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UBT: “Loving Your Husband Hurts Me Too”

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OWsad

There is no sadder sausage than the Other Woman and her unrequited love. An alert chump sent me this submission, YourTango, “Loving Your Husband Hurts Me Too“, for the Universal Bullshit Translator.

After all this time, I still hope he leaves you.

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.

Except for his pesky wife.

We sit across from one another at the Greasy Spoon diner, reaching over the table to touch hands, caressing thumbs with the tenderness of a violin player. We must be touching, always touching.

Ours is the kind of love that can only be venerated in greasy diners. The kind with the rotating dessert displays. You know, the classy kind.

I caress my Beloved with the frenzied pizzicato of lust. We are tender violins. We swell. We vibrate. We order waffles.

We joke and laugh, we talk, we sit in pure adoration. I know every inch of his face and he knows every inch of mine.

It’s my face he’s interested in. Really. 

I order his food (one Belgium waffle on the soft side, a plate of crispy bacon) and he orders mine (a short stack, no butter, a bowl of fruit, a side of extra crispy bacon). We sit, together in our love, relishing every second.

I’m a few pancakes short of a stack. He is a flaccid Belgian waffle. But we share a deep mutual love of crispy bacon. 

A car pulls up outside and warrants his cursory glance. The glance holds on a bit too long. The couple in the car comes inside and he follows their every move. They sit two booths behind us. He stares for a moment, then snatches his hands back from the table.

The divot in his ring finger catches the light, reminding me of the torture I so often hide when we’re together. He fumbles in his pocket, quick with fear, and slips his platinum wedding band back on his finger. My heart is in shambles. We get the bill and pay for our unfinished food. Outside, he apologizes. I say nothing and drive home alone in tears.

Is this the thanks I get? A half-finished waffle? I ordered your bacon correctly! I took charge of the menu! I caressed your thumb! And you ask for the check?!

Yes, it’s that special can’t-be-seen-with-in-public-together kind of Love.

You would think after three years of dating a married man, I would be used to this. 

Apparently, you’re a slow learner.

But it still stings just as much as the first time we ran into a relative of his and I had to “hide behind the oranges” in the grocery store. In truth, this was an infrequent occurrence.

Because sometimes having to hide behind citrus fruit is completely acceptable in a relationship. Just so long as it isn’t frequent.

Maybe that made it worse? I’ll never know for sure. I suppose the fault is mine.

Okay, so I pelted your cousin with a tangerine. 

If I had never let things progress, I wouldn’t feel the hurt tugging on my heartstrings when we needed to disguise our relationship or feel the jealousy when he went home to his wife, as he always did.

So why did I do it? Why does anyone do it? At the start of it all, the perks of the situation swam happily in my mind. Imagine the freedom! Imagine the absence of committed responsibility!

Imagine hiding behind oranges!

I was a secure, confident woman and was not willing to compromise my life for a relationship and everything that came with it.

Like reciprocity, morals… or self-respect.

Like most modern women, I felt I only needed a man for one thing, and a coupled lifestyle was not that thing.

I’m not narcissistic. I’m modern

Yeah, you’re so not interested in being “coupled” that you’ll hide behind oranges or run from half-eaten breakfasts to maintain some simulacrum of a man’s attention. And you want us to think you’re a modern woman?

Somewhere a suffragette is spinning in her grave.

So I figured, who better than a married man? Moreover, a married man with kids!

I’m sociopathic too. The total package, gentlemen. 

He had his responsibilities with his wife and family. There would be no awkward morning-afters, no constant phone calls or texts. I could have all the space I wanted and I would hear no complaints from his end. It would be easy and stress-free.

But what started out as a simple, no-strings-attached relationship (or at least the illusion of one) evolved into much more. You can never have your cake and eat it too.

Sometimes you have to get up from the half-eaten plate of waffles.

Maybe it was the jolt of electricity we both felt when we first met and shook hands or maybe it was our mutual understanding of the other’s troubles. Either way, we grew to rely on one another. We became each other’s go-to when one of us needed support.

He was just a supportive friend. A pal. The person you’d call if you were on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and the host asked, “What is the capital of Burkina Faso?” You unsophisticated, judgmental hicks might say something stupid like, “Ouagadougou.” But Modern people like myself and my Beloved know it’s a trick question. There’s no such thing as Burkina Faso! 

And the casual friendship-with-benefits morphed into a caring, loving relationship. I could see the aurora dancing in his eyes when he saw me, and he could see the sparkle in mine. We knew each other inside and out, our lives so intertwined we were hard to tell apart.

[The UBT needs a moment to vomit….]

I could see the rings of Saturn frolicking in his trousers, and when he saw me, he could see sassy frauleins clogging on tables, with their naughty ankles and woolen knee socks, edelweiss falling from their buck-teeth. Our eyes met and it was earflaps. We knew each other catatonically. Deeply septuagenarian and intertwined, like obstructed intestines. Or pickled sideshow calf twins. In a Jar of Longing. Because aurora sparkles.

[I’m sorry the UBT appears to be malfunctioning. Let me whack it…]

But I didn’t count on the pitfalls of this type of relationship. 

I thought I had it all figured out. I didn’t expect to grow to need him. I didn’t expect to miss him when we weren’t together, I didn’t expect to become so attached to his children that they felt like family, and I definitely didn’t expect to fall in love.

Or for him to fall in love with me. What I thought could be something simple ended up being a stressor. We had to hide. Our time together was constantly cut short so his wife wouldn’t find out.

But it’s okay for the kids to know. The wife? Fuck her. Children LOVE to keep secrets like “Daddy Has a Girlfriend.” 

I was jealous and angry and crazily in love, and at times, so hurt I could barely stand. I hate being second in line, yet I was. He would tell me grand stories about how we’d be together full-time someday. He would leave her and be with me. A small part of me believed him, but the rest of me knew better. Yet still I stayed. We had such an intense connection that I was convinced living without him would be so much worse than enduring the agony of sharing my man.

My self-inflicted agony is the only agony that matters.

Like most everything else in my life, our relationship became punctuated by song lyrics I felt described our situation.

Sugarland, “Stay”: It’s too much pain to have to bear / to love a man you have to share.
The Wreckers, “Leave the Pieces”: You say you don’t wanna hurt me, don’t wanna see my tears / so why are you still standing here just watching me drown … You not making up your mind / is killing me and wasting time.
Nickel Creek, “I Should’ve Known Better”: Your love meant trouble from the day we met / you won every hand, I lost every bet.
Zac Brown Band, “Colder Weather”: And wonders if her love is strong enough to make him stay / She’s answered by the tail lights / Shining through the window pane.

Listening to them made me feel better.

Well, it’s doing bupkis for the Universal Bullshit Translator. Please, please don’t feed the UBT Nickel Creek.

I’m so glad you’re a sad song lyric and not a real person inflicting harm on innocent children and a trusting chump. The UBT is relieved to know you’re just a figment. An undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato…

Holy Marley’s Ghost! Please tell me you’re just click bait and are not REAL.

It reassured me someone went through the same things I did, that I wasn’t alone in my torture. But even through the music, I could feel things starting to fall apart. I began to obsess over his life with her. What were they doing? Where were they going? Was he having more fun with her than with me? What was so great about her anyway? Our love for each other stayed strong, but the relationship had collapsed. I knew what I had to do, as much as I tried to ignore it.

On an unseasonably warm March evening, I ended it. 

The chill had left the air and incoming Spring filled me with the power and motivation to do the hardest thing I knew I needed to do. My tears fell as fast as the first thunderstorm of the year.

“What are you saying?” he asked me. “I think I’m breaking up with you,” I said.

“Maybe you should think about it more,” he pressed. I told him, “I won’t come to any different conclusion. It’s over.”

And that was it. There was no pomp and circumstance. Just plain cold truth. We spoke sparingly over the next few days and it eventually faded to no communication. In silence, my world was ending. I gave up on love, on life. I stayed in bed all day and didn’t eat.

My world was ending fast like the first thunderstorm of Detroit. I gave up on muffins. There was no baton-twirling midget, no confetti-farting rhinoceroses, no candy. There was just rhubarb. And Silence. 

[Sorry. The UBT is really having a hard time with this one. WILL IT EVER END?]

My friends and family were stuck. They didn’t know what was going on; all they knew was my seemingly unnecessary depression. I trudged back and forth to work amid discussions of counseling, tentative hugs and attempts at forcing me to eat. In the end, I was still broken.The only thing worse than bearing that heavy a weight alone is carrying it yourself.

WTF? The only thing worse than carrying something alone is carrying it yourself? Do you read yourself? Do you proof this bullshit?

And then he called.

Kibbles!

