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Why blame the chump?

Dear Chump Lady,

Why are these so called experts so rabid about blaming chumps for their part in creating a situation where they got betrayed? Can’t they just admit that cheaters are sick fucks?  Ugh.

I loved my ex-husband and he knew it.  I did the whole forgiveness thing and he acted remorseful and ultra loving.  Our marriage went bad, he was bad.  I have no responsibility or accountability for his dysfunction.  Blame his mother!

WTF is wrong with these people that insist in blaming us???

Carol

Dear Carol,

Good question. I think the bigger question you’re asking here is why is infidelity such a big shrug in our culture. Something we should tolerate in a marriage, work through, and stick with — unlike, say, alcoholism or physical abuse. (Other things chumps have been blamed for “driving” spouses to in the past too.)

If you understand the cultural assumption, I think you will understand the blame.

First, I think it’s a result of poor critical thinking. We don’t make people DO things and control outcomes (ah, that we did… if that were the case, that winning lottery ticket would be MINE!) Shrinks perhaps are guilty of getting too deep into the weeds, looking at the “causal” influences that drive behavior. Oh, he must have deep neurosis, insecurities, and inadequacies that drive his desire to cheat. The marriage must be deeply unfulfilling and it’s that environment (created by the chump) that creates the conditions in which cheating occurs. So if we change the environment (bad chump! improve chump!), we can fix the cheater. And if we shore up the cheater (poor sausage, what did that bad self-loathing make you do?), we can improve the marriage.

This is why I like Dr. George Simon’s work, because he debunks that whole poor sausage, inner neurosis shit, and says essentially, no, what you see is what you get. They have disturbed characters. They actually DO think they deserve to behave appallingly and don’t feel one bit ashamed about it.

The more cynical of us would point out too that the whole Reconciliation Industrial Complex is predicated on fixing cheaters and chumps. And you’re not going to keep a cheater in therapy unless you put part of the rap (or all of the rap) on the chump. Chumps will take that shit sandwich out of desperation to save the marriage, to feel a sense of control in a terrifying situation. Yea! I can fix this! I control this outcome! Show me how! Sell me that book! The couple goes round after round, and the therapy bills go up and up, because no one is prepared to call the cheater on their shit. (Reconciliation is a delicate thing, don’t scare the cheater away!) Oh sure, they have to admit they cheated, but that’s easier to admit if you have a bunch of therapy-approved “reasons” why it happened. (Bitch set me up.)

Second, chumps get the blame because IMO a lot of people view the dynamic of an abusive relationship through the lens of who they identify with, or essentially, who they’d rather be — cheater or chump. And let’s face it, the Devil always gets the best parts. People who haven’t experienced infidelity can fantasize about an affair. All that crap is in our popular culture — the star-crossed lovers, the harridan and the poor long-suffering husband who has his head turned by the ingenue. It’s natural to find other people attractive, or sexually fantasize about people who aren’t our partner, so when it comes to imagining who we would be in the Hypothetical Cheating Situation — a lot of people are going to go with cheater over chump. They can fantasize about being edgy and bohemian and risk taking for hot sex. They can’t imagine being used, abused, and defrauded. (Very sucky fantasy there.) To avoid guilt (or critical thinking) about who we identify with, it’s helpful to come up with reasons for Why Chumps Deserve to Be Cheated On. They were controlling, sexless, withholding, etc. They held our hero back from reaching his Full Creative Potential. Now the sexy fantasy can move forward. Now we don’t have to feel bad about cheaters we admire, because hey, they had their reasons.

Third, I think chumps get the blame for cheating because our culture excuses it. Lots has been written about whether or not we live in a more narcissistic age. Articles point to technology as a reason why cheating occurs, gosh, it’s just so easy! So let’s everyone lower our expectations about monogamy. But I would argue that Ashley Madison isn’t the reason that people cheat. You’d never know Ashley Madison exists if you didn’t go looking for it. No. You cheat because you gave yourself PERMISSION to cheat. And that comes from within. And, IMO, that inner conversation has changed for a lot of folks because it’s okay to be a narcissist.

Sure, some people are wired wrong. They’re truly sociopaths. They’re going to be hurtful monsters because they’ve got zero empathy. Nothing in their head sets off alarms that actions are wrong. In the parlance of shrinks, they have “no adaptive anxiety.” But not every cheater has a personality disorder — some are just greedy, permissive, little piggies.

Eons ago I was a student at the London School of Economics, and my favorite class was Prof. Donnelly’s “The Ethics of War.” I remember this fascinating discussion about the history of submarines. For years, the technology existed to build submarines, but the British wouldn’t do it because it was considered unsporting and sneaky to come up on people from below, attacking them from under the water. You might say, oh, but all’s fair in war — and you’d be wrong. There were lots of rules about engaging in combat. What changed, argued Donnelly, is the ethics. The culture had to decide first that it was okay to fight this way. The British had to erode their ideal of what was sporting and what was not. And only THEN could the technology go forward to build a submarine.

We don’t have guillotines for babies. Even though we could build such a contraption. For baby guillotines to take off with any great success, first we’d have to agree as a society that it’s okay to guillotine babies. (To use an extreme example. We have no reason to execute babies, oh but I’m sure more evil minds could invent one… but we can think of reasons why we need to use submarines to spy on and attack our enemies.)

When chumps take the blame, it erodes the ethics around cheating. Chump blame creates cheater permissiveness and rewards entitlement. And that’s why it is so important to speak out about infidelity as a chump. To take on the commenting trolls or the boorish uncle at your next family gathering. Dude, cheating is pathetic. It’s what losers do. It makes your dick look small.

So, go fight the good fight, chumps. Don’t take the blame!  

This column ran previously.

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  • I think another reason chumps get blamed is because people want to believe “the bad thing” could never happen to them. They want to believe the chump sucked so they can go on believing the narrative that they can control their own spouses behavior by “not sucking.”

    The chump HAD to be a shrew, nagging, bitch (or insert the equivalent male adjectives) with a muffin top for days because if they weren’t that means bad things can happen to me too. Perish the thought!

    • Ooh. I should’ve run the muffin top cartoon.

      Good point. I guess that goes under who they identify with — the “winner” is the one in love having sexy times. The loser is there raising the kids solo. Being left would never happen to them… ergo reasons.

      • I do love the cheat on me sign. I just texted my friends asking who put the sign on my back to be funny. Great cartoon. So funny. No contact is so mentally and emotionally liberating.

    • Conversely, maybe additionally, being advised to focus my anger at my husband instead of the OW chaps my chaps! The word in law is JOINT PRINCIPAL….someone who participates in the commission of a crime (ie, murder). My husband’s Lower Companion knew he was married…he handed her the baseball bat and she used it on me and our daughter. This woman chose to assault me just as if she had run me over with her car intentionally. Plus, it was IN SECRET…how low and chickenshit can you get?
      A stealth attack with two joint principals that caused grievous intention trauma to me and my little girl. On DDay he said he hoped someday we would be friends?!!!!! Proof that they are out of their f**king minds. FRIENDS DON’T HURT YOU. LOVE DOESN’T HURT PEOPLE. And he is no longer my friend; he has been demoted to “associate” because I still have to associate with him re: child and business. The affair partner gets the blame too.

      • Yes! Velvet Hammer and Cheaterssuck you guys are so right!

        I think the people that know who I am actually get uncomfortable with me talking about it because they know I’m a pretty nice, laid back person, and if it could happen to me it could happen to them.

        • God, yes! I love this, FoolMeOnce. I know that is why the chicken shit ones ran for the hills – but horses was such a good partner, such a chill chick. If it could happen to her – oh shit, run, run, it might be contagious!

      • If it’s of any comfort to you: anyone would get the blame, as long as it excuses cheater’s behavior. I would not associate in business with someone that is morally bankrupt.

        • I agree…and we own it 50/50 until divorce proceedings, so today I have no choice but exit plan is being built, believe me.

      • Don’t know where I read this but here it is:

        “Biggest myth/cliché that I hear over and over again on those sites and books ; It takes two to ruin a marriage. You are 50% responsible for the marital problems.
        Sounds good, right?
        Do any of the folks spouting this stuff do any analysis at all?
        Of course, one person can ruin a marriage. And, a cheater , by definition, is someone with little to no integrity, poor communication skills, poor problem solving skills and lacking in empathy.
        Does anyone actually think that a person possessing those qualities was only half responsible for the pre-affair problems? How likely is that?”

        I agree.

        • Sounds like what I have been writing for a long time. I know, for a fact, that both my cheating XWs were such assholes that they ruined he marriage. But, if you say that to folks, they think it is proof that you are the problem as you do not accept blame and are , therefore, tough to live with.
          If anything, I have almost always accepted way too much blame for stuff others did.

      • Velvet Hammer, standing ovation!! I can’t stand it when I hear that whole ‘the affair partner didn’t break any promises to you, your spouse did’ garbage either. It is aiding and abetting significant harm. It is joint principal. It is being complicit to the commission of what in many other settings would be deemed a crime.

        Years after my ex left me for his AP, I found unread messages from her in a subfolder in my FaceBook messenger. They had been from around the time of their affair. She admitted that she had ‘known all about me and the kids’ and had been a ‘stupid woman’. She was apparently so sorry about it she went on to marry him. Lots of contrition there.

        I just couldn’t believe the gall. She knew there was a 1 and 2 year old that would be left fatherless because he’d have to move cross country to be with her, but she kept right on going with him. With malice aforethought, she intruded into my world and marriage in profoundly inappropriate ways, and I didn’t even know it. Her actions have cost me just as much as Honey’s. So, no. I give NO grace to a ‘stupid woman’ who goes right on being stupid and knowingly encourages the destruction of a marriage or a relationship between a father and children.

        • Most men who have affairs stay in their marriages. The facts that yours left has nothing to do with his affair partner. He chose to leave you to be with her. He could have stayed. He would have found another woman even if she wouldn’t have been there. He wanted out of his marriage. Consider yourself lucky to not have to deal with his cheating ways.

      • You’re right, both the OW and your husband are responsible. I’ve known some people who will only direct their anger at the OW/OM and give their spouse a free pass. I always thought that’s why people encouraged betrayed spouses to be angry at their spouse rather than the OW or OM – because the cheating husband or wife needs to be dealt with. But, people could have their other reasons for that saying…

    • I was just going to make this point. This came up in a psychology class I took a few years ago. We went pretty deep into discussion about this and why people victim blame in infidelity, rape, murder. Basically it boils down to the human mind cannot accept being a victim to something so horrible. Therefore blaming the victim gives others a sense of control that they can prevent being in the same situation. I think it’s everything CL said and this.

      • I like to reassure people who would blame me for the divorce. Nooooo, it would NOT happen to them. That’s because they chose a better spouse than I did. Simple.

        I think I am a good partner–not perfect, but I try really hard to be damn good. I know lots of happily (seemingly) married women who treat their husbands and themselves worse than I did mine and myself. I didn’t deserve to be abandoned, except for one ultimate mistake. I chose wrong. I ignored huge, flapping red flags. So for those looking for reassurance? Look no further than your wonderful partner–(s)he’s a peach! Mine was rotten.

        • Oh, how smug I was about my marriage before dday. People got divorced because their marriages just weren’t as fabulous as ours.

          • Hurt1 – me, too! I truly believed we were better and devoted to each other. Unicorns, of course, because we wreckonciled 26 years ago after he cheated when we were still dating & then newly married. Those big, flapping red flags! Smugness. Some low-key Schadenfreude when others suffered marital losses. Those ghosts came back after Dday last year, making forgiving myself a tougher job. Thanks to CL & CN, I’ve moved past that.
            Thanks for sharing this, Hurt1.

            • I’ve been very open about my past smugness here. And that part about forgiveness, which I reserve for myself. I didn’t know.

              If there is a silver lining in all of this, a big part of it is some much-needed humility and perspective, for which I am grateful.

              So, when people are smug with me? I get it. I was once where they are. I understand, even if they do not.

              • Thanks, Stephanie. I appreciate you posting this. It’s so good to know I am in company with real, authentic, growing beings. Now.
                Cheater dumping changes the narrative 1000%.
                Understanding others and feeling more comfortable in my own skin? Priceless.

          • Yes, Hurt1, I’ve been there, believing our marriage was “special,” not like everyone else’s. We were “best friends,”

            Before Cheater left one of the other Mom’s at school asked me if I ever wondered if Cheater would cheat, and I replied with the utmost confidence, no, never, he loves his family too much..
            I’m haunted by my statement today, makes me cringe.

    • My D-Day was April 10 2015. One week after seeing my husband moan about, “who’s going to take care of me now?”, I felt very sorry for poor misunderstood him and spent a small fortune on sex addiction and ethical slut literature. I truly believed he just needed more understanding.

