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Dear Chump Lady, She says it was “just kissing”

Aloha Chump Lady,

I have read a few dozen of your posts and from what I can tell, in your opinion, the cheater has to actually fuck for it to be considered cheating.

My girlfriend of 18 months recently returned from a three-week vacation and confessed that she had kissed two people, but immediately put an end to it and it stopped there. In one case she spent the night at the gentleman’s house after going out to dinner. (So only three people know how far it really went and I am not one of them.)

There were the usual tearful explanations: it was just a couple of kisses, they meant nothing to me, lots of alcohol, just friends, and things got out of hand, etc.

I dumped her on the spot. But still I wonder if you think these incidents are cheating and deserve the no contact rule?


Not Sure I’m a Chump


It doesn’t matter how I define cheating — it matters how you define it. What you will and will not tolerate in your relationships. If you nibble at the shit sandwich, or if you swallow it whole.  (Or if you take a pass on shit sandwiches altogether.) You are the final arbitrator of what is and is not acceptable in your life.

You’re either okay with your girlfriend having three-week vacations without you and sleepovers at another guy’s house, or you’re not. That’s the part of the story you know. The rest of it sounds like bullshit. Why are you doubting yourself? You can dump this woman for any reason you want to. She doesn’t like the Three Stooges. She looks bad in angora sweaters. She never clips her toenails. You are dating. You don’t need a hanging offense here.

Dating is the process of getting to know someone and seeing if the relationship progresses and if you can tolerably abide each other’s company. At 18 months in, you should feel SAFE with this person, not like you’re auditioning for the part of Boyfriend. It doesn’t make you controlling to wonder why this person would rather travel, party, kiss, and sleepover with other people. It makes you sane. Rational people only want to invest in people who are equally invested in us.

If you still need that hanging offense to feel better about dumping her, let’s review the Is She A Cheater? evidence.

My girlfriend of 18 months recently returned from a three-week vacation and confessed that she had kissed two people,

Two people? To butcher Oscar Wilde, to kiss one person is a misfortune, to kiss two looks like carelessness.

Yeah, she felt so conflicted and bad about kissing another person… she did it AGAIN with someone else.

I’d say she’s not “confessing” so much as she is testing how much crap you’ll put up with. Glad you flunked the chump test and dumped her.

but immediately put an end to it and it stopped there. In one case she spent the night at the gentleman’s house after going out to dinner.

Uh-huh. Because we all let “gentleman” take us to dinner and go back to their houses for “kissing” when we’re in a committed relationship. Sounds like a heavy date to me. You okay with her dating other people while she’s dating you? Putting aside the Did She Fuck Him question — you have enough breadcrumbs here to lead you down the trail to Cheater.

There were the usual tearful explanations: it was just a couple of kisses, they meant nothing to me, lots of alcohol, just friends, and things got out of hand, etc.

That’s interesting. Tearful explanations? Not tearful apologies? People who care whether or not they hurt us tend to lead with remorse, not justifications. She got a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t judge her harshly. And a piss poor amount of concern for you.

What crap! Sure, getting drunk and spending the night leads to… unbridled kissing? Then what? A game of Twister followed by Bible verses?

I guess you’re supposed to take cold comfort from “it meant nothing” to her! And isn’t that what really matters? Her interpretation of What It Meant?

Your relationship was worth tossing aside for a bit of nothing. I think you responded in an appropriate manner — tossing her aside as a Nothing.

Trust that she sucks, NSIAC. Stay no contact. That goes for cheaters and all forms of Nothing.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • My STBX tried to run this one on me. DD1 was 8 months ago. We went through some wreckonciliation and being the naive chump I am I thought she had changed. Got back from our summer vacation and she gave me the second ILYB speech. In my stupid naive head I thought this time around was different and at least there was no other asshole involved this time and we could separate amicably for the kids’ sake. We agreed to separate slowly and “with compassion” (her words) but I had a nagging feeling something wasn’t right. After a bit of snooping (she hid it slightly better this time) I discover that guess what?…the douchebag AP is back in contact. She gave me the old “he got in contact with me first, we realised the feelings are still there but we definitely haven’t had sex”. Whatever… buh-bye. Gray rocking it all the way and on my way to meh.

    • Shit, you’re new. So sorry man.
      All they care about, besides fucking someone else, is how they look doing it.

      • If that ain’t the truth! It’s like you’re watching a play unfold. My ex absolutely had a playbook of manufactured moves. Too bad for him, all the perfume in the world couldn’t cover up the manure he left in his wake. Frightening how quickly the chump goes from first place to last place.

    • Sounds like your cheater’s been reading too much Gwyneth Paltrow and her “conscious uncoupling” nonsense. I’m glad you’re out and on your way to meh!

    • I found explicit Facebook messages in graphic detail on my wife’s tablet, wasn’t sure they’d fucked, but in the end, who cares, I found out that was what I was dealing with & that was enough.
      She still threw a wobbly when I told her, but what the heck
      She’s also told him she’s single, so the bullshit must have been flowing overtime
      & there were allusions to another two also!!!

  • Ha – the Yellow Bellied Bullshitter – I wonder if it is related to the Double Breasted Mattress Thrasher

  • Hmmm, lack of judgement due to alcohol? I hate the impaired lack of judgment excuse, I don’t want someone who is prone to bouts of impaired judgement in the future.

    So you see that? another cheater argument than falls apart in the face of logic. argh!! Ive been through this so much with so many bullshitters, I need to be recognised with some sort of formal qualification for this.

    Any lack of responsibility early on is bad, bad BAAAAD!!

    • Also, alcohol doesn’t change a person’s character … even if the judgment is impaired. Singing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” at the top of your lungs in the middle of a road is a far cry from having sex with someone other than your SO.

      My molester step-dad used alcohol as an excuse.
      My cheater brother tried to use that excuse on his fiance.
      My STBX tried — exactly once — to use that excuse (I put my foot down … and almost up his rear end for that bit of bullshit, so he stopped using that excuse).

      • Amen, alcolohol, doesn’t change character, it lowers inhibitions and magnifies it, kind of like Luziana’s red microwave lol.

    • Mmm-hmmm. Once my ex was away for several months for work. I had a great time and drinks with a group of friends, and walked part way home with a guy friend who got very flirtatious. He was a VERY handsome former Marine who, on the surface, was extremely tempting. I had been drinking, there was no one around, my ex was out of town, no one would have ever known, and I would have very much enjoyed his…company…after having been on my own for a couple of months. But there wasn’t even a decision to be made. I loved my ex, I was committed to my ex, the end. Alcohol didn’t change that. Loneliness didn’t change that. Being human with human desires didn’t change that. It’s called character, and it doesn’t come and go, even after several drinks and ample opportunity.

      As an aside, handsome ex-Marine was also a divorced chump. I don’t regret my choice, because cheating isn’t my thing, but I should have dumped my ex on his ass for treating me like crap and given it a go with Mr. Chump. He’s now re-married and I hope very happy.

      • Yes, Free Vix and everyone else is right on. Drinking doesn’t and shouldn’t impair one’s judgement to the point that they forget they have character.

      • This reminds me of what I thought my ex was. A chump. He said he’d been screwed over by his ex. I fell for it hook, line, and, sinker. How could this handsome man who was so fun and charming be chomped. He played me perfectly. Every strange behavior was excused by his ‘pain’ from what his ex did.