He wanted me to know his wife knew everything. That he loved me and couldn’t function without me. But he wasn’t ready. Could I wait, please. He needed me. He would be with me when his kids started school again. He would be with me in September. Yes, of course I would wait. He was my love.

I didn’t mean what I said about rhubarb. 

The next few months were a whirlwind of elation and doubt. We were together nearly every day, as together as a hidden relationship allows you to be. He talked of long-term dreams, about our future house and trips we would take and having kids eventually. My heart longed for it and wanted to trust him. My brain knew better.

I sat by, clinging to hope, and watched him as he bought new furniture with his wife. They got a new car.

I got waffles and extra crispy bacon. I’m the one he really loves.

He hired a landscaper and started repairs on his house. I became a Monday through Friday, nine to five girlfriend.

For those forty hours a week that his wife was working, he was mine.

Because she’s the breadwinner?! Because he’s available while HIS WIFE WORKS and you think YOU are the MODERN woman? But that chumpy wife, she’s just an obstacle to your happiness, what with her JOB and FAMILY and all. Boy, you got a gem there.

He loved me and worshipped me and spoke of our future. But September came and September passed. The sun and moon rose and fell. And I was still alone.

He told me we’d be together in September. So every first of September, I wait. I go to the same Greasy Spoon diner and I wait for him. For my love. And as the years go by, my hope does not wane. It naively stays strong. Maybe one day, after all the lost time, he will join me and my September will come.

I am the Lady of Shalott. His waffles are getting cold. I will wait.

***

Tuesday might be the day the pain stops, but it’s also the day you can snark at Schmoopies. I thought it was time to unearth this gem. Enjoy.

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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.
    • It’s so ubiquitous even I can’t distinguish it anymore. Had to get an early start this morning and didn’t realize until I’d hit publish, that I reran this less than a year ago. Apologies UBT fans. I’ve got a juicy new letter for tomorrow.

      There’s a special subset of OW who like to write these smug Twu Wuv clickbait articles. As if we all aspire to have greasy diner dysfunction…

      • I actually nearly vomited laughing.
        CL, that’s the funniest aaand sickest trial the UBT has been through.
        No more words.

  • I will never understand how a women can knowingly cheat with a married man?
    My STBX and Skankella broke up. They broke up when we deciding to try to make our marriage work. I recently ran into another cousin. She told me that skankella tells everyone that she is angry at my ex. That she wasted 4 years of her life with a man who refused to leave his wife. She went on to tell her that if she ever runs into him she is going to smack the crap out of him. She also went on to tell her that I was a nut job and the only reason why my ex agreed to work on the marriage was because he was afraid I would off myself. Classy lady.
    I have no respect or empathy for any women or man that knowingly cheats with a married man or women. They are a special kind of slime. Skankella can call me any namevthat she likes. But, at least I can hold my head high. I wasn’t the POS that screwed around with her cousin’s husband.

  • You can throw mud at me, but when I was early twenties, just in the work world, I was pursued and love bombed by a 40 something bigshot at work. He was “unhappily” married with two kids, they had agreed to divorce, “after school let out”.. I was young and stupid. He wanted young pu$$y. I was sooo in luvvv.

    One day, he mentioned he was building a garage at his house. I was stunned. I told him if one brick was laid, I was done and would tell his wife.

    Bricks were laid. I left. His wife found out. Seems I was one in a twenty year string of young fools. Yes, she knew about it. Yes, they had talked divorce. But, never did. Never to this day.

    I know now it was so wrong. But I think me and all the other youngsters were as chumped as the wife. He was a great liar and love bomber. And now a well known doctor….

    • No you were not as chumped as the wife. You knew he was married and yet you still dated him. I suspect you thought you were the one. The one who could save him form his loveless marriage. Your pain is in no comparison to the pain one feels when their husband cheats on them. You could have walked away as soon as you knew the scum was married. But you did not.

    • You weren’t chumped…you cheated. You cared so little about someone else’s relationship and so much more about your own crush that you helped destroy dreams, a family…

      Don’t kid yourself- you’re not a victim. If you knew he was married, you chose to act like trash.

    • Unfortunately, you aren’t the only one. That’s how they snag us. You would think that the same tale being told time and time again would eventually get old. But we tend to empathize with the predator and that’s how they get us. Because…. who can argue with unhappiness?

      • This person was not chumped. Chumped implies they were lied to. This person set up the lie with the cheating husband. This person, along with the cheating husband, ruined someone else’s marriage, dreams, family, emotional safety…
        They didn’t cheat with someone they thought was single, they cheated with someone they knew was married. Big difference

        • And with kids. Me and my kids have been therapy for the last year bc of what he did.

          IDK if it’s just me but…I learned back in high school that cheating was wrong. 🤷🏼‍♀️

      • Your excuse is that is how they snag us. What a load of crap. You knew he was married and you chose to screw around with him. A victim you are not. You were not the one who was cheated on, lied to. You benefited from a married man spending money on you that should have gone to the family. There is a big difference from dating a man who lied about being single. To knowingly dating a married man. Simple

    • Get this person off our support group. I come here for encouragement and support and I have to see this person who is so out to lunch they are posting their homewrecking on our page? Nope.

    • Let me make a case for the practical here.

      This is early in the day and likely to trigger a great deal of disagreement.and pain from those who see the folly of an AP thinking his/her victimization is anywhere near equivalent to a spouse’s.

      However, if lots of people reply, it will busy the first part of the thread and distract from the posts below that are likely more deserving of our attention.

      If we let the excellent comments above do the job of pointing that out, we can move on to more useful mutual support.

      Just a thought.

    • I’m not slinging mud. You note you were stupid. This is not the same as his wife. I’m glad you learned a lesson, I’m glad you stood your ground and ended it when you realized you were a side dish not actually a relationship. I’m sad you took ‘unhappy’ to mean divorcing, without seperate housing and such. I’m sorry you’re going to get hit with as much mud as you invite- there’s a lot of hurt folk on here and that you made these choices don’t just seem naive in the midst of fresh pain. They seem intentionally villainous, that you took pleasure in being destructive, and unempathetic- chump nation is gonna endure you know that you deserved all the pain that was showered on you. But it sounds like you know that. That your dumb was noted and you made better decisions after the fact. Some of the cheaters out there spin webs of lies and catch the dumb and new. It’s part of why they target the young and nubile. Or the sweet innocents. Because you won’t know better, you’ll believe the ‘separated but living together’ or ‘divorcing but needing to sell the house and until then living in the house for the kids’ or whatever. I’m glad you stopped listening. I do believe you were duped, and felt crazy pain. Maybe not the same as a spouse, but a young heart bleeds a lot. I get it.

      If you’re on this site, you probably ate the shit sandwich of being chumped and now know the shitty other side to this. I’m sorry for that.

      Ugh.
      There’s no end to the pain.

      • Bull. Neither of these women said they were sorry for what they did to the wife. There is never any excuse to date a married man.

        • “There is never an excuse to date a married man.”
          This says it all! Once you know he’s married, run. I can’t think of any reason to initiate a relationship.

      • Agree with CreativeRational…. she was young, she bought into his lies, she realizes now how wrong it all was. We all make mistakes – particularly when we are young.

        • Beg to differ. (and the rest of this post is not leveled at you, NewBeginnings–it’s a general rant).

          There are degrees of “mistakes.” I work with 18-22 years every single day. Some have good character, some do not.

          Many of them make a mistake–they put the wrong exam date on their calendar, they loan a not-responsible friend money, they post something on social media that they shouldn’t. Fucking a married person is a whole different ball of wax. It’s not a “mistake,” it’s a javelin-through-the-stomach attack on a husband/wife and children for the sake of soothing their own “need for love.” And they are fully aware that it is wrong to have an affair with a married man/woman or they wouldn’t hide it. They are also very capable of inhibiting their baser instincts by that age as very few 18-22 year olds knock down a kid in the mall because they want the cinnamon bun the kid is eating. Nor do they do a whole bunch of other things that are illegal or immoral because they know societal rules and have the behavioral inhibition to follow most of those rules.

          I am not willing to let a minority of young people off the hook for cheating with a married man/woman, since the vast majority of them are able to avoid such behavior deliberately.

          I’m also not convinced that citing FOO issues lets them off the hook; many/most? of us on this site grew up in dysfunctional families and don’t go around injuring innocent people or families.

          • choosing not to date a married man is a moral choice. We don’t inflict pain on other innocent people. But with the exception of here, the whole cultural narrative is about how monogamy is a cage, you have to express your aliveness, women who get fat should expect to lose their husbands. Given that toxic cultural context, it isn’t easy for all young women to resist a love-bombing older man who swears he is in the process of divorce. Sure, we here know its all lies, but who has told young women that? No one. Until the cultural narrative changes, I am all for putting the blame solely where it belongs – on the cheating souses who are willing to tell lie on lie to get what they want. Good on Southern Charm for realizing that she was being lied to and getting out.

