret vacations together, lots of time spent “helping” his family, etc…

At one point after the affair was discovered, I was in the moral right. Especially when she still continued to see him under the guide of “hoping to quietly wrap it up without his older and frail wife” finding out.

I LOST the moral upper hand when I told too many people about it, including a couple of her friends and some of her family members. Now we are in counseling and most of the time spent (even with a counselor I chose and trust) is about HOW I REACTED. It would be much easier to be me right now if I had chosen only a couple of people to confide in. That would mean that we would be dealing with HER issues and how she can show real remorse and repair the damage she caused, and she would not be able to always come back and say how I hurt her by telling what happened.

Just a thought that might benefit some of your audience. Thank you.

P.S. I should add that the counselor we are seeing feels that my telling people was me wanting to punish her, which is somehow related to a lot of bullying I experienced as a kid. I don’t doubt that is PART of it, I just wish I had not told so that we could focus instead on why this happened and why she continues to lie about what actually happened.

Chumped and Talked

Dear Chumped,

Her cheating and your telling are not equivalent. This isn’t about the “moral high ground” — this is about her leading a double life, endangering your health and children’s intact family life to go on fuck-fest holidays with Mr. Sparkledick. She betrayed you. She abused you. And she’s not one bit sorry because she’s still lying to you.

Your counselor is an idiot. I’m sorry you chose an idiot. I once chose a mechanic to fix my brakes and you know what? I drove to work and my brakes failed. Did I keep driving a car with faulty breaks? No. I got a new mechanic. Get a new counselor.

If your counselor is upset at being fired, tell him I have a theory related to the bully he was as a kid. I think it’s part of what makes him such a compassionless jerk and ass-weasel-cheater apologist. #heyjustatheory

Back you you, Chumped. You HURT her by telling some people what HAPPENED? You discovered her affair and she continued it with the excuse of his frail, chump wife?

You’re suffering from the common cheater mindfuck of “It’s not what I did, it’s your reaction to it.” The problem is not that she cheated, lied, blameshifts, spent marital resources on holidays and “helping” Sparkledick’s family — no, the problem is you being upset and telling people.

BULLSHIT. If it’s not so terrible to do it, it’s not so terrible to talk about it.

I just wish I had not told so that we could focus instead on why this happened

It happened because she wanted it to happen. There are no depths to plumb here. She did it because she felt entitled to. And she feels entitled to continue.  She did the cost-benefit analysis of what she wants versus your pain and she chooses herself every time.

and why she continues to lie about what actually happened.

More entitlement, Chumped. Also, she lies for the very simple reason that YOU ARE TELLING THE TRUTH.

You think you’re having a fight over the Moral High Ground when really you’re having a fight over narrative. Cheaters hate when chumps truth tell. It fucks with cheaters’ impression management of themselves as Splendid People. Behind your back, she’s justifying her affair. She’s certainly justifying it to Mr. Sparkledick. When you’re her chump, she’s got the floor. But when you’re uppity and tell people she’s cheating on you? You just made it a lot harder for her to win the I’m The Real Victim Here narrative sweepstakes. And you make it harder for her to continue her affair. #sparkledickcantcomeouttoplay

But it doesn’t matter, Chumped, because she already won. You’re still there trying to reconcile. And that my friend, in the face of her utter lack of remorse and continued blameshifting, is all the argument she needs — YOU. Being there. Stating with your presence that what she did was not so bad that you won’t take the rap and try harder.

In my opinion, you have no marriage to save. Heck, I don’t even think you have genuine imitation Naugahyde remorse. You’ve got outright contempt. There’s nothing to work with here. No humility or transparency whatsoever.

Oh sure, you can “reconcile,” if the terms are shut up and eat from the shit sandwich buffet. How much easier for her — a life of no consequences and continued cake. How much harder it would be if she had to win over everyone’s opinion, not just yours. She’d have to be accountable and humble. She couldn’t have the upper hand. She’d have to wear the shame and do the hard work.

I know! I’ve got a better idea! Why don’t YOU be the bad guy!

She’s squealing over some small consequences — a few friends and family in the know. So you think you must be a Bad Person for allowing the natural consequences of her actions to happen — i.e., you reached out to people, you were naturally hurt and angry and wanted her to stop cheating.

That isn’t revenge. Revenge would be sending her sex videos to her boss. Or clubbing the other man with a baseball bat. Or shredding his tires. Heck, revenge (or restorative justice) would be totaling the costs of her affair vacations and buying yourself a new truck.

You didn’t do those things, Chumped. You told people she cheated. I’m sorry she doesn’t like it. I’m sorry her upset distresses you. But you’re not the bad person here. SHE is for cheating on you.

You have a basic disagreement about that fact. If she can’t take responsibility for destroying this marriage with her entitlement — expect more entitlement.

Or you could just abandon the battle of the Moral High Ground Alamo and come over here to the peaceful plains of New Beginnings. Meh is really nice this time of year. Come visit.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Stonewalling, stonewalling, stonewalling. Just remember, Chumped and Talked, you’d have nothing to tell people if she had not cheated on you. She doesn’t like the fact that she’s now known as a cheating home wrecker? Tough. It’s what she is. It’s up to her to prove otherwise if you decide to stay married to her. This is brought up in MC simply because it is a diversion from her looking at herself and the destruction she caused.

    Can’t believe your therapist has fallen into this trap. Next time you are there and she starts in of the subject, state firmly that you no longer wish to discuss your REACTION to her betrayal. Tell them you will be open to discussing that after you’ve plow through all of her disfunction. SHE set herself up to be villianized. She needs to deal with the consequences like an adult.

    • Nothing like a red herring to prove an argument does not follow a logical conclusion. But the cheaters are never logical. Neither is this pathetic excuse for a therapist.

      • Perhaps, the therapist is also a cheater. Sometimes, I wonder if that’s why therapists believe all the crap they do. Maybe they have to in order to keep their own cake.

  • “There’s Nothing to work with here.”
    A woman who fucks a MOM and uses his frail wife as justification was enough to support this.

    • “There’s Nothing to work with here.” I had nothing to work with either, I was essentially in the same situation with a remorseless traitor, being blamed in counselling for his cheating and everything else under the sun. Counselling was just very expensive abuse. I ate the shit sandwich everyday and kept my mouth shut for 10 months. Then he dumped me anyway, proud of feeling no shame, after carefully plotting his exit with the whore for months while I kept their dirty secrets. He hated me anyway, that became obvious. Then I started talking, I told his family, I tell EVERYBODY, I sing like a canary and I will continue to do so. I will not take the blame for his calculated betrayal, his false accusations, his squandering of the family’s resources, his laziness, his whore. He hates me even more, or maybe he doesn’t because to do what he did, and what your wife is doing, there is NO love, NO respect. A decent person would not treat their enemy the way she is treating you. She will never “forgive” you for knowing what she truly is, that she has no character. She will never “forgive” you for shouting “The emperor is naked!” Good on you for speaking out, sing like a canary, don’t let her hide. Fire the counsellor, you are being abused in counsellling. Very sorry you are going through this, you deserved better and didn’t get it. Welcome to CN, your refuge from the abuse and the shit storm. Join our very big club, where people will listen to your pain and encourage you until the better days which will eventually come. And it won’t even cost a single $. Get away from that counsellor and your wife!

      • Kiwi – ‘Join our very big club, where people will listen to your pain and encourage you until the better days which will eventually come. And it won’t even cost a single $. Get away from that counsellor and your wife!’

        Very well said, wise one.
        This is where you come to heal and read many betrayal stories from across the globe…and, hopefully heal when you realize most of us are going through similar situations with cheaters. Since the Playbook for Cheaters is so obvious across all cultures and countries, it’s apparently an Evil – ‘demonic’ possession, that I agree strongly with Divorce Minister on. There is no other explanation for the sudden departure of all values, morals, empathy, sympathy, energy, passion, compassion, love and everything else that goes on with a long life together, unless they were wearing that awful mask the entire time. I believe they cook up these things in their head; feeling entitled – they are worth more than they’re getting, they are egotistical, (often good looking and charming and sparkly people) These people will end up on their death beds very alone, I’m afraid.
        I will not.

        • Shechump, my traitor definitely believes that he is worth more than he’s getting. Somehow he has been hard done by and everyone owes him, but he doesn’t owe anyone normal civilised respect. So he is the victim. He is unable to count his blessings: that he was born with intelligence and abilities well above average although he does have some blind spots. That he was blessed with 4 beautiful boy; that the taxpayer gave him ample opportunities to study, give up courses, try others, “find himself” as a mature student; that we live in a blessed country and simply by virtue of being New Zealanders are already among the 1% luckiest people on this planet. He can’t see any of this. It is a curse, sometimes I even feel sorry for him for being blind to all this. But he keeps attacking me and I have to defend myself, just like he attacked and tried to destroy his first wife (and nearly succeeded). He has also lined up with another lot of entitled manipulative people of the sinister minister category. When you are cursed as he is, who you associate with is crucial. If you get hooked into the wrong sort, you’ve totally sold your soul. Tragic.
          I think the saddest and most crippling affliction one can have is the inability to see one’s blessings. I used to work with severely disabled people and their families who are able to appreciate any bit of good luck they get (and there’s not that much of it sometimes), while the Entitled whinge,,,

  • My ex tried to pull this same shit on me. We never did attempt reconciliation and I told everyone about his affair. When he got pissed I said that it wasn’t my job to be his PR agent. If he didn’t want people to know he cheated then he shouldn’t have cheated.

    He has really harped on this shit the last couple years though, straight out of the cheater handbook, blaming and patronizing me for “bad behavior” during the divorce. What bad behavior was that exactly? The one where I moved out, hired a lawyer, and just plowed through the process like he wanted? Never mind his behavior. Pay no attention to him introducing our daughter to OW within weeks, taking the two if them on vacation together, refusing to pay child support, and giving my cats away to a shelter and refusing to tell me where they are. Nope, none of that is anything worth mentioning. The real problem is that Strawberry stood up with her head held high and took no shit. That’s the real problem.

    Chumplady, standing ovation to you. You hit it out if the park today with this one.

    • Bravo CL! “If it’s not so terrible to do it, it’s not so terrible to talk about it.”

      Chumped and Talked,
      Your wife fucked up and she’s doing damage control by blaming you. Don’t let her.

      • Yep. Sparkledick (love this) said I was “vulgar” in saying that I would never again put my mouth on his after he stuck his tongue in his whore’s crusty vagina. I said, “Funny how it’s vulgar to SAY it but not to DO it”. Hypocrite much?

      • +1

        Now that the image is gone and I divorced him the best he can come up with is that I am mean and rotten.

        Poor sad little sausage had to sell his car.

      • Amen. My ex kind of liked the verse in the Bible where it says a woman should “obey” her husband. Modern versions translate it into respect. Unfortunately for him, there are many other verses he wouldn’t like. It’s probably good he was an atheist and didn’t know the Bible that well. Don’t want to know what else he would have cherry picked.

    • StrawberryJellyfish – I mean, we know they’re all cheating douchebags, but really? Giving away your little helpless fur babies, and even causing a different species severe trauma, only to try to get at YOU?? WOW. Just – wow.

      I agree with CL on this entire post: “BULLSHIT. If it’s not so terrible to do it, it’s not so terrible to talk about it.”

      So sorry about your kitties. =(

          • My traitor cheated on me with his 2nd ex wife who gave away one of his dogs and had the other one put down when he left her (had not cheated). That’s the evil whore he cheated on me with and left me for. May they be forced to marry and be joined at the hip forever, they deserve each other.

    • “Chumplady, standing ovation to you. You hit it out if the park today with this one.”

      My thoughts exactly. Bullseye Tracy.

  • What is it with cheaters feeling soooo sure you will never tell anyone? My cheater was never so SHOCKED as when he found out I talked to an elder in the church without him there “to tell his side.” His side? What the hell was HIS side? That I was a bad cook?

    But the I found out that he had told people I was not having sex with him and that I knew about everything and was okay with it. Oh, THAT side. The Totally Lying Side wherein we throw the wife under the bus to make sure Cheater is still viewed as a Great Guy and There Were Some Mistakes On Both Sides.

    I’m really sorry about your wife, but trust me that she will do it again and will blame you again next time too. As long as she can pin everything on you, why should she stop?

    • “that I knew about everything and was okay with it. ”

      My ex used that line with most of his APs. The ones he sent (hidden to me) NCs to he owned that he lied to them and that, get this, I “felt betrayed”. Who knows why, huh?!

      He would own that he lied to his online sex partners about my being ok with him fucking them (well, online mostly they fucked themselves while he watched). But he would NOT own — and fought tooth and nail with me about — that he BETRAYED ME. He did. He actively choose to violate and betray my trust.

      He was more interested in image management with the online sex partners. They were the ones he cared about. Took me a while process that and I hate him even more, knowing that now.

    • “What is it with cheaters feeling soooo sure you will never tell anyone?”

      Because they’re counting on us being so humiliated that we won’t speak of it, lest we look like fools.

      Because while they broke vows and our trust, they still expect us chumps to uphold the husband-wife secrets.

      Because they’re banking on us doing the pick me dance.

      Because they don’t think it’s such a big deal.

      Because they know that WE know that whether they say it to our face or behind our backs, people will still perceive infidelity as something the chump caused, too.

      • In my case, all of the above.

        My X and I work in the same office, and so does her latest fantasy friend. As much as I like to think I don’t care what others think, I am embarrassed about the turn our marriage has taken.

        While I love my profession, going to the office each day is a struggle. I know there has been an intensive smear campaign and some of our coworkers likely think she is justified in finding her happiness, even if it means lying, cheating, and devaluing and discarding her family (husband, three kids at home and 3 dogs).

        But I am mighty and won’t let her or her enablers make me compromise my chosen career because of the awkwardness. I worked too hard and love what I do too much for that. Fuck them. The nearest other employer for people in my line of work is probably 1200 km away from my beautiful kids. So I stay put despite the embarsement.

        Sorry for the rant, going back to the office on Mondays sucks.

        • You’re a bad ass, Forest! The lack of shame amongst cheaters just fries my brain! Seriously, if I’d screwed around with someone when I worked with both of them I’d have gone into fucking self-imposed Witness Protection just from the sheer embarrassment of it all! But these cheaters have the nerve to walk around head held high, the delusion is palpable! I hope your strength and resilience outlasts their pathetic delusions Forest, and maybe one day they’ll realise that they won’t ever get the better of you and hopefully fuck off and leave your work place free of nasty rotten egg cheater stench! X

            • I don’t get it either. 7 billion people on the planet and she picks a howorker for her escape when her and I already work together. Goes to show their utter disregard of consequences for the loyal spouse.

    • “he had told people I was not having sex with him and that I knew about everything and was okay with it”, that’s my traitor’s line too! They really are all the same, straight out of Satan’s workshop.

      And to Forest, you are mighty for loving your job and sticking it out.

  • For 3 months after Dday, I told absolutely no one. Because, I thought, if we do work it out, I don’t want anyone to know what he did and think less of him for it. ..and think less of me for staying. Here I was, all concerned about his feelings after he devastated my own and had NO remorse about it. I forgot somewhere that I SHOULD think less of him for what he did (and continued to do despite claiming we were working on our marriage. All he was working on was finding more time for sex with her while goading me to dance pretty and walk on eggshells for him). Loads of people already knew what was happening and covered for him. I was doing impression management for my family FOR him I was so desperate for him to pick me, stay with me.

    My family, friends and coworkers got to see me spiral downwards with some pretty self destructive behavior and didn’t know what was happening. My Ex got to claim that I was crazy, just look how I was behaving! So everyone could understand why he continued to see the mother of his children (not true, btw, just a story to justify to everyone that found out why he continued to see the OW while still married to me).

    So, you didn’t surrender the moral high ground by telling the TRUTH. She’s simply furious you pulled off her mask. She was pretending to be this wonderful person and you ruined it for her by telling people what she really does when she thinks no one is looking. The true test of character.

    Wreckonciliaton won’t work with this gem. She has to actually be truly sorry for what she did, the pain she’s caused and swallow her pride about maintaining her image. She shot it down herself. She’s just blaming you for it. She also needs to be willing and actually do anything to make you feel safe again. She’s clearly not wanting to do any of the legwork to be a true partner again. Your therapist is clearly not on your side. Cheater apologists do not make good counselors. Oh I’m sure he’s a genius at making her feel better about what she did and blaming you for it.. But that’s not what reconciling is about.

    Good luck to you. For your sake, lawyer up.

    • “For 3 months after Dday, I told absolutely no one. Because, I thought, if we do work it out, I don’t want anyone to know what he did and think less of him for it. ..and think less of me for staying.” Well, you’re smarter than me – I did the same thing only for TWO YEARS and I wasn’t smart enough to think about me looking like an idiot for staying, I was solely concerned with maintaining his good-guy facade when we got back to “happily ever after”. When I finally wised up, I told EVERYONE and never looked back.

      • “I wasn’t smart enough to think about me looking like an idiot for staying.” I doubt it had anything to do with brains, and everything to do with acculturation. Some blinders? Sure. But dominant ideology (called cultural hegemony in academia) does exactly that… Blinds or blinders you.

        For example, FeralBlue wrote, “Cheater apologists do not make good counselors.” This sentence struck me.

