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Dear Chump Lady, Do you believe in affair fog?

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reconciliation_fogDear Chump Lady,

My husband had drunk sex with a woman who works for him when our little boy was 9 months old and we had been married for just a couple of years.

He was remorseful (well he cried a bit and said sorry and, hey, at least he told me — yeah right, now I can see I was a chump…) We had a baby and a new marriage and I thought “we are better than this, this isn’t our defining moment.” Sure you know how it goes! Anyway, we carried on and I put it as far out of my mind as I could  and things went back to “normal.”

We were a couple with lots of friends and family, a gorgeous little boy — we had date nights and family holidays and plans — but it turns out my husband never stopped getting oral sex from this skank. Last Christmas — when I was 12 weeks pregnant — he “kissed” ANOTHER employee. Over the months that followed this developed into a full on affair until I eventually kicked him out.

I did all the stuff I thought would break it — called her, called her husband — but nothing would stop them and I had to practically watch them fall deeper “in love.” Six months on and I have just given birth to our daughter. He is still with this woman (seriously, what sort if woman could get involved with a man whose wife was pregnant??) and juggling his time and his finances between seeing our children and seeing her (she has now moved 2 hours away).

My question is if you have an opinion on the Fog of the Affair? Lots of sites mention it and I really felt that for him to walk away from the son he adores and his new baby there must be something to it? Sometimes it’s as if he has become remorseful and wants us to spend time together and tells me he misses us — or is this all just kibbles and cake?

I really don’t want him back (and my heart is slowly catching up to my head). I would not put our children through this again. I just want him to come out of the fog to a moment of clarity in which he sees how monumentously he has fucked up — or does this never happen?

Liz

Dear Liz,

I don’t believe in a great mythical fog that turns ordinary humans into assholes. I just believe in assholes. You know how you can tell if people are assholes? They behave like assholes.

The fog is one of those reconciliation canards that subtly (or not so subtly) absolves cheaters from moral culpability. Your husband didn’t really cheat on his pregnant wife and abandon his infant children. No, he was in a fog. This dark, wet cloud descended on him and muddled his thinking. He knows not what he does! At some point the fog will clear and he will have that “Oh my God, I fucked up” moment of clarity. He’ll return to his senses, return to his family, and be that person you fell in love with again.

Yeah, I don’t believe that. However, I totally believe in the “Oh my God, I fucked up” moment of clarity. But here’s the thing — it’s only a MOMENT. And then the vast majority of cheaters IMO do everything to not feel it. They drink it into a stupor. They shop for new shiny shit instead. They discover new affair partners. Anything to blot out the stench of failure.

Cheating is about entitlement. OMG I fucked up is about humility and lucidity. Entitlement feels better than humility. Lucidity means dealing honestly with the consequences of your appalling behavior. Serial cheaters like your husband are gluttons who need feel-good kibbles. As long as there is an affair partner out there who will shovel the kibbles at him, or he believes in the opportunity for more fuckbuddies when those kibbles run out — why would he change?

Because you hurt? Because your children are so precious and wonderful?

He already demonstrated exactly how he feels about you and your children. He cheated on you while you were vulnerable and pregnant with his child. Not once, but twice (that you know of) with two different women in a rather short span of time. His abhorrent actions tell you everything you need to know about how deeply he feels about his family. You did not matter to him. He is not a person who bonds and connects.

And Liz — that is NOTHING on you. It says NOTHING about how lovable you are or how precious your children are. It says everything about him and his character.

A “fog” didn’t make him that way. That is who he is. If the fog exists, it’s kibbles. It’s his addict’s high. Kibbles feel great — better than the love of your family. He’s sick in the head, and that’s nothing to do with you.

This is not a person who can love you the way you  and your children deserve to be loved. You refer to him as your husband, so I assume you are still married. Please for the love of God, get a lawyer. A kick ass, pit bull lawyer and leave this cake-eating piece of shit.

This column ran previously. Do YOU believe in “affair fog”?

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Welcome to the ranks of wonderful, loving men and women who thought our spouses would come to their senses and realize what they might lose…loving families, beautiful children or ‘fill in the blank’.

    This is the mightiest nation you never wanted to join!

    I’m sorry to add to CL’s wisdom but the fog doesn’t lift, the clouds don’t suddenly part, the lightbulb over their head doesn’t flicker on or however you phrase it.

    It isn’t right or fair or make any sense (who walks away from a loving spouse and adorable children?).

    Hold your head up high and walk towards your own peace.

    Having your dignity and the love of your children will be worth every bit of excruciating pain you have to get through.

    • I am so bitter and mad I can’t see straight. I fear I will be bitter forever!
      They have everyone Fogged. (Family, Friends, Therapist, Themselves )That is what takes me over the edge!! Everyone loves my ex! He is the belle of the ball and it makes me feel so bad about myself that everyone is still so supportive of him! If they only knew this was affair number TWO! I am not sure what people know or believe about this one because I kept it quiet for 8 months. But, I am finding it doesn’t even matter to the ones that I have told. He has no shortage of friend!
      I have no doubt they will marry within the next 6 months. I shutter at thinking about them living happily ever after. I know it is easy to think..hope… their relationship will end in failure. But, I truly believe it will be one that will last forever! I know not all marriages to the AP end in divorce. How do you deal with that?

      • You deal with it by laughing to yourself at the fact that two disordered f–wits with sleazy moral character have found each other. A match made in cheater heaven! (And as far as YOU know, it’s affair number ‘two’–more likely affair number ‘twelve’.) Go on and live a life with someone who deserves wonderful, trusting YOU.

        • Just re-read my bit about my ex paying for his 19 year old girlfriend to have a labiaplasty. If you stick around long enough to try and get the “why” questions answered, you get to all the absurdity of the fact that you would bother with someone that would pay for a 19 year old to have labiaplasty surgery. Then you go, “Enough. Wish I hadn’t hung on so long.”

          Trust me, end it before you get to that point. Just trust that they suck!

    • Well said Rebecca. My cheater is a ‘nice guy’ who people like. He likes to be liked. But it is all impression management I realise now. I was with him for 14 years and had no idea of the real person. When he left he didn’t tell me he had been having an affair for 4 years. I found evidence 5 days later. He denied and blame shifted. No apology. Now I know not to expect one as he is not he reasonable person I thought he was. Hard to come to terms with.Thank god for Chump Lady. My go to when feeling miserable.

  • Fog never lifted from my ex. D day was 3.5 years ago, he married the AP in Sept and has not spoken to, called, or seen our 3 teens in 2 years! He chose the entitlement rather than face the music. He chose a partner over his kids.His choice was permanent fog, it felt better. Asshole!

    • Hugs to you. My D Day was also 3.5 years ago. My ex left and moved in with AP and their wedding is scheduled for April. So much for the fog.

      I love what CL says about cheater weddings: big tents of impression management. While they search for their next hypotenuse in the receiving line, we’re free to make our escape!

      • My ex is also living with his AP and their wedding is in August… There is a fog alright, the one the cheaters create and do everything they can to make sure it never lifts, so that their disgusting behavior never see the sun. But, you can’t avoid the sun forever, and by the time your cheater’s fog burns off, you and your children will have moved on to a happier, healthier space. He will be stuck in the same spot, creating another fog, then another….

        • Skankboy is living with his AP, her two kids and has said a few weeks ago, “to be honest..(lie, we know cheaters don’t know how to be honest) that I’m not that happy.” Guess his “fog” lifted! Hahahahaha….idiot! Also, “I try to make the best of it.” That’s true love right there.

          • Skankboy’s comment is to feel you out and see if there is a possible opening to come back , just in case. They always want back up. I’m thinking if he were truly miserable he would have told you how much he misses you, he made a huge mistake, blah blah blah. You’re correct though everything is a lie or misleading with cheaters

            • “Skankboys comment is to feel you out….”
              That is another common thread with NPD/cheaters isn’t it?
              It’s all about manipulation and getting what they want.
              If they act “nice”, thoughtful or remorseful – beware that’s when they’re planning something big!

          • They are never happy. It’s just par for the course. No matter what these people do, they end up back in the same restless, empty place.

            I realized that when I was dealing with my ex-husband recently. I make less money than him. I got a BA in Worthless and am stuck working at Walmart for 9 dollars an hour. Despite all of that, I somehow still have more money at any given moment than a guy who makes 20 dollars an hour and works 40 hours a week. I’m two weeks out from payday and still have a little under 100 dollars. A pretty good feat for someone as poor as me. He has nothing. He whines and says it’s my fault. I don’t respond to it. During the entirety of our marriage, blamed me for all of our money woes. Now, I’m gone and the same problems remain for him. Who is to blame now?

            Poop Boy still can’t find a direction in life, he’s still unhappy, he still fights unceasingly with his AP/STBW, and I’m gone. So whose fault is it? That’s the problem isn’t it. These people can’t accept any responsibility for who they are in life.

            • I know this well! Narkles the Clown makes triple my salary….triple. Yet I managed to hold onto the behemoth of a house, keep my car, feed my kids, clothe them and keep them in activities while he tells everyone how poor he is. And there is NO support from him to me. He also complains non stop. It’s just his way. I can’t afford gas to go anywhere this weekend and I wake up happy every day. Every Single Day. I’ll take it over living with or even speaking with him.

              • Count me in too. We made pretty good money together but were always broke. I was forever running up to the credit union to get loans to cover his spending on his toys, buying rounds for the drinking buddies, the whore and the endless car repairs (his car and others) when he was drink driving. When he buggered off I made the house payment, paid all the bills, the kids’ schooling and everything else and had money to spare, while the twat, living rent free at the whore’s, STILL can’t make it. When we were seriously overdrawn he used to roar “I WANT TO SEE THE BOOKS” because he swore blind I was spending the money. Funny that, I’ve now got half the income, all the same bills and am on schedule to pay off my 17 year mortgage in 7 years, while the bank over here in France keep leaving me messages as they are trying to get in touch with my ex about the state of his account. God alone knows what kind of financial mess he’s in in the States! Karma my friends, karma!

              • I remember feeling like he and I made the money and had a lifestyle that I’d never be able to achieve on my own. For me, it was part of the reason I was afraid to leave, and thinking back i’m pretty sure that image was propagated by him to try and keep me there for more cake and kibbles.

                I got out. I got about 42% (of what I could prove… he had lots of side income going on). I had to give up our prosperous business to him,to get out. He would have rather spent years and run it into the ground than share it with me, so it became a casualty of divorce war for me.

                I bought a house for about 1/3 what our house was worth. I found a job that pays about 1/5 of what we were making. I am not suffering at all financially, and I wake up happy, rather than depressed.

                Stuff doesn’t matter. Being treated with respect, and having a genuine life? That matters.

                Don’t worry you can’t survive the changes. Just get out. Everything falls into place.

            • The disordered seem to have problems with money. My x ( after staying by his side for 7 years of education ) makes way more money than I do.

              After BD I had nothing. Not even a car. I went back to school and am slowly building up my career now. I am still very tight financially, but I manage.

              I watch him constantly go from crisis to crisis. I gave up seeing any $$ from him a long time ago. I think that he almost gets off on the drama!

              It was a huge relief for me to realize that I could stand on my own two feet and that I wasn’t the reason for our never ending money problems!

