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The ‘Otherness’ of the OW

Dear Chump Lady,

I was hoping at some point you could write about another dimension of the Chump experience — one that seldom gets told — and that is the impact of race.

One thing I love about ChumpNation is its diversity. Despite the fact everyone uses pseudonyms when commenting (myself included) you can tell Chump Nation is a Rainbow Nation representing all genders, sexual and cultural identities and ages.

Over the course of the year, I could not help but notice that some commentators draw attention to the race of affair partners. A recent example that really stuck out to me this week was a fellow chump talking about how triggering Asian women were to her, as the OW in her case was of this ethnicity.

I think what I found most jarring about that comment was not the fact I resemble the remark (being an Asian chump) I felt a great deal of empathy to the poster, because I myself could very much relate to her feelings.

The affair partner in my case was a young white woman. When D-day hit, I began a self-destructive examination of how we were different. She was thirteen years younger than me, had never had children, could party and socialize and spend without care. She even has a better job than me (she works at Facebook, or as I call it, FAKEbook: the ultimate online image management tool.)

Perhaps the most blatantly obvious difference between us was our race. It triggered some very deep-seeded feelings of inferiority that I had carried most of my life as a marginalized person. My skin was too dark. My eyes too slanty. I had never resembled the norms of beauty in our society, and my ex’s choice in OW was one more example that I was less than and would always be.
One of the first products I purchased after D-day (in addition to many affair-proof books on Amazon) was whitening cream.

I look back to this time period in my life with disbelief now. It’s taken a long time for me to realize that — actually — my ex’s choice in affair partner actually has NOTHING to do with me. His affair partner could have been a Bedlington Terrier for all I care. My mind, my heart, my skin, the fact I eat kimchi with my scrambled eggs were not the reasons why he cheated. He cheated because he has (as you say) an empty elevator shaft where a soul should be. Cheaters cheat because to them love is only skin deep.

Thank you Chump Lady!

Love to Chump Nation!

Iris

Dear Iris,

Excellent discussion topic — thank you!

Yes, chumpdom is a rainbow nation. All it takes to be chumped is having a trusting heart.

But on the flip side, cheaterdom is a rainbow nation too. If we’re going to work from the democratic principle that women, LGBTQ, or minorities are fully human — then they can be shitty people too. Humans often are.

Abusive power dynamics are universal in human relationships. No one has the market cornered on vice or virtue.

I’ve always tried to write about cheating as a character problem — a human problem — and keep things here gender and orientation neutral. (I confounded my book editor with the singular “they.” IT’S ACCEPTABLE USAGE. His/hers is the most awkward. construction. ever. SINGULAR THEY. ACCEPT IT.)

But I think chumps — in their righteous anger at being chumped — should remind themselves that it’s not about “trannies” or “Asian whores” or “white trash” — it’s about some human being’s lousy character. To be an affair partner is to be used. Cheaters use everyone. People are interchangeable — the real currency is kibbles.

When D-day hit, I began a self-destructive examination of how we were different.

Which is just another way of blaming yourself. If you’d only been thinner/bustier/Asian/not Asian/Californian/Serbo-Croatian/Methodist… This compare and contrast bullshit is soul sickening. It keeps you in the pick me dance. It’s a mindfuck.

Oh, and PC tangent here — there are societal mindfucks as well as personal mindfucks. Are brown people supposed to be in some eternal pick me dance to be whiter? WHY IS WHITENING CREAM EVEN A THING?!! Must women constantly pick me dance to be found worthy? I don’t know if I can put you on the evening news and let you expound on an opinion Mindy, not until you lose 30 pounds and blow dry your hair. Why do all the women news commentators — not news readers — the EXPERTS THEY ASK TO TALK on TV look like they could bench press me? With their ropey little 20-year-old arms of steel? Why are they all wearing the same tight dress? Why are they all in profile? WTF NEWS MEDIA?

All this pick me dancing, all this pointless gyrating to be found worthy (and failing), benefits someone — the person sitting at the top of the heap. The person for whom entitlement is working just fine, thank you. Self recrimination shuts you up. Try harder. Over there… you missed a spot. 

I had never resembled the norms of beauty in our society, and my ex’s choice in OW was one more example that I was less than and would always be.

Iris, who among us represents the norms of beauty in our society? Would all the 6-foot-tall-120-pound-34DD-chested-natural blonde-body-hairless-flat-stomached-glamazons please stand up and announce yourselves?

No, not you in the back. Bad hair day. SIT DOWN.

Fuck the “norms.” Could we all please stop doing this to ourselves?

Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

(Of course she was a rich, white woman with thin thighs, but I think she had a point.)

Everyone — stop the self-hate. Start the self-love. Dump the cheater — and forget their Schoompie flavor of the week.

Iris — you know what makes you beautiful? Your soul. Your ex? Last time I looked, there was still an empty elevator shaft.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I think an important upside (!!) to being Chumped, once we get past all of the pick me dancing and self doubt, is the laser-like renewed focus on character that CL refers to, in every relationship we have, romantic or platonic. Like the way other senses are heightened when one is taken away, it’s almost as if we’re gifted the third eye of enlightenment (at least that’s how I feel about it).

    • Totally true. In every area of life. It’s all changing for me… I can see clearly and I will no longer pick me dance for anyone. Thanks UX

      • This is so true for me too. I don’t have the patience for doing any pick me dances anymore. I look closely at reciprocation now from all my relationships. Even ended a long term friendship after I saw the signs of immaturity and Me Me Me from the other person.. I am much more vigilant and selective now of who I surround myself with.

  • Yup. No matter what you are, if cheater wants to cheat, you won’t be enough. Too young/old/short/tall/thin/fat/accomplished-thus-threatening/unaccomplished-thus-inferior/smart/stupid/homebound/outgoing, not enough money, not enough time out of the office, not having a penis, not having tits, not having tits AND a penis, not being a hooker, too much time with the kids, not spending enough time with them, uses the wrong cheese when making lasagna… the list is endless.

        • I get the same thing. I don’t need him like she does. She plays the damsel in distress to the T and he plays into it. And she has learned that that’s his thing. I explained that when my kids were as young as hers that I actually needed him in the same way. I am smart and accomplished and am independent woman and he loved that about me , until he didnt

          • When our kids were young, I needed his support but didn’t get it. When the eldest, who is autistic was born, he quit his job, and started coming home drunk.. So I had to be strong and be both mum and breadwinner. Failing the children wasn’t an option; so every time he let me down I picked up the slack and needed him less. So I guess it was my bad for coping.

            • I had an alcoholic too. But mine gave me the opposite line: “I’m so glad I married a strong, competent, self-sufficient, responsible woman.”

              Decoded that meant he didn’t have to be responsible for any of the regular parts of being husband and father… I was covering for his lazy ass, so he was free to do as he pleased.

              Until I stepped on his entitlement, that is. Then I got, “It’s your fault because you think you’re so strong, competent, self-sufficient, and responsible. You don’t respect me. You’re just trying to make me feel worthless and emasculated. So of course I don’t want to have sex with you.”

              Wash, rinse, repeat. Didn’t matter what I said or did, or how I responded to him. His power-play was to make promises, which I believed (for a while) then refuse to follow through.

              Of course he demanded major gratitude for making the promises. But that was quickly followed by the gaslighting mind-fuck: He never said that. He didn’t have the money this week. He thought I wasn’t interested any more. He’d have done (whatever) in a couple of days, but I was too pushy and had to go and do it myself.

              The cat box could be overflowing, the toilet stall floor covered in crystallized urine, his unfolded laundry left on the floor so long that it was full of cat hairballs, the roof leaking for weeks, the bushes overgrown for months… But if I did something about it that was just evidence that I was just pushy and impatient. But yes, he’d help me pay for it… next week… or the week after… or did I HAVE to keep hassling him about it??? FINE! Just for that he changed his mind and wouldn’t pay anything after all!

              Then he’d go buy more booze and get drunk again.

              After I heard this enough I stopped caring. About him, that is.

              • ” …or did I HAVE to keep hassling him about it??? FINE! Just for that he changed his mind and wouldn’t pay anything after all!”

                This too. Apparently it served me right for being pushy and annoying. He would have fixed the overflowing water tank in a couple of days if I haddn’t kept irritating him about it; It was only water running down the side of the house. And the plumber overcharged me ‘must have seen you coming’ – how stupid I was to waste ‘our’ money like that.

                And as for finally picking clothes off the floor and washing them: I must have been prying through his pockets, or they weren’t ‘ready’ for the wash!

                Just pffft!

              • OMG @AC, it’s like I have the same litany ringing in my ears. Add to it the “you are undermining me with our children” (because no, I didn’t think it was appropriate to scream at our child that “I wish I had aborted you” when he accidentally dropped a glass on the floor), and it’s pretty much what I was dealing with for the last decade.

        • Double Binds. This is what a lot of us are describing – double binds. Part of my recovery and continued self-care includes avoiding all double binds. Even the ones my own grown child continues to present me with – which breaks my heart.

          Double binds are deal breakers – no matter who they come from.

          Chumps, if you’re in a damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t-do situation in a relationship – this is a double bind. And they are always a trap.

          Putting someone in a double bind is abuse.

        • I got “I didn’t feel like you needed me”. A few days later I got “You are too needy.” At that point I asked him flat out “When do you want to be needed and when do you not want to be needed?” He said he would have to think about it. Two days later he denied every having said he didn’t feel needed.

    • I totally get the insecurity over the ‘otherness’ of the OW. As well as not being good enough across any old random dimension – in the cheater’s eyes – and an excuse to cheat.

      But the opposite is true, too. The OW in my case seems like a direct replacement for me. She looks like me, similar hair colour, eyes, height, similar job in the same industry, similar education in terms of level and where, and (I’m not proud of my snooping, but hey) similar background, including growing up in a similar kind of place to me. There’s even some suggestion that she likes a similar kind of music to me, given the ex’s sudden interest in some of my playlists, while the affair was still undiscovered.

      The only obvious differences between her and me is that she’s 6 years younger than me and hasn’t had any kids yet.

      It’s really creepy, but she seems to be a direct replacement for me – but a replacement from the beginning of our relationship, before the realities of responsibilities changed me and also our relationship. What’s worse is I’ve even seen that they’ve visited the same or similar places on holiday abroad that we did (snooping again – I don’t do it anymore) and even took similar photos to the ones we did.

      It’s all rather creepy and I’m happy to leave it all behind.

      Whether the OW is very ‘other’ compared to you, or whether she’s like a younger carbon copy, I think we just need to try not to think about them. They don’t deserve our thoughts and attention, and certainly not to compare them to ourselves – either similarities or differences.

      Like Chump Lady says, it’s all about character. They have proven poor characters – and are content to cause hurt and harm to other people. We’re not like that. We’re better than that, and the less thought-time we give to them, all the better for our health and happiness.

      • Mine did the same. Same places, same past times etc. As a friend said “he’s just rearranging deck chairs on the titanic.” I was obsessed with finding out who she was and why she was worth discarding 30 years of relationship/marriage. She was available, new and a “fresh” start. I couldn’t compete with that, so finally, I gave up. It was such a humbling experience. I definitely took it personally even though it’s supposed to be
        more about “them.” Three years later I am still working on my self esteem.

    • I recall a quote from Lenny Bruce:
      “You put a guy on a desert island, he’ll do it to mud, a chicken, a barrel, anything, a knothole.”

      Change “a guy” to “a cheater” – male, female, fluid, S or L or G or B or T or Q or I, black, white, brown, red, yellow, or green. A cheater is a cheater.

  • Love ya back, Iris! And please believe what you wrote that the choice of OW isn’t about you. It truly is all about the cheater and there’s no cream or book or anything that can fix him.

    The only thing you can work on is your peace and remembering that your cheater is the one-off in your world.

    You are loved for just who you are.

    • The best thing that happened to me in my whole mess was when I finally saw a photo of the OW who finally blew it all up (as he’d dabbled in cheating on me the whole 20 years, but this one was his “SOUL MATE” ew).
      I laughed. No kidding, in the middle of the whole soul crushing experience, I laughed.

      She was literally the female version of him. He found his soulmate because he could boink himself. After that day I realized that it wasn’t about me. It never was. It still makes me giggle. That was the day I really started healing.

  • I’d like to add something here. Look at all the supermodels, famous actresses, all the people “at the top.” They get cheated on too and many of them don’t even believe in their own beauty. I don’t want it to come out the wrong way, but I’ve been told a number of times how beautiful I was. Did it stop my boyfriend from cheating on me with a girl who was blonder? Hell no. Do I feel beautiful myself? Not really. I guess it’s all about self-image and how secure we are. Also, whitening creams are the most sickening thing on earth. How can people actually make money selling and advertising this stuff?

    • Halle Berry and Heddy Lamar

      Both beautiful
      Both cheated on
      Both told multiple times they weren’t enough.

      It’s sick

      • Also, one needs to look no further than Larry and Vivian to see infidelity isn’t about how pretty, talented, or in love one is. Two stingily gorgeous people at the top of their game who clearly loved each other.*

        Vivian might be excused for mental illness, but Larry’s actions were pure vanity and entitlement. He cheated because he could. To feed his ego.

        *reading about how he stayed with her even after she physically beat him, mentally abused him, and publicly embarrassed him makes me think he did love her. It may not have been a healthy love….

          • I googled it and was confused for a minute by the comic strips that showed up. So thanks! I didn’t know anything about their problems, or anything about them at all.
            Hard to know how much of an excuse to give anyone for mental illness, isn’t it?

        • Or it was the cheaters narrative which as we all know begins long before we become aware.

          Yeah, it’s often framed by the abuse they’ve suffered making themselves the victim. Very typical, crazymaking.

          • But in this ONE particular case, her behavior is well, well documented by disinterested third parties. She threw items at him and attacked him with to physically harm him when in a manic state with witnesses around, so it’s is not something he made up. Those witnesses in several cases were HER friends.

            “Or it was the cheaters narrative which as we all know begins long before we become aware.”

            She was an abusive manic depressive. There is ZERO doubt about that. That is no picnic to live with.

            If you really want to know about this instance, go read a bit about it. It’s very clear she was abusive to him and to most of the people around her who loved her. She couldn’t control it, but she certainly did it.

            That isn’t to say that he wasn’t also a cheater. It’s just not something he made up, which your comment implies.

            In this cone case, you’d be wrong.

            • “eading about how he stayed with her even after she physically beat him, mentally abused him, and publicly embarrassed him makes me think he did love her. It may not have been a healthy love….”

              And this implies despite loving her he cheated.

    • “Did it stop my boyfriend from cheating on me with a girl who was blonder? Hell no.”

      This is kind of how I felt. I was a pretty good wife but I wasn’t perfect. I had a lot of good qualities but not all of the ones ex wanted. OW had many of my good qualities (as ex defines “good” qualities) as well as the ones I was missing. I felt like I was being traded in for an upgrade, nothing wrong with me, she’s just better. The hard part for me is how he could consider the kind of woman who would fuck someone else’s husband and then encourage him to tear his family apart an upgrade over someone who had been faithful and devoted to him for over 20 years. I guess he always did prioritize image over character.

      • “The hard part for me is how he could consider the kind of woman who would fuck someone else’s husband and then encourage him to tear his family apart an upgrade over someone who had been faithful and devoted to him for over 20 years.”
        ^^^EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!

      • “I guess he always did prioritize image over character.”

        This is my STBX exactly. I thought he was so religious because he was a moral person. It turns out that he was only moral because he was religious, and he was very able to compartmentalize the religion to allow him to do immoral things, especially after I left religion. Then it was an excuse (my fault) for what had never been there: a strong moral character. My character pushed me to leave my religion due to the hypocrisy and abuses I witnessed and experienced there. But for him, he still goes to church every Sunday projecting this image of wholesomeness and people in his congregation feel sorry for him that his immoral wife kicked him out but he still takes our kids to church every week. Dedicated he is. They don’t know he cheated and lies constantly and commits sins against the moral code of his religion every damn day. By appearances he is a good, moral man, making the best of a terrible situation…It’s always a good reminder to be true to myself because I know who he is. He may never face consequences for his actions, but I can always feel that I have a clear conscience, which is worth so much more in my opinion.

        • It is worth it. They are so base that they can pull the lies and tricks off that fool people. We can’t stoop as low as they can. So they appear to ‘win’ in the impression department. I am happy that I can’t stoop as low as he can.

          • The Python told tales of helping others, and sometimes actually did help my elderly parents (image management!), but in retrospect the “evidence” I heard (from him) about his being a kind, caring, selfless person did not match up with the reality of so much of his time, money, and energy being spent mostly on his own interests. I was very good at spackling! To be fair to myself, he was very good at being charming. And he practiced lying so much that he was an expert.

            I was shocked when I found out that the man I thought was a person of good character was exactly the opposite: morally bankrupt. But he fools a lot of people into buying the “great guy” crap. No, he’s a snake.