        I thought: True. And TELLING that it has to be said. Lovely. We live in a universe where we’re gobsmacked and abused by people who allegedly care about us. Meanwhile, the expert healers are busy attaching leeches to bleed us further while muttering incantations about OUR actions’ being the devil for which an exorcism is needed. Next up: glassy-eyed chumps will be required to travel to Oman to procure frankincense from an obscure tree for the purification ritual. Medieval, thy name is modernity.

        Glad you told your story and never looked back!

  • Yes yes yes to all CL says.

    The only potential minefield is children, which you do not indicate are a factor here. They should not be lied to, but the truth should be told in an age appropriate manner.

    With betrayal this severe and emotions running high, it’s understandable that one might say ‘too much’ to any kids in the picture, and that could come back to bite you, legally and psychologically.

    But friends and family members? Who cares — let her sit for a while in the shit stew she created.

    • Yes, this…and lets not forget my story…

      With a few exceptions, I did what Feral Blue above did, told as few people as possible hoping that no one would think ill of him when we wreckonciled but I was ripped into tiny little pieces at my worst weighing 113 pounds, hair falling out and had hives.

      We did wreckoncile and that didnt go well, Major Entitlement, USMC didnt bother to take responsibility for anything and left me to deal with my feelings alone while he whined about every little thing he could find because Schmoopie.

      and in the end, I didnt tell the kids (especially D now 20) who thought he was wonderful. He then died and I learned he was a serial cheater ad Im so pissed I cant even look at a photo of him…so I took all of them down. D thinks Im some sort of shrew who refuses to be respectful to the memory of her late, wonderful father. If I tell her the truth, it will hurt – more than it woul dhave if I had given her an age appropriate explanation in the moment.

      I screwed myself in all this and I lovingly suggest that Chumped and Talked borrow some of CLs language and hold Mrs Cheater accountable and see how good all that feels.

      I have found that the entitlement needed to do this is revelatory of some nastyass traits they tried to hide but cant anymore…this is who they are.

      • Unicorn–Maybe it’s time your daughter knew at least some of the truth? Yes, it will definitely hurt but consider this — if she somehow finds out the truth another way, won’t she even be more hurt that you didn’t tell her? And how will you feel if she ends up with a man exactly like her father, because for her that’s the normal way men treat women?

        I struggled hard with this issue and finally decided to tell my daughters (both in their 20s) the whole truth of my ex-husband’s affairs. It was a VERY hard conversation for all of us, but that was 6 months ago and our relationship has never been stronger. I think they suspected that there were things being kept from them all along. Most of all, I wanted them to not repeat my pattern when choosing men–and since their dad was their “normal” I was really worried about this possibility. Forewarned is forearmed.

        I hope you will reconsider telling your daughter the truth while she is young enough to process it and apply the lessons learned to her own relationship(s). You may be surprised to find that in time it brings you closer and gives her a better understanding of you. Good luck…

      • I am with unknown comic. It’s time to repair the relationship with the parent she still has. She’s 20. She will figure out a bit… It might be hard. She will have to mourn his memory that she had and reconcile it to who he was to you. It doesn’t mean he loved her less. It doesn’t mean his actions to her were false. But it explains why you are so traumatized and that you can heal together. Please think about it.

      • Today had an interesting set of texts with D. Her married boss with a new baby is very very flirty and I was giving her all the warning any of us would give our D in that situation. Somewhere in it I told her that I never cheated on her dad. She has to know that I learned about howorkers somewhere. Maybe this will be the segue to a real conversation.

      • Dear Unicorn, 20 years of age is old enough to know the truth. I hid the truth about my husband from the kids as long as I could, but he revealed his unrestrained infidelity and some-form-of polygamy to the kids by our youngest’s senior year in high school (stupid on his part, but it delivered the moral high ground to me on a silver platter.) You don’t have that “luxury” since your husband has passed away, but perhaps you could find a “natural” way of telling your child the sad truth by starting a conversation about choosing wisely when it comes to a spouse. On her birthday or a holiday, try giving her a few books like “Is This the Right One?” and “Avoiding Mr. Wrong – And What to Do If You Didn’t” (both by S. Arterburn), “Deal Breakers” (B. Marshall), and/or “Fool Proofing Your Life” (J. Silvious.) Read them first for yourself so that you can discuss the points knowledgeably. As your young adult is willing to talk about matters, don’t be afraid to be honest and share your regrets about his choices and the damage it did to you personally and to the dream of a life-long, contented marriage. If it is sobering, well, it should be! Hopefully your child will not have to re-live what you experienced…and helping the next generation succeed and do better is what it’s all about, right? Condolences, dear heart!

  • Chumped,

    Chump Lady is spot on again. She’s amazing in her no nonsense insight. I’m sorry you’re here, but believe every word she says. When Fucktard and I went to MC I was also made to feel like the bad person for telling people. I was told I made it worse. How is it worse than him sticking his dick where it didn’t belong? All I did was tell the truth and gather support. He set off a bomb in our marriage. There would have been nothing for me to tell if he hadn’t set off the bomb.

    Fire the counselor and while you’re downsizing, fire your wife. She sucks.

    • Oh I totally agree! 5 yrs out, I’m still dealing w this blame shifting! Mine is such a narcissist & still uses the victim role.
      My mc who looooved my hubby it seemed, made it out that I just needed to “hear” him!
      I didn’t tell many as I was truly humiliated as I thought I had the world in my backyard. He meanwhile tells people, “he sorta stepped out of the marriage…”
      Puke, puke, puke…

      • Exactly. And I was just so traumatized that they could have told me the reason for his infidelity was because I don’t like pecan pie and I would have nodded and said, “okay, I will try to like it.”

        It took me a long time to realize that our MC should have made him accept responsibility for his choices and not each of us knowing our part in the marriage breakdown and learning love languages. By the way, his are gifts and affirmation to his wonderfulness, go figure. My love language is honesty and keeping your dick in your pants. Needless to say, he could never speak my language.

  • Chomped and Talked,
    Let me ask you a question, what did she expect would happen when you found out about her affair? She expected you to accept an apology and I’ll try harder to work around your faults. She is blame shifting her shitty behavior onto you and your therapist is making false equivalencies. Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself because in this situation, no one else will. Stand up to your wife and let her know she messed up by having an affair. If she didn’t want people to think she was a whore, then she should not have cheated. Stand up to your therapist and let him know that you don’t tolerate being blamed for your own abuse. As Chumplady has said many times, if she was unhappy in the marriage she had options (counseling, divorce, scrap booking, etc.) but she CHOSE to cheat. And by the way who the fuck says your therapist is the determiner of “moral high ground”? You know in your gut that she is a liar, a cheater, and an abuser who put your life at risk. Yes, she put your life at risk. That is not some small indiscretion. Do NOT let anyone minimize that. Her negligence could have cost you your life. You could have died because she wanted dick. The moral high ground does not get much higher. Stop the madness. Get off the crazy train and find a good individual counselor who will put you and your mental health first.

  • I did not mention the Kunty Kibbler’s own take on this —

    After DDay and initiation of the divorce process, it came up that I was telling my parents and sisters every detail of what had happened.

    Her reaction: “Why would you do that?! I’m going to have to see these people at birthday parties, graduations, events for the girls…”

    Translation: “it’s still all about ME! How dare you do something that will make me feel uncomfortable?”

    • So you don’t tell so the cheater won’t feel uncomfortable. And then why is it okay for the chump to feel uncomfortable if the now discovered OW or OM is in a social setting with them? The chump can’t let on why they look anxious or flustered at the PTA meeting, kids’ hockey game or bloody opera because it might make the cheater and the AP feel uncomfortable!
      Fire you unthinking ass of a counselor. Your cheater abused your trust. Would you want your daughter, sister or mother to not report somebody who sexually harassed them at work? Would you willingly let your mugger walk? Would you expect your friend to let the person who rear ended him not to pay for damages to the car?

      You don’t need to tell people in flagrantly hurtful ways (publishing sex videos) but you have the right to say that you are going through counseling because your spouse broke her vows. Simple to the point…she did something wrong. You being at work too much, not showing her attention enough, not caring enough is no where on the scale of betrayal. No equivalencies there!
      Honey you didn’t give me a rose today and tell me you love me…I’ll go and screw my work colleague on the next business trip.
      Sweetheart you didn’t rub my feet when you came from work late…I’ll go have sex with our gorgeous neighbour.
      Baby you didn’t buy me the expensive whatnot for my birthday…I’ll just screw somebody else.

      No equivalencies there !

      Being an asshole to your spouse has consequences. One of them is not expecting the chump to lie about why the marriage is in trouble…or in a better CN world don’t expect the chump to lie about why the marriage is ending.

    • Stupid cunt. Sounds just like my AssHat… No remorse for cheating with 5-6 whores (that I know of), or his 4 DUI’s, his lost job and refusal to work going on TWO YEARS now (hey, how’s your PhD working for u now?)…. His only issue with me leaving him was that I told his sister’s and a bunch of gossipy bar flies at his favorite karaoke bars. My only caution is – watch out for revenge. Now he’s trying to get custody of the 7year old apparently for the sole purpose of re-writing history.

      • Stupid asshole. Sorry CKoL. Kick his sorry, drunken, worthless, limp-dicked, lying, fat, fucking ass. I couldn’t hate your stbx more if he’d cheated on me. Arrggh.

  • 100% true CL! Mine told me to stop trashing him around town. .I simply said trashy actions lead to trashy talk. They do not deserve our protection for their lousy behavior. I tell my truth–all of it from the cheating lying stealing money to stealing my jewellry (what!–does AP want my leftovers?) and the abuse . People are tired of hearing it now so I have stopped but that is the only reason. He had the nerve to say it was 75%my fault because of my reaction–HELL to the NO!! They really suck….

    • Mine became very self rightious when I bagan to tell the truth of why we had seperated.

      My favorate complaint from the cheater, “you have dragged my name through the mud”
      My response “well you chose to lay down in it, so deal with it”

    • “I tell MY truth–all of it,,,”

      If us Chumps know anything, it is that words are powerful. They can be used as weapons against us, and we can unwittingly use them against ourselves.

      I am on a crusade against the use of the term “my truth”.

      I was taught to be truthful and that truth is an absolute. Either it is, or it is not. Bald faced lies are not the truth. Half truths are not the truth. When we use terms such as “my truth” and “His/Her truth” it provides a qualifier. That gives a word that should mean an absolute FLEXIBILITY, So, truth no longer is an absolute but something that is situational or person specific.

      Now, we know that OUR truth is THE truth, and THEIR truth is actually LIES. So when we qualify THE truth as “my truth”, it diminishes it as not being the universal truth but a truth that only applies to us. Conversely, when we call their lies “their truth”, it actually gives their lies the benefit of the doubt and gives others the impression they may actually be true.

      My narc-ex actually had “truth” tattooed on his arm (at my expense). Once I found out about his numerous affairs with both men and women, I told him he would not know the truth if it was tattooed on his arm. (ha ha) He can never understand that irony, because in his mind, truth is a relative term, This means that he can lie, and it can be “truth” because it is “his truth”. Just more mindfuckery, and we don’t need to do it to ourselves.

      • My pastor likes to say “Satan is the father of lies.” If you’re a “truth” contains nothing but lies, guess who your daddy is?

      • After my STBXW told the kids that my family hated her, they asked me if it was true. I told them, it was “true only for her.”

      • “When we use terms such as “my truth” and “His/Her truth” it provides a qualifier. That gives a word that should mean an absolute FLEXIBILITY, So, truth no longer is an absolute but something that is situational or person specific.”
        Perfectly put, Peaceatlast. I also had the lectures about “his” truth, he started that early on. I should have run right there and then, nine years ago. Huge red flag if anyone uses the expression “my truth”.

  • Chumped and Talked, they are unfortunately all the same. I have a Sinister Minister – a priest who had an affair with a lady in the parish. They effectively ‘dated’ for several months before it got sexual, and then he broke off the sex (such as it was) after 6 weeks, but kept her hanging around emotionally on crumbs for a few months, before she left the parish.

    How do I know all this? She later made a complaint and he’s been being investigated since last November. The affair was secret and the investigation was secret, until he decided to drag me into it to corroborate some of his evidence.

    I went ballistic. I would have trusted this guy implicitly. It’s gutted me.

    So he tried to then keep me OUT of the investigation, so I made sure I gave them pages of written and spoken evidence of everything I observed during that time between the two of them, but could never prove.

    Guess who’s the bad guy now?

    So I have had to leave that church and go elsewhere. But if anyone asks me why, and wants the details, I tell them. They have a right to know that Fr Sparkles is – as it turns out – a repeat offender, and that he admitted to the affair to me himself.

    This is not revenge. It’s a public service announcement.

    • “This is not revenge. It’s a public service announcement.” Love this Lola Granola!

      Like many commented today, my cheater was textbook blame shifting. Upon finding out about his affair, I made an appointment an MC/divorce coach. His goal for seeing her? Help ME deal with my trust issues! I couldn’t believe it! When I secured an attorney to reach a settlement for our divorce, he raged and said that my trust issues were going to cost us so much money when we could have reached a fair divorce settlement on our own. His entitlement was off the charts throughout the proceedings, and of course he went ballistic when I started telling people that I was divorcing him because of his adultery.

      I told our daughter that I divorce her dad because he lied to me about grown up stuff. If/when she brings up the conversation, I ask her if she wants to know, and she backs down every time. Intuitively I think she knows, but she isn’t mature enough to face it all. So the shit sandwiches keep on coming, but it is validating and comforting to read today’s thread and remember that NC and building a cheater-free life are the only viable ways for us chumps to escape our cheater’s mindfuckery.

  • C&T,

    The thought that you “blew it” by speaking the truth is unfair to you. And it is a red herring designed to get you to focus on everything but the real issues–i.e. the cheating, lying, etc that your wife is still doing. You need a counselor that can see this for what it is and who doesn’t aid and abet your cheater with theories supportive to blame-shifting. This reconciliation thing wasn’t yours to blow to being with…only your cheating ex can repent and give you something to work with. She has chosen contempt for you instead. That choice isn’t on you. It is on her.

    Blessings,
    DM

  • One more thing I should memtion, Chumped…. if it hadn’t been you “telling people,” it would have been something else. The pattern with cheaters is that they stall a bit at first, maybe acting remorseful, maybe just tantruming, maybe a bit of both. But they are really just gaining time to reorganize. Then they settle on their new narrative. “Sure, I made some mistakes, but so did you, and no one is perfect, and we all have our issues…”

    Your wife latched on to you telling people because it was convenient and the therapist bought it. Now every time you bring up anything uncomfortable, she can tell you that you are only upset because you were bullied as a child. And isn’t she a peach to stay with you in spite of all your issues?

    But if that became an inconvenient narrative, she would just move on to another.

    My cheater said I had made mistakes too. He listed a few things I did that cost us a lot of time and money. I felt really bad, apologized…. he “forgave” me, said we both needed a fresh start…. only later did I reflect on the fact that those “mistakes” i made were genuine mistakes. I had no way of knowing ahead of time that it would turn out badly. He even agreed and encouraged me to go forward with the plans at the time. That’s different than intentionally lying and cheating and stealing from your own wife and kids.

    But cheaters excel at false narrative. It’s how they convince themselves that they are okay.

    • This is truly one of the best comments I’ve ever read on here. It’s very smart and insightful. Thank you.

      Do the cheaters believe their own bullshit? I absolutely think they do. Am I off?

  • Although I have no idea who said it, one of my favorite quotes is:

    “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

    Never feel bad for telling the truth.

  • Three things.

    One, nothing you do causes another person’s bad character, and telling the truth about another person’s bad character isn’t equivalent to lying to the person.

    Two, counselors are people, too, and, as people, they also have their stuff to deal with. They aren’t magical just because they went to school and got a shiny certificate, and more school doesn’t automatically give them less baggage. Counselors are usually people who had enough baggage that they got some counseling and, through that, became interested in the field. Every so oftenI hear a story of a counselor getting it on with the cheater patient behind the chump patient’s back. Maybe try changing genders when you change counselors, or even get your own separate counselor for a second opinion on things.

    And everyone here is right — your behavior may have caused your cheater legitimate pain, but working on the betrayal doesn’t require dealing with that first. Betrayal came first, so how about working on that first, THEN dealing with the aftermath in its due time?

    • Great point about counselors! The OW in my case is a counselor. We knew her for years as friends, not as her patients, but that didn’t stop her from giving my husband marriage advice based on her counseling experience, which apparently included fucking her. Oh, and her office was a convenient place for them to meet up… I actually have been questioning my ethical responsibility here, in terms of reporting her because it scares me to think she’s counseling people.

      • Confused Chump – Report her!! She has no right to insinuate herself into other people’s lives under the guise of helping. She just helped herself to your husband – her profession should not tolerate that in any way.

      • Indeed. Where I live, an LCSW who ran a support group got invited with the partner of an attendee and lost her license. Each municipality/state will be different, and if she had only had relations with him in a private home it may not matter since he isn’t technically her patient, but to do it in her office seriously blurs the lines. It’s her professional responsibility to ensure she doesn’t abuse the power of her position. Even if she doesn’t actually get in real trouble, the investigation will be on file and she will be on notice.