        Fast forward to ‘the truth’. I found out a few years in he intact ???? lied. He cheated on her with multiple people. I never believe people are chumps now unless I verify it.

        As you can imagine I’m not dating as being a ‘nosey detective’ is not a turn on to others ????

        • When I started to see red flags with my ex BF, I also started to feel insecure. At that point I had no proof on my revolting Romanian, but i was mighty suspicious. Many times I asked right to his face and he denied it of course. Then he would always add, “you know insecurity is not sexy at all honey.” Obviously someone forgot to tell him that serial cheating, pathological lying and zero character is much less sexy than insecurity. Ugh…what a waste of nearly four years of my life!!!

            • Thanks for the chuckle. There are days when it’s difficult to remember that he is indeed….a cowardly, spineless has bee n!!

    • Besides, why would he want to date an alcoholic anyway. That leads to nothing but trouble.

  • “I’d say she’s not “confessing” so much as she is testing how much crap you’ll put up with.”

    Just triggered a red flag from the early days of dating that I’d forgotten about. KK “confessed” to lying on a bed with a college boyfriend who tried to make a move, and she told me, “I didn’t exactly move away.” We weren’t dating very long, so I accepted it after she assured me that it wouldn’t happen again.

    And I have no reason to believe that it did happen again . . . with HIM. An early example of paltering? I’m thinking yes.

    • I hate it when this happens to me, too. Some story or confession they told long ago in such a way that you did not assign much value to it.

      • Yes. And, the longer the relationship, the more of these we get to have. The “gift” that keeps on giving …….. argh

        • Yes, all those little red flags that should have been big friggin banners:”STEP AWAY FROM THE ASSHOLE!”
          I will not overlook those banners/gifts again.

        • yes.

          30 years ago when we were newlyweds, he returned from 3 months away at a military training thing and gave me this “heartfelt” explanation that he would never tolerate it if I ever cheated. I just sat there and listened and promised I never would. It didnt occur to me to also draw a line in the sand…I thought it was assumed.

          I think now that he was simply testing the waters and his first married cheating had just happened.

          • Unicornomore how sick these people are. They get a twisted pleasure from it. I think the psychologists call it ‘duper’s delight’ as if you’d have looked closely you’d probably have seen he was disguising a thinly veiled smile.

            After I agreed to forgive my husband of not quite 2 years after finding out he’d never been faithful for a day. Texting, calling and meeting up with anybody who would give him any attention plus massage parlours & probably street hookers (took so long for it all to come out and like everyone here the shock & numb pain was indescribable) – my cheater gave me a similar talk about how I must trust that leopards can definitely change their spots and how time would prove this to me. You guessed it. He’d not stopped for a day. Think its all part of the fun for them.

            • “if you’d have looked closely you’d probably have seen he was disguising a thinly veiled smile”

              eeek … as time went on and he must have realized how much I trusted him and how deep his betrayal was, I think he quit enjoying his duplicity, but in this moment, I think he was reveling in it…he used the same tone of voice as when he tried to “postpone” our wedding because he thought that I was shaky in my commitment. what crap

          • Nowdeadserialcheaterwife gave me the exact same speech, in a similar timeframe. It’s like they’re pod people or something.

      • OMG. YES. My ex never confessed to any sort of cheating, but I remember when he and I first started dating, he told me this story about something he’d done years before, when he was a teenager. And stupid, stupid me, I thought that since it had happened when he was so young, it didn’t matter. After all, there is a ton of stuff I’ve done that I deeply regret. I was such an idiot, as I didn’t stop to consider that maybe he didn’t regret a thing.

        It’s the shit he told me that I wished I’d lent more significance to.

    • Wonderful insight and a new litmus test- is he apologizing or testing?

      This reminds me of the confession that he and two friends had exposed themselves to two women in a hot tub at a party while I was out of town. We were engaged at the time. He wasn’t remorseful- just clearing his conscience. Oh my naivety, ugh!

      P.S. I don’t necessarily believe now that exposure was the end of the ransgression that night.

    • Aside from “not “confessing” so much as she is testing how much crap you’ll put up with” it’s very probable that she thought you’d find out anyways and so was trying to get ahead and establish the narrative first.

  • Sorry this happened to you. So glad you were only dating. If I ever hear that you’ve gotten back together and contemplating marriage, I will be so pissed off.
    Bro, we don’t define cheating as fucking. In fact, I’d say that pales compared to the stealing and lying and humiliations and plotting and lying and betrayal and self centeredness and cruelty and disregard and entitlement and and and. It just so happens, that like 99% of them that say they would never fuck were even lying about that.
    Walk away and be thankful she ain’t your problem anymore.

    • You are so right. The physical act itself is the culmination of many, many small acts of betrayal. It is the behind the scenes planning, the secrets, the lies, the financial and emotional betrayal that destroy a marriage. It is the giving away of that which should be dear-trust, respect commitment. When those things are lost, there isn’t much left to base a committed relationship on.

      The best way I can visual the destruction caused by cheating is a house of termites. There is never one termite that destroys the house. It is the collective destruction caused by a bunch of them that brings it down. Repeated acts of lying, gas lighting, and dismissal are likewise the hallmarks of infidelity.

      • “stealing and lying and humiliations and plotting and lying and betrayal and self centeredness and cruelty and disregard and entitlement and and and”

        Yes. He is dead and now looking back, I am surprised that I care so little about where his penis was. I care desperately that he was mean to me and had zero regard for me.

        • Exactly. That the effect of what they did had on our lives didn’t mean enough for them to either immediately come clean or (better yet) not do it in the first place is the most hurtful thing of all. He robbed me of the choice. It’s disgusting and is NOT the action of someone who cares about you in any way.

          • Mine kept lying and feeling entitled to conceal after f#cking proposing to me after two yrs of reconciliation.
            Best quote (angry, annoyed tone): “oh, i understand that you need to know. It’s just that it would pain me too much to tell you!” According to him, I was simply supposed to “endure it” (verbatim)
            But when I left he was quick to remind me (very harshly) to “better be back soon because we have plans for next year” (he meant getting married, and this was just hours after the last D-Day)

            Cant make this stuff up…

        • Thank you for saying that. I never had confirmation of actual physical cheating. But the fact that he chose, after 30 years of marriage, to invest his time in his new “friend” rather than in our marriage, texting all night long, not talking to me, insisting I go away with him after his “I don’t think I want to be married anymore” announcement from out of the blue so that we could reconnect and talk – and then NOT talking and continuing to text his “friend” because SHE was alone and lonely that weekend and saying to me, “Oh, that would look great on Skankgirl” while we were out shopping, which practically knocked the wind out of me – spoke volumes. I still regret not driving away and leaving him 200 miles from home at that shopping center with no way to get home. If only I’d had the guts back then! Had I known he was going to leave me anyway, no matter what I did or said, I’d like to think I would have ditched him there.

        • The act of skankboy having sex does not even come close to the lying, the betrayal, more lies, disrespect, humiliation, etc. I can’t say I would be bothered if his diseased pecker fell off, though.

      • I tried once to work out how many times he must have lied to me directly, if i assumed that it was at least once a day, and we had been together for 15 years… there were probably periods where he wasn’t lying, but I figured it averaged out for those times when he lied every time he opened his mouth. When I was 6 months pregnant he went to Denmark for a music festival- we live in Australia- and stayed with a female ” friend” who we later named our daughter after.One of his OW years later told me he had cheated on me then, with said namesake. Of course he did. To quote Heartburn- the man could have sex with a Venetian blind.