      In some of MY research I also found connections to narcissism and echo-ism and narcs and empaths. I realized while I was continuing to work my ass off (reading, pleading, negotiating, loving), he was just humming along loving whatever show it was that was going on for his attention.

      After I asked for a divorce I also had to get over that the community would (mostly) still see him as a community hero and super dad. All the while I’m the professor bitch that would simply scoff at his creativity and dreams.

    • I think you are spot-on, Cheaterssuck. This same phenomenon occurs when someone is being bullied/ harassed/discriminated against in the workplace. The people who aren’t being victimized often side with the perpetrator to try to protect themselves from becoming the next victim, and they demonize the victim to make themselves feel safe. The perpetrator often engages in purposeful behavior to turn other staff against the victim, further isolating her. If the victim finally can’t take it anymore and ends up saying something inappropriate at a staff meeting, for example, then everyone nods their heads and says, “yup. see that. she’s incompetent/unprofessional/nasty” … and there’s the “proof” she deserved to be treated poorly.

    • sooooo many women to whom I have said “you never know” say “oh yes I do. My marriage is sound”. Scares the bejesus out of them – just the mere hint.

    • Agreed that people want to put the chump in the “other” category because it scares the shit out of them. They put me into the category of “people this sort of thing happens to” because they felt safer that way. I got a lot of this bullshit from people I considered friends, that somehow, this could never happen to them, because they would never choose someone capable of doing that (therefore it was my fault because I chose such a person)! Well guess what? It happened to them, too! That self-righteousness went right out the window. It’s insidious, but the blame is there. It def hurt. This is a fraternity no one wants to belong to, but hey, if you don’t end up here, that doesn’t make you somehow better. Wtf with the judgement.

  • I didnt read this column on its first go-round, so it was new to me. Bonus.

    Yes to all CL said and people blame to make themselves feel safe from it happening to them…it would take a lot of bravery to admit that they are as vulnerable as you were. I work with families experiencing tragedies and Ive seen it over and over that the closer a friend is to the demographic of the person experiencing loss, the less supportive they will be.

    We are a frightened lot of people when it comes to admitting that shit happens and we can’t stop it.
    I would like to take every person who has ever written an “Affairproof your Marriage” article and knock their heads together.

    • I never actually blamed chumps for their situations (or at least I didn’t think I was). I never thought cheating was ok and I always blamed the cheater. Whatever was happening in the home, the cheater had other options. But…. I still thought somehow I could control whether or not my marriage would be susceptible to cheating. I thought I could create an environment in which he would have no reason to be tempted. I thought that as long as we had sex regularly, I didn’t “let myself go” and I did things to let him know that I loved him and was thinking about him every day, then he would have no reason to stray. When he had the emotional affair anyway, I thought I needed to up my game and I tried, for years, until he had the two physical affairs that I know of and left me for some stupid slut because I wasn’t meeting his needs and he didn’t feel loved. I suspect that there were numerous emotional affairs in between (probably not physical but they paved the way). This is the first time in my entire life that hard work has not paid off. He was blind to anything positive about me and there was nothing I could do about it.

      • I know exactly mine too I just gave up I’m so not catering to a cheater. He can go to hell with his whore.

      • I was exactly the same. I dont get it either. Im over him, certainly dont want to be with him but my mind cant get past that my hard work didnt work. Not sure what to do with that

      • “This is the first time in my entire life that hard work has not paid off.”

        That’s the thing, isn’t it? We are taught from a young age that if we work hard enough, we can achieve whatever dream we wanted. Hard work = success. Except it’s not true in all circumstances. Most circumstances.

        That’s what the RIC taps into. Not just the notion that it’s somehow the chump’s fault, but promoting the idea that this problem is something that can be fixed with sufficient hard work. And I suppose it can, if the cheater is willing to work hard. Which they never are. The chump’s work is irrelevant.

    • I think we as a society have been loathed to admit that some people are just plain bad and don’t care who or what they do as long as it serves them. There are evil people. I have seen it in my STBX’s eyes. It’s black, evil and frightening. society wants a reason for the evil. There isn’t any..there is just evil.

      Ok so that was really dark…but true. I am having a lovely meh day. I wish meh on you all.

      • Spoon River

        Yes, I’ve witnessed the evil twice in my lifetime. One was through the eyes of a helpless child who saw it, recognized it, yet couldn’t express the horror any other way than the look of terror in his eyes at the thought of reunification with an evil monster who tortured him.

        And then there’s the Limited who through covert measures enjoys inflicting pain. These are sadistic predatory individuals both in their own ways.

        In my opinion we are the fixers (not codependent), the ones who take on those projects wholeheartedly utilizing our compsssion, energy, love and empathy to what we BELIEVED. In essence I speckled the fuck out of a monster. I made him look good. Recognizing the evil came after many years.

        We are the change every time we share our stories, every time we trust our gut, protect ourselves, and have enough.

        • Yes! I used to say my ex looked at he with his “dead eyes”. I would say or do something he didn’t like, and suddenly I know he hated me. Really hated me. It was a horrible thing to see.

          • “Dead eyes” are what I saw when I confronted Voldemort. It’s a rare glimpse at the soul-lessness that they try to mask. I used to believe otherwise, until the second time I saw it. Then I realuzed ut was the REAL him.

            Run, Chumps, RUN!

        • Hopeful Cynic,

          “this is the first time in my life where hard work didn’t pay off,”

          We were taught if you work hard, are honest, kind and thoughtful others would reciprocate.
          Hard work, = family, happiness, security, trusting our spouse had the same values.

          I believed I married my best friend

          Everything I did was for his benefit and I was a fool.

    • Oh yes, UNM.
      I am sure you have also run into a very similar phenomena, cancer abandonment. I lost friends after divorcing the ClusterB sparkle boy, who secretly lied and cheated our entire marriage.
      But after suffering that trauma, I was dianosed with cancer. Two of my lifelong friends, who hung in with me through the divorce, disappeared from my life when I told them about the cancer.
      Same age, same background. They could not stand to stare into the abyss of “if it can happen to HER”…
      I cannot express how much that hurts.
      But I think it is the same process: fear. Avoidance.

      On a happier note, I live in central Virginia, and XH and I went to a male MC who recognized what XH is, blamed him entirely, and told me to RUN. Let me know if you need him…!!!

      • People cannot handle other people’s hard times. It’s like they think we are contagious and/or we make them feel bad and they don’t want to feel bad.

        I got cancer and was immediately abandoned by my husband and a bunch of friends. I was labeled as negative by them even though a whole bunch of other people thought I was being very positive. Those people that left were just projecting their negativity on to me.

    • An affairproof article should never be anything other or more than: “Install the ankle monitor on subject, connect to location services, press start.”

  • Absolutely UNM.

    One of the worst things about this whole thing, was the complete lack of control I had over it. There was nothing I could say, no say, do, not do to alter anything.

    And, when I looked over my bookshelves? So many self help books which show in my way I was trying to manage a situation I was in completely denial about (I was married to an inhumanly selfish and detached person, and was deeply lonely, anxious and depressed).

    Sure, I reacted in not so great ways (complaining, whining, nagging, criticising) that gradually ramped up to try and get any reaction at all. But funnily, it was when I STOPPED doing that and gave up? That is when he looked for OW. He literally said to her as his love declaration: I don’t love my wife, she doesn’t care about me any more.

    Now I know that my distress told him he mattered (kibbles).

    Of all the triggers out there, the injustice of being told I had a part to play in something I had no knowledge or control over, or somehow caused this, have produced some spectacular dinner party ending explosions [shame emoji].

    One poor ignorant woman who opined that the extreme reaction of pain on discovery demonstrated by a woman (whose cheater is now on trial for her murder), shows he had justification, had to say ‘please stop shouting at me, Patsy’ [shame emoji]

    • Narc your local cheater, silence is complicity, they are affecting many lives that have no choice or control in the outcome they are currently enjoying the benefits from. Killed the Jews silence, cheat woman and child can’t be together because he’s blowing all money on the OW, screw you out of your car and make you homeless at the drop of a dime and get you raped, none of which was your decision.

    • I remember that feeling of lack of control vividly. At some point I realized that it didn’t matter what I did. I could yell at him, be sweet to him or ignore him (ok, I had my own set of channels going) and none of it would make any difference at all. Whatever I did it would be wrong. The good news is that I stopped pick me dancing once I realized that but it was very painful and it made me feel so helpless and insignificant.

    • Bitch blamed a woman for her own murder because she didn’t react perfectly when she found out her murderous husband was cheating on her??? No shame, Pasty, SHOUT LOUDER.

    • Such a good point Patsy. You stopped. The Limited, knowing I was grieving the loss of my mother was cheating with Nanthony. He made comments about how we used to fight and have make up sex in the early days of our marriage while he was drunk, taking drugs, and cheating with one nighters.

      I stopped too. He planned for an entire year stating he wasn’t making any money and as our anniversary neared in the spring he was adamant about buying a two family home that required my signature.

      There isn’t a doubt in my mind he planned to harm me physically if I went forward and signed. The big part of what he LIKED about her was her crazy ( breaking and entering, physically attacking s previous fuck buddy, felony drug charges, assault of an ELDERLY man).

      Then in the aftermath the stalking, false allegations, verbal abuse and texts were relentless. He sat right next to her when she RAN me off a road. The hatred in his eyes was pure evil. Thankfully, the life insurance policy he has to pay on me is very low or crap as he complained.

      Yeah, bitching and yelling at an abusive spouse whose decision tree justifies MURDER is the mark of a sociopath. He belongs in a cage for life.

    • Patsy – this is how things played out with LadyLiar as well: “Now I know that my distress told him he mattered (kibbles).” Your simple statement captures those chaotic years with her perfectly.

    • At first, I read what I wanted to see, which was the “extreme reaction of pain caused the betrayed to murder the cheater.” Then, I realized it was the other way around which made me angry.

  • PS I absolutely hold up my hands to the wrong patterns and reactions that I brought to the marriage. I wish I had done better. I have worked hard on those things and have grown, I think.

    But I never deserved the lack of engagement and crushing disrespect that I got. Don’t nobody tell me otherwise.

    • “wrong patterns and reactions” was that you or him? It sounds like you were trying and just not getting it right. I had the same problem. I kept thinking I was doing the right thing only to find out later it was the complete opposite of what he actually wanted. I think now, however, that if I had done the opposite that would have been wrong too. I think your situation is the same. There was no way to get it right. Our ex’s were not good at communicating their needs. We did our best to figure it out, but it’s hard when those needs seem to be constantly in flux and it is impossible to know from one day to the next what they are. Meanwhile our needs were being completely ignored as unimportant, but somehow we are the ones who were getting it wrong. No. They were the ones who were getting it wrong. We weren’t making them unhappy, they made themselves unhappy and brought us down too with their constant dissatisfaction.

      • Chumpinrecovery, you hit the nail on the head. I felt like I twisted myself in a pretzel trying to figure out how to reach him when he was basically disengaged in our relationship for years. I was the one seeking therapy to figure out why I was so jealous, felt so insecure, etc. Funny thing is, when your husband is in love with a married coworker you might not know it, but you sure can feel it. The only way I could have been what my husband wanted was to go back and be born a different person to a different family.

        • But you know what
          My fuckwit was in love with the married coworker
          Dating her while he was married to me
          His needs were met at home in all categories
          Turns out he fell in love with another coworker his first marriage as well
          The endings have been the same
          So being a different person would have never mattered
          Cue: Round three for this fuckwit

          • Yes absolutely, being a different person would not have fixed it. Our ex’s could have married anyone and the marriage would have ended the exact same way (assuming he didn’t marry someone who would have divorced his ass sooner just for being a jerk or someone who cheated on him first).

          • LIS…..Que Round 4 for my fuckwit xw.
            Poor bastard has no idea I think. Oh Well, Not my circus, not my monkeys.

            • Haha, Marcus; poor bastard has no idea.

              When I look back I do not have to justify my integrity. It was there all the time.

              The OW in his case did not care that he was married or lived a double life. He BRAGGED about picking the low hanging fruit. If she wasn’t so disordered, ugly,needy, and fucked up I’d pity her too. Personally, I feel it’s a well deserved match with his equal.

              • “When I look back I do not have to justify my integrity. It was there all the time.”

                ^^^^^this^^^^^
                Thank you, DoingMe!

            • Some day….
              They will meet their equal
              Someone that will be the liar, the manipulator, the fake
              And that partner will beat them to it….
              God bless
              LIS

      • While in MC we were instructed to do talk therapy exercise, ex cheater troll had to ask a question and I provide an answer. I did and troll negated my answer, so I quickly picked the other option to which troll also negated, so I made up an answer and as you can expect troll shot that down too. At this point I lost my shit and raged that his expectations are ridiculous and if he constantly keeps “moving the football” I’m stuck playing a game I don’t know the rules or even my standing. Cue the gaslight projection deflection blame-shifting pick-me-dance music. This was all caught on video and after I stormed out apparently MC played it all back for the narc troll. I don’t know if they had a good laugh at me or what but that was the only time in the 4 feeble months of MC I felt anything real happened. Narc Cheater troll was lying to everyone that he gave up the OW. Of course we know the rest of the story, it’s written line by line and word for word in CLs book of amazing cheater playbook discovery!

