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Dear Chump Lady, My husband wants to date

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sobbingDear Chump Lady,

Am I being unreasonable for having a problem with my husband’s ongoing relationship with a woman he tried unsuccessfully to seduce?

One night about a year ago, we both got home from our respective jobs and my husband burst into tears. I’m talking, deep, rasping sobs. With his head on my lap he told me he’d been courting a coworker for a few months, buying her gifts and taking secret time off of work to take her on day trips. When he finally put the moves on her the previous evening (he often stays late), she shut him down and said, “not going to happen.”

At first I thought his tears were bitter tears of remorse, having almost ruined a twenty-year marriage. But upon further probing, I discovered that it was the rejection that had him crying in my lap. “Just once I want to be loved!” Excuse me, hello? Who said “I do” in front of our family, our pastor, and our entire church? He explained that he was having trouble forgiving me for my initial rejection of him when we were in high school and then he dumped a laundry list of problems he had with me that could circle the planet three times.

He said the almost-OW made him feel alive. I asked, “well then sweetie, shall we separate?” He said no, there was no point. Oh well then, allow me to be your consolation prize! Long story short, we separated for nine months. Our fifteen-year-old son was furious with both of us. My husband and I stayed in touch and tried to work it out. He and the almost-OW never had sex and now we’re back together.

However… he has remained very good friends with the almost-OW. He texts her regularly right in front of me. I won’t stoop to snooping on his phone but I can see what he’s writing! It’s mildly flirtatious, which is how, incidentally, he describes their relationship. I’m positive they haven’t had sex because this woman is perfectly happy to be worshiped for free, but I have a serious problem with their relationship. When my husband announced that he was going to meet her after work for drinks last night, I made a very snarky remark and he was furious. He told me the courtesy of telling me he was going to spend time with her was over. He maintains that he is doing absolutely nothing wrong, they are just friends, and that I’m being petty. So, am I the one being a jerk about this? Technically he hasn’t cheated.

Yours

Insensitive Lady-Jerk

Dear Perfectly Reasonable Lady,

Technically, you haven’t stuffed his balls down his throat yet.

Is this a question about technicalities? Because uh, technically you’re still his wife and technically, he’s not supposed to go on dates until you are technically divorced.

He’s got some fucking nerve.

Sobbing about his failed dating strategies? You let this man drape his moist, snotty self all over your lap and wail about another woman?

Look, Lady, he’s a flaming asshole, but you have to stop being a chump. You separated and then took him back without any consequences or boundaries. He meets her for drinks? No, he meets her for CAKE. This whole “I’m going on dates and you’re not the boss of me!” is completely unacceptable. Start ACTING like it is unacceptable to you. Lawyer up. Why does he think you separated? Because you’re just mean like that? NO. Because he was openly trying to have an affair in front of you. He’s moves home, and then he goes right back to the same old shit?

Is this relationship ACCEPTABLE to YOU? Who cares if he thinks you are “petty” — do you think this kind of flagrant disrespect belongs in a marriage? If you don’t, then get your ass to a lawyer’s office. You don’t need a marriage counselor to explain to him that dating other women in front of you and then whinging about it is Wrong. If he’s that dim, you should divorce him for felony stupid.

No, he knows EXACTLY what he is doing. He’s being abusive. He’s being very in-your-face about his attempted infidelities to hurt you. To goad you into the pick me dance. To humiliate you. To belittle you into accepting his cake-eating as Right and Proper.

Lady, you need to shut that shit down.

For one thing, get to a lawyer fast before his employer does. You only have his side of this kibble love affair. For all you know, his advances are unwelcome and that woman is seeing an EEOC officer as we speak. This guys is walking the razor’s edge of a sexual harassment lawsuit. You need to get a settlement in place before he loses his job. She told him “not gonna happen” — next she’ll be telling that to Human Resources.

I’m sorry your 15 year old is in the middle of this, but he’s a kid and he doesn’t get to call the shots in your marriage. Staying with this asshole is modeling TERRIBLE things to him about how you treat a marriage partner. He needs to see you stand up and not tolerate abuse. He needs to see that there are consequences to disrespecting and endangering the people we purport to love. He might not like it at first. Kids want to know if their world is going to be safe (where will I spend holidays? will I see my mom and dad both? will I move away from my friends?) Get him some therapy and be the sane parent.

It doesn’t matter if the affair was physical or not, start calling the shots, Lady. It matters that he is emotionally abusing you and refuses to stop. It matters that he’s blaming YOU for some perceived slight from high school.

He doesn’t get to do everything short of fuck her and then claim it’s A-okay because he didn’t consummate the act. The issue is that he wants to live like a single person, but enjoy all the rights and privileges of marriage. That’s more than enough reason to divorce his ass yesterday.

When you serve him papers, say “Just once you want to be loved? Here’s your freedom. Have at it, Tiger.”

This column ran previously.

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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.
  • He wants to date? Great! Buh-bye.

    But just make sure you shut that gate really fast, because these ones always come circling back for more.

    PS He fucked her.

    (Chump Lady, you have done nothing but good this Christmas. More power to you.)

      • His GF dumped him. I unaware at the time witnessed same thing. She was in bed crying in a fetal position. Turned out her love of her life AP dumped her.

        • OMG DavidB, what a pathetic thing to do.

          My ex’s cokehead AP also blocked him shortly after DDay (you know, true love & all) and while I didn’t get the sobbing sad panda at the time, he did lash out at me for “ruining their relationship.” (I actually didn’t do anything; she could have him as far as I was concerned…)

          Yuck. Ex makes me want to vomit.

            • I’d never say a chump is pathetic to have difficulty detaching from their spouse or loving their abuser. We’ve all played the humiliation game believing they were human beings with a conscience, empathy, remorse, and the ability to work on the relationship.

