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Dear Chump Lady, Am I an insensitive jerk because my husband wants to date?

sobbingDear Chump Lady,

Am I being unreasonable for having a problem with my husband’s ongoing relationship with a woman he tried unsuccessfully to seduce?

One night about a year ago, we both got home from our respective jobs and my husband burst into tears. I’m talking, deep, rasping sobs. With his head on my lap he told me he’d been courting a coworker for a few months, buying her gifts and taking secret time off of work to take her on day trips. When he finally put the moves on her the previous evening (he often stays late), she shut him down and said, “not going to happen.”

At first I thought his tears were bitter tears of remorse, having almost ruined a twenty-year marriage. But upon further probing, I discovered that it was the rejection that had him crying in my lap. “Just once I want to be loved!” Excuse me, hello? Who said “I do” in front of our family, our pastor, and our entire church? He explained that he was having trouble forgiving me for my initial rejection of him when we were in high school and then he dumped a laundry list of problems he had with me that could circle the planet three times.

He said the almost-OW made him feel alive. I asked, “well then sweetie, shall we separate?” He said no, there was no point. Oh well then, allow me to be your consolation prize! Long story short, we separated for nine months. Our fifteen-year-old son was furious with both of us. My husband and I stayed in touch and tried to work it out. He and the almost-OW never had sex and now we’re back together.

However… he has remained very good friends with the almost-OW. He texts her regularly right in front of me. I won’t stoop to snooping on his phone but I can see what he’s writing! It’s mildly flirtatious, which is how, incidentally, he describes their relationship. I’m positive they haven’t had sex because this woman is perfectly happy to be worshiped for free, but I have a serious problem with their relationship. When my husband announced that he was going to meet her after work for drinks last night, I made a very snarky remark and he was furious. He told me the courtesy of telling me he was going to spend time with her was over. He maintains that he is doing absolutely nothing wrong, they are just friends, and that I’m being petty. So, am I the one being a jerk about this? Technically he hasn’t cheated.


Insensitive Lady-Jerk

Dear Perfectly Reasonable Lady,

Technically, you haven’t stuffed his balls down his throat yet.

Is this a question about technicalities? Because uh, technically you’re still his wife and technically, he’s not supposed to go on dates until you are technically divorced.

He’s got some fucking nerve.

Sobbing about his failed dating strategies? You let this man drape his moist, snotty self all over your lap and wail about another woman?

Look, Lady, he’s a flaming asshole, but you have to stop being a chump. You separated and then took him back without any consequences or boundaries. He meets her for drinks? No, he meets her for CAKE. This whole “I’m going on dates and you’re not the boss of me!” is completely unacceptable. Start ACTING like it is unacceptable to you. Lawyer up. Why does he think you separated? Because you’re just mean like that? NO. Because he was openly trying to have an affair in front of you. He’s moves home, and then he goes right back to the same old shit?

Is this relationship ACCEPTABLE to YOU? Who cares if he thinks you are “petty” — do you think this kind of flagrant disrespect belongs in a marriage? If you don’t, then get your ass to a lawyer’s office. You don’t need a marriage counselor to explain to him that dating other women in front of you and then whinging about it is Wrong. If he’s that dim, you should divorce him for felony stupid.

No, he knows EXACTLY what he is doing. He’s being abusive. He’s being very in-your-face about his attempted infidelities to hurt you. To goad you into the pick me dance. To humiliate you. To belittle you into accepting his cake-eating as Right and Proper.

Lady, you need to shut that shit down.

For one thing, get to a lawyer fast before his employer does. You only have his side of this kibble love affair. For all you know, his advances are unwelcome and that woman is seeing an EEOC officer as we speak. This guys is walking the razor’s edge of a sexual harassment lawsuit. You need to get a settlement in place before he loses his job. She told him “not gonna happen” — next she’ll be telling that to Human Resources.

I’m sorry your 15 year old is in the middle of this, but he’s a kid and he doesn’t get to call the shots in your marriage. Staying with this asshole is modeling TERRIBLE things to him about how you treat a marriage partner. He needs to see you stand up and not tolerate abuse. He needs to see that there are consequences to disrespecting and endangering the people we purport to love. He might not like it at first. Kids want to know if their world is going to be safe (where will I spend holidays? will I see my mom and dad both? will I move away from my friends?) Get him some therapy and be the sane parent.

It doesn’t matter if the affair was physical or not, start calling the shots, Lady. It matters that he is emotionally abusing you and refuses to stop. It matters that he’s blaming YOU for some perceived slight from high school.

He doesn’t get to do everything short of fuck her and then claim it’s A-okay because he didn’t consummate the act. The issue is that he wants to live like a single person, but enjoy all the rights and privileges of marriage. That’s more than enough reason to divorce his ass yesterday.

When you serve him papers, say “Just once you want to be loved? Here’s your freedom. Have at it, Tiger.”

This column ran previously.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • “Shut that shit down.”
    Best advice ever.
    I may not know what a normal relationship is because I suffered a 20 year marriage to narcissistic sociopathic man and I share three children with him. But I did eventually leave because of the children. I couldn’t let them see my marriage and thinknit was normal. Again, I might not know NORMAL, but I sure as hell know NOT NORMAL. and nothing about your marriage or husband is normal. God. What an asshole! I want to slap him. Whiny ass idiot he is!

    • +1 to everything you said Kindhart

      My second favorite thing after preaching No Contact, the path to the truth and the light is that you don’t stay in a bad marriage for the kids you leave for the kids.

      • THIS.

        Kids do generally have a young person’s desire for their parents to stay together on at least one level, but that isn’t an indicator that their parents SHOULD stay together.

        • When I see chumps talking about “what the kids want,” I think “here comes another generation of entitled Jackasses.”

          Marriage is a contract. When one side unilaterally changes the terms, the contract is broken. When a cheater wants to stay married and eat cake on the side, that’s not just abusive, it’s expecting the chump to go all in on being abused. That’s terrible for the kids to see. They have two role models:
          1. A liar, cheater and manipulator, who maintains power and control by abusing others.
          2. Someone on board with that.

          What will they choose?

          • Completely agree. My teenage Son was furious that I had filed for divorce. That is until I asked him what he would do if he found out his girlfriend was cheating on him. His words were that he would kick her to the curb! I very simply asked, “so what is the difference here?”. He was still not happy about it, but now at least he understood what the issue was. 18 months out of divorce and he lives with me now. Couldn’t take living with the ex and her boyfriend because in his words my ex was a lying, manipulative person who couldn’t live without drama in her life. He said I was the counterbalance while we were together, but that was not the case anymore. Oh, and of course ex says that I poisoned him against her.

            • Yeah, ‘cuz it could never be that your son actually discovered all on his own what a liar she was. Someone else is always to blame, never them.

    • I could have written this! This was exactly my situation, but not quite 20yrs. I spent about 18months trying to reconcile (all by myself) the decade of infidelity I had uncovered, and was an emotional wreck during that time. I had resigned to staying together for the kids, but I was dead inside.
      My moment came while waiting in a fast-food line, watching a family with two kids walk by. They caught my eye, and I watched them. They were a clingy mess that couldn’t properly walk across the lot for all the clinging. There was something not-good, not-right, and oddly dysfunctional going on, and I was watching them crossing the lot in front of me, and trying to figure out what it was that bothered me.

      One of my kids, who was watching them too, suddenly remarked, “They are just like you and daddy.” Wow. Yes, we were like that. I knew then that I was helping to model dysfunction as normal to the kids. I knew then that I needed to get out of my dysfunctional marriage, for myself and my kids.

    • Kindheart- Huh.
      We both have kind hearts
      Three kids
      And sociopathic Cheaters.
      My experience, now that I’ve had d day ( 2 mo. ago) ( after he died) is pretty different in some ways from others here.
      Mine was seamless and crafty and sick .
      What was a sociopath like for you?
      Hope you’re ok. Pretty twisted up flavor of Cheater.

  • After d-day-and while we were trying to reconcile (I was in shock with no support from his isolation and devaluing of me to everyone we knew)-I started asking questions.

    He began spilling his guts about the nasty shit of his double life for the last 20 years and I flat out asked if it started after the birth of our daughter? he said “no.” Birth of our son? He said “no”. So when? He started to fake dry tears and said “I never stopped dating” I was like wtf – what does that mean?

    He proceeds to tell me that he didn’t get to date much before he meet me so he figured it was ok to keep dating. He was 28 when we got married. I was like define “dating”! He told me he had been on a dating site and was meeting “people”. No sex -just meeting them and then dumping them when they got too close. You know because “technically” he was married. This went on for 20 years???

    I said “no way” did you just meet them. Adults have sex” and he just stared at me with that dear in the headlights look! Never answered me. So it turns out that everything that he gaslighted and blameshifted me about for our entire marriage was absolutely true!

    He said he imagined that he was playing a video game and could look down and see what he was doing was wrong but he couldn’t stop himself.

