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UBT: Investigative Questions for Couples Experiencing Infidelity

Every crime needs an investigation. Not to worry, Inspector Esther Perel is on the case!

And now you can be an amateur sleuth too thanks to this free download on Amazon: Investigative Questions for Couples Experiencing Infidelity.

Whodunnit? Well, that’s obvious. It’s that cheater sitting next to you. (Gasp!)

But is it really? Maybe… maybe… IT’s YOU!

Not meeting their needs were you? Bludgeoning their exuberant aliveness with a candlestick in the library… A-HA!

It’s time to get to the bottom of this mystery. The Universal Bullshit Translator will be randomly answering some of the queries in this four-page exploration of why it’s all your fault.

Without further ado…

MEANING AND MOTIVES

What did the affair mean to you?

Well, Esther, it was an exuberant act of defiance. Once I had cast off the shackles of mating in captivity (good rat! push the lever for a treat!) and was free to shag randos, it meant freedom, Esther. Sweet god damn freedom.

Some might judge me as a cheater, but you know and I know, that I am a freedom fighter.

Were you looking for it? Did it just happen?

Well, after I texted pictures of my junk to several interns, posted 37 profiles on hornypatheticdudes.com, 8 on match, 4 on ChristianMingle, 7 on eHarmony, was catfished by a Nigerian, teased by fembots (yes, I AM a sexy boy, thank you for noticing!), messaged all my old girlfriends on Facebook and their acquaintances, FINALLY got a live one, bought a burner phone, spent 2000 hours sexting, setting up the Quality Inn reservations and mediocre steak dinners….

Yes, it just happened.

Why do you think you could not express your needs to me, emotional, intellectual or sexual?

Cause I got a live one in a Quality Inn across town.

Did you discover new parts of yourself or recover lost ones in that relationship?

Rumors of my third penis are grossly exaggerated. But if you must know, Esther, I have two penises. And a giant vagina at the back of my head. And another under my armpit. My asshole has an asshole.

I am a delightful garden of orifices.

Do you think you could show me those newly discovered parts?

Naughty, naughty, Esther!

DYNAMICS OF SECRECY AND REVELATION

What do you want me to know about your affair?

It’s your fault. I wasn’t there. I don’t remember.

Did you lie out of deception or were you hoping to protect me with your lies?

Oh, I lied to protect you. I just noticed some lint on your sweater. Let me hit you with this lead pipe and get it off.

REFLECTIONS ON THE PRIMARY RELATIONSHIP

Was your affair a rejection of our relationship? Did you see it as a sign of something missing between us?

Thank you for the prompt. Yes, I wasn’t rejecting you, I was merely pointing out (with my many orifices) all the ways in which you were deficient. I’m not a cheater, I am someone who misses things. Things you could give me if you weren’t so busy with distractions like work and babies and lawn mowing.

Dance a little prettier and I might let you keep the “primary” spot. Perhaps.

Were you trying to get my attention?

Yes, that’s why I bought a secret cell phone and created fake profiles like SpankyBoy56 — to get your attention. You broke the enigma code.

That was my plan all along.

INTEGRATION THE AFFAIR INTO THE PRIMARY RELATIONSHIP: RECIPROCAL QUESTIONS FOR PARTNER TO ASK ONE ANOTHER

Can you forgive me? Or, how much forgiving do you need for us to move on?

A 401K’s worth? How about we scrap the forgiveness but you continue to fold my underwear? I’m magnanimous like that.

Do you think you’ve changed your values in relation to monogamy?

I think so. Fucking escorts was your first clue.

FOCUS ON THE HURT PARTNER

Can you understand my anger and hurt?

Don’t you have some underwear to fold?

Are you open to further conversation if I have questions that will help me better understand your actions?

I’m glad you’ve approached me with the proper deference after I fucked around on you, stole your money, and risked your health.

Sure, let’s have a conversation about me! Of course, I will lie to you — but not with deception! but to protect you.

Do you want me to stay?

Well, that laundry’s not going to fold itself.

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.
  • The UBT is on fire this morning. Esther Perel and her ilk do that for it? Naughty!

    Seriously though, that woman is so arrogant that it surprises me her head can get through doorways.

        • Nah, she spreads this drivel to justify her cheating. She is a cheater. She isn’t capable of seeing the evil of her actions; what with being a fucking psychopath and all.

          She looks into the mirror and admires herself for fun.

          It just slays me that she will profit from her evil.

    • I read her book thinking it would help, was not impressed. She would rather blame the chump instead of the cheater. Because you think something is missing in your marriage you can cheat and blame your spouse?

  • The article and Perel make me angry and sick.

    Any chumps out there in PR? How do chumps/CL get equal exposure?

    Astonishing to me that Perel and her disgusting theories gets this kind of exposure.

    • 4 years later…..I can’t believe that I actually sat through marriage counseling discussing these type of questions with Debbie Douchebag. A complete waste of my time, money and sanity. What a disgrace. Leaving and gaining a life was the greatest thing ever.

      • I didn’t do counselling but totally had my head in the blender with stbx’s estherperelian deflections. I am seriously thinking he was her avid reader because I heard so much of this crap from him when I was trying to make sense of all the discoveries and still reconcile. Smh!

      • The Dickhead and I didn’t do counseling. Reading those questions make me laugh. Did you find your inner parts? He wouldn’t know where to look for them if they were staring him in the face. It would have been one big blameshifting and gaslighting show brought down on my shoulders.

      • Ditto. I sat through only 2 sessions. By the end of the second session, he complained that I deserved to be treated like shit because I cleaned better than him and it made him feel insecure, I didnt make his favorite foods often enough (only 2-3 times a month), I dared get very sick because of my autoimmune disease (gasp) and asked for him to start helping once in a while around the house and with the kids because I wasn’t feeling well instead of getting in the kitchen and start cooking more of his favorite meals. And the therapist bought into his shit while it was ok to abuse me. She actually expected me to tap dance for him. Yet, my legitimate issues of not wanting to be ignored, abused, etc. went completely ignored. Then I found out about the affair. I was DONE.

