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UBT: “I was just experimenting”

“Brad” recently submitted this bit of mindfuckery to the Universal Bullshit Translator:

“I had to sleep with him to figure out if I wanted to take things to the next level with you.”

She HAD to! For science! Without these vital sleeping-with-other-men experiments, we can never know if she wants to level up with Brad.

This mindfuckery says, really Brad, it was for YOU that she cheated. She was thinking of you all along. Comparing and contrasting. Assembling her data. Getting peer review…

All so she can weigh the decision of are you really worthy of further commitment!  Whatever illusion of commitment you were laboring under, well, that’s on you, Brad. The good news is she’s considering the Next Level! Don’t you feel LUCKY? You might be the winner! She’ll just have to sleep with a few more fellows and get back to you on that level thing.

Brad: Are we monogamous yet?

Cheater: You’re monogamous, Brad. I’m at level 7.5 — that’s quasi-monogamous with weekend passes to fuck odd men I meet at bars.

Brad: What’s the next level?

Cheater: Well, play your cards right Brad and I’ll only cheat at the occasional bi-monthly girls night out, which is level 8.  But any more of your toxic shame and judgment and I’ll level you back down to 5 — you hear me?

Brad, this level shit is just another word for CAKE. You’re never going to get commitment. The “closer” you get, more decimal points will be added to that level. Sorry, you only moved the needle to 7.67 — you’re going to have to pick me dance harder to be an 8.

The game is rigged. Conduct your own experiment — leave the cheater, gain a life.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Accepting this statement means eventually having to accept: “I needed to sleep with him to figure out if I truly wanted to marry you.”

    Then: “I needed to sleep with him to figure out if I wanted to stay married to you.”

    She’s a psychological and emotional infant.

    • And: “I needed to sleep with him because after all this time with you, I lost myself. And I need to find out who I am again.”

      • Oh yeah, the “I lost myself” is a whole ‘nuther UBT.

        There’s a light at the end of that vagina! Revelation!

        • My question is, why don’t cheaters stay lost? as in far-away-lost? We could put their faces on milk cartons, posters up in the neighborhood [“If you have seen this jackass, please call…555-1212] but never have to deal with them.

          • “If you see him/her, please keep him/her. No returns, no refunds”

            • If found, please take to nearest quick kill shelter. Dangerous to all sane humans. 😉

              (And it’ll free up room for more deserving critters)

            • Don’t forget the dreaded “store credit”. Not interested thanks though…

      • Yeah, when my ex was going to Canada to feelz the strippers up, he said this was his “lost period.” He was “lost.” Yeah, lost in strippers vaginas and mouths….. Lost in the ho-workers arms that he cheated on me when I was pregnant. He’ll always be lost and thinks he’ll find himself with a new, sparkly woman.

        • My Pinch-A-Loaf said the same thing: she was “lost” and “broken” inside and her OW made her feel “safe” and HELPED her be a better person, so I should be happy about that– because if I REALLY loved her, I would be supportive of her new found “self-discovery”. Fuckwad.

        • First wife had “the restless period”. Also,no physical affairs,just “inappropriate relationships where the chemistry became sexualized”.
          Etc? Wtf?

    • I got this, “I might need to be divorced to figure out if I want to stay married” THIS after 25 years of marriage on the day of the discard. Had no idea he had already replaced me with someone he had only known for a couple of weeks. NO clue. What kind of crap is that??

      • Sorry to say it’s the same ol’ same ol’. My xw basically fyi the same after 30yrs together and 28 married with two adult daughters.

      • That makes NO sense!!! But good for a laugh! Unbelievable, BeowulfSabrina!!!

    • The version I got was, “I had to go through that to realize how much I love my life with you.”

  • Trying to take comfort in, “She loved others, but she loved me best,” is a table-long Super Bowl-size subway shit sandwich. If she loved others, she didn’t love you. Because love does not trick, cheat, or equivocate. Love is not okay with causing pain. Love comforts, respects, and protects.

    Cheaters use words like love the way parrots use language, phoenetically, mechanically, without meaning, and the sooner chumps realize this, the sooner they can disengage.

      • This sums up the game, Nomar. Love does not seek out contenders for the title.

        Brad, I’ve assembled her data and put her at a level 1.5. Competition over.

    • “Because love does not trick, cheat, or equivocate. Love is not okay with causing pain. Love comforts, respects, and protects.”
      Put this one in my journal today, Nomar.

    • BOOM: “Cheaters use words like love the way parrots use language, phoenetically, mechanically, without meaning, and the sooner chumps realize this, the sooner they can disengage.” Well said, Nomar!

      LOVE is an “insert here” word for them when they don’t know what else to say.

      • For my ex, the word love is almost punctuation. The best thing about NC has been not having to hear that word bandied about like cheap currency. Every text or Facebook message was prefaced, laced with or postscripted by “I love you” >> wtf exactly that means is beyond me, as he also “loves” his many whores.
        Being equated with any cheap whore: not a huge turn on for me. Walking away from that loser: Priceless. Let the Meh-hem continue!!

    • I actually had a pastor tell me: “I know he’s cruel and abusive, but since he’s stayed married to you, he’s actually loved YOU better than he’s loved anyone else.”

      Oh, lucky, lucky me! He’s “stayed married” to me. What a sign of love and commitment! The truth: he just wanted CAKE.

      This statement is wrong for one more even important reason: He loves HIMSELF the best of all, and all of his actions are to show love to his DICK.

      I’m so thankful to be divorced and free and doing grey rock as much as possible!

      • What awful advice from your (hopefully former) pastor! He was totally okay with him being abusive and cruel? How horrible to be told such a load of crap!! I’m so happy for you that you are free of the cheater and cheater apologists.

        • I’d say every living creature (except maybe the spider that eats its mate) has more integrity than a cheater.

          • I have some admiration for the female spider that eats her mate AFTER mating – makes no contact a breeze!

  • I know someone who got the whole test run, experiment excuse. It was a long marriage and 20 years in he decided he needed bareback sex with strangers on Craigslist to decide whether or not he was gay.

