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Dear Chump Lady, I need confirmation that he cheated

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Dear Chump Lady,

A few years ago I discovered that my husband was actively writing on a reddit-style message board. Based on what he wrote he was clearly unhappy in our marriage — he portrayed me as a slovenly gold digger and bad mother, he wrote extensively about all of his exes and desire to be back with any of them (or anyone else but me, really), etc. It was a lot and frankly traumatizing to read. I spent a year in therapy trying to work through it. We have 3 kids and two intense careers, and I chose to stay in the marriage at the time. I would not say it is a healthy marriage (for this and other reasons) and I think often of ending it.

The question: occasionally, I find myself triggered my something he wrote, and will try to raise it (being able to discuss it was one of the conditions of staying together). Originally he would try to comfort me in such a situation, but now he dismisses me without discussing, usually calling me psychotic and characterizing me as trying to start a fight (hello gaslight). Today the issue was while discussing a possible career change he mentioned travel might be a component of the new job. Problem is, it’s also a component to his rules for cheating without getting caught, as posted on the message board (along with the rule to never admit anything, even when confronted with evidence). Here are his rules:

  1. constantly delete all messages
  2. never do it in the same city as wife
  3. never do it with someone the wife knows
  4. ensure the other woman has as much to lose as you if the affair comes to light
  5. be patient. Meaning: only get with other woman when the time is right and risk is low
  6. do not fall for other woman

I read this at the time as a pretty good indication that he had cheated (which he denies, as of course he would have to as that is one of his ground rules) or at least spent an awful lot of time planning to. Tonight when I was concerned about travel for his new job and possible infidelity, he got mad, called me crazy, and went to sleep in the guest room.

So the question is, what do I do with that? I’ll never know for sure if I am in the chump sisterhood without witness confirmation, but I need a sanity check. Thanks so so much.

Reddit Revolt

Dear RR,

Oh sure he’s a cheater. Let me put it this way. Say the board was about Lionel trains. And he’s posting what kind of trains, make, model, descriptions of the elaborate train set-ups (are there water towers? crossing stations? signal guards?), the best stores to buy your Lionel trains, Lionel train accessories, and rules for playing with your Lionel trains.

One day you discover his train passion and he says, “I swear. I have never so much as touched a Lionel train. I know NOTHING of Lionel trains. It’s just boyish curiosity.”

Then, after he swears off trains, he’s walking around your house wearing an engineer’s cap, making choo-choo noises.

Do you REALLY need to catch him in the act fondling a train? Or can we pretty much ascertain that the man knows Lionel trains. (And please, Alabama readers, extend this logic to child molester Roy “Let-Me-Ask-Your-Mother” Moore. OF COURSE those women are telling the truth.)

Your husband has intimate knowledge of cheating. Its stratagems, its excuses, its douchey justifications. You know ENOUGH.

Oh, and besides which, you’ve already been betrayed.

he portrayed me as a slovenly gold digger and bad mother, he wrote extensively about all of his exes and desire to be back with any of them (or anyone else but me, really)

What exactly here do you think you have to work with? The loving ways in which he calls you psychotic?

RR, this is an abusive relationship. He is verbally abusing you, denying your reality, and deliberately doing everything in his power to destroy any feelings of safety you might have. Why? Because that puts him in the driver’s seat and his entitlement goes unchecked. (Please read Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft immediately.)

It’s time for consequences. This shit show ends NOW.

Go lawyer up, go collect financials — and tell him NOTHING.

Oh, and if you really want to fuck with his head? File those divorce papers, but don’t tell him. Just leave a list of 6 rules.

  1. Save all his messages.
  2. GPS his ass.
  3. Find out who he knows.
  4. Ensure that he has a LOT to lose.
  5. Be patient. Financial discovery and deposing affair partners takes time. But often yields results.
  6. Do not fall for his shit.

Were you thinking of a divorce? Oh no. Not you. Just a girlish curiosity.

Then drop those papers like you were bombing Dresden.

Good luck. Better days ahead.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Oh goodness- run for the hills. With an attitude like that, it’s only a matter of time before you do catch him. Will that make you feel better? Absolutely not. Get out now while he doesn’t suspect.

    • Or it’s possible that you would never catch him. Does that make it OK? Does that make it acceptable to you? Having written (or even endorsed) that list of rules is enough to show to any reasonable person that he’s not committed to the marriage the way you expect him to be. And that is the crux of it.

      Do you want to live with this for years going forward, or do you want to cut your losses now, before he finds the next ‘love of his life’ and doesn’t come back from one of those business trips. (If you don’t think he’d do that, read the posts from Mom2TwoNJ, whose STBX just didn’t come home from a business trip).

      Good luck, whatever you do.

      Hugs. Strength. Peace.
      aeronaut

      • Reddit Revolt, that exact thing happened to me. He was on the road for work and found the love of his life shaking her bits at him from atop a stripper pole. He planned his new life, lined up his ducks, and kept his bag packed and ready for the day I’d find out about her after he came back home (after sleeping with me, of course).

        I don’t believe in a one-size fits all belief system about anything (all democrats are…all republicans are…), but with adulterers, you would be astonished how many thousands of exact word for word stories have been shared here about the behaviors of cheaters. Take that collective experience and save yourself the heartache of wondering. There is nothing to wonder about. What is happening is that your mind, conditioned by years of marriage, can’t conceive of the shady character of the man you’re married to. Take heart. That means you don’t think like him. Be glad you don’t.

        A few days after Honey left me with our 1 and 2 year old babies, I kept trying to reason with him, to appeal to him. Then I had an epiphany. These pleas were based on a reality that didn’t exist anymore. The new reality, which my mind hadn’t fully processed yet, was that he no longer had my back. He now had someone else’s back. You suddenly have to protect yourself from the person you would never consider a threat. It’s a terrible feeling, and we all get that, but the reality doesn’t change just because it’s horrifying to face.

        Intuition is a gift. It’s not ‘psychotic’, or because ‘you’re crazy’. It’s an innate gift built in to all mammals on this planet to be able to sense danger even when evidence of that danger isn’t in their line of sight. A deer at a watering hole may freeze, scan the horizon, and position itself to run even though all anyone sees is a line of tall grass swaying in the breeze. It senses the lion before anyone sees it. It would never deny its own instincts because to do so would be at its own peril. You shouldn’t either.

        Best to you. Chump Nation has your back.

    • I’d like to take a moment to focus on rules 4 and 6:
      4. ensure the other woman has as much to lose as you if the affair comes to light
      6.do not fall for other woman

      I’ll start out by saying that most normal people want to fall in love and have some kind of meaningful, fulfilling relationship with a significant other. This a-hole has a dedicated, loving wife who he clearly does not treat with any kind of respect or what one would consider love.
      On top of that, he wants the other woman to be in a tough spot with consequences so she is more discreet with him? Also, don’t fall for the other woman? What that tells me is that the women in his life are objects/tools for his own gain and Nothing.More. To me, he is not a normal person capable of the love his wife or any other decent human being deserves. I guess the good news is that his ideal Other Woman is one with shady morals just like him!

      He treats you like SHI-T
      You don’t deserve it.
      He doesn’t love you.

      Repeat that to yourself until you get MAD. Then quietly take care of the financial affairs and CUT HIS A$$ LOOSE!
      Best of luck and come visit us again when you need another dose of sanity. We’re here…

      • You are so right. His disdain for any woman he is sleeping with , never mind his wife, is particularly frightening

      • Bravo!! Precisely peakyblinders. Most affairs are “accidental,” as in two people develop an emotional connection outside of their marriage because they lack insight into the root cause of their own behaviors and misery.
        Rule 6 reiterates that this is a deliberate “sport” of cheating in itself; not because 2 people caught feelies and their needs weren’t met.
        The ex isn’t invested, and the poster thinks about ending it.
        Just shit, or get off the pot, for fuck’s sake!!! It’s unhealthy. How much more proof does she need? Why make the kids victim to observing and participating in toxic relating?

    • My question to you is: what kind of evidence do you hope for? Catch him with his pants down? Meet the other woman?
      Seriously, that drama is for TV. You KNOW and you know enough.
      Currently, you’re sleeping with the enemy. Is that comfortable for you?

      Sorry if I sound harsh, I used to need proof just as much as you do. But it did not matter. The proof was in the way he was neglecting our baby boy. That was all I needed to divorce his ass.
      Hugs. Be strong, you said intense career, probably you can make it just fine on your own. I did.

  • Oh honey, I’m so sorry. Even if he’d never made the rules of cheating post, he’s lost whatever respect he had for you by slandering you behind your back. Something CL always asks is “What is acceptable to you?” Is him calling you these horrible things acceptable?

    • ^^^THIS^^^

      Your “spouse” is gaslighting you and disrespecting you! Do you want your kids to grow up believing that these are acceptable ways to treat their spouse?

      From today on, please believe his actions over his words… And take all the steps CL advises.

      As your “husband” is on reddit… It is extremely painful to chumps so please only consider this when you’re strong enough or while working with a therapist… See if he used the same moniker in the adultery thread on reddit…

    • It’s really not about politics. I didn’t take the Moore comment as political. It’s more like if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck kind of logic. You know, the one CL is so good at pointing out?

    • Yes. Yes it is. And you’ll notice that when I have an infidelity issue with someone of ANY political stripe (check out my entire archive on Anthony Weiner) I speak up. But I would hope a country as great as ours can agree that child molesters are bad.

      • There is NOTHING political about pedophiles. What is politics? Working out the best ways of getting things done for the greater good (ideally).

        What do pedophiles have to do with this? Or cheaters for that matter? It all boils down to Tracy’s mantra: “entitlement” and “taking unfair advantage of people”.

      • Actually I don’t see how it is political, maybe since the creep child molester is running for office. Moore admitted during his interview with Hannity that he did date minors but only with the mother’s permission (vomit vomit OMG he really did say that). I was waiting for Moore to continue on and say something like, “and after I made them take off their clothes and fondle them for a bit I would help them with their algebra homework and give them lunch money, because I’m a good role model”.

      • Bravo CL !! People need to take off their political partisan glasses and see these people for who they are. In my career, I have been in the position to really observe politicians and CEOs away from the cameras (support position but while “working” could really listen and observe).
        I quickly realized that Narcs are attracted to power and money like bees to honey. 80+% of politicians and CEOs are total narcs (and serial cheaters) who could care less about anyone but themselves.

        One of the interesting things I noticed as well is that they use a political persuasion as cover. For example most closet gays in DC are “family values” Republicans (I have nothing at all against gay people but I do hypocrites). Read about what really goes on at Bohemian Grove for more info.
        On the other side, many of the abusers of women are “pro women, pro feminist” Democrats. Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, perhaps Al Franken, etc.

        Like our cheater Exes, how better to Gaslight than to secretly abuse women but then say “I couldn’t do things like that — I am the champion of women and feminists” or “I could never be gay why look at my family and all of my family values, pro Christian positions”.
        It’s all Narc image management and gaslighting and people need to forget about the politics and run these slime out of office.

        • OMG Laughing Gator!

          …so…that place in ‘Eyes Wide Open’ is REAL? (…sheesh…I am so damn naive STILL…)

          …that’s what the pictures of that place, Bohemian Grove, looks like online…robed figures…horns and masks…wth!?

          • Ah the Bohemian Grove where “grown” men like to run around drunk and tinkle in the bushes ! Sounds like a bunch of 18-22 year old frat brothers who never grew up

      • It’s hard to think of something easier to denounce that child molestation. This is not political. Bravo, CL, for speaking the truth — as always.

        • I am not from the USA, and not really up to date with all the politics going on down there, but I find it pretty disgusting to dismiss very serious allegations made about someone as merely “politics”. Did the guy do these things or not? The evidence seems to suggest he was up to some pretty nasty stuff. His political leanings are irrelevant. I’m not speaking for CL, but I don’t think that she was picking on this guy because of his political views on tax reform. He’s a shithead, and his opinions on fiscal policy have nothing to do with that.

          Unfortunately, CL has a whole list of people, men, women, democrats, republicans, any colour you like, any nationality to pick from to provide an example of a total waste of air. I think you might be missing the point.

          • I think our commenter is taking sides here.
            Of course CL is spot on denouncing a paedophile.
            Jmurman has some affiliation, otherwise why would he defend this behavior and label CL’s remark as politics? He has a vested interest here, clearly.

            It’s something I noticed also with friends and family of the cheaters, in general. They see the man is rotten, and yet come to his defence, often by ripping the real victim to shreds.
            Perhaps a psychologist or sociologist could bring light to why people defend the evil.

    • Haha sure, thirty-something men carrying on with fourteen year old girls is “politics”.

      Ps with that icon this is a really bad comment for you to make.

      • Funny.., thanks kettle, I needed a good laugh.

        Back to the original post, these idiots never fail to amuse me with their similarities.
        X traveled often for work. He would tell me and sometimes to friends while I was there, that “he pays cash when he’s traveling to avoid evidence.”
        His room, meals were covered by the company he worked for. He wouldn’t need cash for those.
        I thought it was one of his awkward attempts at being funny, “joke.” Another sure sign I missed which is another blinding red flag I ignored is he never smiled when he said it.
        Chumpy me never understood what he meant or why he’d say it.

        • ^^^^^^
          Ooops!
          My post messed up oops.., the sentences aren’t in sequence and a few are missing. I’ll try to repost.

        • Well, this just triggered some memories for me. STBX often would withdraw money from his account when at conferences. Didn’t occur to me why until now.

          • My XH withdrew $800 from an ATM in CA every few weeks. Since he was obsessed with getting mileage points on his credit cards he NEVER paid cash for anything. It turned out he was having to pay $500 for AP2’s pets to be in a kennel while they stayed at his family’s beach house where multiple pets were prohibited. We were separated & he was living with AP1 so I didn’t catch on for a while. Follow the money!

        • My dirtbag did that too. Got a cash advance on his government credit card and then paid for everything with the money so no electronic trail or evidence. Yep, your tax dollars paid for lap dances and blow jobs…

    • Rape is political. And illegal, immoral, and one of the strongest indicators of evil within the soul of a human being that I can think of.

    • Jmurman, I’m with you. It’s the second time this week that Roy Moore has been mentioned. Unlike Anthony Weiner who has been convicted of his filth, nothing conclusive, substantial, damning etc has been found about Roy Moore. And it was pointless to add it to this blog post.

      • Substantial, credible evidence has, in fact, been put forward in support of the claims against Moore. He’s fair game.

        • Most of our X’s haven’t been convicted in a court of law but we divorce them. We believe friends who tell us about bad treatment but to have these statements from women, to have police officers state he was banned from the mall, his own biography points out that he spotted his own wife at a high school dance recital and she was same grade as the 14 year old abuse victim. You are willing to trust your country’s future to a person with even a wisp of a hint of paedophelia says volumes about your character for starters, and your standards for a candidate. No convictions I’ll vote for him.

