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Chump Shaming as Competitive Sport

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I once wrote an article over at Huffington Post on getting revenge on cheaters. (Spoiler alert: You don’t disembowel them, you move on to meh.) But apparently it wasn’t the happy rainbow sparkles narrative of Remaining Friends and Wishing Each Other the Best that some readers were hoping for. (Okay, I copped to imagining gutting my cheater with a fish knife.)

Many commentators took me to the woodshed for not being More Evolved about my ex (a sociopath whom I’d had protective orders against).  I got “Schorn” as “scorn” puns (a woman scorned, get it?), and invective that because I write about infidelity and do not write charming fluff about having friendly dinner parties with my ex, this can only mean I Have Not Moved On. No one will ever marry me, I was told. (News to my husband, I’m sure.) I’m fat, angry, bitter, sexless, liberal, puritanical — and my hair is messy. (This was before HuffPo changed their comment policy and took away troll anonymity.)

Okay, my hair is messy.

All this drama for an article essentially saying be indifferent to cheaters! Be meh! Imagine what they’d say if I said, sure, light them all on a funeral pyre and push them off into the drink? It was an article about staying classy. But okay, fine. Whatever. Haters gotta hate.

But what really chaps my ass are the folks who take every discussion about cheating, or single parenting, or divorce as an opportunity to flaunt their moral superiority. How are they better than you? Oh, in every way. They claim to not ever have ANY ugly feelings, ever. And if an ugly feeling were to rear its inconvenient, ugly little head, they would smother that sucker with an embroidered pillow. (I imagine the pillow is embroidered with New Testament Bible verses,  or Norman Vincent Peale quotes.)

I don’t understand all this hostility. I don’t do anger. All anger is toxic. I feel sorry for you. I hope you can move on some day and not be consumed by bitterness. I don’t wish anyone ill! Let go! Haven’t you forgiven yet? You really must forgive. MUST. If you don’t forgive, weasels come in the night and steal your soul, and your bowels will shrivel, and your genitals shrink, and no one will ever love you again and you’ll die alone. Yes, you and your anger. Alone. Forever. For eternity.

Okay, that’s not a real comment — but this one is!

I don’t know we have to consider this advice “revenge” — we move on for our own good, not so the person who cheated on us sees us being awesome and we take pleasure in it bothering him/her. Who cares if it bothers him/her or not? We’re done, kaput, finis; nothing to see here folks, move along.
I also don’t believe in wishing for anyone to “nosedive.” He’s still my kids’ dad, and if he nosedives my kids will suffer. He’s actually become a much better man and father, and that pleases me more than seeing him nosedive (another upside of forgiveness). People do learn from their mistakes, and they often can become better people after an affair or other bad deed. Not everyone, obviously, but many. I’d rather encourage that than take pleasure in the nosedive.

Her embroidered pillow says “I don’t do schadenfreude.” It’s a matching set with the one that says “Because I’m better than you.”

Oh fuck off.

I created Chump Lady as a no bullshit oasis in a sea of this kind of shaming nonsense. The internet is full of it. What, you haven’t “affair proofed” your marriage, you loser? Did you give up on reconciliation? Never got a chance? Are you a quitter? A quitter with a bad attitude? Maybe that’s why they cheated on you. Maybe you should examine the ways you are accountable for that, and let go of the anger. 

No. Here at Chump Lady we say — fuck ’em. Go ahead and have ugly feelings because you were cheated on — I give you permission. Be real — feel it, speak it, shout the truth at it — and move forward when you feel good and ready. And if the schadenfreude feels right? Do it! If it doesn’t? Don’t.

This is not a competition.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
      • I find it especially rich for them to go after that given what you said a while back about this being the first time that you took a spouse’s last name. Surely being a Schorn now is a sign you’ve moved on with your life?

      • Chump Lady, I knew I could on you to post blog entries like this! 🙂 Thank you. I’m wondering what you think of this. This is a website for a marriage counseling center in Australia that I’ve never been to (I live in the states, like you), but one that I’m pretty sure someone I know of (a chump wife/girlfriend) from an Internet forum has gone to. On their website, they give some advice that both explicitly and implicitly states that the chump is also at fault for being cheated on SMH. Here it is:

        https://www.lifevisioncounselling.com.au/coping-after-an-infidelity

        An excerpt from that “advice” blog on their counselling website: “You wonder who you are and what you meant to your partner, or if you did anything to cause this, possibly doubting your attractiveness or self-worth.

        Remember that you are both responsible for how this infidelity happened, it’s not all your fault, nor is it all your partner’s fault.”

        As far as the girl who goes to them for counselling. She is the ultimate chump in my opinion. I honestly haven’t heard many stories that are worse than hers. Her husband (who’s not even legally her husband, just a fiance/live-in boyfriend she refers to as her husband) was serial cheating for the first 3 out of 5 years they were together…including during the time the time they were trying to conceive a child (she had infertility), during her pregnancy, and even…while she was in the hospital maternity ward, recovering from an early emergency C-section. Yes, you read that correctly. While their premie newborn was struggling for life, and she was recovering from major surgery, he went home to “sleep” but in reality didn’t go home, but went to a brothel. His cheatings were all with random hookups and prostitutes (legal and thus easy to find in Australia). He woke her up at 3am in the hospital to suddenly confess all this to her. Still she stayed…despite being so heartbroken and angry, to the point that the maternity nurses had to literally drug her up and sedate her to keep her calm after the confession/bombshell, and deespite being so stressed that her breastmilk dried up (breastfeeding was something she really wanted to do). She wanted them to go to counseling and he refused, claiming they “couldn’t afford” it (yet he could afford prostitutes?) and claiming that he didn’t “need” individual counseling. So she went on her own, and now occasionally spills some of this “rugsweeping” advice to other cheated-on/chump wives on the forum that she frequents. Personally I think she is a fool, and should have fired both her counselor and fake “husband” long ago. What do you (or others) think?

        • Jace, I think it’s tragic beyond compare. Tragic. I know of no other word or words. Every word of it. The story shook me up when I read it. It was hard to shake off. It made me all the more determined to grow spiritually as much as I can and to help this woe-be-gone humanity that can be so fucked up.

        • Hi, lurker and first-time commenter here.

          He WOKE UP HIS WIFE who had JUST GONE THROUGH A TRAUMATIC BIRTH to confess his infidelities to her? THAT’S the moment he picked???

          WHERE DOES HE LIVE? Tell me so I can go KICK HIM IN THE BALLS.

          Oh geez. This one is just too much. I mean seriously, there’s being a narc etc etc and then there’s being a complete waste of oxygen. I wonder which he was? A sadist, or completely unaware that anyone besides himself has feelings?

  • I love you. Simple as. You are keeping me sane. I will write my story to you one day as I would love to have your advice. But for now reading your replies to everyone else on Facebook is what keeps me going. Thank you for being you.

    • Ditto, Gail. Chump Lady is my bulwark and mainstay right now. I wrote to you Chump Lady, about my hope the arsehole was telling the truth that he didn’t actually cheat, it was ”lad’s banter”. Your succinct reply, ”No. He’s bullshitting you. Stay NC and go on the forum for support” was **exactly** what I needed to douse the old hopium pipe, and the people here are equally wonderful.

      My mate gave me your book, and from there I came to your blog. I don’t know what I would do without it, right now. 20 days from d day, I’m still on the emotional rollercoaster, but your book, and this blog, help immeasurably. Thank you so much. x

      • Hang in there, jcja, it does get better. This from Dday +57. Still rough & tumble, but CN is my oasis!

  • I’m certain I’ll get to meh one day but I don’t think I’ll ever forgive. My cheater had an “epiphany” one day and asked for forgiveness…I didn’t believe a word of it. I forgave after I learned of the year and a half affair. While I “begged” for his love for two months after that, he went back and cheated two more times….nah I think I “earned” the right to hate this person for the rest of my life. As chump lady says, once my new life starts to fill in I hope it will eclipse my old life and one day….cheater who?

    • Pret, what is his definition of epiphany? I know of a cheater who gave an “epiphany speach” in public, but only because his wealthy wife found out about affair with a yound student and was going to tear off his balls. Well, she did and moved on.

      My cheater also wrote to me that “I made a mistake” (this translates into my language in exactly two words), expecting this to be enough to “reconcile” . But I had already read CL’s chapter on decoding cheaters.

    • As Kesha so powerfully sings in her new video, “Some say, in life, you’re gonna get what you give. But some things only God can forgive.” When I heard this song, it was as if some wave washed over me. Why should I have to forgive the unforgivable?

      I believe I have worked at getting to meh for some time now. It hasn’t been easy, especially this whole forgiveness thing. Part of getting there is accepting that I can feel any damn way I please about forgiving X.

      Wish I had techno skills-I’d post the video here. It’s called “Praying”. After all this time, I understand. (For those of you who do do know Kesha’s backstory, she was has spent years breaking free from her abuser. Her story itself is inspiring).

  • Oh, ChumpLady, I needed this this morning. I found out on Tuesday that the OW in my case signed up on the same infidelity support group forum ( SurvivingInfidelity) as me—-( wonder where she got my username and the site info? My husband). We both signed up in 2014 and she private messaged me there posing as a concerned “friend” and even sent me unsolicited “inspirational quotes” on the merits of divorce. I kid you not. She followed my posts for 3 years—read my thoughts and feelings and then graciously gave me advice. Excuse me while I swallow the vomit in my mouth….
    She follows me here to—-someone in the forums mentioned ChumpLady and recommended your books and I let slip I already follow you using the same username I did on the SI site. Long story short, last Thursday she sent me a text from a strange number addressed to “Chmpy”.
    It is hard to take the high road —I’m beginning to think the “high road” is just a wrong turn that keeps me lost in the weeds of infidelity.
    MissedRedFlags

    • How effing creepy.

      You’d think here new life with Mr Can’t Keep it in his Pants would be so fulfilling she wouldn’t have time to be obsessed with you.

      Maybe there’s trouble in paradise?

      • OMG!! What a piece of work! He’s probably already cheating on her, Missedredflags. Just desserts. She sounds all fatal attraction/rabbit killer. Please OUT HER!

    • Yuck. Ick. Does she have no life of her own? I hope you have re-signed up for the boards and forums you enjoy with a new name.

      Also, keep those texts and any other evidence of contact. Perhaps a protection order would be useful some day.

    • We can change your screen name. Ping me. What a pathetic waste of a person that OW is. I agree with Nick, she’s obsessed with you. Still doing the pick me dance probably.

      • I’m keeping MissedRedFlags. The OW has invaded all the private things in my life—my marriage, my home, my car (she would come over and have sex in my car which was parked in my driveway), and now the support group? No. I’m not backing down any more.
        MissedRedFlags

        • I don’t know MRF, I see a real opportunity here to fuck with the crazy stalker OW. Why let her have access to your thoughts and feelings here where it should be safe? You could always post as MRF when you want her to know it is you posting but post under a different name when you want to keep her out of your head. She is a serious whack job.

          And hey, crazy stalker OW? If you’re reading this? Go fuck yourself, you slag.

          • Does she post under her own moniker, or just stalk you? Call her out as the OW if she posts. I’m sure the rest of us will be willing to comment on her comments.

            • Good idea! What a psycho!!!! Why are so many of these OW psychopaths? I am dealing with a real psychopath too!!!! She is jealous of me and the fact that my STBX and I co-parent our son. She has sent crazy emails by breaking into his phone while he is sleeping lying that she is pregnant with his child, telling me to change my name and to stay away from him! It was so creepy but honestly made me laugh too! He put a stop to the messages, but I can not for the life of me understand why he is with this psychopath who is way beneath me in every possible way! Just nuts!!!! Only 7 weeks out from DDay and filing for divorce.

              • wow mil23, 7 weeks? I couldn’t even think straight at 7 weeks out. I wish you all the best!

              • He’s with It because It has holes. It willingly takes it up the ass- metaphorically and most likely literally.

              • Yep; this. A baby between two cheater frauds solves everything in their sick selfish minds.

                Both X and AP were married at the affair time, blew up and walked away from their lives. In true chameleon form, started new lives. Neither cared a bit about the damage, hurt and debris field they caused and left. Their desires were all that mattered.

                I had been diagnosed with highly aggressive cancer the same week of DD; 18 months ago now. 7 months divorced.

                The only illness in 35 year marriage. Cruel discard doesn’t aptly describe X’s and their actions during fighting cancer and highly contentious divorce.

                They used money from hidden retirement accounts for infertility treatments, lavish dinners and hotel stays while I was fighting cancer.

                My X, at 55, is having tru wuv baby with 36 year old prostitute (they met in the massage parlor she worked and he paid for “happy endings”) girlfriend @ $300./session.

                Recently, through adult son, X asked to relay his desire for all of us to move on and become a big happy family. He asked for us to be happy for him because he’s so happy in his new life. Seriously, you can’t make this disordered stuff up.

                Me, well I have a calm, cheater free life. I feel the happiest I’ve felt in years. It’s amazing when you aren’t gaslighted, blamed and abused.
                Freedom feels wonderful.

                While I just started my 7th round of cancer treatment yesterday, I feel good and strong.

                Forgiveness….nope. Big happy family…nope.

                Consequences for choices…yep. No contact forever…yep.

                The further away I get from the dysfunction, the healthier I feel. Meh is around the bend. 36 years, years of reconciliation therapy. They don’t change! I wish I had kicked him to the curb years ago.

                Don’t allow anyone to shame you or tell you it’s time to forgive and move on. That’s their stuff not yours.

              • Way to represent, mil23! Stay strong & mighty! Many narcs are intimidated by mighty women & seek out skank bc they feel superior. I can handle that. It hints that they know on some level what bottom-feeders they really are. Like attracts like. I’m SO looking forward to meh.

              • @FreeNow (wouldn’t let me reply directly to your comment. Sending love and hugs to you and your bad-ass self. So glad to hear that you are practicing the best self-care possible as you need every ounce of energy to deal with your illness. Know that you are loved.

              • @FreeNow…you are a Mighty warrioress! What a story! Your choices are YOURS today and cheater free life sounds delicious. Best of everything to you in your new t’s.

            • please call out the weirdo OW stalking you on YOUR sites, (which you are on b/c of your cheating spouse and her!)

              She is “Fatal Attraction” cray cray – and is fascinated mostly by YOU…ugh. AND OR she is a sadist and takes joy in the pain she causes, which to her seems like she must be very very important!!

              Gross psycho. I am a woman of faith, and have to wonder what our Creator makes of these people. OR does with them…

        • Agree with Beth MRF. Please change your name. Why have a sick, dishonest person reading you? God forbid! It’s already bad enough with Google. Knowing this evil person is stalking you here at CN gives ME the creeps.

        • That is horrible and so incredibly disrespectful on her part. She already has your husband… why the need to invade your support groups, too? Your ex will (quickly) rue the day he hitched his wagon to such a nutcase.

    • I stand in solidarity with you, Missed.

      The Mary Kay grifter of Corona CA MOW trolled me on social media via asshat’s account. What sick fuck does THAT and contacts their target under false names (like your case)? Oh yeah….. sociopaths.

      If she’s reading this response right now, buwahhahahaha. . There is no low so subterranean that they will strive to achieve. In this case let the creeps win. Keep living your awesome life.

    • (And, at least on CL, you might be able to report her every time you catch her at it. If she’s messing with you, she might be messing with others, too.)