  • Now I say this as a man, but I think a part of the “blame the chump” narrative on infidelity (like many things) is because the narrative was controlled for so long by men. They were once (and maybe still are to an extent) the main culprits of infidelity, so they were more forgiving I think of infidelity – and thus so was the narrative. Sort of like the whole #metoo behavior was acceptable for a long time — but at least that is changing.

    I guess the “good” news on the equality front is that many women have joined the cheating pool, and are now also availing themselves of that old narrative that it must be the chump’s fault — i.e., my ex-wife told me to blame myself for the whole thing. But now that women are seemingly catching up in the cheating department, maybe it’s time to change the thought process on infidelity too.

    • Re: women joining the cheating pool and evening out the narrative: My XW was the bigger wage-earner and star scientist; I was trailing spouse – fully employed but devoting most of my energy to the house, home and three kids. She dumped me for a younger, taller, thinner coworker just after she got her big promotion to a dream job. This is the gender-bent version of classic 1950s male philanderer: trade in your wife for a younger, hotter version from the office just as soon as you’ve made it professionally and the wife’s done her part with the young kids. My personal view is that my XW learned exactly the wrong lesson from feminism: rather than aspiring to a world where men treat women better, she concluded that gender equality means women can treat treat men worse.

      I really think she gets some internal sense of empowerment that she got to throw away her husband in the shitty way that men have been discarding their wives for eons. I knew that her feminism had gone too far when she informed me that she would vote for any female candidate for president – regardless of policy or party – over any man. (That was an entirely hypothetical discussion, because in 20 years she’s never voted; her concerns about women’s underrepresentation in politics were never severe enough to be worth the hassle of claiming her US citizenship.) Talking with OBS, I now realize that her increasingly extreme views were encouraged by the AP. He is *literally* a card-carrying, convention-attending socialist (they attend conventions together now, apparently) who also loves to go shoe-shopping with her in upscale malls. In any other context I am on the extreme liberal end of the political spectrum, but how am I supposed to compete with that?

      • As a professional woman whose husband resented her for having a career (and left me for a SAHM), I agree with everything you just said. I have gotten myself into trouble (on CN even) for expressing the views you have just expressed because it was viewed as dissing feminism. I have no problem with feminism. I have benefitted immensely from the struggles of the feminists who came before me. I do, however, feel that in today’s narcissistic age, many women use feminism as an excuse for bad behavior (the guys are doing it so I can too) and as a woman, I find that offensive and not in the spirit of what feminism is supposed to be all about. With rights comes responsibility. Feminists wanted to prove that the world would be a better place if women were granted full participation. Now many of us have been granted that opportunity and it is up to us to prove that we really can make it better and not just more of the same. Your ex wife isn’t a feminist, she’s just a selfish bitch who is making us all look bad.

        • So your husband resented you for having a career. My prediction is he will soon resent “Stay at Home” OW for not contributing.

          • Yes, speaking of pulling the football away…. xH was a cheap SOB who kept “his” money separate from what I earned, in a separate bank account (no touching!). After all, it was “your choice” to “only work part time,” (you know, to raise 3 kids and take care of ALL home and most car chores.) Then when I went back to work full time to pay for our kids’ university tuitions, he complained that I worked full time, and didn’t need him, and, perhaps most mysteriously, “only” saw him “as a paycheck.”
            My “pro-woman” husband left me for a lesser educated, barely employed childless woman (mommy to lap dogs–and he really does not like dogs….) Meh.

            @InvoluntaryGeorgian — I don’t trust APs, and especially those who feign deep concern for others at the expense of others (never themselves.) I guaranTEE that one or both (your wife or he) will be cheating soon on the other. That will end in a spectacular fashion.

          • Oh that was Schmoopie’s ex’s excuse for having cheated on her. Why she chose to jump into that cesspool of lies, deceit and excuses with somebody else’s husband is beyond me.

            And my ex did complain that I didn’t contribute in spite of the job because I was just a pass through for the nanny. He was incapable of looking at it as a long term investment. By now we wouldn’t have needed a nanny anymore and my income would have paid for college tuition except that my ex decided to quit his high paying job. Then he complained that I didn’t make enough. Then I was neglecting him when I worked longer hours so I could get ahead and make more. Now he is working again, but makes less than before and we have two households and a Schmoopie with five kids to support and between us, we are struggling to come up with four years of tuition for our daughter so I had her apply for a modest loan ($5000). Now ex is upset because he opposed to her getting loans of any kind. I think my head is going to explode.

          • KB22,

            Agree with you totally. My STBXH’s long term partner before me was crucified at the end of their relationship for not earning much money or contributing (doing a socially aware but low paying role). I’m a professional woman and felt smug that I could pull my weight financially so to speak. Being cheated on has been a harsh way to learn a lesson. I spend very little time being smug these days, now I know what it is like to be judged.

            STBXH left me for an unemployed 25 year old trainee personal trainer. Telling me I was “obsessed with money”. I tried to give him what I thought he wanted. What he told me was important to him. The football was a perpetual motion machine.

          • No kidding. I brought thousands into our young marriage, but my ex had several times that because he was older and had several years to work full time whereas I just finished college. I also worked full time most of the marriage and made near the same amount for most of the marriage. All I heard about was that the house was more his than mine and how he should get even more than my worst case scenario (which took into account that he started with more money than me) in the divorce, etc. But, he had been paying the mistresses bills. Really? So, when I stopped being there to help support the mistress, that relationship fell apart – actually even before the divorce was final.

        • YAS –> “Your ex wife isn’t a feminist, she’s just a selfish bitch who is making us all look bad.” I’ll add that I think there is an older, adolescent form or feminism that basically was just trying to mimic patriarchy as it was trying to figure itself out. It’s part of a juvenile stage in the development of a truly empowering and fair form of feminism that brings more respect to everyone. Some women got stuck in that form of patriarchal male-mimicking feminism. As a younger woman (below age 35), some of the worst and most damaging people I’ve worked with have been older “feminist” women who found their place in the patriarchy and feel like there’s not enough room for other women who come in with their own true confidence, respect and kindness for everyone. I think the majority of the feminist movement is now very inter-sectional and celebrates male feminists as well. Modern feminism is not about emasculation. It’s about liberating us all from strict gender roles and honoring each other as unique individuals. What makes someone bad is the way they treat and respect others, whether they’re a man or woman.

          • There is a feminist writer in Australia called Jane Caro, who pragmatically states that women will not be equal until they can be as big fuck ups as men, and not be held up by the Patriachy as an example of why all women suck, and no woman should be allowed a chance. Women (and men) develop empathy when horrible things happen to them, it’s not innate. I can certainly remember (and writhe in shame) about things I said as a smug, yet frankly know nothing, schoolgirl, and newlywed. But life taught me some hard lessons, and I learnt about pain, and can recognise it in others, and go out of my way not to inflict it on others.

            Lots of women suck. The percentage of women who suck is probably roughly the same as men who suck. When put in a position of choice horrible women will make the same choices as men because of a character deficit not because feminism has gone too far. Feminism literally means women have the same chances as men. What they do with those chances reflects their character not feminism.

            • So true, Sailing.

              I don’t think any gender has cornered the market on either altruism or poor character.

              My thinking is like Jane Caro’s. We’ll know there is true equality when any individual is judged as an individual for their behaviour, not as a representative of their gender (or race or disability or any other social group characteristic).

              Anyone using feminism to justify cheating or spouse abuse is thinking like an asshole, not someone who is trying to create a more equal world.

          • @ Chumpawumpa

            I agree. Second wave feminism did a good job of equating liberation with being an honorary man in a patriarchal society. This didn’t break down the constructions of power and gender that created the oppression in the first place.

            Third and fourth wave feminism have finally confronted notions about valuations of labor. Rather than “power is this role”, feminism is starting to dismantle what the roles of power are, and create new definitions of empowerment.

            The social constructions of power are less sustainable and more problematic when they are described in terms of dominator/subordinated. Cheaters use at a micro level the same language for most narratives of power over and abuse.

            True empowerment in relationships means all parties are held to the same standards of accountability, but also that their needs and desires in the relationship can be met. Cheaters may have unmet needs, but the entitlement to go about meeting them by breaking the agreements of their relationship is what is so problematic.

    • Really interesting perspective! The idea of men throughout history collectively imposing a power imbalance by controlling the narrative and blaming/shaming women into confusion and silence is DARVO on a societal level. So I think you’re absolutely right that a consequence of women having now achieved a measure of statistical equality is that it necessitates a less gendered approach to maintaining that power dynamic. I see that as a good thing for all of us chumps, because once the gender imbalance is taken out of the equation, society can hopefully see cheating as shitty HUMAN behavior instead of excusing it as acceptable male behavior.

    • This is an excellent point about how gender has shaped the behavior and the narrative, Blindsided. I would also add that men were more forgiving of infidelity BY MEN. Throughout history and around the world, women who cheated were punished much more severely by their husbands, family members, and social institutions. In some countries, they can still be put to death for out-of-wedlock sex (whether it was cheating or not).

    • @ Blindsided
      There are just as many shitty women as shitty men. Humanity is composed of numerous shitty individuals with low levels of moral, intellectual, and social development.

      I have a saying: being a shitty person knows no race, gender, orientation, class or creed.

      Patriarchal societies uphold double standards for the privileged and dominant group, and doubly punish offenders from the oppressed group. Its how we maintain an unfair system of privilege based on gender. Same goes for race, class, sexual orientation, etc.

      When any group gains social equality, you will see individuals acting on the narrative of abusive behavior is appropriate behavior. This is because it is socially modeled to them that this is what “empowered” behavior is.

      Third and fourth wave feminists have increasingly criticized second wave feminists for equating equality with simply becoming the oppressor and behaving like an oppressor. Involuntary Georgian’s spouse is a good example of this type of behavior. Rather than deconstructing oppressive systems, we would rather be the “winner” in the fucked up binary of oppressor/oppressed.

      Its why blaming the victim exists so strongly, rather than seeing that oppression is structural. If we as humans understand that the social structures create these horrible outcomes, we then have to confront we could be a victim at any time. We socialize children to understand that behavior has outcomes. However, oppression through violence has nothing to do with character. It is systemic violence that societies rationalize by creating the oppressed group into a group that “deserves” their oppression.

      What this has to do with chumps and cheaters is that we do not apply the same standard of transparency and accountability to all parties. Like the narratives of sexual assault, domestic violence, and spousal addiction, which have been challenged as the victim’s fault, CL challenges the narrative of infidelity being the victim’s fault.

  • Its easier to blame the chump, she’s fatter, boring, hasn’t got a fake tan, actually my nan was 6 stone, and she got abused/cheated on, staunch catholic, didn’t see god helping her. Swedish friends really piss me off, saying he’s got issues, we all have issues. Piss off! I was apparently told to get a fake tan, that it would help me!

    • I might have missed an explanation somewhere, but why do you call them “Swedish friends” and not “Switzerland friends” (granted that it’s idea based on a vaunted and self-congratulatory–and false–idea that the Swiss are always neutral in any conflict; nice to be the enablers…er…bankers…of all sides in a war!).

      • It’s an interesting switch (Swedish friends), or is it just goofy autocorrect?

        Also, agree with your take on “Switzerland”. I worked for a government research/weapons group in the 80’s. Lots of trips to Switzerland, the Arms Dealers to the World. Yeah, not neutral, but ‘playing both sides for profit as long as no bullets fly domestically.’ Having said that, getting gifted Swiss chocolate frequently was fab, so there’s that…

    • Yeah,Susan and Nanthiny thinks she’s wearing a fur coat; no it’s an inch of matted cat fur.

      Comparative analysis: I have integrity; he doesn’t.

      So she wears a beach cover up to a formal wedding. She’s an ugly disturbed classless woman who got what I no longer chose to tolerate, a pathological lying serial cheater.

      #fauxcatfurcoatsarenotfashionsbleanywhere

  • Cheating IS pathetic. It’s small and sordid and cowardly. In the midst of it, the cheaters feel all big and bad and “alive again”– the romantic hero/ine/s of their Great Big Sexy Adventure (with Optional Deep Soulmate Meaningfulness on the Side). But, the fact is, they’re not.

    I’ve been pretty open about what happened, because why lie? Interestingly, several people who knew Cheater X and me (closely, as well as casually) have commented that the whole thing scared the hell out of them. Separately and unsolicited, they told me that we seemed like the last couple that would ever end up this way, and yet we did, so it’s shaken any sense of complacency they may have had about their own relationships.