    The experiments went on for some time before she discovered it. And of course, he still couldn’t arrive at a conclusion because he didn’t want a divorce.

    • ETA I sincerely doubt he waited 20 years to “experiment”, but that’s what he told her.

      None of this stuff is very original.

      • Based on my own experience I can almost guarantee you that he didn’t wait 20 years. Same situation and as more and more came out with mine, he’d been doing it from year 1 of our marriage.

        • I found out what mine was up to the first time in 2012. It never stopped when I confronted him and he very graciously decided he wanted to stay “and work on our marriage.”

          When I found out for the second time in 2013 and broke into his computer for evidence, I got proof all the way back to 2003, which is as far back as his emails on the computer went.

          We got married in 1994. Looking at what I found, and putting 2 and 2 together, I’m quite confident he was cheating on me with a waitress that worked for him the year he brought me out to Australia to live with him in 1994.

          Once a cheater, always a cheater. I’m lucky I found enough evidence to back that theory, but with these Yahoos you can pretty much count on it.

        • The clock starts running when they are discovered. It’s like anything before that didn’t exist.

      • The kind of person who would do it at year 20 would also do it at year 1 … and probably did.

    • Mine responded to a CL personal ad indicating he was a BiMWM looking for a couple for regular get togethers. He signed his name and used a photo of himself from our son’s baptism day (he conveniently cropped me and our son out, nice guy).

      When confronted, he said that he knew I had spyware on the computer and he sent it on purpose to hurt me.

      Trouble was, I didn’t put the spyware on the computer until A WEEK after he sent the email. I found it in his Trash Folder. Fucker… never did take out the trash. LOL.

      • Wow. Couldn’t even get creative enough to take bathroom selfies like all the other cheaters.

        • The bathroom is no longer an innocent place after what these cheater assholes use it for! Who knew that bathrooms were the new “cheater lounges?!!!”

          • Hope the all the OWs enjoy the lovely pics of these idiots posing with the toilet in the corner and toothpaste scum on the mirror!!!

    • The “I was just experimenting” excuse is very popular with closeted cheaters.

  • Sweet Jesus.Just when you think you’ ve heard it all……
    My opinion Brad….when a woman really loves,respects and cares for a man,she is closed off to other men.Unless of course she’s a cake eating,sociopathic wing nut.
    Run ,run for the hills and don’t look back.
    I wish I had when the red flags were waving in my face.Would have saved myself years of heartache.She has shown you who she is.Believe her.

  • Reminds me of when I first left my wife to “scare” her into being faithful (you know how well that worked out).

    She went to therapy on her own during that month, and she would email me about her progress.

    At one of her sessions, the therapist had her do a mental exercise to “choose” the man that she wanted.

    As my wife wrote, “And I chose you!!!!”

    I was still pretty weak, but I knew enough to reply that she ALREADY chose me, through dating, engagement, and marriage. I got no satisfaction out of her having to re-open that decision years later.

    And, as we know, that was bullshit anyway. She “chose” both, until one of us was smart enough to leave.

    • I got that one too!!! When I told ex after three years of wreckconcilaition that I wanted a divorce. I told him it just felt like I was the one doing all the heavy lifting when he was the cheater.

      He told me that day (and later my youngest son) that I should know he really wanted it to work out with me because he “chose me” over the OW.

      I told him that didn’t really count because he “chose me” when we got married 27 years prior. I guess I’m just an ungrateful bitch since I didn’t get all hot and bothered over him “choosing me!”


      • Mine screamed at me (after punching in the locked door) that he “broke up with her to be with me” what is this some kind of fucked up Middle School I’m in???? Ya…..I stayed…until I found this website, then I woke up and ran.

        • Wow! You found this community before you threw in the towel. Good for you! Good for all of us because our shared stories truly help one another.

          I wish I had found this community 5 years ago when I discovered his “emotional affair.” He admitted to one brief physical affair ten years prior, which I rationalized as misplaced grief from his mom’s death. Needless to say, after discovering his current affair, I’ve been able to figure out many more.

          Fucker stole my adult life. I’m mid-50’s and will never forgive. I’m moving on, but I will never forgive the emotional abuse he inflicted and I unwittingly accepted for many years. I cannot tell you how many times I reached out to him to find out why he was miserable, angry, agitated and non-sexual. He was dismissive and unwilling to do anything about it. He even went so far as to tell me that his desire for sex had gone away since he hit his 40’s.

          I wish I understood narcissism (I thought is was the same as egomanic) and gaslighting. But as the cliche goes, “better late than never.” Onward and upward.

          • Giddy eagle he didn’t steal your life. You were the one living with truth and integrity and reaching out to him with support. I did the same with my cheater. He was depressed and said medication left him with no sex drive. I said I would be there for him. Now I have just found out he has been having a four year affair and was depressed because he couldn’t decide between us. I found a list of pros and cons for us both. My top pro was I had money. Hers was the great sex. Anyway we are the better people Giddy Eagle. I have a good life not just dependent on him so I will not say my life was wasted. His life was wasted. Now he will have a lot less money. Karma.

            • OUCH! WTF! I’m so sorry you had to see that! What a DICK! Hopefully all that hot sex keeps his bills paid!

            • That is the most hurtful thing, the pro/con game. Who does he think he is? I’m glad you are finished with him and he can enjoy Miss Hot Sex. Enjoy the one thing that won’t last forever, and enjoy it being broke! What a jerk!!!

            • He didn’t have sex drive, he said he’s old now (40’s) and that happens.

    • Yes, I got the “I came back to the marriage!” after his affair with gradwhore. Whoopty doo; I didn’t want you back because of how you’d treated me, and if I’d known you’d had an affair, you could have saved me 8 wasted years of staying with you.

      Seriously, these cheaters think the “prodigal son” argument is so compelling. I never liked that story; always wondered why the son who behaved responsibly all along didn’t get the rewards.

