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One Guy Chump’s Gain a Life Story

I recently got a letter from a fellow who related to a letter he read here “Dear Chump Lady, My Wife Cheated with a Woman” and wanted to know if I could connect him with BeardBoy, the chump protagonist.

I’m not in the habit of connecting people. (I’m sorry! I get too much mail. But please do connect with each other on the closed Facebook and Reddit sites.) However, as guy chumps aren’t as forthcoming with their stories, I made an exception and said I’d try.

Lo and behold, BeardBoy responded. And not only did he say, sure, connect him with Mr. New Chump, he shared how that Gain a Life thing’s been going for him.

A shout out to BeardBoy today and to the good work of the Straight Spouse Network. He said I could share his letter with everyone. We all love an update.

****

Hi Tracy:

I would be happy to connect with him.

By the way, what a difference a year makes.  In the last year, I separated from my wife, landed on a 50/50 custody arrangement with my ex-wife, went through divorce and a divorce trial (ex-wife failed to understand that “splitting assets” means “splitting them 50-50”, but the judge helped her understand that concept), bought my own house, and found the incredible support of the Straight Spouse Network.  I have met so many straight spouses, most of whom discover their spouse’s same-sex attraction in the context of infidelity.

I have worn my “shame” of this horrid experience on my sleeve, and I’ve discovered that people are incredibly sympathetic when I share my story.  I told my boss at work, and he revealed that his first marriage exploded when he discovered his wife was a lesbian.  I connected with my former boss for a social call, and she revealed that her first marriage exploded because she discovered her husband was gay. One of my direct reports at work went through the hell of her ex-husband’s infidelity.  So many people suffer because of the selfish choices of our cheating ex-spouses, and sharing stories is incredibly healing.

I even met a beautiful woman through that Straight Spouse Network who discovered that her ex-husband was gay and has three kids of her own. She gets “it“ (and if you’re a straight spouse, “it” encompasses a lot), and we are now dating. We’ve discovered that being with a non-fuckwit in a healthy relationship is one of life’s great pleasures.

Other than losing out on 50% of my time with my three incredible kids, I feel like my life has been upgraded in every other way.  Even though I miss them on the days I don’t have them, I can see from the way they act and from our quality time together that it’s much better to be from a broken home than in the hell of a broken home.

So many people worry about divorce because of losing time with their kids (I was one of them), but it’s far better to have 50% time with the kids that’s of the highest quality at a home that I control than a situation where I have them 100% of the time bogged down by a gaslighting, lying, manipulative and entitled narcissist. This seems really obvious in retrospect, but we chumps sometimes have trouble understanding this.

So I need to thank you. Your response to my letter changed my life. I have shown it to so many people (family, friends, co-workers), who have enjoyed your wisdom and humor. “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life” is the only book anyone needs to read about infidelity.  (PS:  I live in Boulder, Colorado, home of the insipid Michelle Weiner-Davis.  Guess how much she charges for a two-day “in person” session?  A mere $10,000.  No, I didn’t go.  She’s stupid.).

But it’s the private email that you sent to me that brought it all together:  “Hang in there, BeardBoy. Do the hard things. Life is much better on the other side of a fuckwit.”

You were right.  Thank you.

BeardBoy

****

Awwww! Thank you BeardBoy! Letters like this are why I do this. Thanks for paying it forward to the newbie chumps. Everyone feels like freak of the week when this happens to them. There’s many flavors of cake, and “be my beard while I continue to live in the closet” is one shitty variety. I’m glad you’re free and doing so well. Thanks for the inspiration today!

Ask Chump Lady

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  • I’m glad he’s doing better! There’s hope for the rest of us?? I sure hope so. It’s still very dark here.

    • @Chicken, yes I had a dark weekend. I chalk it up to pandemic blame. With so many activities closed or cancelled it’s very hard to escape the infidelity memories.

      Also, I think I may have found one of the wives social media I was talking about in an earlier post. I’d like to tell her what I know about her husbands cheating but I’m not sure how to remain anonymous. I just want to give her the information and that’s it. I don’t want to be involved anymore from that point on.

      I’m not sure how to go about that and I’ve been wrestling with it. Does most of CN feel I should do this?

      • I privately emailed the husband of the women fucking my now ex-husband. He didn’t believe me at first, but he came around. We divorced them both on the same day.

        • After I message her on Social Media, I should delete the account right? I don’t want to have a back and forth of Q&A. I really want to just stay out of it. It gives me PTSD but I know I should tell her.

          • I would just tell her that you don’t really want a back and forth Q&A and that talking about it at all is still very painful for you and you just aren’t up to it. Most people would appreciate that much honesty.

      • If you don’t have any of her (other) contact info, I’d make a temporary fake account (can even make it appear male), and private message her with important deets, and tell her that you want to remain anon, and are thus deleting this account. I’d also create a temp email account just to use for this temp social media account.

        • I don’t have anything other than her Social Media. I can def create a fake email account to open a new social media account. Can any of this be tracked though? I don’t want an IP address attached to the email. I just don’t want her or him (her cheating husband) to know it was me.

        • Protonmail.com from Switzerland doesn’t require an alternate email to sign up for free email accounts. It’s an added level of anonymity.

          I believe in warning other chumps because of risks like STD exposure and typical financial abuse by cheaters.

          I would probably recommend vaguely pretending to be a concerned male acquaintance who the chump husband hasn’t seen in a while. If you happen to know locations where the affair took place where cheaters could have been observed canoodling, that kind of detail can help arm the other chump with information that could get his cheater to crack and own up. Still I think it’s always better to get proof before confronting (digging up smoking IMs or hiring a PI).

          Men not wanting to get directly involved yet wanting to warn a pal is immediately credible. The ruse is also very justified in your circumstances because…bunny boilers.

          • Thank you! I’m definitely going to use this advice. I know the person’s name he had an affair with but other than him going to her place all the time, I don’t know more than that.

      • Please do tell those innocent victims, Alice. Give them all the proof you have. They may be really upset but it might save their lives … HPV induced cancer, for instance. I wish to God someone told me. So many since costs…. decades when I could have been living an authentic life with a partner of integrity.

        • Yes, I’d want to know as well.

          I’m just scared. I don’t want to be involved. I just want to give the information and the deets that I know so she can handle it.

          I feel awful being the one to break it to her. Breaks my heart I even have to do this 🙁

      • Tell her! Include your evidence so she knows you are legit. Suggest that she do some digging privately before confronting him. (I was dumb and thought a cheater would confess when confronted) Make a fake email and social media account if you want to be anonymous. I paid a small fee for a background check service, and you can get addresses and email addresses that way.

        • This is what I’m afraid of. If I create a fake email and fake social media to connect it to, can they still track me this way? I don’t want him (the cheater) to know it was me. I just want to prevent any push back on me.

          • Could the police maybe trace it if there was a murder or you were making death threats? Maybe.

            But someone else? Highly doubtful.

            None of that fancy CSI level stuff is available to normal people during a divorce. I have been trying to get texts and emails through Discovery for almost a year now. You can get a judge to compel the information, but I can’t think of any normal divorce where a computer or phone would actually get seized as evidence for a forensic search.

            • This is good to know because I really don’t want to have any trace back to me. I just would like her to know the information.

      • I would tell her but I would have to put my big girl on. I had both anonymous calls and a real legitimate call from the last OW’s SO. He told me everything and played her voicemails from her phone. No disputing his voice and the same message he always gave me TO HER! It’s a reality check I needed to bring the DDAY to life since he was perfectly fine living the DARVO life. Id have to pay it forward. BUT that’s just me

        • Yea, it gives me anxiety I have to do this. I don’t want to be involved in these kinds of matters but I know I’d want to know if it were me so I know it’s the right thing to do.

