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Dear Chump Lady, Help, I slept with my ex!

pickmeDear Chump Lady,

I have been an absolute idiot and an asshole. For almost one year after X and I split (we hadn’t gotten married yet, I am forever thankful) I did great with NC. I went to therapy. Got my head on straight and started recognizing weak boundaries in my life and fixing them. But chumpdom is hard to squash.

A year ago X’s mother passed away from a nearly three-year fight with cancer. I loved that woman. A former chump herself (X’s father), she listened and supported me at every turn. She was a wonderful grandma.

In grieving I allowed myself to speak to X and wound up sleeping with him. I regretted it immediately (then I did it again after my brother died in April), but still left the door open to be “friends.” This lead to the last year of me doing stuff with him and the kids, behind OW’s back. I thought it was nice to be able to get along (now I look back and think, hello? Cake anyone?) He kept saying he wanted to leave her but — insert excuse here. I told him in no uncertain terms that I would NOT take him back. He continued to proposition me, so the walls went back up and for the last month it’s been all business. Then yesterday, having a disagreement over something concerning our son, he said he would be more inclined to cooperate if I were sleeping with him. I am livid over this. I know I have made horrible choices in the last year, and am taking steps to make things right in my life again.

My question is, do I tell the OW anything? A part of me thinks she should know (I am likely not the only person he has propositioned) and a part of me thinks she knows what she’s dealing with. I don’t want to act out of anger, I am waiting to cool down and think. I just don’t know what is right. And please hit me with the 2×4, I have done awful things. My grieving is not an excuse for poor character.

RumorHasIt

Dear RumorHasIt,

It’s hard to 2×4 someone who is already beating themselves up, but I’ll do my best.

As you know, sleeping with your ex is a DREADFUL idea. It’s the bargaining stage of grief, and the pick me dance performed naked. It’s the ultimate falling off the No Contact wagon.

And yet, it’s a pretty common chump phenomenon. (I know I will now hear from all the chumps that wouldn’t touch their cheating ex with a barge pole. Hurrah for your boundaries! The rest of you, read on…)

To make sure you don’t do it again, be clear on why you did it in the first place, and shore up your defenses.

1) Bargaining stage of grief. When you break up, and grieve the loss of what you Thought You Had, it’s natural to bargain and try and salvage some sort of lesser relationship. Well, if we can’t be partners… then maybe we friends with benefits… or just friends!

Answer? Remind yourself — this relationship is DEAD. And remember why it is dead — he killed it.

2) The nature of grief itself. Grief amplifies loneliness. It is totally human to want to be held, especially during hard times. What’s chumpy is wanting to be held by the very person who gutted you.

Answer? Get support. Surround yourself with people who really care about you, and will talk you off the ledge when you want to reach out to your ex. (An online forum like Chump Lady is perfect for 24/7 bitchslaps as needed.) And don’t be afraid to hug others or ask for hugs. A dog is great for hugging too. There are other ways to lessen the hunger of wanting to be held.

3) The pick me dance. Sleeping with your ex tells him that what he did isn’t so bad. Your mouth says, “I am never taking you back” — your body says you are. The cheater revels in cake. And knowing that he is still involved with the OW, sleeping with him means you are doing a very humiliating pick me polka. IMO, this is the core of your shame — the cheaters have reduced you to their level.

You’re doing the pick me dance with your kids too — if you’re not there to mediate his relationship, perhaps you fear he won’t have one at all. Clearly, that’s what he’s telling you — things would work out much better on this parenting gig if you would still sleep with him. (What a pig!)

Answer? His relationship with his children is on him. Get the courts involved so he pays support and work out visitation. Stick to the custody arrangement, and keep it all business. Only communicate via email, so it can be documented and impersonal.

Answer to the naked pick me polka? Just STOP. Brush yourself off, regroup, get checked for STDs ASAP, and never do it again.

4) Not trusting that he sucks. This is the core of your problem, RumorHasIt. He sucks. He is someone who has never committed to you. You had two children with him and no marital status. You had his lame “promise” of commitment, which he didn’t honor with fidelity. So no surprise he wouldn’t honor marriage, either.

He’s the father of your children, so I get that you want to project goodnesses and potential on this man. But face it, like many of us here, you bred with a fuckwit. A cheater. See him for who he is and protect your children accordingly by being the SANE parent who doesn’t fall for his bullshit.

Your ambiguity about your relationship with their dad is confusing for them as well. Are we a family? Are you raising their hopes that you’ll get back together again? Are you banking on the kids’ eagerness to compel him to pick you over her?

My question is, do I tell the OW anything? A part of me thinks she should know (I am likely not the only person he has propositioned) and a part of me thinks she knows what she’s dealing with.

Well, you too should know what you’re dealing with and you don’t. You don’t trust that he sucks. I very much doubt the OW trusts that he sucks either, with everyone providing this dipshit so much cake.

I could go either way on this. I don’t really believe you have a moral obligation to the woman who knowingly broke up your relationship. (Assuming she knew. Did she know?) You just tried to do to her what she did to you. Pointless. Cake-y. A revenge fantasy that backfires and keeps you tangled up with cheaters. Pointing it out to her just embroils you in further drama. I would stay NC with both of them.

My only caveat to NC would be if you have an STD, then tell. No one should have their health endangered.

But if you’re trying to save the OW, or give her evidence to trust that he sucks — not your job. And IMO, it will only be perceived as more pick me dancing.

Rumor, just try and put this bad chapter behind you. Learn from it, go forward and do better. You’re a complete family with your kids minus the fucktwit. No one needs him. Start living that reality today. Hang up the pick me tap shoes.

This column ran previously.

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  • I don’t think you need to talk to that woman about the sex unless, like CL said, he had some kind of cooties. If she’s an OW, there has to be some realization on her part this guy will likely sleep with someone else. If they cheat with you, they’ll cheat on you, we all know that. Some of these schmoopies out here are dumb enough to lie to themselves about it, but it doesn’t change the fact that they know. It’s why they are so anxious.

    • Those delusional sluts actually do believe their boyfriends will be faithful. It boggles the mind. I’ve seen on loveshack forums where they put down the wife but insist he won’t cheat on them because they are so awesome.

      • Agreed that they’re delusional. The two so-called Chumps (they are not worthy of the mighty Chump sobriquet!) I know IRL ~ who complain most bitterly and demand the most sympathy from everyone they meet ~ were, in fact, Other Women in their husbands’ first marriages. They were so smug when these guys divorced their wives and married them, so sure that there’d be no cheating this time ’round because the original wives simply weren’t as sexy, understanding or cool as they.

      • Years ago I worked with a woman who was the OW for a local attorney who was married with 3 kids. She finally got him to leave his wife and marry her.
        She was so happy for 2 years with the fancy new house, car and vacation trips. She was always complaining about his “bitter ex-wife and his bratty kids who hated her”.
        Then all of a sudden he started “working late” all of the time and they started fighting. When one of her female coworkers asked if she thought that he was cheating, she said “that’s ridiculous, he’d NEVER cheat on ME”. When asked why since it was pointed out that he cheated on his ex-wife with her, she said “that’s different, he loves ME”.

