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UBT: Ask Your Spouse Directly If They’ve Been Cheating

lyingrespectPeople send a lot of dumb articles to the Universal Bullshit Translator, so it takes a whole lot of stupid for the UBT to be agog — but this one takes the biscuit. “Here’s how to get definitive proof your partner is cheating” by HuffPo.

You’ll never guess what the secret is — YOU ASK THEM.

I know, I know — forehead slap! I’m sure you guys never thought of that.

It’s time to put these nuggets of revealed wisdom through the UBT. Without further ado.

There’s only one way to know if your partner is cheating: Nope, it’s not by thumbing through their text messages and emails. To really get down to the truth, you have to ask your spouse directly. 

“Instead of becoming a detective and snooping through their phone, consider talking about it,” Elisa Dombrowski, a marriage and family therapist in Orange County, California, told The Huffington Post. “Let them know you can handle the truth and that you believe you can work through anything, as long as there’s honesty.”

There’s only ONE way to know if your partner is cheating? Like, walking in on them doesn’t count? It’s only cheating if they say it’s cheating? Got it.

Try an icebreaker like “Are you fucking escorts at lunch?” or “Lately my penis has been oozing pus. Any idea what that’s about?” And see what they say.

The problem isn’t that they’re doing any thing shady, it’s that you can’t handle the truth. Let them know that really you’re okay with truth! Meet deception with vulnerability! What could possibly go wrong?

Below, Dombrowski and other marriage therapists offer more advice for broaching the delicate subject.

You deserve to know if your partner is faithful. If you have a suspicion that something is amiss in your relationship, don’t ignore the warning signs, Dombrowski said.

Yes, trust your gut and don’t ignore the warning signs. So when you ask him and he stares you straight in the eyes and says, “You know I would never do ANYTHING to hurt you or the kids,” believe him. Stuff those crushing doubts down, down deep into the recesses of your soul. I’m sure he has a very good reason for all that time he spends in the bathroom with his cellphone.

“Some people worry that confronting their partner will force the break up of their relationship,” she said. “They hope it will go away on its own but it’s often this lack of communication that creates distance in the relationship from the beginning, making it easier for an affair to take place.”

Yes, you caused the cheating because of your lack of communication and distance. So bridge that gap — reach out to a timid forest creature today.

Ultimately, you should trust your intuition and broach the subject delicately, she said.

“Too often, we condition ourselves to ignore that tiny voice inside that says something doesn’t feel quite right,” Dombrowski added.

So instead, ignore the screaming voice inside you that doesn’t believe their denial.

Don’t lower yourself to snooping through email or text messages, especially if you’re hopeful your relationship can withstand any possible betrayal, said Stephanie Mintz, a marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles, California.

“Resist the temptation to snoop,” she told HuffPost. “This would be a total breach of trust and privacy on your part and would make rebuilding that trust much more difficult. Although you may suspect your partner or spouse has already broken the trust, you don’t want to add fuel to the fire.”

Yes, looking at your partner’s text messages is a total breach of trust and privacy — unlike fucking other people and endangering your health, which is something you should hope to reconcile with.

Don’t blow it! How could your cheater possibly get over the devastating betrayal of snooping?

Timing is critical when discussing a subject this sensitive, Mintz said. You’ll both need to be in the right frame of mind, so to that end, don’t bring it up at 12 a.m. on a Monday, when you’re both exhausted. (Indeed, studies have shown that the brain’s emotional centers are more reactive when we’re sleep deprived.)

“You don’t want this to be rushed and you don’t want to do it before work, when children are around or with an activity to go to shortly after,” Mintz said. “Wait for an evening after each of you has had some time to unwind from work or a weekend where you don’t have plans for later on in the day.”

Did you walk in on your wife fucking someone else? Now is a BAD TIME to discuss this. Wait until you’ve had a couple refreshing naps by 2027 and quietly broach the subject.

This is bound to be an uncomfortable conversation. You may want to begin the talk by acknowledging how uneasy it makes you, said Todd Creager, a marriage therapist in Orange County, California and the author of The Little Black Book On Infidelity. 

“Let your partner know that you have some uneasy feelings and need him or her to help you sort through them,” he said. “Then go ahead and let your partner know what you are suspicious of or what caused your uneasiness.”

Go ahead and share your suspicions! Give ’em a head start to get that burner phone and start siphoning cash.

Your spouse still may get angry and defensive ― especially if your suspicions are true ― “but you’re cutting down the chances of defensiveness by focusing on yourself and not your partner,” Creager said.

Yes, YOU control the degree of your partner’s defensiveness. So approach with deference and stop making him so angry.

Let your partner know that when you feel uneasy or have an intuition, you owe it to yourself to check it out, Creager said.

“By bringing it up, you are educating your partner that you have integrity,” he said. “Let him or her know that you are owed the truth if nothing else. You deserve to know what is truly going on so that you can make a good decision for yourself.”

Cheaters care a lot about your peace of mind. They care so much that’s why they’re out until 2 a.m. with their cell phones turned off — it’s your peace of mind that they’re thinking of.

And if you demonstrate integrity? They will follow in kind! Moved by your example!

It can be isolating and painful to deal with infidelity. Depending on the answer you receive from your partner, you might consider seeking individual or couples therapy afterward, Dombrowski said.

“You might feel the need to tell friends and family about your partner’s cheating but once the secret is out, you can’t put it back in,” she said. “Friends and family are great but a good therapist can help you decide who your trusted circle of support will be while you are learning to navigate the difficult journey that lies ahead, whatever you decide.”

Friends and family are great, but they know you and love you and their advice comes free. A good therapist charges around $180 per hour and can help you stay in the hellish limbo of reconciliation navigate the difficult journey ahead.

Keep those secrets or you’ll scare your cheater away!

Who can you trust? The therapist who helps you decide who your trusted circle of support is, that’s who! Trust is not something you should leave to amateurs like yourself. You need a professional!

Continue that conversation, chumps.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • This article could easily change its title to, “How to Be a Chump.”

    What drivel!

  • Ah, there at the end–that advice to go to couples counseling.


    What other anti-social and cruel behavior asks the victim to go to counseling with the perpetrator?

    Domestic abuse?
    Sexual harassment?
    Grand larceny?
    Drunk driving?

    Nope–only cheating.


    • I experienced most of those. Now I am in therapy dealing with people who need to be in prison, and therapy.

    • From my experience, you could throw mediation in with couples counselling. Mediation was pretty traumatic.

    • How true JC. Mainstream’s depiction of cheating in a marriage is a joke. Cheating is abuse. PERIOD. It is intentional, negligent, parasitic and it causes major emotional distress.

      I’m no attorney here but where is the loss of consortium for all the pain and suffering these cheaters cause? There is none! But they do offer therapy so you can continue to be manipulated by your abuser. Ummm… no thanks, I think I will embrace my agency to leave a cheater and gain a life. All cheaters and their enablers and apologists (including some therapists) could go piss off.

      • I hear you, SureChumped. I ended my marriage after 6 months of cheating by my ex. I feel I couldn’t have gone much more quickly than I did.

        But I do regret every single second I spent in marriage counseling and/or trying to implement the advice of the MC. The experience was of two people (my wife and the counselor) manipulating me, trying to get me to take blame for my wife’s poor character. Never again!

        • I completely agree. The money I wasted in MC was nothing compared to the misguided advise that was heaped onto my grief. He said I shouldn’t have told anyone Fucktard cheated, I need to communicate more concisely, I needed to understand Fucktard’s love language. Bullshit! All of it.

          • Same abusive experience in MC with the traitor.
            My take on this proliferation of articles promoting counselling to deal with infidelity is that the RIC is now on the defensive. More people are realising this is bullshit, more and more people have been affected by infidelity, and many chumps have been cheated on a massive scale because of new technologies making it so easy to meet other cheaters, hundreds of professional or amateur whores, etc. So more are traumatised, it has reached epidemic proportions, exposing chumps to diseases which are now easily diagnosed. The finger can easily be pointed at the cheaters and the consequences of their behaviour, thanks to a better understanding of viruses.
            In comes CL, with her site which has passed 12 million views. This movement is growing, it’s giving chumps some teeth at last and the RIC is fighting back. Expect more and more of this has they are trying to save their bacon. Things are changing, we are identifying abuse and abusers, so we must be stopped!

    • Actually, I WAS advised by my pastor to go to counseling with my abusive ex. I did so, and was told that even though I was the one being hit, I had “power” over my spouse and that we both had “work to do.”

      That set me up for 20 more years of gaslighting and spackle, a year of post Dday pick me dancing, and zero self esteem.

      What the F is wrong with these people? !

      • Same – almost 10 years of marital counseling was about each of us owning our parts. Of course, I was very introspective about mine, for example when my tone was too cutting during an argument. I always wondered why there wasn’t a line drawn in the sand to focus on physical violence when it was perpetrated. There was talk about how he felt abandoned by me (when I tried to escape our marathon, mind numbing arguments), so he lashed out physically. On the drive home from counseling, I would share my gut that he had crossed a line, then he would remind me of my failures and say we were even.

        I am so grateful that his infidelity ultimately plucked me out of the relationship (against my will at the time – I had an iron grip on my dream of what I thought he was/ we were). It took a year for the fog to clear, and in hindsight, I don’t appreciate how marital counseling helped him convince me I was crazy.

        • After reading all the stories on here, and knowing people who have gone through marital counseling, I’m almost tempted to say that if you need MC, the marriage is probably not working. Not a single couple I’ve known who has gone through marital counseling has actually gone on to have a viable long-term relationship (though MC may help on a short-term basis). Unless counseling is to improve certain skills, like fair communication or conflict resolution, by the time you’re in dire need of MC, the fissures in a relationship are already near-deadly, or (like most of us) you’re in a relationship with a disordered human being and nothing is going to help.

          • Totally agree here. I think a majority of us were married to disordered people. Cheaters are shiny. Over the years I became more and more uneasy with mine (this when we had attained the dream ?: great jobs, beautiful kids, a home, each other?). The disordered sabotage relationships. Cheaters don’t have the same priorities as normal folk. The last few years ex became more argumentative and disengaged (gaslighting) then eventually turned his back on our twenty eight years together to be with “the love of his life.” I actually had the opportunity to see a show on Cheaters the other day, Maury’s, and I’d never seen his. A gal on there said it best, “when you come home to me after a long day “at work” and can’t muster up enough energy to “do the work” (“And I am!”) then I do know you are cheating! Cause you for damn sure are doing someone else!” Sex with Cheats is “doing all the work”, same as our marriages to them. Truth! Then the camera would pan to the Cheater and all the SOS would come spilling out of his/her face. Chumps believe in people changing because we are good people; what we need to understand is that people who cheat will never be worth our time. We deserve better.

          • The deal about therapy is the cheater actually has to be willing to look at their own behaviors and have some insight. This is impossible for narcissists to do. I kept going to counseling because I thought there was something wrong with me for being so jealous of his behavior with his female coworkers. I was indeed codependent, which is what happens when you’re living in a situation you can’t control. Anyway, I did manage to get my husband to a couple of counseling sessions. The only revelations that came out of 2-3 meetings were that he didn’t like my family, and he wished I’d rub his back more often. No efforts to acknowledge any of his behaviors.

    • I was lucky enough to have great counselling, individual and couples.

      She ripped him a new one for sabotaging the therapy process by lying to both of our faces.

      My IC had me developing my support networks and building me up etc long before the breakup: she had seen the writing on the wall long before I did ?

  • Hahahahah!

    I asked asshat directly after finding escort sites on the lap top he let me use. I asked! Guess what, liars lie and cheaters cheat and thieves steal.

    He lied, threatened and stomped about. How dare I, ANC, question him about his integrity! Well, me being chumpy, I chose to believe the lie and then really really busted his ass two years later. The attorney counseled me not to ask him directly, just collect the evidence, get and STD tests and find a good individual therapist.

    I think the authors of this Click Bait are cheaters themselves.

    • It’s so funny how they lie and lie and lie then when caught, they get haughty how you insulted their “integrity” by calling them a liar. Narcissistic injury? Must keep up the Mask at all costs. My Ex huffed and puffed, “Well according to YOU, I am a liar and a cheater!!” all offended sounding. No. Dumbass. According.To.Your.Actions.

      • Muse, my ex did the same exact thing. Over text I called him a liar and he came back with, “that is your opinion, not the truth” and the scary thing is he believes it. No you narcissistic asshole, the truth is you’re a lying cheating piece of shit who is completely delusional. These guys get so self righteous and defensive when their mask is no longer intact. This article is ridiculous and I live in Orange County where these quack therapist are practicing. So glad I actually listened to a
        good therapist and my family who told me to get the hell out of there.

        • Cheaters wouldn’t know truth if it jumped up and bit them in the gluteus maximus (which it should).

        • I forgot all about the post d’day side step by the cheater. Where I would state a fact about his lack of remorse, or ongoing mindfuck and his response would be ” that’s your opinion” while he tried to stare me down.
          Oh the shitty old days. Where everything negative you said that was fact about their characters was dismissed and the new era, where everything positive you said back then is now held as gospel, set in stone truth never to be altered or refuted.
          For example back in MC I said that despite it all he was a good dad to my girls. Now three years on he is attempting to emotionally groom them so he can do as he pleases, he also financially and emotionally neglects them. When I raised this with the pastor of the church along with a few other concerns. My past comment was repeated back to me as a blanket dismissal.

      • Why did I not have some of these great lines to use on him when he made me feel like a piece of shit for questioning his integrity! The stupid therapist that made it sound like I was the bad guy because because I asked him if he was cheating, The 9 years of shit I put up with because I was scared he would get mad at me and leave if I asked him if he was cheating! piece of shit, fucktard, narcissistic bastard!

    • They can lie for years! They are crafty and sneaky and know just what to say to put you in your place. Then make the changes needed so they don’t get caught. No integrity. You are foolish to expect an honest response from a cheater. They are deliberately and decidedly DIShonest. It just takes a while to trust that they suck.

    • If I had a dollar for every time I directly asked X if was having an affair, I could retire today! He was offended I would even ask. I was such a chump that I once told him I wanted him to be happy and if it meant being with her, I would understand. That got me the silent treatment for a week. The only conduct he ever admitted were things that could not be denied and, even then, he had his own special spin on “the truth.” Has this so-called expert ever heard of triangulation? It’s all the rage among cheaters and gives them the attention they crave, while we chumps question our sanity for doubting ourselves. Liars lie and cheaters cheat, indeed.

