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Cheaters Never Trade Up — The Lola Doctrine

While I’m jetting towards Australia, I’m running a guest column today by CN member “Lola Granola.” Enjoy! — Tracy

Too often when we are on the receiving end of cheating, it’s at the end of a long process of devaluation and discard. Sometimes it’s not –- sometimes we are blindsided in what we thought was a happy and functional partnership of equals, with good sex, shared interest, and mutual respect.

So when we see the affair partner, we are a mess of conflicting emotions: What have they got that I haven’t got? Is it her ass/boobs/cooking/blonde hair/ethnicity/brilliance/success? Is it his bigger dick/better technique/cashflow/full head of hair/manly tattoos?

Whether you are a hot mess of abuse, or a blindsided success story, there is one maxim which I would love to see all cheaters take to heart.

I call it the Lola Doctrine: ‘Cheaters never trade up.’

I’ve been hanging round on Chump Lady long enough to learn that no matter how big her boobs are, or his salary is, the cheater’s partner in crime is always LESS THAN the chump.

Even when the karma bus hasn’t come over the hill yet, it’s plain to see that two really awful people have found each other. As chumps often say: water seeks its own level.

When I read chumps beating themselves up for being homely, or distracted, or too tired, or too pregnant, or not ambitious enough, or too boring, it breaks my heart. This is understandable, because it’s what we are told from Day 1 when there’s cheating —  that it’s our fault for being not [blank] enough, and that we have to Own Our Part in the Relationship Breakdown.

But this is so wrong on every level.

We were doing our best, and in lots of cases, more than our best. We were working multiple jobs, raising kids, managing finances, trying to stay more or less in shape while also having some sleep every now and then.

We were also –- sometimes under real pressure — staying faithful to our marriage or our partnership. This makes us good people. Yes, that’s right. The good guys.

But the AP wasn’t. The AP was swimming around like a lazy shark that’s broken into the paddling pool full of small children (our relationship).

And the Cheater wasn’t sounding the alarm, or fishing all the kids out of the damn pool. Instead, they was watching from the sidelines, admiring the strength of those jaws, the curve of that fin, and that winning smile.

The AP is not, and never will be, better than you. It doesn’t matter how good they look on Facebook, or how much money they have. An AP is someone with, at best, a shitty character, and at worst a serious personality disorder. They are the bottom-feeders of the relationship food chain.

The hardest part in this process is acknowledging that our Cheater is perhaps not the wonderful person in whom we invested so much time, money and love — the swell party who has naturally moved on to a Better Place because of our hideous muffin-top. They don’t call us Chumps for nothing. But hey – the process of self-forgiveness for being fooled by a predator starts with baby steps.

If you’ve been systematically abused, then get some good therapy to help you regain your life and your sense of self-respect. If you’ve been blindsided, do the same thing. Once you start to repair your self-worth, you will realise that it’s true: Cheaters Never Trade Up.

If you can internalise this, just a little bit, it makes the whole Gaining a Life thing a bit easier. And it will also help get you to Meh faster.

****

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  • My cheater GOT himself a richer, more sporty, more “organised” version of me. Yeah, facial recognition softwares get the AP’s pictures and mine mixed up.

    But she “lacks humour”, “doesn’t have much empathy”, and “is less intelligent”. How do I know that? He told me.
    Do I believe him? No.

    So if you are a Dutch woman living in Thailand, beware. Someone you love is badmouthing you.

    She does have a lot of crappy sides, though. Naivité, screwing married men (plural), letting a man buy a house with my money, using my toddler to impress her family… without me knowing of existence.
    Yeap, crappy.

    • Lily, interestingly enough they do a comparative analysis. The Limited bragged that she MADE NO MONEY! In the next breath he said he couldn’t get anywhere with me!

      My therapist put it into perspective for me; he can’t get looks or intelligence.
      And her boobs touch her belly button. She’s hideously ugly with a man’s voice.

      Character matters Lily. The downgrade lacks a moral compass regardless of her earning power or looks! So face recognition lacks the ability to differentiate character, integrity and loyalty. They aren’t the winners here. We are.

        • Other people have reported that OW is manly too, gravelly voice as well. The pics that I have seen generally don’t indicate that, but they do vary greatly in terms of being attractive.

          It’s funny though because hands down, her mouth and nose make Shrek her perfect caricature.

          I don’t care about any of that really, although it does indulge my petty side hearing less than flattering reports, her soul is ugly. That’s what matters most to me, she will never compare and I don’t envy her at all.

          • The first AP that I’m aware of, is a triathlete which doesn’t mean all triathlete women look masculine, but she does. Her face has masculine features, her body looks more like a mans, her body language is also more masculine. Cheater started dressing like her, wearing white baseball caps, and white t-shirts. He refused to wear white while we were married or wear sporty little caps. Cheater decided to become a triathlete once they started publicly dating. He then started wearing florescent colored cycling ensembles with all the matching accessories for each color. I came across photos of the two of them in triathlons wearing matching outfits.. I think the competition and training between the two of them became too time consuming for Cheater. I noticed his dating profile on Match.com while he was with AP. Cheater found a new love on Match and left his triathlete for another more masculine looking woman. She’s tall thin, blonde and looks like a man trying hard to look feminine. He has her working out and she recently entered a body building competition for her age group which is commendable . I’m not sure if it”s the age everything that makes her look like a man dressing up as a woman or just her. I don’t thinks she’d be attractive without, her lashes, fake boobs, pumped up lips, or hair extensions. Gives her the Kaitlyn Jenner look but not quite as attractive. I’ve often wondered if his AP’s are his decoys and he’s Gay but doesn’t feel comfortable coming out.

            • I’m sure he’s in his glory bragging that his new love has competed in a body building competition. Unlike his soft wife, who had his child and supported him when he was unemployed, sacrificing her career for “our career,” the devoted wife busy taking care of our son, volunteering at our sons’ school everyday, taking care of everything at home, cooking, bills, cleaning, chauffeur for our son while he pouted and felt sorry for himself.

              If I had thought less of our family and more about fake eyelashes, fake boobs, getting surgery to improve my appearance, and worked out everyday without anything else to think about I’d be entering body building competitions.

            • Nothing wrong with masculine women. And they aren’t necessarily cheaters or OW somehow. Plus they can be chumps too. Gender policing doesn’t seem appropriate in this space. Please be considerate of the diverse range of chumps reading here.

              • marissathechump this is a PC-free zone. It’s not fair to try to restrict our thoughts when we are trying to articulate intense emotions. That in itself is hard enough. No one here is trying to insult anyone else. Hugs if you thought otherwise.

              • I apologize if I came across as being insensitive, or insulted anyone. That certainly wasn’t my intention. I’m describing my observation and what others have described to me about the AP’s. I admire anyone who is able to compete in a triathlon. I wish I had the drive, stamina and strength.

                I have a diverse group of friends and we talk about everything including this subject and Cheater. We’ve been friends for decades (since high school). I haven’t said anything in my posts that I haven’t said in their presence.

              • How about we just give posters the benefit of the doubt and NOT dump our own issues on what we think they’re saying?

              • ” this is a PC-free zone. It’s not fair to try to restrict our thoughts when we are trying to articulate intense emotions. That in itself is hard enough.”

                Wouldn’t it then be doubly unfair to have experienced this form of narcissistic abuse from a serial cheater and, when we come to a forum for emotional support from others with similar experiences, that we find comments like these that marginalize us?

              • Masculine women aren’t the issue here. Cluster B’s enjoy the game ; it’s rigged.

                I was erased by a toxic asshole who thought the grass was greener. We as Chumps are led to believe it’s our fault.

                This post is about the downgrade. To my surprise he ended up with a skank. Physically she’s no prize. I was made to feel inadequate for most of my adult life. I’m celebrating her saggy tits, ugly face, and mental illness that made her so fuckimg needy she harassed me, the victim of years of abuse. I was threatened and harmed. She has the voice of a three pack a day bar whore.

                It wouldn’t have mattered if she was younger or had money.

                As a criticism he told me if he was a woman he’d be the most beautiful woman he could be.

                The downgrade suits me just fine. That’s what he wakes up to every day. An ugly cunt.

              • Totally agree, Marissa. Attacking OW based on their appearance is uncalled for. As is the tone policing for you calling it out.

            • I wish you could post a photo of him in his cycling ensemble! That had to give you a good laugh. Just picturing it made my day!

          • what about a high pitched fake voice intended to depict a younger, sweet, child voice, put on sexy voice when in reality she’s nothing but a ho that screws married men and only the stupid narcissist would believe that that voice is real. Does she talk baby talk too? Probably. The dimwit probably thinks it’s going to turn on the married men

          • “Her soul is ugly.” So true. It really is about character and little else. My soon to be ex-husband’s two current affair partners (Surprise!) are both rather successful: the first makes a ton of money and the second has a PhD and works for an Ivy League school. So on the surface, sure. But they are both like rotten apples: shiny and pretty perhaps at first glance, but cut them open, and you’ll have nothing but rotten, mushy fruit. (Plus they both have really ugly hair.)

            • My guys AP or EAP (or whatever truth really is). Works at a huge international company headquartered in my town. Makes a lot of money works from home. Is a widower who inherited money from that and then her father died so inherited money from that. She already made a lot of money and has a big beautiful home with a pool in a great part of town on a golf course.

              My only consolation is that SHE befriended a married man, became emotionally involved, and then pulled my husband away from me. I know I’m not supposed to blame her. It was my husband who did it. But from what my husband tells me – he was told AP is a “people collector”. I’m not sure what that is. But she has a lot of friends and “everyone” loves her. She’s always helping people out. And gives selflessly. Gag me with a fucking spoon. She fucked a married man! That makes her SHIT.

              • Yup. All shiny and pretty with her pool and her money – but shallow, fake, dishonest, and soulless. I swear – they are all the same. If you knowingly fuck a married man, that makes you slimy. Period. No amount of perfume will cover up the smell.

        • Susan

          America. And I though I she was the OW mother. I literally laughed. There isn’t a mentally healthy woman who could listen to his bullshit and think he’s a keeper.

      • Ex and ap (now fiance) look so much alike, it’s crazy! Every time I showed a photo of the two bottom feeders together, first thing out of every person’s mouth was “Oh my god, they look like twins!” She is built like a man and is bigger than ex, sounds like a man (she has been a smoker for 30 years), has orange skin, and a bright yellow “can I speak to the manager haircut.
        Funny story… 5 days after Dday (3/13/17), I discovered a $700 concert ticket purchase (date of concert June 2017 in another town) on our joint bank account statements. After their trip, she actually posted a complaint for a hotel they stayed at on FB that included a picture of the restaurant bar’s dirty sink, saying they (the cheating couple) picked that hotel specifically for the restaurant and ended up not eating there because of it. Oh well, I guess that’s what you get when you sleep with a married man and his wife helps pay for your dates with your married boyfriend. Speak to the manager ho!

        The disordered extends into AP telling ex how to dress (she buys his clothes), what to say (evident by phone records- texts, images/ screenshots shared-and response text with totally different ‘voice’ and change in tone given to my daughter and me), and what to think. So he’s got this weird momma/lover/twin thing going on. Ex is such a wuss. AP already has a son with special needs. Well, now she can take of two boys.

          • Postit – that’s probably the ultimate in falling in love with yourself. They probably have matching beards!

            • ^^^ Cheater and AP are looking more and more alike..^^^

              Glad he left when he did, he’s the last person I’d want to resemble especially as I age.

        • Wth😂😂😂😂 is a “can I speak to the manager haircut?”

          I’ve never heard this expression…. hilarious! But what does it look like?

          • Think early Kate Gosselin. It’s chin length in the front, then cut shorter in the back.

            • OMG, I had that hair cut last year, kicked myself in the ass for months afterwards waiting for it to grow out.
              😂🤣😂🤣😂

    • Hey Lily —

      Somehow I believe your cheater when he says she “lacks humour”, “doesn’t have much empathy”, and “is less intelligent”.

    • My STBX’s fucktard looks just like me .It confuses my 3 year old grandson. She has no education- I have a master’s degree, she never had children, I have 3. She gives bad/irresponsible advice to my kids. They don’t like or trust her. She worked most of her life in retail (now trying to be a realtor who can’t even sell her own house). I’ve worked in professional field. Just found out they are breaking up because he has issues to work on. Ya Think? She’s an idiot. I am not. Took me awhile to stop torturing myself that I was not enough or too much and let their true nature show. What a waste of time.

  • I was the AP, but the catch is I had no idea. No idea there was a wife & two kids. No idea I was helping someone cheat on their spouse. Finding that out was horrific, I would NEVER do that to someone, not consciously.

    I’m not sure it’s fair to say the AP is always less, because in my instance I was a chump too. Both me & the wife were fooled, it was awful.

      • cut off the relationship or his dick? or her head? or both heads? asking for all my chump friends…x

      • I ask, not as an accusation but to understand. There is a large difference in character between finding out and bowing out or finding out and taking it out on the other chump just like the cheater wants.

        The AP in my story knew about me, she cant claim to be innocent. They bother claim they didnt start a relationship prior to him leaving but he also never told me about her while married. I could have ruined their relationship 10 times over by now (he has cheated on her too) but I dont see the point in trying to hurt her when I know she will never believe til she is ready… I know because I believed he would never cheat also

        That as why I ask. If u bowed out, if u didnt try and hurt the other chump, then u too are a chump. But if you choose to hurt the other chump in vindictiveness or anger, then I see that as AP

        • No I didn’t try & hurt the other chump. Their marriage ended & so did our relationship. He actually came clean to me about his deceit after their divorce proceedings started, but I couldn’t handle what he had done to BOTH me and his wife. So that was that. It was awful.

          • The HO that was climbing on my husband, knew full well that he was married because she worked with him and my picture was on his desk, and he always wore his ring, and she knew his friends and his coworkers knew he was married. So bold ho was deliberately and calculatingly complicit with a known married man. And she was ALL in for herself and her two kids. She had zero regard that she was ruining a marriage and determined to get it to end by being involved with him. She saw the good job, the salary, etc. She was full speed ahead to enjoy her life with our marital assets. She’s nothing but a low life masquerading as some professional, classy broad, she’s nothing but a low down snake in the grass. It is my hope that she gets hers someday. She really needs a good wake up call lesson. I am sure it will finally be exacted upon by SOME OTHER unsuspecting wife that she will inevitably be screwing on someone else’s husband. I doubt she will let herself “suffer” a dry spell of no sex like I have had to do because of her screwing my husband’s ass
            He clearly did not miss out because he had that nasty big job to handle and toss around. and she was a big job believe me. I saw IT. What he saw in her was someone who stroked his ego because she stroked it right into the bedroom and into his wallet

    • I was the AP once, without me knowing.
      When I discovered it, it was awful. It hurt like hell. It’s just like a chump’s pain. Or the chump’s story. You are fooled, too. You got abused, too.
      So if there is no kid involved, I would understand why the AP could tempted by a pick me dance.

      As for me, no kid was in the picture, and he was not married, but I called it quit the same day.
      And I called the GF, because of no condoms…

      • Lily
        “So if there is no kid involved, I would understand why the AP could tempted by a pick me dance.”

        And that right there is what seperates the OW and a chump.

      • that’s what my husbands HO knew that we had no kids. So she thought it was quite appropriate to screw my husbands ass because she figured that it was ALL about her and her wonderfulness and she probably thought he was fair game because he chose not to have kids because he was drained by his HO. She kept him on a short leash with her sparkly clam. I’m sure she thought that thing was the best thing on earth. She has definitely fooled other men with that big house of hers and the easy clam on a platter that she knew would lure them all in. But that Pig is still getting to hold her job because she got such and EGO boost that my handsome husband would actually screw her narly ass. I can imagine the boost and the confidence she garnered from that adulterous experience. She’s a shameless bold HO. I hope she is still laughing. She got one over on me I will say. THe bitch is Classless. She is clearly the winner. Good for her ! I hope she drowns in her seaside ocean view brothel.
        Yes I do hate her why wouldn’t I. She’s a skank

    • Same thing happened to me, APChump2 (he lied, said he was divorced — it was long distance which is why he managed to pull it off). You’re not alone.

      But, I’ve found that you won’t really find a good place for support. I read here, which helped. But, I didn’t comment much anywhere, bc the cheated-on wives/husbands don’t want you around or immediately ask you accusatory questions like the first question you got in response to this post: “did you cut it off immediately?”. Or they’ll try to shame you by saying that you should’ve been more in tune to the red flags, etc (as if they weren’t just as duped by the lying, manipulative cheaters themselves).

      And then who in the hell in our position wants to hang out in support groups where APs actually choose to be APs? It’s not the same situation. And, yes, you are a chump too.

      That said, I made it to meh. It gets easier. It really just does take time and NC. You will heal from this and, in the end, the loser gave you a gift. You get to learn from your chumpiness now and all about covert narcs and red flags and hoovering and the discard, etc, etc — and all that does is set you up for finding someone who is reciprocal and worthy of being in your life.

      I’m sorry that this happened to you and that there’s so little support. It hurts like hell.

      • Hugs from me, MeToo.
        There were many red flags for me, too… that were not easy to pick before actually knowing what was going on.
        I did speak up. All of our friends got the memo. It helped they were very supportive and I could actually go no contact (I moved to another part of the country).

      • Thank you so much for your reply! It really did hurt like hell. We’d been together nearly a year before he came clean & I was so in love with him. The feelings of betrayal & heartbreak were atrocious, and people always seemed to side with his ex, as if it was my fault I found myself in the situation I was in.

        I remember saying to my own friends & fam, I’m not ‘the other woman’, I had no idea she existed & never would have been with him if I had. This was HIS fault, not mine.

        So all the while dealing with my own loss, received very little support as well. As if I should have known better.

        If someone can deceive his/her own spouse, don’t people see how easy it is to deceive an outside party as well? Sadly the answer is mostly no.

        • As far as the downgrade comment goes I think that is directed at AP’s that are fully aware they are having an affair with a cheater, blowing up a marriage/family and have no remorse or guilt. The majority of AP’s, if not all, are desperate and disordered. Cheaters enjoy having affairs with train wrecks, who knows why, maybe its because they finally feel superior. Of course like everything else it gets old after some time and the cheater will go searching again, they always do.

          • Definitely about the APs who know full well the person is married/in a serious LTR and go after them anyway.