          • Alice, here’s what I was told when I was in your shoes; take care of yourself first THEN consider telling. If you fear retaliation, get through your legal stuff THEN move forward with this plan. And that way you can move with integrity.

            If you want to tell but are scare to, consider your motives. While this person needs to know, you are not responsible for being the only one to share. Nor are you responsible for her reactions.

            I would tell. It will clear your heart. But consider waiting until you can use your own voice. My 2cents

            • Thank you TallOne, I’m not worried about her knowing it was me. I’m more so worried about him knowing it was me and him getting very angry and coming after me or something. I know that’s far fetched but I’m a single woman and live alone so I do have to consider it. Thus why I’d like to remain anonymous.

  • Oooooh nice update.

    Keep me as a cautionary tale that I did NOT take the advise here and ended up in a 7 year mess which I thought was a wreckonciliation but later learned it was just smoke and mirrors of a life where I was not allowed to know the circumstances of my own life.

    My kids (who I stayed for) have serious fall-out from the experience and I lost YEARS. I now admit that what I told myself was love was fear.

    Good on you, BeardBoy !!!

    • This is the worst part of all this for me…..not being allowed to make my own decisions about my life because decisions can’t be made based on lies. They weren’t decisions, I was just part of his sick RPG game.

      • Same in my situation. There were a couple financial decision he conned me into in the last couple years that were strictly for his/her benefit, certainly not mine. But, I made the decision based on him telling me it was for us.

        These cheaters/liars (but I repeat myself are horrid.

  • Thanks BeardGuy.

    You write two things that are so true:
    1) “sharing stories is incredibly healing”. And thanks for that, Chump Lady;
    2) “being with a non-fuckwit in a healthy relationship is one of life’s great pleasures.” I always wonder: and why is this so hard for fuckwits to get?

    Take care Guy, and thanks for the update.

  • I’m so happy that life has improved dramatically, Beard Boy.

    Hey – for even more perspective, can you imagine being quarantined with your wife and children – after the big reveal? You were incredibly lucky, even if it didn’t feel that way at the time.

    • You are right. Our divorce trial was at the end of February, and the Final Orders came down just as the world was starting to close. I feel terrible for all of the divorcing chumps whose lives have been on hold because of frozen court systems.

      • Wow – by the skin of your teeth!

        I’m so happy that life is immensely better for you and your kids.

      • BeardBoy, so glad that you got your Final Orders before they shut down Colorado. I’m just south of you in Douglas County, which is known for being a very slow divorce court, and that was before COVID hit. Add in the backlog of people that were on the docket for the spring of 2020, and I will be lucky to be free of my cheater by the middle of 2021. So glad that you are free and have found someone sane that can truly relate to what you have been through. Thanks for the words of encouragement for those of us still in the trenches.

      • BeardBoy,

        So glad you made it out of your marriage to your XW before COVID took over. I can only imagine having to deal not only w/infidelity but realizing that your partner has decided for that infidelity to be the announcement to the world that, contrary to what you thought (after 3 kids together, no less!), she wasn’t interested in your particular sex at all. You and all the chumps that have had to deal w/a situation like this just reinforce that old saying I’ve taken to heart: It can always be worse.

        Please don’t take that as me being happy this happened to you, at all. It sucks and I wouldn’t wish what you’ve had to deal w/on anyone. It’s simply one of the major points I’ve gotten out of my infidelity experience.

        To myself: You think YOU have it bad? No, someone else can always top your sucky infidelity experience (or just sucky experience). It serves to remind me how good I have it (relatively speaking), and I would hope we can all feel that way. It really can be worse than what you’ve been dealt. I’ve used it since D-day to look for the positive/find the silver lining in situations, as well as looking in general on the bright side of life (apologies to Eric Idle). I wasn’t so good at that before. I knew it, but dealing w/the infidelity really drove it home.

        Also, you’re way ahead of me, in finding a woman you feel you can trust to try romance w/again. The best I’ve done recently is to start reading How Can I Forgive You by Janis Abrahms Spring (who also wrote After the Affair, and where I gained some additional insights about my former wife, a FW and a cheater). The only reason I’m willing to read the former book now is because right on the cover it says, “The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To.” I don’t think I’m going to be able to forgive, but I need to move on. We’ll see what happens.

        It’s been over three years for me since D-day, and over a year since the divorce was finalized. I only had to deal w/the FW XW exit-affairing me to go live around the corner w/her 15 yrs older, married for 40 yrs, rich boss (now ex-boss). I also had the three kids w/a FW XW.

        Best wishes to you and your family. Stay happy, healthy, and keep on reading CL and contributing. It can only help newer chumps. Great job being mighty, btw! I hope your kids appreciate what a great dad they have.

  • I am the person who on the Straight Spouse Network told BeardBoy to come here to Chump Lady. (He has thanked me for it.) He worked at warp speed, and Chump Lady responded just as quickly. He’s an inspiration.

    BeardBoy, I’m very glad to see life is working out so well for you! I’ve still got your number and when the Covid lets me return to Colorado I’m planning on meeting you and your girlfriend for a drink.

  • Thanks for the update. It’s always good to hear follow up. I’m 2 years from the final divorce but have not seen the DOCTOR in 4 years yet he still occupies way too much of my energy. And yes, he’s married to his schmoopie.

    But the Michelle Weiner Davis RIC really triggered me. I was considered one of the successes there in “Div Busting” land…. but in hindsight I just pick me danced articulately and for far FAR too long.

    If I could meet that woman without paying the extortionary fee, I’d slap her across the face and inform her that she helped steal at least 10 (TEN) years of my life AND damaged my children and me, badly.

    SHE ENABLES THE ABUSER TO CONTINUE ABUSING.

    She’s part of the massive gaslighting agenda promulgated to and endured by (mostly) women who give up their careers or sabotage them so they can prop up the narcissist and raise the kids, only to THEN get discarded brutally in their later years. This is so G-D- common now, that no one bats an eye anymore.

    (SIDENOTE -I just watched a documentary on a murder victim and OBVIOUSLY I’m sad she was murdered. I do NOT condone that!

    Howegver, the commentator casually noted that the victim “had a habit of pursuing successful older men who were married.” This was stated as if it was trivial or mildly of interest, much like her preference for jazz music. WTF???!!!)

    Anyway, Back to MWD, in her world, there are NO boundaries to enforce. EVERYTHING done by the “wayward spouse/MLCer” — is never “mean” or “wrong”.

    It’s HOW you look at it. It’s alright if you twist and spin it long enough, and as long as YOU keep working on YOU b/c “you’re the only person you control”.

    God…I wish I could go back a decade and have filed the first time. Or at least not have spent hours PER DAY on that site…getting brainwashed AND passing it on!

    I’ve seen people there on her wreckonciliation site “Standing” for their marriages over a decade (!) – even when the divorce is final and the narc has remarried! I’m serious.

    **That’s not standing for marriage, that’s just standing still, paralyzed.**

    Well, now that I’m fully triggered I need to get out of my flat and march around…

    Thanks again Beardboy. Truly!

    • The detectives first line of inquiry when investigating a murder is always about the relationships of the victim. They want to know who would have a motive.

      Just a fact….

    • I just cleaned out a cupboard yesterday in which I had two of MWD’s books still left from my RIC days in 2017. Put them in the recycling bin. Figured if there is one good thing to come out of that useless expense of those books is that it the paper it’s written on becomes compost for someone’s garden to grow for real.

      The garden of my own life grows on a better foundation than that. Thank you CL.

      • I just threw away a book too – shoved it right into the garbage. All those RIC- they created so so much more damage to me and to my marriage and gave him permission to continue abusing me along with a litany of excuses he hides behind to this day.

