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Affairs Improve Marriage?

Last week several of you directed me to this God awful column in the New York Times (a paper that I dearly love, but which seems to have been dropped on its head lately) — “When a Partner Cheats” by Jane Brody. It was the Well column so I thought, huh, maybe they’re going to discuss STDs and cheating health risks…

Nah. It was some RIC product placement by Michele Weiner-Davis and Esther Perel.

Weiner-Davis, you may recall, is the shill who gave us “Click Here to SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE TODAY” DivorceBusting and RIC-isms like “The 180” and “affair-proofing” your marriage. And Esther Perel? She’s a renewable fuel source for the Universal Bullshit Translator.

Annnnnyway… So I’m all ready to pounce on this NYT crap, when I look at the comments and realize thinking people everywhere already beat me to it!

Is this a reprint of an op-ed from the 60’s? The insight that the spouse who didn’t cheat is responsible is insulting! If this husband wasn’t getting enough attention maybe he could have helped with the care of his child and freed up some time for his partner. And couldn’t the Times have found a more suitable illustration? Come on the wife doing her husband’s laundry is also very 1960’s. If you choose to stay together for the kids I wish you luck. But staying with a man who cheats doesn’t usually end well.


“Plenty of people care deeply for the well-being of their partners even while lying to them.” Not just lying but stealing money, infecting their partners and unborn children with STDs and exploding their family’s futures. Caring means something different where I’m from.


“I know I’m not perfect. I was very focused on taking care of my son, and my husband wasn’t getting from me whatever he needed….”

What nonsense. The affair is the fault of the person who “cheats”. End of story.
If they aren’t “getting what they need” they can address the issue or move out. There is no justification for betraying, lying to, humiliating your spouse. If you no longer want to be married to your spouse, tell them so, move out and then go forth and do whatever you want.
To sneak around, lie to and deceive someone you vowed to love and cherish is dishonorable, and a life without honor is not worth living.

OMG! Looks like the narrative is changing! Several shout outs to this blog too. Thank you! The most liked comments were not along the lines of “Esther, you are the most original voice of our generation, nay, the last millennium and what do you use to wash your hair?” They were more like, “Who published this misogynistic piece of shit in the New York Times and WHY?”

That said, I did want to feed this one execrable nugget to the UBT.

The good news is, depending upon what caused one partner to wander and how determined a couple is to remain together, infidelity need not result in divorce. In fact, Ms. Perel and other marriage counselors have found, couples that choose to recover from and rebuild after infidelity often end up with a stronger, more loving and mutually understanding relationship than they had previously.

This, right here, is the insanity of the RIC. Infidelity doesn’t destroy marriages, no, it MAKES THEM BETTER.

Don’t believe me? Ask a cheater. This got submitted to Stupid Shit Cheaters Say this week. (And most weeks…)

“I thought if I slept with her (for 6 months) it would make me a better husband for you ”

Affairs aren’t humiliating, disrespectful, and devastating — they’re improving! Fucking strange makes me a better husband! Hey, I get my “needs” met. Takes the edge off, and I’m nicer to be around. Win, win. It is Good to be King.

Marriage quack: affairs aren’t humiliating, disrespectful, and devastating — No! With our array of services (divorce coach training! toolkits! videos! retreats! books! podcasts! bobble-headed Esther Perel dolls! and 180 salted pretzels!) affairs MAKE MARRIAGES STRONGER!

You won’t just heal, you’ll be BETTER THAN BEFORE.

I mean, it used to be you wanted to improve your marriage, you took a holiday weekend to the Poconos, now you find a fuckbuddy on Craigslist.

How guilty are cheaters really if they’re just instruments of your improvement?

Now chumps, just go wash that lipstick off their collar and then say thank you.

…. With your middle fingers.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • My X’s affair greatly improved my marriage, by ending it! Thank you Schmoops, he’s your sparkly turd now!

    • ^^^^^^^ this!!! Best gift ever

      Funny though, I left in July, disengaged from the triangle in September, and the sparkles are already wearing off not even 4 months later. LOL oh well! Enjoy the turd!!!! hahahahaha

    • I am almost to the point I can be grateful my ex cheated. It gave me an excuse to leave a terrible partner knowing I did everything I could. I doubt I would have ended it without such a good reason. Sadly treating me poorly wasn’t apparently good enough.

    • My cheater claims that it’s actually improving the other woman’s marriage. Her husband is his so-called “best friend”…who is blissfully unaware of the affair. I am rather looking forward to finding my meh, I just found out about the affair two weeks ago. Cheater claims it’s been going on since last October. We have been together 14 years, but just married last April. I guess you could say I am still heavily in the “WT actual F???” stage. Very thankful for this site.

  • Welp. Divorce is definitely improving things.

    Other than that, no—cheater’s doings were no blessing or gift.

  • Is it wrong to stand on my coffee table and applaud Tracy and all my friends at the Nation?

    Keep doing what you do, all of you beautiful, wonderful people who are changing the narrative one day and one sentence at a time. We all do the heavy lifting when we flex our knowledge and power one person, one detail, one comment at a time.

    • I think I’ll join you on that coffee table cheering loudly. I was that person thinking if only I was more X struggling to do everything better. Always blaming myself for his cheating. Then I found CL and CN. It has been life changing.

      So THANK YOU and CHEERS!

      • In my ignorance I believed that I was to blame for X’s cheating and abuse. If only I had been a better wife, housekeeper, cook, mindreader. It didn’t help people who I thought were my friends were insinuating I was at fault, with remarks such as, it takes two, and X is such a great guy.
        I wasn’t sure what I had done but surely I had failed. It wasn’t until I found CL and CN that I realized I wasn’t to blame, X is a manipulative jack ass, these people who I thought were my friends were not my friends.
        His decision to treat me like shit had nothing to do with me but everything to do with him.
        It saddens me to think I thought so little of myself.

        I agree with Goodoleme, finding CN has been life changing.

        **Thank you**

  • “I thought if I slept with her (for 6 months) it would make me a better husband for you.”

    And it’s not just improved spousal relations that benefit from disordered behavior — I actually got this:

    “This makes me happy, and our daughters deserve to have a mother who’s happy.”

    • Hah! DS recently excoriated cheater dad for being blind to the gifts of this fam, and (thank you forever, DS) to the gift of me specifically. Apparently, I was and am known as the hot mom with the sexy voice, which I never knew when I was handing out popsicles to those munchkins on sultry summer days. Anyway, DS accused cheater dad of essential inability to be happy, and cheater dad got the sadz, “I’m working on my happiness now!” At some point in that exchange, cheater dad told the kid to eff off. Nice. They have not seen each other since. Guess that happiness thing is not going all that swimmingly. It definitely appears to entail an attempt at achieving an impossibly contradictory set of goals: discard the kids, fail to parent them in any fashion, but win their worshipful admiration and ready compliance with any whimsical demand.

      But, yeah. He’s just tryna get him some happiness sparkles, peeps, so don’t be mean.


      • Give you DS a big hug from me. Isn’t it wonderful when our kids get it? This made me laugh really, really loud: “He’s just tryna get him some happiness sparkles, peeps, so don’t be mean.” Truly the best karmic revenge is living happily ever after with the people who we love and who love us back.

    • Same cheater playbook! Schmoops actually texted me to tell me that my children deserve to see their dad in a healthy loving relationship! Unbelievable, but it is nice to know that she really is as fucking delusional as X.

      • Chumpfor12,
        your “children deserve to see their dad in a healthy loving relationship”

        BITCH OW,
        To the hell, NO!
        You BITCH OW, need to familiarize your self righteous ass with the anonymous quote as follows:
        “The best way for a father to show his love for his children is to love their mother.”

        “LOVE THEIR MOTHER” no where does it say OW,
        To the hell NO!

        Stay strong Chumpfor12,
        Ow is shit garbage!

        • Oh, she’s real special! She actually texted that X was the first man to make her feel so beautiful and connected that she left her husband. Seriously, you can’t make this shit up! Not to mention the trauma she’s done to her own two children in this beautiful connected bullshit. I find it hard to believe X is the first man to make her feel this way considering she’s been sucking cocks since she was 13, she’s 39. X was her boss, I got them both fired. She’ll be sucking her new boss’s cock before too long.

          • OMG how I can relate to this post…my husband’s polished schmoopie was his ho-worker that he hired to be by his side, working underneath him, under cover, sucking it in conference rooms, taking his money, his exciting romantic getaways, his jewelry he was love bombing the big well educated bitch with, and i’m sure schmoopie ; i’ll call her the C guzzler, was taking everything he was throwing at her, the money, etc. …I’m sure she was ‘in love” with the best guy she’s ever met in her life, my husband. All the while they were planning their exit strategy with each other, and the big HO got her karma. Suddenly he died, I’m sure she was going to grow old with him. They really got me good, the both of them…they thought they had it all wrapped up. I was the joke, I was the one she was getting over on, she got my sparkly polished husband and then all of a sudden he died…so now she has to brush her teeth with another co-workers cock for money.. I am SURE she had to move on to another high powered exec for money. After all, she destroyed my marriage by offering her clam on a platter to my husband that she knew was married but the selfish bitch offered up her nasty clam and sparkly loverboy could not say no, while he was paying her. She knows the deal. She knows that is how she gets her money, pretending she’s a professional auditor. I think she even cheated on her own husband and moved to my town to make herself for easily fuckable to my husband. SOOOO Karma really is a bitch !!! SHE GOT HERS alright !!!!!

            • Wow! I was their Karma so to speak, I waited until my divorce was final granting me everything I wanted, full custody of my kids…then I turned the two love turds in and they were fired 5 days before Christmas! Santa delivered! She’s already found a job, her under the desk negotiation skills are unethically impressive.

