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The Stupid Things People Say to Chumps

People say a lot of stupid, insensitive things to chumps. It’s everything from the grossly mistaken — “Gee, the affair partner doesn’t seem all that bad!” To the dunderheaded smugness of, “I’m so glad my husband would never cheat on me.” (Bully for you.)

Chumps, being pretty nice people, are usually taken completely off guard. Did you really just say that? To help you identify Stupid Shit Other People Say, I’ve broken it down into a few categories.

1. Your Misfortune Is Very Threatening to Me. See “dunderheaded smugness” above. If a comment seems oddly competitive — “I’m so lucky that my biggest marital crisis was my husband buying a Trans Am!” — you can rest assured that this person is deeply freaked out by you. So let’s heartily avow that Bad Things could never, ever happen to them. Why did a bad thing happen to you? Well, because you brought it on yourself. And in that respect, we’re very, very different people. Unless we’re not. In which case your misfortune may be contagious, so I’m going to avoid you entirely in any case to make sure I don’t catch it.

2. You’re Doing It All Wrong. You know what you need right now? Someone yelling at you from the sidelines of your life. “You should wait 6 months before you make a decision. You didn’t wait 6 months? OMG! Everyone knows you have to wait 6 months!” Chances are this person has never experienced your particular calamity, but they are well versed in exactly how you are fucking this up. You really should thank them. No? What’s wrong with you?

3. Damning with Faint Comparisons. Let’s say you share that your wife cheated on you with 15 men she met on Craigslist. This is the person formerly-known-as-your-friend who replies, “Wow. That reminds me of like, when my car wouldn’t start. I thought it was the battery, but no, the whole alternator was bad. Cost me $700. Can you believe it?” No. No we cannot believe it.

4. Norman Vincent Unreal. “Think outside the box! Shift the paradigm! Breathe!” Are you feeling suicidal? Norman has exactly the right sunny cliche to make it all better. “Everything happens for a reason.” You can’t find a reason? “Every cloud has a silver lining!” Please God make him stop. “A smile is just a frown turned upside down!” “You’ll find someone when you least expect it!” “It’s always darkest before the dawn!”

So I’m curious — what sort of stupid shit did other people say to you? (Not including the cheater, of course, who has their own page of Stupid Shit entirely.)

I asked this a few years ago, but we always have a new crop of chumps who probably have a lot of built-up WTF to share.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Ugh!
    1. “Why do you still think about him?”
    2. “Seriously, that still upsets you?”
    3. “You need to trust men and start dating”
    Especially since I’ve been very clear I’m not dating anymore.

    • ugh that #2 enrages me.

      As for your #3, yea dating is tough now. I want to date but I feel like tarnished silverware.

      • Oh precious Alice, it breaks my heart to hear you say that. Probably because I used to feel the same. I’ve learned to shine again, and so will you.

    • Omg I’d completely forgotten one of the stupid comments made to me from a so called friend. She insisted I “get back on the horse” and start dating even though my divorce wasn’t final. She also insisted I needed to do online dating. I calmly tried to explain that 1) I don’t want to date right now and 2) I would never do online dating because I’m too freaked out that I would be stalked and murdered. I used to work a highly classified government job where we were briefed several times a year on how certain governments were planning on kidnapping us or our kids for government secrets so you can see how I’d feel fear of sharing PII freely online would freak me out.
      Instead of listening to what I was actually saying, she dug in deeper on her stance. It was becoming an argument on her side. She eventually got nasty when I calmly explained that I have never had a problem finding a date so don’t need online dating. She said, “and how did that work out for you?” AYFKM! She was on marriage number thre and HAD used online dating. WTF over. SMDH to this day over the hypocrisy of her outrage.

      • My therapist suggested online dating about six months after dday and a nearly 20 year marriage. My therapist kinda sucks.

        • A woman whose children I used to bring home and look after most afternoons so she could work said to me ‘ I had your husband over for Christmas dinner because we felt sorry for him.’
          A) Where was the sympathy for me losing my kids to him Christmas morning for 1/2 day.
          B) I don’t want to hear that he was telling her husband about all the tinder dates and sex he was having.
          C)….is what I told her. He’s not my husband any more.

          • Grrr this is such a trigger. A religious friend had him for Christmas (when he really needed to feel consequences and the loss of family he had trashed)…

            and then she had him and The One Who Should Have been for new year a year later.

            When I was still reeling.

    • I forgot!

      A moronic friend sent me photos of OW to “show” me how superior I am – as soon as I realized who it might be, I stopped looking and told her I do not want to look at their fb pages, ever. (Still have not). WTF? AND this same friend suggested that schmoopie probably wasn’t the first affair b/c she “always suspected” the DOCTOR of cheating 10 years earlier.

      Thanks for that additional decade of potential “fake life/betrayal” speculation…. FAST FORWARD, same friend is now in her own divorce. And tbh, she was a nightmare as a wife to her ex husband. My kids thought she was “mean” to her ex and so did I. When she drank, she’d lash out and publicly humiliate him and it would get SO awkward. Her daughter told her she was “never nice” to her dad.

      Same friend once asked me whether I thought she was hard on her husband (which he had told her). I was truthful to her and gave her 3 examples of when I had witnessed behavior that I didn’t think many husbands would tolerate. She seemed to hear me but did not change.

      So when she lumped me into her situation (becaue her ex finally had enough and said he wanted out), it was hard to bite my tongue. But I did b/c I knew she was in pain. I NEVER mention her issues – because what’s the point now?

      But damn…

      • I kinda want your friend. It was pretty lonely for me when no one wanted to hang out and talk shit about the OW with me. They all just told me to ignore her, pretend she doesn’t exist. I felt like no one cared.

    • Chump Lady’s #1 is so spot on its not even funny!. I lost so called good female friends because of the “contagion”. I thought we were all good friends. Boy was I wrong! After I told this friend that my ex cheated badly on me for months and months, she said she was sorry and basically went no contact on me! Yep I seriously thought we were close. So not only did I loose my best friend, (my lying cheating ex who surprised me with a double life after 4 solid years), I also list sever very good friends, my house, my security and safety, or so I thought, my 2 baby kittens of whom were our adopted children, his family, and a whole bunch of good friends we had in our outside circle! Even good guys cheat! The sweet kind gentelmen type yes they totally cheat and lie about it. And I also have been told by girlfriends who have been alone and single for years, to just move on! You need to sign up on tinder and get laid, just stop thinking about him! You need to move on! (7 months after being blind sighted on d-day). I had built my entire new life for 4 years with this person I had completely trusted. Ya it’s not that simple or easy to just get back on dating sights. Been there done that. As for the friend who completely ignored me? Well her boyfriend is best friends with my now ex boyfriend! And I know for a fact I even say it, that he was cheating on his now ex wife while he was still married. Now he and his 2 young kids, dog, cat, and guinie pig live in her beautiful house with her teenage son. He wifed her. Sorry to sound so cynical, but I don’t see this lasting forever. Maybe it will? But these cheaters all are looking to use women. I know my ex doesn’t like being alone so he will find something soon. I don’t use people to make myself happy. Ive noticed many people do. That should be basic dating 101. Don’t use people for self satisfaction. Stand on your own 2 feet.

  • ‘You’re stronger than you think you are’. No, I’m not right now, and I just need a hug, not more burden placed on my tiny shoulders to be strong.

    • Yes, I too got sick of that ‘you’re so strong’ comment.

      – ‘I always tell my husband if there’s a problem come to me and we’ll go for counselling’.

      ‘That’s enough now, I can’t listen to it’ from my mom ????- but I don’t blame her!

      ‘I’ve been there ….’ from someone never married in short lived long distance relationship

          • As someone who actually does stand up comedy, I’d say she needed to “read the room, know the audience”, because at THAT time in your life, this isn’t really a comedy sketch so much as a horror movie you hope you’re not going to star in.

            • The clip didn’t make me laugh but your response made me laugh out loud!
              Thanks :).

              So many other clips she could’ve sent me from this great show that would have made me laugh.
              I just think it speaks volumes as to how so many people really don’t get the deep pain chumps have .

        • Ok Zip…. that was hilarious!!!! I needed that laugh, I am definitely sharing this with “those” friends!!!

      • I got sick of “you’re strong” too. Every time I heard it I wanted to scream “IM FUCKING TIRED!!”

        Even weight lifters take breaks. Constantly having to be strong in the face of disgusting treatment and cheater abuse is one of the most exhausting things ever. Mentally and emotionally draining, and just physically tiring.

        It’s not something you should have to be strong for. Your partner cheating. They’re supposed to love you and make you feel safe. Not like you have to be strong in the face of dealing with their bullshit.

        • Kara, I agree. The only part to add is the overwhelming feelings that take months to process and the desire to cry nonstop, but having to hold it together for the kids or to go out in public.

        • The whole “so strong” has been triggering for me. As far as I was told by my ex about why he was leaving the marriage was because “You’re just too strong. Life with you is too busy and all about responsibility. I need to be with someone who just isn’t so strong.”

          Really? I got “punished” for being a strong, capable and responsible woman?

          Since then, whenever I’ve been told that I’m strong or that all of this will make me stronger, I’ve replied by saying I was already so strong that I scared a husband away, if I get even stronger, I’m going to scare the shit out of everyone I meet.

          • “I was already so strong that I scared a husband away, if I get even stronger, I’m going to scare the shit out of everyone I meet.”

            Ha! I laughed out loud at this! These assholes truly move the goalposts on us.

        • Kara! Right on!! You said it all sister! Thank you!. I remember crying my eyes out after D-day in my dialysis chair. My doctor comes around and I told her the truth. She says, oh but your sooooo strong!! Fuck that! Im tired of being strong! If I was so strong, I wouldn’t be a crying hysterical mess in public right now! Ive totally learned that friends, family, and acquaintances will only tell you stupid comforting shit that THEY want to hear!. My Therapist even told me that! Friends don’t want to be around a sad person who needs help at the moment. They want to have fun and meet guys. Those friends suck. Some of my friends have done some major major damage to me by giving me wrong advice and making me feel horrible about myself! This also includes my very own sister of whom I was completely there for her during her toxic 21 year old young guy relationship! I was totally available to comfort her. Then when I had my breakup, that was a solid 4 year committed life I had built with someone, She poo poo’ed it like, just get over it already! Its been 7 months!. (ummmm pandemic….) She also told me today, in gauge words, that I embarrass her because I still have to live with our crazy hoarder mother, right now and it is taking me a long time to get on my feet! Her 1.5 mil house is paid off after her divorce. She gets alimony and child support. I get 14,500.00$ a year in Social security disability and I am due for a kidney transplant any day now!. Houseing in San Diego is about a 10 year wait list and still costs 1000$ a month for a studio/1 bedroom. I must live within an hour of the transplant center. So anyway, my point being, yes even my own sister is so insensitive and selfish! I thought she got me. She did give me 200$ a couple of months ago to help me with hotel costs for the 6 weeks I need to stay in a hotel for my transplant. ( It will cost $4800.) My family is fully aware I have already been getting kidney transplant calls and I am due any day. But it is so weird! They are the least supportive people I know of! It’s almost as if they don’t want me to get better and change! My therapist said there is some truth to that actually. Often parents will sabotage their own Childs recovery and healing. Or make it very difficult for their adult child to move on with their lives and become strong healthy independent people. I fully believe that! Something to do with the adult child abandoning them (the mother). So they repress and gaslight, project, blame, manipulate, guilt trip, emotionally abuse their sick child. In a way, me coming back to live with my mom after 4.5 years I lived with cheater, Is in a way, I feel she is punishing me for leaving her and abandoning her. Its exhausting all of the constant boundaries I must maintain with her, and the massive amounts of bullshit filters I have to wear!. I just want my own little safe quiet place in San Diego. Away from all the crazy unhealthy abusive Narc mothers. One day soon I plan to write my story about all of this and share it with the world. The selfish mothers, the selfish friends, and selfish sisters… My advice, when you find a good friend, keep them! Throw away the energy vampires! You don’t need them. Surround yourself with positive healing people. Healthy people. 🙂

    • Madge 2, I love the way you put that.As if I needed another burden placed on my tiny shoulders. So true.

      It’s like when you’re seriously ill but somehow wind up soothing the non-sick person, telling THEM that it will be OK.
      That’s bassackwards. Comfort in, dump out.

      • YES! Exactly what I just wrote in my post above! How do narcs do that to us? We could be bleeding with our leg cut off, gushing out blood everywhere, and the crazy parks are crying for a bandaid.

        I am seriously ill. I have an autoimmune disease that has caused my kidneys to fail (like Lupus) and I have had to endure over 45 surgeries, and 3x a week in a center hemodialysis for 7, yes I said seven very long horrendous years! Not being able to travel or take any breaks or holidays. Waiting for a transplant. So I can move onward with my life! I am 40 years old. I thought my cheater who is older than I and whose brother had a heart transplant, understood me. Nope! I was very wrong about that one! Its just amazing what these cheaters are capable of!. Yep we could be dying, but they still expect the world from us! The audacity! I just don’t get it! I would never ever treat another human being that way! I have enough self respect to break up with a person before I sleep with someone else. It’s totally ass backward! I would like to see my AP and OW do one single day of dialysis with giant straws in their veins filtering blood for 4 hours!. There is no way! I have to do it, or I DIE. I have no choice. These cowards seriously make me laugh! What a joke! Fuck them! I almost find strength in realizing how wimpy and ass backward all of them are! Including selfish friends and family!

  • “…and you weren’t aware?”

    “Did he know her before you were married?”

    “At least you didn’t have kids with him.”

    “You should have a revenge affair.”


      • A friend suggested I book an undertaker to go to house of OW – why do a batshit crazy thing to an innocent person providing a service?
        My mother, always insecure and competitive, regaled me with stories about how faithful my father was to her. Yet I remember jealous rows.
        A friend who knew the OW insisted that there are two sides to it and she is actually really nice. Her caveat was that I was getting bitter and twisted and she was worried. I had been fiercely loyal when her husband had left her a few years before….well at least mine wanted to stay.
        First prize is taken by my mother though – any woman worth her salt would know right away

    • In fairness they’re not completely wrong about the kids part.

      Not having kids with my cheating ex made dumping him much easier, and I was able to go 100% NC.

      • I agree about the kid part too. That’s a whole other layer of heartbreak when you have kids with the cheater. Though it probably doesn’t help to hear that.

      • In one sense it’s easier to divorce if you don’t have kids (I have life experinece in this area).

        Gaining a life is less complicated without kids.