      • Our culture loves the “reformed” story line: look at the number of romantic comedies about the player settling down for the nice girl/guy.

        Steady integrity has no character arc. It just has character.

        So it doesn’t sell.

      • I guess I am the lucky one here. At first MC session, said there was only a 5% chance of staying married to me. BUT, thought instead of a divorce, we should live in the same house (means i get to continue to pay all the bills), raise kids together, but live separate lives. Oh, and replace our queen size bed with 2 twin beds too. Is that the ultimate cake or what? My response? I filed for divorce next day.

        • I got the same offer, only it would be separate houses since X’s business owned our family home and I had already bought my own home in anticipation of filing. He tried to tell me that lots of couples set up separate residences after 25+ years of marriage–why, it’s all the rage! So sophisticated! So European!

          When I asked him to name an example of one such couple, he told me that was confidential information that he was not at liberty to share . . . gotta love disordered cheater logic.

          • Mine was after 20 years of marriage. Oh, and when I filed for divorce, she was furious and told me I obviously didn’t care about the kids and what this will do to their lives. And got a lecture on how the whole separate lives thing could be the solution. I just shook my head and walked away.

            • Khris–isn’t their selective perception amazing? WHO didn’t care about the kids? Smh.

              After I filed, my cheater said to me “DD#2 and I were really looking forward to Christmas all together. But I guess you just don’t care about the family.”

              I was still in the throes of D-day hell, but that statement cracked me up.

              • Your know what’s really sad Tempest? That your ex is highly educated and he doesn’t even know what is wrong the assertion: “But I guess you just don’t care about the family.”

                The classic “it’s not what I’ve done, it’s how you’re reacting to it” argument. No responsibility, no problems.


            • I think our Xs are twins separated at birth . . . I also got the excuse that living separate lives but staying married would be much better for our youngest, who is still a teen. After I refused his “offer,” X tried to fight me for 100% placement, claiming that he was the “primary parent” who lived in the family home (then he made up a bunch of lies about me traveling and falling down on the job of being a SAHM who worked part-time).

          • That’s because they secretly live in separate houses…In an underground bunker somewhere hides the poor chump, locked up in a dirty cellar, doing the dishes and laundry, and cooking, paying the bills, making sure the cheater lives well in the big house and has plenty of free time to fuck around, not bothered by the boring banality of life. Like working and paying the bills…Very sophisticated.

      • Roll out the red carpet when they “return” otherwise you don’t really luuuvvv them, y’know, unconditionally.
        Oh, and lie down under the red carpet so they can squash you, to prove your luuuvvvv.

      • Mine came back but kept OW on the side. He said she was Plan B in case we didn’t work out. Oh, thanks for that. Plus, he knew there’s no whole heartedly re-committing to your marriage while you’re still in someone else’s bed. Nope. Word salad. It’s all about cake.

      • Snap! My lying bastard got an extra 8 years to f*ck me over because I didn’t know about him screwing one of his students. Such a waste of my life. 🙁

        • Chumpamumpa–sorry you had the same waste of 8 years that I did (under similar circumstances).

    • Oh my — STBX used that line on me too!

      During DDay 1 he confessed that, “it was hard, but he chose me instead of doing something bad (with Schmoopie)” when he was at her place. At the time, I was very vulnerable as I am suffering from the cognitive dissonance I’m experiencing (we just got married few months prior). Chumpy me still hooked on the hopium and believed his words that I was ‘chosen’ until I came here and started to fully understand the mind fuck was dealing with.

  • Brad – I am assuming that you are both grown ups. I am also assuming that you have each had other sexual partners and are comfortable with your sexuality.

    She is a female version of a “player” and you are being played.

    As the others have stated – she has now shown herself as who she really is. She likes your discomfort and pain. She is one up on you and if you stay she knows that she can keep treating you like shit.

    Oh yeah, she’ll throw you the odd token of love and it will keep you around wanting more. But she cannot be trusted with your heart. Get out now while you can!

    • This is the same kind of analogy I used about my cheater – like I was doing tricks for biscuits on a partial reinforcement schedule, a starving dog to whom he fed just enough biscuits to keep me alive.

      Then I figured out that I was self reliant and could make my own damned biscuits. What a relief.

  • Hey, Chump Nation!

    This is totally off-topic, but I wanted to share this with all of you and it also confirms that my gut/instinct was right all along!
    My cheater who told me he needed to divorce me because of my “trust issues” and that he wanted to be with someone who “trusted him 100%” and I “couldn’t give him what he wanted. Trust.”

    Well, the cheater is officially dating Tim Whore-tons Coffee Snatch. I know for a fact that they’ve been dating well over a year, while we were still married, but she has officially been brought out of the shadows. She was introduced this past weekend to my kids as dads “girlfriend.” My kids know the truth. She’s the whore that their father committed adultery with.

    So, Chumps! Just another lesson in trusting our gut/instinct. I *knew* from the beginning that he wanted this whore, but he denied, denied, denied. Nope! I was right all along! Even when the pastor and other church people doubted it. A wife knows!

    • Oh yes. My ex married his whore at Disney World in January. Their reception was last weekend. Eldest son went only to see his grandfather. Stayed 20 minutes. Had lunch with daddy dearest who wanted to know why he didn’t stay long. Eldest dear son replied ‘I was afraid someone would ask me what I thought and I was afraid they would accuse my mother of putting words in my mouth which is not the case.’ Daddy was left speechless. My eldest is 26. 🙂

    • My STBX pulls this crap too. First, he claimed it wasn’t cheating if we were over. Now, almost a year later, he claims that our divorce had nothing to do with her. After digging a little bit over the past year, I discovered it had been going on for the entire time I was pregnant before he left (at least seven months). The sheer ease that he lies is unbelievable.

      My oldest son (15 years) has set specific boundaries where this woman is concerned. Last week STBX picked up son in his girlfriend’s car. Son wants nothing to do with this woman because he knows that what his dad did and continues to do is adultery. Son has decided not to text, talk, or see his dad. Just waiting for STBX to figure that out and start blaming me. Oh the joys of dealing with these assholes.