              • Wow ! everyday I wish that HO could get fired, I fantasize that her life would be awful, but I am sure he had his secret stash of money that was being hidden and funneled right to her PO box because she closed it down right after he died, a few days later. And that big prostitution HO still can click into the best company, still maintains her job, walking in there in front of all those employees, after carrying on a big secret affair with my husband. She’s able to go on because she is in possession of hidden marital assets, that essentially belong to me because I was the chump that was married to him while C guzzler got to go on all the exciting trips,get lovebombed, etc. and never miss being taken out on Valentine’s DAy And this big hooker was even going to church with him ! I found out..What were they praying for? That their two lovebirds would be together after I would be dumped? She’s a sick B and he and her thought they had it all planned….but who suffers in the end? I do, because she was still able to hold her job at the same company and walk in there like she owns the place with no shame. She’s a complete skank. And she made off big with all the money ! I hope she gets more KARMA

      • What a shame she didn’t consider that before she started fucking their Dad. #hotmess #keepmovingtrainwreck

    • Or in my case, screwing bar randos, co workers, ex girlfriends, sex workers, clients, teen porn and weird porn “makes me a better father..”. Yup. I was to.d THAT.

      When I was told that, it did strike me that he never mentioned of being a better spouse. I has already been tossed, back in 1996 and this conversation was in 2014. Yikes.

    • OMG…I got ‘ I felt my cheating enhanced the spousal relationship’.
      The cheater playbook really is universal.
      However,so too is the karma train.The wheels came off the relationship with exit AP.
      He overlapped her with someone else and she dumped him for ….guess what…cheating.
      Now he’s alone,ageing and no longer working in the place which provided him with an endless smorgasbord of pussy.
      I hear he feels very sorry for himself these days .

    • Yes, apparently if my X was happy with OW that would make the kids and I happy too?!
      But, we are not basking in the radiant glow of his happiness beams.

  • Obviously written by someone who chose to cheat … there is ZERO rationalization for an affair. But they just keep trying!!!!

    My ex contracted herpes from his OW, but thankfully I did not. That would have been another nightmare completely. Chumps need to be tested when they find out their spouse has a recreational fuck buddy. Which brings me to another topic …

    I was reading the posts about cheating, and I agree that once a cheater always a cheater. It’s a major character flaw that doesn’t hold itself to just infidelity, it influences every aspect of their lives. I don’t think the OW was the first affair, so I’m sure she won’t be his last. HOWEVER, since they both have herpes they may (hopefully) not spread that around. Horrifying that his “soul mate” didn’t tell him she had the herp & just let him get it. They are a match made in heaven with the gift that just keeps on giving!!!!

  • The only good that came out the cheating was the final push that threw me to end a completely unfulling lopsided relationship with pencil dick 🙂

    • Chumpy, same here! No way was I going to do a pick-me dance when I never wanted to dance in the first place.

    • Yup, can never get the trust or intimacy back. A tape runs over and over in my head, everything he said to me in the devalue.
      Starts with “I’m not happy”, then later when I found out, he tried to take that back.
      No way, I know who you are, cowardly traitor.

    • Sad to say that his cheating wasn’t even the final straw for me. But blaming me, lying to me and trying to hold me to an exceptional level of behavior WHILE I was going through chemo was what did it for me. I look back and think, I was pick me dancing while I was going through chemo! Steroids were being pumped through my body every other week and anytime I showed the slightest bit of anger or disappointment towards him for the situation he caused, he would tell me I was the problem.

    • My husband liked to save his sex for schmoopie. I thought he did not like sex, my stupidity. I trusted him. Well, guess what, a 30 second sex is not really what I’d call great sex. But it was good enough for the big whore at work. Yup, she was sucking it for years and screwing it , because she knew that he had money, a great job with a big paycheck, and the big HOworker was enjoying pretending she was married to my husband while I was paying for all my own expenses while he was hiding money with the Big Whore. But I guess I can be happy knowing that Karma has a way of getting things straightened out. Cuz Miss C guzzler did not get him in the end because he died. I am sure she was putting pressure on him to leave me because I did not know he had been sticking it to her all these years behind my back….playing games and lying and deceiving me. She was waited with bated breath to get him to dump me, then he died. Yes, she probably killed him with her over sexed clam and her pressure to leave me, actually killed sparkly loverboy. I was devastated until I uncovered what he had been doing all these years. And when Clam walked into hospice to make sure her loverboy was dead…or to climb onto the dead body probably because she was a bold bitch with no class. She WANTED me to know about her. She was like a madam who thought she owned my husband. She can fool everyone at the company because she’s the company whore. With many investigations I did on her, it appears that the HO set up shop in my town 5 months after my honeymoon because the whore had to have my husband and interfere with my marriage all these years because of her selfish twitching clam.

  • From the NYT article “ But short of irreversible incompatibility or physical or emotional abuse, with professional counseling and a mutual willingness to preserve the marriage, therapists maintain that couples stand a good chance of overcoming the trauma of infidelity”

    The last time I checked, infidelity is emotional abuse. Cheating comes with a large dose of gas lighting, and then after discovery, comes the rewriting of history, another form of emotional abuse.

    • What I despise the most about this narrative is that when a Chump is IN the situation — it can be really fucking hard to identify emotional abuse (I’ve read of many cases, but I can also attest to this from personal experience).

      If you don’t realize you are being emotionally abused, it’s impossible to flag the situation.

      I definitely agree, though — emotional abuse is inherent to cheating. Being lied to, gaslighted, blameshifted, on top of losing financial resources to the affair(s) and the time/energy of the cheater being given away (rather than invested in the family as it is supposed to be … leaving the spouse to pick up the slack) … it all falls under the umbrella of emotional abuse. And that’s assuming there is no outright name-calling, etc. (though, that happens often as well).

      Add in the risk most cheaters take when they don’t use protection, and I call that physical abuse (purposefully risking the health and life of a person).

      So, the RIC and their “but if” scenario is as much of a unicorn as the jackass cheaters.

      • I wish I could sue the RIC. They collectively caused me as much harm as Sargeant Psycho Fuck Nutz. Basically intravenous hopium. And my poor kids… The fallout compounds.
        Why is an entire industry allowed to spew not just ignorance but outright lies to the absolute detriment to women and children’s lives??? And bill is and our insurance companies for it!

        • Well stated JerseyChump! The pick me dance is the most humiliating of all, and most enjoyable for the cheater. Shows how messed up they really are. Also makes it plain to see who the cheater is still worried about-themselves and their pathetic egos placed well before you.
          The truth is for the rest of the relationship the Chump knows he/she is on some sort of stage trying to prove their fitness to remain in the bed of a Cheater Traitor! Shut the show down and close the curtains!

      • On more than one occasion, I told CheaterX that what he said was abusive. I didn’t say that he was an abuser, but he often spoke without feeling in ways that made me feel terrible. I’d clean the house and he’d complain about the “dirty shit hole.” He’d ask for me to make a special dessert. I’d make it and then he’d not eat it, saying that he was “sick.”

        I later learned that he was often “sick” when he’d had a fight with Schmoopie.

        Now that he’s a distant speck in my rearview mirror, I can say that he was an emotionally abusive asshole. Not once did he apologize for hurting my feelings. Not. One. Single. Time.

        I am significantly happier now without him.

        • Just after we moved into a new house and while ex was away, I went out and got an air conditioner for the attic bedroom which was like a sauna. It was too big with the frame but I found a way to fix it securely in the window and fill in the gaps so it was well sealed. The room was no longer a sauna. When ex came home he took one look and said “that looks terrible”. Of course I spackled. Oh he’s just grumpy because he is tired form traveling. No, he’s just an asshole 🙁

        • OMG, you just helped make sense of what my ex did! My ex would be intermittently sick without rhyme or reason – it was diarrhea. And it drove me crazy trying to figure out what foods were triggering it, but now I realize it was from stress. My ex was stressed because each episode of stress sickness was because just prior to that there had been a cheating incident/behavior. And I think my ex was scared to get busted, and the diarrhea was from the excess adrenaline and cortisol response. It all makes complete and perfect sense now. That was the pattern.

      • Physical and emotional abuse indeed. In my 30 years with Two-Legged Rat I had hepatitis, pancreatitis, pyelonephritis, kidney stones, fibromyalgia, esophageal ulcers, you name it. And he threw in a couple STDs, just in case. Ten years after kicking him out, I have yet to get anything more serious than a bad cold. But what I’ll NEVER forgive is the ten weeks (at least) that I spent at psychiatric hospitals, plus the tons of drugs they forced down my throat and slowly destroyed my liver. Once I even admitted myself because I thought I was going crazy (gaslighting, anyone?). And it took me six years to begin to understand that I’d been the victim of vicious emotional abuse (but victim no more; I’m a proud survivor now), while the RIC sent me back to the abuser every time. I hate them, I get really mad when I read this nonsense everywhere and, at 63, I’ll keep using my rage to mobilize me into living a new and improved life.

        • This post really spoke to me. I am a newbie to the fold, with limited understanding of all these terms you all use (HO, RIC, etc), but I’m trying to follow along. My x of 15 years is a classic case of “emotionally unavailable man.” Like so many here, he did it all….refused me sex, had at least 4 women I know of, was unable to apologize to me for things he did, and on and on.
          I had a spine injury that resulted in RSD aka CRPS. It runs in my family…..and it is horrendous, but my husband clearly was making my pain so much worse, because he left 3 weeks ago, and while Im not well, I am feeling so much less pain than when he was here. Also, last February, when he “left me” for a month or so, I was diagnosed with PTSD. You see, I am a chump, and my chumpiness caused me to misplace my feelings.
          Just yesterday I wrote him a letter asking him to tell me if he was really finished with this relationship, would he kindly tell me, since he walked out three weeks ago without even saying goodbye, and hasn’t contacted me since. What a chump! I need to rush over this morning and get said letter, because honestly, why would I want to stay in a marriage with a man who is so cold and callous that he brings me to more physical pain than is already present?
          Im really glad I ran across something from your site, chumplady. I’d never heard of you. The group and all the comments after the original posts are just amazing to read….ahah….someone like me!

    • “and a mutual willingness to preserve the marriage…”, what Cheater ever has an authentic willingness to recommit to the marriage? The X only ever exhibited a classically narcissistic response to consequences: rage and abusive and manipulative attempt to control me and take all of our assets.

      Unicorns are not real. I loathe those snake-oil peddlers, the Reconciliation Industrial Complex, who try to profit off our desperation and fear.

  • I love a bit of good news in the morning … so thank you for pointing out some of the awesome comments to the article filled with mind-numbing BS. Changing the narrative … one discussion, post, comment at a time! 🙂

    It’s been about a year since separation, and I had been avoiding those conversations (too emotionally invested … it would have spiraled quickly). Now that I’m a bit stronger, I’m engaging the debate. I shut some asshole down the other day, (paraphrasing from memory):

    OP: He didn’t cheat on Melania — she’s too pretty to cheat on.

