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Dear Chump Lady, What’s in the minds of OW?

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Dear Chump Lady,

You have done such a wonderful job describing the cheater. Can you please give me insight into the mind of the other woman? It boggles my mind how a woman, who has kids of her own, can get involved with a married man with three kids? And when the affair was discovered and we were supposedly trying to reconcile, the OW would drop her kids off at school and then “exercise” by walking around my block with her shirt rolled up?

I don’t get it. Please help me understand.

Pearl

Dear Pearl,

Well, perhaps the poor dear can only get her Vitamin D intake by exposing her pasty midsection? That’s such a bizarre detail! You want me to hazard a guess as to what’s in her head? How about: “LOOK AT ME! My postpartum tummy is firm and unblemished! Behold! And lust me!” … Or pity me as an attention whore. It’s all good. I’ll take whatever ego kibbles I can get, even if it means lapping the neighborhood half-naked.

I don’t know, Pearl. Sounds like a mindfuck to me. She’s hoping you notice. And you noticed.

But I think your question is what are Other Women thinking that allows them to screw married men? Well, Pearl, I don’t think Ms. Midriff is thinking of you at all except as an obstacle to her happiness. You’re not in her world. Which is more than can be said for your husband. He’s not thinking of you at all either, and he lives with you! A pretty astounding mental trick when you think about it.

I have to confess that I haven’t made such a big study of Other Women. Some chumps hang out on OW forums to figure out what makes them tick. I didn’t do that. The primary OW in my story purportedly was bipolar, and she’d been an OW through all three of my ex’s marriages. It was a special kind of fucked up, for sure. That was a skein I wasn’t particularly interested in unraveling.

I would say though, that I don’t think all OW tick in the same way. (No group of people is a monolith.) At one end of the spectrum are unwitting OWs. They’ve been duped. At the other end of the spectrum are the disordered nuts who get their sick jollies from competing with the wife and having the guy show his ultimate devotion by chucking what is supposedly dearest to him — his family — to “win” her.

(For the men, I’m not going to speculate about OM — there really is a gender difference here. In my entire blogging life only TWO Other Men have ever written to me. Whereas OW write to me EVERY single day. Women pick me dancing for men is a phenomenon firmly embedded in our culture. My over generalization about OM? No strings attached sex.)

Some thoughts…

1. They think the man is available. I know, duh, he’s NOT available. But from their perspective, he is because he is pursuing them, or is open to their advances. Neither of them have any boundaries. They take his interest as a green light to proceed. And the cheater is usually floating all sorts of bullshit, that he’s separated, or he lives chastely with his wife as a “roommate,” or she has a wasting illness that prevents her from performing her wifely duties. Whatever bullshit they spin, the OW wants to believe it. That’s how all conmen con — we want to believe in what they’re selling. (i.e., he’s available and I’m special.)

2. They don’t know. Similarly to #1, there are OW who simply don’t know they are OW. Maybe they met the guy on match.com and he represented himself as single. Thing is, this should be a short-term affliction of cluelessness. Eventually the scheduling conflicts and cell phone secrecy, it has got to dawn on them he’s married. Now, I’ve read OW turning that around on chumps — hey, I didn’t know, how come YOU didn’t know he was cheating? Well, it’s a fair point, except that the guy is married to you. Being with you is where he is supposed to be. In a marriage it is not on your constant radar that your husband could be cheating, whereas if you’re in the dating trenches, it should be on your radar if the guy isn’t acting available. OW aren’t operating from a starting place of commitment.

Once an OW clues in? She should get the hell out and tell the wife. But a lot of them seem to succumb to the Humiliating Dance of “Pick Me” and stick with the affair, at least for awhile. They’re hooked on the sparkly, rainbow kibbles. And unpredictable supply creates demand and fucks up your head, as we know.

3. They’re think they’re edgy and sophisticated. This HuffPo piece is illustrative of this kind of wingnut. Maybe they freebased too much Sex and the City, but OW like this seem convinced that they’re central in some romantic drama that lesser mortals cannot understand. They speak in breathy, Harlequin romance speak, convinced their cliches are profound. From that HuffPo piece by (I kid you not) someone named “Whiskey Tortoise:

The secrecy and the heartache we shared have long given way to thrilling memories.

Whiskey Tortoise is fitting really for this sort of OW. Synonymous for inebriated reptile, which you’d have to be to write something so patently stupid. (No offense to tortoises, who I’m sure are very nice as cold-blooded creatures go. Unlike OW.)

4. It’s a sick competition. At the end of the spectrum, you have the real sickos who get off on competing with the wife and kids. Regular affair kibbles are not enough. No easy, breezy fuck on the side for them. No, they require supreme sacrifice and total allegiance. They want the guy to give up something significant to demonstrate fealty to her — his wife and kids. It’s a competition and she must win it.

All I can say about people like this is they’re disordered. Completely without empathy. All cheating involves narcissism, but what is so telling about these sickos is the wife isn’t a theoretical construct to them. Some distant background noise, a nagging presence. No, the wife is someone who must be eliminated from the arena. Humiliated. Conquered. I think these OW are very aware of what they are doing and why. Part of the pleasure is mindfucking the wife. This may be the sort of person you’re dealing with, in which case, I’m so sorry.

All I can advise you is let her have him. Worst karma you could inflict on your cheating husband would be to let him live with her. I’m sure she and her mid-riff will be out strolling again. And doesn’t he deserve that?

This column ran previously.

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    • One of the other women in my story was with my husband for 10 years. I think she knew he cheated but didnt care because he provided money and fun times. ( btw she had 4 kids and a husband when it began. After i finally left my husband learning of his many women. I chose to reach out and tell her he had other girlfriends. We became”friends” exchanging stories and trying to understand his emotionally disturbing game play. It was very enlightening to me to see he played the same games with her. Needless to say, she went back to him despite all she had said about him and what i had told her. My kids hate her especially since she needs to save herself by discrediting me. Have i learned my leason. Yes. They deserve each other. On a good side i kept all our emails to show what he said and gave her for our divorce proceedings.

      • My OW used my 15 year old to get into my home. She claimed she tutored and mentored many students, my son was so bright she would like to take him on. Perhaps my first clue should have been the fee, free!
        She then proceeded to come to my home every day, aggressively pursued a friendship with me while screwing my husband. I actually confessed to her, that I believed myhusband was having an affair! Talk about sickos. I later found out she wasn’t an engineer, didn’t have two masters and three bachelor’s degrees, and wasn’t divorced! Yet the cheater is still with her.

      • These types of women are LOW self esteem because how could anyone with high self esteem not find their own mate, UNMARRIED! Although the husbands are no better because if they were really committed they would tell her to hit the road. I cannot imagine messing with a married man that is the lowest blow ever.

    • Yes, that is the feeling I get when I think of stbxh and Schmoopie…ick, gross; they are diseased and disgusting. Stbxh proudly announced that his Schmoopie “doesn’t believe in marriage” so it does not matter to her if we are married. So her beliefs define other people’s reality? Was she there at my wedding? Was she present when my kids were born? Was she there when my husband lost his job, and I did everything I could to help him? What about all those times stbxh said I was his SOULMATE? Are these things not real because she doesn’t believe in them? Just narc-talk at its finest. By the way, stbxh seemed to think he had hit the jackpot finding such a person. Yep, these people deserve each other. That is the best karma we can hope for.

    • These types of women are SLUTS, low self esteem but the husband welcomes the attention therefore with mine I said GOODBYE!

  • Whiskey Tortoise says:

    “I’m not likening affairs to non-monogamy; I appreciate how much trust and work go into the latter, while these can be pleasantly avoided in the former.”

    Pleasantly avoided.

    I feel like someone just kicked me in the balls.

  • I know CL says number 4 is the worst, and I agree – but I definitely think number 1 is the most common – and I suppose *common* is the best way to describe such behavior. There’s been infidelity since the beginning of time – if anyone really believes they’re special by being the side dish – well, they haven’t been paying attention.

    • And who, in this day and age, believes, “My wife doesn’t understand me…we’ve grown apart…” as anything other than a pickup line? A person would have to have low IQ or have lived under a rock to accept those statements as anything other than, “I would like sex with you, but am very unlikely to leave my cushy family life. You game?”

      • I agree, but they DO believe it. They ARE that fucking stupid. I saw, with my own eyes, messages from his last OW desperately asking STBXH if he had been lying from the start that we’d “grown apart”, were “sleeping in separate rooms”, etc. He fed them all the same clichés, and they ALL believed him. Several then morphed from OW type number one to OW type number four, pushing for the ultimate commitment from a man who can’t commit.
        Well, the last one finally got her prize, but only after he dumped her to “save our marriage”, ignored her for a year, and then went in search of her services as an ejaculate storage facility after I dumped him to “save my fucking LIFE” (thanks to CL and CN, love ya all!). I’m done trying to unravel the spaghetti they have in their heads. Meh is just around the corner 🙂

        • Agreed with Pineconeelf, they REALLY DO believe it. I cannot tell you how many OW clients I’ve had where it is obvious to me, clear as day that the man they’re involved with is married or at least living with someone else, and lying about the state of that relationship. And this person DOES NOT GET IT and is in so much denial, their own shrink is telling them, hey, this is happening, and they do not believe it or me. They believe the man. Until something happens that shatters that denial, but I’m telling you, this is a phenomenon. And these are usually folks who have been groomed to expect less in life, usually starting with narcissistic or abusive parents. While I do think there is clearly culpability if you know a person is married and that marriage is still active, if someone is lying to you about the state of that relationship or if it still exists, I personally do not condemn the OW or OM. It is the responsibility of the person in the relationship to maintain integrity about it. People can be really convincing liars; IMO it stands to reason that if a person is disordered enough to be victimizing their spouse, it stands to reason they would use a similar approach with satellite relationships. As for people who are evil enough to try to win the pick me dance with a clearly married person, fuck them.

          • Many of us came from disordered families and don’t use that as an excuse to fuck married people. Kind of you to exempt the OW/OM who are being lied to about “my marriage is dead…we are just roommates,” but I think they, too, deserve moral opprobrium. Even 13-year olds grasp the concept of not dating people who are attached (married or not); if two people have children and are still occupying the same house, it should be hands-off from other men/women until those divorce papers are filed.

            • I could not agree more. My fuckwit portrayed himself as the victim. Poor sad sausage. I found out about the affair after he left when he showed up with her at an event for my daughter and told her they were “friends”. Who does that?!! Fuckers!

          • K

            I don’t believe they don’t get it and certainly they could ask questions.
            1. If your wife is that bad why don’t you divorce her?
            2. When did you file for a divorce?
            3. Why don’t you have your own apartment if it’s that bad?

            Three simple questions that can be easily verified in my opinion.

            I agree Tempest, these OW aren’t very bright. Who the fuck in their right mind can deny knowing the truth when the wife doesn’t know and he’s living at home.

            Yes, he was a cunning con man. But at the end of the day the OW is enlisted to fight their battles and participate in getting whatever assets they might benefit from including a home and $.

            Nanthony bought into all his future faking and good guy image. She believed he was a victim. The lies unfold once they live together and there’s no one to blame. He wanted someone to pay half the bills so he could work psrt time. Whose the roommate? Funny shit.

            • Before having sex with somebody, ask to see their driver’s license and visit the address on said license and look around. Any squawking ? That person ain’t single/available

              • Yes, if you’re dating in 2018, you’d have to be incredibly stupid to believe a man when he says that he and his wife are “roommates.” Question: Does she know that? If so, can I talk to her first and get her side of things?

                A few months ago, I went to dinner with a divorced man in his late 40s and started to suspect that he might have a girlfriend. So I asked outright, “Do you have a girlfriend?” Vague answer. “Is there a woman out there who believes she might be your girlfriend?” Vague answer. “OK, is there any woman who would be really pissed right now if she walked by right now and saw us having dinner?” Bingo. Sad, but you have to get THAT specific sometimes.

          • Thanks K. I get that so much about this site is to fuel the anger that motivates us to leave someone who’s mistreating us. And I think that’s great. Cheating is abuse, absolutely. Leave abusers in your dust and embrace your anger because that’s what will get you there. Don’t give the OW a second of your energy, it’s not necessary and not healthy for you. The focus on the OW is misplaced. The way people behave to each other when they’re hurting or fighting for limited resources sucks. We lash out, we act stupid, we embarrass ourselves. We hit below the belt, we’re rude and vile. Yeah, WE may not have been the ones that cheated, but the way we speak about other human beings on social media infects so many other people than the ones in our individual stories. It’s just as troublesome. We know so many OW look at this site probably because they relate to some of the abuse narrative. Personally I’d rather empower them to also realize the cheating spouse is an abusive f*ck whom they should kick out immediately, instead of denigrating them so badly that they decide to dig their heels in and relish and advertise continuing to screw us and our husbands. The cheating spouse is abusive. Abusers are abusers, they can’t turn it on and off for different people. They are abusive to everyone. Wife, children, other women. APs, like you say, often come from backgrounds of abuse and narcissism. So many affairs start in the workplace – so many women are sexually harassed in the workplace – there is a connection. Some OW are being threatened. The cheater wants us to focus on the OW, and wonder what is wrong with her, why her, why don’t I measure up, and later, wow that’s one crazy psycho bitch, because if we’re thinking that we don’t have time to think, wow my husband is an abusive asshole that I should take to the cleaners and never speak to again. Triangulation. Blaming the OW instead of him. Stay focused on what’s really important here–leaving the abuser and making a better life for yourself.

      • Tempest,
        You hit the nail on the head with your comment!! “Low IQ or living under a rock “, both Stbx and married AP are mindfucking and using each other!!

        I’m in the middle of divorce from hell from a textbook Narcissist/Cluster B – married AP is #4 x’s 1000, if there is a level 10, both Stbx and married AP , both are at that level!

        The text/email messages I found between them – AP spews #3 to a nauseating level – you would think you were reading messages from a junior high girl to a senior in high school boyfriend! Someday, when Divorce from hell ends, will have to post some of the messages on FN!