              Cheating in isolation is bad enough. Who the hell could possibly imagine they were married to someone capable of emotional and financial rape.

              You’re not pathetic Dave.

              • I agree. Understanding Cluster B types and their entitlement fantasy requires a lot of re-education. That’s why it’s so important to click on the “Resources” tab and start reading. And then branch out to all the internet has to off on Cluster Bs. “manipulative people, “narcissistic discarded” and emotional abuse. It’s not necessary to have a diagnosis from a psychologist or slap a label on the Cheater. The behavior is narcissistic and entitled. It’s “character disorder.” Start there. And there will come a time when what you know intellectually becomes your emotional knowledge as well.

                I’m eternally grateful to this site for sending me on the journey of learning about narcissistic behavior and character disorder. That changed my life. And as I sat watching football yesterday with the Very Kind Man and his family (my fam does Christmas today) I had in front of me the evidence that living without a disordered person is the best “revenge.”

              • Amazing part is, they like the jolly they get for letting us know just a small sliver of what is going on. It does appear they enjoy the ongoing mental abuse.

      • I agree 100% with Lola. I got enough waterworks to irrigate all of the MidEast. Turns out the waterworks were because I “made him feel so guilty” (but I didn’t even know he was having affairS.)
        I know the sweet tender moment of consoling a broken hearted husband. How intimate that feels, until you realize WHY they are really crying. Took me 10 years to figure it out. As my ex narc once told me they “know exactly what to say to get what they want. “

    • Lady

      I get it. But only through a marriage autopsy. With certain information, I realise that my darling husband was grieving a major relationship breakdown 10 years ago. The poor lamb was devastated the whole year. I kept on ask what’s the matter?

      My DS and I got the glorious fun of ‘eggshells’ and distance. Apparently we were lucky we had won the prize?

      Man, I would have punched that useless turd in the throat if I knew what was wrong with him. And you know what? That fool probably thought he was the hero for ‘turning up’. As if we would want him after what he did. But he never gave us information.

      My turd was and will always be hopelessly craven.

      Leave a cheater, gain a life.

  • Dear Perfectly Reasonable Lady,

    Yeah, that all sounds familiar. I think there’s a word for that, and it’s “entitlement.” You’ve really got nothing to work with (not that you would have in any circumstances involving infidelity).

    I bet you’re beautiful, and kind, and wonderful, and a great mom. I bet you’re loyal and honest and have all the integrity in the world. I bet you’re too good for him. (I mean, seriously, he sounds pathetic.) It is so hard to let these relationships go. It’s so hard to let go of what we thought we had, and all that we invested in these people – often over years, or even decades.

    But having found out that you’ve made a bad investment is no reason to keep investing.

    The only way to get away from the feelings his maddening, utterly disrespectful, ridiculous behaviour is causing you is to get away from him. If anyone objects, that’s on your cheater (and yes, he is cheating – do you think his behaviour qualifies as “loyalty”?)

    It’s hard to leave (for good), but you can do it! And the feeling of freedom is INDESCRIBABLE. You get your life back. You get all this time back, all of your emotional energy. You get agency. You get to decide how you spend your life, and who you spend it with. Want to go back to school? GO AHEAD. Look for a new job? KNOCK YOURSELF OUT. Teach English in Japan for a year? THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER. The happiness – you have to live it to know what I’m talking about… and I hope you will (and soon)!

    I know what it feels like to be where you are. I also know what it feels like to be just past where you are, and it’s wonderful.

    I (and a world full of better people) are waiting for you on the other side! <3

    – Janet

    • Perfectly Reasonable Lady’s child-man hubby doesn’t want her to be his wife (most of the time). He wants her to be his MOMMY!

      Crying in a woman’s lap because his GF rejects him is something a BOY does with his MOMMY. The only reason a Real Man would do that to his WIFE would be if he was truly remorseful for betraying her and was begging her forgiveness.

      I raised three kids. I understand why the 15-year-old son would be mad at both parents. He’s been watching his dad betray his mother for so long that he actually believes betrayal is OK. At 15 he now believes Mom should just let Dad keep on keeping on, so that the only world he knows can stay peaceful. Change is hard. Watching your whole life as you know it collapse, especially when he (the son) doesn’t feel the abuse because there’s no screaming, throwing, hitting, breaking valuable objects, is HARD.

      I notice this article ran previously. I hope that Perfectly Reasonable Lady had the courage to do what’s right, kick out the “love you as a mommy” boy-man, and show her son that he should expect more out of life than a barbed-wire monkey.

      • Yes! He wants his wife to be the mommy and comfort him about girlfriend. I can also relate to this! My ex was upset with me for telling him most women would find his infidelity unattractive no matter how charming and good looking his is. All he could say was, “You don’t think I am attractive? That’s is what a thought.” Then he would get all sad and wait for me to comfort him. “No honey, lots of women think you are attractive.”

        I don’t understand their way of thinking and have stopped trying. It’s too messed up.

      • Also, at 15, that kid’s old enough to have his entitlement checked. It’s reasonable to be like “I don’t want to involve you in this. However, if you feel like getting involved, I’m telling you right now you have no right to demand that I stay with a man who wants to date other women, just so your life has a little less drama. You are my child and I love you, but that is not a thing you get to ask.”

        • Yes Traffic_Spiral!! I agree 100%.

          I also think it’s important to show that cheating is not okay, and that you can’t just sweep that kind of abuse under the rug. It sounds like cheater and/or his behaviour has gotten to son, and now it falls on chump (and chump’s supporter network) to try and undo the damage and raise son to still be a decent person.

          Again, I’m so sorry you’re going through this, Perfectly Reasonable Lady. None of this is your fault and you deserve SO much better. I’m sorry you ended up with that monster. But you can make it through to a better life, and raise your son to be a better person.

          Cheater will get his. These people have a knack for making their own misery.

