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Keeping Secrets

To be chumped is to be conspired against.

Does that sound paranoid? Over the top? Like I’ve got a tinfoil radio transmitter in my head?

To change the narrative, we really need to get straight on this part, people. To be chumped is to be conspired against. Actively and with aforethought.

If you’re super lucky, it’s just a conspiracy of two — your cheater and the affair partner. More likely, however, it’s a wider conspiracy. Friends, neighbors, in-laws, co-workers knew of the affair(s) before you did. In the worst cases, your children knew.

D-Day is a continual horror show, often because you discover the betrayal goes so much deeper than just your partner. There’s an entire cabal of people who knew and didn’t tell you. Some for enjoyment, because they think you deserve it, some to snigger, because others’ misfortune is entertaining, some for lofty notions of amoral superiority “Who knows what goes on inside a marriage?” (except you’ll later find that half of that mystery is your fault), many with discomfort (“Should I tell? I don’t want them to kill the messenger!”), and some carry this shitty cheater secret and it’s traumatizing them.

How do I know? Because they write to me.

“My mom is cheating on my dad. Please help. I can’t say anything because my younger brother has suicidal depression and I fear my parents divorcing will push him over the edge.”

“Help. I just discovered my dad is cheating on his girlfriend. She’s really nice, but she doesn’t know and I feel bad because they’ve just moved in and I like her son. But when I think about telling, I remember how scary my dad can get…”

I get a lot of sad letters. These are some of the saddest. And the point of view of the kids is never told in the infidelity narrative, except to say “It’s not your business what goes on in your parents marriage.”

(In a recent letter, a therapist had told a young woman this, in re her mother’s continual cheating.)

I’m sure that therapist thought she was being neutral and fair-minded.

Bullshit. Inherent in this advice is — the mother’s entitlement is more important than the harm she is inflicting on the father, the letter writer, and her siblings.

When someone asks you to keep their secrets? Or emotionally blackmails you into keeping a secret (If you tell TERRIBLE THINGS WILL HAPPEN THAT ARE ALL YOUR FAULT!) — whoa, IT. IS. YOUR. BUSINESS.

They just fucking made it your business by involving you.

I told that girl, the issue is not about the private sanctity of your parents’ marriage, it’s the position that your mother’s dishonesty put you in — a position of conspiracy against your dad. Drop that burden. Tell him. AND LET GO OF THE CONSEQUENCES.

“It’s not fair that you’re in the position of conspiring against your father by keeping your mother’s cheating secret. For THIS reason, I would tell. It’s not a fair burden. When you tell, you DO NOT CONTROL what your dad does with that info, or your siblings for that matter. You are telling for YOU. Because fuck the secret, fuck the conspiracy, fuck the unfair burden. If it’s not too awful to do, it’s not too awful to talk about. Your dad might reconcile, he might leave. Not your problem, your fault, nothing. YOU matter! And part of mattering is not carrying secrets that hurt you.

Your family might be mad at you. Okay. They’ve got to work out their lives for themselves. That’s easier with the truth than without it.”

Let’s change the narrative. Stop the secrets. And shame on any parent that makes their kids carry them.


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  • I found out about my now ex-wife’s cheating from one of my sons. It’s been almost 10 years, and he’s not over it yet. I don’t generally waste time hating anyone, but when I thinking this, even all these years later, my blood boils.

    • Son was 12 at the time. Had been introduced to several of his mom’s boyfriends and received a gift skateboard from one (because, you know, they’re the cool grownups). After I filed for divorce, I told him this was about his mom not loving me, not about her love for him. He said, with tears in his eyes, “But she told you she loved you, and look what she did. How do I know she won’t do the same to me?” He’s spent years pick-me dancing for her to stave off the fear.

      • What a bitch!

        I really hope he quits that dance soon.

        Although he’s right. She can and probably will think less of him for calling her out. At least initially.

        My husband would call me mean things and later say he didn’t mean it, he was angry, he loved me, etc. I told him that if he wanted me to believe him when he said he loved me then I also had to believe him when he said nasty things to and about me. In which case, he did NOT love me and he was abusive. He hated that. He hated it more when his therapist, mine, the kids’ and any couples therapist agreed with me and called him out on it. Tough shit for him!

        I can imagine how angry you get. That was vile of her & her fucktoy.

      • This shatters my heart.

        I am so very glad you have one another.

        My heart breaks for your son who, clearly, has the same beautiful heart as you.

      • “But she told you she loved you, and look what she did.”

        Wow! Out of the mouth of babes! Wow, just wow! Hugs to you and your son. May his healing come swiftly.

        • Kids can see through it. My 17 yr old said “I never want to be like Dad. Women and children are not accessories”.
          “ if I want to have kids with someone when I’m older, I’m staying with that person!”
          “ I just don’t get it!”

      • Nomar – you’re a good man and a good father. Thank goodness your son has one decent parent

      • I hope your son is secure in who he is with you as his role model, Nomar.

      • Giving birth to a child is a biological and physical process (before you criticize that comment, I gave birth twice).
        Being a PARENT requires love, devotion and putting what is best for your child ahead of your own harmful, hurtful, selfish, health-risking, cruel sexual desires. Your ex’s actions prove that she put sex and the fun with the AP ahead of her own child’s safety.

        She doesn’t deserve your son’s love and respect. Most likely impossible to reconcile as a teenager but he will learn to accept the truth of what she did as he grows up. As painful as it is for him now, he has the ability to grow up with knowing the truth. It will be healthier for him as he matures.

        Thank goodness he has you Nomar to model what a real parent looks like! You’re doing great!

      • That is gut-wrenching. No child should live with that kind of fear (mom/dad might not love me) running as part of their psychological operating system.

        • Mine did. It hurt them to the core, and now they struggle to have any kind of relationship with their father.

          He blew it, big time.

        • X did this heinous act as well: he burdened our middle daughter with the secrets of his cheating to carry, and he threatened abandonment if she told. The result was that she tried to kill herself three times and nearly succeeded after X put this burden on her fragile 15 year old psyche. She uses xanax, coke, alcohol, molly to cope. She’s been in residential treatment and years of outpatient and DBT. She’s barely surviving what X did (and it wasn’t “just” fucking one whore, the harm has come from all of the psychological abuse X has continued: the gaslighting, the blameshifting, the threats to abandon, the actual abandonment, the withdrawal of financial and actual support, the triangulation, the raging, the shoving of his relationship with one whore (the young gold digger) down our kids’ throats and continued manipulation and rage and threats.

          X literally destroyed our childrens’ trust and security. I DESPISE him for this harm that can never be undone. I wish to God I had just gone to a sperm bank to have kids and could have protected my kids from this evil. I had no idea and risk from those choices to partner with someone that I made when I was only 23 years old. It’s true that I’m a sane parent and that helps mitigate the harm, but it does not undo it — nothing ever will. There are no do-overs in life.

          • “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

            “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!”

            We’re told that there will be judgement. Woe to these despicable people.

          • MotherChump,

            my youngest is gay and so very sad and angry at her dad, so very rejected. She’s getting in patient help this summer (DBT too), and my X won’t even know. It’s her story to tell, I guess.

            But his manifesto to the kids when he remarried (and did not invite them) outlined HIS expectations of our kids, in order to have any relationship. Otherwise, he’d be “done.”

            His terms included Not bringing u p the past (talk about gas lighting) and showing HIM and Schmoopie new wife and HER daughter, the “respect and consideration they deserve.” Sort of a “be nice to your replacement” policy.

            What a shit submarine sandwich.

            I feel your pain, and so do our children, regardless of their age. As an aside, my kids knew X was a deceitful narcissist long before I did.

            That’s a regret I still carry, and am working on in therapy.

          • MC99, I feel your pain. My oldest son took his own life at 20, and I’ll never know how much his father’s malignant narcissism and relentless psychological abuse of his mother influenced his decision. He was a sad kid in his last few years; it breaks my heart to know that I couldn’t help him because I was rotating around the narcopath, like a lesser planet around the sun.
            Your daughter has you, the sane parent, so I’m sure she’ll eventually find a healthy way out of the mess this monster you describe created for her. Big hugs.

            • So sorry to hear that about your son. I hope you are doing okay?
              Tracing out to others and supporting them, you have such grace.
              My husband burdened my middle daughter (between two brothers) as a young teenager too.
              Then her friends turned on her, saying she should have told me.
              What a horrible position to be put in.
              Then my youngest son found out and was angry and upset at hiding it from me.
              My daughter is turning 18 now and has an eating disorder. I guess it’s the one thing she can control?
              He is proud of his recovery process, I’m supposed to be in awe of him.
              I’m childish and negative and he is getting help, and the latest is reminding me how he could never say when I was annoying, and oh how many times I annoyed him by the way!
              No marriage is perfect, we all have issues.
              I just can’t help feeling he is still trying to justify all the horrible betrayal and emotional abuse he commited.
              It’s on him. I can’t take it on. I just can’t. I hope he is doing better, but I just can’t deal. The damage is done.
              How in the world do my kids ever deal with what he did when I can’t!

              • No MOTHER is perfect, Julie-Anne. We’ve been ravaged by abusers and we have to be patient with ourselves. It takes time for us to heal, and yes, many times our children place the blame on us. You’re in the right place, sweetheart, we have your back and you will get better, I promise!

              • Julie-Anne,
                If he was really “doing better” he would NOT be “proud” of himself. He would be taking responsibility for the harm he’s caused others. He would not be telling you how much better he is, because it should not be about him!
                He should be more concerned about how others are doing than wanting others to notice him & how much “better he is”!

            • Chumpiest, I am so sorry.

              The damage that is caused is just horrible. I too am dealing with an angry child who self harms, eating disorders, drugs and is starting on the body piercing (which are all recognised as a way of dealing with rage and fragmented ego). I just pray this self mutilation stays temporary.

              I too made the mistake of ‘rotating around the narcopath, like a lesser planet around the sun’.

              We need to wake up to “Leave a cheater, gain a life” much earlier. She has told me the pain of listening and being in the middle of the disdain and subsequent wreckonciliation insanity broke her. Why didn’t I act decisively. That is the part that I am responsible for

        • I can bear witness to the devastation of not knowing if either parent loved me or my brother.

          • And yet you are so wise. I’m a mother and I would be so proud to have a daughter like you.

      • I have seen kids that had a parent as a cheater basically spackle and kiss the cheater parent’s behind. They are afraid of the rejection they witnessed on the chump parent. It is so sad and this is where the chump should set an example and go nuclear on the cheater. Not try and make nice as so many chumps do for whatever reason. Show the kids this is not acceptable and no one should be afraid to confront bad behavior.

        • Abused children often try and cozy up to the abusive parent so as to avoid further mistreatment.

          • Very true. However some cases consist of the cheater being not physically or even verbally abusive, but deep down the kids know if they don’t shower the cheater parent with praise, respect and basically going along with the “program” they will be dumped/discarded in a heart beat. It’s as if they are hanging on for dear life and will do whatever it takes to keep the cheater/narc in their life. Sickening to witness.

            • That is exactly what happened with my middle kid. He didn’t want to pretend that he liked visiting his dad and a stepmother who was cruel to him, so he was ejected from ex-cheater’s faux blended family (the same family where she sits in the kitchen during dinner with her kids and he sits in the dining room and eats with our kids).

              • Our daughter believed her dad that it was all my fault he had to move in with his girlfriend. Then he told her it was my fault she would lose her home and her dogs because I was greedy wanting support (my lawyer sent a cease and desist letter on that one). Then she slowly started seeing him for what he is. She called him on it. He promptly brought her home in the middle of the night without her bag, without her retainer. Dropped her like a hot potato. How dare she confront him on his betrayal and cheating. She hasn’t seen him since. She has blocked him because, as she says, “He’s an asshole who doesn’t care for anyone buy himself and won’t take responsibility for his actions – everything is everyone else’s fault.” She did go through a time where she talked about killing herself and she tried cutting. Her dad also let her have straight vodka and laughed when she drank out of his whiskey and coke by mistake. My heart aches for the kids that end up in this mess.

          • ^^^
            True, I beleive Cheaters are many times an abusive parent. They’re calculating intentionally manipulating their children and using them for image management and support.
            Cheaters think nothing of robbing their children of a loving relatinship with the loving nuturing parent and all that’s associated with having both parents.
            Cheaters aren ‘t parental role models. It’s heartbreaking and as a alinated parent you feel helpless.

          • So so true. I have 2 kids with the ex and he had 2 kids before (my step kids). I used to be there for my step daughter when her dad would rage at her. Now she won’t talk to me at my kids’ events…until the second her dad walks away. Then she’s telling me everything about her life until he gets back. I totally get it. She still has to live with him half the time (the other half with her mom), so she has to “hate” me as much as he does. A total self-preservation move that I completely understand. It’s so sad. I can’t wait until she’s a little older and I can be a part of her life again.

        • I worry a lot about this with my 2 boys. I never hid the truth from them when husband did what he did to me and our family. In age appropriate terms I let them know how he hurt so many people by his selfish actions. Worse he married the OW about a month after the lonh process of divorce was finally over. They have to spend time him at her home whete he’s now shacked up and i feel like they’re on their best behavior to keep him interested. It’s sickening especially to me because I know deep down he isn’t capable of genuinely loving them and being a true parent because he comes first. On so many occasions it’s been clear the kids are simply tools to help him get what he wants or make him appear a certain way. I worry they will put all their energy into pleasing him and I’ll be left picking up the pieces. It’s a hard pill to swallow. .all if it. I’ve lost so much and fear I’ll lose my kids to him in some way despite being the sane parent and willingly sacrificing nearly everything to raise them and ensure they feel loved.

        • Agreed.
          The push for playing nice with an “amicable divorce” from an entitled narcissistic abuser only benefits the Cheater.
          It confuses the kids & can force them into unhealthy relationships & poor decision making skills. They need stability & to know they are safe & truly loved.
          “Children are to honor parents in the Lord” — if not honorable, than a parent is not entitled to the children’s love & respect. It’s simply not safe for children to be taught to trust & give honor where it is not due or to earn someone’s love.

        • I tried this. All I get is a rant from the kids that I am trying to make the cheater 100% responsible for the divorce. What is the difference between a child who is a flying monkey or a victim of the cheater?

          • I hear you, Mitz. From my side, my kids seem to have a great relationship with their cheating father. He lied to them about his new woman to (try to) hide his affair, but they were old enough I feel like they have to know he cheated. But I haven’t ever told them directly, nor tried to tell them he’s a narcissist, because I don’t want it to backfire and to have them think I was trying to alienate them from him (despite the fact that anything I said would have been nothing but the truth about his actions).

            They spackle, I guess, and keep up appearances with him to keep things peaceful for themselves. Or sadly, maybe they believe his spin and truly don’t think he did anything wrong, even if they do know he cheated….never mind that someone who cheats, lies to them and anyone, replaces their mother like an appliance, disrespects anyone who doesn’t fall in line with him, even disrespects them (as I have realized based on things he has written in emails to me), etc. is a horrible role model.

            I didn’t understand what he was until months or even a couple of years after he walked out, and I was 40+ years old. I didn’t even know what a narcissist was. My kids are 21 and 19 now (14 and 12 at the time of the affair), and I wonder how or if they will ever see it. I have tried to figure out how to open their eyes without causing them more pain. Mostly I just don’t talk about it with them, which seems like a lost opportunity to help them be more aware than I was.

          • The cheater IS responsible for 100% of the divorce though – if they weren’t a deceptive fuckwit, there wouldn’t be any divorce happening?

        • This is true of my youngest child and somewhat of my eldest child. Ex-cheater no longer has any communication or relationship with my middle child, so the other two have witnessed their father’s complete rejection of one of his siblings. So, they dance to his tune and continue to visit with him as though nothing is wrong because they know that if they act as though they doubt him in any way (which middle child had no problem with doing), they know that they will be out the door next.

