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UBT: ‘Shortcut to Happiness’

Dear Chump Lady,

I could really use the Universal Bullshit Translator to determine if this is a genuine apology. We have an 11 year relationship with 2 kids riding on it. D-day was 4 months ago.

The context: his affair lasted over a year and was with a 28-year-old coworker (I’m 39, he is 37) and appears to have never ended. It started on a business trip to Vegas in Jan 2019 when my youngest son was 6 weeks old and I was almost all healed up from birthing a 9-lb baby.  My generous mom came to help out while he traveled.

I found out in March 2020.  My at-the-time 15 month old was playing with daddy’s phone while daddy slept in (as he was prone to do on the weekends since he was staying out late every Friday with “coworkers” after happy hour). I noticed he had received two texts at 9 a.m. and was curious who could be sending them. I unlocked the phone to a screen that was plastered with ice cream and kissy emojis.

We attempted to reconcile 3 times. We were living apart for two months and he was supposed to move back in last Sunday. He came back to the house, fell asleep, I checked the texts on his watch (he didn’t know that when you delete them from the phone, that doesn’t delete them from the watch) and found that he’d been texting with the AP, telling her that we (he and I) weren’t going to be able work things out, and pleading with her to go to his temporary studio. The consequence is he had to sleep on the couch, move back out the next day, and now we’re getting a divorce.
Here’s his apology:

Dear ChumpFox,

Please give me another chance. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I’m ready to try my hardest to reconcile. I want to try to build a new, better relationship together.

You say it’s over because you think I’m going to go back to her again if the opportunity arises, and even if I don’t, I’m a cheater and a liar and I’ll just do it again with someone else.

I have cheated and lied, but not before the affair. I don’t think it’s fair to permanently label me as an irredeemable person. I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I am trying to be better. I didn’t like lying. I want to build a relationship that is founded on honesty and transparency.

Why did I lie about her for so long, and continue to do so as recently as a few weeks ago? To be honest I thought a new relationship would be a shortcut to happiness. I thought working on our marriage would be too hard with our cycles and history and potential differences in what we want. Obviously working on our marriage is what I should have done. I owed that to you. I’m very sorry that I broke my promises to you. I’ll always wonder where we would be now if I had put that time and energy into us.

Recently I came to understand in a deeper way that there are no shortcuts to happiness. It became clear that the new relationship would have its own issues. I became more aware of my own role in our issues: my detachment was making it hard for us to have the kind of connection I was seeking. I was so caught up in a particular way of thinking that it took a journey to really understand all of this. I’m so sorry for all the pain I caused you while I figured it out.

To address the messages directly, even though the relationship had ended, leaving my job brought a new finality to it that caused her and I to reach back out. I know those messages were hard to read, and I’m sorry. In hindsight, I probably sent the previous letter too early, and was not as ready to work on us as I implied. But I’m in a much better place now. Her and I haven’t been in touch in weeks, even after you told James about the affair. It’s really over.

Learning these lessons has helped me start to reconnect with you. There’s so much I love about you that I really lost sight of. I miss you.

I understand that I’d need to focus on healing you and stabilizing things first, and I’m ready to do that. It wasn’t perfect but I know you felt an improvement a few weeks ago. You know how sweet and supportive I can be. Let’s start there.

Please think about it.

Love,
Fuckwit

What does the UBT say?

ChumpFox

Dear ChumpFox,

LAST SUNDAY? He’s recently come to “understand in a deeper way” since LAST SUNDAY?

You don’t need the world’s foremost patented Universal Bullshit Translator to tell you this is bullshit. I mean, it will, for entertainment’s sake. To amuse you, and because I promised it cookies. But this must be an absolute horror show for you. Listen, my chumpy friend, you’ve had FOUR D-days since March. (Reconcile 3 times + Sunday). Fold up the tent. Call a lawyer.

Now to feed this pathetic piece of mindfuckery to the UBT.

Dear ChumpFox,

Please give me another chance.

And another and another and another.

You keep dealing out chances like casino chips, I’ve got a hot date at my studio apartment.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes,

Who knew watches sync to phones?

but I’m ready to try my hardest to reconcile.

Napping on the sofa after texting my fuckbuddy — this is my A game.

I want to try

I’m not going to try. But I want to. And that’s what really matters. My intentions. And how I smother my verbs.

to build a new, better relationship together.

Bullshit is the foundation upon which I build my relationships. Oops, sorry you made two children with me.

You say it’s over because you think

It’s over because I fuck around. Let’s pin it on your thoughts though.

I’m going to go back to her again if the opportunity arises,

I am going to go back to her again if the opportunity arises. Or my dick. Whichever arises first.

and even if I don’t, I’m a cheater and a liar and I’ll just do it again with someone else.

The sparkly hasn’t even worn on off on this one yet!

I have cheated and lied,

Which makes me a cheater and a liar.

but not before the affair.

That you know of. I didn’t have one of those fancy synch-y phones then.

I don’t think it’s fair to permanently label me as an irredeemable person.

You have to start life over single parenting an infant and a toddler, while divorcing an unemployed cheating fuckwit. But what’s REALLY unfair are labels.

(The UBT would be happy to permanently label you as an Irredeemable Person. It has a giant Sharpie and it knows how to use it.)

I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I am trying to be better. I didn’t like lying. I want to build a relationship that is founded on honesty and transparency.

I read this in one of those relationship books you have laying about the nightstand. Expelliarmus! Confringo! Reconciliation!

Why did I lie about her for so long, and continue to do so as recently as a few weeks ago? To be honest I thought a new relationship would be a shortcut to happiness.

I was on the ChumpFox Death March to Happiness before. Poor rations. Grueling hikes. Small children.

But Schmoopie offered an oasis of pussy. A shortcut to paradise! Without the blisters.

I thought working on our marriage would be too hard with our cycles

I only have one cycle — the cycle of abuse.

and history and potential differences in what we want. Obviously working on our marriage is what I should have done.

BUT MY BLISTERS! It was UPHILL! Both ways!

I owed that to you. I’m very sorry that I broke my promises to you. I’ll always wonder where we would be now if I had put that time and energy into us.

But hey, shortcuts.

Recently I came to understand in a deeper way

Since last Sunday I’m a sage.

that there are no shortcuts to happiness.

No you have to freebase happiness all at once with a gasoline chaser and incinerate your life in one fiery speedball. Watch your intact family burn. There is no other way.

It became clear that the new relationship would have its own issues.

So I’m offering you Plan B. Act now and I’ll throw in this sofa.

I became more aware of my own role in our issues: my detachment was making it hard for us to have the kind of connection I was seeking.

You can find my detachment attached to Schmoopie’s, um, oasis.

I was so caught up in a particular way of thinking that it took a journey to really understand all of this.

Your four D-Days are a journey for ME. And isn’t that what matters? My spiritual enlightenment at the expense of your future Pap smears and trust issues?

I’m so sorry for all the pain I caused you while I figured it out.

But hey! I figured it out SUNDAY! See what a quick study I am?

To address the messages directly, even though the relationship had ended, leaving my job brought a new finality to it that caused her and I to reach back out.

I needed a job reference. I thought Schmoopie could give me one. That studio rendezvous was purely about office supplies. I needed an ink cartridge. Had I never left my job, I wouldn’t have needed a reference letter.

I know those messages were hard to read, and I’m sorry.

I was caught.

In hindsight, I probably sent the previous letter too early, and was not as ready to work on us as I implied. But I’m in a much better place now.

SINCE SUNDAY.

If I previously implied I’m in a better place and lied, you can believe me now when I say I’m in a better place.

Her and I haven’t been in touch in weeks, even after you told J about the affair. It’s really over.

I mean, SO MUCH BETTER. What, with you divorcing me and telling people. My happiness index has never been happier! My spirituality soars! My skin is clearer, my breath fresher — all since you found out. Kick me like a used car-lot tire! There’s still wear left on these treads! Invest with confidence! Expelliarmus! Confringo! Reconciliation!

Learning these lessons has helped me start to reconnect with you. There’s so much I love about you that I really lost sight of. I miss you.

UBT: Tell it to the fuckbuddy. Oh right, you probably just did. Verbatim.

I understand that I’d need to focus on healing you and stabilizing things first, and I’m ready to do that. It wasn’t perfect but I know you felt an improvement a few weeks ago.

And you felt wrong, didn’t you? I can heal, stabilize mindfuck you like that again.

You know how sweet and supportive I can be.

What with my detachment and my naps.

Let’s start there.

UBT says:

Please think about it.

