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Dear Chump Lady, What are OW thinking?

Hi Chump Lady!

Your website has been extremely helpful on my journey to recovery from my STBXH cheating on me while I was pregnant and all after. I left him when our daughter was 4 months old, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Since leaving (things are so much clearer in hindsight), I realized that he is a narcopath. Narcopath and the Other Woman (both military) have no idea that I know he/they cheated on me for so long. They think I’m the stupid, psychotic ex-wife — and that’s fine, I’ll play the part well until my lawyer surprises him in court with my knowledge.

I’ve read a ton of your articles, and you’ve helped me not do the humiliating “pick me dance,” go no contact unless it pertains to my daughter, try not to worry about if he’s truly happy, not worry if I could have or should have done something better or differently, and not let their immature shenanigans get to me. Thanks to you, I realize that he’s a cake-eater and will most likely to do the same shenanigans to the OW (and probably worse).

My question is about the OW and her psyche—what in the heck was she thinking sleeping with a married man whose wife was pregnant?

Doesn’t she realize that he’s going to do the same thing to her? Does she truly think she gained Mr. Sparkles when really he’s a sparkly turd, and that she’s so “special” and different? I don’t get it. If someone bad-mouthed their wife, yet was still married to their spouse (and wouldn’t leave them), and hit on me, I’d run for the hills. Their affair was from December 2015 until July 2017 (when I left) and then they went public with their relationship after I left. I just don’t get it. Who accepts being someone’s side piece?

Any help would greatly be appreciated. Knowledge and understanding (from Google, FaceBook support groups, and your site) has helped immensely in my journey to recovery.

Love,

NewToChumpdom

Dear NTC,

You’ve read my articles, but apparently skipped over Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness. What kind of rancid bunny fluff lives in the heads of OW? That’s not a place I encourage your mind to dwell. It’s not really a complicated answer, just unsatisfying. Who does this? A weak person. A selfish person. Perhaps someone as disordered as your ex.

You’ve escaped their toxic triangle, which is the most important thing. I’ll do my best to answer your questions, even though every time I run an OW letter, a trapdoor opens in cyberspace and all the trolls come out… (Tempest, stand at the ready with the cosh!)

My question is about the OW and her psyche—what in the heck was she thinking sleeping with a married man whose wife was pregnant?

She probably wasn’t thinking of you at all. You’re seeing the three of you as a whole picture. The two cheaters only see themselves. (Frankly, I’m not sure your cheater really sees the OW, or the OW sees him. They’re just idolizing some figment person they want to believe in. So sparkly!)

It could be he never mentioned he had a wife. Or he says that he does, but the baby belongs to someone else. (Poor sausage! The fake chump play for kibbles.) Or he says you’re a mean, mean woman who railroaded him into this pregnancy, and he’s just So Torn. And that goads her into the pick me dance with you and your unborn child (extra kibbles!) to stand by patiently and prove that Only She Alone Knows How To Sufficiently Appreciate Him.

See NTC, you don’t imagine any of these scenarios because you’re a decent person. If you were a nefarious person, the lying and manipulations would make more sense.

Doesn’t she realize that he’s going to do the same thing to her?

Yes and no.

No, because she’s super special.

(But yes, because she’ll keep him on a very short leash, in case the super special doesn’t hold.)

Does she truly think she gained Mr. Sparkles when really he’s a sparkly turd, and that she’s so “special” and different?

From your letter, it sounds like CN saved you from the pick me dance. (Thank God.) But had you engaged in that humiliating exercise, you’d know the maniacal drive to win. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle. I am competing. Surely the prize must be really worthy, or I would not be competing so hard! 

Then you win the thing, (or think you have) and that’s a kibble hit of intermittent reward. (Next, then you lose the sparkly thing as he goes back to his wife, and Schmoopies 2 through 12). What’s to be done? TRY HARDER.

You exited the scene. She could conclude a.) This is a really stupid cycle and I need to get off this pathetic ride or b.) I WIN! I’m AWESOME! and YOU SUCK!

OW choose “b” every time.

I don’t get it. If someone bad-mouthed their wife, yet was still married to their spouse (and wouldn’t leave them), and hit on me, I’d run for the hills.

You’re not desperate. You have values. You know how to exercise boundaries. Not everyone does.

What you hear as “bad-mouthed their wife” to other ears is “poor man had a bad wife.”

Their affair was from December 2015 until July 2017 (when I left) and then they went public with their relationship after I left. I just don’t get it. Who accepts being someone’s side piece?

A weak person. A selfish person. Perhaps someone as disordered as your ex.

Just remember — she won a turd. There aren’t enough sparkles to cover the stench. If she wants to live in her Barbie Doll world with her pretty turd? Let her.

The rest of us can only marvel. Now, please return your attention to something more improving. Like sock folding or crossword puzzles, or cleaning lint traps. Thanks.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Dear NewtoChumpdom, I second Chump Lady that the OW probably wasn’t thinking about you at all. I’ve had two female friends who were OW. I was a zoo intern with one of them, sharing a small apartment with her at the zoo. One weekend the curator’s wife was out of town, and the other intern MOVED IN to the curator’s house and began a full blown affair. Reason she moved in? Because I was allergic to her cat, so she and the cat moved. The wife came home and was dumbfounded to find this woman living in her house. About a month into it, the intern talked to me about it and said, “It just occurred to me, I’m the other woman………” I had been in a complete emotional concussion just thinking about the pain she was causing the wife, and she just NOW realized she was the OW???

    Second scenario was, my roommate was seeing a married coworker. My anxiety went through the roof, and I developed some health problems that are still with me today. One day, MONTHS into this affair, my roommate said to me, “It just occurred to me…I’m the other woman.” I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP. The APs are not thinking about anybody but themselves.

    • Dear Finally Free and Chumps,

      I realised all three of my best friends were the OW, and this was incredibly hard for me to process. In one of them my bestie shagged a guy while his wife (whom she knows) was going through a difficult pregnancy. In her words, she didn’t care about the wife as she ‘felt vulnerable’.

      I dealt with it by pretending it didn’t occur but sometimes I feel like shaking them and asking what the fuck were they thinking. In all three situations, they were completely vulnerable (family shitstorm) and looked to a guy for emotional comfort. But it still baffles me… In my darkest moments I didn’t think it was OK to cheat so I don’t understand.

      I had a shiver down my spine when one of them said “I don’t care about the girl, I just want to be happy” – I realised this is exactly what OW must have said if ever she felt an iota of guilt about shagging my ex-boyfriend. Having said this, I always say 99% of the blame is on our partners and 1% on the AP. After all, if our partners didn’t give them the green-light that this is OK, they wouldn’t go ahead with doing what they did. When I saw the disparaging way OW was talking about me to my ex-boyfriend, I wondered whether I was the OW instead of her – I felt so rejected, so outside of their orbit, so alien. I saw how secure she felt in bad-mouthing me because my boyfriend gave her the permission to do so.

      But also I feel because they both have a broken moral compass, they perhaps do fit together, after all. If that’s what their values are, then no surprise they end up together. Like NTC, I definitely wouldn’t come near a guy who cheated on their partner.

      Also, the zoo situation is madness. Just when I think nothing will surprise me on CN…

      • Chumpeter and Finally Free,

        Yours are excellent front row insights. I recall my cheater, years after one of the instances of cheating, answering my questions and challenges about it, weaving ultimately a lie to deny it, but telling a story around the lie to make it plausible. In that story, like all those she wove, she incorporated small truths to serve as the requisite tangential details that all “true” stories have. One such detail was how she and he had spent part of their time together discussing Christmas presents they were planning for their significant others (me and his wife/girlfriend). See? They were talking about their thoughtfulness towards their chumps, so of course nothing could have happened (I later proved it had). But at the time, I hit her with the fact that by her own telling, she had completely fucked over an entirely innocent other person – his wife/girlfriend. A woman she had never even met. She had made her suffer being cheated upon. This completely stunned my wife/cheater. I remember her inability to even respond, which for a compulsive liar is rare. She wasn’t offended, but rather taken aback by the fact that this fact had simply never even occurred to her. Not that she had standards which normally would have made her consider this aspect, she didn’t. But she did believe that she saw reality accurately. They all think this. She had to sit for a moment and marvel at it (whereas a non-cheater would have immediately called bullshit on the assertion). I’m sure she had long since settled the fantastic cheating event in her infantile ego as one where she had been justifiably lusted for her hotness, had received her entitled “appreciation”, had enjoyed discussing me, making me almost present for my punishment, as she moved through her typical skank M.O. with this home-for-the-holidays years long fuck buddy, and I had been righteously punished for whatever horrendous slight I had dared to inflict upon her. And yet now, here was this amazingly huge wrinkle that she had never once previously considered. Just like your stories.

        It is truly stunning how the disordered mind exhibits itself so uniformly across “different” disordered people. I know there is danger in getting oneself lost in endlessly pursuing an answer for “why?” rather than focusing on self and future. But they actually are surprisingly simple and pathetic creatures once you understand their makeup. So simple in fact that you almost think there has to be more to them than just “this”. There isn’t. (Not that you’re asking “why?”, I’m just going on here thinking out loud.) The difficulty in understanding them is exactly what CL refers to above – it’s that we constantly try to understand them through the lense of our own core beliefs, our own decency, logic and emotional reward systems. They simply don’t share these with us. This in a nutshell IS what disorder is. A common set of results found in developmentally-emotionally stunted individuals that put in place (or leave in place…i.e. infantile) entirely different answers for each of these attributes. Society then makes them hide or buffer this underlying state through thousands of tiny lessons as they “grow up”. But they all are essentially the same. And the mystery and our bafflement are not there because of some deep complexity in them, but rather because we initially try to apply ourselves to their doings in seeking answers.

        • Wow! I admire your introspection, you have such a fluidity with words. I am honored to have shared your comment. thank you

        • Masterfully put, TKO.
          I was a “why” seeker for a while, partially because of my perspective (I’m a therapist) and also to puzzle out how I could have missed so much about the person I adored for 30+ years.
          Thanks to CL, good therapy & an awesome lawyer, I’m better now.
          “Why” doesn’t stop the floods, wildfires, earthquakes. Getting out minimizes further injury and offers a chance to start over.
          Thank God.
          Thank you, CL & CN!

        • TKO,
          “It is truly stunning how the disordered mind exhibits itself so uniformly across “different” disordered people. I know there is danger in getting oneself lost in endlessly pursuing an answer for “why?” rather than focusing on self and future. But they actually are surprisingly simple and pathetic creatures once you understand their makeup. So simple in fact that you almost think there has to be more to them than just “this”. There isn’t. (Not that you’re asking “why?”, I’m just going on here thinking out loud.) The difficulty in understanding them is exactly what CL refers to above – it’s that we constantly try to understand them through the lense of our own core beliefs, our own decency, logic and emotional reward systems. They simply don’t share these with us. This in a nutshell IS what disorder is.”

          This ^^^ 100%. I continue to struggle to understand how my Ex and the OW could have behaved in such an awful, sneaky, dishonest, selfish way and how my Ex continues to try to justify his conduct. And I have as yet been unable to understand this because, as you say, I am trying to understand through my lens of decency, integrity, etc. I need to accept that I will never understand the why and the how. My Ex and the OW are disordered. End of story. They deserve each other.

          • So done,
            “And I have as yet been unable to understand this because, as you say, I am trying to understand through my lens of decency, integrity, etc. I need to accept that I will never understand the why and the how.”

            ^^^ This is the nub of the matter. As CL says they are just “wired differently”, and we don’t have the key to that wiring. (And would we want it if we could have it?!)

            “My Ex and the OW are disordered. End of story. They deserve each other.”

            As do mine and many other peoples’.

            My exH married his OW and OW put on her FB page (yeah, I know I shouldn’t look but I did..) “x day, y month, z year, married abc – the best thing I ever did” – I thought what the f***? You helped a married man break up his marriage so you could be with him?: And that was the best thing you ever did?
            Some people really need to aim higher..

            • Kate – A year or so ago I saw a picture of my stbx’s gf and her mother hugging and laughing in the backyard of the house my ex and gf moved into. I thought, how weird – mom hugging her daughter like, “I’m so happy for you living with a married man and you’re having a baby! Yay!”

              Who does that? What a good thing you are doing! Really?!

              But our daughter told me how her dad was yelling at OW.

              I know how mean and nasty he can be. The OW gets the whole package. They don’t change for them no matter how much love bombing they do at first. Kinda sad.

              They are disordered.

        • “…it’s that we constantly try to understand them through the lens of our own core beliefs, our own decency, logic and emotional reward systems. They simply don’t share these with us. ”

          ^^^I wish I had come to this realization earlier in my own journey thru D-day, wreckonciliation, and ultimately divorce. I struggled for a long time trying to understand the “why” and the “how could he.” I finally get it.

      • I hope you have new best friends by now… don’t forget that we’re chumps. Cheaters find us easy prey.

        These are not good people who’ve did a bad thing; this is WHO THEY ARE. It didn’t change. Your best friends are bad people (charismatic and charming and sparkly and GUSH about you to your face or love you for what you provide to them) who have a character trait of easily lying/betraying/feeling entitled to whatever feeds their egos in any passing moment.

        I’ve had to gray-rock a LOT of these people who used to be in my life. Things are much easier now. My boundaries are high and my expectations of everyone are simple: reciprocity.

        • If you ask the OW/OM, the sparkleturd is still the same sparkly, considerate, generous, warm puppy person who attracted you to him/her/itself in the first place. That’s why OW/OM is now so attracted to him/her/it. And we all know that warm puppy love (from a real puppy) is the most sincere love of all.

          The big difference is that those sparkly, considerate, generous, warm puppy feelings just don’t apply to you any more.

          You didn’t see it at first, when he/she/it was acting the warm puppy for you, but thouse feelings had all the sincerity and depth of an ice patch on a hot Arizona summer day.

        • This Chump went way too far down the rabbit hole of “figuring it out” as cheating occurred before CL & CN were not available and I so wanted “truth”. Sad I wasted all that time thinking I would get it. Wish I would have known what a Chump I was decades ago, I would have a lot more money too! Trusting people has been my biggest flaw…or should I say trusting the WRONG people

            • Regina, unfortunately I didn’t find CN until after the divorce. If I had I wouldn’t have wasted so much time trying to figure out why X left, blaming myself.

              I hate that I wasted so much of my life married to X. I sacrificed my career while helping him succeed in his. I moved across the country away from family for his career. He would call it our career at that time and would remind me that the sacrifices I made were for “our” career.
              That went on for 20 years.. now that he’s successful he’s sharing the benefits of our success with his new wife. She’s enjoying the lifestyle I looked forward to after all the lean years while I devoted myself to X helping him succeed in his career. They’re living a comfortable life, going on luxury vacations, new cars, new home with new furniture, no financial concerns. Meanwhile I struggle to survive.

              • Brit,
                The huge downside to what looks so good to you from where you stand is that they ARE CHEATERS. They cannot leave themselves. They will NOT be happy because they don’t have the capacity to BE happy, or he never would have cheated. She got the sparkly turd…she will always have to look over her shoulder and wonder…so will he. What we consider true happiness: honesty, commitment, trust, loyalty…that’s not in their game plan.
                You have your values & your sanity, brit. I think of regretting the 31 years of my youth, my “prime” (by whose standards?), but instead I’m so GRATEFUL that I don’t have to invest another nickel of my time on earth partnering with a fuckwit! I made a poor choice. Don’t have to make THAT one again. So, bring on new mistakes & good choices, too. I’m just starting to imagine dating and just doing me. No amount of money or regret is going to help me feel good about myself. But, what CL offers? A new, cheaterfree life? THAT! I want that, whatever it entails.
                Brit, you deserve better, truly. Someone may appreciate your devotion and sacrifices some day. Cheater didn’t. Just let him go. Trust that he sucks. She sucks.
                You don’t. Hang in there, brit. It gets better.

              • But remember – deep down he will never again be able to be completely 100% sure that she (or her successors) are not only with him for the money. Deep down he will know that. You were the last opportunity for him to ever feel and be sure he was loved for himself, and he will know it. Every day she runs the risk her wealthy successful partner will trade her in for someone younger or _______ (fill in the gap with your word of choice from the list of Stupid Shit Cheaters say). And deep down she’ll know it and feel it every time she sees him talking to someone else. Same thing happened to me, it’s hard to watch someone else living the life you spent so long sacrificing for and working towards. I find it helps to remember what’s under the facade – because that is their life. Uncertainty and unrelaxed that at some point they’re going to be dumped for someone new. Every time they go on holiday, or buy something new. Every single time. Hope your life feels better. Big hugs.

          • Phoenixrising, EXACTLY.

            I met my ex when he was a trainee programmer living with his parents. He makes mid-six figures now. Does his sweetums (10 years younger, his affair partner, and married all of 8 months herself at the time they left their spouses) really think it might not happen again? Does he think that she’d have been interested if he was still making $40K a year? They can’t possibly be that dumb, can they?

      • I have to disagree that the AP is only responsible for 1% of the affair! No hall pass here! They know they are messing with a married man and proceed anyway.
        They may not have stolen the money, but they are driving the get away car!!

        I hold BOTH my adulterous Ex and his mistress responsible for the destruction they have caused!

      • I think many OW feel that its the man with the wife who is breaking the promises and telling the lies and that if it wasn’t her it would be someone else. Obviously this wouldn’t apply if the OW was a friend or colleague. I must admit that I used to have some sympathy with this argument as many women focus on the OW rather than the husband who made vows, who is often portrayed as innocently powerless to the temptress. I’ve always found that ridiculous.

        My friend once behaved this way, and having discovered her husband’s cheating marched over to OW to say, “Keep your hands off my man.” Whilst he was treated like a naughty schoolboy. I couldn’t understand this. He was the one who sneaked around on her and had her trust. I’m not condoning OW (and must point out NEVER been one) some clearly make a beeline for married men and seem to feel a sense of self worth from achieving the catch. Very sad and quite pathetic. That said my focus was on my husband’s betrayal, the man looked me in the eye and lied over and over whilst sharing a life with me. Maybe I can say that as my husband’s (STBX I should add and booted out immediately) cheating involved many trivial short term, more the merrier contacts he viewed as extra curricular fun in addition to football. There were about 8 at time of discovery. Maybe I would have seen things differently if there had been one special AP.

        • No, Natalie.B., you saw it right to leave the cheater. 1 or a 101, its still cheating and wrong and you felt exactly the right way.

          • Thank you Janna. Yes definitely agree though I meant actually I may have judged the OW differently if it had been just one special AP.

            • 1 v 1,000,000. The long term AP in my case was just devastating. A friend and years of lies that completely destroyed and changed my memories.

              They’re all Sucky McSuckertons. And assholes.

              • Golfgrrl, you are so right about the friend and years of lies destroying and changing memories. That was my experience, as well.

              • I thought there had only been one LT MOW. There were in fact at least two happening at the same time and without the other APs knowledge.

                It is hysterical now after nearly 5yrs post DDay on the discovery of one of the LT MOWs. This particular MOW, in my early skein phase, was trading up by my estimation. How deeply devasted she was when he had to publicly break up with her to ‘do the right thing’.

                In all the time they were a true love match, sharing the same stars and dreams despite their geographical distance, she was hooking up with other guys and asshat had other APs unbeknownst to each other. I did get satisfaction early on revealing to asshat that his penis wasn’t the only one filling her vacuous holes. The look of shock of not being the only one was priceless. And certainly fueled me to get tested, get my shit together and get him OUT.

                I do know cheaters feel entitled to situational ethics and tend to hide behind morons like Ester P and also their religious tenets to normalize their abusive behavior. It is shocking when stuff like this is revealed because I know I assumed asshat had the same morals and values as me and my kids. These creeps do not change. A snake sheds its skin many times during its life and still remains a snake.