    Just because you’re “not the type” to get cheated on–or your partner “doesn’t seem like the type” to cheat, doesn’t mean you’re safe. And all the “affairproofing” in the world won’t change that fact if your wonderful partner is, at heart, an entitled jerk.

    • In our circle we were also considered to be the last couple this would happen to. It does scare others to think it could happen to them. It was interesting to see the wives of Switzerland friends up their game, so to speak, with not only their husbands but also with my x. It was almost as if they felt that if they could make the ring leader like them their own husbands wouldn’t cheat.

    • We were in the process of divorce when we put the house (both still living in it, together!) up for sale. Neighbor asked if X had gotten a promotion/transfer and if that was why we were moving. I cheerfully told him, “No, we are divorcing.” To his credit, the neighbor said he was sorry to hear that and commented that he never would have guessed that’s the direction we were going.

      I did a great job pick-me dancing and hiding stuff during the marriage, but no more. I’ve been open (without dwelling on specifics) with our couple friends, and haven’t lost too many friendships. Sadly, most people accept that cheating happens. Luckily, my friends were quick to say it was X’s selfish choice and not something I deserved.

      Ugh.

    • The truth is that takes two people to have a very good marriage. But one of the spouses can destroy it single handed.

      I would hate to think that I’ve been through all this shit and failed to learn anything about how I can be a better wife or relationship partner. I believe I have. Yet that does not mean that the destruction of the marriage or the infidelity was my fault in any way, shape, or form.

      • I asked my father in law if I could put some of STBX’S things in his garage as I had asked him to take stuff and he was just not responding . Turns out STBX thought he could just come and cherry pick when it suited, but I haven’t allowed that.

        Any way f-in-law asks why I am doing this,I just said that his son had just been really awful. He replied: ” Theres always 2 sides to every story”. This comment implies that cheating is caused by something in our relationship. Needless to say that has been our last conversation, particulalry as I corrected a few misunderstandings. Yes STBX was still with OW. ” Really?” Yes. No STBX would not be going to the cricket with them this summer as he had told them, he was heading off on a luxury holiday with the OW either xmas day or the following day. That brought him to tears. Sadly not for us , for himself. He has not offered support to the children in spite of several requests. I feel like we are all tainted by his cheating. And yet the family seems to do more with him than ever before. It hurts to see him in their bosom when he was always pretty distant with them. And he still seems to have friends. I feel as though the blame for his cheating sits partly with me. Very hard, to not get chumpy and take this on board.

    • We have (had) several couple friends who are now in counseling themselves for that reason. They thought is this could happen to us, it could happen to them. Many of my girlfriends have confided that to me. I guess if my loss and pain can help someone else, then all of this hasn’t been for nothing.

      Not a great consolation.

  • Incidentally ow always had a fake tan, she wore so much makeup, she actually looked like a clown, always had her hair done. Shame about the stis, though, and the stalking, she actually got my number from ex, and put it on a pornographic website. Sad bitch, dumped her kids, but wanted mine, apparently got pregnant by my ex, he told me that, don’t know if its true or not, they tell terrible lies

  • When my cheating stbx was exiting the marriage (after I discovered the sorid affair) he blamed me first saying “I wouldn’t have fallen out of love with you if you didn’t nag”. Then “I don’t think I love you the way I should”.

    He then told a mutual friend he’s was just having “fun”
    with the Owhore. But then told me when I caught him at whores house..”this is who I want to be with..I love her “. To this day I’m not sure why he wanted out.
    Also losing a breast to cancer probably turned him off even after reconstruction.

    Sad though because I would have stayed with him if he got cancer. I have to accept my life now with all the good & bad days. Just hate being blamed for his infidelity. 😔

    • One of my STBX excuse for screwing my cousin was”she like to have fun”. He threw away a 34 year marriage for a women who liked to have fun. He also said that if I would have went away with him more. And he thought that I did not love him anyway. Yup, blame the chump for screwing her cousin.

      • I got a variation of this. He “just wants to have fun”. He “funned” his way into a relationship with a woman who f#cks married men who has an 11 year old( now 14–what fun–going through the teenage years AGAIN!). Our kids are now 29 and 26. I’m sure he’s having plenty of fun parenting a teenager again, wait until schmoopie spends all of her money sending the kid to university( she would be doing that I think, old fashioned European, although not old fashioned enough to keep her dirty paws off of someone else’s husband). I was married 36 years..

        • My STBX Hubby is no longer with the Skank. He ended it and wants to make our marriage work. He found out how fun she was. In debt and could not pay her bills. How ironic he told her I never cleaned. And yet she had three dogs in the house and her place was trashed. All she did was beg him for money. Now that he found out that the grass is greener over the shit pile he wants me back. I told him to go off and have fun. She posts on Facebook that she is broke and begs for money. I guess now that mt STBX is not funding all her fun she needs to beg for cash. Still to this day can not understand why he thought she was worth trashing a marriage for. I hope all the fun was worth it.

      • Oh yes. Schmoopie was fun. She would come up with all of these “fun” things to do like that “movies in the park” invite she sent him while “they” were supposed to be no contact because “we” were reconciling. I wasn’t fun because I was too busy working to support the family after he quit his job and looking after the kids when I got home so he could get a break after working so hard at home all day. I guess she had more time for him because she was perfectly happy to neglect her kids by leaving them with her supposedly alcoholic and abusive husband while she went off having “fun” with my then husband. I would have loved to have gone out and had fun with ex but he seemed reluctant to leave our older (then 15, 13 and 10) year old kids home alone or hire a baby sitter. I guess he and Schmoopie found a solution. Let your spouses babysit while you go off on dates.

        I was also accused of never being the one to set up dates. In the early years I set up dates all of the time, but after a while he started to complain about everything I came up with so I let him handle date nights because I wasn’t as picky. I thought I was giving him control but evidently it was a burden and one he was less and less inclined to take on over the years. But that was my fault of course. Schmoopie was more fun and spontaneous when it came to dating and fucking somebody else’s husband.

        • xH, deep in the throes of infatuation, marveled that OW was “adventurous.” He loved that! She was down for whatEVER! So spontaneous! But when I pressed him for details–like, adventurous in what ways? He couldn’t really think of anything (shark eyes) besides scuba diving, which, of course, he promptly took up. It helped, of course, that she had no responsibilities like a job or kids, and since xH had bailed out on the kids, HE could be more spontaneous, too! And when you’re traveling for one, instead of five, it so much more affordable! Why, I’m sure he paid her way at first, too! He worried that he wouldn’t be able to afford to keep her in the lifestyle to which she was accustomed. I guess she works more now (???) but she will never earn what I did. I wonder if he’s still enamored with her adventurousne$$ now that he has to pay for it. Cheap bastard–I doubt it. C’est la vie!

          • I too make more them my STBX. $10 an hour more. I guess the motto is you gotta have fun no matter who you hurt.

  • What I think most people do not understand is that the chump could be a Stepford wife. And they still would have been cheated on. The one who cheats will find any reason to JUSTIFY their cheating. And they tell the one they are cheating with that their spouse is a bitch, will not work and so on. The spouse gotta be bad or they would not be cheated on.

    In my case my STBX painted me as a liar who was a nut job. Even told my cousin all about my problems with menopause. Told her that I could not keep a job and fraudulently got credit cards in his name. But, what he failed to tell her was that I paid everything. He only gave me an average of $600.00 a month. He failed to tell her that he refused to put me on his health insurance. While he was out playing I was being the adult. Funny how chumpy me was made to be the villain and he painted himself as the poor wounded neglected husband. Cheaters choose to cheat simple.

    • It’s true that they will complain about whatever kind of spouse they have. Mine complained that I kept the house too clean. I am clean but not some kind of freak. He also complained that every night when he got home I was cooking dinner, so he never had a chance to go out and eat. Apparently, he couldn’t possibly just tell me to plan to eat out so I didn’t start cooking. I was just supposed to intuit when he wanted to eat out and not begin cooking. I was also apparently supposed to clean right up to the level he liked, but leave things not too clean (whatever the hell that would look like). There is no winning with these freaks because the real game is “keep her guessing and dancing.”

  • I went full Amazon chump and read a lot of books. My take of what motivates these RIC assholes:

    1. They are cheaters themselves and like all cheaters they make excuses that they aren’t to blame for their own actions. They are redesigning the world in their own image.
    2. Money. Chumps are like moths to a flame. We tend to want to fix things. and will pay money to get “the manual” to do so. Narc and BPD assholes think they are awesome and don’t need to fix anything.
    3. Society. We are a highly sexualized society that is also uncomfortable talking about sex. Many don’t see cheating as a form of abuse. Sex is linked to entertainment rather than being linked to love and companionship.

    • my favorite RIC assholes are the husband and wife team. They have videos, books, and expensive seminars. She is the chump and thinks she has her cheater husband under control while they build a self help empire fortune.

      • I’m sorry, Kathleen. Cheaters typically reveal their shoddy character in full glory after a chump has suffered a setback

        • Tempest
          Yes they do. Even more painful was that the now deceased whore had extremely large breasts. He always wanted that. I had large breasts until I got breast cancer & decided to have a breast reduction while the mascetomy was done. Once afterwards he commented one breast was smaller than implant. Obviously he
          didn’t love me.. if he did he’d be glad I was still alive!

          Something I just can’t forget 😪

          • You’re a mighty survivor, don’t forget that.

            He is a spineless COWARD who takes cheap, coward shots. He is a dickless wonder.

            YOU have battle wounds. A REAL MAN would adore you and fight tooth and nail to keep you, Kathleen.

          • I’m sorry 🙁 You are strong and amazing. He’s a real jerk to take such a cheap shot. My ex was always hurt because one of his ex-girlfriends made fun of his size. But, then he said stupid crap sometimes like “well, your breasts could be bigger…” After I was single again, I had a fling with a guy who said “your breasts are the maximum size I like.” Smart guy.

    • ONE LINE in “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass was worth all my Amazon chump money. Ironically it was buried in the chapter to the affair partner. It reads:
      “A MAN WITH A HISTORY OF INFIDELITY IS A POOR CHOICE FOR A LIFE PARTNER”
      Ok, so why am I buying your book and trying to repair my marriage?!!!!
      I have this line burned into my mind. The one line of usable info from all those books.

      • A thief is a poor choice for company accountant. A murderer is a poor choice for daycamp supervisor. A drug abuser is poor choice for pharmacist. A gambler is poor choice for banker. An abuser is poor choice for anything that can be abused, very limiting but our society struggles with labels and consequences unless it’s very cut and dry like listed above.

      • and I’ll add… (WO)MAN…too bad I never took the time to make that a cognizant requirement for marriage in 2005.
        The narrative I was sold was not the truth in hindsight. Emptor Caveat, Caveat Emptor?.. translation…Buyer Beware

        • LIS,
          I *did* know he had done it in the past…years before I met him, to his first wife. But then he told a sorry tale of how the woman he cheated with cheated on him and changed him forever. I bought that crap. Spackled that turd. Tried to see the man I wanted him to be so hard that it worked. Until it didn’t. Then RIC. FFwd 26 years and here it came again.
          I own that I ignored the huge red flags. I brought a goood deal of my own dysfunction to the playing field. But I sobered up, got into recovery, he followed me there & feigned a new spirituality. I stayed in therapy, dealt w childhood ghosts, still stood by him…and for what?
          Dumping him is the smartest thing I ever did, and that includes a lot of wise choices over the years…this necessitated by the one huge DUMB choice to ignore what was in front of me.

          As Maya Angelou said, “Believe people when they tell you who they are the furst time.”

          • I feel your pain. Been in recovery 33 years, therapy, dealing with stuff, 27 years of it with him, thinking he was on board, in recovery together, then one day he takes a firehose to the sandcastle I thought I we were building for 27 years….OUCH OUCH OUCH. Hoping Higher Power is going to show me something to help me with feeling like I wasted all that time….

            • Velvet Hammer, so good meet another recovering sisterfriend. I love your posts…you have a deep well of insight and understanding. And a wicked sense of humor. I don’t know about how you feel, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I brought ME, integrity, and sincerity to my past 30 years with the disordered. I chose him because I had stuff to work out & through, and I DID THAT. What he did is on him. Who he was is on him. I don’t have any magic to make him into who he pretended to be. I was on my journey through those years. The most important question to me now is, ‘What am I doing to make today a memory I won’t regret when I look back on it?’
              You didn’t waste your time, Velvet Hammer, you were present & authentic. Focus on what YOU brought. We’re powerless over the disordered. Yes, we invested ourselves. With people incapable of such investment. What we learned is how to avoid them in the future and what in us made us ignore any warnings. Thanks for your reply!

              • All I can say is ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️Thank you. I copied and pasted your message in my notes.
                I don’t have to live with being a fraud and a liar like he does.