  • NotSure, you did the right thing by dumping her. There is no need to question yourself about that. She definitely confessed just to see what you would accept. Tears and crying don’t mean she was concerned about you and they don’t mean remorse. It’s a good thing you ended this relationship before you got even more deeply involved.

    • >>”Tears and crying don’t mean she was concerned about you and they don’t mean remorse.”

      This needs to be put on a billboard somewhere. I fell for STBX’s tears every single damn time. Big, crocodile tears and what sounded like the right words … “I’m so sorry … I fucked up … I didn’t mean to hurt you … our kids mean everything to me … blah, blah, blah”

      It’s amazing to have the CL-bestowed clarity now. STBX tried the fake remorse crap on me again recently. With my CL-reality-goggles on, I just watched and listened … I could SEE the superficial, fake — FORCED — nature of his “remorse.” Heck, I could HEAR it in the tone of his voice. It was kind of creepy, really. I can’t believe I fell for this shit for more than two decades!!!!

      Just a few days later, he proved my assessment when he got irritated and lashed out verbally — taking back every single “sorry” and kind word he had during the fake tear-fest. Nope, not sorry about the financial position he put me and the kids in … Not sorry for his instability and rage … Not sorry for watching porn around our young child …

      He’s not sorry because …. (drum roll!) … whatever pain me and the kids experience is MY fault. Because I couldn’t just accept him as he is. I’m too judgmental and am too concerned about our kids’ feelings. (I wish I were joking, but I’m quite serious. This is his “reasoning.”)

      That’s a peak under the mask of fake tears and simulated remorse. That’s WHO he is.

      • I know you aren’t joking JessMom. I’ve heard that too. I hope you are divorced soon. It gets SO much better when that happens.

        • Not soon enough — but very happy to be officially (and completely) separated. It is already so much better. Divorce will certainly be the icing on MY cake (read: Chump Cake = peace and an authentic life)! 😉

      • Total fuckwit!
        All the same these people, give them enough rope, stand back snd watch them hang themselves!

        • Definitely. I have always been a talker … someone who likes to discuss what’s going on, figure it out, get a plan of action to fix stuff in place. After discovering CL and CN, I decided to try to be quiet. (Admittedly, this was hard for me … and it took some practice!)

          Just not engaging — instead, just being quiet — gave me remarkable insight. Not only was I able to see through his BS so much quicker, but I realized how much he relied on MY words to get himself to the other side of whatever BS he was selling. He needed me to explain WHY “whatever BS” was wrong so that he could apologize for exactly what I said. Without me feeding him the info, he was at a complete loss.

          My only consolation for not realizing this sooner is that I was well-intended. It just never occurred to me that a human could be so completely full of shit inside of a long-term, intimate relationship.

          • Wow, Jess’sMom, I like what I’m reading from you. If only CL had been around 12 years ago when I was going through my divorce, I could have saved myself some grief. I did finally achieve clarity, but it was hard won.
            I remember one time I was on the phone with Cheater post D-day and he was blathering on about his many justifications for doing what he had done. I tried countering several times but then he would have another answer that completely contradicted what he had just said. I pulled the car over, and just sat there and listened while he blathered on and on. I couldn’t follow him, so I clawed around in my car and found my mileage log and a pen and just started writing down as much as I could of what he was saying. He kept talking and I kept writing. Finally after 40 minutes or so he had exhausted himself and we calmly ended our call. Just going back and reading and re-reading that endless loop of contradictions and misinformation and judgemental accusations and self serving crap helped me get clarity. It made me sick to read it, just like the more I tried to figure out what was going on inside his head, the sicker I felt. But me shutting my mouth and taking those hastily scratched notes is what gave me my first taste of clarity. I began to see his true poor character. I recently ran across those notes while setting up my new home office after moving to a new home. 12 years out I could now laugh about his idiocy!!!! Now I had 12 years of proof of his poor character, which has been front and center since it is no longer hidden behind the mask as it had been during our 16-year marriage. The notes went in the round file as they have long since served their purpose.

            • Thanks MissDeltaGirl … funny enough, I typed all of that and thought “It’s impossible to explain this crap and make sense …” It sounded confusing when I read it back. How they keep their crap straight is beyond me. 🙂

              >>”I did finally achieve clarity, but it was hard won.”

              Indeed, it really is hard won. I’m so glad CL uses the word “mighty” … I can’t think of a better descriptor for making the decision Chumps choose to trudge through the confusing, painful, and bumpy road in order to find clarity.

              And, you were particularly mighty reaching that clarity before CL was around. I am certain I would have been emotionally (and physically) stuck with my abusive spouse if it weren’t for the knowledge shared by CL and so many on this blog.

              • You know, CL could recommend that as an exercise to possible chumps. If you are not sure you are being chumped, or you are not yet trusting that the cheater sucks, take these steps:
                1) shut your mouth and listen. Quit trying to convince or remediate or argue or defend. Just listen.
                2) secretly take notes of everything the Cheater (or possible Cheater) says. Keep the notes in a safe place. Check back periodically for patterns, contradictions, etc. You will save yourself the energy of trying to remember what was said earlier if/when they change their story. You may lose your relationship but you will gain your sanity.

              • THIS!!! Stopping talking, explaining, and trying to make him ‘see’ things was what finally opened my eyes to who the cheater narc really IS.

                I had started figuring it out based on his behaviour. But I still had illusions about who he was.

                I finally just listened.

                And that was what gave me the clarity; it was ‘me, me, me’, ‘poor poor me’, ‘I regret it because I don’t like the consequences for ME’, and more ‘me me me’, ‘don’t you feel sorry for me yet?’, ‘I don’t know why I’m like this/do these things’, and ‘me me me’.

                Not a single word, concern or THOUGHT about me, or, most unbelievably to me, about our kids.

                Revolting. I so wish I had SHUT UP and listened to him years before.

      • Yes! With CN and Patricia Evans (Verbally Abusive Relationships) in my head, it’s like I have a magic translator for the manipulation.

        During the most recent self-pity fest, Mr. Justification was sobbing, telling me how sorry he was for ruining our family, and in the middle, he dropped this: “I’m sorry I’m not getting better fast enough.”

        That so would’ve sent me into a tailspin a year ago. Mean chump is so unsupportive and unforgiving. Mean chump is too impatient to give our family another chance. With a little more time, he could really change and be a good partner for chump.

        Now I see it for what it is, and rather than sending me into a vortex of self-doubt, it just makes me really fucking angry.

        Dude. I’ve had 4 Ddays. You’re out of time.

        • >>”Now I see it for what it is, and rather than sending me into a vortex of self-doubt, it just makes me really fucking angry.”

          Yes!!! I’m so glad that you’re able to see the manipulative crap for what it is! Keep rockin’ your mightiness!

        • Not Today: Yes. This was me to a tee. I’d like to say I didn’t fall for it time and again, but I did. I had been abandoned as a kid, so if he pleaded ‘don’t give up me or leave me. I’m trying to get better.’ I couldn’t bare to leave him, like I’d be as bad as my family if I did. He knew I’d do anything to not be like them.

          I think for a smart female- I was so so stupid and underdeveloped emotionally. Didn’t take much for me to want to ‘save him’ , or ‘help him’, or want to believe his fake remorse. He played me perfectly. He took pleasure in that. I see that now.

