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Dear Chump Lady, The OW must be really great for my wife to give up everything

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Dear Chump Lady,

You wrote on your post Ego Kibbles that:

“Part of that problem is the cheater – they’ve got a hole in their soul where empathy and connection should be.”

What puzzles me about my cheater’s situation is that she won’t stop her affair because she has found a “deep connection” with the affair partner. She doesn’t feel that level of intensity in connection with me and hasn’t for a while (together 8 years). So does this mean I am inadequate and unable to connect as deep with her?

After eight months of affair-ing, is it possible she has confused “connection” with something else, like infatuation? Or is eight months enough time to know?

My wife is about to lose her spouse, her home, full time with her infant son, a large number of our mutual friends, dignity, etc., to go after this connection. Sometimes I worry that she’s found the real thing (otherwise why risk losing all the things she admits she still loves?) and, if so, where does that leave me?

Devastated New Mom

Dear Devastated New Mom,

I want you to reframe this. For 8 months your wife ATE CAKE. She was on an 8-month sugar-coated kibble high. She had you fully invested in her (we’re going to have a baby! Ooh, extra kibbles!) and she had Ms. Connection Von Cheaterface on the side (I’m an International Lesbian of Mystery! Ooh, secret kibbles!) — and she had NO CONSEQUENCES.

I know it’s hard to imagine the machinations of the disordered, but to your wife, this was winning. It was a blissful kibble buffet.

At some point in this shit show, you found out. This exposes your wife as the sort of horrible person who would cheat on a vulnerable new mother. The kind of scumbag who would let another human being invest deeply in her, while dealing her dirty.

What’s a narcissist to do? Rebrand.

It’s not an ugly affair — it’s a “deep connection.”

Yeah, it’s apparently so “deep” that she came home and slept with you for 8 months and probably wallpapered a nursery. I’m sure Kay Jewelers makes heart-shaped pendants for exactly that kind of special connection.

Again, think like a narcissist — after exposure you can only go a few ways:

1.) Try to maintain cake by goading your chump into the Pick Me Dance.

2.) Find humility and beg your chump to take you back, and recommit to the marriage. (Probably a ruse for #1.) Or..

3.) Choose the Schmoopie. Tell everyone you’re not an asshole, you’re someone overcome by a Love Bigger Than Us Both.

From your wife’s perspective her choice is you — an angry new mom with vomit in your hair, probably functioning on less than four hours of sleep — and Ms. Connection Von Cheaterface, who is in the pick me dance to WIN IT (having been sidelined for 8 months). Cheater needs kibbles? Ms. Connection is flinging them by the fistful. “It’s LOVE! We have a DEEP CONNECTION! Come live in my double-wide trailer/mom’s basement/sad cat-filled bedsit and I will RESCUE YOU from that evil, vomit-stained new mommy!”

What’s the easy choice here? (Cheaters love easy.) The Schmoopie.

You’re probably demanding accountability and remorse. And help with that baby. Schmoopie demands nothing. (Not now, anyway. The trap is set.)

My point is New Mom — It’s NOT ABOUT YOU. Your wife’s affair has ZERO to do with how lovable you are or are not and it is EVERYTHING to do with what kind of person your wife is — someone who would cheat on her partner when she’s the most vulnerable and invested.

You’re buying the spin. You’re agreeing that New Coke tastes better than classic Coke. Stop it.

My wife is about to lose her spouse, her home, full time with her infant son, a large number of our mutual friends, dignity, etc., to go after this connection. Sometimes I worry that she’s found the real thing (otherwise why risk losing all the things she admits she still loves?)

Because she is an IDIOT.

People do stupid shit Every. Single. Day. They trade their bags of gold for useless “magic” beans and run off with the swindler.

Stupidity is REAL. (Look at the newspapers.) You assumed the person you chose as a life partner was NOT stupid, and you assumed wrong. Join the very large club.

Where does that leave you? Without a toxic person in your life. With a beautiful new baby and a better new life. (I know it doesn’t feel that way now.) It leaves you with OPPORTUNITY instead of sunk costs. It leaves you wiser.

You’re going to be okay, New Mom. And the super shallow kibble freaks won’t be. They never are, because they don’t have the raw materials to be contented and connected. They act like it until the next shiny kibble source comes around.

There’s always a new shiny.

You, however, are gold. You aren’t inadequate, you’re just materially different.

Hang in there.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Yup this. My husband, before he walked out the door on our 34 year marriage, said “ I can’t live a new life until I get rid of the old one”. The old life not only included all of those years together( most of which were happy), it also include two kids we created together. While he maintains a relationship with one and occasional contact with the other, it obviously will never be the same again. They truly suck.

    • NewLady15

      Here too 34 years married. When discovered, he moved in with OWhore. Divorced now 2 years .. still struggling financially & emotionally but better.

      Karma hit them- OWhore died months ago but he now
      had a new girlfriend.

      He’s 70 now & still thinks he’s “desirable with anyone he meets”. So sad that he threw everything away for
      fun & excitement.

      Hope I get to meh soon. Don’t feel like I ever will. 😕

  • Your wife is engaging in 100% delusion. They aren’t very deep and they can’t maintain empathy. They think the OW/OM is the greatest thing ever (they likely felt the same thing for you in the beginning) but for some reason it isn’t continuous for them. Something is messed up in their brain. They will eventually lose the “feeling” for the OW/OM. But don’t feel sorry for them. They will never treat you right. They will never treat you the way you deserve. Run while you can.

    • Exactamundo. Idealize, devalue, discard. Get your popcorn, Mom! And don’t take the lying wife back when she “comes to her senses.”

      • Zell and Now I.C.: perfectly, succinctly stated. Truth.

        Or as the Social Justice Warriors say on twitter: “Full Stop.”

    • Yup you didn’t fill their void, their dark hole. You were supposed to. You are now expendable, just like the last wife and child.
      Found out that my ex’s last marriage ended the same way with devalue, cheating, ABUSE.
      Jeez, all they want is “unconditional love” as my ex said. In other words they want to be able to do what they want with no consequences.
      Everyone has an expiration date with this fuckers, you just didn’t know that.
      I am sorry that you are going through this. Know your worth, headup, step away.

  • “Is it possible she has confused connection with something else?”

    Yeah, cheaters don’t do connection. Not real, mutual, give-and-take connection. Think, two puzzle pieces fitting snugly together. The closest cheaters get is parasitism. Think, a tick attached to an oblivious golden retriever. That’s what you had. A human tick. And no one ever lived a worse life for want of a tick. I predict you and your child will flourish without her blood-sucking ways.

    • Brilliantly stated.
      And if you don’t remove the tick, horrible things happen. Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, skin abscesses.

  • It takes a while of no contact/no gray and some distance away from the shit show to come to grips with it. You can’t possibly ever understand how it’s worth it for them to leave everything in this world that YOU value. They just don’t see the world through this same lens.

    After 20 years with Dr. Cheaterpants and me explaining away him sneaking away to strip clubs early in the marriage, lots of pornography, leaving me when kids were 2 & 4 years old and us selling our home only for him to come begging back right before we signed the final paperwork, 2 suspicious secretaries who bought him gifts and he took to expensive lunches (one of which I used my good name at the place we both work at to keep her from getting fired only to find out she was falsifying info and not being targeted by a bad boss like he had claimed), and then ultimately catching him screwing around with DD14’s 20-something asst sports coach in our kids’ Catholic High School.

    It’s unbelievable to me now that I had that huge a pail of spackle. When you are living it though, as a family, going to church, living our lives, you just don’t see the forest for the trees. At the final Dday for me, when I realized he could put his wants of screwing around with someone in our kids school, in front of DD14’s teammates, coaches, teachers, parents we have known for years, that’s a level of selfishness and entitlement that can never be overcome. Sure he ‘loves’ his family, but he loves himself 1000 times more.

    Your wife may decide this schmoopie is not worth losing her wife, life, child, family over and come hoovering you back in. Don’t think she’s come to her senses, that she was on a ho high (RIC calls the affair fog). This is who she is, you should believe her. Break free now. Then you can do the work on reading up on disordered people (it’s not that they don’t see, it’s they don’t agree). You can do the work on why you were attracted to someone disordered (she puts out a lot of sparkles to build an instant connection, but it’s shallow and weak).

    You and your child are worth way more than she can ever give. Come to CL & CN often.

    • ” Don’t think she’s come to her senses, that she was on a ho high (RIC calls the affair fog). This is who she is, you should believe her. ” THIS. (Ho High, love that). Yes please don’t buy into the nonsense that she is so out of her mind with endorphins that she can’t think straight. That she isn’t responsible for her current behavior, that she will turn back into her “old self”. Wrong wrong and wrong. She can think straight just fine. She knows EXACTLY what she’s doing, how much it’s hurting you, and she’s big fat doing it anyway, because that IS her REAL self. It’s the idea that she was ever a person with morals and integrity that is the illusion. I’m sorry, but it’s true. As Tracy said, it’s important to understand that it has nothing to do with you. And she does not deserve your sympathy

      • Thanks. I see that it’s true but it’s still so hard to accept in my heart. It’s hard to not protect her and help her through this mess. I obviously want to save my family but also prevent her from self-destruction. (and i realize i sound like a huge idiot chump writing these things).

        Also… we did the marriage counseling thing a few times last fall and the therapist said postpartum hormones may have been partially to blame. I bought into that nonsense for months.

        • You are not an idiot for being a loving person, she is an idiot for not appreciating it. I too felt like I was trying to save him from himself when I tried to save my marriage. We really don’t think the APs are worth it and we really do feel the need to protect our spouses from that no matter how much they may deserve to have their lives messed up due to their own stupidity. That is what makes us good people.

        • Ugh. Me too. All this happened to me. Please don’t let it sway you (but if it does – know that I get it but did end up getting back in the same place).

        • My dumbass MC tried to pin some of my narc ex’s bullshit on my alleged “postpartum depression,” too. Fuck that noise. I have never been depressed. I was understandably upset that my ex was cheating on my while I was pregnant, had tricked me into a cross country move to be with his AP, and he was treating me like his slave. Ugh! Counselors generally don’t uunderstand personality disorders AT ALL. This is NOT on you at all, not even a little bit. And fuck them for even trying to insinuate it.

    • Twiceachump, your observation is so dead on. I actually said the same thing to my mom today: when you are living it, it becomes normal and you can’t see it for what it is. You spackle and cover for these people, but in retrospect, I believe that my body, deep down, knew something was “off”.

      For me, it was the bone weary exhaustion and anger. And my friends and family would normally describe me as an active, happy person.

      I am 7 months out from DD5, and feel like I am past the worst of it and am feeling so much better.

      I look back now and feel like it was all a fog and I can’t believe I lived that life….

    • I lived this same kind of nightmare for 2 years until I was mentally, emotionally, financially and physically exhausted. You can’t shovel enough kibbles to a cheater to keep them happy because they have a hole in their soul.

      It’s like being on a boat with a hole in it. The boat is sinking, but you believe if you keep bailing water out, every thing will be fine. The faster and harder you bail out water, the faster more water fills in the bottom of the boat until you are physically exhausted and it finally sinks.

