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Science Vindicates ‘Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life’

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what-my-ex-cheated-on-you-after-he-cheated-on-me-with-you-im-shocked--0dceeSo here’s some good news — a new study came out vindicating chumps everywhere.

Psychologists asked over 5,000 women chumps about their relationship break-ups. Turns out the chumps fixed their pickers, learned from the experience, and had better future relationships. They also experienced more personal growth outside their relationships.

And karma bonus — the Other Woman who “won” the cheater?  They turn out to be the losers.

The study, led by Dr Craig Morris, an evolutionary biologist at Binghamton University in New York in conjunction with University College London, explored the experience of 5,705 women in 96 countries — and is the largest study ever on relationship dissolution.

Our thesis is that the woman who “loses” her mate to another woman will go through a period of post-relationship grief and betrayal, but come out of the experience with higher mating intelligence that allows her to better detect cues in future mates that may indicate low mate value.

‘Hence, in the long-term, she “wins”. The “other woman”, conversely, is now in a relationship with a partner who has a demonstrated history of deception and, likely, infidelity.

‘Thus, in the long-term, she “loses”.’

The study, published in the Oxford Handbook of Women and Competition, also explored the dynamics of the pick-me dance and concluded that it sucked.

‘Typically psychological and relational in nature, this competition may be no less damaging than physical violence more commonly used between males.”

In short, “winning” cheaters leads to crappy outcomes. (Have at it, Becky!) Gaining a life without cheaters leads to greater wisdom, happiness, and relationship success.

Thank you, Science!

Rerunning this column, because hey RIC — where’s YOUR science? And also I was up late last night recording a podcast — interviewing Mr. CL on all his How to Survive Court tips (he’s a trial lawyer). How to be deposed, what to wear (no flip flops!), how to keep your cool, why that matters, what NOT to do… and it was all professionally recorded at Arlington Independent Media, which if you live in the D.C. area, you should totally check out. The podcast is going up on the Patreon site as soon as the editing is done by the sound magicians there at AIM. Yea!

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “‘Hence, in the long-term, she “wins”. The “other woman”, conversely, is now in a relationship with a partner who has a demonstrated history of deception and, likely, infidelity.

    ‘Thus, in the long-term, she “loses”.’

    Hahahahaha!

    Take that, Esther Perel!

    • ONE SENTENCE
      From THE STACK of books I bought on Amazon
      (Yes, ME, the chump, bought the books)
      From “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass
      (one of the World’s Leading Experts on Infidelity who will provide Eye Opening Quizzes and Profound Practical Guidance so you can prevent infidelity and ensure a secure marriage!)
      In the chapter TO THE AFFAIR PARTNER
      (aka “cheating accomplice”)
      “A man with a history of infidelity IS A POOR
      CHOICE FOR A LIFE PARTNER.”
      SO WHY AM I BUYING YOUR BOOK AND TRYING TO REPAIR MY MARRIAGE TO A MAN WHO HAS A HISTORY OF INFIDELITY?

      I spent $100,000.00 on Amazon chump books and was able to glean one valuable sentence out of all of them. I wish I had found Tracy first.

      • “SO WHY AM I BUYING YOUR BOOK AND TRYING TO REPAIR MY MARRIAGE TO A MAN WHO HAS A HISTORY OF INFIDELITY?”

        RIC or “marriages must be saved at all costs because it is a sacred institution – and it’s all on you!”

        Nuts to that!

      • Yeah, I got that book. I’ve actually got some respect for Shirley, in that she’s one of the few (only?!) RIC authors who actually says infidelity is down to the cheater’s entitlement issues. The section on how a cheater’s mind works was fairly informative too. But yeah… after that, you might as well skip straight to the end chapter called “Healing Alone” (i.e. you ain’t reconciling, so here’s how to get your life back). In fact, she should put out a digested version. It’d save us chumps a lot of time, both reading and getting our lives back.

        • Yeah, but would you buy her book in those early stages when all you want is “save the marriage”?
          It takes some time, some guidance and wisdom to reach That final conclusion.

    • Seriously! I have tried to watch Ester’s TED talk a few times because so many people say “it’s sooooooo good”…I honestly want to throw my computer across the room with her romanticizing of infidelity. I hate it! And because I love my computer and don’t want to destroy it, I turn her off mid-talk. What a mind-fuck of a message she gives.

      • Amen! Plus, she’s unbearably smug and seems way too high on herself and her supposed “expertise”. IMO, she’s just another self-help con artist like that awful “Mars and Venus” clown.

    • Dr. Phil suggests that not even 1 in 100 relationships began from infidelity work out. And really, I wonder how well that less than 1% is working behind closed doors…

      Psychologist James Dobson suggests that appeasement (and what is the pick me dance?) is rarely successful in relationships.

      Who knew there were psychologists who actually talked some sense?

  • “mate value”. That made me cringe. Because regretting that I gave my sons such an incompetent asshole for a father keeps me stumbling along The Path to Meh

    • I know what you mean. I can divorce him, go VLC, go on to build a life with him in the fringes…but my beautiful boys…this is the only bio-dad they will ever have. Despite trying for exactly the opposite, I picked a crappy one. Kicking my past self, but also moving forward with the mindset that they only need one sane parent who teaches them boundaries, self-worth, how to ubt manipulation, and all those things that will help them in all their interpersonal relationships in life. Their father is a learning opportunity for us all!

      • Yes! Same here! I thought he would be a great Dad – then. But in fact, it was all image projection. Now that I have been educated in the ways of the manipulative narcissist, it’s really hard to support the relationship between him and my daughters. They deserve a father, such as he is. So I stand on the outside looking in. Ugh!

      • biodads are over rated. as long as your child has a healthy male role model bio dad means nothing. my children have my wonderful dad. the first born never saw her bio dad and never missed him either. child 2 and 3 only had bio dad for a little while, he was gone before they were 3 and 1 so they also did not miss him. child 4 and 5 had bio dad for years, until they were 8 and 12. he was actually pretty active in their lives, attentive and everything. (when he was home) i thought he was a good daddy (not great but good). my other 3 kids considered him as dad also.

        when he left for the neighborhood party girl meth head, he ghosted all the kids. he doesnt even talk to any of them. his bio 2 or the other 2 (my oldest past away 2 years before i divorced him). it really bothered the youngest at the time since he was bio dads favorite. but now 4 years later (and some counseling for both boys) they are doing fine. bio dad pops up at least once a year, usually when he and the troll break up. then he gets back with her and ghosts the kids again. his thing does NOT want him to be around his kids, she is jealous of the attention he gives them plus she is really worried that he and i will “hook up” during one of his visitations. so she does not want him talking or even looking at me. she does not want him texting me or emailing me or even facebook messaging me. she wants all communication to go thru her which i refuse to talk or text her so you know how well that goes.

        anyhow, no bio dads in my kids life but they have my great dad and my brother-in-law and my grown nephews. .. . my children are healthy, happy, secure and stable.

      • Excellent point…thank you. I too did not realize my “husband”, whom I thought I So carefully vetted, would be part of the lesson on What Not To Do….😔

        • Velvet, my beautiful, funny, intelligent, kind 17 year old son is already telling me he can’t wait to be a Dad, and tells me what kind of Dad he’ll be. He has learned perfectly What Not To Do! I can only hope I’ve modelled a good wife for him, but the opportunities we’ve had to talk about how to conduct a relationship have been invaluable. At least our family nuclear strike has had that result!

          • My daughter told me last night that God, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and all others in that ilk are sitting at a table discussing something wonderful to do for me. She said she doesn’t want anything to happen to me because she can’t live with a cheater dad…fingers crossed here I get your result too! ❤️

    • I completely relate to your feelings of regret ClearWaters at having not chosen a better father. I know it’s wasted energy to regret such a thing. My STBX gave every indication of being a decent man, and I would like to think that he was and still can be again one day. There isn’t a single person that isn’t shocked by his behaviour of the last couple of years (Hence the belief that this is a midlife crisis – maybe it is, but what does it matter now?).