          Especially how he could be so ‘distraught’ over his cheating, then go to bed and sleep like s baby next to me, while I wept… motherfu…!

          • Chumptothe9thDegree,
            We survivors of childhood abuse are great chump targets, aren’t we? Mine is one, too, but hides his cheating behind his “lost little inner child” which I bought last time, but won’t abide now. He wasn’t thinking lost child when buying ho-worker her perfume & high-end vibrator (same one he gave me years ago). Initially, he tried to say it was a platonic friendship: “she’s like a sister to me.” UGH! I told him if that was the case, he needed to stay far away from our teenage daughter & her friends if he couldn’t tell the difference between a sexually-charged relationship and how healthy families behave! I asked him if a 35 year old man (he’s 20 years older than ho-worker) bought lingerie, vibrator, perfume for our 15 year old, would that be okay with him? He flinched.But for him? Hey, business as usual.
            UGH! No more, fuckwit!

            • You just tripped a trigger Longing!,
              As I read “she’s like a sister to me” it brought back the time my wife told me
              ” he’s like a brother to me”.

              Same play performed in a different town…
              UGH is right

        • NotToday – your mighty knocked me out of my chair! I have the same thing – BossHogg (famous for buying some daisy dukes & lingerie for his ho-worker) keeps playing sad sausage “working on myself” to wreckoncile. I’m: Nah, keep your hopium to yourself. I’ve been there, done that, got the T-shirt/broken heart/smarter brain to show for it. He says the most ridiculous things, but I’m not buying. Not. One.Word. His actions speak louder and they SUCK.
          It’s been so important to educate myself about the varieties of narc and their ploys. I think mine is an Avoidant Narc – playing this passive role, but all the while leading this deceptive double life and going all dead-shark-eyes when confronted about it. I no longer buy the insipid sex addict theory: character vs. lack of character is much simpler and less taxing than untangling the skein of fuckedupness. No 12 Step cover for progress-not-perfection. You’re either loyal or not. Simplicity!

  • NSIAC,

    I agree with CL and CN, 18 months in and she goes on a 3-week vacation without you? Admits to kissing and going to someone’s house in your absence? This woman has some alcohol issues and horrendous boundaries, none of these are qualities I’d recommend in a mate.

    When you let people disrespect you, they get used to it.

    I applaud you for dumping her on the spot! She showed her true colors, and I hope that, through our comments, you will find the validation you need to allow yourself to reject that kind of disrespect and faithlessness from your life!

    • When you let people disrespect you, they get used to it. Well said, Chumpitude. I would add…What’s worse, so do you. We learn to expect less and less.

      They start the bullshit early on, a little bit at a time to acclimate us into minimizing their bad behavior, ie: spackling. Hence we slowly slide into becoming their chump… slow motion…. like the frog slowly boiling to death in a pot of water heating up on a stove. If they can con us into accepting their BS, they love it. They get off on the deception. It’s a power play called duper’s delight.

      She WAS testing you to see what you would put up with, Not Sure. It’s a standard cheater move. Good for you, dumping her sorry butt.

      • “When you let people disrespect you, they get used to it. Well said, Chumpitude. I would add…What’s worse, so do you. We learn to expect less and less.”


    • Nice summary.
      So true and caught early enough.
      I had warning signs of my cheaters real nature when I was pregnant, too late unfortunate, but lesson is heade the signs. Pay close attention and listen to your gut.
      Anyways this is pretty cut and dried that she sucks. If my partner / husband wanted to go on holiday without me at any time in our relationship I would be questioning their level of commitment.

    • I want to insert a different opinion here about the vacation itself. I go on girls trips — sometimes with my sisters and mother, sometimes with girlfriends. I’ve never been able to afford 3 weeks, but if I could afford to go to Europe for 3 weeks on a vacation with some friends, if we had saved and planned for it — I would go. The vacation is not the problem. There are many reasons one partner may not be able to go on vacation with a partner that are acceptable TO ME. I get it if it is not acceptable to you. But I have lots of fun on girl trips, a lot more fun than I have had on many family vacations, and some horrible memories of vacations I had with past so called lover(s).
      My point is couples don’t have to spend every moment together, some have to spend long periods of time without each other (think military deployment). If trust and character are present you get through the separate time, and you do what you need to do, and you don’t cheat.
      You also don’t put yourself in a position to get wasted and lower your inhibitions and do something foolish. You know better than to drink too much and go home with someone you don’t know. In my opinion it is not safe to do that even if you are single, because it is too dangerous. However, you just don’t do that if you are in a committed relationship.

      The problem is WE should not MAKE or ACCEPT EXCUSES for other’s poor behavior. We are all responsible for our own behavior. Choices have consequences.

      • You’re absolutely right Portia!

        My X used his extensive business travel to cover up his shenanigans, so time away has become a bigger trigger for me than it should be… I agree that the vacation in and of itself is not a red flag. I absolutely could be trusted if I were to take a 3-week vacation away from my SO.

        My X could not be trusted whether he was far or near, and that’s the reason I divorced him. Thank you Portia for helping me reassign responsibility where it belongs!

  • Well done for immediate dumping!

    You have saved yourself from a lot of abusive disrespect and selfishness.

  • No Contact is the path to the truth and the light.
    There is nothing to be gained from further contact. Get over any idea of being upset that she might not like you or might say bad things about you. She is the one with crappy character here, not you.

  • You did the right thing NSIAC.
    Sure you feel vested in 18 months of dating, but nip it now. You wouldn’t want to be in my shoes, 25 years in, 20 of them married, two kids, and will have to give up half or more of assets to my cheating wife.
    Yes it sucks, but as we all know, I “gain a life!”

    You obviously know what relationship parameters are important to you, not a time to start changing them now.
    Believe in your values, and value your beliefs.

  • As it has been mentioned before on this site – you are getting the trickle truth from this woman – the bits she thinks might get back to you from other sources – so she is jumping in and doing some impression management before the rumours get out.

    You got the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” in her story. About 10% of what might be half truth and the remainder of the ugly truth is hidden and undiscovered until it’s too late!

    As CL so elegantly says ” adults fuck”.

    My x had a 3 year EA with a MOW before my marriage imploded. Yeah – not buying it. And they were only studying the bible ( both Ministers ) in those hotel rooms.

    Run like your house is on fire and don’t look back. She’s fucked up and you deserve a real partner!!!

    • Like the Flume song ‘i messed / fucked up, I will never be like you. Im human can’t you see I made a mistake’
      Damn straight

    • Bwaaahahaha! Bible study in hotel rooms. I’m sure they were also crocheting blankets for orphans and making sandwiches for the homeless. Regular saints, I tell ya. My ex also expected me to believe that he and the OW paid for hotel rooms because it was “neutral territory where they could talk.” Coffee shops are also good for that, I pointed out. The drawback for them, of course, is that you can’t #&^! in a coffee shop.

      • Free Vix – I might be able to top that one a bit.
        The X started traveling on the road with our show-dog and his ‘handler’, a single blond woman a couple years older.
        They had great chemistry with the dog, but I was confused when he told me they were ‘sharing a motel room’. Like – whaa? You know, dog shows can be frugal events for a lot of people, but, we had no problem buying another room for the handler. It’s was so odd that I just hoped it would make sense one day.
        And, now? I know they fucked and so does everybody else in the dog shows.
        Word gets around those gossipy circles..
        They better not have done it around MY DOG~

  • You saved yourself a boatload of problems down the road. Finding Chump Lady and the Nation helped you chop the head off that snake before it had the chance to slide up your pants and bite you in the ass.
    I am with the others. Three weeks? Kissing in the bed? Drunk? Her confession was to get ahead of the narrative. Somebody knows something she does not want you to find out.