            • Whether she was being lied to about him leaving his wife is irrelevant! She KNEW he was married. I see no expression of sorrow for how she willingly harmed his wife. Only pity for her own self that it turned out the liar was also lying to her (imagine that!). OW do not get a pass. I agree with Tempest. We don’t give people free passes when they can’t control their selfish instincts in other categories, so why should we give free passes to not being able to control sexual/romantic urges. This willingness to extend sympathy to people who deserve none is one of the chumpy impulses we have to work on curbing.

              • There’s also a feminist issue here–so young women have no real cognition, judgment, or moral compass of their own? They are like moral toddlers who cannot succumb the advances of an older man?

                Hmm, because I did plenty of times in graduate school, and I daresay many other women have done the same thing.

              • I have no desire to curb my willingness to have sympathy. Your suggesting that they deserve none is unduly harsh. There are women every day that date men “in the process of divorce who are getting divorced. And there are those wo en that date men getting divorced that are just lying. So it isnt irrelevant at all.

            • I’d say that she gave him an ultimatum. Lay one brick….
              OW go along with the duping. They believe they are special.

              I’ve never met one participant that didn’t feel entitled to gifts, clothes, dinners, or vacations. It involves prostituting oneself out accepting tokens for sex. It’s a transaction.

              It’s the ultimatum that gives them away.

              There’s no learning curve here; when they win the crown they feel as though it’s an accomplishment.

        • And twenty somethings aren’t youngsters. At twenty five I had two children.

          I was offered an opportunity to get A’s when getting a degree in computer science by the same fuckwit who told me the program wasn’t for me when I failed a math test in the first class.

          My reply, “Some of us have intelligence.” I earned those A’s with two young children at home. When I graduated I had the highest grades in my class.

          Using your vagina? It’s a choice. You take it because you lack integrity. You fool no one. And how’s that worked out for you?

          Me, I’m a survivor. He ended up with a troll. And there’s always a price to pay when you chose to harm others.

    • Come on! Give her a break! People DO make mistakes and learn from them. I give you a lot of credit, Southerncharm, for telling your sad tale here. I don’t know if you are on this website because you have since been chumped, but — if so — you have gotten a little of your own and know just how painful and damaging it is. If you are here because you still are haunted by what you did as a young woman, then learn from others’ pain and, ultimately, forgive yourself.

      And as for me, I actually appreciate seeing the “human” and vulnerable side of a young and foolish OW. We are all imperfect.

    • That’s like saying “I drove the getvaway car but I never robbed the bank”. You’re no chump. You’re a blsmeshifting cheater.

    • People grow and change. I salute you for changing and admitting it.

      Not all people change. Those with narcissism or deep psychological issues or addictions are unlikely. Glad you saw the light.

      Chumps change too. They go from chunpdumb to mighty. They have a paradigm shift. So I’m not going to slam you, any more than one can slam those for being chumpdumb at one point.

      • I wrote this today because I think that there is sometimes too much emphasis on the “blame” of the person(s) our spouses cheat with, and some misplacing about the guilt of the spouse.

        It was our spouses who made and broke pledges, made and broke sacred promises. Who told us unending lies. Who abused and manipulated us.

        It is easier to blame a third party than to blame our spouse. I get that. But. Not one spouse was raped. They were fully participatory.

        In my case, my former was a sociopathic narc, whose every word I believed. He was that good. For 18 years. On Dday, I discovered there were lots of other women in his life. I was not furious with them: I was furious with MY HUSBAND, he was the one who had betrayed me, lied and manipulated, broken every promise and ruined my life. I immediately threw him out.

        The other women? I believed his every word. Heaven only knows what he told them. Did they believe him? I am sure of it. Were they trying to hurt ME? I doubt it. The one purposefully out to hurt ME and my family was:: my husband.

        Sure there are some predatory people out there. Some who might go after your spouse. Doesn”t mean they have to respond.

        My guess is that most of the “others” were as gullible as we are, and believed our spouses.

        When I was 22, I had had one sexual relationship. I knew nothing about adult relationships. I was a child. This doctor, 22 years my senior was a PREDATOR. I believed every thing he told me. I felt like a princess. He was ONE OF OUR SPOUSES.
        I was not out to ruin his marriage or hurt anyone. I believed him. Until I didn’t.

        I talked to his wife. When she told me ( she yawned) I was one of a long string of fools, well, that hurt, to be such a little fool.

        It should have prepared me for all the red flags 17 years later, when I met another predator. It didn’t.

        I apologize for triggering. I just do not think it helps us to focus all our hate on a third party.

        Our spouses betrayed us.

        • So what would have happened if he hadn’t laid the brick? Umm, he would have continued “laying” you? You would have willingly collaborated to break up someone’s marriage. Guess the Karma bus made a stop at your house now.

      • Has she changed? She thinks she was as wronged as the wife! I didn’t see a single “I am so sorry I hurt an innocent woman” anywhere in her statement.

      • dammit autocorrect. As chumped as the wife. And it IS ridiculous. What a RIDICULOUS thing to say.

    • When you’re twenty, you don’t know about liars cheaters scum. You learn.
      You weren’t chumped but you were used.
      The wife – a chump.

    • These are also the kind of men who often get hit with sexual harassment suits because not all 20 somethings are as naïve as the next. I do know what it is like to be young and gullible and stupid, however. You were lied to and got hurt, but it was no where near as bad for you as for his wife. You had only a few months (weeks?) to get over, no worse than many young love crushes. His wife was tied to him for much longer and had many more years of investment making it much harder emotionally and financially to just walk away as you could. I am glad you learned a lesson and will not repeat these mistakes, but don’t ever compare your pain to that of a cheated on spouse. It can’t compare.

      • I am sorry to trigger so much angst.

        My point was, in a round about way, was that in my opinion, we chumps focus too much anger and hate at the “other”. I believe that allows us to take the focus off the one who deserves it: our spouse.

        It was he/she who stood up and pledged and promised us. It was our spouse who knowingly broke those pledges and promises. As well as manipulated, lied, abused and confused us.

        It is they who owe us their devotion.

        “Others” are third parties, and it is easier on our hearts to place the hate and blame on them, rather than on our spouses.

        The problem is: our spouses were fully participatory. Not one of them was raped.

        Maybe the “other” set their sights on our spouse. Maybe they instigated the affair. But our spouses did not say NO and run away.

        Another point is that our spouses are liars, clever amd convincing. We ourselves believed their lies for… how long? Surely they lied to the “others” as convincingly as they lied to us? No wonder they are perhaps likewise deceived.

        When I was 22, and was seduced by a doctor twice my age, I had no experience in adult relationships. I had one sexual experience. This man, LIKE OUR SPOUSES, was a predator. Guess what? I believed what he told me. I had no thought of hurting anyone.

        I talked to his wife, who told me I was a little fool in a long line of fools.

        This should have trained me, but 15 years later I married a predator. His words flowed like honey. I believed him for 18 years. On DDay, I discovered his long line of fools. Do I blame or hate them? No more than the doctors wife. They fell, hook line and sinker.

        The person I hate and blame is my former husband. He knew what he was doing. He did whatever he wanted our entire marriage, and lied.

        Hard as it is, it is our SPOUSES who betrayed us, who broke their pledges and promises. That is where all the first blame lies.
        In my opinion.

        • I call Bullshit.

          As a young single woman, I too found many married, powerful men attractive. But I instantly was disgusted by any married men who showed any interest in me. Lack of integrity, any hint of cheating on their vows, made them not just undesirable, but abhorrent to me.

          The fact that you found a married man attractive AND engaged in a relationship speaks volumes about your character. Period.

          Seduced? Give me a break. You were seduced by the idea that you were more alluring than the wife. If you were honest enough with yourself and us to admit that, I could probably find some empathy for you.

          By the way, my fellow Southerner, no, I did not bother to blame the OW. I believe my XH was 100% accountable for his choices.

          That said, OW is a piece of shit. *yawns*

        • OMG Southern Charm – that was NOT your original point. Your original point was a sob story about how victimized and hurt you were by your AP. Don’t come out all holier than thou now throwing anger and bitterness lectures.

          Anyone have a fire extinguisher? I smell gas. 🔥

        • When I was 22 and had no sexual experience (I was a virgin until my current partner, in fact) – the very same happened. Know what I did? I said “no” and “fuck off”.

          This is no excuse.

