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When Affair Partners Marry

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Back by popular demand, with sincerest apologies to the good people of Oklahoma. (In my defense, I was living in Texas when I wrote this.)

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The other day I was watching TV and this ad came on for glitzy, casino holidays in Oklahoma.

God help the ad executives who were trying their darndest to make Oklahoma look sophisticated and “fun.” Instead of the tornado-afflicted backwater that it actually is. (And is anything sadder than a casino?)

Who sets their sights so low that they’d take a casino vacation to Oklahoma? No offense to any chumps who live in Oklahoma, but if you’ve got the disposable income to take a holiday, given the entire world of options — Varenna, Italy! The Grand Canyon! Disney World! Hell, Gary, Indiana! Who would possess such awful judgement as to choose Oklahoma?

My husband said: Cheaters who marry their affair partners, that’s who. “Perfect metaphor. Write a column.”

You have to understand the Texas perspective here. Texans deride Oklahoma as sort of its dim-witted, poor brother to the North. Why go to Oklahoma? Because it’s cheap, easy, and requires little imagination.

Much like affair partners.

Say you’re a cheater and your cake is destroyed. You’re trying to figure out what next. Do you do the hard work on yourself? Try to make your marriage work? Take a spiritual path? Or do you follow the bright, sparkly lights to the slots and put your money down on Schmoopie? They’re there. They’re easy. And your “commitment” will convince everyone this wasn’t such a disastrous choice!

Marrying your affair partner is one hell of a gamble. The odds are really low that you’ll “win” at this venture. But you think you’re lucky! Exceptional! Sure, you might be stuck flinging quarters into a bottomless pit of need, but you COULD hit the jackpot and be SPECIAL!

Chances are, you’re either going to leave broke, or stick around with your ruinous “investment.” Meanwhile, you gambled away the things that really mattered — a faithful partner, your children, your self respect.

Chumps often fear that their cheater will marry the affair partner, thus “winning” the pick me dance. The most sucktacular thing about this outcome is sharing your kids with the affair partner. That’s a shit sandwich, no getting around it. But if you’re imagining bliss and blended family harmony, I think the odds of that are putting your life savings down on Red 25 and spinning the roulette wheel.

Think about it — marriage is the promise to exclusively love and honor your partner. “Forsaking all others.” What makes people so utterly disingenuous about monogamy want to get married anyway? Cheaters SUCK at commitment. So right there, they’re each marrying a person incompatible with fidelity. They can’t trust each other, so what’s the point?

Oh, but right, they’re SPECIAL and different and super lucky.

Cheap, delusional gamblers.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • I needed this today. Ex and the AP are engaged and I’m dreading any contact I’ll ever have to have, even second-hand through my kids, who fortunately are 18 and 21. When he told them how much he thought they’d like her and what a good person she is, I wanted to barf.

    • The fact that your cheater has to “market” the AP to the kids speaks volumes and you should hold your head up high… you’re the Original, no false claims needed.

    • All the same playbook. Why is it they have to sell the AP as such a good and kind person. Such a great mother. My ex just married his AP. Never told my adult kids – pretending, pretending, pretending. Why do they not tell the truth, why is their other life such a secret. When do the games stop?

      • Why do they not tell the truth, why is their other life such a secret. When do the games stop?
        1. They’re liars 2. Narcissists and the disordered can still feel ashamed 3. Never

        • Secrets are the lifeblood of my ex. He thrives on them.
          My kids (Thank goodness they’re adults) and I have zero idea if he married the whore. In my state it is not public knowledge.
          I can only tell other chumps that getting to the place where what the cheater does doesn’t matter is your goal. Insanely hard. Painfully hard. But possible. Keep your focus on getting out, getting the BEST divorce possible, being the same parent if you have kids and leaving your ex in the dust is the best path forward.

          • TIP: Ancestry.com will tell you if he remarried. Try your local library to see if they subscribe to the service to use it for free! That’s if you really want to know. If not, happy Tuesday to you.

      • “Cheap, delusional has-beens” indeed!

        I had a Switzerfriend who corresponded with OWhore (and later became one of her flying monkeys). Switzerfriend shared some of OWhore’s writing with me during my attempted wreckonciliation with Fuckwit. OWhore swore to the heavens that Fuckwit had promised to leave me and marry her. When OWhore was asked about why she could believe Fuckwit would be faithful to HER if he left ME, OW wrote:

        “I’m not taking him from his wife. She walked away from him many years ago …. and knowing what I now know of [Fuckwit], I think it unlikely he would be able to ‘stray’ if he were in a marriage with me. Or with any true wife.”

        She had a VERY high – and delusional – opinion of her magical twat.

        • ChChChChump– Ah, the magical twat.

          First clue I had of the affair was the smell coming off cheater’s nethers that took about two days and four showers to wash off. Magically enduring indeed.

          Unhealthy people can try to scrub away, cover or neutralize their own bad bacterial overgrowth and related fungal overgrowth to temporarily tamp down the smell. But if anything they touch sits around for a bit their cooties rapidly multiply again. As anyone who’s dealt with stinky teen jeans knows, it’s really hard to get an entrenched bacterial/fungal smell out if its festered long enough (soaking for a day in sodium carb and oxyclean type cleaners helps). Regular soap won’t do it. It sticks to hair too.

          Like old cheese coupled with homeless ass– nothing like vintage distilled and festered alcoholic/junk-food-junky/imbalanced-microbiome twat.

          • There’s interesting previous blogs here about the science behind the smells/pheromones coming from our exes whilst they were cheating. I remember not being able to stand his smell all of a sudden. His whole room stunk.

          • As someone who loves and studies microbiology, I loooooove this description! Its Priceless! Thank you! Yes another smell comes around. Animals recognize it.

            Funny writhing happened recently. An old ex lover came around. just online, not in person. I swear some men can sense when your single. But although I never met him, I kind could smell him! Like a pheromone memory cell. We have stopped talking, which is fine, but since no communication then no smell!

            Just interesting stuff Ive discovered.

        • “magical twat”

          Ahhh hahahahaha

          Another one I heard years ago was “she must think she has gold between her legs”.

      • I really needed this today. The ex and her affair partner just announced their engagement and my adult daughters are refusing to attend. It is a hard and painful thing to see her be so “happy” after flushing 22 years of marriage. Is it wrong that I take comfort in the fact that this will bever last?

        • Wow, Jay, that is rough. Glad that your adult daughters are grounded and seeing things clearly. Cheaters have no depth or character so their “magical” romance isn’t real and it is very finite. Always remember that they deserve each other and you deserve someone that values you for who you are, a mighty person that was strong enough to walk through hell and come out sane on the other side. Yes, knowing that your ex is getting married hurts, but just remember that she is taking her circus and her monkeys to a new venue. Her brand of drama is no longer your worry. Enjoy living free.

    • I’m sure it’s tough to know they are going to marry but something a lot of people overlook (even people who’ve never been married) is that dating, boyfriend/girlfriend, and even living together is not the same ballgame as Marriage. If your X thinks marrying homewrecker is going to be rainbows and butterflies, he’s in for a huge wake-up call and we definitely know homewrecker is!

      Get your popcorn ready 🙂

      • The DOCTOR got engaged while we were still married and it was announced via Schmoopie’s fb page. They married 2 weeks after he legally could, in Hawaii…

        Our 3 adult children were not invited or even formally told, though the DOCTOR did send them a group email afterwards. We call it “the manifesto”, in which the DOCTOR outlined HIS TERMS for them to have a relationship with him, going forward. And he stated otherwise “we’re done”.

        The children were not to “Bring up the past”, (=don’t counter his narrative) and they were to “treat the DOCTOR and Schmoopie with the respect SHE and HER Daughter deserve b/c “THEY have been through a lot.” Meanwhile, when I texted him about our daughter being in the hospital for 2 weeks, I realized he (or Schmoopie) had blocked me. And btw, that was the FIRST of 2 times I texted him during the 4 years since D day…

        He also did a marital rewrite of our 35 year marriage to the children, as if they had not witnessed his narc crap. His claims were that I was “not a good partner” to him. We “even tried counseling” but he still “waited for [me] to become a partner”….’

        WTF does that even mean??

        THAT was the narrative and his “terms” for going forward or they would all be “done.”

        Anyway, here’s what our son wrote back to the DOCTOR:

        “Dear Name, thanks for the email. You wrote clearly, so I believe you mean these words.

        Instead of trying to apologize for the many harmful choices you made, to my surprise you have chosen to double down on them.

        I now realize my happiness cannot hinge on you seeing the light. But rather than grapple with you about what ‘fatherhood’ means, I hereby release you from it.”

        If I had gotten that email from one of our kids, I’d have dropped to my knees to pray – and then rushed over to a therapist and asked how to fix it. I’d have made repeated IN PERSON contact with my children.

        But not the DOCTOR….HE feels the children have ” betrayed” HIM — and none of them have met his wife and her daughter or even spoken to them. She has blocked them on social media…

        This^^^ behavior deeply shocked me for a long time. Bewilderment slowed my healing a lot.

        I care less now. I’m heading to MEH.

        • PS my son’s words to his ex father, the DOCTOR –

          “I now realize my happiness cannot hinge on you seeing the light. But rather than grapple with you about what ‘fatherhood’ means, I hereby release you from it.”

          ^^^^

          My son’s words haunted me when he wrote them. I was so sad.

          But now they clarify MY OWN PATH….

          • To disown your children for a relationship that was based off infidelity is just awful.

            As he gets older, ages, has health struggles, he will miss his children and regret his selfish actions.

            I pity the man who looks back on his life and finds no meaning, very sad.

            • Although I appreciate where you are coming from, I’d like to offer a different perspective.

              I don’t know this man but it strikes me as unlikely that he will ever miss his children or regret alienating them.

              He will keep playing the victim until his dying day. What horrible children they are! How could they do this to their very own father? Poor me, poor me.

              Denial runs deep within these types of people. They are incapable of self-refection. It’s terrifying.

              • I fear the DOCTOR (whose title is of such importance it must always be capitalized)

                will NOT admit remorse If he ever feels it. I mean, maybe he’ll offer a “sorry IF you were hurt” –.

                But in our 35 year marriage I saw genuine remorse in him about 3-4 times. So I know he CAN/DID feel it.

                But with each of those^^^ moments of clarity about harm HE caused, the pain of true remorse became too much for him.

                Eventually he’d convert the remorse into shame – and that would be converted into blame.

                Each time.

                The DOCTOR was diagnosed with cancer recently. It’s stage one and he may well live a long time with it. But the way he told our children (via text, btw) was so weird and said in ANGER AT THEM (I AM a victim and here’s proof!) that I fear it won’t open the door to a reconciliation for them.

                And closure is something we’ll all have to give ourselves.

                Even though we all know it’s HIS loss, for my kids sake I do wish they could feel loved by both parents.

                My kids are really good people.

        • I love what your son wrote! My daughter wrote a similar letter to her father. It was heartbreaking to read. Her father blamed me. No clue about any behavior on his part being the cause.