          Frankly, I don’t know why they bother. I guess that since I grew up with great parents who cared about me, I don’t understand why anyone would put up with a shitty parent. They could stop going over to his house and probably be a heck of a lot happier, but for whatever reason, they still continue to play his game.

        • KB22 I needed to read this. I am a Chump seriously bad. I am incredibly accommodating to cheater plus his family who all knew. Am I totally f_ed. I have 3 small kids.

          • I suggest you start going grey rock on your cheater and the rest of his narc/dysfunctional family. This is the first step. Being accommodating will not win you points. They simply do not care. Once you stand up for yourself be prepared for backlash with threats, smear, etc. If you can afford a therapist great, if not, this site can give you great guidance. I know this is not exactly popular but I would let my kids know that their Dad is dysfunctional and not right in the head. Do it in a nice, age appropriate way and tell them you wish you had picked a better Dad but they have a mother that loves them no matter what. The sooner they know that Dad is not playing with a full deck the sooner they will prepare themselves to let the nonsense roll off them and shrug that’s just Dad, has nothing to do with me. I wish you the best.

      • This is what really bothers me in regards to my kids. The day he walked out on us he taught them that he will leave. What a fundamentally devastating lesson for a young child. It isn’t lost on the kids that he is difficult and trying to communicate with him is not only futile, but very risky.

        • Ugh. My fuckwit abandoned me and our 23 and 25YO daughters were in the front row to his drama because he drove to their college town with only a text as warning, “I moved out today, I am on my way over.” (I got an e-mail).

          Ten years earlier he asked those same daughters as young teenagers if they would be OK with him moving out for a while, I had no clue at the time, and it was later understood by all including our daughters that he was intending to go move out to be with his ho-worker EA.

          HE ASKED HIS DAUGHTERS IF HE COULD MOVE OUT so he could go screw around on their mom.

          Now my girls don’t trust men and presume they can be discarded on a whim if some fresh ass wanders by. If their hero-daddy could abandon so easily, they stand no chance with an average Joe out there for their own relationships.

          There is much therapy for me and my girls. Fuckwit, nada. He only wonders why they are not over it yet, sheesh, as he bangs his new ho-worker who is also just 25 YO. Such a disordered POS.

          • That is exactly the damage that happens to children of cheaters-they grow up with emotional insecurities and lack of hope and trust in intimate relationships. Their father will not understand the damage he has done until he’s older, in his lonely years, he’ll have time to look back and see the mistakes he’s made. Maybe.
            Infidelity is taken so lightly these days, but the damages span generations.

      • Nomar exactly. Kids see their parent one day telling the other parent they love them and then literally the next day(as in my case,and I’m sure many more here) they act as if they never knew the person.
        Kids know they are no different.
        The fear and pure*mindfuck* they instill in kids makes me completely livid.

      • Children can be damaged emotionally by divorce. Divorce is taken so lightly these days, but it truely shatters everyone involved. I am speaking from experience witnessing my mom cheat on my Dad when i was very young and later in life, living through 17 years of gaslighting and my husband keft me for his emplyee 20 years younger. Sometime divorce is necessary and needed, such as in abusive situations, but for the most part our society no longer supports marriage, even good and healthy marriages succumb to temptation. It fragments everybody involved in the family and fragments society in general.

        Cheating seems to be expected.

        • I think the “no fault” divorce is the biggest problem. Our society doesn’t discipline bad behavior or focus on the cause of divorce.
          Children & betrayed spouses were better off when the Cheater had to make a choice between their family or OM/OW. Once the Cheaters were out of the picture they could move forward & “gain a life” without having to deal with the disordered.
          Now the Cheater can have it all & the legal system supports them rather than rallying around the children & betrayed spouse. (Our laws must be made by Cheaters!)

          • It appears that our laws are made by cheaters. Look at the news. Lots and lots of cheaters in public office. I think it has to do with their giant egos.

    • Me too I found out about my ex husbands affairs through my 9 year old son it’s sickening. Also my USELESS former inlaws did NOTHING to help! It’s sickens me all around but I know now why my ex husband is FUCKED UP!

    • Same here Nomar.

      Two of my sons found out that my ex wife was cheating on me with my cousin, and had the horrible burden of having to tell me.

      Time passes, life moves on and gets infinitely better, however when I think of the conspiracy by my ex and by my cousin I get in war party mode pretty quick.

      I would never take the ex back even if she came gift wrapped in $1 billion cash, however the betrayal still pisses me off.

    • Fuck. This just hit me hard.

      I dealt with this very shit myself when I was in my early 20s, though in my case it was my father saying “I can’t handle being around your mother anymore, she always bitches me out, I’m leaving if it doesn’t improve”. One week later – he just upped and left, and my mother found out via a phone call from him that he wasn’t coming back. Turns out he was fucking someone else, he heavily implied it in said phone call, and he was projecting his shitty behaviour on her. Went instant NC, as even back then, cheating was an instant dealbreaker for me.

      He then had the gall to make up the most heinous of lies about me as well, when I was suffering with the fact he had said such disgusting things about my mum at that time. What sort of person says that shit to their daughter about her mother, and then later says even more nasty shit about her?

      If I had been forced to have a relationship with my deadbeat father with that shitstorm, I probably would have been far worse off (Fortunately, I was old enough to decide what I wanted to do, and that was an instant “FUCK OFF!”). I can completely understand why people turn to self-harm or even suicide as a result of that mindfuck.

    • Nomar, what messed up adults do to their children ….

      I think the problem for him remains the problem for us: to truly accept they are who they are, and that it does not define us.

      Thank goodness he has you, that was heartbreaking to read.

      I hope CL’s bracing honesty makes a good counterweight.

  • I have told the story before but after fuckwit and I agreed not to tell the children about his cheating(stupid me) he told sons about whore and ds 16 at the time cried and told him Mom would kill herself if she found out. Fuckwit then said that is why you can’t tell her, we need to protect her. Ds carried that burden for a month before telling his 22 yo sister. She then carried it with him for 2more months before I finally found out the story.

    Daughter asked me if I had talked to a lawyer because she was worried for me. That was an unbelievably sad conversation to have with your daughter.

    Without question, cheating is a sin against the entire family.

    • That is horrific. He’s a monster. May you all heal brilliantly without him.

    • FeelingIt I agree completely. I see what my sister’s actions (and her insistence on secret-keeping) have done to my family.

    • Yes. “Without question, cheating is a sin against the entire family.” In 2012, at my son’s home, my then husband was standing aside texting like a 14 year old and giggling. My son asked what was going on and his “father” responded “I like someone”. WHAT kind of father says that to their adult son? Of course I did not hear of this exchange until DDay 2015. I firmly believe that these types of individuals never wanted (nor understood) the responsibility of being husbands or fathers. Many times during the divorce, the ex stated “this does not involve the boys.” Yes, just like your affair did not involve ME!

      • Exactly these types of men are SICKOS and I know my ex husband is sick as mental illness runs in his family. He refuses help it’s so sad a 53 year old man, half bald running around like he’s 19 in heat, GROSSE!

      • OMG!!! My X got chocolates from the ho-worker before our divorce was done. Daughter asked who they were from, and the asshat replied in a sing-songy, twitter-pated voice, “They are from a giiirrrrlll!!!” Makes me want to vomit how he waved the sparkletwat under their noses, —a woman their same age to boot—and did all the giggly and emoji-laden texting right in front of them. I hate him so much.

        • ‘NowIC’ – Just fucking PUKE! Unbelievable.
          That giddy makes me want to pull on his tongue and shove it back down his throat – with tabasco.
          He came in after a Labor Day weekend (alone he said – ha!). Said he needed a break just by himself in our nice motorcoach. All the traveling distance he said he did and comes in after 3 days gone and plugs in ‘Johnny Be Good’, and couldn’t quit dancing. Like, really dancing and grinning ear to ear, like he just accomplished something great. At the time I knew nothing but it sure didn’t seem right at all. Nothing was. I guess I tried to be happy he was happy, but it was just too strange. Didn’t take me long to figure it out.

          • shechump
            the f’ing Viagra must have worked for the HO. Don’t worry you can do better and you deserve better ! I know that my husband was back and forth checking his prostate. I don’t know why because he had no cause for concern….but I went to get his medical records and found that guess what, in that same doctors office is a fertility clinic. I put 2 and 2 together and figured that he was prob there with his big whore ho worker to make sure she could get pregnant. The real kicker was the two hernia operations and I read the medical record that he felt pain in his groin area that woke him up ! Yeah right, He was probably screwing the big whore on a ‘business trip’ but he was really in the area and went to the ER consequently he needed ‘hernia repair ‘ surgery ! Yeah right, he was slamming his pig so hard he actually ruptured his first hernia surgery and had to get a second one. She obviously really needed to be ridden hard and this dumb fool had to get a second surgery. HE must have really thought she was worth it. I saw the big whore when she waltzed into hospice. She was not something a man would truly lust after. My guess is that she was a well seasoned company ho ho that mostly got down on her knees for the money. But who knows. The whole thing is sickening. She had some nerve walking into hospice to see him (but too late !) and did not give a F that I was standing in there. She obviously owned his ass ! Now that was the biggest conspiracy secret that I will never get over in a million years. It was like I never F ing existed and they were building their future and just waiting for the right time to bump me off. I bet. They were just waiting for the right moment….the two no good snakes in the grass. That lowdown whore.

        • now IC
          I found the emails of my now dead husband of the Howorker writing emails back and forth rapid fire, all ‘work related professional jargon with splashes of read between the lines sexual jargon….and he was thanking her for her continued support (her BJ’s obviously) and her writing my pleasure !!!!!!!!!!!!! who says my pleasure !!!!!! when it’s work related. She’s what you call a partner poacher, and with all the emails and her telling him that they would work ALONE and nobody else has to work with us……..bring your laptop from home….he was balls deep with this whore and loving it. She was what I read the other day — the partner poacher that manipulates married men at the job for money and the dumbass married man falls for it…so much so that they were planning their exit plan conspiring together I figured out…And to top it all off — there are so many players/flying monkeys involved in this that I nearly get sick to the point of fainting everytime I think of what was really going on…and his sister was definitely involved in it, she def. knows the whore and was enabling and helping it along. Even the neighbors know about it. I want to be sick.It gets worse, but too much to write here. Oh, also the kicker was when she wrote to him at the beginning of Dec saying she had food poisoning? stomach flu?….telling him she was vomiting. THe old nasty whore…she obviously was talking in code that she thought she was pregnant …I’m sickened just thinking that she was screwing my husband and trying to get pregnant by him. I was really bufooned. I never got the f’ing memo!

          • The partner poacher manipulating men for money. Yep. My Ex is 50, balding, big stomach, false teeth. The only reason a 22 y.o. would want that is because he was the foreman at the job making the big bucks all of the sudden. The user is being used. I look back at the people who knew. I remember going to his work to pick something up and he introduced me to his new ‘helper.’ She looked at me all cross eyed and weird and I thought, “what is up with her…” So ex has me to come to work and I’m saying hi to everyone like a dummy. Saying ‘nice to meet you!” to his new ‘helper’. While everyone knew they were screwing around. And getting pregnant.


            • Nomorecamping
              I know you see how we get Bafoooned
              Well mine never even had me at his company cuz ho ho worked there so he actually told me that they don’t have Christmas parties at his company and I believed him! Thats cuz whore was there the dog ! Yeah I believed that a multi billion dollar company does not have partiesag Holliday time. Yeah somebody there knew about those two. After he died his European boss shook my hand in slow motion in total bewilderment. No wonder I never met him before cuz he passed that big horsey that he worked with as his wife. All we had in common was hair color! I will never get over this was the biggest tragedy all the way around. That ho was getting treated like a queen. And believe me here were people that know especially the big nasty friend that introduced the two of them. Apparently she really need to be laid and her friend that was friends with my husband hooked them up. Then they were emailing how he knew she would pleasure my husband. Obviously she was a company whore who had been in bed with his male friend who conveniently hooked her up with my husband. Well unfortunately my husband was gorgeous so that whore t work never had such a good looking guy in all her life. When I tho k about how she got touched and screwed by my husband. That d should never have been near that lonely slut. I cannot believe that he actually stick his Dick in her all these years. She’s nothing great but him being a narcissist she was helping him look better at work and then she was able to manipulate him further. You’d swear thatnakanl gadnthe golden poontang
              I get physically ill when I honk about him near hear or her rubbing her saggy tits on him at work. And the whore had the nerve to come to hospice as he lay there dead. I guess she wanted to suck it one more time and slobbery on him. That skanky prostitution whore !

      • This is a crime against the whole family, and anyone involved is either collaborators, conspirators, or victims. Anyone. Family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, even the gardener or exterminator who witnesses the AP coming or going…Oh you don’t want to be involved, then don’t look, don’t listen, don’t discuss and don’t be there. Don Henley’s song “Dirty Laundry” comes to mind for me. Kibbles, they all want kibbles, second hand, third hand, scrape the bottom of the barrel kibbles, whatever. How to live a kibble-less life, don’t engage in the mind fuckery and seek authentic.

        • It is a sin against the whole family. Before ex went out every weekend, our daughter would be asking him to play video games – watch her play – see what she can do! She asked me to go get him to show him what she was doing on the video game. I went to the garage. He said, “What does she want now!” It made me sick. All he wanted was to bail to the hotel. She’d ask him to sit down and watch a movie…. he just wanted to head out to the hotel. She was crushed. Where is he going?

          He’s going out to take pictures all night with his new camera. He likes taking night pictures. The sun hurts his eyes during the day. Oh my gosh.

          And then he said he had to be gone every weekend because I was so ‘mean.’ But he left his daughter behind all the time? He ‘saved’ himself but left our child with the ‘mean witch.’ Yeah, ok.

          And then the last camping trip we went on…. everyone knew what was going on. He took me on that trip and was a prick the whole time. All those people make me want to barf. I’m glad they’re all gone. No more camping with any of them.

          He was sneaking off to call his gf constantly on that trip. Fast forward one year later he’s with gf camping in same spot texting me. Two years later he’s camping with same gf in same spot and he’s yelling at her. Our daughter said he’s pretty mean to her.

          He’s all hers.

  • This is not unlike the policy NAMI had for many years – the children of a parent or caregiver who is mentally ill was NOT of interest to them. There were no support groups, no interest in the kids’ long-term mental health, or to prevent them from being harmed by a parent with a personality disorder, or psychologically harmed by a depressed parent, etc.

    I’ve been told it has changed in the past 10 years but I still refuse to endorse NAMI because they let my kids down when I sought help for them. They were downright NASTY when I inquired too. So fuck you, NAMI!

    I spent a lot of time & energy protecting my kids and encouraging them to tell people the truth about how they felt & what they experienced. Ditto for myself. We were not popular with my spouse or his family. We still aren’t but recently he has begun to see that we were telling him the truth & not to harm him, but to help ourselves and make it clear when he had gone too far in any direction. While pursuing our own lives & interests rather than fixating on his near-constant state of victimhood.

    Don’t keep secrets for others that are clearly harmful. There is a difference between helping get Beloved out of the house so all the guests can arrive for a surprise 40th birthday party & seeing a married person groping another at a bar, or whatever.

  • I found out later that at least two people(friends of friends) knew my ex was cheating. Why didn’t they tell my friends? There was no downside for them. I could have saved those four wasted years. Secrets are so corrosive. While the affair was going on I didn’t suspect but I did feel something in the atmosphere: a distancing and disregard even while he still pretended to be his same old ‘nice’ persona. I now realise it was his mask slipping.

    • The couple we camped and vacationed with for years knew and played dumb: We don’t know what’s wrong with him!!

      Some friends.

      Turned out they were cheating on each other. And talk about high drama and violence. It was crazy.