  • Mine cheated because I asked him if he was cheating. He figured since I was “always” asking him about it, he might as well cheat for 20+ years. Any words of wisdom Dr. Dumbrowski?

    • Echo, mine said this gem to me: “You always think I am sleeping with someone. And, like a broken clock, you are right twice a day!”

      • That is an astounding quote from your X, TOWMB. (Though at least it’s honest, because it admits the cheating.)

  • Oh Chump Lady. I adore this site. I look forward to every new post and usually have a couple of singular insights that help me move forward with rebuilding the crater that my life is.


    All the fucking bad advice about this regurgitated in one article. How do you not just die of anger and frustration CL? You must be made of pure diamond.

    FUCK. I will be back later when my eyeballs have stopped boiling in their sockets and my heart isn’t squeezing itself to death.


    • (((Virtual hug)))

      This shit is triggery. Luckily my support group supported me going Jackie Chan on the cheater’s ass.

      • ANC

        I didn’t even see that. Just thought I was angry as they are stupid and their ‘advice’ dangerous but yes. I just got triggered all the way to Pluto and beyond.
        Still fresh and still raw to discover how he lies like he breathes – easy and automatic.
        And right to your face. And to the kids.

        Ian. Any fitting video thingies about pod people??

        Thanks ANC for spotting a triggering situation.

        • And one of the things that unhinges me most about all of this – is to think that I might never have found out. Or that he would have been another three or four or ‘n’ affairs down the line before I caught him. It’s so hurtful to know that you have been lied to and betrayed. All that time tainted by his sleeze.
          One friend asked me if I had rather not known. If I wish I had never found out and I went cold all over.
          Despite the awfulness of knowing it is far far better than to not know. To promote and suggest strategies that enable cheaters to continue cheating without holding them to account is unethical and immoral.

          Reminds me of the first systematic research carried out in prisons that came out in the 60’s or 70’s I think. They found that “prisoners lied”. No shit Sherlock.

          • I agree, Capricorn, it’s far better to know the truth than to continue to live in ignorance, THINKING we know the truth. As hard as this divorce and recovery shit is, it’s significantly better than continuing to unknowingly live in a lie.

            • I totally agree – give me the painful hurtful ugly truth every time.
              Reminds me of the Matrix – take the blue pill and live in a false reality, or take the red pill and see how far the rabbit hole goes.

          • We are married people incapable of love. They abuse us even before we know about the betrayal. Ignorance is just bewildering, once we know, we can reclaim our lives and live (eventually) in peace. It is painful but better than living lies and feeling near constant cognitive dissonance.

    • Every comment on the article was contrary to the advice. Where does HuffPo come up with these frauds they quote?

  • I did ask my cheater if he was cheating. I asked more than once. It was a direct question with no ambiguity. He said no. He was lying. Imagine that! ?

    • Similarly, I thought once the cheating was exposed, he would need decide what he really wanted: his devoted wife and lovely family or the easy AP. He chose us! Nope. Wrong. CAKE. There is no limit to their immorality. Cake serves no one but the cheater. He said we could restore our relationship while he continued to see her on the side THE WHOLE TIME. What a liar.

      • Exactly! Lies…straight to my face…no problem. And just like you NWHI, promised he wanted to save our marriage while still seeing her on the side! Lying liars who lie. Period.

        • Me too. DDay 2 was the day I found out the affair had continued during counseling.
          So, why didn’t said counselor meet with me separately and say “here is how it is…”
          If she had, I would have thrown referrals her way like crazy. Instead, I feel betrayed by her as well.

          • Louisevilleflower

            So your therapist knew the affair was continuing? You had separate sessions? That is IMO a serious breach of ethics.
            That would be bad enough but the fact is that they check their brains in at the door too.

          • The MC we saw after DDay #1 had a consent form that clearly outlined that she would keep confidential anything that either person told her in private, but that she reserved the right to terminate therapy if anything was revealed that she thought would seriously impede the progress of therapy. And she queried carefully for issues of on-going infidelity, untreated addictions, or violence; all would be reasons for her to terminate the therapy (with referrals to appropriate resources in the case of addiction or violence).

            Some of ’em are smart cookies, and ethical too.

            • I hope so as I am a therapist!
              But I specialise mostly bereavement and also in historical sexual abuse.
              I don’t do couples therapy.
              It’s unfortunate that I am not very surprised by some of the therapy experiences here, you have to be very careful and choose well. Not easy for traumatised people.

              • So very true. It took me losing my family to realize that the reason my depression wasn’t getting better wasn’t that I was too broken to be fixed; it was that my therapist was fucking incompetent.

        • OMG!!!!! My cheater acted like an abused bewildered puppy during MC claiming to love me and that he wanted to make our marriage work. I knew nothing of his infidelity at this point. Only to find after D’day he hooked up at the same time.

          And to this day accepts no responsibility for the damage to our marriage.

          • I’m sorry, Thankful. ?

            Mine pulled the wool over both our eyes (counselor’s and mine) – we had a “check in” at the beginning of each session, for him to confess any straying issues. He would “confess” that he had been tempted to stare too long at a woman with a low cut blouse walking by, and I was grateful for his honesty. Little did I know that he was just throwing me off the scent, and his confession was the tip of the iceberg. Or maybe the confession was completely fabricated. At this point, all bets are off.

            So I can’t blame the counselor for knowing more than I did in that arena, but I wish she had encouraged me to leave based on the domestic violence alone, instead of helping us work through it for years.

      • This happened to me too. Said he wanted to work on our marriage while he was shacking up with the OW and spending joint funds on dates, dinners, and presents for the whore. The asshole even sent me roses on Valentine’s Day with a note saying he was, “ready to fight for our marriage”, while buying her gifts the same day. The dumb fuck didn’t know I still could his credit card activity. To be a cheater you have to be a liar. One cannot be separated from the other. These guys will just look in your eyes and lie.

        • NTG
          I know that technology has made cheating easier but thank goodness it gave you the means to know the truth. Women in the past must have been put through a hell worse than ours as they had no means to check out their suspicions. They were almost forced to listen to the lying liars lie. No other option. And the lack of financial equality must have been a bitter pill to swallow.
          Sorry seem to have segued into a historical rant there!

      • I thought the same way too after DD#1, He needed to decide what he wanted. After DD#2 I realized he can go fuck himself and the whore too. I needed to decide what I wanted. It wasn’t a life filled with lies and a man who had no honor. Once I decided what I wanted, I informed him. So much better to be the plaintiff then the defendant.

    • I did too. Multiple times. He denied it, then later told me that I was not asking the right question. Turns out “are you having an affair?” triggers the correct answer “no” when you are actually sleeping with prostitutes and one-night stands all over the world. That went for years. He still says he feels his conscience is clear and that he “never lied” to me because I never “asked a direct question.” It was only after he started having “affairs” with girlfriend experience-types that he could start correctly answer “yes,” but by that time I finally asked a different question having to do with our sex life stopping altogether, which triggered a fabulous answer: “You know.” I did not know. How could I have, since I never asked the precise direct question that would have triggered a revealing answer? A year later, his tune changed to “you knew all the time, that’s why you didn’t ask me.” Apparently, not asking him if he does things beyond my imagination — let’s say, sleeping with prostitutes all over the world for over two decades, or cooking meth, or clubbing baby seals — means that I definitely know about it. The whole HuffPo piece is a classic mindfuck.

      • TOWMB, your ex is just a piece of work! Somewhere between a nasty Bart Simpson and a psychopath!

      • Arrrgggghhh! How on earth did your head not implode with that “you didn’t ask the right question” bullshit?! Well done for staying sane and not committing assault!

    • I asked my then husband if he had a “girlfriend”? He said “of course not!” Later after d-day I reminded him of that interaction 4 years previous. I asked him why he hadn’t been honest and answered “yes”. He said, “I told you the truth, I didn’t have a girlfriend, I had been with escorts and massage girls. They definitely not girlfriends”. See how that works?

      • We were clearly married to the same idiot. It can’t be that there are several people with the same imbecilic logic in the universe, can it?

        • We just didn’t ask the “right”questions obviously. If only I had known that semantics were the real issue, not the cheating.

            • He always denied he was with anyone.

              That is because, the day before I arrived (we were ex pat), he would tell OW he couldn’t see her because his family was arriving the next day.

              Therefore, he wasn’t lying when he said he wasn’t with anyone.

              It actually hurts that he was abusing OW as well as me. Horrible to know I chose a misogynist as a life partner. That is abuse, to tell someone that.

              We must teach our young daughters this stuff.

        • No not the same idiot. Just the same DNA encoded cheater hand book.
          My cheater is a champion at only answering the specifics of the question, effectively lying by omission.

          This was frustrating because his support crew though they had all the answers because cheater was compliant with them. To this day they have no comprehension that they ask the wrong questions.

      • Oh yes. It’s NOT an affair if it’s “just” a hookup for sex with a neighbor woman found on one of those websites. Wrong question, right lie.

  • *facepalm

    I didn’t have to snoop, beg for the truth, etc…he was VERY OPEN in his affair, parading her around our small town. Then of course denied it.

    Entitled much?

    • Yes, these are perpetuating idiocy. My therapist said Unfaithful was a disordered narcissist and there were worse things than divorce.

      • Sounds like you got a decent one.
        My individual therapist was great, but MC was awful.

        • A friend of mine called a couple’s therapist for help after she found out about her husband’s 3rd affair (that she knew of, and in that marriage. Of course his previous marriage had also ended due to his cheating). When she told the MC that, he asked ‘and you expect him to change at this point?’. They’re not all dumbells and cheater apologists, just the ones who get published in HuffPost!

  • “How could you even ask me that? You must be in such a negative place after two years of trying for a second child and working and caring for a baby and suffering two second trimester miscarriages in row. I think you are creating problems where there aren’t any.”

    It is best to wait to snoop until your sense of reality and ability to trust your gut is so mindfcked and gas lighted into oblivion you won’t recognize yourself for years to come.

    While you’re at it– wait until those Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSILs) from the HPV you got after “monogamy” for 10 years turns into full blown cervical cancer.

    See how that works out for you

    Definitely- without a doubt. Just ask them. ?

    • So sorry for what you’ve been through. I really wish you could sue your cheater for destroying your health, as some step to sorting the injustice you’ve suffered. I hope you are ok.

  • Something’s amiss with their logic and perhaps they need to be educated on the personality traits of a cheater. The bottom like is they’re manipulative liars and don’t give a rats ass how we feel.

  • Worst advice I ever got was from my pastor, from whom I sought counsel. I had already secretly obtained proof of the affair and determined the name of the mistress by “snooping” through the phone records of my then-husband’s cell phone that was in my name. My instinct was to keep quiet and strategize. My pastor told me I owed it to husband to tell him what I knew. I prayed about it and that night I calmly told him that I knew about her. Hubby told me he was relieved that I now knew. That “relief” didn’t stop him from then hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in his mother’s name and going even more covert.
    One of my biggest regrets of the whole ordeal was listening to this pastor, who I do know was well intentioned but still created worse problems.

    • Same here. Lost another 2 years to wreckonciliation. STBX not only deceived me for years but deceived the priest as well. Then again, he seems able to deceive most people…

      The whole problem with this article is that it is based on a false assumption. It assumes that these cheaters are honest people. I would think that therapists should know that is not reality.

      • As the song/saying goes…”if your lips are moving then your lying, lying, lying” This is the Truth!

      • *Cheating is dishonest* expecting an honest answer and genuine concern for our feelings from our Cheater is absurd.
        We’re supposed to be sensitive to their feelings? Be gentle while explaining why you suspect they’re cheating.
        Explain you need to know for your peace of mind.., WTF? our peace of mind??
        I don’t know about anyone else but finding out my husband is a Cheater didn’t give me peace of mind. just as I’m sure my “peace of mind” wasn’t a concern of his.

        If they weren’t serious I’d be laughing..,

    • Can we just all agree here that pastors and other religious figures are not necessarily people with great emotional intelligence or training in human psychology? Dealing with God, turns out, is a much more straightforward affair than dealing with spouses who play god.

  • Find out if your spouse is dangerously dishonest by asking them a question?


    Also coming soon from Huff Po:

    Find out if your CPA is a thief by giving her your life savings!

    Find out if your neighbor is a pedophile by leaving your kids with him for the weekend!


    Find out if Vladimir Putin respects international borders by removing all defense forces from the Ukraine!

    SMH. File under, “Bad Advice From People Indifferent To Your Misery.”

    • Yes this.

      I can tell you which step on the stairway I was vacuuming when I finally realized that all the hellish mess made sense if you understand that he was fucking Susan. The fact that he kept me off balance complaining that the house wasnt perfect was a red flag, no?

      So I went to him with a little surprise, looked him straight in the face and said “You had sex with Susan___” and he got all snarly, didnt slow down, walked right past me with “I didnt have sex with Susan” but I wonder how flip floppy his insides got knowing that I was finally on to him.

      but his face didnt flinch, not a quivver…I thought for sure he couldnt lie well about this and I was tragically wrong. He lied well because he was so well practiced…had been doing it for years. It is one reason I believed his mentor who told me there was earlier cheating. yup, it was his hobby

      • This 1000+

        All those times in the past when I got a feeling that he may have cheated were probably accurate. I spackled and told myself that not trusting him would harm our marriage. Now in hindsight, he most likely was. I have uncovered and confirmed 2 of those to be cheating that it only makes sense that the other times he was, too.

    • Uh, oh. Chump Lady is gonna get you for that Putin poke; if you don’t get some polonium in your tea first. But no worries. I hear once Vlad got the all clear from his bottom he started bombing with renewed vigor in Syria, so you’re good – he’s preoccupied.

  • Don’t “create distance” by not trusting someone who is perfectly FINE with lying to you, for years even. Because by being worried that you might be being lied to is what causes them to feel distant from you. So then they lie to you. Got it?

    Don’t “snoop” because it’s a “breach of trust” with someone who has NO problem with abusing your trust. Got it?

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. If your gut is telling you your spouse is cheating, go ahead and get the evidence you need to know the truth because this person is a LIAR and is not going to willingly give you the truth. In my own case, my gut told me something was just a little bit off in Ex’s explanation of why he was going to be late that night. Good little chump, I felt so guilty getting out of bed late that night and logging into our cell phone shared account. There I felt the gut punch of seeing hundreds of daily phone calls and texts to just one number and I just KNEW. When he arrived home, I asked him face to face, “were you out on a DATE?” and he looked me in the eye, laughed at me, rolled his eyes, and said, “What??! Are you crazy???”

