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Dear Chump Lady, He claims he still loves me

Dear Chump Lady,

You may have addressed this in the past. I’m leaving a partner of 43 years whom I’ve learned has been visiting prostitutes for years while claiming to still have loved me the entire time.

Just writing that gives me a clue, however I would still value your feedback.


Dear Bonnie,

I can’t claim to know the contents of your partner’s heart. It may well be that the entire 43 years he was screwing other women by the hour he thought he loved you. The real question is: Do you feel loved?

Respected? Considered?

As I say here a thousand times a week — is this relationship acceptable to you?

But, but! He might have LOVED ME! is Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness. To find an exception or motivating factor that would make this crushing discovery acceptable. A scrap of humanity you can cling to. “Yes, it’s true Conrad purchased people by the hour for 43 years, but the entire time he was fucking that trafficked teenager, he was thinking of me.”

Can you eclipse the horror of that? Apparently Conrad can.

Oh so what, Tracy. Men visit prostitutes. Quit clutching your pearls. Get over it. Oldest profession in the world. 

Yeah, oldest oppression in the world, right up there with slavery. Which speaking of systems of entitlement — slave owners often claimed they loved their slaves. Like family! And maybe in their twisted, paternalistic, shriveled hearts they did. Mores of the time, and all. It was what they understood “love” to be for lesser creatures. People you could use and abuse. People whose existence was status for you.

Did those owners “love” their slaves — did they see them as people, or as useful things?

(Narrator in scholarly voice: “I’m sure it was much more complicated than that…”)

And there we go down the untangling rabbit hole.

IT DOESN’T MATTER. IT WAS SLAVERY. And enslaving people is WRONG.

How black and white of you, Tracy.

As long as we’re stuck on what the Entitled/Abuser felt about the Bad Thing ABOVE what the Acted Upon/Chump feels about the Bad Thing — we’re still operating from their centrality. Accepting their entitlement as natural. Well, of course we should care how Conrad feels about fucking teenagers or how much he loves his wife.

No. We should imagine what it’s like to be a trafficked teenager. And feel horror that there are men (sorry, it’s men) who buy people and rate them like Amazon purchases. And go home to their partners and risk their health.

But you don’t know that those prostitutes were trafficked, Tracy. They might be saucy liberated ladies who enjoy sex work! Or predatory foreigners out to make a buck. 

Here’s some light reading from the U.S. State Dept. on prostitution:

Few activities are as brutal and damaging to people as prostitution. Field research in nine countries concluded that 60-75 percent of women in prostitution were raped, 70-95 percent were physically assaulted, and 68 percent met the criteria for post traumatic stress disorder in the same range as treatment-seeking combat veterans[2] and victims of state-organized torture.[3]  Beyond this shocking abuse, the public health implications of prostitution are devastating and include a myriad of serious and fatal diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

So, when anyone excuses men for buying sex, consider — they’re supporting pimps, traffickers, pedophiles (The average age someone enters prostitution in the U.S. is 13), and criminal syndicates.

But, but, the orgasms! The almighty orgasms! 

Back to you, Bonnie. It’s either okay with you that your partner has a criminal, exploitative, secret double life that harms you, or it’s not.

If you had known this is what he was into when you met him, would you have committed to him? No? Then he let you invest in a lie.

Who did that lie benefit, Bonnie? You or him?

This guy only loves one person — his dick.

Untangling his skein is just keeping you from the important task of running the hell away from him.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • And that’s what’s all about: asking YOURSELF that question, answering honestly, and acting accordingly.

    As a chump, I really failed at this until I was forced to ask/answer/act.

    Now I have a superpower

    • I second this. Keep it really simple!

      LOVE and LYING do not go together.
      LOVE and ABUSE do not go together.
      LYING and ABUSE go together.

      Ergo, if I am being lied to, I am being abused, and I am NOT loved.

      I need to have my own back. If I don’t have my own back, how on earth can I expect anyone else to?

      I attended a speaker series featuring a teenage girl who was formerly sex-trafficked. She had “aged-out” at 16 (meaning, gotten too old to be of much value, and it was getting harder to control her). You have NO idea if people are being trafficked, even in pornographic images or films.

      Sweet smoking Jesus.

      IMHO if you pay for sex you are a predator. That includes my STBX who went to massage parlors in Malaysia on business trips.

      I know a Vietnam vet who goes on rescue missions for sex-trafficked girls in Southeast Asia. THAT is a man who knows what love is.

      • There’s a man who does the same in America. I saw him on the news a few months ago, but can’t recall his name. He says the sex-trafficking of children across the U.S. southern border is rampant beyond anyone’s imagination, and it serves the demand of American pedophiles.

        • This practice is in no way restricted to areas “across the U.S southern border.” It is across ALL of America and involves women from all over the world. In Florida and much of the northeastern United States, so-called massage parlors are rampant. Many of the women who are forced to labor in theses places pay mules in China and surrounding counties to smuggle them into this country. Once they arrive, they become virtual slaves, unable to leave without a handler, forced to surrender all money they make, and moved from one location to another throughout the United States. Many, many prominent men, including the owner of the Patriots, were recently arrested as the result of a long term human trafficking investigation in south Florida. Any person who frequents these places is knowingly promoting this inhumane and illegal treatment of their fellow human beings.

          • I didn’t suggest it was restricted to the southern border. But the specific person I was speaking about practices in areas affected by that particular vulnerable entryway.

            • That may have been the experience of your acquaintance, but human trafficking is not restricted to “vulnerable” entryways. It can be found throughout this country, in every single community, destroying the lives of women of all ages, ethnicities and countries of origin. Human trafficking is an equal opportunity offender, and those who engage in it do not fit any single profile. Every place in this country is “vulnerable”.

              But certainly, making criminals out of people who seek asylum in this country assists human traffickers in their efforts to enslave their victims. When a trafficking victim fears deportation, that fear keeps her from seeking the assistance of law enforcement. The inhumane enforcement policies presently in place prevent any meaningful solution to this problem. And, of course, the “respectable” men who frequent sex sweatshops are morally bankrupt.

        • Indeed, the border patrol has been finding that when DNA testing is done, many “families” crossing our border turn out not to be related to the children they’re using to claim asylum. It’s a real problem.

  • Ignore the sunk costs Bonnie. You were used by him like front for laundering money. YOUR marital money was used to exploit vulnerable people.

    He used you. Is that acceptable to you?

  • My cheater also claimed that he loved me after multiple Ddays & a child born to an OW.
    I finally stopped listening to the BS & realized that none of it was acceptable to me. That was not my family values & not how I was raised. His kind of love wasn’t my kind of love. I didn’t want our 4 kids to think that this was the way that you “love” a spouse or that this behavior was normal or ever acceptable. I stood up for what is right. You can too.

    • Renee62 – “His kind of love wasn’t my kind of love.”

      What an excellent point? When we ask ourselves whether our cheaters ever really loved us or if we should believe them when they say they do, it’s so important to understand that it is VERY UNLIKELY that they are using the word “love” as you understand it to mean?

      They can go and throw the word “love” around all they want, but it means very little.

      Start with understanding what you know love to be and measure them by that standard. If they do not meet the criteria, then you are not functioning on the same level. Ask yourself if you can ever be satisfied with the little they have to offer.

      • Right. To them, love means you are of use to them. When you stop being of use for one reason or another, it’s shocking how fast the “love” vanishes.

          • True. Mine was so angry he hated me. That’s what allowed him to treat me so terribly and have no empathy for my pain. Well, fuck a bunch of that. All I did to “deserve” his hatred was get sick. I couldn’t cater to his “needs” the way he wanted. The narc bastard felt betrayed because I got sick and felt bad for himself instead of feeling bad for me. What a grotesque freak.

            • I got sick too. I think deep down I knew my husband was cheating but in my conscious mind, I didn’t know. That’s what made me sick. I couldn’t process it. I had multiple infections. It was literally eating me up inside. We operate from trust and believe our husbands do too, but nothing could be farther from the truth

            • Me too. But the worse part is that I felt sorry for him too and totally overlooked all the physical stuff I had to go through. I was so warped that I didn’t even allow myself to grieve what happened to me and it was monumental. Now I can and now I feel better than I have in years and years and years. Like dubsfan stated I do believe my unconscious did know all along. I now try to pay attention to want it is telling me.

              Great books I have found to help with this include;
              Any of John Sarno’s books
              Unlearning Your Pain
              Unlearning Your Anxiety and Depression

              They map out everything so clearly!

    • it’s a genuinely awful thing to realise that the person you married doesn’t love you. So seconded that I’m sorry too.

    • I lived 29 years with too-often uneasiness that he didn’t love me all that much but if I asked, he appeased me with some crumb. I remember reading a friends wall hanging that had the Bible verse “Love Chapter” many of us have read at out wedding “Love is patient, love is kind..” and thinking “no, no, no on that one too” yet as a young married woman with 2 kids, I couldnt fathom leaving because I thought he might not love me…and I ignored much abuse and many red flags.

      So after more abuse, one known affair, his death and discovery of stories of previous affairs, I found an old document on an old computer…on it, he said:

      “I never loved my wife”…well there you go.

      and the earth didn’t crack open and swallow me whole

      Reading that document pushed me from “marginal meh” where he was concerned to “Stone Cold Ice Queen”. He had thousands of chances to come clean in some manner that had integrity but he just kept his appliance and kept up the ruse so I would do as he wished.

      • Uni, that is rough. And to find it when he was already dead and you could not respond in righteous anger is to be robbed of an opportunity. I love you comment that the “earth didn’t crack open and swallow me whole” although I’m sure it was difficult in the moment.
        Your comments are always inspiring.

      • “The years with too-often uneasiness that he didn’t love me that much” this was my life with ex,
        and being appeased with some crumb.
        There was always a feeling that our relationship wasn’t as close as other couples but I shrugged it off. He would claim to be my best friend, so I held on to that and that.
        I should have trusted my gut feelings, and his actions. I was the Queen of spackle.

        • If you were a “Queen”, then I was a King, as I spackled like nobody’s business! I just went about my days, trusting, loving…while being manipulated and lied to.