          • Reconciliation Industrial Complex. Some re ligi ous, some not. They generally hold the betray spouse responsible for part of the cheaters actions.

            • thanks for the explanation.

              “They generally hold the betray spouse responsible for part of the cheaters actions.”

              That is seriously retarded thinking. No betrayed spouse is even remotely responsible for any turd’s cheating on them. This “Reconciliation Industrial Complex” is a real thing or somebody’s idea of a piss poor joke?

              • From what I know about Chump Lady, this is kind of her mission to fight against the RIC and their view, or anyone’s view that the BS is to blame for their cheaters behavior,.

                Cheating against a spouse is abuse, there is not other way to look at it.

              • Way TOO REAL. A Big money pit of personal thunderdome apocalypse with the therapist and the cheater in charge of your torture while you pay for the “pleasure” of being tortured. I’ve been to a couple of different places trying to save my marriage while almost overdosing on the “hopium” as chump lady calls it. The only ONLY solace I can take from it was I tried to do this for my children. This was before I found Chump Lady and found out it was useless. His red flags were everywhere that he wasn’t going to change. NO on told me what to look for and I was trying so hard to make it work by doing the work for BOTH of us.

                Typing this now is so very mortifying that I pick me danced so hard to save an illusion. 😓

            • Thanks. I’ll take a look at that later, lots of shorthand acronyms and so little time to explore them !

    • I am sorry you dealt with it for so long. I think what saved me was he had his ass in a sling at work because his schmoppie was his direct report. Had it not been for that, I am sure I would have become expert at the pick me dance.

      Even so, he still tried to draw me back in several times after our legal separation. (I refused) After the first six month of legal separation, (I needed a few months to get myself ready for divorce) I told my lawyer to go ahead and wrap it up. However, by that time the cheater started dragging his feet. My lawyer said he could push harder, but unless it was urgent to me, he would advise me to stay in the maintenance agreement and not worry about it.

      So at the cost of about 100 dollars a month, I got another six months of the cheater paying my house payment, my car payment and we were legally separated from any debs incurred from the date of legal separation. Worked for me. Plus he had agreed to take over all the debt, had he not done that, I would have contested the divorce and provided the information where he spent a lot of money on schmoopie.

      He did not want a loud divorce fight as he was frantically dancing at work trying to save his ass. He did get busted in rank, and put back on the street and lost his cozy office where I am sure he screwed schmoopie on a regular basis. Ahhh good times.

      I don’t know what was going on in his mind, or why he was delaying the finalization of divorce, (though I can guess) but I am confident none of his foot dragging had anything to do with my benefit or schmoopies benefit.

      • I don’t know why my XH delayed our divorce either. The tactics he would use to delay were crazy. I can’t imagine that delaying it was for my benefit but I also don’t know how it would be for his benefit either? He was already paying per the separation agreement so the divorce wouldn’t have changed anything other than my last name and the gov. recognizing we are not married any longer.

        I’ll never understand a cheaters mindset, ugh.

        • Cheaters mindset is like trying to figure out squirrels throwing knives in the mind.

          In my case, I think it was partly to delay his remarriage, he was in a situation where he almost had to marry her. Also, he likely wanted to string me along a bit longer. I was starting to get stronger and he needed to destabilize me, just in case I could be of further use. Maybe even a fear of having to live with his choices.

          Just my opinion, as you say we can’t mind rad, and we know they are liars; so even if I had ask him why; likely it would have been a lie.

          After I started seeing someone, my ex actually drove by his apartment several times, there is not doubt in my mind he wanted that to end. I thought it was odd, but I still didn’t let myself get sucked back in.

          My guess is he had used me for 20 years, and he just wasn’t sure that he was ready to quit using me. So all of the above likely played into it.

          There was nothing special about me, he just hadn’t used me up yet. My ex would have likely gotten a thrill out of marrying schmoopie then seeing me on the side. Imagine the power he could have fest in his NPD head.

          He didn’t get the chance.

          • Susie, yes I agree. I believe my XH would have wanted OW and me on the side. He loved controlling me, why wouldn’t he I mean he controlled me for almost 10yrs. I really think he knew he had it made with me and didn’t want anyone else to have me so he snuck around and continued to lie to me.

            Little did he know I have self-respect and I wasn’t going to put up with it anymore. I still think he’s floored that I divorced him and went NC. He really didn’t think I had it in me.

            • Same here, I pretty much did things his way. And honestly I did’t think a lot about it. But, that was when I thought we were a team, and he at least considered my best interest. HA.

              Luckily, I was too scared to even think of going back after the first try at recon. He was crazy by that time. Likely always was, but once the mask came off it was scary.

              He has these big beautiful blue eyes, and I remember once near the end when he was screaming at me, his eyes were steel gray, no blue at all, with tiny pupils. Stunned me. I can still see them to this day.

        • Alice – I can’t imagine my x dragging his heels.

          Since he was the money-earner, he foolishly ordered him the most expensive divorce attorney in the state. I hired the least costly bulldog in my small town. He was foolish to pay so much money because our divorce was very simple and just a matter of 50/50.
          He freaked, not only when he had to pay his expensive lawyer, but he had to give me the same amt in my private account. bwahahaha

          You can say he wanted to get that divorce over as soon as he could. I loved every dig his attorney took out of his pocket and put it in mine. 🙂

      • Susie Lee, I WISh I could contact you, I am on a very similar situation but can’t get away from it…..I’m on the reddit group.

        • Just keep walking through it. My situation was many years ago, (1990) but it has been brought to the forefront because he and schmoopie hurt my son and his wife horrible. I just couldn’t understand why someone who had crapped all over their life, would then go and do the same to his son. It just proves they never change.

          Son and wife are ok now, well mostly. His wife refuses to speak to them.

          I started doing research on NPD and this site came up. Dang I wish I had this site when I was in the midst of it.

          I have read some of the funny stuff on CL to my husband. Humor really does help.

  • In the olden pre-Internet days, chumps were alone in private hells unless they knew another chump. And even then, comparing stories might not end well. Exhibit A, a neighbor I was friends with was chumped. But she blamed me for his cheating. (End of friendship).

    With the Internet and devices, we now have access to share our stories with legions of our fellows in the lifeboat and can access the great and undeniable healing power of one chump talking to another, or talking to a whole world of others.

    Using technology to help ourselves and others instead of abusing our spouses and children is the WF (way effen) better way to go. There is nowhere but up when leaving a liar in the rear view mirror.

    • It’s helped me enormously, having this online community. It would be extremely helpful and affirming if those who haven’t experienced what we all have to “get it,” but they simply don’t, or don’t want to, so that’s another reason why CL and the CL community are essential (daily) reading.

      And kudos to BeardBoy–I’m very happy he’s doing so well!

  • I one hundred percent believe that life is better without a cheating fuckwits. I know my like is, and yet… I still have days when I feel sad discarded and like there is no hope for that fuckwits free relationship when, you are over 50 with a special needs child dependent on you alone. I remind myself that you don’t have to have a relationship to be happy and the vast majority of the time it is true. I wish there was a way to banish the days it doesn’t feel true. I resent that I still have that little kernel of pain and loss and bitterness because of him. Every life has its ups and downs so I don’t expect a pain free ride. I just wish I could get rid of that last lingering bad smell from his corrupt rotted soul from my life. I’m so glad whenever CL can share stories like Beard Boy’s. Huzzah for real fuckwits free relationships!

    • Are you able to connect with other parents of special needs children on a social level? Hopefully you get breaks? That might be a nice outlet if you haven’t. And you never know what connections those may lead to. My guess is the those ‘days’ will morph more into ‘moments’.

  • I’m so happy for Beardboy, and I 100% agree with him that sharing our stories is incredibly healing.