    Me: Christie Brinkley and Halle Berry have been cheated on. Cheating has everything to do with the poor character of the person cheating, not the beauty (or lack thereof) of the spouse.

    Some other idiot: You’re such a puritan. In some countries, like China and India, it’s seen as a good thing to have a mistress.

    Me: Yes, in countries like that, where women are still treated like chattel, cheating is revered. Now, back to the point about character. The married person voluntarily made a commitment to honor, cherish…and forsake all others. If he decided he wanted to sleep around, a person of character had several options. 1. Not get married at all; 2. Upon realizing his change of mind, talk it out honestly with his partner so she could decide if she wanted to stay or not; 3. Leave the marriage (before breaking the vows). Instead, a cheater not only breaks his vow, but he deliberately lies, continues to deceive, and–more often than not–risks his partner’s health because he doesn’t even have the minimal character to wear protection. Look at it this way: if you signed a business contract with someone and that person decided they didn’t like what they signed up for, you could sue them for breach of contract. A marriage is, in reality, a legal contract. Breaking that contract is a choice among many. It’s the character-less choice. That’s not puritan. That’s basic human decency.

    All cheater apologists on that thread …. *crickets

    Damn straight — it’s time to change the narrative. 🙂

    • Jesssmom, I just love you. Those are some amazing comebacks. Way to shut down the cheater apologists.

    • I used to tell my husband (before realizing cheating) that the OW gets all the good stuff when there is one. The wife raises the kids, usually does the major house work, usually also has a job, usually cooks more, etc., while the OM/OW gets the romance, passion, nights out, etc. This is shockingly unjust by anyone’s standards that are decent. If they put the same effort into their relationship at home, chances are it would be a success!
      I wanted the legitimate relationship, but the perks too. No can do for the cheater, they deserve rewards on top of all you do for them.
      What they don’t realize is chances are you are sick of them in the sack too, especially because they are saving their best for someone else.

      • Yup. After DDay ex tried to suggest an open marriage. So she gets the nights out and the intimacy while I get to stay home and look after the house and kids and if I’m nice he might condescend to install the occasional household appliance or something? I said no thanks to that one.

        • Exactly what the Traitor demanded. The Whore had the fun bits and I was to carry on looking after his kids, including hers, cook, clean, serve. Be a good appliance and go into my cupboard when my services weren’t needed. I refused so they did it anyway behind my back.

  • Chumps are not just chumps in their own marriages. Apparently we are chumps to the rest of the world too. We should all know better and do more to maintain our marriages by keeping our spouses happier! Allow me a minute to adjust my apron and pearls and spit shine my pumps before I finish making dinner.

    • ” Apparently we are chumps to the rest of the world too.” Yes, yes, yes. Even after I had asked someone to read the book “Runaway Husband”, (just so someone could actually understand what I have experienced), I was told oh, it’s so one sided. In other words, his actions were justified and I must have some how contributed to his “unhappiness”. Yes, if you get shot… are you not a gun shot VICTIM? Or, di this VICTIM also contribute to his shooting? I have actually been accused of playing a victim.

      • When I was visibly upset during the discard and was trying to hang on to things, my STBXW found seeing me upset mildly disturbing, along with the questions I was asking in order to keep things together she said I was bullying her! WTF! Asking questions is bullying? Crying because your whole life is coming apart is bullying? It really is all about them isn’t it?

  • I am so happy to see the narrative changing. I live in a smallish town that the cheater grew up in. He and his mother have been running image management for the past few years as I try to divorce him. For those who don’t know what happened, it appears to be working in his favor. I tell the truth to anyone who asks. One day, it will change forever. Forge on CL and CN. We are mighty.

  • I use the business model. What if a coworker steals your PowerPoint, shamelessly uses it to gain an account that garners them a raise, how would you feel? Violated? Or would you still be their friend? Or, if someone embezzles monies, steals a car and causes the demise of a company? Do you ask them along on your next business venture? Nope, you call the police and prosecute. Infidelity is just that. Crappy, unethical behavior steeped in a power narrative.

    As a therapist I educate not only about mental health, and coping skills but also about power and the culture of infidelity. The narrative has to change. Infidelity is embedded in our society as a “private, moral issue”. Time to come out and be part of the larger dialog. It’s not mysterious or sexy. It’s dirty and destructive.

    • Whoop, whoop! Out West.

      We need to prop UP the taken advantage of, not finger point and blame them OR tell them to eat that ‘sammich and smile! We should teach them better forward navigation skills.

    • “Culture of Infidelity” Excellent. First time I’ve heard that. It is indeed a shared belief and value system, and it’s practice is fairly widespread. It is openly advocated in shared terms by its practitioners and apologists and even professionally advocated. We all know all this but the uninvolved general public mostly doesn’t.

      I really like the use of the word “culture” because in one word it properly characterizes the whole thing as nothing more than a limited set of beliefs chosen and held by some – not a biological or human nature given. It even removes infidelity’s hiding place as a mysterious set of circumstances “we can never know” (and therefore never judge) in “someone else’s relationship”. It places all of the infidelity-speak and thought and rationalization out front in a tidy impersonal ball for assessment.

      For those uninvolved bystanders who largely govern the narrative on infidelity (the generally held popular opinion), thinking of it as a “culture of” gives the topic an easy on-ramp for discussion and inspection, where previously it was an amorphous taboo and unavoidably personal topic. And when thought of as a “culture” it even begs rejection.

      I think of a discussion panel on a TV show…Just the fact that the topic might be termed “the culture of infidelity” alone neutralizes the debate and casts its advocates in a defensive role rather than holding the center ground they do now (which can be summed up as the “inevitable reality of infidelity”). It puts a set of beliefs and their consequent choices, decisions, back into the act, and with that an accountability. And it invites a closer look at the rationalizations for that decision.

    • Out West , every thing you say is sooo true , and “that private ,moral issue” is so ” WIDE SPREAD” and destroys so many people and family’s .i’ve been so abused and trauma bonded (starting with mom) that i did not know i even had the right to be loved and respected when i had to deal with my “cheaterTurd”, and i have been in and out of “therapy” for decades , not one of my therapist’s ever said the word “narc” or abuse or said i had the right to expect love and faithfulness , my narc only got better and better at lying and sneaking and stealing . i got better at spackling , and making excuses . just last year found out about narcs and the “real truth” and what goes on with these disordered sick jerks .so now i have to make other plans , its very hard , for my options are very few …….

    • It is dirty! The complete devalue that has to take place is devastating, and it is happening under the chump’s nose.

  • These people make money off telling the cheaters what they want to hear. x signed up for online marriage counseling, while living with the ow, opted for the Lone Wolf package since I wouldn’t participate. He would send me their emails which included this gem… A cheating husband makes the Best husband because now he knows what he has to lose. Okay, so he didn’t realize how valuable a 34 year marriage was until a strange vagina told him. That particular program was basically a stalkers guide. Your spouse won’t get on board? Don’t give up, show up unexpectedly, be persistent, don’t accept No as an answer. She WILL see that you are the best thing for her. The best thing for me was the restraining order I got from all that bullshit.

    • Newdaydawning I’m cringing as I read this. I signed up for that same program when, 2 months post d-day, despite my desperate pick me dancing, exhole said he wanted to separate. I even signed up for a very pricey phone counseling session, during which MF (funny his initials are the same as motherfucker) advised me to try seducing exhole the next time I saw him. Mind you, during this time exhole was leaving every night after our boys went to bed (we didn’t want to tell them yet) to bone howorker in a very expensive hotel nearby. I’m glad to say I didn’t humiliate myself by trying the whole seduction route. But I humiliated myself in plenty of other ways until I “won” exhole back. And any of you who have read my full story in previous posts, well, you know how that turned out.

  • I’ve always thought this assertion was pure unadulterated quackery! Then I went ahead and proved that it was when I stayed married to the cheater for three years after dday.

    Oddly his affair didn’t improve our marriage. Go figure. Whodathunk that detonating a bomb over our marriage wouldn’t make things all kinds of awesome??

    Well at least Anne was right about one thing. “My husband’s affair was the best thing that happened to our marriage”……when I filed for divorce!!!

  • Affairs improve marriages? So could cock rings, viagara and lube-but that doesn’t mean you should use ‘em.

  • What the RIC fails to acknowledge is that deceit is napalm to ANY healthy relationship.

    The only people who could lie to me and I’d still love and support were my young children. Because they needed to continue to learn to right from wrong.

    Once trust is broken, what’s the point of continuing to try to make it work with someone not deserving of you?

    • YES!!! And from personal experience, Weiner Davis is the worst in this regard. She literally encourages the betrayed spouse to be a fucking cheerleader and be nice. Being nice only frustrated me more. A cheater only understands your nice as enabling.

      NOPE. Be yourself. None of that freaking 180 bullshit.

      • Meg,

        I agree. When H told me he wanted a divorce, but was confused by “the turmoil” in his head, I gave him 3 weeks to get into IC. We’d just stepped off the plane from scattering my mom’s cremains. I packed a bag and stayed with my dad out of state. I knew this was not a marital issue, we weren’t having any problems. Didn’t hear from him without tracking him down over the course of those weeks. I came home and he had moved out. I was devastated. He wouldn’t tell me where he lived (Schmoopie’s) as he didn’t trust me in my “anger”.

        He came over one day to list our home with a realtor. I had cooked a nice dinner and baked pumpkin cupcakes (CAKE!). He told me that I was “taking this well” and that he thought I must have “found someone else” (I wasn’t sleeping or eating, let alone dating – we were married for nearly 17 years!).

        It occurred to me at that moment, all I was doing was making this shit easier for HIM. 2 weeks later was the last (hopefully) time that I saw him – when he served me with divorce papers the day before my birthday as I was leaving for a holiday. Michelle Weiner-Davis can shove cheater cheerleading up her ass. The moment I am least proud of is not when I told him and his fucked-up family off, but when I begged him to eat cake. Literally. H, please try this cupcake after listing our marital home.

  • I have a difficult time even reading the UBT but CL knows exactly how to put the truth out there.

    I get angry realizing that these articles can be published by assholes like Weiner Davis & Perel.

    It’s an insult to the loyal, decent & honest spouses. ????