            With my Exhole’s main SO, she fell for his nonstop bullshit same as I did. First, he was single. Then, he used to be married… that’s why people were always bringing up my name… Then, well..he’s technically still married, but had been seperated for quite some time and he was living with his parents. (He never changed the address on his driver’s license when he had moved in with me 4 years prior or when we got married 1 year prior.) Apparently, his parents set her strait that he was still living with his wife. Thats when she stopped by with her small children and blew the whole thing wide open for me.

            So no, she got chumped same as I did. The difference being that she had 3 months in and I had 8 years plus another year being married to him.

            When she found out the the truth, she told the wife… but by stopping by with her children and showing me pictures she took of her and him having sex.

            She was hurting from his betrayal too… but she chose to hurt me for it and pick me dance for him.

            He did choose her, but then got super pissed and “sad” when I had to throw him out and serve him with divorce papers. I was ruining his narrative of me being so sad I couldn’t cope with reality and refused to hire a lawyer so he was waiting until I could handle it emotionally.

            So yes, I’m empathetic towards an unknowing AP who’s been chumped and immediately ends it once they find out. I can even understand the pick me dance, as I myself performed it for a month or two…

            But a chumped AP that turns nasty to the spouse, attempts to hurt them and decides they WILL win the cheater. Not so much.

            The AP in my situation, karma bus. Ex cheated on her. They’re divorced now and she has to sue him for child support regularly.

          • Cheaters enjoy having affairs with train wrecks, who knows why, maybe its because they finally feel superior.

            Totally agree. JAMF’s OW was a serious downgrade. Saw enough of their text/emails to see that she was incredibly self-absorbed and dumb as a box of rocks. I’m certain he enjoyed feeling superior to her and that was part of the appeal. XH had us both dancing for a time, but cocksocket danced way harder, way longer. Yummy yummy kibbles, and almost 9 years later, still gets to make OWife dance. I’m sure he gets a (1/2 assed) boner lording his awesomeness over her (there were additional OW between DD and D 3 years later, reasonable to assume there’s been even MORE OW in the interim).

            In the other RL example, a(n ex) friend left his W for his AP. She, too, was controlling and somewhat unstable. Distanced myself from the friendship, so didn’t spend too much time around OW. It was clear that there is something totally off about her. His BW never had an issue w/our friendship; OW wouldn’t allow us to hang out together unless she was included (20 year friendship, never anything inappropriate). Yet, it would still be OWife as the center of attention. Owife doesn’t hold a candle to his first W.

        • APChump2 and MeToo: Your stories have a particular sort of hellishness. I really empathize with your position and the lack of support you received. Revictimizing you by saying you should have seen the red flags is particularly cruel. I guess that was my problem too – did not see the red flags. Cheaters are master manipulators. Period. ((Hugs)))

        • In a case like this everybody should be on your side and the wife’s side and everybody should be against the husband/boyfriend. I only hate schmoopie because she knew he was married and she fought for him when she knew I still loved him and wanted to reconcile and we had three kids to boot. She had also been cheated on herself and knew exactly what kind of pain it was going to cause me. She just didn’t care. I had something she wanted. “sorry you got hurt” Shrug. I actually don’t feel much of anything towards Schmoopie 1.0 who also knew he was married when she fucked him but didn’t try to tear him away from his family and eventually broke it off when she figured out it was wrong. For me it’s knowingly allowing others to get hurt for personal gain that I find repulsive. That was not your situation or the situation of others who really didn’t know.

          I can also see why it might be tempting to pick me dance instead of breaking it off immediately when you find out and you have never met the wife. It takes a while to process your own pain and develop empathy for the wife when you thought you had something good and may think the guy really loves you. If he is willing to do that to his wife, however, then he doesn’t really know how to love and isn’t worth anyone’s time. As for personal ethics, nobody should want to be a willing participant in tearing someone else’s family apart. You would have to live with that for the rest of your life. It must be hard enough to realize you may have played in unwilling role in it. I know I would be devastated if I found out somebody I was dating was secretly married even if I did cut it off the moment I found out.

          • chumpinrecovery
            No, what I have come to realize is these HO’s DO NOT care that they are screwing a married man. It is all about them and their needs/gains/fun or whatever is in it for their Ho-ey ass. They Do Not care about he wife or the children or that they are destroying/hurting. The Howorker that was fucking my husband new he was married and was only looking out for herself and how her life would be made better and she wanted what I had and she thought she owned him. She must have thought her mouth skills or whatever that Ho was doing to him was really something special and off the charts.

        • I will be forever grateful to the “OW” (though I realize now that’s not the correct term) who brought a box of chocolates to my house to soften the blow as she told me in person that she had been having sex with the Python, who had told her he was divorced.

          He lied to her about going out of town for 2 weeks and she caught him in the lie (she tried to send a gift to his hotel and they told him he wouldn’t be arriving until a week later). Then she did some internet digging and found his real marital status. Within days of her confirming that he was married, he WAS out of town on business (for that trip he’d told her about, which was actually only a week long), and she decided that would be the time to tell me because it would be better in person.

          Seeing me in a state of shock, I think she figured out I was having a hard time processing as well as believing what I was hearing. She then offered to call him without letting on that I was listening, and I agreed, thinking I did really need to hear this for myself. Early in the call she mentioned getting together soon, and asked if he would like her to wear the French maid outfit again (again!). He gave some vaguely receptive reply (like OK, if you want).

          That moment was horrible, but she was right that I really needed that to help me grasp the truth.

          I admit that I did find some consolation in knowing that she (and all his other subsequent “lady friends”) had considerably less education than I. (Snobby, I know.) But I think I focused on that each time I found out about their backgrounds only to comfort myself. I needed to reassure myself that his cheating wasn’t about finding someone “better” – it was all about his need for excitement (“duper’s delight”) and kibbles.

          They are – all of them – chumps like me. He has lied to every single one of them. I don’t feel angry at them. I reserve that for his lying, cheating ass. I actually feel sorry for them – except for one who chimed in something snarky about me in a text after he told her a lie about an argument we had (he claimed I “took it out on him” in text messages re the cat having diarrhea on the carpet which he said happened AFTER he left for work – LIE – in reality I was pissed that he got up in the morning first – he sleeps on the couch in the living room and that’s the room where the poo was – and he just left the diarrhea for me to clean up, which I knew he did because I got up 10 minutes after he left and the poop was mostly dry by then).

          Well, enough venting! I mainly want to say that there are a lot of “OW” who have no idea that they are seeing a married man, and I realize I really need to think of us all as fellow chumps. You can fall for their love-bombing just like we did, and it can hurt you deeply too when you find out you’ve been lied to.

          • Wow – that unwitting OW behaved beautifully when she found out she’d been lied to. Hats off to her for having the courage to come and tell you in person (she didn’t know how you would respond), the sensitivity to bring you chocolates, the mental wherewithal to offer to call him in front of you…

            As an aside, as much as I empathize with the pain of Other Partners who had no idea that the cheater was married, and how they tend to receive so little support even though they are blameless, I want to vent about the sorta-opposite situation. I personally know several women who were very knowingly the Other Woman, and married the men they were cheating with once they divorced their first wives…. only to be eventually cheated on themselves. Well, to hear these women tell it, they are Chumps of the Highest Order. They milk their husbands’ cheating for every drop of sympathy, attention and money (in court) that they can get.

            Just as the unwitting partners of cheaters, who are lied to and completely tricked as we were, deserve the honourable label of CHUMPS, I suggest that people who were happy to screw cheaters and think they’ve won some prize when they eventually marry are forbidden to appropriate CHUMP for their own use, once the cheater then cheats on them.

          • Hopium 4 years
            “their need for excitement ” I was reading that and I mis read it at first as their need for excrement…LOL …maybe this is the new phrase: THE OW have “a need for excrement”; that is why they are with married men….

            • LOL! Cheating married men = excrement.
              “Friends” who knew he was cheating = excrement.
              People/family who support OW and married man having a baby = excrement.
              🙂

        • While I agree cheaters have the ability to con OW as the Limited did with an innocent party, I find it difficult to believe someone doesn’t suspect somethings up prior to a year.

          So where exactly did he sleep for the duration? Didn’t you have his address?

          Where I draw the line personally is in comparing your pain to that of a Chumps. Yes you were duped. You learned an important lesson.
          Don’t take the liberty of eliciting empathy with the fact a long term partner who invested a LIFETIME, raised children, and did years of heavy lifting compares to a single woman who happened upom an asshole.

          • I didn’t compare my pain to that of a chump, I said not all AP’s are ‘less than’ the chump, because we were fooled too.

            I don’t need to explain my situation to you, I was fooled by a manipulative cheating bastard, same as you. Is our pain the same? No, but so what. That wasn’t my point.

            My point was I had no idea I was with a married man, I never would have been with a married man, and I find cheating despicable. You don’t have to agree, but I’m not the same as your cheaters AP. Finding out he was married hurt on so many levels – being lied to, losing my relationship with him, AND discovering that my happiness had caused another woman pain. It made me sick.

            There ARE more perspectives out there than just yours. Your pain is valid, but so is mine. They aren’t the same but so what. That wasn’t the purpose of my post.

            • I experienced both. They ARE similar.
              APChump2 was a “legit” girlfriend for a year.
              She was in love, had invested time, energy and trust.
              Suddenly she’s ripped of her girlfriend’s identity. She’s the mistress. “Everyone” judges her.
              She loses one year of her past, she loses her present and loses her hopes for the future. She mourns the man she thought he was, and the relationship…just like us.
              Who can she trust now? She has lied to, probably gaslighted, too.
              Where can she find support? How can she stop beating herself up for “not realising”? And the guilt about the wife? And the pressure (Call her? Not?).

              She’s a one-year chump, that’s it.
              I was a six-month chump and it hurt like hell. So one year…

        • I am so sorry for you both, and I appreciate you adding this perspective. you are an important part of this group, and this experience, for me.
          I suspect that the AP chose to believe my partner slept in the basement, although WTF, because it suited her needs. we have so many people in common socially she could have easily called me and asked for my truth, which would take character and confidence, and even kindness.
          but no.
          so, I have empathy with your not knowing; you were duped. I believe you.
          x

      • This is beautifully written and reflects my feelings, too. I know what it’s like to miss red and orange and yellowing flags until the truth sucker punched me. Thanks for your words.

      • I got something similar. There was a married man with six kids lurking around the poly community looking for easy affairs, but of course not disclosing his marital status at all. I was asked “why didn’t you notify the wife if you found out he was married?” Because I didnt know the wife, he had separate social media accounts, he wasn’t my date, he was with someone else he lied to and she was furious when she found out a she hasn’t showed his face since.

        My community works hard to have everyone informed and make sure everyone consents to the situation. There are still creeps who lurk around. Narcs lie with every breath to the people they love and see everyday, how is it hard to believe it’s easy for other people to be fooled? But because we’re non-monogamous by definition, it’s assumed that we don’t mind cheating, don’t resoect marriage/monogamy or don’t mind being complicit in someone else’s abuse cycle. So far from the truth.

        • Agree 100%. My STBX claims that he is poly as well. He mentioned that he had been in the past, but at NO TIME in our 14 year relationship, OR just over one year marriage, did he express interest in pursuing a poly relationship. And he knew that I was not interested in such, we had many discussions about it. D-day, I discovered he was cheating with his then best friend’s wife. Best friend wasn’t happy about that either. Imagine that.

          Poly relationships require honesty, between ALL parties affected and involved. I get that, I respect that. But I didn’t sign up for that and besides- my STBX is simply a cheater, plain and simple.

    • Of course if you didn’t know, and you broke it up straight away upon finding out, no one thinks any the less of you. In that case, you did the right thing.

      We’re talking about cheater ‘relationships’ here, with both parties getting their kicks out of triangulation and putting one over the rest of us.

      • Absolutely. To me, “Affair Partner” indicates a complicit partnership of duplicity, lies, and manipulation to intentionally keep the unknowing spouse in the dark. If you were unknowingly in a relationship with a married person because you were manipulated, deceived, and lied to…it seems like a completely different scenario.

        The woman who had an extra-marital affair with my now ex-spouse chose Christmas Morning of our planned gender reveal (I was about 6 months pregnant with our 4th child, all aged 5 and under) to contact me and send dozens upon dozens of extremely pornographic images and screen shots, as her way of revealing the secret affair to me.

        OW was a professional divorce attorney 15 years our senior and divorced 3x herself. She named herself as a witness in my divorce and hired an attorney to represent her. She wanted to help my ex avoid financial responsibility for his 4 preschool aged children and avoid consequences for his various addictions. She was told to leave me alone by her attorney, but she could not or would not do so. I had to block her Facebook, her fake Facebook, her cell phone, and when she resorted to using my ex’s cell phone, I blocked that number too. Once, using my then husband’s cell phone, she texted me “I just heard about your miscarriage. Lol. Like I give a shit.” Those were her exact words….in writing! A sworn officer of the Family Court and a self-named witness in our divorce. (We’d suffered a pregnancy loss prior to the pregnancy I was currently in my 9th month of when she sent that message). Who makes fun of someone’s pregnancy loss?

        It is that specific type of abusive and outrageous behavior that would make me say that, in my experience, cheaters always, always cheat down.

        • 9th circle of hell, party of one! I can’t even. Make that party of two because your ex involved himself with that piece of trash!

        • Stalked, How unbelievebly awful shit! My cheater is a Saint compares to yours. A Volcano asshole. OMG

      • Lola- excellent writing and help👍.
        Truth be told I was dreading a guest column. I then read your outstanding writing and it put a spring in my step. It gave me hope. It gave me comfort.
        Thank you.

    • I spoken with some of the other AP and they did not know either. I dont blame them for I know what a liar my ex was. AP like yourself get a pass. Just victims as well. My only advise and this is to everyone dating is do your research. Lot’s of sharks out there.

    • One of my buddies on another (non-infidelity) forum discovered he was the OM. He was sickened and after 2 years still isn’t able to enter the dating pool. The Cheater always had an excuse for why she couldn’t do things on weekends (taking care of aged, sick relative), and the photo of the girl in her wallet was of her younger half-sister. She always insisted they split the bill because she enjoyed her independence. This means he never saw any of her credit cards. She went by her maiden name.

      They were even planning on moving in together. She didn’t show up to view an apartment. He suspected she might be starting to see someone else. He asked, she said no. But at one point, she didn’t have her thumb covering up her name on the credit card. He finally got her entire last name and googled it, only to find Facebook posts with pictures of her, her daughter, and her husband.

      I told him he was as much of a Chump as any of us, and that this woman was disordered six ways to Sunday to carry on the deception so long. He was Chumped because he was a decent guy who wanted to respect the boundaries that she’d set up.

    • If you didn’t know, then you were not an AP. You were a chump. As such, I hope you are well on your way to meh and feel loved and supported here.

      • And let me add that all of here think “I should have known!” all the time. It is hard enough to come to terms with our own spackling. No one should have to also justify their willful blindness to others, although we often do.

        • Every single human alive operates with basic cognitive schema about situations. These schema help us interpret the world and organize new information appropriately. When married, we operate under the culturally-accepted schema that the union is exclusive and that our spouse is trustworthy. New information–e.g., that they are working late, gets filtered through that Trust schema and interpreted as “he/she is working late to help provide for the family.”

          None of us should beat ourselves up for “not knowing.” Yes, there may sometimes have been hints that our spouses were less trustworthy than we had hoped, but unless they were boinking their AP in front of you, the weight of evidence needed to tip the Trust schema to “I’m divorcing your cheating ass” is substantial.

          • TEMPEST,

            yes ,as vile as cheaters are (most) will not fuck their ” buddies ,AP ,or their Meet ups ” in front of you . they will plot and plan and lie ,hide in the dark , or get into some closet , and do their “deed” .and you know how empaths love to have proof . that way we can spackle until the cows come home ,and add years to the abuse we are already enduring ,

          • I love this explanation, Tempest. Simple, but so true. And, even if it hurt me at times, I would rather keep my schema that people are generally good. Maybe it needs a bit of tweaking but better than the alternative. Very wise

    • He didn’t trade down with you – you were a normal woman in (what you believed to be) a normal relationship.

      OW and OM who deliberately seek out, pursue or ‘give in ‘ to a married man or women and date them have….issues, to be polite about it. Obviously there is something wrong with them or within them that they either believe that this is the best they can get or that they get off on the whole sneaking around aspect or even they love winning a sparkling turd from their lawful spouses.

      That wasn’t you.

      • Some cheaters lie to the APs because they do want something better than what they know they will get they are up front about being married but looking.

        I still don’t understand why ex is still with Schmoopie. They are both divorced now and could both do better than someone who sleeps with other people’s spouses. I guess they deserve each other though.

        • I believe ALL cheaters lie to APs, regardless of whether or not the AP knows of the marital status of the cheater. “He/she doesn’t care”, “…not meeting my needs.” “…sexless marriage”, “I’m dying inside….”, “Only YOU understand me…”, blah, blah, blah. And the AP just eats it up. My cheater’s AP actually told me she thought she was “doing me a favor”, so God only know what he told HER. Not letting her off the hook, though. From what I have been able to put together, she went after him…but he jumped in with both feet. New and shiny is right.

          • I asked ex what he told his schmoopie’s to make them think it was ok to fuck somebody else’s husband and his response was “nothing nobody thought it was ok”. Of course he could have been lying about that too.

          • From what I’ve gathered, he told OW our marriage was already over. No sex, no love, no nothing. And I did not want to care of our daughter. I had no interest in her despite all those years trying with IVF (he can’t have children).
            I had some psychiatric problems and he waited for the right time to tell he wanted to divorce.

            Him buying a house with me in the meantime did not tip her off. Though I’m starting to think he might have forgotten to tell her the part where my money was involved.

            Funny thing: he gaslighted me so much I really thought I had some problems. I was referred to a psychiatrist who found nothing. He even got an appointment with Dear Husband to confirm this non-diagnostic.
            Now Dear Husband (aka Cheater) believes the psychiatrist made a wrong non-diagnostic. Whatever.

          • Not always. The OW was/is his law partner and she knew me and our children for years. We spent plenty of time together so she knew what he had and so know what he got.

