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The Cheater Was Going to Stop… Really

i-promise-you-the-moon-and-stars-and-other-similar-bullshit-9a053Following up from Monday’s “Ignorance Is Bliss” post, I’d like to throw a bucket of cold water on another cheating fallacy — that it’s okay to keep the cheater’s secrets because he/she was going to end the affair on their own and Never Cheat Again.

Let’s take that at face value. The chump is in the dark about the affair and the cheater is ending things with Schmoopie. Cheater is going to take this to the grave and Never Cheat Again.

Would we buy this “logic” if it were anything other than cheating?

Okay. I know someone who needs a payday loan and so they “borrowed” $10,000 from your pension fund. They haven’t paid the money back yet, but they will! And you’ll never be the wiser! Well, you might lose some interest, and have some tax penalties, but the borrower will take care of that. And they promise never to pilfer from your pension fund ever again.

Would you want to know? Do you trust this person to pay back the $10 grand? Let’s say they paid back the $10 grand after you found out and they promise never to do such a thing again. Are you okay letting this person be in charge of your investments still? What if the market turns and they’re strapped for cash again? It’s a big world with lots of banks. Do you really want to keep your money with this institution when there are other institutions who haven’t stolen from you?

How would you feel if someone told you, upon learning of this theft, that HEY, the borrower is SORRY and it’s really on you to forgive? You know what would be great — you should invest MORE money. Just to demonstrate your trust in them going forward!

You guys know where this is going…. Why don’t you ask yourself what you did to make your money so attractive to the embezzler?

When you’ve been chumped, there’s so much more at stake than money. It’s not okay to rob your wallet. Why not your heart?

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  • One of the most interesting things to me is how often we use money as an analogy for looking st questions of trust and betrayed trust.
    When explaining why I wouldn’t be returning to my STBX or reconciling it was often easier to explain how my trust had gone if I said something along the lines of ‘imagine your business partner had embezzled x amount of dollars in secret for years…..would you trust them again?’ It was easier for me and others to ‘see’ if it was explained in financial terms.
    As people I think we surround betrayal in bullshit and excuse mist and half rationalisations and half-assed justifications so using this analogy cuts through all the emotional crap and straight to basic trust.
    I also wonder if it has something to do with how devalued we chumps feel as people after betrayal. That even we can see that if someone has embezzled our money, of course we would never trust them again, or we would be queasy if we tried to. Somehow when it comes to ourselves we can’t see our true worth quite as clearly.
    Stealing someone’s trust emotionally is much worse of course but somehow harder to see.
    And surely it is the case that having been discovered the cheater raises the stakes. How dare you not trust them? Now your lack of trust is the problem and they like to double or quit.
    Same crappy odds as gambling but us chumps feel bad about our lack of trust so try hard to show them we do trust them really. I hate that I feel bad for my STBX that he now seems to feel bad about his ‘character’. I really have to bash my head with the 2×4 I keep handy to remind myself that his feelings are not the issue. Fact is he stole so much from me. Good job here we know how to recoup our losses and move on (here’s hoping).
    Great post.

    • Great point regarding the money/professional analogies! Whenever I’ve explained it this way, people seem to “get” it more (generally).

      And the main reason (in my mind) is because financial fraud is illegal, so people understand it.

      But just because cheating is legal doesn’t make it right. There are a lot of shitty behaviors that are legal.

      • With so many ‘No Fault’ states, infidelity generally is a non-issue in divorce unless a substantial amount of financial abuse occurred. Emotional abuse is largely unrecognized… Courts pretty much take the stance of caveat emptor and it’s your misfortune to have married someone who turned out to be a lying, cheating scumbag narcissist. Courts aren’t going to validate your experience with your ex either – they are just interested in divorce laws and division of assets. For that reason, narcs often have a heyday playing the legal system and dragging things out.

    • Yes I agree that many chumps just don’t feel their worth YET!!!!! Hang in people and for those not feeling worthy just yet remember the Reverse Golden Rule: If I wouldn’t do it to you I don’t have to take it from you.

      • MissDeltaGirl,

        Brilliant! The Reverse Golden Rule is hereby my code for interaction in ALL areas of my life.

    • “It’s on you to forgive”

      Oh boy! Isn’t that the truth? The “friends” and family in our circle were have a really tough time dealing with my reaction to the discovery. Here are some other gems of advice that were thrown at me:

      “You’re going to lose everything!”

      “This is not going to help your marriage”

      “Gosh, I can’t imagine what *drove* him to do this!”

      “But forgiveness will set you free!!!”

      “Dis-ease causes disease! (cancer) That’s what will happen to you if you don’t let go!”

      • Goodness me, I’m surprised you don’t have symptoms of poisoning after listening to all that drivel.

        And what gives people the right to demand that you forgive someone else? The fucking hubris.

        • And as CL often stresses, forgiveness is not GIVEN it is EARNED. It involves way more effort than being a Sad f*cking Sausage to earn it.

      • “Dis-ease causes disease! (cancer) That’s what will happen to you if you don’t let go!”

        actually for me during the extreme gaslighting and other emotionally abusive tacticts of the asshat,
        my “dis-ease” from feeling something was waaay off but could not pin it down with my extreme covert narcopath, I experienced worsening episodes of tachycardia, chronic anemia, chronic head aches, all sorts of weird physical ailments … you name it. Once I busted the fucker’s ass, oddly my diseases went away. I no longer have to debate beta blockers or an ablation, my anemia is resolved, no more headaches and I am in the best condition since my 20’s.

        I didn’t ‘let it go!!”. I fought back. Asshole and his long-term fuckbuddy CONSPIRED against me and my kids/ For TEN YEARS. (I love the verb, conspired. Because that is exactly what those two twats did.)

        Don’t swallow the shit other people tell you you MUST do. That nonsense will cause cancer, and heart disease and a host of other crap you don’t need.

        • I’m glad your health improved after getting rid of him. “Fighting” for justice, redress, freedom, our self-esteem and integrity, fighting to gain resources four ourselves and our children, fighting to rid ourselves of the devastating consequences they selfishly foisted on us — Righteous causes! Who that is a true friend would tell you not to fight for those things? I’m with you- fuck no I’m not going to “get over it” if that means rolling over, as many, including the cheaters, expect us to do. I will get over it by ridding myself of all his crap and having a better life.

    • The problem with the financial analogy for some (not me!) is that we are conditioned to accept that human beings are of course flawed and therefore deserve forgiveness and second chances in the emotional arena. “Trust that they suck” the first time they cheat seemingly goes against that forgiveness doctrine until you realize that “one” instance of cheating is a bundle of many, many acts of deceit.

      • YES – Dixie Chump… “One instance of cheating is a BUNDLE of many, many acts of deceit.”

        Thank you for that 🙂

        One time or a hundred times, it is layers deep in deceit – like an iceberg we know what we have seen/caught them doing/been told… but there is always more that is fathoms deep that we will never know (thank God!).

    • “Stealing someone’s trust emotionally is much worse of course but somehow harder to see.”
      THIS! I was naive and so easily bamboozled! I fell for his promises not to have another “one night stand” hook line and sinker Twice! I was devistated, humiliated, horrified and I told No One. I could’ve started my life over at 23 years old versus 60 years old. I think my lesson here is Self Love. I didn’t value myself enough to leave the jerk. It took DDay #4 (that I knew of) and now I’m certain there were many many others. I didn’t have an inkling of his pathology. I thought there was something wrong with me. I filed in 2014, but have not pushed the divorce forward because I’m afraid of the reality. I’ve done my part of discovery 3x. He has been paying the huge mortgage and the bills he had been paying while married, but he has stopped paying all the utilities after letting them rack up for months. Now I’m having to pay thousands to keep them all from being shut off. He hasn’t paid Atty s for his business lawsuit, owes 4 lawyers. I know this can’t continue. Who can pay 4 lawyers, a big mortgage and keep Schmoopie from knowing the mess he’s in??? I feel like I’m rearranging deck chairs on the titanic. I need a sanity check, and 6k to pay my divorce Atty who is unhappy I haven’t been willing to be more aggressive. I don’t know what to do!!! How to I get the courage to get this over with???

      • Chump Change… I’ve been where you are… the divorce process is filled with such large gaps of “time” between hearings and, like you, I submitted my CIS and my Discovery… EVERYTHING… multiple times.

        Talk to you lawyer to request an emergency hearing on having your Husband pay the bills… his having been paying them shows the court he understands that is his responsibility.

