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Why Can’t I Say ‘Cheater’?

Dear Chump Lady.

I love your blog, but I am on the fence about staying or leaving. I am in recovery mode.

I follow several people on Twitter for and against reconciliation and today I was shocked to see the post from Rosie Joseph and Elle saying not to use the word “cheater.”

Why the fuck can’t I call a spade a spade? I do and he accepts that. While I am sucking the hopium pipe hard, why do they say be strong, but on the other hand say be a doormat?

I think they are taking Brittany Howard’s song Stay High a little too literally.

Thanks for your blog. Reading the devastating stories really helps me think more analytically about life.

Me: married 20 years, cockwomble had an affair with a bunny boiler. Expecting a surprise baby, hence my sitting on the recovery fence researching both sides.

Patti

Dear Patti,

This is not a research project, this is a crisis. Put down the magic markers and poster board and see a lawyer, if you haven’t already. Yes, even if you want to reconcile. (Although my blog is chockfull of bazillions of stories why you shouldn’t.) I’ll get to the jolly euphemisms in a moment — first order of business is PROTECT YOURSELF.

I can’t imagine the legal and emotional entanglements involved in supporting your husband’s love child, but I bet a bunch of readers here can. Don’t even THINK about reconciling without a post-nup and a credit report. And ask yourself — do you really want the OW to have a legal reason to be in your life for the next 18 years? And beyond?

I don’t know if you have minor children, but if it were me? I’d be first in line at that child support enforcement office.

You can stay mired with unicorns on Twitter, having Timid Forest Creature debates about “cheater” (The Toxic Shame! It hurts!) or you can start getting mighty. “Research” is just another word for “limbo.” You can’t bullshit a bullshitter, Patti. I’ve sucked the hopium pipe. Put it down.

Which brings me to euphemisms. Why Can’t We Say Cheater? Because it’s descriptive. And accurate. And if you want to reconcile, you have to able to do the mental gymnastics to overlook casual betrayal. Spin helps with that.

Ergo, it’s not “cheater” it’s “wayward.” (They have a GPS problem.) It’s not “lies of omission” it’s “trickle truth.” It’s not stonewalling, it’s “affair fog.”

The Reconciliation Industrial Complex has a host of stupid euphemisms to minimize abuse. You’re not going to eat the shit sandwich if they call it shit.

Speaking of shit, I’m really okay with euphemisms in other situations. Like, for instance, potty training. “Sweetie, do you need to go Number 1 or Number 2?” That works for me. Changing messy pants is bad enough, I don’t need the descriptors.

But when it comes to adult life, I want to go into situations fully armed with lucidity. I don’t need fuzzy language. I need the facts.

This is your goddamn life on the line. It was derailed by a cheater. Your husband, who did the cost-benefit analysis on getting his dick wet over your well-being. He voted for his dick. That’s a stone cold fact. And his affair had consequences — for you, the OW, and now an innocent child. And your children, if you have kids. (Hi! Let me introduce you to your dad’s secret! Sears portrait studio pix, anyone?)

Look, in the short-term, those euphemisms feel nice. They kind of dull the pain. Give you the loopy sense that maybe, just maybe, you could wrap your mind around this wayward-foggy-trickle situation and be okay with it. So long as you don’t think of the particulars. Or yourself.

Chump Lady is the cold bucket of water. The bitch slap. Nancy Reagan to your hopium. The voice that says CHEATER.

Free your mind, and the rest will follow.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Her letter is ambiguous: I assumed the letter writer was pregnant with the surprise baby this weighing her options.

      • Oh shit, now I see Chumpella de Ville’s point. It’s the WIFE who is having a surprise baby.

        Fuck…

        but the thing is, she needs a lawyer MORE now than before. Protect herself and her babies. Why wouldn’t he cheat again?

        Moms in their 40’s with newborns “aren’t as fun” as OWs without newborns or pregnancy weight to lose.

        We are all rooting for you, Patti!!

        • This is why my ex started his long term affair: I was 40, 8 months pregnant with our 4th child, and he felt “desperate” in ways only sex with a total stranger could fix. After months of daily f*ing, they fell in love.

          Lawyer up, Patti! Get a post nup with a generous settlement and an infidelity clause, and THEN weigh your options.

          • The “logic” behind that is mind-boggling.

            Dambass: “We never have sex!!”

            Kristen, pregnant and the mother of several others: “Uhh? I guess my pregnancies were immaculate conception? Or maybe parthenogenesis??”

    • Here’s my alternative advice if the chump is pregnant.

      It’s still PROTECT YOURSELF.

      Babies make bad anchors. Don’t tie yourself to a fuckwit. Many mighty women have left cheaters while pregnant. Get your support network lined up, and absolutely see a lawyer. Also tell your ObGyn immediately, because STDs can affect your pregnancy, and you’ll need screening ASAP.

      • I know a woman who stayed with cheater husband because she was pregnant. Fast forward 15 years and, of course, the marriage failed. Teenaged son has gone totally off the rails, with his father’s encouragement, of course. Kid has hit mom, skipped school, run away and is using drugs. Mom has spent years enabling X’s bad behavior, giving in, putting herself last, TAKING IT. By not standing up to her bully X, she has (sadly) helped create another bully. Stop the madness now!

        • That is perhaps my second biggest regret; staying with a douchebag “for the children.” Had I left when I knew he was a loser (and I was 8 months pregnant with our third), my kids would have seen what respect and boundaries look like.

          Instead, as I excused my fear* of my husband as “staying for the children,” they watched me be a mute doormat while their father did whatever the fuck he wanted. And now all three have relationship issues.

          *My fear was well-founded; he proceeded to ruin me financially and emotionally during and after the divorce – FOR SPORT. Still, I’m better off without him.

      • She should lawyer up and leave EVEN IF she’s pregnant, especially if it’s a first baby. Ask for full custody and child support. Move back with family if need be. The last thing she should want to to is be tied to him and dependent financially with an infant.

      • The same is true for men too and regardless of the age of the kids. I stayed three years long than I should’ve, with a big part of that being “for the kids.” Turns out it’s much healthier for kids to not be in a house with a dysfunctional marriage.

      • And she still needs to be first in line at the child support office. Who’s to say Schmoopie won’t get pregnant too.

      • I kept my marriage vows…
        Stayed clean and sober, work a program,
        Went to therapy for 27 years with STBX
        Was willing to problem-solve, learn
        Communicated honestly
        Initially for my relationship and then because we were a family.

        Now I am leaving BECAUSE of
        my daughter. I need to love and honor and cherish and respect myself and model that to her.

        And Chumps who stayed because of the children? That’s a feather in your cap proving YOUR high character. NO shame in that!!!

        My daughter is an indicator that I made the right choice, at the time, to marry my husband. His destructive, cruel, selfish, dishonorable, low, evil, mean, ugly, horrible, terrible, emotionally immature, reprehensible, indefensible behavior is why I need to leave now.

        As for my future with my daughter?

        Unlike him, I will NOT be shoving someone down her throat that didn’t care if she got hurt in their unbelievably self-centered pursuit of “love”….

        Unlike him, my daughter’s feelings and opinions will be an indicator if someone is right for me (just like my cat in my younger years!)

        Unlike him, I understand that doing the right thing lines me up with the right people and puts me in the right situations.

        Unlike him, I get outside help and am a perpetual student of what the right thing is.

        CHEATING PROVES A TOTAL LACK OF UNDERSTANDING WHAT LOVE IS.

        And yesterday when I shared about that authentic blissful, secure, absolute peace of mind moment when she was a baby?

        THE CHEATERS WILL NEVER HAVE THAT. THAT’S what love is.

        Keep the idiots out of my lane from now on, God. Thanks.

        • “Went to therapy for 27 years with STBX.”

          Like you, my ex lied through his teeth in marriage counseling. When I caught him cheating the second time, I called him on it. His response? “Of course I lied, you were in the room.”

          Turns out the rat bastard had been cheating for YEARS while he traveled for business. It was a lifestyle for him.

          Me? I gave up a big career that I loved because I didn’t want my daughter raised by someone else or effectively be a single mom because he was gone so much.

          That’s what I can’t let go of; the opportunity cost. What I could have done with those 20 years.

          • Oh your story pains me. I have a similar but not exact situation. I gave up my career for a guy who lied and cheated on me from day one. I turned down job opportunities for him and left work for 3 years to move with him. The whole time he was screwing around on me, though I was the love of his life and he promised me the world. He is quite well off and the dream he created for me was a fairy tale until it turned into a Grimm’s Fairy Tail.