    • My ex keeps sending me links to her YouTube videos. She makes me angry, just supports their selfish behaviour. I’m am happy I’m not alone in my dislike of her and her theories.

    • Start talking about cases like poor Jennifer Farber (Dulos) who was murdered by her cheating husband and his girlfriend! If that doesn’t change a person’s mind about cheaters, nothing will. Not all cheaters physically murder their wives. All cheaters think only of their selfish wants. They do not give a flying fuck whether they murder the emotional well-being of their partners!

      It is past time we change the narrative about what cheaters actually do, and it usually goes far beyond physical infidelity. Cheaters destroy lives. We need our own MeToo movement! Feeling radical today!

    • Oh how I wish I could retaliate with Tracy’s answer when stbx said it just happened. Exactly after I discovered his our entire marriage long main affair, tinder hookups and what he called benevolent sex with women much older than him. It just happened, he said, because our marriage was dead long time ago.

      Angry at myself mostly because, knowing what I knew then, I was still searching for “what I did to contribute to the demise of our marriage” that I had no idea about. What was so broken in me to allow this kind of abuse? Still working on that.

      But this was hillarious! Kept bursting with laughter on my bus ride to work!

      • LTC, people are looking at me too on my bus ride. It’s on UBT days like this that I’m almost grateful for being a chump.

        Tracy is the best shrink there ever was!

      • LTC,

        Another ‘me too’. As an innocent chump I did what you did but that all changed when, after a good year RIC’ing, I found LACFAL and CL.

        Another big change happened when a friend loaned me the Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous book and, after reading the author’s story, I knew the x could have written it himself. It explained so many things about him and his behavior over the years. A real eye opener and contributed heavily to my dropping any remaining feelings that I was to blame in ANY way.

        It also helped me realize that I AM NOT BROKEN – he is!!!! CL and CN continue to help me with that one. We are GOOD people. Vulnerable and ‘they’ seek us out and weaponize our goodness – as CL would say. These evil people are master manipulators and mine was a pro. What made things even harder to see was that he is a TFC.

        Tracy, LOVE the topic and the UBT. I watched a bit of EP when I was RIC’ing and, I am embarrassed to say, I took notes in case the x wanted to work things out….I was going to be THE PERFECT WIFE if given another chance. Thank the Gods he did not want to give me another chance – the house, yes, but not another chance. 🙂

        What felt like a failure 2 years ago looks totally differently now and the freedom I am beginning to sense/feel is exhilarating.

    • ME TOOOOO! Cheater Ex was always claiming that he didn’t PLAN this, but it just happened. All of it. The stealing. The lying. The cheating. The porn addiction. The debt in my name that I didn’t know about. The molestation of an underage girl. He was just some unfortunate soul blundering through life and occasionally slipping up, to hear him tell the tale.

      Funny how those situations never “just happen” to me!

  • There’s a reason KK used posts and YouTube clips of Ester Perel to try to create buzz for her (abandoned, for now) “exploring our sexual evolutions” podcast.

    It’s because of bullshit like this — especially “Did you discover new parts of yourself or recover lost ones in that relationship?” — that paints cheaters as fascinating examples of transformation that we “vanillas” just cannot understand, and don’t have the bravery to emulate.

    • “ that we vanillas “ – meaning people open to exploring (sexually, emotionally )life with a partner in any way we want, all based on respect and good values and standards…. so boring…. so transparent… so honest

      The other side ( caramel with a hint of 🥜-iness, bunch of lies, deception and mindfuck chocolate chips is much more interesting) is the way to go…

      Nothing beats the skanky motel8 or luxurious hotel on a business trip and an escort convincing them that they are not John# 12 that day, but an exception to the rule…
      🤯

      Esther can fuck herself and her whacky theories.
      It brings her good $ and is so “ exciting and new”

      Newsflash – being an ass is not a new thing.

      • “The escort convincing them that they are not John #12 that day, but an exception to the rule…..LOL. So this. I’m sure my ex had it in his mind that they thought he was the best lover they ever had. He was always so focused on his performance and the inadequacies he felt on the size of his junk.

    • Yoga, meditation, music lessons, adult Ed, genealogy… All ways to discover new or lost parts of yourself that don’t involve lying, cheating and fucking strange.

    • You are also a brilliant writer UXWorld. “that paints cheaters as fascinating examples of transformation that we “vanillas” just cannot understand, and don’t have the bravery to emulate.” That is what I have been trying to explain to people about society’s current treatment of infidelity–we chumps become the problem because of our lack of imagination.

  • Brilliant! But my heart aches for every new chump who will read Perel’s BS and then spiral into a no-win, goal-post constantly moving, soul-crushing pick-me-dance. The idea that the betrayed spouse should try to “own their part” of their spouse’s abuse, deception, and infidelity should be criminal.

    • Hands up from me the MehBesoon .

      I think that’s the first thing i read on Google the 7 reasons your spouse left for affair partner . I threw up
      It basically blamed me in all 7 reasons . I took that Soooo much to heart in the first few weeks and i never even got a chance to do the pick me dance .

      This is why i will be eternally grateful for CL & CN

    • Mine too. I’ve been witness to a relationship of a family member where his girlfriend was too friendly with an old beau. So, he’s playing chump and she’s holding all the cards. I told him mom that he needs CL. Makes me sick.

    • I didnt need Perel, I spent 30 years doing that dance encouraged on by clergy, idiot “friends,” and my own co-dependent stupidity left over from an abusive childhood. I finally woke up at age 50.