  • How often does it turn out to be true? It was just (blank). Been there done that. It wasn’t just…. it was full out unprotected sex over and over again! Good job dumping her ass. Saved yourself a lot of heartache and disrase!

  • THIS: “I’d say she’s not “confessing” so much as she is testing how much crap you’ll put up with.”

    Without a doubt, this was a TEST. These fuckwits have at least a half dozen suckers in their queue when they are just “dating” you. And the one who rises to the top is the one who will believe these lies (and typically have low self-esteem).

    I recently learned that Mr. Sparkles actually STOOD UP his new live-in girlfriend (they’ve moved in after a year of dating). He stood her up on their first date (Yes, I would bet $100 it was because he met someone better and he was testing her.)… and then he asked her out again after standing her up and she said YES! And, a year later… in loving little Hallmark cards… he’s is reminding her of it: “Thank you for saying YES after I stood you up.” Can anyone say DEVALUE?

    Oh Chumps… I hope we all learn to love ourselves more the next time loves comes knocking. And, until then, I hope we just love ourselves enough.

    NSIAC… you dodged a bullet… go buy a lottery ticket 🙂

    • I had it hit me like a lighting bolt a few weeks ago that my self esteem was at a life time low, it was a gutting feeling. I am on a path to build myself up after so much emotional abuse and will not settle for poor treatment in the future. Time to love me and fuck the bullshit off.

    • They really do like to test your chumpiness. After being married only 2 1/2 months, we got in a huge fight (not a D-day though) and I told him to leave and even drove him and dropped him off at a hotel, just to show him that I was that upset.

      It was so early in the marriage and of course I was very in love, so he called and texted me all night long begging to come back and promising to change. I ignored the calls and never responded. However, the next day he ended up showing up at the front door (I had taken back his key) and I was actually relieved he came back, (stupid me!), so I opened the door with a smile.

      From then on, he would always talk about how I opened the door with a smile. I didn’t understand the significance at the time, but now I realize he was happy because I had “passed” his chump test and he knew (or thought!) he would be able to treat me any way he pleasef and I would just put up with it. Glad I reclaimed my self-esteem in time for the final D-day.

  • “It doesn’t matter how I define cheating — it matters how you define it.”

    It took me over a decade to to get this! Being married to someone who mistress started out as multiple daily visits for hours to porn sites, progressed to hook-up sites (just for the purpose of curiosity of course… mmm-hmmm), spending thousands in a single visit to strip clubs, and all under his insistence that “it wasn’t cheating”

    “Why are you freaking out, I’m normal human male. You are so immature if you think this is cheating, you need to work on your self-esteem! Your insecurities aren’t my problem! Go find a hobby and stop trying to control me”

    Cheaters see addressing issues you have, as problems with you trying to control them. I’m convinced that our intuition screaming “they are not invested and do not care if they hurt you” is precisely why we address the issues. Once you start dancing, instead of them trying to understand your grievance, you become the puppet trying harder not to irritate them with your controlling ways. It took me 2 d-days, and 15 years to understand; I do not need anyone else’s agreement that their behavior hurts and I find it
    inappropriate in the context of our relationship. They are free to behave however they want, I don’t control that (contrary to Cheater opinion). I do control weather I will beg and plead for their understanding of my feelings… and if I have to plead for unerstanding, it’s likely they don’t give a shit anyway. Expecting someone to be invested in your relationship is sane, sticking around when they demonstrate they are not invested is… well, I guess the definition of insane; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. I quit smoking hopium and it was the best decision I ever made!

    • “Once you start dancing, instead of them trying to understand your grievance, you become the puppet trying harder not to irritate them with your controlling ways.”

      ^THIS. This line describes most of my marriage. Every argument, where I was simply trying to explain how something felt to me was turned into me being controlling. I worked hard at not being as controlling. He never worked at trying to understand where I was coming from. It was all a manipulation to get what he wanted.

  • Sorry to say this, but it was definitely more than just kissing. There are too many of us here that were fed that line and then found out the ugly truth. My husband swore on our kids’ lives it was one kiss on the cheek, i was mortified when i realised he was lying!! It wasnt until i had the ow actually on the phone in front of him that he blurted out “ok i fucked her”, even after that admission he lied again and said it was only once. Welcome to Chumpsville, we werent the first and sadly we wont be the last.

    • Mine was apparently an online affair in which they discussed photography!
      Couldnt possibly have been physical because she was German, he was Australian, um she was German (married and serial cheater) living in Singapore and flew over to fuck him for a week. Silly me only found out when he handed me his phone he thought he had cleaned up and on touching the goggle chrome app it went to her g hangouts and I saw hundreds of photos of them together. He sat on the bed with his head held in shame! Thought the ground was going to swallow me up.

    • >>”My husband swore on our kids’ lives”

      Got that one too. He swore on our kids’s lives he had never cheated and would never cheat. Reality: serial cheater over two decades. Too many women to bother counting.

      How on earth any human could make such a promise when he or she is unequivocally LYING is so unimaginable … so horrible.

      • Yep… he swore on our son’s LIFE etc.

        So disordered… nothing matters but the frantic rubbing of their gonads.

      • Got that too. Wife swore on our 2 sons lives she did not meet OM on a “girlfriend weekend “. Pitiful lie.

        • Untold. I’m really sorry. That is pitiful beyond belief.
          Obviously, she has no ‘beliefs’ about how God works.

      • Thankyou for putting myself and Jesus in the same category! ???????????? I am having an awful day, thatnks for lightening the load momentarily.

    • Mine swore on our children’s lives, too. I’ve long wondered how they could do that–their children’s lives, FFS. It can only be that they have no real value system, nothing to which they are sufficiently attached to prioritize over their lies or getting their rocks off.

      • Thanks, Tempest. That explanation served to not send me off into another reason to read another narcissist story. I feel really bad for everybody that had kids with these cheaters. It’s not fair to them and they do suffer a lot. I just have dogs and I’m amazed how they, alone, suffered the weird lifestyle change that included losing their male master. I will never forgive these people for fucking up their families. Although, dogs are much easier to get them used to a new transition, it’s been a lot of work for me, but I super-feel for the spouse that is taking care of the kids. It’s, like, triple the work with kids.

  • The DJ on the radio yesterday was talking about how someone’s boyfriend was going on a guy trip during his girlfriend’s birthday. The DJ joked about how the dude was in the doghouse and would need to ramp up apology gifts. All I could think was…she is still in the dating phase and should pay attention to what this means about her value to him.

    I wish I would have had harder boundaries while dating. They are revealing what they think and value.

  • Yes it counts as cheating. Ex had an emotional affair that I am pretty sure did not include sex, but it did include at least one kiss. It bothered me a lot at the time but I spackled and didn’t even really count it as an affair at the time. Eight years later he did have the sexual affairs. He told me that just before his first full blow sexual affair, he was regretting that the first one had not gone farther. That kiss lead to pining for more ever since. If you had stayed with your girlfriend, that would have been your future even if she was telling the truth about it not having gone farther. Thank god you weren’t married. Trust that she sucks.