      My heart goes out to so many here that describe horrific parenting stories. I feel lucky that at least my STBXH still fulfills his responsibility to the kids. He loves them, even though he’s a lazier dad than he used to be – lots of tv watching and video games. He does what he needs to do. He doesn’t have a lot of money and does very little with them out, as he needs money for dates with the OW. That’s shitty that he will spend money on her but the most the kids get is slurpies at the corner store. The kids are too young to know any different.

      My ex’s father was a very emotionally distant father. A professor who was always too busy for the kids writing his books and articles. My ex used to say that the only thing that his father knows to converse with him about is sports, never any other topic. In 15 years of my experience with my in-laws, I can confirm this to be true. An avid baseball fan, yet my father-in-law never tossed a ball with his sons. Now my STBXH is an avid baseball fan who can spew stats and once ran an official team blog, yet he has never signed up his own kids to play baseball, nor did he coach baseball when I signed them up. I am the one that tosses a ball and bats with them in the yard.

      Will history repeat itself? Probably not to the same degree, but I think it’s very likely that my kids will have a father who, albeit well-intentioned, will always struggle to show his emotional connection to them. I don’t know what’s to happen when he decides to introduce this woman into their lives and his attention gets divided. Or, the fact that she has three kids that she’s fighting to get custody back after she lost it. Three other kids in the mix and where will that leave mine? If he couldn’t handle the responsibility that came with being married with me, and parenting and home ownership, how will he fare with five kids and a weak, submissive woman? I guess it could be a lot worse.

  • “Low mate value”

    I love that phrase! Im going to work it into my personal vernacular!

    “Your love-bombing is tempting, but it’s overwhelmed by my detection of your low mate value…move along sir! “

  • I wonder though, how many of us were ‘losers’ but didn’t know it? Looking back at the X’s behavior and past remarks, I’m not sure that I wasn’t a OW but didn’t know it. Granted I had him for 19 years, I still wonder.

    I don’t view myself as a winner (not a competitive person) but I was divorced with my head held high. My morals and integrity were not compromised, and that’s what matters to me.

    • Same here for me. I moved out and moved on. She has my sparkly turd and I have my freedom and happiness. I have noticed that my radar picker is on high alert as the men that put their “wonderfulness” before me have nothing to offer. Most of them are married!! I am loving life!!

      • OW might be too strong a term but I do suspect that the X doesn’t like to be alone. He found an exit affair before he made the decision to leave me. After we had been dating quite awhile, he made the comment that he had moved apartments so no one would know where he lived. It’s just a hunch. He was divorced 4 years before we started dating so I at least know he wasn’t married at the time.

        • Dr. Crazy had been divorced for a few years. That I knew. What he didn’t tell me was that he was still engaged to yet another woman when we met on match.com. Fast forward 2 years and a couple of months before I kicked him out he started another relationship. (That woman filed battery charges against him after a year.)

    • @MissBaily: I found out long after the fact that my Low Value Mate hadn’t actually told his former gf that he’d broken up with her when he started out with me. He’s apparently very skilled at overlapping, but having the overlappees in different cities/countries. So, I was unwittingly the loser OW at the beginning and then unwittingly the loser Chump at the end. The Chumpy Circle of Life. Yay!

      • Looking back on my cheating ex-wife’s past. She over lapped relationships, or at least the ones I am aware of. I would suspect this is a common trait of cheaters.

        • Yes, I don’t know if my ex “overlapped” relationships before marriage, since he claimed they dumped him. But, if he didn’t secretly have a girlfriend when he got dumped, he’d be looking for the next girlfriend the second he got dumped. It’s a fear of ever being alone for even 5 seconds. I now find self sufficiency and the ability to be single for a little while in between relationships attractive.

      • same MO here – we went on a date, well one a day for a week, cause love-bombing, and he told me he loved me, i was “the one”, then went and broke up with previous girlfriend that i knew nothing about. He left me using the same pattern.

      • Mine told me (after 23 years and dday) that he was disappointed in himself because he has never been faithful Ina relationship, he thought that when he met me (nearly 25 years ago) he could change, he was in a relationship, I didn’t know for years that I was an overlap at the beginning of our relationship. When I replied “well try harder in your next relationship then” he looked hurt and said he didn’t ever want to be with anyone else but me after his “mistake” that had transpired because he didn’t think he cared about me anymore (I didn’t get that memo.)Strange that, since he was happy to be with the ow at the same time as me, apparently that the time with her made him realise how much he loved me!! Amazing how putting his penis in another woman made him come to that decision, more amazing he went back more than once just to be sure! Asshole.

    • Great section on “Transitional Targets” in the book Psychopath Free… the book is phenomenal. One of many resources I found when first googling “my husband is a pathological lying bisexual cheating whore”.

      They cannot be alone. Ever.

      • I’ve been reading on this site. I get so confused. There are times that I firmly believe that the X is disordered and then he says just enough to make me think that I’m not seeing it his way and maybe have it/him all wrong. Maybe the marriage was really that bad and the cheating wasn’t that big a deal? I mean the marriage was bad, soooo. See, I get confused and I don’t want to believe that I knowingly let a bad person be part of my life for 19 years. I’m not sure that my picker was broke as much as I just didn’t the experience to know any better.

        I’ve gone as far as asking my cousin for opinions on matter because I get to the point where I’m not sure anymore which end is up. But, the more I know, the more I tell myself that it was really was him. We were doomed from the beginning – I just didn’t it.

        • As CL always says, Miss Bailey: 1) you were in the same marriage and you didn’t cheat; 2) the cheating wasn’t that big a deal for whom? (I’m sure it was a really big deal for you); 3) you didn’t “knowingly” let him be a part of your life, because you fell in love with his mask, not his real self; 4) of course you get confused; please go the Archives and read everything you can about gaslighting, projection, minimization, blameshifting, word salad, etc. Big hug!

        • 1) get married
          2) honestly communicate/express feelings/work together to resolve inevitable conflicts of sharing life with a partner
          3) each work on individual issues
          4) get competent outside help for stuff you can’t resolve on your own
          5) if all that doesn’t work, discuss/decide on ending marriage legally
          6) start seeing other people AFTER marriage is ended legally.

          Miss Bailey, if it he didn’t do that with you, it was him.

          Here’s the cheater version:

          1) get married
          2) When inevitable conflict of sharing life with a partner arises, lie, ignore, avoid, neglect, blame, and cheat (if you haven’t started already). Be sure to act as if everything is fine. Truth and integrity is to be avoided at all costs.
          3) Point out what’s wrong with your partner. If your issues are called out, refer to what’s wrong with your partner. Repeat.
          4) If you end up in a counselor’s office, lie or say “I don’t know.” Your presence alone usually does the trick.
          5) Decide unilaterally, without alerting your partner, that the marriage is over.
          Avoid initiating divorce proceedings if you are still benefitting from the arrangement. Do not end the marriage legally until you can confidentally move on to a new host.

        • Big Hugs Miss Bailey XXX

          Don’t be confused. Your partner CHEATED. It doesn’t matter how ‘bad’ the marriage was, he CHEATED. And I’m pretty sure A. the marriage wasn’t that bad and he got bored so he CHEATED or B. it was a normal human marriage and the cheater couldn’t deal with that so he CHEATED.

          Did YOU cheat? No! So it wasn’t your fault. Your picker wasn’t broken. You didn’t have this experience behind you. It sure isn’t broken now!