    • Your children will never accept the AP. They may indulge dear old Dad and be nice to her but when the time comes (and it will come) they’ll turn on her on a dime.
      One couple I know got together (cheaters) left their spouses and got married. She had one kid and he had two. The kids were rather young when their families exploded but they did the 50/50 custody thing. Thirteen years later cheater husband cheated on cheater wife (of course the discard had been ongoing for several years but cheater wife hung on for dear life) and set her up to be arrested and kicked out of the marital home. Cheater wife was really good to step kids but once she was out they turned on her and basically she no longer exists. They may have got along and played family for years but they never forgot she took part in blowing up their family.

      • Yep, my cheater married his schmoopie. (thank God, I was afraid he would escape her) He cheated on her (per my daughter in law) several times. then they together gambled away 200 thousand dollars and had to file bankruptcy, then they lied and caused a lot of problems for my son. He along with Schmoopie eventually detonated a bomb into their relationship with my son. They are who they are, and though you may never see their issues, the issues will be huge.

        Luckily my son has removed himself from the situation, and he is fine; but of course like me he will retain some scarring. He still talks to his dad occasionally, my daughter in law, has not spoken to them since.

        I am sure they have rewritten that story in their new location, just as he rewrote our story to justify himself.

        These people are who they are. They are not going to magically change into wonderful people.

        • Typical train wreck couple. Soon one of them will turn on the other when they have someone else lined up. We can basically write the script.

          • Oh no, they won’t leave each other. The are both in really bad health. I don’t think either of them have many options. Living the dream.

            I am truly sorry for their bad health, especially his; as he is my sons dad. But the test of their hell, that is on them.

      • Definitely to that – my 2nd H was divorced with kids when I met him. We had a wonderful blended family or so I and everybody thought.
        He cheated on me and left me for OW. His then adult children were mortified – And expressed their condolences so to speak, but they are out of my life completely now.
        It’s hard to imagine investing in somebody else’s kids, adult or not after this. I haven’t heard anything from anyone in his family even though we seemed close and I always received several compliments when I saw them. My former MIL didn’t even return an email letting her know I was thinking of her during Covid etc.

    • At least you won’t have the cringing weekly pick up and drop off routine, because your kids are older.

      Small mercies, I know.

    • Strangely enough, when Cheater o’Mine and Miss Plastic Parts married I felt vindicated. He’d declared for so long that he had broken off their affair and that I was an unforgiving b**** not to believe him that when they did marry finally other people knew he’d been lying. It was also at that point I could kill that tiny part deep in my heart that hoped he’d get it together and come back to me and the kids and truly move on with my life.

      One of our kids will marry in the next year, but that child swears Miss Plastic Parts will not attend the wedding even if that means Cheater o’Mine doesn’t contribute financially. My children do their best to shield me from even one more day of pain due to his choices. I am blessed.

  • I guess the hard part is how to deal with the constant consumption of this specific shit sandwich if it happens? My XH and his AP are still together, 1.5 years after divorce, something like 4.5 years if you go from the beginning of their affair. I keep waiting for them to get engaged or something, and seal the deal on my subscription to shit sandwiches. Any tips on how to cope with that if it happens? The AP has made life hell pushing my XH to constantly mess with our custody schedule and they think because they are doing this he doesn’t have to pay his child support (very stupid assumption of them). I just want her to go away, or if they could just move on and leave me the hell alone!!

    • WFT… if I’ve learned anything here at CN… and believe me, I’ve learned VOLUMES… if/when they marry the OW/AP/OM… all they are doing is opening up the job of OW/AP/OM for a new person. They haven’t had a character transplant; they haven’t done years of therapy to understand why they needed to betray the very person the made vows to and made a family with; they are the same shitty person that you are lucky enough to be away from… don’t triangulate with them! Use the courts and email for anything related to custody; scheduling software works wonders because it limits interactions with the fuckwit AND gives you a very credible record for the courts (they love paper and proof).

      No contact, gray rock, and fate are your best friends 🙂

      • Haha, thank you! Yes, no contact and gray rock is the only way I roll, but it doesn’t stop them from still constantly trying to engage me. My lawyer is up to speed on it all. We are playing the long game, death by a thousand cuts, and giving him enough rope to hang himself with. It’s just frustrating that this is still going on after being divorced for a year and half. I can’t help but think it would be calmer if the AP was out of the picture, and it was just some new random person. A girl can dream…

        • Dear Waiting,
          It may be the AP scheming like a scumbag but keep your focus on where the trouble is actually coming from – your X. He is the one responsible for his decisions. The next AP may be even worse. Cheaters cheat and liars lie, no matter who they are with.
          If it is any consolation, a year and a half is still pretty new. Sounds like you are on a good course. It does get better as you focus on yourself and your children and moving forward without the burden of a cheater in your home.
          Best of luck to you.

          • Thank you, Fern for the reassurance! Every day feels so much closer to Meh. I’m so thankful to this group of amazing and strong people!

            • WaitingforTuesday
              Try to get very specific custody orders and a parenting app ordered (so you have proof of shenanigans) I got specific drop off and pickup time and location, even put a 20 minute window ( so we don’t have to wait on his always late self). If you ever negotiate or give an inch, they push and push and push till you give again. Get set orders and stick with them. Find a couple friends so you never need his help or a swap on custody orders. My ex’s affair partner was bad (facebook prostitute-drug addict-walking around topless-promoting strip clubs -alcoholic-porn addict) she wasn’t allowed to be left alone with kids or pickup kids. But her being in the house with kids was safe (legal system is crap). They lasted about 21/2 years total. Give it time it won’t last. My ex is still the same ****; her leaving made no difference.

              • Thank you, Finding Peace! The goal is to get in him into mediation so we can fine tune the agreement to be more specific in certain areas so he can’t pull this crap again. He doesn’t think he has to pay child support because he has them more right now, but my lawyer says the agreement is the agreement, he hasn’t filed for a modification of support, so he owes it all. We are letting it build a little, and I’m hopeful that the large amount will deter him from filing anything to change the schedule, because that will then be an additional cost to him. Fingers crossed!

        • If his AP is this psychotic about pushing the custody schedule, imagine how she will be when he cheats on her!?! Right now, they focus on you because there is no other drama going on in their lives. Eventually that will change, that’s just life. New challenges arise all the time.

          Give all the drama to your lawyer to deal with (like you’ve been doing) and trust life will hit them in the face. It’s just a matter of time. I don’t see him getting rid of her so easily if she’s this controlling. It’s like that saying “be careful what you wish for”, she will end up to be the worst decision.

          Like I told a poster above, get your popcorn ready.

          • Alice, hahaha, that is what I keep telling myself, she will be his Karma when he cheats on her and she finds out. Holy Hell it will be bad!! And yes, she’s been wearing the pants, so I’m trying to accept that this is what it’s going to be for a pretty long while.

            • Plus 4.5yrs is still a very new relationship, especially if they couldn’t be out in the open in the beginning because he was sneaking around.

              They still have all the normal things coming their way that happen the longer you’re with someone, loss of a family member or friend, career or job changes, moves, financial planning over long periods of time, etc. It takes a lot to maintain a committed relationship. They have a lot of LIFE coming there way, guaranteed. I can guarantee it because we all have life coming our way but cheaters and their AP’s don’t have the skills to cope.

              • Haha, that is so true, the only have the skills to lie and cheat!! Thank you, Alice 🙂 I’m forever grateful for this group 🙂

    • Pray for them to marry. These are two rotten defects that are still somewhat on good behavior with one another. As soon as they marry the misery will set in and AP will look back and stew at all the times she had to take a backseat (her perception) to cheater’s family. That’ll set her off. She’ll resent any monies being spent towards his kids. She’ll resent the nearly 5 years it took to get married. Cheater will feel backed into a corner. Cheater will also become annoyed with AP, even if he isn’t father of the year. No, you want them to marry, it’ll be the best payback.

      • Right. I guess I was different than most. I was so afraid my cheater would not marry his schmoopie, though I think given his situation he almost had to.

        It was the only way I thought at the time that he would be punished for what he did. I mean they were both so awful in how they acted and what they did, there is not way they could feel good about each other. Oh yes I knew they would perform “happy”. But honestly even the performance didn’t last that long.

        The only thing I can think of is that I didn’t have dependent children at home, that might have made my view different.

        Of course now I don’t care one way or the other, but back in the midst of it I prayed they would marry, and feared they wouldn’t.

        • I also wanted my cheater to marry the longest term affair partner. They are both psychopaths and narcissists. It would have been the perfect hell.

          Sadly though the affair partner left as soon as I did because it was no longer fun for her if she wasn’t destroying lives.

          • The cheesy Oklahoma casino’s and AP also remind me of the movie in the late 80’s, if anyone remembers, “Death Becomes Her” starring Meryl Streep, this is ex’s AP. She’s obsessed with her appearance. She’s had and is probably still having every procedure done to herself to preserve her youth and it’s telling. There comes a point when it no longer looks natural. Ex thinks he’s got a prize and is going down a similar path.

            Funny thing in the 80’s ex would watch the movie Death Becomes Her every chance he could when it came on HBO, and laugh at Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn’s characters being so obsessed with their appearance.

  • Thank You CL 💚

    My Ex married his AP count them 14 weeks after divorce which was 2 days short of 1 year from D Day .
    Saying that they were engaged while he was still married to me , so it was no surprise . She’s also had his baby ( again pregnant while married to me )

    You read all the time that affairs never last , they will never get married , it won’t last especially with such a big age difference ( 16 years younger she is to him ) but it does happen . Not every affair ends in disaster unfortunately .

    When he first left I could be sick at the thought of them marrying but I went out for a meal and cocktails on his wedding day with my girls i was actually ok .

    I’ve not been on a date I’m still not ready 16 months later which ultimately makes me feel well maybe they were made for each other maybe it was love from the start and I’m just unlovable that’s they had to be together .

    It took him over 2 years to propose to me but he proposed to her after 10 weeks . He never wanted children with me after 19 years but wanted children with her again within weeks . So maybe he was more sure of her and that’s why , I don’t know ?

    I’d absolutely love to go to Oklahoma though and Texas I’ll add them to my bucket list 😀

    • Karen 6702, I assure you that you are not unloveable. I think you are smart to not date. You have a duty and obligation to yourself first. It isn’t time to date. It is time for Karenb6702, to love herself first. You are a loveable, intelligent, kindhearted woman. I’ve read your comments to other Chumps and thought how kind and thoughtful those responses were. You are a goddamn delight.

      • I totally agree. You’re still walking on the embers. You’re still recovering. And in a way it’s perfect timing b/c dating is weird rt now thanks to Covid.

        It’s work to understand that he’s a POS. But once you see it, you’ll be so surprised you ever liked him. And that feels victorious.

        Keep going. Time will help. Work on not worrying about them. Raising a baby with someone you worked so hard to hide will be very hard. And if not, he’ll be so busy over there, you’ll have less headaches over here.
        (Trust us).

        • @karenb, you have to read Thrive’s post on this page. It’s another story about a large age gap. It really brings home what I said about these large age gaps.