              Things I have accomplished financially on my own since separating:

              I bought a great car ( after owning a not so great car )
              I went back to school and am in a licenced trade
              I pay my bills mostly on time
              I have no credit cards

              Success doesn’t have to be shiny. Getting up and going to work, school or even a volunteer job at your kid’s school every day is very rewarding. Living a real life vs a plastic one. Never apologize for your income, job or lifestyle.

          • Let’s throw him a pity party… Awwwwww NOT! You make your turd bed, you roll around in it! I agree with KB, always looking for a way to trade back up to what he had. Wow, cheaters have no concern for anyone’s boundaries or self-respect whatsoever!

    • I’m so sorry this happened. My kids haven’t spoken to my ex in 15 months. It eats away at me everyday that he’d pick this woman over his family. All I can do is keep going and love my kids each day. I hope we all find peace one day somehow.

      • literally the same situation down to the time – i am in constant disbelief which is stopping me moving on. Its the horrible attitude to money that makes it all the sicker…. financially terrorising you even though they left and drained the account.

        • Trust that they suck. It really is that simple. Even if you can’t believe it, move forward with divorce proceedings anyway. Once you are out the fog will lift on your side of the bridge.

            • I was thinking – I need this tattooed on my texting hand! Oh how many times I’ve fallen off the NC wagon, texting and emailing furious rants and demanding (meaningless) apologies. And for what? Wasted energy.

  • If the fog exists, STBX is still in it almost 4 years past DDay #1. He can stay there forever – I’m good as long as I don’t have to share space with him.
    Funny coincidence: on Monday after taking our son to school, he texted me (because he is SUCH a thoughtful and considerate person…) “Fog is dense in some places. Consider allowing more time.” This is his MO as he keeps delaying the divorce process.

    • louisvilleflower,

      4 years past Day #1, and you’re still letting him delay the divorce process? I’m sure there’s unusual stuff in your situation, but if it keeps dragging out, you’ll lose the right to call him your STBX, and have to switch to ETBX (eventually to be ex).

      Seriously, it sounds like you’ve moved on and he hasn’t, or can’t, or won’t. Perhaps it’s time for a kick in the pants (his, not yours, obviously).

      Good luck. Hugs. Peace.
      aeronaut

  • Fog my arse! EVERYTHING they do is deliberate and systematic abuse. There is NO fog. They claim fog/confusion when their kibble source is threatened. IMO that’s the only reason.

      • Yep all planned it and ‘ducks in a row’ mentality . The idea is that they dress it up that they are ‘trying to make it work ‘ to friends and family while they have systematically degraded you to the point of desperation . Then when you finally cotton on to the fact they are dropping the hammer on the relationSHIT – everyone else had the heads up already ! So you look totally mad when you freak out cos everyone knew you guys were doomed .

  • I remember this column. It was great to read and affirm what I already knew. Affair fog = wanting to be public about being an asshole.

    Did you ever hear back? How is Liz?

  • The affair fog canard is a case of mistaking a symptom for the problem. Cheaters are not victims of a fog; they are fog-machines. They spout out clouds of lies and misdirection. Sometimes they try to blind you with their fog. Sometimes they claim they are themselves blinded by the fog. The fog will not lift; you just have to walk away from it.

      • Not so much the fog horn, as the stiff breeze that blows the fog and smoke away, and exposes things for what they are.

    • This is my thought, too. It’s not the question that gets to the heart of the problem. It doesn’t actually matter whether the fog exists or whether it will ever lift. What matters is that this person has repeatedly shown that the behavior is acceptable to him/her.

      Each affair is real, fog or no fog, and it will never stop being real, even if it ends. It will always be hanging there, a done thing that can’t be undone.

      “It’s like I was in a fog”, said the cheater.

      “Why don’t you stay in there and let me move on without complicating my leaving with your gaslighting BS”, says me.

      🙂

    • So true! The fog is a figment of some poor soul’s imagination and nothing more than an excuse. These cheaters know exactly what they are doing. Now, perhaps they cannot pinpoint why they are cheating, but that is a far cry from failing to understand that their actions are wrong and destructive. In my experience, cheaters are not prone to self-reflection because they lack the emotional intelligence to experience empathy for others. When they claim not to know “why” they cheated, it is just a way to avoid taking a very hard look at their conduct. No one drugged them. No one put them in a trance. They did not temporarily lose control of their willpower. They were not “blinded by the light.” They made the conscious decision to hurt another human being. The fog is simply an acknowledgement that at the point in time when they cheated, they did not give a damn about the consequences of their actions. The last thing on their minds was their spouse, that much is true.

      • Oh so true-it’s as if I wrote this. I’m just 1 year past D-Day, and have heard “I’m sorry” so many times I could throw up. No answers though, no why, no why her, can’t remember because he hates who he was then-ha! No, he’s created “the fog”. Why am I still in this? Why do I continue to be with someone who hurt me & our kids so badly??

        • Sad&mad, I am also one year from DD but never had any “I’m sorry”s… I wonder if I should feel offended or relieved, I guess I feel both sometimes.

    • Eilonwy, you are so right. They create a fog around their actions, their motives (insofar as there are motives beyond cake and kibbles), their intent, their history, their feelings, and their whereabouts.

    • A lovely man told me that if you spit on the inside of your dive goggles, they won’t fog up. So does this mean we can spit on our cheaters?

  • I occasionally find myself hoping that fog obscures a deep ravine or an oncoming bus in his path, but mostly it just seems to blot out his ongoing parental responsibilities. If you use low beams and drive slowly, you can still make out that he is an asshole. The legal u-turn is working out great though!!

    • Hahahahaha awesome post Dixie! I can just picture the Karma bus looming out of the fog and running his sorry ass over. 🙂

      • One of X’s new hobbies since moving out is cycling. He has posted a number of photos of himself on fb wearing his fluorescent spandex biking outfits (including matching cycling accessories). My guess is he’s under the assumption wearing spandex shorts accentuates his package.
        I’ve often day~dreamed of X sporting his cycling ensemble, arrogantly pedaling his heart out when an 18 wheeler, or fright train slams into him.
        Which reminds me, I’m going to look into a life insurance policy should something happen to him. I wouldn’t want to lose my spousal support.
        Last year my son told me X was on a country road cycling and accidentally ran into a swarm of Bees. It was difficult trying to maintain a straight face as I listened to the drama filled story of X being stung by bees and describing his injuries from falling off his bike.

        • You raise a good point, Brit–for anyone in the midst of settlement, WRITE IN MANDATORY LIFE INSURANCE for at least the amount of all future child support and/or spousal support. Also mandate annual proof of said insurance.

          That way, even if the cheater skips out on their life insurance policy payments (shocking, I know, that they might be dishonest), the chump has grounds for taking a chunk of the estate to cover future child/spousal support.

          • Another good thing to know is that if you are in the states and we’re married for at least 10 years, you are entitled to the same social security death benefits as if you were still the spouse (assuming you aren’t remarried).

            Just some wishful thinking about the karma bus rolling around;-)

        • Yes, my ex while cycling hit a goose and broke numerous bones. What can a chump say? Meh!
          My kids are adults and I’ve gained a life and moving forward. His broken clavicle, rib, wrist etc from what I’ve heard have now healed. I’m nc.

        • ha ha -what is it about the MAMILS (middle aged men in lycra) it is a horrific sight. mine took to wearing WHITE cycling shorts – sorry for the mental image – and yes they really think it is a sign of their physique prowess. It is just so tempting to go too close to annoying cyclists swerving around your lane. He used to be lit up like a flashing christmas tree with fairy lights…

        • I know this is an old post but I can’t resist..my pos has been a bike club member for years…of course I didn’t have time for clubs as I worked a full time job raised 2 kids and cared for elderly family.. completely alone…I am sitting on the couch I bought 17 years ago looking at the carpet I bought 19 years ago..can’t afford to do anything new but he has 6,000.00$ in bicycles..2 bikes yep..and that doesn’t include all the extremely expensive gear, club dues etc that go along with it. God I hate this cheap prick.

    • hahahah Dixie Chump!!! My belly is hurting.

      My cheater’s fog also made him forget how to add and subtract and so he is full of debts that THIS CHUMP here is legally obliged to help him pay!!

  • I’m sorry you are joining us, but you have good souls here and a wealth of advice and comfort. We always think the best of our spouses, until we are proved wrong. This is your wake up call; please protect yourself and your children. Don’t wait – it’s not worth it and will only scar you. Blessings to you and many prayers!

  • Oh yeah, I bought into the fog too! This guy who crushed my soul didn’t mean to, he’s sorry in there somewhere… he just doesn’t know it. He’s sorry alright, a sorry excuse for a human. The day after I found out about the affair I sent my then 8, 10 and 12 year old to a friends for the night. Our daughter fell out of a tree and broke her leg in 3 places. Do you think he showed up at the hospital? Of course he didn’t, he was too busy texting his 21 year old stripper girlfriend to come comfort his daughter and help his wife who hadn’t slept in 48 hours. Must have been the “fog” right? It’s crazy the crap chumps will make excuses for. I pick me danced for 5 years, and when I finally stopped dancing, of course his repeated infidelity was my fault because I was unwilling to make our marriage work.

    • Got….your’s beat mine in the stripper department; the XPOS found a 25 y/o stripper (he was 50).
      Yea that worked out…….NOT!

      He has since moved on to many others, one he was engaged to and that’s over now too! He’s an entitled narcissist to the umpth degree!

      • What is it with narcs and strippers? I mean I get men having flings (not that I condone) but narcs go on to marry, live with, etc. with strippers.

        • KB….my thoughts….it makes them feel like they are really a big deal to get with a stripper. Such a great conquer! lol
          Little do they know (or care) but strippers are with them for the dollar bill! Came right out of his strippers mouth straight to me! Her words to me verbatim: I danced to pay for my student loans though. I was definitely not looking to ever end up with any of the creeps I ever saw in there.
          He’s such a con but he got conned too! lol

          • So true about being conned. Narcs are not the sharpest knives in the drawer so they fall for the BS. Most strippers have no conscience so they will bleed the idiot for all he has and then move on to another schmuck.

            • yep – my bet is they fancy themselves as a richard gere lookalike there to rescue the prostitute from themselves. hence the chronic spending to prove they are the daddy.

        • You should see a stripper in a bridal shop after the big engagement to her sugar daddy, as I once did (completely by accident). Surreal to say the least. When you are trying on dresses that show your nipples, it’s probably best not to think that you are going to be able to get married in your still married boyfriend’s church!

      • Mine solicited Thai hookers who looked like 10 year old boys, stole $125k in small ATM transactions over several years to build his 16 year old Thai girlfriend’s parents a house, and claims he was dating his 19 year old Australian whore because she was raped at 14 and he was trying to help her get over that. (?????!) He was 53 at the time.

        I think I’ve got you all beat in the stripper/whore department.

        Oh, yeah, and then there was the labiaplasty he was buying for his 19 year old Australian rape victim, that he flew her to Thailand to have. Apparently she was self-conscious about her “flaps”, and apparently labiaplasty is the new boob job for this generation’s unconfident, whoreish girls.

        Believe me, it was pretty easy to leave after I found all that evidence. And got the STD tests. He CLEARLY didn’t give a crap about anyone, including himself. What a sicko.