        • I used to never blame OW’s until my husbands first affair that was emotional and I am pretty sure never went physical. That changed my thinking as in that case she was very definitely the aggressor. Instead of cheating he told me about her advances (yes, I now recognize that as triangulating). At first I wanted to trust that he would do the right thing. I also tried to get her to cool it by attempting to befriend her myself thinking that if she knew me she wouldn’t pursue him. Wrong. Eventually I had to tell ex to avoid all contact with her and he did once I put my foot down. I still blame her for playing a role in the destruction of my marriage even though that one didn’t go physical. She is the one who put the thought in his head that if I wasn’t good enough for him he had other options. On the other hand, I supposed I wouldn’t have wanted him to stick with me just because he thought nobody else would have him.

          In any case, after that I decided that AP’s are at least somewhat to blame. For the physical affairs that ended our marriage I have mixed feelings about the OWs. I don’t have much respect for Schmoopie 1.0 but I do almost feel sorry for her. I do think ex took advantage of her loneliness for personal gain. She was weak to give in, but in the end she ended it because she didn’t feel right about it and she didn’t compete for him. Schmoopie 2.0 is a different matter. She was already looking for trouble when she hooked up with ex who was between Schmoopies and trying to figure out what he wanted. She convinced him that he wanted to continue down the path of having affairs and then she competed to “win” the prize while faking concern for the wife and kids (hers and his) who might get hurt. “oh I feel so guilty”, all just part of the act. She used such obviously manipulative tactics and ex ate it up. “My marriage is blowing up because of you and you want to go back to your wife? How could you have so little regard for my feelings? Sniff” I guess she did me a favor in the end, however. She now gets the weak minded sparkly turd who is perpetually dissatisfied with life.

          • I totally blame the OW/OM in affairs. I look at it this way. Say my cheater X held up a bank and stuck a gun in someone’s face and the OW/OM drove the getaway car. Both are guilty of armed robbery.

        • Sorry, but, in my situation, the OW was someone that knew me. She DID stand at the other end of the room during the ex’s retirement party, and, I actually commented on the fact that she never came over to say hello. There is no explanation for who she is or what she did. (No explanation for the ex either!) But like you said above “She now gets the weak minded sparkly turd who is perpetually dissatisfied with life.”

          • I think about this a lot @notmyfault. Cheater, OW, OW’s husband and I all went to college together. Cheater and OWH were very close friends. They were at our wedding and we were at theirs. We babysat their kids for 5 years of date nights – they even asked us to be legal guardians. OW and I worked together. She cried when I told her over lunch that I was pregnant. They brought us dinner the day we came home with our newborn daughter (affair had begun at least three months prior). I confronted her twice, dry-eyed, and she cried as she acknowledged how “inappropriate” the “friendship” had become.

            So, yes, I consider the affair to be overwhelmingly the Cheater’s fault. It was his responsibility to protect his daughter’s intact home life. He vowed his faithfulness to me until death do us part. He hid, then lied, the lied and hid some more. It’s his fault our marriage and home has crumbled.

            But doesn’t she also share more than a little bit of the responsibility? The person who claimed to be my friend? The woman who stayed overnight in my guest room while the affair was going on? Who came to my Christmas party? The whore who held my innocent daughter when she was two days old? Then took my husband away from her emotionally and physically for the first year and more of her life? This bitch knew exactly what she was doing, and who she was doing it to.

            • Trusting123…
              What a nightmare you’ve lived. I’m sorry to hear your story. How horrible to be betrayed doubly! I hope you & your girl are thriving without both of those scumbags.

              • Thank you, ChumpDiva! Having a child with a cheater certainly does complicate things, but she is the light of my life. She brings me such joy and I feel mighty as her mom!

        • Natalia, I definitely X had an AP. Prior to her I’m sure there were more than a few merry flings. I don’t have concrete evidence except for my intuition. I would try to ignore what my gut was telling me and not think about them but there was something deep inside of me that knew better.

          A couple of times after X came home from business trips and I’d sense something was off, I asked X if he had been with anyone, he’d chuckle and say, “do you think I’m that kind of guy?” you know me, I’m not like that. He’d go one to say I had a vivid imagination, I should write novels, or even a soap opera.., the more he’d talk the stronger I felt there was something not quite right. I trusted him and ignored my gut feelings. I had a difficult time accepting that the person I married and trusted more than anyone else, my best friend, would be dishonest and betray me.

          I do think there are women who enjoy the conquest of sleeping with a married man. They consider it an honor to have been selected sharing a secret tryst with the married man. Gives them a feeling that they’re more desirable than the wife.
          Cheaters who have an AP are constantly sharing fabricated unflattering stories of his wife, she’s lazy, fat, a psycho, a prude, neglects there children, the home, the list of complaints is endless. To gain even more trust and sympathy from the AP the cheater will play the role of the victim in the marriage. Reversing roles, his wife is always unhappy, doesn’t appreciate him, she doesn’t like sex, she’s always busy with the kids, and he on the other hand describes himself sometimes with tears in his eyes, as the loving, attentive husband who wakes up every day thinking of ways to please this bitch of a wife only to be the victim of her wrath.
          AP feels sorry for this poor wonderful man and hates his bitch wife for mistreating him.
          You can be assured once Cheater leaves his wife and settles in with AP the cycle will continue. They’re never genuinely happy, they appear to be happy in the beginning stages of a relationship when everything is new and seemingly perfect. They believe they’ve found their true love. Teenagers, butterflies,they see themselves as the new age Romeo and Juliet. Love isn’t involved for the cheater, she’s a need.
          They’re both on their best behavior using all their manners. As time goes on inevitably there will be a time she disagrees with him or heaven forbid says he’s wrong. He realizes she is’t perfect and not worshipping him like in the beginning and will hold resentments against her and the cycle will continue as it did when they were with us.
          There’s no level they won’t stoop to win.

        • You feel the OM/OW cheated you by sharing intimacy that should have been yours. It feels like a theft although standing back you realize they are only in this position because your mate allowed it. Does not change the feeling of being stolen from.

      • I could not agree more.

        A respectable married woman or a well-balanced, self-respecting single women would not agree to be a married man’s ‘bit on the side’.

        These women are sad, deluded, and delusional – not to mention carrying a load of self-esteem issues ( and are prepared to play Russian Roulette with STDs )

  • Hey NewToChumpdom —

    Nice: “They think I’m the stupid, psychotic ex-wife — and that’s fine, I’ll play the part well until my lawyer surprises him in court with my knowledge.” Well done!!!

    That will be so satisfying . . . (mmmmm — I’m enjoying it vicariously . . . )

    OW get brittle, emotionally. They end up having a hyena laugh, halitosis, inane conversation. Pity the fool.

    • OW are also insecure. Something cheater will discover at the most inopportune time for him. Poor bunny. This is what thinking with your (general your) dick does.

      • Not to quibble with Hopefloats,

        but as a former JAG, the problem with taking it to the military is 2 fold. On one hand, if it ends up actually harming your husband’s (or wife’s) career, you will get less money in the settlement because IF ANYTHING AT ALL happens to them, they’ll be less likely to be promoted and that means less money. Do not do anything to prevent him from being able to retire. You want your share of the pension and if you go overboard (or if he/she has and broken other military laws that would prevent him/her from getting that retirement) then the retirement could be lost and THAT would suck for all.

        Those of us married for long periods and in our 50’s NEED the health care and the pensions, so bear that in mind.

        ON THE OTHER HAND if both parties (cheater AND schmoopie or cheater #2) are military and probably not going to make retirement anyhow, then figure out if the numbers are worth it.

        IF ANYTHING happens to them at all (it’s now rare for an enlisted person to be punished – formally – for adultery alone. But if its with a subordinate — or if an officer is with an enlisted, that’s a different matter).

        Just be sure not to break the dinner plate. If you can make it without their income or benefits, go at it but do it in a way that shows your concern for the “break down” of your spouse b/c this is “So unlike them” you are worried they are “not as stable or the way they used to be…”

        And that’s only but for them to get the hairy eye ball look from their commanders like “are you strong/sane enough to serve???”

        ALWAYS be the calm, concerned spouse, never play into the batchit crazy one, which to be honest, does exist. We were trained to deal with them too.

        I had an ex wife storm into my office demanding I “find” her husband during the Persian Gulf War, and he had deployed from a base in another state. And he was $40 short on his support payment. She yelled at me (not a motivator for me, btw)
        and I realized she was losing her shit probably for good historical reasons. But during a war, priorities shift.

        The kids and spouses are to be taken care of preferable BEFORE the deployment –

        Spouses ALWAYS ATTEND THE

        PRE DEPLOYMENT BRIEFINGS

        that’s where you get the information YOU need (and a Durable power of attorney, too).

        Okay now I’m off on a tangent…sorry!

        • PS

          MILITARY FOLKS – please you and your spouse should have a will made. ESPECIALLY if there are kids! (If you think your spouse will kill you, that changes this advice in ways far beyond what I can say here). Just make sure they know THEY are not the beneficiaries. Life insurance does NOT go through the will on its own, so you must say, SEPARATELY and ON the life insurance policy itself, what you want.

          Way too often the life insurance goes to the person you chose upon entering the military like your brother you no longer speak to or who’d keep it all despite the fact you now have 2 kids, or worse, the life insurance (possibly your only real “asset”) goes to the FORMER spouse b/c you forgot to change it – or b/c you thought the new will fixed it. It does not fix it.

          Wills are free at the Legal Assistance office on base.

          Talk to a JAG Officer (military lawyer, and yes we really do all have law degrees) and address this shit before you deploy.

          It’s much less distracting when having missiles shot overhead, to not worry about who your spouse is cheating with OR if the kids are eating b/c you forgot to allow access to ANY funds to a spouse who might not be cheating at all.

          * (Don’t confuse your former cheater ex, with your new, decent spouse b/c you’re freaking out).

          If you are the spouse, stay 20 years if you can (the years of marriage that overlap with years in the military are the years that count) 20 or more is best but that’s only if you are close enough to that 20+year retirement mark, to not go insane.

          Geez, I need to write my own blog on this. But today I feel BITTER, so that’s a bad idea.

          • Mine had a very public affair at foreign war college. I was back in the US working. He was mad at me and thought everyone would be impressed that the only woman in the course – who was there on a cover story – had “picked him.” Actually ran around with her in front of me. Other officers’ wives made comments to me. I told him he was doing himself in, but he wouldn’t listen. Said I was “just jealous,” as if we were in high school. That war college was prestigious and designed for future generals. After that, the military put him “out to pasture.” Sometimes they do themselves in.

    • QueenMother,
      Thank you! I can’t wait until my court date! I’m so impatient!!!

      HopeFloats,
      My attorney said not to go to their commanders because he will most likely get a demotion. Demotion=less pay=less child support. I’d be hurting myself, and ultimately, my daughter.

  • Dear NTC, I think you deserve a kudos for staying so strong – so many of us faltered, including myself, and went on the pick-me dance and tortured ourselves thinking ‘was I good enough’, ‘what did OW have that I didn’t’, ‘I caused him to cheat’ etc. My comment isn’t directed at answering your question but merely at pointing out that your daughter is lucky to have a strong mother like you. She will learn the values of dignity, self-respect and integrity from an early age.

    I guess the OW never did have that kind of moral or spiritual grooming, or if they did, they chose to ignore it. I always believed in sisterhood and couldn’t understand how a woman could cause so much pain to another woman, compounding her actions with talking shit about me to my ex-boyfriend. At the end of the day, it was his responsibility to prevent her from bad-mouthing me. Heck, it was his responsibility to protect the integrity of the relationship. I suppose once our partners give OW the validation that we the faithful ones are not important, they feel on top of the world.

    I’m glad that you are staying strong. I wish I had your fortitude. There are days when I lapse into the self-deprecation of ‘they are going to be happy together while I die surrounded by 10 cats’. But then I’d rather be alone than build a relationship from the broken heart of a chump.

    You are mighty. You’re an example to us all! Please keep on shining xx

      • You assume happiness on their part. Always remember, if they cheat on you there’s always a next.

        What’s the investment factor? They are willing to believe they are special. It’s a cheater they’ve won.

        The OW has to forever play detective, wondering where they are and when the devaluation begins. It’s inevitable the insecurity will cause them angst. Deep down they are both aware of what they were willing to do to innocents. It’ll bite them regardless of the true love.

        • “Deep down they are both aware of what they were willing to do to innocents”.

          Doingme, I think the difference with them is that they are OK with that knowledge. All humans have a choice; to be a better person or to do what’s easy. They knew full well what pain they caused and it didn’t bother them.

          (In my situation, during the worst moments of my LDR with my ex-boyfriend, I still thought we had a relationship – toxic, for sure, but it deserved an honest ending. But no, he merely announced ‘I have a girlfriend’ when I thought I was the girlfriend. I went NC but about a year later, bumped into him again, fell for him, assumed that the GF/OW was fictional, and devoted 3-4 more years of my life supporting him, cherishing him, loving him, making LDR work, meeting his parents and friends, making him happy, despite the grief of losing a parent. Once he found a high-paying job, shed his weight, found his self-esteem, OW came back. I only found out eight months later. She was more than happy to come back to him – assuming she had ever left. In her mind, probably I was the OW, not her. I found messages where they spoke disparagingly about me and wondered ‘I respected and loved my boyfriend. How did he let her speak this way about me?’ I feel hurt that I was the one outside the force-field of their love. I don’t think they will ever see what was wrong – because they saw themselves as a team and me as the outsider. My ex-boyfriend configured it that way. So they will carry on with their lives, happily.)

          In short, I am reading everything I can about meh, because my initial stages post D-Day were;
          – Surely they won’t be happy together;
          – Surely their conscience is bugging them;
          – Surely it’s not true love;
          – Surely karma is brewing a shit storm for them;
          – Surely I will be vindicated, somehow.

          But at the end of the day, they are still happy and dandy while I work through the nightmares and sporadic breakdowns and regular crying breaks in the office toilet. Karma, or imagining them to have a conscience, is a fantasy. These people don’t care about causing others unhappiness, or if they do, they can compartmentalise and move on quickly: that is their shield and strength.

          • They knew full well what pain they caused and it didn’t bother them.

            I think it’s totally irrelevant to them. Their investment isn’t deep, so yours couldn’t possibly be either. Sorta like oopsie, stepped in dog dirt. Oh well, inconvenient but still no big deal.

        • This is a legit question for which I have been struggling with. Is there always a next or do we try to tell ourselves that to make ourselves feel better?

          Married 18 years. My Ex left me for a woman he went to High School with and reconnected after many years. They are both from the same small town and have mutual friends and each have family around for support. He has done well for himself. Of course, he said he was going to divorce me anyway and their relationship started after he asked me for a divorce. This is not the truth. I won’t go into all of the details. But, I was blind-sided. I had no idea he was so unhappy. COWARD!

          They have been together now over 2 years. She moved in 3 months post divorce (A little over a year) They have built a house and a life together. I expect they will get engaged (if they aren’t already) and/or married this year. I really do think they will be together forever!

          I can’t help but think if only I did this or that, was this or that etc…..

          • Warrior,
            No, no, no, stop blaming yourself for his choices of behaviour.

            It doesn’t matter if you were the crappiest wife in the world, if you burnt his dinner every night ( that was on the nights that you weren’t drunk) and you spent all the housekeeping money in daytime bars, or never washed for a month at a time, never paid the bills and stayed in bed half the day while the house turned into a stinking hovel – IT does NOT GIVE HIM LICENSE TO CHEAT !! (Capitals for emphasis, not shouting)
            It might be grounds for a divorce – but there is no excuse for cheating.

            Stop beating yourself up about this. If he was so unhappy, why didn’t he speak up? – answers on a postcard, please…
            I’m glad you have support, now you can move on to better things.

  • I was late to Facebook but when I finally joined, my first love friended me.

    We caught up like two mature adults. He had a beautiful family and although I was kind of sad it wasn’t me, we broke up for good reasons almost 30 years ago and it was the best decision.

    A little sad but the right thing.

    A few years later, I see he’s getting a divorce. I’m shocked. Totally shocked. He had been married for over 20 years and really seemed to love his wife very much.

    He fished, but not to hard and that was ok, I just ignored him. He always has to be the nice guy but I had him figured out.

    Long story short, he’s having an affair with a married woman. I don’t know if the affair overlaps the divorce or not but to me, all his sparkle and charm that I had hung unto as good memories had vanished.

    I see him for what he is and what I once thought was a bit of a loss has turned into a win.

    Granted, I married a cheater so my life wasn’t a better one but I see this person so clearly now it me feel like a winner.

    Two very physically attractive people with lots of money but a relationship of sneaking around, not being able to share in an honest life. ?? I don’t understand.

    You don’t miss out when you’re not with a cheater.

    Some people have it all but stoop to cheating and you can’t polish a turd and think it’s still not a turd.

    No contact and living a better life is so much better if you can do it.

    Looking back, I would have been better off in the long run if I had left when my kids were small.

    This letter poster seems pretty mightjy already and I have to think are going to be much better off without her cheating husband. As for OW…pffft…EVERYONE hates an OW. Once you cross that line, you’re can’t come back. Both men and women know she’s toxic.

    • Sneaking around heightens the thrill for these losers. It’s all so Harlequin romance novel-esque, until the jig is up and their behavior becomes part of a legal deposition.

      I took great joy in watching my husband’s face as he had to talk about having sex with someone not his wife in a conference room. The glimpse of embarrassment and shame was very gratifying to me, as was both his and my attorney’s looks of disgust.

      • Right on …. ” that great joy in watching the cheater xh’s face as he had to talk about having sex with numerous women (not his faithful wife) in a conference room” The level of embarrassment and shame was gratifying to me but it was’t enough for him to stop! His Narc brain probably quickly switch to somehow making it all my fault and he deserved whatever he wanted.. Sneaking around and fooling everyone finally caught up to him enough that he got served divorce papers when he least expected it. It was like watching a cockroach scramble for a place to hide. Absolutely sure once his jig was up it wasn’t that fun anymore. He moved out of town very quickly, the locks were changed just as quick and I was now in charge of my destiny. 3 years later he still tells ppl that we divorced after 32 years bc #1 I could’t get over a MISTAKE he made #2 I locked him out. Sad sausage ….. 😉

        He didn’t ruin my life, he ruined his own. He is a 61 year old aging player who doesn’t have the appeal he probably thinks he does. And I know for fact that little pecker hasn’t worked for years. Can only LOL at the extent he must go through to get it up. As far as all those OW he made the choice to have and blow up his family and probably theirs too, I look at them both the same, Pitful, losers! Give them over to themselves and it never is quite as thrilling as the lying, sneaking was!

        • Fireball,
          I wonder what the percentage is of tiny dick cheaters who can’t get it up? And, of course, chicken-egg: did one affect the other?
          Mine has cheated all his adult life, as far as I know (40+ years). Overcompensating, much? But then ED hit as he got older…OR was it that he couldn’t get it up with faithful spouse? Porn & schmoopies are short-cuts to immature excitement, I’m sure.

          I never complained, btw, and am NOT criticizing anyone’s size. Hell, I loved the man and married him. NOT an issue. For me. I used to wonder if he needed constant attention because of his own image of his body. But I am happily skein-free and don’t really care.
          It’s not what you got, it’s how you use it.
          It also seems like Karma for ED to plague him. That’s enough for me.

          • Chutes&Ladders – ‘The glimpse of embarrassment and shame was very gratifying to me, as was both his and my attorney’s looks of disgust.”

            Oh man, do I ever remember that moment in the conference room.
            It was almost sweet justice looking back on it.
            3 attorneys and a mediator (we were at the very end and stuck).

