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UBT: My Husband Stopped Cheating on Me After 35 Years

The UBT can’t even.

The Universal Bullshit Translator got several requests to shred the Guardian’s “Family” feature (seriously editors, FAMILY? Really?) “My husband has stopped cheating on me after 35 years“.

It’s the confessions of a woman who stood for her marriage and at last report has won a decades-long pick me dance.

Among the indignities our unicorn protagonist suffers:

Matt fucks her best friend at their child’s christening.

Matt feels up the breasts of a pregnant acquaintance at a PTA meeting.

She avoids social events so as not to have to chat with women who were fucking Matt.

But, Dear Reader, she wins him in the end!

I’m not really sure what the point of this retrograde misogynist drivel is. Haven’t women suffered enough? Alabama. The latest draft picks for the U.S. Supreme Court (Bart “I Like Beer” McRapey). Spanx.

No. We need the progressive newspaper of record in the UK to tell us how to Keep Our Man.

It doesn’t say that, Tracy. It’s just offering a perspective

Sure. There’s the How to Be a Doormat point of view and the How to Fuck Around with Impunity point of view. When newspapers start running the How to Stop Tolerating Shit and Divorcing for Your Sanity point of view, the UBT will enjoy a nice long retirement in the south of France. Sunning its transistors on a beach. Dining on mussels instead of bullshit…. aaah…

We’re still together after 35 years because I refused to ever consider splitting up, although Matt’s been unfaithful to me for most of that time. We met at university and he’s all the classic things – tall, good looking, bright, funny. Very few women can resist him. I’m not excusing him as the pain he’s caused me is immeasurable but he was sent to boarding school aged eight and from a very early age the only person he could depend on was himself.

Tall, good-looking, imperialist, cutting a fine figure in his Blenheim tweed shooting jacket, witty, defending primogeniture at dinner parties…

I’m not excusing the piece of shit serial cheater that he is. He’s the product of British public schools.

We got engaged on my 22nd birthday. I managed to keep his hands off me until our wedding was booked and by the time I was pregnant with our elder son Tom three years later, I was sure Matt was tamed.

I had produced an heir. I am certain now that he will not behead me.

I’m a teacher and when we had the big chat about child care I happily agreed to give up work. We didn’t plan on having Simon quite so quickly and having two children under two was as tiring as everyone says it is, but I was proud of myself – getting fit really quickly, looking good and always ready to jump into bed with Matt when the babies were sleeping.

My pick me dance was good. I’m unemployed, vulnerable, and horny all the time! #here4Uwhenever #GodSaveTheDouche

After Simon’s christening, I wanted to get him out of his slippery christening robes so I left everyone eating and headed upstairs. I opened Simon’s bedroom door and Matt and Chloe, my best friend from school, were having sex on the teddy rug on the floor, so engrossed that they didn’t hear me. I swiftly closed the door and tiptoed to our bedroom, shutting that door loudly.

Watch me slam this door no one can hear! I’m fine. Really.

#tiptoethroughthetrauma

I felt sick and full of rage. I wanted to pull Matt out of our bed and scream at him but I knew that if I did, there was no going back. Even if we didn’t split up there would be terrible rows and our lovely, happy life would be disrupted.

My lovely, happy life full of sickness and rage. I wanted to pull Matt out of bed and scream, but I knew that if I did, his entitlement would be disrupted.

I was pretty sure Chloe would be history soon, but I was always watching, wondering who was his latest conquest. I was convinced that if I said nothing, he would never leave me for anyone.

My wife appliance game was that good.

He loved me and the boys, he loved our lifestyle and his good name was very important to him – no way he’d give all that up for a fleeting affair. It wasn’t easy and it was tiring being on full alert. I remember at a PTA wine tasting watching Matt talking to another mum, who was about seven months pregnant. I was actually relaxing and thinking that surely someone like that was safe but then Matt slipped his hand up the back of her maternity blouse and round to cup her breast for a second. She beamed at him, while I stood in horror wondering if it was his baby she was carrying.

I’m not the only woman being assaulted and smiling through it. But the important thing here is Matt’s good name.

#winning

When Laura was born I think Matt was faithful to me for months because he was so besotted with her, but about a year later everyone started using mobile phones and that opened up lots more misery.

I blame the phones.

#RunLauraDaddysaPedo

The children doted on their dad and I didn’t want them to have a broken home or lose out financially if Matt had to run two homes.

I’d rather model dysfunction and keep my Debenham’s throw cushions.

I did get tired of dropping friends I knew Matt was seeing but that was my limit – I didn’t want to see them hanging round him. Some of my girlfriends tried to warn me but I cut them off as even acknowledging what they were saying meant I would have to do something about it. The thought of being pitied was the worst of all but I became an expert at smiling outwardly through it all, especially at social events where I knew I was talking to someone who was sleeping with my husband.

I became an expert at smiling outwardly even though I wanted to stab Matt and every woman he’d been with, grind them into a fine powder, mix them into custard sauce and ladle them over rhubarb crumble.

But that was my limit.

There was no way I was going to be the pathetic frump, so I made sure I was as slim and elegant as ever and breezed through life.

Slim and elegant married women are winners. I made sure I wasn’t one of those pathetic frumps enjoying their careers and girlfriend trips to Barcelona, sipping their pink cocktails, laughing uproariously in solidarity. No sir.

I didn’t talk, eat, sleep, wash, look after the children. Within a week, he had me at the doctor, completely out of his depth as family life ground to a halt. I don’t know if I had a breakdown or if I engineered it, if I’m honest. All I knew was that all my hard work wasn’t going to waste now and it was even worth being away from the children as I was hospitalised and Matt was left to get on with it.

But I was SLIM. Mental, but ELEGANT.

Once, after too much wine, I asked him if he had ever thought about being unfaithful and he acted completely shocked and dismayed – if I’d pushed the conversation it would have ended, not mended, the marriage. My way was best.

I’ll eat the shit sandwich whole, Matt. And swallow. No gaslighting foreplay necessary.

Our second grandchild is on the way and Matt and I do almost everything together. He still works long hours but we cook, go to Italian classes, socialise, walk the dogs and spend a lot of time with our family, who are all very close.

He still works long hours. I still don’t ask him where he is. We’re so close.

