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The Futility of Confronting Affair Partners

Here’s a rookie chump mistake — confronting affair partners. Maybe you did this. Maybe you agonized about doing this. Maybe you’re still waiting to come up with the perfect withering remark to deliver along with your poisoned umbrella tip. Let me spare you the trouble — don’t go there.

But! But! 

I know you want to tell them off, but it’s futile for a variety of reasons.

1. They have no shame. Unless this person is completely unaware that your spouse is married or otherwise spoken for (it happens, in which case I think the person is a fellow chump, not an AP), they knew what they were doing and have devised various rationales — all of which are impervious to your exhortations. The most common is that you are sexless and batshit crazy. You come at them all “Stay away from my husband, you hussy!” — you’re going to validate their assumptions. You’re nuts.

Worse, if you come at them all classy — appealing to their sense of shared humanity and common decency — they will delight in their superiority. You poor pathetic chump, begging for your marriage. Can’t you see you’re dealing with an uber being? One more charismatic and sexier than you? How could one as dim and sexless as you understand someone as compelling as them? You cannot. This is bigger than us both. Their love cannot be denied. You are too feebleminded to comprehend this. Don’t make me explain it to you.

Which brings us to the other reason you should not confront the affair partner…

2. They might actually be batshit crazy. Yeah, there’s some irony in that, huh? Look, to exist in an affair for any length of time, you have to be a few sandwiches shy of picnic. Either, you’ve got really low self-esteem to be a side dish, or you’re flamingly narcissistic. In the first case, desperate people can do desperate things. And in the other case, narcissistic people don’t think the rules apply to them — and that doesn’t stop at poaching your spouse. It might also extend to the rules of law.

Being in an affair has been likened to addiction — you’re trying to sober them up. Have you watched those recovery programs? People get ugly. Very ugly. Haven’t you suffered enough? Do you really need this person harassing you and losing their shit? No. You do not need that.

But the biggest reason not to confront the affair partner?

3. It’s kibbles to your cheater. Confronting the affair partner is the essence of the pick me dance. “Stay away from my wife!” makes your wife really central. She’s getting a high off two people fighting for her. How fabulous. Maybe there’ll be a duel!

If cheater’s can’t have secret cake, they will settle for a public pick me dance. It’s all good. It’s all kibbles. Maintain your dignity! Don’t do it.

You might delude yourself into thinking you need to talk with the affair partner for reconnaissance purposes. To compare notes. Maybe that person will tell you things your partner will not.

They might. And it might be a pack of lies! Consider the source. There might also be some truth in it — but how fucked up is that? Would you really consider staying with a person who won’t tell you the truth — you have to get the details from their fuckbuddy? Really?

If you’ve been tempted to confront Schmoopie — leave it to professionals. Have your lawyer write them a no contact letter. Ask your lawyer to depose them in your divorce (that gets settlement talks moving quite quickly I hear). If you need more information about the affair(s), hire a PI or become  a computer snoop. Hand over the evidence to your lawyer. Don’t go rogue on this. Get professional support.

The point is to GET AWAY from them both and stop giving your cheater and the affair partner your precious mental energy. You know what says “you are beneath contempt”? Filing for divorce. Letting the cheater have Schmoops. Walking away from this shit lets you maintain your dignity and self-respect.

But, but! They posted some really stupid New Agey memes on Pinterest!

And why are you looking? This just confirms the kind of rancid oatmeal that passes for OW self-reflection. I’m sorry I’m so much better than you and everyone knows it, even your husband, he only dumped me because of his powerful love for me.

Don’t stare into that cavern of self-absorption. Why would you appeal to such a person’s better self? They think they’re just splendid.

So confronting an AP? No. It’s an exercise in futility.

Pointing and laughing? That’s totally permitted. Go right ahead.

This one ran previously. Just got home from New Orleans. Ten years since the fateful day I met Mr. CL in front of Solomon Burke. More on that tomorrow! 

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  • Guilty as charged. And CL is right! Huge mistake that just added to cheater’s low opinion of me and mine of myself. That said, it’s hard to deal with the overwhelm of negative emotions—the anger, shock, and hatred that comes with this. My stbx’s affair partners didn’t know but they listened to his lies after I told them he was married and it made no difference in the eventual outcome. Just made me a bigger fool. The high road is always better. I just prolonged my misery.

    • The high road is always best. I never did confront the OW. In the early days, he would run to her with everything I said. I’m sure he still does. I had told him I was going for STD testing after Dday. He was so angry because after all, he and the OW were “just friends “! She messaged me telling me that they were not sleeping together and I should go for counselling to get over my unrealistic assumptions. I never replied and just blocked her. Turns out I was right, they were sleeping together and were just horrified that I knew it.
      From the beginning, I operated under the belief that if he wanted to be with me he would and if she wanted a lying cheating sack of if shit, she was welcome to him!

      • The bold-faced gall of that gaslighting bitch is incredible. Good for you that you didn’t take the bait. They were hoping you would rage at her to confirm their false claim that you are crazy.

  • The howorker ended the affair with mu cheater so she could move on to “someone closer to her own age” in the office. She is married, has a small child, and is in an open relationship and has an understanding with her husband ????. She told my synchronous that their “realationship” would be temporary and just a couple of months of fun and no strings attached sex because she has all the other stuff with her husband and family.

    Point is, I STILL think about confronting her. I think about it almost daily and I’m nearly a year out from d day and in the middle of divorce. I just don’t understand how a woman with a family could actively work to destroy another family. She knew full well about me. She had met me, in my home when I gave her my child’s hand me down crib and baby items for her baby!

    I don’t know what I think I would get out of confrontation I just want to stop thinking about it and stop being so angry all the time. I guess I fantasize about some sort of moral response with a heartfelt remorseful apology. Probably because I never got one from cheater himself.

    Or I’d hit her.

    • I wish I had read this advice before sending an email to the Howorker, shortly after I found out about the affair.
      CL is 100 % correct! APs have no shame. They can’t be shamed. It was the absolutely most infuriating email exchange ever. The deflection of blame, and unsolicited “advice” she gave me were enough to make any sane person lose their minds and I was not in a good “sane” state when this happened.

      One thing I got from her email response, and this helped me leave the cheater for good: she is not a good person. Obviously. But there it was in email proof. And this is the kind of person my husband chose. It said more about him than her. I needed his disfunction out of my life so that I could be well and have a better life.
      11 months separated now, and sometimes I still have very hard days. But I’ve never missed the cheater. Not for a moment.

    • F&L your story about giving the AP things just really hit me hard.
      One of the most fucked-up thing my POS cheater did was have me buy and do things for his whores.
      What, asshole, it’s not enough that you are lying, cheating and betraying me, you’ve got to rub my face in it as well?
      After I found out that I was (unknowingly) helping the fuckwit get closer to his targets, I asked my therapist if the dickhead thought of me as his mother or his pimp.
      Therapist said it was probably both.

      • Oh boy. That’s familiar to me. My cheater asked me to buy clothes for him that she had said she liked. He also asked me for advice on how he could improve his appearance, me not knowing it was entirely for her benefit. The SOB was getting me to help him please his whore. It gives them a rush of power to do that. They’re worthless, hog-wallowing sleazebags.
        What did he have you buy and do?

        • So sorry that you had to go through that. It hurts when you realize that all you really were was a wife appliance.
          For the first MOW, after she separated from her husband, the cheater wanted to give her a great Christmas. So, he spun a tale about a “poor single mother” (he left out the part where he was fucking her) who had nothing for her boys.
          Chumpy me bought her kids a game system, food for the holiday meal, gave away my TV (for the game system) and made sure to send along a Christmas tree and decorations. Not only did I get everything together, I also paid for it all. The only thing the dickhead did was deliver everything to the whore. I am sure he took all the credit, and I am also sure she expressed her gratitude to HIM. It was the same for the next Christmas, and probably would have gone on like that for years, but I caught him after three years.
          The second OW actually WAS a poor single mother, a neighbor he introduced me to. That one lasted TEN years. For that whore I cooked treats for her and her kids, made pitchers of margaritas for him to bring over, watched her boys when she was running late (looking back, she was probably with my husband when she was out late, cause he wasn’t home either), bought her and her family gifts, school shoes and clothes for the kids, clothes and shoes for her, and baby presents when her eldest had kids, and on and on. He also had me fix her computer, set up a wireless network, set her up with Netflix (at my expense of course) fix her phone, figure out what was wrong with her car every time it broke down, and then order the parts and watch YouTube videos to fix it. And that ungrateful asshole OW never once said “thank you”, except one time when cheater asshole prompted her to. She mumbled “thanks” and didn’t even look at me when she said it, she looked at him.
          I could go on, but why? Just the fact that he was screwing other people showed me how little respect he had for me. So why would he compound the betrayal in this way? I will never know how someone could do this to someone else they “loved”.

          • Omg! AP is the lowest of lows to participate and reap the benefits of their mutual lies and manipulation. What a sick bitch!!

        • Wow, this is bringing back memories! My husband also had me take him shopping to improve his wardrobe, weigh in on haircuts, suggest new music to listen to in his endeavor to “get out of a rut; refresh; make small changes.” After all, *I* frequently would change haircuts or try trendy new wardrobe pieces. What’s the problem?! New workout routine, too. He didn’t want to bother me so he’d get up super early to go to the gym. No, no…I should sleep. He’ll try to be quiet so he doesn’t disturb me. I suspected something was a bit off, and had it confirmed when someone who worked at our gym said, “your husband is really committed to getting into shape these days! He’s been here Every. Single. Morning. with his new workout partner for months. They seem to enjoy working out together…a lot. I’m just sayin’.” Wink. Wink. Yeah, maybe he should have minded his own business. I’m glad he didn’t. His new workout partner was also his work colleague. I got all the usual BS and gaslighting about how they were just friends and colleagues. I, of course, was the crazy one. I closed my door at work and cried every day. One day someone slipped an anonymous typed note into my mail cubby: “I miss your amazing smile. Whatever that asswipe of a husband did to you, you didn’t deserve it. F-ck him and go find your smile again.”

    • The OW was a cliched co-worker (like the term here, ho-worker!) and had an ‘open marriage’ and two kids younger than mine. The Ex is the boss, and apparently she has some issues with mental heal and alcohol. I had a chic ace encounter the day after I found out the full extent. I wanted to know how another woman with young children – (who had met me and my kids, been to my house), could do that. She spat out that I should have been a better wife and that he said he loved her (fortunately I had already got that from him). She called me a psycho bitch and that I was on a ‘police hit list’. Told me she’s not accountable to me. Overall, it was not the satisfying confrontation I wanted, and showed it was fruitless to do anything more. And yes, she was batshit crazy. And yes, the contact I had with her just fed into the drama and also brought out that the ex was willing to defend her over me – that I needed to be careful bc he would hate to see consequences for me. I try not to have regrets because I did what I did in the moment and with the knowledge I had, but I would not recommend it!

  • I confronted the howorker twice and sent her a few emails telling her the destruction she was participating in with my kids. All I got was narcissistic feedback and contempt. 20 months later my stbxh and howorker bought a new home, car and now have a baby together. Bottom line THEY DID NOT CARE and got pleasure seeing me hurt and angry. How superior they must have felt.
    Don’t do it. If you spouse really wanted to be with you they wouldn’t have had an affair. If they really wanted to fix things they would leave and do what is needed to fix the relationship. It should not take you pick me dancing to get your spouses attention.

    • I talked to my APs wife .
      The AP called my stbxw , who tried to spin it that somehow this was all my fault.
      Yes , the AP had told my wife that he was divorced, they were only living together to pay the mortgage . Not quite what the wife said , I called them on their 11th wedding anniversary and their daughter had to listen to it all.
      My stbxw was sad for about 3 days, but then continued the affair anyway.
      As for the AP- some months have passed, but I realised that I should actually be grateful to him: he showed me what kind of character my stbxw actually is. Not that I would tell him : No contact rules.

  • Per RIC instructions, I wrote the married OM (well, one of them) a dignified email respectfully requesting that he refrain from contact with my wife so we could work on and heal our marriage for the sake of our children. He immediately emailed my wife a syrupy marriage proposal bursting with adolescent cliches (“you are my sun and my moon, my alpha and omega”). Which (of course) she giddily showed to me. It was beyond fucked up.

    So, yeah, don’t do it. It gets you nothing but more pain, and cheaters roll in that shit like catnip.

    • I’m sure she will get shown a letter also when he does the same thing to her. What goes around comes around. That should have been your validation that you are way too good a person to dabble with those two losers. What a piece of garbage he has now. Deserve each other.

    • Oh man, so sorry, he showed this to you, My now X once received a text from a common friend of ours, he immediately showed me. It said something like “Hey sexy, it was a great evening last Friday. You are one sexy motherfucker. Love you.” The friend in question is a very outgoing personality with odd word choices including calling others m…f… and she indeed had visited us the weekend before and stayed overnight.
      Well, long story short, what I know now is that they hooked up when I went to bed way earlier than both of them.
      No clue why he showed me the message… it is what they do: kibbles.

      • Not nearly as bad as the personal ones…but mine had a hooker he was talking to “accidentally” text me her tit shots. He was in the garage all night and came in immediately after I got it. He sat quietly on the couch waiting for me to check my phone because he wanted to watch my reaction.

        Before that, I kept getting calls at work from perverts answering fake craigslist ads “someone” was posting about my boss as a prostitute. I went home the first few days laughing about how gross the guys were and speculating who in the hell would post that- even directly asked him and he vehemently denied it. By the 3rd day it got old and I was annoyed at the hassle and upset for my boss. I mentioned it to him, and lo and behold, the calls stopped. I guess somehow he got kibbles out of being the “mastermind” in this lame preteen style “gag.” They love that they have secret knowledge and that they are in control of everything. Discussing any of it with them is kibbles.

        It was funny to watch him go from calculated attempts at plausible deniability to raging, petulant temper tantrums once I stopped reacting and ignored his attempts to get me to defend myself or correct his warped version of events.

    • The AP wrote to my then husband, “I am your queen, you are my king…” Adolescent cliches run rampant among the vapid!