    • I’m outraged for you. These types of OW are bat-shit crazy. Just be careful. One of the problems with this kind of out-of-the norm, crazy behavior is that it is highly unpredictable.

      Nearly two decades AFTER one of my STBX’s affairs, I discovered we had had a bat-shit crazy OW as well. At the time of the affair, she moved twice when we moved, once within blocks of our home — and once, directly across from our apartment — with a birds eye view of our front door. She got jobs near my husband’s place of employment until she landed a job AT his place of employment. She even cut her hair exactly as I had mine cut after giving birth to our middle child.

      Even after the affair and we had moved several states away, she didn’t completely stop the stalking — turns out she had kept tabs on us to some extent via the internet. And, a decade later, she gave one of her kids (with her current husband) my husband’s name.

      I have also discovered that she has been in and out of mental facilities since her late teens. And this is just what I’ve discovered well after the fact. At the time — I had no idea.

      And the STBX? He thinks this is all quite the compliment …. she’s dancing maniacally, so he loves it. Asshole, asshole, asshole.

      My long-winded (sorry!) point is … please be cautious. Read Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear. Seek legal advice. Find groups on the internet that have suggestions how to handle stalkers (particularly from a legal standpoint).

      • I agree Jess. I was stalked for two years, maintained no contact, and still this crazed woman has it out for me. Some people are dangerous and use your information to cause harm. The less they know the better.

      • I am dealing with one of these psychopaths too. I ignore her messages and my STBX has put a stop to them for now. Why are so many of these OW so bat shit crazy? Unbelievable!!!!

        • Mil

          I think it’s the perfect storm of cheaters narrative meets wacko whore. The OW listens to their drivel. She never had sex, was a bitch, I had prostate cancer…she ABUSED me. They look for vulnerable needy ho’s who are DESPERATE and attach to anything. They use sex as a weapon and yet things aren’t adding up. In my case the Limited was a passive agressive coward and lazy. He wanted the pick me dance and I didn’t fight for him.

          I filed. He never told her. She was pissed and when I told her about his history and willingly passed the torch she was determined to demean me to make herself feel better. After all she’s a self proclaimed Christian woman who hung rosary beads from his mirror, LOL. And NO one likes her. NO one. Not even her son who punched her in the face. She suffers from severe untreated mental illness, and has a drug addiction, that has been lifelong. As much as I can’t stand her she is a victim and he will destroy her.

    • Your OW is a manipulative bitch. You can always take the standard No-contact route, thereby not reinforcing her and hoping she goes away. Or, I might be tempted to send little the crying happy emojis every time she messages you. Should “loser” appear at the end of your messages, well, sometimes random letters do get into messages as you’re about to hit send.
      emoji

    • MRF, how will we know the ‘real’ you from the troll if she uses your screen name? What if the troll comes on here an starts saying some sh!t (like how cheaters deserve our understanding and chumps need to take responsibility for what happens to them)?

      I’ve noticed someone else using my screen name before (it’s a great mantra for us all – and not terribly original). Hope it wasn’t another troll – yikes!

      • MRF

        If the psycho evil OW comes here to post as you and suggests “Cheaters & OWs are people too. IF YOU LOVED THEM ENOUGH then…..then….!” THEN we will know it’s her.

        I would tell her “Shame on you” but I truly believe my h and his “Christian on fb” OW are are literally shameless.

        Yours is as well. And she’s very creepy.

    • That’s not just creepy and disordered and possibly dangerous it downright mean. This is supposed to be your haven and she’s invaded it. I like the idea some of the others have posted about outing her so we can all pile on. I suppose you would have to be 100% sure you had the right person, however, so we don’t pile on an innocent party (although if she posts things about being nice to OWs, that might be a tell).

      • I’d like to suggest a legal solution of a restraining order. You would have some recourse then.

        Good luck.

    • That is…repugnant. She’s like an indifferent hunter in the weeds, watching and waiting to strike. The fact that she kept at it for so long is beyond creepy. I’m so sorry you went through that! That’s beyond horrible.

      I thought the HomeWrecker in my case was bad. She sent me pics of my children that my spouse had shown her while we were still together, and then remarked “I have plenty of videos from inside your house, too.” The only appropriate response to that is “Is one of them of my kitchen so you can get a feel for where I keep my large pots? Because nothing says ‘you’ll soon be enjoying some of my delicious rabbit stew’ like the words you just wrote here.”

      It’s even more enjoyable and creepy when I imagine her whispering it…

      But yours was way worse IMO. That could be a new Friday topic! What is the creepiest thing the AP did to you? Find one in the hedges with binoculars? Following your car? Shopping at all the same places? I saw someone on here once comment the OW sent her a brownie plate. WTF is wrong with these people?!

      Best to you…

    • File a police report for electronic harassment. Block both of them and change usernames. These cheaters have zero boundaries and a total lack of empathy. They are sadistic assholes who love drama and chaos. Once you get off the crazy train your life will improve 100%.

    • okay… you need to get some kind of restraining order and definitely tell your lawyer if the divorce isn’t final. It’s weird and very creepy and the beauty is that if nothing else, your ex will realise how freaking weird she is. It’s hard to contest that!

  • I know some of these “I don’t even need to feel anger” people are sincere, but their rhetoric is so close to that of the Jesus Cheaters, that I always suspect them of being part of the same ilk. If you are going to be so sanctimonious about the damage that has been done to me, then I suspect you are going to be pretty damn good at failing to acknowledge when you hurt other people–just like the EX!

    Furthermore, it is also the same people who preach about being above it all who are likely to go ape shit when they are truly hurt themselves. Their failure to imagine and empathize with the pain of others leaves them completely unprepared for experiencing real pain themselves.

    • Eilonwy, yes! The OW’s who invoke the Jesus and Bible verse twists into their comments on some of these sites! Not to mention our “real life OW who will spew and twist unsolicited advice to us. I don’t know how many times I’ve been reminded that I am also a sinner even if I did not commit adultery and therefore I have NO right to judge them for their piss poor behavior. The OW in my case actually told me that after each act of fornication with my husband she and Cheater would pray and ask Gods forgiveness!!! Seriously? All I could think was that she spends about 23 hours a day on her knees! These types of cheaters always want to keep you in check and remind you that you are not really any better than they are! Ummmm… sorry, I’m not buying that load of horse crap ever! They hide behind their so-called religious epiphany and cherry pick the parts of Gods forgiveness and commandments to make themselves feel better. Good Luck with that Cheater!

      • Deciding that piss poor behavior has no place in your life and shoving it right out isn’t “judging” (in a religious sense) just because someone uses that words to describe it. You aren’t deciding whether the person does or doesn’t deserve to be alive or have a positive afterlife or receive medical care or anything like that. You are just deciding the person can’t be in a relationship with you. That’s boundary setting, not judgment.

        • Amiisfree, I get this from OW’s on some of these forums without even mentioning religion! The OW’s then jump to the conclusion that I am a religious fanatic of some sort! I merely point out to them that no matter what justifications they use for their affair that it cannot be “white washed” and made legitimate just because they had “good excuses!” I have been referred to in some very nasty ways the least objectionable being that I am naive and narrow minded! A lot of these OWs are in the group that is waiting for the Cheater to leave his, and I quote, “fat, lazy, sexless no good wife”! I remind them that they are playing long odds that it will happen and that usually sets them off on a tirade of insults. This includes that I am just a horrid person who is bitter because my cheater left me and I am therefore put in the category of the above description of the betrayed spouse. The level of denial in some of these women is just astounding! They just will not and cannot accept that they are just a side piece. They raise themselves to “new/replacement/better “wife” if only he will leave that old lazy dependent worthless wife of his! They make my ass tired and my brain hurt! They are so deluded!

          • I didn’t know there were forums
            where OW hang out — that sounds horrible! For my own mental health and peace of mind I cannot expose myself to those types. It’s too triggering.

            • I landed on a few early on when searching “regret leaving wife for OW” (desperately hoping STBX would regret it someday. Apparently the poor dear OW’s suffer too and don’t deserve to suffer just because they chose to fuck somebody else’s husband. They also have feelings too doncha know.

              One of the biggest takeaways was that “they never leave the wife”. This just made be feel worse. At the time I figured I must be a real loser for actually having him leave me for her.

              I don’t know if they have sites for OMs. If so, they are probably just brag fests for how many MWs they were able to nail.

              • OWs do suffer, my mother was one. But they asked for it, APs asked for all the suffering they got (unless they didn’t know the cheater was married, it happens sometimes). If they have any sense they’ll shut up about it and take their karma, learn a lesson, maybe become better humans.
                Those who knew and whinge or brag on their little internet hangouts are narcs looking for kibbles.

          • Yep, they can talk to the hand. 🙂 I don’t care what assholes think and I don’t have to justify myself. I am.the one with integrity and healthy boundaries. I have nothing to explain.

          • I too had no idea there were forums where OW hang out and talk. What a bunch of losers! I hang out on two blogs and that’s here and Divorce Minister. I visit here and there for a purpose and it’s to do good for myself and get to meh.

      • Nothing beats scripture and pornhub attachement emails.

        I use the MaryKay MOW’s actions a lot. Asshat has had a few LT APs that I now have learned. The MaryKay one though is the most comical. Super Jesus cheater, married and regular bible thumper. She would send asshat scripture emails and then immediately pornhub links for their actual re enactment together or FaceTime mutual masterbation.

        Ironically these assholes, who outwardly LOOK so devout, forget the basic tenets of their faith….like the 10 Commandments.

        If you talk the Talk, you’d better walk the Walk.

        • Yes they are everywhere, between the advise givers and the Switzerland folks it’s quite something. I had another couple that when I told them (asshole told no one not even his on sister) said they loved us both and would be there for us they wouldn’t judge. I sent them an email and almost verbatim quoted everything that Tracy had sit in her book. I never heard a peep from them since. Now when someone starts with “the well these things happen ” line I cut them off and make it clear that no they just don’t happen, people don’t fall on each other’s genitals as Tracy says they plot, scheme, lie and cheat. The shut up right away. I know they think I’m bitter and probably deserved that he dumped me but they shut the fuck up!

          • You are absolutely right. Shut the fuck up & assume culpability. I get the sense that smug marrieds think ‘this’ll never happen to ME’. Like somehow it’s still your fault. Regardless of what a jitbag you were married to, somehow it’s still *more* your fault. Utterly crazy making.

      • Jesus Cheaters. If there is a hell, there is a very special place for those folks. The hypocrisy of violating one of the Ten Commandments and then lecturing everyone about how they are going to heaven (and you’re not) is more than I can handle. I guess they fail to understand that being on your knees for the Lord and being on your knees to give a married man a blow job aren’t quite the same!

      • Uh, I believe Jesus told the woman at the well to “go and sin NO more”, not go and sin SOME more.

        • That’s the problem. I really think a lot of them don’t think they are sinning! My ex is so disordered that while we were still “working on our marriage”, he’d go up to the altar at church (Assembly of God), I went up with him a few times and he’d pray to God whether he should leave me or not (I didn’t know that’s what he was praying about, if he even prayed at all!) I thought he was praying for our marriage. He even got anointed with oil quite a few times. I now realize this was all for show. He’s ALL about how things look. Look at me up here at the altar being all holy! Look at me praying to God for guidance! Sorry, but he was the one who did something wrong (sinned) and he divorced me and I did nothing biblically wrong in ordered to be divorced. And every single freaking week he’d show up for church. Absolutely no shame at all. And he’d be all holy and “nice guy” Christian man at church and then go home and pork the whore I caught him out with (they were dating when we were still married). In my entire life I’ve never known someone so disordered. I still cannot believe I fell for the lies he was pushing!

      • Ha Roberta! The OW just gave you an out for creating epic revenge scenarios for your x and ow. If/ when they call you on it just smile sweetly and ASSURE them that after each act of revenge you get down on your knees, pray, and ask God’s forgiveness. And ASSURE them he forgives you every. single. time. I’m sure it works both ways.

      • Coincidently Ex and his latest AP have Bibles and Jesus plastered all over them. Like what DesertGuy wrote the day here, they want the “feel good Grace”, not the pain of transforming Grace.

  • These are “outside-looking-in” versions of: “It’s not what was done — it’s your reaction to it.” We get enough of that from our fuckwits, we don’t need more of it from strangers, or (god forbid) friends and family.

    That’s why the validation and support we get on this blog and in the forums are so important to our healing — in our own time, on our own terms, without anyone telling us we MUST do this, think that, forgive and play nice, so there’s as little uneasiness as possible.

    Those of whom Tracy speaks long for a sort of “Pleasantville” world, where life is black and white, by the numbers, and interactions between cheaters and chumps are kept as pleasant as possible, lest the entire social order come crumbling down. Our disruption of that order, through our refusal to conform, is what allows the color and vibrance to come through and create a world of new possibilities grounded in our own personal integrity and sense of decency.

    • Funny Uxworld, I thought of Pleasantville too, but then it reminded me more of The Truman Show. All fake.

  • I ducking LOVE schadenfruede. And I fucking love you too, Chump Lady. I’m seven years out and you fucking saved my life. I read ChumpLady every day.

  • “Affair-proof” my marriage?
    Nah.
    As part of my continued mission to denigrate the concept of the “affair”….
    Let’s call it “sleeping-around-proof”.
    Not that I’m in any hurry to start another relationship but, if I did, I’d “sleeping-around-proof” it by trying to make sure that it was only with someone with no previous history of sleeping around on a committed partner.
    A mistake I – and lots of us – seem to have made in our previous relationships………!

    • Like your concept. I think we can just ditch the term, though, because I can’t something-proof a relationship on any topic that I can’t control. I can’t sleeping-around-proof or don’t-text-and-drive proof or replace-the-damn-TP proof or even don’t-look-at-me-that-way proof my relationship. All I can do is control me, ask for what I want and state what I don’t want, set healthy boundaries and make consequences for violating them clear and consistent, and make my choices based on the things that grow out of those tools. The other person controls his/her choices.

    • My X was only 22 when we started dating. He hadn’t cheated in his two prior relationships that I knew of…and yet he turned into a nightmare serial cheater in the 25 years we were together.

  • Cheaters (and anyone who makes a lot of bad choices) will fact consequences.

    When my stbxh had his vehicle repossessed, that was HIS fault. He made the decision to use the vehicle payment money to pay for hotel rooms and to fund his affairs. His bad choices led to the consequence of losing the vehicle.

    Do I throw a parade every time stbxh faces a new consequence? No. Everyone who has the misfortune of being close to him in every capacity will learn who he really is.
    My job is to take care of myself and our 3 loss who he dropped like hot potatoes… But don’t hate on the chumps for hating them through the tough stuff.
    Don’t blame the victim!

    • Wow. I meant… Our 3 kids* and apparently I need coffee this morning. Hope that makes sense.

      (I will say that I really enjoy every time he has to admit on record about his affairs etc. He always has that deer in head lights look when a judge or court mediator or whoever asks about his affairs. Did he think no one would ever speak of it?!)

  • Yes chump shaming, the next Olympic sport. People taking the opportunity to let you know you are less than because your cheater dumping on you wasn’t a big enough blow.
    My coworker…well SOME people just don’t want to put in the effort needed to make a marriage work.
    My response… when you come home from work to find your spouse of 34 years has emptied your bank account to run off with your best friends wife, there’s not much to work with.
    My son…you need to be more understanding of this strange path dad is on. That’s why I admire Hillary, she doesn’t cut and run like you did.
    My response…cheater boy cut and ran, with another woman.
    Son… if you were like Hillary you would see that Bill and dad are just good ole boys and boys will be boys.
    Absolutely no where to go with that one.
    Disclaimer, the above conversation is not meant to start a political debate.