          I will be damn judgemental of anyone who is stupid enough to cheat on someone, and the fuckwits who cheat with them.

    • Yeah, and you can throw mud at me, but when I was in my 20’s, this really cool 40-year-old convinced me to help him hide outside the pension office to beat up and rob old people when they would come in to get their retirement checks. He promised me we’d be the next Bonnie and Clyde together! Eventually I realized that I wasn’t special to him so I left – boy, was I naive.

      Really, I’m as much a victim here as the old WWII vet I piledrived into the pavement that one time. I mean, my man also told me that it was ok because the old guy was a real asshole, and silly me, I believed him, so really aren’t I a victim as well? I think I’ll go to the AARP and tell them my story – I’m sure they’ll have lots of sympathy for me.

      See the problem? Even if you were duped by this older guy, even if yeah, he would have found someone else if you turned him down, you still did a shitty thing to a 3rd party (his wife) for no other reason than your own self-gratification, and you were definitely old enough to understand that it was a shitty thing. So don’t go to a site full of the type of people you hurt and fish for sympathy. You’re barking up the wrong tree.

      • In all fairness, I do think it is harder to understand the pain caused the spouse when one is young and inexperienced and has never been married let alone cheated on. It would be easy to believe the lies that divorce is already in the works so the wife must be on board with that right? No, it isn’t a good idea to get involved with anyone who is still married unless you have actually talked to the wife and she says that yes they are in the process of divorce. Even then it probably isn’t a good idea, but I do tend to want to cut young, naive and inexperienced a little more slack than middle aged APs, especially if they have ever been married or in an otherwise long term relationship with shared finances, etc. Not all APs are the same level of messed up or cruel, even if they are all perhaps somewhat self centered and lacking in empathy.

        • I disagree. I had a boyfriend in my teens whom I broke up with because I merely suspected he might be married. I had no real evidence, just a feeling. Character is formed from an early age. You don’t magically attain it when you hit your 30s. A young woman of character doesn’t even give a married man the chance to tell his tale of marital woe. She doesn’t get that close to a man she knows is married.

        • Eeeh… I cut them *some* slack, but not much. I mean,

          1.) I get that young people do dumb things, but also, you’re old enough to understand by then that cheating is wrong and it hurts people. Also, at 20 I was definitely old enough to understand that older men (married or not) who hit on women my age were creeps and only doing it because they thought I was dumb enough to fall for bullshit.

          2.) She still doesn’t seem to feel bad about anyone else she hurt – just that *her* feelings were hurt – which makes me less sympathetic.

          3.) Most importantly, she’s here on a chump site – of all places- looking for pity, which… no? No, why would you come here looking for sympathy?

          This all adds up to implying that she’s still a pretty self-centered person.

    • Good grief. They ALWAYS claim to be unhappily married. Even in your 20s, hell, even if you were 16, you had to know that cheaters lie. You knew he was lying to the wife, but you were sure he would never lie to you, because you’re so special? That’s narcissism, honey. There’s more evidence of that in you playing the victim by saying you had it as bad as the wife you helped to chump. Excuse me while I vomit. You were a villain, not a victim, and your “poor widdle me” post is an insult to those of us who were truly betrayed. Even your handle is a narky homage to yourself. Southern charm, my ass.

    • SouthernCharm – Nope. You knew he was married with kids and chose to go there anyway. I was propositioned at age 14 by my cousin’s then 27 year old husband. As soon as he put his hands on me and started making skeevy suggestions and trying to flirt, I went straight to my cousin and told her. (Unfortunately, she spackled).
      He knew it was wrong, but clearly didn’t care and tried it a few more times over the next year or so. He obviously thought I was ‘young and naive’ and would eventually fall prey to his attention, charm and good looks. I shut that cockhead down Every. Single. Time. I knew at 14 years old it was completely wrong.
      So GTFO with your ‘young and stupid’ excuses. You weren’t a chump. You were the OW. Fucking Gross.

    • Two things stick out to me:
      1. His wife yawned when you told her, so that said to you nonverbally that you were just one if many, she’s used to him cheating, she’s not going anywhere, so you’re as much of an OW as you thought??? By the wife’s lack of emotional response, you’re OK with being an AP. You fail to mention how and if you even apologized to the wife. You were led to believe many things that weren’t true, you listened to words not.actions, but you committed the act anyways.
      2. You laid an ultimatum down— don’t lay a single brick down. He did, you left. Bravo.

      I can’t understand why you would share that about your affair from years ago. They are not the same— being the mistress and the chp,.two.differemt things

  • Doing the right thing: how does it work, eh?

    Somehow, I imagine the violins col legno, and out of tune with one another. And a “womp, womp, womp” growl rhythmic bed, badly played contrabasson and cimbasso. With crumhorn bursts, off-beat.

    In short, a mess of a composition. Fire the orchestrator.

  • Wow – I laughed so hard I nearly choked on a waffle! (Sorry – couldn’t help it – I’m a jokaholic!) Priceless Chump Lady! The fact that she was ‘ broken’ tells me she can’t (and won’t) imagine how ‘ broken’ his wife will be when he runs off with sugar clit – of course – it’s only YOUR pain that counts! She hasn’t a clue he was just using her as a cum dumpster (cumster?) (like someone I know too well) It’s a good thing they didn’t hide behind one!!

  • I was the “chump” for 27 years. After many, many affairs, thousands spent on counseling and couple retreats.. I even led a support group for other “chumps.” I cried with them, I helped them repair their marriages or move on to a new life.

    Then…I turned into the “sadder sausage” for 2 and 1/2 years…Both sides are sides are filled with lies and empty promises…both sides are terrible to experience.

    Now, all that anger and hate that I had at all those past “sadder sausages” is now pointed directly at me…and I deserve it.

    • Aaaaaand again, this is not really the forum for people to discuss the sadz of their AP-ness as though it deserves bandwidth compared to the pain of chumps. It distracts from chump support. It doesn’t make sense for that to have centrality here, and it fills the threads with hurt and anger that doesn’t need our attention.

      I want to hear from, and give voice to, chumps, not APs who believe being and AP has certain similarities to being chumped and want to workshop that. Go workshop that stuff on Reddit. Your tribe hangs out there.

      • I disagree. I wish there was a book of OW letters (along with Tracey’s responses ) that I could read all day. It could be dedicated to Ester Perel.

        I think it’s easy to compare yourself to the OW. Are they prettier, thinner, younger, more successful, more ambitious (My ex told me I wasn’t ambitious enough for him. I was working part time cause my son was still in preschool. I’m a physical therapist. After he left, One of the girls he introduced my son to worked in a cheese shop and had purple hair)

        I think when you read these letters of ridiculousness it just points home as to what a pathetic cliche these women are. They are not threats. They are farces.

        Please, please, please keep these letters coming. The UBT not only helps me to laugh (this was one of the funniest reads I have had) but helps me to see how small and comical these one time threats really are.

        • J, totally agree that “when you read these letters of ridiculousness it just points home as to what a pathetic cliche these women are. They are not threats. They are farces.”

          My rational mind knows that any 32 year old woman who has never been married, lives as home with her adulterer psychiatrist dad and his OWife, hates kids, hates pets, works a minimum wage job despite a masters’ degree because she smokes pot and parties and “just wants a life of fun fun fun” who has instant Twu Luv with (my H) a 50 year old very successful attorney, who is a “seemingly happily” married man with 4 children, a large beautiful view home, rental properties, yearly family trips to tropical islands, drives new luxury car and an unsuspecting wife-appliance (me) who has worked my tail off since age 16 to build this life— that this AP is clearly and seriously messed up as a human…. but a part of me still takes it personally. I know that whatever I’m feeling is normal and natural and as long as I stay no contact and in Meh (divorces 2 years now) and keep the focus on building my life those thoughts and feelings will continue to fade and will be eclipsed by my own pride of my accomplishments and the wonderful activities of the life I have. It takes years though….

          • MotherChumper – that story made me chew my lip off. I guess I can relate. Remember, you helped build the guy’s success and your subsequent family. He will regret this decision the rest of his life. Trust me. I’m 6 yrs out and still working through it. Sorry to say, I don’t think the pain ever goes away. How dare they do that?!

    • You were a chump for 27 and then you CHOSE to get in an affair with a married person for 2.5 years? Did I read that correctly?

      Is it intelligence or morality that is decreasing in today’s society? 🤦🏼‍♀️

    • You didn’t “turn into” a Sad Sausage. You chose to do it, even after being a chump and knowing there was a chump spouse.

      Speaks volumes about your character.

