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UBT: Will Telling the Truth Hurt Your Relationship?

Sometimes the Universal Bullshit Translator needs some time to recover between bullshit sessions. Rest the old transponders, oil the gears, avoid the news cycle… And yet, you guys keep sending it fresh bullshit. Like this article from Anthony Weiner apologist, Robert Weiss — “Should You Tell Your Partner You Cheated?” Which, okay, you sent the UBT last month, but it’s taken a lot of cajoling for the UBT to face it.

CL: But you LOVE debunking Robert Weiss!

UBT: Bah! No! More oil! Spa day!

You can understand the UBT’s reticence — it’s decoded Weiss before, like when Weiss got a case of the sadz for Weiner (now a convicted pedophile). I mean, there is bullshit, like decoding Chump Nation’s drunken ex’s texts, and then there is bullshit like “Because if your relationship was perfect, then you wouldn’t have cheated.”

Oh Robert, how can the UBT resist your pleas for mindfucking chumps for their own good? He says he’s “not a fan of lying and keeping secrets,” but after giving some lip service to trust (it’s the GLUE that holds relationships TOGETHER! Hello Dial-a-Cliché…), Weiss goes on to not “judge” cheaters for their dishonesty.

If keeping secrets about cheating is working for you, have at it. It’s not my job to judge what you can and cannot live with. I will, however, tell you that your relationship problems are most definitely not solved by “getting away with it.”

And that’s what really matters, isn’t it? What works for the cheater. Their relationship satisfaction.

What grows in the petri dish over at the STD clinic? Say no more about it.

Weiss argues that keeping secrets will create distance, which really isn’t good for relationships. As if cheaters crave true intimacy and are going about it All Wrong.

Please. That’s like lecturing bank robbers that while armed robbery is rewarding, a Roth IRA is safer. CONSIDER THE COMPOUND INTEREST!

Weiss does not judge, but if you are going to tell the truth, do not attempt this at home! This is work for trained professionals!

If you have a lengthy history of cheating, rather than just a single, isolated incident, you should not disclose that without professional assistance, preferably from an experienced couples counselor. This advice holds even if/when your partner demands to know absolutely everything right this instant. If you’ve got a lot to tell, and your spouse is demanding to know everything now, stand your ground, temporarily. Instead of just spouting all of your dirty secrets on demand, assure your significant other that you will answer every question, but you want to do it properly and in a controlled setting, where a professional can help both of you process and understand the revelations and the feelings that will likely ensue. Then, with your spouse, you can make an appointment to see a couples counselor, making sure the therapist knows up front that you’ve engaged in infidelity, your spouse wants to know the facts, and you both want to heal your relationship.

Your chump may want to know if you’ve sexted underage girls, might be facing criminal charges, or perhaps have threatened an entire democracy with the contents of your laptop, but HOLD YOUR GROUND! Your spouse (or local law enforcement) does not need to know everything now, right this instant. Hire a quack for $150 an hour to guide you through this difficult time. So many revelations, so many billable hours.

Were you thinking about coming clean? You may want to rethink that. Here are some handy justifications not to.

There May Be Legitimate Reasons to Not Disclose.

A few reasons to not disclose are:

You (and/or your partner) don’t intend to repair and save the relationship.
Your partner says that he or she would rather not know about your behavior.
Your partner, for whatever reason, is unwilling to let a professional assist you with disclosure.
Your partner is not emotionally or physically well enough to experience this process.
Your partner only wants the information so he or she can use it against you in court.

I think you know what’s best for your chump. Let’s take this one by one.

You (and/or your partner) don’t intend to repair and save the relationship.

I hear divorce cures venereal disease. Don’t ask, don’t tell. The microbes will do their thing. And children NEVER wonder where Daddy’s girlfriend came from.

Your partner says that he or she would rather not know about your behavior.

Yes, they don’t want to know about that thing they have no idea to ask you about… because they don’t know it happened. See how that works? Here’s a blank check for consent. You’re welcome.

Your partner, for whatever reason, is unwilling to let a professional assist you with disclosure.

Fuck that shit. I need my billable hours.

Your partner is not emotionally or physically well enough to experience this process.

And you the cheater get to decide that for them. How much they can take, because you’re so in tune with their emotional and physical well-being. I’m sure that OB-GYN doesn’t care about your infidelity at that pre-natal screening. As you were!

Your partner only wants the information so he or she can use it against you in court.

Did you steal marital assets to conduct your affairs? Did you risk your chump’s health? Endanger the intact home of your children? Those secrets are FINE. Legal consequences are not.

In summary, if you think you know best, fear consequences, and could be financially harmed from disclosure, don’t tell.

Deception — it’s the glue that holds cake together.

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.
  • I know the cartoon doesn’t really go, but damn I thought this UBT needed a big butt face.

    In other news, I’m in for sinus surgery tomorrow. I don’t know how much of a drugged out haze I’ll be in for the next week or so, so expect guest blog posts and re-runs. I’ll resume writing as soon as the Percocet prescriptions runs out.

    • FYI, Tempest is in charge while I’m gone, and she’s still moderating and knocking troll heads.

      • Rest and a speedy recovery post surgery dear Chump Lady.
        You are leaving CN in good hands.
        What would we do without you and Tempest to listen to us Chumps, guide us and just plain make our whole life easier.
        You have trained us Chumps to stand up for and to support each other.
        You are the BEST!

        I love the cartoon! made me smile out loud!
        I had just typed a reply to a post from yesterday and referred to a rat’s ass, but I think today’s ass is much more appropriate!


      • Wishing you a quick recovery and some quiet time for yourself. You do so much for so many, and have helped all of us during our own recoveries.

        The trolls would be very foolish to mess with Tempest; she is a force not to be trifled with!

    • Best wishes for a speedy recovery! And… the butt face ?? gave me THE BEST laugh ? thanks for that! You’re a deadset legend!

      • ?? Sunflower36 ?? …you just made my day hahaha, ball sack ???

      • Hilarious, so did I, (think it was some sort of sack) I was turning my head sideways to figure it out!

        Godspeed CL. Thank you for everything. Thank you Tempest for your cloak of protection and encouragement whilst our fearless leader is recovering.

    • Take care Tracy, safe surgery, speedy recovery. We will miss you.

      And this latest job of the UBT truely represents a new level of technological advance. Pyro-UBT.

      Deception, the glue that holds cake together and keeps quacks rich.

    • Best wishes for your surgery and recovery. Enjoy the Percocet!!! LOL

    • Yes, hope everything goes well with surgery. Be sure to let us all know that it went great and the prognosis is perfect.


    • Have a safe surgery that actually corrects the problem and a speedy healing and recovery. Enjoy the drugs, but not too much! You will be missed! Tempest is the absolute bomb, so we are in good hands.

    • We’ll miss you. Hope the surgery and recovery goes well. But we will carry on until you return under the sharp eye of Tempest.

      • Thanks guys. I’m sure I’ll be fine. Breathing through my nose will be a novelty! Not thrilled with drugs, but I hear the alternative is worse.

        • What’s the matter, ChumpLady? Is that DC air too humid, too stank?

          • I have a deviated septum and “bad anatomy.” And a sinus infection that won’t quit. Ergo… my face gets broken and put back together to open up the airways.

            • My cousins kid had that done last winter and said it was well worth it.

              Good luck.

    • CL, I had sinus surgery last year. Widening sinus drainage, breaking the nose to widen the nasal passages, straightening a deviated septum, most probably a childhood broken nose falling off a horse. (And none of it was ‘reconstructive’ so I don’t even look better!)

      IT HURTS LIKE A BITCH. When they said it wouldn’t hurt much, they lied! I can send you marvellous racoon photographs with a big white sausage underneath [why, surgeon, does it drip endlessly? – Because of the insult].

      Make sure you get lots of pain killers and stay in bed! However, apart from blocked ears it really worked. Breathing and blocked nose problems all gone. So it was worth it, but I wouldn’t do it again in a hurry.

      • Yeah, I heard that. But the “it really worked” part is what’s keeping me going.

        Short term pain, long term gain!

        • Short term pain, long term gain!

          So sinus surgery is pretty much the same as divorcing a cheater…..

        • Yes i had people lie to me also that it didn’t hurt much! ? Not too bad so long as I took rX pain med on time and stayed ahead of pain. I got off it and on REG Tylenol sooner. Drink lots of water and (sorry a bit tmi) maybe add some miralax (bc the pain meds are not gastro friendly!).

          The worst for me was the goo they put in sinus cavity as packing (?). Very gross and weird when it starts to sorta dissolve(?) and make its way out. Also, 3rd day post surgery I had the max swelling (which was a bit of a surprise/downer bc I thought 2nd day was peak). It was kinda hard to breath 3rd day and I panicked a little, but my face was so swollen (especially my eyes) so wanted you to know that and don’t panic like I did. Using the ice packs they gave me more often helped a LOT and also keeping head elevated.

          I used the ice packs longer than they said necessary bc it helped w swelling and I could always breathe better afterward. They also had me use afrin short term I think to reduce bleeding? And obviously it prob helped w swelling too. The goo stuff was gross and the other thing I recall was getting woozy the first time I had to clean the surgical site/replace drip bandage. I’m not usually bothered by medical stuff, but somehow I was queasy about it for myself and had to have my mom help me the first couple of days. After those first couple of days I was fine and did it myself no prob.

          It’s good to be able to breathe for sure! Been 8 years and my sniffer’s still sniffin! ?

          You’ll do great! Lots of good tips posted. Many wishes and prayers for a super speedy recovery!


          • They don’t pack any more, Chik, you tie a sausage which sits under your nose and catches the drip. It is very effective.

    • Best of luck to you CL! We are all pulling for you and wishing you a speedy recovery. Take care of yourself!

    • Haha No write when the percocet kicks in – I wanna read that!

      • Yes! Let’s see what happens when you have no filter because of the drugs. It will be awesome.

      • I agree, UBT on Percocet sounds like a winning combo of biting humor and oh so brilliant insights!

        Best wishes for a prompt and smooth recovery CL, will be sending you good thoughts.

    • I kind of wince at the sight of the cartoon butt, because I think it’s exactly what my butt looks like.

  • Ack!! Apparently Weiss teaches Advanced Centrality. I mean, with drivel like that article, he is the ultimate sniveling sidekick for every cheater’s inner vision of their own Captain Centrality identity.

    • What’s the prerequisite for Advanced Centrality? Centrality 101?