    He had no idea I’d seen the phone account logs. When I showed him and told him, then commenced the denials, blame shifting, minimizing, gaslighting, etc. And it persisted till even after 8 mos of NC when I found evidence of prior affairs spanning the entire 16 year relationship. So very glad I “snooped” or I would still be wasting my time with this asshole. Now I have my life back.

    I am so grateful that I listened to my gut and then observed my Ex’s breach of my trust, total self-serving lack of consideration and respect for me as a human being.

    • “…he looked me in the eye, laughed at me, rolled his eyes, and said, “What??! Are you crazy???””

      THIS. I asked directly and got the very same response. I truly thought I was losing my mind for a number of years; he stole my trust in my own judgement with his gaslighting.

      • Yes! I got the gaslighting too. I was”crazy”,”insecure”,”jealous,” “causing drama in our marriage.” Of course he didn’t have “a girlfriend “! Turns out he had a “friend with benefits “. Big difference to him, to me not so much.

  • As in the words of George Simon:

    Character disordered people will only admit to the evidence you have.

    Yeah, like my FF would be truthful. He hides his Viagra. He does not know I know where. I count them and he is taking them when travelling, going out with ‘friends’. So I asked him why is he taking Viagra with him before leaving the house or on trips.

    Answer? ‘I’m not’

    Yeah, HuffPo get your shit straight:

    People who feel they are entitled are driven by deception, lying and manipulation. The lie, deceive and manipulate to get what they want. THAT is the issue. Now, side dish of fuck is just ONE way this manifests.

    Financial infidelity is another. Cutting corners where society otherwise would frown.

    Check it out. I bet you USD 1,000,000 those people who cannot keep their dick in their pants/legs closed when in a committed relationship are cheating in other areas of their lives. Why? Entitlement.

    • Yes, a thousand times yes! Long before Fucktard cheated (that I know of, there were several times during our marriage that I thought he was but then he would snap back into loving mode…) he has always played fast and loose with the rules. Always looking for a loophole, always low balling, always bending rules to get that little tiny edge. Always with a straight face, and a sincere smile.

  • Yea, I’m going to ask the guy who would blow up if you asked him to take the trash out if he’s cheating. You know how I found out? I saw Poop Boy talking on the phone and pacing in front of the window. I went outside to see what was going on and he walked away from me. He then started whispering into the phone. My brain immediately screamed, “THIS MOTHER-CHICKEN IS CHEATING ON YOU”.

    Of course, he denied it when I asked directly. It’s only when I went to my mother’s house that he admitted to it. Couldn’t look me in the eye and say it, nope.

    Honest only works with well-adjusted people. Liars gonna lie, hos gonna ho out. That’s just how it is.

  • Oh, for god’s sake…to cheat IS to lie. How to find out if a liar is lying? Why, ask them, that’s how… because the ONE thing a liar cannot lie about is lying!! THAT gets them every time. Oh, and FYI, give them plenty of notice and kindness before you ask if they are lying, because then they will not feel bad about the lying!! YES. Who knew that every time I asked why fuck face was acting so strangely as she sat in my home and ate my food and touched my baby and my husband said things like “she’s sad about her divorce”, or “people at work are threatened by her” , all I had to ask was “Are you lying to me? Are you fucking her face in the morning before going to the office?” in a very sweet voice and he would have said “Aw shucks, sure. You and I haven’t been connecting recently so I went to her place 5 minutes away and fucked her face. There’s a really good connection between her face and my penis. ” And then everything would have been fine. What garbage. PS : Therapy is great if you do it ALONE and FOR YOURSELF.

  • There was a point between D’days, when I was being trickle-truthed, with him admitting only what I discovered myself, that I decided to ask him something I already knew and had found proof for.

    I was shocked at how convincingly he lied right to my face, and I had to look at the proof again to reasure myself of the reality.

    This was around the time I was learning about Cluster Bs of psychopathology, and I tried it again soon after with another discovery I made, and had the same result.

    The monster could look me in the face and convincingly lie, without doing any of the signs-of-lying that we all learn. This was a horrific revelation, and was the point I stopped wasting my time asking any questions. He thought that meant I was settling comfortably into this shit-situation, but it was the start of me working to free myself.

    • At the point when I was almost ready to pull the plug and start the divorce, I had not asked questions for quite a while. I decided to ask about the thing he said we’d have to wait to talk about in marriage counselling. We hadn’t been to marriage counselling yet by this point because it (and literally everything [aka financial abuse]) was too expensive. But there was this thing that hadn’t yet been said, and had to be revealed in counselling.

      So, since I was going to pull the plug, I was curious what this could be, and figured I’d ask. He told me it was another affair, but I had already discovered 7 others, so that didn’t seem like the sort of thing that had to be revealed in counselling. I know that this was not the ‘thing’ as it was just another affair with another ow, nothing hugely catastrophic after all the rest. I decided that the unrevealed biggie secret was whatever I cared to imagine it was. I’m figuring it was a circle jerk gay orgy. Whatever. I really can’t give a damn. I got out and to hell with him.

      • CrimsonComet.
        You write so clearly and calmly about such terrible things. You have grace.
        I’m still and the raving lunatic f-word spluttering stage!!
        You give me a place to aim for!

        • Thank you. But please know that it’s been two years now that my divorce was final. I lingered in this hellhole for 22 months from first D-day to separation day. And by then, I reconciled with myself that he was a sociopath: unfixable, unredeemable, toxic, and really just ‘not-all-that’ like he saw himself.

          I had tried to fix the marriage myself, tried a RIC support forum, where actually not one marriage building advocate encouraged me to reconcile. I went numb for a while, caught an std, and eventually found the strength and support to get out of there.

          Now two years post divorce, I’m mostly at meh, but still have to navigate through his bullshit raising our kids in the meantime. BTW: Chump Lady’s “Cool, Bummer, Wow” wisdom is pure genius.

        • Now that’s a great description, Capricorn, “the raving lunatic f-word spluttering stage!!” I remember it well. There’s no other word in the English language that quite captures what the cheaters have put us through. You have every right to be angry, pissed off, hurt, and raging. The anger stage is self-protection. It may not feel like it, but you are preparing to get mighty. These BS spouting “therapists” have had their day. The righteously angry ex-chumps are rising up.

  • I remember after my 1st dday years back when I asked my wife if she was fucking my little sisters husband.

    Mind you this was 4-5 months or so after the birth of my youngest child.

    Seemed unfathomable that she would be cheating that shortly after giving birth, right? But I still asked. Her response was, “What?, I just gave birth to our son.”

    ….Turns out my sis caught them a week or so after their act – in my home – and on my own bed!

    Btw, she then saw one of these type of therapists only to eventually lead to dday 2….and 3. Fucking Lifetime channel episode, right?

    • I liked your idea of waterboarding the cheater to get the truth. Biggest problem, I suppose, is that you have to catch them and tie them up first.

      • Ahh, 2016. Where the only problem with waterboarding is we have to catch them first. Good times.

        • Okay, Ian, admit it. There was a phase where even your enlightened self would have liked to tie up MG and waterboard her. It’s alright, you can admit it; we’re all friends here ; ).

            • That looks like too much fun to get the truth out of a cheater. Frankly, I’m not even sure medieval instruments of torture would do it.

      • Yes, catching them Tempest would be difficult as they are so slimy and slippery – like mucus.

      • Thumb screws or the rack might work, too, to avoid trickle truth, but you have to catch the cheater for those, too.

        A cattle prod gives the potential for more distance between you and them.

  • I asked for almost a year. Denials, denials, denials. My EH is a CIA level spy liar. Asking did nothing. Finding proof from snooping finally gave me the truth and the freedom to start taking my life back.

    • I think I will never get over the irony that my cheater husband was a Supply Officer in the USMC (where the motto is “Semper Fidelis” – always faithful) absolute truth was expected of him and he lied like a rug. My new husband was a Special Agent officer who was for a time detailed out to the CIA – theoretically he should have expert lying skills and so far Ive never caught him in a lie.

      Trust is something so many struggle with, but for some unknown reason I don’t worry about it at all. My house stayed in my name and my investments are in my name. My life insurance goes to my kids. I cost him money, he has no selfish reason to be with me other than I am a fabulous wife.

  • I asked him when we hadn’t had sex for months.
    I asked him when half naked male adverts kept poping up on our computer.
    I asked him again when he turned down sex.
    I asked him when sex was scares and he struggled to get it up.
    I asked point blank have you been with another woman.
    I asked point blank have you been with another man.
    I even began the second last time I asked with. “I am in a really good head space right now, so if there is anything you need to tell me. You should do it now”.
    All I got was denial, dead eye stares and delayed responses, usually resulting in me losing my composure and him spinning some bullshit about the stress he was under at work, or the projection of my struggling and being unbalanced.
    The last time I asked him was the night I managed to get him out of the house. He admitted to the porn our son had brought to my attention, but still denied being with anyone. It would be another week before that came out.

    Ask them? I really want to slap a forehead and it is not my own.

      • You see Thankful, this is why the RIC would say it’s your fault: you didn’t ask for the first 2 years!
        Silly you…

  • The crap they put on the HuffPo divorce section about infidelity ranges from ridiculous, to baffling, to confusing, to absurd. They had a couple of other posts on there around the same time as this one (and one from the OW about how she felt when her lover’s wife called). Yeah, this particular post takes the cake (pardon the pun). The title should read, “Here’s How to Bury Your Head in the Sand While Your Spouse Fucks Other People”. Alas… is HuffPo.

    I’d beat my head on the wall reading this stuff, but rumor has it people are more serious about concussions now.

    • Hey, maybe THAT is what we’ve been doing wrong!! Instead of all of our other efforts to save our marriages/relationships, we should have just banged our heads against the walls. Concerned experts would have been all over us with offers of help and sympathy.

  • Just wow CL. That poor UBT is going to need an oil change, a tune up and maybe a whole new transmission! I think my favorite part of the article is when chumps are put on notice not to betray the cheater by snooping. If this is an actual practicing shrink, she should have her license revoked immediately!!

    Sure, trust a cheater to tell you the truth. What could possibly go wrong?

    • My terrible MC told us how he believed cellphones should all be password protected and people’s privacy respected. So I asked, “So you’re saying, I should never have looked at his phone and just remained unaware of his cheating?” He then tried to deflect this by asking who paid for the phone. I guess the implication was that if Cheater was paying, I should’ve kept my paws off. Too bad, I was the one footing the bill for the phone and lousy therapy too.

  • I asked if he was cheating and was told no! I was told how I am so insecure and how his staying out half the night was to take pictures! How could I tell him to come home and take away his hobby! How mean! How horrible! He works so hard and I want to take away little sliver of happiness!!
    I told him he was leaving us. He lied, denied and justified.
    A few months later he was gone. He said he was leaving (I know!! Get out already – we can’t take it anymore!!)
    Here we are 11 months later and he told me the other day how I was so blind I couldn’t see what was happening.
    We have a daughter in middle school devastated by his lies and sneakiness.

  • OMG! Yes, please just ask…because we all know that honesty is such a strong character trait for cheaters. What a crock of shit! This just makes my blood!!!

    My cheating xhole had his lies and denials all lined up and ready…except the proof from the messages I found put a damper on his “honesty”.

    Not all liars are cheaters…but ALL cheaters are liars!!

  • Two UBT’s in a row? We’re not worthy!

    Ask. Ha.

    A year ago today was the last time I saw Match Girl. Thinking back now on those last 36 hours we spent together at the end of our 10-year marriage (now 11 I realize) is still painful. After she lied to me and said she was going on a girls’ night out, she could have *told* me she’d actually just fucked a guy she’d met online. She could have *told* me that she didn’t mean to beat me and threaten to shoot me. She could have *told* me she wanted a divorce and one of us could have gotten a hotel room. (I am in complete agreement we should be divorced.) She could have *told* me that the next two months of emails from her after we split would be nothing but lies, and I’d never see my precious pup again even though I was only “going to see my family” while she figured stuff out. She could have *told* me the FIRST TIME I ASKED HER IF SHE HAD FUCKED HIM. Nope. She lied when I *asked* her just like almost every chump here.

    I cried my guts out after she finally told me the truth. But I haven’t cried since then. That’s a bit unusual for me. But I knew from that moment on that the we we were was never going to be the same again. I just can’t bring myself to be sad. Depressed? Yes. Furious? Obviously. Optimistic?

    • Ian D
      I cried A LOT at the start but not so much now. I too get angry and then low and then actually quite hopeful about the future. I think maybe because although it is hard we have gained clarity.
      Some part of us knows that actually this clarity is healthy. We are authentic again. No longer under their control. Getting stronger. Wiser. Happier
      No need to cry about that.

      • Crying now seems like feeling sorry for myself, and giving her some satisfaction that I’m still hitting. I dunno tho. Today is raw.

    • Hey Ian.

      I would agree that the first 31,536,000 seconds after dday are the hardest. You have been transforming right in front of our very eyes. You show courage.

      ..….”Optimistic?”…..*Value* optimism and leave pessimism with yesterday.

      • Thanks, for reaching out, R. At least I don’t have to do any more “firsts” with her. I have lived every event on the calendar. Thanksgiving without her? Survived. Small blessings.

        • Hey. I don’t know if this helps but you cheer me up every day. I like your picture things ? But more than that I like how you say it like you feel it. I’m still very polite and quiet and reasonable even around my cheater and in texts etc. I get a lot of energy from the genuineness of your posts. Like going down the luge in the Winter Olympics !

        • Big love, Ian. That anniversary is wicked. Culmination of a path through calendar Hell.

          You made it. And on this site you cheered MANY. You are sooooo much loved and appreciated. I can not begin the express the joy I have felt when exchanging a bit of nonsense with you. It has cheered me beyond words and I will never be able to properly repay you. Except to remind you how MUCH you matter!!!!

          And I know that this truth does not erase the pain. But in time we re going to recover from this massive assault. And as we are discharged from ICU we will know that we are breathing, our heart is beating and our gonads still have a few contractions in them!!!!

          I can’t wait for the contractions to begin!!!