      • ConfusedChump, there are times to take the high road and just go on with your life, this is not one of those times. She needs to be reported as she is in a position to screw (literally I guess) with peoples lives. If your ex and the counselor get ticked off, so what.

        • Thanks KB, Ami, and Unffing. I really wasn’t sure if I was just being vengeful or dramatic, or if it truly was something to report. Now I know it’s not just me!

  • Chumped and talked-

    Some of us here at CN have walked the same path as you, myself included, so we understand what you’re going through. You think that one wrong step will chase the cheater scurrying to the underbrush for cover. Such fragile creatures they are. I confided in exactly 3 people when I found out about my ex’s affair and that was my own doing. I told my sister and two friends. I didn’t even tell my parents because I was trying to protect the image they had of my ex and I didn’t want it to be uncomfortable for him.

    Of course the biggest message that it was okay to be treated like a doormat or the crap at the bottom of his shoe was simply staying with him while no real consequences were levied against him. He kept his in tact family, his 401K and his reputation…..for a while anyway.

    Our MC never had a chance to give me crap about “telling” the whole world because I didn’t but she babbled on about all the problems we “both” brought into the relationship yada, yada yada. The sad truth about marriage counseling is that it’s geared for the couple to stay together. If they tell us to leave a cheater and gain a life, they don’t get paid anymore. They also have a keen sense that scaring the cheater away is contradictory to collecting their money every couple of weeks. Consequently the put their focus on the doormat sitting before them-the faithful spouse. Don’t tell, don’t put the focus on the cheater, don’t do anything that might send them scurrying to the under brush. It’s a smoke and mirrors act to keep you focused on what doesn’t matter.

    You won’t get that now. You may not even want to hear it. Keep doing what you’re doing but read the advice of those who have walked this path before you. I could tell you outright that it doesn’t lead anywhere, but sometimes it’s a lesson that’s better learned on your own.

    Jedi hugs to you.

    • This is often true. The MC I had with my ex heard me say I was really only there to end the relationship as smoothly as possible and she walked us through exactly that, called him on his BS, and laughed when he left her office in a huff after she told him that, when it came to the issue of betrayal in the relationship, his infidelity was the entire problem and all work would happen there before any other discussions would take place (like his suffering at the hands of my boundaries, oh poor sausage).

      There are strong, brave, healthy, smart, capable counselors. Just like any profession, the best ones advertise a little less and are a little harder to schedule, so it takes more effort to find and catch them. 🙂

      • Yeah I should have probably qualified that with “most” counselors. I’m sure there are good MC out there and it sounds like you found one. Honestly I don’t think MC is helpful in the case of infidelity unless the cheater has already worked on him/herself in individual counseling and owned all their shit prior to attending MC. Or unless they don’t mind counseling you through the end of the relationship.

        In my humble opinion, once someone cheats there is only one big problem in the relationship that trumps any of the problems that came before it. If that gets fixed and only when it does, should you consider MC. Unfortunately it very often winds up being part of the RIC cog which heaps the blame on the faithful spouse and gives a pass to the cheater.

  • Dear chumped, change therapist. He is obviously siding with you wife….the only reason anyone else would side with a cheater, is because he is a cheater himself. The fact that he is trying to analyze your reaction to what is the most painful thing that could happen in a marriage, shows that he has no empathy and that’s why I think he is a cheater himself. You are not being treated fairly by your therapist, he is actually making your pain worse, you are a victim of unjust and abusive treatment. If you had a therapist who could really do a good job, you would feel much better after meeting him, not worse…he is telling you that you are a bully when instead you are just a forgiving person who is trying to find a way to forgive your unforgivable wife, and they are definitely teaming up to bully you during therapy. They are so below you. Fire the therapist, file for divorce and start dating again, there are so many good women out there who are responsible and good-hearted. If your wife can’take understand what you are going through, and she is willingly making you feel guilty for what happened, she must be either stupid or evil.

  • Like many of us chumps early on, you seem to be willing to shoulder the cheater’s blame and are beating yourself up for daring to talking about her betrayal. I agree, sack the counsellor immediately – banging on about your childhood bullying is red herring psychobabble.
    The angriest and scariest I ever saw my ex, puffed up like a red Jabba the Hutt, was a few weeks after he left. The trigger was that day at the gym I had seen OW’s mother (school music tutor like OW) and said to her “I am very hurt and angry with both of them, and the kids are gutted”. Quite restrained I thought! I didn’t even mention the words “adultery”, “affair” or “gold-digging unethical prostitute teacher who should be fired immediately”. But you see, their version was that he had been unhappily married and we had agreed to a mutual separation. I told him I wasn’t going to lie for him and the monster exploded.
    What you’re seeing is the same ugly selfish behaviour that led to the affair, and now wants to pin the blame on you. .Don’t feel bad for telling people, but please consider if you want to stay in this limbo for long.

    • Vastra – ‘The angriest and scariest I ever saw my ex, puffed up like a red Jabba the Hutt’

      Not to make light of this subject…..but, I literally fell out of my chair laughing my butt off.
      *I* SAW that face! Could never have described it as well.
      It’s like they’re seeing all the control suddenly leaving them and their head is about to explode.
      Thus Red and Jabba-sized Puffer Fish!

  • My ex-husband in the weeks following d’day told friends that we had separated because I caught him doing porn. He also told them that he really hoped I would get past my issues as he wanted to make our marriage work. He was willing to do anything to restore our marriage.
    Meanwhile, the truth was he had come clean on 8yrs of same-sex adultery, and I was being bullied into not telling people. When I questioned why he was still involved in church run events in our local community seeing he was supposedly under church discipline, his standard comeback was “he did not need to tell them what he had done, because it was all in his past” I reacted poorly to this as I was in absolute truma. Surprise, Surprise that my reaction was considered way over the top because it was not adding up to the story he was telling people.
    I will never forget the night a friend came for dinner and was a little surprised by my desire for my ex to get all his stuff out of the house.
    She was fully prepared to give me the speech about how porn isn’t that big a deal and surely he and I could work through our issues. She quickly pocketed her speech when she learned the truth. She was the first person I told the truth to and her reaction helped me to understand that what was going on was far bigger than I realised.

    • Good for you. My cheater also had a same sex affair … for thirty years … and I think he feels that I should not tell the truth because he has the right to stay in the closet if he wishes. Gays have every right to determine whether or not to out themselves and I fully respect their privacy. But when someone cheats for 30 years, their right to that privacy evaporated. IMO.

    • Anybody who tells me porn is not a big deal gets a one way invitation to “fight the new drug”. There is SO MUCH SCIENCE that supports the opposite POV, and there is SO MUCH EVIDENCE that the performers/models are harmed by the performing/modeling and are just Stockholding when they say the opposite. The argument that porn isn’t a problem is ignorant horse sh**.

    • “She was the first person I told the truth to and her reaction helped me to understand that what was going on was far bigger than I realised.” Exactly. Telling the truth and seeing the horrified reaction of normal decent people was such comfort after months of being bullied in counselling into believing I was a terrible, controlling, depressed bitch. Counselling, like living with my traitor was brainwashing. Only when I started telling people did I get treated properly by sane people. Telling people is how I freed myself from his insanity, the homewrecking whore’s insanity, and the counsellor’s insanity. Speaking out is power.

  • C & T: Chumplady is right. Dump the counselor. Even middle schoolers know that infidelity is a HUGE betrayal and nothing else equals it. Your counselor is not as smart as a 6th grader.

  • Tellng the truth is not about losing moral high ground it’s quite the opposite. As a matter of fact, the truth demonstrates integrity of character. Ironically, I think you are now being bullied by the therapist you hired: #affairapologist. How’s this for a Freudian theory, perhaps your therapist is a cheater hence sympathizes with your wife instead of the traumatic betrayal she instilled on you?

    • It wouldn’t surprise me if FBI was right. Many years ago, I went to a therapist with “depression” over the fact that the intimacy in my marriage had died out.
      Her advice: “Take a lover, like they do in Europe.”
      I wasn’t too depressed to realize she was a an amoral ass and never go back. I wonder how many lives she’s EFFED up since then.

      • You could have asked for her husband’s number, you know, since she’s busy working all the time and he’s probably lonely, and hey, she married him, so he probably can’t be all bad, so she should share. (Sarcasm)

  • I hope to god that your quack of a counselor is never in a position where she’s called upon to work with a child whose been molested or a spouse who is being beaten. Anyone who knows anything about psychology– or has sat through a 6th grade health class!– knows that manipulation, threats and coercion of a victim into silence is abusive behavior.

    “If you tell, no one will believe you/everyone will hate you/I will leave you/I won’t love you anymore.”

    I think your reaction is related to the bullying you experienced as a child… but not in the way that your therapist thinks. You’ve been conditioned to believe that people’s hurtful actions toward you have to be endured and tolerated… it’s not someone punching you in the face that’s the problem, it’s the fact that you cried about it afterward.

    That’s bullshit, Chumped&Talked! But on the plus side, you recognize that it’s bullshit, or else you wouldn’t have written to ChumpLady.

  • Let the truth of what Chump Lady has to say seep into your core and stiffen your spine. That’s how it worked for me; the small voices from this blog kept getting louder and louder until I finally confronted my ex under similar circumstances. “It’s like you think the real problem here isn’t your affair, but my reaction to it,” I said. His replied “Yeah, that IS the problem.” In that moment I realized that it didn’t matter what I said or did or didn’t say or didn’t do, it was all about him scrambling to reinforce his slippery, shape-shifting narrative, and I would always be on the wrong side of the story. That one sentence proved to me that he had absolutely no grasp on reality and that if our conversations and interactions up to that point hadn’t enlightened him, NOTHING would. And nothing did.

    Chump Lady has used the car wreck analogy in the past, and I think it’s a pretty good one. Imagine you were a passenger and that your wife was driving after a night of boozing. She knew she was drunk and shouldn’t drive, she knew you were riding in the car and at risk. But she speeds on and slams into a guard rail and ricochets into a tree. The ambulance takes you to the hospital with major injuries, and from the hospital bed you call to tell your family what happened. She’s mostly unscathed and flies into a rage that you would punish her by telling your family about it. Lunacy, right? Her expectation is that you’ll keep It to yourself and then quietly, obediently hobble back into the car with her while you apologize for making her wreck the car.

    That’s not the kind of person you should be married to.

    • Hear, hear Free Vixen! That was how I felt when I had confronted my STBX about his dicking around. The way our conversation was not going anywhere (it’s always about HIM) made me feel so mentally/emotionally exhausted that I felt any effort more spent on this will only be futile. I’ve read from In Sheep’s Clothing by George K. Simon that if you feel you have to always overexplain things, it is a sign that you are dealing with a manipulator. In the end, something snapped within me and I didn’t even bother showing my cards (evidence gathered about his dicking around) and just ended it.

  • It wouldn’t have mattered if you had taken the moral high ground or taken out a billboard telling the world. I took the moral high ground. Didn’t tell anyone for months. Meanwhile he was out there trashing me to anyone who would listen with his sad sausage story. God knows how that poor man ever put up with such a horrible person as me I only spoke up when the rumors got back around to me. Then all hell broke loose because X “was very hurt” by me talking about our personal life. It always about them, no matter how you handle it, they only care about their own feelings. You’re damned no matter what you do.

    • Not to mention trashing the chump to the potential APs in order to bed them. “My wife/husband doesn’t understand me…” “Our marriage has been dead for a long time.” “My wife/husband has flaws X and Y and Z…” “He/she is frigid/doesn’t give me sex/doesn’t satisfy me/doesn’t manscape/doesn’t shower before sex.” waa waa waa

      There are always two rule books–One for cheaters, and the other set of rules that cheaters think chumps should follow. Guess which set of rules is stricter?

  • Listen to Chumplady, she is 100% correct. We went to a marriage counselor like yours. He refused to hold the ex accountable or even discuss the affair. And the MC kept telling me that I cannot live in the past and according to MC, the affair was in the past. It was only 2 months from D-Day when this clown told me this!!! It was at this point that I stumbled across this site and it opened my eyes. I fired the MC at the next session and turned to the Chump Nation for support and found it. You need to fire this guy and stop trying to revive a corpse. Speaking from experience here!

    Of course you might want to send your MC a copy of Chumplady’s book as a parting gift.

    • That is ridiculous. What happened 5 minutes ago is also technically “in the past.” Frigging apologist. Two months after D-Day my Cheater screamed at me on the phone, “what the hell is wrong with you that you aren’t over this YET???? *You* and *I* are not an ITEM anymore, Muse!!!!” After sixteen years together. To have a licensed professional employ the same obfuscation is disgusting.

  • Cheater’s number one fear is exposure of the truth. Enough said. You did nothing wrong by exposing the cheaters’ whoring. My only regret is not exposing more, especially of the lying, cheating affair partner, who got off Scot free.

  • I was in couple’s counseling as well right at the end. The first moment of the first session I discussed how I didn’t feel like an equal partner and couldn’t trust my partner because he had cheated on me twice previously (in addition to other things). You know what I found out two months later? Right around that time my partner STARTED ANOTHER AFFAIR! Your partner and my ex- are the kind of people who are DEEPLY ENTITLED to do whatever it is they want and will use smoke and mirrors to play you like a fiddle, because that’s easier for them than living honestly and treating you with fairness.

    You have to take care of yourself, immediately, and by this I mean you have to LEAVE NOW. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to pick up the pieces. You know in your heart what you deserve and you just have to go on what FEELS like “blind faith” at this point that: (a) you can find someone else who will treat you right; and (b) that your cheater is unsavable, at LEAST for your relationship at this point in time. (I guarantee it’s not actually faith and you will look back and embrace the evidence SO CLEARLY that you made the right decision.)

    In my case, which is similar to yours in some ways, here’s what happened at the end: my partner tried to blameshift onto me (he said he felt I was overreacting), distract me (let’s talk about MY anxiety issues that have made HIM depressed!), and — I’m sure this one is coming for you very soon — guilted me (he accused me of leaving him when he needed me most; he was powerless to stop his behavior and was addicted to marijuana and hey I’m not even going to help him!?! … even though we had talked about these issues for YEARS and tried different things).

    Think hard about the kind of person your partner is. She’s not going into “oh-my-god-the-person-i-love-could-leave-and-is-super-hurt-so-i-should-accept-his-reality-and-face-my-issues” mode. She’s going into “i-bet-if-i-stand-my-ground-he’ll-cave-and-i-know-i’m-right-anyway-and-this-counselor-is-validating-me-so-let’s-just-wait-this-out-because-i’m-awesome-why-would-i-need-to-change”.

    The biggest challenge for you, based on what was the biggest challenge for me, will be to do for yourself what she can’t (and in my opinion never will) do for herself: look yourself in the eye and say, how the HELL did I accept this treatment? Maybe it has to do with your childhood issues. Maybe it has to do with a lack of mindfulness or self-respect for some other reasons. But you can’t do the essential work of building yourself back up in a relationship where someone clearly — NO MATTER WHAT SHE SAYS — is incapable of true reciprocity, equality, trust, and compromise.

    The clarity and release you experience after you terminate the relationship, go no contact, and climb out of the post-relationship hellhole is worth its weight in GOLD.

    Good luck to you. You’ll be alright, I know it. Hugs!! <3

  • When dday happened i could breathe sleep eat or speak for a least six months. I was in shock while asswipe purtered around like nothing happened. Wouldnt even hardly discuss it. I told noone for about three months. He told me three times broke it off with her never gonna see her again blah blah lies all lies. After i threw him out he went to live with whore juice immediately. After i calmed down i said ok no more lying it is over but for the divorce now tell me the truth more lies. My kid even told him you would get a lot farther with mom if you stop lying and tell her the truth you still want to be friends with her dad but you keep lying. Shes asked you to tell her the truth so honor her and do it. But no more lies and more lies and to this day more than three years later more lies. And is pissed that i tell people the truth when he wants me to stick to his we grew apart blah blah story. I caught him in every single lie. I tried to explain its better to tell the truth to an adult. A 60 year old male! Idiot. Well i found answers to all my questions evidence i have he cant lie about so on my way out the door when i move if he is here i will throw it at him or simply leave it on the counter the proff of his lies. He wants us to still be friends and date me like you know like two normal humans and never talk of any of it again. Like he and i have only been friends and not married nor raised children just talk about happy good stuff like buddies. You know like 30 years never happened. What a moronic asshole! He has a huge surprize coming and he aint gonna be happy. I no longer associate with pods. Every time he looks at me hes looking in the mirror and he cant feel bad about himself hes a good guy! No hes a pod, no soul, no heart, no feelings. Claims he loves his kids and ignores them and now they ignore him. I will never understand what happened nor do i want to i just trust that he sucks.

  • C&T will not be posting here. He just wrote, upset, that I published his letter. Apparently the fear of talking about it extends to CN.

    Folks — public service announcement — it is CLEARLY stated on my “Ask CL” section — I respond to letters to PUBLISH them. I CANNOT “take them down” as soon as I hit “post” it goes to social media and the subscription list.

    Moreover, I answer letters to help EVERYONE with universal issues around infidelity. You think your letters are very revealing? They are NOT. There are very few exceptions in which someone tells me something so unique it could be googled and discovered. I do not publish real names and if you don’t give me a screen name, I will make one up for you.