      • “The hard part for me is how he could consider the kind of woman who would fuck someone else’s husband and then encourage him to tear his family apart an upgrade over someone who had been faithful and devoted to him for over 20 years.” THIS!!!!!!👋👋👋🤮👋

      • Male chump here, and I got upgraded out of my marriage too. AP is younger, taller, thinner, more left-wing, earns more, has more hair … pretty much me in every category except just a bit better. It bugged me a bit, but I’ve decided that it just proves that in actuality XW and I were a good match – the problem wasn’t me or even the marriage: XW just needed a fresh version of me, without 20 years of grievances that (unbeknownst to me) she has been accumulating.

        For my XW, that’s what ILYBINILWY meant: there’s nothing so really wrong with you (hence “I love you”) – I’ve just found someone a little better so I’m going to swap you out for the improved model (hence not “in love” with you). In five years, though, he won’t be shiny and new any more either, but she’s too wrapped up in limerence to understand that.

        • Evidently ex had the 20 years of grievances against me too. But listen, you and she were never a good match. You have character and she doesn’t. She pretended she did and so you have nothing to be ashamed of in having thought you were a good match, but you weren’t. That has been one of the hardest things for me to wrap my brain around. Ex and I really weren’t a good match. That is a hard one to accept because it almost gives them a good reason to have left us. They still suck though, and yes, pretty soon those “grievances” will build up again with the downgrade, probably faster this go around.

          • Accumulated grievances here too, and yeah that’s how I figure it too, whoever she’s with they will accumulate again as she doesn’t have the ability to be truthful or communicate at an adult level. Not my circus… but was still awful getting cheated on even if she’s a soulless liar.

      • This is a really good point ChumpinRecovery. Sometimes in comparing ourselves to the very superficial traits of the affair partner, we neglect to consider the real characteristics that matter. Namely: character.
        I remember specifically asking my husband why he would want to be with someone who willingly got involved with a married man, knowing full well it would implode our life and that of our children.
        His response: **crickets**

        • I got that too, I wasn’t a “good husband” apparently (I wasn’t perfect, but I worked, came home every night, never called her names or cheated, was always kind, considerate, polite, supportive etc…) yet she fell in “love” with a married man (who didn’t leave his wife). When challenged on this irony, crickets.

        • That’s kind of the hard lesson we learn in dealing with cheaters: their logic and reasoning doesn’t add up nor make sense. They can justify their crappy behavior because they are entitled. Everything revolves around their happiness and everyone else just doesn’t matter. It/s rather jarring.

          I’ve also found cheaters like other cheaters; mine cheated with many married women. When we first started dating and before I learned how TERRIBLY FLAWED he was, he would always comment on how so many people cheat as if it was an accepted trait in society and I shouldn’t be so quick to judge. I always disagreed with him and referred to my solid stock male family members who don’t behave that way ever even though they could – they just aren’t scumbags.

          My ex is now with a woman who pursued him literally in front of me. I told him I hoped he is happy with his skank. Once you cross that line, you are a cheater/skank for life. He could careless because that character trait is not in him and to judge her would be judging himself. And of course, he has zero capability to self reflect anyway.

          Good riddance to all of them. I like my character and take pride in it.

      • I’ll never be able to understand this either. She is everything he always said he hated. But then again so is he now too.

  • Thank you for the tangent.

    One thing that often gets left out of the discussion of infidelity is that we live in a society that reinforces values that punish people who don’t pick me dance. The standard is impossible to meet. Those rare blonde, blue eyed glamazons can’t even meet it. Because meeting it isn’t the point. The DANCE is the point.

    Should one meet the goal, the posts get moved to continue making us dance.

    Women are never thin and pretty and young enough
    POCs are never white enough
    Immigrants are never assimilated enough
    LGBTQ+ are never cishet enough
    Atheists are never moral enough

    Turn the other cheek is taught from the cradle and enforced to the grave.

    Second chances are a birthright to those who offend.

    We redeem offenders and punish victims.

    Loser and victim are insults. Winner is positive and adored.

    Both individually and as a culture, we reinforce this toxic system.

    It’s killing us. Both emotionally and literally.

    I recently had to explain to a dude afraid of #metoo that it isn’t maleness that’s toxic, it’s constructed notions of masculinity. It’s a pick me dance for both men and women (and non-binary folks too).

    I’m not sure he got the difference. I’m not sure he can. Too many years of propaganda in his head.

    I’ve been thinking about the dude who murderer people yesterday “over a video game.” It was nit about the video game. It was about toxic masculinity and this dude being in a pick me dance with the entire society. The issue isn’t that he couldn’t get laid. The issue is that we have a standard of masculinity that most men cannot live up to, but are told that if they can’t it’s their fault and they are losers. Most men spend their lives unhappy because of this. Some have to externalize it. Violently.

    I’m not in anyway trying to excuse this young man’s personal responsibility or to say that we should have a great deal of sympathy for him. I’m only saying that we have to understand that our culture has a sickness in its core. That sickness leads to cheaters acting with impunity because it’s viewed as normal and dudes like this having to blame everyone else because they can’t win the pick me dance.

    We all need to stop dancing.

    • Really great stuff @aveline.

      “Loser and victim are insults. Winner is positive and adored.” This sums it up very nicely — see KK’s favorite FB cover photo: a rearview mirror decal that says “Objects in mirror are losing”

      However, I’ll remind everyone that cheaters often wear with banner of “victim” with great pride. Victim of years of unhappiness, not having their needs met, being misunderstood, blah blah blah and cheating opened the door to not being a victim anymore. We of course know the difference, but it fits in with the toxic, diseased system you refer to.

      • Ironically, I think the “flip” from perp to victim of someone not forgiving you/witch hunt is the only time it’s acceptable to be a victim.

        Being a victim of gaslighting? Not acceptable. Your fault. Dance harder.
        Gaslighter is called out for face consequences? He’s a cutie of a witch-hunt. Oh, poor baby

      • The X told his adult kids that he cheated. I asked why he told them and he said that he didn’t want them to blame me. In his slight defense, he has told me that I’m not to blame and he never criticized me. However, I suspect that he played the dear ol’ dad fucked up card and they probably came to his rescue to offer comfort and understanding. He played me and he still gets to play the victim. Not my problem now.

      • Even his counselor bought in to the victim mentality and counseled him “who wouldn’t be depressed and have low self esteem after years of such abuse.” WHAT? I was speechless when I heard him give me that confirmation. Talk about gaslighting, I experienced the opposite. But since I didn’t publish my problems, and he is so convincing and charming, the world believed him. I never bothered to defend myself. It only makes you look too defensive. It is such a catch-22. I guess you have to be honesst and true with yourself. Everyone has marital issues but it’s nobler to DEAL with them. Mine found validation and felt entitled to take it. That simple. She had some similarities but was nothing spectacular. He fell in love with his reflection in her eyes and went to Fantasyland. I struggle with the outside viewpoint and humiliation some days, and others, I could care less.

    • Ex was fond of saying “nice guys finish last”. He felt he was the loser because he was nice to me so he stopped being nice. From my point of view he was winning until he stopped being nice. That’s when he lost me.

      • I recently hosted a game night at my house. One guest was so obsessed w winning, she cheated. Repeatedly.

        It was clear she only wanted to win. Not to enjoy her self.

        She wanted to WIN!

        Why? Self esteem issues,

        Ironically, her obvious cheating was the topic of conservation for a few days thereafter. He obsession w winning made her a mockery.

        Her actions had the opposite effect ofwhat she wanted,

        • STBX was like this, and so was Schmoopie (she was a close friend, so we did game nights together). STBX’s whole family was like this, where a game of dominoes was a chance to absolutely rip apart the losers and win at all costs. STBX gave me crap for not being more competitive, and after a while, I refused to play partnered games with him because he would get nasty with me if we lost. When I said one time that I was playing for fun, not to win, he rounded on me and said, “What is the point of playing a game that you’re not trying to win?!” If that’s not a red flag, I don’t know what is.

          And the terrible thing is that I got totally gaslit into thinking there really was something wrong with me and my family, that we should somehow be ashamed that our game nights were always low-skill games like Uno or Skip-Bo or Life because we were just playing so we had something to do while we talked to each other. I started to think it was some defect of mine that I didn’t really care if I won or not, as long as everyone was having fun.

          I am so sad that I gave him so much real estate in my brain for so long.

        • Ah the winners. They value winning so much but can only achieve it by cheating. Want a prosperous life? Work hard and set goals and get there, or fuck a married guy whose wife already put in the years building the platform you can just show up and dance on. Want to be respected as a woman at work? Command respect and give it, or just blow the boss and work triple time making sure female coworkers don’t get promoted.

          Neither tactic worked for schmoopie, but I will never understand these competitive people who are always trying to be seen as the best, cheat their way through life, and then can’t believe they’re thought of as losers. If the only game you win is a rigged one, well….

          • Winning at all costs This was a red flag from day one. We wrte at a new year party and the game involved hitting your partner on the head with a spoon holding it in your mouth. Unbeknownst to the stooge the other person was not holding the spoon in their mouth but wacking increasingly hard with it in their hand. Hilarious to watch but my die hard narc was completely sucked in to the con trick and would not give in until he was practically knocked out with the dam spoon. He could not understand why his efforts were not triumphant !!! I should have run then and there…but u did what every good chump does and reframed as persistant/go getter /never give up attitude! !!!rather than the tool go down with the ship nihilistic attitude he really had !! Haha bloody narcs never change!

    • “We redeem offenders and punish victims.”

      So very true. I think the popular culture, which engages in this, is itself a lot like a narcissistic person. Our cheaters are truly shitty people but want, and indeed feel entitled to, feel good about themselves and cast themselves as superior noble beings regardless of the facts. They simply want their mood state and the self image that provides it. Society in general is much like this. They want to feel morally superior without doing the hard work of being moral. So when a perpetrator comes along, many tend to quickly “forgive” and “understand” and show themselves and everyone else how willing they are to hand out second chances. They spout all kinds of sentimental platitudes about this as they do so. None of this cost them even a moment of actual difficulty because the perpetrator they so easily redeemed harmed someone else. They didn’t have to pick up any of the pieces. They didn’t have to confront cunning, impenetrable evil. They don’t have to see actual change or redemption in the perpetrator because “second chances”, as they define them, are about “hope” and “optimism”, not accountability and work. But they certainly make sure to reap the self-congratulatory accolades of being so generously “understanding”. That’s the whole point for them. But the victim? They get kicked to fall back into line. Why? Because if they remain a victim then there’s cognitive dissonance to get in the way of their easily won sentimental superiority. The presence of actual harm and an actual cost get in the way of one’s imagined goodness in exonerating and not judging the perpetrator.
      (So how then do cheaters get to claim victim status and not have it work against them? Because regardless whatever moral poses crappy people take to cast themselves as steadfast redeemers and tolerant forgivers, they know the truth. They know who truly sucks and who was truly harmed. But it isn’t actual victim/perpetrator status that drives their convenient opinions of the situation, it’s how to most quickly and easily anoint themselves noble and capable of “seeing beyond the horizon”. It’s about how to avoid the costs of taking on evil but still claim grandly, and mostly to themselves, that they stand for good.)

      I believe a love affair with superficial sentimentality is part of what infects our age. Everything is about easily-won sentiment for self and self-esteem. We have an addiction to mere feeling over actually being. (CL blog conversely is about hard-won truth and reality.) We want to feel good about ourselves without having to really do anything, sacrifice anything, endure anything, or confront anything necessary to earn it.

      • “We want to feel good about ourselves without having to really do anything, sacrifice anything, endure anything, or confront anything necessary to earn it.”

        Gone With the Wind.

        People still hold that up as a great love story. Ugh.

      • My ex would never accept lack of responsibility in others and did not believe in second chances. He was harsh on other wrong doers, but somehow thought our situation was different. The rules simply didn’t apply to him because he was the victim of an unhappy marriage. Even once he came around to admitting it wasn’t my fault, well, it wasn’t his either. Just one of those things and he was being kind to leave me. Never mind the devalue and betrayal and all the other options he had if he was truly unhappy in his marriage.

    • Thank you for writing this Aveline! You’ve perfectly put into words something that’s been formlessly bubbling in my head for a long time now.

    • “Loser and victim are insults. Winner is positive and adored. Both individually and as a culture, we reinforce this toxic system. It’s killing us. Both emotionally and literally.”
      Very wise words, Aveline. I work with teens and young adults who are considering suicide or have attempted it, many of whom have been victims of abuse. Not a day goes by without hearing them say, “I’m a loser”, I’m a failure”, “I’m tired”, “I don’t fit in”, I’m a burden to everyone”.
      It’s time for us chumps to start changing the narrative. We deserve it, our kids deserve it.

    • Wow Aveline! I am copying your post to send to my sons.

      We all need to stop dancing. I think 80% of the violence in my country is fueled by the kind of pick-me dance you describe so well.

      “Loser and victim are insults. Winner is positive and adored.” Disrespecting basic human rights never ends well.

  • This post hit home. My STBXW (in 5 days!!!) had affairs with illegal/legal Mexicans. She even helped one become a US citizen. I am 6′ 2″ Polish/German man, they mostly were 5′ 6″ short, balding overweight Mexican men.

    I don’t have a prejudice bone in my body. Very much the opposite. I felt myself feeling racist toward Mexicans/Hispanic men (regular and movie stars). I had to look into myself and realize that they were probably using her and she of them (very sad when you think of it). That not all Mexicans are cheaters even though some have “American” families and “Mexican” families.

    I started comparing myself to them, what did they offer that I didn’t? I was somewhat overweight. Was I not exotic enough? Not Antonio Banderas?

    I had to purge those thoughts from my inner person. Because people are people, no matter what race they are. There are honest ones and not honest ones, cheaters and not cheaters. I still have those thoughts from time to time when I see the “type” she had affairs with. But it did explain why she didn’t “like” making love to me.

    I did the usual pick me dance the first round. When I found out my oldest daughter was the product of an affair (thank you AncestryDNA), I filed 2 1/2 weeks later when she tried the blameshifting/gaslighting, emotional abuse that worked before. This time it didn’t. I became much more MIGHTY. I am learning to LOVE myself and to make improvements where needed. I have gone down 4 sizes and am exercising on a regular basis.

    Please don’t compare yourself to someone of another race, etc. It will drive you insane. I couldn’t change from White to Hispanic. Even if they have a type of person they are attractive to, doesn’t mean you are somehow not a worthy person.

    Keep on healing and being mighty. YOU will find a man who will love and cherish you for WHO you are. Even if you are darker and have more slanted eyes. Whether male or female we have the same needs, to be loved for who we are.

    Be mighty and don’t let him mess with your mind.

    • Way to rock it!
      I had the same prejudices with Iowans for a tad.
      All Iowan guys were suspect to me. (Embarrassing eyeroll)

      Congrats on the count down.

        • I now have a “prejudice” against millennial childless brunettes with big boobs!

          Wait…..my beloved firstborn fits that description sans the boobs (and she’s no OW!…….).

          The fact that my mind goes there is another reason to LOATHE X.

          • White Canadian married social workers who live in dumps. I am that kind of hater. Although to be fair, I legit hate narcs who hide behind “do-gooder” jobs while hurting others. It’s the incredulous “but I help people so I’m better than you regardless of my actions” that chaps my ass.

    • I can not even tell you how many times while we were married my Ex use to announce to me and my sons that he preferred brunettes to blonds. Now I am probably the palest person you have ever met with blond hair and green eyes. I use to turn to my sons and joke but I have a great personality!!! I should have got upset at being treated that way and realize that in 20 years I would feel like a nothing because I was blond.

      • And I am brunette, and my ex preferred blondes. Left me for one, too. Always made it clear to me throughout our relationship that he fell in love with blondes. He felt entitled to share that with me, as I continued to serve him. Yours–same. What pricks.

        • And he’s more than likely telling the current OW blonde he really prefers brunettes.

          “Make you feel less than 101”

          • KB22 is soooo right. My first ex didn’t like my long auburn hair. Harped at it constantly. Made me feel so ugly and like I was soooo lucky he was willing to overlook this fault in me. I heard that crap for almost ten years. Until I couldn’t stand it and cut it and bleached it blond. The woman he left me for had long red hair. After a couple of years she had short blond hair. It wasn’t the hair. He purposely chose women against type to make them change. It was control and capitulation that turned him on. My second cheater lover my long red hair. The fetish prostitute he was seeing had similar hair. She was a similar height. But while a I’m petite and curvy, she was a female bodybuilder with biceps the size of my legs. We were like funhouse mirror visions of each other. They all do this shit. The same or different, or the same and different none of it matters. The point is they like to use and control. That is what gets them off. People are not people with hearts , minds, and souls to these cheaters. They are either just objects or tools to use or mirrors of the cheaters own fabulousness to gaze in.

        • Maybe I knew your ex in my college years. The guy told me he fell for blonds but lusted after redheads (I am the latter). He tried to get me to sleep with him while he was dating a blond he claimed was the love of his life. I refused. I hate to admit it but I only refused because I didn’t want to be anybody’s side piece. I believed him when he said they had an open relationship. She dumped him for another boy a short while later.