Love,
Fuckwit
>

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “(The UBT would be happy to permanently label you as an Irredeemable Person. It has a giant Sharpie and it knows how to use it.)”

    And now I’m imagining the UBT galloping (rolling?) full tilt after the cheater, Sharpie held high.

    • OMG, can we TATTOO this on cheaters’ foreheads, while they’re sleeping? People really should be warned!

      Or if that would reduce their employability (they need to be able to pay child support!), how about tattooing it just above their pubic hair??? That way the people who really need to know would find out. A little late, but helpful info none the less.

  • BCL [before ChumpLady] I might have fallen for this drivel. No wait, I did.
    I think everybody in the world should have to take a class in Universal Bullshit Translation. Talk about changing the narrative. Thank you Tracy.
    There is such power and peace of mind in being able to see through all this bullshit. Not that it is easy even with the power, but it can save years of staying in that confused and miserable state of opium. Good luck ChumpFox – it is a journey to the land of Meh but there is lots of support and wisdom here to light your path.

    • You’re not wrong – my BS-meter is much better calibrated than it used to be, and CL was a huge part of that.

    • Hard to read this b/c I bought that crap & believed that HE HAD SEEN THE LIGHT!! Yay for the RIC!

      Married 35 years…dear God, my single biggest regret (and I have too MANY to count) is that I gaslighted the kids and myself by believing him. I believed by forgiving him and taking the “high road”, I had proved my devotion and I would be rewarded by the DOCTOR!!

      The harsh reality is that I put up with abuse.

      ME!! I’m strong, well educated and attractive and funny as hell – and I ALLOWED this man, whom I had met and fallen in love with at age 19, treat ME and OUR KIDS this way for years…

      Sunk costs, projecting my investment in our marriage onto HIM, and so many other “vision blockers”.

      Ugh

  • I didn’t think I could love the UBT even more, but I was wrong. I can just picture that big Sharpie!

  • Ugh, reading this seriously made my skin crawl. Just from the choice of words used, the underlying desire to drag his wife into part of the blame for why they weren’t “connected and happy” and the slithering way he wants back in literally has turned my stomach. Everything about this letter says that he’s giving in to now working on plan B which is his married and he’s not even pretending to do it with any level of sincerity, honesty or commitment with the use of words like “try”. This letter made me angry and I hope she prints it and throws it on the front lawn along with that couch he loves to nap on.
    Take it from those with multiple DDays, it does not end and it does not get better. If he really wanted you and his family so badly, he wouldn’t have to “try”, he would just “do”. I am sorry to be harsh but I find him particularly vial after reading this letter. Please set yourself free.

      • I had to scroll back to to see if he actually said that! It’s crazy.

        Reminds me of the red flag I ignored when I got engaged to mine. He said you are so lucky to have me.

    • Yeah Shmoopie didn’t want to support his unemployed ass. So back he crawls. There, I said what he thinks with much less words.

      You’re 39. You have most of your adult life ahead of you and you don’t want this guy to be your children’s example of a human being. You can find someone better.

      • Nailed it. Now that the thrill of illicitness is over and she might be saddled with an untrustworthy, unemployed bum, ex-coworker Schmoopie is having second thoughts. Does her family and her company’s HR know about any unprofessional conduct she may have been engaging in during her work time?

        I wholeheartedly agree that it’s not healthy to have this man-child, his ego and his drama constantly around your children or you.

    • Yeah, this “apology” is truly among the barfiest.
      So are his actions. Oh look, those are aligned!! #trusttheysuck

  • “Her and I” I hate him just for that.

    ChumpFox, leave your babies with your Mom and drag your tired ass to at least three lawyers. Check in your area for Super Lawyers. Ask around to see who can get the divorce done quickly. Then divorce this unrepentant cheater.

    Ask for 100% custody because he sounds like a stupid head. Cheaters aren’t good parents. So don’t worry about your babies needing two parents. They need you, the sane parent.

    Did you already get an STI panel? Do that as quickly as possible. Tell him to get the fuck out and no more naps on your sofa. He can fuck right off to his studio apartment. Tell him it is a shortcut to your happiness!

    • I shivered with disgust when I read the “her and I” as well.

      Hope ChumpFox tells him he’s a loser who can’t deal with life. He needs to grow the F up!

      • I don’t think you need to feel petty. The difference between subjective and objective pronouns, which designate either a subject and an object, is the difference between “actor” and “acted upon.” In that grammatical construction, “Her and I,” he made his cheater partner into an object…just as he has done with his wife and his children in real life.

        • He does it both ways, using “her and I” when it should be “her and me” (“leaving my job … caused her and I to reach back out”) and when it should be “she and I” (“Her and I haven’t been in touch …”). This strikes me as garden-variety bad grammar. They both make me cringe, but I guess that’s just my personal cross to bear in life.

          • Involuntary Georgian

            I bear this cross as well. The grammar shows me that his future employment potential is as limited as his integrity.

            Chump Fox, He’s already had a 2nd (and 3rd) chance. Times up, he’s out.

            Go be happy. It WILL SUCK for awhile. Little ones at home and figuring out your new future will absolutely be hard.

            But as CL says, the pain of divorce IS FINITE – and life improves – we promise!

            Whereas marriage to him, will mean years of self haunting doubt, and eventually there WILL BE more betrayal. This pathetic attempt at an apology after merely a few days shows so little insight on his end, that it screams out he’s got a PATTERN —-he will not break it. When times get hard or life is “mundane” – he’s going to hurt you again.

            He has no idea of how deeply he’s hurt you and that’s because HE does not feel deeply like you do, and he never, ever will. I’m sorry. That’s really hard to hear.

            But without him in your life —

            You may well meet a good authentic man OR you may simply live an authentic life with your beautiful children and family and loving friends.

            Neither of these^^ options is possible if you stay married to this horrible man.

            Please run and don’t look back. Please learn from our pain filled FAILED reconciliation attempts.

            My reconciliation – (what I THOUGHT was a reconciliation) was over a 10 year period and that’s horrific to type and read – but it’s true. My poor children had to witness that terrible treatment for way too long and I recall thinking that staying was good FOR the kids.
            But now I know that divorce would have been a whole lot better FOR the kids (and me).
            Ugh…

    • ha ha ha ha! The “her and I” got me too. I appreciate the UBT because I would have fallen for this crap. “Oh, but THIS time he really means it!” I am not Plan B. When my ex was implying that we would at some point reconcile, he said “you know how charming I can be.” And he was right. He could be really charming. That’s how I fell for his BS for so long. And the trauma bonding thingy. He was so awful but I would have let him sneak back into my life because he needed a place to go. As sad as it is, his death saved me from a lot of future heartache.

      • My ex’s smooze was: I just need space to get my head on straight, I really think this will work out, I just need some time. As he was daily moving out more of his shit.

        I remember coming home from work each day and finding more of his stuff moved out. The day he moved his desk out, I snapped. I had the locks changed.

        Oh I pick me danced for a few weeks, and agonized, but not for long.

    • Please don’t fall for the “ask for 100% custody” trap! It’s almost impossible to get 100% custody, trust me, I’ve tried! He cheated, traveled with AP and my kids, slept in the same bedroom, all this without even consulting me. Not to mention the fact that their diet while with him consists of goldfish and kool aid with an occasional Burger King (if they’re lucky!). OH, and did I mention the 90% tardiness when it’s school time? On my third lawyer and they all start with promising 100% custody and end with “even heroin addict wife beaters rarely lose custody”.

      • My three lawyers were happy to listen to all the evidence I brought them (at $500/hour) but whenever I would say ‘let’s go to court’ they would say “it’s not enough, bring me more.” I FINALLY accepted the fact that my kids would need to be directly harmed, with irrefutablem evidence of repeated abuse (cigarette burns on their arms) before anyone was going to do anything.

  • ChumpFox, this guy fucked around on you when you were 6 weeks postpartum with HIS child. After a geriatric pregnancy!

    There is NOTHING to work with here. He has no conscience and can’t be redeemed.

    Mine cheated on me when I was pregnant and postpartum, too. The reality is, a guy who treats you that way will NEVER be there for you when you need him. And isn’t that what marriage is for?

    I have a two-month-old now with husband #2. Holy shit, what a difference that pregnancy was! Help with older kids, help with housework, husband holding down a good job, no late-night weekend partying with ho-workers, no waking up at 6 am crying because my husband isn’t home, latenight trips for heartburn meds. It was amazing. Almost makes me wish I weren’t too old to have more of these cute little fuckers.