#questoèuncasino

Very occasionally I look at him and feel so angry I could scream but I recognise that I made my own choice. I outlasted any woman foolish enough to think the affair would lead to something and, in the end, it was worth it.

(The UBT explodes)

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.
  • Husband finally stopped cheating after 35 years? I expected an accompanying photo of husband laid out in a coffin.

    Because personality disorders don’t cure themselves. #FinallyFaithful4Ever

  • I… I… I…

    I guess if that’s the life you want…

    I guess…

    But even it that’s the life you want, why not stay in your socially pretty little pink-bowed box of secrets and leave the rest of us out of it?

    The only answers I can come up with are (1) because it’s entirely fabricated for clicks and (2) because this is only half of the story and the rest would look an awful lot like narcissist vs. narcissist.

    Poor UBT. Want a cookie and a blanky and a nice quiet room for a nap?

      • I feel so sad for her, that this has happened to her. This is the life she chose to lead. It helps me to think, this (in the extreme) is the other option to leaving a cheater and gaining a life. When it is hard, for whatever reason, this is the other option.

        • I don’t really feel all that sad for her. She knew about it, year in and year out, and continued to make the choice to stay. It’s one thing if you didn’t know, hit D-day, call him out on it, play the pick me dance and get chumped a few more times.

          It’s quite another to know, to walk in on it, to come face to face with every single OW he ever has, never call him out on it, decide your status and money and nice things are more important, and actively, consciously CHOOSE to keep putting up with it year, after year, after year, after year…for thirty five years.

          That’s not being a chump, it’s not being a victim. It’s a life choice. She made it. She’s still making it thinking she finally won, and her intention to continue on with this man now. And her comment that she was going to keep herself pretty instead of being one of those pathetic frumps.

          She may have been a chump at once, but then she chose the misery. Deliberately. And now thinks herself special above people who are actually chumps.

          • Plus watching him assault a pregnant woman and doing and saying nothing. Good grief! This woman has no moral fibre and is totally selfish. I doubt very much that pregnant woman smiled, but if she did, it would be one of those grimacey smiles you do to try to disarm a predator. Even if she had wanted a boob fondle, she wouldn’t want it done publically like that. This story-teller is a damn liar who just didn’t want to admit she enabled her husband to get away with a sexual assault. Note that she relates only her concern that the baby was his, not any concern about non-consent. Bitch! Great, she “won” a rapey twunt who, if he actually stops (spoiler; he didn’t yet, he’s just hiding it now) it will only be because he is ancient and can’t get it up anymore. She does have the home care stage to look foward to. She can elegantly wipe his shitty arse for him. What a great life!

            • Yeah… I still feel sad for her. Existentially sad. What a waste of a lifetime. When she said that bit about once in a while her anger raging… She hasn’t done the work. An unexamined life. I’m not saying she’s a good person. Or that she didn’t bring it on herself and fail to protect others. It’s just… Sad. Imagine how she was brought up, to devalue herself into nothing – with pride. And to now pretty much boast about her victory.

      • This has to be a troll “click bait’ article.

        I refuse to believe a woman who can pen a letter, let alone graduate from college, could write this and not puke with abject humiliation at the abuse she consented to…from him and other women.

        OMG the cognitive dissonance just oozes from this article.

        Here’s to “winning” a husband who FINALLY STOPPED HITTING her because, well he’s older now and…effort.

        #cantHitLikeHeusedto #NeverHitMyFace

        #HeWontCheatNow #ViagraStoppedWorking #ConfusedKidsSOHappy

        #SoNOTWorthIt

        #LivingTheDream #SelfRespectOverrated

      • CL

        Sometimes you print something that’s just too painful for me to read.

        I’m going to have to take a break.

        #JustSad&Sick

    • Wow this story is the highest level of passive aggression and self delusion I’ve seen. She let him turn her to ice – but she has some dangerous fire flickering in there too. That fire is why she wrote this – to top her husband and the other women, letting them know how she was wise to them all along. Sad because she bought into her own traumatization for wealth and an intact family…

  • I can’t even either.

    I lived a life of chronic adultery but I didn’t know it…I trust myself that if I had known, I would have done differently. Ew.

    So she thinks that 50 year old guys don’t cheat?…Im sure they do.

      • Or your 21 year old niece. Whose mother come to him as a dOCTOR to help said niece with mental health and alcohol issues. Since the dOcTOR had been to rehab and overcome his addiction…. ask me how I know.

        • Actually niece is calling it sexual assault yet refused to go to police despite my support and encouragement of such. Needless to say I kicked his a$$ out once I got my ducks in a row, finances secured and lawyer hired…within a week of learning of this assault. Divorce complete 4 months later. WASband didn’t bother to get an attorney. But this has blown up relations with MY family. The sad part of it all …..

          • I’m so sorry this happened to you Lost3fiddy! What a bullshit horrible excuse for a shitty ex! He sounds like a real piece of shit.

            I just also wanted to chime in and say that I understand your niece not going to the police for sexual assault. Police have a long history (and present) of not believing victims or treating them well. Only 3% of rape cases ever reach conviction, and that doesn’t take into account all the many many many instances where people do not come forward. I was raped as a teenager by another teenager and the police did nothing to help me whatsoever. In fact, they threatened to put me in juvenile hall. I did nothing illegal. I vote, if you are not already doing this, that you believe your niece, understand that she’s just another victim of your piece of shit ex, and support her in her decision to not come forward to the police. It’s a very personal decision and there’s so much at risk for victims.

            My heart goes out to you both!

            • My heart goes out to you as a victim of a horrific crime. I was an officer for many years and I can assure you I took all cases seriously. Unfortunately, there are many lazy officers or officers who think practically everyone is lying to them. There are still great officers out there, so please don’t give up on victims who may need your guidance toward the good ones.

    • I realized mine was a serial cheater when he turned 50. The sad thing is that he gave up a lot for sex and he already has difficulty with ED which doesn’t get better with age.

      I am truly now seeing that he set me free. I am feeling ecstatic even though I am alone. The idea of compromising myself until there was nothing left is a fate much worse than living a simpler life (due to stretched finances) potentially by myself (but loved by friends and family).

      I feel so much stronger and confident now. I feel sexy. I know that I am worth so much more than he gave me. The letter writer had to paint a rosy picture (just like our cheaters do) because the truth would be a weight that would crush her (that she allowed herself to chose this – that she chose him over her).