      The secret: Jump overboard and swim to shore. Let that cheater sink who has watched you work your ass off trying to keep the boat afloat.

      Best of wishes in your new life. Take the energy you’ve been spending on that Piece of Dogshit and give it to that baby.

  • I will simply reinforce what CL says – your wife is not Mata Hari. Please take steps to protect yourself and your child.

    Honest question to any LGBT chumps – how are y’all hanging in? I could be wrong, but cheating seems like a double betrayal in your cases.

    • VulcanChump

      To answer your question: no, it did not feel like a double betrayal (I am lesbian, BTW)… I did not know the OW (she lives in another country for one thing), nor was she a friend of mine.

      It was just the usual shit show of “regular” betrayal and all the atrocities that come with it.

      Infidelity hurts like nothing else… we all know the pain— but I actually feel like I had less of a shit show than many here, in that my partner and I weren’t married, didn’t own any property together, nor did we have children. Some of the stories I read here are absolutely horrendous! Men cheating on their pregnant spouses, women abandoning their husbands and children for their tru wuv. Divorce and financial stress, cheating spouses hiding money, getting AP pregnant— good god, I cannot even comprehend the pain of that. My betrayal just about did me in as it was.

      My heart goes out to each and every one of us here. Thank god for CL, this incredible blog, and CN. Straight, gay, or bi— cheaters are all the same. Trust me—

    • Unfortunately it’s really just the same old story – whether it’s two women or two men or one of each… In my case, it’s been 20 years of a quite happy marriage, two awesome kids and the sudden shocking discovery and subsequent departure of my wife for her trashy 20-something ‘soulmate’. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the same story again and again on this site… gay or straight, infidelity just sucks.

  • Wow. So similar to my situation-just add in a dash of addiction on his part to complicate the shit show a smidge more. Reality will hit the ‘happy couple’ and all the ‘reasons’ he had for abandoning his children will smack in in the head. And it will be too late. Damage done.

  • “My wife is about to lose her spouse, her home, full time with her infant son, a large number of our mutual friends, dignity, etc., to go after this connection. Sometimes I worry that she’s found the real thing (otherwise why risk losing all the things she admits she still loves?)”

    “Because she is an IDIOT.”

    And because she does not value those things like you do. You thought she did… it’s called projection. Over time you’ll understand this. You don’t value the same things. From the tone of your letter, your values are family, home, community, stability, and life-long partnership. Her values? Her Own Personal Happiness. See how that’s never going to work? See how you don’t want really want someone like that?

    Ask me how I know all this, lol. I’m two and a half years out from D-day. It’s been long enough for me to see enough evidence that what my ex values is cake and kibble. Shallow stuff, nothing deep about it. Tracy nailed it with “tell everyone you’re not an asshole”. Oh brother what a bunch of bullshit. “I’m the GOOD kind of cheating torturing lying bastard”. You see? People capable of deep connection don’t do these horrible things to people they’re supposed to care about.

    Hang in there, devastated new mom. The devastation passes, soon to be replaced with “why did I waste my time on this asshole?” Followed by… gaining a life!

    • I would say it took a few years to really get how my ex doesn’t value his kids the same way that I do.

      Or most decent people do for that matter.

      Remember look for the lie in the middle of the turmoil

      They say they care about you/their kids/friends but sometimes they don’t!!!

      • They love to use our language, like “value the kids”. The disordered mind can’t and doesn’t conceive of itself as different even though absolutely everything from love to the smallest body language gesture represents entirely different things to them. Ever wonder, like most kids do at some time, what if when I see and say the sky is blue you look at it and agree, but you’re actually seeing a color I call red? We’d go on thinking we’re referring to the same thing but the whole time its different. It’s like that for disordereds.

        What we see and feel and mean by “connection” or “love” they see and feel very differently but they apply our words to it. The difference though between this and the color example is that the world puts numerous clues put before them that their emotional definitions are fatally flawed and different. They reflexively rationalize in these moments, and these rationalizing habits become thought patterns that eventually run on their own rerouting them safely away from the discomfort of knowing they are indeed different. Smaller. Shallower. Wrong.

        I have caught them mid-rationalization and walked them through the difference in their meaning showing them their own words and actions and what they really represent. It has been fun to watch them grapple with the difficulty as they realize their definition is both wrong and also what they have always believed. They think and claim they are “ashamed”, for example, but you point out how their “shame” is nothing more than self-pity. Shame is for a specific thing. They claimed theirs was for a range of possible failings. Shame also can’t arise in a hypothetical. Their claim of “shame” was for the possibility that they had done something harmful. Shame doesn’t immediately put an onus on another to do something for them, just the opposite. Shame comes from accountability, not from consequences. And so on. They sit there slack-jawed. They were certain they were experiencing “shame” – in fact they were entitled to claim it – but now they can’t make a case for why it isn’t actually self-pity. Usually, without the mental guardrails you provide them to reason through this, they’d just move on actually pleased with how ashamed they were and now (5 minutes later) need to of course move on from “toxic” shame to self forgiveness for this amorphous thing they might have potentially done. A real sociopath plays shame and knows they are doing so. In this case their slack-jawed reaction is simply them reworking how they got the portrayal wrong, redesigning an improved version.

        But all grades of them use our language and every word of it means something fundamentally different from us.

        • Well written. In other words, pay attention to their actions. Words without actions are just words. Protect yourself, get the bank/investment accounts secured. These people have no morals and can’t be trusted. Get a lawyer. Hugs!!!

        • Anytime after DDay when the mask was ripped off the disordered X (narcissistic, BPD, sociopath) would say “xxxxx is what is best for the kids…” you can be certain he was manipulating to get something outrageously unfair.

          “No! Asshole. What is best for the kids is if you stopped trying to force them accept golddigging homewrecking whore and stop telling them that you hated being a father and hated everything about their lives and that your so-called happiness trumped everything they hold dear…..”.
          🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

          During the year plus of pick me hell between DDay and no contact, I tried innumerable times to reason with my formerly (I thought) rational X. It was like talking to a robot. Sometimes he’d say something half-way reasonable sounding in response like “no, of course I don’t want the consequences of abandoning the 4 kids and 25-year family for young AP I just met on an elevator— I don’t want to be a weekend dad, split all our assets, sell our beautiful home, displace our kids, lose you loyal wife to another man,” but his eyes would be dark shark-like soulless eyes while saying these words and he kept right on devaluing me and kids and fucking whore/preying on other women, lying, hiding assets, etc etc etc.

          Trust they suck. File for divorce. Go completely no contact. Get busy building your new life. Meh will come on a Tuesday and you will find peace and joy again. It took me about 2 years 3 months from DDay and didn’t happen until after divorce was entered.

        • My cheater-wife was an expert at lying by omission. The bits of the truth she verbalized would lead me down the path she wanted me to see – and I would happily fill-in the blanks for her using normal-person common sense. When she said, “Yes. I will stop seeing my schmoopie during the day.” to me meant her cheating would end.

          Unspoken; [“I’ll just find someone else and fuck him at night with the lights off.“]

          Discovering after 25 years of marriage that we didn’t share the same common language or assumptions was the most gut-wrenching part of her betrayal. You go back and replay every moment of the marriage through a different filter or lens and you realize that everything you assumed is a complete lie.

          Now I can’t trust another human being at her/his word; I just assume everyone is lying to get one over on me. And now I’m just being a cynical SOB.

          • BNM: I too fall into the cynical-SOB category these days. And judging by the single women I interact with I wear that mistrust on my sleeve. So now my task is what? Get better at hiding my wound? Fake like I trust them when I really don’t? Although I do find my heart has been cracked open like a ripe melon when it comes to kids and old people. I am such a softie there. FUCK – cheaters leave a wide swath of damage when the go. And she just walzed into the next wallet like it was nothing.

        • Wow. “A real sociopath plays shame and knows they are doing so. In this case their slack-jawed reaction is simply them reworking how they got the portrayal wrong, redesigning an improved version.”
          Thankyou for your clarity.

      • This!! I always tell my kids ‘words are just words. What people DO tells you who they are.

        I tell them ‘What if there was a man who walked around every day saying he was a hero? Would his words make it true, or his actions? Look for the people who step in and help when help is needed. Those are the heros, and believe me, they would NEVER call themselves that.’

        These kids have a self-pronounced ‘great guy’ as their father. Same father that moved thousands of miles from them 4 years ago and doesn’t visit, but can afford a new family, two stepkids, a new baby and another on the way, and is $40k in debt to me for child support arrearages. I pray my kids will see him for what he truly is, but at the same time, that is a very sad prospect to me.

    • …”I’m the GOOD kind of cheating torturing lying bastard”… OMG! Thanks for that
      laugh. But that is what they tell themselves. Oh yeah. IDIOTS all of them.

      I saw my Xhole GOOD kind of cheating torturing lying bastard in the grocery store the
      other day from behind. He didn’t see me, thank god. He looks horrible and I wonder
      if he knows that little bald spot he had on the back of his head is now the size of an orange…

      • Haha
        I like to think of mine going on Tinder dates and the date being disappointed because he is short, makes me smile on the inside.

      • skankboy had a moment of clarity when he told a mutual friend/neighbor that “I feel like such an asshole for doing her wrong!” Yes, yes you are an asshole! Ding, ding, we have a winner!

        • My ex would very occasionally say something like that, and I’d think it was a flash of insight and shame. But no. He said it in the hope the other person would rush in to reassure himself he wasn’t an asshole, and what he did was understandable, etc ….. And he’d be pissed if they didn’t!

      • Omg! So funny! I saw the x from up above at a swim meet and he is going to look like Father Tuck soon😝 Not that I mind that particular look, but all I could think was….I wonder how long it will take for him to get plugs. He is just too splendid to go bald;)

    • YASSS. Amen on the values. When you’re smacked awake to see things as they really are, it’s the values where you see the insurmountable divide. And that’s what you’ll be carefully screenjng for in the future after you’ve learned a bit more about narcissists. Binge watch videos about it. To get over the positive projections I’ve been undeservedly giving people all my life – not just the ex – I needed to wrap my head around the way certain personalities work. Now I’m looking for higher caliber integrity in people for all my relationships.

      • Chumpawumpa,

        I am learning this about myself too, and need to get better at choosing the right people to have a relationship with (any relationship). I’ve been working on boundaries (my STBX had NONE), and I heard about and watched a couple of the Little Shaman you tube videos – are there others you would recommend?

        • I usually don’t check to see if anyone replies to my comments, but I got curious today. Sorry for the delay! Hope you found good resources. There are some great YouTube channels that hit this topic from different angles. I’ve watched Little Shaman. There’s also Richard Grannon (Spartan Life Coach), Soul GPS, Inner Integration, Surviving to Thriving, CNXG, Assc Direct. Melania Tonia Evans is probably the best resource, I think. There were things she said early in my healing that sounded to ridiculous or difficult to hear, but as time went on, I realized how on-point she is with every phase of recovering from a narcissistic relationship.