    • On dday I asked ex if he had sex with the OWhore. His reply was no but he wanted to. Yeah right. He couldn’t move out fast enough. Who leaves their wife for an OWhore if there is no getting on the side. By the way, his fuck pad was an apartment over a dollar store in an armpit of a town. And the rent was more than our mortgage.

  • First off, Not Sure, well done for dumping her! This was the right course of action!

    Second, we accept that there are all sorts of types of affairs: physical, emotional, etc. The acid test is not what we think, but what you think! Are you okay with your partner’s actions or not?

    Look, if you’ve been with someone for 18 months, you have a reasonable expectation of commitment. I won’t comment too much on the 3-week vacation without you. I have no idea how your vacation times sync up or if she has a lot more than you have.

    But it is reasonable to expect that if she does go on vacation, she’s not going to go around kissing strange men or spend the night at other men’s homes. That she felt compelled to tell you indicates that she’s pretty sure the story will get round to you and she wants to put her narrative out there first. Additionally, I believe that CL and the rest of CN are correct: she’s testing the waters to find out how much crap you’ll take.

    I’d say you dodged a bullet here, Not Sure. You sound like a very nice guy. I think you deserve a woman who respects you and the relationship she has with you. Thankfully she showed her colors before you married and had a mortgage and three children!

  • If someone you’re dating betrays you, dump them. It doesn’t matter what flavor of betrayal it is. Dating is when things are heady and lovey. Imagine what she’ll put you through if you get married and things actually get hard. And yes, she went all the way. No doubt in my mind.

    Her tears are for show, and any authenticity to them is about HER emotional drama, not about your pain or about remorse. You did the right thing by dumping her. Pretty soon she’ll “realize her mistakes,” she’ll claim that this experience made her see how much she really loves you, she’ll claim that the time alone made her examine herself and that she’s changed, blah blah blah. It’s all manipulation. Go no contact and ignore her when she comes kibble-sniffing.

  • NSiAC

    Your bar was high enough to terminate the relationship. You recognized her confession for exactly what it was, the truth smothered in lies. Cheaters logic comes from a place of entitlement. It’s the con that alerted you to her lack of respect. You scored a 100 on the test. You’re a healthy individual, congrats!

  • She’s confessing something to “head you off at the pass.” Look how great she is! She confessed and claims to feel guilty! She explained herself! You have all the evidence you need that she’s actually a good person…or at least not as bad as someone who actually fucks other people.

    Whatever you do…don’t look behind the curtain. Don’t ask more questions. Don’t question whether this is overall acceptable behavior.

    I call bullshit, twice.

    (1) She MADE all of these choices. To go on a date. To get drunk with men. To go home with a man. To kiss them.

    (2) If you somehow accept all of this as “appropriate” behavior, then also realize she actually did much more with these men.

    BTW, the day that I told my now-XW that we were getting divorced, she admitted to “being physical” with her OM, but insisted they never had sex.

    That was all a lie, which she partially confessed more than a year later (but not to me!). Cheaters never give the whole truth. They don’t have the same definition of truth as we do.

  • Desire is one thing. Acting on that desire, is another.

    Girlfriend lacks the boundaries to be in a relationship. You sensed that. You are right. Trust yourself you made the right decision to move on.

    Desire belongs IN the relationship, not directed to a third party.

  • Cheaters find a way to cheat, they have been telling lies since the beginning — you just didn’t know it yet. No matter where they are living, or working, or having a holiday, cheaters cheat. Sometimes they try to cheat and get shut down, just because the target says no doesn’t mean that the cheater didn’t want to cheat. Cheating starts in the mind, in the feeling of entitlement that the cheater has. If the cheater believes that he/she should have whatever/whomever he/she wants whenever, and that the chumps in their lives (there are always more than one chump) are there because they are useful — NOTHING will ever satisfy them or change this basic way of thinking. No excuses will ever be good enough. The location or activity or convenience of the cheat does not cause the cheat. The unacceptable is inside the cheater.

  • I think you were 100% right to dump this girl NSIAC. If you think for one moment that the relationship gets better after marriage, you’d be wrong. These kinds of people don’t just flip a switch and Voila! Marriage has made into not only a better person, but a person full of integrity. No. She’s testing you, showing you a little bit of who she really is and you did the thing that makes the most sense for someone who doesn’t want that kind of a lifestyle (aka, a chump).

    It was stated in the comments a few months ago that AFFAIR=AFFAIR=AFFAIR. The commenter went on to add that when a person brings a 3rd party into a relationship, be it kissing or “it was just an emotional thing via email” or basically doing anything unbeknownst to the spouse that you would feel weird/guilty/bad about your spouse seeing you do with this 3rd party, you’re entering into an affair. People don’t just start kissing each other. Think of all the foreplay that went into the kissing. You don’t just meet up and say, “Hey, I hardly know you, but let’s kiss.” Who does that????!!!! No, it took effort. There was planning. There were butterflies. There was, “Maybe, we should have dinner.” There was alcohol and let’s not even get started on someone who can’t control themselves around alcohol. CL brought up the fact that this girl took a 3 week vacation without you. Personally, I just don’t see that as OK. Lots of red flags here in my humble opinion. Dumping the dysfunction was the best course of action. Woot!

    • I would have been spared alot of pain if I had just been braver early on. This is good advice- to leave. We often try to create the person we want out of the person we have. We even begin to believe we’ve succeeded at that. No one wants to believe the person we made a life with has such huge faults. Thats a level of denial thats really hard to overcome. But the cheater will just hide deeper in the darkness and let us believe they have changed. All the while being the person they truly are away from home.

      • This is so me, im 12 weeks post dday1, creating the person we want out if the person we have, he cant Just be a bad person with terrible character and no moral compass, can he?
        He works away from home all week has done for 20 years, i thought we were happy. He had his life in London with his pals during the week without any nagging from me, a wife who was so independent and solved all her own problems, i didnt want to bother him with housewives trivia. We spoke for hours on the phone together, as i thought, we were still very ‘connected’. We had weekends as a family and life was ok with the normal ups and downs of ‘grown up’ life – mortgage, bills, kids etc.
        Add the first female client hes ever had into the mix, sudden 6 day working weeks and “tadaaa” he fucks her the first time they have the opportunity.
        Looking back (before the affair)all the work friends and friends he spent time with in the week would say things about him that didnt really ring true with me. I dont think i ever really knew the real person that he was/is as i hardly ever saw the fun side of him, i just thought it was because we are grown up now (mid 40’s) and we dont need to act like teenagers in the pub. It seems he was the life and soul, i think he had nothing left for us at home. Maybe he never had to mature as he was never a full time father/husband. Sorry im rambling i hope ive made sense…

        • Hugs from across the pond Rae 🙂

          No fun piecing the details together, living it day after day….hang in there, all us Chumps are here for you

        • Denial is so difficult to get through. Its hard but keep your head up. I still sometimes miss the person I hoped she was but she wasn’t real. I was even told once she felt that she couldn’t be herself when I was around. Ha! No fucking wonder!

        • Rae44,

          Are you in wreckconcilation with him. Are you going to work it out? Or are you in the process of divorce. I only tolerated one DD #1, but he was FUCKING her for 5 years and I recently found out. I don’t want anything to do with the narcissit, gaslighting asshole. He is a liar and I am done being mindfucked. Once was enough for me. Going NC while the divorce is in process is bliss. Can’t wait for me to finally heal.