    Dump this sparkly turd and find someone better. ((Hugs))

    • PREACH, RARITY!

      ChumpFox, if anyone can run interference for you and show you how to do this, it’s RARITY.

      An excellent use of smartphones is to put Rarity’s picture in it, the one of getting her MASTER’S DEGREE after her leaving the Olympic level jerk of a so-called husband after he cheated on her while pregnant. It’s in the archives as a blog heading (what is the date?) or ask Chump Lady to email it to you.

      That picture is my daily booster shot of hope and pain medication, Rarity. I love you!!

      ❤️

    • I’m raising a glass to you RARITY!

      Mine had a double life, two of us pregnant at the same time – both planned pregnancies too. I didnt pick me. I lawyered up. He has since disappeared. I’m 17 months since d day and the thought of ever finding someone is pretty hard to wrap my head around. I mourn the big family I thought I was going to have with him and now with anyone as I’m almost 40 and I definitely have trust issues.

      Bless you RARITY and bless your child. Especially the one born to the cheating fucktard. (Sorry if that sounds rude, just makes me so angry for the kids dragged into this). the rage is real.

  • He lied for over a year.
    Slept in after being with her.
    Would you trust him.
    My ex lies about anything then COMPLAINS I don’t trust him.
    You know you deserve better.
    he should have been helping you, after giving birth.
    He’s selfish and wants you back because financially it hurts him.
    Good luck

    • Agreed.

      There are many moving parts in a situation like this, but having the low life come home and sleep off the sex in the marital bed/home is one of the most abusive and disgusting.

      • The more disgusting is to come back from a “ date” and sleep with your wife.
        I know, it was my life.

        • It still makes me gag to think of it. Before I found out about skank, we were having regular sex (not honeymoon wild monkey sex) but regular sex for up to about a month before I found out about the skank. He actually put the moves on me about two weeks before Dday, but I turned it down. Stupid chump here was finally starting to get a spidey sense.

          Not to mention providing his “favorite” birthday present on his birthday in July. He confessed in Dec.

          And per him, he had been screwing her for at least two years, more likely longer.

          When he outed the skank, he started staying with her over night and coming home in the early hours to sleep it off. He would just give me a cold stare.

          Luckily, it only took me about a month to six weeks to get really pizzed and get the locks changed. He didn’t dare try to break in, he was a LEO and his boss (the mayor) was already pizzed at him. I then called him and said file for divorce, you wanted it you own it. Also call our son and tell him what you have done.

          Up to that point, post Dday I was in shock, and I was actually keeping quiet because he said he needed this to be kept quiet to have time to get his head on straight. Please, azzwhole hadn’t had any blood in his head for months.

          Threw a bomb right in the middle of his whole life at home and at work.

          As soon as I began to be able to think or feel again, the first thing I did was call my dad, who I had not called because he wanted me to keep it quiet. My dad said, get a lawyer and get him out of your life. I still didn’t want my dad to tell my brothers for some reason. He said I won’t but, they should know. In about a week, I called and said you can tell them.

          I should have told them all from the beginning, he used my fear to cut me off from my support system.

          The only thing I regret now is that I let him con me into letting him come back for a week after we were separated. I should have never done that. But, hind sight and all.

          Oh and I also called my sister in law (his sister) and told her to tell her mom.

  • I’ve noticed that cheaters *love* to talk about building relationships on love, honesty, and communication. Good lord.

    • “Learning these lessons has helped me start to reconnect with you.”

      I’ve also noticed they somehow say they reconnect with you through their screwing around?? How does that even make sense?

      • That’s a line straight out of RIC – cheating made our relationship better than ever.
        Actually sounds like this particular fuckwit copy pasted some of that straight up – reconnect, stabilize you, etc, etc, etc.

        Talk about manipulative bs with a side of plagiarism.

        • These people can’t even come up with their own manipulative tactics!?! They have to Plagiarize!

          Losers, all of them.

      • They want to reconnect because they find out the AP is not their salvation after all. A faithful chump is everything. Too bad cheaters find us to be so disposable. Seems like it would’ve been so much easier for them to invest in what they already had, which that cheater is finding out now.

        • Yup, WE knew the value of a solid couple relationship for both partners and a solid family for our kids all along. WE knew that there are no shortcuts to happiness. WE knew that honesty and transparency are the ONLY possible basis for a satisfying relationship.

          They CLAIM to have just figured this out.

          SOOOO manipulative. They know what we want to hear – just as much as they did when they love bombed us into bonding w/them.

          Either that or they are way way way too stupid to risk having anything to do with. God only knows what else they haven’t figured out yet. Gravity? Not embezzling as a better path to career success? Driving with your eyes open? Staying away from COVID parties?

    • Yep. And only AFTER they’re caught. They don’t seem to want to build a relationship on love, honesty, and communication prior to an affair.

      • Right, because choosing the route of loyalty and healthy resolutions instead of cheating was never an option for them.

        There were never two options. To them, cheating was part of their “growth/journey”.

        To all the cheaters out there: Please, go seek all the empty people to sleep with that will take part in your insecurities with life which will always result in never truly being fulfilled. Please go ahead, I implore you!

  • “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Thanks for the great quote Yoda! The sooner this creep of a husband is in her rear view mirror, the better life will be. I have faith that Chump Fox will find her mighty. If you can birth a 9 pound baby, you can can do anything. You got this!

  • Why do they always need a shortcut? An easy way. Why is the new relationship going to be better? They just don’t understand that where ever they go, they will still be there. No one wants to do their work while they sleep on the couch. Every adult has a job — to take care of himself, and share the work of taking care of any offspring.

    It’s really not a difficult concept. It actually is easier to just do what you are supposed to do, rather than spend time and energy looking for a shortcut to happiness.

    • The new relationship is never better, it’s just new.

      As with all new relationships, they are thrilling, give you butterflies, make you wake up smiling each day. As with anything though, all new things become not so new anymore and life takes hold.

      Even those people that leave their spouses for their AP find this hard truth out. Eventually, all relationships lose their “newness” and the struggles of life are right there waiting for them.

      I can only laugh at people who think a new relationship is the solution to all problems. No one can hide from life and not even their AP can shield them from it.

  • You SLAYED it today, UBT. You deserve POUNDS of the finest cookies in the land. Or at least NoVa.

    To hell with the Sharpie, can I tattoo “Cheating Fuckwit” on his forehead?

  • Always the false equivalency that the consequence of losing a good partner and partnership due to shitty and abusive behavior means the good partner is unfairly labeling the abuser. Such a common trope, and such utter BS.

    Clearly being with the chump wasn’t enough of a priority for the cheater to actually be completely with the chump in the first place. Kicking a cheater to the curb doesn’t in any way imply that the cheater is a permanently non-redeemable human being. (I mean, that might be true, but choosing to kick someone who has abused you out of your life isn’t a permanent judgment of that person.)

    Kicking an abuser to the curb says one thing and one thing ONLY: “What you did with/to me is not recoverable for you and me, so the relationship ends here.” That’s it. It’s simply a statement that the two of you are no longer a duo with one another.

    Committed is as committed does. If he wants to go forth and become a guy worth partnering with, he is welcome to go do his work and become that guy. You’re not stopping him. All you are saying is that your one and only life isn’t his customized personal training program, put on the earth solely to help him figure out how to be a person who is worthy of someone like you.

    He can go become as redeemable as he likes. You’re not stopping him.

    • That’s right. Let him become a guy worth partnering with to someone else. Except…, this really got to me (all those years ago.) I kept thinking that ‘now he’ll become a wonderful person. If I had just hung in there longer…’ But the truth is, if he had been a wonderful person, he would never have done the things he did in the first place. And in ChumpFox’s case, he was a total dick. Right after her pregnancy! So let him “TRY” to become a wonderful person to someone else, but he’s not going to be able to. He’s who he is. He will just continue to mindfuck ChumpFox if she chooses to believe all of the hogwash. I hope not.

      • I think that thought is truly universal. Fact is, though, even if that person does “become wonderful”, he never would have done so with me — because he was never going to see me as 100% valuable once he ever considered me worthless.

        That is one thing that just doesn’t change, I find, after many years of observing. If a person ever thought you truly deserved to be treated badly, some part of that person will always have a perception of you that includes those thoughts. And, you will most likely always feel like that person is capable of treating you like you are worthless, because the person already DID do that.

        You can’t raise the dead, and you can’t unbreak a bone, and you can’t uncheat or unbetray a person once you’ve broken that boundary.

