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Your Most Ridiculous RIC Nuggets

If you were ever an Amazon chump, somewhere there moldering on your bookshelf (or ashen in an incinerator somewhere) are the 50 Save Your Marriage books you bought, probably at 3 a.m. after a few heartsick Google searches. The books have titles like: “When Splendid People Cheat!” or “How Can I Forgive You After You Spent $100K on Sex Workers? A Toolkit!” or “My Husband’s Affair Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me!” (Oh hang on, that’s a real title to a best-seller, not my snark…)

Well now, Chump Nation, you can put that lousy investment to work today, by sharing the most ridiculous Reconciliation Industrial Complex nuggets you purchased, through book sale, therapist’s office, or snake oil affair-proof-your-marriage workshop.  Go ahead, name names! Recite chapter and verse! Point and laugh.

Was it nuggets like supporting your partner while they grieve the affair partner? Excusing the affair because they SAID they were SORRY? Not insisting on STD testing because that would be punishing them and could trigger toxic shame?

What piss-poor, victim blaming, emotionally tone-deaf bullshit did you buy on the open market? And how do you feel about that advice now?

I’m all ears. TGIF!

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.
  • My X told me one night I had to help her get over her affair partner. She was drunk, but am pretty sure she read it somewhere.

    • Yes! In the (maybe?) two weeks she had ended it (probably not) with her AP, as I was in shock and grief over the whole thing, she informed me that she was in just as much pain as I was and needed time to grieve, since she was suffering such a deep loss. AP? She’d known for six months. Me? Ten years, two children, a life. The selfishness was staggering. Yet I was so terrified I’d “push her away” that I swallowed this poison–for a while. Then I divorced her lying, disordered ass.

      • Let me tell you about YoYo Knickers grieving or the lack of it.

        – AP died in a plane crash
        – I moved back in to the family home temporarily (A few days)
        – She was on suicide watch, tranquillisers,
        – I looked after the kids, cleaned the house
        – I booked her into therapy/counselling

        4 days after AP died she announced she was signing up for online dating! When I asked her if it she thought it was a bit soon she said..”I need companionship, If your idea of me grieving is sitting around crying then I’m afraid that’s just not me”

        The mind boggles!

        • She then announced on social media that she had lost the “Love of her life” when AP died.
          Like you David2016 she had 6 months with this guy and 25+ years and 3 kids with me…not sure what I was if he was the love of her life!

          • Hi Mickey, You gotta have a sense of humor to survive this crap, but OMG, the social media announcement is unbelievably painful nonetheless. It reminds me of some of the crazy comments made by aging family members who suffer from dementia. I guess that is one way to look at it?

            • Whenever I read stories like this it absolutely amazes me that people can do this and not hear the words that are coming out of their mouth. Seriously, I know when I say stupid shit. I can’t wrap my head around what they are thinking. Thank God I was blessed with morals and character so I don’t run around making a fool out of myself.

          • Omg! My ex and her are sharing a soul and thought process! No AP’s Dying but the same fake deep grief on social media about leaving me with cancer – all while making several dates the day he left me and probably for years before! That is sociopathy. No way your ex didn’t just get off on you stepping up to dance for her! Wow I feel for you!

            • To top it off we hadn’t gone “public” on our separation (Her request) so her announcement on social media saying she had “lost the love of her life” led people to ask if it was ME that had died!

              Someone at my Niece’s school said to her…”I’m sorry to hear about your uncle”

              I kept a screenshot of her statement to remind myself of what a fucked up mess I am dealing with and if she ever applies the charm or pity channels she can go fuck herself.

              • Mickey,
                I’m so sorry you were treated this way. It really is beyond anything I ever thought was possible (before my own abuse). I hope you are building a grand new life and someday soon a woman of values and worth comes and rocks your world in a terrific, loving, healthy way. You deserve a lifetime of peace and happiness after what that “thing” did to you.
                Huge hugs!

              • ? Wow! It seems so insane to do that! How did you reply to people checking in on you to see if you were really dead?

                I hope your children are ok. Sounds like this woman will infect them with f’d up thinking every chance she gets!

              • Mickey……I hope you got rid of the reptile! Cold blooded as it gets!

              • Mickey, this is macabre. It sounds like a vignette out of a movie, so out there is this. I hope you have a good counselor/therapist. Please stay in this community. There is so much wisdom and empathy. You and your kids deserve a huge hug from the universe of good people.

              • I think the screenshot idea was a really good one…but sometimes seeing that over again can be really wounding too. My ex and I had separated and she was begging me to come back to her. It was January. Then her ap’s daughter posted to my ex’s fb a photo of their recent Christmas gathering–with my ex front and centre with her ap’s arms around her. All jolly. It was shattering. But I often think of it and it hardens my resolve to be nc. At the same time it wounds–so it’s a mixed blessing.

              • Mickey, love how your ex didn’t want to go public. Isn’t that just great… Yep, it was all about her ‘image management’. Better to just cast out that she had lost the ‘Love of her life.’ Yep, all about focusing on her ability to LOVE and make the truth of who she was refering to ‘fuzzy’.

          • She must live her “life” in six month increments… they really are that shallow.

            I’m sorry for your loss of 25 years. Be glad it wasn’t 50.

          • How can one be so cruel? Don’t get stuck on WHY? Tore me up for a long time trying to understand “crazy”. When I busted my husband, first it was: she’s an old GF and called and started talking dirty and the next thing I knew, I was at her house. Then she blackmailed me that she would tell you about us cuz she knew you were pregnant and I wouldn’t want to hurt you. I found out when our daughter was 5 months old.
            After I tossed his ass out, he showed up. The police came, told me that I could not change the locks and until the divorce was final, they could not keep him out of the family home. As I sobbed on the couch, the psychopath came up and rubbed my back, whispering in my ear, shush, shush, baby, it’s all your fault, and you know this. You never thanked me for taking out the trash, I just never felt appreciated.

            Yes, it is true, he actually said that. It was then I knew he was sick and dangerous. the actual definition of a psychopath. Took a while, but I got away.

            • Your ex husband is a sick piece of s**t, Patience. So glad you got away from him. My ex also told me his affair and abandonment of me was completely my fault, but he didn’t say it in such a sinister way. It’s a wonder you didn’t go nuts yourself, the dissonance of hearing someone say such hateful things about you in a loving way is enough to make your head explode!

              • Thanks Lyn. He gave it all he had to make me feel “crazy”, he would stand there and smile, refusing to answer questions so my mind would race and then laugh at how crazy I sounded as I was desperately trying to understand what the truth was and what was actually going on.

                As I lost the house and was packing up the kids and all our stuff, he stood by his truck, dragging on a cigarette and said, “you know, if you take me back, my dad will help us save the house…”

                I said, wow, you don’t know me at all do you? I walked from my house, was in bankruptcy (his refusal to work and I eventually ran out of money to pay the mortgage); and was ready to live at a Comfort Inn extend stay with my 4 kids. All I had was my kids, thank god, and my job. period. I was dead inside for a long long time. I wish I had Chump Lady then. I think I would have healed faster and not been so confused by the games. I describe that time in my life as this: It was like the long skinny finger of the devil, with a long black fingernail, poking in through the top of my head, stirring, and laughing. I did nearly break down. I walked around in a daze for 2 years.

            • Patience, they’re unbelievably cruel, X reduced his support claiming disability, s disability that can’t be unproven (seeing spots) evidently he’s done his research. Hard to believe this is the same person who couldn’t make plans for over 25 years.
              He had me evicted from our home, leaving me homeless with my two dogs, fortunately I was able to stay temporarily with a friend. X had alienated our son from me and used the eviction as another strike against my character building his arsenal of twisting facts to slander me.
              I remember the smirk on his face as he stood watching me in tears, leave our home with only the clothes on my back not knowing what to do.
              To outsiders he’s charming, funny and the great guy, he’s a very convincing.
              I know the truth, he’s Satan, relentless in his pursuit to destroy me.
              Without a doubt he’s a sociopath, pure evil.

              • I also remember questioning X while he stood there looking at me, laughing and taunting me, knowing how upset I was and bringing me to tears.
                Who could do these things to another human being?
                Incomprehensible to me…

            • Oh my goodness . . .

              Hard to believe, ain’t it?!

              If you’d only said, “Thank you,” when he took out the trash, none of this would have happened.

          • They really don’t think straight when it comes to the APs and what love really means. The day before STBX decided he was going to move out he was obviously not all there and when I asked him about it he sent me the movie invite Schmoopie had sent him and said tearfully “this was sent to me by someone who cares about me and who I hurt really badly”. I said “I care about you and you hurt me really badly”. Seriously, we were also together for 25 years, 3 kids. I supported him through three careers (4 if you count his time as stay at home Dad) and seven moves including the last one when I found a job half way across the country so he could go live where he wanted. What has she done for him? A few blow jobs. That shows how much she cares. I guess I was just focused on all of the wrong things (not that we weren’t having sex too).

            Here is a link for affair love versus real love. These people just don’t get it. (this may count as a RIC site but it is still a good article).


          • mickeyblueeyes,

            I thought I had heard every kind of horrible infidelity story and had memorized the narcissist playbook, but your story leaves me absolutely slack jawed. Holy %#$%, the social media announcement.

            If I was a terrible person, I might wish all AP’s were on that same plane, and your ex had followed through with her self destruction plans. Oh wait, I am a terrible person.

        • Wow, Mickeyblueeyes,

          I think you had a brush with a bonafide Psychopath, but you probably know better than anyone. Wow, so sorry.

        • NO WAY!!

          I got only a teensy tiny taste of that.

          When I was still spackling and telling myself that my cheater was only friends with the AP (a serial cheater), whose husband had just left her because he suspected she was cheating with my STBXH, she would “check in” each night with him to let him know she was safe after visiting home to see her own kid. One night, he didn’t hear from her, and he got very worried. He crawled into bed and (I assume) cried.

          This was after ILYBINILWY and we were supposed to spend extra time together each night, so I went to check on him and found him grieving there in the dark bedroom.

          “What’s going on?”
          “I haven’t heard from her. I’m really worried. She always texts by now. I think she’s hurt. Maybe even worse. I want to go drive by her house to see if her car is there. I’m so scared for her.” By this time, he’d gotten out of the bed and was pacing back and forth in nervousness, near panic.


          I was going along with his plan… again, thinking that they were just “friends”. Eventually, she texted him, and he went off to text with her. We never had our quality time that night. And I soon found out he was cheating and that I was a total chump.

          It’s one of the memories I think back to and say, “Good riddance.”

        • No pick me dance…no kibbles… half baked counseling… saving a marriage with a deceptive liar and cheater This is the second time around in my 31 year marriage. Out out out you go! And stay out!

          • Same thing happened with me. After D Day #1, I told him that never again would I tolerate this behavior. It took him 17 years, but he did it again. I kept quiet, got copies of all financial documents, paid a retainer to an attorney, then let him know he was being served. I was full of rage, and it was the best thing for me. I didn’t dance or dispense kibbles either. Went full NC on his porny ass. I fully recommend anger!!

        • OMG Mickeyblueeyes, you can NOT get shallower than that.

          He meant THAT much to her …. as did you.

          Well escaped.

        • O!M!G!
          I’m new here.
          This thread may be done.
          A lot of things have stunned me on this site.
          That makes my ex look like Grandpa Walton.
          So cold….I’ve got frost bite!

      • Mine was the same way mine is 22 years and it took her maybe 10 minutes to get over me but her affair partner who was the 1 year guy was the “hardest ever”
        Boo hoo
        The only good thing was that he was fucking around on her as well and left her for someone else
        ha ha Ha

  • My X only read one book on infidelity, from which he extracted two nuggets with which he tried to mindfuck me in the early days of discovery: (1) I should not make a decision right away, I should wait at least 6 months before deciding to leave his ass; (2) his two-decades long relationship with prostitutes and massage ladies was just one long “exit affair” — even if it started before he met me… He did not see any contradiction between the two of them, or inside those statements. When I pointed the contradictions out, he came back with the story of a friend who is a serial cheater and whose habit is to wait to leave each old husband appliance until she REALLY falls in love with the next one. That’s when I finally realized that logic is not relevant.

    • theother

      Yes. The most often repeated and worst piece of advice ever was ‘wait six months’ before deciding anything.
      This nugget is everywhere and is dangerous as in the Uk if you want to file on the grounds of adultery you have to do it BEFORE six months since discovery, otherwise you are stuck with irreconcilable differences and it can drag on.
      Adultery is a legal breach of promise however and can result in the whole process going faster.

      NEVER wait six months. Maybe six hours to six weeks at a push.

      Worst ever advice. Leaves you open to all kinds of second guessing by yourself and others. The shock of dday is useful to propel to process forward. This wait advice makes me enraged even now.

      • Agree. All sorts of well-meaning friends and acquaintances — none of whom ever went through what I did — tried to convince me to wait a while, as well. I’m sure it happens to a lot of people, it’s some kind of unexamined received wisdom that gets passed like a virus, and it only keeps them in a traumatizing and disempowered situation for longer.

        • Who benefits from this advice? Cheaters — who have time to go underground and hide/steal assets. And the RIC who can peddle hopium and marriage saving.

          I preach protect yourself. Anyone who is truly “sorry” should understand consequences. After you’re safe financially and emotionally — sure, then gage your unicorn chances. 99.9% never get there — cheaters hate consequences and the “sorry” is impression management to avoid consequences.

          • Absolutely. I “gave” her eight months. What that meant is she was free to enjoy the perks of singlehood frolicking with her AP using our family’s funds, while her husband crept closer and closer to a total emotional breakdown and our two young children watched their family disintegrate.

            • I feel like they get off on watching you slowly wither away. Power trip. It’s like they able to step outside their ‘acting like your partner’, and also get off on how much you care and bought their ‘act.’ It makes them thrilled to see their acting job – brought someone down to an emotional wreak. Their pleased with themselves.

              • Chumped ^this…..

                I think Haggar the Whoreable did get off on seeing me twist myself into a pretzel trying to fix all the things that he claimed were wrong with me just to assault me with more things that he was holding grudges against me for….”He was just so torn and unhappy and needed to come home happy”. But of course there was no one else…..Yeah right turdlips, your clothes don’t lie like you do. From Dday, crickets.

              • They are pleased with themselves and have no mercy. I recorded a conversation between Traitor and Whore just before our family Christmas at his folks. I had asked him specifically if we were going and if I was meant to go too (this was looong after DDay 2 and months of wreckonciliation, etc.) in front of his adult children. He said yes, so I booked all 7 of us, including adult eldest son and his girlfriend into a motel and paid early to get a good rate. A week before going I recorded him telling the whore I wasn’t coming to the family Christmas. “She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s not coming.” “Good” says the whore. This phone call happened while I was out with their son, I’d taken him to a horse riding lesson. She also asked why we were out. “I don’t know WTF she’s doing, I don’t care”, he said. With THEIR son!