  • He doesn’t love you Bonny ( Sorry to say )
    He loves Cake . He likes you to be at home looking after him cooking , cleaning home making and he likes to fuck dirty on the side .

    That is not love . Spending your martial money on sex workers is not love . Cheating on you is not love . Lying to you is not love .

    He loves himself and the rush of the thrill of sex but he does not love you . I know that is really hard to think about but it is true .

    • He loves his wife appliance.
      Where will he get another like this one who is ok with extra marital sex?

      Oooohhhh I love my wife (appliance).
      Make me another samdwich, honey. “

    • Yes sometimes the truth hurts but it’s better than being lied to.
      And your comment is exactly the truth!

  • I was cheated on so many times and treated so lovingly between discoveries, that I managed to convince myself that a man could love you and still cheat. If I just watched more carefully and pick me danced more beautifully. If I did sexual acrobatics and put icky things in my mouth, no way he would go back to her because me he LOVED!! I’m cuter than, sexier than,smarter than, funnier than, more outgoing than….HER!! Surely he loves me. Finally i popped my head out of my ass after an STI and photographic evidence….and went no contact … he showed up in my email a year later with the message “i was always yours. Just wish I could have convinced you of that”. Funny thing is. He had never convinced me. For all those years i had convinced myself.

    • You can’t ever compete with novelty or unattainability. No matter what you do, you’ll never be new or somebody he has to chase. They start to get bored after they actually catch one. That’s why they’re so lovey dovey when you are going to leave, but if you stay, it won’t be long before they’re bored again and chasing somebody else. Sickos.

    • Heheheh…love your name and the X did something similar – also a year later. No cake makes OW not as appealing.

      I am so grateful to CL and CN because here I have learned so much about how chumpy I was through these posts and peoples’ responses. All the while I was thoroughly engaged in the pick-me polka I was convinced that if I just held on he would come out of the ‘fog’. Took going no contact to see that I was in a ‘fog’ far, far thicker than the one he was in. In fact, I discovered that he wasn’t in a fog at all – I was. Fog does lift – a disordered personality does not.

    • “He had never convinced me. For all those years i had convinced myself.”…brilliant! Yesss!
      Same here. Looking back, I was only fooling myself thinking that she loved me or genuinely cared.

    • He plays the OW in the same way. They did the pick me dance also because he told them she is prettier, she is smarter, she has a better career, she is willing to do all the nasty deeds, etc… He tell the OW he loves her… these men love that they have numerous women thinking they are the love of his life. He may stay with the wife but he also stays with the OW but hides it better once caught.

  • My ex claimed to love me, till I knew he hung around with prostitutes, apparently there always happy (I don’t think so). People have choices, he made his. He had a sti, and secretly more I feel. I saw one of his friends, today, she didn’t know who the dad of her youngest is, she laughed about it. Her oldest she was allowed to be alone with him after the age of 16. She always had time to party, drugs and alcohol. She never had the oldest, child. When she spoke she always thought men where wonderful, her boyfriend was apparently always cheating on her. She used to always hang around with men, never women,

    • I often wondered if the ex had STIs that I didn’t know about. I would want sex and he was adamant against it. I’m convinced there was a deep dark side that I didn’t know about it for 19 years.

        • STI and STD are used interchangeably (sexually transmitted infection/sexually transmitted disease) to describe a number of medical conditions caused as the result of sexual behavior. HIV, HPV and the cancers it can cause (cervical, throat and anal cancers have now been directly linked to HPV). One of the STIs which can ruin a woman’s ability to bear children is chlamydia. It is insidious because women often do not exhibit symptoms until the disease has wrecked havoc. Not only does it affect the ability to conceive, it also can contribute to premature labor. Cheating is not only an ethical failure. It is also a health hazard to the unsuspecting partner. Many here have shared their personal stories of how STIs have destroyed their health.

  • Once your eyes start to open, you see cultured, heavily inculcated, beatified DARVO everywhere…

    • Yes. As they say, various degrees of cluster B are epidemic. And for all my life I had no idea it even existed. In my case I grew up with a somewhat disordered parent. I think that normalizes and blinds you rather than alerts you.

  • I don’t think you can really love someone if you don’t respect them enough to give them the information that they need to make informed choices about their own life.

    It’s making someone into an object or an ornament to not tell them things you know to be important because they would make a different decision you the one you want. That’s not how you relate to your partner if you think of them as a real human being.

    • Yes, this.

      There are many things we discuss here that people have done to us that are antithetical to any normative ideas of love. My Cheater got huge benefits out of me managing his life well. He wanted to whore around so he lied well and found willing adultery partners. He stole from me any chance I had to make informed decisions about my life.

      When Cheater was still alive and I had no idea he had ever done this, we were discussing the Tiger Woods scandal and I said “Tiger inflicted ‘biohazardous rape’ on his wife…he knew that he had exposed himself to myriad diseases but he didnt give her the info to make an informed decision if she was willing to expose herself to those diseases…he forced them on her without her consent….that is rape”. Cheater got an uncomfortable look on his face…I thought it was because he liked Tiger and didnt want me speaking ill of him.

      • Even when there’s no adultery, just almost-adultery, there are things such as verbal and emotional abuse that is so subtle that it still takes away the ability to make informed choices about your life.

      • Exactly. I outright told my cheater he had raped me every time we had sex for the years he was cheating and that I was not staying with a rapist.

      • Unicornnomore

        We had Tiger discussion… in the park.. with our child, while I was pregnant with our second.

        My h was so horrified by the fact that Tiger would cheat on his pregnant wife… he gave a long monologue on how morally screwed up that was, how unfair and disgusting it was… he had tears in his eyes..

        Yes, my h was cheating on me since day one with hookers, dates met on dating sites, he was having unprotected sex with me while I was pregnant with our children…
        The number is in 00

        That takes balls; normal people have some point of not crossing.
        For my husband- there was none of that.

        he understood the risk.

        Reason he never went for STD testing?

        He “ knew” that whoever he was fucking at a time ( hookers included) – they were clean.

        How did he know that?

        He just did. By the way they looked.

        No, he was not a moron.
        PhD graduate with a high level position .

      • Yes to this too from me. Anytime the media mentioned a new celebrity ‘slut’ our conversations got very one sided….I was the only one taking but never guessed he fell into that camp being the TFC that he so artfully was for our entire 30+ year relationship.

        Lots of DARVO after DDay.

    • A thousand times this. The breaking point for me wasn’t the addiction or even the abuse. The breaking point was realizing that after years of therapy and “recovery,” he still had no hesitation about lying to me about things that directly affected my safety and my physical and mental health. He withheld the information I needed to make responsible choices about my own life.

      His final DARVO: I’m the bad one because I “withheld sex” (his divine right to whatever sex he wants whenever he wants it must not be questioned). I did not want sex with him because despite his lies I felt I wasn’t safe with him. AND I WAS RIGHT.

    • Pecan says it perfectly.

      I think some folks can just easily detach from the various silos that they live their life within.
      That’s no excuse for lying to a partner/spouse and thereby endangering their health.
      Those kind of choices boil down to just plain stupidity. Do you want to be married to that.

      I left a marriage of 29 years for other reasons even though he claimed to love and respect me. He kept a mistress during our entire marriage. She was not a paid prostitute but certainly took the back seat to me as his wife….until the time came to pounce and make herself number one. She actually won the booby prize. She is welcome to his aging, drooping penis.

      • I giggled at your last line. But seriously, I’m 63yo, married 34 years and last year discovered his unfaithfulness, lying, betrayals has been going on entire time. But my age makes me feel like I can’t start over. I will die alone and is leaving worth it at this late stage. Did you have those thoughts?

        • LAM I’m 53 this year and did have those thoughts but now my remaining decades are vitally important and I don’t want to spend them in an inauthentic relationship; I’d rather die alone! I respect myself far more now for ending what turned into a toxic relationship.

          • I completely agree that I was lonely IN the relationship. Left after discovery and seeing so many healthy relationships around me. So much better off and I’m in late 50’s.

        • LAM
          I am 57. Kicked him out 5 years ago. I would not trade the 5 years of peace & freedom I’ve had (of course it wasn’t easy) to go back to that toxic one-sided relationship.
          I may be single but I am not alone or lonely. I was however very alone & lonely when married. I always made myself available for him in case he deemed me worthy of his presence. I would never go back to being someone’s plan B. I am enough, I am worthy & I deserve a committed partner. So do you my Dear! Put yourself first. Not having a partner doesn’t make you “less than”. Find like-minded single women & befriend them. We are out there! You won’t be alone if you look for us. Good luck????

        • LAM
          I agree totally with Renee62. I am in my late 60’s and am feeling better every day that I am free of XH and all that went on behind my back. My ‘new’ life is free from drama and the constant pick-me dance behavior I did after Dday and, as I look over our 30+ years together I was doing that dance all along at one volume or another. No more. My life is full and rich. No lies to try to unravel. The loneliness I felt has gone away. Simple pleasures fill my days. I am surrounded by supportive friends and other single women who have chosen to stay single.

          I couldn’t have imagined this a couple of years ago when I was deep into the bargaining and denial stage of grief.

          It is never too late to start over and, for me, starting over doesn’t mean another relationship – it means getting to know me for the first time in my life as I untangle all the hooks that kept me in the dark for so long. I am discovering someone I kinda like and I do like my freedom – I didn’t even know that I wasn’t free until he left – that is how in the dark I was!

          If you can stay and respect yourself and him – more power to you. I couldn’t do it. I can no longer respect a man who lies and places sex above integrity as a life value. I feel sorry for him and see him now as a dirty old man – pathetic as he threw away a really good family – devoted and loyal to the max.

    • Absolutely right. If you don’t even respect their rights as a human being, you sure as hell don’t love that person.

    • That beautifully describes why my biological family does not love me, even though they will swear themselves blue in the face that they do.

  • Yes sometimes the truth hurts but it’s better than being lied to.
    And your comment is exactly the truth!