  • There is a young lady at my job who forgot to submit payroll last week because she has basically been a walking zombie since her d-day two weeks ago.

    210 people didn’t get paid. Me included. I am the only one who completely understood and offered words of encouragement. She should have been on FMLA instead of being at work, but she had burned all her sick time caring for a 5th grader who had heart surgery.

    Now….she no longer has a job. Throw that on her mountain of problems.

    But, hey… least she and Stallion Sam are improving their marriage.

    • I wish we could do a Go-Fund-Me for that poor woman.

      I was a zombie for a year or more after DDay and the 18 weeks of false wreconciliation. Even now, 3 years later, some days it’s hard to show up and be present in my life. The abuse is so damaging.

      • I couldn’t even go to my regular fuel station out of shame. Sure enough, when I showed up again after over a year the cashier innocently asked me where my husband was, she hadn’t seen us in a long time (my ex was always super nice). You can’t even pump fuel in peace after being cheated on.

        • The lasting, ripple effects of cheating are never discussed in RIC propaganda.

    • There is a Post-It in my drawer that reads “your adversity is your advantage,” reminding me to accept this current pain and sorrow and fear and let it transform me. I am so grateful you didn’t die, SDC, and that you found kindness. What a gift to that young woman that you were able to share it with her.

      • 1984 Heisman Trophy Winner Doug Flutie stated that he didn’t realize Autism was everywhere until it arrived in his life.

        Personal adversity can, indeed, be a catapult of encouragement for others. Chump Lady and Doug Flutie are true examples.

  • What I thought was a unicorn was really a jackass with a chicken bone taped to his forehead.

  • I’ll believe this shit the day there is some brain imaging tool that shows, with before and after images, that the cheater’s character has changed.

    One thing that has changed for much better are my finances: even though I earn half of what Baron von Glitterballs earns I now have savings because I am no longer helping to support my incompetent, crazy in-laws and, unwittingly, Glitterballs’ cheater expenses like a fancy car he kept hidden from me and trips and fancy restaurants and clothing and jewelry for his flatterfuck (he never gave me any jewelry).

  • The New York Times is considered reputable, so how in the world can they justify publishing nonsense such as this. Even worse, that actual marriage counselors believe cheating improves a marriage is ludicrous! Would therapists want to teach these kind of values to their own children?

    • The New York Times has made some questionable decisions with respect to its editorial content in the past year. The Esther Perel-inspired columns on infidelity are only the tip of the ice berg. It’s not fake news, but a desire to paint all perspectives as objectively fine, even though normal people would see at least one of those perspectives as morally reprehensible. Let’s put it this way, we probably would rightly believe that the person who stole your PowerPoint and got a raise is a slimeball. The NYT would find a columnist who would argue that really, intellectual property theft is understandable and can be seen as justifiable under the right circumstances.

      • Kb
        The NYT needs a lesson in basic feminism. I realize that being Chumped is an equal opportunity sport. I do see the narrative rooted in ideas of women being property. Even now, often if a woman renarries, alimony ends, illustrating that she is now the burden of an other ‘owner’

  • Thank you CL for this amazing post! Thank God the narrative is changing….and yes, I too am one of those who’s marriage changed for the better….I divorced his scank behind and let the ow have him. Still digging out from the financial fallout, but I’m still better off. Raising the kids practically alone, but I’m still better off. Alone without a possible partner in sight for awhile, but I’m still better off. I was alone in my marriage anyway….and not have someone steal from me and lie to my face continuously helps me sleep at night.

  • An affair might improve your marriage a way a 2X4 to the head will improve your reflexes! I probably won’t get hit by that 2X4 again, but I’m gonna be really twitchy!

    “Improvement” is very subjective. In what way was their marriage improved? More communication, okay that might be true. I wouldn’t be able to say that the improved communication and expression of needs would offset the lack of trust and inherent abuse that occurred during an affair.

    Pure BS as far as I’m concerned.

  • Dear Authors of this particular New York Times article:

    It is astonishingly irresponsible that you failed to mention STDs in your article about infidelity.

    And authors, just for the record, my spouse was secretly committing adultery during my pregnancy with our 4th child (aged 5 and under). When my infant daughter was born via emergency c-section, she had a blister on her hand that the physicians believed could have been caused by neo-natal herpes. As a result, upon her birth, she was IMMEDIATELY rushed for a spinal tap to check for meningitis caused by the sexually transmitted virus and then comprehensive blood labs, followed by cultures of all her mucus membranes.

    In short, my infant daughter’s first human touches on Earth were not from the loving arms of her mother, but rather getting swabbed “down there” for herpes. Because I had only been with my husband sexually since I was a teenager, the ONLY risk of us being exposed to herpes was his affair during my pregnancy. And because he had been enthusiastically intimate with me up until his secret affair partner revealed their affair to me and I filed for divorce, the fact that I was testing negative on all my herpes labs didn’t matter. There is a period of incubation (seroconversion) to have accurate results for most Sexually Transmitted Viruses, like herpes. Something you failed to mention in your Infidelity Article.

    I am happy to tell you that ultimately, my daughter and I were both determined to be negative for the herpes virus. I am so grateful and appreciative every day for my daughter’s health. You see, we were looking at a worst case scenario of her not surviving the first two weeks of life. Specifically, my daughter’s pediatricians were concerned about the virus over powering her body and causing all of her major organs to shut down. In fact, even after determining my daughter was negative, she was still required to finish the last 3 days of anti-viral medication in the children’s hospital Infectious Disease room….”just in case”. And although I feel extremely lucky to have a healthy and happy baby girl the experience was traumatic. One word of honesty from my former spouse could have prevented all of this heartbreak.

    In summary, infidelity is inherently abusive. Your New York Times article failed the betrayed, by not accurately representing (actually, failing to mention at all) the true consequences of infidelity.

    Thank you CL for creating a place of support and knowledge!

    • I’d love to see the “authors” faces after reading your story Name Changed. Such hypocrites! Too many people want a too easy life.

    • Name Changed – would you consider sending what you wrote here to the comments at the NYT on this article? Your story is powerful (all of them are, not picking favorites), and tragically illustrates one of the many costs of adultery.

    • I hope you actually send this to them! I for one think these kind of cold, hard, facts, need to be pushed on our culture. Everyone acts like affairs are either grand romance that can’t be denied, or, nothing at all a little blip of no consequence. In truth they are ugly, seedy, and destructive. They are lies, diseases, unwanted pregnancies. They are financial ruin, abandoned children, and being thrust into poverty. THAT is what needs to be shown.

      • Yes to this^^ heaters are looking to fill a fucking whole in their character. I know my STBXW had me wrapped around her finger. I gave my entire life to her and the family. What more could I give? Not enough.

        One night I was walking around without a shirt on, getting ready for bed. She said, “sexy if you weren’t my husband”. She played it off as a joke, but I now I see that I was spackling like a champ.

  • “Fucking strange makes me a better husband! Hey, I get my “needs” met. Takes the edge off, and I’m nicer to be around. Win, win. It is Good to be King.” Considering my ex’s penchant for banging strippers in the back of our minivan (no doubt using the pillows and blankets our kids left in there), he should have been absolute pleasure to be around. Only not so much. But yeah, he’s the King all right. King of Nothing. His wife, kids, home and now his upper management level job are all gone. His kingdom now consists of his former (?) stripper, currently-on-probation-for-drug-charges fiance and a heavily mortgaged, asian beetle infested log cabin. But hey, the porn is still free! 😀

  • And now a big FUCK YOU to Jane Brody while I’m at it. WTF Jane? I bought your “Good Foods” cookbook years ago. You seemed to know what you were talking about as far as eating healthy. But girl, you need to get yourself a new gig because you suck at writing about wellness if this is the sort of shit you’re spouting these days. Go back to testing recipes, Jane. Seriously. You have no business trying to brainwash innocent victims into staying with their abusers.

    • No kidding, Beth. For somebody who has marketed herself as all about “healthy”, the very idea of thinking cheating can be healthy is insane. STDs anyone?? My cheater gave me HPV, making the possibility of any future relationships bleak, at best. Yeah, THAT’S healthy.

    • What’s her recipe for ‘Please Stop Fucking Strippers Chicken Casserole?’ Maybe it’ll work where the ‘It Makes Me Sad When You Abandon the Kids and I For Your Girlfriend Lasagna’ failed.

      • Hahahahahahaha. Oh Lordy, I’m glad no one else is in the office yet because I totally guffawed at that one. 😀 How about a nice bowl of Lying Stealing Cheating Too Chicken Shit Scared to Be Honest Soup? With a side of shit sandwich, of course.

  • Absolutely agree with RO and Kurlygirl! I am so much better off. My kids, however, not so much. I made the mistake of following the RIC while I was still in shock from Dday. Unfortunately I had spackled for years b4 that so my oldest had no idea what a pos her father was/is. The younger one who was 7 at the time is adjusting but her sister who was 16 has suffered from the family foundation being pulled out from under her. Sometimes I am really torn between being brutally honest with them or letting them find out on their own as he controls that narrative in his favour. For the good of my children’s psyche I have chosen more than a few shit sandwiches.

    • I am with you on this one. I have chosen not to be the one to trash talk at all. I just try to be the best parent I can be. I am hoping that they will see what they need to see in the end on their own. I do not want to damage the relationship my kids have with their mother. I am confident in my own relationship with my kids to know that they see me for who I am. They love their mom, but I don’t think it will be long before they realize the real state of things.

    • There is no need to trash talk, just tell the truth and all will be revealed. Even young children know what is right from wrong, you just need to present the facts in age appropriate language.

      • THIS. Don’t just hope they will see through the con artist. After all, think of how long most of them fooled us. Also, I think it is important to show your children how to be moral good people and to let them know that the kind of abuse that is an affair is not something they should ever tolerate. Often while chumps are busy taking the high road the cheater is lie, lie, lying up a storm and twisting the kids’ perceptions. It is perfectly okay to say, “We broke up because mommy had a boyfriend and it isn’t okay for married people to have boyfriends and girlfriends.”

  • My cheater told me when i found out he was having an affair that he was able to ‘compartmentalize’ things. The family and the schmoopy were completely separate. Really?! And when he told me he had ended it and i saw emails between them a few months later and confronted him and asked him why, he said he wasnt sure our reconciliation would ‘stick’ so he continued in the affair because it helped him ….. and so of course if it helped him, it helped the marriage. Sigh…….