      • See, I thought “sad sausage” was a self-pitying adulterer who kept whining about “ok, so you’re upset I cheated on you, but you don’t understand how bad *I* feel about this! Can we focus more on me?”

        so really, I have no fucking clue what this person is saying.

        • Eh, poe-tae-toe, poe-tan-toe.

          She felt sorry for herself. So she doubled down and knowingly became a SugarClit.

          I think of Sad Sausages as bursting with self-pity.

          • Wow…that’s a lot of anger and judgement for a story you don’t know.

            Not that it is any of your business. He wasn’t living with his wife when I met him, an unfortunate accident to his wife sent him home to take care of her. The accident was true, the need to be there to care for her was not…I did not find this out for a long time!

            So, keep your angry judgement to yourself and send it to your spouse who was the one who cheated on you, not those who did nothing to you.

            I get your anger, I really, really do, but I never put it on anyone who didn’t deserve.

            • 😂 😂I can’t. You have got to be joking. The word “wife” should have been enough to make you know better.

            • Truth, it burns us!

              “Now, all that anger and hate that I had at all those past “sadder sausages” is now pointed directly at me…and I deserve it.”

              You said it yourself. You deserve it – so quit bitching when you INVITED it.

            • “He wasn’t living with his wife when I met him,”

              WIFE. Not EX-wife. Not “we’re separated and going to divorce – here are the papers” but WIFE.

              As you didn’t state you dropped him like a cactus dildo and then informed his wife of his shenanigans, you’re an active participant in harming a spouse.

              • I dont get it. After my experience with my ex, I was terrified to date someone that did to his wife what my ex did to me. I didn’t want to look at guys that did not have full custody of their kids because I knew that if they had full custody that had to indicate the wife was really messed up.

                Why date a guy that didn’t work on his marriage? (Unless of course they were a chump…but people lie about that too)

                I

            • Guess what? When you go around doing SHITTY things to people, you have lost the right to act offended that people tell you what you did was SHITTY. Judgement is the ability to discern right from wrong. I refuse to suspend that action because someone who has shown a lack of moral character tells me I should.

              • The word “Ex-wife” was used…sorry for not clearly stating that! (???)

                There is still a lot of jumping to conclusions with only a tiny snip-it of a story…look at your reactions!?!?

                Do you think I did this intentionally??? Do you think I didn’t care???? While you say hateful and spiteful things to me…the bottom line is “Honey’s” a cheater is a cheater and a liar!!! That even I, who had been a chump for so long was swayed!!!! All the right things were said…his friends even agreed…so do not sit on your judgmental horses looking down on me when you have no idea of the whole story!

                Unless you have NEVER fallen for deception, hold your self-righteous indignant opinions to yourself!

                My original post was only to say that both sides have been lied to…and an admittance that I deserve hate…his wife’s hate, not yours!! You are angry women…I was too…I get it. But I never attacked anyone for their choices.

                I wish the best for all of you…and when I post under a different name for betrayal of my 27 year chump marriage to relate and support you all…I won’t remind you of this exchange.

              • I can’t reply to Still A Bad Picker’s last post for some reason but I would curious CL’s opinion on this. I call BS.

                But maybe I can’t see all the sides of this from way up here on my horse. 😏

            • Just to recap because my head is now a bit confused – you are saying that you dated a married man for 2.5 but he told you that he was divorced? I’m just curious as to when you found out about this wife and when you dumped him.

              • Prettybird: Calling BS?? Really, that’s your argument…that’s weak.

                MissBailey: No he wasn’t divorced, at the time, neither was I…and I called mine “ex” too. Likewise, my ex called “ex” before we were officially “ex”.

                When I found out what his real intentions were and also learned that his wife was completely unaware of our relationship/affair (don’t want to start a shit storm for using the wrong word again) , I dropped him…instantly!! He kept trying to reconnect with me, so I wrote his wife and told her. She didn’t believe me, so I sent emails and texts showing that he was still trying to contact me. She sent me pictures of them off on 2nd honeymoon…I still feel bad for her, because I know he will do it again.

                I played played #2 for too many years with my “EX” I won’t knowingly do that again.

              • Still A Bad Picker – yes. My BS meter is going off like crazy because your story keeps changing. I feel like I’m talking to my ex-husband 😂

              • “Now, all that anger and hate that I had at all those past “sadder sausages” is now pointed directly at me…and I deserve it.”

                “No he wasn’t divorced, at the time, neither was I…and I called mine “ex” too. Likewise, my ex called “ex” before we were officially “ex”.”

                1) You said you deserved it

                2) Yes, you do.

            • Really? You believed that, as a former chump? Right, because cheaters never lie and say they are separated and divorcing, then suddenly have to return to the marriage because of an “accident”. Sweetheart, give us a fuckin’ break. You knew better, as a veteran chump, than to swallow that story (no pun intended) without checking it out. You just didn’t care enough to.

              • Still a bad picker –
                “He wasn’t living with his wife when I met him, an unfortunate accident to his wife sent him home to take care of her. The accident was true, the need to be there to care for her was not…I did not find this out for a long time!”

                So you stayed with him for a long time after he returned “home” to his “wife”. The use of home and wife are both telling in how you viewed his relationship with her in your mind. Plus, you continued to stay with him despite the fact that he was LIVING with his WIFE. For “a long time.”

                Then suddenly your story gets all mighty:

                “When I found out what his real intentions were and also learned that his wife was completely unaware of our relationship/affair (don’t want to start a shit storm for using the wrong word again) , I dropped him…instantly!!”

                Meaning once you realized he wasn’t going to choose you…you left.

                This is reiterated in your final statement:

                “I played played #2 for too many years with my “EX” I won’t knowingly do that again.“

                Your leaving him had nothing to do with your morality. You just realized that you had lost and didn’t want to be #2 again.

                That’s why I called BS. You knew what was going on. The only way he lied to you is possibly telling you that he would eventually choose you over her.

            • Wow, you went from “I deserve it” with respect to the understandable anger & hatred YOUR ACTIONS generate to a very defensive how dare you judge me, it’s EVERYONE ELSE’S RESPONSE that’s the problem attitude pretty damn quick.

              Please do some more work to take accountability for your role in this situation. This is precisely why you shouldn’t date a man who claims his “wife” is an “ex” without the benefit of legal paperwork to back up that claim.

            • I don’t need to know your story. Nor do I give a single fuck for it.

              You were an OW. After being chumped. That is enough to tell me that you’re a fuckwit of the highest order. You knew what it was like to go through that pain, and did it anyway.

              And yes, I will absolutely judge you for being an OW. You lack character. And yes, you absolutely do deserve to be judged, if you want to play the smarmy “I am holier than thou” bullshit routine.

    • So did you post this to get flamed, then?
      It seems to me you are asking for just that by making the false equivalency that being the OW is as painful as being a chump when you admit you have the experience to know better.
      Okay, I’ll bite. You’re full of shit and just looking for centrality. Dismissed.

    • Schnoopie is that you? Really, you should have known better. What were you thinking? But don’t worry, I won’t take him back. He’s all yours if you still want him.

    • It’s not to say a chump can’t be duped. Fixing your picker isn’t a guarantee. Often times with the skilled malignant narcissists the predatory traits are well hidden.

      This experience has changed me in ways that challenged every last perception, decision and relationship.

      There is no insulation short of living in a bubble that can sift out the pathological liars and users. We have the right to be vulnerable, trust and love. Still it can happen. The price we pay cannot be avoiding risk.

      Still A Bad Picker, I believe you were duped. It happens.

    • Nothing says, “Schmoopie” like the use of multiple exclamation points and question marks.

      “There is still a lot of jumping to conclusions with only a tiny snip-it of a story…look at your reactions!?!?”

      “Do you think I did this intentionally??? Do you think I didn’t care???? While you say hateful and spiteful things to me…the bottom line is “Honey’s” a cheater is a cheater and a liar!!! That even I, who had been a chump for so long was swayed!!!! ”

      “Prettybird: Calling BS??”

      “Prettybird…???? tell me where it changed???”

      “My original post was only to say that both sides have been lied to…and an admittance that I deserve hate…his wife’s hate, not yours!!”

      Oh look at that – Schmoopie wants pity! How droll.

  • ‘He saw in me the layered crags of the Grand Canyon, and it stirred him forth with dust for miles like Mount St. Helens!’

    ‘My friends and family tried to comfort me. But I couldn’t tell them my secret. That being a giant whore had given me the saddest.’

    ‘I felt so attached to his children. Enough to attempt to destroy the woman who was actually attached to them by an umbilical cord once. Come on, September!’

    ‘I am my beloved’s and he is mine. After 9 and before six Monday – Friday. And except when he’s future faking some enchanted September on a phone his wife bought for him.’

    These never get old!