  • Another chump in the category of friends, family, acquaintances were shocked as we were the perfect couple and family. Had a neighbor tell me if it could happen to us, it could happen to anyone. I guess I was that damn good at spackling. He was selfish and entitled, great at image management. I’m fairly low maintenance and a giver. I guess it was the perfect pairing for many years until he crossed that cheating line, the final frontier of selfishness.

    He was a cake eater for sure and probably would’ve stayed married to me forever while he had his fun with his schmoopie. Schmoopie is over 20 years younger than us, toothpick thin, never married/no kids and in perfect shape. I’m here with the mommy body and aging. I wouldn’t be shocked if folks are saying behind my back ‘she let herself go.’. Whatever. Meh.

    • “if it could happen to us”

      see I think that’s the problem. People think of it as some sort of storm that knocks down a tree and it falls on the family house. It was beyond everyone’s control! Bullshit. No one talks about spousal physical violence this way. Heck they don’t even talk about stealing money in this way.

      Cheaters are predators that scheme and lure people in. They are scammers, con artists. Someone should start an online cheater registry- with like mugshot pictures. You meet someone you’re interested in- you could do a background check to see if they are a known cheater. Seems funny, but it would be super useful.

      • Culturally, if we could associate their sexual predation nature with say ‘our’ Safety, or loss in GDP, we’d be marketing geniuses.
        Fact is money is to be made, and is being made. Economic gain.
        For YOUR SAFETY,
        -keep you arms and legs inside the ride at all time,
        -this call may be monitored for quality assurance purposes (corporate Safety…my eyes glass over),
        – (add your ubiquitous example here)

      • Zell, there IS a site ( I’m sorry but I forgot the name) That post pictures and stories of people with cheated with their spouses. Now we just need one for the cheaters!

  • I am soooooo happy to read through the postings from other chumps, and know that I am not alone. 20 years of faithfulness, raising his children, staying true to him when he was out of his mind with PTSD, and giving up everything that I wanted and was to try to make and keep him happy was still not enough. Positive STD tests and many excuses later, I think that I am done with the pick-me dance. The proverbial straw was his family and friends still, 1.5 years later, blaming me for his choice to repeatedly boink a co-worker without protection. I. Am. Done.
    Thank you, Chump Nation!

  • People literally can’t imagine that people like this exist. But they do and they are completely dependent on our ignorance to continue “being themselves”
    Everyone will have a run in with one of these monsters at some point. Some will be taken advantage of sexually or financially. Some will be emotionally abused. But the similar thread is to *always* to make the victim feel at fault somehow.
    That is how these freaks continue to go unnoticed.
    Put the blame back where it belongs! Everytime! Its an uphill battle but its so damn important!

    • Leavealyingloser,
      Some few of us get it all: sexually, financially AND emotionally abused by the evil entitled. It’s a package deal. If they lie about one thing they’ll lie about everything.

      Cheater STBX is a remodeling contractor/handyman (indeed!). Many friends and acquaintances have used him for work around their homes, big & small jobs. It hurt like hell when – knowing what he has done to me – they hire him anyway! Really? It cut deep.
      Then, I realized as long as he’s working, the child support & spousal support continue.

      And – my friends get EXACTLY what they are paying for! What? He overcharged you? Tragic! Oh? The job wasn’t done correctly and you need to have someone come in and fix it? Shocking. HOW could that be? Let me think about that….

      In one case – a true friend – learned information that will directly refute his testimony in court: prove both his perjury AND duplicitous business practices. I was antsy to get to court to finalize this divorce. I am now seeing how it pays to be patient and let some things play out to my benefit. I’m convinced my higher power is helping me see exactly what I need to see to survive this trainwreck.
      And CL & CN give me hope to trudge this road of happier destiny.

      • Then, I realized as long as he’s working, the child support & spousal support continue.
        Yes! That is a good point.

        I was a little surprised when my ex got remarried, but then I realized “He’s not bugging me. This is a good thing – for me – not so good for his wife.”

  • I’ll take 1/2 the blame for the bad marriage we were in. The bad marriage that I was also in, right along with the Cheater, yet I did NOT cheat. Because I made a promise, because I didn’t want to cause him that sort of pain, because, despite the struggle in the marriage, I cared about him. We were in a marriage that was struggling, but, while I was attempting to make the marriage better, he had 2 girlfriends, went to erotic massage parlors, and trolled forums for sex. So yeah, fuck off anyone who thinks I drove him to cheating.

    • I’ve likened marriage to a car–we all put a few scratches or dings in it over the course of the years. But cheaters take the car, drive it headlong into a tree and then push it over the cliff. The scratches and dings no longer matter (car is totaled), and the scratches & dings did not cause the cheater to total the car.

      • This is perfect!!! Thank you for this! My cheater said our marriage was like a plant. He said it was already dead, that the affair was just him ripping it out of the ground. ugh!

        • The X said the marriage failed. I told him that implies that we actually tried which he didn’t. Our marriage could have gone the distance but not after he cheated.

        • Funny how that “dead plant” was nonetheless able to suck up all the water and nutrients you were investing in it.

        • My cheater told our sons, “Your mother and I just grew apart.” I had to tell them, “Of course we’re going to grow apart when he has a skank in the background for years!”

    • Someone said it’s very likely that a marriage partner with a cheater mindset likely caused way more than 1/2 the marriage problems. For sure, it’s impossible to have a working marriage with someone who has no long term relationship skills….lying and cheating tends to kill a marriage and woe to us who are watering the garden with a partner who is pouring acid on it while we are not looking…..

      • I would agree VH. The X actually admitted that he was not a good husband. Doesn’t excuse his behavior or cheating because he knew what he was doing or not doing. He was and is a very self-centered pathetic loser.

    • I don’t know when he started cheating, but I’m pretty sure it was the year he literally stopped talking to me.

      He had told me when we were first married that if he ever cheated he could never look me in the eye again. He was exactly right.

      That was probably 8 years ago, at the 20 year mark. Everything that happened after that was just me spackling, but I didn’t know I was spackling. I just thought we were getting older and changing, and I was taking it as it came, working on myself, getting the kids out of the house and on their own, planning for the future, encouraging him in his job, planning vacations and working on the house…and let’s not forget the 8 surgeries in those 8 years that I nursed him through, and the 3 or 4 for me that he was there for.

      He had stopped talking to me. That’s when it started. I never thought to ask until 2016. I believed him when he said no. I had no reason not to.

  • I have no qualms telling family and friends that my husband cheated, that he is pathetic, that he is self-centered, and that he is a coward.

    Marriages always have issues. It’s how we deal with them and how we care about each other that get us through the days, weeks and years.

    I honestly believe that the X cheated because of his ED. He was too afraid that I would find out about the cheating so he left me. But, not before he found the OW and didn’t have to end alone like he left his wife. I found out anyway because this sudden divorce talk left me confused and hurt. None of it made any sense and I went looking for answers as he wouldn’t give me any. He was a coward.

    I have no problems standing up straight and telling my story. If I help one person find her/his courage to not let the cheating define her/him, more power to us chumps!

    • In the last month I have told everyone the basic narrative, “My husband has been cheating on me for multiple years with multiple woman and I evicted him from my house and I am divorcing him.”

      I have no interest in rehashing almost 30 years of marriage. The ending is all that matters, because the life of it was only important to the two of us, and he killed it.

  • I have just spent time talking to my 19 year old son who to this very day still feels responsible for the ending of my marriage to his gay cheating father because he came to me with information that led to me getting the cheater out of the house that night and never looking back. Cheater never took responsibility, he hid behind the church and the church laid it on thick. It was partially my fault he cheated so I needed to own that. The day our daughter was diagnosed with cancer I was told by my senior pastor that my husband only cheated to get back at me, WTF? get back at me for what? for being a committed wife and mother, for managing our home so he didn’t have to worry about anything but himself? for suspecting he was fucking someone else and that he was keeping secrets? for working nights and weekends while the kids where little so we had money? for returning to work and earning more than him? for being able to hold down a job longer than he could? TELL ME what the fuck did I do that led him to want to fuck other men starting from when our youngest was less than a year old and continued for 8 years and for our eldest needing to be the one who caught him out? Cheater now is off playing happy family with wife number two while almost 5 years on I am still picking up the pieces?

    He cheated and got of scott free while my children and I still bear the consequences.

    • Your 19-year-old stumbled into the truth and turned on the light.

      Your ex is a COWARD. He is a SOCIOPATH who allows his CHILD to take blame for HIS behavior. He hides behind COWARD HYPOCRITES in a church (for GOD’S SAKE!!!!) who condone and excuse his behavior (for what? Because they can, because it’s easier to blame a victim, especially one who has become proficient at taking blame already, and likely because they, too, are power-hungry, sanctimonious cheaters themselves.) Your ex has chosen a new victim to HIDE behind. He likes a power imbalance. He gets off on deceit. He is a very dangerous person (I won’t call him a MAN.)

    • Funny, I must have missed the verse in the Bible where God punishes the husbands and wives of cheaters. Oh wait, it’s not in there….

      Here’s what IS in the Bible:

      “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 ADULTERY, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (Mark 7:21-23) *Jesus Himself said this!

      “Why should I forgive you? Your children have forsaken me and sworn by gods that are not gods. I supplied all their needs, yet they committed adultery and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.” (Jeremiah 5:7) *If God can’t get people to be faithful to Him when he supplies all their needs, why are we expected to?

      “‘This, then, is the law of jealousy when a woman goes astray and makes herself impure while married to her husband, 30 or when feelings of jealousy come over a man because he suspects his wife. The priest is to have her stand before the Lord and is to apply this entire law to her. 31 The husband will be innocent of any wrongdoing, but the woman will bear the consequences of her sin.’” (Numbers 5:29-31). *God calls the adulterous wife guilty here and gives her consequences, but her faithful husband is called innocent.

      “The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.” (Ezekiel 18:20).

      “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters NOR ADULTERERS nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

      “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (Hebrews 13:4).

      Clearly, God holds adulterers accountable for a reason. There is no disclaimer listed in the Bible. It never says “God will judge the adulterer unless her husband didn’t bring her flowers every week”. It just says “God will judge the adulterer” PERIOD. God is just in doing this, simply because they are the ones who are guilty.

  • 3 thoughts

    The world treats Chumpedmen and Chumpedwomen differently. Chumpmen are expected to diss their cheating, trashy, sleep around, whore, nymph wife. Chumpwomen are expected to “work” on themselves and their relationship skills. And, that’s wrong.

    Every couple has conflict. He leaves the toilet seat up/wet towels on bed/messy garage , doesn’t help with chores, had a 32 inch waist, full head of hair when we married, travels for his work… She isn’t organized (or, she’s a neat freak), lazy (or, she’s neurotic) , muffin top (or too skinny with no boobs), doesn’t wear good clothes (or the opposite “shops too much”). Whatever someone is or isn’t, there’s conflict. Having conflict is normal, and everyone doesn’t do something right. But it’s the second step of this equation that’s solely the fault of the cheater. They used/reinvented normal conflict an excuse to cheat. There are other things that could have been done. Work it out together, maybe? Cheating is taking the easy way out. It’s for dreamers and idealists, who don’t want to face or can’t face reality. Sooner or later, they have to face reality.

    We need a movement. A “NoMe3” It happens to every woman and man, beautiful or plain, fat or skinny, career and stay at home, rich or poor. Look at all the movie stars . . . who get cheated on!

      • Yes, a cheating wife is a regarded as a whore and a cheating man is presumed a poor victim of “not getting his needs met”…..oh, he was getting his needs met just like a bank robber was getting his need for money met.
        Time to change the narrative!
        #trustthattheyallsuck

  • Its the sociatal lie upon sociatal lie. Work hard go to school, get that degree, get that amazing job. I did that, but no career just a serious of shit jobs to make ends barely meet.
    That commercial jingle from the seventies;
    I can bring home the bacon stir it up in a pan; never let you forget your a man. BOOOOOZZZSHIT! Which is is it?I had severe add/ ptsd/ depresion et. Pick one. I can maybe bring in half the rent, OR cook amazing meals raise the kids; OR be your full time seductress. PICK ONE!
    Society’s expectation that i squeeze 72 hour day into 24. Cant. Be. Done. Hats off to the woman that can and do…. Im not wired that way. I will struggle with the basics my whole life as I just can not do it all. Well u just need to work harder and smarter. Maybe organize your time better.
    Have you tried Xyz? You must be doing SOMETHING wrong! Not trying hard enough… same with being a chump…. well you must be doing it wrong….