        Once I saw that truth, I couldn’t un-see it, and my perception changed from —

        “what if he becomes everything I always wanted and gives it to someone else and he ends up happy and I end up alone?”

        to —

        “what if I could have spent all those years building what I want with a person who IS offering it to me, and I end up instead squandering my whole life with a person who is willing to abuse me?”

        It’s a tough and painful shift, but an important one.

        • This shift you’ve spelled out here is enormously helpful and full of the insight I routinely look for in your comments, so thank you for sharing it.

          I think I might have always suspected/known that if either of my exes had truly loved and respected me in the first place they’d not have lied to me even as they expected me to stay wholeheartedly (and uncomplainingly) in the relationship. But what I had not yet grasped was your point that once I’d experienced being treated as though I was not worth very much then I’d always carry with me the expectation that I’d be treated that way again. I’d only managed to realize that the instant I suspected I was being lied to I would become a “trust-but-verify” partner, which is a shitty–and unacceptable–way to live.

          In other words, your comment has taken me a step further than I could have got on my own, in the same way that CL’s writings have. So many benefits from finding this community!

    • And actually, even if ChumpFox is passing judgment on him today, there’s nothing that prevents him from pulling his head out of his ass and her from revisiting that judgment in the future. I mean, ChumpFox isn’t legally barred from remarrying him if (as unlikely as it sounds to all of us) he does in fact get his act together. She is allowed to say “This marriage is over. If we are both still interested we can revisit the question in five years”, which I think is the appropriate time frame for her to see what her life would be like without him (probably better) and for him to demonstrate whether he has in fact seen the light (probably not).

      ChumpFox doesn’t need to feel bad about judging him now for his actions. He has agency and the ability to change, and with kids together he will have contact with her for years to come. He will have plenty of opportunities to demonstrate how he’s changed after the divorce, and she’ll have plenty of opportunities to coolly evaluate whether she wants him back. Despite the fact that she cheated on me, lied to me, and betrayed me, every 6 months or so I reach out and try to reset my relationship with my XW to something more amicable. It never works, but that’s because she keeps re-demonstrating that she’s not trustworthy, not because I have permanently and unalterably judged her to be unredeemable.

      • This is an excellent point — and, in fact, one I leveraged (on the advice of a person with experience) to motivate his agreement to a rapid and uncomplicated divorce. “Let’s end this marriage. If we decide later to be married again, we can forge a fresh start.”

        • Just “for the record”, my aunt and uncle divorced and remarried 5 years later and it WAS better the 2nd time around.

          They were a post WWII couple who could not or would not speak of the ED my uncle developed from medication he took for a war injury.

          No one spoke of it openly, so my aunt felt repeatedly rejected. She filed, which shocked everyone.

          Five years later at an event of their daughter’s, my uncle asked my aunt if she was “happier now”?

          And she replied no, but she also opened up about how much he had “humiliated” her with his rejections, and then he finally told her about the true reasons, (which humiliated him).

          From what I understand, they went to discuss this with a marriage counselor BEFORE my aunt would agree to remarry and he referred my uncle to a doctor who changed prescriptions and poof, the ED improved.

          I know, I know, face palm… Anyhow, 6 years later my uncle died of cancer with his wife of 32 years (or 27 years, depending on how you count them) and children at his bedside.

          I’ve always remembered this so yes, it can happen.

      • Yes! Before I filed and was still sitting on the fence my attorney said “You know, you can always marry his again.” While it seemed counter-intuitive, it helped me move forward and proceed with filing. I was able to accept that the current state of my marriage was irredeemable but there was the potential for a fresh start in the future. Now, over a year out from filing (THANKS Covid-19) I know that he truly does suck and I am moving up and out.

        Off topic:

        Is it sad that I google what the ice cream emoji meant??

        And I hate the term geriatric pregnancy; I qualified for that title both pregnancies. I cringed every time someone said it. Mature is better. Better yet M.O.S.T. – Mom who is older, secure, tempered / terrific / triumphant!!!

    • Yes, yes, yes.
      Telling him that his behavior in the marriage has shown her that she doesn’t want to be married to him is not the same thing as saying he’s “irredeemable.” I suspect that move on his part is part of the “you don’t love me unconditionally” trope–and Chump Lady handled that one recently.

      I also noticed that he slid in the idea that they didn’t want the same (unspecified) things in life, but said nothing about what could be done to resolve this difference or whether he now wanted the same things as she did.

  • I’m sorry. Start with a basic question. Is this acceptable to you? If it’s no, lawyer up and march to your freedom. If it’s yes, you know what you’re going to get when you take him back again. He’s proven who he is. Think about this really hard. It’s not just your future. It’s your children’s future too.

    Trust me, i know it’s a hard place to be. Trust your gut. I know my husband sucks. So do his multiple OWs. Yes, I know of two. There’s probably more. I just don’t need to know all the icky things. My brain can’t handle the things I already know. Still awaiting the divorce to become final.

    Good luck. You are more mighty than you think you are. You birthed that big baby, right?

  • It’s disturbing how much he sounds like my XH.

    “leaving my job brought a new finality to it that caused her and I to reach back out.”

    What a self-righteous a**hole! Because clearly leaving your job created such heartbreak for you and the whore, that you both felt it was justified and morally important to connect again?!?

    That line alone shows HIS and whores needs and hearts are more crucial than his wifes, the mother of his children, the person he took vows with, the person he’s been lying to for OVER A YEAR.

    My heartbreaks for you Chumpfox because I know what it’s like to learn the man you love was never the man you thought he was. I tried the path of forgiveness for 3yrs. It doesn’t end with a happily-ever-after. Once I learned of the 3rd affair, I knew it was over.

    Your husband is running to his Plan-B and that’s you. What happens when he can’t handle all the emotional strain this is going to put on your marriage? What happens when he sees things won’t just go back to normal, and they will never be the same again because he broke your trust?

    I know what happens, he goes to 28yr old. He tells you he didn’t know repairing the marriage after what he did would be so difficult and realizes you’re better off without him.

    Right now you’re his insurance policy. Do you want to be insurance?

    My XH ended it with two OW and then went on to find a third OW. Don’t be like me and lose 3yrs of your life. We are here to support you.

  • Draw up a post nup. Make it ironclad. Even a whiff of cheating and you get EVERYTHING! All your assets, the house, the car etc. he gets nothing but the privilege of paying alimony and child support, and you get custody of the kids, he sees them only under your rules. Watch how he reacts. My guess is he starts in with the “unfair to me” narrative. There’s your answer.

    • Cheater is currently unemployed from what I read. Post-nups that give everything to one partner rarely if ever stand up in court. Best she cut ties now and move on with her life. Cheater is dead weight.

      • I think the idea of the postnup was suggested as a test of cheater’s true resolve.

        I’ve heard of harsh postnups with infidelity clauses being upheld in my state (oooh the prominent cheater in one case was so chagrined– funny). But it’s likely true that courts dismiss some as overly punitive. The family law system hasn’t had a character transplant either though it’s sorely needed.

        • “I think the idea of the postnup was suggested as a test of cheater’s true resolve.”

          Very true and I tend to forget most cheaters aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer, wouldn’t be savvy enough to say yes to the postnup knowing it might not stand up.

          I am a strong believer the courts should take infidelity into consideration when dividing assets and figuring out child custody. Cheater’s are selfish, not honorable and usually aren’t the greatest parents.

          • KB22– Yes, bring back “fault” divorce and the right to sue shmoopies for “alienation of affection.” Frankly I think chumps should be able to sue shmoopies for half of whatever family assets were “dissipated” on the affair if the shmoops knew the cheater was married.

  • “I want to try” = ‘I’m not going to try. But I *want* to. And that’s what really matters. My intentions. And how I smother my verbs.’ So true! People really think intentions alone are enough. But you know what kind of road is paved with good intentions…

    • “You know how sweet and supportive I can be” = You know I can still sleep soundly next to you every night, because I’m getting laid by a 28yr old.

      (insert eye-roll here)

  • Last thing, ChumpFox: how do you know that the affair only went back to this LV business trip dating to when you were around 6 weeks postpartum? Is that what HE told you or were you able to independently verify that?

    Did he know her before the trip? If so, I’d bet money this went back further and he’s just trying to avoid the allegation of cheating on a pregnant wife / wife who has *very* recently given birth.

    My XH told me he’d broken up with Schmoopie and gone no-contact with her—until he left his cell phone unguarded and I saw her texting him. Then he tried to claim they had only just recently bumped into each other at a party and gotten back together. It wasn’t until after the divorce that I learned they had never broken up.