        • I know that once this is all over “Hey baby! How are your flaps?” will probably woo me over ??? They are all the worst. The cheaters AND the whores of all genders!

          • I mean… I think my mouth dropped open in wonder at that, and stayed that way for about 3 months. If anything made me finally get the absurdity and utter ridiculousness of me hanging on to some thought of wanting THIS man in my life… it was that. I was just like, “Oh no no no no no!”

            I just didn’t want my joint money being used for sexual surgery for some 19 year old. It pissed me off!

            • Wait, you’re saying you DON’T want your hard earned pay checks going toward trimming some whore’s mutant twat for your wayward husband’s pleasure?! This is just pure selfishness! If you were a nice person and a good wife you’d just want him to be happy in any way possible! You’d be helping that poor victim feel good about herself again. Because unattractive lady curtains are definitely a prerequisite to self esteem. How many people is she planning on showing those things to?! SMH! The fucking nerve of some of these chesters! I wish that they would have to walk around with a t-shirt that has all this AWFUL shit they’ve pulled printed on it so people could be warned about what a POS these poor excuses for human beings are!

              • Oh yeah talk about martial assets…while me and the kids were left to get on with it on $200 cheater MAMIL was busy giving money to charity to make him look like the hero of course.

              • Meh. I believe in Karma. I’ve seen it in action, so I know they’ll both get theirs.

                I’m happy, in a new relationship with someone who doesn’t hide anything from me, and it’s funny, when I tell those shocking things about my ex and his whores now, I think to myself, “Oh my God! That all sounds too absurd to even be true, yet it is! What an idiot!” I remember being SO sad and shocked when finding out all these things, but after serveral years… meh. What an idiot. Glad I’m out.

    • My ex wouldn’t come to the hospital for his DD because he had a billiards game. He married his Farmville AP, got divorced four years later and got engaged six weeks later to his next victim. His children never met either partner before their engagement. Thankful he’s out of my life. The fog of the Internet.

    • Got a Brain, you’ve got to love how supportive these cheaters are. When he ran off to be with his howorker, my son got really sick. I took him to the emergency department, rang the ex and told him what was happening. My son was being admitted, really unwell, on a drip. His response, Oh I can’t come I am away working… oh ok…. so I did the dutiful thing and rang or text him multiple times over the next couple of days to let him know what was happening. Got a phone call on about the third day from a friend. He wasn’t away working at all, he was about 5 minutes away shacked up with the howorker… I lost it big time. How can he call himself a father????? I was so livid.

      • Don’t feel bad JABT. When my husband was told I was going to have my lung resected due to lung cancer, my then wayward husband told my daughter, ” you kids will have to handle this, I don’t want to give her false hope!” Then he took off for Schmoopie’s Florida condo! THAT he made time for, his wife of 39 years? Ain’t got time for that! And not one phone call after my surgery to anyone to see if I was doing okay! BUT he and Schmoopie did e-mail his lawyer to see how they could “spin” thier relationship to make it look good. His lawyer said, “I’m afraid you are going to look like an asshole!” Gotta love his lawyer. Points for pure honesty!

        • Oh, I had several day surgeries to try and clear uterine pre-cancer (which, for all I know, they will find is viral like cervical cancer, and I caught from him). He was always “unavailable” to lend any support much less actually be there. His mother was there for me, and I took care of her when she broke her ankle and convalesced. He was conveniently absent.

          He had many back problems, though, and when he called from Thailand one morning because he was in so much pain from his back he didn’t know what to do, and I calmly told him to ask the concierge to help get him to the hospital for treatment, because I didn’t want to scare him by being hysterical from so far away, apparently I was the evil, uncaring one, for that gesture.

          I later found out he’d been screwing one of his Thai whores the night before in his hotel room, so I asked him why he hadn’t asked his whore to help him… afterall, that’s probably what threw his back out? Oh, right… he’d have had to pay her extra for hospital help!

          Idiot.

            • I did hear that he recently had to have sinus surgery. I hope there was nobody there to support him through that. That would be karma at its finest.

              • Mine is being slowly killed by chronic sinus infections. Hopefully the time line will speed up. Then I can get the life insurance, all the savings and the 401ks ?

              • Yeah, my ex is morbidly obese, verging on diabetic, has a bad back (already had a vertebra replaced in his neck), has sinus problems, and he’s… I guess about 55 now… can’t remember! Lol! I didn’t have to wish bad things on him, they were just destined anyway.

                But you know you’re no longer in the chump fog when you think of all the horrible ways they could die, and just sort of shrug, and smile a little. It’s a happy, giggly sort of meh!

      • JABT – same thing here. My 4 1/2 month old was in the hospital for 3 days and not one visit. Too busy working. They suck as fathers but I am sure they give other people the impression that they are great fathers…I know mine does.

        • I need to remember that he was not the one to take the asthmatically sick child to the ER when it was his 40th birthday cos everyone was already coming…. even tho he prob started the asthma by brushing the floors so enthusiastically that the dust was thick in the air after i pleaded to use a wet mop instead. Anyho it was his birthday and nothing was going to stop him .

  • That darned fog strikes again. Why do you think flights are delayed because of fog at airports and then suddenly there’s an orgy in the departure lounge. Fog has a direct cause and effect to spontaneous cheating.

    I was once walking down a sidewalk and it suddenly became foggy and within minutes otherwise moral pedestrians were overcome with horniness and an orgy occurred.

    Many people who believe in aliens are investigating a mysterious fog that creeps into office towers and it’s effects on hard working people who suddenly find themselves giving blow jobs to their co-workers.

    The “fog” is a mysterious phenomenon like Sasquatch sitings, the Bermuda Triangle, and Alien anal probes of farmers in the Midwest.

    • YESSSS!!! Sounds about as ridiculous as the stories they drum up as to where they were and what they were doing…

    • So THAT’S why they won’t let us off the plane and go back to the departure lounge! Always wondered about that …

    • I can testify…my plane from SD to Seattle was delayed for hours cos of FOG. I gave blow jobs to any male within reach…cos of FOG. Apparently, it eroded all my self control and self respect and I couldn’t help myself. I lost my moral compass. I was sadz that my flight was delayed and had to find something to DO. My FOO issues were coming to the surface and I missed my mommy. What an idiot my STBX is. I adored him. I wasn’t perfect but I didn’t deserve what he did to me or our family. Discarding 25 years for a sociopathic serial homewrecker he knew for a handful of weeks. I am in the angry stage 🙂

      • LOL !!!! BeowulfSabrina! Good stuff!

        Except the sad stuff, mentioned at the end — and I know, and agree, and feel for you.

        • oh yes angry is good -they did a BAD thing – B’wolf – 25 years too and you realise they were projecting their mummy issues on YOU! – even tho mine was in total control of finances/major moves and career decisions which I was happy to go along with at the time – I got the ‘you controlled me and made my decisions for me’ -just like mommy dearest. Now I realise because he fucked everything up he had to blame someone else for the ‘bad decisions’ cos he couldnt be to blame?

  • Today marks 1 year of my dad’s passing. He was the most loyal, dedicated person I have EVER known! He visited my mom’s graveside EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for 25 years!

    He knew from day 1 that the XPOS was a POS and wouldn’t have a thing to do with him!

    Why didn’t I see what my dad saw?! Father knows best! 🙂

    Miss and love you Dad.

    • That’s a tough milestone- hope you have an OK day. My dad died end of 2015, just over a year after my mum. The divorce from XH was finalised in between the two deaths….

      Dad realised XH was no good- although I spared him the less savoury details (the porn, prostitutes etc.). He helped financially- knowing XH was ‘not good with money’ (Dad euphemism).

      When dad died, I found a letter my XH had written to him- after I had thrown him out- saying how much he loved me, that we would get back together but oh how he was struggling financially. It was essentially a begging letter to a frail elderly man. Dad did not reply or send him money and wrote- ‘selfish’ self-pitying’ on it instead.

      • Mikky…..big hugs to you. It’s so rough being without the strongest man I’ve ever known.

        Looks like your dad, like mine, couldn’t be fooled by the losers!

      • Mikky, my ex didn’t ask my dad for money but my Danish ex-brother-in-law did. He was a real piece of work and a sponger too. I guess my sister and I really need to fix our pickers right?

    • I also miss my dad sooo much! A good man if there ever was one, his dad (my grandfather) as well.

      My dad started worrying about STBXH when he met his family, especially two of his seven brothers and his father. But I just ignored him.
      All eight brothers turned out to be cheaters in one way or another, all this behavior came trickling down on me over 38 years until my own D-day.

      One of my cheating brothers-in-law (asks for loans and does not pay them back) one day complained that my father-in-law used to take him and another brother to spend weekends at a sports club “playing soccer”, but it was really a brothel that actually had daycare for the kids.

    • This really touched my heart. I’m sorry for your loss, what an amazing man. It really points out that I messed up in the picking a hub department. Mine killed ME with his cruel discard and never stayed around to pick up the pieces, much less visit my grave. I will look for a real man like your dad next time—IF they still exist.

      • BeowulfSabrina…….awww, thanks! One a kind he sure was!

        Good luck in your search; I think it’ll be tough to find, but I keep hearing they’re out there.

        Me….I gave up and I’m ok with it. Angry here and there because I didn’t deserve all the louses that came in my path. Oh well….travel destinations here I come!!! 🙂

  • “At some point the fog will clear and he will have that “Oh my God, I fucked up” moment of clarity. He’ll return to his senses, return to his family, and be that person you fell in love with again.”

    I used to believe this, but I think this is us projecting our thoughts and values onto our spouse. In hindsight, it was my biggest mistake that kept me in limbo for so long. I could never imagine being in the situations my wife put herself into and doing the things that she did, and like the letter writer, I thought at least she’d snap out of it eventually or have some type of self-reflective moment.

    But no, that was never going to happen – not in a million years. You know what my first clue should have been – the fact that she still hung around with her AP after D-day. That your spouse would even consider hanging out with their AP, and after D-Day while watching you suffer so terribly, is a great window into how they really feel about you. They just don’t give a shit. If your spouse is doing that, then there’s definitely nothing left to salvage. I was an idiot for believing otherwise for so long.

    It’s been a couple years since D-day for me now, we’re divorced, and the A didn’t work out for her. And sure, now she seems to exhibit at times that she feels bad about what happened, but now I know that it’s not about losing me or the marriage, it’s about losing what I have to offer her. No more safety net, no more financial stability, no more me running to her aid when she screws something up…..and no, the AP isn’t interested in doing any of this for her either (and never was to begin with).

    So my thoughts on the “affair fog” are that, if you see any hint of this mysterious fog, then leave immediately. Staying around to see if it will lift is a complete waste of time. The fact that it’s even there, particularly after D-day, tells you loads about your spouse and the lack of respect that they have for you. It’s just another bullshit excuse.

    • Wow Blindside — me too. After the incident in the driveway with the Carrot Singer, KK’s pathetic attempts at “owning what happened” (as opposed to “owning what she did” — another red flag) came with the condition that she still remain friends with BDSM Guy and his live-in girlfriend.

      Two nights later, she said she was going out to have a drink with him “just to have someone to talk to, should take no longer than an hour”, stayed out until midnight, then spent the entire next day saying that my protestations were “just another way of me trying to control her life.”