      No more camping with them. Sweet freedom.

  • Yes! The sickest of all is cheaters putting this burden on their kids. My lying, cheating ex did this. I found out, after my divorce, that he told his daughter all about the girlfriends. She confessed after the divorce when she knew that I found out about the other women. She’s my stepdaughter, so I guess the sick fuck thought he could use her loyalty to him as her father to keep the secret from me. She did, but she said it made her sick inside. She didn’t know what to do. She talked to her grandmother, my former mother-in-law about it. He had his whole damn family in on the conspiracy. She and I have a great relationship to this day. I forgave her immediately. This was not her secret to keep and she was just a child. But fuck my MIL and the rat bastard she spawned. They can rot in hell.

    • Agreed I have a fucked up exmother in law also completely crazy but she has money so everyone sucks her crazy ass to try to get her money, UNREAL I’m just so done!

    • I also have a disordered cognitive dissonant ex mil and ex, they can rot in hell and everywhere else because they attempted to play my kids like a banjo, however I jumped in and set the narrative straight, the cheaters and their flying monkey family don’t like the truth thrown back in their narratives, well too damn bad, if the shoe fits and if you play the game you must have the name, Fuckwits all of them

    • And you really wonder, in addition to everything else, what kind of role model for appropriate behavior this sets up for the kids. In my X’s case, during his teens his own cheating dad had enlisted him in the cover-up of his cheating from his mom. Who did X always wind up blaming for his dad’s cheating? His mom, of course — it’s probably the narrative Dad fed him. (I fortunately never met X’s dad, who died when X was in college).

  • My oldest daughter was 5 when she pointed out a street where daddy’s girlfriend lived. It was my introduction to both the gaslighting and harm to my children. When I confronted him he laughed and said she made it up.

    There were multiple women back then. As an adult she reported at least five other women’s houses he took a three and five year old to visit.

    Keeping daddy’s secret was one thing but the pain of not believing my daughter undoubtedly harmed her.

    • OMG, my heart is breaking for your kids. That is terrible. Who takes their innocent babies to visit fuckbuddies and then gaslights them about it?? He will rot in hell for that. I have to believe that is true or I will lose my mind from the pain of these stories.

      • Thanks, Beth. It was years ago. The worst was when he blamed his son on a phone bill for porn sights when he was a youngster. I know it was not my son and believed him. The bill was in the thousands. I’m told it’s not my shame however it weighs on me at times.

        There’s a special kind of hell for the Limited. I take full responsibility for staying. The cost to my children was great.

        My biggest hope is for others to label it for what it is, abuse.

        And now I’m the keeper of secrets. He fathered other children. Of course he’d deny it. In my mind there’s no point in telling.

        • Sometimes I really think we were married to the same fucktard, Doing. It’s kind of scary. I got the thousands of dollars phone bill for porn sites too – one of the common scams back in the dial up internet connection days was those “free” porn sites switching your phone carrier unbeknownst to you, which is what happened to us. When I showed then husband, he was defensive and annoyed that I didn’t just “take care of it” rather than bothering him with it. At least he didn’t try to blame our son. :/ I ended up having to call our state’s attorney general’s scam division and go through a bunch of bureaucratic hoops to get the charges reduced. My ex’s part in that? Annoyance that he was busted. Not a hint of shame and certainly no offer to undo what he had caused.

          It is DEFINITELY abuse. No denying that here.

          I encourage you to stop being the keeper of secrets. Even if he denies it. Even if no one believes you. The physical and mental toll secrets take is too great. There’s no upside for you. Free yourself from the toxicity.

          • You got out of the situation, you should be proud, I unfortunately have known woman who have stayed with cheaters for years

            • my husbands ho ho whoreworker could not wait to be with my husband. I figured nobody wanted the bitch and she probably attacked him when she got him in bed. I would say it was over the top. Then once she got him hooked she was sucking the money out of him and benefiting by it. I’m sure the lies poured out of his mouth to lie about me so that she would think that oh the wife must be some crazy wench. and what’s worse, she never had to look over her shoulder or have me come after her…because the two of them kept their BIG secret so meticulously hidden there ‘was no trace’ ah, but yes, all roads led back to the whore. It did not take me long to piece it together. unfortunately he was dead at this point. ANd whore GOT AWAY with it all. She enjoyed screwing him for years and years…what’s more is she got to be treated and wined and dined like a queen. So, my point is she was willing to marry my husband as she already was pretending to be his wife, and they were obviously plotting to get rid of me. I’m surprised I wasn’t bumped off, cuz that whore was Debbie desperado…I mean nobody wanted that leftover and what better guy than my husband that was charming and (cunning) and sweet ( and narcissistic) and money to burn (because I worked my ass off and never asked for a dime) and ho ho benefited to it all….now I suffer and she sits pretty with loverboys greenbacks…it was the greatest scam ever pulled off in my world…Debbie desperado will need a major league new married man because my husband is not taking care of her financial needs and her nasty slut self.The ho ho’s gravy train has left the station….

          • I hear u dial up…. and my response was …silly him for doing stupid charges…boys will be boys … jokes on me .

    • When my now 32 year old son was about 3 or 4, my husband took him to a coworker’s condo to install a faucet. Around a week later, I was sitting talking to my friends with my young son nearby and he pipes in “you know, J@@@@, Daddy’s girlfriend”. Of course we all laughed. I actually had nightmares about this. Fast forward, thirty years later….and it turns out that SHE is Daddy’s girlfriend! This woman actually broke up someone else’s marriage at the same company in the interim, married him and they divorced. So this man, that should have loved me and made my dreams come true, only made my nightmares come true!

  • Apologies for the long post: This is so relevant for me right now. My sister confessed to me a few years ago that she was having a dalliance – kissing, emotional involvement (at least that’s all she copped to) – at a summer camp she worked at halfway across the country while her husband was back home by himself. After she told, she said “I hope I can count on your support.” And this after my own ex had cheated on me and put me in a mental hospital from the sheer agony and mental anguish of being chumped. She *knew* this had happened to me, yet she expected my support. What the actual. ????
    When I picked my jaw up off the floor, I said that not only could she NOT expect my support, but that she should not be living like a single person while married. And that if she was so unhappy, she should get a divorce. But not eat cake with some random swinging dick and treat her incredibly kind hubby with contempt. Well you can guess the chaos that ensued. She stormed out, due to my “anger.” Yep, my response was the problem, not the fact that she was catting around. And to this day, she still feels I am somehow to blame for the rift in our relationship. I apologized to her and said that my anger was over the top (but in retrospect it probably wasn’t forceful enough), but she is a manipulator who wants people to accept her no matter what she does. Sadly I am one of those tiresome people who “expect things” from my family and friends.
    So long story short, my family unfortunately drank the Kool Aid and rallied around her to keep her secret. When I said I was going to tell her husband because he had a right to the facts concerning HIS LIFE, my father got involved and sent me a thinly veiled threat – “If you value your family, you will not tell Jack [not his real name].” Well because I am coward, I caved and never told my ex-brother in law, and pretty much hate myself for it. She ended up divorcing him anyway, ostensibly because he had early onset dementia, but at one point said it was because he would not give her half his retirement so that she could buy her own house. And my parents have rallied around her and “supported” her as she’s gone through “this difficult time”. And I am and forever will be the bad guy because I called her out. Simple as that. And yet she wonders why our relationship is fractured. ???? I don’t understand why it was Ok for her to lie to her husband, yet it wasn’t OK for me to tell the truth about it, to the person who was actually being conspired against. It breaks my heart.

    • Yup. People can be immoral / amoral, and it can be people in our own families.

      I no longer speak to my aunt because she tried to seduce my husband. Desperate housewife. Way too much plastic surgery.

    • Cliffs–I’m sorry that your family, in effect, abandoned you for wanting to do the right (and moral) thing. It’s a very lonely place. Sadly, much of the world is composed of cowards who prefer corrupt tranquility to taking a stand on an issue of honesty or justice.

      • I got abandoned by my in laws because big whore howorker must have been some fine queen in her brothel by the sea…apparently my in laws , some of them, knew of the whore or they would not have acted bizarre and strange…because flying monkeys have secrets …and lots of them ! and that means, lets dump the innocent wife…cuz she knows nothing of these big secrets…yet they must have known many details, or possibly had ‘family gatherings’ with the whore ho worker…from what I gather, she may have almost been ‘part of their family’ because she has something to offer all of them– her big beachhouse– so that makes it ok that my husband was fucking her— I know sick people..All I can think of wow, this big clam was able to lure even his family…she must have been some incredible company prostitute that got them all to drink the kool aid. I know there is so much more to the story. Little by little it adds up and all roads lead to ho ho and how this slick whore was able to get my in laws on her side and the secrets were kept and enabled by certain members of his family. Mostly lead flying monkey, his sister, the now I know evil bitch, the evilest of all bitches. She’s the lead monkey in this major league narcissist’s game and I have been their victim and focus of their wrath. As if, I did something to deserve his dick going into that prostitution whoreworker. what it really is is that narcissist man, was able to wear the mask and get everyone into his realm and they all had different roles, flying monkeys, spys, loyal followers, etc you name it; and his image was meticulously polished with the help of these puppets which included neighbors, coworkers, family and friends. Really sick. And I am the one that is destroyed?? why?

        • Sounds liked you were duped by some very evil people. You don’t belong in their company…You are too good for them! Don’t let it destroy you.
          I’ve been harmed & nearly destroyed in every way because of other people’s choices & actions (emotionally & physically). If I give up on life, myself, or God, than I will be letting their evil deeds destroy me. I’m now determined to overcome it by accepting that much of my life, dreams & goals have to change. I’ve decided to accept the challenge & do my best to make it an exciting & fulfilling new adventure!
          Everyone here is an inspiration. They’re gaining new lives by picking up the pieces & creating something new! Duped, you & I can do that too!!

    • Holy shit. The cheating was bad enough but what sort of person divorces their spouse because they have an illness?? That is vile. My dad had early onset dementia so I know exactly what caring for a person with that terrible disease looks like and it’s not pretty but walking away was never an option for my mom or any of the rest of us. Wow. I don’t know what sort of kool aid your sister is serving to the rest of your family but if they are okay with her actions I think I would want to keep my distance from ALL of them if I were you. I’m so sorry.

      • Beth, I couldn’t agree more. The whole thing is so vile and despicable to me, and I feel like I’m the only one in my family who is seeing that the emperor has no clothes, yknow? I believe deep down my parents are incredibly disturbed by all of this (literally living a life of cognitive dissonance), but they realize that in order to have a relationship with my sister, they have to be accepting and forgiving. She has made that clear, and my mom in particular is too afraid of losing her to see and call her on the reality of who she is. As someone who was raised to believe very firmly in moral absolutes, this about face is depressing beyond belief.
        I love my folks but it is so hard participating, even silently, in this charade. I feel like I’ve said my peace to all but nobody wanted to hear it. So, I shake the dust off my feet and realize the limitations of those relationships, and get my real nourishment elsewhere. ????

        • Good for you, CoI. That seems like a healthy assessment of a terribly unhealthy family dynamic. I’m glad you’re finding your emotional nourishment elsewhere. {{{hugs}}}

          • Thank you Beth. It is hard because there is soooo much pressure on me and my husband to show up and give that illusion of family togetherness during holidays, birthdays, etc. My mom wants nothing more than to have her family around her, and her “heart breaks” to see her kids not getting along. She refuses to see that it’s so much deeper and more pernicious than that. I don’t know what else to do other than be very busy and unavailable…

    • You did the right thing 100% I will not tolerate ANY form of cheating and I keep ZERO secrets. I’m glad his parents don’t like me I don’t care and finally I’m free of the toxic bullshit and moving on with my life! As for him he will be riddled with shame the rest of his pathetic life.

    • I think ‘evil’ gets overused but abandoning a spouse as dementia sets in — EVIL.

      • You know – I always thought so and still do. I cannot understand how my sister has managed to spin such a “poor me” story out of all it – and convince (at least outwardly) my folks that she’s not a sociopath. As a side note, her husband was/is an absolute angel. There is nothing he wouldn’t have done for her. Nothing he didn’t do. He was having what appeared to be mental health issues for some time (impulse control issues, hoarding, blunted affect etc) but no wonder due to the early onset dementia. And as soon as they had an actual diagnosis, she was “done.” Her word not mine. As a side note when I asked my sister why she married him, her response was “To get out of mom and dad’s house…oh, and of course I loved him.” She makes my skin crawl and yet I am the bad Christian for not reaching out to her more and supporting her – you know, because she has no one. Well when you cheat and lie and live like a parasite and throw a human being away like trash, a lot of people wouldn’t trust you enough to spend more than 5 minutes in your presence. ☹️

    • Cliffs_of_insanity – I was called a bad Christian, too. It’s just another way to manipulate. My ex used lies to turn my daughter against me. Months later I told her the truth. He raged at me for turning her against him – parental alienation and bad Christian!! His family goes along with what he does because he is a major, explosive tyrant – baby shower at his new home with gf – while me, the wife, is at home. Yay! Congratulations!! I wanted spousal support and called him on his lies – so I am a bad Christian. I was supposed to let him go have his fling and wait for him to be done and come back home. I changed the locks and had him served at work = bad Christian. My ex cried and cried how I was out to ruin him and he would have to live under a bridge! While he had new 70k truck, new camper, new desert vehicle, nice rented home in expensive area, new thousand dollar bbq, new smoker, big diamond ring for gf, etc. etc. Why couldn’t I be a good piece of trash and go quietly into the garbage can.

  • What is your stance on telling someone their spouse is cheating, if you are just acquaintances? I discovered this woman’s husband has a profile on Tinder. She is the parent of one of my former students (PreK!) and we have a friendly relationship. I was stunned to see him on a dating site and it’s really bothering me!

    • I would print out the profile and mail it anonymously to her.

      If you give it to her directly, she will be offended by YOU… not by his actions.

      • This is exactly what I’ve done since discovering Tracy’s sanity saving website and community over two years ago. I’ve also contacted people anonymously via snail mail who are “f*ckwit free” just to let them know “It’s not you, it’s them” with the website mentioned.

    • Screen shot it and tell. I generally always fall on the side of telling the chump of present cheating. Then you must let go of what the chump does with the info. (They may stay with him, not believe you, or they may later circle back and say you saved their life.)

      Fact is, her husband is trolling for women, to hook up with them, which exposes the wife to harm (STDs). She did not consent to that.

      What would you want someone to do if you were in the chump shoes?

      • The cheaters say they love you, but their actions speak louder. Children usually protect their parents, they get stuck. They know its wrong, their in a awful position, thanks to cheater. There was a programme on BBC about cheating parents, the mental distress is still there, the distress is you same in a adult or child

      • I recently felt I had to do this. I have one friend who has trainwreck issues (T) and this guy was just so blatant and entitled with her and other women. His girlfriend S (whom I’ve never met) turned out to be friends with one of my very dear friends (B). As soon as I realized that (thanks facebook) I knew that I wasn’t the carrier of his secrets. I told my dear friend (B) and she agreed that her other friend (S) had to know. We gave her (S) everything we had except for the screenshot of my friend (T) and him talking because he also had a history of heavy drug use and I didn’t trust him to be safe to either my original friend or my family if he ever put two and two together. I also didn’t want him playing the mind-fuck / guilt-trip game with my friend (T) who already has suicidal / self-harm issues. She already went through enough over this guy blatantly lying to her and then discarding her. He even denied having a son and gf (A)in another province until the gf (A) contacted ME asking me if HE was telling the truth about my friend (T) being the aggressive pursuer and that he had nothing to do with it. Well, having picked up my friend (T) from his house while he was playing “I love you forever, you’re my only” with her, I was pretty pissed off.

        The sad part is he denied it to his (current) girlfriend (S) but also gave her a list of names of women who might have “made up such a lie.” WTF? A LIST.