        Listen to your attorney (but don’t let them spin your wheels with billable hours)… consider a second opinion if you don’t like the counsel your getting, but worry about the bill later – they know they don’t get paid until its over and even then they will often be willing to work out a payment system/solution.

        As for Schmoopie… she has no idea this guy is nuts, mismanages money, cheats. He’s sparkly to her just like any Con Artist… his mask won’t drop until he’s sure he’s got her under his spell.

        You are fighting for your freedom now – stop looking back… you’re not going there. Your husband is a flesh eating bacteria… push for the divorce. Stop feeding him cake (all attention is good attention to these fuckwits… its CONTROL).

        Get on with YOUR NEW LIFE… you can do this. You are not alone.

        • Thanks I Can See,
          My Atty wants an additional 10k retainer to go for emergency support, and then we’ve gone from negotiated settlement to litigation. Scares me big time, I can’t afford to litigate this. My STBX is robbing Peter to pay Paul. I’m not under the impression she will wait till settlement to get paid. I need to suck it up and reach back out to her legal assistant. I need courage.

      • Let your attorney take the lead and just….follow. They seem to see the whole picture and want to help you. Let them.

          • It could be that waiting is giving him a chance to dissipate assets. You need emergency financial orders if you don’t already have them to protect existing assets. Please at least take that step. Divorce is overwhelming, costly and stressful – from my experience what can make it less so is moving through it, and having an attorney you trust.

            • This is correct. ASAP have your attorney file that emergency motion for financial orders. You can propose a pro rata split re community bills, but make sure the priorities (mortgage/bills) get paid. You can help yourself if you eliminate all unnecessary expenses (especially if your spouse has abandoned you) and come up with a payment plan for legal expenses. (Lawyers are an odd lot, they do not care if you lose everything on the way to a settlement as long as they get paid. My lawyer deliberately spun her wheels, I finally negotiated my own settlement (no real solid advice) because the local court believed 70 dollars a month spousal support (20 yr long term marriage) was acceptable. No money for our kids either as you can abandon them once they are eighteen Dick made $100K+/year plus perks and my teaching salary was not enough to pay the mortgage and living expenses. (30k/year). Dissipation of assets occurs the second a cheater begins an affair not when you discover it. Dick had drained all savings, purchased expensive items and vehicles, buried entire 401k in retirement purchase, and refinanced house (pulling out all equity) two years before uttering the ILYBINILWY/I want a divorce speech. Cheaters dissipate assets way before that first court appearance and while states like CA address this by printing out a warning on paperwork, I laughable to be sure, assets will continue to be hidden away by dishonest spouses. Be proactive. Do not wait for the settlement to get hammered out by others. Get your lawyer to do the work. What is a fair settlement? Get an opinion from a CDFA (share that cost with ex). And write it up as soon as you can. You know what you need. The only ones who benefit from a long drawn out meandering mediation and court appearances are the ones getting paid. There is NO amicable division/mediation with a fucktard (ask me how I know). So first court appearance should address finances, specifically who pays what (in addition to children’s issues). Fucktard ex, when ordered to pay child and spousal support pendente lite, just neglected to pay mortgage (he had abandoned house, vehicles, furniture, pets, property, kids (and college fees) and me months before. When he stopped paying support I went to CSS in my county and they took him to court and garnished wages but it was too late to save my house and I had children to support (two in college).

    • Great point Capricorn. I think one reason people get the money analogy so quickly is that it is something measurable. You can say “so and so stole XXX amount” and people know exactly what that means. It’s hard for anyone to measure how much emotional damage a person suffered because it is subjective and we are not used to measuring it. We can only start measuring it when we experience it ourselves and compare to others. Hence the lack of understanding we chumps encounter when talking about what’s happened unless we are talking to other chumps. So yes, use the money analogy to get our point across.

  • It’s once again about impression management.

    Poor special snowflake needs to make sure that everyone sees him/her for the wonderful person that they really think they are!

    If we go around telling the truth – it hurts the narrative. And the RIC tells us it’s harder to spackle when everyone knows the truth! It all falls on our shoulders to be the bigger person – eat the triple decker shit sandwich of infidelity and keep up appearances.

    They can all bite me – the truth will set you free

  • It’s also like the analogy of physical violence. If someone beat the hell out of you and you ended up in the hospital you would never (I hope) give them access to do this to you again. Yet somehow with emotional abuse, and yes that’s what affairs are, we take their word for it that it won’t keep happening. And yes we nice people allow ourselves to be guilted into continued trust. I was as guilty of this as anyone, buying into the narrative that if I was so closed off, somcynical, so unforgiving and didn’t give him a second (3rd, 4th, 5th) chance that somehow I was the bad guy.

  • Early on my husband didn’t stray from his “I’m Sorry” script. It was his idea of a profound offering to soothe and reassure me. One evening he must have forgotten his script because he said: I’m sorry, all right? If I could do it over I wouldn’t get caught and none of this would be happening.

    And here I am, continuing to make deposits into a sham account.

    I’m just as wet cat crazy as he is.

    • Baahahahaha! “. . . I wouldn’t have gotten caught.”
      Well there you go.

    • “Wet Cat Crazy.” And now I have a new favorite expression. This will require a meme.

    • My ex said all this was my fault as I had gone snooping. If I had not opened up the email account apply named morefunforjoey than none of this would have happened!

      • Yeah. Was told that he didn’t know I would ever look at cell records so he shouldn’t have been caught this time. What!?

    • Same here. Full of apologies during wreckonciliation…”All my fault”, “I don’t deserve you”, “I would understand if you couldn’t forgive me”

      Then when he left the second time, it was “I left the first OW to give you a second chance”, “Why do you think I cheated? You couldn’t trust me”, “Everytime I went out drinking and didn’t tell you where I was, you would get mad”

      He lied out of his ass saying everything he thought would succeed in manipulating me to feel sorry for him and to get ME to give him a second chance. Completely conned. How he really felt came out later. I now know EVERYTHING he ever said has a very realistic potential of being lies. Nothing in 26 years together is real anymore.

      • GetMeFree, “I now know EVERYTHING he ever said has a very realistic potential of being lies.” This is really hard for chumps to “get” because that is never something that chumps would do or think, but it is what the cheater works with at EVERY. POINT. IN. TIME.

  • Well, my wife had cheated on every single boyfriend prior to me. I was Chump enough to believe “this relationship involves marriage and ‘true love,’ so she’ll be different!”


    People don’t change just because they got married. And only unicorns stop cheating and then never start again. Most cheaters see that they got away with it once, and consequences were bearable. So where’s the motivation to never cheat again?

    • JC – I’m in your camp. My XH left the mother of his twins for a woman that he subsequently married. He was leaving his wife (and more kids) when we met. I am a 180 degree opposite from first wife… he told me she was a rebound, she didn’t like to work or take care of kids, they weren’t in “love”. BUT… did I see the red flags flying, nope. I was doing the “pick me dance” without even knowing it.

      And that is how calculated cheaters are – it is all about impression management.

      And, do they change, NOPE.

      He left me for the OW (or rather the D-Day #4 OW). They have since broken up and just yesterday he texted me to ask if I wanted to meet his NEW GIRLFRIEND before he introduces her to our son. What a shit show.

      I try to tell my son it will be ok. But somedays, I’m so exhausted, I’m not sure I believe it myself.

      • Well sure, Honey, bring her on over here! Maybe we can have a little “girl talk”.

        • PS… right?!? I have a friggin’ slide show for her 🙂

          Can you see it… “Here is a pie chart that illustrates the number of times he cheated vs. the hours invested in online porn and personal ads. His annual ROI is 1 new OW per year… but on his balance sheet is 3 failed relationships (two of them marriages) that all produced children. And, here are actual ads where he is looking for women/groups/couples… assume you’re ok with that, right?”


          • I see a new Friday challenge. How would we present the cheater as a prospective partner if we were in a formal biz meeting with cheaters future prospects. Hardyharhar

          • Maybe a Power Point??? With soothing backgrounds, we don’t want to be toooooo aggressive after all.

    • Yes, x cheated on first wife, too. But I didn’t know that. I projected my values onto him and believed what he said. Still, if I had known, I probably would have thought this time is different. Truth is, wedding vows never meant anything to him. He had crossed that boundary many times before.