      • I heard it wasn’t cheating if it was over, or we weren’t getting along.
        Oh, and he didn’t “mess around” until he moved out, whatever that’s supposed to mean,
        and I’m expected to believe him.
        Then again, I believed everything in the past so why not..

    • My cheater also complained that I was not “trusting.”
      Now, his match profile essay states that his ideal woman is “trusting.” He has been on match for over two months, advertising himself as “divorced” when we just filed the papers this week.
      Of course, he needs a “trusting” dupe who will believe his BS.
      Blows my mind that he is lying to women he hasn’t even met yet to get them to go out with him.
      They are so much alike, Martha.
      We are better off without them and their mind games.

      • ‘Now, his match profile essay states that his ideal woman is “trusting.”’

        Well, good for him. Not many men are considerate enough to let you know they’re looking for a sucker, right from the get-go. I’m sure his honesty is appreciated.

  • Chump Lady, the reason I read you non-stop is that you help with getting clarity after the constant haze of cheaters’ BS-speak. Many times I had the “a-ha” moment right after you’ve put it in clear black and white terms chumps understand. During wreckonciliation the cheater told me that our marriage and relationship had been stalled for a while and there was no way he could move forward with me unless he fully engaged and lived through his affair. He said that he also couldn’t cut it off with me so the affair actually played an important role in helping him understand that the AP was not what he thought she was and they did not have what he thought they had and so now, finally, he was over it and ready to move forward with me. Ooooh! I was sooo happy at the time and even welcoming the affair because, hey, it’s ok that I wasted 12 years with this cheater but at least it’s over and he said he is ready to move forward with me. Yeeeyyyy!!!


    Thank you Chump Lady.

    • Chump Lady heard “…he still couldn’t arrive at a conclusion because he didn’t want a divorce.”

      Tempest got the “I came back to the marriage!” and prodigal son bullshit.

      I’m getting: “Let’s think of our childrens’ future” (I broke NC on that one to just say “I have ALWAYS cared about or childrens’ future”), “Let’s think of our grandchildren having a set of married grandparents” …and nine months of procrastination about finalizing the divorce.

      Classic cases of cake-eating. They realize what they will lose with the divorce, but still want it all and want it now. “I’m just experimenting” is a variant of the prodigal son argument. As long as I repent, I’m fine.

      • When I was trying to get my then-H to move out of the house because I couldn’t stand the sight of him anymore, he waved his hand at the house and said, “You would give all of this up?” (meaning the family, too). I said, “YOU gave it up when you fucked gradwhore. It just took me 8 years to know it.”

        Kitchen sink–when they don’t get their way at continuing to eat cake, they will throw every possible excuse/reason/plea/blameshift your way. Newbies–prepare for it.

      • But they have to ACTUALLY REPENT. Since we know that doesn’t happen……

  • AKA “cake testing”… Brad please do not settle for this woman! RUN!!! She just gave you a glimpse into what the rest of your life with her will be. She lacks character, morals, and human decency — zero consideration of how her actions would impact you.

    She sneaks around behind your back and lies to your face. That ain’t gonna change….

  • Step right up, Brad, for a lifetime of anxiety, mindfuckery, and hell!! RSVP by Tuesday!!

  • This sounds like an EverQuest theme here.

    What if you use an experience potion to level up faster?

    Hmm the problem is each time you die and get resurrected you loose experience and potentially a level.

    Oh and each time you reach level cap a new expansion comes out to increase the level cap!



  • Brad, it’s going to be painful but it is time to say good bye to that cheater.

    I could not figure out from the post if you are married to her, but if you are I’d love to see her face if you were to rell her something slong the lines of “you are right. Life, including our marriage, is a series of experiments… One of my core hypotheses when I married you was that you would not turn out to be an adulterer.

    You have proven me wrong, so I am ending this experiment. I wish you the best in future experiments in finding someone who shares your monogamish definition of marriage.”

    And then of course instate NC and build your best post-cheater life!

  • I think this idea of working out what they want is how a lot of cheaters justify. I think there were several times in our marriage that my then husband was not sure if he wanted to continue. So he experimented with other women to see if it was better. You know for years, because what he found out was it was better to take what you want, lie about it, and only occasionally give a shit about your spouse. Just often enough so that you can pat yourself on the back about how good and caring you are.

    Anyone who “experiments” like this is showing you what they value (novelty, control, their own happiness) and what they don’t (honesty, integrity, cooperation). There is a lifetime of confusion and pain ahead with a mate of such shaky moral ground.

    • There was a point in my marriage that I didn’t know if I wanted to continue either. I had mentally checked out and had to reall consider what I wanted to do. Did I want to stay with h or try something new? And when I thought “Am I do unhappy in ready to leave?” I came to the conclusion that no, this was not a permanent thing. I had “fallen out of love” with him but still loved him. ILYBINILWY. BUT I never gave him that speech. I NEVER said those words. I kept it to myself and made my own choices about how I felt and what I was capable of going forward. And surprise! When you stick with the relationship if you still love that person you CAN fall in love with them again! And then they fuck some whore and rip your guts out and ruin your life but that wasn’t the point. IF I had decided I was finished I would have SPOKEN to h and discussed it but since I wasn’t I stayed and figured my own shit out! When d-day came along and I got ILYBINILWY I told him guess what! It hasn’t been all sunshine and roses for me either! I wanted out. But I changed my mind! Then I got “well I NEVER wanted out!” Like I was supposed to be grateful he wanted to fuck a whore and keep me strung along while he got to figure out what would “make him happy”. ??? Well, now he lives with the whoremat and his “so in love” feelings AREN’T real real real twu twu wuv! And he says he wishes he was back to before when he was “so unhappy” because it actually WASN’T that bad. Surprise. (Somehow I’m exactly ZERO PERCENT SURPRISED!)