    • See this? This is me giving you the biggest highest of fives on your upcoming divorce SirChumpALot! Well done.
      Our minds go to very dark places when we try to make sense of the discard. I know mine did.
      TheBestMe: I should have paid close attention to the comments my ex also threw my way over the years. Like yours, he attempted to make me feel like he graced me by allowing me to be his partner – like he could have had anyone.
      In my case it was: “You weren’t the type of girl who turns heads when you walk into a room. But I came to love you.”
      And then in the height of the pick me dance, “I had many, MANY instances over the years to cheat on you, but I didn’t.”

      • “I had many, MANY instances over the years to cheat on you, but I didn’t.”

        I heard this a lot too. And I always thought “WTF?” but just pushed it away. The point is, why tell your partner such a thing? Over the years of being with Cheaty BoyMan I occasionally found other men moderately attractive for one reason or another, and thought “In a parallel universe, where I hadn’t already met and fallen in love with CBM, maybe I’d have pursued this,” but I never felt the need to tell him about it. Also, there were a few men who showed interest in me over the years, but again, why would I make a point of telling him that?

        There was no need, in my mind, to try to make him pick me dance, that’s why. When you bond with someone you’re in a relationship, not a coffin. It goes without saying that both of you will occasionally look or be looked at. But if you’re not disordered, you don’t need praise for choosing to be faithful in those moments. That’s the difference.

        • Yep. My ex often said to me that I wasn’t his type but he “managed” to see beyond that. Managed? Like I had two heads instead of red hair or emitted an odor similar to rotting flesh. He was practically a HERO for fucking me.

      • OMG. He is such a jackass! I’m so glad you removed yourself from that toxic, toxic, toxic low-life creature (I don’t even want to call him a human because he is so wretched!). He builds himself up by tearing your down. Such classic textbook traits. I wish people went to jail for emotional, mental or verbal abuse.

  • Hi Iris,
    My cheater went on a website that had Russian women from the Ukraine. Stunning women. I have always been fat, and I can’t turn back the hands of time. I was able to read the correspondence. They were asking him questions, he didn’t even bother responding to all the questions. He’s a decent looking guy, so I think some of them figured he might be better than most options, however, he had so many going at once, with inane comments, truly appalling grammar and NO GENUINE INTEREST in any of them. I felt sorry for these women. He sent money to a scam artist because they called him “my king”. That is how they signed off. He has no real interest in her, it’s about how he looks to the outside world. She is just another object. You are an amazing human being. You are beautiful inside and out.

    • My ex had an affair with a Stripper from the Ukraine. At first I saw her as a possible victim, but then I made the mistake of talking to her. She was void of compassion, knew he was married , and said “I kept asking him what about his wife.” Since he dismissed me apparently that dictated her moral agency. He didn’t care, so why should she?
      Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of women in the sex industry that are forced into it and that is awful, but there are also those who just have no soul. Apparently in the Ukraine (as told by stripper) the majority of married men have affairs (a cultural norm?) and women develop an permissive attitude toward it – it’s just something you accept. Which of course means cheating isn’t really a big deal. F*CK THAT!

      • I would surmise the reason there’s a permissive attitude is because Ukrainian wives probably don’t get jack when they divorce and they put up with it because there are few legal protections for them.

        I’m pretty sure it’s just as devastating to a Ukrainian woman.

    • Thanks KimHopes. This means a lot.
      As for your ex….”King?” Pardon me while I wretch into my handbag.
      That’s called “reading from a script.” The online guidebook to how to seduce and entice men over the internet before you scam the hell out of them.
      Step 1: “Say whatever lie you need to to inflate their ego.”
      Step 2: “Ask for their credit card information.”

  • Historical tangent- Eleanor Roosevelt may have been white and born into a wealthy family, but she was also a Chump. Her mother , who died when she was a young child, was a famous beauty who thought her only daughter disappointingly ugly. Her father loved her but was a feckless alcoholic who used to take her to his clubs and leave her to wait, forgotten, in the lobby. He also died young. She got shunted around the family, and they may have been wealthy but she frequently ran out of clothes.She grew up earnest, bookish and overly conscientious. She married her cousin, FDR and after bearing him a lot of children and having to live with his awful mother,, found out that he had been having an affair with her social secretary, who was younger, prettier and more ” fun’ than she was.She offered him a divorce, but he wanted to go into politics, and divorce would have killed that idea.So they stayed married, and she set her mind to finding meaning in her life , since she didn’t have the love she yearned for.
    She was a champion of the poor and of civil rights.She worked tirelessly to keep her husband informed about social issues She wrote a newspaper column that ran for decades. She was awesome.

    • I’ve often wondered if there’s a correlation between cheating/being a chump and early life experiences.

      A lot of chumps I’ve know have parents who taught them to dance. One I know was the younger sister of a golden child who could do no wrong. She was dancing for he pr parents from the start.

      One man was an only child, but his dad tried and failed to make him a sports ball star. Daddy taught him to dance.

      If two cheaters I know, both had parents who essentially ignored all their children and gave them no validation. There was no dance, but there was also no love. One is now faithful to his wife sexually, but he’s in amateur theater every week. It’s clear he needs adoration and approval beyond what any spouse could get.

      I’m not a huge fan of “attachment styles” as determinant of a relationship and the minimization of personal choice. However, there must be something that makes people prone to being a cheater or a chump. It’s too common to be choice and free will entirely.

      • Very little is destiny in psychology; there are resilient people who rise above the most horrific of circumstances through a combination of determination and social support. I agree that attachment styles are not destiny in relationships, but, IMHO, it would be a mistake to discount childhood attachment in predisposing us to certain patterns in adult relationships.

        My father was a narcissist and so highly critical, I had hour-long lectures if I got a B+ and, when my high school relay team won 4th in a competitive running state, he asked why we didn’t get first. My siblings and I were never good enough. I married someone who, on the surface, was the opposite of my businessman, sometimes coarse (and cheater) father–a liberal arts doctorate, suave and charming. But…turned out to be just like my father–often cold & unaffectionate, a highly critical narc & cheater. I suspect I’m not alone in re-creating elements of my childhood through my choice of marital partner.

        • Yep, my dad was Mr. Personality to the world and traveled constantly. Everybody loved him. As a kid, I remember always having to wait for him as he was chatting with folks for so long. My siblings and I used to joke that dad’s ‘one more minute’ was equivalent to an hour by anyone elses standards. And my dad was a cheater. My mom finally divorced him after 25 years of marriage. And he married his young AP that was my sister’s age. My dad was also an alcoholic and would rage at home. Knocking over tables, kicking a hole in the wall, beating my older brother and sister with a belt. He was a completely different person at home than what he presented to the world. At his funeral when people stood up to speak about him and how nice he was, my brother leaned over and whispered to me ‘that’s not the father I knew’. My sister didn’t go.

          And yep, I married someone just like my dad minus the alcohol and minus the physical abuse. Dr. Cheaterpants never met a stranger and can make a conversation with a rock. Behind closed doors with the kids and I? A complete dick. I sometimes miss the social situations where he could talk to anyone about anything. But I definitely don’t miss the control freak, high maintenance, never satisfied, grumpy man that was what the kids and I saw on a daily basis. He definitely enjoyed doing the funning while I did the adulating.

          Good luck with that young schmoopie!!

        • My fathers narcissism was something I didnt recognize until about 10 years ago. It manifest itself in him acting very sad-sausage about parenting – as if it were a terrible an unending misery (he truly acted as if my sibling and I would never ever be adults. To this day he acts like our adulthood genuinely baffles him).

          I too thought I was marrying someone VERY different from my dad only to lead much later that they were very similar…there was something really fucked up in the primal goo of my brain which caused me to so tightly bond to NowDeadCheater who was so like my dad.

          Oddly enough, my parents hated NDC but they adore Colonel Greatguy who 1) is nothing like them 2) sees through their shit.

        • I think we internalize messages when we are children of which we are unaware. My father was really a good guy. When I was in therapy I realized I had idolized him because he was more easy-going than my mother. My mother’s flaws were also frequently on full display. I set the bar for a partner and for a parent lower than it should it have been because of the bar set by my father. My father wasn’t a cheater, but he was an easy-going guy who frequently didn’t always put me first. Fast forward to my marriage – Ex was easy-going (read: lazy) and didn’t put me first. It didn’t raise a red flag because it had been normalized as I was growing up.

          So much of this is tied up in support systems, a child’s innate personality, etc., which is why no two children, even if they live in the same house, will respond the same, but it definitely has an effect.

    • She was awesome! I have always admired her efforts to be more than what she was raised to be. She did not let being a chump define her, or stop her from doing great things. FDR would never have been president without her help.

      • Her words, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do” is what helped me leave. I have great admiration for Eleanor Roosevelt.

    • Thanks for this MoominMama! I loved reading your post.
      Even FDR’s life partner was a wife appliance.
      She was Mighty with a capital “M”.

  • Iris,

    Thank you for asking this question in a way that created a safe place to discuss this ofter prickly topic.

    I am white and Susan of Seattle is Chinese… Cheater was Mexican and newhub is white, so there are dynamics in the mix. At dday, anything that references Chinese culture triggered me for a while but I stopped that.

    I believe that Cheaters biggest attraction to Susan was that she admired him from a work pov…HUGE kibbles. When he was considering whether to leave me for her…there were a few odd days when he shared his mental machinations with me (ick) and her race fit into it in very odd ways. In the end, the singular common thread I could find among the women that my Cheater fucked is that they had not given birth. Like race, once I became multiparous, there was no unringing that bell.

    At the time, everything made me feel less-than but Ive recovered and Im sorry for Chumps of all shapes, sorts and colors for the pain they feel.

    It is a strange reality for me that I really loved my Cheater and (at the time) thought him very handsome(thus his race was not a drawback but an asset as it made him beautiful to me) but if our marriage had ended in divorce rather than death ….Im positive that he would have made race a HUGE issue… my new husband is tall and white and has more money than Cheater ever did….no matter that Cheater was the destroyer in the dynamic…he would surely accused me of “leaving for a tall white guy” totally denying the timeline of reality.

    • Unicornomore..My cheater was with 3 that had no children. It was true love all three times until it wasn’t. He can’t handle not being the center of their world.

      With the disordered it does not matter who or what you are they just think they want different. I’m tired of being too much and not enough all at the same time. I’m sorry I wasted so much energy trying.

    • UnicornNoMore: I’m so sorry that the culture of the OW was so triggering for you. Fuck Susan of Seattle for ruining Mu-Shu Pork for you!
      Yes, race aside, the unparalleled admiration of the Affair Partner was something I could not compete with. While I did admire my husband, I didn’t worship him. We were partners, equals. I accepted his flaws as much as I did his greatest attributes.
      And that AP who admired his greatness? She was a mere child (literally in nappies) when we were working our way from recent graduates to professionals. I was there from day one supporting his rise to the top. I helped finance it. I used my own professional connections to open doors for him. I made huge sacrifices so he could realize his dream.
      She was awed by his success without realizing how he got to where he was because being a naive 20-something, she lacked the maturity and life experience to know one seldom makes it in this world without the support of others. I was edited out of re-telling of that history.

      • Iris— ditto: young golddigging whore was also shitting her diapers while I was a formerly homeless teen mom earning top grades in law school with a 4 year old to raise and just met X and we began to build our lives— 26 years of partnership, sacrifice, 4 kids, homes, pets, businesses, books written together, a million moments shared — she? Never even lived on her own – still at home with her cheater father, now disabled by a stroke. She moved from her dad’s into $6k/mo high rise one bedroom glass condo with X downtown. WTF????? Loser! Makes me so sick.

      • I sent my cheater several of CL’s best columns so that he had a better understanding of why I threw him out. Pearls before swine. His conclusion was that she was “bitter.” Lol, I now think of “bitter” as a badge of honor.

  • The quote was excellent, by mrs Roosevelt, and she was right. The ow has less scruples, and probably expects you to feel sorry for her. My ex said the ow said he was good at sex, she can work miracles then, shame she had shared her stis.

  • I have told exactly one person this detail IRL, as it’s painful. Of my ex’s several AP’s, almost all the ones I know about were police officers. It wasn’t a personal preference; that’s just who she worked with. When she changed jobs, she found AP’s that were in that profession.
    Now, I cringe just watching a traffic stop, or someone being detained at a store for shoplifting. I intentionally drive down different streets so I won’t have to go past the police station. I can’t watch cop movies anymore. I know they’re necessary for society to function, but I just can’t stand the thought of even having to talk to them.
    Thanks, Cheaterpants.

    • I mentioned above that I now have an aversion to public school teachers. My STBX is one and had both affairs (that I know of) with his co workers. You’re right that it’s probably more to do with proximity than anything but I still harbor these feelings of disgust that these people are supposed to be examples to our kids and yet so many of them are functioning alcoholics as well as generally immoral people.

    • It eventually fades, I promise!

      It helps to take a “F*ck You Cheater” approach! That’s the way I got over the triggers. It’s like standing up to a bully; once you realize you have the courage to do it, you’ll never be bullied again! Instead of letting cheaters define how you perceive something, you define it!

      They took their affair partner to your favorite restaurant? Don’t give it up because of the trigger, go claim it as your own! Take an awesome friend to eat there and see you doing so as a big middle finger right in the cheaters face! “Fuck You cheater! This is MY favorite restaurant and you won’t take that from me too!”

      You’re triggered by police. Find some volunteer opportunity working with the police, Toys For Tots, or some other opportunity for you to see their positives. When your perspective begins to shift, take that opportunity to mentally say “fuck you cheater! You don’t define this for me!”

      At first it’s very intentional and based mostly out of anger, but eventually the anger fades and it turns into might! Then you can laugh in the symbolic face of the cheater and say “Your actions no longer have power over me! I win!”

      You’ve got this!

      • Got-a-brain is right! It’s quite painful the first time you reclaim a space/event/memory, but what a lovely feeling of strength and justice you get from it. I quite literally felt my posture change, from hunched shoulders, slack jaw, and hangdog face into my shoulders-back, chin-up, if-I-can-do-this-I-can-do-anything stance. What a difference it made in my whole outlook, and I still smile at and glow with the memory of vanquishing that very first gut-wrenching association with a place.

        Try it, Traveling, and I bet you will be driving down those streets in no time!

        • This is so true. Captain Sparkle dick is from France. I am half French, but after DD was totally unable to cope with going to a French restaurant, nevermind visit the country. This year,I went on a Sabbatical and visited France for 12 months in my motorhome. Fuck you Captain Sparkle dick. France is awesome I had a great time and I loved my trip!

      • Yes!! Great advice, Got-a-brain.

        One technique for overcoming phobias is to expose yourself (slowly at first) to whatever you fear/triggers you. Over time, you come to realize that nothing bad happens with exposure, and you become un-conditioned to your response.

        “Fuck you, cheater” is a wonderful way to approach this. Hannibal Lecher’s main AP was a student. At first, I would see an attractive student and think, “he’d like to fuck her, I’ll bet….and her.” The first few months were horrible, but since I work with students every day, the counter-conditioning happened quickly. Months later, I deliberately introduced myself to one of his probably-APs at a conference (she was drunk enough to greet me warmly).

        The final kicker was finding out his last-AP in the marriage was nationality X. I have been studying X-language for a few years, 1/3 of the artwork and furniture in my house is X-inspired. I looked at my therapist and said, “Does he have to take that away from me, too?” Therapist raised his eyebrows at me, and I said, “Fuck him, he does not get to take away my joy in studying X-language,” and therapist smiled.

    • TravelingtheWorld: Thanks for being brave and sharing with CN.
      I could totally get how seeing cops would trigger you. I know that crippling psychological mind-fuck all too well.
      As I’ve written here before, I couldn’t go out of my house after d-day without seeing the AP everywhere on the street, so much so I would disguise MYSELF in case I was recognized by her. As though I was the shame.
      I went to a conference once where I saw a woman who looked just like her (or so my brain thought…) I wouldn’t stop staring (and I am sure I freaked the hell out of this poor woman who couldn’t understand why the creepy brown lady in the corner was staring her down!)
      I remember feeling like the whole world was in on the joke. That the joke was me.
      The triggers will fade. It will be behind you too one day.

    • TTW, our extreme reactions do temper with time…at first I couldnt even hear the word “April” (the month I got the “I dont love you, never did” speech). April, Chinese women, Seattle, anything manufactured by 2 different companies OW worked for. None of those things are triggers, although Im disinclined to ever vacation in Seattle. It was good that you shared this.

    • Sorry for that lingering trigger, Traveling. We get it. I’m almost over Russian women. But not quite.

      Perhaps a Ukrainian police joke can reframe the association for you?

      A man is speeding in his car, when a policeman pulls him over. “You were speeding. Why didn’t you pull over when I first told you to?”
      Well, sir, my cheating wife left me for a policeman last week. “What does that have to do with you speeding?”
      Well, I thought it might be you and I was afraid you were trying to give her back to me.”

      No backsies. Leave a cheater, gain a life.

      Stay mighty, Traveling. You deserved so much better.