    I found Tracey’s book, lined up ducks and left that him within a year. I’m going to his deposition today to watch him squirm. Can’t wait to be free of this sadistic monster!

    • One of his justifications for cheating on me was I had more boyfriends when I was in my early twenties and slept around. He was not my boyfriend then!
      What crap, so he had to play catch up after 13 years together and two kids.
      Whatever, he’s alone now and missing his family he blew up, oh well sucks to be him.

      • When I figured out that my husband hadn’t quit dating, one of the reasons he gave was “he didn’t feel loved” because I couldn’t find him a deciduous bonsai tree for his birthday.

        • I think there’s been Friday chump challenge about the pettiest you-don’t-love-me excrement item the cheater said was missing. I hope bonsai tree got posted. This is in the running for the I-left-because-you-got-the-wrong-color-toaster prize.

          • How about, “I had to eat a lot of frozen food?” He said that in front of our marriage counselor so I have a witness.

        • Ha ha Ha ha ha they’re all the same! My acts of 25 years said that he had to fuck other women because I never bought him a comfortable chair to sit on in the living room! Needless to say, he’s perfectly capable of buying himself his own chair. And, he never said one word about this.

        • You should happily buy him a bonsai now on the condition that you get to put it exactly where you want.

            • I just remember another reason he left from “the list,”
              I didn’t complement his muscles, particularly his biceps, or his physique.
              As a loyal and true Chump, I did complement him, instead of being grateful or pleased, he’d give me the look of disgust and then say I was only patronizing him.

              • When ex and I were first dating and we were both infactuated with him, I remember gazing adoringly at him and whispering that he was “beautiful”.

                He replied: I know.
                Me: (stupidly) You know?
                Him: Yes.
                Me: When someone compliments you, you are supposed to say thank you.
                Him: okaaaay. Thank you and I know.

              • This is so true… during discard when he got me to list all his great qualities. ..and i lovingly fawned all over his amazing atributes he actually reacted with a look of disgust and contempt before telling me i had no self esteem. Confused i thought he had a brain injury …which i now realise was my brain trying to protect me from a monster…. but honestly i believe this was him revealing that i was actually crazy to love anything about him because he knew he was incapable of reciprocal feelings …hence the contempt. Anyway 2+ years out it still makes my brain hurt trying to figure out the mental gymnastics of how his brain operates.

              • X spent a lot of time looking at himself in mirrors, glass reflections, at the mall he’d compare his physique to the men in Hollister or Abercrombie.
                At home he’d spend time admiring himself naked in our full length mirror, one comment he made quite often is.., is that he’d do himself if he could.
                I believe him..

                He wasn’t always muscular, and in shape, the years we struggled, moving every few months to less desirable apartments, while X unemployed, he was big/fat/slob. Leaving him never entered my mind.

      • Mine didnt’ have much sexual experience before me. Most of his banker friends (narcs) had had plenty and he must have felt that he had missed out on something important. It took a few years to get around to actually cheating on me to find out what he was missing because first he had to thoroughly devalue me so he could give himself permission to betray me. Then it turned out new and shiny was more exciting than same old same old. By then I had been thoroughly devalued so discard was a natural next step.

    • I learnt from reading this site that the blank caught in the headlights look is basically, yep you got me!

      • Deer in the headlights look was what I got when I demanded to know whether he cut off communication with girl from POF he met during our last breakup.

        Commence DD5 with that look.
        Then the excuses came fast and furious.

        I got:
        – you broke up with me and I was bored and lonely
        – you don’t like my friends and I had to make a new one!
        -i love you!
        -How was I supposed to read your mind that you were really done with me Yet?
        -she’s just a friend
        -nothing happened we only went on one date and text each other

    • I got this “I’m in a video game” shit too. Nice way of avoiding responsibility and being a puppet for your own actions. Big kid, with no concept of morals! My ex totalled up so many hideous actions that just one would be cause for divorce. It is a game to them. See if mummy catches them. Pathetic fools!

      • Wow. I thought the video game thing was his alone. Nice to know other narcs can relate -not!

    • Strongwoman, yes. My dead sociopathic Cheater never stopped . 40 years. So seamless, me so loving and devoted. I thought he didn’t lie. His entire life was a lie. How horrible to die lying.

      • Mine lies so much that I think he doesn’t know the truth anymore. He was consistently lying in his depo today and it disgusted me. So his attorney said to my attorney “tell your client not to glare at my client” I spoke up and said “I’m looking at him”. You sir are glaring at me and I would appreciate it if you would stop it”. I shut that shit down. Total silence from 9 people. I will never take shit or be manipulated by him or his attorney ever again! My attorney just carried on with his questions. Kinda funny!

  • This one is a classic from right out of a cheater’s handbook. On DDay #1, my ex asked me why I dumped him 18 years ago? WTF? How the hell am I supposed to remember that? Apparently this bastard carried that around with him and very conveniently used it that night. On DDay #3, I too got the list that wrapped around the world…. going back to 14 years ago when I fed my brothers and father before I would feed him, while he was saving money for a house, I was spending like crazy etc. when he was done with his list, I was stunned. It took that moment- that exact moment for me to realize that I was living with a stranger… a monster… and there was no turning back. The next morning I began packing. These articles give me strength because there is so much truth to them. I’ve saved this one to Pocket and read it a million times over the last year. I wonder how you are now PRL?

    • So… what’s hilarious about the laundry list of things we did that created this need to cheat is long, old, really f-ing weird, often not based on reality… but cheaters depend on it for their justification, and rhetoric and how to devalue you. And then- the hilarity the irony of the RIC world is that… we are not only supposed to take ownership of all this that spans ‘since time began’ and bear the weight of all this guilt, but we are also supposed to not bring up or talk about and we are supposed to completely absolve our cheater of actual morally repugnant, emotionally abusive, physically dangerous traitorous things they have done since that time. What a clever little lever that is to pull in our brains.

      I’m never off the hook for watering the plants before starting dinner when he’s hungry (or some other ridiculous example) but he’s supposed to be immediately off the hook and never pressed again for sticking his body parts into other people.

      Ugh. And people pay for this advice.

      • I love how succinctly you put this down. This behavior of them acting as the victim is what throws us off balance. It is shocking and absurd, so we’re not sure how to respond. Then, when they tell us their “laundry list of past grudges”, we’re shocked ago by their absurdity and don’t know how to respond. The problem is when spend our time (days, weeks, months, years!!!) trying to get them to be a rational sane person, until finally we realize there is no stopping their crazy. That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned on CL – We can’t stop their crazy.

        • Yes this. After years of pick me dancing even before he strayed I still got the laundry list of every slight over our 25 years together as a couple that made being married to me such a terrible burden. For a brief while I actually thought he might have a legitimate case until I remembered my own laundry list that I had suppressed over the years so that I could be happy in my marriage. I also remembered the very long list of things I had done to improve his life that he evidently didn’t appreciate because he never even noticed). Once I got over blaming myself I still wasted several months of trying to reach him using reason which was just as much of a waste of time as pick me dancing.

        • We’re shocked at the absurdity and our first response is to fix things, fix ourselves to please them, apologize.. maybe they’re that sensitive, maybe I’ve been insensitive.
          Why it never occurred to me that over the years he wasn’t always the perfect husband.
          No, as a Chump we want to be understanding, work it out, learn from our “mistakes.”
          Only to find out their criticism had nothing to do with us. They were only listing our shortcomings or claiming things were hurtful to them, (eye roll) to justify their cheating while placing the blame on us.

      • Well put, CR! I wouldn’t go with him somewhere once when, you know, the c-section scar was far from healed and the baby was brand new? OMG, I suck, and that forced him to find strippers, and really young coworkers, and random bar chicks to make him feel better about life, because a guy deserves a reliable companion. When I had heard this bizarre excuse for like the tenth time, I finally pointed out that I was a post-partum mom with a teensy baby and his vision of me dashing off to watch some sports thing in the summer sun was maybe a wee bit unrealistic. His response, I kid you not, was, “Babies! Everybody has babies! What’s the big deal?” And then he whined that I would never forgive him, even though he “only had four” affairs (that he confessed to–there were many more, plus a few women who brushed him off and reported him to HR)

        My other big sin was reacting with pain, confusion, and anger when he treated me horrendously. I should, apparently, have rolled out the red carpet, sprinkled it with rose petals, and maybe kissed his feet when he showed up every three or four weeks, often with little to no communication in the interim. Bonus points if I could have been holding a glistening beer bottle and dressed like a VS model about to hit the runway (wings and all) while doing that. Instead, he came home to the reality of what his choices were doing to me and my little family. This completely predictable outcome he then twisted in three ways: 1) useful fodder to share with the OW about how awful I was to him, 2) evidence of how the affairs were justified because “the marriage was over,” 3) excuse to be even worse to me.

        Really mind- bending. So glad not to have to cope with his evil on the daily any longer.

        • It hurts my head to read your explanation of his warped logic. But it is very true. Twist it, then twist it back again then 360 it… That’s how they think… Madness!