            • +1, David 2016, I had some good support that decreased mine to 6 months, I should have gave her 8 seconds like my gut told me 6 months before she admitted to the affair. That would have given me back a year of my life.
              If there’s a next time, that chickie won’t get 8 seconds, she’ll get however long it takes to say, “Get OUT,” hopefully I won’t waste that much time, and it’ll just be “Out.”

          • As far as protecting yourself goes, I would make that filing for divorce IMMEDIATELY. Expect whining and pleading – ignore this. Expect RIC therapists to tell you you cannot work to “repair a marriage” while doing this – IGNORE THEM (your partner swapped bodily fluids with others and took shared assets without your knowledge – repairing a marriage is not the core issue).

            If D day happens at noon, try to file the paperwork by 5. It does something to create some safety and transparency where you can no longer do anything more than pay typical expenses until the matter is resolved in the courts. Also, do this INSTEAD of initially negotiating a settlement (you can still negotiate one after it is done, and you can still take a few more rounds with this person to expose yourself to more potential physical, emotional, and psychological harm as long as you’ve done all you can to cover your bases money-wise first). Just file to start the clock on getting in front of a judge in your state. You can then also see if your partner agrees to a reasonable settlement, but do not give up that court date as you will then have to wait all over again for it. Your cheating partner’s brain is a pandora’s box – you cannot know what will come out of there and it won’t likely be good for you. The best way you can protect yourself is to file first, negotiate the settle meant later.

            Do not listen to the RIC which will tell you to wait.

            Do not listen to the RIC which will tell you to wait.

            Do not listen to the RIC which will tell you to wait.

            You will not believe that your loved one will do the things to you financially that he or she will likely do. You might think…now that he/she is caught, now all the “shame” is out in the open (RIC speak), or surely now they will return to their core feelings of love and be fair.

            This person was willing to make a fool of you and robbed you of the most precious things already: time and health (how healthy did YOU feel after D day???). Stole assets. Exposed you to disease and trauma you will never be unaffected by (even after you heal). Exposed your children to harmful psychological and emotional experiences the affects of which will remain for a lifetime.


            Don’t listen to the RIC or your trusting and trustworthy, hopeful and hurting, brain on this. Listen to Chumplady and Chump Nation. RUN, don’t walk, to file your divorce papers.

            • And that person broke your heart. Just broke it into a million pieces.

        • Ya don’t wait. Me waiting(a chumpy 4 years) led to the loss of half of my life savings plus tens of thousands in debt to my company his company never paid plus aboutv$60000 in large assets he removed plus he stopped earning a living so no spousal support. I could have hired a top male prostitute to please me regularly for the rest of my life on the monetary losses alone and saved years of other abuse as well. POS

      • Yeah the six months and “Adultery” turns to “Irreconcilable Differences” is an odd one. i made sure YoYo Knickers was served before the 6 months. She actually did the most decent thing she’s ever done in the divorce process and actually wrote the words “Adultery” and signed it on her part of the divorce papers.

        • The six month expiration for divorce on ground of adultery is an excellent reminder that family law varies significantly from country to country and from state to state.

          Most U.S. states are no-fault, which means that the state doesn’t care why you’re getting a divorce, only that you are getting one. Some few states still have “fault” divorces, so adultery may leverage a settlement.

          Another variant is the time you have to wait between filing and divorce. In my no-fault state, it takes only 60 days from filing to divorce, assuming that the settlement goes through or that you’ve so few assets that you trust a judge to divide things up in an equitable fashion during your court date. However, in some states, there’s a mandatory waiting period of up to two years.

          If you can file for cause, then you can shorten your mandatory waiting period.

          The differences in divorce laws are exactly why you need to see a lawyer in the beginning, even if lawyers aren’t typically involved in divorce cases.

      • We never married but when I saw those photos , his ass was out the door with his belongings within two hours. Thought I might go mental if I hadn’t thrown him out out and no way I was leaving my kids or house I had worked my ass off to buy.

        • When I tossed his ass out, it was not out of being a strong woman, it was more about, I would have gone “mental.” It was about survival. Before I found CL I questioned my decision. Joining CL and CN, never questioned it again!

          • I questioned myself,…..did I act too quickly, in a harsh way, blah, blah, blah??? You all know the drill. By coming here it validates that what I did that day was right for ME!

      • I was also given the “wait 6 months” piece of advice, and it was against every instincts I had, so I ignored it and moved out within 3 weeks of DDay #1.

        I also read lots of blog posts about cheating/wayward spouses and betrayed spouses and what each “should be doing” to make the divorce the least painful possible for kids involved. I read things like “Graceful Divorce Solutions”, “the Co-Parent Handbook” and saw all the ways mature people can make the divorce less painful for everyone… I sent my X articles and suggestions about what he could do to make it easier on our kiddo and easier for us to deal with one another moving forward…

        How many times did he thank me for my efforts? How many times did he adopt a mature approach to divorcing after his affair?? Zero… He totally felt entitled to wreckoncilliation and when I did not dance to his fake charm channel tune, he rapidly devolved into channel flipping, his sad sausage and rage episodes were spectacular pieces of mindfuckery.

        Trying to make sense out of his irrational behavior, I found
        “Get out of control: how to leave a control freak and regain your power” by Honesty and Friends
        “Joint custody with a jerk”
        “Raising the kid you love with the ex you hate”

        And that was more like what I was going through. I later found CL’s website, I knew I had found my tribe, CL’s book reflected my own experience to a T, all the books I read in the resources section were spot on too, and CN’s stories have been a source of solace, laughter and shadenfreude/karma hope ever since.

      • Mine also BEGGED for “six months” to which I replied “that’s exactly what the separation period is for”. And the clock began ticking.
        In the end it took almost a year for the divorce to be final, but if I had waited another 6 months before separating, it would have been 6 months longer!
        Mine also thought I should go with him to his “therapist” to help him “unpack” why he cheated on me (with multiple men) due to childhood abuse. And yes, “unpack” used this way kinda makes me chuckle now.
        I actually went one time, and it turned into a giant heap of him playing victim and me being put in some kind of obscure care-giving role to try to help him “heal”. It took all of one session to put an end to that and tell him I had endured enough abuse from him and needed to focus on my own healing now.
        That was the moment I started gaining a life.

      • At least you can file claiming adultery in the U.K. In Sydney, NSW and in CA USA, the two places I’ve lived, are no-fault states. Spouse cheats and steals half the family money? We don’t care. You just get half of whatever’s left. Next!

      • Capricorn, same in Australia! I have a friend who stayed with her abuser for more than 6months “for the sake of the children”, but when she finally had had enough and left him, she ran into trouble in the legal system as his lawyers tried to prove she was lying about the abuse because “it mustn’t have been that bad if u ou stayed on with him for more than 6months, because if it was really as bad you say it was, then you would’ve gotten out immediately”. They made her look like and idiot. So I’m with CL on this – get out, sort out the finances. This should be the the top priority to protect yours and your children’s future.

        • PS – she’s still having trouble with this asshole

        • And also if you sleep (i.e. Have sex) with them after you have discovered the adultery I think that means you can no longer file on those grounds. So the very real ‘hysterical bonding’ that happens in some shape or form to all of us is not recognised as the reaction to emotional trauma that it is.
          You get blindsided, go into shock, maybe suffer the additional trauma and humiliation of hysterical bonding, try to figure out what the hell just happened to your life and the legal system compounds your suffering.
          It’s a man’s world out there in so many ways (except for male chumps also who get just as screwed over, especially as the disordered wives often get full custody regardless of what huge fuckwits they are.

          • You can still file adultery if after you sleep with them they cheat again. One thing to be careful about in some grounds states is that prior to your divorce being final, anyone- especially anyone of the opposite sex- that you spend time with can serve as a target for adultery charges against you by their lawyer. If you have a dating relationship during separation it can even nullify your adultery charges. So if you are using fault grounds for your divorce (like I did and with great success for a strong settlement) be super careful.

          • Yes, sadly it’s a man’s world out there, I’m appalled at the injustice of our family courts.
            Shockingly women judges are harder on women than male judges. I believe there should be mandatory family psychology classes, including narcissistic and sociopathic personality disorders, domestic abuse, parental alienation and socio economic classes with emphasis on uneducated women returning to the work force. Education, Have the judge spend a day working a menial jobs for an obnoxious demanding boss fro minimum wage after devoting your life to a pig. After taking the core classes, yearly refresher courses required. I’d like to see an authority figure monitor their performance and judgements in the court. Someone other than their BF or someone in their circle of friends. Foolishly I thought honesty would prevail.

            • Classes for judges, wasn’t sure if I was clear on my post. I was typing fast and furious. =)

      • The other thing is that it sets you up to be a doormat and lose every last shred of respect – self and others.

      • In the US and my no fault state of Florida, infidelity is only considered with spousal support etc. everything is 50/50 with that. Sickening to think someone can run up your credit cards, dismiss you and discard you after 20 years and you have to give them half. Yuck!

    • During our first day of MC the counselor was talking about marriage happiness levels on a 1-10 scale and saying that marriages in the 6-7 range don’t cheat, those in the 2-3 range do. STBX thought that meant that he was justified in cheating because our marriage was a 2. The counselor wasn’t intending to condone it, just explain that we had some work to do to get the marriage back to a 6-7 and that it would require work from both of us to get it there.

    • Thanks for reminding me about ‘wait six months’ . Why is the beauty and power of chump anger get so maligned?

    • I heard the wait 6 months to a year before I make a decision to leave my X.

      • I’d say wait 6 months as a separated person, post-nup in hand, to see if the cheater has any remorse…clock ticking…

        • While LAJ has, perhaps, the more compassionate response, my advice would be to divorce their sorry ass immediately. Who cares if they have remorse? They can’t unscrew their affair partner, there is NO way to compensate for the weeks/months/years of deceit and disrespect. Game over.

          • Oh how I wish I had waited “6 months as a separated person, post-nup in hand, to see if the cheater has any remorse…clock ticking…” the self-esteem I would have as a major BadAss!!

    • I am currently dealing with the emotional fall out of this advice. My therapist and every book I read said, “six months to a year” and added on the layer of since we had kids, it really should be a year before I made a decision. Everything in me was screaming this was a bad idea, but I went with it anyway.

      We are about four weeks from the year mark from d-day and I realize it is a cluster f**k now. Especially since the advice is to “work on your marriage” while you wait. So, instead of a clean sweep when it was all on the table, there has been eleven months of wreckoncillition. The problem is, he is still trying to prove he is a ‘unicorn’ and doing a some (not all) of the things that I have requested. However, – I realize that I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life married to someone who was stupid and juvenile enough to get addicted to porn in the first place. Why do I want to be with someone that was putting out dating profile on hook up websites so he could try out some of the freaky shit he was jacking off to? Eleven months later I realize if we stay together – he gets the ‘prize’ of having a faithful wife that stuck with him through his worst, while I get the ‘prize’ of a guy who promises not to go to any more massage parlors for blow jobs or spend his nights doing cam-to-cam jack off sessions with porn whores.

      My kids could have been on their way to finding their normal by now. And plus, he gets to push the ‘reformed’ story. I actually believe he hasn’t jacked off to porn since d-day (polygraph test confirmed and no evidence since). So, he gets to push forth the story that he is a ‘new man’ and did everything I asked (even though not everything has been done) and I look like an unforgiving prick. At d-day, he was still lying. I could have nailed his ass big time. I could have kicked his ass out and been good. Now, kicking him out will completely confuse the children, because my husband has realized he actually likes being a dad instead of what he was doing the past five years – jacking off to porn instead of tucking them in at night. He is finally paying attention to them, consistently helping with homework, consistently taking them to activities. They finally got the dad they wanted and kicking him out now makes me the bad guy.

      So far, the only thing I have been able to do that gives me any semblance of power was kicking him out of the bedroom and making him move to a spare bedroom. Now, I am just waiting for him to screw up. Nice life, right.

      So – PLEASE IGNORE THE SIX MONTHS RULE! Yes, I am yelling, because I am living proof that rule is absolutely damaging to the chump. Yup, my “Prince Charming” is a ‘recovered’ porn addict. Yay me.

      • Cool Breeze, you are so right on. I didn’t get myself into the whole 6-month rule or RIC bullshit, but I’m sure I would have been on my way (closest I got was reading a book about narcs, that STBX had originally purchased to read regarding his father). However, I imposed a “try and work it out” path on myself and was about 4 months or so in when I finally had it. The prize analogy is perfect – you spend all of this stress and effort on being the rock and they get to reap the benefits while all you get is the stress of “relying” on someone who’s unreliable, no matter what they say or promise. Really, some prize! I could pull my hair out thinking about that old agage of “Fool me once!” Easy to say when you’re not married/attached to the lunkhead, I suppose. I was still smoking that hopium for a little while. I guess the rule should be don’t ignore your gut.

        • Oh, and I could go on about the “reformed man” bullshit. Yeah, sure, let’s put the past in the past. Easy for them to say!

        • I was told to wait a year to file by mc and first lawyer. After 6 months I was mentally done but kept trying to hold out. I finally interviewed other lawyers who after hearing my story said you neeed to file yesterday no matter who you hire.

          The only thing I can say is I have collected a truckload of evidence in the last 10 months.

          Today’s jaw dropping moment: my p.i. calls me this morning to let me know he searched the DMV records and found the records for stbx’s new Harley. He put a vanity tag on it “DEADBT”. I kid you not!

          He did tell me awhile back he is a habitual truth teller. I guess he is trying.

  • Luckily, I came across your website within days. So your book was the first. Followed by Paul McKenna ‘i an mend your broken heart’. So thankyou for everything. No contact 6 weeks tomorrow and feeling stronger every day. I still have my moments of sadness and despair, but they are dampening over time xx

    • I swear finding Chump Lady early on (within hours for me) is the best any chump can hope for. It doesn’t stop the sadness or the anger or the process you have to go through but it does take the mindfuck off the table. Best of luck @Yellowsunshine and way to embrace No Contact, the path to the truth and the light! Things will pop into your mind over time, realizations, questions and just plainWTF. Keep coming back here to work it out. I swear reading the posts from today will make you so angry you will want to hurt people. Few things make me madder than the BS of the RIC and what they have done to the kind , trusting, wonderful souls of Chump Nation.