    The pandemic really put a stop to all the progress I was making. Sure I can do things at home and outside, but it’s difficult when you’re doing everything alone due to the social distancing of Covid. It just gets lonely. Still, I’m trying to stay positive and hopeful that this will eventually end and life can go on with more socializing (in-person).

      • Thanks Hope, I’m doing my best. This site helps a lot and I know things have to get better eventually, they just have to.

        Still some days are hard but I’m trying to remain humble and count my blessings.

  • I can still remember how sick to my stomach I felt on the day I saw an email from Mr. Sparkles to a Craiglist couple introducing himself as a BiMWM and using a picture from our son’s baptism day where he cropped himself out (he was wearing a suit, so I guess he thought he looked good in it.)

    There are certain bells you can’t “un” ring… and for me, that was one of them. I stayed, I spackled, but I never quite looked at him the same way again (though he feverishly denied ever going through with anything as deviant as that… ummm, here’s the email you fuckwit.)

    Like BeardBoy, I don’t regret my divorce either. The visitation schedule was much harder when our son was little (my son didn’t want to go be with Mr. Sparkles and the OW)… but over time, and now there is a new GF, my son is older and has a better understanding of why I couldn’t stay married to his Dad. Sure, the divorce forever changed my son’s life… but arguably, watching a marriage as broken and filled with lies as ours was would have been infinitely worse. Hard decisions are rarely easy.

  • So nice to hear about the happier outcomes. Also nice to hear Beardboy could follow the natural chump impulse to throw the support/consensus-seeking net wide and, instead of being told to “stop being so bitter,” got support and consensus from others– even bosses and former bosses.

    Speaking of which, in my own drama, cheater’s boss was secretly gay. Not so secret obviously since everyone knew. I met the boss’s wife once and, though she seemed happy at that moment, she was drunk so perhaps that was her manner of tamping down intuition or living with the knowledge. Was it didnt-care “happy” or didn’t-know “happy”?

    In any case, not to borrow blame from cheater but simply to acknowledge the “cheating culture” in some workplaces, the gay boss was the one hiring the clone gaggle of squeaky-voiced, rather dumb and desperate female interns from second rate schools while male new hires had to have Ivy League backgrounds. I would guess from this that married-to-a-woman gay boss knew better than to shit where he eats or may have had a longterm affair partner outside the firm, otherwise he’d have been hiring toyboys.

    But married-to-a-woman gay boss also made the unusual decision (in that firm) to place cheater’s desk within a cluster of these squawking interns. Married-to-a-woman gay boss also said something cryptic to me at some work event.

    All this led me to wonder if chronically cheating corporate overlords show a tendency to get off on adultery in their ranks. Or is it also pragmatic like a mob initiation since “soldiers” with blood on their hands can’t flip on the bosses and “tell”?

    The fact the boss is gay may be beside the point– his gender preference was just the thing that made his own extramarital activities obvious.

    • It seems this topic is quite common (Cheaters being gay or bi). I’ve always wondered if men who ask women to have anal are in the closet or “slightly gay” (not sure if that’s a thing)?

      I’ve actually known a lot of men who want anal with a woman and it’s just made me curious if they are gay. Regardless, I won’t date men who fancy anal. I see it as a red flag due to my own experiences.

      • My autogynephilic (as NenaB says, look it up) ex wanted anal–me giving it to him–but he wanted it because he believe being “penetrated” was the ultimate female experience. Because to my “I wanna be a woman” ex, that’s what defines us: woman are “that which is penetrated.”

        • The popularity of anal with women probably stems largely from porn where women “train” to receive (because that doesn’t exactly come naturally) and many end up with prolapsed colons. Seems to go along with porn actresses having to mutilate their genitals with bleach and surgery to be viable in the profession.

          • @Hell of a chump, yes I can see it originating from porn. Porn really puts an unrealistic expectation of what sex should be like, or what womens bodies should look like. I don’t ever critique men (with the few partners I’ve had) on their bodies. You’re supposed to make your partner feel comfortable so they let go with you, not criticize their body so they are all self-conscious.

            My XH used to say things about my body, he never complained about the sex but he would criticize me. I always thought he was out of his mind. I’m in very good shape and have never been overweight. I think it was his way of trying to ruin my self-esteem. That method didnt work though. The sleeping with OW did ruin my self-esteem. You can’t help but think, “what do they have that I don’t”. Now I know it was his issue and not mine.

            • Alice… what did they have that you don’t have? RAD– reactive attachment disorder.

              There’s a scene in the Ingmar Bergman film Fanny and Alexander that I could never forget because it so perfectly depicted the jujitsu of self loathing. The protagonists’ loser uncle, a floundering gambling addict, lies drunk, weeping and self injuring on the bed after another loss at cards and screams at his wife that she smells bad. She replies, “You’re having olfactory hallucinations.”

              Anyone who actually loves a narc, as opposed to just using them, gets caught under the umbrella of the narc’s suicidally low self esteem. The narc hallucinates that everything under that umbrella is worthless. But if you manage to get out from under that umbrella, you are suddenly seen in a different light. It’s a kind of psychosis.

              It’s exactly the same push-pull dynamics as with domestic batterers. I swear affairs are just a sort of”rerouting” of unexpressed suicidal or violent impulses (or both). I’ve wondered if this isn’t partly why they act like they should be applauded for it. Hey, they didn’t kill anyone with an axe or eat a gun. Three cheers (yikes).

              • I told my kids that porn is the junk food of sex– so toxic that it can dangerously alter your metabolism and warp taste in good food (i.e., healthy sex).

                The kids have various allergies and have to eat clean to avoid serious consequences so the analogy hits home for them. They make a sport of mocking junk food promos and commercial tactics using sex to sell.

                I’ve also told the kids about the tragic realitues of the sex industry to humanize it- aboutbtrafficking and how a scary percentage of people in porn are already dead (from overdose, suicide and violence) by the time viewers stream the videos.

                Porn does the opposite of humanizing so the remedy to counter it seems obvious.

      • I wondered that too. Was it to run cover for the real story? I worked with some gay/bisexual people. They talked a good straight game. It was a cover story. When you start to know them, you discovered it was a false flag. Since you were not in their game, you didn’t need to be duped.

        • This is why I can’t date men who want anal. Not that it comes up right when you start dating but eventually you do talk about sex and likes or dislikes. If they mention anal I’m immediately outta there. It ends it right there for me.

    • “All this led me to wonder if chronically cheating corporate overlords show a tendency to get off on adultery in their ranks.”

      Yes. Was it Ken Lay’s company that set up a corporate culture so toxic that someone was almost fired for asking for the day off when he and his wife had a stillborn? Or am I confused with another horrible company of the Greed is Good 1980’s?

  • I found out my husband was cheating with men after 10 years of marraige and 4 kids. It was crushing and soul shattering to say the least. I never in a million years saw it coming. He left his phone home from work onr day. And bam. There it all was. Years worth of gay hookups. Emails. Photos. Gay apps….still makes me feel queezy when I think about it. I was in a really bad place for quite a while. I’m a year out from divorce now and things aren’t seeming quite as bleak. I think this kind of infidelity is extra hard because it makes it seem as if none of the relationship was real, ever. N
    No wonder I never felt good enough… And the vast majority of people seem to celebrate the cheating spouse for finding themselves, instead of being disgusted with them for being the cheating scum that they are. This makes our pain feel unseen, unheard and swept under the rug as if it doesn’t matter. It’s hard to get closure and move on from that. It *feels* like they do this awful thing, but still win. They suffer no consequence. That burns my ass something fierce.

    And with that, it’s quite apparent I’m not to *meh* yet. I wonder if I ever will be.