      • Same except the x was 60……

        For the first time in decades I feel like I have some value as a person on my own. Sad thing is that I don’t even know when that sense of me being okay left. It just slipped slowly out the door so subtly that I didn’t even miss it and I got used to being invisible.

        Well, I am back now. Wiser and stronger every day. Grateful to my long time friends and CL and CN.

        There is indeed a life after surviving a closet serial cheater x better than the life I thought I had with him.

    • I can attest to the fact that 56 year old men cheat–they even have harems.

      I can also gleefully attest to the fact that karma catches up with them…..HARD.

      • Even 66 year old men can cheat and have harems. And hide it well. Once an asshole always an asshole!!

        • Right there with you on the age! And if Mr. 66 has money, there are all kinds of women who will stand in line to cheat with him in hopes of getting something “pretty” bought for them. What those little cheating whores don’t know is that they will sure getting something pretty. It will be pretty awful like a life long STD.

          Sorry. Not sorry cheating whores!

    • Yes, unless the Cheater is dead, there’s no statute that says he can’t/won’t keep cheating for *another* 35 years!!

      • What you said, Chris W

        In fact, I think the elder limpdicks cheat to try to get it up in the first place, fwiw. Like an addict – always needing more to get the same reaction. The porn does it, by desensitizing them to real relations with real people. Goes for cheating women as well as men – the infatuation with the “butterflies”, the excitement of the big secret, feeling superior to chumps, feeding that endless pre-pubescent need vacuum. YAWN.

  • How did that get published. It’s really sad. She can’t really be proud of herself surely? Winner! Winner of what? Total humiliation? UBT probably needs to take a long break and some serious repair work after that. It’s sad though. I mean I wouldn’t have minded if she sucked it up and told about the 30 hot guys she slept with in the meantime while living the life of Riley. Ha ha, maybe she had a really fantastic kitchen or something that kept winner her over more than him. Ridiculous.

    • Yes, what did she get? Some financial security, looking ‘good’ for the neighbors, and a man hanging around to do manly things once in a while?? But who does she actually talk to, who has her back, who does she trust to hold her heart? I think she’s just like I was before I left, in bleak lonely darkness left abandoned inside a pretty box.

        • IF THIS IS REAL

          she’s a fooled woman and she’s a pitied woman, pitied by the people who know the truth (and are not also sleeping with her husband.) OMG did she ever attend a function and relax? No wonder she stayed slim, she got an ulcer.

          Worth it? Winning?

          #DoormatWinsKnob

  • Fuck that for a bunch of sundaes. If lovely Matt wants to screw all those women get on with it honey! Just leave the cheque for the kids at the door. I will NEVER cowtow to some bloody man – that’s what got me most of my beatings to be honest – but no man (or woman) is worth that!

  • Barf. Just barf.

    Of course you won, dear! After 35 years he now knows he needs you to wash out the skid marks from his shorts and eventually oversee the changing of his diapers and massage his ego. No young chicks will waste their time with him anymore so you are all that he has left…

    What a victory. How brave.

  • Dear God….,

    I don’t know what I just read, but I feel sick. There’s a saying…

    “Don’t save her. She doesn’t want to be saved”.

    This one fits the bill. If she likes it, I love it. She clearly wrote this to soothe herself back into numbness. No, really the house is on fire? Wow look at the pretty red colors. I love the smell of charred wood. Spackle. Spackle. Smile. Spackle. Would you like a serving of cake and kibbles?

    • True. She doesn’t know enough to want help. Having clicked the link and read it I come away more interested in her origins in abuse and dysfunction than anything else actually stated in the story. However much she attempts to insert a kind of “logic” to explain her situation or make it relatable to others (he’s good looking, successful, etc and she’s very angry at the cheating etc.) it’s clear she fundamentally believes she needs this torment. She pegged him correctly as a cad before even dating him, and chose this position at every step along the way. Clearly she needs to prove that an empty shell can be made to love her, and he’s the empty shell she chose. Who set this up and put this hole in her heart? I’d like to know what her father did to her; I think we probably already know. She is tragic. An entire innocent life bent around the gaping hole of narcissism of others in its center. And she has no idea.

  • I saw this last week and was gobsmacked. This is something like my story EXCEPT I didn’t know what my cheating airline pilot was up to until the end. I cannot fathom seeing and knowing what the cheating douche is doing without exploding all over the place. Seeing him fucking her friend in their bed and all she does is slam a door??? I would have pulled the door off it’s hinges and walloped them with it. And that was only the beginning. And now he has suddenly stopped??? Really???? Why, and why now? Did his dick fall off or something? If it didn’t I doubt that he stopped. A cheater cheats. Period.

    • I have to say when I walked in on my ex and affair partner in bed, I was in so much shock all I could do was turn around and leave the room. Wish I had left serial cheater’s life for good right then and there.

      • So sorry that you had to actually see the defilement of the marital bed. Same thing happened to my sister on their FIRST anniversary.
        I was “lucky” to only *hear* that my cheater had sex in our bed with the Hamburger Whore. And after he told me, he didn’t understand why I had to get rid of a “perfectly fine” (according to him) bed and mattress and every single piece of bed linen, including pillows and duvet. Also the furniture and lamps. Everything had to go. That shit was so expensive to replace, but yuck.

  • If I’d just come upon the article on my own as opposed to linking to it via CL, I’d have assumed it was wry, quite clever satire. Knowing it’s serious, I can’t even laugh. What a sad story.

  • This is my go to newspaper in the UK… What a story and what utter craziness to live in. I wish they’d publish your response!

  • Also, the fact you’d write this article, bet there is a bit of narc on both sides here. All about ME and seems very little self awareness as to how this would come across.

    Her friends probably thought she was a doormat, sounds like they tried to warn her (while he put his hand down their top) I can’t stop thinking about how nice a kitchen I’d have to have to put up with THAT. I’m joking btw, not that shallow. Well now, get me the Poggenpohl catalogue and I might revise that statement 🙂

  • The saddest part about this to me is that even is her assumption is 100% true and this guy has “stopped cheating on her” (lol, not likely but okay) she will have spent possibly HALF her life waiting around for that to happen. The prime years of her life, sunk. Is it worth it?