      • This is a sign of emotional immaturity on the part of cheaters. They don’t realize how much control they could have over their own emotions if they put their focus where it belongs. If they truly “loved” us they could learn how to be “in love” again. Maybe us chumps are so good at it that we just can’t empathize with our poor cheaters who are so emotionally stunted and just don’t get it.

        • I think the lack of control over their emotions is a running theme in them all. Not solely in a romantic relationship either. Noticed that with JAMF Xh and other cheaters I’ve known (and also discarded). They seem totally incapable of being responsible for their own feelings. Mind-boggling.

        • As much as I hate to admit it now but when I was unhappy yes, part of it WAS him. He was doing things he continued to do up until d-day that I didn’t like. And I was too scared(?) stupid(?) I’m not sure what to say to him clearly what I didn’t like. We got into a HUGE fight about it once and then never resolved it afterwards and it never came up again. BUT I also blamed him for my unhappiness. EXACTLY the way the cheater does when they are discovered. And in the end I realized he isn’t doing this shit to me PURPOSELY. Grow TF up and own your own shit. Either tell him it’s done or STFU and get over it! I decided shut up and see what happens was the best for me at the time and then guess what! When I stopped putting it ALL on him and took it back on myself I felt better! For me it was kind of a mental keeping up with the Joneses type thing. I thought I needed more money and more whatever to be happy to be skinny and pretty and whatever else. And then I realized I loved my husband. He was my best friend. I chose him and that life we were doing okay together and I had things that made me happy and things that sucked but it was generally a good life and suddenly I was back on track! Too bad he acted like a fucktard and did EXACTLY what he shouldn’t have! ? I’m not saying it was easy or that I expected the outcome but I had to see because I knew I LOVED him even if I was full of anger and didn’t feel “in love” with him at the time. But they also seem to think that once the excitement/infatuation/sparkly newness is gone then the love is dead. The long term, deep involvement, comfort love is the BEST part!

          • That is what is so heart wrenching in all of this. You made the mature decision and learned how to truly love our husband. He never matured and still has a juvenile understanding of what love is. You gave him a chance and he did not return the favor.

            In my case I was never at a point where I was contemplating leaving the marriage (well until recently), But there were a lot of things about him that bothered me. At one point, however I realized that I couldn’t have the good without the bad. At the time I thought the good outweighed the bad by a significant margin. Alas, I might have felt differently if I had known about this little time bomb set to go off years later.

      • Yes you have ntergrity. I can relate to this as this is us all over, or was.

  • After I refused multiple invitations to dance pretty, mine now says he “knew it could never work” because I (yup, you heard that right) “refuse to take responsibility” for the “unhappiness” that drove him to “make bad decisions.” And, guess what? I absolutely do decline to do that.

    • “I absolutely do decline to do that.”

      Take a bow, young lady. You speak for us all with this succinct yet elegant response to those who cling with a death grip to the “we’re both at fault here” justification for the deceit and dishonesty behind the cheating.

      • Oh My Goodness! That’s what I was getting! I do own my part of a shaky marriage but I own NOTHING of your 7 years of cheating and lying. NOTHING!!! Divorce is on the horizon. Yay!!!

        • I know I should avoid the skein but I’m a terrible person that loves to be right ? And the one thing I’ve done when going around on the carousel of insanity with the cheater is every time he brought up something that made the marriage shaky or wasn’t perfect if it was truthful I would own it. If it wasn’t something that is marriage ending I put that shit to bed.

          Oh, you didn’t like my pubic grooming routine? TOO FUCKING BAD! Is that a reason to stop loving your wife of 10 years?! Your pubes FORCED me to divorce you. Is that a real thing?! No? That’s NOT a real reason to divorce someone you are supposed to love? Then it wasn’t enough to force you to cheat either! Okay, onto my next fault!

          Through all that insanity it told me that he basically had no leg to stand on and the end result was “I fucked a whore because I wanted to. I felt I deserved it. And fuck you and your feelings.” It wasn’t easy but at least I KNOW I wasn’t at fault. For any of it. Yes I could have been a better partner (as I’m sure ALL spouses in ALL marriages could be) BUT I also know that no matter what I did or didn’t do NONE of it was equal to “you FORCED ME to cheat”

          • “I fucked a whore because I wanted to. I felt I deserved it. And fuck you and your feelings”

            ^^^ This is what we will hear if we have the ability to hear what cheaters think. But then again, their actions (and hubris) already betray this. Chumps just have to learn to press the mute button when they speak and watch what they do.

          • We tried wreckonciliation for a few weeks after DDay. He gave me his long list of complaints. Some of them I shot down immediately as simply not true and I pointed out others as petty reasons for ending a 22 year marriage with kids (my text messages often have typos). Some had a kernel of truth and I said I would work on those (still plan to for my own sake), but that many of those were things he was guilty of too. I then gave him my list things he needed to improve on (going completely no contact with schmoopie being #1 on the list). Six weeks post DDay I got “it’s not you it’s me”. That is when he decided wreckonciliation was pointless and he needed to move out. I guess wreckonciliation was fine when it was all about fixing me, but not worth it if it meant doing the hard work of fixing himself.

            • Snap on this one, I was told when asked why he recontacted whore ‘ we had that argument the other day about the dishes ( which was about 10 mins and we got over it, we were heading out and I wanted to go out asap and he starts doing dishes) ‘we had that argument over the dishes and I thought fuck it I will get back in touch with whore’ i had this on v mail and listened a few times at its patheticness. This was at the point of me thinking it was an EA and we were gettting along apart from minor spats fantastically well.
              Its not about those small things it about me not living up to the stupid fantasy in his head of what will make him happy, which is an eternal quest for people like him. You will never find happiness if you have no soul. Anyways he is doing whateva in his flat on his lonesome probably jerking off on skype and feeling ‘ confused and upset because he still loves me’
              Too bad so sad. You had a good thing and rolled the dice twice. Consequences are a bitch.

              • OMFG! My favorite phrase to use on this site. They are all so pathetic!