      The only saving grace for me is that it was only a few nights later that I told her I was done, through, finished.

      (And as it happens, im tapping this out 1 year later, in the parking lot of the county family court offices, as I wait to enter for the pre-trial hearing and further commit to never being taken advantage of again. Thanks again, Chump Nation.)

    • Yeah, want to hear how the “fog” clears a year or two after divorce? (a) a Nastygram that the chump was to blame and should “own [her] contribution to the demise of the marriage” and (b) Every marital friend has been told how deficient the spouse was, and how s/he had serious emotional problems, to explain why the cheater cheated (conveniently left out–that the cheater was a serial cheater in every adult relationship he ever had). Funsville.

      • Sounds like when the “fog” finally lifted for him, he found himself on “Blameshift Island”. That’s the problem with gaslighting, if you do it to others enough, you end up gaslighting yourself.

        • That’s the problem with gaslighting, if you do it to others enough, you end up gaslighting yourself.

          OMG I’m laughing so hard today. The fact that we all have such senses of humor (dark and sarcastic) and it’s still funny is good even though, boy is it ever painful!

        • I think this really does happen to them. They keep repeating their bullshit in their heads until it becomes their reality.

      • Tempest!! What a turd cheater is!!!

        How do you cope with that? I’m asking because that’s what James Bond is doing to me. My cheater is a Jesus Cheater, with the girls we were supposed to pray with, he preyed on, and with the girls we were serving with. Dirty old bastard. Wow! That really hurt!!! Now he’s contacting our faith community on FB, wishing happy birthdays and has a sanitized FakeBook page, all high-minded thoughts and photos.

        Okay, his appearance: James Bond. His real self: dirty old bastard.

        • Queen Mother–get your narrative out there pronto. Tell everyone, especially people most likely to also tell others. Have some quick, chirpy way to do it, “I didn’t like that James Bond wanted me to have Sister Wives that I’ve never met.” At least then they are inoculated against his bullshit. My X got to almost all of them before I could, and it appears I have retained only 1 couple as true friends (out of about 7). Almost all of them started out morally on my side (and some of the wives, in particular, still are), but his “Tempest sucks so I had to seduce students” schtick has resonated with some.

        • p.s. and of course, NC with the cheater. You can’t reason with the disordered, and attention just reinforces them.

    • I believe the fog only lifts long enough so they can trot over to the magical land of self pity, where worms and unicorns weep and “woe is me” echoes down from the mountains into the valley of perpetual despair…………

  • If anyone is in a “fog” during an affair it’s the betrayed. I know I was. I had no idea who he really was and honestly thought he’d be remorseful when discovered. He wasn’t. He was angry, entitled and already on to the fresh supply. Years later he’s never expressed regret, shame or remorse. He thinks he’s wonderful and exceptional. It simply boggles my mind, but I know he’s a sick, harmful person. Now that I see him clearly I am so glad I am away from him. There is no “fog.” Lawyer up and get away. Healthy people don’t do what these cheaters do.

  • Liz-

    I know this is old but in case you haven’t figured it out yet, the “fog” doesn’t exist. What’s the saddest part about the fog? The RIC uses it like bait and hooks vulnerable chumps with it. Unfortunately far too many chumps not only believe it, they defend it and get angered with anyone who suggests it’s bunk.

    You want to start a riot? Go to a RIC website and tell unicorn chasers that the fog doesn’t exist. It will make you glad that you are in cyberspace so the lynch mob doesn’t start chasing you. If no one has the guts to speak out, then they just hook more chumps with the fog nonsense.

    If the “fog” exists, it only exists for the chump. They are so blindsided by their spouse they don’t know which end is up or what they should do next. Thank goodness for CL’s lighthouse to guide us all out of that fog. Those RIC sites just drive chumps further in. Hope you found your way out Liz.

    • Cheaterssuck….CL & CN were my ONLY saving grace!!

      Not family, not friends, not counseling, not books……NOTHING!!

      CL/CN has made ALL the sense in the world to me!
      I can’t thank everyone enough!

      • Same here! Cheating is 100% inexcusable, period. Nothing to work on, just time to get your things together and get away from the madness…

      • Ditto for me too. Therapy with the therapist who believes in the sex addiction/love addict model, the RIC sites, reading “After the Affair” all fed my hopeium and further prolonged and harmed me. When I finally started reading CL carefully I started healing and building my cheater-free future.

        • Ah yes, the “After the Affair” book that I read in one day and he never even opened the cover. Luckily I bought it at Half Price Books but that was a total waste of money. I stayed two more years on that hopeium. I recently told two LCSW’s that they should recommend “Leave A Cheater Gain A Life”instead of all the bullshit learning to heal books!

  • I looked at those sites, delusional much, all that dancing seriously who’s got the time energy or the self respect. It’s an energy drain.

  • My husband used the DOPAMINE excuse instead of fog.Here are his words “My brain enjoyed the relationship and it was addictive. The relationship was important to satisfy my brain’s desire for the dopamine that was produced.” This is what he was told by his counselor so “it was science”. I believe him his brain and his penis were satisfied and happy. In no way was he responsible for his actions, stupid dopamine. The dopamine is so strong that I found the same affair went on for 2 years and 4 Ddays. Why did it take 4 discoveries for me to leave? I think I had Affair Fog!! I was in a fog that I believed his apologies, his promises, his lies , his tears. I was in a fog that listened to the words but did not see the actions. BUT now I am in the sun and I am free of his cheating ass. YAY

    • What a douche, but yes sneaking around is a rush likes drugs are because they are considered illicit.
      I wonder if the glitter blows away when it’s all out in the open and they are not being naughty teenagers.

      • Lady B and all my chump friends, YES! The thrills and fun do end! When it ends is when the divorce is final, there is no more triangulation to “excite” the cheaters, cheater finds out he has no money, and the best yet…..he has to live with his dream girl who usually turns into a living nightmare in record time! Then that so-called “fog” lifts and the stark reality hits the asshole dead on! It is then that we start getting e-mails, voice messages, etc. but some of these cheaters realize they have burned that bridge back to thier wives to the ground. They either just stay with thier “dream” or they start cheating with someone else. They are quite pathetic actually. Mine tried and still tries to return. But I know now that his Schmoopie kicked him to the curb once he became sick. He has no assets, no real home, no nothing. He hopes I will pity him and become a “nurse and a purse!” If they do return then you can bet they have a hidden agenda cause it can’t be true love after what they put us through! DO NOT ANSWER THIER CALLS OR THE DOOR! Let them sit in the shit they piled up! I warned mine the day he came to get his stuff out of my house. It only took a year and a half! He had quit his job to move to Schmoopie’s condo in Florida. The last thing I said to him was, ” I wish you luck cause you’re going to need it. I give your relationship 6 months!” Folks, it lasted four months and the fourth month was for him to recover from his surgery so I guess Schmoopie wouldn’t feel so bad about throwing his shit in plastic bags and kicking him out! Ah! True Love! Ain’t it grand?

        • I agree, Roberta. Once mine got sick he blamed me for the divorce & breaking the vow of “in sickness and in health.” Still feels entitled to be taken care of. Still trying to come back but only if I forget about all the affairs & the STD he gave me. He was “depressed, not strong enough, didn’t feel safe with me.” Over 30+ years of “Me First” wasn’t enough for him. No contact keeps me sane!

          • Wow Meg, were we married to the same guy? Funny how they want us to just forget all about the cheating and the heartbreak they’ve handed us then wipe thier butts! My situation is a little different as I stillborn have lung cancer and I must take care of my own needs also. He didn’t have time during his affair and our divorce to worry one minute about my cancer or he surgeries, but now I’m supposed to run to his aid and again wait on his every need even though I’m ill also? Totally selfish of him,but I’m not surprised cause my needs mean zero to him!

    • Mmmmm, Science Cheaters. Right up there with Jesus Cheaters in my book.

      ‘I’m not biologically programmed for monogamy!’

      ‘I had a chemical imbalance!’

      ‘You know what I’m like when there’s solar flares!’

      ‘The water in this area has unusually high levels of lime. What else could I do?’

      • Put a cold heart in the presence of a warm chump and condensation occurs … all that affair fog falls down looking something like remorseful tears. But it’s not remorse … just science in action.

      • Or how about “someone put a spell on me” “I feel like I’m in an episode of Twilight Zone” in addition to the desire to become monogaISH and now polyamory, which didn’t really mean that I could bring a “plus one” to our marriage, it was a justification and lame one at that, for HIM to have his whore and ME! Science, science fiction, asshole-ISH behavior.

    • Now Dopamine, I’ll believe. But I only believe it in the sense that, yes, sneaking around and having ’80s MTV music-video sex in the back room of some seedy bar is “a hit,” like drugs.

      But even if it exists, it’s still no excuse for cheating. This is the part I don’t understand. “I was in a fog.” Well, hell YES, you were in a fog! So what? So you get help and stop doing that shit and not allow it continue because you’re an adult in a committed relationship!

      Whether the “fog” exists is irrelevant, IMO. If you keep cheating, then you’re a cheater, and you must choose between this new lifestyle and the committed relationship. Period.

  • My STBX did experience the affair fog but that is not what caused him to cheat in the first place. He wanted to cheat due to his dissatisfaction with life and feelings of entitlement. The hormone induced fog when he fell hard for Schmoopie 2.0 just made him act irrationally and do stupid things including attempting to be manipulative in ways that even a chump wouldn’t fall for. It also caused him to treat his kids terribly as he needed more excuses to leave the house. He truly thought that if he left me for her he could find happiness, That fog seems to have now receded because instead of stupid and irrational he is depressed (as he should be). He now knows that Schmoopie 2.0 is not the key to his happiness. He is also torn up about the damage he has caused, but not because he cares about me and the kids. He just doesn’t like what he has become and feels like a failure (so still all about him). He is remorseful enough to go along with the divorce and be generous in the settlement, but not remorseful enough to be willing to do the hard work that would be required to become a better person and try to reconcile his marriage. He does at least seem to be trying harder to have a decent relationship with his kids so at least that is something. Not quite what I had hoped for but better than what a lot of others on these boards have had to deal with.

    • My STBX is exactly the same. He thought he had it made and the whoremat was the answer to being 100% happy. Ha fucking ha. Who knew that leaving your life and wife and stability and safety and comfort and normalcy for a dysfunctional slut whore and her kid with some dude that abandoned her years ago and an apartment full of bugs WOULDN’T make you happy! WHAT?! And The Love So Great It Couldn’t Be Overcome? Well that burned out in less than three months. Because being trapped in a house with the wife you betrayed and hearing her sob and vomit and watching her lose 20 pounds almost overnight really makes it hard to cling to “but you didn’t love me anymore” as an excuse. The whole thing is just so pathetic. It makes me sick that these drama filled idiots can wreck so much havoc.

      • Yeah, I didn’t love (or apparently desire) STBX either according to him. Too bad I did not realize it or the breakup of my 22 year marriage would have been so much easier. I don’t mind that I lost those 15 lbs though. Now that I am feeling somewhat better (stable at least) I am trying to figure out how to keep them off.