        Fast forward 6 months and she became ex-wife #2 and since he demanded that she sign a prenup (and he’s a lawyer), she got zippo but the sadz. It still amazes me years later how deluded she was.

      • Don’t agree with you. It may be true for a few of them, but the bulk I have seen exhibit insane controlling behaviors on the men they’ve attached themselves too. I’ve had more than a few admit to me they know their “man” will cheat on them.

        Perhaps the women you meet are like politicians who say one thing and believe something else entirely. As I said, you can lie to others all day, but your behavior outs you eventually. Watch close enough and you’ll see the anxiety.

  • I’d stay as NC as possible, but remind your ex that if he keeps propositioning you, you may have to “spill the beans” to OW. That may strike a fear in his cold, black heart, but you would have to convey that you really mean it.

    Because you have to co parent, I would put what is best for the kids financially ahead of anything else. Getting involved in his relationship with OW in any form is not it. Stop sleeping with him, stop all contact other than essential.

    EEEwwww. Your X is a total creep.
    No one made him that way… he chose to behave this way. HE made his choices, now continue making yours. 🙂

    • I’m not sure that she would have to coparent.

      While the father does have rights, according to some states’ laws, much depends on financial support. No support, no visitation. At least in my state, this is how the daughters of an acquaintance are the sole custodial parent of their children. They bred with a fucktard, realized that they’d done so, and didn’t push for child support because they didn’t want fucktard in their lives.

      The question for Rumor is whether or not there is any legal agreement in place. If there’s no legal agreement, then her X can make whatever demands he wants, but if the children are with Rumor, she doesn’t have to permit her X to see them. If there is a legal agreement, then she needs to hold the line with respect to that agreement. If X is balking with respect to a clause, then the proper response is to get the courts involved. If it’s that X and she have different parenting styles and values, then the shit sandwich for the sane parent is having to accept that she has no control over how her X interacts with her children, so it’s not a case of co-parenting but more of parallel parenting.

      I’d also recommend continuing therapy. Sleeping with the X may be very natural, especially during grief, but it’s a really lousy way to enforce boundaries. Figuring out why she feels inclined to do so would be useful.

  • It would sure be tempting to tell the OW just to give her a taste of her own medicine and create problems for your cheater. Maybe not the best choice but fun to think about. Your cheater might fade away and leave you alone easier if he still has OW. Probably best to just stay away, forgive yourself, learn from it and let it go.

    • Yeah, in the very beginning I too made some epically bad decisions regarding sleeping with my ex. I’m going to admit to getting super cheap but super satisfying thrills when he himself used it to manipulate his OW into dancing harder by pointing out what sexual chemistry he and I would always have.
      Then I stepped back and saw the glee in his twisted rat face from playing two women against each other for no other purpose than building himself up, so I resolved to step out of the picture permanently.
      Now that I have, it’s odd to see the situation they’re in trying to one up each other, outplay, outlast, outmaneuver. It’s exhausting. When I communicate with him about the kids now, he makes a point of showing her “how great our relationship is” which is a complete fabrication to infuriate her. He’s a chess player, and he manipulates the pieces on his board so that he always wins- and sadly she’s about to become the next victim of a current check mate. I’m pretty sure he’s got another new lady pawn waiting in the wings.

      • >>”He’s a chess player, and he manipulates the pieces on his board so that he always wins”

        Yes. Isn’t it interesting how they can strategize with epic clarity to hurt others, but in their “adulting” lives they can’t see beyond the end of their noses?

        My STBX likes to play dumb, but he’s really not. The kind of manipulation and strategy to deceive takes focus and dedication …. two more traits they fall short of in their “adulting” lives.

        • “They can strategize with epic clarity to hurt others, but in their “adulting” lives they can’t see beyond the end of their noses”

          Nailed it!
          Seriously, this is one of the biggest WTF realizations I’ve had.

          • Lundy Bancroft says this exact thing, that they know what they are doing, will even laugh about it and swap tips with other men on how to play the women.

            So sad, the amount of hostility out there.

  • Very nice response, CL. It is compassionate but still spot-on accurate. “Grief amplifies loneliness.” Ain’t that the truth? We can do some pretty maladaptive things to avoid the loneliness (drinking, sleeping with random people, emotionally leaning on our kids.)

    I wonder if we can have a future column about practical ways to deal with the loneliness?

    • I’d appreciate one on that, but still it’s a personal thing. I’d guess it’d be: Go out, do things you’ve never done before (minus drugs, alcohol, gambling and other addictive activities), meet new people, volunteer. Pick a new hobby, learn a new language, instrument, skill.

      Sometimes I’m just sabotaging myself I noticed: I’d have a lonely weekend due to not planning anything and I end up feeling lonely and having nothing to do, no-one to talk to. So I plan the next weekend with things to do and I end up dreading the weekend and wanting to be alone. It’s silly. It’s me doing this to myself hehe.

      So I just keep doing the weekend nothing followed by a weekend doing for now. Get used to the routine, let the loneliness be what it is. Grow in being on my own and being happy with myself, even if I decide to decide to stay at home the entire day and be useless. Binge a series, read a book, sleep in. It’s okay, I don’t have to be all efficiënt and effective with my time all day every day anymore. This is my weekend, she has the kids, I have myself. I’ll wallow in my own filth and be happy about it. Just this one time, next time I’ll go out and do something.

      Getting good at it, not so lonely most of the times anymore.

      • Still need to work on figuring out what the new thing would be that I’d like to do. I’m guessing I want to learn how to be a great handyman. I will get this opportunity once we divorce and I can buy my own place again. Nobody nitpicking on the quality of work but me. I think I’ll enjoy it because my work is in IT. It’ll make me more complete skillwise. Maybe if I don’t want to do this and risk botching up the house (still has to be a safe place for the kids when I have them haha), I’ll try and learn an instrument. Already took up a new sport (tennis, always did team sports my entire life, tennis is a little less of that. I can still get the team feeling with the doubles), and really happy with it.

        • OneDaySomeDay:

          Take heart, it’s all about learning a new way to be you. Breaking old habits is hard, and creating new and healthier ones is even harder. Sometimes, we can proactively plan our next move, our next turn in the road… and sometimes, nirvana just happens organically. Give yourself a wide berth as you seek out different ways to spend your time. It’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall; some will stick and some won’t. And don’t be surprised when you discover things you never expected will sing to your spirit. There’s no judgment involved here; you’re simply experimenting with what feeds your soul. Enjoy the journey, be patient with yourself, and once you land on those things that “spin your beanie”, you will be the best version of yourself.

      • OneDaySomeDay, me the same-yeah I’m good at it, simply because I have adjusted to the new norm-but I wouldn’t be able to say I’m happy, just living and functional in a best described as mostly in neutral.

        • Ah yes, not happy yet but that’s phase 3 or 4 or whatever. Right now I just need to get happy with being alone. Otherwise my next relationship will definitely be a rebound. And I do ‘t want someone else to be my rebound. Don’t want to do that to a good person. They deserve the best me. So yeah I get you at this time and place. Hugs.