  • I confronted all the ones that had names (yes they all had names, just some were total strangers) The caveat is that they were FORMER APs. I was in such disbelief that I had to hear confirmation from the others that it really happened. One confirmed that once she saw the man behind the curtain she knew he was a fraud. It helped me. I also told the spouse of one of the ones I knew was married. He said it was all in the past and he and his wife have moved on, although he wasn’t aware she’d ever cheated.
    Confronting them was something I needed to do to make it more real to me….to force me to believe this truth. However to CLs point, if they were actual current “schmoopies” I don’t think confrontation would have done any good. They are so good at making us the crazy person and themselves the sadz wittle victim. He’s with a new supply now and I’ve no plans to ever tell her of his sick past.

    • I too met a former AP about a year after it was over. She cried in the produce section of the Hannaford, apologizing, and I delivered none of the lines I had dreamed of for so long. I did ask her if the choices she had made (sleeping with my x) were the kind of choices she wanted her daughter to make (infant in cart). She cried more. I actually felt bad for her. She was young, and kind of stupid.
      I’ve passed her in life since then, it’s a small town, but never spoken or made eye contact. She’s on kid #3 with guy #3, though none with my X. Finding a guy to take care of her and her kids will always be her #1 priority.

      Never bothered to confront #2 (and last). I didn’t know her and she didn’t matter at all. It was his choice, he was the issue, not the woman low enough to carry on an affair with a married man with two young kids in the house.

  • Don’t do it! I did and the response was exactly as predicted above: “There, there, poor, sad little wife-type-person. If only you had had a love as deep and special as ours.” (Not an exact quote.)

  • Since I did three years of wreckconciliation post dday I made this epic mistake too. Not only did I send the OW two “stay away from my hubby” emails but I cc’d the ex as well. The letters were dripping with biting sarcasm which made all my friends laugh but it was a huge kibble fest for the ex who saw this as me “fighting for my man.” Vomit. That I even wanted to stay with that turd for three seconds past my dday will remain one of the greatest mysteries of my life.

    What CL said is spot on. There is nothing good about confronting the OW/OM. It’s a waste of time and energy because they don’t care. The OW (who was demoted to wife) knew that my ex was married and had children and she didn’t care about any of that or even her own family. She was willing to blow up everything for the turd that was my ex. That’s all I need to know about her. And since they’re all pretty much the same, that’s all any chump needs to know about them.

    Spend your energy on lawyering up and getting away from the twu wuv turds. Let them have each other if that’s what they want. I can’t think of a better gift for my ex or his now wife!

  • I punched the OW in the face. Satisfying in the moment, but it did not go well otherwise. Wish I had read all of this advice way back then!

    • I really really wanted to punch her in the face, just once…other than that, I had no desire to hurt either one of them…which is remarkable, really.

    • Yep. I had a near miss once. Turns out illegal is illegal, even if the person is abhorrent, and it adds leverage to the cheater’s case. Best in the end to fantasize while punching a bag at the gym and stay within the law.

      • I hate the OW to this day. But I’ve never said a word to her. She’s a skank but he’s the real whore. In fact, once I went silent, their relationship got rocky because he couldn’t blame his every bad behavior on me. I’d gotten locked into a triangle with them during our negotiations and hadn’t realized it. My ex has a sparky temper and it was easier to blame me. One day I asked him why he was calling me and did he not have anyone else to pick a fight with. Our back and forth was holding them together. Now it’s just his money. But truly, they are perfect for each other and I can’t imagine the trouble he’d cause if he was only the loose

      • I wanted to punch ow, too. However stbxh gave me something better. Affair was against compliance and her work contract was ended. Off over the ocean she‘ll be since their profession is close-knit and conservative. I did this with his best mates help and for my kid. POS was fantasising about a blended family with a twenty-sth. Also, in case they should get back together I have a lot of extra leverage. Also close family members of hers are criminal racists and stbxh is not what they want for their Arian goldilocks.

        • I still want to punch that bitch in the face but I will settle with living through fellow chump stories concerning this fantasy.

          When I was doing the pick me dance I told my stbx that I wanted to punch her in her face and fuck up more of her already fucked up teeth. Stbx looked right at the ground wouldn’t even look at me. Cheating piece of shit. Felt good to say it too!

          Now when I train with my trainer and the adrenaline is flowing. I’ll say to my trainer I just want to punch stbx or whore in the face. Whoo! My trainer like whoa! I say what? I am pumped up! Fired up! Training helps release my darkest fantasies concerning those two sparkly turds. Plus it feels good to share with fellow chumps too ????????????

    • I tipped a jug of beer on the head of the last ow, while I was still with pigface. She then stalked me for five years-eventually king hit me, breaking my nose, cheekbone and eye socket. They’d only managed a couple of weeks after I left him-she found out she wasn’t the only skank.
      She was convicted of GBH and I sued her. Didn’t get much but never mind.

  • I completely ignore the ow, she still hangs around, waiting to see ex, its a shame because she dumped her kids. my ex actually called her a slag, he only liked her because she let him drink. You could say they deserved each other. He probably thought he was a stud. looking back I took too much crap of them. One of his friends was not allowed to have her son, on her own, till he was 16, she didn’t even know who the daughters dad was, she used to laugh about him, she used to have affairs with married men, she was always asking people for a fight, she even sake a 75 year old woman, who was just walking past.

    • I totally agree on letting them have each other. They can’t stand it. Watch out though because once you disengage, the cheater’s antics go to another level. They NEED you in their triangle to believe their unicorn reality. If you aren’t there, all they have left is themselves. Unfortunately, that’s when my 18 month old became the source of triangulation. Very sad.

  • Raising my hand for contacting the second schmoopie in my 20 year marriage. She was DD14’s 20-something asst sports coach in our kids’ Catholic high school while Dr. Cheaterpants was volunteer asst coaching (and he was on the school board). Coaching was another one of his long list of hobbies he would start and then discard when he could no longer feed off the kibble of people thinking how wonderful he was because he was a physician but his mask was slipping and he was about to be ousted–the head coach made him sit on the sidelines during practice and keep his yapper shut because he was a complete ass to these young girls.

    Anyhow when I met with my attorney (her DS was in class with my DS), she said sometimes contacting these young girls can knock some since into them. I sent her an email telling her how DD14 and DS16 would be embarrassed and humiliated by her and their 46 year old father’s actions. All it did was add fuel to their fire. I kicked him out of the house and notified the head coach–they were both fired from coaching and he was booted from the school board but quietly. Then these 2 asshats start showing up together at DS16’s sport and are seen canoodling together at bars all over town.

    It is futile and it was the only piece of advice I wish I hadn’t taken from my attorney–otherwise she was fabulous! It’s 3 years now since Dday#2 with this schmoops and I started the process of leaving a cheater and gaining a life!

    I have remained the sane parent. Kept on being me. Dr. Cheaterpants and I both work at the same hospital but in different departments. Now he’s just somebody that I used to know.

  • Makes me think back to the day I came home from work to find the ex and my replacement sitting at my kitchen table waiting to tell me how she was going to be the new wife as soon as I let go of my fantasies. I laughed them both out my door as I dialed 911. Lady my name ain’t Wendy but he sure enough is Peter Pan.

    • Wholly shoot that’s pretty ballsy of them! You must have the restraint of a saint because THEY would have been calling 911 on ME. That or they would have had to call 911 because I would be asphyxiating from laughing too hard.

  • Is it okay to tell OW family? It has been two years that their daughter ruined a family. I just would feel better setting the truth free. Someone talk sense to me!

    • Kate, I’m betting you won’t get the result you think you will. Her family will be shocked and disgusted by her behaviour? Admonish her? Cast her out?

      Don’t bet on it. Those people raised her. Will they defend her? Probably. Deflect for her? Possibly.

      They raised her. They probably taught her everything she knows.

    • I mean this very kindly: what makes you think OW’s family would care about what you have to say? It’s unlikely that the account of a stranger, even if true, would make them treat OW any differently.

    • Kate
      Blood is thicker than water. You might as well just go bang your head against the wall until you bleed. Just listen to everyone above. The game is rigged and you won’t win. (Ask me how I know.) how I wish I hadn’t contacted the AP, but I hadn’t found this site yet. You will only look more pitiful to them. Keep your dignity and keep them below you. You will be happy in the future tgat you did. They May or might not care, and they may or might not believe you. But either way they will protect one of their own, and you will come out battered and wishing that you hadn’t handed that power over. Big hugs.

    • To put this in perspective-when the OW’s mom found out about the twu wuv schmoopies, (both still married at the time), she was happy and encouraging because “they started out as friends and their relationship grew to something passionate.”

      The fruit doesn’t fall far from the rotting tree. As someone mentioned, these are the people who raised lying, cheating despicable beings. On what planet are they going to care that their offspring is exactly what they raised? This endeavor is almost as pointless as contacting the OW/OM.

      • In my experience, even the cheater’s parents who know what he did and made grand statements about how they disapprove and are on my side, still wholly support and enable any behavior behind my back. I suppose its what they’ve always done.
        I suspect a lot of them have parents who have always done the hard work that needed doing for them, demanding little responsibility from the future cheat, and who have always been first to step in and “protect” their kid from experiencing consequences of any bad choices. They prefer to simply not mention the bad and then pretend its all okay. Anyone who won’t play along and who does bring up the bad stuff is just hateful, bitter, unforgiving, etc because you’re disrupting their fragile land of make believe.

        • Absolutely right. My cheater’s family have closed ranks and are now pretending they have forgotten that my children and I exist. They never once asked him how we are doing or tried to contact any of us. His mother (a narc, most if the family is narky) is acting as if her grandchildren never existed.
          Cheaters learn to be assholes from their asshole parents, so of course they will support the cheater and turn against the chump.
          I’m sighing with relief that I never have to see those freaks again. There’s only four of his relatives I could ever stand. The rest suck massively. It’s no wonder he sucks, with that much dysfunction as a training ground.

          • My cheater‘s parents aren’t narcs but overly harmonizing and glorifying of their sons. Their condonement lastet 3 days after d-day. They then asked me to not make his life more difficult by insisting he can’t introduce kid to ap (a twenty-sth drug addict, sleeping with him without a condom). They also said that it was a shame for kid to be deprieved of this contact to her. I cut the line then and there. I immediately changed my plan for an extra guest suite to being my private weekend suite during his custody time. Time they can now share with his. Got their key back to my house. I also called them upon their low catholic morals and how they go to church every Sunday. I believe the main reason they intended to be on good terms with me was making them look less shitty within their parish and catholic family. I served my purpose as a birthing vessel. Glad to know now that with my in-laws it was never about me as a a person. Good luck to them for future wives.

    • Nope, you’ll come across as some psycho who is stalking their daughter and trying to ruin her life.

    • Kate,

      Don’t do it. Everyone is right. The OW family will not care. They will defend her. Remember that she likely learned this behavior from them. They will just turn it on you and attack your character. The OW in my case was 22 years old at the time. Her parents let her move across the country with a 33 year old man that they had never met and did zero research on (such as he was married with a baby). Also, her dad just ended his second marriage after 6 months and already has a new girlfriend (that he has introduced to my 4 year old son).

  • Been there done that…… Not a good ending, she came off as oh-so-superior. calling me crazy. Which in turn, made me crazy.

    • This. This. And then this again. Don’t give AP or her family bait to judge you and “justify” the cheating.

  • Douchebag McGee told me he wanted me to “fight for him” and told me all the things she said and did that he wanted me to do. So I did just that….at the expense of my dignity and self-worth.
    I called homeslice telling her to “stay away”….it totally fueled their affair. She reminded me how our marriage was already over…. I didn’t get that memo.

    In the end, NC was the best thing I could have done. With space came clarity of all the BS and nonsense I participated in. All the while he was creating a version of me that was unstable, desperate and clueless.

    APs love to validate their reasons for being with a married man/woman. It doesn’t quite seem so awful if they can support their part in all of it. Accountability and ownership, maybe even an apology? Don’t hold your breath…. they are just as sick and twisted as the cheater. Trust that they deserve each other.

    • I almost threw my phone at the wall after reading that 1st sentence. Glad you found clarity through NC <3

    • Yep, my cheater also expected me to fight for him. Instead I did the “unthinkable” think and asked him to work on our marriage. Him? Working? Being Held Accountable? Requiring To Consider His Own Flaws?
      There is apparently only so much a man can take and he left.

      I slowly start seeing how lucky I am that he left.

    • True. I think it’s useful to keep in mind that while we have our seething one-liners we want to lob at the OW, they too have things they’re burning to tell us: their excuses for fucking our husbands, their advice on how to please a man, their cache of little hurtful things he said about us, etc. Best not to give them the opportunity to condescend to us like that.

      • Second that, Nicole. Any contact with the kind of subhumans that would knowingly have sex (or worse, a relationship) with a married man, with or without children, will never be satisfying to you.
        Those kinds of people are best left alone with their personality disorders.
        Found that out through sad experience.
        They have no shame, no compassion nor empathy.
        You will only hurt yourself.

  • I got a call from a shocked unintending AP before the divorce was final. She was surprised to hear a.woman answer the phone. He had given her out home number back in the days of landlines. She said “who’s this?” I said “(cheater’s) wife, which one are you?” She said her name. I said “OK, well I’m sure you have figured out by now that he’s married. Are you having sex with him?” She sputtered a bit then said yes. We started talking and she told me the sad tale he spun to her.

    She had a young son who had gotten attached to the cheater, and the cheater had ghosted them both after many weeks of lovebombing. When I informed her that he had spent his whole life saying he never wanted kids (still doesn’t have any, over 20 years later), she was floored. He had been saying his ex wife (we were still married) never wanted kids and he was dying to be a parent, woe was him, etc.

    She asked me “What am I going to do?” I said “You’re asking me, of all people?” She agreed that asking me was messed up and apologized for boning my husband. I said “Thanks. It doesn’t matter at this point,.you’re just one of many.” And I told her, “You still need to get your shit together for that little boy and stop letting yourself get jerked around by lying assholes.” That gave us both a good laugh.

    I felt like vomiting when we hung up. I never talked to another AP. Too painful.

    • as hard as it must have been, you did the right thing and actually, the decent thing. Clearly the person in question was devastated and confused and needed the information you generously supplied her, rather than doing what many would have done, i.e. blame her, scream abuse and hang up.

      Awful encounter, but you did the kind and fair thing.

    • I love that you had your wits sufficiently together to come back with that reply: “[Cheater’s] wife, which one are you?”
      I know that was a painful episode for you, but your telling it here gave me a laugh. Yay, you!

    • Thanks to both of you. Truly, I was fairly solid by then because I had already had a multi-AP D-Day, a year of wreckonciliation, then a repeat of the past behavior, so I smelled the rat and wasn’t blindsided the second time. Had it been the first time, I would have been too stunned and devastated to be so cavalier. ????