        I barely even know this clusterfuck, yet here he is double-ending his bullshit. I couldn’t help but tell anyone the truth. Bad enough he’s pretending to be a saved convert in my church while screwing a hooker and doing drugs while messed with my friend and his girlfriend. Man. I’d rather not be involved but the current gf is a member and apparently they are looking to marry. I couldn’t have that shit on my conscience.

        • Look at all of the alphabetic pronouns I had to use to tell this mess. Just imagine all of the shit he’s causing everywhere.

      • I would strongly suggest that you screenshot and send it to her anonymously. In the note explain how you stumbled across it. If you tell her and she confronts her husband and provides your name, he will likely gaslight her and say something to the effect that YOU are a cheater, delusional, or somehow tried to come onto him, blah, blah blah. The other possibility? He could seek revenge and do something evil to hurt you or your reputation in your career, neighborhood etc. Remember Cheaters have NO problem hurting someone they have wed promised to love and forsake all others, right? So knowing THAT, what is to stop them from harming YOU from trying to expose their lying and threatening their kibble supply?

      • thanks CL. I did not consent to getting an STD during pregnancy. I am a big chump. have not even left.

      • ChumpLady – “Screen shot it and tell. I generally always fall on the side of telling the chump of present cheating.”

        Screen shot is good proof.
        However, this totally backfired on somebody who thought she was trying to help me.
        She blatantly came out blurting unexpectedly on a breakfast luncheon with 2 other women. They went to the bathroom and she said – the rumor is your husband is cheating on you with your mutual hairdresser. She had no proof and it was out of the blue. Not the right thing to do if you don’t have proof. I went Cheetah on her sorry ass. I thought she was trying to sabotage my marriage since we had such a great reputation around town. (ha) . And, frankly, she’d had 3 Bloody Mary’s before brunch and was drunk, as usual.

        I found out a week later that it was worse than she said.
        Anyway, make sure you have proof prior to saying this to somebody.
        She was just passing on a stupid rumor.
        (and we all know all rumors are steeped in the truth)

        I’m sorry she got involved at all.

    • In your specific role, there could be professional implications to the dual relationship. That said, she needs to know, of course. The suggestion to send it anonymously, of make sure she finds out, would get around that…

    • I was in this exact situation when my son was in preschool in our very small community. I knew both parents and ran across the dad’s dating profile online. I fretted for about a day, did some social media sleuthing (they were still posting smiling family photos), and then decided to do what I wish someone had done for me: I took screen shots and sent her an email explaining that I ran across her husband’s online dating profile. I apologized for interjecting myself into their business and explained that I felt it was important to share the info based on my personal experience of people *not* sharing with or looking out for me.

      It turns out that they were separated and planning to divorce but hadn’t made this info public and were still spending family time together with their young daughter. It was uncomfortable for me, and probably for her, too, but too many people think that discomfort means that something is wrong.

      To borrow a concept from Cheryl Sandburg, I think it’s important to lean into discomfort when you know what needs to be done and you just don’t want to do it. I would advise you to suck up your personal discomfort and be the person who does the right thing even when it’s awkward. This woman has a right to know that her husband is trolling online. Whether she hypothetically already knows or not isn’t relevant, and what she does with that info is up to her.

      • You do what’s right – not what is easy.

        I’ll take the consequences of a cheating fuckwit yelling in my face if it means their partner is safe. In fact – they can yell in my face all they like, they just better know I’ll put them through a fucking wall for doing so!

    • I just re-read your post and see that it’s the parent of a former student of yours. That does change the dynamic slightly, but I’d still send her a private message and mention that you came across her husband’s online dating profile and ask if everything is okay with them and the kiddo.

      • I wouldn’t ask if everything’s ok – that’s intruding a bit. Just give her the screenshots and let her do with them what she wants.

    • What Chump Lady said. An acquaintance did this for me (through someone she knew was close to me) and it cemented a lot of things in my mind about Mr. Fantastic. It helped me find the strength and determination to get a favorable settlement and to make the divorce happen. I have zero negative feelings about the original sender, except that as a married woman, she shouldn’t have been on Tinder herself. I also, after the cookies had all crumbled, was able to let Mr. F know that his extracurricular activities weren’t nearly as under the table as he thought. That information set him back a bit, which was about the only satisfying moment in the whole sorry saga.

      • My first thought was she was on Tinder looking for her husband. I know I signed up for all those sites looking for proof.

      • ****…..except that as a married woman, she shouldn’t have been on Tinder herself. I also, after the cookies had all crumbled, was able to let Mr. F know that his extracurricular activities weren’t nearly as under the table as he thought. That information set him back a bit, which was about the only satisfying moment in the whole sorry saga.***

        Yes, this is my experience too.
        For months, probably at least a year or two pre-d-day, he had been on social media posting various things to everyone except me (he had blocked me from seeing his posts, though I had absolutely no clue). One friend, one, actually contacted me about two months before D-Day and straight up asked me if everything was OK with The Evil One and I. I was caught-off guard and truly didn’t know how to react. My sisters and nieces and aunt would see things too on social media and put my beloved gram up to calling me and asking if everything was OK. It wasn’t until D-Day that I started asking people about the social media posts that gave them pause about my marriage, and one or two gave me specific examples, the rest only said that he had scrubbed his page clean after D-Day, so they couldn’t screenshot anything.

        What I wish now folks had done instead was actually tag me in the post or screenshot it and show it to me. Three years later, not sure how I would’ve reacted, but I know I wouldn’t have been mad at them.

        Exh2/The Evil One was such a liar — is such a liar—- that if he told you it was sunny out, you would still grab your rain boots and umbrella— that by that time in our marriage, I would’ve believed my friends over him.

        I don’t see social media friends as complicit in the deception, more like silent witnesesses. They witnessed silently for years IRL how shitty.of a person he truly is/was.

        In TEO’s case, he truly believed he had snowed everyone about me, and that he would leave, take dd, and I would pay him child support, and everyone would be TeamTEO. April Fool’s Dumb-Ass

  • So many people knew my ex was cheating. Some actually helped him by hooking a married man up with their whore family members and one of the people he cheated with was a howorker of his. All these people knew me, knew he had children he was destroying also. And his sister worked with him and was my supposed best friend and all she told me was she thought he was emotionally cheating not physically but turns out she knew more. I cut every single person out including my now ex best friend who knew and didn’t say anything or that helped that mother f***er destroy me and his children. The only people who got to stay in me and my kids lives are the ones who told me everything they knew. Those people were the ones who really cared about me and my kids not the ones who lied and helped destroy my life. I’m better now. Still angry and typing this and talking about those assholes is pissing me off again lol but I’m divorced now and got a good settlement. Just minus the shitty husband and some loser pretend friend conworkers of my ex and minus anyone who I thought was my friend who turned out not to be.

  • The new rule for me and my children is NO SECRETS ever! It is hard when we have to tell each other things that are tough to hear but we talk through it honestly and it is so much better. Living with secrets isn’t living at all!

    During the divorce, I remember when my now ex sister-in-law told me “he always kept secrets, even as a little boy“. She grew up knowing the family before marrying ex’s brother. Those words sent chills through my body then and still does years later.

    As for those that helped the ex and AP keep their multi-year secret, I confronted each of them. I understand why some had to as they were employees with families and obligations. Others I screamed at; didn’t change anything but made me feel better.

    The morning after the settlement was signed, I called the wife of the biggest enabler. I knew she didn’t know about his large cash loans to my ex and his involvement in the multi-year affair. I told her about all the secrets her husband had kept from her, including all of HER family secrets that her husband shared with others. I’m sure she stayed with her husband but I thought she deserved to know who she was married to. A sick fuck who got off on enabling friends having a secret affair.

    The AP who was fucking my ex but still hugged and kissed me and my kids when we saw her? She still keeps his name a secret in public, they’re not married and his FB status is divorced – 8 years after DDay. Does he tell her when he sees his sons or me? Does she know about the other women who I now know were before her? Who wants to live like that? Ugh!

    Recently saw the ex for the first time in years. He looked awful. Really, really awful! I was a blank slate but did think “is this is what your new life looks like?” I will take my struggle with depression and suicidality and living alone over what he chose any day! I look great!

    A life with secrets is not healthy for anyone. It made me sick not being able to tell anyone that I was trapped in a sexless marriage (he was faithful to the AP unbeknownst to me). The secret and anger of the awful reality of what my marriage was like churned inside me every day.

    It felt so freeing to finally tell everyone, including my kids, everything that he did. I shared both depositions, his and mine, and all documents with everyone in my circle. I let the facts speak for themselves in order to be open, honest and secret free. THAT is living my truth.

    • Good for you Rebecca. Mighty!!
      I especially love that you said “I look great”

    • Excellent post Rebecca! And this made me laugh: “It felt so freeing to finally tell everyone, including my kids, everything that he did. I shared both depositions, his and mine, and all documents with everyone in my circle. I let the facts speak for themselves in order to be open, honest and secret free. THAT is living my truth.” I had my attorney take ex’s deposition during our divorce but they didn’t take mine. I think ex was afraid of hearing what I had to say on the record. I too got the transcript of ex’s deposition and showed it to anyone who wanted to see it. When my ex MIL tried to tell my kids that I was lying when I said ex was a cheater, my daughter told her that she would bring the transcript of ex’s deposition to ex MIL’s house and make her read every word of it if ex MIL ever called me a liar again. That shut her right up, at least around my kids. 😀 Like you, I try to live my truth every day. I will never again knowingly allow a liar, much less a cheater, into my life again.

    • Great post, Rebecca!

      “No secrets” is also one of the big reasons why it’s important to tell children–in an age-appropriate way–the reason for the divorce. Letting kids know the true reason for the divorce, and letting them know that you’ll always tell them the truth, even if it’s a hard truth, will teach them that not only can you tell the hard truth, but that you are willing to listen to the hard truth.

      This is so helpful down the road when the dysfunctional parent tells the child to keep X a secret from Mom or Dad because it would make Mom or Dad sad. The child has already learned that there shouldn’t be secrets, and that the sane parent can handle the information.

  • My stepdaughter is 20 and has witnessed more things than I knew about during the course of my marriage to her dad, Mr. Sparkles. Only when she recently came to live with me (because both her parents are fuckwits) did I learn about what she saw and how it impacted her.

    – She saw IMs pop on her Dad’s computer late at night from other woman – she was 13 at the time.

    – She saw her father put our son to bed (while I was on a business trip) and then go out until the bars closed.

    – She saw her father come rushing back in to the house because I called to FaceTime with my son, but Mr. Sparkles had already left to go on a date (I was late calling.)

    – Six months after she moved to live with us, she watched her Dad unceremoniously dump me and with only 3 days notice move out. Once in their rental, Dad “disappeared” many nights to lovebomb his newest victim. This was during her senior year of high school.

    – After she came to live with me, her Mom (wife #1) felt it necessary to confess to both of us that she had continued to fuck Mr. Sparkles during my marriage to him in an effort to win him back. She was 18 at the time.

    – Now at 20, she’s in therapy. Her words to me are: “I don’t think I will ever be able to trust a man because of my Dad.”

    But right, a kid should be seen and not heard. Facepalm 🙁

    • What a heartbreaking story! That your step-daughter looks to you to be her sane parent is a real tribute to your parenting prowess.

      I hope that she is able to find healing.

  • I once held the responsibility of being the first to explain the differences between private things (examples: your body, bathrooming, your address…) and secrets (things you need to tell your parents even if it feels scary, like if another adult makes you uncomfortable, even if the other adult says you shouldn’t tell) to a small child.

    She wasn’t even three, and she got the basics within an hour. Granted, I realize repetition and lessons are required to settle a big lesson like that in, but she had the concept hands-down within an hour and could answer flash-card style on a variety of topics.

    Fully fledged adults have no reasonable justification to have a problem with this concept. If they struggle with it, it’s because they are immature and self-serving.

  • My ex moved out in January 2010. Just stopped coming home from work!!! I had a pretty good idea what the coward was up to but what I will never forgive him for is that he introduced his tramp to my kids before he even had the decency to tell me he wanted a divorce. Which he never filed for BTW and which he changed his mind about 3 weeks later! I filed anyway and wouldn’t back down but to put my kids in that position was about as disgusting as he is really!

    • My ex moved out January 2016 and then moved in with OW. He had stopped coming home, too. He brought our child to their house like everything was just fine and normal. They all went camping in our camper like everything was normal. He didn’t want a divorce. He wanted to keep things like they were: I stay in the house and he gave me a little bit of money while he lived the high life with OW as I sat there patiently waiting for him to come back when he was done. I had him served at work. I wasn’t going to show our daughter that that’s how you let a man use and abuse you.

  • It’s just like a cheater to involve other people.

    After I filed for divorce and dirtbag was still living here, he found my replace (can’t really bring strippers and hookers home to the kids, so he found a face of normal).

    He was actively encouraging our then 12 year old son to talk to her on the phone. He came to me super confused and asked if it was really okay. Great way to mindfuck your kid!

    1) no it’s not okay to triangulate your kid in your morally bankrupt endeavors.

    2) Can we please as a society stop handing control over to cheaters, liars, and manipulators, by excusing bad actions and vilifying perfectly normal responses to those bad actions. I am well within my right to teach my kid cheating is WRONG, even if that is something their other parent did. Don’t insinuate that that response hurts the kids.

    If a parent robbed a bank and you taught them that what their other parent did was wrong, there would be no questions asked. No insinuating that your moral standards “hurts the kids.”

    …And let’s not forget the cheater is the one who dragged the kids into it!

    3) We can arrest a parent and take away their child for leaving a 13 year old home alone for 2 hours, because the “potential for harm” exists; yet we turn a blind eye to a parent that triangulates their kids into deception that actually psychologically harms. One is irresponsible, neglectful parenting, and the other isn’t?

    The best interest of the child is not to allow one parent to psychologically mind fuck them and then expect the other parent not to address it, or, if addressed, excuse the behavior because saying their parent did something wrong is harmful to kids.

    Our whole system is set up to encourage the morally bankrupt to keep doing what they’re doing. Free will is your right when you are the perpetrator, but when you are the respondent your free will is regulated, controlled and held to high expectations of socially morality the perpetrator is not.

    Now I’m not saying it should be a free for all, but stop handing the bullies the power and constrain the targets to doing nothing!

    • I could not agree more. That whole mentality is what kept me feeling too afraid to be honest with my kids, and everyone else, about just what I had been through for over 14 years. And unbeknownst to me I was contributing to the whole thing because my cheater ex was far better at telling lies and manipulating then I was at telling the truth…

    • Son (10yo) came to me yesterday and said he wished that we had not told him WHY we were divorcing. He said he’d rather learn about it when he was 14 – he would be better at handling it. His words: ” well, I think I wouldn’t care at 14, Mom.”

      Cheater insisted 1.5 years ago that we break the bad news together. We had tried to reconcile until I busted him again and that was it. We had been living long distance for the last 6 years out of our 12 together (his choice because of work, business, etc) and son and I were flying home from our family vacation with the cheater. That’s when I told him I was finally done for good. He delayed the conversation as long as he could hoping that I would reconcile (again) but since I kept insisting he eventually got the guts to tell our son (9 yo at the time) that mom and dad decided to divorce but “nothing will change in your life, etc”. I don’t even remember how I survived the whole ordeal. All I could do was cry at the time. So in the plane back home when questioned by my son I told him why.