        • Great skills, learning to handyman-AND you can making a living at it if ya want to at some point. But why put off learning some basic skills? Keep your dreams alive. Check out the adult ed classes through your local school district, ask at the library or ask Siri or Google a few questions and see where it brings you. Doing stuff with your hands and your mind that’s totally different than your career is so different and rewarding, isn’t it? You’ve already got a head start on a new life because you know what you might like to investigate/do. So get started! There’s a real need for people with these kinds of skills-and obviously, you save a ton of $$ doing it yourself.

          “Botching up the house?” Ooooo, myyyyy. At the ripe old of age of 22 I moved to a rural-no, remote actually-area and fell in love with a old cottage that “had great bones.” Ya know what else has “great bones?” Dead people. I nearly became one multiple times with my handyman/”home improvement projects.” I came from the metro NY area, a screwed up family of blazing white collar affluence-my Mugger was the poster child for “over indulged poster adults who act like children”-and never held any “tool” except a shoe to pound a nail in a wall for pictures or curtains. I became a one-woman wrecking crew-who knew you could take down walls with a chain saw? (What’s a chain saw? Yep. Call me clueless.) On Day One after I closed on that place, I was backing up in the over-grown grass/hay on the property in my hooker heels to get a good picture of it “before” and crashed through the rotted boards over the only source of water, the cistern. A neighbor heard me screaming eventually and hauled me out. (Our first meeting: The town perv, right out of the Bates Motel, lucky me.) Anyway, that place was my first handyman/rehab. Which is to say, trust me: There is NOTHING you can possibly do to “botch the house” that I haven’t done-including forgetting (not knowing, actually) to turn off the *110 breaker box* (yep, what is a “breaker box” and 110? That escaped my conscious “oh shit” trip wire as did everything else) before “discovering” the wiring in the walls consisted of a series of connected and frayed extension cords-but they did conduct electricity.

          In the beginning I would go to the hardware store dressed nicely, all cleaned up, make up artfully applies etc. By the end I did not give a crap; that house beat me up on the daily. I showed up looking like I just crawled out from an underpass with hair that was sprinkled with sawdust, plaster, mystery materials etc., a not en vogue 40 yrs. ago “messy bun,” broken/very short finger nails sans polish, work boots, a flannel shirt from a thrift store and ripped baggy jeans holding yet another mystery piece of “plumbing.” The guys at the hardware store would rush to “help” some hot lookin’ chick with false eyelashes (and an after-market jug “installation”) find a stopper for her Olympic sized bath tub in their “vacation home.” They use to help me too but now they would just hide in the back when I stumbled in the door once again. Minus the jugs, that level of hygiene before I went anywhere in public had been my baseline at one time.

          Go for it, OneDay. Today is Day One-just be careful where you put your feet (and everything else.) Step one is turn off the power. Step two is anything can be fixed and if it can’t screw it, just camouflage it or find something that can work and substitute it. You can do this, believe me and live to fix or do a few more “renovations” on other “houses with good bones” and handyman stuff OK? Go on, do it-oh yes you can! Every journey starts with a single step-and ends with a massive project because “one thing” is never one thing, blisters, sore muscles, numerous mystery bruises, and a crawl over the “Finish Line”-but a sense of accomplishment nonetheless.

          Rooting for ya! Frig her nitpicking: With these people who live for the feud as a distraction and diversion tactic from their odious behavior, there’s always something to piss and moan about. Besides, if she was so damn capable, why wasn’t she doing it?

          • Ahhh you have me in stitches hahahah. Thank you, you are mighty. Thing is I’m not gonna go for good bones hehe. So yeah if you can do what you did, I sure as hell can do a decent house with a few projects. I’ll get me some dirty once the children are moving out. I want to do as much different things gs there are to do in life. Not just experiences, also create with my hands. Not art per se, but maybe. Thank you again, hilarious. You have a fun writing style.

          • Ahhh, Tundra Woman! I’m with ya. Moved into a two bedroom “cottage” built in 1930. This house kicks my butt on a daily basis, but I love it. It’s MINE! Doing all the work that I can, by myself (painting, flooring, etc.) and at 60 years old, it is sometimes a challenge. OneDaySomeDay, I found that by getting down on the floor to put down my new flooring, it got me UP off the floor. Know what I mean? I’m a woman who is learning how to do things on my own. There are days when I don’t even know enough to ask the right questions, but I love a mystery 😉. Just gotta keep moving forward.

            • @JustBreathe Nice metaphor! Get down to get up haha. It’s what CL says about her taking up welding hehe. Make a new version of yourself. Something to look forward to, and to feel good about.

            • Ah Sweetjeebus! Hardwood floors! I just remembered my “first ride” on a floor sander-ya think they’d come with seat belts. Damn thing weighed more than I did. I could control a 1500 lb. horse by the time I was 6 but I couldn’t control a floor sander as a young adult. That machine was some kind of horror movie “star.” Who needs clowns or Freddie Kruger when ya rented one of those? They even LOOK menacing before ya hit the “On” switch. Then they really became a horror show.

              Enjoy this part of it-at least painting and floors are something you can actually SEE, unlike plumbing-which hides unseen and leaks (cue ominous music) inside walls. But truly, you’ll love it when it’s done-enjoy and happy “Meh-ing!”

              OneDay, Every Project is a work of art. You may be the only one that can see the “beauty” as in, “Beautiful! The toilet works-finally!” But every time you flush the thing, just think of her going down-to the now functioning septic tank and “leach field” where she belongs. Or make a piece of furniture. Everytime you look at it you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing it’s not haunted by the Ghost of Her-Drops-Her-Pants-A-Lot ;–)

    • You mention emotionally leaning on the kids as one maladaptive behavior. Excellent to point out. I dealt with this as a kid (serial cheating dad created a lot of pain and loneliness for his various women who liked to lean on me.

      So when my own shit hit the fan thanks to marriage to a serial-cheating, disordered fuckwit — I was very conscious of NOT dumping on my kids (the adult ones, particularly — who voluntarily wanted to “be there” for me).

      I have to admit, though, it’s a tough line sometimes. I want them to know I love and trust them; I very much want them included and to know the basics of what is happening to their family. But, they don’t need my pain on top of their own.

      Sometimes I even ask them directly … are you sure you want to know? Or, please stop me if this is something you don’t want to hear.

      This all makes me hate STBX even more. The fact that I’m even in this situation with my kids is insane. He’s such an asshole.

      • I feel the exact way. It is unbelievable to me that I have to deal with this with my son. My wife of 24 years left me and my 22 year old son that lived with us, 3 and half months ago moved 1200 miles away with Mr. Home wrecker hasn’t talked to my son for 3 months. Asked him last night if his mother has contacted him and he said she texted him and said she was going to be the bad guy no matter what she did so she just decided to what she did. My son who obviously is wise beyond his years said to me that she is just trying to play the victim when she isn’t, He hasn’t replied to her, He is NC with his own mother

        • I am very sorry that you and your son have had to deal with such horrific behavior by his mom. 🙁

          What these jerks do to us is one thing, but the crappy way they treat the kids is beyond mind-blowing. It definitely sounds like your son has a good head on his shoulders, though (must have gotten that from dad!). So, hopefully he’ll be able to navigate through all of this with minimal damage.