      • Traitor cheated on first wife with whore, but I didn’t know that. Cheated on me with whore, presumably the entire time. I didn’t check on any of his stories, except asking to meet whore (who is the mother of his 4th son) when we were dating to make sure she was ok with me meeting her son and getting more involved as her “ex” ‘s new girlfriend. Everything was fine apparently, they were “still friends” and trying to co-parent better than through his first divorce which had been terrible (now I know why…). For the first couple of years together I asked several times if there was any chance he and whore could get back together, because their son was so young, he probably wouldn’t even remember. Nope, all fine…
        9 years later he demands a menage a trois with whore or else, I refuse and find out he is cheating anyway while I am looking after THEIR son.
        If I put this in monetary terms of loss, I would say $50,000 for every year of my life, $50,000 for each of 6 miscarriages with traitor thinking I was in a real relationship, plus my costs for looking after their son and his other 3 sons. Make it $1,000,000. Emotional damage? Priceless

    • JC, I knew the truth about mine before marriage too. Well, the cheating part but not the gay part. But I chose to view it as him just dating multiple people. I was also dating multiple people for a while, with the important distinction that I didn’t keep that a secret!!! Surely once we were married, we would be committed to only each other for the rest of our lives! Because why else would you get married?! Ah, to be 20 and naive again.

    • My Cheating Ex-Wife had told me that she was the one who got cheated on in her previous relationships. On D-Day she told me that she was also cheating on them. Sure would have been nice to know that 20 yrs. earlier. Now she’s hooked up with her high school sweetheart that she cheated on or he cheated on her. Who hell knows. As far as I’m concerned they’re both F’d in the head. Sucks that the kids have to put up with their BS.

  • When someone lies to you about something fundamental to your well being it is wrong and you can’t trust them. I have never understood why people who would loose their shit if I told them exasshole stole $20k from me tend to make excuses when I tell them he stole years of my life. I’d rather lose the money than my precious years alive with someone who was using me.

  • I keep coming here to see if there is something new, but it’s always the same. These people have no imagination and are obviously directed by the same force. He was “about ” to end his relationship so that he could focus on me, his wife. Never stopped and ditto on the financials.

    • Renewed… that’s the thing about science… people lie, but patterns do not. Keep coming back 🙂

  • After DDay 1, when STBX said “of course I’ll stop seeing her,” I wrote him an email. I said, “how am I supposed to believe you? And furthermore what makes you think you actually will stop. This is part of your daily pattern. Kiss your wife goodbye, sext with your mistress as soon as you get in the car – if not before. Say one thing, do another, in your mind and in real life, all day long. You get a thrill out of it. It sends oxytocin into your bloodstream and you want more. You say you deserve more. What is going to take the place of that? Obviously not me. Not the kids. We weren’t enough for you before, but suddenly now you have a conscience? You have will power? You have appreciation?”
    It must have been a particularly strong strain of hopium that I smoked that I could say that clearly to him and believe whatever paltry explanations and assurances he made. (To be fair to myself, I thought this was his first affair. And I had no idea what narcissist he was yet. And, the intense elaborate gaslighting had not yet begun, though the stage had long since been set.)
    When I look back now, I see it as a moment of clarity that I had. But I had forgotten how to trust my gut.

    • Ditto. I could have written your exact post. Two years ago this month I was saying the exact same things.
      I’m completely NC and divorce trial starts next week.
      I’m predicting meh will come on a fine Tuesday in spring.

    • ^same here

      I have learned to let things sit for awhile (even now) before I make decisions or respond where STBX is concerned. I then listen to what my gut is saying. Do NOT ignore your gut and make sure you are NC while you contemplate. Do NOT give them a chance to gaslight you.

      Then after you decide or act, how do you feel? If you feel some peace or maybe even good about it, then you did right. If your gut is still twisting, you may not have.

      Note: I try to limit my contact to only kid related topics. All else can go through the lawyers.

  • It’s the fact of being so unimportant that my feelings were never even considered that hurts me the most. On dday X said he was trying to fix it so I never found out. Even in my fog I noticed he never once said anything about ending it. He raged on about the injustice of being betrayed by our son, who told me about the affair. When I asked if he thought I deserved the respect of being told he looked at me blankly and said “this has nothing to do with you”. My feelings didn’t enter into it at all. I was as inconsequential as the chair I was sitting on. After 35 years. At that moment I knew there was no where to go with this. Our friends all kept his secret for years. Almost two years out and he still rages against my son about his betrayal of telling me. I personally cannot wrap my head around the self centered entitlement of that kind of thinking. The lack of empathy. The most painful part is knowing that to the man who laid by your side and the friends you saw everyday and went on vacation with , I wasn’t even a blip on the radar. I was nonexistent. Glad that secret is out of the bag.

    • That’s what got me. Not the sex, but the complete disregard for me as a human being. I was warned years before in counseling that XH had ZERO, I mean zero empathy for me.
      I did not listen. I chose to spackle and pick me and rage.
      8 years later I was dumped like trash.

      The disrespect and lack of empathy, which turned into entitlement, disdain, disgust and eventually hatred for me, our life and children.

      I’m not elaborating here, chumpland. It wound up as vicious monstering, because I DARED to object to his plans to be happy that he “finally found someone to love.”

      This pair had actually made plans for me to just accept their decisions, quietly walk off my home, my future and my life – so she could step in, with my children “being happy” that he/they were “happy”. They are absolutely shitty people who absolutely deserve to be together.

      Apparently, everything is all my fault, and I deserved to be cheated on and abandoned.

      • X expected that also. He and ow just thought they would throw me and my kids out of our life and plunk her down. They even had the audacity to sit her two children down and tell them X was their new dad ( she was still living with her husband) and they would be a family. The rage and mindfuckery that came my way for not going quietly into the sunset was horrific. They truly never thought for a minute that their plan wouldn’t work out. X truly thought I deserved to be left with only a suitcase of clothes. Two narcs egging each other on is a sight to behold.

        • Durt believed that I would continue to pay for our giant home, our cars, expenses, OW fuck fest trips, his mom, and everything else. He wanted me to a) but a separate home for him (not the slut puppet who picked it out with him, no they were just friends) and when I finally came to my sense and cancelled that contract that b) I would move out of the home that I continued to pay 100% of, including utilities, so that I could give him space and time to deal with me and my issues; 6 months after we were married and no actual issues (except the made up ones he was broadcasting to his groupies and sluts).
          News flash: he was using me. An executive lawyer who thought he hung the moon and believed all of the horrible abuse he heaped on me while he was pursuing his side sluts, harem and main side pieces. I went from a beautiful, confident woman to a frumpy failure in the course of a very short time. I will post photos when I am back to my former self, and better.

          • hopium, my dear, my heart goes out to you — love and kindness coming your way —

        • Mine too – same statement “if I’m happy the kids will be too” – all my fault too for not following their script. Omfg so unoriginal from a Mensa candidate btw and unbelievable how your dumb wife was a psychic in predicting what the future actually turned out to be ?

          • Oh, I’m positive he never let you forget for one second that he was a Mensa member either. Same with mine. Ugh.

    • Your right to the truth “has nothing to do with you?” I can’t think of a better example of how narcissistic cheaters see their spouse and family as an extension of their own worlds D narrative (like furniture, as you point out) rather than as individual people with their own set of feelings, thoughts, and *gasp* rights. I’m sorry you dealt with such a ridiculous lowlife, but WELL DONE on raising a responsible son.

    • Wow. What an ass. Just like mine. The friends, all ass hats. Your son, awesome. My Cheater was REALLY mad at me because I hired a PI and he wanted me to pay him back WHILE WE WERE WRECK-ONCILING. And I didn’t see this as a reason alone to say bye bye—— Geeze.

  • I think this is sort of related. I am wondering if I am particularly naive. I trusted my STBX as he worked abroad in Asia for years despite some funny looks and comments about what he must be up to (how galling now they were right). I trusted him because we talked openly and often about the risks of being apart, about the physical side of our relationship and about the emotional costs. Turns out We were talking but he was lying. Despite knowing about shitty people having raised by two perfect examples of lying, abusive and cold parents somehow I am a very trusting person. I used to think that being raised by wolves I had made my needs small and was raised to please. But now I’m wondering if there isn’t another way to look at why this chump trusted. Maybe I’m not all traumatised and psychologically weak. Maybe a just have a very strong sense of right and wrong and a basic unshakable trust in others.
    Maybe chumps are sentimental, hopeful and trusting of others because that’s who we are. I trusted him until I found out I couldn’t and out he went. I find I still trust everyone else the same, I don’t get a heightened sense of not trusting anyone anyway. I still generally like people and life. So this week anyway ? I’m feeling that I’m just a trusting person. That’s a hopeful thing. I’m still aware of red flags and of shitty behaviour and calling people out but my values feel good. I trusted when I should not have and expected little in return maybe but I’m ok. It’s all on him.
    So maybe if we chumps think about our cheaters as a bad investment rather than a characteristically flawed chump thing then we can move on a little easier.
    What I am trying to say but in a million to many words is ; if it’s easier for us to understand cheating if it’s compared to a financial situation then maybe it’s easier to recover from betrayal if we see it as a bad investment rather than something about us that made it happen. We can be aware for future investments but not down on ourselves.
    Please tell me this made some sense! I know Tempest will post later something in two lines that will nail it!! Lol.