      Since people arent frequenting ministers for advice so much anymore, i guess that leaves a vacuum for Perel to fill.

      I love the UBT. Rock on.

    • Mehbesoon, I am with you. How am I responsible for his choice to deceive me? That fuck tricked me. That is the part my Switzerland friends don’t understand. Somehow in their view I am equally culpable for his choice to cheat.

      I am getting ready to lose my final friends from my marriage. I’ll be down to one friend. I’m so glad I have Chump Nation. This shit hurts.

  • Flabbergasting. I had to remind myself that this is intended seriously and not as satire. The saddest part is I could see myself hungrily downloading and poring over it when I was deep in my denial and desperation.

    • David

      Unfortunately, almost all of us were buying into the crap of “ pick me dancing”

      No one talks about abuse, narcs and the ways to protect ourselves from such people.

      Then it happens.

      Our world crushes and we desperately try to keep our head above the water.

      Then we find all the “ sex addiction books, help”

      Then we try and waste our time and mind

      Then we find chumplady

      Then – we start regaining our sanity.

      Fucked up road if you ask me

  • Flabbergasting. I had to remind myself that this is intended seriously and not as satire. The saddest part is I could see myself hungrily downloading and poring over it seven years ago when I was deep in my denial and desperation.

    • Sorry for the duplicate post. But while I’m here: even if I had discovered CL when my life was shattering as XW continued her affair in my face and heaped clear emotional abuse on me and our children, it would not have mattered. I was desperate and delusional, stoned on hopium and dancing furiously. I needed to get to a point where the pain of staying outweighed the terror of leaving. I needed to do everything—illogical, unreasonable, futile as it was. My world had imploded and I had to save it, dignity be damned. So I tried. Nobody could talk sense to me.

      So I have deep sympathy for those who devour Perel’s hazarai. Everyone has a different tolerance for pain until they find the strength to walk out of the flames.

      • So true for so very many chumps! A precious few say – no you’re done I am filing. Most, me included have to KNOW we did everything we could to “save” our marriage without really even questioning WHY it should be “saved” – interesting statement regarding societal views on being abused by the ones we loved

        • Yes, being blindsided is so very hard to process. Part of us is still living before D-day and thinks we can somehow get back to that state again. It takes time to realize that no, there is no return possible. Plus cheaters are generally good actors, they act contrite and it’s quite convincing. For awhile.

      • Yes, I hear you. I couldn’t flush 25 years of marriage and the “intact family” for my 2 children without doing everything I could do to save the marriage. I regret the lost time as I hadn’t yet found CN. Eventually his treatment of me was so bad that there was no other option. The only positive about this is I know that I did everything I could so I have no regrets about divorcing – my only regrets are that I didn’t do it sooner. A marriage is not a marriage when it is one person doing all the work and compromising. I think a class on infidelity should be part of pre-marriage counselling so you have a step by step of what to watch for and how to protect your finances etc.

        • Good idea! Yes!
          Include it in Pre-Cana classes also.

          In the past we had to get a syphilis work up prior to the marriage. It’s no longer required.
          Pre-marriage counseling on protecting yourself emotionally & financially should be available in schools & in seminars. Chumps need the 2×4 prior to entering the marriage so they aren’t blindsided later. Why do we trust just because we’re partners in a marriage?
          We trust because we’d never do those kinds of things. But if we are shown that people are capable & here’s how you protect yourself, it may help some from pick-me dancing like I did for years.
          Love blinded me. I now can see a whole lot better. It wasn’t me who had the default. It was him.

        • Dee, I keep a copy of “Lose a cheater, Gain a Life” in my car. I’ve given away three copies now. I’m on a mission to Meh and I want to bring fellow chumps with me.

          I learned my lessons the hard way and want to save others the pain I’ve experienced.

          • That’s awesome thirtythreeyearsachump. I was so naive and I realize most people are. No one wants to think that someone could do this with no provocation. I thought we were living a pretty good life and then he became an asshole and I finally realized he was cheating and had been doing really shitty stuff for years. Sigh.

            • Oh Dee, don’t feel bad about your innocent heart. He tricked you. You aren’t to be blamed for that. I was so blind to his selfishness, the cheating, gaslighting, stonewalling. I really thought if I was just a better wife, a more interesting person he’d love me.

              I thought we had a good life together. Once my military cheater retired and actually lived at home it became apparent we didn’t. He was an asshole cheater all along. He just cared enough to hide it. He didn’t care about me and the boys. He cared about his career.

              Handing out Tracy’s book makes me so happy. I’d wear the T-Shirt if one was available. Chump Lady and Chump Nation saved my life. I want every betrayed spouse to know about this book and this site.

      • I was the same way David. Looked at myself to “own my part” and then as the DDays accumulated I just couldn’t anymore. He just got sneakier and I was policing all the time. That being said, you are here now and that’s all that matters. I wish you healing and hope you find peace very soon!!

        • I think we need to own our part ….the only fault we all have in common is that we should have kicked them to the kerb way earlier than we did ….not our fault we were deceived…thats all on the cheating assholes

      • I discovered Chump Lady long before I was ready for it. I didn’t linger then but filed it away in the back of my mind so that when I finally accepted that my marriage was over I knew where to go.

  • “Integration of the affair into the primary relationship?” Uh, hell no. Some things can’t be integrated into other things. You know, the way cat turds can’t be integrated into a Cobb salad. Once you add the cat turds it stops being a Cobb salad and starts being a litter box. Just a litter box holding wasted bits of bacon.

    Go eat a cat turd, Esther.

    • I think that’s the most disgusting line of all and it is basically the bottom line of all Perel’s garbage. Accept the cheater does whatever they want and do nothing. So co-opts language usually reserved for things like poly relationships and applies them to monogamous ones. And then acts like she’s somehow the bringer of enlightenment to the world of marriage.