        • I know! That’s what I’ve told him multiple times. It would be a lot easier on me if I actually thought of you as nothing more than a roommate and a paycheck (that’s one of his other favorite excuses) because then we could’ve just gone our separate ways. Because I kept him around as a placeholder until I could find something better. ? (Projection much?!) Which is why I was talking about going on a big vacation this year and fixing up the house and telling him “I love you!” every fucking day 1,000 times. “But I thought you meant I love you like not in a romantic way. But like a friends or family way.” Yeah because normal people think when their spouse says I love you it’s really I love you* and that really means *like a good friend or *as a roommate or *the way I love my elderly aunt. BULLSHIT! They are so pathetic! And if he really believed that it’s even MORE pathetic than the excuse!

          • I got all that BS also, “it felt like I was a roommate”, “I didn’t feel loved”, “she makes me happy” and blah, blah, blah! It was all a bunch of crap! He traded true gold for tin foil. He thought she adored his ass and he was “a hot commodity!” YEAH, right, till reality fell into the love nest. I warned him from the get go that Schmoopie wasn’t the type to stay for the long haul. But then I would get a laundry list of all her great qualities and it was more than I could bare! So the best thing I could do was to let him be with her. She supposedly loved him for who he was, so I stripped him down to the shirt on his back when I divorced him and allowed her and him to build a life from a “clean slate!” Well apparently she wasn’t thrilled. Then he told her he wouldn’t marry her because he couldn’t afford it and still support me! That went over like a turd in a punchbowl! I hate to admit it, but it felt great to watch the whole thing blow up in thier faces! I don’t even wasn’t to gloat on what she lost when her husband dropped her like a hot rock. Her ex is already remarried. Schmoopie is back on Facebook reeling in “friends with benefits!” Not really cool at 53 years old! Yuck! I wish her luck, but I doubt it will help the old bitch!

    • Chumpinrecovery – they’re weak, selfish, and don’t have the capacity to put others first. Its easier to not deal with it or not do the hard work and use this as an excuse to go out and drink or get laid or find other hoes…rather than put in the work and make it all better for everyone. Wow what a concept. Work hard and you’ll be rewarded.

  • As much as it hurts the ego, may be a blessing in disguise for you that he doesn’t want to reconcile. I don’t know if they can be better as they are fundamentally self serving.

    • Interestingly enough I think he would agree with you and everyone on these boards. He feels he is a flawed person who can’t change so he is not resisting the divorce because “I don’t want to hurt you anymore”. That is probably as close to self reflection and caring as someone like him can get. It’s still sad though.

      • Mine is the exact same — he says he “can’t be what I need,” and just talks about how ashamed he is, how much he hates himself for hurting me, etc. It’d be nice to see some actions that show he’s truly sorry, though. (Not holding my breath for those.)

        • SUCH a liar, PuraVida. They want pity instead of fury. They’re lucky they aren’t worth the jail time or energy…

          • Yeah, Peakyblinders, I agree completely. I did send my mother Monday’s article and she commented that while the lead pipe was extreme … she had considered her fists. 😉

            The comments about impression management are really resonating with me, too. He can’t give me the honesty of telling me he wants a divorce or he doesn’t want to be with me … because that would make him the “bad guy.” He has to remain the poor victimized hero of our story, the sad sausage who was so unloved by his wife that he needed to book hotel rooms with a coworker for hugs and so she could “hold [him] while [he] cried.” (Still hasn’t ‘fessed up to having sex with her … despite admitting it was multiple hotel rooms from May – August of 2016.) So divorce would certainly paint him in a negative light…can’t have that!

            • Can I tell you what complete and utter bullshit that is? NOOO they were not comforting each other!! My X tried that line on me, when I found out OW took him to the Hilton by the airport in the middle of the day- They were talking!
              Urrrrggh I wasn’t born last night, come on!
              (I know you don’t believe this BS either, PuraVida, no one would)
              Cheater Handbook Pg 20.

              • Freewoman, OMG, right? Like we must be the biggest idiots in the world to believe that. I mean, I am a chump, but I’m not dumb. 🙂

                When I was still in wreckconciliation, we talked about this in front of our MC. He said he didn’t tell me about the hotels because he knew I would never believe he didn’t have sex with her. Said he’s not even that interested in sex (we’re both 31, btw…) and it was more about feeling connected to someone since he’d fallen “out of love” with me.

                The MC leapt in when I was skeptical and said, “it’s true, men experience a decline in sex drive in their 30s.” I ended counseling after that next. Found CL and CN the week after. …I’m not falling for this crap.

              • I got that same connection crap from my cheater too. Not the decline in sex drive but the not in love BS. I had a period of our marriage where I wasn’t IN LOVE w/ STBX either. And you know what I did? Weighed my options. Sucked it up and waited to see if my feelings would change. And they did. It’s part of marriage. Sometimes marriage is better. Sometimes it’s worse! I didn’t find someone to connect with genitally and then blame him!

  • “Seriously, what sort of woman could get involved with a man whose wife was pregnant?”

    Having recently gone through a somewhat similar situation with my now ex-husband and his secret affair partner (while expecting our 4th baby), I have often wondered the same thing myself. The OW contacted me several times during the divorce process (my third trimester) to either ask me if my husband was cheating on her (seriously, it happened!) or to make fun of me. I remember her telling me how wonderful her friends and family felt about my spouse cheating on his pregnant wife with her. It was really sick. The OW is a divorce attorney many years older than me. She named herself as a witness in our at-fault divorce, hired an attorney to represent her, and participated in our high conflict divorce, with what felt to me like gleeful delight. What a nightmare! Thank heavens for CL and CN!

    • You should call the Bar association that licenses her. Seriously. She’s bragging about cheating with a married guy who has a pregnant wife? On RECORD? She sounds disturbed.

      • Honestly, my now ex-husband is the one who threatened to do this to her. (It turns out he’s rather fickle!) He hoped it was something that would bring us back together, like a joint project. They both suck. I have a beautiful new baby and 3 other small children to enjoy and take care of. And I have all of you! They have to wake up each morning in the life my ex describes as a “prison”.

      • You are right! I just checked it out, and my state does have a Bar Association website with a “contact us” option….I wonder if OW is aware that I have printed out every (pornographic) text she ever sent me – hundreds of them- and have them laminated into a book…

        • Definitely report it to the bar. Harassment combined with getting involved with your court case should definitely warrant some attention from the bar association. It’s not even about personal vengeance – it’s about her behaving unethically in a profession that has ethical standards (yeah, yeah, laugh if you like, but we really do have standards) and she should be held accountable for that.

    • Agree with Chump Lady, file a complaint with the state bar association against this whack job bunny boiler. Anyone that behaves in this manner more than likely has a history of abuses. She didn’t lose her mind overnight.

      • And take some small solace in that your X is now hooking up with a divorce lawyer who seems to view the whole thing as a game to be won. Hope they marry, and at some point down the road, have their own high conflict divorce. Maybe she’ll win that one too, with all her insider knowledge.

        What a piece of work. A small part of me feels sorry for your X being in that situation. The rest of me is thinking that’s really how karma and justice work.

        Hugs. Peace.
        aeronaut

    • The AP loves that shit! Because it means she is SOOOOOO AMAZING that he can’t help himself even when his wife is pregnant! That must be like the brass ring of kibbles! It’s the ultimate validation. It just proves to her she is SO GREAT that the wife and even a kid can’t pull him away from her awesomeness.

      They don’t think like normal people. To a normal person that is repellent and disgusting but the AP is exactly the same as the cheater and just wants kibbles. They don’t like the cheater because they actually LIKE the cheater. They just use each other. They are both selfish. They both want something to validate themselves. If either of them actually looked at the other (which they can’t because they are selfish assholes) they would see that neither one of them matters in the situation. The AP could be literally any slut with open legs and the cheater could be literally any dude that will give that whore the time of day.

      When my STBX was in the very middle of the triangulation and the most heated part of the affair he was being manipulated by the whoremat telling him she loved him so much and that she couldn’t go on without him but that at the same time she was thinking of going back to the abusive alcoholic ex that (supposedly) hit her and made her miscarry my STBX’s love child with the whore. And THEN she had these two guys that were trying to get her to let them move in to her apartment as fuckbuddies/friends with benefits. BUT she LOVED any STBX. Yeah. That’s real true love! From someone that is “SOOOOOOOOOO NICE! She cares about EVERYONE!” Yep. She loves you and cares so much she has to fuck three other guys.

      • Wow. Your STBX OW reminds me of my STBX’s OW. About a month after D-Day he was telling me about how she was on a dating site dating other men while still involved with him (the one she loved) and that her husband (who had cheated on her before) had also found a new girlfriend. None of this bothered him all (well except the injustice of her husband cheating on her sweet soul). He suggested that I go on a dating site and find a boyfriend of my own. I looked at him and said “No thanks. Somebody in all of this has to maintain some sense of dignity”. I still can’t believe he wanted to dive into that pool because he thought it was the key to his happiness. That is affair fog. Makes you stupid.

        • “Somebody in all of this has to maintain some sense of dignity”

          ^^^^ :”) :”) :”) Seriously. You can’t make this shit up. Good for you for not sinking to their level.

        • Oh yes, and she was also contemplating reconciliation with her alcoholic cheating husband so he would not get custody of their five kids. I really feel for those poor kids. No sane parent.

        • Well, she is the perfect combination of whore and doormat. She lays down and accepts all comers AND you can walk all over her.

          I HATE HER SO HARD. I know the cheater is the one that broke his promises but the whoremat KNEW about me and she’s a manipulative see you next Tuesday who was just searching for the next daddy for her kid by some other deadbeat. And somehow she’s never been pregnant in ten plus years since the first kid but she got “accidentally” pregnant with “the nicest person” she’s ever met. When her mother drilled into her “do ANYTHING you can to keep a good man around” he got what he deserves.

      • I always used to laugh at those talk shows, like Jerry Springer or Maury Povich. I assumed they were just staged. Little did I know that my life would turn into one of those episodes…

        No possible way that these assholes can be right in the head. They suck.

    • PalmettoChump–so sorry you had to deal with that freak show. Too bad you couldn’t go all “Carrie” on her and have a bucket of blood dumped on OW’s head during her testimony. Ugh.

  • I see “affair fog” pushed a lot and I have come to terms with it being a very abusive aspect to place on the faithful partner/victim. The concept of ‘fog’ indicates the cheater is doing something against their own will, the mind has turned against them, and the faithful spouse, having clarity of mind, must be the strong one and stand by and be the rock the cheater can return to once the ‘fog’ lifts.

    I have watched faithful spouses be held hostage by the concept of ‘fog’ and are put into a never ending waiting pattern. No matter what their cheater does, it is excused as being in ‘fog’. They move in with their whore – fog. They tell you they don’t love you – fog. They spend all of your savings buying the whore a new car – fog. They forget their own kids’ birthday or basketball tournament – fog. The faithful spouse, not being in said fog, must shoulder all the responsibility, do all the hard work, and soldier on in silence. And then, ‘if’ the fog ever lifts – all must be forgiven because the cheater has regained control of their mind and the evil fog is put at bay, until it comes back of course.

    Affair fog is the best ‘get out of jail free’ card available. Maybe we should all use it. Hey officer, you can’t give me a ticket, I was in a “speeding fog”. I would never speed of my own free will, the fog made me do it! Hey mortgage company, you can’t foreclose on my house – I was in a ‘pay bill fog’. Of course I always pay my bills, except when I am in the fog. Then it isn’t ‘me’ not paying, it is the fog. As soon as the fog lifts, I will pay my bills again – relax!