  • The best way to to confront your spouse so as to get the truth out of them: Walk softly and ….

    baseball bat

    • If Jesus Christ himself, with a Louisville Slugger couldn’t beat the truth out of my XH – (I had a Jesus Cheater), how am I going to get it?

      Apparently, I have never deserved the truth, because “He confessed it all to God, and he didn’t NEED my forgiveness, because GOD had already given it.”

      – He got that Catholic confession things wrong, I thinkssss…..

      • Yeah. My Amazon parrot (who was staying with OW and xh at the love nest after BD) was the one who told me the TRUTH.
        A bird. A talking parrot. With the intelligence of a 3 year old – ratted them out. P.I. cops, family all loved that one…..

        Renting the bird for $5,000 a day – or free to chumps who have seed and nuts on hand.

        • Wait. For real? That’s the best story ever … except, of course, for the pain and betrayal and devastation. What did the parrot parrot?

          • Well, I went out west and xh took our pet parrot to a “bird sitter”, even though she would have been good for the day or two by herself fed/watered. I got back – he was basically moved out- bird gone.
            Found location of apartment complex, but had no idea what apartment number.
            So I went over during the day – when I knew lovebirds were at work, and sang; “WHHHHOOOOOOOOO lives in a pineapple under the SEA??””

            “SPONGEBOB!” She cried through the door. (Sometimes she calls me Spongepants – too.) Actually, I left in tears because she was clearly upset, and I doubted I’d see her again.

            Quick trip to the rubbish can – OW name, then white pages husbands name – phone call, conversation – bird unceremoniously returned home 11:30 p.m. That was it. Never wanted to go back.

            I was told by investigator he could not have done it any better….

        • Magneto: re $5,000 or nuts/seeds:

          The women of CN have the seeds.
          And the men have the nuts.
          That should cover it, eh?

    • Great visual aid and witty, concise remarks today, Tempest! I can tell you must be a fine educator.

      • ; ).

        (I do tend to get higher evals the semesters I post instruments of torture in my power points. Not sure why.)

  • Ask directly for the truth from a cheater/liar? Bahahahahahaha.
    When I asked about the first online dating account (clearly his) that I found on our shared computer, he flat out lied.
    When I found out about the secret email account that went along with the first online dating account and asked for access to it, he deleted the entire thing.
    When I found the collection of women’s underwear in his work bag (only time I had ever looked in his bag, and I wasn’t looking for evidence – I was looking for chocolate), he lied.
    When I asked him to look after our young child while I went to an appointment with the other child, he told me that he couldn’t because he had a meeting. He did – with a prostitute. A half-truth on his part, I’d say.
    When I noted that Ashley Madison had a money-back guarantee if you didn’t get any “action,” I asked him if he could get his money back. He said, “Maybe.”
    When he skipped family outings to “work” and I determined that he was watching porn in this work time, his response was, “Everyone does it.”
    So, flat out denial, destroying evidence, imaginative stories, half-truths, evasion, and minimizing – hmmmm, maybe asking directly is not an effective way to get the truth from a cheater.
    These experts are delusional if they think cheaters are going to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Truly delusional.

    • It’s scary how these turds can just lie. I bet if they were to take a lie detector test they’d lie so well the outcome would be inconclusive ??

    • Yep, DoneandDusted, XH was always answering in ways that would make him “seem” innocent. Like when he told me he hadn’t “dated” anyone one while we were separated the first time…but he never said he didn’t “fuck” anyone. Semantics again!!! Then, after the second wreckonciliation, I asked him if he did anything a married man should not have done while we were apart, and his “clever/funny” (not) little answer was, “Yeah, slept alone.” Oh, but that’s right, my question was just not direct enough..lmao!!!

      • My STBX did this same thing. Always offered a snide comment in answer to a question giving just a sliver of truth but done in such a way to purposely mislead you. That’s lying, too.

  • Sure. This definitely works. Each time you see some evidence of cheating or your gut is screaming to you that something is “off” with their behavior, you should nicely ask your partner if there is something going on with another wo(man). They will tell you that nothing is going on with a really quick lie (how are they so good at lying?). Repeat this conversation a few times over the course of 25 years. Eventually you will feel like you are going crazy or there is something wrong with you. You’ll be made to feel like you have “trust issues.” Then one day you will actually find concrete evidence that they cheated. After finding out the evidence, you will be told that your “trust issues” and you questioning them over the years forced them to cheat and pull away from you. It’s your fault that they cheated.

    Fuck that shit! To any chumps out there that have a hunch that their partner is cheating — they are! Things I wish I would have known years ago: Trust you gut. It’s NEVER wrong. Install a hidden GPS tracking device on their car — oh, you thought they were going straight to work? No, they are going on secret coffee dates before work with a former ho-worker for nine years. Install keystroke-logging spyware on computers to see what they are up to. The FIRST time they show you who they truly are — BELIEVE THEM and RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

    • This is the best advice !! If you are reading this and suspect your spouse/partner is cheating, follow Martha’s advice. You will need to push past the fear of finding out for sure who they really are, the nausea as you buy the GPS and computer tracking, but it’s for your best in the end. Truth be told, before marriage I had doubts about my STBX and almost installed spyware on his computer. I hesitated because I was so in love and I didn’t want to imagine my life without him. However, 12 years later and seven years of marriage and I wish I had put that software on that computer and seen him for who he really when no one is looking. Get that spyware and GPS!

  • When my ex and I were engaged (after almost 10 years and a child together), he told me that he was annoyed that there were rumors swirling around st work that he was having an affair with a woman he barely knew. He was indignant and ranting about it. I said I was surprised that the rumors weren’t about —- —–, because they had grown to be friends and he talked about her a lot more. He mumbled “yeah.” (Because of course he was screwing the latter.) Then I asked him gently if there was any truth to the rumors, reminding him that he had stepped over the line in the past and we were about to get married. He swore the rumors were false, he was happy and in love with me, he’d never do anything like that again, blah blah blah blah blah. Then a few months later, after the wedding, after I sold my house, after I quit my job, after I moved across the country with our son, he decided to come clean and send me packing. I desperately wish that I had snooped.

    • I’m not proud of snooping, FeeeVixen, and I should have understood that if I were snooping that the marriage was done, anyway.

      But I will say that it helped me confront my denial, killed my hopium, and put the final nail in the coffin of my decision to leave her.

      As for asking —- —-, I didn’t actually do that. I calmly confronted her and said that she was having an emotional (cough!) affair and should stop texting your man and seek help, and that I felt hurt and betrayed.

      Did she come clean and confess that the affair was actually physical? No.

      Instead she realized what a chump husband she had–it hadn’t yet crossed my mind that she’d already cheated on me, so best to play to my trustworthy stupidity and see if she can get a post-hoc approval for an open marriage…given I didn’t even yet suspect that I was in one!!!

      It’s like the plot of some teen sex comedy. Porky’s meets American Pie meets…Unfaithful?

      Ah, to think that was my life. What a fucking embarrassment.

      • JC–don’t feel embarrassed; we all did things we regret in retrospect to try and honor our families and our marriage vows.

        When my X asked for divorce during his affair with gradwhore (though I did not know why), he corralled me into the pick-me dance unknowingly. He called from Mexico during a conference to ask for a divorce (f’ing coward to do it by phone), then changed his mind a week later and issued a list of demands I had to meet for him to come back to the marriage. If I were to post that letter (which I still have), it would curl your hair (and cause today’s blog to be considered NSFW).

        His demands were so odious, the letter depicted so little love or concern, that my immediate response was to tell him to GTFO and how dare he talk to me that way. So why did I agree in principle with his demands? Because a clinical psychologist friend told me divorce would damage my children irreparably the way her divorce had damaged her children.

        Do you know how much I would LOVE to go back in time and kick Hannibal to the curb on the basis of that letter? I agonized for 8 years about swallowing my dignity and self-respect to accede to the demands in that letter. It remains one of my biggest regrets in life. But you and I and other chumps get to move on to an honest, respectable life, whereas the odious cheater character will follow our Xs everywhere.

        • Called from Mexico to ask for a divorce?

          That’s one of the most chickenshit things I’ve ever read

      • Like Tempest said, there is no shame in seeing more clarity in hindsight than you had in the moment. The deck was stacked against you, and what was actually at stake was still hidden behind door #3. What kind of person would you have been had you packed up and hustled out the moment you suspected something was amiss? It’s a nice retrospective fantasy, but it’s not what good husbands do. You did what all sane, responsible, loving spouses do: you addressed the issue, asked for what you needed, gave a little, tried to solve the problem. There is not an ounce of shame in that. When you came to the reasonable conclusion that your marriage was not salvageable, you left and closed the door. I know I’ve told you this before, but knowing that you left when and how you did helped me to stay strong in my leaving long before I knew who you were.

        Regarding the snooping, take comfort in the fact that she’s getting a taste of her own medicine. We know for a fact that she snoops in my ex’s phone, so she has had the chance to walk in your shoes. In the not so distant future, she’ll get to walk even farther in those shoes, only without the legal protection of a marriage. Think she’ll be embarrassed? Nope.

      • JC, I’m not proud of snooping either. When I was hiding in the bathroom reading my ex’s journal I was shaking and felt so ashamed of violating his privacy. I always say that was the worst and best moment of my life, because I discovered the truth and it hurt like hell. But it was also the moment I realized my intuition was right and I wasn’t crazy. The truth truly will set you free.

        • I’m not proud that I never thought to check her journal. When she said she was going to start recording major life events, I trusted and encouraged her. Turns out she was evaluating my performance and deemed me insufficient. I wish I had thought to read her journal to find out the truth rather than still being eaten alive by her comments over two years later. I have a feeling we beat ourselves up no matter how we behave.

  • That just killed my brain cells. Note to self next time I decide to get into a long term monogamous relationship and my deceptive prick of a partner cheats on me, I will go to that fluffy happy kind place where unicorns run free and there is actually gold at the end of the rainbow and think of this article and not about STI’s, or how this person betrayed me, or how all the trust is gone for a piece of ass and how this is going to impact the rest of my and my kid’s life (who am I kidding? never mind the kids are resilient, silly me).

    Holy hell, I just choked on the kool-aid.

  • After two (three?) D-days, none of which came about through my XW confessing unsolicited (does this ever happen?), I was terrified to ask her directly. Yes, terrified of what I knew was the truth–that she was still a walking Lie. So one night I timidly asked her, “You would never hurt me again, right?” She smiled and said sweetly, “Never deliberately.” To say my heart sank would be an understatement. In hindsight her response was chilling, creepy. Yet I hung in for another six months of abuse before I dragged my broken ass to my attorney. These people are sick.

    • Kind of like I am sorry for hurting your feelings! Not sorry for the action….. and will continue to do so.

    • So I gather the original betrayal was “deliberate?” As chumps we want so badly to BELIEVE what horseshit is verbalized by these empty carcasses sired by satan. I mean, they seem to appear to be human after all. So us lovely chumps project our goodness onto them, wrongly assuming they could not possibly be so inhumane.
      In truth, after the betrayal, the trust is gone. That you have to inquire with your spouse if you are safe with them or not is a complete mindfuck.
      David, im sorry you had an walking, jive talking, dead carcass narcopath as your wife. It appears you deserved better, as we all did.

    • You are really stirring up my memories with your posts the last few days, David. “Not intentionally.” That is so, so cruel.

  • I asked many, many, many times. Guess what? Cheaters brains are hard wired to gaslight you as soon as you start asking.

    Now I’d like to ask: Who are these idiots?? Clearly they are either cheaters themselves or complete idiots who have no experience with cheaters at all. Either way I just want to yell, “shut up!”

  • My anger this morning is sideways at these so-called therapists. If you are reading these posts realize this: your comments, attitude, cheater-apologistic, victim-blame mentality and behavior further harms victims of domestic violence. Cheating is domestic violence: Knowingly exposing a sexual partner to deadly diseases and having sex with a spouse who has specifically made consent to intercourse conditioned upon the assurances of fidelity is abuse, it is the tort of battery, it is fraud, and in most states it is a sexual crime such as rape in the 3D degree. It is also emotional abuse and extremely devastating from an intimate partner (gaslighting, deceit,

    Would you write these same comments to a woman or man subject to more “traditional” forms of domestic violence? Of course not! So please stop perpetuating this victim blaming and get educated about the subject.

    In my PTSD triggered state from reading these therapists’ advice, this is all I can think of at the moment.

    • MotherChumper.
      Snap on the triggering thing. You are 100% spot on with all you said.

      • Thank you Capricorn! I love your posts, by the way. They really help me feel that I’m not crazy and not alone.

        • MC99
          You are definitely not alone. You are certainly not crazy. You are mighty and I love your posts too. What you have been through for so long is heartbreaking but to have such a generous spirit to help us newbie chumps is wonderful.

    • How interesting, MotherChumper99,

      We both ranted in unison on different blog posts about cheating being a form of domestic abuse.


  • Hey HuffPo and esteemed Orange County, CA marriage therapists… distance in a marriage doesn’t cause infidelity… a person with no morals and no character causes infidelity.

    Mr. Sparkles could look me in the eye, tell me he was going out to shoot pool, and go to a local hotel to meet up with someone from Craigslist.

    Mr. Sparkles could sit in marriage counseling and DENY that he ever had his own online personal ads while I was holding printouts of them.

    Mr. Sparkles could decide for himself that the “marriage was over”, go out and date a few women, and pick one BEFORE discarding me and our children… without saying a word.

    Mr. Sparkles is a sham. People who cheat are DISHONEST. There is no point in conversing with a disordered person about their lack of character… better to spend your time pushing a pebble up a hill with your nose.

    Mr. Sparkles got a blood test the minute he announced he was leaving our family – but wouldn’t wear a condom to earn back my trust after D-Day #1.

    I know… let me go ask Ted Bundy… did you really kill those girls? I’m sure (if he were alive) he’d say, “Golly gee, not me.”

    Good Lord… face palm Wednesday… here we go.

    Rock on Chump Nation.

  • Snarks, CL! Ha ha ha ha!

    ‘Are you having an affair?’ is the first thing I asked when he arrived home disconnected.

    “NO!’ he replied, and proceeded to give me a list of why I was a terrible wife.

    I ran with that diversion for two, soul destroying, mentally and emotionally abusive years.

    Those stupid counsellors should be shot. What are their qualifications. They clearly have never been cheated on and they don’t seem to understand cluster B personality disorders. How do I know my ex is a cluster B? Because after 2 years of listening to my whining, my qualified up to the wazoo marxist Jewish gay therapist lost his temper and told me he was.