  • I so appreciate your clear take down of prostitution with real evidence. I have never understood the so-called sex-positive feminists who make so-called sex work into just one more option for the liberated woman. That stance set me seriously at odds with my feminist sisters.

    • Similar for me, and it’s always a heated argument that has many platforms for people to argue about it. Lord knows I could write a thesis on the subject.

      Specific to this platform, a few things are non-debateable, though.

      – Whether the affair partner knows, or should know, the cheater has made a commitment or not, the affair partner is still an affair partner.

      – The paid sex object human who do support the legalization of selling sex are 100% aware that many of their clients have made a commitment to someone else and paying for the sex clandestinely. Their business processes (phone behavior, name that appears on the CC statement, etc.) cater to that reality. That makes them willing affair partners.

      – There is no amount of communication failure, depression, or physical desire that justifies lying to one’s partner about your monogamous commitment.

      Ergo, paying for sex in secret is cheating when you are in a monogamous commitment, and the person you pay is an affair partner. Full stop.

    • Yes, the women who do sex work of their own free choice are a tiny minority. It’s bullshit to suggest otherwise and these idiots need to STFU. “Sex positive feminists” are okay with violent, misogynistic porn, too, because God forbid we “kink shame” anyone who likes to masturbate to rape and torture. They are faux feminists and not intelligent enough to see their hypocrisy. They refuse to see how much they have internalized toxic male beliefs about sexuality. These are the kind of women who wear spike heels, tight, revealing clothes, pounds of makeup and claim they are doing it to “own their sexuality”. In reality they are simply copying porn stars and prostitutes in order to please creepy men. They are delusional.

      • I have been told I am “sex negative” because I want connection, emotional intimacy, and gentleness in a sexual relationship. The hell with that. I am sex positive for healthy, caring sex between honest, equal partners. I am abuse negative.

        • Yes, yours is the definition of sex positive. Their definition is actually sexual abuse and rape culture positive, not sex positive. I hope you told those fools to fuck right off.

    • Feminism and the sexual revolution are two different movements. But, in the 70s they crossed trajectories.

      As a feminist, I don’t believe that I should do whatever I want with my body and my mind. I believe I should act responsibly with my body and my mind. I should have the capacity to protect my body and my mind. I should have my body and my mind respected.

      Not sure how the objectification of my body is part of my empowerment as a woman or part of my emancipation. Just because some women believe they derive pleasure from their own objectification doesn’t mean it’s feminism; perhaps it’s more like fetishism. There is a big difference.

    • I’m with you—anti-prostitution feminist. Aside from the fact that the vast majority of prostitutes are compelled into the profession by force or did to lack of viable options, the endeavor objectifies women and perpetuates our second class status.

    • I read a lot of interviews from high end prostitutes and they said they hated the sex and many of the men had not showered and were disgusting but if they ever said to anyone they didn’t enjoy the sex, they would be fired and never able to get another job in the industry. So they always had to lie and say they enjoyed what they do.

  • Tracy,

    Thank you so much for this one. My second cheater used prostitutes. There is plenty of devastation to go around in cheating generally, but when you realize that the man you loved, who you believed to be good, decent. honest was involved in the systematic oppression and abuse of young women–it is so soul degrading. I can’t even explain how it made me feel. When I brought these same things up to him, he looked shocked. What fell out of his mouth was so self-serving and delusional,”Well, none of the women I were with were minors!” Really asshole? Did you ask for state ID before you touched them? Even if they were over 18, do you suppose maybe they were forced into this when they were under 18? Now they are ten years in and under the control of a trafficker, and probably using drugs to deal with the rape and trauma! Drugs? He exclaimed “They didn’t LOOK like drug users!” Wow. Unbelievable. What about disease? What about putting my life at risk? Well, “They were all CLEAN girls!” Well dumbass, you can’t tell who’s carrying disease pathogens by looking at their face. Just because they had a bath before they came to your hotel room does not mean they are disease free. When I looked at him and said, “Do you honestly think any young woman who has options is CHOOSING to have sex with a dozen strange men a day, who don’t care about her, make her do humiliating and degrading things, beat her up, and do not care one whit if she enjoys the acts?” He actually acted like he believed that they did all really enjoy their “career” and truly “liked” him. Key word “ACTED.” The truth is he never cared if he abused them. Just like he never cared if seeing them was abusive to me. That is the hard cold truth of who he is. As far as I am concerned purchasing human bodies = slavery. Period. It is wrong.

    • Using prostitutes is no big deal to the “sex addict” therapists. The behavior is tagged no differently than any other sad sausage sex act- masturbation to porn, webcam sex, local hook ups and romantic affairs. Any and all behaviors of the poor sex addict are to be expected and accepted with no gradation of the depravity and riskiness of the behavior.

        • Most ‘sex addiction’ therapists are not actually trained therapists, or clinical social workers, or psychiatric nurses or psychologists, or anything that would require the EDUCATION needed to do therapeutic work.

          They are usually ‘recovering’ sex addicts themselves, sometimes w/a brief training program under their belts – training received from, you guessed it, other ‘recovering sex addicts’!

          Of course the whole system is self-serving. The complete focus on the ‘addict’ while their partner is told to wait, make their needs small, etc, is highly pathological, and there is ZERO evidence that their ‘treatments’ work. It’s all based on the AA model, which does help A VERY SMALL PROPORTION of the people who seek it out, and was invented when we had no better treatments for any kind of addiction.

          • Exactly! The field is rife with fraudsters. Virtually anyone can claim to be a sex addiction “therapist”. Sexual addiction is not even an actual addiction. It may be an urge, an impulse, an inability to conform to the expected societal norms, but a person can never be addicted to sex. There is no physical dependence on sex, nor does a person experience medically recognized symptoms upon its withdrawal. In my opinion, the term itself is just a dishonest way to present bad behavior as a medical condition. And, of course, such condition is then beyond the “addict’s” ability to control.

      • Sex addiction is not a thing. It’s not in DSM-5 and until it is, it’s not real because…science! It doesn’t change brain chemistry like drugs and alcohol do. It’s just an excuse for not being able to keep it in your pants for either sex!

    • Agree Jojobee!
      purchasing human bodies = slavery
      This is what I’ve always thought. It gives the person with the dollars the power, and the prostitute has none, not even the base human power to be in charge of your own life! Of course they do it for the money, Einstein! Your X thinks they enjoyed it, Oh my, keep fooling yourself, you big stud. I hope you no longer have to have this discussion with him, because one thing I’ve learned for sure, is that they love their delusions, and won’t give them up. Don’t waste your energy trying to talk sense to them!

  • Maybe he does love you. But who cares? If you don’t feel safe and respected, his feelings don’t count for much. Run, Bonnie, run! You’ve already given him 43 years; please don’t let him take even one more day.

  • Bonnie… so he is telling you that when he LOVES YOU, he believes his love for you gives him permission to lie to, cheat on, abuse, and mindfuck you as well. Is that the kind of LOVE you dream of having?

    You have sunk 43 years into this fuckwit. I get it. But why would you sink one day more? (Sure thinking of Kathy Bates in Misery comes to mind… but still.)

    Still time for you to have a fuckwit free life and find true love.

  • Oh snap!!!
    Chumplady, you are calling it out about the trafficking!
    It really is so sick, cheaters, pimps, traffickers, the lot of them!

  • Same. Prostitutes and massage parlors–for years. My STBXH adopted the “I was trying to save the marriage” narrative. He did it because he LOVED me and because I seemed too overwhelmed with little things like child-rearing, and work. Bonnie – trying to reason that someone who claims to love you took away your agency, put your life in danger exposing you to countless diseases, and did so in secret will overwhelm you with anger and disbelief. People who visit prostitutes, most of who are trafficked, pay to rape women. The transaction is important because it frees them of feelings or respect. This type of individual is not capable of the love you deserve. 43 years makes him someone who is comfortable with deceit and dangerous. I recently read that “love is a debt that cannot be repaid.” To me, it meant that no words would ever bring me comfort because his actions didn’t match them. Loving myself comes at the cost of accepting that I was robbing myself of the love I deserved by even listening to him.

  • I will never forget seeing the screenshots that a pimp sent my ex of the girls he could choose from one night when he was overseas.

    I will never forget seeing the text of the girl he chose.

    I will never not envision what they really did that evening, although he swore up and down that it was just a handjob.

    I cannot and will not ever fathom how some men can justify paying for sex. Especially sex with young GIRLS. You can tell a girl from a woman. These girls as CL says did NOT have an option on whether or not they would like to have sex with strange men. They were forced into it. And any men that tries to convince me that sex workers ENJOY being plowed by multiple men a day can go fall on a knife.

    I was so disgusted when I saw those texts that I called him and chewed his ass out. I told him, “do you enjoy having other men’s bodily fluids all over your dick?” “I guarantee that girl just got off another John and headed straight to your room.”

    Ugh so triggered this morning.

    • I feel the same Rose. The excuse I got was “my sudden erectile dysfunction caused me to seek out sexual massage to determine whether it was a psychological or physical condition.” Rather than see a urologist, he wrote himself prescriptions for prostitutes and an injectable drug that would create an erection. And the sex addict therapists felt this was acceptable behavior. None of them cared when I found out he’d been using prostitutes during his previous marriage when he had no ED. Everything he did and said was accepted because he’d been labeled a sex addict.

    • “Just a (whatever)” is actually a (whatever). Just pregnant is pregnant. Just a pipe bomb is a pipe bomb. Just cancer is cancer.

      Attempting to minimize horror by putting the word “just” in front of it is weak, ineffective, and immature.

      There is nothing insignificant about what he did. Even if he just walked into the room and stood there, untouched, he was still deceptive, still uncaring about you, still selfish, still in violation of your agreements.

      • Ugh! This is all so triggering. I have been a reader for months, but never ever posted. There is so much minimizing.

        It was “JUST this.” Whine whine, and suggesting that you, Chump: you are such an unreasonable, over reacting meany.

        And, “it was NOT this.” Whine whine. And still saying that the chump is totally over reacting.