    These people never come clean with the whole truth, they only admit to what you already know.

    So unless you’ve independently verified that he didn’t know this woman until this Las Vegas trip at your 6-week postpartum mark, I wouldn’t trust that timeline in the slightest. Dude was stepping out on you while you were pregnant.

  • Gaaaah! The number of times a cheater refers to themselves in an apology is inversely proportional to how sorry they actually are. “Let’s still, even now, talk about ME!”

  • He doesn’t think it’s fair. It wasn’t the ‘mistake’ he made either. And the short cut turned out to be a journey.

    He minimizes your pain, blames you for the consequences he’ll have to face, and after she dumped him it became a learning experience.

    Not a keeper. He’s like a five year old.

  • ” I was so caught up in a particular way of thinking that it took a journey to really understand all of this.”

    And if my journey included a lot of hot sex for me, then that was a price I was willing to pay.

    • His “entanglement” was getting his d*ck caught in a 28yr old.

      I’d tell him MY “journey” is divorcing him and ensuring the child-support payments he’s going to have to pay are large and lengthy (unlike him hehe).

  • Fuckwit: “I want to try”

    UBT’s masterpiece: “I’m not going to try. But I want to. And that’s what really matters. My intentions. And how I smother my verbs.”

    Fern, above, says, BCL [before ChumpLady] she might have fallen for this drivel. Fox, dear, I confess that I only was able to read it with the UBT’s translation. I feel so sorry for you. Be strong! It gets better, we all promise!

    About phone synch, this is exactly how a friend caught her cheater (a big, full professor at a university).

  • “shortcut to happiness” there is a shortcut to happiness dump the jerk and you’ll be happy. After 10 years my idiot cheater announced he was in “love” with a coworker. Well it didn’t quite work out for him and I stupidly took him back. Fast forward another 30 years and the idiot is “in love” again with another whore. So now in my 70’s I had to start a new life for myself. It was devastating after 40 years of building a life on a lie. However being a bit wiser this time, I kicked his sorry ass out the door and have never looked back. My only regret is I didn’t do it 30 years ago.

    So to all the chumps thinking he’ll/she’ll change forget it! A cheater is a cheater is a cheater. Don’t waste your precious life with a cheater. Pick yourself up and get on with making the best life for yourself . Count yourself lucky you discovered the truth before you invested any more of your valuable life with an idiot cheater. Stop looking back and look forward. We’re only on this earth for a finite period make the most of it and stop grieving a fantasy. It is, what is was, accept it and keep moving forward. There is still a lot of wonderful life to live even at 75!

    • One other comment I will make. When I kicked out the jerk I put the house on the market. The Real Estate woman I listed with was very sympathetic as I told her about the split and why I was selling.
      I was a bit tearful and she said something that shook me out of my grief. She simply said “well you really don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t love you, do you?” That was it, the jerk had never loved me and here I was grieving what ?? Right then I realized I was moving on and he could go to hell. I wasn’t wasting one more minute on that fool. Life is good and we make our own happiness but we have to know who we are and what we’re worth. Hugs to all !

      • What a great story of survival Linda! I got out after 29 years but the last 5 or so and after D day(don’t even care to count) I had let him come back and this time I began observing how his parents enabled him and made things he did sound not so bad and just my imagination. But physically I was deteriorating. I observed my mother in law who was about 70 looked like death warmed over. Her teeth had even fallen out. But my father in law always had new toys or whatever he wanted and didn’t seem to even pay attention to her needs at all. I decided that was not what I wanted my future to look like. I wish she had your courage. Not everyone gets out alive.

      • It’s so true. I asked myself how someone who loved me could do this to me. The sad, simple truth is that he didn’t love me. Cheaters don’t love us. Which makes reconciliation a complete charade.

    • LOVE YOU LINDA!

      The bomb went off in my life OCT 2017 at 54. I get discouraged and tired in my rubble clearing and life remodel project and need to hear from wise ones like you ahead of me on the Road of Life!

      ❤️

      • Velvet, I know it’s not easy it wasn’t all easy sailing for me either. You have to learn to let go of the “rubble”. Really, what does it really matter now? It’s just torturing yourself. I try to think of my life now as a new adventure . I like myself and my life. I try to be grateful for what I have and thankful for the friends and family that have supported me. The first time the idiot cheated I was about 54 and I wanted desperate to save my marriage. I think it was my pride. If I’m honest, he never really loved me and I tolerated a less than happy marriage to hold things together. I didn’t want to fail! How stupid is that? The marriage had already failed ‘he cheated’ ! Believe in yourself and find the things that make you happy don’t look for it in someone else. I made big changes in my life I moved to another town bought a new (older) house and fixed it up just for me. Made some new friends and kept some really good ones. I’m really proud of my accomplishments.
        You still have many good years ahead to be happy but if you keep looking back and trying to sort out the ‘ rubble’ you can’t move forward. It’s tough some days but life is tough and good too When I took my grandson to the museum many years ago he only wanted to see the Dinosaurs and I was looking at everything else. Frustrated he turned to me and said “keep moving Nana, keep moving” I laughed he was about 8 years old. When I get discouraged that’s my mantra “keep moving Nana” and I laugh and it works. Don’t waste another thought on that jerk. Lots of good wishes and hugs.

        • By “rubble” I mean clearing and carting away the rubble after my life was blown up. A metaphor…bomb blast results in rubble everywhere that needs to thrown away, cleared off the site to rebuild…..the opposite of hanging on….

          • Yep. That rubble has to be cleared before anyone can march forward. And the chumps have to do it, the enemy sure isn’t going to.

    • Linda
      Yah! For you. I’m close to your age and divorced my cheating ex after 35 years. Financially strapped but free of the lying cheating toxic life. Good luck to you 👍🏻

  • Watch what they DO, not what they SAY. This is a complete waste of good paper/electronic data.

    And while you were pregnant?!? This is the f*cking lowest of low cheater standards (if there are any).

    I was also cheated on during my last pregnancy, but did not know it at the time (I found proof much later in the form of love letters from the Schoompie).

    Similar situation, I had the baby and then about a three days later he takes off for a “business trip” – leaving me at home with three kids and a newborn. Thank God my mom was close enough to come help me for a few days. Cheater entitlement knows no bounds.

    I know you need time to process through this, but do yourself a favor- get your ducks in a row, call a good attorney, build your support system and GTFO now.

  • I think having this happen in a baby situation is likely the absolute worst. I mean they are all awful, lying cheaters. It shouldn’t be a surprise to us that they would do this, because that is what lying cheaters do, but yet it is. It is just hard to imagine a human being so cruel to another.

  • The UBT deserves many, many cookies of multiple flavors.

    Chumpfox, the message is clear: dump this cheater! He is writing words, but those words have no real weight behind them. They are meant to sucker you back, to tell you those things that you wanted to hear from him on Dday. However, he’s hoping that you fill in the blanks.

    1. He’s “made a lot of mistakes.” This is gaslighting. He didn’t have an affair. He made mistakes. He forgot to carry the decimal when he balanced his checkbook. He fucked a co-worker for over a year. Mistakes–anyone can make mistakes! Won’t you forgive him for his mistakes?

    2. He says “her and I haven’t been in touch in weeks.” This is not just an egregious sin against grammar, but also an out-and-out lie. Let’s see, Dday was 4 months ago. He fell asleep on your sofa on Sunday, and left loads of text messages on his watch. “Weeks” in his world mean days. By this logic, he could stay faithful to you for “years,” well, maybe a month. Same thing.

    Here is the thing, you do not need to respond to this letter. It’s meant to mindfuck you. The only real response you need is to allow your super mom to watch your children while you interview 3 lawyers to find out what you can expect under the laws of your state. Retain one and file for divorce.

    You have nothing here to work with. He’s not truly remorseful. You gave him 3 chances to reconcile. On Dday #4, he struck out. Now he’s all Sad because you are making him face the consequences of his actions.

    Be the sane mom for your children. You deserve a much better person.

    • YES.

      Even if you redeem yourself, our relationship, which you intentionally murdered, will remain dead.

  • I am hoping the ‘James” she told about him and coworker was their boss and that’s what got him fired. But even if it was her husband, good job.