  • I saw the ow, last month, (remember me and ex, split 5 years ago), she asked me to feel sorry for her. After all her crap, she can f… off!, telling terrible lies, sad piece of shit. She dumped her kids, for a moron. He has got more girlfriends.

  • “Would all the 6-foot-tall-120-pound-34DD-chested-natural blonde-body-hairless-flat-stomached-glamazons please stand up and announce yourselves?”

    I am sure chump nation has some and they were cheated on too, probably by someone who gave them a whole long list of their failings that caused the cheating.

    • True that. We’re awesome and giving partners…we had all sorts of good traits and virtues and none of them stopped the cheaters.

    • What’s so ironic is… I felt awful about my appearance when I was with dirtbag. How does a woman with 3 toddlers compete with porn? I felt ugly!

      Now, (12 years later with 3 teenagers) I often get complimented from complete strangers about my beauty. I’m much older, with more wrinkles than I had back then, but beauty isn’t just skin deep.

      I think part of it comes from how we feel about ourselves – it’s something that comes from the inside out. I’m not dying on the inside, exhausted from competing for the affections of my spouse. No more constant evaluations of what he wants, no more marriage police, no more chasing web history! I’m just me! Everything I’ve been through, all the mistakes I’ve made, all the hardship, the pick me dancing, everything… makes up who I am today! I like who I am! I think that’s what people see when they say “you are beautiful!” It was a long hard road that started in 2010 when I discover the first affair. I don’t think that’s the first time he cheated, I think that’s just the first time he got caught.

      I specifically remember the differences in the first D-day vs. the second (5 years later). There was no cognitive dissonance, searching for alternative explanations for the text I read. I knew at that moment he wouldn’t not change. I knew the defect was in him, not in me. I took off my dancing shoes and put on my running shoes! That was beautiful!

      • Other than perhaps my children, I get more compliments on my hair than anything else in life from both strangers and people I know. Ex was the exception. On two separate occasions he said “god your hair is poufy, you look like you have an afro”. (not that there is anything wrong with having an afro, but ex meant it in a negative way). It is always nice to get compliments but now when someone compliments my hair, it has more meaning because it is a reminder that ex’s perceptions of me do not define me to the rest of the world. He is the outlier, not the norm.

        Oh yes, he never seemed to fully appreciate the awesomeness of our children either in spite of all of the compliments from others. No wonder our daughter doesn’t recognize what a beauty she is.

      • “I think part of it comes from how we feel about ourselves – it’s something that comes from the inside out. I’m not dying on the inside, exhausted from competing for the affections of my spouse.”

        And you aren’t living with constant devaluation. It’s hard to feel beautiful while you are being devalued and abused on a daily basis.

    • I’m an example of my ex’s physical ideal, the OW is not. I learned that he only gets into committed relationships with women who meet his ideal, but has casual flings between relationships and cheats on his committed partners with women who don’t. He uses different kinds of women for different purposes. None are better, they only have different uses.

      • I am my Cheaters physical ideal. I have the perfect body style (including my amazingly well shaped butt), hair color, height, and even profession. If we had never met and you put him in a room with me and 99 other women, he would have picked me.

        He married me and created the illusion of a family with me…he screwed women who were likely a wider range the only commonality I ever saw is that of the ones I suspect (as mentioned above) none of them had children.

  • This is a tough one for new chumps and something we all go through. After the destruction of dday, we all wonder what it was about ourselves that wasn’t good enough to hold on to our partners. Then we start the comparisons in earnest and allow them to let us feel inferior. It’s hard to understand this in the beginning but what you come to learn over time is that what they look like; their socioeconomic status; race; sexual orientation, etc. doesn’t matter. If it wasn’t with “them” it would have been someone else.

    New shiny kibble suppliers come in all shapes, sizes, races and religions. All it takes is for them to provide the slightest bit of interest and a seemingly endless supply of kibbles and viola!

    It’s a rigged game and the only winning move is not to play. The only thing that chumps need to change is how they value themselves so that they don’t pick another epically, character deficient partner again. That’s where we should put our focus; not on losing a muffin top or lightening our skin.

  • I would say it’s not just a female issue. After being told how bad I was for four years, I found out she was banging a 26 year old and mr muscle ex bf from high school. At the time, I was pushing 50 years old. Anyone in this age group knows you are not what you once were! It was a huge ego buster….. self esteem killer. For a moment I thought I needed a gym, steroids, wax bar and viagra! Turns out I’m really ok and she is a POS for what she did!

    • “Turns out I’m really ok and she is a POS for what she did!”

      – the OM was a POS, too. A steaming pile of dog crap made to appear appetizing with a topping of frosting and sprinkles is still a nasty pile of shit.

  • Married 28 years. My hubby has been having an affair with a tramp who is 14 years younger. My kids are 25 and 27. She has an 8 year old. His reasons : This would help our marriage. He could have wild and uninhibited sex with her once a week and be a better and happier husband. She needs him. She adores him. She thinks he set the sun and moon. He says he won’t take her out in public so as to not humiliate me and it’s just about the sex. She is not prettier , not thinner and she doesn’t take care of herself. He said “ I thought someone like this wouldn’t threaten our marriage”. He said what makes her better in bed is her attitude about sex. I have been doing the pick me dance for months. It’s such a blow to my ego that he would actually look for someone that wouldn’t allegedly threaten our marriage in the looks and class department. How do I know if I really want to work things out or if it’s just an ego thing with me. He also states that if I left him , he wouldn’t be with her. He would find someone that was more like me. Why would you ruin 28 years with someone you allegedly don’t even want to be with

    • I’ve heard so many times that cheaters deliberately choose APs who are somehow lesser than their spouses.

      It’s an actual thing.

      There’s some twisted justification about it not being a threat, but a release valve.

      I winder if those APs know they are viewed that way or if they suffer from the self-deluding Magic P* syndrome. That is, they somehow think they are a special snowflake that is better than the chump at sex, so they win.

      Yet another good topic for Friday- spouses who deliberately choose APs they view as lower or lesser than their spouses.

    • I think it’s bullshit, that’s all they can get. They choose someone they expect to be quiet about it too. Most cheaters do NOT want to divorce, they want both. That’s why the chump has to file for divorce, the sooner the better.

      • Yes, exactly right Dat. My ex didn’t pick strippers as his affair partners because they were pretty or fun to be with. It’s because he could manage the expectations and knew they would keep the affair quiet. It was a business transaction for them and he could pretend it was more than just sex for him without *really* having to invest any emotional energy into an actual relationship.

        • I maintain, always, that the primary quality a cheater looks for in an AP is Willing. That’s IT. A lack of acceptable boundaries, a knowledge that they are causing others pain. And being okay with that. Totally okay with that. Because I can guarantee you when a cheater decides to cheat they get turned down more than once by people who experience extramarital attractions but have morals. Like Chumps. Like US. I know for certain that Cold Slab O’Meat added half a dozen female co-workers to FB (no male, ODD!) in the months prior to D-Day. The Sluterus is just the one that was WILLING to be a secret lunch fuck. She is younger than me, but not prettier, smarter or more talented successful. She is a downgrade by HALF at least.

          We are here, comparing ourselves to people unfavorably who have zero integrity. It needs to stop. We have worked ourselves up into spirals of shame and doubt over people who are moral minions. We all need to understand that 98% of these clusterfucks are not Loves for the Ages, they are Crimes of Opportunity done by people using their dicks for divining rods because they have no idea how to adult.

          Yesterday my neighbor told me that the elderly woman two houses over from me had died. Not so unusual. But apparently this very kind lady in her 70’s had found out her husband was carrying on with a neighbor down the street. She shot herself. Her husband sold the house and has moved in with the new lady. The man does handyman jobs for the HOA. When I see either of the Fucking Cheaters, I can barely contain the desire to ask them how they are still allowed to breathe air. Of course This Fucking Ancient Jezebel has Jesus stuff in her yard.

          Two years ago another single mother Chump in her 40’s a street over did the same thing, drowning in debt and unable to keep a job because of health concerns.

          I’ve told myself since, and every time I think of Ruth and Lauren, I am so sad for you, but I will not be you. I don’t care if I never have another serious relationship. I will work for my own money. I will care for my own home. I will not fucking NEED someone else so bad that their absence from my life renders me invisible or my existence untenable. I will care for my kids AS IF their fathers never existed, but allow them to have as good a relationship as they desire without my interference. Oh, I’ll use that Child Support. Hell yes I will. But if it goes away tomorrow we’ll still be okay.

          Because we are all here, we’re healthy. But I’ll never compare myself unfavorably to the Sluterus. And I’ll never allow a travesty done to me to be a yardstick of my worth.

          • It’s official Luz, I worship you.
            I’m done comparing myself to the OW too as well. Although as I mentioned in my letter, it was my hobby, my side hustle.
            And yes, I always compared myself so unfavorably to her. The self-scrutiny was so painful. It was like my brain couldn’t logically put together why this happened to me. And so I went all Angela Lansbury on that shit trying to put together a case of all the motives why my ex would have done this to me and our beautiful family.
            One of the things that really helped me was my little girl actually. I came to the point of realizing if I was going to raise a little brown kid in this hostile world to feel proud about the skin she was in, I needed to be comfortable in mine. I needed to demonstrate strength and PRIDE in who I was and all my positive qualities and attributes.

          • OMG Luz! It’s at times like this I wish I was gay so I could ask you to be my Boo!

            “But I’ll never compare myself unfavorably to the Sluterus. And I’ll never allow a travesty done to me to be a yardstick of my worth.” Yes! All of that with a side of chili fries. Amen, Sister, Amen.

          • YES!!! I totally agree with “WILLING!”

            The neighborhood drama is so sad…but you ROCK! Wow! Adore you!

          • I love a LOT of what you say, but this is my favourite so far.

            And thank you, ex’s sluterus maybe a couple of decades plus younger than me (yes she was born around the time we married) and she may be thinner than me. But thats IT. Thank you for making me realise this.

            And absolutely love what you said about taking care of yourself.. YES YES YES

    • The question is, why would you want to be with someone who wants to be with someone he doesn’t want to be with? It’s time to divorce. Let him go looking for another you. He will never be successful because there is only one you. Let him suffer the consequences of his own stupidity. You can do better.

    • Oh, Cindy,

      That has got to hurt SO MUCH. The betrayal and mind games there are so painful I kind of have to look at them out of the corner of my eye.

      If you stay here long enough, and I hope you do, you’ll know the answer to your last question is that he ruins his marriage because he can. Because he, too, has a bucket of snails where his soul should be.

      It is not an ego thing with you. You are fine. You loved and trusted. That is all. It wasn’t reciprocated. If he was cheating with a man and saying, see, honey, I still like you, this won’t affect us, it would still be… betrayal of the worst, most intimate kind.

      Please, please stay here, keep reading, receive the love and support. You are worth more than this.

    • TINAT-
      Honey, not threaten the marriage? Your marriage is dead. Please go see an attorney and leave his sorry ass.

    • once you get to the place of leaving the actions of the cheater with the cheater, it’s very freeing. They can act however they choose – it’s on them. It has zero to do with me. Blaming myself for not being enough and for how awful my ex treated me is proxy abuse.

      If my cheater ex decided to hook up with a snake, I’d feel sorry for the snake. Same goes for the younger or the taller or the richer or the more exotic OP- they’ve made a bad choice.

      And as for the pick me dance- when I decided no freaking way- I watched from a distance how my choice to walk away made the entanglement my ex is engaged in way less satisfying. And I can tell because even now he pointedly tries to make me feel jealous. But I don’t. So my guess is he will find a new target asap to move on to, to make his current OW pick me dance for his ego kibble.

      I fought the bad feelings of comparison too before I realized I might as well be comparing myself to every single possible dirtbag in the world. And there are way too many of those.

    • KK said the same general thing. “I can compartmentalize . . . when I’m here with you and the girls, I’m TOTALLY here. When I’m not, anything I do has nothing to do with you, and it’s a chance to indulge myself.”

      Trust me when I tell you, it’s a complete mindfuck. It shows how little respect he has for you. Run run run, documenting all the way.

      • I think that may be the only true thing my ex ever said to me – “I’m good at compartmentalizing.”

        Yeah. And I’m good with not being one of your d*mn boxes anymore!

      • KK provided a moment of accidental truth … her cheating “had nothing to do with you.” I find it very chilling that these assholes can do what they do without having their spouse/partner ever cross their mind. Our lack of existence to them when they are out of eyesight is one of the most hurtful (and disordered) parts of the chump experience.

      • My stbxw would cut off friendships with those she felt were immoral. Also her best friends had been cheated on and divorced. But it didn’t stop her from having multiple affairs. I believe she was able to compartmentalize also. The Evil One told me once that she loved me and her affair partners at the same time. She used the analogy of when men used to have multiple wives and they loved them all. The mess with your mind, don’t they?

    • Cindy,

      Chump Lady has written many times to ask yourself the question: Is this relationship acceptable to you? What would you tell your kids if they were in a marriage like this? Would you want your children to be treated like this? I hope the answer is a big NO!

      I’m not sure how long you’ve been reading Chump Lady and Chump Nation. For me when I first discovered CL, I went to the very beginning of her blog and read every single blog post and most of CN’s posts. I was programed to accept bad behavior and also to do the Pick Me Dance for all my relationships. Reading all the blog posts and comments helped reprogram my thinking.

    • I would refuse to have sex with anyone who is havin sex with another person. Be it a boyfriend or a husband. I don’t share. The fact that he thinks you will put up with this because he is so ‘wonderful’ or whatever says a lot about his character. It’s smarmy and horrible. Any way you slice it.

  • Update. He said that he thought he could make a whole woman out of 2. That he gets uninhibited wild crazy sex from one and gets the rest from me. I don’t deny him sex and we are far from vanilla ( I do deny sex now). He stated that if I started having sex with him again and tried to be nicer that maybe he would be happy enough to dump her. He has ground my ego and self esteem into dust. So much so that it didn’t even seem to be an odd request from him. I understood.

    • What about your happiness? What is he doing to be “nicer” to you? I think you need to deny him marriage. Really, the sense of entitlement these cheaters display is so disturbing. Leave this loser to his half a woman. You are a whole woman and you don’t need him.

    • Tell Pygmalion/Dr. Henry Higgins he can go improve his creation (her). YOU go and improve your life by consulting an attorney.

      His regarding you as half a being is beyond insulting. His entitlement and lack of boundaries may even be dangerous.

      You are whole and wholly wonderful.

    • I don’t hear a sense of either anger or self-preservation in your posts, Cindy, and that is concerning. You are being abused, and I hope you will start right now taking steps to protect yourself. In addition to reading the articles and archives here, please consider joining the Forum. I know how worn down you feel. Let some of us help build you back up so you can make decisions in YOUR best interest.

        • Scroll to the top of this page. At the top right of the page, click Register. After you register and login, a Forums link will appear at the top right of the page. You will get the best response if you post in the Private: General part of the forum. Please join the forum – you will get lots of great advice from chumps about your specific situation.

    • Cindy–he’s super creepy. He sees women as THINGS. This one for that, that one for this. All THINGS to serve him. None of you have humanity. You’re just flat objects that (not “who” but “that”) provide for him, and if he is displeased or feels a whim, he gets another one. Honey, there is something very sociopathic about his brain. He’s WEIRD. And he’s honest about it. I actually worry about your safety. I would recommend that you extricate yourself from that situation, let him get another thing that looks like you, and take a breather, because, as people here are pointing out, you ARE being abused by a soulless creeper.

      • Stephanie for the win! You are soooooo right. Cindy, he does not see you as “half a woman.” He doesn’t see you as a PERSON at all. You are both tools. She is a sex doll and you are a wife appliance in his twisted mind. Except the part where you aren’t. You are a whole wonderful human being– a child of God worthy of kindness, love, and respect from a partner. Please stop expecting less than human status from people.

    • Cindy sweetheart, don’t let him blackmail you that way. Please read, read, read CL and keep posting. All of us here want to help get you out of such a horrendous situation and we can, just read our stories and see your story again and again. Well done for denying him sex, are you still cooking and cleaning for him? (Do you feel you’re in any physical danger?) Is there anyone around you that you can talk to? How about telling him to dump the OW and then you might consider sex? Not for real – just see what happens when you take control of the situation. I doubt he’ll have expected you to try that.
      Much love to you Cindy xxx

      • I’m not in physical danger at all. Just mind games and manipulation. He stated that being with the same “ other “ woman for last 4 years is safe. They’ve both been tested He insisted this is about sex. I actually found out and had multiple d days and I did the pick me dance every time. Suggested counseling , vacations did extra duty in the bedroom only to find out he with with her again days later

        • I am 56 and he is 60. His gf is 46. He has a very high testosterone level. We’ve had it checked. He is very proud of this. He lifts weights every day and has the body and stamina of a 25 yr old ( again I am in no physical danger). He explains that his gf can go hours and hours in bed ( I’m in menapause) and this would make it easier for me if I just let him do this. However , he sees his gf once a week and doesn’t get a thing from me anymore. We used to do it 3 – 4 times a week. So it can’t be about the sex ? Right?