              • My ex fucked around with a married coworker, who had been married for 7 months. I remember him putting down her boyfriend/fiancé, extra kibbles for him to take her away from the “loser” finally.
                She is no longer married and neither is my ex,
                So glad.

  • Lola, I have figured out your maxim because every now and then I check the D-Day flatterfuck’s Instagram to feel good about my self (she is my eldest son’s age). I know this is ridiculous, but I actually get a kick out of this and direct it towards “the process of self-forgiveness for being fooled by a predator starts with baby steps”. It always reminds me that I truely am much better off without such a jerk.

    Now my big test is coming up in two weeks at son’s wedding. I am dreading sparkledick’s prancing around and peacock feather-spreading at the ceremony and party. And poor son’s shame. I hope I am wrong. Enormous will-power to not make snarky jabs at sparkledick at the party.

    • That’s huge, ClearWaters.

      Special Jedi vibes that you don’t take your crossbow to the party. (((())))

    • He probably will do the peacock strut but don’t worry, he will just look like an asshole. Keep your head held high.

    • ClearWaters – Hang in there. You got this. Don’t let him steal any more of your joy on such a special day.

      I was once told to use the mantra (by another amazing chump on here) “I’m a dignified woman that doesn’t give a fuck about him (or her).” It worked very well when I had to cross paths with the AP for the first time.

      And btw…peacocks may be gorgeous creatures but have you ever heard one? They sound horrific! They hold no appeal after they open their mouths 😉

    • Let your dignity do the talking. And remember the phrase “Surely you must know what I think of you.” should you need it. Less is more. Enjoy that beautiful occasion and be the proud mama!!

    • All of CN is with you at the wedding, ClearWaters. You’ve got this! Let X and AP make asses of themselves while you stand back with a Mona Lisa smile.

    • My sister was recently at a wedding where the parents of the groom were very recently divorced. MOG was beautiful, classy and carried herself well. FOG came with his younger OW dressed like she was going out to a nightclub. He kept parading her all over the place – showing off what his youthful dick has managed to land.

      My sister that all the women were flat out grossed out, but interestingly enough all the men of all ages were mocking the FOG for being the pathetic asshat that he is.

      Your ex may swan about the reception and god forbid he brings his AP with him…..but the guests will immediately be able to read the situation for what it is. Not a person will be buying what he will be selling.

      • I can second that Calm. After attending a wedding last summer (his cousin’s daughters) I was surprised to find I was seated right up front with the family of the bride as he and skank were placed in the last table near the bathroom.

        His uncle and I danced and he held my hand tight as we walked back to my table.

        He wore a jacket I bought him and it was wrinkled. She blessed the bar with her beach coverup and yellowed, previously white shoes.

        No one at the wedding gave him or his delusions a second thought.

        What we have at weddings is a long history. Mine was always about the love and care of family. I cared for his grandmother and her yard and still plant flowers at her grave every year since she psssed.

        ClearWaters, he’s an embarsssment. That’s how I view the Limited. Stand tall and enjoy all you’ve got to be proud of on this day.

    • ClearWaters – I can’t even imagine how hard that day will be for you.

      Have you ever heard of the book The Tools? You may want to try the Fear Tool (Reversal of Desire) in the days leading up to the event. I couldn’t live without the Fear and Maze Tools.

  • “They are the bottom-feeders of the relationship food chain.”

    Thanks Lola! 💜

    STBX had everything. A loving wife. Three amazing kids. A comfortable home. Pets. A decent paying job. I don’t even know how it would be possible to ‘trade up’ from that. What a dick.

    • You’re very welcome, honey. Sharks positively glow by comparison. In fact, I’ve had several emails from sharks today, complaining about being compared to cheaters.

      • Great job as a guest writer, LG! Perhaps a better analogy for the cheater AND AP is bottom-feeding parasites?

      • Yes, Lola, loved that phrase, “the bottom-feeders of the relationship food chain,” and great column!

        Post D-day, the quality I look for most highly in friends or a partner is integrity; it trumps sparkles, a big paycheck, or a full hairline. Neither cheaters nor APs can stake any claim to integrity.

        • Yes!

          Integrity is the single most important thing I will look for in future friendships and relationships!

          What’s laughable is that my soon to be ex thinks he’s practicing integrity by texting his mistresses in front of me and our kids so that we see that he’s no longer hiding anything and so that his mistresses feel validated and accepted.

          (I so wish I’d stop caring and being hurt by such things. What is the fastest way to “meh”?)

          • Mine decided that the ‘problem’ was he was sitting on the wrong couch while texting his shmoopie. He actually brought a card table out to sit on the love seat. You know, so it wouldn’t bother me so much as I couldn’t see over his shoulder. What planet are these creeps from?

      • *** In fact, I’ve had several emails from sharks today, complaining about being compared to cheaters.***

        Good one…really.

        So the DOCTOR married AP a week before Mother’s Day, and emailed our uninvited adult children, a rambling gaslighting letter. In it, he told them HIS terms for having a relationship with him, to include them not bringing up the past, and treating HIM with respect, and to treat his new wife and HER daughter, with respect b/c “THEY have been through a lot.”

        WTF?? It’s literally the opposite of what I would have written ( I know, do not protect MY values onto him b/c that’s half the reason I stayed married to him too long). It’s the opposite of what I had hoped he would finally say to them if/when he reached out.

        I hoped he’d apologize to them for not seeing them or that he missed them, etc. He SAID he loves them but my 31 y/o son said “What does that word even mean to him??”

        This is a man who has not seen our children in 20 months…OW/New wife, can have him. Bummer for her daughter…

        Yes, the sharks do not appreciate the comparison.

        • meant to say do not PROJECT my values onto him…

          Our kids witnessed our marriage ending before I knew it was. And HE neglected and abandoned them 10 years ago (thanks to fucking RIC I took him back) and they deserve more than he gave.

          So now he lists the terms for them to have a relationship with him??? Lucky kids! Like “hey, old family, this is my replacement family and you better be really nice to them (& not bring up the past/tell the truth…ever)

          or “I’m done” with you. What an idiot. Because I cling to the belief that at some level he “loves” them in his fucked up way.

          But he blew the one chance he may have had by sending that letter. It’s the kids who labeled the letter gaslighting and blame shifting for the marriage ALL My fault, just never knew he was so unhappy since he NEVER told me he was, AND denied wanting a divorce.

          And in that letter, then came his demands of them.

          What a fool. X wasband ruining HIS life is not a bad thing; he has agency. On my grace filled days I feel sorry for him.

          But he deeply wounded our kids and the youngest one is very, very troubled. THAT sucks.

          Shit sandwiches for us the “practice” family (35 years of marriage) b/c he has a new REAL love now…

          If he wants to tell the world that, (and he does), it’s not necessary to keep shoving that down our kids throats. It’s another form of rejection and only an utterly clueless person without empathy or self awareness would not see that.

          I should have cut him loose 10 years ago. Wasted time…wasted on a waste of a man.

          And the letter was NOT the letter of a normal man, nor a contented one. Shocker…

    • This is the crux… when you are disordered, you can have “everything” but still throw it all away to pick up a penny in the street that has been run over by the garbage truck… why?… because it is new. They lack character, depth, and integrity. That doesn’t change overnight when they pick up a new penny… and as soon as they pick up that new penny… it is old… and the search continues.

      • This.

        It’s not that they’re looking for something “better,” just something “new.”

        New gets old fast.

        And even if the AP *looks* better, everyone is fading with age. Only character gets more beautiful as it ages.

        A really old book says it this way: “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman [person] who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

        I do get some kind of sadistic joy out of knowing that he will eventually be old and alone. Not very gracious of me, but after what he put me through, I don’t feel guilty about this small bit of schadenfreude. He’s reaping what he sowed.

        • Meh, I love to evaluate ‘better’for the Limited.

          She allows act on his DREAMS. He bought the shit truck he didn’t need (-9000). He let his business slide for the first two years (-150000). She was after all entitled to a new car (-18000). Then there was the TAX bill he had to pay the year I filed (-18000) that he out in a credit card. Alas, they were evicted and his rent went up substantially (-1600mo). Let’s not forget the credit card debt he got to keep (-14000).

          He spent years at a casino supporting her drinking and gambling habit.

          Evil laughter warranted. While, the cunt was paying for the DREAM she gets to take off into the sunset in his latest investment blunder, to yet another state where two previous OW reside.

          Yeah, much better. I’m not bitter. This is bitter sweet.

      • “when you are disordered, you can have “everything” but still throw it all away to pick up a penny in the street that has been run over by the garbage truck… why?… because it is new. They lack character, depth, and integrity. That doesn’t change overnight when they pick up a new penny… and as soon as they pick up that new penny… it is old… and the search continues.”

        This is such a true statement!! My revenge will be when the whore (of which there were MANY) is no longer new…

        • MyNewLife-that’s what I gave to the ex-wife-vindication. He cheated on his wife and went to the new penny and moved right in the day he left the old, old penny.. Didn’t tell me there was the existing old penny he lived with and been his AP. Hurt me from the pursuit to make me believe, he said it, loved me, making me an AP without my knowledge. Then I learn. And then I find the old wife penny. I ended it. “LEAVE ME ALONE< DON"T CALL< TEXT EMAIL And then I tell her he is cheating on the woman with whom he cheated on you. Then he left a letter in my mailbox, asling me to continue. And then I sent a letter the the current old penny. I hope you get the same. It really is pure karma. For the first old old penny and this, who he wanted to be the new penny. Pennies are copper and he lives with her on cooper

      • My stbx said , without a blink of an eye , about why he ended the affair with his co worker
        Quote:- ” She started to get serious and I just wanted FUN. She bought me a jumper for Christmas and I knew she was starting to get serious….”
        That said it all…..
        Once the AP wanted it to be more than fun….and wanted him to “give ” more .the arrogant bastard dropped her…..
        Appears that this was his operatus morandi..as he had many affairs with co-workers and others throughout our 20year marriage apparently!

        He did it ( affairs) for “FUN” because me…the non-fun wife had been killing herself in her career to support him financuslly and emotionally through his five year career change……then she stayed at home to raise the two children – one of whom had medical issues from birth…. Stress after stress after stress….which he was incapable or UNWILLING to support her with….instead he decided to show his support by being terribly busy working late…..and spending those 20years partying with co-workers …. Sex sites and googling “best pick up bars in….( Whichever town he was in on business)

        So yep. They don’t do the hard stuff.

        They are only on this planet for the easy “fun” stuff…”shiny new pennies…..
        I don’t think they even consider their AP’s “character”……it’s just how much fun and attention they can supply for their narcissists cravings…

        When they leave you for the AP and the “fun” stops and life gets serious again…..they don’t change….They’ll start moaning again about how the AP is not “enough” …. And round and round it goes….. Narcissists need supply and once it dries up off they will go seeking it again….

        Pity I didn’t get that memo when I met him 25years ago…

        Ho hum.

        Move on.

        Hugs to all….

    • Best quote of the day. There will never be a point in time that I will consider the OW a decent human being. Not even if she turns into Mother Theresa.

      • Don’t want to offend any Catholics out there, but there is actually a lot of evidence that Mother Theresa was a very narcissistic woman (I read an analysis in “Rethinking Narcissism”, written by a Harvard psychologist so I think fairly reliable assessment). I was particularly gratified by this as OW for me is very religious (new age), promotes herself as this benevolent generous woman (I only looked at her Facebook profile once but her cover photo was of her volunteering with poor young children overseas) and yet has been overtly cruel and dismissive of the emotional wellbeing of my (obviously less useful for promotional purposes and inconvenient to fulfilling her desires) children, particularly my eldest. Obviously with my ex it is personal (and not – we are and were to a large extent useful/not useful objects, although I didn’t realise this at the time), but with her it is still a lack of common humanity – not very (fake) Mother Theresa, or maybe actually very real Mother Theresa, in fact.

        • Judge by their actions. “By their fruit you will know them” and “you will know they are Christians by their love for each other”

          I’m not sure how anyone would ever consider a woman who gave her life to ministering to the poor and unwanted and who took a vow of poverty for herself, could ever be considered narcissistic. Compared to whom?

          • Sunflower36 it is shocking but there is some pretty compelling studies/stories that confirm outofsparkles comment. One of them being that Mother Theresa was wealthy but did not give her money away because she “believed” that God would provide for the poverty stricken and that it was not up to her. Narcs can be people held in high regard in the community ( I was married to one of these) it really comes down to intention and we never know a persons true intention. Brad Pitt and his wife strike me as this type of do goodier also, she has admitted to being borderline personality and likes the attention. Mommy dearest?????

            I think some of our biggest religious positions are Narcs with charisma. I do not know what to think about Mother Theresa because I never believe everything I read or see anymore, but there are some red flags there.

            • Somehow I just can’t equate MT to the Jimmy Swaggerts, Jim Bakers, or Jerry Fallwells of the planet.

              That said, she won the nobel prize and millions were donated to her charities. She certainly had opportunity to keep some coin. And even if she did, doesn’t prove narcissism.

              Im

              • I don’t think she was a narcissist, just sadistic and out of touch with physical suffering . She believed true suffering brought you closer to god and because of those beliefs many dying children and adults were given no or very little pain meds even though there was plenty of money available for them .
                I think many times our society makes martyrs out of people who while on the surface may appear to be kind and caring , their actions don’t match up .
                MT actions didn’t match up to a truly caring human being . Pain control especially when terminally ill is a human right in my opinion .
                Interesting though , MT did not subscribe to the same philosophy when she became ill …she was administered pain medicine .
                Much has surfaced about her over the years but my biggest issue with her was choosing a belief that a deity would want humans to suffer and ACTING on said belief by denying the ability to live our end of life with some dignity and honor . Her moral compass was pointed in the wrong direction for sure .

              • I am offended that somehow, Mother Theresa, who devoted her life to the poor, founded the Sisters of Charity, and set an example of selflessness, is drawn into a discussion about adulterers. Some traits of NPD: grandiosity, extreme sense of entitlement, pathological lying, pathological envy. Does Mother Theresa’s vision, conceived when she was a young nun, to practice true Catholicism by becoming the servant of the ‘untouchables’, qualify as grandiosity? What evidence does the ‘Harvard psychologist’ have of her pathological envy and deceit?
                This sort of false equivalency does nothing to further the discussion here about the multiple emotional, financial, physical, spiritual, and/or psychological traumatic injuries suffered by trusting spouses and vulnerable children.

              • Oh.

                Christopher Hitchens.

                ‘Nuff said.

                I’m done discussing it. That bitter, vile man is more a narc than MT ever thought of being.

                Next.

              • Just because you don’t subscribe to his views doesn’t make him “bitter and vile”. There are others who think that Mother Teresa is the scum of the earth, myself included. Are we “bitter and vile” people as well? There are people in life that I do not agree with their views – but I will only call them “bitter and vile” if they have done something which warrants said behaviour. Doing research and presenting information is not that.

                Call out the behaviour – don’t dismiss an entire person on the basis of one thing.

                Someone who is wealthy and is proclaiming they are doing “good” for people does not let people die in their hospice and refusing them pain medication under the guise of “Suffering is beautiful” – or refusing them care elsewhere – that is for certain. That is the exact same behaviour that our cheaters engaged in – DECEPTION.

                That is the work of someone evil, not of someone who is supposedly “God-fearing”.

              • Here is a very beautifully written piece with compassion and questions about Mother Theresa.

                I do not think MT really has anything to do with Cheaters, but it is a hard subject because as Chumps having the rose colored glasses taken off in regards to our Spouses is devastating. It is hard to believe there are so many things we take for granted of goodness that may have a very human (spackled) side.

                Please do not be mad at different opinions here it is so important that we exercise our pickers and our nose for “things not like they are presented” the “too good to be true”. Being able to see good and bad in people is important for us Chumps, trusting ourselves to make decisions with our gut and not get bitter.

                https://medium.com/personal-growth/how-to-have-mother-teresa-compassion-its-not-what-you-think-b48b90a8d52f

          • The comments here led me to do more research/reading about MT – and the allegations appear (via multiple, credible sources) to have quite a bit of merit. They shocked me, but then again they didn’t. Why is anyone – especially we chumps – surprised anymore when a carefully constructed “altruistic” image turns out to not be entirely true?

            • Christopher Hitchens is the source of the anti Mother Teresa tripe. He has literally the least credibility of anyone, to judge a person of faith like Mother Teresa. Every piece I just googled that was negative of her was based on HIS article…(he passed away btw. I don’t wish hell on him, but I do wish his voice would be silenced).

              Aside from being an adamant atheist, rather than an agnostic or quiet atheist, he shoved his disbelief onto others for years.

              Hitchens also wrote a long article about why women aren’t funny. He was totally serious.

              Please don’t say “no offense to Catholics” and then offend the shit out me, with a quote from Hitchens of all people and about a woman like Mother Teresa.

              She saw beauty in people whom others rejected, and she was not a physician or social worker (not her job to personally give pain meds and thus SHE never denied them…wtf people??)

              She was a nun who became an advocate for the “lepers” of society including babies dying of AIDS, and orphans in general.

              She gave away all of the Nobel Prize money she got, except for a new pair of shoes.

              Man, I can’t even go on…

              THIS site is not for bashing people like her.

              I know with certainty Mother Teresa had nothing to do with the heart breaking cheaters – whom we KNOW to suck.

              • The point is though, she could have employed those people, and CHOSE not to. That is deception.

            • I totally agree re ‘not being what they seem’ and maybe rightly or wrongly ascribing dubious intention to others. I have independently come across negative character conclusions of MT. but see it as a bigger mind fuck of …there are bad people masquerading as saints walking among us… surprise !! @@ my disturbed cheater sociopath felt the need to mock me “how naive. ..you’re all the same….

          • Because her “homes for the sick” were actually places of misery where very ill people were left to die without medical aid or pain relief, despite M Theresa courting donations from the wealthiest people in the world. She often said that pain brings a person closer Christ, like how he suffered on the cros. She had no interest in relieving suffering, but simply observing it. The evidence of this has been around for decades, that M Theresa was actually a fraud and a sadist, who lived in comfort and luxury while those she ministered to were left to suffer. If you’re interested I am happy to track down the citations for you.

        • Getmefree, I get your point on never will the ow be held up in a good light.

          Outasparkles there are plenty of altruistic narcs. I think my mother was one to some degree. I always said “I married my mom, not my dad.” Difference was she was honest and of good character and would have never physically abandoned her family.