            I was allowed my ‘story’ – which was basically the victim of a horrible attack that injured me greatly. And, then it would be his turn to tell the story. Well, I am horrible to talk in a group but hell, did I want my story out there and confront him on many details. I charged forth and he looks scared as shit. And, he rarely looks scared as shit. I guess I had that effect on him.

            Completely unprepared and feeling pretty damn angry, I spoke first and, mediator wanted to know if I was finished after the first 10 minutes. And, I thought, NOPE, I want to go the entire 20 minutes of my statement. It was brutal from my angle and I have to say, he took it like a man. Not being aloud to swear, I was amazed at the colorful language I dug up from my gut that passed the course. And, was very explanatory. He looked shocked.
            When it was his turn to talk….all he said was….(you guessed it!) . I’m sorry for what you’ve been through.

            At that moment, I stopped, laughed and said that was NO apology and my attorney and I walked out the door. (meaning I was done the negotiation) . And, suddenly we saw him running down the sidewalk by himself until his attorney caught up with him.
            One hour later, he requests another conference with the 3 attorneys and we again, sit straight across from each other, staring hard into each others’ eyes.
            This time, he had the right words on what a real apology looks like – he had a very good attorney who probably counselled him…or we would be in front of the judge.
            He impressed me with his answer and I wish I could have recorded it. And, it made me feel better….so I settled 5 minutes later.

            That proper apology means A LOT!
            AND, saved him a lot of money.
            The funny thing is, I didn’t give a shit about the money, it was the fairness and apology that I wanted.

          • Dear ChumpDiva and Fireball, same here with ex (=mr nobody to me) dickless worm.
            He can count on the magic blue pills though and…on his pussy-grabber philosophy of course. It seems that women like that philosophy.
            He thinks he’s so irresistible, but I know ladies need a magnifying glass to find it.
            I never complained but when I found evidence of serial cheating, it was so unbelievable for a bald 50 yo with false teeth and micro dick to have so many women and simultaneous affairs.
            The thrill he got of it was so blinding for his adolescent/narcissistic brain that he could even laugh when I called his tiny dick “ridiculous *pimple*”. I called it “the pimple” only after discovering how many OW he was involved with and in the meanwhile packing his stuff in garbage bags out of my house.
            That was his gigantic compensation: the long list of shop assistants, waitresses, neighbors, his friends’ wives, our children’s friends’ mothers, some of my colleagues, relatives and numerous prostitutes. At least I visualize one chumped husband beating his convincement of irresistible grandiosity out of his sick delusional head.
            Stay strong friends.

    • Hi zoha,
      If you don’t mind, why do you say you would have been off if you left when your kids were young?

      My wife had two affairs this year, but we are still “together.” I’m giving it one more chance, but I’m very close to calling my marriage dead. But we have 5 and 8 year olds. I look at them and hesitate to leave. I’ve read that studies have shown it’s actually better for the kids to be from a broken home than to live in one. But that’s really hard to see when you are living in the middle of it and you don’t want to break up the family. So why do you say you wish you left when your kids were young?

      Thanks.

      • Not Zoha but in my case, I truly believe if children have one, sane, happy parent, it’s goibg to be fine. Just like our cheaters, WE deserve to be happy. And modeling that for kids in an ethical meaningful way is better than living in a broken family, if you can help it.

        Just my 2 cents.

        • My daughter, who is 5, hugged my wife and I last week and said, “I love my family.” I almost cried right there. I wouldn’t trade my kids for anything in the world, but this would be so much easier if we didn’t have them. I struggle with how divorce would change their lives. I’m definitely the sane parent, and I feel like if I’m home, I can try to protect them from my wife and her addictions. If we divorce, I have less control over what they see, hear, etc. I guess I can’t worry about that.

      • I left FOR my kids. I had to show them that one doesn’t betray the people one claims to love the most without a consequence. I don’t want them to think that it’s okay to lie & deceive someone. That ISN’T love. I think it’s so important to be clear about what is and isn’t acceptable. Otherwise, what they see (& it is SO much more than you think) is what’s okay. They will repeat your dynamics all their lives, one way or another.
        Truth matters.
        You deserve better, TheFooledTwiceDad.

        • I completely agree. I know I wasn’t the perfect husband (none of us are), but cheating on me instead of addressing our/her issues is unacceptable. My wife isn’t being fully transparent yet, but she is making some positive changes (therapy, home more, etc), but as of right now, I can’t get past the lying, betrayal, and deceit that went along with the affairs. I just don’t understand how she could lie to me for months and months and then say she loved me. I understand none of them are thinking about us; they are being selfish, but at some level, they have to know people are going to be hurt.

          And thank you ChumpDiva; I know I deserve better, but that “better” involves splitting time with my kids and affecting their lives. Right now, that’s the hurtle I am stuck on.

          • I know how you feel. I stayed too. My daughter is now 8 and my little surprise son is now 20 months.

            If my husband hadn’t put everything into treatment and counseling I would be gone already. I would say things are okay now. He and our daughter are so close and she knew nothing of his infidelity. I finally feel respected but I know that came at a huge cost. Including me putting my foot down due a final time saying “I’m not living like this anymore. Fix it or fuck off.” He tried telling me that I’m unstable. I laughed in his face and said, every time you’ve have a meltdown or whatever I’ve stayed and picked up the pieces. Grieved, did the responsible things and stayed on course. I’m the most stable relationship you’ve ever had with any woman your entire life!” That hit him pretty hard. He actually stopped right there and said “my God you’re right.” I said I wanted that in writing. Then I had him read The Verbally Abusive Relationship. Most cheater arse spouses wouldn’t do that and mine wouldn’t have years earlier. But he FINALLY realized he was the fucked up one and his whole family was just… fucked….. (I think the series of foster homes he was in and out of his whole childhood should have tipped him off. I didn’t know until after we married.) If he kept up his crap or backslid I was at the point where I would have been like “whatever. Fuck off.” It’s weird that I can still love and him and still feel like he can just fuck off 10 seconds after if he ever tried any of his bullshit ever again in this lifetime. Not ideal. If your wife wants to abuse you and the kids she can just fuck off too.

          • What if your children is already an adult? Would you divorce after the kids old enough to understand about their parents not happy lving together/

      • I didn’t find out until my children were grown, but can say this – breaking up my family was the hardest thing I ever did. But now, 3 years later my children are for the first time getting to spend time with the real me. Even I had forgotten what the real me was like, and had absolutely no understanding of how living with a person who behaves like that had changed me. I’m far more relaxed on every level, enjoy daily life more etc. You have no idea how it changes you little by little.. I sometimes wonder whether my kids wish I’d done it sooner, they’ve said they see a huge difference in me for tbe better. I don’t think there is ever a time to feel right about breaking up a family, but I do wonder if my kids would have benefitted if it had happened sooner.

  • I know that in my experiences the OW justifies her affair because “the wife/husband is crazy”. That seems to be the running theme when I have talked to people who were fooling around with a married man. They say this as if it makes it ok. It is the get out of jail free card. My response is always “Well I would be crazy too if my spouse was cheating on me.” When it did actually happen to me, YES I was crazy. 🙂

    • Fantastic chumptastic!

      Years ago, I had conversations with a close friend about divorce. We both were amazed at people moving quickly on to new relationships. Friend commented: they are just trading problems because everybody has them. All goes back to my arrested emotional development theory, cheaters don’t have the maturity to see that.

    • I agree Chumptastic,
      Before X moved out of our home, behind my back X confided in everyone we knew that he was seriously concerned for my mental health, sometimes with tears.
      X was so concerned about my mental health he decided to cheat and abandon me, cleaned out our bank accounts, closed my credit cards, and shut down my phone leaving me with nothing.
      It’s an unusual way to show concern for someone who’s suffering a mental illness.
      Was that just his way of helping me get well?
      What happened to that line in our marital vows, in sickness and in health till death do us part?
      They’re all so full of shit. They say anything to justify themselves. We would be racked with guilt at the thought of doing the devious things they do. Doesn’t bother them, they don’t think twice. You can do that if you don’t have a conscious. They’re morally deficient.

      • OMG Brit, that was me! I was accused of being crazy a lot by the AHxh. Ya think, abandandoned, deserted, betrayed, cheated on, lied to, double life of a 50 yr porn addiction (total shock to me) Jesus cheater, perverted, perpetrator, untrustworthy, cleaned out our business account, closed my credit cards, cut me off of health insurance benefits, refused to pay me spousal support after 32 years of marriage. I raised three awesome kids, supported him in every way advance in his career and interests. Worked along side him to have financial security and believed in the FAKE DREAMS of growing old together. CRAZY doesn’t even describe what i was. Although thank God I found CL early on a few years ago and kept myself from being arrested! 😉

        That sickeness and health, better or worse were only words spoken. Apparently the cheating started in the first couple years of our 32 marriage. I felt like such a fool for being duped. We all feel that way. And seriously I thought the same thing about if I really was crazy, would you make the decision to cut off my health insurance? What a self absorbed jerk who went from fake spouse to monster overnight. It was HELL divorcing him and now 3 years later, 3 grandkids later, 2 kids married, He has the balls to tell me he wishes I would be FRIENDS with him. WTF! I told him he wasn’t capable of being a faithful husband therefore I have no confidence he would be a FRIEND either. You can’t make this shit up.

        Sorry we all have had to deal with the real CRAZY’s. And it isn’t us!

        • Fireball
          Me, 34 years married Was in denial for few years ‘cause I wouldn’t & couldn’t believe he’d cheat on me. But when I caught them at whores house middle of the night I knew it was over!

          The Whore said sexual things they did together,
          Laughing (both of them actually) at me & humiliating me. Weeks later I served him. He was living in whores home until few months ago.. Karma hit. Whore died in car accident.

          He now lives in his cousins basement with a new girlfriend. He’s a 70 year old with erectile dysfunction. Ha! He walked out never looked back.

          I now believe in Karma. He deserves to have pain & despair for what he did. No guilt or apology ever. But I rather be poor & alone than being cheated on & lied to.

          Bless us all here at CN! ♥️

      • Brit, Fireball, Kathleen – hands down the worst stories about divorce and separation I’ve ever heard. Leaving you with literally nothing and no security or stability.

        How are you doing now? Did you recover money during the divorce??

        Brave women each of you!

        • Born Free
          I realize there are terrible stories here on CN. We just to save our sanity & our health by getting rid of the evil, toxic spouses that do this to us.

          In my case, I bought him half out of our home but when he retires I will receive 50% of his pension. He hasn’t retired yet for spite. I am financially strapped now but I get rent from my tenant & my social security goes towards my utilities. It’s very hard.

          With the money he received from the house, he traveled the world with the deceased whore. He will probably continue to travel with the new girlfriend while I sometimes run out of food.

          I’m also a cancer survivor but I’m just glad he’s gone. I hope this NewYear is better for me.

          Thank you for your concern.
          HUGS to you. ❤️

    • Yes, I’m apparently crazy (as well as vindictive and unappreciative). I unfortunately fed the OW some crazy fuel when I was still in Pick-Me land not understanding what was going on. To my eternal shame, one insomiac, 3-days-without-food-or-sleep night I actually reached out to OW in an email (she was a family friend) , explaining my panic that the STBX was planning to drop our marriage without even trying, asking for any input she could provide. She had the gall to write me back and tell me “she had to stay out of this” and “hugs”, etc. etc. plus some very condescending stuff as well. Then she sent that message right to the STBX. So at that point I was “crazy”, “vindictive”, “unappreciative”, AND “violating my ex’s privacy”.

      God knows what she says about me now that I’m NC and holding him to the parenting plan despite his constant attempts to sabotage it. Not The paint in that house must curl to hear it. I get little glimpses of it through strange language in texts and emails from the STBX, that’s so off the mark it’s laughable.

  • Serial-cheating asshat cheated during all three pregnancies … (and the time in-between). The pregnancy and post-birth cheating devastated me for a long time.

    All three of the pregnancy-OWs were aware of me and the pregnancies (he took my unknowing, pregnant self around them). So, initially, I was livid … with the asshole, but almost equally so with them. And, yep, I wondered “how in the HELL could they do this?”

    I’m far enough out from D-days 1 thru a gazillion and almost a year post separation (hallelujah!) … so now when I think of the OWs, I just view them with disgust and contempt. Nothing more; nothing less. They are walking disasters of humanity who willfully chose WHO they have become.

    I have zero sympathy, but I also have zero jealousy. I would never want to be who they are (honestly, I couldn’t live with myself knowing I had hurt so many people).

    • JessMom I’m in total agreement with you on your view of the OWs.
      The 2 OWs that I know about, know that my STBX left me while I was getting treatment for breast cancer. How fucked up do you have to be to rationalize that?! The one that is currently with him has said to me that she feels sorry about my situation. I don’t know how she lives with herself knowing there is a wife and child in pain because of her relationship. What I do know is that I give zero fucks about her because she is not a person I care to know or have in my life. And she can keep the sparkly turn she won. I’m sure her life will be fabulous.

    • I had a close friend who’s husband was a World Class Cheater; she said she had noticed that most men will cheat when their wives are about seven mos. pregnant, or within the first six months after birth. It’s like they can’t deal with being a daddy, having to grow up, face their mature lives.

      And of course she was one of those steadfast “I swore an oath” women; too bad her hubby had edited HIS oath to something incredibly different. It took her striving for the marriage up to the point that he was chasing her out of the house with a knife before she finally decided to get the a&&hole out of her life.

  • NTC – I can’t tell you what went through the OW’s head in relation to me. In relation to my husband she saw $$$$$$. Who cares now, and CL is right, don’t try to untangle it. I just want to let you know that I bow down to your mightiness (and with a baby in tow what’s more). And they are both military!!!!! OOOOOOh please let us know when it’s time to get the popcorn out.

    • From what I understand adultery is a serious military infraction especially between two military personnel.
      I remember readi
      Their commanding officers would be interested in knowing what these two love birds have been up to. You need to make sure their commanding officers are aware of their affair.
      Talk to his commanding officer or write a letter explaining that these two military personnel were having an affair while you were pregnant. Describe the trauma you’ve endured. The military has strict guidelines in regards to image.
      Her commanding officer should be made aware of her behavior as well.
      Make an appointment to speak with her commanding officer, or write a letter.
      Be sure to forward a copies to their base commander.

    • Attie,
      Thank you so much. I didn’t realize how strong I was until I had to be, and being chumped has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I am probably going to quit my job, go back to law school, and become a lawyer to help all of the fellow and future chumps out there. Before being chumped, I never had a clue on how to work on me, or be mighty on my own… I thought I needed a sparky person to stand by and support to be mighty. No. Not anymore.

      Attie, you as well as Chump Lady and Chump Nation are right—don’t untangle it and I’m not going to anymore. They did it because they COULD. That’s it. That’s all. Nothing more, nothing less. I took CL’s advice after reading all of the comments the other day and folded my daughters cloth diapers. I realized that folding cloth diapers (and anything really) is more important than giving them mental real estate.

      Brit,
      I don’t think I’m going to pursue anything with the military. As much as I want to destroy my ex cheater and his schmoopie, I don’t think that’s my Karma to give. I think real maturity is having the power to destroy someone, and not doing so. I want all GOOD karma to come my way, and the only way to do that is to give out GOOD karma. His next victim/chump can destroy him if she wants. That’ll be her Karma.

      I can’t thank you, Chump Lady, and Chump Nation enough for all of the comments & support.

  • You and those 2 fucktards were in a racecar going 230 mph and headed towards a concrete wall.

    Thankfully, you jumped out. You need to focus on tending to your scratches, bruised, cuts, scrapes, etc. that you received from jumping out of the car.

    You’ll get to smile someday when you finally see that racecar smash into the wall.

    • SDC, I love your metaphor!
      When I was trying to untangle the skein of fuckedupness, trying to see if there was anything to salvage from my 30 year relationship, my therapist said, “Yes. The car is on fire. Get out of the car now.” God, I loved that.
      Mighty auto metaphors…
      Metaphors be with us all.

      • I am a mechanic. I lost my shop during my divorce with Debbie Douchebag. My life has centered around autos, so my entire esteem was crushed and destroyed.

        I am gradually rebuilding my life. I now work in a dealership shop and enjoy my “no stress” job of rebuilding transmissions. A Country Boy living in the Big City.

        Happy New Year, Diva.

        • Happy New year, SuperDuperChump. May you regain more than you’ve ever lost. Leave a Cheater, GAIN A LIFE!!

  • How’s this for mental gymnastics? My STBX told me (before he and OW broke up) that OW understood what I was going through because her husband had cheated on her while they were married a few years previous! And she went on to do that same thing to someone else?! There’s not a universe in which I would’ve become involved with a married man before this all went down; I’m trying to imagine doing it knowing firsthand the havoc and pain it causes. Disordered, selfish and totally mind-boggling.

    • @soaring

      Same here. My XH’s AP was married to a surgeon who had an affair with a surgical technician. At first, I thought maybe she wanted to “get back at him.” Later, I realized she was looking for her next meal ticket because her own marriage was imploding.

      Did she ever think about me? Nope

    • #metoo. Ex told me the exact same thing and I had the same reaction you did. That just makes it worse. She knows how much pain she is causing and does it anyway. Only a very selfish and self centered person would do such a thing. Ex also said, while we were supposed to be in reconciliation “he was so cruel to have cheated on her and she was so kind to have taken him back” with absolutely no sense of the irony of the statement he made. Pathetic.

    • The OW’s friend told me she understood because she was cheated on and it’s never ok. She then proceeded to hang out and go to bars with my STBX every weekend and pair her best friend with him. WTF?

      I actually questioned her on it, telling her I didn’t understand how she could support a cheater when she herself had been cheated on. She replied her situation was different because it didn’t involve children. WHAT? Do these people hear the shit that comes out of their own mouths?

    • Wow! This happened to me too. My stbxh OW/AP was also married and her exH cheated on her and left her for someone else. I don’t get it. I don’t understand people like this and the lies. My SIL also mentioned to me that the OW gave him a promise ring (devoting all her love and trust to him) and has been sharing it on social media. My first thought, obviously a ring, let alone marriage vows doesn’t mean a thing to my stbxh and the OW.

  • The OW in my relationship did not care. She told me she knew about me and our 10- month old, but didn’t care. She actually said, “I won he loves me!” She was 20 and believed it when Cheaterpants told her he was trying to leave, but I just wouldn’t let him. He told her he had told me several times it was over, but I refused to leave. Total lie. She was like a kid that got picked first for Dodgeball, thrilled to be #1, but no clue how to deal with the giant red ball aimed for her head!

    • Reminds me of Britney Spears picture of her wearing a t-shirt that said, “he loves ME” when she was dating Kevin Federline (yep, he was married with a young daughter). She was holding said daughter walking beside Kevin…
      Ugh.

  • I intentionally avoided collected details. There are only 3 things I know:
    1.) Ex didn’t tell AP he was married
    2.) When AP found out he was married he claimed “dead marriage, separate lives”
    3.) AP dumped him 6 months after divorce

    What was she thinking? Was she swindled or a knowing participant? Who knows, who cares.

  • It’s 5 years since I was chumped – long time. I can think about it all now without feeling much. In the years since then I’ve been unfortunate enough to have several OW unburden themselves to me. I’ve no idea why they choose me. Usually they are people I hardly know and I never ask them to tell me. Maybe they feel the need to confess to someone? What I’ve noticed is the self-pity. They feel very, very sorry for themselves. They don’t talk about the effects on the spouse or children. None of them have had any detectable levels of insight or remorse. And I’ve found they tend to repeat the behaviour. I find them horrifying. I avoid them as much as possible.

    • M, What do you say to them when they unburden on you? I’m afraid that I’d slash them to smithereens with my tongue. I don’t tolerate cheaters very well, needless to say!