      • Weiss seems to base his approach on the following principles:

        1 – cheaters are special: they are entitled to cheat and they deserve to have some side action and some alternatives
        2 – cheaters are morally justified to cheat because of #1
        3 – no real harm comes from cheating
        4 – chumps, while being mundane, provincial, and less-enlightened are not entitled to judge or be upset – see #1 – #3 above. Simmer down now chumps and come see me for $200/hr!
        5 – but just in case your chump gets upset, protect yourself legally

        • whoops – don’t know why that ended up here. thought it was a new comment thread

        • They can also commit adultery/cheat as long as
          *no laws are broken (John Edwards admitted to sinning-but no laws were broken)
          *responsibilities outside of the home are not compromised (Judges Drazewski and Simons-Foley have testified to that)

          • Nyra, yes yes yes. Mine was in a recovery program and used what I lovingly (NOT) refer to the 9th Step Caveat. “Make amends to such persons except when to do so when injure them or others”. THEY decided that it would “injure” me, so lets just not tell her. He and his “sponsor” actually went to court when baby bumps was 2 months old as his OW found out about the baby and promptly dumped him and then filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. I WAS TOLD NOTHING. I saw this sponsor at a wedding a few months later and just looked him in the eye and said, “So, was it the 9th step caveat that gave you two permission to not tell me, his wife?” Then promptly walked away. Fucking unreal.

            • PATIENCE,

              Wow….The 9th step caveat your husband and his sponsor used to justify massive lying by omission, is making me screw my head in the ceiling.

              There really are serious people who strive & succeed at living the 12 steps authentically. Your cheater husband and his horrifying sponsor are not among them. They lack any moral compass and make a mockery of the program, which is incredibly hypocritical.

              Maybe they should both stop to take a “Fearless Moral Inventory” and STFU.

              • Hey, thanks for that. I agree. I know the program helps a lot of people, my grandfather one of them. Not all are as horrid as they were. I forgot to mention one tiny bit of info, the OW was also a member of the same program. When I was howling about how their selfish, self serving behavior was kept hidden because they wanted to protect their “recovery”, I sought out another member of his group I respected for advice. I was told to keep quiet about what they had done. I was told to deal with my situation privately and not “air my dirty laundry” so as to tarnish an otherwise good program. “You would not want to potentially deter others who need help in recovery from seeking it because of your misfortune”. Rationalizations and Justifications. MINDFUCK. The problem was not their lying and cheating, it was my talking about it. The message was that if I told what had happened, it might keep someone who needed help from seeking it. Wow, I had no idea how powerful I was. God, I really thought I was going to lose my mind.

            • Patience! Soul sistah! Mine too had the “sponsor says” excuse. That’s of course, if he was even telling his sponsor the truth about his actions. Liars, working a “program of honesty”, being instructed to lie! Oh, and then taking me to his “birthday” meeting, exclaiming he loved me from the podium, in front of a room full of women he was fucking. Of course, they could never say anything as they are instructed to “keep their side of the street clean”. The whole organization is disordered.

              • Oh god, how awful. Im so sorry. I just got the pathetic, so sorry for you stare. One Switzerland friend said, well, shes my friend so i really dont want to get involved.. this was a gal who attended our wedding. I felt like everyone knew, i was humiliated on top of just the marriage devestation. I went into hiding for a long while.

  • Thanks for the laugh. I hope your surgery goes well and you are healed in no time.

  • “You (and/or your partner) don’t intend to repair and save the relationship.”

    This is just pure crap. I do not intend to save the fucking relationship, but it was such a big effort to stop asking questions to the air, the gods, my own dreams, my fucking mind. There are pages and pages in my journal about the truth. At the end, I don’t care about it anymore. He can fuck with the truth. But don’t say that it doesn’t really matter if you are not going to repair things. The only reason to keep the truth is that you are a Coward asshole.

    • Always wondered about that recurrent piece of advice. Why is it only those who eat shit sandwiches that deserve the truth? Why does having dignity and not putting up with infidelity automatically mean you forfeit your right to an explanation? Do facts cease to matter once the chump decides to leave?

      • I don’t understand. But I finally realized I’ll never will, so I stopped struggling. I am a good person with a heart, therefore I will never understand a cheater or a cheater apologist. End of the story.

      • If only chumps were guaranteed the whole truth…

        I would love to have been given the timeline, the details and the whole truth, all at once. Then be able to process, digest and move on never having to wonder what really happened. No more coming across ‘new facts’ that smack me in the face even years after the divorce.

        This wish won’t ever come true.

        • Hell Rebecca, it still happens once in a while. I will be remembering something, an event with one of the kids and then the brain starts to calculate the timing and I will realize, oh, ya, right, he was with her during that vaca/party/purchase of our home…. He’s been gone (took 2x) 7 years and that shit still happens. Makes me sick how deep the deception went. But, I am SAVED AND FREE now. Finding this site is helping me untangle the mass. I so had no comprehension of what an evil creature I was dealing with. I mean, I read all the stories here and I realize that they are all the same. It wasn’t me. I was not crazy. Such a blessing this place.

    • And in that line this so-called expert opened the barn door of excuses for the cheater to continue to lie. “I can’t tell you the truth because you might use it against me.” What utter bullshit.” X had a slight variation,”You’re never going forgive me anyway, so what’s the point in telling you the truth?” Ugh, maybe because after decades together, I deserve to know how much bullshit you were shoveling my way.

      What a competent therapist should say is that the truth is better than a lie. Always. That after years of lies, your spouse deserves to know what was actually happening in the marriage all those times when things weren’t adding up. That your spouse wasn’t “crazy” when he or she confronted you about your questionable conduct. That one does not need a professional apologist to be an honest human being.

      Basically, this guy has given every cheater an out. Tell the truth (at the going rate) so long as it benefits you. The minute your truthful disclosure has actual consequences, shut your fucking mouth. Because, you know, the truth might be “used against you” in court, to do things like make sure your children do not become your next victims.

      If this “expert” was Weiner’s counselor throughout his continued decent into pedophilia, it is no wonder his client is headed to federal prison (for not nearly as much time as he should). Excuse, deny, deflect, that’s the cheater’s way.

      Every time I think that Weiner’s conduct most likely put the current Bozo In Chief in the White House, I want to throw up. And worse.

      • He wasn’t Weiner’s shrink. He just wrote sympathetic articles about him, near as I can tell.

        • You’re right. The expert used at the sentencing hearing probably got paid way more than $150 per hour. The forensic psychiatrists and psychologists who testify as expert witnesses in court get paid a fortune, as do the “mitigation specialists”, who are used all the time in these kinds of cases. I’m sure Weiner (or probably his family) spent a very large sum of money on experts in his case. It is a very lucrative field, and there is always plenty of business.

      • And these people like Weiss have made sex addiction a socially acceptable condition. I don’t remember when it was but I remember being in disbelief when I first heard that term used in the media, kind of like conscious uncoupling- wth are you serious?

        I’m wondering if I can go into court, tell the judge I have a “Kardashian style living” addiction and he will award my alimony appropriately to deal with my addiction.

      • >>””You’re never going forgive me anyway, so what’s the point in telling you the truth?”

        Must be in the Playbook. I heard this several times from my STBX.

        I also got gems such as:
        “What’s with you and HONESTY?” (maybe because honesty is sort of an important part of trust in a marriage, integrity, decency …)
        –“What does it matter? It was a long time ago.” (evidently there is a statute of limitations on my right to know the truth)
        –“You know all of it.” (just before I would discover more)
        –“Okay, that’s all of it this time, really.” (just before I would discover more … ad nauseum)
        –“Not telling you isn’t the same as lying.” (Yes, I married a man with the emotional capacity of a rebellious teen … argh)
        –“I told you already.” (I’m pretty sure I would remember saying you fucked that other woman while I was pregnant)

        And the one that pisses me off THE MOST …
        Of his own volition he came to me, held my hand and through tears stated: “I swear on our children’s lives that you know everything.”
        Within a week of him stating this, more evidence came to light. #CompleteAsshole

        • JesssMom it is really low when they use the children to help them get away with cheating. About 2 weeks before he started his affair I have noticed that he had been leaving his wedding ring at home when he went to work. I had questioned him about it a few times he always had excuses. I text him one time and said I was getting really concerned that he kept leaving it at home. He said “I’m really sorry I keep forgetting it, I would never do anything like that to you, I love you and I love our son” pregnant chump that I was believed him. Now I see it was a massive red flag that I ignored. I now know he began flirting with the teenager as soon as he met her about a month earlier. I think there is definitely more sickening things I don’t know about from what I have read here. It is either that or I’m reading too much into the situation.

          • In my experience, and from what I’ve learned via others’ stories, what you know is the tiniest tip of the iceberg.

            Please know that reading that pissed me off FOR you … that was really shitty of him. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.


            • Thank you it is one of those things that really triggers me. I just feel so stupid for being duped by him. I think my post pregnancy hormones and lack of sleep is getting on top of me.

              • I understand wholeheartedly. My STBX duped me for the entire 20+ years we were married. In hindsight, there were many red flags. MANY. But, in hindsight, I can see that I didn’t know a red-flag from a cardinal.

                It never would have dawned on me that the man professing his undying love (almost daily) would have such deplorable character and ill intentions.
                Naive? Probably.
                Optimistic? Yes.
                Loving? Definitely.
                Stupid? … Not at all.

                I promise, you are not stupid. And you are certainly not alone.

              • Pregnant Chump-
                Congratulations on your new baby.
                I want to say also that I too dealt with hormonal shifts and sleep deprivation soon after my baby girl was born. Still unsure at the time that my husband left me for another woman (my intuition, therapist, and two attorneys assured me that it was the most likely scenario, but he adamantly denied it), I felt like I was losing my mind. He would take our son to “the park” or “hiking” yet every time he returned, my son’s hair had been brushed out (he would get little dreads from sleeping on it, and I was too tired to chase him around with a newborn so I let it go). I thought, how odd that my husband would carry a comb with him during hikes. But if I thought too much about it, I’d have panic attacks and my suffering would affect the quality of care I was able to provide my children. I was forced to suppress my feelings in order to give my children all of me.
                It isn’t fair and they seem to be completely indifferent to how their infidelity affects the faithful spouse and the children.
                They don’t have the capacity to care.
                I couldn’t for the life of me understand how my husband could give up sixteen years, a house and two children for some strange. I stopped trying because the simplicity of it is- they are central to their own needs. Everything else is secondary. So they support a family, have a job and appear to care for their children? Nothing more than image management. When my husband left us, he stopped talking to his friends and family. He collected an entirely new set of friends, none of whom knew me. To this day, he goes to great lengths to keep me from his separate group of work friends. (his ap is a co worker). He also changed as a person. He was awful to me and when he wasn’t awful, he was indifferent. He just didn’t care. Period.
                Going through this crap during and post pregnancy is a special kind of hell I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. Except his affair partner. I would absolutely wish this upon her.
                The fact that someone could willingly participate in blowing up a family, by fucking a married man who left his pregnant wife and 1 and 1/2 year old toddler, has completely devastated my faith in humanity.
                I guess she thought she must be very special that he’d do that to be with her. In reality, she was just an easy target… And a slut.