      • I was posting about Anthony Weiner LONG before his conviction and not one peep from you about it. 32 people corroborated those stories and it beggars belief that women — who do not know each other — created some vast conspiracy and kept it quiet for 30+ years on the hope that one day Roy Moore would run for the Senate.

        • I’m confused at the backlash received about CL’s Roy Moore comment. Nary a peep when discussing Weiner’s weiner obsession, and yet Moore fully admitted to dating minors, was even BANNED from every (?) mall in Alabama (how does that even happen?) and women continue to come forward with their stories. I’m surprised there are folks on this blog who are so eager to jump on the “there’s no proof” or “keep politics out of it” bandwagon.
          People tend to defer their power to those who hold a seemingly greater social status than their own. This tends to shut victims up… and responses like some of the above? Giving the accuser the benefit of the doubt because the evidence is circumstantial? Well- Victim blaming/denying isn’t the responsible route to take on a blog spot about infidelity. This should be a safe place for those of us -so many of us- who have been blamed for misgivings against us… 25 years ago I was raped in front of a crowd of fellow teenagers who I thought I could trust. I had too much to drink and the actions against me we’re dismissed because I was passed out drunk. Instead of getting the help I needed, I got laughed at, ridiculed, shamed and told I deserved it.
          It shut me up.
          Now I think – what if my rapist was a famous artist/director/politician?
          If I came onto this blog and saw the position some of you have taken, I wouldn’t feel safe at all coming clean about my abuser. Because, despite witnesses, and my word, there is no physical evidence… And therefore I should keep politics out of this?
          This isn’t about politics. It’s about abuse of power and no one should be immune.

          • FedUpChump, I am so sorry that happened to you. Thank you for your bravery in telling your story and for your insight into the harm victim shaming does. You are mighty and I stand and applaud your post, particularly your last two lines: “This isn’t about politics. It’s about abuse of power and no one should be immune.” Bravo.

            • Exactly @Beth. I’m sorry to read your story @FedUpChump.

              Speak your truth Tracy!

              The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

            • Fed up chump, I am also very sorry this happened to you. It is not right to get raped and then raped again (in every way besides physical) by the people that should have protected you.
              You don’t have to say “come clean about my abuser”. You are innocent with nothing to come clean about.
              You probably know this and did not mean it that way. But I just point it out to show how deeply victim-blaming (especially sexual assault) is embedded in our culture.

              Take care.

          • FedUpChump,

            There are many Chumps on this site that have experienced significant pain just as you have FedUpChump. Even though I have been on this site for four months I have learned so much from all of you. It takes a lot of guts to admit the things that have been done to everyone of you and yet FedUpChump through all this crap of trying to discuss politics, where this is a site to talk about infidelity, tells all of us another private thing that was extremely harmful and hurtful that happened to her. I am deeply saddened for you FedUpChump as well as many of the Chumps that come daily to post. It takes strength and guts for every single one of you just to take a breath everyday. I only wish I had the strength and mightiness that many of you have. However, I will never be close to half the person that many of you are. There is no reason for meanness here. This site is a sanctuary for healing and helping. I personally don’t deserve Chump Nation. I for one have learned my lesson with my bad choices and I have to live with the hurt and pain I have inflicted the rest of my days. I want to thank you all for having the guts to share with me your personal thoughts and stories, especially JeepTess. I love you!!! You are a UNIQUE and SPECIAL RARITY.

        • Not defending anyone, and I actually think it’s amusing to see all these big shots crumble…but still I’m uneasy about convicting these men without due process. Just on the word of people who may or may not be telling the truth, or leaving out significant details (like the way the press portrayed that congressman from TX trying to make it look the same as a sexual predator.) I don’t trust anyone’s motives until I clarify those for myself, and in most of these cases even when there isn’t any evidence and the individual staunchly denies the events occurred (unlike Frankens situation) they are not given the presumption of innocence I think we’d all want to have in a similar situation. I don’t doubt a new backlash will be coming charging sexual harassment against female bosses and celebrities and politicians soon by males who smell a settlement.
          Bet hey, that might just be the lawyer in me. (And btw I was a prosecutor, NOT a defense attorney.) just sayin.

          • Due process applies to criminal prosecutions. No one has been convicted — not a single one of the high profile men has even been criminally charged yet. Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal. Employers have every right to fire someone for cause. Violating workplace standards is just cause to fire an employee.

          • Exiled, you think it is amusing to see these big shots crumble? What kind of sick sense of humor do you have? Do you not have any sensitivity for the horrible suffering of the victims? You sound like a troll to me.

            This is a site for people devastated by cheaters. It is not amusing at all. There are all kinds of victims including children. To casually say you are amused at any of this makes me sick. I take this abuse very seriously and for you to question the motives of the victims is crazy. You really believe this is just a political conspiracy? I have seen a lot of damning evidence that these women are victims and it started when some of them were teens.

            You are looking at this from the legal perspective of a prosecutor, but this is not a legal site, this is a site about feelings and chumps who are victims. Yes, the legal system doesn’t take in to account feeling, only fact. I see it everyday as I proceed through a high conflict divorce battle. My 18 year old son is giving a deposition tomorrow and the courts don’t care that he is only in high school and he is scared and he doesn’t understand why his dad had him subpoenaed at school to testify. They only care that he is now 18 years old and legally an adult. The courts are not about justice for victims or feelings. They are about rules and games and who presents the better argument. At best, there is a negative consequence for the perpetrator. That doesn’t erase the hurt from the victim. These women are brave to come forward because they risk the judgement and humiliation of all the assholes like you. They happen to have been abused by high profile people. Just think of the majority of abused woman who suffer at the hands of non public figures. It crosses all classes and all political parties. It is an issue of humanity.

            You are taking an innocent until proven guilty attitude toward these predators yet the victims, you are questioning their motives. Why don’t they get the same treatment?

            Your post has angered me more than anything I have ever seen on this site. I do not know why you are here. Even the last line “just saying” is the kind of abusive language my cheater would use. Maybe you meant to go to the reddit message board for victim bashers or sarcastic putdowns or something…

            • Wow, you really do have problems with reading comprehension, don’t you? All my post was saying is people-like-you are “convicting” everyone in this current climate on the basis of mere statements … not proof or in some cases not even any marginally collaborating evidence. A lot of these current complaints are so ridiculous in nature that THEY are diminishing the real sexual assaults and abuse that happens every day.
              My post had nothing to do with pedophiles. It was a comment on the current burn-everyone-at-the-stake mentality you seem to support.
              And frankly, how dare you call me a troll, and even less flattering names…it doesn’t fit the supportive nature of this site. I have an opinion that seems to differ from yours. Big deal. Accept we aren’t all cookie cutters and move on in a more dignified manner than calling people you don’t agree with “assholes.” It seems unfortunate, and I’m sorry, that “just sayin” triggered you to such a degree. I sincerely hope things get better for you. I do know the devastation of being chumped and hopefully the future will be brighter for all of us!

              PS This was my first post, though I’ve been a reader for several months. Your really bizarre attack has certainly changed the way I look at this site. It had felt so embracing and supportive prior to this.

              • “Werd,” Exiled!!

                I echo your sentiments. I am new to this blog as well, and after reading through some of these comments, I also have a new perspective….maybe this isn’t a place I belong, even though I, like you, have experienced the heartache and devastation caused by my marriage to a habitual and lifelong adulterous spouse and a traumatic divorce.

                Nevertheless, I haven’t abandoned my ability to be objective or thoughtful just because I have been a victim. I WAS a victim, but I overcame, and I’m not going to choose to live in perpetual victimhood.

              • Miss me with that. Miss me also with the hot nonsense that voters and employers have to wait for prison time to catch up with abusers. The fact is 97% never spend a night in jail.

                From an HR perspective, these issues have NOTHING to do with compassion or righteousness. Employers stop protecting abusers when enough CREDIBLE evidence makes the abuser’s behavior a legal risk and liability. The risk of a wrongful termination suit MUST be less than the weight of substantial corroboration. I can guarantee you some or all of Weinstein’s and Lauer’s accusers had hard proof.

                Moore is lucky. Conyers is lucky. Franken is lucky. Those cases also had corroboration, but apparently the US Congress has lower standards for morality than TeeVee and Movie Hollywood.

                Who’d have thunk it?

              • Not really sure what’s “missing you” as you put it. I have a different opinion, from a different perspective is all. And contrary to the current “tolerant left’s” playbook, that’s still allowed in America, and shouldn’t be met with the name calling and derision that I received here on this site.
                It’s just disappointing that the story of someone’s betrayal through infidelity was hijacked for current events purposes. I just wonder how many of these vocal individuals have ever really DONE anything for sex abuse victims, beyond being “vocal” in postings? I actually have. I’ve prosecuted offenders. How many have actually helped prostitutes? (Regardless of whether you chose your chains, they are still chains, you know.) Well, again, I have, Ive prosecuted the Johns. So don’t presume to know my heart. I think I’ve seen enough on this site now, even though I’m a sister-chump, I’m not feeling the love and acceptance that has been bestowed on others. Time to find a new support system.

          • Okay, let’s play it your way for a moment. A dozen women come forward accusing a high school tutor of sexually assaulting them when they were 14. The man is not convicted yet, statute of limitations has passed, so there’s no guilty verdict. There’s an incredibly high threshold for denying someone freedom (as there should be)….. Is this the guy you allow as your 15 year old daughters math tutor?

            Have you ever read the “Return of Kings” blog? It’s a website dedicated to gas lighting and abusing women to make them compliant in relationships. Targeting teenage, or barely legal girls is in their handbook, as teenagers are thought to be more compliant and less likely to stand up for themselves.

            Roy Moore spent time hanging around high schools and high school girls. Times were different back then, people trusted their pastors had godly intentions, and Moore used parental permission to exploit teen girls. Apparently to the trauma of these girls. One story is that Moore offered to watch the teenager of a single mother and as the mother had no other alternative and trusted Moore she allowed it. Sorry, dude, this shit is textbook abuser.

      • And the gaslighting to protect serial abusers continues if it fits a political stripe. I’d have a lot more respect for Republicans if they demanded the immediate resignation of serial predators in their own camp instead of constantly attacking the victims and the media for reporting it.
        Sexual predation crosses political boundaries – its a power and society issue, not a “sides” issue.

      • I truly hope all the people defending Roy Moore against a chorus of women accusing him of sexual assault never have a daughter or a sister who is sexually assaulted and disbelieved the way y’all are disbelieving Moore’s victims.

        • Sadly Tempest, until individuals are personally confronted by the reality of a close friend or family member who has been victimized by others because of their sex, age, race, sexual identity, and/or mental illness issues, they can continue to pretend that it only happens to “others” with a character flaw.

          Their entitlement soon dissipates when someone they love is victimized.

          • Chutes and ladders, your statement reminds me of my smug (but subtle) sense of superiority to others whose marriages didn’t last 3 decades like mine did. Until it didn’t. Until I faced the fact that divorce was the best possible way for me to collect the shards of my self-esteem and life, I thought there was an inherent flaw or some nebulous quality that I didn’t have. How sad! I had a resurrected cheater carrying on for 3 years under my nose. Was I responsible for his cheating? HELL, NO! But before I was here, I didn’t really get it.
            By the same token, I am a choldhood sexual abuse survivor as well. #metoo And I did nothing to cause that, either.
            People who have not walked in our shoes often like to imagine it cannot happen to them, hence the treating victims as “other”. How else can they justify tearing down people who are finding their voice to speak up for themselves? It’s abominable, but so common. I cringe when women turn on other women.

        • Tempest,

          It’s the same disbelieving look we get with telling our friends we were cheated on. I’m immediately brought back to people asking me what I did in the marriage….the fact that cheating, demeaning people (women in this case), and then looking for blame outside of their responsibility…maddening. Thank you for your steady voice in this blog!

          • Victim-blaming in all forms is deplorable. To be honest, it still makes my blood boil more than any other aspect of chumpdom to think someone would ask, “What were your failings in the marriage that led your spouse to cheat?”

            Anyone who victim-blames a 14-year old sexual assault victim should be pilloried.

        • Thanks Tempest. It boggles my mind that anyone for any reason could support Roy Moore. But people on this blog? Who know all too well what it feels like to be disbelieved when they tell their truth? That literally makes me sick. And angry.

          • Yes x1000, Beth.

            I don’t know how many times I’ve had to point out that I’m an Independent (yes, I vote across the political spectrum). I DON’T CARE what group a person belongs to, particularly political group — an abuser is an abuser. Character is deeper and more important than any group affiliation.

            I call them all out — and every time I have to explain it *genuinely* isn’t political.

            Do false accusations happen? Sure … but it is not nearly as common as abuse or victims not being believed. The stats are 1 in 4 females are sexually abused as children. And a full 90% of the cases of sexual abuse go unreported. I know I didn’t speak out about my childhood molestation until many years later. And, the response I received from FAMILY caused me to regret it (I was vilified even though there was an eye witness to the abuse).

            How many of us were abused in our marriages (most, right?). How many of us told friends and family about it WHEN it was happening? I’m going to guess most of us didn’t. How many of us didn’t even realize it was happening until after it had happened … maybe not until (like me) we found CL and she spelled out that being disrespected so horribly, hurt repeatedly, lied to repeatedly, gaslighted, and having our health risked is actually abuse. It is so damned hard to see when you are IN it.

            And how many of us finally told family and friends only to be disbelieved, told we were exaggerating, or ignored completely (I know this happened to me).

            For heaven’s sake … we, of all people, should not dismiss other victims out-of-hand.

              • Here, here! Beautifully put, chumpfriends.
                As a 14 year old, I had an 18 year old “boyfriend.” He was no more a boyfriend than a creepy pedophile who had been told by another 18 year old that I would have sex with him. After 6 months, he realized I wouldn’t, but after many a wrestling match.
                Did I see him as a creepy adult? Abuser? No, I was excited to have the attention of an older boy and thought I was special. It wasn’t until years later, grasping the concept of statutory rape and the covert way the “relationship” was carried on, that I saw it for what it was. And I felt shame for going along with it. Tell someone? Aaagh…never. But if that pinhead was running for office? High office in our nation’s capitol? Hell, yes, I’d tell. It wouldn’t be easy, but I’d screw my courage up and sing out! Many girls who are abused by these predators are also wounded molestation victims…many sexualized early and seeking valudation from older boys/men. Many of them are highly unlikely to confront, report or press charges. And many of us turn to drinking &/or drugs (yes & yes) to try to forget or treat our PTSD symptoms. Not all of us survive that. And some of us go on to ignore big, waving bright red flags when we meet a msman, because they seem relatively harmless compared to what we’ve known. ….only to find out that there are a thousand ways to be hurt and abused by people who are supposed to love us.
                Thank you for this thread. I will support courageous victims always. Yes, there are some scammers. But not nearly as many as people fear. And I would rather be kind on the chance that they are truthful & vulnerable. If they are scamming, their shame is their own and not my responsibility, so my conscience is clear.
                Thank you. Y’all are why i love CL CN so much!