        • I know to what you refer… my source was a print media article how MT wouldn’t let patients with AIDS watch television.

          It’s kind of heartbreaking to read chumps’ incredulity at how she could possibly be a bad or hypocritical or narcissistic person given all her good deeds… just picturing the same said about their cheating, abusive spouses.

    • Mine has the same. We were so close to having our home paid off. We would have been living a life of luxury in our forties with our four beautiful daughters who admired and respected both their parents!
      Now his AP is his wife and he will walk away with about 30% of what we owned and his kids won’t have anything to do with him.
      Yep he sure made his life better!!

    • My own cheater decided to return to an old flame – and I MEAN old, as in from 30 years ago. Re-bonded over Facebook, and as soon as that happened, that was it for our 24-year marriage.

      This guy lives on the other side of the country, and sounds like such a great life prospect: Nothing resembling what you’d call a career. Pretty much on the breadline. Destroyed marriage of his own. “Artistically” inclined. Perfectly happy to help wreck someone else’s marriage and family. Etc. I know, I know – pass the sick bag, right?

      I’m sure it’s a power-and-control thing. If the cheater trades down, they can keep control.

      Emotional affairs are wonderful, aren’t they? And no, I don’t think my cheater has actually seen him face-to-face since all this blew up 6 months ago. She’s remedying that problem today. And we’re in a no-fault jurisdiction, so basically I stand to lose 50% of everything I have.

      So I’m working really hard every day on reminding myself that my spoiled, entitled, fantasy-driven cheater is now going to be Someone Else’s Problem. With far less ability to pay to keep the fantasy going. Once I get over my fury mountain and associated PTSD symptoms, hopefully I can properly start to comprehend these facts: I still have real friends, an extended family who love me, and an actual career – a real life in other words, not a fantasy one.

  • No matter how good the AP is I believe they would be cheated on at some point. And I do not believe there is ever just one AP. Cheaters are like leaches, they suck your blood dry … if you let them! Cheaters and AP are a different breed of human without any conscience. I have suffered immensely but neither of those sub humans can ever be better than the loving, caring being that I am.
    Hang in there all of my CN family and be safe CL.

    • Lioness

      Let’s nust say it was a spree with the Limited. Hey, they play the odds. One will eventually stick.

      It’s safe to say we Never really knew them. As far as that bus coming, it arrived. It took some time to see through all that shine; the rosary beads hanging from his mirror; the romantic dreams of a manchild and what he snagged from the cesspool.

      Coming up on four years and NO one respects either one of the cheaters. I gave up on having a backseat view of the chaos and disorder that defines the union of a pathological lying sociopath and the toad who has to fake orgasms as he says, “Is it in?”
      There’s probably a lifetime guarentee they’d rather stay with a downgrade than ever admit what it cost them. I’m loving the life I deserved.

      • I’m blissfully sitting in the world of MEH and loving every minute of it.

        Things are a very long way from “over” in all legal senses yet I feel so much gratitude that I found out when I did and the timing was prefect really.

        Ofcourse APs are swamp monsters like cheating spouses, that’s a NO BRAINER! I rid myself of that filth ASAP! Happily.

        I trust no one now. It’s my choice and I’m happy with that outlook.

        Miraculously through that schema developed later in life, I met the most deeply caring man who’s been my rock. Oh boy did he have to prove himself! Poor darling.

        Simultaneously cheater complained vehemently that there was only shit out there for him to ‘choose’ from lol. Diddums. I said “then that’s perfect for you”.

        Together we RISE Chump Nation and focus on the hilarious land of meh.

  • My cheater picked a woman, by his own admission, when they are together “there is a lot of drinking going on” and “she passes out from drinking too much.” What a catch. I guess the drinking helps them deal with their shitty character and low self esteem. The AP will never be as good as the faithful spouse just by virtue of they sleep with another woman’s husband. (Or another man’s wife). They should get drunk and die in a car crash. Bitter, I know. I’m working towards meh. Be patient with me.

    • Sometimes Meh is hard to find. I’ve been trying a long time–and just when I think I’ve gotten there–something will make the anger boil up all over again. Be patient with yourself.

  • So true this article today

    At the beginning my self-esteem had dived off the cliff. He was everything obviously I wasn’t. My stbx wife told me so.

    But now, almost a year later. I genuinely have pity for my wife in her ongoing long-distance affair with the village idiot. This affair was supposed to have died in Dec but started up in secret again in Feb and she’s now sending the twit money as well.

    Me? Loving husband of 20 years. Happy to do all the supermarket shopping, taking kids to school, etc. as well as working 24/7 on our family business (I wear my chump badge with pride!). I’m university educated. Speak several languages. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been right now and since I grew a little beard I reckon I don’t look half-bad for my age (thankfully my self-esteem is coming back stronger than it ever was).

    Him? Well he’s 10 years younger. But getting a bid podgy around the middle. Hairy. Ugly (even my wife admitted that to a friend!). Nothing more than basic school education. Was in the army; however this is a South American army so learnt nothing in particular. Still single at 40. Just does odd jobs here and there plus a bit of sound for salsa bands in clubs. Lots of prospects there for looking after my children, not. Practically monosyllabic from what I see of the texts between them. Virtually emotionless (both my wife and his family admit that).

    Makes no sense but maybe that’s who my stbx wife really deserved after all.

    • Gee, she really got herself a bargain, didn’t she.

      This is the hard part – we thought the cheater was like us. They turned out not to be. Ouch.

      • Precisely!

        Ahhh just had a long chat with her today. She’s admitting about her AP coming over for the summer and she sees nothing wrong with him hanging out with her and our children while I’m away elsewhere working. Now he has quite a bad reputation and even her brother told me not to let him anywhere near the kids. However obviously he’s a saint in her eyes

        So looks like Chump here married Clueless :-0

  • Any attention wasted on the AP is blame deflected from the cheater. I think we do it because we have a very difficult time truly believing they suck. And because they are great at manipulating us and setting up a fake (cake) competition.

    It is only when we realize that the AP is irrelevant that we can truly accept that the entire blame (not 51% or 75% or 99%) rests with the cheater.

    This is not to say the AP is a good person. It doesn’t matter who this person is, what s/he looks like, or how s/he behaves because the only reason they are the AP is that our (ex)partner created a job opening.

    Denigrating the AP, while it might make us feel better for a time, is a kind of meta-blame shifting on behalf of our cheater. Time to stop helping them look better, even in our minds.

    Trust that they suck and it’s all on them.

    • I see your point, but it’s a point that comes from well within the borders of the blessed state of Meh. Many of our Chumps here are not there yet, but are slowly building up speed.

      One of the speed bumps they hit, especially early on, is seeing themselves as less-than, discarded, passed over for someone younger, slimmer, sexier, richer, smarter. On the face of it, this is often true.

      But what ISN’T true is that they were passed over for someone BETTER. The reality is that a poor quality person with bad character left them for another poor quality person with bad character.

      The blame is shared equally in my book, as most APs know damn well that they’re an AP. Their system of priorities is vastly different from the world of the Chump, and it takes some time for the Chump to get their head around that.

      You don’t have to tell us here how saggy the AP’s ass is, or how bald the new Romeo is – well, you can, and we can all have a laugh, and feel better.

      But what you CAN do, right now, is remind yourself that the AP is not somehow a better version of you, or indeed a better version of anyone or anything. Instead, they are a person who genuinely doesn’t care about solemn vows, commitment, love, children, decency, honour, or anything else. They are a thief – they want the thing that belongs to someone else, and so they go and take it.

      So does your cheater.

      So yeah, Schadenfreude is the holiday resort across the straits from Meh, and it’s fine in my book for Chumps to pass through it on the way. Laugh by all means at the AP’s missing front teeth or beer belly, but don’t let it slow you down.

      • Dear Lola—I guess what I’m saying is it does slow you down on the way to meh. It raises the risk of a successful hoover, it allows us to think that the cheater isn’t all that bad…so in the end, I’ve come to the conclusion that the false comfort that comes from dissing the OW/OM is counterproductive.

        But I realize that mine is minority position. Others clearly don’t agree with me 🙂

        • I do agree, but I came to it slowly for sure. It’s hard for me to read the things people write while intending to have a laugh because they are often describing me. I am self-managed and smart and I shower and brush my teeth and stuff, but I am also what folks might call frumpy. My perimenopausal body is not socially attractive by any stretch. My many allergies and sensitivities result in realities like no option for things like makeup. Regular clothes don’t fit my odd frame, so my style is off-trend. My hair is thin and straight but with an awkward wave and it’s very easy to get too much conditioner and make it look stringy. My clearly unchiseled chin rivals Mitch McConnell’s at any weight. I have so many stretch marks it could make a tiger jealous. Post breast reduction my breasts don’t touch my knees anymore… But they did, for years.

          That is what led me to the journey of focusing on the cheater and ignoring his many beautiful and not so socially beautiful APs to get to meh. After all, if it was all about looks, they would have all been supermodels.

          I have a lot to give a person who can see beauty in a real person who isn’t polished into a perfect smooth stone. I have joy and passion and compassion to give. I am honest and fiercely loving. When I give my heart, it’s an unrivalled gift. When I make a promise, look out, because I don’t make them lightly and I plan to keep it.

          I have character. The cheater doesn’t. The witting APs don’t, and the unwitting ones were marks, just like me. That’s as far as I want to give energy to APs. My problem was with the cheater, and once I refined my focus there, I started hating myself less and my life started to open up into the greatness it has become. Refining my focus was, for me, the key to meh itself.

          • I agree with Chumpella de Ville, and I am nowhere near meh. Focusing on the AP is a distraction. It feels a lot like society would have us shift the blame to the AP as a seducer while our faithless partner is an innocent victim. In this narrative we also blame ourselves for being not good enough to keep our spouse interested in us.

            The whole story changes when you take the focus away from the AP and focus instead on the cheater’s poor character. Our self worth can’t be seen or discovered by a negative comparison; it has to come from within us. Mightiness, as I understand it, is breaking free from the hold the cheater has on our thought processes and realizing that we don’t need them to be happy with who we are. So, my advice is: focus on healing yourself and don’t waste any more time than necessary on the AP.

          • Trading down is about character, that’s it. You are right, Amiisfree, that we should not be critisizing physical characteristics of the APs as downgrades, it’s how they live their lives (by screwing married people) that is the problem.

            Once we are totally free of the mindfuckery, we can stop adopting shallow cheater values about what counts as ‘successful’ or ‘beautiful.’ It is not the paycheck, or the letters after a person’s name, or the tendency to wear designer jeans or have eyebrows that are on fleek. Success and beauty are defined by compassion, honesty, and integrity. And that, Amiisfree, makes you gorgeous.

            The chump friends I have made since D-day come in all shapes and sizes, some with degrees and some not. They are all beautiful to me.

          • 100% agreement. I wince quite a bit at comments on here about someone’s weight, about being single at 40, about having health issues, etc. When people lash out they ignore the collateral damage they cause to others who are already suffering.

        • I don’t agree. Stbx is very crappy, acknowledging that he found a crappy sidekick doesn’t diminish his primary role in this.

          It just helps put into perspective what a shitstorm of dysfunction me and the kids have been cast into. It helps me mentally propel out of the one-down position of hurt and despair that ensues from such treachery.

          You can’t dwell on AP, but a bit of critical analysis helps you shake your head and move out from under it.

          For me, it’s not so much physical characteristics, it’s personality. But I have had some much needed laughs at the petty stuff and recognize that as such.

        • In my case it helps me to get how messed up ex is if that’s what he chose over me. Why would I want a man who prefers selfish self centered women with no morals, no compassion, and no sense of decency. It is a reminder that ex is beneath me and I am better off without that in my life. If I can really believe she sucks then it is also revenge knowing that he is now stuck with less than.

        • I agree with you. But this realization came slowly, after I ditched the unsuccessful pick-me-dancing and cleared the fog. No or minimal) contact and lots of reading here helped. Even though his main AP dates back to our pre-marriage days (they met when my stbx was single in uni and she was married and they hit off) and I blamed her for meticulous destruction of our family, I now realize that if not her, there would be somebody else. It’s a shiny sparkle of new and forbidden that is a draw for narcs which are pretty much like children drawn to new toys. They want new toys desperately, they get them, they play with them but inevitably get bored after a newer version comes out. My cheater had many tinder women and other OW’s besides the main AP so it doesn’t matter which one was THE ONE. It was him who stood with me in that church and gave his vows in front of the guests and it’s his ass that I am divorcing today, not the faceless multitude of his OWs.

      • Poor character, and an inability to see one hour beyond immediate gratification. They both suck.

    • I understand what you are saying BUT find that focusing on the AP as well as the cheater can be helpful in certain ways. It dispells the myth of the mysterious, irresistible OW. She is nothing of the sort! The only thing “special” about her is that she is WILLING to open her legs for a married man. Most women are not. What is wrong with a bit of schafenfreude? If it makes you laugh out loud, I think it’s good for you.

    • I am going to disagree with you.

      There is plenty of hate to go around.

      If I were taking the stance that the OW forced herself on my poor husband, or that she took advantage of him then yes, I would be deflecting my anger onto her.

      But saying hey – OW/OM are sad dysfunctional assholes in their own right is not minimizing the cheaters actions. At all.

    • I always held Cheatlanta 100% accountable and was Meh about Schoomplanta from Day One. Even given the fact that I knew her very well.

      So,yeah, whatever, I’m Meh-ish towards her. But, if she were walking across a parking lot today and looking at her phone and tripped on a concrete parking block and chipped a tooth, I would not be sad.

      • You will MOST DEFINITELY achieve meh if you focus on yourself.

        All the stages mentioned here are NORMAL for recovering after infidelity ie the pick me dance = normal but staying there is NOT.
        The wanting to know about the AP is normal but continuing this mind fuck for too long is not.

        Read up about ALL THE shitty lack of character dysfunctions a cheater has and you can skyrocket into meh land pretty fast!

        THEY ARE NOT LIKE US. Repeat.
        Thankfully WE are not like them! Hooray for that!
        Dance that happy dance for that alone.

        Meh will come after you’ve learnt as much as you can about shithouse people AND when you make the decision to go NC completely and focus your precious mind, energy and love on someone FAR more important. You. ❤

        Hugs for those stuck in the shitty stages.
        Come on down to the partying in meh land! ❤

    • Having experience with many of the whores he fucked in my so called marriage, the cheater does set up the pickme dance. And I fell for it.

      OW, however aren’t victims as many here are stating today. They are just as disordered to participate. YEARS! These are needy desperados who want what’s yours, your home, your children and very life.

      No I don’t blame her for his sociopathic personality disorder. I blame her for justifying her behavior. OW/OM know what they are doing. They are willing participants.

  • It’s strange…my husband readily admitted that the OW was weaker. He felt I was too strong for him and that he knew he would never be able to really talk to me about what he thinks and feels, so he got a woman who he felt he has more power over.

    He readily admitted that I am a better person, a better role model, a more trustworthy person. He said that he knew that people would think that he was crazy for leaving me to be with her. He once even said that I am a better person that the OW, but that he can’t help how he feels about her and how she makes him feel.

    He spackles so heavily over her flaws and buys into her stories of self-victimization. According to him, “she’s a really a good person who has just made some mistakes in her life.” Well, her “mistakes” had a woman write a report about her on a bunch of cheating and homewrecking websites back in summer 2015. She was arrested for assaulting her husband when drunk in front of the children. She left her children and now doesn’t have custody of them. She sees an alcohol advisor. Hey, but she was separated from her husband when she was seeing that guy, but they were still living in the same house and the husband knew she was seeing that guy (oh, and it was a jealous ex-girlfriend who wrote those posts). The police were just trying to make an example out of her when she was arrested, showing that they will treat a woman the same as a man. It was really the husband that got physical with her first. It’s the husband that took the kids from her and works to poison them against her, as he was always abusive and controlling.

    Well, I know that there is no way that this woman is better than me. However, I must acknowledge that she gives him something I don’t, and in that way she’s bested me. She makes him feel like a knight in shining armor, as he fancies himself her protector against the world that won’t accept their relationship. She has no other perspective but his to go by so she feeds him ego-kibbles that he’s so amazing and that his wife must be a controlling bitch. They are stuck in the infatuation phase where everything is shiny, everything he does is amazing, his “quietness” is seen is stoicism, they are soooo understanding and accepting of one another. She’s a desperate woman who can’t believe her good fortune that she’s scored a man who accepts her version of all her screw-ups and defends her, so she’s super grateful to him and thinks he’s the best. They get to spend all sorts of time together without their kids so they haven’t had to face any real world adulting together. When the day comes that they introduce their kids, they will have five kids, 12 and under, to contend with (my son being autistic too). Won’t that be fun!!!

    Above all, what makes me a better human being is that I have moral integrity. It doesn’t matter how “nice” this woman is, she is a woman that knowingly engaged in an affair with a married man. She tolerated his comings and goings as he made both of us play the “pick-me dance.” I was the wife trying to save her marriage and not know the whole time we were in reconciliation that he was really participating in “wreckonciliation”. She has low standards of a man and relationship and low expectations of how she wants to be treated. She’s gained a liar and a cheater for a boyfriend. She has no good “how we met” story to tell and be proud of.

    He avoids his family and isn’t telling them the truth of their relationship (claims they are only friends that hang out every once in a while). They know he’s lying. He lost his best friend (my cousin) who is so disgusted by the lying and they way he treated me. He only hangs around the few old friends who are single because the rest of the friends have wives that I am friends with (so he’ll only see them occasionally on his own without the OW). He no longer play baseball with his brother but has joined a team at his new job where no one ever met me.

    As he works to isolate himself more and more from the life he has always known and the people who have always been there for him, I am more assured that she is NOTHING. For if she was SOMETHING, there would be no need for hiding, image-management, isolation. If this was something to be proud of, then you really could put this out in the world with confidence that people will accept this relationship and be happy for you. But, so it goes with addiction, and there is no doubt that this woman is like a drug for him, the feeling he gets from it is just too powerful to pass up. No matter the cost, the feeling is worth it. No recognition that the level of cognitive dissonance is making him less and less of a man. Well, I guess none of it matters as long as she is by his side. Better her than me.

    • “She makes him feel like a knight in shining armor, as he fancies himself her protector against the world that won’t accept their relationship.”