        Stbx google searches I found – in addition to the porn sites, chat rooms, on-line pharmacy for viagra , etc were google searches, and I quote:
        “how to know if married mistress is sleeping with her husband”? And
        “ I Love and committed to wife, but enjoy erotic sex with married woman who is never going to leave her husband “

        Married AP – has started a company with Stbx as “silent partner “ to deliberately assist Stbx to hide and dissipate marital assets! The company is in her name only – Stbx hidden marital asset funds-in married AP’s name!! Stbx is stupid enough to believe that Narc “AP “ won’t kick his ass to the curb once she and her husband’s financials are subpoenaed and both are deposed! These are just a few of the wtf moments Stbx will be dealing with very soon!! The # of flying monkeys involved with Stbx and married AP’s “scam” are numerous. Divorce from hell could end with criminal charges and or multiple career endings !!

        Stbx – in full scorched earth mode!

        I thank god every day that I found CL/CN, which allowed me to complete unmasking process and take steps to hopefully ensure Stbx and flying monkeys can never find me once divorce from hell is over!!

  • What really cracks me up here is how they don’t see each other for the terrible people they are. The mentality of my ex is “She’s a really good person, it’s just that her love for me is so strong that it overpowered her ability to be a decent human being…” And of course, to her, my ex is for some reason capable of horrid monstrosities to his wife of twenty years, but will be good to her because she’s so special and their love is so real and strong. Oh brother. What a couple of morons. They really do deserve each other

    • That was my ex’s line. He cheated and lied about it because he didn’t want people to see him as a bad person. They had their ‘dates’ out of town or with a select group of enablers for cover because it would ruin her good reputation.

      They are happily married for now. Good luck to them.

      • “Happily Married…”
        Yeah….sure they are.
        I was part of chump nation when this column originally ran and it hit me in the gut then too.
        I’ve always had a fascination with wondering what gave the other woman the idea that it was okay to get with my ex. I truly wanted to know what made her tick…
        That was a couple years ago.
        Now I look and realize a few things:
        The sexy firefighter she got is now just a middle aged, over weight, poorer version of the “sexy”guy that was having secret hookups with her in hotels.
        Now they live together in some shitty rental house and he’s carpooling her kids around and cleaning up after her dogs.
        His amazing, successful adult children have gone NC with him.
        Not so sexy anymore.
        I’m guessing they both have some buyers remorse.
        Last night my ex who dumped and discarded me 3 years ago called me at 7pm on Valentines Day (as I was getting ready to to to a beautiful dinner with my new love) to discuss the “401k distribution”. Ummm??? Isn’t that what I pay my 401k atty for??
        Shouldn’t you be taking your lovely girlfriend out to dinner???
        I kicked that shit straight to voicemail.
        Not today Satan….

      • Ex was so worried about me telling people about her and potentially using her name and tarnishing her wonderful image. Puke. Well, he doesn’t need to worry about that because I refuse to utter her name. It is pretentious and she doesn’t live up to it and the sound of it makes me want to puke. She is always Schmoopie, Slut face or just “her” when I am being polite. I think most people who know us both will figure it out, however.

      • “ they are happily married now…”
        Yeah, right!
        This is my weak spot…..the OW.
        My ex had several affairs in the marriage and 3 years ago discarded me ( despite one hell of a pick me dance by me #notproud) for AP #2 ( and 4…assuming they ever stopped seeing each other)
        I spent a considerable amount of time after that grieving but also wondering what made her think she could get into the middle of my marriage….how she could live with herself?
        That was 3 years ago. Now it’s a different story.
        Now I realize the sexy firefighter she feels good about stealing from his family is an overweight, middle aged, poorer version of what she thought she was getting.
        Him?? He’s all the things I described above and trying to keep a woman over a decade younger on the hook. He’s living in some shitty rental with her, supporting and raising young kids, cleaning up after her dogs. Our amazing and talented adult children don’t have anything to do with him.
        A world away from the sexy fireman hooking up with her in random hotels and the park behind my house.
        I’m certain they both have a bit of buyers remorse, but will stay together (till one gets a better offer) just so myself and her ex won’t be right about them.
        Last night as I was getting ready for a valentines dinner with my sweet new love, I got a call from the ex to discuss the split of the 401k.
        Ummmm??? That’s what my 401k atty is for….call him.
        All I could think is. “ shouldn’t you be romancing the mistress right now instead of calling me?”
        I sent that shit straight to vm…..not today, Satan.

        • Our stories are so similar, Paintwidow! That so called sexy firefighter is really a big old loser reaching out to any and every woman until one bites. I let the “keyboard warrior’s” emails go unanswered… email someone else because I am busy!! If my house catches on fire I am going to let it burn! Lol

        • I have to apologize for reposting. My post went up and said it was being reviewed or something and then disappeared…..then reappeared. Lol
          I tried to remember exactly what I originally wrote and now everybody has it twice.
          Sorry!!!
          I guess I have no patience. Lol

    • Yes a real couple of morons.

      When I found out about my ex’s circus clown other woman, I was told. Don’t hate her ~ she did nothing wrong. I instigated it, I pursued her. I said … Um, excuse me ~ she fucked my husband. LOL So she did do something wrong.

      He said it didn’t matter because he was filing for divorce the next day, and did. He even called her, his ‘good friend’. I asked him if a ‘good friend’ was someone you just met, what do you call a friend for 30 years and a wife for 17 of those years?

      He had no answer ~ just the dead shark eyes.

      Unbelievable!

      • Yes! My Turd told me she had nothing to do with breaking up our marriage. She was innocent and a good person. My head wanted to explode (hell it’s still exploding). I said, “We’re MARRIED!” What part makes her unaccountable? It doesn’t matter if they think we’re “roomates” or whatever they’ve balmeshifted or gaslighted onto us. They are both complicit.

        • His schmoopie broke up two marriages AT THE SAME company. She knew every detail of my life and my ex kept me posted on hers. It would have been unusual had a week gone by and I had not received any news about her.

      • I was also told OW was a good person. He pursued her. “You don’t know her, you can’t judge her.”

        I told him she wasn’t my problem. He was. I also told him I could judge her. People of good character don’t have affairs with other women’s husbands!

        I recently found out my niece recently married a man that was dating him while he was married to his first wife. XH’s family spin is that his marriage was already over, he and wife slept in separate rooms, etc. So, of course they don’t blame my XH for cheating on me! I guess my marriage was over too. I wish someone had told me.

        • It is such a cliche! I’m positive that my ex said the same shit. It’s what crappy people do so that they don’t lose the kibbles of their flying monkeys. It’s ALL about image management, and keeping up their narrative. They are pathetic, and my eyes are so open. 👀

          They didn’t tell us because it wasn’t true. Plus; cake.

      • Jodie, this is exactly what my ex said as well when he left on D day 2. He kept calling also married AP “his best friend”. We had known her and her husband for less than a year. I was chasing him around the house as he packed a bag, yelling, this is crazy, I’ve been your wife and best friend for 11 years… He just stopped, turned around and said, “I don’t know, whatever, maybe I’ll get another 10 years out it.” That really stunned me at the time. I walked out the front door and told him not to be there when I got back. He wasn’t.

        Now, that statement just makes me realize what a lizard he is. She’s really nothing but a new pair of shoes to him I guess, all women are an appliance. So glad I got away from that!!! Her turn to be sucked dry like a Capri Sun now, she most certainly worked hard to take my “perfect” life!!

      • I hate them! I can’t believe that you can spend so much time with somebody to just have them walk away. Mine actually told me “I don’t want to be with her, she knows about you being 6 weeks pregnant and that I am married and she still pursued me. She can’t be a good person.” Three days later I found his car out of her apartment again, I kicked him out of the house that day and he hasn’t been back. But his description of her lack of empathy towards me and pregnancy was SHOCKING! Like, how do you think we got pregnant?? So Gross! He is now living in her apartment and I am 17 weeks pregnant. This other women has to be screwed up, and so is he!!

        • Danielle I was also 17 weeks pregnant when he left for his best friend schmoopie. Schmoopie knew about my pregnancy and our 2 year old. I just figure if my own husband didn’t care about those things I can’t expect someone who doesn’t know me to care. They knew it was wrong but they did it anyway. The day before the physical part of the affair started, he promised me he wouldn’t do anything like that to me, because he loved me and he loved our son. He now claims that he left because he didn’t love me anymore and hadn’t for at least 6 months. That was before he got me pregnant with DD. It’s taken me a long time but I now see him for what he is.

        • Danielle, remember that he is a liar and master manipulator. Anything that comes out of his mouth is most likely concocted to put himself in a better light, blameshift, gaslight you so he can keep his sick games up. The OW probably didn’t know or say those things. But does it matter anyway? The only fact is that he lies and there is so much damage done there is no going back. It has taken me a long time to see this myself because I was so used to trusting him (16 years together, finally had an amazing baby girl last year by ivf (his problem), discover his insane double life. 8 months from dd2 now and he still persists. I have been through unimaginable trauma because this man I loved and trusted for so long is actually a psychopath. My psychiatrist said she never heard a case as horrific as mine… think high level massive financial and emotional and life destruction). Your ex is disordered and only create chaos, no place to raise a child in, no way to live. I know I can’t spend my days being paralyzed from shock, constantly tense from playing detective, and keep wasting my life and time with my child dealing with an inhuman that will never change. I wish you all the best with your pregnancy! Take care of yourself and remember to not look back *Hugs*

      • When I called her a classless bar whore he said it wasn’t like that. I found poems calling her a dream girl. Fuck, when I met her she flipped out and screamed like the lunatic she is and I laughed. I told him good luck introducing THAT to your children. He should be embarsssed.

        Over time she harassed me in public calling me every name in the book. He’s got her in therapy. Can’t fix that.

        I’m VERY happy to be free of that hellish life of abuse. They march.

    • absolutely right. The ex married his ho-worker. A match made in heaven 😉 I REALLY wanted to send a card saying “I wish you all the happiness you deserve” 😉 I’m sure it would have gone over their heads though.

      Ho-worker had meet me, knew we had holidayed as a family etc etc and STILL thought it was ok to go ahead and be a slag with ex.

      Yes it was him I was married to, and he was the one that broke our marriage vows. But she has culpability. In the meantime, why does she think that the marriage vows wont be broken this time, when he’s already had two goes?

    • Narcs always think the rules don’t apply to them and where everyone else failed they will triumph, comes down to them being ‘special and better than others’. Delusional wing nuts that with a bit of luck crash and burn into reality sooner or later.

    • Ohhhhh, I was told this soooo many times during “reconciliation” I was ripping my hair out. Cheater wife even told me that AP “gives his condolences for my father dying (during what turned out to be the middle of the affair)”. Warped sickos.

    • Struggling – Your comment is so true. I heard the exact same things and wonder about how they can utter the words without lightning striking them down. I heard, “She’s like a sister to me, we just have a strong bond”, “She’s a good person, you would like her” and “I’m not a bad person” what complete BS.

      The rationalization and manipulation is insane. After 20 years of marriage and many, many AP’s, the story he tells himself and the world is that cheater just didn’t love me anymore. No, I just woke up to what a liar he was and filed for divorce, that is what changed.

      Most of the OW were of the #1 type in my situation. I think the love bombing clouds any type of clear judgment. Not an excuse at all, but I don’t think they got all the info either. If the OW divorced their husbands for my cheater (which I can’t confirm) then the amount of homes that have been wrecked in the last few years by my STBXH amounts to 4, including my own. What a POS A-hole.

    • Struggling – this is so similar to mine. He told me “she is a really kind person” 4 weeks after he had left me when discussing the fact that he had insisted on introducing her to my children 3 weeks after leaving against my wishes. She had been complicit in all of this, and his lying about it too (in fact it had happened before he even told me about it). When challenged about it by our nanny her answer was “well, I know how to talk to children”. She was kind (at least superficially) to him, of course, and that is his only paradigm.
      My ex is a covert but cruel and severe narcissist and has a long history of blame-shifting and triangulation so I have been hesitant to throw too much mud at OW. However, really she has been awful. My elder daughter, in particular, has been very traumatised by it all (they also got married 5 months after him leaving) and pretty well has zero contact with him now. He has been given the opportunity to reconnect with her but literally will not see her without OW. I don’t know if this is being driven by him but it is hard to imagine that it isn’t at least partly OW. He is also a coward and would always save his own skin first, even if that meant throwing his own daughter under the bus. Nanny also said to OW, who has blamed me for my daughter not wanting to see her father to our nanny also, “I think you got married too quickly” and her reply was “but we were happy”. I think that says it all – it simply doesn’t compute that her happiness is anything but central. She is particularly nauseating as she is highly religious and puts herself about as this incredibly kind, generous godly woman (I’m not religious, but I’m not a flaming hypocrite either).
      I’m not sure mine starting out as number 4, although I don’t think it took her long to get there. She has recently started horse riding where I keep my horses. Apparently she used to ride a long time ago and wanted to again so she picks this place, which is 40 mins away, in an area that is packed with riding facilities, most of which would be more suitable for someone without a horse anyway. She claimed that she didn’t know my horses were there which is ludicrous, as my daughter’s pony is there too and we have been with them for 2 years, and she has continued going regularly, and told the owners that she just wants to be friends with me (WTF?!0. I’m actually pretty upset with the owners who I have been very loyal to and one of whom experienced a pretty shitty breakup herself, which we had spoken a lot of. Anyway, horses not going to be staying there long term now. Anyway, the point is OW is obviously trying to out-me me. She is fucked up – it is not entirely clear to me how or why, but she definitely is. So is he but really not my problem and it is kind of satisfying knowing that they both deserve each other.
      Like CN says the karma is in them having each other. I wish OW and ex would fuck off – they continue to grossly intrude and try and control me, but I am getting better at just building stronger and stronger walls. When they no longer have the shared task of vilifying me, they’ll really have to look at each other – I hope it terrifies the pair of them!

  • When I found out my Husband was cheating with my cousin I contacted her through Facebook. Of course the POS denied anything was going on. My Oh so wonderful husband also denied(they are just friends). And I am witch and can twitch my nose. My whore of cousin started posting my husbands name on random posts. Even had the nerve to post on Facebook to pray for my father-in-law because he was having surgery. Even after I found out and asked her not to contact him again. She still texted him and called him. And of course my oh so devoted husband continued to contact her. Any women who knows a man is married and stills screws around with them are worthless. They have no soul or compassion for the wife and children. They do not give a dam who they hurt. As long as they get what they want. As for my whore of a cousin. I suspect she was after the money. She is divorced and struggling financially. Our home was paid and I am sure she was counting the money she would be getting in her head. The best thing to do is move on and put the whore out of your mind. Because they sure did not have you in mind when they screwed your husband.