            No remorse and he turned into a nasty entitled bastard when confronted. Blamed me for his shitty behavior and denied, denied and denied he cheated even when I had cold hard proof. I left him and had no place to go. It was hard, but even harder knowing a human being could completely wreak such havoc on my life without a care….not to mention the women he cheated with who know about me.

            I try to focus on the good in this world because he and all those OW are proof evil exists. I truly hope he dies soon. The world will be better for it.

            • I feel the same way you expressed here. I focused on building a relationship, when instead I should have focused on building MY life. He had all his ducks in a row all along, and I had nothing. It wasn’t a coincidence.

    • Yeah, that’s the way I read it too. I thought the writer was pregnant hence she is on the fence about staying or going. Crap situation either way. Lawyer up, ditch the cheater and get as far away from the bunny boiler as possible!

    • From someone who got both… a surprise pregnancy at 43 after 20 years of marriage and an envelope in the mail containing a suit for paternity for what I thought had been a one night stand… neither baby is a reason to stay with someone who would deceive you and betray you in that way. A baby does not change character.

      My divorce took almost 2 years. In the meantime the OW got her child support case through the courts. First one, gets the most. That means her one child gets almost as much as my three children. Get to a lawyer ASAP.

      • “My divorce took almost 2 years. In the meantime the OW got her child support case through the courts. First one, gets the most. That means her one child gets almost as much as my three children. Get to a lawyer ASAP.”

        Holy crap. I had no idea that a Schmoopie’s kid would be a higher priority than the children within the marriage. That really sucks!

        • It was the way the calculations worked in Ohio. First kid to get child support gets a higher percentage. My state finally redid the calculation for the first time in 25 years. That was one of the things they tried to fix. It became effective this year.

          The other one was that they were still maxing out combined income based on salaries from the 1980’s. Which also maxed out child support obligation. So I made more money than OW (not surprising given she was just finishing up grad school when she got pregnant). She is no longer in the picture and OW#2 is even younger. Just a matter of time before he gets her pregnant, too. Good times!

        • Oh and two different courts. Juvenile court for his out of wedlock kid. Domestic relations court for ours. And they don’t cross over at all.

      • This is really important – my state was also “first come, first served” when it came to child support. It was this little factoid that pushed me over the finish line to file. Ex had knocked up his undergrad student – pretty much guaranteed that true wuv would end and she’d be looking for child support.

      • Get Me Free,

        In a conversation with someone this evening I was discussing some of the finer points of being betrayed. Person I was speaking to stood transfixed. I know she thought I was crazy by the look in her eyes and how she kept backing away from me as I described the aftermath of Dday. Three years ago I would have done the same thing because the world that emerges after Dday is so unimaginable – a nightmare that doesn’t ever turn into a happily ever after. As someone wrote here a couple of days ago – ‘warp speed evolution’.

        Who would believe what you have just shared prior to personal experience? I know I wouldn’t have. Now I know differently and, sadly, know that there are a whole lot of people who are extremely ignorant out there who are also sitting ducks. I sat for 3 decades during which I was clueless and thought I was living the dream with a TFC…Many of us are in shock and that sets us up for more abuse by cheaters and the system.

        I consider myself lucky due to the support I had throughout my Warp Speed Evolution experience. Friends who held me together when I was so completely stupefied I couldn’t even think straight due to what I was learning about the legal system and how little it does to protect victims still shocks me.

        Had I know about CL and CN things might have been different but I had no clue and the only stuff I could find was the RIC stuff. Boy did I use that to stay in the hopium camp – pick me dancing like crazy trying to get my life back – thinking I could somehow erase all the shit that had happened behind my back. I was looking for anything magic. Well, now I know magic is only illusion.

        Back to the conversation I was having with the acquaintance. When our conversation ended I knew she had no clue of what I spoke. I knew it was incomprehensible to her and that nothing I could say could convince her otherwise.

        Who would have ever thought that someone married and with children, as in your situation, would not be first in line NO MATTER WHAT!!!! Three years ago I know I wouldn’t have believed it.

        I read here in order to inform myself of things that you have shared so that I can pass it on to others. So much valuable information that I wasn’t able to find anywhere else. Information I didn’t know existed and here it is all very conveniently categorized and laid out in plain clear language so even a shocked mind can grasp what is being said – hopefully in time to protect herself/himself from further abuse etc.

        So sorry for your situation. Sending love your way. Your poor, poor babies – a double whammy for them to know how completely pathetic and low their own father is.

    • Thats exactly what I read, wife is having a baby after probably a prolonged session of an intimate pick me dance. I agree, get that post nup, get that lawyer, get tested, get it all.

    • That was my interpretation. Chumped and pregnant. Patti-tough though it is, get a lawyer and get out. The light at the end of that tunnel is a train.

  • If you stay, then he’s got kids with 2 wives (what you’ll be by the end of it) it’s going to be a never ending intrusion into your married life. I know this from friends who’ve suffered it, nasty stuff like saying the dad can only see the kid if he stays the night (yes really) or calling the wife/girlfriend and not saying anything, just putting the gurgling baby on the phone.

    If you leave however, you can create a nice life for yourself and occasionally smile knowing that your presence is very much always felt in their house and their disharmony and their arguments.

    You can be the one he regrets losing, the one she feels compared to all the time and more important, the one in charge of your own life 🙂

    Rock on

  • Hi Folks — just an announcement. The forums here are moving to a new subReddit. (And the forums here are closing later today.)

    Here’s how to join the CN Reddit community. (Cutting and pasted this from the forums)

    @chumpedpunk was kind enough to set up a PRIVATE forum on reddit.com for us to flee to.

    Change is hard, but getting joined up in the new place is easy.

    1. If you don’t have a reddit account (or if your reddit account is non-anonymous, like your name or email) then you should sign up for a new reddit account. You can use something like your WordPress name, to avoid confusion, maybe with some numbers appended if you need to. Or get creative and introduce yourself later. Reddit will ask you for an email to confirm, which is useful if you forget your password later.

    2. Lurkers here in CN are welcome to lurk over there too.

    3. If you want to mod, and are a poster here, drop a PM to r/ChumpLadyNation.

    Creating a post over there looks pretty simple, but the replies are structured like the Comments in the CL Blog. And Editable. And there is a PM feature.

    One thing, when you make a post you should tag it with a ‘flair’ (its a little ‘tag’ icon above the text box), the options in the pull down menu correspond to the ‘rooms’ here … ‘Get Support’ ‘Happy Chump’ ‘Chump Meetup’ etc.

    Welcome one and all.

    • Thanks for the shout out Tracy!

      After they create a reddit account and when they try to navigate to r/ChumpLadyNation they should get a box to PM the mods for access. If you don’t get that box, try a different app or a computer.

      • Chumps that are Smarter than Me –

        I set up my user name, password, and email into reddit and think I now have an account… but I am not able to get to r/ChumpLadyNation. Do I need to download the app first?

        • You need to search for r/ChumpLadyNation, either at the reddit site in a web browser or in the reddit app on a smartphone, and you will get a page that tells you it is a private community, and hopefully get a ‘Sign up’ button and then a text box for a PM (which I and the other mods read on the other side). We can then add you as a user (when we get around to it).

          Some report the app is hard to send a PM from, if so try a browser on a computer if you are stuck. And I think browsers on smart phones are supposed to suck for reddit. Sorry.

        • If you are using the app or the browser version you should be able to send the mods a PM. Once we have your username on there we will be able to add you.

          • Click the three dots on the upper right in the app. Message moderator is a choice. Select that and send a message.

    • I’m sorry to hear this. I’ll miss you all, but I’m not prepared to go through the struggle of setting up yet another account, particularly on Reddit. Best wishes!

      • I doubt I’ll be able to making the transition either. 👵🏻
        Thank you so very much Tracy for being my “Good Samaritan”! You are a bright light for people in a very dark place! Good bless you!
        I will keep referring people to you & recommending your book(s)!

    • Thank you…..I have been traveling for the past couple of days and was wondering if there were new forums set up!

      • Yes-the blog,thanks to Tracy’s hard work and use of her limited free time,is staying

  • I called mine a liar and a cheat, his reply “ I’m not a liar and a cheat” hmm, think you are!
    No contact, only thing that clears the fog in our brain. Listen to CL.

    • I didn’t bother with the word cheater
      I went straight to mother######
      He was having an affair with a youngster at work while I was taking care of his son
      Never had a mouth before this life event
      Hope I never see him again
      Yeah!
      Xo

    • I got this as well on D Day
      I called him a liar a cheat and her a whore .