              • He has stopped talking to all our mutual friends he didn’t really have any of his own. I think he has made friends from the other teenagers/young people at the job he met OW at. He has kept his family I doubt I’ll ever speak to them again. It’s really hard not to take their blame shifting as being true. The changing as a person happened so quickly. In the morning of D-day he was worrying about me being hungry at work because he ate all the bread. He then asked me to borrow money. When he got home from work he confused about the affair and then he was gone straight away and never returned. The OW was just a cowardly way out for STBX. He had lied so much to me prior to the affair that he wasn’t going to hang around and be held accountable for his actions. I don’t believe he loves her or at least he loves her as much as he ever did me.

              • JesssMom it does provide some comfort that I’m not alone even though you don’t want to see others go through this shitstorm. It also provides comfort reading eveyones stories and seeing my cheater is not special and does the same shit as all the rest of them. I think I’m just still struggling to accept that he never was who I thought he was. It’s hard to see that you married someone wearing a mask even when you have clear evidence that the mask has slipper or fallen off entirely.

          • Pregnant Chump, ya know, it wasn’t a red flag you ignored hun, you saw it and you did the honest thing by addressing it with him. You cannot blame yourself for his lying, cheating, bullshit response. YOU did not miss anything. YOU believed your husband, the man you loved, whose child you were carrying. Of course you believed him. Stop adding insult to injury. He’s a fkg ass.

          • Pregnant Chump-I too was a pregnant chump. You are not alone. Yesterday it was 2 years to the day that I found out about the prostitutes and erotic massage parlours while I was pregnant…trickle truth later including upping the hooker count, dating sites and some in depth details I did NOT ask for-he was trying to hurt me.
            Our baby girl was only 2 months old 🙁
            “I don’t know” was always his answer when asked why. Finally I got “I think I did it because I was mad at you” bullshit.
            I already had 2 older kids from my previous marriage. He begged me to have his child. Had I had known about narcissism before I met him I’d’ve run for my life. I ticked off nearly every point starting at Lovebombing. I suppose he discarded me 1st by cheating, but in the end I left him, begging for me to stay. He couldn’t believe I’d leave because I was totally taken care of pfft…I’m much happier in my lil mobile home, pretty poor(I have Narcolepsy with Cataplexy so I could only ever work pt, and developed ptsd and a wicked case of anxiety thanks to that fucker)
            I still struggle pretty bad some days but I think(maybe..perhaps) I’m going through some kind of spiritual awakening…don’t get me wrong-I will NEVER forgive or forget, and to those who tell me forgiveness is for me, I reply “my soul is at peace with not forgiving but thanks!”
            It’s super hard having your core shaken. Questioning everything about life, love, the world and yourself…not knowing that you literally are sleeping with the enemy, that you really don’t know this person, and coming to the conclusion that there’s no other explanation other than they truly are evil-no empathy and zero conscience.
            Just know this-it is NOT YOUR FAULT!!! No matter what!! It’s speaks volumes about HIS character and who HE is as a person. He will die a lonely old man. But you? You are not him and that’s your superpower. You care about others, love others, wouldn’t intentionally do wrong to people. Those things are foreign to them. They envy that part of us.
            See a therapist to help you through this. It will take time but when you can finally see a speck of light on the other side, you’ll see you are stronger, wiser and unwilling to put up with Anybody’s bullshit ever again. Hard pill to swallow I know but you can do it day by day.

            • It just boggles my mind as to why they plan children with us and then do these disgusting things. I’m sure it’s some sinister reason that us normal people could never understand. I’m not sure if mine is a narcissist he certainly has many of the traits. I missed red flags before we were married as I’m sure we all did. It’s really scary that one day they are a loving husband and the next they are literally the enemy. I’m sorry you are still struggling two years later. I am looking at more therapy. It was recommended that I waited till the baby was 3/4 months old before I went back.

        • they should really say “I swear on our children’s lives that you know everything, including the fact that I am a selfish liar to the core.”

        • All of this sounds so familiar. And let’s not forget the old standby,”I don’t remember.” When I asked to simply know how long he had been cheating, that was his response! Of course, he couldn’t remember so many basic things, it is a wonder how he found his way home at night.

          Whenever I hear anyone say, “I don’t remember,” or “I don’t recall” repeatedly, especially about something significant or damaging, I conclude that person is a liar. There are some things you just don’t forget.

          • Violet

            in addition to the “I don’t remember” were HIS angry outbursts at me for asking!

            Like I was crazy or negative or nagging him, and he “works hard” & didn’t have time for that!”

            I feel sickened by what was “real/fake” and we have 3 wonderful kids. Christ, I am angry at my old trusting self almost as much as I am angry at him.

          • Yep same …i swear on our children im not leaving for someone else (out of the blue after 25yrs) that is the last thing on my mind !!!! What im most pissed about is that he thought he was so good at lying i would believe it. Red flag… assume everything your cheater says is polar opposite they are that brazen. But to go as far as hiding behind swearing on the kids . Nothing is off limits to these people. The UBT should be given to every married couple on their honeymoon so they can callnout their spouse when they start to spout this drivel. What dont you trust me !!!??? NO…refer to page 4 of the UBT manual .!

        • Yep same …i swear on our children im not leaving for someone else (out of the blue after 25yrs) that is the last thing on my mind !!!! What im most pissed about is that he thought he was so good at lying i would believe it. Red flag… assume everything your cheater says is polar opposite they are that brazen. But to go as far as hiding behind swearing on the kids . Nothing is off limits to these people. The UBT should be given to every married couple on their honeymoon so they can callnout their spouse when they start to spout this drivel. What dont you trust me !!!??? NO…refer to page 4 of the UBT manual .!

      • I agree. Of all the issues (Putin, emails, and more) that impacted the election, the one that enrages me most is Weiner’s reckless, selfish behavior. Huma Abedin couldn’t see around corners but everyone including HRC had to know that a Weiner incident (pun intended) would be bad news for her boss’s campaign.

        • Agreed. Huma is one of the best examples of why it is so important not to let the love of any person, be it spouse, child, or family, blind you to the realities of who that person really is and what they are capable of doing. Weiner is rotten to the core, and the fact that he was able to manipulate so many people is frightening. That is why I say once the trust is gone, the fact that you may still think you “love” that person becomes irrelevant. Without trust, love is just a series of death by a thousand cuts.

          • “Without trust, love is just a series of death by a thousand cuts.”

            So true, violet. So. True. Staying with my STBX was killing me slowly. Like someone else on here said, it’s not just the sexual act (although that is definitely inexcuseable), it’s the total betrayal and disrespect. I trusted this guy with my life, literally. He put it at risk by having unprotected sex with another/other woman/women. He had absolutely no problem looking me right in the eye and lying. Gotta hand it to him – he was good at the game. Until he wasn’t.

            • Ex used to say that phrase every day ‘death by a thousands cuts’ i thought i t was him refering to bills and daily work grind etc. Now i think it was him describing what he was doing to me every day. Selective memory is purely to fuck with you. 2 weeks before he walked out wanting a shock divorce he turned to me and said …you know what day it is? …me… ???…we had sex for the first time (this is would have been 24 years ago) we talked about it laughed…cutehaha. in the divorce papers he tells his lawyer we got married on the wrong date….by a month a season out. They remember stuff but use it against you. My lawyer said men often forget wedding dates…not narcissists they torture you with every detail.

  • Great UBT, as usual! Good luck with surgery and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  • Oh geez like they even tell the truth! My assface didn’t confess until after several months of martial counseling, Retrovailles, and me in his face. Just stony silence until HE could no longer “take my bitchiness.” I doubt he even considered fessing up because he told me it was none of my business!

    But I was to blame because I was bitching and I got too nosy about OUR personal finances. Ugh.

    As one of my favorite friends would tell me “fuck that shit!”

  • The ultimate shit sandwich is when he teaches the kids to lie. You catch them in a lie and their response, “We didn’t want you to worry.”

    Sounds like regurgitated bullshit to me.

  • CORRECTION — Weiss is NOT (was not) Weiner’s sex addiction therapist. He just wrote a nice sympathetic article or two about his “condition.”

    My apologies. I’ve updated the text.

  • So I click on the link and I am reading the article thinking this isn’t too bad, he calls a lie a lie. I see the crap mixed in but think aw, I’ve seen worse but then I get to the end and read:

    “But do you want your relationship to be exactly as it was, anyway? If you think about it, you probably don’t. Because if your relationship was perfect, then you wouldn’t have cheated.”

    Alarms, bells and whistles go off in my head- I can no longer see because the steam coming from my ears and nose is fogging my glasses!!!

    Translation: if he had only partnered with a unicorn, he wouldn’t have cheated! Give me a fuckin’ break! Puhlease.

    After that shitload, I bet Utb needs a week at the spa. We will see who recovers faster UTB or chump lady. Best wishes for surgery, I am sure it will be a breeze as a former chump?

    • Only perfect spouses are worthy of fidelity, didn’t you know that? Be perfect…OR ELSE.

      • Exactly! And the Perfectuon Requirement only applies to chumps.

        Cheaters, after all, are human beings. We should not judge them for their faults.

        “It just happened. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I’m not perfect. I made a mistake (singular!). Mistakes were made (passive voice!). And, as CL says, the problem is not what I did, but your reaction to it. Don’t be so high and mighty. Don’t be so self-righteous!”

        • Sounds just like PreyingMantis! “Life threw us curveballs & hard decisions were made…” Um, whatever happened to “until death do us part”? Those hard decisions… is there a third-party bad decision maker out there who comes in and decides that one spouse should screw around on the other? So basically, if life gets too tough you can completely forget your marriage vows and just walk away with a get-out-of-jail-free card?

        • Sounds like mine. “I made one massive, drawn out mistake”. One?? Mistake? You made a choice dickhead. Several of them, and they constitute emotional abuse. And then came home to me and mindfucked me in numerous ways. And then finally made an actual decision and left, still saying “it wasn’t like that” and “nothing happened”. Until two long conversations later where you finally admitted some of it. Who knows what I don’t know… What I know is haunting me anyway.

          I did get an apology but had to pretty much beg (sigh… I have had very non-mighty moments) him to tell me what he was sorry for. He did say he was sorry for lying and for cheating. In a way that mainly suggested ‘sorry you got hurt, but not sorry for the outcome because my happiness etc.’

          Also thought this text I received was an interesting turn of phrase: “You are right that the infidelity is possibly the worst thing that I could have done to you.” “The infidelity?” YOUR BLOODY ACTIONS FUCKWIT.

        • I got a short, defensive email after I found his big Craigslist email cache, and had confronted him, told him I was no longer waiting for him to decide (he had left and ghosted me for over 3 months) and was filing for divorce on the adultery grounds (although we’re a fucking “no fault” state).

          He said it was all fantasy, he’d never have followed through and he “meant to hurt” me. I’ve assumed that was a typo (he’s not smart) or a Freudian slip. Now I wonder if he said exactly what he meant. Whatever. Done and dusted – divorce done in less than 5 months and he married Liver Spot Lolita a few months after. They deserve each other.