    • “Tracy nailed it with “tell everyone you’re not an asshole”. Oh brother what a bunch of bullshit. “I’m the GOOD kind of cheating torturing lying bastard”. You see? People capable of deep connection don’t do these horrible things to people they’re supposed to care about.”

      Must be a script philanderers follow. Mine told me he knew he was an asshole, but not as big an asshole as his father was. Apparently there are degrees of cheating. He was doing the GOOD kind. Hahahahaha!

      • Kind of like degrees of…pregnancy? Death? Sorry, you either ARE, or you AREN’T. Cheaters hate black/white logic. It is just so darned judgmental.

        • If I had a dime for every time he told me, “It’s not that simple.” Or “It’s complex.” Or “It’s way more complicated than that.” But that’s not true, is it? We love them, and they treat us like ass. It’s as simple as that.

      • When my ex tried a recent Hoover and showed that he still has no remorse for betrayal and lying, he tried the “I just contacted you to say hello and be nice. ”

        My response: “but your not a nice person, remember?”

        Silence.

        Ex response: “I am, too.”

        Me: “Nice people don’t destroy a woman and her kids who loved you and wanted a future with you.”

        Crickets. And then he blocked me.

        Still cannot acknowledge his asshole actions but wants to be viewed as a “nice guy”. SMH

  • To add to what Chump Lady said, don’t buy into the RIC narrative, and her own eventually, that she was just soooo afraid of this momentous life changing event that she had to cheat. You were expecting a baby too. Your life was undergoing a momentous life change, as well. Did you cheat? No? Well, there you go. You adulted, she did not. You have character and integrity, she does not.

    Now, whose morals,values and ethics do you want your precious new son to model growing up? Let her spin out of control, away from you and your son. Keep adulting and being the sane parent. Let her run off into the sunset with the “love that cannot be denied”. You will be just fine. (((Hugs)))

    • Thank you. I will always put my son first, above my heartbreak, jealously, etc. Your comment reminded me of a particularly painful/insane thing my wife said the day after DDAY…. I said something like, I want to teach our son good values and morals, that vows matter, commitment matters, etc. She responded with, I want to teach our son he doesn’t have to stay in a relationship if it doesn’t make him happy. Shocking to hear this when our five-month-old was asleep in his nursery down the hall. For one, I didn’t know she was unhappy. She wrote me a beautiful, sweet letter on mother’s day a couple weeks earlier. One week earlier, we took a weekend trip just the two of us and she said she felt reconnected. She wasn’t unhappy enough to have a hard convo with me, to go to couple’s counseling, or to divorce! She wasn’t unhappy enough to NOT have a child with me (which as two women doesn’t happen by accident).

      • I’m very sorry for your pain and suffering. It sucks.

        But it looks like you have it figured out. What you say is exactly right.

        She sounds selfish, self-absorbed, and weak. She was saying all those nice things, then turning around and texting all sorts of things you wouldn’t want to read to her affair partner. That is blatant abuse, betrayal, and manipulation. CL has written much about this power dynamic and emotional control, and it is abuse.

        Unfortunately, you now can not trust anything she says, only what she does. And what she has done is destructive to you and your child.

        If for some reason this new true connection doesn’t work out, she’s going to be right back with you, especially if you are providing services such as parenting and money.

        Be strong! Take action!

      • There’s a world of difference between “I choose to make my relationship happy” and “My relationship makes me happy – or doesn’t.”

        In the first you learn and apply the growth disciplines to overcome adversity. You choose to make a happy life.

        In the second you run away from adversity. It’s inconvenient. It’s messy. So you chase the elusive pot ‘o gold at the end of the rainbow. After all, your happiness is dependent on someone ELSE being perfect to you.

        Rain and mud are real. You can fun in them, even if it’s just enjoying how much better you feel when the mud is cleaned up.

        Rainbows are just visual effects. They’re nice to admire, but totally lacking in substance. Like your cheater.

        • And in the second, if you run away from adversity, at least do it openly, honestly and fairly.

          That is, tell your partner you want to divorce and give them a favorable divorce agreement with respect to custody and finances, and don’t be a manipulative, narcissistic fuckhead.

          And do this all before you start looking for some strange.

          • I could not agree more to this comment. If the cheaters aren’t happy, then why not just stand up and say something, end the relationship and then go out with other people? This is too hard for these lazy, self-centered a**holes, and the adrenaline rush is too good to pass up. They are empty cups with a hole at the bottom – never going to fill it up.

      • Oh this makes my skin crawl.
        It’s going to be ok, DNM. I know it doesn’t feel like it right now, but please listen to all these people on the outside looking in- you and your child are SO much better off without this horrible person in your lives.
        My ex used the word “connection”, too. Please remember that a “connection” is not a “bond”. You are capable of bonding, but she is only capable of “connecting”. In time you will see this clearly.
        Hang in there! You and you child deserve the real thing, the real bond! Schmoopie can have all the meaningless “connection”. It never lasts, so shields up, DNM!

      • The “I was unhappy” thing is always a kicker, right? Ok, you’re an unhappy. Break the fuck up or ask to go into therapy. I am so sorry your wife is such an asshole. But your son is lucky to have you as a mom and he will learn great values from you.

        I have to say, I do agree with your wife that it is a good value to teach your children not to stay in an unhappy relationship. You either work together to change it, or you split. You don’t cheat.

        Again, I am really sorry your wife has done this. She is a jerk and you sound strong.

      • New Mom, she wasn’t unhappy, that’s her bullshit narrative that not only shirks responsibility for her choices, but redirects them back at you. She had so many choices all along and she chose to be abusive repeatedly.

        Happiness cannot and should not ever be the deciding factor between hurting someone and respecting their rights and wellbeing.

        Two of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from Chumplady is that unmet needs are a moving goalpost and that it does not take two for one person to utterly violate another – that is 100% on their character.

        It’s good that you found your way to Chumplady. Keep reading & best of luck.

  • Why do we all have the same story but insert different players? I hate that other people have to feel this but at the same time I feel like it comforting knowing that I am not alone. My husband told me his SECOND affair partner was must amazing..and he loved me (wife of 18 years) but had an emotional connection with her and could not leave. Funny….that’s what he told OW #1 too!!! Really?? Well I left. He lost everything. He claims he is happy..at least to me. I moved out, took the kids (70-30) and all our friends and most of his family. He is happy for now…I have to believe it will all crash down on him when she starts making demands of him other than midday hookups. We deserve better. No one deserves to be treated like this. They are tragically flawed. let the fall.

      • They certainly don’t realize it at all. They think they are magical special creatures, cursed with a love that they “can’t” give up. Nope, you are just an asshole like all the other assholes

          • Besides me and through our 30 years married my STBX has been magically in love with a had deep connection 3 times (that I know of). I’m afraid the lesson my now adult daughters have learned is that we are disposable and replaceable without any thought of a shared life.

            I really hate him today.

        • These idiots don’t under the law of physics, the “higher you go, (affair fog, gag) the lower you fall.” Have fun with that! AND, I’m not around to clean up that mess, they ya go fuckahs!

      • Right?
        Mine took things I said and did for him and used them for his schmoopies. He told them all the same crap. He had so many and got them to all believe his ‘poor me and you are the special or don’t tell my secret’ crap . He’s dead now, and they can all just have their choices and their pathetic cheaty lives.

    • The cheaters are happy until real life sets in AGAIN. Every house has garbage that needs to be taken out. If the only thing about the affair I find amusing, is watching Foty living his own Groundhog Day. Moved onto his third wife trying to avoid inevitable responsibility. It wasn’t me, he repeats the same behaviour expecting different results. I feel sorry for the kids – the seemingly expendable “entities”.

      • That’s a lesson I learned in high school. Different friends, different place and time, same results? The problem wasn’t the people, place or time. The problem was me.

        So I took a long hard look at myself and changed the things causing the unhappy results. In the end I learned how to find happiness wherever and whoever I was with.

        In other words, I took responsibility for making things better. I didn’t sit on my butt like the cheater and complain about how someone needed to fix things for me.

      • “To avoid the inevitable responsibility….”

        So true. My ex literally removes one woman and inserts new person here. We all fall for it and all mother his children and all run his household and all clean up his life messes.
        I think he’s done this to 5 of us now.

        I am horrified that I lived that shitty life and so happy now to be away from his toxic black sucking hole of nothingness.

      • Yes. My dead Cheater left it all displayed for us to find. All his ‘main’ gfs he would not tolerate one expectation, one bit of real life. Looks like , from texts and emails , they learned fast. No real life, rather a preadolescent style secret fun hanging out. Predicated on talking about me and the kids ( necessary triangulation to keep it afloat ). While using his family/wife home base as a target for antagonism and ridicule and excuse and blame. Every once in a while, I might try to imagine how I would feel if I had a partner and kids and wife and shows all the all the time to lie and cheat and deceive. I see now that for somebody sick, it works. And for someone healthy, it would feel terrible. For anyone, it destroys their health and their sanity. Every day I’m grateful for who I am, and who I have been for the 40 years while sicko cheater was doing his weird crap.

    • Yep. Mine didn’t get #1, so he’s bypassed #2 and is now heavily laying on the blame shifting and telling me how full of hate I am because I am too bitter and unsophisticated to embrace his claim of finding “unexpected”, mind-altering, universe-shattering “luv” with his best friend’s wife.

      “It’s bigger than both of us”. Ha. Just wait until they get what they claim to want.

      • Ugh, I’m so sorry. I too was fed similar lines… like “it’s meant to be” and “I feel fulfilled with her” and “i feel complete” and “it’s like we’ve known each other for years.” Chumpy me simply cannot compete with such mystical forces.

        I was also asked to be more understanding… “why can’t you be happy for me?”

        • I heard, “she gets that I’m a Big Picture Guy. You never did get that.” Four years later friends tell me Ex broke up with OW but still lives in her house “because he can’t afford to support himself.” OMFG. What a prize she stole away from me. Not!

        • It’s always intriguing to me to see proof that the disordered types are all the same. It doesn’t matter if they are male or female, gay or straight, what race, religion, country…… they all use the same exact lines, follow the same scripts, do the same actions. IMHO it just confirms that they are broken on a very deep level in a way that cannot be repaired. Their very humanness is broken.

      • Oh, that is awful. I am so sorry you had to hear those ridiculous justifications. Personally, I want my divorce to be over ASAP so they can have their Twu Luv! I can’t wait until they can have each other with no obstacles! The thing is, my stbx doesn’t want a divorce. They don’t really want to be together legitimately because that would be boring, I suspect. They need to be in a taboo triangle to make their Luv exciting. They are boundary breakers, hot, wild, and dangerous, lol! I am giving their relationship a year after our divorce. I doubt it will last longer than that. My kids hate Schmoopie, cheater will be broke after the divorce and he’s pushing 60, the sparkle of the affair will fade. And then he will be alone, or have a string of short relationships. Who will take care of him when he is old? Not me. Yeah, that was worth blowing a family apart…a few kibbles from a new source for a short time. As Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

    • You put this so well. My ex told my daughter that he still loved me but that “Schmoopie means the world to me”. I feel like the silver medalist in Olympic competition. I was good, but someone else was better. What pisses me off, however, is that I never intended to be in competition. When we got married I thought that meant that ex was done looking. I thought that marriage meant commitment. Silly me.