    • I had a touch of sympathy for “SouthernCharm” for I have my own regrets from youth. But to put oneself in the “as same as” category as a wife, claiming that illicit promises mean as much as those professed legally and publicly and bound by a shared past, home and family shows a continued lack of empathy.

    • Luziana- umbilical cord 😂😂😂

      How does she feel when he’s future faking with his other side dish fuck? The one who tells herself, “Come on January.” Or she assumes she’s his only…

  • wow, I got a letter similar to this after dday1 – flowery and fake and full of woe is me garbage that was absolutely self inflicted, with plenty of barbs intended for me. These people are monsters

    • OW also turned into professional victim. It was mind-blowing. Wait, what? I, the faithful wife was the villain? Poor little church mouse convinced many people she had been wronged, yes wronged by me! The things I had worked decades for-professional recognition, stability, even my volunteer work in the community were dragged out and displayed as proof of what a terrible, terrible person I was.

      In the end, I remember what my father used to say,”Those who matter, don’t care and those who care don’t matter.” I am so grateful I did not engage with the sociopath. Instead, I focused on myself, my future, and my family. I am now reasonably content. OW remains the perpetual victim.

      I have read his column previously and it never ceases to bring up a huge belly laugh, especially the idiocy of “the only thing worse than carrying this burden by yourself is carrying it alone.” Haven’t laughed that hard in a very long time!

  • Southern charm?

    You were young early twenties., Pathetic excuse for a low class person who knowingly cheats with a married man. How many younger woman will not even think about sleeping with another woman’s husband? It’s called SELF RESPECT .

    Obviously you haven’t changed if you can still make excuses today. CL remove her from this site. Brings back the pain. 😢

    • I agree! I had plenty of opportunities in my early 20’s but still had the moral compass to say, “hell no!”

  • The UBT is so on point.
    Quoting scripture to discuss the twu love? So delightful. Keep looking back and turn to salt you crazy bat.

  • Is it bad that I laughed — really, really, hard, at that 😀 — at this?
    What is it with cheaters and AP’s and their melodrama?
    I know this column isn’t new, but it’s just such a gem of the UBT. It made my morning.

    • In this case, it’s probably Borderline Personality Disorder. It oozes from that dreck like the syrup on the waffles. Nobody, not even a genocide victim, feels pain like a BPD, according to people with BPD.

  • Regarding young girls in their late teens, 20s cheating with men in their 40s. I don’t in anyway approve of it. I never did something like that. Their brains aren’t fully developed, they haven’t experienced enough to be empathetic. many of them do not have a strong sense of confidence yet and they are easily manipulated.

    What they needed was strong parental figures that actually spoke out against affairs and cheating and dating married men and anusive relationships too.

    I think ending the secrecy to protect cheaters and OW is important too. My ex mil kept her husbands affairs and leaving them a huge secret. Told my ex husband, his father was out providing and took him back and protected all of how wrong doings from my ex. But had she educated him on the rights and wrongs and hurt and devastation. had she been less of an enabler, perhaps she would have broken a cycle.

    I will not lie or sugar coat or protect my ex’s actions with my son. That’s for sure

    • Their brains are developed enough to know they need to keep the relationship a secret. They know what they are doing is wrong. They make a choice in favor of their own selfish ambition.

      If your argument was legitimate then no one under the age of 25 should be allowed to drive a car or hold a job.
      “What? They stole from the company? Oh, it’s just because their brains aren’t fully developed. It’s ok.”

      Why isnt anyone held responsible for their actions anymore?

      • I completely agree; a well-developed sense of morality is in place by 16, and the prefrontal cortex is well-enough developed by age 19 to exercise judgment and behavioral control. The amount of “development” left in the brain from 20-25 is miniscule.

        Character is in place by the late teen years. Or it isn’t.

        My husband’s main OW was 22. She marched her little ass down to the coffee shop every Monday, Wed, and Friday to meet the esteemed professor, and eventually walked him back to her apartment to shag him on her single bed. She knew he had two young children, and yet still fucked him over a period of months and insisted he leave his family for her. Sadly, in the end, she wasn’t appealing enough to lure him away. He stayed with me for 8 more years and made my life a misery too often, until I discovered gradwhore’s existence when he was called to report to the sexual harassment officer over his affair with the little slut. She admitted to the sexual harassment officer that it had been a consensual affair, and so my then-husband did not suffer any consequences.

        I have a 23 year old daughter; she would no sooner sleep with a married man than she would drown puppies. Why? Character.

      • He said nice things to me so I overlooked his wife and kids? That has nothing to do with age, it has to do with entitlement. I was once a girl in her 20’s and I never screwed around with a married man. I knew better. Flattery shouldn’t overcome a solid set of morals. My daughter is still in her 20’s and yep, she knows better too. IMO being young is no excuse for being weak minded and letting flattery overcome your knowledge of right and wrong.

        • I never slept with a married man when I was young and innocent. And I have to say, it upset me then and even more now to see how many young women engage in affairs with older, married co-workers/ bosses/ professors and receive special attention/ promotions/ opportunities because of it. When I think of how hard women have to work to be taken seriously in the professional sphere, it devastates me to see how common it still is for women to get ahead by screwing an older guy with power.

          I read about the then very much married google’s sergei brin sleeping with some junior marketing person Amanda in her 20s, and then she received a huge promotion… and how so many other women at google who had actually paid their dues were upset. Of course they were painted as jealous shrews. Ugh. Makes my blood boil.

      • Heck yes, someone in the 20s knows wrong from right. Knows that doing anything with a married man is wrong. I was 25 and hanging with some people at a pre-party for the Indy 500. One was a salesman and married, kept coming on to me. He was in his early 40s. I knew that married men were off-limits and didn’t want to get involved with that shit. I don’t care what he said – if he’s willing to cheat, he’s willing to lie – to everyone.

        • When I was in my 20s I never wanted to get involved with anybody in their 40s, let alone anybody so much older and married.

          • Yeah, neither did I. My cut off was no more than ten years older, otherwise the guy was an obvious creep looking for much younger flesh. Who wants to date that? What’s up with these twenty somethings dating guys 20+ years older? Must be about daddy issues. Or their money.

  • What a waste of some good bacon.

    I wonder if “Super Freak” by Rick James is also on her playlist.

  • “Maybe one day, after all the lost time, he will join me and my September will come.“…….

    Geez, us chumps just want Tuesday, of course the forking cheaters need a entire month 🙄

    I wonder if “Short Stack” has “When September Ends”
    By Green Day on repeat….what losers they all are

    • “Geez, us chumps just want Tuesday, of course the forking cheaters need a entire month 🙄“

      😂😂😂

  • Cheaters and APs are forever stuck in teenager mentality/fantasy land. That letter is so ridiculous. What adult actually talks/thinks like that?

  • They don’t know that hormones get elevated when they have sex with new partners. They mistake this buzz for a love relationship. It’s just horny goat lust and selfishness. Immorality. A willingness to conspire against innocent people for their own gain.

    My ex cheated on everything he could: taxes, job mileage, school courses etc. It was a pattern. It took me years to find out ALL the secret deceits he had/was doing.

    • Yes, all that. Cheated and lied his way through life. He even took credit for my accomplishments/ ideas. Only now can I see what he really was…and I still cannot believe it!

  • Barfing in a bucket. Thanks, CL, for the UBT!! The married OW in my situation wrote me about how “life is complicated”, after a cursory apology “I’m sorry I had an affair with your husband”. Then some other blather about one of her esteemed Ethics professors at her all women’s college back east.

    You know, I have a certain amount of compassion for those on this board who were very young when they got involved with married people. I want to believe they lacked maturity, pure and simple, that they were preyed on by fuckwits, and have faith that it is possible for them to learn from their mistakes. Unfortunately, there isn’t some sort of penal system for those engaging in adultery ala “The Scarlet Letter”, so there don’t appear to be any sort of social consequences. Only those who have an iota of character will ever feel true remorse for their actions.

    What I want to know is this: is there some way of TEACHING adolescents about the damage caused by cheating/adultery/whatever you want to call it….before they are ever faced with the temptation?

    • But…they already know. I just don’t believe that anyone could reach their 20’s and not know that fooling around with a married man is wrong. I agree that they can and should feel remorse and learn from their mistakes but I don’t buy that someone in their 20’s or even their late teens didn’t KNOW it was wrong. They knew. Just like they know that drinking and driving or texting and driving is wrong. They know, they choose to do it anyway. How many people do you think hit their 20’s these days without having a close friend (if not their own parents) whose parents’ marriage blew up due to infidelity? I can think of a half a dozen examples among my kids’ friends. Like I said in an earlier post, it’s more a matter of entitlement than it is naivete. Hopefully, like some of the posters here, they grow out of it.