      Now he blames me for that because of hard-core impression management my STbX plays. So I told my son yesterday I that I had lied to him for a long time and I will no longer do that. I lied to him since he was 3yo and his father moved us to Canada under the pretext of keeping us safe when the Middle East broke down in revolutions and uprisings. Yes, it was. But his father kept us wondering, worrying for his safety because he stayed behind “to put bread on the table and to take care of his ailing parent” and gaslighting us for the next 6 years saying that it was still unsafe for us to move back. I told my son I lied when I justified his fathes’ s absence from our lives because he had to take care of his own sick father. Ummm. No. His father had been in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s for the past 15 years and his daily care was arranged. The STBX did not “absolutely have to be there 24/7” while his son learned to walk, talk, learn other languages and grow up without a father next to him. I lied when I said his father was too busy, had too much work. I lied when I said we needed to be understanding. I lied when I pretended it was ok with me when I felt very miserable and abandoned.

      So I said to DS yesterday I was not going to lie to him or anybody else anymore. I would tell the truth no matter how painful it is.

      Cheater has been dragging the separation agreement for a year now. He still lives overseas and visits twice a year for a few weeks so It’s manageable but I am just so tired and want to be done!

    • This here is PRECISELY why whenever anyone pulls the “S/he cheated/lied/deceived but they are a good mother/father” I tell them otherwise.


      They cheated, lied or were a deceptive fuckwit – so that makes them a BAD PERSON and a BAD PARENT.

      • I should also mention that its this exact mindset which is why the “zero tolerance” shit regarding bullies in school and so forth DOES NOT WORK – it punishes the victim as well as the perpetrator.

        If someone is being a shithead – you call them out on their shithead behaviour.

        Abusers steamroll everyone’s boundaries – why should decent people have to restrict themselves, or worse, face punishment, because they call out their shit?

  • How about your faith community’s elders excuse him? This is from Australia:

    Yes, an elected official for a faith community (national level) told me about cheating, relating it to James Bonds infidelity: It’s cultural. America is so puritanical. If Bill Clinton had been Australian, there would not have been a scandal.

    Yes, adultery is forbidden in our faith. Australia has legal prostitution. Australia’s Prime Minister Julia had affairs with married politicians. Whatever (I guess. Meh to affairs?)

    Or from a local elder, here in the US: Do you think it’s cultural (his cheating), didn’t you tell me his ethnic group tolerated cheating?

    Me: Our faith doesn’t tolerate cheating!! Kick his ass!!

  • Douchebag McGee would leave at night and come home in the morning to take a shower and take our son to school. He created the narrative to our son (my step-son), that I was the one who cheated first. He justified his actions because, hey, I did it first ( I never cheated on him).

    When I was deep in wreckconciliation, I made dinner on Thursday nights. Douchebag and my son would come over for dinner. I will never forget the night that our son was crying to me and told me that he was sorry that he was doing this to me. Homeslice would stay with Douchebag at his new apartment and Douchebag would also leave our son for the weekend to stay with homeslice when her kids were with their father. A certified clusterfuck.

    Even worse, while my daughter (18-years-old at the time) was hospitalized for psychiatric issues, he would visit her and tell her how much he missed and loved me…..and that I cheated on him. She saw through it and knew the truth. He was a master at triangulation….she no longer talks to him.

    Three years later, my son and I have reconnected. He still lives with Douchebag and homeslice when he comes home from college. I have created a new life for myself so unfortunately my son will not be able to come over to my new place or contact me on my new number. Instead, we will have to meet somewhere and he is able to contact me on my work number. I just cannot take the risk of him letting Douchebag McGee know where I live.

    As a therapist, I find it appalling the stupid shit I hear on here that therapists have said. I am confident I probably won’t ever have a large client-base for marriage counseling where infidelity is involved. That’s probably better. I remember my therapist told me to be patient, that Douchebag was scared of being alone and needed some reassurance that I would support him through this; and that if I would be patient, he would “come around” and we could work through things. I said “fuck that shit” and never went back.

    • Very sad that your son can’t come to your house for a meal or a visit. Seems very wrong for you and your daughter. Do you vacation with your son? That would be a nice way to spend some extended time together, even for a long weekend here and there. Or maybe you already do this.

    • Hey Lost 220#DeadWeight —

      You say so many interesting things here. First of all, though kudos to you for keeping your son (stepson) close. That seems like a very kind thing to do.

      You don’t mention that Douchebag is violent. Are you wanting to avoid him so you can maintain No Contact? Hey I get it. I feel the same about James Bond. I’m just wondering if there isn’t some way that your son can get a hold of you, but you know best, you know the whole story, and I don’t.

      How is your daughter?

      You are a therapist? Are you a marriage therapist? I am not, but I have sometimes thought how wonderful it would be to call out the cheater in a session: Stop your freaking lying!!, I might say. I would like a way to be straight up with a cheater and support the chump. The marriage counseling session was a grand performance for James Bond, and a torture chamber for me, until I got wise and became a Badass.

      Finally, I kind of think the first part is standard, and bears some truth: [Cheater] was scared of being alone and needed some reassurance that I would support him through this. I do think that bad choices lead these cheaters to a quicksand of consequences, and they would like to get out of. I’m not sure what it takes to get cheaters to remorse, to face their selfishness, to crack that ego — but you’re right, it’s not based on Chump’s: would support him through this; and that if I would be patient, he would “come around” and we could work through things.

      • QueenMother-
        I raised this young man while his biological mom was out playing Army. Nothing against military as I am prior service as well, however he’d been to 10 schools by 6th grade and was tired of it. So…. he lived with us. Taught him in 6th grade how to bathe and brush his teeth every day. So I will always try to be a part of his life if he allows.

        I close on our house on Monday; he still drives by even though he lives close to an hour south and works 20 minutes south. Is he violent? He’s many things, mostly unstable. He previously set up a video camera in my bedroom after he moved out, filed a bogus restraining order (when in fact I didn’t because I didn’t want him to lose his job because he carries a firearm as part of his employment). His most current cycle includes him saying I’m the worst human ever to an old email account that I was cleaning out…. I feel the love. I will not risk him being in some rage and do something that leaves me having to get law enforcement to believe me. When people feel like they have nothing to lose, they will do wild things. I need to be 100% confident that I can have peace.

        My daughter takes it one day at a time; she has more resilience than anyone I know. It impresses me.

        I am not a marriage therapist (I work with parents of children/adolescents), however if I was and dealt with infidelity…. first thing I would do is give the chump “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life”, then have them write down what their fears are, then schedule an appointment without the POS. Fear kept me playing the pick me dance. Fear kept me in wreckonciliation. Fear kept me telling myself not to get a decent settlement. Fear can go fuck itself….. and I got a nice settlement, which I’ll be enjoying some of it on Monday once the house closes and I get 100% of the profit.

    • I too was accused of cheating so his fuck phone was justified. Unfortunately my daughter doesn’t talk to me and my two boys don’t seem to have a problem with Judas. I’m just waiting patiently for the mask to fall and all of them see him for the narcissistic piece of shit that he is….

  • My adult son outed x’s affair to me, thank God. x tried to bribe him not to tell me, then promptly started a never ending campaign of hate against him. He has publicly and privately trashed him. My son lost his “father”. I tell him all the time that he did the right thing and how much I love and respect him for it. It is such bullshit that x lectured our kids about honesty their entire lives then punished them for being honest.

    • This! Mine used to lecture them about what a man is and isn’t…..then he did the opposite. Total bullshit and the MIL and SIL, still try to lecture them to respect their father because he’s a good man. And that what went on in our marriage is none of their business. Well, screwing skanks blew up our marriage and our family but, hey, it doesn’t affect the kids AT ALL! Talk about screwing the kids further.

      • Mine used to lecture the kids about how they should respect him but he usually had his hands round my neck while he was doing this! I also remember him getting done for his third DUI and rolling two cars in a week and with that added on top of the domestic violence conviction he was going to court. So he said, hey I might just run off back to the States and they can’t touch me. So much for lecturing the kids there Mr Marine Corps that when you fuck up you put on a suit and tie and “take it on the chin like a man”. Fucking pussy bully!

      • “Respect is earned, not freely given. Given that you’re a deceptive piece of shit – you don’t deserve anything except for my contempt.”

  • I can’t speak to kids and their burdens in dealing with cheaters, but I now do consider every adult who knew about my XW’s cheating to be a lair, in on the conspiracy, and so morally “flexible” that they never saw fit to tell me what they knew.

    A reminder though: many adult friends and family don’t know it all; they know more than the chump, of course. But they see what the cheater wants them to see–so the story is specifically framed to make the chump look like the villain, or that it’s not their business, etc.

    I’m not trying to excuse co-conspirators. But it took me 6 months to accept that my wife was cheating on me and I had to leave her. And I didn’t even know the half of what she was doing (some of which came out years later). So, co-conspirators, as shitty as they are, also don’t have the full picture before them. It’s possible (though not probable) that if they knew the full story of the cheater’s affair, warts and all, then they’d tell the chump right quick.

    • I had a friend who supported me wholeheartedly in the early aftermath of D-day tell me that people didn’t tell because (a) Hannibal and I seemed happy, so they didn’t want to upset the apple cart, and (b) many assumed I already knew and had forgiven him (which rings true because other people assume, “the spouse MUST know”).

      • I told my next door neighbor the day before I moved out of the marital home. His take on it at that time was a good Switzerland shrug. I wasn’t bothered by the lack of support because we weren’t that close. We were good neighbors, but that meant we each took care of our lawns and didn’t have loud parties.

        The neighbor also is the general manager of one of the local furniture stores. About a month after I moved out, I went shopping. He saw me, came over, and gave me a hug and told me he was so sorry.

        By that time, he’d been living next to CheaterX and Schmoopie for a month. Since Schmoopie was cheating on CheaterX while he was cheating on me, I suspect the neighbor got to see Schmoopie in all her horror. It was no longer a kind of “well, things happen, people grow apart” but a full-on “wtf was CheaterX thinking??!!!”

        My take was that anyone who cheated on me wasn’t worth it, and anyone who cheated on me with someone like Schmoopie, who practically had Bad News labeled on her forehead, was too stupid to be married to me.

  • So much of this is SO true! I hate to admit this, but I asked my oldest daughter to keep her dads secret. This was the single worst parenting mistake I ever made! I have not and will never forgive myself for it. My oldest daughter (then 13) overheard her dad and I fighting about his affair. She was old enough to understand what was happening. She cried and was severely distraught. I comforted her and assured her that her dad and I were trying to work it out. I asked her not to tell anyone but I did offer her the opportunity to see a therapist to help her deal with what she knew. I wanted to keep the family intact and hide our broken family from the rest of our families and friends. Her father promised her that he would stop seeing the OW. Which he did not do and carried on with the affair for another 4 years. My daughter carried this secret. It destroyed her. She did go to therapy and still does. She stopped talking to her father for years. She finally reconciled with him about a year and a half ago. The relationship is purely one sided (she does all of the work) and he makes excuses for why he can’t spend time with her. I predict she will walk away again. My youngest daughter won’t be far behind.

  • I could not agree with you more!
    I have three children. The older two were in their 20’s and mostly out of nest on D-day 18 months ago. The youngest was only 10. The older two were VERY clear from the beginning that what their father did was unacceptable, “disrespectful” to me and to them, and the behavior of a “monster”.

    Fuckwit had been carrying on an affair with a woman who was 1) the mother of youngest child’s best friend, 2) neighbor, 3)wife of husbands best friend 4) my client!!!

    When I uncovered the affair, X husband was on a business trip. I changed the locks and told him he could not come home. We had a brief period of spending time together, which I now realize was trauma bonding. X actually told our 10 year old not to tell his brother and sister that he was spending time at the house with us. He tried to get the 10 year old to align with him by saying the older two wouldn’t understand, but the 10 year old was smarter and could see how good it was for his dad to be spending time with us.

    Also, X’s therapist told him that his relationship with me (their mother) was none of his kids business. What a wonderful way to further fracture a family unit.

    Youngest child drew a family portrait for his therapist. On his father’s shoulder, he drew a little creature. When asked by the therapist he said “that’s a goblin, he makes my dad do stupid things. I hate him”

    Out of the mouths of babes….

    • Wow, the goblin story is sad and telling–a child’s way of explaining aberrant behavior.

      • And also his choice of words. “Stupid”. Not hurtful, careless, mean, damaging, misguided. STUPID. And really isn’t that what it boils down to? We chumps often invest more meaning into the cheaters actions, because we are people who live intentional lives. But cheaters are nothing more than, stupid. Impulsive, immature, withoit boundries, overly entitled….STUPID.

        • Yes. Stupid is what it all comes down to. When I first got the call from Shmoopie’s husband telling me about the affair my first thought wasn’t “what an asshole” it was “what an idiot”. Asshole came later.

  • Children, especially younger ones, often blame themselves when their family dissolves. Them being the messenger that ‘ends’ the family seems especially heartbreaking for them to endure.

  • I think for me this was the hardest part.

    I was deep in to the hopium after I discovered the affair about a month after Mme YogaPants had told me that she was leaving me but not why and was pick-me dancing my heart out. Mme had moved out of the master bedroom and into the guest room / son’s former room as soon as I found out she was cheating and then Mother’s Day came up.

    To the best of my knowledge she hadn’t told the kids anything and I remember us talking about breaking the news to DS as when he came home from university for Mother’s day it would be obvious that something was up. Because I hoped everything could be swept under the rug I remember saying to her before she drove down to get him that it was “none of his affair”.

    On Mother’s day they went for a long walk in the woods and she only told him that she was “unhappy”. DD knew nothing until her mother moved out some months later.

    I allowed her to control the narrative even though I knew she wasn’t being truthful to the kids or pretty much anyone else.

    I then held the secret even lying to the kids that I didn’t know if their mother was dating for nearly a year until she was outed on a fancy tropical vacation with Senor Moneybags (that she paid for by raiding the family savings account) by being tagged in pictures by another couple they were with there.

    It was horrible and I both regret and don’t regret holding that secret even though doing so burned.

    In talking to others later including those I thought had been enabling friends I got a mixed bag of people who knew and those who didn’t. The latter list was much larger. But nobody came and told me.

    I don’t know what her narrative is / has been. According to DD who lives in another country she said that her conversations with her mother were “superficial”. I do know that she told her lawyer that she only started dating Senor after she left which made me laugh. She made sure to leave the room to make that statement.

    I’ve told the kids that I have no secrets from them or from their mother. I’ve apologized for lying to them while holding Mme’s secret. I still feel bad about it. I am sure that they’ve forgiven me.

    To this day, the formerly open and outgoing Mme who posted on social media each time she would break wind keeps as quiet as a hermit. A fair number of people don’t even know that we’re no longer a couple. On my profile I do show myself first as separated and then divorced. I regularly press the “like” button on Chump Lady’s facebook posts and most of the people around me know exactly why I’m divorced.

    I have nothing to hide. I am free while she perhaps is still a prisoner of her tangled web of lies. It baffles me as to why she is so silent about her life. I’d like to think that she’s ashamed of what she did but that would require her to have more of a soul than perhaps she does.


  • The entire Catholic church choir where Big Chief Dumb Fuck was hired as a musician were fully aware that the cantor was screwing him for fully two years before D-Day. Not one of them saw anything wrong with this, and they all sang when BCDF and the Twatwaffle got married seven years later DURING MORNING MASS. Nope, priest saw nothing amiss either.

    This after I attended Easter mass and brunch every year at that church with my two girls, just so that the family could be together on Easter morning. (The girls and I are Lutheran)

    Screw them all.

  • X gets off on secrets. That is until he’s caught. Then he gets off on denial.

    My fourteen-year-old son was watching the Red Sox with his father. As he waited for Dad to return from the bathroom to tell him about Ortiz’s grand slam, Dad’s phone blew up with texts from the AP; “Wow! Did you see that?!?! Can’t wait for our own private grand slam tonight!” Then she sent a nude photo of her bent over, showing her bum and lady parts. When my son asked about it, his father dismissed it as a wrong number.

    “Then why does it say it’s from “CW?”
    “Probably because [workplace’s] email server got hacked. CW means “co-worker.” [note; it’s also the initials of his skank.]