      • This is so condescending and what the hell makes them think they mean the world to us? I put up with Doughboy for years because I was faithful not because I thought I couldn’t live without him! If he had leveled with me about his so called unhappiness I’d have cut him loose years ago. They think they are sooooo special what a joke they are just aging, balding old farts that get duped by gold diggers. Nothing special about them, idiots!

      • Chumpinrecovery,
        ” the silver medalist in the Olympic Competition”
        You made me smile.
        I am wondering if that makes us “door number two”
        Rather than your cheater got gold, I think he choose the zonk!

    • I recall the pain and bewilderment of the basic fact that my love was comprised of action and work and commitment: in the hospital waiting room while she went under the knife arranging for our kids to be taken care of and nursing her back to health, arranging all logistics for her ironman events, romantic and sexy notes/emails/text, weekend getaways, shopping trips to other cities, holding down a job and bringing in a good income while she was hardly ever employed (even though the kids were in daycare), etc etc etc.

      I could go on and on and on.

      And yet somehow that wasn’t enough – that wasn’t true love.

      But some gross womanizer married narcissist who’d occasionally book a 2 hour session at a jacuzzi place somehow comprised a “true connection” and “true love.”

      Barf. Disgusting. Irrational.

      oops – now i’m getting angry 🙂

  • Ah, the RIC’s buy-in to the deficit model, I remember feeling that way… and it sucked! It had me pick-me dancing for 5 years, until d-day 2 hit me with the truth, he was screwing around the whole time with multiple people.

    Safety is one of our most basic human needs. When a person experiences a deficit in these basic needs: protection, security, order, law, or stability, the result is fear. As a consequence of having your reality denied or withheld, a betrayed spouses inability to identify a truthful reality adequately, causes a deep sense of confusion and impending danger.

    Relational safety includes shared visions of the relationship. “Relationships exist when the participants create a mental view of it. Without the relational conception of both people, there is no way to know what type of relationship exists or even if one exists at all. In pathological relationships we see…a constant sabotaging or refusing of the other’s attempts to define the relationship.”

    After infidelity, character-logical self-blame assaults the betrayed spouse, feeling as if there is something intrinsically wrong with them. If you are fortunate enough to not buy-in to the idea that their is something lacking in you, you still probably feel there is something you must have done (or could have done differently). Behavioral self-blame makes betrayed spouses feel as if they should have done something differently to avoid the betrayal. Behavioral self-blame also promotes the belief in the ability to control, change and avoid negative outcomes.

    Sure, you probably weren’t a perfect spouse, but if perfect is the standard by which you measure your worthiness to receive basic human needs, the fault for other people’s shitty behavior toward you will always be your fault because there will always be someone better, smarter, more attractive, more athletic, etc. Someone yesterday made a good point… commitment is about choosing to love someone when they aren’t quite at their best. That choice says more about their values than it says about your worth.

    Stop buying into the idea that human impfection has anything to do with the way someone treats you. The way someone treats you is a reflection of who they are, not a reflection of who you are.
    The key is to recognize if you are the only one in the relationship questioning and analyzing how your behavior affects the other person. My guess is YOU are the only one questioning that.

    Which leads to … trust that they suck!

    • Great post, Got-a-brain. Thanks for this. Behavioral self-blame queen here. I am still fine-tooth-combing through the 15+ years pre-DDay to figure out what I could’ve/should’ve done differently. “Trust that they suck” is so simple and logical, but why is it so damned hard to get to?

  • I wish I had the fortitude to understand this nine years ago when I had a newborn who just had open heart surgery. I begged him to come back to me and nine years later, his need for kibble blew up my life again.

    • Yes, those of us who “won” one round ended up with a miserable partner who imploded again later.

      I hope your child is doing well now.

      • This. I keep thinking I lost round 1, but really it was round 3. Round 1 was the emotional affair that almost went physical but didn’t. That time I “won”. The affair ended without going physical, he eventually went no contact with her. I thought we had dodged a bullet, but it wasn’t a bullet it was a boomerang and it came back and got us in the end. He spent years regretting the choice not made (to have a full blown physical affair). He couldn’t help wondering what that would have been like. It caused him to resent and devalue me until he felt comfortable and justified in seeking out affair partners. Then he fell for Schmoopie 2.0 because they have some kind of special connection (her mouth, his dick). In my case it was 8 years rather than 9. I was pick me dancing that whole time and it meant nothing in the end.

        • This gives me food for thought. CheaterEx had at least a few emotional affairs before DDay#1 (I spackled this as him having a problem with boundaries…facepalm), but your theory that he resented me for “winning” him back in the midst of that mess seems very plausible.

          • YES ! They resent you for not letting them have their “experience”. I stayed after a 2011 emotional affair. Dday 2017 I got as her reason for cheating “I haven’t loved you in six years”. Which means all the marriage counseling after 2011 was all bogus.

        • Ah yes, even in that nine year gap, he had all these female friends who “got him”. He would say “you and I never really were connected” (even typing that triggers me now emotionally the way it did then – I would “verbally chase” him to prove our connection). It was really just more of the same and who knows to what length those relationships went – all I know is that the energy expended their way would have benefited our relationship greatly. Of course, I look at me trying to get connected to his shallow self would be the same as climbing a sheer rock face – there were no places to grab on to even truly “get connected”.

          • I was told that I was emotionally unavailable. How am I supposed to be emotionally available to someone who is emotionally running away from me?

            • “emotionally unavailable”. I received that one also. She blames me for her becoming a cheater. Oh and the Devil also. It was me and the Devil that caused her to become a cheater.

            • I was dubbed “the emotional blackhole”… because I refuse to play his game. “There’s no point in spending any effort on someone who doesn’t respond” – I guess that’s why NC is cheater’s kryptonite?

          • Kibbled Again,
            Yes, it is disgusting how suddenly we just “aren’t connected”isn’t it!?!
            Silly me, I thought that carrying for our tiny child, carrying our to be child, somehow connected us. Silly me!

        • Yup…..thats how it ends. If I knew that battling rounds would be useless I would’ve been 12 yrs younger and less holes in the heart. I guess some fantasies are hard to let go. My 16yr old son told me “Mom its better to he safe than sorry”. He was right!

  • I think the “strong connection” is just the side whore doesn’t disagree with them. They feel control and power. It’s all giggles and OKs. Once cheater isn’t holding all the cards as the conductor of the secret meet-ups or a new relationship, I think they know the end will come when the person is used up. Then it will inevitably be onto the next for this type.
    I remember when I was dating my husband after we moved in together i gave my opinion on what i wanted to do that night. He says “woah all of a sudden you have an opinion! where did this come from? You were so quiet before.” And then he nervous laughed. I remember saying… Huh?
    During devaluation he told me I’m an accessory and I need to shut my god damn mouth on what i want to do.
    He also tried to “explain” his rage and cheating by telling me I used to be his Barbie doll and then I changed so I no longer had him wrapped around my finger… which was my own fault because this meant I was against him.

    Basically I think they are insane. There’s no connection. They are broken. I think it’s all about power.

    • side whore doesn’t disagree with them….

      Oh this. I was told that mow was a great listener, did everything he told her to do (he was her boss), agreed with everything. How fun and exciting. So I told him he was basically fucking himself when he fucked her. I asked him if she covered her face with a mirror so it would be even better. Truth was, he just hadn’t disappointed her yet. She did that first – one can only maintain the “show armour” for so long before the real character oozes and seeps out of the cracks. It was like a staring contest to see who could last longer at something that was impossible and quite stupid to maintain in real life. He agreed that he really was fucking himself. “Pretty lacklustre, isn’t it?” I asked.

      • “So I told him he was basically fucking himself when he fucked her. I asked him if she covered her face with a mirror so it would be even better.”

        Hmm, sounds like a new definition for Narcissist in the Webster.

    • “He says “woah all of a sudden you have an opinion! where did this come from? You were so quiet before.” And then he nervous laughed. I remember saying… Huh?”

      Wow, this triggered a memory of when ex and I were in our very early dating days. He used to think it was funny to pretend to slap me in the face in time to music on the radio. I finally asked him to please stop that, I didn’t think it was funny. He got very quiet, and then said, “Well, I guess it is okay that you don’t like the same things as me.” And of course, he didn’t stop doing the pretend slapping as I’d requested.

      WhatRing is right. They are only interested in an appliance who never bothers them with any type of disagreement or difference of opinion. Once that happens, they begin the devaluation.

    • They are insane, demented creatures who have been working overtime to keep a mask on for years and years. They have no clue that we dont know what we are seeing when the mask slips occasionally.

      • But when you look back you can look at all the f**ked up things that happened and know now what they were. This has really helped me to trust that they suck. Trust they have always sucked.

  • Euphemisms are often used by cheaters to soften Chumps up. Collateral damage is a military euphemism for dead people. “Deep connection” is a euphemism that means somebody cheated and lied about it. Don’t get bogged down in HER terminology. Get pissed and recognize a load of bullshit when you hear it.

    • Yep. My ex-boyfriend sometimes used euphemisms and lies to soften the blow of his devaluation and discard. of me. The question is whether he used them to soften the blow for me (which they didn’t) or for him–to make it easier for him to live with himself.

    • I used his euphemisms right back at him. “Collateral Damage” was my description of destroying the expensive wine collection he had acquired as a result of spending time learning about it under the direction of Schmoopie. So sorry. Somehow it wound up shattered and splattered on our concrete slab.

  • They choose the spin that has the highest probability of winning support and making them look good.

    And what could fill that bill better than true love, finding one’s soul mate, living in blissful happiness at last, fulfilling one’s romantic destiny as written in the very stars?

    These cheaters are often quite skilled at public relations. They know that a lot of sappy people will buy that hogwash, and it neatly draws attention away from all of the lies, deception, and damage.

    Fortunately, we the betrayed have excellent first-hand experience about what life with a cheater is really like when the admiring audience is not around. Behind the facade, that life is a horror and a slow torture. It is death by a thousand cuts, and the cheater will work to convince you that each of those cuts was either imaginary, self-inflicted, or deserved.

    Don’t bother envying the OW. You know the truth. Their spin is irrelevant.

  • Devastated New Mom

    She went after this new connection because her connections are shallow. It’s so common for a cheater to go along with their partners hopes and dreams only to walk away as if none of it mattered as it didn’t.

    Yes a Cluster B has the ability to talk it up, go along, when in reality they are disinterested in anyone’s needs but their own. You were full force into believing the illusion she created.

    The deep connection was one sided as a partner, home, and child are responsibilities that take time, energy and work.

    A Cluster B prefers play rather than accountability. While this is new for you, it’s a predictable cycle (three phases of a narcissistic relationship) that will repeat itself. Your partner will not give a shit about your losses or investment. So lawyer up quickly and don’t be surprised by her entitlement and rage when she’s served. It’s time to give her a special delivery, consequences. Take action. Protect yourself.