          • Thanks all, its a huge shit storm to be in.

            NOREGRETS we are in some sort of wreckonciliation, but really going nowhere, im wondering if tomorrow is my ‘Tuesday’. Hes trying and as far as i know its been over since the day i found out but i dont trust him or my own instincts anymore so i cant see any kind of future with him tbh.
            Yesterday i tried to explain that whatever happens to ‘us’, even if we hate each other in 2 months time i will never again be a happy, carefree person because at the time of the affair i loved and trusted him. I know i can have moments of happiness, but his choices are now a part of me and nothing can change the hurt and devastation he caused, ever. He just doesnt have the emotional know how to understand this at all and was withdrawn for the rest of the day. Then i apologise to him (!)!and explain i have to tell him how im feeling when im feeling it.
            He also doesnt get it when i say how gutting it is to a person to realise at the time when they were together i just did not matter, i wasnt enough, he didnt give me a second thought, the cheap thrill of sex with another woman was more alluring than being with me and our 5 kids. Just breaks your heart doesnt it?

            • No, trust me. It may take more time than one would expect, but you WILL regain your happiness one day. You may never regain your innocence about your ex-asshole, but you WILL be wiser and happy again in the end.

            • It does break you heart. I tried wreckonciliation for 2 years and I could never get rid of that dread in my gut. Nor could I ever understand how he could risk everything he had with his wife and kids for a cheap thrill. It wasn’t until after dday#2 that I discovered it wasn’t a one night stand nor was it his first cheating. He had been lying to me for years. They compartmentalize their lives. We aren’t supposed to know what they do when they are not with us.

              And I understand what you mean about them being completely different away from you. My STBX could stay out drinking and hanging with friends until the middle of the night but if he was home in the evening with us, he would be asleep in bed by 9.

            • Rae44,

              When there is no trust, what is there? You have your instincts and they should not be ignored, if you do ignore them you will be like many of the Chumps that have regretted that didn’t listen to their gut/instincts. I am living proof of that. I will never forget that all the warnings/red flags were there for me, but I ignored everything because I wanted to believe. Don’t make my mistake. It is a pain that you will carry and you don’t want to. Hugs to you!

  • Excellent reply, as usual CL!

    NSIAC~ YOU are the one who determines what is, and is not, acceptable in your relationship. You chose wisely IMHO and saved yourself a future of escalating cheating. Bravo!!

  • NSiAC,

    From all the Chumps here that have been through this stuff before, well played. Cheaters try to stop you from trusting yourself and acting on that inner BS detecting voice. You did the right thing. Man, the spending the night explanation…

  • I, too, got the “just kissing” explanation for Hannibal Lecher’s interactions with gradwhore.

    The reality? Months of fucking on her twin bed, in hotels, afternoons spent in coffee shops, a conference trip to Mexico together, a plot to divorce me so they could be together, a call to divorce me followed by dumping her instead.

    It’s ALWAYS uglier than you think it is.

  • Trust your self. You are better off without that. Her judgement and character are lacking, She is not trustworthy. It seems highly likely that there was much more physical intimacy than you are hearing in that story. Have you considered that you may be wise to get STD tested?

    Her behaviour sucks. You are better off far away from that.

  • Thank you Chump Lady for always putting this A+ chump (I’m an overachieving chump) back in control of her own life with wise words like these: “It doesn’t matter how I define cheating — it matters how YOU define it. What you will and will not tolerate in your relationships. If you nibble at the shit sandwich, or if you swallow it whole. (Or if you take a pass on shit sandwiches altogether.) You are the final arbitrator of what is and is not acceptable in your life.” Now that I am leaving a 23 year marriage that was full of shit sandwiches, I am gonna watch for my tendency to nibble and get the hell out when I start dating again! I plan to become an overachiever at smelling shit sandwiches long before they even leave the kitchen! Thanks a ton!

  • Why can’t these folks just admit that they cheated and fucked? My first XW, to this day, says she had “inappropriate relationships where the chemistry became sexualized” (and, if you ever met her, you would know that this is the type of BS, new age word salad she loves. She , actually, talks like this.
    This despite my having read writings where she expressed her desire to “stop smoking, drinking and having sex with strangers”. The woman is certifiable.
    Recently, she contacted me to inform me that on her guardianship form, she had requested a do not resuscitate for my 29 year old handicapped son and she wanted me to sign off on that bullshit ,too.
    This poor excuse for a human being has no empathy, no parental instince, yet she is the “Women’s Program director ” at an upscale CD treatment supposedly working a 12 step program( yes, the alcohol caused all the serial cheating).
    We are all well rid of these nuts.

      • I’ve missed you too and so glad to hear from you always. I’m a little late bc I’m playing catch up this week.

  • Good job getting rid of trash. You held your boundaries, justifiable acceptable boundaries expected in a partnership, and didn’t at all get wrapped up in her BS.
    Never doubt your gut instinct.

  • NSIAC,

    Run run and never look back. This is mindfuck if I have ever heard one. Kissing is cheating as far as I am concerned. There is no doubt it went further. You are considered a good early on reader of a cheat. Just keep running there will be something good and worthy in time on your run.

  • NSIAC, Dude you just dodged a major bullet !!

    As others have said, it only gets worse after marriage. I have friends who were in couple’s counseling BEFORE they got married and were shocked yes shocked when things got WORSE after they got married !!

    I was married for 15 years to a controlling Narc. If I had a time machine, do you know the 1 thing that I would do ? Not make myself win the Lottery, not set myself to be famous. No, I would stop myself from ever asking my Ex out !!
    Marrying her was my greatest mistake that I chumpily put up with for 15 years until my Dday ! Because I married her cheating self, I ended up being financially devastated when if I had been with someone good with money I would be retired now. I spent the best years of my life with someone who used me and then casually discarded me after 15 years to be with Shmoopie. Disordered Narcs are incapable of caring for anyone but themselves and they see other people as objects to be used and discarded.

    Luckily my story has a happy ending (just like CL) in that 5 years after the divorce, met another chump and we are married and very happy. It’s funny but both of us so wish that we could have met each other 20 years ago when we were young. Instead we both spent over a decade in Hell married to cheating Narcs.

    If you had stayed with her, you would have had years of misery.

  • If she can’t be faithful after 18 months, what makes you think she can be faithful for 50 years?

  • NSAIC,

    You may find dubious comfort in this but you dodged a major bullet. As bad as you feel now, it would only be worse if you found out after being married for something like 27 years (ask me how I know).

    CL’s advice is gold. It doesn’t matter how anyone else defines cheating; it only matters how you define it. People who have deal breakers and enforce their boundaries are people who know their worth. You know your worth because you dumped the cheater.

    It’s a bell that can’t be un-rung so I am of the mind that it doesn’t matter what happened or to what degree: If you don’t have trust, you don’t have anything to work with in a relationship.

    • NSIAC,

      You did exactly the right thing IMHO. My GF did nearly the exact thing to me – slept with my BFF in his dorm room because she didn’t have a ride back to her school that evening. Both her and my ‘friend’ said there was no sex, and I desperately wanted to believe them. I refrained from dumping her then hoping it was an anomaly that wouldn’t be repeated. Bad move! Four months later she delivered the Mother of All Break-up lines; “I’m pregnant and it’s not yours”. First class CHUMP here, for sure, and I’m still not over it although I won’t ever let her see me sweat.