    • Straight infidelity can be the similar in the sense that some people say it was our fault for dragging the ex down with our sour/unloving/unsupportive personality. Why do people feel that if a business partner steals from their partner it is a horrific thing. But if a spouse lies and decieves….. it is ok, because they are just finding themselves ?

      The ability to lie and deceive proves they are human trash, regardless of what anyone else says. Life is unfair, but living an honest life without these scum is an vast improvement.

    • You will get there SpackleQueen. One year out isn’t that long. The lack of validation – the way you feel “your pain is unseen, unheard and swept under the rug” and that your cheating scumbag seems to suffer no consequences makes getting to meh harder.

      Keep coming here for validation. Your pain is seen here. Your cheating scumbag is seen here as a liar and a cheater, not a winner.

    • SpackleQueen, I didn’t find out my ex was having sex with men until 43 years of marriage, so I guess that makes me a super-chump. If it hadn’t been for his missing Viagra I might still be married to him, although I was getting sick of his covert mind games.

      I found the Straight Spouse Network and was able to attend an in-person group where I lived at the time. That helped me immensely. One thing I couldn’t understand was how gay men recognized each other and hooked up with each other before smart phones and apps. They taught me so much about the underground culture of gay men in disguise that I realized I had missed so many red flags over the decades.

      It is worse than regular divorce because so many people just don’t get the degree of deception that goes with lying about who they are. They’re not just cheaters, they’re people who have led double lives and lied to everyone. The truth means nothing to them. Many of them, like my ex, have NPD and will never admit to any wrongdoing. My ex is still in the closet but at least I don’t have to see him anymore. No contact has helped me get through this. I don’t expect to get to meh anytime soon either.

    • Hang in there SpackleQueen… Tuesday will come and all you will feel for that person is pity (more of a compassionate type than resentful one). My ex cheated with men and womem throughout our marriage (found out 19 months ago, 13 years married), but all I feel for him is compassion and pity. He will never be happy. Why? he doesn’t have the capability to have an intimate relationship (any type relationship) with anyone, not even his children.

      On the other hand, I know what love is because I love my children and yes I loved him. Love is a feeling and he will never know that amazing feeling, which I experience every day. He will always feel empty, and to me that’s a pretty sad life to live.

      Don’t get me wrong, I was devastated when I found out, but I’m glad that I’m liberated from an empty soul.

  • One other thing I forgot to mention in my letter to Tracy — find an excellent therapist.

    My first therapist listened to my story, and his first question was “Have you considered a polyamorous relationship?” I got up and walked out, leaving him alone with his girl-on-girl fantasies.

    I found my excellent therapist through a friend I met through the Straight Spouse Network. Therapy provided me with tools that I just wouldn’t have found on my own. Therapy is so often stigmatized, and that’s a shame given that it was so critical for me. I am so grateful for it.

    • You know that I actually consider it a new “sexy” now when I learn that a man has done or is doing therapy after a break up.

      Although I am not yet ready for the dating scene, I have come to an awareness when I speak to men who are out of a marriage. If they mention going to counselling, my ears perk up. My first thought is “Now here is a mind at work.”

      CL would call it “fixing my picker”. There is no way that I will be with someone now who hasn’t taken the time to seek professional counsel in self-reflection and to better understand themselves.

      Beard Boy is the new sexy!

    • BeardBoy,
      I lucked out with my short term therapist: turns out her grandfather had been a transsexual in California back in the day, and she’d watched her own father trying to deal with his father’s transformation. I had been so worried I’d land with a therapist whose first impulse would be to “educate” me to try to shame me into staying, and was ready to walk out if that happened. I still remember the enormous relief I felt to be supported by my therapist–although I must say that the most useful things I learned about disordered personalities came from Chump Lady and Chump Nation.

      • In some jurisdictions, yes! Until pretty recently, I’m thinking 5 ys ago, here in Quebec, literally anybody could call themselves a therapist or psychotherapist. NO qualifications required at all! Tired of being a plumber? Figure your time as an addict makes you qualified, despite no training? Got some great ideas? All your friends count on your for advice? Go ahead, open an office and start billing people! Fortunately the law has changed here, although every year there are a few cases where legal proceedings are necessary to get them to stop using that word for their unqualified selves.

        Better and more extensive training USUALLY means better therapist, although there are gifted therapists at every level. Even some of the therapists with the highest qualifications, the Ph.D.s and LMFTs, have blind spots, terrible ones. Walking out is definitely the best option, in that case. Cheating is abusive, and needs to be dealt with as such.

        I sure wish all the chumps who got ‘professional’ help after DDay #1 and were considered success stories, but who later had their marriages implode due to further infidelity or just the selfishness and immaturity that is the norm in cheaters, could tell their stories to every trainee in the field. AND get their previous therapists to stop counting them as a ‘success’ at ‘divorce busting’. 2, 5, 10 or a lifetime of more years together is a WASTE, when the marriage is so out of balance.

    • I found a great therapist. I’m from NY and it used to be de rigeur for any self respecting artist to get some form of psychoanalysis. My famous novelist/scholar writing prof in college strongly urged it for serious writers though she recommended being extremely selective. She devoted part of a semester to the novel The Yellow Wall Paper so she recognized the real danger of psychiatric abuse. But to her it was worth hunting for a good one. Can’t develop characters and stories if you don’t know your own character and your own story.

      I don’t know when getting therapy became stigmatized but that seems like a very suburban, provincial attitude and/or possibly due to public jaundice over the number of quacks in the field.

  • Yay, BeardBoy! Glad you are doing well and have found someone worthy of you, and thanks for letting everyone know. We need to hear the good stories, too.

  • You rock Beard Boy!

    Sharing custody is hard. But as you say kids living in a shit storm toxic marriage is worse. This way they get to see a living example of a healthy life.

  • Yey Beardboy!!! Well done!

    I am with you on reconciling the reduced parenting time spent with kids. It took me a while to process having less time with my kids. However, I am a better parent during the time I have them than I ever was before because I use the time I don’t have them to get so much done, take care of myself and socialize without feeling guilty that I am taking away from them. When I have the kids, I am able to commit so much of myself and our time to “quality”. There is so much more down time with them than there was during the marriage because the time is cherished more.

    The kids spend the majority of their time with their dad in front of a screen. That’s what he does with his precious time with them. I’ve noticed that my kids definitely see me as the “go-to” person in their lives when they are in need. My ex is often bewildered when I share with him concerning things because he says he never sees that happening or the kids haven’t said anything to him. I don’t comment on that. It’s not my problem if the state of his relationship with the kids hasn’t made him a safe person for the kids to share themselves with.

    Don’t underestimate CL’s adage that being the sane, responsible parent goes a long way. I no longer worry that my children are going to become morally bankrupt without me in their lives every minute. Because I spend quality time with them and have really great talks with them, I see that they are really taking away valuable lessons and are kind kids with a strong sense of right/wrong. Although I don’t attempt to have my kids “report” to me, they often spontaneously share things about the time with their dad. “Mommy, Daddy wanted to leave [my brother] at home for our walk because he didn’t want to go. I told Daddy that we aren’t supposed to leave him at home because we are to do things like walk together as a family, so Daddy had to figure out how to convince [my brother] to go. I told Daddy that it’s not good for him to be gaming all day because it makes him not cooperate.” Yes! My son has Autism and gets stuck on transitions. His father has little training in strategies, but my daughter knows what is the right thing to do innately now and is holding her father accountable.

    Because I have built-in time to myself that I use really well to “do me,” I am more patient as a parent. I am better able to sit with homework, play board games, do faith-formation with the kids, teach them skills such as cleaning, cooking. I have the kids do chores and I have the time to ensure that they get it done and learn. Before, I was always hanging on by a thread, due to stress, and would often just end up doing things myself because it was easier.