      “Integration of the affair into the primary relationship.”

      No. This isn’t polyamory. The marriage isn’t a “primary” relationship, implying there are secondary and tertiary ones. No, the marriage is the marriage. Anything else is cheating. And Perel damn well knows it, otherwise it wouldn’t take so much goddamn word salad to try to justify it.

      I am not poly myself, but I have friends who are. And they do agree, if you lie to your partner, if you lie to ANY of your partners, if you go behind their backs, if you do something you know you shouldn’t be doing, if you do something you know will betray their trust, violate their boundaries, hurt them, and then take no responsibility…that’s cheating.

      Garbage like Perel’s that spits on both monogamous and polyamorous people alike. It’s obvious why it’s crap to monogamous couples, but, as CL has pointed out: poly couples can get cheated on too. All it takes is boundaries to violate. Using language reserved for poly relationships (“primary” relationship, integration of another person into the relationship) for CHEATING is problematic because it leads to cheaters trying to use polyamory as an excuse for their lies. How many people here have had spouses cheat, get caught, then try to use the “I want an open marriage” excuse as an out?

      Cheating is cheating. It is not integration of a new person into the relationship, it is not a secondary relationship alongside a “primary” marriage, it is not polyamory, it is not an act of freedom. It’s cheating.

    • I recently read the following on the FB page of a man’s baby mama. I met him in the cafe of my local grocery store and am glad I heeded all the red flags. Very poor boundaries and his criticism of his son during our first meeting. He was looking for someone spontaneous which translated to his not understanding (protesting about) my unavailability when he called at the last minute to get together. I just passed him on the sidewalk this weekend with yet another woman. He owns property in my city but lives and works in the state capital eighty miles away.

      “Just spent another wonderful hour and a half coaching two twenty-six year olds through their relationship transition ! Seeing their honesty and vulnerability feels like walking into a new world of honesty for themselves and each other as we navigate their desires, relationship needs, familial historical patterns and cultural norms. So messy and so beautiful. Currently going from trying traditional monogamy to a more open relationship.” I’m guessing this mother who is supposedly trained in somatica as well as orgasmic meditation is a card carrying member of the EP Club… Raise your hand if you would have wanted your opposite sex parent coaching you and your partner on your sex life. Ever.

  • I’ve downloaded free books from Amazon. This format for free stuff is like a carpet bomb. A direct PDF without even logging into an Amazon account and zero clicks.

    Could this format be an attempt to make the mindfuck even easier for Ester? There isn’t a place to even offer a a zero star review or a word of warning to a desperate new Chump looking for information.

  • This bs angers me so much.
    I also felt unable to express my emotional, intellectual and sexual needs to my ex. Yet somehow cheating never crossed my mind.

    Peril misses the ONE thing that is the key ingredient of a cheater—they have shitty character.

    • “Peril misses the ONE thing that is the key ingredient of a cheater—they have shitty character.”

      It is the one thing from which everything else derives – or devolves.

  • Fascinating.

    The Chump is required to suss out the meaning of the cheater’s affairs, untangle the skein of their fuckupedness, and patiently accept the bashing of being told they are the problem. The Chump is to abide by all that the cheater demands and consume a pile of shit sandwiches upon asking. The Chump is to display deep, abiding empathy and understanding and commit to transform themselves on demand to satisfy the cheater. These and so much more, we are asked to perform feats of human indignity and clairvoyance on a daily basis. We are to accept blame.

    And all the cheater is expected to do is demand things. They are certainly not required to be truthful or have stated any of their “needs” ahead of time before fucking around. So special. So entitled.

    For those Chumps like me who forgave a cheater or begged for your marriage or pick-me danced like a mofo, why the hell did we put up with this? If you are in the throes of dancing or your cheater fuckwit is tuning up the band- get the hell out. Stop this abuse.

    • I agree – the pain of cheating is only magnified by trying to untangle the cheater’s skein of fuckedupness! I believe the majority of damage I experienced was trying to reconcile and “pick me” dance – as my “pity’ channel cheater led me to believe we were reconciling while the affair was ongoing.
      X and Ow will get married next week – she’s 31 and he’s 60- and just when you thought you were moving past the separation/divorce – something happens to reopen the wound.
      Believe Tracy when she says – leave a cheater -get a life – because your cheater’s already gotten one without you knowing!

      • They all do TiredChump

        I have found this absolutely fascinating be it reading the archives, on line forums or books how things always seem to pan out for the Cheater .

        They just move on , move in with AP or someone else and either always seem to get married or at least have long term relationships .

        And yet Chumps years and years later have sometimes never even dated again let alone married again .

        Now here is your cheater 60 marrying a woman 29 years younger i mean what does a young girl like that see in a 60 Y.O man ?
        My Cheater is 45 and moved instantly in with his 29 Y.O O/W i just don’t get it . I know this is my morals my projection but i just don’t get it . But yet cheaters and their partners have no issues with it .

        I have too much time to think lately !!

        • Well, “panning out” is defined as my X Asshat screwing a twat half his age for a while. From the outside it looks like he is having a great time while I am alone.

          But he will not be a part of his adult daughters lives. He will not know his grandchildren. He will forever be at risk of the sparkletwat dumping him as she rounds the bend of 30YO while he stares down the barrel of 60 and he begins to rust with age before her very eyes. He will live with anxiety that he can be dumped at any moment for some young, robust dude with a young man’s libido and stiffer willy. That would be the ultimate horror for such a competitive prick, to be replaced by a young dude who delivers better sex. Because that is what it is all about, isn’t it. No, they don’t have anything else in common.

          No, that is not to be envied.