    It’s like the time my kid wanted to wait in a reallllly long line for a reaallllllly slow face painter at a festival. I said “well you can wait in this line for approximately one hour, or we can spend the last hour here doing these other five activities.” She chose to wait in the line, and the face painting wasn’t all that great in the end. Luckily that was just one hour of her life, but some people clearly never learned lessons from childhood disappointments. 😛

  • I most sincerely hope Old Matt dies of a Viagra overdose. He owes Chump Nation for the UBT explosion.

    I thought this letter had to be parody. Then I cried because this “slim and elegant” Chump is no doubt unable to eat and seeking comfort in a shopping addiction. She knows he is still cheating. I knew my STBX was still cheating.

    I would have stayed forever if he had spent anytime with me. If he had made the slightest effort to be kind, I would have stayed. I get her Chump choices.

    It took Old Matt a week to get a mute, starving immobilized wife appliance any medical assistance. That is abuse. Old Matt is a predator.

    This Chumpiest of the Chumps needs an intervention. Copies of LACGAL appearing magically like a Letter from Hogwarts. The Chump Nation Emergency Response Van pulling up to the door with a personalized copy of LACGAL. A two-by-four of truth lovingly wielded by Chump Lady with healing accuracy to assure this chump she has nothing but a shit sandwich from the shit buffet of shit husbands.

    Oh how I wish I could give her a copy of LACGAL. This poor deranged by abuse Chump needs the support and kindness of Chump Nation. That, and a two-by-four upside the head.

  • In related news, the leftover lamb curry in the back of the family fridge is now mine and free of the claims of others only seven weeks after we dined out. #YumFuckingYum #NotWorthTheWait #JustUrp

  • Would’ve been awesome if she’d used her real name and not a pseudonym. That would’ve been the cut direct for ol’ Matt. :: chef’s kiss::

  • On behalf of my nation and countrymen/women, let me say that I am revolted to the core by this absolutely pathetic article. Another normalising of cheater abuse. Apologies to the UBT and hope there are enough spare parts in the world to get it going again. I volunteer to relieve Tracey on flank-stroking duty when required.

  • Well many many congratulations Mrs Matt

    You have seen off all the competition and your prize is
    Loss of any self respect
    Loss of a true loving relationship
    Loss of friends by cutting them off
    Loss of personal dignity
    Loss of a life you could have had

    I stand and applaud your efforts of a total waste of a happy cheater free life 👏👏👏

  • I wonder if the article was written by Matt and pawned off as his wife. It just seems a little TOO fantasmagorical, KWIM?

  • That used to be my thoughts, we had finally crossed the line at 20 years and two kids, he wasn’t cheating anymore, he’d grown out of it, so I thought. Then I got the shock of my life for our 20 year anniversary when he decided to cheat with his GF from 20 years before. They are who they are, entitled, selfish jerks.

  • Its got nothing to do with weight, my nan was cheated on, she was slim, I knew overweight women who were cheated on. Its about control, slim or fat. The om/ow will tell the cheater importantly what they want to hear. Your children could have more siblings, your telling your children subconsciously cheating is acceptable.
    Disturbingly at your childs party your husband is having sex with your best friend, how fucked up is that. Your husband seems to take cheating to the extreme, what are or were his parents relationship like, how was or is the relationship with his mother. Do you think he was abused as a child. Does he had any substance problems, does he pretend to be nice but is actually horrible. He showing some fucked up behaviour. His need to be attractive to women proves some deep psychological issues.
    Why did you stay with him, its your choice of course, but at what cost to your dignity.
    Its about him not you, you thinking slim, attractive, whatever, its the ultimate in the pick me dance.

  • Esther Perel must be doing some sort of Euro victory dance.

    “See? It can be done and no one (who matters) gets hurt!”

  • How pathetic. Entire family living pretend, secret lying lives. Mentally screwed up…go back to your unhappy cave.
    Nobody wants to read your boasts about lying and deceit.

  • Wow! This is so sad. She talks about her daughter – would she accept this as a life for her girl? If not, why is this a life for her? Hope the kids are not in the know about this. This is horrible. Reminds me of the Agnelli and his wife Marella – but at least they were of a different generation and maybe she did not have as many options. Yikes.

    • The kids know, Kale – they always know on some level, born as instinctive beings learning how to maneuver life by watching these two assholes fake it. If they don’t stop it, they’ll pass it along – some version of it – to generations hence.
      #askmehowiknow

  • This makes me really sad. That could have been any of us, if we hadn’t come to our senses. So sad to be stuck in that lonely place.
    She mentions cutting the conversations short when her friends tried to talk to her about it. Good God, that was my lifeline! Opening up and talking about it with my best friend and other friends and family is what saved me and helped me to see the light!
    Hopefully writing this article and starting to open up will spark something in her!

  • This woman brings to mind Melinda Trenchard. The douchebag she was married to allowed the public to think he was single and screwed around with other celebrities openly and with much tabloid attention. She existed in shadows while he went on stage with panties being thrown at him.

  • This was my parents relationship. My mom actually had a therapist tell her that it was better for the kids to have a two parent household, than for her to leave.

    Now here I am at thirty, with one failed marriage because I had no model for how to have boundaries and self respect. I grew up in a two parent household full of anger, hurt, mistrust, and discontentment. I can tell you that I would have preferred a single parent household over the distinction my mother modeled by staying…

    • Carly,
      I’m sorry for your legacy. The good news is CL leads the way to healthy boundaries and reborn self-respect. It was an expectation of women in years past to “make the best of it.” In the 1950’s my mother-in-law [married to an abusive, although professionally employed drunk] was told “you chose him, you cannot come home.” This changed my unconditional regard for my grandmother-in-law, even though I understood it was a different era & culture. And she had been a very progressive person for *her* era (1893-1990). On the other hand, my own mother suffered my cheating, drunk father for as long as she could, then kicked his ass out, by having police haul him off after a particularly ugly, violent fight. Still, with my own perspective, I sought out what I thought was the opposite, but without those shitty boundaries and self-respect, I STILL found a cheating drunk and …thought MY love could save him. Long story middling, it didn’t. You can’t change disordered. Even if I have my own deficits, and COULD change myself through addiction recovery and good therapy, I was powerless over him and his choices.
      You and I now have choices and agency in our lives. We ARE healing.