    Honestly, this sort of response seriously annoys me. I am NOT in the anonymous advice business. No one should assume that I will respond to them personally and be their online life coach. Sometimes, YES, I will respond personally with a couple sentences. But (and again this is stated online) this is the EXCEPTION not the norm.

    I hope people are helped by the discussion today, even if the original poster is turned off by it.

    • Tracy, I have been helped. It helps me to remember that Fr Sparkles McFondling is a lying, deceitful manipulator whose one purpose in life is image management and ensuring that the truth about his affair doesn’t get out.

      They really do try to control the narrative. He was very put outvwhen I called it an affair. I don’t know what else you could call it.

    • C&T, if you’re reading, don’t be pissed. As CL said, and as evidenced by the comments, your situation is by no means unique or personally identifiable.

      Also, publishing your letter means that you get the benefit of hundreds of personal experiences very similar to yours and decades upon decades of collective wisdom that could help prevent you from making some the mistakes we’ve all made.

    • C & T is not unique, and I’m sure many lurkers will be helped by today’s post.

      Furthermore, it now appears C & T wrote in to lecture CL–“don’t give advice to people to advertise their partner’s infidelity or the chump will lose the moral high ground.” While I’m sure C & T did so with the intention to help other chumps, there is still an air of arrogance to counsel someone whose knowledge of infidelity far surpasses his own.

    • Thank you for posting this Tracy. We need the daily help and reminders. Unfortunately, I think C&T is one of those people who may not have been looking for direction but was looking for validation. The fact that his letter stated that he was offering “feedback” and not actually requesting help indicated that he was sitting in the Hopium Den and had no interest in passing that pipe. He’s going to smoke it all until he gets sick enough or it kills him. C&T appears not yet ready to receive the Chump Lady and Chump Nation gospel. Perhaps he will return when the hopium den gets raided and he is forced into cold turkey recovery.

    • Great post Tracy. Helps us all get out of the “it’s our fault” mentality.
      And Chumped and Talked – rest easy about being “outed” by this letter. Only the cheater would recognize details and UNREPENTANT CHEATERS are the least likely people to read up on affairs, marriages and reconciliation so she is probably not on this board.

      • Perhaps he is projecting his anger for his marriage counselor and his wife at CL. It is a tad ironic that CL is agreeing with his actions and his marriage counselor is disagreeing with his actions, and yet he directs more ‘upset’ at CL, apparently, than at the MC.

        • Realizing you have been Chumped, and therefore are a Chump is a life experience that we all know makes people crazy. Sounds like he is not in his right mind. Maybe he even wants to believe it is his fault because then he may have some power to change it. Sad, what this cheating does to confuse and destroy people.
          I bet he will be back.

    • Tracy – I sure hope he reads your response and the responses of CN. Not sure what he’s concerned about – this is anonymous and unless she is a lurker, she’ll never know. And if she is a lurker here, well, that’s just weird.

    • Fairly new (D-Day 14 weeks ago). This has been among the most helpful topic for me. The issue, as it gets “wired” in this kind of situation, can seem subtle or irrelevant. To me, it isn’t. It’s gaslighting, blameshifting, and bewildering collaboration with cruelty, all wrapped into one.

    • It sounds like C & T is in that crazy, ADHD-like hyperactive mode right after D-day – reaching out to everything and anything to staunch the bleeding.

      He’ll be back, and welcome.

      Remembering those early days is making me weep. This hurts so much.

    • It took me 8 months of lurking on the chump lady’s website before I removed my head from my ass. This after 2 years of wreckonciliation. C &T is not ready yet as evidenced by his letter. He’s defending his choice as many reconcilers are liable to do; so I sort of understand where he’s coming from.

      He wrote in though and he’s reading the site. It takes a while to digest everything that’s here because it’s so contrary to the message being delivered by….hell…everyone else. The good news is that now he has a different perspective. He’ll either realize that he’s being manipulated by both his wife and marriage councilor or he’ll remain stuck. Hopefully it’s the former.

      Point being that not everyone is quick to get out of a relationship with a cheater. Hopefully he’ll come around.

    • I know right? I could have written his letter…except I’m not a man and I didn’t have a wife. But if I did have a wife who fucked some other dude, I’d be just as pissed off and just as hurt and betrayed. So basically, get over it. We’re all in the same boat. Only some are hoisting the sails, some are rowing, and some are clinging to side wondering how the fuck we ended up in the boat to begin with.

      And to finish my tired and sugar high analogy, Chump Lady and others are sitting on the beach on the land of Meh waiting for us with margaritas.

      • My STBX just moved out today to live with the whoremat. I’m clinging to the side of the boat wondering how the fuck my Caribbean cruise turned into the fucking Titanic. I’m Rose holding onto the frozen hand of the corpse of the husband I used to know saying, “I’ll never let go!” I know. It’s sick. And I know I need to let go and trust he sucks. But it’s so hard when you still love the a-hole. I desperately want to be at meh but I know it will be months and months if not years. It sucks. I’m in the house alone for the first time ever and it sucks. I ate pizza and Christmas cookies for dinner which was fun. Once. But now I’m bored and lonely and anxious and sad. And I’ve already broken my NC rule about 374 times already ? Not a very good start! Hopefully the rest of my single life will go more smoothly than the first four hours and ten minutes have. Although I am enjoying my cat watching The Sound Of Music

        • Oh.My.Gosh. Sad Shelby. I’m afraid to tell you we sort of know what you’re going through but nobody really knows what you personally went through tonight. I’m sorry you were there when he left. I wish you were watching Rogue One in the theater instead and came home without him being there when he moved out.

          I have no advice. Your heart is breaking and you can only go completely straight through the pain and process it all. It’s NOT fair, you did NOTHING wrong and he will live to regret this decision. He just gave up a beautiful woman who loved him and he will never find somebody like that again. Trust me on this. You can hold your head up. (he can never do that again) Good things will fill up the vacuum of him gone and you will get great insight from new RL people you will meet. Please trust me on this.

          I’ve been having a hard time since I just learned he moved in with the whore.
          But, I now realize, he missed out on one hell of a Great Woman in the process.
          And, that would be me.
          After reading all your posts, he is definitely a fool to have given you up for somebody else with green grass growing out of her ears. He’s a Poofter and you can do – AND WILL DO – so much better without him. He will never again meet somebody with your spunk and sense of humor. So much his loss than a cheater who settles for seconds…

  • Wow. Just when I think CL’s writing and insight cannot climb higher peaks- it does.
    So, I can’t add much to her brilliance but this:

    1) You are PAYING to be gaslighted by a therapist. That might motivate you to stop going.

    2) If you doubt you are being gaslighted by your therapist (wink wink to your cheating, sickening wife) imagine a simple crime swap…because cheating is a crime.

    Wife fold her arms and pouts. “I know I put Drano in your coffee! But you are making me so sad and depressed by telling everyone!!!” Throws self down on couch and sobs, kicks feet like a toddler.

    Therapist draws thoughtfully on pipe, adjusts his tweed coat (with mustard stains): Yes, Bob, now, she did put Drano in your coffee and burned out most of your small intestines, WE KNOW THAT. But, what we actually need to focus on here is THAT YOU TOLD PEOPLE.

    Step off the crazy train. As CL said, Peace town is the next stop.

  • I was telling people when asked about what happened… after a while I noticed people were judging me more about my ex-wife’s cheating? It was weird.

    Maybe she got her narrative out before me?

    I’m a little more than a year out and I try not to discuss it at all. If friends ask, I keep it simple ” she’s got a boyfriend” and I leave it at that. I don’t feel weird the next day…I still get the odd looks…LOL.

    I only had one or two joint MC sessions. The X controlled the narrative with the counselor and I too felt like I was the one who was to blame for her cheating.

    She has never really expressed remorsefulness, or really any sincere apology other than “I’m sorry” right after the divorce: really kind of a childish entitlement “Sorry”: 25 years with her, 1/2 my 401 K, half the house two children. She didn’t work for 10 years: Trips to Europe, Hawaii …. WTF

    I’ve learned that forgiving myself has been a blessing in moving forward. Its impossible to forgive someone who isn’t even sorry, remorseful or can even be sympatric to our pain.

    • It can be weird for a guy when people find out your wife is cheating on you. I had this conversation with a buddy of mine whose wife cheated on him too. He felt the same way. I may be wrong, but my perception is sometimes people in general think that there absolutely has to be something wrong with the masculinity of the husband when his wife runs around behind his back. After all, no woman would ever do that to her husband and children without something severely lacking in her life. On the other hand, when a husband runs around behind his wife’s back, society almost seems to expect that (sadly), and just considers the husband to be a typical male pig.

      I know it’s a stereotype and a generalization (and there are always, always exceptions), but society seems to view male chumps as emasculated wusses that should have been “better men” for their wives. It’s ridiculous of course, but it’s just another angle in this shit storm to deal with.

      • I will come at your comment from another angle Blindside. Many a time when a man cheats, many people including women ask, “what did she do to drive him away” and if a woman cheats, “she is a slut”. Everyone has an opinion on these awful situations and I 2nd Kar marie’s comment.

      • Chris & Blindside,

        I am so glad y’all posted. I love it when a dude chump with a cheating wife writes in.

        First, it give me a chance to see honest women go nuts on the cheating whore wife. Nothing like seeing a bunch of ladies lay waste to a cumdumpster.

        Second, it gets right into the whole double standard we can apply to guy chumps. It goes like this: “Why did she cheat on you? You must be some kind of beta male. You couldn’t keep that little woman in line. If you weren’t handling your business of course that woman’s gonna run around on you. No one to blame but yourself, man. These bitches are just in it for the money and they’ll use you. (Then it just devolves into the most horribly misogynistic drivel. Ugh. I don’t expose myself to men like this very often, but there are the requisite number of racist uncles in my family. To those guys I just tell them to “get fucked.”) Any way, with the “good guy” friends it can still be a thing.
        “Why did she go out looking for some dick? You didn’t take care of that pussy.” “Dude, I was smashing that shit 24/7. I loved her…” But I digress.

        It’s a real hit to a guy’s masculinity.

        I know C&T is pissed that CL published his letter. Get over it man. You’re a chump. She’s using you. Dump her.

        And your counselor is a piece of work. It’s not clear to me if the counselor is male or female, but the whole “childhood bullying” thing is a masterful gaslighting mindfuck. Don’t ever go back there. I was bullied incessantly as a kid. I was a fat band geek. Guess what? At puberty I sprung up a foot over the summer before my junior year in high school and my body weight matched my height. And I never cheated on my wife. Never. Not once. This bullying stuff is something for you to use to question your masculinity with. It is evil. Don’t accept it. Your whore wife is happy with this explanation because she can use it as a knife to stab you between the shoulder blades again with it whenever you get uppity. (And Chump Lady’s characterization of the bully all grown up is bang on.)

        Finally, when I told Match Girl’s father and sister she was a cheating fucking slut she accused me, in court documents, of blackmailing her. I had read widely on the internet about how to manipulate a narcissist. I decided my strategy would be to keep the damning secrets I know about her to myself until the time that they could be deployed to do the most damage to her. (Dumb girl left her journal behind and I have a multi-year chronicle of her whoring and lying.) But one of the online posters suggested firing a warning shot without advance notice to let her know I wasn’t fucking joking. So, I contacted her psychiatrist and gave her in-depth detail about MG’s threatened suicide. Oh, shit was MG pissed. She now knows however that I am not fucking joking, and I will leak more damaging shit if she continues to fuck with me. (BTW – as per Chumptitude’s amazing recommendations back in the day – read Bill Eddy on how to deal with narcissists. A much more sober take.)

        So, C&T. Don’t be a cuck. (And I say that in my most loving post-cuck way.) Join us in meh. There are still cheaters and bad people in meh. But I’m not going to be married to one of them for much longer.

        • Great post, Ian!

          To Chris – ‘I’ve learned that forgiving myself has been a blessing in moving forward. Its impossible to forgive someone who isn’t even sorry, remorseful or can even be sympatric to our pain.’

          I’ve read a lot on C/N and this sentence really touched me. Yes. Forgiven myself and moving forward. I’m sure it’s a way of working towards forgiving the cheater and not being angry anymore. I forgive myself for missing so many red flags, for not spotting that he never showed much emotion, that he was so controlling and I let him get away without giving me sex – at all!
          So, I hope I get the Spock mind-meld that I have forgiven myself for being such a fool that loved. But, better to have never loved at all. NOT! Today, I wish I had never meet the X 37 yrs ago. The pain when we split up was not worth all the great memories I thought we had. I forgive myself that I threw away so many of my good years for a mirage.

          • Blindside -“I may be wrong, but my perception is sometimes people in general think that there absolutely has to be something wrong with the masculinity of the husband when his wife runs around behind his back. After all, no woman would ever do that to her husband and children without something severely lacking in her life.”

            This is one thing I’ve never thought about what the men go through! What perspective.
            The first thing I heard from my brother’s mouth when I told him X was cheating…Uhh..duh – weren’t you giving enough ‘wink wink’ and continued to say, that’s the only reason guys cheat.
            Well, let’s just say he got a 12×12 over the head and he’s glad I was just on the phone. I thought women were the only ones stereotyped when their X’s cheat.

            Men need to talk about this more and I’m grateful for the few men on this board who post.
            It sure helps me understand they are going through the same emotions as all the women, as well.
            We are all just human, after all.

            Chumps seem to all have a similar handbook as Cheaters, insofar as, they are going through so many emotions very similar to everybody else around the globe that posts here, and it’s fascinating that there is a Chump Handbook writing itself.
            I know we’ll win the war out there!

    • Shame on those who judge you! Maybe one day, when they themselves are pit through the Hell that is infidelity (as statistics show is more than likely to happen) they’ll feel the burn of regret for how they misjudged you. Until then, YOU know the truth, and you might be minus half your money and possessions, but you are cheater-free, and that, my friend, is worth its weight in gold! Keep on being mighty Chris!! X

  • Wow, does this strike a nerve with me! When my STBX left to “find himself” (in the bed of a nasty skank as it turns it– he failed to tell me that piece of info) one of the things he absolutely INSISTED upon is “you will tell NO ONE about this, as far ass everyone knows we are still together”. I towed that line until I found out about “Kiki the Wonder Skank” when some mystery person (read Kiki the Wonder Skank” texted me a picture of the two of them together. At that point all bets were off. I told family, I told friends, I confided to anyone I needed to confide to to help me navigate this hell. Was he angry about me speaking about it? He absolutely was, he was ENRAGED. Enraged to the point that I strongly considered a PFA– he nearly succeeded in shoving me down the stairs of our 2 story deck. Enraged to the point that he trashed me to out sons on the rare occasions he saw them. Told nasty, hateful lies about me to his family, who I was very close to, and who were devastated by his cheating, lying & clearing out investment accounts and hiding money from me & spending to take care of “Kiki the Wonder Skank”. He hurled awful accusations at me, called me bitter, petty, said that I “f*d with his head”. I told the truth, the unvarnished truth and there is NOTHING wrong with that. My fellow Chump, you did NOTHING wrong, you told YOUR truth. The fact that part of your truth involves some despicable behavior by your “wife” is not your problem, it’s hers. Keep in mind this quote from Ann Lamott in mind “You own everything that happened to you. If they wanted you to write (speak?) warmly about them they should’ve behaved better”. You deserve better.

    • Mine explicitly told me as we were definitely headed for divorce, “The story should be that we grew apart,” even though half of his department knew about the affair 8 years before me.

      Ha, cheater, you aren’t the boss of me. I tell EVERYONE what he did. I am Pavarotti at La Scala when it comes to singing about X’s serial cheating.

        • He had been sleeping with students (as a professor), and had sexually harassed one student (who wouldn’t sleep with him) out of the program. I’m sure he was trying to avoid consequences for those actions, such as the loss of his job & his international reputation.

          It would also play into his “Tempest contributed 50% to the demise of the marriage” narrative, which I refused to accept. People always ‘grow apart’ when there is a string of third people in the marriage.

    • Oh, I got a photo too, from an anonymous Hotmail account. Narkles the Clown would glower and say “who sent it, who was it?” Snd all I could do is roll my eyes and ask what part of anonymous he didn’t get. How was I supposed to know? This became super comical once I found out he was using an anonymous gmail account to conduct his affairs.

      The words Narkles used were “this is just between us.” I just looked at him and said “it was just between us, until you invited someone else into our marriage.”

      I do feel bad that C&T is living in the toxic ooze that only a good 2×4 from CN and No Contact, the path to the truth and the light can fix. Keep reading here C&T and you will see how unoriginal their words are. Your story could be that of thousands of people. Many of us here swear they are all using the same brain as their words are sometimes exactly the ones used by other cheaters. Once the pain starts to subside it’s almost comical how unoriginal they are.

      • Now here’s a great line: “It was just between us, until you invited someone else into our marriage.”

  • Chumped, the first things my ex-wife said to me after d-day was, “who have you been talking to?” I was floored that during the onset of the most traumatic experience of my life that was her utmost concern. That showed who showed me who she really was. Like your wife, we tried counseling to no avail of course, because she was not willing to do the work. I’m not sure even why she agreed to go. Probably more impression management. Also like your wife, my wife refused to stop cheating. She tried citing all sorts or stupid reasons but it came down to her unwillingness and entitlement, but mostly her pleasure. I had nothing to work with.