          • I just find it fascinating I.C

            I have no children so my STBX will not care about that ( children/ grand children )
            But how the cheater can just go from 1 long term relationship ( the marriage ) to another very often years long / Marriage without the blink of an eye .

            Now don’t get me wrong i know this shows signs of some sort of personality disorder/ narcissism . I am almost 6 months out from my D Day and i have not met ( not looking ) a man let alone kissed one ! Yet STBXH moved and still lives with AP

            I understand its all sparkles just now but what i find most interesting is can any AP not see if they can cheat with you they will cheat on you or vice versa ?? But it never seems to be this way . I just don’t get the massive age differences either . I keep hearing age is just a number which i totally understand but i can’t think of 1 thing being a 45 year old woman i would have in common with a 29 year old boy .

            As i say i have too much time on my hands just now xx

            • I wish my ex’s Schmoopie was younger than us but she’s his age exactly. She’s one year older than me. I got left for an older woman with five children. Ouch. If she were younger I could make fun of him and have an easier time believing that it wouldn’t last because he would either get annoyed with her and her immaturity or she would go looking for a younger dick to suck. As it is, I think he and Schmoopie will stay together because they are both too old for another go around so they will find a way to make it work. They probably do have similar values as well, even if they are shitty and shallow. My only hope is that they make each other miserable in the end but they are putting on a show of “happiness” that is quite revolting (“I’d like to have his baby” at 50 and he’s had a vasectomy). I mostly try to ignore it, but others keep bringing it to my attention.

              • I got left for an older woman too. But she has a porsche – vroom vroom!! Guess my mini van wasn’t cutting it anymore :).

            • I also think that cheating spouses, although some of them are genuinely starry-eyed about the AP, by the very nature of what they’ve done are inherently self-interested people and if your long-suffering spouse is no longer falling for the sob stories or you are ready to discard them, why would you set up a place of your own where you have to pay for your living expenses support your recent ex and any offspring and continue to spend money on wooing the AP? The APS think they have won the prize because cheater wants To jump to a live-in relationship immediately and probably think it’s all Uber romantic, whole cheater is just cutting costs lol. I remember the first time that Mr Cheateroanrs resolve about leaving me began to waver was when he realised the financial logistics of leaving which meant supporting me and our child and setting up another place for him plus paying to fly himself or avmoopie to rendezvous as she lived out of town. You could see the gears graunching in his head. I can’t afford that he wailed! My own cheating father told us how am I supposed to start a new life when I have to pay for you kids when being chased by our county’s govt for lapsed child support. So you see it’s not as romantic as you think, Schmoopies often just the new soft place to land not a love for the ages. I bet some of them click sooner or later and that’s karma. Dad’s Schmoopie saw moms life as a sahm and probably thought that’s what she’d like but no, they both worked from day dorvand her child was in daycare from the getgo. Probably not the scenario she had set up before she got pregnant accidentally on purpose.

              • My cheater is the type who couldn’t stand to be seen as the bad guy and so the prospect of having to find all of his responsibilities and maintain Schmoopie and her plans for his money so that he didn’t look like an asshole was thrown into sharp relief for him once the ‘but I love her’ bull had lost its gleam in the harsh daylight of reality. Other narcs don’t have those scruples and so you get the abandoned and support defaulters who just choose to allocate their funds to maintaining the sparkle and keep the kibbles coming instead of their responsibilities to the innocents from their previous life that don’t give useful supply anymore.

        • Karen in my mind par of the attraction to older men for these women is a pre-made income that in their minds is that much further along the sliding scale than guys their age, that they have access to anyway. These older guys have an established lifestyle and as they age are prone to feel flattered by the younger woman’s ohs and ahs at what they can provide. What they fail to account for is that very often the older mans lifestyle looks so juicy because they have an extremely competent spouse who either works to provide at least of that income or takes care of everything in the cheaters life to support his highflying career (or often does both) including chiding those snazzy clothes arranging the fabulous vacations and heartwarming family occasions and is the one that provides the good taste in gifts, restaurants and wine choices that the man simply copies and applies in his relationship to her. Once they move in together and without the responsible adult spouse there to do the grunt work if holding the cheaters life together the AP often quickly realises that they are left with the option of taking over those duties, bailing or lazily living with the disorder because they are just as chaotic and the dumpster fire ignites. So although it looks like from the outside they get away scot free I think that karma does visit them in the relationship. My father’s OW hadcmooned iver hom since she was a teenager, got sick of waiting for him to leave so oops got pregnant and mom kicked him out. In the ensuing 30 years he’s lost the majority of their money by trading it on the stock market is increasingly boorish and narcissistic, has lost his looks and she had spent a decade while he retired working to support them both. Mind you she went to such lengths to get him there was no way she was tossing in the towel. Mom remarried and got on with her life and I’d say she got by far the better deal.

          • Good post…..so I think it is a given that affair partners that marry do not end up happy. It’s a mix of narcissism, poor life choices, mistrust & law of the universe pay back.

          • You can only pull certain tricks when they’re young, inexperienced and easily impressionable. Easily impressionable being operational word.

        • What does a young woman see in a sixty year old man ? Money or hoping to resolve daddy issues. Check out this last Sunday New York Times Modern Love column written by a woman about her elderly father and his much younger second wife who is now playing nursemaid.

        • Karen, my retired military STBX’s side chick is seven years older than our oldest son. I know she is deeply in love with his wallet. He is a fat, sick old man. He is twenty-seven years older than his little hood rat. She loves his money.

      • He’s 60 & OW is 31. Even if your ex is in tip top shape & drop dead gorgeous he is about to age fast as men do once they hit 60. Most women are in their prime during their 30’s & 40’s. Unless your ex is a famous multimillionaire & has an iron clad pre-nup that if she leaves, she leaves with nothing this will be a short term marriage. OW will not hang around for very long. Right now she is in this for financial security because that is why younger women hook up with older men. Period. Pretty soon she is going to feel smothered and resentful of his old age. Pretty soon his head will come out of his ass and he’ll realize exactly why she married him….so pathetic. In any case if you wished for payback karma on this pair, your wish is about to be granted.