  • As CL says, sleeping with the EX is a common error. But no need to compound it by talking to the OW. Doing so only increases his drama. Your goal is to get out of this farce, not promote yourself from being a bit-player to the new cut-throat understudy in your EX’s long-running production of “Dysfunction: The Cheater’s Miracle.” Go star in your own show! The problem is less that you’ve made the error and more that you are struggling to believe you deserve better–you do. I hope everyone circling back toward chumpiness can put the guilt aside and realize what’s really missing is confidence in our own ability to build and entitlement to have honest relationships.

  • He’d be “more inclined to cooperate” on matters concerning the kids if they were sleeping together?

    That’s where I stopped reading.

    What more evidence to you need that you’re dealing with a person of extraordinarily low character? You don’t need a 2×4, you need a couple of 4x8s and an audience.

    Wake up and realize what it is your doing, for your own sake.

    • Exactly. You were sleeping together during the marriage, and how cooperative was the cheater when it counted? Say, in honoring your wedding vows? Being honest? Protecting your children from calamity?

      NEVER bet on a charter.

    • Yes, that was a horribly cruel thing for him to say. She does mention that she immediately became angry — rightfully so. I’m guessing that anger is her wake-up call to what you stated … which essentially amounts to … Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter [into any kind of relationship with this asshole].

      • “So what you’re saying is you wanna be my pimp? You wanna use the kids as hostages? What the hell, that’s twisted-solicitation/extortion as well.”

        Please don’t look at a Relapse Romp as “I’ve lost all the progress I’ve made.” No, you haven’t, not at all. It’s not black and white, all or nothing. How many people do you know who split up and that’s it? They break up, get back together, rinse and repeat a few times before they walk (or run) away finally knowing right down to their soul it’s truly over. Think of those experiences as a refresher course, some more garnered knowledge for your personal “Lessons Learned In My Book of Life.”

        I’ve learned a hella lot more from what I blundered and fumbled than I ever did when I got it right or “perfect” the first time. In fact, I never got it “perfect” the first x number of times-but I learned with each experience. There are some themes that have stood the test of time: Every experience and every person has something to teach us about ourselves, the world and what it means to be human and live in this world. It’s our frailties and “failings” that are the best, most demanding teachers, especially in learning to have as much compassion for yourself and your imperfect humanity as you’d grant others without a second thought or reservation. It’s the “colors” between black and white that make up the complexity of life-and spectacular artwork too. A “work in progress” as a “human bean” isn’t finished yet but it will be-when you take your last breath. Meanwhile, the Lessons continue.

        Before “Meh” comes “Mon Dieu! How could I be so (fill in the blank.)” The straight answer is “Because you’re human.” Forget the buzz words that sell books by the millions like “Closure.” What the hell does that even mean? That’s what makes it such a gold mine for gurus and others in the Industrial Wreckconciliation Complex. Can’t we just admit there are some things for which “closure” has about as much relationship to reality as sci-fi? How can anyone even say with a straight face you can “rehabilitate” a relationship or a person when there’s nothing to “habilitate” TO? That you can inculcate a conscience in an adult where one doesn’t exist-and never did? For people who grieve, time is meaningless. Experiences give us scars on our souls that make them authentically our’s alone and beautifully unique, our own earned Purple Hearts. No one escapes unscathed.

        And no one escapes without their Lessons Leaned along the way, some in sorrow and pain, others in joy and peace; the latter so much more meaningful for the former.

        • You are so right, “For people who grieve time is meaningless.”

          Some losses are so great that time truly has no meaning. Numbness sets in and sometimes we become conditioned or desensitized to the pain….like becoming use to the smell of a sewage dump…the dump is still there…it never goes away

  • I would definitely tell the OW – because of the attempt on his part to coerce you into more sex. That has to be stopped – hard. That has to have real-life ACTUAL consequences for him. Not threats, consequences.
    Your words mean nothing, because you’ve shown him that your words mean nothing – you still went back to sleep with him repeatedly after all your talking. Only your actions mean something.

    He crossed a line, and he needs a good hard smack for that. Show the OW all the proof, and then tell your ex – “if you ever try and pressure me into sex again, I’ll do a lot worse than just tell your girlfriend.”

    • You’re so right, Traffic. I hate that cheaters have no consequences whatever they do.
      My ex actually got away with all his evil actions. He is thriving or fake thriving…and occasionally telling sob stories to gain sympathy from new victims and to hurt me of course.
      My three adult children who also found part of the evidence now never question him about this sudden “love bombing” he is staging after 24 years of abuse and neglect.
      In his mind he had no consequences beside being thrown out of my house.
      But in my mind, he’s mr. nobody. He just doesn’t realize it.

    • Traffic_Spiral-I so, 1000% agree with you-tell the other-other woman. Here’s my miniscule experience and I write “miniscule”, because there are zillions of stories like this, just the names are different. FIRST-wouldn’t you want to know if you were being cheated on? Telling you would be the gift of knowledge and telling the other-other woman that she is now the other woman is the gift of karma-SWEET. SECOND-how will this impact his relationship with the children-only you know-if he will just be angry with you but not take any form of retribution against the children, his anger will keep him away from you, right? THIRD-if he is angry with you, you have created the no-contact for yourself, a form of a governor-because when I told the other woman, I wanted him to hate me because I could trust myself to stay away-I wanted him to think of me as danger to come near, because I was a bigtime trouble maker, I in effect had manipulated the manipulating narcissist. FOURTH Here is all the twisted thinking between you, him her, just like everyone of these zillions of stories-HE TRUSTS YOU NOT TO TELL THE OTHER OTHER WOMAN NOW THAT HE HAS MADE YOU THE OTHER WOMAN. HE TRUSTS YOU WITH HIS SECRET, HIS LIFE, HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE OTHER OTHER WOMAN. DID HE BETRAY YOUR TRUST? DID HE ALTER YOUR PSYCHE WITH TRUST ISSUES FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE? HAS HE EARNED THAT TRUST HE HAS IN YOU NOT TO TELL THE OTHER OTHER WOMAN? I did it three years ago ( I warned him to leave me alone or I would tell and he didn’t-after his first contact I did it) in the heat and angst of pain, tears, grief, shock, fury, all of which have been tempered in this distance in time. I would do it again. No regrets.

    • IKR?? That line he gave her is soooooo off, who even says things like that?
      “I’d be more cooperative if you slept with me” ??
      Imagine someone on the street telling you “I won’t hit you in the face, if you oh, I don’t know, give me a hundred dollars”…

      Wouldn’t her lawyer be interested to know about that, though? His skeeviness must be some sort of leverage for her case, right?

  • Here is a 2 by 4 that stops me :

    He HAD your sex, all of it. He weighed its value to him and still said: I’ll risk it to have some strange.

    Your body, your sexuality was a yawn to him. He purposely disregarded it, chucked it in the trash heap and found what he believes is better, because above all things these cheats compare.

    Then, you are in front of him and willing ….sure he’ll get his rocks off. It’s like those free samples at Costco. Costs him nothing, scratched an itch, makes him believe he is a Sex God and validates to him you are a desperate mess.