    • I hate to admit how jaded I am, but I now see the phrase “worked abroad in Asia” as meaning “hed sex with lots of Asian women who were all trained from toddlerhood to catch a foreign businessman”.

      One of my BFFs from my first job had one of these men and things seemed ok at first but I knew what signs to look for. I recently emailed her and asked and sure enough…he called home while away, told her they were divorcing and that they were broke. She has twins that had just started college and a younger kid who became suicidal.

      • Unicornomore
        I know. Even I thought it about others! Forehead slap!
        I just thought I knew him. I thought he had a good character and values. Its funny now but he hated it when I told him I loved him because he was faithful, loyal and honest. He complained I made him sound like a Golden Retriever – a dull, family dog. Well I don’t think that anymore! I wouldn’t insult dogs by comparing him to one.

        • Me too! People would give me odd looks when they found out how much time he spent in Asia alone. I thought they were all assholes because I knew mine would not do those things.

          Granted, I knew that because he TOLD me that buddies of his would do these things, and he could never figure out what the attraction was or why they would, that he wasn’t like them.

          Pretty much, he would open his mouth to specifically point out that he was not doing whatever he actually WAS doing… and he would OFFER this info to me… I never asked.

          So when I found out about the HUNDREDS of whores he was screwing in Thailand, understandably I was a little confused.

          When I found the trail of money he stole in small quantities from our accounts to take to Thailand and build a house for his 16 year old whore’S parents, I was even more confused.

          Having read all the e-mails these girls sent, which would tell him what a great lover he was (he weighed 350lbs, was 53, smelled bad, had sleep apnea, and was a terrible lover), and by the way they needed some more money for school, I realized that perhaps I wasn’t the more deluded of the two of us, and I walked away.

          I used to think I would be a bad person and so untrusting to feel the need to verify his stories of fidelity. In fact, it just never occurred to me they were stories.

          So. What I got as a parting gift, rather than STDs luckily, was to never believe what I’m told, to always verify that actions matched words, and to never feel bad about doing so. It was a good gift.

          • Dances

            When I was still in shock and so could sit across a table from him and talk without wanting to spit in his face, I asked if other people he knew at work did this. Apparently they all joked about having MBA’s – Married But Available.
            Lovely. Hadn’t ever told me that before. He always wanted one. I guess he got it in the end.

          • I feel I must warn others now that they don’t have to be in Thailand, or Asia etc. to get hooked on the fantasy. My XH found his Thai bitch on the internet and after only talking with her a few weeks told me wanted a divorce so he could go marry her. After all he had finally found his soulmate.

            After the BD when we had just made love and laying in each others arms, he told me the ILYBINLY he said I was his “best friend, a great wife and we had a wonderful relationship”. Yet he was willing to throw away almost 25yrs together, all quaint but happy life, all our hard work to make our little dreams true.

            Being dumped for someone that had a different language, culture and religion and the fact that he was willing to leave me for someone he had never met and certainly didn’t know anything about. It has been the hardest for me to accept that I meant so little or basically nothing, that he didn’t value me or our relationship, that he could easily deceive me and disrespect me.

            The things that followed BD when my begging, pleading, dancing, cursing, included him totally rewriting our history and dismissing our marriage was even real because he “had Never been in love with me.” Once I asked him if he met her and it wasn’t what he imagined, would he then consider coming back? He said if I “was the last woman on earth he wouldn’t ever be with me again” . Because you guessed it he had suddenly realized after all these years that I wasn’t his soulmate.

            Fuck being the best friend, great wife, wonderful relationship we had he wouldn’t be with me as I felt a part of me die. It just almost kills me the cruel things said to make me question the entire relationship was real or not, what is true and what was lies.

            Adultery doesn’t have to always include sex but his total intent was to end the marriage to go to another woman for the fantasy. My lawyer said that indeed this is legal adultery. He did go to Thailand to meet his whore when we separated, thus committing his sexual adultery.

            So DON’T believe that sex has to be a determination of how close your marriage is to being destroyed and your whole world beliefs are blown to pieces. Anyone willing to risk losing it All(being a liar, cheat, fool, and I think part of their Soul) including their unconditional loving faithful till you die wife/best friend for a fantasy is simply delusional.

            P.S. His fantasy ended up being just that, fantasy! Many male friends have also told me that their fantasy is everything he gave up. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

            • I have a SIL whose husband is travelling to Thailand from the UK, either with his grown son or his brother, at least three times a year. He only “allows” SIL to accompany them on one trip per year. He has no job or business whatever in Thailand. He recently purchased an apartment there in a notorious callgirl town.

              It is so obvious what they are up to, but SIL never raises a word of objection. Her husband is most ugly, gross, messy 60 year old (looks like he went through a hedge backward) so no doubt he is one of those thousands of sex tourists employing teenage prostitutes.

              SIL has four sisters all of whom want to approach her about the situation. They can’t figure out if she’s just being naive about it all (she seems happy) or if the husband is a closet abuser (I think this is likely) or if perhaps she knows what’s up,and just accepts it. Either way, I am having a hard time figuring the best approach to use.

              I would be willing to bet it will all end in something bad – my worst fear is that she will contract an infection from him.

              • Well, he and all the men he is bringing are spending countless amounts of family money on getting their knobs shined, that is for sure. As I learned from my experience, men do not go there without the women in their lives, without having planned that kind of stay.

                No business interests there? Well… I’m pretty sure my ex narc was playing pimp at the very least, this guy probably knows my ex. Hope they all have fun sharing gonnorhea together. So don’t put it past these guys who have some income stream locally in Thailand… but you will never get your hands on it, nor the (in my case) $125k he slowly snuck out of our accounts to fund his dirty vacations. Some whore there has a Louis Vuitton bag on my hard-earned dime. The bitch.

                As someone else said, Thai girls are trained from toddler-hood how to get what they want (namely money and sometimes status) from old, fat western men. The country is running rampant with whores… it is just commonplace and expected.

                I was “allowed” to go with my husband on only two occasions. I think he wanted to parade me around as his stepford wife in some sick ego thing to prove that he could maintain a wife facade while also bedding whores in Thailand. He seemed most pleased, I later found out, when they were practically underage and looked like boys. Which raises other questions. I guess in his warped mind there is something positive in believing you are good enough to get Thai whores and maintain the facade of a normal life, but I can’t imagine for the life of me what ultimate good that would be to anybody… especially when the wife will eventually leave and take her 50% with her, and if his supply of $$ runs out, so does his supply of young, Thai whores. With any luck, he’s gone bankrupt and died of some horrible STD by now. He’s in Australia, I’m back in the US, so I never have to have anything at all to do with him again in this lifetime. Thank heaven for little blessings and no contact!

                I spent the whole time there down at the pool of the Westin, watching the young, Thai whores show off their baubles to each other and try to outdo each other with the amount of bling they managed to get their fat western men to buy them, and watched the men be fat and drink and try to outdo each other with the best whore.

                Supposedly “good” hotels don’t allow Thai whores inside, but that’s a fallacy. There were plenty everywhere, and when I later obtained my ex’s hard drive, I found countless stories of how to sneak your hookers past security in the big hotels, or insist that they were let in.

                People think Thailand is a beautiful place and that the people are peaceful and calm. It is a disgusting place, fueled on prostitution, with the stress of that all hidden by a men’s club. Disgusting. Won’t ever go back there, nor associate with any men who think it’s alright to do so. Uck.

            • You are correct, infidelity doesn’t have to involve sex. However, usually when men are taking frequent trips, and using dating sites, it is to get laid, first and foremost, and sometimes to be able to brag to their friends.