    Not sure how long this has been going on for you but the sooner you amputate her the better. Self-amputation takes a sort of stoic-resilience and a will to survive. It hurts. But the sooner you do it the sooner you can begin to heal.

    • The kids dont need to know disgusting details but they need to know their mom is not the one who did this. Are they not allowed to love their mother the honest one. It boils my ass the cheaters try to get everyone on their side asswipe tried to get them to blame me and hate me. Why cause hes the one who sucks. I told them the truth omitting some details and they confronted him and he looked down at his feet and bit his lip thats his tell and then lied more moms crazy doesnt know what shes talking about she yelled at me and threw a toaster at me. Wah wah feel bad for meeeeeeww children. My girl told him i should have hit him with miss easton. The kids knew better. By making their mom look like the evil bad guy he sealed his own fate. Maybe on his death bed he will feel bad but i doubt it. The screaming penis has to win. Fucker.

    • Michael, I can’t believe what you just wrote. Match Girl said to me within 10 seconds after I confronted her about her cheating, “why did you tell your sister?”

      Who have I been talking too?

      Who were you fucking?

      Garbage-humans these cheaters.

      • Believe it! My exes second question was “who are you seeing?”

        Creepy right? It’s like we’re talking about the same person here.

  • I just saw that the poster is upset.

    I think his problems go deeper than being a chump.

    C&T…no one knows who you are. Are you that afraid of your wife? Who cheats on you? Makes a fool of you?

    I mean no harm, and “I ain’t trippin'”…..but you need to grow a set, dude.

    • We don’t want CL to get fed up with our bullshit and stop writing!
      This would be a huge tragedy.

      Think of the time she spent in crafting that response, and then to get an email sort of taking her to task for it?

      Maybe he was nice, but she still had to deal with something negative, when I believe I read she is also working a new job, in a new city and has children.

      Let’s all donate $5 to her pay pal today (it is the price of a coffee) or if you absolutely can’t, then try later.

      She is actually saving lives…think of if all we had were these bullshit MC who make money off telling us to remain chumps. Think of if we had no one to show us that these cheaters….they are just shit.

      Our families can give us the worst advice, our friends often have agendas, we can’t ask the cheater, they are the architect of our misery…this is all we have that will tell us the truth!

      CL…Tracy, your writing is par excellence, your advice beyond fantastic and your anti Yes Man philosophy jerked me out of a situation where I was close to getting my ass beat. (My X was getting more and more abusive). I just looked back on my calendar and read “X started to choke me” in April.

      THANK. YOU.

  • They don’t appreciate being called a cheater? I didn’t appreciate being cheated on. I didn’t appreciate being called A. a frigid bitch who hadn’t slept with him for years or B. a slut who has slept with every one in the tri state area… to my kids. Fuck their feelings, they are not the only ones who have them. Nothing pisses me off more than X running around acting like a victim. I mostly vent on this site anymore as I feel our lives have been discussed enough in our community. I don’t want his bullshit to define me.

    • New Day, “Fuck their feelings, they are not the only ones who have them” – this is IT.

      We have spent too long tiptoeing around their feelings. Them, them, them.

      Childcare, really. I wasn’t a wife, I was the babysitter. Somebody owes me twenty years x $3.00 an hour (I know this is way too low now – but I’m old enough to remember getting fifty cents an hour as a teen. I don’t know how you single moms are dealing with this, but you are the true Olympian heroes to me)

      • Yes, it’s really like raising a spoiled brat who wants to have whatever they want!!! I even told my STBX’s best friend, I’m tired of being a nanny. I need a real man who’s going to treat me right, not some man-child who always plays the sad-sausage role (when he is not playing as the Ah-mazing Wunderkid) complete with those sad teary eyes (‘I’m so special and no one understands my feelings.. waa waa waa’).

  • I was going to post this on the Mightiness post the other day but didn’t get around to it.

    My Mightiest Moment was when my thought process changed from “what did I do to have this guy cheat on me” to “this guy is a low moralled slimy cheater”. I did NOT DO ANYTHING WRONG to cause this, and any person who wants to say or imply that can kiss my ass. Especially the cheater. I think that is the main reason people don’t expose the cheater. They will be blamed for it. Well, fuck that.

  • I will also say I have been in an abusive relationship before, and the absolute one thing abusers love is your silence. It’s what keeps your down, the secrecy.

  • Chumps and Talked, trust me, I’m there, you are surrounded by nut jobs. You wrestle with feeling like you’re not a Good Person. You’re vulnerable. She? Could care less whether she is genuinely of good character. And with help from her posse and your therapist, she’s got you right where she wants you. She ought to be sweating bullets, making amends, declaring publicly that she hurt you badly and she’s fighting to repair the damage.

    She’s not. She’s letting you take the hit so that she can look good … as a Cheater? My H is the same. It’s selfish, it’s cruel, and it’s entitlement to the point where you almost don’t exist.

    Let’s call her the Seychelles Nut (largest in the world, see below). She ought to be an illustration in George Simon’s “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.” (CL: I vote you draw her. And Cerebrus, my H.).

    Just as mind-blowingly insane is your therapist. Been there. Therapist ought to come over here for just ONE day of dialogue. He’s trained, should be able to handle a day’s worth of “talk,” yes? If he has two brain cells to rub together, which at this point I’m doubting, perhaps he could use them to benefit from a therapeutic intervention called “critical thinking.” As in, reckon with a position of defensible substance, figure out you don’t have a leg to stand on with yours, and get smart, you moron. To equate telling the truth with brutal betrayal and continued lying is crazy, stupid, and NOT his job.

    Yes, they can ALL buy crazy. For now. I’ve told only two people, one family member, one friend. Why? He’s a master at image management, we live in a culture that blames victims, and people buy his Good Guy Victim of a Shrew campaign. I’m not a shrew.

    If I weren’t so upset, I’d be bored by the post-hoc revisionist history cliche: He’s been neglected and ABUSED because I refused to do something that endangered my health, and he refused to compromise, saying that he would die for me and I should do the same. He started the 5-year affair before my alleged abuse. Sound crazy? It IS.

    Also cruelly crazy is what’s happening to you. Telling the truth and fucking another man aren’t equivalent. Not parallel. They’re not even related.

    Here’s what started to save me from total ruin: my own therapist, a specialist in trauma. Please, run as fast as you can from MC, and find somebody for yourself. I’m so sorry you’ve gotten tangled in hell. Stop fueling the nutjobs, especially Seychelles Nut. At the least, get a therapist who belongs in the homo sapiens sapiens species. Hugs to you.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world%27s_largest_seeds#/media/File%3AFemale_coco_de_mer_seed.jpg

    • Your MC experience sounds like mine. We went to three sessions with the guy who is the husband of the minister who told me my pain wasn’t as important as STBX’s after D-day. (I strongly suspect that STBX and the minister also have a thing on the side – so many red flags in retrospect). Anyway, during our last session, I stated that STBX wouldn’t answer my questions. Therapist said, sagely, “Sounds like he has boundaries and you should get some.” STBX nodded patronizingly in agreement.

      That’s when I really understood shamelessness: that people will look you right in the eye and use the pretense of help, when you are at your most vulnerable, to fuck with your mind.

      That was our last MC session because even then, so raw and emotional and willing to eat shit, it was clear to me that I was going to have to accept the responsibility for STBX’s choices and own my part in it and change myself…not in order to change his actions, but to demonstrate why it was my fault all along that he had to seek out whores.

      • I felt sick when I read what you had to hear, that same hollow-chested, gut wrenching nausea I felt on D-Day, in MC, and now, trying to bumble my way out of shock at the very shamelessness you wisely pinpoint. I didn’t fire MC with as much clarity. Just knew that I wasn’t supposed to feel crazier in there than I already did, and though very confused about 99% of reality, was 100% determined, for my son’s sake, not to lose my mind.

        HIS pain? Oh shut up. HIS boundaries (read: entitlement to withhold about his betrayal) that you needed to emulate? Oh shut up and jump in a lake. That is hogwash masquerading as sanctimony.

        Though I imagine not what they had in mind, you got your boundaries, all right, and good for you! Amazing, truly, that you found the strength to find the truth. SO hard. I admire you.

        • It’s a sure sign the counseling isn’t working if you walk out feeling crazier if you walked in!

          I have read a lot of the archives, Tracy, but I’m not sure if there is a post on bad marriage counselors. That sounds like a fun Friday post: “What is the stupidest thing your MC said to you?”

          • I was reading today’s comments and thought of a stupid comment my MC said. It floored me at the time and now just pisses me off so much I had to come back over here and search for this thread.

            I was told by my MC to be easy on Fucktard because he needed to be able to grieve the loss of his relationship with OW. I’d say that was pretty fucking stupid.

            • Ian – ‘Tracy, but I’m not sure if there is a post on bad marriage counselors. ‘

              Yep, we had one a couple years ago – I think it reached 300 viewers comments.
              Definitely something to get out of your system.

              For instance, the first one I found fell asleep as I was sobbing uncontrollably in front of her.
              There are many other examples, if you can laugh at them now.

              Be a good time to run that again.

            • Annie ”I was told by my MC to be easy on Fucktard because he needed to be able to grieve the loss of his relationship with OW. I’d say that was pretty fucking stupid.”

              I would have punched the MC in the throat.

  • The kids dont need to know disgusting details but they need to know their mom is not the one who did this. Are they not allowed to love their mother the honest one. It boils my ass the cheaters try to get everyone on their side asswipe tried to get them to blame me and hate me. Why cause hes the one who sucks. I told them the truth omitting some details and they confronted him and he looked down at his feet and bit his lip thats his tell and then lied more moms crazy doesnt know what shes talking about she yelled at me and threw a toaster at me. Wah wah feel bad for meeeeeeww children. My girl told him i should have hit him with miss easton. The kids knew better. By making their mom look like the evil bad guy he sealed his own fate. Maybe on his death bed he will feel bad but i doubt it. The screaming penis has to win. Fucker.

    • Kar marie, my ex managed to make me look like the evil bad guy who is crazy not only with our 2 adult kids but everyone and he won the battle and he sealed my fate so he thinks but I am a very strong woman and a survivor who will not be beaten down. I won’t make excuses for my kids because they are adults but I am very disappointed with them because I was their only constant whilst they were growing up as the ex was never home or not interested. Now the loser is raising 2 little boys who aren’t even his. I hope they kill the moron as he is 64 and they are 6 and 8. He is into image management and showing the world what a nice bloke he is. I know otherwise because he is a predator and as you have rightly stated, “the screaming penis has to win”.

  • Chumped lady is spot on! This is blame-shifting and it’s abuse. Your counselor is going along with this? Why? Maybe because your counselor realizes that your cheater is NOT going to change and the only way to save your marriage is if you continue taking the blame for her behavior. That’s not a healthy way to live. It was very hard for me to accept that my STBX wasn’t going to change and that he didn’t care about me. As long as I took the blame for his behavior I could indulge in the fantasy that I could fix it. That fantasy didn’t serve me well. Get a lawyer now. Read everything here on Chump Lady and see how common this manipulative, blame-shifting tactic is and trust that they suck.

    • Chumped and Talked, I just read Chump Lady’s comment that you’re upset. I’m so sorry. I hope you will still read the comments written here as Chump Nation is a wonderful support network with a lot of knowledge to share. It’s very scary after D-day. My hope is you don’t let your “fear take the wheel and steer” (quote from Incubus song “Drive”) and take care.

  • Your hopefully STBX has nothing to bitch about.

    Take all these Chumps’ advice, and remember one last thing:

    It is not slander if it is true.

    • Mephista, this is what makes me laugh every time I tell someone something shocking about STBX. It’s all true.

      He accused me early on of slander because I had told a mutual friend what I discovered about STBX’s sexual molestation of his little sister. I just looked at him and said,”It is not slander if it is true.” He just looked at me in shock, because I now know who he really is.

      And I have no qualms about speaking up. Just like he had none about putting himself in the pig’s trough. I guess we’re both brave that way, hahaha.

      Funny, though, I’ve always been a drama queen and loved a good story. Now that my actual life is a good story, I’m a lot less dramatic. Life experience is pretty humbling.

  • Chumped & Talked – Oh, good…. I’m glad to see that your wife is enjoying and utilizing all the little tips and tricks she’s learning in the Cheater Handbook.

    Let’s follow along. Ah yes, it seems she completed Chapter 5, which starts on page 74. Chapter 5 is entitled ““It’s not what I did, it’s your reaction to it.” Don’t get too stuck on the mindfuckery she spews when she puts Chapter 5 into action, because Chapter 6 is entitled “YOU have an anger problem”, and guess what? Seeing as how you’re really, really, really angry, she must be right. Save some of your energy for battling that one. It’s hard to not act angry when you’re REALLY FUCKING ANGRY. Oh my goodness, now you’re just proving her right.

    My whore-fucker’s gold winning quote when he read chapter 5 was “This should have been a private matter!” My answer was “No, this shouldn’t have been any matter.” Tables started to turn then.

    Start writing your own book. Fire your shrink. See a lawyer. Let that anger problem you’re about to be accused of give you the strength to do what’s right for you.

    • By definition, aren’t affairs NOT private matters? Don’t cheaters see that they’ve made not just the affair, but also their emotions, plans and genitals public to the AP (not to mention lying to and betraying the chump). A private matter is when only you and your spouse are aware of the situation and issues.

      Plus there is the occasional AP that brags to his/her friends about their side squeeze, further contradicting the ‘private’ angle.

      • Good point, Buddy. Considering how proud of herself my ex’s whore was of herself, and gloating about it to me, I’m fairly sure most of them run their mouths about it to their friends and various cheerleaders they manage to collect. So I’m sure more people know about this crap than the letter writer imagines. Anytime more than two people know a secret, it’s not really a secret.

      • Buddy. Good point re: cheating is by definition public vs. private.

        I don’t have kids, but I was one. I remember very clearly my parents saying to me, “don’t show your underwear to strangers.” These cheaters are drooling toddlers with better words and less ability to keep their clothes on.

    • “My whore-fucker’s gold winning quote when he read chapter 5 was “This should have been a private matter!” My answer was “No, this shouldn’t have been any matter.” Tables started to turn then.”

      BOOM. mic drop

  • I have a theory that telling people reduces your risk of cancer and other stress-related diseases, so while CaT’s wife may be upset people know the truth, CaT’s risk of cancer has decreased dramatically.

    As Shrek says, “better out than in!”

  • When you read your own letter, don’t you realise a bit how crazy and backwards it is? Where else in the world is truth counted as punishment and bullying? She’s manipulating and the counsellor is a tool.

    • I totally agree with this!! It’s backwards isn’t it? Which means that it’s a totally dysfunctional situation, and in that case, doing the right thing makes the truth teller the bad buy.

      • +1 on both posts. Truth is the enemy of, antidote for, and piercer of ass backwards dysfunction … “enforced” silence and secrecy perpetuate more human trauma than I can stand to think about.

  • Anne–you could have released enough of the tape to let people know you weren’t lying. You don’t deserve betrayal and opprobrium from others on top of it.

  • As a fellow chump once said: if wouldn’t tell lies about me, I wouldn’t have to tell the truth about you.

    Please. They don’t want us to tell anyone,but rest assured they are dragging your name through the mud. Do you think they told their AP’s how wonderful we were?

    Shout the truth from the moral high ground . Sound carries better from high places.

    There may be two, three or a hundred sides to a story but there is only one truth.

  • Your family’s reaction was another betrayal – so sorry you had to go through that. I know you want to protect your children but why are you still protecting the cheater? I’m asking only because I find myself doing the same thing on occasion. I’m thinking you should have played the recording for your brother !

  • This false equivalent (that telling people was morally wrong) slowed my progress a bit. I, for some reason, also believed that it was my responsibility to be classy and keep my lips sealed. I look back on it and realize that it was partly due to holding out for reconciliation. What a waste of time, it was not my responsibility.

    That said chumps, your narcissist pieces-of-work cheaters are listening and waiting for you to do or say anything that can be used as smokescreen false blame fodder. Fuck ’em.

  • Well if you believe in God, then you know that keeping secrets about your sins, provides the devil a play ground. Yes I have heard the “you are punishing me” line. My response is, no….. if my goal was to punish, then you would know it and feel it! No you have not lost the moral high ground… you did not cheat!!!!! This is why Chump Lady always says “they suck” because it always is about them. She cheated… she lied… she put your life at risk…. it was her choices that made this situation. She gave you the right to tell…… if not for her, there would be nothing to tell……

  • Chumped,

    OMG, how on point this is with my experience. The truth is the MC sucks and don’t EVER go back to that counselor. After my ex-h cheated and I rushed us into marital therapy, he NEVER talked about the affair and the MC kept saying that my need to talk about it and explore it was due to my foo issues and my ocd. My ex didn’t want me to tell anyone about the cheating because, quite honestly, he wasn’t done leaving and coming home (which happened five times in five years) and he didn’t want anyone to know he wasn’t the nice family guy they thought he was. I was ashamed and believed my husband and the marriage counselor that the cheating was my fault because I gained weight and I nagged. The mc said this is why my ex didn’t want to have sex with me and cheated (uh, is that also why he drank?) We would leave the mc and my husband would say that he fooled her again. I sat there week after week and (I hate to admit) year after year while both of them refused to discuss the affair, instead discussing my faults and how miserable I made his life (which justified the cheating). After he left for the final time, I contacted the mc because I wanted her to take responsibility for blaming/shaming me. She said that I could come talk to her, but she would charge me and would not discuss my husband at all. The point is, Chumped, no one can fault you for fucking screaming the truth. Who is afraid of the truth? Someone who chooses not to live in the sunlight. You did NOTHING wrong. And the MC, I don’t know if they are just unskillful as our counselor was, if they got sucked in by the charming sociopath, or they just suck. Either way, please don’t waste the many years and thousands of dollars I did by going to counseling with someone who has no intention of working really hard to do the right thing. The denial and the blaming by themselves prove that your wife has no intention of taking responsibility and has no remorse. One last laughable thing- the mc counselor told my husband (who has been in hospital detoxed from alcohol five times in five years) that he could cure his addiction by ‘controlled’ drinking.