  • That was a hard one to read thru. My 3 1/2 year of “mostly known” hell” was horrible and agonizing enough. I can not imagine.
    Yeah that guy is a predator who bumps women like a vending machine in hopes to get something for free. No soul or conscience.
    Now that I am truly aware, as a man, I spot them a mile off.

    • After D-Day I had to look at my fake person and listen to his narc channels for four months I can’t imagine 30 some years? It sucked. My stbx found pleasure from my emotional pain. Sad. Truly codependent, addicted to her cheater, gave up her job, and shut out friends trying to help her. True victim of abuse. Sad. I would sucker hug her if I could. Such denial.

      I can’t believe she didn’t Loraina Bobbit his dick or pull a Jeffery Dahmer?

  • Revolting no matter how you look at it.

    I’m so grateful I found CL and told X to GTFO and then went NC, filed and divorced.

    Life on the other side in Meh is so wonderful. I cannot fathom having stayed. After Dday 1 it took me 18 weeks of pick me dancing and extreme blameshifting and gaslighting and I was almost suicidal before I found CL and reality: nothing to work with in my so-called 25 year marriage, only option was to end it completely.

  • I’m puzzled. What exactly was it she got in the end? To my eyes only a sparkling turd.

    The ability humans have to self-deceive never ceases to amaze me.

    • Yes, it has the smell of fiction. I noticed she mentions her “and the boys” but then also mentions having two daughters.

      That said… we’ve all read on the RIC boards. These people are out there.

  • I just found out (appx. 6 months ago) after 11 years of marriage he had an affair in our first year. We’ve been in counseling since then…the thought of divorce and trying to make it (financially) on my own was just overwhelming. He says it hasn’t continued, he’s never cheated again, but for a long time he had to travel for work, or to visit friends, and they could have met up. And they were friends on social media until 6 months ago, because he didn’t want me to ask why they weren’t FB friends. Conveniently all those FB messages have been deleted, so there’s no way for me to verify that or not (not that it matters).

    I don’t remember how I found this site/blog, but I’m glad I did. I thought the person I married loved, honored and cherished me. I had an epiphany almost a week ago; that person doesn’t really exist. He’s shown me who he is – a person who would betray me, lie about it and continue to lie about it because he was selfish and wanted the life he had, with me blissfully ignorant.

    Well I’m not ignorant any more. I know the truth now, and I’m doing what’s right for me. The person I married is deceitful, manipulative, selfish and more…and I don’t want to be married to someone like that.

    While I’m scared I’m also excited – I have my new bedroom furniture picked out, got a grasp on our financials and have a consult scheduled with a lawyer soon. (The same lawyer I saw after D-Day, actually…) We have small children, and I’ve thought about custody and what I’m willing to offer. I have a plan for moving forward with MY life, and it’s the first time I’ve felt in control in way too long.

    Thank you, Chump Lady and community, for showing me what I needed to see. I’ve pulled some strength from all of you with a harsh dose of truth – and it’s exactly what I need. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Leah-the-Chump— sending love and support. My divorce was very rough but the entire process only lasted 14 months and there were really only about 5 days that were harrowing. Nothing can describe the sense of self preservation I felt and vindication and relief when after the trial the Judge said he believed all my evidence and none of X’s lies. I got all real property and assets. X gave up residential time when I pressed for psych and parenting and substance abuse evaluations. Life now is infinitely better. I worked hard to build a new career (at 50!) and cannot fathom the hell life would have been if I’d stayed. XH has cheated on AP several times since I told him to GTFO…. not my monkey, not my circus!

    • Lots of hugs to you Leah the Chump

      I’m slightly ahead of you ( 7 months ) I know how scared and overwhelmed you feel .

      There are so many many brilliant people on this site that will guide you and support you during your down moments .
      I love them all for their understanding , help and support .
      You sound so strong and mighty you have your ducks in a row and getting on with your life .
      I wish nothing but the best for you and your small children ❤️

    • You ARE mighty! Great job! I know it sucks, but as Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going”.

      You got this, and we’re here to support you : )

    • Make sure you have a great support system–family, friends, therapist. Tell people the truth, including the kids, in age-appropriate ways.

  • And during those 35 years, what dysfunction did you model for your children?

    To a son, you let him know that it is okay to treat the woman you love with betrayal and disrespect and place the well-being below your own wants and needs in your priority list.

    To a daughter, you let her know that it is okay to take whatever bad treatment your husband gives you and how to not set boundaries.

    • Exactly! If you can’t bring yourself to leave for yourself, at least leave to give your kids a better example of self respect and self care.

      You can be sure the kids figured out the cheating, and even if by some miracle they didn’t, the lack of respect from dad to mom and the lack of self-respect in mom, plus all the kowtowing mom did to keep dad happy and present is always SUPER OBVIOUS to kids. Never mind mom’s simmering anger, sadness, and lack of self confidence.

      What’s saddest to me is knowing that this wife could have been really happy and healthy, if she’d applied all that energy and effort to building a life of her OWN.

  • I spent about 13 years of my marriage being in denial about the emotional affair in 2007. I didn’t want to acknowledge that it was something more serious or a bigger red flag than I wanted it to be. But if I had seen my husband having sex with anyone, let alone a friend, I would have come unglued. That would have been the end of him and her. That images would have been burned into my retina for years afterwards.

    • Being sent off to boarding school at age eight ?! British public school indeed (what Americans call private school). The perfect venue to be bullied by sadistic older boys and educators. “Lord of the Flies” (Brit author William Golding) mentality thrives in these institutes of “learning”. First hand accounts from male British friends.

      • Yes, John Bowlby, the eminent father of current Attachment theory was so traumatized by boarding school that he said he wouldn’t send a dog away to boarding school. It fueled his academic curiosity to be sure, but is a horrible thing to inflict on vulnerable boys.

      • The late author, Christopher Hitchens, speaks of his stint in British boarding schools in many of his interviews. Denial reins on those sacred institutions…..

        I digress from the topic but couldn’t help jumping in with my 2 cents worth.

  • The only thing I can add is that this was published in 2016. I hope that since then, the UBT, LACGAL and CN has made serious inroads.

    • Thank you, NoShitCupcakes. I thought I had seen and gagged over this before. Wondering why CL is only UBT’ing it now?