                If you can tell me what I did that was worthy of you not loving me anymore that was equal to “we must get a divorce” then THAT is a worthy enough reason for you to cheat. But somehow, “your text typos” and “I’m sick of arguing about dishes” (that was the NUMBER ONE argument in our house if I could spend hours making dinner he could spend 10 minutes doing dishes) and someone from another post’s “comes from a long line of dish soakers” are NOT reasons to end a marriage and so are NOT reasons to cheat. (Not that there is EVER a reason to cheat.)

    • Bravo! Agh, they’ll say anything to get out of taking responsibility for their shitty actions. They’re such good people, they would NEVER have done anything like that if YOU hadn’t made them so unhappy and DROVE them to “make bad decisions.” Like lying to your face and fucking someone behind your back. You MADE him do that with your magical powers of not loading the dishwasher right or not cheering every time he walked in the door. How dare you not take responsibility for that? SMH. I got that line too. It’s fucking unbelievable how every cheater says the same thing.

      • Good lord it is scary how similar these people can be. STBX cheated because he was “so unhappy in our marriage”. I also didn’t load the dishwasher right and I didn’t cheer when he walked in the door (too busy loading the dishwasher wrong). The kids didn’t cheer enough either. I guess that is why he likes the dog best. She greeted him the proper way when he came in the door. I doubt schmoopie would have cheered loud enough either if he had actually tried to live with her (and her five kids).

        • Evidently “improper dishwasher loading” results in infidelity.
          One night X walked in and grumbled that I don’t run up and greet him with a hug when he walks in the door. Something I never had done the entire 20 years we were married and surprising coming from the most unaffectionate person I’ve ever known.
          I thought the same thing Chumpinrecovery, that someone else jumped for joy and ran up greeting him excitedly with hugs and kisses and who knows what else.
          X is a body builder, another fault of mine which caused his cheating is I didn’t admire his muscles or compliment him on how good he looked. I then made a point to say something to flatter him, he then compline that I wasn’t sincere perhaps someone else had just the right words.
          If X was as miserable around AP as he was at home I doubt she would be jumping up and down when he walked in the door and excitedly running up to hug him.
          We’re also not Labrador retrievers.
          Interesting how much effort they put into sneaking around and blaming us instead of using that effort on improving themselves and the marriage. They never look at themselves and or think they might be contributing to their own unhappiness with their negative thinking.
          How much happier they would be if they appreciated their families.
          As Chumps we take care of most everything at home, our kids, schedules, holidays, etc while Cheaters are more concerned with themselves, like a spoiled child thinking of what they don’t have or what someone else has, wanting that new shiny toy that smiled at them.
          Sadly they’re immature and self centered. Making life altering decisions such as Cheating and shattering their children’s lives or us and all that we have sacrificed for them is foreign.
          It’s all about them and it’s disgusting.

          • **shattering lives isn’t a concern of theirs because it isn’t their fault, it’s ours for not living up to their standards. They’re never at fault, makes their lives easier excusing themselves. Image control, they have no problem twisting the truth, playing the victim.

            I’m also guilty of not knowing how to load the dishwasher properly.

            • My X couldn’t load the dishwasher properly, and yet I didn’t cheat on him. Geez, no one told me I could engage in immoral, blow-up-the-family acts on the basis of such a flimsy excuse! Guess I lost that opportunity (hits head).

          • My h isn’t a bodybuilder but I had been gaining weight at a steady rate the entire time we were married and had gotten significantly fat. For myself and fear of dropping dead in my thirties and missing out on a long healthy life with my favorite person ( ha. ha. ha. Fucking ha.) I decided to get healthy and we both started dieting and exercising and lost a bunch of weight. And apparently I didn’t appreciate h’s new body enough either. Even though I thought I appropriately oooed and ahhhhed and made lascivious winky faces and felt his various body parts and complimented him all the time, it was CLEARLY not enough. Because his “boss at work felt his muscles and complimented” him too. So that didn’t show that I cared or wanted him because Tom did the same thing. Uh, I think that says more about the boss than about me! (His boss is his bff and a big workout nut)

            And he was the same. All negative thinking. I’m not always Pollyanna, I like to vent when I have a hard day at work or whatever, but that was one of the ways I was deficient compared to the whoremat. “She’s SO NICE! She CARES about EVERYONE! When you say you hate all people it’s because you REALLY HATE all people. SHE loves everyone and wants what’s BEST for everyone!” Let me tell you how many times he’s “hated everyone” too. ? Of course the world gets you down and you say things that are an exaggeration but apparently in my case it was all true.

            Now that he’s gotten a little distance from d-day, he’s gotten super, super fat, and I asked how the nicest person IN THE WORLD was and he said “you can replace nice with naive”. So she’s NOT the sexified reincarnation of Mother Theresa compared to my female reincarnation of Hitler, Stalin and Mao? Living with a manipulative slut whore idiot doormat isn’t what you once dreamed it would be? Hmm, funny how things change once you realize EVERYTHING you had is going away and all that you have left is cake. He told me after d-day that he was 80% happy and felt like 20% was missing and he “deserved to be 100% happy in a relationship”. So instead of TALKING to me about it he threw away 80% (????????????) good for 20%. I bet the percentages have changed if you ask him now about his happiness from before. They are so stupid!

            • This is so funny—“manipulative slut whore idiot doormat”…. thanks for the new name and for today’s laugh.

              Thanks for posting.

      • NO!! they did not make “bad decisions.” They made “a mistake.” Just an eensy, weensy, little mistake.

      • Eyes, me too! And we never jumped up the second he walked in the door to give him his favorite place on the sofa! **forehead slap** No WONDER you had a 10+ year affair and spent your evenings on the laptop arranging hookups! How inconsiderate of the family to use furniture!

    • I got rhis exactly with the added ‘ you can’t communicate properly and she gets me’
      Yeah because communicating with you is crazy making bullshit in which even getting you to agree and walk to the fucking letterbox is an epic drama of mindfuckery and your not the boss of me crap’
      Enjoying being free for the conversations being hijacked and turned into rants about his bleak outlook for humanity, loving doing normal. Ahh the serenity

      • Mine now seems to want to do a most mortem on our relationship and what we did wrong . ‘ nothing to talk about its finished’ shut that crap down quick as its a ploy to inflict more pain on me by telling me why I failed. Uhh no feel self respect coming back real soon.