    • It’s very hard. But you have to remember, ur dealing with disordered people! They don’t feel genuine feelings. They know how to portray them, very well! The only genuine feelings they feel is for themselves. No one feels more sorry for them than they do.

    • A huge motivator for many OW/OM is money. It certainly was in my situation. Older, financially secure man, in extremely poor health, whose ego is enormous, and a woman who knew exactly how to play into his need for constant attention and adoration. (“Successful” people sometimes do not age well). What a sad cliche it became.

      There are many kinds of predators, including financial ones. Sex is used by these types of predators to unlock the vault. Sadly, this motivator cuts across gender lines, and is much more common than people realize.

      • Agreed Violet my ex husband has an excellent salary and the other woman was a part time single mom working at Safeway!

        • Same! My husband makes good money. We just bought a home a year ago and remodeled it (it’s beautiful). He left me, pregnant and our 2 dogs to live with his girlfriend that lives in section 8 housing and takes her on all of these vacations and spends all this money on fancy homes. I heard that it’s very typical for the OW to come from lesser jobs and income. It makes the men “feel more powerful” or something like that. It makes me sick. I’ve kept the house going and am growing a child and he’s treating her like a princess. It’s rediculous.

          • Oh yes, The Gold Diggers. We don’t talk about them enough.

            X’s mistress, 10 yrs younger and a regular desk job had just declared bankruptcy with her then-husband. They had to have all the latest cars – sports models, fast cars, and they were also heavily in debt with a motorhome (which is how we met them). Up to their ears in debt when The X and her ‘walked into the sunset’.
            Everybody tried to tell him that she was a gold digger. He said, no…she was really nice. Since I knew her very well being her friend for 5 yrs, I knew she was a ladder climber and needed to focus on her future and retirement.
            That’s where money bags came in and he bought her hook, line, and stink.

          • Weird! My ex has always been able to make it LOOK like he has a lot of $ but only becuz he doesn’t pay any bills. I can understand his attraction to OW as she makes a lot more than me but what is her attraction to him? I can only imagine that she admires what he is able to get away with, as does his mother. Points for pulling one over on some chump.

      • My sad sausage ex’s soul mate is in her 50s with troubled grown children and bankrupt when they met. She helped him “get in touch with his emotions.” My soul mate turned out to be the best chumped divorce lawyer I could afford. Go for the $$$$$$$.

        • By all means Nanthony thought he had money. Problem was he spent on drums and his antique (junk) car. Guess who bought all his clothes? I literally made him look good.

          Right away they went on a spending spree buying new cars, taking vacations and gambling nightly. That first year they buried themselves in debt, and his business went to the wayside.

          Trouble is they both thought the other one was going to support their addictions.

          The bus hit hard. Just what they deserve.

    • Oh yeah, let me rush out and find a friend to encourage me to jump off a bridge, rob that bank, and keep moralism out of our relationship. WTF? No really WTF!

      How the hell do these people end up thinking like this? I can never imagine telling someone to go find friends that make them a worse person, and to feel better about it; imply that “morals impede closeness” …As if morals make people less authentic. The real issue is these people don’t like accountability!

    • This Whiskey Tortoise chick tries to sound all sophisticated and smart about affairs and relationships. And you see all these articles attempting to justify total shittyness. The simple answer to anyone who feels the need to have an affair is: 1) ok, first divorce your spouse, AND THEN 2) go have your “affair” – preferably with somebody else who is not married.

      There, that’s the article. That’s the advice. Accurate, concise, and fair to everyone. Alas, that’s just not how these people think.

  • In the aftermath of d-day #1 I also wanted to unravel the skein of fuckupedness and went searching for “answers” as to WTF a woman who would go after a married man was thinking.

    I came across this little ditty that was so disturbing I’ve actually saved it all these years. Why? I’m not sure 🤔. To remind myself there are really awful people in the world who can justify and twist just about any behavior. To demonstrate that yes, these people really are that fucked up. I don’t know why I saved it… but I did.

    “Quote:

    I don’t think it has anything to do with irresistibility – I think it has everything to do with circumstance, perspective and opportunity.

    I like men of a certain age – it also happens to be that time of life when men are more likely to be reviewing their life and their life choices, weighing them up and asking, “is this all there is?” So they’re more open to making changes.

    They’re also less likely to have small children, and to feel obligated to keeping some kind of nuclear family unit intact, I guess.

    They’re also at that point in their careers where they’ve made it, and so they would be more open to move on to fresh challenges and new interests.

    Their Ms are long-term and stable, with established routines and rhythms, so they’re not needing to invest a great deal of time or effort there to keep things ticking over.

    And, I guess, at that point in their lives they have the means to make a change, if they want one. They can afford a D – and, even if they lose assets, they’re still young enough and at their earnings peak to be able to recoup the loss, if they want to.

    So these nice, hard-working, model husband-and-father types have their conventional perspectives blasted apart and sit back and think, do I want to die like this? and think back fondly to their naive youthful dreams set to a soundtrack of freedom songs, and they renounce their “sold out” lifestyle and opt for something “more”…

    The catalyst could be anyone, or anything.”

    Apparently OW think screwing up someone else’s life is a public service they are providing. Enlightenment????? Gee how selfless of them to help married people find themselves.

    There are people who actually think like this! I guess I kept it to remind me of that

    • Regarding the quote,
      To live in the same world, to breath the same air, as …searching..for…. appropriate….title…….this “piece of shit”
      Well, I guess this “piece of shit” helps explain POLLUTION,
      all this time we thought it was living close to the sewer plant!!!!

    • Actually I think she describes my ex pretty well. Why someone would want to encourage that is hard to contemplate, however.

    • This. My cheater had a text-book MLC, complete with weight loss, preening in the mirror, trying to cycle with men in their 20s, and getting fashion advice from the same. Schmoopie instigated the affair (according to him), then justified her self-serving behavior by telling herself she was “doing me a favor”. Because, apparently, I didn’t like sex, or at least not the kind of sex HE wanted (anal and coming in my mouth). Schmoopie is a raging feminist, but seems to have no problem throwing other women under the bus if it suits HER agenda.

      I DO like sex…I DON’T like feeling abused.
      . .
      We are still working on our marriage, and making progress…though even if we do manage to stay together (which would be a minor miracle), my innocence is gone, and I don’t know if I will ever be able to trust him again. What I wrestle with is this: is remaining in a marriage with somebody I can’t trust worth it?

      We have been together 30 years. His affair went on for 7 of those years, and he saw her a total of 24 times. She lives in another country, but their correspondence was daily. She broke up with him at one point, and he decided to do some “data collecting” (as he called it) by indulging himself with sex workers, Craigslist hookups, etc. The data collected, as I gather, involved proving to himself he was still attractive to women, and also discovering that sex workers refused to do the very things he was demanding of me. And that he had the same difficulties with delayed ejaculation no matter whom he was with (including Schmoopie).

      I insisted on a pap at my last physical (wasn’t due for several more years), and got a positive result for one of the high-risk HPV strains. I got a certain amount of grim glee when I sent the results (without comment) to Schmoopie. Have fun explaining that to your husband, dear. Oh, wait, she probably won’t, in spite of how loudly she proclaims her ethics. Men, you know, can’t be tested, so this can be her little secret.

      • ILC, I’m so very sorry about the felonious assault you suffered from the enemy sleeping next to you. It’s as bad as if he was poisoning you with arsenic.

        I hope that you can leave your abuser and save yourself. Those trauma bonds are hard to break but it can be done. There are thousands of us on this site that have managed to do so even after decades of marriage and sunk costs, financial terror, families and friends and businesses to consider.

        You are worth living an abuse-free life.

        Hugs to you.

      • IvyLeagueChump:
        “is remaining in a marriage with somebody I can’t trust worth it?”

        No, and you have nothing to work with. Your H had a long-term affair, then switched to Craigslist and sex workers?? He is a serial cheater, and there is ZERO, yes 0% chance he will change (research bears this out, and most therapists who otherwise believe in reconciling after a single affair will tell people there is no hope reconciling with a serial cheater). My X turned out to have been a serial cheater across two marriages, and still has a secret email for dating sights now that he is with his last AP/GF. They don’t change, they just start to lie more effectively.

        I know the thought of losing an investment of 30 years is scary (I lost 24 years), but trust me, after 6 months of adjustment pain, life is *so* much better this side, without the anxiety and mindfuckery. Line up your financial ducks, copy all the essentials, and see a lawyer. Hugs.

        • Tempest… I really wish I could talk to you. The email I sign in on is a working one now. He doesn’t know I have it.

        • IvyLeagueChump,

          I’m very sorry about the high-risk HPV. However, it might not be “her little secret.” There have been quite a few articles in the past couple years about the increasing rates of HPV-related throat cancer in men (from giving oral sex). It’s scary stuff. So yep, the OW could very well be putting her husband’s health at serious risk, too.

      • Once they start in with the sex workers, you have NOTHING left to work with. This man risked your LIFE repeatedly for close to a decade. If he had loaded a gun and shot it at you with his eyes closed repeatedly for seven years you’d believe he didn’t care about you, right? This is no different. He thinks nothing of you or any of the women he has used. He calls his abuse of you and these workers “data collection?” Not to mention, depending where you are prostitution coul be illegal–so he cared nothing for the law of the land and the humiliation that would have ensued for you if he were caught. Last but not least, up to 85% of sex workers are trafficked human beings many of them from childhood–so he also had no problem propping up that systemic abuse and oppression, dehumanizing women. He doesn’t even consider you all people. You are objects, and not even real objects, just information. Sex workers are not cheap. There really is no such thing as a “cheap” whore. One of the fetish prostitutes my husband was seeing was $800 an hour–when I could barely keep the mortgage paid and the lights on. He has likely spent most of your retirement in whore’s holes. Look into the financials and cut your losses. He will not stop abusing you physically, emotionally, sexually, and financially. Because he is a monster. That isn’t just what he does. It’s who he is.

      • Feminist??? That woman doesn’t even know the meaning of the word… jeesh
        Please also remember (when deciding whether to stay with this man or not) that your worth is so much more than the sexual acts you are willing to perform. Your H obviously is not concerned with your sexual POV only his own

      • I feel so sorry for you. You are “working” on a marriage with a man that lied to you for 7 years, had other affairs and gave you an incurable STD.

        You may be “Ivy League”….. but you are making a catastrophic choice …. rolling the dice with your remaining years with a pathological liar who does not love or respect you. Not a drop. Ignore words. Look at actions.

        Snap out it. Get a lawyer. Enforce some real consequences on his sly, scheming ass and see how much “progress” your marriage makes.

        • Thank you guys, so much, for your support. Seriously. I need the proverbial slap in the face from you all to counter all the RIC stuff I am having thrown at me from everywhere (including Mr. Cheater). .

    • That could have been written by my Dad’s OW. He wrecked his marriage to my Mom for her, and she dumped him after he fixed up her house for her. #karma

  • Number 4. Bam! You nailed it. Of course my husband of over 30 years swears no affair.

    Of course that’s why she’s put shit on FB to mess with my head. Want to know the last thing? I know you all will tell me and I need it because I’ve wanted to believe him.

    We’ve figured out what we want to build when he finishes his job in two years. We picked the guest house first. It took us a while to decide. We finally found it. It’s very distinct and with a breezeway that will attach to a house. We don’t have the house picked out yet. Just the garage with guest house and the specific type of breezeway that goes with it.

    So, 3 weeks after we decide on specific one, she posts a picture( not of our specific one mind you) but a real estate picture with nothing said of the exact specific style we picked but the exact style. Our distinctive style from the roof to the breezeway. Coincidence you think?

    • Do not build a house with this man! Start syphoning off cash he doesn’t know about and save to get out. Every private, intimate, dream you are discussing with him is being treated as a joke between the two of them. Furthermore, for sheer cruel fun she is letting you know that! And for extra gaslighting flavor he is convincing you these things are coincidences. These two emotional vampires will kill you.

      So, if you have a job –set up with your payroll people for some of every cheque to go into a separate account in just your name. If you don’t, every time you go to the grocery store get $40 in cash. Every time you go to the gas station get $20 cash back. Put it somewhere he will never find it. Get all the important financial papers rounded up and copied. Slowly move out important things like birth certificates, passports etc. Save every penny you can. Please believe they are enjoying your emotional crucifixion.

        • It is likely he will never pull that trigger. You will have to do it for him. It’s not fair but nothing is with these people.

    • Stillhere,

      I’m not sure about your complete story, but I agree with Jojobee. Obviously, it is not my job to tell you what to do, but I will ask you why are you competing with another woman for your husband? You have been married over 30 years – shouldn’t the competition have ended at the altar or in front of whatever edifice your stated your vows? Why is your husband sharing your personal plans and dreams with someone who is not, as they say in the RIC, “a friend of your marriage?” This man is not someone whom you can trust, let alone with whom you should be making future plans.

      Stay in your marriage if you wish and hope for the best. I would also advise taking Jojobee’s advice and make plans that also contemplate the worst.

      • There is a lot of money involved. I also think he’s trying to preserve his reputation with grown kids. So, you think it’s no coincidence. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around that because for 2 years he’s sworn no affair and acts like I’m the love of his life.

        • If there is a lot of money involved …half of it is yours!
          Why don’t you build that house just the way you want it, for yourself? You sound like you can. Just lose the cheater first, he won’t add to your happiness in the new home, he can’t be trusted.
          I vote for lining up those financials, even getting a forensic accountant, because your H is playing you, and I’m so sorry.
          I’m picturing you walking down your breezeway, to tell your awesome guests that the coffee’s ready (no cheater anywhere). You live your dream!

        • Oh ALSO, it is overwhelming when he acts like you’re the love of his life, but remember, that some people do that to lull you into complacency. Then they drop the hammer!

        • Didn’t he initially take all the money and hide it from you? Savings and checking? I really think he’s waiting til he retires to ride off into the sunset for his twu wuvs. I really think these cheaters that have long term schmoopies have a plan for when they are going to abandon. Most of the time, they are so damn sly about it the chump never sees it coming. I do hope you’re making a plan so he doesn’t gut you!