          Lotsoflove XXX

          • Miss Bailey, it’s true, you were in the same marriage and you didn’t cheat. You are a real / caring/ honest person. Run, do not walk towards the exit from your marriage. My soon to be X cheated on me with a woman 25 years ago — I danced the pick-me dance, supported him emotionally and financially and he’s now leaving me again for the same woman…..and he’s leaving his 14 year old son too!

            Don’t let his mind fuckarry confuse you, go no contact or Greg rock.

            It’s been six weeks after my D day and I’m not through it all y t, but I don’t cry all day. It does get better.

            Just Take the nearest exit!

            • Also — if you can buy Leave a Cheater again a Life! I listen to it in the car when I drive back and forth to work…on my 3rd time through. Both it and this site have helped me begin to heal and make fewer mistakes. I have a long way to go – folks here that are further along give me faith I can do this!

        • Be gentle with yourself Miss Bailey. We can’t live what we never learn and we can’t learn what we’re never taught. Most of us were never taught about sociopaths and psychopaths and how 10% of the population is mentally unhealthy. We’re not taught how to spot the disordered and confidently NOT choose them. Insteadwere told to give everyone and chance and be nice to them. And if we’re a high empath and/or had an addicted or abusive parent these folks zone right in on us and we’re easy pickings.

          My friend sent me the book “The Five Kinds of People Who Can Ruin Your Life” by Bill Eddy. I could identify both my husbands in the chapters about narcissists and sociopaths. Basically, I married my father minus the alcoholism.

          • Same, Geode. If I had only majored in psychology in college 40 years ago I would have had a much, much easier life. Word.

            • My major in 1982 was psychology….first thing I learned was
              1) you can’t fix yourself
              2) you can’t fix your family

              So I dropped out and got help! 😀

            • My ex’s skank has a master’s in psychology and is a family counselor. She was married for 35 years to her husband. I was married for 30 years to mine. You would have thought that she wouldn’t have waited in the background screwing my husband for 11 years before getting dumped. (First try for divorce I forgave him on condition he never see her again.) Well, the “family counselor” was waiting in the wings for his return and 4 years later I divorced him. Now she’s married to him. I don’t think a psychology degree would help.

    • I have been wondering if I was the OW too. I also love the line low mate value too.

      This blog made me smile. I won the authentic life and he won the lie. 😈

    • I’m trying to not see it as being a winner or loser. I prefer to see it is having dignity or not having dignity. Can I say that I have walked away from this with my dignity (my value)? At first, no, because I was judging my value by the fact that I was rejected by my husband and so there must be something wrong with me.

      Chump Lady provides us a new worldview that devalues the message that we are at fault for the sins of our life mates. It is empowering to shift the blame squarely back to where it belongs, to the cheater.
      Yes, my husband left me. Yes, my husband went to be with a woman with whom he had engaged in a relationship outside of our marriage for about 17 months. THE END. I had nothing to do with this. I was impacted traumatically for it, but I did not cause it.

      I have walked away with my dignity. I don’t really regret the “pick-me” dance, although I wish it hadn’t happened. It proved to me and to others that I am a loyal person. I value marriage and commitment. I am capable of demonstrating huge feats of patience, courage and forgiveness. I am a moral person. I am an amazing mom, who has held it all together these last 10 months. I have possession of my home. I get the job done. My job performance has not suffered. I have the support of a tremendous network of family and friends (including my in-laws) who all have tremendous respect for me. There isn’t a single neighbour around me that hasn’t reminded me that I can call on them if I ever need anything.

      Did I win? Well, I certainly didn’t lose.

      • OptionNoMore, you summed it up perfectly here. Dignity is the key. I think when I saw him obsessing over someone 18 years his junior, plus refusing me, his 25 year married wife, sexual contact because it was more comfortable for him to get rid of his blue balls by jerking off with porn, that’s when his dignity just vanished in my eyes and I stopped respecting him as a man, a father and a partner. I can’t love a man who doesn’t value his own dignity.

    • I was an OW but did not know it, and I bet there are more of us that were that didn’t know. After filing for divorce from our 19 year marriage, I found out that he had started our relationship by cheating on his current girlfriend! He immediately went through two more partners, but has since settled back with the first that he cheated on me with, even though he had cheated on her already with another. I seriously wonder at cheaters non-ability to be alone at all ever. What a winner this poor girl left her husband for!

      • Oooh yes! I was the OW and didnt know bc a-hole was separated from her for a year (cheated on her their entire 28 year marriage) and living with a relative. I found out after marriage stbx 53, Im 37 that he lies about everything…his kids, exes, finances, clothes, the sky…anything. He dated 2 women before me and they didnt care, but he lied to me and his family like he was divorced. Our first Christmas, his 21 year old daughter was with his family and I, but didnt say a word. He stays private, so people cant put dates together in their head.

        Now, Ive told this new woman (57)about his life and our marriage plus how he is giving me a hassle for the “not filed” divorce. She doesnt care and flaunts around town with him bc techmically we are married, but “not together”, he spends lots of time with her, and he lives with brother not ME. Crazy wench. She thinks she has a prize, but he is a damaged, self-serving, passive aggressive, arrogant dummy.

        Theyve been dating since June 2018, but he still calls and bothers me plus said—its not a crime to NOT divorce you. Crazy! He lied about wanting a kid and didng inform me he had ED. Told me we were waiting for marriage for sex. Bullshit! 6 months into marriage I slipped into depression and wondered why me??

        57OW has the nerve to pass by my house when she cant find him or doesnt respond to her calls/texts. Fool…this is who he is?!?

        When did OW start looking for their boyfriends at the wife’s home???

        Please help me with all the fuckeriness!!!!

      • @barely_a_wake This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Since these Low Value Partners can’t ever be alone, it wouldn’t be surprising if many chumps were unwitting OW/OM in the early stages of their relationships but just never found out. It’s infuriating!

  • Science for the win! Thank you science for finally tackling “once a cheater always a cheater”… some stereotypes do have a basis in reality.

    “Our thesis is that the woman who “loses” her mate to another woman will go through a period of post-relationship grief and betrayal, but come out of the experience with higher mating intelligence that allows her to better detect cues in future mates that may indicate low mate value”

    … hmmm I don’t see anything in there about being a better cook, better lay, less of this more of that. What I see is a clear statement about the characteristics of the mate! Seems science didn’t generalize cheating as being the about the relationship or chumpy flaws! Go science!

    Have I come out with higher mating intelligence? I think I did!

    1. My golden rule …. reciprocity! You can’t love someone into loving you back.
    2. A sharp DARVO detector
    3. I know my worth
    4. Be wary of prince/princess charming and the image of perfection… ie impression management.
    5. Have a growth mindset (after the initial shock wears off). What can I learn from this experience and how can I use that knowledge to benefit others.

    • The OW/exit affair/whatever posted on FB (yes, I made a fake accout and peaked. I’ve have long since deleted, no more pain shopping for me) “Her prince, he stole my heart”. That’s not the only thing that was stolen. Looking back, he was a master at lovebombing and convinced me that he loved me which made me feel safe to love him back. I can see the same behaviors written all over this one. The two things that strike me as funny as he said quite often that he liked women “a little on the trashy side” and she’s a loud, proud woman. And, he would say, lower your standards, increase your odds.

      I do know that he didn’t lower his standards with me. He was damn lucky to have me at all.

      • I can clearly see my stbx dating patterns…same pick up lines, same dates, same music, same fucked up stories like he is a damn golden victim/martyr. Its sickening! He will leave a trail with the same damn damage, too!

        Love the line….No MORE pain shopping! I have to write that down. Damn its good.

