Why do people help cheaters cheat? Cheater pursued me for 6 months when we were in grad school and in that time I met his family and some friends, none who even hinted that he was sharing a house with a woman he claimed was his “ex” girlfriend.
He moved into his grandmother’s place after I found out and told me that nothing went on between him and his ex. He just stayed there because they shared a dog. And chumpy me believed him because he moved out, didn’t he!
Two years later, I found that he cheated on me with my good friend. When confronted, he said they were “just hanging out/she was depressed and talked of suicide and he wanted to help” and she said that she “thought I wasn’t committed enough and wanted to show him real commitment.”
But back to my question — why were none of them honest? They all knew — his friends, my dear good friend, his ex (they continue to text because of the dog and cat of course, and as far as I know, they’ve had sex twice since he moved out because… well, just because).
Yes, I was stupid. I was so blinded by love that it took me long enough to figure it out. Yes, cheaters cheat because they can. But why did everyone else play his game and make his life easy? Why do his ex and my ex-friend continue to text him despite knowing the truth? (They are literally handing out cake, aren’t they?) I find this hard to understand because this guy meant everything to me and I still wouldn’t wish him any harm, but I value my self respect, and as hard as it has been, I’ve ensured no contact since I walked out.
P.S. I came to the U.S. as an international student and now have a great job here. At 26, this was my first relationship and I feel crushed. I have no family here and Chump Nation has kept me sane through this. Thank you all!
Why do people help cheaters cheat? Because they’re gutless or personally invested. Of course “Switzerland friends” (as we call them here) don’t see it that way. They see it more like “I had to cheat with your boyfriend because you don’t know what commitment is.”
No seriously, there are several reasons people aid and abet, or hang out on the sidelines.
a) Your cheater got to the narrative first. Hey, you already knew! You had an “arrangement”. It was an open relationship! That’s one tack — no one tells you because the cheater assures them you’re already in the know. The other tack, however, is more common — the cheater tells everyone how simply awful you are, how much he suffers unjustly, and so, duh, of COURSE he’s finding comfort in (your best friend’s) arms. No need to say anything, because you suck.
b) This person is feigning neutrality. One reason a person might not speak up is because they’re a cheater themselves. In fact, they might be cheating with your partner, or want to, or once did. If you think this is improbable? Read my mail.
c) This person is being gutless, but disguising it as virtue. It’s very in vogue Not To Judge. Of course, if someone was robbing their petty cash, they’d want to know, right? So it stands to reason that if someone is fucking around on someone (and probably pilfering the petty cash to do it), they’d want to know, right? Wrong. We Can’t Know What Goes On Inside a Relationship. These Things Are Not Black and White.
Let’s face it — no one likes drama. And no one wants to be the bearer of bad news. (Uh, Tangle? Your boyfriend has a live-in girlfriend.) They don’t know you that well. Why bother? Why sully themselves with this little spot of ugly? You’ll figure it out soon enough. What’s five months, five years, a few children and an STD?
People don’t say anything, they collude, probably feel icky about it, but then stuff it down and pretend otherwise. It’s considered good manners.
I don’t know, Tangle. The older I get, the more I’m likely to grab people by the lapels and yell in their face, “SHE’S CHEATING ON YOU! WAKE UP, DUDE!” This baser impulse is mostly channeled here at my blog, but I could see not getting invited to cocktail parties. (The old bat is off her meds. Pay no attention to her truth telling…)
Essentially what you have with Switzerland friends is a values disconnect. Once you’ve been chumped, it’s really hard to ever feel “neutral” about cheating. If someone is okay with gaslighting, deceit, and emotional abuse? Not to mention the health risks of fucking around on a chump? You don’t share common values. You need to find a new set of friends.
Why do his ex and my ex-friend continue to text him despite knowing the truth? (They are literally handing out cake, aren’t they?)
Because they’re engaged in the pick me dance. They’re competing for the awesomeness of a fuckwit. (Hey, he has a magic dick that prevents suicide! Who knows what other superpowers he possesses?) They think they’re Special. He only hurts other people because they deserved it/failed to appreciate his genius/didn’t know true commitment.
Tangle, you’ve got too much self respect to run with idiots. This isn’t your tribe. Keep up the no contact and stay mighty. Good job!