    • Karenb – his behavior with his AP had nothing to do with you and everything to do with image management. The way HE sees it he is sporting his shiny young wife and his cute new family – total justification for what he did to you – it’s a huge ego boost and a great photo op. The quick proposal was all part of the image/damage control – first he is “doing the right thing” by his pregnant accomplice by marrying her and second he is justifying blowing up a 20 year relationship for the sake of some true love soul mate bull shit. The reality is she married an old dude (at least in relationship to her) who never wanted to have kids and is a known cheater – that was the prize she won. I am sure he will be father of the year on social media and in his own mind but not so much in their home – trust me on that one; I was married to one of those guys and raised 3 kids with him – his image as perfect family man was so well curated that people are still shocked that his adult kids have not even spoken to him in several years.
      Please embrace that none of this has anything to do with how you rate on the lovability scale if such a thing exists and everything to do with what a shallow, selfish fuckwitts they are; I guess in that way they really are made for each other. Your matra needs to be “trust that he sucks” because that is the truth.
      As far as being ready to date, you are only 16 months out and are still healing and processing. I tried to date early on and realized it was too soon, I started falling into my old pattern of losing myself to accommodate someone else so I have backed off and am reclaiming the parts of me that were long forgotten after 20 years of being abused. It’s okay to take care of yourself and take the time to process the years of mindfuckery that you no doubt experienced. Be gentle on yourself – you deserve it.

    • @Karen6702 – I wanted to say Firstly – I’ve never seen your other comments. But, I want you to know that no matter what you are like THAT IS NO EXCUSE for another human being (Un-Husband) to treat you the way he did.

      Sometimes, a man can be fast or slow when it comes to commitment. There is also no guarantee that “Everything is sparkle and rainbows” with the person he is with. I discovered this this week. My sons dad has a serious addiction to alcohol. To the point that when he had an argument with his current wife. She was so distraught she left to stay with a friend and took their (2) minor children with her. He then proceeded to put our (2) minor sons in the car to get after her. Driving while impaired 25 minutes away. Our police department called me because that had to arrest him that night.

      Him and his current wife married within the year after he told me he wanted a divorce. I thought everything was wonderful as he IT SEEMED he was getting everything he wanted. I WAS WRONG!!

      I also want you to KNOW it is NEVER WRONG to choose to LOVE someone. Even when they don’t love you back. I finally had to renounce my marriage vows to him privately just aloud to him and release him from those promises. As soon as I did that he did his “Bender” last week.

      It’s obvious that your (Unhusband) He in his character is Not my favorite line, “PROVE yourself to be Brave, Truthful, and UNSELFISH… and someday you’ll be a Real Boy!!”

      Its obvious Karen that this is who YOU are:
      1) They see the strengths, not the limitations, in others. They make you proud to be yourself-because they tell you why you’re special!!
      2) They are Authentic and don’t need You to Lie to them to feed their egos.
      3) They are at peace within themselves, so they don’t have to PROVE ANYTHING to ANYONE!

      I hope this will lend you TRUE strength “Knowing what you truly do like, having the affirmative power to enjoy yourself, isn’t that what true strength really is?”

      Please don’t ever think that just because he “RUSHED” everything in their life is glorious. I can guarantee its not. People don’t just have a Character Transplant Overnight.

      No current wife and I are dealing with the damage and rebuilding of the hurricane that is both our lives. Its going to take serious action, consistency over TIME, to Prove he is Trustworthy!

      Be grateful that YOUR HURRICANE is gone from your life and you can rebuild something so “Glorious” that people are definitely going to notice. Especially when you are ready to date!

    • Karen6702, I know I don’t know all the details but I know this will not last. 16yrs is a major age gap and although they don’t feel it right now, it will start to show more and more. Here is why I know this. . .

      I have a friend who married a man 14yrs older than her. They have been married almost 30yrs and they are both very loyal loving people. She has confided in me that although she loves her husband and would never leave him or cheat she does question her decision to marry someone so much older than her. You see, she is now 58 and he is 72. Which means she met him when she was 28 and never really considered the age gap being an issue up until now.

      His healthy is dwindling down and she has basically become his in-home nurse. He never wants to do anything because he doesn’t feel well and is grouchy a lot as well. Yes she loves him but she says she’s sad she never got to live those fun retirement years with him. She still works full-time and he has been retired since 62.

      Again she loves him and will never leave him but these two are very good people and even they see that the age gap is challenging. I just don’t see it working out for your X and his AP because they are not the type to honor “in sickness” vows. Cheaters and OW are not true with good intention.

      She is 16yrs younger and she will be able to start over with someone else when she realizes she has to become a nurse to her husband at some point. I know this information doesnt make it easier but I wanted to provide my two-cents.

      Also, like Tall One said dating right now with Covid is almost impossible so keep focusing on you.

      • I wish my ex had left me for a much younger woman. Then I would know the relationship wouldn’t last or would be miserable. His Schmoopie is the same age as him (one year older than me) which makes it more likely to survive long term. She’s still nuts though so he still has to live with that. Some consolation there.

        • @Chumpinrecovery, my XH cheated twice with older women (he had a third affair as well but I don’t know how old she was). His most recent OW was two years older than me (one year older than him) and had two small children. I only know this info because she was stalking me on social media so I had to block her.

          I have no idea if he got back with her after I left him, but I welcome it. Even if they are together for the rest of their lives they will each have to live with constantly looking over their shoulder since their relationship was founded on infidelity and lies.

          Having a loyal faithful partner that you trust is priceless, they will never have that. Plus, when life gets tough who knows if they will be able to weather those storms like I would have done for my marriage & he knows that.

          Let your ex have his homewrecker, they reap what they sew. Just like I told my XH, “you messed with vows we took before God and our family, and friends. Your relationships will be cursed, even you can’t escape that.” I whole truly believe this. Not because I wish bad things on people but because that’s just how those things workout. No one escapes life without paying for their sins, no one.

        • My ex married his skank and they’re the same age (I’m 3 years younger.) They screwed around on their respective spouses for 11 years. Actually, the skank did get divorced during those 11 years and kept waiting for my ex to leave me to marry her. After another 4 years of wreckconciliation, I divorced him and they married 3 years ago. She said to my sons, “I’m not proud of how our marriage came about.” I guess she was hoping for them to ‘forgive’ her and be understanding and accept her as their beloved step mom. I honestly don’t know how my sons’ relationships are with the skank but they still maintain one with their dad. He may have been a lousy husband to me but he was a fairly responsible dad (even though he never exampled good husband material.) I do know that the skank’s elderly parents (in the late 80s) have moved within a couple of blocks of them. The skank is still working so the dick who is retired now has to take care of his mother- and father-in-law by picking up medicines and taking them to the doctors. Now the dick’s mom recently moved close to them and so he takes care of his mom as well. I sometimes think that now the dick and his skank are very happy. After all…, they kept seeing each other throughout 14 years of my 30-year marriage. I sometimes think that they got married because they were truly ‘in love’. And other times I think they got married because they had to save face to their kids after cheating with each other for so many years. If they were truly ‘in love’, then why didn’t they just divorce their respective spouses? Why cheat? I do know that one of my sons says, “Trust me, Mom. Dad is miserable.” I sure hope so. That may be petty on my part, but I sure hope they’re making each other miserable. I asked my son if his dad would ever leave the skank. He said, “Probably not. Dad’s 63. He’s getting too old to start over with someone else.” Maybe someday I’ll have ‘bad news’ to report where the dick is concerned. They’ve only been married 3 years and since he’s retired and taking care of geriatrics, “he’s miserable”. He’s a very selfish person and taking care of old people is not what he planned. His plan when married to me was to get a membership at the country club and golf everyday. In fact, he recently told my son, “This isn’t how I planned my retirement.” We’ll see if the ‘love birds’ have the staying power to go the long haul.

          • Amazon,

            I’m a little bit sorry to admit how much I liked hearing that your ex dick is miserable.

            The DOCTOR is still heavy into image management though he’s not seen any of our adult children (and they’ve never met his wife or her daughter/family replacements)

            but I guess I need to believe what I think, which is that he traded in a loyal, attractive, smart, fucking hilarious woman – all of which I AM,

            AND our 3 wonderful, successful loving witty children,

            to live in Alaska with Schmoopie. I think she must make some money, which he worships more than anything.

            But the thing is,

            IF they can destroy their families & change forever how their own children view them,

            AND yet believe they are truly “happier” – NOW

            – then they are, by definition, fuckwits with no character. Seriously.

            This^^^ is not what healthy good people DO or FEEL…

            • “IF they can destroy their families & change forever how their own children view them,
              AND yet believe they are truly “happier” – NOW
              – then they are, by definition, fuckwits with no character. Seriously.
              This^^^ is not what healthy good people DO or FEEL…”

              Exactly….
              and they are so caught up with themselves that they actually don’t think they did anything wrong. Hard for healthy people to understand.

    • Karenb…….she is 16 years younger than him ?? He rushed in with glee that he could get someone that much younger. Typical shallow, self absorbed cheater.

      He was feeling his age and got a young thing. But in reality it will just make him feel older. You do you and let her have gramps.

      • It does boggle my mind how these old cheaters can feel younger with much-younger women. If anything, it just makes them look older in comparison. Don’t you think?

        My ex met schmoopie’s parents several months ago (pre-pandemic and pre-NC). He was a bit taken aback that her dad seems like a same-age peer. He’s such an idiot not to have anticipated this. Delusional!

        My ex looks older than 62 but somehow sees Brad Pitt in the mirror.

        • LOL that brad pitt comment made me laugh!

          My XH used to get mad and say I would always look younger than him. I’m only two years younger but I have good genes so he fights wrinkles and grey hair while I have none. He would tell me I made him old and I’d respond with “your Karma made you old” this is all when we were separating.

          He’s the type to stalk me through social media the rest of his life, so I smile when I know he’ll be looking at my profile pic kicking himself in 10yrs haha

    • Ditto. Mine announced the engagement within 3 months of the divorce and married 6 months later. (One year after her divorce was final.) There is a 20 year age difference and they recently had their 3rd wedding anniversary. This marriage has lasted longer than her first one. It’s nice to hear “once a cheater, always a cheater” but sometimes harder to believe. I just keep moving forward and reminding myself he is not who I want a life with.

      • 20yr age difference!?!?! AND it’s her 2nd marriage?

        Oh yea, she’ll be out for the count eventually. You should place some bets. I’m gunna go with the standard 5yr plan then she’s outta there.

      • Twenty-one year age difference between the Cheating Colonel and Captain Twat Muffin.

        Gave him a bit of a wake-up call one day when I said, “You know if you, and OW’s mother and father had all gone to the same high school, realistically you would be taking her mother to your Senior Prom, and OW’s dad would be the guy next to you in your Chemistry Class. If you look at her mother now and think she looks old, that’s what you look like to her daughter.”

    • Dear Karen,

      TOGETHER does not mean HEALTHY.

      I don’t care if they are TOGETHER the rest of their lives. They are not healthy people. The affair is the definitive symptom.

      My in laws have been together their whole lives. He is 94; she is 84. It is a very sick relationship.

      I want to be a healthy person, and I wanted to be married to a healthy person. I see no success in having an affair and marrying an affair accomplice, no matter how long they stay together.

      ❤️

    • It’s way too soon to say that everything has worked out for them. You were together for at least 19 years. They have been together for how long? He got her pregnant on accident and married her quickly because of it. That relationship is a disaster in waiting. Just wait. Karma will hit them hard but it won’t happen on your timeline. Odds are their relationship won’t last as long as yours did. If it does they will be miserable because they will only be staying together for the sake of the kids and he doesn’t want to pay child support. Meanwhile, you are free of the burden that is him. I do feel sorry for their kid though.