    • Newday, from son….that is fucking painful. You would have hoped to receive support from your flesh and blood that you unconditionally love and here you have it. Sounds like an excuse to his own actual or potential cheating. Does your son have a life partner?

      My 9yo son – that’s what scares me most. He does not fully get it yet. He lived the first 3 yrs of his life seeing his dad on weekends as STBX worked in a different city. Then the next 6 yrs seeing him twice a year in summers and over christmas as we lived across the ocean and “work” kept him where he was. He dismissed my pleas to spend more time with us citing “work”. Now I know he never cut his “soul” connection to his ex gf and continued seeing her throughout our dating and entire marriage. She is the main OW. Married and with a child herself. And both also have the in-between sex here and there. They deserve to be happy, right? Anyway, I don’t get that emotional understanding from son and I understand he is too young. He gets excited when his dad visits and opts to stay with him over at his grandmom. I understand the dangling carrot of fun and adventure with dad. Life with me is mostly school and activities and homework. The sane parent discipline. Life with STBX is fun. And this scares me that son will continue growing up and not realising the devastation this idiot created. It scares me that son will become a full fledged narc as his idiot sperm donor. I get frustrated he does not see my pain. Then I realise many adults don’t see it. The ones who have not had this experience would never understand how soul gutting this is. Let alone a 9yo.

      All I am trying to say is that we can’t control others. Even our children. They will do what they will do in life. But I am determined to continue speaking out. I am not spackling anymore out of fear of not hurting my son. He knows what the cheater did and that drives the cheater mad. CHEATER told me I chose to take the dirty laundry out instead of keeping the facade of a respected wife and following his narrative of “we grew apart”. And we should be friends and travel together twice a year for the sake of a well being of our son. That’s what he feeds son with. And my response is fuck off. I earned the right to be angry. And my son knows that.

      • Can you explain why he proposed to you, if he was still emotionally bonded to his ex gf?? This guy has some serious mental issues going on, to date, propose, get engaged, get married, make vows to a new person, all the while he still had ties to his ex gf. Why didn’t he marry her instead?? It just blows my mind.

        • Kellia, I was trying to explain that at some point. The best he could manage (after 5 months of continuous denying post DD1) was that he “absolutely had to go through that experience to understand himself.” He thought that he was done with her but then we had our first fight, and she was visiting London at the same time as he was (how convenient) and they met, and their relationship restarted. He thought he loved her and confessed his love. He then figured out that they were “two parts of a soul that split into two different persons and that bond was even stronger than love” but now that he “understands she is his half-soul and he also realizes that it was not true love. But, LTC, it’s still a strong bond so I can’t just stop communicating with her. I could slow down and not engage frequently but if she is in danger (through her high profile government job in a narco-trafficking country) I would jump on the plane and go save her. What can I do, it’s the soul…it’s oneness, we are parts of each other. But it’s not love, LTC, you can relax now. I am over it. And, by the way, what is true love anyway? I don’t think it exists.”

          Kelly, I bought this crap and reconciled last summer. I, as many here, once thought that this experience brought us together and made us stronger and we were going to thrive. We started communicating, sharing emotions, having sex. I thought we were on the right path and I had a unicorn.

          Now? I don’t try to explain anymore. Let her rot with all the thousand bodies that she is investigating in her country and let his soul fly and rot with her. That’s what I want.

          • Longtimechump,

            Reading your posts and all you have been through, I just have to say, YOU are mighty.
            Strength of character and integrity reign in your heart and soul!
            Your son, at such a young age, is bound to see fun and games when he is with his father.
            However, as he gets older and sees what REAL life is about he will come to see you, his Mother, as the present, sane, loving parent. You are that and so much more.
            Please remember in CN’s eyes, and in our hearts, YOU are mighty!
            Your cheater is d i r t !

        • Kellia, mine wasn’t as articulate with the half-soul crap as LTC’s but he wooed me, moved in with me within 4 months of starting dating (and without even discussing it before), declared he wanted to grow old in my arms, and maintained for 9 years that I was the only good female role model in his kids lives. But after DDay he claimed that all along he was in love with his ex, he knew he wasn’t happy with, he didn’t want to move to this farm (moving from where I lived was his idea), etc. He has also cut me off from his kids, particularly his kid with the ex he was cheating with of course, because I am toxic and abusive…
          No point in looking for a reason or an explanation, LTC is absolutely right. It’s bullshit, they bullshit themselves, they bullshit everybody; one day the sky is blue, the next the sky is red, and they’re always right and it’s always the chump’s fault.
          If we could tour around the inside of their skulls it would be like a hall of mirrors.

          • Kiwi, good to see you! Any news from our friend Capricorn? I haven’t seen her for a while. Hope all is well with her…

            • No I haven’t seen any recent posts from Capricorn and been wondering too. Hope she’s well and busy enjoying her new cheater free life.

              • I too have been wondering about Capricorn.
                I miss her wit, knowledge and encouraging posts.
                Capricorn, wherever you are, I send you love and many many hugs.
                CN hopes happiness and peace dwell in your and your sons’ heart!
                ❤️

        • Mine did the same thing. He never gave up Skankawhorus. She got married and then we got married. Every time I think she is gone for good, she reappears. Crazy. Long ago my newlywed ears perked up and my inner alarm went off when he told me that she said she liked f**king him more than she liked it with her husband. What on the world?

      • My two sons who spout this nonsense, one is married, one engaged. I hope their wives take a good look at their response to their dad’s cheating because they will be in my shoes some day.

        • I am really scared that my ex’s terrible choices will make my children more likely to become Chumps, APs or Cheaters in the future. Yet another oh-so-lovely legacy the a–hole has left us with…

    • @NewDayDawning An appropriate response to those would be that you’re not Hillary, and boys like Bill and your ex are why they will always remain boys in grown bodies.

  • I am still trying to get divorced. My cheating STBX husband doesn’t like my settlement response. He texted me that he would like to meet up & discuss it. I texted back that we could discuss it in mediation, as per my lawyers offer to his lawyer. People have asked me why I didn’t meet with him, people who know what he did. He lied, cheated & stole. What part of that makes people think he is trustworthy and worth negotiating with face to face?

    While I don’t wish him ill, I wouldn’t be upset hearing shit happened to him either. Doesn’t mean I haven’t moved on, just means I’m human. Anyway, there are no bad emotions, they are all necessary.

    • Good luck Kimhopes, I hope you can settle as quickly as possible. I had my AssHat served yesterday (4 years after bomb drop day #1)….. I don’t know how long this is going to take and I wish I had not waited so long.

    • Yes Kimhopes! ‘ while I don’t wish him ill, I wouldn’t be upset hearing shit happened to him either.’ That’s what I said to a friend yesterday. I don’t wish him ill but I’d like him to be miserable and regret his choices.

    • I got that request (manipulation play) to meet and “discuss” (be manipulated) a “reasonable” (for him) settlement.

      Meet with the enemy? Never!

      I took that mofo all the way to trial and his (measly) “reasonable” offer of $300 a month CS, no alimony, 65/35 (him with 65) split excluding the $3M business we built was eclipsed by the Court’s judgment giving me max CS, generous alimony, and 70% of everything.

      Do not stop fighting for your future!

    • Some people don’t understand that you do not negotiate with terrorists, Kimhopes. CN does. Stay mighty.

  • How could I be angry at my (now ex) husband for;
    1) Talking to his AP about killing me for life insurance money?
    2) Pushing me to spend time with his (then unknown) AP? (I went for daily walks with her for HER health…she was morbidly obese)
    3) Giving me an incurable STD that his AP DIED from? (so have 4 other of his former partners)
    4) Lying to me for 14 years about who he really was? (Told his AP he was “conning” me all along)
    5) Physically assaulting me? (When I tried to discuss the affair)
    6) Everything else?
    Yes, I’m angry. I have the right. Forgive? Nah. I’m good with that.

    • Dang girl, SMT… you have good reasons to be mad.

      Im mad. I decided that hate takes too much energy, so when Im not actively mad, Im settled at chronic low-level distain.

      • I refer to it as ‘dispositional hatred.’ I’m not inclined to invest any more thoughts or energy into my X than necessary, but should he invade my psychological space, I simply think, “Yup, I hate him,” and move on to my to-do list.

      • Great ideas Unicorn and Tempest! I will save a screenshot for when I am raising my blood pressure by HATING the cheater and what he’s done!

      • I’m wondering that too.

        FIVE partners killed by an STD?

        He’s a Typhoid Mary and, like her, apparently would not stop infecting people.

        I don’t know where you are from SMT, but where I live it is against the law to infect others with STDs over and over again and he would be in jail.

        • Unfortunately, there is no test to prove a man, that is asymptomatic, has HPV. There isn’t much I can do…until he gets symptoms. I know he’s a carrier. He denies everything. I developed the exact same type and place HPV, that the other woman died from, 8 months after I discovered the affair. 5 months later, she was dead.

  • This is so relevant this morning. Yesterday, I got an email from the wife of one of my asshole’s friends. We socialized with this couple over the years but mostly because he (the husband) was asshole’s only friend from work. She has MS and began by telling me how much she has suffered but how she focuses on the good things in her life. Then she gave me a list of things I might be grateful for I.e. All the people that love me, enough money to buy a house, blah blah. in other words ( using UBT here ) I should count my blessing and get over it. I was really fucking pissed. How do these people think they have the right to say anything about your life or give you advise. This women is not a close confidant we socialized that’s it. I’m sorry she has MS but she had 35 years and a loving husband by her side to cope. I’ve had 4 mos to get over 40 years of marriage with a fucking cheating asshole. So, I politely, well as politely as I could told her to “fuck off”. She replied saying she was sorry shed upset me more blah blah blah. I deleted her from my contacts. These assholes are everywhere!

    • So sorry you got an email like that. The point people like that completely miss is that something having something like MS is non-optional. Nobody CHOSE for her to suffer.

      Now, if her husband had injected her with something that caused the MS … then we could have a chat about “look on the bright side.” Methinks she wouldn’t see things quite the same way.

      • Argh — I really need to edit before hitting “post.”

        “The point people like that completely miss is that something having something like MS is non-optional.” SHOULD read “The point people like that completely miss is that having something like MS is non-optional.”

        SMH

        • No worries, these devises have little imps in them the write all kinds of things! I noticed my post has an error too! Yikes!

      • You are so right wished I’d thought of that when I replied to her. Although I doubt it would have made a difference, she probably thinks I’m the author of my own misfortune. Not that I really care what she thinks but it’s the gaul that these people having that’s astounding.

        • I agree — it would likely not have made a difference. The whole idea that a victim must have (somehow) had a role in causing the other person to act so horribly cuts across the board in our society … even with full-blown crimes. It’s a horrific insensitive, illogical, and destructive societal pattern.

          • The majority of people ‘my friends’ have been supportive. But after being on CN for a little while I have decided that I won’t take any crap from anyone regarding this betrayal. I won’t own one single thing that excuses him for what he did. This is on him. If it means cutting people out if my life well so be it, if they can’t support me 100% then fuck off!

              • Well I’m a pragmatist about most things in life but this betrayal was so cruel. My daughter and I talked about it yesterday she’s 50 and she said you know “I loved the guy (he was her step-father)” she was 11 when we got married, she said she looked up to him and he taught her some life lessons about honesty and truth telling. ( I know this is ironic to say the least) Now, this floored me and of course she’s dumb founded that he would then turn around and do this to us. I always thought of him as a good step father to my kids and they all loved him. He portrayed himself as tnhe (good guy) always trying to impress everyone. Meanwhile he’s living this double life fantasizing and trolling for whatever is out there to fulfill his empty soul. It’s really quite sick, that they can live these double lives, pretending to be someone they are not. Cheating, lyong and in the end just throwing everything away with hopes of some fantasy romance. What tthey leave in their wake is just collateral damage is how they see it.

    • Lyndaloo–It’s endemic. I had the girlfriend of a friend, a chump from decades ago and who has never even met me, send a letter urging being-friends-with-my-X-for-the-sake-of-the-children, implying that I was bitter and should give up my CL friends and find people with whom I shared more than “the sad vagaries of life.” Unfuckingbelievable. I let her have it with both barrels (as tactfully as I could, given that I wanted to keep contact with my friend). The chutzpah of these people is astounding.

      • An unmet friend would be a stranger, yes? Taking advice from a stranger would be unnecessary.
        I’d sight the barrel of your anger back toward whoever lined her up in your sight. You might see your ex somewhere in your sights because who at all comes out of the blue to school you about your life?

        • I had sent my friend (and former colleague) two guest columns I wrote for CL over a year and a half ago. My friend was proud of me for the columns; his GF considered them “bitter.” Why she thought she could school me on healing is largely because…she had never met me ; ).

  • CL – first of all, the meme… good Lord that cracked me up. I’m often accused of “looking down” on Mr. Sparkles. Sadly, he doesn’t realize I’m just adjusting my crown 🙂

    For those “you need to forgive to move on” peeps… come on over to my house. Have a seat on my sofa. Wait, let me get a pillow for your back. Please, pay no attention to the needlepoint that says “My X likes for big ass trannies to give him BJs and then come home and fuck his wife while whispering “I love you” in her ear.”

    I’d still be pick me dancing if it weren’t for Chump Lady and Chump Nation. He never would have filed. He’d still be on my insurance. He’d still be coming over for dinner on visitation nights. He’d still be asking to stay and watch a movie and share a bottle of wine and think “wouldn’t it be romantic if we fell in love again after the divorce” (you can’t make this shit up).

    And, I’m on my way to meh. It’s true… it is out there. How do I know? He’s still recruiting flying monkeys. Me? More interested in figuring out how I’m going to climb this new mountain of exercise and weight loss so I can ski with my son this winter.

    Fuck the skeptics. Invite them to get an STD check with you the next time they open their mouths.

    • Great. I love your attitude. We have experience and wisdom and pain that people who have not been through this just don’t have.

      I would still be doing those exact same things too! But I was tired of sacrificing my self respect. I bought CL’s book and filed. It was the only sane option. Cheaters use their spouses, believe they deserve cake, and expect the world to kiss up to them. Well, kiss my ass!! Cheaters suck!

  • I like to say, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

    I think I’ll add, “Monday morning quarterbacks not welcome.”

    Trust that they suck, and so do their apologists.

  • People who have been married along time, who’ve never had the unfortunate experience of being humiliated, cheated on, “gutted” do not understand the pain we feel.

    My sister & brother who are still happily married shame me for still hurting & say..”move on already “.

    Although it’s been 2 years, ( I was married 34 years)
    I’m divorced I’m not at meh yet. Don’t know if I will ever be. I keep thinking of how much better his life is now with the whore. Living with her, traveling the world .. while I’m barely getting by.

    I know I’m better off without the lying, cheating & cruel
    treatment but some days it’s very difficult.

    • Your brother and sister are so harsh telling you to move on already. You can’t just magically make 34 years disappear. In fact, rather than being so dismissive, they should be loving and supportive towards you. Now that will help you get over the trauma of cheating way faster than having them tell you to get over it already. It’s so dismissive and harsh. I’m so sorry, hugs to you. Take as long as you need to heal.