        • It’s crazy… but common…to give children input into adult situations that they have no business being a part of… years ago, a serial cheater in my social group finally owned up to his wife that he wanted a divorce.. he had been having relationships for nearly twenty years, and everyone in our social circle knew it..when he sat down and told his eight year old daughter that they were divorcing… she allegedly said….”But I don’t want to live with just mommy.” BOOM… oh, okay, then I will just stay.. and yes, continue to cheat…and this man had openly said to a few other husbands in our group that I “should have left her YEARS ago”….not for anyone else but for myself…Stunning to me how often this occurs….As if the kid who can’t sleep without a night light should have agency to make adult life decisions…..

          • That’s a parent using his kid as an excuse – not the same thing.

            Also….

            Please don’t… use ellipses… instead of actual.. punctuation….. especially incorrect ellipses.. with… a random number……. of dots.. it’s really annoying… to.. read…… and I’m… sure.. your grade-school teacher… taught you how to use periods and… commas.

  • Wow, this guy is going so big time mental and emotional abuse. Has he really been plotting this ‘revenge’ since you turned in down in high school? He gets the girl, marries the girl, had a child with the girl – for the purposed of getting to reject the girl for someone else like she rejected him twenty years ago?
    I honestly think for safety sake you need to run, he does not sound emotionally healthy. Did he come back after a nine month separation with a new plan of attack because you ‘rejected’ him when you separated?
    This woman at work supposedly also rejected him at his first advance, is he just pursuing her now to enact some sort of revenge?
    Yes, divorce this dude and move on with life, before he really becomes unhinged in his perceptions of ‘rejection’ and go all out in some crazy ways.

    • This is a legitimate thing. Many of the mass-shooter types describe this exact kind of attitude toward perceived “rejection” when people don’t give them what they want and/or when their negative actions have consequences..

    • I don’t think he’s been plotting revenge over rejection from highschool…

      Cheaters have to demonize the betrayed spouse in order to justify their entitlement and shitty selfish behavior.

      My ex made himself feel better about lying and cheating because he said…
      “I had complained about how he parked the car.” lol.

      • For sure but I think it can be both. My cheater gave me his lifelong list of resentments, some akin to car parking and others accusing abandonment (when I dared to consider going to graduate school at the same time he was but in a different town—you know, to persue MY education). At some point it just becomes a grab bag of justification with these people. The second your life or even just your adoring gaze refocuses on you, they add an item to their list. Never mind that they aren’t doing the work to remain your focus, regardless of whether that’s functional or not.

      • Lol Happy!
        She doesn’t like how I park the car?!
        I’ll show her, I’ll cheat on her ass!
        If that was your hubby’s rationale, good riddance.
        What a d-bag, your much better off without that tool.

      • Exactly. McCheaterpants said I don’t make him happy when I’m clinically depressed and struggling with C-PTSD. Newsflash asshole, I’m not happy when I’m clinically depressed and struggling with C-PTSD exacerbated by his gaslighting, projecting, blameshifting, lying, stealing, etc., etc., etc.

      • “he’s been plotting revenge over rejection from highschool”

        I didn’t date my nowdeadcheater until my second year in college but when he melted down at the age of 41, both he and his parents cited him being cut from the HS basketball team as a cause of some of his adult angst.

        FUCK. We had been married 18 years, we had 3 kids, one pregnancy loss, 7 cross country moves and I cared for dying children for a living but he melted down into a piece of shit because of a HS disappointment 25 years earlier…that was the weakest excuse I ever heard in my life. FUCK

        • Lets play poker. I am going to see your basketball team excuse, and raise you a Penny.

          The reason my husband strayed is because his high school sweetheart named Penny dumped him in 1966. I being the inconsiderate wife that I am rubbed it in by having a very good friend for 25 years, named Penny. Not the same Penny, but just the same, I had a Penny in my life and he was denied.

          What an idiot !

    • Revenge is definitely a thing on these people’s minds, it’s one of the motives my ex is stingy about revealing. He’s let it slip as an explanation, but he’s very sparing with it and the way he backtracks on it makes me know it’s one of the truths he doesn’t want me to know.
      It’s the most terrifying part of this whole ordeal, as if losing a life partner wasn’t enough, now we get to live in fear of them. Such a nightmare.

        • Yes! When splitting our lives it was constant accusations of revenge because…I wanted half of our community property. Oh the horror. Or because the court ordered him to pay child support because it’s legally required, but…revenge! As we split our retirement funds and I request my legal share of these funds, it is again a measure of my revenge on him. I’ll never understand this thinking. Like, you’d know if I was trying to get revenge on you buddy–there’d be no mistaking it. Turns out, I just want what is right and fair given our 20 year relationship and 12 year marriage. But these folks have disordered brains. They are never able to see that we are losing too, but instead of accusing him of revenge I just say to myself “this sucks but this is the costs of divorce–you lose half” and move toward acceptance and solace in the peace that comes from not being with him anymore.

    • They hold onto any excuse no matter how much time has passed. This guy was holding onto stuff from high school? I don’t believe it.

      My ex gave me a short list of the most ridiculous excuses you can imagine of what I did to contribute to her affair. These “events” occurred anywhere from 5-15 years before D-day. I don’t know if she was really holding onto these perceived slights (i.e., I picked out the wrong kitchen sink for our house), or if she was actually just scrambling for excuses. I mean, these excuses weren’t just a little ridiculous – they were COMPLETELY ridiculous. It sort of reminded me of a monkey flinging poo at a wall to see what would stick.

      So for the letter writer’s husband, I’m not sure he really was hanging on to what she did in high school so much as he was just trying to justify his actions by blaming her somehow. This high school thing is admittedly lame, but he had to try something. Because you know, he wouldn’t have just tried to run off with his COW without his wife “making” him do that – he’s just too good of a guy to do something like that…….whatever.