      In fact, a very real fear for me is to find that I dated a married man. This is why I don’t date.

      • It’s true,there seem to be quite a few of them out there, either open about it (“We have an agreement” “My wife is terminally ill” all kinds of bullsh*t) or quite stealthy. I exchanged numbers with a man after a group ride and the following day his girlfriend phoned to yell at me ! I set her straight about how he introduces himself to women.

        Take your time getting to know a man-check with people who can verify he is a person of good character, ask to see his driver’s license, go to his home and look around, hold off on having sex with him.

      • Well, sadly my most common reaction so far has been ‘rabbit in headlights’. I’m not very good at dealing with these types of things in the moment. They always catch me by surprise and my brain freezes. Then afterwards I think of all the things I should have said.

  • “What in the heck was she thinking sleeping with a married man whose wife was pregnant?

    Having had the OW, a divorce attorney 15 years my senior, reveal the affair to me in the most aggressive and painful of ways, when I was about 19 weeks or so pregnant – I have wondered the same thing myself.

    And what did her friends and family think? How can you spackle over your “boyfriend’s” PREGNANT WIFE? (And new baby?)

    In the future, when they (she) gush over their 3 years of dating bliss (i.e: him lying about her existence) and he mentions the youngest of our 4 children, his 18 month old daughter, aren’t people going to wonder about that math?

    And it did happen to me, my ex-husband did try to deny that he was his daughter’s father (an abusive and manipulative allegation considering he is the only man I have even kissed since we were teenagers). The GAL assigned to the case said she would not and could not create a parenting plan if paternity was being questioned, the entire case would need to be halted until baby was born and then she would have a DNA test for all 4 of our preschool aged children. He quieted down after that and the custody case continued (with OW as a self-named witness!). Of course the baby was born looking just like her father.

    He would go on to pull the “poor me, my wife was cheating on me” lie to the Police Department in an effort to avoid consequences for serious criminal behavior.

    Lastly, if you are expecting a baby, and your spouse is having an extra-marital affair, please be tested for all STDs asap and discuss the rate of seroconversion for Viral STDs. My poor baby daughter, born with blisters on her fist, had to spend the first 10 days of her life in the NICU being treated with anti-viral medication via IV, because the specialist who delivered her believed she had the potentially fatal illness of neo-natal HSV. It was traumatizing and life changing. I am so appreciative and blessed that it turned out to be a false alarm and we are both healthy. It was however an EXTREMELY PRIVATE ordeal to go through that was made very public in our divorce.

    One world of honesty from my spouse, and I could have protected my unborn daughter’s health by NOT sleeping with him up until his secret affair partner exposed their affair to me.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy/new baby, NewToChumpdon! You got this! I’m off to fold some socks! 😉

    • I am SO SORRY your poor baby went through this and so glad to hear she’s healthy now.

      One thing I didn’t know until just recently was that when you go in and ask to be tested for all the STDs, unless you’re having an outbreak, they generally do NOT test for herpes. (A doctor friend confirmed this, as did my own OB.) NONE of my friends outside the medical field knew this.

      I found out the hard way. I had a minor issue “down there” on and off over the years. It was dismissed by my GP as irritated skin and I was advised not to take very hot baths, wear tight pants, or use scented laundry/bath products. Well, one time it was much worse and so painful I went to the OB. She said, “I really don’t think this is herpes, but every now and then it can present like this. We’ll swab it just to rule it out.” Well, uh, it didn’t rule it out. I had had NO idea. I don’t know how long I’ve had it, though I suspect it’s been a long time. I was tested for STDs during every pregnancy and after my ex cheated and left. I was NEVER tested for HSV.

      One-quarter of women in the U.S. have genital herpes, and 75 percent of them don’t know it. (It’s about 1 in 8 men.) So if you’ve gotten an STD test, PLEASE check and make sure you were tested for HSV. If you haven’t, you will want an IgG blood test, unless you have something you suspect is an outbreak, in which case they can do a swab.

      • Lollia,

        You are exactly right. And HSV is simply a a dermatological issue really, with medication to treat if needed. As you said about 1/2 the planet is walking around with some form of HSV – and 80% of those folks have no idea. Millions of women with HSV give birth every single day – very safely with no complications.

        The only time of danger would be a situation like mine, where it is believed that the pregnant woman has contracted the virus for the FIRST time towards the end of pregnancy. What I experienced with our daughter was very rare and VERY DANGEROUS. Luckily for us, ultimately we were both determined to be negative. I am so appreciative and grateful to have a healthy baby after all the stress and worry.

        Basically at 39 weeks pregnant I was prescribed a cream to treat a yeast infection (sorry y’all), and I had an allergic reaction. My OBGYN immediately ordered type specific IGG blood work and performed an aggressive culture, because he knew my spouse had been cheating. I was 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant with my 4th baby in 6 years.

        Here’s where the extra marital affair impacted my health. My labs all came back negative. However, the Infectious Disease Physicians assigned to our case created a Risk Algorithm. I had only one partner for the past 16 years, so HSV could have been ruled out for our infant daughter….except her father had been cheating during my pregnancy and the rate of seroconversion for HSV (showing an accurate result and not a false negative) can very greatly depending upon an individual’s immune system. Not enough time had gone by to know for absolutely sure…and Physicians like to play it safe (unlike cheaters). This all occurred during a Holiday weekend in a 48 hour time period.

        I had an emergency C-Section (before my water broke) when I went into labor, just as a precaution. When my daughter was born and presenting with a blister on her hand – all hell broke lose. The illness she was believed to have is EXTREMELY RARE and EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.

        My ex-husband denied having slept with me during pregnancy, because he’d rather lie to his affair partner than tell his infant daughter’s physicians the truth. It went on to create a very confusing Risk Algorithm with inconsistent vital information.

        While I was in the hospital recovering from the Emergency C Section and sleeping on a couch in my infant daughter’s infectious disease hospital room, I was copied on an email from Opposing Council in our divorce blasting me for the circumstances. I can’t fathom the talent at lying a cheater would need to have to paint himself as the victim in that situation.

        I am so appreciative to have a healthy outcome, however it was the most stressful event of my life, and it was 100% preventable.

        • I can’t believe that jackhole would lie rather than ‘fess up to help doctors help save his child. WOW. You deserve an award for not hacking him to death with a dull machete.

        • Stalked,
          Your x is the scum of the earth.
          His AP is equally evil.
          May they bathe in their swamp of vile hatred

        • Stalked, may you and your child have more happy healthy years to come without the toxic waste that is your ex and the whorse he rode off on.

        • When my cheating ex kindly passed herpes to me from one of his hookers, I too read the bumf that said it’s no big deal, it’s simply a dermatological issue, medication, episodes, control, blah blah blah. Well that may be the case for most people but not always! I got the kind that even after TWO YEARS of continuous medication I never had more than a couple of pain free weeks. Walking, sitting, just being alive was incredibly painful. My skin down there was so fragile it would tear in the shower. Sex? I have been unable to have sex for more than ten years.

          I quit the medication eventually because it made no difference. What eventually cleared it up for me, you ask? Kicking the ex out of the house and out of the country, going 100% no contact and letting go of all that stress. Within months things improved, although the skin is still very fragile. Knowing I will never have sex again is sad, but I’ll survive (and be pain free😊)

          • Koru, I’m SO sorry that you had such a horrible outbreak. Mine was fairly minor and short-lived and the pain was still excruciating. I remember sobbing so hard one night that my oldest son, who is on the spectrum and not always terribly empathetic, came in to hug me, ask what was wrong, and give me one of his stuffed animals.

            I hope you continue to improve and that one day sex may be a possibility for you.

        • Those are the most evil people I can imagine a pregnant woman dealing with. And there is a special place in hell for lawyers who have reason to know that their clients are cheating liars, yet without requiring proof, they regurgitate their lies to opposing counsel or the courts.

      • Very important info, Lollia.

        I’ve never disclosed this here until now.

        Unfortunately for me, POP was one of the 1/8 and I got to join the 25 per centers.

        This knowledge has totally destroyed my self confidence regarding dating–I approach dating with no interest because it’s always in the back of my mind: ‘what if a relationship grows to where it’s time for ‘the talk’?

        As it turns out, both of the first string OW knew about me, that he was living off me, his ‘possessions’ were actually mine, have HSV. They BOTH TOLD ME they did when I pinned them down. But they had never told HIM.

        • Hesatthecurb, I found out several months into dating my boyfriend. I was devastated and terrified to tell him, but of course I knew I had to. (At this point, we had already been sleeping together.)

          I told him in tears and said I understood if he didn’t want to take that risk and wanted to end things. He told me that he loved me just as much as he did five minutes before I told him and that it didn’t change ANYTHING for him. So there are guys out there who are understanding and not scared off, especially once you explain how common it is.

          There are a lot of good resources at Herpeslife.com, by the way. A forum, guidance on how to tell someone, etc.

          • Big Hugs (((Lollia))) and (((Hesatthecurb))). Lollia’s love story is so uplifting and inspiring. And she’s right, there are many, many forums and support groups, etc available.

            Having gone through my unique birth story, who knows what rumors got out about me with flying monkeys help. Anyone who wouldn’t want to be my friend or date me is probably not necessarily an individual I need in my life anyway.

            Thank you Tracy for writing on this topic. CN is the best!

            • I think my reluctance is due to my generation as opposed to the ‘younger’ generation who are more informed, accepting and ‘casual’ about the topic.

              Perhaps I will meet a man in the future, go for it and everything will turn out wonderfully–but I am still so burned by narc abuse 7 yrs out, my isolation remains my comfort blanket.

              Thanks everyone for everything you have done and said over all the years I’ve been a member of CN–I love all you ‘old timers’ and the ones I’ve not met 🙂

              • I’m not sure how old you are, but my BF and I are in our 40s, so we’re not exactly spring chickens.

                It’s unfortunate that herpes has such negative connotations for so many, but I think people really can be educated on this. I had a guy friend tell me recently that a friend had set him up with a girl who he was really interested in, then mentioned to him that she had herpes. He told me he liked her but didn’t think it was worth the risk. I told him everything I had learned since my own diagnosis, and he was stunned. Had NO idea. Even looked back at his own records and couldn’t believe he’d never been tested for it. I pointed out to him that his chances of catching it with her were lower (if they took precautions) than they were with catching it from a woman who has it and doesn’t know it.

        • This is very informative and interesting topic I wish CL would explore. My husband is 1 of 8. I’ve done the full std test – guess I have to go back and check again (sigh). I always wondered how he dates. I mean telling someone he’s divorced after 20 years and has herpes. Does his date think “great guy, whatta catch.” Or does she put it all together- the cheating and subsequent herpes?

          • If anyone does decide to pursue HSV testing then please ask your physician for the type specific IGG test. It will need to be at least 3 months (6 is better) since your last “exposure”. One tricky thing, the type specific IGG test would let a patient know if they were “positive” (have antibodies present), but they wouldn’t tell you where on your body – you’d need an outbreak that could be cultured for that. For example, many people would test positive for HSV type 1, but without an outbreak that could be swabbed you’d never know if that meant your infection was oral or genital. It’s so stressful and confusing that the HSV test isn’t standard for that very reason, even for pregnant women.
            Best wishes!

            • Agreed. I was STUNNED and horrified that I had never been tested during any of my pregnancies, when they ran the full battery of tests for everything else.

              After my diagnosis, I talked with my girlfriend, who is a GP, about having my BF tested. She did caution me about what you said, which is that an IGG test won’t know where the virus is located or when it was contracted. So if my BF were to test positive, there’s no way of knowing if he got it from me or a previous partner.

              I do understand that HSV2 is very rarely present orally, so if you DO have positive antibodies for it, it’s likely genital. HSV1 can be either place.

      • The sti s are what get me. I know there are more of us here with sti s than will admit. I know a lady who got hiv from her cheating huaband

  • Liars lie and cheaters cheat. Those who have spent a lifetime doing it are also very good at it. I am incredulous that the cheaters are so good and manipulating both chumps and OW. I am no more astonished that cheaters are capable of manipulating OW with lies than I am that they manipulate chumps with lies. Yes many of us didn’t know we were being chomped until we did. Many of us stayed for YEARS and multiple D Days believing all the crap that spewed from the cheaters mouths. It’s only a mistake when we don’t know…once we know..and stay…it becomes a choice. Not all, but many of, believed the lies. Why would we expect someone else not to?

  • OW are usually some form of damaged so stuff like that doesn’t cross their mind. As far as they are concerned- THEY WON AND YOU DIDN’T.

    The cycle is perpetuated when the Dbag they won dumps them. It’s sad really!

  • Love the reminder that everything else–anything else–is more important than an AP could ever hope to be.

    Think I will clean my closet, today. Only cute, well-fitting, post-cheater clothes for me. 🙂

    • Intensely therapeutic. It’s summer here, and I have started wearing knee-length skirts for the first time in years.

  • Welcome to this group. Sadly you’re here but glad you’ve found this place. Sounds like you’re way ahead on the road to recovery and doing all things necessary. CL is right. No point in even thinking about the OW and her mindset. Like your STBX, they only think of themselves and live in their twisted world where most of us don’t wanna ever visit. Too bad we can’t just put all
    These idiots into a spaceship and shoot them off to Mars or something where they can all just screw each other and live that way forever.

    Good luck rest of the way

  • NTC – my ex was/is military, too. Not sure at this point and don’t care. He cheated several times but of course would deny everything. He traveled a lot and had lots of opportunities. I was so beaten down emotionally by the end of our marriage – I was convinced that he was VERY important and I shouldn’t bother him with phone calls or expect him home on weekends cause he had important meeting to attend – hahaha!!! I was living alone about 90% of the time. I never complained – just plastered a smile on my face when he did come home and accepted that this was normal for a BN CDRs wife. Finally, after being away for three weeks he came home and told me ILYBINILWY and wanted the divorce. I was shocked. I thought I had done everything right. He said he had “friends” when I asked if there was someone else. Then he left. About a week after coming out of the fog I checked our cell phone records. Sure enough – he had a special “friend” that he was calling and texting at all hours. (He called me once a day if I was lucky.) so I looked the OW up using her phone number. She’s twice divorced and has a daughter. And she was a past GF of my ex. I believe they reconnected through FB. I don’t really know what he told the OW cause he denied she existed to me. But his boss’s wife called me and told me that he told her husband we had grown apart and that I asked for a divorce. (Uh – no) So he had been lying to them too! I expect he lied to the OW also – but it doesn’t justify the cheating by either of them. She knew he was still married. Besides having low moral character – I believe she is a desperate whore. And LTC Dick – he was relieved of command not long after he left me and told to retire. So – he’s not so sparkly now. Just a washed up old turd.

    • What is it about the rank LTC? My military cheater was also an LTC. I think it must be the rank when they get just enough clout/power to become attractive to military otherwhores.

    • My ex is an LTC Dick too, Brightfuture. I am staying anonymous on this post because of details. I am still a little afraid of him and his wrath. Interesting that yours had repercussions from the military. Mine took up with her (high school, Facebook cheater) before asking for the divorce. He went TDY a couple of days after filing, arranged to stay over the weekend. Then took a rental car and drove to see her, staying in a hotel in her home town 3 hours away from his military assignment. Shady but not sufficient proof. A couple other similar incidents before divorce final. He arranged to arrive at his next duty station the day after divorce was final, with OW in tow, as she had agreed to move on with him.

      Did I mention the text 2 months after deciding to divorce telling me that she would be going with him, that they had been serious “for a while”? Not like the while that we were together, the 30+ years kind of a while.

      Mine traveled all the time and was terrible to reach by phone. I stopped trying to call him the last couple of years unless it was urgent. I hated the awkward conversations with co-workers who felt sorry for me not being able to reach him.

      Over and done. At least we are no longer the Mrs. Dick’s, right!?

      • You are so right Anonymous! I think once his Commander knew the truth he wasn’t willing to support him when he started screwing up. He lost his job because he was so busy running the roads – lots of vacations and such that he wasn’t DOING his job. He got cocky. So, technically – the consequences were really his own doing. I don’t take any credit…..😏

  • It would be interesting for Chump Lady to explore (UBT) this topic from the male perspective (i.e., “Dear Chump Lady, What are OM thinking?”)

    I am curious, male Chumps. Do you think there is a competitive component on the part of the male AP?

    • IMO it’s a patriarchy thing. There is nothing more retrograde and un-feminist than being an OW. (Although many try to dress it up as sexual sophistication.) You’re competing for scraps of a man’s attention. You’re OKAY being less than a full partner. Engaging in the pick me dance (fighting to be primary partner) says you’re okay with the power imbalance. Men are precious commodities to be fought over.

      Now, OW I’ve read try to dress it up as “I’m so independent, I don’t need all of anyone. I don’t need monogamy.” Then… you wouldn’t do the pick me dance, and you wouldn’t write insipid articles on HuffPo and elsewhere about how enlightening your affairs are.

      OM don’t write to me. OM don’t wring their hands and wonder when she’s leaving her husband for him. If I were to generalize (closing in on 18 million page views, I think I can generalize), I’d say men see it as a bit on the side and don’t over think it. OW do the catfight thing. Which keeps the patriarchy alive, if you ask me.

      • >>There is nothing more retrograde and un-feminist than being an OW.<<

        Agreed, for the reasons you mentioned and more. Which is why I was double-gobsmacked when my intensely feminist, independent, sisters-before-misters wife happily cavorted with the married father of a small child. All is fair in the name of true love and Forces Bigger Than Us, see…

      • I asked my wife repeatedly how she could cheat with another man’s wife (and a small child’s dad). Her curt and cold response: “Her marriage is not my problem.” Breathtaking to hear that come from the mouth of someone you’ve loved and respected for two decades, someone you never believed was capable of such skulduggery. Hugely tempting to untangle the skein, so that you can assure yourself that they are wounded or misguided or temporarily insane or anything other than a stone-cold narcissist.

      • >>There is nothing more retrograde and un-feminist than being an OW.<<

        Agreed, for the reasons you stated and more. That's why I was double-gobsmacked when my intensely feminist, independent, "sisters-before-misters" wife cheated with the married father of a small child. All is fair in the name of true love and Forces Bigger Than Us, apparently…

      • Agreed, for the reasons you stated and more. That’s why I was double-gobsmacked when my intensely feminist, independent, “sisters-before-misters” wife cheated with the married father of a small child. All is fair in the name of true love and Forces Bigger Than Us, apparently…

      • Yup-other men see it as easy pickings,no strings attached.

        John, a kind pediatrician, was married to a woman who ran around on him. He knew Susan through work and always enjoyed talking to her at work conferences. Being married, it never crossed his mind to act on his feelings of attraction for Susan. Susan told us she had a crush on him but knew he wasn’t available because he’s m-a-r-r-i-e-d.When his wife separated from him to be with the single man she had been spreading her legs for she quickly learned that single man wasn’t “looking for anything serious”. He was happy to have casual sex with her, a relationship not so much.

        Wife came running back to John, hoping to reconcile. John decided he didn’t deserve to treated like sh*t, told his wife to gtfo and married Susan.

    • That’s easy. When a married woman hangs a “Free Pu$$y” sign around her neck it has the same effect as a fresh zebra kill to vultures. They all come circling for easy pickins’.

      There are plenty of unscrupulous scoundrels out there (mostly married) who see a secret affair with a married woman as the safest form of recreational sex.

      She gets her excitement fix and they get a hassle-free side piece, unlike the complications of an AP who’s single and might eventually demand more.

      Ask me how I know.

        • When I offered a similar take on the OM to my wife, she insisted her loverboy wasn’t like that, and their “love” was of the higher, Steve Winwood variety. Hm. Funny how, a year later, doucheweasel still hasn’t ditched the missus.