      • I always enjoy Chump Lady’s blog.

        If I don’t like what she has to say, I can always leave.

        It’s not a very complicated matter.

      • Yep, apparently you and Jmurman missed the many, many pre-conviction Anthony Weiner posts calling him what he is – a bad husband, father and human being in general. The only ones injecting politics into disparaging a pedophile are you two. Roy Moore is a piece of filth and Tracy has every right and every reason to call him out on this platform or any other she chooses.

      • What!!?? Substantial?? Moore said on HANNITY that he would seek the mother’s permission before trying to molest the child!!! The former “mall-cop” said Moore was banned because he was creeping around trying to hookup with teenage girls!! I absolutely 100% believe the women, whoever tries to defend that child molester needs some serious therapy!!

      • Except the evidence of –what–5 or 6 women whom he abused as young women or CHILDREN?

        Do women’s words not count as evidence?

        Surely they do, and here of all places. I hope.

        (And for the record, as far as I know, the women who are brave enough to give evidence against a very power, aggressive pedophile are all, or nearly all, Republican and Trump supporters. Documented. )

      • Conniered, I agree with you and Jmurman. Interjecting the whole Roy Moore issue does seem at least a little “political.” And to what end?? I think the point was well made in the text before the sentence about Moore….just seems a bit gratuitous to throw that in.

    • It seems to me you’re the one that brought politics into this, by taking the attitude that we shouldn’t talk about someone being a creep just because they’re a politician.

      All humans are fair game – if you act like a disgusting asshole, you should get treated like a disgusting asshole. Being a politician does not give him a free pass.

      • EXACTLY MightyChris! Far from getting a free pass for being a politician, being in a position of power over the vulnerable is reason for more scrutiny not less. And what is proven fact (the age of his wife when he married her, his statements about it being “okay” to date underage girls if their parents approve, etc.) is enough to warrant the disgusting asshole label even without “proof” that his many victims are telling the truth.

    • As we watch politicians and celebrities taking the “sexual harassment” hit on an almost daily basis now, I’m not interested in who is telling the “truth” so much as I am interested in the seemingly reckless power inherent in unsubstantiated charges. True, they got Frankin, Conyers, Weiner and Weinstein dead to rights, but with Moore, Lauer, and Keillor it’s all heresay. Also, why should Kathy Griffin get a pass when she simulates a BJ on Anderson Cooper, or Kimberly Guilfoyle by sticking her tongue down a startled Bob Beckel’s throat?

      • That’s fantastic. On a blog where we share our truth about how we were abused (and it absofuckinglutely is abuse) by our cheaters, you want proof beyond multiple claims by multiple victims who have nothing to gain by the notoriety and vilification they are enduring by people like you? So should we consider anything you say about your cheater to be hearsay? Full of the “reckless power inherent in unsubstantiated charges”? You’re not interested in truth?? GTFO with that nonsense.

        • Thanks for verbally expressing what is now causing my head to explode. I’m just beside myself with confusion at how such deplorable actions, as described by several women can be negated because of lack of “proof”. By that logic, most chumps here on this page are liars because we never caught our cheaters red handed. Even if they confessed, or we found emails from them on how to get away with infidelity…. Nope. Let’s all just give these misunderstood “victims” a pass because it’s “circumstantial”. Shame on us for not providing proof that we married/lived with/had a LTR with someone of questionable character.
          Let me be clear for those who seem to fail to understand this truth: there is nothing glorifying about coming out and telling our stories of sexual assault. It’s embarrassing, it’s shameful, it’s terrifying. It shouldn’t be any of these things but because of the aforementioned mindset and societal routine victim shaming it is.

  • He’s probably already getting blowjobs from the exotic mailroom clerk.

    Get your financials together and DTMFA

  • Great balls of fire woman, why are you still married to this man? Rhetorical question, we all know the reasons. But for the love of goodness, and your children, divorce this cruel man. Follow Tracy’s instructions exactly. Do not confront (yet), covertly lawyer up and line up financial info.

    Yes, RR, he has cheated. I’m guessing a lot. Like, more than your average cheating bear. “Serial cheater” comes to mind. Good lord, those rules of how to cheat gave me the chills.

    You already know that the storming off to sleep in the guest room is gaslighting. Please remember what gaslighting is: Fucking with your sanity in a cruel way to deliberately deceive you.

    “I’ll never know for sure if I am in the chump sisterhood without witness confirmation, but I need a sanity check” Listen to yourself. You DO know for sure

    We’re here for you. We’ve been there. We care. Please check back in

    • YES!!! It is for this poor woman and others like her that I wish I could play Santa Claus and drop Tracy’s book down every chimney of every new chump. I always refer to the CL website whenever I come into contact with someone in the unfortunate process of being betrayed – and it is happening more and more often. Im not sure if this is an indication of a self-entitled generation or if we are just talking publicly about it more than before. I just hope that judges and councilors are also educating themselves about it.

      • I think “betrayal” is the key word here. While RR may never know for sure if he actually fucked someone else, his description of her and list of “How To’s” on Reddit, his nastiness when asked for help in her healing and his utter lack of respect for her is a blatant betrayal of their vows to love and honor each other.

        Leave an asshole, gain a life.

    • He is also cruel and dismissive of her valid concerns. Sounds to me that he is just pissed off RR was on to him, otherwise, why the temper tantrums? He is once again following the cheater’s handbook. The best offense is a good defense, so of course, he is going to be angry. He just got caught in the middle of his scam. Let the gas lighting begin.

      To me, it all comes down to this. RR should be able to discuss what her husband did at any time she chooses. It happened. It is part of their marriage. Are there other topics that RR is not “allowed” to discuss about their mutual past. If not, why should this topic be off limits?

      A good friend of mine is a very experienced private investigator. He is often hired to find out if a spouse is being unfaithful and is quite good at his job. He doesn’t advertise, strictly word of mouth, and never wants for business. He recently told me that he has NEVER (and yes, I mean never) discovered that the person being investigated was not cheating.

      It has been his experience that by the time he is hired, the cheater has become so convinced of his/her invincibility and ability to gas light it is quite easy to discover the trail of lies and deceit. He often is able to take pictures of open displays of kissing, entering hotel rooms together, and yes, even the ever popular quickie car BJ.

      Conversely, most betrayed partners have picked up on the changes in the relationship to such a degree that they know in their gut they are being chumped. He says that at the point you have to hire a PI to see if your spouse is cheating, you already know the answer (which, in his experience, is yes, 100% of the time).

      • I’m still amazed that there are women who think giving a parking lot BJ is a relationship? Or love? It seems so completely one-sided and selfish. And tacky!

      • You are right Violet-
        I tried to hire a PI before to try & catch Mr. Runswithhookers in the act. The PI told me not to waste my money on him but to use the money towards filing for divorce instead. The PI told me that if my gut/intuition was telling me that strongly that exhole was cheating that he was, I already knew it, and I needed to get moving.

        Wouldn’t you know that not to long after that, I used the “find my iPhone” app & caught exhole at the hooker palace on my own.
        No PI needed.

        I think for a lot of women that visible, tangible proof is needed & it sounds like RR is like that. I know it doesn’t make sense but I was like that too. I had a parade of red flags being waived in front of me almost on a daily basis but no real proof. Once I SAW him at the hooker place with my own eyes & saw all the backpage ads to confirm the type of “services” they offered it was finally OVER for me. There was no going back. I told cheater there was nothing he could do or say-I believed my own lyin’ eyes.

        I hope RR gets out soon because her cheater’s behavior is also affecting her children. They hear everything & the anger gets to them. I still feel an incredible amount of guilt that I didn’t leave exhole sooner. Everytime my sweet son makes a comment about his dad being angry & screaming all the time or how bad his dad’s temper was, I feel like I didn’t do enough to protect him. I’m hoping as he gets older that those memories will fade away since his dad isn’t around anymore to be an angry screaming bastard.

        • Sadly for a lot of us who love so deeply, no amount of red flags will suffice until we are confronted with the most glaring and painful evidence. Until then, we twist ourselves into all shapes to maintain our image of the person we thought we were with.
          And then, even with this evidence, some of us go to the RIC and twist ourselves even more into believing that it will pass, that they will be truly remorseful and make amends, and so on. If only we had this much faith in ourselves, we would have heeded the first gut feeling.

      • I agree with this and encourage RR if she can afford it to go ahead and hire a P.I.
        In my case, I found the evidence myself (100x phone calls daily on cell phone I was paying for him to have), when confronted Ex blatantly lied and denied. Eventually admitted it and two weeks later claimed he had broken up with OW. That’s the point at which I hired a P.I.
        Watching the surveillance video and seeing them walking hand in hand was the gut punch I needed.
        It wasn’t cheap but I used a credit card… worth every penny.

  • Rarely a criminal is caught in the act, but that doesn’t mean that the prisons are empty. Many times logic is the answer.

  • Oh Reddit,
    Lucky of you to have found the “game plan” and his rules of “the game”. This and the fact that he threw you and your marital abilities under the bus tells you all you need to know. When he travels on that first business trip out of town you know damn well he’ll be playing
    “Here, sit in my lap and lets talk about the first thing that comes up”.

    My cheater wife always said “Your crazy!”, but I’m not, just betrayed. Get out while the gettin’ is good!

    • Totally agree. Even if he hasn’t physically cheated yet its obviously only because the right opportunity he was looking for hasn’t presented itself. As everyone here says he betrayed you the minute he posted those appalling and disrespectful comments about you. How hurtful. In my opinion you have more than enough evidence to leave this man.

  • Obviously he has cheated and will continue to cheat. Get out now before he ruins you financially and emotionally. Slandering your name shows you how much he cares. He called you a gold digger. It looks like he is the gold digger. Trust me on this I stayed with my husband after I found our he was having an affair with my cousin. He to slandered my name to her. I regret staying because if my husband truly loved me he would not have cheated. Chump lady is right lawyer up put money aside and blindside him. Once one is betrayed it is hard to let it go. You deserve someone that will be honest with you and defend you no matter what you do.

  • RR, you have all of the evidence that you need. You’re just unwilling to accept it.

    I was in a similar boat, in that I had evidence that my now-XW was having an emotional affair. I had no actual proof of anything physical, but hey sure did a lot of sexting. And that was enough.

    Let me be clear: I divorced my wife with ZERO hard evidence of a physical affair.

    But she did lie for months, request an open marriage, refuse to stop talking/texting after hours to her colleague (the OM), did all the suspicious stuff with her phone (delete texts, keep it screen-side down when not it use, etc,), and dragged me to MC so I could play whack-a-mole with the ever-changing red herring “problem” in our marriage.

    All of THAT added up to enough evidence, and mistreatment, that I decided to divorce her.

    And your evidence is enough for you!

    (Epilogue: Two years later, and a year after my divorce was finalized, I finally got the HARD evidence confirmation from a mutual friend. My XW had “confessed” the affair to this friend and others in an attempt to legitimize her continued relationship with the OM. Don’t wait two years of your life for this confirmation! Cut him loose and start your new life TODAY!!)

    • “Wack-a-mole with the ever changing red herring problem in our marriage.”

      This describes perfectly the method of gaslighting my ex used with me. I couldn’t quite articulate it until now. Thank you.

      • Sunflower, I hear you!

        I eventually caught on to my wife’s game and decided to no longer play.

        But I can’t take credit for the “whack-a-mole” analogy. I’m pretty sure CL taught me that one–she does have a way with words!!

      • I was just going to comment the same thing! I have refered to it as constantly moving the goal posts, but I like the “whack-a-mole” analogy better.

    • I did the same … it took me 2 years to finally conclude I was not willing to stay married to a guy who repeatedly had “emotional affairs” with his coworkers. It was hard to ditch a 30 year marriage and destroy a child’s family, so I dangled the idea in front of myself that perhaps only an actual physical affair should trigger a divorce. Leaving someone without actual proof of physical betrayal is hard and society does not provide a lot of support. Thank goodness for this site where I finally found that support.

      Just weeks after finally telling him I was ending it, the proof of a 30 year physical affair showed up. I suppose that made it a lot easier emotionally, but I am glad that I finally stood up for myself “only” on the basis of the emotional affairs. I hope you will too, RR. You deserve so much better.

      • Was married to a cheater for 20 years-gaslamed the whole way through.
        But i’ve got to fix my picker.
        It’s me i know.
        I’m now dating a guy who has all the above characteristics, plus emotional affairs with numerous women. Though he denies them all and says it’s business. Ho Ho, No!
        Gaslights me.
        Get’s angry and sullen when i confront him.
        Love bombs me.
        The 3 channels.
        I’m 50 years old, been around the block, recognize the signs.
        That’s the good thing about getting older.
        I don’t need someone to tell me what’s going on anymore.
        Don’t need proof either.
        Going with my gut.
        How someone makes ME feel.
        That’s all that matters.
        Who cares about HIM.

        When someone has had their heart broken, it creates tough callouses and the things that used to hurt dont so much anymore. In a way, pain made me stronger and wiser.

        Maybe when women join together and start holding men to a higher standard and call them out, men will start behaving better.
        Who knows?

        I did the devoted wife thing, raised my kids.
        Been Burned.

    • Love the “whack-a-mole” analogy! Perfect! That’s exactly what MC has been. Every time that damn mole poked his head up, I knew I’d seen him before. He’s disguised as a different problem, but it’s been the same damn mole all along. Redirect. Deflection. Stringing us along.

      To RR, do you really need “proof” he’s cheated on you? Does it even matter? Why is the physical act of sex the marker for cheating anyway? Because it’s betrayal? He has clearly betrayed you. Whether he has actually had physical sex (yet) with anyone else or not isn’t even relevant in my opinion. He obviously wants to, has gone so far as to make up rules for it (ew!), and talks shit about you on public forums. You know you deserve better than this, and you don’t need hard evidence of a physical affair to give yourself permission to leave a shitbag that would treat you this way. IMHO

  • Of course he’s cheating and it’s time for you to dump his ass on the curb

    1 get a divorce lawyer who understands Narcissists. AVVO. Com and put Narcissist in th search terms

    2 Quietly collect financials, print out ALL his Reddit gems

    3 get a therapist who deals with Trauma. You’re n a Trauma Bond (google it) if you’re still waiting for proof. You HAVE the proof and a Trauma Counselor will help you get your self esteem back

    4 CUT this predator Loose!! Enough is enough

    • So true! He sounds like a narcissist, and that is a tough place for you to be. So don’t be there.