    When the shit hit the fan months later, my son called his father out on the lie. His father responded by gaslighting and yelling at him. “That never happened.” When my son insisted it did and quoted the texts and detailed the nude photo background, his father got angry and said, “I don’t know where you saw such filth, but you’re wrong if you think it was on my phone! Maybe you’re looking at online porn and I should take your computer privileges away!”

    My son has never gotten over how easily his father lied to him, and I don’t know if he ever will. They don’t speak now.

  • It all comes down to the fact that there are people who have the capacity to intentionally hurt you.
    Those same people do so much behind the scene management.
    With my x it was telling everyone i was crazy. By d-day it changed to abusive.
    He didnt realize how crazy it made him look,considering what he did to me.
    When people started calling him out(including his own family) he just ran away.
    These people are cowards. Their game of victimizing the victim only works if others go along with it.
    CL is right. This narrative needs to change.
    Its just such a mindfuck. Its hard for decent people to wrap their mind around it.

  • My husband told no one because it would ruin his carefully crafted image of Mr. Nice Guy that he likes to brag about. It was suggested by our counselor of eleven years that we attempt to repair things. For a long time after DDay, we met on the couch with our morning coffee and talked while our daughter watched cartoons in the bedroom on TV. Then after putting on the “ Holiday Pageant” (you HAVE to keep lying and stay for the holidays otherwise you’d REALLY be a jerk!!) he started backpedaling Jan 2, moved up to our business (we own the buildings) Feb 2, and asked for a divorce Feb 9. My daughter had asked me early in the game
    what the word “affair” meant. She had seen one of my books (she is 11). Yes, I bought the books, he didn’t, you’re welcome Jeff Bezos. I told her when you are married you are supposed to treat your husband or wife like they’re your best friend and an affair is when you treat someone else like they’re your best friend.
    She didn’t ask me anything else until two weeks ago. She sleeps in my bed now (her request, OK by me) and we often call the Unity Prayer Hotline before we go to sleep. (A GREAT resource….available 24/7
    800-669-7729 for you spiritual Chumps).
    After we hung up, she asked me the dreaded question, “did daddy have an affair?” I just said, “Yes.” She fell asleep
    immediately. Obviously it’s been on her mind a long time. This is by far the saddest thing I have ever done. This is where it is very easy for me to get in touch with how motherfucking angry I am. That HE HURT HER. At the Lower Companions house while we are carving pumpkins on Halloween. At a local hotel, lying about being on a business trip, really a four day Fuckfest with the Craigslist “sole mate” (his spelling) on school picture day.
    He was always home at 5:30; I never had a clue he was leaving work for the afternoons. And he had NEVER picked our daughter from up school, let alone spend the afternoon with her (or me). He was “too busy”. When I told him that she had asked if he had an affair, he started out with the blameshifting, “She overheard us talking!” Yes, TALKING, not screaming and yelling. No, she saw a book “Yeah those BOOKS were everywhere!!” Yes, dear husband, I reached for A BOOK instead of a GUN. And BTW the books were always in the trunk of my car, to protect YOUR lie and YOUR image when you so intentionally failed to protect ME. I said, “I didn’t bring this monster home. YOU did. And good people don’t bring the monster home because you can’t control it and it hurts people.” I gave my daughter a journal to write in and told her NO ONE will ever look in it. I told her she can swear in it, say anything she wants, and if she leaves it on the kitchen table it will not be opened. I have kept my word. Time to get rid of the husband who doesn’t.

  • My ex gets off on secrets in general. As my life was collapsing around me, I discovered that he had managed to keep the secret of his large bicep tattoo a secret from his large Italian family for nearly ten years as he felt that they would judge him negatively. Apart from the fact that he loves getting away with the deception, that he has “one over them”, it is simply representative of how he rolls. Even now, I don’t listen to the BS that he says, but rather read between the lines. It’s like I have some kind of psychic superpower just seeing the gaps of where things should be. What is missing from a story? What is he trying to get out of a given situation he’s trying to manipulate. Such a pain in the arse, but hopefully the kids will build the capacity to see past this shit as they grow and not be messed around with their dad’s stupid omission games.

    • Yessss JJ – What is missing from the stories? It took me awhile, but I finally figured out the manipulation tactics too. I realized that the stuff he would tell me may be actually a total 180 after finding out THE REST of the story. BUT – he never actually ‘lied…’ Asshole

  • My ex is a firefighter, where we live they work 24 on, 48 off. When he went to work he would be fine for 24 hours ( at least).
    My ex got laid more st the firehouse than anywhere else I think. All his “brothers” knew, some were also doing it, some were also my friends, NONE of them told me.
    They all just ate the desserts I would send to the station knowing they were complicit in my husbands cheating….

    Blows my mind.


        MY H. was a fireman (and a serial cheater) .the sexual filth ,involved with that profession is mostly unknown .they have their own “built-in dating service and hotel facility” .and so much freedom and support from their peers ,that they get away with murder. on that new show “911”on the first episode the story opened with a fire , and the driver of the pumper was having sex ,in the firetruck with a street howorker . i was appalled. but just letting the world know about “firemen” .i thought “its about time ” they tell the truth about these guys. sometimes the police use the fire house for their own personal use . its its own little world in the fire/police department. i am sure anyone married to a fire/police man has their own “horror story” To be chumped is to be conspired against. Actively and with aforethought.its way worse when they have so many people helping them lie and protect their lifestyle .i have many personal horror stories , that will only trigger me into anguish , so another time . repulsedandbreathless

        • Military is the same, while the public goes around telling them all what heroes they are…

  • Which is worse for your kids to know outright or for them to see odd behavior and finally piecing it together? After a Dday and I told our 11year old daughter I would not be going to Thanksgiving with the rest of the family because dad and I had an argument, she ask immediately if he cheated on me. I told her yes but we would work it out. She is 22 now and she could finally tell me that when she was 11 she woke up one night and went downstairs to get a drink. Her dad was on the family computer and she saw nude pictures of him (dick pic). She did not say anything to anybody for years. Our other daughter had a similar experience (minus nude photos). They noticed odd behavior.

  • Amen, CL. What rotten people they are to try to enlist their kids’ help in this.

    My son found out about what was going on right after D-day…he was 12 at the time. That poor kid has never been the same 🙁 . I can’t imagine what it would be like to find out BEFORE D-day.

  • I never told my younger daughter about her dad’s infidelity because she was just 14 at the time. I still don’t want to hurt her or derail her in her life (she’s now a rising junior in college) by dropping that bomb. (He and I are still together.)

    But sometimes I feel like I’m lying when she says things to me like, “That was really nice of Dad to do that for you. He’s so sweet.” My usual response is something like, “Yes, he does do thoughtful things.”

    Or sometimes she says something along the lines of “Isn’t Dad great?” and I kind of choke on the words but I usually say something like, “I’m so happy that you have an involved dad who loves you.” (She knows that my dad died when I was 6.)

    Another reason I’ve never told her the truth about her dad is that I don’t want her to become a weapon I use to bludgeon him; I know his infidelity would shake her faith in him. And what good would it accomplish anyway?

    But it pisses me off when I feel like I’m complicit in propping up his good-guy image.

    • You’re helping to trick your daughter into a habit of spackling. You’re messing with her sense of reality. Also, how long can you keep it up? She’ll find out eventually and it’ll be worse for the fact that you lied by omission for so many years.

  • My main takeaway from my experience is that kids usually know more than we give them credit for. There was a solid four years of pick-me dancing and spackle between DDay #1 and DDay #2. I didn’t think my kids knew what was going on. Turned out I was wrong. My son heard the crying (me) and arguing (him) of DDay #1 and told his sister but never said a word to me or his Dad who he hero worshipped. Since I was pretending that everything was fine and dandy, I guess my son felt like he had to do the same. My daughter already had issues with her dad and my pick-me dancing and spackling so hard made her believe that I would always take his side (and honestly I would have, I have to own that) which that left her feeling alone and unsupported. The secrets I kept hurt my kids tremendously. Years later, there is still fall-out even though the kids and I have solid relationship. They have scars and emotional damage from those years. I have apologized over and over and I will never totally forgive myself even though I know I did the best I could at the time. If I had it to do over again, I would have told them the truth – not the sordid details but just that their dad and I were working through some things and it was difficult but we would deal with it as a family. The secrecy almost killed me and it harmed them too. I will never, ever live with secrecy in my life.

    • My mother is a Master Spackler too. When I discovered my Dad’s affair and called him at the hotel room he was at, I knew she would never believe me. She had already blasted me for not 100% believing that he hadn’t cheated on her after an employee had accused him of screwing her friend. Big lectures on loyalty etc. I never even said I was sure he cheated. I just said “it would be a question mark for me.”

      Well, I decided “there’s no point telling her. She doesn’t believe me and never does when it comes to him. She protects him like he’s the child. She protects him like he’s being abused when he’s doing the abusing. (I notice this seems to be a cultural phenomenon with a politician who is very much like my father’s personality type. It’s actually quite fascinating if it wasn’t so fucked-up).

      Well my father phoned her up right after that phone call trying to do damage control about me calling the hotel. Telling my Mom all of these horrible things and assumptions of made about him. His own damage control did him in.
      Plus my mother had him phone the hotel in her presence and ask about room history booked in his name. To which they said there was none. But since he was so arrogant and had to make himself so known…. they said “oh but we do have a record of all of your stays with Mistress.” Ha!

      My father has never had an issue lying to me or about me. Typical abuser.

  • The things that adults do very much affect children. It is really sad how many adults want to justify their selfish and self Center ways.
    My ex went through this crap as a teenager and was angry with his father. He reached out to his dad to work out things as a young adult. So what excuse his he using for cheating on me? And blowing up his family and now he whines at why his adult children don’t really respond to him? He is still very self centered and selfish!!

    • Similar here. My ex’s parents were divorced. His dad spent eight years sleeping on the couch before his mom finally kicked him out and filed for divorce. There was no infidelity involved on either side. Ex was 16 at the time. After his dad left ex didn’t see him much. As a result, ex blamed and resented his dad for leaving even though he had no choice. I suppose he could have fought for custody but his dad was a very passive man who was pretty much just used to doing what he was told. Ex finally did reconcile with his dad in his early twenties. This is the primary motivating factor behind Ex’s efforts to continue to be a part of his kids’ lives. He says he doesn’t want his kids to feel abandoned by their dad the way he felt abandoned by his. I think the real reason is that he doesn’t want the kids to resent him the way he resented his dad. He certainly did not have the kids’ feelings in mind when he went off chasing strange. He thinks he is doing his parental duty and doesn’t understand why the kids don’t respond more positively. He can’t wrap his brain around the fact that the kids know he left voluntarily because Schmoopie was a higher priority than his family. Yes he still comes around, feeds them a few times a week, takes them on outings and goes to baseball games, school concerts, etc. but he doesn’t live with them anymore. He is not there for the day to day stresses. He chose that and they know it. They weren’t enough to keep him around. They still love him because they are not as prone to resentment as he is, but they are disappointed in him and don’t fully trust in his love anymore.

      • ‘They weren’t enough to keep him around.’

        THIS was my kids’ experience. They weren’t enough to make him make any tiny freaking effort to keep our marriage intact, so we could both be there for them fulltime. They weren’t enough for him to even ask for 50% custody time, which is ABSOLUTELY the default and the norm in our jurisdiction. They weren’t enough even to keep him living in the same city, so he could have his day-and-a-half every second weekend plus supper and some homework/chill time twice a week, He moved very suddenly to Shmoopieville, a 1 hr plane ride away, and thought everyone should be fine with his seeing the kids that 36 hs, twice a month. Oh! Plus Skype calls! Forgot about those! Because 10 min on Skype most nights is ABSOLUTELY how you parent and how you show your 12 and 13 yr olds how important they are to you.

        Cheater Narc Ex showed them VERY CLEARLY exactly how important they were in his life.

        And he is SO PISSED that they believed him, and eventually totally stopped seeing him. That’s all my fault, of course. (And of course, this is only half the selfish, uncaring, negative, angry stuff he did in his relationship with them, both while we were together and after separation.)

        • Same situation here. My Fuckwit could have 50/50 custody. Except for the fact that he moved an hour away out of state. Even my attorney stated that he was stupid, because if he would just put the new relationship on hold and stayed in town, he could have shared custody. But apparently the relationship OW is worth more to him than his son. Which is fine with me because I was always the primary caregiver anyway.

          So yeah…. Isn’t it funny how they really show their love to the kids and what is important?

          • In some ways, its better to be the only one in their lives. To have a parent who comes and goes all the time, is teaching a kid inconsistent messages about things. Or worse – they are actively poisoning the well against you.

            Fuck that shit.

            • Our daughter has blocked her dad and has refused to see him for months. She sees that he chose OW over her. Over us. I’m glad I have her full time so she’s not over there with him drinking and raging at his gf. Our daughter and my MIL both said how he’s yelling and they are arguing all the time. I do not want my child in that mix. My daughter was saying just last night how her dad would take off all weekend to “take pictures all night.” She asked him to take her. No. She asked him to watch movies with him. No. This was a few years ago when she was 12. And she remembers how he did her. How he lied to her. Lied to her that I was the problem. She sees he’s selfish and self serving. She said she doesn’t want to be anything like him. They suck.

  • I am fortunate that in my case I think the only people who knew were my ex, his affair partners and possibly a handful of others who might have suspected but had never met me and didn’t know me from Eve and had no idea what ex’s or Schmoopie’s marital status/situations were. At one time my daughter suspected something based solely on her own power of observation noting that Dad had been a jerk lately and seemed to dote on this one woman he knew from the middle school PTA and who they just happened to run into at the pool. She even asked me “do you think Dad might be having an affair” to which I replied (believing it or wanting to believe it) “no, he wouldn’t do that”. After that she believed it too because she wanted to.

    After DDay, I was suddenly the one keeping secrets from the kids. I wanted to reconcile and I didn’t want them to think poorly of their Dad or, quite frankly, me for sticking with him. Once it became clear that wasn’t going to happen I asked him to come clean with the kids so I wouldn’t have to carry that burden anymore. I didn’t feel that I could tell them without being accused of parental alienation and betraying him. He didn’t tell. Eventually they found out when I lost my cool over finding charges for Schmoopie’s Valentines flowers (among other things) on the joint credit card paid out of our joint bank account before our finances were separated and daughter overheard. Interesting that once the cat was out of the bag she knew exactly who it was. That was the night before daughter had a big physics exam. I still blame myself for losing my cool, causing her to fail the test and ending up with a C in physics for the semester (she was otherwise a straight A student). Really I should be blaming ex, however, for blowing up our family, not telling the kids the whole truth and making me keep that secret until it burst out because I couldn’t contain my upset and anger anymore.

  • My 17-year-old son freaked out and was put in a mental hospital for a few weeks. “Nobody” (so I thought) knew what happened to make him ‘snap.’ The day I picked him up from the hospital (I took a day off of work), We made plans to get his haircut, buy him some shoes, etc….. while his dipshit father was in Las Vegas. Just before we left to run our errands, my son says to me “Mom – you know dad has another phone….” I didn’t quite comprehend what he was trying to tell me at that moment….. but after coming out of the fog, I realized what he was getting at.
    SO – things started making sense. The reason why my son was hospitalized was because he had found his fathers fuck phone and had read the conversations. He confronted asswipe. Jackasses response to my son was “You can tell your mom about the phone. It may lead to divorce, but you can tell her.” What a piece of shit! He basically just told my kid that it would be HIS fault if we got divorced.
    Other things started making sense too. You know – like his bank account dwindling down, buying SHIT, treating me like crap, cashing in his ROTH.
    I know my son was torn as to whether he should tell me or not. I’m glad he did, but I know that was probably the hardest thing he has ever had to do.