  • Just wanted to say hi to everyone. I’m new here to CN. I am one month out from Dday, and today was hard. I got a lawyer and will be filing for divorce this week. 18 years married, 22 years together. High school sweethearts, my only ever boyfriend. We have a nearly 21 year old son together. Well, stbx cheated (but won’t admit it) with his coworker and I booted him out. I feel like I have no mental energy left. I’d really like to stop thinking about the good times. I would rather be pissed off then sad any day. I’m learning that he really is a POS. Thanks for reading. 🙁

    • This can’t be real, we’ve all been there and it’s really rough what you are going through.
      Just remember that he is not and sadly never was who you thought he was. If you haven’t already, read CL’s book, excellent information and advice in there.

      In a nutshell though, be strong..know your not allow him to manipulate you.. listen to your lawyer.. and take care of you. It’s tough but you have already made the toughest choice, not putting up with the BS anymore, leaving and filing. Now that he has to face consequences, there will be a sad sausage, anger and threats and then attempted manipulation. Guard against it and have as little contact as possible.

      Good Luck !!

    • Read and then reread the archives. Believe every word and you will be fine. I’m sorry for your loss and pain.

    • Dear TCBR
      Thats a brave decision – to divorce.
      Its a long hard and difficult journey,but Here, you are not alone.
      I am sorry for what happened to you….hope you find support , peace and strength here at CN.

    • Welcome aboard This Can’t Be Real!
      While it sucks to be in this boat, it’s great to be here amongst fellow Chumps. So much insight, so much support from so many strong and mighty Chumps.

  • Dear Chump Lady and Chump Nation,

    Thank everyone for their support!

    Just a small explanation about my girlfriend’s vacation. To make things even more complicated and awkward, we live and work in an isolated part of Hawaii, at a New Age-y retreat center. People stay here for years, so it is not unusual for people to visit the mainland solo for a month or so. Since it is only once a year and they have much catching up to do, they usually go alone. It never even occurred to me that such a”only a couple of kisses” scenario was even possible when my girlfriend left for three short weeks. There were declarations of love in phone calls, e-mails and texting during this time. She didn’t actually mention the kissing (one dude was a former worker here) until she got back.

    I had picked her up at the airport and we were in a hotel in town and had had sex for like 20 hours when she mentioned D-Day. I felt physically ill as I was crazy about her. Even at that moment I knew deep down it was over but had to hear the gory details, which took several hours. The more she explained it away the more I realized how fucked up it was. I had been incommunicado for several days and she e-mailed to ask me if I was getting some rest and I replied:
    Dear STBX:

    Yes I am physically resting but the betrayal has given me two dreams that continue to haunt me. To inflict that kind of pain on someone or have it inflicted on you is not an act of love and I am not going to be able to get over it.

    1) When I first kissed you at the airport, something tasted different.

    Through the dream I was to learn that it was a mixture of some Egyptian-Mexican guy and Dave’s saliva.

    I jolt awake in a sweat.

    How could these dude’s gross saliva be in my Lilly’s mouth?

    And now it is in my mouth.


    2) Because of the time difference, a drone reports a composite picture of me in my hale at 9:00 PM researching Kerala ashrams on Trip Adviser and reserving a massage for your birthday.

    Six hours later in another world and time zone, in a small apartment in far away New York, the drone catches Lilly and Dave cuddled up in Dave’s bed at 3:00 AM after a romantic night.

    Dave is pleasantly smiling, almost yoga like, because Lilly invited him to pimp old uncle ted’s girlfriend.

    I suppose it is possible just to accidentally fall on a dude’s cock, but sexual activity never “just happens”. Things don’t just “boil over”. This behavior didn’t just come out of the blue. These incidents took quite a bit of preparation on your part: texting, phone calls and the like to set up the dates, get dressed to go out, start drinking, go out to dinner, flirt, agree to go back to their place etc.

    This was not some random guy who just bumped into you at karaoke and kissed you while you were black out drunk. It took multiple steps and cannot be blamed on alcohol, which is the excuse most cheaters give.

    You had to display enough flirty behavior and send enough sexual messages that you were game, so that these dudes felt confident enough to kiss you and you returned the kiss and I am guessing a hell of a lot more.

    You CHOSE to have sexual relations with these people.You did this with Ahmed and didn’t feel bad about it so you went a week later and chose to do it again with another dude. You had plenty of time to reflect on your actions and could have stopped at any time.

    You did some things from time to time that I always thought were strange for a girl friend of mine to do. Hugging it up with Chris as best friend ever every time we saw him, but not introducing me as your boyfriend. Or giving that dude who works at the dump your Facebook address. I always gave you the benefit of the doubt, no harm no foul. Then the incident on the yoga mat. Harmless, right?

    I made myself pretty clear after that incident about what I expect from some one I date.

    You chose to be promiscuous while dating me. Who knows why? I don’t, but maybe you could figure it out with a little introspection. I point out that maybe you are not in touch with what you really want or how unsatisfied you are in your current relationship, even though current boyfriend is a nice guy, that you love him to death, (but don’t love him enough to not fuck around with other people) etc. Sometimes that is not enough and this is one of ways that the deeper parts of ourselves let us know that.

    Or maybe it was even a passive aggressive way to get me to break up with you without truly crossing over into the dark side ( i.e. full on fucking someone else ).

    Anyhoo, the intentions were there and you are now free to pursue them with whomever you desire.

    Don’t worry, I will always be cordial to you at work and in the community.

    OM Shanti

    There still has been no contact and she has been very sobby and monrose at work and people notice as she is quite popular. I still wish I could un-ring the bell because it seemed we had a good thing going on. The pain has been a little like quitting smoking. The emotions were so raw for many weeks, but every day I am feeling a little better and starting to look at other options


    • Awesome. Take it from a dude who had something kinda like what you had, didn’t know it, now 30 years and two grown sons later have to deal with the selfishness, disloyalty and betrayal, after giving the prime of my life to this woman that I feel like I hardly know now. You saved yourself a lot of pain.

  • I had to laugh! In the story, there was no mention of boundaries or agreements. “Dating” is not the same as a formal commitment. Somehow people think that if they have a Date or two then they have dibs on that person without any agreement. It appears he assumed that she was “his” girlfriend because they had ???????
    This guy is an idiot! Going out with each other and not having an agreement on expectations and boundaries is a prescription for disaster and misunderstanding. In absence of an agreement, she had no duty toward him.
    Always make sure of where you are standing. The world is wide and many different cultures and social conventions. If you are afraid to ask then that is your answer.
    One cannot assume the other feels the same as you do toward them as you wish they felt toward you. Nor can one assume that both are coming from the same place.
    It is emotionally risky to say “jill I want to go steady,marry you, be your one and only.’ She might say no!

    • Uh, none of that is relevant here? The girlfriend clearly knew that this was a relationship where monogamy was expected.

  • NSAIC, dumping her “on the spot” was exactly the right thing to do. My girl did almost the same bullshit to me many years ago and I DID NOT DUMP HER ON THE SPOT! Bad move. To make a short story long, she went on to bigger and meaner cheating episodes with random dudes until she was knocked up. Of course, then she couldn’t crawfish and cry her way out of it (even though she tried to say it was mine) and I was forced to dump her. I was such a chump! I was a total fool – wish I could get a do-over.

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