  • Getting biweekly chemo and steroids meant that my decision making skills were not in top form, so of course I confronted, not in person but by email. I wish I never had. The 2nd AP I got unabashedly raw with and again that was an even bigger mistake because all she did was turn it around on me.

    The OW/OM are either delusional or fed lies. Any completely normal reaction to the emotional abuse we have received is perceived as validation that we are the problem. There is no way to get around this. Our cheaters laid the groundwork for this long before any of us knew there was a problem.

  • One other thought: Something I say often, and others disagree with often, is that the AP is not your problem. The only person that is your problem is your cheater. The only person who made promises and broke them is your cheater.

    Nobody made your cheater do that.

    Nobody duped your cheater into anything.

    Nobody forced your cheater into anything.

    Nobody talked your cheater into motive, opportunity, or shitty boundaries.

    Targeting APs is misguided and generally is an attempt to avoid the grief and pain of dealing with and fully rejecting the cheater.

    The AP was a player in the game, but that’s only because the game existed in the first place. Who set up the rules, pieces, and game board?

    You guessed it: The cheater and only the cheater. No cheater, no game.

    Don’t lose focus. Don’t spread your resources thin. Eyes on the prize. Deal with, and remove, the cheater. Once you flush, all the shit will go down at once.

    My two cents.

    • I do like to say that if my husband hired a hit man
      to murder or assault me, they would both go to jail….and my emotions are not in error for being angry at both. If my husband plots against me, it’s true that he started the ball rolling but everyone who joined him hurt me too.

      I guess I get upset when I read logic like this because I hear that my feelings are wrong.


      • They conspired with this other person. Against us. They both suck equally. Low life’s despite whatever attributes or status they may have.

      • I am sorry for the wording that I used that came across that way. I don’t think the feelings are wrong at all.

        I DO think that cheaters gain an advantage and a form of ego-feeding centrality when chumps are wrapped up in what to do about the APs. That can be a big problem for a person who is trying to separate households, get a divorce with favorable financial and custodial terms, etc. Cheaters can get chumps riled up into behavior that it’s easy to vilify when they can get chumps worked up about APs.

        So I think in terms of actions/choices, it’s important to remember who is the core of the problem.

        It’s important that we don’t get derailed by the APs when making our choices about how to take action regarding the cheating and the cheaters. Emotions, on the other hand, are our own personal private tenderness. They don’t fit in neat molds and they don’t change for practical reasons. And they DO need to be cared for, in safe spaces.

      • I’m with you, Velvet. Yes, the STBX is the main focus of my hurt, injury, and (finally!) anger. But the OW who went out of her way to be friends with me – why, I don’t know – also deserves my anger for her part in my sham of a marriage. And don’t get me started about all the mutual “friends” my cheater was bragging about his escapades to. I was completely clueless, and they allowed me to remain so.

        I had two exchanges with the OW – one where I vented about her hypocrisy because she was, according to my STBX “devastated” when she discovered her husband was having an affair – and the second to let her know about my HPV diagnosis, and that she should get checked. Very terse and to the point.

        I am learning to pick better friends, I think, and have pretty much jettisoned those who were complicit in keeping a secret that had serious implications for me, both emotionally and health-wise. I am becoming stronger. It has taken over 2 years, there are still days when I am triggered, but I am starting to feel the stirring of my old self coming back.

      • You’re not wrong. The AP is equally to blame for choosing to do something that could cause the break-up of a family. Without lowlife mate poachers who are willing to fuck married people, cheaters would have nobody to cheat with.

    • I agree that the cheater is completely at fault, and should be dropped asap. That being said, it takes two to tango.

      If the AP knows you are married, they are garbage people. If they are married themselves, they are true scum.

      But you are right. Who gives a shit? The further away I’ve gotten from the situation, the less I hate them both. Meh is a spectrum. I feel the meh building. I’m beginning to get really excited for Tuesday.

    • I agree that the focus should be on the cheater rather than the AP. As has been said here, the cheater robbed the bank but the AP drove the getaway car. Yes, the AP shares the blame.
      There is nothing and I mean nothing the AP can say that will make you feel better. Tell me what they could say? Sorry I fucked your husband and ruined your perceived future? Sorry your husband said yes without batting an eye? Sorry, I am a shitty person and what I did will always haunt me? Even if they said, “I had no idea he was married.” Does that really make you feel better? Or is it just the idea of your retaliation against an easy target (they really have no power unless you give them some) which lights this flame?
      The dude or dudette you married is the one you need to address. Focus on them. Punch him/her. No don’t! Keep sane! Light the flame under their ass. Confront them and make them pay.
      Your spouse was the drum major in the band which went the wrong way during the parade.

    • Aimeisfree, I agree that the OW is not your problem. However, often enough this person a) wants your life including assets, your home, as well as your children.

      They use sex as s draw and for the most part don’t give a fuck. They figure a married man will make a commitment AND that they are special.

      Most importantly the X (a predator) attracts women that are classless and have no moral compass. Taker meet taker. We see often enough how children are abandoned from both sides of the coin.

      My suggestion is to immediately look up police records of the AP. The Limited’s had multiple arrests going back ten years. Knowledge is power.
      For me it kept my granddaughter safe. I forwarded the information to her father and grandmother.

      For those of you with young children access the AP’s divorce records. What I found was that her son was taken out of the home.

      This information can be used to restrict access for overnights and custody.

      Nanthony IS bat shit crazy. Meeting her made me realize it was never about me. Ever. His problem.

  • Yea, guilty as charged…I confronted Cheater (of no benefit other than making him feel uncomfortable) and he responded with irresponsible crazy. I called OW and that was of no benefit (I have no idea how uncomfortable I made her feel).

    The bad part is that I still have fantasies of running into her in an airport and calling her out in front of all the people waiting in boarding zone 3. In reality, if that ever happened, I have no idea how I would react…prob depends on if her kids were with her.

    • I saw OW#1 at an airport getting on the same flight a couple years after they ended. I sneered at her and I was smug and told her, “Hey, here is a tip. He is MARRIED. I don’t care if you see some vulnerable mid life crisis dude and you want a daddy for your kid, he is MARRIED.” She shrank from me and said “I am so, so sorry.”

      I told the X Asshat about it. He was totally turned on. His pupils got really big and he looked like a walking hard-on, almost breathless with the excitement of hearing about the potential cat fight in his honor.

      It was not good. Today OW#1 is still a stupid bohemian twit with daddy issues and he is off fucking a different woman our daughters’ age. I “won” nothing and feel stupid about how I was so smug at being the best pick me dancer at the time. It was all a mirage.

      • When I was in wreckonsillyation and convinced that I had “SAVED my family”…I was in an airport and gave a couple of guys a lecture about marriage. That memory is so horrifying I want to dig a hole and get in. If I had any idea who they were I would apologize.

  • In my case the OW was my friend for over 25 years. When I found out about the affair she ghosted. After I had a scare when I was with one of my daughters, where I thought I saw the OW and I started to have a panic attack I realized in needed to confront her in a safe space so I didn’t have to see her for the first time by accident while with a kid. I threaten my ex—told him he had to bring her to me or I would ambush them. I meant it and I loved watching him squirm. My therapist told me not to do it as did family and friends. But we met at another therapist’s office. I wrote down what I was going to say and made sure I covered everything I deemed important. It was AWESOME! It felt so good! I cried and my ex cried and the OW talked about how she cried (yeah right) but nothing. Best part -was midway through the therapist turned to me asked me if I had lost weight and remarked at how good I looked. I assume she did that on purpose. After OW being confronted by the truth and knowing that none of the mutual friends Switzerlanded, she now lives in fear of running into anyone and complains of having to be a shut in. I love how she somehow became the victim. After the confrontation a bunch of friends took me out for drinks. Laughing and telling all the details made me feel so powerful. I had a bar full of supporters remarking on my bad assedness. Thinking of this helps me when I feel the inevitable lows. Most importantly if I run into OW at any point I now have NOTHING to say to her. I said it all. And I told the kids what I did (because she integrated herself into their lives and ghosted) and they thought it was powerful and mighty.
    To CL’s point—not the OW or my ex had a brilliant epiphany, but it still felt good and I took care to do it in a safe space. And I still have what I wrote and every few months I read it and feel amazing about having the chutzpah to say it out loud with a captive audience of assholes.

    • I love this. And I especially love that mutual friends weren’t shallow Switzerland losers. Yea you!

  • I own rental property and I learned that the BEST way to deal with a problem tenant is to put the heat on the landlord. In the case of being chumped, this means to avoid the cheating accomplice (problem tenant) and communicate with lawyers, police, lame-o spouse (landlords).

    Like Moses parting the Red Sea, it’s more gratifying when you show you have command of outside forces helping you do the right thing and protect yourself in response to being Chumped.

    The ultimate in power is walking away and saying as little as possible. Going ballistic gives them the huge gift of being able to shift their focus onto you and away from themselves.

    I wake up with my daughter and her intact trust every morning. He wakes up with Casual Encounter and a destroyed relationship with his daughter.

    I won.

  • I guess everything is situational. He was 26 she was 40. She had told him she was separated. They met up on and off for 4 years. He told me anything and everything. That being said, CL is right why stay with someone you have to get truth from someone else!

  • Bottom line: If you’re telling other people to stay away from your spouse, something is off the rails. Either the problem is that your spouse is a cheat, or, if your spouse is not a cheat but you think you’re seeing spouse-poachers everywhere, then something else is going on that is the reason you’ve lost trust.

    Neither of these situations are fixed by confronting the (potential and/or imagined) spouse-poachers. They’re either fixed by unloading the spouse or addressing the marriage between you two.

  • I did if and I don’t regret it- HOWEVER. I did it after I decided to divorce the ass. And it wasn’t about getting information from her. In fact it wasn’t for her to talk at all. I talked. I told her that I wanted her to see that I was a real person not just someone she had heard about from my ex and I told her the impact their affair and now our divorce had on a 10 year old boy. I told her that my ex had been sleeping with both of us the whole time. And then I walked away. It wasn’t not about getting her side or getting info. It was about not letting her get away with it without some shaming from me. I feel great because I think she will always have my words especially about what they did to my son’s life in her head. And I knew that if they stayed together she would always have those words in her head every time she saw me or my son. It was the best day in this whole thing. And the best part was that although I went to confront only her- her soon to be ex- husband happened to be home and I outed her to him too. They were in the middle of their divorce and he thought they just drifted apart- he had no idea she had been cheating for 5 years. I walked away and left her deal with him! Heaven! I never contacted them again and don’t wish to. I got stuff off my chest . My advice is if you do it – don’t make it a pissing match.

    • Glad you outed her to her husband. But I bet that you’re thinking she feels shame or regret, that she will have your words in her head, actually just shows who YOU are. You’re projecting your values on to her. YOU would feel shame and regret, YOU would not be able to get those words out of your head. But YOU are a decent person – who wouldn’t have cheated in the first place.

      APs who know they are APs have ZERO shame about what they’ve done, including breaking up families and hurting children (even their own, never mind anybody else’s). They’ve either convinced themselves that their Twu Lurv justifies everything they’ve done, or they’re completely shameless, entitled, selfish idiots.

      In my case, AP #1 fell into the first category, including CL’s ‘low self-esteem’ part. A younger single mom, secretary (what a cliche) who thought tall, dark and handsome executive Cheater Narc would rescue her and her daughter. Turns out I was the one providing more than half of his apparent prosperity, and the stable part of it to boot, as Cheater Narc was on high rotation w/jobs, w/patches of unemployment in between, of course. And her Twu Lurv didn’t even tell her, although he knew it beforehand, that she was getting fired from the company they both worked at. Now THAT is luv!

      AP #2 was the 2nd type, someone who had previously broken up her own marriage by cheating, and who proclaimed that her 3 kids were ‘fine!’, when they clearly weren’t fine at all. Such a quality person that, after he threw away everything of real value in his life (because he didn’t actually value any of it) to be with her, she dumped him. For another man. Twice.

      The APs don’t share our values, just as the cheaters don’t. Honesty, loyalty, commitment, family, responsibility, a stable life, long-term friends…. Not of value to them. So they have ZERO shame. And it’s a waste of our breath to try to inform them of what they should be ashamed of.

    • I know she doesn’t have values but it was bothering me that she was being protected by my ex. I needed to tell her what the impact was on my son. Especially if they ended up together and she was going to have any relationship with my child. Like I said I knew there was nothing to gain from contacting her to “hash things out”. It also made me feel better knowing that whether she believed me or not I got the my truth out to her- and I told my ex exactly what I told her. Let them battle out his lies to her- such as “I didn’t sleep with him while he was sleeping with you”- I just laughed and walked away. That was the only thing she kept saying to me. Also her face drained of all color and she had to stand there listening to me with her husband standing behind me saying- omg how could you. I think she will always have that picture of me in her dining room with her husband outing her and telling her she destroyed a child’s life and that my ex lied to her about sleeping with me. Best day of my life- but if you’re going in to get info or fight for your spouse- that’s a waste. I already knew my ex was a pos. And let her knew that’s how I felt. She can have his controlling ass. Good luck to her.

      • There is justice in the world! Nicely done! My cheating wife claims she “lied to everyone” so there is conveniently no need for me to confront her trashy friends, the lowly AP, or anyone else. Do I believe her? Absolutely not. But thanks to CN I know all these people suck. I still need courage to get away from the narc. Im 28 and I know I can’t waste time but I have so much to lose. I have a daughter and I won’t get primary custody unless I negotiate it. But how can you negotiate with a narc? My income is 3x cheater’s so I’m really in for the shit sandwich buffet. Anyone know how to get an even somewhat fair settlement from a narc without blowing all the assets on legal fees?

        • Ya just gotta lawyer up and negotiate. If your ex doesn’t derive her narc supply from parenting then swapping parenting time for money is easier. Mine praised himself on being “Mr #1 Dad” (although he’s never changed a diaper in his life), so that wasn’t an option for me. He would have lost too much face if he gave up parenting time (even though he has friends watching our kid all the time during his custody days…whatever).

          Whatever you do, I suggest you move fast. You’ll get more of what you want if you strike during the chaos of post D day. The longer these folks have to process the more difficult they become.