      Anyone, and I mean anyone, who doesn’t believe you should not be enlisted to your cause as lawyer or therapist or friend.

      And, print all of that out. Keep it where you can read it when you are doubting yourself.

      Making you doubt yourself is evil, and you are not wrong. Trust yourself.

  • You’re welcome into the chump *family* (It’s not a sisterhood here – us men get cheated on just as much). My wife slept with another man, but the thing that hurt the most was her having initiated a secret life with someone else, talked about me with him, disclosed god knows what intimate things to him or even made things up about me. She took our intimacy and she used it to club me with. That’s betrayal of the highest order, and it’s more or less what you’ve gone through. That’s 80% of being a chump. Whether or not your husband has slept with another woman, he’s done the part of the betrayal that I at least consider the worst bit.

    Whatever this is, it’s not a healthy partnership and you’re better off out of it than in it.At this point i’m afraid you’re bending over backwards to try and believe the small possibility that he hasn’t cheated – I mean, you’re saying you think he has but you say it like you still want to doubt it. It’s not that you do doubt it, it’s that you want to believe this couldn’t happen to you. Been there, done that, lasted all of 5 minutes for me as my cheater was clearly not following any rules for not getting caught and a quick look at her laptop confirmed my suspicions.

    If he’s posting ‘rules for not getting caught’ on cheating message boards then you can be sure he’s either cheating, or least worse case; he wishes he was cheating but hasn’t got the gumption to actually do it and is living out the fantasy Walter Mitty style online. Even in that case, as soon as he got the opportunity in the real world you can guarantee he’d take it. Either way you’re partnered up with someone who has betrayed your trust.

    Not being able to catch the cheater sucks, since it deprives you of your legitimate grounds for divorce. Maybe worth hiring a PI? But regardless you need to get out of that relationship. He does not have your back, so why are you with him? This man is not good for you. It always seems like scary world out there on your own, but this guy is toxic. If you were to imagine yourself single and see a 100% honest dating profile for this man pop up, would you get with him, knowing what you know? Or would you think “I deserve better”?

    Hint: You should be thinking “I deserve better!”

    • RR, I could have written your letter about my cheater for about 5 years leading to DD, and even 5 months following DDay, during which he kept gaslighting and making me believe it was an emotional affair only. For 5 years before DDay that’s how I lived: with a constant “off” feeling, waiting for some kind of a bomb to explode, in anxiety and fear. He had the same condescening attitude, the same blameshifting, the same accusing me of being a golddigger, the same yearning for his ex’s which he almost openly discussed with me pretending to be open and honest but knowing very well how much it hurt. Every time when I lost it and burst into tears he would then turn his malice into a narcissistic charm and I would think “well, not everything is that bad, I am just imagining it.” Oh, yes, and overly exaggerating. Because why would he treat me, his loving and devoted wife and a mother of his child, in this vicious way. It’s my sick imagination. And he encouraged this thinking. He blamed me for being overly jealous and putting my insecurities on him. He pushed me to go see a pshychologist. I lived in this state doubting my every feeling for 5 years. I had bits and pieces of quasi-evidence, just like you, but I never caught him cheating although he also theorised a lot. So…I rationalized like you that even though this is not my ideal marriage, there is no real good reason to break it until I get a proof. And at the time I thought it would be easy to break up once I discovered the truth.

      No, it was not. Because after DDay he still blameshifted and denied. He made me feel responsible for his emotional affair that spanned through our entire marriage. Because, you see, we could not “click” and he was unhappy. But now he was ready to move forward with me. 5 months in, he told me many details of his full blown affair with his ex gf, foreign trips together, he also told me he used to hook up for sex with his various ex’s and new ones occasionally. A typical serial cheater. And it was still not easy for me to let it go because he put the charm face on. The “I love you’s” and all that crap. I reconciled. I thought we were different. I thought he realised finally the true values. He has changed. Two months later I discovered another OW.

      So now, lawyered up and moving forward with divorce, do you know what really bothers me today? The fact that I waited so long in this abusive relationship to only discover the infidelity. As Mighty Chris said it earlier, it’s not the physical part so much but an emotional betrayal of our intimacy that hurts the most. Why was his gaslighting, stonewalling, blameshifting not enough for me to end it? My work now is on my self-worth. Cheaters trained us to minimize ourselves to their shadow level so they can easily manipulate us. It’s a long work and investment…in ME. I wish you do the same – invest in yourself. Cut the cheater out as a lousy investment, cut your losses and start anew. Life is so much better cheater-free!

      • Longtimechump, I could have written almost the same exact thing about my Ex.
        The one thing on Dday that still flabbergasts me is when cheater said “he did more for me in 1 afternoon than you did in 16 years”. This after we had had 3 kids, been through miscarriages, deaths, job changes, moves across the country but in an afternoon he did more for her than I did in 16 years !!
        That was the moment that I realized that I had nothing to work with and my marriage was over and honestly was a fiction and never really existed.
        The writer of that letter doesn’t realize that the sex outside of marriage is one of the minor horrid things that he has done to her. She needs to get out ASAP and like you LC, I wish that I had those 16 years that I wasted on a cheater back.

        • Laughing Gator, when I was still in the “bargaining stage of grief” and “fighting for my marriage”, a friend told me “But you don’t have any family! This is not a marriage!” – that hurt! These words just shut me up and I paused. And I realized she was right. It was not a marriage, and I did not have a family. It was an illusion I was playing in my head while cheater was enjoying his Zoo-Cake-topia all along. Need to work on my overly imaginative brain to not get me there again.

          • Knowing that you wasted years of your life living a lie is one of the most painful things to face. It throws a shadow over all events in your life during that time and you even question the happy moments.

            THAT is what was most damaging and painful not the thought of my Ex getting sweaty with another guy. But with time you move on and I am remarried and divinely happy with my wife. She was chumped by her Ex too and our only regret is that if we both could have those wasted years back.

    • Well said, Chris. The betrayal as clubbing us with the intimacy we freely and genuinely shared with open hearts is exactly it. There’s no undoing that.

    • Mighty, you are so right, the betrayal of trust is the hardest part to accept. I saw the red flags but I ignored them and hoped that he would just grow up. I didn’t want to believe the facts that were clearly before me. He gas lighted me as well, putting up a good front pretending to love me and I believed him. They are disordered people.

  • RR-Trust your gut and use his roadmap. I think you are in a uniquely awesome place to get your ducks in a row. Suspecting infidelity and knowing it for a fun fact are two entirely different animals. Ask me how I know? Once you know for certain he’s having an affair, like seeing the gushing emails/text messages of two so-called adults carrying on like a couple of 15 year old star crossed lovers, you can’t unsee any of it. It can be pretty devastating too.

    If you’re operating under the suspicion and don’t have any of the evidence that will make your eyes bleed, then you are in a position of power because you’re not dealing with the crippling pain that comes with confirmation of an affair. Plus he’s shown you how he would do this. Get your financial ducks in a row, seek out legal counsel and then go about using his road map to collect your evidence if that’s what you think you need.

    Personally I still think you should divorce him regardless. He’s already shown you who he is and that’s a man who obviously loves no one else but himself.

    Run!

    • Cheatersuck is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. Having proof is far from comfort. Knowing it is something he lings for and goes to the trouble to post about it as an expert..? ENOUGH!
      Want to feel better? Do what CL & CN suggest. I have a few ideas, too, hot on the heels of court date 1.
      So, FWIW, you could “reluctantly” go along w Romeo’s job with travel. That would give you open access to whatever is in the house to gather info without fear of him walking in. You could also hire a PI to watch him on the road…easily done! Cheating is about as spontaneous as a NATO air strike, as ChumpLady has so astutely pointed out (your H apparently wrote the plans). So planning to get out safely and sanely should require some strategy, too. I became Cagney AND Lacey (too dated? Nancy Drew? Ooopps…wrong time direction). I copied every frigging paper in the house & gave to my attorney, who had a thick stack yesterday. You have to protect toursekf, RR. You are being abused brutally…psychological & emotional wounds are harder to see.
      You ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE. He didn’t post about Lionel trains or how to home brew beer. Save your energy for you. Line up ducks. Plan plan plan and get out. You deserve so much better! Welcome to the Chump family ~ we don’t wallow, we empower each other, console, advise and support. This site is a unique refuge in a crazy, self-centered world. Here, I learned that while there are a LOT of Cluster B types & narcs & sociopaths, there are also genuine, honest, authentically kind people who have built happy new lives for themselves. Some even find the kind if love we lost hope of having. In my case, I am gradually happier every day that I’m not shackled to a depressed, passive- aggressive, lying, betraying, gaslighting, blame shifting emotional child. It is painful at first…like nothing else…but I liken it to pulling the machete out of my back…hurts, bleeding, try not to get infected, but having it out means I will LIVE…like I’ve never lived before.

      All because of CL, CN, and daily reinforcement here to keep me from reverting to my trauma bonded marriage.
      I am SO SO GRATEFUL!

      • Well said. I feel the same way. It’s been 3 years since DDay for me. The first year was an abysmal hell. I never experienced pain like that before. I still cry, even after 1000 days, but it’s more out of happiness.
        I’m loving the solitude, freedom and peace of mind. Not to mention independence yhat is not over rated.

        Sometimes divorce can be more difficult that loosing a spiuse to death if betrayal is involved.
        In my case it’s true.
        mourning Sunshine

  • The original poster’s letter, in and of itself, is Exhibit A in CL’s constant mantra “is this relationship acceptable to YOU”. To read such messages about their miserableness in the marriage and to endure that trauma for a YEAR in therapy and god knows how long since then. I think CL’s msg extends beyond just cheaters. Even if they’ve NEVER cheated, get away from ABUSERS. ALL! Again, “is this relationship acceptable to YOU”.

    • “I think CL’s message extends beyond cheaters” YES!!!!!! I’ve been thinking this for some time. It’s doesn’t have to be cheating (though it usually is) but other forms of abuse as well

      • Raising my hand as one who is with an abuser. I don’t have evidence of cheating, just emotional/verbal abuse and the gut feeling something isn’t right.
        It took me months to believe I belong here too.
        I’m not out of the relationship yet, but this site gives me the strength to line up my ducks and talk to professionals.
        With CN and the grace of God I will get out.

  • He’s cheating. Remember it’s about power and control. To them not getting caught is the thrill. How much will you take? That’s the game, to get to say, look how stupid you are. My slore actually told me I make her abuse me because I upset her. True story. If you can get out and not be indebted to this fuck financially and get residential custody of the kids (I’m assuming you will), I honestly don’t know why you wouldn’t go. Fast.

  • Also read the verbally abusive relationship and find a new therapist. Your description is not a safe loving relationship. I know it is hard to see when you are in it but it sounds like you are starting to see it. Once you get out of the fishbowl, it will become glaringly apparent.

    My 15 year old daughter is doing Onelove training at school today and they sent a link to the website. To all chumps: it sounds like a great program to get the word out to teens about relationship abuse. Check it out and see if your children’s schools will take it on. https://www.joinonelove.org

    Your kids are being subjected to his abuse to and I bet there is evidence that they are learning to treat you this way to. There is nothing to salvage.

    He is calling you psychotic for voicing valid concerns. That is pure gaslighting!

    Find someone who will support you full bore. It is going to be painful. For that I am sorry, but the gain will be worth it in the end.

    Find the best lawyer you can.

    Lots of hugs! I have been there and it is getting better but it is hard!

    • P.s. my stbx told me before we married in 1990 that his mother was worried I was just after his money. That deeply hurt me and haunted me our entire marriage but I spackled it. I now see that it was a manipulative cruel thing to say. A huge red flag. It triangulated me and his mother. I couldn’t talk to her about it and had to take his word that he knew it wasn’t true. Totally messed with my head. At that point his parents seemed comfortable financially but he was working as a tradesman and I was supporting myself on an entry level government job straight out of college. It forced me to be extremely frugal and caused feelings that I had to prove it wasn’t about money and I didn’t deserve the money. The damage is done, get out.

      • Yep, that was a VERY clever superiority tactic. I bet if you talked to his mother it would have shed some light on it.
        You sound like you had the good career going on! They love to shatter our esteem, don’t they? I have enjoyed building mine back up.

  • Im sorry you are in this situation but lik CL and CN say do not tell him anything, get your ducks lined up, take care of yourself and your kids. Pull th trigger when the time is best for you. I got confirmation from gps and will use it for leverage on my cheater ass. He is all about image management!

  • My ex husband stood in the middle of my living room, looked me dead in the eye and TOLD ME POINT BLANK that if I didn’t start putting out more, that he would start looking elsewhere.

    I didn’t know what to do, I was so shocked and made the mistake of making it my responsibility for the dysfunction in our relationship.

    I wish I had that moment to do over again.

    • In fact, one of my thoughts reading this is that our writer should definitely not have any unprotected sex with this person. Much too risky at this point.

    • > if I didnt start putting out more, he would start looking elsewhere.

      By the time my ex said this to me, he was already making dates on Craigslist.

      Also, “putting out”? That sounds very loving and mutually satisfying, doesn’t it? 🙄

    • My ex threatened me with this too, years before DD. I was 6 months pregnant with our third child. I never cut him off sexually, but god he was relentless. It was miserable when the children were small. And now he gets to say that I can’t say he didn’t tell me he wasn’t happy. “I did try to tell you, and you just didn’t sparkle brightly enough or dance fast enough, and I’m not fulfilled and now my three years long affair I’ve been lying about is justified and so is leaving you” I’m paraphrasing but that’s the jist of his logic. Thanks for remind me of this, I hadn’t thought about it in a long time, how horrific it was that he threatened to find someone else, because we weren’t having sex often enough for him, how he didn’t give a fuck about how I was pregnant and caring for two very small children. My feelings weren’t part of the discussion. All that mattered was his need for sex several times a week. I remember having sex with him and immediately afterwards he would start complaining again that it wasn’t often enough. No relief ever from the relentless pressure. Just miserable. Anyway, the actual threatening me part, I hadn’t quite realized til right now how flat out fucking abusive that was

      • Mine was also relentless and would pout if he didn’t get it ever blessed night. it was not loving, it was a chore. During my decade of dancing pretty, i’d have sex all the time. But then it became “not enough blow jobs” and THEN it became “Why aren’t you initiating more? (like, when?) and THEN it became “Why aren’t you waking me up by surprise blowing me?” “why won’t you blow me while i drive?” UGH.

        But then when it all ended – it was “see, we’ve been incompatible for years” and for a while that made me feel shame – but now I’m “you are soo right” and it doesn’t bother me at all. I somehow doubts he pouts like this to his new wife but one can only dream.