      He said i am not a liar or a cheat and she is not a whore . I said what do you call someone who sleeps with married men then ? He said she is the woman i love !

      • That’s not a woman, that’s a succubus.

        suc·cu·bus
        noun
        a female demon believed to have sexual intercourse with sleeping men.

        • I like this. This is my XW! She was the OW w/her married FW partner. I’ve never talked to the AP’s former spouse, but I hope she makes it suck for my XW. I know his older daughters sure weren’t happy w/him.

          The FW XW’s AP left his wife of 40 years for my wife. May both of their genitalia shrivel up and/or develop painful, incurable sores!

      • He KNOWS he is a liar and cheat and he KNOWS she is a goddamn whore. He is painting himself a pretty little fairy tale picture in his delusional mind in an attempt to avoid consequences. Guess what, mother fucker, THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES! Cheating and opening your legs to a married man is a vile act and it takes a special kind of deplorable person to carry out such an intimate betrayal. You are above them both.

      • I called STBXH weak and she was easy. Never knew her name, though he was surely dying to tell me (I won’t hypotenuse you asshole!). So I just referred to her a whore. Or homewrecker.

        STBXH: She’s not a homewrecker!

        Me: Oh my bad. That’s right…YOU ARE!
        🤣🤣 still makes me laugh cuz he got mad every time I called her the whore. SO glad to be out of that mindfuck of an environment.

        Trust me Patti, it’s NO place for a baby or kids. I left FOR the kids. ((Hugs))

      • Whether he Loves her or not has absolutely no bearing on the fact that she is a sleazy whore, lol. He’s a Whore too.

        • Yes, all the FW’s are whores. For money, for security, for love, for whatever! YOU ARE WHORES should be painted on their dwellings.

  • Triangulation. Manipulation. Devaluation. Teaching boundaries and respectable behaviors to someone who will never get it or truly change. I did it for 16 years. U will be discarded. My advice LEAVE!! If u don’t that cheater Will wear u down and suck u dry. U will be a shell of urself and have health problems both mentally and physically. Get out now!

    Gain a life!! U are worth it!! Fuck that piece of shit!

  • To say “cheater” to him, to the world is to explode the pretty fairy tale. To not use euphemisms is to disclose PAIN and CONSEQUENCES and holy fucking hell, does the RIC hate that!

    Plus, you see, the way the RIC count “success” is for couples to stay together no matter how bad it is for the spouse who DID NOT CHEAT.

    I don’t know if you are the one who is pregnant or if it’s BunnyBoiler. Either way, Cockwomble has to be a real grown-up for a very long time. Regardless of whether he wants to be one or not.

    Lawyer. If YOU are pregnant, be prepared for his lawyer to insinuate or even accuse you of cheating so be prepared to have that child DNA tested. In fact, insist upon it in order to get ahead of his mind-fuckery. If for some reason you decide to stay with Cockwomble (I hope you don’t!) you should still get an attorney and get a post-up drawn up that makes it clear he has financial obligations and that you have his balls in a vice.

    I think it would be better to get a lawyer to divorce him, but that may not be what you want at this point in time. Draw it up both ways. See what benefits you the most now and in the long-term. Particularly if you are the one who is pregnant.

    Best wishes.

  • Cheater is a magic word. All you have to do is say the word and sane people will be on your side. It explains so much in one simple word without having to go into the gory details. Use it. Replace his name in your phone with it. Tell your hairdresser and your children and your pastor about it. Stop protecting his image over your truth and well-being. Stop making excuses for the abuse. Because when you finally are free, I guarantee you will spend more time and energy recovering from the abuse you volunteered for, than the abuse that was outside of your control.

    • Sadly, I have not found this to be true. Too many people hear the word cheater and assume you are bitter, and then wonder how inadequate you are to deserve being cheated on.

      • Sadly, I agree. Astonishing how many people these days just LOVE to make a show of being non-judgey.
        And in my case, bc cheater was an all-comers type (excuse the pun), and had sex with hundreds of anonymous men and women for over a decade, his revelations about his Tragically Repressed Bisexuality had people falling over themselves to be Inclusive and Tolerant.
        He actually had the hide to call some people who didn’t buy his shit homophobic!!!

      • Then it’s like having a self-cleaning rolodex. The assholes automatically remove themselves.

        • Then you get those people out of your life. They are not on your side if they want to remain ‘neutral’. Focus on healing. Away with the toxic people. They are not your friends.

          • This. 100%.

            Anybody who starts with excuses that cheating is not a big deal is not someone *I* would want in my life.

        • Right? I will say there are a lot of former friends, which I’ve now discarded as “Switzerland” friends, who are so worried about being non-judgemental. Who would see you as bitter if you don’t just give up and forgive the cheater. Because, who really knows what went on in a marriage?

          I can’t tell you how many times I heard that when I told people what my popular, local politician XW had done to me and our family. Even though there seemed to be universal agreement that there was absolutely no sign or story (including from the XW) of my ever abusing her verbally, physically, etc. in any way or treating her badly in general. I’m only saying that to point out that that never entered into the equation, because it never happened, and that if abuse WAS involved in causing someone’s affair, I would have a lot more understanding for why that affair happened.

          No, I’m sorry, in the absence of a very good reason (like abuse), I don’t think there’s any excuse for a partner to have an affair. And the people that want to be “Switzerland” friends and non-judgemental? Intellectual cowards, all of them.

      • A lot of people don’t think cheating is a big deal, or think it’s a natural part of divorce, and of course that the chump probably deserved it: comments like “well you never know what goes on in a marriage”

        • And when they do so they make it easy to leave on the curb for the cheater to keep.

          The tribe self-identifies!

        • I agree and this is such utter abuse — society acts all horrified about physical abuse but seems to condone emotional abuse – WTF.

        • A lot of people are ready to tell you ONE affair is acceptable in a marriage.
          They are oblivious that when there is one, there WILL be more (and there possibly already have been more).

          • I just had a chance to tell someone this when she revealed her spouse had an affair last year because he was home alone for so long because she had to work extra hours last summer….I told her I was left home alone for YEARS but never found it necessary to find a willing penis with which to spend my spare time. 🙂 ( I learned those words here.)

            I directed her here. Hope she shows up.

    • “I guarantee you will spend more time and energy recovering from the abuse you volunteered for, than the abuse that was outside of your control.”

      No greater truth. I wish someone had put it this way to me when I was in the middle of the shitstorm.

    • “when you finally are free, I guarantee you will spend more time and energy recovering from the abuse you volunteered for, than the abuse that was outside of your control”

      This is Truth. This is the part Im not over. I had no idea it would be so bad.

    • SPOT ON.

      Some of my biggest regrets and mental anguish came from dealing with the behaviors after the fallout of dday. Before then, I knew something was wrong and was in the midsts of discard, but AFTER when I was all about reconciliation I dealt with some of the biggest abuse… and kept on staying HOPING and token’ on that pipe.

      It was my defense against loosing all my marbles, but made everything worse to deal with in the end. I realized it was because I was then part of the lie, and no longer living my values. I wasn’t being true to who I was, all in the name of family. My biggest regret in this entire s-show is staying as long as I did.

      It’s like every horror show you’ve ever seen. You know the guy with the chain saw is coming, so you yell at the screen. Girl, get out!

    • During the divorce proceedings, I had to write a list of every person I had told about the situation of him cheating. He had no idea that I had known for months before this, and the list of names I sent to his lawyer was 3 pages long. I even listed things on there like, dental hygienist, hair dresser, basically any person who would listen to me, I told. Tell your truth.

      • WaitingforTuesday: I finally told my 10-year-old son why this whole catastrophe was REALLY happening in his life. Daddy did something really bad to mommy, and mommy is very upset about it. What? He wanted to be with other women and not me. You mean kiss them?? he said. Yes, I nodded. You mean do the things that James Bond does?? (Oh dear, my passion for old-timey JB movies may not have been appropriate). Yes, I said. He was wide eyed. Up to that point I had told him that daddy and mommy were arguing too much and daddy wanted to go live at the vacation home. I told him that we still love each other, but we fight too much. My amazing new therapist said that could be misleading. People who love you do not treat you the way my STBXH treated me, in front of the kids. So I decided to keep it real with my son and tell him the truth. I’m not sure I did the right thing, but I think it cleared the air. After the first round of cheating (YES, it is disgusting CHEATING), I told no one except my family. Not even my closest friends. Mostly because my mom had just died and I just couldn’t handle anything. Good luck to you Patti! It’s unbearably hard.