      • Oh yes I agree- the sadness and anger can be overwhelming, but stepping back from the mindfuck, I believe everything else follows suit. Alloutofkibble, thankyou for replying to my comment. I keep coming back because I find you all so inspirational. It’s so nice to know you are not alone, and that you are not a fool for believing in committed love xxx

        • Yellowsunshine–you’re still in the thick of things. The first 4 months are the worst; 10 minutes of self care every day (even a cup of tea outside). Some days you’ll be able to put one foot in front of the other; some days staying upright is the best that can be expected. Eventually you will see those rays of sunshine. Hugs.

          • Agreed – first 4 months are the worst. I had no appetite and actually FORGOT to eat most days: No hunger pangs at all. Lost about 7kgs in that time. Constant splitting headaches and waking at 3am nightly to my brain working overtime and rehashing events of the day. But trust us when we say – THIS TOO SHALL PASS. I didn’t think it would. When you’re in the thick of it, you just cannot imagine how you will go on. But you can. And you will. All you need is time, and some really kickass people in your corner supporting you. Hang in there. And keep up the cups of tea! (((Hugs)))

            • I would pace … talking out loud to myself, thinking, rehashing … crying, trying to figure it all out, scared. He hadn’t left me when I was down … he left when I had started to make a concerted effort to revive our relationship. He left me when he knew I was caring about him, and showing him I loved him. That really hurt.

              I did this for almost a year. One day I paced for 12 hours, in my own house, just thinking and crying, 12 hours … I’m self-employed … I work from home … that was a lot of money I didn’t make that day, and all the other days … I hadn’t eaten all day … I lost 12 pounds over a few months. Three years later, none of that helped me because I am now scrambling to make money for a lawyer, and for a few therapist appointments for her to remind me he’s NPD. (They’re both really good about paying when I can, and the lawyer waived the retainer.) I held out that he was in a fog and would come back to me.

              So if anyone’s doing that now, try to limit it … set a timer and when the bell goes off, get back to getting your ducks in a row. All that pacing didn’t bring him back (however, I’m glad I lost that weight!)

              Oh, and I spent $50 on an online how to save your marriage book … ex said, “Well, at least I’m worth THAT much.” He was right … he is worth about that much.

          • I don’t know how long ‘the worst’ period was. But for me it was a lot longer than four months. I think having a real live unicorn (hmmm, bear with me here …) made/makes recovery a bit more difficult. To leave one of those makes you (after all, you are a chump) feel terribly callous.

            I lost 15kg in the first 5 weeks. 18 in 2 months. I really only had 6 or 7 to spare. The grief was (still is) almost intolerable. Every arsehole who suggested there might be AP grief, I mentally punched in the throat. I was horrified I stayed, having NEVER thought I would stay with a cheater. Can remember that initial thought, “WTF? You’re contemplating STAYING with this arsehole? Hmmm.”

            Here it is no fault and a two year separation period to divorce. We never married, so that doesn’t apply, but owning a business which is also our home (read difficulties in selling and splitting assets) makes getting any capital out to start over an extra challenge. And I thought not marrying (him, or anyone) was a super idea when I was 20, 30, 40. If you decided you no longer wanted to be together, tah-dah! Walk away amicably. And I thought we were so evolved! Snort!

          • You’re right about the 4 months out. That’s where I am post-divorce. God, there were days I didn’t know how I was going to get past the pain & rejection! Some days are still hard, but not like they were. Life is getting better & better. With a trip to the Dominican Republic on the books for the end of May & an all-girls’ trip to the Cancun booked for September, I am finally getting to travel like I’ve always wanted to…I don’t have anybody around to tell me I can’t 🙂

      • All out of Kibble – AGREED! I also happened upon CL on the first night of internet searching for “cheating husband”. I kept getting all the RIC sites and I was just furious!! None of that sh*t resonated with me. In a raging fury I then searched for either “cheating bastard” or “cheating asshole” (I can’t remember which one it was), and through a series or clicks landed on CL blog. I am forever grateful I found her on the first night. It’s the very best start any of us chumps can hope for. The much needed headstart into dealing with all the crap that goes hand-in-hand with infidelity and the breakdown of a family due to one idiot’s actions. Tracy is the Fairy Chumpmother ✨

        I’ve worked out my situation now (I got custody, he got a lonely life overseas with no family support) but I still visit this blog almost daily for inspiration and my daily fix of CL snark ?

    • I did find chumplady early on, but was so blinded by my own will to “save the marriage” that I ignored it, and thought, that’s only for people who aren’t successful at reconciliation!! Uggggh the stupidity. I devoured books on how to save my marriage. I tried so hard to follow all the advice – give him space, give him time, don’t bring it up all the time, don’t make him feel any uncomfortable feelings around you, you don’t get someone to fall back in love with you by harping on the things they have done wrong… focus on yourself, make yourself more attractive and when he’s really afraid of losing you he will recommit. What a huge, steaming, putrid load of shit. WHY THE FUCK IS IT ON ME TO TOE THE LINE AND BE THE PERFECT, ATTRACTIVE PARTNER, WHEN HE JUST FUCKING PUSHED ME ONTO AN EMOTIONAL FREEWAY?? Seriously, like asking a person who has been hit by a fucking 18 wheeler to look cute and smile. I took it so personally that I was unable to do it. If only I understood male psyche better! If only I was better at being a woman! If only I wasn’t such an ice queen, this never would have happened! If only my parents hadn’t had such a fucked up relationship, maybe I would have been whole and wouldn’t have lost him! Maybe if I had vacuumed more!

      I came back to Chumplady after my moment of clarity when I realized what a disgusting human he really was. It was life saving, or at least sanity saving. OMFG, it wasn’t my fault. These cheaters are all the fucking same. There is always something wrong that allows them to do it, always an excuse, whether it’s the lackluster vacuuming or something else. Chumplady and everyone here taught me that I’m not a failure because I couldn’t save it, I am strong and mighty for walking away 🙂

      • Yes! You are strong and mighty!
        They are weak, empty and cowardly. The biggest cowards. We are not cowards as evidenced by our fight to hold on, and then by our fight when we see the truth and fight for ourselves. All they have is game playing and deception to rely on. They are subhuman. To survive that – you are mighty!!


        Yes, THIS! Sing it girl! It’s been almost a year since dday for me, and this brings it all home so perfectly. You are strong, you are mighty, and you can roar!

  • I wish I could say I got a lot of advice to dance harder. It wasn’t for lack of trying on my part. I read and posted at the talk about marriage forums after dday 1 and got advice there to “kick the bitch out”. Wish I was ready to hear and act on that advice at the time. Then I participated in a free group Counceling phone call from another RIC (can’t remember now) but got basically the same message there. Maybe it’s because there were folks there that weren’t really pushing the RIC agenda. Always still wished I’d found chump lady sooner though.

    • Me too. I didn’t find CL until 4 months after the first Dday. By then I was completely down the rabbit hole of RIC theories. Maybe that’s why it took me another 8 months to file? I wish I’d known the minute I found out what I was really dealing with and kicked his sorry ass to the curb and lawyered up. There was nothing to work with. Nothing. The abuse that occurred in the false wreconciliation nearly destroyed me. X started physically abusing me during that period, physically abused our kids, mentally pushed me almost to the point of self destruction, my kids became suicidal, got arrested. . . it was a COMPLETE disaster of epic proportions. If I’d kicked him out, gone NC, and lawyered up and found a counselor for me and the kids from Dday 1 we would have been spared almost all of that mindfuckery and abuse.

  • Ha. No titles saved in memory or in receipts…
    I did spend hours upon hours at willing bookstores, though, just finding time with company and away from my empty “home”.
    Days and evenings sitting in bookstore windows with a super mega ultimate grande chamomile tea (lol) became my savior for several weeks directly following discovery day for me.
    Ugh.. Horrid times.
    Thank you, random bookstores!!! Saved my life. Also, thanks CL for reminding me of that time of life. It’s almost 3yrs later for me now and MY GOD the difference of life.. I would never have said that I could feel ok again. I feel HAPPY and ALIVE. Not just “ok”.

    Thanks all of CN and especially CL. I’m all good again, mostly b’c of you all!

    Sending my best wishes to the unfortunate new members here. My best love and strength to you. You WILL get thru this.

    • “Thanks all of CN and especially CL. I’m all good again, mostly b’c of you all!” – This.

      In my darkest moments I remember telling myself “I can’t go on with this shit” and had almost considered giving up (In every sense). I thought it was me, there must be something wrong with me, have I got mental issues…

      Then I googled empathy and cheating one day and found my answers when I was directed to Tracy’s site, literally a life saver.

      • I also was convinced that I had mental issues beyond my x’s crap. Turns out, I am simply a fine and good human. Nothing more or less.

        • I had the unfortunate experience of going to “counseling” led by the Episcopalian priest who married us. I suspect that he himself was wayward because his advice to my exH was that he should stay in touch with one of his affair partners (HS girlfriend who lived across the country and was planning to visit) because he “needed closure.” I then had full blown anxiety attack, my first – hyperventilating, the works – because I realized I was dead in the water and I was so mindfucked by that point I wondered if maybe he was right. Ugh what a waste. I really thought I should try to save it, but by the end I had overdosed on Zanex and vodka and ended up being Baker acted because I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t either kill my self or the other affair partner (a Supreme Court judge who had pushed him into law and with whom he had been carrying on, I suspect, even before our engagement and marriage). So so glad all of that is in my rear view mirror!

          • I’m so, so sorry for that awful counseling from your pastor. My Catholic priest was so frustrated with me when I went in to ask forgiveness for finally going through with divorce. When I told him what all I had been putting up with for years, he said, “You?!! What about him?!!! I think in this case God would understand!” I never received reconciliation. I guess he felt I had nothing for which to be forgiven. I’m sorry you didn’t have a supporting pastor.

          • I’m so sorry that you were driven to the brink of insanity, Cliffs. That is horrifying.

            • Thank you for that, Tempest. I know all of you guys totally understand the “howling horrors” that come after D-Day. Grateful, too, for this safe space to read and discuss and heal. Xoxo

          • and frankly, most of us could have been Baker acted after D-day. I’d estimate that 1/2 of my calories came from gin, just to reduce my anxiety enough to function.

        • I wondered about myself and there have been times I’ve thought I can’t do this anymore.
          From all the unbelievable lies and false accusations, not knowing who or what to believe.
          Trying to do the “right” thing and being taking advantage of.
          Feeling guilty and not knowing why, blaming myself for things that were clearly not my fault. Thank you CN for opening my eyes to the truth.

          • X told me so many times I had mental issues I began to believe him.
            Once I suggested we go to marriage counseling he said sure, he knew what the counselor would say that I was crazy and ask X why he hasn’t divorced me.
            X claimed to be concerned about my mental health and for me not to be surprised if the counselors suggested I get serious help and possibly be put away.
            I actually wondered if what he said was true. Scary, I trusted that monster and he knew what he was doing to me.
            Thank you CN for saving my sanity.

            • My stbx cheater keeps pulling the you are mentally ill card too. It is hard not to question myself but then I think what kind of normal person abandons his children to the complete care of someone who is mentally ill? Freak!

              • They’re psycho, X would say, in a calm tone of voice, “I’m seriously concerned about your mental well being..,” then look at me, without blinking, for what seemed like minutes.
                I thought the same thing, who would leave their children with someone with mental issues? or what kind of person would leave their wife if she was mentally ill? then slander her name to everyone?
                They’re delusional and need to be more concerned about their own mental health issues.

      • Same here. I thought there was something wrong with me. Was told constantly that I had self-esteem issues because I was uncomfortable with him having female “friends.” Read dozens of books to fix my issues. Turns out, my gut was right. Found Tracy’s article on Huffington Post, came here and read all the stories. Suddenly everything made sense. Learned all about NPD and the rest is history. That was 3 yrs ago and my life is amazing now.

        • Yep I felt the same way. I tried to be “evolved” and cool, all accepting and not threatened by the females in his orbit. I was very, very disconnected from my truth and my feelings. Hence I did not honor them until it was too late

        • Tried being the “cool” wife, lost myself in the process of being the understanding cool wife.
          My feelings didn’t matter, it was all about X and his happiness.

    • I’ll echo UnderConstruction and provide a beacon of hope: Its been 28 months since Dday1, 2 years since I kicked X to the curb, 16 months since I filed, 3 weeks since our divorce was finalized. I’m light years happier than I have been in decades. I feel a new freedom that is hard to describe. I have a lightness of spirit. The moments of sadness are just that – moments. I spend far more time thinking about how great my life is today and how excited I am for the future than I do about X, the golddigging whore, and what happened.

      Life is definitely good and worth living.

      Hang in there if you are in the dark days. They will pass.


  • I didn’t buy any RIC material. Cheating was a deal breaker for me and something inside just told me that I deserve better than someone who will lie and cheat to me. I left her, had a new apartment ready and furnished within 4 weeks, divorce papers severed a month later, served the same day her AP was killed in a plane crash. OUCH!

    I did relapse into full chump mode for about a year after that though, not doing the pick me dance but more playing along to her ‘we need to be friends for the kids’ etc…then one day that something inside me told me “WTF are you doing?” Which funny enough coincided with buying Tracy’s book, so I lawyered up, cracking on with the divorce process, going grey rock and met a wonderful fellow chump lady.

  • Fire proof your marriage – what a joke – basically pick me dancing constantly – so they won’t cheat – very one sided- if you’re reading that it’s already too late !

    • Yea – this. Cheatproof your marriage… is just another way to pass the blame back on the chump. Fuck that.

  • After DD1 I started getting references to the CL site from Reddit. It wasn’t too much later that I perished this site and then the forums.

    The only book I bought was Tracy’s and it has been a great hel and resource.

    However the cheater…seems they all buy the same book. Strange isn’t it?

      • “It’s just my mom I’ve been texting for hours,” and 101 other excuses for cheaters with smart phone.

    • Awww. You guys are really making me feel like CN is making a difference out there. Yea!!!

      Because when I went through this shit a decade ago? The RIC was all there was.

      • “You guys are really making me feel like CN is making a difference out there.”

        I’m just one person (of legions), but I can attest to the fact that this site with its cut-to-the-chase wisdom and caring participants have — literally — kept me and my kids safe while trying to get away from one of the disordered wingnuts.

        How do you thank someone for giving you the tools you need to protect yourself and your kids? … Please know my gratitude is as genuine as it is deep. I will never forget the gift you’ve all given to me and my girls.

        • (((Hugs))) Thanks. That’s why I keep this place going. 🙂 Couldn’t do it without CN. I run the bar, but it’s the company here that keeps people coming back.