    • Don’t think for a minute you have the straight story or the actual facts. AP got pregnant, seriously doubt it was planned by your ex-cheater, but more than likely was quite deliberate by AP. They may have married at her insistence, happens all the time. Sure, he may have been enamored with AP and got caught up in the “whirlwind” romance. He’s 16 years her senior and cheaters usually like them younger as it is all about not feeling old. They hate aging. Cheater has proven he is a selfish ass. Selfish asses soon resent the burden of babies and supporting a family. Babies are not cheap. I doubt AP has gone back to work as the baby is her get out of work card. AP, now wife, has secured herself a sap as she is also selfish. Cheater will become grouchy, resentful and AP will look at him as a miserable old man. This will not work out and I give it 3 years tops.

      • Very good point about likely what you heard wasn’t either true or complete or both.

        I mean under the best of circumstances we should be alert to the natural misrepresentations that happen all the time with secondhand information. And if there is infidelity involved or lying, well, what they tell you could be soooo inaccurate and they are hoping you won’t catch on!!!!!

        Very very good point!

        ♥️

    • 16 months divorce after 19 years of marriage (and an extra 2 of dating, so 21 years total) is still really soon. Isn’t it something like 1 month for every year of the relationship? I think you’re really smart not to be dating! Take the time out to refocus on you. If you start thinking about dating, and if you’re not in therapy, then that’s a sign to get into therapy so that you can ensure that your picker doesn’t lead you back to the same kind of guy that you left. Old habits of mind die hard.

      Anyway, 16 months is still very new in a marriage, especially one that has a new baby. It’s also hard to see what’s happening under the hood. Sure, they’re together, but unless he’s had therapy, he’s not had a sudden change in character. New babies might be a way for the AP to snag an advantageous marriage (I assume that not only is he older, but also financially better off), but they are also very demanding. You can’t ignore them, and if he wasn’t into sharing housework, you know that the OWife is having to juggle the baby and the household chores and probably is way too tired to put Cheater into a position of centrality.

      He could already be cheating and she’d not know it. Or she knows it but with a new baby, she’s not willing to do anything about it at this time. Maybe when the child starts school….

      Anyway, you’re right that there are no guarantees that the marriage will crash and burn, but that’s okay. Part of the process of Meh is getting to the point where what’s happening in your own life is way more important than what’s happening in theirs. True, this is easier if you don’t have to deal with child care, but the thing is that you know that your Cheater was lousy for you and that you are better off without them.

      • Hi KB

        Sorry I wasn’t clear it was 19 years total only 15 married . 2 years dating , 2 years engaged 15 married .

        He was engaged to OW within weeks so as I say he must have been more sure this time .

        I am in therapy have been for 15 months now although it’s now only if needed I can call her or do on line sessions .

        He doesn’t have any money ( well the small amount I gave him to pay him off ) he’s never had any money . I’m sure when his mum passes that will change but just now he lives hand to mouth as he’s always done as I’ve always paid for him .

        He won’t cheat on her but I do hope she cheats on him 😀

    • Karenb-

      So you haven’t found your person after 16 months, and XH and AP are together. You have to remember, though, that they started lining up the next partner long ago – years and years, probably. I bet if you’d been out on the prowl trying to gin up a boyfriend (or husband – I don’t know where your head’s at) for the last, say, five years, you’d easily have come up with one by now.

      So yeah, they bounce back with the next relationship before we do. But that’s only because we wait until one relationship has ended before we embark on the next one! It’s not to their credit that they already have the next spouse lined lined up before jettisoning the current one.

    • karenb6702, his choices are not a reflection of you – it’s all about him – all of it, engagement timelines etc. It’s different circumstances with the OW and who the heck knows what goes on in their minds?

      One of my best friends was left suddenly for the 0W by her husband yrs ago. Then shockingly it suddenly happened to me not too long. She was right on with all her words of wisdom and she’s never read C lady… She was in the trenches for a long time with 3 kids FT ( while her ex moved across the globe with OW – and was therefore able to screw her with child and spousal support ) and she’s completely moved on.
      12 yrs later, her ex is still with the OW, apparently they are still in love. They are both pieces of work – narcissistic and completely lacking in empathy. So sometimes they do stay together because they’re both fuckwitts and it works.
      My friend is an amazing woman and quite beautiful. She had it really rough. She’s engaged now.
      She’s learned that it’s not about her, her Ex is the one with the issues and her kids have lost respect for him. Sometimes wonderful people get burned by selfish fuckwitts and they bond with their mirror image.

      • I should add though, that we are both convinced that the OW will eventually leave her ExH. She’s younger than him and eventually history will repeat itself.

  • Well now, I never thought there would be a little bonus in LTC Asshat having multiple affair partners. It appears that marrying his HoWorker AND the decades younger Hood Rat would be bigamy. Not that obeying the law seems a priority with that cheater, he regularly skirted those pesky mandates.

    Mr. Lawyer informed me yesterday that the case is headed to trial. All I am asking for is the minimum under State Law. So this case goes to Court to enforce the Law. Mr. Military Hero can explain in court his various abuses of the law. It will be delightful.

    I have no idea if he will remarry. I don’t care. It is a Tuesday. I see the faint glow of hope and possibilities just over the next obstacle. I’m approaching the Land of Meh.

  • Ow said to me in the street I was a “human splinter” about 6 months ago. Considering me and ex split up 7 years ago, I don’t know why she was pissed off. Ex said she gave up her kids for him, he was proud of that fact. she was always happy, really meaning drunk and stoned, she was pregnant apparently as well, I don’t know what happened to the pregnancy. she was always more interested in our kids than her own.
    Tragedy really.
    There is a cliche hell is other people. I think its true, in some circumstances.

    • If you’re a “human splinter” it means you have gotten under her skin. That’s her problem, not yours. You get to just keep growing all by yourself.

    • “Human splinter”?? Sounds like he is still using you to triangulate her. Me ex did that constantly with ex’s exes. CONSTANTLY talked about how this ex or that ex was superior to me in every conceivable way. Some of those exes had long ago cut off all contact and moved far far away. Doesn’t matter. Just the sheer memory of those exes was enough to use to triangulate me.

    • Susan– That’s not a cliche you’re wielding but a rather cultured quote from Simone de Beauvoir’s somewhat fictionalized first novel about a tortured affair triangle. It’s such a great quote that her unfaithful (and plagiarist) partner, the existential philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, stole it for his play about a love triangle in hell.

      • Fascinating! Which play?

        Also, your comment prompted me to look up some Jean Paul Sartre widsom. Found this:

        “The worst part about being lied to is knowing you werent worth the truth”
        ― Jean-Paul Sartre

        Yup!

  • Future blended family bliss and harmony, can’t wait for that to play out. AP with her two “perfect” children and ex with our son who AP feels is a little rough around the edges and not as refined as her two cherubs.
    Ex an AP have both demonstrated their selfishness is a priority,
    blended family bliss, I think not.

    That’s the jackpot I’m looking forward to.

  • Ah! I miss driving through OK via Route 66 on coast to coast trips and staying in old Grapes of Wrath motels (mostly all gone) when the rodeo’s in town.

    So okay back then there was some old Americana romance. Now it’s all McPizza Hut service plazas, so perfect analogy.

    Casinos are my idea of hell. All there is to do is get drunk and lose money. Cheater didn’t marry Shmoops but that summed up the affair lol.

  • Oh, if only we mere mortals could just accept the great wisdom and all knowing nature of our Ex’s! Why should we ever question their decision making process, or wonder what the long term consequences of their actions will be? Immediate gratification is always the best choice, right? If they marry someone who was willing to cheat with them while they were married to someone else, they “show” the whole world how “right” their “Twu Luv” is!

    Seriously, a cheater regards any disapproval of his choice to be an indication of that person’s diminished capacity. It is so sad that family and friends try to be the boss of such a superior being. Really, we should just accept their decision, no matter how it may affect little things like their children’s lives , or the former family’s economic well being!

    Let them marry. They deserve each other. Really. They will get as much enjoyment out of their new life as they should have! They actually enjoy all the kibbles of people trying to save them from their own stupidities. Deny them all that fun, and let them live with the joy that comes from being who they are.

  • I also thought that my exhole would be “winning” now that his affair partner was back in his life after 13 years since she was getting a divorce as well.

    He even told me that he thought, “That ship had sailed long ago.”

    Ouch. That hurt-even if I was ending the marriage because of HIS shittines-it still hurt.

    Fast forward a year and a half. They are still together-yet my friend tells me that he hits on all of her friends and says he’s in an open relationship.

    My ex sis in law texted me the other day (she is on my side) and told me that he is not a happy person.

    I don’t feel very nice about getting pleasure from his unhappiness-but it proves the point that cheaters aren’t winning-the chumps are ❤️.

  • I threw a party when my XH married the AP. They are both nightmares and deserve each other. I don’t think I could have handled it well if he married a nice person.

    Luckily, my daughter is meh. She politely said “no thanks” when asked to go to the wedding. Boy did I get a gutting for that one from him but I just didn’t respond.

    If your kids are ok, it’s a gift for them to marry one another. It truly is the sweetest revenge.

  • Yup, my ex really hit the jackpot with his unemployed, shunned-by-family, now-wife poopsie. As soon as she got the ring on her finger, she quit her job (or was fired?), and he’s now supporting her under-employed dropout 24 year old son, who squats in their spare bedroom.

    I have spent the last eight years in on-again off-again therapy working on understanding myself, and finally at age 61 I feel mostly whole and healthy, and I know I can survive just st about anything at this point. It certainly hasn’t been easy, but I am so grateful that the stars aligned and my life improved so drastically.

    PS: He is still an increasingly pompous professor with a reputation to uphold, dontcha know, but now he’s deeper in debt than ever before and his health is failing (due to entirely preventable circumstances, but I was just always a nag…).

    • WHY are so many cheaters on here professors? (Oh yes, giant ego, look at me as the expert, blah blah). My XH teaches religion and his shmoopie AP, now wife, teaches ETHICS. It really is quite absurd.

      • Even worse would be someone who actually practiced a craft instead of “just” teaching it. Don’t know if that’s yours’ situation, but depending on the field, there are worlds of difference between the theory and knowing the theory well enough to build a practice on it. Kinda like the difference between knowing about marraige and actually doing it well!!!

      • An AP who teaches ethics. Gotta love it! The irony in my case is that my STBX is a lesbian feminist professor with a growing reputation in the field, very involved in the women/gender studies dept. on our campus, revered by many students (because STBX is often their first exposure to gender/LBGTQ+ studies, not because of anything inherently great about her or her scholarship). But of course despite all her image management, STBX still emotionally abused me, also a woman and a lesbian. And even the professional karma bus is rounding the corner for her: she was recently passed up for an admin position *even though she was the only candidate!*, because the office staff can’t stand her. (She made the mistake of trying to be besties with another narc admin, who then turned on her and turned all the staff against her. Dose of her own medicine!) In the aftermath of our separation, and anticipating divorce, STBX is now rudderless – she doesn’t have me as a spouse appliance anymore, after all! – and is clearly struggling to stay functional. If I weren’t concerned about receiving spousal maintenance from her, and concerned about the welfare of my kids, I would be able to sit back and watch the slow-motion train wreck that’s about to take place. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if STBX ends up risking her job by either seriously blowing some basic task (like her teaching duties) or by engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a student. Already, the fact that she was turned down for the admin job speaks volumes, though it also means that I will get less in the divorce settlement. Oh well, I can live on very little money, and all this serves as a great reminder that I can’t trust STBX in any real way.