      • If I could have shouted from the rooftops, I would have yelled to rbs world. As it were, everyone close to me knows and I went scorched earth on him. There’s no going back. I burned that bridge and threw away the lighter.

        • I’ve decided that I don’t care who’s on my side and who isn’t. It took a while to get away from the paranoia that he might have convinced so-and-so that I am a bitch who deserved to be cheated on and abandoned. Going NC helped a lot with that. I don’t have to manage my own PR campaign anymore. I think this might be me finally getting to “meh” and it feels damn good!

    • Saying “Cheater” takes away our feeling of control in our life. We are now subject to the arbitrary whims of another person. Cheaters would prefer for US to accept responsibility for this “outcome”. It is OUR behavior that caused adultery to happen. It is simple as a mathematical equation.
      We can buy into cheater math because if we caused it, WE can fix it! Back to the dream marrige we always wanted. Take a big hit off that hopium pipe!!!
      Reality bites.
      We cannot control another person’s behavior any more than sitting in the “lucky chair” enables our sports team to win the big game on TV.
      That is a scary, sobering thought. We try to avoid it., but trust that they suck! They are the ones pulling the ropes behind the scenery trying to convince you that painted cardboard is reality. Walk behind that shit to see the facade from the backside. When your eyes are open to the truth CHEATER is the least salty word that comes to mind.

    • This person did clearly say “sane people”, and that is the key to making the statement oh so true. 😊

  • I always thought “Cheater” wasn’t a harsh enough word/description. I think of a cheater as someone who peeks at someone else’s answers on a pop quiz. Not someone who betrays, gaslights and harms the people he promised to protect and love.

  • When someone tells you that, say ” I prefer Adultering Whore Fucker myself. “. There’s a euphemism for you.

    • Yesterday I wondered to myself what I would have called my Cheater if I had known the extent of his betrayals while he was alive and “Adultering Whore Fucker” was at the top of the list

    • And if you don’t feel comfortable saying “Adultering Whore Fucker”, just plain “Adulterer” works just as well for me.

      • I also prefer adulterer. Reason is that cheating has become part and parcel of the modern dating scene. Someone whose ex girlfriend or boyfriend of 9 months cheated is wrong and despicable, but not even in the same galaxy as adultery. Adultery is expressly forbidden in the 10 commandments and carried severe punishments for the entire history of the world until now. Cheating is ambiguous while adultery is very specific.

      • I still think we need a better list of terms to refer to when confronted or confronting these assholes. Cheater can be shouted at them very well, but adulterer doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily. And yes, cheater can sound weak nowadays. Family destroying piece-of-shit? I’d love to have a post from CL about this.

        I want to have something ready in my verbal arsenal that is truthful, harsh and rolls off the tongue when I see either of the two pieces of shit out and about. So everyone that’s w/in hearing distance of me knows what they truly are, what they’ve done, and just how pissed off I am about it. And ideally, makes it clear what side the listener should be on. Mine/ours.

  • If we’re going with a euphemize cheating, I’d recommend something that better captures its effects on spouses and children. Perhaps “life theft,” “faith murder,” or “soul rape.”

  • I cannot imagine anyone on the planet worth staying with when they are married to me and having an illegitimate child with someone else. That is just insane. It will make you insane if you stay in it. Staying in that mess is a Never Win situation. Ever. Please ditch this Adultering Whore Fucker. This one can’t even deny it and claim “emotional affair”.

  • I took the high road for twenty years. The ex loved the high road, because he continued to do what he wanted while the one he was repeatedly hurting continued to make him look good to everyone else.
    BUT NOW I happily call a spade a spade. He’s a cockwomble, a liar, a cheater, an ass, Fuckwit, the dog to her bitch, abuser, con man, reprobate, worthless, and more. Lying to myself cost me far too much to keep on doing it. Not even for the sake of the kids.
    Speaking of the kids, they NEED TO KNOW things like their dad conned their grandma out of $20,000 and many business men and generous church members got conned along the way as well. They need to know his current relationship is based on lies. They need to know that he casually exposes himself to things like getting HIV. They need to understand that when he did things like lock them up at home alone at night it was to visit prostitutes and not to have meetings with people at church. They need to know that I could have protected them, but chose to protect him and that decision was wrong.
    Someday dad will be grandad and they need to know what kind of bastard they are dealing with. I refuse to let my kids be conned or my grandbabies hurt.
    I kick myself almost daily for listening to the RIC and not working to protect myself and my kids. I won’t do the same to the grandbabies.

  • Dear Patti,
    I’m so sorry for your predicament. It’s never easy to navigate the crap decision tree of staying or leaving. I’ve faced it. More than once. I totally inhaled that hopium, spent therapy money and, more importantly, another 26 YEARS of my life after spinning the “Will He/Won’t He CHEAT Again” roulette wheel. Guess what happened?
    Dday #3 hit 2 years ago. With 2 kids, DD21 & DD15, I toyed with staying, slogging through the mire all over again for all the classic reasons. But when I thought about having to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life, pick-me dancing with progressively skankier OW, and walking on eggshells of hurting the timid forest creature’s fragile “feelings”….well, I was nauseated. Then I found Tracy and I found the lifeline I needed decades ago.
    My advice? Protect YOURSELF. Ask yourself Tracy’s bottom line question: “Is this acceptable to me?”
    Personally, I think there is no rational negotiation with a proven liar. There’s no “there” there.
    Good luck, Patti. You are welcome here where you will find REAL HOPE and tools for your sanity. 😊

  • Yeah, they love euphemisms. Once I was arguing with my cheater father (when I still had the strength to do so) and I mentioned his mistress. His reaction was: do you really need to use such pejorative language? LOL What am I supposed to say? Your special lady friend?

    • Mistress, I love this word. It accurately describes the entire situation in such a succinct manner. The Narcstar would rail against me for using it, him preferring me to use innocuous terms such as “girlfriend” or her actual name (garbage doesn’t have a name).

      When we were in mediation we were required to use only terms represented in the dictionary. When the Narcstar had a small meltdown about my continuous use of the word “Mistress” I pulled out a print out of Websters dictionary meaning and challenged him to refute the title.

      The Narcstar stormed out of mediation because I wouldn’t give up parenting time of our child to his Mistress. I looked at the mediator and said “Imagine what his reaction would have been if he knew that her actual title is Cumpster” The mediator loved it, short, sweet and to the point.

      • I personally don’t like Mistress – it sounds exotic and exciting rather than seedy and tawdry like these skanks actually are. My preferred noun for these women is “whore”.

        I love Anita’s descriptor for the serial cheating piece of shit I stupidly married. He shall henceforth be known as the “Adultering Whore Fucker”

    • Ha, this made me remember when I slipped once and called my ExH’s OWife, EZ, to his face.
      Those are her initials, and I love how it is “easy” when you say it.
      He got upset and now uses it as an example of me calling her names in front of the children.
      The irony is that it comes out of using her initials when I email my family. Ex does the same thing. Initials for shorthand.
      Dude, using someone’s initials is not derogatory!

  • I personally use the word TRAITOR. The personal betrayal resides in that term. But I also use “cheater”, the age old term.

    And Kristen, what people assume or think or say in response is out of my control and so I don’t care. How someone responds becomes a teaching moment to change the narrative, it is an indicator of if someone should be in my life or not, and most importantly, I have found that I either get help or I help someone when I am honest about what happened. I don’t think blaming the victim is ever going to go away.
    We all know that no one would call you bitter if
    you weren’t friends with someone who held you hostage and tortured you.

    Well, when you are in a committed relationship and your partner is a cheater, THEY ARE HOLDING YOU HOSTAGE AND TORTURING YOU.

    From the movie “Moneyball”…..Brad Pitt (cheater in real life!) character says, “the first one through the wall always gets hurt.”

    Well, IMHO as a member and supporter of Chump Nation, I am one of the first ones through the wall changing the narrative about cheating, so
    I’m going to get hurt, but so what? After what he did there is a LOT that will never bother me, a lot I will not be afraid of , EVER AGAIN.

  • “Why the fuck can’t I call a spade a spade? I do and he accepts that. While I am sucking the hopium pipe hard, why do they say be strong, but on the other hand say be a doormat?”

    You say he accepts that; no, he DID that. Think of it as deliberate actions. His actions.

    Recovery fence? Use the fence as a boundary. What’s acceptable to you? Cheaters shift the goalposts to keep you off balance. You will suffer from the consequences of his actions repeatedly if you stay. Lawyer up.