  • So many times over the course of 23 years, I thought my XH was cheating either emotionally or physically. I never had proof and he of course would deny any wrongdoing when I’d find some small effidence. For a lot of us Chumps that had that gut feeling that something was “off”; walking in on my husband having sex with someone else would have been gift!! It is so hard to believe that someone would stay married to this monster and think that she had “won” in some way.

  • As I read this post I cannot absorb how this woman can
    live like this? Is this a real letter? Why is she even on this site?
    We here at CN have our self respect & rid our cheating spouses from our lives. Did she ever get STD testing every 6 months for his continued screwing other women?
    In my opinion she is a terrible mother modeling her children how to be a insecure desperate & doormat.
    I’m apologize if I sound critical but I’m shocked that any wife would tolerate this abuse then write about it.

  • “I made sure I wasn’t one of those pathetic frumps enjoying their careers and girlfriend trips to Barcelona, sipping their pink cocktails, laughing uproariously in solidarity. No sir.” Loved this line! I LOVE my life as a single fifty-year old woman. I remember that sickening feeling that staying married was worth being treated like shit. It’s not, people! Come join us on the other side! Life is grand here!

    • I thought the same exact thing….how could anyone have such low self esteem and stay in this kind of horrifically abusive situation in this day and age?

  • I’m a UK chump and my STBXH went to boarding school at 8 as well. He sounds incredibly similar to this guy .. handsome, tall, well liked, lots of friends and very charming. I guess I’m different to this lady though .. more in denial within my 25 year relationship maybe .. or maybe my STBXH was better at concealing his true self. I didn’t understand the red flags. I chose to ignore the ILYBINILWY rhetoric after our second child was born, thinking he was just having a mid life crisis. On D-Day last year I discovered a history of cheating spanning at least 10 years. Fortunately I found Chump Lady and CN shortly afterwards, chucked him out, went as near to no contact as possible and started divorce proceedings. Life in my house is calmer without him – and my kids are actually happier, which has really surprised me. What I do understand about this (very chumpy) lady though is that some narcissists are VERY sparkly and alluring. It can be quite hard to value yourself when you’re in a relationship with a full-on covert narcissist charmer. If you had wobbly self esteem to start with (like I did) you get used to minimising your own needs and putting up with abuse, whilst blaming yourself for being inadequate and unloveable. I’m disappointed with the Guardian too for the way this is written but I don’t feel like blaming the Chump here.

    • Working, I’m a Brit too and no, we’re not all idiots are we. I do wonder if this article is legit though. That said, there did seem to be a “put up and shut up” mentality at a certain time, but I think that’s also linked to being financially dependent on the dickwad. Still, this article makes my head spin! “Slim, elegant, never a frown”!! WTF. I would NEVER prostitute myself for an asshole like that. I had a fabulous figure until I hit the menopause, then I got “cuddly” but hey, if you don’t like it f off!!! I mean, it’s not like he was anything to look at either right!

  • Slim, elegant and never a frown, my ass. More likely anorexic with a slew of health & mental issues. I’ve witnessed women in marriages with men that were jerks. They were desperate to keep the man happy and have a peaceful home. Several died far too young from cancer and all had severe health issues. The cost is not worth the “financial” stability & “happy” home life. OMG still reeling over her comment of not having her happy home life disrupted. If this woman was trying to convince the readers it was all worth it in the end she failed miserably.

  • One of my ex-wife’s affair partner’s wife is exactly like this. She’s got this incredible defense shield of “everything is great”. She’s all about appearances in every aspect of her life. Her piece of crap husband always plays the part of dutiful husband and Christian, but has a long history of getting caught. Who knows how many more were not noticed.

    He even had his professional license suspended for several years due to improper conduct with female clients. Claimed the whole time that he did nothing wrong. He had to undergo psychotherapy during his whole suspension for his behavior. He finally gets his license back and gets caught in an affair with a coworker. Gets fired from that job (no clue how he didn’t lose his license then). Later the affair with my ex is uncovered. Each and every time he plays the role of the struggling Christian who is trying to resist his demons, but the Devil is always tempting him and some times, when he is weak, he can’t resist.

    The sickening thing that is so tragic is this guy’s wife. She is the “everything is wonderful” Christian, while it’s obvious to everyone else that it’s not. Barely 2 weeks after his affair with my ex was uncovered, a friend told me his wife was saying that “she had forgiven him” and that their marriage was “better than ever”.

    He redoubled his good Christian act and it didn’t take long before he was back in good graces with the church. The whole time his wife looks like she’s almost got the “everything is wonderful” act down, but is always in danger of blowing it and collapsing into a puddle of her own tears.

    Hopium is a hell of a drug.

  • Reminds me of an episode of “Oprah” I saw many eons ago.

    It was a, “Thankful” episode where people in the audience spoke about what they were thankful for.

    A woman and her husband got up and the woman said, “I’m thankful that my husband ALLOWED ME TO FORGIVE HIM FOR CHEATING ON ME.”

    That husband had the biggest shit eating grin on his face….

  • Seriously, that is one of the most pathetic letters I’ve ever read. I find it hard to believe that any woman would be so desperate she would put up with ANYTHING to have a man. However the other day I read about a guy who sexually assaulted his fiancee’s bridesmaid. The bride to be walked in and CAUGHT HIM and she still married him a few days later. Truth really is stranger than fiction.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/groom-sexually-assaulted-wife-s-bridesmaid-days-their-wedding-police-n1063356

    • I was stunned to read the wedding still occurred. That bride can’t claim to not know what she married. It’ll be interesting to see what she submits to the UBT someday.

  • Why does she remind me of Bree from Desperate Housewives? She always had this perfectionist attitude in the face of a tsunami.

    I can believe this lady. Women like her do exist. And no honeybun has not stopped cheating. Her neighbors and friends (if she has any left) have stopped caring and telling her.

    Good news is, she will soon go back to diaper duty, but now, the adult kind.

  • “There are worse things than being alone but it often takes decades to realize this and most often when you do it’s too late; and there’s nothing worse than too late.”
    Charles Bukowski

  • For crap’s sake, this is right out of Penthouse forum. This feels so fake. It is sooooo titillating for some older dude to imagine getting to bang some slut on his kid’s baby rug right in front of the wife and have her put up with it over and over and over again.