      • Kelli’s

        Thank you so much.. only another chump here will understand. It comforts me when I get a reply from all of you.

        I know I’m not alone.

        HUGS to you ❤️

          • Kathleen
            I was married 29 years to,a cheater who kept a mistress the entire time…and when Imwalked away, my own sister, age about 55 at the time, told me i had “ruined my life with that choice”. Why? Because I had a nice big house, country club memberships, and two sons? I now take anything she says with a big grain of salt. Being my sister gives her a pass, but not if she keeps up the criticism. I’m actually doing fine.

        • I get it. 32 years. He’s moved in with Schmoopie. She will be traveling and doing what we were supposed to do when he retired. Although her being 12 years younger and all – my X may be working a loooonnggg time. Keep that Spousal Support coming turd sparkles.

          Really no one much likes him now from what I can tell but he is pretty darn charming so I am sure the two cheaters can craft a nice fantasy life and fool a bunch of new people.

          Ugh, cheaters.

          • My SIL told me my X was a and I quote this “great guy”.

            WTF????

            He is a lying gas lighting asshat. And evil as fuck.

    • 2 years and 9 months for me. Divorced 5 months. 25 years with X.

      I’m not “over it” and never will be the same. Fuck your brother and SIL. I hope they never have to know what this is like.

      Despite not being “over it” whatever that means, I’m doing my best to live a life worth living. Just drank good coffee and picked some blueberries that are hanging off the bush in my yard. I fed my pets and did the dishes. That’s enough “moving on” for me today.
      Now on to get some work done on two huge projects….it’s hard not to be resentful when I’m working harder than I did when I was 25!

    • Kathleen: I was 33 years and it took more than 4 after we separated and finally divorced to start to let things go and not obsess over what happened. I’m now 6 years out and most of the time happy. I have my moments when I remember something and feel the old anger rising. But these have become fewer and fewer. Time really does help and don’t let anyone give you a hard time when you aren’t “over it”. My friends who have been chumped themselves totally get it. We are all on our own journey and it is much easier when there are others around us who understand.

  • Interesting how they can so vehemently dislike, publicly condemn, and even immaturely poke at a complete stranger who holds a different opinion.

    And yet, “FORGIVE your cheaters, damnit! If you don’t, you are a horrible person.” Well, fuck you very much. Asshole.

    They say WE are judgmental? Do they not see the grand irony (and hypocrisy) in their condemnation? Of course they do, they just disagree.

    I will be judgmental of people who knowingly choose crappy behavior that hurts innocent people -And I will be judgmental of the person who knowingly behaved like a complete asshole, nearly destroying me and my kids in the process. He fully understood the pain he was causing and would continue to cause. He Did Not Care. Fuck him.

    • I got “you are soooo judgmental!!” A lot from the XH throughout our marriage. He would tell me about friends and coworkers (red flag!! He works with mostly men) who cheat and he was nonplussed that I was horrified! Once I read Dr. George Simon’s books (THANK YOU CL for yours and his dose of sanity!!!) I have embraced my “being judgmental”!
      I remember back in the early days after DDay when XH would pull that judgemental crap and manipulate me and gaslight me into making it all about my being judgemental…and I would fall for it!!!!!
      After my education on judgement, XH called me judgemental and I answered, ” I embrace and own my judgement of you because it will be my shield against you further dragging us down into your black hole any longer!” Embrace the judgement!!!!! There are a lot of people out there who are shamed because we “judge”. It is a way for abusers to keep abusing and I will never be emotionally abused by another person again.

      • Yes! They absolutely hate to be judged — even when judgment is as just as it is necessary.

        In a rage one day, my STBX screamed at me that my “standards are too high”; I “care too much about integrity.” He also condemned me for caring so much about honesty.

        He doesn’t want to connect the dots that without honesty, you cannot have integrity.

        In his mind, he’s entitled to be viewed as having integrity while actively acting without it. Actually earning it? Bah! That’s for hard-ass, judgmental people like me (and you, Nejla!).

        You said: “It is a way for abusers to keep abusing and I will never be emotionally abused by another person again.” YES!!! My abusing asshole of a STBX openly admitted he used my “good qualities” (integrity, honesty, trust, etc.) against me. He said it was easy.

        • I kid you not…your quotes…verbatim…he said the exact same to me. There really is a playbook! Or your stbx and my XH are coworkers and they spent their days talking about different ways to abuse their wives and children;)

          • I’m so sorry you had to listen to such shit. It’s so mind-bending at the time. I was stunned speechless in the moment he said those things. Not long after (thanks to CL and CN!) I was able to look at it as … “If I have to wonder WHO could possibly say or even think such things, there is absolutely nothing to work with here.”

            Being separated and mostly away from the MindFuck Channel, I see how cruel and immoral his words were. His character was there the whole time … damned spackle. 😉

        • Mine would always give me a version of this same thing. With mine it was always “most people can’t be perfect like you Beachgirl”! Would drive me crazy that he actually placed his deceptions, lying and cheating under the header of just normal human failings was infuriating. No turd, forgetting to put the toilet seat down, choking up at public speaking or accidentally stepping on the dog is normal human failing, leading a double triple quadruple life while lying to my face for years is way beyond the boundaries of just “not perfect”. Blech.

          • Exactly!!!!

            I was really shocked when my STBX started saying stuff like that “like you’re so fucking perfect” … um, no. As a matter of fact, I have been hyper-self-critical ever since I was a kid. It took me decades to stand up to his covert (and even overt) abuse.

            Only a self-serving, manipulative, character-less jackass would even THINK to criticize others for protecting themselves and their kids.

          • See I had the opposite. I was the one who was imperfect (not from treating other people badly but for other things). He was constantly on me about my imperfections and trying to “improve me”. Same with our already awesome kids. Meanwhile he took great pains to be perfect himself in every way as well. This is why I was so shocked that my “must be perfect” husband would cheat on me. If that doesn’t make him imperfect then I don’t know what would.

            • They really are amazingly good at wearing the mask. I thought the same about my STBX … though, I realize now that I spackled away so much that would have shown me how NOT perfect he was ….

              You aren’t alone with the constant criticism. While my STBX started throwing around the “you aren’t perfect, ya know” crap — it wasn’t until I had started to unmask him by calling him out on his behavior and lies. The rest of the marriage, he tore me to shreds. I was too boring; I cared too much about the kids; I was too serious; I didn’t make enough money; I was too pale; I didn’t clean well enough; I didn’t cook often enough; I was a nag; I worked too hard; I didn’t work hard enough; my college major was a stupid choice (it didn’t make enough money) …… and on and on.

              Of course, in between all of this were his daily professions of love. He would often tell me how I was his best friend — the only person he could rely on, that our sex life was amazing to him, and he that he loved the fact that we would grow old together. He even had a “plan” for our retirement and how we would travel together — holding hands, walking on a beach …

              It’s part of the disordered game:

              1. Tell you what they know you want (need) to hear to keep the conflict down while maintaining your attention.
              2. When their faux world annoys them, they need someone to blame — and the appliance-kibbles is a perfect receptacle for their angst.
              3. Find just the right words to cut you to the core … they see you writhe in pain … and, bam! their world is once again the way the like it.
              4. Back to telling you what you want to hear. (and around and around we go ..)

              The moments of angst, as I discovered, were merely a taste test of what would happen when the the mask falls off completely. I’ll never forget the unbridled hatred I saw in his eyes.

              • Jess Mom
                “the unbridled hatred I saw in his eyes”

                THIS

                I believe the eyes are the mirror to a person’s soul

                One of my most painful remembrances is one day as he passed by me, in the kitchen, that look of hatred in his eyes. That said a million words. Killed my spirit, to this day, and it was years ago.

                Hugs to you, Jess Mom. I understand your pain.

        • That is when I knew I was done trying to get cheater to see what he was doing to his family. When he said that it was easy to lie to me because I believed everything he said and because I trusted him.

          When I spoke to my church leader and getting divorced. He asked me why I had filed for divorce (he was totally on my side, it was me that felt shame and guilt etc so I have asked to speak to him) I said how can I stay married to someone who used your trust to lie to you and betray you. He said you can’t can you. There was many more reasons to not stay married but this one just sticks in my head. It would see like it as another one they pick up from the cheaters handbook. Just shows again how unoriginal they are and they are really not that special.

  • Yeah…I have mostly gotten incredible support at work and have reconnected with my “tribe”-friends (and family) I have had since before the XH. It turns out that although XH says I am a “rule follower” and “he has never met anyone so naive about life” that a whole bunch of folks share my values!
    There is one “much more evolved” woman I work with who is on the edge of being condescending about my situation but she knows I would verbally slay her if she went there. Guess what? She is an OW…surprise surprise. I just practice my BIFF statements on her, the sorry little git.

      • Actually, the chump is so “evolved” that she has become “friends” with this OW. There are two kids and they are (according to them) one big happy family. I call bullshit and am sure they must just be enjoying the drama…I stay far away.

        • Actually as crazy as it sounds that can be true. My mum is friends with the OW who has been my step mum for 16 years. My mum decided to stay with my cheater father for us kids until he left her for OW. Mum now is friends because “it’s easier for everyone”. I do find it hard now I’m a chump because I can’t see myself ever getting to the place they are now with my STBX. I do think this situation is very rare. I do think my mum ate lots of shit sandwiches to get to this point, if CL/CN had been around back then I’m sure it would be a different story.

          • Only my opinion, but “staying friends for the sake of the kids” is how you “help” the kids to normalize the experience and repeat the pattern when they grow up…

            • It’s very true and I’m going to be exploring whether that is what I have done when I go to counselling. I thought I had picked someone the opposite of my father. It turns out STBX was just a lot more covert in his behaviour. He didn’t rage and it’s only now I’m seeing the abuse that he hid so well. My father is more of the typical overt type so it’s harder to hide behind that. He is like it with the OW so he hasn’t changed in that way he has just got too old to be able to find new supply. He also doesn’t need to because OW still does everything for him so she is still useful.

  • So, I have grown kids that are NC with the ex so I know this makes what I’m about to say easier to implement but….
    I hate him, I don’t care if he and his affair partner know it.
    I don’t wish him well, I don’t wish him anything.
    He’s said he’s sorry, but in that backhanded ” I’m sorry people got hurt” kinda way. Not in the ” I’m sorry I’m a selfish sociopath that firebombed my family” kinda way.
    It’s whatever.
    After somebody fucks your over in a that kind of way, I don’t know how allowing them in your life in any capacity is an option. No thanks…
    My heart breaks for those that have to co-parent with these assholes, be cordial for the kids….ugh!! A little piece of my soul dies at the thought of chumps having to plaster on a fake smile at some awards ceremony.
    My policy now is all business if I have to interact with him in any way, not shitty, just clinical. No chit chat….no getting sucked down the rabbit hole if he asks about the kids…..now it’s just ” I’ll be taking your 401k now….have a nice day.”
    You fuck me over in that way? We’re done here.
    I never understood the public perception that meh= forgive and forget.
    To me meh= fuck you, I hope she gives you herpes.

    • “now it’s just ” I’ll be taking your 401k now….have a nice day.”

      Hahahahaha — this is awesome! 🙂

    • Paintwidow, I love that: “I’ll be taking your 401K now….have a nice day”. I’m NC with my ex except for once a year email confirmation of the amount he paid in spousal support for tax purposes. This year his email said “I hope you are well.” My replay was “I trust you are the same.” I’m sure he took that to mean “I hope you are well also” but what I really meant was “I trust you are the same lying, cheating, stealing piece of shit you were when I was married to you”. I’m really looking forward to next year’s email when I will ask how the live-in stripper’s probation is going. She was recently convicted of a handful of 5th degree felonies for drug offenses which I’m sure he doesn’t know I’m aware of. 😀

      • That’s so awesome!
        It’s funny cuz it’s true, oh, trust he’s the same, that’s for damn sure.
        It’s the little things…..no matter what I communicate, I end it with have a nice day.
        Like…..”my atty will make sure you and that whore are eating cup of noodles 3 meals a day for the next decade.
        Have a nice day.”
        Beth, I would love to steal that but mine will never wish me well.

    • “…….now it’s just ” I’ll be taking your 401k now….have a nice day.” lol 🙂 Thanks for the great big laugh and I completely agree with you. I will not be “nice” for the sake of the kids. Never. Being “nice” to him and his whore someday will teach my kids that being royally fucked over by your husband of over 20 years is okay, because “look how nice mom is being to dad. It all worked out fine.” If Satan walked in the door I wouldn’t be nice to him, so I won’t be nice to my ex because to me he’s evil and what he did for over 20 years is evil. And then he blamed all his evil behavior on me. And he’s still evil, because he presents himself to everyone and church that’s he’s this great Christian man with superior morals, etc. And he’s porking his whore girlfriend and their best couple friend that they hang out with are two adulterers who blew up two marriages for their twu luv. And they are living together and in most Christian circles that’s a big no-no. So he’s a total wolf in sheeps clothing. I will never play nice with the spawn of Satan.

  • Yes, I find it annoying when people say “anger is toxic”, when they have no idea WTF they’re talking about. Anger was the FUEL that kept propelling me forward. It’s was the “no, fuck him!” fairy tapping me on the shoulder to remind me that I was on the right track anytime I starting doubting myself. In my experience, the anger was healthy and necessary.

    The anger has almost all morphed into MEH now. And I love you ChumpLady, for creating this amazing “no-bullshit oasis” we all know and love as your blog and ChumpNation. You are a true treasure ✨

    • Anger as fuel … yes. Beautifully stated!

      Even at first, when I couldn’t muster enough value in myself to be angry on my behalf, I looked at the damage his shit behavior was causing (and would continue to cause) my kids. THAT pissed me off. That was the beginning of my fuel.

      I am utterly grateful for my anger.

      • Yassss, it’s not a chump’s anger that’s toxic, it’s the abuse they were/are made to suffer! Totally

    • Anger is natural. It’s part of the process. Anger comes from the gut. It’s like the gut firing a warning shot up to the heart and the brain to get away from cheater. Listen to your gut! What is it with these wingnuts who want you to stuff your anger back down? I shouldn’t listen to my gut? Yeaaaah—that’s healthy.

      What’s worse, I’ve had other chumps try and school me on taking the high road. I promptly lead them by the ear to this site instead of knocking their forehead with a ball peen hammer. Yes, maybe holding on to your anger may not be such a great idea in the long run, but let me make my own choices about when to let go, when to be angry, how much anger to have, etc. One chump who was espousing the “taking the high road” BS route was in the beginning of her divorce process. After three years wallowing chin deep through the shit sandwich fields, guess what? She suddenly understood that anger is indeed the fuel to burn down your cheater past and gain a new cheater-free life.

      • I love the image of “chin deep through the shit sandwich fields”. At first I pictured a massive field of wildflowers blowing in the wind. Except there were shit sandwiches on the stems, instead of flowers.
        Next I recalled a picture I had seen. A young, ill-equipped draftee was chin deep in water, holding his gun above his head, desparately trying to keep it dry. He looked about 15 years old, like Vietnam was the last place he should be.
        I suppose there are a few metaphors there.