      • I should add that the OW in my case was well into her 30’s, knew what she was doing was wrong (on so many levels), but chose to do it anyway. I hope to, someday, get to Meh regarding her.

        • Someday I may dig up one of her emails to my STBX for the UBT to translate. They are truly barf worthy.

          • The OW in my case was in her 50’s, had just gotten a divorce because HER husband had gotten a girlfriend while they were married so there is no excuse whatsoever for that stinking piece of rotten shit for going after a married man. She actually went after three married men at the college where we all worked…that I know of for sure. She wasn’t even all the way divorced before she started wagging her snatch in front of all them. My stupid cheater XH was the only one her fell for her ‘charms.’ One of the married men she went after told me that she was one of the most brazen, shameless women he had ever met. One of the things I guess I’ll never understand is how people like her get what they want. Immoral scum ‘win’. The bible says the meek shall inherit the earth. I have a different opinion. It seems to me the assholes inherit it. It’s been over a decade and no Karma bus has shown up in their cul-de-sac.

            • Have you seen the earth these days , Chumptonia? Maybe it’s best to let the a**holes have it. The meek will inherit something greater by maintaining their morals and integrity.

              Hugs to you.

      • Exactly, Beth. My DD #2 was 13 at the time D-day hit, and knew what her father had done was wrong, leading her to go NC with him even before I did.

        If a 13 year old can figure out that cheating is wrong, pretty sure a young 20s person can, too.

      • I agree wholeheartedly. It is entitlement and sense of one’s own happiness that a cheater puts first. Everyone, no matter what age, knows cheating is wrong. We know not to date our friend’s exes even in high school!

        I wish they brought back the scarlet letter for cheaters.

        • At least the scarlet A would help us identify the cheaters while working to fix our pickers!

      • My earlier point was that a lot of people out there hide affairs and accountability from the kids in order to protect them. They are not raising children who know the devastation that occurs from an affair. I know tons of people that did not tell their kids that their ex cheated because they are afraid it will hurt their children.

        My mother was highly critical of men that cheated and of other woman. (My dad was very loyal) Whenever she heard a story on tv or about distant relatives she always had a snarky remark, so I knew the deal at a young age. Had I not been exposed to that, I’m not sure I would understand at the age of 19 or 20 what liars these guys are. It’s hard to feel and empathize and sympathize when your not in that position or have never experienced a relationship, unless you had a really strong moral upbringing. A guy compliments them and tells them they are separated, or that their wife left them and they believe it and don’t take it at face value.

        I would view a 19 or 20 year old OW as a dingbat or having some serious daddy issues or sociopathic issues if she was with my 40 year old husband. I wouldn’t take it as personally, cause I know she’s just an idiot with no life experience. She would not anger me as much as someone closer in age that knowingly took up with my ex.

    • Yeah, there is a way to teach teens about cheating, adultery and flat out unethical behavior. It’s called parenting. Good parents should be involved and take their kids to task when behaving badly. If we had proper data on women that tend to become the OW, I would bet the findings would show there wasn’t a stable father figure in their life & the mother was emotionally checked out or tended to be obsessed with men. When I was younger there were older, married men that hit on me and they disgusted me. When I was a bit older, felt the same exact way about married men that hit on me and other girlfriends. I always found these types of men repulsive and can’t imagine any woman getting involved with one.

        • We all have choices and something called agency. Begs the question “What kind of person do I want to be ? A person of good character or a manipulative, mean sh*t ?” Guess I’m judgy and self-righteous and I’ll take that as a compliment.

  • I ran into one of my other cousin a few weeks back. She mentioned that she ran into Skankella at a family get together. Skankella told her that she wasted 4 years of her life with a man who would not leave his wife. She was hurt that she was dumped and my STBX wanted to work on the marriage. She told her that if she ever runs into him she will smack the crap out of him. She told her that I was a nut job and faked a breakdown to get my own way. Well I might be a nut job(in her mind). But, at least I did not screw around with my Cousins husband. She showed no remorse for her part in hurting me. Just shows what kind of women she is. I still can not understand what my STBX ever saw in a women like her. I guess she liked to have fun.

  • I agree 100%! At that age, she should know right from wrong and have a moral compass. I’m not buying her lame excuses…she was cheating.

  • A person in their 20s knows that someone’s husband/boyfriend/wife/girlfiriend is off-limits. It’s cheating and everyone knows it’s cheating. As I pointed out above – if someone is willing to cheat, they are willing to lie.

    No excuses for AP and cheaters.

  • Of course the young OW knows it’s wrong. But they see the successful older married man and see him as a proven quantity and a shortcut to what they want in life. They want what the chump has, without all the hard work. What they don’t seem to realize is that a cheater is no prize.

      • In my case, the poor little thing wanted what I had, and boy did she get it. She got to live in my house and assume all of my many responsibilities. She got no respect. She got the rage and the silent treatment and the lies. She didn’t last long, but those few years surely felt like a lifetime.

        I got my life back and found peace again. A bargain at any price.

  • When I was 23, I lived in a small town and rented a house with a girlfriend. We became good friends with the couple next door and the 4 of us spent a fair bit of time together. One day, the man next door and I were alone in my kitchen and he told me he had fallen in love with me. Now, I must admit, I found him very attractive, but was quite thrown by this. I was about to leave on a 2 month backpacking trip to Europe and so told him that I could never break up a marriage or be “the other woman”. But, if he was really so unhappy in his marriage, he should separate and live on his own. If he was on his own when I returned, we could date and see if we had a future. I left on my trip and had no contact with him while away. When I returned, I could see he was still with his wife. He called a couple of times (days before there was identical, 45 years ago) and I would hang up. I knew it was the wrong thing to become involved. A few years later, I married and thought I had found my forever love. We had two children. At 33 years married, I learned he had cheated throughout our time together. I had assumed he was like me and was an honourable person. It was not to be. I have now been separated and then divorced for 8 years. I will never regret doing the right thing. I really believe our character and integrity is all we have in the end. I doubt there will be another life partner for me (I’m now 71). But I am happy and that is everything.

      • I should add, I’m 32, newly divorced with 2 children. I found out last April he had been cheating on me throughout our entire time together too.

        • Hugs to you – it’s not easy starting over. Keep coming here and you can join the forums too.

    • This is the kind of story we need on this thread!

      Lots of young people do lots of stupid and selfish things. Coming to this site to talk about one’s youthful cheating is simply a compounding of the error. Go do that somewhere else! Nobody here is going to throw you a ticker-tape parade because you decided to stop being a cheater.

      More stories of youthful backbone and integrity, please! The one below isn’t mine, just one I heard:

      Recently, a young adult I work with explained why he had ended his relationship with a girlfriend. They had both decided they weren’t sure about being exclusive over the summer, and they agreed to “take a break” and talk things through in 3 months. When they had their talk in September, he revealed he’d gone out with someone whom he had a long-standing interest in and they kissed. She revealed she’d hooked up with several people for casual sex. He was stunned–he had not realized how much of a break she wanted and how much experimentation appealed to her. They both agreed that they were not on the same page in terms of what kind of relationship they wanted. He wants monogamy now. She doesn’t want to be tied into one relationship now. So they ended it. I suspect they both feel some loss–they were good friends and now they are carefully friendly with each other. He wasn’t happy with her choices, but he didn’t feel he had been lied to or cheated on. (Six months later, he is beginning a new relationship with someone who appears to share his more traditional expectations.) Even youthful experimentation can be handled with integrity.

  • Need to send the OP the Meme “God would never send you someone else’s husband” !

    What a winner her “twu luv” is..obviously he doesn’t work and is sponging off his hard working wife all while he is secretly cheating on her with a skank.
    I also find it amusing that after “his wife knows everything”, she doesn’t contact the wife to verify.

    Just like all OW/OM, her letter reeks of selfish entitlement and she never considers that she is potentially destroying the marriage of another woman and breaking up a family. Oh no.. she is in “luv” and her feelings are ALL that matters. Excuse my language but FUCK HER and all other APs !!

    • LG…I had to look up that meme….’God would never send you someone else’s husband.’ Good one!! I have a friend from grade school who is hung up on an old boyfriend from high school, her ‘soul mate’ who is married and it is the most ridiculous thing ever, she knows better to talk about to me. We’ve had fights about it over the years. He is never going to leave his wife and all she had done is waste the pretty and the last 15 years of her life growing old. I have no respect for either of them.