    If true, this is one of the times when we must proclaim that this woman is no chump. She is a volunteer. The trappings of her pseudo- Downton Abbey life and her waistline and carefree slim frocks are far more important that doing anything that is real. But he is so tall and wonderful! But status! But stuff!

    She is a fool to not see that she can certainly be discarded at any moment for some chick half his age. Happens all the time. That chick will be one as shallow as our letter writer, who wants all the stuff and the social position and cares not one wit about truth and honor. This long suffering wife will find herself atop the dustbin. And our tall, wonderful, charming asswipe will tell her how awful, judgmental, controlling and dowdy she is on his way out.

    This is like the opposite of Mary Sue fiction, but still fiction nonetheless.

  • Is there a go fund me campaign for the UBT’s recovery? I feel so badly for it. That was too much drivel for anyone to endure.

  • If this letter is real, it is evidence of the nature of longstanding emotional and psychological abuse (which cheating is), through which we become so confused, undermined, insecure, humiliated, ashamed etc etc that we feel grateful for the most pathetic crumbs dropped for us by these arsehole cheaters. They make us feel like these crumbs are the only thing worth living for and we spent our private lives crawling around licking them off the floor. Meanwhile, we put on the smile and play happy families for the public. This betrayal of self with the misguided intention of “saving” our marriage is one of the many tragedies of the chump life. I am just glad that I no longer need the UBT to understand (and now know) that a better life is possible beyond the abuse.

  • Eh….like it or not, agree with it or not, there are millions of women like this out there. Trading the lifestyle with the tall, dark, and handsome cheater complete with a big house, cars, vacations, shopping, designer shoes and social status for turning a blind eye to cheating. It’s a choice.

    The only thing that’s completely sickening and dishonest about this article is the pretense by this woman that she was somehow a long suffering victim who finally won. Nope. She has been winning all along. Her choices might be hard to understand by CN, because our collective choices and values are different, but she made choices that got her what she wanted – material things and status. Don’t feel sorry for her, don’t feel appalled, don’t really believe the bs spin of the article to be honest. If there is fiction, it’s in the spin of trying to make this woman out to be a victim who won at long last. I guess a more honest version wouldn’t be very PC or make much of a story for that matter.

  • The only comfort her story provides are in the follow-up comments. Many people commenting on how insane HER behavior was

    I noticed that several comments were deleted by their moderator and I can’t help but wonder if they were excerpts for CL’s UBT trying to slip in under the radar 🙂 🙂 🙂

    That lady’s life was mine with one big difference. The x was cheating all along but I didn’t know it. He appeared to be the model husband/father. Hard working and dedicated. Dday shattered all of that rather quickly BUT, unfortunately I did do the RIC polka until I found LACFAL.

    She thinks she is safe due to age. The x was over 60 and still going strong. There is no stopping these buffoons sweetie.

    Thanks for the reality check today Tracy!

  • ITA with other posters who noted that cheaters do not magically stop when they hit some magic age. Cheater #2 *started* cheating at 54 and his CraigsList profile specifically listed that he wanted NSA sex while he was “still young enough and healthy enough to enjoy it”. (Here, take a barf bag if you need it.) Now he’s almost sixty and still chasing ass. Skinny ass, fat ass, old ass, young ass. Any willing piece of ass. (Sure you don’t want that barf bag?)

    Whichever previous poster mentioned that they don’t stop cheating until they no longer fog glass was right.

  • I am seeing opinions that this lady put up with this trauma for material reasons. I think she put up with this because she did not have the emotional or psychological strength to deal with the truth in an open way. An extreme trauma and abuse situation. I do not know. I may be wrong but she needs in depth counseling and eventually feel free to find her rage instead of stuffing it down. Going through this crap emotionally (she will have to process it to get to the other side) will be hard but eventually she will be free. She is 57 now – even if she has only one year to live or 1 month to live, it is worth to get free. What is with the friend and the husband at the Christening. So crazy and depraved. At a christening? Hope she cut the friend (and the husband now).

  • I just think this is sad. Infidelity is abuse. This woman is writing about her abuse and normalizing it. 😕 she feels she has to justify her sunk costs, throwing good money after bad.

    I did this too – during the pick me dance. Luckily in my case the pick me dance was only about 8 months of the affair – but I still endured and spackled and excused my ex husbands entitlement and selfishness for our whole 15 year marriage leading up to the affair. The mindfuck and the emotional abuse from cheaters can start waaay before the actual cheating occurs.

  • Wow! “But it was worth it”… What was worth it? Keeping up the front of an intact family? Staying married to a piece of shit? So she just forgets about the past and they live happily ever after? I can’t imagine this woman is happy or trusting of him even now. And I can’t imagine her having any respect for him or even love at this point. Sad.

  • I think I am going to need a crowbar to get my eyes back down from where they rolled back in my head. What the every loving fuck? Sad part is change the UK to USA and its pretty much my life except he divorced me and is now living his dream on his bachelor boat.

  • I’m new here and still trying to get a handle on my situation.
    But this story just makes me so incredibly sad for the wife and her children. I also wonder during all of his cheating over all these years how many broken hearts he left behind.
    Is he really not cheating anymore or his he able to hide it now? Sad Sad story.

  • So sad. Swallowing hatred and rage just so you can live in a nice house with nice things. I guess if UBT considers herself to be elegant, then she is a “courtesan” instead of a prostitute.

  • This is so sad. I’m guessing the editors ran this letter knowing that people would view it as rubberneckers viewing a train wreck, not because there would be any “insight” to any of this.
    What a horrible man. I’d say I hope he catches a disease, but then she’d probably get it, too.

  • I had a therapist (for a short time) who told me it is perfectly acceptable to be in a miserable marriage if you feel the perks are there.

    After attending Christian marriage counseling weekends, where there were people there in their 70’s still trying to work through infidelity, I said FORGET IT. That is a club I never want to be a member of. I’d rather live on a f’g desert island alone than be in their numbers. But each to their own.

    • I see a lot of marriages where people look pretty dang miserable. What a waste of a life. I don’t care if I ever get married again. I just booked a two week trip to the Mexican Riviera this winter. If I was still with cheater I would never in a million years get to do anything like that.

    • In their 70s working through cheating! Wth!
      Where did it become acceptable for cheating to be considered par for the course in a relationship? Like historically, biblically, where?