  • Science, i love you!
    Cheaters and huge, gigantic owhores…enjoy your evolutionary disadvantage,together, as it should be. Assholes

  • Hi, when you find out your partner?husband cheated, its a slow death, them cheating, you will probably unfortunately get blamed, you wont trust them, and if they loved you they wouldn’t have done it in the first place. The money and time they spent on ow they should have spent on you, and the kids. live life for yourself and your kids, dam the bastards they make their shit they can wallow in it. I know a ow, she was actually proud of apparently having all the men in the crack den, said “I’ve had all the men, quite a lot”, on front of her grandson, the next day she was laughing about it, she must be disturbed actually.

  • Thanks for the good news. I absolutely cringe at those articles about “how my husband’s affair made our marriage stronger.” 🤮. People who minimize the impact of an affair cannot fully grasp the nightmare. We all need more encouragement to scrape these losers off our shoe and move on.

  • When I was abandoned by e-mail after 28 years I had a profound realization that the asshat was “a completely inadequate husband.” I told him so. He was shocked.

    It was more than the cheating, it was it failure to show up for difficult life events from his parents’ deaths to taking care of pets and the home. He did what he wanted and I made it possible for him to do what he wanted. Plus I took care of everything else. He treated me horribly and was a competitive prick, he could hate me for my income or something as dumb as having gold status at the airline (“oh, you have goooooolllllddddd status!” snarks the petulant asshat). Abusive covert narc.

    Still, he stuck to the script that it was all my fault and I was a horrible person and just so judgmental and controlling and he never loved me, we all know the script.

    So he has to live with that. He can find another host who may or may not put up with the incredible bullshit but he will not change. I get to do me and will choose better based on this hard education.

    • Replying to myself- I just went to Maui with my adult daughters. Nice flight attendant got to my row with snacks and thanked me by name for my gold status (I travel a lot for work). No big deal, it is what they do. I just triggered myself with a bad feeling in my own writing above, imagining the same exchange happening if I had been on a trip to Maui with the asshat. He would have put me down and done his snarky sing-song after the attendant passed, making me feel dumb and embarrassed.

      He displayed his constant jealousy of me for these things all the time. I won a Starbucks-labeled coffee cup at work 20 years ago. He was mad about it. I beat him at a game of Stratego once; he freaked out. The first job I got after college made him furious (“you just get whatever you want, don’t you!”) because I didn’t struggle with unemployment after graduation–I went back to school 10 years after high school, engineering, and did well. Got a job right away and he was PISSED even though all of the income was for our household benefit, not me. By the time he poofed on me I made 30% more than him and just got a huge bonus that I couldn’t even tell him about, I just added it to the community stack. He hated that I was smart about things and was constantly jealous of me. In response I made myself small and quiet in order to keep him calm and avoid poking him into rage. I boiled like the proverbial frog for 3 decades.

      So many other examples of what I lived with every day. He never appreciated what he had. He chose a Schmoopie half his age and not so smart, reminding me that they don’t leave us for our betters, they leave us for their equals. But she will not enjoy life as she has achievements and can’t tell him about them.

      • You were smart enough to pick a career that has demand (engineering). Obviously he wasn’t that smart. Schmoopie probably doesn’t have any accomplishments because she is a loser. That’s why he likes her so much.

        • Actually, he is an engineer too. I think that makes it worse in that he was very accomplished and did exciting foreign work. See, he needs his appliances to be MUCH lesser beings. He got a 10 year head start on me but I moved into executive leadership while the passive aggressive little piggy boy always stopped short of the top spot so I out-earned him in the end. He simply hated me for my talents. I would think there is a decent guy out there who would fall over himself to be happy with my type of gal but there seem to be too many that lead with their ego and just want a damsel in distress. So I will be alone and won’t settle.

          • Now I.C. Thanks for this thread. That Maui story got me thinking. I had so much of this nonsense from my ex as well. I was accused of thinking I was smarter and therefore better than everyone because I had a master’s degree. Well I didn’t think that but I stopped ever mentioning it or that I had attended grad school because of the comments. I spent a lot of time wondering if I was arrogant without realizing it. But the confusing part of all of it was that he had encouraged me to get the master’s and was supportive the whole time I was working on it. But later it became something he resented. Jerk.
            I contemplated a PhD program but he said he would never support me using the title Dr. because he never wanted to be Mr. & Dr. – especially since I wouldn’t be a “real” Dr. if I only had a PhD and not an MD.
            Never again will I make myself small to make someone else uncomfortable.

            • Ex was like that too. I used to get “it’s all right for you, you’re lucky because XYZ”. Strange thing though, the harder I worked the luckier I got. What used to piss me off the most oddly enough was “it’s all right for you, you speak fluent French”. He lived in France for 30 years, had free lessons provided by his employer to be taken during work time and went to maybe 5 lessons. So if he ended up speaking French “like a Spanish cow” (as they say here), was that really my fault?

        • The X and his daughter are both super competitive. This has been at least 10 years, we were playing UNO with the kids. The X got so mad from gotten one too many Wild cards that he threw his cards on the table and left. The kids were probably 12 and 10. I would often hold back cards as not to anger him. All over a freaking game of UNO or Phase 10!!! He would get mad at the slightest hint that he was losing and gloat like an SOB when he won. But, he never said “good game” to the ones that won.

          I don’t miss that one bit.

      • LOL… you nailed this one… Mr. Sparkles loved to beat me at Scrabble because I had a bachelors degree in English (he did not go to college). After announcing his loved that could not be denied with the OW, he couldn’t refrain from telling me that he now was beating her at Scrabble and she had a MASTERS in English. I literally had no response because it reminded me of something my 12yo would say.

        How sad that their lives are measured by competition versus an intrinsic sense of self worth from knowing you are a good person.

      • Back when XW and I were first dating we were playing Stratego. She told me “If you love me you won’t attack me from Kamchatka”. I didn’t comply; she was angry for the next 12 hours and wouldn’t play a competitive game with me for the next 20 years. I’m sure the incident is still alive in her list of grievances against me – the list that AP-cum-fiancé is in the process of building for himself. I give him 5 years.

      • Wow, Now I.C., your post really gave me a jolt. If I didn’t know better, I would think we were married to the same man for nearly 30 years. I also beat him once in a game of Stratego, and he refused to ever play a game with me again. He went fishing once with a friend’s husband, and the other guy caught more fish—he refused to ever go fishing again. His childhood and adolescence consisted of trying out for every sport and then quitting, because others were better than him. Yep, petulant losers.

        • Amen Harlequin!! So many amen’s!!
          Besides they (narcs) also “pick the best” so in essence they picked “the best” because WE ARE THE BEST! They try to improve themselves thru osmosis!! 🙂

      • Yes! My stbx is tryinh to go to my job headquarters with lies about me. Hes 53, me 37 and I made more income and higher education. He is trying to isolate me from work, my own family, his family, and anyone else. He constantly calls the cops for anything to tattle like a baby bc he wants to see me suffer, fail, go downhill due to his insecurities.

        He says, “You have it all together, but some people dont.” Some of us just have it hard and its unfair. Crybaby shit. Nah dude…your life is like that bc of the fruit you have planted in others’ lives. Trail of victims…. always the damn victim/martyr! Disgusting!!!!

    • “It was more than the cheating, it was it failure to show up for difficult life events…” Exactly. Realizing that I had already faced life’s difficult moments on my own WHILE I WAS MARRIED was one of the things that sped me along the path of healing towards Meh. Someone who can’t access genuine emotions and has no empathy can’t help you when you need emotional support. I already knew I was on my own when facing crisis so why stay with a partner who couldn’t be trusted and who stole from our family?