        • Your analysis could be summed up quickly about what went wrong, “I married you.” [feel free to insert “fucker” at the end of the sentence, or endearing term of your choice]

        • Lady B, that’s a great slip of the tongue! It’s is MOST mortem alright!

        • Yes…WTF is that about?!

          YOU wanted the divorce so you could “find yourself” (aka pretend to be a dumbass playboy wannabe again.) You got one. Done.

          So why 2+years post divorce do we need to “rehash” and I need to “accept my blame for the demise of our marriage.”

          WTF!? You’re married to someone equally dysfunctional. Go “rehash” with her.

          Why does it even fucking matter!?

      • I also got “we don’t communicate well” which really means I fail to read his mind. He once started an argument with “I can’t believe you are reading to the kids when there are dishes to be done” (in all fairness he was carrying a load of laundry at the time). It turns out this really meant “You aren’t giving me enough attention”. Huh? If he wanted more attention he should have told me to leave the dishes and come to bed.

          • Yeah I think that is what he was getting at but the part about the dishes threw me off. Interesting that he also resents me for only giving him three children when he wanted four. So does he think that if we had had that fourth one I would have had more time for him?

            • Narcs need impression management; he could hardly say he wanted you to pay attention to him over the children, so he threw in ‘dishes’ as subterfuge. Mine claimed I spent more time on “other people” than him. Our children?!? Trust that they suck.

      • What I’ve learned about “she gets me” is cool. bummer. wow. And the new added “same”. Schmoopie “understands” him because they both talk 100% about THEMSELVES and they spend all their time talking about how everyone is so mean and blah blah blah. And they both respond with cool. bummer. wow. OR (and this is key with the cheater schmoopie relationship dynamic) SAME. She understands him because she says “same”.
        My wife is so mean! Same with my husband.
        My wife doesn’t love me. Same with my husband.
        Nobody understands how SPECIAL I am! Same. Me too!

        See how understanding I become when I agree with you all the time?! Yep. I’m the perfect schmoopie!

        Mine has suddenly realized after living with the whoremat that they really AREN’T amazingly similar. And maybe she’s NOT his real twu wuv soulmate. Shocker. Bummer.

        • You are spot on, he wont have much to say except, she won’t talk to me and when she does she is just angry.
          Yeah douche that because if I talk for more than 10 seconds you talk over me as you have zero respect for me and I should want for nothing and expect nothing.
          He just tries to bait me with his three types of emails, poor me, you got everything,, uuhh no I got a big mortgage and the kids that’s it.
          Anger – ranting about how hard managing his debt that he got himself into whilst paying rent and child support – not my prob.
          And of course I’m so confused and still love you – crickets…

  • “I had to sleep with him to figure out if I wanted to take things to the next level with you.”

    If this were true and a partner was uncertain they would have a conversation, seek out therapy, and respectfully involve you in working on whatever the problem was in the relationship. It would not involve sneaking around and test driving others.

    Relationships disintegrate once they start cheating. You probably started noticing the distancing, withdrawal, and complaints once she decided to fuck strange. Once they start making unilateral decisions about your future while exposing you to STD’s its time to lawyer up.

    What chumps tend to do in this situation is to beat themselves up and look at all the time they’ve invested into the relationship. It’s tempting to stand in the sidelines because you do love her. Don’t.
    Her actions speak louder than words. That’s all on her Brad. Don’t beat yourself up for her actions, rather give her the consequences. Find a lawyer and protect your assets. Let her move out of the home. Seek out a therapist to help you through the pain. Fight for you Brad, you are worth it.

  • Brad – If she doesn’t respect herself enough to be monogamous and faithful, there is no reason to think she will respect you enough to do so. It really is that simple.

  • After 20 years of marriage and raising two kids, my x-hole decided he needed to see if he still loved his old GF from 20 years ago. He flew to Miami, jumped on a week-long sex cruise, while lying to me and the kids…all to see if he still loved her.

    Whatever, they are both divorced and single now (their love story ended pretty quickly). Hope it was worth it.

    It wasn’t his first romp, won’t be his last, but I don’t have to be put through hell anymore.

    • Yup. Different version of the same story, ChumpedToTheMax. Longer time periods. Both our relationship and their affair. Both single now. I get to live with their diseases forever. So worth it.

      • I am actually glad he did it, gave me the golden ticket out of a very toxic and abusive situation. Hope your story ended well too.

    • What’s with the old friend thing? My xw left me for her old high school boy friend from 35 years prior (but she also cheated with others through the years). It’s just pathetic.

  • CAKE

    Its what they want in case the experiment goes wrong. And when they are standing at the bus stop because plan B was a failure? It’s worth it to US as we wave bye, bye as they board. And you don’t have to be put through hell anymore, ChumpedToTheMax! This exactly.

  • Yes, bc side-to-side dick comparisons are a necessary step in the development of all healthy relationships, said no reasonable person ever. **Eye roll** Really, I feel like the entire nation is getting chumped via Trump right now, and this sort of logic has become commonplace. It’s so nice to land here and get a sanity check.

  • I’ve been thinking about Brad’s letter all morning. To those of us out of cheater situations (or working on it), the answer to him is easy and clear–LEAVE.

    But we were all in his place at one point (whether to stay after a D-day, or after bouts of emotional abuse), and the million dollar question from Brad’s letter is this: Why do we need permission to exercise self-respect?

    • @Tempest – “Why do we need permission to exercise self-respect?”

      THANK YOU!!! Or to make a declaratory statement to any fool who questions why “you can’t be friends,” “won’t talk to (fill in the blank),” or any of the other inane, self-serving, make-everyone-else-comfortable, embrace the situational morality of others statements, “I don’t need your permission to exercise self-respect,” or a different derivative, “I don’t need ANYONE’s permission to exercise self-respect.” So simple, so concise, so go sit your entitled ass down somewhere on point. I will never need to formulate another response to another question about the Ex. Thanks again Tempest.