    • As a male, I definitely think there’s a competitive component to being an OM. I can’t speak from direct experience, as I’ve never been an OM, but I can certainly imagine that it’s a bit of a thrill for an OM to think, ‘She’s married, but I bagged her. I’m more studly than her husband.’

      However, I suspect that for most OM, it’s about more sex, whether they are married or not. If a potential OM sees a woman who he is attracted to, but knows she’s married and committed to her marriage, then the return (sex) on investment (wooing, flirting, all that) will be very low, and he’ll look for an easier target. Women who will have sex more readily are better targets. (Note that this reinforces the idea that the affair isn’t the OM or OW’s fault, per se, but is the choice of the cheater. If it wasn’t that OM/OW, it would have been another – the cheater is gonna cheat, and that’s on them and them alone.)

      I also suspect that there’s a cadre of OM who don’t want commitment, just want a bunch of side pieces, and if a woman is married and has a lot to lose if the affair is discovered, the OM doesn’t have to worry as much about getting trapped in a committed monogamous relationship with her. Never mind that this kind of OM could destroy many marriages, and leave dozens of kids in broken homes, it’s about adding more women to that life list of people the OM has banged, and having sex a lot. This kind of OM would be perfectly content with a ‘friend with benefits’ relationship with a woman who flat out told him something like, “you’re fun to be with and good in bed, but definitely not marriage material.” For me (single for this example), that declaration would end any relationship on the spot, but for this type of OM, music to their ears.

      So, Star Tingover, I think there can be a competitive aspect to the OM, but there are a few different kinds of OM. It’s the opposite of the pick me dance. The OM seduces, and the cheater falls into his arms. He wins, and it’s better because she was supposed to be committed to another. The notion is, “It’s easy to win an unattached woman, much harder to steal one from someone else, but I’m a winner, see, I got her.”

      Yecch. This whole line of thinking makes me want to take a scalding hot shower.

      Hugs. Strength. Peace.
      aeronaut

    • @Star, not in my case. The only thing that was competing against me was KK’s bottomless pit of attention-seeking. Which as no contest, as was evident by her having 9 different “encounters” with 5 different guys within the first 30 days after I stupidly agreed to her request for an open marriage. Any APs involved with her during that period were either given the line about me being OK with her doing whatever she wanted, or weren’t told about me at all.

      The thing that creeps into my head from time to time is: RPD attended several of my story slam events with his wife (including “The Stranger,” in which I described confronting KK and the Carrot Singer) while seeing KK — in fact, he and KK had been sneaking around to hotels, to NYC, etc. for more than 6 months that first time I looked out at the audience and saw him sitting there with Mrs. RPD.

      I wonder whether, once (a) she was freed from the apparently hellish existence of being my wife, and (b) she could lay claim to having been “sexually sophisticated” enough to fuck anybody or anything that filled the attention void, she suddenly settled into the traditional OW role and put the screws (so to speak) to RPD to make up his mind, lest she withhold that golden crotch of hers.

      If so, I like to think that the now-ex Mrs. RPD somehow found this site and is having as big a laugh over the two of them as I am.

    • There may be some competitiveness with some of the OM (or even most). I wouldn’t say the OM in my situation was competing with me since he wasn’t willing to leave his wife for mine (even though he told her that he would during the A). I think he saw her as a side piece.

      Though I will say this, and I found this out later, my ex was in the process of starting relationships with other OM (who also had significant others) since the original OM wouldn’t leave his wife, and apparently this made the original OM very jealous.

      So I think the OM see our wives as certainly more theirs than ours – even though sometimes they aren’t willing to make any commitment to them. Maybe that’s competition, but it’s certainly egotistical and selfish.

    • Good question.

      Patriarchy? Of that I’m not so sure. Where I was brought up both men and women equally were taught not to mess with another man/woman’s partner. It was/is severely frowned apon.

      There isn’t a central clique of men running this stuff. Telling all the boys the unwritten rules of affairs.

      And if modern stastics are anything to go by then females are having just as many affairs as the men.

      Now is the OM in competition with you? IMO no. They are in competition with society. The rules. You don’t come into it. You’re kids don’t come into it. Their ego comes into it because they got to bang a married woman. The forbidden fruit, the ultimate prize. You and all you built with your ex wife means nothing to them.

      Think about this. Remember the 101 ways your ex wife told you how you sucked as a husband? Yea well he heard 10001 of those reasons. Easiest play in the book. Drink a shut the fuck up smoothie, let her moan about you then throw in the odd compliment. “But you’re such a catch”, “he doesn’t understand you like I do”.

      Barf.

      So all that stuff you were doing that made you boring, unattractive etc (we call it life in the adult world but we’re not dealing with adults here) is now his turn. If it works out, he becomes you and she gets bored and cheats again. If it doesn’t work out he cheats and she’s on her own, turning back to plan B. That would be you.

      Don’t let that happen.

      Peace

  • I have a colleague who is cheating on his wife of 30 years. OW is now claiming that she is LESBIAN to try and deny the affair. (They’ve been seen so I know it’s real). How crazy is that? What is this OW thinking?

    • It’s the big lie. A little lie is seen as a lie, but a big one has the ring of possible truth to it. Now, it might be too much for her to claim that she’s a space alien, but a lesbian is a believable big lie. Further, it’s salacious.

      As they say, a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on. Throw enough falsehoods at an issue, and outsiders think everything is suspect, even the truth. Same defense that some politicians are using about claims of sexual harassment.

      Hugs. Strength. Peace.
      aeronaut

  • My ex and ex babysitter, now married, put up a big sign next to their front door “THERE IS NO WRONG LOVE.” Apparently he sees himself Romeo, star-crossed lover. She was star-crossed lovers with several married men and she got a green card out of the deal. It’s not wrong! It’s two luv! Really!

    • You have got to be so insecure about your position to put a sign outside your home!!!! Delight in the fact that they are feeling their earned shame and are pedaling as fast as they can to escape it.

    • Get yourself a picture of David Koresh, or some other child marrying polygamist, and tape it to the sign. Well, not really, just in your head.

      Hugs. Strength. Peace.
      aeronaut

    • Here’s basically the OW/OM thought process:
      a. “I am horny and need a fuck. You will do.”
      b. “All is fair in love and war.”
      And that’s it, folks. Nothing more complicated than that. In their minds, statement b excuses everything.

  • There is a spectrum of OW, from selfish women who just don’t care that their AP is married, to women who think they are rescuing the AP, to women who prey on marriages for their own personal gain. The OW in my case preyed on me, and my marriage. Granted, she needed a willing AP and found one, but she amazingly did it all with a metaphorical halo over her head to this day 3 years later. There are a lot of people who know, and don’t like her, but she hasn’t been publicly sanctioned by her peers as far as I know. She even shows up at the small church my parents go to. The truth is she spent years developing a relationship with my X and undermining our marriage all while being my “friend”. It is pretty sick, like throwing a puppy out the window sick.

  • Ready for Ow-troll alert!

    I only have direct knowledge of the thinking of one OW, who claimed that the wife of the married man she was contemplating sleeping with, was not her problem. OW lack compassion, common sense, and they have the theory of mind of a cockroach unable to know what they may be doing to another human being.

    Some are narcissists themselves, I suspect. Some are materialistic and want our life/house; the younger OW-older men combination is probably due to daddy issues. In other words, while academically fascinating, the mind of an OW is not a pretty place.

    • Yes!
      The few OW that I’ve known have all either callously claimed that since they aren’t the ones in the marriage, they can’t be at fault, or like one co-worker of mine, who doesn’t understand why I don’t spend time with her outside of work (my friends have integrity, so no thanks) loves to believe a guy when he claims he’s separated, or that he’s only married for the kids, or that he’s gonna divorce……someday.
      I think they love the drama. Its a kind of fantasy based thinking that leads them to believe that being chosen over another makes them extra special.
      This coworker, who enjoys the topic of conversation as long as it is about her, doesn’t share with me so much anymore, as I don’t give her sympathy so much as I call bullshit on everything she tells me about the guys and their intentions. I rain on her parade when she’d rather daydream about true love. I’m right every time, but still……….

    • Tempest…YES! Daddy issues, indeed. STBX’s schmoopie slipped up when gushing about the vibrator he gave her for Christmas last year: “Its made me a better person [????WTAF??]. I never had one before…it’s so dad.”
      “…I mean sad.”
      Yes. Sad. Pathetic.

      • Hmm..self-improvement via dildo? That’s one I haven’t heard before.

        Love the “It’s so dad” comment, ChumpDiva!

        • You can’t make this $hit up, right? They are unbelievable.
          Given MOW’s range of skills/interests, I suspect the Jackrabbit probably DID make her a better…whatever she is. Skanks have needs, too, I suppose. It’s so dad.
          I mean sad.
          Trust that they suck.
          And have all the depth of a mud puddle.

    • Yep, Mrs. Dumb-Ass probably thought that TEO’s $22/hour job +plus over time pay when she was his OWhore was her ticket out of Mommy and Daddy’s house, plus a daddy for her two kids, SCORE!
      Hahahahaaaa, dumb ass. I would LOVE to know how she views her choices now.
      It’s OK for TEO to not pay child support, but it’s not OK for her exh to not pay his?
      SMH

  • The OW knew me and every detail of my life and family. (My ex was her boss). So, she heard the details of our vacations, holidays and son’s achievements over the twenty plus year that they worked together. About his pretty/ smart CPA wife, who’s a great cook, has a great job and gardens and decorates so well. All of this bliss while the first marriage that she destroyed was falling apart and one of HER sons was in a Juvenile Detention Facility. Did she care about me? No. Did she care about my sons? No. (She doesn’t even care about HER sons!) Well schmoopie, you can have him, the Sociopath that he is. Have you figured out yet who really made him look that good? Because, since the two years that he’s been with you, he’s aged twenty years! Good riddance.

  • I have wondered this a THOUSAND times. In my case, the OW was also married and was a friend of mine (not a close friend, but someone I liked and considered a friend). Ex and I had three small kids, then ages 2, 4 and 6. Of course this was this “SPECIAL AND AMAZING!!!!” love that boring, saggy me who was busy with three kids could never hope to compete with. How can neither of them think it will happen again? Her marriage lasted less than 8 months. I suspect she wasn’t his first AP, either, though I have no proof otherwise.

    In the end, I just shrug and chalk it up to a mindset that I wasn’t raised with and won’t ever understand. (To be fair, ex wasn’t raised this way either. His parents are lovely, still happily married 45-plus years later and were shocked and horrified.)

  • NewToChumpdom,

    At the risk of untangling the skein, ….

    In a very real sense, the issue that lets an OW be an OW is the fundamental truth of narcissism. Narcissists don’t see others as people like them. They see others as, I don’t know, things or something. I mean, suppose the chair is married to the ottoman, and then you decide that you want to sit on the chair with your feet on the floor, and push the ottoman away. That’s how a narcissist views the world.

    So yes, they think they are special. They are the only creature in existence with actual feelings. Of course it will be different between them and the cheater, because they have feelings, and everyone else (even the cheater) are just things. The way they view the world in many ways explains the way they interact in the world.

    All that said, great job being a mighty chump. I hope that you stay active here, and eventually post about your day in court. Stories of chumps coming out on top are very inspiring here, and most welcome.

    Finally, aren’t there some serious consequences to adultery for military members? Have you considered reporting them to their commanding officers, or using the threat of reporting them to position yourself for a better settlement?

    Hugs. Strength. Peace.
    aeronaut

    • You are right aeronaut. Adultery is punishable under military code. However sometimes pursuing a 15-6 investigation hurts the spouse more than the cheater. If nothing else adultery can be used by the spouse in negotiating a better settlement. My ex was very afraid I would pursue that course of action. His fear benefited me in reaching a settlement much quicker. And although I didn’t take official action against him I did inform his Commander of the true story which I believe lead to his early retirement.

    • Hi Aeronaut,
      Thank you (and CL & CN) for your insight and very supportive responses. its very helpful to understand so I can move on.

      To answer your question, I was advised by my (very mighty and very awesome) lawyer to not pursue anything with the military since my cheater would probably get demoted, and thus, reduce child support. He’s a coward and is scared of what I know and don’t know, and scared of what I’m going to do. So, my lawyer is planning to use the knowledge in court for a better settlement. But my goodness do I want to report him soooo badly.

      -NTC

      P.S. Thank you CL & CN! I am overwhelmed with thanks for all of the support received here, and CL is right—I didn’t read untangling the skein. I will be doing so after I read the responses from Chump Nation.

      • I’ve heard of other military spouses keeping quiet because of the demotion as well. Alimony, retirement, & child support for the spouse will be less .
        I wonder if that’s part of a plan to either save military money or to keep the documented reports of adultery in the military down.

      • My cheating ex was a military officer. Not only did I turn him in, I convinced his command that he was a threat to national security. That’s what happens when you sleep with an Eastern European foreign national. My lawyer told me the same thing about child support and alimony. My response, I don’t give a shit about the money. I can get a job. I have custody of my kids. My nine year takes every cent I get from my husband and invests it. We’re kind of killing it at this who gain a life thing. My husband loved the Marine Corp, just not enough to follow their rules. And when he tried to tell the judge that I ruined his career, I was like no, you sleeping with some Latvian spin instructor ruined your career.

        • Good for you, Jenny. Often the behavior of these military officers speaks for itself and the military quietly dumps them. My X was an O-6 who made a huge public display of cheating at foreign war college. He was all over one of two women enrolled in the course. She was there to “make connections” with as many of the 60+ guys in the course as she could. My narcissistic X thought she was a big catch and everyone else would be impressed. I was working back in the US, but other wives alerted me. I told him that he was ruining his reputation and demonstrating to those in charge that he had poor judgment, but he wouldn’t listen. He told me I was “just jealous,” as if we were in high school. He should have been on track to be a general, but after that the military “put him out to pasture.” He moped for a couple of years and then took a foreign national OW2 TDY overseas. He ended up getting out of the military shortly thereafter, 2 years early. With no other job at the time. He ended up with OW2, whose sister informed me that she thought he was rich, but “calls him a fat ass and limp —-“ behind his back. So it’s not as if they shine if we don’t report them.

  • The rest of us can only marvel. Now, please return your attention to something more improving. Like sock folding or crossword puzzles, or cleaning lint traps. Thanks.

    My sock drawer is legend among my friends.

    Earlier this morning I wrote a lengthy and overly complex post analyzing Mme YogaPants and Senor MoneyBags and their supposed motivations. And then I closed the window without hitting “post”. The reason why is that it doesn’t matter. My sock drawer (and it is awesome) is more important in my life than they are.

    I think that trying to understand the motivations of the OP or the cheater just plays in to the “Blame the victim” narrative. I’m not perfect by any means but there was nothing that was worth blowing up a marriage of 26 years for on my side. Them, I can’t control and shouldn’t try to. I should just focus on myself and having a well organized sock drawer and tie rack and on moving forward in my life. They aren’t part of it.

    BT

    • Ahh BowTie I bet your sock drawer is awesome! Reading CL’s reply about posting the mindset of the OM is not worth the time as most OM are happy and content seeing the affair as just getting some on the side. They usually don’t want a real relationship and are in it for what it is….

      Sounds like OM in your situation is still treating Mme YogaPants like a piece of ass. She sits in her apartment waiting for the roll call and is a stand in for Senor MoneyBags deadwife as a booty call only. I bet that’s a real fun way to live. She will never move up to wife material unless he decides he wants a trophy wife only (and she’ll need to get back in shape for that).

      Meanwhile, back to regularly scheduled program, time to move on to the underwear drawer? Folding the whitey tighties and boxers? Anything including watching paint dry is more appealing than cheaters.

    • If I were not firmly located in the southern hemisphere, would totally date you, BowTie. A well-organised sock drawer is very appealing to me.

  • My situation is different. The OW set her sights for my husband. She knew he was married and had kids. She can’t have kids so I guess she thought she would play mommy to mine. She’s married. She (still) works with my husband, she joined all his clubs, started getting interested in his interests.
    She totally insinuated herself into his life and made herself 100% available to him. Every chance she had to trash-talk me, she took. She worked long and hard to destroyed our marriage. Her efforts almost worked but only because I did not know about their affair. Once I did find out, I waged my own war. I did not confront my husband right away. Instead I became a better girlfriend than the girlfriend. I suppose Tracy will say that I was doing the Pick Me Dance. I am here to say that it worked. Then I made him work to keep our marriage together. We are in a good place now.

    The OW had years to try to make my husband leave me. He was using her the whole time. Yes, I know this doesn’t say anything good about him.
    Yes, I also know people will jump all over me for wanting to stay married to him. Yes, I also know he could go back to her, or someone else, at any time. If that happens, he’s gone. But in the meantime, I’m fine; we’re fine. I hope she is miserable. I hope the OW feels used and discarded. She was.

    I know many other women are clueless, but the OW in my life is evil, calculating, and destructive. I pray every day that karma comes and kicks her in the ass – good and hard.

    • A good man wouldn’t allow a woman like this to insinuate herself into his life and destroy his family. Hope you caught a unicorn. But I wouldn’t want to lay my head on a pillow next to a man like that. I hope you got a post-nuptial agreement. I hope your H is in counseling. Keep your ducks lined up and good luck.

      • Well said LAJ. I’m glad Dana has come here for support which makes me think she doesn’t really trust him, otherwise she would be visiting the wreckonciliation sites. I thought I had a unicorn the first time I caught Dr. Turd cheating. Our kids were little and I worked too. He left us for twice married, couldn’t have children, history of cheating on husbands howorker. The only spackle I could come up with is he was weak from the stress of his job and she was out to get a rich doctor and insert herself into my life and try to mommy my kids.

        He begged back and moved into the smaller home I bought for me and my little ones. Over the years I realized I was the giver and he was the taker. Everything revolved around what he wanted to do and his happiness.

        Ultimately I found out he was pursuing DD14’s 20-something y.o. asst sports coach while he was volunteer coaching. I had heard about how awful everyone was to this poor lil damsel in distress. Her life was soooo hard, blah blah blah. She’s innocent in all this.

        I have finally realized he wasn’t some weak man falling prey to these crazy women looking to bag a doctor. He’s a predator and is preying on these weak women. I wasn’t ready to see that early on unfortunately. I knew he sucked and what he did sucked. But I spackled that shit like mad. I ultimately had a jackass with a horn glued to his forehead and no unicorn in site…..

      • I’m confused… Your husband continued the affair for YEARS while you were ramping up your efforts to keep him in the marriage? It comes across as you and the OW were “fighting” over him albeit she was unaware of your mission. I understand loving your spouse, but if that person is not fully reciprocating and chose to be with another woman behind your back, what was your reasoning for accepting his behavior? Don’t you feel he was using you as well as her during that time? I’m not knocking your reconciliation – as long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters. However I’m curious, how do you know it’s truly over between them now? It would drive me insane knowing that they still work together and have long history.

        My ex claimed a crazy woman was pursuing him early on in our marriage. I mistakenly believed his story and wrote her off as such. He was with me, not her. Little did I know that she was a presence in the wings spanning 2 decades, plus some other women along the way, too. Hindsight is 20/20. Good luck to you.

    • One of the OWs in my situation was also a stalker … “gotta have him at any cost” kind of fucked-up. She got a job directly across from asshole’s place of employment and even moved into an apartment across from ours (with full view of our apartment). Then she got a job with him — and cut her hair to look like mine. He was screwing her while I was pregnant with baby #2 and after the baby was born. The only thing that stopped the affair was that we moved out of state. Because she was just a “side piece” to him, he wasn’t interested in giving her the information (thank goodness for small favors).

      I didn’t find out until much later that all of this had happened. Asshole cheater’s response to my horror about her stalking us … “Wow, I didn’t know.” Bullshit. Of course he knew — at bare minimum he knew ENOUGH that he should have been concerned about her behavior.