        But sometimes not having kids is a big part of the gaslighting and future-faking that the cheater engaged in. Putting off having kids, putting career moves first, creating a life so stressful that conception is difficult or impossible.

        Sometimes the wasted child-bearing years is a betrayal as painful as the sexual betrayal.

        • I’m so sorry, Loved a Jackass. I do have kids and they have been my rocks through this entire process. Our therapist called us “fox hole buddies” because we have been through the trenches together. It breaks my heart that you were robbed of the chance to have children!!! How callous for people to say that. Half of the time, I wonder if people are shocked and don’t truly consider how painful their words are. Although this experience has been hard on the three of us, and my heart breaks for the hell my kids have been through, but they are the redeeming factor for the last 19 years.

        • My ex and I chose to get my tubes tied while he was deep in his affair because we were done having kids and the OBGYN was going to be in there anyway for my c-section. It would have been nice to have all the information about the stability of my marriage when making that decision. What if I’d wanted to have a child with someone else after everything fell apart? Taking away someone else’s reproductive choices is reprehensible in any format.

          Oh, and guess who just had another baby. Whatever it takes to keep schmoopie happy.

          • I agree. My XW threatened that she would never have sec with me ever again useless I get “fixed”. I didn’t know yet she was cheating on me. When I found out the truth ai felted raped.

            I have since remarried and can’t have children with her. I hate my XW.

            • Sir, I jaye her too and hope I never have the bad luck of waiting behind her in a Starbucks.

              • Hate, not “jaye.”
                I suppose I’m not much of a hater if I can’t spell it so that says a lot.

          • Ex refused to get a vasectomy. Screamed that he would NOT get “castrated.”

            So, I took the hormones, I carried and birthed the babies, and I had MY tubes tied so that he could have access to my body without creating another child.

            I was so angry, but I swallowed it. My doctors advised me that vasectomy is much easier and safer for a man than tubal ligation is for a woman. They meant well. It was humiliating. HUMILIATING to have to repeat, “My husband refuses.” My doctors were husbands, each of whom had had vasectomies.

            He has a strong dislike of medication, and sees its use as a crutch or weakness. Said I had a choice to just stop taking the pill instead of the drama of having yet another surgery (I’d had an appendectomy), because he could control it all by pulling out. Unprotected sex was exciting for him.

            So it was my choice to take hormones, and the migraines that they gave me were just another sign of my weakness, and the ibuprofen to crush the migraines–more weakness. He could barely hide his disgust. And I swallowed that, too.

            He was late picking me up from my tubal ligation–the nurses in the recovery room kept asking me where he was–when was he going to get there to pick me up? I’d tried to make it so easy for him, didn’t ask him to bring me to the hospital nor wait for me in the lobby during the procedure, because I was thoughtful that way. But then he finally picked me up, and it wasn’t that bad. Except for the part about me being really hurt and angry that he refused to help me.

            That anger did manifest in brief fantasies of defiance. I mean, I was protected. But, of course, I’m a chump and I would never have cheated, no matter how angry I was with him. I just had to swallow that shit sandwich, and boy, did I.

            Then he left me for an older, childless woman who didn’t need birth control. She has simple needs, you see.

            • Can we line these piles of DNA up somewhere so we can take turns punching them somewhere sensitive please? I’m so sorry.

              • Love the sentiment, Chickenchump. I did better. Divorced him and got a new life. My man is the type to have had the vasectomy. He’s everything my ex was not, and it’s a beautiful thing <3

    • Revenge affair? Well that comment right there tells you that so called friend has a lack of character. I hope this person isn’t a close friend. I just dont believe that a person who thinks like that could ever be a real friend to a Chump.

    • I have a difficult time when someone says the not having kids thing to me. Probably because I feel like I’ll never be a mother now, which is painful. That’s just my own personal struggle with it.

          • “I suspected something was going on for a while,” and “I don’t think anyone in the family will be shocked.” – both from my father

      • Me too Alice

        I desperately wanted children but he never .
        I’m too old now to have children but he got AP ( now wife ) pregnant 11 weeks after he left me . He’s a first time dad at 46 .

        I will never have that opportunity .

        • Oh Karenb6702, I’m so very sorry. I really don’t think men understand what they rob us of when they use us during our fertile years.

          My only hope is that I at least get to be a stepmom someday. It kills me though to think I’ll probably never know what it’s like to carry a baby or have one with the man I love. The thought just makes me cry.

          Sending you hugs and a small bit of comfort that you’re not alone.

      • Ditto.

        I understand that not having kids makes dealing with the ex (much) easier.

        But since, because of him and his shit, I will never have children of my own — it’s pretty cold comfort.
        (He betrayed and abandoned me when I was diagnosed with, and recovering from cancer). He of course has 2 kids with the boozewhore ex he betrayed me for (in addition to the various ladies of Tinder, and god knows where else)

        • I hadn’t read all the comments when I replied to someone above. But I’m glad that childless chumps are speaking up about this.

          • LOJ – me too. I’m sorry about your loss. Just sad.
            I’m one of the odd ones who couldn’t get pregnant because the X never put it in me.
            Long story but, by the time he figured out I needed to divorce him for fucking me up with my friend, I was 57 and out of bullets. He’s married to her with 3 adult kids. Guess he got them the easy way.

      • Alice — it is never too late to be a mother, and your cheater did NOT take that away from you. You do not need a man to become a mom. There are all kinds of ways to adopt children through foster care and private agencies (with grants, fundraising options, and federal tax credits making it essentially free at times), adoption of human embryos to be implanted via IVF, and IUI using donor sperm. These are the top ways I can think of running out the door on my way to work. I’m sure there are others.

        As for adoption, I have two adopted children and four bio kids, and all of them are 100% MINE. I’ll straight murder for every single one of them. 😉 One child I adopted through the foster care system, so that was very affordable ($50 total). The other child was adopted through a private agency whose primary goal is teaching young parents how to parent, with adoption as a backup option. Their funding comes largely from grant programs, so adoption costs are kept close to the federal tax credit, which means we were essentially refunded almost everything we spent. Plus, my ex-husband’s firm had an adoption benefit in his benefits package, and that was one more way he “took advantage,” and “double-dipped.” He profited off of that adoption, and as a raging gambling addict, blew through the money, but that’s a story for another day. 😉 As for fostering, a single mom friend of mine had a placement reunify during the pandemic, and she was called for TWENTY-ONE more children within the first two weeks after that little lady went home. She’s now parenting a sibling group of three, so there is a HUGE need.

        I promise you, that cheater DID NOT take away your ability to parent. The “dream” of parenting with him is indeed dead and gone, but the dream itself does not have to be. Big hugs to you.

      • I can understand that.

        I already had 2 kids when I married him and wasn’t looking for more.

        I’m sorry for your loss ❤

    • I absolutely agree that “at least you didn’t have kids” is a crap condolence; particularly when said to someone who was married for a long time. It may make the divorce and NC easier, but that is a short term thing. I had two kids with cheater and my personal thoughts of condolence for myself are, “at least I got two awesome kids out of that mess of a fake marriage.”

      • Yes! I found it frustrating for the first year after separation when my Mom would remind me of this fact, even though I knew she was right. A couple years down the road and I can admit that getting to have my kids was a blessing, so for that, I thank my cheater ex for his sperm donation.

        I also think not having kids is a great option for couples who don’t want them. I worry about a couple of my friends, though, who aren’t having kids because their spouses are against it. In both cases, the spouse is very self-centered and the relationship is unequal in terms of contributing financially and making decisions.

        One friend asked me if I thought her husband really meant it when he said she can have a baby if she wants, but he would not help her take care for it. She pointed out that he said the same thing about their dog, but now he loved the dog and took care of it. The only thing I could think of to say was, “I think you would be a wonderful mother, and I would hate for you to miss out on that if it’s what you want, but I would not make this decision based on the assumption that he is going to change his mind.”

        Fast forward a decade later, they have no children, and she is supporting his family, who are from a developing country. His parents have been living with them for the last 4 years and she helped them get citizenship. When the dog passed away, he declared no more pets because they are too much trouble and he is allergic. He makes much less money than her, but has been leasing a $1,500 month convertible sports car for himself for the last 5 years. Uggh, it’s hard for me to not worry for her, and not be triggered by his choices.

      • I’m a bio-childless chump. I’m grateful for the awesome stepkids I got out of my crap relationship.

        • I’m another childless chump. I’m age 48 and I always wanted to have a successful pregnancy. I lost my childbearing years and now cheater is with a much younger replacement who is at her peak of fertility. It doesn’t feel “easier” to me whatsoever and I’m trying to emotionally prepare myself for the inevitable day that he becomes a father with her (or anyone other than me).

          • I’m a chump that had a child with ex. Ex succeeded in alienating our child from me.
            While ex was in the home ex was distant from our son.. I would suggest things for them to do together wanting them to have a relationship, ex would tell me to leave it alone, that he had nothin in common with our son. When Ex moved out he suddenly showered our son with promises, money and freedom. Ex confided in our son regarding the divorce, manipulated, demonized me with lies and manipulation. Ex told our son they could live like college room mates, (just what a teenage boy needs). Eventually ex gained full custody. The relationship with his father isn’t normal. I imagine the damage done to my son will reveal itself in time. I text him once a month just to say hello, and to ask how he’s doing, I don’t get a response. I see him once or twice a year, never on holidays or birthdays. We get along when we do get together, he will say how good it is to see me and hear my voice, then another 6months or more will go by before I see him again. It’s heartbreaking. My son was everything to me. Waking up to him was like Christmas morning. Sadly my Christmas mornings turned into my worst nightmare.
            Having children with Cheaters doesn’t always end up with a happy ending.

    • Having already whittled down and filtered my social contacts due to one of my son’s tragic chronic health condition, all who remained said the right things. Those who tended to say the wrong things, judge, force unwanted advice or hubris at me about how God loved them more and “bad thing x” would never happen to them or theirs were long gone.

      My son paid dearly for that filter so I hesitate to count this “lucky.”

      In any event I didn’t mind the revemge affair quips, all said jokingly by people who also said very supportive, on-point things or gave excellent advice. It made me laugh when my very dry, very Catholic, faithfully married computer scientist friend quoted another friend with, “Why have one man of 44 when you can have two of 22?”

      What was funny was just the shock factor that this particular person would say such a thing. My friends tend not to be haters and didn’t launch immediately into trashing the cheater. But that joke compensated for the ambiguity– yes, they were fully on my side not his. And no, I wasn’t expected to be a model of decorum. And yes, they thought I wouldn’t have a problem attracting candidates. That was nice to know.

      I didn’t have a revenge affair because, of course, what kind of be-cootied pathological creep or idiot would participate? Speaking of filters, just pondering the thought highlights how low-rent mate poachers and cheaters really are. We find ourselves easily able to trust that someone who’d get involved with a not-yet-divorced person sucks.

    • the “at least you didn’t have kids” hurts
      I would have liked to have kids. I hope they will be in my future.

      the second one that hurts is “you’re better off. forget about him already” and then she proceeds to tell me all the wonderful vacation plans she’s got with her husband.

      the third one that really hurts is the same friend in example #2. I complain to her about lack of romantic gestures, lack of appreciation, lack of attention and she hits back with “sometimes I think you have unrealistic expectations of love. Me and my husband, we are not so romantic” (then her husband proceeds to drive her from Hamburg to Prague (about 7 hours by car, because there are no good train connections) then turns around immediately and drives back to Hamburg for a work meeting he has the next day.) Is she unaware of her blessings? or is she the only one deserving? and I have to play the pick-me-dance?

  • An affair is just a symptom of a larger problem in the marriage (actually no – it’s just symptom of my husband’s personality disorder)

    You both need to take responsibility for how you contributed to your husband’s affair (I take no responsibility for his decision to fuck multiple hookers and coworkers)

    • How is anyone supposed to take responsibility for something they might not even know is going on anyway? I’ve read loads of comments here about how chumps didn’t know their marriage was over or there were problems etc (aka excuses told to APs). If you don’t know what’s wrong (if anything even IS), you can’t try and fix it. You can’t control what other adults do, so I agree, you can’t possibly be responsible for cheating partner’s behaviour.

      • Exactly!
        All the things he tried to complain about after being caught had been things *I* had numerous times, if anything, tried to bring up and have a mature conversation about and he ditched every effort by blowing up.
        Then has the gall to say “He can’t talk to me about things?” And how exactly is seeing someone else going to fix that?

        There is ZERO problem that can be fixed in the couple by screwing someone else!
        Do they think they’re “noble” for staying? It’s not noble to steal anyone’s time like they do.

        So they better find another narrative to spin, cause this one ain’t working no more!

        • Mine said “you’re impossible to communicate with’ he didn’t even try when he had someone else to do that with.

          • Mine said, several times over the course of the wreckonciliation attempt (on my part only, it turns out), “I know I need to communicate better.” He never did. Then when I finally pulled the plug he said, “Our problem was communication, but I never felt like I could talk to you.”

            • That’s something they say to cover up the fact that they know if they’d talked to you first, you would have asked them to please not cheat on you. Absolute reverse psychology.

              From the way my ex husband talked about me after I found out about his affairs, you would have thought I screamed and threw chairs and came after him with a knife every time he opened his mouth. In reality he was just a sneaking coward who preferred to have an alter ego who was smooth with the ladies. I say smooth because they didn’t know about his real life.

          • Mine said, “We grew apart.” I said, “Yes, because you chose to work on a relationship with OW rather than me.”

            Funny how an untended garden gets weedy.

        • OMG Same narrative! Cheater; “we broke up because we didn’t talk”. Me; “we broke up because he was/still is having a 2 year affair with his penis-nosed, page boy haircut, ho-worker, and conveniently did not tell me about it”. Naturally he did not like me telling the truth to everyone in our circle. But I felt I needed to defend myself and tell the TRUTH! I wasn’t going to lie for him! Fuck that! If he was so ashamed and embarrassed, he shouldn’t have lied and cheated so badly in the first place. He had many many different options to choose from. Cheating and lying is purely entitlement. Do cheaters really have such short sightedness? Do they really not think a day, a week, a month, ahead of their actions? It’s just hard to believe for me. Is getting their dick wet really worth throwing away their entire family? Reputation, integrity, shame, embarrassment, and humility? Im guessing none of them think they will get caught.