      • I had the opposite. He is the one who lost family members and his best friend. I tried to be there for him but I didn’t know what he needed because he refused to accept the comfort I tried to provde. Evidently, I was supposed to ask the right questions to get him talking about it and I failed to do so. I haven’t experienced those kinds of losses yet (just grandparents so far) so I had very little experience to draw on to know how to help him grieve. It wasn’t for lack of caring. Honestly, I thought he didn’t care at the time because he was being so closed with his emotions. I was disturbed by that but figured maybe he just preferred to grieve in private. After DDay I was accused of being emotionally unavailable because I hadn’t done more to get him trough those difficult times. That statement made me feel totally inadequate because there was some truth in it. It wasn’t for lack of tryin or lack of caring on my part, however. I was available, but I failed to chase him down and force him to accept my comfort.

        • There is a part of me that feels the same as you. I failed to comfort my Ex after the death of his father. His dad died in the middle of us finding out he had stolen his son’s identity and defaulted on $20,000 debt. Add that me ex is also very closed with his emotions…and well we just moved on. I’m sure I offered a little comfort but like you, it was rejected.

          I can’t blame myself any more that you can blame yourself. You can’t force comfort on a person. You tried and he refused to accept it. How is that on you?

          My ex also blamed me for not attending his brother’s wedding. My cousin got married on the same day so I thought splitting events was the fair thing to do. In hindsight I probably should have gone to his brother’s wedding, but I was so caught up in being fair. But all it would have taken is him saying that it upset him. He had months to voice his opinion but he didn’t. How unfair to blame something on a person and hold a grudge for years without giving them a change to correct it or even make up for it.

          Just another example of how emotionally manipulative these people are.

          • I’m sorry, but why “should” you have gone to his brother’s wedding rather than your cousin’s? Why was his family more important than yours? I guess it was just another case you not making him more important than you by picking your family over his. We failed to give up our sense of self to satisfy their need for centrality.

          • Exhole didn’t go to my brother’s wedding with me and the kids because it was morel mushroom hunting season…..Not sure what my brother was thinking planning a wedding during a week-long hunting season.

        • Chumpinrecovery, please keep in mind that your ex may have felt VERY LITTLE after his losses, as these people don’t attach and care as others do. His comments about your ‘lack of support’ were probably just a button he knew he could push to make you feel bad.

          And ADULTS have the responsibility, if they need certain things as support and their partner hasn’t offered them, to ASK, to TELL the partner what they need or what could help. My ex is the KING of being pissed that people don’t guess what he wants, even before he knows it himself, often. They are toddlers who want an all-seeing, all-providing mother, then resent that mother (goes for either gender, btw).

          • In regards to Passive/Aggressive thought processes:
            “Be a mind reader and have very low expectations.”

            I’m good. I’m gonna grab my kids and take my 44 year old ass home. Idiot.

          • My ex once told me “I wanted sex earlier”. I asked him why he didn’t tell me earlier. He said “You were busy.” (Forgive me for doing something other than sitting there looking bored constantly). But then of course he didn’t feel like it anymore… And really, it’s not like I wasn’t saying yes… he should have told me but wanted to be pissy instead.

    • “It was more than the cheating, it was it failure to show up for difficult life events”

      That’s how I feel exactly. In fact, it wasn’t even the cheating that bothers me to this day. It’s that he left me during cancer. And that is just one example of him not showing up for life events.

      *  I fell while pregnant. Spent 3 hours in the hospital alone being monitored while he sat at home.

      * I was terrified that when I went into labor I would not be able to reach him because that was a frequent
      occurrence

      * His family opened a credit card in his name which resulted in a collection agency harassing MY family. His dad then had a heart attack and died. The financial situation was resolved but everyone was expected to sweep that under the rug and never speak of it again. My ex even thought of his dad as sacrificing himself to fix the situation (that he created). Oh and then he gave his mom $2000 to help with things instead of paying our hospital bill for the birth of our daughter.

      * I lost my job shortly after the wedding. Did he comfort me? Nope. In fact 8 years later he listed that as one of the many bad things that happened during our marriage that made it too hard to continue.

      * Our daughter broke her collar bone. I took her to urgent care. He texted me for updates while he sat at home.

      I could go on and on but it all points to that he was never there for difficult life events. And even if he was physically there, it wasn’t emotionally. Part of that blame is on myself. I put up with it.

    • As is repeated many times on CN, “He does the funning and we do the adulting”. My ex, accused me of being jealous of him. I told him to look up the definition of the word. For many years, he hated when I got work bonuses. He told people that when I went back to work “his standard of living went down”. I had a state law passed a month prior to Dday (it took eight years), when I emailed the news, he did not respond!

      It seems that these men want all the power but none of the responsibility.

  • In one of countless attempts to appropriately problem-solve about financial stuff, I told him I was angry, that his control issues around the money were getting in the way of me wanting to be intimate with him, that I wanted some outside help with a financial advisor/therapist crafting a democratic system of money management where we would have equal executive power.

    His irritated reply? “So I’m supposed to pay you to have sex with me?”

    Very telling. But that’s ok….I’ll let the state spell it out for him now. AND I walk away holding the higher mate value! Bonus!

  • Hurrah for science!

    I offer some statistics to the study as well:

    – Mr. Sparkles cheated on first wife (I learned much later)
    – Mr. Sparkles cheated on me with his first wife (I learned much later)
    – Mr. Sparkles cheated on me throughout our relationship: Craigslist; Adult Friend Finder; and many other sketchy/shady sites
    – Mr. Sparkles cheated on the OW while we were divorcing (she subsequently dumped him – insert The Rock singing “You’re Welcome” from Moana here)
    – Mr. Sparkles is CURRENTLY cheating on his new GF with whom he just co-signed a $310K mortgage

    They do not change.

    The next victim, OW or otherwise, doesn’t win anything but a sparkly turd.

    Trust that he/she sucks. Science measures patterns… for a reason.

    • “Mr. Sparkles cheated on me throughout our relationship: Craigslist; Adult Friend Finder; and many other sketchy/shady sites”

      Same! It’s sad that I can name at least a dozen sex hook-up sites that I’m sure other people don’t even know exist. Not all the knowledge you gain from gaining a life is useful. 🤮

      • I am no match for all the available cheating technology for sure. There is no way anyone could ever keep tabs on all of it and WHY WOULD I WANT TO?

        I do not want to be a marriage police officer.

        • i was no match for all the desperate, immoral, stuck in high school attitudes, over 35, crackhead, alcoholics that drank (and who knows what else) with wasband who thought that i was not treating him right and that they could do better.

          let’s just forget the fact that they bailed on their own husbands and abandoned their own children, or that they had no job, no house, no car, no life. or that they have never kept a job, house, car or boyfriend/husband for over 5 years and their own children hate them/being raised by someone else. forget the fact that they barely own the clothes on their backs and their life goals is getting their next hit or beer or party.

          he apparently thought the neighborhood party girl methhead was meant to be when he reconnected with her at his cousins party. not his wife who has supported him for the past 15 years. nope he met this troll a few times before he met me (she was and still is married) so when he was lucky to met up with her again .. .. he thought it was a sign that they were meant to be.. SERIOUSLY!!! that is what he told a friend of mine (only he did not know she was a friend of mine).. .. forget the fact that he and i were still married, apparently we had drifted apart and fell out of love. news to me.

          and since this was not the first time i caught him red handed cheating on me, i let him go and divorced him. it was the hardest thing i ever had to do but like i said, i am no match for all the avaiable cheating women who threw themselves at wasband. poor widdle sad sausage just could not tell them no. besides our marriage was already over anyways.. .. yep, as soon as he started entertaining crackheads our marriage was over, i just was never told. thank you.

          they dont leave for better, they leave for someone who will put up with their bad behavior. apparently the troll also had a bad childhood alcoholic mother/father just like him. she “understands” him not like me.. .. haha

          they still have drama, she is super worried who he is sleeping with, they break up off and on at least once a year, and are extremely toxic. i have peace. i laugh with my children and grand children. my bills are paid, my truck is running well. i have a good job and a good house to live in. i have food to eat and clean clothes to wear. i do not have to sleep in the back of a van, or on my sisters couch/floor. i do not have to chase wasband around, begging him to come home, trying to convince him that i loved/needed/wanted him. or that i was good for HIM… .. my grandchildren hug me, my children talk to me.

          and life is good on the other side. she is welcome to the toxic life and break up and wondering and stressing if he loves her.