          • Tracy, your site save my life, literally.
            And I appreciate a little more each day what you have offered all of us here. I believe the trust you have placed in chumps is key. You allow us so much freedom on this site, so we can vent, be potty-mouthed, and honest with each other. You have created a special space where we can truly support each other and I believe that collectively we are bringing out the best in each other.
            Thank you!

          • Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.

            The wisdom, compassion, advice, humor, and intelligence of the people here are the silver lining in the black cloud of betrayal.

            Thank you very much, Tracy.

            • I second, third, fourth, a billion thank you’s for this site! Wish I would’ve found it sooner. Once I did, I finally realized and believed it really was never me!!! Yippee! I’m keeping my therapist in business, but damn! This is the absolute friggin best healing site known to all chumps!

              Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

          • Tracy,

            In the early days of my satan induced insanity, if it weren’t for you…I’m not sure if I would even be here. I was without hope.

            …together 36 years…x begins meowing at me and physically abusing me…only to return to ‘normal’ when others would come around…resuming the mind bending behaviors when the door would close behind them…

            Awful, just awful, the things he did, the way he behaved!

            …you posted one of x’s abusive texts and you and CN took it apart…you all held the rope and helped me climb out of the abyss of darkness I had been cowering in for months…

            My gratitude knows no bounds. Living my life free of x abuse, anxiety free!

            Eternal thanks to you and all of CN 🙂

          • My story isn’t nearly as horrible as many on here. My cheater was a long term boyfriend, standard issue narc, not where near Glad its Over level crazy. I’ve honestly been over him for many years now, but I stick around because I feel like the advice here is really great life advice in general. Is this relationship acceptable to you? Get angry, and don’t eat that shit sandwich. These are all really good usable pieces of advice in *all* relationships.

            And, lets face it, I am a chump born and raised. This doesn’t confine itself to me allowing myself to be treated like shit in my romantic relationship. I let friends and coworkers do it as well. Heck, I actually *expect* to be treated like this. Daily reminders that this is NOT ok, really help me stay un-chumped. Tracy, I know your brand is based on infidelity advice, but I wish you would think about making your next book about un-chumping your life. Perhaps targeted at women who grew up in homes with infidelity, watching their parent get chumped and learning that this is what relationships are like, as I did. It has helped me immensely, and I think it deserves to be spread more widely.

            Thanks for everything you do.

        • I second this. CL and Tempest and everyone who posts have saved me from such misery. No way to thank someone enough for giving us and our kids a chance at so much true, authentic happiness after such a devastating blow.

          • I couldn’t agree more! I couldn’t do this without CL and CN. I wouldn’t want to! I spend all my free time on this site. Helps me more than anything else. Thank you thank you thank you Tracy and CN!

            • When I first separated, I didn’t know about CL and for two years really floundered. Then, had the sudden realization that I never wanted to talk to my then husband any more. Every time we spoke he would brag about his affairs and I would cry for hours after. So, I went NC and knew it was the right thing. But, at the same time, I was told by a couple of friends that I should “forgive” him for all he had done. So, I was a guilty person, doing NC. Then I discovered CL and felt supported in the decision I made. The guilt went away. It was still another couple of years before I reached “meh”, but I think I might have faltered without the support of CN. Whenever I think about some of the awful things that he said to me, I repeat over and over, this is his character. It has nothing to do with who I am. And for this, I am thankful.

              • I would hate to think where I would be if not for CL. It’s been 3 years and I still remember finding this site, started reading and felt like a light bulb came on! It all made sense, not like the RIC nonsense I was being fed out there. I could not have gotten to where I am right now if not for CL and CN. I will always be grateful for all the support to get through this. Yeah, tears are welling up right now just thinking how lucky I was to find all of you.

        • Yep. CL and CN saved me from drowning as well.

          Last week I gave Lose a Cheater to a co-worker, who read it in one night and passed it on to a second co-worker the following day. Wishing there were fewer people who needed it, but grateful that I have it to share. I tell people that only TWO books got me through my divorce: my Bible and Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life! 🙂

          However, there were a TROVE of RIC books that I left behind when I moved out. Along with my wedding photo albums. HE can figure out what to do with that $hit. lol

          • There are so many sites I went to before finding C/L in the nick of time and very early on.
            It was definitely a blessing.
            However, is it possibly some of our duty to go back on those sites occasionally and try to update the mindset on the RIC? Now, I think that would be a great way to get the message across. So many helpless chumps that waste their time in the throes of grief, and it’s the RIC sites they find.

      • +1. This site absolutely saved my sanity in the early days and keeps me sane now.

      • CN IS making a huge difference.

        We all are confronted with this United front of people telling us it’s our fault they cheated and something is wrong with us.

        It takes a pretty big opposing message to combat that shit, and CN has it!

        Thanks again from the bottom of my heart!

      • I am still in the thick of things so I really struggle with NC still. Whenever I feel like lashing out and contacting HoTard I come read articles and comments here. Thanks for helping me leave that shit show and move forward with my new future!

      • Seriously! HUGE, silent H – UGE difference. Haha.

        I’m a few years and 2,000 miles away from the cheater, yet I really feel a month or so of reading this site since I found it, has given me an even higher level of understanding of what happened, and even more polished level of “meh.” Amazing community!

      • “You guys are really making me feel like CN is making a difference out there.”

        That is the most understated understatement ever!

        You’re like the AAA of Infidelity Recovery; the Chump defibrillator. When you just can’t get started getting away from/recovering from a Cheater-filled existence, Chump Lady and Chump Nation will charge your battery and shock your heart. It will provide just what you need to get moving and keep moving as far away as possible.

        Saving lives and getting and keeping people on their feet hourly, daily, yearly. Making a difference? That would be a resounding Hell to the Yeah.

      • Yes, thank you! Your avitar was already familiar to me, from the marriage-building RIC forum, when your article on serial cheaters popped up on a google search. You were spot-on in that article, and it helped me tremendously.

        Took me a while to act, but you were one of the five people I’m grateful for, who laid the groundwork for that to happen.

        BTW: On that RIC forum, I used to worry you’d get yourself banned, as you were so often arguing against their message.

      • After DD I felt very alone and isolated, as if no one could understand the pain I was feeling or the experience of betrayal. After I found Chump Lady I became part of a nation and found myself in the best of company.

        THANK YOU!!!!!!!

      • This website and awesome group of people have been so helpful to me.

        Thank you, CL and CAN!

      • This. Took years for me to even think to do an internet search! Did get suckered into a book or three. None made any sense to me, except maybe a couple aimed at cheaters, called things like, “You Fucked Up, You Fucker. Don’t Think You Can Fix This Shit. Broke That Plate? Try Fixing That Without Any Cracks.” Wasn’t buying into ANY shit that blamed me. Hey, rape survivor here! I am ninja level at swiping that narrative to touch.

      • You have no idea what a lifeline you have provided to all of us. I think it’s like finding a good shrink or yoga instructor. Once you find someone you “click” with, it so much easier to put the work in.

        We are a tribe — smart, sarcastic, ethical — all betrayed and abused. Hearing one another’s stories, and how DAMN SIMILAR they are makes me sad but also gives me strength. It’s somewhat freeing to see the truth and accept you’ve been Chumped. Not because you’re naive or stupid or ignorant — because you’re loving and trusting and moral and ethical and you believe you spouse is as well.

        In response to the question of the day, I gasp as I realize I ate a poisoned shit sandwhich early in my marriage, which blinded me for years, no decades, afterwards.

        We took a short vacation when I was particularly stressed at work. He came back to our room upset and shaken. We had been hanging with another couple and he told me he had tried to kiss the woman. He was crying — said he’d had too much to drink and was horrified with himself. I bought it — hook, line and stinker — even consoled him. I told myself this man would never cheat on me. And throughout the years, whenever something felt a bit off, I’d remind myself of the incident and shake off any suspiciousness.

        Now, 20 years in the rear view mirror I realize he was trying to start an affair. The couple lived in our town as it turns out. She shut him down and he was being proactive in the event she said something to me.

        I now know it was gaslighting. He subtlety used preemptive tactics numerous times — all clear in hindsight.

        My daughters therapist mentioned that we all
        try to make sense out of things and when information is lacking, we come to our own conclusions. In my case, I thought he never dealt with his mothers death and made excuses for his behavior — cocaine at the time — and an affair I found out about 10 years later. Of course when I found out, I thought it was the only one. Five years later, I discover that it’s been one after another.

        I was his gravy train for the first half of our marriage and his wife appliance for
        the second half. Good grief. I married him because I thought he was gentle and kind and rock solid. It was the long con.

        So here I am in my mid-50’s — my career is long gone, he’s traumatized my daughter, my Mom’s in hospice and my brother is relying on me for support.

        And, of course, he’s driven by the almighty $$, so he’s fighting me on spousal support. (We live in CA.). I’m being told that 40% is best case — it doesn’t matter that I made 2x his salary until I stopped working to care for
        our daughter. It doesn’t matter that giving up my career allowed his to flourish. My expenses will be greater than his because of health care and housing, yet 40% is supposed to be equitable. Every time I meet with my lawyer I feel victimized all over again.


        • Giddy, I feel the same each time I talk with my attorney. It’s never ending victimization.
          It does’t seem to make any difference what happened or happens, I lose.

      • Yes!!!! Your site changed everything… I didn’t know anything about the “pick me dance” or “cake eating” but I was doing the dance and my X was eating cake and enjoying the attention from me and AP. No more…. knowledge is power.

        • OMG, Tracy!

          I am beyond grateful for your shepherding. I would not be as confident and happy as I am today (6 years past DD) without your wisdom and generosity.

          THANK YOU for permission to not be bullied into “forgiveness.” THANK YOU for orienting me to the fact that, contrary to what the RIC says, he was actually always an asshole, not just “wayward.” THANK YOU for giving me permission to cement NC and, a couple of time a year via e-mail only, Gray Rock. THANK YOU for the laughs, especially for the cartoons. Ex IS the turd in the punch bowl, and his purty li’l disordered OWife is a turd with sparkles on top. THANK YOU for assembling a legion of moral supporters and 2×4-wielding chump champs! THANK YOU for hosting a daily column with comments and forums. THANK YOU for being a role model!
          You’re one of my most favorite people ever, a great influence in my life, and I will forever be grateful from the bottom of my heart and soul.
          I guess you really have no idea.

  • I don’t have any RIC self help books. No need, I was dumped like toxic waste. I do however have a ton of the “Men are from Mars” type stuff that I bought over 20 years or so in a desperate attempt to understand his behaviour and be a better wife.
    No need for those now either. ?

    • My thoughts exactly – the books that stand out for me are the pre-D-day ones when I thought there was something to repair.

      Not getting along? No problem, just figure out each others’ “Love Languages” and everything will be magically OK, OK? That’ll be $130, please, Ms. Amiisfree…

      • Amiisfree, the sad thing is that some of those Marriage Improvement books really ARE good and helpful — but ONLY if you’re married to a sane, reasonable person. They are NO BENEFIT if you’re married to a disordered narcissist.

        I still have some of those books and they have made my second marriage even better than I ever dreamed — because this man is kind, tenderhearted, empathetic, and he makes an effort (which we can all agree with CL is sexy as hell!). He’s actually eager to read them with me and then he puts the knowledge into practice. <3

        • I agree, good tools are good in the right context for sure. And congrats! I just mean that using a band aid on a paper cut on my left hand while ignoring the spurting artery on my right arm might help the paper cut, but it isn’t ultimately likely to be a problem solver. 🙂

        • OhHellNo,
          Love to read about your happy second marriage. Sometimes the future seems like an unwelcoming thing to me – I’m working on having a little faith in myself and my decisions, a little more faith in the world, and being more optimistic. I find the happy chump stories really inspiring. Thanks for posting!

        • “Amiisfree, the sad thing is that some of those Marriage Improvement books really ARE good and helpful — but ONLY if you’re married to a sane, reasonable person. They are NO BENEFIT if you’re married to a disordered narcissist.”

          So true.

    • Oh, yeah, and those Terry Real books about men and depression… As though I should “just understand” why he won’t communicate openly, simply because of his gender. Puh-leeze.

      • Shocked to learn that Terence Real has collaborated with Esther Perel/Peril and no longer have any respect for him.

  • You: Doctor, I keep hitting myself in the head with this rock and it hurts!
    Dr: Well, just keep it up for six months and see how you feel
    You: CL, the doctor told me to keep hitting myself in the head with this rock for the next six months
    CL: Stop it right now!
    You: Wow! My head doesn’t hurt as bad.
    CL: It will,feel even better after awhile, and by the way, give me that damn rock.

  • I too got the “waiting” advice and the “boys will be boys” crap. I also got silent looks of pity. Ugh! Thank God for my friend who told me to dump him asap.

    • OMG I had never heard of this, QueenMother.

      Wow, as if we want to have to *parent* our PARTNER for the rest of our lives, constantly drawing boundaries and doling out consequences for every infraction.

      Being the Marriage Police is NO FUN. No thanks!

      And by the way, the website doesn’t share the cure. But you can buy the book for just $21.95. I’d rather spend that money on dinner, thanks.

      • Marriage police. Yep, did that too. Spying, hacking into accounts, checking phone records, reading emails. I even called a PI but didn’t go through with it. Fortunately I had the courage (but with hands shaking) one morning to just open his phone when he was in the shower. Told me all I needed to know.

  • “Don’t dwell on the affair, don’t be ugly, don’t be angry. Make the marriage an attractive place to be.”

    Because you fix injuries by pretending they feel good?

    As miserable as I was after D-day 1, I’m sure in many ways I found the marriage even less attractive than my cheating wife did. This advice was basically advising me to save my marriage by fighting her dishonesty with dishonesty my own. #sickshit

    • A high school classmate was chumped by her husband (his now third wife is twenty-five years younger). They divorced and I thought she was doing well,dating a younger man. She blogged about ordering Helen Andelin’s book “Fascinating Womanhood”. Andelin wrote about the subject of female enchantment in response to Friedan’s “Feminine Mystique” . I’m praying that my friend is being ironic-time to send her a copy of Tracy’s book.

  • Cheater’s sister told me she was going to mail me her favorite book, which would help me understand him better – “The Drama of the Gifted Child.” You see, Cheater was such a special snowflake, his entire life since he was a wittle snowfwake, Mommy’s favorite she said – – that I had failed to properly take care of, thus explaining his cheating. Enabler much? She also told me she’d send me a book that would help me, something about “women and aging.” She, like some switzerland friends, assumed that Cheater had cheated with a younger woman I guess (not so). She never sent me either book, in fact, within days she stopped taking my calls. That was 3.5 years ago and his entire family (including his brother who told me to wait a year before doing anything but was embracing OW two months later as the new me) never spoke to me again after my 16 years with the Cheater, umpteen family get togethers with my kids and theirs, etc., they all embraced OW as the new Savior of their poor wittle neglected “gifted” douchebag.