        • Then they complain that you didn’t initiate sex often enough. It is hard to bring yourself to try and seduce someone when you are feeling unwanted. It seems like a waste of effort. The few times I tried it it was a waste of effort and yet our lack of sex life was still my fault and I was accused of being the one with the low libido.

          And yes, I did blow him off a few times as well when it was three in the morning and after the last few times when I hadn’t blown him off only to discover that he was unable to climax anyway which I now know is because he was getting his rocks off elsewhere and had nothing left for me, but of course it was still my fault for not having more endurance in the middle of the night.

          • Word!!!!!

            I am downright surprised how much I enjoy and want sex when it’s with someone who is into me. Even I had begun to believe I was frigid because I could not wake up in the middle of the night and perform amazing sex acts after a full day of work and doing all the parenting. No it was just his way to excuse his behavior. Turns out I’m just fine if I’m not sexually engaged with a cheating asshole.

            • Yes I felt used emotionally financially and sexually. Turns out I was right.

              • We filed our taxes jointly for the year we got married. He was pleasantly surprised by the amount of the refund. He flat out said (after 8 years of dating and 7 months of marriage) “If I had known we would get this much back.. we would have gotten married years ago!” Yet another red flag right before he started cheating on me with the chick I finally caught him with.

        • My X calmly proclaimed that his reason for having affairs and being so abusive before DDay was because 8 years prior, I once came home and cleaned and dusted right after he’d dusted an hour before. Apparently I hurt his feelings and offended him because his ideal of clean wasn’t the same as mine. The really shitty thing is that I never knew he had cleaned because I wasn’t home when he allegedly cleaned (because I totally think he made this shit up), and he never said a word in all of those 8 years. He just gave himself permission to screw ugly whores.
          You truly cannot make this kind of crazy up.
          I guess me being clean deserves to be punished. SMDH!

          • This. It’s tragic. Mine said it was because apparently I once started vacuuming at 5:30pm. The cruelty!

            • We had some friends who were not at all clean people. Their house was pretty nasty in fact. I on the other hand am a clean freak. It didn’t bother me to go over to their house as long as we weren’t invited for dinner. After my discard I was told that our house was not normal! I spend too much time cleaning…. we have 3 kids and our house should look more like Barry and Jenny’s! OH ISH! That was the stupidist comment I’ve ever heard. And it pisses me off because I never complained about cleaning. Asshole would get home from work, grab a beer and sit his ever enlarging ass in front of the tv. I on the other hand would do laundry, dishes, dust, whatever. It just pisses me off that sitting in front of a tv is considered relaxing. Did anyone ever consider that ‘cleaning’ to me is relaxing?

            • I snorted my kombucha. Lol. How dare you vacuum at night instead of, say, 0300.

          • I will admit that it used to bother me when ex would redo chores I had already done because I didn’t do them well enough to suit him, but I didn’t cheat over it. I actually tried doing better the next time (for all the good that did).

            • If he weren’t lying, I would agree, but he never lifted a finger to clean, much less dust. It was complete bunk. Two, if the incident had actually occurred, wouldn’t it have been better to just tell me, “hey, I just cleaned that”, instead of watching me cone home and start cleaning while he sat on his ass drinking?

              • And would you wait 8 years later so that the other person is sitting there thinking that they are crazy because they don’t remember the incident. Until I looked in his eyes and saw the lie, I was seriously wondering if I’d accidentally cleaned up behind him. Gaslighting at it’s best.

            • Mine would just do a totally piss poor job at any cleaning task, I think to demonstrate his contempt at being pressured to make an effort. The objective was to get me to do all the cleaning so he could do as he pleased.

              Frying pan in the dish drainer- you can write your name on the grease on the outside of the pan. “I don’t cook on the outside of the pan” says he.

              Trash can doesn’t get emptied and becomes a fruit fly breeding ground. “I wondered where those were coming from.” Again.

              Make sure the hose is stowed before he starts to mow the grass, because he’ll run over it with the riding lawn mower every time. Because, of course, he can’t check that himself first. Nor will he use a push mower.

              And I don’t even want to get started on toilet hygiene, except to say his aim is off. Way off. And he doesn’t seem to be able to see or smell it at all.

          • After the caught in the headlights look my serial cheating narc said it was all a F*** you to me for not respecting him.
            No respect there now. Lol

          • I didn’t cook or clean like his mother…..

            Granted, I’m a white girl from the Midwest that had to learn how to cook on her own, not a 50yr old woman from the Philippines.

            (I did love her cooking tho.)

          • I just snorted coffee.

            I wouldn’t look at the stars with him. When I said that my sister doen’t do this with her husband (who likes to look at the stars), he said it obviously isn’t as important to them (with great haughtiness).

        • This is the most accurate, experienced based portrayal of my experience too. Thanks.

      • The list. I think most days the list bothers me more than the cheating. Omg Creativerational ???? you watered the plants first!!! lmao wtf!? I walked outside in the grass without shoes on. This offended him so he’s justified in messaging whores on Tinder. I should at all times be a sex toy trying to turn him on….. But with a wet blade if grass stuck to my toe I am telling him that his needs are not my priority. ????????????????

        The list is evolving and he seems to be adding and removing things based on the reactions that people give him. If people say “oh yeah me too” then he’s like ok that must be a good reason. We are on the 12th draft of why it’s all my fault he’s a bad person.

        He denied giving me the silent treatment during our marriage telling me I’m crazy and insecure… but now he’s telling me the silent treatment was his strategy. His goal he said was to get me to shut up and accept his behavior out of desperation and fear. Holy shit.

        He sobbed twice this year just like the loser in the letter. The sobbing was a last ditch effort to get me to stop legal consequences that were coming. He tried to play to my kind heart so I’d have mercy on him. A person with no emotions suddenly sobbing with snot and drool telling you “seeeee i have feelings! I’m not the cold hearted person you think I am!” is a snake of epic proportions. Imagine being so impressed that you figured out how to cry that you tell the other person to take notice that you’re crying.

        • Ugh, the tears. Got those a lot at first, but then finally figured out that the time he was supposedly spending on soul-searching (spoiler alert: no soul to find) was actually spent on legal and financial maneuvering, and on spinning the narrative in a way that would preserve ego and image.

          Sigh. Live and learn.

          • “Spoiler alert: no soul to find”
            I love your comments. This just made my day.

            Yep never fails. always doing some dirty scheme behind our backs while manipulating us to our faces. He told everyone that he’s not a bad guy because he cried and I comforted him and I wiped his tears. I said to my friend do you really think I got a tissue and wiped his tears/snot off his face for him? He’s doing image management trying to prove he’s not violent and I am not afraid of him.

          • Yes, as my X was trying to show me his attempts at reconciliation by downloading and reading “The Gaslight Effect,” he was alternating his reading with looking up the limits on child support he would have to pay & calculating an insulting financial offer for me.

        • To be honest I don’t have plants I have a black thumb I am just making up ridiculous stuff. But I could provide examples like: having to pare down camping equipment to make room for all our friends equipment also instead of somehow bringing exactly what was laid out by him even though it physically didn’t fit in the car… telling girls at a girls night that I had to go home instead of staying at the hotel because he needed a ride in the morning because they were completely against me leaving since I didn’t have any other explanation- he thought I should have lied and protected his ‘I don’t drive’ honour… having had relationships before dating him and being unready to be physical for a long time because of some past experiences, despite explaining these experiences to him and being ultra vulnerable it meant when we got married and I was ultra devoted to him he was ok to go see escorts because obvs I didn’t put him first. Because we dated for months before we slept together because trauma. Yep. I’m a monster.

      • *snort*
        So he is incapable of watering the plants or starting din dins coz’ he’s hungry.

    • Ahh – the list.
      – “Do you remember in 1994 when you were playing guitar and you pushed me so I fell off the rock we were sitting on? That is who you are!”

      • Oh god, the list of my crimes! Cheater narc pulled this out when I confronted him about Affair #2, and right then I knew my marriage was over. Nothing to work with! Because, you know, after 13 years I stopped making his coffee for him, when he told me three times that it meant nothing to him! I’m so evil….. Never mind he had NEVER done that kind of nice thing for me.

        • Omg! KarenE you stopped making his coffee? These people are insane!
          I got a pedicure the day before I went to an all day work meeting. Proof that i don’t give a shit about him. I got my toenails painted for the benefit of other people and not him. He sent me a meme that said Ladies – take care of your man and you won’t need to worry about other women.”

    • Mine used something I did 32 years ago(something I did with another guy) and made it equivalent to his present day cheating behavior. There is a name for that. Can’t pull it out of my morning fog though!

      And this morning I thought he was turning the corner to normal. Nope. Still crazy!

        • The List:

          1) You’re too good for me, and I knew I could never live up to you… so I gave up trying and decided to fuck other women.

          2) You were wary of getting implants because you looked into the possible medical complications and didn’t think it was worth the risk…. so I had to fuck other women.