    It is nothing but emotional abuse of chumps to even promote the concept of ‘affair fog’, yet so many therapists do it. I cannot believe what I have seen some chumps be asked to endure by supposed professionals while they wait for the mythical fog to lift.

  • Before I found CL, my personal version of the fog was the light bulb. After DDay, I was sure that eventually the metaphorical light bulb would go on over his head, and he would suddenly “get it.” He would realize all the devastation he had caused in our marriage. We went to MC, and the MC said he needed to take responsibility and do the bulk of the rebuilding in our relationship. Did the light bulb go on at this point? Of course not. He was just pissed that “we” were ganging up on him. The only emotions he was capable of were anger that I “made” him have an affair, and entitlement to continue the affair. I kept waiting for remorse, but got nothing… It took a while, but eventually the light bulb went on for ME, and I realized that this man would never feel regret for what he did, and my kids and I deserved better than this.

  • You want to talk about fog? Here’s a little story of late.

    My cheater had his final hurrah with the last of many cheatings, I left him, and (among a whole lot of other nonsense) he started saying how he wasn’t in his right mind. I moved several states away, he kept saying how he had changed for good, etc. Unfortunately, he still has a lot of my stuff. He said he would send it … I still don’t have it and it’s been almost a year. I confronted him recently about why he didn’t send it yet and he said it was because he would be in too much emotional pain, but that he’d send my things the following week despite how difficult it would be for him. (I had to “thank him” for being so brave, gag me.)

    Guess what? NO PACKAGE! He’s still as selfish and Sad Sausage as ever. He hasn’t changed one bit and just put on a whole razzle dazzle word salad to try to hook me back. There was no fog, and there’s certainly no personality change. Just him being a narcissist and me without my stuff …!!

    • He’s never gonna send your stuff, just like he was never gonna be faithful to you. You can’t count on him for sh-t! You can always go the legal route through small claims court or if you were renting and have renter’s insurance, are you able to claim a loss? Not sure all of the legal avenues, but I know to file in small claims court is quick and inexpensive. If you had a house, and expensive items, then a lawyer, etc.
      Is the stuff worth it to you? Is a trip there doable or can a friend who lives where your sad sausage able to help? Anyhow, good luck with the idiot…

      • Thanks for responding, @Peakyblinders . I think I’ll have to budget some time to take a road trip out to him, pack my sh*t as quickly as possible, then come back. I really, really, REALLY do not want to have to pursue legal action, and I’d rather take time off and schlep and deal with him in person than go to court. Pick your poison, eh?

  • Really most desperately wanted to believe in the fog, and that fleeting moment of clarity that CL so perfectly describes kept me there for far too long. I knew from the start that I would never, ever go back to the hellish paralysis of the few years prior to dday, but still actually believed he might somehow grab onto that rare moment of insight that the shock of discovery prompted and use it to build a better self. After all, for the first time ever, there he was looking pale and drawn and describing a little bit of what it is like to live in his skin: never contented, unable to love, always trying to shovel things (money, power, sex, porn, admiration) into the sucking black hole at his core, but never feeling even briefly satisfied. This was not a moment of love for me–did not look and listen and feel hope that there could be a marriage–but it was a moment of compassion, real dread, and some hope for him. How can anyone live like that? It was frightening to witness, but I thought it was at least possible that for him finally to speak these things out loud might mean that he could keep speaking them, excavate further, and maybe save himself eventually. I knew I could not save him, but I did offer to join him for counseling–not with any real hope or desire for reconciliation, but I guess because it seemed the humane thing not to leave someone adrift in that horrifying state.

    But he turned me down, dropped out of individual counseling with lightning speed (too busy, not sure its really helpful, counselor not adequate, the usual), and very quickly put the mask back in place. I was clearly the problem. He needed a worthy companion, and I had never–not from moment one–fit the bill. He put all of the energy that I thought and hoped might go into self-examination into blaming me and constructing a socially acceptable story, instead. Affair continued throughout this period of what he called his “confusion and pain,” and the lying about it and hiding it continued, as well.

    Very much agree with others here who have said that we are the ones in the fog. We think and hope we can make out the shapes of sorrow, remorse, maybe even redemption for our cheaters, but no. I did that for a very long time, and have been feeling the pain of my own idiocy, lately, but I also understand that good people expect others to behave in good people ways. Narcissists might be able to behave like good people in short bursts when it suits them to do so, but it’s a short-lived phenomenon, and there’s usually something a bit off about it, because they have to parrot and perform what they see others doing. It never comes from some genuine place within.

    I also think the affair partners are in this fog, which may or may not lift for them over time. I know that no person who saw the mask so chillingly slip completely away as I did for those few moments would ever willingly join himself or herself to that. But I also know that she has seen it slip–both children have witnessed his cruelty toward her–and has responded so far exactly as I did: anxiously work to perfect the dancing pretty on eggshells routine. It’s a tough way to live, and I don’t envy her that. Some compassion, there, mixed in with the contempt for her choices.

    Anyway, it actually is a foggy morning, here, and I kind of love real fog for its power briefly to transform the world into a deliciously creepy, romantic place–all of the edges obscured, light frayed into a soft glow, still bare trees looking haunting and painterly. Guess I’ll stick to real fog from now on, and never believe again that deliberately making highly detailed and ongoing unethical choices is somehow a temporary madness brought on by some transient combination of pheromones, alcohol, brain chemistry or whatever. Have glimpsed the real face of narcissism without the softening fog, and it is monstrous, heartbreaking, unfixable.

    • Have glimpsed the real face of narcissism without the softening fog, and it is monstrous, heartbreaking, unfixable. Very poetic and undoubtedly true…

      • yes- that ‘real face’ of NPD -I will never forget the shock I felt realising in a split second he wasn’t anything like I thought he was – in fact now I was the enemy. It was like the ‘knowing’ came all at once and out of pure unemotion. All he was feeling was for himself and he had been play acting any feelings directed at me. Like alot of people say on this site – you are never going to get it if you haven’t been through it yourself.

      • Thank you, Dixie. Very kind of you to say, and appreciated. Love to write and need to write–has always been the path toward making sense of the world, or at least exploring it.

    • That first paragraph describes so closely what I have been seeing form STBX recently. Moments of self reflection but then he shuts the door again. He knows he is flawed but refuses to go to a councilor or do anything else about it. Facing himself would be too painful. It is easier to just run away. He hasn’t yet figured out that no matter how fast he runs, he can’t get away from himself.

      • P.S. He has the same issues too, always dissatisfied with everything in his life and the gaping hole in his soul that can never be filled. That is what keeps us chumps around. We so desperately want to fill that hole and make him feel better, but we can’t.

        • Yes, wherever they go, there they are. That’s why we really don’t have to waste time wondering if karma will catch up to them, or fantasizing about their eventual regret, or imagining any sort of justice. They carry their own hell fire around inside, and focus all of their energies and resources on keeping it fueled. That’s what passes for warmth and light in their world. I think it’s enough just to recognize that, step away from it at last, and be grateful that we can never really understand it entirely, because who would want to?

          • Chumpionsahm, “where ever they go, there they are”. TRUTH! They simply cannot ever escape the “fog”, “shit swamp” or whatever they are in! It sticks to them like skunk! I was the one in the RIC promoted fog! Then a breeze came through and I saw clearly that I was waiting for him and his shit stain fuck buddy to decide MY life! HELL TO THE NO! The sun came out and it was a great day to file for divorce!

    • ” never contented, unable to love, always trying to shovel things (money, power, sex, porn, admiration) into the sucking black hole at his core, but never feeling even briefly satisfied. This was not a moment of love for me–did not look and listen and feel hope that there could be a marriage–but it was a moment of compassion, real dread, and some hope for him. How can anyone live like that? It was frightening to witness, but I thought it was at least possible that for him finally to speak these things out loud might mean that he could keep speaking them, excavate further, and maybe save himself eventually.” That is just beautiful chumpionsahm, and sums up what I hope for half way through the year of wreckonciliation and counselling.
      What I didn’t know when we had a similar “deep and meaningful” talk, was that the day before he had met with the lawyer he had picked with the whore…

  • I think we’re the ones in the FOG – waiting for it to be lifted and wanting to see the man/woman we love, on the other side, standing there with arms open and heart melted and they’ll realize everything they’ve done and be a better person and right all the wrongs and make the hurt go away. But as I and many here have learned that just doesn’t happen – or is very rare. And we hope we are the rare. Not counting on it anymore

  • XH’s dad was a cheater, and the story he was telling his OW was that she (OW) couldn’t meet the kids because their mother was DEAD and they were still grieving. Then OW finds out Mom (and WIFE) is still alive and kicking…. and OW stays with XH’s dad, then marries him (they are still together, nearly 20 years). His excuse was that XH’s birth mom is, actually, dead, so THAT’S what he meant (even though the other three kids never met her).

    What kind of woman would cheat with a man whose wife is pregnant? The same sort that would continue dating a man who told her his wife was dead when she wasn’t. No moral character whatsoever.

    • Yeah. That’s a horse of another color. Only a woman with no self worth can continue down that road.
      That’s what keeps my head in check for the day I finally find out who cheater’s ow is… The moment I want to verbally abuse her or just even confront her, I have to remind myself that only someone with absolutely zero self worth would willingly participate in destroying a family. You can’t possibly have any self esteem to knowingly fuck a married man who left his wife, pregnant and alone to care for their two year old while he plays single.

      • TChump, don’t waste your time talking to the OW. The minute you have to tell a chronological adult how to actually behave like an adult you are already wasting time! They are selfish toddlers in adult costumes! You have better things to do with your time!

        • It’s a waste of time. I fantasised about abusing OW (son’s music teacher) but knew for my own dignity (and to avoid adding to the crazy ex wife story) I needed to restrain myself. The second encounter was on what would have been my anniversary and she looked so pleased with herself I wanted to smash her, but limited myself to saying “shame on you OW”.

  • My ring tone is, “I Can See Clearly Now”!
    I am thankful my fog has lifted and I am safely on the other side of the bridge to live life freely of The Cheater!
    Also thankful for CL & CN that has been instrumental in helping my fog lift!
    XOXO

  • [Geek-check] This always reminds me of Lord of the Rings when the King’s fog – induced by Wormtongue – finally lifts and he throws the SOB out.

    • Good analogy – and the look and behavior of Theodin is apt to describe the stages that chumps go through. Looking old and weary until the “fog” is lifted, then the bullshit is seen for what it is, the cheater is expelled, and the chump is back to being their original selves again.

  • I think I must have been the one in the fog, not my STBX. Married almost 39 years. Thought I had the unicorn after forgiving him over 33 years ago for his affair and fathering a child with the OW. Ate that sandwich and thought it was a small price to pay for keeping my family intact. Now my kids are adults. Found out recently for the past ten years or so (’cause, you know, he can’t remember exactly how long) the STBX has been visiting strip clubs and paying for lap dances. He can’t understand why I’m so upset about it. Men do it all the time, he says. Maybe the part about lying about it when confronted, then changing story, then changing story again, might have something to do with it. That was the deal breaker for me. I can’t live with someone I can’t trust. Maybe it wasn’t fog. Maybe I just had my head in the sand.