  • She might want you to “share” her, or go back and forward between the pair of you. If you step back and don’t get involved in the drama, she might become a better mother, I have known parents both sexes, who have dumped their kids in the name of “love”, don’t think the other person is better, they will have a different “relationship”, ie not entitled to argue, an opinion, on anything

  • The first or initial mistake most chumps make is analyzing what cheaters say (cheaterspeak)……they throw a lot of verbal crap around. It means absolutely nothing. They spit out nonsensical BS to either hurt you even more than they already have because they take pleasure in kicking a dog when it’s down, make you feel that you just didn’t cut it for them, so really you are to blame, you being deficient and all or the best one is “this new love is bigger than all of us”. Ya just gotta love that one because you can count on the “love that is bigger than all of us” combusting big time.

  • Thank you Tracy for helping us undo the mindfuck.

    Every time you assured New Mom (above), I substituted the name QueenMother and felt your words healing my psyche and helping me arise, and gain a new life.

    Love ya lots and lots!!!
    QM

  • Dear DNM,

    I’m often taken aback by how truly unoriginal cheaters are. Your stbx wife is sticking to the cheater script quite beautifully.

    The father of my children married his Schmoopie and in one of their adolescent email exchanges she waxed philosophically about how she was delirious to find this awesome new passion; something she had been missing….maybe for the entirety of her marriage. A sad fact her ex was unaware of I’m sure.

    They all say the same shit with maybe a slightly different spin but it all comes down to their fabulousness. Don’t even try to understand it. You might not realize this now but you will be better off without this unoriginal, cheating fuckwit.

    Hugs

  • “You assumed the person you chose as a life partner was NOT stupid, and you assumed wrong. Join the very large club.”

    I JUST spent last night talking on the phone to a fellow Chump about this very topic. And, in all honesty, it is not the first time Tracy has told [me] this message — not in real life but via her blog and book: I am finally, finally, finally starting to “get it.”

    We ALL assign a persona, a value, a belief system, a “description” to each and every person with whom we engage. One week before my DDay, I was at a long-time family friend’s home and I stated, “XH may not be perfect but he is the most honest and integrity-filled person I have ever met. He has MY BACK. Of that fact, I am absolutely certain. And that makes up for all of his ideosyncracies.”

    And one week later… my entire world blew up in my face.

    • This is so familiar. Doughboy had all kinds of quirks. He was difficult at times, his filters were often missing and he’d say dumb things.
      But I always thought of him as an honest man who would ‘have my back’. The week before DDay we were joking about getting older and I said ” oh you’ll probably chuck me in a home” He replied very sternly “don’t you worry I’ll be there for you”. I was touched and comforted by that thought. A week later he asked for a divorce he was in love with Schmoopie and had been for 2 years! WTF??
      They have no idea what the words they say mean because they only mean them when they want to image management. I mean did he think I wouldn’t notice when he was gone! They truly are stupid idiots!

      • SilverQueen, my theory on this kind of thing is twofold;
        a) they mean it when they say it. It’s just that 2 minutes before or after, they think differently, and act on how they are feeling at each moment. About like a 3 year old.
        b) he expected to be able to leave you, yet somehow keep you in his orbit. You know, the ‘one big happy family’ bullshit. He’d be the Lord of All He Surveys, you’d be somewhere there in the background, dispensing kibbles as needed. And he’d make sure you made it into a NICE home, when you were old… well, as long as that didn’t require, you know, any of his time or money.

        Or perhaps it’s
        c) they say whatever bullshit they think will make them look good in the moment, but it means NOTHING to them. Just words. We are the ones who think it means something, because OUR words DO.

        • Karen, I think my cheater fits your A quite neatly. In fact, when our MC asked me what I wanted, my immediate gut response was, “to be married to an adult”.
          He insisted, when we got together way back when, that we make no “unilateral decisions” regarding our relationship. What he meant was, “I don’t want you breaking up with ME. But I can do whatever I want to YOU”. Apparently.

        • Wow. This reminds me of a time when my stbx said something devaluing and insulting to me (I can’t remember now exactly what it was.), and I said, “but you said you loved me yesterday.” He replied, “I did then.” This is a grown man saying this! Translation: “I love you when you when please me and do what I want.” Their emotions are shallow, changable as the wind, and their words are meaningless. I called my stbx’s verbal tricks and nonsense his “jibberjabber.” Living with the disordered is like being in a fun house full of mirrors, dark rooms, and slanted floors. A special kind of madness.

    • “He has my back.”

      This was a recurring theme in 5 Hoover attempts of ex. The pattern was always the same:
      -He would be so horrible and behave in such an unacceptable manner I would break up with him.
      -He would whine and beg and cry but do nothing to change
      -Behind the scenes while pretending to pine for me, he would be on every dating site and meet someone “new”. Like, in a matter of days
      -I would go no contact for a few weeks but due to trauma bonding (I didn’t know the term at the time) I would get amnesia and contact him.
      -He would tell me how much he misses me blah blah blah but that he met someone “new, it’s fresh”, but it wasn’t me
      -Queue the pick-me-dance
      – we would get back together with him promising me the moon and stars, and him promising to end it with other person ,UNTIL he behaved poorly AGAIN.

      In his Hoover attempts he Always Said he” had my back 110% we just needed to work together through these difficult times”…. barf. He always caused the difficult times.

      MY family and friends all were shocked that he thought he had my back”. They said he was the one that put the knife in my back. Every. Time.

      They are delusional.

  • CL hit the nail on the head here with something. Schmoopie often plays the pick me dance fast and furious in the beginning with no demands to win first place. Then once they’re the only one left standing they begin the demand the very same things we as spouses were demanding from them. It’s one of the reasons affair relationships fail. If they couldn’t adult with you, they are not going to do it with someone else….

    Devastated, you are not the cause of your wife’s lack of commitment, morality and decency. That’s all on her. In time you will see it clearly.

  • What it all boils down to for me:
    After pairing up, commitment, children, mortgage, 5,000 family birthday parties/holidays and whatever else, SOMETHING should have formed between you and your partner that had an intrinsic value.

    Something worth more than money, vacations, strange ****. I call it “family ties”.

    For you, it’s working, all systems functional – all steam ahead. That’s wonderful. You are normal.
    Hurts like a mofo when it’s taken away. That’s normal too.

    The failure in the system is with cheater. If they ever had a fraction of it, they would not treat chumps so sh@tty during break up.

    Weird thing is they run around casting lines into the ocean looking for EXACTLY the thing they are throwing away. Nope. It won’t be better over there. Nope. I think cheaters are less likely to trust and MORE likely to repeat the discard AFTER they put the first long term chump through garbage disposal.

    Once you have given yourself permission to cheat and act that way – it will be easier to do it again to the next.

    Trust.

    • It just doesn’t matter what the cheater thinks or does. The only thing that matters is you and how you will recover and build a new life with your precious child. It takes time to lose that SOB from your heart and mind because our love and affection was real and deep. It does happen and you will be so happy when the light shines through the cloud of betrayal. Carry on and take care of you. Do only those things that make you happy!!Protect yourself.

  • Infatuation kibbles and love bombing may get folks into the sack — and all those hormones may create a bonding of sorts. However, the reality of living means you need to work (have income) clean up messes, grocery shop, pay bills, get the car repaired, take care of that pesky root canal which always seems to happen at the time you can least afford it. Life is not an eternal honeymoon, for anyone. That goofy “twu luv, soulmate” state only lasts a few months. Reality always comes knocking, because, well you have to eat and have somewhere to live, and someone needs to take the kids to practice. Guess who that will be? Not the “love of your life.” You, the chumpy, realistic, responsible one. Because you are real. The one you think you love — a mirage, carefully crafted to take advantage of you and all your chumpy ways. The real selfish, blood sucking parasite who wanted all the good, but checked out as soon as anything was expected of him/her? That’s who you are saying “Buh-bye!” to.

    Really, after all the wrangling is over, and you settle into your new life, you will one day wonder what you ever saw in her/him. Be glad you didn’t waste any more time than you did. There are many of us on the site who lost not only years, but decades of our life. A small child will only have limited exposure to the limited parenting skills of this creep. Another blessing, believe me! In addition, the “Perfect Schmoopie” will not be perfect for long. Reality will knock on their door, too.

  • CL advice was spot on. You did nothing wrong. Your spouse made a choice to cheat. Cheaters are selfish idiots. They do not care that they look you scare in the face and lie. When they get caught they will deny and deny. Then turn the tables on you. If you would have given me more attention. I thought you wanted out of the marriage anyway. Cheaters are cowards. They do not think of their spouse, children or what they may loose. As long as they get their ego stroked.

    Go to a lawyer and protect yourself. Because the cheater will sure make sure they put them self first. I found out the hard way when my husband screwed around with my cousin. Us fellow chumps need to put ourselves first.

  • I was thinking about this post this morning on my way to work and suddenly Tommy Caltebellota popped into my head. When my son was in Cub Scouts my ex was the Awards Chairman for the Pack. Every month when we had the monthly Pack meeting, my ex would read out the list of boys and what awards they had earned. Tommy was one of the boys in the Pack and every time Ex had to read his name, he screwed it up. Every. Time. And Tommy managed to earn a lot of rewards. It became a family joke. Years afterwards we would laugh about Ex having Tommy Caltebellota syndrome. To this day, it makes me smile to think about it. No one else will ever get that little inside joke. And our lives are made up of hundred of moments like that. THAT is what cheaters don’t value. All those moments, good and bad, that make up a history. All those little tiny moments that no one else can possibly understand or value the way WE do.

    That is what finally set me free from loving my Ex. When I understood that he weighed all those little moments that made up our family history, thirty plus years of moments that were so precious to me, and he decided they had less value to him than the strippers he was banging. Devastated, you and your wife have your own Tommy Caltebellota moments, every relationship does. THAT is a deep connection. What your wife is looking for with the OW isn’t deep, it can’t possibly be because she had that with you and didn’t value it. Nope, what she wants and what she has with OW is shallow and it will never be anything else. Let her go, Devastated. Shallow will never be enough for you and that is all she’s got to offer.

    • Yes Beth you are right! It’s those little triggers that make you stop and think what the hell happened? I often wonder does doughboy not ever have a trigger that makes him wonder what the hell has lost? I know the answer …..no he doesn’t or he shrugs it off as collateral damage. It is hard to imagine someone so callous and shallow that one of that history meant anything to them. Doughboy did lose everything, his home, half his wealth, no one in the family wants anything to do with him, but he does have the Schmoopie and the bridge club! Yikes!

    • Beth, I read somewhere, cannot recall now, that one of the signs of a Narc is they will mispronounce words or use the wrong word in conversation constantly. Even after being corrected over and over! My PhD narc Ex constantly used “misconscrewed” for misconstrued! At first we would all just laugh, but then it was down right annoying! He sounded like an uneducated idiot. He also pronounced anything with a “th” at the end as an “f”, for example instead of birthday it was “birfday”! It got to be embarrassing!