        • Mine was relentless too. I finally put the hammer down and said that he wasn’t entitled to it, it was mine to give not his to take/ beg/ cajole etc.

          Thing is, we had a great sex life in the beginning, then it began to wane as kids cane along and I was pre- menopausal… fairly normal stuff. But the thing That wasn’t normal was I started to feel sexually abused with him like I had with my 1st husband. I couldn’t understand why…. until the last couple of months when I coincided feeling that way about the time he would have started fucking around.

          And it grills me to no end that I took responsibility for that dysfunction… and he let me… when it was his fault.

          Man…

          • I totally get that last paragraph. Hitting myself on the head repeatedly for taking the responsibility while he gets off (sometimes literally) with none. And he’s happy about it! So hard to realize he simply doesn’t care.
            BUT, there’s no point in being like Chris Farley in those old SNL sketches:
            http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2v5zuk

      • Hey, Struggling, that is all part of their game. My Fucktard ex insisted on “every day.” Rain or shine, sick or well; broken back, no problem. His schedule for his pleasure trumped everything else. No can do, I’ll find someone else.

        That is abusive. Period. The whole point those shitheads are making is that you are nothing but their personal whore and hey, if you don’t have their boner as your priority what with things like a job or children or other obligations, they have every right to leave you to do all that you do and hump their student after class or their coworker in the parking lot or the barmaid in the loo and it’s your fault. It isn’t. Grownups have other things to do than service their special bits 24/7.

      • I remember those days. We would have literally just finished having sex and he would start complaining that it wasn’t enough! It was downright weird. I mean, the first comment out of his mouth was to make clear that I should be ready at his whim. And TMI, but it we were having way more than the “national average”. Way more. Of course, he was also telling OW that we weren’t even having sex at all, so I guess I am the Virgin Mary times four. Ugh, I do not miss that those head games at all!

    • My ex asshole told me that if he wasn’t getting enough sex from me, his therapist told him it was ok to get it from someone else.

      That was around the time my blinders were coming off. He even got me to see his therapist in an attempt to play the wack a mole game mentioned above as to how all our problems were my fault. Fuck that. I was seeing clearly now. I went and I told his therapist what he said about sex with others if he wasn’t getting enough at home. I also blabbed about all the other bullshit the ex was feeding me and how he started physically abusing me–had a picture of the cut on my lip. My ex wad horrified I wasn’t playing the abused, silent wife appliance any more. They hate it when they finally get publicly called out on their bullshit.

      His therapist said flat out, y’all need to divorce. Thanks, Doc. Will do. 😀

  • Reddit Revolt- if the way he treats you makes you feel like shit…. If you feel devalued, less than and thrown out like yesterday’s trash- then yes, yes, he’s cheating on you. He’s taken enough away from you- get out now.

  • RR, Memories that have the power to enrage me is a text message the Cheater sent to the OW about me:
    “She is very very smart but crazy.”

    Before that, he was folding laundry, casually chatting with some slut on his cell. I said, calmly- Get off the phone.

    Completely ignoring me, he said to the woman on the phone, chuckling: Oh, don’t listen to her. She’s crazy. I guess I made her that way.

    Snort, guffaw. Turns his back to me. Keeps chatting.

    It’s betrayal. As bad as a blow job in the garage at a Christmas party with a 23 year old.

    Do you actually want to waste your one precious life with a man who called you a slovenly gold digger…. a lazy whore?

    You have to police and enforce “rules” so he will keep his dick in his pants. No traveling! No Reddit! Please don’t call me a psycho today if I need reassurance.

    Does that read like a safe person?

    I remember begging the X to be nice to be, begging him to answer his phone. It’s abuse. I was sick and lost. I understand now that-

    Love does not make you frantic, panicked and afraid. You will learn it, too. When you escape, your body will actually physically unclench after living with someone actively harming you.

    • Great post Chaney. If you ever have to beg for things that should be given freely then it’s not a healthy relationship. I never had that in my ‘general relationship’, it was healthy up until the point she cheated – but on DD+2 I found myself begging for reassurance that she still loved me & that was my lowest point. I also realised that I was shedding my dignity to beg this person who’d betrayed me, & quickly shut that down. But it’s not easy and it more or less requires you to shut down the emotional brain and think with the rational brain.

      • Lowest point, indeed. I had a light-bulb moment a while back, when my current (wonderful) boyfriend said “I love you” and my auto-response was not “are you sure?”

        Why I *ever* accepted that horrendous dysfunction in my marriage, I will never know.

    • THIS x THOUSANDS!

      “Love does not make you frantic, panicked and afraid. You will learn it, too. When you escape, your body will actually physically unclench after living with someone actively harming you”.

      It is an amazing feeling. I am actually able to sleep now whereas before I was so stressed out from walking on eggshells, being yelled at, etc. that I had terrible insomnia.

      The peace in my house now is incredible.

      • Thank you for posting that.
        I’m in a walking on eggshells relationship now and what you say is true. I feel it physically, my throat is tight, i have headaches and am depressed and feel clenchy.
        Will friend zone him.
        He’s not boyfeiend/husband material.
        Still like him, but will politely take back my heart.
        Thank goodness we’re not married!
        Been dating 2 years.

        Not sure why people rush into marriage. It takes a couple of years to really get to know someone and to get a feel for the true relationship dynamic.
        The new sex thing needs to wear off before seeing a person for who they really are.
        And determining if you are a better and happier person with or without them.

        It’s all about YOU.

  • Sociopaths exist in every walk of life. They live among us like undetected extraterrestrials. They rely on the fact that most people only see the sometimes elaborate facade they built to mask who they truly are. They can be Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, Governors, CEOs, high ranking members of our military, respected journalists, professors, entertainers, conservative & liberal, every race & religion, and they use every means necessary to disguise and deny their true character.

    But no matter how respectable a sociopath’s position or how powerful they appear to be, they are all common abusers. Sexual deviancy and abuse at the expense of spouses, families, co-workers, students is abhorrent.

    It’s heartening to finally see our society standing up to sociopaths and exposing them for who they are. The reckoning has been a long time coming.

    #metoo
    #hetoo

  • This letter spooks me because with a few tweaks in the space-time continuum, it could have been me who wrote it.

    No, I never caught my nowdeadcheater with penis-in-vagina (few actually do and Ive heard stories of denials event when that happened) but I was SO convinced that he was not a cheater that I ignored or dismissed various comments he made over the years that summarily add up to an equivalent of finding this list…almost exactly.

    After his death, I was told that his “first affairs were just about sex” based on the fact that his looks brought him opportunities at work. He made the mistake of “falling for” Susan of Seattle who was supposed to be a side fuck until the fairy dust was sprinkled and all hell broke loose…up to then, his “hook up with someone who has as much to lose as you” method worked quite well.

    And he bolstered his stance assuring himself that he never loved me and married me because I forced him to (bullshit). He reinforced the “not a cheater” narrative by rejecting nearby women in a very showy manner…I know that 2 neighbors (very pretty women) hit on him and he made quite a show of not fucking them which had the intended effect of lulling me into a false sense of safety.

    I could go on all day…what RR needs to consider is that her spouse lives and breathes total contempt for her. I know what that felt like. I stayed. I wasn’t brave enough to see what was there until I was in the safe zone of him being dead. I look back on it now with incredulity.

    I might have waited until Susan was freshly pregnant by her new husband to blindside him, that would have been just desserts, but I didn’t.

    • Thank you for writing this, Unicornnomore. I also hung in for almost 3 decades because I was hung up on not having “definitive caught-in-the-act” evidence. The fact that he lived and breathed contempt for me? (And most other women). I know now that it was my deep religious conviction that divorce was wrong that kept me hanging on through all his verbal and emotional abuse and lies. According to my beliefs at the time, chronic lying and withholding sex and verbal abuse were not grounds for divorce. I was haunted by the feeling that I needed to get free of him and save my sanity and self-respect, but felt I couldn’t because I didn’t want to break my vows. I thought I was just married to a selfish, immature jerk and that I had to endure.

      Now, I feel very strongly about emotional affairs being sufficient grounds for divorce, and also contempt. I wish all abused spouses of deep religious convictions everywhere could embrace the freedom of “let the unbeliever go.” That includes kicking their lying, cheating selves to the curb even if they want to “stay” on their cake-eating throne. They don’t want their marriages, they only want the perks and no consequences.

      I never caught him in the act. But the emails and photos pointed to him having passed into physical relationships. The “I love you’s and the “I can’t wait to see you again” crap should be enough evidence.

      #neveragain. #sweetfreedomandpeace

      • Yes, contempt. The first sign ANYone shows us contempt–friend, boss, romantic partner–we should bail. Immediately. Though I don’t agree with all of Gottsman’s views on marriage counseling, he has decades of data to show that once Contempt rears its ugly head in a relationship, that relationship is doomed to failure.

        • Totally agree.
          It’s the window into their opinion of you! Maybe if they’d go to counseling, or see how it hurts you? But we know they pretty much don’t do that!

        • Yep, Tempest, I totally agree. The contempt is the worst. It seemed to me at the time that it came out of nowhere, not knowing what he was up to. It felt like he suddenly hated me and I couldn’t figure out why at the time…

          • after writing this post this morning, I thought about it on the way to work and what you just said kept bubbling to the top. He had these hostile spurts of contempt for me when we weren’t fighting and I was really trying to do everything I could to placate him. I really thought he suffered from chronic depression…chronic contempt and the misery of having painted oneself into a corner looked like depression…yet even recently I thought there was some depression…Im beginning to wonder

  • RR,
    It’s like a signed confession, please leave him.
    I know the prospect of extracating him from your life can seem more overwhelming than staying with somebody that is narcissistic,not invested and morally bankrupt….ask me how I know.
    #stayedfor10more
    My cheater left me. It turns out that that was the single greatest thing he ever did for me besides giving me our kids.
    Mouth shut….line up those ducks, and everything after that take one step at a time.
    You’ll see that it’s the best decision you’ll ever make, although it’ll hurt like a mother fucker for a minute.
    Peace to all the newbies, those that know they need to leave…..just all of us.

    • My cheater also left me and I too consider it a gift for 2 reasons.

      1) I probably would have never left
      2) He left me while I was going through cancer treatment and due to impression management is giving me everything.

  • I lawyered up behind my x husbands back! I would be happy to consult with you re what documents you want to collect and gather appraisals etc… information they do not want you to have! Oh was he pissed! Ironically enough, even though he reported to every one that I blindsided him when the papers were served, he contacted one of his girlfriends that day…how do I know this? She told me. I think he’s pissed a lot of women off

  • Oh Reddit, been there done that. I too thought if I knew all the “details” would make it easier.it didn’t. Once I knew everything I not only had to deal with the fact that I was lied to and cheated on but when I finally found out all the disparaging things he said about me was just a blow I never saw coming. Cheat on me, make a fool of me – fine, but DISPARAGE me! WHAT? I’m not delusional I was a good wife and the things I found out he said about me destroyed me. I don’t think I’ll ever get over that part. My cheater was an A1 sociopath. Get put now, there is no where to go with these types. Get on with the rest of your life now.

  • OMG

    He definitely has (and is continuing) to cheat. Chumplady hit it on the nose and the out the door rules are awesome.

    1) Save all his messages.
    2) GPS his ass.
    3) Find out who he knows.
    4) Ensure that he has a LOT to lose.
    5) Be patient. Financial discovery and deposing affair partners takes time. But often yields results.
    6) Do not fall for his shit.

  • Ta dah – and once again CL nails it. Really liking the make a list after filing for divorce advice.

    It’s so awful living with a conniving snake and questioning everything.

  • I lived with this kind of mindf*ck for approximately 11 years. In hindsight it started in our fourth year of marriage. It starts out slow, and you end up being conditioned to second guess yourself at every turn! The irony here is, once you are so unsure of yourself and your intuition, you turn into the marriage police because your gut is screaming “something is wrong!” Then your husband gets to portray you as controlling, jealous, psycho, needy, pathetic wife that makes him miserable.

    This all starts out slow; in my case it was finding him on hook-up sites. There was always a good explanation when confronted “I was just curious, it was nothing. Stop being insecure. Work on your self esteem, etc.” You get to a point where you stop confronting because their anger progressively gets worse and you usually end up being portrayed as the crazy stalker. Then you ask yourself “Am I a crazy stalker? I don’t want to be that wife, I better work harder not to be that way” Then they have you right where they want you, submissive and meek.

    I ended up walking into a therapists office 2 weeks before d-day, which i Hid from my husband because i was so afraid he’d leave me for being crazy. I told the therapist I was ready to face the fact that I was crazy.

    After all of this, I friggin stayed another 5 years for a second d-day, in which I found out he had been sleeping with hookers. Luckily I had been in therapy for those 5 years and worked really hard in myeself and coming to terms with the fact that his behaviors were a form of psychological abuse. Please trust me when I say run as fast as you can. Everyone thinks it can’t happen to them. I was a very independent, strong woman when we got married. I ended up being someone I did not recognize. I’m slowly finding my way back, but it is a hard long road after so many years of mindfuckery.

    RUN!

    • Got-a-brain, English is not my first language. Thank you for so accurately describing it here: “The irony here is, once you are so unsure of yourself and your intuition, you turn into the marriage police because your gut is screaming “something is wrong!” Then your husband gets to portray you as controlling, jealous, psycho, needy, pathetic wife that makes him miserable.”

  • “Please read Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft immediately.”

    Yes, yes, yes!!! This book saved my sanity!! My ex berated me every chance he could. My self esteem was in the toilet. I never realized his behavior was considered abusive until our marriage counselor recommended this book after he stopped going with me to see her. I was floored by the words I read … it was as if I myself had written the book! It was my life to a ‘T’.

    You don’t need visual proof that he’s cheating; you already know and just don’t want to accept it. We here at Chump Nation get it. It’s a process. A slow and painful one. There is light at the end of the tunnel, I promise, and that light will get brighter with every step forward. Take that first step, please! We’re all here for you.

    Order the book.

    {{{Hugs}}}

  • The whole point of a relationship is to lift each other up, love each other’s unique qualities, build a partnership, IMHO. RR, I bet you’re capable of those things! He’s not. He sees you as a rube to play his con on, is this what you need in a man?
    It would be funny to PI his filthy butt, I bet they’d find all kinds of games going on.
    RR, YOU are the cool, valuable person here. Pleases consider ending this, before you’ve stayed way too long. Good luck, and good lawyer! I bet he’s going to go nuclear as you try to get free.

  • It’s amazing to me the extent to which cheaters go to make sure they keep their “slovenly, gold-digging wife” (according to his reddit posts) who is a bad mother, etc. Oh, he wants so bad to get back with his ex… but make sure wife doesn’t find out! Deny, deny, deny! He wouldn’t want to actually BE single and available for that ex.