      • Or even the things that were largely their fault yet they manage to pin on you. A couple years into our marriage after trying to have a baby and meeting one disappointment after another, several miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, he tells me he doesn’t want kids, never did, and was just going along because he thought he should. OK, well that’s kind of a big deal, so I took some time away from him to consider all this and whether or not I could still be with a guy who didn’t want a family. I spent a total of two nights with my parents thinking and returned to him with the willingness to shelve the family thing, and perhaps even eschew it all together, because I loved him. After exposing his cheating, and after eventually having had a child together, when he was airing his long list of resentments, on that list what that I “left him” and ran home to my mom and dad and wasn’t understanding enough about his struggle with parenthood. Ummmm, what?!? You dropped a major bomb on me and I took 2 days to think about and and returned to you and never spoke of it again. But yea, go ahead and hold that against me.

        • After telling me he didn’t “think” he wanted to be married anymore (this after 30 years of a mostly happy marriage) Mr. Quitter just couldn’t give me any reasons other than, “I’m confused. I don’t know why I have these thoughts and feelings.” A couple weeks later, after many more attempts to find out what was on his mind, a short vacation where we were supposed to talk about things but never did (he kept postponing our talk but had plenty of time to text his “friend” pretty much non-stop), phone calls to Mr. Quitter from my Dad trying to find out what the problem was, and many tearfilled queries from me, Mr. Quitter started letting me have it. The long laundry list of why I was impossible to live with anymore. On that list was that I had blamed him for losing his job 10 years earlier and for having to change jobs the summer before this all blew up. Not true. I was angry at the company for stringing him along the 10 years previous (he was a contractor at the time) with promises of not ending his contract or extending another to him – which didn’t happen and which meant he had to find a job several states away for 7 months which just happened to coincide with his mother’s cancer relapse and death. Then this SAME company, where he became an employee about a year after he returned home, let him go right before he left me when his department was outsourced – again, I was upset with the company (and so was he this time), but in his eyes I blamed HIM. Could not convince him otherwise so I finally had to let it go. Stupid reason to walk out in my opinion since I ALWAYS believed in him. Such a waste.

  • The thing is, the absolute second the timing is right, and this almost OW says “yes”, which she eventually will-he’ll be gone. He will leave you in the dust. It’s (at the very least) an emotional affair right in front of your face.
    Given the cheaters dithers, these emotional affairs will flip to physical (if it hasn’t already) every time.
    Start planning your escape route. He sounds gross and selfish.

  • Wow Wow Wow and Wow – he thought it was an OK move to cry on his wife’s lap about his failed seduction of a co-worker?! Wow.
    I can understand that perhaps he made the right noises during the separation and the wife thought they were past that little hiccup – but nooooooooo ….. he’s still disengaged from her. It is abusive and it is an emotional affair – and the OW is abusing him if she doesn’t shut it down either.
    I saw this as him subconsciously goading the wife so he can say the marriage deteriated, they were fighting, she was mean and nasty – the affair to generate the end of the marriage except he couldn’t get the affair going! now he can’t leave the marriage – he doesn’t have the courage nor the personal accountability to face up to his loss of desire and talk to her honestly. He’s a coward, and she’s walking on eggshells fearing that if she calls him out, it will all blow up.
    yep – agree – this situation has to be truncated. Wow can’t imagine getting this email.

    • “that little hiccup”. That says a lot about why we take so long to give up on our marriages. I thought all of this was temporary insanity on the part of X and that he would eventually get his head out of his ass and come home. Eventually I figured out that it was permanent insanity and I needed to move on from my own temporary insanity of thinking I could save him from himself.

  • My wish for the New Year is that all Chumps can get rid of their parasites, get a good and fair settlement, and get a new happy life that includes, if the Chump wishes, a new love partner with integrity.

    It can be done, but it takes bravery, hard work and a lot of luck.

  • Being with Ted Bundy for 23 years (married 20) was the loneliest marriage ever. He perused and love bombed me for 3 years before our huge catholic wedding. After my years of spackling and his lying about having to work all the tim, I finally found out he was cheating the entire time. He eventually told me me “he never stopped dating”. I was like “why would you do that”? He said because he didn’t get to date very much before he met me. He was 29 when we married and he surprise asked me to marry him after 2 years of dating. I never once asked him about getting married. The day after we got married he was a totally different person. (Ted Bundy) Emotionally abusive and had me doing the pick me dance. I made the mistake of thinking a baby would change him. Now 19 years later, our son is a mini me of him. I’m nc with both of them and hAve moved on with my life. Im Still in the divorce fight with an entitled covert narc who has turned my son and most of my family against me with his devaluing. Typical narc behavior that I didn’t even know he was doing. I never signed up to be with a dating husband….had he told me he wanted to continue to date after we were married -then I never would have said yes. So unfair and cruel to have wasted 20 years of my life with someone who couldn’t commit. I wanted the fairy tale.

    • “who has turned my son and most of my family against me with his devaluing”… Am only now understanding the damage that he has done to my two sons who witnessed the emotional abuse that I really did not understand what happening. We Chumps overlook a lot. My 32 year old son has not spoken to me since July 2012 while my ex was heavy into his affair. While I thought that my ex was intervening on my behalf, I now know that he was planting the seeds for his departure, all while using my son as his pawn!

      • NotmyFault

        Sorry about your son. It’s unimaginable they’d use their children however to them use is use. I never knew he was devaluing me to his family since day one. I was kind to every one of them and he’d come home and tell me awful things they said.
        I caught him talking about me to a man he’d hired upon my request as his wife was ill and he needed the money.
        Goodness eludes them. And yet I couldn’t believe. Now after piecing it together I see he’s far worse than anyone could possibly imagine.

        Newbies, task heed when words do not match actions. Never ever stay for your children.

        My adult daughters are both with boyish men without a fucking ounce of ambition and can’t have a conversation. Staying damages children. These are monsters. If they have a healthy sane parent half the time they will know the difference.