          3) You were not willing to lick my semen off the sheets like I begged you to…. so I had to fuck other women. (Just try to unsee *that* visual. THIS item alone is the reason for my user name.)

          and on and on and on.

          Chump Lady, I see a Friday post in here.

          • Lord. If you find yourself begging someone to do something that blatently fetishist and the person isn’t clearly into your game, it’s time to stop talking!!! Yucky. Your username is spot on!

  • This One Time in Band Camp shit seriously needs to be shut down.

    There’s plenty of evidence now that what used to be ‘critical periods’ in a person’s psychological development are now actually only ‘sensitive periods’.

    So when stuff goes wrong in a ‘sensitive period’, yes, it can hurt – but you know what?

    The brain is plastic. And the neuroconstructivists are in the process of showing us whatever happened, IT CAN BE FIXED WITH LATER LIFE CHANGES.

    So yeah, you could be still grieving the loss of your high school romance, but actually if you want to let that one go, subsequent events, plus some cognitive efforts on your part, can rebuild you completely.

    If. You. Want. To. Let. That. One. Go.

    But hey – why let go of a perfectly good stick with which to beat your boring and stifling partner who is holding you back from the smorgasbord?

    • You’ve hit the nail on the head!
      “ one time at band camp”…sob sob sob
      Poor sods!
      “Oh! Feck off!!”

    • Yes! Sometimes these oldie but goodie re-runs make me so curious.

      Did it end with another d day or did she file and get strong first or did they stay together and he had a personality transplant…

        • Fun Friday challenge.
          Free form five year follow ups! In a paragraph or less, tell us how things have changed.

          I still have at least one year, from bomb drop – or two and a half from divorce – but the positives are endless.

            • Anyone remember Monthy Python ….The holy Grail?
              Well , instead of “The knights who say ni”.
              We can be “The knights who say Meh!”

              • Good idea! Especially since we all had “The cheaters who say Me!”

          • I love this idea.

            1 sentence for every year out or something. I’m coming up on 9 months or so and I remember the inability to understand a better life. I’m well on my way now with even some sort of strut.

            But 9 months can’t compare to a year, two, four…. so maybe, those of us w/ less than a year just need to listen.

            Not yet at Meh, but people tell me how much happier I am, how more attentive and connected I am, compared to the last life I was living.

            New chumps need real examples of how it is going to get better.

            I’m so excited for whats ahead.

      • I’d love an update too. I wonder if, for these reruns, Chump Lady could link back to the first appearance, so we could see if the poster had responded back then. Might be the next best thing.

        In this letter, I see a dynamic where the cheater is treating his wife like a mom instead of a romantic partner. He gets his heart broken and comes running home to sob in mom’s lap and expect comfort. There’s zero realization that she’s hurt like a partner would be instead of sympathetic like a mom would be. Then he can’t fathom why a separation would be the logical response, because what mom kicks their son out of the house when he’s had his heart broken?

        Normal people: hey, I’m starting to treat my spouse like a parent – I better work on that.

        Cheaters: hmm, I like having this parent figure looking after me, but I don’t have a proper romantic partner anymore. I better go find a new one.

        • Spot on analysis! Zero regard for his wife’s hurt feelings about being demoted to mom figure from romantic lover without her consent or prime knowledge. Ugh! The gall of that asshole.

          • I totally get this.

            For awhile I would hear him arguing with me like I was his mother. I used to yell “I’m not your MOM!” “Stop it! I’m not your MOM!”

            He could have had pretty much the same arguments without me in the room. He wasn’t listening to me anyway. It was all “and then you’ll say or do this.” And I would really wonder, “does this person know me at all? Because I would never say or do that, but his mother sure would. He might as well argue with her instead.”

            • Yes… there is a sub species of treacly feminine nauseating Southern men that calls their wives “Mama” or “Mother”

              It is repulsive. They are always the ones that cop a feel when they “pass the peace” at Church.

              But- they are the most self righteous sanctimonious ignorant bigots on the planet….

              Just a big old bowl of deviant fucking weird ass. You can tell I am not a fan.

  • I do not understand the mind of these people. If you want to court and date, DON’T GET MARRIED. It really is that simple. The bottom line here is that he is a married man, and he has no business dating other women. And let’s not forget that even IF he hasn’t had sex with her, it’s only because SHE is the one rejecting it. Had she agreed to his advances, he’d have cheated already. And then where would you be? Probably divorced. I’m slowly losing faith in men. I’m pretty sure I’ll be a single old cat lady for the rest of my days.

    • It was only when I understood that it wasn’t about his choosing between marriage or Shmoopie, but about his desire to have his cake and eat it too, that I was freed.

    • I am remarried, but if I am ever not married in the future, I won’t marry again for a whole bunch of reasons, including my financial health.

      That said, I sometimes have that “no faith in” feeling too. I think, though, that if I really examine it, it’s more that my picker is so hined and my BS meter so finely calibrated that a person is going to have to be pretty emotionally developed and mentally healthy to get past the gate. (My current partner wouldn’t even pass that test!)

    • SAHasbeen – Mine was newly divorced from his twenty year marriage when he met me. He walked away from her with some savings, his truck, and his clothes, and left her everything else. I recognize now that I was just a very convenient place to land while he kept courting strange. I had a home, comfortable furniture, great salary, travel budget, and a convenient codependent mommy-maid outlook. I like to think he was surprised I kicked him out without ever falling down the rabbit hole of RIC books, sex addicts anonymous meeetings, couple counseling, etc. There is no doubt that by now he has someone else to mooch off now, but his life and relationships are not my circus to manage anymore.

    • My dad always said “You don’t get married to date other people”
      Cheater on the other hand must have taken a mental break to Coney Island during the “Forsaking all others” part of our wedding vows.

      I agree that it really is that simple-Don’t get married if you want the smorgasboard of strange and if you did happen to marry and aren’t happy, leave!

      And yet, scores of adults out there cannot fathom this

  • Here’s where you see the narcissism in such full flower that they forget to even pretend that they are committed to you. You are just supposed to see the world through their eyes and support their needs.

    My EX was furious one day (and expected sympathy) because the gift he had ordered for his “soul mate” had not arrived in time to give her for a special event. She was 30 years younger than him, so I wasn’t supposed to be jealous because, you know, it was an entirely different kind of relationship. Apparently, I wasn’t supposed to take his use of the term “soul mate” personally. When I asked, he said the missing gift was “a book.” My credit card statement clarified that it was a Kindle (when they still cost $300) and a case and a book light and a few books purchased for her to down load. A few months earlier his Christmas gift to me had been a Kindle (without any of the accessories).

    Yes, the relationship was entirely different. I was the woman he was trying to manage so I’d continue to provide for him. She was the woman he was trying to woo.

    And, yep, he told the marriage counselor I was “unsupportive.” He lied about me a lot. But he was right in labeling me as “unsupportive” on that issue!

  • There were many dating sprees in my long term marriage. However, it evolved from many instances of screwing around with various willing victims of opportunity right from the beginning.

    I’d hear how various women just happened to kiss him early on. Or he’d tell tales about his BIL cheating on his sister when they went out together.

    There was a thrill attached to knowing he could get away with it as I loved him unconditionally. Then he brought it closer to home screwing my neighbors right under my nose. He went for vulnerable women recently divorced or in the process.

    As he approached forty he chose younger victims closer to his daughters’ age. Yet all along he professed his love.

    The breaking point came when he told me a girl from work kissed him. He was working part time and expected me to support him financially. I left him.

    After three months he came back on the condition he support his family. That’s when I caught on to the other addiction, online porn. He blamed it on his own son.

    The seperations, to date started each and every spring. He’d move into his daughters house telling lies about our relationship.

    He enlisted her help in fixing him up with a friend’s mother. Once again I’d volunteer as the winner of the pick me dance and he’d profess his love.

    The cycles ran about every three years from then on until I had enough. He was looking for someone to support him financially so he could spend his money on himself. He found that and like a child went on a selfish spending spree indulging himself with whatever suited his never ending superficial needs.

    When I look back I knew he was child like yet supported his growth setting up his business networking with others in his field. I believed he lacked planning skills and did all the heavy lifting in raising three children and a granddaughter.

    In the end he wanted passion. It’s what he lacked all along. Nothing satisfied his needs and never will, as developmentally he’s a child stuck in a man’s body.

    I applied passion to all areas of my life, raising children, getting degrees, being supportive, my profession, and friends.

    Yes, I contributed. I was left broken for all that I did. Wasted years in a shit fuck of an investment, I own that.

    I also own my future. I have an abundance of passion. We all do.

    • Passion? There’s that word again. LOL

      I am an extremely passionate person but apparently not enough for XHole.