        • Thanks for your advice. The default in my state is pay off cheater and lose custody. Most of CN ate worse shit sandwiches than I’m staring at but mine are still big and shitty. Cut cheater a check, pay her bills a few years, and make a huge monthly payment for almost 2 decades so we can all allegedly maintain the same lifestyle. Although my lifestyle conveniently moves to a shitty apartment without my daughter. Meanwhile cheater can keep the shop til you drop party going indefinitely. Sweet.

          • If you want custody and are willing to fight for it, it shouldn’t be possible for her to get more than 50% (which still sucks) if you have a good lawyer and documentation. In your case it sounds like it would be worth paying a lot for a good lawyer to pay her as little as possible (which will still be a lot) and keep your daughter as much as possible. You need to act fast, however while she is still distracted by her “partying”. Don’t wait and don’t tell her what you are doing. Get a head start on her if you can. Make sure the lawyer knows what your priorities are. Shop around. Good luck.

        • Hire a P.I. to get dirt on her that you can use as leverage. Narcs always have secrets and are doing something immoral, if not illegal. You can tell her you can release the info publically or keep it to yourself, depending on how reasonable she is in negotiation. With narcs you have to be even more ruthless than they are and always stay a step ahead of them. Wishing you the best of luck.

  • I feel that the ex’s abuse is solely on him. He would never miss an opportunity to have sex or manipulate another person. There were prostitutes that he would use as bodies to control with money. Some of the others knew he was married and I was curious about them in general but not to the point of confronting them especially the last one I had the name of because I was told she was mean and as dangerous as he is. He was the only catalyst for the demise of the marriage. He could go about and live life as a single person pretending he didn’t have a family and when you pretend long enough you eventually won’t have one.
    I know relationships are not permanent in his life. He is a Cluster B abuser that can’t bond. Those poor people that are involved with him are getting duped.

  • I’m glad my XW’s AP lived in another state. I probably would have done more than confront him. And I am so glad I didn’t.

    I still have my beautiful daughter and a great career. That wouldn’t be the case if I had kicked the crap out of someone. And for what? A cheating, selfish, materialistic, now-ex wife

    • Correct! All chumps (especially males) take notice. Continuously tell yourself “a cheater is NOT worth going to prison over.”

      WIN a new life, instead of a jail cell.

      • Double correct! I remember chatting online with male chumps a while back who had confronted (and hit) the OM. The result? Criminal records, restraining orders, etc. Yep, not worth it

        Thankfully the OM in my case is literally the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and as I’ve already spied a whiny “I don’t want to meet him” text (about me) to STBXW then really no need to waste any more time on them

    • Thanks CN. How did you overcome the fear of financial catastrophe and get the divorce? Thinking of paying my cheating wife to live in our house with our daughter while I live in some shitty apartment is paralyzing me. I make 3x her income so I’m looking at giving up half my salary for starters. Then throw in some hefty stocks and a divorce might actually kill me. She is one of these cheaters who spent all the disposable income. Seems like I’m the only one who pays and she continues on her merry selfish way. Damn it!

        • I’m such an easy mark for these lawyers it’s a joke. Young and dumb enough to marry psycho cheater but with plenty of doh to keep em busy for a year or two. They pitch the same shitty deal that I don’t think I can live with and simply change the amount of the retainer.

      • Laws vary by state. Do some research and check to see if your state is a no fault divorce state. My state is not a no fault state. I was able to win 80% of our assets because the X spent our joint income on taking many OW on trips, etc. Also, don’t just get a good lawyer, get a great one. Get the best one (ask around town who is the most cut throat in your city). It will be expensive, but worth it in the end.

        • I’m in a no fault, community property, primary custody to mom unless there is some great reason state. I have a selfie with a handprint on my face from her smacking me a week or two after Dday (yeah I’m married to a disordered cheat) along with an inadmissible recording of her admitting to it at the same time. But how can I raise my daughter to be happy and healthy if her mom is a lying cheating beating sack of shit? I feel like my daughter still needs to respect her cheating immoral mother. Am I wrong? I have all the incontrovertible proof of her adultery saved in multiple locations that I can deliver to my daughter when she is 18 in the event cheating narc pulls the standard parental alienation on me. I’d rather get a divorce with reasonable terms and never tell my daughter who her mother really is. I’d like to get my ducks in a row over the next 2 months, namely moving money off the lawyers negotiation table to an education trust fund for daughter plus pay off any outstanding community debts, so I’m not staring at huge support payments, a second dwelling payment, and any debt I can wipe out now, post divorce. Anyone have tips for me? See below for my reluctance to retain a lawyer and pay $100k in legal fees.

      • 3 lawyer consults and all 3 painted the same exact bleak financial picture that I researched based on my state laws. My hope is to fill out the forms and file it together without lawyers, because I will have to pay her legal fees and they could easily sap the whole thing out to get the stock money, with mediation if necessary. Wife is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde so I will have to have perfect timing and perfect execution to make it happen. Am I dreaming?

        • You might be. I was in a similar circumstance and some things went my way as a result of my timing and demeanor but other things went nuclear. We handled 80% of it in mediation. Worth the cost cause it gets what they agree to in writing sooner rather than later, making it harder for them to back out.

          In modern times, there are very few states left that allow alimony in perpetuity the way they used to. At 28 ya’ll can’t have been married that long…she’ll be expected to get a job and support herself in a reasonable time frame.

          My strategy was simple: split everything in half, per the law, down the line. I just made peace with that. No fighting or contests. So when he started fighting for more than half (cause they all want that), I could show a judge how reasonable I had been. It is what it is. The support piece is more difficult.

          Best of luck. I had a consulting attorney that I kept private from my ex (so as to not escalate things) to advise me during mediation. I highly recommend that.

          • Thanks for your reply. I want the consulting attorney, the administrators say that’s what they do, until I get the consult and retainer is required from there. Once retained, I fear they will use procedures to draw this thing out, sap the assets, and put me in debt. I’ve made peace with the 50-50 split for the most part. I have not made peace with caring for my daughter half time at best.

            • I have heard a few urban legends and dont know if they are true, and this is not sage advice… but a fire sale. ……change jobs to a much lower paying one. Perhaps even a part time one so you can become the primary care giver at home. Do this for a year or two, then file for divorce. At that point, you will have had a year or two caring for and building a (closer) relationship with your daughter. It might mean selling the house and everything you worked so hard for.

              But, in the end, it will be draining marital assets, changing the life accustomed to and provide documentation of doctors visits, school visits, etc.

              • Mac. I just finalized the divorce two months ago in Florida-no fault state. Total time of my process was around 4 months. We each have our lawyers and send marriage settlement agreement through our lawyers to make any changes. We did not fight in the court or use mediator. My ex was difficult to deal with in terms of money (he made his assets disappeared by $100K in the second revision claiming that they’re his premarital assets). Anyway, our assets were split in half. I don’t get alimony, but he has to pay child support (state guideline amounts), but the best part is I get 65% custody of my daughter. I accepted less money for avoiding 50/50 custody with this pos. I was fearful of them (lawyers) dragging it and bankrupt me. It was actually manageable. I paid my own legal fees. I know that I don’t get a good deal, but I got most of my daughter’s time. That’s worth it for me. I can make and save up money again. So, good luck finding the lawyer. Hugs

      • Hi Mac,

        I feel ‘ya. I lost $100k in a divorce that I in no way initiated nor encouraged. (I felt compelled to participate in multiple hearings as my husband falsely accused me of stealing from him and molesting one of our kids as justification for blocking me from ever seeing our kids.) In our three year long divorce, we went through 16 hearings presided over by four (4) judges. I had seven (7) attorneys on four (4) legal teams. My husband, who earns many times what I can ever earn, represented himself for most of the three years, and in spite of having no law background and doing virtually no legal research, pretty much cleaned me out although my attorneys had decades of experience and charged up to $500/hour. What a lot of people (especially those who have not spent much if any time in divorce court) do not realize is that much of how a trial/hearing goes depends on the JUDGE, not so much the attorney(s). The last judge, a female judge who was new to the bench and has since left, loved my husband, no matter how much he lied and abused me in court. Some courthouse employees hated him, my husband. (I overheard them talking about him in the bathroom while I was in a stall.) If I had life to do over again, assuming that I again made the mistake of marrying my husband (now ex-husband), when he out of the blue took me to court, where I was served the divorce summons by his attorney at the time, I would have just gone to the safe house, where kids and I stayed per recommendation of a few people, including my attorneys, and written my husband a check for, oh, approximately $50,000, even though I was not working at the time, to get this criminal off my back. I would have saved a bundle of time and money and considerably reduced the stress I and others experienced. If I could talk to my traumatized self at that time 4.5 years ago, I would have told my (younger) self to just breathe in and breathe out and realize that I had virtually no control over the outcome of the divorce. Having discovered this weekend, in my fifties and unemployed with young children to support, that my social security benefit has been virtually wiped out due to some strange, unjust governmental regulations and having gone through the trauma of a protracted high-conflict divorce, although a big part of me just wants to curl up in a ball and catatonically rock back and forth, I think that I can eventually more or less get to Meh about my financial situation. (It will be harder to get to Meh about my kids’ situation–they will never receive an inheritance that they could have had their parents made different much better life choices, but all I can do now is try to train my kids to avoid the landmines that I have inadvertently stepped on at various stages.) I recommend staying as calm as possible, imagining that you are preparing divorce paperwork for a client that you care about but is not a relative, to reduce the anxiety. It may sound obvious but bears repeating–Do not sign anything that you do not understand! I ‘knew’ this, but under duress (by some of my OWN attorneys), I signed things that later financially really hurt me and kids. I recommend, if at all possible, if you go to court for trial, hearing, or mediation that you bring a supportive but semi-impartial person with you to prevent you from signing away your rights or what should reasonably go to you/your kids. (Oftentimes, this person is neither a mediator nor your attorney!) If I had life to do over, I would not have hired all but my last legal team. My last legal team, two attorneys from a well-respected law firm, who charged ‘only’ $400/hour, cleaned up the mess of my divorce that had been quite badly and very expensively handled by the three previous teams. I probably would have saved a bundle of money and time by REPRESENTING MYSELF.

        Good luck! No matter how things go, please don’t beat yourself up. I did for a long time for not acting in a savvier way. I would be kinder to myself now but, I hope, more proactive in organizing paperwork. (Two of four of my expensive legal teams were NOT proactive and NOT organized!) Please let us know how things go.

        • Thank you for sharing your experience. I am sorry to hear about your bad news this week. I want you to know that your story is worth hours and hours of my own research sifting through awful message boards and I really really appreciate it. All the best advice I have been getting is free, even if I don’t have the courage to act on it immediately. I know I have loads of support and I know my best life is without cheater, but I’m so scared to wake up in 8 years when my daughter is 10. What will our lives be like? I’m trying to act now with that day in mind, but it is so painful to acknowledge that I don’t get to choose how the most important aspects of my life work out. Thank you for supporting me because I really needed it today.

  • I’m glad my XW’s AP lived in another state. I probably would have done more than confront him. And I am so glad I didn’t.

    I still have my beautiful daughter and a great career. That wouldn’t be the case if I had kicked the crap out of someone. And for what? A cheating, selfish, materialistic, now-ex wife

  • I have no idea who she is except she works with him and is 16 years younger than him . I have no intention to ever confront her ( i have only known about her just over 6 weeks )
    All i know is she is a whore that would have an affair with a married man – who she can keep as far as i am concerned .

    She is in for a treat of him wafting his farts , Washing his skid marked underwear . Finishing 1 meal and asking what is for the next meal . Looking confused to what a vacuum cleaner is . Cutting his toenails cause he cant reach his feet
    Getting pushed out of the way cause she can’t put a plate in the dishwasher correctly. Getting told that she takes to long to pee and general BS .
    Her biggest treat will be going to bed at 10.55 having sex and still being finished by the time the 11pm news comes on !

    Just now its all the i love you see i told you i would leave my bitch of a wife for you you complete me . Give it a year and she will be like WTF
    No Whore you can keep him – Thanks very much

    • Ha ha Karen, you mean by the time Big Ben has finished chiming in the 11 o’clock news he’s done! So was mine!!!!

      • Thought he was the greatest lover of all time and I use to blow smoke up his ass of course you are babe .
        Yeah I want to tell her to buy a vibrator cause she’s going to need it !

  • The OW wrote me email after email after email. Most of them started with opening lines like “I wasn’t sure whether to contact you”, “I don’t mean to bother you…” WHAT? You crazy lunatic leave me the hell alone! She sent Facebook messages from accounts she would create when I would block the last one. Even showed up at my door once. I would fantasize about responding to her. Even write out glorious retorts telling her exactly what I thought. But ultimately I decided that no response was the most powerful response. I lived by the mantra “Do not engage with crazy”. I still dream of telling her husband about all the fuckedupedness. I also study billboard placement as I drive about the city smiling to myself as I imagine her photo plastered on it with witty headlines. At the end of the day, I didn’t do any of it. And I won’t. Because I won’t engage with crazy and I know my silence is driving her batshit nuts!

  • If there’s one thing I did right, was to keep AP out of my fantasies of karma. It’s the cheater, stupid. Confronting AP just gives kibbles to cheater. I regret confronting the cheater.

    • I didn’t confront the AP, either. I was in full on survival mode. I only cared about making it out alive. On dday I told him “there better NEVAH be a knock on my door because I will do whatever I need to protect myself!” The pond scum bellowed “I will never let that happen.” “Yeah, right, since you just told me the affair just happened, therefore you have no control over your dick, never mind another person.” Idiot!

  • I agree that the cheater is completely at fault, and should be dropped asap. That being said, it takes two to tango.

    If the AP knows you are married, they are garbage people. If they are married themselves, they are true scum.

    But you are right. Who gives a shit? The further away I’ve gotten from the situation, the less I hate them both. Meh is a spectrum. I feel the meh building. I’m beginning to get really excited for Tuesday.

  • I never had an AP to confront, since Cheater preferred prostitutes. He also enjoyed mooning over college girls, but they didn’t know he existed.

    Still Cheater tried to make me “fight for him” by telling me I might win him back if I could make him feel special enough.

    I read once that Pablo Picasso had a whole host of mistresses, and that he goaded two of them into fighting each other in front of him. He later referred to it as one of his favorite memories. I thought of that whenever I’d be tempted to be goaded into fighting for Cheater. He’ll love the attention, the centrality, the kibbles. He’s not interested in who wins.