    • That is a good warning story for mc. I do think mc can be a good thing, but you need to find the right mc that will looks the the truth of current circumstances and actions, not some false narrative or justification of a half-truth.

  • It’s funny how they are all the same. I go the same “It’s not what I did, it’s your reaction to it” bull too. I guess he forgot that people have been MURDERED in cold blood for doing what he’s done. He should count his lucky stars that he’s living to tell the tale…

    Also, of course after the fact, people came out of the woodwork to tell me all of the “wonderful” things the ex was telling everyone behind my back. Most of it so untrue it’s amazing. But when some truthful things about them come out….all of a sudden it’s a problem? Can’t drink your own medicine? Oh well….

    He told me when I kicked him out “You made me shit to everyone”. I replied “I didn’t make you shit, that was you…I just didn’t keep that secret.”. Fool, I’m not your PR person….you fired me from that job”!

  • I haven’t read all the comments yet, but even if you had told NOT ONE SINGLE SOUL about her cheating, the narrative in MC would be to blame you for SOMETHING ELSE. You didn’t wash the laundry the correct way, you didn’t pay attention to her enough, you didn’t plant flowers in the correct space in the garden. It WOULD BE SOMETHING ELSE. The “telling” is just diversion and distraction, a tactic these Cheaters are well versed in.

    You’re still mired in the crazy drama world of Cheaterville. You can’t see this is how they operate because you haven’t gone NC to detox yourself from their tactics. You’ll never be free until you break away from their crazy making. Dump her and the counselor, before you’re next $200 an hour session is about how you don’t put the right amount of starch in the laundry.

  • I also think there is a practical reason cheaters don’t like exposure. So they can continue cheating, now and in future relationships. Mr. Good Guy Cheater wanted his reputation intact because he wanted to continue cheating with the same whore. Which he did. And now that she is out of the picture, he would like to move along to his next relationships with the freedom and trust that I gave him because I didn’t think he was a cheater. But … He won’t have that luxury any more, cause that “black cloud” of being a known adulterer will follow him to his grave. I’d known he was a cheater beforehand you can bet he would have been on a much shorter leash. Or he probably would not have even made it to the leash stage because I would have been onto his shit as soon as it started.

    • YES! My STBX knows that if it comes out he likes to sleep with men, quite a few married women might not find him quite so adorable as a potential fuck buddy. He does not wish to have his options limited in any way!

    • This need for impression management is a major consideration for these types. Jackass, for example, is a very smart guy with a big skills set, but after a year or two he leaves every job, usually trailing a set of stories about how incompetent, dishonest, abusive or lacking in integrity his bosses were. In other words, he gets out a step or two before the mask falls off. When I made the point that discretion goes both ways, and that he couldn’t expect me not to keep quiet about their affair, that pretty much pulled the plug on their romance because he could not afford to torch his reputation in his own backyard. So he went hunting elsewhere.

      I think chumps wonder why cheaters cheat on us in favor of a downgrade (we note that the OM in C & T’s story needs “help”). I think there are a couple of possibilities. Some chumps, like C & T, make their needs smaller and smaller, allow themselves to be diminished until their kibble value is worn out. Then, exit the cheater, either through divorce or by not bothering to hide the behavior.

      Other chumps have a stronger sense of self-worth and the cheater cheats and leaves because the true unmasking will sooner or later happen. So they cheat and the narrative is “we grew apart” or “I deserve to be happy” instead of “he/she figured out I was a lying sociopath.” Either way, leave a cheater, gain a life.

      • I think what I am thinking is that for some cheaters, the affair is secondary to getting out of the marriage before their true self–with its black hole where a conscience should be–cannot be hidden forever in intimate life.

  • Anne, my STBX is also a down low cheater for the past 30 years. I want my child to still love his father, but not at the expense of the truth. He is too young right now, so he only knows that Dad way lying and sneaking around drinking, using drugs and had a “girlfriend” (which he also did). When he is older, I absolutely will tell him the truth. He views this man as the world’s best role model and I do not wish him to learn that being really charming and affable excuses all immoral actions on the side. I would also not allow my family members (or anyone) to believe I was lying if I had the means to prove otherwise. You deserve to be believed and known as an honest and moral person. I would never pull out that tape unless necessary, but there is no way I would protect my STBX at the expense of my own reputation. Moreover, telling others the truth is absolutely necessary for receiving the support you need. People cannot properly support you if they don’t even know what happened.

  • A few days I found out about XH’s affair, I told everyone. I told his parents, sisters, friends from college and grad school. I told my parents and my brothers and my friends. And I also sent private messages to all of OW’s Facebook friends (he was most enraged by this). I did it using Marriage Builders’ exposure 101 techniques (Google this). Believe me, I was nervous about doing this, but, looking back, I’m so glad that I did.

    Unbeknownst to me, XH had already been launching a smear campaign behind my back, saying I wasn’t a good wife, neglectful, selfish, ignored him, etc. Getting my first story out there put him on the defensive. It’s PR 101. And you are doing nothing wrong when you’re actually speaking the truth. If just reporting the truth about some action is so bad, what does that say about the action itself?

    You can’t control other people’s reactions. Sure, a few people won’t believe you or will still blame you or avoid you. So what. You are just speaking your truth. Not only is it psychologically healthy for you to do so, but it opens the door for other people to come in and give you support and sympathy. Even acquaintances telling me stories of how their sister, mother, friend were cheated on helped me.

    • To add, XH’s sister told me that what I did (telling everyone about his affair) was worse than what he did. Who cares. The key is not to get into arguments with these people (a fruitless exercise in frustration) but just go NC on them. A huge benefit of my divorce is that I no longer have to speak with XH’s hyper-critical, harping sisters and mom. Yahoo!

      The poster’s mistake here is that he is still mired in his relationship with his wife and trying to reconcile! With a therapist who is obviously pro-reconciliation and who knows that the only way the wife would be on board to reconcile if the poster is made to look like the bad guy also. The key is to expose the affair and then go NC on your spouse and anyone else who tries to blame you for just speaking the simple truth.

      Incidentally, I got an email from XH yesterday saying that he finally forgives ME for all my actions. It’s been over 3 years since I discovered his affair and almost a year since our divorce was finalized. Hehe.

      • Young–HE forgave YOU?!?! How big of him. I’ll bet that email is worthy of the UBT.

        “Who cares. The key is not to get into arguments with these people (a fruitless exercise in frustration) but just go NC on them.”

        -so true. Much more fruitful to bang your head against a brick wall, try to break 5 bones in your hand with a hammer, or shove tacks under your fingernails (and all those endeavors are less painful than trying to reason with a cheater).

        • It was just a short email, which read:

          Today [name of younger child] turns 4.
          As his birthday present, I forgive you for everything you have done to me.

          He had rented a secret apartment in the city to carry on the affair (didn’t sleep at home for weeks, saying it was due to work), changed the beneficiary of his life insurance policy from me to his sister (this was a previous post on CL), lied about how much money he was earning during the divorce proceedings, among other things.

          • Gosh, I bet that feels nice, knowing that you’ve been forgiven for forcing him to sleep with another woman. (Probably at gunpoint, you cruel fiend, you.)

            Plus forcing him to change his policy beneficiary, and tell all those lies.

            How could you?

      • “To add, XH’s sister told me that what I did (telling everyone about his affair) was worse than what he did.”

        And this tells you every thing you need to know about this person.

        Yikes!

      • Young, hahaha. I’m glad your cheater got to meh. It can be a long journey from selfish entitlement to enlightened entitlement.

  • Dear Chumped and Talked –
    Please keep reading Chump Nation and learning from those who have gone before.
    We are all shocked and shaken to the core after discovery. The denial and isolation that ensue after finding out that “our rock” – the person we love and trust for support and guidance – is really a bed of quicksand is surreal.
    Many of us are “fixers” who question our role in the devastation. But rest assured, you did not lie and live a double life. So you told a few people your wife did – big deal – and it’s already done so move on. It even seems realistic to tell people, given that most of us would tell others when a tornado ravaged their house and/or many of us need outside counsel to put our experiences into context.
    My advice, having kept mum for 12 mos after DDAy while attending MC with a cheater who continued the affair and then nearly going crazy is this: Find an individual counselor who will work with “you” to figure out what “you” want in your life and in any relationship or marriage.
    You have been manipulated and lied to by your wife and a Horrible counselor for a long time, and you have a mindset (like many of us) that makes you think everything that happens is “your fault” – so hug yourself and pay to figure out who you are and what you want first. Then and only then could you ever work on a marriage.
    Remember, a chump’s first instinct is to worry about “them” even though they didn’t worry about “us” one bit.
    YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU

    • Tired
      Great advice. There are some good counsellors I am sure. But sometime ago CL said (I think) that mc won’t work unless and until there is honest remorse, not excuses and blaming. In that case, if you are still hoping for reconciliation then at least step back and watch what the cheating spouse does to demonstrate true remorse. Don’t waste the time and money on mc as I did. You can’t MAKE someone love you, be honest and do the work to help you heal. They have to go to counseling on their own because until they do and take responsibility for their actions, no amount of mc will help. My husband manipulated the mc just as he did me. She was not a bad person. Just a very very bad mc with no insight whatsoever.

  • If it took hearing the proof in the form of a recording to convince you, doesn’t it stand to reason that your family would also need the same proof? Not to vindicate you, per se, but because sometimes the truth is hard to swallow until it’s unrrefutable. I understand the desire to keep that recording to yourself to save the humiliation for everyone, but everyone would be better served by the truth, no matter how difficult. Your daughters deserve it as much as you do.

  • CaT, the money you are wasting on a MC who is clearly poorly trained could be better spent on a lawyer. And no need to fear the publishing of your letter … your experience is FAR from unique. Now please go spend your time worrying about the more important issue: why are you trying to reconcile with someone who thinks it is perfectly okay to fuck someone else for a really long time? Over even once?

  • Chumped and Talked, you can’t see it because you’re in the midst of it, but those of us out here in Chump Nation see all too well; your wife has you so mind fucked that you no longer recognize up from down, left from right. The truly disordered, most manipulative cheaters have that “gift” — they are able to twist and turn reality until THEY are the good guy and YOU are the one at fault.

    You have nothing to work with in the reconciliation attempt because your wife is still lying and cheating. My hunch is that wifey-poo is only sticking around because you make good money. Her contempt for you shines through your post, I’m sorry to say.

    I know you won’t leave this charade of a marriage until you are good and ready, but I can tell you one thing for sure….. when you finally have enough and get the hell out, then get some distance on the whole nightmare, you are going to wake up and finally realize how mind fucked you were, how bad the marriage was, and how disordered, cunning and remorseless your wife is, was, and always will be. I promise you.

  • One of STBX’s Craigslist ads boasted: Married but have Cart Blanch [sic].

    For me, that particular ad sums up the whole marriage – his entitlement and confidence about himself as well as his essential dumbness. On the sleazy ‘casual encounters’ forum, he must have thought he exuded the height of sophistication, with his Cart Blanch permission and all. I’m sure he garnered lots of quality connections.

    He’s also mad that I tell everybody everything. And I use graphic, NSFW language.

    It’s okay, though, because I’ve given myself Cart Blanch to tell.

    Apparently, that’s all it takes to do anything you want. Give yourself Cart Blanch today!

    • I think I got an application for Cart Blanch in the mail yesterday, with low interest.

      Hysterical, Roaring! He was always beneath you.

    • I was already grinning at all these posts, but when I thought of the verb “to blanch” I fell into a rare-these-days fit of giggles – OMG you all are funny. And priceless.

    • Cart blanch. That must be French and fancy. Like… A cart to fill with anything. Sky’s the limit. But what do you put in the white cart, u know? sTd’s? Mountains of porn? Entitlement?

    • Ha!!!!

      From now on, I’m going to picture all cheaters sitting in a whitewashed grocery cart, screaming to everyone how awesome they are! 😉

  • I haven’t even read through the comments, I just wanted to come on and shout “Hallelujah!” What a bunch of shit this Chump has been fed, as have we all, and Chump Lady’s words are like sweet water in the desert! Fuck yeah!

    Mine actually told me “Because of the things you have said to me (read “the way you have reacted to my cheating, lying, and blameshifting”), we have no future, not even friends.” Well, then I guess I said the right things, you cheating bitch!

    And now you’re out there telling lies about me, even to our daughter? Well, it may taste like a shit sandwich right now, but when the dust settles we’ll see who’s choking on the truth.

  • When I think about the whole reconciliation “deal” (as being a series of negotiations and compromises in a contract) it involves two people being able to agree on the terms in order to start the relationship anew. Both parties have to be able to accept all things that happened prior to the reconciliation process are already disastrous DONE deals and the point at hand now is how not to repeat them.

    Therefore, the cheater needs to get over his/her hurt feelings that the non-cheating spouse told others the truth about what happened just as much as the non-cheater has to get over his/her hurt feelings that the cheater cheated. Then you both have to take the steps to mend the relationship and rebuild the trust… etc, etc…

    I don’t think many people can successfully do that after a ‘Biggie’ hurt, like infidelity. Especially when many cheaters have trouble with behavior modification due to their inability to truly empathize with others. They just don’t “get it” that the truth hurts others besides themselves. Self-gratification and the sense of entitlement are ingrained in them to the point of oblivion.

    From the moral stand-point, if you had been spreading lies about your cheater… yes, that would have been wrong. You reacted in response to having been BETRAYED by your spouse who was living in a SHROUD OF SECRECY. You were hurt and you exposed the truth. Simple as that!! Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the real problem here, and it ain’t that you told people what happened…

  • I’m so sorry, but you definitely need to dump that therapist. I’m a fan of dumping the cheater too, but that’s a decision you’ll have to come to on your own … one that’s incredibly hard with years invested, a marriage, maybe kids.

    The blame-shifting these assholes do always amazes me. Within days of the final D-Day (#3), Cheese Fries had shifted the conversation from his behavior to how I wasn’t emotionally supportive enough, how we had nothing in common, and how we had very few experiences in our twenty-two year relationship. And … I fell for it. I went into full-on SAVE THIS MARRIAGE AT ALL COSTS mode. But after a couple of weeks of him telling me how awful I’d been in the marriage with no mention at all of his behavior, I finally woke up and said, “Hey! Those are your issues. MY issues are your porn use, your sex ads, the hooker, and your other women. I expect some serious therapy and boundaries around that behavior.” That’s when he decided we were just “too different” and he “needed to see what else is out there” and he walked away from our marriage.

    Same dynamic was repeated when I let him back for a short wreckonciliation during the holidays. As soon as the boom of consequences and boundaries got lowered, he was gone.

    And even today … I’m not No Contact right now with a bunch of moving/house selling/divorce stuff/kids events going on. This is a bad idea emotionally although it’s expedient for all the practical stuff I need to power through. Anyway, I gave in to temptation (which is why I should be No Contact but I’ll go back to it when the divorce shit is out of the way) and questioned him about one of my former friends he now has some kind of relationship with. I asked what he told her about why we broke up. He tells people we were just too different. I laughed and asked him why he doesn’t say it was because he wanted to date other women. Immediately he switched from charm to anger and said through clenched teeth, “You can tell people whatever makes you feel better.” I said it wasn’t “whatever.” When he ended things the second time, he told me it was because he “needed the validation of other women too much to ever not cheat.” After I said that, he walked away. (Which is a good thing.)

    Anyway, that’ s a long story to illustrate why you should NEVER NEVER NEVER fall for the blame-shifting. It’s a basic cheater tactic and they hate it when you call them on their behavior. But when you see what they’re doing, it tells you what you need to know about the person who’s not worthy of your love.

    • C&T, so sorry you are upset, but truth be told you cannot be identified, Arnold and Oaktree and lots of other men have told your story, and your story is all our story.

      It took me five years of what you are trying to do, to come to terms with the horrible truth that my spouse cared more about himself at all times, and my agony was very deeply inconvenient for him. He was also entitled to stay in touch with the OW.

      Your counsellor is ‘trying’ to show unconditional positive regard for both of you, and doing an extremely lousy sucky job of it. Fire them.

      Good luck, we are here for you if and when you decide to come back.

    • He “needed the validation of other women too much to ever not cheat.” Wow–a narcissist who says that common truth out loud.

