Dear Chump Lady,
I found out about 6 months ago that my husband was having an emotional affair with my cousin. (He denies a sexual relationship.) The affair went on approximately four years. I was told they played pool together and met for dinner. Due to his affair with the whore, I had a breakdown and drank rum and took pills. I never thought I would ever do that. Because of the breakdown my children, his parents, and my Mom found out. My husband and I decided to try to make things work (married 34 years). I know that he has cut off all contact with her. I suspect he cut off contact because his dirty little secret came out. He was horrified that our children found out. We are working on the marriage.
I am having trouble getting over the fact that he not only had an affair but he had to have an affair with my cousin. I know he is at fault, however, she knew damn well that he was married. And she should have told him from the beginning that she did not want to get involved. My anger towards her just not seem to go away. Who cheats with their cousin’s husband? What husband cheats with their wife’s cousin?!
Do you think I should contact my cousin and tell her what I think of her? Should I rub it in that as soon as my husband’s dirty little was exposed he dumped her like the trash she is? Or should I just ignore her and let her rot?
I generally advise against the futility of confronting affair partners. My husband says there’s an expression in the law: “If It Feels Good, Don’t Do It.”
Stomping on her smug-self-satisfied-cousin face? Don’t do it. Losing your shit in a public place? Don’t do it. Writing a nasty name-calling letter, which the OW (or your ex) can then use in court against you? Don’t do it.
Catharsis comes at a price. And disordered people are ALWAYS looking for that price. Any way to flip the narrative to the false equivalency (“Why you’re just as bad! WORSE even!”), or to paint you as the aggressor and Crazy Person. Any way to take the heat off of them, and put it back on YOU. (At CN we call this phenomenon “It’s Not What I Did, It’s Your Reaction to It.”)
The wise play is to not give the cheaters any ammo. Just remove yourself from the triangle and practice meh.
But! But! But!…. Homewrecker!
Just don’t, CC. It’s the pick me dance.
Should I rub it in that as soon as my husband’s dirty little was exposed he dumped her like the trash she is.
Rub what in? That you WON the sparkly turd? That she was a Dirty Little Secret?
CC, being chumped means YOU were the dirty, little secret. Your humiliation, your health, your well-being, your suffering at the excuses and the disappearances, and the devaluing — were all INVISIBLE. They didn’t care! For FOUR YEARS you were the person whose Name Must Not Be Said lest you find out. They conspired against you, and chances are, others did too. Don’t tell CC, but I think her husband is cheating with her cousin… man, they spend a lot of time playing pool… cough, cough…
Of course the OW was a dirty little secret too. These are the ingredients for CAKE, that delicious confection of having it all that your husband enjoyed for FOUR YEARS.
THAT is where your fury needs to be directed. HIM. That human fuckstick you’re married to and think you “won”. That guy who is lying to you right now.
(He denies a sexual relationship.)
NO ONE has a four-year “emotional” affair. I’ll eat my hat. Setting aside the whole-emotional-affairs-are-damaging-too argument, this EA crap is bullshit. If he’s close enough to touch an 8-ball with her, he’s getting his 2-balls touched.
The affair went on approximately four years.
That you KNOW of. It takes a tremendous amount of sociopathic panache to conduct a double life for YEARS. That’s bazillions of lies. It’s deceit as a lifestyle choice.
I was told they played pool together and met for dinner.
Uh-huh. This guy lied to you for FOUR STRAIGHT YEARS — why do you think that nugget is true? The cue-dust on his collar?
Why do you want this man back? So your cousin can’t have him? Their lies NEARLY KILLED YOU. You had a suicidal breakdown over this.
CC, your rage and grief is like a loaded gun you’ve been pointing at your head. Now you’re swinging it around and taking aim at your cousin. But the puppet master fueling this war is your husband. Don’t fight for him. He isn’t worthy of you.
I know he is at fault, however, she knew damn well that he was married. And she should have told him from the beginning that she did not want to get involved.
Yes. And sweetheart, you’re still stuck with a man WHO NEEDS TO BE TOLD. It’s not that she wouldn’t refuse him (although she sucks), it’s that he is OFFERING involvement.
Stay married and enjoy the eternal game of marriage police. (After 34 years of faithful service, you get a sparkly turd!) Or leave and get a new life. Then you won’t need a script, because there’s nothing to say, it’s been done. Buh-BYE.