          • No, it isn’t about sex, it is about entitlement. He thinks its ok to keep you as the wife appliance and keep her as the side -ho.

            Is that the kind of relationship you want?

            Get rid of the testosterone freak. You’ll be so glad and relieved! Sex can actually be good if it isn’t a competition.

  • The OW in my case is Chinese, and I definitely was triggered by younger Chinese women when I’d see them. It was part of the mindfuck for me–after years of being told I was loved just as I was, that my body was beautiful to him at various sizes and through two pregnancies, that I was exactly what he wanted, he dumped me for my exact opposite–younger, tiny, a different race.

    With time I can see that who she is doesn’t matter. Well, besides the fact that she is the kind of woman who leaves her kids to fuck someone else’s husband. And my ex, despite his shiny Teflon Nice Guy facade, is a cheat and a liar. They deserve each other.

    • Way back in the DDay phase of this, I said to myself “everytime I see a little Chinese Mexican kid, I will think of them and their betrayal” (Nowdeadcheater Mexican, OW Chinese) then I reminded myself that little kids dont wear signs saying things like “Im Chinese and Mexican”

      whereupon, I told myself. “Oh never mind”.

  • Iris, I feel for you. I am on the opposite end of you. My ex wants nothing but a specific race of Asian woman. He believes that is his ideal. I am not prejudice against Asians. It bothers me because I see this as misogyny. He believes in this exotic myth of a woman that will adore him and serve him. She is just an object. How can he love a woman he picked out online and decided he would marry, within days? I guess this is further proof that they suck, as if we needed more. The fact that he threw our family away like nothing and could commit to a stranger hurt like hell. We all have the same worries that we weren’t good enough. It really had nothing to do with us. I picked me dance for about six months before he told me he really wanted an Asisn wife. I should have thrown him right out on his ass. I persisted for another year. My only regret in life.

    • Artemis, my now ex also met a woman online from Thailand, in just 2 weeks he was sure she was his soulmate. My BD was 3 weeks after he met her and decided he wanted a divorce to go marry her. I’m still not sure how someone can throw away 25 years for someone they never met in person. She couldn’t speak English, was another religion and totally different culture.

      In fact everyone he knew thought it was some kind of midlife crisis fantasy… I did everything wrong but don’t blame myself as I truly thought it would pass if he could only realize. In fact we did divorce because of this fantasy he had because I couldn’t accept it anymore.

      For a long time a truly triggered when I saw young asian women with older americans, because I knew what the OW was all about. As I come from a family that believes in equal rights for all, any sign of prejudice with in me turned my stomach. Yet one day I pulled myself together remembering that in all races, cultures, countries there good and bad, nice and mean, moral and immoral. The OW and my EX are just the bad apples in a barrel of mostly honorable people, and it’s no reflection on the rest of them or us.

      • Oh Spiritwoman. I’m so very sorry your idiot husband did this to you.
        I spent a considerable amount of time in Thailand when I lived in Asia. Your husband will join the flock of aged, western men who have all left their families and wives back home for young thai women. Every time I met an old man in Thailand with a young thai wife (which was often) I would feel sick to my stomach. She’s using him as a resource, and he’s using her to gain a sense of vitality. These are all superficial arrangements, there’s no depth to this love (how could there be? they decided to marry after TWO weeks of meeting each other?) Nope. It’s transactional.
        I’m going to take a wild guess here. Your ex is not fluent in Thai is he? He thinks this girl fell in love with him because he wooed her with his romantic words and deep understanding of her culture (he ate pad thai once so he gets the nuances of everything about Thai history and heritage society, culture and spirituality right?) More likely she’s been corresponding with a number of foreign men online, and the most gullible one was your ex. SO terribly cliche.
        Your life is going to be better now that you’ve dropped that sad excuse of a husband. I am here to tell you, HIS LOSS. Say “Sawadee Kap” to both of those losers and remain your mighty self!

    • Won’t he be surprised when she demands that he hand over his paycheck every payday. My understanding is that in Asian cultures, the wife handles the money. (I could be wrong, but that’s what I have heard).

    • Artemis!
      Okay, the creepiness of selectively wanting a specific type of Asian lady? And then searching for them ONLINE?? He’s not shopping for shoes! (“I prefer Keds to Nikes…”)
      Clearly his affair partners are selective as well, they want dumb, ignorant, misogynists. Everyone’s a winner!

  • What I have learned about cheaters from being here for 4 years now is this:

    Cheaters chose someone who is AVAILABLE. Other things like bust size, cock size, hair color, skin color, financial background, education background… all of it… are secondary.

    Cheating is about finding someone with an equal absence of character. All else is icing on the cake. It has NOTHING to do with you or the color of your eyes.

    Rock on Chump Nation… this looks like it is going to be an amazing day!

    • “Cheaters chose someone who is AVAILABLE. Other things like bust size, cock size, hair color, skin color, financial background, education background… all of it… are secondary.”

      THIS. My cheater went with the first two women who said yes. Who had no issues with him still being married and having a wife with cancer. And the second one got pregnant within a month of “dating” him. Now they are all happy family with a new baby he dotes on. She is eager to be a step mom to me daughter. He seems more involved in her and the relationship. He didn’t miraculously find true love. He just hit the first target and a few years down the road they’ll both realize their mistake.

      Even my 8 year old made a comment that he has to try harder. He had one relationship fail, he can’t have that happen again. She isn’t better. He didn’t miraculously change. It’s all impression management.

    • ICStMC, so true about AVAILABILITY! Golden D##k cheated with literally ANYONE who would have him.

      Any race, size, age, sex, creed or color was fine with him, the only thing he wanted from them was a body part he could use for his selfish pleasures. Only have male body parts? No problem! He’ll jump! A truly equal opportunity cheater.

      After (unfortunately) seeing some of the people he was having sex with, I told him that he could make a Benetton ad (remember United Colors of Benetton?) with all his fuck-buddies, if it wasn’t for the fact that they were not attractive people.

      He is not exactly a handsome guy himself, anymore; he told me that he approached one Craigslist guy who was waiting in his car for a “date” that they set up and the guy took one look at Golden D##k and shook his head “no”. He was devastated! Guess the guy didn’t want to spend quality time with Mr. Magoo (Golden D##k has been aging badly: shrinking in height, gaining a belly and losing his hair, nose is growing 🤥 and eyes are like bbs behind his thick glasses). Golden D##k was watching me intently after dispensing this little gem. I honestly believe that he wanted me to get outraged on his behalf and reassure him that he was very attractive. Sorry, the kibble dispenser is all out of kibbles for you, fuck-wit.

      I honestly have to say that not one of his partners (that I am aware of) is more attractive or worthy in any category that I consider important. Certainly not character-wise. Does that lessen the pain of betrayal? Not one bit.

      Does the expression of shock when family and friends found out the identity of his latest long-term affair partner (she’s terrible by any measure) and they cannot believe he would stoop that low as to actually have sex with her, let alone a secret, illegal “marriage”, give me any kind of vindication because they all believe that I am infinitely better than her in every way? Nope.

      I almost wish that he had found someone who I felt was “better” than me. Instead, I see desperate, disordered, despicable losers who just cared about what they could get from him. As it is, I just can’t understand WHY he would throw away more than 40 years of marriage and a relationship with our kids and grandchildren for a dip in the swamp with the swamp things that play there.

      He used to be an attractive man. But he is ugly inside and it’s starting to show on his previously sparkly exterior.

      I look at old photos and you would never believe that that cute boy (we met in high school) could become so unattractive. Up until the latest DDay, I always told him he was so handsome and he had a sexy body. I wasn’t lying, I was wearing love-goggles. I lost the love-goggles after I found out what I was married to.

      And that’s one of the things I lost that I never want back. However, I would like the lost $$$ and years back, please.

  • I remember the triggers! God they were awful! I couldn’t hear the word Ukraine without having a flood of adrenaline surge through my body. Women with long blond hair gave me the urge to rip it from their heads 😬, and of course commercials for a little girls favorite toy – Barbie, had me scurrying for the remote! Imagine, a stripper with the name Barbie… original right?

    I think it was about the time I realized my worth wasn’t measured against any of those things, that they stopped bothering me. I’m no longer 20 with rock hard abs, unwrinkled skin, and the naivety to go with it… thank god! I got the boob job and Botox to compete with someone I shouldn’t have been competing with. I thought it was something I was lacking to hold his interest. Then I realized the lack was in him! Of course fuckwit has made a huge deal out of my cosmetic procedures in court, as if it was some moral failing… but sleeping with hookers, well apparently that’s just something men are entitled to do! His attorney of course was able to get anything he’s done pre-filing excluded from evidence. I’m not sure how my getting Botox is relevant, but sleeping with hookers isn’t. It’s just insane!

    • Thank you, Got-a-Brain for relating your triggering experience in past tense. When I read how you “remember” the triggers, it gave me such hope for the day when I can look back, too. For those of us who are *presently* trying to navigate our way out of the trigger minefield, it really helps to hear from someone else’s perspective that has made it to the other side.

      • Yes. Because the OW was someone just like me (only half my age) I ended up with so many of my favourite things becoming triggers because they were HER ‘thing’ -horses, campfires, Ireland, wolves etc etc. Be so glad when that wears off.

  • Even beautiful women with perfect bodies and PhDs get cheated on. It has little to do with looks and more about kibbles and a fantasy land of no responsibility or the mundane boring tasks of everyday life, that makes the cheater cheat. And as far as the ethnicity goes? Its kind of like men who are overtly homophobic—they are often the ones “in the closet”. My ex was prejudiced against black people and often made disparaging comments about them (I didnt know he was this way until well after we were married). He was brought up in a household where prejudice was learned and the culture/country they were from was very divided concerning race. Anyways, when I found out his AP was a black woman I just about fell out! I couldn’t freakin believe it. Blew me away. Since then apparently all the women he’s been screwing around with are the same ethnicity. Like the homophobes in the closet mentality–The guilty dog barks first!

  • Iris,

    My husband’s AP is also asian. But my youngest son also has an asian wife. I am white.
    At first, I will admit I was feeling a lot of hostility towards asian women. His AP is also from Seattle like another poster here. I soon realized that race doesn’t matter. I have never seen a photo of her. I do not want to know anything more about her than I already do.
    I know that any woman that sleeps with a married man that she has worked with for years. She knew he was married and clearly didn’t give a shit. Last laugh ( sort of ) is on me. Because of all the infidelity from him throughout our marriage. I have an STD that is not curable. I am going to bet all the eggs in my basket, his new little “Friend” also has it. Petty? Yep. But it is helping me get to Meh.
    Iris, you are beautiful no matter what color or shape or age you are. It isn’t about you. It’s the cruel backlash of loving a disordered piece of crap.
    Hugs 🙂

  • He tells me he gives me everything else I could want. He helps with housework. Works hard. Gives me al his money helps OUr kids. He would do anything I ever wanted. He says it’s only a couple hours a week and he gives me 98% of everything else. I even catch myself wondering if I’m the one being selfish. That maybe this could work. And I waiver. He’s got me so screwed up

    • If he is screwing you up than the solution is to leave him so he can’t keep screwing you up. I know that is hard for you to hear right now but the truth is you deserve better. He clearly doesn’t recognize your worth.

    • “He tells me he gives me everything else I could want.”

      If you want sexual fidelity, you deserve it. He’s not going to provide that any longer (if he ever did at all) so the thing to do is consult an attorney.

      Find out what you can reasonably expect him to provide after a divorce.

      You do not have to waver on fidelity because rest assured, if you give in on that, he has a LOOOONNNNGG list of other things you can give up for him.

    • He “helps” w housework?

      You do realize that phrasing implies it’s your responsibility and he’s just helping. Not that it’s a job for both of you to share. As equals.

      I’m not trying to be mean about it. Just want to point out your phrasing might mean you’ve swallowed some cultural bs about your role v his.

      Husbands do not “help” w housework. They either do their share if they don’t.

      And don’t get me started on “babysitting” ones Ken children!

    • Cindy- are we married to the same man? He gave me everything I wanted ( not) and EVERYONE thinks he is an amazing human being – educated, earning good money, helps with kids, nice to everyone….
      The moment I doubt myself I think about endangering my life, life of my kids, hitting me, abusing me emotionally for years, disrespec, crushing my confidence as a productive human being…. list goes on…

      The only “ feeling sorry” For is for the person that was enduring all those horrible treatments…. myself

    • Cindy it’s a trap. We can convince ourselves of pretty much anything. Once you settle for the 98% knowing he’s spending 2% if his time 10% of his assets he will up the anti.

      Consult with an attorney. Your bar has been lowered. Without consequences it gets worse. Truest you deserve better.

      • That “2%” is a giant FUCK YOU. He is THRILLED with that “2%,” isn’t he! So proud of himself.

        Or, he’s creepy as fuck, and he has the mathematics of this and that all figured out, and you thing get “98%” of his wonderfulness, and that other thing he fucks, she gets “2%” and he will have you know that she is so in love with him, so, you know, maybe you could dance a little prettier and get “98.5%.”

    • Cindy,

      Is this situation really and truly, in your heart of hearts, acceptable to you?

      You are worthy of being the ONE AND ONLY!!

      “He tells me he gives me everything else I could want.”
      What do YOU tell you that you want? You WANT a two-timer who is 98% (that’s a bullshit number) committed.

      He is 100% committed. To cake.

    • Cindy,

      I’m going to give you some advice I have had to reiterate to my children over and over again because I stayed married to their cheater father for far too long:

      People don’t get extra credit, a parade, a state dinner and a trophy for doing basic shit they are supposed to do. Your husband has convinced you that bare minimum crap he should be doing is something special. Don’t fall for that – it’s a trap. Been there, done that. He gives you everything else you want – money to take care of his and your children, he “helps” around the house, he works hard – I think that’s called marriage and family and assuming responsibility. He’s not doing anything special. He’s living up to his obligations and responsibilities. He’s not “owed” a human trophy (side piece) for taking care of his family. What’s your reward for doing your part? Him? He is not respecting you or honoring you as his wife and the mother of his children, let alone just basic respect as a human being.

      My humble advice is for you to remove this toxic waste in human form from your life to make room for some genuine joy and peace. (((HUGS)))

      • That’s what I’ve always wanted to say to him but could never come up with the exact words. This is perfect

        • Even if you’re scared or unsure of leaving, take some serious time away from him. Separate, live apart, call it whatever you want. You will see how quickly your life becomes more peaceful and better with him out of your daily. A little distance can give a lot of perspective. And you don’t have to overly justify it, no need to get into the weeds with this M-Fer, you can simply say: you cheated on me, I want some time away, I’m taking it.

          • I agree seperate (legit seperate, no contact) and see how wonderful the other side is. Maybe that will give you the courage to end it. Divorcing my ex was the bravest thing I’ve ever done, and I haven’t looked back.

    • Cindy

      he gives you everything? Start squirrelling money away.

      See, he might discard you anyway whatever you do. Sending hugs, we understand

  • There are many ways to be different, not all about race. Schmoopie is taller than me. Ex is tall so that must be it (except that Schmoopie 1.0 was shorter than me). Both Schmoopie’s had straight hair, mine’s poufy so that must be it. Both probably have better fashion sense as ex defines it. The biggest difference with Schmoopie 2.0, however, is that she is a SAHM. She didn’t work at all. I am a career woman. Prior to having my life blown up, I had a lot of admiration for SAHMs. It is a hard job that I didn’t want to do because I didn’t think I could handle it. I always admired those who could. After Schmoopie came along, however, it was hard for me not to be disparaging of SAHMs for a while. Clearly that one was lazy, entitled and perfectly happy to neglect her kids in pursuit of my husband. Chump nation has helped me with that. There are so many SAHM chumps on here who did the hard job at home for so many years only to be unappreciated and discarded in the end by cheaters who figured they could get away with it because their chumps would be stuck financially. This has helped me to separate being and OW and being a SAHM. The fact that Schmoopie is a SAHM is irrelevant. The fact that she is a selfish, self-centered slut with no morals, no compassion, no decency and no respect for the boundaries of marriage and this is what ex prefers to me is what matters.

    • “The fact that she is a selfish, self-centered slut with no morals, no compassion, no decency and no respect for the boundaries of marriage and this is what ex prefers to me is what matters.”

      👏👏👏

      • Here, here! Thank you, CIR. I needed to hear that today. The X’s birthday is today and I’m a little emotional but still NC. Post D-day 3 months, it’s still hurts.

  • The skank woman that my husband cheated with was ugly to the bone. Make a train take a dirt road ugly. Once in awhile I show a picture of her to people and they gasp and almost fall off their chairs. Even my daughter made the comment after Dday about how I might feel getting dumped for the ugliest woman on earth….ugly on the inside AND outside. I’m a hundred times better looking than this crooked yellow toothed ho bag. And she’s fat and getting fatter by the pictures I’ve seen. I even asked cheaterpants once how many bags he put on her head to fuck her.
    So Iris, it doesn’t make a bit of difference what the OW looks like. Cheating is all about Bad Character.