    • Yep. The same thing happened to me. I was tossed out like stinky trash and treated as if I had leprosy by all his family. After finally realizing that I wasn’t the problem and divorcing his butt, it was so, so hurtful to be shunned and made me doubt myself even more. 2 years later I realize that his whole family is F-d up and they ALL did me a favor to discard me. I finally live in peace!!

    • Hell’s Bells!!! My Cheater’s Sister, a grown woman who works in a bank, texted me within seconds of a smack down email I had sent Cheater telling him he was a disordered, lying scum bag.

      This is a 50 some year old woman: “If you don’t have anything nice to say to my brother, then please don’t say anything at all.”

      Red waves of fury made me almost dizzy. I had been schooled on this site and I zinged back, to her BANK email address… breathing with dragon fire, my hands shaking-

      all of the disgusting things her dear baby bird brother, the innocent lamb who: drinks to unconsciousness, refused to work, goes to Swinger’s parties in the back of an adult book store and has just gotten his first felony has done. In nice black and white, memorialized forever on her work servers. I then said:

      You are as disordered as he is. NEVER contact me again.

      Her words felt as abusive as his actions. And, the poor baby bird, getting his big sister to fight his battles. Cowardly much?

    • Lol. Yeah, it’s clearly because he’s “gifted.”

      Speaking as a “gifted” chump who was cheated on by a junior college dropout of fairly average gifts, (and with an OW who can’t even spell “definitely,”) I fail to see the correlation.

      • Why is it so pleasing when the OW can’t spell?

        I found that a saving grace too.

        I guess because my narc, like so many, had a rather high IQ, yet his OW at the time I found out was a 19 year old HS dropout who couldn’t spell nor hold down a job.

        It was sort of hilarious looking back now.

        My new love drives a forklift for a living. He’s worth 800 of the narc, and would never cheat.

        Just saying. My new love is by no means stupid. But the narc was apparently “so intelligent” that it caused him to be a real ass.

        • True; I was buoyed by the fact that my X’s main AP took 4 years more to finish her advanced degree than average, and has much lower scores than me on Rate-my-prof. We take our “ha!” moments where we can.

          • Hahaha! I just had my first one last week! My daughter came home and reported that she didn’t like OW’s bolognese sauce. So sad but I smirked inside my head after I heard that one:)

          • The whore bought her first smartphone November 2015 (and the Traitor HAD to buy one then too… after years of saying they would give you finger cancer!). She’d had a cell phone for years but claimed she didn’t know how to use it. Anyway, her son told me she was taking classes to learn how to use a smartphone. :-))

        • I know, right?! I speak two languages, am working on a third, have three degrees and a great career. (Making 75-80% of our combined income the last few years.) I owned the house before we were married.

          The OW works at a pet store and lives with three roommates. Four now that Shithead moved in. Woo, what a prize.

        • In my case I am the one who can’t spell (although I am constantly improving). I don’t know if Schmoopie can spell or not but evidently she has good grammar. She corrects his grammar and apparently he gets off on that “because I can learn so much from her”.

          I am good at math and engineering problem solving but I guess that doesn’t count for much.

          • That’s why we have spellcheck. I think the point is that when we get chumped, we figure the AP must be special and gorgeous and smart, and then it turns out that they’re…..not.

        • Dances with Meh – ” and would never cheat.”

          I’m very happy for you with your new friend,
          However, and not to poke you much, but that’s the exact thing I said about the X for 34 years..

          just sayin’

        • Oh, the spelling! One thing that really helped me was noticing MOW’s use of “Z” as a plural: dayzzz, dreamzzz, and adding letters: haaappppyyy birthdaaayyyy, partayyyyy.

          Seriously, five minutes of that and I would be out the door.

      • I know, right?

        Both our kids are highly gifted, for which CheaterEx ALWAYS took sole credit, despite being a community college drop-out working in retail. Me? I’m just an intellectual slouch with a Master’s degree who earns twice as much as him.

        I went to school (K-12) with OWife, so I know she’s not very bright. This makes me giggle.

    • His family usually drinks the cool-aid that the cheating narcissistic abuser offers them.

  • As is sensed KK really going off the rails, I proposed the two of us go out one night for a drink. Attempts at talking things out quickly evolved into an argument when she suddenly began a comment with: “Marriage is nothing more than a societal construct….”

    I stopped her right there and said, “Don’t give me that. That’s not you talking. What the fuck have you been reading…?”

    I never did get her to reveal the source, but I suspect there’s a lot out there along the same line. (I never went so far as to invest any effort on RIC — she gave me all I needed to prove it was a hopeless cause.)

    • Unreal. The AP (who was my friend) told me that she thought “monogamy was unnatural.” at a GNO. And that she wasn’t sleeping with her H, but “waxing hurts like a mutherfucker.”



      • My ex told me after he we got engaged that he was “afraid he couldn’t stay faithful to me.” Why O why didn’t I run away like I was in a Monty Python movie?? Still feel stupid for trying to convince him I was worth it ?

    • ““Marriage is nothing more than a societal construct….””

      Like driving on the right side of the road. And taxes. And recommended behavior during fire drills. Wearing clothes. Look what happens when you violate those.

      • Marriage is a regular occurrence in nature. Termites and squirrels, for example, are both creatures that mate for life. If this is an arrangement that animals and insects can make, then why is it so hard for some humans?

        • some humans are lower on the phylogenetic scale than termites, I guess.

        • Cheaters use the bonobos as the example of how “unnatural” monogamy is. I say “Then go swing in your jungle/on your jungle gym !”

    • Well sure, marriage IS a societal construct, but it’s one that the cheater agreed to.

    • Marriage is a social construct. And in the culture we live in, the default of that construct is monogamy. That’s written into the vows. I’ve never been to a wedding where the vows were, “forsaking all others until you meet someone who offers you ego kibbles or you get bored with reponsibility.”

      Actually embracing the idea of “marriage as a social construct” can help chumps because the RIC, various religious groups, and the chump’s social circle encourage saving the marriage at the cost of a chump’s mental, physical, and emotional health (and other important things like self-respect). It’s just when the KK types drag out “marriage is a social construct,” that’s CheaterSpeak for “I’m not going to keep my vows.” Whatever they say, just turn it around because they are quite Orwellian in their use of language.

  • The Love Dare, Power of a Praying Wife, The 5 Languages of Love….
    I was a Jesus Chump. The Love Dare and the movie Fireproof make me want to hurl now. Infact the whole church thing does because they crammed it down my throat to “forgive” my cheater. Why? He hadn’t asked to be forgiven….and I’m not God…I don’t just snapped my fingers and vanish it away.
    I recently had to sit across a hospital bed from my Ex. Our daughter collapsed while I was moving out of the marital house. Mind you he moved his girlfriend and her kids in 3 years ago…..
    The Incredible Mr. LIMP Dick had the gull to say “We serve a loving and forgiving God” I said ” you haven’t asked me to forgive you….and that’s part of package…go to the person you caused hurt” His LIMP reply ” It’s not in your nature to forgive”. I said….go ahead and ask me….you never know!!
    He didnt….
    Because he isn’t sorry. Not one bit.
    I have a whole new view on God, the Church…. and it doesn’t just get wiped away because you say your sorry. If that’s the MO of God…then I ain’t buying. Jesus Cheaters are the worst.

    • One of the particular cruelties of using religion to justify cruel behaviors and/or a lack of consequences for cruel behavior is that it harms others spiritually. So many people hide behind religious language as a way of making space to continue their dysfunctions. It’s really sick, actually.

      I sympathize and send you peaceful juju. I am so sorry they did that to you. It’s the worst.

      • Jesus cheaters absolutely suck, and suck absolutely. The X is a pastor’s son. He’s the face of wholesome winsomeness. Since the kids and I moved out, X has been going to his parents’ church every Sunday to hear his father preach. Why doesn’t he go to his old church, the one our family used to go to? “Too many questions.” Therapists have been flummoxed by the sheer bloodymindedness of his mindfuckery, the layers upon layers of withholding, deception, manipulation, and abuse. Only my latest therapist knew what to make of him, let alone what to tell me. (She’d be shocked if he isn’t rabidly misogynist.) It makes me feel a bit less stupid to know that his mindfuckery puzzles even trained therapists. Talk about a wolf in sheep’s clothing!

    • If you have the time and the inclination, read Raven written by journalist Tim Reiterman. It is about Jim Jone, his life, marriage and what happened at Jonestown.

      But what it really is about is sociopaths using God and religion to manipulate victims. This book helped me grasp that there are evil people in the world right now. They are not a fictional construct or dead in the history books. They can make you laugh, and they make give you a great orgasm- they might have charisma and they might know how to make money….but they are sinister and scary. They use God and spiritual blather to hide their wickedness.

      Also, if you are in the early stages of No Contact, this book will grab you by the lapels and not let go!

      (I saw where yellowsunshine was on Week 6…..this is a great success. You are going to baby step your way right out of hell)

    • Ah, the Five Languages of Love….Read that one and tried to figure out which one he was as it was roulette wheel. He was like “are you reading that you should be doing this?….for example, being appreciative of “everything”. Then got PISSED when I thanked him for taking out the trash…Then the Five Languages of Apology. Boy, did that one piss him off as well as I was trying to figure out how to apologize for all of the times that I didn’t apologize correctly (so he could hold a grudge, but never mentioned it) until the switch was flipped from how I was the problem and while he loved me he needed some space to come home happy. His idea of that was going from our nice home to a grungy apartment “close to Lover’s (just 5 blocks away)” (aka slutshack) where he proceeded to purchase an 1980’s oak headboard and a used mattress for his hot nights with “Ankles” aka Whack-a-Whore.

      Those books went into the trash….What a waste of mental space.

      • Don’t forget Dr. Laura’s books telling women that they cause all the problems in their lives !

        • Dr Laura and her fucked up thoughts on adultery.
          YOU were the bad wife for not treating your husband like a king when he walked in the door.
          Your fault. Your fault. Your fault!
          I feel sorry for some of the women that call in and give the marriage another go.
          Pathetic advice.

          I wrote her to tell her that one time. Bitch has no answer.

  • Ah, the Amazon-thumping days. Don’t miss that at all. Being a typical bookworm, I really thought the solutions would be found somewhere in the those pages of hard-earned wisdom …. (facepalm!).

    My memory is a bit clouded by all of the extra bullshit asshat dumped on me during those days and after, but I believe I read four or five RIC books. And it was all pointless because, along with his bullshit, was the fact that he refused to pick the books up himself.

    I do have a “gem” along the RIC lines, though — from my dad. More than a decade before the full implosion, I was going to divorce asshat for a bunch of reasons, most of them involving his anger issues and infidelity (shocking, right?!). Until … my dad gave me the “you’ll destroy your kids” lecture. The guilt trip worked like a fucking charm. Assholes. All of them.

    • JessMom, the “if you leave him, you’ll ruin your children” mega-tonne guilt bomb kept me stuck for at least a year. One of my most trusted friends dropped that on me. Lots of people at church are walking encyclopedias of RIC poison – especially the people in thriving, healthy marriages who couldn’t begin to understand the level of painful craziness inflicted on us daily. My friend also told me to wait six months before making any decision. She meant well, but she has
      not the slightest clue.

      • Yes, the RIC poison is still pumping through society’s veins. I very much look forward to the day that CL and CN dilutes it to a (at least) simple annoyance.

        I also had a friend who was of this mindset — and it was obviously well intended. About five years later, she discovered her husband was screwing strippers. I supported her when she took their two little ones and left him. It didn’t take her long to come to me with a heartfelt apology for the advice she had given years prior.

        My dad is a different story. He’s a serial cheater … with all of the character disorder that normally comes with it. His motivation was self-serving. He adored that my asshat cheater maintained an image of which he could approve (yeah, sadly, I’m serious). Ironically, it took the full implosion of my marriage and a hardcore Chump education to realize all of this about my dad.

    • I’m a bookworm too and have always liked self-help type books so I went straight to Amazon and started shopping! A few I remember were a book by Terry Real, love languages, and a bunch of crap about saving your marriage from divorce even if your partner doesn’t want to. Wtf was I thinking!!!??? I hate myself for that!

      Wish I would have kicked his ass to the curb after DDay #1. Instead I wasted 2 years dancing away like an idiot. After I finally came to my senses and he was gone, I decided to repaint my bedroom and found all those books. They went straight to the dumpster!!! I wish I’d have found CL sooner but live and learn right? 8 months cheater free and the divorce process has been hell but it’s now final!!

  • I had been getting library books for my cheater on depression and anxiety as those were his only ever excuses as to why he was generally hard to live with…the whole walking on eggshells thing in my own house had become something I found harder and harder to spackle over the years. (Can you believe I even spackled over all the overnight shifts he worked “for the family”!!! Yuck, it makes my skin crawl that I felt guilty and would beg him not to do them “for his health”)
    Sometimes he would feign appreciation and never read them and sometimes he would get really angry with me and never read them. But I read them all and felt oh so sorry for him and grateful that I didn’t suffer from depression and determined to help him through it. Ugh.
    When he left because “he needed to find his happiness” and I found out all that I found out in the following weeks I immediately felt such a repulsion when I had to see or hear him that I went no contact. I googled “betrayed by husband and do not want contact anymore” and found this amazing site. I am so lucky I didn’t have to visit the library for all that RIC crap. One of my most amazing moments post dday was getting a text from him asking, “how are we ever going to get a divorce when you won’t even talk to me?!” And responding, “I already filed. You will be served imminently.” Bam.

    • I got the same old depression shit. I felt so sorry for him. Really thought he was a poor misunderstood, deep and complex soul. How wrong I was.

      But- “how are we ever going to get a divorce when you won’t even talk to me?!” And responding, “I already filed. You will be served imminently.” Bam.

      Nejla you HERO!!

      I blocked mine 6 weeks ago and have heard nothing. But I did notice he blocked me back on whatsapp 2 weeks ago, which is weird and I reckon a cry for attention, who knows. The man is evil so he can block me back as much as he wants, but I got there first! ?

      • Thank you, Yellowsunshine! Now I’m just trying to get to indifference because anger actually is not the lense I prefer to see the world through.
        We all here in CN have so much more character and have so much more to give the world than these idiots have and yet we all are forced to focus so much energy on them!!! I fucking hate it!!!! And I am really wishing that I could do something more useful with all my energy than be mad at that conman I happened to be married to for a decade!