      • Amen Got-A-Brain… there is a whole underbelly of the world with dating sites, fetish sites, porn sites, you name it… that I would have never known about if not for my spyware.

        That is another reason why coming here is so important to validate our experiences. Most, if not all, of my friends/family members have no idea what Ashley Madison or Adult Friend Finder are (let alone the seedier ones) and can’t understand what it means to find your spouse’s ad on them “looking for what’s missing”… “BiMWM seeking couples”… ugh.

        I suppose I should add to my statistics… screen shots don’t lie… hotel room receipts don’t lie… only cheaters lie.

    • I wonder why the cheaters give no thought to co-signing a mortgage or buying a property with someone they know will be temporary. I guess they like the chaos of the break up? Or maybe the thought of future ramifications never cross their mind.

      • They truly believe at that very moment that it will last forever. Cept forever for them is the time it takes for them to lose interest. But until that time they are completely sold on their own lie. So it’s easy to swallow. We have foresight..we can see it’s a shit storm waiting happen.

      • He wants to walk away with 50% of the future sale proceeds even though he contributed nothing to the downpayment… it is a scam. He tried it with me… told the judge about his poor me “sweat equity”… luckily I had a pre-nup.

        And it is IMAGE MANAGEMENT… poor GF doesn’t know she just blew her life savings on a cheater and will end up with half (if she’s lucky) when it blows up.

        • Can’t agree with you more, ICanSee. My Dday was almost three weeks ago, been engaged to him for 7 years…didn’t get married due to child support issues, but had plans to do so when those issues went away.

          I bought a house 6 years ago. Couldn’t put him on the loan since he had a BK, but he insisted I put his name on the house. I said “no, if you can’t be held liable for the debt, I’m not going to give you title to the asset”. He’s been resentful ever since…so much so, he stopped paying “rent” three years ago telling me “money is tight for me right now”. I believed him since he was out of work for a year and a half.

          Two weeks ago, during one of our fights regarding his affair, he said, “And you get this house and I get nothing out of it. That’s not fair!” I responded, “You got a free place to live for three years.”

          Another thing, I’m starting to believe I was an unknowing OW. He said he was separated from his wife, but who knows? It’s nice knowing he’ll do this to his AP.

  • When he picked me up after my association seminar he hissed at me “Well aren’t YOU the alpha female?”

    Wtf does that mean?

    I would have encouraged him to run off with the OW, but she is a horrible person and I didn’t want that thing to be my kids step mom.

  • I browsed through the comments there and they are mostly negative! For instance –

    “The actual statistics do not bear out his conclusion. Women who have lost their partners to another woman rarely form new relationships, especially if they are older. If they do, these relationships are often far more short lived. This is from actual statistics, not a self reporting survey”

    Oh ye of little faith! I believe it’s just more evidence of the difference one Chump Lady has made, cause she believes and helps others see the greatness of reformed chumps.

    It’s not easy fixing pickers and the article makes it sound like it happens automatically. Maybe that’s why people have a hard time seeing what the science has now validated, it’s not just a biological response, change of this kind has to be a conscious decision and effort put forth.

    Sorry for the folks who choose instead to wallow in disillusionment.

    • I am a 51-year old woman who is happily dating a 39-year old fellow Chump whom I met via this website. Yes, we both have work to do as we heal from our respective devaluations & divorces. We are taking our time and ensuring that we both learn from our past mistakes while creating a cheater-free future.

      #ChumpNationRocks!

    • Or that people are heartily sick of the whole partner thing and just want to be single for a while, and then discover that they like it. And that being single keeps their life drama free, plus they keep all their friends and interests.

      • Me too Lola Granola. When people quiz me about the fact that I haven’t dated post-divorce, I quote what a member of CN once posted: “I don’t mentally feel up to doing the extraordinary physical and emotional labor that even the most mediocre men seem to expect these days”. I settled for “adequate” in my marriage to cheater x and made my needs small. I’m never doing that again.

      • YES! I’ve had a brutal fortnight at work with one single day off, ran two medical clinics this morning due to another doc being sick, after a late night at another hospital and stepped in on my afternoon off to stop surgery being cancelled. This is while setting up my own (admittedly small) business, all by myself. I feel proud of what I’ve achieved.

        In my married days I would have come home and mildly whinged about this, then CheaterX would have come down on me like a ton of bricks for being negative and overridden everything I’d said with how much worse his day had been. And how I hadn’t kept the house clean. And how I sat down after a hard day at work and didn’t look around to see how I could contribute to dinner. He would get home two hours before me, but when I pointed this out I would be told about how this was an example of how I prioritised work over him. A piece of mail on the kitchen bench is messy to him – we lived in a sterile field of a house. No cushions, blankets, placemats or individual frills. He liked my income though and bought toys aplenty for himself.

        Today, as I drove home, I thought of the warm, cosy, messy house I was coming back to. And I sang along to the stereo out of sheer happiness, even though I’m exhausted. I don’t want to whinge about work, I want to celebrate. I’m going hiking on my day off tomorrow with good friends, after timekeeping at a running race (another community connection I’ve made). Then off to a gardening bee the next day. I’m so fulfilled. Much more than i ever was with STBXH. Because my life is based on reality, not fantasy bubbles – look nice and shiny but pop with the smallest provocation.

        Someone’s gonna have to be pretty special to break into this life and take time away from it.

  • This evidence seems spot on to me and is consistent with my experience. I’m with a mate who is not a cheater and very reciprocal and compassionate.

    Since blowing up our family and abandoning for the young gold-digging whore, even though I’m NC, others have told me that X has cheated on OW with his other affair partner, he cheated on OW with me in the weeks after he left as I was doing the vertical pick me dancing before realizing what that was 😫, and he has been trying to get hooked up with friends of friends all while living with and supporting OW by paying for her to go to grad school. OW told my teens that she was also dating young law students bc X is and “old fuddy duddy.” WTF???? Sickos both of them! I’m so glad to be free of all this toxic heinous mess.

    • Yew, APs are also “low quality mates.” They don’t respect monogamous relationships. Not yours, and Not Theirs.

      My current husband has a friend who left his wife/family for AP. Was his “twu luv.” She wouldn’t let him move in with her, under the guise that he had to get his act together. So, he’s been pick me dancing for the AP. But, he just discovered that AP is also dating . . . . a married dentist!

  • I fear that Schmoopie may not actually be the loser. Her ex husband was also a cheater (he admitted that to me when he called to tell me about the affair) and quite possibly an alcoholic as well although I only have that third hand from ex. She upgraded from cheater/alcoholic who threatened her to merely cheater and she keeps a tight leash on ex in that regard (and he finds that comforting as he thinks it means she cares). Also, Ex is quite useful around the house. I never faulted him for that. He is competent, hard working, ambitious and has good grooming. He has good qualities. I didn’t marry him and stick with him for 20+ years just because I am a chump. He is also selfish and demanding but she is too. She may be able to out self-center and demand him so he will be too busy trying to prove himself (i.e. pick me dancing) for her to ever have time to consider whether or not she is living up to his standards. She is also someone who is in perpetual need of rescue (sometimes sad sausage victim stuff, sometimes just random bad luck) and he thrives on that. He likes to play the hero. Alas, I just never suffered enough to keep his interest. A few weeks back, we had flooding in our area and her house got flooded (I actually felt really bad for her. That’s not the kind of karma I was looking for) and he stepped up and helped her clean up, sand bag, rebuild etc. In short, he is taking care of her and being nice to her while her ex treated her badly. She probably does think she won the prize. Of course he can also be a hypocritical, selfish, self-centered, unempathetic prick, but she hasn’t had to face that side of him and perhaps she never will. She did win the prize and that bothers me because I don’t think she deserves it, but it is a prize that was not available to me so I didn’t really lose. I was never even really in the game. There is absolutely nothing I could have done differently to make him love me. That hurts, but all of that being said, I still have the opportunity to move on and be a winner myself. I will just have to find a different game to play, one that isn’t rigged. I do also take some small comfort in that ex is definitely the loser in all of this even if Schmoopie isn’t. She really has nothing to offer him to improve his life other than a superior blow job and the opportunity to play hero (she also turned him into a villain but he doesn’t get that).