        All that porn? “It was NOT like it was pay per view!”
        All those hookup websites? “I did NOT have a registered membership!”
        All that masturbation? “It is NOT intercourse.”

        Ok. But it IS what it IS. It was gobs of porn. It was crazy frenzied looking at hookup sites. It was years and years of masturbation.

        All that lying? “It was NOT lying!”
        Yes it was. It was lying. And now all the “it was not’s”—who knows? Maybe it was. And who cares? You are NOT JUST a liar. You are a life long liar. You are a liar. You are an abusive, selfish liar. And you will lie and lie and lie and then tell me it is my fault, that you HAD to lie! “It was JUST self protection! It was NOT malicious!”


        It WAS: self protective, lying, malicious abuse.

          • I can’t even imagine how long it must take to heal from something that screwed up. I try hard to believe that men aren’t irredeemable trash, but then I read comments like yours, and well..

        • You are spot on, on all points – a thing is what it is, and it isn’t something else. Sing it, Sistah/Mistah! ????

  • He does love you. They all love us. The issue is that their definition of love is different from ours.

    We can’t change them, all we can do is figure out what is acceptable to us. If their kind of love isn’t acceptable to us then it’s up to us go and find it.

    We need to be clear on what we want and ready to walk away when we don’t get it.

    I’m sorry your husband is suck a fuckwit. It’s never too late to start living your best life. It’s waiting for you. Go get it!

    • Thank you,UC. That’s answered a q that’s rattled around in my head for awhile – when he said he loved me “in my own way”…. Like a child loves its parent or an invalid their carer. Yes, he did love me – the endlessly patient, tolerant wife appliance. Not ME. I still sometimes believe I’m unlovable – it’s because the construct he loved and that I eventually started to identify with, was not ME.
      Starting to sound like a skein, I’ll stop! But thanks UC. What little jewels of wisdom we find here in Chump Nation. X

      • At some point in my marriage I realized that my husband did love me a lot, but it wasn’t ME he loved. He would have loved anyone in the position of “wife” just as much.

        That realization and acceptance changed everything for me.

        I never felt loved or “heard” and my ex would was so insistent he loved me, people told me he loved me and how lucky he was, but like you said, it was never me he loved.

    • Yes they “love” us, they love what we do for them, how we serve them. I was a good little slave doing all the housework and childcare. He “missed” me after he left. I’m sure he was telling the truth that he missed me doing his laundry.

  • This may be one of the most important columns you ever wrote, Tracy. And while you make it impossible to excuse prostitution and sex trafficking, you are also making the case for not excusing cheating in any form. It’s a small step from “Back to you, Bonnie. It’s either okay with you that your partner has a criminal, exploitative, secret double life that harms you, or it’s not” to “Back to you, Bonnie. It’s either okay with you that your partner has [an] exploitative, secret double life that harms you, or it’s not.” The major differences between using prostitutes and having affairs with a co-worker, a neighbor, your cousin, or your kiddo’s 19 year-old soccer coach is that “Johns” get arrested for using prostitutes and the increased potential for exposing you to sexually transmitted diseases.

    Is it acceptable that your partner has an “exploitive, secret double life that harms you?” Is it Ok that to have a double life he has to lie to you, gaslight you, and expose your to terrible health and financial risks? Because of course, every dime spend on a prostitute or affair partner comes out of your marital funds. He’s using family money to betray you and expose you to diseases.

  • I’ve read almost everything you’ve written, Tracy, and am among the many thousands who know in their heart of hearts that your words helped pull them from the abyss. I’m far from healed but I’ve come a long way and with your help, I hope to someday be normal again. And then I read today’s column and I am absolutely blown away. By 2 things, actually. But first, you said “Do you feel loved? Respected? Considered?” And even though the thoughts have been hanging out on the edge of my conscious mind, THAT is exactly what I needed to bring them forward and, in my case, the answer is NO. I could write pages of the way I was disrespected and ignored and belittled for 45 yrs. but that serves no purpose today because, today, I finally get it and any residual feelings I had/have for him are finally reconciled. The other day I thought about how much I miss how he smelled. And I guess it’s OK to miss that because I think that was part of the package of thinking I belonged to something meaningful, a sort of security blanket so to speak. But now I get it.

    I am so grateful for your column and your words and how you cut to the chase. I’ll put the 2nd half of my comments in a followup comment because they’re a totally different subject. Thanks again, Chump Lady. From the bottom of my shattered heart. Except I don’t feel as shattered today.

  • Funny how us chumps can’t always act based on abuse directed at us. Sometimes we have to be reminded that others are being used and abused as well before we can see the evil in those close to us.

    After DDay I pick me danced and so wanted ex to give up Schmoopie and reconcile with me. At the same time, however, he had implied that she might not have been the initial aggressor in their relationship. She knew he was married and she gave up her right to not get hurt the moment she decided that fucking someone else’s husband was an ok thing to do, but if he had come back to me I would have had to live with the fact that my husband had hurt another woman and possibly used her and manipulated her into getting what he wanted. Their affair also broke up her marriage. I resent Schmoopie for fighting for something she had no right to, but if he had chosen me it would still be there in the back of my mind that I was married to someone who uses other people. A few months after DDay I discovered that she wasn’t the first. There was another who was used and discarded even if she also knew he was married and had it coming. The fact is that my ex used people (me and at least one OW) and hurt people (me, OW 1 and his kids) and bused up two families because he felt selfish and entitled. It is difficult now for me to contemplate the fact that I pick me danced at all to save my marriage to someone like that. I guess I was too focused on wanting to be the special one he actually loved and all that cheating crap was just temporary insanity brought on by mid-life crisis or some such. Nobody is really special to these people, however. I wonder how Schmoopie feels about being with someone who has a history of using people and cheating on and abandoning his wife. I am sure she is secure in her specialness, however and just knows he wouldn’t cheat on her while he is gone 4 -5 days a week for his piloting job.

    He was , however very proud of the fact that “at least I never paid for sex”, so he wasn’t abusing underage children. Bitch cookie for that I guess.

    • CIR, yes, yes he did pay for sex! He used your money too to wine and dine the whore. Do you think she would be with him if he was unemployed, couldn’t buy her shiny toys? Yes, the male skank paid for sex.

      • He didn’t spend as much as some, but yes, my biggest blow up (the one that daughter overheard and that’s how she found out about Schmoopie) occurred when I ran across the charges for valentine’s flowers, theater tickets and an expensive dinner on our joint credit card. Afterwards I called his mother and told her to tell him to get a separate credit card in his name only to use on his skank and he could wait to pay it off until the divorce was final and I wasn’t going to be responsible for that debt.

  • Love is a verb. Love is what you DO. That’s what these fuckwits don’t seem to grasp. Even if, for the sake of argument, they truly experience deeply affectionate and caring feelings for their chumps as they lie and sneak and fuck strange, what is that actually worth? Nothing.

    Fuckup left me flat and went carousing around with another woman (other women? it’s unclear–and who really cares at this point?) when he couldn’t deal with what was going on in my life at the time. “Oh, but I never stopped loving you,” he told me soulfully during fake reconciliation. “Eh,” I responded, in one of the few moments of clarity during that trainwreck, “not for anything, but that was the least loving way of treating someone I can imagine. Sooo…yeah.”

    Run, Bonnie. As others say above: even if he does “love” you, what he means by that word is not what you, or I, or all the chumps on this site mean by it. He will never be what you want/need in a partner, and frankly, it’s better to be alone.

    • Yes. I came to the same conclusion:
      “He will never be what you want/need in a partner, and frankly, it’s better to be alone.”
      Thanks for wording it perfectly.

  • And I want to also thank you for your comments about human trafficing and prostitution. You said it straight out and cut right to the chase and I hope you’ll continue to send out that message because I’m afraid there are far too many people who still have their heads in the sand about the terrible thing that’s going on in our world and we turn a blind eye to it. My XWH used to make fun of me for being very attentive to how the workers behaved and moved whenever we went to a Chinese restaurant. It bothered me so much because there were no Chinese people in our small town that I knew of so where did these girls live? How did they live?

    I’m not sure what we can do about it but if you keep shining a light on the subject, perhaps some attempt will be made to fix it. Wake someone up. A few months ago, a story hit the news about a massage parlor and the big shot men who frequented it. Instead of focusing on the women who were being trafficed and abused, the story became about the men and their sincere and heartfelt apologies to their friends and families and fans. Yada yada yada. Meanwhile, what’s happening to the girls and what are we going to do to make it stop happening????

  • He probably does feel something he calls “love.” But is that what YOU recognize as love?

    I’m four years out from D-Day and nearly three from the divorce. Cheese Fries (aka The Entitled One) recently interrupted a conversation we were having about the kids’ school to inform me that he still loves me and it “kills” him that we’re not friends. Every day of our 22 years together, he told me he loved me, that I was his best friend and soul mate. All through the separation, as he jumped right back into the dating pool (I didn’t realize at the time he’d never left it), he swore he loved me and then would switch to a story about his dating adventures. I couldn’t reconcile his supposed love with behavior like that. I eventually realized that all through those two+ decades of his “love,” he cheated with many, many women including a hooker and strangers off the internet while I was pregnant with his children.

    As my therapist said, he no doubt felt love for me and that’s why it felt real to me and why I believed it. I think that’s why we all do. But that kind of love is worthless.

    I’d been raised by a narcissist father and a self-absorbed mother, then Cheese Fries came along when I was 18. I didn’t know any different, and I suspect neither do a lot of chumps. When I started dating again, I had a casual, short-lived relationship with a man who was not in the kind of emotional place that makes a serious relationship possible (neither was I at the time). Even he demonstrated more care for my feelings than my cheating husband. THAT was a revelation.

    When you experience love with someone who’s NOT a Cluster B fuckwit, it feels completely different. Because they’re able to reciprocate. You’re finally dealing with something genuine instead of a counterfeit.

    • It’s very revealing to me that they can say “love” but their “love” has nothing to do with caring about the actual person. I’m sure he felt some form of attachment, but it never crossed over into concern for me.