  • Not from a book, but another couple trying to be “helpful”:

    “We think you should just go to where he works and screw his brains out.”

    Apparently, I would have had to take a number.

    I passed on that one. Idiots.

    • I, humiliatingly, did that sort of thing – tried to be more adventurous and spontaneous sexually was my initial pick-me dance. As you might guess, it did not change his evil ways.

    • “Apparently, I would have had to take a number.”

      Moose, exactly as I feel! I would have had to stand in line at the coffee shop where X was seducing nubile young 20-year olds with his intellectual acumen.

    • Because as we allllllll know, cheaters only cheat because we’re frigid and sexless.


      • This has to be one of the biggest mindfucks of the affair. Makes you question yourself and your worth endlessly. I decided I would pass on continuing to be the reliable wifely dick holster.

      • Yup, I was sexless for 7 years. Tried and got rejected (even after OB told me I had vaginal atrophy) and then gave up trying. Got all the usual BS, no sex drive past 40, too tired, herpes breakout, too stressed, blah, blah, blah. He was a lousy lay, so I wasn’t missing out on much. I just lost my sexuality. After the split, the OB/GYN told me I’d need lubricant if I became sexually active again.

        Six months later I’m dating a sweetheart of a guy and having the best sex of my life. And believe me, no lubricant needed. Sweetheart just told me he loves me. I don’t think we’ll be together forever, but damn it’s nice to be treated with love and respect. I often tear up with regret now that I have a glimpse into what I missed out for almost 30 years of my adult life.

        Funny, my lawyer asked me why I married him. He made me laugh and I thought he loved me unconditionally and would be a great family man. It was the long con.

      • Yes! Nevermind the thousands of times we’ve had sex in the last several years…..

        I remember he went fron your the best I’ve ever had. Ill be loyal and true to you forever chumpy. To- not tonight, you don’t dress sexy enough, you don’t seduce me enough, I don’t feel like it, You should get us another girl, to let’s watch porn on the 160inch tv it’s better this way, to your not into sex, to I wouldn’t have gotten into this relationship if I’d know we weren’t going to threeseones. That was the deal. Now your sick with cancer and it’s my birthday next week, you can’t do it- right now but I shouldn’t go without, get one of your friends you model with and at least you’ll be there to watch, so you won’t be so insecure, Your not keeping up your end, Remember, chumpy? Huh?

  • I was an Amazon chump to be sure. I bought “Not Just Friends”, “How to help your spouse heal from your affair, a compact manual for the unfaithful” (that was for him-guess who read it instead) “His needs, her needs” how to build an affair proof marriage” and finally, “After the Affair.” His needs/her needs was probably the worst. Unfortunately in 2010, the Chump Lady had not yet arrived on the scene so all I had were RIC sites and RIC advice.

    I will say that out of all the ridiculous, bullshit, advice I ever got however, it wasn’t from any of those books, it was free. Practically everyone on every RIC site I’d ever been on told me several times to “do the 180 on his ass” because that would change him. For those who have not been blessed, the 180 comes from Michelle Weiner Davis of divorce busting. I don’t even want to dignify the 180 with an explanation but suffice to say this advice still makes my blood boil to this day. It’s basically all about trying to manipulate the cheater back into the relationship. It’s total tripe and I think it’s more insulting when it comes from a chump. Well I do now anyway thanks to CL and CN!

    Viva la Chump Lady!!

    • I also bought “How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair” for Assholio to read because it seemed to cover exactly what I needed from him in order to work on reconciling. He read a little bit of it and then quit because it made him “feel like shit.” Well, yeah, you should feel like shit! Boo fucking hoo…

    • The mc we went to states that Durt was adamant that he had not cheated, and I should do the opposite of what I usually did when he would take off with the slut puppet for a weekend “tour” or when he wouldn’t come home because they were “recording” their album at a studio a couple hours away. I usually got upset, but was told I should act like I have no problem with it. You know, since he wasn’t cheating.
      Eye roll. Guess their baby that slut puppet is expecting any day was born by immaculate conception.

    • My reading list was similar to yours, but just the title “Not Just Friends” still makes me twitchy. I bought that one for CheaterEx because I (wait for it…) really thought he just had a problem with boundaries. Poor misunderstood soul doesn’t know how to be friends with women and not fall for them. This book will help!

      He never even cracked the book open, of course. Many years later, I’m now fairly certain he never stopped screwing his “friend” AP#1, either. No wonder he didn’t have time to ready the book.

      Those of us who went through DDays before there was a Chump Lady truly had an uphill climb!

      • To her credit, Shirley Glass was the first to actually do research on cheaters (most interesting finding? 50% of cheating men reported being perfectly happy in their marriages; they just liked strange).

        She was also the first to advocate that the chump gets to ask any question of the cheater and the cheater HAS to answer.

    • I disagree on the 180 thing. Best thing I ever did. Honestly. After 15+ of living with and being married to daddy issues, I was so fucked up I had become someone else. I had allowed her to make me do a 180 from myself, my 180 returned me to being me.
      As far as manipulation goes, eh, who gives a fuck. They deserve much much worse.

      • Some of those steps have nuggets of wisdom if and only if you use them as you described; to find yourself and free yourself from the cheater.

        The goal is not to win a cheater back however and that’s what I hate about the 180. That’s what makes it tripe.

        You gain a life, you don’t try to manipulate the cheater back into your life. Worst. Advice. Ever!!!!!

  • 1. Fireproof your marriage aka 40 days of eating shit and being fucking exhausted while doing it.
    2. Homer MacDonald – marriage jiu jitsu – aka reverse psychology, which doesn’t work when the person doesn’t want you anyway.
    3. Marriage Fitness aka take it up the ass and let them punish you, grieve their affair, and basically do whatever they fucking want while you make feeble attempts to reconnect.

    Grieve the loss of the affair that they refuse to admit is an affair. Ha.

    Fuck you fuck you fuck you.

    All this shit did was make me lose my dignity. Now I’m still trying to find it.

  • The most ridic advice on forums was doing something called the ‘180’. You take care of yourself and basically become the cool spouse. I read of this after I accidentally did it because he moved out, and silly me, I thought we were getting a divorce. That will bring your cheater back, but it won’t stop them from continuing to cheat. To them it signals you are OK with the cheating. Unfortunately I took him back for a few weeks. Then he would NOT leave and things went south.

    To bad the RIC and the poor people hung up in it don’t understand the dynamic and wonder why their ‘wayward’ won’t stop seeing the AP.

    • Okay, so here’s some more advice to cure the narcissist:

      1. maintain the attachment
      2. stop the abuse
      3. practice emotional intelligence
      4. challenge the narcissist to grow and develop

      • In other words: continue to be the perfect narc victim. It is the only cure. Gotta love it!

      • What? Even psychologists don’t think full-blown NPD types can change.

  • In the immediate (eight months) aftermath of DD it would not have made a difference if I’d found CL. I was deep in the throes of desperation, fear and denial. I had one purpose: win my wife back, save my family. Nothing and nobody could have talked sense into me.

    It took a trip to the depths of emotional hell to finally bring me kicking and screaming into the light (i.e. filing for divorce). And even then my irrational emotions put up a fight. All through the acrimonious divorce a voice still said “Maybe this will bring her back to me.”

    Fear, hope and denial are damned powerful. One has to cling grimly to empirical evidence and logic until time does its thing.

    Now, five years later, I look back at myself and am staggered by how an otherwise rational and intelligent man could endure such clear emotional abuse. This is why I am very reluctant to judge other people who are in the early days and are “complicit” in their own abuse. I get it.

    • Ditto. Each person has to choose his or her own time. In fact, it may even be critically important to empower our peers to make their own authentic choices, to suggest rather than demand.

    • I get it too. How sad we went through so much before we REALLY got it. It hurt horribly to have my own siblings say things like, “You must like it. You’re still there.” They did not understand the mind-fuck, especially after YEARS of gaslighting. I hope to be much more compassionate if someone comes to me with the same issue.

      • I got similar comments from people. I forget where I read it, but somewhere I saw that it takes about seven tries to leave your abuser. That turned out to be right! Towards the end, I was staying in the marriage to line up my ducks, and to give him time to change (yeah right). I knew I’d need to feel I gave him plenty of opportunity, or I’d have guilt. I’m only saying this was what I needed, I’m not promoting it. Leaving sooner would probably be best, but I just know how I am with carrying guilt around ?

    • ” This is why I am very reluctant to judge other people who are in the early days and are “complicit” in their own abuse. I get it.”


    • I filed, but I don’t want the divorce. I filed because he was too afraid to, but he was fine with making everyone miserable all the time.

      It’s amazing how he is getting what he wants in the end anyway. I just couldn’t stand the toxic environment, the constant hopium, mind fuckery, emotional abuse, name calling…and then finally, being spit on.

      I don’t want a divorce, but I hope one day I can say to myself that I didn’t want a marriage like this either. Until then, I am waiting for meh, but Tuesday feels far away.

      My nightmare is coming to fruition this weekend, as he has his first weekend with the girls. His every other weekend “visitation” begins today. Devastation for me…yet I feel he is snickering and laughing at my misery.

      • We are all in the same boat–no one *wanted* a divorce. But we wanted a crappy marriage to a fuckwit even less.

      • I’m so sorry.

        The helplessness of the situation sucks. The first days without the kids suck. It totally gets better. The clouds will part, and you’ll feel light, free, and in control. It just takes time. I’ve read your posts before. You definitely made the right decision for you and your kids.

        Who cares if he’s laughing. Cheaters are smug assholes who only think of themselves. It’s hard not to care what they think, but peace of mind will come with meh. I’m not there yet (about 9 months since we separated), but I get glimmers of it throughout the day.

        Good luck this weekend. Spend time outdoors and go easy on yourself!

        • The first time my ex took my kids for a weekend I was only able to stay in the house for about five minutes before I had to grab my purse and leave–it was too quiet!!!

          He didn’t do it again for about six months, then I was able to go spend some time doing something I wanted to do without being freaked out. It does take time.

      • I know that James Bond is a piece of shit, but I think the readily available “dates,” porn, and prostitutes didn’t help one little bit. Like I said, I know James Bond is a piece of shit.

  • That awkward moment when your well-meaning parents ask if you’ve sought pastoral counseling and you remind them that your card-carrying Ashley Madison-member husband is, in fact, also your pastor (“um, I kind of have trust issues with ministers right now, Dad.”)

    Only surpassed by them asking if you were having an “active romantic life” (not as active as his, apparently. But yes on our weekend getaway the month before, we weren’t playing canasta!)

    As a recovering pastor’s wife & living in the south, the thought of the Fireproof (which I saw pre-discovery & im thinking pre-adultry, but who knows) and War Room movies make me physically ill. Telling the chump to pray harder is just another way of suggesting that their faith wasn’t “good enough” to ‘affair-proof’ their marriage. And don’t get me started on the “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” BS. So now you’re a chump AND a spiritual weakling bc you’re so scared & sad & angry & overwhelmed that you cry every morning in the shower so your kids won’t hear.

    Meanwhile my ex is still preaching in another town bc that’s some pretty awesome sprinkles to have a congregation of old Lutheran ladies who think you’re an amazing preacher. Too bad your wife is such a sinner that she’s always running races or training on Sunday mornings (you’d think I’d have a much better PR, lol!)

    Sorry for the ramblings, but surviving the Religious RIC has been quite a journey.

    • I feel for you – I commented above about religious cruelty. It’s a special kind of mean.

      • And in certain parts of the South? Forget about it.

        I had a neighbor (you know the kind, who chain their dogs up outside, let them bake and shiver, feed him Old Roy but spend $50 dollar a week on Acrylic Nails…growl, feeling violent about those old bitties) say to me, in their fake Bless Your Heart sotto voice:

        Well, honey, who in the world did he cheat on you with?

        As if this were relevant, or he is a puzzle to be solved. Who cares? He did it, bitch. I have also gotten:

        Every marriage has a cross to bear.
        Pray the devil out of him.
        Better to stick with the devil you know!
        God never gives us more than we can handle.
        Men struggle more with lust than women.

        and my favorite:

        How much Knee Time were you two having?

        They mean praying. I come back with, Well, me not so much but him…A lot! He got blow jobs from lots of randoms, some worked at truck stops, he met others at parties and just Hos he met in daily life. I found an entry in his phone that just said Waitress.

        This usually shuts them down fast. Truth has a way of stopping the insane drivel of the clueless.

        • Wigwam.

          Awesome comments today.

          From other people I mostly got ‘it’s a man thing’, ‘that’s men for you’ ‘men will always be like this’.

          I think when I told people, all their half baked ideas sort of mushed together into some ‘you fell out of love, he is a man, it must be a mid life crisis, poor man must be so confused, he just had the opportunity and he’s a man so really how could he resist, you might be a bit fat, is she young and hot, well he’s a man so….’
          All the minimisations, justifications and lies they have heard all their lives just get thrown into the mix.
          Only clear thinkers were other chumps, literally. No other friends have quite convinced themselves there isn’t a reason for it other than he is a character disordered liar. They support my decisions but all the RIC bullshit is floating about out there ready to pollute clear thinking.
          It’s very frustrating.

          • I know many good men, men who don’t lie/cheat, men who are respectful – and there are many male chumps here in our midst who fit that bill, too. When I hear that “men are like that” crap, I say “lots of people from all backgrounds and genders are like that. If you heard someone say something sexist like that about women, you would freak out, so it isn’t ok to talk about men like that.”

            Men might be more overt about it more often​, but plenty of women cheat. They may be sneakier, on the whole, but that just makes them skeevier.

            • Love this comment. I travelled for work as a pilot for the past 14 years. Never put myself in situations that would have compromised my marriage. There are good guys out there. EWs affair was devastating.

              • Thank you, thank you, thank you. My STBX successfully maintained a double life while traveling extensively for work. Some people seem to write off that affairs are inevitable, or at least likely, in that environment.

                I too, traveled a lot for work, yet never had an affair, or even any temptation for an affair. I was married, committed to my husband. It’s simply a matter of being unavailable. People aren’t drawn unless you but yourself out there.

                In my case, I trusted my husband. Why wouldn’t I? We made vows in front of family and friends. This was the one person in the world who was supposed to have my back. Instead he exploited my trust and devotion. It is simply cruel and shoestring a complete lack of character. 20 years of my life wasted on a marriage that was a lie.

    • Amazing how Ephesians is forgotten about how the husband is supposed to cherish and nourish his wife as Christ does the Church. And of course, let’s overlook those pesky Commandments which seem to be considered guidelines they can cherry pick.