  • I got that letter, just after the divorce was final. Found out the OW got the exact same one (names and places changed) word for word. She had dumped him when she found out he WASN’T divorced from me all that time… as far as I knew I had been ‘happily married’ and she was unknowingly playing house with a wanna be bigamist. (He was stationed in different city for his retirement tour, had his own apt and everything… she had NO idea I existed and that he wasn’t going to “the field” when he came home every month.)
    Since she knew I’d divorced him at that point, she wanted to warn me just in case he was trying to “get back together with me too”… he was…. exact same email. We ended up friends… compared notes every time he tried to talk to us. And he would seriously try with both of us every time… lol.
    Unfortunately I believed it the first time, and spent 20 years married to him after he cheated the first time…. oh how I wish I’d known Chump Lady in the 90’s!!!
    Hindsight is still better than not seeing the truth ever!!!

  • “… my detachment was making it hard for us to have the kind of connection I was seeking.”

    No shit, Sherlock. What an utter putz.

    • He describes his inner Split here quite well.

      My ex excused himself to the children that he had this passionate side that their mother just did not allow, to explain why he was so emotional to OW#6 and so cold in their memory to their mother.

      They looked at him and thought ‘Bullshit, she is the most affectionate person we know’

      and I gaze at several photographs of me cuddling up to him whilst he ignores me/pats the dog

      It doesn’t matter any more, but it is nice to have the evidence of the MFuckery

  • My reading comprehension must be at a low ebb because for the life of me I don’t see an apology anywhere in this letter.

    More like thinly veiled blameshifting, it’s the chump’s fault the marriage had problems and fuckwit should have manned up and worked on that but….sigh….happiness in the form of howorker called his name, so he had to go. Chump’s fault, she should have pick me danced harder really.

    The rest is just howorker got cold feet and dumped me so now look at me Chump, I’m cute, how can you resist my greatness. Take me back now because this studio life sucks and finding another ho is hard when you live in a studio on half a paycheck, but no worries….. as soon as you take me back in and make me look presentable again, I’ll have ho’s breaking down my doors again and I’ll be fucking around on you plenty. #nomoresyncphones

    Chumpfox I really hope that you get the most aggressive lawyer in town and take this loser to the cleaners. You have too much life left to waste another day on an irredeemable fuckwit narc telling you to your face “you can’t resist his greatness”. I say you can and then some. Also, children do not benefit from growing up in a toxic environment where the mother is getting cheated on and turning a blind eye or policing and patrolling in an impossible attempt to stop a fuckwit from cheating. Please just leave. You have nothing to work with here. This man look you in the eye every single day and cheated on you, lied to you, slept all day because he was too exhausted from his tryst with howorker while you were running after the kids. You were already a single mother before you even knew the full truth.

  • Run. Get out.

    Pregnancy/ postpartum cheaters are horrible people.

    I got left alone for ‘business trips’ with a baby and a toddler. The phone records show their relationship started while I was pregnant. I’m pretty sure he cheated during my first pregnancy too.

    Get out while your kids are still too young to really remember you together. Do you want them to grow up thinking that cheating is ok? Do you want your son to expect that he can cheat on a woman with no consequences? Do you want to model that you should allow an abuser to keep abusing you?

    I know the thought of being a single mom to 2 young kids is overwhelming. I was there. But the happy intact family is no longer an option. You have 2 crappy choices – divorce or an unhappy, abusive marriage. Once you get past the shock and denial, the better crappy choice is apparent.

    Good luck, mama. You are in Hell, but you aren’t alone.

    And if you file, be prepared for Mr. Sorry to go away. At 2 months postpartum, I got blamed for everything under the sun. Wasn’t having sex enough, wouldn’t let him go on weekend golf trips, wanted him to come home after work to help with the baby… they get nasty quick. And move money into a separate account. Mine drained our joint account and moved his paychecks to a private account while I was on unpaid maternity leave.

    • I kind of have a theory that they fuck around on their preggo wife precisely because it puts you in a very difficult situation when it comes to leaving – physically, emotionally, logistically, and financially.

      I think they are actually counting on all that holding you down while they continue to cheat. A form of control – got you trapped so you can’t escape this abuse easily. I think that chumps actually finding the strength to do it anyway comes as quite a shock to these sociopaths.

      • I found out when my daughter was 13. He confessed to starting to cheating on me when my daughter was a newborn. Finding that out made it so much harder because that was a time when I felt so vulnerable. I had just had a baby and then moved to a foreign country for his work. He was leaving me at home while I was scared and fragile to go out and fuck hookers. Disgusting and so hurtful.

  • “I thought working on our marriage would be too hard with our cycles–” OUR cycles? OURS? Blameshifting much?

    Drop him like he’s…a liar, a cheater, uses poor grammar (‘Her and I’), likely disease riddled, oh–and UNEMPLOYED.

    Come on, Mama. You and your babies ARE better off without him.

  • There is a spiritual belief that we are assigned a number of breaths at birth and when we use them up, we die.

    Whether or not is true, I would not waste a single irreplaceable breath on the so- called man who wrote this letter, which reeks to kingdom come of horseshit.

    If I have to talk myself into trusting someone, I shouldn’t.

    That which has been murdered will never be brought back to life.

    Affairs are not relationships; they are games. The only way to win is to walk away and not play.

  • Oh man I gotta bootleg Bullshit Translator this one!

    “Please give me another chance.”

    I lost the first three. I looked everywhere but I just can’t seem to find them!

    “I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I’m ready to try my hardest to reconcile. I want to try to build a new, better relationship together.”

    Hang on, just lemme throw out the old one, do you have a trash bag handy?

    “You say it’s over because you think I’m going to go back to her again if the opportunity arises, and even if I don’t, I’m a cheater and a liar and I’ll just do it again with someone else.”

    I mean…come on, I only did that three times already and totally lied to you about it as recently as last weekend, but that doesn’t mean anything!

    “I have cheated and lied, but not before the affair.”

    Before the cheating and lying I wasn’t a cheating liar.

    “I don’t think it’s fair to permanently label me as an irredeemable person. I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I am trying to be better.”

    It’s been a whole week! Teacher says I get a gold star if I don’t like for a week. Look at my sticker chart!

    “I didn’t like lying.”

    Yes I did.

    “I want to build a relationship that is founded on honesty and transparency.”

    Here, I got this Lego set we can use!

    “Why did I lie about her for so long, and continue to do so as recently as a few weeks ago?”

    Because I’m a selfish prick.

    “To be honest”

    I do not know how to be honest.

    “I thought a new relationship would be a shortcut to happiness.”

    But I needed to keep this one in my pocket just in case the short cut got me lost.

    “I thought working on our marriage would be too hard with our cycles and history and potential differences in what we want.”

    I never considered “cycles,” history, or lack of compatibility between us before getting married…

    “Obviously working on our marriage is what I should have done.”

    I’m oblivious to the obvious.

    “I owed that to you. I’m very sorry that I broke my promises to you. I’ll always wonder where we would be now if I had put that time and energy into us.”

    Where would we be…in the woods? On Mt. Everest? In Narnia? Where? I wonder…

    “Recently I came to understand in a deeper way that there are no shortcuts to happiness.”

    There are shortcuts to this realization though.

    “It became clear that the new relationship would have its own issues.”

    The novelty wore off.

    “I became more aware of my own role in our issues: my detachment was making it hard for us to have the kind of connection I was seeking.”

    Detachment makes it hard to connect. …Who knew.

    “I was so caught up in a particular way of thinking that it took a journey to really understand all of this.”

    I was so far up my own butt it took since last Sunday to have an epiphany that usually takes years of therapy and introspection.

    “I’m so sorry for all the pain I caused you while I figured it out.”

    I won’t specifically name what it was I actually did to cause that pain, just nebulously reference it.

    “To address the messages directly, even though the relationship had ended, leaving my job brought a new finality to it that caused her and I to reach back out.”

    I think “finality” means continuing. (He is using that word, I do not think it means what he thinks it means.)

    “I know those messages were hard to read, and I’m sorry.”

    Sorry I forgot to delete them from my watch…whoops.

    “In hindsight, I probably sent the previous letter too early.”

    I meant to discard you and abandon our family BEFORE I told Schmoopie to meet me at the apartment.

    “But I’m in a much better place now. Her and I haven’t been in touch in weeks, even after you told James about the affair. It’s really over.”

    For realisies. Promise. I’m in a better place. I moved to another secret apartment and she doesn’t have the address yet.

    “Learning these lessons has helped me start to reconnect with you.”

    This letter is me “reconnecting” with you.

    “There’s so much I love about you that I really lost sight of. I miss you.”

    I miss you doing all the childcare while I go out to drink and sleep late.

    “I understand that I’d need to focus on healing you and stabilizing things first, and I’m ready to do that.”