        • Lezchump–

          The karma train does tend to come ’round, doesn’t it? People without moral compasses often get done in by keeping worse company than themselves. I’ve seen it a lot.

          I also relate to having to tone down my schadenfreude party a bit because of dependent minor children. Laughing out of spite isn’t a faculty I want to strengthen too much. Just a little though. I’m far too nice and it needs a subtle adjustment. 😉

          • Dear Hell, I hear you re: people lacking moral compasses. Sadly, there are more of them in academia than I initially realized. Also, I just used the word schadenfreude in describing STBX this afternoon! Much easier to enjoy when the “schadenfreudee” is far, far away, like sitting in the Oval Office. My two greatest fears at this point are 1) that STBX will blow up her job, or 2) that she will shack up with the first dysfunctional woman who will have her, because she can’t breathe without kibbles. And then my kids will suffer for it.

            As for the question above about why so many academics are cheaters, I would just say that in my experience, narcs are overrepresented in the ivory tower, and are deviously intelligent (but often lacking a moral compass, as Hell observed). Many of STBX’s academic friends think that Esther Perel is great because she’s so smart – and she is, but she uses her keen observations to draw truly horrifying conclusions. It’s way too easy for most academics to justify cheating in the flesh when their heads are up in the clouds so much of the time. And in the case of my STBX, there’s the extra mindfuck of knowing a lot of people in the queer community who are polyamorous/monogamish.

            But STBX isn’t really an intellectual, the way a lot of academic cheaters are: I now recognize that the only reason she got the PhD and the academic job was that she was mirroring me, and our group of friends. I have no idea whether she will choose to stay in this career after the divorce, but again for my own financial reasons, I hope she realizes how insane it would be for her to give up a good academic job with tenure, especially in this economic environment. It’s probably too much to hope that she can make major decisions with other peoples’ welfare in mind, though.

        • The dick’s skank (who screwed around with the dick while still married to her own husband) is a Family Counselor at a university. She has her Masters in Psychology. Go figure. Maybe she’ll be able to make a good marriage with the dick since she knows all the right words to say.

        • Lezchump: OMG! I had to laugh at this: “…she was recently passed up for an admin position *even though she was the only candidate!*,”

          I think a lot of these narcissists don’t realize how much their SOs regulated their emotions/moods. Sure the affair is fun, but they were able to pull it off because we chumps were in the wings providing much-needed emotional support. I think that without their appliances, a lot of these cheaters fall apart.

      • Tuesday…History Professor here…33 years…..dont believe I am a know it all or that I have a big ego….I ‘m just a loyal, faithful, trusting wife whose husband left her after 30 years of marriage for a woman who is a serial adulterer…he is her 5th affair…supposedly it was his first…go figure.

      • Is this really a thing? My XH is excited that he’s going to get her to convert and he can teach religion to her. She’s a professor in China and they’ve never met. Planning wedding already. Divorce is still in progress. Can’t see a link between the profession. Just narcs I would think.

      • Mine is also a professor of business – plus mba, cpa, bachelor’s of economics, but he still cant seem to balance his own books.

        Heard he recently split with his twu wuv AP-wife of 14 yrs. but she’ll be back, she’s the type who’ll put up with any cheating or abuse for the ‘wife’ title. we still share custody interstate, I only found out by chance when he pulled a shenanigan while I dropped them off. I’m at meh, I actually hope they stay together for my kids stability till theyre grown.

  • Wonderful people don’t screw around with married people, and wonderful married people don’t screw around.

    There are no bigger red flags than the massive ones the cheating couple blew past to be together. Now they are going to seal the deal? I see nothing but stunning idiocy. You’re going to MARRY A PERSON WHO HAS PROVEN THEY HAVE ZERO RESPECT FOR MARRIAGE. I think Darwin Award winners should stick to Tinder.

    Will Smith doesn’t seem so happy with his return/exchange of his first wife. Tori and Dean leaped from the frying pan with no hand basket. Jennifer Aniston is getting the last laugh.

    As for cheaters who marry and stay together? “Together” doesn’t mean “healthy”. Carl Tanzler and his wife stayed “together” years after she died, her mummified corpse enshrined in a bedroom of his house. I want a lot more than “together”, and I want more than a cheater is capable of.

    When the cheaters get married, remember that how they define marriage is not how YOU define marriage. What you thought you had, and what you wanted, is NOT what they have. Stepping over the bodies of

    Marry in haste; repent at leisure.

    “People risk everything on the hope that they can achieve joy by changing everything in their lives except themselves. They would like to press a button and have the old life go away and the new life appear. The human animal has an unfortunate tendency to identify the source of any unhappiness as coming from outside itself. The fault, as Cassius informed Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Our unhappiness is not in our marriages, but within us. Changing about our lives leaves everything important still the same, because we are the important factors in our lives, and we are the one thing left unchanged.”

    -Frank Pittman
    Private Lies
    (p. 250)

    If they marry the cheating accomplice, find the biggest most beautiful wedding card you can find and write this inside with “Good Luck!”

    That’s my plan.

    • TYPO…

      Giddily stepping over the bodies of loved ones on the way to the altar proves to me that neither party is capable of love or commitment.

    • Thanks for this post Velvet Hammer. My ex insisted that people never change. On dday my now ex explained to me that although he was never happy from “day one” of our relationship of 20 years, he was now happy because he was with the “right person”. Apparently, dumping his old life in exchange for a new one was all that was needed to for him to find his happiness. Interestingly, that new life fell apart after about 18 months and he then quickly married the first woman who would date him, I guess she is the “right, right person” who is providing him with the right new life lol.

      • 🤣

        I guess sometimes it takes a few times to get it right. That I never loved you crap is in the first paragraph of the cheaters manual.

      • They all say that they’ve been unhappy. After my XW told me that she’d been unhappy for 6 months, then 2 years, then 10 years, then back to 2 years, I just kind of gave up trying to follow it. It’s all ex post facto justification for the affair. For a while I thought maybe I could use the timeframe to figure out how long the affair had been going on, but then I realized that she was just backdating her current dissatisfaction with our marriage (as compared to the twu-luv fantasy she was living out with shmoopie during work conferences) by random amounts.

        I mean, I’m sure you have your faults. But whatever they are, your lying, cheating ex isn’t going to be the person to tell you the honest truth about them.

    • Well, now that you mention it, I’m sure there’s a good Darwinian way to look at the act of cheating….let me think on this one for a bit!!!

    • Velvet–

      It’s hard to root for anyone in celeb scandals since there are so few clean slates. Jennifer Aniston was a supporter in an AP triangle before she was famous, albeit when she was very young. The victim was a Stanford grad who not only got cheated on but physically beaten up while being discarded.

      What comes around in that industry goes around (or vice versa) and around and around. I suspect people who grew up in showbiz just lose their sense of smell for evil from sheer saturation. Sometimes it’s because the smell comes from their own armpits.

      • My understanding is that no one I mentioned has a clean slate.

        My point was that cheater marriages often don’t work out and I mentioned a few famous examples.

        • Velvet– Yes I think the rate of failure for poached marriages is supposed to be statistically far higher that of most second marriages which is already high. I’d like to see research on the rate of success when never-cheating chumps marry other never-cheating chumps. I imagine it might be a better bet.

          • It would have to be higher, if for no other reason those folks like me take a longer time to get to know each other before marrying again.

            I am a non cheater who married a non cheater, it will be 24 years in Nov. Neither of us are perfect, but we treat each other with respect, we love each other, and I don’t see it ending. Oh I guess in theory I could find out he has been cheating, but no, I don’t think so. He is just a totally different person than my ex was. Well for one, he was in a 29 year marriage, and she left him. She told him she just didn’t want to be married anymore. He tried everything to get her to reconsider. So yeah, he is loyal.

            He still opens doors for me. I know that is a small thing, but it is one of many ways he shows me he respects me.

            His daughter told me he did that for his mom too. So for him it is not new, it is just part of who he is.

  • This made me LOL today, thanks! My X did not get married in OK, he spent the big bucks and they went to Vegas AND got married by an Elvis impersonator! Hunk of burning love he is!. This was her third marriage and his second, match made in hell, because you know Vegas is in the desert and it’s hot as hell!!!

  • Boy, did I need this today!

    Ironically, my STBX has a fondness for gaming. It’s one of the underlying issues in my case. Lots of marital assets flushed away, with nothing to show in return. I loooooovvveee that Schoompie is being compared to a casino. The metaphor fits the AP perfectly!

    Their affair is going on two years, and I’ve been told she’s waiting out our divorce before she leaves her husband. I’ve had my moments of “Why her?” I’ve questioned the physical attraction. I’ve had my share of cries while I looked in the mirror and compared myself to her photo. It’s taken a bit, but I’m finally coming around to the idea that they deserve each other. She has no idea what he’s really like, and she can have him! If a woman who betrays her husband and family is his idea of quality, have it. If she’s looking for a man who lies 24/7 with a smile on his face, have it. Any marriage built on cheating and lying will be nothing but suspicion and misery.

    Thank you, but I’d rather spend the rest of my life single and lived on my terms than in a quagmire of distrust.

    • Does her husband not know yet?

      She sounds like she trusts him so much already (sarcasm). She won’t even leave her husband for him because she’s not sure if he’s really going to divorce you, that’s called distrust!

      I know it’s hard but don’t cry over these OW and compare yourself (I do it too). These OW are not wired right to be messing around with a married man and in her case she messing around with a married man while she’s married so that screams narcissist right there!

      I have cried over the OW for different reasons. Mostly for the plain fact that my XH desired her enough to hurt me and not care. I’m very confident though, as far as looks go he’ll never get anything close to me and I also make a great partner (something that’s also rare to find).

      I wondered what it would be like if I had ever ran into the OW, she would have probably cried and ran away. I have an amazing game face and would have told her “all that makeup you wear can’t hide your ugly whorish ways” or something like that. She’s just gross, he definitely downgraded.

    • Her husband needs to know what she is up to asap. She may be draining funds and engaging in all sorts of financial chaos with marital funds.

        • If it’s this close to home, meaning she’s the AP of your STBX, I’d ask my closest friend. A friend that I could trust w/ my life, have them private call her husband and give him the news. It’s even better if you have a guy friend do it instead of a woman so they can’t say it was you who did it. I have three male friends who I know would do this for me if this was my situation.

  • My exH’s grandfather cheated on my exH’s grandmother and left her and his two kids for the OW (who also had two kids). This was 50+ years ago. The two got married, and are still together today. The grandmother raised my exH’s mother and uncle with a single income and little to no child support living in a trailer on her ex-in-laws’ property while her exH built a thriving business with his new wife that allowed them nice vacations, a beautiful home, and a relaxing lifestyle. The grandmother never remarried. To the casual onlooker, it would appear karma never came.