        • Quetzel, I, too, tried to discuss with my husband things that I thought might be bothering him. I always got, “I’m perfectly happy….or we are two peas in a pod…or I’m in love with you as much as the day I married you…” So, I tried to relax thinking that I was reading something that wasn’t there. We continued on our lives doing things together, having so much fun, laughing all the time… Until one day. And after that day I got, “I couldn’t never discuss things with you. You’d get angry or cry.” But…but…but…I TRIED to talk with you and you said everything was great. HOW can you address something when your partner doesn’t discuss it? Or, perhaps more realistically, maybe there WAS nothing wrong until someone shinier came along?

          Taking years of someone’s life under false pretenses is wrong. It’s robbery. It’s victimization. It’s murder of those years. Yet courts allow them to float off into the sunset as if nothing happened. Mine won’t even give me the benefit of an explanation. An apology would be a waste because he never knew how to apologize.

          But, back to things people say…Just last week my mother hurt me by saying…”You’ve just got to let these things go!” 30 years with someone. He left 3 years ago. I just found out he’s marrying the affair partner. And, I’ve been locked up alone at home with only two dogs to talk to for the past few months. And MY MOTHER has the nerve to give me one of those rude things people say…”you’ve just got to let these things go…” I have not been able to talk with her since. I would never presume to tell someone who has been through a trauma, when their trauma needs to be over.

          • I feel you ! My parents were out the window with him. I have no time or patience anymore to deal with toxic people. My parents were always dysfunctional, but after my separation they went to a whole other level, so I was done. No regrets!
            I can only recommend it.

            One time, I was bawling 7 DAYS after having moved cross-country to leave him and my mother said “…STILL?”.

            I was a wreck, but thankfully had the lucidity to know she was seriously fucked up for saying something like that… it was almost hilarious.

          • Yep—I’m here with you, and with the ones who didn’t have any kids. He told me and his family That he’d never been happier than with me, and refused to talk to me about relationship stuff. Then after I was dumped tried to justify the ‘new’/continuing relationship because I’d been so emotionally and sexually neglectful of him for years. (He was a workaholic and hardly ever home, so I didn’t have much opportunity.) He didn’t want to parent, and I wasn’t going to choose kids I didn’t know over him, so I’m solo now.

            He and his AP just got married. She’s got two young kids. Instant family.

      • So true. The great irony is that most of us here spent lots of time and energy trying to figure out what went wrong with the marriage after it collapsed. If our cheaters had been willing to engage before blowing up the marriage, think how much progress that effort could have made in improving the relationship. But of course it’s not a coincidence that people who lie and cheat are precisely the same people who won’t engage in open and honest dialogue.

        • I remember at one point in our marriage when my husband complained he was so sexually frustrated that he felt like driving around and picking up a hooker. I was really confused by that confession and what I was supposed to do with it, and frankly, disgusted. My mother had recently had a traumatic brain injury in our home and nearly died, and I was managing her recovery and her finances while she was in a coma and then re-learning how to do everything, from talking, to walking, to driving. We had two small children at the time and I was the primary breadwinner in a very demanding job. He was under-earning, playing video games late into the night, and when I had to leave the kids with him, he would just take a nap. When I went to my therapist with this information, she sort of shrugged her shoulders and said I should be grateful to have married a man who tells me about his feelings, before acting on them.

          D-day was a couple years later, but I eventually found out he had cheated on me when we were engaged and young and “in love” and had my full attention, so who knows what was really going on that whole time. No, I take no responsibility for his cheating.

          • It’s not anything to do with the marriage, really. They make up shit so they have an excuse after they have cheated. They are very immature individuals, and it is all about them. There’s nothing that could have been done. They decided they were entitled, and they did it.

    • The larger problem in the marriage is that he’s an asshole.

      So in that sense there is a larger problem.

    • These two lines set me back unnecessarily. And our couples’ therapist was spewing it! I wish I could tell her how wrong she was.

      • Yep! I would love to get all the money back from those therapists who encouraged me to look at my own role in the problem, rather than just help me cut my losses and start a new life.

      • I got this from a friend:

        “Seeing what’s happened to you and (ass hat) has made us work harder on our marriage. We’re happier than ever.”

        And I got this from an esteemed community elder I worked with:

        “I saw (ass hat) and his new woman holding hands and strolling on the beach. They looked so happy.”

        For the record, ass hat would never walk on the beach with me. He was too busy.

          • Sex is really important to women too. Unfortunately, some women have a hard time climaxing or develop an aversion because their partner is an a-hole. Who is really being defrauded here?

        • My new theory: Cheaters cheat to provide targets for passive aggressive twats in Chico’s poly-linen sweater sets and turquoise clip-on earrings.

          Cheating is really a public safety measure because, if deprived of opportunities to smilingly jam rusty hat pins into the vital organs of the recently bereaved, PATs spontaneously combust in puffs of pastel smoke, leaving behind only steaming puddles of piss, heavy metal residue and schadenfreude for hazmat crews to clean up.

          It’s quite serious. Hundreds die every year from the fumes.

    • I’d have a hard time keeping my cool with both of these comments. I’d probably respond with, “are you for real?” and have to walk away before I go off.

    • UGH! RIC-propaganda! I ate that shit sandwich 26 years ago. What’d I get? A cheater who still cheated AND guilt and pick-me-dancing for eons. I did go back to get another degree, which was a smart use of shit at the time. but 26 years later – cheating AGAIN (if not all along), I GTFO! ChumpLady & ChumpNation made it SO much easier and brought forth the IMPORTANT question: “Is this acceptable to me?”

    • “An affair is just a symptom of a larger problem in the marriage”

      Well, thats kind of true. The problem being that you are married to a narcissistic entitled douche.

  • “Do you still have feelings for him after all this time”. “Does it really still hurt, there must of been good times”. Ahh like shut up, shut up!!! Last thing I want is to think about the good times right now to make myself feel even worse. It’s shitty enough we broke up cuz of his cheating and I’m hurt, yet they want me to think about the good times. ????????????????

    • “There must have been good times” – yes, a Switzerland friend said something similar to me early on, “Come on now, it wasn’t ALL bad with Cheater.”

      This same now Ex-friend invited me over to their house for dinner then before the meal, asked me to sit at the dining room table because the wanted to talk to me alone. She then said that I should stop going around town “saying bad things about Cheater,” because, as she so nicely pointed out to me, “he isn’t saying bad things about YOU!”

      It wasn’t till 2 years after this “talk” that Ex-friend’s daughter let it slip that Cheater and OW were frequent guests at their house. She was attempting to reassure me that OW was not likeable, ironically. She said, “Yeah, every time they come over to our house, OW refuses to play board games with us.” So my friends of almost 20 years were completely fine with what Cheater DID to me, but I was a pariah because of what I *said* about him which was basically factually telling people he cheated on me and traumatized me. And they became instant friends with OW, who they had never met before DDay. I am so so very better off w/o these shallow kinds of “friends.”

      • Yep—I’m here with you, and with the ones who didn’t have any kids. He told me and his family That he’d never been happier than with me, and refused to talk to me about relationship stuff. Then after I was dumped tried to justify the ‘new’/continuing relationship because I’d been so emotionally and sexually neglectful of him for years. (He was a workaholic and hardly ever home, so I didn’t have much opportunity.) He didn’t want to parent, and I wasn’t going to choose kids I didn’t know over him, so I’m solo now.

        He and his AP just got married. She’s got two young kids. Instant family.

  • Actual conversation last winter with a woman who connected with me on Bumble — I’ll call her ‘Clueless Ruth’:

    CR: “So, what ended the marriage?”
    UX: “Mainly the fact that I caught her bringing a guy into my home for sex while my daughters were at school.”
    CR: “Really? . . . Wow . . . That’s terrible. I mean . . . I ‘get’ fucking around on someone. I get that. But you don’t bring it in the home.”
    UX: “Excuse me?”
    CR: “I know a lot of people who are fucking around on their spouses. The woman who I’m meeting for breakfast this morning is fucking around. Sometimes you just have to find happiness where you can get it. But you just don’t bring it into the home.”
    UX: “I don’t know what to say to that.”
    CR: “Well, I guess it’s best that it’s over. The good thing is that it gives you time to think and reflect, and eventually you can figure out your own role in why the marriage ended.”
    UX: (silence)
    CR: “Did I go too far?”
    UX: “I’d say so.”
    CR: “Are you thinking maybe it’s time to end this call?”
    UX: “I think that’s a good idea.”
    CR: “OK. Sorry.” (click)

    • Jesus. Clueless Ruth is more than just clueless she’s a fucking sociopath. Also probably a cheater.

      • Yep. Clueless Ruth is definitely a cheater. She’s too cavalier about it not to be. But she probably thinks she’s better because she “doesn’t bring it into the house.”


      • “Your marriage was over a long time before I came into the picture” the affair partner.
        “You knew how he was when you married him” the ex mother in law.

        • My MIL said
          “Boys will be boys” and then lectured me about how she stayed with her husband who had a secret life, his son learned from his dad. She followed up with “I hope you keep the house”. I did keep the house. My MIL is in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s and just yesterday in a zoom call called my daughter by my name bc she thinks my ex is still married

    • Haha what the hell did she expect would come from that…??
      But thank goodness she didn’t have the sense to lie to you about it, so you could ditch her fast!

    • Omg what disgusting comments,
      I got told I should move on after finding out husband of 26 years had been cheating, yes thank you I will eventually, when I’ve worked through all the pain, lies & deceit….

      • The DOCTOR wrote me 4 months after D Day & a “trial separation” (& days after I learned of OW) that he hoped I had “moved on”…after 35 years of marriage. That was a slap and showed how he had zero empathy or self awareness.

        And a friend who said “after a year, you’ll be alright”. Well it’s close to 4 years since D day and I still SMH that he could be happier with a stupid – seriously -schmoopie and not even speak to me or our 3 adult kids (WHILE also blaming ME for that). So weird.

        I trust that he sucks, I know quarantining with him could NOT have been fun with him fuming about HIS lost income etc (no noble volunteer work for him!!)

        The lockdown here has set me back. And that is very annoying. Like it triggered a “relapse” of my PTSD.

        • Dr’s 1st,

          You’re not the only one. It seems like the quarantine has also triggered my PTSD. Not sure why. Too much time to reminisce & stew about it all maybe? Idk but it really sucks donkey dongs for sure!

          • I can’t say it has triggered my PTSD. But it has made me profoundly, unusually sad. Not depressed. Just sad. It is unlike anything I have felt in the past. Anyone else feel this way?

            • Yeah the whole lockdown set my healing back. For me there was sadness but the worst has been massive anxiety. I’ve never felt so abandoned. DDay was 11 months ago. Asshat moved out 10 months ago and just left me to it. Lockdown heightened my sense of abandonment and I couldn’t help but imagine him with her ???? . It sucks. I expected him to ask if daughter and I were safe and coping. Nothing. Crickets.

              • DOCTOR ex has texted ONE of our 3 adult children during this ordeal, to share his thoughts on the virus. So involved…

                Yes my therapist said the lockdown DOES tend to retrigger us so we are having a “normal reaction” to a surreal LONG ASS ordeal…

                but I think if I were still with the DOCTOR, it’d be worse.

            • Yes, very sad.

              Family destruction because of cheating is the unacknowledged grief.

              They expect us to get over it. Nobody tells a widow or widower to get over it.

      • Yeah after Dday/discard & end of my 13 year marriage/together 22 years, my boss told me “well it might not feel like it now but this will be the best thing that has ever happened to you.” Yeah my husband cheating on me for 1 year with his married coworker resulting in me filing for divorce is not on best things list. At least I got great kids from the marriage but I wouldn’t wish this on anyone!

    • Wowzers! CR doesn’t even KNOW how twisted her thinking is.
      Glad she exposed herself for a fuckwit sooner rather than later.

    • Wow, UX World – Just wow.

      Did she think drawing the line at not bringing it into the house would make her more attractive to you? What a great example of people telling you who they are. Then, adding the whole “your role” layer. There’s a winner right there. Can’t imagine how no one has landed that prize.

      Glad you dodged the Clueless Ruth bullet, UX.

    • Ya ya I heard that too. I just say honesty is better and move along. People are so smug when they have NOT been through it !!!

      • Ugh, heard that one too. Idiots I had been married longer than the woman who said it, had been alive.

  • 1. There are two sides to every story and you need to take responsibility for where the relationship went wrong in order for you to move forward.

    2. You are the strongest person I know (ergo, you’ll be fine to just deal with this on your now).

    3. Just move on with you life (like that’s as easy and going to pick up a new life of a self in the local supermarket).

    4. You are so lucky to have all that free time to yourself.

    5. If you don’t forgive you’ll be eaten up with hate and it will poison you and will make you ill (and that will be your fault as well so you know).

    And after not that long, not ever want to bring it up again because, surely you are done with that….

    • I really take issue with #1. No, there are not two sides to a story when your partner cheats and blows up your family. There are not two sides to a story when a deviant abuses either physically or mentally their spouse or partner. I think there is a special place in hell for passive aggressive asswipes that get on their high horse and insist there are two sides to a story.

      • KB22 I so agree! I actually think I blocked that comment out because I completely forgot that someone had said that to me as well (the comment is that painful, it needed to be blocked).

        The two sides are:
        -He couldn’t keep it in his pants
        -I’m not perfect but I’m loyal

        The end.

          • Ugh. Dr. Phil needs to shut the hell up. “This ain’t my first rodeo,” “You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge,” “I am trained in forensic psychology.” And then there’s “life coach” Mike B. who has a “degree” in substance abuse treatment. Where did that guy come from? And…’buy this product my hypnotized wife is selling”
            Clearly I’ve watched too much Dr. Phil!

              • But my ex insisted, “You can’t take MY truth away from me!!” Narcissists playbook chapter 3, they will always have their own reality.

          • Dr. Phil should just stop making that pancake thinner and eat it already! At least then he would have his mouth full and wouldn’t be able to spout off.

      • That’s just it though, there aren’t two sides when you’re with a cheater and you don’t know they’re cheating. At that point, there’s only one story because you think you’re on the same page as your partner. This is why we’re chumps. We were chumped. We were duped into thinking the cheater was a loyal, kind, loving person who had our backs. NOPE! The cheater is a thieving liar who enjoys playing with his/her unknowing prey and gets high off the duper’s delight.

      • My MIL said that to me too.
        They say that because my ex had been telling her stuff so that when and if it went down she would not be surprised, after all he wasn’t happy!
        Found out 3 months later, he ended his first marriage with cheating on his sons mother too!
        Gross man.
        Dint miss that!

      • My MIL said that to me too.
        They say that because my ex had been telling her stuff so that when and if it went down she would not be surprised, after all he wasn’t happy!
        Found out 3 months later, he ended his first marriage with cheating on his sons mother too!
        Gross man!
        I don’t miss that!