      FFS. That gets old, real fast.

      You, my friend, have had a lucky escape.

      • Guess who gets to clean up after the knight’s horse now ? Not you ! Free at last

        • Haha, Sucker Punched by a Saffa!

          Good point!

          We don’t have to clean up after the knight’s horse… or the horse’s ass riding on the horse.

    • OptionNoMore – this feels very similar to my story in lots of ways. AP is less overtly disordered (although definitely disordered) than yours sounds, but much less sophisticated and educated than me (and him). He was never loyal to me, never stood up for me (and I know actually discussed me negatively with the few friends and family he maintained relationships with himself), and after years of gaslighting and emotional abuse, I was not vulnerable with him, as it wasn’t safe.
      What she provides though is a blank canvas of a vulnerable woman (widowed, lonely, desperate not to be on her own) who he can be a knight in shining armor for. This is my projection of course, and I can’t know for sure – but she is eternally grateful and can’t believe her luck that someone who is far wealthier and more educated than her and so kind (he is educated and more sophisticated than her but is very shallow so most of it is window dressing and the kindness is a complete self-serving facade) and he gets to feed his ego of being a knight in shining armor, rescuing the poor widow (reinforced by her less educated and gullible tribe). I wonder how long it will sustain itself – but they both have a lot invested in it so maybe it will continue to do so.
      This discussion has been had a number of times on CL. I am with the camp who primarily hold the cheater responsible (winning the gold medal and where it is personal, at least to the extent that they consider, or should consider us, as persons) but that the AP definitely bears significant responsibility (winning the silver, not personal betrayal but still lacking common decency and humanity). I don’t think this distracts or detracts from the cheater’s responsibility but just because I don’t know someone (or them me) doesn’t make them being involved in emotional harm to me, or particularly my kids, innocent of any responsibility for their actions. It doesn’t make cheater any less crap/responsible by holding them somewhat accountable for their actions too. Meh is not caring about either of them and letting go of their actions (which I am clearly not at so I may be wrong!) but I am thinking that meh doesn’t mean not seeing their actions as wrong (even if without the emotional loading). I guess we all have our views and none is right or wrong, but these feels more authentic for me.

      • Optionnomore

        Infidelity is all about power and control. You did everything right with the wrong partner. Welcome to CN. I suspect your cheater is a covert narcissist. He compliments all of your strengths and in the next breath basically says he prefers a skank.

        An addict who lost her children thinks he’s a knight. What’s she tripping on.

        And it won’t make sense to you! He wants THAT? Get a lawyer while he’s singing your praises. Have him served and withdraw any savings in s joint account.

        Addicts are expensive. He’s a lying cheating loser. Protect yourself. Don’t wait. And get tested. It gets better.

    • Her playing the perpetual victim due to her train wreck actions is going to get old and very annoying. This will not play out well. Right now he loves that she is totally focused on him. Pretty soon he’ll feel she is sucking the life out of him. Get the popcorn ready!

    • Option no more, I totally relate to your post. It’s my situation in many ways.

      Stbx is now in a world where he doesn’t have to be acccountable. Being a piece of shit towards his family is not just condoned, it’s rewarded. He’s the king, the big man, the knight in shining armour, in a twisted and pathetic narcissistic reality. In my stbx’s case, this is just the environment he was raised in, he’s found his way “home”.

    • Hey, OptionNo More.

      Your post made me want to punch your husband in the throat. What a dick!

      “He felt I was too strong for him and that he knew he would never be able to really talk to me about what he thinks and feels, so he got a woman who he felt he has more power over.”

      Bull. Shit.

      This is a way of making you feel less than. As if you have the ability to be less than who you are.

      Overachiever, organized, successful, confident… Those aren’t bad words. They aren’t insulting. To tell you that “you’re too strong for him?” WTF is that? It’s fuckwit mind games and gaslighting to the nth degree.

      “He wouldn’t be able to talk to you about what he thinks and feels?” Huh? Why? What stopped him? Your strength? Come. On. He’s BLAMING YOU for being a successful human. You know how you talk to someone about what you think and feel? You open your mouth and speak.

      And this: “She makes him feel like a knight in shining armor, as he fancies himself her protector against the world that won’t accept their relationship.” Fuck him. Just fuck him to Mars and back. Why? Because there he goes again – making your competence his excuse.

      Listen, I heard this same bs and – unlike a lot of the other shit I bought, I immediately called this crap out.

      My competence allowed Fuckface to meet the AP secretly, for years. My ability to pay bills, hire babysitters, make meals and keep a house and family running gave him the freedom to fuck in the third row of her Honda Pilot.

      This is timid forest creature bs at its finest.

      I sincerely hope you told him to stick it where the sun don’t shine after those two pathetic, self-serving lies.

      Your capability has nothing to do with his lack of character. Nothing. He is wholly accountable for his actions. And pathetically incapable of decency. I hope you get away from that prick and use your strength to gain a life and get to meh.

      • Wow @Golfgrrl – preach! If I were not NC with my ex, I would love to say all that. For now, I will pin that comment for my own reminder when I get lonely missing that douchebag.

    • @OptionNoMore – I can identify. At the same time the disordered ex would call me out as the “most horrible person” in his rages, he would then turn around the next day and text me (when he was rational) saying that I was such a good person, hard worker, role model to the children, etc. He has never professed his AP being better than I (he would then have to admit to who she is [I know who she is but I am not letting him off the hook in eventually confessing once he wants to introduce our children – it’s the same AP from D-Day 1]), but in every word and deed, he would give me evidence that I was “too good for him”. I do think he is weak and I do think he needed an AP who could make him think more highly of himself. (He would regularly say that in marriage, one person has to believe “they had hit the lottery” with their choice of spouse. He always seemed to be disappointed that I did not believe that there needed to be this power imbalance for two people to care about each other.)

  • The EX is with a “howorker” who lives in another time zone. (never asked how they “fell in love” ). She was one of many for Mr. Tinderman. What she doesn’t know is that she will not be the only one. Yes, tradedown… no moral compass like him. Using company funds to go to sexscape. Traveling to Vegas while I was at home with my kid. Yes the last few months were horrible thanks to CL I knew I was in the discard fase & did not feel that bad I was getting ready to leave & file. No anniversary gifts, taking a bath of over an hour to text. The secrets. Like he told me: “They knew I was married”. He just got the one who WAS AVAILABLE like CL said & she got him since he is helping to pay bills, take her to dinner, buying clothes as a good Sugar Daddy he send her money from a distance. In one argument I told him she was a “whore” and he got upset. 🙆🏻

  • They have to cheat down if the affair partner knows they are married. It’s not like valuable goods go out with married men.

  • The original Schmoops was 39 to my 51 at the time of the start of their affair so I was dancing the menopause mazurka. But get this – I went to see my doctor who gave me HRT – really strong to begin with the stop the monthly curse (sorry you guys out there, TMI). It did everything it was supposed to but made me horny as hell. It was wonderful! Now I know what young lads feel like when they hit puberty. Schmoops, on the other hand, didn’t seem to know what shampoo was for and was “homely” to say the least! 8 years later and I actually thought Schmoops was pregnant (she is now dancing the said mazurka) but not by my ex as they split some time ago. Schmoops no. 2 is admittedly quite pretty and nearer his age but she likes to be the centre of attention, which she obviously wasn’t at my son’s wedding last year, so she didn’t like it. Son no. 2 described her as a “nag, who never let up”. Anyway, last week son no. 2 told me that he was getting married when the three of us were out at a restaurant. I had a little tear in my eye (although I swore blind it was a bit of grit) and while we were chatting about the upcoming wedding I mentioned Schmoops no. 2. They both rolled their eyes and said “oh my God, she drove the bride nuts last year and was such a pain in the arse”. Ain’t looking forward to having her over here again. I just giggled. Hope the Twat enjoys being with a killjoy!

  • At the time, cow’s 4 kids were 9-14 and she wrote to limp dick that parenting should stop at 12 because her parents did that with her and it worked out great. Daddy issues much? And the grammar and spelling was awful. She and her husband (former brother in law/cheating buddy) were scraping by on their 2 salaries and she blathered about getting a condo for herself and girlfriends in the city because her mothering job was done. All of her vacations she took alone, no husband no kids, spending money. She was 50. Of course sleeping with her boss also meant that his position would better enable her to pay for the kids who didn’t need parenting but totally needed money. Reading their shit was coconuts, she shape shifted her responses to always agree and mirror him (can’t speak for all of his verbal diarrhoea, as my manic digging gave me mostly her side and the affair had long ended). Horribly, her career tanked afterwards, and I always think about those kids and being half -raised by a selfish mother and an uncle/dad who fucked over his own brother. All boys. God help their future wives. I think limp dick was more embarassed about her after dday than me finding out. Because people’s jaws dropped when they found out. But when your only aim is to be fawned over and flattered, while in actuality you’re behavior is juvenile and destructive, the options really do become mouth-breathing wet-hole limited. Plus, having her off the job sucking his dick was probably better for the company than having her represent lol.

  • Lola, awesome job girl! Just what I needed today – thanks to you and CL have a great time!

  • Cheater Ex got himself a mother with two kids- oh but wait, according to him, she’s not the “doting” kind like I am…. perfect! He never had a relationship with his only child and now he’s soon going to be daddy to another man’s two children- including a teenage boy. I see success written all over that. Meanwhile his one kid just asked how much longer until she can stop answering his phone calls. Life has a way of sorting itself out… be a believer.

  • I think cheaters and AP’s are equally culpable. They work together to create a huge web of deceptions, and care nothing at all about hurting people, even kids.

    No matter what–youth, appearance, any outward thing–the fact remains that both parties in that relationship entirely lack character, morals, ethics, or even basic human decency.

    So, yeah. By definition, they are always trading down.

    • My point exactly.

      This isn’t about beating up APs qua APs. The AP is the shark in the paddling pool, but your Cheater is the one standing by while the kids get eaten.

      People who cheat – that’s cheaters and APs – deserve each other. The Cheater leaves a solid partner for someone who is prepared to steal and lie on a daily basis. That’s the trading down.

  • So true they do not trade up.
    While I was being the adult keeping the house clean. Working full time, paying the bills and basically doing everything around the house. He cheated with my cousin. She is one year younger than me. Under 5 feet tall and around 170 pounds. She is struggling finacially and doesn’t care if her house is clean. But, she likes to party. She likes to go to bars and play pool. She loves to curse and be very loud. Yup, that is his prize and I hope he enjoys it.

  • The AP that my ex broke up the marriage for was a piece of trash. But in true chump form, I was willing to forgive, blame it on a midlife crises and stress of having a wife with cancer.

    I did the pick me dance against a person I knew was lower than me only to have her dump him and then he moved on to someone who has a more established career than me, makes more money, has a nicer home and really knows how to pose for a selfie (really she looks like a completely different person). He then immediately got her pregnant.

    It’s hard to not think you’re less than when it seems like she has her life together, at least financially. I’m jealous that she gets to remodel her home and hire people to landscape her yard. She doesn’t need any money from him to take care of their new baby. Then again, she knowingly got involved with a man who she knew was still married. She knew he had recently left his wife with cancer and even though he probably told her we had been over for years, she still had to rationalize that away. She went along with his idea to hide the pregnancy from me, his child and mom for months. And now she has him living in her home contributing absolutely nothing financially and since she can hire help, nothing housework related either. I know he is an emotional hole, so no support there either. And she freaked out when I liked a photo of my own daughter on his Facebook page and made him unfriend me.

    She owns him because she supports him. He’s not allowed to bring any of his items in her home. Can’t hang anything on the wall. He lives in a house surrounded by all of “her stuff”. And he thought I controlled him? He just jumped into a deeper hole.

  • My exs, ow, had a problem with alcohol, and drugs, so did my ex. 5 years later she still pines for him, shame she didn’t want her kids. Apparently she had a abortion but they have told so many lies you don’t know what is truth or fiction.

  • The only OW I met was a mousy, wrinkled, haggard looking woman who he hooked up with at AA. Whatever is was she had, it certainly wasn’t looks. She did weave a good sad sausage tale, however. She needed a hero. She wound up sucking as much money from him as she could get. After the kids and I left, and cheater ex took a minimum wage job to avoid having to pay much child support, she dumped him. I almost felt sorry for him. She told him he wasn’t making enough money to keep her in the style she wanted. She went on to continue screwing her way through multiple AA groups trying to find the most solvent sucker and marry him. Who knows how many marriages she helped break up. Shark indeed.

    In my case, she really did me a favor. She helped get my kids and I away from an abusive sociopath.

    Too bad she didn’t keep him. They would have been just right for each other.

  • The thing about stbx cheater that amazes me is the sense of superiority he can magically bestow on whomever HE deems worthy.

    When we first met in college I waitresses at a local sports bar with skimpy uniforms. I remember how he implied I shouldn’t tell his mother where I worked because it was shameful. Yeah, I ignored that red flag … lesson learned.

    Yet his first affair was with a stripper. He chose to bestow upon her the status of:
    smart, high-self esteem, victim of an ex who cheated. oh the fucking irony… and HELLO SHE’S A FUCKING STRIPPER, we aren’t talking high caliber values here –
    Probably why she screwed a fuckwit like him!

    He also loves to pass judgment. He ogles after beautiful women, but shame’s them for anything they do to be that way. They wear make-up, well they aren’t really beautiful and must have low self-esteem. Yep, he’s told our daughters wearing makeup is an indication of their low self esteem… because you know, anything he thinks is absolute. Women who get plastic surgery or Botox … they aren’t willing to age gracefully or know their self-worth. Are you ready for the irony… smoopsie works in a plastic surgeons office and gets Botox!

    I observed a pattern throughout our marriage. He HATES strong women. There was once a woman whom was brought in to manage him and he effectively got her fired by starting a series of rumors that she was incompetent. Her only crime from my observation, she wasn’t willing to do thing HIS way, and boy if you aren’t going to shrink yourself around him, you better prepare for war! I’ve watched him manipulate people, under him to funnel information through only him and leave the higher ups out of it – implying that the higher ups would get angry that they were being bothered by such petty issues. My ex is a master of manipulation!

    All of this is why I’m so glad I modeled to my two teenage daughters that women don’t have to put up with “being in their place”’so to speak. For years I shrunk so he could be big. NOT ANYMORE! … and boy he’s started the campaign of revenge to show me who the real big guy is. Telling the kids blanant lies, convincing them things that never happened when they were younger did. Former friends think IM THE CHEATER. He can keep on with his smear campaign, I WILL NOT SHRINK TO HIM! EVER!

    • Got-a-brain-
      ….. for years I shrunk so he could be big…. totally resonates with me. Rumor mill also pegged me as the cheater and he and his co worker magically ended up together after he left me because I cheated. I love that you said you won’t shrink to him—— I need to be like this.

  • I’ve posted previously how the Limited selected his prey. He’d settle for a beach pass. Where I dropped him off suits him perfectly. The down grade is a perfect fit.

    That convertible bmw (his baby) ended up in a junk yard. The business that was all important was lost within a year as he had her small income. She was evicted from her apartment. He moved her to his old hunting ground. But alas she’s all in with the future faking loser. After four years it a repeat performance.

    At sixty he’s on the move once again to Florida. I lived that fantasy. The expectation is that she will support him. Good luck with that. Score settled.

    My income is three times their combined income. Thst matters for ME. I get to LIVE free of the abuse. I can’t imagine if I was sitting in that shit pool he calls living. She is by far a downgrade and deserves wrapping her arms around KEN; yeah he looks good on the outside. There’s nothing but crap on the inside.
    Thanks Lola

  • Both my ex W and her former AP (who was married at the time) traded own. Her family thought she was lucky to have me. His wife was a lovely person with a good career.

    He chucked that it for a lazy entitled loser who still does fuck all but go to the gym. Needless to say it didn’t last long in the real world.

    She’s found another victim, a recent widower no less. ‘My my, said the spider to the fly’

    Personally I traded up big time 😎

  • I was in a miserable, emotionally-abusive marriage for far too long, thinking it was just the cards I was dealt. To quote Colin from The Departed, “I’m fucking Irish. I’ll deal with something being wrong for the rest of my life.” That was me.

    When I found out about the cheating, it was my deal breaker. And while I have never – and will never – acknowledge the AP (to her utter chagrin; it kills her when I look through her), I do owe that skank my gratitude for forcing my hand and making me walk away from a rigged game.

    They deserve each other. And shocker; X is still miserable. Cheaters never win; they just keep cheating.

    • Same. I also felt my miserable marriage was just my lot in life. Now that I look back on that, I wonder how anyone has such little value for themselves. The cheating wasn’t even my dealbreaker!!

      I was left at a pretty low point in my life. I had cancer, no hair, emotionally abused for years… now I see this as a chance to rebuild myself from the ground up. The only sucky part in that is that he’s moved on complete with a brand new family. According to him & his monkeys, I look like the pathetic person with all the problems and they are partially right. I do have a lot of issues to overcome. But they were all created by him. Someday I hope the karma bus hits him, hard.

      • If you are at your lowest the only way is up. And you WILL make it because you no longer have him pushing you do. He and his monkeys are just evil – fingers crossed for the karma freight train!

    • Can really identify here. There was also a lightbulb moment for me. I have never met AP – and I realise now that it is killing her too, not being acknowledged by me! It also makes sense of a lot of things, in terms of both her behaviors and my ex’s (eg her turning up at activities I do, which she has never had anything to do with, and telling the people I know there she just wants to be friends – what a freak!). Gives me a warm fuzzy realising how attention-seeking (and hopefully soul-sucking of ex) she is. Also makes me all the more determined to maintain that distance.
      So glad to have read your post. Thank you chutes and ladders 😊

  • The only thing I knew about Sue was that Mac told me “She said she loves me, and you could never say it.”

    Not a kind of love I want, pal.

  • My ex picked the OW because she was easily impressed by him, he could feel superior to her, and lord it over her. He’s nothing special though. Middle aged, middle class, average appearance, unexciting job, reliable commuter car, no exotic hobbies, no impressive skills. Just an average Joe. But to OW, who struggles to stay off the streets, he was way out of her league and a serious “catch”.

    I found out that he has a history of preying on vulnerable women he feels are inferior to him in some way. He gets off on being out of their league, them feeling “lucky” to have his attention, dangling his popularity and financial stability over their heads, and uses that to manipulate and exploit them in some way.