        • Doingme, I am so sorry about your experiences, and about the relationships your daughters have. It must be so, so hard to watch your loved ones going through the same experiences you had.

          Unless you find a great partner to compliment and enhance your life, I personally feel it’s a lot better to stay single. (Single > shitty relationship/marriage.) Honestly, these are both great options and I don’t feel you can go wrong with either of them. Unfortunately, sometimes the pressure to be with SOMEONE (anyone – whether or not that someone is good for you) outweighs people’s better judgment, and they end of with SOMEONE (that sucks). Hopefully your daughters will eventually see how much better off you are having left a bad partner and will eventually follow suit.

          • Thank you Janet. I’m kick ass with my adult daughters. They are 38 and 35. The saw me spackle. I hold nothing back in terms of calling it like it is.

            I swear my dying words may just be, leave a Cheater; Gain a life. I try to be strong, let them live their own lives but when they need my input I give it in Chump Lady finess. We are going to be one hell of a force ridding ourselves of the disordered.

      • I am fortunate in that I have not had to deal with that, but I can’t understand how anybody could be so cruel as to try and turn someone else’s family against them, especially if it is the one who cheated doing it to the one cheated on. I haven’t tried to turn ex’s family or kids against him and I have good reason to think he is scum and to want others to agree. After reading on here I am grateful to ex for not having done that to me and I don’t typically want to be grateful to him for anything these days.

        All of those cheaters who devalue their faithful spouses to others are just the lowest of the low. May Karma strike them down and eventually provide a good life for their abused spouses.

  • Thank you CL…this is one of my favorite posts because it resonates so deeply. I too, broke up with my cheater after dating him for two years eighteen years ago. On the night of DDay #3, after catching him in the city with mistress, I also got the list that could wrap around the world. He went back to how I fed my father and brothers before I fed him, I didn’t invite him to watch a movie or play games with our daughter and I etc. etc….When he was done with his list, I was stunned. All I could say to him was “You’re right, there is no turning back for us now…”I was floored by what a horrible person he thought I was. By how he still blamed me for breaking up with him. But then I found you and you made me see that it wasn’t me and for that I will be forever grateful. I am in a way better place now and can be a great parent to my child because of you CL….so thank you.

  • I wish I’d known about CL and read this column the moment KK said “I’m finally going to start making decisions about my own life” and “you’re going to have to let me be selfish for a while” and “if I want to fuck 17 guys, I’m going to fuck 17 guys.”

    This guy is trying to exact some type of revenge against you (or against life in general) for reasons known only to himself. The fact that he thinks you (or life in general) have done something for which he needs to get revenge should tell you all you need to know about who and what you’re dealing with.

    Follow every one of CL’s recommendations to a tee.

    • yes, exactly.

      I will never forget the day…18 years into marriage when (in the throws of making major career decisions) when he informed me “I will not be taking you or the kids into consideration when I decide what job to take, if I do so, I will be resentful and I dont want to be resentful so I will only do what is best for me”

      “Duly noted” I replied. He chose a job 3000 miles away and then pressured us to move (he had PROMISED the kid otherwise) and I answered “No. And you can betray promises you make to our children but I won’t”.

  • Unfortunately the newsletter comes after the dating has begun. He’s already developed the OW poor abused husband narrative. You can bet your ass he’s used it until the ‘right’ victim comes along. He’s a predator and it’s not his first attempt.
    When a husband uses the word dating it means he leading a double life.

    2006
    The Limited announced he wanted to seperate. Mined in with his daughter and here’s why. He was dating and no healthy woman is willing to date a man living with his wife. I knew exactly who he targeted; it was his massage therapist. She sat at my daughters bar and he couldn’t keep his eyes off of her. When it fell through he moved back home after filing for a divorce to prove he was serious.
    2010
    I call to ask what he wants to do for the weekend as my job requires a rental during the week. He blurts out I’m dating, found someone, and I want a divorce. He said,”I told her I haven’t been happy for two years.” I find her business card in his car and call her. She tells me all the lies he reported. I send her copies of texts from his phone stating how much he loves me. She dumps him.
    2014
    I’m once again told he found someone and wants a divorce. I file and divorce hid sleazy ass. Nanthony was my breaking point. I had enough.

    Always looking and perfecting the game. It’s soul sucking and crushing. Believe they are evil and go for the jugular.

    I walked away with a shred of dignity. I danced and fought for a waste of an idiot who couldn’t get anywhere in life.

    If you’ve invested in one of these crying types, run. Don’t look at what you’ve built together and try to salvage it for children or your home. Make a plan, look at all finances and divorce laws in your state. Set yourself up by making a very short term plan and file. If you have cash put it in a safety deposit box.

    He had a year of planning before I knew. He’s a lifer and a loser. Save yourself.

    • It took a long time for me to see this in the ex Dr. Cheaterpants. I thought maybe he was naive with these damsel in distress/dull/somewhat crazy women. What I didn’t realize until young schmoopie when I could see his texts and emails to her (I got a new iphone and they were still sinked), was he was pursuing her like crazy. Telling her how miserable he was and how it all started years ago….

      Yep I realized then he was a predator and not some hapless victim of crazy chicks pursuing a doctor. He actually used his job to lure women to come see what he does as bait to ensnare them with his awesomeness. Yes he is an ICU physician but is disengaged at work, doesn’t go in, has a chump boss that let’s him be a slacker.

      I thought being a professional myself, together 20 years, two teenagers, pets, home, family & friends he would never risk for a slut again as he ditched us when the kids were little then begged back when it fell through. I don’t think he intended for me to catch him this time until he had his prey secured. But alas they are still together, I ignore all his fishing texts, and he’s spending more and more money to impress/keep her.