    I got some Neosporin and a band-aid for you.

    “It wasn’t perfect but I know you felt an improvement a few weeks ago.”

    When I was still lying to your face with every breath.

    “You know how sweet and supportive I can be. Let’s start there.”

    Start letting my lie to your face with every breath again?

    “Please think about it.”

    Please think on it, I have schmoopie on hold, I gotta give her an update soon.

    • 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  • Oh my goodness, this is triggering.

    I heard this and “I lost sight of you” in 2010.

    Thanks for the UBT.

    [no, our reconciliation did not work and he was found back in OW’s oasis]

  • Thank you UBT and fellow chumps. I now begin my journey to the STI clinic and lawyer’s office. There will certainly be some bullshit dodging on the way, but I will take no shortcuts.

  • What the cheater did in this case was so cold blooded, heinous and downright dangerous that no apology would cut it, particularly not this lame, lukewarm, self-absorbed, grossly minimizing, empathy impaired drivel.

    I agree with another commenter that it’s likely the affair was ramping up if not in full swing during the pregnancy.

    Not that cheating on a postpartum wife looks good on cheaters’ records but cheating on a pregnant spouse is universally vilified so most cheaters would try to lie about this if possible because it can damage their precious image and, moreover, lead to a greater court award for the victim. But hiding whether the affair took place in pregnancy can be particularly dangerous because the fetus may have been exposed to STIs.

    I’m not a lawyer or medical professional but perhaps experts here can weigh in. Just my opinion but I think both you and the baby should get *antibody* blood tests for everything, not just the typical cheap tests for active infections. Antibody tests for STIs used to be common but are now harder to get for some (probably political) reason. A lawyer may be able to help in arranging this.

    From what I’ve read, STIs aren’t always obvious. Some cases are silent, others may clear on their own or clear when taking antibiotics for an unrelated infection but can still leave legacies of damage and/or lead to future risks. Several can be passed during pregnancy or via the birth process or via breastfeeding or other contact with infants. (http://orwh.od.nih.gov/research/maternal-morbidity-and-mortality/information-for-women/sexually-transmitted-infections)

    One advantage in a divorce proceeding is deposing cheaters, APs and relevant witnesses and getting answers under penalty of perjury and jail time– answers that cheaters typically trickle truth over a period of years if they come clean at all. In this case deposing the cheats under oath may be a critical measure for the baby’s health. I was told AP can be ordered to submit all relevant electronic communications. A financial investigation can uncover secret credit accounts and secret spending that point to a timeline.

    Affairs leave all sorts of slime trails. It’s also important to get a record of “dissipation of marital assets.” Even in no fault states “dissipation” in an affair can impact settlement. In the case a betrayed spouse or child were exposed to STDs, a separate lawsuit can be filed which many lawyers will take on contingency.

    Another important thing to discover is the real reason why cheater lost his job. Did he quit to reduce the appearance of earning potential so he’d have to pay less in a divorce settlement? Was he fired for inappropriate relations with an inferior?

    If you live in a state that allows audio taping without the other party’s consent (handy list of “one party consent” states: https://www.justia.com/50-state-surveys/recording-phone-calls-and-conversations/) and can get cheater on record admitting to details of the affair, it could simplify things for your lawyer. Also if cheater can be caught blaming the AP for the affair or putting her down (apologies, blame spreading and pleas can get more effusive as divorce looms), this isn’t just for the fun of driving a wedge into the affair bond: a lawyer might use this to pry the truth out of the AP in case cheater and AP try to conspire to lie under oath (an offense punishable by prison).

    Often just the threat of deposing an AP is enough to push cheaters to agree to settlements favorable to the betrayed spouse. But in this case it may be more important to get that affair timeline by following through on depositions to understand health risks. Also it looks bad for shmoopie if she, like many shady APs, was angling to marry cheater and pushes him to fight for full custody so she can spend the child support on herself. This is apparently particularly dangerous when there are special needs children involved. I was told by a disability attorney friend that shmoopies quite regularly scheme to get custody with the plan to eventually dump disabled children in state care on a waiver.

    If paying for a lawyer is difficult it might be possible for a friend to start a Go-Fund-Me campaign on your behalf anonymously explaining the heinous circumstances and pressing need for discovery of facts.

    What a horrible situation. Sending strength, clarity and fire power.

  • I, I, I, I, I-how many times do they write this way??? Sounds familiar – everything is about them and what they want and how they feel. It’s so draining and energy sucking. Run before you get sucked back in and waste more time. I wasted years listening to the same crap- and he kept on cheating with so many excuses.

  • He was a selfish, entitled prick before the affair (or at least this one that you know about). He left you to hold up the marriage AND raise the kids all by yourself. That alone is worth the divorce. Now, with clear vision of hindsight, I see that my ex was always lazy, selfish, and entitled. He expected to do absolutely nothing in the marriage, home, and child rearing. I should have divorced him LONG before the affair that I actually caught him in. Don’t for one second believe now that it was his only one.
    Why in the hell would you want this POS man baby? But throw in the fact that he’s a liar and a cheater who had no problem risking your health and your life too and what does that really leave you with?!
    I’m of a mind that I wouldn’t even waste the headspace trying to figure out if he’s legitimately remorseful. Who gives a fuck because at the end of the day he’s still a POS for a husband.

  • ME! ME! ME! ME!

    That’s what I heard in this letter to you. It’s all about him. Oh, and he better understands “his part” in “your” issues. Yeah, I don’t think you had time to partake in the issue making here. After all, you did you just give birth to his child and god forbid, you were taking care of another human.

    Your soon to be ex is a total scumbag. I’m sorry this happened to you because I know it is soul crushing and painful and something you did not sign-up for.

    I suspect he got rejected from the skank. Should she or another low life want him back, you will be cheated on again. I don’t say that to hurt your feelings, its just that he is a scumbag who will constantly choose his happiness over yours. And he will do them what he did to you.

    I know because the last paragraph is my truth.

    Hugs

  • I love the UBT. When you read this as a whole the feeling I got was that he’s only sorry for himself. What the hell is it with these cheaters? My ex did the crash on the sofa thing. Cheating must be very tiring. Mine used to sleep in until 11am on the weekends, could hardly get up for work and would fall asleep like a granny in the evenings after dinner. This letter is not a sincere apology. He’s just desperate and probably doesn’t like his apartment. A major thing missing from this letter is that he’s a father and he has obligations to take care of his family. I didn’t hear him reflect on that one bit.

    • Yes! My husband (soon ex) was always bored at home. During weekends sleeeping, no initiative, always serious…Now I meet men that are at least funny and I can talk to.
      I think my husband didn’t see the value in family, for him young people at work were more important. So now he is with one. Cheers!

  • Hmm, this is the second time a comment I wrote got flagged for moderation and didn’t get posted. It was passing on some legal advice I heard regarding STD risks, legal protections and depositions. I might try to re-post if it doesn’t reappear.

  • Like, WHY does he want to stay? Everything says he’s outta there, why does he want back? Why can’t he just run off with the other woman? Why do they keep dragging others back in, after they’ve gone???? I just don’t get it but that they are simply crazy in the mean, cruelest way ever. Lord, how I despise cheaters.

    • Because why divorce and pay child support (not to mention have to actually parent on your custody days) when you can have a chump cook your food and clean your house while you screw around behind their back?

    • I know I shouldn’t do this, because it’s pointless and changes nothing but here is my best guess…

      Cheaters know. They know that what they are doing is wrong. More importantly, they know that they are risking losing the best thing that happened to them and not just their partner/spouse/lover/etc. They are risking losing their family, the one they choose and created. They are losing history. History that only they and their spouse know, special moments and memories that will now be filled with pain. Also, they know deep down that their actions are not true. They have given into their lustful, selfish needs and know their is no guarantee that life with the person they are cheating with will be greater than the one they created with YOU.

      So what do they do? They play hot and cold. Go back and forth. Basically playing a tug of war with themselves and their spouse. They (because they are selfish) want you to feel the war within them. So they “act” like they want to work it out with you.

      I know my XH understands 100% that I was the best thing that happened to him and he messed up his chance of a real, true partner in this life. When your X knows you are not coming back and they lost you before they decided to leave you, they will get angry (this happened w/ my XH).

      Again, I realize I’m not supposed to untangle this kind of thinking but its what I really believe.

      Cheaters live with a lot of regret whether they admit it or not. It’s a hard road they chose. Chumps can stand with dignity and hope for the future, cheaters cannot.