    • That reminds me of the time – there were no doubt more – my disordered fuckwit cheater came home after a boys night and looking at him in the morning noticed he had a face full of body glitter!!- no guesses where his head had been…. but no after an hour of suggesting he came clean with where he was the night before he finally conceeded that his friend had MADE him go to a lap dance club – but would not admit to the face plant in the tits. Unfortunately for him the evidence was all over his face. You know its pathological lying when I made him look in the mirror to confront the obvious glitter all over his head. His final statement – I couldnt have had contact because the bouncers wouldnt let you….. amen. So years later when he was walking out the door declaring he wanted to go and live on his own to see what it was like – I knew he was capable of lying through his teeth despite the evidence – so ‘I swear of the lives of the children I’m not seeing someone else’ – their words are meaningless – but full of conviction. By the time he had convinced himself of his innocence ie. the bouncers wouldn’t let you touch the girls – then you are mentally in the clear to excuse any wrongdoing. Truly mental gymnastics of the highest order – of the disordered.

  • I read a lot about the fog when I was still in the deluded state where I though Jackass had just “forgotten” how he felt about me, about us, even about our friendship. The conclusion I came to was that there are fundamental flaws in these peoples’ understanding about cheating. They think the marriage is more important than the spouse who is being lied to, cheated on, and abused on many levels, including financial. While they believe marriage should be preserved at all costs, they simultaneously think relationships are shallow; they think a “fog” can make someone cheat and the dissipation of said fog will bring the cheater back. They are at the same time moralistic (save the marriage! wait! do the 180!) and fundamentally in denial about what marriage is supposed to be, a contract based on trust and mutual commitment.

    • LAJ you’ve just explained perfectly how faulty their logic is. Relationships cannot be at the same time more important than the individual’s well-being and so shallow that a little fog can obscure them.

  • My cheater’s”fog” POOF! lifted by some way of fuckwit magic, about six weeks after out baby was born. About the time I was sexually suitable again. Imagine that.
    I didn’t know he was cheating at the time… He left me and our boy when I was 4 months pregnant, stating the reason being that I kept threatening divorce and kicking him out. (I suspected emotional affair at the very least, for some time, and got on that crazy train of knowing/not knowing because there is no evidence, and accusations were adamantly denied, despite my nagging intuition.. that makes crazy. Add to that the vulnerability of pregnancy, and BAM! Nuts. )
    I just gave him a ticket to ride the whore train by doing this. Now I am not taking blame here. Had I known he had someone in the waiting, he would have left anyway. He just would have done it differently.
    I knew he was cheating despite his promises that he wasn’t. He hid behind our toddler, saying he was tired of fighting in front of him and he didn’t want to add stress to my pregnancy. Our fighting went like this- he’d nit pick over trivial things throughout the day. As he drank he’d start insulting my character, labeling me and shaming me for stupid shit like soaking a dish in the sink. For example: I had a pot soaking in soapy water to loosen the gunk. He pointed this out, then stated that I “come from a long line of soakers”. He literally shamed my heritage for me soaking a fucking pot. (That is a button pusher for me and I’m pretty sure pushing buttons is his thing because he does it so well.)
    Anyway. It’s all a ruse to prevent him from thinking of his own bad behavior.
    They are the fog machine, Liz. We are constantly being blinded by this fog that THEY create. They mess with our sanity and that is deplorable and unforgivable. When they convince us to trust them over our own instincts, when one contradicts the other, it’s always worth investigating. I know this now. It took a lot of pain but at least I know…

    • “When they convince us to trust them over our own instincts, when one contradicts the other, it’s always worth investigating.”
      ^^^
      This. Exactly.

    • I’m so sorry to laugh at your situation but “you come from a long line of soakers”?! OMFG! You seriously couldn’t make this shit up! Like that’s on par with human trafficking or abusing animals or selling meth to ten year olds or something. Good riddance!

  • I also believe the imagery that “fog” conveys is deliberate. Rather than paint the cheating piece-of-shits as under the influence of a back-alley dumpster fire, the assholes and (w)reckonciliation industrial complex use soft, quiet, harmless, temporary, fluffy clouds to pacify the chump.

  • If could sell you a can of Ubik that will dissipate the Fog and the chaos instantly, I would become a multi-millionaire in just a couple of weeks selling that stuff through CL’s site alone!
    Liz asks what sort of woman gets involved with a man with a pregnant wife? A staggering number of these skanks lurk around us…I think they should be shot, we would massively improve the gene pool.
    The Fog is just another excuse, it keeps chumps smoking the Hopium. The level of disrespect it takes for a man to do this to his wife, and continue, not just one drunken moment, beggars belief. You are what you do.

  • My husband had drunk sex with a woman who works for him, too. Married 22 years, 2 children. Now he is “in love with her” and I am left picking up the pieces of my shattered life with my children. Consensual sex is a CHOICE. Your husband has free moral agency, just like the rest of us. What he lacks is a moral compass, basic human decency, compassion, empathy…a fully functioning brain. Literally! These people are not right. It is not ok and not normal. Run as fast as you can! Do NOT make my mistake and spend decades of your life wrapped around a man who is incapable of actually loving you and cherishing you the way you deserve to be! There ARE men out there who know how to love and can and do make lasting commitments. Your husband is NOT one of those men! They don’t change. They don’t learn. They are in it for THEMSELVES. Always and forever. End of story. But this is just the beginning of a new book for you. You deserve better!

  • “Maybe it wasn’t fog. Maybe I just had my head in the sand.”

    This. Right. Here.

    For me, I don’t think I was in a fog at all. I know he wasn’t…he knew exactly what he was doing. And because I had previously allowed him to lie & cheat on me and basically get away with it, he thought he could keep doing it.

    I kept thinking of his precious grandmother whom I absolutely adored. Before she died, she told me stories of her husband’s affairs and how she just cut him off sexually and started traveling the world by herself or with girlfriends. They had started with nothing, but thanks to oil royalties on land they had acquired throughout the years, they became very wealthy. She was bound and determined that no other woman was going to end up with what she had spent years building with her cheater husband. He died before she did & she ended up with all of it.

    Looking back, I wanted to be her…strong like her. I thought that I had built what little we had beside him, I’ll be damned if another woman steps in and gets anything I’ve worked for. I could just put my head in the sand and keep ignoring that he was fucking around. How stupid is that mentality? I wasted years of my life and let this fucktard treat me like a doormat.

    Every time he told me he wanted a divorce, he was simply trying to manipulate me…scare me into the meek, timid wifey at home who was too afraid to leave his crap. “If I tell her I want a divorce, she’ll cry & beg me to stay and I’ll have this power over her. She’s a forgiving person. I can do/say anything I want to & beg for forgiveness & I’ll get it.” Funny thing is, for someone who liked to throw the divorce card out there all the time, he never made the move to start divorce proceedings. No, he really didn’t want a divorce. He wanted his cake & he wanted to eat the damn thing too.

    • brandib, I too, thought about staying and just living separate lives. Financially, it would be so much easier. Then I remembered what CL said in her book – do you want a lifestyle or a life? I’m sixty. I’m going to look at it as sixty being the new forty. Someone in this relationship has to show me some respect and it looks like it’s gonna be me. I’m pushing through the fear and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put my needs first. The pain he has inflicted on me emotionally has absoultely brought me to my knees. He kept telling me how much he loves me (like that made everything ok) until I made him stop saying it. I don’t understand his kind of love. I stumbled across CN and am so thankful for all the wisdom and courageous stories on here. All of you help to keep me strong. I’m scared shitless to start over again. I’m more scared not being able to look at myself in the mirror.

      • JustBreathe, I was scared shitless, too. I’m forty-five, and not to toot my own horn, I am noticed by other men. Not that I need other men’s approval for me to have self worth, but it’s nice to know that men find me attractive enough to flirt with me or pursue me or simply ask me out to dinner. It’s nice because it proves to me that him telling me that I would be a lonely old maid the rest of my life was just another line he used to put me down.

        Had it not been for our daughter, who was fifteen at the time that I finally left him, I probably would still be stuck in hell. She begged me to get us out. I was still trying to hang on to…what? I don’t know. Maybe it was change more than anything that scared me. All I know is that I am finally free. I don’t have to sit up at night wondering who he’s with & what he’s doing. I don’t give two shits about him or his opinion of me anymore.

        The thing that scared me more than anything was that my daughter was watching me to see how I handled all of this. I wanted to be the best role model for her that I could be. Her seeing me getting us out of a hopeless situation and making a life for just the two of us has been the best thing for her that I could have ever done. She tells me all the time that I am the strongest person she knows…that’s the best validation EVER.

        I’m glad I found CN, too. It is a wonderful community and I, too have found strength here.

        • Brandib, Justbreathe, I turned 60 just after my divorce. My marriage was just short of 41 years. Yes, it is scary, but I just knew I could not bring myself to tolerate his “on again, off again” boomerang behavior! Too bad I didn’t get out sooner. My health suffered horribly from the stress. I was 146 lbs. and active and healthy when he announced he was “in love” with his Facebook friend. By the time we were divorced I was 96 lbs, diagnosed with lung cancer and wished I was dead! But I climbed out of that black hole he and Schmoopie tried to bury me in and I fought back! I started making decisions about what I WANTED, what I NEEDED and I drew a line in the sand. I did divorce him. Cancer cannot take away my self respect or my will to live a quality life and neither can some cheating asshole and his skank! Yes, I will probably die of lung cancer, but everyone has to die of something, right? The question here is, do you want a real life or do you want to just exist? And this is exclusively YOUR choice. Don’t blame anyone else if you make the decision to live a half, unfulfilled life with a bastard. That’s on you! I decided that sick or not, life was better without the bullshit he was piling on! I look at my life now and I am very happy. You know who is miserable? My ex. And the kicker is that Schmoopie is long gone from him! His life sucks, he threw it away for cheap sex with a lying twat! But THAT was his choice!

          • Awesome Roberta!
            When I think of all the years we chumps wait for the cheaters to change, to see through the fog at last, I remember The Tartar Steppe (Dino Buzzati). I read that as a teen, the thought of wasting my life like this used to terrify me. Great book, nothing to do with cheating, but I think it would spur a lot of chumps who feel paralysed into action.

            • Kiwichump, sounds interesting. Thanks for the tip.
              Unfortunately I got stuck in the paralysis mode a bit too long and it took a terrible toll on my health. I always advise chumps to start the process of dumping the POS immediately for self preservation. It’s such a hard and surreal thing to do, but if you want to really live and enjoy life it’s the only solution. Living with an asshole who thinks nothing of sleeping around if the opportunity presents itself or being the marriage police is an awful life!

              • Yes it is. An awful life to be the marriage police, and to live with the dread of his horrible behavior.

                Yes, the toll on health is tough. I woke up this morning with the thought, how can I improve my health?

      • Justbreathe, you will be amazed at how much better it will get without someone putting you down and inflicting pain on you. I’m almost 59 and you know what, I couldn’t give a shit about him (well actually I am hoping the karma bus might strike really) but he cannot talk slap to me/about me/spend my money/beat me up any more. You will have bad days of course but keep going – it really is great “on the other side”.