      • Hugs Tired Chump – I can’t imagine how I will feel if my STBX gets remarried. I just don’t get why a young woman would want to hitch their life to a 60 year old who cheated. It really is not worth wondering though. I am trying not to spend too much time thinking of what happened – because it still really pisses me off and hurts that someone could treat me so horribly. I am trying to do as much healing as possible and create a bucket list and get on with me life. Fuck him and all other cheating apologists!!

      • Tired Chump-I feel for you. Mine left 2 years ago for the woman he was cheating with for 3 years before that. The OW is having his baby in November-a “happy accident” they are calling it. (They both have PhDs and work for the pharmaceutical industry–birth control shouldn’t be complicated for them.) Our kids we had together are 17 and 19 and their dad was absent with his “work travel” (which I now know involved a double life) while they were young. Now they are probably going to get hit up for babysitting whenever he deigns to spend time with them. And yes, that wound was healing and now its raw raw raw. Hugs to you. I feel your pain.

        • OMG – I wish my cheater was having a “happy accident” – I would laugh my ass off (too bad he had a vasectomy). My kids are 17 and 19 as well and would be horrified if that had happened.

          These cheaters are posion – while it hurts like hell to taste it at least we get out before it kills us.

  • The title is revealing. Passive voice always means someone avoiding or shifting blame. “Couples Experiencing” my eye. The couple did not experience anything. The cheater experienced cheating and the chump was lied to, deceived, abused, ridiculed, victimized, etc. A couple might experience the death of a child, a hurricane, or a house fire. A couple doesn’t experience infidelity. One person chooses infidelity over the idea of being a couple.

    • I was scrolling through comments with an eye to saying just this if no one else had, so thank you! That title makes it sound as if infidelity simply dropped from the sky; no one DID anything, it just happened. And if no one did anything, then both parties are equal before this unforeseen event. What a blameshift!

      Fuck that lack of agency (remember Reagan in the 1980s and the mining of the harbors in Nicaragua? “The harbor was mined,” he said. “Mistakes were made.”

      The cheater cheated; the chump “experienced” the pain of betrayal.

  • I love how “Can you forgive me?” is a “RECIPROCAL QUESTIONS FOR PARTNER TO ASK ONE ANOTHER”

    Um, no. That question is NOT reciprocal. It’s one-way.

    I did not ask my cheater to forgive me for my faults, as I did not cheat.

    Do I have faults? Of course. But my faults did not cause her to cheat, and as such there is nothing for her to “forgive” regarding her affair.

    Esther Perel is a dumpster fire of a human being.

    • Esther Perel can fuck off. I wouldn’t piss on her if she was on fire. She literally profits off of people who, like her, have no moral character and feel entitled beyond the scope of normality. I feel sorry for all new chumps who will get that Amazon page when they Google, “how do I save my marriage.”
      I’m sure Jeff Bezo (owner of Amazon for those who don’t know) loves Esther, fits his cheating piece of shit character perfectly. He probably will push this lovely piece of garbage to the top.

  • Can I just say: those questions are so goddamn boring and inane–how the fuck can anyone sit through writing that shit in the first place, let alone that poor UBT unpacking it. I’ve seen better/more productive discussion questions written for middle school English classes. (Not on the same topic, of course.)

    I think it speaks to something Tracy often says, and it appears to be true of the whole host of cheater-enablers: these people are not that deep. If this is what passes for soul searching among this set… Well… I’ve heard more complex queries than these coming from the rocks and trees in the woods near me!

  • I would really like to see Esther’s questions set up as an order oF operations flow chart:

    e.g.
    “Did you feel guilty” Yes – Continue with Therapy; No- Run for your life
    “Did you every worry that your affair would ruin our relationship?” Yes – leave because cheater knowingly jeopardized relationship and DID NOT CARE; No – leave because this cheater is either a) lying or b) dumb as rocks,!
    ETC ETC

  • Frankly, these questions are sickening……and mainly serve to give the cheater a bunch of BS excuses for their behavior and trap the chump into the never-ending rumination of “what did I do.”

    When I asked how my husband could leave after 30-plus years – for his 27-year younger secretary after two years of gas-lighting and making me feel crazy – My EXCELLENT THERAPIST told me ” We really don’t know a lot because cheaters rarely come to therapy!”

    Truth …..

    • Yep mine wouldn’t go to therapy “there is nothing wrong with me”. Actually it was me who should have been saying there is nothing wrong with me but you are a piece of shit with a lot of darkness in you.

  • So much bullshit. How many cheaters cried to their spouse and children for reconciliation, begged to move back to the family home, went to therapy together……. and was still actively working on hookups!!! Sending the same pictures and texts to both the family and affair partner. Seeing which one would bite?!! So funny when the affair partner and spouse figure out that timid Forrest creature isn’t sad and lonely in apartment….. but trying to get privates wet any way possible. Then AP and spouse reject cheater, and voila….a new side piece steps into the limelight. It’s like the Greek plate game. These cheaters got multiple plates spinning and are telling so many lies to all, that if a few plates fall it’s devastating to the cheater as a blow in ego ….for a few months …but they go on to ‘new and better’ kibble supply. No contact. No contact. No contact.

  • I couldn’t even get all the way through this, even with the UBT snark.

    Good god, no cheater is going to truthfully answer any of these questions. Every single one of them is pick-me-dance, untangling the skein, kissing the cheater’s ass, timid-forest-creatury, pain shopping garbage.