      You hit the nail on the head when you said ‘if you have one of these crying types, run’. I think he truly sees himself as the victim in all aspects of his life. You will not fix that. Schmoopie won’t fix that. Take care of yourself and kids, these types always leave you as Plan B with another ho around the corner.

      • That is deeply troubling that he is slacking in the ICU.

        Maybe you should make an anonymous concern/complaint so patients will not be harmed by this self consumed freak.

        Do not fret- an M.D does not make him a prize.

  • Prior to 2006 he wasn’t looking to leave. He was biding his time cheating every year.
    2006 was the year he wouldn’t have to pay child support. Very calculating.

    • My own thought is that some these guys marry and have kids to look normal, get away with as much as they can, and then file when the kids are nearing 18. So for life they look “normal,” like “family men.”

  • Sticking his toe in and testing the water. I’m sure by using half truths. If you don’t listen to CL, you are about to take a trip into hell. As we dance and bend to appease them, all they see is weakness. His behaviors will get worse. Your mental and physical health will spiral. Any action other than a lawyer will encourage him.

    • Yes!

      What a miserable lesson to learn: you can’t show kindness or mercy to subhumans.

      We have been wearing lead boots since childhood. It is called a conscience. It stops us from doing jaw-dropping atrocities to other people.

      They are not so encumbered. After too much time reflecting on the misery the cheater put me through- The only logical conclusion is that he enjoyed causing me pain.

  • “The issue is that he wants to live like a single person, but enjoy all the rights and privileges of marriage. ”

    This pretty much sums up my entire marriage.
    My stbx barely told me the names of any coworkers. In 11 years I knew the names of 3 people he worked with and those were told to me in the first couple of years of our relationship. He went through happy hours frequently and in the first year of marriage with one particular woman. I expressed my concern and was dismissed. And then I was rarely told about happy hours again. Instead I would come home and wonder where he was. I tracked him on his phone and crashed a happy hour about 1 1/2 years ago to find him at the bar with a woman he had worked with 5 years earlier. I had never heard her name mentioned before. Flash forward to a year later and he left me and has begun hanging out regularly with his good friend. Helped her pack for a cross country move and is now dating her best friend.

    I never enforced boundaries. He always manipulated the conversation making me think I was being controlling and unreasonable. I felt terrible all the time. His behavior didn’t feel right to me but I was made to feel as if I was the problem not him.

    That shit will never happen again. If it doesn’t feel right to me, then it is not acceptable behavior. My boundaries are not faults, they are the foundation to my well-being.

    • And at the end of his living a single life while married for 36 years I was told, “It was always about the thrill of the chase.”

      That revenge is hatred. Difficult to believe yet the truth. And I agree we are naive. That mask is cemented on and predators are cunning cons. The game ends when the mask cannot be maintained any longer. We’ve seen the cracks and the only consequence that is effective is getting the hell away and out with no contact.

    • Amen to this! I was afraid of enforcing boundaries. I won’t be again! I have a list of deal breakers for the future and I won’t settle!

      • My problem is that I didn’t think I needed boundaries. For years I trusted him completely. The thought that he might cheat on me was inconceivable. Unfortunately, he took that as license to cheat because I must not care anyway. By the time I figured it out that maybe I should have had boundaries after all it was too late. If I am ever in another committed relationship I won’t make that mistake again. The guy might still leave me for being too “controlling” but he will have to do so before he cheats.

  • I remember seeing this one before and it’s great timing to run it again at this time of year when so many will have their brand new D days.

    I think this mental trap is common for chumps — technically, s/he didn’t “actually cheat”, for whatever reason, so the chump feels it isn’t ok to leave the relationship yet, like it would be unfair or something.

    This is when we have to boil things down. Sex isn’t the only bad thing about cheating. And, when you boil it down, though at first it seems impossible, the truth is that the sex isn’t even the worst thing about cheating.

    The worst things are:
    * Deception
    * Cruelty
    * Harm (to the chump, any kids, family, and friends, and sometimes even unwitting APs)
    * Betrayal of trust
    * Violation of safe home life

    In my mind, a person who would hurt a chump like that is already a huge problem without sex even entering the picture. The sex makes it more personal, deepens the wound, yes… But the problem is that the cheater has no real regard for the chump’s well being to the point that deliberately harming the chump is an acceptable choice. The line was already crossed a long time ago.

    The reason you gain a life when you leave a cheater is because the cheater drains your life of all that’s good. You get the good in life back when you remove the diseased tumor that’s consuming your healthy resources.

    • Great list Amiisfree and I’d add that many cheaters do not use protection and have multiple partners. If they say (lie) it’s an emotional affair GET TESTED!!
      It’s not uncommon for Cluster B’s to cheat while a chump is pregnant. I was pregnant with my second child and found out right after she was born. STD’s are dangerous not only for the chump but for your child as well.

      • We had a joint bank accounts for years, like most couples. Then three things happened:
        1. He defaulted on a loan I knew nothing about, and hid the late notices from me. So the bank took the past due money out of the joint account when my paycheck arrived.
        2. He paid for an Amazon purchase using an old joint account at the credit union which I’d forgotten about. The payment bounced and went to collection. I found out when I tried to pay for a purchase using my individual checking account (which had plenty of money) and learned that my check writing privileges were blocked all over town.
        3. He was short on cash so he called the bank, asked for the joint checking account balance, and cashed a check for that amount. I had to make an emergency funds transfer to keep the mortgage payment from bouncing.

        Once I closed all the joint accounts he figured that meant his cash was his to spend as he pleased, which didn’t include paying household bills.

      • This times 1000. My therapist is a big believer in financial infidelity being the harbinger of sexual infidelity.
        If you thing about it, it is the same exact behavior — deception, lies, gas lighting, blame shifting, etc.
        My Ex committed financial infidelity almost immediately after we got married and continued for the whole marriage. I shouldn’t have been shocked when she started screwing other men–it’s the same entitled behavior. Honestly as well since she luckily didn’t give me a VD, the financial infidelity affected me long after I got over her physically cheating.