      The primary thing here isn’t that she was a crazy stalker (though, that was certainly a concern) … the really big deal was that jackass wasn’t completely horrified at what HIS actions had helped to cause.

      If he gave a shit AT ALL about our family, he would have been mortified and remorseful. But he wasn’t. Rather, in hindsight, I see that he took it as a fucking compliment that she had gone to such lengths to be with him. This is NOT the kind of person who will ever respect or protect his family.

    • @Dana …. good luck! So your man was a “victim” of an evil OW? She will move on, but will you? Keep a close watch on your prize, leopards don’t change their spots!

      Stand by …

    • She may very well be evil, calculating and destructive BUT YOUR husband allowed that evil, calculating and destructive person into your lives. Unless she held a gun to his head only he had the power to do this. He was not powerless to her charms. #truth

    • Dana, no one’s attacking you or jumping all over you. Lots of us have been exactly where you are standing.

      I think we’re all glad you’re here. Keep visiting. Keep reading.

    • Hi Dana!

      I really hope you’re happy 🙂 You deserve all the happiness in the world. I obviously don’t know much about your relationship, but whether you stay or leave will always be your choice. I’m glad you found us and if you ever need support, don’t hesitate to ask!

      The only thing I would really very strongly urge you to do is to protect yourself just in case. Because he allowed this person into your lives, you know he is at the very least capable of allowing a person like that into your lives. Regardless or any promises and hopes of a unicorn, you have seen this happen and you should protect yourself. Get a postnup.

      If we’re wrong, then he should not object to this and it will not affect you or your husband in the future whatsoever.

      If we’re right, you’re covered… just in case.

  • Yet more wonderful wisdom to ponder areonaut! Thankful to these seasoned chumps who stick around to help the rest of us! The chair and ottoman analogy is a keeper.

  • I was friends with someone in college who I eventually realized only slept with men who were married or otherwise in relationships. Didn’t understand why she would want to do that. She purported that it was less stress, because she could just have the sex part and nothing else. There was one particular guy who she seemed to really love. One day, she was depressed and told me that she realized that this guy wasn’t ever going to leave his wife. Aha, the plot thickens….seems that she did actually want a real relationship, and for him to leave his wife.

    BTW, she was a hot mess emotionally. Liar, unbalanced, and bulimic. Very sad.

  • In our culture, we condition women to feel special only when they stand apart from other women. “You’re not like other girls!” “You like cool things like sports and drink whiskey, not like other girls!” “I don’t like pink and frilly things, like other girls!”

    Couple that with the stereotype of the crazy, bitter, nagging, sexless wife and BOOM you have the OW mentality that she is saving this man from his horrible life. That there love is super special because he’s not a bad guy! No. He’s just misunderstood and he didn’t want to cheat, but she’s so super special and not like other girls that he couldn’t help himself.

    blah, blah, blah, blah, blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    She got a turd and you got a life. Stay mighty!

    • The stereotype of the boring, nagging, sexless wife … that was something that I always thought was just a stupid stereotype most people wouldn’t actually believe. Then I discovered my serial-cheating asshole completely abides by this. Via VAR, I heard him and his buddies (many co-workers) agreeing with the stereotype. To them, it’s just a fact of life — you have to get married, have kids, and you have to work … that’s the ball and chain of life. They see this as boring, mundane drudgery.

      The experience of hearing all of this turned my view of people into a bit of a horror show … I was stunned at the lack of character and the immaturity. But I was even more stunned at how many people were like this. Okay, to be honest, I’m still a bit stunned …. it’s such a horrible worldview. 🙁

      • It shocks me too. I have a friend. A very smart, intelligent successful friend, who has had her share of heartbreak. Yet, she buys into this too. She works with a lot of men and she listens to them tell her about their awful marriages. How they won’t leave because they adore their children. How she uses them for only their money. How cold their wives are to them. I’ve dug enough to be pretty sure that she isn’t having sex with any of them, but they are still feeding her it and she’s eating it up, giving them the confidence that they are right. She feels so sorry for them. It’s sad how selfless they are staying in a loveless marriage. *gag*

        She’s said to me more than once about my XH, “I don’t know why he just didn’t leave if he was unhappy.” I can see the look on her face when I explain that he wasn’t unhappy. That a few hours before I confronted him, he was walking around the house whistling, hugging me, and talking about remodeling the kitchen and where to go on our summer vacation. She looks like I’m trying to explain quantum physics to her.

        • I was always bothered by the whole ball and chain mentality. I was even more bothered when I found out that apparently my ex had this mentality too.

          • It really is messed up. My big question was — if he believed this, then why in the hell ever get married? And, why not have the spine to say so up-front? Would have been fantastic information to have in the beginning! I would NEVER have purposefully married someone with this mentality (but, of course, he knew this — which is why he hid his feelings on the subject).

            What I figured out about the serial-cheating asshole is that he KNOWS it’s a bunch of bullshit, but it is one of those crappy misogynistic stereotypes that enable him to justify his bad behavior. So, he simply uses it to his advantage. Pathetic.

            His excuse for why he got married to me … “To take you off of the market” … well, thanks for that one-sided bunch of BS and unilateral decision-making over my life, asshole.

            • JesssMom,
              Exactly what you said!
              I always thought this kind of BS (“poor me/ball & chain/ nagging, loveless wife”) was a cliché, a life meme that was a joke or some uni-dimensional caricature. Not real people. Not my life. Not my husband.
              Now I see it for what it is: code for “you’re cute. wanna fuck?” OM/OW know the translation. It saves time & the trouble of sharing the truth, which doesn’t serve the cheaters.
              They are unoriginal. Common. Basic. They are bored in the marriage because they are BORING people. And I’m bored with untangling. This has been a brilliant column today, though.
              Chump on, nation!

      • Chagrined to see this posted on a former neighbor’s Fakebook page “No man is complete until he is married . And then he is finished” I hope his wife gets away from this narc before they have children.

  • Some of them are no doubt disordered. They need the triangle. They like the competition. They like having secrets and keeping someone else at a disadvantage.

    Some might covet what the Cheater brings to the table: job, income, status, house, nice car, sparkles.

    Others may simply believe that a disordered cheater who is love bombing them is their “soul mate.” They believe the stupid notion that there is only one person in the world for them and it’s someone else’s husband. That the spouse, pregnant or otherwise, is a “mistake” and that the universe demands things be righted.

    Others may have such low self-esteem and efficacy that they think a cheater is their only chance.

    Some OWs might not even know the truth. Cheaters lie to everybody.

    I ruminated far more about the MOW than I did about Jackass himself. He was so cruel and unkind that there was an unbridgeable gap between the mask he presented to me for 30+ years and what I came to see as his real “self,” such as it is. But the MOW–she was a blank canvas on which I could project my anguish, my rage, my own insecurities, my hope.

    Meh is a place where neither one of them matter at all.

    • Beautifully put, LAJ. I focused on the skank for longer than she warranted (the gazillion fb selfies and the thong selfie she sent to STBX, along w the Instagram flowery pic of the 2 if them burned her skanky image in my mind). But he was the one I married 30 years ago. I’m sick of them both.
      Meh is getting closer. For each of us.

  • I have never once thought about what the OW was thinking. When I discovered the cheating (IMHO, “affair” sounds like a summer luncheon on a yacht and should be stricken from all references to cheating), it told me everything I needed to know about her and my husband.

    I have never – and will never – acknowledge her. She will never be worth my time, nor will my X.

    • I too have never had, and will never have, any interaction with Fucktard’s Owife. We have absolutely nothing in common. And the man she married is nothing like the man I married. He is a shell of his former self.

    • I never interacted w the skank after Dday, but had before I knew, as she worked for X as a subcontracting housepainter. She came to or house a month before Dday w chicken soup for him when he was sick. I wouldn’t spit on her if she were on fire.
      But, I did call her husband to tell him. Didn’t identify myself or cheater. Took skank a full week to narrow down who might have called.
      SMH
      Don’t want to know what they think. Frankly, I suspect thinking isn’t something they waste a lot of time on.
      It’s really quite satisfying to know I don’t think like that. But being able to spot it and its like will help me build a truly cheater-free life. Now THAT matters.

  • In my case ow was a friend. She had no personality, no goals and was to lazy to develop her own. Over the years I watched her “pick” other peoples lives to emulate. We used to joke about who’s life she was going to copy this year. Until she decided she wanted my life. She was very disappointed when she got my husband and realized my life didn’t go with him. They broke up while the ink was still drying on the divorce decree.

    • IMHO, I believe most cheaters are chameleons. No original thoughts or beliefs but place them onto another person and they are exactly the same. Hence the cheaterspeak spiel, “We have so much in common!”

      • This is so true. I can see now how my XH morphed himself into the guy I’d be attracted to. Of course I was, it was me I was essentially dating!

        He took Meyers-Briggs once and scored on the cusp of each for all four. He had no personality. He’s a shell until he’s around someone else.

        But then I think they start to grow bitter that you don’t know the ‘real’ them. Which is because they don’t even know the real them.

  • Dear NTC, this is embarrassing to admit, but I unknowingly was an OW to my cheater X husband. When I met him he admitted he was married but it “was in name only to a very dear friend who helped him get a green card.” He was such a good liar that my focus was more on the fact that he got a green card in a shady way and not that he was married! He even would always say how he still talks to her often and that we will get together (which never happened until a few years into our marriage-that meeting was, in hindsight, a HUGE red banner, but that’s another story.) I truly believed him and really wanted to meet this “good friend”…he spoke with her always when I wasn’t around but would tell me about her and her various life changes/boyfriends, etc.
    I saw one or two pictures and noticed (and he confirmed) she was a decade older than us (x and I are the same age). Although I am ashamed to say (but never voiced out loud) Her looks we’re also not in line with what I believed he was attracted to (again, confirmed by him when he was speaking about her unlucky love life.) I think those things helped me to skim right over any weirdness in his stories and accept his narrative. BUT, now that he has essentially done the same thing to me as he did to her, I realize he is a pathological liar and conman. I am not a dummy (although I have been mad at myself for not seeing through all the lies) nor am I a naive person. I am-no, scratch that-I WAS a person who looked at people in my orbit as having the same values as me…and I would NEVER do that. It just didn’t enter my mind…a man who seemed to be so over the moon about me and want to marry me and have babies with me…you know the drill. Love bombed;)

    Now, it doesn’t sound like this is the case in your situation, BUT you will have to accept that there are two people, one who you thought was in your in life to love and cherish you, and one who is a stranger who have hurt you and your daughter. Maybe they just think of you as collateral damage in their twu luv, or maybe they have enjoyed the whole process of hurting you. Either way, I wish you the best in getting them out of your life. He doesn’t deserve you.

    • I’m sure this happens more often than we realize. Always and never are big words. It is not possible to paint an accurate portrayal of the world with a wide brush…this includes assessments of relationship partners. Stupidity is not a criteria to be an OW, nor to be a chump. All relationships have to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

    • Hi Nejla,

      I’m sorry – it’s not your fault when you don’t know. You’re missing the one big thing a lot of these awful people have: the careless disregard for people who did you no wrong. You deserved so much better.

  • NewToChumpdom,
    I could have written this post. My STBX and his OW are also both military and their affair began while I was pregnant (they were deployed together). I also left when my daughter was 4 months old in July 2017. The OW also knew my STBX was married with a baby on the way because he came home from deployment for 2 weeks for our daughter’s birth. And also because STBX and his ho were FB friends. The only difference here is that he knows that I know about the affair because OW is now pregnant and due in a month or so. I haven’t said anything to the military about the affair but we’ll still be married when that baby is born so not sure how it’s going to play out. It will definitely be in STBX’s best interest to grant me a quick divorce since infidelity is a punishable offense in the military.

    • Oh my goodness! Same but so different! I am so sorry for what you are going through! Stay strong and stay the same parent taking care of your baby!

  • The OW’s think they are the victims being abused by our husbands who refuse to do the right thing by leaving the obviously terrible wife for the woman who clearly knows how to love them better. We are the evil ones trying to save our marriages and preventing their happiness. How terribly selfish of us. That’s their perspective. It may be something similar for OM’s (certainly my ex thinks he is the rescuer of the dumsel in distress from the terrible husband), others may just be thinking no strings attached sex makes for great kibbles.

  • I have been cheated on. The ow is quite desperate in my opinion (she would tell my ex he was wonderful). I don’t think they can think of anyone but themselves, in some respects they act like lovestruck teenagers. I split up with my ex 5 years ago, and shes still hanging around. In my opinion she and my ex deserve each other.

  • OW, OM and cheaters are all deeply flawed. I wasted a lot of precious time trying to “untangle the skein” as CL appropriately coins it. They just don’t experience emotions or have the capacity to feel empathy in the way that “normal” people do. It’s beyond comprehension…

  • Cheater ex’s girlfriend? Well I only met her once, but judging by her actions…. drama, winning the competition, and bilking cheater ex of as much of our $$$$$ an she could her greedy little hands on. She dumped him when he quit his well paying job for a janitorial position to avoid child support.(Didn’t work, poor baby had to ante up anyway.)

    I’m sure she moved on to her next, more lucrative mark.

  • Well in my case one was so self centered and a narc, he didn’t care about who she was married to. It was all for what he could extract from her. The other was young and somewhat a loser that was just excited someone was going to blow him and give him some. There are many others who were chasing and who knows if they caught her or not. But none seemed concerned about her marital status. Yes she did trash me nonstop. But I am pretty sure that wasn’t a real factor. People out there just overall seem to lack character and morals!

  • The timing of this post is nothing short of astounding. Checking CL right away is my morning ritual the same way some coffee lovers feverishly reach for a cup. Today, during yet another bout of vicious insomnia, I was ruminating (foolishly yet AGAIN) over OW, trying to untangle the skein around WHY she would knowingly and willingly pursue a “relationship” with a married man. Wondering how she felt justified in having sex with my husband in our bed and then moving into our home the day I moved out! Trying also to fathom the reason any sane person would publicly present themselves as someone’s significant other on social media and in real life when their “partner” is still married to someone else. Then to my delight, this topic appeared!

    I’ve learned a lot about this side piece of my husband via her former fiancée. He told me that she had a recent bankruptcy filing, fully maxed out credit cards, and a total of $300 in savings when he rendered her homeless upon his discovery of her on my husband’s lap in a dive bar when he went searching for her after she had crept out of his/their bed as he slept. This former fiancé has since labeled her his own “midlife crisis mistake” and has detailed all of her gold-digging and narcissistic ways of which he is now relieved to be rid. “When she thought she was a model, she starting having sex with me (photographer). Now that she thinks she’s a real estate agent, she is having sex with your husband (top producer in real estate field).”

    I didn’t do the “Pick Me Dance”, but that wasn’t due to any of my choosing. I didn’t get that chance as my husband made it clear that he didn’t want me at all anymore. He told me that I’m “ugly on the inside and ugly on the outside” and that he deserves a “young, hot wife” not the “short end of the stick” (aka me). It’s hard not to feel like OW is the “winner” of our one-sided competition though. Since she’s been with my husband, he’s taken her on multiple trips including Miami, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Cancun, and New York (which included her being introduced to MY in-laws and spending Christmas with them!) She’s living in our beach rental with him steps from the ocean. He pays for all of her expenses, including her brand new Mercedes and takes her to fancy restaurants. All of this is broadcasted over social media and the two are gleefully collecting “likes” and even compliments such as, “Your wife is so beautiful!” (SHE is being labeled as his wife and we are still married!)

    In contrast, I’m driving a car with over 150,000 miles on it, living in a home in need of massive repairs, draining my account to pay all of the bills myself and watching my savings dwindle down sadly/ironically to about the same level OW had before she hit the jackpot and stole my life. I scour the “Day Old” section of the bakery to get bread and do my shopping at discount stores while she is enjoying $200 dinners accompanied by top shelf liquor and whirlwind jet-setting. Yes, they definitely suck, but I’m the biggest sucker of all in this demented trio.

    • Still I Rise,
      What a horrible tale! Your cheater is a miserable POS. You are mighty and will be so much better without that fuckwit! Hang in there, SIR, cheater free life is an unparalleled freedom. You deserve better. Stay strong.

    • No, you are the decent and sane person who has been really badly treated by someone who, quite frankly, I would not piss on if he were on fire (I even used the subjunctive case there, grammatically, because I am so appalled at his treatment of you).

      He is a fucking liar. People who do stuff like this reap what they sow – just wait and see.

      Some unsolicited self-care advice:

      1) cut off the Facebook pain-shopping – you don’t need that on top of your existing struggles. Block them, or de-activate your account.

      2) Keep processing the pain – don’t beat yourself up for ruminating. Feel it; give it time on stage to say what it wants to say. It’s part of the healing process.

      3) Keep dropping in and telling us how you’re going. It really helps.

      4) Register on the site and use the forums to contact fellow chumps, some of whom will be in your geographical vicinity if you’re lucky.

      ((((((HUGS))))))

  • I can only guess that the OM was thinking “look how easy this cheater wife gives herself to me, her husband must be clueless”. He knew she was married, he knew we had a child (cheater wife actually introduced her to him during the months of adultery). He even (according to my cheater wife) sent his condolences when my dad died in April (which temporarily sidelined their adultery- cheater wife waited 9 days after the funeral- which I guess is customary adultery etiquette).

    I pick me dance. Which made me feel like an even greater fool and gross and dirty as well.

    CL is right. It’s best not to go deep into the skein. Its a dark world these people live in. You can get trapped there. Just focus on saving yourself. These cheaters can’t be saved from themselves.

    • @zell

      “…which I guess is customary adultery etiquette.” — I laughed out loud at this one! 🙂

      Please don’t feel like a fool nor gross nor dirty. We all did the best we could with what we knew at the time. I never took “Cheating Spouses 101” in school and I certainly didn’t know what to do when I discovered XH’s affair. What is important is that we eventually figured out how to leave their sorry asses behind and gain a life.

      (((hug)))

  • I can only comment on the only OW that I knew – my ex wife. Her affair was with a married COW at a place where apparently this stuff apparently happens regularly. I heard her talk about me and her married OM to her friends.

    I, of course, was the worst of the worst of husbands. I never made her happy, never did this right, never did that right, wasn’t fun enough……the usual drill. And then she’d talk about the OM like he was always so understanding, always fun…..again, the usual drill. She’d also talk about the OM’s wife like she was a social misfit, so unfun, not good enough for him, why did he marry her……..yet again, the usual drill.

    So in essence, the only OW (my ex) that I knew was: super egotistical, super narcissistic, super entitled, super delusional, super selfish, and quite frankly, living in her own fantasy world. It makes a little sense at least, in that you would absolutely have to be living in an alternate reality to justify those types of actions to yourself.

      • I believe the OM/OW sees the Chump as non human. A mere object to be discarded. But that’s after the OM/OW- gets their jollies off at feeling “superior” to the Chump.

  • Hi CN, its been a while since I have read or commented on articles. I am proud to say the divorce is FINAL. I’m always amazed at how CL knows just what article to post when I need it. I too was cheated on while I was pregnant. I thought I was over it with the divorce being final almost a year to the day of Dday…..but I’m not. The POSH and Skank are starting to come out in public now that the divorce is final. First she removed her single status off fb (yes i know i shouldn’t be looking), then he posted a video of my daughter and can hear the bitch in the background, then last night he brought the homewrecker to my house when he dropped my daughter off. Things I hadn’t thought about it SO long all resurfaced. “WTF does she see in him? Does she not see that he totally replaced me with her? Nothing in his life has changed. Why does he get to win? Why did he pick her over me? What did I do to deserve this”. I hate her.