      Even now when he is living with the Circus Clown he cheated on me with, this is his current dating profile:

      I am a hard working guy, and I like to play just as hard. I love passion and I would hate to think that the world can exist without it. I believe in romance and I love to spoil the special lady in my life. I am in no way the clingy type and honesty and trust are more important to me then looks. I would love to find that woman who smiles often, laughs at stupid jokes, is extremely romantic, is as passionate as I am, loves spur of the moment adventures and enjoys PDA no matter where we are at.

      What? The first time I saw his dating profile I was stunned. Even reading it now makes me want to puke.

      Passion, my ass.

      • Putting aside his need for “passion”, he is seeking “honesty and trust”? WTF? These freaks are delusional!

        • I know. That one really made me go WTF!!!

          Thanks for noticing that too.

      • Some of the best/worst sentences I read on some random dudes profiles wese these;

        “I want a woman who makes me weak in the knees every time she walks into the room!”
        {Like that happens everyday in real life, in real love.}
        “I want frequent displays of public affection!”
        {WHAT are you trying to prove, and WHO are you trying to prove it to?}
        “I want to feel butterflies when my queen is with me!”
        {ARE YOU at 14 year old girl?}
        “I’m a bad boy, with a good boy job! Looking for a woman who wants both!”
        {This guy is telling you, up front, he is NOT going to treat you well long term, but he has a little money to give you for the duration and admiration. He should rather say, “I’m a big boy! Check out my BIG BOY pants!}

        ^^^In my book there is a 99% chance these guys are going to be cheaters. They have no idea what love is. They have confused it with infatuation.
        If you actually give attention or date this guy, you are probably running a huge risk of being repeatedly cheated on.

        Actually, in the aforementioned column about “how to spot red flags”, I think once you have your chump glasses on, it becomes exceedingly simple.

        • Cheater in his sad sausage mode, that “he didn’t feel butterflies when he was with me.”
          Should have been a red flag moment, that apparently someone else gave him the feeling “butterflies.” I remember brushing it off, as him being weird and thinking we’re not teenagers.

          • Slip a little digitalis in his coffee if he wants heart palpitations. (Hopefully the sarcasm is clear…)

        • I want a man who knows how to respect me and all others deserving in his life. I want a man who understands actions are what show who you are and how you should be judged. I prefer a man who understands these things so well that he works hard to have a good life. Put that in a singles ad, maybe then I would care.

      • Yup, I was asked where the passion went. It was in all that I did. Cheaters equate passion with novelty (fucking strange) infatuation, playing the victim role, all the while avoiding responsibility and accountability for their actions.

        From a Chumps point of reference, dating sites are often filled with predators. Keep in mind that’s exactly what we’ve lost. A predator.

        • If one more guy I meet says he wants to “spoil the special lady in my life” I’m going to smile and walk away.

          Evidently, this is a negotiation? I find that statement to be insulting and condescending.

      • My first reply here. Did this “pick me dance” for 17 years with a serial dater that I was married to.

        I had to read your post twice because I didn’t realize the description was actually HIS dating profile. On my initial reading I thought – this guy sounds like a narc. Yay me! Maybe I really can recognize these assholes immediately now.

    • It is eye opening and a sad realization to find the cheater isn’t a victim of these crazy women that throw themselves at him, but in all actuality is the predator.

      • I agree! The other woman had just got married, I doubt she was the predator…

    • I could have written this too. Man child, with no concept of real life. I’m angry my values were clouded and twisted by ‘love’ for him. I was just an enabler, security and mother of his kids. I meant nothing to him it seems. Used and abused, then abandoned his kids and apparently I won’t let him see them. He has never asked and not sent them since Easter 2017….

      • Mine is still spinning this tale. That i keep him from his kids. He is as cold to them as he is to me. And his mother also tells everyone its my fault the kids wont see him. It truly is about image management.

      • No-Way, they have a way of moving the goalposts and trespassing over our boundaries. I’m not fond of the enabler label and view it as tolerating, believing they share our values.
        Hadn’t seen his children in a year?
        Loser. I’m hopimg you are getting a fair settlement including child support.

  • Another thing Chumps! When a husband wants to stay or come back don’t think it is because he wants to be with you and work it out. Many times it is a financial reason. He doesn’t want to give up his money. I personally know of two guys cheating who did this and are with their wives. One guy actually said he could not afford to get divorced. Another guy only went back because he and the woman he was cheating with broke up. You don’t want someone like that! It is nothing to feel good about.

    • True. My X had at least two significantly younger women ask him to leave his wife for them. In the end, he couldn’t countenance giving up half his hefty retirement and having to pay child support.

      Too bad for him, I found out about those young women and made sure he gave up half his retirement and now pays the maximum in child support.

    • My Xhole fuckwit had a big bunch of retirement-type money, about 40% more than me. In the divorce neither of us wanted to break into the 401Ks or rollover accounts so we used the proceeds from the house and cash on hand to balance the split. It meant that I got about 10 times as much cash than he got in the final tally.

      It is hugely ironic that the man child who never wants to admit he is aging now has a big retirement that he can’t tap for another 10 years but has hardly any fun play money now. I, on the other hand, have a smaller, but still plenty, of retirement money waiting for me out there plus enough cash to buy a house outright and set aside big piles for emergencies, a new car, and some remodeling. I love how that worked out.

      I am sure that it was worth it to him, his 25YO ho-worker was worth it to him to escape me. Maybe he didn’t think it through, using his other head to do calculations is never a good idea.

      • Ha, and the best part of this Now I.C. Is that he will lose half of his retirement if he remarries. You can almost see the $$$ in her eyes.

  • As Eilonwy said, they forget they’re committed to you. This is another example of how disordered they are. They’ve disconnected from the relationship and only thinking of themselves.

    They dig up insignificant events from long ago to justify their cheating. Remember the time we vacationed in Hawaii instead of spending two weeks with my parents their 500ft trailer for our vacation??

  • Jodi, I read X’s dating profile and I laughed out loud too. One of the things he said was he enjoys going to concerts.. I’ve known him for 30 years and the only concert we went to was when our son was in high school band.
    He also stated that he enjoys weekend getaways, stopping along the way, exploring new places. I’d suggest going someplace for the day and he’d refuse, complaining about the drive, asking what was there. The few times we went anyplace for our sons marching band trips, he hated stopping along the way, he refused to stop for us to even use the restroom.
    Painted an entirely different picture than the person I know him to be.

    • Brit, its uncanny that you say that.

      When I read Xhole’s dating profile, it was like he was mirroring me, my values and what I liked to do.

      Now you say you saw some of that in your X’s dating profile. Are they looking for another us?

      • Satan wrote… Seeking a beautiful, sexy, intelligent, successful, hot partner in crime. He said he never sits still.

        He told me he didn’t ask me for much… He just wanted a beautiful successful woman that dresses sexy for him… what that too much to ask for?

        • Mine ex also was seeking a “partner in crime and bestfriend”.

      • Maybe but more likely they are just that empty and clueless. Hence the blank stare…

    • Brit, my ex also said he liked concerts in his recent dating profile. He has never been to one the whole time I have known him and hates going out and spending money. His motto was “why go out and spend money on over priced drinks when you can stay home and drink beer by the case in your underwear?”

      He also said he liked being on the farm. His parents call their place the farm. It’s just a house with a makeshift cabin and a couple acres. Nothing farmlike about it.

      The worst is that he says “my boys are my life.” This sentence makes me see red. He treats his two sons like crap. Worst father ever. Tried to tell me one date #2 that his youngest is probably from an affair his ex wife had. I asked why wouldnt he get a dna test. Him: because the minute he was born i just loved him so much it didnt matter to me……But the image management is high. He signs the boys up for sports and goes as far as taking them, but ignores them the whole time while he flirts with other mothers or texts on his phone. Screams at ex wife for not taking boys to sports activities on her week, even though he knows she doesn’t have a car! Couldnt tell you the biys teachers names, favourite foods, what they want to be when they grow up.

      Profiles like his, have made me run in horror from date apps, like my hair is on fire.

  • I think if a person has a laundry list of all the ways I am bad all ready to go at a moment’s notice, that can only mean one thing: that relationship should end.

    For one thing, I am clearly unacceptable to that person, so that person should stop being around me. For another thing, that person clearly only thinks ill of me at a core level, so I should stop being around that person.

    I also think if a person doesn’t want the same kind of relationship with me that I want for myself in life, that can only mean one thing: that relationship doesn’t work in my life, so I should stop being in it.

    If I want mutual monogamy and the other person doesn’t, our needs are incompatible.

    Peeling away all the layers of high school level drama, this is the simple core of it.

  • I’m not good a tecchie stuff, but in 27 Nov 2017 New Yorker there is a brilliant article called’Looking for the root of human cruelty’. It is worth reading the whole thing,as it covers so much, but the most eye-opening bit for me was when it quoted ‘Virtuous Violence’ by Fiske and Rai ‘People are impelled to violence {or other cruelty} when they feel that to regulate certain social relationships , imposing suffering or death is necessary, natural, legitimate, desirable, condoned, admired and ethically gratifying.’ The point is that for some people, especially sexist men, cruel behaviour often reflects the desire to exact a just vengeance or teach someone a lesson. I suddenly realized that this was why my ex felt completely justified in being unfaithful. I had once forgotten to say ‘well done’ to him when he won a prize (though I was there watching and clapping) so his infidelity (with dozens of women) was a just punishment. And he was still morally in the right. Because these cruel bastards always want to feel they are ‘good men’ too, and be admired by their friends.