          I don’t think it’s too late to make him sign a post nup or some other way to secure your money. I actually think you should just take 1/2 of it now and secure it away. What’s he going to do? Leave you for an affair that never existed?

          • Good memory. Yes. After 10 months of convincing me of no affair, I did discover he hid our money. I left for 2 weeks. He showed me it all. I have access to it all but I did before. No. He won’t go back to counseling. We had two disastrous ones. I have seriously considered doing that. Putting half of it somewhere.

            I know it’s so stupid and I should have left then.

              • There are no coincidences like that.

                My cheater betrayed me sexually and emotionally by telling a whore private things about my life. That is what your piece of shit has been is doing to you.

                It sounds like he is planning the dream house with her. Why are you waiting for the catastrophe to happen? How else would she know about the breezeway?

                Step out of the cruelty circle. Only way to win that game is not play.

                Get a lawyer and let him have all the home and garden fantasies he wants with this conniving immature FB cunt.

        • Be very tactical and aware. He could be pulling financial shenanigans right under your watchful gaze. She is thinking they are going to be building that house together. That I promise you. And unless he is unable to reproduce, the first thing she will do is spawn with him.

        • He “acts” – says it all right there!

          My Best Friend felt that her first husband ( who also swore that he was a changed man ) was turning into an amazing partner after much IC, MC and RIC white washing….

          They came to my house and he just gushed all over the place, holding her hand and acting like a love sick puppy.

          Two weeks later his 19 year old AF was discovered and he fled to her parent’s basement.

          It’s all an act. It’s all manipulation.

  • I had the pleasure of discovering at least one from each category.
    those married-mother of 2+ children-coworker-other women whores though…. they know he’s married and try to out do you…. pretending to give marital advice and be so superior and edgy…. May they rot in hell with the cheater.

  • My now ex wife was determined to “win” the OM at all costs. She knew he was a liar and was lying to her as much as his own wife yet she couldn’t give it up. I didn’t want to play (thanks to CL and IHG) so left but the OM’s wife wasn’t prepared to loose either. In the end, the ex W “win” and his wife capitulated (or saw sense) and two Teenage girls and one young boy had their families shattered by two self obsessed deluded fuckwits. Funnily enough it didn’t work out for the shitheads. In the real world they couldn’t cope, broke up 15 times in as many months. Ex W has now found a new man ( widower according to my kids), he has no idea what he’s landed himself with. God help him.

    • Yo, RealMonkeyLove:

      How did it feel to know your X broke up with him finally? I haven’t heard in months about Matchstick Girl, but I still have a loop in my head that wants to know when their relationship is over. I don’t do anything to try to find out about that relationship because that would be against the principle of no-contact. But I still want news of the Karma Bus. I also try to put the idea out of my mind like a meditative process whenever it creeps in – but creep in it does. Time has lessened the thoughts of her and the desire for retribution, but if I am being honest I do hope I find out when they are over.

      As to the motivation of the OM – I don’t think it falls under untangling-the-skien. It’s been my experience dating that people are frequently in sexual relationships with other people because we don’t have a committed relationship any more. I am looking at my own behavior as a single guy and wondering if indeed it does fit into a neat little gendered box. Am I white knighting? Obviously no-strings-attached sex is nice, but after the first time that’s really not a thing. Having been chumped I *am* going to probe deeply her current situation with regard to other dudes. I ain’t tryna be no OM. I have found that single ladies have a constellation of dudes that fill a certain role. There is the booty-call guy, the listen-to-all-my-problems guy (AKA white knight), the hang-out-with-my-kids guy, the fix-my-sink guy, the buy-me-gifts-and-pamper-me guy, and the serious he-makes-me-dinner (and fall in love) guy and a couple of others. That is all a bunch of single guy stuff but it all seems to fit into what a cheater might be seeking, e.g., MG was looking for the white knight for sure.

      In short: OM get no-strings-attached sex but only once; after that – there are strings.

  • Don’t think about the “other”, not worth your time and thoughts, they don’t have values and respect for themselves and families, both cheaters belong to each other.
    Regain your dignity and respect, paying 0 attention to anything that comes from the other side, not worth your time!

    • Same here. She used the word “win” or “winning” in so many of the messages I read. As I’ve said before, she used his dick like it was attached to an atm – so she believed there was money. Gee, where did that info come from? Same source that said we weren’t sleeping together, I’ll bet. A fake news source if you will. A lot of money is in my name, so she was sucking the wrong teat. But bj seems to be the shortest (pun, yes) way to a pay day for some women. How pathetic. A 50 yr old mow with 4 kids blowing her boss to advance a career. Considering she’d been blowing her way to the solid middle while younger colleagues passed her for years, you’re dealing with a hot mess. Blech all the way around. Almost 5 years later and having been fired and she sent me a message meant for the cheater that said “well….”. She’s a catfish – all mouth and no brain.

  • I can only think that the OW has two rocks banging around in her head. Whatever my STBX-Turd sold her about me, I don’t know. She was his 23 year old assistant with a 2 year old that lived at home with her parents and perhaps she thought her hip had come in? He kept saying how “different” and how he “never had help” like that before and he had a “crush” on her. I kept saying WTF? You’re almost 50 yr old and she is your employee and you are sexually harassing her. To that end, he came home and told be sexual harassment is cover under his liability insurance??!!

    Anyhow, after DDay #2 I found a card from her to him that talked about all “their special moments” and how she “loved him forever” I was so sick. There was also a custom t-shirt she made for him with the nickname “Chubby.” Anyhow, she’s going on my favorite vacations and stuffing her face full of what I like to eat. I have no idea how you reconcile that in your mind as a woman, but it’s clear there is no moral center. They made me invisible and unseen and sub-human. I know I shoudn’t wait for the karma bus, but I admit, I’m hoping it’s making a stop at their door.

    • I would think that your ex would have some kind of disturbing cognitive dissonance going on the same vacations with another woman eating the same food you used to eat. These losers don’t seem to experience that, however.

    • The part that always seems super creepy to me is when the OW tries to become a replica of the wife like what you described in your situation. Vacationing in YOUR places. Gorging on the food YOU like. That’s just so weird. I’m sure it’s all a mind fuck in your direction but seems like a bad long term plan to do all the things that will constantly remind your STBX of you – the women he was cheating on. That’s some twisted logic there. You’d think they would want to make some super sparkly new memories of how uber awesome their “romance” is, not hone in on the memories you already created. In any case, I am so glad that he is your STBX turd. You’re better off without him.

      • Beth, the supposed Not ow… my husband swears no affair with her, put up a profile picture of herself with the exact glasses I have that my husband loves on me. She put it up at midnight on the dot! On my 35 th Anniversary. Seriously she did.

          • I know. Isn’t that completely freaky. He had taken me on a Anniversary. Beach trip. She put up all kinds of beach pics with her husband and parents and the midnight on the dot picture on my anniversary. I mean honestly, what are the odds?

        • I don’t advocate playing marriage police, but there is one instance I think it is good advice: If the chump just really needs solid proof before they can pull the trigger and leave their abuser. So get your proof. If there is enough money, hire a PI. Put a voice activated recorder under his front seat. GPS the car. Use the “find my iphone” feature. If legal in your state put a keylogger on the damned computer (usually if it’s a family computer or community property in your marriage–it’s okay). Get your PROOF. So you can get out.

            • STILLTHERE ,

              GET your half of the money put it in your own account and file . start taking the money out and put it to cash (in a safe) , if he sues you and some how (doubtful) gets the court to rule against you , claim you lost it all “gambling” . this guy is playing hard ball , don’t let him steal from you any more .

  • I completely agree with CL’s response. For me, the one thing that’s significant to add is that part of the reason we ask the inquirer’s question at all is because it’s tempting to give out energy to studying the AP as a distraction from the very painful elephant in the room.

    Even if the AP did betray you, was someone you trusted who lied and decieved and willingly harmed you, it remains true that the person who committed to a primary monogamous relationship with you is the most significant villain in the story.

    That doesn’t mean you don’t have to grieve and leave the AP who betrayed you — that’s still it’s own process, and it can be crushing. It just means that the amount of bandwidth it takes to focus in the AP takes too much energy that saps your reserves, energy that you need to deal with the partner issue first. The partner is the one with whom you probably share finances, your home, childcare, and/or other basic life realities and needs. Untangling that needs your full attention.

    You can’t ever really know what is going on with another person, especially a person who is broken enough inside to carry on a clandestine and tawdry affair with someone who is deceiving a partner who thinks there is a monogamous commitment in place. It would be like trying to understand the feelings of an ant or a plant.

    My two cents: When she walks by the house trying to show off some perceived physical asset, see her for what she is — a broken, disordered, immature, insecure, objectified, confused, deceptive, drama-seeking, self-righteous, sad, unhealthy puppet in the twisted, manipulative game constructed by your cheater, the puppet master. Don’t be another puppet in his creepy puppet show. Shake your head, ignore the puppet, and focus on doing what you need to do to get (yourself and any kids you can include) out of harm’s way.

    • Honestly, I’m disturbed by both.

      I’m disturbed my my father’s mistress who could come into their house, see two disabled kids (one under 24 hour care) and decides she wants to mess around with my father.

      It’s not a deflection from my father behaving so messed-up and disordered. It’s a question of how someone, anyone can be so devoid of empathy when my mother’s situation elicits empathy to 99.9% of the population.

      I find myself annoyed with the “it doesn’t matter about them, they didn’t know you so they didn’t betray you” crowd. They didn’t have to “know me” to do something underhanded. Sure, none of the OW “broke a vow” to me. But what they did do was behave in a way that I actively avoid because I don’t believe in being an active part in abusing others.

      If I watch a show about a serial killer and wonder WTF makes them go on sprees, it doesn’t mean that they “knew me and broke a vow not to kill me or others.” It means their behaviour is so messed you wonder why anyone would be a serial killer.

      • Not saying the AP didn’t betray you/anyone or that you have to completely ignore the AP’s responsibility.

        Am saying you have to deal with the root cause first (dealing with the cheater) and that spending a lot of energy on the AP during that process can be a distraction that uses energy you need to deal with the root cause.

        The AP is even further outside your zone of control than the cheater. Just saying, don’t let an AP tempt you into distraction. It fuels the cheater’s agenda and leaves you open to more harm.

    • Exactly. Know your worth people. Trust they suck and don’t get drawn into their rabbit hole – you WILL waste precious time looking for that “magic angle of enlightenment”. It’s also helpful to stop unwillingly participating in their games by allowing those disordered cheaters to appear normal to the rest of the world as they feed off your good soul, mirroring your empathy, kindness and genuine goodness. Set them free to the Ho-Workers, the CL hook ups, the Prostitutes and swinger sites…they are right where they belong – hanging with all the rest of the low-lying fruits.

  • Pretty sure my cheaters OW was the #4 type. She would send me via email messages of his undying love for her. She would put them under the subject line as “who is chasing who?” And “sword of truth!”. Of course she would heavily redact these missives and leave out her part of the conversation. You could tell by his wording that she was pressuring him to make the break from me “or else!” It was sick! She even enlisted her college aged daughter to send emails to my kids defending her “saintly” mother and threatening my adult children! It was insanity at its best. But I was one of the betrayed who let her have him. I figured it would cool that fire of “twu wuv” relatively quickly if I did. I told him when he came to pick up his few belongings to move in with her that I would be generous and give them six months before it was over. I was more than generous because not a month after the divorce he was crying to anyone that would listen that he had made a huge mistake! It then ended at the four month mark, but due to his declining health he had to hang in there for five months to heal from a surgery. Then, yep, you guessed it, he was back on my doorstep! CL is right, don’t do the pick me dance. Pack their trash and deliver it and him to Schmoopie ASAP. Guaranteed to put that romantic fire out in a heartbeat! The OW ain’t all that! She may think she is, but she isn’t! Her “super power” vagina and body won’t be all that without triangulation! They love the chase!

    • Yep a good portion of that special love and butterflies crap is ‘dupers delight’ they get off on the sneaking around and mistake it for passion. dumb asses…

    • “sword of truth”??? Good grief, you can’t make this shit up. That’s a CL cartoon just waiting to be made – the cheater’s “sword of truth” falling into the OW’s “well of righteousness” or some such. Ugh. Okay maybe we don’t need a visual for that one.

      • Yeah! She was a piece of work when it came to talking and sexting. A cross between a Halequin romance novel and a 13 year old with raging hormones who watched too many Hallmark specials on TV! I look at that crap now and laugh my ass off. Then I think about what she lost for this affair. Her incredibly beautiful beach house, her incredibly high earner husband and her grown kids hate her guts! Her Ex married two months later to a woman she tries to be “friendly” with and her Ex hasn’t paid full alimony since their divorce. He pleads “poor” because he quit his job, but yet manages to take his new wife to every gorgeous beach vacation hot spot about every two months. She really lost a lot, but it’s her own fault by having an affair! And she lied to my husband saying her husband was abusing her. She was married to the man for nearly 30 years and she couldn’t find the front door to her luxury mansion to escape? Plus her Ex worked and traveled so much that he was only home maybe four days out of the month. There are no police calls or 911 calls to back up her “stories” either.

        • Sounds like he was cheating on her too if he married so quickly in which case the “abuse” claim may have some validity. That did not give her the right to go fuck somebody else’s husband though. She might have gotten better out of her divorce if she hadn’t done that and/or she might have been in a better position to acquire a higher quality man than your stupid cheater. She has forever soiled herself through her selfish actions.

            • Sometimes, there are two cheaters married to each other. We don’t know about them because they don’t frequent Chump sites because— that would be an attempt at self improvement and they don’t do that?

      • Okay Beth, that description almost made me laugh out loud at my desk at work – and probably be escorted out of the building! And you’re right – what a cartoon that would make!

  • After 34 years of marriage then ignoring red flags I found them together at her home. When I confronted them the OWHORE verbally attacked me ( both of them actually) saying filthy sexual things they did together. Both laughing & humiliating me I knew how mentally sick the ex & especially the OW was.

    She was so happy seeing him tear me apart. Guess she felt she “won”. Well she did after I served him papers week later then divorced him 8 months after that.