      As Grandma used to say, the Devil will bend the Bible for his own purposes.

      My husband “cries” because he’s going to Hell. Been there myself, thanks to him. Maybe he will get his turn.

      • Yesterday, cheater sent our 15 year old daughter text:

        “This is a fine example of when you should pull out the old testament. Check out the 10 commandments. Were all sinners, but you struggle with providing the proper respect to both of your parents. This has been for years.”

        her response: In my entire life, you have never referenced the Bible and Didnt go to church and leave and commit adultery, you don’t even go to church hypocrit.

        his response: That statement isnt true. Regardless Jesus will save all of us from our signs. I truly hope you can overcome your anger issues.

        This morning I read divorce minister at breakfast and told her about the quote (slightly modified): Do you really think someone who has committed adultery and lived a double life for months- or even years- without repenting is qualified to dispense advice on how to live a Godly life?! (She sent this)

        His response: So mom gave you that sort of information/oppinion? And you think it is accurate?

        I told her he will never get it.

        Kind of funny because when he told me last may about the affairs he said “I am a cheater and I have been for years. Once a cheater, always a cheater.” Why did it take me nine months to believe that? Oh, because I am a chump, that’s right.

        One of his other favorite lines that we provides us with continued comedy is “There are two sides to every story and you will never know mine.” I think we should put that on his tombstone.

    • Yah, James Bond is a Jesus Cheater, too. We were supposed to pray with her, dumbass, not prey on her.

      Like a woman, any woman, wife or not, has no eternal soul, cannot also be damaged like you damaged your wife and family. I don’t feel sorry for co-cheaters, but a Jesus Cheater is nothing but a devil.

  • I must have spent at least $1000 on self-help books, ‘Save your Marriage’, ‘Keep Your Marriage’ books, CDs on how to enrich your marriage that I could listen to on my way to work, calling counselors I found online because the one that I found local gave me some advice that didn’t sound quite right. The local counselor told me that I should wear more attractive dresses, wear makeup, and fix my hair nice so my dick-ex would see me as more attractive than his skank. A girlfriend told me (since I’m actually quite intelligent and very resourceful) that I should act more helpless in an effort to make my dick-ex feel more manly. She said that I was not allowing him to act the provider, that I was emasculating him when I saw a problem and fixed it myself. I designed, bought all the pipes, and installed our sprinkler system on an acre. The dick-ex manned the ditch-witch. I found contractors to fix the roof, paint the house, etc., etc., etc. I was there to take care of the house, the bills, the cars, the children taking them to and from doctors and schools and PTA meetings and Boy Scouts and T-Ball, Baseball, Basketball, field trips…, you name it. Living in 3 different foreign countries, I even did this in German, Spanish, and Japanese. I was the wind beneath my dick-ex’s wings as he went on to get a chest full of medals (and a skank) while in the military. He probably had many skanks but only one followed us to our last location and actually purchased her house 1 block away from us. I WAS A MESS WONDERING WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME! My dick-ex was a master manipulator making me think I was the problem for why he wasn’t happy. And listening to stupid counselors, stupid books, and stupid girlfriends didn’t help. I didn’t want to hear anything about divorce. I wanted to save my marriage and family. I even took back the poor sad sausage when he “appeared” remorseful after I found out about his skank 26 years into the marriage. He never did say that he was sorry. He just ‘appeared’ remorseful. (I’m intelligent, but I’m not very smart.) It took finding out 4 years later that the skank was still in the picture before I finally grew a spine. By then I had bought books on Boundaries, and gone to REAL counselors. One was actually online who called and set up ‘Skype’ sessions. Hmmm…, now that I’m thinking about it, I probably spent close to $2000 on all this stuff. On the advice of another girlfriend, I went to a local women’s shelter to participate in a group session. WOW! Talk about being humbled! There were about 6 women in the group and the moderator was having us ‘tell’ our stories. Fortunately I was the last and the session ended after the third lady told her story about how her husband threw gasoline on her and lighted her on fire causing third-degree burns on her lower extremities. I thought to myself, ‘Girl, you better hope this session ends, hop in your Mercedes and leave before they get to you, because what are you going to say when it’s your turn? “My husband speaks to me in a condescending manner.” They’ll look at you like you’re crazy.’ I don’t know if the group session helped or made me go home and stick it out even longer appreciating my own circumstances because ‘it could be worse’. (The group session was before I found out – from the skank’s own mouth – that he was in an 11-year affair.) After the last 4 years and growing a spine, I finally went through with the divorce. And only then did I find CL’s book. Would it have made a difference had I found her book sooner? Doubtful. I was really addicted to the Hopium. But what her book did for me was to diagnose all the crap I had been dealing with for years. God Bless You, Tracy! Keep up the good work!

  • Neighbor who went through similar thing: make him watch fireproof. That will wake him up
    (I watched it, don’t think he ever did. Very wtf moment when I finished. First glimpse of – hmm this doesn’t seem correct)

    Pastor: read the 5 love languages. Mind you he also suggested this when we married and x never would. Then he did and suddenly started quoting lines from it. Zero actions. Just telling me how I wasn’t aware of his love language. I was – it just involved worship and orbiting around him like he was the sun. Not interested.

    MC: you need to work on forgiving him and he needs to work on forgiving himself. Cancelled that next appointment.

    Book advised from MC: don’t go backwards or talk about the affair as it will act as a trigger for the other party. That was brought up mult times as why he couldn’t answer my questions.

    His mother, queen of enabling: he’s been through so much and he really loves you. Think about the children and the financial burden. Do you really think you can survive on your own? (I was the bread winner and did 90% already – not sure what color the sky is in her world)

    My own stupid advice: hysterical bonding. Was sick for days after. Saw exactly who I had become in that relationship and didn’t recognize that person. Saw a lawyer the next day.

    Best thing that ever happened was this website and the book quickly after that. I am not exaggerating when I say this book probably saved my life. I was so far gone and isolated from anyone who would have been willing to force me to see the truth. This page and you fellow chumps shook the sense into me that I needed. Gave me the final validation that I wasn’t crazy and this was wrong.

    Cheers to chumps!

    • 5 love Lang. Gag. Did that too. It was before DDAY during the extreme gaslighting and blameshifting because I wasn’t meeting his needs!!!!! His needs to be adored at all costs, the magic penis. Fuck that noise.

      The love langs assumes you are in a healthy partnership, not a chump in the throes of being duped and manipulated. I endured , post DDAY, his exclaimations to 3rd parties about how he thrived on touch, etc… in his relationship/marriage with the subtle meaning that I didn’t produce these results and hence the need to ‘touch’ anything with holes.That could be a UBT thesis.

      • “The Five Love Languages”! Ha! X bought that book for each of his friends when they got married. He tried to use it to get me to stop asking him why he wouldn’t touch me, kiss me, let me sit next to him on the couch, have sex with me? And why was he so cruel when I’d try to get close to him? His reply would’ve done the author proud: “Touch and kind words aren’t my love languages.”

        The only kiss I ever got from that man was in front of everyone at our wedding ceremony. After that, if I tried to kiss him, he’d stab his finger into my ear. Sick, twisted, lying asswipe. When they go to therapy, they just find weapons to use against you.

        • Apparently there’s a 6th, lesser-known love language: lying and cheating.

    • If a pastor wants to help a cheating husband, he’d better have a damn good marriage himself. He should be a man of utmost integrity, be able to see through bullshit, and the skill to call out cheater. He should have time to spend with cheater, and be able to develop trust. There are many, many reasons why cheaters just get worse and worse, and one is the dearth of decent men who will mentor a cheater to rebuild his crap character.

  • I think there was a book called “Helping Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair” that I bought for “us” to share, not that X ever bothered to read it. He did read the parts that helped him justify his behavior, though. Things like that it is normal for the cheater to be grieving the AP and, of course, the usual crap that the affair wasn’t the problem, it was the symptom of a troubled marriage. All those pieces of supposed wisdom led X to conclude 1. our bad marriage was the reason he cheated, and 2. he was perfectly within his rights to openly express how much he missed OW. It was mind boggling, but there it was in black and white; I was the one in the wrong!

    I now know that the main problem in a marriage to a cheater is that you are married to a cheater. It seems that many affair advice books are written by the type of therapists who are not interested in discussing the affair and, instead are focused on the “breakdown in the marriage that led to the affair.” X and I also briefly went to counseling with that type of therapist and it led to all kinds of damage to me. See, the affair was caused by the both of us and, by God, I was obligated to acknowledge my part in it. What complete and total bullshit, but how was I to know it at the time? So I sat there and listened to all the ways I had made X feel like I didn’t “need” him, things like working my ass off to make sure our family was well-provided for, and not giving him enough attention when I was caring for my dying dad.

    I later learned that the therapist was related to the OW and that truly was a mind melt. Everything then made perfect sense to me. No wonder I was immediately shut down when I tried to talk about OW’ s antics and X’s refusal to put an end to the repeated calls and texts. See, that wasn’t his problem, it was mine and it just wasn’t fair of me to expect X to cut off the relationship without first processing his feelings about it. But I certainly was expected to beat myself up about all my perceived failures. I finally made it clear I was done, at which point the therapist offered to “guide” me through my “journey” of divorce. I nearly laughed in her face. Instead, I told her that this cold and distant bitch was quite capable of taking that journey without her help! She did continue to counsel X and, at one point, advised him to try and date me again (we were still married). The entire experience was a complete waste of time and money, from beginning to end.

    • “I now know that the main problem in a marriage to a cheater is that you are married to a cheater.”

      Game, set, match.

      Also, that counselor deserves to be reported. That’s abuse.

      • Seriously. The break down in the marriage that lead to the affair is the cheater decides they want to have an affair. Then they go fuck a whore. The marriage had no chance once the cheater decided they wanted to fuck a whore. Sorry. Marriage broken by whore fucking.

        • There would be those moments when one of X’s business trip stories didn’t add up or my intuition would be telling me something wasn’t right. I’d ask X if he he was with someone, his answer would be no, of course not, do I look like that kind of guy to you? Then he’d lecture me on my self esteem, that maybe I needed a hobby, or I that I had a vivid imagination and should write novels or soap operas.
          I’d walk away questioning myself but always with that nagging doubt or intuition that would be telling me something is off.., If nothing else I’ve learned. always trust your intuition.

            • NoMoreEvil-trusting your intuition comes with age, because only with age do our lives become experience after experience after experience. Every experience is a teaching and a learning time. Some, but not many are “wise beyond their years”. You are just fine, mighty fine and the cheater loses brain cells every day. Picture him drooling green peas down his chin, being fed by someone. In a wheelchair! Now we finally have no more evil.

    • to iwishihadariver: “the main problem in a marriage to a cheater is that you are married to a cheater” is the single best sentence I have ever read, or written, on this topic with call numbers beginning 248, 306, 248, 345 and more. Agreeing with Amiisfree. Your line could be the latest and best book ever written and I would title your book: Everything you ever wanted to know about your marriage and your cheater. Then a dedication and page one, chapter one And prologue-your one sentence.

    • I agree that 99.9% of RIC books are complete crap. No question about that.

      However, I actually liked a couple of the books that have been maligned here, namely “How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair” by Linda MacDonald and also “What to Do When Your Spouse Says, I Don’t Love You Anymore: An Action Plan to Regain Confidence, Power, and Control” by David Clark (which I think is the book that another poster alluded to but just didn’t remember the title.)

      Both of these stood out as exceptions to me because the authors are clearly and emphatically NOT cheater apologists, and there isn’t any mention of spousal fault or ownership or contributions or any other such wording to somehow place blame upon the shoulders of faithful spouses. Both of them call a spade a spade, and make it very clear that the work of reconciliation falls squarely upon the cheater. So if your cheater isn’t eagerly reading, working hard to change their internal character, and taking the initiative to heal the pain and damage they caused, then you know there is absolutely no hope of saving a dead marriage because there’s nothing left to work with – not exactly your typical RIC message.

      Anyway, it’s possible that people are confusing these books with the others that are legitimate crap because there’s just so much of them out there it’s hard to keep up with them all. But I wanted to step up to bat for these authors because, as far as I’m concerned, they stepped up to bat for me, the faithful spouse.

      Now, if someone you know is just determined to go through an Amazon Chump phase before they get to the point where they’re finally ready to leave their cheater and gain a life, then these are the only two books they should have access to. Of course, you should also order CL’s book while you’re at it, so that you can save on shipping and have it ready to hand to them without delay, once they realize that that unicorns don’t actually exist. 🙂

      • I agree that Linda MacDonald’s is the only book I read that actually says that it is squarely all the cheater’s fault and that any reconciliation that my be possible is solely dependent on the cheater doing all the work.

      • Parts of that book were helpful to me, and while she clearly says the affair must end to heal he marriage, that is not what most cheaters take away from it, at least mine didn’t. He took away that unresolved problems in our marriage caused him to cheat and that is was normal for him to miss OW. As the zen proverb says, “What you see depends on what you are looking for.” My X was obviously looking for an excuse to continue to cheat!

        • The whole caused me to cheat thing is sickening but so widely excepted. It is like saying I am not good at money management and that caused me to rob a bank. Think that will fly with the judge?

        • The whole caused me to cheat thing is sickening but so widely accepted.

          It is like saying I am not good at money management and that caused me to rob a bank. Think that will fly with the judge?

      • I absolutely agree, and these are the two books I would say put the blame squarely on the cheater.

        Linda MacDonald [‘you need to GET how much damage you have done, Cheater’] and David Clark [ Susie, the victim of Bob’s adultery, is further victimized.

        She’s forced to take blame for this terrible action she did not do. She’s forced to feel guilt for driving her husband to another woman. She does not recover from the trauma. She is unable to vent her pain so it remains inside and gets worse. She is unable to forgive her husband. She is unable to trust her husband. She will always wonder if she’s being a good enough wife to keep Bob from having another affair. She’ll be anxious, depressed, insecure, and bitter.

        Many pastors, church leaders, and Christian therapists will not confront Bob. They will confront Susie! Susie, who is already reeling from Bob’s adultery, now gets smashed again by her counselors and helpers. She’s told: “Susie, Bob’s adultery is your fault and you’d better get to work so he won’t stray again.” “Susie, not only is the adultery your fault but now it’s your fault that you’re angry and bitter.

        Bob, the only one who sinned, gets a free pass! Disgraceful.

        Second: Bob does not recover from his sin of adultery.

        He does not fully confess it. He does not take full responsibility for it.] “get it”

    • In our case, James Bond cheated on our wedding day, so tell me how the marriage broke down and caused the cheating?