    The thing is – the family and friends LOVE the grandmother. She was always included in activities, and people made the effort to spend time with her, because she is a beautiful both inside and out. (Not so much for the grandfather and the OW…) Yes, to this day, she doesn’t have much money to her name, but she is rich in memories and character traits that are priceless. Don’t get stuck on material items and lifestyles as “happiness.” There are things much greater in this world that you, the BS, possess that the cheating spouse and AP never will. You are worthy. You are good. You are loveable, because you are YOU.

  • My ex went from “married to Rumblekitty” to “in a relationship with Schmoopie” on Facebook the same day he moved out. I really never expected him to be that open about it so soon, but he went all the fuck in. (Of course I was a blubbering wreck, stalking him on social media, pain shopping. It’s impossible not to look that early on.) Our divorce was final barely 3 months after that. Then he waited a week to announce their engagement and I got to see the ring and everything because she was nice enough to post pictures and make them public. I was just so shocked they were acting like this on social media, I wasn’t even as upset as I thought I’d be. It was utterly absurd. I guess I began to realize what a turd he really was to be doing this.

    Two people who cheated on their spouses, blew up two households, professing their great lurve which could not be denied all over the inter-webs. Between him acting like a 14-year old and her posting memes about faith and trust, of all fucking things, I was sorta embarrassed for them. I’m sure she’s got a great life with him, waiting for him to fuck her over too. With him, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

    • Ugh the meme posting, it causes me physical pain out of pure annoyance.

      I always know when someone is SUPER insecure when they have meme antics. I had a family friend leave her husband a few years back. She went meme crazy for months and months, posting memes like “I deserve the best” or “I don’t have time for problems” or “Finally living for me”. It was so obvious her self-entitlement and she was trying to get likes to validate what she’d done because everyone knew she left him for someone else.

      I was absurd.

      • Ugh. The FB meme posts. So many couples declaring their love and how happy/lucky/blessed they are only to post the nasty break-up months later. Then the FB meme posts are full of “so much better off without him/her”, “delete toxic people from your life”, you know that sort of crap.

        • @KB22, YES exactly!!! It’s so annoyingly obvious they need validation because they are so insecure.

          I never posted one thing about my troubles w/ my XH in the 3yrs I fought for my marriage, nor did I post anything when we divorced. No meme’s, no sayings, no biblical scriptures, nothing. I didn’t want anyone telling him their “thoughts” on me based off social media. So I left social media alone. I’d rather him not have a clue into my world or thoughts.

          When I see people go meme crazy over stuff like this, I just want to comment “handle your shit! stop spamming my social media news feed” lol

          • Schmoopie had “Dance like nobody is watching, etc” as a big mantra on her FB page. Real original .. .

            • I don’t know why that one made me laugh given her scenario lol

              It should have read “F*ck other women’s husbands when no one is watching” haha

              She sounds like the same type who says “he picked out my ring himself” when you KNOW she huffed and puffed the whole time they were in the jewelry store until she got the one she wanted (eye roll)

    • I was separated just weeks , divorce not filed for and I was a blubbering wreck . I couldn’t eat , sleep or think straight and in her face book she had posted pictures of her engagement ring . She had all of these pictures of pregnancy what to do what not to do etc . Pictures of her wedding hair , dresses she liked etc and it was all under Mrs fat boy to be .

      Excuse me future Mrs Fatboy he’s still married you know to me !! My ex in laws all congratulating them I couldn’t believe it .
      I printed all that out gave it to my lawyer got divorced soon after .

      • My ex bought his schmoopie a ring before our divorce was final too. I think it shows what kind of people they are. I mean everyone knew what he had done, as it affected his work situation as well as our marriage, but they flaunted it. They are low lifes.

        • Rushing into marriage to throw good money after bad and trying to cover up the stench of filthy conduct by spraying it down with synthetic “twu wuv” room spray does not bode well in the long run. It’s just a hard act to keep going. And expensive. I’m sure a lot of irrational spending goes into keeping the zombie of “twu wuv” lurching along with a glued-on grin.

          • haha. A couple lawyers told me that my ex would be quartered. He’ll lose half his assets to me (55% as it turns out!) and the other half to his AP after *she* divorces him. The judge/mediator made the same prediction. I guess they’ve seen it all before. (Of course, my ex feels unique.)

            I almost want to warn him about the quartering thing. But nah!

      • My ex kept saying he was moving out. He’d been seeing co-worker 25 years younger and got really mean, etc. While claiming to be out taking pictures all night. The sun hurt his eyes during the day. I locked him out and in two weeks he moved in with her, got her big diamond ring, and then she’s pregnant. He told our 12 year old that his gf saved him as I was so mean. I asked daughter when she saw me be mean. Well, she didn’t – it was all behind c closed doors that I did it, he said.

        I am happily divorced and free. They really do cheat in all other areas. His gf asked my now 16 yo to fill out fake customer surveys for her so she gets service writer of the month and bonuses, etc. What a tool. After I teach my kid to be honest e s p. With your employer…. my poor kid was doing it so dad wouldn’t get mad at her. Creeps.

        • That meanness is something I will never forget or understand. I mean snake mean. I am pretty sure he ran around a lot during our marriage, but the last time for about 1.5 years he turned really mean. Wonder why he didn’t turn mean all the previous times. (I didn’t know about those times until we separated).

          I have read a couple theories, but still don’t get it. Why are they so snaking mean at the betrayed spouse for what they are doing.

    • Ohhh the meme queens, yes! Schmoopie was posting ridiculous meme bible verses set to public during their affair. Such a noble god warrior, she wanted to take on the devil when all she had to do was look in the mirror and punch herself in her crusty face. Also weird, she’d copied some of the poses and art in my public profile pictures, very creepy. My obsession with this vapid creature was very brief. I was creeped out by her Facebook obsession with me while her family later informed me she was unstable. They’re both aging alcoholic barfly narcissists triggered by the aging process and suffering health issues from years of drinking. It also seems they each have a long line of people they screwed over and will be looking over their shoulders the rest of their lives. I welcome age, address my health issues, I don’t screw people over. Thus all I can do is laugh at their visions of a happy “future” together. I know myself and am comfortable in my skin. They don’t and aren’t, will remain desperate, drunk, and faking the rest until their last breath. Whoever is free of them both in the end is the winner.

      • I looked at FB when it first came out to see any pics of my grandchildren. I noticed that schmoopie had bible verses and a lot of praise the lord stuff. I quit looking because it was nauseating and there weren’t many pics of my grandchildren.

        My ex according to my son does not have FB and never makes an appearance, unless he is in a family pic which is rare.

        FB wasn’t even around when I was dealing with divorcing my cheater, so it was a few years down the road before I ever say anything. I have not seen her page for years now. (My 2 grandchildren are grown, and have their own social media sites)

        I have two young grandchildren, but they are on my now husbands side.

    • I’m in the opposite situation. Cheater removed his Facebook account after leaving me for the AP. I didn’t even get to delete our photos, it was all just gone with his account.

      He did that so his AP’s family and friends could never find out he was married. To me. It’s the only place on the internet that records we were husband and wife.

      It gutted me to realise he was corrupting yet another piece of our shared history. It really feels like gaslighting too.

      • I think FB ha caused so much pain for so many folks. I am glad it wasn’t around when I was going through the worst part of my life.

        I use it sparingly now. Never share personal stuff. I mostly just look at the grand children’s pics, and once in a while catch up with old friends.

        I don’t see if often as I retain few friends on FB. But, if I see someone going on and on about their perfect whatever, I just roll my eyes and hide the post.

  • Honestly, sometimes I wish they would marry because both are so financially messed up, both narcissists, both cheaters, so if married and then their implosion comes, it will be messy as heck and pretty much destroy any financial security they have left as they work through a divorce. But watching the love bombing they both put my daughter through to seduce her into the new happy, party family is disgusting. I just keep home stable, normal, and sane and hope my daughter will see when she’s older the toxic stew her mother’s new sparkley life is.

    • It’s hard to be the sane, fun parent when you’re crazy with grief. At least my kids were grown. I too, wish I could have a front row seat for the implosion when/if it comes. The fantasy of the world seeing who they really are……

  • “Chances are, you’re either going to leave broke, or stick around with your ruinous “investment.” Meanwhile, you gambled away the things that really mattered — a faithful partner, your children, your self respect.” This seems to be where ex landed. They aren’t married yet (she would lose alimony if they married or officially moved in together) but they are still together. Everybody in his family is just waiting for him to get tired of her and her demanding, controlling nature. They are polite to her of course, but they think he is nuts to cling to her the way he does. He has definitely lost a lot of the respect he used to enjoy. He was the golden boy. Now the green tarnish is showing and everyone knows he is a fake.

  • KarneB: First, I endorse everything Chumperella and others here say. I think a lot of us fall into the trap of feeling “less than.” I still do and have to re-read some CL wisdom to screw my head back on straight. It’s tough being rejected. But we have to consider who’s doing the rejecting. These are low-character people. We shouldn’t care what they think or do. Sure, it hurts like hell, but in the end, we need to know our worth and appreciate our lovability. The relationship between cheaters is built on deceit. They’ll never trust each other. I can’t imagine how such a relationship could ever be happy, despite the image they portray. As others have said, “Trust that he sucks.” Stick that message on your fridge and your mirror as a constant reminder.

    Chumperalla, you wrote: “I was married to one of those guys and raised 3 kids with him – his image as perfect family man was so well curated that people are still shocked that his adult kids have not even spoken to him in several years.”

    I’m not as many years out as you, but I, too, have three kids (all adults), and people seemed a bit surprised when they found out about my ex’s long-term affair with a younger woman (nurse). I was shocked, too! He’s a very shy man, a physician, who didn’t seem like the type. How wrong I was! He explained, “We bonded over taking care of sick patients.” Ugh.

    Anyway, as of D-Day (October 2019), my kids have completely cut him out of their lives (for which he blames me, of course).

    The man is so clueless that he didn’t know that he had a crappy relationship with his kids. “I’m a great dad,” he said recently, completely perplexed that his kids want nothing–and I mean nothing– to do with him. It’s not because of the affair, although that proves he can’t be trusted, but because he emotionally abused them (which is my own messed-up cross to bear because I spackled, but that’s another story).

    Anyway, my question to you is: How are your kids doing? How has your ex responded to the estrangement? Do you have grandchildren?