    Post-marriage, I have also come to appreciate the importance of fostering good relationships with good-quality people in my life. It’s been important in my journey of healing. My children have benefited from that too. I am blessed that I actually have a very good relationship with my in-laws. They were appalled by their son’s behaviour and have made it clear to him that they will never accept his adulterous relationship. The result is that he doesn’t really hang out much with his family as he continues to live his double life (mostly sees them during special occasions). I have maintained my friendships with all my sisters-in-laws and visit every couple of months. That means that my kids now have a closer relationship with all their cousins than they ever did during the marriage where my ex never made efforts to spend quality time with his own family. I took my kids to social distance visit my MIL/FIL every two weeks during the quarantine period of COVID and had them make phone calls. We would wave from the sidewalk, send air hugs and leave a meal on the front porch. I did the same with my own family. My children have a stronger sense of family now on both sides due to these efforts as the marriage split has really driven-home for me that good family relationships is key in overall well-being.

    Although the loss of the dream for a nuclear family for my kids still tugs at my heart, it was just a dream for as long as I was with my ex. Even though I had a husband in the home, it was an illusion that I had a nuclear family. I had a shell of a man who wasn’t really emotionally engaged and with whom I was not properly attached in a healthy manner. My home was a place of stress. It was only when all that was removed that I felt the weight of that cloud lift from me. Now the sun shines. Peace in my home and peace within, which means peace for my children.

    • I am so grateful for the few years I had my teen sons at home without their fuckwit mother. She was constantly undermining me to medicate her cognizant dissonance from being a Jesus cheater. We remodeled the house, cooked meals together and learned the responsibility of living together as a team. Just got home from a canoe camping trip with them and their spouses 20 years post divorce!

  • I am really, REALLY hoping that with more social acceptance of various sexualities there will be fewer marriages blown up by the “I can’t live a lie any longer!!” drivel that used to be the excuse for cheating with a gay lover. Society made them cheat. Really. Pfft.

    I don’t care who you marry, just be honest about it and abide by your promises.

    • I agree. I have nothing against the LGBTQ community, in fact I’m very supportive of it. Hopefully people can live their lives being true to who they are so these things can be prevented.

      • You have to have a real soul to have a real gender preference. Betrayal is its own compulsion having little to do with being straight or gay. The issue of gender preference in cheating is nearly a red herring. Cheaters are just liar-sexuals and abuso-sexuals.

  • Oh I love a good follow up , I’m so happy for you BB you’ve moved on so much in such a short space of time . And I’m delighted you are dating again although I don’t think I ever will I’m over the moon happy when chumps take the plunge . I wish you health and happiness .

    I don’t know if you know in UK we’ve recently had a celebrity Phillip Schofield come out as gay after a 27 year marriage . He was caught having an affair with a young man at work and it all came tumbling out . Everyone was so proud of him “ finally “ living his authentic life . Celebs on TV hugging him , patting him on the back all over twitter saying how brave he is . If anyone disagreed then you were simply a homophobic .

    Not one mention of his wife and 2 grown children who are devastated . His poor wife had a break down . Breaks my heart so it does

    • Philip Schofield was so obviously gay he may as well have worn a sign round his neck, but I agree with you. It was all “good ‘ol Phil”, and to hell with the fact that he was a married man with kids. I’m sick of seeing him on TV plugging anything for a few ££££!

      • Well his side kick was a puppet for years 🤣

        It’s his poor wife and daughters I feel heart sorry for . There is not one mention of them at all .

        Not just the fact he was having an affair , not only was it a same sex affair but if anyone dared say anything then it was you simply don’t understand or you are homophobic .

        I couldn’t care if he’s gay , I couldn’t care if he likes gimp suits glowing in the dark he is a lier and a cheat and his poor wife and family are shunned .

        • I agree. He still used another human being for his own purposes, then just discarded her when he no longer needed her.

    • Thinking of actress Kelly Preston’s recent death a few years after disclosures that John Travolta had likely been having gay extramarital encounters, I’ve wondered whether there’s an association between the stress of being chumped and breast cancer risks in women. There definitely is a link between stress and cancer.

      Sadly for celeb chumps, they seem to be our lab rats to determine certain trends. I’ve noticed for years how breast cancer dx’s seem to follow cheating scandals.

      So much for congratulating cheaters on living their authentic lives at last. At what f*cking cost? No one would have “slut-shamed” Monica Lewinsky had she had relations with single paramours instead of being a serial side chick to two married men since age 19. We also wouldn’t even know who she is. Now Twitterland applauds when she jokes about her exploits and she’s out trolling for more press before another election (at which point she will cry “bullying” if not al that press is positive.

      • Continuing my own tangent– seems here there are investigations into whether cheating may *follow* breast cancer dx.
        https://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-myturn6-2008oct06-story.html

        But as we all know, cheaters tended to have been cheatery all along so could it be a gross misapplication of contingency to assume the cancer dx triggered the cheating?

        Again, this goes towards the mythology that cheating is cost-free and victimless and that the real takeaway is cheaters “living authentically.” (Eye roll).

        • After 10yrs married to cheater pants #1, i was diagnosed at 36yrs with breast cancer less 5 months after dday #2. It was 5yrs between Ddays. No family history, no risk factors, I’ve had all the available genetic tests there are and they all came back neg, so yeah in my case could def be due to stress, err I mean fuckwit.

          • Diagnosed a week after D day and a year after the affair began with triple negative breast cancer. 100% think it was triggered by stress. And I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard the same story! (And yes he continues to cheat during treatment and for two years after till i filed.)

            • SC- same as you also – no risk factors family history or genes – all tested. Opposite on all risk factors- all of them!

          • Suzy and Seasoned–

            Not cost-free at all. I’m so sorry for what you both had to go through but very glad you’re here to tell about it.

            Would the money bags honchos who decide what epidemiological studies to sponsor want to touch this subject? We’d have to ask their first spouses I suppose.

    • Philip Schofield might be living his “authentic” self now. But let’s be clear: his “authentic” self sucks. He lied, he duped a woman into a marriage, and he lied to the UK public for years by painting himself as a consummate married-to-a-woman family man. He stole his wife’s life from her without her consent. He enjoyed the spoils of a fake life. He came out only when it was convenient (or perhaps, when he was about to be outed). He’s not brave; he’s a coward.

      I’m one of the most pro LGBTQ people out there. My little brother is and always has been openly gay, and he did this during the early 1990s in Catholic high school. Now THAT is bravery — doing something when it’s really, really hard.

      If Schofield were too cowardly to live publicly as a gay man, he could have stayed single or lived privately as a gay man. He should be kicked off the air forever. Give someone with integrity a chance.

      • This^^^. It’s about honesty and treating people with respect and kindness. So many of our cheaters treat outsiders well, and their own spouses like shit.

      • Your little brother sounds SUPER brave!

        I agree, it’s stealing someone’s life when you’re not honest. It’s one thing to not be honest with society or your family because of fear, etc. It’s a whole other thing to lie to an innocent party to mask your true self. Plus you risk your partner getting STD’s and who knows what else. It’s very selfish.

  • That has always bothered me too. I have seen so many cases spotlighted in the media. As you say no mention of the spouse who was devastated, lied to and built an life and had children based on those lies.

    And if the spouse dares to complain that they were betrayed, God help them, they will be eviscerated by the media.

  • There is also a trans widow group on mumsnet, with an offshoot website and community as well. It’s not just about dudes that believe they are women though, there’s a lot of women like me whose ex husbands are closeted autogynophiles with massive mummy issues, who loathe women so much they covertly triangulate their female affair partners (no condoms ever btw) with dudes on the premise their sex parties with other dudes (who always use condoms) are for her not him. Trust me, the dudes are there for him, loved it for two years of the 15 year pick me dance I did.