    • Let’s reframe. You didn’t get “dumped for the ugliest woman on earth.” As Chumpinrecovery pointed out, the fact that her teeth are crooked and yellow is irrelevant. The fact that she’s fat is irrelevant. BUT the fact that she is a selfish, self-centered slut with no morals, no compassion, no decency and no respect for the boundaries of marriage – and this is what your ex preferred to you (!) – is what matters.

      This distinction is so important to me. One of the first things my friends said to me when they looked up the OW’s picture was “but you’re so much prettier than her!” And in the face, sure, I guess so. But her tanned and toned 27 year old childless body that she entered in sequined thong “fitness” competitions blew mine out of the water. As a former bulimic this was devastating to me. Still is. But then I read CL, and get encouraged by fellow chumps (seriously, thank you Chumpinrecovery) to reframe my perspective. Like you pointed out to Iris, it DOESN’T MATTER how fat or thin or beautiful or ugly anyone is on the outside in this whole mess. The CHARACTER of cheaters is all that matters.

  • Lol I’m laughing…. why you would ask…
    Well, my cheating husband did me a favor… I’m a Caucasian blonde woman with a blue eyes and size6-10depends on a time of the year…. I should be the lucky one, right?
    F$&&$ing wrong!!!!!

    My husband was very open minded- younger, older, white, Asian, Indian, black…. moving on to trannies and God only knows what else was on “ his plate”….
    As long as the other human was WiLLING or paid enough- it was ALL GOOD!!!

    Now, how does it make me feel? I can’t hate all women and all LGBT community, lol

    It WAS HIM- all that time. Not my gain weight during pregnancy, not a sexy outfit while he was not in the mood, not a cleaning skills….

    I started to realize that for him I WAS NOT a human being… I was a WIFE and mother of his children, but not an individual… that bugs me… because even slight hope of being special person is crushing the moment I think about it.

    For him I was no different than any prostitute or woman he “ dated”

    🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮

  • Let’s forget Tiger Woods’ wife, who IS a glamazon blonde model type – she got chumped too! Her husband was a serial cheater no less! It doesn’t even matter how beautiful you are – you still can be chumped. It’s not our fault!

    • Tiger Woods’ wife, Elin Nordegren, was someone I thought about quite a few times post-D-Day. I was the wife who started to “go crazy” about six months after I caught him out on a date with a ho-worker. All the mind-fxcks, lies, gaslighting, emotional abuse and years of him triangulating me with “friends” — I just snapped like Elin did. No one can understand it unless it happened to them too.

  • EeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeek! Makes me really, really REALLY glad that until this day I never knew anything about ho worker.

  • First I got, “You’re too accomplished and independent”. Then I got, “You’re too fit”; later it was, “You’re not fit enough” (after breast cancer treatment).

    Asshole.

    Cheaters lie – so why do any of us give their complaints or observations about our supposed shortcomings any weight whatsoever?

    Oh right. ‘Cause we’re Chumps who don’t shit on people habitually and who try to be fair, honest and kind. We may not always get it right, but we try!

  • Iris, hello. Thanks for your post. I can tell you are beautiful in every way. My white husband left me (a middle aged white woman) for a series of gorgeous young Asian women. It’s not about us, or the OW’s race, or her dress size, or her age. It’s about our cheaters, who broke our families, a sacred vow and our hearts, without looking back, and the culture of greed and narcissism we live in. We can destroy ourselves trying to figure out how we can measure up. I’ll let you know when I figure out how to step back and say “I’m good enough just the way I am.” Every day, I hope for the magic that lets me (as a woman who has never been classically beautiful) and all the “outsiders” feel good enough. One of the hardest parts of chumpdom for me is realizing that my go-to method since childhood, giving and giving and giving to get love, doesn’t work either. Stay strong on your journey.

  • THANK YOU IRIS for bringing up a topic about the great unspoken of different races. The hurt, the humiliation, the self doubt is the same.

    For me to tell my story, all I have to do is change ONE word of your story:

    “The affair partner in my case was a young [Indian] woman. When D-day hit, I began a self-destructive examination of how we were different. She was thirteen years younger than me, had never had children, could party and socialize and spend without care. She even has a better job than me …

    Perhaps the most blatantly obvious difference between us was our race. It triggered some very deep-seeded feelings of inferiority … my ex’s choice in OW was one more example that I was less than and would always be.”

    That she had never had children, whereas I had an broken and permanently altered body from bearing and nursing OUR children WE were supposed to love together was the hardest hurt to get over. His betrayal over this cut deep. If he doesn’t feel he has to and they are his children, who else would love and respect broken me?

  • Here, here! Thank you, CIR. I needed to hear that today. The X’s birthday is today and I’m a little emotional but still NC. Post D-day 3 months, I’m still hurting.

  • My ex brought her gorgeous, 20 year younger, European Equine Therapist home to our bed during our in-home separation, prior to our divorce. I opened the bedroom door and there they were, wrapped in each other’s arms smirking at me.
    Her looks didn’t really phase me or cause me to compare myself, because in that moment I knew she was a person with no integrity. Who does that to someone in their own house? Whack jobs.
    On another note…Cindy, read everything you can find about narcissism. Your husband is probably text book. I hope you find the strength to leave. He is a black hole with nothing to offer you.

    • ive Know for years he was a narccist. Ive read all the self help books and have basically learned to live with it. My son moved out this summer ( he’s 25) and I guess now I really really see what he’s doing to me with nothing to distract me. I’ve explained the type of marriage I signed up for and explained what I want and I expect and he seems to understand and pacify me and the next day he acts like everything is back to normal . It’s a merry go round and a roller coaster ride every day

  • My post was the one referred to in the email above. I should add some information. My husband told me he SPECIFICALLY sought out a cheating partner who was Asian on Craigslist in the casual sex personal ads. In other words, he shopped for a cheating partner based on her race/appearance. Which I felt was majorly thingifying/objectifying /smarmy. But HIS CHOICE of cheating partner to cheat WAS based on race/appearance. And still is 100% on him and has nothing to do with me. AND it still hurts to be told, “I was always attracted to Asian women but never acted on it because my parents wouldn’t have approved.” (which I hear as a really low racist comment) when you look nothing like an Asian woman except for being a donor at the Asian Art Museum and being a collector of Asian art and textiles and have passport stamps from Japan. I report how I feel…which isn’t my choice…I am shaking as I type this. People do choose cheating partners based on WHATEVER and part of the pain is that you are not that “whatever”…..in my case I am not Asian and therefore I am unattractive to
    him. I was just reporting facts of the affair that HURT.

    • I also had a “ type” …. either Latino or Asian men… it’s like an art- you can be amazed by the modern art or something else… my husband is a white guy with brown hair and blue eyes.
      now, would I plan my future around that “ type”? No
      I thought I picked the good person- I wasn’t naive- we had hours of conversations, discussions about priorities etc. ; what he was showing me for more than a 3 years of dating/ living Together – was aligning with his words.
      the sad part- he was GOOD at lying, cheating and gaslighting…. until he wasn’t.
      And when you add the fact that we look at people and see them through the prism of our own moral standards…. ugh… here we are….

    • PS… my original post was about TRIGGERS….and the dismay I feel that because my “husband” (who I am sure is an equal opportunity cheater) shopped specifically for a woman who was Asian (which I think is racist) I now find myself often, against my will and wishes, horrified and upset that I sometimes get triggered by some Asian women (not all). I am not thankfully in the comparing/greater than/less than boat, but very upset that I now live in a world of jump-scare triggers, over which I have no control to stop, only to notice and deactivate..
      I am feeling a little thrown on the Chump Nation bonfire today…..😢..

      • Don’t feel thrown on the bonfire Velvet Hammer! No one is hating on anyone here.
        As I stated in my letter, I very much related to what you went through and could appreciate why you would feel triggered by some Asian women. Hell, anyone who even resembled my husband’s affair partner to me evoked an actual physical response of equal parts repulsion, disgust, and fear.
        Your ex, my ex…they did this to us. We can thank them for the psychological scars and triggers.
        Understandably, there’s a lot of intersectionality in my particular chump experience. My race, my age, my physique you name it. I scrutinized all of it before I came to the eventual realization it wasn’t me at all.

      • No worries VH, you just spoke your truth. Even though I’m pretty well in “meh,” I still get triggered by young, long-haired, big-eyed blonds (I live in California, so there’s a lot). PTSD is a funny thing. And even now, years after the affair, I’m dating this great guy who is a fellow chump and really just honest and loyal and loving, but if we get waited on by a pretty young blond, I feel instantly like he’d probably rather be with her and get a little sad. Stupid, but true. Then I remember that being me is enough.

    • Don’t feel thrown on the bonfire, Velvet. I’m a woman of color and I contest the notion that race doesn’t matter here. Sure, people with all kinds of subject positions can be chumps as well as cheaters. But desire takes place in a social field, and it matters that your husband fantasized and pursued a relationship across difference, while my STBX ultimately withdrew from that difference. The desirability–and undesirability–of differently raced and gendered bodies have been constructed over time through complex processes that have everything to do with power. That you felt rejected in favor of something ‘other’ and that Iris felt compelled to buy whitening cream after her own discard makes perfect, painful sense.

    • Velvet Hammer,

      Yes, they do choose AP for their certain “whatevers”. I’m also a bit of the exception as mine didn’t fuck everything with tits and an ass like many of the cheaters on here. Mine checked out somewhere in our marriage, and patiently waited while faking being a committed and awesome husband to me and my two littles. Then when the time was right and he found a PERFECT upgrade he cheated, had his soft little landing pad and split. So, for me, I really did go WTF does she have that I don’t? Why would you blow up our happy family and marriage? He wasn’t just trying to get more ass, he just wanted a perfect upgrade and a soft place to land. It really does mess with your head because mine really was about someone “better” and me sucking. She was 10 years younger, 10 lbs thinner, fake boobs and blonde. And a college degree. (I had asked him if I should get my boobs done after having two kids “Whatever you want lovely, I love you and your boobs just the way they are.”) Oh, and he DOES NOT like blondes…..whatever. Anyways, point is, that YES, some of them do search out upgrades, certain features, income, status, no kids, etc and those “things you don’t have” screw with you….because there is NOTHING you can do about it. But remember, it’s not you, it’s them and their selfish entitled attitudes. We can never be and have everything. They have to make excuses for hurting you, ruining lives and being a piece of shit person. And remember the reasons they cheat (or leave) will never be what is wrong with them, only what is wrong with you that they had to deal with (sad sausage). That’s what Cluster B folks do, blameshift and gaslight. Love is a choice we make every day, those asshats made CHOICES to break their promises, treat you like trash, be selfish and cheat. Cheaters cheat.

      P.S. I earned 20k more last year than his new college degreed AP….nbd.
      P.P.S. They broke up a month ago…..guess all that perfectness came with some unperfectness….too bad so sad 🙁

      • @unexpectedchumpiness – cheater-x was a serial cheater, constantly trying out other women for size (I was completely oblivious and thought we had a good marriage). Obviously none of them came up to scratch until his latest skank, which is the one he left me for. A soft landing indeed (and I hope there was a pile of prickly cactii underneath).

  • Whatever the Chump IS or IS NOT, it is just a Red Herring for the Cheater.
    Don’t fall for that logical fallacy trap.

    I’m going to think of something really gross to prove my point. Say the Chump is an addict, abusive, hoarder and cat person with 25 cats who don’t use the litter box. A normal spouse would try to get Chump help. If Chump doesn’t accept help and it’s something spouse CAN’T live with, then spouse should move out and get divorced. Period. End Point.

    A Cheater tortures with Red Herrings for their own commitment to their ego. They enjoy the Pick Me Dance, getting revolving affair partners and the spouse to dance.

    Add to the list of National Chumps, Jackie Kennedy, all 3 of Trump’s Chumps, and Hillary Clinton.

    • “A normal spouse would try to get Chump help. If Chump doesn’t accept help and it’s something spouse CAN’T live with, then spouse should move out and get divorced. Period. End Point.”

      So many insights today that are really hitting home because I have yet to internalize them as truth. I feel like I need to pay y’all for the therapy appointment. 😄

      • I heard a psychologist say on the radio that with serial cheaters, there is no help the spouse can do other than leave them. Their issues are very, very deep. A spouse who tolerates that crap is like a co-dependent to ‘pick me’ dance and feed Cheater’s illness/sense of entitlement. It also puts the chump spouse in danger of STDs, stress related diseases, loss of financial resources, and mental issues. The psychologist also said that NO ONE in the WHOLE world is perfect. Every spouse, roommate, family member, friend has to overlook little things that are done to them at some point in the relationship…and to find solutions/work through/support through tougher issues. The issue is not a reason to cheat. If you can’t work through the issue, then leave, divorce. Cheaters don’t work through problems. That’s work and the antithesis of cheating.

        • I do think that some cheaters find those things they are unhappy about their chump and seek elsewhere because they are sad human beings who can’t work on things or leave respectfully…
          But
          I think that the majority of the cheaters are happy with their relationship, and get involved with a coworker or friend
          Once they get involved, they have to feel justified, so the poor treatment starts, in an effort to make themselves feel better and support the ego which is feeling reallllllly good
          Then, when the shit hits the fan and the chump finds out, the blaming starts, it has to
          My observation only

          • I don’t agree Letitsnow. I used to think that but now I know they go looking… on web sites, bars, wherever. It’s deliberate, calculated, planned.

  • I had a hate on for Christians for awhile after Dday. The OW went to church 3 times a week, and was president of her church ladies committee. He started to attend her church, he started to slam my faith.

    Yup, to this day I have a bit of mistrust of anyone who proclaims to be a Christian. ( I am Christian, but not the correct type apparently).

    • I was raised Christian as well but I too have reservations ( truth be told I find it extremely annoying and obnoxious) for those that make it their mission to state “Well I’m a Christian” as if it makes them superior. Some atheists seem to be of the same ilk. It’s like they are trying to tell you right off the bat they are either superior (sanctimonious) or have a higher intelligence than you peons who believe in fairy tales. Both are asswipes.

    • If their church happily accepts cheaters as the president of the church ladies committee then perhaps they are the wrong type of Christian.

  • Please don’t toss tomatoes!! What triggers me are older men riding Harley’s and wearing do-rags!
    When I met skankboy he was a tie and jacket man, salt and pepper hair. I thought he was attractive at the time. When he bought his Harley all of a sudden he wanted to be Mr. Hell’s Angels. Not someone I would be interested in had he presented that way in the beginning. I find that style unattractive. Toss in lying, cheating, etc., I now find him butt-ass ugly! Many people say he is an attractive older man. I just see it that way!

    • Haha, the later in life motorcycle dude!

      I would never have dated a motorcycle rider – a family member was injured on one and I’m too afraid of what might happen. But ex-to-be didn’t care AT ALL about how I felt about his new fascination. (Just like he didn’t care about how his lying and cheating would hurt me!) I thought he loved his motorcycles (yes, he bought multiples) more than he loved me. Now I know he’s just into different OBJECTS at different times of his life – it was me when we met and for the first few years, it’s his motorcycles and harem now. All of us just objects.

    • I see you understand….I am also triggered by hotels, airports, plane rides, L’Occitane men’s bath gel, his Dodge Ram 1500 hookup truck, Facebook…the list and the possibilities are endless. Jiminy Crack Mothereffin Christmas.
      ❤️

  • One of the most helpful and important things I learned about what my disordered ex was seeking was a mirror of himself or a person that didn’t make him feel so bad about himself. He was looking for something that enabled his dysfunction and would hurt me the most. This interesting perspective is summed up nicely on the Shrink4Men website; great nuggets of insight can be gleaned for either the male or female chump. It was a helpful step in learning that it really wasn’t about me. My ex-husband’s OW was an openly lesbian activist who quit her job to devote her time to him and his “cancer” which turned out to be a “misdiagnosis”. By the time that relationship was over she was a hollow shell of herself. Karma’s a bitch.

    LINK

    • The X always said he liked “his women a little on the trashy side”. I’m pretty plain vanilla but knows how to be sexy, not slutty. The OW had a very public FB site that where she talked about loving a man good and memes about masturbation, and being a loud proud woman. She’s exactly what he’s looking was for. Oh well, she can have him.

    • It took me a long time to figure it out as in my case, the OW he left for was similar to me in many ways (somewhat overweight, disabled, talkative, & even same uncommon hair color, etc). I have 3 degrees & she doesn’t, her face wasn’t near as pretty as mine (so many others have said) & she had 3 kids at home verses our 2 (I did realize even then that he felt kids took away from attention he got).

      The only areas I could come up with that she was better than me at were cooking and cleaning. For a long time, I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. He left me because of my cooking (he never even made toast & he never missed a meal the 16 years we were together) and my cleaning (he never cared before & even if he did, why didn’t he lift a finger & do something verses expecting me to do it all, which he expected even when I worked ft & more hours than him & even after I became disabled & physically couldn’t do it all myself).