    I spent all night obsessing. To wake up at 2am with a sick daughter. And then I remember, there has to be a bigger plan. I will survive. I survived thus far. I’ll survive again. POSH won’t get rid of the skank because he can’t be alone. They deserve each other. And at the end of the day, the bitch only gets a few hours with my daughter each week. And the rest she has POSH. If I couldn’t have both my daughter and my husband, I’ll take the deal i got anyday!

    • A lot of us fall down that rabbit hole every once in a while. I know I did a few times this holiday season. As long as we don’t stay there long and pull ourselves back out, we’re winning!

    • IIWII, welcome back.& congratulations on your divorce being final. I know it isn’t magic, but its something many of us dream about.
      And you – and your daughter – are THE winners.

  • There is no rhyme or reason as to why these disordered fuckwits do what they do and ruminating over it just gives them precious real estate in our heads that they don’t deserve.

    NTC-you’ve left the cheater and you didn’t pick me dance. You are way ahead of most chumps so please quit while you’re ahead. Why the OW believes that your STBX husband won’t do the same to her is not your problem. The two sparkly turds have “won” each other which means you get to go on to an authentic, cheater free life.

    We’ve all done it so I understand the concept but if you try to understand their rationale you are trying to gain entry into their thought process which is not a good place to be. In my life, the ow (now wife) who “won” the ex husband followed this path: Ex and ow cheated on their respective spouses; I found out. Ow told her then husband she wanted a divorce but did not elaborate on the reasons why.

    I was not as mighty after the discovery and stayed for three years of reconciliation. The ex “broke up” with ow when we decided to try and work it out. Ow went back to her husband; told him she changed her mine. Three years later when I decided I didn’t like doing the perpetual pick me dance I told the ex I wanted a divorce. He went sniffing around the ow again and they rekindled their twu wuv.

    Talk about accepting scraps right? It took a while for me to wrap my head around the fact that I didn’t need to know what kind of person accepted that sort of treatment. What I needed to focus on was why I accepted shitty treatment from the ex. Focusing on untangling the skein takes the attention from where it truly needs to be: On yourself and whatever type of care you need.

    Good luck in court. I hope you get everything you need for you and your daughter!

    • While three years is definitely a long time, I applaud you for leaving when you did. You LEFT! We all do things when we are ready no matter what our heads are telling us to do. Cheers to you and your new and free life! And you’re right, I do need to stop giving them mental real estate when I could be focusing on myself (which is not something I’m used to but my therapist will hopefully help me to do that). Best of luck to you as well 🙂

  • I had a close friend who’s husband was a World Class Cheater; she said she had noticed that most men will cheat when their wives are about seven mos. pregnant, or within the first six months after birth. It’s like they can’t deal with being a daddy, having to grow up, face their mature lives.

    And of course she was one of those steadfast “I swore an oath” women; too bad her hubby had edited HIS oath to something incredibly different. It took her striving for the marriage up to the point that he was chasing her out of the house with a knife before she finally decided to get the a&&hole out of her life.

  • The other woman in my case (who is now married to my ex) wanted a more financially secure life. She was looking out for herself and did not care or give pause for who she might hurt reaching her goal. I believe she has a very low sense of self esteem and fakes her sense of superiority. She was fully aware of what she was doing. As far as my ex being the OM…….I view him as a very weak man. Entitled. Selfish. I can’t believe that I once thought so much of him. I can’t believe he had the capacity to sleep with another man’s wife and help to destroy their home as well as ours. It makes me sick. AND now……he is living off of HALF of the other man’s 25 years of hard earned money!!! And I can’t believe he can sleep at night knowing this fact!

    I will never understand it!!!

    • +1

      Same as my story. I will never understand and have reached the point where I know I never will. That is probably a good thing.

  • I think there are a lot of different types of OW. I am not excusing people who knowingly get involved with someone else’s partner, but don’t underestimate your pathological liar cheaters. If they lie to their spouses/partners, then they certainly lie to their schmoopies! I don’t believe some of them even know they are “side pieces” who are helping the narc ruin our lives.

    • This is a good point that I try to consider. Cheater wife is quite the liar and uses lies to justify her actions and do image management. I’m sure she used lies to ‘hook’ her massage boy in.

      • They constantly lie. She had multiples. One when out of town she just took off ring and played single. If around people who knew she was married, she was separated and headed for divorce. If around people who actually knew me, I was this useless husband/father whom she was done with and leaving. One sign I ignored or denied was her social media. I basically did not exist for 4 years there. Come to find out, she used it to send cryptic messages to her soulmate and had multiple other guys on there. I as I always say, was stability and a paycheck. Took care of bills and kids while she worked/played out of town! Had a guy everywhere she went.

    • Curlychump- absolutely! They do lie to their Schmoopies! Dancing Dick (ex perv/cheater/narc) always presented himself as “single” on dating sites.

      Dancing Dick went so far as to promise one half his age internet affair partner- my house! I’m not sure what he planned to do with my son and me if she moved in?

  • I grew up in a dysfunctional home. I have a feeling there are many people like me out in the general population. The important thing to remember is that people who grow up this way have a vague notion of what “normal” is. The things that were “normal” in my home are certainly not considered normal in the general population I have observed, and since I have lived most of my adult life in East Tennessee and Southeastern VA, that is the segment of the general population I am referring to. It may be different in other parts of the country. All this to introduce my theory of “Stranger in a Strange Land” (title of a book I read in college).
    Most of the time I feel I am a Stranger looking in at the population of the Strange Land I find myself living in. I absorbed enough information about observations and theory in school to use that method to communicate with the natives in the Strange Land, and use my observations to theorize about why they do the things they do. I have concluded that it is a waste of time to try to use logic and reason when trying to determine the motivation of any particular sub-group of my strange land neighbors. You have to have too much knowledge about their formative years, and most of that knowledge is not measurable in a quantitative way — it is qualitative, and you also have to be able to see through the lies and deceptions these folks have built around their core selves. You have to determine who they really are, not who they appear to be. As Tracy has pointed out, this takes a great deal of time, and what do you have when you are done? Wasted time. You cannot change another person, and you cannot understand a dysfunctional wing nut who does not seem to have any values or character traits which align with your own. The strangers I live with and like are the strangers who have the values and boundaries that are closer to my own, the ones I developed when spending my time working on myself. I have observed them, and used my time with them in a useful and positive way. I avoid the other subsets.

    Now, maybe these folks think I am crazy, and don’t want to hang around with me, either. After all, what is to be gained by telling the truth, or keeping your word, or having firm boundaries? What is my peace of mind and relatively simple life when stacked up against their delusions of grandeur and entitlement to riches? I mean, seriously, these folks are Legends in their Own Minds! If the OW believes she can have my life by stealing my spouse, all I can say is there are many errors in that theory. She will never be me, and my spouse did not “make” me what I am. The subset of the culture I have observed who are content to be liars and cheaters and frauds will always be liars and cheaters and frauds. They never reach the towers of greatness they feel they are entitled to, because they are empty inside, and have no impulse control. They see “New” and “Shiny” and off they go, running with their tongues out. They can’t quite retrieve new and shiny, because those states morph into something else. New wears off and shiny tarnishes, and the quest for the best starts again. Eventually these empty people wear out themselves, and no one misses them at all.

    • Portia,
      “The subset of the culture I have observed who are content to be liars and cheaters and frauds will always be liars and cheaters and frauds. They never reach the towers of greatness they feel they are entitled to, because they are empty inside, and have no impulse control. They see “New” and “Shiny” and off they go, running with their tongues out. They can’t quite retrieve new and shiny, because those states morph into something else. New wears off and shiny tarnishes, and the quest for the best starts again. Eventually these empty people wear out themselves, and no one misses them at all.”

      This ^^^ is perfect. They are empty inside. They are always in search of New and Shiny. Describes my Ex to the letter.

  • In my case, I wonder what THEY were thinking.

    I also think there is a competitive side to the OM; STBX and OM were college pals reunited. I suspect he thinks he saved her and beat me out of the dance.

    OM lives in another state. He apparently is into poetry and wildflowers (my stbx’s favorites). Real super-star.

    But he’s also the kind of guy that breaks up his family, including a young son and a HS-aged daughter going through what appears to be sexual identity issues.

    My STBX is a LCSW in a HS serving special ed students. So, what kind of person is she to think this guy is a morally sound? What kind of social worker is that?

    OM shares has my first name (talk about a mind-fuck). How does she think DS/DD are going react to that? I don’t think that will fly. I hope it doesn’t.

    Does she think they’d have some long-distance-meet-at-the-border-state-park-poetry relationship? Is she hoping that in a mere few years, all hearts will heal and then their love will blossom? Does she think he’ll wait around?

    What a couple of idiots.

    • re-reading shows that I’m stuck on what she’s thinking. (*therapy topic*). I do wonder what he thinks, but the further I get from DDay, the more ape-brained i think he is – poetry or not….

    • My ex’s OW has the same name as me too! It really adds to the sense that you are being totally replaced, doesn’t it? She usually goes by a diminutive, but whenever someone unknowingly calls me by the nickname, I still cringe.

      As for the AP ‘thinking,’ it’s laziness, too. Too much work to go out and find someone who isn’t taken when this one is willing despite being married. When I was still trying to untangle, she told me she did it because she was lonely. So it didn’t matter that she was hurting me (and innocent children) because she knew that when I found out, I would kick him out and she’d have him all to herself. So they aren’t unaware that they are hurting someone; it’s the means to their end.

    • Wow, TallOne…that’s quite a skein you’ve got there! As a social worker, I’m chagrined, but cheaters come in every flavor. Entitled is entitled. Delusional is delusional.
      Sorry you’re going through all that.
      Stay mighty!

  • A guy friend propositioned me (married woman) one day when I was visiting him after his surgery. His wife, also my friend, wasn’t home; I had brought my kids with me!

    He went on and on about how unsatisfied he was sexually, and mentioned that he’d had encounters with women he met on Craigslist. “Just” blowjobs. Just?

    “Well, I worry about how your wife might feel about that.” (Still not cluing in that he was reading my reaction for possibility.)

    “Yeah, that’s humane of you,” was his response.

    Humane?

    As in how we label societies for the protection of animals?

    He wanted to be my OW, but I ceased responding to his calls or e-mails. I knew him through a sport we competed in, and since he was the one to usually initiate hanging out, that was the end of my friendship with the couple. They moved away years ago, well before I found CW and realized I should have told the wife.

    What went through his head? Well, what came out of his mouth was not even that he was badly treated by his wife. Just bored. What a loser.

  • You can’t untangle that skein. It’s enough to know that only really selfish people cheat and if the AP is aware that there’s a spouse or significant other in the picture, the AP is likewise selfish.

    My sister once shared an apartment with a woman who liked to sleep with married men. Why? Who knows? But the apartment mate always targeted married men. One day, she boasted to my sister that she was carrying on an affair with a man who had 4 children. My sister was incensed. How could this person destroy the lives of 6 people:the man, his wife, their children? The apartment mate’s answer? “He could always say no.”

    You can’t get inside a mind like that. You don’t WANT to get inside that mind.

    But there’s also truth to her response. The Cheater could always say no. They don’t. Focusing on the motives of the AP distracts us from the culpability of our cheaters. Cheaters cheat because they can. Because they choose to do so.

    Cheaters can cheat because they’re weak and self-absorbed or because they’re delusional and self-absorbed or whatever. The fact is that they like a lot of kibble coming from different sources.

    Case in point. I know a guy who discovered that the woman he’d fallen head over heels for was, in fact, married. He found this out only after they were talking about moving in together. The picture in her wallet wasn’t her nephew but her son. She made up a story about a family illness that required that she spend most of her time with aging parents in another city in order to explain why she wasn’t available for dates. Her lies became evident only when they started talking about taking the relationship to the next level and she let something slip that made him suspicious. He was devastated when he found out the truth and cut off the relationship immediately.

    Focusing on the unwitting AP is a distraction. He didn’t know he was being duped. The big story there is that the woman had constructed an elaborate set of lies that allowed her to lead a double life successfully for over a year. Normal people can’t do this.

    Focus on the cheater’s actions, not the motives. Cheaters cheat. Once you truly understand that it’s the cheater, you see why it takes losing that cheater to gain a life.

    • Your sister’s flat mate. I would worry about such a character deprived excuse of a person. Was she stealing money or things from your sister ?
      The guy involved with what he thought was a single woman-sociopath full stop.

    • You are so right. Absolutely positively right. My (well he’s not mine anymore thank Goodness) cheater definitely sucks. I Trust That He Sucks. Fully. He’s awful. Part of me feels bad because it’s due to his narcissistic mother and grandmother who raised him, but there’s no excuse. He sucks. He is toxic and I’m thankful to be free. My daughter, along with the many lessons, are the blessings that came from our 5 year marriage.

    • “Focus on the cheater’s actions, not the motives.” So well stated kb! I’m going to recite this almost as a mantra until it finally sinks in. I find myself constantly obsessing over questions beginning with “Why” about my husband and OW. So toxic and unproductive (especially considering the fact that if I ever even finally get answers for my questions, none of them could possibly justify such vile behavior better than just trusting that cheaters and side pieces suck!)

  • The OW are skanks who live their lives believing that one day someone will come into their disordered lives and rescue them from their poor choices. They believe they deserve to be put on a pedistal despite repeated failures in multiple relationships.

    By all appearances the predator mirrorors everything she’s dreamed of watching Disney movies. She was chosen from the bottom of his limited choices and it’s magic. Until she figures it out and we all know what we’ve tolerated.

    Thankfully, I’m out of the que and the expectation is that she’ll support him, something I refused to do. She’s not aging well and he can’t hear, lacks motivation, wets the bed, and his back goes out every time he finds a fuck buddy.

    One day when she’s worked to get a home their joint account will be emptied and he’ll move to the next victim.

    Hell of a ride but it’s what he does. Leaving them to their OW is a blessing.

    And the day it happens I’m sure she’ll play the victim. Where will I be when it happens? Happy with my cheater free life living authentically.

  • The best thing that can happen is these two assholes marry. It’s doomed to failure because two cheaters sworn to fidelity is well, impossible. They’ve already proven what they think of marriage and fidelity. They’ve already proven what they are. That OW, she’s won a cheating prick. Hoorah!

    Don’t sweat it NTC, mine ended up with his OW and from what I hear, he might as well have a LoJack in his pants so she can keep tabs on him. There was a time I would be so amped to hear of their eventual implosion, but once enough time goes by, you’ll find you really don’t give a shit either way.

  • The OW (now wifey) was 50 years old, unemployed and divorced twice. She also lives with her 2 adult children. I’m sure my hubby looked pretty good to her. Lucky girl gets to see him sit around doing virtually nothing every.single.day. God only knows how I put up with that shit. Nothing has changed for me except I no longer have the selfish blob sitting in my living room.

  • I don’t care what the OWife thinks or doesn’t think. She is beneath me.

    I do care that she is trying to make friends with my children. That my children are forced to spend time with her…That makes my blood boil. THAT is what causes me to hate her.

  • I received a smirky, snarky, gloaty email from OW 3 days before Christmas, 8 months after I told her to get lost, (long story why I was communicating with her at all) and then an message via Facebook (from a new unblocked account) a week later telling me to be sure to read it. She sent it to H’s former secret email account that she knows I now have. I’d copy and post it for you all but I don’t want to have to read it again to delete all the identifying details. Among other things she wanted to let me know her theme song is “je ne regrette rien”. What a pathetic loser.

    • It’s funny how they still seek attention even though they got what they wanted and “won” their prizes. What’s their deal?

      • She didn’t win, I’m still spelling it with an R. He dropped her two months before I even found out. After about 6 months she tried to start things up again not knowing I would be getting her emails, not him. So I played along for awhile and tricked her into sending me copies of all their texts and emails. Have to admit it was pretty sweet when I finally told her it was me.

  • My ex’ fat-ankled skank looks like a milk maid – and I don’t mean little Bo Peep. I have to be presentable and wear make-up for my work. I found out quite some time later when I was at the hairdresser’s that ex had been telling all his skummy mates at the OK Corral bar that I used to beat him up when he got home from work. The hairdresser actually introduced me to one of her friends who had been told this. I just burst out laughing as I thought it was so funny and he looked like his eyes had come out on stalks. Another time I was introduced to another skummy mate and when he realized who I was he just kept spluttering. Didn’t know what to say. So I suppose that is what my ex was telling the skank too (not that it makes her behaviour acceptable). I got the greatest kicks out of that though I can tell you. Maybe if I had heard it before I would have been bothered by it but to have my apparent brutality sprung on me like that in front of the people he had been lying to was hilarious.

  • I can only speak for myself as to what I was thinking as an OW. It all boils down, rationalizing, minimizing, denial, self gratification, a lack of self respect and lack of respect for others.

    To all of you who have been betrayed, I am very sorry for what we did to you. For my part, it will never happen again.

  • My sister was an OW, three times. Each lasted about a year. One had 4 kids and a Catholic Sunday school teacher wife, another had one toddler and was a SAHD/unemployed, and the other I don’t know much about.

    Thing is, she was also married twice before, each lasting about 5 years. No cheating, on either part. First one ended because they were just 18 years old and stupid, second one ended because he admitted that he’d used her to get him through an advanced degree and just wanted out when he got where he was going.

    Really want to know what they think? She does it because she’s sick of the bullshit. She says she gets to have the best parts like the flowers and the passion and the lunches out and the constant flattery. Then she sends them home. She doesn’t have to deal with the dirty socks and the Dutch oven and all of the familiarity. Her rules are that nobody sleeps over, because she likes her space to herself and she doesn’t feel like taking care of some baby man.

    I’ve asked her what she feels about the wives. She said she felt bad about the sunday school teacher, as that one was a big mess and it hurt the woman, but my sister also said that the woman fought so hard for sparkle shit that she figured, “better her than me”.

    The most recent one, the one with the toddler, the guy wanted out of his marriage, he was trying to keep his foot on first and steal second. I think, from what ended up happening, was that the wife was getting wise to this guy’s multiple extracurricular activities, and he chose the most lucrative one–my sister is very very successful and financially independent–and pursued a permanent relationship with her.

    My sister wasn’t having it. She liked the temporary-ness of the arrangement and she dumped him. He went off the deep end and stalked her relentlessly. She finally got sick of it and told the wife all about it.

    The wife was, for lack of a better way of putting it, a solid supporter of this guy and called my sister a chickenshit for not coming out into the open and fighting her for this guy. My sister was like, “you can have him. i want him to leave me the fuck alone” yet the wife was not having it that her special sparkle shit could do this and still come home and kiss her and have sex with her.

    I sat in on a lot of the conversation with the unemployed dad guy. The wife was delusional, because she knew and it was apparent that she knew that the guy was a total cheater asshole from a long time ago, but she’d won him many times over from his “OW” and this wasn’t going to be an exception. Nobody was going to win her man.

    My sister basically told her in no uncertain terms that she and her sparkle shit could go and have a happy life, watching each other over the dinner table—and to make sure that she kept that asshole on a leash from that point on when it came to her. The guy kept going, pursuing and ambushing my sister whenever he could. Police had to get involved.

    Wife and asshole sparkle shit left town with kid and now they both spin a nicely cushy story about the crazy stalker OW.

    My sister? She’s meh I think pretty much. What makes her do it? It’s not that she doesn’t care about the wife or kids. If the guy is willing, he clearly doesn’t give a shit about them, so why should she? And she also says she doesn’t work that hard to find someone willing, which tells me that there are a whole shitload of guys who do it and the arrangement works for the OW and the guy.

    I just got done talking to her about this, which is why I am commenting, this was sent to me by a friend who religiously reads this column.

    In her words, these guys treat her like a queen and then “go away” for all the common every day shit. She had that with her two husbands and now she’s in a place where she doesn’t want to and doesn’t have to deal with a baby man’s bullshit.