        • No God sent us these assholes. They spotted us as vulnerable and preyed on us. In my case I was a single mom, still in school, who had just gotten rid of somebody who tried to choke me in front of our young child. When I met the cheater, he was so gentle, just the sort of man I needed. Now I understand it was calculated. His more covert abuse that started less than a year in was the sort of abuse nobody even recognized as such back then. I didn’t either and just wrote it off as him being inexperienced at relationships, which he was.
          Experienced or not, they are predators and they target us for a reason.

          • Same.
            I was fresh from divorce with exh1 had had been convinced no one would ever love me, ever want me…then along came The Evil One, ugh.
            So glad I’ve risen from the ashes.

            Oh, LG, that meme was my profile.lic when I found about the OWhore, LOL , for a few days at least… Point made
            Fuck all those APs OWs/OMs

  • This stuff simply makes me sick. Wish I had more than to middle fingers.

    I hope some day my level of meh will stop me form wondering this: are they oblivious… is this unwitting? Do they know exactly what they are doing? How can you write something like this and not be at all self aware of how much of an asshole you are?

    • Right?!?!
      She just loves the drama and “power” she thinks she holds …pppffffftttt, fuck that.
      I wonder what the poster’s life is like now, probably still sitting in that fucking dinner waiting on September, idiot

  • The OW should have realized their love was doomed from the start… he likes crispy bacon but she prefers EXTRA crispy bacon… ne’er the twain shall meet.

    In seriousness though, this triggered in me a memory about Mr. Sparkles final OW when she started up with her self-righteous indignation when I suggested she didn’t know the full truth about him/his lies/his serial cheating/his penchant for sex parties and getting with couples as a third… after all in her words: “I’m not concerned with what he did in your relationship. He has told me everything I need to know.”

    I think it was maybe 3 months later that she broke up with him because she caught him cheating on her. Just sayin….

  • Wow! Just Wow! I guess empathy and compassion is reserved for chumps only here. I get it, I’ve lived it, but I wonder what would happen if it was YOUR daughter who made a once in a lifetime mistake like SouthernCharm? Would she be hung by her thumbnails, too? Would you treat her as SouthernCharm is being treated? Empathy and compassion can be great teachers. Mudslinging can make matters worse. I also get the degrees of mistakes, but she fessed up, and doing so here is huge. Plus she’s now been chumped. Return to empathy and compassion, please!

    • If she were my daughter, I would have brought her up with more morals, so that in ADULTHOOD I trust she wouldn’t behave like an alley cat.

      However, if she were my daughter and came to me with a story like this one, she would firstly almost certainly be given a pretty solid bawling-out by me.

      After that, we would talk about empathy and compassion. This would start with empathy and compassion FOR THE WOMEN SHE HAS BETRAYED – me her mother, who brought her up to know better, as well as the chumped wife of this good-for-nothing.

      THEN, we might get down to her – and my expectation that she would show more character in future, and that I would be happy to support her in getting help with that.

      SouthernCharm fessed up in a chumps blog. She’s attention-seeking. People who need HELP go and GET HELP from therapists, not go all coy and confessional on blogs dedicated to trying to help their victims, not them.

    • 1. If it were my daughter, I’d have said “well, yes, you did something wrong there, but that aside, what were you thinking, going on a chump website to ask for pity? Why did you think they were the appropriate audience for this? Frankly, I’m surprised you didn’t have more common sense.”

      2. I ain’t her mama.

  • Why can’t we sue the OW & OM? Why is criminal conversation not a thing anymore? Seriously. WTF justice system?!

    They do these things because there is no real reckoning. They can live with their choices. They reason their choices away with statements of fate, aliveness, twu wuv. Basically believing they actually had no real choice and weren’t in control because this “thing was bigger than the both of us.” Can’t you see, they are victims too? 🤢 Barf.

    But the pain on this side of the affairs (the chumped side) comes from suffering consequences (loosing children, money, dignity) of behaviors and actions WE HAD NO CHOICE IN. I was an unwitting participant.

    Justify all you’d like OW and OM of the world, but it all comes down to YOU made choices, chumped is did not.

    • “Why can’t we sue the OW & OM?” Maybe because the legal system (lawyers, Judges and lawmakers) is filled with cheating Sociopaths.

  • I feel kind of exhausted from reading these responses. So many of us are rightfully angry and have been treated so badly. I think I’m tired of feeling angry. I’m tired of being misunderstood by people who have no idea what it’s like to be so utterly betrayed. The narrative that the cheater and affair partner give is so wrong. My ex husband’s mistress used that line from the Bible too: I am my beloved and my beloved is mine. It’s from Song of Solomon.

  • Said to me (and done) when I was a lovely, young woman living in Paris. I kept this man at arms distance/friends only.

    “I’m separated from my wife but I can’t afford the divorce. It’s very expensive in this country.”
    “You know, I could have been director of the National School of Decorative Arts” as we walked by the actual director’s apartment one day. But he wasn’t was he ? Just worked in the library where I was attending grad school. A painter with no real success who was supported by his maman (new Volkswagen, etc).
    He staged a “chance” encounter between me and the department store heiress he was living with near the Eiffel Tower ($$$) at his studio. The narc was hoping for a cat fight or major drama ?
    “Why don’t you jot down a couple of words on this post card I’m sending to my teenage daughter ?” She lived in Brittany, a four and half hours drive away from her father. My response was “Why would I do that ? That’s really inappropriate.”

    Things turned very ugly one day when his charm and very good looks (one of the handsomest men I’ve ever seen) were leading nowhere. He told me I laughed like a whale and I asked him “What the hell is wrong with you ? Two women are not enough ?”

    Laughing heartily as I think back to this lesson of moral integrity. What an asshole.

  • This UBT never gets old.
    I was out with my friends listening to a live band recently.
    Group for guys sitting near us starts up conversations, ask to buy us drinks, asks us to dance, etc.
    I ask them if any.of them are.married, they ALL say yes. I decline any further contact, my friends followed suit. Two of my friends I was out with are chumps too.
    One guy asked me why was I declining. I told him that I don’t deal with married men in any way, shape form. He gave the “were just guys having a night out, what’s the big deal?”
    I responded that married men are not for me and I didn’t cross that line, it was a boundary I didn’t cross
    One of the other guys was so confused and offended that we wouldn’t talk to them, but left us alone.
    I don’t give a damn what excuse they say. Married is married and if you meet someone , then realize they are married, from that moment on (if you chose to continue like OWhore in my case) then you are a wretched him being with low.morals and character
    And being the spouse of the person you were the affair partner? Fuck you too, you deserve every bit of heartbreak and sorrow you have coming to you.
    It’s called karma and it’s delicious when served cold.on cheaters or their whores
    I don’t give a shit what they told you. Get over yourselves. You knew damn good and well you were a mistress. You chose to be the side piece. You deserve every piece of heartbreak you get

    • “One guy asked me why was I declining … He gave the “were just guys having a night out, what’s the big deal?””

      Boundary Buster Guy #1. It’s not what I’m doing, it’s YOUR REACTION TO IT that’s all wrong, baby.

      “One of the other guys was so confused and offended that we wouldn’t talk to them, but left us alone.”

      Boundary Buster Guy #2 – slightly less egregious, but still You’re Not the Boss of Me.

      And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how ‘accidents’ happen – as in, ‘It was an accident! I never meant to cheat on you! I said I was sorry!’

      Sure. It was an accident how you:

      1) hit on those single women when you were at the bar with your married male friends, and then
      2) wouldn’t take no for an answer, and
      3) tried to make them feel bad so they would talk to you, and
      4) hopefully get drunk with you, so you could see how far it could go, and
      5) see if you still had the old razzle-dazzle with the Laydies.

      Yep. Whole series of accidents, right there.

      • Yes, exactly!!!
        I have no problem with people going out and having a good time, but I’m single and I expect any man coming to talk to me to be single as well.
        I don’t want to get my hopes up for a fucking loser that can’t honor his committment to his wife.

  • I wonder why an OW (or OM but they seem to have the sense not to write about it) would believe that a chump is supposed to give a flying fuck about them and their pain?

    Beyond the obvious (narcissistic selfish fuckwit).

  • Lolagranola, I’d like to add a #7) An opportunity to prove to my friends that I’m a stud…,

    Makes a great inside joke for the guys to snicker and laugh about the next time they get together with their wives. The feeling of power knowing they’ve got away with something. Goes back to the you can’t tell me what I can and can’t do.

    I despise cheaters.

  • “I’m a few pancakes short of a stack. He is a flaccid Belgian waffle. But we share a deep mutual love of crispy bacon. ”
    Thank you for the laugh Chump Lady.

  • They all think they’re living out “Me and Mrs. Jones.” Problem is we now live in a society where divorce is normal and accessible. And it’s usually just Miss Jones.

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