      • Mine loved the person he thought he could turn me into but eventually he realized that I was me and would never be his fantasy. It was difficult for me to accept that he never loved the real me as I thought he did when we got married.

  • Some men have kinks and lets face it, it’s too disgusting and I really don’t want to know. I don’t get it and I’m glad I don’t get it. If hard enough knowing they were touching us with dirty dicks. Love has nothing to do with it except they are able to compartmentalize us into a suffocating box and all their side dishes In Another. And they are supported by their many brothers in arms. Remember, nothing tastes as good as being free feels

    • Trudy – did you also have a military/former military spouse? My ex said that’s where his lust for hookers began. And you’re right – it’s a fucking group activity.

      But trust me, even if you gave into his every whim it wouldn’t have mattered. I agreed to all types of weird shit and the bastard still wasn’t satisfied. If that’s who they are they’re going to find a way or reason to do something filthy.

  • I entirely agree with the sentiments about prostitution. Just have to say though that, here in Oz, there have been discoveries of brothels of trafficked sex-slaves, organised and owned by women too.

    • Yes, women are good at exploiting others too if they have something to gain and no moral compass.

    • Watched Jane Campion’s “China Girl” this last weekend. All bases covered-cheating,misogyny,Asian sex workers,illegal surrogacy.

  • He thought that by not confessing all the things he did that he was protecting me/us.
    Which is sad, because in his mind I know this was true.

    Let’s say I were to accept for a moment that he did thing “disagreeing with himself”, let’s assume genuine conflict of values (of course not a desirable trait in a grown man, especially one who thought he was hot shit, self-assured in his job,etc). Let’s then assume he had no idea or internal resource on how to handle the conflict that would obviously arise, if he were to tell the truth (sounds more like, he couldn’t take being bitched at, because he has no humility). That he genuinely feared that the conflict would do us apart.

    Then that is to say he had no trust in me nor faith in us. And ultimately that’s why I left.
    If you can’t be vulnerable with your wife, then you shouldn’t be looking to have one (he’d proposed in the midst of D-Days).

    And that was our “mutual agreement” at the end of it all.

    • And if his values are conflicted, he’s not really mature enough to be in a committed relationship. You’d be buying a “pig in a poke,” as my father would say, not knowing who he really is or what he really values.

  • Even now, almost 10 years later, the Twat still says he loves me. Did he love me when he felt entitled to beat the crap out of me? Did he love me when he woke up in bed with a prostitute in Africa? Did he love me when he ran off with the skank? I’ll have to look up his version of “love” in the English dictionary!

  • My ex (who is now married to the OW) also told me loved me. A lot. In fact I’m sure I heard it more in the months and years following D-Day than in the previous twenty years. At first I didn’t recognize it for the mind-fuck that it is. It gave me motivation to stay in pick me dance. It gave me nearly fatal amounts of hopium. It painted himself as a Poor Magical Creature In Love With Two Women. It served HIS interests to say “I love you”, not mine. It was cruel. That’s very clear to me now. He can say he loves me all he wants, and maybe part of him believes it. But I don’t. Love is caring about someone as much or more than you care about yourself. Love is not monstrously cruel and selfish

    • I once saw Dr. Phil tell ones of these “I’m in love with two women” guys that he wasn’t good enough for either of them. Booyah.

      • I never had a boyfriend that didn’t look at porn or masturbate on the side and I assume those aren’t, in and of themselves, behaviors that are abusive in a marriage unless a) they are against the professed shared values of the couple and/or b) used in a way that robs the partner of attention, affection, or respect and/or c) part of a larger system of lies and manipulation to avoid being present and accountable in a marriage. So when I discovered my wasband was paying to talk to and view sexy ladies on the Internet while I traveled for work to support us, I spackled. When he whined that he was so lonely for sex while I was gone on two-week work trips that he seriously thought about seeking out prostitutes, I pick-me-danced. My therapist, a woman, said I should be grateful that I had a man who would tell me how he was truly feeling. When I discovered him masturbating only a few hours after we had made love, she shrugged and said I should feel flattered. But with hindsight and the discovery of his secret desires I see the pattern of his abuse more clearly. I was set up to fail and used for money and image management. He told me he loved me all the time when we were married and when we split he would accidentally say it without thinking. He also posted a fantasy online that he had of kidnapping, humiliating, raping, and leaving me for dead. In my opinion, feelings of love are easy. It’s what you do in a marriage when you aren’t experiencing those feelings that determine your character. Love as a feeling, should be a minimum standard for a marriage, not a reason for one. My question is for the men out there: when is pornography use and masturbation no longer a healthy part of a person’s sex life and is actually a sign of a personality disorder? I have lost all confidence in my ability to discern what constitutes healthy men’s desire.

  • But here is the other elephant in the room, if your husband has sex with other women and then comes home to have sex with you and you have no knowledge of the other partners, he’s exploiting YOU. That is a very close cousin to rape in my book. I would not have chosen to be intimate with my husband had I known he was boffing other people, and I paid for it when I had to have laser surgery on my cervix to remove precancerous cells.

    • I had that surgery too. Ex, a doctor, had me put into a birthing suite at an affiliate hospital for the surgery. He wanted me to have the nicest room he said. I found out after I dumped him he was telling folks that I’d lost our love child and not that I was having half my cervix removed from the hpv cancer he gave me.

    • I have cervical lesions from HPV but was told they are not yet malignant and don’t need to be removed. I expect in the future they will be. I told the cheater that giving me HPV makes him guilty of both rape by deception and attempted murder, and that if I get cancer, he’d better leave town, because I’m coming for him. I meant it, too. I’ll beat the stupid out of him. I don’t care if that’s considered politically incorrect. Anybody who causes you to get cancer by cheating on you without protection deserves it. Adolph actually agrees and has said he will submit to a beating.

      • I also had precancerous cells removed from my cervix from presumable HPV virus although it wasn’t active when I was tested my cheater didn’t do hookers though. He also didn’t wear condoms so it’s possible I caught HPV from his liaisons at some point. A fact my psychologist point out to me when I presented with my whole sorry story.

        • Same Sis.
          But all the liaisons were “clean” in the cheater’s mind.
          All of them are idiots.

          • Yep. Fuckup told me he knew Skankbag was “clean” because–and I’m not making this up–she was pre-diabetic and had to have frequent checkups because of it. What do you even say to something that monumentally ridiculous?

  • I know Asshat spent thousands of marital money on escorts, happy endings, and strip clubs. Makes me sick. Every time I see an article about local law enforcement breaking up prostitution rings, I expect to see Asshat’s name and picture in the paper.

    Finding the proof of his actions propelled me through divorce.

    Bonnie…it’s about YOU now. Is this relationship acceptable to you? It’s about you now. You’ve found CL. Now find YOU.

  • Thinking Dickhead and his sex quandries vergres on the edge of hysterical if it wasn’t such a sad commentary.

    I discovered at D-Day that he had been using hookers. For how long and how many, I have no idea. I also discovered a month prior that D had received a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction. I started putting 2 and 2 together. He wasn’t having sex with me, he couldn’t have sex with a howorker or an affair if your penis wouldn’t cooperate (embarrassing on his part) and I found some Billy Goat supplement in his man cave.

    I went through early menopause and some associated physical changes. I understand when your body betrays you. D was me through every step and not once did he ever make me feel less of a woman. But, he couldn’t or wouldn’t share this with me. Right after he filed, he got a prescription of Viagra.

    To this day, I don’t know why he couldn’t trust me or what happened. He wouldn’t tell me and I wasn’t “allowed” to ask any questions.

    I have come to realize this much. Sex is really the only thing he has going for him and if your penis won’t cooperate, what the hell are you going to do? You are a narc with no depth, no character, no empathy, no great qualities, no loyalty, absolutely nothing to offer.

    That’s his karma.

  • Let’s make this less complicated. Say you have a friend you are not in a romantic relationship with who continually expresses opinions and votes in favor of measures that support human trafficking. Would you continue to be that person’s friend or hang out with him/her? If the answer is no, why would you stay married to a person like this?

  • Bonnie, just another piece of evidence to chew on.

    I am a criminal defense lawyer, and I represent a fair amount of strippers from a world renowned nude bar in Tampa. One referral lead to another.

    Has Conrad ever criticized you? Ever made you feel bad about yourself?

    The reason why I ask – you should know the type of people Conrad was supporting with YOUR money. I am NOT blaming them. These were pitiful women.

    But – after every meeting or court appearance- I wanted to scrub my brain with Clorox and bathe in lye soap.

  • Comment continued- was cut off

    I had one client- a frequent flier- who told me about a regular that asked her to poop in his mouth.

    Yes I gag every time I think of it.

    This client with then go home to her GF and they would beat the shit out of each other. They abused and abandoned their multiple children from different fathers. They were now in a lesbian relationship but cheat on each other with random people they met.

    This is how all of these strippers/prostitutes were. Remember the only way strippers make any real money is by being a prostitute. They were women who would steal your wallet and then help you look for it.

    Being subjected to such social and sexual poundings changed them into something you would never want in your house.

    Do you want to share your hearth and home with a man who willingly share your money and his body with such depraved people? Can you forget that?

    He is extremely lucky, I mean lottery lucky, that he was able to keep that subculture from spilling over into your life.

    It is a subculture of violence degradation blackmail and drugs. When he went to use the bathroom, one of the prostitute could’ve gotten your home address and then she could’ve told her boyfriend or pimp or dealer and then you would’ve had a home invasion.

    Think of the bone chilling risk.

    Do you see that Conrad has such shit judgement- you can’t AFFORD to be with him.

    • Thank you for your perspective on this. I’m heartbroken that these women were essentially turned into something sub-human through abuse, horrified that they have children to further perpetuate the abuse, and terrified when I think about how cheater’s choices didn’t just harm me but could have endangered my children like you described.

      • Ex brought them into our home for convenience and to amp up the thrill. He claims they were in a bedroom at the end of the hall, not ours.

    • And there you have it-don’t waste any of your precious time and resources with people who have sh*t judgement.