    But the OWHORE had Karma kick in .. she died few months ago. He’s now with another woman.. not even grieving. Tru wuv?

    Shows how special she thought she was to him.

    ☹️

  • The OW in my story was my ex’s married (with children) co worker. Not sure if she’s in any of those categories-maybe 3?
    Basically she was/is the female equivalent of my ex.
    Once I discovered the affair it ended. Presumably because she didn’t want to be found out. As I don’t and never did know her I wasn’t able to inform her husband. So no repercussions for her. Maybe now it’s over a year past DDay they’ve hooked back up. Don’t know. Don’t care (except to feel bad for her husband- which I do wether it’s ended or stopped and started up again, either way I wish he was informed).
    No twu wuv- just wrecked lives for sordid moments and the stroking of egos (and other things) 😖

    • Love this: “No twu wuv – just wrecked lives for sordid moments and the stroking of egos (and other things)”.

  • I’m two years out from DDAY(of course OW wasn’t discovered til 5 months in). I struggle with this daily. I have to see this bitch several times a week. She drives by my house multiple times a day. She lives on the same street in my community as most of my friends. Her child participates in some of the same extracurricular activities as my child. Just last week the OW ‘liked’ an Instagram Post on my business page from over a year ago – in others works she was stalking my page. I blocked her. I found my former SIL & BIL are now her friends on FB. I guess all that talk of being supportive to me after 25 years of marriage with your brother was BS. I blocked them on FB.
    I can’t see it – it’s too painful. She has ruined two families in our community – sleeping with married men while still married herself AND was a local politician. The saving grace was she did NOT get re-elected because the woman of my community said, “HELL NO”. Now my ex wants to introduce her to my son(my daughter wants nothing to do with him). I want to escape her, him, not care anymore but it’s constantly in my face. I know I shouldn’t care and will never ‘get it’ but ughhhhh, so over it all.

    • I have a friend who had the same situation. Freak Ho OW lived a block over, kids involved in same sports etc. She just found out she moved!!! Anyway, it was so hard but over past couple years my friend learned to laugh at her. Literally, belly laughs. They really are ridiculous and pathetic when we put aside the horrendous sickness and destruction.

  • I can tell you what was going through the mind of at least one OM. My ex was also an OM as OW was married with kids. He was thinking “that poor wonderful woman is stuck in that lousy marriage and I am going to be her night it shining armor and rescue her from her terrible situation”. I think he really was moved by her sob stories. He’s always had a bit of a hero complex. The problem is, he was married, to me and had no right to go off rescuing dumbzels in distress. He isn’t the hero in this story he is the villain. Between them they tore two families apart. That’s eight kids who now come from broken homes that they broke. What a way to be a hero, not.

    • My ex was the OW to a married OM, and I know they both told each other sob stories about their “terrible” marriages to justify what they were doing with each other (because she gave similar stories about both of our marriages to her friends as I later discovered). I can only say that I know that my ex thought she was much better than OM’s wife, because she used to criticize his wife whenever my ex spoke with her own friends about her (we knew them before Dday). She couldn’t understand why the OM married his wife as she was so “lacking.” Thus, she had no problem messing with their marriage.

      As for the OM, well I’m sure he probably told himself something along the lines of “well her husband must be terrible if she’s willing to sleep with me” and/or he was just willing to have sex with her simply because she offered it – probably a combination of both. He’s not too sophisticated.

      My conclusion: there weren’t a whole lot of brain cells being used by the participants in this endeavor.

  • I was told by the OW to “stop interfering” in their relationship and that she was not “interested in my past with him” (when I tried to warn her about his cheating.

    So, I filed. She won the turd. And, then she discovered he was cheating on her with an ad on Adult Friend Finder.

    Trust that they suck.

    • I love it when affair partners get cheated on, truly is one of the top reasons I read this site. Gives me deep belly laughs of satisfaction.

      • My ex’s former (?) stripper, convicted felon fiance (she was only *technically* an OW since she came along after we were separated but before we divorced) actually called me to complain that he was cheating on her with – wait for it – strippers. From the club where they met. Honestly, all I could do was laugh and ask her what she expected. My favorite part of the conversation was when she asked me if I ever missed my ex and wanted him back. My answer was to laugh again. Um…no. Never. No tag backs. If she’s looking for a pick-me dance competition she’ll have to look elsewhere. I suggest a strip club.

        • Why do these pieces of shit think it’s ok to call us? I’m ashamed to say I carried on a conversation to hear and gather info, photos, text messages and emails, oh and the best recorded calls. Yes, my (then) husband on recorded calls with his lover, sometimes lovey dovey sometimes raging. Talk about disordered, who records calls unless they plan to use them for something? Oh right… the DISORDERED OW bitching about the OTHER OW he was boning on his desk at work. Really? Spare me. The whole lot of them are fucked up. Said the cheater gave her my number and dared her to call me and tell me everything.

          • In my case, she had a very specific purpose in calling – she used all that bullshit about him cheating on her, etc. to try to seem like we were, friends? sympatico? – before she sprung her “trap” which was asking me if I had a boyfriend. Maybe one who lived in my house? So that my ex’s spousal support obligation would end and she would get more of his money? Yeah, like I couldn’t figure out what her motive was. [eyeroll]

  • I, a chump, now make my living talking to very elderly people, and by a strange coincidence the ones I have spent time with recently have been OWs. I’m not allowed to be anything but polite to them, and they don’t know I was cheated on (they think I’m a widow) but it has been a real revelation seeing what mental agony they are now in, about the families they messed up and the terrible things they once did. They are approaching death in real torment. So I suspect they knew all along what damage they were doing. We aren’t just nothing to them, however much they might wish they felt that way.

    • Really?! You mean some women in their old age DO regret it? Please tell me more about what you’ve heard and give me hope!

      I think it’s part of the lie media feeds us these days. “You’re going to regret not living your ‘authentic’ life when you’re old! Feel good NOW! Chase your happiness! Everyone wants you to be happy! You should never be bored!!”

      • They’re desperate to be forgiven (by strangers like me) while knowing they can’t be. For instance saying over and over, each time you meet them, ‘WHY did his wife send him off to Holland alone for three months. Why didn’t she go with him?’ And you can tell from their expression and desperation that they know it wasn’t the wife’s fault at all. The current one keeps murmuring with a stricken look at me: ‘I’ve ruined so many lives.’ (She had affairs with three married men with small kids and tried – and failed – to get at least two others who weren’t sufficiently interested.) I think when you are very old and alone there is finally no escape from unpleasant truths. At first I felt it was very unfair I had to pretend to be sympathetic to these women, but it has been a healing process, because my OW was so cruel and heartless. It’s comforting to think she might die with some regrets.

        • Fuck them! I hope they are on an express elevator to hell! They committed a moral sin! They are asking for forgiveness in all the wrong places!

          • I’m with you, NMSB. Boo fucking hoo. Pretty convenient to express remorse as you contemplate entering the pearly gates (maybe), rather than after you fucked the FIRST married man. May they die in a pool of anxiety about their afterlife fate.

        • These old biddies are knocking on death’s door and looking to absolve themselves so they don’t burn in hell when the time comes. Yep, it is all about them, AGAIN!

        • Wow! That was her excuse at the time. The wife didn’t care so she ‘sent’ him to Holland. It should haunt her, she knew she was lying to herself. I spend a good amount of time visiting a nursing home and there is a clear difference in the ones who have peace in their souls and others who are even downright angry and mean. I have to say, when they are scared it tugs at my heart no matter what they did in their past though.

      • Oh, I love the “authentic self”…which is apparently a euphamism for “faithless,lying sack of shit”.

        Not.

  • Kathleen

    I recall that story and it’s just sick to see just how low these creatures stoop.

    I found out later that she was right next to him while he was leaving me voice messages, “Love you (my nickname). To hear this woman taunt me using the nickname he gave me at sixteen was unimaginable.

    So I coined her a nickname, Nanthony.

    Bottom line the X’s enjoyed our pain.

    • They DO enjoy our pain; what better way to experience power than to know you have come close to emotionally decimating someone? They are sick, evil fucks, no matter what public “nice” deeds they may do to cover up their inner rot.

      Researchers in lying/deception have discovered “micro-expressions” that liars exhibit. They can appear to be absolutely sincere while expressing sadness or love or remorse, but watch a videotape of them and an expression of contempt will appear for milliseconds. Hannibal Lecher exhibited those milliseconds of contempt or amusement after D-day, but I didn’t have the wherewithal at the time to know what they meant. Even before D-day, he broke several of my things, and would say “I’m sorry” but this weird expression would creep in, barely detectable. It now occurs to me he either broke things on purpose as he was dick-deep in his last affair, or at least enjoyed the fact that he had done something that bothered me.

      • The micro expressions are creepy, usually followed by the blank stare as he tries to reset his humanness and then the nervous cough kicks in. Guilty as fuck. And yeah…hides his evil behind a facade in his professional life, serving the public “good” with a bunch of people he thinks are below his intellect (funny how he hooked up with his “stupid, weak” employee).

    • Doingme

      Your right! They do enjoy our pain! It just tells us there are Monsters that walk among us.

      Never remorseful or concerned about us after destroying the family.. they just move on like we
      never existed. Liars will always Lie & Cheaters will
      always Cheat.

      ((Hugs)) to you 😊

      • Mine enjoyed my pain because he felt I deserved everything I got ( scorched earth – let’s just blow everyone’s life up shall we ??).

        He had a laundry list of offences which he kept score of over the entire marriage and therefore I got what I deserved. I was being punished and he felt justified.

        Since he is clergy I am sure ( cough, cough ) that God has forgiven him for any imperfections he might have.

        That skien is just too big to unravel – no end in sight!!!

  • I would love to hear your thoughts on the OM. It is very hard to understand why he would do this when it is so far from what decent guiding principles of any human being would do.

  • I think Schmoopie was some kind of cross between 1 and 4. She didn’t get any kind of thrill out of mind fucking me (we avoid each other) but her entire sense of self worth relied on his willingness to leave me for her. She made a big show to ex of how “guilty” she felt about me being hurt, but evidently she didn’t feel guilty enough to back the hell off and go away when we were supposed to be in reconciliation. She just couldn’t help herself from continuing to pursue him because she just “cared” for him so much. She definitely wanted to win. She didn’t want to be the side piece or get dumped because that would hurt her pride. He may (I don’t really know) have pursued her first but she went along with it and then decided that he owed her more than he owed me. It was nothing personal against me, I just had something she wanted. “sorry you got hurt” shrug.

  • In my case, schmoopie was a solid #4. She has totally after the money, and of course to win. Trying to humiliate me and grind me down to nothing, cheater ex (CE) had the same agenda. It didn’t work. I took my kids and left his sorry ass. In the meantime, CE quit his well paying job for a minimum wage job so he wouldn’t have to pay child support. (That didn’t work either.)

    Well, guess what? Tru luv didn’t conquer all. Schmoopie dumped him, telling him he didn’t make enough money. Poor baby couldn’t seem to find himself another woman after that. Of course it had nothing to do with the fact he came off like a jittery, creepy Mr. Rodgers. Nope.

    Of course, according to CE, all that was my fault too.

    Me? I had arrived at the place of Eeww, what was I thinking when I took on this guy.

    What was in schmoopie’s little sewer of a mind?… “I, I, I, me, me, me, I want, I deserve, I am better, take THAT bitch, money, money, money”….rinse, repeat.

    • #4 can also encompass their need for prestige. Gradwhore was happy shagging a man 34 years older than her (Daddy issues much?) because he was a famous academic. Sleeping your way to the top is a common OW motive, too, I think.

      Didn’t quite work out for her, of course, as he dumped her and graduating based on her low intellect took 10 years, and lots of help. The topic of one of her presentations was “Love and Agency,” which made me laugh–where was my agency when she was blowing my husband behind my back.

      • Oh yeah. I have this theory that men largely cheat because the pussy is THERE and women largely cheat because they think they are trying to trade up. Men deluded themselves with thinking that these OW are SLAVES to their dick (she’ll give up everything! She’s on her knees! My dick is the best dick EVAR!!!) But nah. She’ll act like that though until the man is paying her bills and playing papa to her kids and she has access to that checking account.

        • This is certainly true in my case – almost all of my ex’s OW were strippers. Trust me, my ex’s was most definitely not “the best dick EVAR!!!”, not from a size OR performance standpoint, but I bet they put on Academy Award worthy performances like it was. I’m sure the former (?) stripper he’s now engaged to, who was getting a bit long in the tooth for earning a living wage from stripping, thought she won a golden meal ticket and for awhile she did. Too bad he lost his executive job and hasn’t had any luck finding a new one. Sucks to suck. Literally. 😀 😀

          • My ex’s OW slept her way to the bottom. X was in insurance. Whore was an insurance supervisor. I suppose the appeal to her was that since she was inept in her position (per coworkers), and he had 20 years experience, he was valuable to her in a knight in shining armor way. Young OW was from a well-known family, quite well-to-do, and even a quasi-celebrity in the mix. She was born with a silver spoon in her month. Could of had a much better life (even being as short on looks as she is), but only MY husband was going to make her happy?! Many years out. This makes me laugh. Though I loved XH, he was rather unremarkable in many, many ways…

      • Yup to this tempest

        XH is a college teacher with a wealthy family and OW was his student (from another country).
        She probably thought the gravy train had pulled in and im sure he was OVER THE MOON that 20yr old poon thought his lumpy body was hot

  • Great subject for today’s column!

    Turns out my XH had at least 14 OW during our 40 years together; yep, he provided names and dates.

    Sadly, none of them qualified for Category #2… all but two were married and had children – and PERSONALLY KNEW me and our 3 sons.

    But that stop any of them from being in Category #1, either believing my XH’s wedding ring was for “decorative purposes only”, and/or succumbing to his charms (which were many).

    About half were in Category #3, generally believing they were “all that and a bag of chips”, and there was no doubt they sparkled much more brightly than I ever could, a tired mother of triplets who worked full time.

    Most of the rest fell into Category #4… those who were in it for the fun and thrill of winning the prize, no matter what.