    • Dear DuddersGetsChumped #1 two sides to every story, The advice I got was ” I don’t want to take sides ” I was told a few weeks before my 50th wedding anniversary by my now ex that he had been cheating (starting with once ending with 15 years) WHAT SIDES IS THERE TO ADULTERY? Also I was given advice to forgive least I become bitter and angry. Tell that to George Floyd’s people.

      • Ah yes, the not taking sides. Fortunately for me I have very few people in my sphere where this came up. His parents have been very good to me and very fair during all this and I would expect them to ‘take sides’ for example and not speak to their son but they have been measured and fair and open and I have obviously respect that I can’t go in slating their child to the hilt. So basically we’ve all been adult about it right.

        It’s refreshing to be reminded there was one I didn’t hear! I suppose the other thing I really disliked was some people are like ‘well it happens doesn’t it’, you know the Esther Perel loving types. Like being uncool about infidelity makes you sound like a Victorian Nun. Anyway who has been like that about it I can’t help to say I’ve thought, love to see it happen to you.

        I certainly know now if someone EVER told me to ‘own’ my problems I would squarely punch them in the jaw and it could be well meaning but the response you get makes you very angry about these responses in and off themselves!

    • Yep, just sounds like more blame shifting, doesn’t it? It’s like the Chumps get fucked over and THEN we’d better be brave and just heal, move on and shut up. No one gets it…

  • “At least you know where your husband is”, a few weeks after my 27 year old husband was killed in an accident, from a woman who was going through a divorce.
    Yeah. Lady, I can go to the cemetery and talk to his tombstone any time I want to.

    • Yeah, I get that. A month after cheater ex kidnapped and murdered my youngest son…..”Quit feeling sorry for yourself. You aren’t the only person in the world who has lost a child. You need t suck it up.” Needless to say, I was speechless.

      • What??!!! What a terrible thing for someone to say! Wtf is wrong with people?!
        I am so very sorry for your loss Tessie.

    • What the everloving fuck?!?!

      That’s like someone complaining about a paper cut, thinking they have it worse than an amputee. “Well, at least your fingers won’t bleed anymore. [only because your hand is long gone.]

  • Get a fake tan
    Dye your hair
    “friends” said
    She’s more interesting than you, no she’s a drug addict and alcoholic, “friend” said
    Shame about the sti’s
    The capitals are for a reason

  • “But men do these things”

    “It takes two to tango, it’s never just one person’s fault”

    And from sparkledick’s brother, the capo of the family: “you never helped anyone, never paid for anything, get your things and never come back.”
    40 years of marriage, numerous family members owing me $ including to bury a SIL’s mother, I dropped everything to help another SIL when idiot BIL got arrested for money laundering, changed countless diapers for MIL and even got her shit under my finger nails.

    • I’ve had women the age of my mom, with grown sons who are my age, say to me “But men do these things”.

      That disgusted me more than the men doing those things, if possible.

      • Yeah and notice how there’s always a woman like this around to defend men who ain’t shit?

        I grew up in the south and this was the mentality of the older female members of my family. The women were nothing but the men stayed perpetual overgrown boys. They did whatever to whoever and mama and memaw were always there with bail money, rent money, and to fight anyone who was “against” them.

        • My mother, from Alabama, actually said to me, “If the wife doesn’t give the man sex, he’ll get it from somewhere else. That’s just how men are!”


          • Disgusting

            I actually had women of that generation tell me something nice, including my dear neighbour who still lives with her cheating husband and suffers from estrangement to their only child.

            She said, I’m glad for you that times have changed and you don’t have to put up with this anymore. Don’t let anyone shame or blame you for leaving.

        • I’m from an terribly long line of ‘stand by your man’ women, too – on my mother’s side. Smart, amazing (but uneducated and underemployed) women who put up with physical abuse of themselves and their children, who excused affairs and stayed in miserable marriages for religious reasons, and one who even excused a husband who was caught exposing himself in a grocery store. God, it sickens me to think about all of this.

          When my first serious post-divorce relationship ended because my 50-year-old boyfriend was cheating on me, my mother commented that I ‘had put him on a pedestal.’ The problem was apparently my expectations, not his crap behavior.

          My sister and I have decided this all ends with us, now. We call the bullshit for what it is, and we talk openly with my daughter and our nieces.

    • I have actually heard that one about all men cheating, and no, actually, men do not just “do” these things. I certainly didn’t.

    • I got “it takes two to tango” from my mom when I was repeatedly raped as a child. Fuck that saying and anyone who uses it.

      • Oh sweet God in heaven I’m so sorry to hear that, that hit me right in the throat. From your Mom smdh. And yeah fuck that to anyone who says that. With a cactus even.

      • Oh, marissachump, I’m so sorry to hear that. Your mom added insult to literal injury. I hope you’re in a better place now, and don’t have to rely on her for anything.

    • I had a long-term friend tell me, “All men cheat.” WTF What do you do with that? I know it’s a lie, but I ended up feeling bad for her. And – of course . it didn’t help me at all.

      Another was this clueless flake at our bank. I stayed with the bank I had been doing business, and so did he (we never had a joint account. in 30 years). Bank flake said: “You should really forgive your husband. He still wears his wedding band. He still loves you.”
      I just looked at her, dumbfounded, I literally couldn’t say a word. I wanted to report her to the bank president, but never did. I started banking at another branch until she was gone. I berate myself for not reporting her. The trauma bonding is a MF’er.

  • After telling a close family member of my XH’s cheating, lying, stealing of family funds and physical threats I was told “He’s a good man.”

    • Lol, OptionNoMore, Ten years out and I find this so…funny. Heartbreaking too because Infidelity really sucks. I can relate, fucktardx told me the exact same thing! It was a truth…like so many here, I was capable. My marriage was successful because I did the work. The disordered do not because they do not value real relationships. After a while I was made to feel that our family was in the way of his better life. I do think some people can never be happy, their goal posts are forever moving. They don’t recognize how good they have it. The fantasy is always better. It sucks that so many good people are fooled by these cons. In our many years together, I rolled with life’s challenges while x often ran away. I made excuses for him. He was tired, or stressed, or working long hours, when what I should have done was question his selfishness. I have to be very careful not to gloss over X’s shortcomings in our marriage, it appeared to be, but wasn’t, that great, and I did quite a bit of spackling to excuse his crap behavior. X had a lot of great qualities too and knew to throw me some small favors which kept me hooked. It was familiar. Hell, I wanted the fairy tale, yet it always seemed so elusive. The trappings were there, years were invested. When important occasions arose he often sabatoged them, beginning the day we married. Holidays never went well, he was often absent or at the club. I was often disappointed, any decision made was to x’s benefit and not “ours.” I did not require much. X needed an audience and at a certain point I too was no longer engaged (hard to be when you have a devaluing, cheating spouse, even if you are largely unaware…).
      The day I married and the day the judge granted my divorce are one and the same, 21 years apart. I’d like to believe that strength means surrounding yourself only with those who treat you well.

  • “You can reinvent yourself, isn’t that exciting, I am kind of jealous!” says friend who lives in another states. Is there a response for that?

    My response, stunned silence. Still think what the everliving fuck?

    • I’m speechless… so if she wanted to go bald, I guess in her world she’d say thank goodness for chemo…!!! WTF with some people…

    • I heard that from a colleague. And I have a sneaking suspicion it was said because she’s not happy in her own marriage.
      Actually, several of my married women colleagues/friends came to my new apartment and made comments that seemed to me to suggest they were envious that I was on my own and independent. It’s as if I suddenly became the lucky single woman who didn’t have to compromise or was free from obligations to a husband.
      It’s been a couple of years since I left, and I’m over the pain and the grief (but not the anger), but still making my way toward my new mighty life. In fact, I’m happier now than I was married to my ex, but that doesn’t mean that his actions and our divorce were not traumatic. That they gave the impression that I was somehow unaffected and fancy-free was deeply hurtful.

  • These posts are breaking my heart.
    All I had was a Switzerland friend who was SHOCKED that when I cut them out of my life.
    I know this isn’t the pain Olympics, but I feel like I got off easy, so I’ll spend some of my energy to give out good vibes to those who are living through this right now.

  • “You know, you really have to make an effort to be nice to him and his mistress for the sake of the kids. All the research says that the only thing about divorce that hurts kids is the conflict. If you have no conflict, the kids will be fine. I really admire those couples who still have dinners and Christmas together. They’re really strong.” – After explaining my need for minimal contact with my ex-H and his AP/intern.

    • That is like having Christmas dinner with a guy who raped you; because it makes others feel better.

      And the word STRONG. I loathe it now. I was told I needed to put on my big girl panties and be strong. Fvck them, we are not allowed to have a normal reaction to being stabbed in the back. They try to take away our outrage, our voice, our natural reactions. It feels like yet another betrayal. Invalidation of what we went through.

      I can see why adultery has such harsh penalties in other countries. They get it.

      • So very true. I live in a country where adultery has been DEPENALIZED about 50 years ago.

        What’s even the point in getting married if it’s the only legal contract people will have no consequences for breaching..?!?!?

        • Dear Quetzal, AMEN! I could not agree more. Time to end this 50/50 no fault, and walk away. NO!! Women are being screwed every which way possible and we just assume that’s the way things are. We need to legally put a stop to this theft.

      • Mitz, you nailed it! “Christmas dinner with someone who raped you”, perfect analogy.

        And other countries have it right with the severe punishment for adultery. Everyone in America treats divorce from infidelity with a shrug and the phrase “get over it”. They’re is no justice for betrayed spouses and children. Just shit sandwiches ask around and court systems that further victimize the betrayed despise and children.

        We seriously need to bring back tarring and feathering. And I mean it this time.

    • MaisyL, I got this 3 days after D-day from his parents. They added, not doing so would make it so hard timewise for cheater.

      I don’t know how I came up with the answer. I said, well maybe our first gathering should include your Uncle Jay, his mistress of 30 years and the Catholic wife and adult kids to whom he pretends to live in a different country for work – which everyone knows isn’t true!
      Before blocking them after, I sent a message, ‘If I’m that easily exchangeable after 16 years, then I was never anything more than a grandchild-birthing vessel you. Good riddance.’

      Got accused of inflicting horrible emotional stress on nice old people. LOL

  • The big one is that I’m too picky.

    I did the limbo dance for years with the horizontal bar lowered so close to the ground my knees gave out.

    That bar has raised because my needs are important.

  • Here are a few of my “faves”

    -It is too bad he took the best years of your life!
    -I am sure he had his reasons
    -I don’t want to take sides, you are both great people!
    -Ah I heard that you are having issues with your alcoholism/depression/ – that is tough on a relationship
    -He and Schmoopie are so cute together and seem so happy! (WTF???)
    -You really dodged a bullet ! ( not so much…I think it hit me)

    Sigh.. 🙂

    • I heard a variation of dodging a bullet from my therapist – something like he did me a favour by discarding me …. I’m sure she meant well!

      I also heard something to the effect of better now than at 65 from a few people ….maybe that’s true? But didn’t help…

      • Crappy therapist, Zip. Idk whether she “meant well” or not. That sucked.

        I was 55 on Dday (#3 – I learn slowly, obvs). I felt older than dirt and frumpy as hell. Since then, I’ve reverse-aged benjamin button style. Lost a little weight, but mainly I have 220 pounds less of angry, pouty ex-cheater to tiptoe around. I walk lighter, attract people, date, don’t date if I don’t want to. Make new friends. It isn’t perfect, but I AM better off. But the process is traumatic and MUST be treated as such. People who haven’t lived it don’t get it. I was surprised by the people who DID – and they have remained friends. True friends.

        • Thanks and I’m happy for you… it’s so nice to hear when a chump is doing better than they were before.
          This is therapist #2, ugh I want to give her the benefit of the doubt.
          I think she meant that this is not a great guy and he did me a favour by getting out of my life
          … because who knows what else could’ve happened if he stayed around? That’s how I am interpreting it!

    • Comments I heard from neighbors and friends.
      1) I’ve never seen him so happy!
      2) Ex just wanted someone he had more in common with. (we were married 20 years).
      3) There’s always two sides to every story. I’m friends with both of you.. (no, not any more).

      4) Ex is really a sweet guy
      After an angry e-mail reply to ex which he forwarded to everyone.
      5) I read the e-mail you sent to ex, acting like that I can’t blame him for leaving you.
      A few months after D-day, You need to move on, I’ve never seen ex so happy, he’s moved on, why haven’t you?
      6) Ex and AP make such a cute couple..,
      7) Ex does ridicule you and I can’t help but laugh, he’s so funny!
      After mentioning to someone that Ex had an AP.
      8) That doesn’t sound like Ex, he’s always such a nice guy. I can’t believe that, sorry..
      9) Well, that’s not what I heard. I found out later that ex told people, after I backed into a fence
      at the school that I had been drinking and was drunk driving that day (a lie, I had a police report). Ex confided in people as if they were his best friends that he had been suffering with my addiction and couldn’t take it anymore, I was an alcoholic, which isn’t true.

  • From what I considered a good friend :

    “But – what I’d want to know from him, is WHY did he do it?”

    At one year out of chumpdom, and that was so dehabilitating to hear.

    I’d spent years trying to get to the “why”, not seeing for a minute that it didn’t matter.
    It was life-altering to find Chump Lady and her “stop untangling the skein!”, and here was my support going back in circles.

    • I had a few friends say similar. But they immediately followed it up with how he must be crazy because I was such an amazing wife and stepmother to his kids. Perhaps, like my friends, yours just couldn’t understand why he would be stupid enough to give up someone as wonderful as you. Or they’re just stupid. I hope it’s the former.

      • Like you, I gave my ex the life of Riley. I realized that if he couldn’t be happy and stay true to me, he won’t be able to be happy or stay true to anyone.

      • I wish it could have been that, but when she said this she really meant it in an “untangling the skein”, “why was he unhappy?” kind of way. I know she was genuinely baffled by this behavior, she mentioned that she’s had other friends this happened to, too. Her own partner is overtly abusive to her and she’s deep in denial.

        So I don’t blame her, but she’s also in that place where she would “forgive” cheating if it happened to her and I can’t be on her same page. I understand that we’ve all been there, and should anything happen I’d be 100% there for her.

        She also didn’t really stand by my side in any significant way and I think she low-key didn’t extend support because “it was my choice to leave”. But I take these all as exercises in vetting people and I’m proud of my “picker” now.