    • I am not surprised by your experience. My ex husband had a secret habit of frequenting strip clubs. He did this during the day, when I was at work, so I had no idea and he also arranged weekend business trips out-of-town. He was self-employed. My D day was when a stripper/prostitute called me at home to rat him out. I was beyond stunned. I had no clue. He was that good.

      In retrospect, I’m grateful for the heads-up, but she was far from nice about it and she was one very scary woman. She was blackmailing him and he couldn’t come up with the money, so she made good on her threat to him and she called me. I found evidence of at least one other stripper he was paying (at the same time as stripper #1). How a man can act so normal at home and be so out of control is beyond me, but from the minute that stripper called me, I realized I never knew my husband and he was not at all who he had pretended to be. I’m sure there is way more that I never found out and I don’t care to know. What I did know was enough.

      He put my health at risk, and he put my life at risk because of the dangerous people he was engaging with behind my back. He also did a real number on me financially. He’s a despicable, horrible man and I never would have even dated him had I known the truth, let alone married him.

      I had him out of the house within two hours of the stripper’s phone call. I took total control of the situation, got a lawyer immediately and the only time I spoke to him throughout the legal process was when it was absolutely necessary. I ignored all of his voicemails and text messages in which he declared his love for me and pleaded for reconciliation.

      Reconcile with what? A psychopath? No thanks.

      • My ex is grooming partners in the kink world to gain their trust so they will participate in his kidnapping and gang rape of a woman fantasy. He insists this is valid and consensual sexual expression and I am too vanilla to understand. I think he is a predator seeking legal and free ways to fulfill his sadistic impulses. I think these women are well educated, gainfully employed survivors of abuse seeking some form of control in their search for love and desire. There is a vibrant and growing social network out there that is trying to normalize voluntary sexual slavery, and it’s a dangerous stalking ground for sociopaths who can talk the talk about consent. I guarantee you those women will only end up re-abused by my charming ex. My problem is that he has 50/50 custody and he has these women involved in the lives of our pre-teen kids. Multiple lawyers have told me the courts won’t intervene unless I can prove direct harm to the children. He is a lawyer, and I have already wasted $35k trying to get him to comply with a consent order with basic parameters for protecting the kids from exposure to his lifestyle. I don’t know what to do, I am powerless. I worry that this is only one step on the ladder of his sociopathy, and that my struggle to control him is only playing into his game. I am seriously considering going fully no contact and saving my energy and money to help my kids when they finally figure out what is going on around them.

  • I’ve always taken issue with this whole, “I’m a willing sex worker. Legalize it so I can have more protections!” Um, no. The only person any laws will protect will be the buyers who was overwhelmingly male.

    He had the balls to play Russian Roulette with your life for years. Not to mention he could have gotten himself maimed or killed. But he loves you, huh? Respectfully, what he says means absolutely NOTHING. Words are meaningless when you look at the bigger picture.

    My ex husband would call me after I moved out telling me how much he ‘loved me’ and how he was gonna “win me back”. The mother fucker would hang up the phone and dial-a-pro he found online.

    I like to tell myself that I would have respected him more if he had an actual AP, but I know that’s not true (violation either way). But ugh-there’s something extra vile about people who buy access to women whether it be strip clubs, “massage parlors”/hookers.

  • Hi Bonnie,

    Sorry that you are in this situation, sorry that prostitutes are in this situation, not sorry for your husband or my ex-husband and some of my ex-boyfriends who had sex with prostitutes. My ex-husband has sex with prostitutes before he married me and while he was married to me. My last partner, post-separation boyfriend and purported friend of 30 years, told me that he loved me half an hour after telling me that he was breaking up with me (for the last time—to date and short you thereafter marry his youngest work subordinate). Love is a four letter meaningless word to some people. Wish you the best of luck going forward and sending you a virtual hug!

  • Cheaters do not love their spouse/partner. They only love themselves. It took me along time to realize that. If your husband loved you he would not have put your health at risk. Nothing like saying I love you with a STD. These fuckwits want the security of marriage. But, they don’t want to follow rules.

  • Bonnie
    35 years for me. He cheated last 25 years without me
    It’s a terrible humiliating time for the faithful spouse.
    But we have to put ourselves first & live a cheater free
    life. Hugs to you ????

  • Ted Bundy ‘loved’ his live in girlfriend and her child. And we know what that was worth

    The word love can be a very good word to control others with. Predators know that chumps are vulnerable to this word. It helps them con us.

  • My x spent all of our savings of twenty years on sex for sale. His preference was for Filipina tweens – he actually tried to buy a girl from an eastern European pimp- altho prostitutes and Craigslist ads and strangers in bars and hotels…

    He complained loudly and bitterly after D-day that he sought “intimacy”and I was cold.

    Apparently he could only be intimate with people if he did not know their real names.

    I found this site after the end and support their work:

    Porn kills love. Women are suffering around this world.

    • Roaring I follow them also. My ex compartmetalized our whole marriage which was 25 years. I should have left him at 10. His porn addiction and secret life I will never know the details but I am glad. Don’t have any idea if he used prostitutes. But I got an std from him and told him that I hope his dick would fall off! That was when I found Tracey and CN. What a blessing to see the truth despite how painful it was . He never loved me such a coward and liar and fuckwit. This really was an excellent topic today for me despite being in tears I needed to read this and everyone’s comments. Thank you Tracey and God bless you ❤️

      • Don’t feel bad that it took you as long as it did to leave him. My best friend is wasting her youth on a cheating husband because he “protects” her from the truth and she refuses to accept that he continues to cheat on her after each d day. She actually sees it as a competition between her and the OW. I keep telling her to get out like I did but she’s so in love with him and they have to tween age kids, plus he’s financially successful so she accepts it. It’s hard to watch.

  • Fantastic post.
    Patriarchy gets tossed around a lot, and scrutinized, but the cheater-wife appliance mentality is really a larger symbol of what’s happening. Power. Privilege.Objectification.
    All genders, everyone is harmed when oppression is the norm. (For the “wait a minute” fellas- we fight against patriarchy for you too, when GQ misrepresents you, or that younger/taller/fit man at the office publicly mansplains at you to get promoted)
    For Bonnie- you’re saying FUCK NO to year 43.6, 44, 45…
    Not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning. You will do great things with this change.

    • I would love the opportunity to discuss more thoroughly how much the act of a man cheating is inherently misogynistic.

      I’ve been doing a lot of reading about “mind mapping” lately, and how trauma impairs our capacity to mind map our partners properly. I am engaging in therapy about repairing my capacity to accurately mind map my STBXH and view the course of events in my marriage more accurately.

      One thing that has emerged is an understanding of exactly how my STBXH has been treating women in general:

      1) How often he ignores his mother. Doesn’t really do much for her unless he needs something from her. Nods his head in agreement of things she says or asks for and then doesn’t follow through.

      2) How he started berating some of the wives/girlfriends of friends who were highly educated, professional and capable women.

      3) He started to berate his sister for being “the boss” of the house and in the marriage.

      4) I became the emasculating, controlling wife who “never let him have a say in anything”. Meanwhile, I had just supported him through three years of full-time university studies while he was already 40. I was the sole income earner and he was having affairs. Flat out told me he couldn’t be with a woman who was so strong, needed to be with someone less strong and less busy.

      5) His lovebombing emails to the OW that I discovered filled with flat out lies and half-truths. His treatment of her in light of her complaints against him for treating her house like a hotel, apologizing for his hesitation for over a year in deciding if he should leave me. I guess he felt that it our purpose as women in his life to meet his needs while he figures himself out.

      6) The discovery of a one-night stand with a new woman while he was exiting the marriage with me and running off to the OW.

      7) Overall arrogance. Even his own friends have spoken to me about how appalling his behaviour has been when they’ve gone out in public. One saying, I’ve known him since we were kids, and he was never a dog with women. He’s acting like a dog in his mid-40s when he was never one in his 20s. He’s become increasingly arrogant and obnoxious. Thinks he’s quite the ladies man.

      8) Comments previously made to my cousin (who used to be his best friend) about his observations when he goes out to bars of single moms. Referred to them as so desperate for a “solid guy” because some man in their lives has already hurt them. All he needs to say is that he’s got a degree (the one I paid for) and is an accountant, and women just rush to chat him up because they think he’s such a catch.

      I lost a man who doesn’t really think very well of women. He’s become resentful of capable women. He wants women to just make him feel good, have a good time with.

      Now how do I parent my daughter with this guy? How do I ensure my son does better?

      • IMO, cheating men are always misogynists. They are about using women as objects for their sexual pleasure and for domestic services. The objectification and dehumanization of women are key to misogyny. You can’t cheat if you see your wife as a full human being whose rights and feelings you respect.

        • Hmmm, this idea that all cheating men are misogynists is interesting. What about cheating women? In my case the OW was an army mechanic who simultaneously tried to be one of the guys she worked with and play at being the ‘idealized’ version of female objectification. She’d literally go from time out in the field fixing tanks and shooting guns with these men to coming back and getting her spray tan and sparky bikini on to compete in her swimsuit fitness competitions. Bringing them homemade cookies at work and pretending to be coquettish yet going out with them later to get drunk and f*** the whole damn unit behind her husband’s back. She even made up “rules” for them to follow so that they wouldn’t get emotionally attached and so they’d understand she was just using them for sex. I chalked all this up to her just being a histrionic pos but perhaps there is an even more obvious explanation. Not all misogynists are men!!

          • Absolutely. That idiot was objectifying herself. There are a lot of those women. At the same time, they also have a lot of hostility towards men because they are using their sidefucks for attention and validation and abusing their husbands with their cheating. They are probably mostly cluster b fuckwits who are full of hatred, rage and self-loathing. My cheater’s OW was that type, definitely a narc. She would allow herself to be used like a sperm dumpster just to get attention and validation from men, then stop having sex with them to tease and frustrate them. She dressed and acted like a whore, and took pleasure in hurting the wives by stealing husbands, and in manipulating the man to give her the attention and affection he owed his wife. She has a history of doing this and has massive mommy and daddy issues. The story I heard of her background sounds like emotional (and possibly physical) incest from the father and a cold, rejecting mother. She relives that family dynamic by getting married men to shower her with attention and admiration in the hope of getting more sex. In doing so, she punishes mommy over and over and relives her sick relationship with her father.
            She drinks constantly because being drunk is the only way she can stand her disgusting self. If she wasn’t such an evil little homewrecking troll I’d feel sorry for her. She urged my husband to leave me even though she had no intention of ever leaving her husband, just to destroy my life and have power. She’d never even met me and had no reason to resent me on a personal level, because she actually cared nothing for my husband. She coldly admitted to using him when it was over and now hates him because he told me about her fucked up life. The idiot trusted a cheater not to betray her? Good grief.