      • Very interesting, Roberta. Ex always uses the term “alimony” for what is referred to here in Ohio as “spousal support.” I’m a former divorce lawyer so he heard me use the correct phrase a million times but for some reason, won’t use it. I don’t bother to correct it and I certainly don’t let him know that it irritates me or he would just do it more. Since what little communication we have at this point is written, I just grit my teeth and let it go. If he would just resume paying it, he can call it blood money for all I care.

        I can’t really think of any mispronunciations (other than Tommy C’s name) like you mentioned but his spelling is horrendous. I was always his “spell check” (and grammar check too for that matter) for important emails, etc. Apparently the former (?) stripper fiance isn’t up to the task of being my replacement. What a surprise. 😀

  • My sons dad contacted them and cried about how his OW left him and how much he loves her and thinks of her. Blah blah blah. Now he is all alone and doesn’t think he can take much more. He misses the family and the sons are not being forgiving. He wants to see his grandkids.. he has now found God and is turning it over to the Lord. love that my sons are not buying it …this time. Karma! YES!

    • Wow…my XHole Narc couldn’t say onion. Pronounced it as ongyun.

      He also couldn’t say moorings. Pronounced that one as mornings ~ every time.

      That’s amazing… one of the signs of a Narc huh?

      Who knew.

      • Hey Jody — it’s one of the signs of a liar. Mess up part of the statement so that it doesn’t actually mean what it’s supposedly means, because it’s not exactly right — the words are changed, pronunciation is off, grammar is wrong. So he didn’t lie!!! You misconstrued what he said! Can he help it?!

        • All the precious things your cheater had in his life, you, your sons, your grandchildren, are gone.
          He has nothing.
          ALL dead to him.
          There are cards for such losses.
          Your post got to me.
          YOU are Mighty, and your SONS are Mighty too!

  • CL – thank you so very much for this response. Means a lot to me and I needed to hear this today. Your response makes logical sense to me but my god is it hard to accept in my heart that my wife is what she’s revealed herself to be. Eight years together is a long time. We’ve traveled the world together, created a beautiful life, had a child together, etc. The loss of who I thought she was and what I thought I had is tremendous. It’s knocked me to my knees and I’m struggling to make the next move, which is inevitably divorce.

    The truth is that, even after dragging me through hell, I still love my wife. Part of me also buys into the idea that I could have done x, y and z better so that she wouldn’t stray (we did MC, even w/ the affair still going on underground, which messed with my mind in a big way). And a big part of me can’t resist the urge to try to “save” her from her AP because I’m fairly certain if she chooses that path that it will ruin her life. She fears it might ruin her as well and she said she can’t divorce me because she is terrified she will one day regret it. Such a mess.

    • So she is keeping you for back up? Your’re plan B maybe C? You can’t save her but you can save yourself and your little one that really needs you right now. Of course you still love her, you can’t turn off or shut down your emotions at will. This is going to take time. Even if she returns the odds of her running off again are not in your favor. Do you really want to live day to day wondering when or if she’ll meet someone else and leave? Trust me that is no way to live.

    • You’re in the bargaining stage of grief. You need to get angry. You need to get into therapy so you can let out all of your emotions and someone can listen and help you through it.

      You can’t save her—this has nothing to do with you or the AP… This has everything to do with her and her (lack thereof) character. You’re going to continue loving her because well, for us loyal chumps, we don’t give up quickly and cheaters LOVE that about us. Our resilience. Our dedication. The “never give up” attitude. The moral integrity that they themselves lacked but desperately want (which is why they seek us). They never loved us, they loved what we provided for them (ego kibbles, a place of residence that we did all the work for, a family person facade, a second income, etc.)

      As Chump Lady has said in previous posts… You’re focusing on HER and HER NEEDS. What about YOUR needs? Where do YOU come into play? Did she care about YOUR health and welfare while she was potentially picking up STDs? No. She only cared about her kibbles, regardless of the consequences (because cheaters don’t think about consequences because they feel they aren’t entitled to them). YOUR needs have been dismissed, minimized, and forgotten about. Focus on YOUR needs. Do you want to accept this kind of relationship? Aren’t you worth more?

      As far as your cheater is concerned… Yeah, she will regret it. Her whole “I’m a great person because I have a wife that takes care of the house, lifestyle, child, and everything for me” is now uprooted and gone, and thus, my facade is broken. She will have to adult and take care of herself (gasp!). She will think to herself, “how am I going to make myself look like the good person again?” That’s IT. She ONLY cares about HER and HER IMAGE and HER NEEDS, regardless of the costs… which is why she will go after your child for custody. Protect yourself. GET OUT. LAWYER UP. DOCUMENT!

    • “She fears it might ruin her as well and she said she can’t divorce me because she is terrified she will one day regret it.”

      Ack, that sums her up perfectly. What she’ll regret are those pesky consequences. Absolutely nothing to work with, DNM. I’m angry for you: she’ll regret fucking you and DS over “one day”. It’s just that *today* isn’t that day and the next doesn’t look much better. Maybe next January. Or not.

      You needn’t worry about “saving” her, she’ll be totally fine, even when things with Schmoops implode. These soulless jackals always seem to land on their feet and live to find another sucker to leech off of. It’s cruel to put your W thru all the shit she’s put you (and DS) thru.

      (((DNM)))

      • “she is terrified she will one day regret it.”

        Here’s a newsflash: the Ones Who Run can always find a new partner/sucker/chump willing to try to fix them, or willing to give them the time, space, and encouragement to fix themselves. But they never do. They just use up all the good will and then, when things start to get real, they run again. I am struggling with this myself. (17 years of sunk costs, 15+ of a loving, committed relationship– or so I thought, almost a year since DDay). But, as hard as I am finding it to lay it down, in my heart I know I don’t want to be “home base” between the shiny thing du jour he will likely run after every time life gets real. And it *will* get real. That’s why it’s called “life” not “flowers and rainbows flying out of your ass every day.”

        You have a new baby, DNM, and that is one of the greatest, but also most potentially real situations to be in. Since your wife has proven herself to be One Who Runs, even if she does regret losing you some day, the odds of her ever becoming a partner with whom you can build a stable life for yourself and your son, have gone way, way down. .

    • Remember that letting someone hit rock bottom CAN be a way of saving them. If you stick around as Backup Plan X so that she won’t have any regrets about all this, what message does that send her? That she can treat people badly, be irresponsible, and blow up lives and NOTHING HAPPENS. This was the mistake I made with my cheater for years–I covered for his financial messes, got extra work, paid off his bills… and the lesson he learned from that is, “Don’t worry about it. It’s Carol39’s job to patch this back together.” And when I couldn’t anymore because his messes got too big, it became, “It’s Carol39’s fault that this happened. She was supposed to fix this. I need a better wife than Carol39, because she isn’t meeting my needs.”

      If your cheater is not utterly soulless, then the best thing that can happen to her right now is to experience consequences of her actions. Yes, she WILL screw up her life. And hopefully that will teach her. Consequences might turn her into a better person. But she will NOT learn if she feels like your job is to sit there patiently doing all the adult work and keeping the home fires burning while she throws responsibility to the winds, blows up her life, and chases thrills.

      People often talk like it is cruel and unloving to cut someone lose for cheating. I think the most loving thing sometimes is to say, “We’re done. Forever. And hopefully by losing someone who loved you so much, you will learn to be a better person.” Maybe they still won’t learn. But for most cheaters, I think that’s their only real chance of changing.

      • Carol39, thank you. I’ve thought deeply about your post. Letting go is indeed counter-intuitive as you and CL (in one of her prior posts) say but may be the best bet for all. I don’t believe my wife to be soulless, far from it actually. She’s led a relatively easy life, though, full of entitlement and with no real challenges. And because of my natural reaction to save my family and marriage, there have been zero consequences for her continued adultery. I had to get to a point where I can look my son in the eyes in the future and tell him I did everything I could to keep his home intact, but sticking around has a downside as you point out. Perhaps a wake-up call will help her, but I have to move on regardless. My dream is to have a big family and if I want to realize that dream I simply can’t wait for this ship to right itself.

    • This is just an awful set of circumstances. My wife started a two year affair with an old high school friend when our son was 6 months old. Took me about 4 months to realize it wasn’t me who was breaking up the family. She had chosen to break the family up. F*ck em, hit reset, restart your life. It ain’t you, it’s her.

    • Your reaction to save her is because you have the ability to love and bond. Her expectation is to keep you as her plan B. That’s not remorse or fear speaking on her part it’s pure disrespect and entitlement.

    • “The truth is that, even after dragging me through hell, I still love my wife. Part of me also buys into the idea that I could have done x, y and z better so that she wouldn’t stray (we did MC, even w/ the affair still going on underground, which messed with my mind in a big way). And a big part of me can’t resist the urge to try to “save” her from her AP because I’m fairly certain if she chooses that path that it will ruin her life.”

      Of course you still love her. That’s because you are a human being, not a pod person as someone on CN — sorry, can’t remember who at the moment — calls the disordered. But loving her is irrelevant, really…. she is not good for you. She abandoned you and your child. She does NOT CARE about you. Sometimes, we love things or want to do things that are bad for us. In this case, you love a woman who is bad for you. Chumps use that excuse all the time for not leaving, “Oh, but I LOVE the cheater!” So what? Loving does not have to mean self sacrifice, which is all that you are doing if you stay. She certainly won’t appreciate it.

      As for you could have “done things better,” well, every cheater says that and every chump believes it, at least for a little while. Read enough here on CN and you will soon see that there is nothing you could or couldn’t have done to change the outcome….. it all comes down to your cheater’s lack of character. Not a thing you can do about that.

      And your cheating ex ruining her life? Yes, most likely she will…. but again, not your problem and not in your control. You don’t have the power to rescue someone who doesn’t want rescuing. And as others have said, without consequences, the lesson can never be learned.

      All you need to concern yourself with is you and your baby’s well being. The rest will sort itself out over time. But I assume the cheater is a legal parent of the baby? In that case, I do hope you are going after her for whatever child support might be ordered. Babies don’t come cheap.

    • With time, you will realize that you loved your wife for the person YOU THOUGHT she was, not who she is (a cheater who doesn’t care about you and your child. Run!

      • THIS^^^

        They are Academy Award level actors who can portray (act like) the kind of person we’d naturally want to marry. But they are NOT that person.

        They are uncannily adept at figuring out what our fantasy partner would be like, and they pretend to be that. They STUDY people. They find out what we want, and for awhile, they give it to us. But it never lasts because it’s insincere. It’s all for show.

    • I am glad you found us, but so sorry you are experiencing what led us all here, especially with a newborn. LadyLiar and I were together 9 years through three emotional affairs. The last time, I found out and confronted her, she lied and covered it up for months, and I was waiting her out. I was so beaten down by the years of emotional abuse and pick me dancing that I had a process in place TO WAIT HER OUT. I still loved her, and we raised my daughters together and built a family, and were house hunting, and, and, and…. When she didn’t follow her usual pattern, I asked her if she was in love with the AP and she said, “no, of course not.” It was the most honest thing she had said in years! You can’t save her, and saving someone is not loving them. I was afraid to leave her after her first affair because she’s a “recovering” addict (from one substance, but she is actively using others…), and I didn’t want to “make” her start using again. I went no contact quickly and I am 2 years out now and I have had to do A LOT of work with a therapist to recover. I am not thankful that I had this experience. I don’t believe it made me “stronger.” I did get HEALTHIER, though. I know how much it hurts, but what you have to remember is that even if you stay together, it will STILL hurt. And it WILL happen again. (((hugs)))

  • “After eight months of affair-ing, is it possible she has confused “connection” with something else, like infatuation? Or is eight months enough time to know?”