  • I love you CL, and your messy hair especially! I found you and Chump Nation because I was 3 months out and already moved to another state and the only advice I could find was to reconcile or at least part friends. My ex sent hateful emails, behaved as horribly in divorce as in marriage, sent rants in texts of vile contempt and then suddenly wanted to plan holidays as a family for the kids. He even asked my priest to meet with us both so he could have a 3rd party force me to be NICE…I said HELL NO. I knew he was sick. I knew the advice to be friends was wrong. It was inauthentic. My soul knew it was bullshit.

    The day I found your forum I knew I was home. Yes, your advice spot on. The sick (and heartbreaking) stories from other cheaters made me feel like I was with my kin. You (CN and CL) understand the pain, the ugly games they will play in divorce and how to know your worth. Feel what you feel, and don’t let anyone tell you how to react. Our stories are similar, but even we all have varying degrees of Cheater mind games. This site literally saved my sanity and helped me build a life…priceless!!!

    • Yes, free2bme, I couldn’t agree with you more! I felt exactly the same – like I was with my kin once I found CL and landed in CN. Chump Lady and her site saved my life too! I’ll never know how to pay it forward enough

  • The “Affair-proof your marriage” crowd…I would like to smack their heads together…like THEY were clever enough to do that but I was so obtuse as to miss some of the steps…how fucking dare they?

    I know their assholeness comes from fear…my learning that my Catholic husband was a serial cheater who emotionally abused me to deal with his guilt is their worst fear. Admitting that there was not a single damn thing I could have done to prevent this is too scary for them to face.

    I have it easier than most widows who get sad every time they see a picture, I just seethe internally a wee bit and remind myself that I was true, he was the faker.

    Every cool, fun, great, enjoyable, fulfilling thing I do now is a “fuck you” to the oppression I lived and rather than gloat over his death, I really wish he was here to see this new me…the version that exists without his constant criticism and blame.

  • Someone shared this some time ago and I thought of it while reading the comments today (alternate gender as needed):
    ===============

    Dear Woman,
    Sometimes you’ll just be too much woman.
    Too smart,
    Too beautiful,
    Too strong.
    Too much of something that makes a man feel like less of a man,
    Which will make you feel like you have to be less of a woman.
    The biggest mistake you can make
    Is removing jewels from your crown
    To make it easier for a man to carry.
    When this happens, I need you to understand
    You do not need a smaller crown—
    You need a man with bigger hands.

    Michael Reid

  • My all time favorites?

    I’ve been called ‘bitter and angry’.
    Stalked and called a frigid cunt who would die alone.
    Called a hoarder, a lesbian, an addict. a narcissist, and emotional abusive spouse.
    Also OLD and that I’d die a lonely old lady.
    Told he cheated because I hated him and didn’t forgive him.
    I’ve Ben asked why I wouldn’t rather be with someone than living alone.
    Asked if I should go on medication.

    Infidelity and not tolerating abuse is a great equalizer. It’s a narc zapper and let’s you see with clarity how others really feel.

    BRING IT ON. Show your ignorance; it aids in using my new found boundaries.

    Meh is indifference. It’s not forgetting, forgiving, or living up to anyone’s expectations. It’s building a wall to protect yourself and lowering it when YOU feel safe enough and equipt to say no, walk away and have the strength to keep your power. It’s knowing who you are; reclaiming your identity, your very soul. It’s doing the work from the inside out to reclaim your life one step at a time.
    It’s not letting others define you, knowing your value.

    • “BRING IT ON. Show your ignorance; it aids in using my new found boundaries.”

      *Standing Ovation!*

    • “Meh is indifference. It’s not forgetting, forgiving, or living up to anyone’s expectations. It’s building a wall to protect yourself and lowering it when YOU feel safe enough and equipt to say no, walk away and have the strength to keep your power. It’s knowing who you are; reclaiming your identity, your very soul. It’s doing the work from the inside out to reclaim your life one step at a time.
      It’s not letting others define you, knowing your value.”

      THANK YOU for this. Absolutely spot on.

  • I hate it when people who have never experienced this level of betrayal and abuse tell me how I should feel. They sit safely in their smug world of “MY husband would NEVER cheat on me” delusion. Well it can happen to anyone and be careful of glass houses.

    Second do not confuse our rightful anger with bitterness. They aren’t the same. I’m angry about what my cheater did to me but I feel true happiness for friends and family around me that are happy. I can be both.

    • Great Point. Again cheaters try to get centeality by saying because we are angry with them, we are angry with everyone and everything.

      Like their happiness and how good/nice we are to them is the metric for how happy we are in general? Fuck them.

    • Beachgirl

      I agree. It’s one thing to not have a shared experience, he’ll we wouldn’t wish that on anyone. But it’s another to flaunt moral superiority as CL so brilliantly highlighted.

      It speaks to making the chump accountable for their actions. And what I have found as time has passed is the ‘forgetting’ and ‘fogiving’ camp grows.

      What I let go of is giving a fuck about what others think or believe. Don’t care. Living better. Ok with single. Ok with driving the bus. Ok with acceleration as the rearview mirror is adjusted.

  • I just realized that my one year divorce anniversary was yesterday. I didn’t remember until today, wow. Ex apologized early this year via text (so touching). Any actual contact NO he can’t face the fact that he really fucked up. Where is the girlfriend he left me for? Who cares!! No balls ex is exactly where he wants to be and I am so much the better. Meh really does = Fuck You.

    Viva Freedom!!! and Live !!!

    • No Balls. Now counting Freedom years. And I’ve reframed it to right where he deserves to be.

      Last year when it took me months to get the 200 dollars he pays for health insurance for the YEAR the slunt berated me from his phone. Talk about classless.

      I text back that it conmforted me knowing where he landed.

  • Yeah. Like in the business world how companies cosy up to, court and pick me dance with employees who embezzle and steal company time and resources. You know, organizations should try harder to get loyalty and integrity from their employee. Fire them? Jail them? How cruel!

    (Large fucking sigh with eye roll).

    And HOW is infidelity different? Stealing time, resources and value from a spouse to get an upper hand is equally criminal. Takes the same shit character of lying, manipulating and covert aggression. There shouldn’t be no fault states, it’s illegal to cheat a company yet not a person? Why is stealing belongings from an individual a punishable crime yet not infidelity, which is stealing as well?

    Not to digress too much into gender dynamics, however it would be interesting to see when the trend of no-fault state started. I bet you it was around the time when women were getting more empowered. Women want jobs and freedom? Great! Now you’re responsible for the outcome of your relationship, even if your husband cheated. Just saying…

    • Yes! I had to write an undergrad paper on societal norms. Ours laws dictate the landscape of acceptable behavior. By withdrawing infidelity from the legal landscape people see it as a hands off moral issue. There is no societal pressure to stay faithful (not that a spouse should have to be pressured into faithfulness, that should come naturally), but the undertone of acceptance certainly doesn’t help.

      Tell me that if we decriminalized stealing there would be more theaft…. not! If it’s not wrong, why not right? Sure, there’d be those that still wouldn’t steal, because they wouldn’t want to be stolen from (it’s called empathy), but for the most part, I guarantee no ones belongings would be safe!

      Our laws definitely dictate our response to acceptance. Look at smoking for example, smoking didn’t become “socially unacceptable” until smoking bans started. Smokers have to deal with social stigma, and it is through that pressure that many have chosen to quit something that is a powerful addiction. Social pressure of right and wrong doesn’t deter the disordered, but it has a huge impact on the rest of the population.

      • In order to be effective, however, it has to be enforced. Adultery is illegal in our state (class 1 felony) but it is never enforced and I don’t think most people, including STBX, and including me until somebody on this site tipped me off, even know that law exists.

      • Good point, GotABrain, about infidelity being illegal or not. In Australia, prostitution is legal, and visiting a prostitute over lunch hour is advertised. Their places of business are in the business/downtown section, pretty like a boutique or cafe.

        Even up-standing religious people, who should know better, but have been conditioned by their culture, condemn American’s attitudes against infidelity as prudish and puritanical.

  • Wouldn’t it be fun to share the ‘nose dive’ our cheaters took as our Friday challenge?

    After the Limited took his nose dive he had giant red sores around his mouth and face..

    • Lots of material there!

      Another fun one would be What Did the Cheater Still Expect You to Do for Them after the Split?

  • Bouncing Back – do digress into gender dynamics!
    I much rather hear “Heaven has no rage like love turned to hate” instead of the abbreviated version. But really CL is right, MEH is the best revenge. Until I get to a complete MEH, I freely and occasionally indulge in revenge fantasies.
    You should not talk badly about him – WTF? You asked I tell and then you judge?
    Are you dating yet? So, you expect me to be exactly like the cheating a….?
    There are always two sides to a story. Oh yeah? Really? So cheating is OK, right?
    Whatever, I am not a bitter woman, but I do despise him . Hate? Not sure, it takes too much effort. But contempt YES.
    And to the ex- friends, who are afraid they might be the next chump, good riddance.
    Rebuilding my life one step at a time, learning to set boundaries and enjoying the ride.
    Sincerely,
    woman scorned with messy hair

  • Blah blah blah.

    Where are the people urging that Bernie Madoff’s victims forgive him? He took their money, not their health and years of their life. Or urging that people forgive their rapists? Because I consider what happened to all of us emotional rape.

    Are these do-gooders proclaiming that the 14-year old girls captured by Boko Haram and forced into arranged marriages forgive them? That the farmers who had their farms confiscated by Mugabe ought to forgive him?

    Just because I stupidly took vows with Hannibal Lecher and procreated with him, I should forgive him decades of emotional abuse and deception? Ain’t gonna happen. And anyone who urges ‘forgiveness’ and being friends with your X (“for the sake of the children”) means I now think of them as insensitive clods. Begone.

    P.S. And for the record, ChumpLady has AWESOME hair. I admit to locks-envy.

    • I can relate to Chump Lady’s hair. I think mine is similar, just a different color. Mine is always messy no matter how much I brush it or whether I wear it loose, braided or just pulled back. When it’s humid it frizzes and expands to twice its size. It definitely has a mind of its own.

      In spite of all of this, I have probably gotten more compliments on my hair than just about everything else in life (except maybe my kids – as it should be). That, of course, is in stark contrast to STBX’s comments about my hair being too poufy and unkempt. Come to think of it, he complained about the kids too (those kids that we get complimented on all of the time).

      Yup, those of us with messy hair so deserve to be cheated on.

    • Tempest, my freeing myself from forgiveness and loosening my straight-forward talking has gotten me into trouble in my circle of friends, family and community. Do you think I should dial it down? Or let them get used to it, or not? And enjoy my ripped-back freedom? Hahahahahaha!!!

      • Aww, QueenMother, you’ve been through enough. Let them adjust to your straightforward talk! Those who can’t? Arrivederci.

  • I once read an article about a woman who befriended her daughter’s murderer. I did not admire her for her ability to forgive at all. I was horrified. In my mind she was devaluing her daughter’s life. Some things shouldn’t be forgiven.

    That being said, it would probably be easier for me to forgive STBX and even Schmoopie someday (many years from now, especially if they are no longer together) than it would be to ever forgive the murderer of one of my children. How’s that for being forgiving of my wayward soon to be ex spouse?

    • Good point, ChumpinRecovery. I agree that the woman did devalue her daughter’s life and the trauma she suffered by befriending the murderer, just as we would devalue ourselves and our pain to forgive our cheaters.

  • Don’t we have enough to deal with without the “righteous” giving us shit too? It is hard to ignore but I am choosing to not associate with the segment of society who have cheated on their spouse. That ” moral compass” is not acceptable and I do not want my grown boys to identify with that part of their dad. I now have to be the role model for adult children and I choose honesty which right now is “get the hell” out of our lives. Fortunately my men are so pussed at their dad for what he has done, they feel the same as me. It is early days and they will have to come to terms with him, but I only have to come to terms with the lawyer! I hope he rots in hell with his whore!

  • When I first started with my new therapist post filing (because turd realized I was no longer pick me dancing, his sparkles no longer worked and he turned into an enraged, flaming hemorrhoid), she pointed out my amazing emotional control. Turns out, disliking others having unpleasant emotions a hallmark of narcissism; of course, not everyone who dislikes negative emotions is a narcissist, but if someone starts telling you how you “should feel”, your feelings are in appropriate, and follows it up with shaming judgment and a sense of enlightened superiority, RUN!

    In my 18 years of marriage I learned to turn off the expression of my emotions, because they were seen as crazy, illogical, invalid and abnormal. So now, if someone doesn’t like my feelings then they can FUCK OFF! They are MY feelings, they belong to ME! As long as my BEHAVIOR stays within the bounds of the law and MY own sense or morality, “you got nothin to say about it!” I’d rather not act in the “back-asswards” way of fuckwits, by denying I have feelings and expressing them through fucked up behaviors … hmm let’s say for example, like sleeping with prostitutes, lying, deceiving, breaking up families, etc. So you go ahead and ride your morally acceptable emotions high horse, and while you are looking down your nose at me, I’ll be flipping you the bird!

  • ChumpLady, I have been reading your blog daily since the day I discovered you in October 2016. This was past DD1 in Jan 2016, more gaslighting and lying for 5 months, DD2 in May 2016 with the cheater admitting to a long-term affair and many short term ones (dismissed as a boy thing), then a false 2-month reconciliation over the last summer, and pre-DD 3 in December 2016. If I had not found you then, the upcoming DD3 would have probably ended in another wreckonciliation and humiliating pick me dance.

    You know what you did? You helped me UNDIG and UNLEASH my anger which propelled me (finally!) into action. Constant exposure to narcogaslighting turns us chumps into robot zobmies on automatic motions doing daily chores, caring for family members, going to work, raising children, cooking, cleaning, maintaining the facade, being the linchpin. All the while suppressing our frustrations out of fear of abandonment, lonely life, wrecked hopes. We try and try and try and try to please these soul lacking creatures and to become visible to them. All my desperate attempts to penetrate through the iron wall the cheater created since the beginning of our marriage went deflected. He treated me condescendingly, constantly compared to his female colleagues or friends (some were OWs), and claimed that he was doing this to push me to aim for higher achievements. With him and for him, I changed two countries of residence, learned two foreign languages, created home and life and friends and careers in both countries – and was never ever enough for him. He never saw me.

    ChumpLady, after the anger that you helped me undig and unleash on him – I am all of a sudden attractive!

    Cheater:
    “You look good, actually, you look great, really, did you lose weight?” – After I actually gained quite a weight and am offered a seat in a subway car as people think I am pregnant.
    “Oh, you changed a lot, you are such a self-confident woman now, really attractive. I like you now. Maybe we can discover each other again?” – hahahaha!!!!

    Thank you, CL! I can’t find the right words to describe how thankful I am to you and CN. I am not a robot anymore suppressing my feelings, frustrations, emotions. I am alive. And ANGRY! I don’t give a flying fuck of what other people think. If I get the “you need to forgive to liberate yourself, you need to let go, you need to stop being angry” I tell them I am not interested in their opinion, I tell them they don’t understand. I also tell them they will understand when their SOs will cheat on them. And I add, I will be there for you when it happens, I will understand and I will not judge your anger, I will actually help you be angry. My mom, although fully supportive of me divorcing the cheater because she knows cheaters cheat, can’t understand why I keep boiling in anger. She thinks I should have been over long ago. I understand she preaches meh in her own way.

    Thankfully, not many around me say this BS but I still do get it occasionally. I also get the “Stop reading CL, this keeps you stuck in anger.” And again, I tell them you don’t understand. CL and CN are my saviors. They validated the feelings I had all this time but never accepted as legit because they scared me.