            • Internalized oppression/lateral violence is real-no excuses intended.
              It’s arguably a big chunk of the pick-me dance motivation.

              Let’s hear it for neuroplasticity!
              (STEM nerds awkwardly cheer)

              • I agree. The trauma bond also factors in. I pick-me danced for about two weeks, even though he’d already picked me and dumped the OW right after dday. Somehow I still felt the need to compete. Then I woke up and realized I was being a fool and that I didn’t want to be picked by a cheating, emotionally abusive asshole anyway. It was hard after 32 years together, but I knew I had to be logical about it and ignore the emotions that were urging me to try to fix the unfixable. That was the trauma bond telling me I still loved him. If you look at it logically, you can’t possibly love somebody who has hurt you so deeply. That much pain kills love. I wish the “reconciled” folks on those RIC sites would understand that basic principle. It’s obvious from the litany of misery that they post about that they are trauma bonded to their cheaters. They insist it’s love, but say that when they aren’t angry or tearful, they just feel numb. Love isn’t numb. It isn’t angry and tearful on a regular basis either. If you’ve reconciled, it means you’ve let go of all that. From what I’ve seen, none of them have.
                I suspect true reconciliation is rare to the point of being almost nonexistent.

              • Chimperella

                RIC industry understands the concept very well. Just ask yourself- how to make $$$ if the only logical solution is to split from the person ?
                Well… convince the spouse to stay… promise changes and amazing life, all that- with a price tag of 150$/hr session with so called “ sex addiction therapist”

      • OptionNoMore:

        Was your former husband a serial cheater? Was he always a rude hothead who disparaged women, even in public? Or is this behavior new?

        I have a feeling that some of our spouses are in the early stages if frontotemporal dementia, a common but under-recognized, young-onset dementia that tends to strike people in their 40s and 50s. The disease destroys morals, empathy and inhibitions NOT memory so it goes undetected. The hypersexual component of the disease leads formerly loyal and loving spouses to hire prostitutes and start affairs.

        Interesting that your former husband’s old friends commented on his personality change.

        If he does have ftd then he should not be around your children at all. I really wish family courts would require neuropsych evaluations in these marriages that collapse so spectacularly because, we keep telling everyone, something is very wrong with our spouses. They become cruel, callous and sometimes scary. These guys are usually fired a few years into the disease so child support and alimony ends.

        I asked to put down “dementia” as a reason for my wonderful 28-year marriage blowing up, but wasn’t allowed to. I had to stick with ole’ “irreconcilable differences” explanation.

  • After a couple cycles of love bombing, discard, love bomb future faking, and back to discard, Cheater eventually settled on the phrase: “there are a lot of different TYPES of love” to describe his “feelings” for me.

    Well then. That clears it up.

    • Well yeah, there is the “I love you” kind of love verses the “I’m not in love with you” kind of love. They so often feel the first for you but not the second.

      Here’s the problem…the first love ought to be the real deal. Enduring, mature love.

      But, the second kind is what they think the real deal is, when that isn’t what love really is at all.

      They just don’t know what love is.

      • Or maybe some of them do know what love is but choose to lie to loyal partners they don’t value.

          • All you did was pair up with a disordered fuckwit. We all did it. They pretended to not be disordered fuckwits so we’d fall for them. Such people will never value their mates. They consider us suckers for falling for their con and laugh at how naive we are. But we can dump them on their dumb asses and say; “Who’s laughing now?” These people hate being dumped and can’t be alone. They have no real identity and deep inside they hate themselves. Ultimately, we win. They have to live with their self-inflicted misery. Don’t believe the social media photos of them happy with their new mates. It’s all about image. They’re incapable of being happy because they are externalizers. They get all their sense of who they are and their self worth from outside themselves, not internally. They rely on new partners, success, looks, sex, money, power, and transitory pleasures of various sorts to compensate for never being happy. Sucks to be a fuckwit.

            • Chumperella,
              I wanted to reply beneath your entry with the comments on trauma bonding because you put words on behaviors I was doing – how I was reacting and I couldn’t understand my own behavior because it was inexplainable to me due to the fact that I have never experienced anything like this in my entire life.

              This whole fiasco/train wreck has been such a learning experience for me about me and why I got stuck and remained stuck due to the gap between my head knowledge and my heart. I didn’t find CL and CN until long after initial Dday and our divorce was well under way. I was in what I would call shock because I simply couldn’t wrap my head around what my beloved of 30+ years had done – inconcieveable to me so my mind simply shut down in a way and all of the reality/truth of my situation has slowly been trickling in and exposing itself in bite sized pieces that I can deal with and, thankfully, let go of.

              Thank you for writing what you did because I got another bite and understand a bit more about trauma bonding now.

              • Dear Elderly Chump:

                Please look up Frontotemporal Dementia.

                My beloved of over 30 years turned into something unrecognizable due to this horrific disease.

                The change from a loving husband and your very best friend to someone who has acquired sociopathy, and whom you should fear, is traumatizing.

              • bvFTD,

                Thanks for your response.

                That was something I did look into but no, not him. He was cheating for our entire marriage and probably before too.. Trickle truth kept me in the dark for quite some time after Dday.

                He fits the TFC type of cheater as described by CL – no doubts about that!

          • Oh yes. I also hear I love you after every call (still struggling with no contact but getting closer every day). I experienced for first time crying and his despair at losing his “best friend”. DDay was one year ago and I just signed papers today! Best friend? 30 years of marriage and 30
            Years of prostitutes I suspect. He’s too into image management to actually admit how long or how often. Just more abuse. Bonnie, I feel
            Your pain. Run and file.

            • Took me about a year to go no contact and I can’t believe what a difference it has made. Things get so much clearer and it does get easier so I urge you to ‘just do it’.

              People here gave me the encouragement to do it and so did my friends. Every time my resolve would weaken I would just drop in here and read and the urge would pass. A day at a time.

              Good Luck!

  • Thank justice and CN you finally know the truth. Entitled men (and I use the term loosely) don’t value love they value only admiration. Once they no longer feel admired by you then they run. They have no further use for you, toss you into the nearest pile of dung never to think about you again. They don’t care who admires them, can and most likely will be shallow, not too picky, desperate, losers who will settle for someone else’s leftovers to prove their self worth. Your life has not been wasted, you were used in a terrible way but you are still you. You’re not any part of him any more and for that we thank you.

  • We are all fed such a heap of crap growing up [in America] surrounding cheating and prostitution and the like. It all boils down to the adage “boys will be boys.” It really takes a complete narrative shift to reject those well-worn (multi generational) notions. On the surface we say these things are wrong, but our society offers up there subtle exceptions (see Esther Perel) that allows this behavior to exist within “family values.” This is what I love about CL and CN. Radical rejection of that narrative.

    *Maybe* you can forgive your husband for going to a prostitute IF you accept that prostitution is not that bad AND cheating happens in damaged marriages AND men have needs. BUT, if you acknowledge that cheating is ABUSE in almost every way and that prostitution is the ABJECT EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN AND YOUNG GIRLS that leaves them physically and emotionally damaged, junkies, and often dead, then all of a sudden doing those things seems so abhorrent that they are unforgivable…and your human nature should push you as far away from that person and that behavior as possible. To put it another way, your husband is a criminal who’s never been prosecuted. If he were prosecuted for every instance of hiring a prostitute, likely he would be in prison for a LONG TIME. So, think on that…you are married to someone who by all accounts should be in PRISON.

    So, in these early stages, I agree with CL and CN–spend zero time thinking about your love for him and his love for you and spend ALL the time thinking about the disgustingness and illegality of what he did, and if you, as a human with values, can live with that.

    • Can you imagine people saying, ‘Girls will be girls’ and ‘Maybe her needs weren’t getting met at home’ about women who solicited prostitutes? I think that there is a huge imbalance.

  • I do take note that Hollywood or HBO, has glorified the prostitution industry. The Bunny Ranch full of happy willing hookers! Reality is, it’s full of forced labor. Drugs and abuse.

    • Thank you for bringing up this point DavidB. I am sick of seeing it portrayed this way. Prostitution is NOT like the movie Pretty Woman! It is horrifying and soul deadening. Everywhere you look Hollywood tries to sell that false narrative of strip clubs are no big deal, prostitutes are just career women etc. etc. Well maybe that’s because Hollywood is filled with some of the most abusive men anywhere. I love scifi, and I remembered being horrified that the show Firefly tried to make us all believe that prostitution was/should be the most respectable job for a woman in that universe. My friends were all like “What a prude you’re being. It’s a victimless crime. etc.” It isn’t. I wasn’t shocked at all to hear what a cheating, misogynistic son of a bitch Joss Whedon turned out to be.

      • Great points! But at least Pretty Woman made a cursory attempt at depicting the poverty, abuse, drug use, death, and emotional struggles associated with prostitution–it was a side note to the “fairy tale” but still was in there…somewhere. The bunny ranch just shows what appears to be a 24/7 fun fun party, and we all know that is not the case. I’ve seen an episode and as a mom my heart bled for those young women, many of whom looked like they needed some nutrition and a moment of peace.

      • I loved Firefly, too. Now can’t stand it for the reasons you mentioned. And yeah, Joss Whedon turned our to be a major fuckwit.

  • ChumpLady you are my hero!!!!
    Thank you for writing what I’ve been trying to educate everyone around me about. Sex trafficking is slavery. It should never be socially acceptable.