      • Wow. That was a serious come to Jesus moment right now.

        I divorced my first husband because after 15 years of abuse, he threatened to kill me in front of our 5 kids. He would tell me if I had been a submissive and godly wife, I wouldn’t have provoked him into beating me. I had no problem being emotionally detached from that train wreck and when I finally called it quits, I stayed gone. Had no issues staying away and no guilt for not giving it everything I could because I did.

        Enter second husband, the cheater. I was so glad he was not beating me, not berating me, didn’t rack up credit card debt, seemed reasonable enough. He also didn’t praise me, never ever once introduced me as his wife (always “other half” not even a gratuitous “better half”) never made much effort to really go the extra mile…. had me believing he was the better spouse and I often told people I was a lousy wife. He never actually told me I was, but he left me feeling like the lesser spouse… the lesser parent. If I wasn’t less, I was left feeling like I had to make myself less in order to be good for him.

        At least with the first, his dysfunction was honest… and I could see it for what it was. The second… man…. never been so duped in my life. He actually left me feeling like he was so much better than me and when I did have times where I was really shining (like when I made Dean’s List and Honor Roll when he was barely pulling a C average) I never felt like I could celebrate or say much about it, for fear of making HIM feel bad.

        I always had to be less than him. And then when I did that, I wasn’t good enough.


        Wow wow….

        The mindfuck….

  • Hmph. Any professional involvement ought to include an attorney.

  • You nailed the ‘justifications not the tell’, CL. Bravo.

    One thing to add to this: “Hire a quack for $150 an hour to guide you through this difficult time. So many revelations, so many billable hours.”

    And get your Chump to pay for it.

  • Ah, truth. This is the one thing that pisses me off the most — because, at the end of it all, he couldn’t even summon the tiny speck of humanity required to at least tell me what my life had been. What he had done. What he had stolen from me. The refusal to give me full knowledge to make just and rational decisions was the major factor in my decision to push for a divorce (even before the inferno-like implosion).

    I had to dig for the truth — I had to GPS, VAR, and use software I didn’t even know existed. Everywhere I looked, there was something new (with Cheater STBX asshat always insisting, “but that’s all of it this time … really”).

    I’m putting together a timeline of computer activity (no worries — all legal) and other discoveries I’ve made about our 20+ year marriage. The document, which may be only 5% done, is ALREADY up to 150 pages, 9 font. This is the best kind of “trust that he sucks” document I could possibly create. Because it is THE TRUTH.

    Fuck Mr. Weiss-I’m-Happy-to-Add-Pain-and-Misery-onto-Victims-so-Long-as-I-get-my-Hourly-Fee. In my eyes, Chump Lady is a hero for taking on assholes like this. Without voices like hers, the narrative will not change and victims will continue to be victimized even after the trauma.

    • JesssMom — what is the perspective on cheating, in terms of society? Has there always been this level of sneaky, low, lying behavior? But the good spouse tolerated it?

      Are we as a people now growing ever less tolerant of infidelity and lying?

      • Good question, QueenMother. Keeping in mind that I may be a bit jaded given that I’m pretty fresh out of the gate (separated a few months) … my best guess is that tolerance of cheating and lying are about the same, but they are shifting in form.

        To my knowledge, in previous eras, cheating (mostly by the men) was socially overlooked as long as the cheater didn’t actively harm his family — by walking out and leaving them destitute, for example. And as long as the cheater at least tried to keep the affair low-key. Somehow this translated into “respect” for his wife. (*facepalm)

        I think today’s world tends to overlook development of character values … such as integrity, honesty, etc. Add in the new-agey (my opinion) perspective that offenders of all stripes should be coddled because it is believed that their wrong-doing must be caused by unexpressed pain or despair. Thus, holding someone accountable for bad behavior often results in being vilified. A cheater really couldn’t ask for a better set-up than that.

        It would be wonderful if people would grow less tolerant of bad behavior … and more supportive of victims of bad behavior. Getting the word out about the very real damage caused by cheaters will, I hope, help move society in that direction.

    • ^^^agreed^^^
      “This difficult time” is what gets me!
      The cheater & cheated on are not going through a “difficult time” together.
      One is an abuser and the other a victim suffering from PTSD.
      Does “This difficult time” refer to the PTSD the chump is experiencing on top of everything else and the poor cheater having to suffer through that?

      • Excellent point.

        Calling it a “difficult time” is a mindfuck all its own.

        It minimizes the hurtful behavior while simultaneously dismissing the the pain and suffering of the person harmed. The worst part, though, is that it’s being stated by a third party, so it appears to give credence to the disordered cheater’s perspective that holding him accountable is equivalent to persecuting him. (Or her … sorry … I tend to default to my cheater’s gender.)

    • Jess Mom, you really need to cut down to what is really relevant! It sounds like you are doing a LOT of work, but at this rate, your document will be 3000 pages that NO ONE (no lawyer, no jury, no judge) will read. You have GOT to break it down to basics. I know that every tiny detail is important to you, but I PROMISE that it will not be to the court. Please use your time wisely. I have been down this road.

      • Hi texasgal — thanks for that.

        I do understand that the document isn’t going to help me legally (luckily, he’s done enough other stuff that is fully admissible).

        The document is intended solely for me. It’s helping me to put together the pieces of my life with him, which he has denied to me by refusing to tell me anything more than what I have irrefutable evidence for. I need my reality back, yes–but most importantly I have found the process very helpful in reiterating how much he really, really sucks.

        Take Care,
        Jess’s Mom

        • JesssMom, I get it!

          Collecting data that reiterates how much he really, really sucks is helpful when you’re breaking the habit of being nice (too nice): you’ve loved this person for years, and being understanding even when he’s a jerk has become second nature. Evidence of his assholeness HELPS when gray rock is a very new and different way of being.

          I’m collecting data not for my lawyer, but for me. I want to get to meh, but I’m still very angry and very confused. I remember saying after D-Day #1, “Who ARE you??” The conflicting information does not compute!

          In a hopium haze, I believed what he SAID about being sorry and didn’t pay enough attention to what he DID: more self-centered behavior, more leaving the household chores almost exclusively to me, more disrespect in the way he could talk to me. The day I asked him to do a heavy lifting thing and he said “your fingers aren’t broken” is the day I SHOULD have been done!

          It took his taking a woman out to dinner and lying about where he was and with whom to get me to done. Years of intermittent reinforcement had me hooked, and I’m still in withdrawal (which includes grieving for the life I THOUGHT I had); the evidence-gathering helps with this process.

  • My ex, initially, after the revelation of several affairs, said there were other things to tell me, but it would have to be done with a counselor. So, I initially pushed for us to start marriage counselling, but quit mentioning it when I read enough stories of chump abuse in counseling with malignant narcissists. Besides, we had neither the “time” nor “money” for that. So for about a year, I investigated on my own, uncovered more infidelity, got my ducks in a good-enough-cluster. Before separating, I asked him what he hadn’t told me, that had to wait for counselling. He admitted to yet another affair, when #2 was a baby. I don’t believe that was the big holdout. So, in my mind, I get to define his big holdout, and I’ve filled in this missing piece with some whoppers.

    • Yup Crimson Comet, for the disordered, marriage counseling is a playground, a free-for-all, to throw around the chump’s emotions, seduce the therapist, and strengthen that skill in lying.

      • At first, I was desperate to fix the marriage, but time and money were tight. Believe me, I know one will make the time for the things that are a priority, and money can be allocated when there is a need. I had been well trained that I was unimportant, and our marriage was back-burnered.
        I kept looking and finding evidence, and learning about cluster b’s, and reading about how marriage counselling goes. At some point, I no longer wanted to save the marriage. It was dead, and he killed it. I needed out.
        By the time I asked about the held-back info, I was no longer surprised, or even hurt. I was disgusted by him to learn of another affair. It occured to me (and others) afterwards, that this wasn’t the “big-thing” that had to wait for counselling to be revealed.
        So I don’t know and don’t really care, but he left it open for me to imagine some things to fill in the blanks.

  • I do agree that if a cheater were to decide to admit a long string of cheating, there should be a neutral 3rd party person there to support the shocked Chump. I wish that my nowdeadserialcheater had admitted what he did and done it in the presence of a Roman Catholic Priest. Having the 3rd party be a cheater-apologist would be horrible though.

    • Lawyer is fine. Therapist could be great. I like the description of Chump Lady’s therapist who yelled at CL’s then husband, “Are you fuckin kidding me?!” That’s how I remember the story, anyway.

  • “Please notice that this definition does not talk specifically about affairs, porn, strip clubs, hookup apps, or any other specific sexual or romantic act, either real or virtual. Instead it focuses on what matters most to a betrayed partner — the loss of relationship trust. Usually, for a cheated-on spouse it’s not the specific sexual or romantic act that causes the most pain; it’s the lying, the secret keeping, the lies of omission, the manipulation, and the fact that they can no longer trust anything their cheating partner says or does.”

    Yes, let’s narrow the definition of cheating down to the bare minimum and then put all that chump pain into a tiny compartment labeled ‘trust’. See how easy it is to minimize and compartmentalize the disordered actions and the spouses reactions. What a fuckimg Quack.

    Hope all goes well with surgery Tracy.

    • I agree Doingme. I don’t want to know the specifics of his secret rendevous’ with AP. Just knowing he betrayed my trust is all I need to know. That he lied to me and lived a double life for 4 years is enough. That is the thing that hurts like hell because I loved and trusted him.

      • So sorry Georgie. I knew many details over the years. Wishing sometimes I didn’t know. Peace to you.

        In part I was being sarcastic about how this Quack of a therapist wants to overlook the breadth and debth of betrayal through HIS definition in the attached article. He then goes on to make the issue singular (trust) implying this is what needs to be reestablished in his so called ‘therapy’ aimed at reconciliation no doubt. His approach is to keep the chump in the dark and makes no mention of consequences or restitution for their actions.

        Let’s put all the dirty little deeds to rest and further damage the abused is his end game in my opinion.

        • We need woke therapists to deal with the reality of cheating in a marriage.

  • Although all of Weiss’s points drive me crazy, this one in particular is maddening:

    “Your partner is not emotionally or physically well enough to experience this process.”

    Most of us were gaslighted, devalued, belittled, and devoid of kind treatment for months or years. This tends to have a deleterious effect on a victim’s psyche. We exhibit anxiety, sleeplessness, under/overeating, second-guessing ourselves, depression, and thus may not be “emotionally or physically well” BECAUSE of the actions of the cheater. And then the cheater gets to use that against us to FURTHER gaslight us, and withhold information in the ultimate power play?

    Fuck that. I haven’t had Dexter-like fantasies for years, but Mr. Weiss warrants one.

    • Amen Tempest!

      To top it off these Weiss types are the ones the lawyers and other politically correct people are quoting to make sure chumps remain in there mushroom state (kept in the dark and fed shit). I learned about that from cheater years ago but never realized he was referring to me until he left.