  • This is where “Trust that they suck” comes in. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I did not deserve to be cheated on for years. I know I didn’t deserve to be lied to. Given a thankfully treatable STD. And then left crying at the curb without a second thought. Then I saw him on a dating sight a month later so shmoopie didn’t even “win” the sparkly turd. I know the whole burden of suckiness lies upon him. He sucks. He really really sucks. My only fault lies in pretending his sucking was acceptable and something I could tolerate because of “Love”. Love has to go both ways. My love language is dont ne lying cheater. He didnt speak that language because he sucks. I trust that. Not him.

  • I definitely have that sign on my back.
    Two relationships, 1st husband: 13 yrs together/10 married, then 2nd relationship: 24 yrs together 3 children. I was chumped the whole time in both. When I go out for shopping or at work, I always happen to meet women who were involved in affairs with one of my two exes.
    Sometimes I have received comfort exactly from these women.
    My boss at work had, or maybe still has, an affair with ex n1, she adores me. When I found texts of one of exh n.2 old sex partners he was trying to hook again with, she wrote to him: “leave me alone, your wife is more attractive than you”. Another woman said she stopped the affair he was trying to rekindle telling him I should throw him out of house. I can think of many more positive comments. But narcissists don’t feel one bit ashamed.
    My exh n.2 even said sex with his other partners wasn’t better than with me. He felt the same thrill. Cheaters are so inconsistent and impulsive, making crazy unexplainable decisions.
    Anyway I imagine how people ask themselves what’s wrong with me. It can’t be bad luck.

  • And let us not forget that our cheaters re-wrote history as a way to find excuses for their poor choices in finding and fucking strange. I was non of the things my husband described me as after his affair was discovered. He simply needed excuses and naturally he did not factor himself into the equation. In fact, both my ex and his AP said that if we (myself and her husband) had been better spouses “this never would have happened”. This is how they live with themselves after blowing up two households. And therapists, family friends and relatives cannot wrap their heads around the destruction and try to make sense of the nonsense and the only thing they can come up with that MIGHT make sense, is that something must have been wrong in the marriage for this to happen.

    • If YOU had been a better spouse as opposed to the CHEATERS?!! LOLOLOLOL. The cognitive dissonance is astounding. My cheater told me I was difficult to live with…he who lies, cheats, holds resentments, fails to communicate or listen, controls the money, is passive aggressive, etc. Yes, I guess it would be difficult to live with someone who tries to live in integrity if one is determined to live without it….

    • I’m curious as to how my ex and his now-skanky wife (she was also married while their affair was going on) are coming along now that they only have each other to blame for a shoddy marriage. They got married about 6 months ago. I’m sure they only got married so they could validate to their respective children that it was twu luv.

  • Why blame the chump? For the same reason people blame others when they are attacked.

    1) They want to believe they have more control over their own lives
    2) They want to believe it could ‘never happen to them!’
    3) The more they identify with the victim (gender, race, circumstances) the more uncomfortable it makes them feel so the more they blame the victim

    No one *wants* to believe they can be a chump. If only they (do 10001 different things, perfectly) it won’t happen to them!

    It’s the Just-World hypothesis in action.

    “The just-world hypothesis or just-world fallacy is the cognitive bias (or assumption) that a person’s actions are inherently inclined to bring morally fair and fitting consequences to that person, to the end of all noble actions being eventually rewarded and all evil actions eventually punished.”

    Here’s a link to an article on the topic. We can be better than this if we stop and THINK.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/27/victim-blaming-science-behind-psychology-research

    • Yes to the just world hypothesis. I have thought about this recently and see that I believed in this for all but the last two years of my life and that people who are willing to do me over can sense that I am kind hearted and come from a place of good intention. With asshole I thought one day things would improve and he would appreciate us. Wrong.
      I had this conversation with my son telling him if someone is nuts they will still hit you even if you are kind to them, don’t think that because you are kind that it will be reciprocated and become complacent. We cannot think people have the same values as we do.

      • So true.
        We have little contol over the way people treat us.

        and also this:

        One doesn’t have to do anything wrong to get into trouble.

  • I would love to see a movement to have our laws around infidelity changed. I don’t have the statistics on hand, but currently only a handful of states even recognize infidelity in divorce. My state is one that recently abolished it as well (in the middle of my 3 year divorce) and I was FORCED to change my pleading to irreconcilable differences.

    Our laws play a huge role in the attitudes of society, along with the DSM published by the APA. As a society we look to “experts” to set the tone of Acceptability. Let’s take the following example…

    Disclaimer: This is just an example of how attitudes are influenced, I am not disparaging homosexuality.

    In 1968, the DSM-II (the American classiifcation of mental disorders) listed homosexuality as a mental disorder. In this, the DSM followed in a long tradition in medicine and psychiatry, which in the 19th century appropriated homosexuality from the Church and transformed it from sin to mental disorder. Gay as a disorder was completely removed from the DSM in 1987.

    Same-sex marriage in the United States was initially established on a state-by-state basis (like fault divorce) expanding from 1 state in 2004 to 36 states in 2015, when, on June 26, 2015, same-sex marriage was established in all 50 states as a result of a landmark civil rights ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States.

    Today I’d say that the majority of the population accepts being gay as a function of biology, not mental disturbance or an issue of morality. It’s a human freedom.

    When it comes to infidelity, I think that is the mentality of our courts and psychologists as well. The attitudes of society that have developed based on abolishing laws that were a deterrence have morphed into permissiveness. A kind of “it is what it is” attitude. I’m not saying our government should throw cheaters in jail, cheating is their choice to make, but defrauding someone because if that choice is NOT their right! If I defraud the IRS out of their dues, guess who’s going to pay dearly.

    I think the fraud element of cheating is the biggest part of abolishing infidelity laws that is being missed here. If I can’t cheat or steal the IRS, why is it okay for my spouse to do it to me? Why? Because there are LAWS that say it’s not okay.

    We have seatbelt laws to protect the interests of insurance companies, children, and drivers from the possibility of severe injuries, and the associated costs surrounding them.

    Yet there is this attitude that because I chose to marry this person, there should be no laws to protect my interests if they cheat, it was my choice my gamble. Can you imagine if insurance companies said that to someone who got in a car and was hit by someone making the destructive decision to drink and drive? Sorry, you chose to drive, your choice, your gamble.

    Okay, stepping off my soapbox. I just think our civil system is a joke and it irritates me to no end that they are abolishing infidelity laws and fault based divorce. I understand the history of no fault divorce, and I’m not saying it in itself is bad, but to have that be the only option available is a mistake of epic per portions! We are creating permissive attitudes, no available recourse and a system that Rewards the perpetrator!

    • @Got-a-Brain Excellent point! Cheating is fraud, if it would be viewed as a business by our system, then clearly the betrayed should get compensation.

      • It needs a chump with a lot of money to hire the nastiest lawyers on the planet and argue that marriage is a legally binding agreement just like a business contract and infidelity is the breaking of this contract. The result being that the cheater is entitled to zero from the divorce and compensation can be claimed. However as said laws are now going in the complete opposite direction

      • King vs. Huizar, $8.8 mill award, “alienation of affection”, North Carolina, however there was a business involved.

    • I agree. It’s the same in Canada. I could do nothing about him stealing our retirement money because he did it within the marriage. He also stole my jewelry and several large vehicle assets because they were in the company name. In the end I had to let it all go. It’s more legal abuse.

    • Valid

      Our society no longer supports marriage.

      As we know it.

      Fidelity between men and woman has become a mockery of our culture.

      Marriage is shallow and meaningless without laws and community support and the collective conscious of what is right and wrong.

      Marriage is no longer an institution.

      It’s a breakdown of society and the government doesn’t do anything about it because it allows them greater control over the populous.

  • “ But I would argue that Ashley Madison isn’t the reason that people cheat. You’d never know Ashley Madison exists if you didn’t go looking for it. No. You cheat because you gave yourself PERMISSION to cheat.”

    What’s the first thing a chump typically does when they’ve been cheated on?

    We blame the OW and ourselves.
    We seek answers from the cheating spouse.

    What’s the first thing the cheater does when caught?
    They blame the loyal spouse and the OW.

    This is by far one of my favorite posts CL.

    A million thoughts run through a chumps head based on their circumstances. Denial is a workhorse that leads us to challenge the unthinkable an unbelievable truth. Raising my hand minus a wedding band for feeding the cheaters blame shifting rather than holding him accountable through consequences.

    And this is where the narrative around infidelity changes; right here in our own humble abode, one chump at a time despite the harsh consequences WE face daily when our world exploded.

    Looking. Giving themselves permission. Can’t deny that.

  • Anybody else found yourself in a conversation with someone who cheated on their spouse and tires to tell you that it was their spouse’s fault?

    That’s always fun.

    • Yes. I found myself on a hike alone with a woman who I discovered during said hike was a cheater (and probably an OW too but we didn’t go there in the conversation) who was leaving her husband for her OM. She said her husband had been cold to her for years and refused to communicate. She said he gas lighted her. She complained that he lied when she asked him how he had fixed the roof when she interrogated him in regards to his methods (apparently he might have gotten too close to the edge – see she cared). My take was that she was a controlling dissatisfied harpy and he was probably afraid to communicate with her about anything for fear of suffering her abuse. She felt perfectly justified in cheating because she “hadn’t been happy for years” but just didn’t realize it until Mr. wonderful came along. Mr. Wonderful is from another country and is often out of town a long way away. Good luck with that. She was perplexed as to why her divorce was so high conflict and why her ex wasn’t being more generous financially in the settlement (she was a SAHM so expected big bucks for maintenance and child support). She was also crushed that her adult daughter now wants nothing to do with her. She was looking for a support network because she feels so alone.

      Instead of throttling her and leaving her in the woods, I decided it would be more productive to calmly try and explain things to her from the other side. I don’t think it did any good. She may have accepted that my ex was an ass who shouldn’t have done what he did, but that had nothing to do with her. These people really do live in an alternate reality. I wonder if her ex has found chump nation (I have no idea who he is so can’t inform him myself).

      • …I decided it would be more productive to calmly try and explain things to her from the other side. I don’t think it did any good…

        My dad used to tell me that “I’d argue with a signpost”. Similar experience, Yeh?

      • So well told!
        Instead of throttling her and leaving her in the woods….
        😂😂😂

        It is just like me banging my head against the wall and trying to make people understand that they have to walk their dogs. Birds fly fish swim and dogs walk. If you don’t walk your dog you ARE NOT satisfying its most basic need. It would choose walking over food.

        So I go over this time and time again with the absolute retards that live in my neighborhood. Their dogs tear up the garage tear up the walls, poop on the walls, start fights with smaller dogs. And they just look at me mystified when I say but it’s 100 pound dog that’s been locked in a crate for 14 hours. Can’t you see you’re driving it slowly insane?

        People are lazy and craven and shitty. They want to post pictures on Facebook of their dog but they don’t want to get up off their fat asses and do the work.

        I can talk until my tongue falls out but they don’t want to hear it.

        And it is the same way with cheaters.

        There is a special place in hell for the smug bitches who look at me like I have a third head when I tell them I was cheated on. They act so far removed, as if this could never happen to them. It is fucking laughable.

        Married men flirt more than single men do. Until they go through the pain of having their heart pulled out through their nose by pair of pliers – they can tilt their head, give me an
        Oh my Goodness!
        Or
        Bless your Heart.

        Fuck You Clueless Bitch!!! Check your husband cell phone records or his web history and get back to me.

        • Speaking of dogs…
          I live alone. No husband, no kids, no pets, no plants. And I like it that way. I am free to do whatever, whenever I want. The neighbor is also single and has a dog. I’m pretty sure she works the same schedule I do, which means that dog is locked up in that house for at least 9 hours a day. Another (older) neighbor was walking his dog one night and asked why I didn’t have any pets. I said “because if I had a pet, I couldn’t just disappear anytime I wanted to.” I am gone every weekend. Why would I want to have to worry about boarding an animal every weekend? Or paying to feed an animal?
          My bff – known her for 33 years – we chat every day. She and her boyfriend live in a single wide trailer and don’t have a whole lot of money. She had 2 very large dogs and one small dog. One of her large dogs died recently. Just this last weekend she was telling me how her and her bf were at a party and she fell in love with this dog that was at this party. The dogs’ owners offered this dog to my friend. It is a cross between a German Sheppard and a Mastiff – so another BIG dog. As she is telling me this story, I’m just flabbergasted at her accepting this dog. Another dog to feed. Another dog that can’t fit into their tiny mobile home. And like my neighbor – they work full time jobs. Therefore those dogs are stuck in their home for 9 hours a day.
          I’m sorry, but it just kills me when people have pets they really don’t have time for, or really can’t afford, or really don’t have the room for.
          Went on a tangent there that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Sorry

      • I just make it clear that they get no pass from me. All their reasons are really excuses for being an irresponsible, hurtful human being.

        The relationship rule: Take responsibility for your part in building a flourishing relationship or fixing a failing relationship. Or end it with integrity and dignity.