              I have to agree, not all my ex’s dalliances were in Thailand. He also had Australian girlfriends, was on, and various other things. His tagline to his “hired help” which I also found on his computer was the typical, “My wife doesn’t understand me” schtick. Hmm… he might have tried talking to me about that if that was his only problem.

              • Let’s spare a thought for the Asian women who have few choices. I don’t mind us calling the OWs in Western countries whores, but I doubt many of these Thai or Filipino sex workers would really choose this life, if they had a decent education or welfare system.

              • Clearly you haven’t spent much time in Asia.

                The women I am talking about are not so poor that they don’t have a choice, and aren’t by any means being forced into it.

                But they do definitely find that opening their legs, lying on their backs, and then sending ego-stroking e-mails to fat western men gives them a great exchange rate for designer clothing and handbags, school tuition, and new houses.

                The Asian culture is very much these days about possessions and image, and it has become commonplace to employ these kinds of tactics in order to get that so-called “status” for yourself. It is a lifestyle “choice”, not something done in desperation with no other options.

                I’m not saying there isn’t a poor demographic who has no choice, but the kind of whores our fat, western narcs are chasing are the kind who are choosing to do so for their own selfish images. Make no mistake about that.

                And no, I won’t give any thought for them except that I hope they all get gonnorhea or syphillus, get dumped by their sugar daddies and die horrible, lonely deaths, because that is what that kind of self-serving behavior deserves.

              • I think maybe you are assuming the Asian girls that are screwing are organized sex workers. They are not.

                They are just young, opportunistic girls trying to get super tick without having to try very hard.

                They are not under the thumb of pumps or anything, totally freelance and usually with 1 to 3 or so sugar daddies at any given time.

                They will happily (and repeatedly, which cracks me up) offer their virginity for a huge price and these men fall for it.

                I have e-mails describing the whole process because my ex “bought” several.

                What fools, all of them.

          • Mine used to “tsk tsk” about how terrible it was for his friend to cheat on his wife, who was back home working her ass off.

            He used to tell me “scandalous” stories of all the awful cheating his married friend was up to.

            When I found proof of what was going on and read it, many of these “terrible” (according to him) were actually HIS own deeds!

            I really think he would have left me for one of those free whores because I found email to his sister telling me how miserable he was, which was, of course, all MY FAULT!

            He got his though from that slut less than a month after he was complaining to his sister about bad things about me. He did not mention he was cheating on me to his sister.

            He had booked a hotel room in order to fuck her after hanging out with his friends and various cum dumpsters who hung out with them in case they needed a mouth or two to stick their dicks in.

            She decided to fuck his married friend that night instead and they both said goodbye to everyone as they left for a hotel to fuck.

            He created a huge scene in public that she did not appreciate (which I read in her break up email he had saved for years).

            He called me to tell me that latest scandal and pretended it was between a different cum dumpster and his married friend was the one that got chumped.

            How I wish that skank had KEPT HER LEGS SHUT until he dumped me for her like he wanted to!

            I would have been rid of her years ago!

      • Yep, me too. I know a PollyAnna who’s husband travels to France every single month. He’s home about as much as he is away. She will post on FB how wonderful he is. And he may be exactly that. But after what I now know and what I have experienced, I do wonder. And it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if he leads a double life. I just can’t be that naive ever again.

        • The European background also seems to be a problem… European men tend to have some sort of manly entitlement that they are allowed to have mistresses, learned from their fathers early in their lives, not unlike the Japanese situation of men and their many mistresses.

          Mine was a double-whammy… European background and went to Thailand all the time! Argh.

          My experience since that time, having come to terms with, and understanding my own situation, has been that the more women publicly talk about how wonderful their men are, especially WHILE they are traveling, the more likely it is that they are cheating big-time.

          In fact, the more time actually spent away from home, the more likely the cheating, and that one is a statistical fact.

          I unfortunately have two friends who have European husbands who travel a lot… and who tend to speak publicly about how wonderful their husbands are. All I can do is promise myself to be there for them when the shit finally hits the fan. Some would say I’m jaded… but after your own experience, some things just seem obvious… it’s much easier to call a spade a spade…

          • Reminds me of how gleeful exasshole was many years ago when I ‘let’ him go on a caribbean vacation alone. He told me all the guys were jealous because their wives would never allow it. That was the first time he cheated on me (that I know of for certain), the next time was the killer that ended our relationship. Unfortunately, I don’t think he ever stopped after the first time. Chump…yeah.

            • But you have to worry about all those guys who were jealous because there wives “would never allow it” too.

              Hmm… those guys shouldn’t WANT to get away from their wives so badly. If they do, it’s not going to end well either, is it?

              Wrong kinda people.

              My new fiance, who is the opposite of all these guys is my sounding board for drama from other couples that we know, who we know have cheating husbands. He said to me the other day, “You know, it makes me sad. I feel like I’m the only guy who DOESN’T cheat, and it would be nice to know there are others in my gender who feel like I do about cheating… instead of so anxious to do so.”

              I agree with him, there seem to be more cheaters these days than people who respect their partners. But non-cheaters DO exist, and it’s nice when you find one… so easy to tell the difference once you’ve been through the ringer.

    • Cap, I totally understand and I think I’m exactly the same way: raised by wolves, then betrayed by STBX and subject to his gas lighting….but, only to a point. I kicked his ass out 5 months after DDay and filed 7 months after that. Refuses false reconciliation– he kept asking but was living with slut so I said “prove you want to with a post-nup giving me 80% and maintenance for life, be abstinent and out of all relationships and get IC to figure out and change, and I will then consider you as a romantic partner to see if I have any desire to continue the marriage.” Crickets…..then boy did the narc channels flip from self pity to rage.
      Dodged many more bullets by putting up boundaries! Yay me!
      Thank you to Tracy and CN for teaching me what true remorse looks like. STBX doesn’t have any remorse, and just doesn’t want to lose his appliance-wife (me) his false image of being a solid family man, and split the assets.
      Total douche bag.

      • Oh, and I meant to say I KNOW his fucked up character has nothing to do with me — I’m not that powerful to “make” people behave this way, and certainly would want to if I could. And, I’m a good person,optimistic, and trust people until they show me they are untrustworthy.

    • Hmm…bad investment….I prefer to think of cheaters as botulism-laden grilled salmon. Looks great on the outside, tasty even, but they cause severe digestive problems and are to be avoided at all costs thereafter.

    • Like you, Capricorn, I am a warm, loving, trusting person. I have no intention of changing any of that even if I could. I hope you will also remain true to yourself. Hopefully wiser, of course!

    • I agree, Capricorn, that chumps should not be down on ourselves for choosing badly. Every relationship is a risk, just like every stock investment is a risk. Enron looked like a swell financial decision, until it wasn’t.

      And Sandra Brown found that women (unfortunately, only a study on women) who stay with Cluster B men often have “supertraits” like compassion, determination, independence, etc. that allow them to prop up a marriage/relationship that would not have been tenable without those supertraits. We’re going to beat ourselves up over having supertraits?

      Here’s another way the economic analogy works well–Sunken Costs. Economists use this to caution against people throwing good money after bad. Imagine you have a concert ticket for $150 in a town an hour away. You decide you don’t really want to go, but…you paid $150 for the ticket. Surely you should go, right? No. Because you will spend $50 in gas and parking, then $35 for a concert t-shirt, plus another $25 for food & drink, at a concert you no longer want to attend.

      Many of us wondered whether we should “throw away” 10, 20, 30 years of a marriage for a single affair. Leaving aside that it was the cheater who threw away those years, the answer should still be LEAVE. Okay, so we invested heavily in the marriage/relationship. There’s a lot at stake financially, emotionally. But staying with a cheater is throwing good money/love after bad. The cheater has just shown that they are Enron. The principle of sunken costs dictates that we move on; go build your financial/emotional capital on a better prospect.

      • I would add; we generally are comfortable with ourselves and do not need a great deal of validation. We tend to let shit go if we’re feeling OK.

  • This reminds me of the whole “get over it” comments that comes after the final D-day and the divorce. Do you just “get over it” when someone steals your car? Do you just “get over it” when you get told you have an STD from your husband? Do you just “get over it” when your child tells you they don’t want to go on visitation any more because Mr. Sparkles ignores them the whole time – and now that he is bringing the new girlfriend along, he ignores your kid even more?

    My inability to “get over it” on their timeline is apparently an inconvenience. And yet I wonder, who would step up and write them a check for $10,000 if someone stole from them so they could “get over it”. Yeah, didn’t think so.