    Now…are you a free bite of pasta salad in a plastic tub or are you a Mighty Woman whose value exceeds mountains of rubies and diamonds… and he should be so lucky to lick your shoe?

    You can’t fuck him into being a man with character or class.

    • Thank you Loveday for these words. Blessings to you. I wish my ex will hear your words in his dreams/nightmares.
      My ex is so sure he’s a sex god. He’s so wrong.
      I never broke no contact since I threw him out. These words should echo in every cheater’s mind to the point that the regret they feel will haunt them and burn their fake souls to ashes.
      I’m thankful for never seeing him again.

      • Best quote all week! “you can’t fuck him into having class or character”.

        I think I might rearrange that and send it to my X in a final email once Divirce day gets here–“You can’t fuck your way to class or character – but, you sure fucked your way out of it!”

    • “You can’t fuck him into being a man with character or class.”

      THAT right there is one of the best quotes I have read during my two plus years of CN participation–and many thanks, LoveDay, it’s a keeper 🙂

      The VERY LAST THING I said to POP was an assessment of his lack of character.

    • This makes me so sad. Cheater had a loving wife and family and that wasn’t enough for him. He couldn’t be content with just one women for the rest of his life. He had to go out and see if there was something better and he decided there was.

    • I just read an interview with Pablo Picasso’s wife, Francoise Gilot. There was a 40 year age difference when they married 22 v 62). She’s mom to Paloma and Claude Picasso. She’s 95 now and still paints, but she said Pablo once told her, “Women are either goddesses or doormats.”

      That really stuck with me as that remark comes from a known womanizer. He likely still treated the goddesses he had as of less value than himself, but at least they refused to be his “doormat.”

      Gilot was the only woman to ever leave him after 10 years of marriage, and she’s thrived since. When asked what annoyed Pablo, she said, “Any show of too much personality…but you can always put it in your pocket.”

      No. Don’t ever choose to be less of the mighty women that we are (or men). #ChooseGoddess

      • This is brilliant….Picasso’s history of devalue then discard is known to have been literally lethal. I’m so glad she survived and let us peek at her strategies.
        Thank you kibblefree for the great reminder that we can choose to be goddesses and not doormats. Love to all the hurting ones, sending out vibes of mightiness to all the heroines.

  • Douchebag Delight tried to pull that crap on me during our divorce, sending texts wanting sex. When I ignored her, she would send more tests stating how she was going to take me to the cleaners and make fun of my cheap, drunk attorney….and, she pretty much did. But, when I would ignore her sex game…I realized I had taken my power back.

  • Oh if only I had listened to this golden advice! Last year a week after D-Day, reeling with grief I went to see him and talk about counseling. And then IT happened. And then again and again and again. This after a yearlong dry spell when I know something was up but just thought I was crazy and had no proof. The bargaining stage of grief is powerful. So when Chump Lady says No Contact she means it! Surrounding yourself with support is key. My family lives 3 hours away and I only have a small handful of friends. Cheater ex was my best friend, or so I thought. And like RumorHasIt, there was no marriage commitment after a decade together so nothing to fight for, except his “love.” That setup made me vulnerable, lonely and needy. So the pick-me dance went on and on. Eventually, I found CL but not soon enough, and then took a phony reconciliation and another year to finally get out. Chump Ladies and Gents out there, PLEASE take No Contact seriously! It’s the key to finding your sanity in an insane situation!

    • That sounds like trauma bonding. Trauma bonding is a form of abuse that leaves a person emotionally vulnerable and dependent on others.

    • This is another reason why a smart therapist can help us. First words out of my therapist’s mouth when she heard about D-Day: You can never go back.

    • Hysterical bonding type stuff as well as trauma bonding. Don’t beat yourself up any more. Do some reading and some thinking.

      IT GETS BETTER.

  • Haven’t had this experience because the sight of asshat is repulsive. The thought of physical intimacy makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth.

    Maybe it’s because of the xhamster links and emails with MOW of their upcoming reenactments, maybe it’s because of his AFF profile, maybe it’s his clintonesque declarations that finger and object penetration is not penile pentetration and therefore, “NOT SEX!!!” with colleagues and clients, maybe it’s the escort searches across the US, maybe it’s the RubMap reviews, maybe it’s the $$ spent on strippers, maybe it’s “just flirting!!” with bar hos and co workers, maybe it’s simply getting so focused on his mightily cock that condoms were never considered because, hey, person x, y and z is ‘clean’ according to him.

    Absolutely NOTHING would make me want to ever see his naked ass ever again. He sucks supremely.

    Don’t be hard on yourselves, chumps, if you make a mistake. Get tested for STDs and bury he thought of that motherfucker.

    • I’m with you; I’d touch my X with a bargepole but leave it to everyone’s imagination where I’d put it. Three years out my feelings toward him are 25% low-simmer hatred; 70% indifference, and 5% pity for the joys he’ll never know.

      No Contact (or Grey Rock if you must have contact) is a lifesaver here. Interacting with these moral cockroaches makes it seem that they are normal. Distance gives one the “he/she truly sucks” perspective needed for sanity.

      • Tempest, my percentages are a little different, but the overall feeling of meh is the same. Plus, now that I know for a fact how epically bad the Edgar Suit was at sex, there is no chance in hell of going back for more. None.

  • Been there done that. He came into our home when he was still staying there and seeing her after our separation( I guess it took him a few weeks to comvince his new sugar mama/slut/schmoopie to let him move in with her and her daughter) Except my fickwit provided the 2×4 I needed by asking for $60000 of my settlement money within 15 minutes of the act. BAM!! That sure woke me up and no more pick me dancing! Thanks fuckwit!

  • Out in the world, this is some man who will sweep you and your children off your feet, be faithful, treat you like a lady, put up with your bitchy moods, and use that 2×4 to protect you. Save your body and soul to give to him.

    And….fuck the OW. His shit and drama belongs to her. Let her deal with it. She knew what she was getting into. Don’t tell her anything.

  • I find therapeutic massage helps quell some of my hunger for touch. Sometimes I can work out a barter and get them 1-2/month, otherwise I pay for an hour about every other month.

    xh also said he’d be more inclined to be generous with the settlement if I’d fuck him one last time. Yuck no. Of course he was lying, his lips were moving.

    • Try massage and beauty schools for cheaper massage: the trainees practice on you for much cheaper or free vs fully qualified.

    • Meh, I just slept with a 25 year old for awhile (i’m 35). I’m not saying you should do it, but I never wanted to sleep with my ex again lol.

  • I can’t imagine ever wanting to speak to X again, leave alone sleep with him. Not only did he destroy our marriage but he jeopardized my financial security and didn’t think twice about abandoned our family. None of it meant anything to him while he pretended to be Mr. Wonderful. The humiliation that I felt and still do is palpable. Every time I have to tell a new doctor, or a distant family member that he abandoned me for some fantasy fuckwit I feel the wrath of his actions all over again. It’s his gift that keeps on giving! Pride was a big deal in my family, not so much in his. I think it’s my pride and anger that propels me forward and makes it easy to keep him out of my life forever! It helps me realize my worth.