    I also wanted to add…you help us not only deal with cheaters but in many life aspects as well. Many chumps will agree with me that the long-time suppression of our intuition and anger have turned us into people pleasers and we apply this into all aspects of our life, including dealing with friends, relatives and work. I used to feel guilty pointing at the unprofessional demeanor of my subordinates or peers which had me doing the lion’s share of work while the team would claim the benefits. I am changing that as well, CL, and this is thanks to you and this nation. I love you all.

    • Your comment made me cry. Nice people come into relationships assuming that the other person is is kind and considerate as they are. They are not prepared for being manipulated and lied to so they cave. That hope in thinking you can fix things. It take lots of help and support like CL to understand how to get out from under. I think learning to just say “no” ,and leave, are the most empowering thing you can do. You don’t excuse you, youndon’t explain, you just leave. It seems to me that the very best lesson CL has given to everyone here is that “no” is a complete sentence. If you have children take them with you and leave. You may not go further than the next room but you can leave that oppression and mistreatment behind. Just leave. Righteous anger is holy anger, as far as I am concerned. NO ONE has the right to belittle, degrade, embarrass, hurt another. There are no excuses. Ever.

    • Hey LongTimeChump — thank you, I am like you. A few comments / questions:

      1. Right now? When “friends” give me shit for being angry? I want to say, “Well fuck you. When Martha betrays you? don’t come to me for support.”

      2. In my faith community? When I saw behind the masks of a couple of “holy ones”? Yah, same modus operandi of my cheater spouse. Lie, blameshift, character assassinate. Boy-o-boy.

      3. And also, yah, support ya in bringing back to health both the anger and the intution. (See Women Who Run with the Wolves.) The knowledge proves really useful to us when we see women (say in our work, family, or faith community) who are victims of abuse — and the men in their lives blaming them. Think about where that woman might be on the victim spectrum: from spackling to angry.

  • Feel it, speak it, shout the truth at it . . . Absolutely because once you do this – the slow healing process begins.

  • A few thoughts…

    1. Anger is not bad. How you channel and respond to that anger can be. But to be anger let’s you know that what you experienced was not right or good. Let it be the fuel that pushes you to make changes and cut out the wrong in your life.

    2. The commenter got lucky. Most of us do not have exes who become better people as a result of an affair. I have seen it happen, but it often does not last and the new spouse is sometimes the reason for a better relationship. For example: Dad remarries and new wife is the one organizing parenting time.

    3. Do I wish I could have a better relationship with my STBX for the kids sake? Yes, I do, but the reality is that he is a selfish, entitled prick who thinks nothing of screwing me over or hurting the kids if it gets in the way of something he wants. Now, why in the world would I open myself up to more of that treatment? Nope…I think I will stick with keeping Fort Knox between us.

  • I was told my ex was moving 1000 miles away (to live with his OW) and that was the day the serenity of MEH hit me.
    After everything I could not have care less. I laughed OUT LOUD HARD IN PUBLIC at the sense of emotional freedom!!
    Then I bought a bottle of champagne and made mimosas because it pleased me.
    We never believe we will get there and one day it will sneak up on you.
    That is revenge.

    • Ah MsMeh I am so happy for you!!! Congratulations. I’m still not quite at meh cause I want to ask you if there is more to the happy ending–like did the twu wuvs implode? I know once I’m at meh, I simply won’t care.

  • It took about a year after d day for my anger to appear and boy did it! From that day forward i let my anger guide me to indifference it didnt take long. And when i reached indifference my whole attitude changed and kar marie began to show her face again. And when i showed asswipe that anger and indifference i scared the shit out of him hed never seen that side of me and he treated me quite differently from that monment on. Changed nothing but my strength gained every day. I knew i would have to wait the vindictive fucker out but in the end i got what was mine what i felt i deserved. Hit him right in his big fat penis filled wallet. I retain that anger i embrace it it will keep me safer and smarter in the future. But i do not let it dictate me. Its there for comfort and its my boudica. It sits in a comfortable place in me ready to bring out its crossbow at a moments notice. He will never day sorry because hes not. And fuck fuck fuck all the putos who say forgive and forget. Axed from my life are all those who trifle me. Bang!!!! Be gone!!! Family included. Even mom and siblings. They start on the phone with me i tell them i gotta go. I will not listen to it anymore. No more shit sandwiches for me! Do i wish asswipe well…..no i wish that pod…..nothing. i will never forgive him but i have forgiven myself and i dont wish him dead and that my wonderful peeps here is enough. Fuck him and everyone like him. Love to all of you!!!

  • I didn’t coin, “Revenge is sweet”, nor “Karma is a bitch”. To give a dimension of the people, slimy government cheating and spouse cheating people-that’s the circle I was drawn into. But when the cheater is cheating on the other cheater he lives with and you are the unknowing, taken for a ride, deceived, used other woman, widowed and wanting someone to love, told you are loved until you find out on your own, oops, clutch, gulp, he responds, “I can love two women at the same time, but the one who majorly enhances my life style with her money can’t know about you” (in so many words and actions), maybe you too, would explode. I will never stop my revenge until my pain and hurt and tears stop. And that will not occur until my soul moves into neutral. I have two holes in my, now, completely destroyed heart and that is why I am heartless in my revenge.

  • I haven’t forgiven STBX for what he has done, but with the exception of a few rages, I generally keep it to myself and try to get along. This isn’t because of any superiority or enlightenment on my part. I’m just too lazy to deal with the drama. It’s easier to just work with him and sort out the marriage agreements so that I get what I need and move on. I am certainly not anywhere near meh. I still have moments of bitterness which I have to let out to certain friends and family, but I try not to let that interfere with my dealings with him. In all fairness he seems to be doing the same. He is not going around telling people bad things about me or trying to make me look bad. He also isn’t trying to screw me financially, so that is a step up over a lot of other cheaters.

    All of that being said, his ongoing relationship with Schmoopie 2.0 still fills me with rage. Mostly I try to avoid the reminders of her existence so I can function, but that isn’t always possible. Whenever I have their relationship in my face in whatever way, whether it’s credit card charges, hearing him say her name or tell me about plans he’s made with her, parading her around to his family, setting the groundwork to introduce the kids someday, having to drive past her house whenever I go to the pool (I have just stopped going) and just the thought of anybody condoning their relationship as anything but the abomination it is, sets me off into an emotional tailspin that devolves into either rage or hopeless crying or both. I still have this sense of possessiveness “Hey, that’s my husband you’re fucking you bitch”, and it hurts knowing that he would rather fuck that bitch instead of making love to me. I try to keep all of that to myself as much as possible, but it’s tough sometimes and I have to be careful who I express myself to, because some of those emotions may seem irrational to those who don’t understand (especially STBX).

    • “All of that being said, his ongoing relationship with Schmoopie 2.0 still fills me with rage. Mostly I try to avoid the reminders of her existence so I can function, but that isn’t always possible.”

      I so get this. I try my best not to think about the ex and his whore. I want them to break up. I want him to come crawling back to me – where I will tell him to fuck off and leave me alone. I want her to cheat on him (which I really think will happen). I want them to be absolutely miserable together.

      I’m doing better at not thinking about them, but there are times (like right now) that I just can’t stand the thought of them together. Thankfully, I get over it and resume my life. But the rage? Yeah. I get it.

      • I don’t even need him to come crawling back to me at this point. Just leaving her would be enough to move me much closer to meh. Even a new Schmoopie a few months after the divorce is final wouldn’t hurt much (although it might be hard to take them seriously). Maybe it is just the thought of him or anybody else seeing good in a relationship that is so symbolic of the total disregard and disrespect with which I was treated that gets me worked up. In my mind, anyone who accepts their relationship is basically saying that I don’t matter.

        • Oh, same for me. If he left her (or she left him), I would be in a much better place. Even if it was a different girlfriend, I would feel better. But the fact that he is with HER, the white trash whore who went after him, infuriates me.

          “In my mind, anyone who accepts their relationship is basically saying that I don’t matter.”
          This comment reminded me of a mutual friend ex and I had. She was married to one of ex’s best friends and he died of cancer. After he died, she found out he’s cheated on her and had a son. So I figured when I told her that ex had cheated on me – she was the FIRST one I told – she would understand. She did. But THEN, a few months later, she posts on FB that she was so excited to come and visit ex and the whore – and I lost it. I felt SO BETRAYED. I unfriended her and blocked her. She accepted their relationship and threw me under the bus. Fuck her. Not only does she KNOW what it’s like to be cheated on, she blatantly showed that she thought their relationship was absolutely fine. I don’t need that kind of “friend.”

          • I lost a friend who was technically his friend first, but was otherwise someone I related to very much (and one of my bridesmaids). She “understood” that I was betrayed, hurt, etc. and said that I was a strong woman and deserved to be treated well, but then also didn’t deny that she and X were still friends. Told her right there that I enjoyed her friendship, but I had to end it and that I could not remain friends with anyone who remained friends with him. She “understood” this also. It was the saddest, quietest friendship death…right up there with the relative deaths of those of his relatives who I loved. I am filled with rage at the fall-out and lost friendships/family members alone. Add the actual betrayal on top of that and I’m a fucking powder keg.

            • Oh man. Yeah, she really “understood” all right, didn’t she? You don’t need that kind of “friend” in your life.

              I’m “lucky” (if you could call it that) that my ex had a very distant relationship with his family, so while I loved my mother-in-law dearly, she’s not really part of my life or my daughter’s. No birthday phone calls or presents or cards, no Christmas gifts or anything for her granddaughter, which I always found weird. Ex’s dad is pretty much his enemy (ironic considering they are a lot alike) and he would occasionally call his mom, but he really had no problem not being in communication with them at all. I didn’t really lose anyone on his side in the divorce. And since my family couldn’t stand him (and tried to tell me over and over again, but would I listen? Noooooo…) they are glad he’s gone.

              • Interesting…my X’s family is also mostly distant. Once his maternal grandparents passed away (thank god they didn’t have to witness this — they were very sweet people and tried their best with their own daughters’ troubled marriages), the extended family disbanded. The only real relationships were with his siblings. His older brother, his wife, and kids (my former — ugh, using this word gets me every freaking time — niece and nephew) are the ones I will miss, as well as his younger sister (she lives with a fatal neurological medical condition, and I doubt what happened was accurately conveyed to her). His narc-o father is his enemy and also similar in some regard (hating what they’ve become, are they?), mother is passive aggressive and X has these characteristics too. It’s a deadly combo, but I just didn’t see it at the time. I can pretty much do without all of them…those who were at liberty (unconstrained by age, health) to come forward and support me, did not do so. Fuck that. Not going to say it doesn’t still hurt, but reading what others say here and via other anti-RIC literature has helped a great deal.

              • ChumpOnIt, if I dared to tell my ex that he was like his father, it set him off into a rage and I got the look of death. But I remember his mom saying once (before we were married), “He’s just like his father.”

                There are differences, of course, but on the whole? Yep. He’s a self-centered bastard.

                And you’re right – fuck those who didn’t come to support you. I’ve heard exactly ZERO from my ex’s family, with the exception of his mom – and I texted her first to tell her what was going on. She’s bewildered by the whole thing, but if I know her, she’ll just passively accept the whore into her life. Pathetic. But honestly? I think she’s afraid of her son (the ex) and what he might do.

            • I feel the same way! I get people judge others by how they make them feel – friendly, polite, etc., but once you’ve been through this experience (or for myself anyway) I measure a persons character by how they treat those closest to them. You cheat, sorry, I think you are a douche Regardless of how you treat me.

              I don’t understand how people can’t get this. One of my core values is loyalty, so I just don’t get people who can say “eh, they did it to you, not to me” and are fine with themselves. Oh, so in other words … it doesn’t matter because it didn’t happen to them? I kind of wish I could be like that on some level… it might make life a whole lot easier to just overlook people being asshats.

              • Ignorance sure is bliss. I wish I could go back to the days of not understanding any of this. But here we all are. Regardless of how we may have let things slide before, this is a life-/view-altering experience. Whereas I may have tried to “understand” both people’s perspectives before (sometimes you’re just on the fence because you don’t know the whole story and don’t want to jump…I know how lame this sounds, but before I felt like perhaps I was inserting my own values into someone else’s life), having now experienced this for myself, I have zero sympathy for cheaters. They had options, they just didn’t decide to do the right thing. So while I say “fuck ’em” to the Switzerland types, on some level I do still see where they’re coming from (at least some of them who seemingly had nothing else negative going on)…I just don’t want to have anything to do with anything short of full-on support at this point.

              • ChumpOnIt, yes. I feel like I was this naive person before this all happened, thinking that people were basically good, that there were shades of gray when it came to affairs, etc.

                Now? Fuck that. I am more jaded and more cynical, and I look at people now and wonder, “Are you a narcissist? Are you abusive? Are you cheating on your spouse?”

                This whole experience has forever changed me. It’s not making me bitter – but more educated, less naive, more aware. That can only be a good thing.

        • I totally get this, Keeping Calm and Chumpinrecovery! It’s unbearable at times, the hurt and the rage.

          I’m working on the pearl of wisdom- trust that they suck, and am quite determined to be a freaking Jedi at this when all is said and done! And I look forward to NC like a drink of cool water on a hot summer’s day.

          But right here and now, I’m so stoked that I found out his cheating and his goddamn lies, especially his new secret love (well not so new, they have been together coming up to two years and are secretly living together). It might not be exactly the misery that I too wish on them, Keeping Calm, but I have royally fucked up his plans about getting away with it and the lovely hope of smoothly introducing her to our son and his family. He hates that I know and I bet he is super-stressed about how to introduce the Mole – told him outright, the only way it will be done is if you are honest. Ha ha. Keeps denying, and I keep on saying ‘nup, bullshit’. Makes him sad, wishing for the good old days of shitting on me behind my back. I hope that bitch is bummed too. A pox on both of them.

      • Keepin Calm

        I used to feel the same way. Over time it became obvious he had no way out. They no longer look so good as supply dwindles and mirror a skank. All the brakes I put on his impulsive self centered horrible decisions she allows.

        My friend told me early on that he can no longer blame me as I divorced him. He’s out dancing, getting stoned and drunk. as he sits at a casino where she picked up guys to fuck. Yeah, a hell of a catch.

        I am no longer of use and glad of it. In the event he ever circled back?
        Crickets, it’s a silent fuck you. But it says it all.

        • My ex once told me, “If it weren’t for you, I’d be dead.”

          I would put on the brakes on a lot of his horrible decisions/actions, too, and try to get him to do the right thing. I have a feeling the whore will allow all of it and more. I really wouldn’t be surprised if I end up getting a phone call some day saying he has had a fatal accident. He also told me that he wouldn’t live much longer, not even to 60 (he’s 45). At first I thought, OMG, does he have a fatal disease I don’t know about? But no. It’s just his lifestyle. He simply doesn’t believe he’ll live long.

          And that right there is incredibly sad.

          • I’m convinced my STBX will also die in a fatal accident – hopefully our children aren’t with him when that happens.

            You know that car you see going 50MPH over the speed limit, weaving in and out of traffic… that’s probably fuckwit. Driving with him was a terrifying experience, and unfortunalty he still does it with our kids – whom are also terrified.