    No, 8 months is not enough to know. Eight months is infatuation. Throw in leaving your own baby for an infatuation? The level of horribleness and lack of character and lack of integrity blows my mind. I know you are suffering now, but this woman is SO messed up. You’ve got nothing to work with here.
    (((Hugs)))

    • This. Prior to my ex’s affair (correction; the affair I know about) I was imploring him to go to counseling with me because something was amiss. I brought up that we have a daughter who deserves to grow up in a loving household and if counseling helps that endeavor at all, or if there’s a chance it might, then isn’t it worth the minor effort? You woulda thought I was speaking Greek. His response: I don’t have any problems, you do. Their wants/needs will always come before those of their children, even for little things. I was asking one hour of his time once a month to possibly improve our world and our daughters home. Nope, too much to ask. They’re hard wired this way.

      Meanwhile I’m over here in chumpville planning fun family trips and holidays and going to the gym everyday and preparing his favorite meals and agreeing with all his asinine logic to try and create The Life He Wanted. He, on the other hand, was stockpiling cash and Viagra in his truck. Harumph!!

  • New Mom,
    As Chump Lady said, Hang In There. You will be okay. My STBXnarcissistH cheated on me while I was pregnant with our beautiful daughter, and ate lots of cake while pregnant, after the birth of the baby, etc. He painted the nursery. He did all of the baby shopping. All of this provides cheaters with the fake facade of family person, all the while they are out with their Schmoopies eating lots of cake. While you are still living with your cheater, you need to get all of the financial documents (with a big smile on your face acting as if there is nothing wrong) to secure yourself a fair divorce for you and that beautiful baby. My daughter was 4 months old when I left the nasty cheater—he had no idea of what I knew. I had all of the documentation, I had all of our finances, I had all of the things my lawyer needed (and more).

    I want you to know that you are NOT dealing with a rational, sane person in the divorce and your cheater will try to 1. Leave you with nothing and 2. Obtain custody of your child. Please, please, please protect yourself and protect your baby. It’s not that she will want the child because; this is about winning. She will want to come out looking like the perfect, sane person all the while try and smear you and make you look like the crazy person. ALWAYS take the high road. Do NOT engage in the pick me dance, do NOT engage in any communication unless in writing and ONLY about your child, and do NOT react to the abuse because it will follow suit once she sees you are serious about leaving because the jig is up. PROTECT YOURSELF.

    So, 1. Gather your documents 2. Make a binder and document how involved your cheater is with your baby and document every. single. time. she is uninvolved and document every thing you do for that baby 3. Gather evidence of the Schmoopie and your cheater’s relationship with pictures (hire a private investigator if you can—solid evidence will help with the divorce settlement and securing yourself custody of your baby). 4. Once you’re out, document every single time your cheater does not show up or see your baby or no call no show—this will help you once your cheater last-minute tries to obtain custody… because it’s inevitable. They only want to still control you and “win” at the end. 5. Get yourself into therapy, because you’re going to need an outlet for all of your emotions. Let them out. The more you let them out, the faster you heal.

    Stay sane. Do right by your baby. Know that it gets better, and you have a lot of good karma coming because you did right and do right by you and your family. It’s going to be okay.

    • This advice is spot on. Do everything that NewtoChumpdom says.

      This person is not who you think they are once you declare GAME OVER. Their vindictive, nasty side will emerge and it will take your breath away.

  • New Mom:

    Welcome to the club nobody wanted to join. You made it! You’re here! It’s sucks!

    Y’all have been together eight years? That’s a long time. You’re invested. Here’s a neat trick though. When she says she hasn’t loved you for a while? The time she says she hasn’t loved you for? In my case it was: “three years ago.” That’s the *first* time she cheated on you. Dump that whore and get happy. You got this.

    • That whole “how long has it been since you fell out of love with me?” “Three years ago” conversation definitely works like a charm EVERY TIME!!!

      • Well, I got a weird take on that one.

        I asked ExHole … When did you stop loving me?

        The reply was … I never did. I thought about that answer for a bit and then asked, You never loved me? or you never stopped loving me?

        The reply was … The latter. Delivered with dead shark eyes.

        I tried to figure that one out for months then I just stopped. There is no answer.

        • Oh man, that is really, really creepy. Right up until the divorce was final my Ex would tell me “I DO love you…” with this weird emphasis on “do”. Okay…so that makes it all better? “I DO love you” so ignore all the stripper fucking, porn watching and asset stealing that has gone on? That’s your message? Um……….. no thanks. I will be over here reclaiming my life.

          • Beth,

            I think they lie by omission at times. “I DO love you” (while thinking…”like a sister” or “family member” or the dreaded “…but I’m not in love with you”). They just omit that last part if it suits them. Hell, they may even cross their fingers behind their back when they say it. In any event, the chump is better off not having the cheater’s brand of “love” expressed or implied.

            • I didn’t think of that NK4U but it makes perfect sense to me in a way that his statement never did. “I DO love you, but not enough to stop hurting you” seems about right. Eh, it’s all water under the bridge at this point anyway. #meh

              • “…but not enough to stop hurting you.” Bingo. Everything is a damn puzzle with these nut jobs.

                Glad you’re in the land of Meh and it’s super sweet of you to stay here and help the newbies!

              • Beth and NK4U, I heard the EXACT thing several times, “I DO love you” – “I will always love you” and thought to myself – WTF does that mean? Now that you’ve finished the sentence for me, I get it.

                “I DO love you, …but not enough to stop hurting you.”
                “I will always love you, …for everything you did for me.”

                Now it makes much more sense. They SUCK

    • Doubtless et al…idea that the “I have not loved you since___” is the sign of the first cheating…

      When this shit hit the fan, I would have sworn on my childrens’ lives that he had never cheated before, but 2.5 yrs after he died, I was told (by a former confidant of his) that he had prior affairS . It always seemed odd to me that there was none of the changes people tell of when an affair starts.

      So after learning about Susan of Seattle, he tells me “I have never loved you” which I now take to mean “I was never faithful” and when I look back now (with new lenses) I do believe he was a life long cheat.

  • It just breaks my heart to see a family broken up in this manner. What a shitty thing to do to a new mother.

    If there is a bright side, you can be happy that you found this out about her now, not 2 more kids later AND you have every opportunity to find a real partner to invest your life with.

  • Part of why I struggle is that ex didn’t really give up much except for me. He still makes an effort to maintain a relationship with his kids. I have done my best to facilitate this as well because I do think he cares about them and it is best for them to have him in their lives if he does care, but sometimes it does make me feel lonely in the discard. I was the only one who got left which makes it hard for me not to feel like I don’t matter. I have to be the sacrificial lamb so that everybody else can be happy. I resent ex for putting me in this position. Yes I can move on and have a good life without him, but it still hurts that he didn’t care about me or what might happen to me. That all of the years that I gave him and was devoted to him meant nothing in the face of what Schmoopie has to offer.

    Over the weekend he and daughter had some kind of tiff. Then I witnessed them make up and express their love for each other in front of me when he dropped her off. I was actually jealous of my daughter because he cares about his relationship with her. He is willing to put in the effort to maintain a relationship with her where he wasn’t willing to do the same for me. I am glad for my daughter’s sake because she really needs the attention of both parents, but it cuts like a knife to me. Again, I am the one who wasn’t good enough to matter. Then he said something to the affect of “ Two people in a relationship are going to upset each other sometimes and that’s ok.” It was all I could do to bite my tongue and not yell out “why couldn’t you have had that attitude with me? Why am I the only one to which that statement doesn’t apply?” He and I hardly ever fought, but when we did it went on his list of resentments and never went away. Meanwhile he never noticed all of the kind things I did to try and improve his life and make his life more comfortable. I guess his life with Schmoopie has much more drama and he thrives on that. He told me after DDay that he wished he hadn’t been so nice to me because maybe he would have gotten better out of me otherwise. The truth is that I think it was the other way around. I was too nice to him. Perhaps if I had been more critical he would have been too busy to please me to notice my imperfections. Somebody told me that we are our most cruel to the people who love us most. I feel like I am being punished for loving.

    • Chumpinrecovery, this is a loving 2×4 but you need to ‘snap out of it! ‘. Thus guy is a cheating lying bastard who destroyed your family, who gives a rats ass what he thinks ? It’s not much or he wouldn’t have abandoned his family and especially his daughter. So, he thinks ” he should have gotten better out of you” ? Really, what did he give to you? Just what did he think he was entitled too? Cut this guy loose have no further contact and don’t discuss anything with him but your daughter. Don’t continue to let him punish you with his bullshit. Stop smoking the Hopium pipe. Let him have his drama you go get yourself the cheater free great life you deserve. Hugs

  • Ah…the Schmoopie that doesn’t demand anything of the cheater. Yessssssss… My XH had one of those too. He regaled me with stories of how his life was going to be what HE wanted. He didn’t like the life that WE created as it was based upon what I had envisioned. Nice home, upscale community, investments. He was a “country boy” after all. I was a “city girl”. We were different and going in “different directions”. He dumped me for the “single life” with “just a friend”.

    Within months, the Whore that didn’t demand anything, all of the sudden had demands. She didn’t like being a bit on the side and wanted to be legit. He purchased a shit-hole house (reminiscent of his parent’s home) in a crappy, unincorporated area. Within a year of our divorce, he put a ring on it. They married a few months later, and the crappy house was listed and sold (I think he owned it for not even 14 months). He then purchased a home down the road from our former marital home in the upscale community he proclaimed to hate. Seems that Schmoopie was a “city girl” as well. One that was born with a silver spoon in her twat and a penchant for the finer things. Why should she have to work for those things??

    Schmoopie played the long game on the cheater and won. I commend you oh-so-sparkly and enchanting Schmoopie. I commend you on a job well done. He is literally back to where he started, but now with a ton of debt and a demanding whore he wakes up to every day and calls “wife”. She contributed no $ to the home, didn’t have any furnishings at age 35. She’s a parasite and he’s the host. Karmic.

    • NoKibble4U
      “a silver spoon in her twat”

      Too bad silver tarnishes.
      When it can’t be made to shine again, most people just throw “it” out!

      • Peacekeeper – Indeed. Her first married man didn’t last long after divorcing his 1st wife and marrying her. I think they were married for 2 or 3 years. Deep down, she probably believes she’s not worth keeping – thus the inappropriate attachments. She’d be better served by going to IC and fixing her broken.

  • This post and every single comment to it is GOLDEN. Really hits home and helps articulate the truly delusional world these cheaters live in. Still blows me away that they all act the same and think they’re so amazingly special!