    • The fact that she has to keep a tight leash on your ex, is proof that she isn’t the winner. She lives in constant fear, and not in a place of the relaxed comfort of being with a good man.

    • i hear what you are saying.. .. but what you need to tell yourself is that YOU did not want to live that way.

      my ex also had some really wonderful qualities. and i loved him so very much. i loved the way he looked, i loved his hair, his eyes, the shape of his mouth, his body, the way he laughed, the sound of his voice, the way he walked/ran/moved, even the way he smelled.

      but i had to remind myself that i did not want to live that way. i did not want to wonder where my husband even 3 to 6 months. i did not want to worry about where his paycheck was going and why he was blaming me for spending all his money. i did not want to chase my man and drag him back home, i did not want to have to convince my husband that we had a good life, a good marriage, good children, good house, or good jobs. i did not to push my needs/wants/desires/hopes/dream aside so i could MAKE HIM feel better. i did not want to have to pick up and boost up his fragile ego, and convince him that he was a good man/husband/daddy over and over and over. i did not want to wonder/worry about whether my husband STILL loved/wanted/desired me. i did not want to stress over bills/other women/dwi’s/being sued/him going to jail/losing jobs… . basically never putting the family first. .. i did not want to lie to my children telling them “daddy was working late” or “daddy was working” on the weekend when the truth was i had no idea where he was and if he was coming home. i did not want to tell my children that their dad loves them but was just busy with work when he kept putting other things/people before our children. .. . i did not want to have to remind him that me and his children needed/wanted/loved him over and over and over. i did not want to fight every skanky ghetto rat meth head to back off from my husband and to stop calling/texting him nor did i want to have to remind him that he was married and there are basic decent human behaviors.

      it used to bother me that he was using the things my dad and i taught him FOR HER. it used to kill me thinking that he was doing everything for her and her kids that he should have, could have done for me (his wife) and his own kids.. .. .. but ultimately the thing is I DID NOT WANT TO LIVE LIKE THAT. i could have had him back. i could have lived with the good times and ignored the increasing frequent bad times. i could have continued to live with him BUT i did not choice to. and i really did get the better end of the deal

      4 years later, he is still toxic, doing the same things if not worse. i have peace and happiness.. .. i am no longer jealous of her having him. they deserve each other.

    • For me, active alcoholic/addict and cheater are equals on the Destructive Behavior Scale. She didn’t win or upgrade. She gets to be the fish living in a blender. As a person in recovery, would you get into an affair and then ride off with him if he left his partner for you? I wouldn’t.

      My “husband” fits the same description in terms of positive qualities, but his cheating negates them. The real prize is those good qualities you listed along with HONESTY LOYALTY INTEGRITY KINDNESS TRUSTWORTHINESS etc. He is not that.

      She didn’t win.

      • I can’t imagine knowingly getting into a relationship with a cheater either but I guess she thinks she’s special (he has told her so). Of course I also wouldn’t knowingly get into a relationship with somebody else’s husband because I wouldn’t want to participate in making another woman hurt as much as I was hurt. I guess Schmoopie doesn’t have those same concerns even after having been cheated on herself. She even used her suffering at having been cheated on as a hook for ex. The hypocrisy of them both is astounding. I guess some people’s feelings just matter more than others.

        • Remember “stick with the winners?”
          Neither one of them are winners no matter how good they are filling sandbags. The fact that a person can SELECTIVELY
          do good things for others looks like
          MANIPULATION to me. Cheaters are very good at MANIPULATION (which is giving with strings attached). True giving has no expectations attached. I can truthfully say, and I bet you can too, that our “husbands” have plenty of expectations attached whenever they do something for someone else. Con artists do and say things to gain confidence…cheaters are con artists. Motives are invisible; it’s easy to look at the surface good deed and feel hurt. Remember that there is a bill coming for his cheating accomplice just like the one that came for you. I don’t think they have feelings either….they think they do but they are improperly wired. No one who cheats is wired properly or has gotten a passing grade on that fearless and thorough moral inventory. Check out that little piece of literature entitled “Emotional Maturity”. Those good qualities we liked can be easily acquired by many; not so those listed on the Moral Inventory or Emotional Maturity cards!

          • PS… I chose my husband when I was cleaning houses and he was working at a local manufacturing company. I stayed with my husband when we began our business…living off of his unemployment and my housekeeping job. It was a really really tough few years to get the plane off the ground and flying. I wonder if his Craigslist “sole” mate would have chosen him and stood by him then? I doubt it. His loss…she is welcome to him. The very last thing on the face of the earth I need is someone who doesn’t love, respect, and appreciate me. I don’t have one more second of my life to spend with someone who doesn’t ACT like they love me.
            He can fuck off.

            • Proof of stupid? A man who has been paranoid about being ripped off his entire life flashes the assets in front of a stranger from a foreign country that he met on Craigslist. He’s not getting awards for relationship genius moves from me.

              • My sister’s ex husband (in Denmark) was/is a narc/sociopath and he was taken to the cleaners by a Russian woman he met over the internet, 20 years younger who “fell madly in love with him”. We all know how that ends don’t we. But hey, anyone out there needs dating advice contact my sister or me – we sure know how to pick ’em don’t we!

          • I always felt that the X’s gift has a string attached. Maybe it was a deal in his head, maybe it was because I had complained about something, maybe it was because he was trying to throw me off track. There are very few times that I felt it was really from his heart. He bought me a pair of Zeiss binoculars for birding – one of kindest thing he ever did for me.

            Him and I had some words today (prompted by him). It’s been a pretty rotten day. I still love him while knowing that he betrayed me and didn’t keep me safe from his actions.

            From here on out, we are mutually no-contact.

    • Your ex is no pride. My ex was a hard worker, handy around the house and he kept himself well groomed. That should be standard stuff, save for maybe being handy. My dad never was but he’s twice the man my ex is.

      Anyway, if they lie and cheat they are not a prize. The new schmoopie knows this which is why she has him on a short leash.

      And schmoopie was already married to a cheater and now she’s just hitched her wagon to another one. I’d say good luck with that!

    • Yeah I wouldn’t be too quick to buy into your ex cheater’s narrative of OW’s ex-husband. Keep in mind their narrative of you would not be accurate and trust me they have a narrative. Cheaters don’t go around saying “gee I had the best spouse but grew bored and found someone else”. Nope. They trash, play the victim and most of the time claim it was the spouse that cheated first.

      • I believe that Schmoopie’s ex cheated because he admitted to it when he called to tell me about the affair. He also implied that she had mental problems and that ex wasn’t her first affair. Ex claims he exaggerated. She claimed he was an alcoholic who threatened her on his DDay. I have no idea what is or is not true in their relationship. I do know that her ex then husband turned up with a girlfriend about six weeks after my DDay. Meanwhile Schmoopie was on a dating website while involved with my then still husband. She and her then husband (who had the girlfriend) were still living together at home. I was still living with my now ex and smoking the hopium. Ex looked at me and said “you should go on a dating site”. I said “no thanks, somebody in all of this has to maintain some sense of dignity”. From my perspective, it looks like ex went searching for the most dysfunctional couple he could find and dove right into their cesspool. What an idiot. I feel for their five kids.