    Why did he do this? To impress on me to put down the hopium and give up, that he would NEVER change.

    • The qualified up to the wazoo African marxist gay Jewish therapist lost his temper like this:

      [shouting] HE IS A NARCISSIST! HE IS NEVER EVER GOING TO CHANGE! – It was the very first time in my life that I had heard of the term ‘narcissist’.

      What followed was a 6 months of open eye horror discovery of what narcissists are, and then I filed.

      We have the sum total of zero in common, but my therapist is great.

      • I love your therapist. He might have a very full waiting list soon…….
        Some people save lives.

      • I went to an excellent therapist in the first weeks following the first DDay. She insisted that STBX allow her to talk to his “therapist.” When I threatened to kick him out, he finally signed the release. She called me after her talk with his therapist and said: “I’m very sorry to have to tell you this but your H is a narcissist with BPD, he has no remorse, he has no motivation to change, he blames everything on you, he lies with impunity, he will only continue to harm you so you need to leave him and divorce.” I was so shocked and ignorant and filled with hopeium that I fired her on the spot. This commenced 4 months of wreconciliation he’ll, abusive MC where he screamed at me about my defects that ruined our marriage (strange things from decades ago that he had never mentioned), and ridiculous sex addiction and anger management counseling. I finally had enough and kicked his ass to the curb. Took another 7 months to file. That therapist was 100% right! I’ve told her so several times.

        • Sometimes, maybe a lot of times, nothing happens right away. It takes a while for the truth to sink in and take effect. It may be disheartening for therapists to be in this place, but I am so grateful for those who truly help, who shine the spotlight on the reality of personality disorders, despite watching their client reject the truth and go back to the abusive spouse. Sometimes it just takes a while for the seed they plant to finally grow. And eventually, the message sinks in.

          In my case, I saw a psychiatrist for severe depression following D-day 2. Told him about the infidelity, and he basically said my now-ex has a disordered personality, that I have a lovely personality. That ex should never have married and should be required to wear a sign saying “don’t marry me” and that I needed to find a lawyer, to divide up his things and my things, and get out asap. I was absolutely horrified that he would diagnose my ex without seeing him and I was determined to save the marriage, so I found another Dr to write the scripts. I stayed in this hellhole marriage about a year longer from the seed being planted until I made active plans to leave. But I did eventually leave, and I credit this psychiatrist, and also chump lady whose articles on serial cheaters opened my eyes to cluster Bs.

          • CC
            That’s such a great messsge for chumps to be compassionate with themselves and to not continually victimise themselves further by blaming themselves for not figuring out their cheaters earlier. It’s hard hard knowledge to accept. It’s not our fault we believe in love and marriage and trust and loyalty and integrity and to expect that from those we married. It’s not our fault that these monsters are hard to spot. It’s not our fault we struggled to leave our invested love behind. It’s not our fault we wanted to protect our children or ourselves from a broken family and financial insecurity. We need to love ourselves and be self compassionate.
            It all takes time.
            Well done you.

  • Wow! These therapists will say anything to get that $180 per hour! As if being cheated on isn’t enough of a mindfuck. Now you can add a professional mindfucker.

  • Wow. Well, I can’t be that surprised because I did try this. I calmly started a conversation just over a year before D-day when he was caught red-handed. I said we could work through anything and I was his best friend but please tell me what’s going on in our marriage. Of course he didn’t cop to anything but insisted on giving me all his passwords so his poor, crazy, suspicious wife could have peace of mind. He was thrilled to send me on a wild goose chase (“Ha, Ha, fooled her again”). Yeah, I’m a chump. Thank you Chump Lady for getting the word out. This is really bad advice. It doesn’t work.

    • Mine agreed to me monitoring him, but only if I involved him in the installation and use. Which of course defeats the purpose, even I knew that.

  • I tried this on several occasions. What I discovered was how crazy and psychotic I was for thinking such. All this direct questioning does is open opportunity for them to attack you and destroy you.

  • Anyone who suggests that knowing what your spouse is doing when you aren’t around is “snooping” is definitely on the side of the cheater.

    I believed that horse shit for way too long. Wish I had been more of a “snoop”, cause if they aren’t doing anything wrong you won’t find anything wrong.

  • “Are you fucking escorts at lunch?”

    Oh….. thanks!!

    I guess I should have asked that question. Could have saved myself 20 years of trouble. Oh well, next time.

  • More lies here:

    On D-day, between sobs, Me: “You’re abruptly leaving our marriage aftter 16 years and I didn’t even know you were unhappy? How did this happen? When did this happen? IS THERE SOMEONE ELSE? [I did not shout — the caps are for text emphasis.]”

    XH: “No, there’s no one else.”

    (The following week: hiding phone, secret comings and goings, a long conversation on his phone while parked down the street from our house — he said it was a mutual friend counseling him…..)

    One week later, he’s cleaning out the passenger side of his truck before a “work event.” — Very very dim bulb goes on in my head, “Ohhhhhhhh….”

    He comes back in. I’m smiling, at my own stupidity. He asks, annoyed, “What?!?”

    Me: “I think there’s something going on between you and Schmoopie.”

    Him (exasperated): “Well, I told you I have feelings for her….”

    — Oh yeah, the honesty in these guys. Legendary.

    Also, CL lost me at the first HuffPo excerpt: “Let them know you can handle the truth and that you believe you can work through anything, as long as there’s honesty.” — If by “work though anything,” you mean “work through my strategies to divorce as quickly as possible with the best possible outcome for me”? Then, yes, I was prepared to work through anything. GTFO, MF.

  • Just like everyone else, I asked. I begged. I pleaded, I wrote letters. I even texted. All in calm, loving semi self blaming chumpy ways. I was denied until I caught him erasing her texts. And even then it was only an emotional affair because they didn’t have ‘actual sex’.

    Liars lie. They lie for self preservation. To keep the status quo. To get what they want. Because they just fucking like to lie and the power it gives them. To avoid responsibility. To avoid consequences.

    That’s it, people. That is why they lie. And you can ask prettily or subserviently all you want to. The truth will never come out of their mouths. Ever. I’m sure there are psychological reasons about this. I don’t care anymore – he is no longer my problem. But the point I would like to give all newly minted chumps out there is this– they lie, they cheat, they steal, they are destructive, entitled assholes who will stop at nothing to make themselves happy.

    Gentle, shy forest creatures that can be startled by chumps asking if they are fucking around in a condemning tone of voice? No. Psychopaths, Sociopaths, soulless destroyers are what they all are.

    • ^^This^^
      I know I will never know the extend of the lies, but I know now he will never tell the truth, even on his death bed. It used to drive me crazy, being told lies even when caught red-handed, I can physically remember how I felt, head spinning, heart sinking, dying inside…

      • There’s this twisted saying, “if you look through a mans phone, you’ll find what you’re looking for”… Guess what I found it because it was there fucktards!!

    • The problem is that cheaters don’t have integrity. Had they integrity, they wouldn’t have cheated; so to expect them to tell the truth with some gentle prodding and asking? Really? What crappy advice in that article.

    • Agree totally, Chump Dude. And asking gives them a heads up to take more money and assets and to suck whatever else they can before they run.


    So when I saw the script refills for Viagra and he had moved out two months prior to “be alone”, I as a chump, believed him when he said they filled it by accident, at $200 a pop. (5 times, yea I’m a HUGE chump and he knew how to play me after 36 years). He told me him moving out didn’t have anything to do with me, he loved me, he just needed time alone to get his head straight. It wasn’t anything like that, he wasn’t interested in anyone or anybody, he was to messed up.
    Or when I asked why he was spending so much social time with his employee and his fiancé (since he wanted to be alone), and he told me “you don’t have to worry about her, she is engaged you know”, Again I got told him moving out was nothing like that, he loved me…. he needed time alone to get his head straight, but hung out with them cause he got lonely???
    Or when I caught him chatting with her on their phones and I could see the whole conversation live on his IPad and it seemed a little too cozy, I interrupted and announced myself, told them the shit had hit the fan…. he called me and I asked are you having an affair with her? And I got, ‘Not like you think”. I hung up and scrolled back to older conversations and it described all the wonderful sex that had taken place and what he still wanted to do, plus a nude photo of himself getting into the shower.
    Yea, just ask them, they will have an honest, adult conversation with you. They are wonderful, kind people who are just confused and misunderstood.

    • Is it just me? I’ve not tried Viagra or the like. Is it like X or something? Am I missing out?

      • Viagra is nothing like X.

        On Viagra, you will be hard for hours. You will have a blank stare on your face (the Viagra stare) as you try to climax and cannot.

        It helps overweight men with high blood pressure who have limp dicks or ED.

        It is NOT like X. You are not in love with the bouncer, the bartender, the man who checked your coat, your sweater. You do not want to French kiss the world (like X).

        It just gives you a stick of wood for a very, very long time.

  • This is just more blame shifting. If you would just discuss things openly and like an adult rather than run around snooping behind their back, then surely they would give you an honest, adult answer. Snort.

    Perhaps the time to have had that open, adult conversation would have been when the three of us were sitting around the table enjoying the home-baked lasagne I spent all morning putting together. Please pass the garlic bread … and by the way, are the two of you fucking each other every weekend? Or just every other weekend? Save room for the blueberry pie … I baked it from scratch!

    • The dinner actually happened. Two smug shits sitting right there in my own kitchen while I played Martha Stewart, Italian style. Disgusts me still.

    • Very witty Dixie…

      I probably would have been even more subtle than you at the dinner table. I would have served her a special concoction drink.

      Me: Here honey, drink this, it’s really tasty and fun.
      Her: Why is it such a fluorescent color of green?

      One can dream right? LOL

        • Hahaha Dixie and no 50/50 mix either. Full concentrate only!

          Shit, they also make it now in fluorescent orange and blue. Cheaters take your pick!

          Still dreaming…

      • That’s hilarious, what I dream is her coming by in my absence and finding them naked. With a gun in my hand and her naked, him locked in the room and me asking her, which one are you taking, a gunshot or a jump from the 8th floor???

      • Y’all come! No frozen pasta … promise!! Tonight is fresh made enchilada casserole and wilted kale with homemade garlic/dijon vinaigrette. Peach cobbler for dessert!

  • Oh. Yes. I am xxxxx years out, and wasband, (somehow still (jack-hole-douche-pants)) answers to everything on that list, or did when I last spoke to him, ca 2013. How is that?

    I think these “therapists” have been cribbing from the Cheaters Universal Handbook ™ again. Tut tut. I, like many in this community earned my advanced degrees the old fashioned way (no, not snorgling a prof, ewww), hard work & original thinking!

    These folks are cheaters-in-spirit if not in fact. Stealing from the Cheater’s Universal Handbook ™. Bless their hearts.

  • Yeah, just ask them – that always yields an honest response. In fact, I may have tried that.

    Me: “Are you cheating on me?”
    XH: “No, I’m not cheating on you!” He just had to move out and file for divorce because he couldn’t love me after being together 18 years. “If I can’t love you then it isn’t fair to you…or me.” “I have your best interest at heart.”

    They don’t answer this question honestly because they justify their actions as something different than cheating in an attempt to keep up a good guy image and prevent consequences. My cheater thought he was being noble. On the surface, this sounds nice – especially when you leave out the bit about the 32 year old whore that has a penchant for weak, married “men” (her 2nd) with cash to buy her a home.

  • I laughed my ass off when I read this … until it sunk in that these are actual practicing therapists peddling this insanity to hurting people. Newsflash Orange County therapists: Liars lie.

    Days after I caught Cheese Fries lying about going out alone when he was really on a date, he stood on my porch, looked me in the eye, smiled, and said, “I’ve never lied to you.” When I confronted him about his new sex ad, he got all twisted up in his story that this was all “fantasy” (just like all the other times that were fantasy and were never going to happen again); I pointed out the inconsistencies in what he just told me and I got the cheater dead-eyed stare.

    When Jesus Cheater Dad abandoned my totally dependent mother, a neighbor told my brother and I all about the other woman. We went to her address, found his car parked outside, and two days later asked him if he left because there’s another woman. “Not yet,” he said. We asked where he was living. “I’ve got a room with a couple of guys,” he said, looking us both straight in the eyes and smiling. We told him his car was outside the mistress’s house two nights ago. We got the cheater dead-eyed stare.

    The biggest thing I’ve learned is that if someone lies to your face, don’t believe anything that comes out of their pie hole. Liars lie and they don’t confined their lying to one area of their life.

  • My story differs a bit from the vast majority of accounts here. I was too naive to ask my spouse if he were cheating on me. He confessed to his (latest) affair after we had been together for ten years. However, he lied many times after that confession. Approximately one hour after he confessed, he attended a psychotherapy session with me that was booked before i learned of his infidelity and was booked to discuss challenges in my doctorate. During my session, I told therapist that I was concerned that my husband would financially devastate us. My husband sai, I would never do that to you and the kids, 2.5 years and $100k in attorney’s fees (and still not divorced) later, it’s clear that he lies. Furthermore he confesses to ‘indiscretions’ (‘I secretly withdrew money in frequent small amounts to pay for sex’) one day and then claims he did not the next. his lying on several issues has become obvious in court, but the (female) judge doesn’t care–she seems enamored by him. I wish that judges and attorneys had to experience what they put people they judge and represent through. So much bias and so much self-serving. My boyfriend any my sister give me a hard time about not getting a larger home and a bed )so that I don’t have to share a bed with my kids), much-needed medical services, etc., but how can I as a late middle-aged, unemployed single parent who is being wiped out in the ‘legal’ system?

    • RSW
      By naive I assume you mean normal well-adjusted loving and trusting? None of this is your fault as you know. You are obviously super smart and thoughtful and have suffered life with a cheater and liar.
      One thing I have noticed in myself is that the more I learn about just how deep the dysfunction in my STBXH is, the more I learn here about the habits and peculiarities of these disordered folks the more I see it everywhere. And the less I trust my own disordered craphead. But also I can see how other people just don’t get it at all. The judge and the attorneys in your case. No experience means no clue. We are excoriating therapists today because they are supposed professionals whose job it is to know of what they speak but regular people who have not experienced this just cannot wrap their minds around it. It’s too threatening I think.
      That’s why I come here so often to reassure myself that I’m not crazy!