      Lord knows, if I was a songwriter I would write a song with that lyric and add Nomar’s post above.

      • Love is not okay with causing pain
        Whatever love you had for me, you flushed right down the drain
        I almost broke from years of your deliberate neglect
        Until I recognized and exercised my self-respect!


          • Thanks! Now I wish I could write something that doesn’t sound like country. Not that I don’t like country, but everything I scribble has a country/western tune in my head.

            Years ago I overheard a man at the grocery store muttering about cotton balls and alcohol, and he heard me say that sounded like something from a country/western song. Cracked him up.

            • Oh beautiful cheater, I gotta leave her
              She ripped my heart out and took her love away
              It made me sad, but now I’m glad
              All she offered was cotton balls and alcohol to fill the hole when she went astray

              I’m assuming it’s a cowboy singing the song ??? sorry it’s so terrible ?

  • Brad, someone who loves you wants to make you feel good and secure. They don’t want to keep you in uncertainty and competing against phantoms. She doesn’t love you, and if she can treat someone like this, I don’t believe she is capable of love. Even someone who is indifferent to you doesn’t seek to make you feel insecure. They just leave you be in peace. Sorry you fell for a deeply disturbed character. It sounds like this is not a very long relationship, so get out fast, don’t let her do anymore damage.

  • This evening I am just weary. There is so much pain. I’ve lived it and CN lived/is living it too. I have never, ever asked anything of my SO that I wasn’t willing to do myself. I have always considered how my choices would affect him before doing anything. Because it was so obvious to me that was the right thing to do was, I can’t for the life of me, understand how you can destroy someone you profess to love with lies and deceit. How someone can repeat over and over, “but I LOVE you.” How a person can have an affair, father a child with the AP, give that child up so I don’t find out. The when I do years later, beg for forgiveness and I give him a second chance. Then years later find out about strippers and lap dances. Deal breaker for me because the trust is gone. Brad, run. Run like the hounds of hell are after your very soul. Don’t waste almost 39 years of your life like I have looking for a unicorn. They don’t exist. Trust that the suck. Peace.

  • Brad. Run. My husband of 18 yrs ( together 25) , 2 children . Lied b4 we got married about going away with a mate to Amsterdam for a day – when in fact it was a mate us 4 single female friends too… Knew he was lying but he denied it..Truth came out & I told him it was it was over but he begged ME to stay with him… Roll on 23 yrs and…..7 yrs ago when pregnant with 2 nd child found out he on no strings attached sex websites…..He said he hadn’t met anyone via them I believed him all those years ago and let him stay ….. ( Life was stressful at the time with 1st child ill) … 3 yrs ago has speech …ILYBNIYWYA…Told him if not happy to go..He said there was no one else , just needed “space” ….Roll on 2 hrs ago truth comes out when I found proof on phone – he was having an emotional (???) Affair with 26yr old co worker & making a necklace for her in our garage ( dog tags with engraving)
    …. And had spent the year when he decided to stay texting , working , staying late at work ( going to country pubs with her & kissing in the car parks…. & Falling in love with her writing once when she had to go abroad for a few months….” I miss you so much it hurts” …..etc all the while whilst I was at therapy & trying to improve myself & our marriage after the ” I need space ‘” chat. So 2 years ago after I finally found proof on phone & screamed & all the following came out – one night stand with co- worker within a year of getting married. Year long emotional (???) Affair with single co- worker 3 years into our marriage – when undergoing assisted conception for longed for first child……. Dating sites…..Sex websites where he had met people but supposedly never( ???? Slept with them????- yeah right when pregnant with 2nd child) and then this final year and a half emotionally all affair with co- worker…..And was on tinder at the same time…Bet she’d be thrilled to know that…..So Brad – run. Unless she is showing a complete turnaround in character NOW run before you get in too deep. Do not waste your future life on someone who has shown you who they ARE….. Please I now find myself thinking – all those years of never feeling ” I was not enough” were in fact totally spot on. I was NOT enough. Wasted years….MY years of feeling 2nd best , neglected & invisible…..And not knowing why but feeling over and over again that something was not right…….But always denied & he always did just enough to keep me ” happyish” but in hindsight he actually he never put any effort into ME or our relationship….No special birthday surprises , nights out , holidays trips…NOTHING….Unless it was something he wanted to do …. When you are up to your elbows in your career bringing in the income ( whilst he took years off to retrain & then subsequently told me I was no fun!!!! ) & Then completely stressed out with assisted conception & then a very ill si k child….You do the have time to look closely at what he was doing … Or behaving because you ALONE are too busy doing everything for EVERYONE…..& Trying to keep the family together………. Whilst he was busy preening himself & messing with co- workers because funnily enough I was too stressed and no fun..

    So Brad. Look closely at what they have & are doing. It should tell you everything you need to know.Get rid of any rose-tined spec you may have about your partner and LOOK and SEE what you are dealing with. There are givers and takers in life…… Who are you with????

    What actual & specific effort do they put into YOU and your MARRIAGE…?

    Do not make the same mistake as many of us have here….Giving their partners the ” benefit of the doubt”…..
    Trust your instincts – if it feels off – it is …..


  • I BET YOU this woman read the book, “When Good People Have Affairs” because the author, Mira Kirshenbaum, encourages this kind of thinking. She gives cheaters the Ok to continue dating their AP long enough to compare and contrast them with their spouse, to help them decide which one to keep. It’s ok because they’re just doing what good people do, which is what is best for everyone.
    So expect more letters about cheaters congratulating themselves on their selflessness because of this stupid book.

  • This sort of reasoning is fine before you’ve agreed to be monogamous with someone – wild oats and all that. But once you’ve agreed to be monogamous, you’re past the “sampling the contents of everyone else’s knickers in order to make up your mind,” stage.

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