      • My POS used to love telling me stories about a navy colleague who fucked around on his pretty little wife at every port and would even lie and say he had to stay aboard as duty officer to get couple of one night stands in while in homeport. Told me that even the navy chaplain was in a brothel in Puerto Rico on one of their trips.
        Untangling the skein of f’ed upness during our divorce I realized he was talking about himself and was sniggering at my stupidity the whole time (22 years of lying bs). Never dawned on me to ask “how the holy hell did he know the good reverend was in the whorehouse?”
        Tells you how stupid I was to believe that marriage vows meant anything.
        The buttface is perfect for Weiss, he’s talking out his ass!

        • Dont I now wonder how many of the “so many of my shipmates cheat” conversations were some sort of warning or admission…but I was like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms in my denial, my husband would NEVER do that to me. facepalm.

  • I love how he turns the cheater into a superman who is willing to risk his relationship in order to save it. I just can’t even.

    And when he gets to the part saying the cheater wouldn’t have cheated if the relationship was perfect….what relationship is perfect? What person is perfect? I can say with certainty that my ex is far from perfect even without the infidelity. This “Doctor” knows exactly nothing about actual people, I think he must watch romantic comedies to get his insights on humanity.

    • or whatever he is if he’s not a doctor, i can’t interpret all those letters after his name

    • No doubt! Want a list of MY unmet needs? my unhappiness? my X’s imperfections? Have a few hours? And yet my privates stayed private.

    • I used to tell people that STBXs biggest fault was that he was nearly perfect and so couldn’t understand why the rest of the world wasn’t as nearly perfect as he was. This was at the heart of most of my unhappiness in the marriage. Being perfect doesn’t lead to perfect relationships.

    • This also reminds me of the anniversary card I gave him on our 22nd anniversary. It was about a month before DDay and he had been criticizing everything about me. I could do nothing right, my hair was wrong, I didn’t dress right, wasn’t parenting right etc. etc. I found a card that said on the cover “I may not be perfect but…” then inside it said “No, I take that back, actually I am perfect, aren’t you lucky to have me”. I felt a bit arrogant giving it to him, but I couldn’t help myself because I felt he needed the reminder. He didn’t really react at all. By that time, I was less than nothing to him. I got a present (picked out last minute on the way home form “work”) but no card.

      I was kind of surprised to find a card like that in the Anniversary section, but evidently some card maker out there knows there are couples who need it.

  • I don’t know why, but asshat decided to trickle some truth out recently. For me it wasn’t new information because I already knew. However, this truthiness did not include what I recently found out though. That stuff still hurt-not at meh yet. So there you go.

    He was so proud to have produced this tidbit. Told his therapist even! My only question to asshat was what was his therapist’s reaction to his pathological lying. He said he winced. I grey-rocked through his discourse, telling myself to think clinically-thanks tempest!

    You will never have transparency with a disordered idiot. Quit seeking it. I am here to tell you if your spouse is a serial cheater or cheater with a long term double life, ‘long term’ is any amount of time screwing the same loser over and over again, the truth they magnanimously tell you is opaque.

    If you covet Hopium, this may be enough to keep you manipulated and under their control. Trust me and other chumps that they do not respect you. You are not an individual being to them nor are your kids. They need to MANAGE you and their facade. The end game of lying, trickle truth, etc.. is to shut you up and keep the kibbles rolling. <<<this has created the most grief for me after DDay.

    Grey rock, low contact or no contact. Cheaters cheat, liars lie and thieves steal. The idiot admitted using our still mingled finances to pay for strippers and porn. See above^^^ holy crap I have some MORE accounting work to gather.

    • Should use past tense. His bullshit *created*. After busting his ass it was horrendous grief to acknowledge the person you trusted the most could give two fucks about you or even their own kids.

      Chumps need to embrace that the cheater cheating et al has nothing to do with them. Weiss glosses over this and failed supremely with his analysis of convicted governmental creep, Weiner.

        • Hang in there, ANC… we understand and we support you one hundred percent. You’ve been going through something really difficult. And you’re doing a great job of getting through it! Sending you big hugs (((long distance))) 😀

          • Thanks. my story is old. It’s crazy how much cheaters try to hoover. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with having kids with the asshole.

    • So sorry for the continued pain. I completely admire that you were able to stay analytical throughout the confession. I’m not sure I could have managed that — I’m still working on my gray rock just for basic discussions about finances, kids, etc. 😉

      >>” I am here to tell you if your spouse is a serial cheater or cheater with a long term double life, ‘long term’ is any amount of time screwing the same loser over and over again, the truth they magnanimously tell you is opaque.”

      This is, unequivocally, my experience as well.

    • ANC — I guess I think with each act of infidelity their souls sink deeper and deeper, geometrically, into a subhuman state. They get worse and worse.

      • Yes — this sounds right to me.

        I was able to unearth my STBX’s computer use for almost the entirety of our 20+ year marriage (he horded technology). This included an old work computer that the company gave to our family when they closed their doors.

        I was stunned to see porn, more stunned to see it across every computer, more stunned to see it on his work computer (time stamped while he was actually “working”) … but one of the things that stunned me the most was to see how his interest in degradation, humiliation, pain (everything sordid you could imagine) increased over time.

        The shit he looked at — knowing my husband found this horrible, vile crap titillating — gave me nightmares. We’ve been separated for a few months; I still have nightmares.

        • I have an old computer I want to look into myself but it hasn’t been working for awhile. Any ideas how to recover the hard drive? Ex knew everything about computer, unfortunately, I did not.

          • Hi sweetChumpgirl:

            This depends if you can turn it on or not. If not, others (with more technical skill than myself) would need to chime in.

            If you can get it up and running, the very first thing I would recommend is backing up the computer to an external hard drive (this way, when you start searching, you aren’t over-writing data you may need). If you don’t know how to do this (I didn’t at first!), Google it. The steps are pretty easy, thankfully.

            Then do a small bit of research about how to dig up data in your computer. (Google was my absolute best friend for all of this … I’m NOT technically savvy — not at all).

            A few tips. The files that helped me the most were the Temporary Internet Files, Browser Histories, and Pictures. I was also able to obtain old email files and chat files as well. When I couldn’t remember passwords, (some of the computers were really old) I found software to help retrieve them. Other software helped me to retrieve “lost” and “deleted” files.

            You mentioned that this is your old computer. Keep in mind (and most articles on the subject will warn you) that if it isn’t your computer, it’s not legal to dig into the computer’s files.

            Wishing you all the best.

            Jess’s Mom

            • Ty Jess’s Mom. It’s actually our old tower siting in my closet. I might have to go to a tech person to recover some stuff for sure. I appreciate the feedback. I didn’t even think about it until I saw your post.

              • Good luck, sweetChumpgirl.

                As horrible as the discoveries were, I have no regrets digging into the computers. It has given me a great deal of information I needed (for instance, I now have evidence he watched porn while he was caring for our young daughter).

  • I’ve read a bunch of these that are such bullshit. This is just enabling the behavior so the cheater can justify this to themselves in the fog of the other lies they tell themselves. I would rather have known everything or really, I wish I didn’t have to get chumped to begin with because there was a way to do all of this with integrity and respect, but she didn’t have the character to do that at all, so she’d love this guy. Its bullshit.

  • And even worse than the money-grubbing therapists are the Alcoholics Anonymous/AA groups that abide by the 12-step program. They are hypocrites because in step 9 they preach the importance of confessing sins to others they’ve hurt BUT they very conveniently make the exception for infidelity. They claim that concealing infidelities is “okay” because “doing so may cause harm to them or the betrayed” (mostly the betrayed; unless you count the financial hurt that the wayward partner will receive when he/she is socked with a divorce, especially in an at-fault divorce state). Oh and apparently the background to the AA 12-step program involves Bill Wilson, a well-known ladies’ man/player/scumbag/nasty slut who frequently cheated on his wife Lois so much, that people started coining the term the “13th step” to describe how he would seduce girls after they’d completed the program. According to friends and partners who’ve been through the program, the “13th step” is still joked about and coined in meetings to this day, decades later. Oh and did anyone ever mention all the hooking up that goes on at those AA/NA events? A LOT of couples or FWBs who met through AA. It seems that a lot of them see 12-step programs to have a dual purpose, assisting with substance sobriety yes, but also serving as a social grounds for meeting dates. SMFH.

    • I realize generalizing has it’s risks, but I have to say that every person I have known who had a partner go into rehab of any kind ended up learning that the partner cheated with someone they met in rehab. It does seem to be a closed-society incestuous kind of thing.

      • One of the most important insights I got as a recovering chump is the twisted way cheaters use the same words but ascribe different meaning to them in their own head…

        “Wrong” for a chump = unjust, dishonest, or immoral
        “Wrong” for a cheater = not serving my self-interest or threatening my image/reputation

        I’ve learned the hard way how smart and subtle my X is in his his lying and deceiving ways (or paltering habit as UXword would say)… This is why the only reasonable response to his character disturbance was divorce and NC beyond shared custody logistics.

        Every once in a while, I catch myself almost pocking that bear when he sends a hovering email. Things like “define consideration.” But then I get back to my “no kibbles for you” mantra and let it go.

        Don’t get fooled chumps, cheaters are good at naugahyde remorse… Instead, trust that they suck and protect yourself and your kids by getting as far away as possible from your cheater’s dysfunctional world view.

    • The problem with Step 9 in the 12 steps is that Bill Wilson, who started AA, cheated on his wife repeatedly through their long relationship, almost openly in AA, with a well-known mistress who was also a public AA person. Sexual secrets are still considered rather taboo in that community, even though I’d argue that very frequently drinking and drug use go hand-in-hand with secretive sexual behavior. Which is not to completely diss the program, which I still believe is a very good systemic approach to managing addictions and mostly advocates responsibility taking and developing good character. But it does have its flaws, and you just pointed out the biggest one.

      I continue to be shocked at how many people stay with their cheaters even after therapeutic disclosures. It’s an openly-held belief among sex addiction therapists that “spouses must be as sick as the addicts” for staying with them after they know the truth. As a therapist I’ve suggested against it to folks but oddly, a lot of people still do stay. That’s why I think Chump Lady and Chump Nation are so important, it really does change the narrative and offer people a different choice. Whether they take that is completely up to us/them.

    • Lucinda,

      Thanks for reminding people of this-some predatory people attend 12 step meetings solely for victims to prey on. Most of those who attend are struggling and can be vulnerable to manipulation. I got an earful from a male friend who attends SLAA about men with criminal histories (rape,soliciting prostitutes,child molesters) who are in his meetings. I recommend attending meetings that are single sex and being on the lookout for users. I stopped going to a co-ed meeting because I got fed up with men asking me for my phone number and proposing that “we see where this can go”. I even went so far as to confront them “You’re 13th stepping. Please stop.”