    I’m better with no contact. I’m better now the divorce is behind me. I’m looking forward to the future, but you’ll just have to accept that I’m healing from my losses right now and and trying to reinvest in my heart “bank account”… that is what normal, mentally healthy people do.

    Normal people do not just roll from one bed to another, or one girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband to another.

    • At my job today we saw a TED talk about taking perspective of someone else. I made up a new term:
      Disperspective. I recently detached from a “might have been a boyfriend” because he suffered from disperspecitve-itis. Bu bye.

    • + 1 – love the “get over it” me: nah, I rather NEVER get over it and learn from it. You are absolutely right that “normal” people do not roll from one bed to the other and yet I find so many that do and wonder why nothing changes for them or why they end up with the same result. I would rather be forever alone then put up with that shit from anyone else for even one more day. Ugh!!!

  • These promises from the cheater that they’re about to end it are what we chumps hang on to for far too long, to our detriment. And I think this is related to another reason we keep hanging on, which is the fear that they’re going to be the perfect partner for someone else that we’ve always hoped they’d be for us. If we just believe their promises, wait out the “affair fog” and don’t scare away the forest creature, they’ll see the light and change their ways. It keeps us focused on them and pick-me dancing, instead of seeing them for the cruel users they are, lawyering up and kicking them to the curb. I wasted 3 precious years of my life that I can’t get back giving him the opportunity to change. Thank god I found CL and turned that focus on myself.

  • Yes, the theory that the affair will run its course, work itself out and the partner you have is (?) worth having back ? I dont know why cheater and Susan broke up…dont know how it ended but the person I got back to wreckoncile with was not a decent partner.

  • I mentioned in previous comments, but it bears repeating: a former friend who blew up his 20-year marriage was stunned, *stunned!* when his wife lawyered up and jettisoned his cheating ass. He whined to me, “I would have come back to her (wife) eventually if she had just waited!”

    Seriously, I think CL’s next book should be the Cheater Playbook, since they all do the same shit, so Chumps can spot ’em and lose ’em and gain a life.

    • Yep, the handbook again. I had my (then) husband served divorce papers at his new love best, in front of his mistress. You know, the one he was LIVING with. The process server called me when it was completed. He was chuckling because X was so stunned that he had to explain the different times, real slowly after the first time, that I was divorcing him. I later received 17 emails. It started off with the, “But I thought you loved me. How could you do this to me? Why wouldn’t you wait for me? You didn’t even fight for me.”. Of course, it quickly escalated into abuse after I ignored his emails.

      • Seriously, no matter how smart they are in other realms, their emotional elevator doesn’t go the top floor. “How could you do this to me?” waa waa waa….without considering that perhaps we ask how they could do this to us.

        • Hell yes, when I filed for abuse/desertion/adultery he sent an email saying ‘how could you do this, it will destroy me’, oh the drama. Fuck off asshole, you did it to yourself.

    • The Cheater’s Playbook”!! Perfect!

      CL–you have your next project and all you have to do is crib from your own blogsite!

    • I seriously believe that if I had not filed, he would’ve been knocking down my door when the OW kicked him to the curb.

      Thank God for small favors (and filing first!)

  • I’m trying to break free from 31 years of marriage. Chump Nation is so brave. I’m still doing pick me dance, feeling worthless, etc. it’s like he is a drug and I can’t quit.

    • My marriage was only 10 years but I’m stuck too. I have strong days and less strong days. This week or even last two has been terrible. The idiot is in “I need to figure myself out” mode. Apparently a bug infested apartment and babysitting the whoremat’s 10 yo isn’t exactly his idea of a perfect life anymore. Maybe he should have thought about it before he ran off to her “love”. He is in therapy and trying to figure himself out but I’m not holding my breath right now. It’s hard when you love someone.

    • It is a drug and you need to detox. Getting away but mostly no contact works but it is painful. All of those hormones and the bonding is no joke. Get help if you can. Do something each day for yourself in the right direction. Plan for your future because you are worthy. The unknown is scary, but if you keep doing the same thing, you will only get the same results.

    • The best way to quit drugs is cold turkey. Ask yourself if this is how you want to live? Hugs!

    • Tonya, hang in there, keep reading everything on this site, post in the forum. It takes time to figure out what is really going on in your life. I had 25 years of marriage invested. STBX was the husband who pretended to be totally in love with me, my best friend,my soulmate. Until he was caught. And I imposed consequences (no contacting the AP….pretty minimal). I did the most amazing pick-me dancing because I was still in love with who I thought he was, we were, I had so much time and love and energy invested in my marriage and “intact” family of 6. I am totally opposed to divorce, to hedonism, to narcissism. But… husband wasn’t who I thought he was. He didn’t want to stop seeing AP. He kept getting caught. Then he flipped and raged at me and kids — blamed us! Said he was “confused” about the “choice”between me and kids and 25 year marriage and 30 year old slut he met in elevator. That was the thing that propelled me to tell him to move out. He did. I kept pick me dancing another year, even after filing for divorce. As I said, this detaching takes time. Now that I’m completely no-contact I have stopped the pick me dancing actions but I sometimes play it in my head. It’s ok–Rome wasn’t built in a day either!
      Huge hugs to you.

    • Yesterday we all waded in on the value of getting angry. I think when you reach that stage it will become easier to disconnect from your H. I was married for 33 years and totally naive, until D day. But, I pined for the marriage I thought I had and didn’t disconnect for 2 years. I was so sad. But, once I became angry and went NC, lots of things started to fall into place for me. It was still another 2 years before this all passed. So, it really takes time and moving through stages of grief. You will get there, just believe that someday this will all be ancient history.

      • “It was still another 2 years before this all passed.”

        Finally Free – your timeline sounds just like mine.
        I’ve been 3 yrs since I threw him out and 2-1/5 yrs post divorce.
        I swear a few times a day (In my head) at him but not as much as I used to.
        Some mornings I don’t think of him until I’ve had a coffee! So much progress as I used to think about him day/night/sleeping; full-time occupation. It is so nice when all that slowly starts to fade away.

        It’s taken me a long time to figure out what happened, discovering *who* I really was. Who I was without him.
        So many changes those first two yrs after divorce that you don’t know if you’re coming or going.
        So, I still think of him especially since I recently found out ‘they’ reside officially in the same home (since Oct), looks like he purchased it) and figure they probably got married. I was shocked all over again that their relationship actually survived.
        It’s another big whammy to figure out.
        Like, ‘guess they REALLY WERE IN LOVE’.

        He said he wanted to leave the marriage for his ‘freedom’. Ha – some freedom in going directly to a questionable bimbo of a human and I’m the one that got all the freedom, which I’m enjoying immensely – thank you very much!

        • OMG SheChump! You have described exactly what I have been living for the past 3 yrs, the rediscovery of myself, the thinking less and less of him and the deciphering what had just happened…

          It does take time and to see the progress that I have made gives me faith that I will achieve Meh some day.

          I also recently found out that he has a “new soulmate” (a different one that the OW he left me for). This new woman is from his past and even attended our wedding! She also left her husband of many years (they have a 3 yr old child) to be with my ex… What a mess! I wonder how can this be based on solid ground…

          Halso told me after 21 yrs together that he is not “a bird you can put in a cage”… He jumped from a 21 year relationship with me (with many mistresses) to 2 back to back relationships after the divorce! Where is his precious freedom? I hope these women know that he “isn’t a bird you can put in a cage”!

          I don’t like when I have setbacks, but I have learned that they do fade and are replaced by good times in my new life. I tend to just “observe from a distance ” the bad times like a storm and keep thinking that the beautiful skies will soon reappear…

          Thank you CL and CN! I could not have made it without you all

    • Let us know where you are in your decision. Is it the finances that worry you? Have you seen a lawyer? Are you concerned about the effect on kids? Are there health insurance issues that leave you scared? No one here can tell you what to do, but a lot of people can give you suggestions about what information to collect and what steps forward might look like. Some people leave right away. Some people strategically spend a year building their own life boat.

      And we will always keep reminding you that you deserve to be treated with integrity and respect.