      • You probably didn’t use enough tongue when the minister said “you may kiss the bride”

  • I read a Christian book called “love must be tough” it was in the days before I found chumplady. And… it was a pretty good book because love really must be tough. The senators in there (true stories) were so bad, so outrageous that I realised the cheating assholes take the absolute piss!!!

    Then the other parts were all about acting tough and not entertaining bullshit. Well, I tried some of it and I LIKED IT. The acting tough became being tough, became trying to be a better role model.

    Supposed to be a book about saving a marriage but it was actually a wake up call.

    Follow that up with discovering chumplady and I was ready for my new journey really.

  • I got “Men don’t love like women do.” And, “Men can have sex and not be comitted.” This from even supportive friends who did not reside in Switzerland.

    No. Nope. No way.

    I stopped untangling that skien when I found CL and IHG. I found my tribe. I only wish it was on a golf course instead!

    • Oh yeah, and 5 Love Languages. No. Can’t give you your love the way you want it after you fucked my friend for two years but you don’t know where, when, how or why. And I don’t care.

  • Two words: Affair Fog.

    It offered chumpy me everything I wanted: science-ish sounding rationalization of my wife’s behavior, blame of an “addiction to dopamine” instead of shitty character, false hope that this was temporary and everything could go back to the way it was, and a belief that I could control the outcome simply by pointing out that my wife “had a problem.”

    Yes, her “problem” was that I was catching onto her cheating. And her “solution” was to let me believe this Affair Fog bullshit.

    • Just wanted to quickly add to this for any new chumps out there:

      DON’T offer your spouse your explanations of what you think they are doing/engaged in. Only ask questions, and keep your conclusions to yourself. It will take time for you to understand the reality that your marriage is over.

      I’m the gullible hubby who read about Affair Fog and the presented this “explanation” to my wife. She took that explanation and let me believe it. “Loser husband thinks I’m so fragile and weak, and sees me as a victim of an addiction. WTF!?! Where does idiot husband come up with this shit? Oh…that’s right…I don’t care! This is great! He’s pre-negotiated a justification for me to keep fucking my OM! Whew…I was afraid I’d have to come up with another excuse next week, but pathetic husband did it for me! What a relief!”

      Don’t be that Chump.

      • Excellent advice. I made the same mistake — I was so determined to get to the source of the problem and fix it! All this managed to do was to hand him a bunch of built-in excuses. He played these excuses to the hilt.

        Turns out my analyses weren’t even close — because I was operating under bad assumptions (which he had fed to me for so long):

        1. I assumed that he at least wanted to be a decent human being.
        2. I assumed he loved his family at some level.
        3. I assumed he felt normal levels of guilt and shame.

        I was wrong. On every count. And I would have known this much sooner had I not imposed my own analyses into the mix.

      • YES!!! Never help them explain themselves. When I would discover that my ex had lied about where he was or what he was doing, I would ask him if he had been drinking. Because he is an alcoholic. So he would sadly agree that was the case … grateful for the excuse I already bought. I made it even easier for him to lie than it already was. Facepalm.

        • I made this mistake. All it did was give him another layer to hide under. To this day, I don’t know who got 100% of X’s affection and sexual attention, nor how they got it. All I do know: he gave me 0%. His real self emerged after the wedding day was over. He had me. He changed immediately. I was married to him for 13 years. I don’t know him, nor what makes him tick. I don’t think there is anything besides the surface. He is hollow, cruel, and cold. And “the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.” Everybody loves X. He does put on quite the show.

      • Sage advice. I offered my ex a buffet of explanations, including “taking responsibility” for “my part” of the affair (which didn’t exist, but I was desperate). But instead of taking one and running with it like your ex did, my ex would shoot down any possible explanation I offered up without offering his own. Affair fog? Nope. Bipolar disorder? Nope. Anger? Nope. Anxiety over mortality? Nope. Boredom? Nope. Unhappy? Nope. Then I offered fixes: Should we try this? Nope. Can we try that? Nope. What about this? Nope. Do you want a divorce? Nope. Do you want to stay together? Nope. It was a super fun game of “wrong rock.”

        In the end, the only consistent explanation he ever provided was that he was confused. That’s how he explained away everything. Confused about what, one might ask? Nope.

      • Oh, me too! In retrospect, that was how he lived his double life…just letting me assume. That way he was never wrong. He’s also a “nicest guy you’ll ever meet” and I’m the bitch.


        I’m glad I left immediately – I was operating on autopilot, though.

        • Hmmmmm. I always thought he was the nicest guy and I was the bitch. After the split, everyone told me how self-absorbed and shallow they thought he was. Turns out the lack of couple friends was because of him, not me. I should have deduced that since I have a wonderful group of supportive friends and he had… his latest AP.

          • You must be my long lost twin. Isnt it great socializing without having to worry about him having a good time?

            Best of luck to you!

              • It is funny that my mil who I now realize stbx is just an extension of her also has no friends. In the 29 years I have known her, she has never once gone to a social activity that was not with her husband or family. She would not have one person that she would call just to chat or get together with. I think that is Strange! I am so grateful for the girlfriends I kept even though my Stbx would tell me how crazy they were.

  • The biggest bullshit came from my cheater, who took a literary twist, “In Anna Karenina, Dolly forgives her cheating husband. It is a deliberate act internally. She decides one day to do it and then proceeds from there, having made that decision.”

    It’s just a decision! Forgive!

    • Tolstoy was a character disordered cheater, too.

      “The marriage was marked from the outset by sexual passion and emotional insensitivity when Tolstoy, on the eve of their marriage, gave her his diaries detailing his extensive sexual past and the fact that one of the serfs on his estate had borne him a son.[11] Even so, their early married life was happy and allowed Tolstoy much freedom to compose War and Peace and Anna Karenina with Sonya acting as his secretary, proofreader and financial manager.[11]”

      Source: Susan Jacoby, “The Wife of the Genius”. (April 19, 1981) The New York Times. Cited in Wikipedia “Leo Tolstoy”.

        • Perhaps that’s how Tolstoy wanted his wife to behave. Just flip the forgiveness switch and stop kicking up a fuss!

          Selfish, whiny, holier-than-thou assholes. Ugh!

    • How ’bout: “In marriage, spouses make a commitment to their partner. It is a deliberate act internally. They decide one day to do it and then proceed from there, having made that decision.”

    • The next person, Tempest, who tells me to just ‘make a choice’ – to be happy, to forgive, to jump off a fucking cliff – I will throat punch. End of.

    • If I recall correctly, Stiva never stopped cheating on Dolly after she forgave him, so your ex was probably being pretty honest about what you could expect from him if you decided to forgive: more cheating.

      • Good point! And that is EXACTLY what I would have had with him after a wreckonciliation; he turned out to be a serial cheater (most likely from 3 months after the wedding).

  • I went down a short road of “you must be married to a sex addict”. Bought a book “your sexually addicted spouse” and went to a therapist that announced: just give it time, your husband once he realizes his addiction, he will be like a new person. Someone you might even like more. Well, I didn’t waste a lot of time despite believing in miracles that a unicorn would replace my husband.

    It was after I divorced (2 months shy of a 28 yr marriage) that someone told me about CL. This is where the why, trust that they suck, don’t unravel, timid forest animal etc brought to focus issues that I could relate to. I can add that this blog has given me, many a teary eye at the same time a laugh which has helped me heal from being a chump.

    • “Sex addiction” became a whole new way for X to blameshift and play sad sausage.

  • My well meaning sister-in-law suggested that I act as if nothing happened and be as sweet and kind as possible to make him fall in love with me and “think about what he will be missing.” (I should note that I had the D Day where I was blindsided with news that he was divorcing me, already had a lawyer, and he and his married co-worker were moving in together.)

    I have to admit, I took her advice. It seemed logical at the time. A few weeks later my ex told me nastily “I see through your fake nice act.” And that was that. I stopped caring.

    • I tried the nice thing too. For my efforts at being nice he told me (when he came over to list our home 2 weeks after telling me he wanted a divorce):

      “You are taking this better than I expected {with an ever present smirk}. You must have found someone new. {Shoulder shrug}.

      That was the last time I was nice to that mother fucker.

      • Mine does that shit too! If I’m nice, I’m fake. If I’m cold, it’s the reason he is “done”. If I go out and look nice, I’m fucking someone.


  • Chumplady should go on Good Morning America and speak the Truth instead of the fake news that is being spread about saving your marriage with a cheater,

  • My husband gave me two books; The Female Brain and The Male Brain…. wait for it… recommended and encouraged he give to me by his Affair Partner.

  • I had a most unfortunate situation when I went to buy a book about healing after adultery. I was looking through the books and saw one that was authored by a man with the same very unusual last name as the OW. I looked at the bio of the author and discovered that he was a professor at a nearby college, and he taught classes about relationships and “re-bonding” and was apparently considered to be an expert on “Christian marriage.” At that point, I realized that he was likely related to the OW’s husband. Next I looked at the dedication page, knowing there would likely be some personal information there. I was already teary eyed and having a mini-panic attack. Imagine my shock when I read that the book was dedicated to his son and “his bride,” the OW. It went on to glorify their young love and their dedication to their family, bla bla bla bla bla. I thought I’d die. So, OW’s FIL was an expert on adultery, “re-bonding” after a betrayal, and general Christian family life. One of his big friends is James Dobson, and he was frequently on Dobson’s Focus on the Family radio show. OW’s husband was an ordained minister and LCSW in private practice. OW was a grocery store assistant manager at the time, but after she blew my world apart by fucking my husband, she went back to school to be a LCSW too. You can’t make this shit up.

    • I would have had to send that dude a note about is DIL…I don’t think I could have helped myself

    • Oh. My. God. You couldn’t pitch that as fiction; it’s too unbelievable.

    • the brazenness and craziness of the connections, associations and the who’s we mutually know and can find, track and inform is just as mind-boggling as the cheating, itself.

    • OW was a a LCSW, too! She now offers her services for parenting plans and as a parenting coordinator. Really, after you destroy the family life of two sets of kids, you are going to smooth the way for divorced couples to parent their children? What a complete and total crock.

    • Carol!!!!

      Too sick!

      The disordered cannot be anywhere near the disordered!!! They just magnify each other’s evil.

  • I didn’t buy any books.

    I thought my situation was unlike anyone else’s… LOL (I know, right)

    Then I found this site and other site called IHG and found out I was not alone.

    I haven’t been alone since. Thank you. It saved me.

  • A month after D-day I had read “Not Just Friends” and paid a deposit for an affair recovery workshop in Texas. As much as I’d love to bash on the workshop folks, they were actually great. They were the first ones before CL to get the message through to me that the affair was 100% on my ex. The man I spoke with was kind and understanding on the phone, and he fielded a call from my ex to discuss his questions about their workshop. It was the workshop coordinator who told me that my ex was likely still in his affair, despite my ex’s assertions otherwise. He was the one who told me that I needed some separation. He told me that reconciliation only works if both spouses are committed, and that my ex didn’t seem committed. He told me that if I had to push my ex into the workshop that we weren’t in a place for genuine reconciliation. Ouch.

    After that I reached out to two unicorn couple friends to ask for advice. They both told me it didn’t look good, and that my ex would have to put in 100% to make it work. I could see that he was not doing that, despite my repeated attempts to try to educate him on what he needed to do to win me back. (He knew, he just didn’t give a shit.)

    I read the directions for the 180, and I halfheartedly tried it for about a day. Then I gave up because I was MAD, and the 180 said I couldn’t be mad, or at least not show that I was mad. I wasn’t willing to shield my ex from my well-deserved rage. If you have to be inauthentic to keep your spouse, then what kind of marriage is that?

    The first time I came to CL right after D-Day, I rejected what I found here because it wasn’t reconciliation oriented and it scared the hell out of me. (“You mean, my marriage could *actually* be over???”) By the time that even the RIC was shaking its head at me, I came back here with nowhere else to turn. And that’s when I started to get REALLY mad. That’s when I stopped fighting for my marriage and started fighting for what I believed in. My ex didn’t like this non-acquiescent version of me, and claimed that my anger was why he cheated. (But…but…I wasn’t angry until *after* you cheated!) And the house of cards in my head toppled, thanks to unrelenting reality checks.

    Since then, I may have looked back, but I’ve never *gone* back. The RIC didn’t keep me stuck like I know it did for some people. It nudged me out. Then CL gave me a good, hearty shove in the direction I was leaning, and I toppled out of my marriage for good.

    • Thank you for giving kudos to decent Christian counselors! There are some out there, and I think there are going to be more and more now that Adultery is no longer being touted as ‘what’s wrong with the marriage’. Now it’s being advocated as ‘Cheating is ALL on the part of the cheater’. The pendulum swings and it went to the far left in ‘fixing the marriage’. Then it went to the far right in ‘fixing and forgiving the cheater’. Now it’s settling down to just get rid of the cheater and look forward to a good future without liars in your life ever again.

      • My most excellent therapist is a Christian counsellor. She is a rare gem. I had to go through a fair few nuggets of fool’s gold (both secular and religious) to find her.

      • My Christian counselor told me that there are worse things than divorce and that a husband should care for and protect his wife not deceive and harm her.

        Essentially, he said that marriage vows are to be upheld by both spouses, and a repeat adulterer who won’t change leaves you with nothing to work with. I needed to hear and believe that before I could even consider that my marriage was over.

        CL’s book made the only real choice in my situation clear and helped me with next steps and recovery. I did not want to file, but I knew he wouldn’t so I decided it was an opportunity to reclaim my self respect, make sure people knew the truth, and get a good settlement.

  • The ex gave me the book, “The Proper Care and Feeding of Your Husband”. He gave it to me 3 years before I discovered his Craig List fun. When ex gave me the book it was because I had discovered his late night porn addiction and of course the ‘virus’ we had on the computer! I skimmed the book at that time not really reading it, thinking he was joking with me. Fast Forward 3 years later and he’s met his true love on Craig’s List and his whole sleazy secrect sex life has been revealed,I grabbed that book and started reading and highlighting! Rolling my eyes at that!! I left that book and a copy of Broke Back Mountain when I left.

  • I pretty much jumped straight here, and The Optimist’s Guide To Divorce. So, I got very little bullshit, luckily.

  • We read “after the affair.” He said he really felt like he identified personally with all the ways the book explained how the betrayed spouse felt. That really hit the nail on the head of how he felt himself.

    In mc I asked the counselor to suggest a book to explain active listening and empathy to him. The counselor gave us “fighting for your marriage” which has a good section on listening skills. He didn’t touch it. I gave it back to the mc at the end in a solo session and said, he didn’t touch it. The mc said, yeah, that book has a self-limiting title. Your stbx isn’t fighting for your marriage. My mc was great!