    If you were pyschotic, you’d think he’d be seeking treatment for you, or at least be thrilled to talk divorce… but no… My cheater was the same. Carol39 was CRAZY and CONTROLLING. Funny how all my “crazy” concerns turned out to be valid, and I didn’t control him well enough to prevent the cheating (or anything else he wanted to do). And when offered the chance to get away from crazy, controlling me, he totally freaked out about me leaving him.

    I could say that of course he is cheating, but you will always have that doubt. It’s better to put it this way: a man who would do all these things does not love you. Whether he actually fucks strange women or not (and almost certainly he does), he clearly lacks any concern about your feelings. You can’t make someone love you. He took the chance you gave him and promptly started abusing you again. Short story: He likes this relationship. He likes feeling superior and getting one over on you. If you stay with him, don’t expect that to change.

    • Great post, Carol. Mine also called me controlling and wanting to “domesticate” him. He was “unhappy, and looking for love!” When I suggested we end the relationship if he was so unhappy he said no. Let’s work on it. We have a child!

      He got me with that “control” word. Compared me to his overly controlling narc mother all the time. I did everything to prove that I was not. He traveled a lot on “business” (now I know better), vacationed with his “guy friends” and did NOTHING at home or with pur child. I let him be. Because I loved him and wanted to prove I was not controlling.

      So after I also failed to control and prevent his serial cheating and now am divorcing his entitled ass, he can’t take it lightly that his level of control over me is gradually diminishing (we have a child so there is another 8 years of co-parenting). He even said it to me recently that he would still HAVE TO CONTROL ME!!! Hahaha! Good luck, you idiot. I feel so much better cheater-free, didn’t think a year ago it would be possible. Thank you for doing what you do, CL!

      • Longtimechump, your English is awesome. You said this very well.

        The ex used to tell me I was trying to “micromanage” his life. Like expecting him to show up for dinner ever or sleep in the same bed or not take 5 hours to wash the car. They do run us down early, and get us to lower our expectations and needs until there is nothing left but perks for them, and work and hurt for us.

        Hugs.

      • I was controlling because I washed the kitchen floor, according to his long term MOW. He agreed.

        Then I emasculated him, again according to the MOW, because I don’t know what. And he agreed. That one was a head scratcher because I made is serial cheating so easy for him. I managed the kids, the house, his image, his NEEDS!, everything and yet that was emasculating according to a married swinger with her true love fantasy man (asshat).

        • It is so validating to read other people’s descriptions that match up so closely to my experience. Because I admittedly still have backslides – I have NO interest in still being with my ex, but I question my role in the downfall of our relationship and start questioning myself. Then I have to go back and re-read articles about narcissism, etc. to reconfirm that my relationship was not normal, no matter what I would have done.

          And it is also helpful to read these descriptions that so closely fit….I made my needs smaller and smaller b/c my ex was working hard (although spending all of his time and energy on only his job), suffered from depression (all the books told me not to take that personally, but someone should have told my ex that I wasn’t the sole reason for his unhappiness), and he wasn’t happy just staying home and mowing the lawn like boring, ordinary Joe Shmoe down the street. And if I tried to turn him into “that guy”, well then I was just controlling and trying to make him into someone he wasn’t. You mean, someone who cares about his wife and family and WANTS to invest in those relationships?? And someone who is a partner in handling all of the responsibilities that come with that?! No thanks, I prefer to get the good stuff but not do all that pesky hard work. Of course he was willing to do the hard work at his job, because he gets admiration from that and it feeds his endless ego. But he is a covert narcissist so outside people don’t see the dysfunction, they just see a good guy! It’s just unbelievably disgusting, and heart breaking honestly.

  • So he’s telling you he’s not a cheater, but he sure did make a damn good list!
    My cheating husband followed the same rules:
    Deleted everything before he walked in for dinner.
    He turned on tinder and bumble when he was out of the 100 mile range.
    Cut me off from his work events and social circle as an added insurance policy… just in case.
    When they were local whores, he chose married women with kids that had a whole lot to lose.
    He drilled it in my head that i am crazy with a mysterious untreated mental illness. Told our friends that i would be a terrible mother.
    No one writes a rule book for cheating if they aren’t cheating. Look where his thoughts are. “How to be the most awesomely deceptive evil bastard and not get caught”. That is not normal. And he’s flat out saying he wants to be with other women/exes. I’d take the gold digger comment as a warning… he thinks everything is his. I’d bet my ass he’s hiding accounts and will make discovery a nightmare. All the more reason to quietly collect everything to be ready to divorce him.

    • Gosh what ring! We our soul sisters. My stbx tells everybody about my undiagnosed mental illness. Meanwhile he wants me to have full charge of the children but doesn’t want to give me any financial support. It’s all his! My undiagnosed mental illness may have caused me to miss something here, but based on what I know- I think he may be confused as to who has undiagnosed mental illness.

      • I’ve thought that before! I’m like I think Feelingit could be my soulsister. 💛👩
        Sooo you have the mysterious mental illness too, huh! I said to him after I left… Ok so what is my mental disorder then? What are the symptoms? He said… I’m not sureeee. That’s for a doctor to determine. You should go find out tho.
        Funny thing is I asked my therapist if I have a disorder. She said yeah lol a malignant 200lb narcissistic tumor that’s slowly killing you. Hhhahahha. Love her.
        I hear ya. So badly don’t you want to tell them they are the ones that are sick. I have one hell of a story if I ever met you in person. I’m afraid to write it bc it’s so specific. My best friend told me that I’m a legend. Let’s just say the one time I served him consequences on this it was epic. 😉

          • Ugh unbelievable! I have a friend that actually believed her sociopath husband that she had a mental illness and admitted herself. It’s was all his plan. Once she was an inpatient he had their daughter taken away from her. He parents got her out and she has no mental illness. She was so severely abused by her husband she needed to be literally carried out of her house by her father. She’s an intelligent professional woman now remarried to a lovely man and has children with him. This tactic is pure evil. And I only found out this happened to her after they heard that I was living the same nightmare. Then they told me as a warning for what can happen if you stay too long.

    • Hey, I’m a 7-year survivor post-affair (the one that he admits to) and my recovery has been good, but I will never get over being abused.

      I want to thank you for sharing your experience–you NEVER know, when you pour your heart out, where it’s going to resonate.

      Your post, whatringisthis, gave me pause. This whole column did, actually.

      He drilled it in my head that i am crazy with a mysterious untreated mental illness. Told our friends that i would be a terrible mother.
      No one writes a rule book for cheating if they aren’t cheating. Look where his thoughts are. “How to be the most awesomely deceptive evil bastard and not get caught”. That is not normal. And he’s flat out saying he wants to be with other women/exes. I’d take the gold digger comment as a warning… he thinks everything is his.

      I was diagnosed by him as being depressed and anxious. I probably was. He never cared why, but was free to express disgust. I put a lot of the blame on him, now, looking back. I followed his career to this town that I grew to love, and had no friends, no family, and ultimately 3 kids in diapers. I worked. I brought home money when it wasn’t easy. I got in trouble for calling in sick when the kids were sick. I had strange babysitters (a service) in when he refused to call in sick for the kids (I will always HATE myself for this.) He treated me with such disdain, kept his paycheck to himself, refused to put my name on a joint account, complained that I was irresponsible with money (HE was, as it turns out.) He deliberately REFUSED to tell me that I was a good mother. Everyone else told me I was a great mom–but I wanted to hear it from him, and he knew it, and he refused. I wasn’t as good as his mother, and not as good as our nanny. He followed Howard Stern’s womanizing advice, while I listened to Dr. Laura and bought all her books so that I would be a good wife. Good wives had happy husbands, she taught me. So I tried harder and harder to please him. But the goal posts kept moving. He liked spending time alone on weekends. He kept condoms in his dresser drawer.

      And I read the posts above about the cheater demanding more sex. The Coward never cared about what I wanted or needed. He just sneered at me that I better give him more sex. Typically this coincided with him falling in love with some woman at work. I better dance real pretty. I think these women were not interested in him–he was delusional, and eventually would cool off. But he was lazy and withholding, begrudging and entitled. And I wondered why it was so hard all the time between us.

      Wow. I feel like I just threw off another weight. From now on I will look at him like, “That’s the disgusting sociopath I was married to. No good feelings toward him whatsoever, and I’m that much closer to understanding why.”

      Thanks!

      • Poop. I meant only to italicize what I quoted from your post, but the whole thing got italicized. Anyway–thanks

      • Stephanie i so relate to your post. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same either. Regular breakups don’t change you completely. You might learn a lesson or two, but it is just so upsetting how an abusive spouse can completely alter your life. Everything you wrote is what I experienced as well. I felt the same… good wives have happy husbands… so I was failing. Therapy fixed that lol. We were playing a game that we didnt have the rules to. The goal posts moving is right on. Sooo frustrating! I would be bombarded daily with ridiculous texted complaints. Id say ok i hear you, if that will fix things then I’ll do it. One request was don’t say anything about his purchases because then I’m “lighting his fire and im a negative person”… And he “thinks about having sex with me all day and then I go and speak and then it goes right out the window”. So i had the opposite. He withheld sex from me. The funny thing is i didnt talk about purchases. He’d ask my opinion on it… I’d say umm it’s expensive but if you need it then ok… a set up to say something. This from him when I couldn’t even buy work clothes and had to use staples to fix the hems on my pants. I did everything he told me that a good wife does and he was still a miserable prick. When I discovered that he was cheating on me I started reading this blog and researching what the f@ck is wrong with this guy! 💡holy shit he’s a sociopath. It took years to extract myself which is embarrassing to me. I’m lonely but ya know what’s nice… not getting an adrenaline rush 10 times a day. Not panicking when I hear the sound of his boots walking towards me down the hall. And thank you for sharing too it really was so helpful to read last night. I feel like a ghost. Invisible floating around my day and talking but I’m not really here. I’m glad you felt a weight lifted. I do too.
        Seems we have a lot in common so I look forward to your future posts.
        💛🌼☀ everything is going to be ok.

  • Many of us have been there. You do not deserve that disrespect and gas lighting. My recommendation is to take CL s advice. It is worth it. Also consider your sexual health with those rules. Get tested and protect yourself. Would this person have your back in the future? You have found CN and, you can do this. Wishing you well.

    • Exactly. It’s amazing what cheaters do. It’s actually part of my cheater wife’s job to counsel teens about STDs and protection, but there she goes multiple occasions unprotected with this other guy for months AND me, her husband, 17 years sticking by her! and no problem risking my life- like its nothing. Mind boggling.

      • Mind boggling indeed. To me It’s one of the more evil things cheaters do. In the future may laws change so they can be judged and sentenced for endangering unknowing chumps wellbeing

      • Amazing how they can go out and screw strangers with no protection. No birth control. Mine was a nurse who knows well the risk of!

  • There is a blogger with this exact list of rules. He left his wife and young daughter to live with a college student. He had already started looking when he found the girl. Evidently this list is the Bible for cheaters. Your husband isn’t original, he’s just a common, cheating narcissist. Run!

  • Choo-choo sounds LOL!

    Dear Revolt, PLEASE do not be so naive and spackly. Ask me how I know it is a waste of your precious time and efforts.

    When you are free of this sparkledick idiot the cloud will lift and you will be slapping yourself for having been so …. spackly. But it is worth what you will feel next: respect, freedom, honesty and mightiness. You do NOT need this train collector.

    • RR encourage him to take the job and travel as much as possible. While he’s gone, collect the financial records, go shopping for your future new life, line up the other ducks and then file. Getting him out of your house and out of your head will help you see exactly what you need to do.

      • I love this, Geode! I wish I had done it this way, and not bursting into tears and showing my weakness to the idiot as well as my son. For quite a long time…

        • Thanks LTC. In my case I helped ex negotiate great job offers in three states, charming at recruiting dinners and even touring homes with real estate agents in those towns. Once he was comfy in a high profile position, I filed, emailed him the papers and told him to never contact me or my children again under threat of a restraining order. He’s a lying bully with a thing for prostitutes. He deserved being duped.

  • I didn’t actually catch him except for the one time I did and he said it was one night. My counsellor said you know what he’s doing. Why do you need proof? I was being an affair detective. It was horrible. It was a friend and the affair went on for a year. Should have let him leave then..

  • It makes me sad to read posts like this because it shows how much of our self-respect and happiness we’re willing to sacrifice to hold our families together. Looking back it’s hard to believe I put up with this kind of crap, but I did. The unfortunate truth is that the trust is gone and won’t return. Without trust, marriage is a tough and lonely road. So many nights wondering where they are, what they’re doing…there’s just no peace. Even when you want to give the marriage a 2nd, 3rd, or 100th chance, you have to finally admit to yourself you will never trust them again.

    • Indeed, I don’t even recognize the pick me dance self that I was for 3 months. I’m not that person. I’m glad I snapped out of that. It will be better to be a ‘new family’ where dad has his self-respect and doesn’t let someone take advantage of his ethics and trust.

  • RR…..
    Let’s just say that he hasn’t cheated….YET, just for shits and giggles. Let’s look at what you have to work with here. And keep in mind that this is your spouse, your best friend, you have built a life together. Even if he isn’t cheating, is this how you picture your spouse to be? Is he there for you? Is he putting you first? Can you lean on him when you need support? Does making you happy make him happy? Are you both working towards the same future? If the answer is NO to any or all of these questions, then he is wasting your time.

    I don’t know about you but I would find it hard to be those things for someone who isn’t reciprocating them to me. My guess is that he has already stepped out on you sexually. If I’m wrong and he hasn’t yet, he soon will. AND YOU CANNOT CONTROL THAT! All you can do is sit there and wonder. Nothing you say or do will change his bad decisions. I tried that and only hurt myself and did things I regret.

    Take his directive and be secretive. Line up your ducks, lawyer up and walk. There is a happier life out there. You are worth more than he is capable of giving!

  • Does it matter if the rubber met the road yet? Or the weiner hit the ho? He is an awful person who has already told you who he is. He’s not invested in the marriage or in you. He is taking advantage of you as a wife appliance. As soon as something better (in his mind) comes along, he will leave and take everything he can. He will look at you with a smirk on his face because he will say you deserve it. You have seen his writings. You know what’s in his mind. Does it matter if he has actually screwed someone now or will at the first chance? Do you want to live always trying to untangle what you know and play marriage police for what you don’t know?

    It is so hard for us chumps to think what did we do? How can we be better? How could he think these things about us? It is not us. It is them. Our minds cannot understand that type of pathology. We just aren’t built that way.

    Peace and quiet are on the other side of this rodeo after you leave a cheater. There is definitely stress and pain to get there, but it is so worth it!!