  • Well I just posted and used robnsuzberry but I was supposed to put Confused Chump! Havent had enough coffee! haha! I just want to say how much I appreciate all of you. I am still in the marriage and trying to move forward and this site is such a gift to me.

    • Your offer of reconciliation was a GIFT…..not an ENTITLEMENT.

      He took a big shit on your gift.

      You have nothing to work with, Dear.

  • I still can’t hate on Michelle. I’m glad I explored my role in my marriage. It’s what made me realize she’s a fucking whack job and I needed to file. I allowed myself to be diminished to fit into her plan. That lost person is what she wanted. It fit into her narrative. It was not who I used to be or wanted to be. I owe a lot to that self evaluation. I also quickly learned that people who want to improve can and if they choose not to, well that their problem. Time to get away as much as you can from them.

    • This really resonated with me. My marriage to Mr. Justification feels now like some kind of cartoon where I tried to march into a tunnel that just got smaller and smaller, and I kept shrinking to fit. Now, I’m expanding, breathing, becoming at least a shadow of who I’m meant to be. I can pray without him smirking about it, drive carefully on icy roads without him “teasing” me about being an unskilled driver. I can drink a glass of wine with dinner without him “jokingly” calling me a push.

      I’m getting politically engaged, reconnecting with the friends he discouraged me from having, and with every step, I find myself having more energy, joy, patience and love to give to my children.

      Improve my marriage? I thank God for letting Mr. Justification blow up the marriage. Anything less than this (double betrayal while I was pregnant), and I probably would have spackled forever. I may still end up miserable, but at least I’ve got a shot at becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be without a lodestone around my neck.

    • DunChumpin,

      I too went with the 180 and I found what it actually did, instead of cheerleading my husband’s abuse and cheating etc was that it tricked me into doing some desperately needed self-care that had fallen by the wayside while he was being such a jackass.

      He had already walked out and with the 180 all of a sudden I started to really enjoy life again without him being so toxic around me all of the time. One of the divorce coaches suggested not answering when he called and just letting it hit voicemail. I did that and it felt much better to feel that control over myself and what I wanted to do with my life come rushing back. I had been through so much criticism and cruelty that it was like a revolution.

      My husband could leave for weeks and not reply to me asking even where he was or if he was coming back etc. Then all of a sudden he’s freaking out like “why aren’t you answering?” “What’s going on?” Well, what’s going on is I’m busy feeling better about myself and you said separated, so enjoy it. I sure am! Unless he had anything to say about our daughter it was no longer relevant to me. The 180 states right in Divorce Remedy that it’s for YOU to be happy and not having to wait around for your spouse to be happy. They say you’ll be happy whether or not they come back. I think what they don’t mention is that often you’ll be even happier if they don’t. As well, I was called “crazy and unstable” for so long by him that it was really nice to know, just for me, deep inside that clearly I wasn’t the “crazy and unstable” one.

      One time he texted me that and I broke NC just to say “I’m fine, I’m stable, I’m here raising our daughter. You’re living in the back of your car with no job, not supporting your kid, still drinking.”


      • Exactly, after years of abuse, and it is abuse, a person is so diminished. A 180 is a step back to sanity. The issue is why are you doing it. If it’s just to win the person back, you fail, but if you truly internalize it, well then, then you win.

  • The tipoff for me is the secrecy, the need to keep the chump in the dark. How is that “caring”? How is taking away agency and choice “caring”? How is telling Schmoops the intimate secrets of your marriage (real or imagined) “caring”?

    It’s about power and control. Having the advantages of marriage with none of the inconvenience of actually loving someone and treating them as an equal. Having the advantages pf boom a family man without pitching in to take care of the kids and therefore sharing the chump’s commitment to parenting.

    • Well said. Control not caring was DX’s motivation. Also he felt entitlement to cheat. Gaslighting and lies (plus narc anger, charm, sadz) were tools the used to control. They achieved a compliant chump who focused energy on him while he enjoyed the power of having secrets and cake for far too long.
      Once the lies were revealed, my pickme dance ended. The only ‘good’ about it that I can think of is that it has ended – I escaped that abuse and control and maybe sharing that hardwon knowledge, that getting away from it is so much better, may help some other chump move on faster.

      • After 34 years as a mind controlled puppet in his theatre of disorder, reading RIC trash about the benefits of infidelity chafes me.

        Just a few of the “benefits” ???? of being married to a cheater are:

        -Cancer (all cancers of genital area are on the rise and correlation of this increase with STDs is the subject of multiple studies). Wish NYT would publish this in an effort toward fair and balanced reporting.
        -Over $100k in hidden and spent marital monies on affairs (that could be discovered).
        -Walking on eggshells while spackling and pick me dancing like a paper trained puppy.
        -Listening to Jekyl lectures on my faults and impact on his unhappiness followed by Hyde lovebombing.
        -Marriage policing and truth seeking.

        No thank you to these few of many “benefits.”

        I will never again slide down a wall to the floor in an abused heap while being screamed at for his unhappiness and soullessness.

        No longer my problem, circus, pain or shame to bear.

        Divorce was the best thing for my marriage and saving myself from further abuse and disease.

        Life is so much brighter cheater free!

        • Free now … ALL that! 32 years of being the lucky pick of my SAxh. Turns out he enlightened our entire marriage with his cheating, lying, love bombing, gas-lighting, Jesus cheater, self entitlement, risking my health with unprotected sex. His ways of “improving” our marriage just wasn’t working for ME anymore so I bravely shined the light on his definition of “commitment” and divorced his ass 2 years ago.

          Awe, NOW that is marital improvement. No more broken heart, broken mind and broken body. I took out the trash and set the snake free. During the past holidays with our grown children, (never mixing mom and dad together) it was obvious he is now on the outside looking in and just wishing we could ‘All be friends”. They won’t, don’t and can’t change so ppl change yourself and cut your losses. Move forward. Meh is awesome and free of losers who do unbelievable things to blow up your marriage. Bye Felicia <3

  • Unprotected sex, lying and cheating then bringing your penis home to the Chump is rape as far as I’m concerned. Feels like non consensual sex with his whores even though I didn’t know or participate. Feels like rape not marital improvement.

    • You are absolutely correct Spoonriver. My ex was my only lover and when I found out about the years and years of him fucking strippers and then coming home and having unprotected sex with me… All I could picture was the endless line of people stretching from one body to another leading to unsuspecting me. It did feel like rape. I’m five years and three clean (thankfully) STD panels out from that nightmare and it still makes me nauseous when I think about it.

  • I was generally someone who gave people the benefit of the doubt when I met them.

    But since the affair, for whatever reason, I’ve come to view a lot of people as complete fucking idiots. Maybe I’m more cynical or jaded or whatever. But as soon as I sense bullshit or nonsense, I just lose complete respect for whomever I’m listening to or reading from. I’m not sure if some people think they’re smart and they’re trying to get one past me (which pisses me off), or if they’re really just not that smart to begin with so they say these kinds of things (probably closer to the truth).

    So all I take from the NYT article is an affirmation of the lesson we should all know by now (and really probably knew long before), that just because somebody has a public platform (TV, newspaper, internet, elected office, etc.), or just because they’re in front of a camera, or just because they have a degree(s) in something — doesn’t mean they’re intelligent or even have any fucking clue what they’re talking about.

    I should open up a salt mine with all the grains that I take when I see/read/hear this crap.

  • I consider myself a pretty open-minded person. I really don’t care about a person’s sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, but I do care about a person’s character. If a couple wants to swing, have fun. If a couple decides to have an open marriage, knock yourself out. As long as both parties are open, honest, and have equal agency in the relationship, it is your circus, bring on the clowns!

    Chumps did not sign up for that. We signed up for the long-term. We invested years and years. We made sacrifices along the way, be it in our careers, our friendships, our time, whatever. For someone to take a dump all over that, and to betray trust, abuse, and expose a partner to physical harm and pretend that it is somehow a good thing is a pile of crap.

    Again, whether or not anything good can come out of an affair is fully dependent upon the chump putting up with that shit and somehow making the best of it!! I know that I am not perfect, but at no time did my behaviour as a husband and father ever justify my wife going out and having an affair. I was blamed for the affair happening because I wasn’t “good enough”. My wife didn’t want to reconcile because I wasn’t “good enough”. I suppose it might also be me not being “good enough” to see that abuse to myself and my kids is really a good thing.

    • Exactly. There is no justification for cheating. As you say it is a total betrayal or trust and dump on the investment of years of loyalty. Her not “good enough” argument is crap. Much more like that you are “too good” and “now see through that crap”. Here’s to no longer being compliant chumps and not putting up with that shit.

    • CD, thanks for hitting me upside the head. I needed this. Like you, I signed up for the long haul, for better/worse etc. with fidelity as part of the package. So much so, I made certain he knew (and agreed to!) what the definition of “faithful” was.

      He ignored the vows. I didn’t.

      I am STILL dealing with the fallout, still with the cheater, still questioning my sanity. I took my wedding ring off, and handed it to him. Baby step, but it felt like a big one to me. Still wearing the engagement ring, though, mostly because I don’t want to have to answer any questions from people we know.

      These people who publish the kind of crap articles referenced above will have the audience they deserve. In the meantime, I would love articles written by us chumps which advocate dumping the cheaters without giving a nod to the RIC.

  • My question is, where are all of these improved couples the RIC claims exist? They are so improved they are taking to the local newspaper, other public media, and booking TV gigs with Esher Perel to shout their stories from the rooftops? Oh sure, there are the few couples who have realized they can capitalize on other people’s pain, and their affairs become a marketing strategy, but what of the other thousands of improved marriages? Where are the everyday people who stand to gain nothing from sharing their marriage improvement affair strategies? Are they reveling privately in their marital bliss? Hoarding the secrets to better marriages? No, they are in hiding – humiliated beyond belief.

    Now instead of tiptoeing through the darkness to grab their spouses phone off the nightstand, they warn them ahead of time they are onto them (communication is the key to a good marriage you know).

    They begin to panic when their spouse is 20 minutes late… they only need to believe in trust. That magical concept the RIC refuses to define with rational tangible language.