        One of my boundaries now is that I treat financial infidelity the same as sexual and will walk if that ever happens. My wife went down the same road with her Ex and agrees.

        • Right you are, Laughing Gator. Many times they have to hide money in order to keep pursuing their cheating lifestyle undetected.

          • That’s why when chumps lose their minds trying to figure out whether the cheater and Schmoops had sexed, the real question to ask is where is the money going? Financial infidelity is easier to prove and just a toxic.

    • Strongly agree Amisisfree. Newbies save yourself time and bother and listen to this, disrespect is abusive. It only continues. It escalates.

      (Speaking as someone who wasted too many years in a pick me dance while Disordered X had ‘friends’. And believed the gas lighting after finding loving notes to one (DD1). In cnnfusion at DD2 after with more flirting to another OW DX contradicted the lies about DD1. He also lied about no longer being in contact with OW1. DX continues to play the field – whatever – I’ve left.

    • This is perfect, Amii – sums it all up. Sadly, most cheaters just don’t get it. Thank you for posting.

  • Please dear Chump! Don’t let that selfish asshole disrespect you another minute! Give him his walking papers and tell him to “Go date.” Be glad to be rid of him!

    Before you do anything…….get your financial affairs in order. And….don’t let him know you are doing it!

  • Technically- HE HAS CHEATED!!!!! He devalued you………and assigned you to the lower rungs of his love life. That’s “cheating.” Sexual cheating will follow- it’s inevitable.

    The fact that he is disrespecting you, your marriage and your son- right in front of you- is beyond disgusting!

  • Cheaterturd cried often. Usually when he got caught, but once he sobbed to me that he kept dreaming of OW (number who knows) because he had “cut things off” so he couldn’t understand why he kept having these dreams. It was only much later I found out he NEVER cut it off with her, so why the waterworks I have no idea to this day? Run,don’t walk, away from this waste of life. They are skilled liars and manipulators. Waterworks is always a sign of their malfeasance not of any human emotion rooted in true understanding of the damage they wreck, it’s always cuz they have the sadz for themselves, not us. Run run run!

  • “With his head on my lap he told me he’d been courting a coworker for a few months, buying her gifts and taking secret time off of work to take her on day trips. When he finally put the moves on her the previous evening (he often stays late), she shut him down and said, “not going to happen.”

    I can totally hear Esther Perel’s voice saying “explore how this is making him feel alive” and “it’s good he’s having an honest coversation, he’s evolving and you should follow.” Puke!

    Your husband is breaking your marriage contract and rewriting the rules.

    If your bank told you, “hey, I know we had an agreement with you as a customer of 15 years, we follow certain rules about how we keep your money safe, but we’ve decided we aren’t going to do that any more. From now on we are going to take half the money from your account and put it out on display. We can’t be held responsible if someone chooses to take a Little here or there.” If you threw a fit about their new policies and their response was, “We’ve given you the courtesy of letting you know about our new policy, we are well within our rights and we will no longer engage in arguments with you about this, period… end of discussion! This is how it’s going to be and you can take it or leave it!” You’d close that account faster than the speed of light. You wouldn’t stick around to see how it works out. Maybe they’ll have a change of heart, maybe they’ll see they are going to lose you as a customer. At this point maybe you bargain with yourself that you’ll give them time and see how it goes. If you lose more than $1000. THEN you’ll leave. In the mean time you’ll just keep a close eye on the account to avoid a tragedy and be left with pennies. Yep, you can simply be vigilant… go to the bank every day and keep an eye on the money. More than likely none of these would be your response. You’d cut your losses, accept the reality, pull out your investments and deposit them where you felt safe and valued.

    This is YOUR hard earned marriage TOO, not just his. He thinks he has the advantage of years of accumulated marriage; that you’ll just shut up while he puts himself on display for another woman, because “that’s just the way it’s going to be and you no longer have a say so in that decision! Stop being so dam controlling, stop whining and accept the new contract!” Yep, he’s well within his rights to personal freedom, you can’t stop him (which he’s already let you know), and you can take it or leave it without further discussion!

    Heart investments are much more painful and personal than business investments, but the same logic applies… you have to look out for what is best for you. As a multiple d-day chump it took me a LONG time to get this! It goes against everything we are taught about love. Love is patient, Love is kind, Love is forgiving… etc. Love is also reciprocal, unrequited love is worship. Your spouse wants worship (kibbles) and if you do a good enough job, he might throw you a crumb here or there so you stick around to give some more kibbles.

  • I remembered this letter once I hit the part about the kiddo being “furious” with both of them. Talk about bothsiderism. Kiddo needed a 2×4 about the difference between being a cheating, lying, abusive jackass and the person being abused.

    Seeing this for the second time, I am struck by this phrase: “He and the almost-OW never had sex and now we’re back together.” There is a literal connection (“and”) between supposedly not having sex and “now we’re back together.” What, I wonder, was that process? She had gotten out of the house, separated, and then it’s back “together.” Only he’s still texting the target OW. That’s some “together.”

    It’s been a long while since this letter appeared. The kiddo will be off to trade school or college or a job. And this chump is either still with this awful, childish, selfish jackass or she had to find the energy to leave again. What a low bar for this marriage. What a low bar for reconciliation (they “never had sex”? And you believe that how?). The weeping over being unloved in my lap would have ended it for me. How abusive. How weak and pathetic.

    • I think it’s pretty standard the no sex line. I would bet 99 percent of time it is a straight up lie. They like to let us know just enough to make it more exciting and to beat us down. Then when discovered it appears “the sex was not good” line. After looking at what they did, the lies, the abuse, the straight up joy they got out of our suffering. How could anyone truly expect that the marriage could ever be fixed?