  • I call the cheater in my life JACKASS for a reason: I have no respect for someone who lies, cheats, gaslights and abuses others.

  • Sometimes you just can’t fix this. Cut bait and run for your life. That’s a box of crazy you don’t need.

  • Let’s look at another angle, if it’s Patti who’s pregnant: He got her pregnant while having an affair with a “bunny boiler.” Patti, is this behavior OK with you? Is it acceptable behavior in your husband or the father of your child? Is this what you want for yourself?

    You write about being “on the fence” and “doing research.” You already have your main data points. He’s a cheater. If you want more data, you need to LEAVE. Because he is fine where he is and the best predictor of his future behavior is his past cheating. If you want to know if he can change–if he isn’t the typical narcissistic entitled cheater, then separate. Lawyer up. Get the child support. See how he responds. That will be your next “data.”

    • Yes! Plus he will now believe that her pregnancy renders her vulnerable and therefore he can continue to do what he wants–to cheat–and he will resent that the baby presents him with obligations and cheat in response.

      • Agree! This sounds a bit calculated on his part. I mean, get the wife appliance pregnant so that she probably will not leave, then go sleep with your side ho/s. Gives him at least a year to fuck around while Patti is left exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally from pregnancy and new baby. Hmmm.

        Never trust someone who will betray you to tell you the truth when their desire is on the line! They will choose themselves Every. Single. Time.

        Best luck, Patti <3

  • The advice to not say “cheater” is dumb Timid Forest Creature garbage– the notion that if you hurt their wittle feewings they will be forced to keep fucking their whore.

    Don’t buy it for a moment and don’t listen to people who try to heap shame on you for addressing it squarely.

  • Oh gosh the Sears studio portrait pix line got me. That was actually the first “family” photos my daughter had to participate in on the other side. A cheesy holiday background to show everyone that all was okay even though they conceived their child while we were still married.

    • I’ve seen a couple of fake new family portraits on Fakebook and they’re heartbreaking. One is of daddy, new wife (second marriage for her as well) holding their newborn son and his daughter is awkwardly trying to cling to her stepmonster. Like a triangle with something suck on its side. Next year’s version showed another son but no daughter in sight.

      Some people just suck.

  • Patti, I didn’t have proof that the Worm (Ex-husband) was a cheater but I suspected. I stayed because he had political connections. He knew lawyers, judges, high ranking politicians and police officers. I was always afraid he would take custody of our two children. I stayed for 20 years of abuse. The oldest was arrested twice and had to go to rehab. The younger one is much better but is kind of a loner.
    It seems like you’re still hoping he will turn around. He won’t. He’ll get worse and ultimately hate and resent you more. You will slowly change into someone you don’t recognize.
    Please listen to everyone here and get out now!

  • Personally, I never use his name anymore. I’m a bit more harsh about it and just call him Fuckwit. To his face, to his or my own family, to my friends. He doesn’t get a human name anymore because he decided to stop being a rational, normal caring human being. So far, everyone seems to get it right away and there hasn’t been confusion in conversation.

    However, with my baby on the way I may have to update it…

    • Same here, both the Narcstar and the Cumpster do not have a name as they are no longer considered human by me and capable of the normal range of human emotions and reactions. They embody only their basest instincts and their titles reflect that. A name conjure’s an identity, they have no identity to me, they are just soulless, depth-less sacks of human garbage left to rot in the gutter together.

      In polite company in which it is to my benefit to mind my P’s and Q’s he is referred to by generic Mr. ___ and she is always referred to as his Mistress without fail.

  • Dear Patti
    After a 25year marriage I discovered my husband’s multiple infidelities throughout the marriage. He promised not to do it again and said he wanted to be with me. I agreed to try. It’s now five years since I found out about it all. He has been much nicer to me generally and I have no evidence that he has cheated again. So it’s a unicorn situation come true, I have a nice husband. But, I still say leave your husband. The reason is because unless you’re a saint and are able to forgive totally and utterly, you won’t get over knowing that he did all that stuff with other women and lied to you and put you at risk etc. After a while the cheater doesn’t want to discuss it any more, he actually takes the moral high ground, so you are left feeling that you are the evil one because you’re not forgiving and forgetting. He criticises me for still not trusting him fully and says does that mean the last five years have been for nothing. I felt unable to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, it felt hypocritical and sad, and said I wanted him to tell me exactly when he decided he wanted to be faithful to me and we could celebrate that date as our real anniversary. He doesn’t want to name a date or a month. I can see why: it means he’d have to admit he lived a 25 year marriage dishonestly and that’s too much like calling a spade a spade. He too doesn’t like words like cheater, betrayal, disloyal etc – and that’s all of a piece with not really owning what he did. So my point to you is: stop weighing it up. It is easier to leave now rather than later and even if he does remain faithful (a big ‘if’) you will never really feel good with him again. If I’m wrong and there’s someone out there who has made it work and is not a RIC consultant, I would love to know.

    • Sweetie, that aint no unicorn or nice husband. You are describing an entitled, self-centred, dishonest ass. IOW, all of the attitudes and behaviours that allowed him to cheat are still there.
      I’m sorry. That must really suck.

      • Thanks for your reply and sympathy chumpupthevolume – I think you’re right that he still has the attitudes intact and that’s why I feel he’s only trustworthy until tempted again – but he’s 60 now so his opportunities (and hydraulics) are more limited. That’s not a great reason for having a faithful husband. It does suck. So I would now say that in all cases, leave a cheater as soon as you can do so safely.

        • FYI: Mine is 66 and still fucks around with plenty of supply. Money talks and skanky women walk quickly towards him . Look at Trump and Rudy Guiliani and then look away fast before your vomit from their infidelities.

        • Mine is in his 60’s too and hydraulics not working but, as others have said, ‘It doesn’t matter with the kind of women these guys are after.”

          I thought I had a unicorn too….fast forward 25 years….nope, I didn’t. Like others said, just sneakier.

          I know it is hard to believe but believe it!

          • Elderly Chump: Mine also had “hydraulics” difficulties. LOL at that term. So when I found out about the cheating, I thought, How in the world? Turns out he got himself some viagra. Not for me, of course.

            You mentioned previously being screwed over by the courts. If you don’t mind sharing, what happened? I need to be prepared for the worst-cast scenario. My lawyer’s already made a few mistakes, so I’m a little concerned. The kicker is that for the last 14 months, Asshat’s headed a startup IT company, and hasn’t been able to give himself a salary (or so he says). Is resisting EVERYTHING.

            • tizzypins,

              I live in a 50/50 state. I didn’t know that until after Dday. Friends encouraged me to lawyer up because “he deserted you” and they felt that I would be supported and protected by the courts.

              I was shocked when I found out just what 50/50 means and that it all boils down to a mere formula. Nothing matters – no fault – which means there aren’t any consequences for the cheaters via the courts – no accountability and, if you are older and the cheater decides to retire, they are then not required to pay maintenance. Naturally, if your children are over 18 – no child support. Doesn’t matter if the abandoned spouse has no income of her own – I gave up my career and became a SAHM when my first child was born hence no income of my own.

              I consulted several lawyers and was told pretty much the same thing by each. Shocked on top of Dday shock. Talk about being a walking zombie. I have no idea how I made it through those early days, weeks and months. Took awhile to figure out that he probably didn’t leave earlier because he knew he would have to pay for maint. and child support and his income, while not skimpy, was far from comfortable and , if he had left, he wouldn’t have been able to live like he wanted to – no money left for himself and ……fill in the blank.

              Pretty ugly when I saw what was going on and my eyes are continuing to be opened on a daily basis as I learn more here on CL. I remember a woman telling me that she has been divorced for over 50 years, she is in her 90’s, and she still is finding stuff out and being surprised all over again…..

              Lawyers are not all on the up and up. If you don’t feel comfortable with yours and if you are able to – interview more until you find someone you do trust. Your future is at stake and you need someone who can fully support you and get all you are entitled to because YOU will be living with the consequences down the road. Lawyer will be paid and long gone. Don’t rush. All pretty overwhelming because the lawyers know what they are doing and you do not and you are therefore at their mercy due to your vulnerability.

              Sounds like you are on top of things and have caught your lawyer’s mistakes so that is a good sign that you are doing your due diligence. I know I have read here of people who were able to find great lawyers so they do exist. You just have to find ONE.

              • No spousal support?? Oh man, that is rough. I have heard of men having to come out of retirement to support their families, but I guess that’s if they have children. I hope you got half of his retirement fund!