    You have expectations of reciprocal respect and honesty? Well you need to learn to tell your spouse you are feeling anxious about them flirting with the server that resembles their affair partner. Sounds vulnerably good right? Well here’s the reciprocal nature of that honesty; you, the betrayed, need to be open to hearing them tell you all about how they imagined pulling that server in the bathroom and rubbing their parts together. Let your spouse be vulnerable with you too! Make your marriage a safe space for them to share their deepest vulnerability!

    You don’t like that they fantasize about shagging the server? Well there’s your problem! You aren’t giving them the freedom to be themselves! Expectation is the killer of love! But freedom, yes total FREEDOM will unlock the marital bliss you so desire!

    Marriage police??? Who are those pathetic fools? So what your spouses honesty has you realizing they want to have a gang bang with the neighbors! Policing them to make sure they aren’t peeping in the neighbors window will get you nowhere. Nope, just trust that their freedom to be honest will water down that desire. After all, spouses should share their sexual fantasies! Learn to embrace it and you may find it becomes your fantasy too! In the words of Esther, redefining open and honest communication is the key to your enlightenment!

    Let go of your staunchly standards and open up the gates of freedom to be vulnerable! Once you learn to blur the lines of “standards” you will find a whole new world of honesty from your spouse open up to you. By simply understanding this … your reactions to having your boundaries and standards violated are the true problem! Don’t judge your spouse for playing Russian roulette with your life, by having unprotected sex with anything that moves. Your Judgment is at the root of your marital problems! enlightenment requires non judgment, acceptance, vulnerability, open mindedness and a willingness to hear honesty.

    Sure the RIC uses general terminology and applies it universally, but context is of little importance when you are self promoting for profit!

    So where are the happy infidelity couples that have embraced this thinking? Why aren’t they sharing the “Perel’s“ of wisdom they used to improve their marriages? Why? I’ll tell you why… because they refuse the mind fuck of the RIC. Sure, the RIC has plenty of bait in the form of reconciliation promises to dangle in front of the traumatized and devastated, and the cheaters never miss an opportunity to climb on board for a free ride! But eventually the RIC ship sinks, (through no fault of their own of course) and those statics of improved marriages sink along with it!

      • Not so much. Last night was apparently the first night they have been seen together since New Year’s Eve. Wonder what’s in her pre-nup, huh?

        • Must be pretty good. He married her because she was PG??? What must she have on HIM for that to happen?? And then he’s cheated on her continuously even while she was carrying his child. No wonder she can’t stand to be within reach of him.

      • I have an artist friend who has very wealthy clients with “trophy” wives. She told me a story about meeting with one of those couples. Schmoopie was young enough to be his daughter, wearing stilettos, the sequined mini-dress, the fur stole, and complaining about how she had to go the the gym 5 days a week, while her rather paunchy husband didn’t even try to keep in shape. His response to her was to pull out his billfold, wave it under her nose, and say, “THIS is the only thing I have to keep in shape.”

        • Ivyleague…omg…just no words. How damn sad is that 🙁

          …how damn sad…

          Self Esteem classes need to be taught in school…from an early age. And not that ‘fall backwards’ bs…self love…self worth. …abuse identification, what to do in case of…

          This shit is just to prevalent and widely accepted in our culture! This needs to change forever.

          Oh ivyleague…that is just so damn sad.

          • Our society is so geared toward ‘stuff’, materialism…

            The things that matter aren’t things…they are rather, the people in our lives…

            It seems that we have lost the reality of what ‘things’ cost us…how many hours did we have to work for whatever the latest fad we just have to have? How important have we made ‘image’ and ‘fashion’ and the myriad of crap we are bombarded with every damn day? How much of this crap do we really NEED?

            …how much do we sell our souls for?

            ivyleague…that visual just really torqued my heart. …damn…her self worth is non existant…

  • If you merely take the Perel / Weiner-Davis mindset a step further you realize its absurdity:

    Married couple is dissatisfied in their marriage, so they honestly and openly decide to seek marriage counseling.

    Counselor’s ironclad advice is for the couple to draw straws. The recipient of the long straw must agree to embark on a secretive affair (or affairs) and completely deny it to the other spouse so they don’t know if the long-straw spouse is telling the truth or not. They must secretively text, mysteriously disappear for hours, work late at the office and make lame excuses for suspicious behavior. Essentially they must step away from the marriage and make another person (or persons) the focus of their love and affection while making their spouse feel discarded.

    Marriage counselor insists this will save their marriage.

    Who in their right mind would heed this marriage counselor’s advice? And that’s not even taking into account the resources spent outside the marriage, possible exposure to STDs, affects on the children, etc.

    • This^^^^ What an excellent way to frame it, GratefullyDivorcedDad.

      Ex insisted that his affair improved our marriage. For him. Hmmm. Pretty sure he wouldn’t think so if I had been the one to stray!

  • I’m trying to R and the only reason is because of our 9 year old son. If we divorced he would be terribly
    hurt. I’m trying really hard to swallow my pride that my wife betrayed me, lied to me, over and over again. Cheating absolutely does NOT make your marriage stronger it makes it harder. It is very difficult to love my cheater again, I mean very very difficult, when I see her I see the lies, I see the affair, I see what they did, oh the mind movies, it is just horrible and very very hard to overcome.

    • @ TxDude I have 3 kids: 18 and 16 year old daughters, and a 13 year old son. I didn’t stay because of the kids – I left because of the kids. I figured I couldn’t model such a dysfunctional ‘love’ for them and expect then to turn out okay. My son (around 10 on d day) was upset at first, but he grew quickly to understand why I couldn’t stay in the marriage. My girls totally got it from the start. Fast forward three years and my kids are happy and well-adjusted teens who know their self-worth, because it was modelled for them. I know it is a difficult decision to leave. Regardless of outcome, commit to being the honest and sane parent for your son. Best of luck in whatever you decide to do!

      • Dee………….same in my situation. Quite some time after my divorce, my oldest daughter told me she couldn’t WAIT for me to divorce her father. She knew the basics of what was going on (she overheard us arguing once) and wished I would kick him out. I had not know this at the time and boy do I wish I had. My youngest went in to a deep depression when I pulled the plug on the mental/emotional abuse of his infidelity. She didn’t know about her father’s affair. BUT….now years later my girls are happy, well adjusted young woman who know their worth and who look up to me as a woman of great strength. They come to me for advice and we share many wonderful moments and laughs. They share NOTHING with their father. He has no depth and only serves as a wallet when they need help. Some may think that it is wrong for my girls to use him for money but this is all he is capable of. I went and talked to him to let him know that his daughters wanted and needed more from him (his time, his love, his advice, etc) and nothing changed. He isn’t that DEEP!

        • Kimmy – that’s exactly our situation. Ex just doesn’t ‘get’ how to interact with his girls. At first I tried to actually help him (I know… sick considering all he put me through), and then I just stepped back and let them negotiate things. It’s very strained, but my girls stand up for themselves very well. I like to think they will take this life skill with them into future relationships.

    • I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide, but in my case I caught my cheater wife trying to cheat in 2011- gave her a 2nd chance, did counseling, received lots of promises only to catch her in full blown affair in 2017 with some other guy.

      The main reason I stayed in 2011 was for my young child. Good decision-Bad decision hard to know, but what I do know is that I delayed the inevitable (because cheaters just don’t change- there is something wrong in their brain) and by giving her a 2nd chance I was putting my health- physical, mental, emotional at risk.

    • TxDude…….It is very hard to ever love your spouse the same way again. I’m not saying that you won’t. I tried. I tried for five years. He continued to lie and cheat the ENTIRE time I thought we were reconciling!! Each new discovery was another scar and I never healed. I know you know this but, generally speaking……cheaters do not change they just get better at hiding their affairs.

      Good luck to you! And………FYI……kids are pretty resilient!

    • Do you really think you could trust her again? I wanted to reconcile with my STBXW as well, she wanted none of that, and it is probably for the best. I love her still, and that is the hardest part. I do not think I could trust her again. She shows no remorse for what she has done. She blames me for her affair, just as she blames everyone else for anything wrong. How could I ever love her with a heart that has been broken. That is not what real love is. I cannot police her. She was my partner, not a possession. The only way this could have been prevented was if she made different choices. You did not make your wife’s decisions for her. You can’t fix certain things.

      Good luck in whatever you decide. I know I would have tried.

    • You say you’re doing it for your son, but think about what you’re really doing for him.

      1. Crushing yourself for your kid doesn’t usually end well. You’re human. There are going to be times when you resent your kid for the fact that you’re eating a shit sandwich with a cheater for his sake. That’s gonna come out. Also, even if you manage to be completely free of resentment, you’re still going to have a lot of emotional pain through all of this. Divorced and healing from it all, you’d be more emotionally healthy, which would make you a better father.

      2. Kids learn about relationships from their parents. How will you feel when he’s grown and devastated because the woman he married cheated on him, and you wonder if he picked her because that’s what he was raised to see as a good spouse?

  • The worst part of my post D-day life is my STBX wife’s insistance that I own or take responsibility for my half, that it takes two for a marriage to fail. I didn’t think my marriage was failing. I actually thought things were never better and the future was bright. So good to hear people reject this blame shifting bullshit. I am to the point where I don’t want to talk or think about it anymore but I feel liberation when I can share what happened to me to others. Yeah, I may seem like the over sharing weirdo, but I also feel that unless we tell our story and share the deep of pain caused this shit will keep happening. I fee it needs to stop. Cheating is abuse. I will not be victimize again by being forced to take responsibility or share blame for decision my wife made in secret and hid because she knew they were wrong.

    • yeah during reconciliation nothing worse than cheater wanting to talk “relationship issues” (their perception) while they are STILL lying about the extent of the affair and what was really going on. I had enough of that BS.

      • My STBXW and I went to MC for a total of 4 sessions. I thought that was a pretty short time considering we had been married for well over twenty years, but it was a no go. Turns out she had been hiding so much while we were there. Her affair was not even part of the discussion as I wasn’t aware of it at the time. The MC sessions were focussed on how she wasn’t happy and I was the problem. When I find out about the extent of the affair I was blown apart. When you allow a. Ew person into your heart, you are going to shove another person out.

    • Of COURSE you caused them to have the affair!!!! You are a miserable piece of shit (says all cheaters), it wasn’t my fault, wah wa wa wa!! Insert reason for them to go find a fuck buddy here.