    Esther Perel might as well be advising chumps to lay out a flower-petal-laden velvet carpet before the cheater and hope they walk on it back into the marriage one day. And if they don’t? Well…your velvet carpet was a flower petal too few. And the wrong color. Download the free ebook on how to sleuth out the exact number and color your cheater would have preferred.

    I think the worst of all these questions is “Were you looking for it or did it just happen?” The cheater is going to pick whichever thing makes them look less guilty. “It just happened” is a tired, overused, common, stupid excuse touted by cheaters all the time. I’ve heard “It just happened.” The truth is they were looking for it. They are always looking for it. Whether it’s a one night stand or a months-long affair. They are looking for it. It’s a deliberate choice. It’s a series of deliberate choices they make that lead to them deliberately choosing to cheat.

    Jesus christ on a cracker in Crete where do these word-salady relationship gurus come from?

    • In Ex’s case, I believe his family (including our kids) think it just happened. They think he wasn’t looking for trouble but she just “blew him away”. They don’t understand it because they don’t really like her themselves, but that’s how they see it. In my case, he made sure that I knew he had been looking for it because he was just so dissatisfied in his marriage. He told me that if it hadn’t been her it would have been somebody else. He also told me that before he started his physical affairs, he regretted not having gone physical with the emotional affair years before. I also know that the Schmoopie he ran off with wasn’t the first physical affair. I know that he went looking for trouble and he found it. He wants me to know that because he thinks that makes it more rational. “I did it on purpose because I was unhappy in my marriage to you.” Perfectly reasonable. As for his family, it does bother me a little because they think it was her “amazingness” (in his eyes) that lured him away unexpectedly and that’s why he didn’t divorce me first. I won’t tell, however, because they are happier thinking it just happened. They also think he has become unhinged and I know that probably bothers him more than it would if they just knew he was a selfish coward.

      • Haha I like your thinking: poor cheater, he’s gone mad, and he wants to yell but can’t no no I’m completely fine I chose to do this because I wanted to.

      • Well they should watch it as someone might just blow away their spouse. What a moronic thing to say. Did her vagina have tentacles that just drew him in?

        Sorry to hear your kids are in that camp. Anyone who has kids with a cheater realizes the pain that can happen when kids either align with cheater or normalize the behaviour.

        • The kids still love him but they aren’t aligned with him and they know who broke up the family. They don’t like what he did but the older one at least thinks his straying was specific to her and not premeditated. To be fair, the cheating was intentional, it is possible that falling for her was an accident. Meanwhile, my middle child is having some serious mental problems and is trying to hide from reality. He refuses to acknowledge Schmoopie’s existence or my boyfriend’s existence (three years after the marriage blew up and two years since divorce). He just wants to bury his head in the sand and pretend that nothing happened. The youngest doesn’t admit to any opinion. He is going to go along to get along. He will protect himself by just not caring. He isn’t going to get angry or sad or waste his time trying to untangle the skein of what happened to his family. He isn’t going to take sides and he presents himself in a way that doesn’t require it. He seems to be handling this better than any of us. He’s a survivor. Good for him.

  • Ester(or someone like Ester) must have wrote the article that I read a few days back. The article discussed how the other women is the victim during the affair. The other women was roped in by the lying husband. Even if the OW knew he was married. He was so skilled at charming and telling the OW that his wife did not understand him. Did not want sex, let herself go. That the OW could not help but want to fix him. What a bunch of BS. The only victim is the spouse who was cheated on. The article made by blood boil.

    This Ester person must have a high opinion of herself. Cheating is a choice. The cheater goes to extreme lengths to keep the affair secret. God forbid the cheater has consequences for their choice to betray their spouse.

  • I wonder why cheating on someone seems exempt from morals???? There, to my knowledge, are no books on how to successfully defraud the company you work for, or how to get away with, or put a positive spin on rape, or murder. At least none that are bestsellers.

    Infidelity seems to be on an island of it’s own.

    It seems that you can make a mistake and fall into bed with someone, but you can’t make a mistake and steal 10 K from your employer.

    Marriage counseling traumatized me so deeply. It was another kick in the teeth, CL is spot on.

  • Crap, no wonder I’m divorced. I did it all wrong. My questions were:
    “Why did you change the address on our investment accounts to your dad’s house?”
    “Why did your girlfriend ask if you were home – when you were supposedly sleeping at her house?”
    “Why did you embezzle money from my company to pay your welfare weasel fuckbuddy’s bills?”
    “Why did you lie to the police to protect your boyfriend?”

    She was served 3 weeks after I finally had 100% evidence. She was shocked, shocked I tell you.
    Of course it did take me 6 torturous months of detective work to uncover her affair. The whole time I spent more energy wishing beyond hope there was some alternative explanation to the facts I was discovering. Nope, facts are facts and they lead to the obvious more often than not. My 3 best decades gone, wasted on a gold digging slut posing as a Stepford housewife and mother.

  • Esther Perel’s BS is insidious and harmful, it is giving “BS psychobabble cover for very EVIL acts” !!

    It is an EVIL act to marry someone, make a holy and legal vow to love and cherish and forsake all others before the eyes of God, your family and friends and yet have no intention of keeping that vow.

    It is an EVIL act to take money and time away from your spouse in order to cheat with some schmoopie.

    It is an EVIL act to bring innocent children into a marriage that you don’t hold sacred and could collapse at any time due to your cheating.

    It is an EVIL act to then blow your family up when finally caught thereby causing horrible psychological, emotional, spiritual and financial pain to those you supposedly “love” and had vowed to love and protect.

    Esther Perel can go f*** herself as far as I’m concerned and I hope and pray that she faces massive karma for what she has done and continues to do.

  • There were two weird questions in Ester Pester’s questionnaire:
    #4, ‘Did you feel entitled to the affair?”
    #12, “How important was sex?”