  • If you have to coparent the key to all future anything with the ex is BOREDOM. You don’t do anything whatsoever that unnecessarily stimulates anything. No drama no personality no information no interest no primping no awkward no vibes. Give him nothing to think about other than your blank stares and maybe an accidental “I’m so unaware that I might even drool a little.” I have had to fight the urge but it passes. The urge will go away if you don’t give in to it.

    • This is great, Joy! Yes, they thrive on the drama – it makes them feel alive and powerful. It’s a phony satisfaction only a fukwit can temporarily achieve.

      Give them no contact and bored blank-stared drooling indifference. Yes! It will ruin their day and make them have the sadz of all sadz.

      They are miserable creatures and your indifference can actually help throw them over the edge.

      I’ve seen it. It will turn off the 3 mind-fuck channels and make them confused and frustrated like you wouldn’t believe.

      This is the best CL column ever.

      So much excellent insight.

    • Love that, Joy and couldn’t agree more 🐾.

      I always hate it when sleep around men are referred to as dogs. Dogs have an unfailing loyalty and are forever faithful something these cheats could never be.

  • Here’s the fucked up part.
    My ex divorced me for the ow. My ex also slept with me for months after he left ( not all the time and really not proud of it….let’s keep it moving).
    I spilled the beans to ow. He said it was a lie, then when I presented proof he said he was only doing it to grease the wheels of getting me to take less in the divorce.
    Maybe that’s somewhat true but who knows..
    She believed him, they are together today ( but now she knows he will cheat on her too) and we don’t speak to eachother……none of us.
    Kids are grown, think he’s an asshole, want nothing to do with him.
    He claims to hate me, I know I have no use for him, but I believe to this day if a situation presented itself where he could sleep with me, he would try. It blows my mind.
    They don’t care.
    THEY SUCK!
    There are much better people to spend your time on…..move on.
    They are masters at talking their way out of shit, they had us believing they were quality people at some point. The ow will stay with him, and you be thankful.
    It is a long process for some of us, but I truly trust that he sucks. I have no use for anybody that would treat another human that way….period.

  • Intent of an action means a lot, but the appearance of a thing can matter as well. What message is my action sending … to my STBX, to my kids, to ME?

    Hypothetically (but reasonably)
    Intent:
    Hanging out buddy-buddy style with my STBX simply because I’m so comfortable with him after a long-term relationship and shared experiences. And, even with all of the bullshit, I just want to get on with life without angst between us because we share kids. Being friends is the better part of valor. Me being the bigger person.

    Appearance:
    STBX (esp. the disordered fuckwits like him) would see this buddy-buddy as cake (“I can hurt her and she STILL wants to be around me!”) and as a perpetual opening to come back for more whenever he feels like it. It also confuses the kids … the older ones would see me being actively kind to the guy who treated me like dog doo for decades (not the example I want them to see) … the younger one would be confused and feel her world hurtling toward instability AGAIN. Together-not together-together. (Again, not something I want for child.)

    Unintended Consequences:
    I’m sending the worst possible message to STBX — AND I’m hurting my kids.

    So, even good intentions can be harmful. Especially when we are reeling from our lives imploding, it’s essential to think through the message we are sending with our actions. Heavens knows, there has been enough pain in our lives from these assholes — it’s important to try not to create more unintentionally.

    Wishing the letter all the best — and a clear “he’s an asshole — step away from the asshole” future.

  • I will echo CL: just say NO. Go completely NC. No good will come of this and it just prolongs the agony.

    After several false reconciliations in the 18 weeks after DDay, X was “confused” and wanted to “see OW OPENLY.” I shut that shit down, kicked his ass to the curb. He continued to text, call, email me dozens of times a day. This was 2 years ago before I filed and before I went NC. I engaged with him and the mindfuck made me mentally sick. 2 months after I kicked him out he came over to pick up our teenager but she was napping. I did the naked pick me dance but I didn’t touch him- I “made” him pleasure me (no pleasure). Then I told him that if he wanted all of me, and everything back (kids, home, community, our life of 25 years), he had to cut off all contact with OW and get treatment and devote himself to me and kids. He was all talk “ok, yes, thank you…..blah blah blah.” I sent OW messages and screen shots proving what he was saying and the sexual details of what he did to me that day. It made no difference whatsoever. He kept on with her, she moved into a new apartment with him 10 days later, he continued to proposition me and I kept sending her proof.
    I realized the extent of their dysfunction and finally left that circus. I filed a few months later, started going NC and building Life 2.0, which is a much improved version with no crazy monkey bugs.
    Divorced 7 months ago. Stunning trial victory. Completely and totally NC. Meh is beyond belief in terms of peace and quality of life. I’m certain the with each month and year my life will just get better and better.
    X? He’s fading in my rear-view mirror. Now he’s just somebody that I used to (think) I knew.

  • Oh, one more thing: if it’s sex that you’re missing, there’s nothing wrong with a romp with a sexy single man. Assuming you’re safe about it and above-board with the partner. It is FAR better than a manipulative sexual experience with a sociopath, IMO.

    • Also nothing wrong with a little “self love” either (nudge nudge wink wink). Works every time – and no worries about STDs.

    • Yup, a romp in the hay with a single person after the breakup will do wonders especially since most narcs use sex and your degradation as a control mechanism. You’ll realize after that you are good in bed and you are desired (my Ex played the “no other woman would ever want you card on me).

      BIG exception though is to NOT do this if you have a contested divorce going on as your Ex if they had proof could use this in court against you since it technically is Adultery since you are still legally married.
      In this case, do nothing with anyone until the day after the divorce is final and THEN have fun !

    • This may sound like a very silly question, but… how do people do that?
      I’ve never quite had hookups in my youth, but now in my 30’s I wonder how would I go about having one and being safe (as in, not ending up getting killed 😛 ) ? In my mind, if everyone is just a kid, the risk is low, but now that I would be dealing with adults, the thought of being alone with a stranger is much scarier.

        • Thanks for the suggestion! My worry is more about…how can I ever feel safe isolating myself with a stranger? When I think about it, all I can come up with is I would need to see them a gazillion times in broad daylight first, before I can maybe consider seeing them alone. How am I going to tell the axe-wielding murderer from the normal guy? People do it every day, so I guess there must be a way, but it just feels daunting.

          • Meet them in public, spend several hours with them, etc. You don’t have to boink em on the first date. I mean, I will, but I’m a dumbass who can’t get into a serious relationship anyway since I have an autistic kid (no man wants that, so I don’t even try). I just hit and quit lol. Take your time and get to know them. You’ll feel safer that way.

            Oh and safe sex.

  • Since the letter was run previously, here’s hoping that Rumor has gone no contact and stayed that way. CL always says, “Know your value.” Trying to be friends and (especially) friends who occasionally have stupid sex is not knowing your value–it is, as CL says, the pick-me dance done naked. It takes a while, in some cases, to stop bargaining for some little piece of jackass to keep for yourself. Been there, done that–was saved by the discard. (For those chumps who were jettisoned without so much as a goodbye or an explanation, the discard has this one awesome upside–no contact!