    The few choice ones who remained subscribed to the “Combo Plan” which included Categories #3 and #4 and a bag of soggy French fries. This illustrious group included OW #14, who worked in the office next to my XH (she was 7 years older, married for 40+ years, 2 children, 6 grandchildren) and was “obviously” a much better fit for him. He dumped/divorced me, she dumped/divorced her rich attorney husband (but not before walking away with beaucoups bucks and a riverside home), and then, the lovebirds got married.

    The only thing that’s kept me sane is my decision to go Zero Contact; I highly recommend it, if at all possible.

  • I think the ow sees what she wants to see. They normally act like victims, and act like the man is a prize. They don’t see reality for what it really is. The cheater is probably treating them like shit, and want the woman to do the pick me dance. If you take them back will you ever trust them, probably not.

  • CL is right that there are different OWs and different motivations but for many they are interested in money and upgrading their lifestyle.
    How many cheaters steal family money and wine and dine the OW and buy her fancy things and take them on secret expensive trips ?

    For many of them they DON’T want your husband, they want your lifestyle that you have spent decades building.
    Otherwise why else would a good looking fit 20 something OW be interested in a flabby middle aged man her father’s age ?

    Twu Luv or $$ ?

  • The OW in my case knew my ex was married, and tried to befriend me at the ex’s urging. She would mimic what I did, and would pretend to like the same things I did. I found out later that she was going through my belongings (and my daughter’s) in my house when I wasn’t home! At the risk of sounding paranoid, I wonder if she wanted my ex or my life. It was just weird! My ex kept saying “you and Princess Truffle Butt would be such good friends.” After some of the comments he made, and some of the things she did, I think he thought I was just going to just allow her to move in, and we were just going to have a “sister wives” situation and everybody would be happy with it, especially him. Didn’t work out that way for him……

    So glad I got him out of here, changed the locks, and I no longer have to worry about who is in my house going through my stuff when I am not here!

    • My husband said the same thing, that i would be such good friends with the ow. She wanted to meet me and for some reason i always was creeped out by that. I’m so glad i never did. These women are such freaks.

      • Oh and i didn’t know she was his ow. She was newly married. Don’t just assume newlyweds are not freaks too.

        • Before I figured out what was going on, and before he admitted to it, my ex used the excuse that the OW “was getting engaged,” so they couldn’t be involved. I laughed at him for this I said “she has been getting engaged for 2 years now. I don’t think that is an actual relationship status.” This woman had a boyfriend that was her age that she strung along and used also. I think she had some daddy issues (ex was old enough to be her father), and she wanted the family that her boyfriend wasn’t ready to give her. The whole situation was definitely fucked up! when I first started to unravel what was going on I just kinda watched in stunned disbelief at how stupid they both were, and how they thought they were pulling one over on me….All the while, I was planning my exit! Princess Truffle Butt was sorely disappointed to find out that Prince Charmin did not own the house (I did), or most of “our” belongings……I acquired all that prior to marriage. Joke is on you suckers! He is all hers now….

        • Yep my cheater fucked the OW before she got married to her “loser”, during her first year of marriage and then broke up two marriages. Who’s the loser?

    • Yep, at least one OW went through my things as well. She told me as much, describing my things in my room that he invited her into and left her alone while he went to work all day. WTF?

  • What I gleaned during “reconciliation” from my cheater wife: she threw herself at massage boy and probably was given all the bogus cheater lines like “we are just roommates” etc… So I’m sure AP thought- “Wow, this is so easy- I am getting s#x and I’m getting paid money. Sucks to be this woman’s husband.”

    • Zell- i have one former friend who recently admitted to me that he had been an OM, and yes that was basically his attitude “ i get great s-x and sucks to be the persons spose”

  • I got the OW “was a dear friend” who “helped” cheater with all his marital problems. That was his victim schtick that he hung with for years.

    Too bad I never knew about his “marital problems” at the time.

    Also, our local pub bartender said when XH would stop in, alone, he seemed to be always on the “lookout” for something new, although she never saw him leave with anyone and offered no proof.

    In my case, all roads lead directly back to the cheater xh. OW is nothing to me, really. He is the one that went looking and found “twu lurve”.

    Apparently, he told me what a “high caliber” person she was.
    A friend who works in the HR where she works told me she was know as being “bat shit crazy”.

    Besides her name and age and job title, I know nothing about her. Never saw a picture, although someday I’d like to someday I think.
    XH total obsession was with himself, she is a small part player. I’m hoping it all the pain they caused comes back to them x 10, but I’m not banking on it.

  • I think anyone can be vulnerable to meeting a professional liar/cheater/con man, and at least surface believe whatever they say when they meet. But any grown person who goes on the dating sites, or singles clubs associated with churches or activity related groups, and accepts anything that is said there as truth, with no suspicion, is clearly not operating on all cylinders. You have to be suspicious. Catfish is not a term to describe a type of actual fish on those dating sites. There are professional’s there, who spend all their time trying to cheat potential dates out of their time, money, and underwear. Seriously, does someone have to tell you to lock your doors and windows as an adult? Does someone have to warn you not to walk by yourself in a dangerous part of town at night? There are some things you should have learned long before high school, long before you became an adult. Anyone who has been in a long term relationship, and finds they are suddenly single, had best do some research about what to expect, and learn about red flags. When I meet someone new, in any circumstance, I tend not to believe anything they say until I have reason to believe. I am not rude, but I don’t get in a car with strangers, or agree to meet someone I don’t really know at an isolated location. I always leave a paper trail and make sure someone knows where I am going, and who I am meeting, and when I expect to return (not for work or the grocery store, etc, but if I go into another city, or drive up to visit a relative for a day or two, or go on vacation).

    I don’t know the percentages, but I believe most people who are sexually assaulted or killed (not random, or mass incidents) are hurt by someone they think they know, not a stranger. Usually a spouse or relative.

    For me, the OW/OM may be looped into the initial relationship by a variety of bait set out by the cheater. The fault is the cheater’s for setting out the bait, and following up by checking the trap. The fault shifts to and becomes shared by the OW/OM when they find out the truth about the cheater. That is when the moral responsibility is theirs — if they do not walk away immediately, they become just as guilty, by continuing to associate with a known liar/cheater. Anything that is bad that happens to them, they have consented to. Actions have consequences. Anyone who claims, “our love is special” and is “worth hurting others”, needs to be prepared for the same thing to happen to them. No mercy, no appeal in my court.

  • Thanks for rerunning this post. Lots of Chumps want to know what motivates the AP. However, this is all part of the desire to untangle the skein of fuckedupness. It’s almost as if we believe that if we can see things from the AP’s perspective, we can do something about our Cheaters. Nope. Don’t go there.

    I will agree that APs (the example here is of the Other Woman) run the gamut. Except for #2–the unknowing AP (and I have known exactly one of these, a man who was devastated when he discovered that his girlfriend was married)–at the core of every single one of these people lies the belief that they are entitled to participate in the affair.

    One of my sisters shared an apartment with a woman who was always drawn to married men. She was convinced that these men couldn’t keep their hands off her, and boasted to my sister that she was currently in an affair with a man who had 4 children. My sister was furious. How dare this woman destroy that marriage? How dare she destroy the lives of the wife and those children?

    The response? “He could have said no.”

    And that, folks, is what we Chumps need to focus on.

    The APs can be morally despicable. Certainly my sister’s roommate was. But at the end of the day, it’s about choosing well. Our Cheaters chose the affair.

    That leaves us with the real question: are we okay with being married to someone who chooses infidelity?

  • It is definitely a win all game to the ow. If the ow is married they are more than willing to destroy their own marriage if they feel certain they can “win” by destroying yours. They are truly sick and even if your husband thinks he has won some prize you can be certain he has not. My husband still thinks he’s “winning” but patterns don’t lie. I know it os only a matter of time. It doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking for you and your children unfortunately. These ows are terminator like. Mindless goal oriented robots.

  • These cheaters have so much in common, not the least of which is gutlessness. That being said, many also share a deep, long term dissatisfaction with their relationships. Most are long term, serial cheaters who take advantage of opportunity (and people) time and time again. I had a friend years ago who was a fellow pre school mom. Had not seen her in years, but ran back into her at my bank. After years of being a SAHM, she was back working as a teller after her husband left and filed for divorce. So cliche, but she told me he left for a personal trainer at his gym. She said “they destroyed two 15 year marriages”. I felt bad for her, but I would bet those marriages were over long before they found each other. This is another recurrent theme. The cheater has long been emotionally checked out, it’s just a matter of time before they leave. Sadly the AP is not “taking away” anything. It has been long gone.

    • This is called rationalization of an affair. Of course every cheater says the relationship is dead or over. Mine said 30 then 20 then 10 years – I quite counting after that. Meanwhile we went on a romantic trip to Iceland, complete with flowers, love letters and promises = 6 weeks before last affair began.

      I heard his attorney spew lie after lie after lie as justification. I couldn’t believe we were talking about the same relationship.

      If you are referring to “checking out”, that is very common too. Mine swung all over boards, telling anyone who would listen his sob story du jour. It was never the same story to MY face, though.

      I’d stop buying “the relationship was over a long time ago” stories. Tried and true cheater justification.

  • I have a new work colleague who has been very kind to me. She’s divorced, and knows the stress of it. She helped me a ton with the transition back into professional life, easing my way at every step, right down to hugs, prayers, and general spiritual support.

    Recently remarried to her high school sweetheart, she’s quite happy, now. She has told me the whole romantic story of how she never stopped loving him, how they found each other once more in a fateful way, and how she just knows these joys await me, as well, if I want them and when I am ready.

    But yesterday, she revealed a bit more. Seems that this true love was reignited while they were both still married. Seems that one of the new hubby’s daughters declined to attend the sparkly wedding in favor of spending time with her mom, for whom that was a hard day.

    And she said these things:

    —“But his marriage had been over for a very long time. They were basically just roommates.”

    —“Neither of us had been happy in our marriages in years and years.”

    —“His ex-wife just needs to just get over it and move on. Everybody says so.”

    —“He was never ‘with’ her during the time he was ‘with’ me.”

    And I was gobsmacked all the heck over again by how prevalent this script is.

    They both got annulments, she told me. Because, you know, faith. And the ex-wife really should forgive because she will never be happy until she does, and besides the Church now declares and affirms that their marriages never actually existed, so no harm, no foul.

    I know I wore my surprised disappointment on my face, because I tend to, so she also pointed out that they both waited until the kids were grown before making things more official.

    Yup, because it’s a generous move to waste your spouse’s life that way. Years and years that the person can never get back.

    It was so weird accidentally to corner a cheater in the wild, that way. I have no personal investment at all in their story, but I tend to be who I am wherever I go, and so I was not just silent during all of that.

    To the part about how they were both married when the relationship began, I offered, “So, you lied,” and the response was “yes, but . . .” as above. Yes but the marriages were over, there was no love, our spouses were merely roommates and so forth.

    “But you didn’t tell them that, right?”

    Nope. Nope they didn’t. Because reasons. Unloved and discarded spouses should just know these things, I guess. Inability to discern them is just further evidence of their inferiority to the new bedmate, who magically and instantly understands all the things.

    To the part about how the wife should forgive and everybody but everybody thinks it’s high time for her to get the heck over it, I basically offered a “why?” Why should she? Has there been regret, apology, reparation? Has there been any empathy at all? Any attempt to honor her experience, her position, her real wounds?

    Big eyes. That was the reaction.

    I like this person. She’s a good colleague, good at her work, incredibly supportive of me, and sweet and thoughtful.

    But what a giant blind spot on this. I think we are actually good for each other in this way. She gets a glimpse at what it is really like for the one she tends to leave out of her equation, and I get a close up look at the reasoning that goes into these things, without the emotional immediacy or investment that I bring to my own still unfolding experience.

    The God forgives and so should you deal came into play. I guess I am the living embodiment of how it actually isn’t the job of the person who was betrayed to free the betrayers of consequences, which is what I think “forgiveness” tends really to mean in this context. They may say, “But that’s the only way you will ever be free,” but what they mean is more like, “That’s the only way we will ever be free.” Quite a burden to place on the betrayed. Not something I can or will do any time soon.

    Interesting, I think, that I am now acutely aware of a whole subculture I knew not of. Strange. Still pondering it.

    And because the chumpiness in me runs so deep, I did find myself wondering if maybe she is right: I should let go, forgive, move on, get over it, and cannot be at peace until I do.

    But that made my stomach hurt.

    And so it goes.

    • On a personal level, Cashmere, I am so sorry you cornered a “cheater in the wild,” as you put it, while still navigating your own path away from a cheater.

      On an academic level, your colleague’s story is magnificently fascinating to me. It’s long been known that we will do a lot to protect our egos and the belief that we are good people. But the degree of cognitive dissonance required to believe you are a good person even after breaking up two families is astounding. It requires that a cheater believe that (a) their own spouse & their partner’s spouse are so awful as to warrant being cheated on (the basis for the devalue), and/or (b) that the soul-sucking emptiness of their so-called “already dead” marriages is an existential crisis worthy of committing a wrong.

      Part of me envies these people; I could never delude myself to that level. Chumps berate themselves for suffering we didn’t even cause; cheaters manage to convince themselves that they are good people despite the evidence against them. How happy-making it must be to never accept full responsibility for your awful actions. Not the kind of happiness I value, though.

    • Postscript: One does not need to forgive or “get over it” to achieve peace. While clearly a personal matter (some people may need to forgive), I have managed to achieve a post-divorce Dalai-Lama type peace despite a vow to never forgive my X, nor to lose the moral indignation about our collective betrayals. As Nomar once remarked, infidelity is something we “get past” but not “over.”

      • Grr…peace temporarily interrupted. The hubris of a cheater to tell a chump to “get over it,” and how to heal is astounding. Drives me from Dalai-Lama phase to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

    • Cashmere, my take away from your story is that she considers helping YOU her “reparation.” See how warm and caring she is? Look at how nice she is to a betrayed wife like poor Cashmere – she’s a good person who has compassion and empathy. Really. Trust her. BUT. It’s not really personal to her so it’s easy. Actually being sorry for the damage she caused to two families, two betrayed spouses? Not so much. Because that is personal; it impacts her. She has to feel BAD about herself and her actions and she doesn’t want to. You, she can feel sorry for and help at an emotional remove, it involves no introspection or self evaluation on her part. It’s a cop out. You are a genuinely good person and have a kind heart and would like to believe that the things you say have an effect on her but my guess is, she is just like every other standard, run-of-the-mill Jesus cheater – just a bunch of empty talk. No walking the walk at all.