      • Honestly, stuff like that kept me hooked for years. He would sometimes demonstrate self-awareness and even go into therapy, but he always shifted the narrative pretty quickly. And he’s smart and charismatic and cries easily, so was able to sucker all but one therapist into buying his bullshit.

        His exact words to me when he left were, “I love you. You’re my other half. But I need the validation of other women too much to ever not cheat on you.” He talked about how he hadn’t fixed any of his problems, that he needed to work on his issues, etc, etc.

        Two weeks later, his dating profile was back online. And he went back to blame-shifting the marital problems onto me. The only way I could make sense of it was that he’s like an addict who admits he’s got a problem but then shuts down those uncomfortable feelings with a bender and a hit of denial.

        I’m the one who posted in the forums that he “accidentally” sent me a text meant for his gf (whom he apparently luuurves) last week. Yesterday, when I was posting my own dating profile, I found his is back online. He’s up to his old tricks.

        • Betterdays, you relied on his words, rather than his actions. His words meant NOTHING. His actions on the other hand told the real truth, that he didn’t love you, and you weren’t his other half. In fact, his action said he wanted sex elsewhere by putting up his online dating profile 15 days after he told you those same exact words. If you mute the sound, but amplify the actions, you’ll see that he’s someone who doesn’t want to be with you and doesn’t love you. His actions are SCREAMING the truth, you need to know what to see and those are his actions only and nothing else.

  • Mantra goodness:

    “Be who you are.
    Say what you feel.
    Because those who mind don’t matter
    And those who matter don’t mind.”

    If you tell the truth always, you never have to remember a thing : )

  • After D-day#2 (when I uncovered the true extent of my cheater-wife’s affair and lies), I wrote down everything she had done and lied about and then responded. I was not going to sit in therapy so we could work through MY issues to fix OUR marriage. She cheated. She lied. Therapy became pointless because she proved that I could not trust anything that came out of her mouth. I could no longer rationalize the cognitive dissonence so I just stopped (Chump Lady was a huge help).

    And so this was my response to my cheater-wife’s Chapter 5 “don’t tell anyone” mindfuckery (#14 of 32):

    Bullshit. You’re simply trying to maintain your “good girl” facade. It is no longer my responsibility to protect your image. It’s simple… YOUR image/perception wouldn’t be in jeopardy if YOU didn’t fuck and love [your asshole cheater boyfriend]. YOU are responsible for protecting YOUR OWN reputation. You have zero rights to demand I protect your reputation when YOU were the one who made a grave error in judgment -continually over the course of six months (that I even know of). YOU wronged ME. I do not owe you jackfucking-shit when it comes to protecting YOUR image.

    I have informed [your asshole cheater boyfriend’s wife], her extended family, his extended family, and alllll their neighbors. That is the risk you took hooking up with a philandering pile of shit garbage asshole and putting his and your needs above OUR family. You will not demand that I place this pile of shit garbage asshole above my own thoughts, feelings, or actions. YOU lost your right to your “good girl” reputation when you fucked and loved [your asshole cheater boyfriend]. YOU lost your rights to influence whatever it is I think or do. YOU no longer control your reputation through me. I cannot care about YOUR image if YOU don’t care about it enough to respect and follow your own terms and conditions yourself. It’s really very simple, YOU control YOUR OWN reputation.

  • Chumped and Talked, this is exactly the crap I’ve been going through with the blame game over saying things to other people. My STBXW looks for the victim angle in this and anything else I do.

    Better to move on!!

  • I don’t even care about the “moral high ground” aspect of it. Enough people around us knew about the A (or strongly suspected it) before I even did, so I don’t have to explain too much about what is going on and why I filed. It’s more of a “what took you so long?” response that I get and “how are you handling it?”

    Fortunately for me, my friends and family have been 100% supportive and aren’t seeking a detailed rational or narrative from me. I gave them a short summary of what’s gone on once, and that’s all they needed to hear.

  • Chumped and talked: maybe you aren’t ready, it is super hard to trust yourself in the face of constant manipulation, lies and then the authority figure agreeing. I am sorry this is your journey and that you have lots more to suffer before you are done.

    If you want to “save” your marriage – eat crow, apologize, give away all your options and support and hope your wife doesn’t do worse than has already happened. Don’t make her accountable for her actions or your feelings. Serve all her needs and then be sorry you can’t do more. Clean the house, make the dinner, never complain, never be tired, never unwilling to do anything she wants at a moments notice. Don’t check her pockets, phone, computer or wonder where she is. Don’t check up on her. Seriously, this is what you have to do. Swallow your pride, your needs and your wants. Live with it.

    The end of this “story” is that once you get too tired to keep giving, you can walk away knowing you did everything and more to save your marriage and likely, she will have just shown up (most of the time).

  • Find a new therapist immediately. The person being bullied is you and if the therapist is participating in victim blaming, s/he is helping your wife avoid taking responsibility for her actions.

  • Fire the counselor. Your reason for telling others is irrelevant. Read CL’s article on Real Remorse vs Genuine Imitation Naugahyde remorse.

  • CL excellent as always! C&T a couple of things to chew on.

    1. As a chump – guess who was the last to know? Yep, me. This means that most of the people in my life already KNEW. Like the other chumps, my XH spun a fantastic web of lies to justify his behavior. In ‘Telling’ you only succeeded in challenging your wife’s carefully polished narrative. Realistically 1% of cheaters have the ability to operate on stealth mode and in private — that means 99% are right out in public. Cheaters are sloppy. Think about that. I know you feel that you lost ‘the high moral ground by telling’, but in the future you will likely find out how many people already knew. While this make it sting more, it is important to understand. — For my XH, the importance of being perceived as a really great guy is high, but my life is of zero concern. (I can see that now.)

    2. So, your reaction to DD#1 was to get angry and tell everyone? Hmmm…that seems justified to me. I didn’t react that way though. I was the kind of chump that was in deep denial and froze at DD#1. I felt embarrassed and humiliated. I internalized it all as somehow being my fault. Fast forward through years of blame shifting and gaslighting to DD#2 – where my reaction was to get angry and put a stop to years of an unhealthy marriage. It was my ‘aha’ moment. C&T, I am going to throw this out there, but possibly your therapist is trying to get 1) you to articulate the emotions behind your discovery (yes I am talking about: anger, humiliation, broke your heart, betrayal, etc.) and 2) get your wife to see how her actions had an impact on you.

    3. Don’t feel embarrassed that CL published your letter. Your situation is common. Keep reading this site and you’ll start to understand that the pattern of cheaters is shockingly similar.

    • You make a good point about the marriage counselor. You saw, as I didn’t in my comment below, that there is no hope unless C & T stops allowing this woman to bully him. But I think the work he needs to do should be done in individual therapy–and the the bully W needs to do that work on her own. My guess is that she can’t change and marital therapy is not going to accomplish anything given their dynamic. But I think you really see something important.

      • LovedaJ, I can only speak to my own experience after DD#1 and being ‘frozen’. It took me a long time to understand why. Part of it is that I — we chumps — have every right to feel angry/sad/betrayed but we have been fed a line that — love rises above and forgives. Screw that. Now, my approach is to say ‘is this healthy’?

        Agreed, individual counseling can really help.

  • Chumplady you hit the nail on the head, once again. It’s amazing how these cheaters are pretty much all the same behavior wise – their blameshifting, the need for image management (we’re not shitty character cheaters, we’re “splendid”), their sense of entitlement. And the MC that buy into that crap are even worse.

    Chumped and Talked, I really hope you get out of that sham of a marriage as soon as possible.

    PS : About peed my pants with Sparkledick

  • I’m not surprised that C & T is upset that the public is reading his letter and the response, as someone the values in his home–and apparently in his therapist’s office–are based on the idea that telling the truth isa problem.

    That answers the question I had about why he’s even in marriage counseling with this very entitled and abusive woman. Betrayal, sexual infidelity, lying, gaslighting–all of that is horrific. But the cheaters who shift gobs of family time and resources for sex vacations with the AP and “helping” the AP’s household–that’s breathtaking entitlement to expect a chump to swallow that on top of cheating and then keep quiet about it. But that marriage will last forever, for what it’s worth; while there’s nothing to work with in the marriage, C & T has drunk so much gaslighting, blame shifting Kool-aid that he thinks lying is the moral high ground.

    I take my cues on this from my experience dealing with alcohol and substance addiction. Lying is second nature to addicts, who lie to cover up their addiction, the activities ancillary to their addiction, and many other aspects of their lives about which they feel others might object. The lies corrode every aspect of the addict’s life, every relationship, including the addict’s relationship to self. The lies rot the family. One challenge of recovery is addressing “the elephant in the room”–the secret of addiction and the codependency that enables it. Telling the truth about the substance abuse, about the state of recovery, and about who is accountable and responsible is the only way to clear the ground and heal. The truth is the foundation for everything else.

    So it’s concerning that C & T is so fearful and defensive, and that the marriage counselor is so incompetent. I guess it’s just a lot easier to pile on the victim of betrayal, especially one who can be convinced that the truth is a problem in the marriage, than it is to try to deal with a narcissist who spends the family money on exciting trips with the AP and “helping” him out. And look at how C & T kicks the blame downward, angry at CL for answering his question on the public blog where he wrote for help because, bless his heart, he thinks chumps need to be on the high road of lying and covering up.

    One thing the counselor said I agree with– C & T is probably used to being bullied as it happened in his childhood and so his W and the therapist use this childhood trauma against him. Nice. If I had one wish for C & T, it would be that he reads this and sees that the truth is the only thing that can save his life. That the high road is always about telling the truth about our experiences. It may not be smart or strategic to tell everyone in sight about the W’s affair, but if she didn’t want people to know that she’s a cheat and a liar, she should not have cheated and lied. And C & T, you can walk away from both of these bullies, see a therapist that will clear the mindfuckery out of your head, and get you on a path to a life without any bullies in it. A life where the truth sets you free. Where the truth is the high road.

    • Nice response, LovedaJackass.

      I will say that my own parents practiced complete honesty with themselves and with their children. We learned that lying and covering the truth both let bad situations fester, and lying is the worst because it layers betrayal on top of the awkward truth.

      One of the people I know has been married now for 45 years to the love of his life. He said that he and his wife practice radical honesty. If you can’t communicate honestly and clearly with your spouse, then that’s a real deep-seated problem right there.

      Being able to tell the truth and hear the truth are vital components in a healthy relationship. C&T’s therapist apparently doesn’t get this.

    • I like your analogy to addiction. The commonality is — the lack of personal responsibility. Cheaters never demonstrate any personal responsibility.

  • C & T, like everyone who has been emotionally abused, has to be more scared of further abuse than he is of being alone. He’s not there, yet, but this thought occurred to me–the crappy MC counselor may actually push him closer to that point than he would have been. There’s only such much rancor a person can have piled on him/her before they break.

  • Hi C&T:

    I’m sorry that you’re embarrassed your letter was published. However, you shouldn’t be. You haven’t lost the moral high ground here. What you’ve lost is the sense of your own self-worth.

    If you truly wish to reconcile with your wife, that’s on you, but first read through the literature. Cheaters cheat because they can. Reconciliation happens only when the cheaters are able to say that what they did was wrong, they accept the consequences, and they are willing to do what it takes–at this red-hot minute (not after the AP wraps things up with the ailing wife)–to make things right and prove that they are worthy of trust. You have to decide if your wife is truly committed to reconciling, and if she is, whether you’re able to trust her again.

    I suggest that you find some individual counseling for yourself. You mention that you were bullied. Find a counselor who specializes in helping victims of this kind of trauma. Doing this could shed some light on what kinds of people you are attracted to, the type of relationships you find most appealing, how you communicate boundaries, etc.

    I understand that you’re upset that your letter has gone public, but let me reassure you that your story is far from unique. Hundreds at Chump Nation see themselves in it.

    Best of luck.

    • “You haven’t lost the moral high ground here. What you’ve lost is the sense of your own self-worth.”

      So well said KB!

  • CL said it straight forward: your therapist is an idiot. And I may add, he or she is a cheater himself. Who else would jump on the bandwagon of blaming the victim?
    How am I so sure? I have a story
    The narc I chose to make my first (read HUGE wounding) started to triangulate with some new girlfriend. He even moved cities to … er… her. (My involvement ends here.) Can you guess that the “girlfriend” was a married woman?
    Long story short: both married, the affair has been going on for over a decade! She divorced recently and within a short time span has been posting pictures with new bf. (relationships overlap, anyone?)
    She picked psychology. Yep, she is a therapist giving advice on relationship issues…

  • No surprise here that the victim is being further victimized by not only the cheater but the therapist as well.

    As far as being identified on this site, as some have pointed out, it’s pretty safe to say that cheaters typically aren’t very original in their nefarious behavior toward their chumps, nor are the APs very unique as to be distinct enough to warrant any “a-ha” moments by anyone.

    I am just grateful for the continued support of this site and hope C &T eventually sees us all as support as well.

  • C and T,

    Your wife is emotionally and psychologically abusing you and it appears that she has engaged the “therapist” as her accomplice. I am not giving your marriage counselor a pass because, from your description, it sounds as though the marriage counselor has aligned himself with your wife. You indicated that you picked the counselor and trust him, but you don’t say why. If you were bullied as a child, that is an unaddressed trauma. Your wife cheating on you has created a new trauma, thus bringing up and reinforcing the prior trauma. Having the counselor then putting the onus on you for the problems that “lead to” the cheating (you’re responsible for your wife’s behavior – that would be a hell to the no), is reinforcing the trauma. That’s abusive.

    I have been where you are – in therapy with an unrepentant cheater who was still cheating (at least in the beginning) while we were in therapy. We had a marriage counselor who would only work on restoring the marriage. Because the EX was the party least invested in saving the marriage, she focused most of her attention on me and pretty much focused on my “negative” qualities, while telling him he was much too sensitive to deal with his “problems” (which remained unnamed) all at once. His actual “problems” (as diagnosed by the person who sacrificed herself on the alter of them – me) are that he is an empathy-deficient, entitled, lying, cheating, selfish, self-absorbed, navel-gazing, abusive turd from satan’s ass. There are a multitude of reasons why he’s the way he is – none of which I caused, none of which I can control. It took awhile, but there was another OW (and, as I was to discover, there were a multitude before) and we are now divorced.

    Your pain is keeping you stuck, trying to fix things in order to save your marriage. I was there – for too long. I sacrificed my time and my youth to someone who I thought I could make love me the way I deserved. As someone who has been where you are now, and who has a similar story, I can say that prospects for a happy ending with an unrepentant, blame-shifting cheater are not good – mostly because they almost never stop being an unrepentant, blame-shifting cheater. They don’t have the necessary components to care about us Chumps the way we deserve. That all important empathy-chip is set to low or completely missing.

    C and T, you are on your own journey. I hope you will continue to read here to help you as you walk this painful road.

  • Mine tried to even put a “gag” order into our post-nup during reconciliation. This was the exact moment I gave up on reconciliation. He was very upset that I told the world.

    Of course, it’s not his behavior that is the problem, but that I told people about it. I roll my eyes so hard now that I am surprised they don’t get stuck that way.

    • yeah. i wasn’t “allowed” to tell anyone that we were even splitting up for a while. then i came to my senses and realised that i needed support. these assholes don’t deserve that much consideration.

  • bad language follows:

    fucking hell, dude.

    “I should add that the counsellor we are seeing feels that my telling people was me wanting to punish her, which is somehow related to a lot of bullying I experienced as a kid”

    your counsellor sucks. maybe he or she could also point out that your reaction is pretty natural considering the abusive shit your wife has pulled on you for years.

    your wife intentionally fucked up your life. it’s natural to want to talk about it. you can tell whoever you want. maybe part of you does want to punish her – so what? she should’ve thought about that before jumping in the sack with another man. fuck her.

    who gives a shit about the moral high ground? let her have it. it’s a pissing competition.

    all my friends know that my ex cheated on me because i told them. they’re still my friends. i wouldn’t take it back even if i could.

    divorce her and be a man again.

    • “I should add that the counsellor we are seeing feels that my telling people was me wanting to punish her, which is somehow related to a lot of bullying I experienced as a kid”

      This is why I delay or avoid completely telling people certain things. The therapist might have been deemed insightful had he/ she asked whether I had been bullied as a child. But their grabbing at that piece of knowledge that I volunteer shows no effort at all. Just an easy way to continue.

      It’s kind of like these new fangled therapies that believe that if you ever have negative thoughts then the bad things that happen to you are your fault.

  • A cheater complains that the chump is oversharing the truth? Sorry, lady, but when you climb into bed with people other than your husband, you lose the right hector others about bad boundaries. For. Ever.

  • They say we are responsible for their cheating. If we had that much influence over them we wouldn’t be here.

    • If we had that much influence over them, THEY wouldn’t still be here–we’d have mind-willed them all off a cliff, Pied Piper style.

  • “It’s not what I did, it’s your reaction to it.” I really love that. I’ve had a few experiences of that in my life one with my ex and another with my sister. Thanks CL, for putting words to what I’ve felt.

  • Anne,

    This sucks that your family can’t take you at your word and accept that you heard proof. Stuckinlimbo is correct and it’s another betrayal. I would make a copy just as it is and not get it cleaned up. It is how it was recorded. Any clean up effort will just let people say that you could have added things or put them together to make it sound incriminating.