  • *sigh* … My ex-cheater cheated A LOT. But, he always met women online… posing as a single man. In fact, on 2 separate occasions, the OW (women, not woman) reached out to me… to inform me that they discovered that the man who they thought was their boyfriend was married. They thought reaching out to me was the right thing to do… and I completely agree. In my case, it was never malicious, and the OW cut contact… sadly, it took me a few more times to do the same.

    Even if it was malicious, there’s no point in confronting the AP… the knowing AP knows exactly what they are doing and yet feel they are exempt from having to be a decent person. They took enough, they don’t deserve a second more of precious time.

  • Do not reason with the disordered. Even if your cheater or his/her AP does not warrant an official diagnosis, it is disordered to get your romantic jollies by sneaking around and building your true “love” on triangulation.

    Things that are more useful than trying to reason with (or get truth from) a cheater–and “cheater” includes knowing APs:

    banging head repeatedly against a tree (loosens sap)
    playing bocce (improves coordination)
    scrubbing your garage floor with a toothbrush (benefit self-evident)
    finding an on-line course so that you can imitate birds
    trying to memorize all the names and numbers in the phone book
    looking up the history of barbed wire
    arranging all your shoes in a line from longest to shortest; when done, arrange by color
    counting all the pieces in a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle to make sure they are all there before starting puzzle
    any task whatsoever

  • The X Asshat had been lying to me for 18 months about his younger ho-worker, OW#1. She had been to my home and had our teen daughters babysit her 4YO kid. I was very suspicious. But! But! They were just friends, I was crazy, blah blah blah. Finally he admitted things and I confronted her and she dumped him within 24 hours. Within 3 months she had left her job and dramatically changed her career. Cue my pick me dance and my striving to be a perfect doormat. I was going to love him harder!

    9 years later he abandoned me by e-mail for another OW#2 ho-worker, half our age. He moved out while I was on a business trip and proceeded to blame me for every problem in our lives. He had lied to me every single day between affairs, including telling me “I want to be with you the rest of our lives” 6 weeks before as we were floating around a resort pool in Phoenix planning a glorious early retirement. As he was crushing me with his hateful words he declared that he only said that to “see how it sounded” while he was actively pursuing this chick our daughters’ age and planning is escape.

    My point is that it does not matter if you confront. It does not matter if you “win” and make the AP turn tail and run back into the darkness with their cockroach friends. If you retain your spouse all you have done is reset the clock until the next cheating event, wasting more of your life with a lying piece of crap human. Guaranteed.

    • I did not confront the AP. She however has contacted me 3 times. Our families were friends (I worked with her dad, vomit!) and neighbours.
      The first time she contacted me was the day after I caught her fucking my husband in my kitchen. She sent me a text saying
      “you probably don’t ever want to speak to me again, but if that’s not the case can we please all sit down and talk about this?”
      Me – crickets
      The second time was on Christmas Eve. She sent me an email asking if I could send the children on Boxing Day with their snowsuits so they could play outside… and then she wished me a merry Christmas.
      Me – crickets
      The third time she sent me a (very long) email after I reported them to child services for failing to seek medical attention for my baby son after he had an accident while in their care (which resulted in a minor head injury). She told me that both her family and his thought I was mentally unwell and proceeded to sling all manner of mud. Basically called me a terrible mother, accused me of having a messy house (neither of them have ever seen my house lol) and other nasty bullshit.
      This time (on my lawyers advice) I responded. Basically it was harassment and we were in the middle of court proceedings in regards to his access. I couldn’t believe how stupid she was to send the mother of her married boyfriends children a threatening email in the middle of court proceedings! So I cc’d my stbx and my lawyer and simply said…
      “Do not contact me again”
      If she ever does, I will not hesitate to charge her. Stupid, slutty, garbage can licker.
      I am completely NC with both of the disordered fucks and their entire families. Thank the sweet baby Jesus (and Chump Lady)

  • I think one benefit of acting like you don’t care or that you’re glad is that it totally screws with their minds. Perception is reality. If the OW thinks “she seems awfully glad he’s gone” and the cheater is thinking “she seems awfully happy these day” when all that tru luv wears thin the question for the both of them has to become “why was/is she so glad?” I personally took the approach of acting extremely grateful to her (from a distance). I made sure she knew I considered it a huge relief to have her take him off my hands. (I used gossips for information delivery). Now I have the pleasure (5 years out) of watching all the doubt and mistrust crack their relationship and the added bonus of sad sausage notes of deepest remorse to which I respond with the truth that my life is great. I never, ever comment on his “feelings” because it’s all about me -now and forever- as it pertains to him. No freaking way am I giving him any kibble because he’d just use it for his benefit with Smoopsie. I can hear it now, “I talked to NRNF and we talked about the past blah blah blah” so she’d put on her pick me shoes and dance some more for him. Nope. I’m done. That corpse is staying buried. And wonder of wonders it happens that I totally faked myself into truly becoming happy which came as a huge surprise. Funny how a dirtbag exiting your life will do that.

    Don’t contact the AP.
    This was NOT easy to do at first. In fact, it was the most difficult task I ever assigned myself to literally “act” happy in front of them when I was feeling totally miserable. But I was very satisfied when the message spread that I’d dumped him into her open arms because he was a serial cheater and she presented me with a golden opportunity to get out of a shitty marriage.

    One more thing- my neighbor cleaned up her yard of dog poop and used an empty Nordstrom shopping bag to collect it. She’d placed the bag on her front porch to take to the garbage and while she went inside for a minute some porch pirate stole the fancy bag. That’s what OW do. They think they’re getting designer shoes but when they get a peek inside the fancy bag they realize that all they’re really getting is a ton of dog shit.

    • I LOVE your ending analogy. So true!

      I did things much like you did. I kicked my cheater to the curb (8 months ago) the moment I discovered his affair with his married employee (who I had met many times). I faked the happy until I made the happy. NC was a big help with that (I’m 6 months NC). I’m starting to get to the point now where I’m stronger and happier than I’ve ever been in my life, thanks due to doing work on myself that caused me to put up with his abuse.

      Love your screen name 🙂

    • Your whole post is great, and The Nordstrom bag analogy is 100% spot on. I might need to print that out.

  • I confronted the OW via email. All that happened is that the ex was angry at me for upsetting his ‘friend’ with my ridiculous accusations. He wanted permission to go and comfort her!

    He later said that he was pleased that I fought for him. It made him happy. He was playing me for 3 long years with her and I made him happy by confronting her.

    He had no shame that his wife of 25 years was put in this position. He enjoyed the game.

  • Miss Plastic Parts would have told you she was my BFF. I confronted her one time. In that split second, I could see she was unrepentant and delighted in my torment. When I think of that moment I think of the Maya Angelou quote, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” She is a raving, toxic narcissist and I believe my ex truly has found his soulmate. Like a 14-year-old Regina George, she tagged me in ugly memes and thinly veiled barbs on social media. She reportedly continues to do this, but I am a year sober on ever looking to see. It gives me pleasure to know she’s going to all that trouble for no reason. She and Cheater o’Mine had to find a new common enemy over which to bond.

    I refuse to allow one drop of either of them even one moment of my beautiful new life. My headspace is not for rent, lease, or sale!

  • The OW was a friend of mine and yes, I contacted her briefly. I wrote her a text that from now on she is blocked from all social media.
    I so often wanted to contact her. It was and is really hard not to. However, I am pretty sure that she is a disordered personality herself and I would not get through to her no matter what I said.
    She had a multiple year affair with her boss (my x).
    She left her own family with two kids.
    She was the one giving my X an ultimatum to choose her.
    She posed in tiny bikini pictures on Facebook where most of her friends were work colleagues. Who does this?
    She talked badly about others behind their backs.

    As much as I want to just yell at her and tell her to go to hell, she would just get kibbles out of this, so I am not.

  • Maybe I’m crazy, but stbx got his AP pregnant a few weeks after DD/separation. We had tried for 8 years and fertility treatments to have a baby. I am giving him a lot of the baby stuff I accumulated for our child. I don’t want the reminder with me. I plan to foster on my own and will get new stuff. I am a little over 6 months now from DD.

    • Nuh uh honey, screw them! Sell it on Craigslist, burn it in a bonfire, or better yet, donate it to charity (maybe a displaced women’s home?). They won’t appreciate the symbolism, or feel the slight of your gesture. Let them buy their own crap!

    • Please do not do that. I promise that you will regret it later. My emotions and desires have changed drastically since DD a little over a year ago. At six months out from DD, I was still very much pick me dancing. Now, my whole perspective has shifted.

      Give them to a women’s shelter or anyone else that could benefit. Please don’t give your hope chest to the people that have caused you so much harm. {{{{{Hugs}}}}}

  • If cheater lied to you (spouse of ___ years and countless memories including creating children) they are most definitely willing to lie to CAPTURE the affair partner. They need a new shiny ego supply and they don’t care who or what they have to destroy to get it.

  • I don’t know, it’s really strange, I never really thought about the OW much at all. She had about as much significance to me as a blow up doll. If anything I felt kinda bad for her, either she was a chump like me (Sh*thead was a champion love-bomber), or she was stupid. I thought about contacting her to warn her of what she was getting into, but with her in the picture I figured he’d be a lot easier to deal with (This was his second affair, and I figured this would be a pattern. I was sure if there wasn’t a Schmoopie in the picture he’d move his focus back to me and it’d just be a matter of time before I’d be going through this again) also, I’m not saint, I wanted to see it all blow up.

    • bwahahaha…. I kept hoping for all my ex’s AP’s to descend upon him and rain fire. I really wanted to watch Karma catch up with him. Somehow it hasn’t yet, but there is all that unprotected sex with men he’s having, so my guess is that it’s only a matter of time. Thank goodness I got tested and was clear before I left.

  • Dear Newbie Chumps:

    Let me serve as the example as to why CL is correct in not contacting the affair partner.

    1.) I did contact OW when I discovered they were planning a mini-break for his b-day. He left a few months before citing “midlife crisis”, but no affair. I found out about her because he used a companion ticket for her airfare on our account. I called her and left a message on her work voicemail. I started out with “classy” appealing to her humanity – “We both lost our mom’s recently, I know that is devastating…”. Classy lasted about 30 seconds when I realized I was begging a whore for a cheater that abandoned me. We all work in the same industry. I know her boss. “‘Whoremelia’, you don’t need a problem like me. You’d better realize that I know more about you than you think.” Of course, she didn’t call back.

    2.) She was batshit crazy. Used the above to get a restraining order. Told the judge that I threatened physical violence against her. She also used things I had said in texts to my H about her: “She has a big nose and looks hideous.” Yes, she put that in her restraining order – she left out the part where I called her a whore about 100 times. I was ordered to surrender my “guns and ammunition” for a year. I’ve never even owned a gun nor possessed ammunition. I never mentioned violence nor guns to her or him. I’ve never even had a speeding ticket. I’ve worked in battered women’s shelters and as a social worker for child protective services when I was younger. I’m the opposite of an abuser. All it took was my one statement and 2 lies from her. On restraining orders, you’re guilty until proven innocent. My attorney told me not to fight it – if I lost, it wasn’t civil anymore, it would be a criminal misdemeanor. Attorney told me, this is “one crazy bitch. She’s trying to destroy your life. You need to get off the grid. Move, change your phone number and email.”

    3.) I’m sure it was kibbles to cheater. 10 days after she did her order, he did one. Some people give promise rings to each other to prove loyalty and affection, affair partners would rather give the betrayed spouse the ultimate token of their loyalty and affection – a nice restraining order – 2 weeks before Christmas.

    It’s been 6 years since that went down. He was engaged to her within a year of our 2 month divorce, after their wedding, they moved to my town. They just had a baby this year. I go out of my way to avoid them. OW had her sights set on my XH. I got in the way. I should have stepped aside and let her have him. I doubt he would have been as appealing to her if I didn’t want him.

  • NEVER confront the AP — nothing good can come from it.

    First of all, you have no idea what they have been told about you, your marriage, nothing.
    Second, Cheater and AP are in it together against evil you … ie triangulation — you’ll only feed that.

    Finally, you are dealing with very strong emotions along with very strong hormones affecting all concerned. These things will be run by our very primitive reptile part of our brain not our advanced logical part. Someone stealing your mate or trying to take another’s mate is deadly serious to the primitive brain and it often will react accordingly up to and including violence.

    In my case my Ex was screwing 3 different men and ended up with OM#3. Being humiliated like that lead to white hot anger on my part and if I had confronted any of the APs, most like 1 person would be having a funeral and another a prison sentence.

    As CL said, nothing good can come from confronting APs so don’t do it !!

  • After DDay #1 I drafted a couple of letters to the OW which thankfully I didn’t send. One letter was the pitiful “please leave my husband alone” type and the other was a smug “I told him to chose and he chose me – I won, you skanky bitch” pick-me dancing type letter. Ugh. I’m glad that writing them was catharsis enough and no one besides me ever saw the evidence of how much I wanted to keep that sparkly turd of a husband. The only “confrontation” I ever had with one of his OWs was with Ex’s Felon Fiance who was only *technically* an OW because she moved in with Ex while we were in the process of divorcing but still married. I had two conversations with her, both of which she initiated. During the last conversation she told me that Ex had never been faithful to me in our 30+ years together and that I was a bad mother for not shoring up the relationship between my adult children and their dad. If I cared at all about my ex (I didn’t at that point) both of those things would have been hurtful. In reality, I found a drug addict who didn’t have custody of her own kids giving ME parenting advice pretty hilarious. At the end of our second and last conversation she asked me if I ever missed him and wished we were still together. In response I laughed really, really hard and said “No. He’s all yours.” Her number is now blocked on my phone. My utter indifference to him, to her, to their life together was the very best punishment I could give them both.

  • My fantasies of what I would do to the OW were criminal, murderous and psychopathic.

    Yet I did not contact her at all. Not one second. Thank goodness.

    Thank goodness, because now he is on to his 3rd, I see she was triangulated and manipulated.

    Yes, she had agency, but he is pretty compelling when he gets going.


  • I sort of confronted her. Ex and I had set an appointment for us to spend time separating all of our website related matters. It was incredibly stressful and complicated transferring my websites to my own account, he had no idea what he was doing, it was all trial and error, so it took forever and I had to work closely with him. She called in the middle of this prearranged appointment to have an “emotional crisis” that necessitated him dropping everything, unceremoniously leaving the room we were working in in order to coach her through her tizzy (which I now suspect, given my recent intel,was a pending eviction). I gave him 5 minutes and then I lost my shit. I went downstairs and grabbed his phone from him and proceeded to call her every name in the book. My only regret is that I wish I had been more savvy about what I had said to her. I could have definitely landed some choice blows about his past relationships and his current financial status. The dumb slut was entirely mute the whole time. I guess there’s not much to say when you know what the person is saying is true!