      I don’t mean to be rude but your boyfriend gives you a hard time about a bigger place? He doesn’t get your financial fear? I’m soon to be single, 50, peri menopausal, unemployed, 20 year SAHM who has heard all the same promises of financial security but am not holding my breath.
      What’s the polite way to ask ‘is it ok for him to give you a hard time about this?’

      You have given me great advice before. I send you hugs and hope you know how mighty you are.

      • Great advice Capricorn! And coming here to reassure yourself that you’re not crazy. I get that! It’s key to surviving in a world where these disordered types seem to be around every corner. I know that I’m susceptible to dating them. I think I’m dating one now (as I mentioned in my posts from a couple of days ago). Now that guy is pulling away from me when I should be pulling away from him, and it feels like being discarded all over again. It makes no sense.

        • Hey Chump Dude.
          Let him pull away, watch him fade into the distance and become a speck on your horizon. Think me, me, me today. Give yourself a pat on the back, watch some David Attenborough to make you feel something mighty special just by being you and being alive on this little blue dot (there is an article by Carl Sagan called The blue dot which is mind blowing). Then have some tea, a biscuit and a little think and realise your guy has just floated off and you don’t care as you are all you need. No discarding. Just the universe saving you. Peace. ??

          • Capricorn,

            I really like your advice to Chump Dude about ‘No discarding. Just the universe saving you!’

          • Hey Capricorn. Wow, what you wrote is really profound and beautiful. Just the universe saving me. What a supportive take on what on the surface feels like stonewalling and a painful discard. I love it! <3 <3 <3

            I'm working on the "I am all I need" piece. That feels like a ways off. I know it to be true, but life feels overwhelming to go at it as a single person. I spent 20 years with my cheater narcissist sociopath, and now those sorts of relationships feel comfortable like an old shoe. But the shoe is full of poisonous spiders, lice, and cow shit and hardly provides any protection. But I learned how to live like that. It's like learning to survive in the desert; you just do it.

            • ChumpDude, Once you get the hang of it, you are going to love it. Eat what you want when you want. Sleep on your schedule. Watch your favorite films and listen to your favorite music. Read a book. See old friends and family. Everything you used to enjoy and had put on hold, do it. You’ll feel your strength returning. Eliminate any traces of your ex and rearrange your furniture and your life. Be proud of your hard earned wisdom. Chart your course with confidence. When the time is right and the stars are properly aligned you may just realize that someone worth your time would love to share your life, and by then you might want that too. But don’t rush and don’t settle. Make your life what you want it to be first. You are mighty!

      • Capricorn,

        Thank you for your support, so well expressed. I should clarify the ‘hard time’ statement about my sister and boyfriend. Both of them are highly educated and very successful in their careers and thus now have what many would consider an upper middle-class lifestyle. I believe, based on decades of knowing both of them, that they want the best for me but don’t realize that their ‘reality’ is not my current ‘reality,’ which changed tremendously a few years ago. (By the way, my sister is a psychologist, who is NOT a proponent of the RIC approach (reconcile at all cost).) My sister seems to think that money grows on trees and that it’s OK to depend on our elderly parents to pay for major useful but perhaps not making the difference between life and death expenses incurred by the kids and me.)

  • I did this after my husband invited his AP to our house for the weekend and spent the evenings together after I’d gone to bed “just being friends.” I asked my husband with all the humility and graciousness this article asks us chumps to give to our husbands/wives if there was anything going on between them. He lied. Turns out they had started having sex that weekend.

    I did this article’s advice and that’s when I became a chump.

  • Ok, here I go: ClusterFuck B’s cannot be cured. They probably don’t even know this themselves. They may say “I will go to therapy blah blah blah fuckity blah.” Perhaps they really don’t want to be divorced. Perhaps they mean it when they say “I will change.”
    Fast forward to whenever….they cannot change. They will still be what they always were, perhaps with a bigger phony facade portraying the faithful spouse?
    ClusterFuck B’s are liars. They can’t help it. Blame it on their sire, Satan, the father of lies. It’s in their DNA to lie. So, hey, hate me bitches, but I’m guessing that if I’m lied to about, say anything?, that its highly unlikely they will say “oh yes, Cock Slobber and I fuck all day everyday while you are at work to earn money to finance my wonderfulness”
    Call me crazy.

    • ^^^THIS^^^. So true! You can’t speak to a Cluster B and get truth. Once they open that hole in their face….only lies come out.

      You are not crazy EX-orcist, you are spot on!! Also, you are funny as heck. 🙂

  • I am constantly amazed at how common cheating is, yet so many people get it so absolutely wrong. It is like these articles are written by aliens trying to figure out how humans work.

    By the way, I started by asking my cheater if she was cheating, she said no, so then I realized I was still suspicious and had to go all NSA on her and read her email. It turned out that she (are you ready?) lied to me. Yes, she told me something that was not true, a conscious attempt to fool me. Isn’t that amazing HuffPo? What the heck? A cheater tends to lie to you.

    Mind blown.

  • I DID ask my spouse if I should be worried about him and OW, because he had mentioned how her spouse was jealous of him. His response? Hell no! She’s batshit crazy!!! A month later, he comes home crying, saying he wants a divorce. The poor sap. Turns out, he’s been cheating on me with her for at least 3 months at that point. I suspect longer. And I’m also pretty sure she’s not the only one. She’s just the one that’s dumb enough to take him on.

    Tomorrow, he’s all yours… Have… “fun”?

  • I remember asking the ex questions about her cheating, and she didn’t know I already had the evidence in hand.

    It was amazing to watch how smoothly she lied to her then husband of 20+ years

    Snooping is a good thing! It’s more like due diligence which in other environments makes perfect sense

    • Yes, watching them lie in real time is amazing … you can just hardly believe your eyes. I recall using “find my iphone” to watch him staying in a completely different state than where he supposedly was. A DIFFERENT STATE!!!

  • Ugh! and I’m a therapist who works with client going through a divorce. How awful and re traumatizing! Just makes me so mad. Sorry, I’m inarticulate and in a hurry, but please, not every therapist is that way. Work to find a therapist that aligns with your personal values.

  • “…as long as there is honesty”

    I think she might have put her finger on the problem just there. Do you think she could have had an affair with someone you mistook for a friend for the last sixth months and remain honest?

    Unbelievably messed up thinking. I resorted to snooping because her lies were becoming less and less plausible. The ONLY thing that got her to admit anything was the itemised cell phone bill and even then she lied about that. Sometimes somebody like this author says something that betrays not just a lack of experience but an almost complete lack of empathy. It wouldn’t bother me if I thought she wasn’t getting paid for writing stuff like this.

  • In my case I asked directly, 15 years ago, if there was someone else and was told “no”. Then again 3 years ago, when she asked for the divorce, and she said “no”. A month after I finally decided to snoop. In about 10 minutes with her phone I saw everything I needed to know that she’d been lying about her affairs the whole time. Liers lie, cheaters cheat, and lying cheaters cheat and lie. I’ll be happily divorced 2 years come February. CL and CN saved my life. I tell my sorry and promote CL to one and all.

    • “CL and CN saved my life.” A million times yes! A light shining during the darkest times.

      • Amen to that ChumpDude and that includes me also. I was on a tram (cable car) yesterday on my way home and I started talking to a very nice young man. For some reason he told me that his fiancé had just broken off their engagement for the 2nd time in 6 months and he was really miserable. I told him to visit this site because it will help him understand what is happening and it will also give him the strength to walk away from her for good and to heal. He did write down Chump Lady on a piece of paper. I truly hope that he has taken my advice and is at least reading the comments. If so, CL and CN will start to save another broken soul.

          • Survivor, as flattering as that would have been, no he was just a nice young man. Besides I am way too old now.

  • That article is re-traumatizing on so many levels. So much so that it should be preceded by a warning that it could trigger trauma responses in infidelity abuse survivors. Fuckers!

    Straight out and ask them if they are cheating? Sure! I did that. Over and over and over I did that. I even knew to tell him that I could deal with the truth, that I just needed to know the truth, that he owed me the truth, please please PLEASE just tell me the truth, and then we can decide how to proceed. None of it worked. The questioning just made him more mad and me more beaten down and feeling crazy. Because of my repeated questioning, he became so mad that he told me I was a monster that needed to be killed. I suppose it was figurative language, but how can I be sure? Hearing those words from him wrecked me to my soul. How dare he make me into a monster. It’s like tormenting an animal and then blaming them for lashing out with teeth and claws. I wasn’t a monster, I was a prisoner of war fighting for my sanity, and I was so desperate to make the pain stop that I would have done anything. Well, except leave him. That I wouldn’t have done. I was trauma bonded to the fucker. What a cruel fate.

    During all of this fuckedupness, my dad died of complications from cancer. My now ex but then still partner showed up late to the service which really hurt me. But on that day of the service I was given a profound gift from my dad. After the service, I was driving home and felt his presence reaching through time and space (I know that’s a cliche, but that’s how it seemed) and I heard in my head “____’s still cheating on you. ____’s still cheating on you. ____’s still cheating on you.” Over and over and over. Until I felt compelled to start saying it out loud. Over and over and over. I hadn’t planned bringing this up to my then still partner because it would make me out to seem even more crazy, but later that night we were checking in, and again I started up with the line of questioning (because I couldn’t help myself), and again he denied everything that had seemed so obvious, I mentioned what happened with my dad in the car ride home. I watched as my ex’s face turned white. All he said was “wow” and got up and walked away. The next morning I brought it up again with him saying “that was such a profound experience with my dad” to which my ex responses “don’t you ever bring that up with me again!” and again walked away.

    The gift I have in all of this is knowing that my dad had my back. That he was right and was telling me the truth that my ex wouldn’t give me. I eventually found out that my ex was continuing to cheat on me. A therapist told him that he was so far out of his integrity that he owed me the truth. So my ex told me the truth albeit through gritted teeth and layered with phrases like “I never loved you. I was only ever with you for your earning potential as an engineer. I’ve never had better sex than I have with [the OP]”. I was then discarded by him, and it’s been two years, and I’m still recovering. But at the lowest of my low, my dad had my back. I’m not one to go on about spiritual experiences like that–not really in my wheelhouse–but I’m thankful my mind is open to stuff like that because remembering that experience in the car will always bring me some peace.

    • I know, ChumpedDude. After finding out about the first affair, I incredulously asked my now-X, “You were fucking around on me?????!!!!” He shook his head no, and then claimed just an emotional affair (and only because I had hard evidence in the form of his notes for his sexual harassment hearing).

      When I started to think back to prior events and ask him about further affairs & fucking around at conferences, he got down on his knees and proclaimed his innocence (when I now know he was a serial cheater, probably from fresh out of the marriage vows).

      Ask them and you’ll get truth? Sssuuuurrrreee…..

      • It’s true, Tempest, all we get are blame shifting and lies. I got the same bullshit response after my now ex cheated on me the first time–a head shaking “no” and insistence that I must be crazy. And I felt crazy. It was during the second round of cheating that it got so bad for me. I just couldn’t go through it again, but I also didn’t want to walk away from 20 years of commitment and history.

    • And ChumpedDude, if you are 2 years out, you’re still suffering in part because of your X’s cruelty at the end about never loving you. Please know that they lie about that, too. Cheaters are big on the post-hoc explanation for their cheating that thrusts the devalue onto the chump. I’m sure your X did love you (to the extent to which he was able), but they are motivated by power. Why do some people think it is worthwhile to have power over another by making them cry? Better minds than mine will have to answer that, but I do know that the power angle is a huge component of the devalue-and-discard that you experienced. And what better way to feel nefarious power than to convince you that your multi-year relationship was a fiction.

      • The incredibly hurtful statements are intended as punishment because you forced them to verbalize what shits they actually are. They hate that and somebody is gonna pay. Sadly, that would be you. Don’t you believe though … their insults are lies too.

      • Tempest, I think the suffering continues in part because I’m putting myself out there trying to date and am getting re-triggered by realizing my picker isn’t very good. This last guy I was interested in teased the crap out of me. He said he hoped to make me cry on the first date–he was joking, but who says that even if joking? I feel needy and lonely, and that’s not a place to start any relationship from. SIGH.

        • ChumpDude. I realize that it can be tough to ‘get out there’ again. Know that there are decent people who believe in treating others well. ChumpNation, and I am sure many others. want to see good guys prevail and thrive.

          • Thanks RockStarWife! I’m going to rest and heal from this last round of dating and will try going at it again at some point. After I figure out how it is that I found my way back to a jerk. A smart, witty, funny, sarcastic, snarky teasing, handsome, successful but ultimately a jerk.

            • I’ve had a fair amount of experience with jerks in marriage and dating. And I am far from the only one. While unpleasant at least and tremendously painful at worst, I now think of the experience as the ‘gaining of wisdom.’ Now I much more quickly stop the nonsense of being treated badly or inappropriately not only by potential romantic partners but also by people in work settings. So the silver lining in the cloud of chumpdom is the erosion of my willingness to put up with crap!

      • I’m not sure WHY but I always seem to believe the worst lie (I never loved you) over the other ones (nothing happened we are just friends). If they lie, they lie! And the worst part is you KNOW they are capable of lying! So why would you believe anything they say. Probably just your own vulnerability. You are a good person. You did NOT deserve this. You are enough. You deserve love. He is a damaged SHIT and that is no reflection on you! That’s what I have to tell myself too. My STBX doesn’t seem to really be a narc just someone that has become selfish and lost his way. He slept with OW once and now wants freedom or something. I’m not even sure at this point! But I can’t save him! He’s screwed up. He’s choosing his own way. Me and our cat and our little condo and real true deep compassionate love from a devoted wife and best friend isn’t what he wants. Sex with a damaged OW and fantasyland is what he wants. So good luck! IDIOT!

        Hopefully some day a good guy will pick me. And until then I have to pick me and pick up my pieces!

  • This article might as well have been titled “It’s not their behavior that’s the problem it’s your reaction to it”.

    I did ask him if he was cheating….for years while he was withholding sex but on porn non-stop. Maybe I didn’t ask in the proper way as I sat down calmly with tears streaming down my face if it was a physical problem and that we could deal with it together. His reply, with a smirk.. “Nothing wrong with me”. I left for a couple of days after that statement, but he begged and pleaded with me to come back saying that he had gotten a prescription for Viagra. He took one and then said he didn’t like how it made him feel. Apparently he liked how it felt just fine, just not with me, since I discovered two empty bottles along with an over the counter male enhancement pills a couple of weeks after D-day that he had hidden from me. Maybe I had asked on a Monday, I’m not quite sure.