    • @defeatedchump Your name says it all. Sounds like all the deposits being made in the Trust Bank are counterfeit. (Read yesterday’s post) No trust, no marriage.

    • I thought I had a unicorn – hell I didn’t know about CL or unicorns at the time but I still thought he was a unicorn (thought it only happened once due to a mid-life crisis). I didn’t have a unicorn – I had a lying, stealing, pos child-man who dressed up in a unicorn costume. I wasted another 5 years and he just became much much smarter and stealthier about his dalliances. People say the trust can never come back but I was so naive and did truly trust as I thought he had made a regrettable mistake. The mistake was mine for trusting again – it was so much more hurtful when I realized what a scumbag he was and how he didn’t really love me and that I had turned myself into a pretzel trying to please him while he started to treat me like a piece of garbage. My biggest mistake was believing that he truly loved me. You don’t truly love anyone you cheat on – cheating is an act of extreme disrespect.

  • Chump lady is right get a post nup even if you are going to reconcile in the US and most states the separation agreement is still in effect even if you reconcile I got one I don’t regret it up it ended up being a 20/80 split in my favor if he couldn’t do the do, I walk , HE COULD NOT WALK the walk so I walked with everything! It has taken two years divorce is final I renovated the house single-handedly now selling it using the money I made from that to buy a brand new house for me and my kids it can be done , Forget research get stealthy Collect your Facts find your clues print it out take it to a lawyer line up those ducks protect yourself and any children you might already have you deserve better find it

  • “Research is another word for limbo.”

    Damn right it is. One thing I realize only now, nine months out from the divorce, is that in the early gobsmacked phases of denial and bargaining, when I was “researching” explanations and exploring “options” I was able to convince myself that what I was doing was acting rationally. What I was really doing was rationalizing! Rationalizing away my fears of living alone, my hurt at what my now-ex was dealing out, madly trying to contain the damage and control the situation, and believing I was acting out of a clear minded logic.
    I’m not saying, Patti, that you’re necessarily doing the same, but you should consider whether this might in fact be what you’re doing. In any case, however, the advice is the same: consult a lawyer, get a post-nup that obligates him to provide for your child (if it’s yours, which is how I read your letter) through college.

  • Cheating is a form of TREACHERY. There is a REASON why traitors are regarded the way that they are and are shunned if not outright killed for it.

    Alcibiades was a traitor – multiple times. I would also argue that he was a psychopath.

    Ephialtes (his name means “nightmare”) was another. He betrayed Leonidas (479 BC) and that led to Xerxes taking the mountain pass. Ephialtes was assassinated in 461 BC.

  • I have found “he was a very dishonest person” to be a good one for the general public if you need to say something but not discuss it. Even the cheater supporters/types that would blame the chump out there don’t like ‘dishonest people’ (unless it’s cheating and all the dishonesty involved with that so—).

  • The way I see it, a cheater has no soul. They may tell you they are “so sorry” for their actions and how “you and the kids didn’t ask for this mess.” Then, they will go to church for a week and say I’m a change man. But, you ask for a post nup, that’s when you realize that a cheater will try to take away your soul and your kids soul as well. Run!

    The cheater I was with, and will soon divorce, would and is still trying to manipulate me by saying he is “not happy with is current life” (kicked him out on DDay, lives in a rental room with stragers, and our girls want nothing to do with him) will soon take away his life.

    I’m a softy so of course I try to convince him that our girls need their dad, to reconsider his suicidal thoughts and get help. His response “then take me back!” He even pulled out a gun in front of our girls and threaten to kill himself if I don’t allow him back at home. No Soul.

    My advice, no contact at all. Run, hide, and get away as soon as possible.

    • You need to call the police.
      He is:
      -mentally ill and in need of intervention
      -threatening your family with a gun
      Do it now!

      • Bruno:
        My youngest (11 years old) actually called the police while this was happening and I was trying to talk him out of it. But, cheaters are smart too.

        We had previously called the police, while he was intoxicated, because he was angrily punching the car windshield while we were inside it.
        He was detained for public intoxication. Basically, police asked if he had physically harmed us, the answer was no. So they decided it to detained him for 24 hours for our safety.

        This last time, he was also intoxicated, but before hand he had already decided not to walked out of the house. He knew if he stepped out the house he would get arrested for public intoxication. My girls and I were out of the house by the time police arrived. Again, the police ask me if he had physically harmed us. The answer was no. Although, he was no longer living at our house when this happened, I voluntarily let him in not knowing he was drunk. (We had an amicable relationship back them because I thought it was best to co-parent). Since I let him in, Police was not able to break in and arrest him under transpassing chargers. The police was able to talk to him on the phone and got him to talk to a therapist. That was it.

        This Cheater is smart. The police and I had planned to remove his guns from my house the next day. He had to work the next day and I knew he was not going to call in, he never has. However, he changed gun safe passcode and installed hidden camaras, which I still can’t find.

        He is definitely mentally ill, but he was the sweetest most loving man and father I knew. 13 years of marriage and 13 years of infidelities. Again, he is smart. He hid it very well. I found out 6 months ago and I was trying to convince him and myself, that he loved his family that he was just confused, that something that happened in his childhood caused him to do this to me and the girls. Nope, he did it because he wanted to.

        • If he pulls this shit again, ask for a BAKER HOLD (it’s really due to the Baker Act but more commonly called a Baker hold). The ambulance will come and haul him away and it’s up to 72 hour involuntary hold.

          I don’t know why they didn’t utilize it in your jurisdiction, but if he threatens suicide again (with or without the damn gun), you call and tell them and that he needs a Baker hold. That should get their full attention.

          If someone is trying to jerk you around emotionally by threatening suicide, take them seriously enough to have them committed for it.

          I don’t know if you are in the US:

          https://mentalillnesspolicy.org/national-studies/state-standards-involuntary-treatment.html

    • A suicidal cheater with a gun is DANGEROUS.
      Report and get a restraining order. The gun needs to be removed. Your children need to be protected

    • Please report him to the authorities before he hurts somebody! It might be you, your kids or even a total stranger rather than himself that he decides to kill.
      The girls don’t need a father like *that*, btw.

      • Doingme and Chumputhevolume:

        Yes, this was reported to the authorities already, but there is not much they can do. He is a charming man. People are drawn to him and he knows how to talk his way out.

        I’m in the process of child custody battle. I submitted police reports and pictures of the broken windshield to the judge. I served Cheater with these documents. Gosh…is he smart. Last night, I received an email from Cheater saying he wants to do counseling with the girls.

        I’m no longer blind and I can see right through him. He is only doing that to show the judge that he is a loving father.

        Unfortunately, here in California judges tend to favor 50/50 in child custody cases. I hope the judge sees that he is a dangerous person.

        • How old are your kids? Old enough to request a private conversation with the judge where they can lay out what he’s done, how it affects them and what their preferences are regarding spending time with him?

          *fingers crossed*

          • I tried to reply several times to your message, but did not post. I’m not sure why. Long story short, in my county, a mediator meets with the children and writes a recommendation, for the judge, based on his or her observations.

            My girls are 11 and 12 years old. They are very conflicted as they love their dad, but are scare of him.
            The youngest still has a relationship with him via text. But, she is very careful on not telling him exactly how she feels. she believes if she tells him that she is scare of him, she will “break his heart and he will start drinking.” She is avoiding another of the above episode. Again, thank you for the information above.

        • They don’t gave to do any damn counselling with him. That’s outrageous! I feel for you and your kids.
          It shouldn’t matter how charming he is to the judge. They have usually seen a lot of charming sociopaths. Please keep us updated on what happens. Here’s hoping the judge has the experience and wisdom to see the truth.

        • Now that you have the police reports the next step is yours: get a restraining order. THEN the police can act much more freely to protect you. If you cannot afford an attorney call a battered women’s shelter. They can help guide you through the steps.

    • Are you in a one-party or two-party notification state (recording conversations)? If one-party, assume he is taping you and respond accordingly. Also start taping HIM and sharing this with your attorney.

      Always respond as though he has a witness. Always keep your voice calm. But if there is any way you can have a witness (not your kids, preferably) listening in or if you can legally record him – do so.

      I doubt he has the backbone to kill himself. Ask leading questions regarding his true intent. Write down your questions and his responses. Call 911 (again). Read them back to them. Don’t answer any more phone calls from him unless you have a three-way with 911 on the other line.

  • Patti–

    Whatever you call him, the first call should be to your lawyer! Protect yourself! Protect your children! If you’re the one who’s pregnant, protect your unborn child!