    • That is horrendous, LadyStrange. But they’re cowards. Too cowardly to break it off with you until they are 100% sure it’ll work out with the OW. Too cowardly to face what they’re doing, have some insight into their own failings. It’s easy to blame others, circumstances, situations. To have said that to your son is the lowest of the low. What a horrible thing to put on a child. No surprise here tho. Thank God my kids were grown. I told him he needed to be the one to tell his family, my family AND his children. He did – shockingly. But he “flowered” it up a bit. “I had an inappropriate relationship with someone else.” INAPPROPRIATE? You fucked her for 5 yrs! Since he lived away from home all wk bc of his job – she LIVED with him! He was in her mother’s home, fraternizing with her family! Inappropriate? Little by little the truth was uncovered – by ME, btw. He kept on lying and rationalizing and denying for nearly 7-9 months. I had to uncover the truth about what this was. COWARDS. Then – as I was uncovering lie after lie, he said “but we were a mess!” Really? Well -were we a mess because you were fucking another woman for 5 yrs? Ya think? And THIS was your “solution?” COWARDS. Low life selfish narcissists and COWARDSSSSS. And I’m so sorry you and your children had to experience that. My sons were grown and they still struggle with it. Terrible.

  • My x is now with someone who is completely rancid. She has a history of breaking up families.
    He is unrecognizable to me now.
    Looking back i remember glimpses of things in him that seemed so out of character. Now i know i was seeing the cruelty in him.
    He seems to have embraced that side of himself now.
    Now he is “free to be himself.”
    I think that is what his “anger” was about. He needed to find someone more like him.

  • My 20 year old son won’t date, won’t even allow himself to be interested in a girl. He says whats the point? Why fall in love and commit just to have them walk out on you 20 years later? He says he would rather be alone forever than go through what I did. And I did pretty well, actually. I didn’t cry after day 3 and did me duckies in rows and got a good job, nice (better) home, he sees his dad regularly (though he prefers me lol) and life is good (oh God SO MUCH BETTER) now…but he still won’t date, and says he has little interest in marriage.
    So yeah, there’s that breaking of my heart whenever I think about it.

    • I heard the same thing almost word for word from my 10 year old not long after XW and I told him we were getting divorced. Before XW was out of the house, he asked why people get married. Then he asked what’s the point if people don’t even stay married. XW just gave him deer-in-the-headlights look. So sad.

    • I am so sad reading this. But affair or not, ANY relationship is a crap shoot with no guarantees. My cousin drowned at age two, another cousin died of leukemia at age 10, my marriage is ending after 20 years. Because of no guarantees, I announced my pregnancy immediately upon finding out. I was at a meeting with 45 people who all yelled with joy. I had no idea if I would miscarry or my baby would
      live to be 100. I wanted her to know she was loved the instant I knew she was there; I did not, and still do not know how long she is supposed to be here. I don’t get to control that. All relationships are one day at a time. We still have to find a way to take risks and love, I think. I am seven months out from DDay and feel like your son, that it will be miraculous if I am ever in a relationship ever again. But there is no way to know beforehand if this will happen to you down the road. I just know that TODAY, and for a long time to come, I am not in any shape to be in a relationship. I own 100% of my own issues and character defects, 50% of the marriage issues which I tried my best to resolve, clean and sober 33 years with outside help part of our entire 27 year relationship. I own 0% of his decision to step outside the marriage (which might explain why the marriage issues couldn’t get resolved?). There is no way around the trauma this causes for our children, which royally chaps my hide, and I am on board with my daughter for the rest of my life to go to any lengths to help her heal. Tell your son that your experience doesn’t mean that it will be his experience, and that I am praying that it isn’t. ❤️2U both.

      • PS….I get a MAJOR AWARD for risking my heart. I just didn’t think it would be the Leg Lamp!

        • It is sad, but it is also real life. There are NO guarantees. Yes, affair or no affair marriages end. Children are immature, and have little life experience, and they simply don’t know any better. It is not in anyone’s best interest to remain in a marriage under duress. If you are unhappy, you should try and fix it, and if that does not work, then you need to go… and be let go…As a former chump of years ago, I can indeed confirm that not all marriages end due to infidelity and drama. A marriage takes two people…if it has become one, and guilt and obligation are what is keeping them together, it’s not a marriage, it’s a hostage situation. Anyone who says that the happiness of the spouse simply does not matter, that it pales in comparison to the happiness of the children or the happiness of the spouse who doesn’t want the unhappy spouse to leave is simply being unreasonable.

  • Oh gosh yes! My 5 year old son and our family dog were taken to a “date” to the local dog park with the OW and her dog. Even the damned dog was involved in the affair and knew of it before I did.

    To be honest, I don’t know of how many of our mutual friends knew what was going on. However, I have diassociated with many of them because they are typically his coworkers anyway and I don’t need that negativity in my life.

    Currently co-parenting with the Fuckwit sucks because he just can’t stand not being able to bring the OW into the picture right now. (Whereas he was free to do it before D-Day). He tries to get around it by having our son talk to her on the phone during his visitation. I’ll never understand it. He is not able to keep time with his son and time with the OW separate.

    “It all comes out in the wash.” I’m sure that I will continually discover things…. even years later after things have suppsedly settled down.

  • On Christmas Day 2006, in church, after Mass was over and I visited with some colleagues from the local real estate office I worked in, I saw my husband speaking to a very ugly woman I’d never seen before a few pews ahead of us. My then 11 year old son, who was standing next to me, saw me looking at them and said, “Oh that’s Dad’s friend from the train!” Later that night I checked his work vm, innocently not expecting to find anything, but somewhere I must have suspected something. Low and behold there it was. To this day I feel sick every time I hear “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” as one of the 4 messages I discovered was her disgusting self singing that to may husband. I am so ashamed to say that I picked me danced like an idiot for YEARS, even after he left me for her. I was so afraid of having my kids grow up in a broken home. There is so much I would do differently.
    My poor son had no idea what he was telling me then. And he is one that has chosen the cheater, he hasn’t spoken to me for years. I’ve got my other two kids but losing him has been the most excruciating thing I’ve ever had to live through. OW posts pics of them together regularly, it’s hideous. They married 55 days after my divorce was final and are still married almost 9 years later. And all of his family and friends, people I fed in my home and shared the biggest milestones of my life with, welcomed her with open arms. My former FIL called her a “breath of fresh air.”
    I am very happily remarried now to a man who is so wonderful and truly loves me. I live across the country now as well after tricking that asshole into agreeing to let me go. But the loss of my oldest son keeps me trying to untangle the skein, keeps me watching that damn social media so I can actually see what he looks like as a man.
    Not trying to get political at all, but when I see all this immigration stuff (and I am totally sympathetic and believe it needs fixing) I think has anyone spent a couple hours in a family courtroom?? Do people have no clue what goes on in there? Talk about tearing children from their mother’s arms. Anyway sorry, I just hate the unbelievable injustice. We are 11 years out from him leaving me and he STILL brings me to court, from another state 2500 miles away! I’ve been in court HUNDREDS of times, no exaggeration. And then add the church thing, ugh. I’m a Roman Catholic and I love my religion, but let me tell you it isn’t easy having my youngest son make his Confirmation and watching the whore who broke up my family take Communion while I can’t. The mindF*** is unreal.

    • Bea – I am so sorry. That is heartwrenching. I have the same issue with my youngest daughter. She doesn’t talk to me either (Whereas my two older ones do). It breaks my heart. I’m just hopeful that someday she will get her head out of her ass and see through the lies and manipulations (I’m fairly certain of) her father has fed her.
      Hang in there….

    • “I’m a Roman Catholic and I love my religion, but let me tell you it isn’t easy having my youngest son make his Confirmation and watching the whore who broke up my family take Communion while I can’t. The mindF*** is unreal.”

      Is there any way you can get an annulment so you can take communion, remarry within the church someday if you wish?

      It’s all a bit hazy, but if memory serves, an annulment doesn’t make the children born within your marriage illegitimate or unable to take communion themselves (if they are practicing RC). Is that still true?

      • Thank you Lady Strange and I pray for both of us the pain of being separated from our kids will end someday.
        NSC, yes all you said is still true. I can get an annulment I just haven’t. The paperwork is kind of crazy, which is no excuse. I just am so mortified by the whole story that my embarrassment is keeping me from writing it all out, which you have to do start to finish of your marriage, for the Tribunal. I know it’s so that they can make the correct judgement regarding the marriage, it’s just so embarrassing. A chump issue I’m sure, as the embarrassment certainly isn’t mine, but apparently I like to carry it anyway…

        • Honey, if you can’t take communion, NEITHER CAN SHE. She’s just choosing to, in defiance of all the rules, because they are also not validly married. Annulments go both ways.

          Get the annulment. Really. It makes a huge difference to letting go of the whole disaster, plus you can have your second marriage validated and go back to communion.

          • A disgusting skank who weaselled her way and fucked up a family not playing by the rules – what a fucking shocker!

  • I didn’t know and would probably never have found out about my husband’s 5 yr affair if a very loving birthday card didn’t fall out of a book as I was cleaning out the garage. A card that expressed how much she “needed, cared for, wanted and loved” my husband. He was living away from home during the weeks then graced me with his presence on the weekends because of his job. Yeah, I know. I was a RIDICULOUS chump. How could I not see that was a recipe for disaster? All I can say as an excuse is that trust makes you do stupid shit. This article resonated with me because of the tons of people who DID know and who did and said NOTHING. To me or even to him. Not ONE PERSON called him out, yet they knew he had a family and a wife. He traipsed around town, in front of coworkers and in front of her FAMILY. Because no one called him on it – why would he stop? And his coworkers? He held their livelihoods in his hands? Who’s got THAT kind of courage? It’s easy to pretend like you don’t see it or you don’t know because calling him on his bullshit might mean that THEY suffer the consequences, not him. But her FAMILY? He was IN HER MOTHER’S HOME on countless occasions. Was fucking RICHARD DAWSON, kissing family and friends hello and goodbye after he broke bread with them! They all KNEW he was married! What mother sits with and is kind to the man who she KNOWS is married who is just using and fucking her daughter? Who does that? Well – apparently a lot of people. And ya know – maybe you don’t have the balls to tell the spouse who’s being cheated on, betrayed, lied to and played. I get it. That’s tough. But CALL OUT THE ONE DOING IT! Approach them and say – listen, I see what you’re doing, I KNOW what you’re doing. Don’t make ultimatums. Don’t threaten. Just say you SEE it. Maybe – just MAYBE it’ll snap them into reality of the harm they’re doing even if their spouse doesn’t know. If maybe just ONE PERSON – one single person was rude or mean to him or said – I know what you’re doing to my daughter and you’re a fucking asshole! MAYBE he would have hesitated. Maybe not. But they walked around town as if they weren’t doing anything wrong or thinking that people didn’t know or maybe that they didn’t care. By not saying anything, it gives them license. SAY SOMETHING!!!

  • THIS is exactly why cheating needs to be seen as ABUSE.

    We’ve greatly changed the narrative on physical abuse of a spouse or romantic partner. Now people are encouraged to call the police or contact a Domestic Violence hotline, go to a shelter. Now friends and family encourage physically abused partners to leave and stay gone. Now no one feels right to ‘not judge’ or to keep secrets for the abuser. Now physicians, psychologists, social workers, and social services recognize that witnessing one parent physically abuse the other is terrible for children, requiring intervention and support. Now we encourage honesty about why parents are divorcing, when there is physical abuse. Now we have therapists specialized in treating abusers and victims, and couple counsellors know to ALWAYS advise the abused partner to leave and get help, and to refuse to treat couples where there is physical abuse (they don’t always follow those guidelines, but they can’t deny they know!). Now society withdraws its respect from abusers.

    THIS is where we need to get, with cheating.

      My local shelter taught me that affairs are abuse in 1989!!!!

    • 100% this! I imagine bystanders used to hear/see signs of physical abuse and murmur to themselves “oh, it’s none of our business” when terrible direct and collateral damage was being done to families. I have more than one acquaintance who remember cowering behind furniture whilst their mother was being beaten. They still carry huge scars, and a lack of faith in the police/judiciary/therapists who they see as condoning this behavior (yes I realise it can be complicated bringing a prosecution, but underlying it all seemed to be a tolerance of the abuser’s behaviour)

  • I posted this on a marital forum today, felt like sharing it…

    I think one of the issues for us as the BS is that even with all the advice offered on these boards, which I was given right from the start. I never ever believed my stbxw could be so cold and nasty! When I proved the A and she admitted it, I thought she would do all she could to make sure firstly the kids were OK. And do as much as she could to try and explain and make it as easy for me as possible.

    Even until recently I believed she would somehow come out of her fog and do what was right for our children. The kicker for me is that the AP is obviously a much worse narc than she is and is guiding her, albeit down a very bad path that will leave her kids hating her. I’m not saying it’s all his fault, but I know her. She will cling to him for dear life and do as she’s told because the alternative is being alone, and that’s one thing she can’t handle, being alone with herself!

    The other thing I’ve came to realise is that there really is no fog, only the actions of a selfish bitch that’s been there all along. I used to think I was crazy, for years I couldn’t understand why I got depressed and anxious all the time. It was all the gaslighting when I called her out on her boundaries.

    My advice to any one reading this who is newly betrayed or had the ILYBINILWY speech, is throw them out. Change the locks. Go NC and give them no emotion, nothing at all. It will all be used against you! If your spouse gives the speech but wants to work on things, go to mc and all that stuff then do it. But when someone says they want out of a marriage, assume a 3rd party no matter how much you think you know them, you don’t, trust me. Think of the times you’ve seen them at their most callous or cruel, times it by 100 and that’s likely the real person behind the mask.

    Do not let your love for them blind you from who they are, you’re projecting normal thinking on to them! In time you won’t love them anymore anyhow, they sure as shit don’t love you. If you catch yourself thinking they are sitting there crying over you and what they’ve lost, they’re not. If they are crying it’s in self pity and consequences. Consequences are the only thing these bastards recognise, and those consequences will be your fault. You told the neighbours, your fault and it’ll be worse to them than what they did. I got told that I destroyed our family by telling the neighbours, they found me in the drive way in tears. They move the AP in straight away, your fault for telling the kids.

    I don’t believe in going after them and ruining their lives, there’s a reason for that, and it’s the right reason for me and perhaps not for everyone else. Going after them ruining their reputations or businesses is Energy I would rather spend on myself and my children. Fuck them, let them go off in to the sunset.

    Last piece of advice. You can’t do this alone and make rational decisions. If you loved them, you can’t turn it off like a switch like they did. And so you will make all the wrong choices like I did, because you’re a normal sane human being not a sociopath! Don’t respond to a word, an email or text without advice, because you can bet they don’t. The AP will sit there with them crafting every paragraph. Do the same, give them nothing!

    If this person truly loves you and made a mistake, they would expect your anger and sadness and accept your actions post d day. They would do whatever they could to right their wrong. That’s a fairy tale because it ain’t gonna happen. And you don’t want it to happen, because you’re just setting yourself up to get fucked over one more time. In the words of George Carlin, “just bend over a little more, so I can give it you just a bit harder”. Crude, but true!

    Bit of a rant, but better to learn from someone else’s mistakes than your own! Do not sit here like me regretting literally giving them everything and being treat like crap for it. Let them bitch and moan and cry and then laugh at them.

    If I could go back to my d day, I would calmly walk her out the door, push her out, close it, lock it and never open it to her again.

    Anything you do otherwise, especially as a man will make you look crazy. No one that hasn’t experienced this will understand your pain, no one. Being cheated on and then abandoned is a hugely traumatic event.

    Final quote from Dave Draper, a one time famous bodybuilder and pretty wise guy who I’ve conversed with in the past “if you suspect a whimpering ego in your midst, take it out back and shoot it, it has a tragic influence”.