      Some people have asked to borrow money or help with their resume/finding a job which crosses boundaries and overlooks the importance of anonymity in the program. No last names,revealing what one’s profession is or sharing where one lives !

  • “Stand your Ground”

    This is such a dangerous statement to give to an abuser. He is knowingly protecting the deviant, the serial cheating cluster B personality disordered.

    To what end? In essence he’s promoting abuse, not recognizing it as such, and controlling the narrative.

    Infidelity IS abuse. He’s promoting a setup, advising an abuser to forewarn the therapist of the end goal; stump the chump.

    What he also omits is the excitement an abuser feels when he retells the details. The Limited ENJOYED the power.

  • What a bunch of bullshit.
    Two years out, looking back now, I wanted so badly to KNOW everything, and he would deny, deny, deny about even the smallest parts of his shenanigans when confronted with undeniable facts/evidence. Nope, didn’t happen… I don’t have to answer that…that’s not what I said…blah blah blah
    In the end, sitting here now, I still want to know, not to prove him out to be a lying cheating, stealing prick- because I already know that- I want to verify my suspicions and suppositions so I will know I’m not some drama-hungry, messy, shit-starting jaded bitter bunny that can’t just move on and get over it…I will know I was right. I want to know that I was right about it all. Is that too much to ask?

    • I get what you are saying, Molly! For me, I didn’t bother asking. Didn’t want to know the details. I just wanted to hack him out of my life at the very moment. Like that movie where the hiker had to hack off his own arm in order to survive.

    • Molly

      Usually when the cheater gives details it’s trickle truth. I got the details, forgave, until the next. There was always a next. What I have to live with is my staying power. It nearly destroyed me.

      With the last one I knew my survival depended on filing. In his excitement he gleefully said, “You’ll never believe how I met her.” I didn’t want an answer. With therapy I knew just how sick it was that he was so happy to share that detail.

      I persisted with my detective skills and dug up an ad she placed for a dance partner, specifically saying no one married. In hindsight this explained why he stated happily, “She didn’t even care that I was married.” The way I found the ad was because in the same newspaper was an article about her arrest for assaulting an elderly man. Can’t make this shit up.

      Molly you have to trust your gut and know you acted in your own best interest. Live your life and enjoy your freedom.

    • Big hugs, Molly! I hope you find what answers you are looking for to help you find your peace.

  • I remember the night I confronted PubeFace about the late night calls on our phone bill from a number (area code from work, one hour away), and how he changed the password on our Verizon account. I mean, why would he do that? “Oh, I got an email about our account being hacked” …hmm, ok, so then why not save the new password? “Um…” YEAH, right, mhmm.

    SO as I am confronting him in bed at 10:30 pm (we had started to sleep in separate rooms by that point, you know a “trial in home separation if you will), his phone buzzes….text message. So I ask him who that was, if it was a woman, if it was the same person from the phone calls…

    He gets super pissed off and refuses to tell me, refuses to let me see his phone. If it’s innocent, then why can’t I see?

    “You will NEVER SNOOP in my SHIT AGAIN!” his response.

    Have I mentioned that I have had to keep constant tabs on him our entire relationship? I mean, it’s not like within the first year of marriage he was messaging perfect strangers that were deployed overseas with him in Afghanistan, while I sat at home, loyal and waiting for his lying ass to return to me, alive. (Ahem, I mean, that MySpace message was never responded to, but the fact that he asked some skinny blonde if he could “get to know” her is no big deal, right?)

    He never saw my snooping as a reaction to his shady as shit behavior. I was the one with problem, because I invaded his privacy! I mean, what sort of relationship has no trust or personal boundaries? Gee, I dunno…the kind where you’ve proven yourself to be a cheating liar on a semi-regular basis, that kind!

  • My STBX quit marriage counseling because the therapist made it clear that he was to divulge as much info about the affiar as I wanted. He told his mom he quit because counseling was getting too personal. He told me there was no way that I needed to know that information. And he was angry that the counselor was focusing more on his affair than the issue I created in the marriage (holding him accountable for stuff and complaining that I never got any help).

    He knew that once I started asking questions he would have a hard time keeping his lies straight and years of cheating would come to the surface.

    Funny thing is, if he would have stayed in counseling, he would have gotten some of what he wanted, me being called on my shit too. I say some, because of course he wanted to blame ALL the issues on my actions.

    Issues like the “pencil incident” in which I was annoyed that my daughter needed a pencil to do homework, but no one could ever be bothered to put them in the cup on the counter where they belonged. Instead, they were tossed about and I had to spend 15 minutes looking for one so she could start her homework. I expressed my irritation verbally and again reminded everyone where to put the pencils and why. According to him, incidents like these demonstrated the potential of how life can become unbearable and contributed to him becoming some nightmare version of himself. I did not trust him because of the choices and deceptions he’s created and he did not trust me because of “pencil incidents”. According to him the problems in our marriage occur when he makes bad choicces and deceptions to escape from feelings/damage inflicted from “pencil situations”.

    • See? That’s why I’m thinking that cheating makes you a worse and worse, progressively (geometrically) worse person, to the point where cheaters justify their actions with “pencil incident.”

      • Agreed. It’s not like he started making bad choices because of “pencil incidents”. He had always been making bad choices (I have a very long list), but his bad choices had been getting progressively worse after the time I think he started cheating. The more they get away with, the more they think they can do and when they finally get caught they have to justify their behavior with what they perceive to be our faults. Never mind that our faults are in no way comparable with their transgressions. Because we are chumps, we usually start to question and blame ourselves for some period of time before realizing that we are not responsible for their actions.

      • Have to agree. Grey rock it from DDay on out, especially for skilled covert abusers. They KNOW what they are doing to their targets. They more they can shape a story of you being irrational, the better their narrative. Grey Rock.

        • ANC — Heavens yes. Dealing with a covert narc is a mind-slam of sorts. Avoid communication as much as possible.

      • Agreed. STBX made a number of questionable choices over the years, almost always selfish in nature. Once he started fucking around, however, his started making nothing but poor choices (still selfish mind you).

        STBX has always been all in or all out. He does everything 100% and evidently that includes his screw ups. I very generously gave him opportunity to fix what he broke before it was too late, but he chose to continue down the path of destruction until our marriage no longer had a chance.

    • “He told his mom he quit because counseling was getting too personal.”–OK. Not at all revealing.

      • What! You’re not supposed to talk about yourself in counseling! DUH! You’re supposed to discuss the newest season of OITNB and the best deals to buy on Groupon! Hello! You’re not paying those people to pry! Who do these therapists think they are anyway?

        • In my new chump-reality, where marriage counsellors can do something effective with cheaters, the chump is supposed to sit back and enjoy the ass-kickin’. The chump is supposed to relax and know that the full weight of confrontation is not on her/his shoulders.

          Maybe the MC can even bear some of the shock. Maybe the MC can say something that would make the cheater realize that human souls were involved in his spree, people’s hearts were harmed, not only disease was spread

          • I love my therapist, but I do get annoyed with the neutral stance she takes on a lot of things. She has called him childish and a manipulator, but steered clear of calling him a narc. Maybe that’s something she has to do.

            Anyway, that doesn’t bother me at all, what does bother me is at my last session when she told me I could not make him the villain. Something in his past created this person. Basically, she was telling me he can’t help that he’s become this person, but it is up to him to realize why he is the way he is, address it and get help for it.

            I like your chump-reality marriage counsellor better.

            • Mine did call him a narc, emotionally immature, cruel, etc. Mostly it was all geared towards getting me to stop thinking reconciliation and start recognizing that he had not been good to me for years and I was better off without him. If it weren’t for her (and a couple of friends/family) I would probably still be smoking the hopium.

              Now I have moved onto anger and the poor therapist is having to help me move on from that so I can get to meh.

            • Good luck with that. Can a a piece of clay realize why it has become a cup and then change to a cup if it doesn’t like it.

              I think I’d get a new therapist.

            • “my last session when she told me I could not make him the villain. Something in his past created this person.”

              IMO, this is ridiculous. Everything in our past and present, in addition to our own individual personality type, creates the people that we are – all of us. Not all of us become villains. Perhaps your therapist telling you not to make him the villain was an attempt to make him seem less powerful and to assuage your feelings about him. If that wasn’t her intention, then I would say she is unfairly distorting your reality. The part he chose to play in your life was villain. Whatever you call him does not make him any less a villain.

              Just because Batman understood the Joker didn’t mean he didn’t identify the threat correctly and neutralize it.

      • Also a gem from that session was when the counselor asked both of us how our families expressed love. How did our parents show love? His answer? We just all knew that we were working toward the same goal.

  • I would love to see a debate between this wanker and the other creepy lady CL has done UBT’s on with Dr. George Simon and CL as counter. Live. On prime time tv.

  • STBX didn’t tell me because he didn’t want to hurt me so instead I found out from Schmoopie’s husband, in the middle of my work day. He went through great pains to make sure I knew that her husband didn’t have my best interests at heart when he told me. Never mind that it was what he actually did that hurt me, not finding out about it and STBX certainly didn’t have my (or quite frankly the kids’) best interests at heart when he decided that dating while married was a good idea. STBX has always been good at being a hypocrite.

  • I was told that I didn’t deserve to know OW’s name, because Ex was “not at liberty to say.”

    • I can relate to that. The Worst Night of My Life was after our one and only MC session, where then-H was told to aim for ‘transparency,’ I asked gradwhore’s first name to test his honesty. He (a professor) got a stony face, told me he wouldn’t tell me as gradwhore student had “privacy rights.” Now I’m damn sure FERPA covers revealing her GRE scores (probably low), but does not cover revealing the first name of the slut who conducted a many-month affair with my then-husband.

      It was horrific to be confronted with the fact that then-H cared so little about me that he was willing to put an AP from 8 years prior ahead of me, but exactly the impetus I needed to get out. I had already filed, and then served him the divorce petition to file. I was done.

      • Ugh – a grad student? What a cliche. Mine is also a professor, but he left me for a co-worker. It did cross my mind ‘at least it wasn’t a student, that would have been REALLY predictable.’ They’re pathetic, aren’t they?

        At his university, there is a disclosure form that staff have to fill out if they get into ‘relationships’ with students they supervise. There’s a whole process I think – student has to be moved off of direct supervision, relationship declaration needs to be logged etc. If the staff is married, there’s no process to inform the other party… But hey, they’re making sure that there aren’t any favours being done in grading..

    • One of the first nights, spontaneously, asshole told me his whore had asked him not to tell me who she was. I spent weeks thinking it was one of my friends, amd I have never met her!!! When I can get all my things from his place, I am telling his mom who she is, for the whore is his first degree cousin on the paternal side. I’ll destroy his image of the good son and I’ll make sure my ex MIL breaks his whore (she was betrayed by my ex FIL and she has not forgotten in almost 30 years). Once I made the mistake of telling me this, and he told me how horrible it had been for him to hurt somebody (me, but he didn’t say it like that… after all I am just a wife appliance), and that he could not even imagine how it could be to hurt somebody on purpose. And he asked me how could I hurt somebody that I didn’t even know. Being stupid as he is, the argument ended when I asked him why he had different moral rules for both of us, since she did not know me and look at what she did to me.