  • My stbx did embezzle from me for 8 years–a LOT more than 10K–while I provided financial support for the family. strippers and prostitutes are pricey, it turns out. Lap dances in the afternoon interfere with being at work and earning money. he played shell games with money going in and out of his business accounts (which of course I had no access to) and the family accounts. I could never get a straight answer from him about money. I kept control of separate property I brought to the marriage and he was always lobbying to get me to spend it on half assed “business” schemes (I would ask for a business plan and he would harrumph that I had no faith in him-he had no actual skill or experience so yeah, no faith) or buy properties we could not afford. He even asked me to put his name on my accounts after Dday when we were in wrekonciliation. I was not persuaded.
    I never told anyone but my closest friends about his infidelity, or theft, or manipulation and emotional abuse. Why try to explain the inexplicable? People are eager to paint the victim as a Harpee or shrew. I had a big enough load– I didn’t need more blame and judgement.
    my BIL knew about some of stbx’s shit behavior and he never told me, tho he would call me and fish for info, like to see what I might know. I told his wife I was pissed at them for that. I’m over that, but I can’t be close to them like I was. They picked their horse. Good luck with that. Yes, knowing is always better than not knowing!! I so wish I had known sooner. I wish someone had told me.
    I spent 6 years still married after Dday, living separately but enduring daily contact and continuing to support his dilettante and entitled ass because I wanted to be the one and only woman in my young kids lives. I wanted to be with them on their first day of school, their first trip to Legoland, every Christmas and Easter, every weekend trip for their sports. I’m divorcing him now. We have a financial settlement. Still working on parenting. Being free financially of him is more wonderful than I could have imagined. So much of my resentment and anger is tied to the financial abuse on top of the cheating and emotional abuse. I’m working full time, I’m paying him maintenance, and I will be working into my seventies (let’s hope) to send my kids to college cuz I can’t expect he will grow a conscience and contribute. 10 days after he signed the settlement he told me he wanted to set that aside and stay married longer, so he could get a bigger home loan. Um, no. No is a complete sentence. I can’t go full NC cuz of kids but it’s as close to it as I can get.

  • “I was ending it” “take it to the grave” “never again”

    Such familiar phrases!

    The reality is these are things that are said in the head to tamp down any feelings of guilt or insecurity. In truth, the cheater relationships never falter, even when the sex is mediocre, the thrill is too much. Things get MORE intense, not less. I stopped my WW before she fell in love, the OM was already head over heels. It was just another few weeks or months before she let herself get swept up. So yeah, I totally believe it would’ve ended even if I hadn’t caught her…

    …in the words of Borat: NAAHHHHHHT.

  • You know, the mind is a funny thing. When I first found out about the cheating 30 years into our marriage, I told myself it was a one time thing and a mid life crisis. The truth is, he CHOSE to have sex with this woman hundreds of times. He cheated hundreds of times even this one first time. Then it started a trail of torture that went on another five years while he bounced back and forth “deciding” beween us while he fucked her a little more and never touched me (Thank God!). I finally wised up and kicked his ass out but kept doing the pick me dance, hoping he would miraculously miss me, pick me, realize his mistake, grow up. I never realized it was just shitty character and that was who he was- a shitty person who treated people like garbage. So I divorced him and he stopped talking to me. He left for her. He always left for her and he has her now. So he contacts me again three weeks ago and wants to come “home”. Do I tell him to go fuck himself? No I don’t. Because while I know who he is now; because while I know we will never be together again; part of me still wants to “win”; still has this very tiny fantasy that he will get his shit together and be the person I hoped he was but probably never was. So the truth is-as MotherChumper said- for us fairly normal people- people who do love, and maybe love too much- detachment is hard. He just never gave her up but us, his family- no problem, just like gum on his shoe.

  • I used the financial analogy to help myself stay strong once I had made the decision to leave my cheater husband. I told myself something like this — if you were running a store, and your employee stole all of the money out of the cash register, wouldn’t you have to fire this person? I remember it really felt like a grand theft, and it was — a theft of my trust, my time and energy, my love.

  • I have been coming here for almost 2 years just trying to get some insight into the “why”. Today’s post is exactly what I am dealing with. He has been carrying on with this skank for 4 years. He thinks his secret is safe and that he has completely thrown me off the “scent”. Funny, I know everything and I am waiting to make my move. I have the power of reveal but at great costs to myself. Keeping up the act has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I mean, this SOB brought her into my bathroom with me asleep in the bed not even 3 feet away almost every night between 1 am and 3 am. I got a VR and hid it in the trash can under the bag-yeah, I have no knowledge what so ever…Its hard on you when you have to have definitive proof. How could I not hear them and wake up you ask? They are very quiet and put towels over their mouths to muffle the sounds. Only, damn if her dumbass didn’t say some thing out loud! I set it up too…thought to myself, I find your hair all over the place, fibers from your clothes, things outside that you tie him up with…or vice versa with your sick ass 50 shades shit…fucking my husband? Here’s my rag I am going to leave in the window sill all rolled up for ya honey! Sure enough-“Eww”! Gotcha bitch! I wonder if I can bring her up on charges for breaking and entering, menacing, invasion of privacy and other things considering everything is in my name and I don’t even know her(so she thinks). I used to Manage a Furniture store and she came in the store for me to wait on her. Neither one of them realize a thing. We own a Business together which is finally taking off and getting somewhere. Of course, its on me to run it…..want to plan this carefully. I don’t want revenge, I want justice, however, I will take revenge

    • Woah, Karin, that is some nasty shit. I kept imagining what would happen if you set up your bathroom like a prank show on TV, put the camera there plus some bugs and spiders (or a snake???) on a cage and let them all fall out on them once they start having sex. ???

  • I’m just going to say this. I’m a much better, kinder, smarter, and happier person since I stopped:
    1. trying to “fix” people instead of improving my own life.
    2. trying to protect myself from being harmed by narcissists, con artists, substance abusers and other crapweasels I let into my life.
    3. picking people who are disordered and/or dishonest to be “partners.”

    And since I started:
    1. behaving as if I have only one “wild and precious life.”
    2. being willing to walk away from any relationship marked by dishonesty, disrespect, and reciprocity.

    • LovedaJackass

      I LOVE that bit about starting to behave as if you have only one wild and precious life.
      Yes. Perfect thought. No time to waste.
      I am finally learning that if I am feeling low or sad or miserable about what has happened then for me the absolute best cure is to remember that i only have one life and I’m probably halfway through mine (I’m aiming for over 100) so get going with something. Act, do something for myself -walk, bike, library, clean and sing. Anything to stop thinking and move. Worked every time so far. Just trying to shorten the gap between the feeling and the moving.

      • So well said, Cap! I’d like to add – phone somebody. Talk for awhile – go to lunch with them.
        It will cheer you up for the week, I swear.
        Me and my 87 yr old friend talk twice a day and she I and go to breakfast at least once a week.
        We look after each others’ mental state and we laugh a lot. (she also has a Great Dane)

        We keep each others’ spirits up. She’s meaner than me and has some great fire-back quotes to assholes.

        • One of her best quotes when we argue about the bill is –

          ‘If you want to argue, you’ll have to start taking off your clothes’.

  • I wreckonciled, and that turned out … exactly to form. But I don’t think I did it because I didn’t know my worth. As a matter of fact, knowing my worth made it easier to give him another chance. I KNEW I was a good person, a good wife, a good mom, fun, hard-working, honest, pretty cute, and damn it I am good in bed! So I figured at some level he knew those things too, and realized that finding someone like that who ALSO LOVES YOU is a lucky stroke, and worth keeping! Plus I knew I’d be fine, if I gave him that chance and it didn’t work out.

    What I didn’t realize was HIS worth, which was actually very low! ‘Poor relationship material’ is the term I heard from somebody here, and that is exactly it. I thought he was a somewhat-messed-up-but-fundamentally-good-person who had messed up. I thought he actually DID love me and his kids. I thought he was kinda hard to live with, but had a heart of gold. I thought he’d been dazzled by admiration and desire from Schmoopie, and been weak, partly because he and I hadn’t been doing well together (see the ‘kinda hard to live with’ part above). I thought he would LEARN from his stupid mistake, just as I had learned from stupid mistakes I’d made in my life. I thought we could have a better marriage, we’d both re-invest. None of those things were true, which I figured out over the 6 year period before Affair #2.

  • I admit it has taken me awhile to come around to this viewpoint, as hopes of redemption for people swirl in our optimistic heads.

    Why do we want anyone who could betray us, even once? Yes, I realize we are programmed for some degree of stability, and fear of change is often worse than change itself. And most decisions involve an implicit cost/benefit analysis, meaning a chump may weigh the pros of staying with the partner once infidelity is discovered (“No one will make a better lasagna than her.” “He was so patient teaching the kids to ride a two-wheel bicycle.”). But, honestly, an affair is such a huge affront to the romantic bond, such a big FU to the chump, why do we even consider tolerating the cheater or wondering if they can reform? Sorry, next…..