        Instead, they pulled down their pants and crapped in other people’s trust and good faith.

        They are used to everyone agreeing it was their spouse’s fault. Without anger or venom, I call bullshit. Part of them knows they are full of shit. The look on their faces when someone says, “Well, Joe, not buying it” is priceless.

  • I have noticed in story-telling traditions, including the bible, that the tales of the reformed sinner/criminal hook people far more than the stories of the faithful who never stray. It makes sense, conflict, inner and outer, make for good story-telling. The fact is that people with low character generally remain that way, even though they might put on a good show of coming to Jesus (metaphorically), and romantic notions do not hold up to reality. No one wants to hear that, so they want to make the charming individual a hero, and the muffin-topped wife who has been doing the heavy lifting is the villain.

    • But then there’s Job. Danged good story of a righteous man hanging on through the unfairness and the injustice. Plus, he sasses a God a bit, but he always clings to what is right.

  • I saw this news article about the government in Paris installing open-air urinals to deter men urinating in the street, because apparently they will do it no matter what apparently, so why not just accommodate them? I posit that the urinals will not deter urinating in the streets because it’s not about the urinals, it’s about the act itself. Cheating isn’t about the chump’s faults but the cheaters need to do the act of cheating.

    • YYYYYYYYYYYup. Why use a urinal when the whole world is your urinal, and part of the joy of pissing on things is…well, pissing on things.

      This is one reason why cheaters who suddenly demand open/poly marriages–and often people who enter new poly relationships-just cannot seem to follow the rules of engagement and end up cheating anyway.

  • this column today NAILS IT.

    I am saving it. For anyone who gives me crap about my cheating ex spouse.

  • At this point, I say who the fuck cares who they blame. I know the truth. And I am thoroughly over the “bad childhood” my Mommy didn’t love me the way I am supposed to be loved blah blah blah. At one point in our lives we have to assume responsibility for who we are. A cheater is a cheater, nothing excusing a cheater. You cheat at cards, you get thrown out of a casino – no matter why you cheated, can’t make the rent payment, not the casino’s responsibility, you cheat at school, you flunk. What makes anybody think that cheating is acceptable and that the cheated is at fault is just another irresponsible idiot.

      • At this point, I say who the fuck cares who they blame. I know the truth. And I am thoroughly over the “bad childhood” my Mommy didn’t love me the way I am supposed to be loved blah blah blah. At one point in our lives we have to assume responsibility for who we are.

        Precisely, Mila. Mommy can’t save your sorry ass, only you can. At this point, you’ve lived longer away from her than with her. One can only pull the crappy childhood card for so long.
        There is a whole universe of people that had crappy parents that said *uck my crappy parents and my crappy upbringing, I’m going to do better. I am one of y those. In spite of my mother being BPD and my father being MIA (probably because he got fed up of dealing with Mom), I
        went to college on my own dime, bought a home, raised a pretty darn good son, and all that. Oh, and ya know what? I didn’t cheat when life became the hardz.

        ITA that it’s about being responsible and mature.

  • “It’s what losers do. It makes your dick look small.”

    I love this! I’m willing to bet a lot of potential cheaters wouldn’t be cheating if they thought this!

    • …”It makes your mind and soul look childish. It makes your dick look dirty, green, and pussy sores.”

      I’m fairly cute, petite, extroverted…people person. I work in trucking & shipping (all men). I’ve had 5 co-workers try to start the conversation with me…”My wife and I don’t get along…” I replied, “Sorry, you two should work on that. Me and my (now, 2nd) husband are solid and happy….”

      On Monday, I had a serial cheater (former co-worker, now turned driver/customer) try to explain to me his cheating. Of course, it was ALL his wife’s fault. I listened to his shit over lunch. He only complimented the wife on her clean house (wife appliance kudos). I was in no position to be mean to him. So, I said, “You have good problem solving skills at work. Why didn’t you either work it with your wife first, and if that didn’t work…just file divorce? Keeping up home and affair is just too much stress and strain. Hate to say it, but you aged alot. You need to be true to your own soul…. I left my first husband, didn’t cheat, and never looked back. I married…wonderful man…many years. Do the right thing.”

      • PackingUp&ShippingOut, I commend you.

        But I think you suspect (as I do) that what you said to your cheating former co-worker went in one ear and out the other. My experience is that the whole cheater internal conversation is, ” I’m right, I can’t hear you, I’m right, nah nah nah”

  • Proverbs 6:32 He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.

    That’s one of the nicer verses about it. The Bible has harsh consequences for the cheater and the affair partner, and gives the cheated one an option of divorce. No ifs, ands, buts. Our modern-day selves have it wrong.

    • OMG, JuiceyLucy, Cheater #2’s main slut maintained she was a “good christian mother”. I got *crickets* when I pointed out how as a good Christian, it’s just downright ah-maaa-zing that she chose not to abide by several of those pesky Commandments. Ya know: Thou shall not bear false witness. Thou shall not commit adultery. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife (spouse).

      Furthermore, am I the only one (no, not really) who noticed that there are TWO commandments that specifically call out adultery, be it actual or by envy (coveting)?

  • A big YES to Dr George Simon. His recent article “How to Spot a Converted Heart” is a great read about what true reconciliation should look like and why we’ll never get it

  • “This is why I like Dr. George Simon’s work, because he debunks that whole poor sausage, inner neurosis shit, and says essentially, no, what you see is what you get. They have disturbed characters. They actually DO think they deserve to behave appallingly and don’t feel one bit ashamed about it.”

    I owe CL and the Chump Nation for this key insight. Once I read Dr. Simon’s work, I understand what Jackass is. What XH the substance abuser is. And that set me free. I realized it wasn’t me. It wasn’t even the MOW or the whiskey bottle. It’s them. It’s what they are. I saw that I could let go of that and free myself. And that helped release me from a lifetime of codependent behavior.

    • Ditto. This little tidbit of info was absolutely key. It flipped the switch for me from trying to find the right info, book, therapist, program to treat/fix the issue (him) to literally not being able to get out of the marriage fast enough.

  • And, I think in many cases (like my own) the cheater salts the ground as it were, by spreading lies or half-truths about the chump throughout their community. This is a particularly effective maneuver if you’ve been together a long time and lived in the same place. It can effectively cause all your “friends” to go poof! (maybe cheaty partners are persuasive?) In my experience, after the creep had told everyone I was a mean crazy unstable bitch… then DDay, then a few months of trickle truth and discovering the depths of his depravity, I did go off kilter and become unstable. I’d say it was a perfectly normal reaction! But support from friends? Non! Blame, and more blame. Especially because I was adamant that he had done a wrong thing, and it was intolerable. One former “friend” said, “I’ve been on all three sides of the cheating triangle, and I think you’re over-reacting.” So there you go. That was the high quality Quaker that everyone thought had more integrity than anyone.

  • I fully believe that affair partners feel that getting a man or woman to step out on their spouse is proof of their desirability and irresistibility.

    “Look! I’m so fucking hot and have so much going on that he just couldn’t resist me! In fact, he was willing to risk his whole family just to come fuck me. Maybe if his wife had been as interesting as me, he wouldn’t have stepped out with me. Just look at how just better I am than her.” 😘

    It’s an ego thing for the affair partners just as much as it is for the spouses.

    Funny how they always have a list of things that were wrong with the chump, as if they’re perfect themselves and were due no less than a perfect spouse if they were EVER to be expected to actually honor their vows. You don’t deserve fidelity unless you’re perfect and since no one’s perfect, except for them, they’ll always have a justified reason. Including with their affair partners.

  • My husband cheated on me because apparently I had put weight on and was too fat! Maybe I should have taken a leaf out of his book and gone whoring because he smokes like a chimney? But that’s the thing, cheaters see themselves as perfect, faults and all. Alas, others aren’t given the same leeway. It’s very much a case of “do as I say, not as I do”!

    • Yes, my X alienated most humans he encountered at one point or another with his selfish, self-absorbed behavior, but he cheated on me because the cupboards were too full and I didn’t get rid of children’s toys quickly enough. Faceplant.

    • Yes, this. Why bad things happen is as simple as…shit just happens. Whether you deserve it or not. Poor choices may result in consequences but this is not always true either. And many things happen to us through no fault of our own. CN is proof. I was abused as a child yet recognized then that it had nothing to do with me. Life challenges us all. Bad things don’t always happen to people who make poor choices, just as good things don’t always happen to those who do what is right.

  • I think that the whole societal attitude toward cheating is partly a legacy of the day when you couldn’t easily get a divorce. If you go watch some older tv shows, you’ll note the drama that surrounds something like an affair, wherein one spouse is unhappy in the marriage but the other won’t consent to a divorce. Jane Eyre is an example of the unfairness of a society in which divorce is next to impossible to get.

    Of course, there’s a lot of misogyny involved. It’s fine for men to have affairs because their wives are frigid or nags or whatever. It’s not fine for women to have affairs, though possibly if their husbands are physically abusive, that’s treated sympathetically in the popular literature of the time. But still, the popular image was that an affair was the result of an unhappy marriage from which there was no way to extricate oneself (exceptions for the very wealthy, of course).

    But we don’t live in those times–at least most of us don’t. If you are in a marriage that isn’t working for you, then you have the option to try to communicate your unhappiness with your spouse so as to work things out or, if you don’t want to communicate or things don’t work out–you can file for divorce. For most of us, that’s been the reality for nearly 50 years.

    Once you realize that divorce is always there in the case of an unhappy marriage, you realize that the Cheater is cheating because they want to cheat. Basically, they are fine with the marriage. Their spouse is a great spouse (or spouse appliance). It’s just that the cheater wants to cheat and feels entitled to do so.

    When I told my former next door neighbors that I was moving out of the house because I’d divorced CheaterX for his cheating, they clucked sympathetically while mumbling about how marriages can sometimes have problems. I didn’t blame them. They’d have to remain living next to CheaterX and his Schmoopie, after all. A few weeks after I’d moved out, I met Mr Former Next Door Neighbor. He gave me a hug and told me he was so sorry. I figured he’d come across the full horror that was Schmoopie. Hell, she may have come on to him, as he’s a successful local business owner and she is drawn to men who have larger incomes than she does.

    Her predatory nature doesn’t absolve CheaterX of his decision to cheat. If anything, it made it worse. Schmoopie had a track record. CheaterX was okay with that. They were two peas in a pod. He was a man who was okay with cheating on his wife and she was a woman who liked sleeping with other people’s husbands.

    • Or they cheat because they are cowards who can’t handle the idea of being alone so they hang on to the original spouse while shopping for the replacement. I don’t think my ex ever would have left me if he didn’t have somebody new to latch onto. Trying to fix the marriage first was right out, of course. That takes work and might require humility.

      • Same with my X, he didn’t want to be alone yet he stood in front of me saying he wants a divorce and wants to alone. Yet another bold-faced lie. He already had someone picked out.

  • “You cheat because you gave yourself PERMISSION to cheat. And that comes from within.” When I hear this, my brain plays a part of the LACGAL audio CD… “They had a whole decision tree to navigate”.

    This is the Rosetta stone of Chump recovery in my view. It vaporizes all excuses.

    “Articles point to technology as a reason why cheating occurs”,

    No!, … Not occurs, but it sure as Hell makes it easier to coverup and hide not to mention the temptation factor. Snap chat sold for billions because of the (software) technology, they created for sent messages to be untraceable after self destructing. What more could a cheater want or ask for? …and to beat all, The technology is getting more stealth to protect the wrong-doers asses. Hmmm, wonder where that idea came from?

    I’m one of the old-fashioned types that did not go out and buy the new ‘state of the art’ cellphone as soon as it hit the markets. I would use a phone until it was no longer supported before I would purchase one. I’m frugal like that.

    xw was the opposite with phones, tablets, laptops. In hindsight, I know it was for tracking me so she could do hookups. Where’s my iPhone? She would have an accessible geolocation of my whereabouts at all times. Not to mention hidden apps on her phone,tablet or laptop. I resisted the change of new apps and phone ‘features’ like I resisted using yearly Windows versions. But we’re trapped too because they (manufacturers) change technology all the time with more emphasis today being on the elimination of backwards compatibility. So you HAVE to buy the new shit to ‘keep up’. Businesses spend fortunes on upgrades every year.

    I’m sure xw got the iPhone X as soon as she could afford (or not afford) one. I discovered (through phone bills I never saw) that She uses burner phones but was dumb enough to not cover her tracks when it came to her paying the bill for her paramour’s phone line (as well as mine). Cheaters often control the paying of those types of “Comms” bills- unknown to the hypnotized chump. I learned this from a sponsor btw. So they hid traces of their activities by ‘taking care of this one’. See how that works? Even though the technology supports misuse by Fuckwits their humanity (or lack thereof) eventually tells,… when they slip up from excessive fucking and brain overload of Unicorn hormones. Turning the phone upside down, bathroom international peace treaty negotiations and such.