      • I AGREE, the only way this lie “they didn’t have sex” would be true, is if CHEATERTURD had his penis removed for some unknown reason ……., (he has a mouth) what is really disrespectful ,is that they THINK we believe that lie …….

        • Years back I found her writing to one guy, when we spent time together you slept well amongst other things. Now how do u know he slept well? Well I didn’t sleep with him!! She tried to lie even after I found graphic text with another guy. They do have truth issues!

      • All deflections of the truth are straight up lies. Makes absolutely zero sense to seduce a ‘friend’ with ‘kindess’ Aka love bombing and not consummate the ‘friendship’.

        I was told one of the LT MOWs, the Corona ca rectum of wonder, never came into my home, hundreds of miles away from her martial home. Her social media contradicted the asshole’s lie. This was very early after DDay. Just this year the asshole, in crafting his new facade, decided in some truthiness and revealed a small tidbit – the rectum of wonder had indeed been in my home when I was away with the kids. I already knew he is a liar and had lied to me about that factoid. None of of his crap matters To me.

        They are all lying. It’s about control and duping the chump. It’s domestic abuse. Listen to your gut.

      • David you are so right. I had evidence he was unaware of in terms of phone records, hotel reservations (checking account) dinner (at MY FaVORITE restaurant) and fucking breakfast at HO JO’S with a receipts for two.

        Do you want to know what the Asshole asked? What if I just got dtunk, couldn’t drive home and had to get a hotel. See, he believed I was going to fight for him right up to Whore Nanthony (#19).

        My response? You booked the hotel the afternoon before. Mic drop and massive static. Game over.

  • Lady, you need to stoop to snooping, or as I call it “gathering evidence”!!Firstly, you are only seeing what he wants you to see. What about the texts he deletes away from you? I live in a 50/50 state but because I had copies of emails and texts I was granted 65% of our assets in my divorce settlement. This man is unbelievable, he loves her and now he is texting her and meeting her for drinks? An affair is a relationship that takes time, energy and emotion away from you; physical contact means nothing. He is having an affair right in front of you and then gets angry when you question it. You deserve so much more and I think you know it. You already know this and now you need to get the courage to follow through. Good luck!!

  • Disordered people LOVE to have a chump tending to their responsibilities while they do as they please. They don’t care how hard their chump’s life is so long as theirs is easier. For them, it’s a win-win situation with unlimited cake. I hope Reasonable Lady stopped serving the entitled jerk while he actively searched for her replacement. I hope she collected her dignity and left him and refused to take him back. I hope she has found peace.

  • “Do you think this kind of flagrant disrespect belongs in a marriage? If you don’t, then get your ass to a lawyer’s office. You don’t need a marriage counselor to explain to him that dating other women in front of you and then whining about it is Wrong. If he’s that dim, you should divorce him for felony stupid.”

    THIS is key advice for anyone dealing with their spouse having an emotional affair.

    First off, odds are overwhelming that the affair is actually physical, but your cheater will only admit to what you can prove.

    Secondly, and MORE importantly, a spouse refusing to end his emotional affair is blatant disrespect. That he let it get that far is blatant disrespect. It’s entitlement, selfishness, and cruelty. Do NOT give any excuses for it.

    YOU define what an affair is to YOU. If you and your spouse don’t have the same definition (likely because he conveniently changed his definition without telling you, right around the time he started disrespecting boundaries), then you shouldn’t stay married to him.

  • Raise your hand if you got this speech too. 🙌

    “He told me the courtesy of telling me he was going to spend time with her was over. ”

    By the way, that’s when I knew reconcilliation was over and it was time for me to channel Sun Tzu.

  • “The issue is that he wants to live like a single person, but enjoy all the rights and privileges of marriage. That’s more than enough reason to divorce his ass yesterday.”
    THIS, all day. And even in divorce after telling me explicitly that he wants to date other people and has specific people in mind, my ex doesn’t understand why he “had to lose” my companionship. Why couldn’t we just pull a Paltrow and consciously uncouple? Why can’t we be best buddies still? This amidst his terrible and ongoing abusive behavior during divorce proceedings…but sure, let’s break bread and kiki about your day. Would you like a side serving of cake with your main entree of cake?

    And there is no making these folks understand. Even when you repeat their terrible and abusive language back to them, verbatim, and tell them exactly how it makes your feel and explain why it is harassment, and show them the agreement amongst professionals that their behavior is wrong and irrational and unfair, and whip out the list of things that each human is entitled to in a relationship (put out by the center for domestic abuse) such as the right to your opinion and freedom of choice and show how he has violated those rights…they will still point the finger at you and your behavior. My patented response is either none or some version of “my job is not to defend my character from your attacks nor is it to justify my reasonable and fair actions, my job right now is to raise our daughter in a safe, sane, and loving home and to move our divorce toward finalization as quickly as possible.”

  • Three words: Get out now!

    You won’t believe how much better life gets without a huge parasite sucking out your soul.

  • Eight years ago today was my dday. After having a lovely a Christmas day with friends & family, I came across a calendar noting ex & Owhore’s dates for lunch, dinner & phone calls. I confronted ex & we all know how that ended. Owhore was a subordinate. Chump Lady wasn’t yet created so I didn’t know I could be mighty & contact their HR department. Ex claimed that they didn’t have sex but that they wanted too. Even suffering from shock I knew that wasn’t true.

    Affair fizzled out quickly & he ended up alone in an overpriced apartment over a dollar store in an armpit of a town in the next county. He went on to marry a 30 year old manly looking woman when he was 54 years old. She wasn’t even born when we married.

  • They are so entitled its disgusting. Yours being so open about it- even to the point of wanting you to feel sorry for him that he couldn’t close the deal with an OW is trippy. But if you stay with him, one day that perspective OW is going to just go ahead with it- or some other woman. Beware, that day will come.

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