    This letter writer no doubt allowed texting between her and BD (baby Daddy). That is an open mindfuck portal and a huge opportunity for chumps to keep sniffing hopium. How to avoid the naked pick-me dance?
    1. Stop texting. If he texts, you email. Two days later, unless there is an urgent need to respond. Ask yourself: Would Aeronaut think this is an emergency? Would CL? Would AllOutofKibble? [Oh, hell no…]. An emergency: a kid is in the hospital; someone died and the funeral is tomorrow; I’m not picking up the kids at school because they aren’t the boss of me so you have to do it… An emergency is not: I want more/less/different custody; the OW is upset because…; Do you know where my croquet set is?

    Stop texting! Tell him to use email. If he disregards you, tack on additional response time for disrespect. Don’t answer non-essential stuff until 24-48 hours have passed. Be professional. Ask what you would do if the judge read these out loud in court.

    2. If married, file for divorce, once you have lined up for ducks. If single, file for custody and child support from BabyDaddy. Get a custody order that specifies when custody is exchanged and for how long, who does pickup and drop off, what happens when the custodial parent is out of town, rules for overnights, etc. And file for child support that is garnished from Cheaterpants’s wages, especially if he is a mere BabyDaddy.

    3. Stop living in the past. You are separated for a reason. Live in the present moment. As CL says, your job from D-Day on is to build a life that is cheater-free. In particular, you want to know how you came to pick someone who would lie, cheat, manipulate, and in Rumor’s case, strive to turn you into the OW once you cut free. Because that is what Rumor became: the new OW. This man loves a triangle. Don’t be a hypotenuse. Read about character disorder. You will come to see your X as disordered, and you may come to see yourself as hooked on that disorder. Get help from a counselor, from friends and family. And if you are hungry for human touch, join a grief group; get into group therapy with a touchy-feely therapist, get massages. (Don’t laugh–my short time in group got me emotionally unfrozen.)

    If you are chatting on text or the phone, know this: you are asking for trouble. Another baby with a cheater. An STD. Knowing your own character and choices are destructive and unkind. Confused kids. A heart broken again and again by a person who doesn’t care and never will.

    • Oh–and while is child support so important? The BF/ex might be keeping you at the pick-me dance to avoid the legal consequences when the money comes up short. Or perhaps to avoid paying altogether. Get and order and stick to it like glue, whether he’s showing you the charm channel or not. Business is business. Child support and custody–biggest business of all.

  • I strongly second Chump Lady’s suggestion on getting tested for STDS.
    I thought my husband left me (during my pregnancy with baby #2) because we needed space to work on ourselves as we weren’t getting along. He became emotionally distant, and I reacted. Even though he’ll never admit it, I know it was all planned: He cut me down, I got angry, and he finally had an excuse to leave and make physical what was already an emotional affair. (I suspected he had a thing going with a co-worker which he adamantly denied)
    BUT at the time I wanted to believe we were taking a break to work on us.
    Fast forward 6 months, my baby was six weeks old. I let him back into my bed. He promised he didn’t sleep with anyone and I naively believed him. Another six weeks went by and I had a postpartum check up and pap.
    My obgyn called to tell me that I had contracted a high risk strain of HPV. One which was typically aggressive, leaving me with a 48% chance of developing precancerous cells within two years. I have to have a pap every six months now, whereas before I only needed one every three years. He assured me that this HPV was not present in my previous pap and I needed to discuss my results with my husband, as he highly suspected infidelity.
    He also said the most frustrating thing about this and other high risk strains (there are two very high risk, I have one of them and several moderately high risk) is that some women become carriers, never having any symptoms, or positive test results. If these women happen to be permiscuous, they end up putting countless unsuspecting women at risk for cancer.
    As it turned out, my husband was sleeping with one of these women.
    It took me contracting a cancer causing STI before he’d finally admit to cheating.
    That was nine months ago and now, I have irregular bleeding and my last pap three months ago indicated abnormal cell growth. I am making a game plan with my GYN to remove my cervix and possibly/probably my uterus as the scar tissue from 2 C-section leaves me at even higher risk for the spread of cancerous growth within my uterine wall.
    I am a casualty of infidelity and it was a hard lesson learned. Because of my own idiocy and trust in man I should never have given the benefit of the doubt, my children are at risk of growing up without a mother.
    Despite all the medical procedures I’m about to endure, cheater still refuses to believe he gave me this horrible disease.
    Whatever helps him sleep at night.

      • In some places, transmitting a STD you knew you had (and failed to disclose to your sexual partners) is assault.
        He could make the case that he was never diagnosed with it (men are typically silent carriers), but still worth a shot because he was aware his sexual behavior was putting his partner at risk.
        We really need to work together as a society to reinstate these acts as they crimes they truly are!

        FedUp, I am so, so sorry that monster put you through something like that, it’s beyond infuriating and appalling!! What a pathetic waste of space he is.

    • FedupChump I am so sorry. I am praying for you.

      For chumps considering sleeping with the ex, was the sex really that great? Did he really make you feel better afterwards? Do you think sleeping with him will change his mind about the OW and come back to you? I get the lonely feeling. POSH left me when I was 7 months pregnant. As soon as I got pregnant the intimacy stopped. My baby girl is now 8 months old. I’ve been sleeping alone for well over a year. So I get the lonely. I miss the warm body next to me in the middle of the night. I miss the arm flying over me to hold me. But that is so not worth the pain I know I would go through if I got back with him and he left again. (Mind you he has never expressed an interest in me since I got pregnant. His OW is a much younger version of me so he is content).

      And for telling the OW, I would be that he would gaslight her into thinking that you are just crazy. How easy would it be for the POSH to tell the OW “oh honey I left her for you. She is just mad and will say anything to try to break us up. Do you think I would voluntarily leave her for you only to turn around and sleep with her”. I don’t think the OW would ever believe it even if you had proof. She would rationalize it with herself just like she had to tell herself that it was ok screwing a married man. Oh have i thought about destroying the OW. But I’m to the point now that I think her karma is believing a lie that POSH loves her dearly and is faithful and honest with her. I would rather let her find out shit on her own like I had too. Its harder finding out the lies unexpectedly rather than someone just serving it up to you on a silver platter.

  • Am I out of line for suggesting that sleeping with cheater X (especially when X is living with Schmoopie) gives the Chump “kibbles” of the F-U to Schmoopie kind?

    • Not at all. I am quite certain that if I had the opportunity to have sex with Jackass, it would have been all about the MOW. That’s what the pick-me dance does–gets the Chump and the AP at odds fighting over a jackass.

  • Ugh, I fell into this trap for a VERY long time and until embarrassingly recently. We’re still living together for financial reasons nine months after D-day (divorce is filed and he’ll supposedly be out of the house by Oct. 1 – yay!!!) and proximity makes it tough. Not an excuse, but the truth for me. Sexual chemistry was never one of our many problems. The second he admitted to sleeping with her on D-day I was done with the marriage forever, so it was never about trying to win him back. Still totally a CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE, ULTIMATE CAKE situation for him, I know. He hasn’t outright said that it’s easier to deal with things between us when we’re sleeping together, but he’s insinuated it and I think that’s part of the reason I let it continue for so long. He really is easier to manage when he’s feeling friendly as opposed to angry, but it’s so not worth it.