    • Knittedrobin, sounds like my cheater. Constantly out for revenge, cruel, yet a great guy to outsiders.

  • Sounds like a classic case of crazy making projection

    He does his best to expel his insensitivity by producing it in someone else … you! If it works, what he gets is roughly “I’m not insensitive, you are”. Of course, he’s made that the case by acting to produce incentivity in you. By courting another woman, and then seaking emotional support for his rejection from the very person that that behavior would hurt… insensitive.

    It’s a mindfuck to keep himself the “good guy”.

    • They’re disordered. They aren’t kind. They manipulate and abuse.

  • This letter is a lot like the cheater I divorced, and the advice is spot on. When my ex got rejected by the first howorker he harrassed, he moved in to the SECOND one! Luckily I was reading Chump Lady while he was whoring around. I got to the lawyer first, filed first, and luckily got a settlement as he career was imploding. If you are wavering–stop!!! Listen to Chump Lady!!! I’m glad I did!!

  • When he fuck her, he will also say he didn’t fuck her because they “made love”. When you ask if they made love, he’ll deny and say no because in his mind he “fucked her” or blowjobs and anal don’t count. Words mean nothing to them because definitions are fluid.

    They’re like children:

    Johnny don’t hit your sister
    I’m not hitting my sister (kicks sister)

    Life with them is a slew of false comparisons and changing stories and lies.

  • Where I live, in the south, there are old houses scattered about that were around before cars. They were around before paved roads. Those houses were on trails, or beat up roads, when people traveled by horse or wagon. Good hearted people had a room oh the side of the house where the traveler could come in for the night and find a clean bed. The room was locked from the rest of the house and the people inside might not ever see the person who used the bed that night. These places were called Travelers Rest. I hate using that analogy for you but that is what you are. You are the one that leaves the door open so he can come in and find a place to rest. Emotionally he keeps the door locked to the rest of the family. Even though he might move in and out of the rest of the rooms he is as separated from you as those unknown travelers. You need to accept that he is in love with another woman. Totally and completely in love with another person. You are in essence a housekeeper. The Travelers Rest lady of the house who knows there’s someone moving in and out of that room but has almost no connection to them. Don’t live that way anymore. It’s robbing you and it’s robbing your children.

    • Wow-
      that is chilling but somehow encapsulates what I was feeling when cheater was in the house-and he was refusing to leave. We were existing in the same house/space but completely disconnected in every other way. I was of use as the custodial lady of the house but that’s it.
      So glad to be past all of that now!

  • My list of wife suckitude:

    I never “invited” him to play games or watch tv with daughter and I.
    I never “encouraged” him to take time off when daughter was born so he could bond with her.
    I never “told” him about school events so he could participate.
    I never “finished” painting the house.
    I never “kept” a clean house.
    I never “invited” him on a date.
    I never “encouraged” him to visit his mother often enough.

    Sigh… the entitlement is mind boggling.
    In the end I didn’t “let him” eat his cake and have it too….my bad

    • Everyone’s lists bother me so much and I don’t know why.
      One thing I find interesting is that they don’t listen to us and they do whatever they want but yet claim that we controlled them. How does that work?

      He went to more than 5 vacations a year without me. We went on 0 together. He lists a reason for turning on me is that I didn’t seem happy enough he was going on the vacations without me. I was such an asshole that i put love notes in his suitcase and baked him cookies. I made him and his buddies sandwiches for the drive. How much more was I supposed to do? Have welcome home banners? He went on binges with his friends and came back needing medical attention. He cheated on me on each trip.
      I’m getting so mad. I need to find my happy place. FUCK!

      • The last grievance to add to the list was-

        “Thanks for not saying goodbye to me. I hope the house I wanted so badly, that you didn’t want- makes your dreams come true”

        This, this from the bastard who cheated on me for over a year and a half. He physically and emotionally lived 2 lives. Told me he never, ever expected me to find out. He planned on doing this for as long as he could. He put my health at risk. He lied to me for over 500+ days. He was down to seeing his only child 1 day a week. He blamed me for him having the affair because I “took” my love away from him. He went back to her 3x while we were trying to make up. He treated us like shit. Whenever I asked him to take a day off work- he would say that would be a waste of a day. He would sleep with me at 10:00 am, eat breakfast, get ready for “work” and then meet his “soulmate” and spend the rest of the day with her. He lied to me and went on a weekend vacation with her. Had my brother drive him to the airport. Oh… the list goes on and on and he had the fucking nerve to be pissed that I didn’t say “Goodbye”? Let my silence for the rest of his sorry ass life be his goodbye. (I just got worked up and needed to vent- thanks)

  • I note how the letter writer is stung by being called “petty” because she objects to his disrespect for her and their marriage. That cheater has a lot of control over how she thinks. And the kiddo is already practicing that control; being “furious” with both of them brought her right back to the marriage.

  • So touching that the ow “almost made him feel alive”
    I guess he is just trying harder to feel really alive by having date nights with her.

    Holy Mary Mother of God!
    I am in a pissy mood today, ( even peacekeepers have them)!
    Dump his sorry ass, buy him one of those economy bulk Costco bulk Kleenex thingies! Maybe some fresh aloe for his nose and his sorry ass.

    Thank you CN, that felt better!

    • Peacekeepers are entitled to crappy moods! And thank you for all the support you give to your fellow chumps, newbies and old timers!!

      • ((((Twiceachump))))
        Thank you so much.
        Just dealing with family child difficuties, medical and financial.
        Usually, I just concentrate on finding a way, but not easy lately.
        We all have difficultites and I will never give up.
        I especially hate it when young kids suffer.
        You are so very thoughtful, always!
        Your kindness means so much!❤️

  • Ah the ever changing goal posts.

    1.)I didn’t throw a hissy fit when he “lost” his wedding ring while raking leaves. I guess making him feel bad about something that I thought he already felt bad enough about was the order of the day. I have no doubt that if I did make a fuss, that would have been listed as one of the reasons.

    2.)I never took him to the airport and that’s what wives are supposed to do. Of course I was either looking after infants or toddlers or working full time whenever he flew but my bad.

    3.) I didn’t pick him up drunk from a strip club because I had had a few too many myself that evening, drowning my sorrows over why my then husband was always out drinking. I guess I should have risked my life and license for him. That would have kept him from having an affair!

    4.)My favorite? I didn’t call in sick, which I would have had to do because I learned at the last minute his elective surgery (purely vanity) surgery was moved up a month earlier than the original scheduled time. It wasn’t good enough that I offered to drop him off very early and pick him up a little later. He compared me to the co-worker that “walked through fire for her husband”….who had brain cancer but yeah that’s the same as his vanity surgery. Of course I got no credit for a prior vanity surgery he had which I took two days off for to play nursemaid to him.

    I should have left after the second vanity surgery. Who is that in love with themselves?

    • What an asshole! I think you were supposed to put on the naughty nurse costume to care for him. That’s what I was told. If it’s not a scene from a porn movie then did I really even care about him? I needed to bring him his crutches and shake my tits in his face. Because “if he had a whore at home he wouldn’t have to shop for whores”.

      • Don’t even get me started on his porn. I gave him a really wide berth on that and the strip clubs. Glad to be rid of the loser.

        • THIS by a million!

          “Don’t even get me started on his porn. I gave him a really wide berth on that and the strip clubs. Glad to be rid of the loser”.

  • During reconciliation Cheater Wife texted her “goodbye” to massage boy and with anger said “There I told him I can’t see him anymore” and then threw the phone on the bed in anger. She was angry with me (the victim of the infidelity). She was mad because I was denying HER of something she wanted and felt like she DESERVED. In retrospect I don’t know what I was thinking staying around so long.

    • After I found out about the affair, cheater ex “supposedly” met mistress to say goodbye. That night he had but one request of me- “ Can I please leave him alone for that night. He needed “time” to get over saying goodbye to her. Can I just please give this to him?” I swear… you can’t make this shit up.
      My response to him was “Hello, remember me? I’m the one who was wronged in all of this.” But that was my foolish, delusional mistake… I never factored into anything.

      • I found a receipt a month after Hannibal’s supposed breakup from gradwhore that showed he bought her an expensive Juicy Couture watch as a parting gift. Juicy Couture, you ask–was she 14? close.

  • Just a few observations:
    If someone wants to bring up some event he/she imagines happened in grade school or high school, or MAYBE some version of it happened some time long ago — and SINCE that time he/she decided to be in a relationship with you anyway — TOO BAD! SO SAD! Next subject, never mention this drivel again. Ever watch Judge Judy? If you “reconcile” — you cannot bring up previous behavior. You reconciled your sunk costs, or the bad times, when you move forward. Seriously — what is wrong with someone who holds a grudge for a high school breakup? Oh, and by the way, YOU are not responsible that HE/SHE did not date much. Maybe he/she was as repulsive then as he/she is being now?