  • I hate fucking cheaters. I’ll never be meh about that. And I don’t have to be, either. All I can say to you who are suffering is that it is going to get better and it’s going to be all right. Maybe not tomorrow. But sooner than you’d think.

  • This post helps me become even more aware of what a shit show my marriage/wreckonciliation was, and how much better my life is now! I especially appreciate the acknowledgment that while we have less time with our kids, the quality of our time increases exponentially. 100 percent true in my case.

    Unfortunately after D-Day I fell for Michelle Werner- Davis’s dog and pony show and paid 3K for telephone coaching. Another commenter here said that what they thought was love, was actually fear. I was so afraid to let go of my old life and participate in what I saw as the breakdown of my children’s precious family. Instead of that coaching, I should have found a counselor to help me strengthen my backbone and make preparations to leave.

    It wasn’t until ex moved out and I was able to breathe that I was able to see things as they really were– I had done everything I could and post affair was released to gain a life (!). I had been covering for him for years and years– NO MORE. And this one wild, precious, new life is an indescribable gift.

    • I agree with the fear part. I also struggled with leaving because I knew if I left I’d never go back and well my XH was my best friend and if I left him that would mean I’d be losing my best friend too, my favorite person in the whole world. It made me cry just thinking about living life without him.

      I’m doing it though, everyday. I will get a new best friend someday, that’s what I look forward to.

  • Is there a support site like the Straight Support Site for chumps whose ex’s slept with family?

    • Absolutely insane!! Sorry to hear that. My mom used to joke “is nothing sacred!?” after mild jokes (or someone farting at the dinner table). I supposed I learned the things that I knew 100% were sacred are indeed not. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this evil shit would swoop right through my front door and turn my good life upside down.
      The depths they pull us down to are simply soul rattling. I’m experiencing the classic loss of trust. Wondering if someone is trying to pull something over on me.
      That said, I find the financial costs to be the most troubling. This other person has the power to bankrupt me through litigation as I’m on the hook for lawyers fees due to disproportionate income (both work full time).
      Once I realized I’m under real threat of indentured servitude, the emotional impact felt much less important. Not healthy but none of this is.

      • I think being financially devastated on top of betrayed has to be the worst.

        I got out of my marriage in the nick of time. Had the last whore not come along and exposed him, I would have been married to him when he went to full scale gambling and had to file bankruptcy, taking my retirement account with him, not to mention the one small property I got in the settlement.

        Idiot got most of our property (4 houses, and a river property) and lost it all within a few years after our divorce. I don’t know why he turned to gambling. I guess it was just the next thing to try to be happy, I mean he gambled away his marriage, gambled away his relationship with his son, and then packed schmoopie up and move to Florida. I assume they are still living the dream.

        I was spared, and I hope you are too.

  • What a wonderful testament to the work you do Tracy. Thank you so much for everything you do.

    Congratulations on your new life Beardboy!

  • High Five to another Guy,

    Way to go BB.

    I agree on the kid situation; its better this way. I’m better this way. Life is better this way.

    I wonder if the guys here would be willing to share their stories. Like a special day on CL.com.
    I wonder if it would help change (or influence) the narrative.

    • I LOVE that idea! I really enjoy hearing from the guys on CL. It helps me to prevent thinking that all men are awful. I don’t want to believe that. When I hear from the men on CL, it’s refreshing to see there are good ones out there!

      • My opinion only, good men are getting a lot scarcer these days. Most have been badly burned once or perhaps many times and have simply given up on having any meaningful relationships with women. I personally know a half dozen decent men who now shun female companionship entirely. Can’t say I blame them either. A good friend of mine now spends his time working on his ranch (totally his and paid off), classic car restorations, horse training and rifle competition.
        We kicked around the subject of marriage, briefly, one afternoon. He is totally against marriage and won’t even consider it again…so my friend is running his life as he likes and a lot of men look at him with envy, wishing they could do the same. Again, my opinion

        • @Larry, yes I’ve come into contact with a few men with this mentality. I mean I get it, I’ve been burned too. I just don’t want to give up and lose hope. Life is meant to be shared, and I want someone with that same mentality.

          Even though I know it’d be easier to give up and accept life as living alone, I’d rather share what I have to give to another. This is just my two-cents.

          • I agree with you to a degree, it is possible that life shared with a faithful and trusted spouse is fulfilling and rewarding and better than living alone. On a personal note, I was in the camp of avoiding all women after dumping one well used XW…that period of avoidance lasted almost 5 full years but I now see those years as the time required to heal and regroup. So the years alone allowed me to rediscover the things that made me, me…without the distraction of any woman in my own sphere of living.
            Here I will only say what I have seen; some men after being betrayed cannot (unable) or in some cases, will not (deliberate choice) invest in any woman again. I do not think it is a matter of losing hope, but a rational calculation of cost vs benefit, and the outcome of that calculation does not favor the ladies.

            During and after my recovery time, I was quite content being by myself and enjoyed a drama free life doing the things I wanted to do and traveled extensively. That was many years ago and the pain of betrayal from that era have faded away, but I do remember it well. The ladies (and few gentlemen) comments I have read so far on the blog I understand and have sympathy for. All I can say from personal experience is that eventually it will get better, just endure.

        • Not a beer fan. Don’t drink much at all, but how about hard cider? If that had been around when I was growing up (70’s and 80’s), I might have developed a drinking problem. Ah, probably not. I knew too early in life that I had alcoholics in the family, and knew I didn’t want to become one of them. Instead, I got hooked on sugar, which lead to low-level diabetes. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. We all have our vices…

    • I’m not a psychologist — I’m just a dude who was chumped. But I think the male ego is an (overly) fragile thing. I think a lot of guys are worried that if others find out that they were chumped, people will jump to ridiculous conclusions. Did he leave her because he has a small dick? Is he bad in bed? What other horrible inadequacies did she suffer while married to that loser? Was he bad with money? Was he a drunk? But in all honesty, female chumps deal with similar issues.

      So in my next overly sweeping generalization that will not be true in many circumstances, women generally have better social networks than men. Book clubs, wine nights, neighborhood chit chat about the kids, etc. Women tend to be more emotionally open with one another. Guy chumps often lack this. In a cruel twist, female cheaters can then turn these female-centered social networks against their chump husbands, spreading lies in a community-wide gaslighting campaign. My ex-wife did this.

      Long story short, male chumps do indeed need to come out of lurkdom. It’s good for them, and it’s good for other male chumps.

      • @Beardboy, everything you write here makes so much sense and and has a lot of truth to it. I’m so sorry your ex-wife was successful in spreading lies about you to the community. That had to be rough on you. I had a hard time with my in-laws taking my XH’s side, they are super religious and didn’t bat an eye when they knew about his infidelity.

        I constantly feel judged as a woman based off my relationship status. I don’t know if men feel this way or not? It’s like no matter how successful, beautiful or happy I am, society isn’t going to see me as complete until I’m married and with children. You see it all the time when there is the “calling all mom’s” posts on social media or “you know you’re a wife or mom when ….”.

        Society really has a way of making women feel like less if they are not in a relationship. I just don’t see that when it comes to men but maybe I’m missing it?

      • Beardboy,

        My FW XW did what you described. I’m the introvert male, she was the extrovert female, which it seems is the toughest combination for a heterosexual relationship (I think I got that unexpectedly from the book, The Introvert’s Advantage). The FW XW is a local politician, w/plenty of “friends”/Switzerland friends/flying monkeys in her vast social network. I don’t have anything close to that. So I very much suspect that she lied her ass off about me on many things, or twisted other things about me to make people feel like I was the sole problem that created her need to “make the leap,” and exit-affair me w/her then boss.