      I did finally realise, as you said ago e, that he probably left me for someone who wouldn’t make him feel bad about cheating, being bi-sexual, etc & who enabled his alcoholism and spending beyond his means, & the like. He definitely left me for someone he knew could & would hurt me the most (he had no backbone & she helped him emotionally torture me & put me through utter hell for 2 years — after they broke up he even admitted to me that this was one of main reasons he got with her. To this day, I can’t figure out why he wanted to hurt me so bad. I did nothing wrong, he did!)

      So basically, besides her ability to be mean & torture others (me), we were a lot alike in many ways. He still cheated. Thus, it doesn’t matter what color of skin the OW has, her looks, her job, degrees, etc. He’s an asshole who would of cheated no matter what. That’s his shifty character & lack of integrity. It has everything to do with the cheater & nothing to do with who he cheated with.

  • ((Iris))

    I love Kimchi and make my own. Never tried it mixed with scrambled eggs though.

    At 1 year+12 days out from Dday the reasons WHY are growing unimportant to me. BTW, I trigger on white Dodge Journey SUVs. Or used to, it’s loosing it’s power with time.

    Whitening cream- I never knew it existed but thought immediately of Michael Jackson’s push to become white at the expense of loosing his nose, and then his life.

    I find it confusing and damaging now to go into comparison mode. There are no comparisons to make. Only the discovery that we’ve tried our best, encountered a deal breaker and had to reset our points of reference. Being equipped with the new fuckwit radar is what we walk away with. And of course a sadness in our hearts that we have to come to grips with the fact that some human beings are not at all trustworthy. Especially the ones we THINK we know.

  • “At your absolute best, you still won’t be good enough for the wrong person. At your worst, you’ll still be worth it to the right person.” ~ Karen Salmansohn

    I know this post is about race, but as we all know, anything can be a trigger for us. If only I was xyz or did xyz. Then he/she wouldn’t have cheated from the very beginning of our relationship that spanned 25 years. I have the gift, if you can call it that, of being able to go back in memory to 1992 when I first thought he was cheating on me. Of course he lied when I confronted him about his “friend” and of course I believed him! This just set me up for 22 years of Pick Me dancing, trying harder, working hard, staying thin, staying beautiful, keeping it sexy, being a great mom, do everything in the marriage and family, etc. etc. None of my efforts could change what the true problem was. HIS CHARACTER. I married a pathological lying, serial cheater who was this person from the very beginning. I didn’t want to believe it from the very beginning and it took me finding Chump Lady to realize that the problem wasn’t me, but him.

    We don’t share the same values or morals. We don’t have the same character. He is and was the wrong person for me.

    • Martha….I have been reading that quote all day. God bless you for sharing that…so deeply true and so necessary to internalize. Pasted and copied and put on the top of my Chump Lady notes. You are in the will….

      • You’re welcome, Velvet Hammer! I wonder how many of us have a copied and pasted list of Chump Lady notes!! I have a ton too of CL and CN wisdom to look back on. 🙂 God bless you too. 🙂

  • “But I think chumps — in their righteous anger at being chumped — should remind themselves that it’s not about “trannies” or “Asian whores” or “white trash” — it’s about some human being’s lousy character.” Thank you so much for this, Tracy!!!!! As a member of trans and queer communities, I have also been chumped as have many others within my extended communities. Thank you so much, Iris, for writing about this and about your experience!!! Thank you for being so open about the ways in which racism has unfortunately framed your life and then contributed to the horrors of being chumped. Being chumped is never an excuse to engage in racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, disablism, etc…

  • I was mad. I was furious. I was hurt. I cried a barrel full of tears. At this point I’m just kind of numb. I have even read somewhere to ask myself “ would I be happier on my own”. I honestly don’t even know anymore. I think to myself that I can have my own friends and do my own thing and still have a happy life if I stay. That I already know it’s happening so it can’t be worse. I read lots of sites where the married couple live seperate lives but stay together for convenience. It’s like my feet are stuck in concrete and I’m not sure which way to go

    • Many of us were in the same boat. “If I can just deal with it and stay together until DEATH…..” I tried that for about a week. It doesn’t work. You will be constantly miserable. Not sure which way to go? The nearest Divorce lawyer is the way to go. You don’t deserve to be disrespected by some fuckwit who obviously hasn’t got a care. Life is better on the other side. It takes awhile, but you deserve better Cindy!

    • Would you be happier living with a lying cheating asshole who doesn’t respect you?

      The pain is finite. You’ll inevitably have to fave it when he finds ‘the one’. They do not stop.

      Face the pain and fears. Make a plan. File.

    • “ would I be happier on my own” – Yes, you would. It can’t be any worse than it is being with him. It isn’t “convenient” to be tied in any way to a fuckwit. Just make sure you have a good lawyer.

    • The marriage of convenience. I tried it. To have to look at Judas over the breakfast table every day, and to hear him whine about how life was hard on him. After he drug me and our kids through hell, was more than I could stomach. He doesn’t deserve a wife. He doesn’t deserve to play happy family. And I don’t deserve to be with a partner who would lie, cheat and deceive me….and he enjoyed it!

    • Cindy-

      You said you already know it’s happening so it can’t be worse. Unfortunately, you’re most likely very wrong about that. It can be much worse! The first Dday is usually just the tip of the iceberg, at least in most cases. ALL CHEATERS ARE LIARS! He has already lied to you big time. What makes you think he’s now telling you the truth about 1 OW & her being the only other one he has ever been with? My ex said the same then I soon discovered that there had been many others for at least the last 5 years (got into his emails).

      You said you can still go out with friends & have a life even if you stay with him. Yes, of course you can. What kind of a life will that be? Won’t you always be wondering where he is and who else he’s with? Won’t you always be feeling like you’re not good enough? How will you possibly be able to have sex with him, especially since he told you that’s why he’s cheating? Plus, you don’t know where all his thingy has been. You will be putting your health & possibly your life (even if by some miracle he’s only ever been with 1 ow, you don’t know where that woman has been & who with)!

      In essence, by staying you will be living a double life as well. You will be enabling his cheating. If you do that, you will set yourself up for more & worse betrayal, pain, & hurt. Once his cheating is allowed, he will most likely run with it. A lot of others on here know that because they experienced and lived that, including me.

      Give yourself the love & respect you’re not getting from him & get the heck out! You won’t feel sane again until you do. You probably wouldn’t be on this site & posting of that’s not what you really want to do deep down, or think you should do. You have strength that you don’t even know exists. It won’t be easy by any means. It will however be empowering & mighty!!!

    • Cindy love, that was me too. I was willing to make ANY compromise to be with him – except one. That was for me to be the only woman in his life. When I said this to him, he left. Until then I hadn’t realised how many compromises I’d already made to stay with him. So many, I was no longer the woman I had been or wished to be.

      He is not the primary source of your self-respect and self-esteem. YOU are. It is super-hard leaving and putting your life back together, but you will regain your self-respect and that is gold. Please listen to Chump Nation. We have all been through this. The men and women here have a treasure-house of experience and advice for you. And if you are willing, we are more than willing to support you every step of the way.

      Much love to you today Cindy sweetheart x

    • Cindy, what if he finds the ‘one’ and leaves you after committing financial infidelity and leaves you with nothing? You are under the impression that you are in control of him leaving or not leaving but you are not in control at all, your husband is. I was in the same place thinking that I can ignore my cheaters infidelity. I then realized that I deserve better. That the pain my cheater was causing me will never end. I was becoming someone I did not like because I was always angry and in pain. I lived on zantac because of the acid pouring in my stomach. I knew I will end up sick and my cheater had said that if I ever get sick and unable to function, he would take me back to my parents because he cannot be able to take care of me. He actually left me once because I was getting sick from medication and could not work. My cheater said that he can get a healthy woman with a government job and left. I believe he had found one with a government job but a week later he came back to me and I took him back. Over 1 year ago I decided I have had enough of emotional blackmail and being threatened with divorce. We were together 8 yrs, married for 6. He still wants me back because I was a major kibble dispenser. He did not think that I will leave and stay gone. It is easier because he is overseas fucking any woman who will open their legs. He is not too choosy as long as the woman is half decent looking and willing. I have refused to go back and keep contact to minimal. Once divorce is finalized, I am going full NC. Cindy, don’t walk but run after you have lined up your ducks and build yourself a beautiful life full of love and free of manipulation. It is better and more peaceful. It is not easy but so worth it. I have my self respect back. I am still working on my self confidence but I can feel it coming back.

      • Just to add. When I left my cheater, I had to fly from S. Korea where we had relocated for his job after and where I had moved less than 7 months and after quitting my jobs, selling our house and cars in order to be with him. I came back to the States, looked for a place to stay and a job. He paid alimony which supported me until I found a job. We never had much savings coz he misused money.

  • BAM cheated with both men and women. His female ideal (judging by the “type” of gym whores and porn he always favored) is a small asian woman. So I can completely sympathize with your self-doubt and hurtful assessment of the many “faults” of the lady in the mirror. Getting past that stage and being able to see our own worth and beauty is one of the many gifts of this nasty experience. Not the path I would have chosen, but the endpoint is still highly valuable.

  • I use whitening cream on my melasma – don’t dis it too much!

    My STBX had a younger OW, around 20 years younger. Of course she’s got a better body than I do – I’ve had 3 children. But I think it’s more about the brain – he wanted someone who would look up to him and make him feel “big”. I didn’t do that. I didn’t think he was “big”. I thought he was an asshole who didn’t do his share of household responsibilities and child rearing. I thought he took my work for granted and acted like his hobby job, which brought in very little money, and none of which went into the household, was top priority. I didn’t suck his dick, because when was the last time he made me feel good? Hugged me, kissed me, hell, even THANKED me for dinner? For anything? He needed someone who didn’t point out how little he was doing, how when I said I need help and can’t do everything by myself didn’t get annoyed when he ignored those requests. I don’t want to know any younger females, but I know it’s all him. She’s an asshole too, but he stood there and married me and then treated me like a piece of shit on his shoe.

    • Even if you had placated him, not mention his substandard work ethic, treated him like a “king”, more than likely he still would have cheated. He still would have justified his cheating too. Ask any chump that has jumped through hoops to save their marriage. All the ass kissing amounted to squat.

    • CYM-

      This!!! Except, OW my ex left for was just 7 years younger than me. All else you said about your ex = yep, same here!

  • At times like these, I feel it’s good to remember what a good relationship looks like. A good relationship with anyone: friends, family and romantic partners means that they try to ensure that there will not a be a comparison game. They frequently let you know that they love this or that about you and that they want to help you be your best self. What’s more, it’s reciprocal and you do this for them as well.

    Cheaters and toxic people are incapable of healthy relationships. You end up doing all the work for the relationship and what’s even more galling is that at the end, you’re left still wondering what more you could have done for the relationship, ie maybe if my skin was whiter or darker, if I was thinner or fatter or was a different religion or not religious, etc. (Thankfully that last part usually goes away with time and distance). They have this inexplicable way of allowing you to believe that the failure of the relationship was somehow only your fault. They had no hand in being compelled to cheat by something greater than themselves, but be sure that it was because you were lacking that one magical quality that made them go ga-ga!

  • Dear Iris,
    Thank you for posting this letter! I have also struggled with race being a trigger and it is so helpful and generous of you to share your personal struggles. My X, the OW and myself are all different races AND nationalities. It is so important in healing to remember that the only thing the Cheaters and OW have that are different from us are cruddy characters.
    I am so happy you ditched the skin whitening creme. I am sure you are as gorgeous on the outside as you obviously are on the inside.
    strength!

  • My daughter is now 6-2, 130 lbs, blond flat-stomached 34C. Modeling agents have chased her down in parking lots to give her their cards. She is not a chump, but last year she attempted suicide. Physical beauty that falls within the advertised norms does not guarantee happiness. She is getting therapy and I am working to help her understand her beauty that comes from within, that no bully or asshole can take from her. It is a work in progress but I am grateful to get another chance.

  • He has told me that this younger woman is very much like me. She is 14 years younger. He said she acts like I used to act. Fun , attentive. Etc. and I realize I don’t have to argue and I don’t have to answer every insult. But what can I say to him when he tells me I’ve ruined his life. He admits his life is a disaster now but he insists I ruined it. I literally was dumbfounded and couldn’t even respond

    • Ya ya – I ruined my X’s life too. We didn’t have enough sex in our thirties is what I was told. I didn’t give him head often enough, blah blah blah. Don’t believe the bullshit. He is blameshifting…… trying to justify his shitty actions by laying the blame on you. Don’t fall for it. He is a piece of shit. And his life is a disaster because HE RUINED IT – NOT YOU! His life is a disaster because he sees a divorce on the horizon and he is going to ‘lose his shit.’ Be careful! He will start hiding money, cashing in retirement money, selling shit, making ‘deals’ with friends….. he will become even more kniving. FILE NOW! Get your finances together and prepare for the shitstorm.

    • Say, “Yada yada Asshole! Well you used to be more fun & attentive when you were younger too! I’ve matured whereas you haven’t! Are you kidding saying I ruined your life?! YOU are the one who ruined mine because you couldn’t keep your dick in your pants! You selfish lying bastard! Go fuck yourself! Oh wait, you already do the too! As far as I’m concerned, that slutty tramp can have you! She’s doing me a favor by taking your sorry ass off my hands! GOOD RIDDENS!!!

    • Cindy, you are being conditioned to take abuse. He feels shitty and since he does not like it, he is projecting it onto you. The more you take it, the more he heaps it on you. He will up the ante until you cannot take it anymore and do not recognize yourself. He will never stop until you stop it yourself. When you start pushing back because you know your worth, then he will leave for someone else who does not really know that he is a douchebag. Do the right thing for YOU. Leave. (((Hugs))))

  • Iris, you sound beautiful to me. And very smart.

    CL has brought up ALL the arguments, nothing to add. So, speaking of kimchi, I got back from Korea last night. Fantastic country. And I was blown over by how beautiful everyone’s skin is. I kept hiding my sun-damaged, spotted hands. Hahahah. But who cares, I am proud of them, a youth spent in a laboratory with fluorescent lamps and in the jungle doing research (well, on the beach too, with no sunscreen). If sparkledick can’t value that, it is his loss.

    Sparkles used to make derrogatory remarks about the people from the North of my country. Guess what? D-day flatterfuck is a typical representative of the North. 30 years younger than me. It ‘s sparkles’ character. Not my sun-spotted 66 years old skin. Nor flatterfuck’s smooth skin.

  • I’m going to flip this. I’m the woman of color whose otherness STBX’s family “tolerated” for over a decade. I, on the other hand, said nothing while my mother-in-law called my infant son–and me by extension–racial slurs (I raged after the fact and insisted that STBX confront her, which he did, but reluctantly, bound up in his shame rather than my injury). His dehumanization of me in the devaluation and discard was absolutely racialized–as a brown woman, I have had my personhood evacuated many times before. Experiencing white supremacy at such an intimate distance has been the most violent experience of my life. His choice of the whitest, blondest woman on earth is not neutral–it’s a choice that returns him to the world that he comes from, where his privilege and fragility are sacred, protected. Folks in the Forums know that he and the OW gave coordinated scholarly talks on whiteness at an academic conference while ignoring my son’s distress, and assailing me personally and legally. About that, I will not be silent.

    • I guess every cheating asshole ends up devaluing his wife but to bring race into it in this day and age? What a dick. And the OW too. Seriously. If he really felt that way then why on earth did he marry you and father a child with you? Was it just so that he could have the fun of torturing you and abandoning his child later? What an evil man. I also can’t fathom how any OW would want to associate with let alone fuck someone who would do that to his wife. I guess she is also an evil woman who gets off on hurting others and needs to feel superior in order to feel good about herself. They are vile and so is anyone who listened to their “scholarly talks” and didn’t think they were scum.

      • Thanks (((ChumpInRecovery))). Absolutely, every chump is devalued by their cheater–it’s just that my experience is marked by this added layer of violation. STBX isn’t racist in terms of bias–he is racist as a white straight upperclass man who lords his power and privilege over others. He enjoyed my “exoticism” (for a while), but was furious when I got a job and he didn’t because he has spent his whole life being anointed, and never expected me and my talents to be valued. This is classic white fragility bullshit. That his mistress (“Becky”) colludes in this is disgusting, but not surprising. I wish him fucking luck though–I have raised a strong, proud little brown boy. He is going to see right though them.

        • You are getting a HUGE hug from me Ninon. I don’t know your full backstory, but what you have alluded to sounds simply awful.
          I’m so sorry your ex’s family was so repugnant to you and your innocent child.

          • I’m hugging you right back, Iris! I’m so sorry your STBX’s hideous treatment of you unleashed the feelings of self-hatred and inadequacy that are so typical of internalized racism. I have had those feelings at various times in my life, and I might have gone down a similar path in light of Becky had I not spent decades learning to not give a shit about people like her. I’m actually using STBX’s infidelity/abandonment as an opportunity to spend more time in the POC worlds I’d been cut off from during my life with him. It’s one of the most healing things I’ve done for myself since Dday. More hugs for you!!