    Or while I was standing in the kitchen, this time sobbing after yet another pocket dial from a bar and told him, “If you don’t want me…let me go”. Not a word from him. Perhaps I hadn’t let him relax long enough after his long, hard day at “work”. That could’ve been where I failed.

    Or all the letters that I wrote expressing to him how he was making me feel. But my bad, I had written those at night when I couldn’t sleep and would leave them on the kitchen counter for him in the morning.

    It wasn’t until I opened up his tablet to go charge it that all those private messages popped up between him and three escorts that I was slapped in the face with the actual truth. Cheater’s lie, and it doesn’t matter how you ask them, or when, the result will be the same. Another lie.

  • My OW recently started getting articles about how to conduct a good relationship published on Huffpo. Shows how low they have sunk. I think they’ve exhausted all credibility by now. Simply click bait.

    • That is an exquisite comment on the credibility of this kind of online aggregators.

  • Last Thanksgiving, while KK was in the shower, I checked the emails on her computer and saw evidence of things that did not square with what we’d agreed to. I felt horrible for invading her privacy and sat in the bedroom. When she emerged from the shower I confessed what I’d done and let her know that I did not have a good feeling about the way things were heading. She thanked me for being honest and left it at that.

    2 months later, when things REALLY started to concern me, I confided in my hero 4a.m. 4ever and she said to me: “You have to find your own truth now. Because you can be damn sure now that you’re not going to get any truth from her.” Perfect advice at the time I needed it most.

    You owe it to yourself and to the children you love and protect to find out the truth by whatever means necessary. You need to be smart, you need to be careful, you need to accept that not everything you find will be useful or usable in a court of law, and you need to protect yourself against the possibility of your cheater using any evidence you find against you.

    But you MUST find out the truth. Nobody is going to do it for you, not least of which someone who’s gone to great lengths to make your question yourself and your sanity.

  • [With deference and apologies to Chump Lady]

    What the Reconciliation Industrial Complex says … VS. What the asshole Cheater Reddit Clubs say…

    RIC: “Instead of becoming a detective and snooping through their phone, consider talking about it,” Elisa Dombrowski, a marriage and family therapist in Orange County, California, told The Huffington Post. “Let them know you can handle the truth and that you believe you can work through anything, as long as there’s honesty.
    Cheater Clubs: “Why tell the truth when it’s so fucking easy to lie and not have to listen to him whine? I only have one life on this Earth and I deserve to be happy. Listening to him whine doesn’t make me happy.”

    RIC: “You deserve to know if your partner is faithful. If you have a suspicion that something is amiss in your relationship, don’t ignore the warning signs, Dombrowski said.
    Cheater Clubs: “The key is to set up scenarios where you can leave the house regularly; going to the gym, getting your hair done, going out to lunch with your work friends, go shopping for bras, taking an interest in something that bores the hell out your husband, etc. Get him used to a routine where he won’t think twice about you being away for two hours. Another method is to pre-shop a couple of days before and leave the bag in your car. That way you can do the naughty with your lover and return home to show off the new clothes you “just” purchased.”

    RIC: “Some people worry that confronting their partner will force the break up of their relationship,” she said. “They hope it will go away on its own but it’s often this lack of communication that creates distance in the relationship from the beginning, making it easier for an affair to take place.
    Cheater Clubs: “I can’t talk to my husband in the same way I can with my lover. It’s just so much deeper and meaningful to lay in his arms after the ‘deed’ and discuss our deepest desires. He gets me in ways my idiot husband never will.”

    RIC: “Ultimately, you should trust your intuition and broach the subject delicately, she said. “Too often, we condition ourselves to ignore that tiny voice inside that says something doesn’t feel quite right,” Dombrowski added.
    Cheater Clubs: “If you have followed our advice, you should be able to keep your wife/husband off the scent for a long time. It takes a little work to remain vigilant to keep up with the lies and storylines. In the end though, the payoff can be years of fulfilling no-strings-attached sex. Post your close calls here: //reddit/adultry/ohshit”

    RIC: “Resist the temptation to snoop,” she told HuffPost. “This would be a total breach of trust and privacy on your part and would make rebuilding that trust much more difficult. Although you may suspect your partner or spouse has already broken the trust, you don’t want to add fuel to the fire.
    Cheater Clubs: “There are many great cheater apps available so you can keep your lover’s dic-pics out of your husband’s prying eyes. For instance, PhotoVault keeps your naughty pics behind an innocuous-looking password protected app. You can also use the chat feature used in many game apps like Words w/Friends.”

    RIC: “You don’t want this to be rushed and you don’t want to do it before work, when children are around or with an activity to go to shortly after,” Mintz said. “Wait for an evening after each of you has had some time to unwind from work or a weekend where you don’t have plans for later on in the day.
    Cheater Clubs: “Keep your husband off his guard by bitching at him for dumb shit. Get angry for the smallest of reasons, like he didn’t stack the dishes in the dishwasher correctly. You can then storm off and he’ll leave you alone for the rest of the night.”

    RIC: “Let your partner know that you have some uneasy feelings and need him or her to help you sort through them,” he said. “Then go ahead and let your partner know what you are suspicious of or what caused your uneasiness.
    Cheater Clubs: “First rule of cheater’s club is you don’t ever talk about cheater’s club! Don’t EVER admit to anything! Plausible deniability is key. If you think he’s suspicious, start asking HIM the questions about what he suspects. The most likely scenario is he is clueless about everything you’re doing and is just on a fishing expedition.”

    RIC: “Your spouse still may get angry and defensive ― especially if your suspicions are true ― “but you’re cutting down the chances of defensiveness by focusing on yourself and not your partner,” Creager said.
    Cheater Clubs: “This is where your excuse trail will save the day. Once you’ve averted disaster, turn the conversation back onto him. Make him feel so guilty that he has no other choice but to apologize for doubting you at all.”

    RIC: “By bringing it up, you are educating your partner that you have integrity,” he said. “Let him or her know that you are owed the truth if nothing else. You deserve to know what is truly going on so that you can make a good decision for yourself.
    Cheater Clubs: “You only have one life on this Earth and you deserve to be happy.”

    RIC: “You might feel the need to tell friends and family about your partner’s cheating but once the secret is out, you can’t put it back in,” she said. “Friends and family are great but a good therapist can help you decide who your trusted circle of support will be while you are learning to navigate the difficult journey that lies ahead, whatever you decide.
    Cheater Clubs: “Therapy is a great excuse to regularly get out of the house for a couple of hours.”

    • Dombrowski’s response to broaching the question of whether one’s spouse is cheating on him/her is vomit-inducing. Seems as though Dbrowski is either a cheater apologist or a few bricks short of a load.

    • This is how they think about relationships. It’s all about one-upmanship. Why should we bother?They don’t give a shit about us and are hell peeved when we pack up our shit and quit playing.
      That right there says it all. That is who we are/ were dealing with. Mercenary scheming selfish shits. They will never be struck by true love cause it’s not about love for them. Just keep a steady stream of smoke blowing up their asses and they are happy.
      Btw…I hate Reddit. It’s a trigger. Ex was always quoting Reddit… like the people there are authorities whose opinions I’d value.

  • Well…my asking would not have mattered. He had already determined that I could not handle the truth! Soooooo I got lies. Matter of fact I have the special title of being ‘the only person he lies to.’ he later called because,although I might not be interested he had become a ‘ lover of the truth ‘. He followed that up with a bunch of lies of his own. What he meant I think is he likes the truth from others. So now when we interact I just fuck with him.

  • I think people do start out by asking questions and starting conversations, expecting the truth. Questions like “Is something wrong?” “Are you feeling ok, you act like you are not feeling well ?” “If you are mad about something, you need to tell me what it is. I can’t fix something I don’t know about.” Clearly, we notice something is wrong. Then we proceed to keeping track of things that don’t measure up. Then we join the marriage police. Anyone who thinks that is fun work is crazy! You are led to snooping because your gut tells you that your SO is lying. If these folks were inclined to be honest, they wouldn’t be enjoying the “cake” so much. They could be honest and explain why they are unhappy, and unions could be fixed or dissolved in a civil manner. They want the comfort of the marriage/relationship and the excitement of strange.

    AP’s who accommodate the duplicity are enjoying it, too. That secret and dangerous cake is soooo good! You get to keep your home, your car, your children, your money — and have thrilling secret rendezvous. Oh boy! Tell someone the truth and lose all that? Really?

    A therapist should know that clients lie all the time, especially in reconciliation counseling. Do they expect honest answers to the questions they ask? “John, I know you have denied having sex with Susan, but now that Mary has provided us with a picture of you two in the act, do you have anything to tell us? It wasn’t you? Oh, well then — Mary, it wasn’t John in that picture. I asked him and he told the truth!” Right.

    This is just too ridiculous. I can tell you that twenty years later, after the divorce, when it no longer really matters — they still lie about what they did. My ex’s have no idea how much information I have about them and what they did. I had to convince myself it wasn’t worth it — they made it easy by being so guilty, and so stupid. It is easy to gather evidence when the cheater thinks he has you fooled. Once you wake up and trust your gut, the clues are all around you. To cheat is to lie. For me, the lies are even worse than the physical cheating. The lies cheat your sense of self and sanity — the lies make you doubt your reality. The relationship ends because the lies are exhausting, and after swallowing enough of them you just don’t want to hear another one, ever.

    • Yes… “If these folks were inclined to be honest, they wouldn’t be enjoying the “cake” so much. They could be honest and explain why they are unhappy, and unions could be fixed or dissolved in a civil manner. They want the comfort of the marriage/relationship and the excitement of strange.”

      It’s highly unlikely that if you ask nicely you’ll get an honest answer from someone who has been cheating… You damn sure better have a good lawyer lined up BEFORE broaching the subject of “I Suspect You Are Cheating On Me”. Odds are not in your favor that “educating your partner that you have integrity” is going to have a positive influence on the outcome of such a discussion ESPECIALLY if you don’t have proof. There’s no part of cheating that is open, honest and truthful…

      If your suspicions are true, then you’ll just be giving a big warning signal to the very person who gave zero thought about your well-being and had no concern when breaching your trust. Transparency will not be forthcoming or easily gotten. You’ll need some professional legal advise right along with that good therapist “while you are learning to navigate the difficult journey that lies ahead” and “so that you can make a good decision for yourself”.

      My ex denied any wrong doing even when I had confronted him with proof. His lies were inconsequential and justified in his mind. He has no integrity and is incapable of seeing a point of view other than his own. Cheaters are NOT generally rational, empathetic people.

      I’m with you, Portia. Life is too short!

    • “To cheat is to lie. For me, the lies are even worse than the physical cheating. The lies cheat your sense of self and sanity — the lies make you doubt your reality. The relationship ends because the lies are exhausting, and after swallowing enough of them you just don’t want to hear another one, ever.”

      That is so true. My thoughts exactly – only so well expressed!

  • That advice is hysterical! I warned my ex, two years before d day, that his boss was vulnerable, because she was going through a divorce. And as they did a lot of business trips together, that he should be careful not to give her the wrong idea. Jokes on me. Her divorce was in large part because of her three year affair with my then husband. After I said that, he was so quiet, that I asked him, “Are you having an affair with OW?” HIs answer: “She’s not my type”. Not exactly a resounding affirmation of his loyalty and love for me. Two years later, I found them together, and threw him out. Boy was I a chump.

    Yeah, just ask them, cause we know how honest they are.

  • I remember reading that article right after D-Day and believing some of the garbage in it! #SillyWoman

    Deadpool HATED the word “lie” and couldn’t stand being accused of lying (even though he did on a crushingly regular basis). He would always say he “wasn’t as forthcoming as he could be” and other Universal Bullshit like that. He’d try to wiggle out of being caught lying by answering in really bizarre ways, like when I asked if he’d slept with the OW, he said, “In the past …” and trailed off as if last week was “in the past” enough to make it ok.

    We were in MC for about three months before I just couldn’t take it anymore. Our counselor was actually pretty cool. I could tell she saw through his crap, but she was very diplomatic about calling him out on it.

    He said he felt “violated” that I looked in his phone and found his affairs, and wanted to have access to it so I could see if he was telling the truth about ending them. It was the first time I’d EVER looked in anyone’s phone for evidence of lying, and it was because my gut and his actions were telling me the truth.

    She told him that a partner wanting transparency in the wake of a betrayal is not only common but necessary to building trust again. He agreed to let me look at it for a minute, but then of course deleted texts to the OW and others. I could easily tell that he had, and when asked, he said, “Ok, fine. I texted her good morning today. But I knew you wouldn’t like it if you saw it, so I deleted it.” He kept claiming he didn’t want to hurt me. BULL.SHIT.

    So I was supposed to be happy that he cared enough to delete hurtful texts (obviously it wasn’t just “good morning”) and then be fine with him refusing after that to let me see his phone? He kept changing the password but since he was ATTACHED AT THE HAND to that thing, I often saw him put the password in, so it usually only took about three days before I had the code again. He’d pass out like a hibernating bear at night, so I could easily grab it to see what he was up to. Which was no good. Masturbation videos from the howorker, saved links to Backpage hooker ads, selfies from other sluts … It never stopped.


    I really want to send this article to him anonymously and see if he reads it/responds. I have NC with him and have no desire to give him centrality, but for some reason I just NEED him to know that we don’t believe his lies, he’s not as sneaky as he thinks, and that he’s still an asshole no matter what he tells himself and others.

    Someone convince me to not spend my time on this idiot–I’m already three months post-divorce, I live four states away again in my home state, and I’m speeding toward Meh because I have a great life and solid support system. But the urge is still there.

    • My advice to you is to spend your time studying Cluster B personality traits, and touch base with CL and CN everyday. It does no good to send ANYTHING to these fuckwits — the key to untangling the skein is to understand THEY WILL NEVER CHANGE. These are grown people with deeply ingrained habits and cheating and lying about it is part of who they are. If they are into porn and strange/perverted sex it will only get worse, never, ever better. The affair partners that respond to them are perverts, too. They see nothing wrong with what they do, the world is wrong. The only reason they care at all is image management, that is why they don’t want to be called liars, or presented with solid evidence. They do not want any consequences to be associated with any of their actions, so they deny, deny, deny!!! You are holding a mirror up for them to see how depraved they are, and they don’t like the view. So their mind changes the mirror image to some hot, sexy, successful person that EVERYONE wants to have sex with, instead of the loser they are really looking at. No sane person can really understand how they are constantly and consistently able to make the wrong choice and convince themselves they are right and everyone else is wrong. These are the folks who say “everyone cheats”, or “I cheated on you because you wouldn’t make cake when I wanted you to.” Any ridiculous thing is all they need to justify their behavior — and their words mean nothing. Don’t believe “I’ve changed” — it is just another lie. They cannot change, and see no reason to want to. They like cake — all varieties of cake — and it doesn’t matter if they weigh 500 lbs, there will never be enough cake.