  • I so feel for you, Devastated New Mom, because I was somewhat in your shoes about 26 years ago when my ex, Snakeface, had a brief affair with a co-worker, the receptionist at the long-term care facility where he worked. I’d met her a few times, disliked her, and suspected that something was going on between the two of them, but I couldn’t prove it. (How I found out about their affair is a story in itself.) Our oldest child was about six months old when it happened.

    Snakeface didn’t lose anything since we reconciled, got counseling, and had what I felt were ten good years after that before he started a long emotional-that-turned-sexual affair with a co-worker at another long-term care facility. It was during that affair that he really ignored not only his marriage, but the needs of his kids. I often thought that the first affair was just dress rehearsal for the second. But I digress…

    It was the references to baby vomit that got me. I have one nasty-happy little memory from the period of Snakeface’s first affair. I showed at his workplace with the baby one afternoon (can you say I was in “pick me” dance mode?!), and I stopped by the receptionist/AP’s desk, probably to have her call Snakeface to tell him I was waiting for him there. I must have put the baby down to take off my coat or something, and she must knelt down on the floor to coo at him because I sure as heck wasn’t going to let her HOLD him. He was level with her darling little navy blue pleated mini-skirt – and he PUKED on it! Nice, slimy, whitish formula puke.

    “That’s my boy!” I thought to myself. Remembering that still makes me smile.

    You’ll rebuild your life without your cheating wife, and it will get better. Hugs.

  • I figured out, over the years, that ex was selfish and entitled. But I think Affair #2 still caught me somewhat by surprise, because he had so much to lose. Our relationship was going better than it had in years (due to an ultimatum from me the year before about treating the kids and me better), which had led to improvements in our (always very active, sometimes blah) sex life, the kids were tweens, much less work to care for them and great fun to hang out with, plus we could go out as a couple more easily, we had a great group of friends and an active social life, were getting along well with both our families, we had a super nice house, financially we were getting on top of things and more able to go out and travel, he was starting to plan for our retirement, although it was still years away,

    What I hadn’t realized at that point, was that he’s selfish, entitled and STUPID! That one took a long time to understand. After all, he has a Ph.D. and an MBA, is very hard working and fairly successful at work. But I think it’s a stupidity born of the selfishness and entitlement. He consistently felt and thought that he should be able to do whatever he wanted to do, whenever he wanted to do it, and there should be no consequences, he didn’t even have to think about possible consequences. Everything should come out the way HE wanted. And wow was he pissed when reality, especially the kids and I, didn’t cooperate w/that delusion.

    Long after the whole mess settled down, we were e-mailing about the kids, and he said ‘I lost a lot more than you did, you know’. I replied, ‘you didn’t LOSE anything, you threw it all away’. Cue the rage channel.

    • KarenE there’s so many similarities between our lives and cheaters. Dr. Cheaterpants left the first time when our kids were 2 & 4 years old only to come begging back (I guess the howorker schmoopie sunset he ran off into wasn’t what he thought it would be). Fast forward 12 years (and through 2 suspicous secretaries) and I caught him screwing around with DD14’s 20-something asst sports coach in our kids’ school while he was volunteer coaching. I knew I was done. I was still just stunned he would throw it all away for a young ho.

      We were planning for retirement too because he was tired of working. Now he’ll be working til he’s 105 to pay for all his stuff he’s bought to win over young schmoopie and entice the kids to spend time with him.

      I did get the house with a good amount of equity and better child support than the state requires, I think he thought he could come back if things didn’t work out and I wouldn’t be so pissed off that I would let him. Not so much. I ignore all of his texts. My youngest is driving now so I don’t even have to see shithead or his ho in front of my home ever again.

  • Devastated Mom,
    I’m sorry that your spouse sucks! I reconciled and pick me danced and reconciled with my adulterous husband and my lying, disrespectful boyfriend. By reconciling, I just stayed for more awful treatment. Wish that I never met these ‘partners’ or at least had acknowledged that hanging onto them was a terrible idea and cut them loose a lot sooner. I would be a lot less scarred.

  • Reading this article also helped me think of another scenario. As much as we think our exes changed so drastically and are “lost souls,” you can imagine they feel just as strongly that we changed. I can imagine mine feeling like I’m the one who changed so drastically that she had to leave me for the OM, that he was now her “ideal life partner” and/or he provided “something” that I never did, or could no longer provide.

    Anyone else have similar thoughts?

    • She pretty much said this to me. But it was laced with the usual narc comments that I now recognise it for the bs that it was.

    • I think they believe their own rationalizations and justifications of why they HAD to do what they did. It’s cheater-think mode and it’s part of their character. It’s born of entitlement and selfishness. Think of the jerk who tells themself it’s okay to park in that handicap spot at the grocery store–well if they had more handicap parking or had designed the parking lot better then they wouldn’t have to cheat and park there. Why it’s pouring down rain, they just had their hair done, they only need to grab a few things, whatever else that gives them permission to cheat and park there. They never for one second think about the little old lady in a wheel chair that needs to pick up her medicine and now has to park at the back of the lot. That’s just collateral damage and an afterthought once caught.

  • I just needed to read ALL of this today. All of this helped.

    I was floating in self-doubt and negativity, ALL OF THIS help reinforce who I am and who I was with.

    thank you one and all.

  • “My wife is about to lose her spouse, her home, full time with her infant son, a large number of our mutual friends, dignity, etc., to go after this connection. Sometimes I worry that she’s found the real thing (otherwise why risk losing all the things she admits she still loves?)”

    Been there, she did that. Here is how my ex-wife handled it:
    * She worked to do “just enough” to indicate she wanted to stay in the marriage. She went to therapy (lied), went to confess to a pastor (proving she was serious), etc. All the in background, she kept getting her kibbles.

    * She told herself that she’d be retaining 95% of custody. She told her self that her AP would be a GREAT DAD to our child.

    * She didn’t care that she was losing friends, not speaking to anyone, she didn’t care so much that she’d go on dates in public. It was romeo and Juliet. It was them against the world.

    * Her feelings were REAL. They were different. It didn’t matter that he’d cheated on this last wife, last girlfriend, and that she was the 3rd woman in a long string of work affairs.

    * She said that kids were resilient and she wasn’t doing any damage to our child. She was screwing me over, not our child and that there would be no impact to family or social structure.

    * I remember hearing “love is a feeling, not an action” and “people say go with your heart” – yea, great advice for long term relationships.

    She wanted an immediate divorce, so it was granted at my expense in exchange for some good terms. She gets to see our child 50% of the time, she lost most (98%) of her friends, 100% of our friends, and had to start over. She railed at the custody situation even though she agreed to the sharing and tried to get our son to accept his “new father”….

    By all outward appearances they are doing great. She put on 20 lbs, has bought 5 new cars, new boobs, and has a nice house…. She claims “it’s the happiest I’ve ever been”. Bullshit.

    They can go nuts for this stuff.

    My advice: If she’s still seeing him, she gets to feel consequences now. Sure, they might work out. They might hit that 2% or so chance of people making it 7 years. It’s a SHIT SHOW and she’s going to pay dearly…. Only she’ll make you pay too and you have to decide how much you’re going to allow that.

      • My XBF probably didn’t lose as much as your wife, but in my mind he lost plenty. He lost me. I have supported him through so.much.drama with job changes and his perceived injustices. Red flag much? @2old, what were you thinking? We bought a fixer house and have been working for seven years to make it ours. I guess it matters more to me than him. We have history and our own language. I’m one of those people who has a “connection” with some people. He was one of them, my daughter is another. I just somehow know what is going on in some way with the people I’m “connected with.” He’s 62 years old and quit his secure government job to move to her. He tells me that “we are room mates” “we don’t talk.” So much bs. He’ll be ok for awhile as he extorted quite a bit of money from me just to get him gone without the involving the court system he threatened me with. The whole thing is so very sad and such a waste.

  • Great post! I asked those same questions over and over again for many months. Now I’m about at Meh. I look great. I feel great. My husband (the cheater) sees our girls for eight hours a week. He lives with his parents. He just got kicked out of the Marines. And the other woman is far, far away in Eastern Europe. My husband (the cheater) is stranded on the highway this as we speak minute because his car is broken down. He emailed me. I didn’t respond…hello karma my old friend!

  • This is nearly my exact story, except my wife left 3 years after I had my son. I spent a few months doing the pick me dance because it was just a “deep friendship” – but she didn’t want our 12 year relationship any longer. It’s gutting, and heartbreaking. I’ve been hanging out on this site for a few weeks (first time posting!) and it’s been very empowering. I was completely feeding into her rebranding (perfect language for the mind fucking!) that I didn’t love her enough, or take care of her enough, or support her enough, or that I was controlling and manipulative. I didn’t know it was blame shifting, but it’s all so very clear now. So I spent months falling into a deep hole that somehow this was all my fault. She is with her affair partner, a 27 year old (8 years younger) who has no responsibilities or children, and is “more fun!” I’m still wrapping my mind around it all as it’s been six months and divorce is so hard, but I keep coming back here for support. It sucks and it’s totally shitty, but we deserve so much more. Keep loving that baby, and yourself!

    • Im sorry you are going through this. Follow the course here of protect yourself while suffering through the grieving. Remember life is t about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain. This is one of those shit storm experiences. Hugs!!!

    • Ugh, I’m so sorry. My wife’s “deep” situation began as a recruiting attempt turned mate-poach… it was an abuse of power by the AP who would have been my wife’s boss, and this happened when my wife was only a few months postpartum. The AP knew all about me and our son. Pretty sick stuff.

      I also fully relate to the effects of the “rebranding.” In a cheater’s narrative, so much weight is placed on the negatives of the primary relationship and the imagined positives of the new one. Cheaters lie to themselves, and to us, and skew reality. Not only does this fuck with your head when you’re weak and cause additional pain, but it also provides the cheater with the rationalization needed to leave you and the family and toss aside vows and commitment. Always remember, no matter how much they try to justify their shitty behavior, the cheating was NOT your fault.

      • My wife also found her AP at work, except she is the boss. It’s definitely an abuse of power. And so gross. What makes me sick is that the AP knew all about me and my son. My ex tries to say how she’s a good persons. Jesus!

        Your last paragraph is spot on! I’m getting my head above water after many months of continued abuse. It’s so hard, but I read this blog every day. It’s turned my mental health around in just a couple weeks. This wasn’t your fault either. I’m so sorry. Hugs.

  • I’m so sorry you had to find us, DNM.

    (((Devastated New Mom)))

    Tracy hit it on the head. She may have appeared to be a wonderful person, but she was only acting like one, and couldn’t keep up the facade. In truth, she is stupid. Making stupid choices. It’s not about you at all.

    As Forrest Gump says, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

  • I am officially divorced today. And this sums it up perfectly: “People do stupid shit Every. Single. Day. They trade their bags of gold for useless “magic” beans and run off with the swindler.”. His wedding is this Spring. I Am thrilled the toxic trash took itself out.

  • Thanks again to CL and CN for your replies. You’ve given me a lot to think about and comfort in community. Hugs back at each and every one of you.

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