  • CL has it SPOT on. What are we supposed to say to these nitwits? The ones who say it could never happen to them, or that an affair is only a symptom of problems in a marriage, or that we need to move on only months after Dday, that we worked too much and didn’t focus on our marriage… I can never think of good responses.

  • I was told “It’s not like he beat you….” and the infamous “You need to get under someone new to get over him”.

    • I am now very good friends with OBS (XW of my wife’s affair partner). I’ve lost track of the number of people who’ve said I should hook up with her. Like she (and I) aren’t actual people with feelings but just players in some crummy romance novel. Not to mention how on earth we would explain it to the five kids who’d be affected when they eventually found out (as they always do).

      • Involuntary Georgian –
        Your metaphor for a crummy romance novel is spot on. People are so obtuse! And facile. They really want a nice, neat way to wrap up a tragedy in a bow and call it a gift. It’s times like these that we see what people are made of. It’s a step further than stupid comments made when a loved one dies, but just as hurtful .

        That being said, my creepy ex’s even creepier brother (now on his 3rd marriage) had cheated on wife #1 w wife #2. XW #1 met & married XW #2’s XH (is anyone following this?). I think the respective exes who married each other were still together when the schmoopies divorced. Might have helped that there weren’t any children involved, but I should have seen that as a sign decades ago and gotten out earlier. Note to self.

    • “It’s not like he beat you.” Psychological abuse is much more damaging, and takes a lot more time and work to heal from than a bruise from a punch to the face. That said, abuse is abuse, and none of it is tolerable.

  • 1. Therapist suggested I watch/read Esther Perel. Strike one.
    2. Therapist told me to stop focusing on OW (2 weeks in). Strike 2.
    3. Therapist said this could help reinvent our marriage. Strike 3.

    You’re out!!

    Really, some idiots are licensed therapists. Dangerous.

    • I was given the Esther Perel advice too. Boo.
      I’d love to accidentally meet that therapist again, on the street, and clarify my thoughts on her advice!

      • On the day my divorce finalized, I mailed our damaging former marriage therapist (who actually said, among other things, “you know, it’s possible for your husband to still love you, even though you don’t have the body his AP does” -we hadn’t been talking about anybody’s body) a copy of CL’s book. I wrote him a letter to educate him on how much my ex had lied to him as well as to me, and how much worse his therapy had made the situation for me. He emailed me back, and actually said he’d read the book and examine “if he had any blind spots.” What a smug, sexist prick.

      • Oh, gosh, Esther Perel? That’s like telling a robbery victim to to go hang out in a prison.

      • All great advice!
        I just like to throw it out into the universe and see if it’ll happen — I have my statement all planned and perfect, ready to go just incase it does.

    • I too had a therapist that suggested the following gems:

      1. You should put a few drinks in you to get some courage to confront him. (And this is to “confront” him while discussing particulars of a settlement and child custody. I don’t think that should be done tipsy.
      2. After explaining the sexual trauma and triggers that just seeing two strangers holding hands or hugging could send me into a tailspin of the mind movies of cheater with ho-worker: “have you considered looking at porn to help you get past that?”

      Yep. Thanks for all the sound THERAPY

      • Fearful & Loathing – Wow!! If that is the kind of advice you get in therapy then roll up folks, I can give you those pearls of wisdom for about 40 bucks an hour if anyone is interested. I’ll get some cards made up, drink half a bottle of whisky before every session and away I go. Think I’ll be quite good if that’s the standard…..

    • I had a therapist tell me that cheater’s time is her own and none of my business and I need to get over it and stop trying to control her relationship with the affair partner. Uhhh…

        • It’s incredible the things some people have said to me in the face of others abusing me… I feel like I have a book or three in there.

          As for the therapist, I was too traumatized and I just ghosted her and moved on. I eventually found a wonderful therapist who helped me with EMDR and lots of domestic violence resources.

    • I had a marriage counselor tell me that since my husband did not think of his emotional affair with a very young women as an affair I should not either. He talked about this girl at every appointment!
      The counselor also told me my husband was a great guy with a good heart and he can’t change so I need to just accept him. Chastised ne for calling him out on his hurtful comments.

  • XH’s cousin, who condemned x’s actions and I once highly respected: “Maybe he got it right. Maybe life is short so we should just do what we want.” (Said because he was having issues with his wife)

    BUH BYE!

  • My mom kept telling me at first: Don’t worry you’ll find another man. She would tell me that everytime i cried as if it was the reason that I was crying. Honestly, I was disgusted by men at that point. I feel like my mom just wanted me to shut up and find a man and that’d fix all the issues. It made me so angry! Like i was a pile of snot not because I was betrayed and cruelly discarded but because of the lack of a man in my life. And she was not the only one to say that. Now, 2 years later, I met someone and they’re all : I told you! ????

    • I have to admit, that phrase was one I grew up with; “Men are like streetcars, there’ll be another one along in a minute”. Kind of puts one at a loss for being betrayed.

  • “Maybe he just got tired of being married to you.”

    From a close friend, now ex-friend, found out she was a cheater, too. Feel sorry for her new 2nd husband, he picked another loser.

  • 1- you’ll meet someone else when’s you are not even looking
    2- you should have said if you we’re having marriage issues
    3- You really didn’t know?
    4- did you really need to get a lawyer I’m sure he would have been very fair with you
    5- there are 3 sides to a story , yours , his and somewhere in the middle will be the truth

  • “That’s his Path.”


    I do NOT believe that
    bad things, especially intentionally inflicted harmful evil murderous things, have ANYTHING to do with “the Universe” or God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster and are plain flat smack WRONG.

    The person who said that to me did not get their lights punched out because I am a on spiritual gobbledegooky path…..


    • yeah – I got that crap too. its his journey; this is your journey; there is a reason this has happened to you; don’t you think you are better off; you two were so different; something better is coming; god has a plan for you and him”. all of these things may be true, it is just hard to hear when I was having a hard time trying to just get through a day so I go crawl back in my bed. not sure what could have helped but this didn’t at that time. now when I meet a chump, I just try to be present, feed her/him and listen to their wails. hugs

  • “Tall One, you have a part in this too”, said the divorce coach at our first meeting.

    In the moment I believed him. Stung.

    Then I got angry at him. I never said anything, chose to just get through the process.

    “You have fault in this too” said one of my longest, most dear college friend who clearly wanted to be Switzerland.

    We don’t talk anymore.

  • “Well he was seen all over town with one woman after another every time you were at work. ” This from my boss, who wouldn’t allow me to work days – because that meant she would have to work in the evening. AND, if she knew all about it, why the HELL didn’t she mention it to me instead of just gossiping with my co-workers? I quit – refusing to return even after the big boss flew all the way across the country to offer me a permanent day shift and a raise. Screw them all.

  • The new Pastor at our church, when told about xh cheating then abandoning myself and 3 young boys said:
    ” oh, he’s probably feeling embarrased..”

    • Oh, I got this one too. It made me want to throw things. And I only WISH it was true. The EX was NEVER embarrassed about ANYTHING. He was just mad he got caught.

  • A neighbor of mine ran into xh & his twat at a 4th of July celebration. My kids were with xh for visitation that weekend. It was only 3 months after he walked out on us (seemingly out of the blue at the time) to move in with her and her 3 kids.

    Apparently trying to reassure me, this neighbor said, “She was good with your kids. You dont have to worry at all about your kids being ok with her.” I knew I was supposed to be relieved by this comment but instead it made my blood boil. I said nothing & just nodded my head. But I was thinking, “Oh, my kids are just fine with this woman huh? They’re being taught that marriage is nothing. Breaking a family up is nothing. It’s fine for a husband & father to just leave & go live with another woman & her kids. You’ll have new sisters (something ow & xh tried to get my kids to call hers). And all is wonderful and fine as long as ow keeps an eye on my kids at an event tonbe sure they’re not kidnapped (cuz u know xh couldnt possibly do that by himself cuz he’s just a man afterall).”

    That comment from my neighbor has bugged me for years. This is coming from a divorced woman who had kids, which shocked me even more (though her divorce was 15 years before kids were grown and she was remarried). Asking for CN opinions in this. Is this something that shouldn’t have bothered me? Or would it have struck others the wrong way too? I sort of always felt that it shouldn’t have bothered me because neighbor meant well. Yet, it still runs me wrong years later.

    • No, it should have bothered you! You dont want this lying skanky bitch around your kids for ANY reason! Your piece of shit x should be “good” with them. Not this dirty slut! She helped break up a a marriage and NOW wants to be GOOD to your kids. Should have thought of that before you laid down and let a married man fuck you HO!

      Sorry, but yes, it makes me mad. I had a VERY hard time letting my kids go around the skank in my situation. I would not have put up with hearing ANYTHING, good bad or indifferent about how she interacted with my precious babies. I would not have been as gracious as you kiddo.

      • Yes ma’am, ALL of this. My kids were adults when the shitshow began; I can’t even Imagine how hard it is to have to deal with a treacherous bitch being allowed around my kids.

    • I don’t have kids, but the comment would have bothered me. Sure maybe the neighbors intention wasn’t bad but it was not something that needed to be addressed.

      I would have thought, “well yea dummy, homewreckers are always on their best behavior in front of others. give me a break. it’s a homewreckers goal to show everyone why they are so great, great enough to be justified in breaking up a family”

    • IT BOTHERED YOU. End of story. It would
      bother me too. Translation? Complete oblivion to you being violated with the biggest sharpest knife in the drawer. So SHE violated you too.

      In my world, there is no statute of limitations on cleaning up violations should you wish to. Letting her know how you felt about what she said is totally an option. Or write out what you want to say and burn it.

      In any case, it’s a wound, it’s open, and it needs first aid.


      • Of course it bothered you. It’s as if all is well. I will say that the only thing worse MAYBE is if the neighbor had said “OW is a real bitch to your kids…really weird and mean.”

        But then at least you could tell your lawyer…what do you DO with the news that schmoopie is “good” with your kids?

        (And she’s Not so good with her own spouse & family…)

        • Doctor’s1stWife,
          That’s what I was going to try to say but you said much more gracefully than I would’ve.

    • I’ve never been married or had any children but I’d have been bothered, yes! Am I wrong to feel this is a bit like poaching, first she goes after your husband and now she wants the children on side as well? Neighbour may have meant well but she’s still clueless. I feel a lot of things people on the sidelines say is at least partly out of ignorance.

    • Rose Thorns,
      Of course you were bothered. OMG. The concerning thing to me is that you are working against yourself by discounting your own feelings. You say to yourself, “maybe I shouldn’t feel this way, she meant well.”
      Be your own best friend and validate your own feelings. Validation looks like this: you say to yourself, “Of course I feel this way!” (and say it many times.) After that you can slowly process and accept the feelings and slowly slowly lay it down.

      There are enough people around invalidating our pain (today’s post). Be your own best friend and treat yourself gently ((((Hugs))))

      • Thanks to all who replied.

        Got a little aha moment there from you pointing out I’m discounting my own feelings about this. That’s really not so different then discounting my gut feelings something was wrong many times by spackling and convincing myself those feelings had to be wrong.

        (It has been years since all this happened but I’m still trying to figure it all out. Still cant move on from it all. Things like this realization keep coming up.)

    • Rose Thornes, you have every right to be upset about that neighbor’s comment. How rude. It’s like saying, “Not only are you are wife appliance, you are a mother appliance as well. Easily swapped out.” I’m sure that in her mind she was just trying to reassure you that the kids were not getting slapped around. What is even worse, it’s like she was letting you know that they were being a big happy family for the holiday, without you! That would have messed me up as well if I had heard it. Take a deep breath, it was years ago. You are validated in your feelings here at CN.

    • Rose Thorns –
      You NEVER have to ask if something “should have” bothered you. If something does bother you – there’s something WRONG there. You needn’t question your feelings any more than you question the rains – they just are. And we have them to help us set boundaries to protect us from potential harm – emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, whatever. There’s nothing wrong with YOU for being bothered. Hearing the person who helped to blow up your family knows how to act as if they are a responsible adult means nothing. And someone telling you that they “think” she was “being good with our kids” demonstrates a profound lack of empathy for what you might be feeling.

    • Rose Thorns it would have bothered me too. Not long after I separated from my abusive husband (25 years married) my sister made a point of telling me she had met my ex at an antique fair and had a nice chat with him. I was stunned at how hard it was not to punch her in the face. Being nice to someone who abused me for years stank of the most rank disloyalty to me and disregard for the reality of my injury. Still rankles 3 years later.

  • Said to me by x’s friend, He has been cheating on you your entire marriage, why are you being a bitch about it now?
    Btw I didn’t realize he had been cheating our entire marriage.

    • Oh god. I hope you are far far away from him, his asshole/bitch friend, and anyone else in his life who might be like this!

  • For me the worst is my ex’s sister who is nerdy and awkward with severe psychological problems and always saying ‘You’re so marvellous!’ to me in a fake enthusiastic way that makes me want to run away. Almost every time we meet she talks about how deeply my ex loves Schmoopie, ‘a real passion’ and how cruel she is to him. ‘A belle dame sans merci.’ She acts like she’s on my side – and of course I never want him back, and after all these years have a far better life without him – but somehow it still hurts very deeply to be told over and over that he is with the love of his life.

      • I suppose because she’s always made a big thing of how she’s on my side. Also she’s had a difficult life. But you are right. Just writing this has made me realize I’ll be 100 per cent happier if I never see her again.

        • Who knows what she’s taking back to your xh about you. The crazy SIL is triangulating. He’s your xh. Make her your X- SIL. You don’t have to put up with her anymore.

          • I suppose – quite typically for a chump – I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, but the comments on here have completely opened my eyes. That is now the end of me having anything to do with SIL. (And, yes, she has made mean remarks in other contexts, that I similarly forgave.) Thanks so much to everyone who commented.

    • Your ex sister-in-law is nasty & cruel. She is not on your side, just pretends to be so she can keep sticking it to you. I don’t care how bananas she is, she is fully aware those remarks sting. You need to go no contact with this woman, for so many reasons.

  • People are so stupid and ignorant. I have zero tolerance for this.

    I heard (from a cheater, pill popper who lost her children for child neglect) “wow, you’re still so bitter!” Yeah bitch, I was blindsided less than 18 months ago and he’s trying to defraud me in the ongoing divorce and destroy me after 25 years of marriage! ????????????

    • BITTER stands for Being In Totally Truthful Emotional Reality.

      Yes, I am BITTER.

      That’s Ms. BITTER to you.