    If someone has a laundry list of grievances, offer to write up your own list, and you can exchange them at the table when you are signing your divorce papers. Ought to be great fun. Seriously? How adolescent can someone be?

    If someone becomes obsessed with “doing” a sexual thing you have considered and have made it quite clear you do not want to do — that OCD pervert has been watching too much porn, or has heard one of his friends did that, or maybe has had that done by some hooker or OW wannabe. Obsession is not healthy. Having fun having sex is not that difficult. It doesn’t require much in the way of props, or even the same specific actions all the time. Those of us who have lived with a partner with ED certainly learned that things we may have enjoyed were “not going to happen” again. If you cannot bear to have sex unless you get THAT ONE THING that you want, and you cannot find a way to get over it, I suggest checking into a celibacy center and even avoiding masturbation — because sex is never about just THAT ONE THING!!!

    Crying over another partner while still married to me? I think not. Go somewhere else to cry. Give me the address so my lawyer knows where to send the papers. Goodbye. Thanks for letting me know you are a complete idiot, and there is nothing to redeem. Have the sad, sad, life you are determined to have. Good luck with that, maybe the next potential soul mate will want to hear all about your poor social skills, and that darn bad luck.

    • Those sexual acts are really about control and wanting you to “prove” your love by doing something you would rather not. I had a previous abusive partner in college who wanted anal sex. That was one boundary I refused to cross. Ex heard all about that abusive relationship in the getting to know you stage. He knew how much I was traumatized by that whole situation. He presented himself as my knight in shining armor who rescued me from all that. I believed it too. I called him my prince for years until the last few when devalue was in full swing and it was hard to keep viewing him that way (more proof that I didn’t really love him). Anyway, instead of having compassion for me and what I went through with previous asshole, he was jealous of previous asshole because he had it in his head that somehow I had enjoyed sex with that guy more and was pining for him throughout our marriage. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. Ex tried to get me to have anal as well because he misremembered and thought I had with previous asshole and he thought I had put out something for that guy that I wouldn’t do for him. I set him straight on that, but he still didn’t get it. Even if I had, ex should have understood that it was clearly not a pleasant experience and there was a reason I didn’t want to do it again. A loving partner would not have asked me to do something that made me unhappy with somebody else. They get so stuck on us proving our love to them that they forget to prove their love for us, except that they don’t really love us anyway. They just pretend to sometimes.

      • I have a theory that they become obsessed with sexual thoughts. Monogamy just doesn’t fit them for some reason. Something going on in their brain.

  • Husband/wife/partner/significant other…any name that shows a commitment and promise should not be used in the same sentence as present tense “date”.

    You date when you are NOT a husband/wife/partner/significant other. You date when you have NOT made a commitment or promise to be a life partner.

    Why is that so fucking hard to understand and abide by? Because cheaters don’t WANT to. That is all.

    It really is just so simple.

  • I read this one before and had a completely different take on it than today. Back then I believed what Lady believed (I truly hope she is rid of this guy by now!) Now…i believe this guy set her up to be exactly where they are both at. He started with pity, then charm and by the end of the story she lives with his rage about HER behavior. This guy’s con disgusts me.
    Since I went through what I went through I have had two offspring of this type of man tell me their story. Basically, a man (maybe women do this too, but I have never heard of it) has a wife a kids and then in the next town over gets an OW and has kids with her… in both situations the kids knew nothing until they were adults!!!! The moms never had the courage to leave and left these two kids, now adults to wonder why dad was always gone, always stepping out on holidays, working late, etc. In both cases they still don’t talk about it!!!! They just let these mother fuckers behave this way. It makes me so mad that this happens. It’s truly disgusting to do to your kids. I feel for Lady and her children and hope she has gotten away from this pig of a person.

  • Insensitive Lady-Jerk, if you are here on this blog, please please please update us. I almost do not believe this is a letter from a real chump. Unless I’m missing something, you and douche bag married and beforehand agreed to be monagamous, correct? That means, you made a promise to each other borne out of mutual respect and love and friendship to forsake all others, correct? And, then you solemnized that promise by getting a license to marry, planning and executing a wedding based on those mutual promises.
    You had a wedding probably attended by each family and all of the friends and community members.
    You each appeared in the County office and applied for a marriage license. You spent a bunch of time and money and effort planning the actual wedding. At the wedding, you each reiterated the vows, the primary vow being that neither of you would seek others outside the marriage for sex or companionship or intimacy. Then you each agreed to have someone “vested” by the State listen to the vows, obtain your signatures on the marriage contract, and presumably two witnesses attested by putting their signatures on the marriage contract. Correct? You have a valid contract for marriage based on material promise that each would forsake all others. Now, after 20 years of reliance on that vow, and 20 years of sunk costs to your detriment, you learn that it was all a fraud! He never intended to satisfy his promise.
    He lied to you in order to get you to act in reliance on his misrepresentation that he meant his vow.
    You’ve been harmed. Real quantifiable damages. This is the tort of fraud, misrepresentation, and most likely the tort of outrage and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It is a breach of contract. None of that is “ok.” It is heinous, vile, morally, ethically, and legally indefensible.

  • What is it with these fucktards who suddenly want their spouses to become their best friends so they can confide regarding their love lives (the good, the bad, and the ugly). It’s like they forgot that you were supposed to be all there was to their love lives. Mine wanted to tell me all about how wonderful she was, how terrible her marriage and what a shit her husband was, like I was supposed to care about any of that. I don’t want to hear boo about her unless it’s to tell me the karma bus has finally caught up to her (and with any luck, ex too). These people really are just clueless freaks living in an alternate reality.

  • DIVORCE HIM!!! Your dignity is at stake here. It is cheating !! He is not loyal to you and I don’t know why you don’t see that. You do not need this man. You’re giving him a free pass to cheat on you. Don’t be a chump and dump him!!

  • @Insensitive Lady-Jerk…… they always say they haven’t had sex. They lie and lie and are good at it. Using tears isn’t beyond them.

  • Not an original idea amongst the cheaters. Over and over again, I wish I had a CL 7 years ago. Have been through the separation, I want to date, I didn’t have sex with him….. the ongoing communications. The long laundry list of what was wrong with me. And each time I fixed issues, new ones were added!!!! Well the exbf, whom I did not take a stand over, led to more and more cheating. He dumped her so she found a 20 something to bang to fix her bruised ego. Also had a list of 10-15 other guys she was texting etc. only thing one can do is focus on self. Set boundaries, cut them off….. and get away!

    • during reconciliation I made up a list of boundaries, reforms, etc… that would need to be met in order for us to stay together. It was stuff like (I kid you not) ‘no sex with other individuals, no texting other individuals, no communication through other social media, no sending nude photos, etc..’

      She responded with ‘oh yeah, well there’s stuff wrong with you that I want you to change also !”

      I thought- I live in the Twilight Zone, is this what I want my life to be?

      • Oh Zell – that list. I did one of those too – reading back all we were asking for was basic (I mean very basic), human decency.

        I realise now (almost 2 years to the day of my handing over such a letter), that if you have to ask/plead for basic human decency, that there was absolutely nothing to work with.

        My cheater had to take a few days to think about my request for decency, he reluctantly agreed and then three days later was back at “his friend’s house”, while pretending to be at work.

  • Please, please, please get out of there. I lost 39 years of my life on a cheater that I will never get back. I truly loved him. I worked 80 – 100 hours a week and provided 70% of the income, ironed his shirts, paid all the bills, cooked all the meals, cleaned the house by myself, helped finance a failed restaurant that he opened because people at work didn’t respect him because of the sexual harassment charges filed against him
    and the list goes on and on. I was a chump for years (found inappropriate cards co-workers had sent him, saw a journal where he said he had kissed a co-worker, he was charged with sexual harassment at work from 3 different women ( 2 when my Mom had just died), saw inappropriate text messages from women I didn’t know. There was always an excuse and since his employer (SCDHEC) did nothing, I believed him. In January 2015 he went to work for another SC state agency. By March 2016 he was having an affair with a twice married (twice cheated on her husbands co-worker). In June 2016. I found questionable receipts but of course he had an answer. In July 2016, I caught him texting at 11:30 at night and when he wouldn’t tell me who he was texting, I knew it was time to cut his ass loose. I kicked his ass out the next day, changed my locks the following day and put all his clothes in the garage. It took me several weeks to figure out who he was having an affair with. Once I discovered it was a co-worker, he immediately filed a restraining order on me from contacting his employer. His employer did nothing (he was the CFO/COO and she was under another supervisor, I actually received a threatening email from her supervisor) Thank God, I divorced his ass in February 2017. Unfortunately since SC is a no fault state, he got half of our assets. I have only had contact with him three times since then, once when I told him to come get his shit before I threw it away, once for the sale of a house we jointly owned, and unfortunately this weekend at our daughter’s engagement party where he whined to her that he felt left out and people said he looked sad. (karma?) Hopefully after my daughter’s wedding, I will never ever have to have any contact with him ever again. Please get away, a cheater will always be a cheater and they will ruin your life!!!!!!!!