    • Just when I think I can’t hear of a cheater being any lower. What a pitiful stupid ass shit for brains fucktard!!! (I rarely ever cuss, other than an occasional shit. It sure feels good to do it on this site though! Very therapeutic! Lol) 😷

      • Thanks (((RoseThorns))). I have always been foul-mouthed, but I have sworn more in the past 9 months than the rest of my life combined.

  • I am SO grateful that I stumbled across this blog. This is all VERY new to me (DDay was earlier this month), and needless to say after 25 years together, 20 married I was just so hurt and confused. Since discovering CL and CN, I have come to realize that his actions are SO typical of a cheater who has been caught! The blame shifting, the mindfuck, the rage, the self pity…it ALL makes sense now! While still very angry, I’ve realized that I don’t miss him and the tension he created and most importantly, that NOTHING I did caused him to cheat.

    • WELCOME!!!

      Though I’m sure feeling lucky is the last thing you’re thinking right now, consider yourself to be for finding CN so soon after Dday. I sure wish CN was around following my 1st Dday in ’99. If it had been, maybe I wouldn’t of wasted the following 19 years in misery. I only found CN months ago, though Dday2 was years ago. For the first time in all those years, I finally feel like I’m starting to heal a little bit. Definately better than the two therapists I’ve seen!!!

    • Oh Welcome! This site saved me, and still does. I wish I had found it sooner and then heeded the warnings sooner. I thought for a second I had a unicorn. Your instincts lead you here and they are urging you toward a better life, keep that in the forefront of your mind if you incur doubt in the coming months.

      What kept me on track was continuing to ask myself “is this acceptable to you?” and to remind myself that cheating (and accompanying cheater behaviors) is emotional abuse, at best. That we have been, and are being, abused. And that is certainly not acceptable, ever.

  • I understand the comparison maze. My ex cheated on me with just about every type you could imagine. Various ages, sizes, career paths, relationship statuses, all of it.

    Another thing I’ve noticed since really diving in to the mentality around cheating, at least with my ex and a number of others I’ve heard about, is that men like to cheat with women who have less in the way of responsibilities and more in the way of freedom, just like you described, Iris. They like to run off to women with whom they have no bills, no obligations, and women who don’t have to pick up his dirty laundry off the floor. So of course it’s all fun and games. Then they come home to the “nag” wife whom he has to share bills with, who’s tired of wiping his piss off the toilet seat, who’s having to cook dinner for his screaming kids and can’t just leave their toddler in a full bath tub to go suck his dick.

    In other words, cheaters like to go for what’s easy and fun because mentally, they never left high school. “What’s the highest yield I can get for the lowest investment?” That’s literally sometimes their only criterion. And it doesn’t matter the size, color or age of the box it comes in. Just get them away from responsibility and back into carefree high school freedom.

  • After DD, I found out that my ex piece of shit asshole had a fetish for women of east Asian descent. The porn and where he frequented erotic massage parlors told me that. This sickened me. I am a feminist and heavily involved in international women’s rights. Especially, sex trafficking of vulnerable women. I, personally don’t have an issue with porn as a concept. I have an issue that the porn industry is filled with women who have been used and exploited, kidnapped and held hostage, and raped. You can’t watch a porn video and be 100% sure that what you’re watching isn’t rape. And massage parlors, well, you can be pretty sure that it is.

    A fetish towards anyone for their heritage is dehumanizing. It makes me sick that this was a man that I shared my bed with.

  • I’ll never know the otherness of the sex partners as they were payed by the hour, and through 20 years there was likely a variety of all that is mentioned in the posts today. I do know that they were the ages of our 2 daughters and often younger. So just yuck to the whole thing. I have not changed, just a little older now and much wiser.

  • I’m a red brunette, ex preferred blondes, and made that abundantly clear throughout our relationship. So, other than the surprise that he was, in fact, a soulless cheater, it came as no shock that OW was, in fact, blonde. Really pretty, curly blonde hair. Skinny. He likes them skinny.

    What I couldn’t wrap my head around, because it didn’t fit the mid-life crisis stereotype, was that he’d left me for a woman older than I. I tried taunting him with it. The Love of His Life, the One He Was Meant To Be With, was OLDER.

    “The next one’ll be younger,” he shot back, with a cocky wink.

    Well? Good luck.

  • I’m another one triggered by the mention of Ukraine. My husband spent 3 years on a Ukrainian dating site and had one particular person he became emotionally involved with. She’s 30 years younger than me, weighs about 85 pounds. Barely spoke English, but he would leave early for work so he could facetime with her. Now any attractive young woman with an accent makes me feel nauseated. Any time I hear of anything happening in Ukraine I wonder if he’s still contacting her, to “show support for a friend.” I’m also triggered when I hear people using pet names. He has never called me by a pet name in over 30 years, but had several for her.
    I think he wanted someone young and naïve who would look up to him and tell him how great he is. But she knew he was married and still gushed about their relationship and accepted money and gifts – how “great” can either of them be when they rationalize that kind of behavior?

  • “All this pick me dancing, all this pointless gyrating to be found worthy (and failing), benefits someone — the person sitting at the top of the heap. The person for whom entitlement is working just fine, thank you. Self recrimination shuts you up.”

    Self recrimination plays a huge role in reconciliation and that gyrating force in which we have to prove OURSELVES is ridiculous. If there’s one huge awakening a new chump needs to find its this.

    He/She picked someone else. No amount of whitening will change their lack of character.

  • This blog and forum helped me channel my pain and not think for one second what I was not for him. Best thing ever!
    So what am I to him? Beautiful – among his last words to me.
    What I know I am? Smart, for a while I even earned better than him. Definetly good enough that he married me.
    I’m a lot more! I know the OW has some very big shoes to fill in, which she never will.
    Please don’t spend one second thinking she’s more or that you’re less. Try to make that separation: you are YOU and the rest is irrelevant. Work on yourself, invest in yourself!

  • When dealing with the “what does she have that I don’t” moments, I realised that she was not much different to me physically other than different colour eyes, a bit shorter (stbxh always hated that I am taller than him, obviously he liked the little shit!), and smaller boobs! It was all to do with him, he simply VALUED her more than me for whatever reason and there was nothing I could do to change that. She played the dumsel in distress well and he enjoyed being the hero, he made me independent by working away from home for over 23 years, so I was never needy enough. Maybe it was something to do with that, who knows, more importantly who cares?!

  • I think sometimes we focus on the outward indicators of “otherness” (race, age, body type, etc.)because the idea that we can’t identify these predators among us is so terrifying. We desperately want some control, even if illusory. In fact, cheaters can look like . . . anything.

  • The OW that I found out about on D-Day, 1/20/18, was Asshat’s (now ex-besties) wife. She looks just like Asshat’s younger sister. That got too hard to deal with, so now, 8 months later, he’s hooked up with a nearly 30-yrs younger barmaid, who happens to look just like me, with darker hair.

    So…do they have a ‘type’? Yes. If only a ‘type’ that makes them feel ssssssssspecial, and also fills the bill of getting their rocks off over a particular creepy fantasy in their addled brains.

    Their ‘type’ is whatever comes along that fits THEIR all-important “needs”. Bonus if she or he fits some pre-ordained fantasy of theirs. The ick factor is strong.

  • Iris, thank you for bringing up this topic because I do think race can become part of the dynamics of certain relationships, and that the chumped experience takes on additional level of complexity for people of color and other oppressed groups. My cheater is black, I am white, and his OWs were mostly Asian. However, he also cheated on his asian girlfriend, a real beauty, for the many years they were together. We discussed race often, because I was pregnant and our child would be mixed race. It definitely wasn’t something that we could afford to ignore, and I think a lot of white people are afraid to talk about race. We had to negotiate my white privilege and his male privilege in our relationship. Due to being compared by him to Asian women, I developed a complex about feeling inferior. I couldn’t compete, I thought, if that’s what he wanted. This bothered me hugely, because my closest gfs are Vietnamese and Lao. However, once the PTSD (from viewing his phone and all the very explicit images of other women, nude, often not knowing they were being photographed) wore off, this was no longer the case. I don’t think every chump experience is the same, some are clearly worse, for many reasons. Why I like this community is that people are willing to listen to each other and change the narrative, together, despite the differences we have. I believe our diversity makes us stronger. Hugs to you!

  • I think it’s natural and typical for chumps to compare themselves to Paps after D-Day. That grows out of a very primitive idea of relationship that may start with sibling rivalry and become ingrained with the often irrational friendship patterns of teenagers–lots of cliques, in groups and out groups, etc. And if you get dumped for someone else in HS, it’s such a blow to self-esteem.

    But the fact is that cheaters don’t cheat because the AP is better. They cheat because they feel entitled to what they want when the want it. They cheat because the thrill of secrecy and deception is so acute and powerful. They cheat because you aren’t the boss of them. They cheat because they can’t keep up the mask with you. Or they cheat because they see your role in their life as being their child care provider, housekeeper and second paycheck, along with “benefits.” Or they just want to trade the Ford for a Chevy because people are interchangeable. Or the “child raising years” for them are over and they can jettison the whole family unit. None of it is about race or color or hairstyle in the sense that we tend to think about it in the beginning. Comparing ourselves to others is a sure way to unhappiness. That’s one lesson I took away from being chumped. There will always be someone younger, older, thinner, taller, shorter, smarter, more talented and richer.

    I hated the MOW after D-Day. I was jealous of her youth, her hair, her kids, her having a living mother, her large extended family. (However, I drew the line at her taste in makeup and clothes–ugh. Or her job, since I’ve got the best situation for me that I could ever have. But in the end, she was even more disposable than I was. Now he’s living with a woman who looks EXACTLY like his mother from face and thin hair to being heavy and quite short. I don’t know a thing about her but I fear for what happens when he does to her what he’s done to everyone else.

    One of the most insane things about racism in the United States is how people with slightly darker skin or even much darker skin than your average Swede thinks about whiteners or feels less attractive while white women risk skin cancer to get tan. Essentially turning darker. It’s all nuts. Serena Williams. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (oh, my beating heart). Sophia Vergera. Mazie Hirono. Aaliyah. Taylor Swift. Tammie Duckworth. J.K. Rowling. Meghan Markle. Christiane Amanpour. Soledad O’Brien, who kills it on Twitter. Betty White. BETTY WHITE. John McCain’s 100+ year-old mother. Joyce White Vance, former prosecutor. Gisele Fetterman, the immigrant wife of PA’s candidate for Lt. Gov. Michelle Obama and Laura Bush, Oprah, Ava Duvernay, my hero Diane Nash, from the Freedom Riders back in the 60s. One of my favorite people (who shall remain unnamed) who is a 2-time world champion in women’s pro football. These are all beautiful people, not because of face or skin or age or money but because they are themselves, out there doing their thing in their human imperfection.

    We can do the same for men. It’s not a competition, although the disordered cheaters would like you to think so.

  • The reason not to be jealous of ow/om is something my ex said to me after DD.
    ” All vagina’s are different and I like trying new”. Note not different even, or better, new.
    Variety is the spice of life.
    That’s it really. So, that desire for new is not going anywhere.
    They continue to cheat.
    All you are as a partner/ woman is a vagina.
    While I thought I was a wife/ partner/ mother to his children. He was always very affectionate, lots of LOVE YOU’S. All I actually was, was a readily available vagina. A service provider. Payment was him paying the mortgage.
    Depressing but true. They really do function at that basic level.
    Of course they don’t want a divorce, as that spoils things and is expensive. They like a social front.
    Cindy please for your sanity get out. It will be hard, and depressing, but staying in your current situation will be far worse. The goal posts will shift as his respect for you dives yet further.
    It is HIGHLY un-likely that he has not cheated for years, but now you know.
    Put yourself in his shoes. How would you feel about him if you were a cheat, and he said OK I will put up with that. Not really a recipe for a great future.
    I read somewhere that mental dissonance can actually make children grow up schizophrenic. That ” pretending” something is fine when it clearly is not. It messes with your head.

    Put yourself first, be brave and sail on to clear waters.

    • Seriously?

      My ex LITERALLY said: “she was a new —t and a new pair of —s” – to explain why.

      2 years later he said: she meant nothing.

      But he destroyed his family for that nothing in his infatuation at the time and his annihilating disdain for me.

  • Iris it well could have been one of my comments that had you asking your question. Tinman left me (36, white, mother of 3 SAHM) for his side chick (34ish, SE asian, mother of 1 and university lecturer) and it sent me into a tail spin for a minute or two… then I realised it wasn’t about ME and it wasn’t even about HER. See for HIM it was just a matter of wanting novelty. He was always after something NEW and DIFFERENT. This manifested in constantly changing jobs, he would last about a year… maybe two and be scoping for a new job. He constantly wanted NEW in the bedroom, constantly wanted NEW in the house furnishings, NEW in the activities we did…. His Affair partner was new and different, she could have been anyone who was willing to have an affair with him, the fact that she looked SO different to me was probably just a bonus and for him simply represented a way to mess with my head (he really enjoyed telling me how cute it was that she was soooo tiny she needed to jumpt to push the button on her automatic car boot to close it…. thus combining a “you’re too tall” with a “you’re too poor” insult).

    There will always be an affair partner waiting in the wings for those that want them. And they will always SEEM better than us because we “lost” our partner to them. But in reality it’s rarely if ever the case.

  • I did this too, but with age. My ex’s OW was a 21 year old college girl–naturally beautiful without knowing it, edgy and lithe and clever. When I started down that comparison road my lovely sister pointed out that it’s irrelevant, he might as well have cheated on me with an elderly gay man. The fact is that I am not them and vice versa, and his cheating has nothing to do with me. I really needed to hear that and I’m very grateful she said it at such a crucial time. Of course, later on, I realized he was dating another version of me when I was 21–like he just time warped back 20+ years. Ha! Like, he could have gotten his pick out there and he chose me, all over again. It should have been validating but it just made me sad. Who’s really the chump after all!

    • Same for me only the replacement mini-me was 25 years younger, half my age. She also lived a thrilling, exciting (read unstable) gypsy lifestyle, no real job, no plans for the future past the next long hike on her horses. I beat myself up over the age thing until it dawned on me that, although I loved him for his own self, his personality, not his body or his prospects, he just didn’t love me back in the same way or he could never have gone behind my back like that. After 23 years and 3 kids together battling poverty, I still wanted him. My love for him still isn’t quite dead. He said to me ‘I can’t wait to move out so I can have a life’. His life with me and the kids meant nothing. It was the youth and opportunity that he wanted over again (he was 46 at the time). YES i understand the validating and the sadness; but it just means that he was incapable of his in-loveness for me develop into a real mature love. I hope we still both have time to find that somewhere else.

  • I’ll have to go back to read the rest. But cheaters all have their fantasy, whatever that is. I never saw my replacement part except in the dark in the getaway car after he tried to break into my place. But I was told that she was younger, thinner and prettier than me. So I did not envision someone exotic to take my place as many of you have. It did of course piss me off that the same shithead who wanted that is the same one who made me older, fatter and uglier as I worked my butt off and he picked up students and enjoyed massages while I did all the adulting. Still, I’d bet my life she had long hair. With every trim, I heard a stearn scolding. “I won’t like you as well if you keep cutting your hair.” Looking back, it blows my mind. Who’s hair was it?

  • The narcopath cheater that presented himself to me as a single, divorced dad talked constantly about his black “ex-wife (who was really actually just his WIFE, unbeknownst to me and our mutual friends he fooled with his pathological lies). He is white. He said he would “never be with another black woman again,” he “wanted a white woman next who would bake [his kids] cupcakes (bc his black “ex” was a terrible mom),” “she thinks she’s tough and black, but she’s not”…you get the point. The wife (not ex) and I both discovered, to both of our horrors, the truth of his double life. Then I dug around and found his criminal history where he was ordered by the court to be no violent contact with her in the past. On discovery, I supplied her with as much of the evidence I could as well as anything else I had. He was also a fake Jesus cheater — a real loser if I ever knew one. The relief I feel at being free from that toxic POS is indescribable.

  • My very first post after lurking for forever.

    The Gigalo went off with a woman from the Eastern Block, living in Italy. I was so happy about it, only the Arctic Circle could be better.

    So many friends and family have asked if I am back with him. Because this woman could be my Doppler, she dresses like me, has her hair blonde like mine and wears heart shaped jewellery (which I have collected since being a teen). So I looked (needed proof for my divorce) and there she is identical and wearing a missing heart necklace (that he asked me to wear in bed).

    It seriously freaked me out.

    In her early photos she is dark, straight bobbed hair and whilst attractive enough although slightly drab. Now she looks exactly like me, FFS?

    Ugggggg

  • I just found out recently that I’m triggered by persons named Kelli…does that make me farther away from
    Meh than I thought I was🤔

  • I think its the insecurity of the OW. They realise that actually the idiots were quite happy with their wives, so are now terrified they will go back to you. ( as if). Hence they replicate the appearance of the ex wife, go on the same holidays etc. This has happened with my ex too.
    Very weird.
    Amongst all of this, cheaters also believe that the chump will always welcome them back, because they are so wonderful why not?
    The fact that the Chump has their own views and desires really never enters their heads.

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