    I’m not giving the OW a pass, but I can empathize over him dangling the carrot of financial stability in front of her. Dance hard enough to “win” him, and she wouldn’t have to do backpage dominatrix sessions any longer to supplement her minimum wage income and keep a roof over her head. No wonder she went full bunny boiler on him when he bounced.

    He wants an independent, talented partner to be “public” with and help boost his social standing. But needs a vulnerable OW(s) to lord it over in private and get off on the power imbalance of dangling a carrot in front of them and watching them dance and grovel.

    That right there is some seriously fucked up shit.

  • Completely true on all levels. My x-wife traded down in all levels simply because this guy buys her anything she wants (even though he makes less than me). He is burried in CC debt, he has a 5 year old daughter that he sees maybe once a year (his choice) and they both cheated on their spouse, divorced and married each other.

    I don’t see it lasting honestly and Karma is a bitch. They had some serious bad news lately from their roof leaking all over the place (new home they bought) to getting a deportation order and told they have to leave the country by November 2019.

    I just sit back and “Smile and wave boys, smile and wave”.

    • Wow that karma truck was really taking aim wasn’t it. But seriously, ok the leaking roof can happen to anyone, but the other stuff, the credit card debt, the deportation, surely you know what to do to avoid this crap. I don’t know, sometimes I do wonder if they ever actually think beyond the next shag!

      • My brother in law doesn’t seem to know what to do to avoid a lot of this crap. He’s 46 and went from mom doing everything to wife doing everything. When his wife tried to get him to budget and do bill paying, he didn’t do it. Bill collectors would start calling and she’d take it all back. She divorced him last year and he’s a train wreck.

  • Great topic!
    Thanks to Iowa posting court cases online, it was easy to see my STBXH traded down. The OW has DUIs, lost custody of her daughter(she lost that case so bad that she has to pay her baby daddy’s attorney fees!), recently found in contempt of court in that case….and tons of speeding tickets.
    3 months after he moved in with her, she got fired.
    Looking at her FB pics, she’s physically nothing special.
    It blows my mind he abandoned his family for that piece of trash.
    Like someone posted earlier, “water seeks it’s own level.”

  • We here all know that only a rotten person would sleep with a married person, but on the surface, Susan of Seattle looked quite spiffy at first. I was 40, raising 3 kids, working and trying to keep his life perfect while Susan was younger, single (engaged with $39,000 ring), made $100,000 a year and had urban fanciness that I lacked (what with the kids, dog, minivan).

    It would have taken a person with good judgement and discernment to see that she was a manipulator and user and nowdeadcheater lacked those skills.

    With my self esteem all bashed to Hell, it was hard for me to reassure myself that I was not “less than” compared to her. The good news is that I eventually did come to see that her cheating self would never be me…so even if the AP looks sparkly on the outside, they still suck.

  • IMHO, Cheaters/Narcissists have to feel they are superior in a relationship. For them to be one up, you have to be one down. So after a long marriage, my XH had failed at many things (fired from jobs, absent parent, withholding husband) and I saw him fail and supported him anyway and always. One day he realized that I was outshining him at my career, as a partner and friend, and most importantly as a parent. Time for a trade-in! I was so devastated, but I did a lot of pick-me dancing against what I thought was the perfect woman. But Lola Granola is right and I finally saw and heard the proof. On a recent anniversary, 4 years post-divorce but feeling nostalgic, I did some un-meh googling of long-term AP1 that he left me for (and whom I had never met as she lives 1000 miles away) and discovered a news interview she had done after her house repeatedly flooded and is now worthless. His “soul-mate” is definitely not a trade-up. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. I felt great about it for days! What does she have that I don’t have? Him, the booby prize. Oh yeah and he cheated on her and left her too for a three-times divorced high school friend. Oh yeah and after a few years, he cheated on her and left her for another match.com soulmate. They spiral down quickly.

    • They do spiral down quickly. I think once they leave behind the facade of perfect family man they are truly doomed to “be themselves.”
      They go from person to person forever.

    • I think that’s it exactly…they need to feel superior to us. Like most chumps, I were used to doing everything and in fact got quite good at it. Instead of being happy and proud of what we had created after 36 years, he chose to be jealous, intimidated and threatened. He actually used to accuse ME of being jealous of HIM (I used to tell him to look up the word in the dictionary)! After one particularly fabulous (and back breaking) Thanksgiving for 22, he actually stated “you like to do this because you like to show off”! So, that is why “cheaters never trade up”. I wish that I had know that it was a competition.

  • These covert assholes have been conning us since the day we met them. They all know its only a matter of time before the masks starts to slip.
    For us to see behind that mask would completely shatter them.
    I have a theory that the discard is more about destroying us because they cant bear to think they lost something they cant have. Think a little kid and a toy. They would rather break it than share it.
    Don’t believe their bullshit. Or they mommas bullshit.
    And yes, they lost us for good. And yes, they will be envious of us.
    It is their nature to be envious. They are envious nasty assholes.
    Each and every one.

    • My therapist also nailed down this sentiment with:

      “Your relationship was doomed from day 1. You invested, nurtured and were vulnerable AS IF you were in a normal, healthy partnership. HE is a disordered narcopath and will never change and you were groomed and doomed from day 1.”

      Boom.

      • Leavealyingloser- yes cheater x is a covert asshole and conman.

        ChumpedinCanada – truth. We were groomed and doomed from day 1.

  • Thank you Lola! I really enjoyed this read, especially the shark analogy. I just hit DDay’s one year anniversary, only yesterday I was marvelling over a new feeling that is settling in.

    The new feeling is embarrassment for having been married, adoring, and investing in, a fuckwit with shitty character. A “man” who dumped his family for another person of shitty character. I’m feeling a mild mix of contempt and disdain. I’m not hateful and I’m not feeling bitter, it’s just “yuck”.

    He sucks and I’m not just relying on trusting or telling myself that, I’m now FEELING, what my brain knew to be true. I’m getting so much closer to “meh” and it’s incredible. The timing of this read was perfect, thanks!

    • Be gentle with yourself – it’s a painful swallow, this one, but once the medicine has gone down, the healing can begin.

  • Great post. So true. Helped me so much – I puzzle over their stupidity. They are train wrecks! How could they make such poor decisions! At 60; it’s a little too late!
    OMG CN; thank you for saving my soul!

  • Let see my ExH, traded a very nice life. A good sex life with a wife of 32 years,two grown daughters, house that was paid off. We were just starting to get back to doing all the activities we had loved to do when we were younger and kid free (camping, motorcycle riding, trips, etc).
    For the prize of:
    A 42 year old women with Herpes
    Who has had multiple affairs
    And has 4 young children (10-14)
    I know he traded down, but there are days when the chump in me still questions. What did she have that I didn’t have?
    They are still together after 3 years, on and off. My daughters want nothing to do with her. However, their dad had surgery a month back and they went to visit him at his house and she made a surprise visit. My daughter shared some of the funny little tidbits of the encounter. They said their father’s face was horrified when she showed up. His “thing” was trying to chat with my daughters and my daughters just grunted responses. But the best part, which made me giggle is the girls told me that his “thing” told the ex he better eat up all the treats/goodies my daughters had brought him so he could get back to his diet!!!!! I guess the honeymoon is over! He must be getting a little chubby for her liking.

  • Shortly after D-day, my cheater decided to bail, and revealed that there had actually been several AP before the one I found out about. (She’s admitted to 3, but I suspect there are more). She went on and on about how much more awesome the AP’s were, and how apparently fate or God or whatever had apparently not wanted her to be with me because she kept finding someone else more appealing. She also insinuated she was apparently far more attractive than me, as she could have all kinds of other men. Never mind the fact that I didn’t know there was a competition on as I had remained faithful, and that, oh, she didn’t seem to get it that men might be interested in sleeping with her but nothing else.
    My self-esteem was crushed, needless to say.
    It took me a few months to realize that, no, she didn’t trade up at all. AP #1 was a fat, married desk-bound cop with white hair old enough to be her grandfather. Whereas my career was taking off in my mid 20’s, he was working in that job they give guys too old to fire but too young to force into retirement. AP #3 is a fat, bald, short sleezeball who lied about being divorced to my ex (awww, isn’t that a shame?). I never found out who #2 was. I am not perfect, but I’m a fit, successful man who takes good care of his kids and his home.
    Whenever I needed some motivation, I would think about all the comparisons she made between us, and use that to fire up my spirit. She was wrong, she didn’t deserve ME.

    • Traveling the world, exactly!!! She knew she didn’t deserve you too!!!! But to admit that to herself would destroy her. So she tried to destroy you! Its so hard to see it clearly when you are in the thick of it. Its hard because you really thought you were with a good person.
      Once you accept they were never the person you thought you can see how they could be capable of saying such hurtful things.

  • [its a shift for the better when commenting for new chumps’ sake instead of my own venting]

    The first FB photo I saw of the AP was of a majestic father canoeing his son down some river, wearing those aviator sunglasses that make anyone a stud. The second photo was the one of this father doing a puzzle with his kids at the kitchen table, the third was one of this man and his lovely wife. At first glance, he had it all in spades. I felt so worthless and prayed to God this stud wouldn’t enter into my children’s life; how could I compare?

    I learned more about that family’s life, but only enough to realize NO real stud would trade all that love away for some old college friend. He’s all bullshit. He’s smoke and mirrors.

    Then I blocked him and worked on running away and rebuilding.

    I saw my XW’s profile on a dating site the other day (prayer’s answered?). I took the photo she’s using as her profile pic. It threw me, I’ll admit, but the short little blurb about her doesn’t capture her true self; her anxiety-driven life, her mis-understanding of love, her fear of stepping out into the world.

    My kids needs a happy mom. I hope she finds a decent guy with small dreams who can care for her fragile self.

    I -on the other hand – don’t need aviators, not against getting them, but I’m a stud without them and I’ve got a life to go live in a world to explore!

    • My ex also uses pictures from our happier vacations together, to use as profile pictures on dating websites.

      Whenever I see them, I am half amused and half annoyed. Amused because he is so goddamn pathetic that he has no new, recent pictures. And annoyed because, those were OUR memories.

      He has a new supply and she’s been posting couplish pictures of the two of them on FB. I had been dreading this moment, thinking it would be a stab in my heart.
      But when I finally saw them? Nope.com
      I laughed my ass off. THAT look.on his face? Fake face. That is his mask. And that one, too. Fake. As a matter of fact, none of those are his real face. Boy is she going to be in trouble when the mask slips. I give it another 2 months.

      I had to drive by his house yesterday. New supply’s car was in the driveway and what was she doing? Weeding his front garden. I was immediately reminded of CL’s post about her drive by of her ex’s house with the same and the desire to warn her.

      I have been struggling all week with warning her, before I saw her gardening. And concluded that my peace is more important.
      That used to be me, weeding that garden. She even looks like me. She drives the same style car i used to drive. I wondered for a moment, if, when he pulls in the driveway and her back is to him, does his mind play a trick where he thinks its me? I have always joked to my friends that all his new supply (and there are many) are just replacement models of me.

      I feel pity for her. But it doesn’t hurt my heart anymore like it used to. He’s still doing the same, lame old shit he always does. Just with a new face inserted here.

  • lol “Too pregnant” — that was me! 🤰

    I mean, how dare I be so goshdarned….pregnant?! How dare I.

    Great article, Lola! Would love to see more from you on the site. 🙂

  • Lola … you are late!! Where were you when I was desperately trying to figure out what I could change about ME to make everything okay again?! In the end, I couldn’t figure out how to morph into an asian gym rat nor a gay guy … I am just not that creative! Loved your post and your outstanding viewpoint. We are enough “as is” … and better, in fact.

  • For me it doesn’t matter who or what the OW is. It only matters that the man I lived with for 30 yrs and raised a family with betrayed me, blew up our family. Blindsided yes. Do I obsess about them-sometimes. Doesn’t it help me get through – no. I come here to try to understand and you all help. But there is no understanding this, there is just cutting my losses and moving on. It is like losing a limb, wish I had it but it ain’t growing back so have to learn to grow without it. Hugs

  • Great article, Lola! Definitely something Chumps need to know. The OW in my case was dubbed the Downgrade by the corner store guy. The clue is in the name….

    Happy Tuesday, and love to all Chump Nation.

    X-Meh

  • Well, for me it all boils down to admitting to myself that I made a very bad choice by marrying the cheater. Then I made the big mistake staying with the cheater, spackling, all the time suppressing the feeling that something is not quite as it should be. Then I took him back 12 years ago when he had walked out the first time. But that’s the past. Today I am able to forgive myself.

    APs are irrelevant. They don’t matter. the exes don’t matter either. WE chumps matter, and we are good just the way we are. No need to twist ourselves into pretzels for a cheater.

  • Combining yesterday’s topic with today’s, I must say I gave Cheater Wife way too much credit. I misjudged her sense of humanity, decency, and standards. I thought she was a much better person- a much deeper person. I respected her way too much. Turned out the real her behind the veil was not much of anything.

    Her and her friends thought highly of her AP. Apparently he was quite the visual marvel. When I saw his picture online I thought him to look like a teenage heroine addict. Maybe he is! She thought she traded up. Whatever, they can have each other. Let them wallow in pathetic-ness together. His girlfriend that is his own age may have something to say about that though!

  • Lola I believe you. I think what is hard for me, however, is that so many others don’t seem to share or are reluctant to express that opinion. Everybody who knew us both has been supportive of me. I have had mutual friends and his family members express their sorrow and in some cases even disgust at ex’s cheating and discard of me. I have had those same people tell me that I am a great person and that I was a good wife. I have not, however, had anybody, kids/relatives/friends, etc. who knew us both and have met her, tell me that they think she the lesser woman or that he is crazy for choosing her over me. I really wish they would. The closest I got was my Dad saying she sounds like a total loser but he has never met her and only knows what I have told him about her so I don’t think that counts.

    • That’s just the narrative speaking, Chumpinrecovery. The Switzerland approach, not taking sides, not badmouthing, and all that jazz. After all, They Were In Love. And It’s Better This Way for Everyone.

      Lots of people also still see APs as innocent parties who just happened to come along at the wrong/right time. Also, they may have been lied to a lot about the relationship timeline.

      I know it hurts; you wish people around you were more loyal. I have learned from being on the receiving end of this, and I take sides now. Passionately. And sometimes loudly.

    • My ex is no longer with the AP but has had many, many new supply.

      I would not say that they are all a downgrade but more a lateral move.

      They all are very kind, caring women (again, these are not the AP) who are excellent mothers to their own children and his children. They have good jobs and are well respected.

      But they all provide him with a cover. He is a covert narcopath alcoholic. He cannot function in life unless he has a supply to prop him up. And we/they, all have something that makes him look good. And plus they mask his lack of character and integrity. If he copies what they do, no one will know he is morally corrupt…

      I was amazing to his kids and moved in to his house and started fixing things up. I made him in to a family man (for all appearances. Covertly he undermined every family value I had…) People commented that I positively glowed when I looked at him with stars in my eyes.

      AP- her purpose was to hurt me and sex because I broke up with him.

      Next supply – also a good mom, used to hurt me, and had a mansion and expensive car.

      Newest supply – new car, decent mom, being used to hurt previous supply and anyone else who will engage with KIBBLES! And she is so very similar to me, it’s like she is my clone.

  • I was a chump, but I NEVER thought he was better than me. He was a novelty–a cheap thrill that she’s dragged out as long as possible, and she’s so afraid to be alone that she persuaded him to have a baby so she could sink her claws into him.

    But, he hasn’t proposed, after now 5 years together. And she barely includes him in her social media posts. And they take separate vacations for the holidays.

    I proposed. I got married. I moved fornher. She was proud to show me off in her life. And we spent holidays with one another’s families.

    Which was of us was better?

    Which one was she proud to have?

    And which was is she ashamed of, but can’t let go?

    The answers are obvious.

  • Thank you for this great column. I have been really stuck with this lately. I am hitting my 3 year anniversary of divorce (he injured me the day before my Birthday, 5/30 and we were divorced 6/4 because of the violence) so I am hitting a hard time, jerk ruined my own birthday for me. I am working to build better memories but it is work.

    EX did trade down with the AP and kept telling me she is just the wrecking ball that allowed him to blow up our marriage. I was a blindsided chump, I was shocked at what I have learned after the divorce, several very secret work affairs, and on and off with 1st wife during work hours. We were considered the golden couple in the neighborhood, what a joke. AP only lasted until I filed divorce.

    Well he has moved on from AP because she was not good enough, he traded up in jobs, doubled the salary, married different woman (15 years younger) without the stink of her being the OW. She has the degree that I do not have, so she can make money to give him things (I was SAHM, so I did not do enough). He helps raise her two kids, (same age as ours, who he deserted and does not help out) and is living great. I use to feel sorry for her, and felt she was another victim (wife #3) but she has taken to writing those in my circle to let them know I am a bitch that is keeping his children away from them, the happy family. (image management) So she is willing to harm me and the kids for him, so I no longer worry about her she gets what she deserves, my son told her what EX did before she married him.

    He is good looking, rich and an awwww shucks victim to his family and ex wives.

    My problem is that I am living financially stressed with two kids in college, was sick when he left so not in the best shape (my fault) and hate that this has changed me from a happy, friendly person, to an angry and fearful one who tries every day to be grateful for what I have, it is exhausting. My sons have suffered from the abandonment and we are closer than ever but how do you bear watching your children hurt like this. I will never forget the last time Ex and I talked he said to me “Well God loves and forgives me, I have it all and you are sick, broke and alone.” Thankfully we have been NC for years now.

    I know this is just a bump in the road to recovery but man three years is long enough to deal with these feelings and issues. I am tired!!!

    • I know. It sucks. But you have gotten away from a man who sounds, frankly, like a vindictive c***.

      Thank God you are No Contact with this piece of shit. It IS tiring, holding it all together. It also sounds like you need to go No Contact on HER ass as well, if she’s poisoning your wells.

      “she has taken to writing those in my circle to let them know I am a bitch that is keeping his children away from them, the happy family” Ahhh, written evidence. So helpful in a libel / defamation action. Mind you, that’s giving them oxygen and attention.

      If your circle are your circle, they will believe you and not her. If not – do you really want them in your life any more? The world is full of people.