    • Agree it is worth it. Peace and self respect. Hope and looking forward to a great future, no more marriage police and angst. Capability autonomy choice, growth, these things await on the other side. No one deserves gas lighting and abuse, reddit cheater rules is an abuser who looks and smells like a cheater. Act in your interests RR. You are worth it. It is worth it.

      • Capability, autonomy, choice, growth, these things await on the other side.

        What a great description of the “gain a life” side of the equation. Yes, yes, yes!

  • He should have said, “I understand your concern based on my past behavior, maybe you can come with me on the trip, or what can I do to help you feel comfortable with my travel?”

    Instead he has a fit like a 3 year old and storms off to the guestroom to screw with your head. Filing for divorce is probably the best option to remedy the situation quickly. He will either change his attitude and get real about improving the marriage or he will thank you for his freedom.

  • RR, as many have said, the real answer to the question of “did he cheat” is DOESN’T MATTER. Your husband is, excuse my French, a first class asshole. Though divorce is painful, the pain is temporary, however bad, as opposed to the long term misery of spending the rest of your life with him. Go undercover, consult an attorney about how best to get your financial ducks in a line and get any electronic evidence copied on flash drive and in your attorney’s office before you serve him. And remember, it’s perfectly legal to leave your husband without “proof” that he cheated. Cheaters do it all the time!

    • Plus 1! I’m with Chickynot. Did he/Has he cheated? DOESN’T MATTER. He doesn’t treat you right and I can tell you from a very long 3 year reconciliation – it just gets worse and then worser and then even worser after that. Get thee to an attorney.

  • RR, sister, I KNOW what you are living. Your story sounds so close to mine in so many ways. I’m sure a lot of us can say that. I have some proof about the affairs, but it’s very very little. It’s enough for my own heart to know that I will not tolerate being treated like I was treated ever again. What I can tell you with certainty is that THE VERY DAY X packed up and moved out, was the day that the gaslighting, the revisionist history and verbal abuse stopped. He was literally driving me crazy.

    After they leave, or you kick them out or however the chips fall, it’s just better. Verbal abuse is insidious and I would say for some, covert. You question if it really is abuse because then they say something nice and they are OK for a minute and so you ignore that little ache in your heart that tells you they treat you like garbage.

    I say stop ignoring that ache. Think about it more and more until you find the gumption to be done with this toxic relationship. Clue into healthy relationships and how they are starkly different from your own. Especially the ones that are similar (kids, married for several years, jobs, etc) and compare them against your own. I know I did and found my relationship SEVERELY lacking in anything good, much less healthy.

  • Not to be a pedantic bore, but I can’t help myself: The illustration should say: How much douche could a douchebag bag if a douchebag could bag douche. 😃

  • RR, please listen to a TED talk by Ashley Judd. It is not on cheating but it is about how words can cause us harm. The things he said about you are harming you whether you admit it or not. We are so susceptible to the people we love that they can damage us permanently if we let them. There is no reason for you to trust the man you are married to. How sad is that right now you are agonizing over the fact that he might have to travel for work. That is not a marriage, that is a prison sentence for you. It’s time you broke out of prison. It’s time you stood up for yourself. You do not want to become old and look back at your life and realize that for the majority of it you had these sad, sad feelings. Life should be filled with joy. It does not sound, by reading your comments, that you have much joy in your life. I think you need to look at what your day is like and how it affects your health. Good luck.

    • So right, LetGo. And there is mounting evidence that emotional abuse alone is as psychologically detrimental as physical abuse. No one should tolerate either.

  • Hi Reddit Revolt:

    As so many other Chumps have said, the real issue is if this marriage is okay with you. Do you believe that being married to someone who has publicly posted that you are “a slovenly gold digger and bad mother” is okay? Is it fine for your husband to say that all his other ex-wives are awesome, but you? You’re last night’s supper. Frankly, a lot of other spouses would file for divorce just on that kind of abuse alone, and it sounds as if you’re already close to filing because of his other behavior, regardless of the cheating.

    But let’s look at the cheating bit, since that’s the concern.

    There’s a 99.9999 percent chance he’s cheating and has been cheating on you. You’re hoping that the .0001 percent chance is the one scenario you have. Perhaps cheating is the only hard boundary you have, so if you get hard proof, you give yourself permission to divorce. Perhaps you want to “confront” him with hard evidence in an attempt to make him “see the light” so that you can work on the marriage.

    Let’s get the hard proof out of the way first. Unless there is a legal reason for you to have evidence of adultery, pursuing this kind of evidence is usually not worth it. If you need this kind of evidence (does adultery factor into the pre-nupt that you two signed?), then you need to obtain it in an admissible fashion. This means hiring a Private Investigator, and given that your husband’s rules indicate that he’s looking at one-night stands/hookers while he’s out of town on travel, you’d need to know where he travels in order to have a PI from that area follow him.

    You can do some background snooping, but you have to be careful because if you need legally obtained evidence of adultery, be aware that some of your private snooping will uncover things that are not admissible, and if you confront your cheater with this “evidence,” all your cheater will do is get smarter and go farther underground.

    Among the more informal things you can do is to GPS the car, which works only if he uses it for his travels. Do a bit of googling on this. Some units allow you to pick up voice. It’d be useful to hear him phone HookUps R Us to book an escort, but it’s probably not admissible in court. A GPS might also indicate whether he’s really out of town on travel. After all, he might tell you he’s going out of town, but then spend the weekend at a cute B&B the next town over. Or he’ll make regular stops at Rub-a-Matic Massage Therapy before and after all his trips.

    However, while you’re still figuring out the evidence issue, there are some other concrete things you need to do.

    1) Talk with a family law attorney with experience in high conflict divorces. Your husband has been through the divorce route several times. He probably has his own attorney for this. In fact, you can find out! Go look him up online in your state’s database. At least in my state, this free service allows me to see the parties involved, including the attorney. It also shows the date the case was opened and when it was settled. Pro-tip: the longer the time between filing and settlement, the higher the probability that this was a high-conflict situation. See if he used the same attorney every time. If he complains that a particular ex-wife drained him dry, see who her attorney was.

    2) Talk with a divorce financial planner. You need to get your finances under control. You need to look at your joint accounts (does the income on his tax filing match the amount of money that he deposits into his investments and other accounts? If not,he probably has a secret account). A divorce financial planner can help you make good financial decisions to set you on a good path post divorce. You will especially need a divorce financial planner if there’s a pre-nupt involved. Be aware that it’s not unusual for men to foist off the very expensive, high-mortgage home on the ex-wife. This leaves the man with a lot of liquid assets. While the house may be worth a lot, it’s not liquid.

    3) Get tested for STDs. If there’s cheating involved, you have no idea what you’ve been exposed to. What you don’t know can kill you, so get tested. And retested, assuming that you’ve been having sex with him on a regular basis.

    4) Get a better therapist. You are being abused. Your therapist needs to recognize this. While you’re at it, see if you can get recommendations on therapists for your children, as they’ve been part of this abuse. One of my friends discovered that her husband was telling their child that mommy was crazy, that mommy was imagining that daddy did all these things, etc. That had gone one from the time the child was in pre-school, and the child had significant anger issues. It took a long time for my friend to file. For a long time, she believed that while her husband was a creep, she couldn’t do any better. By the way, she’s divorced now, has worked with a great therapist, and 2 years post divorce is in a relationship with a very nice guy!

    5) Don’t let your husband know what’s going on! Remember that he’s been through this divorce thing before. If you let him know you’re thinking of divorce, expect his assets to dry up. Don’t threaten divorce for the same reason. Don’t bring up his cheating for the same reason. Heck, the best you could do is to give the impression that you totally trust him. This is very hard to do, though.

    I am so sorry that you’re going through this. I do know that once the dust has settled after the divorce, life does get very much better!

    • This is all great advice (and interesting on the docket research!). He hasn’t been married before (I meant exes in the ex girlfriend sense), but he is a lawyer with narc tendencies so I’m sure he’s going to make it an epic pain – really that and the realities of raising 3 small children (rather than expecting any quality relationship) is what has kept me in it so long. The financial planner piece is especially good advice that I hadn’t considered before. The story about your friend is completely chilling, and I certainly do worry about what kind of impact all of this will have on the kids. I don’t want them to witness me being abused, but I worry too about what their reality will be in the time they spend with their dad, and would want to be involved and protect them during that time. What a mess. I am in the process of trying to get a therapist for the children and doing what I can to make sure they have other family support (grandparents, etc).

      • You are going to be mighty for your children!

        In my friend’s case, she found an excellent therapist for her older daughter. This has helped a lot, especially with respect to the interactions with the younger daughter. My own fear is that the older child could have truly hurt the younger one, but now is tolerant of the younger sibling–as much as the 7 years of difference enables her to be tolerant.

        My friend’s story is similar to others here who’ve had to pick up the parenting mantle. It takes one sane parent. Over time, the kids learn which parent truly has their back. It’s still new enough in my friend’s case that her ex plays games with visitation, hoping to switch days when it’s convenient for him, but she’s documenting each time he asks for a change. She’s also watching how many days she has with the children. Our state’s standard visitation schedule means that every other year, the custodial parent is a couple of days short of the state-mandated minimum number of days required to maintain that status.

        In her ex’s case, it’s clear that he’s not really interested in parenting per se, but more interested in custody as “winning.” For a few months, he did the Disney Dad thing, but he’s now past that stage. Now he parks the kids in front of the television while he does his own thing. A lot of chumps have reported similar developments.

        Read the forums for a lot of parenting discussions. There’s a lot of good information.

      • They will figure out their father in time. And they will have their own relationship with him. If he’s typical of narcs, he won’t have much to do with them, just the impression management bits.

        Right now your’e propping him and that relationship with his kids up. You remove yourself, they get a REAL relationship with him. Which will be on him. It’s painful yes, but modeling abuse to children is IMO, way more painful and damaging.

        By drawing boundaries, building a new life, and modeling resiliency you will be a powerful example in their lives. Him, not so much.

  • I always hesitate to recommend other books on CL’s own page… but can happily now second her advice to read Lundy Bancroft.

    It lays out, in horrifying and minute detail, all the ways one person can emotionally abuse another without actually raising a hand or calling a name.

    I felt sick when I read it. Does he have hidden cameras in my house?

    It helps so much to identify the behaviors, not just the character concerns. We trust that they suck, but having example after example actually helps restore sanity. And the section on how the abuse affects children is a MUST.

    • It is a great book. Its funny to me, I’ve read so many books trying to deal in this relationship I should have an honorary masters in social work. I can talk at length about verbal abuse, narcs, gaslighting, etc. It’s taken a long time to realize I’ve done enough.

      • RR – I’m late to these comments, and haven’t read them all. I just wanted to pop in to say that I’m so glad you’re here. Please, take care of yourself and get all of your ‘ducks’ lined up before you even let on to him what you’re doing.

        And please, please don’t waver. As I’m sure you will already know very well, relationships like these are rollercoasters – there may be times during your divorce and separation behind-the-scenes that he behaves like the perfect spouse again, all loving. Don’t fall for it – you’ve been with him long enough to know it won’t last – it’s the peak of the rollercoaster. Keep on moving forward and away – it’s now time to put you and your children first.

        I wish you the best of luck.

  • DD1 he told me all. I didn’t need proof.
    We reconciled for three years.
    DD2?
    I never had proof. I had his refusal to unlock his phone to allow me to see his texting/emailing history. When he refused I told him to get the hell out.
    I didn’t need anything more than that.
    2 1/2 years later I am divorced, have full custody of both kids and am SOOOO much happier 🙂

  • I think the only questions here is he an asshole or a cheating asshole, and in my opinion, NEITHER of those things can be fixed. However, I remember feeling the same, being obsessed with the question of DID HE PHYSICALLY CHEAT. What I started to understand was that it didn’t matter. I’m not okay with my partner sexting, flirty texting, collecting nude photos of exes on his phone, or any of the vast number of predatory behaviors I did catch him at. And like JC above, after I left, I got the evidence I was after. I’m SO glad I didn’t wait! When there’s this much smoke, there’s definitely fire, but hey–just the smoke alone can kill you. Don’t wait to run when you’re engulfed in flames!

  • If it smells like sh*t and looks like sh*t, you don’t have to taste it to know it’s sh*t.

    The proof of cheating is almost irrelevant except that it would validate your suspicions. The bottom line is that he does not respect you and can you really stay married to someone like that?

  • I get that you need solid proof that he has cheated, but for me, I would be done. He is setting things up to cheat if he hasn’t already. What do you do with that? You serve him with divorce papers. The fact that he’s gaslighting you, calling you psycho, crazy, and pulling stunts like sleeping in the guest bedroom when you have a very valid concern about his traveling, would be enough for me.

    DTMFA!!!!

  • I guess I’m resigned to being rejected and abused by a coward cheater who never loved me and fell in love with the rescue angel twat of his life, so this list didn’t shock me until I got to the last rule:

    6. do not fall for other woman

    And that was like a cold shower. I mean everything else about the way he treats you is very clear, he does not value nor LOVE you. But what you have here is a stone cold sociopath. He’s the sort of fuck ’em and bail type. No bonds, no love, just poke your dick in and move on. Then go home and get lost in the computer and yell at your wife appliance for being “psychotic” and not dancing pretty enough.

    That list–he’s like one of those serial killers who make plans for their victims. He gives me the fucking creeps, and he should give YOU the creeps, too.

    Listen to CL. You don’t need proof that he’s cheating, he’s cheating. He’s not a lovely man at all. He’s not warm and kind and committed. He’s cold and cruel.

      • Exactly, by existing or asking to have basic needs met you are creating some sort of narcissistic injury that demands retaliation (or otherwise writes a permission slip).

        • Right on. That’s why it’s confusing until you figure this out. When it clicks that it’s your existence that is the problem, it helps you to finally start looking for a safe way out. He verified this theory many times by literally telling me I’m an accessory… i am to be looked at and not heard… unless our lives are in danger not to open my f@ucking mouth with an opinion. Im his wife and my job is to look good next to him and keep my mouth shut and refill his drink.
          I almost barfed writing that.

    • Because how else is he going to pout and feel entitled to things he wants to do anyway but are wrong?
      He’s fabricating justification for himself. My spouse is soooo bad, how could I not cheat?
      That’s their logic. They want to punish the spouse for perceived slights (they expect them), but the delight lies in “neener, neener, I know something you don’t, that’ll show you”. Except, it won’t. Because the chump doesn’t know about it! That would destroy cake, beautiful cake. They have respect for cake!

      As petty as a toddler who will go and secretly pee in drawers when he’s upset at mommy for cutting his sandwich in half (which he asked for). But who, them? Never would do such a thing, how dare we suggest that?