      YOUR actions are the standard defense line, but it seems that part of the cheating culture is to actually believe this. My step-mother (who is a complete ass hat all around) actually suggested that I go through the annulment process to help me realize what my part was in Mr. Sparkles having an affair was. Ummmmmmmm … what?? My part was making him #1 in our family, letting him treat the kids & I like pawns in his absurd game of Life, and letting him think he could get away with having an affair!!

      Nope. Sorry. There is no reason or excuse for having an affair, and people who suggest that the other spouse had a hand I causing it are complete idiots that are only perpetuating the culture.

    • They all do this. It’s cheater 101. The perfect switch and bait. YOU have to take responsibility for their shit decisions.

      Nah. After time you begin to realise it was never you. It was all them. My ExWhore tried the same trick. During the pick me dance I believed her. Now? Not so much.

      I used to use the DB site. The forums were a sense of hope. And the posters there all said the same thing. YOU have to realise what YOU did wrong I’m the marriage to make it fail or it will happen again.

      And I just couldn’t see it. Because it wasn’t there. We didn’t have a bad marriage or relationship. We just didn’t.

      But things were going on with her and I had no clue.

      So no, don’t take responsibility for her being the way she is. That’s her problem.


  • Yes, my partner rolled the car into the ditch while texting. However, I’d let it go past due for an oil change, and I’d backed into a few parking poles and left some scrapes, so we both kinda contributed to the car being totaled.

    • Excellent comparison as in my Divorce Care class the leader insists we are BOTH to blame.

  • As terrible as affairs and cheaters are, I honestly think the RIC industry does as much, if not more harm, to chumps. The reason is they take a very vulnerable person searching for help, and then increase the mental abuse of that person ten-fold under the guise of being a ‘professional’. You go there looking for real mental and emotional health help – and get bullied into submission.

    I remember being told by a female counselor who supposedly focused on “partner trauma” that from ALL the women that get a divorce then remarry realize they would have been better off just staying in the marriage and working things out. They it was better to stay and ‘fix’ my porn addict husband than trying to find true love again in life.

    I have witnessed counselors in the RIC community bash and bully those who want to leave as being ‘unforgiving’ and even indicating that their ‘hard heartedness’ might actually be a reason for cheater pants/panties to have strayed in the first place. Those that leave are called weak and even considered to have less morals and integrity than the cheater.

    That industry is pure wickedness.

    • This was very much my experience. Mr. Justification took us to a marriage counselor while he was still in the affair, lied to HER about still being in the affair, but when I finally figured out the truth and went back in, she took his side. I was supposed to own “my part” in the bad marriage, and when I asked her what steps she suggested we take to allay my anxiety when he traveled out of town, she said I should practice breathing exercises.

      I finally fired her when she told me (less than a month after the 4th d-day in 6 months) that I needed to decide to have both feet in the marriage if we were going to make any progress. I said, “Nope! Guess we won’t make any progress then.”

      Oh, and she was the one that acted exasperated when I said I thought this was the end of the marriage and told me, “But he picked YOU!”

      Bitch cookie, bitch.

    • It’s called “Therapy abuse.” And Patrick Carnes leads the bandwagon! Carnes is a sex addict himself… it makes sense that his model would degrade and further abuse the betrayed spouse.

      Therapy with a CSAT (Carnes model)….is like asking a fox to look after your chickens.

  • I propose a study. Surely one of these so-called experts can get some funding and somebody in academics with the credentials to do a statistically valid study of whether or not infidelity actually improves marriage. First of course one must define what measurable factors will constitute “an improvement.” For instance, here are the hard costs from my situation that I would label as a negative consequence of the betrayal/fraud:
    1) $1500: STD, including cost or testing and treatment, lost work time for time at doctors’;
    2) $300,000: three years of lost efficiency at work (quantifiable as billable hour reduction over pre DDay levels);
    3) $200,000: medical costs of Dd3 suicide attempts/hospitalization/rehab costs following DDay and blameshifting and discard by cheater dad;
    4) $600,000: lost equity in 3 years from the premature sale of our primary residence — we sold weeks after DDay in response to demand by X to “reduce his stress” and based on his false promise to stop cheating;
    5) $400,000: legal fees to obtain divorce, including two failed mediations, X’s failed summary judgment to exclude his business from community property when we built the business together over 25 year marriage, and week-long trial because X, who earns $80k per month, was only willing to pay $300 per month in child support;
    6) $60,000: legal fees to defend DS after DDay when he went off the rails and got into legal trouble;
    7) $8,000: therapy expenses for failed MC (futile as X was lying and still cheating) and for suicidal and depressed kids….

    Thus, at a minimum, the “affair” in real lost costs total at least $1,600,000. This amount does not factor a dime for lost opportunities or pain and suffering.

    So, now, let’s look at what was “gained” by the affair? Hmmmm…. thinking really carefully…….uhhhhhhhh…….ummmmmmmmm…….nothing. Not one single positive item can be identified.

    • What was gained by people outside the marriage and the family:
      A couple of boats and luxury holidays for the lawyers. Wages for the various medical staff.
      Even if you count that as positives, you still have the loss of equity and the loss of income from lost efficiency, more than half the total.
      Wonder how Ms Perel would react to these losses.

  • Dday

    Me: sobbing
    Cheater wife: “This could be the best thing for our marriage !!!!”
    Me then: …huh….????

    Me now: <>

  • I saw that article. It’s such a cruel joke that they’re trying to play on betrayed partners, trying to convince them that reconciliation is the path to happiness. Divorce is to be avoided at all costs. Divorcing my cheater was the best decision I ever made. Divorce is not easy, but my life is infinitely better on the other side. I only regret waiting so long to do it.

    I forgot about the 180. That takes me back to a difficult, dark time. One thing I will say is that doing the 180 was excellent practice for moving on with my life for real.

    Step 1: Do a 180.
    Step 2: Walk forward and never look back.

  • “Fucking strange makes me a better husband! Hey, I get my ‘needs’ met” Bwaaa ha ha ha. Wish that were true. In ex’s case all it did was ramp up the devalue because now suddenly he was getting fresher kibbles elsewhere. He was grumpier than ever when he was stuck at home with same old same old when he would rather be out with new and shiny. I will admit, however, that he is nicer to both me and the kids now that he no longer lives with us so there is that. I get just enough glimpses of Mr. Perpetually dissatisfied with life to remember what it was like when he did live with us and to not want to go back to that.

    • ICanSee 🙂

      Let’s go with that!!! 🙂

      Let’s figure out how to get that happenin!

      Tracy? Are you in? Can we try?

  • Gawd, this is all such unbearable poppycock. Destroying trust never made any marriage better. This is industrial-strength spackle and denial, and it truly hurts my heart to hear it. I’ve counseled LOTS of people through infidelity, and I can’t think of one soul who would say it made things better. The new relationship is completely different but injured. Something doesn’t break without scars, only to get BETTER. It’s like the RIC wants to reinvent the laws of physics as well. Magical thinking at its best, RIC. The rare person I have met who says this is a) always in the RIC business and b) seems completely inauthentic and out to lunch. I can respect that some people feel they need to stay in the marriage, but I just find this line of thinking so delusional and sad.

    • One after the next….for years and years I ran into nit wit counselors. Some tried to blame me for Dancing Dick’s lewd behavior……others did not get it at all. The worst was the church….beating me up with “forgiveness”- as if feeling betrayed by a lying, deceptive pervert was worse than what he was doing?

      I compare the present day mindset of marriage counselors to the mindset of slave holders in the past few centuries. Both groups could not/cannot see the flaws in their logic. As if they are indoctrinated in a thought process that lacks critical thinking. Hopefully, like slavery….harmful, backward, marriage counselors will be tossed in the dumpster of very bad ideas.

      • Unfortunately a lot of therapists are trained in something called “systems theory” which makes them think all marriages are 50/50. However, you have to use your brain and see the subtle nuances that deception and abuse changes the playing field; it can’t be 50/50 anymore because one side doesn’t have all the facts. Cheaters are 100% responsible for cheating. The marriage itself might be more like 70/30 in the cheater’s favor bc secrets and lies. This sort of gaping hole in my field is fucking shameful and I am constantly trying to undo the damage stupid therapists have created.

  • I wonder…say there’s no infidelity but one spouse
    was unhappy because they didn’t feel their mate paid enough attention to them, blah blah blah.
    So without the other spouses knowledge, they starting purchasing really expensive items such as clothes, jewelry, prepaid thousands and thousands for multiple plastic surgeries. Everything was placed in a rented storage unit along with unpaid credit card invoices, bank statements and several quarterly reports with dwindling retirement balances. Then finally…they’re caught.
    Financial ruin. Dreams crushed. Life changed overnight for the clueless spouse.

    If Esther Perel’s spouse did this to her, I wonder if she’d be able to practice what she preaches.

  • 6 months ago, hell – 3 moths ago, I was fighting ANY notion that I would be better off.
    Today, I would say whole-heartedly, “her affair improved me”.

    Destroyed the marriage, fucked up the kids, fucked up the finances, blew my emotional life away.
    Affairs fucked up the marriage and all that.

    But it improved me. Feels fucking good to say that.

    • ^^this.

      Just wait till it’s 3 years. Meh is round the corner and Tuesday is your favourite day of the week.

  • Very encouraging to read the comments in the NYTimes “article.” (See, if the author puts “cheating” in quotes, then I can do the same about the author’s “reporting.”)

    Sure, there’s still plenty of blameshifting and pity-the-cheater comments. But there are so many people using plain, old logic on shooting them down.

    We can’t MAKE other people do anything. Pure and simple.

  • When the known about affair actually ends, it might seem to make it better for a while but that is temporary. My marriage seemed to improve for a while when the emotional affair ended and ex wasn’t putting energy into that anymore and more time and affection was directed at me and the kids. That didn’t last, however. The emotional affair is what put the notion into ex’s head that if he wasn’t happy with me he had other choices. I thought the marriage was improved because I learned that I wasn’t being a good enough wife and that gave me the motivation to improve. It turns out it was never possible for me to improve enough to satisfy ex. Nothing good came out of any of the affairs in the long run.