        • Well then good luck to your cheater ex……it appears he’s going to need it with all the dysfunction. Keep in mind dysfunctional people do not have epiphanies all of a sudden and become upstanding productive adults. They carry their dysfunction over to new relationships and the crazy cycle continues.

    • Mmmmmm….nah. doesn’t read like a win for her to me. But what do I know? He’s a cheat. A hygienic, helpful ( somebody say Captain save-a-ho?) Organized cheat. She’s a cheat. A controlling, needy ( bodering on desperate) , clingy cheat. Her let down will be epic.

    • I would assume so. Male chumps have a pretty good success rate for finding better after divorce. Their clueless wives on the other hand typically end up miserable. Not sure about the male APs as many of them are probably only in it for sex anyway (although not always. My ex was also an AP and he is still with the slut but definitely a loser).

        • Can’t we have a chump dating service so both males and females do equally well? Personally, as a male chump I wouldn’t knowingly touch a single woman who’d cheated on her ex-husband. I’d also be wary of any woman who hadn’t already had experience of bringing up kids. Nothing personal, it’s just being chumped isn’t an experience I’d like to repeat given it was traumatic and all that, so the more I can reduce the risk the better.

          It strikes me dating female chumps would be perfect – not only have we been in the same place and maybe even help each other heal, if things did get serious we’d be know we’re the kind of folks who keep our word.

  • A friend has recently been approached by his ex to reconcile – she left him for her “soul mate” who has now moved overseas to be with his true love (taking a lot of her settlement with him apparently LOL)
    but now regrets splitting up the family and wants to come back. She walked out of their house, she left a note for him and one for each child and no one heard from her for months. Divorce has been final for almost 5 months.
    He asked his teenage children what they thought – both said Um no way. He asked me what I think – I said no way. He asked my 13 yr old and she said well you could but you would be stupid…..
    I am so proud that his teens and mine know that SHE broke the family and HE doesnt have to just accept her back. Slowly I think that the general social mindset is beginning to change.

    • My daughter is disappointed in her dad but she doesn’t hate him. Never the less, if he came crawling back and I accepted him she would be disappointed in me for that. When he left her attitude (even though she still loves him) was “Mom, you’re free of him”. She gets it better than I did at the time (or even now really).

      My middle child, on the other hand, probably still harbors reconciliation fantasies.

      • That’s part of the problem of having what we thought was a happy marriage. No fighting, no cursing, no drama – so the kids (particularly the younger ones) don’t understand why one half just up and left. If they’re too young to really explain it to (I can’t go much beyond “mommy broke her promise to me” with a 7yo) they’re going to be looking for evidence that the family can be put back together.

        The dominant narrative seems to be “better to be FROM a broken home than IN a broken home”, but what if your marriage wasn’t broken in the first place? Or at least, not broken until the AP appeared on the scene and smashed it to bits? Lackluster, yes. Some tension due to long distance, changing jobs, etc. but absolutely nothing I don’t see in friends’ still-intact marriages every day. What a waste.

        • That is exactly how I felt about my marriage pre DDay and why I was so shocked by his apparent dissatisfaction with our marriage. My daughter saw the problems in our marriage and possible signs of cheating before I did. She is very observant. She is now studying psychology and I think it will be a great fit for her.

  • …humans establish bonds that have multiple advantages and great adaptive value. However, these bonds can and do break. When they do, there is a cost to pay; Archer calls it the cost of commitment, which consists of all the physical and emotional benefits of the bond. Per the adaptive value of these bonds, their severance (in most instances) proves maladaptive. As we have argued, it is likely that a strong negative emotion, such as grief, accompanies maladaptive behavior. Put simply, the greater the loss, the more intense the grieving process, and the more likely (in most instances) an individual will engage in future bond formation with an eye toward avoiding past experiences.

    You Reckon!?

    I saved this article for future in-depth study for red flag behaviors in competing females.

    Tracy, I saw a lot of your observations in this article. RIC still influences these studies as there was some subtle influence of that interspersed in the text.

    This study is great for outlining the stages that women go through. It applies to male chumps too. So rather than skeining I can compare my serial x-cheater to a Tree Shrew…

    LOL

    • One other point real quick, ..when they talk about the ‘defeat’ the spouse of the ‘poached male’ feels,
      It’s not defeat, It’s victory. No overnight character transplants occur.

  • No shit Sherlock…. I love these studies that state the bleeding obvious. But it’s nice to have our experiences validated by the good science people of this world!

    I’m just about to file for divorce and definitely feel like I’m winning now!

  • I needed this today. The X and I had some words over email. I’ve been NC since August 17th, and very little before then.

    I get so confused on what we had, didn’t have, how I feel, how I don’t feel…today all my feelings came tumbling out at him. I know there were some kibbles in there which I’m sure he lapped up. It’s all so fucked up and I’m tired of feeling so out of control with my feelings. The days have gotten better, the days between crying jags has gotten longer.This was a temporary setback.

    Tomorrow is a new day and back to NC. It’s the only way.

    • Just get back on the no contact hobby horse. If you are running a marathon and fall over you don’t get up and go start back at the beginning do you. You pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going. It will get easier, trust me!

  • Speaking of lack of empathy, I was floored after the occurrence of some horrible events in our country.
    He seemed, not only disinterested in the story he flat out could have cared less. Or maybe it was just a total case of apathy.

    These events:

    1) The Oklahoma City bombing (I wanted to leave the country it freaked me out so bad)
    2) Columbine (I was glued to the news and horrified) he thought the tv was playing the news too long.
    3) 9/11. His reaction, first and foremost was, We had it coming, I told you so. And then another fucking lecture about how we have a military presence in 187 countries and what what do we expect! He even lost a colleague at Cantor Fitzgerald but that didn’t phase him either.
    4) Sandy Hook. He hardly looked at the tv. I was paralyzed for days.

    He never did well on deaths and missed both my parent’s funerals.
    And the list goes on. Was he really a monster underneath all his armor?

    Yeah, I think so.

    • This sounds familiar. My ex would use these types of events to spout off on his Brilliant and Necessary Philosophies on The World. I don’t think he ever made a pit stop in empathy-ville for carnage. Your 9/11 example is spot on. The country was mourning, me included, and he was ranting about how we had it coming.

    • Ah, on 9/11 when the whole world was rushing to be with their loved ones, my then husband went to a bar to watch TV with strangers all day. We didn’t have cell phones then, so I had no idea where he was.

  • Great article!! You said it FIRST, but it’s always nice when the researchers finally catch up to The Truth. Can’t wait to hear your podcast. Thank you for all you do, Tracy.

  • I wonder if this makes any difference to Judith Guiliani or Jennifer Garner? Both cheaters and both got cheated on.

    No sympathy for homewreckers.

  • I was cheated on for the first 10 years of my marriage. Thought I was his first and only. Waiting until we were married 25 years and karma came around when I met a married man that pursued me. I’ve been dating married man for 7 years. What goes around, comes around.

    • Amy I’m confused – whose karma is which? Are you taking revenge on your husband by dating a married man? Karma is consequences from good or bad actions. How do you think the present situation will work out for you, your husband (ex?), the married man and his wife and children if he has any in terms of karma?

    • Amy, I don’t blame you for being angry at your husband or for wanting to make him feel what you felt, but please don’t negatively impact another man’s wife or children over it.

    • Just because your husband cheated on you Amy doesn’t give you the right to “pay it forward” by screwing around with a married man-for seven years ! Get into therapy pronto and don’t come to this website for sympathy from us ! You’re a loon !

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