      • Couple days post-Dday, which was a blindside and no real honesty given at the time, I was so angry. I’m not an angry person so this feeling of anger boiling over all day was intense. I was texting STBX and received no replies.

        So it escalated… I texted his mother that I was sorry her son turned out to be a liar and a cheat.

        He later said to me, when I asked why he couldn’t be bother to reply to me, that he was busy with work etc etc and also busy ‘fielding calls from people like his mom about insulting texts they’ve received’. I said if you find the truth an insult, I can’t help you.

        He later image managed it with his folks, saying things like ‘our relationship ran its course’ and ‘i’m not proud of how i handled it, but i’m happier with OW etc.’ His parents have offered to ‘help’ him with his problem – aka help him buy me out and get rid of me. Nice family.

        • Hey, if it involves you getting more money, don’t knock it.

          • He can afford it without their help but it puts most of his assets in the house, which is risky for his finances. It’s less about getting me more money and more about him making sure how he gets it to me suits him best. And while he ponders his options I’m waiting… though we have some other complications that mean we can’t move for a couple months anyway so I’ve not pushed yet.

            I know family will ‘side’ with family but it does floor me that you can spend nearly eight years as a part of a family and then just never hear from them again and have them basically offer to buy you off.

            • 1141, I understand completely about the in-laws acting as if you don’t exist. I spent 23 years as a member of the family and I became invisible because I had the gall to ruffle the feathers of Queen Bitch of the Universe MIL by making a comment about cheating POS husbands on my Facebook page on D-day. Whatever. They’re a bunch of greedy, back stabbing narcs. No great loss. I should have had a clue when H’s exSIL called me back when H and I were engaged and went ballistic because MIL had SIL’s kids and wasn’t answering phone calls. I was so shocked when SIL asked me “where is your cunt mother-in-law with my kids?” I thought SIL was the crazy cunt. I know better now.

    • WisedUp,
      Isn’t it something that we, the Chump, “didn’t deserve” to know the OW’s name!

      Funny, come to think of it, we “didn’t deserve” to be cheated on either, asswipe!

      I named her myself, ” Miss Perfect Lollipop”
      ( you know the kind you see, all different colours, looking pretty,
      wrapped in cellophane, often found at check out counters).
      Truth is, a cheater chooses one, enjoys it while it last, then it disappears.
      It was just a sugary substance that didn’t last!

  • One theme I see here is the deliberate, unlevel playing field. The cheater gets to know; the chump doesn’t. The cheater gets to decide; the chump doesn’t. The cheater is in control; the chump gets to be controlled.

    If cheaters want therapy, they should have at it. If they want multiple partners, they can be single. But chumps should insist on a level playing field, both partners following the same rules of relationship. Both partners telling the truth. Because CL is right: deception is the clue that holds cake together. Insist on both the truth and reciprocity and a level playing field. If you don’t get that upfront, that’s wreckonciliation and preserving CAKE at your expense.

    • I have to admit that I always had suspicions that things were going on but nothing was definitive. Because I could never prove anything, I decided I must be imagining things because I was insecure and the problem was me. So I just started overlooking things that didn’t add up. I didn’t want my family to fall apart, I didn’t want to admit that my marriage wasn’t what I hoped it would be. Most of all, I didn’t want to admit I married someone who couldn’t talk about anything emotional, in fact I’d married a person who didn’t seem to have emotions at all. What kills me is that in looking back through journals I kept when we were engaged I was asking myself, “Why does he tell me other women think he’s good looking? Do I not compliment him enough?” It was all there in black and white from the very beginning. I just didn’t understand.

  • Love the updated UBT, but I think it missed one key point. Weiss wrote:

    “If you have a lengthy history of cheating, rather than just a single, isolated incident, you should not disclose that without professional assistance, preferably from an experienced couples counselor.”

    Now, here’s the rub. This is just a way of giving official, RIC stamped and certified, trickle truth, and legitimizing it. And that’s bordering on downright evil, when so called ‘experts’ can pan off stuff like that.

    Imagine the following scenario. Cheater is confronted by chump on Sunday. Cheater cites this dictum, and says we’ll talk in front of a counselor. Chump buys it (because that’s what chumps generally do until they find CN). Cheater goes online, finds a RIC friendly counselor, and makes an appointment for Wednesday afternoon next week (10 days out, these counselors rarely have openings immediately). Chump finds no solace in that, and during stray moments, they have the following conversations.

    Chump: So, did you have an affair?
    Cheater: We’ll discuss that with the counselor.

    Note that pretty much anything but a denial is tacit admission to an affair. Suppose chump asked, ‘Are you going to murder your boss?’ the cheater would reply ‘no, of course not,’ without even thinking about it. So cheater has indirectly said they had the affair, and cut off the discussion at that point.

    Chump: So, you had an affair, didn’t you?
    Cheater: Yes.
    Chump: Is it with someone I know?
    Cheater: We’ll discuss it with the counselor.

    Chump: Did you have your affair with the hot Asian chick who lives down the hall?
    Cheater: No, of course not.
    Chump: Is the affair still going on?
    Cheater: We’ll discuss it with the counselor.

    By now, you should get the picture. Cheater can give the slow reveal over several days, trickling truth out as they see fit, in very small doses that the chump can swallow without going into full blowup mode, using the cover of ‘we’ll discuss it with the counselor,’ to cut off the conversation when they choose, invoking the gravitas of the agreed on process, which ‘legitimizes’ their giving out the trickle truth. By the time the couple meets with the counselor, the chump will suspect most of what’s going on, and then the reveal will be simpler and cleaner (for the cheater). If the chump gets justifiably furious, the counselor will try to talk them down with statements like ‘this kind of anger isn’t productive’ or ‘you need to listen to what cheater has to say and respect his feelings’. And having two people gang up on the chump during the final reveal is also unfair, but that’s a whole different argument that I’ll put aside here (while acknowledging it).

    Now, if you, as a chump, find yourself in this position, there’s a few things you can do.

    1) Don’t ask questions. Understand that the cheater has already chosen to be dishonest with you and manipulate you, and the cheater has done something bad enough that they can’t just tell you about it straight up. That, in of itself, is a red flag, and should let you know you need to be careful. The nagging doubts will eat at you, but don’t surrender to them. Don’t ask – it just plays into cheater’s hands. Let the big reveal go down with the counselor.

    2) Stall. Don’t simply agree to take the first counselor or appointment that cheater sets up. Reject one, or two, or four, on whatever grounds you can come up with. Things like, “The read I got on him from his website rubs me the wrong way,” or “She looks like my second grade teacher, who was just awful, I don’t think she’s a good fit for me,” should work fine. Then, eventually put together a list of two or three, contact them, and choose the one with an opening the farthest in the future. Or the nearest, if you’re ready for the confrontation. The key here is that you pick the time of the appointment, not cheater. You’re stalling so that you can:

    3) Contact a divorce attorney. Or two, or three. You can do this quietly, on your own. You’re not getting a divorce, you’re just finding out your options, figuring out where things stand, and getting your ducks in a row. You know there’s something bad going on, and you can speculate approximately what. Share all that, honestly, with the attorneys. Pick one you like, and build a relationship with them.

    4) Contact a therapist of your choosing, to deal with your own issues about what’s happening. If you already have one, see him or her again, or add extra appointments. You’re going to need (and deserve to have) lots of support for what’s coming. Since cheater is partially relying on you being unbalanced and emotional (mainly because their actions made you that way), your best defense is to be as calm, collected, and in control as possible when you make these very important life decisions.

    Now, when you meet with the counselor, you know your options, and you can try to reconcile, or file for a separation or divorce, but make your decision from an informed and balanced point of view. You won’t expose yourself to the omissive lies of trickle truth, and will be acting from a position of strength, not of weakness.

    Hugs. Strength. Peace.

    • Nice. Very nice. Smooth.

      Aeronaut, would you give this advice to a couple who is marrying?

      • If they were about to marry, or planning on marrying, and one of them had a secret that needed a counselor to let out, sure, except for the see a divorce lawyer part. In that case, I’d look into what the expense to postpone/cancel the wedding would be (without doing it).

        But one would hope that before marriage, the ‘cheater’ (since if they ain’t married, cheater can argue it’s not cheating, albeit wrongly) wouldn’t put their intended in this position. They should be love bombing then, not spackling, if they are true to form.

        Heck, one ought to get all the skeletons in the closet cleared up before proposing or accepting – anything new at that point is deceptive.


        • I didn’t phrase my question very well. How much knowledge do you think fresh, young, sweet, cheat-free, couples need to know about infidelity?

  • POSH said “If I answered your questions you would either leave me anyways or you would throw it back in my face everytime we fought going forward”.

    #1 I took this as his admission he cheated
    #2 poor thing. He was in a lose lose situation. It is much easy for him to throw away his wife and newborn than to tell the truth. It’s so unfair the consequences that would come to him from telling the truth.


    Sometimes I wonder if us chumps hold more power than we think. These ass clowns cheated on us, lied to us, and most are afraid to admit it to us. We should embrace that power and use it! There is a reason they won’t own their choice to cheat and leave. Each reason may be different. But each Chump should figure out that reason and USE IT! If its a custody battle, a divorce settlement, shame with family, job, etc. POSH was a poker player and did teach me a thing or two. The best hand you have is the one you haven’t played. So keeps your cards close and be ready to use them.

    • In my case I think the lack of truth was just because he wanted to still think of himself as a good person and if I knew what actually went on, he would know someone out there would think he wasn’t a good person and that might mean he’s not actually a good person. I’m not sure it was being afraid to tell me – I think it was more about his own self-preservation.

      I’d said from the beginning of our relationship: If you find yourself with feelings for someone else, come talk to me first and deal with it. I am not interested in open relationships, I abhor cheating and my main thing was always saying it puts the health of the non-cheating person at risk, which is among the most selfish things a person could do. He did it anyway, and lied lied lied, until well post Dday.

      • “I’d said from the beginning of our relationship: If you find yourself with feelings for someone else, come talk to me first and deal with it.”

        I have been divorced for 2 years now, after nearly 30 years of marriage. I also said the above to XH countless times throughout the marriage. I told him that if he developed sexual or romantic feelings for anyone else to not act on them without first informing me so that we could end our marriage first. I made it crystal clear that I did not want any relationship overlapping. I said I would not stand in his way if he ever found another but I did not want him to act on sexual or romantic feelings with the other behind my back. I also asked him not to pursue friendships with other women because he could develop feelings for them which would hurt the marriage. He never responded to any of these requests other than a blank stare.