    • You know I am sick of people saying affairs don’t cause issues at work, and someone can be a great CEO ( or President) and still have a girlfriend while he’s married, or the affair happened before he was CEO, (or President) so it doesn’t count (??? to whom???) or she doesn’t work under his supervision, she works elsewhere (for his best friend at another division/company). Or the sex was consensual. Does that matter if you are married? Maybe not in divorce court in a no-fault state. But it sure indicates character, or lack of character.
      I live in Tennessee, a very conservative state. We recently hit the national news with the female mayor of Nashville having an affair with her state paid bodyguard/security fellow. They travelled together. He made a lot of overtime providing his boss with extra security. The taxpayer’s picked up the tab. The taxpayer’s were not amused. She has since resigned and his wife has filed for divorce. They both had to pay back some money. Not a proud day for the city or the state, but no one is surprised by this type of thing anymore. In private business, in public government or school systems — this behavior goes on. We can no longer act like there is no problem — not just for the spouse. I have heard folks in my area condemn her (she got caught, she’s guilty) and defend our President ( he says he is not guilty — all that smoke is politically motivated, all those women are liars.) It is not about political party affiliation to me. I don’t care if you are in the Peony Party, or attend the Church of What’s Happening Now with Flip Wilson as pastor — don’t pretend to be a person with family values and wrap yourself in the aura of sanctity if you are going to act this way. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THIS POLI”TICAL, THERE ARE PERVERTS IN BOTH PARTIES. They are in private business, schools, they are ministers and teachers and street sweepers and day care workers. Cheaters are everywhere. All I am saying, is quit defending them and saying it doesn’t matter. If they cheat, if they lie, if they steal money — don’t deny that this speaks to their character. If you want to support them anyway, because they do something else in a manner you support and believe in — ok — but don’t say “Oh, he would never do that” to me. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear about someone else who did it. I don’t want to hear the spouse is somehow deficient. Just accept that most of the world has conditional values, and stop pretending to be someone you are not. We would be so much better off in this world if we didn’t have to “spin” the truth to get a job, or respect, or elected.
      I work for a school. I could get fired if I claimed I had a degree I did not have, even though my job has nothing to do with the degrees I do have. Being honest (at least about that) is important. I think if a job candidate says “married” and then has an affair (especially with someone else who also works there) that should be grounds for termination, too. If you spend any company money to have the affair, even if the other person is not a coworker, that should be grounds for termination, too. If we stopped saying it doesn’t matter, and start acting like it does matter, maybe things will change???? TIME IS UP FOLKS, TIME IS UP!!!!!

      • I had to physically “make” him sit down with all his electronic devices so he could “unfriend” his mistress. That there was a flaming red flag. I was just so full of hopium that I couldn’t see how ludicrous the whole situation was. Long gone was the man I knew. This person was telling me by his actions or in this case, inaction that he didn’t want me- I just was in denial of seeing it….. no more. Message received loud and clear! Buh bye asshole.

        • Yes
          I couldn’t get past my denial and hopium for 34 years
          But now after being separated for 4 years and schooled by narc 2,

          I met with the divorce attorney. 38 years it took me.

      • Agree with everything you said and love, love, love the Flip Wilson reference!

  • It all comes down to lack of kibbles…there will NEVER be enough.

  • I was told “You should wear more makeup”. Mind you, I have never worn makeup. I was a farmer, milking cows twice a day, feeding calves etc. 2 months after we married, I had to write a check for $10,000 to an employee who was threatening to file sexual harrasment charges. EX begged forgiveness and said it was because he was drunk. I chose to believe his shit. 22 years later, after adopting 3 adolescent boys, buying our dream farm and generally feeling like we had “made” it, I discover he had fucked at least 4 neighborhood male farmers, (3 had wives and families), was addicted to gay porn, was on Craig’s list looking for hookups and to top it off, my nephew came forward with the horrifying news my EX had molested him. He is a perverted predatory lying monster! But yet still has the nerve to play the victim. I have struggled terribly with my stupidity at not seeing who he was, sorrow for my nephew and believing if I had worn some makeup it would have fixed everything. I must forgive myself, but he plays pathetic and tells anyone who will listen that I gambled and embezzled all his money. Accepting that I gave 22 years of what I call gravy time (diagnosed with stage 3 cancer 1990) to a person who presented himself as straight but somewhat uninterested in much sex, is overwhelming at best. Our marriage was doomed from the beginning and it was based on total lies. FUCK! I am finally away from him (divorced 5 months), completely NC and am crawling out of the hole, but it has been soooo f-ing hard. Thank you, thank you, thank you Chump Nation! Freaking Makeup!

    • If you did wear make-up I ma sure he would have found some other reason. Or perhaps the fact that you did wear make-up would have been the reason. Whatever you are and however evident that was when they married you, you were supposed to be the opposite.

      • Totally. Mine didn’t want me to wear makeup at all, because it made me look too sexy and not like his momma. Also he wanted me to dress like his sister.

        I feel sick just typing that.

        • Exactly. I was told to wear unflattering 80’s type collar shirts which didnt even suit me. I now look back and reckon he was trying to make me look like his mother. Apparently i always controlled everything he did . I laughed out loud at that one since every life and finacial decision was his alone me coming up with an alternative was met with hostility and proof i didnt trust him. You are always in a no win situation with a narcopath.

    • Thank you for restating what a lying fukk these cheaters are.
      I get lost in the sadz. “He’s not so bad. ”
      He’s a manipulator
      A liar
      A cheater
      It was bad.

    • You are MIGHTY and strong sister. Take a deep breath and take your time…one day at a time. Hugs.

    • Wow, I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through. {{Hazel}} Makes my story seem so pedestrian. What a monster. So glad you are away from that. Way to be mighty! What a monster! I’m glad you have found us. I haven’t seen you here before.

  • So, let me get this straight: your spouse cheated on you because you initially rejected him in high school? Talk about a manchild!

    Look, you don’t have anything to work with here. All he wants is to remain married because marriage does carry benefits: respectability, for one, and image is a really big deal to many cheaters.

    You deserve better. Go talk with an attorney. See what you’re entitled to under the laws of your state.

    Get into therapy. The fact that you’re even talking to him after he complains that you rejected him in high school suggests that you have some issues you need to grapple with.

    With respect to your teenager, the best thing to do is to tell him the truth of why you want to divorce his father and why you two separated. Teens appreciate being told the truth, even if it’s a hard one they don’t want to face. You can still reassure your teen that he can have a relationship with his father, and that you’ll have your teen’s back.

    Good luck to you. You and your teen deserve better.

  • Classic CL post!

    It perfectly encapsulates the entitlement cheaters feel and express.

    My XW played a similar game, insisting on her right to “talk and text” to her OM (this was all I could prove at the time).

    But even she wasn’t this brazen: she resorted to deception regularly, as well. So, in some arguments she’d lie about the affair, and then she’d turn around and demand her right to continue what she was just lying about.

    It’s all about them, all the time. If you want a shared life, look elsewhere.

  • This column ran previously. Any idea if she kicked his ass to the curb?

  • I got a whole different spin when my cheater gave his reasons for cheating. I was told I was a great wife, mother, housekeeper, etc., but I had placed him on a pedestal and he felt like he had to be perfect all the time! It was apparently too much for him after 38 years of marriage! Also I was told his affair had “nothing to do with me or how I was as a wife”! So where do you go with that??? I decided the attorneys office was a good place to start! Ha! Ha! Ha! I don’t miss him (he is deceased now) or marriage a bit. I’m quite content at last!

    • Amen Roberta. I don’t miss him or marriage one bit. Content knows no price!

  • The cheater does not view us as humans.

    Right before the Last D Day, I sent the The Obscenity a photo of my face. I wrote on the back: I AM A HUMAN BEING!

    After reading this letter a second time, I almost started to judge this poor woman. And then I remembered my own stark raving mad IDIOT self when I questioned stopping the human obscenity from doing drugs in my home and chatting up other women in front of me.

    An especially fun evening was when one drug whore called and I questioned who he was talking to. He totally ignored me and told the thing on the phone that I was crazy. Me.
    He then guffaws and then indulgently said ….”oh but I guess I made her that way.”

    When you’re in the thick of it, you are so broken that you can’t see that you are living in a parallel universe of horror and insanity.

    And that’s not an exaggeration.

    I N S A N I T Y

  • Dear Chump Lady, can you say what you just did to this woman to the family court judge that I have please. She clearly thinks that my cheater boy (now) ex’s similar behavior is perfectly acceptable as is his inability to follow her court order.

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