            He makes really bad choices…
            Jumping on a dirt bike in a swimsuit drunk = 30% of the skin being ripped off his body. Of course that was somehow my fault, even though I told him not to do it.
            Constantly putting things in the oven late at night and falling asleep = being woken to smoke alarms and a smoke filled house
            Jumping on top of a jet-ski 10 people said was sinking (plug wasn’t put in) and he refused to believe it was sinking, until it was almost completely underwater. Lots of other boating accidents because of bad choices.
            Multiple surgeries because of doing stupid shit at the gym.
            I could write a whole book of stupid crap he’s done.

            He has impulse control issues, and when I pointed them out, of course I was just a nag, controlling, what have you.

            The concept of consequences isn’t something he ever got, so I’m not surprised he is a serial cheater.

            He’s talked for years about getting his pilots license – that’s a disaster waiting to happen!

            • Holy cow. My ex is the same with poor impulse control! So many times I had to put out candles because he’d leave them burning and then fall asleep, or turn off things on the stove, or advise him against doing something – and his answer was always, “Oh, nothing’s going to happen. Stop worrying.” But then STUFF HAPPENED.

              Ex has actually had to deal with a lot of consequences – cars being repossessed, credit ruined, etc., etc., but it’s like he doesn’t care at all.

              I also had to endure the crazy car rides. He’s sometimes go 90+ MPH on the interstate because he “wanted to get home.” Little to no regard for the law. He could do whatever he wanted because laws and rules didn’t apply to him!

              Just thinking about all the crap I put up with exhausts me and makes me glad he’s someone else’s problem now.

              • For me it was always driving the drunk home. In 41 years he rarely drove. It wasn’t that he drive too fast; he was high and drunk. Twice he fell asleep and once entered the highway going the wrong way.

                Car insurance went through the roof and then I took the wheel. The whore has a long history of suspended license says as well as DWIs . She drives and excessive speed and has road rage. Great combo.

              • My ex has at least three DUIs, I think (I lost count). Got his license taken away once and our car insurance went through the roof, too. After the last time, he FINALLY learned his lesson and quit driving while drunk…BUT did he really? He could still be doing it for all I know. Not my problem anymore!

            • My friend, would you consider taking steps to prevent Crazy Car Rides from having your precious children in the car with him?

              They only have you to protect them.

  • One of the challenges in getting a life is recognizing the Switzerland friends and Hopium peedlars for what they are. That requires judgement. I know ‘judge’ and ‘discriminate’ are bad words to these mealy-mouthed and mealy-minded twats, but lack of judgement and discrimination is what got me into the shitehole in the first place. That is what cheater and abusers rely on!

    To the Switzers, I tryied to have compassion, telling myself they have no frame of reference, they haven’t experienced what I have……it is all just another skein. I am responsible for only my own personal fuckuppedness and nobody else’s. So all those Switzers got ghosted. And the forgiveness trolls, well, they just tend to get a lateral cactus insertion.

    There was one in particular who hounded me to forgive, ‘be the bigger person’. I yelled at her that I have ALWAYS been the bigger person, because when I had an issue with Mr Fab, I talked about it and didn’t fuck any in laws or humiliate our then 12 yo to the point of suicide, nor did I spend the retirement fund on coke. Fuck off and stay there.

    She got her dday a few months later, and is circling the RIC drain. Her kids know and have lost all respect for her.

    Being nearly five years out from Dday, I should be saying Mr Fab is more to be pitited than scorned, and in my more philosophical moods, I do. In truth, he is to be pitied AND scorned. Pitied because he is emotionally disabled, scorned because he is a parasitic, selfish, ignorant and throroughly unprincipled man-baby with truly shitty life skills. F-Troll is welcome to his friendship, may it do her as much good as her delusions.

    Chumps, never apologize for showing contempt for the contemptible. Sadly that can include people you thought were close friends and family. And yes, it is contemptible to be an apologist for abuse, which is ultimately what they are. Essentially, they are asking you to suck it up for THEIR emotional comfort, which is just as narcissistic as cheating, imho.

    Love to all Chump Nation, from Me and my bad hair.

    • Brilliant comment Mehphista, and awesome new additions to my CN glossary:
      switzers
      chumps have ALWAYS been the bigger person
      emotionally disabled
      lateral cactus insertions

      I hope your kiddo is doing well and glad you’re forging on to Meh, fabulous hair and all!

  • I had a long post about emotions but I decided to boil it down:

    *Emotions are a very important warning system.
    *For those of us raised in homes where we didn’t learn how to “read” our warning system and/or our valid responses were dismissed (gaslighting by parents), trusting our emotions is tough. We question ourselves at time when we should just walk away from someone–or run. We learn to ignore our early warning system and substitute the dubious wisdom of what we are told is “nice” or socially acceptable or “right,” according to other people who aren’t living through our situation.
    *When we smother emotions, we create what my first therapist called a “blivet,” which is a giant pile of emotional shit and unprocessed experiences that we add to day by day until one day it blows up or we are crushed under its weight.
    *We were shamed as children for having feelings about the things we experience. Many chumps carried that into relationships with disordered people who seek out those who learned to take shit from others. *And then, as our letter writer from yesterday showed us, we get shamed again by family, friends, church, or neighbors when we get the courage to leave.

    For me, the road to Meh was also a road of learning to navigate emotions, to figure out what I’m feeling and why, to attach those feelings to a stimulus and ponder what they are telling me. Gavin de Becker’s book “The Gift of Fear” is must-reading for everyone because it highlights the worst that can happen if we dismiss our valid emotions. And this is perhaps one of the key reasons to do therapy, to relearn to trust ourselves instead of following other peoples’ directives of ignoring our warning system.

    • Thank you for your insightful post, LAJ. Having both parents discount my feelings and observations really set me up to not recognize trouble when it was headed my way. I’m still learning to trust my own instincts and I find I’m usually right, after all, when I sense something is wrong. I want to get to the point where I don’t need solid proof; that I give myself permission to step away if I don’t feel comfortable.

  • The people who push the kumbaya stuff apparently either don’t know or don’t care that they are reciting the cheater’s take on things nearly word for word, and are thus deepening the abuse. Some of the things my cheater boy and my friends (sigh) have said:

    1. It is very important for us to be great friends. Neither of us can move on to a healthy relationship without that.

    Yikes. No. great friends don’t treat me like shit, I don’t give one flip about how “healthy” his relationships with his assortment of sluts may or may not be, and the healthiest thing I can do for myself is get this abusive nonsense completely out of my life.

    2. It is very important for us to coparent. The children can’t heal without that. The best thing of all would be for me to explain to the children that I am at least 50% at fault for the demise of the marriage. That way, they can love and respect him again.

    Again, no. Very late in the game for him to show any interest at all in parenting, and what little he has ever engaged in has done untold damage. Lying to the children about my supposed guilt not only would not help matters, but would seriously piss them off, and make them worry about me. They saw what went down. They always know way more than parents realize. They will be happiest when I am fully free, and proud of my progress to date. The goal is to be free of him, not to make him eternally central. Sheesh.

    3. It takes two to destroy a marriage. Divorce is common. It’s normal for older men to seek young women and vice versa.

    Welp. It took a half dozen that I know about, and dozens more that I will never know about. Death is common, too, but no less painful or tragic for its familiarity. Pushing me to embrace the idea that my worth has reached its expiration date is sad and bizarre. Not going to do that.

    A funny thing happened on the way to divorce. I discovered that romantic claptrap is not limited to ideas about falling in love, but extends to ideas about how a divorce ought to go. There’s this Hollywood notion of a good divorce: remain friends, befriend the AP and/or new spouse, go on happy outings together, fondly smile at one another as the children achieve milestones, coo at grand babies together, be one another’s true forever friends. Bad enough that some combo of porn and Hollywood makes millions of people believe nonsense about love and sex–everyone is insatiable but nobody sweats, the sheets never wrinkle, the hair never gets mussed, and all bodies must be oddly and unrealistically perfect through any degradation–but now it determines how endings ought to go, too.

    Everyone should be unfailingly polite and mature. Sparkly happiness should be the law of the land. The most crucial thing of all is that nobody should be judgemental. Thinking, and ethics, and standards, and expectations, and messy emotions are bad and weak.

    Chumps? Way too real. Inconvenient. Earthy. Embarrassingly impolite. Hard to contain. Vocal.

    Yeah. Chumps are far preferable in every respect. Every story told here counters the shallow and damaging stereotypes, and that is a very good thing for humanity, which has a long way to go, still.

    • Very well said, cashmere. I am beginning to loathe Hollywood and how they portray affairs. It makes me absolutely sick. I can’t watch the sitcom “Reba” anymore because now that I’ve been through it, there is no way, NO WAY, that I would EVER want to be “best buds” with the whore. It is absolutely unrealistic and dare I say it, NOT NORMAL.

      I was watching “Dial M for Murder” last night – the wife (Grace Kelly) is having an affair; her husband (Ray Milland) finds out and makes an elaborate plan to kill her. I know the husband is supposed to be the villain in the piece, but you know what? I totally understand where he’s coming from! He’s a chump! He’s angry! He’s enraged at how his wife has screwed him over. Granted, he takes his rage a little too far, but good grief, the man has a RIGHT to be upset! Here’s the ironic part: Grace Kelly and Ray Milland actually had an affair in real life while making the movie. GAG. Makes me sick. When I read about beloved Hollywood stars that I like (I’m a classic movie fan) and how they cheated and had affairs, my opinion of them shoots to the ground. Cheaters are NOT good people. Period.

      • Loved that movie (big Hitchcock fan), but I suspect rewatching it I will certainly have a different opinion of who is the “good” guy and who is the “bad” guy. Tried watching Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce on the ol’ Netflix and couldn’t stomach some of the characters who seemed to accept an affair as something acceptable and/or something to be managed. GAG.

        • Ugh, a bit redundant there with the “accept”ing, but acceptance of affairs makes me livid. I’m also about due for lunch.

          • Ha! I’m eating lunch as we speak. I was so damn hungry today.

            It’s funny how going through a traumatic life event like betrayal can change your perspective on things. “Dial M for Murder” is still one of my favorites, but I no longer feel like the wife and her affair partner are the “good” guys.

            BTW, my favorite Hitchcock film is “North By Northwest.”

      • There’s a girl in my town who’s husband cheated multiple times, then ended up getting his current wife “OW” pregnant. I was friends with them (Chump and turd) as a couple, but openly shunned him after he and his wife got divorced. I’m not close friends with her, but I think she’s a nice person.

        She’s into “enlightenment” and often talks about how much she loves and appreciates OW and suggests I might get there some day… uh, no thanks… I’m fine right where I am, a safe distance from “not normal”. If that works for other people fine, but it doesn’t work for me, I’m fine with that, and I don’t really care if anyone else isn’t… it’s not their life.

  • People who’ve never been cheated on don’t understand the horrific pain involved in this betrayal. That’s why it’s easy for them to sanctimonious and “oh, you should forgive and forget” and “well, things weren’t good between you two, and it takes two to make a marriage” and all that bullshit. They would rather see things in shades of gray on this topic while I prefer to believe that it’s black and white.

    I hate this narrative that, oh, the wife was a shrew and nagged him all the time, so he had to find happiness with someone else. That’s utter and complete bullshit. You want out of your marriage? Get out. DON’T CHEAT on your spouse. You’re unhappy? You’re sleeping in the basement instead of next to your spouse and you think finding another warm body will help? You’re a bastard and an adulterer. PERIOD.

    No shades of gray with me. Not anymore.

    • If I were to sit down with a “you must forgive and forget” person for eight hours, going over every specific detail on what actually happened, at the end of the eight hours, I think there is a good chance the “you must forgive” person would see things slightly differently, but still end on a “oh, I didn’t know he was THAT TYPE of cheater.”

      To all the cheater apologists out there – NEWS FLASH – they are (most) all THAT TYPE of cheater.

      They are liars. Their narratives are false. They have no problem at all destroying their spouse if they think that will get them what they want. They take and take but give nothing in return.

      I always liked this quote from beingabeautifulmess blog:

      “I clung to a false hope that somehow wasn’t a horrible, selfish, untrustworthy, broken man who had and would stomp on my heart in a second if it got him what she wanted. … I was wrong. He was all of that and then some. I was kidding myself”

      • Bingo. If they knew EVERYTHING the cheater did – who they were as a person – they would change their tune.

        And that quote is spot on. My ex is all of that – and in those hopium days (not hope to get back together, but that he would understand what he did) I hoped he would realize what he’d done and make amends by changing his behavior. Nope. Not only did I see MORE of his ugliness, but I realized I’d been living with that ugliness for 18 years.

    • Unfortunately, that’s the truth. I probably fell into that category myself until it happened to me. That’s why I try not to exile my Switzerland friends. If they haven’t experienced it, they just don’t know how hurtful their ignorant comments can be.

      One of the first people I told about my ex’s cheating is my brother. I have lots of siblings, and this is one I’m not particularly close to because we’re far apart in age. He flipped out and told me that he was cheated on by a girlfriend in his early 20s (when I was just a child). Although it happened maybe 30 years ago, I could hear the hurt in his voice. He moved to another state after it happened and started a new life. He’s been happily married now for many years and has two grown kids. A happy chump life, but he will never forget the cheater. He said that he heard that the cheater never amounted to anything, that he dodged a bullet.

      Anyway, it was a clear contrast for me, back when things were fresh, that some people get it and some people don’t.

      This is also why I quietly wait for my ex to be cheated on by his serial cheater AP when she grows bored of him. It’ll happen eventually. I don’t want him back, but I do want him to understand how much it hurts. He won’t hurt as much as I did because there won’t be kids and 20+ years involved and because he isn’t capable of deep love. But he’ll still feel scorned. Rightfully so. They’ll use their blameshifting mindgames on each other. I wish I could be a fly on the wall for the fights, but I’ve got better things to do with my time now anyway.

  • My feelings, ugly or otherwise are mine and mine alone. They are for me, not for some sanctimonious troll that has no clue as to what I have been through. She is welcome to take her opinion and share it with the unicorns, and Leprechauns that dance with her in the fields of her perfect little world.

    Sorry, if this has offended any Leprechauns, love your cereal.

  • I have to say, I totally enjoyed hearing about the Fucktard’s nosedive and death spiral after the fact. I didn’t follow it in real time. It wasn’t about revenge, but about justice, as every single bad thing that happened to the asshat was of his own doing.

    I think that he lasted as long as he did because he had a trusty chump working damned hard to hold his life together. Once the unraveling began, it was only a matter of time. It took years, but was probably inevitable.

  • My cheater cheated on me while I was getting diagnosed with cancer, continued to cheat on me during my chemo treatments and basically never (not once) gave a shit about the health or wellbeing of his wife and mother of his child. He acted like it was all a big nuisance to him. If a chemo appointment interfered with his work, well work won because it was more important. One of the few times he spoke about my cancer, he basically called it a small bump in our life–basically it was going to be annoying to deal with but it would be over and we would all move on like nothing happened.

    I lost ALL the hair on my body, could not taste food, lost 20 lbs, lost feeling in my fingertips and had many days of fatigue. During this time I discovered his affair and he continued it even though he swore he had no contact with the other woman. When I confronted him that I knew he was lying, he then said he couldn’t take it anymore and that he needed to be happy. He moved to his mom’s, leaving our 7 year old daughter with me. He didn’t care about the consequences that his actions had on anyone, including his daughter. While I contined to go through chemo, he went out to Happy Hours, spending $70+ in a night on alcohol and hanging out with 30-something barflies (He’s 42). He would pick his daughter up for a few hours on a Saturday until I told him he needed to take her EOW (for the entire weekend).