    Weird.

    • Yeah I don’t like the connotation of: sex was very important ie you weren’t doing it right, enough etc or no it wasn’t ie you weren’t meeting my needs in lots of other ways. It’s a lose/lose for chumps

  • Dance a little prettier and I might let you keep the “primary” spot. Perhaps.

    This was my ex. He wasn’t ever going to stop. He liked the rush of the escorts and flirting with every female coworker that he could. But……he liked the home, the meals, the friends, the social life and the eye candy that I provided for him. I gave his shitty character a great image backdrop to fool the world that he was a human being. That comment really hit home with me. Even after I kicked him out he was trying so hard to keep me as his primary. Therapy, crying, buying me gifts, helping around the house, quitting his job so he’d always be around and I knew where he was..blah blah blah……I’d found Chump Lady by then and I was done like dinner. I’ll be someone else’s primary and only one day. Right now I’m MY number one. Me and my kiddies.

    • Entitled Bastard X wanted to move me to the side but keep me around in case my “younger, thinner and prettier” replacement didn’t work out. I mean literally. He put a deposit on a condo a couple of blocks from the marital home, thinking he’d move me in there and we could still be “friends.” The implication being that if I danced pretty enough on the sidelines, I might be restored to my primary position to be mistreated some more. Fuck that shit.

      Narcs are truly delusional.

      • Mine said he would stay with me if I let him do his thing. Are you f******* kidding me? What self respecting person would say yes. His sister then said to me “some people have a don’t ask don’t tell” scenario. I am like wtf- how do you know to ask if they don’t tell is there a secret code? It is like an onion that never ends – layers and layer – lies and lies.

  • It’s a numbers game. People with integrity are rare. People swimming in the cesspool are a dime a dozen. They will follow Esther like sheep as long as she makes them feel justified in their choice to live in the gutter. Her job is easy.

  • Esther Perel doesn’t seem to understand that the cheaters want the affair partner(s) & the spouse. They want the double life because it’s thrilling & they get to fuck everyone over.
    The affair partner(s) believe that they are special & the spouses aren’t meeting the expectations set by the cheater. It’s a total mindfuck for all except the cheater.
    This is unfortunately the mindset of society as a whole as well. Something must be wrong if there’s infidelity.
    It’s hard for the non-betrayed to understand.
    Betrayers just side with the cheaters thinking it’s okay to cheat because no one is really getting hurt…it’s just sex & the cheater is exploring his needs.
    They just don’t get the other factors involved- financial, health (std) & the gaslighting involved to pull the cheating off.
    Esther Perel needs to be stopped because she is continuing to perpetuate
    this mindset that cheaters cheat because there’s something lacking in the relationship.
    Thankfully there’s ChumpLady speaking the truth.

  • Brilliant UBT this morning (and always).

    I’m sure Perel’s advice has worked for No. One. Ever.

    Allow me to summarize:

    Chump: I have a question for you.
    A-hole: SQUIRREL!!!!!

  • STBX: I offered you an open marriage. Why did you choose divorce?
    Chump: I’m meeting you halfway. You can have the open, but not the marriage.

    Does the UBT require maintenance after translating Perel’s BS?

  • WOW!!! Spot on!!! BRAVA!!!
    I’m glad to know that 99.9% of cheaters ALL say the same thing:
    YOU weren’t good enough.
    I was TRYING to protect you.
    You just DON’T understand.

  • Esther Pearl’s approach to cheating spouses is the equivalent of our govt legalizing all drugs because people can’t stop getting addicted. Can’t stop it? Just make it okay!! No prob! Just keep your privates clean!

  • Tracy—“Spanky” was my ex’s screen name on dating sights. I can’t believe he is such a cliche that you came up with his screen name as part of a satire. I am laughing so hard right now. Thank you for being you Chump Lady!

  • What is it with the cheap hotels? My cheater would pick the Super 8 etc over a nice hotel. Places she would not stay in while traveling! In reference to the above CL reservations at the Quality inn!!!!

  • After seeing everyone’s comments, I didn’t want to get pissed off. So I didn’t read the article/self-help stuff by Perel.
    I AM clapping for CL, however. The translation is soooo funny!!

  • See Rupert Murdoch and his third ex Wendi Deng. At least he’s now with Jerry Hall who is more age appropriate.

  • This whole article makes me wonder what Ms. Perel would do if she found out that her hubby was leading a double life and had either been having an affair their whole marriage or was a serial cheater? I don’t imagine she would be looking at what she did or didn’t do in the marriage considering she claims to do everything and anything to keep things alive with her spouse. Wouldn’t that just be the karmic cats meow!!!

    • I bet she knows exactly what she needs to do – get naked and join in. Or beckon her side dish and make it a quartet.

      Maybe that is what she does but unlike Chumps, it is because they have AGREED to it beforehand.

      I have a feeling they have no boundaries and nothing that they have roped off as “marital territory – no trespassing!”

      With the possible exception of their bank accounts.

      I can’t imagine they would divorce, particularly over adultery. It would destroy the illusion and income stream.

  • I haven’t looked very hard but it seems to me that Esther NEVER EVER discusses sexually transmitted diseases and children conceived outside of the marital relationship.

    She is an evil bitch and I hope she gets an STD that melts her from the inside-out. Preferably from her cheating husband. CHEATING – an unknown, unsanctioned affair.

    She can include his exuberance into her ongoing medical problems and get back to the world at large about how THAT feels.

    • As the TV host Wendy Williams said about her ex husband and his love child “I’m not going to be changing Pampers, I want to be pampered !” Too bad she stayed so long supposedly for her son. I hope he doesn’t have too many entitlement or relationship problems after seeing what his mother tolerated for years. An either or situation, in my opinion, if he doesn’t get some counseling.

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