  • I hope that the article is wholly or mostly untrue. If the ‘husband’ (abuser) is doing what the writer says he is, then I hope that one of his targets successfully sues him for sexual harassment. I have been attached to several very financially successful men who abused me. At some point in each of these relationships, I couldn’t stand ME any more for tolerating the abuse. I could have probably been a multi-millionaire instead of down an out person if I were still with some of these men, but no amount of lavish entertainment can make up for the abuse. Life is tough as an unemployed middle-aged divorced mother, but I don’t miss (1) the feeling of knowing that my partner considers me human chattel or a cheap disposable object and (2) the poor health associated with constantly suppressing those feelings.

  • I’m picturing her telling this whole story to a room full of her friends, who are all cross-armed and raising their eyebrows, giving each other knowing looks, as she attempts to shove a bunch of things into a closet. However, there is far too much junk and far too little space in this closet and things keep falling out here and there, and she has to keep picking them up off the floor and attempt to close the closet door but…

    So I kept myself in ever-perfect and gorgeous shape so he wouldn’t-*broom and six golfclubs fall out* Oh whoops hang on I got it…*bends down to pick them up and once she does a box full of random knickknacks starts slipping from above* And I KNOW he’s still attracted to me and I won out over all of them-Ooop juss…just a sec-*manages to catch the box with the tip of her fingers while attempting to stuff the golf clubs in with her foot* Anyway, I know I won out over them all because now our kids are out he definitely isn’t hiding anything anymore and-*a second box begins to slip as she shoves the first box back while still trying to balance on one foot shoving the golf clubs…*

  • Nation,
    I haven’t read all of your replies, yet, because…time…for the moment. I just want to gut-level reply before I digest your wisdom. this leaves me…
    FULL. OF. GRATITUDE!
    Click bait? Warped ranting? BitchCookie of Misery? I don’t care. Some version of this could have been my life…taken at face value: 35 years of misery and counting (#shuckshelovesmebest #maybeitsthemoney?) And she’s SURE he’s stopped? Exactly how? Dodging reality at every corner to settle for…what?
    I relish my freedom from (a) no-retirement marriage policing, (b) pick-me dancing off the top of a building, (c) lack of female friendships, (d) tiny life, (e) zero self-worth, (f) fake…everything…oh, the list goes on. CL, you and CN saved me from any variation of this putrid existence. #Beentheredonethat. I’ll take “The Great Liberated Unknown” behind Door #3, Monty.
    Meh feels better every. fucking. day.

  • This sounded like a Barbie & Ken doll marriage with shallow levels of attachment and intimacy. It sounds like there was a lot of enabling going on! In both directions!
    I once belonged to an affair recovery group & about half of the women stayed with their cheating husbands. I’m still friends with them on FaceBook, so I get to read about their wonderful vacations, expensive gifts & parties, new cars etc. There is never a mention of their dear husband. Just the things that in their minds make up for a marriage that none of us in CN would settle for. From time to time, now that it’s many years later, I’ll suggest a reunion to catch up. I’d be more than happy to share my new LACGAL story. But they can’t face me. Who is happy now?

    • Meg,
      That is SO sad. For them. Funny how we survivors get nudged aside to enable career chumps to savor shit sandwiches as best they can. I’m sad for their “treasures.”
      #thankgodforauthenticity

    • Meg: Yes! Very interesting take on that. I have two of those friends that stayed. Both for money really, although they both ‘love’ their husbands. Staying for money is one thing, but one of these women in particular is just as you described, going on and on about how how great their wealthy life is but also how great their marriage is. She wants that SO bad, I feel sorry for her. I see up close in person that he clearly does not treat her well in real life. He does not respect her for a heart-beat but she loves her life-style and spackles by the boat load to fix him as Mr. Wonderful in her mind .

      The other woman’s cheater recently cheated again, after three years of treating her with disrespect anyway. So three years later I have restarted my life free and clear and she is at square one.

      Thank God for Chump Lady (and Infidelity Help Group where I started). My little condo that is all mine that I am embarrassed to invite them to is a safe-haven, heaven on earth for me. Ahhhh—-

  • For those who call BS on the OP, I actually have an Aunt who lives like her. She married a Texas oil man and she is private jet level wealthy. He cheats on her constantly and is horribly verbally and emotionally abusive.
    Yet she takes it to keep her lifestyle and frankly almost all of her friends are the same. Her kids are grown but she loves jetting off to Europe, skiing in Aspen, wearing a Rolex watch and driving a fancy car.

    It’s sad because secretly she and her friends pray for the day their husbands die but while their husbands almost openly cheat, if they even looked at another man they would either be out the door or more likely have a “terrible accident” (when you have millions, the cheater also can easily pay a professional to “take care of a problem”). Personally I think that living like that is a prison with golden bars but there are many woman who choose to live that way. I strongly suspect the OP is similar.

  • “Our lovely, happy life,” with my husband having sex with my good friend on our new baby’s floor.

    This is a case study in denying reality.

  • I just read a great book (thriller) about betrayal and the upper class private school twit. I found it riveting, because the feelings of the betrayed wife and the girlfriend/rape victim are so well portrayed, and how slowly the truth leaks out. “An Anatomy of a Scandal” by Sarah Vaughan. Chumplife perspective is making its way into great novels

  • My grandmother lived like this for 25 years in mid century Germany. Luckily my grandfather did her the favor of dying early from alcoholism and chain smoking. She lived another thirty years, during which she raised four children, pulled the family business out of bankruptcy and then enjoyed a comfortable retirement. She revealed the extent of his cheating in her will.

    • CC,

      Thanks for this. I am older and have older children who don’t know the extent of the x’s deceit – neither did I until Dday a couple of years ago.

      I know it is not in any of our best interests to reveal all of it to them – they have their own lives to get into order.

      You have given me an outlet because I do want them to know because his behavior did effect them all even though none of us knew what he was up to. I can write it out, as I know it, and tuck it into my will so I know they have a reference point when things don’t add up – I worry about not being here when they start to ‘wake up’ and I know that having had the sounding board of my aunt plus my sisters helped me tremendously in untangling my early hx with a narcissistic/alcoholic father.

      Your comments made me realize that is a burden that I have been carrying around with me unconsciously so now I can take conscious control and do something about it!

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