    • Spinach, it sounds like part of your journey has been pretty similar. Anyway, he left on New Year’s day 2017 and my children have not spoken with him at all since 2018 – zero contact. Interestingly, it was my youngest daughter who stopped me from going after him when he left and our son who threw him out when he came to get some things and tried to bully me into letting him stay. He completely blames me and early on he was telling people that I beat him up, threw him out and turned the kids against him (no mention of young married with little kids schmoopie) – that honestly infuriated the kids – he tried telling them that in addition to saying that I was beating him for all 20 years and they never witnessed it because he was so good at hiding it – what an ass! He spent the first year after he left fighting with the kids, crying about how hurt HE was and chasing after schmoopie. He only sent them birthday cards with the sentiment “I will always be your dad” and a gift card. By Christmas he sent them a card that was clearly damaged (the insert on one side was torn out) and a hand written
      note on two sheets of notebook paper crying about how hurt he was, how he was suffering greatly , blah blah blah all about him and his sad life – nothing about their pain and he closed with the usual, I will always be your father…. ( 1 note for three young adults.) About 6 months later he picked a fight with our youngest over her HS commencement – she did not want him there and he was insistent that he needed to be there so she would have no regrets. He nuked his relationship with her when she called him to discuss his request and he ended up fighting with her and slinging a parting shot at her “I will not apologize for falling in love” you would think he was all of 14. He tried one more time to contact the youngest through Linkedin. It was honestly sad, he sent her a genuine Naugahyde apology and let her know that he no longer had anything to do with schmoopie and had blocked her on everything as if that was going to fix things.
      That said, it has been NC for all four of us since Sept 2018 and things have been good. Two are in graduate programs and the youngest is a sophomore in college. Right now we are all in the new home we built together after the divorce was final. They are happier, calmer, healing and truly thriving because his insanity is out of our home. To be honest, we all knew he was a bit off and we all tipped toed around him and dealt with his eccentricities and pretended like they were endearing traits. I hyper spackled and that was our normal we all embraced him as our nut job and tried to make light of it. My one true regret is the spackling – we have talked about it and they let me know that as they got older they saw what I was doing for what it was – covering for his crazy behavior; I guess I was only fooling myself. When he brought schmoopie into things putting up with his shit abruptly ended and we all saw him for the horror show that he is.

      He burned his bridges with them on his own. They are not at all interested in communicating with him and he continues to dig himself deeper into his hole. He has not tried to contact any of them since 2018, remarried without telling them (found out on social media) and has not even reached out during the pandemic. In some ways I a relieved (selfishly because I don’t have to deal with him) but I am also heartbroken for them that he walked away so easily without hardly putting up a fight. (no grandchildren yet.)
      How are your kids doing through all this.

      • “I will not apologize for falling in love” —OMG and FFS! 14-year-old indeed! But I’m not surprised. I mean, don’t they all spout a version of this?

        It’s wonderful that your kids “are happier, calmer, healing and truly thriving because his insanity is out of our home.” My kids (older than yours and some with their own families) feel the same. The relief is palpable. That said, I try to remember that they are choking down their own shit sandwiches because of all this so check in every once in a while. They assure me that they are relieved and happy. Thankfully, they are all in therapy.

        He emails them occasionally. They never respond.

        His first lengthy email—only a few weeks after he confessed to a 2-½ year affair–infuriated them because he acted as if nothing had happened. It was this cheery, tone-deaf letter. (They forwarded it to me.) He has never acknowledged the pain he’s caused them. He only acknowledges his own pain. He’s the victim. “I never expect this level of venom,” he cries.

        He doesn’t admit that he was a critical, mocking, emotionally withholding asshole of a dad. He doesn’t get how we had to walk on eggshells for fear of setting him off. He doesn’t seem to understand how the affair had anything to do with them. Instead, he solemnly said, “This is between your mother and me” followed by, “I just think I’ll be happier with this other woman.”

        By the way, the “I *think* I’ll be happier” comment stuns me. What I hear is, “I might not be happier, but, hey, I’m willing to gamble my 35-year marriage on a not-sure bet. To hell with all of you.”

        Anyway, back to my kids. They say they had emotionally withdrawn from him years ago, so the actual estrangement wasn’t a big change.

        A non-religious man, he has invoked God’s wrath, saying that while he’ll be punished for his infidelity, God will punish us *more* for what we are doing (going No Contact). So weird!

        My ex created constant shit storms. It’s amazing how much calmer life can be without his drama.

        I do wonder what will happen in the future. What will we do when his mother dies before the pandemic ends? Will we go to the funeral? What about a cousin’s marriage? I don’t know. I guess we’ll cross that bridge. Right now, this not-yet-at-meh chump wouldn’t want to be in the presence of him or the mistress, who, for all I know, might be his wife by now.

        I’m grateful that, by and large, he’s leaving us alone. But the entire situation is sad.

        • “By the way, the “I *think* I’ll be happier” comment stuns me. What I hear is, “I might not be happier, but, hey, I’m willing to gamble my 35-year marriage on a not-sure bet. To hell with all of you.””

          My guess is, of the two of you, the only one that will end up/or is happier now that he is with the other woman, is you.

        • It’s funny Spinach@35, mine insisted that “this is between your mother and me” as well . Yeah, I guess blowing up their family, ending all holidays, special occasions, and even everyday life as they know it, forcing the sale of their childhood home, sending my son back to school after his first freshman semester and my daughter back to finish her junior year of high school figuratively shell shocked really had nothing to do with the kids at all.

          We actually had to deal with the death of his mom when the divorce was still going about 8 months after dday; amazingly he thought he could repair his relationship with the kids by giving them an active part in the funeral – pall bearer for my son, butterfly release at the grave site for daughters. They were mortified, we had planned on going together and sitting together quietly at the back of the church, we ended up having our own service at the grave site a few days later, it was lovely and heartfelt. As far as weddings and other events we have only been invited to one and decided to decline. The cousin honestly understood. When you come to these bridges you and you children will figure out how to handle them in a way that respects your family’s boundaries and brings you all a sense of peace.

          I am glad your adult children have handled it so well and clearly have your back, that is a testament to what a good mom you are.

          • Thanks, Chumperella.

            We clearly have similar cheaters. You handled the funeral beautifully. I’ll keep that in mind when the time comes. I agree about asserting boundaries.

            p.s. I can’t believe he tried to use a death to ingratiate himself with his kids. These cheaters go low, don’t they?

        • Wow, Spinach@35, my D-Day was also in October 2019. I appreciate you and Chumperella’s advice. My kids are 15 and 17, but have homeschooled since kindergarten and are very mature. Their father has been absentee for the last couple of years (unbeknown to us, the length of his affair). Just like you Spinach@35, my cheater keeps telling us that my anger (which I am allowed to feel righteous anger) is going to hurt the kids worse than anything that he did… For 5 years, he has been slowly abandoning us from his new life. And I don’t feel anger, mostly disgust, because OW is SO MUCH younger than him. In fact, OW is closer in age to our son than to me.

          Thank you both for the reassurance that my kids are doing well by having boundaries and keeping Mr. Chaos at a distance. My STBX only has access to the kids through email, so they can at least filter what they read from him when they are feeling strong enough to deal with his gaslighting.

          Regardless, thank you both for confirming that the kids are able to determine what kind of relationship they have with their father. I am feeling overwhelmed because my 15 year old daughter is meeting with her dad for the first time since learning about his cheating tomorrow. She feels confident that she can maintain boundaries and basically tell him to his face that he sucks and she doesn’t want anything more to do with him for the time being. I’m scared for her because he is so good at overpowering people.

        • Spinach

          I was also married 35 years and your story resonates. My son gets married next year and won’t be inviting the DOCTOR and I’m sure I’ll be blamed.

          Like your ex, mine had no idea how shitty his relationships were with them BEFORE the divorce! My kids told me they came home at holidays to see ME, “despite the DOCTOR” being there, not because of him.

          The DOCTOR asked our youngest if she cared at all that HE was SO HAPPY now.’

          She said “no, I don’t care about that. I care about you being honest.”

          Good luck

      • @Chumperella, the “I will not apologize for falling in love” is lunacy. I’d have a hard time not laughing after a comment like that.

        Me (if I was your daughter): “Lol love? yea ok lol”

      • I could have written either of these narratives about how it all fell apart for him with the kids (who saw much more clearly than I did what was going on), the relief we all feel that he isn’t In the house any more, no more walking on eggshells or maneuvering to avoid an explosion of temper, … One of mine hasn’t spoken to him in almost 2 years.
        The manipulation and attempts at impression management which are so horrifying at first become almost laughable after a while, but if you give in even once, you are right back in it.

        While it hurts to watch it happen, the kids do learn to judge the cheater by their actions.
        Emotionally Supporting The kids while they find and maintain their boundaries might be the vow that does last until death.

  • I was my ex’s first marriage object. Each of the several that have followed has been touted on his social media as different in the way he’s looked for all his life that perfects the dream.

    At least they’re always at least 18 these days – wasn’t always the case – but the bottom line is, he’s on a repeat loop and is a mastermind at image management.

    Marrying him was a terrible decision, but I know exactly why I made it. He is a mastermind at image management, after all. I married the person he was showing me without knowledge of the rest of the people who were living inside his meat sack. It took some time for the rest of his identities to begin to become visible, but they did, in time.

    Removing myself as his marriage object was a sound decision, and would be sound even if he and/or some future human object in his toybox ended up wildly happy. He wasn’t the human I though he was, and he wasn’t going to become the human I thought he was. He will always be a meat sack full of alternate identities, one for each agenda, and I don’t need that kind of BS — that kind of dissociated fantasy construct — in my life.

    • “He wasn’t the human I though he was, and he wasn’t going to become the human I thought he was. ” Some good truth there.

      We were 18 when we married. I was head over heels, he appeared to be, but maybe he was lying. I don’t know. He seemed to love me for many years. However, had I dated him longer before we married, I think a lot of who he was would have been exposed.

      But, it was a different era and I did what I did.

      I got a fantastic son out of it. My ex did manage to on the surface keep it together for long enough to raise him. And I was still fairly young and able to bounce back after we split.

      That was the hardest part in terms of our marriage for me. Was he really faking it with me, and he was leading a double life all those years, or was he real with me for a season, then when my son was grown fell apart. Who knows.

      Damn recent situation with him and my son brought all this back up, lock down gives me too much time to think. But, I sure wish I had CL back in the day. She and all you wonderful women and men are doing a great service to those going through this now.

      A place to vent and flush thoughts out would have been wonderful in the midst of all that pain.

  • Don’t believe the hype.
    How many of us were in what appeared to be perfect relationshios that turned out to be shams.
    I don’t know of a single happy cheater relationship. They may be together and they may even get married but happy they are not. They will sure kill themselves trying to give the impression that they are though.
    Chumps are really better served just denying their existence.

    • Mine even had the kids convinced he was “finally happy”. What they actually saw, when he was around her, was how he got to behave when no one was expecting him to be a responsible co-parent. Now he and schmoopie have a baby and I wonder how long they will last. Each now has children with the person they cheated on, and a child together. And they are locked down together, and I swear I didn’t conjure up COVID to punish them. : ) And…they are going to be in their 60s when that baby is in high school…Lifetime movie rights anyone?

  • 🤣🤣🤣a timely repost. I was just thinking last night of the dick and hislatest Approx. 15 years younger, during COVID. Recap…….he married her 10 days after divorce was final without telling his grown kids. Bought a big house and sparkly toys. Her younger kids(she has custody of the girl 8 according to my kids the 14 year old boy hates him and only comes when he has to.) Both have gone from lots of travel with work, and dumping kids with their dad, to “working from home”, and her kids with them full time. No daycare, and minimal help from their dad. This is my ex’s worst nightmare. Hope they’re having fun!

  • My ex(self employed “doctor”) has defaulted on credit cards and student loans is conveniently underemployed since divorce and has not paid child support in a year. He has convinced AP(she divorced her husband after I filed for divorce) to sell her home and movie in with his flying monkey parents. So now she is working and taking care of him. I’m sure he will convince her to buy a house with property so he can suck her dry of all her money and live off of her income. The thing I’m not sure about is if he will marry her to get all her stuff. I want them to marry so maybe I can ensure my kids get the child support they deserve and he doesn’t go scott free. I am so glad not to be his 24/7 personal assistant anymore.