    • Thank you Cashmere for sharing this conversation. How incredibly hard it must have been to receive. I think you are so brave to have stayed in it with your new friend as I would have potentially said Fyou & run to the hills. 😱 Thank you Tempest for reminding me & naming this understanding – ‘the degree of cognitive dissonance required to believe you are a good person even after breaking up two families is astounding’. I hope to get to meh but for now I’m still trying to comprehend, understand & move on. I will never accept this kind of weakness & the choice to ruin people’s lives without ever taking full responsibility for doing so,

    • I had a similar experience although I don’t know the woman very well. We met through an outdoor meetup and went on a hike together. She was telling me about her high conflict divorce and how she had wanted it to be low conflict but he was dragging it out and being a jerk and trying to put her in the poor house. I was in turn telling her about my own experience of being discarded for another woman. She seemed sympathetic until I started trashing the other woman (who was also married). Then the woman I was talking to started defending the OW. I explained to her why I didn’t think there was any justification for sleeping with somebody else’s husband, especially while still married yourself. “But maybe she was miserable in her marriage and he was pursuing her, yadda, yadda”. That’s when she finally admitted that she left her STBX for another man. I suspect she may also have been an OW, but she didn’t say and I didn’t ask. We managed to keep the conversation civil for the rest of our hike but I did find it disturbing to look into the mind of a cheater. She used all of the usual lines. Her husband made her miserable. He wouldn’t communicate with her. He wasn’t loving, etc. He lied to her and, get this, “gaslighted” her. Ok, so if she was that miserable why didn’t she leave before the other guy came along? Not only that, but she described some situations that I can clearly see from his perspective would have been her being critical of him and him being afraid to cross her. Now she is upset because he is being a jerk to her and not handing everything over in the divorce? She is also distraught because their oldest daughter wants nothing to do with her? What did she think was going to happen? From my perspective it was hard to believe that she was really as miserable as she claimed until a new Mr. Sparkles came along. I tried to gently give her a look into what might be going on in the mind of her betrayed husband that might make him so hostile, but I don’t think she understood my point of view any more than I understood hers. I guess it is just a different way of looking at the world.

    • “I guess I am the living embodiment of how it actually isn’t the job of the person who was betrayed to free the betrayers of consequences, which is what I think “forgiveness” tends really to mean in this context. They may say, “But that’s the only way you will ever be free,” but what they mean is more like, “That’s the only way we will ever be free.”

      Wow, I hadn’t thought of it that way. Very insightful.

  • I don’t think “Other Women” think of the wife/girlfriend at all except as an obstacle to what they want and most of them have ZERO self awareness. It’s also very powerful feeling to feel like you are that irresistable & seductive you can snatch a man away from his wife/girfriend. I had 2 OWs to deal with at the same time; neither one of had/have any self awareness:

    OW #1 informed me she was there FIRST & she was with him through good & bad, except one of the reasons they broke up is because he got very ill & she blew him off because nobody has time to be a nursemaid. Then she discovered dating is slim pickings after a certain age and wanted back in. She also couldn’t believe he was lie to her & cheat on her and betray her with OW #2.

    *say what, now?*

    Fancy that! A liar & cheater is lying and cheating. WOW. Zero self awareness. You’re helping him lie, betray & cheat on me but don’t like it when he does the same thing to YOU. Ok, girl.

    OW #2 was stepping out on her boyfriend with Mr. Cheater. Now she has the devastationz because her boyfriend is now cheating on HER. How can anyone do that??? Let me give you a McDonald’s napkin to dry your tears with.

    The Other Woman is not thinking about you. They’re not even thinking about themselves because if they were, they wouldn’t be lying and cheating. They’d have some dignity and not want to be a perpetual silver medalist. Or in OW #1’s case a perpetual bronze medalist. She won’t get that, because she has zero self awareness. Sad.

  • I don’t know what the OW thought she was getting with my ex. It certainly wasn’t about money as he had thousands of £ of debt. I think she was just a naive young girl who was targeted by my ex. I think he just wanted someone to give him attention and she was willing to do it. He knew that what he was doing was wrong and so did she but neither of them cared. I spent so much time worrying about what she had that I didn’t. I concluded that she wasn’t better just new and sparkly which was something I couldn’t be. Their relationship ended one month after our divorce was final. It turned out that she actually did me a favour even though I still have to deal with him because of the children.

  • In my case the OW knew my husband was a married man. She had been in a long term marriage to a sick creep (takes one to know one) and wasn’t even divorced when she started prowling for a new victim. She went after two other married men (that I personally know of) where she worked before my XH succumbed to her ‘charms.’ She is one of the most physically ugliest women I’ve ever seen. Make a train take a dirt road ugly. I discovered emails between them where they made fun of me. She definitely thought she was sophisticated and edgy. She had no problem whatsoever fucking a married man. She was special like that. She has that serial cheater now. He’s all hers. LOL. If she only knew the half of what he does behind her back now. She’s getting every single thing she deserves. She actually doesn’t care that he cheats on her though. The most important thing to her is that she has a cut out cardboard man by her side.

  • Does anyone have an opinion on good/best friend OW?

    I was so thrilled that XH and one of my friends got along so well, since he doesn’t really like any of my friends, that I invited her over all the time to hang out. Dinners, movie nights, etc. She always said he’s like her brother. Did I push them together?

    • Of course you didn’t push them together, MedChump! It is natural to have your friends over, to include your spouse, and to be happy that your spouse gets along with your bestie.

      They both betrayed you. Horribly. Friend-fuckers are second lowest on the cheater phylogenetic scale IMHO (family-member-fuckers are at the bottom).

      • Back in 1971, Mom and Dad sat all the kids down at the kitchen table to say that Dad was going to move out for a while. Today, typing these words still brings back remnants of that punch-in-the-gut fear that we were going to be a divorced family. After a year of hopium for ALL of us (especially the seven kids), Dad told us one day that he had gotten married to Mom’s (former) best friend. Not only were the kids absolutely blind-sided by the revelation that there had been an ongoing affair, but I suddenly had to call Mrs. Schneider by her first name (!!! for 1972). I have spent the last 40+ years knowing that Mom’s best friend was a scheming cheater, and that my father was a lying cheater.

        Mom is now dead, Dad and OW are still married, but the lasting effects on the seven children have been enormous. We kids saw a close family friend play a hand in the destruction of our perception of what family is, of what friendship is, and of what having the trust is. We all have broken marriages, partly because we lost confidence to control our own lives, all because of some lust and dishonesty 45 years ago. Six girls got screwed up from seeing a close female friendship horribly betrayed, and one boy never got over the example his father set for him. (Five divorces among the girls, boy still unmarried at age 63 because for years he has had relationships with unsuitable women who used him and then dumped him.)

        Karma has been decades slow in coming, but as Mom said after her years of therapy, “Boy, former BFF sure got what she deserved! And he did, too.”

          • If it’s any consolation, stepmonster is now living with a very, very cranky 90-year-old man who no longer drives but wants to be ferried around by her constantly. His friends have all died, her friends have all either become infirm or have dementia, and they are watching their expenses go up as their savings/investments become more and more depleted. To top it all off, about 30 years ago she had a fling with one of Dad’s friends, which was a little bit of payback for Dad. Thanks for the solidarity, Sucker Punched.

        • I’m sorry for the effects on you and your siblings, Eirene. The ripple-effects of cheaters’ actions are widespread in their damage.

    • You were trusting. When you marry someone you have to trust until they violate the trust. It showed you were dedicated to the marriage. You were a good person. Your ex and ex-friend were jerks.

  • After reading through all the posts, just want to give all (((big hugs))).
    I started to share my experience, but before clicking “Post Comment” it hit me.
    What the f*** do I care what category his shmoopie fits into?
    I’m done giving them anymore time/energy.
    My energy is going to be invested in me, my grieving process, learning and growing.
    They’ve each won a sparkling turd and I’m going to find a wonderful life.
    Thank you CL! Your posts spark meaningful thinking.
    Thank you CN, for sharing your most vulnerable moments. You are strong, amazing people!

  • My ex’s OW didn’t own any responsibility. Her explanation was “I made myself available, and he took me up on the offer. If that meant he was cheating, that’s all on him.”

    I had a co-worker who was a serial cheater who believed that her married boyfriends were choosing her over their wives, and that boosted her ego. But she didn’t want relationships with any of them, she just wanted the sex, gifts, trips, expensive dates, and ego boosts. So she never tried to bust up a marriage and dumped any guy who talked about having a future with her.

  • I haven’t had a chance to read through other posts yet but just wanted to put out my viewpoint on the vile species we call “OM” distinct from “OW”. Tracy raises an excellent point that they are quite likely very different. Her statistics on how many of each contact her are fascinating. Some day it would be interesting to feed her correspondence through a “machine learning” computer and sort out commonalities and themes scientifically.

    I think that OM/OW though probably come down into distinct classes and Tracy has touched on this elsewhere:
    – No strings attached booty. I know guys like this and from what I’ve read there appear to be women like this as well.
    – Control and conquer. They deliberately set out for a victim(s) and target them.
    – The “I can’t be alone”s I think that was the case in my situation with Mme falling into the control and conquer role.

    There was undoubtedly a bunch of future-faking and wishful projection happening too smooth the path. “Everyone will be so happy for us”, “You’ll love my family”, “Your wallet is so impressive” etc etc.

    In my case the OM was a recent widower who had a business relationship with Mme YogaPants. She told me of their first few lunches reassuring me that he was “safe” because he was recently widowed. I’ve read a bit about widowers and as a chump can identify a bit with the empty place that a guy can feel. I do agree with part of what CL has written here in that I probably didn’t even exist in his mind. His need was paramount. I can see Mme being drawn to that neediness especially after she found out the size of the insurance settlement. She actually bragged to her friends about it, I found out later.

    Mme Y was and presumably still is a very charming person and could show empathy well as long as it is convenient for her. For a very long time as I pick-me danced I imagined her in the clutches of a nefarious evil-doer. As time passes I think on it more as a sad, self-centred man who fell into the clutches of a controlling selfish woman. I don’t have any real sympathy for either of them. They both had agency and both made choices over and over again that they knew hurt others.

    When I was first alone, I was actually cautioned by people around me to be especially careful of younger single-mothers who would see a vulnerable mature man of a certain financial means who would be happy to help “fix” me. Theoretically I was also vulnerable to such women even if married. I don’t honestly know.

    There are so very many people I see who start new relationships very soon after ending their old one, or even before ending it. People who are unable to be alone. Who look at the mirror and seem incomplete. That paragraph might stir sympathy in some, and it might have in me some time ago. But there is no excuse for knowingly causing harm to an innocent person.

    BT

    • When I was younger (20’s) I worked in several sales positions where I met all types of men. None of them seemed to be concerned about my having a husband, unless he might be standing there, and about the size and strength of King Kong. Many of them thought that if I was there to sell something, I would sell anything, Many thought I might just possibly be a bonus that came with them continuing to place orders for whatever it was I was selling. Most of the time I could dissuade them of their ideas by being observant myself, and doing some homework before I called. If they were married and had kids I could start asking polite questions about the wife, and the kids activities, and mention things my husband and I liked to do, and sometimes if the wife worked, I might just know someone who worked with her, or went to their church. I made it clear, without having to be direct, usually, that I was NOT interested in any extra activity, needed to get to my next appointment, and could probably contact their wife easily — through her work, or church, or social group. It helped these Ready Freddies figure out that I was not there to play. Sometimes, I had to be more direct. Usually I could use humor of some type to remove the detonator from their Infidelity Bomb without any dangerous fallout. I grew to really appreciate the gay men I called on — they just didn’t give me any trouble, and didn’t have any delusions about what we were there for.
      The point of all this is that any and everywhere you go, work, or play, there is someone who might want to dally with you. Male or Female. You have to have a series of shields and protections available to let the seekers know you are not interested. Cheaters are always on the search, even when they are getting steady kibbles elsewhere. It is never enough. Men and women may have some different motivations, on the surface, but is all about kibbles, and entitlement.
      Many future ex husbands, newly divorced and widowed men are considered excellent targets for predatory women who are looking for extra income, a nice home, a partner who is used to being a spouse, who may think he “needs” a woman to do the same things for him the previous wife did. These women are shopping for better kibbles than they perceive they have at the moment. They will not be happy for long with anyone, there is always another new and shiny kibble dispenser out there somewhere. My cheater ex’s always pretended to have more money, more important jobs, more of whatever they thought the woman was looking for when they were trolling for kibbles. Later on, after I started fact finding on the marriage police, I actually had many amusing moments when I uncovered the magic moments when the OW’s discovered that he had lied “TO THEM”!!!! Oh, the disbelief! How dare he??? You would think they could figure out the principal of a liar lies, but NO!

      • I appreciate it when I’m out and about, talking to a man and he quickly mentions his wife or girlfriend.

    • You forgot the White Knight/Hero complex cheater who wants to rescue the dumzell in distress from her “evil” husband. In other words the delusional stupid OM (just like my ex). I think there are OW like that too.

      • That is my ex too. Thought he was in a Disney animated movie as the hero prince. Sadly his favorite was Stockholm syndrome beauty and the beast.

  • How about the supportive shoulder who wants to “save him” from his sad evil wife. The one who wont officially date him (wink wink) until he leaves the wife?

    Is that #1?

    • OOOh I had one of those….the white knight who was too much of a coward to deal with that pesky real life, but saving a whittle damsel in distress sure did make him feel like a man!! She was oh so abused by her mean husband (who she went running back to and is still with, three years later 🤣🙄) so she thought she was really trading up by crying to my husband, who was glad to pump her full of bullshit words wgile ge enjoyed pumping her full of something else.

      If any OW are listening, finding a childless 35 year old married man who wants to leave his mean ol’ childless wife to pay for and raise your brats is, well, kinda unbelievable luck. But you SPECIAL, right? 😂🤣👌🏻

  • My XH’s wife tress really brought her A game when she helped XH destroy our nearly 17 year marriage. She’s the definitive #4. Of course, she’d played the game before. I didn’t even know I was competing until our divorce was nearly finalized. Seems the disordered skank also broke up her first husband’s marriage, so she’s a bit of an expert. Her coworkers told me “she has a way”. She’d desperately troll her way thru the cubicles trying to get her pathetic ego stroked until she found my pathetic coward who was only to happy to give and receive kibbles. I attribute his weakness to lack of boundaries and low-T from too much running.