    • WTF I have been trying to get my comments for months to show… got a new phone and it works!! The best thing that ever happened to me was the women who did me the favor of taking a lying POS mother fucker off my hands. God is good.

  • Thank you CN & CL for saving my sanity! So agree! Affairs are hand grenades lobbed into marriages and families! There is no going back. Almost defies description- actually the cheater is never worth much to start with! They do us a favour! We are so much better than that!

  • Happy to have been one of the chump commenters on NYT. Thanks to all the other chumps who also commented and mentioned CL’s site and book. Changing the narrative one comment at a time…

  • Affairs make a marriage better like crashing a car into a wall makes a car better. There might be some Russian dude out there who can put the car back together (I saw it on Youtube), but it comes with a salvage title and underneath there is all sorts of shit wrong that you can see by just looking at the outside.

    I loved this comment – “And Esther Perel? She’s a renewable fuel source for the Universal Bullshit Translator.”


  • What they miss in these ridiculous articles about affairs improving your marriage is that the cheaters are not interested in improving the marriage, and most, as we who tried wreckonciliation and counselling sadly experienced, are not interested in doing ANYTHING REAL to save it after DDay (s), no matter how hard we chumps tried. They are only interested in getting what they want, and blaming the chump.
    Nothing to work with and the affair(s) never improve anything with half of the couple actively sabotaging the relationship and undermining the chump.
    If now and again there is a Unicorn who really works on giving their partner the respect they deserve, then the relationship can improve. However, the affair did not improve the relationship; the relationship improves because the cheater’s attitude has changed.

  • My favorite comment in the Times:

    “I’m a marriage therapist myself and want to add a (huge) missing piece to this article: while yes, it’s very possible that a couple can become closer after an affair, a non-negotiable pre-requisite is that the cheating partner take full responsibility for the cheating, name it as cheating, apologize deeply and probably repeatedly, commit to new behaviors and boundaries for which he/she invites accountability and even consequences, and often undertakes individual therapy. Even when the innocent party contributed to the decline of the marriage (as they often do), only the cheater went nuclear with their disappointment and violated the most profound vow that humans can make to one another. That violation needs to be the first thing addressed in therapy. It’s a huge mistake to relativize the ways we hurt each other – infidelity does much more damage than most other ways we love poorly. When I see new clients right after an affair, if I get within a mile of implying “well, let’s talk about how you both contributed to this” I can almost see the innocent party start to implode, as well they should. As a mentor therapist once told me, to the cheater we need to say, “we very well might be able to help you save your marriage, but you’re going to get sh@# on for awhile.”

    As CL says, that’s unicorn behavior. If it happens, then go for it if it’s what’s best for you. Just realize just how infrequently it happens.

    • So what you are saying is that the cheater gets conditioned to be “forgiven” after he/she committed adultery. Wouldn’t that reinforce cheating again? I think so. I think the marriage counseling industry is backward and out of touch with reality.

  • A marriage is a loving partnership of equals, or at least that is what modern marriage vows state. How does an affair strengthen that? I can’t speak for anyone but me, but after reading so many post by CN I don’t think I am alone. My STBXW’s affair did not strengthen our marriage. It demonstrated to me that we were not partners. She valued herself and her AP more than the rest of the family, especially me. Her affair made me question my whole life. My self-esteem hit rock-bottom, I was feeling suicidal on more than one occasion. How can something so destructive to one partner possibly help a partnership? Of course, it can’t.

    • I met a woman in one of those 12 step groups for wives of so called “Sex addicts.” The woman contracted HIV from her cheating husband. The couple has 2 young children.

      How did contracting HIV “improve that woman’s marriage”? How does leaving your children orphans because of fatal STDs improve anything? Perel needs to be kicked in the crotch!

  • I was happy to post a comment on this article too, quoting CL and everything.
    Viv La Revolcion de la Chump Nation!!!

  • Affairs aren’t humiliating, disrespectful, and devastating — they’re improving! Fucking strange makes me a better husband! Hey, I get my “needs” met. Takes the edge off, and I’m nicer to be around. Win, win. It is Good to be King.

    This was a “D-Day Eve” Red Flag for me.

    My then-husband was extremely abusive during the last year of the marriage. He was short-tempered, critical and disrespectful. He was only nice when asking me to buy him something as I had become the breadwinner due to his refusal to work. His devaluation of me served to rationalize and justify his decision to commit adultery. His projection of subconscious guilt onto me as “the bad guy” served to exonerate him of his adulterous conduct and allowed him to soldier on with OW, an immoral whore in her own right.

    We had one vehicle and I allowed him to drive me back and forth to work so that he would have access to the vehicle to help his elderly mother. He would call me to let me know when he was leaving and the trip took 30 minutes.

    On my D-Day Eve, when he called to let me know he was on his way, he was not his usual tense, surly self. His voice was melodic and warm, practically sing-song. A throwback to the Idealization period from decades ago! I felt uncomfortable. But wasn’t this what I wanted? Wasn’t this why I was working so hard? What was up? Were things finally turning around, in my favor?

    Thirty minutes had come and gone and he had not arrived at my workplace. But you could set your watch by him! Oh no, was he in a wreck? He’s finally nice to me without asking for money, and now he’s probably laying in a ditch somewhere or being taken to the hospital! The bottom of my stomach dropped out. Oh, here he is! It’s been 35 minutes but he’s here and okay! And he came dancing in, no, I would say he sailed in the door flashing a megawatt smile! He’s not really sure why it took him 35 minutes today and not 30 but he’s just fine!

    The next day, in the bright light of day, coming back from running an errand, I notice our brand new car seat has been stained by sex. That stain was not there 24 hours ago. I would not have seen it the night before, as all was dark. This is why he was “nicer to be around” the night before – he had been pumped up with “narcissistic supply” in the form of sex from the OW. The reason he took 35 minutes to get to my workplace instead of 30 was that he spent 5 minutes frantically scrubbing the still-drenched car seat in an effort to dry it, which resulted to terrible pilling to the seat.

  • Affairs aren’t humiliating, disrespectful, and devastating — they’re improving! Fucking strange makes me a better husband! Hey, I get my “needs” met. Takes the edge off, and I’m nicer to be around. Win, win. It is Good to be King.

    This was a “D-Day Eve” Red Flag for me.

    My then-husband was extremely abusive during the last year of the marriage. He was short-tempered, critical and disrespectful. He was only nice when asking me to buy him something as I had become the breadwinner due to his refusal to work. His devaluation of me served to rationalize and justify his decision to commit adultery. His projection of subconscious guilt onto me as “the bad guy” served to exonerate him of his adulterous conduct and allowed him to soldier on with OW, an immoral whore in her own right.

    We had one vehicle and I allowed him to drive me back and forth to work so that he would have access to the vehicle to help his elderly mother. He would call me to let me know when he was leaving and the trip took 30 minutes.

    On my D-Day Eve, when he called to let me know he was on his way, he was not his usual tense, surly self. His voice was melodic and warm, practically sing-song. A throwback to the Idealization period from decades ago! I felt uncomfortable. But wasn’t this what I wanted? Wasn’t this why I was working so hard? What was up? Were things finally turning around, in my favor?

    Thirty minutes had come and gone and he had not arrived at my workplace. But you could set your watch by him! Oh no, was he in a wreck? He’s finally nice to me without asking for money, and now he’s probably laying in a ditch somewhere or being taken to the hospital! The bottom of my stomach dropped out. Oh, here he is! It’s been 35 minutes but he’s here and okay! And he came dancing in, no, I would say he sailed in the door flashing a megawatt smile! He’s not really sure why it took him 35 minutes today and not 30 but he’s just fine!

    The next day, in the bright light of day, coming back from running an errand, I notice our brand new car seat has been stained by sex. That stain was not there 24 hours ago. I would not have seen it the night before, as all was dark. This is why he was “nicer to be around” the night before – he had been pumped up with “narcissistic supply” in the form of sex from the OW. The reason he took 35 minutes to get to my workplace instead of 30 was that he spent 5 minutes frantically scrubbing the still-drenched car seat in an effort to dry it, which resulted to terrible pilling to the seat.

    • I threw out my bedding and the “porn couch” after I found out what Dancing Dick was doing with sex trade workers. Anything he touched…..made me sick to my stomach- out it went!

  • Well, maybe it strengthened the marriage for this couple:

    Husband kidnapped the Shmoopie and presented her to his wife as a house slave whose job it was to pick up all the dog poop.

    Well, for the two weeks before Shmoopie called the cops, at least. Now they’re both going to jail, but at least for 2 weeks they didn’t have to argue about who cleaned up after their dogs.

  • Cheating is what ruined my marriage! The lies, deception, minimizing, and gas lighting did not “improve my marriage.” When Dancing Dick killed the trust….he killed the marriage. A marriage without trust is worthless.

  • Using this insulting logic…..we should all go out and steal money from our employers. After we sneak around, lie about it……. blame others for our theft…… we can tell our bosses…”it improves our work relationship.” We should also demand that our bosses forgive us and trust us again.

    After all, deception, blame shifting, lying lack of integrity, gas lighting…. improved marriages.

  • For immoral swingers, narcissists and people who would fuck anything with hair and a hole…….cheating does improve marriages! For normal people…..cheating destroys marriages.

  • I checked out for a while. The divorce finalized and the cheater dating and engaged married the new supply two weeks later. We mediated because it is cheaper to marry a caregiver than to pay one. Plus, she had her own retirement plan. I served 20 years. 10 months later the POS is trying to come at me for contempt of court over a grill or her s hunting boots. I am over it. Your bed. You sleep in it. No longer your servant/slave. Yes, I sold the jewelry! Yes, I moved. Yes, I bought a cabin in the woods. And yes, the truck is mine plus, I have a retirement.

  • My husband destroyed our marriage by cheating on me and giving me gonorrhea. It has been a nightmare ever since.

  • The affair did actually improve my marriage. It just sucks that it took such a monumental fuckup to do so. But you are NOT the insider of every marriage and your sweeping generalisations are bland and basic with a dash of bitter and jilted. So while I’ll never take the word of a cheater I will take the wisdom of experience and say at least in my case you’re wrong. Remind me where did you get your degree in psychology or marriage therapy again?

  • Give it time. It aint over until it’s over. I hope in the end you get your unicorn.The reality for most Chumps is pain and loss and incredible amounts of energy to rebuild good lives.

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