    The first time it happened I was in the depths of despair and non-existent self-esteem two weeks after D-day and it just felt good to be held and touched by the person who knew me best. After that, it was mostly about not trusting that he sucked, but not in the same way that Chump Lady explained it above. I was exhilarated by the fact that my biggest fear – that he would change and be the perfect, loving, faithful partner for OW that he never was for me – was unfounded. He was still a shithead! He was still a cheater, cheating on this woman who he was supposedly in love with! I knew she would’ve been horrified if she knew and, shamefully, I reveled in that. It also made me realize in those dark times that maybe it wasn’t my fault that he cheated. (I know now that his cheating is 100% about him and his awful choices and has nothing to do with me.)

    As the months wore on I felt worse and worse about the whole situation. OW lives out of state so he’d go visit her once a month and I’d swear that once he returned I was done. Some time would go by and…ugh, I’d let it happen again. Then one day during an argument during which he tried to convince me that OW was a “good person,” I said I would NEVER sleep with someone who was involved with someone else and he said, “But aren’t you?” Face palm. But he was right. Even after thinking of myself as “better than them” since D-day, here I was, immersed in his gross, deceitful world. Not the person I want to be, no matter how much OW deserves it. Plus, I started getting really excited about my bright future on my own and the awesome, honest and reliable men I could potentially meet. Didn’t I deserve better than no-feelings sex with a cheating asshole?

    I’ve been tempted to tell the OW about all of this, but I honestly feel like my best revenge is to let all of it play out without my intervention: she moves three states away from her home to be with him, giving up everything she knows and loves, settles in here with Ex and THEN learns who she’s dealing with. It will be glorious. I’m just sad I won’t get to be a fly on the wall when she figures it all out. Plus, I have the proof in my back pocket in case he tries to screw me on the divorce settlement. I know he’ll do whatever it takes to keep this woman in the dark.

    I’m really and truly done sleeping with him now, but I have a lot of shame about it. I’ve only told my best friend. I consider myself smarter than this, but I guess even smart people make stupid decisions – over and over and over? – sometimes. I’m feeling mightier and happier every day and letting go of this piece of the situation is a powerful turning point for me. (And yes, I got STD tested recently and luckily I’m all good.)

    • Soaring – Say no to feeling “shame”! You were hurt and used. In your pain you reached out to the familiar while you were still processing your new dreadful circumstances. I may have done the same – had the police not sent him off. It’s amazing how our minds will allow us to act out in the most unbelievable ways!

    • We should all ponder why some cheaters find it easier to “deal with us” when they are sleeping with us. We’re either high on hopium, hip-deep in spackle, or eating revenge kibbles to get back at the AP.

      That puts the cheater in control. Feeds the cheater kibbles. Keeps the cheater central. They are getting exactly what they want, plus sex AND the high of making you betray your best interest.

  • I really hope that Rumor got help for her co-dependency. It happens where Chumps slip up once and have sex with their cheater. But if it keeps recurring, I’d seriously start wondering if the Chump needs some help. I think therapy is a great option to help Rumor see why she keeps going back to someone that hurt her. What is really lacking in terms of self-love, making her want to be physically intimate with someone who betrayed her trust. It’s ok if she wants to have sex with no commitment, there are plenty of single unattached men to do that with. But to go back to your abuser is something that is very telling in terms of how the Chump values herself. I sincerely hope Rumor worked on herself and gave herself the love she is desperately seeking from her abuser (cheater).

  • Maybe it’s just my dark, black nature, but if I discovered I contracted an STD from my x, I would absolutely NOT feel obligated to inform him.

    I believe as adults, we are each responsible for our own actions and choices. I do NOT feel responsible for his health and well being—that’s on him. Every grown adult who is halfway aware and/or has made it through a year or two of high school knows about the risks of STDs. He chose to take that risk, so that’s his responsibility, not mine. I’m not his wife any more, and I was never his mother.

    This has nothing to do with revenge for infidelity, and everything to do with believing in personal integrity and responsibility. You can’t manage someone else’s, and you shouldn’t try.

    As for post-breakup sex, I would never. Not that I’m on any kind of high horse, more like my x totally repulses and disgusts me, now that I know where that thing has been. Even going through wreckonciliation, when I desperately longed for his presence in my life, I was paradoxically grossed out by his physical proximity. One reason why wreckonciliation was doomed, I guess.

  • “And knowing that he is still involved with the OW, sleeping with him means you are doing a very humiliating pick me polka. IMO, this is the core of your shame — the cheaters have reduced you to their level.”

    Tracy- would love a column on this. Some of us slept with our ex after he was in another relationship (maybe with the OW), some of us cheated for revenge after d-days or to deal with the rejection of being cheated on, some became OW in their next relationship, etc.. it adds another layer of shame and confusion to deal with but I think our core experience remains being chumped. It isn’t easy to bring up here.

    • But you choose that.

      Those are all active choices you make.

      If you wanna make different choices – do that.

      You can’ t be like – I’m a chump! While fucking over other people.

      • Yes, you can. It might not resonate with everyone, but there are plenty people who have been screwed over by a cheater who responded to the betrayal poorly. If someone is on this site, it probably means they’re hurting and looking for support and advice how to treat themselves and others better. Just a suggestion – admittedly not the most popular topic but a realistic one.

  • Fuck him all you want. It doesn’t change the fact that…

    …you were never that important to him to begin with. Not the way you define “important.” It doesn’t matter how much he showed, or how much he did. He ALWAYS had a different opinion of what’s important, and how to treat/respect/prioritize what’s important. That will never change.

    He just tricked you well enough, or you wanted to believe well enough, or (most likely) some combination of the two.

    • Wow, this is really spot on! So well written and gives us insight in the cheater’s mind. We were never that important to the cheater to begin with.

  • I went through false reconciliation and in this time had lots of sex. I hate myself, am angry at myself for this. working with IC to address issues.
    Hate that before I knew and he was in the affair we had sex. Makes me feel used and abused. Well guess what I was.
    His shame, his issue
    I am just left with the residual feelings as he will have no thoughts of compassion/empathy for me.

    would not let him anywhere near me now
    or in the future.

  • Do NOT tell the other woman. He will lie to her, make you out to be a nutter, and they will have a good giggle at your expense.
    Any woman who happily cheats with a married man does not think like you. She does not care, and also will think so highly of herself she will just not believe you.
    It will give him a little thrill of drama.
    Please don’t.
    Excuse yourself a little physical weakness, dust yourself off, and do not play ” nice” at all.
    Get away from him.

  • Sleeping with my ex will never happen. I have gone no contact since his divorce filing in September 2015 and in fact, the last words I EVER spoke to him were “you have to live with yourself” (the day before I was served…and he didn’t even tell me he was filing). And this, before I uncovered the affair, the depleted bank accounts and compulsive gambling.
    Also, he’s used up all the Cialis on the whore!
    Still in shock as to what I was married to for 35 years.
    PS During the divorce process, I was forced to keep him on my insurance so that he could obtain his Cialis!

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