    She filed an Injunction Against Harassment against me (based on texts to newly divorced XH. Where I said she had a big nose, is a whore, etc. She also lied and said I threatened physical violence against her.) 10 days later, he filed an RO. I never even called my XH an asshole while we were married, let alone be a threat to harm him in anyway. My attorney told me not to fight either. If I lost, it would be a criminal misdemeanor. (Whore’s sister is a public defender, so she knew this). He definitely proved his allegiance was to his whore, and not his wife.

    They’ve been married now for several years. She kicked me out of my marriage and they picked up living the same marriage, in a house down the road from where we lived, and take the same trips we took. I hope there is a special place for them both in Hell.

  • The now Owife in my case was one that I met when she came looking for a new man when the ink was barely dry on her first divorce decree and she is a combination of 1 and 4. She spent a lot of time courting my then husband to get him to leave me. Had she asked me I would have told her that he was not going to pay child support for the children we had, plus the one I was carrying, in addition to supporting her two children and any children she was planning on having. I grew to develop a strong dislike for her because who likes someone who is competing with you for your own husband? Fast forward 20 plus years and 2 husbands later (if you’ve lost count, that’s 3 husbands) and she’s at the tail end of a divorce from her third husband, she has a lot more money and near beach property in Florida. Our children are pretty much grown and he’s ready to declare the marriage has been over for awhile (he told our oldest “it was over in his mind”) and decides that she is the love of his life. Sure, Jan.

    I’m several years out from D-Day number who knows how many, I have reclaimed my righteous mind and I am so much happier being free of him. What kind of people are Cheaters/OW/OM? They are horrible people whose primary concern is ALWAYS how something affects them. They care about other people only so far as other people serve a purpose for them. Unless your mind operates in that fashion, that is something that requires acceptance and not necessarily understanding. For some people, who they are on the outside is a reflection of who they are on the inside. For some people, who they are on the outside is a cover or mask for who they are on the inside. Part of our growth out of active and participatory Chumpdom is discerning those differences.

    I was in a horrible place emotionally and psychologically when my marriage broke up. I didn’t think I would make it. Now I just wish I had left sooner to enjoy more of my Cheater-free life. The Asshole Cheater and Owife? If I met him now, I would never seriously consider him as a friend, let alone a life-mate. He quit his job and remains unemployed. I got part of his pension, so independently he’s operating at a nearly 50% loss of income. She pretty much supports him. He’s told his children that are still talking to him that he doesn’t want to work anymore. I’m not particularly partial to lazy, dependent, parasitic, geriatric fuckboys. She got the prize! Sure, Jan.

  • Hi Everyone

    Today is five years since Confrontation Day. It was five years last Friday that I discovered the destruction of my 28 year marriage. Next week will be five years that I confronted my husband’s emotional affair partner.
    Here’s my take on the OW and what’s on their minds. I think they are selfish in more ways that there is space enough to type them, they have very low self-esteem and zero self-respect, and they prey on any man (married or otherwise) for any kind of attention they’re craving, positive or negative. When I confronted her, she told me that they were ‘just friends,’ that she was in a very ‘committed’ 20 year marriage, and that the emails between them were ‘just words.’ I honestly don’t think that was the case, and I definitely know it wasn’t on my husband’s part. His words in those emails were very endearing, words that I had never heard from him. Her words were just as dangerous. As I found out later, she had done this with others and had been an accomplice in destroying another lengthy marriage in my community.
    Yes, I have regrets – looking back, I wish I let her husband in on the deceit, and I wish that when I left my husband for 15 months 3.5 years ago that I didn’t go back home. I had a taste of being on my own, and I loved it. By now, it would have been five years and I probably would have had a completely new life. I was really doing okay, but I thought that after 28 years of marriage, I had to try one last time. Well, I’m still married, coming up on 33 years. Will things ever be the same? NO. Will I ever trust like I did before? NO. Am I at ‘meh,’ detached, indifferent? If the marriage doesn’t work out, will I be ok – will I make it? Believe it or not, YES, I truly believe I will!!

    • I too thought that the years (26) meant something, I wanted with all my heart for my investment to be a good one and allowed him to come in and out of my life several times before finally realizing that it’s just not worth it. Once you know they have betrayed you and they know you know, they check out. You’ve seen too much, their mask slips. Trust that she wasn’t the only one, she wasn’t special, she was low-lying fruit ripe for the picking. These cheaters gravitate towards whomever they think they can manipulate, don’t let it be you. I suspect you held him to a higher standard and she required zero accountability. You will be fine without him, no you will be amazing without him…you already had a taste of how wonderful it felt to be distanced from his chaos. Don’t settle for detached and indifferent just because of the years, leave a cheater gain a life. Your life, that’s where your investment will pay dividends when you realize your worth and put all your energy into YOU.

  • I had a #4. The whore my XHole was chatting it up with on his fuck phone was jealous of me. She was pretty – I am prettier. She was a good pool player – I was better. My X looked like a good ‘next’ challenge for her. I was told the bitch enjoyed breaking up marriages. Well, that is something she is apparently good at – our marriage was her 2nd that I am aware of. I’m sure her parents are so proud. I have no idea what came about after I discovered the phone conversations and emails on MY laptop (that Judas thought he had erased) and I really don’t give a shit.

    I have a boyfriend now who knows a chic that reminds me soooo much of Xholes little whore. I guess she had made advances to him in the past and when she found out we were dating – she’s stepped it up a notch. She has cornered him at the bar a couple of times while I was in the bathroom or outside smoking. I told him he’d better watch out because it is amazing how attractive people suddenly become when they are no longer single.

    I don’t think I have to worry about him, though. He is not a flirt like my X was. He’s been cheated on and knows how it feels. He also worships me and the ground I walk on. Which is how it should be 🙂

  • I think there’s a type #5. The “We’re both in bad marriages and we’ll support each other through it!” That was my OW. She had a bad marriage and, I guess, she thought her and Asshole™ had something in common. I think she looked at our marriage, and what she thought was a Good Husband, and decided that’s what she wanted in hers. BUT didn’t think that one through, did she. My marriage consisted of being lied to and cheated on by the Good Husband.

    Now, I don’t know if she had plans to leave her husband. But when she saw the opening, after I kicked the Cheating Asshole™ out of the house, she left her husband a few days later. (I’m sure he’s told her a different tale about how he wanted to leave. Yes. All that begging was for me to let him go, not let him stay. Right/) A few days after Christmas. I didn’t tell him because I didn’t want their family to blow up during the holidays and hurt her two children. Obviously, I care more than she did.

    It sucks and it hurts that they’re lying about the affair and people believe them. They were just friends, friends who started a relationship mere months after 20+ years relationships broke up. Right. His family think she’s just swell and I guess I’m the evil one. But, like CL says, that’s why it’s called a shit sandwich. Because it doesn’t taste good. I keep getting that taste in my mouth and then getting it out with living my best life and being happier than I’ve been in 20 years.

  • OW #2 was DEFINITELY a #3

    She was a former student who wanted to learn about a massage therapy Fucktard and I both practice. She invited him to her place during lunch (I’m guessing he knew all along what was going to happen). He showed up and she was wearing a short dress with no underwear and had candles lit. I guess he just ‘counld’t help himself’! She also told him no problem if I found out – divorce is EASY, and she’d help him fight for custody if he really wanted it.

    She thought she was edgy. I thought she was a whore.

  • The OW in my case definitely wanted what she thought was my perfect life. She won the competition and claimed my esteemed but personality disordered husband, my house, my financial security, some clothes I inexplicably couldn’t find, and most of my pets. She married the fuckwit, and learned just how painful it was to walk in my shoes. I recently heard that her family swooped in for a full-on intervention and extraction a couple of years later. So, while she knew he was married, he was offering up what I had and she didn’t read the fine print.

  • I had the recent experience to be offered the role of OW. Guy has big money, and has been in a long-term relationship and married a year, because, as he told me, he’d “run out of excuses not to get married.” He didn’t tell me he was married. I found out. Shut that down. I don’t get women who would do that.

  • The OW in my story was #4. She tried and tried and tried and finally won.a.cheater. Yay her. My biggest regret through this whole ordeal was not kicking his ass out three years ago when the light bulb went off. I knew he wasn’t a unicorn. He never showed much remorse, gave a decent apology, or worked on himself at all. He knew I would never forgive him, so he left as soon as she started in on him again. I so wish I was the one who ended it. Chumps! Be the one to end it! Seriously. ONWARD!

    • By all means, be the one to pull the plug on a marriage to a cheater. It will boost your self-esteem after years of being devalued and abused.
      My late mother seriously considered leaving my cheating father twice during their marriage, once a few years into the marriage when it dawned on her that she chose a “pod person” and then when he escalated with rubbing her face in his affairs and even being physically abusive. He filed and her response was “If a man who treats me like that doesn’t want me, what does that make me ?” She spent years in therapy and died at a relatively young age.

      Run !

  • Number 4 for the win!

    And win she has. Next week the predatory bitch who spent 7 years pursuing my husband will join him and my children and all of her children on a big family ski trip. So even though I haven’t seen all of my children in one place together for nearly a year since they live all over the country, she will benefit from spending a vacation in the mountains with them.

    She hosted Christmas for them in my former home, spending four with my adult children, while I got four hours wth them. Last week, she stood by my ex’s side while he accepted a community award in the same community where I worked and served for 30 years. She’s hosted parties in my former home, she spends time with my former friends, and she’s taking her place by his side at community events. She has the nerve to approach my parents in public as if they are friends. she even made a big deal about her role alongside my new daughter-in-law after the wedding festivities were over last year. She has succeeded in stealing moments that only should have been mine.

    Sometimes, I wonder if I made it too easy for her, by walking away and establishing a new life and a new career 200 miles away. I fought like hell against her impact for 7 years, because I saw this coming.

    But I’ll be damned if I am not the real winner here. Because I don’t have to share my life with a jackass who would spend the entirety of a marriage always looking for the next best thing. I am confident that someday she will be on the losing end too.

    • You are a strong person. The funny thing is she is probably also the kind of person that is “looking for the next best thing”. One of them will eventually get burned by the other.

      You mentioned them living in your former house. That’s why I have been sticking to my guns to sell my house. I’ll be damned if I one day drop my daughter off and have some dude (whoever my cheater wife is currently screwing) open the door. Not going to happen.

  • Homeslice knew she was with a married man. She told me “your marriage was fucked before I got involved”. She felt like she was rescuing him from an evil wife who took her family responsibilities seriously. Shame shame on me.

    Another time we spoke on speakerphone with my (now ex) husband so I could ask if they used protection because I didn’t believe douchebag when he said they did. She learned we were still “together” (I pick me danced for 6 months); she forgave him and they continued on.

    They got married in Vegas last month (his 4th marriage, her 2nd) and are having another wedding in May.

    And me? I got a nice divorce settlement since my state allows one to sue the OW. You bet your ass I used it to negotiate my deal.

  • And speaking of #2. I know a group of women who are trolling tinder and okcupid for married men and informing their wives, always with proof and before anything actually happens physical. The statistics of the wives who a) come back and call them whores and tell them to ‘stay the fuck away from my husband’, b) don’t leave or at least their facebooks appear that everything is fine, or c) say “I know” leave me alone are staggering.

    I have told them to link to CL when they send the proof along to the wife.

  • I’m on month 8 of my wife’s terrible pendulum-swinging affair and my own sort of pick me routine to save my family. My wife’s OW is a #1 and #4. Workaholic Lawyer. Egotistical. Likely finds the “competition” intoxicating. OW began poach attempt on my wife after trying and failing to poach her professionally, when our first and only child was five months old (my wife gave birth). Very bold.

    My wife swings in and out of commitment to our marriage and family on a whim. Did the whole faux reconciliation thing all fall and the truth of continued affair was disclosed a few days before Christmas. When I said I needed to separate, my wife told me to chill the good champagne for NYE so we could toast to a “new beginning” to our marriage and our family of three. I fell for it like a chump.

    The OW lurked in the background per usual, competing and validating and manipulating and engaging in pseudo intellectual discussions about social norms/mores/marriage. (OW is a former polyamorist who cheated on her first wife, and cheated on her most recent longterm live-in gf to be with my wife.)

    Pendulum swings. My wife told me recently she couldn’t resist her, because YOLO, I love you/our family/our life/raising our son together, but signs say OW and I are “meant to be” and “I feel complete” with her. Ick. My wife is 40 but sounds like a lovestruck teenager. Dopamine is powerful and an eight year relationship feels dull in comparison, I guess.

    The cherry on top of this nightmare is that just yesterday my wife asked if I would watch our son next week bc the OW invited her on a vacation. Bold. I agreed to stay with our son. I’m calm on the outside but her wanting to go on this vacation definitely surprised little chumpy me. Wife then texted that she’s “struggling with her emotions” over going but is “leaning toward yes.” (Invitation for me to dance harder, perhaps?)

    Guess the new beginning we toasted to didn’t include me! Thanks wife for your lack of resolve. Thanks OW. My son and I appreciate your tenacity.

    • Devastated–use the week your wife is away to start copying all the financial documents. Document all her absences (for reasons of custody). Store all copies in at least two places out of the house.

      I’m sorry you’re suffering; hanging on to hope in the face of the pendulum is a daunting task. The real question is whether this is acceptable to you (from your post, I’d say no). You sound like a warm, intelligent person; why would you want to stay with someone is barely lukewarm about you? It’s not a reflection on your merit; it’s a reflection on wifey’s character. This is not your shame to bear, nor is tepid love your burden to shoulder. Hugs.

      • Tempest,
        Thanks. Her behavior is not acceptable to me but I still love her (the old her at least) and the thought of not seeing my son every day is motivation enough to do everything possible to reconcile. I’ve paid a high price already in terms of my own physical, emotional and spiritual well being. Seventeen years of joint custody is terrifying and painful to consider. But obviously things are not looking good for my marriage so I suppose I need to get used to the idea.
        -D

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