      I’m GLAD TO be BITTER like me than SOCIOPATHS like them.

  • “Don’t be such a martyr.”

    I was shocked into silence with that one. That was during wreckonciliation, and it was stated by a “therapist.”

  • I have a ton…..

    When I showed an in-law her cheating txt “Poor thing must have been so unhappy to do that”

    A Neighbor “Gotta admit it took balls to do what she did”

    I usually stay quiet but I just had to say no, it doesn’t take balls to cheat, for me to find out via anonymous txt that my wife was cheating with two people along with tons of txt messages with proof.. It did not take balls for her to lie saying that wasn’t true but that she was leaving because she likes country music all of a sudden and I don’t (along with about 5 more just as silly reasons). It doesn’t take balls for me to have to be the one to explain this to our child nor does it take balls to just get rid of any financial obligations.

    His response was “sorry, didn’t mean nothin by it”

  • Ex-Mother-In-Law: “You need to get over that” (she said it with a smile too)
    My Sister: “Well you married him and you don’t go to church enough” (Because church goers don’t cheat? sarcasm)
    A Switzerland Friend: “I’m sorry you two are going through a rough time” (Ummm no, I was the only one cheated on, not the both of us!)

    • Not sticking up for the Switzerland friend but she could have been “careful” with her words as there is always the chance you and cheater could have worked things out. She would then get the cold shoulder from you or be accused of trying to sabotage your reconciliation. Again, not excusing her indifferent like response.

  • Friend said:
    “Please use this as a learning tool – think about what you did in this so you can become a better person.”

    oh and my personal fave from another aquaintance:
    “Everything happens for a reason, the universe has this sorted…”

    • Ugh , yeah ‘everything happens for a reason’. According to whom? Life it seems is pretty much random chaos that doesn’t meter out nice and horrible things in equal measure. Funnily enough the last person wh tried to explain this was my divine path I remember saying so, if you found out your husband was cheating on you tonight, or your children died in a car crash, I presume you’d just accept it, ‘because everything happens for a reason?’

      What a crass statement I realise now you say it!!!!

  • My personal favorite: “All that’s important is that you love each other. Especially that you love her.”
    What?? Actually, when you think about it, no, love can’t really solve everything. It doesn’t matter how much I love her, because she chose to run off with another man she was cheating with. Moreover, would you feel “loved” by someone who abandoned you for an AP?

    • That sad thing about this comment is, that the person saying it to you fails to understand that what she did isn’t love. Love doesn’t cheat, how do people not understand this?

      Ugh sorry you had to hear such nonsense.

      • The ‘Everything happens for a reason” leads to another TON of skein untangling so it’s very damaging. Time consuming.

        My idiot brother who wants “young pu–y” told me to stop talking about my ex and blaming him. That I needed to own my HALF…WTF??

        But just cause I’m feeling kinda cool today, I’m also going to post ONE question I DID NEED – asked my therapist, God bless her.

        She asked me to list the things I felt I’d lost from the DOCTOR’s shit. So I did, and the list was long. We were married 35 years.

        The list of things I felt I had lost included “the chance to live abroad, travel, and maybe teach”…

        I now realize that would not actually have happened WITH the Doctor. b/c unbeknownst to me, he did not want to do what we had planned.
        He forgot to tell me or he said he might want to do it with his bff but he wasn’t sure. “Sorry, I know it’s confusing.”

        No shit.

        But then my therapist asked me “which of those things, (I) could still do in some form”? She got me rolling and now I’m in my 2nd year teaching in Europe.
        That was one of the best things said that triggered growth and some peace. Everything else was either blather or irritating or damn painful.

        • Really helpful suggestion Doctors1stwife. thank you for sharing. Going to:

          -> to list all the things you lost from x’s shit
          -> then consider which of those things you could still do in some form

          • Yes it’s one of the points needed for direction in our new lives. There’s so much loss, God knows. No sugar coating that.

            I would add to this –

            Anyway, 1) list the losses.

            2) See what you can still have of those, in some form.

            ADD TO THIS^^^ LIST

            3) what you did not realize YOU would like to do/have now.

  • The most insensitive, smug and sanctimonious remarks have actually come from other women in private FB separation/divorce groups!

    The #1 most asinine comment I’ve seen lately is, “Smart women ALWAYS know when their man is cheating. They just do. So if they know and they choose to stay, they’re getting what they deserve“.

    What a TROLL. It’s obvious you’re much smarter than the rest of us. Who are you and why are you in this group?

    • OH I HATE THAT ONE! As if cheating on your spouse for 35 years is “you know, understandable??”

      BUT to leave the KIDS???? Now THAT’S just wrong.

      F- u. It’s ALL wrong.

  • From my father: “All men cheat; get over it,” and “At least it wasn’t with your sister again this time.” (WHAT? I didn’t know he’d slept with my sister.”)

    Also from my father: “You used to be able to beat your wife as long as you didn’t use anything bigger around than your thumb.” (When I told him I was divorcing the man who had strangled me into unconsciousness and dumped me on the highway.) Mother told me not to get so upset, “he’s just joking.” I said, “it isn’t funny,” and didn’t see them again for a few years.

    From a “friend,” — “I would totally do him — can I have his phone number?” Now an ex-friend.

    From my then-sister-in-law, about 24 hours after she told me he was cheating, “You’re going to have to forgive him, otherwise it will be your problem.” (I told her I wasn’t going to forgive him for disrespecting me until he quit disrespecting me. That never happened, so I divorced him.)
    From the same sister-in-law, “I knew it was serious when he told me that you took care of him when he was sick; he knew you’d take care of him when he was old.” (But he had no intentions of taking care of me when I was sick — no way I’d trust him to take care of me when I was old.)

    And from the wife of a close friend of Cheater # 2: “Yeah, I wondered about that. I always thought that Tom (Cheater #2) and Tom (her husband) were more interested in each other than they were in us. At least MY husband isn’t cheating.” She better watch out because HER husband knows Father Steve, too.

    And from Father Steve (before I caught him in bed with my husband, about another couple), “If they’re both men, it’s not cheating. It’s not sex if there is no possibility of procreation.” Reason #637 why I don’t go to church anymore.

  • “ Well, it’s a good thing you didn’t have kids with him“

    Yeah, that’s because when I was pregnant, he told me if I had a baby it would ruin his life. I loved him and certainly didn’t wanna ruin his life, so no baby.

    Meanwhile, he was fucking whores during his lunch break. Maybe if I didn’t give all of my child bearing years to a fuck wit, I could’ve had children… and a real husband for that matter.

  • Referring me to Ester Perel videos to see its both our faults. I’m now wondering if my friend had been cheating on her husband.

  • “It is your fault because you put your husband before God” (no, I didn’t but I’m sure she had to find some reason why it was my fault). And then, a few years later she went through the same thing. Funny how I didn’t blame her, though.
    “I’m so glad me and my husband are beyond all that now. We’ve been married for 20 years.”
    But I think the best one was from a friend (who I’m no longer in touch with. Huh, wonder why). We still owned the home together and he was still playing games. She asked what was going to happen with the home, and at that point I had no earthly clue because, well, he was still playing games. I politely told her to let’s just change the subject because I am having a good day and hist do not want to think about him or his shit today. She said, “You really need to let all of that stuff go. You’ve been divorced for almost 2 years now and you’re still obsessing over him!”
    No, bitch, I could give a rat’s ass about him or his ridiculous affair. I am pissed about the stupid games HE is still playing today, though.

  • Background: I am 5 years out from D-Day, 4 1/2 years out from separation and 3 years out from finalising the divorce. My ex-wife left and our 3 kids (then 18, 16 and 11, now 24, 21 and 16) stayed with me. I have not dated throughout all of this by choice.

    I was recently at a family wedding (my cousin). 2 of my aunts sauntered up and asked how the kids and I are (which was nice) and whether I was seeing anyone (which is natural to ask I guess). When I said “no” they looked at each other and then openly (and out loud) questioned my sexuality; let’s just say that they were pretty blunt in terms of their word choice.

    I could only answer “well I would hope that you’d be OK with it if I was, but actually, I’m just kind of picky now.”

    • I get the same thing all the time…its starting to get infuriating! I realize now most of these people are very unhappy and/or in some way jealous/envious of my happiness or seeing me taking care of myself first.

      • I think that some people see single as being in some way “aberrant” – if you are single it’s because no-one wants you rather than it being a deliberate choice. Personally, I am absolutely fine being single, and it allows me to focus on me and doing the best for my kids.

        If and when I meet someone who can add to what I have, I might think about letting them in; I’m sure as hell not dating on the grounds that to not be dating is in some way “weird.”

        PS – the aunts are known as “the Witches of Eastwick” for a reason.

        • I’m realizing it makes people very uncomfortable when I say I have no plans to date again. They immediately and actively try to convince me otherwise. It’s become an amusing kind of experiment to say it to someone and log their reaction which ranges from stunned silence to the ‘I don’t understand’ look. Then either the ‘you’ll find someone when you’re not looking’ school of platitudes or ‘Oh! I know someone who’d be PERFECT for you!’ It’s fascinating.

          • I get that completely. The “Witches of Eastwick” actually tried setting me up with someone (a very recent divorcee) at the wedding I mentioned above. They went as far as messing around with the table plan to put me on the same table as her.

            I ended up giving my aunts a bit of a dressing down. I told them that this was inappropriate and that the poor lady looked very uncomfortable about the whole situation. I was when I told them that there was no way I was going to make things worse by making any kind of approach that they doubled down and questioned whether my preferences had changed!

            • Oh geez…that’s…something. I understand. I’m dodging a friend right now who has a friend who is interested in me. I do the ‘Im not dating’ and I first get the list “He’s a professional, he owns a successful business, he knows who you are and has been wanting to meet you, there’s not a lot of quality men out there!’ No thanks, I’m good. Then like you did, the doubling down “Well you need to get out/socialize/date, you won’t find anyone with that attitude, someone is going to snatch him up”. When I agree, and say I’m happy for him and I’m content with my current not-yet-singleness etc I get the Just meet as Friends! You’re bitter! You need to move on! You’re going to end up Alone! And other assorted ‘what’s wrong with you’ type responses.

              Super fun stuff right? =-)

              • Ahhh … the good old “you’re going to end up alone” line. Usually delivered in the style of daytime TV drama doctor delivering unwanted news.

                FFS – I’m single; not terminally ill.

  • Told by various people “stop being a victim”.

    “That is what you alleged happened” about the abuse because she is SO nice.

    “But why are you divorcing her because all her cheating happened years ago” because they think that years of lying isn’t such a big deal as long as they aren’t currently cheating.

    “You deserved it because you had your issues also”. Why yes, I did have issues, but didn’t deserved YEARS of cheating and abuse.

    “I don’t believe you because you have told lies and half truths about what she did” “You deserved it because you had your issues” from a best friend who was there for me after DDay. His wife is best friends with my XW. My XW was to nice to do all those things. Like, if you aren’t perfect, you DESERVED to be cheated on.

    “Are you and your XW good friends now?” Because I hang out with abusers.

    “How do your wife and XW get along? Are they friends?” Like my wife would be friends with a narcissist/BPD person???

    “You know, people would like you better if you didn’t say your XW cheated on you because of why you divorced”

  • I was over 40 and overweight (the same size I was when we met, dated and married btw) when the affair happened, a mom “friend” said “what do you expect? The AP is young and thin. If you let yourself go, men cheat.” And the people who said how great it was that I got a break from my kids when they were with fuckwit. It was a knife in the heart at first. Five years out, with grumpy teens, it is a bit of a break. So if you are new to this it does get better.

  • How about this- said by my SIL about the 20 year younger ho-worker- “We were all talking about how weird it is that she looks like a younger version of you.” Crushing.

  • Told a co-worker my marriage was over because my husband was fucking a married woman. She said, “Well, maybe they’re better suited for each other since they are used to the same playing field.”

    After telling my loser, sad-sack uncle I was in the middle of a divorce and the reasons why, he said, “You know, you’ll never get over it.” (Thanks for the pep talk!)

    Constant being told I should “Go out!” “Get out there and socialize!” “OMG you can date so and so!” Instead I hibernated for a good 8 months and it was the best thing I could have did.

    • oh yes I remember the first therapist I went to, told me to join a dance club and meet new people immediately. this was one week after DDAY. i was still having trouble getting out of bed to go to work.

  • Missing a category: 5. Flying monkey admirers.

    From this category, a litany of flying monkey admirers who worshipped cheater told me gems such as:

    -“You need to learn to compromise and have sex with your partner every once in a while and that’s why cheater cheated.” (Cheater liked to lie that I was a prude while it was cheater who was refusing to care for my needs.)

    -“You’re controlling and that’s why cheater cheated.” (Because I was hurt by the cheating.)

    -“Monogamy is less evolved and that’s why cheater cheated.” (I never agreed to non-monogamy.)

    -“You don’t know how to communicate and that’s why cheater cheated.” (I was the one who twisted myself into knots constantly trying new ways of communicating basic things in basic ways so cheater might comprehend.)

    Several of these admirers then went on to become affair partners.

  • It’s mostly your husband’s fault, but there are two people in a marriage union. Said by a pastori, who did apologize and say he was wrong after I was stunned speechless and then said comments like these are the reason I avoid people now and haven’t been to church.
    Even if you divorce I think you’ll still be married in God’s eyes. Said by pastor’s wife.

    So do you have peace with what he’s done now? Asked by a friend two days after I found out about his drug use and plotting to leave me again for ho-ho after I took him back and forgave him… I wanted to shout that I have no fucking peace, are you daft?!!

    I like him too, he’s never done anything to me.. said by my sister. But she gets things generally and has been mad at stbxh so I take that as a brain fart and let it slide.

    I’m sure there are more. One person thanks the drug thing was worse than the cheating.
    I really feel like I don’t want to deal with most people.

  • “if you hadn’t walked out on him, he’d have come back to you, you know.”
    Err – what?
    “yes, he was really down after you left. He was going from one flower to another like a lost honeybee.”
    How very sad!
    “that’s what I mean. If you’d just been more forgiving…”

    End of friendship.

  • “Sounds like you just grew apart”

    “He’s such an old friend, I can’t judge him”

    “His new girlfriend is so happy. I’ve never seen her this happy”

    “The thing I don’t like is how could you poison the children against him?”

  • My ex sister-in-law years after divorce calls me and asks
    “Is it true you didn’t want to sign the divorce papers?
    I answered “NO! I served Him divorce papers. Who told you that?” She said she didn’t remember. Ex probably told everyone that would listen. I immediately blocked her from any communication.
    Unbelievable how some people want to continue giving you pain.