    The night before my surgery to remove my tumor, he was out all night doing god knows what. After surgery, he never asked how I felt, just what the process for healing would be. I had 6 weeks of daily radiation and he never asked me about it once. He has never asked me where I was in my treatment, if it was over or if I was clear of cancer.

    Am I a woman scorned? Maybe. But I have every right to be. I wouldn’t treat a stanger the way he treated me. I am angry. Angry that I got cancer and someone like him hasn’t (yet). Angry that the person that I vowed to spend the rest of my life with discarded me like a piece of trash and other people in his life (his family) allowed him to do it. Angry that he treated ME like I was the one who had wronged him.

    Since he has left I have uncovered years of cheating and years of emotional abuse. I’ve come out of the fog and am working on rebuilding myself.

    I will never forgive him. EVER. I will never think he is a good person. Anyone who thinks otherwise of him, either doesn’t know the truth or is the same type of person that he is.

    • It’s just absolutely unbelievable how horrendous their behavior is. My ex would basically tell me I was being a wimp if I was sick and to quit being so dramatic if I tried to stay in bed. Then he would get it and expect me to take off from work to take care of him. Be angry, upset, and accuse me of not loving him if I didn’t stay home and wait on him hand and foot. I chalked it up to the man/woman thing and normalized his behavior.

      Reading your story tells me they cannot and will not reciprocate. If it’s not all about them, they cut bait and run to the nearest schmoopie. This is truly a reflection of them and not you.

      I am so sorry Cancer Chump. I’ve said before but the cheaters who leave sick spouses, pregnant wives, abandon their children are just the lowest of the low.

    • Infidelity Truth #452: Cheaters ALWAYS treat strangers far better than their spouses. always.

      (cheater apologists: what part of Infidelity Truth #452 did you not understand?)

      • Oddly enough, I used to tell Dick that I wished he would treat me as nicely as he did people he hardly knew. And this was years before I knew about his affairs.

    • Cancer Chump: I’m so sorry for everything you and your daughter have had to endure. The callousness with your X is so horrendous.

      You and your girl deserve SO much better — so much more from life. Wishing you both many years of health, happiness, and prosperity. (((HUGS)))

      • The strange thing is, I think I had an easier time going through cancer because he left! Had he stuck around, I would have been living in a pit of negativity while I went through treatment. Instead, I had friends, family and neighbors step up to fill the void.We lived in our home for over 10 years and I never knew our neighbors could be so kind. Probably because my STBX was such an ass and didn’t care to socialize with them.

        I am thankful that during 6 months of my treatment, I was under no pressure to maintain the home a certain way. No one commented how messy things were. No one complained about my senior cats “messes”. No one complained how my treatments complicated life. A load was lifted from my shoulders. For the first time in years I was allowed to evolved and be who I wanted to be.

        Yeah, going through all that alone was hard, but going through it “alone” with him would have been harder. I’m already happier than I ever was with him.

        • Cancer Chump, you are absolutely right. No one there to sabotage your treatment is a big plus. That journey is hard enough without being picked at and picked on while you are doing it. When I was diagnosed with cancer (years after the divorce), just the thought of navigating those waters with a creep like that by my side gave me the chills. You can’t get compassionate support from a turnip.

    • Disgusting!
      Cancer Chump you’re so mighty fighting and surviving your illness with an enemy by your side instead of a friend, never mind a husband. What a POS.

  • Ugh. I find nothing more aggressive than the forgiveness trolls. The first time someone gave me permission NOT to forgive was just about the most compassionate response I have ever received. I still haven’t forgiven, but because I felt supported in having my anger, I was able to work through it okay and it didn’t poison my life. Honestly, I think it’s verging on insane to spackle over such strong feelings and call them “forgiveness.” All of my adult life people have been telling me to forgive those who have abused me, and it’s kept me more head-fucked than anything else. Once I let go of that dogma and those people, I actually started to heal. Hey, if people find forgiveness useful? Whatever works! But it amazes me folks find the concept of being angry so damn threatening. They must be living in Spackle City, is all I can surmise.

  • I had a customer who actually once asked me what I did to make my x cheat on me. I was shocked and laughed in his face and told him nothing…and now all of his parcels go in the parcel locker on the very bottom that sticks every time. And I won’t oil it.
    There’s my REAL revenge.

  • For me, these are the questions:

    Does cheating not commonly occur along with other behaviors that are increasingly being recognized as physically, emotionally/psychologically, financially, and/or sexually abusive? Shall we continue to “look the other way”, “forgive”, and “move on” from these behaviors as well? Is this the “High Road?” we should all be traveling for the greater good?

    Is shaming and blaming a Chump by insinuating that they are at least partly to blame for a cheater’s behavior to cheat not a type of emotionally abusive behavior? Does society still think it’s acceptable to nod and wink and say that “it takes two to tango” and that “you never know what goes on behind closed doors” when someone is being physically abusive? Is it not increasingly recognized that abusive people commonly put on a nice front in public, yet consciously choose to treat people at home very differently? If so, why do we routinely insinuate that Chumps actively participated in someone’s unilateral decision to cheat ?

    Is threatening a chump that they’ll “get it somewhere else” if they don’t engage in unprotected sex or certain sexual acts not a type of sexual coercion and therefore a type of abuse? Is deceiving someone into thinking they are in a monogamous relationship when they would not consent to polygamy and potentially exposing them to STDs not a type of physical and sexual abuse?

    Is hiding money or spending money on affair partners not a type of financial abuse?

    Is the “High Road” here really to forgive, look the other way, and see who can outdo each other with ingratiating behavior towards cheaters and shaming and blaming behavior towards chumps? Isn’t the High Road instead to confront, raise awareness, and to make any abusive behavior, and also cheating, socially unacceptable? Has society not already given people a “way out” who do not wish to stay in a marriage by making divorce much easier than it has been historically?

  • Revenge? Pleasure in the nose dive?
    Why would anyone take pleasure in another’s pain? Wouldn’t that be counter productive?

    Let’s be accurate and examine the entitled. Weren’t they seeking pleasure in strange. Jerking off to endless hours of porn? Taking pleasure in duping their spouse and children? Saying they never loved their partner? Isn’t cheating gaining pleasure through deception? Spending money on hotels, vacations and gifts?

    THE nose dive dive isn’t under our control. Please don’t deny me my pleasure i’ve earned it.

  • I’ve now got a simple way to judge where people are going to fall, who’s going to be a victim blamer, who isn’t. The good ones are floored when I tell them what happened and then say something like: “It will take a long time to recover from this”, or ” How can you ever trust someone again?”. Then I know they get it.
    Anyone who starts to mumble something along the lines of “These things happen” is immediately earmarked as an acquaintance or less. So far no one had dared, to my face, suggest forgiveness.
    Those who probably would have eventually have faded away, repelled by my anger. Good riddance.

  • Anyone else now want a t-shirt that says, “Quitter with a Bad Attitude”??

    White with black letters? Black with orange letters??? hmmmm….

  • I still get this BS sometimes, although the topic of my ex is rare these days (meh, and not breeding with a fuckwit has benefits!).

    As soon as they state, ” Maybe she cheated because…”, I shut them down. I ask what other shitty behaviors–let alone ultimate betrayals–are excused “because” of something.

    Some mumble. Some half-heartedly agree. Some change the subject.

    No one, however, has accused me of hanging on to bitterness or being angry. In fact, all my good friends and family tell me to be less hard on myself for any trust issues that I do have, to understand that I’m permantly more skeptical, etc.

    Those who matter don’t tell us to “move on” or “let go of the anger.”

  • Hi Chump Lady & Bravo!

    Yes we need to forgive but, Not them, just ourselves for being suckered by the dirty cheaters that these low life, low evolved pond scum poop eating cheaters are! One of my ex (yes, I endured 2) his names rhymes with Poo Smelly which is how I refer to him.
    We have evolved up the evolutionary scale & yet the cheaters still think they can ‘bonk’ anyone, treat us like slaves & go sit in their ‘Man Cave’ or ‘Woman Cave’ & plead their cases to the bleeding hearts followers & enablers.
    I for one am out of the cave, am a warrior woman, am sick of other women & men making me feel less than because, my marraige failed etc…He cheated, He lied pathologically, He gambled & made me ill blah blah….
    You are the best CL & haters gonna hate but, truth is stranger than fiction but, is still the truth. Cheaters cheat because, people think it’s somehow okay to betray another. It’s not, it’s low, it’s inauthentic & it’s just cruel. Be mighty, stuff the ‘goody twoshoes let’s be friends with the ex’ so, he can screw with our heads over & over. This mentality is BS & higher ground is finding our way to freedom from the ‘games’ others play. Thank You CL, I love your unbridled passion for saying it & calling it out for what it is! Keep Up The Good Work!

  • I was devastated: 20 years of secret sexual betrayal, now lying to my kids about me and so much more. My life turned upside down. My cheater got to my daughter and she sided with his lies the day after I announced DIVORCE. She cut me off from her and her family, my little grand babies so bonded with me.

    CHEATER is not adequate to describe a sociopath.

    My life in ruins, I made a mistake: opened up to a family member who knew quite a few details of the devastation he had done. I explained that my hoped-for-sacred marriage was ruined and my daughter cut me off from her and my sweet babies.

    This brain-dead family member texted back, “What’s with all the sadness??? You got childhood issues?”

    She is the president of Get-Abused-For-The-Sake-of-Staying-Married Club. Ya know, marriage and family are everything, she boasts. But I guess not really to her, because when my family was being blown up by my hubby, she was indifferent to the sadness of that destruction. She doesn’t really care about marriage and family at all it seems.

    Victim shaming. Sickens me. Pass the barf bag.

    • Sorry Lynda, I guess idiots don’t know they’re idiots. If they would only keep their mouths shut when they have nothing useful to say, they’d be so much smarter. In time your daughter will understand the meaning of betrayal and how devastated you are, she’ll also see who her father really is. When she has trouble in her marriage and really needs a parent he won’t be up to the job, but you will.

      • Thanks, Kiwi.

        My approach with my daughter was to give her space and send gifts on special occasions that she chose to no longer participate in. I then told her I would keep sending her monthly checks for her own counseling and I would go with her when or if she wanted. Month after month I sent the checks.

        Finally we worked on things together. I don’t really know what changed, but she said everything is fine now. So I watch her three little ones weekly.

        Perhaps it is too traumatic for her to admit who dad really is. His mask works for her at this point. Believing in a fake childhood/family/dad is better than reality sometimes.

        My son, my daughter, and I all had the same family values. The actor, not so much.

  • As a former infertile, I am intrigued by the similarity and holier-than-thou attitude that exists in people when they approach both infidelity and infertility.

    There are some people who say that if God wanted you to have kids, you would already have had them.

    And the buffoons, who harp the forgiveness song for cheaters. I am not pooping rainbows yet.

    Thank you for creating this oasis.

    • Reminds me of a true story I read.

      A man and his wife lose their child, like the child dies. A helpful friend says, “Well, you can have another!”

      A woman I know is getting dementia. She is brilliant and such an inspiration in her profession. She is a counselor and teacher. She left church and as she drove home she could not remember where she lived AT ALL! Mind blank. She knew she did not know. Bad feeling. Somehow she struggled and found her home.

      One man heard her story and indifferently said, “Good thing you have GPS.”

  • Makes me want to bake a chocolate pie. (Anyone see the movie The Help?) The first slice goes to the lying, cheating Ex and the rest goes to all of the people who can shame chumps with such ease. Of course served with the expected smile. 🙂

  • Anger is an appropriate response to an existential threat. A toast to amygdalas! Civilization continues!

  • I haven’t posted here for a long time, but I still read Chump Lady frequently.

    First of all, I want you new chmps to know that it does get better. I promise. You get less sad less angry and less bitter. You start choosing friends who don’t victim shame and don’t advise you to forgive.

    And, if you’re lucky like I was tonight, you get a chance to put a bitch in her place.

    Gently. Like so:

    A friend of mine, a man, and I walking around downtown tonight. We happen to run into my ex’s whore. She was setting up for dinner party outside a restaurant. And my friend, because he’s this type of person, started asking her what the occasion was.

    She didn’t see me until I stepped up next to my friend, smiled sweetly, and said, “Oh, honey, we don’t talk to her.”

    And left her standing there, mouth agape.

    It was lovely.

    Xoxo

  • Waywards and their disordered thinking process. It reminds me of the thought process of the inmates in the prison I worked at. On a daily basis I’d have inmates walk up to me and say, “You owe us. Without us you would not have a job.” I’d reply, “I owe the good people of the State of Mich. They pay their taxes in order to keep assholes like you from disrupting their lives.” Maybe we should enact an “Asshole Tax”. If your a cheating asshole you pay extra. The money to be used to help families and provide therapy for the victims. Call it the “Chumped Charge” or “Titillation Tax, “Morals Money”.

    • Love it!

      And I love your answer, “I owe the good people of the State of Mich. They pay their taxes in order to keep assholes like you from disrupting their lives.”

      Related: in my city, the johns get their faces and names broadcast on the television news, because BOTH the john AND the prostitute committed a crime.(Prostitution is illegal here, thankfully.)

  • Hello – I am almost at Meh after 3 yrs divorced-
    There is *nothing* so satisfying as finding this C/N site when you are completely lost and it has hit your head like a ton of bricks suddenly.

    I was one who researched Brain Cancer thoroughly first when he changed overnight.
    It was too off the charts to think he was cheating – but he went so weird suddenly.
    And, I know most of you know that feeling.
    It’s like the Axis on your entire life shifted very very quickly. Like you can’t concentrate at a movie or on a book, like you’re used to. Possibly like an eclipse headed your way (sorry, couldn’t resist), but takes a long time to sink in that you are in personal rescue mode. Terrifying because I totally refused to believe what he was doing.

    I finally got a confession, quickly kicked him out of the house with a massive amount of screaming (think Fatal Attraction wife) and, I’ve rarely(often) looked back because I changed the locks and filed for divorce immediately. (he wanted to separate and treat me like a Plan B – ha, no thanks).

    The advice on this site from Tracy, and C/N was so powerful that I’m pretty sure his head is still swimming.
    Get the FUCK out as SOON AS YOU CAN, and take all living creatures with you.
    I WON.
    Probably by sheer lunacy, but he wasn’t going to get one more emotion from me (I didn’t shed a tear) and I think he was smart to be afraid of me. I told him. Be afraid. Be very afraid. (I had nothing on him but he didn’t know that)

    A nice little tip (or a key to their soul) is to tell them you have been following them with internet resources. As I implied to the X, who was traveling with his ‘soul mate’ in *my* fancy motorhome, planting the idea that I have a VAR in that bus. With a wink. I’m sure he’s sold it by now.

    And, I let him know right after the divorce that he was using My iPad, which I followed him for the entire 2 years. He sort of crumbled after that.

    He thought I was an idiot.

  • I get tons of shaming because I was in a LDR. I get shaming because apparently, I should have totally expected that every man who lives abroad and wants a relationship with a woman from another country is a serial cheating asshole. Also, apparently my relationship wasn’t as real as theirs because it was long distance and I didn’t see him every day. I get this a lot, that I don’t have the same right as others to be hurt.

    • Oh right. I got that too, and this: you weren’t married to him for 40 years, with three kids and grandkids, so yours shouldn’t hurt much.

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