  • I am continually amazed at how fucking similar our stories are — everyday something in the pat rings true for me and my situation.

    By asswipe of a STBX said he was able to lie to me for years because he was able to compartmentalize. He wanted out of the relationship 10 years ago, but our daughter was only 5 and I was carring for her (and two houses and two dogs) after giving up my career so he could travel every week for his career.

    When I found out about an online affair 5 years ago and probed about any other affairs, he admitted to one brief physical affair when daughter was 3 years old. I asked if there were any others and he said he had messed up, but “wasn’t a monster.” I was a child of divorce and grew up without a father. I stayed because I ny daughter needed a father. We went to marriage counceling where he continued to lie.

    When I took my daughter to Europe for 6 months, he swore things were good between us. Two weeks later, he was in New York City with his latest AP, spending $400 on theater tickets. He met up with us for daughter’s birthday — we were due home in a few weeks. He spent a weekend with her at a romantic hotel in Seattle.

    I discovered the affair a few months after we were back. He was meeting her for a weekend ski trip, after saying he couldn’t join me in Hawaii because of work commitments. When I discovered the affair, he said we needed to divorce and he went off on his ski trip that very weekend. I was devastated but manages to keep from telling my daughter because I didn’t want to ruin her spring break in Hawaii. He did offer to pay the expenses out of his separate property. How gracious of him!!

    Out of principle, I’ve asked him to reimburse me for my half of the community property money that he spent on his affair. His response was “Sue me. Good luck with that.”

    Looking back, I now realize he was cheating BEFORE we got pregnant. Who has a child with someone they are cheating on? Oh yeah, I was outearming him. He could continue the lifestyle and maintain his double life. Talk about entitlement.

    Our daughter knows about the current affair and suspects it’s not the only one. Her relationship is forever changed. She refuses to see/talk/text him other than when she has to because I’m insisting on a weekend or a few days with a friend.

    STBX has threatened me if daughter finds out the truth about him — his other affairs or his addiction to cocaine.

    End of rant.

  • No a divorce is awful for them. The fact is, that however they paint it, it also reflects on THEM. Image management is very important.
    They cannot ever take responsibility for fault, so this is very painful for them plus the loss of houses, money etc.
    Of course they don’t want a divorce, Its all been fine for them thus far, secret lives etc, why change things?
    There is no fog. The fog clearing is within us. Not them.

    • Yah, but I like the part about “this is very painful for them.” Tell me more!!! “Divorce is awful for them”, good!!! Awful for me too. Loss of so much . . . . when will humanity evolve above this?

  • Part of your healing will involve remembering past events with new clarity: he’s an entitled prick. Once the blinders are off and the spackle chips away, you’ll see his history from a new perspective. You’ll realize he was always looking out for himself, lying, avoiding responsibility, etc. There’s no fog at all. Well, unless you count your own. And it’s lifting!

  • I do actually believe in a version of affair fog. This is self-generated by the cheater, because they like living in it and don’t want to look closer at what’s outside their affair, or at themselves.

    But it’s not something the chump can expect to ever see lifted or cleared through some kind of epiphany moment. The closest thing is when the chump realizes they were never allowed to see their spouse clearly in the first place.

    • Hopeful Cynic this has been the hardest part for me. I kept waiting for his epiphany. I waited for him to crack. I confronted him, refused to cover or pretend. It only drove him to rage.

  • 5 years down the line I can tell you that they’re never remorseful. It’s not how they think. They believe that a new person in their life emotionally “erases” the old one. They can’t understand why you don’t see things this way. They take good co-parenting, and non-aggression from you, as a sign that you’re actually their friend. It’s hard not to get stuck in the past sometimes, but it gets easier and the best thing you can do is get in touch with the anger inside you and use it to make a better life for you and your kids. Don’t waste your energy directing any kind of emotions at them.

    They’ve woven a story in their minds in which you did “something” to drive them to cheat. Usually it’s got something to do with neglecting their needs in some way. They saw no need to raise this with you before they went off an cheated: in their story you should’ve realised there was something wrong and just been “better”. The truth is that their need for ego fulfilment is insatiable; there’s no way you could’ve kept them happy for long.

    They’re walking black holes.

    • Ken_Doll, your last paragraph sums all cheating up nicely and describes exactly what I experienced. I NEVER heard my husband once bring up ANYTHING! He seemed quite content and normal. I was totally blindsided by the whole affair! I was in total shock!
      But my advice to ANY SO/SPOUSE/GF/BF IS THIS: Once you know they have cheated, been so deceitful, shared with some virtual stranger all your intimate secrets of your marriage or tell you they are “in love” with thier AP, just get away from them. Of course do your due diligence to take care of yourself! Don’t just run out the door. But don’t engage with them! It’s a waste of time anyways! Get mad, get everything and get away from them! Go as NC as you can. The only plans you have to make are how you will enjoy your life without some gaslighting, cheating, morally corrupt moron who will suck the life out of you! Life is better without them! My biggest regret is hanging around and attempting to reconcile because it nearly killed me!

      • yup, nearly killed me. That’s me too. His preying on our neighbors, the ladies in our faith community, my aunt, any and all.

        when I’d leave to go to work —

    • Yup. Now know he cheated for 20+ years. Never EVER said anything about the marriage itself, just bemoaned that I wasn’t bringing income in while I cared for our daughter, two houses and two dogs while he was traveling for work and having affair after affair.

    • It’s true. They have a spiritual disease that is contagious.

      I remember when I first met James Bond. My friend asked me if I felt better when I spent time with him. I said no.

  • Apologies if someone said this already (haven’t read the posts yet) but to me, the affair fog is the one Chumps dive into to convince themselves there’s no affair going on!

  • Ken doll
    Spot on I joked with mine before i found out what a douche he was that he was what Buddhists call a Hungry ghost. Always searching, a restless soul feeding off others due to lack of inner contentment.

  • I recall this column like yesterday. Old FicoChump believed Mr. Cheaters when I had my 1st D-Day. Crocodile tears, gifts, asking for a baby?!! Thank God his “wish” did not come true (that is a way to keep you trap in the fog). After x amount of time I discover another howorker. He is dragging a divorce & he is a monster. He is still working & visiting whorequarters but I have to keep waiting because for $!?.,!& because .. He is an entitled prick. They keep punishing & gaslighting before, during & I bet after the divorce. I was a chump who gave him a chance. I read this blog for two years super afraid of taking a step. If there is a new chump reading this column please if your finances and safety allows you leave him/her ASAP. I regret my decision on top of that it took me longer to line my docks. So please leave the cheaters do not believe them. I can not tell you what Mr. C did this weekend but he is still lying and gaslighting and I am not still divorced. ??

    • I’m in the same boat, FicoChump. Incredibly challenging. He is dragging it out, delays, his bad behavior.

      I’m no contact, so that helps incredibly. In the past couple of days I’ve had a spiritual breakthrough, so that helps tremendously, lifting this depression and giving me joy.

  • You know how you can tell if people are assholes? They behave like assholes.!!!!It really is that simple!!
    why do I love to try to undertand his cheating behavior blaming me??
    you are the best chump lady!!

  • Magui- spot on. I spent years, and I mean years, making excuses and trying to understand why anyone could behave like him.
    Boarding school, bossy mother, youngest child, army conflict blah de blah.
    So what?
    His behaviour is awful and plenty of other people have ” issues”. They don’t behave like him!
    His fun side and of course the “charm” and the fact that I had 3 small children kept me trapped.
    What a waste of my life.
    I still struggle with the gap between what I wanted , what I thought I had, and reality.

  • Seriously? I can see where you are coming from. I sometimes wonder if any of my marriage was real. Not so much now, but it tortured me during my divorce. It definitely has robbed me of some of the best memories I had. Purely tainted them. That’s the hardest part for me. But if my Ex found it more convenient to use his dick as a moral compass then fine!

    • Yah Roberta, me too. I seriously wonder if any of our marriage was real. An intuitive healer told me that he rationalized marrying me. Divorce is getting closer for me, so maybe like you, I won’t wonder much when it is final, I’ll just get to meh.

  • I remember feeling like my ex had been bewitched and that when he came out of the infatuation fog, would be so remorseful and depressed and need therapy.. I even had the perfect psychotherapist lined up for him!
    Well no surprises, he’s still a selfish narc, who is now married to the crazy OW who was supposed to be his “one chance at happiness”. He did have a few moments of remorse early on – e.g. apologised for being a “bad husband”, and admitted he was a prick for attempting to sabotage my postgrad exams by playing the flute badly outside the study late at night after I had worked and put the kids to bed (I had bent over backwards to support him when he took 2 months off work for his exams!). But like other personality disordered folks, he couldn’t tolerate those moments of honest introspection for long, and would rapidly descend back into his primitive defence mechanisms and unleash an abusive tirade about why it was all my fault that he was unhappy.

    • Vastra – HE PLAYED THE FLUTE OUTSIDE YOUR STUDY SO YOU COULDN’T CONCENTRATE???? I’m so sorry, and I don’t mean to laugh, but I have these visions of a pied piper with horns and cloven feet! That is right up there (for me) with the dancing sasquatch and the sleeping bag wriggler! I hope you passed your exams (and I hope he finds karma)!

      • Sorry Vastra, but this is giving me a laugh, too! Their heads are really screwed on wrong. I certainly hope you excelled in spite of him, the baby man who can’t have his wife outshining him in any way!
        I can empathize, my X began his last, most blatant affair when I was three months from graduating. Fuck him, I managed to get through even with the HUGE distraction of pain and public humiliation.

        • Yes, this pathetic brand of cruel sabotage can be funny seen from the outside, or when many years have passed since your escape. so glad this is in your past now Vastra…

          • I’m glad this gave you a laugh! I just remembered on the day of my extremely stressful final specialty exams (in another city) he rang to tell me my younger boy was sick and crying with an earache – XH is a doctor too, so he knew perfectly well what to do, but felt some sadistic need to share that with me before I went to my viva exam (I got full marks in that one despite his lack of support). FreeWoman it sounds like your ex was equally pathetic in his fear of your achievements and independence! I shake my head in wonder at why I put up with this crap for so many years.

  • Fuckwit called to talk to kids I ended up giving him it, told him to fuck off and keep the fuck away or I will get a restraining order, they love this shit, feel like crap for blowing NC.
    He’s a fucking idiot and I told him exactly what kind of piece of shit I thought he was, probably makes mo difference. No Contact No Contact needs to be my mantra

  • The audacity is astounding. Him banging on about what he wants and needs.’
    I don’t give a fuck about your needs your not getting a god damn thing’ we have very little and I’m fucking keeping it mostly mine anyways he spent his money on himself. Fuming.
    Seriously don’t fuck with me or our kids.

  • Fuckin ah, did forward some mail to his work place and put (cheater ex) after his name as I know he portrayed himself as the poor hard done my husband and told people he left me, correction fucker your a cheater and I kicked your ass out.
    Yeah these challenges test my resolve, and I get stronger and more to determined. I’m feeling pretty good atm, work review tomorrow, who knows leaving it in the hands of the gods but getting my mojo back even did some gardening this evening and my son is having a friend over for a sleep over Saturday, this has never happened when twit was here, too much like family normality.

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