    • The Best Me–what kind of person kicks someone who is sick and a single mother doing the best for her children? A morally bankrupt person (both your X and his new W). The reason X’s “aw-shucks” strategy works for him is that normal people have empathy. If they think someone is sad, or in need of help, they feel sympathy and want to provide assistance. Most certainly your X does not have empathy, given his behavior in your marriage, and it sounds like new Wifey doesn’t have it, either. What do we call people without empathy? Right, disordered. That alone makes you better than them, regardless of whether you have a degree or not, are a size 2 or a size 12.

  • Of course we all go through, ‘what do they HAVE, that we don’t?’ business. To this day I can’t think of many reasons why cheaterpants ran off with schmoopie. I’m not just saying this either… she is butt ugly, absolutely hideous. I can’t even stand looking at her pictures, she is that gross. I even had to ask cheater how he fucks that thing. No makeup, bad skin, looks like she pours black shoe polish on her hair and her teeth are terrible. A double bagger if there ever was one. Ugly on the outside and ugly on the inside. Make a train take a dirt road ugly. Cheaterpants always gets bored and schmoopie offered up more excitement than I could apparently at the time. I work full time, I kept the house spotless, dinner on the table every night, and keep myself up. I thought we had a great marriage and I truly believed he loved me until I was blindsided by his affair. I have no idea whatsoever what he sees in her but I’m sure they were made for each other. Meh.

    • Honestly, I’ve thought about it and the only way I can understand the trading down is if I take sex into consideration. Not only is it new and different, but I’m pretty sure it’s freaky as hell!! Looking back, when we were first married there were a lot of run-ins with couples that were swingers. Co-workers of fuckwit, so it wasn’t like he was looking for those types of people, and I always turned it down but – HE BROUGHT IT UP AND I ACTUALLY HAD TO TURN IT DOWN!!!! I was so damn NIAVE back then!!!! He was often telling me so-and-so thought I was hot and wanted to fuck me, which wasn’t limited to other men, it included lesbians that he worked with. My closest friend’s husband came on to me at a Christmas party, I was horrified but fuckwit said it was a compliment. WTF?? Total gaslighting to make me feel like I was crazy or a prude to think that was unacceptable behavior. Most of this happened while we lived out of town, and when we moved back home it pretty much stopped. No swingers at the new job, but still the comments about the hot wife they wanted to screw. He really started pressuring me for back door sex by this time . . . no thank you, my area is exit only!!!!

      I am willing to bet that the OW lets him do her that way. 1,000% certain. And I’m wondering if they don’t have some type of open marriage as well. He was a class act crazy, and only got worse over the years. I’m not sure how I missed all of this, it doesn’t even fall under the “red flag” category, it’s an atomic bomb going off in my living room!!!!

      • Mine certainly downgraded with 1st Schmoopie. Talk about scroungy. I don’t think it can have been the sex either, except that it would be new. The only answer is that I didn’t hang out in bars till the early hours – you know, having those pesky kids and things. Schmoopie could and did do a bottle of whiskey in one sitting. 8 years later and while he is back in the US, SHE lives near me and looks appalling. I guess all that booze will do that for you!

      • Triumph – your back door comment made me chuckle, and got me thinking. A very large proportion of our “sex” life consisted of him pleasuring himself whilst looking at mine. He knew that I wouldn’t be letting him any nearer than that but I wonder if that is another draw! It is weird – I always knew our sex life was very ordinary at best and that it was absolutely always only allowed to be determined by him as to when it occurred (another god knows why did I stay moment) but I never thought of it as disordered. After reading “so why does he do that?”and other books about abuse, I realise that, absolutely he was abusive in that regard as well. Not violent, but emotionally and psychologically he used sex to abuse me. I am pretty sure mine would have been completely terrified of swinging so that was never on the agenda though. Lucky escape for you.

  • I knew that I had something to contribute to this discussion but didn’t know what to say until it came to me on my lunch time walk.

    Even though there is a diversity of experience we’ve all noticed commonalities. Some cheaters apparently “win” by replacing us with a seeming upgrade. Mme YogaPants chased after a guy with a bigger wallet for example. Some cheaters pick up random strippers as twu wuv while others spend time and effort “grooming” their next victims.

    I think the commonality is that they are all opportunistic scavengers. The reason why so many of them end up with a “downgrade” is that happened to be the easiest target. However for Mme, she ended up with a well off widower but one whom essentially and probably literally fell into her lap when he was lonely after his wife died. He on the other hand could have done soo much better and since it’s been 3 years now and she’s still just the occasional girlfriend perhaps he will.

    BT

  • What I used to get angry about was how his AP bragged about having “won” and then shouted out to the world that “they” were together now. It was like I had suddenly found myself in a terrifically unfair contest that I didn’t know anything about and had zero interest in competing in. It took me some time to realize that the AP had been violently dancing the “pick me” dance all by herself for months (years?) and was under the illusion that when I divorced my ex, it finally meant victory for her. Today I feel that her “winning” my ex, is more like the feeling I have when I’m playing chutes and ladders with a cranky four year old – how quickly can I lose this game so I can put the game away? Two years out, I’m sure happy to have “lost”. Now I’m the one shouting out to the world how lucky I think those fools are having “won” each other. Game and match to you AP… and please don’t worry, I wouldn’t dream of asking for a rematch.

    • Your chutes and ladders analogy with a cranky four-year-old is hilarious.
      Perfect.

      You nailed it. I don’t want to play the game. As it has been said here before – the only way to win it is not play it.

  • Objectively Fucktard traded Up with CFMD – on the surface. She is younger, beautiful, thinner, richer, more educated, no doubt classier.

    And that hurt like a mother fucker. Until my sister told me “There has to be something wrong with her that men her age aren’t flocking to her”.

    My sister was right.

    CFMD presented herself as the perpetual victim – a true life Perils of Pauline including mustache twirling ex husband who has harmed her time and again. Enter the Sir Saves A Ho himself – Fucktard.

    Turns out……CFMD is an alcoholic. She never finished her residency and cannot practice with her advanced degree and has never actually worked. Ever. She lost custody of her child due to her severe physical and emotional abuse she inflicted on her. She even had a murder/suicide plot going for awhile there. Not one, not two but three psychiatrists testified that she has a personality disorder for which she refuses to get help.

    She is violent. She builds people up to tear them down for fun. She has an inflated sense of self but at the same time she incredibly super sensitive to insults and abandonment. Bitch is a mess.

    Fucktard thought he was leaving to live an upper middle class DINK life. What he got was an unstable wife who controls his every movement. A wife that allows him no privacy as shown by the texts/emails written by her signed by him or on the rare occasions I’ve spoken on the phone to him he is always hiding in stairwells or garages. She refuses to work yet he had to sign a prenup that her settlement money from her divorce remains hers alone. His children refuse to meet her – and the one that has met her said she doesn’t like CFMD because she is ‘fake’.

    Yes, life was probably boring with me. He craved excitement. He needed to be needed to inflate his manly perception of himself. He got all of that in spades. And that my friends is Karma.

    • The Lola Doctrine in action.

      Appearances actually don’t matter squat. It’s what’s inside that counts, and in that area, cheaters never trade up.

  • Back in the early stages of discovery I spent a lot of time wondering what she had that I did not. Frankly, it was a complete waste of time to focus so much time on this but I just couldn’t help it. I am sure everyone here can relate. However, it is never about the chump. We are not part of the equation at all. The cheater and the AP are the only people that matter during the affair. I did everything for my husband. I worked full time, raised our children pretty much without any help from him, gave him sex every other day, kept a perfectly clean house, cooked all of his favorite meals, wasn’t an excessive spender, required very little help from him around the house, made his doctor and dentist appointments, always looked presentable and took care of myself, etc. HE STILL CHEATED!

    His cheating had nothing at all to do with me or what I provided in the marriage. It was about him and what he lacked. And like every other chump’s cheater the list is pretty much the same. They lack integrity, character, conscience, morality, empathy, depth, connection and reciprocity.

    • I can really relate to this.

      My husband was absolutely unimaginable to me. After our 7 years together, and nearly two years married, I discovered about the relationship with the AP while he was on vacation with her to one of our most bonding locations; DC. He actually used sky miles and credits that I purchased to take her there. He even had the audacity to take her to Arlington, to visit one of my friend’s graves. Meanwhile sending me texts of the grave, telling me that he was lucky to have me and grateful for my support.

      When I look back at the insanity of the devaluation and discard phase, it pairs completely with the escalation of their relationship. In January, he had become so volatile that I kicked him out. He had told me that he was living in an extended stay while trying to work on his ‘brokenness’ so that ‘he could learn to be the partner I deserved.’ In actuality, he was living with her, and trying to work an end game. All of his weekend camping trips, all the moratoriums, all of the gaslighting, blame shifting, lying, crazy-making – everything came crashing down around me with the weight of clarity that traumatized me.

      For a while I had this fantasy that the AP was young, fresh, and reminded him of a simpler time. I was convinced that ‘the heart wanted what it wanted.’ The truth is that this girl isn’t particularly attractive, and uneducated. She’s a 24 year old ‘head cashier’ who has been recently divorced from her husband of 18 months. My ex-husband is a 38 year old HR director for the store where they both work. I thought this knowing this would make me feel better. It didn’t.

      Ultimately, I recognize that I lost so much of myself trying to save a marriage that didn’t exist. My ex-husband was preparing for a wreckonciliation within two weeks of me finding out. Truth be told, I don’t know if I could have survived it – and I’ll have to live with that for the rest of my life.

      He told me he loved me right up and until he walked out the door. He also lied to me up and until he walked out the door. The truth is, yes this hurts, but this girl is actually the greatest gift to me. She taught me a lot about my own limits, and that I deserve a love without betrayal. My exhusband treated me like an option; interchangeable. He literally used me up until there was nothing left. But he did not break me.

      The moment I began to draw boundaries for his terribly abusive behavior was the moment he abandoned our vows. The truth is that my Ex didn’t choose her, he chose himself. She was just there for him to drain as a new source of supply. She didn’t require any work. And he had no where else to go. He had no home, no belongings, no foundation. He has an 8×10 storage unit completely filled with the devastation of two marriages.

      My ex consistently told me he hated himself and was ashamed, he just never told me why. He told me that we were of two different calibers. Outwardly, he is getting away with this unscathed – no consequences at work, and Georgia is a No Fault State. However, I truly know that there is nothing that I could do to him that he isn’t doing to himself. He is chaos. I was his backbone. I was his stability. I was very, very good to him. Eventually, he will remember that. Long after Ive moved on.

      The AP is irrelevant. There are two people on this earth who know the absolute truth about this: me and my ex. Do I want to defend myself against the smear campaign, or the continued attempts at triangulation? Sure. Do I want to let the AP know the truth behind his lies to her? Of course. Do I want to watch him burn to the ground? Absolutely. However, karma doesn’t operate on my timeline. And at any rate, that would require that I continue to invest energy into him that he hasn’t earned.

      ‘Times like these, I’m learning to live again..’ Foo Fighters

  • An appreciate read today ! I received the official signed by the Judge Divorce papers today. I’m sure my new ex will remarry the AP within a weeks time. I’ll trust that they both suck!

  • Truest post I’ve read in a long time. When my ex cheated down, he apparently fell into a hole. His new piece is a “recovering” drug addict- addicted to heroin and crack cocaine. She’s been arrested (by our co-workers) on numerous occasions for prescription forgery, possession of drugs, prostitution- you name it. (Yep, we are police.) He got her pregnant while we were together. When their baby was born, he spent a while in the hospital being detoxed from opiates along with his mother. Oh, and her veins were so blown, they put the IVs in her feet in the hospital… They are still together 6 years later. I never saw the attraction to her, until I realized it’s all about control for him. She has no job, no car, no money and the house is in his name. He can cheat on her too and she’s stuck with no place to go with their kid.

    My husband’s ex wife also fell down the cheater hole. She left him (also police) for a habitual drug addict and felon. She also became an addict and had a near fatal overdose several years ago. The boyfriend was grooming my stepdaughter to sexually abuse her and the ex made excuses for it. Ex lost all custody of their kids and the children want nothing to do with her. Boyfriend repeatedly kicks her out of the house and now she’s living with her parents at 46 years old- no car, no money and a shitty job. But the boyfriend was her “soul mate.”

    Sick, sick, sick.

    • “…her veins were so blown, they put the IVs in her feet…”

      That’s it in a nutshell.

  • “Even when the karma bus hasn’t come over the hill yet, it’s plain to see that two really awful people have found each other. As chumps often say: water seeks its own level.”

    My favorite quote of the day Lola, I want it on a plaque!

  • Thanks for this amazing post, LolaG! I completely agree but need to be reminded often. My ex cheated with someone younger, conventionally prettier, “sweeter” (never any snark, sarcasm), slimmer, fitter, less stressed than I… it really did a number on my head, for a long time and on occasion it still twinges. But, she’s a downgrade none the less: by definition, any woman who f*cks a married man is a downgrade, no matter how flat her stomach or adorable her dimples.

    I refused to watch the recent “royal wedding.” I didn’t want to see Prince Charles and Camilla smugly grinning, together. I don’t care how many years ago she was “the other woman” or for how many years she and Charles have been faithfully together; I will never accept Camilla. Meghan Markle lived in Toronto for years while filming her tv show, Suits, and the stories here about her… yes, she too has been a cheater and so I have no interest in buying into the supposed “fairy tale romance” she and Harry have embarked upon. I boycott all narratives that hold up cheaters (or the Other Women/ Other Men) as admirable people, no matter how rich, good looking or “nice” they may be.

    • So my ex had my daughter this weekend and they watched the royal wedding. My daughter started telling me that her dad told her that Camilla was the evil step mother. I almost laughed my a** off! Imagine a guy who cheated on his wife and just had a baby with the OW 2 months after the divorce was final talking poorly about another cheater and calling her an evil step mother to boot! But he wants me to speak highly of her and accept her as a parental figure in my daughter’s life? It’s like they have no connection to reality. I made sure to tell my daughter why people do not like Camilla 😉

    • I wonder what odds Vegas has on this latest royal marriage. I am a complete cynic. All the talk of their gooey love was just nauseating.

  • Isn’t it funny though? I remember rubbing an age/sun spot on the Dummy’s arm.

    With love. With no judgment. I have great skin and I did not hold this against him. He then proceeded to compare my breast size to that of his AP. Breathtaking cruelty..

  • First ap I found out about was 50, hadn’t worked in 16 years, lived with and lived off her mom. As far as looks go, I thought she looked like a short fat nasty troll. Horrible reputation. Every other word was a cuss word. I’m attractive, have a great job, supported him and his two kids when he lost his job. I was too good for him. He did everything he could to make me insecure. He would flirt with women in front of me, gaslight me. Reject me sexually. Give me the silent treatment. Not answer my calls. I finally put him out. I think my biggest issue now is the anger. Anger at him and anger at myself for putting up with him. As far as who he is with now, don’t know. Based on his past, I am sure it’s a trade down. My guess would be it’s more than one and it’s either one of the truck stop whores he was messing with or one of his craigslist, adult friend finder, xpersonal, booty call, one night friend whores.

  • Cheating ex told me OWhore breast was the biggest he’d ever seen. After years before I lost a breast to cancer. Unbelievable pain… karma kicked in..

    OWhore died 2 years later. Now he’s living with another victim.

    The original whore was fat, nasty & cruel. Hopefully he’ll feel the pain he gave me. Evil dirt bag

    Certainly didn’t trade up both times!

  • My X’s affair partner was one of my best friends…well obviously NOT. She has a mustache…no kidding. He says she’s cooler than me. We live in the mountains so she’s a better skier than I am etc etc blah blah blah. When people who don’t even really know me find out their usual reaction is Wow is your husband gay! She’s a man! I get a good laugh at least. It’s still kinda soul crushing still the same. Waiting for meh. But get some giggles in sometimes too. Oh when she got divorced her neighbors thought it was because she was gay and not happy married to a man. Also kinda funny….

    • I am looking forward to the day when you change your handle to ‘IRegretMarryingHim’ instead.

      And then to ‘MehWhoGivesADamn’ …

      • Hahaha! You are so RIGHT! I think that day is coming closer. Thank you for the support. Good to know I can come here and you all know my feelings and stages of moving ON!

  • I think every situation is unique. The psychology of all of this is well beyond what we could possibly explain in a paragraph. I think when it gets down to it, the cheaters just make a decision based upon what they want. I am certain that early retirement, paid off mortgages, and vacations don’t enter into the equation for someone that is seeking an escape from what they believe to be an unhappy situation. One of my very good friends ex husbands left nearly fifteen years ago. Their marriage was difficult, and during the last couple years of it, he was buying cars, a boat, even an RV. All these years later, my friend says she is absolutely clear now that he was trying to make himself happier buying things. When he eventually left her for his girlfriend, they got married and the crazy buying stopped. It does make quite a bit of sense if you think about it.

  • I am sorry for the chumps here. You got a raw deal.

    I wish that I could say that my exes got downgrades when they discarded me, or better yet, just not care, but I can’t. My ex-husband is no longer with the AP that was around when he revealed that he had been committing adultery. His current partner, at least on the surface, seems like ‘all that.’ Younger, slimmer, wealthier, more educated (she finished her PhD; I didn’t), has two successful kids, one of whom seems geared toward medical school. She was rude and inappropriate to me the first time I met her–at my father-in-law’s funeral, at which she asked me if I were in an intimate relationship (WTF?) and told me that I should quickly divorce my estranged husband/her boyfriend. (You may have a doctorate, but you don’t have decency.) They are still together after a year, but her boyfriend/my now ex-husband told me last week that he felt uncommitted to her and ready to punch out. The following morning, he apparently changed his mind…(not going to unravel that skein of f–kedupness).

    My ex-boyfriend (pseudo-friend of 30 years who I would have died for to save his life) left me more than once to date other women. I know that over the course of a few years, he lied to me and disrespected me many times, but, due to him treating me politely at times and me spackling as though there was no tomorrow, I desperately hung onto him. I highly suspect that he emotionally cheated on me but don’t know if he physically cheated on me. (Can never tell with someone who is a pathological liar.) It appears that my replacement, his work subordinate, is an upgrade. She is nearly a decade younger than me (and thus less wrinkled than me), has a secure, high-paying (much higher than mine I am sure) job as an engineer in his field, divorced childless (and thus free to stay over every night for the rest of her life starting last year and lacks any c-section pouch) woman who probably has no scary ex-husband. Mine is definitely far to the end of the scary spectrum. Guess that my picker was out of service when I married him, but I didn’t realize it at the time–just felt numb (red flag!)