  • Ditto. The issue is not telling the “secrets” the issue is the basis for telling the secrets. If the basis is to make them stop so you can work on “reconciliation” then the real issue is why are you staying. Why does it take a proactive act on the BS to make a WS figure out what they are doing is wrong? And why does a BS want to stay with someone who cannot figure out on their on that cheating on their so is wrong. So if the BS wants to tell everyone go ahead, but the BS should then question why they are staying with someone who has intimately betrayed them. My question also is if your sister told you the same story would you shake your head and tell her to run.

  • I think anger is a very powerful force, and it can be used for good, as long as you have control over the anger. In my case, when I am very angry I do not have enough control to use the anger to my best advantage. I have to calm down and think about what I want to do. I run scenario’s thru my head and evaluate the consequences of the actions. I my case I had to value my children over myself — that is one of my boundaries, my children were young and I wanted to minimize the damage to their lives. I thought about this issue a lot — and it ultimately guided the course of action I took. Anger definitely propelled me forward — but it was tempered with restraint and the thought of consequences. Revenge may be sweet at the moment, but if it leads to time spent in prison, I doubt my best parenting could be done from that location!

    I have never known of a cheating situation that did not also cause a financial problem — when marital resources are used for nefarious purpose, and when you are not consulted when marital funds are spent — you have been robbed. Cheating is dishonest — and in many cases it is illegal, or causes illegal actions to be taken. If someone can justify cheating and stealing once, they can probably do it many times. Also — many type B personality disordered folks are incapable of changing. We may want to believe in learning and change, and we may actually do so ourselves, as chumps. We cannot apply our code to someone who seems to have no knowledge of what honesty and loyalty and vows are all about. We are guilty of making a false equivalency there — and we will pay for that mistake.

    People who cannot understand this, or try to equivocate will never get it. You waste your breath talking to them. Take your anger and ponder the many choices and courses of action that are realistically available to you. Choose the best course of action you can – one where you can see yourself succeeding. It is very hard to do this, and everyone does not move at the same speed. I knew what my ex’s did was wrong, and there was no defense to that. It was when I accepted that they would never, ever, be capable of true remorse or change that I was finally freed to act. I kept myself in check, danced in place and dithered with my chumpy self. Taking the first step in the right direction was the hardest thing to do. After that, I just had to stay on the path I had chosen. It got easier as I went along. Finally, I got away. I found this to be much better than staying around wishing the man I thought I had found would show up.

  • Thanks CL, love the way you use non-emotional examples (ie. Money) to show how in other areas of our life, if someone messed around with a quantifiable resource of ours, we wouldn’t hesitate to hold them accountable, but because it’s some intangible but still very real aspect of our life, we tend to not respond with such hard and fast consequences because the damage to us is not so easily measurable. A broken heart, smeared reputation, depression anger and mental anguish cannot be measured on a scale (if only – that’s 100K compensation for the broken heart etc) but should be taken just as/if not more seriously.

    • Also, it gets me thinking, if you’ve been libeled or slandered and you have tangible proof of that, I wonder how many chumps have sued for compensation. I am guessing on a few with the resources and a strong stomach, but I think that make it whole different ballgame if there were laws that added compensation into your settlement for the lies cheaters tell to Schmoopie and others.

      • Well, if you’re in a no-fault state, of which there are WAY too many, there IS no sewing for compensation. I certainly didn’t have shot in the world of getting any of the $125k my ex-narc slowly filtered out of our accounts and took to Thailand. In NSW Australia, like in CA, it’s sort of a “buyer beware” sort of situation.

  • Say spouse and I have spending problems. I buy too many shoes, he buys yard tools. We contribute equally to our debt. Or maybe I caused ALL the financial problems with my Imelda Marcos footwear fetish. I’m the crazy, nagging one.

    Spouse copes with difficulty by robbing banks. Secretly and repeatedly. Because I don’t meet his needs for financial support. Because banks have lots of cake. Because he deserves to be happy.

    Did I drive him to it? Who should go to jail, him or me?

    • Him.
      Unless you were driving the getaway car or helping plan or getting him a gun knowing what he was going to use it for. You didn’t force him to break the law. He could have cut off your credit card, filed for bankruptcy, or taken out a loan. He CHOSE this.

  • The one thing I have been able to take from the entire shit show which became my life and from watching Investigation Discovery, Snapped, 48 Hours and Dateline is not to rationalize, explain, justify or analyze someone else’s behavior. Accept it for what it is. Don’t attach my own value judgment to it. The Ex’s narrative was always rooted in the lack of nurturing and instability in his formative years as an excuse for his (fill in the blank). Not everyone who has that background story actively chooses to harm others. Many times it explains the poor choices we make that end up harming us. Too many people (including myself before all of this happened) buy into the romance story device in books and movies that true love can change someone from a piece of shit into a perfect partner. Couple that with so many religious beliefs that teach us that everyone can be redeemed and deserves a “second” chance (and don’t judge because we’re all sinners – yeah, but we’re not all unrepentant sinners and/or assholes) and it is the perfect tsunami that sets us up to be conned and abused because it teaches us two things – not to protect ourselves first and to focus on our flaws and the other person’s “potential,” with no realistic acknowledgement that some people are not redeemable. If everyone was redeemable, Satan wouldn’t exist. My Ex is a Shepherd for the Devil – and he enjoys his job.

    I think someone mentioned above that patterns don’t lie. My Ex showed me who he was on a daily basis – always putting himself first, everyone he gravitated toward at his job was a cheater, a scammer or trying to “get over,” seldom if ever holding himself accountable or taking any real responsibility for his choices or behavior, telling me that he loved me, but seldom treating me in a truly loving manner unless he wanted or needed something from me. It was all right there in front of me, but I couldn’t see beyond the curtain of the narrative I had been given and the beliefs with which I had been indoctrinated. I like what someone said above I think, “If I’m not doing it to you, I’m not going to take it from you.”

    Hindsight may be 20/20, but it’s still better than being blind.

    • Chump Princess, very insightful! As chumps I think we come into these relationships with a lot of unrealistic assumptions and/or programming, such as that all other people are basically good or that others think like us. Well, some people are downright bad and have a completely different worldview. My cheater taught me that NO, he didn’t think anything like me, and that the “good guy who did a bad thing” was a total fairytale when applied to him and others. I think of myself as a Sleeping Beauty who finally woke up, and as you say, it’s better to learn eventually than to live life being naive. Now that I’ve seen the truth of this, I simply can’t UN-see it. And as you say, it was right in front of me the whole time, it just didn’t jive with the erroneous core beliefs I had at the time.

      As for CL using the metaphor of money–BRAVO. These folks commit emotional fraud. I felt stolen from–my time, my love and concern, my emotional and financial resources are all things I value. My cheater got them from me under false pretenses. If we had been married, I would have filed for an annulment, because of all the undisclosed things he brought into the relationship. Has anyone on this site done that, filed for an annulment because of cheating? I’m curious how family law views something like an undisclosed sex addiction (in my cheater’s case, it was sexual offending behavior also, voyeurism) or previous relationships the BS doesn’t know about.

  • the text on the e-card really struck me. That’s exactly the opposite of what my narc have said when we started to date. He knew exactly how it’s gonna play out. I didn’t…

  • “I’ve fallen in the butt of a he/she hooker and I can’t get out!”

    I swear, it takes me a lot, but your post just made me faint.
    Just when I thought I ‘knew’ it all.

    I’m not one to close my eyes to this abuse of children in the sex trade and it sickens me.
    I think I’d like to get more involved – these disgusting, fat, pot-bellied, hairy 65 yr old apes being worshipped by a 14 yr old is as disgusting as it gets.
    to rape their young girls is a dangerous and risky business.

    The Men of their country are watching these young women of ‘theirs’, and these ‘rich businessmen’. They are a very very desperate people. These guys – and I figure it’s mostly GUYS, that go over to feel like Gods are risking their very lives for their money. It’s like – DOH?

  • Chump Lady, I just read an article online this evening that said approximately 75 %…and yes, that’s 75!!!! of all spouses that have been cheated on remain in their marriages? In your experience, does that seem like a realistic number. I was astonished, and think that seems like a very high number.

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