    You cannot count on someone who fucked the bunny boiler to do the right thing. Talking to the lawyer, getting a post-nup–those will ensure a baseline “right thing” that your Cheater MUST do under the laws of your state. And if he decides to pull up his stakes and leave you for Bunny Boiler, then you have your safety net in place.

    If he doesn’t want to sign a post-nup that spells out a decent settlement for you and addresses any support for your children (and temporary spousal support for you in case you’re a stay at home mom and need time to get training/find a job), then file for divorce because he’s not serious about reconciling.

    As far as the RIC advice to be strong and be a doormat, you need to decode the real message. The message is that you have to be a doormat. You need to put your cheater’s needs first because they are a Timid Forest Creature that can’t stand the Cheater light of day shining on them. They feel all exposed and vulnerable. Therefore, you need to be strong enough to eat shit sandwiches. You need to be strong to endure more abuse–not just at the hands of your Cheater, but also at the hands of the RIC.

    • People keep saying post nup. My lawyer said post nup will not help higher earning spouse. Anybody know anything about this?

      • This is where you have to lean on your lawyer to find out what the courts in your area will do.

        My lawyer has said that post-nups are more challenged than pre-nups, and will not always hold up against the challenges.

        However, it may be worth drawing up a post-nup that allows the higher-earning spouse to keep more of their income (less child support, of course) as a way of determining just how serious the lesser-earning Cheater is in terms of reconciliation. In other words, it can help you see if your Cheater is actually repentant or crying crocodile tears.

        The cost of the document might offset the costs of reconciliation therapy, but YMMV for sure.

        • I already know it’s crocodile tears and I would be DUMB to believe a word out of a proven skilled liar’s mouth. I mean it would be stupid to convince myself that the 4 month love affair ended and cheating wife magically transformed because I caught her. I’m still so angry 5 months from Dday getting all these promises from this sicko.
          Obviously the affair was not a mistake or a result of unmet needs or any other BS these bastards want to convince me is the truth. I know the truth is selfish ho with a personality disorder wanted to have her cake life with me and eat cake off of some goon’s balls.
          Fear is paralyzing me and the objective costs of getting out are sky high. I’m young but hell no I don’t want to give this selfish spendthrift half of my stocks. Hell no I don’t want to move out of my house (cheater refuses to leave). Hell no I don’t want to pay child support to a selfish social worker with a penchant for luxury purses. And absolutely do not want to go through the family court ringer with false accusations and exaggerations from a proven unrepentant liar who can justify anything if it makes her “happy” for 5 minutes. Damn it!

          • That totallh sucks, Mac. It’s an unfair world in which ruthless, sociopathic scum get what they want with deceit and manipulation and good people get shit on. But that doesn’t stop us from being good people. Even this agony is better than being a bobble-headed cartoon villain with no soul like they are. Imagine the emptiness.

            • I think it may stop me from being a good person. It’s all I can do to not turn in my kindness card.

              They seem to do fine in this f’d up world. If I could take a pill to stop feeling and stop having morals, I just might do it. Cause your right, the liars get what they want. The consequences only end up with the decent people.

              No justice. He’s off having steak, screwing the younger whore every night and I’m here with my ramen trying to keep my 8 year olds world from completely being destroyed.

          • I’m so sorry. Cheating is terrible, but there are 2 occasions where the cheating is absolutely the worst of unfairness:

            1. The Chump is the primary moneymaker.
            2. The Chump is the Stay at Home parent.

            You are in the first category. I assume you have the best dang family practice lawyer you can afford. It’s toxic for you to stay in the marriage, and it’s terrible for your children. You are also going to take a hit.

            However, check to see if you can negotiate which assets she gets. You have retirement + investment + (presumably) mortgage equity. Is that house bigger than what she can afford? Maybe it makes better sense to give her the house and then keep more of the retirement + investment. That way, you keep more of your appreciable assets.

            You always have to pay child support, and that’s usually via a court formula.

            Men usually make up their post-divorce losses soon after divorce. Women often make the mistake of holding onto the marital home that they can’t afford to maintain, so while they have assets on paper, they lack liquid assets.

            But yeah, it totally sucks when the Chump is the higher earning spouse. So unfair!

  • Patti, why are you surprised? The individuals you mention advising not using the word cheater are no different than any other RIC con artists. They are selling you a fantasy. They may or may not believe it might be real, but they don’t *know* it is. Speaking of that which you are not sure of as if it were fact is officially known as bullshitting. Trying to convince vulnerable others that your bullshit is factual is conning and duping. The RIC dupers are like Kelly Anne Conway on steroids. I despise euphemisms and mincing words, so I’m going to call those assholes what they are. By all means call your cheater by another name; an abuser, because that’s what he is. The RIC would scream at you for scarring the poor widdle thing for life and “driving him to stray again”, because they are selling the outrageous notion that this variety of spousal abuser is really just a fragile, misunderstood soul whom you can to help to change by adopting a new identity as Dora the Doormat. They tell you the person who heartlessly discarded you, stole your freedom of choice and ruined your life is a tragically FOO-scarred, fog-bound hurt person who hurts people. Nope, he’s the abusive, narcissistic, life-sucking parasite who hurts *you*. Ever notice that cheaters don’t go around destroying the lives and well-being of *other* people? They very calculatingly target just their partners for their brand of torture. So the RIC bitches can go fuck themselves with their “hurt people hurt people” flim-flam drivel.

    Rant concluded.
    Oh, and like everybody else said, lawyer up!

  • I can’t just use the word “cheater” because the extent my ex went to deceive me and multiple other women at the same time is just so beyond believable that he can only be described as a “Sociopath.” Leading a duplicitous life before and after me is not normal. He is not normal. The mindfuck and purposeful gaslighting, lack of remorse/accountability, entitlement and then discard is cruel and mental abuse. My ex is an abuser of women and continues to abuse multiple women at the same time and deceive them all. Some days, I just want to tell them all to wake up and look at the proof I have to show you and look what he is doing to you along with other, but I refrain. I often wonder if I am doing the right thing by these women by not disclosing what I know. I tried my best to share with others who know him what he has done, but I don’t think anyone really cares. He is rich and powerful, so he has a lot of sycophants and wannabes who hang on for benefits. He hoovers me, too, as though nothing wrong ever happened between. Text book traits of a sociopath. I am no contact and some days are easier than others, but it is hard. I lean on this website for support when I am down. Thank God for Tracy and CN.

  • I ‘tried’ to reconcile long enough to ensure that he broke up with the ho. I did not want her to be stepmother to my children. I very much didn’t want my kids to have to do the broken home scene….. but the home was already broken, by him. It wasn’t a happy place. I could not be genuine and loving with someone who betrayed me. Separation is no picnic, but it leads to an authentic life.

  • I wish I could think of a word or term that adequately conveyed the betrayal without sounding subjective or bitter. In my case, he is a man who f*cked multiple married women and lied about it. She is a woman who f*cked multiple married men and lied about it. (Yes I did some detective work and confirmed this.) Those are facts, not subjective, and I like what the words convey, but too many words! And I would like to have a very short term to use without profanity so I can use it routinely everywhere. I think “cheater” sounds subjective and is too courteous, too casual, too much of a euphemism for these people. “Adulteror” sounds a little more precise but still inadequate in my view.

    • Intothelight, perhaps add a few more descriptors; unrepentant, serial adulterer seems accurate. I admire your attempt to describe a cheater with no profanity. The most vulgar of terms flow from my mouth when I talk about my callous, uncaring, disgusting adulterous nearly ex husband.

  • I picked me dance for a year. He boomeranged in and out of the house (later I learned that he went to her, basically treating her place like a hotel). He continued contact with her during 14 session of marriage counselling, later a couple’s therapy weekend, and later during a second marriage counsellor. I didn’t know she was still in the picture. Then, just before Christmas of 2017, he announces he’s getting a place and leaving for good by New Year’s Eve. Three weeks notice during the holiday season.

    That was the only time I called him a name ever. Almost fifteen years together, and I never called him a name. I told him he was an asshole, and then I called the OW a bitch. That was the only name I ever called her in over a year of dealing with shenanigans (I have since found out that she was in the picture about 19-20 months of my marriage).

    When I discovered the secret email account, I was shocked to read the email in which my then husband was reporting to her that I called them both names and he was so offended. Really? How dare a wife call her cheating husband an asshole and his affair partner a bitch.

    Well, I call them a lot more than that now.

  • Patti:

    Why are you messing with semantics?

    Call it doodle bug, call it Lima beans-

    But you are organizing your life around pathology.

    You are doomed if you don’t flee from this person.