      Please don’t waste your time. What you thought you had is gone and never really was what you thought it was. Look forward to a future without a liar — it is worth everything you have been through to get away from the false life you had.

      • Thank you! I had a brief (but terrifying) relationship with a guy before my XH who was pretty clearly in line for the BPD diagnosis. I should learn to apply the same wisdom to my covert narc ex—it’s all the same, really, just less intense.

        1) They DON’T see what’s wrong with their behavior
        2) They CAN’T face themselves and their problems
        3) They will NEVER change

      • Sad but true. It’s terrifying how technology has made it so easy it is for them to get their cheat on with other sleazebag. No they don’t get it and never will.

    • Don’t do it, honey. I understand that urge completely, but you don’t want to open any lines of communication with him. If he responds, you will not like what he says. And if he does not respond, you will be equally pissed and hurt. Trust that no contact is sending him all the information he needs about how you feel about his lies and sneakiness and all around shitty behavior. Stay strong!

    • Go for a brisk walk, put a match out with your fingertips, eat a chocolate truffle–whatever it takes to prevent sending ANYthing to your X. They.don’ They will never get it. They will either (a) interpret your sending them articles as proof of the chump’s continued, undying love, (b) use it as further ammunition against you at some point in the future, or (c) both of the above.

      • I agree. Even if it’s anonymous and he has no power to hurt me further now, it’s still unequivocally true that he WON’T get it. Not now, not ever. So why beat my head against the wall?

        Love to all my CN friends!!

    • Learn from my catastrophic mistakes. Know this well and truly: The pain on the other end of any contact with someone who does not give a shit about your well being outweighs the urge to contact them 10,000 fold.

      Not only do they “not get it”, the terrible take away is “they don’t care.”

      They are not twisted in knots. They are not analyzing what they did wrong. They are not reflecting on the pain they caused you. He would not even take the time to read the article. He would feel smug, that you cared enough to send the article. He is on your mind.

      It would buoy him in his current relationship…knowing he is still on your radar. It would make him feel warm and oozy, like butter melting on a roll. Not sad, sorry or worried about his cheating. But jubilant and victorious. He still has you in his grip. This is their primordial slime that is their make up. He won!

      It is a horrible truth to swallow. But, once you know it, it will help you see how hopeless any contact with them is.
      Contact=Pain and Unfixable Agony.
      No Contact= Health and Freedom from Abuse.

      • So well said! I was triggered today by an interaction with STBX that revolves around our kids. I had to talk to him. My blood pressure and probably also cortisol level have been sky high since we talked via text this morning. The fact that I was devastated by the news that some of my relatives in addition to the ones that have stage 4 cancer are becoming seriously, likely permanently, disabled and I will likely lose $100k or more in family court (into which I was dragged) probably made me even more vulnerable to feeling disturbed by STBX’s crappy behavior. I need to remind myself that these disordered people (‘pods’) will only aggravate, so productive conversation is futile.

        By the way, does anyone else feel as though, in choosing a divorce attorney for the third, fourth, fifth time just to maintain the right to see his/her kids (although one is a good parent/law-abiding citizen) and have enough money to support kids feel as though he/she is just choosing his financial rapist? I feel figuratively raped by not only STBX, but also the legal system (attorneys and some judges), current one in particular.

        • Absolutely. Stbxh and I have agreed on 4 different separation agreements in principal with 2 put in court form. He refused to follow through all 4 times. A year+later and still no separation agreement and $20000 wasted. And now I have my lawyer figured out to also be narcissistic. She has attacked me via email, calling me emotionally unstable because I said I wanted to talk to my husband to try to nail down an agreement. It’s being abused all over again and I know it would be more of the same if we go to court..

      • Well said! In conversation with a friend I compared it to amputating a limb with gangrene. Chopping off the limb hurts like hell, but it stops the pain and damage from getting worse. At least forme, NC has not made the pain stop, but it has at least stopped me from aggravating it even more.

  • Hey! I miss you guys! I don’t get on much anymore since my job got savy enough to block

    Love to my peoples!


  • I was told by my former in laws “your going to ruin your marriage by snooping”. Yeah sure, your daughter fucking another man could never ruin our marriage. Every time I “snooped” I would find something. I guess snoopy old me ruined my marriage???

  • The lying goes beyond sexual fidelity to the spouse. My spouse lied about taking stuffed animals out of our home (shortly after he moved out). (Our kids confirmed that he lied.) Now-STBX lied, even though I was happy to let him take these stuffed animals to his new place for our kids. SO messed up–these disordered adulterers! I would think a reasonable person, especially one married to someone (like me) who never nagged nor abused a spouse, would have said, ‘Can I take some of the stuffed animals to my new place to make our kids more comfortable?’

    • Yeah, lying is so much easier for them! My ex, who is trying to repair the relationship with our kids that he wrecked, keeps claiming he’s SO changed. But he lied again last year to them about the end of his relationship with OW and the beginning of a new relationship, just like he had lied the year before to me about having broken up w/OW because he was unhappy without his family, when actually it was her who dumped him (both times!) …..

      Then they don’t understand when we have doubts about everything they say ….

    • Yup this. Mine kidnapped our cat and let me and my daughter believe he was killed by wild dogs (as my daughters cat who disappeared the previous week). He admitted to it when his daughter said she was so sorry but this cat gad disappeared..nasty POS

      • sadlady,

        Cheaters stealing animals are the worst. It happened to me too. Fire your lawyer. Don’t let him win the war. He’s hoping you’ll relent, and he’ll win the battle of attrition. Think long-term. Is it worth it to cave now for a penalty for a decade from more? Maybe it is. I am going all the way to court if need be. It’s the financially prudent decision in my case. And divorce is punitive in my estimation. They broke a contract. It’s a dissolution of a financial concern. Match Girl will pay.


    • I look at how abruptly my ex left me and some of the stuff she did on her way out and it looks like I was the abusive one. I can’t imagine having been any easier going; my depression was always focused inward and I went out of my way to be accommodating. Yet she made it look like she was fleeing for her life. 2 years later and I’m still trying to figure this shit out. Tsunami divorce indeed.

      I guess what brought it to mind was the idea that your ex was too scared of you (not what you suggested, but how I interpret it) to ask for the stuffed animals. As if you were the aggressor. Sheesh.

  • Ok, I did some breathing exercises! Here goes……I asked skankboy TWICE if he was having an affair…..wait for it…..wait!!!!!! Surprise he said “no.” That was it….that was the whole answer. I offered him to move on the other side of the house, we could both date, but just be discrete about it. (Never married, together 16 years.) He said then you need to be discrete, too. OK. Wait for it again….this was something he did not want. Okey fucking dokey! Nothing changed to improve the relationship… I started to put my ducks in row mentally. A tragedy happened back up north and he flew up. When he came home I thought, ok, wait a little longer to toss him our. This is before Dday. A weeks weeks later I get a text “you left your computer here.” I said I don’t need the tablet until next week.” Less than a minute later I get a text “good morning, baby.” He hasn’t called that in years. So, I sent back “oh how that warmed my heart.” (didn’t fucking mean it for the record.) He texted back, “Oh that was supposed to be, “Good morning, Buddy” to his golf partners.
    Now, I’m flaming, I’m at work, so I texted back, “Ah, you warmed my heart and now you took it away.” He texts back “You know I love you, Baby.” Thinking you fucking liar. I come home from work, he is at work, I go through some things, can’t find crap. What I did find was a draw with money in an envelope, restaurants, blah, blah. Everything that could be explained away.
    I confronted him the next morning, AGAIN asked he was having an affair…..Wait for it again, (theme song from Jeopardy) “NO”…same lame ass answers about his buddies. Told him “I have the goods on you….want me to show you the receipts, envelope, etc.” That is when the male trollop finally confessed. I was in a frenzy….said, what do you want to do….he said I don’t know. I asked when do you think you will know, he said he didn’t know. ( I was playing cat with a mouse about this time.) I said I will help you…..”GET THE FUCK OUT!”
    He said I will move my stuff out this week…..I said “hell to the fuck NO, you’ll get them out today!” I ran into the kitchen, grabbed garbage bags and started “packing” his stuff up. Opened the garage door, started flinging the bags out yelling at him, DUCK BITCH!” And she lived happily ever after!

    • NMSB,

      Your story ‘warmed my heart!’

      Your response to your ex’s chronic infidelity and lying is what I wish that I had done with my STBX. My STBX would call me a F–king C–t B—h without provocation in front of our kids. I might as well have been one (or what most of us would consider a self-respecting person)–at least I would have felt more self-respect.

      • RockStarWife, I felt so mentally and emotionally beaten down that I could take no more…hence the name “nomoreskankboy.” RSW….hugs to you….this is a long journey with its ups and downs, but we will make it…..I promise. xoxoxoxox

      • Rock…..big major hugs! You deserve to be loved and cherished! Take NO prisoners on your quest for true love! xoxoxox

  • Thank you CN and CL for allowing me to spew (hopefully) the last of my venom. I feel so very relaxed now! xoxoxoxox

  • Ok, maybe I have a few more “Fucks” left in me, but I will take it to the Fuck Thread! That is a tough crowd! Hahahahahaha! Tempest, btw, still waiting for the return of my Bocci Balls….(tapping foot with arms crossed.)

  • I mentioned this on a previous post but think it is relevant here – I didn’t snoop to find evidence of her cheating – I snooped for evidence of her fidelity. I was desperately trying to disprove what all the facts were telling me. It takes a lot of courage to confront your spouse with an accusation of infidelity. You think of nicer ways to put it – “Is everything alright between us, darling? You seem a little distant” You are then met with lies and gaslighting. I discovered a long time before in a professional capacity that liars often often more than one excuse for their lies and this was happening to me – I could not believe her – I wanted to find evidence that I was wrong and her increasingly implausible claims were true – what would these RIC have me do? Continue to believe the lies?
    This has touched a raw nerve!

    • Limey, yes, Yes, YES….I would ask, how are things between us, etc….met with the word “fine.” His behavior told me NOT FINE! YES, YES, YES….I snooped looking for fidelity……but there were gray signs. (sigh)

      • That’s so true Limey, when I snooped I desperately hoped to be wrong, wanted to find signs that he did love me at least a little. All I found was disrespect, hate, and plotting against me with the whore at every opportunity. Everything was much worse than my worst fears.

    • I didn’t even do that. My confusion comes in remembering when I would exclaim what a great team we were and she would agree with me. If she agreed we were great together, all was well, yeah?

      As she was leaving she said that she only agreed to not upset me.

  • It is apparent that they lie. It was not until I understood the LIE is part of the draw of the affair for the cheater did I realize that “I was not in Kansas anymore.” The tornado took everything over the rainbow…

    Are they sobbing into their socks with worry? Not in any that I have read about.
    As stated earlier, I had a Jesus cheater. — Just. try. to. flipping. wrap. your. brain. around. that.

    At “pre BD”, I was told I was going to testify FOR an Catholic annulment to a tribunal of Church folk, including our priest. Of our 30 year, 2 kid union. Going to lie. to a priest…. he said with a straight face. I was going to do this because “Why not? We would BOTH benefit.”

    The great “fool Jesus stunt of 2014”.

      • Limey, YOU did nothing wrong! Please don’t own HER behavior! You are an honorable man! Don’t own which it not yours! xoxoxoxoxox

    • Magneto, just so I understand. Your ex wanted you to lie to PRIESTS. He wanted to delegitimatize your CHILDREN. And you are BOTH going to benefit from that how? No marriage, no marital property, would likely benefit him more than you. No marriage, no spousal support. Again, he would seem the prize winner there. No children of the marriage, you’d have to prove paternity to receive child support. A lot of trouble for you there, not a benefit. I hope you told him to go to HELL. That would seem fitting.

      • Actually, even in my hysterical state, I looked at him and said: “Right. Run right up to the church and lie to a PRIEST?? Do I LOOK LIKE I WANT TO GET HIT BY LIGHTNING IN THE PARKING LOT ?!?!”

        That pile of ashes next to the Prius? That would have been me, ‘fo sure….

        That’s the problem when you really believe. What is the worst kind of cheater? The only answer is the one that you had.
        but I swear that I’ll never get the religious ones.

      • Survivor:
        Catholic annulment is different from a legal annulment. This was just so he could get married again in the church. He was a 4th degree Knight of Columbus, me a Lady Knight.
        The legal was different. He just had plans for a future wedding – at the alter….

        He SO fully believed his victimhood story so much, he was going to claim…>> oh, hell, I don’t even know WHAT he was going to claim — but I’m sure it was going to be all my fault.

        The audacity.

  • It’s a miracle that the UBT didn’t explode while dealing with the pretzel logic of asking someone who is ALREADY LYING TO YOU about whether or not the person is have an affair.

    Imagine the police: “Sir, I see you are carrying a smoking gun. Did you kill that dead person over there with your gun?”
    Killer: “No, I don’t have a gun in my hand. You’re seeing things. And that man is just taking a nap. With a hole in his chest. In a pool of his own blood. But nothing to see here.”

    • LAJ,
      I was thinking something similar. The killer might add, ‘That Mofo did it to himself/herself. And that mofo was always doing me wrong–poor me!’

    • That might be funny if it weren’t true. Who deletes a picture of himself drinking a bottle of booze (recovered alcoholic, not), one that I clearly saw the day before and then tells me I’m delusional.

      • No gun. There never was a gun. You are seeing things and I’m worried about you. Everyone is worried about you. People keep telling me to get you help, officer, because you just keep seeing guns.

        • Oh yeah! After I got the PO he told his mother there were NO bullets in the gun, the one I watched him unload. He told everyone else he never brought a gun in the house at all, that I was lying to get him in trouble. Never mind his loaded gun was sliding around in the trunk when they pulled him over.