    OK, ‘Nuff said.

    NO. One more thing. Today is my Dday from Last year. After I found out about number 3 OM in 2017, that was enough. I was D’d on 29 June. Lucky me it happened the way it did. I truly believe that I was rescued from a more horrid demise in the future. Thank You Higher Power,

    • Marcus Lazarus,
      Congratulations on your speedy divorce! (Never imagined myself feeling divorce envy, seasoned chumpy me) Last year in June was my 3rd Dday, too. After a few nauseous days of considering his pleas for wreckonciliation, I kicked him out. Didn’t file until November, but i’m still waiting on discovery that was due over 7 months ago.
      I, too, see my HP’s fingerprints all over my redemption since I found out on my recovery anniversary just hours after celebrating at a meeting and wondering to myself what this new year of sobriety would bring me. Bam. Mic drop, indeed.
      Like you, I found mysterious phone numbers on his cellular bill. The skein is too fuckedup to even bother to try. But I did, it seemed necessary at the time. But the second gift after discovery was finding CL. Those horrid RIC fucks dominate the narrative, so I had to read a lot of garbage before someone mentioned CL and helped light my torch in that dark tunnel.

      Here’s my take on why chump blaming is so prevalent: the RIC narrative is primarily promoted by a large group of cheating therapists, psychiatrists and self-appointed “affair experts” who use their self-appointed titles to continue the abuse under the guise of “helping.” Who are they helping? Themselves. Who is still their “problem”? CHUMPS. I say this as a licensed therapist myself. I’ve read this garbage. I wonder if I researched Esther Perel, for example, might there be a history of cheating the led to her “novel reinterpretations” of cheater motives, absolving them of blame and candy crush-coating that turns into a “search for aliveness”?

      I totally agree that people who fear that it could happen to them need a hook to hinge their exceptionalism to…it makes it easier for them to believe their own trust is well-placed and not at risk for abuse. That’s the thing about trust-breaking a chump: those bastards have it completely and just take a dump right on it. They do not value the chump or our trust and faith in them. They aren’t worth another molecule of trust or another minute of RIC chump-abuse. There’s no there there, as Gertrude Stein said. Nothing to work with, in the parlance of Mughty CL.

      RIC not only devalues the chump (continues the cheater’s devaluation), but makes profits off of it. Talk about the ultimate “screw you, chump”! This system is clearly cheater friendly and NOT pro-chump. I thank my higher powee daily for CL & each of you here at CN.

    • Wow you just wrote the story of me and him. I just updated by cracked non ringing vibrate only 8 year old iPhone today with a factory refurb iPhone SE as its small like my old one and takes good pics.
      Have been on the bones of my ass and have recently secured a half decent job and am fast clearing bills and it truly was time to spend that $300.

  • Poor cheater X, he had everything he ever wanted. His wife just couldn’t tolerate his lies and crap choices. But I have to thank his AP, too, for taking that excuse for a man off my hands. If I’d never discovered the truth I could have easily believed we weren’t compatible. Yet I always felt off balance, even when our life together was good…. Knowing what he did (and not all of it) freed me. Being with a cheater was a life full of lies and I felt that when in it. Like, why is this not working? A lot of energy goes into living a double life. My life, without crazy and even with challenges, is so much better now.

  • Cheaters have two sets of rules: one for them and one for us. So, it’s not that we aren’t of value. We just aren’t of value when their house of cards falls apart.

  • We are the easy target. Blindsided. In a tailspin. The cheater on the other hand has been lying and planning so long they take it in stride.

    • The X was peeved that I wasn’t going along with his game plan. I reminded that this is my life too and I had a right to know what the hell just happened. It didn’t matter because once he said he wanted a divorce, he shut down and refused to engage with me. Complete and utter fuckwit.

  • Have any of y’all had the pleasure of watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? Even if you don’t have the time to watch the 8 episodes of the first season on Amazon Prime, the trailer alone highlights the theme of immediately blaming the chump. The show begins with Mrs. Maisel finding out she was cheated on. As you can see in the trailer, her mother’s first reaction when her daughter shares the news is “What did you do?” What I love about this mighty protagonist is she owns herself and her integrity to reply saying she did nothing. If you watch the show, the way her father blames her for being put in this situation is pretty comical and ridiculous. She then speaks the laughable truth about her ex and gender roles as a truth-telling standup comic. Oy! I highly, highly recommend this show to anyone who has been cheated on. Very cathartic. I don’t know what the storyline will be for Season 2, but Season 1 felt so. fu**ing. good. to watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOmwkTrW4OQ

  • My ex rationalizes it by saying I didn’t love him anyway and he never got to do what he wanted. His family chooses to believe they were just friends even though he built a house with her and bought a business with money he hid from me before we were divorced. He even had our beloved 16 year old dog put to sleep without telling anyone. My daughter from another marriage who was in their family for 23 years has been forgotten by most of them. How do I get over the anger and hurt from it all? It’s been a year with no contact and I am still so angry. Maybe because I never got to confront anyone. I had to stay silent so he wouldn’t go after my 401k.

  • “Never has a woman who loved her husband liked his whore.”

    Catherine de Medici

    I stumbled over that quote months ago and wrote it down. Saw it again today so I’m sharing it with the tribe.

  • I think it’s easier to blame yourself for failing to DO something, than it is to accept that you married a poor quality person.

    I know other Chumps above have said this, but it’s so much easier to Trust That You Suck, in the face of the sneaking and growing suspicion that you purchased a lemon from the marital car yard.

    This is pretty much what fuels the RIC, too. At all costs, we must succeed, or the neighbours will know I purchased a lemon …

    It’s been beautiful and also very humbling to read other Chumps admit the massive climb-down from the high ground of smugness mixed with atavistic terror.

    I was there too. I was DETERMINED to make a succession of wouldn’t-work-in-an-iron-lung relationships work, so that people wouldn’t give me a hard time for being single.

    In the process I morphed like the Blob, pick me danced like those hippos at the end of ‘Fantasia’, and did myself a huge amount of damage. I threw the real Lola – funny, cheerful, hardworking, tough, smart – out of the car and left her by the highway.

    It’s been a long drive back, but I’m glad I did it, and picked her up, dusted her off, and put us back together again.

  • Intellectually I do understand the CL premise that we are not responsible for cheaters’ evil doing and we have no control over their actions.

    And yes, they SUCK for all the pain they caused their spouses and children.

    But emotionally I can’t help and keep thinking, is there anything I could off done differently during our marriage to prevent the cheating (we were married for 14 years and have two children, 11 and 14 years old).

    She told me she did it because “she wanted to feel desired again, because I wasn’t paying enough attention to her and he was just a distraction from her unhappy primary relationship”.

    I admit that since the kids were born (pretty much all our married years) I focused most of my energy and time on the children, if it’s spending time with them, playing, teaching them or taking them to classes and interesting places. I worried about how to provide and how to pay the bills, that took took a lot of my time and energy.
    I thought that was the most important thing to do. I thought that’s what you do when you have a family.

    So, I can’t stop wondering, maybe if I did payed more attention to her and made more effort to make her feel desired, we still would be married?

    She did tell me every day that she loves me and how much she appreciates everything I do for the family, until the day I told her that I know about her having sex with her co-worker. Since the discovery, she calls me an asshole, a crappy husband and a douchebag.

    But maybe she does that because she is embarrassed that she got caught and it just a self-defense reaction?
    All the things she is saying now and cheating is so much out of character for her.

    • Oh dear – please go back and re-read the post! She could have asked you for more of your attention at any time. That is what adults do.

    • I went through these thoughts as well but I eventually realised that cheating is totally about character. When you are getting by in the trenches of family life you tend to knuckle under to get by. Only looking back you realise how much of their true character you spackled just to get through the day. Cheating is the ice bucket over the head wake up call. Sounds like you were an adult. She sounds like my ex, a spoiled demanding child

  • Magneto, my moniker because I was SO blamed and made to be the villain, that I chose to pick a name of a cool villain.
    Too many examples of “Damned if you do, double dog damned if you don’t” to list. Trust when I say the pick me dance is never rewarding for the chump.

    Once the cheater realizes that the chump is willing to hop through any ambiguous byline, the complaints never end.

    What finally woke me up was not the betrayals, but the audacity to blame me for everything. Absolutely absolved his soul of wrongdoing by self promotion.

  • I remember hearing from my brother-in-law, very early in my marriage, that the only reason his father had cheated on his mother was that she had gotten fat. Even then, I knew that was no excuse, and told him so. I told him that the reason his father had cheated on his mother was that his father was a jerk. Didn’t go over well. LOL.

    Another friend of mine had a sister who was going through a divorce. She was scandalized because “no one in our family has ever been divorced’ and then proceeded to list all the reasons why her sister’s marriage had failed: she hadn’t gotten her master’s degree, she had gained weight, she didn’t like to travel, etc.No wonder her husband had left her. I was outraged. And told her so. Her sister’s marriage failed because her husband was a cheater. (This was a very religious friend of mine.)

    Yet when my marriage failed, I blamed myself. All the failings I saw in myself must have led to my husband leaving me and choosing another. I drove him to cheat. It’s definitely the control thing. If I could fix myself I could control the relationship.

    Of course, I know better now.

    I don’t waste a lot of time hating on him or even on the affair partner. They aren’t together, and my energy is better spent on other things. I just focus on making my life what I want it to be. And knowing that I am a valuable, wonderful, loving person.

  • I was always cynical about cheating. “Shit doesn’t happen, ASSHOLES cause it” stuff like that. Until it hit me and after he broke my heart, mind and body I finally showed him the door. Sorry that it took 3 decades to accept it and know that I was the only one in the marriage, he never really existed. It was all my imagination.
    AP are to blame, I don’t cut them slack. Xh loved his fake, double life and I was just a prop in his movie. The one everyone loved and thought was a great guy/ Oh ya, then they saw him blow me up in the divorce from hell. There was no need to do this, our children were successfully raised and on their own (thanks to me). EVERYONE turned on me. It broke me but I know in my heart that it was because NO ONE wanted to be me. hey Shit, I didn’t want to be me either. Its truly f’d up that the faithful partner gets the blame. i agree that its due to the horrendous act of cheating is just too hard to think about happening not only to your friend or family member but mostly to YOU.

    Don’t EVER accept the blame … I never did. 100% Cheaters SUCK! And I can saw now that MEH is my happy life …

  • Great article, Tracy!

    Here are some of the things I have noticed when I speak with female friends who have NOT been cheated on. Here are common themes:

    -“Obviously, the wife did not know how to meet her husband’s needs. We can’t blame men in that situation who go and cheat. Can you imagine the man’s loneliness?”

    -“A man would NEVER cheat on me because I am a great catch and I know how to keep a man happy.”

    What are the two things operating here? Fear and the illusion of control. I don’t know of any woman who wants to be cheated on (fear). So she believes she has control over the situation by tearing the betrayed wife down while in her own mind building herself up. Here is the mindset:

    “A man would never cheat on me because I am better than the wife. Therefore, I am safe in my relationships. I have it figured out while she does not and a man will always be faithful to me because of it.”

    Wrong thinking but it provides the illusion of complete control over others, which brings some people tremendous peace. But, it’s a peace that is dangerous because it’s based in ignorance.

    And I believe it’s fear and the (illusion of) control that drives people to blame chumps.

    This is one of the many reasons and you already mentioned these points in your excellent article.

    The reason I am chiming in is because I have heard those phrases I mentioned from women who should truly know better. So, I am shocked (in my own life) when I hear smart women who are otherwise excellent critical thinkers say these things.

    And no these women have never dated people in relationships. Like me, my female friends in real life have an aversion to men in relationships. I was first married at 30 because my criteria for whom I would date was strict. The first question on my list? Is he casually dating someone (according to him)? If so, the guy would get scratched off the list. I learned early on that casual dating to men often = a relationship from the woman’s perspective. Not interested. It’s a pre-quel to the “pick me dance.”

    Just rambling now.

    Tracy, I really loved the part of your article about the ethics of war and the history of why submarines were not built when they were first invented. Ahh, the interesting topics taught at first-rate British Universities. Sure miss that.

    The French say “all is fair in love and war,” but I have never agreed with that. No matter what we do — if we want to be considered a civilized people— we must have a set of ethics that is understood and enforced by the general population. There will always be “rogues” and “cads” but they will be the outliers. (Pun intended).

    Thanks for your wonderful writing and your wonderful art. I was showing my husband your website the other day and telling him I admired your art style and witticism. He agreed. Your art is terrific and perfect for the topic at hand.

    Sarah

  • “Even though we could build such a contraption. For baby guillotines to take off with any great success, first we’d have to agree as a society that it’s okay to guillotine babies.”

    A very Modest Proposal!

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