    • Gloria Gloria, for the win. A fucking Cheater is a fucking cheater by any other name. Leave, kick him out, Lawyer up and don’t look back.

  • My initial discovery of my cheater’s antics came when visiting an old friend of ours for the first time in years–at the end of a road trip together. We learned when we arrived at her house that she had recently divorced her husband of 20 years -we were roommates when I started dating my ex and we had attended her wedding together. It was a bit of a shock. She was in a state of angry ranting with a bit of snarky humor thrown in. I love her. My ex and I got back to our hotel and he suddenly commented on how “off-putting” she was. I commented that she was a bit on the angry side but she still had her witty and acerbic humor about her. Then he said, “why is it called cheating anyway?” And so began the slow unveiling of my own marital disaster. I discovered his infidelity the next day. Cheaters don’t like anyone to use the word…makes them feel bad. I cried on my friends’ shoulders for months, most of whom were incensed at him for me. One friend was “supportive” but insisted on clarifying regularly that his “sexual proclivities” were not offensive–it was only the lying. So there are those who object to the term because they, themselves, are cheaters. And those who simply need to tout their modern approach to love and marriage, and refuse to judge all things sexual-even infidelity. It’s a promise-marriage-one that has long-lasting impacts on peoples’ personal choices, choices that define the course of their lives. Cheating is a nice way of putting it. “Oh, you’re cheating,” you might say jokingly to a friend while playing a game. Cheating can be serious (like having someone take your SAT for your kid) or minor (like looking up words while you’re playing scrabble). But breaking the contract of marriage after someone has altered their life plans for you, exposing them to possible STDs, taking advantage of their support while denying your own–that’s worse than cheating. That’s sabotage, reckless endangerment and psychological abuse. So maybe cheating isn’t the right word. Maybe we need to create a new one that encompasses the egregiousness of the act of betraying a partner.

    • Absolutely correct. Mention adultery and if the response isn’t shock and disgust you are almost certainly talking to another lowlife cheater. I’m going to chew out the next person who tells me these things happen in a marriage or maybe you didn’t focus enough effort and attention on your stbxw. Oh I guess devoting my life to this wench without getting shit in return is things happening or not enough.
      Adulterers are sick and their apologists are either cheaters themselves or angling to get something out of it, full stop.

  • My late mother could have trapped my father Harlow Stonewaller into their abusive marriage with her surprise baby but she just couldn’t. Already had two teenagers and my older brother was a handful, having been weaponized by my father. She got pregnant during a false reconciliation due to a condom fail. What are the chances ? In her late forties and married to an abandoning abuser. My father’s side piece Gladys McDogface was using him to get another man to propose. It worked, G. dumped H. and he moved back into my childhood home. And the marriage failed anyway.

    Explore your options with the help of an attorney. One woman I know stayed with her cheater, helped raise his love child in addition to their daughter. Guess who cheated on her again as she neared retirement ? She had to pay HIM a big settlement because she earned more. She’s too kind and is a chump with her adult daughter (a user type) and faith community (Buddhist).

  • Dear Patti,

    If you are the one who is pregnant — lawyer up, run, protect yourself!

    I’m speaking from personal experience. I was pregnant with our second child and also had a one year old, when my now XH was having an affair with a ho-worker. He was also f-ing around with 100% naked strippers. This was way back in 2000. Long story short. I stayed even though everything inside of me was screaming to run. And for 14 years I had to put up with all his “friends”. And lies. And gaslighting. And feeling crazy at times. And finding flirtatious emails and Facebook messages to multiple women “friends”. And finally, 14 years later I caught him out on a date with a newly divorced whore. Lord only knows how many times he cheated on me in the 23 years we were together. Don’t be me! Get out and protect yourself. These creeps never change. No matter how great of a wife you are — he will cheat again.

  • I am Patti. Hello all and thanks for the advice.

    I am pregnant and got pregnant 3 months after DD. We have weekly coffees to discuss our feelings as I dont want my kids to overhear anything. Well I had needs and got what I needed then left his place to go back to mine. Turns out being perimenopausal, on the mini pill to try and have a cycle and condom use did not stop this baby. I tried to have an abortion but I couldn’t go through with it. I actually tried 3 times.

    The bunny boiler is out of the picture. I 100% know this as I have an old friend who works with her and this is unknown to the whore and cockwomble. So I know all she says about my cockwomble. The affair was 3 weeks, it happened while he was away from work. He was staying with an old army budy who hooked him up with her. This person hates me as I helped his wife escape him, he beat her so often I was flying back once a fortnight to help her. Still does not excuse his choice to enter another vagina. He owns that.
    So far he is a unicorn so that’s why I am sitting back and observing.

    I am in therapy but that’s a constant as I have PTSD. I am fortunate in one way that I already had coping mechanisms to help me navigate the first few weeks of devastation.

    I have seen a lawyer and all finances are separated. I also have child maintenance already. We are living on the same property but separate houses. This is not abnormal for the kids as during harvest (farm manager) hed sleep there due to his hours causing sleeping problems with the younger children. We have made a post nup of sorts, living in Australia things are different in regards to alimony etc.
    I get the beach holiday house and he has majority custody as he wont get to live with zero responsibility.

    I hope this is making sense. Doing this on my phone inbetweeners puking ( good old hyperemesis).

    I am coming first in all me decisions, I will not stay for the kids. I need to be happy to keep being an awesome parent.

    My cockwomble ( that’s also his name on my phone) is in therapy too. We are not in MC.

    As for the bunny boiler I have a restraining order on her. She broke into the house stole sheets, kitchen appliances and kidnapped the dogs. She also stole cockwomble original wedding band and some of his undies. The hilarious part is that she proclaims to be a stand up Christian. She found out where she lived from the old friend. She cheated on her hubby then he cheated on her and chose the OW. So now she only goes after married men I assume in the hopes they pick her. My cockwomble was married man number 4. She is 15 years older than me, drinks bottles of wine a night. She is such a catch.

    One of the reasons I think about staying as for 19 years we had a great marrige. Then last year our youngest got sick and I was spending lots of time at the hospital that was hours away from our home. Cockwomble started to withdraw into himself and that was the slide into him having an affair. So far it’s only one.

    I dont think I am doing the pick me dance. He sure is. I get massages, he will make my bed and I must admit I like that he is grovling hard to prove/ show who he is. It’s been 9 almost 10 months of this. Part of me is curious how long he can keep it up. Maybe I am cake eating this time.

    All our friends and family know he cheated. My mum and dad have been giving great advice. They never married and one was married to a serial cheater the other grew up in a house with a parent that was a serial cheater. They often talk to cockwomble to see how he is etc. My dad still has he monthly motorbike rides with him and they talk. Cockwomble family have cut him off. All his siblings have cheated but for some reason he is being treated differently.

    I dont feel shame, I am angry, I am crushed, when I look at him I still feel love.

    Full disclosure took a week but that was my doing as I needed it in bits so I could process ( was worried about my PTSD). Its all written down and I’ll ask the same questions randomly to see if his answers change.

    I think that’s all the questions answered.

    Cockwomble also knows that this baby wont make me stay with him. I survived working, studying and being a mum while he was on deployment so I know I can live without him. He is not needed in my life, he is a want.

    Thanks again. I like this blog as it gives me actual red flags to look for. I just hope I see them.

    • Best of luck to you Patti ((((hugs)))) Gotta love those Commandment breaking Christians !

      • It amazes me how crazy the Christian’s get.
        The whore sent me a fb message saying I stole her man. That I had no right to interfere with their relationship. I wanted to reply but I just blocked her. Blocked her from my kids social media as precaution.

        She also forgave cockwomble for still loving his wife.

        I think she is not far from dangerous crazy.

        • She is dangerous crazy. Her actions of entering your home and stealing prove that. Patti, you deserve better than to love a cheater and so do your children. You will never be able to trust him, ever.

          Living in a marriage where he broke the trust is a hell unlike any other. Your love for him is a trauma bond.

        • SHE is not a Christian!
          Just because she says she is a Christian does not make her one!! Her actions show who & what she is.
          Many self righteous people claim to be Christians and are simply judgmental & critical people. Other say they are for the sole purpose of abusing/using others.
          Christian love and strive to honor God, they love and respect others!
          I am so sorry and that so many people have been hurt by people professing to be Christians.

    • Dear Patti,

      I can’t speak to being pregnant and terminating a relationship. I can tell you, however, a lifetime of massages and bedmaking will never be enough. People also don’t change.

      Do what is best for Patti.

      Dr. ICBIAC

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