        I wonder if any of the people in her social circles (like the female marriage counselor I got her to go to post D-day when I was playing the pick-me dance) ever questioned her about whether she told me just how much and what she was holding against me through the 24 yrs of marriage, and whether she tried to work things out w/me (she insisted it had to be a female marriage counselor, and I had no problem w/that). The marriage counselor called her on that shit. She told her none of us are good at mind reading.

        I’ve got a lot of sympathy and empathy for you, Beardboy. It sucks to think that many in your community think less of you after what the cheating spouse did. But, I have tried to embrace that I can only control myself, and I know that in four years, when our only minor, my son, that we share custody over, graduates high school, then I can see about starting over in an area where my FW XW has little to no influence in my new community. That will be a happier time, I think. I hope you’re already there, Beardboy. Take care.

        • It’s not all sunshine and rainbows 100% of the time, but the weather forecast does get better every day. As for the people who sympathize more with my deceptive, manipulative, cheating ex-wife, I don’t need them.

          The only way life can go on is to leave the hell of living and sharing life with a cheater. The title of the book “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life” is really all we need to know. (But still buy the book!).

  • “Other than losing out on 50% of my time with my three incredible kids, I feel like my life has been upgraded in every other way. Even though I miss them on the days I don’t have them, I can see from the way they act and from our quality time together that it’s much better to be from a broken home than in the hell of a broken home.”

    This is such an important piece of the healing puzzle for us parents. At firs, it’s the ultimate shit sandwich, but overtime this point becomes clear. Thanks for mentioning it.

  • How interesting…

    Some background on me though it’s not strictly necessary to the tale
    I’m not dating at all, have had 0 interest in doing so for years. I’m a single never married cis hetero woman, no kids (never wanted them, knew this from 8 years old), who has spent most of her life enjoying her studies, hobbies, careers & friends. I’ve been out of larger society for years because as an only child with youngish senior citizen parents who got very sick relatively young, they both in series needed me to be their caregiver, they’ve since passed on & I’m getting my life to myself finally so frankly I’m in no hurry to date or mate.

    The anecdote
    I had a guy who works in the entertainment industry reach out to me over Twitter whose real agenda was he wanted to audition me be his next ‘schmoopie’ [ew!].

    In the course of our conversations about this I learned
    1) he’s still married but separated (they live in different states, where she lives is close to where distant maternal relatives of mine do so it’s hard for the guy to BS me about where we used to take my maternal grandmother shopping)
    2) he & his wife (who is older than him) only have 2 adult children in their 30s
    3) things have sucked in marital paradise for a very long time because he cheated & now has a *college-aged* daughter (half sister I guess) to an affair partner (in yet another state)
    4) he attempted to hide ALL of this from me for months (did I mention this is a strictly long distance / online / telephonic ‘contact’ (to my mind this is not at all a ‘relationship’ but a delusion on his part?)
    5) he believes he has colon cancer (isn’t it awful when you’re suspicious about someone’s health status & have been for month because of the pile-up of lies he’s told you?)
    6) he didn’t honor a minor business test I put him through (out a tiny bit of money, this was a bargain priced education for me in people to SHUN forever)
    7) he got fired from the hit web series he was on while still shining me on (I love karma)
    8) the entertainment business directories have him listed as divorced & the 3 kids look like they’re from the marriage (they’re of course not)
    9) everyone besides the children are older than me (guy will turn 70 in ~2 months, the betrayed wife is 76, the baby-mama is now in her 60s) & frankly the cheater especially is too old to still be engaged in nonsense like
    10) cheater believes ‘a marriage is just a piece of paper’ (Pro Tip: never say this to someone with a law degree & a bar card, at a minimum it demeans all that time we spent studying first for the law degree then for studying to pass a state bar exam. It probably also bothers people who practice family law & judges in family court)
    11) cheater claimed he married to dethrone his hated mother (whom he threw into a swimming pool when he was 30, way too old for that kind of behavior, also ABUSIVE)
    12) cheater claimed he married wife to get away from his hated mama then stopped divorce proceedings because he ‘felt sorry’ for his wife (in theory they’re married because of health insurance but when everyone is 65+ in the USA, Medicare does that coverage, not your union also, not a good idea to suggest this to a former family caregiver of elders because part of our education is in Medicare / Medicaid which is my Pro Tip #2) for you. There’s also the matter of his union pension he wishes to share with the long-suffering missus but again a reasonable divorce settlement can address this as well, no need to remain married if you really don’t want to, but as he’s emotionally & psychologically a ‘broken toy’, of course he’s going to keep her yoked to him so he can use & abuse her some more)
    13) cheater has a history of domestic abuse: ~12 years ago he plead ‘no contest’ to a domestic abuse charge brought by a then ‘schmoopie’ (a friend found this out for me, of course I asked cheater about it & of course he claimed to have felt ‘attacked’ when I did so)
    14) cheater has issues with rage & holding grudges (especially around his career) which I’ll spare you for now, but yeah, no thanks, am so glad I’ve never met him in person (& my good luck willing that will *never* happen)
    15) cheater would love to be just ‘friends’ with me (um, no, my friends do not mistreat anyone like cheater does, hard pass there dude)
    16) the last time I spoke with him he bragged about a new male person of whom he is now a client of that he allowed to give him a blow job (wow, this is also pathological, it’s #MeToo-ish, it might be a sign of sex addiction, it might fit with his (unknown to me & probably undiagnosed) pathology (some kind of Cluster B personality disorder, I’m thinking borderline + narcissist + anti-social / sociopath but I am not qualified to officially diagnose him)

    16) especially got me thinking…it occurred to me that his wife could still contract an STI & terrible health issues from cheater on one of his visits to see her & their daughter (& son in law & grandkids) if she were to fall under the spell of his ‘charms’ again (we know he probably doesn’t protect safer sex because there’s a 3rd daughter). STI infections are growing fastest in the oldest people (heartbreaking, I am glad now I came of age in the era of HIV/AIDS & learned to be super responsible years ago) & even in menopause etc they can have some hefty consequences. I believe cheater might well be conflicted about his sexual orientation, but then again who knows because sex addiction, personality disorder diagnosis also fit this awfulness.

    This untruth because it could literally physically damage her (& also sexual harassment is a thing, might expose her to financial consequences not to mention scandal) motivated me to document everything (account names, cell phone numbers, messages exchanged, etc) & send it in a letter to her so that if cheater has been lying big-time to her, well at least I’m not disempowering his wife from doing whatever she wants to do (or not do) with what I know or have been told. Those secrets were never mine to keep, cheater should never have said any of that stuff to me nor should have he tried to use me as the Instrument Of Betrayal in the triangle of Betrayer & Betrayed. I did not appreciate his attempts to objectify or subvert me. I feel so very badly for the wife, her kids (& grandkids), cheater’s relatives whom I’m sure he also bullies into covering up & cleaning up for him as well. I also feel for the ‘baby mama’ (have not had a reason to be in contact with her, cheater allegedly despises her, but then again, who knows when or if he’s telling the truth) and I feel for the college-aged half sister (she certainly didn’t choose for this to be her family)

    So I’ve already passed this all on for the wife to do whatever she sees fit with it. I’m nobody’s schmoopie, why would I want a background role in an Awful Person’s life when I could be the star of my own?

    I can see where spouses wronged via schmoopies want to blame the schmoopie first & foremost, but honestly the world would be a better place if schmoopies (who are likely going to get their turn at being ex-schmoopies) & spouses united to dump this garbage back where it belongs: on the cheaters. I know many schmoopies don’t ‘get it’, or at least they don’t think karma applies to them but it does. To the spouses, well you have my support (for whatever that’s worth).

    I’m glad Straight Spouse Network exists, perhaps they can help the wronged wife in my case. I am glad to see them helping so many people who got this ‘little something extra’ to deal with in their betrayal package

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