  • I walked out on my ex after he threatened to kill my cat. That was the last straw. Numerous people have responded to that information with, “Awwww….. I’m sure he didn’t mean it!” It just got said to me recently. I now reply, “Yeah, and if I’d stayed and he had actually killed my cat, you same people would be asking me why I didn’t leave sooner.” Idiots, all of them.

    A former coworker, upon hearing I was getting divorced – “Can I date him? I’ve always had a crush on him.” I didn’t have a response, because I was too busy picking my jaw up off the floor. I haven’t spoken to her since.

  • (1) Gobsmacked Stupid: “I’ve been on all three sides of the cheating triangle, and I think you’re over-reacting.”

    (2) “I found some pictures in my mother’s drawer under her things; they showed her out with another man (than my father.) She looked so happy. I’ve never seen her look so happy. It was so nice.”

  • What the heck does that have to do with anything group:
    I got this a lot actually- “Don’t worry, you’ll find someone” and “you’ll be fine, you look young for your years” while I’m reeling in pain and facing that 25 year were a total sham with me playing a beard, terrified about supporting myself and my 2 kids, he is threatening me with everything from, you’re gonna be living under a bridge, you’ll never see the kids again, I’m gonna put you through a wall.” Yeah, that’s what I’m concerned about, finding someone… WTH?!

    The jeeze, why didn’t you say something sooner group:
    “OMG, he’s gay right?! I always wondered.” Is he Gay? My husband totally thinks he is.” “Wow, but I honestly can’t saw I’m surprised. He always gave off that predictor vibe.” “Yeah, I can total see him being a serial cheater.”

    The B#%& MIL:
    “He is so broken to have done this. You’re going to be fine just fine, we must all feel bad and support fuckwit and his insecurities.” WTF?! Trust me, this guy is entitled and arrogant to the heavens, he is not insecure!! (Though he does find that a nice responsibility shirk / sad sausage routine.) MIL stood by and watch him threaten me, take nearly all our belongings (flew out to help do that in fact), lied to the teenage kids because they shouldn’t know he was a cheater, and I fund out later- she knew about the last OW far before I did. When confronted she said she didn’t think I needed to know or worry because she thought he only wanted her for raunchy sex for a while and then it would end and he’d come back to his family. This from a professed feminist and supposed human being.What about my health?! Sometimes I think I hate her as much as I do Xhole.

    • Here’s another thing – not so much for being weird or inappropriate, but just interesting. I had several people start confiding in me. Two colleagues told me that they had been divorced before their current marriage but their kids don’t know so don’t say anything. And countless people listened, offered nice comments and condolences and then proceeded to tell me that their marriage looks good on the outside has a bunch of problems. Like I was suddenly a safe concessionary/ therapist. It made me realize that things are not as they look for a lot of people, even non-cheaters. That made this Pollyanna kind of sad.

      And best comment ever, from a mere acquaintance of a family member, after I answered “which one is your husband” with “I’m recently divorced”:
      “Sweet! Congratulations!!!!” Said with a huge smile and lifted her glass in a toast. She didn’t know me, my situation, or any details. I liked her instantly. Lol!

  • I’ve heard so many of these–it’s like there’s not only a cheater’s playbook but a bonus playbook for the audience. I got “but you weren’t happy in your marriage before this” from my sister-in-law (when I called her, crying, because I’d just discovered her brother and my husband had been cheating on me for at least 3+ years), as well as “the two of you grew apart.” None of which, obviously, gave my husband license to cheat. Six months after the divorce, my sister told me I shouldn’t talk about it anymore because “it wasn’t good for me” and that “there were good times” (apparently she doesn’t remember telling me that my drunk husband tried to kiss her in my parents’ home while I was asleep with our two-month-old newborn in the other room). My mother still loves my ex and sends him Christmas and birthday cards. Honestly, most people seem to be able to work their heads around the cheating part just fine, but then can’t fathom he was an alcoholic. The 25+ years of heavy drinking and drinking-related arrests are apparently a plausible reason to divorce in their minds, but not the one known affair (and now that I’ve been de-illusioned, I have strong suspicions that there’s a reason why I had an HPV-positive test years earlier…)

  • *”His AP is only 12 years younger?” (Wait. What? I think my male neighbor was implying that he’d be a hell of a lot more impressed if my ex had chosen someone younger than that, say 20 years younger. It was weird.)

    *”You need to get over it and move on.” We’d been married 35 years. MIL said this to me a few weeks after her son fessed up to a multi-year affair. Then she proceeded to tell me the story of how her widowed grandmother arrived from Europe to Ellis Island with 5 kids and $10 in her pocket and she was strong and moved on. Side note (and even I can laugh at this now): My MIL also sang church hymns to drown me out as I was telling her how upset I was by her son’s infidelity. We were at a restaurant because this chump took her to a doctor’s appointment after D-Day.

    *”You’re good now. You seem good!” (Umm, I don’t like this because I get the feeling that they want me to be over it so we can all move on to normalcy. But I want people to understand that although I’m able to laugh doesn’t mean I’m completely healed.)

    *”My husband went hiking/fishing with your cheater. He (cheater) didn’t seem that happy. My husband didn’t really want to go–but he did!” (When I hear this, I think three things:
    1. I don’t want to know what the cheater is doing or with whom,
    2. Ok. I admit that I AM pleased to hear he didn’t seem happy, and
    3. Switzerland much?

  • “I am not surprised. really you were working and travelling all the time. you were in two different worlds.” this was absolutely true – I was working to pay bills, he was working on her – absolutely 2 different worlds.

  • One of the comments made to me by the X Sister n law was, I can’ believe he did this to you, and twice, I was always so jealous of your marriage, your so pretty to. My man would never try to cheat on me, I have control of the bank accounts…. as I look at her talking I could see the fear in her, the thought of everything in her life being turned inside out. Had there Been alienation of affection laws in this state, you can bet I would have pursued them. Laws need changed for the damage cheating does.

  • From my daughter
    “You’re still upset? It’s been three years already.”
    From my mother
    “Oh god, lots of my friends got cheated on and divorced. It’s just a normal part of life. Hurry up and get over it.”
    “She’s still a lovely person.”
    “She’s probably added $150k value to her house since she bought it, but you aren’t coping and are letting your house go to wrack and ruin, your house must have lost $150k in value by now.”
    XW cheated with her best friend’s husband who is a builder/tradesperson, so has spent the last 3 years renovating her new house with him. I’m a white collar worker and have no such skills, so apparently she is a better person now because her house keeps improving while mine is deteriorating.

  • From a friend of 30 years, families grew up together, would have considered her the salt of the earth:
    “Well, we met OW at the birthday bash she threw for him. She really is better overall fit for him and well, you have your freedom now, think of the bright side.”

    That was 10 years ago and I moved away and never spoke to her again. Even when I read that her mother had died.

    • Good move.
      I’ve also found that some of my long term friends weren’t actually my friends after some of the things they said to me, like “maybe she wouldn’t have left you if you went to the gym more.”
      End of friendship.

      • She’d have left you even earlier because she’d had even more time to fuck around while you’re in the gym.

    • Thrive and Marci, Glad you (in the words of CL) culled your social registers accordingly.

      Marci, I actually got the “I-did-you-a-favor” comment from my STBX. No doubt, he was trying to make himself feel better. Here’s the translation: “Ignore all the lying and the 2 1/2 year affair and look at the bright side. Why can’t you look at the bright side?”

      I actually do see the bright side now. I’m rid of him. But damn if he didn’t cut me to the core before I got to this happier place.

      p.s. DDay was 8 months ago. Divorce will be finalized by the court in a few days. I’m getting to meh in a herky-jerky way. My Tuesday will come.

  • My new response to Stupid S**t People Say:

    “f you hadn’t worn that mini skirt you wouldn’t have been raped.” Or a similar outrageous patently ridiculous victim-blaming anecdote.

    Put one in your back pocket to deliver before you walk away forever.

  • “I suspected something was going on for a while,” and “I don’t think anyone in the family will be shocked.” – both from my father

  • Sorry if this has been mentioned above, but my current irritant is the “you have to forgive to move on”. It’s like sandpaper on my skin when I hear that one.

    • This one pisses me off like no other comment. What is the obsession with “forgiving” in our culture?? I’m in the US, are other countries like this? “forgiveness” is just a word anyway. But even if it held some deeper power, why in the hell would I need to “forgive” someone who knowingly lied, cheated, stole and abused me over and over again?! There is absolutely NO LOGIC to that at all. Do people not listen to what they are saying? Are they regurgitating some cliche they heard? I seriously do not understand that crap.

      The only thing in that realm I care about is how relieved I’d be if I could stop being mad at myself for staying in that shit show as long as I did and stop feeling dumb that I didn’t see it for what it was sooner.

      • well forgiveness is not a well understood emotional treatment for insult. i struggled with this for a long time. ive landed on a couple thoughts. the first is freeing yourself from resentment and anger and pain toward the abuser and about the act if betrayal – this is the hardest stage of forgiveness and it’s really intended to just liberate yourself from all of the angst of infidelity – I think this correlates with meh and it takes time. the second stage is actively forgiving abuser through acceptance of their action and letting it go. I haven’t reached that point yet not sure when I will. but I have gotten to a stage where I allowed my anger and resentment to be released because I realize that is just harming me. the ole’ adage of drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. what do others think? hugs

          • ThursdaysChild,  Did you read thrive’s comment? You don’t seem to be hearing what she’s saying. She’s explaining how she (and I and  lots of other people) think about the concept of “forgiveness,” which is, especially among chumps,  a really loaded word.  People misunderstand each other all the time, in the real world and online and even sometimes here at CN; and I may be misunderstanding your comment. .  But I really appreciate  thrive taking the time to sort of deconstruct the word “forgiveness,” and her comment really resonates with me. I know that there are some people (whom I really envy BTW) who are masters of their own anger and unlike me are able to bend it into a useful shape that serves them and helps them improve their lives and their circumstances.  Anger motivates them to positive action, so it makes sense for those people to hold on to it.  But some of us aren’t built that way, and for us, anger is self-destructive. So for us,  “forgiveness” has a completely different meaning than it does for you (ThursdaysChild)  and beenchumped.  I think thrive’s explanation was exquisite, and wonderfully clear. The best part: “I think this correlates with meh.” Exactly! Perfect. Thank you.   
            Look, some people think  meh is synonymous with forgiveness, and other people want to punch anyone anytime anywhere who uses any form of the word “forgive” in aNy context.  And we can all agree that people who instruct other people to forgive, using the imperative case (as such people usually do) probably ought to be punched, figuratively if not literally. I’m just saying: don’t get triggered by the word “forgive” just because obnoxious people try to weaponize it.  It’s a perfectly good word. And even if all of us can say “I’ve never cheated,” none of us can say “I’ve never been forgiven.” (And PS I know this reads like a church sermon  but for the record  I’m not a Christian; I’m just an atheist who gets preachy sometimes.) 

      • Yes Yes–it’s like you’re in my brain. And if I ask those questions I get the ‘it’s for You not him!!”. Uh no, insistent person, seems like it’s for you.

    • I don’t give forgiveness to someone who hasn’t asked for it, and my ex will never ask for it because he doesn’t think he’s ever done anything wrong in his life.

      The person I really worked to forgive is myself. I was pretty angry with myself for putting up with my ex’s abuse for so long after his mask had come off. Forgiving myself came when I understood WHY I did what I did.

  • All the stupid shit I heard I heard from his family. They showed me exactly why he’s so messed up: from gaslighting me on his behalf (poor him, he has depression, PTSD, he cries all the time, he misses his child) to outright attacking me for not seeing how much he “loved me”. Everyone else was cool and thought he’s a shit.

  • “Did you try” and then followed various suggestions for pick-me dancing.
    “Oh, well, it’s only porn and alcohol, you should be glad it isn’t hookers and meth.”
    “Maybe if you prayed together.”

  • After I told a very close first cousin about my husband’s four-year affair, her big helpful comment was, “That man loooooooooooooves you.” (As if I should be grateful that anyone does. It played right into my insecurities. I have always been the family “goat.”)

    The response I *wish* I’d given her is, “I’ve been loved before, and I’ll be loved again. But I don’t tolerate this bullshit. His feelings don’t matter, and he can go piss up a rope.” What I actually said was, “Well, that’s not enough.”

    • Effie, I like the reply you gave! Why even waste your breath on someone who won’t get it.

      I said, if this is the kind of love he’s giving, then I don’t want to be the recipient.

      And: Well, if this is the way he treats me when he’s in love, then I dread to think what he might do to me, when he isn’t!

      (Didn’t resonate with the b**ches)

  • aquaintance: “Oh but I always thought you two were rock solid”. well not after finding out about the cheating!
    as for the move on quickly crowd…
    therapist after about 6 months (at the time was separated after decades long marriage,…) “what you need is to date someone really kind…” !?
    well meaning relative “like that song forget about the last one, get yourself another”

  • From someone who was a friend, but whom I find it hard to forgive. ‘Have you thought through how you contributed to the break up of your marriage?’ And he only came into my life after the divorce.

  • When I was still doing the “pick me” dance, desperately trying to get STBX to STOP seeing barely legal schmoopie and go to marriage counseling, I asked my FIL meet with us and try to intervene to save our marriage and family. I have no idea what STBX FIL said to fuckwit privately but what he said to ME was “You just need to wake up tomorrow and decide to be happy”.

    At that moment, not only did I realize I was losing my marriage but that his family would never acknowledge or care what he was doing to me, our kids **and** his YA affair partner. Their expectation was that I should shut up and play along so they could all save face.

    • Sounds like your STBX had started a smear campaign on you long before you knew he was cheating. Ask me how I know :-/

  • Shortly after D-Day, my aunt cornered me at a family dinner to ask me why Mr. Sleazy, my cheating ex, was not with me. I was feeling so humiliated by the revelation of Mr. Sleazy’s cheating and double life, that I wasn’t telling people the reason for our breakup in general. I also knew my father would look down on me, would assume Mr. Sleazy’s cheating indicated that I had deficiencies. So I just said that we had broken up, and that he had moved across the country to take a new job–but I was obviously upset about it, and anyone who wasn’t a complete narcissist should have picked up on that.