  • I texted the last AP & pleaded for her to take him off my hands.
    Cheater was making me physically ill.
    Years of blame-shifting & gas-lighting takes its toll.
    I was anxious & needed prescription meds to calm myself.
    She never answered me but she must’ve forwarded my messages to him.
    The next morning he packed his stuff & left us. My 2 youngest kids were sitting on the couch as he walked out. He didn’t say a word to anyone as he left.
    He left for my sanity.
    Thanks Ahole for the years of emotional abuse & finally stepping up, being a man & leaving me in peace.

    • ????????I was not expecting that rene62. Not laughing at your pain, but at the thought of her receiving that. If I was her I would have run for the hills after reading it. Thanks for that visual, I needed it.
      I did contact the AP. Asking her to back off. She said she was just trying to be his “friend,” but that she would leave him alone. She then proceeded to tell me about her ex’s affair (one year earlier), and how much worse it was than my situation. Wrap your mind around that one. I thought that she had understood the pain the kids and I were in, but she had no intention of backing down. Even after experiencing a broken family, marriage etc., herself. They don’t care. The rules are different for them. The only thing I did was expose my vulnerabilities to her, and stroke his ego. No one was interested in my pain or a broken family.

  • This doesn’t really relate to today’s topic, but I thought it might be of interest to others. In a tangential manner. The whole, “I’m telling you what you’re doing is hurting me, please stop” but someone continues to do so anyway because you are WRONG.

    The author didn’t cheat. His wife did divorce him. I think she was right to do so (and so does he – but it took time for him to see it that way). Anyway, I think the site is interesting overall and this post is awfully good.

    We all deserve someone who is our anchor in a GOOD way, not the “drag you down then berate you because you’re a drag” way.

    As for APs – don’t bother. You don’t yell at dog shit for being on your shoe. You scrape it off, rinse your shoes and take note of where you stepped in it so you can avoid it in the future.

    • I have to be honest that I have “issues” with Matt’s blog (as do others — read the comments).

      It is a very good thing to do a post mortem on your failed marriage and honestly look at your actions and decide that you handled certain situations poorly and will do things differently in the future.
      He does some of this in his blog and I applaud him for it.

      HOWEVER, like in this recent post he basically beats himself up over and over for not doing enough and yet totally absolves his ex wife of her BS.
      I see shades of MY Ex wife in this where she is deeply flawed yet expects perfection from her spouse and nothing is ever good enough.

      This blog writer needs to stop beating himself up and realize that his Ex has issues too and not putting his cup in the sink didn’t lead to his divorce.

      • I agree, it’s not a perfect blog but I think he has interesting things to say about how/why his marriage ended. Nor does he ever say she was perfect. She didn’t cheat on him though, nor did he cheat on her. I still agree with pulling the plug though.

        Did you read the section titled “Your Wife Might Hate you because She’s Angry”? Here’s a portion of it (and yes, I recognize myself [wife] in it). You may recognize yourself in it too – as the spouse (husband? I don’t know, I’m guessing) pulling the freight train and your XW wasn’t toting her share of the load.

        “The pregnancy, birth, and eventual arrival of our baby son at home shined a spotlight on how little I respected the mental, physical, and emotional load my wife carried through pregnancy and becoming a new mother.

        Basically, if something needed to be thought of, or planned for, or managed in regards to providing care for our newborn son, my wife was left to do it.

        She worked just as many hours as I did. She did more around the house than I did. And for years, that arrangement mostly worked. It was mostly tolerable for her.

        But when an additional human (or humans) is brought into the fold, the math changes dramatically. The heaviness—the mental, emotional, and physical toll—increases exponentially. Two people working in lockstep can overcome the new challenges.

        One person left to problem-solve on her own while her husband improves his poker game? Not so much.”


        “Maybe she tried to reach me some more times after that.

        “Matt. Would you please read this book for me that describes many of the things I feel?”


        “Matt. Would you please agree that how I feel is just as important, just as real, just as correct, just as valid, as how you feel?”


        “Matt. Would you please just put this glass that you like to leave sitting by the sink in the dishwasher? Please? It would mean a lot to me.”


        Over and over and over again, I communicated to my wife—to the mother of my son—that I could not be counted on to love and honor her all of the days of my life, in good times and in bad, even though that’s what I’d vowed to do for her in front of everyone we both knew.”

  • I’ve written about this before but I did kinda confront them both just once. He was shacked up with the skank and I wanted to have a look at what twu wuv looked like. One night I had been to the theatre so was all dressed up and such and when I passed the whore bar he hung out at I saw him twanging away on his guitar like someone was torturing a cat so I decided to stop and go in. God alone knows why, but I put some more slap on, stood up straight and walked in. He didn’t see me at first (he was too concentrated on torturing that cat) but SHE did and shot out the door like her ass was on fire. I ordered a tonic water and told the bar owner to put it on his bill. When she asked if he would be okay with that I said “yeah, he’s my husband”! He saw me afterwards and all the colour drained out of his pock-marked face! Would I do it again? Nope, but it did me a world of good to get a look at the “competition”. She was younger than me but wouldn’t have looked out of place in a cow shed – either sitting on the milking stool or having her tits yanked!

    Another time I was introduced to a “friend” of his (i.e. the guy who used to be a friend of my husband because he was always paying for the drinks). He was stunned (again I was just coming home from work so was more than presentable). The ex had since moved back to the States and “friend” asked me how he was doing so I just said “still a cunt” and left it at that. Now that’s not a word I ever use but I couldn’t resist it. Just another way of getting word out there that I REALLY don’t miss him at all!

  • So so so very thankful that I didn’t confront or interact at all with OW. My ex is an ass that chose to cheat. She is a selfish ass that does not deserve my attention or to be in my presence. Don’t get me wrong, in the beginning I was seriously considering confronting her; thank God it never happened before I found chump lady-just luck I think. We have never been face to face, or had any contact since the affair (she was a howorker so I had met her once in the past). Now I am no contact and I relish in being taken out of triangle. I sure as shit don’t want to be the common enemy that unites them. I am comforted by the thought that they have only their pathetic “relationship” to focus on. My ex has aged sooo much in the last year (I have seen photos on my daughter’s phone) despite the excessively restrictive diet and hyper focus on gym time. I have been told by a few coworkers that I look like I am getting younger ( one doesn’t even know what went down with my life)- God does that make me feel good. Instead of focusing energy on the ex or the affair partner, I think the best thing a chump can do is focus that energy on the kids and themselves. Buy yourself new clothes, better skin care, pursue new things. You will get such a better payoff with that than focusing your attention on a couple of gutter snipes. Leave them to their own miserable selves is the best advice CN ever gave me❤️

  • I contacted her, not to “save the marriage “ but to keep her away from my kids. When I found out she was at my house with the kids there I drove home and crashed head on into her parked car. After that she was too afraid to come to my house. Mission accomplished and it worked to my advantage to have her think I was batshit.
    I’m long done with the hazardous waste that was my husband but I don’t regret what I did to survive that toxic situation.

  • I made that mistake. I contacted Skankella via Facebook messenger. I actually opened a Facebook account just to contact her. I asked her what was going on between her and my husband. She said that there was nothing at all going on. I told her that it isn’t appropriate to be discussing me with my husband or to be going out with him. All she said was prove it. She then forward the entire conversation to my husband(I figured out his FB password). She asked him if he knew I was on FB. Mentioned how sneaky I was. She then reported my FB account as fake.
    Contacting the skank was a waste of energy. She didn’t care about me one bit. But, I should have known that she didn’t care about me. Or she would never have cheated with my husband. I still would love to tell her what a POS she is. Love to let everyone know that she likes married men. Especially her cousin’s. However, it would not be worth my energy. Because women like her do not think they did anything wrong. Hopefully, the karma bus will run her over.

    • I tried this same approach. Trying to talk to her sensible as if she had good sense. It’s funny thinking about it. I really was trying to use rationale …thinking that would make her think about what she was doing. But it was what THEY were doing and HE (my ex) had the accountability-not her. You live and learn.

  • Since my OW (at least 1st that I knew about) was one of my my ex’s students in high school (affair started about 2 weeks after graduation as far as I could tell at the time) and came from a pretty effed-up family, I felt a weird kind of maternal pity for her and was probably more kind to her than I should have been. I’m pretty sure that she was manipulated by ex even though as she was open to having this relationship him, but him being the adult and in the position of power, I’ve always thought he was more culpable. I told her that I get that she’s young and immature and that I hoped she made better choices in the future. I also strongly counseled her to get STD tested. I’m sure it was a waste of my breath.

    • This happened to me too. My ex is a high school teacher who basically groomed an effed up teen girl and then cheated with her and left for her. I’d be lying if I said I felt any kind of sympathy for her or anything like that. She can go jump off a bridge for all I care. I do hold him more responsible, though. He was the adult.

    • Ugh. Same situation here. Except OW/former student is now in her early 30s. Apparently, affair started just after she turned 18 and graduated….13 years ago. And it’s STILL going strong (at least it was as of last fall). It contributed to the demise of my husband’s first marriage and it’s now in the process of doing the same to ours. I never knew about ANY of this. In fact, I was told while we were dating/engaged/married/etc that he’d been completely loyal and never cheated on anyone EVER. Total lies.

      OW is also now married. I could see cutting an 18 year-old a certain degree of slack given her naïveté and lack of life experience at the time, but not the current 30something who should know better and understand the consequences of her actions on both my step-children and my daughter.

      He supposedly broke it off with her for good last fall after DD, but she tried contacting him via text at Christmas (which he lied about and then deleted the texts). I doubt this is over, or at least not over for good.

      I’m totally destroyed over this and deeply concerned not just about the obvious cheating/lying/sneaking around/etc but the lack of boundaries, character and professionalism, not to mention ick factor, of a married 30something guy with a family hooking up with an 18 year-old girl. And then keeping it going through all of these years.

  • I confronted my brother’s ex wife’s AP.
    They were both musicians in their Catholic church’s worship music team. They were held in high esteem in the parish as examples of good Catholic families. They were sneaking around fucking each other between performances at retreats. When advised of what was happening, neither the priest or lay leaders would do a thing to confront them. The weasels just wanted it to go away. Never mind the family wreckage.
    Whitewashed tombs!
    I caught up with him at his office and asked him to step outside. I could tell he was scared shitless. I just wanted to look him in the eye and tell him what he was doing to my brother and my nephews.
    Not even a glimmer of a soul in his beady eyes. They are both missing something.
    Explains a lot.
    Her sons wanted nothing to do with her for years. They rarely see her.
    My brother remarried years later to a wonderful woman. They are sailing off to Baja this Fall and had their first grandbaby yesterday.
    My bro upgraded.

    • Great post! It everyday that someone else stands in for the ones being cheated on. Glad that your brother found a happy new beginning

  • I can attest to this as well:

    Four years ago I confronted the OM. We were already divorced. I did not initiate the confrontation, but I did not back off, either. I was literally trapped: XW and I were exchanging the kids and as I was sitting in the car waiting for them, he came at me. Lots of alpha-male posturing, vague threats (“Step outside”: that kind of bullshit), promises to “make her my wife.” Laughable looking back at it.

    But I wasn’t going to just take it, so I baited him: told him XW had been coming on to me (true) and that she was using him for his money and his lifestyle (also very true). At this, he literally flushed red and snarled “I don’t believe you.” I calmly retorted, “I know, but you will in due time.”

    He nearly exploded. The kids got in and we drove off.

    (The catalyst for his fury: he and XW had taken my kids to a psychiatrist and I called the doctor instructing her that OM may not be in the room when XW and the doctor and me on the phone were discussing the kids. Doctor honored my request and kicked him out. Hah!)

    Four years later: no marriage. She called it off. She’s miserable. They fight and he has called her a bitch in front of the kids. She hoovers a few times a year to see if I’m still an option. Unicorn Land has shockingly dissolved. Yet they both cling in desperation to the pathetic life they forged from lies.

    In any case, yeah, confronting the AP is futile.

    • Well done! In my case OM is a big beefcake ex-con. O boy is he big and strong. I’m guessing he was doing push-ups in jail while I was at work on a computer trying to provide a nice life for my cheater’s social media profiles. Thing is I’m an ex wrestler and without a shadow of a doubt can put a few moves on beefcakes. I played football too so I know how to bring a big fella down. But I just get to daydream about it since cheater wife allegedly lied to everybody. Nothing that happened over those 3 fabled months can be attributed to her complicit friends, or AP, or herself, unhappiness was the only culprit here. Supposedly she called it off and blocked the AP upon discovery (yeah right) but now I wish she would fall back in love and move in with him at ex-con’s buddies’ house. That way she would have to stay away from me and our daughter. Confronting the AP is a dumb idea, but dreaming about it isn’t much better.

  • One of my husband’s APs (co-worker) contacted me. She apparently was upset with him after cracks started appearing in their Epic Love Story. She’s wanted to joint forces with me against our evil partner. (WTF?!) She told me that I should fight for him. I wasn’t interested.

    The work subordinate my last boyfriend left me for and married last year did not mind sleeping over at my last boyfriend’s house although some of my stuff was still there and my last boyfriend apparently had no problem with it either. They just plain didn’t care about me. I was somebody that she didn’t know and somebody he did not care at all about and did not want around any more after 30 years of what turned out to be just an ego boost and two year long booty call to him. I wish that I just didn’t care, but I still miss him/a romantic relationship with someone I’ve known for years but also wish that the Karma bus would hit him. It would help if I believed that he didn’t suddenly morph into ethical, honest Mr. Nice Guy although he looks that way to virtually everybody. I should be glad that his new wife took this cruel character-disordered guy off my hands. Also want to keep in mind that if I got a life (e.g., a secure, pleasant, decent paying job), then I wouldn’t miss my last boyfriend and an intimate relationship so much and wouldn’t feel so bad about me. Unfortunately, my lack of ‘a (stable) life’ makes me feel that he was justified in mistreating me and leaving me as in ‘Maybe he’s right. I am a loser who deserves his contempt no matter how much I love him and try to treat him well.’ Sometimes I even think about trying to contact him to congratulate him on his marriage and try to get back into his good graces so that I can get accepted back into his (our) circle of old friends. It feels a bit like trying to get invited back into the fold after being exiled from the cool kids’ lunch table in junior high school! Part of me is still (in my mind) playing the pick me dance to ‘win’ acceptance from someone who deeply harmed me and who I simultaneously despise and crave. I am letting my last boyfriend ‘determine’ my worth!