        When he was caught cheating, I had the option of buying his gaslighting lies if I wanted the privilege of remaining his wife. He found it easier to walk away from nearly 30 years of marriage and all the trappings than to come clean about his cheating and lying. He showed me that what was really important to him was his facade and his fantasy relationship with the whore. It was hard for me to see how little regard he had for me and that he basically viewed me as an ATM with a punching bag attached.

  • “Instead of just spouting all of your dirty secrets on demand…do it properly and in a controlled setting, where a professional can help both of you process and understand the revelations and the feelings that will likely ensue.”

    Instead of facing the consequences of your actions and righteous anger that’ll be directed at you, bring them to me where I’ll control their reaction to be proper ones. By the time I’m done with them, that anger will turn to pity for you.

    • I guess I like what some of these counselors for cheaters and their chumps offer. It’s religious based, so that helps with reduced spackle and bring on the accountability.

      We never got to do it, but I the process seems very effective. The whole disclosure thing was very well thought out, it left no holes for lies. It was done in a very systematic way, the cheater was one-on-one with a therapist, a man, married, who was committed to his vows, and they filled out a disclosure document.

      Then, when the whole disclosure was complete (maybe it took days to complete), the wife was then included. This also was a respectful environment for her, a solemn occasion, and she could pull the ripcord whenever she had had enough, take a break, and come back later.

      In the reveal, the wife had a counselor too (the wife of the counselor above). The wife had been prepped for this. She could ask her questions. (Her counselor helped her keep her shit together.) He had to answer, and both counselors were there to stop any bullshit.

      I thought it sounded great.

      • I’m talking about this particular therapist. If he believes “if your relationship was perfect, then you wouldn’t have cheated”, there would be spackling.

      • The problem I see with any therapy is we don’t live in a laboratory and even in a lab there are things we can’t control- (that pesky word again).

        My adult son started seeing a therapist to try to learn how to deal with his dad’s controlling verbally abusive behavior. She gives him great advice as to mature adult responses to give in situations where stbx speaks disrespectfully to son, cusses at him etc. The problem is stbx isnot discerning nor respectful of son’s wishes and he just sees it as obstinance. What happens when a narc doesn’t get to control, I think most chumps have a pretty good idea.

        So her advice all sounds good until you are actually in the cage with the lion.

        • If you have to be in the cage with the lion, bring:

          1) A big chunk of raw meat to distract them.
          2) A whip.
          3) A shotgun.

          Not sure that adult behavior will soothe an angry lion.

          (Sorry, the image was just too comical to not share.)


          • ???

            You mean nice kitty kitty doesn’t cut it? Oh yeah, I think I did try that.

        • This! A thousand times this! I did three turns in counseling with my ex asshole (yes, I was a fool). Marriage counseling always proceeds from the premise that both people are mature and reasonable and if you can just find the “right” way to communicate all these “issues” would dry up because that other mature reasonable person in the relationship would just, of course, see the reasonableness of the request. HA! A cheater by definition cannot be mature and reasonable. If he/she could they wouldn’t have cheated. MC assumes that all marital problems are pretty much the same–as though cheating, sleeping with prostitutes and endangering your health, draining your financial resources, etc. is just some super-sized version of leaving the cap off the tooth paste.

          • Exactly, have you thought about trying the flip top? How about separate tubes? Next week we can tackle toilet seats.

      • Queen Mother, cheater x and I did something very similar to this. He just lied throughout, never told all of the truth, and neglected to mention he was still seeing his side chick and hadn’t ended the last of a series affairs.

        A cheater’s goal is not reconciliation. It’s cake. When I caught him with her, he gave me every excuse he had – she manipulated him, he wasn’t sure I would stay so he needed her as backup, I would never fully forgive him.

        It’s just not a worthwhile endeavor because cheaters just do what they want and never consider the chump’s needs. Money is better spent on a divorce lawyer.

        • I believe mine only went to counseling to avoid, or at least delay, consequences.

        • Thanks so much for your answer, Never, it’s like you read my mind. After posting my info about disclosure, I had a sneaky feeling that I was smoking the hopium pipe a bit, thinking that there was (surely!) a way that this whole mess could be cleaned up and made new.

          Yah, there is a way this whole mess can be cleaned up and made new. It’s called “Hit the Road, Jack.” (Divorce.)

      • QM, that does sound like a much more chump-positive approach. But it would still require a lot from the cheater, like a commitment to change, openness, prioritizing the family, and all the stuff the cheater chose not to do so they could have the affair. Still skeptical, but at least it’s not two people ganging up on the chump to analyze why chump made it so that cheater had to have the affair.

        Hugs. Strength. Peace.

  • Great column as usual. Gotta love that UBT. Tracy, wishing you a speedy recovery and successful sinus surgery. The Recovery Room nurse in me will also advise lots of fluids, humidity, keep your head elevated and don’t skimp on the Miralax chasers after your Percocet!

  • So much Clarity through the UBT. So much blessed truth. PREACH!!

    I am so grateful for you, Tracy.

  • For me, I didn’t want to know MORE… I had pages and pages of phone records, internet browser history, copies of personal ads and emails. I knew enough.

    I wanted to know WHY… and I came to learn that is a question that even the Narcissist cannot answer for himself honestly.

    I give Mr. Sparkles credit for one moment of lucidity where mid-argument (where lots of f-bombs were being dropped because I had grown a pair of CN balls)… he began sobbing like a 4-year old, held his hands to his ears, and kept repeating “I’m so fucked up. I’m so fucked up.”

    Unfortunately, the police arrived shortly after (my sister had called in a domestic alert)… and that quick… THAT Mr. Sparkles… disappeared.

    I never asked myself WHY again. He never had what I needed in a life partner, he only had what I projected on to him.

  • Wishing you a speedy recovery Tracy.

    In the future I wonder if this sort of miscommunication and lying by omission will be judged as a crime.
    In certainly in hindsight seems so abusive. Disordered X wouldn’t say much but his actions spoke volumes, entitled, dishonest #somuchbetteroffnow

    • I can’t help but think about the fact that there was a time that infidelity WAS a crime in the US, but our “enlightened” society made the decision that we didn’t need such puritanical views anymore. Those who resisted this and other related changes were ridiculed as “prudes’ and their voices silenced.

  • “Your partner only wants the information so he or she can use it against you in court.”
    This is really the bottom line. Never underestimate how much financial shenanigans are behind a cheater’s actions once they decide they are going to dump you. Some start the planning years in advance.

    • Yes, and apparently this “therapist” thinks it is perfectly okay to lie and deceive a completely innocent person if the narcopath’s financial interests would be better served by doing so. As far as I can tell, this “therapist” is more calculatedly evil than some of our cheaters!

      • Oh! I misread your post as “okay to lie and deceive a completely innocent person if the THERAPIST’S financial interests would be better served by doing so” — which, yah, that’s what happened

  • Absolutely Gladit’sOver, the entire article is fluff leading to the real point: “Your partner only wants the information so he or she can use it against you in court.” So don’t tell the truth out of self-interest. No other reason needed but he had to fill a column.

  • I was also told “His life was none of my business”.
    He confessed to GOD, so his sins are ALL FORGIVEN.
    Mine was pathetic. He knew he was lying, I knew he was lying, evidence pointed to the truth – he STILL stuck to the story, finally ending with; “I’ve said all I’m going to say about this situation. I have nothing more to add.”
    If you lost your mind or had a bad reaction to the passive aggressive “holier than thou” message, he would secretly tell others and use it against you. Of course, never adding his part of the situation.

    Pathetic thing is, I’d still love to have the truth. We don’t speak, but he knows that is the type of person I am.

    • Magneto,

      You have your truth, which is that he lied to you, wouldn’t share his life with you, and thought that confessing to God made it all better. The other details are just that, minor details. Try to be satisfied with your truth – discovering the actual truth may just give you more pain.

      Oh, and use your metal (no typo, not mental) control powers to do something painful and nasty to him.

      Hugs. Strength. Peace.

    • Truth is: you were married to a real jackass that never deserved you.

  • Chump Lady, I wish you a successful and safe surgery with a speedy recovery!

    Weiss writes, “Because if your relationship was perfect, then you wouldn’t have cheated.” This is a statement that I find damaging to betrayed spouses, because it is a blame-shift. It implies that the cheating is the betrayed spouse’s come-uppance for failure to create a “perfect” marital environment. It assumes that the betrayed spouse could have potentially controlled and stopped the cheating before it started had they only been the “perfect” partner. There are no “perfect” spouses or marriages. In this less than “perfect” relationship, the betrayed spouse did not cheat. There is no mention of the steps a cheater took to obtain perfection in the marriage; it seems that the cheater takes no steps to achieve perfection in the marriage, but looks outside of the marriage for their own “happiness.”

    I believe that what is more accurate is that the cheater is often a narcissist or psychopath who has no conscience, no empathy, no moral compass, is easily bored, is impulsive, does not want to delay gratification, enjoys conning, enjoys duping and is unable to bond in a deep love with their primary partner. The closest they get to “love” is the infatuation they feel in the Idealization stage of the Psychopathic Bond, which is comprised of Idealization, Devaluation and Discard. Primary partners are often in the Devaluation and Discard stages while new others are being wooed and love-bombed in the Idealization stage. Getting away with cheating with someone new behind the back of the “old” partner is what makes these lovefrauds feel alive.

    Weiss writes that full disclosure may not be in order when “You (and/or your partner) don’t intend to repair or save the relationship.” This must be why I was gaslighted by XH regarding the affair that ended our marriage. Despite evidence, he lied and denied and refused to admit to the affair. I do interpret that as his refusal to repair or save the marriage. He was not interested in an actual marriage to me. He had made it clear to me that he did not love me and had no sexual attraction to me. He did however, want me to keep supporting him because he did not want to work and he did want me to provide him with a vehicle so he could date OW behind my back when I was working. I also came in handy as a scapegoat so that he could blame all his problems on me. If I was his emotional punching bag, then he could be sweet to OW. As fabulous as he thought she was, and he did truly think that she was fabulous, what really made her fabulous was that he was fucking her behind my back and getting away with it until he didn’t, and imagining how much it would hurt me until he saw how much it did.

  • Oh, by the way, Tracy, I had a similar surgery. OH! The places you never thought a tampon would go.

    Feel better…

  • Wishing you a speedy recovery, Chump Lady. We’ll miss you while you’re gone, but it’s reassuring to know that Tempest is in charge in the meantime.

    Thanks for everything you do to support us, and also for today’s awesome cartoon. I guess I know what a real butthead looks like now! 🙂

  • Tracy, do get well soon – it will be worth it; I know someone who had the operation as well. Spring becomes a different time of the year! Plus the savings in antihistamines and kleenex and nasal spray …

    Tempest, can we have Cosmic Signs You’re A Chump as a re-run? I am always asking for this one – I love it so much, and it always gives me delicious goosebumps at the providence of the universe.

    • I won’t be posting the columns, only patrolling for pesky trolls (though I’m sure Tracy will read your request once she’s back up).

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