    I cannot even get a date with someone who is even close to semi-compatible with me and am not attracted to the few guys I have gone out with on a single date. (There have been no second dates.) I tried to be polite, but frankly, felt like running almost as soon as I met most of them–and I am pretty open to hanging out with people who are not at all like me. (I work with criminals, addicts, and people who are mentally ill.) And no, I am not picky. I don’t care about a guy’s height, physical attractiveness, what type of car he drives, whether he’s been married or not, whether he has had kids or not, whether he likes all the same hobbies, even if his political and religious orientation differ from mine. In a partner, I would like someone who is honest, loyal, compassionate, who is not a complete physical train wreck (obese with unhealthy habits like chain smoking, illicit drug use), who is sort of close to my age (+/- five years), and lives or is willing to live within a few dozen miles of me, not on another continent forever. I guess that that is too much to ask. I have started trying to figure out how I can join a Buddhist monastery in North America once my youngest reaches majority. Not the path (celibacy and a very limited budget) I had envisioned most of my life, but I have decided to embrace it with all the gusto I can muster. Going to acknowledge that I sometimes wish that the Karma bus would hit my exes but try to wish them well in my more ‘zen’ moments. Wish that I hated the idea of regularly having (good-great) sex with a committed, decent partner and wearing make up and keeping my hair long. Yeah, I’m sure that regularly having good sex and wearing make up and keeping my hair long, especially for a mother over 50, sounds superficial, but now that I am faced with not having those things, they seem more dear! I have no decent offers for a committed romantic, intimate partner, and I imagine that I could get used to living without make up and hair, so I guess that I might as well run enthusiastically toward my destiny! I don’t want to be an old cat lady (nothing against the many wonderful cat ladies nor their cats out there), but I am allergic to cats and dogs (yeah, strange that I work in an animal shelter) and don’t want to become an old cat lady HOPING that someday my prince or at perhaps my earl or page boy (?) or pizza delivery guy will show up at my door–which oddly is something people keep telling me I should do. I’m not saying that it’s impossible that Prince Charming or a pizza delivery guy will show up at my door (especially if I order), but I think that it’s unrealistic and counterproductive to HOPE and make plans based on the extremely slim possibility of Mr. Wonderful showing up. I sometimes think that people are trying to make THEMSELVES, not ME, feel better by ignoring reality and insisting that I, as well as they, live in fantasy, especially when I am willing to look into the abyss about my life. What they do, well-meaning as they are, feels a bit like telling someone who has a terminal illness and has only a 1/1000 chance of recovering from the illness and knows it but is calm about it, ‘You’re not going to die (from this); stop being so pessimistic!’ The terminally ill person is not being pessimistic; he or she is being realistic–and brave. (Several people in my family are terminally ill–and very brave.) I wish that more people would say, ‘RockStarWife, you’ve got a good point–it is very likely that you will never find a committed, compatible intimate partner, and yeah, never again having sex when you really like sex sucks, and not having a partner to share parenting/life/financial responsibilities is often harder and lonelier than being married (at least in a decent-good marriage). I admire you for facing the situation head-on without rationalizing anything. I know that I’m not your romantic partner and never will be (especially as I am a female and you are very straight–or I am a male who considers you a friend but I’m just not romantically interested in you and won’t take advantage of you by pretending in order to get sex (with you) until I can find someone I REALLY want/consider wife material), but I am glad to be your friend and spend time with you sometimes.’

    • “I wish that I could say that my exes got downgrades when they discarded me, or better yet, just not care, but I can’t.”

      You can say it, RSW, but you don’t believe it. You just haven’t internalised the message, that’s all.

      I know I’ve said this to you before, but until you learn to be at peace on your own, don’t look for a new partner. From what you say here, that picker ain’t fixed yet – you are exhausted and depressed, and these set you up to make poor choices in men, not good ones.

      No man out there is going to fill the void, or fix the problems, or pay the bills. No man out there is going to calm the inner turmoil or get you off the emotional hamster wheel.

      YOU are going to do all those things, for yourself – ONE AT A TIME. When you are ready.

      And you will do them, because you are competent, capable, talented, spirited, intelligent, and brave. You are just going through a temporary rough patch right now.

      I know it’s exhausting and demoralizing to be a sole parent, and to have been abused so roundly as you have. You have every right to be angry and disappointed.

      I think you are amazing; I read your story and see a survival expert, right there.

      In short, when you are ready to put this baggage down, you will put it down of your own accord. You can and will step off that hamster wheel yourself.

      I believe in you. You have what it takes.

      • Lola,
        Thank you for continuously propping me up, acting as my cheerleader!
        Perhaps I have been misunderstood, some of the readers of CL have told me not to search for another partner. I have said a few times that I am trying to figure out how to become a Buddhist nun, which precludes finding a romantic/intimate partner. Besides, nobody has done anything close to trying to bang down my door in months/years/decades? I would like to think that this is a temporary rough patch. Is several years/decades ‘temporary?’ I need to figure out why I am stuck in this ‘less than ideal’ situation–if not for me, then for my children. You are right that I need to count on me to fix problems, pay the bills, etc., and no man (or woman) is going to do those things. (If anything, my partners have dragged me down–although considering their professional success, they could have significantly lifted me (and my children) up.) I really hope that I can learn some additional skills and start earning enough to support my kids without help (for my kids’ sake). Going to try to stop ruminating over the reasons why my exes discarded me as I’ll never be able to figure out why and knowing why probably wouldn’t change anything and start thinking almost solely on how to financially, emotionally, and physically support my kids (and others). Thanks again for expressing faith in me.

        • RSW everything you do, think, feel and achieve from now on is TOTALLY up to you!

          Oh yeah it could be a scary thought if it weren’t so DARNED EXCITING!

          I love clips that Will Smith posted about taking responsibility for our life REGARDLESS of what others have done.

          Sure! Write your list of the perfect partner! And think BIG. Why not.
          But then PREPARE yourself for that very person to come marching into your life.

          Are you ready?
          I wasn’t.

          I desperately needed to sort my career out and make serious moves towards financial independence!
          I’m still getting there and it’s painfully difficult right now.

          But I SEE it in my future.
          I am planning and making REAL steps towards my goals.

          If you want improved skills to get a better paying job then it’s all up to you.
          We are far happier if we become our own Knight in Shining Armor.

          And about the Buddhist nun notion, you won’t need ANY possessions to become one. 😉
          My kids and I virtually live like this anyway lol!

          Write your goals and take steps to achieve them. They don’t come via a new partner.

          Good luck!

          • Chumpantidote,
            You are e a great role model. Thanks for reminding me of what we DO have control over.

      • then why did my narcissist husband pay for his howorker? I know found out he was helping her pay her bills and her mortgage but even though he made great money, I was made to work and I did so in a very grueling long hours of work, working very hard for my salary, and having to drive a very long distance in traffic in both directions. So, there are men out there, mine was married, that actually pay for their women, just not their wives. That’s also probably the allure for the howorker knowingly dating and hooking up with the married man, because she knows all she has to do is give him sex and he will pay pay pay. But because they are a narcissist don’t expect them to treat their own wives well…this is what I have discovered. Because they are disordered they will treat the general public and the whore with generosity, respect, etc etc because the strange sex and because public image is everything to them ! they have to come out as the great guy ! the pillar of the community ! the fake friends or shall we say the many many acquaintances, and probably some of them ex or current sex partners….probably even other men’ that he knows’ wives…

      • Ditto what she said. You don’t need a man to fix it for you. The only thing you might have to give up is sex. That sucks and I don’t have a good answer for you there, but everything else you can handle with or without a man in your life because you are capable and can take care of yourself and your children.

        Meanwhile your exes girlfriends will discover someday that they aren’t so special either. If they are with your exes then clearly their pickers are broken too. As for character, your ex husbands hussy is mean and that right there makes her a downgrade. As for the boyfriend’s girlfriend it is hard to say because I don’ t know how much awareness she has of your situation, but it is hard to believe that he found somebody who will be as fiercely loyal and loving as you were. It is unlikely he will ever find that again. He lost a lot even if he is too dim to see it.

  • By the time most of us chumps are exiting our relationships we’ve been so beaten down and devalued, we just feel like crap. My self esteem was rock bottom when it ended. I don’t know if he traded up or down, doesn’t concern me. But it has been reassuring and helpful to my rebuilding self worth when I hear from people “…wait, he left you?!? Well that was stupid, you’re a total catch.” Yes. Yes I am. Right around now I sure am glad he “traded up” to let me go.

  • STBX has ruined his relationship with his so-called ‘best friend’ (by fucking the man’s wife- how could THAT have gone wrong???) Ruined their marriage. Ruined our marriage by cheating. Now, in the process of our divorce, he’s still stringing ex-bestie’s soon-to-be ex wife along, while he’s running around with ANOTHER shmoopie. His new ho is 27 years old (Asshat is 56). Karma bus will be along soon, I am sure. One thing I know for certain, IF he winds up shackled with either one of these women, it’s a total damned downgrade.

  • What a gentleman. I’m quite surprised when I read these stories. A 27 yo going for a 56 year old? Quite sure that at 27 (and that was a long time ago) I was not looking for that old man. I doubt it will last. She will dump him for someone more her age, with actual abs, perhaps.

  • Idk! My WH is a Pilot. His AP now (he was/is a serial cheater for the past 20 years) is a young, beautiful, passionate woman from Peru. She’s poetic and spiritual and all that. They can travel together and live his fantasy life in South America when he flies there on his trips. How can I compete with that? I’m not ugly or anything-I work out all the time, I am trying now that our four kids are older to get my career going-I’m an easy going nice person- but I’m definately not like her at all. It certainly seems like he traded up-that’s why this girl finally got him to consider the separation and divorce I had wanted since March 2017. He told her he was married and they have been working together to get him out of this marriage.

    I wish she was ugly or fat or anything negative.

    Idk. I know none of this has anything to do with me or my faults – it’s all on my WH-but it doesn’t make it any easier.

    Idk. My IC says that she is a blessing in disguise.

  • Oprah apparently said that when a man steps out, he always steps down. Doesn’t matter if she’s the most beautiful woman in Peru or in all of South America! Doesn’t matter if she’s poetic or brilliant or a world class athlete. She has NO character. She’s advocating for the break up of a family. She’s promoting lying and cheating. She has no integrity, no decency, no empathy. She may be all shiny and pretty on the outside, but she’s rotten on the inside….

    It doesn’t matter if we are overweight or wrinkled or beautiful or smart…(my husband’s mistress has a doctorate and I only have a masters) What matters is character. Period.

    That’s why there is no question that your husband (and mine) are trading down! Right to the gutter.

  • I have been separated for three months now and heading into divorce soon. My wife and I have been together for over 17 years and married for almost 10. We have a 16-year-old boy and a 10-year-old daughter.

    We were only 20 when we had our son. Back in 2010, I found out my wife was going behind my back and hooking up with women. Emails confirmed yet she still denied it. Like a fool in love, I gave her my consent to go and live out this part of her since I couldn’t provide that for her.

    Throughout the coming years, she would meet up and have sex with women with me. While it did bother me and she knew it, we made things work. She still denies to this day that she never hooked up without me knowing. To my knowledge, she hasn’t seen any woman in a few years.

    Last year around August and September I noticed she was acting weird and different. Keeping to herself a lot, something wasn’t right. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I asked her in early October what was going on, are you cheating on me. She started crying and told me she wasn’t happy anymore and that she was pretty sure I wasn’t either. I told her I was completely happy and we both had an emotional conversation.

    That night the California fires hit, and we were forced to evacuate. By the time we got back to normal after that, I had asked her exactly what was going on. She told me sometimes it’s my attitude and being short with her, sometimes I was. I worked on myself.

    In December I found a letter that she had written but didn’t give to me. It said she wanted to separate and that there was no romance from both sides and that she wanted to be in a relationship with a woman. She deactivated her facebook around the time I saw the letter. I didn’t say anything to her about the letter but tried to give her more compliments and to be more romantic with her. I honestly thought things were ok, I cooked every night, did the dishes, did the laundry, worked full time and was always taking the kids to school and doing what I could as a family man.

    Maybe we were stuck in a rut of family life and work, but it wasn’t all that bad. I brought up the letter, and she said she wanted to separate still. Weeks later I left to stay at my mom’s while she stayed at the house. We split the kids 50/50. We were supposed to go on dates every week, but all I got was Valentine’s day dinner and goodbye lovemaking. She led me on and told me what I needed to here to get me out with the hope we could work on things.

    A month into it I found out she had rented an Airbnb. She told me she meets a woman. I bought it, turns out it was another man. She had rented 4 Airbnb’s within a couple of weeks and denied having an affair before we separated. I found out from my daughter about the guy. She introduced him as her friend and took the kids to 6 flags on spring break.

    A week later she picked up my daughter for a birthday party, and he was in the car, I didn’t know at the time. When my daughter came home, I asked her about the party, and she told me her friend was with mom. She told me about six flags. It was the first time I had heard about him. My wife told me she just met him a few weeks ago and she trusts him around the kids.

    Then it was a month ago she couldn’t remember. I have caught her in lie after lie in all this. It all makes sense, dated back to last year that she had this guy giving her the attention and telling her why did she need that boring old family. She started going to the gym last year, would stop by a friends house after the gym, so I didn’t think anything of it at the time.

    She started to fall in love with him and started to fall out of love with me. She stopped wearing her wedding ring because she said that her fingers were the only thing that was losing weight. She is playing the victim, and now I am to blame for everything, and I mean everything. Its like she read the affair 101 textbook, everything adds up. I was too in love to see it before.

    I told her it takes two for a failed marriage, but it also takes two to rebuild it. She left this marriage a while ago. She is a piece of work. Her family has my back, and she won’t even talk to mine. I am filing for divorce soon. This has been the hardest thing in my life to overcome. All the feelings, sleepless night, she will never know what she has done to me. I’m trying to pick myself up but its hard the whole way she went about everything including us separating and leading me on to think I had a chance to get her back. Blameshifting and gas lighting has come in full effect, all my “bad habits” when I told her that she was seeing this guy and its what led to us separating.

    I wish she would leave my head, but sometimes it’s all I think about. She doesn’t deserve me and I know I’ll be better off down the road but it’s still hard. She tore my family apart for her selfish reasons. I know I played a part in not giving her the affection this guy did but its a lot easier for someone on the outside to say things to make her feel special and not having to deal with all that we had in our daily lives. The excitement for her will die down, and she will regret it. I’m trying to stay strong for myself and my kids but its hard.

  • My husband was absolutely unimaginable to me. After our 7 years together, and nearly two years married, I discovered about the relationship with the AP while he was on vacation with her to one of our most bonding locations; DC. He actually used sky miles and credits that I purchased to take her there. He even had the audacity to take her to Arlington, to visit one of my friend’s graves. Meanwhile sending me texts of the grave, telling me that he was lucky to have me and grateful for my support.

    When I look back at the insanity of the devaluation and discard phase, it pairs completely with the escalation of their relationship. In January, he had become so volatile that I kicked him out. He had told me that he was living in an extended stay while trying to work on his ‘brokenness’ so that ‘he could learn to be the partner I deserved.’ In actuality, he was living with her, and trying to work an end game. All of his weekend camping trips, all the moratoriums, all of the gaslighting, blame shifting, lying, crazy-making – everything came crashing down around me with the weight of clarity that traumatized me.

    For a while I had this fantasy that the AP was young, fresh, and reminded him of a simpler time. I was convinced that ‘the heart wanted what it wanted.’ The truth is that this girl isn’t particularly attractive, and uneducated. She’s a 24 year old ‘head cashier’ who has been recently divorced from her husband of 18 months. My ex-husband is a 38 year old HR director for the store where they both work. I thought this knowing this would make me feel better. It didn’t.

    Ultimately, I recognize that I lost so much of myself trying to save a marriage that didn’t exist. My ex-husband was preparing for a wreckonciliation within two weeks of me finding out. Truth be told, I don’t know if I could have survived it – and I’ll have to live with that for the rest of my life.

    He told me he loved me right up and until he walked out the door. He also lied to me up and until he walked out the door. The truth is, yes this hurts, but this girl is actually the greatest gift to me. She taught me a lot about my own limits, and that I deserve a love without betrayal. My exhusband treated me like an option; interchangeable. He literally used me up until there was nothing left. But he did not break me.

    The moment I began to draw boundaries for his terribly abusive behavior was the moment he abandoned our vows. The truth is that my Ex didn’t choose her, he chose himself. She was just there for him to drain as a new source of supply. She didn’t require any work. And he had no where else to go. He had no home, no belongings, no foundation. He has an 8×10 storage unit completely filled with the devastation of two marriages.

    My ex consistently told me he hated himself and was ashamed, he just never told me why. He told me that we were of two different calibers. Outwardly, he is getting away with this unscathed – no consequences at work, and Georgia is a No Fault State. However, I truly know that there is nothing that I could do to him that he isn’t doing to himself. He is chaos. I was his backbone. I was his stability. I was very, very good to him. Eventually, he will remember that. Long after Ive moved on.

    The AP is irrelevant. There are two people on this earth who know the absolute truth about this: me and my ex. Do I want to defend myself against the smear campaign, or the continued attempts at triangulation? Sure. Do I want to let the AP know the truth behind his lies to her? Of course. Do I want to watch him burn to the ground? Absolutely. However, karma doesn’t operate on my timeline. And at any rate, that would require that I continue to invest energy into him that he hasn’t earned.

    ‘Times like these, I’m learning to live again..’ Foo Fighters

  • THIS. So much this!

    I was always the rock in the relationship. Maybe physically too, lol – I have always struggled with my weight. His new partner was heavier but went on some sort of exercise binge and now she looks like a shitty skeleton. Anyway… I know her mental issues are maybe even greater than his. I don’t imagine it ending well for them. They act happy but… we’ll see.

    And as was said, at the end of the day, it’s their character that is in question, but mine is unscathed. So up theirs.

    (So easy to write this but definitely hard to believe it sometimes).

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