    • I read in a psych today article about cheaters. It talked about how because the cheater has no empathy your pain angers them. They feel you are accusing them. They feel backed into corner.
      That seems a little ric based but i do agree with it.
      Although, i think its more like “because they have no compassion.”
      If they had compassion they would just plain feel bad for causing others pain.
      They can fake empathy all day long.
      But by the time they think they have a sure thing lined up they really dont feel they should have to bother.
      That calculating nature is the epitome of evil to me.
      Its completely devoid of humanity.
      I think it is always a shock to observe that in anyone but especially our spouses towards their children.

      • My x is so angry. My kids are terrified to talk to him.
        These assholes that demand respect from their children need to be shut.down.
        The kids have reason to be pissed. And scared.
        As adults we are much more savvy on how to deal with complete assholes.
        Kids need protection.

        • My ex uses anger and tears to get the kids to stay at the Prick faces house. When the screaming and shouting doesn’t work she says please kids I have nothing and no one he’s all I’ve got! Erm well you used to have a family that loved you and lots of friends! Consequences! She can’t spend a moment alone with the kids without someone else there, she just sits and cry’s.

          If the kids refuse to go somewhere, same again, please kids this is the only thing I have for myself.

          She’s never said sorry to the kids, just the same old broken record. Daddy wasn’t nice to me, he’s a horrible man, prick face is god himself! Yep, this horrible man walked away with trash bags and my kids and she stole our home to use as a business premises, has hurt my son, let prick face grab hold of him, tell her son she doesn’t want him and won’t choose him over prick face, thrown him out on xmas day after only 6 hours, sent boxes of rubbish to my house with delivery men, refused to communicate for the kids, had me falsely arrested and then apparently it’s my fault she was then investigated for lying, had all my in laws unfriend me with threats of never speaking to them again, and worst of all no apology. Her new guy, left his pregnant wife and mother of his 3yr old who was also step mum to his other two kids whose mum he left for her, they’d been married just a year when the affair started with my stbxw. And what’s more they were all friends. She comforted his wife in my home while she was screwing him when they split up. Abandoned us for 3 weeks and stayed in hotels with him.

          And why all the anger, because her life is shit! We were a few years away from all our debts being paid off, by the time we reached 40 our kids would be in further education and we would be able to travel and do the things we missed out on in our youth. Now, she’s step/step mum to 4 more kids from age 0-16. No travelling for you my dear, but me, well me and the kids are off backpacking round Europe in the summer holidays, then I’m off to Asia later in the year. I blocked our old joint friends that said we’re both your friends and made new ones and went back to the ones I’d neglected and made many many more new friends. Gradually my story has gone from I’ve been fucked over with every gory detail to any uber driver that will listen, to I’m a single Dad, I work in innovation technology for the government, I travel a lot, oh the kids Mum you ask, she cheated, so I divorced her. No mention of the abandonment or anything else.

          A good close friend said to me “she fucked another guy, don’t be a puppy and go back for more beatings, be a wolf” I got a tattoo of a wolf on my arm where she bit me after I tried to leave her with the kids one night. It’s a constant reminder, that I am not a puppy but a lone wolf with boundaries that will not be crossed!

      • Your pain angers them, because it means that they cannot steamroller your boundaries because you are aware of what is going on.

    • This was my experience EXACTLY too, free to live. So well written. Thank u so much for sharing.
      I am 9 months post the 1st Dday and I still can’t wrap my head around the cruelty after I discovered the affair (and he too just said, “There is no one else. I just want a divorce because I haven’t been happy in years”) or the fact that he doesn’t give A SHIT about me or my feelings, after 15 years of marriage and 2 children.
      I’m hoping I start to feel better soon. Thank u again.

      • Yep, the cruelty! Why, I do not know. When my ex first mentioned separating, it was apparently because I wasn’t a good husband. For the first time she listed all my faults and actually explained why she was unhappy. The more I tried to change these things, the angrier she got always saying why couldn’t you have done this 2 years ago. The anger became very intense. I couldn’t understand, and then it hit me. She was angry because she had no justification for what she’d done and was doing all along behind my back. This was now all on her.

        I was 99% sure she was having an affair and who with, but 1% of me wanted to believe she would never do that to me. I had so much love for her, that 1% held me there, and yet 100% of her love for me didn’t do shit.

        The anger she spews now is because of consequences, she is living with them each day. I don’t need to wait for the karma bus, because those two prize pricks stopped the bus and got on. If it wasn’t for my kids I would want them to stay together forever. She already lined up another guy, but sadly for her he turned out to be a convicted peadophile, she still had my kids around him, child Services stepped in and told her if anything happens to my kids, she will be held accountable. Plus she runs a nursery so erm bad for business.

        Thankfully for me, she leaves me alone. She can’t look at me, be in my presence or hear my voice. Last time my son called me from our old home, she ripped the living room door off it’s hinges and and stomped all over it. That isn’t hatred for me, it’s hatred for herself and her situation. I remind myself of that, so maybe that’s the answer…

        • Wow, FreeToLive, you are mighty! I can’t thank u enough for your post. It gave me strength and from now on instead of waiting for the karma bus, I will tell myself that he and his MOW/AP got on it because they now have to live with the entanglement of all their lies.
          Thanks also for letting us know there are decent men out there as my doubts were slipping????

          • No worries dude!

            These people are insane. My father left us when we were kids and married another women in another country while still married to my Mam. He completely discarded her when he was 40.

            Fast forward and he had a stroke at 50, became 80% disabled. I left the army to care for him. I know, we’re walking door mats! But I saw a transformation in him over the 13 years before he passed. About 6 years in, my Mam came to visit and for the first time in maybe 10 years I had my parents in the same room. He couldn’t say many words. He held out his only usable hand and grabbed my mothers hand. He started to cry and said a new word “sorry”.

            This is why I feel so sad for my children, when I was younger I didn’t care if they got back together after about a year, and I was the one that discovered the new wife when I was 9 and told my Mam. But that moment was something I’ll never forget, for the first time in years I felt whole. Now, I loved my father very much despite his abuse of me and my Mam. But, my Mam left and never fought for us. It’s something she still apologies for each time I speak to her, which is almost daily. I still to this day do not feel like she is my Mam. To be the one that betrayed and discarded his children, I cannot imagine the pain and regret that is waiting for them.

            You’ll do well in time. I still struggle from time to time, but it’s actually mourning what I thought I had. My intact family, but we’re a new family now, just the three of us. And right now, that suites me just fine.

    • FreeToLive,
      Your third last paragraph.
      It fills me with emotion.
      If I had one wish, it would be your words.
      So much less pain.

      Go forward.
      You are now on the right path.
      I am so proud of you!

      • The above comment I made refers to your June 21, 1130 AM post.
        (You have so many excellent, heart rendering posts)!

  • I am 8 months after dday and this has been the hardest anger to let go! Those that knew about the cheating and never told. I don’t care what bullshit story he told you it’s wrong!! And even worse after I know the family and so called friends that are now Switzerland- what the fuck?!! They are all despicable and I cut them out of my life. Some of them don’t even believe he cheated – they were “just friends”! Give me a break. He not only cheated he also hid money and bought a business with his hoe worker ????. Friends my ass.

    • Yes, most of oyr mutual friends are Switzerland as well. He was ranting to them about our “marriage problems” (Meaning problems he had with me….. not actual marriage problems) and so they had been fed all the BS. Well then in his mind they already knew the reasons that justified his affair….. so if they believe the BS good riddance.

      • Exactly – Mine set me up and painted me as a horrible, unfaithful, prudent wife. If they believed the bullshit, then they are just as stupid as the piece of shit I was married to. Who who needs them? Certainly not me! They can all go fuck themselves.

  • My dick-ex asked me if it was okay if his skank ho-worker moved in with us while she found a house for her and husband to move into. This was before I knew that he and her had been screwing around. (They were team members on an inspection team while were were in Europe and hopped from hotel bed to hotel bed as they traveled.) This is how naive/stupid I was. Not once did it occur to me that it was odd that in all the places to get a job after Europe that she would find one in the same town (population 100K) that we chose to live. She even bought a house literally just around the corner. Her husband at the time was serving in Afghanistan. When her husband returned he figured it all out much sooner and divorced her. Too bad he didn’t tell me. In any event I allowed his skank to stay in our house displacing our 16-year-old son from his bedroom off of the living room. He had to sleep on the couch. He came to me later and said, “Mom. When you go to work in the morning, dad goes into Shelly’s room and doesn’t come out for a while.” I was devastated and stupid. I had all three of my sons with me when I confronted the dick. He calmly looked at our son, looked at me, and said, “J is mistaken.” J did not refute, I think he was as flummoxed as I was. How can someone that you love and trust just blatantly lie? It makes you doubt yourself, what you see, what you hear… It mindfucks you. What was wrong with me that I wanted to believe the dick so badly that I chose to ignore what my son said? I can only say that my self esteem was so low that I was desperate. Later, the dick took our two granddaughters, 3 years and 1 year, on a trip in our RV while I was working. (He had summers off.) The skank told me later (in her infamous email to me that went through the UBT) that she went with them on the trip. The dick then took his skank to my family home in Utah (again mentioning it in the email). When I was out of town and my son who was in college stopped by our house to see his dad rushing out of our bedroom and hurrying to put on a robe to cover his nakedness, my son demanded entry into our bedroom. His dad said, “I will NOT be accused of adultery in my own house!” I met with the shank after that ugly email. She said, “T! I was SO scared! I was hiding in your closet naked! I thought J would come in and see me!” And this from a social worker with a master’s degree in psychology doing family counseling at the local university. I know I cannot wish judgement on these ugly people, and I should ask for mercy for them when I ask for mercy for myself, but I honestly hope that they’re punished for their actions someday. They made me doubt myself. The dick made my son doubt himself. They had no regard for anything sacred. They defiled everything they possibly could. They finally married each other this last January. Maybe I’ll see karma unfold. Maybe not. I say I’m at meh, but maybe not if I’m still going for justice. Bummer!

    • So so so so sad.
      The years wasted. Destinies changed.
      Children scarred.

  • Nomar,
    You are an awesome Dad!
    On a side note, my middle son used to have a Red Sox bedroom, with a specializition in Nomar Garciaparra!!!!

  • Hi Chump Lady!
    When can I buy my AFFAIRS ARE ABUSE
    t-shirt from you to support your website?
    I am first in line to buy…will wear daily.

  • “You got no morals, you get rewarded” said by the social worker character “Kimara” played by the talented Regina Taylor in “American Crime” season 3

  • ok! The cheater makes you, (me) the AF without your knowledge. OKEY DOKEY. You (me) find out. Not nice for you or burning with fury (me). Think I am gonna keep his secret? Me? Think not, via certified signed receipt letter: Dear Ms. Chumpy, your live in boyfriend, the senior citizen, 64 years old who you bought a house for him and his grown sons, cuz he was a loser, who you have lived with for 7 years has been cheating on you for three years with moi. But be comforted with his words when I finally found out the truth, “I love her”. Yeah, he sure does. He told me the same thing.

    • Who the fuck are you, a skank OW, to call one of her sons a “loser”? Also, who are you to emotionally vomit all over his wife, after you found out the truth?

      You are a disgusting piece of shit. Fuck off.

      PS: Learn how to fucking type properly, you speak like a three year old. In fact, my three year old speaks better than you do.

      • I think Danni was calling the husband a loser.

        It’s unclear, but Danni may not have known he was married. I’m not normally inclined to give the benefit of the doubt, but this post was so badly written it’s hard for me to know if she (?) should now be called Twunt or Danni.

        • Her behaviour after finding out he was married is enough to tell me that the OWhore doesn’t give a fuck except for herself. She was a vindictive piece of shit.

          I would only give someone the benefit of the doubt if they were apologetic and remorseful – this one isn’t. So yeah, she can rot in hell for all I care.

      • Nasty letter (full of misdirected rage) sent to his girlfriend, not his wife

  • When I had my first DDay my boys (26 and 23) told me they had an idea dad was cheating for a few months but didn’t want to say anything to me. I asked why and they said they didn’t want to hurt me, tell me and then find out it was a wrong….I told them how I wish they had said something to me since I had already started having my suspicions.
    If know TELL…

  • I still haven’t told my daughter about her mother’s cheating. Cheater actually introduced her to the AP while the affair was going on (before I knew). It’s some horrible crap for me to live with. I don’t know what it would do to her to know.

    The 2011 cheating ‘attempt’ was with the father of one of my daughter’s friends. I can only imagine how awful and embarrassing that would be for daughter.

  • Serial Cheater’s friends all thought I was being controlling because I wasn’t okay with all her cheating… and they helped her cheat because I’m so awful supposedly…

  • My ex-boyfriend expected his 17-year-old daughter to keep his secrets. The same daughter who, a few years before – right after her parents divorced – had tried to kill herself twice. She dated older men and could never be alone. But she was very bright and sensitive, and she and I started to become friends.

    Then she told me how her father had hooked up with his ex-girlfriend while on his annual trip back home to Europe to visit his parents. “They had sex so loud, it disrespected the whole house,” she said.

    Her Dipshit Dad’s first response when I told him what I knew: “I can’t believe (Daughter) threw me under the bus like that. She knows that could make you want to leave me, and then I would be sad.” Um, no. SHE didn’t throw you under the bus. You threw YOURSELF under the bus. She just took the police report, and a very detailed one at that.

    I am so grateful to his daughter. She and I still connect once in a while, though I’ve gone no contact with the cheater.

    I hate that he modeled such disgusting behavior for his daughter, who was in such a vulnerable state at the time, struggling with her own self-worth issues.

  • After dday I was talking to skankboy’s mother. The conversation lead to her saying, ‘I’m so sad that the two of you split……he didn’t love you.” (Rolling up sleeves) I said, “really? He told me he loved me less than 24 hours before I threw him out for cheating and giving me an STD.” Double Boom! THEN, she said “I don’t blame you.” I purposely told her because she is the town gossip and the state of Rhode Island would know the whole truth and not some poorly spun lies and secrets, especially to his children.

    On another note, one of skankboy’s favorite sayings was “do the right thing.” Yeppers, won’t be able to say that again and not look like a bigger fool. Daddy/Golden Boy on the pedestal no longer exists.

  • I’m so glad my teen girls see through the BS of their mother continuing her relationship w/the AP, and not having really apologized to me or the kids of what she did, as if they’re simply supposed to accept the situation. I know that she has this “perfect world” belief that through constant and repetitive family therapy, she’ll win back the love of her daughters, when I feel (know) that my daughters will never accept her and her AP in their lives.

    I’m so glad that my daughters have their head screwed on right, and have better sense of what’s right and wrong about relationships, moreso than their mother. She continues to be a lost soul.

  • I found this quote somewhere: “What you can’t say owns you. What you hide controls you.”

    Secrecy nearly killed me. I was forced to keep 2 secrets:

    #1 being in a relationship with another woman*

    #2 my ex cheating on me. She used the secrecy of #1 as leverage against me, under threat of being kicked out/ breaking up. I “wasn’t allowed” to talk to anyone about why I was suddenly so distressed – to the point of suicide, FFS.

    Some “friends” knew something was deeply wrong, but I apparently deserved it, so they sided with my ex. They too have been pulled into the secrecy, keeping OW out of the loop.
    Other friends are being Switzerlandy.
    And still others – including strangers who took me in – have been and become actual friends.

    * Before the “but there’s marriage equality now” or “society is more progressive & accepting”… please pause on that for a sec. The ripples of bigotry and stigma against LGBQTIA+ people doesn’t just disappear because a few laws/ social norms have recently changed…

    This webpage helped me understand a little about the deeper psychological stuff at play. Maybe it will help someone else…:

  • love this advice and absolutely true – proper behavior fears no exposure

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