    • Aww RockStarWife, don’t let those bastards get you down !!

      I know that it has been rough and you are lonely but at least you are no longer being abused.
      Your life is what you make of it — no one else.

      I wasn’t always so positive and right after my divorce I was as low as you can go and was thinking about suicide. Luckily with my therapist and family’s help I got better but was still sad.

      Then I started having a strange health issue and had a very serious cancer scare. I had a growth on my adrenal gland and that cancer while rare is extremely deadly ie if diagnosed you better start planning your funeral. I had surgery and thank God it was benign but I realized during that experience that I could have died then and that every day from then on is a gift and to enjoy each one and make the best of it.

      From that day on I have and you know what ?? Soon after I met my now wife in a pizza place and me the person who thought that I would never have real love in this life have it and am extremely happy.

      I know you are suffering and I wish things will get better for you but you and your life do have value and never let some shallow assholes define you or your self worth !!

      • Thanks for writing, Laughing Gator. You always share interesting, thought-provoking ideas.

        I am really glad that your life is looking up. I agree with you that at least I am no longer being (covertly) abused by my last boyfriend. Sometimes when I miss him, I notice the absence of insults, invalidating statements, controlling behavior, lies, etc. in my life…(My ex-husband still abuses me when he can, but he’s done that so long that I’m used to it and not very bothered by the abuse.) I am going to try to remind myself that at the very least, in workshops, I provide people worthwhile information on finance, math, and reproductive health (a motley assortment of knowledge) that most people would not know or would not be inclined to tell clients and people who need to know.

        This may sound weird regarding cancer scares: A few years ago, while I was single and before I started dating my last boyfriend, based on results of screening, I thought that I might have cancer. While lying on the table for an additional exam, I calmly wished that I did have cancer and that I would die. I was at peace with death. (I was disappointed that I did NOT have cancer.) I feel that way now. The silver lining in this cloud is that I don’t have the tremendous fear of being dead that most people have.

        • RockStarWife,

          You should be given that secure, pleasant, and decent paying job just based on your life experience and what you have been capable of handling.

          Your children are fortunate to have you.

          And so will decent and warm hearted people the moment you cross paths.

        • I know the feeling, 10 years ago I was in an incredibly stressful job traveling constantly plus was with my cheater Ex. I remember thinking every time that the plane took off “wouldn’t it be wonderful if this thing crashed ? It’d be over quickly and I wouldn’t have to deal with the BS that I have to daily ?”

          Today, I want to live as long as I can as I am enjoying life, have a great job and a loving marriage.

          My point is that as your life gets better, you relish life more and those “wanting to die” thoughts leave you. You honestly don’t know how many people you are helping every day and don’t realize it.

          You are out of the worst of the storm and things will get better in time.

  • I will never forget contacting the OW after my EX staged writing her a letter telling her they could not be “friends” anymore and she wrote him back telling him she understood and that their mutual relationships were more important than their friendship (yes he admitted that he staged it after I laughed at the wording of the letter) I would never recommend talking to the AP for all the reasons CL says. But I have to say after talking to her it helped me realize that she was just as screwed up as he was. She begged me not to tell her live in boyfriend and she also yelled at me for telling my kids she was the OW. (my high school son had a class with her daughter)

    After that I never again yelled at him for sleeping with his bar whore, I just told him they were made for each other (and I meant it) He ended up dumping her and marrying the other woman he was having an affair with, because OW1 was not good enough for him. He could not stand the idea that I held them both in contempt.

    You got to love the day it dawns on you that they suck, unfortunately it was months after D-Day and I had taken more abuse than anybody should ever stay in, but I am learning to be mighty. We have not seen or talked to him in 3 years… bliss.

    Do not feel too bad for him, he turned my contempt around in his own head so that by the time he remarried the kids and I were just judgmental christians and he was not a loser…. lol. RIGHT!

  • I did not reach out to my ex husband’s AP ( actually that is plural, he had several, but the one I am referring to was is “soul mate”, the one he “found love he never knew before”), the one he was most serious with ( from what I could tell, although he claimed in emails to be in love with at least 3 men at the same time, yet oddly enough, none of them knew about each other…), the one who would NOT GO AWAY. I intercepted emails and texts, and didn’t reply to them until one day, when this particular person notified my ex husband that he was going to be in town for a few nights at their “special place” ( great, something else I didn’t know, they had a special boutique hotel in town they used to spend time at, right underneath my nose ) and would my ex please spend the night with him? I lost it. I wrote him back “asking him to crawl back underneath the rock he emerged from and oh by the way, did he know that my ex was cheating on him as well? With at least 3 other men in these cities, and he has sworn his love for each of THEM too, so put that in your pipe and smoke it. While I am at it, how would your boss at the university like to know about how you have been spending your business trip time, I have copies of all the correspondence between my you and my husband regarding that business trip to CA in 2010. I also know who your parents are, maybe they’d like a record of what you’ve been doing too? I certainly hope I never see you at one of the national meetings, you loser”. He disappeared into thin air. My ex-husband was upset I was so mean to him!!! “He didn’t do anything wrong, remember I’m grieving too”- yeah, grieving that your free pass to be a total douchebag has been revoked, grieving that you were found out, grieving that there may be consequences, but trust me you are NOT ashamed of what you did, you are only ashamed you got caught and your enormous 6 year charade is over. Buh Bye!

    • I try not to be vengeful. But in the moment of anger I would have shared that information. I hate feeling like I’m the only one suffering. I reached out to the AP adult kids (yeah I was relentless) I reached out to her father and her sister. They never responded and hopefully they can put 2 and 2 together when AP posted the wedding picture on social media. So many thoughts run through my head, but I now leave it because I know that people will have to answer in due time. Not my time.

  • My ex Asshat’s AP was his (now ex) best friends wife. When I found out, after confronting Asshat, who told me, with a snarky smirk that this “doesn’t affect YOU”, I then sent a scathing text message to the AP. I called her every skanky name I could think of, not proud of that, but hey, why not call her what she is?

    The only result was her telling Asshat how completely right he was about how batshit crazy I am and suggesting that her wish for me was that I would find a wonderful true love like they had. 3 months later, it totally was HAD, as Asshat had dumped her for a new AP, who is about 30 years younger than he is. Ex-besties wife was livid. How COULD he??? And I’m the crazy one, eh?

    Moved out, divorced, and firmly NO CONTACT since. These monkeys can enjoy their circus without me.

  • Chump Lady,

    I was in New Orleans a few days ago for a quick visit. I hope you tried a burger from Port of Call. Best burger in town!

  • My dad had pretty good advice about dealing with opponents in sports. “Never let’em see you sweat”! I think that also works well when you get blindsided by an affair. Exit the scene with minimal or no drama and go NC from that point forward.

    • Excellent quote applicable in so many aspects of our lives. Nelly had a hit hip hop song with the same title so I always liked that quote. But he was exposed as a creep on par or worse than our cheaters so I no longer admire him. I want all this immoral cheater shit as far away from my mind as possible. I can take your dad’s quote and imagine my dad saying it. Thanks!

  • DD1 did stalk online and contemplated confrontation as I pick-me danced and compared – long before CL- as per CL’s helpful ideas in yesterdays post – actually OW1 had a much fancier job but no character…
    DD2 (that I found out about) after confronting X – OW messaged I had nothing to worry about from her (!). Did not reply. Left. 🙂 X promptly took up with another (cheated on her), then another (broke it off because she had bad character), and … NC no longer care and getting closer to that Tuesday 🙂

    • Those triangles are just exhausting! My ex cheater was exactly the same, so many women (and men if it meant I wouldn’t be in his tail) that what I found out about was just tip of iceberg decoy stuff. Lucky I’m just not a jealous person (which was why he tried to make me jealous to such extremes) or I would have gone mad. The depth of depravity and the number of compartments he ran (and still runs) is beyond sane.

  • Guilty! I went to speak with her (after getting a tip that the AP was staying with my then sister in law…you figure out the rest). I will never forget the SMIRK she had on her face. It all make sense now because she had been begging him to tell me about their affair. I would not recommend confronting the AP, because they know the other party is married (she did in my case). She made it clear that she was waiting on him to dump me and would wait. And she lied about her current situation (she was still married) but told me she was divorced. After me fighting it for years (yeah I prolonged the inevitable) a few months after our divorce the two narcissist were married. We won’t get into the fact that he didn’t tell our kids about it. Leave narcissistic manipulative cheaters to their own ways. You cannot reason with them. The lies that they’ve told to the AP just makes them both go deeper into the affair. And after talking with her, my ex tried to side with me against her as if he was innocent. It was dysfunction at its finest. Once your spouse tells you. If you all can’t resolve to work through the infidelity, just go ahead and file. There’s no need to have conversations with the 3rd party whose really not relevant. My emotions got the best of me.

  • Her car was seen in my driveway (3pm and 3am) by an ally who had visited my home to see my kids (not home) at 3pm but got dodgy peeking through the door from my husband hence the return check. I’m flee back into the country the next morning. So I got the rego and traced it to her (we’d seperated by now but still sharing home and he’d denied her existence for upwards of 3 years even after her BFF bared all a year prior (won’t go into the lies about that text message exchange with OW – being flattered was mentioned, which I knew was a line my husband had told her to use). So I had her address. My ally suggested we go through the trash where I found a receipt from 4 months prior with her phone number on it.

    TBH it was a gift. Within the week he was prevented from ever returning to stay in our home.

    And I enjoyed him and her knowing I had her number and her address. I wasn’t going there. She could have him.

    Turns out she was still the OW 6 months later when his main supply of last year (we’d been split 6 months by now) reaches out to me because she thought he was lying to her (he was, right down to when we had split up (6 months prior to when we did, and their getting together was timed with those BFF messages when I’d told my cheater I didn’t believe him about the affair not happening and we were over (took me 6 months to actually catch him in the act, to actually dump him, still no name just girl on girl porn in a text message thread but I was finally able to get out and kick him out of my life and never go back – had been 6 months of hoovering and overseas holidays before I got what I needed to leave).

    I get way more pleasure out of not going there (although I did message her laughing at the fact she was just the decoy OW and not the main supply after we split up). ????‍♀️

    Now she is main supply, she can totally have him. He’s done exactly what he did to me when I’d caught him cheating, talked her into picking up guys on swinging sites so she could have two men (it’s just another con so he can make his friends think she has another lover making it acceptable for him to have side numbers as well – yep that’s how it worked out for me. Plus he’s closet gay AF and an Autogynephile so it’s not for her at all! All this said from experience btw.

    Their fear of me turning up is way more satisfying than me turning up. It’s definitely not worth contact. She’s even taken a trespass order out on me (scared I am ????????) which just makes her more of a flying monkey than she realises. So she can totally have him.

  • Late to the table today. I tried to contact the ap and when she ignored me I visited her mother ( smdh). She claimed they thought my ex was separated for 2 years—his story. Except ap was a friend who hung out at our shop. So no they both lied to her mother. She was also not the least bit shocked leading me to believe they knew., all totally fucked up people. Get away from the crazy is the best reaction.

  • This is one thing I actually did right. To this day, I have never exchanged any form of communication with the ex-cheater’s cheater partner. Based on their past behavior, I’m quite certain that there would have been a ton of drama, likely including a restraining order or letter from a lawyer threatening legal action if I reached out to her again. That would have created a ridiculous amount of stress in my life over a person who is nothing to me and not worth a moment of my time.

    Now that the dust has settled, I can see my ex for who he is, and I am glad that I never did the pick-me dance or kept coming round to offer him kibbles by trying to interact with them. I didn’t lose the love of my life. I had my rose-colored glasses removed, albeit forcibly, which allowed me to see how much I had spackled our relationship. I hope she stays in his life so that he doesn’t give any more attention than is necessary to either me or the kids.

  • I never confronted the OW. I knew that she had had affairs with married men in the past. She had gone through 2 husbands, but there was always some kind of sad story about how mean the ex-husband was to her. I was naive then, and she was a staffer in CheaterX’s office. Poor sad thing with bad taste in men!

    And realizing that she’d had a track record of picking men with poor characters helped me understand that her radar hadn’t changed. It wasn’t that my CheaterX was a decent man and therefore she fell for him; it was that he was exactly like her previous partners.

    I always fantasized about being able to tell her that she didn’t “win” my husband. She got a man who cheated on his wife and he got a woman who liked to sleep with other people’s husbands. I definitely came out the winner there.

  • I confronted one of Cheater #1’s many OW (his sooooouuuulllmaaattttteeee) and her sister. I was informed that I “knew” C#1 fooled around and I didn’t care. Well, thanks for telling me what I think and how I feel (sarcasm). This was, of course, because C#1 told everyone the same tired story: we were in an open marriage, I didn’t care that he fucked anything that moved, blah blah blah. Which is why it makes absolutely no sense that I was so upset when I uncovered the pack of lies. In fact, C#1 so believed his own lies that he was shocked that I was upset because — wait for it — I knew and I didn’t care!

    Furthermore, I found out that C#1 had gone to family holidays and parties with this particular OW and her family (including the above mentioned sister). OW’s mother asked when they were going to “make it permanent”!!!! What kind of messed up is that? As a parent myself, if one of my kids came home with a married person, I’d show them both to the door.

    With C#2’s OW, I never had to confront. She showed up at the house one day when she thought I wasn’t there and was totally freaked out when I came out to the garage where she, C#2 and there biking buddies were packing up to go home after their ride. I didn’t say anything to her or C#2, just stood there and observed them like the strange specimens they are. She literally dove into her car, slammed the door shut and hightailed out of the driveway. There were lots of funny looks exchanged between the bike club members, but no one else said anything either. I guess they were all waiting for a Dynasty-style cat fight and were disappointed they didn’t get one. Oh well.

  • My OW is a neighbor who lives two doors down from me. We’ve never met, but I see her all the time. She was single when she got involved in my marriage, then got involved with another married guy, and now is in a relationship with a new guy who is not married to my knowledge. She has no shame, and sees herself as the innocent victim of my jealousy and his spinelessness. Fortunately she’s dropped the dramatic antics (it’s been months since she called the police on me to report some entirely fabricated nonsense) and ignores me, but I still have to see her pretty much every day. It’s worse now that the weather’s nice and everyone is outside all the time, and we both garden. I’m stuck in this house for the next year until I can sell it and find a new job somewhere far away.