      • I agree with you Alice. In my case, the ex traded down big time! He lost his family, extended family, friends, neighbours, our whole community, his job, and our business all for a young woman who made less money than me, is dumb, has no friends, is very weird, not as nice of a body-the only thing she had going for her was that she’s 15 years younger and promised him the kinky sex he wanted. Oddly, he never even tried to have the kinky sex with me!! Also, she has dogs and my husband is terribly allergic! I had to keep the house spotless to help keep him healthy due to his allergies. I have spent the year since DDay wondering why the fuck he’s done this. He wanted her on the side, and then come home to his nice life with me. He was having unprotected sex with her (protected sex with the hookers). Instead, he has her now. He looks old and she looks like his punk rock daughter. What in the serious fuck was he thinking? It boggles my mind that he would chuck in his whole life for that dumb young thing. He and I were best friends, with loads of laughter and adventures, a business and a lovely life. All gone so he could have kinky sex. His professional reputation is shot around town, his daughter hates him. Sigh. Big, loud sigh. 😔

        • @Formerly,

          I’m so sorry your ex turned out to be a man who is weak and gave into an empty infatuation. 15yrs is a huge difference and I guarantee they don’t stay together. It might take some years but they will have many many challenges. We are all destined to get old and like it or not the spouse who is in better health usually is the one to take care of the other when the time comes. Something tells me she won’t like that job and he will end up alone.

          I’m not saying this to wish bad things on your ex, I just know statistically this is what happens. I mean just look at some famous NBA players, even their money can’t keep a young wife after they start aging. Perhaps the exceptions is Michael Jordan but I mean it’s Jordan haha. Your ex isn’t Jordan.

          Throwing your life away for kinky sex is a dead end, plain and simple. My XH never complained about our sex life, it never even came up once as a reason why he cheated. Even a healthy sex life won’t save a marriage, cheaters will do what they want at the end of the day.

          • Honestly I think sex was the whole reason my ex did what he did (initially). Not because we didn’t have a good sex life, we did, until the last 6 months or so. But, it was a 20 year sex life not a teenage sex life. I could not provide the thrill of illicit sex. While we had teenage sex, it was only after we married at 18. (for me) So I never provided illicit sex.

            The reason I think so, is when he told me about schmoopie, he stated “it wasn’t about sex” my ex by that time was a confirmed liar, for him to point out that it wasn’t about sex made it clear it was. Or at least it started out about sex. He likely had had many trysts during our marriage, but since they werent long term, he didn’t get caught up in it. Also, they were not his direct reports at work. That put a whole new layer of vice grip around his dick.

            Oh he was high on sex hormones, and playing teenager and the fun of sneaking around, but it was all wrapped around sex. By the time I found out, I couldn’t compete, as CL says “it was a stacked deck”

            He went on to run around on schmoopie soon after they remarried. My daughter in law told me that. She knew because schmoopie left him several times due to his wandering dick. Once she became routine, he was off for more thrills.

            Unfortunately for my ex, within a few years he had a major (almost death) heart attack. So I imagine that curtailed his thrills.

            I knew nothing about the “sex” hormones throughout my marriage. I don’t know if it would matter, but I wonder if folks knew about all this that they might be able to spot trouble earlier. Who knows.

    • There is also a whiff of ….he dumped his wife to glom onto schmoopie because he felt she was a better deal. Perhaps she made more money. Certainly, he wouldn’t have to deal with messy and time consuming adulting. Then when shmoopie dumped his sorry ass he was suddenly a parasite bereft of his host and wifey looks better and better. After all, he was able to con her for the longest time, and she would be better than nothing until he could find another host. Once he manages that, well it’s goodbye again to the oh so useful wife appliance.

      You deserve so much better my friend. Run like your hair is on fire.

      • Also I honestly think a lot of them know that as soon as the illicit sex is outed the thrill is going to go away. They need a chump to act in the mom role, so they can sneak out and get teenage sex.

        I was so damn ignorant in my chump role, he was able to keep his thrills going for years. I wonder if he and his schmoopie(s) laughed behind my back while smoking their cigarettes.

        Schmoooies are mostly interchangeable, a good chump is hard to find. I was one of the best.

  • Oh, this sounds too familiar. You gotta lawyer up right now and run. I know our big chumpy hearts want so much for things to just be okay, especially because we love them, or we loved the idea of them anyways. I’m less than a week right now till my divorce is final and I’m counting down the days. He tried to pull very similar shenanigans on me. Told me “I can go get a studio apartment and come help with the kids on weekends and go on dates to try and work this out. We can go to therapy during this time too.” Meanwhile, he’s still chatting to his dick-warmer, flirting, making out, who the hell knows what else. The bullshit translator would translate that statement to “I can do what I want, including having my cake and eating it too, all while you take on the majority of responsibility with our two kids because I have no regard for anyone else but myself!” Trust that they suck. They do suck.

    Get rid of your fuckwit. They’re not worth your precious time. As much as it hurts – you’ll be better off without them and their skein. Promise.

    • You’re almost there Panda! The legal chains are about to come off!

      I hope you have something planned, something symbolic to do once it’s finalized. Even if it’s just taking a drive and listening to some freeing music, you should recognize your freedom!

  • “And appears to have never ended”

    You really dont need the letter or the UBT after reading this in the first few lines.

  • “You have to start life over single parenting an infant and a toddler, while divorcing an unemployed cheating fuckwit. But what’s REALLY unfair are labels.”

    This is fucking brilliant.

  • Dearest ChumpFox,

    Fuckwit isn’t yet ready to admit he is a moral failure of a person. He has all the evidence in front of him, so he probably knows it on some level. Who cheats on their wife when they have a newborn? A terrible person. Who stays out too late with their girlfriend so they can’t enjoy mornings with their young family? A terrible human being. I assume he was a really good person at some point, because you chose him, but he let his ego take over his brain and heart. He can twist this all he wants to deflect blame to you, because it is too painful for his ego to admit he is an appalling person. Some day he will realize it, and he will probably try to be a better person. Sadly you need to move on because this could take years or decades.

    You are an amazing, delightful person and it will be hard, but you will be able to treat him with kindness and compassion because your moral integrity is intact. You will do this because his disgusting behavior will not bring you down. You will do it because you are a great person, a great mom, and a great addition to humanity. You have only up to go from here. Sadly for your kids, he has a few more low points to go through as he comes to realize what he (and him alone) blew up. But, it’s not your problem anymore. You have a bright future, one full of people in your life that want to see you thrive and be respected & loved. Your kids are lucky to have your stability, intelligence, gumption, love, and humor. There is so much life to enjoy and experience, and now you get to that without Fuckwit fucking it up.

    • He’s not going to realise how he blew the things up because he’s incapable of. You’re giving him far too much credit. He’s not a nice, supportive person who temporarily lost his senses. He’s a pretender and he’s very clear about this in his letter – I CAN be nice and supportive. Translation: when it suits me to bother to act and pretend. He didn’t say I AM a nice and supportive person.

      Unfortunately, she has nothing to work with.

  • Also, you get as much money from that guy as you can. Assets, shares, 401k, investments, property, alimony, child support. 100% custody. Go for it all. You don’t have to be nice about that!

  • I’m 7 years out – about to remarry (a good man this time). I did d-day about 5 times…..finally listened to chump and my therapist. If you are still in any doubt please don’t be. LEAVE him. I shredded all the letters (found them in a recent move) – it’s almost the same as this one you have (along with the same cover up selfish fuck wit lies and empty promises and bs behaviors) Please, from the bottom if my heart leave. It will suck but it will get better. With him you’ll be an anxious phone checking mess while he fucks around again in two years. He is exactly like my ex….cheaters are all the same – same script. Without him there is the chance of a healthy, happy authentic future.

  • I’m raising a glass to you RARITY!

    Mine had a triple life, two of us pregnant at the same time – both planned pregnancies too. I didnt pick me. I lawyered up almost immediately. He has since disappeared. Not even met his daughter. I’m 17 months since d day and the thought of ever finding someone is pretty hard to wrap my head around. I mourn the big family I thought I was going to have. I’m almost 40 and I definitely have trust issues.

    What i dont understand is the support that these abusers receive from their own family and other partners. How is it not plain to see that the victims should all come together to expose, shame and hold the abusers accountable. I guess everyone is just trying to hold on to their little piece of turf. Even if it smells like dog 5hit.

    Bless you RARITY and bless your child. Especially the one born to the cheating fucktard (sorry if that sounds rude, just makes me so angry for the kids dragged into this). the rage is real.

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