    Instead of tact or sympathy, my aunt creepily (and rather loudly!) confided for at least least five minutes about how sexy she found Mr. Sleazy, that he was attractive and sexy in a very unusual way, etc, with me trying at every opportunity to change the subject or to get away, but alas forced to listen! I didn’t know whether to laugh, rage, scream, drop something on her, or what.
    I think that undermining or abusive comments from family regarding our cheaters, both before and after D-Day, can sometimes be a clue to how our pickers got broken to begin with. I remember my father , when he first met Mr. Sleazy, was so impressed by Mr. Sleazy’s professional status that he not very subtly tried to sell my younger sister to him, repeatedly comparing us to each other unfavorably, saying my sister was a much better cook, more cultured, etc, and trying to reveal information that he thought would make me look bad at the same time–yet my younger sister was happily married to a long-time family friend! It was the weirdest, creepiest thing I have ever seen.

    There was another unsettling element in the aftermath of D-Day. All of my old friends, both male and female, were genuinely shocked by the revelation of Mr Sleazy’s cold-blooded double life and the pain I was in. They were all very consoling and kind, and I felt like it saved my life in those first few months of loss. But a very small subset, again surprisingly both male and female, seemed to think that the most consoling thing they could do next was to make romantic/sexual overtures to me. Again, it felt unsettling to me, like they were trying to grab the rebound, or like, for those particular people, maybe I was expected to pay a price for the extra friendship and consolation they had extended in the past few months…One connecting thread I see in the unkind comments people make towards chumps, is that we chumps are not allowed to have emotional needs. The theory seems to be that if we only make our needs smaller and smaller, our cheaters would not have strayed. I think that not being allowed to have needs was trained into women of my generation in general. But, if I had only been more assertive about my emotional needs from the start, with Mr. Sleazy, D-Day would have happened a lot sooner, and/or he would have been out of my life (and good riddance!!) after just a couple of months, and that would have been a lot less wasted time and heartache.
    I think Mr. Sleazy-double-life’s betrayal made me doubt my own judgement so much, and doubt my own value in some ways, that it was hard to sort out my reactions to what people said and did after that–to know who to trust, whose feelings and actions were sincere. He had seemed so very sincere, gentle and good, until I was faced with written proof that he was actually a deceptive, callous user of people, even malicious. I had trouble reaching out to others or taking positive action in my professional life after D-Day, because I didn’t know who to trust anymore, because I felt I could no longer trust my instincts.
    I am trying very hard to get over that; the recovery comes in layers, and it isn’t done yet, four years later. This site has helped me a lot, because others have put into words the things I have been going through. Thank you!!!

    • >>I think that undermining or abusive comments from family regarding our cheaters, both before and after D-Day, can sometimes be a clue to how our pickers got broken to begin with.

      Same thing. My father & brothers liked my abusive ex more than anyone. But your story takes the cake, how your father first reacted to your ex.

    • Marathon Chump that is a perfect description of one part of the psychological damage inflicted – inability to trust others or ourselves. Also 4 years here, also still working on that

  • Doctors1st what a brilliant exercise! Realising that the dreams and plans don’t include you except as planning appliance is a big one! One of my big wake up calls was my ex not wanting me with him on his big long service leave dream of living in Paris for 2 or 3 months. I had naively assumed I was included. I was allowed grudgingly to accompany him for a five week European holiday but “we can’t afford for you to take more time off work” !!! . He had veto on any proposal. He, sighing, permitted a 12 day European bus tour I wanted though he said he wouldnt enjoy it but vetoed Disneyland – because he had been to Tokyo Disneyland a few times already and “its my long service leave not yours”. The 22 and 13 year old kids we took with us finally begged and prevailed and we got to France Disneyland. I look back now and see how much shit I took for so long for that behaviour not to cause an absolute ruckus and smh. BTW he thoroughly enjoyed the bus trip and Disneyland – how could you not? Dick. Anyway I used the 2 months he was away to plan my exit and left the day after he returned. And I’m planning a big Europe tour of my own for me doing things I want to do in late 2021, CoronaGods permitting.

    • NewChump, your ex is a POS. This has got to be the worst passive-agressive shitshow, I’ve heard in a long time.

      I’ve heard and read a lot, but him not wanting to take you to PARIS and with these toddler-like entitled arguments just gets me flaming. He doesn’t think, the mother of his children should be a part of living in the city of love for five freaking months?!

      You do you! Reclaim all those places. I’ve dragged a miserable man-child and a toddler like a despicable tour operator through the most exciting places in the world and all these places turn so much brighter when you return without that (ex).

      Travelling alone with my 6yo is a cake walk compared to going anywhere with her father in tow.

    • It’s definitely a big red flag when your own spouse isn’t excited about spending an adventurous time away with you.

      I had just finished supporting my husband (now ex) through 3 years of full time studies at university. He had just reinvented himself in his 40s, graduated and was looking for work. We had postponed a trip to Europe to visit my family for years. My father and grandmother (and extended family) hadn’t ever met my daughter, who was six years old at the time, so it was a trip long overdue. I figured that if we were paying this small fortune for plane tickets, we should maximize the length of time we were going. My ex was still not employed at the time so why not take the opportunity to go for five weeks so that we could tour some major European destinations while we were there with our children?

      No way. He was stressed out that he had graduated for two months without landing work, even though he knew that it wasn’t a good time of the year for hiring to take place in his field. He claimed that he needed to stay home combing through the employment sites daily and sending out application because that was a full-time job itself. I called bull that it needed to take all day everyday and suggested he bring his laptop to scour the sites every morning while in Europe while staying at my brother’s house and emailing resumes from there. Nope.

      So off I went with my two children for almost four weeks without their father to enjoy the beaches, the castles, the wineries, the cobblestone streets, the hiking trails and family. While my husband stayed home to run around with his affair partner to casinos. He only joined us for two weeks. I had missed him so much and had hoped that this time away would kindle a spark within us after so much sacrifice for his years of study. But, he was miserable. Didn’t engage in any travel planning and was easily annoyed with me when plans didn’t work out as expected. No joy.

      Of course, now I understand why he was such a killjoy. But, what was really hurtful was him telling me that it was the worst trip he’s ever been on because I have to make everything so complicated that I take the fun out of everything.

      So, now I’m working out travel plans of my own with my children, whom I love sharing the world with, though I have plans in the works for myself and friends too.

  • Soon after a very contentious divorce from a 15-year marriage after having discovered my ex-wife had cheated with multiple men throughout that 15 years, I ran into a clueless friend of hers who said, “I’m sure you guys will end up being really good friends.” I paused and looked at her as if my eyes were lasers burning through her skull and calmly responded, “That is not going to happen.”

  • Gems from my FOO

    sister B, “I never said that.” Messenger argument ensues with both sisters and mother in the conversation. Sister A and mother agree that Sister B DID SAY THAT. No apologies, just crickets.

    Sister A, “ you need to calm the fuck down!” (To me). Again no apologies, just crickets in the same conversation mind you on the same day no less.

    Mother, “So now you’re mad at me, too?” No apologies, just crickets.

    Then I wonder why I stayed in the relationship with cheater pants so long and took the abuse. Yeah, now I really understand that. I don’t talk to FOO much anymore. When I do it’s more dumbness of the same kind especially from the sisters.

  • The Switzerland friends told me they had a friend who wanted to warn me my sociopath was in fact a very bad person and horrible to women. They were shocked to see his phone records and learn about the married woman he impregnated. But like a true Switzerland friends, they decided they still wanted to socialize with him that weekend even they they had just disparaged him and were abhorrent of his behavior. I was like WTF? I blocked that couple from any future contact with me.

  • Oh another comment which I find extremely insensitive is “You shouldn’t be mad at the woman he cheated on you with; you should be mad at him.” I’m like WFT jackasses of the world, I can be mad at whomever the fuck I want to be mad at. And I’m especially mad at the bitch who was flirting with my scumbag boyfriend in front of me and then went to fucking bed with him. I’m mad at him, her and all the other skanks who fucked him while I was in a committed relationship with him. The world is filled with soulless men and women who falsely parade around as advocates for abused women and leaders in the community. Hypocrites, the whole lot of them!

    • Oh yeah, how people like to say that over here, too.

      Fuckwit likes to lecture me and our child on how people don’t belong to others like possessions, ow can’t ‘take away’ anyone, it’s anti-feminist to call a skank a skank, you can’t judge someone whom you don’t know…

      MiL said to me and 6yo daughter: ‘I don’t know OW in person,so I can’t judge her or have anything against her’.

      To my daughter: ‘It’s nobody’s business what OW did and you must not always say her full name and that she took daddy away at the office!’

      Well, my daughter told me and said, I’ll say what I have to say AND I will say her full name.

  • Bleeding heavily (ok, metaphorically), I’d lost 20 pounds overnight, my eyes and temples sunken.

    Me: He says she’s the love of his life….
    “Friend”: Well? Maybe she is!

  • My MOTHER said to me: Why don’t you put new breasts of silicon, like his mistress? I felt miserable and totally ugly

  • A mere two weeks after D-Day, my SIL said to me, “I am so very happy for him as he begins this new chapter in his life!”

    Then she told me that my “real” problem was that I wasn’t coping well with aging and she was going to send me a book about women and aging. I was 58 y.o. at the time and OW was a year older than me.

    SIL also told me that her darling brother cheated because “there was no room for him in the relationship” with me. I always found the use of “the” in that context off-putting because Shithead used that expression too, when to me it would be more natural to say “OUR relationship.” This supposed lack of room was allegedly caused by my having 3 grown children who live in other states and had for 5 years preceding D-Day but precious delicate little Cheater wasn’t getting enough attention from me who was supporting us financially all by myself for 16 years.

    SIL told me that she was also going to send me a book called The Drama of The Gifted Child, because cheater had been the “gifted” child in their family, and this book would marvelously explain to me why he was so special (entitled much?).

    Then SIL said, “you DO know about the terrible incident in Cheater’s life, don’t you?” and when I said, “no, what are you referring to,” she said “Oh No! then he doesn’t want you to know about it.” She quickly ended the call saying she had to go. For 2 weeks I tried to call her, and she never took my calls. She never spoke to me or my children again, though we’d been family for 16 years. Oh, and she never sent me the books.

    • OMG get away from this person! She is your ex’s flying monkey supreme. She did you a favor by not returning your calls. It’s so nice sometimes when the most toxic and abusive people cut themselves out of your life so you don’t have to. 😀

  • I would never allow my husband to treat me that at: I would have kicked him out as soon as I found out.

    Didn’t matter how many times I said to her, please: I’m looking for some support and I know I made bad choices but I’m in pain… etc. she just could t empathise or listen. So I hung up on her.

    • Yeah, I hated this one. Get back to me when this DOES happen to you and tell me you told me so. Until then, pipe down.

  • The first male colleague I told said, off-hand, “he’s done you a favour!”. He was right, though. I still think about that and go “yep”.

    My then-therapist said of my ex “wow, so this is the big one. He’s found the love of his life”. My jaw fell open….. that is your first reaction? I’m in actual crisis, my kids are in crisis, and THAT is your reaction?!! This is not the time to be celebrating schmoopie love, dude! My whole entire reality has been burned to the ground!

    She also said YOU GUESSED IT – I SWEAR I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP “it sounds like he may have had some unmet needs”. VOMIT.

    So, then, which is it? Either “hey he’s found the love of his life, not your fault, but it’s happened so just suck it up and be happy!” OR “you are such a loser that you deserve to have your life destroyed by an unemployed idiot, you better look in the mirror and think hard about the ways in which you let him down!” On reflection, I think she was probably a schmoopie herself. A real believer in schmoopie passion. I imagine her, sometimes, with her new true love, probably an unemployed actor/writer/musician/etc. I imagine she’s paying all the bills, still believing in their glorious bohemian future together, while her adult children groan at the sight of them, meanwhile her ex is probably as happy as a clam, just chilling in his own space, maybe listening to old records in a comfortable leather chair, completely drama-free. But in reality, I just never spoke to her again.

    My ex really did do me a favour, though. The leather chair, drama-free life is where it’s at.

  • “You were so scared that he’d lie and betray you that you ultimately created it for yourself”
    “You couldn’t cope with who he was and his natural way with women, so he had to lie!”

    Gah! Still stings!

  • In a nutshell ….. nobody knew what to do with me! Hell I didn’t know what to do with me. Like we always read “Save Yourself”. Forget all the jerks and people who scatter. Total waste of energy. And this included lots of friends as well as friends. AND furthermore don’t come back around wanting details or invitations to events where Xh will be there. I don’t care to be friends with someone who stole 31 yrs of my life.

  • A few:

    -When trying to Wreckoncile, from happily marrieds, “Cheating would be a deal breaker for me”. Yeah, I get it, you’re stronger than me and have much higher self respect. Oh and sound just like me when I never thought this would happen to me. The idea of divorce was incredibly scary, and a pretty shitty reality, even if I’m so glad I finally saw the light. Still, don’t tell me what you “would” do. It’s not like, if he spilled some wine on my shirt, I’d just immediately burn it in a giant inferno in the middle of my kitchen. Props to those of you that were able to do this, BTW. But I’m guessing you don’t judge those of us who tried.

    -From friends that would ask me what was going on and knew us both before the cheating, “I still can’t believe that xHole would do this. He just didn’t seem like that kind of guy.” Ok yeah but he is. This often makes me feel like they may ACTUALLY not believe me. If anything, I down play and hold back the worst info.

    -From a friend I made post-divorce – also single but no Infidelity on either part, but instead according to her he got lazy and wouldn’t put effort into the marriage, “I know it’s tough. Both of our husbands left us, in different ways. Mine disappeared into himself…” Um, what??? That’s the same thing? Actually, it’s not. Mine was distant before cheating too and guess what, it’s not the fucking same. At. All.

  • Oh and after losing about 30lbs in like 2 months (20 more to come after that) people would ask me all of the time why/how I had lost weight. One woman asked if I was running and when I said no she jumped to, “OMG, it’s not cancer is it???” She’s a casual acquaintance from the neighborhood ???? Worst was xHole asking me at one point how much I’d lost. I refused to answer and discuss and he said, “you look good though”. As if that wasn’t disgusting enough, when I replied, “Um great but it’s not healthy” he replied, “Then I won’t make you thank me”. ????

  • While trying Pick me, ExFIL (who was actually supportive of reconcilation, just turned out to be a giant enabler) once said, “Expecting him to stop thinking about her probably isn’t realistic. There are still girls I dated I think about. Try doing a home project together to get your minds off things!”

    By all accounts, exFIL never cheated and was very upset by what his son had done. Still, to equate memories of a high school date to the big dance with this was insane. Of course my feelings and desires were always minimized by STBX, just like his own father did to his kids and wife.

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