    Whenever I see her my breath stalls, my face feels hot, I hear buzzing in my ears; I feel naked and desperate to run and hide. But I do my best to just walk by a pretend not to notice her or trip or pass out. It’s gotten a little easier over the past year, but not much. Should I do the same this summer, just pretend she doesn’t exist? Or should I allow myself to glance over at her? Ignoring her is good, but my concern is that in rushing by pretending she doesn’t exist I’m actually putting myself into hiding. I have nothing to be ashamed of, so why am I letting her have this power over me? Why should I be the one who has to hide from her glances? I should be able to look at her and grimace if that’s what I feel like doing. Should I? Or is that a form of contact that will give her a new hook to reinvolve herself in my life and start filing new police reports?

    This shit is exhausting.

    • Funny how the wronged party is the one filled with shame.

      Hold your head high! You have done nothing to be ashamed of.

    • I wouldn’t hide from her. I would give her the stink eye, combined with a contemptuous smirk. I would tell everyone in the neighbourhood what she had done. If she started filing false reports again, I’d have my lawyer scare her with a cease and desist letter threatening a harassment lawsuit. I would also file a stalking report on her, because filing false reports about you is actually a form of stalking. But that’s me. You, OTOH, may feel better ignoring her to avoid any further drama, especially since you are emotionally exhausted. Only you can decide what is the right move for you to make. It may just not be in you to engage this assclown in any way, and that’s perfectly okay. Do what you need to do in order to to heal. Your wound has started to scab over, and dealing with her bullshit might just have the effect of ripping off the scab. It must be awful to have to see this horrid bitch all the time. It’s a wonder to me how you can manage. I salute your mightiness.

  • I spoke to the last one I knew of. He said she wanted to meet me to apologise, which she did do. When we met she said she thought stbx and i were getting divorced. She also thought she was the first one he had cheated with and was under the impression that I was mistreating him.
    She was doing great till she said to me to take care of him.
    For her labours she got her an sti.
    I always felt sorry for the aps.

  • Our Xes our STBXes have already gotten to these people, and everyone else they can with their LIES. The Other women think they are doing a kind thing, helping a poor wounded puppy.

  • I desperately wish I’d read this post the first time around. The summer after Dday #1 (of this round) was completely insane. For someone actually really wanted the luggage, I was loopy. Some of this was a truly unfortunate medication issue (amazing how quickly I began to act rationally again after my prescriber and I conferred), but the damage had already been done.
    Most of it was blind terror for my kidlets. I tried to meet or learn about as many of them as I could; tried to have some sort of relationship with the most likely contender. But every effort I made was increased the chaos. I kept trying to make clear that I was not a rival; they kept intensifying their triangulation.
    Now, despite it being the last thing I wanted in the world, I am/was the last girl standing. I needed No Contact to free myself from the trauma bonds, and our co-parenting was making this impossible.
    I could have avoided all this Hell if I had just walked off at the beginning. The 3 year anniversary is in two weeks and I have only just begun to be able to really commit to NC. It’s only been some 5ish days, but already I can sleep at night. I am trying to take it one day at a time.
    But it kills me that I could have avoided the whole mess if I had been smart about the kids and lawyered up. I could have gotten a no visitation parenting plan; instead I tried to control those outcomes. Thank heavens for you guys. Without Chump Nation I might Still be in that hellscape of trickle-truths and marriage police.

  • I didn’t talk to her. After dday my worthless husband dumped her. Then I made him ask her to apologize and promise me she would not try to re-ignite their affair. I did so not because I wanted to keep him, I just wanted to use it for proof of the affair, which I did, when I told her husband. Stupid bitch thought I was going to keep quiet for some reason and actually put it in writing. She fucked with the wrong woman’s life and got hers fucked right back. She’s hated my ex ever since and, I hear, is drinking even more than ever and screwing up on the job because of it. ????She’s her own instant karma. I still have more plans for her but they don’t involve me contacting her in any way. I avoid her area of town and places I know she hangs out at because if I run into her I’m afraid I won’t be able to resist punching her in the face. I feel like they both need to experience more consequences, and with revenge being a dish best served cold, I will wait.
    I can’t out them as the scum they are where they work because it could affect my income. But when he retires, and it won’t be that long, it’s go time and they will be exposed to workmates, to their friends, neighbours and on social media. Ah, just the thought of it warms the cockles of my celtic heart.

  • I never exactly confronted any but I tried to be friendly towards the EA partner thinking that if she got to know me that would make her back off my husband. Nope! With Schmoopie 2.0 ex implied that he wasn’t treating her very well either and that “someday you will be friends in the old folks home and have lots to talk about when you compare notes”. I figured “why wait”? He made it sound like she was some kind if victim. I went to her house planning to get her side of the story but when I got there the front door was open. I decided it would be awkward if one of her kids answered the door so I wimped out and left. I am glad I did. The next day she sent my ex an invite to go to a “movie in the park” event with her and then showed up at his work the day after that. This is when we were supposed to be in reconciliation and she knew it. After that I hated the very thought of her and even the slightest glimpse would fill me with a sense of rage. I have avoided her like the plague ever since. Even now I refuse to acknowledge her existence.

    Another time I was confiding in a woman about my marital problems on a boy scout trip. The next day I found out from ex that she was Schmoopie 1.0 (post EA pre Schmoopie 2.0). In her case I do believe that she is someone who did get suckered by his charm and got in over her head. She apparently is the one who broke it off with him because she didn’t feel right about it. I never told her that ex had told me she was a Schmoopie.

  • I have no contact with my ex never did the pick me dance or contacted the other woman but now I have to face them at my daughter’s wedding. I have no idea how I am going to handle that. I also have to see all of his family who ghosted me after he left me and are still in denial about the affair. I know I need to be cordial but no way am I going to be fake either. So awkward. Anyone had to do this and maybe have some tips for me?

      • Would it also be okay if she has to be near them to briefly let it flicker across her face that she smells something bad?

        • Ironbutterfly, I’ve got my second son’s wedding to look forward to in July too but at the first one I pretty much ignored him. I had to speak aouple of times but since we weren’t seated at the same table it wasn’t difficult. I had my family round me which helped enormously, but then so did my kids telling me that the latest Schmoopie, although pretty, was a horrendous nag and pain in the butt!

    • I’ve never had to do that but I would imagine that being civil but completely impersonal, if they have the gall to speak to you, would be best. Cold, but socially correct. Avoid and ignore them if you can. Otherwise, ugliness might break out and ruin the wedding.

      My ex’s family has ghosted me and my daughters as well, but I’m happy about not having those cretins in my life. They will absolutely not be invited to any future wedding for my unmarried daughter. She can’t stand them either.
      Your situation totally sucks, but it’s only for one day that you have to put up with them.

    • Well, a few lines might be…

      In-Law: “Ironbutterfly! How have you been?”
      You: “Doing well. Excuse me, I have to go check on something.” [walk away.]

      In-Law: “Ironbutterfly! It’s been so long! What have you been up to?”
      You: “Yes, it has been a long time. Let’s see, when did we last talk? Oh yes, after Ex had an affair with OW and you decided to pretend I didn’t exist because it was awkward. Well, since then I’ve [two small things you’ve been doing]. Now excuse me, I have to go check on something.” [walk away.]

      OW: “Ironbutterfly! How have you been?”
      You: “OW, you had an affair with my husband while we were still married. Why are you talking to me?” [walk away.]

      OW: [Insists on coming back for more]
      You: “OW, go find someone whose husband you haven’t fucked and talk to them, will you?”

      As for your ex? Just point-blank pretend you can’t see or hear him.

  • One good thing came out of my confrontation with the OW: I realized that she was a selfish, self-absorbed cunt who honestly thought she was a good person, and that my confrontation would not accomplish anything. Somehow I had assumed that if I just explained myself she would back off like a person with integrity who realized she had made a terrible mistake.

    Sadly, it took me several more months before I stopped assuming my cheater-ex was a normal person with integrity.

    They both simply thought of me as some pesky obstacle in the way of their true love. Me, and the whole vows in church and two babies. All of us, just obstacles to be worked around with manipulation and lies.

  • Nope. Never once did I contact the AP or the OWife/Mrs. Dumbass.
    My silence drove him crazy. He couldn’t believe I was “going after” her.
    I let my silence do my talking.
    They’ve been together four years now, and I’ve been told that all is not well with exh2/The Evil One and her.
    I’ve been told he is “tired of her bad temper”, he’s “sick of being told her kids hate him”, he “hates her cooking/she can’t cook worth a shit”, and that she has physically attacked him, scratching up his face, slapping him.
    I sit back on my throne of vindication and validation like a boss and say nothing to him about any of what I’ve been told.
    Why give him kibbles at all?
    He chose to lie, steal, and cheat.
    He made his bed with her, he chose her. Who am I to auestion him and his choices?

    • They do insist on giving themselves a heaping dose of karmic justice, don’t they. I’m laughing about her physically attacking him and saving you the bother.

      • It’s an awesome feeling. He deserves every bit of everything she puts him though. I truly thought she would be meek, mild, and subservient
        April fool’s dumbass
        Who’s the bitch now?

  • As far as AP goes? She was a friend/colleague and she knowingly hurt me. To me that’s shittier than if I had been a stranger to her. I know we aren’t supposed to think that we are better than other humans, but in my opinion, she is beneath me, so far as to be almost beneath my notice. A sentiment I was delighted to share with my X.

    I was quite confident that he told her the marriage was unhappy (news to me!) and over (more news!) and that justified all her actions. Even though she deliberately and consciously chose to hurt me and was a party to the destruction of my family and former life, she had never vowed to be faithful to me.

    X on the other hand did vow to be faithful. X was accountable to me in a way that AP was not.

    However, y’all —

    I have been very tempted to contact AP’s former husband. He is an acquaintance. Since I know how it feels to unfavorably compare yourself to an AP, I wonder if he ever compares himself to my X and feels like his former wife traded up. How I would love to share some of my X’s faults with the AP’s X to help him realize what a loser his former wife is now with. I imagine myself as nobly rescuing him from feeling bad about himself. The truth is that I have no idea if I could trust him or not. For all I know, he and AP remained great buddies and he would laugh in my face and go directly to them with the scoop that I am cra-cra-crazy and so-not-over-it. Fuck that shit.

    I have also been tempted to contact AP’s employer. Let’s just say, she totally and completely crossed an ethical line professionally. This is my fantasy: I write a letter to the head of HR and the CEO of her company. They never say a word or bring it up to her directly. At some point, she comes up for a promotion. They decide to pass her over ‘just because.’ I would just love to think that she was denied her dream but couldn’t understand why and no one would tell her. But. If it ever came to light to either AP or X that I did that, I would be perceived as the cra-cra-crazy so-not-over-it loser X-wife. Fuck that shit.

    • I think that if AP had a pre-existing relationship with you, you’re allowed to chew them out for being a shitty friend. Also, definitely out them to any partners/spouses (chump-to-chump courtesy). Screwing them over at work… well, if it’ll make you feel better, you could consider it – but balance it against the damage it could do to your own reputation.

  • Piling on to why you don’t contact:
    In my first chump rodeo I was dating a “separated about to be divorced man”. Welp. That was a dude having an affair. Found out, dumped him, but now looking back I recall how he trashed his wife.
    Fast forward to my own personal chumping. My X trashed all of the previous GFs! They were all crazy or flawed. No, I was blind to this, too excited by the love bomb to see. So, when there was a “just a friend that I will happen to text all the time and shove in your face and NO it is not sexual” I didn’t confront. I thought about it, and didn’t. I do not regret this choice! What would it have accomplished? Surely he was telling her what a crazy B I was, how we were in a sexless marriage (um, not) and how horrible I was. The first chumping assisted the next one. I realized there was no point to intervene. Wouldn’t have achieved anything– in this case she bought the lies, decided to try and steal and have my life. Now, close to meh, I’d never entertain a conversation. What would I say? Wonder if they did it in our bed (they so did and everywhere in my house)? Wonder what lies he told her (can figure that out already)? Wonder why she thought trying to steal him was a good idea? Now, near meh, I can say when you get here you realize there’s zero value to be gained by a confrontation. Oh, and X was all about wanting that attention, looking back he tried to provoke me. Glad I am away from that useless kibbling exercise.

  • EXH cheated on me with same woman 25 years apart.

    First time I didn’t confront, that said I would go to the restaurant where they worked together and stand at the bar (husband head bartender) and make comments on my husband choosing me because he loved me. He told me to stop because it was mean….you got it, didn’t see the red flag.

    Second time didn’t fight for him at all. Didn’t contact her (1000 miles away). Shortly after he asked me for a divorce (telling me he was leaving me and son for a job) she told him she got notice of a letter at the post office she had to sign for. Called me outside and asked me…..all I said was no it wasn’t me.

    This Blog and the book (which I ready daily for two or three months…just over and over) helped me know how to react, what to do. You all were my life-line.

  • Was the perfect action on my part. We were separated had 2 small kids and seeing a counselor . The low life in question was a serial wife poacher . …came on with all the usual horse shit…” you deserve better ” you’re too beautiful and young to be unhappy ” blah blah blah . He was also a police officer . He used the uniform to its less than admirable ability . It hadn’t gotten physical at that point so I acted…with a witness I cornered him in a dark ally and told him to stay away . He put his hand on his gun and smugly said that he wasn’t near her. 10 minutes later I went to her (our) house and she already knew of the encounter . I told her that he obviously didn’t take me seriously because her whined to her about me approaching him. I told her I would race her to the divorce lawyer . She seemingly woke up at that instant . A few nights later he nearly hit with a patrol car I just stood there and taunted him to hit me. He followed me around town harassed friends of ours . I had a conversation with the chief and stood my ground . If the relationship got past first base I would have been gone . I had little kids and wasn’t going to accept that kind words of pond scum lurking around them so I did confront and I’m proud of myself for it. That was 30 years ago . Things are going good for us .

  • People crave and need justice. We call the police when we are robbed. The court system locks up the criminal. When we are in a traffic accent we have insurance to right the wrong, justice. In an affair there is zero justice. Society has removed all social stigmas and has implemented the no fault divorce. If you can’t get justice, when justive is needed the mind will be consumed with chaos. People need justice for being wronged.

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