  • My ex didn’t sleep with prostitutes but he and schmoopie did/do have sex in front of people at sex clubs and hook up with whoever online.

    No real love in that. Hedonistic and narcissistic, yes. Not love.

  • Bonnie, he is a stone cold sexual predator. He is not capable of love. He’s telling you he still wants to use you as cover so nobody will suspect his illegal activities, and to be his servant snd emotional crutch. He loves using you. He does not love you. Women aren’t even human beings to him, just objects to be used and abused. I would tell this dick that if he willingly attends John school that the police offer for guys like him, and gets therapy, I might consider taking him back, but then I would NOT take him back. Perhaps he will learn something in John school and therapy, but I doubt it. It’s worth a shot to get him to stop abusing those girls.

  • My STBX described his hooker binge as “data collecting”. He found out several very important things: they charge a LOT for anal, and most won’t do it at all, they won’t swallow, and they are DONE after 30 minutes of getting nowhere. What chaps me are the “liberated” sex workers who are in it by choice, who claim to insist on their Johns using condoms. Whatever. STBX said while several hookers wanted him to use one, he convinced every single one of them to not make him wear one. Of COURSE all the pros he hooked up with were in it by “choice”. NONE of them were trafficked. But then there was that rather damning email from a woman in Mexico City telling him about her stable…..

    CN, I put out. I wasn’t some frigid ice queen. I knew what I was doing, and loved doing it with him. To a point. The real issue, as the CL has very bluntly stated, is that I am one person. I cannot be a buffet.

    He finally, towards the end, started to own that perhaps his problem with delayed ejaculation was one of his own making, due to his robust porn/masturbation habits. Oh, and THOSE women? None of them are forced into that. At least, none of the ones he watched. #teensluts

    The self-delusion is deep with this one. And I refuse to be a part of his delusion. Schmoopie can have him and his ever aging dick.

    • Habitual porn use absolutely does that. He’s a pervert, and no matter what you did, you were never going to be a teenage girl he could exploit. That’s what he’s into, and down beneath his rationalizations, he knows he’s a sick, predatory creep. If he even has a shred of humanity left, he hates himself. Hence the need to live in denial and rationalize such horrendous exploitation and abuse. I’m glad you’re away from that evil.

  • And I should have trusted my gut the day I found my soon-to-be husband, laying in our soon-to-be marital bed, recovering from his stag party. Months earlier him and his best friend promised me and best friends wife that they wouldn’t go to the strip clubs. It was actually the wife that brought it up. Well, of course the perverts went to the 100% naked strip club! I remember looking down at him and feeling totally disgusted by him. I wanted to leave him right there and then, but the wedding was planned and we had lots of people coming from out-town for the wedding. Plus all the money spent by me and family for dresses, etc. My now XH said to me that he didn’t remember anything and he was passed out all night, so he didn’t see anything. Yeah, right! And then he went onto say, “Now don’t tell Jane and get Dick (married best friend) in trouble. It took me after D-day to realize he manipulated me that day by saying that about not to tell Jane what they did!

    Then five years later, he went up to Canada more then ten times by himself, to see the 100% naked strippers. At the time I was pregnant and we had a one year old son. At this time, I’m now 100% convinced that he was having an affair with a ho-worker. I didn’t find out about the strip clubs until about five years later when he “confessed”. I was devastated. He said there was “no touching” during the lap dances, which I later found out was a complete lie. And it was someone here on CN that told me that he could get bj’s and sex for extra money. And a local guy friend confirmed that for sure you could have sex with the strippers, as one of his friends did when they went there. My XH is the type of scumbag that would if he was offered it.

    After D-day, his “Christian” best friend said to me, “It’s just entertainment.” NO, IT’S NOT! I will never talk to his best friend again! If I did, I would say to him, “Did you know that a lot of those strippers are sex slaves?! Would you take Jesus to a strip club? You say you are a Christian, which means Christ lives inside of you. So, that means you took Jesus to a strip club! Or maybe you are a Jesus Cheater too!” Best friend went to Paris and Rio de Janeiro WITHOUT HIS WIFE. I bet he was 100% faithful. Not.

    And then I felt like I was not only competing for his attention with his work and ho-workers, but strippers too!

    And then there was the time we were in Amsterdam. XH was always in charge of the Rick Steves map. Somehow we got “lost” and found ourselves in the Red Light District. If you ever saw a Rick Steves map; it’s the easiest map to use. Women “for sale” standing in large windows. And of course he took us down the very seedy narrow alley that’s in the guidebook. I cried and he said, “I’m sorry, I got us lost.” No, he didn’t get us lost! He wanted to go there even though I didn’t, and the entitled narc always gets what he wants, even if he has to lie.

    I read somewhere (CN?) to replace the word “love” with “use” when it comes to narcs. So “I love you” would be “I use you”.

    And this is also what narc’s mean when they say “I love you”.

  • There’s a line in that article that says what a narc means when he says “I love you”, is “I love the way I feel when I’m with you”. That is IT. Been looking for that jigsaw piece for awhile. Thank you Martha xxx

  • Oh yes. Asshat claimed he still “loved me” also, after I found out he was fucking his besties wife.

    Funny how I became the villain after I told bestie about it. And bestie sent Asshat multiple text messages threatening to “kill him”…(bestie only actually “killed” our mailbox, with a Louisville Slugger). Meanwhile, Asshat was alternating between running to our State Trooper neighbor and calling 9-11 for help. (You have no idea how satisfying that shit show was.)

    Also meanwhile, as I was packing up to leave, Asshat found himself a 30-years younger plaything. And since I didn’t give a shit anymore, bestie’s wife was already ready to bounce. So funny how lack of triangles makes the OW nervous.

    I understand through the grapevine that bestie and his cheating wife are still together (for now). And Asshat can’t properly play house with the young thing because she still lives with her parents, and they pay a lot of her bills and furthermore, disapprove. So, I guess, that “forbidden wuv” thing still survives for him on the DL. For now., LOL.

  • My 16yo daughter’s last psychologist told her, in a discussion about how her father never defended her from his new fiance, ex OW, that in her experience the father always took the side of the new wife. And then she said ” But that doesn’t mean your father doesn’t love you”.At which point I said “Well, that’s not a very useful kind of love, is it?” And we will be seeing a new psychologist next week.
    Love is a verb, is what I tell my daughters. Love is what people do, not what people say.When I look back on my married life- he didn’t do much to make me feel loved. I don’t know why I got so grateful for small things- I think it was the poker machine principle. people work harder for intermittent rewards. You can train dogs that way as well. he threw me a small kindness every now and again so that I would roll over.

  • I sucked at asking if the way my now ex behaved was acceptable to me, but the first time I read it here, it made perfect sense. Why does no one tell us this when we are young? We all get the “relationships require compromise”. Yes, they do, but how much, and is it all one-sided?
    Now, when my teen/young adult kids tell me their relationship woes, I say, “you have to decide if what boyfriend/girlfriend is doing is acceptable to you. If it’s not, end it.”
    Thank you Tracy and Chump Nation!

  • This part is powerful: “slave owners often claimed they loved their slaves. Like family! And maybe in their twisted, paternalistic, shriveled hearts they did. Mores of the time, and all. It was what they understood “love” to be for lesser creatures. People you could use and abuse. People whose existence was status for you.”

    I think of how often my husband said he loved me, or did nice things for me when others were around. He probably thought he loved me, in an imitation of what he saw on TV in the 60’s. I was a lesser creature to him. A person he could use and abuse. A person whose existence was ‘status’ for him (he knew he had to do a minimum of loving actions to fool me, and the ‘status’ was also the ability to fool himself into thinking that what he was doing was normal.) Like “Hey, if she’s still married to me, I must not be that bad.”

    I also think about my husband’s ability to evade work. I would get the work done, using the excuse “he’s on a business trip.” But he never remembered that he forgot to do what he promised. I gave up getting irritated & sucked it up. BUT his attitude became “Hey, if she wants to do that stuff, great!” Even though he really knew that I didn’t want to handle every damn thing that needed to be done with the house & the kids!

    I think my husband was like this from the time I met him. From what I’ve learned, he’s always led a double life, hiding the masterbation, then the strip clubs, then the hookups & prostitutes, then the phone sex, and now we’re only into the 90’s! The internet became available & smart phones & then he really went underground. I never could sense a change because I willingly married him, but was only aware of the nice guy side.

    I don’t think I want to know everything he did, although financial restitution is supposed to be part of the plan when working with a sexual addiction counselor.

    I really just want to run.

    • Limbo Chump,

      PLEASE RUN! They do not reform. They only learn how to hide it better by going deeper underground with their behavior. He will keep abusing you (and these other women). Leave before he gets arrested etc. and you and your children are humiliated. Leave before he gives you cancer from HPV or you are dying from HIV. Just leave. Chump Nation is here for you. You do not have to live like this. Believe me, it’s better to live in a cardboard box under a bridge than with an abuser. Don’t spend anymore of your life laying under a man who doesn’t think your worth having in the first place. You are worth so much more.

  • After he abandoned me after 30 years (married for 17 of those) and I discovered all the cheating, gaslighting, etc., I asked him ~ When did you stop loving me?

    The answer ~ I never did.

    I thought about that later. I thought he meant that he never stopped loving me. In reality it was probably, I never did love you.

    Makes more sense doesn’t it?

  • My ex-nasty did the prostitute thing for 7 years that I know of. I wasted a lot of time trying to understand…to figure him out. And you know what? We never will because we’re not disgusting, broken people. We aren’t ever going to understand. I was truly afraid of what my future would look like. This month will be a year since the divorce was final and I am so much happier and at peace than I ever was married to an abuser. That’s what your husband is…an abuser of women. Have faith in yourself because any life you build will be an improvement! And you deserve so much more!

  • While it doesn’t matter because trafficking is still horrible, that “average age” of 13 thing is a deliberate skewing of the data.

    They got that claim from a study whose data came by interviewing ONLY UNDERAGE prostitutes. Therefore, by definition, the maximum age in their group was under 18.

    That obviously skewed the ‘average’ down much lower than it would be.

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