    I would also play it for my brother if he is your nephew’s father so that he can do what is necessary to protect his son. Speaking about your nephew in the context of adult sex is NOT okay and he should be protected.

    • It just dawned on my that your nephew is probably not a child or even in his 20’s. If this is the case, never mind the above.

    • My understanding is that your sister’s son is the “nephew” alluded to. Get your brother to listen to the recording especially if your nephew is or was jailbait at the time of the recording. Your brother may not appreciate hearing some of the stuff but might be able to corroborate the truth without involving your sister and nephew.The fact that the chickenhawk was possibly discussing his related by marriage nephew in sexual terms is incestuous and predatory (just as icky as the hetero “uncle” by marriage leering at his niece)

  • Dear Chumped and Talked:

    I agree 1,000% with EVERY. SINGLE. THING. that Chump Lady put in her response to your letter, especially the part about firing your counselor yesterday and finding someone new who sees this situation for what it is. There is a massive cluster fuck going on here, and you are the one on the receiving end. If you are still married to your cheating wife, you ARE taking the high road… no, I take that back, you are taking the HIGHEST road!

  • Know what’s great about a little truth? It’s incredibly strong. Like detonating a mushroom cloud strong. Enough to destroy the 500 lies it takes to cover that simple truth up, in an instant.

    I really have a hard time with deceit, both direct lies, and indirect – not telling the entire story – if only to “protect people”.
    Let’s face it. It’s about control.
    This is how some twisted relationships happen. I believe most dysfunctional families start with manipulating truth, and it morphs into something ugly and dangerous.

  • “It would be much easier to be me right now if I had chosen only a couple of people to confide in. That would mean that we would be dealing with HER issues and how she can show real remorse and repair the damage she caused, and she would not be able to always come back and say how I hurt her by telling what happened.”

    She is not the victim. She made choices. Reconcilliation fantacies of the cheater always start and end with avoiding accountability and consequences. This is not about telling a secret to a friend and blabbing it to others as gossip. The betrayal of trust is on her alone.

  • Dear Friend, C&T,

    Please don’t despair that your concerns were published. What you are going through reopens and examines a wound that many of us had when we found ourselves facing infidelity “alone.”

    We have ALL given hours of reconsideration to the reactions and choices we made when adultery was confirmed.

    I, for one, kept the silence for decades. His first affair (as far as I know): 1986. Two years to recover. His first “extramarital” wedding ring: 1994. His second “extramarital” wedding ring: 2004 (or sooner?) Part of my silence was the fact that he – literally – hid the truth from me. We’re the ones from whom the cheater is trying to hide this information…and hiding is an admission of guilt. But I also chose to keep silent for nearly 20 years in order to foster an atmosphere in which we could enjoy our marriage and family and – when the chronic nature of his infidelity problem became known – to try to control “bimbo eruptions” and give us the chance to be reconciled with the fewest number of people knowing what had been happening. Legitimate reason for silence, BUT…

    Please don’t beat yourself up about going to YOUR (hers are also yours by marriage) family members and close friends with the news. What is it that the Officiant says at the wedding? “In the sight of God and THESE WITNESSES, I now pronounce you man and wife, Mr. & Mrs. So-and-So. What God has bound together, let no man put asunder.”

    It is entirely legitimate, after the offending party has refused to return to the exclusive sexual purity of your marriage bed, to go to those who love you (and love you as ONE – not “my sister vs. the brother-in-law”) and ASK FOR THEIR HELP in persuading your wife to change her destructive ways. It’s a logical, appropriate action that I wish I had taken much earlier in our marriage. Your friends and in-laws made a commitment to support your marriage when they attended your wedding and made no objection at that time. Hold them to it.

    The unfortunate fact of American social order in 2016 is that the “Playboy” mentality is the prevailing and noxious wind blowing in our faces. You, like the rest of us, may find that no one wants to hear from the faithful spouse. It’s all about letting the self-centered one “explore” his/her sexuality.

    Even at several of my former churches, I have found my heart sinking when the pastor addresses any adulterers in the congregation by “assuring” them of Christ’s forgiveness without mentioning the need to repent. (Finally found a church that does this, but…) What I wouldn’t give to hear a minister assure the FAITHFUL spouses/families who’ve been seriously damaged by infidelity/divorce that God will protect the innocent and justly deal with the adulterer. (Which HE will – and in worse ways that one could ever imagine: I Corinthians 6:9-10 … All the more reason to do everything possible to shine a light on the problem and do everything you can to call your spouse back to the legitimate relationship.)

    Hang in there, young man! Your instincts have not failed you and CL is correct in advising you to seek a better balanced counselor.

    • Preach it Pam !! I agree. I did NOT hold a gun to my H1.0’s head on our wedding day AND once we decided to marry he was insistent that the wedding be Catholic, ostensibly a very serious thing as it is seen as a Sacrament. Priests, relatives friends present to hear public vows. What other commitments in life are this public and serious…and like you said

      “What God has brought together let no one put asunder” andI took the whole thing VERY seriously

      I have been to weddings where the Priest admonished each person gathered there to be a friend to the marriage and if you want serious talk of marriage, try my conservative diocese…my priest even advised people to refuse to go to invalid weddings (such as when a first spouse has been abandoned)

      My H1.0 (like his dad) was a “great guy” to everyone except his wife…which is so ironic because (other than his swearing into the military) he didnt make a public pledge and vow to his buddies.

      • Dear Unicornomore,

        It sounds as though we were both married to narcissists…characterized by the compelling need to look “good” to the outside world according to whatever standards happen to be popular in any given setting but oblivious to the impact on their spouse and children.

        My husband was a complete chameleon and to this day, our (now grown) children and I marvel at his capacity to charm those who don’t know him while simultaneously – and hypocritically – continuing to cut off his family at the knees. God calls such people “worse than pagans.”

        While many people will tell you and me to “be quiet/say nothing/don’t stir up a fight,” I think that it is necessary to let the objective facts of the matter be known to those whom it concerns.

        For example, my former husband avoided church after his infidelity became evident to me. He didn’t want to be confronted by pastors/elders about his adultery/polygamy/financial deceits.
        However, he is currently the leader of the Evangelism Team for his Adult Sunday School Class at XXXX Church.

        It’s ludicrous…and I am going to have to communicate with someone at XXXX Church to let them know the facts and then they can deal with it as they see fit. At the very least, they need to protect the women in their congregation by addressing this man’s lack of sexual self-discipline… for which he has never apologized … in fact, which he celebrated on his multiple social media websites.

        Letting the facts be known is not exactly “confrontation” but it is doing what you reasonably should to prevent a womanizer from practicing his fraud on a fresh batch of unsuspecting, kind-hearted people.

        All that to say…There’s an appropriate time to speak up and state the truth.

        I am so very sorry to hear what your husband put you through. What frustration. (But I sure like your priest. He sounds like a feisty cleric; a real fighter for your team!)

        Most of all, though, I hope you are finding comfort from the LORD who is omniscient, omnipotent and therefore the perfect One to whom we can turn for solutions. Keep reminding yourself that our battles are best fought by “acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) That thought sends me to my knees daily and less often into angry correspondence. God is always faithful to the “widow and orphan.” You can count on it.

        Best regards. ??✝️

  • He cheated on me, 3 months before our wedding. The wedding is cancelled. At first I will just tell others that he is not ready, I still had feeling that time… still wanted to protect him, the man I loved and trust who didnt love me back and betrayed me, don’t want to bad mouth him and want to be the bigger person. C n T, I really understand how you feel.

    But that ‘not ready’ reason just made people asked more questions, asked me to discuss it carefully with me, that everything can be solved. Wait… he didnt discuss with me when he cheated, blah.

    So, if people asked why the wedding cancelled, now I tell that my ex cheated (with 18 yo girl!). That stop people ask more, people understand, I even got so many supports (hurray, other people love me!). Also that people congratulates me (just like in CN where you got supports!) and say that it was the best decision. And the more I tell, the more it become less hurtful… i hope im reaching my meh soon!

  • Moral high ground? You’ve got to be kidding me. She violated your trust and you think you should have told less people about it? If anyone is suffering is her because now everyone knows who and what she is.

    I wrote a book Cooking My Way through My Husband’s Midlife Crisis, I have a blog as well. I am not responsible to keep his secrets.I’m responsible for me and only me. When he decided the grass was greener elsewhere all bets were off. He imploded the marriage, I did not.

    You need a bit of an attitude adjustment. You were the one wronged, stop acting like you wronged her. If she can’t take the heat, then she shouldn’t have done what she did.

  • Edited – I think faster than I can type!!!

    Moral high ground? You’ve got to be kidding me. She violated your trust and you think you should have told less people about it? If anyone is suffering it is her because now everyone knows who and what she is.

    I wrote a book Cooking My Way through My Husband’s Midlife Crisis and I have a blog as well about what has happened to me. I am not responsible to keep his secrets.I’m responsible for me and only me. When he decided the grass was greener elsewhere all bets were off. He imploded the marriage, I did not. I don’t have to be ashamed of telling my truth to anyone.

    You need a bit of an attitude adjustment. You were the one wronged, stop acting like you wronged her. If she can’t take the heat, then she shouldn’t have done what she did.

  • Mate,

    I had a similar experience. Caught my ex cheating and told people (reached out for support) and then all the counselling etc became about her and how I’d hurt her etc. The counsellor even got in on it too. When you’re doing this you’re still in the Denial and Bargaining stages – blaming yourself because if it was something you did then it’s something you have control over and therefore can change so the theory goes. And of course the cheater is all to happy to blame you – saves them from being accountable.

    But you did nothing wrong. You are allowed to tell people – you don’t owe her secrecy when she breaks trust like that. Even if you hadn’t told anyone she’d use something else to stall the process, keep the focus off what she did to you and focus it on what you did to her.

    Sorry but she’s not sorry (they never are). Get a new counsellor (individual – forget about couples counselling) and get rid of her at the same time.

    It’s not going to be easy but you have plenty of support here.

  • I am trying to connect the dots and understand these knee jerk reactions that regularly occur in our society.

    For example, I see a connection with the following 2 statements: ““It’s not what I did, it’s your reaction to it.”” AND “It’s not what you said, but how you said it.” I guess they’re both ways to keep someone off balance.

    I remember talking with a friend about choosing a therapist. She accused me of chosing a therapist on that basis that they agree with me. So I aksed with rapid fire, should I choose a therapist solely on the basis that they disagree with me.

    thankfully with the internet these days, we research the varying opinions on a topic and good thing, too.

    When I did file for divorce in the UK, I could name the interloper in our marriage (not that it makes
    difference in the financial settlement) so I did. I was dating a guy at the time who was working through his divorce (she filed and had him served at work) who told me that I should have maintained the high ground and not name the OW. Really now? And it’s not like he was the nicest guy either.

    Another thing, I was brought up to not snitch on people. So it has been very hard for me to get my side of the story out there in many situations. There is also the belief that the truth will out sooner….. or later….. Remember Bridget Jones’es Diary? That what comes around goes around. And that Gossip mongers are not to be trusted…….. Even though quite often I see in real life the opposite occurring of those wisdoms.

    Oh yeah, and the meek shall inherit the earth.

    • Can’t we just apply Newton’s Third Law? Although it takes us awhile to give an equal and opposite reaction, it does or should happen.

      sexting = shoving your phone directly up your ass
      secret liaisons = secret lawyer visits
      inviting a third person into the relationship = kicking those two people out of my home
      fucking someone else = getting fucked over in division of assets
      having an affair = telling everyone I know and meet that she’s pond scum and you’re lower than that
      becoming impoverished and living with a known liar and whore = being happily at meh

    • Welcome, Secret Keeper, to the club no one wants to join. This site has been a sanity saver (and maybe even a lifesaver) for many of us. Stick around, do a lot of reading, check out the archives. You might not be ready to hear all of it yet, but there is SO MUCH WISDOM and healing here. I am constantly blown away at the quality of the commenters, and of course, Tracy herself.

      Share your story in the forums when or if you feel ready. We are all here.

    • Welcome, Secret Keeper. Grab a seat! 🙂

      I, too, have been saved by reading up on comments by the CN (Chump Nation). Having a supportive community outside of my wonderful friends and family is a huge blessing on my journey towards the path of Meh.

  • Feeling as if one has lost the moral high ground by telling the truth; choosing to continue to go to a counselor who abuses you; reconciling with a remorseless, lying wife_ all signs of long term abuse. I think you have been worn done through the years of dealing with this miscreant , NPD wife.

  • Chumped and Talked, it’s time to see your situation for what it truly is and not the way you want to see it. You didn’t take the moral high ground because you told people your wife is a cheater? So if people asked what happened in your marriage would lying that you two grew apart be considered moral high ground?

    Your story reminds me of my girlfriend’s ex. They were having dinner in a restaurant to discuss if they can save their marriage after my girlfriend found out about the affair. It was Lent. Her then husband said that he’s not going to order beer because he gave it up for Lent! You can’t make this up.

    I’ve been were you are. If you didn’t tell people that she cheated, I can guarantee you she would have found something else to blame you and thus avoid discussing her shitty behavior. Has this been a pattern in your marriage? I suspect it has been.

    Treat yourself right by leaving this marriage. You need to matter NOW, not tomorrow, but NOW. Staying with someone who very obviously does not value you is a sure way to get hurt over and over again. Do you really want that? Yes, you will hurt like crazy when you leave but that pain is finite. Staying with a cheater, on the other hand, means a lifetime of pain.

    • Not sure who I’m replying to here on the forum, but wanted to respond to the ‘What.Do.We.Tell.People”? question the X asked after I filed for divorce (instead of separation). I’m proud to have had a quick answer for him. I said, ‘WE?’ ha. There is no ‘WE’ anymore. You’re on your own. And, I went on to call everybody I knew to tell them. I flipped on him as fast as he flipped on me, I guess. He violated my trust so ruthlessly, so surgically, so quickly, that I could only reply in kind. I wanted everybody to know how bad this wound was and be damned those Switzerland friends. I didn’t let anybody off the hook. That’s when I knew immediately, I would never take him back. It gave me my power back to get my narrative out there. It wasn’t a conscious thing at all, it was a true reaction to what he did and to how many people he hurt that loved him, and they all needed to know the guy was basically ‘gone’. And, yes, he’s disappeared from radar to most everybody. Wallow in the fun, Hunny Bunny. OMG – I feel at MEH!

  • If it’s not so terrible to do it, it’s not so terrible to talk about it.

    I’d buy and wear this t-shirt!

  • Something I said to someone about ‘The Moral High Ground’.

    Someone said to my cheating wife about me “Can’t have the moral high ground for the rest of his life”.

    I said; I don’t even know what that even means really, having a moral high ground. It sounds like I have committed some villainous act of climbing up a hill sneakily and am now throwing down stones at the poor people below in a place of great disadvantage?!?! Surely that’s a pretty wretched thing to do.

    When someone lies, cheats, betrays, puts you (un-knowingly) at risk of STDs, breaks their vows etc etc … THEY sink to a lower moral ground. I am standing where I was, before and after, because I didn’t really do anything to lower or raise my moral standing, hell I didn’t even know SHE was doing anything. Its the cheater who has by their own choices and actions sunk to a ‘Moral Low Ground’, by virtue of which I am now appearing at ‘Moral High Ground’. In reality, my ‘Moral Ground’ level never really changed at all, not even upwards.

    So if anything, its their job to work and rise back to the ‘Moral Normal Ground’, at level with their chumped partner (or any other normal human being for that matter), rather than the chump sinking needing to sink to a ‘lower moral ground’ to make THEM feel like our moral equals again.

    anyways, that was my rant, thank you all for being such a wonderful community.

    • The Red Baron,

      My version of the Moral High ground is similar to capture the flag. But in my version chumps and cheaters race to the top of a mountain to capture the “Moral High Ground” flag. The cheater will always be slower because they are encumbered with whores and lies and they’re too stupid to know which way is up. Then the chump lights the flag on fire and hurls it through the air, spear-like, at his or her cheater. Of course they must also scream at the top of their lungs (in their best King Leonidas voice), “This is Chump Nation!”

      But if you want to get all logical, fine. I concur. But I’ll still be over in the corner twirling the flag waiting for someone to play.

  • You must’ve gone to the same therapist I tried. He’s a tool. Anyone who abuses a patient like this should lose their license. (I checked- in my state you either have to commit insurance fraud or physically abuse someone, preferably repeatedly, to even have a complaint brought against you. Bullshit.)

  • After the last Dday (of many), I deliberately told my sister everything that had ever gone on, because I knew that then I couldn’t lose my nerve and go back. She would keep me on the right path, simply with her look of horror.As it turned out, I didn’t need her to remind me what an arsehole he was, but she was my safety net.

  • I got very lucky with my therapist: she had been the victim of a cheater years earlier. Her experience was more horrific than mine because young children were involved and her cheater husband moved the Whoremat into the home just days after my therapist left to stay with her mom while the divorce proceeded.

    My therapist had so much empathy for what I was going through– she actually would have tears welling up in her eyes as I’d sit there and cry during our sessions. She knew my pain.

    MC is a sick joke. To all Chumps: get a good IC… shop around, they are most definitely NOT all the same.

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