    I personally feel like she’s fooling herself. That in time, when she is at the end of her life, she will regret being alone and without a committed partner. But that’s me. I can’t project what I feel onto her. I do, however, see her point where if the guy wasn’t willing to totally trash his wife, this wouldn’t happen.

    • CaliGirl,

      Your sister is a cruel and amoral monster. Who cares that she’ll be sad at the end of her life? It’s like worrying that a rattlesnake is cold at night in the desert. What any humane person would focus on is the pain and poison she is inflicting on innocent people now, and about which she is incredibly flip. She is a viper biting babies in their beds.

      She’s also almost certainly a sociopath. I can’t imagine why you maintain any contact with such a toxic and soulless husk of a person. For your own mental health, I’d reevaluate that relationship. That you seemed to have found a degree of soap-opera entertainment in your sister’s sadistic behavior over the years with so few qualms is more than a little disturbing.

      • It not entertaining. Not in the least. I am simply answering the question….”What are OW thinking?”

        My opinion isn’t relevant to her. I have gone 44 years with her and have come to the decision that I can’t change her, I can’t cure her and I didn’t cause this. She is who she is. I’m not going to murder her in her bed over it. She has to live with herself and what she does. She has no influence over my life, I am simply stating the facts as SHE sees them.

        I don’t have a “relationship” with her in the normal sense of the word. Yet she is my sister. How many of you have addicts in your family, sons or daughters in and out of rehab? parent who is an alcoholic or drug addict? how about a convicted felon? Don’t try and make me into a bad guy because I have a cordial relationship with her….how many of you have supported and were even enabling horrific behavior that hurt MANY people…and just because they only stole a tv or some cash from your purse, that’s not the equivalent of sticking your dick into some strange. It’s all betrayal. It’s all lies. It’s all theft.

        That said, my listening to her version of why she does what she does and me sitting in on the conversation when she finally called the delusional wife of the SAHD–was because that same delusional person was threatening my sister with a weapon. To stay away from “her man”, even though she admitted to knowing that he was a philandering douchebag for 25 years. But it was my sister’s fault and my sister would pay. Not the douchebag, my sister.

        So yes. I do defend her right to destroy her life any way she sees fit. It’s her life. I answered the main question, and that was my intent, not debating whether or not my sister is fit to breathe oxygen. Many people harm others in many ways. I think you may need to step back from your judgement of me as a third party being a witness to a delusional woman threatening another human with a gun–and see that the wife also has mental issues of her own. Did he drive her to it? Probably. Who is their right mind would stay with a douchebag like this guy who had 5-6 side pieces at a time? But she did. And she would kill anybody who threatened her status quo.

        The thing is, the world is full of people who harm other people, animals, etc. I am a vegetarian. I feel that it’s murder every time you put a piece of steak in your mouth. But do I go around cutting every non-vegetarian out of my life because I think they all need to suffer the same gruesome fate as some poor lamb? No. My sister’s life is her own. She will pay for what she does, whether it’s sufficient to your judgement or not.

        You asked what OW may be thinking. I simply answered.

        • While I don’t condone what your sister does, I do applaud you for commenting the real, the down and dirty thinking of being the OW. I guess that makes sense, I can see it. I don’t understand how someone could do that, but I get it. I don’t judge you for your comment or your sister for her lifestyle.

        • Hey Cali -I get it. For me I am interested in what your sister says. It speaks to seeing someone’s behavior through my eyes or my morality and just being completely wrong. I could never be that OW but I am actually glad to have confirmed the complete lack of compassion OW has. I can see my fuckwits OW using him for the good times and what he could do for her without the everyday stuff. Emails between my fuckwit and ow were all about her trying to make him smile. Feeding the ego. He said she made him feel young and alive. Yep that fits. CN – it’s all true, there is no heart inside those people-just looking for the next ride at the expense of our family life. I don’t blame OW even though they just make it so easy once they achieve their target. I would like to to rip her face off though. It is him-he cheated and lied about it. It is all on him. Carry on and find happiness again as a stronger more aware person. Hugs to all of us!

          • Cali girl, I appreciate your post and your views and comments on why your sister does what she does. I understand that you are NOT able to change or control her but if one of her spurned conquests comes at her with a gun and you ‘help’ her or assist her and YOU get shot? What then? Secondly, do you have kids? I just hope if you do that you share the full details of what a cold fish she is. She does NOT sound like an Aunt who would go out of her way to attend your kids football game on a Friday night, or cheer an applaud your daughter in her Junior High Band performance. NOPE! I would not want with her lifestyle of probably trips, cars, cash, and travel to make any young kids think she is successful in life and is someone to be looked up to. She is horrible.

        • I think hearing from the other side of things can be valuable. I know I, like most chumps, have spent a lot of time trying to fit what is going on inside our heads and struggle with it. How could someone we love do this to us and our family? How could someone else, the AP, knowingly help to destroy at least one family, maybe two? Without the insight from the other side, we imagine these people with values and ideals like our own. If that’s the case, then we chimps are left feeling that we’ve got to be the problem, instead of realizing that they don’t think like we do at all.

  • Hey. Can I ask a question? For those who lived through it, some of you know about some of the OW, but not others from the different discovery days. Is it better to know the OW’s mind(less)? I only heard xh’s ridiculous fantasies about his “new life” after bomb drop, I imagine her’s were just as stupid, but I found my xh has a compulsive lying streak/alter life a mile wide.

    I was completely set up/planned against. I was to just sign off and GO AWAY. She wanted my spouse, house, life and was going to have my kid live with them (because, you know, I was going to go live in an apartment alone or something…) I have never even seen a picture of her or them together, nor know anything except her name, age and occupation of OW. I was a stealth ninja to get that info. At the time, I had proof, that is all I wanted and I walked away. Now I wish I had more info – sometimes.

    I do know they dumped both spouses and immediately moved in together, 3.5 years ago- ish. I know she cries that my entire family are criminals (?!?!) and she is afraid for her life (?!?!) — but at the time she was scofffed at and waved away by police at the time of BD.
    — Now I think about it, boy! those two really thought they had a plan! My XH thought by making her “afraid” of me – there would be no contact. He was a tat worried about OW finding out about a little HPV issue too, methinks.

    I have been so good at NC, I don’t know if she is still around. Part of the recovery I have had to do is battle against unknown. I can’t help it, but wonder if he “traded down”. I know it means nothing now, but I can’t help but wonder.

    I think if I HAD gotten email or text threads between these two, and seen the fantasy up close, it would have stopped the pick me dance I did in it’s tracks. I think. I’m at heart a realist. This has knocked me for a loop, though.

    • Magneto–I think how much you want to know is a very personal thing, and chumps fall into two camps–those who want to know just enough to get away from the cheater, but no further details vs. those who want lots of details. Neither strategy is universally “right” or “wrong,” any more than there is a universal best flavor of ice cream.

      I personally wanted LOTS of details; it was the best & fastest way to convince me that Hannibal Lecher was a horrible human being, and that I should detach as quickly as possible. In addition, I now see my marriage as one long power struggle–with me struggling to keep my head above water due to his manipulation and his power & control issues. The deception of his rampant infidelity meant I never had my head above water; he was always holding me under, one deep breath away from drowning. Finding out the details of his affairs, that he had worked hard for me NOT to know, equalized my power. I had information he didn’t want me to have, after the divorce, yes, but I felt better for it.

  • Add me to the list of military Ltc’s who cheat my ex h-also a doc, had his affair with his married nurse He absolutely should have gotten in major trouble I stayed quiet to protect my kids’ benefits-healthcare, GI bill funds. And prolonged the divorce for 2 years so I would have tricare for life. But, her husband reported them. The hospital and base commanders gave him a little slap on the hand and promoted him to Colonel. I cannot wait til he retires and I get 39% of his retirement pay. Definitely worth staying quiet!

  • OW with exh1 was a fellow ballpark mom that bonded quick, hard, and fast with my then-husband. She actually told me once that she was “no threat” to me as far as h. went. I flat out told her that he had already cheated on me several times before, and that he knew if he did it again, that would be it. Less than six months after that conversation, he announced he was leaving. Divorce was final.a few months later, and then they married about 10 months later. It lasted five years, and she threw him out with nothing, damn near killed exh1, literally and figuratively. Karma’s a bitch.

    Now, the “winner” of the sparkly turd that is exh2/the evil one is Mrs. Dumb-Ass. There were many before her, but lucky her, she’s the one that motivated him to leave me.
    What I do know about her:
    1. Her exh was a flagrant cheater.
    2. The day after their second baby was born, he told her he was leaving her for a Hooters girl he had met (no disrespect towards any Hooters girls here)
    3. She was 27, TEO was 37 when they met.
    4. After exh left her, she moved back in with her parents with her two kids
    5. Her second child wasn’t even 2 year when they met, so I doubt she did much dating in between exh and TEO
    6. According to TEO, she was supposed to get all this.koney in child support and alimony (I doubt this, they werent married that long)
    7. The reason I call her Mrs Dumbass is because after she was openly posting pics of them together online. After he’d been around her kids, posting pics of her “happy family” online. After TEO had taken my daughter around her and her family, *then* and only then did she start asking “hard” questions about the things he had been telling her and her family.
    Her mother stalked my Facebook page and found a mutual friend between she and me. Her mother called my friend asking her questions about me, our “divorce” (we were still married, and still together at this point, or so I thought), questions about custody, etc.
    All of lies were exposed.
    OWhore not only believed his cover lies, but she then married him sixty days after our divorce was final.

    In short, she was a chump that chose to be an OWhore.

    Two and a half years ago all this went down. Feels like another life now.

    To this day, I have never even spoken two words to her. TEO has never even had the balls to introduce me to her. She sits silently in the truck not even daring to look at me. He never told me they married. I found out through a friend snooping his Facebook page. I honestly laughed when I found out.

    I made this comment here on CL long ago, about Mrs. Dumb-Ass and it’s still true:

    I may think and feel a lot of things about TEO’s OWhore, but one thing I will *never* think or feel is, “I wish I was her.”

  • my ex’s other woman is by many accounts ” hard as nails”. Married twice before and cheated on both. Such a lovely character she did not know who the father of her first child was. DNA testing required.
    I have no doubt my ex has lied to her about me, our marriage and himself. Plus lies to all his friends,. Probably he has painted a picture of himself as a victim.
    Currently they act totally ” loved up”.
    He cannot dump her as she knows too much re his lies in court while divorcing me cheating me out of money.
    She is now 54 and jobless having been sacked. Her options are currently curtailed. Less power, less men to pounce on. She left an older husband, seemingly a perfectly nice man, for my ex who is ten years younger.
    I see them being together a long time. He is also currently jobless, but has a lot of inherited money and supplies her with a world she aspires to.
    They are stuck with each other. His friends wives will not like her however. She is a tart, and a sexual threat. Feedback is also ” loves herself”. When so blatant that is not attractive to other woman, hence she has few female friends apparently.
    Having gone through 5 years of a truly hideous divorce, I now honestly think, thank god that’s not me. I had no idea people as weird as him existed. I was so naive. I hope eventually to find an authentic man who has my values.
    However, it would be very nice to witness their ” twu luv” imploding. She is so tough, I doubt she would even care. He will tho’.

  • As a former chump-ee and current single parent, please let me assure you that no matter what the former spouses and partners nonsense, when the baby gets to be a teen, there will be a day where the child articulates to you that they are grateful you are the full time carer, that they love you and are so pleased that you are you and you were brave enough to make the right decision.
    It so completely does not matter what the motives of the adulterers was, they adultered. Trying to place reasonable filters on their behaviour is irrational because they are so self centred that they see nothing but themselves.
    You did the right thing, you are brave, and your child will thank you and recognise your sacrifice.
    Enjoy your negative-drama free life and flourish …. now, for some rebound fun!!!

    • Thank you, this gives me much reassurance that my daughter will be okay–moreso than if I stayed. You’re right, trying to place reasonable filters on their behavior IS irrational. I can’t wait to get to the place of acceptance and ultimately, Meh.

  • I had a close female family member who had a habit of taking up with married men. She clearly believed she was superior to the betrayed wives. She saw herself as sexier, smarter, more fun, more desirable etc. In her mind she thought of the wives as pathetic creatures who deserved to have their husbands jacked out from under them.

    One day I asked her if she was aware that she is committing adultery. She was shocked and stunned! She said, “I’m not cheating on anyone”- maybe he is……but I’m not! That said volumes about her moral intelligence.

  • To me, dating a married man would mean:

    I’m stealing time and money from his children
    I’m participating in hurting a woman who has never harmed me in anyway
    I am contributing to the break up of a family
    I am stealing money from his wife (incidentally). Gifts, hotels, trips aren’t cheap!
    I am making a fool of myself- desperate for anything I can grab on to?
    I suck. My moral compass is completely broken.

    • Leavingthecrapbehind;

      “To me, dating a married man would mean:

      I’m stealing time and money from his children
      I’m participating in hurting a woman who has never harmed me in anyway
      I am contributing to the break up of a family
      I am stealing money from his wife (incidentally). Gifts, hotels, trips aren’t cheap!
      I am making a fool of myself- desperate for anything I can grab on to?
      I suck. My moral compass is completely broken.”

      ^^^ this is because you are a psychologically well-balanced person, with emotional intelligence and sound moral values.

      As am I.

      OW don’t have this attribute otherwise they wouldn’t do what they do…

  • One of my sisters is an OW.
    She thinks that the ex wife was dull, she is much better, the kids will all be fine, and nobody else cares.
    She has this convenient knack of ignoring any facts which come to light which dispute her world view. Just ignores them.
    What I find very odd, is that she gets very angry when her ex husband (who also cheated), does anything selfish. She can see it in him, but not herself.
    She is the youngest of 4, always very spoilt by my mother. My ex was the youngest of 6 and also very spoilt.
    Both brought up to be very entitled. Fun but spoilt.

  • OW, OM, and cheaters are all character disordered. They lack empathy & don’t care who they hurt to get what they want.

  • Just another thought or two on this.

    Before I met her, Mmme YogaPants was an OW and never showed any regret that I could see about it.
    However, she was horrified at the infidelities of her father, siblings and our neighbours. She showed great compassion when a neighbour’s wife ran off on him – and not as if she had her own sights set on him.

    She on the other hand seemed smug at ties about her own infidelity – at least outwardly but was also horrified of the thought that people would find out. Being as she lied to her lawyer about when she started seeing the guy I imagine she’s still self-spackling.

    I also have a good friend who has been a great support who also was an OW. In her case she is still with the guy she stole probably 20 years ago as a much younger OW. She shows significant glee whenever I mention any progress that I am making in getting things settled along with some pretty significant contempt for Mme. I do know though that she is very sensitive about people talking about her own infidelity and has a rocky relationship with her own guys family. I remember her saying how surprised and confused she was when his wife walked away without trying to take him for everything she could.

    So – completely unhelpful but perhaps another indicator that the reality of what they did and everyone else’s reality do not overlap. I think that if anyone tries to point out that they’re not a special little snowflake who is justified in what they do that they can’t deal with that.

    Other stories in this thread seem to bear that out. Everyone else’s standards don’t apply.

    BT

    BT

  • At some point, I’d love it if ChumpLady would consider writing a post about the predatory nature of Cheaters. I have two dear friends who have been OW at some point in their lives”

    1. One, I’ll just refer to her as B, was a young (40s) widow who began sleeping with a guy she who told her he was single. By the time she discovered that he had a wife, she was in love. B was very upset, ended it with him immediately, but her priest (!) advised her several months later to discuss the betrayal with him in person , which led to them falling into bed and continuing the affair ’til he ended it a year later. Although of course B should’ve never continued with him once she discovered that he was a cheater, but I don’t for a second think think that she would’ve given him the time of day if she’d known he was married, from the outset.

    2. The other is my best friend, H. They were co-workers; they were at the same level, professionally but he was treated like The Golden Boy by the company while H had received several warnings and knew her position was extremely precarious… so while he was not her boss, there was a real power difference between them. Many women at the office, including H, thought he was cute and had little crushes on him but ~ knowing he was married ~ stayed away. Well, they were at a conference together, H had a few glasses of wine on an empty stomach and didn’t feel very well, began swaying. He offered to walk her back to her room to make sure she was okay. There, she remembers sleeping with him, although not all the details, felt terrible about it but then continued to do it until he dropped her for another affair partner, 6 months later. I don’t think she’d have started sleeping with him had she not been drunk and once she felt big damage had been done, her defenses were lowered.

    I was not a Chump when these 2 friends were OW, but even then I firmly told them again and again that they were behaving badly and needed to end the affairs. I do not condone their behaviours at all. However, I think that the married men in question know how to prey on women who are not inherently evil but were having tough times in their lives too weak to stop once they are already involved. Terrible, ugly stuff all ’round.

  • From my limited experience, I don’t think they are thinking about anything apart from getting what they want. My now ex-wife was OW twice. First before she met me (I know, why didn’t I run!! Chump Lady wasn’t invented then). Our kids reached their teenage years and my ex (who was a serious gym bunny) decided to throw herself at a younger married man at our gym. The fact that he had a young child didn’t seem to matter.

    After DDay, during a relatively brief period when I was considering having another go (as it was my failings that compelled her to cheat – duh), various snippets came out.

    Apparently they felt they were both in relationships of about 20 years that were just “chugging along” (like most people’s in the real world). I knew the OM’s wife vaguely, she was a real keeper and 11 years younger than my ex (so yes, they both “affaired down” big time). So they decided to become “Friends with Benefits” and started sneaking around having lunchtime fucks whilst their partners were at work. He worked in a job where he worked shifts so plenty of free time whilst wifey was out doing all the adulting.

    After DDay I thought really hard about my now ex and our relationship and concluded that she was a verbally abusive, selfish, lazy, entitled narcopath. During the affair she distanced herself from me, was angry and abusive but happy to take the money I earned for “our” family.

    Things she said included:

    “It just happened”
    “I regret hurting you but I don’t regret the affair”
    “You have to do what you have to to be happy”
    “The kids will be fine”
    “Just get over it”

    OM was no better, just an utter arsewipe.

    Ultimately she is a spoiled child in the body of a fully grown woman. We have 2 teenage daughters who are more mature than she is. She thinks she should just have what she wants and so what if people get hurt, they should just get over it. She is lazy, doesn’t want to do a full days work despite being quite capable and talented in her field. She is cold, callous, uncaring. Her sisters told me she was extremely selfish even as a little girl. Youngest in a very large family, I’m sure a psychologist would have a field day.

    In answer to what are the OW thinking?

    About nothing but getting what they want. All the hurt and the pain is just so much noise to them. Everything else is drowned out by the incessant

    “me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me,me, me, me,me, me, me, me, me, ME FOR FUCKS SAKE ME ME ME ME”

    I won’t bore you all but I got the last laugh. Happily divorced embarking on a new life this year with a wonderful partner who is everything that my ex wasn’t. My kids really like her, my family and friends like her.

    The ex? (OW) – Nowhere

  • On another note. There are quite a few comments where I’ve read the OW as being described as broken or having low esteem. Maybe in some cases but in the case of my ex, she was neither. She was more akin to the characters described by Dr. Simon in “In Sheep’s Clothing”. What I mean is that she didn’t have a desperate need to go off with OM. She had everything going for her in our marriage, I was an attentive and caring husband (why I don’t know!!), we had lovely kids, a lovely home, holidays, no financial worries (down to my hard work), she didn’t have to work. It was more a case of “Oh I fancy a bit of that, I’m having it”. She had incredible entitlement issues coupled with extreme selfishness but she wasn’t broken. She just sees it as her right in life to have what she wants and she doesn’t care how she gets it. She certainly fits the Covert Aggressive described by Dr. Simon. She knew exactly what she was doing but she simply didn’t give a fuck. This is why these people are toxic.

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