    • Something my first therapist said stuck with me. I said I was hurt and shocked that Ex had no respect for me. Therapist pointed out when someone repeatedly lies to you and gets away with it, that kind of person feels you are well, a chump, a fool. Not worthy of their respect. Thus, contempt.

  • This guy’s online behaviour alone provides enough circumstantial evidence that he’s a bad bet for a faithful partner.

  • If you make yourself serve time on the Marriage Police, be prepared to answer your own question — to yourself — later, “Why did I waste so much time?” Also, be prepared for it to be worse than you imagine it to be. You cannot forget what you see and learn. You already know he is not treating you right, that should be enough. Note: I was on the marriage police. Ask me how much I wish I had not used my time that way. Almost every chump I personally know expresses regret for not having acted sooner. If you live in a state where adultery is illegal and you get a better settlement in court — deduct the cost of the PI from whatever you think you will receive in benefit, and ask yourself the value of your privacy over allowing anyone else to read about the details in your court documents. Inquiring minds will seek out whatever they can find — and repeat it, and modify it, and make up their own twists. I prefer not to give any information to people who have no need to know anything about my business.

    It is not political to talk about a subject that is consuming the country right now. We have to ask ourselves what we can tolerate or cannot tolerate, and if we are going to hold people in governing positions, or doctors, lawyers, teachers, bankers, etc etc people in trust positions, accountable. The subjects of sexual abuse, and abuse of power, and pedophilia touches all political parties, all genders, all religions, EVERYONE. Not all abusers are men. Not all abuse can be documented. Sometimes a preponderance of the evidence has to be enough. Denial of the offense is not enough. Physical evidence or being caught in the act by witnesses is an unreasonable expectation.

    Whatever your motivation for wanting to believe the abuse did not happen, or the accuser has some motive of material gain — remember that everyone of the abusers was someone’s son or daughter, mother or father, sister or brother. Many of the people accused were loved by colleagues and worked with others without trying to abuse them. Many of the abusers are of an age and a cultural/societal outlook that they did not consider what they were doing “wrong” at the time. I am sure there are many otherwise decent people out there who are examining their own attitudes and behaviors and wondering if someone will bring charges against them. Some are just now starting to realize things that have been said and felt for years are LEGITIMATE, and they have been ignoring them. Realizing that you have been holding on to the wrong attitude due to your social programming is not a good feeling. Realizing that someone you love has been awful to someone else is awful, too.

    None of us are completely innocent. We have doubted when we should not, and we have given the benefit of the doubt when we should not. We have to focus on fixing the problem and setting the boundaries. Pointing the finger of blame is not enough, either.

  • I understand the need to be sure, to try to figure out what the hell happened to your life, but how much do you want to know? Isn’t it enough that this dirtbag is writing the sorts of things he is on the Internet? Even if it went no further than that, is this the sort of person you want to spend your life with? My STBX said that nothing happened between her and the AP. I don’t know if anything physical happened, but as I said to her, the truly important bonds of trust and care for one another were already broken. Going out and bitching about your partner and sharing that with others instead of your spouse is unacceptable. Anything else you find out is only going to be more crap you’ll have to carry around with you. Dump it at the curb along with the asshole.

  • Reddit Revolt,

    Listen to Chump Lady. You are a chump. I discovered my spouse was having an affair from his Facebook messenger – I didn’t go looking for it, he used my computer and left the page open.

    Later I discovered that he had an account with a website promoting affairs with married women. He denies that to this day (I think he doesn’t want his AP now wife to know).

    Once you discover them, you can’t forget it. Move on, quietly and as quickly as possible.

    Hugs to you!

  • I’m going to chime in. Your spouse has absolutely betrayed you. He’s also cheated and probably multiple times with multiple women. However, the physical act of intercourse isn’t the worst betrayal. It is possible to forgive just the sex. Personally, all of it’s a deal breaker, though, for me.
    Looking back, for me, the worst part was the emotional betrayals; the horrible lies he made up and told others about me, the abusive gaslighting, and his general nastiness for no reason, were the things I knew I could never get past. This is a very personal issue. Sex isn’t as bad as all the other stuff to get over. If I had known then what I know now, I would have left his ass so many years sooner. It I didn’t know what gaslighting, blameshifting, and projection were.
    Please don’t stick around for the smoking gun, you will regret it very much. You don’t have to convince anyone else that he is divorce worthy.

  • Definitely go silent ninja on him. Silently gather all data and evidence. Plan your attack with your hired hitman, i.e. the lawyer. Give him absolutely nothing to work with, verbally, written, etc.

    Drop the D-bomb when he’s at his most vulnerable. From then on never share another personal word with him. Beat him to death with the lawyer and never have another personal word with him.

  • RR If he did have sex with other women would that be a deal breaker? You have found red flags that he desires an affair, but have you found any evidence that he has been communicating with other women?

    You are in a tough situation, a crazy making situation. Here you have seen your husband type out a list on how to cheat and slander your relationship but you have no other evidence. Cheaters are liars and will never admit unless caught red handed.

    CL is right, the best way to quickly stop this nonsense is to file for D. The divorce process can be stopped if your husband comes around and makes a honest attempt to reconcile the marriage.

  • I didn’t catch my x spouse cheating. He was verbally and psychologically abusive for several years after his parents died, and I colored the abuse over with his sad sausage ongoing and vague mental and medical issues, with his daily words of love and appreciation. My biggest regret is that I didn’t leave earlier, second biggest regret is that I just couldn’t see the abuse and what I was becoming to accommodate it, despite several friends pointing it out. CL and CN is pointing the abuse out for you.

    Seek legal advice. Seek a therapist skilled supporting people setting new boundaries in high conflict relationships.

  • Obviously your gut tells you he is cheating. I assume that by your attempts to find evidence. Gut is the best instinct you have! Listen to it! Once you see them delete, password lock and start calling you crazy or psychotic, they are cheating! To make themselves look better they destroy us in public….. you are lucky to have CL and everyone who in most cases have had the exact same situations. I wish I had this blog back in 2009-2011…… cheaters are really not creative they all use the same playbook.

  • Five years into my marriage with Cheaterpants, he had left his instant messenger open, I found all these message between Cheaterpants and girls and guys. The majority of it was sex talk with Cheaterpants and men. I confronted Cheaterpants and he claimed we had some sort of computer virus, he was not into guys he proclaimed. I admit, him as bisexual seemed a bit odd. He admitted to chatting up girls, said he had pushed the boundaries a bit, but the gay chat stuff, not him. He even took our computer in to have the virus removed and agreed to have our phone bills shared and he deleted all his instant message stuff. I never found anything with him actually having sex with anyone, just the emails that were very explicit. My gut said to run, but I kept thinking that he he wasn’t bisexual and we did really have a virus, just not one that was sending instant messages and nude photos to strangers online.
    Now 4 years after that, I find his open email account with message from him and to guys, girls and couples looking for bisex and everything else. This time when I confronted him he fessed up. That first time should have been enough for me, but I held onto the fact that I had no evidence of actually sex, what I had and what you have is enough.

    • He said it was a computer virus?! How did he even explain that to the computer guy he allegedly took it to for removal?! “It’s so weird, my computer has been sending emails and naked pics to random gay/bisexual men on it’s own – must be a virus! Or my computer has developed a brain of it’s own! And it likes men!!”

  • Today’s posts kind of made my head spin. First, because I was surprised that someone claimed the conversation “got political” because a politician has been accused of sexual misconduct. We don’t say the discussion got “medical” if a doctor is accused? Very odd tangent. Second, ALL sexual misconduct (from harassment to stalking to groping to rape) is morally wrong, no matter who commits it. Third, MOST victims don’t report, and very few false report. Finally, in response to the main point of today’s letter, you don’t need proof that he cheated. HE CHEATED, whether he physically put his body in or on any of those women he was talking to online. I hate when people who haven’t been chumped (or don’t know it) say, well, at least your partner ONLY had an emotional affair. How many of our cheaters have said that?? Or, it was ONLY kissing, not sex…or whatever bullshit they offer up to sugarcoat the fact that they betrayed us and violated their commitment. How many of you agreed to your partners engaging in “just” sex talk with other people when you made a commitment to each other?? I hope RR gets out now before he does even more damage to her life.

    • “Today’s posts kind of made my head spin. First, because I was surprised that someone claimed the conversation “got political” because a politician has been accused of sexual misconduct. We don’t say the discussion got “medical” if a doctor is accused? Very odd tangent.”

      Yes it was really annoying… glad you pointed this out down here and not as a response to the original comment towards the very top, first-to-be-read comments, because it seemed unfair to this woman who needs help that the column/comments about her current ongoing issue got a bit hi-jacked. I felt like we were all being trolled to be honest

  • I think your first step should be to work on your own boundaries. I HIGHLY recommend Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. Once you start paying more attention to your own boundaries, you will probably start to see patterns. It’s not uncommon with the type of relationship you seem to be describing to start to see that the person who (potentially) cheats has no respect for your boundaries, coupled with you possibly not being clear on what is acceptable to you and then actually enforcing that. And it is tricky b/c when your partner in life is telling you that what you see as black is white to him, it DOES get confusing. But if you have a feeling that things aren’t right and there is more under the surface, the chances are good that something is amiss.

    My guess is that as the fog clears you will start to see that your husband is probably a pretty selfish, self absorbed guy. Google narcissism and start to learn a bit more about that, but beware of the trite articles since it’s become a buzzword….and you will need to read about 10 articles before you start seeing a pattern that fits, if it actually does. That was a huge turning point for me, although it took several weeks for me to absorb.

    Once I started to see in my marriage how much I was stepping up in big and little ways so that he could continue to be self absorbed, and started to make some changes, I felt SO much better. He didn’t like the changes, b/c he didn’t get to continue to get his way without actually appearing to be orchestrating that. For example, I would have plans for weeks with friends on Friday night. Friday morning, he would tell me he forgot he was supposed to go to a concert for a friends bday. In the past, I would not have wanted his friend to be disappointed, and would work it out so that I either found coverage for the kids or didn’t go to my thing, even though I would be resentful and annoyed. After my shift, I put the ownership of that problem back on him (where it belongs!!!) and let him figure it out. That is a small example but my point is that those small things are insidious b/c you don’t really zoom out and see that it’s part of a larger pattern. I mean my ex also had several affairs, just to be clear, so obviously I was giving him WAY too much wiggle room on a lot of things!!!

    All that said, you will need to do this on your own time. I found it was good to have all kinds of support – the people who said to leave ASAP helped me feel validated that I wasn’t being unreasonable in my expectations of my husband. The people who encouraged me to try everything I could to save my marriage empowered me to not feel ashamed of still loving my husband and really wanting to work out our marriage and keep my family together even when faced with evidence he had had affairs and basically blamed it on me. I can say I tried everything within my power to make my marriage work, but I ultimately realized my ex is a bottomless cup that can never be filled (hence the affairs, being a workaholic, addiction, etc.), and as painful as it was the marriage ended – but I am so glad I can look back and know I did everything I possibly could to keep my kids’ family together. So take what we all tell you and carve out your own way, you will figure it out!

  • RR

    In hindsight I realized ho often and hard I fought for a total Asshole. It took me 41 years with multiple Ddays before I threw his ass out and filed.

    Just take another look at this list.

    constantly delete all messages

    never do it in the same city as wife

    never do it with someone the wife knows

    ensure the other woman has as much to lose as you if the affair comes to light

    be patient. Meaning: only get with other woman when the time is right and risk is low

    do not fall for other woman

    Ask yourself why you’d ever waste your energy on this creepy sick imposter. You have all the evidence. Time to line up ducks and gain a life. It’s so much better than tallying up another Dday. You’ve got nothing to work with. Don’t tell him. Come here and make a plan. We’ll guide you every step of the way. Enough. That’s the first step.

  • Maybe someone else already wrote this (sorry, so many comments, I stopped reading at some point) but even if your husband didn’t cheat (of course he did, but I’ll play Devil’s Advocate), he still wrote horrible things about you and your marriage, and also gave others who might be considering cheating on their spouses explicit instructions on how to do so. Really, is that someone you want to remain married to? Please leave this sorry excuse of a man.

  • What I want to know is why is cheating the only justification for divorce? Why would anyone want to be in a relationship with someone who is PUBLICLY disrespecting and insulting them? Someone who lies? Who lays out public advice on how to make you a chump in their own marriage? Cheating is one form of abuse. It’s linked to others: financial, emotional, psychological (all the gaslighting), and physical (hey, have you been checked for STDs? They can kill you.)

    As CL often says, why is this acceptable to you, Reddit Revolt? Who don’t you expect respect and kindness from your husband? (See Tempest’s point, above). Life is short. Why spend it with an enemy?

    If you need proof, hire a private detective. My guess is that it will take a good one maybe a week to catch Cheaterpants in the act.

  • Dear RR,

    when I was traumatised, I never ever believed the women who said ‘live is so much better without him in it’.

    They were just bitter bunnies who were making a bad situation better. How COULD I fail like that.

    Trust me. Life is SO much better without this abusive, disdainful person in it. It really, really is. My anxiety and depression that I lived with for so long? What anxiety and depression. Life is really beautiful. I stop and smell the roses, watch the birds now.

    You are being abused. I know its hard to hear, but he doesn’t care about you the way you long for. And he never will.

  • My cheater followed these rules:

    –Never do it in the same city as wife
    –Never do it with someone the wife knows
    –Do not fall for other woman

    He also used travelling for his job as a way to meet up and spend nights with these women.

    He lied to all of his girlfriends and told them he was single, divorced, or separated. He also claims he never loved any of them, but his word means NOTHING since he’s a unrepentant liar.

    I hate that I was abused for over 7 years and I wasn’t even aware of the deception most of the time (2 d-days in 9.5 years of marriage, I spackled for 6 years after the first one.)

  • RR, your letter sounds so familiar! I am kind of in the same boat with lots of red flags but no hard evidence. In the end I made my decision based on what I do know. I know I can’t trust him. I know he is interested in pursuing another woman but don’t know to what extent he has. I don’t want to be the marriage police. Men who care about their wives don’t put themselves in questionable situations. Men who love their wives will do anything to make amends for their mistakes to make it right. My ex does not take responsibility for himself.

    My ex loves to spend all his time on reddit so maybe our husbands are sharing notes about how to manipulate women. Once he told a friend how to get what he wants from his wife. First you have to make her feel bad and neglected. Then she will feel insecure and work harder to keep keep you. I had to spackle very hard over that one.

  • Trust your instincts! Your instincts do not lie. And you are not crazy if your spider senses are tingling! The alarms our instincts send us- are right on the money. Nature put them there for a good reason.

    Never- ever trust what the cheater says. It will always be a lie, a half truth or blame shift on to you.
    If need be hire a computer geek/forensic accountant to help you find the slimy cheater trail. Don’t let the cheater know you are tracing his/her slimy steps.

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