  • Dear fellow chumps,
    A little off topic, I am seeing my runaway cheating ExH for the last time (legal matters). For some reason I’m having an inexplicable urge to give him a hug, or tell him he was loved …he was vgood to me until he wasn’t. He has accepted responsibility (after initially morphing into a complete heartless stranger and blame shifting ) and there was a fair settlement. He is with OW. I was traumatized for months. Is this trauma bonding?
    Can someone please set me straight.
    I have a tendency to see people who do wrong as damaged people who have their own issues and then I have compassion for them.
    Please advise me not to do this and why.
    I was dysfunctional, then raging with anger the last few months and now this.
    Am I getting to Meh or really screwed up?

    • Please don’t – it would be giving him a full bag of premium kibbles. I was dumb enough to say something along the lines of “we made a great team – I really loved you” shortly after the divorce was final when he came to pick up his remaining belongings – it was met with a cold blank stare. It’s been several years and I still look back and cringe at satisfaction he must have gotten from me showing my love and vulnerability for him one last time.

      • Agreed. While I was still pick me dancing before our legal separation, I wrote him a note, telling him I would always love him. In my defense I thought I always would. Likely I was thinking it would wake him up, it didn’t; at least not then. I cringe that he might have that and have used it to say, see I was good to her.

        He also wrote me a letter apologizing for being such a low life, dirt bag (his words). I kept that in my purse for a year, then at my part time job my wallet was stolen, and we couldn’t find it anywhere. I really wish I still had that letter. I am pretty sure he only wrote it because he was planning on trying to come back and destabilize me.

        Do not give them any kibbles.

    • Honestly, this thought comes to me to. I think it’s the humanity and compassion for others that so many of us have. I loved someone for over half my life, and that feeling doesn’t go away easily. As bad as he treated me, there were tiny moments of goodness. But, he has issues, and it took me a long time to realize only he could mend himself. I’ll just say, please don’t. See it as respect for yourself. My counsel once told me from the moment I filed, my divorce became a business transaction, void of feeling and emotion. If legal matters ever brought me in contact with my spouse (and they still do), I’m to avoid all eye contact, let my counsel do the speaking, and above all else–no physical contact. (Opposing counsel can use this against you as a sign that cheating has been “forgiven.”) If I were to attempt communication or initiate physical contact with the STBX, he would mistake it as a “pick me dance.” I won’t give him that satisfactin.

      • Chumperella and Book, thank you for letting me know I’m not insane. I thought I was the only one who is all over the place this way emotionally. I am taking your advice, I am not going to say anything. I think part of it is that it hasn’t sunk in that he has 100% completely moved on and maybe thinking of saying something is my way of staying a little attached? Anyhow thanks for the feedback. After I sent that, I was unpacking clothes because we just moved… And so many articles of clothing are bringing back memories – not at Meh- feel like I have to get rid of clothing now too. Crap!

    • Zip,
      FWIW, I would advise against. Kibbles for him!! I’m also worried such a seemingly innocuous act could backfire and hurt you. No good deed goes unpunished. Besides, because of COVID, you probably shouldn’t hug.

    • @Zip, I wouldn’t hug him or say anything. There is the chance he might have some words for you though so maybe go with a couple responses prepared just in case? You just don’t want to be caught off guard is what I’m saying.

      When I left my XH he was upset when I told him I would never see him again (he somehow thought I’d remain in his life somehow? weirdo). I told him “I’m letting you go, you chose that for the both of us”.

      I know that doesn’t help much but it is one of the few things I said on my way out. I also said “I don’t stay married to losers” lol but I doubt you’ll want to use that

        • Isn’t it absurd?

          While I was packing my things, planning to move out, he once came in the house and said “So what are you plans for the weekend?” and I just looked at him in disgust and reminded him “we’re not friends, please stop”. He didn’t really get what I meant but yea, it was crazy he thought we could even have small talk.

    • I am saving my hugs for people who haven’t intentionally beaten the psychological shit out of me.

      I hope you’ll consider doing the same.

  • When I remember the looks of the D-Day flatterfuck I cring in shame. Her hooker-dress code, parade of vanity on social media, shallowness, just plain tackiness and vulgarity added salt to my wounds.

    I was cheated with THIS creature?

    And when I confronted sparkledick, he said: Oh, she is just some slut who wanted 5 minutes of fame parading beside me. That is when I realized I had spent 40 years with a complete imbecile. Very hard to admit, but I feel so much better now.

  • I can only wish my loser, shitty toupee wearing ex marries his skank, but I doubt he will.

    He dated her before me but never told anyone about her because he’s over the top image conscious and he can’t be seen openly with an Asian….they’re for fetish purposes only.

    And he’d be husband number 6 for her and he’d be embarrassed by that too. I mean, what would his family, friends, and church think?

    So he’ll keep her in the shadows and she’s too stupid to realize that she’s got a guy who’s 16 years older (20 older then me), has less money then her, can’t get it up, still wears a shitty black toupee at 65, and has such a pathetic ego that he needs constant validation from multiple sources. But he does love bomb well so her pathetic ego probably laps that up.

    Enjoy him honey!

    • he sounds lovely. so glad you are free. The further I get away from the pain of betrayal the more I appreciate my freedom. Living with my fuckwit was 0pressive: always trying to encourage him to follow his heart, supporting him as he didn’t work, making sure that we had food in the refrigerator, making sure we had all the essential. A telling sign of our life was that when we split up my life didn’t change except that I had one less person to take care of. his life change completely. win win

      • Right? Not much has changed for me either except that my boys and I don’t have to walk on egg shells for fear of offending his phony highness.

        And I have a lovely bf with real hair and who can get it up.

  • Right. I guess I was different than most. I was so afraid my cheater would not marry his schmoopie, though I think given his situation he almost had to.

    It was the only way I thought at the time that he would be punished for what he did. I mean they were both so awful in how they acted and what they did, there is not way they could feel good about each other. Oh yes I knew they would perform “happy”. But honestly even the performance didn’t last that long.

    The only thing I can think of is that I didn’t have dependent children at home, that might have made my view different.

    Of course now I don’t care one way or the other, but back in the midst of it I prayed they would marry, and feared they wouldn’t.

  • I think there are very few karma buses that are as effective as cheaters who marry their APs.
    Manchild stated that “a relationship which starts on a foundation of lies and deceit can never be whole and good and true” when an extended family member married her AP. He married his Schmoopie on valentines day cuz “twu wuv”!

    That extended family member is still married to her AP 15 years later – AND his kids still hate her and resent their father for hurting their mom. Family member and AP both look at least 10 years older than they are – I guess stress of pretending is hard.

    Another cheater married AP story – this one married the daughter of his business partner – resulting in the destruction of his business, the revulsion of his kids, etc. They stayed married for many years. She was diagnosed with a terminal disease and she put her house in her son’s name and pulled all the money out of the joint account and gave it to her son. So when AP/wifey died cheater was left homeless and penniless – good to know his “wife” of many years thought so highly of him!

    A friend of may parents was crying to my mother “I thought I was his midlife crisis!” when she discovered her hubbie (former AP) was now cheating on her. Sadly she must not have heard that if they will cheat with you they will cheat on you because she was genuinely surprised!

    Key takeaway? Cheaters don’t get character transplants!

    • “I thought I was his midlife crisis!”

      Seriously? As if that’s some grand title you actually want? Lunatics I swear.

      I bet his ex-wife loved that he cheated on AP haha

  • hi all, so my neighbors were cheaters on their spouses, divorced them and married each other. she is 20ish yrs younger. now 30 yrs later, he has dementia and she is his care taker. their children from previous spouse don’t communicate with the father and the wife’s daughter has shown up occasionally during COVID to bring groceries. the wife complains to me how she is stuck at home with him. I did sit with him one afternoon while she went to a doctor appt cuz she was desperate. it was sad and worse than being with a 3 yr old. their life truly sucks. and she is selfish, lies about little stuff that goes on in the neighborhood – same fuckwit mentality. Noone in the neighborhood is close to her. she is alone being a nurse to her former AP. I know its sad and 😂🤣

    • OMG, Thrive. The emojis! Perfect summary.

      I sense that my ex might already be losing his faculties. Schmoopie is 12 years younger than he. I want to “go high” and say I don’t wish this fate on either of them, but the pull of schadenfreude is too strong. Sorry Michele Obama.

      Maybe compassion comes with meh. I’m not there yet

  • It’s been five years since my ex moved out and in with shmoopie, and two and a half years they’ve been married. At first it was excruciating having her in my kids life. But everything chump lady said came to pass: A) my kids recognize that ex and shmoopie suck, and B) Ex and shmoopie are miserable together. All I hear about is how much they fight, what a miserable shit-talking shrew she is, and what a fool their father is for marrying her. He is reaping what he sowed, and he has forever lost his children’s respect.

    But here’s the most important thing chump lady said would happen: I just don’t give a shit anymore. My life is GREAT, my kids are amazing, and I have my freedom. My only regret is I didn’t get out of that shit marriage to a narc sooner.

    Those of you still in the “desperately need ex and shmoopie to break up” stage? I PROMISE you, you are the winner here! It doesn’t matter if they break up or not. The sooner you see that, the better

      • double ditto

        Oh, and I would add that my MIL just had surgery. If we were still married, the cheater would have expected me to visiti her every day. She’s not my favorite person (understatement), so it feels SO good that he can’t shame me into visiting her. I don’t have to do what he wants. He can’t control me (so sad that he once could). I’m free!!!

        I did send my ex MIL a text wishing her well. I’m not completely evil.🤪

          • hahaha.

            Turns out my ex takes after his narcissitic mother. As his therapist once told him, “Her tits are dry.” Love that line.

            I’ve mentioned this before, but at a restaurant shortly after D-Day, she sang church hymns to drown me out as I was lamenting the affair. She told me not to judge and that I had to forgive.

            Why was I at a restaurnt with my MIL? Well, this chump took her to her doctor’s appointment after D-Day. 🙄

            • Ok Spinach, the “her tits are dry” line is BY FAR the funniest thing I’ve read on this site! LOL I’m dying LOL!!!

              My MIL was a religious woman as well, she told me I needed to get over it when my first D-Day hit.

              In one of the fights with XH before separation, I told him to go F his mother since they loved each other so much and were always up each others butts. I was fuming that day.

              • Alice, one of my many “sins” include telling ex to go and fuck his mother (and dad) without proper tits and no hard on.

                Proof of what a filthy person I am,right?

                My catholic PIL not only surprised ex by not telling him off after he saw them two days after D-day, but actually told me that I should let my daughter spend weekends with AP so as not to make it so hard for the golden boy timewise.

                They have constantly tried to gaslight my daughter by telling her that they don’t know why I have a problem with them,since they never met AP (I got rid of that one), that I can’t judge AP since I don’t know her. When my daughter returns from visiting them she innocently conveys the best regards and that I’m always welcome in their home!
                My poor child gets all hopeful that this is a big misunderstanding and we can all be friends again.

                I have repeatedly let them know not to talk about AP to her. I have counter-argued the gas-lighting. I have refused them any religious part at communion for my daughter and made it known that the priest knows how they reacted. A priest who is helping me with getting an ex culpa annulment.

                I’m that close to sending a lawyer’s letter or their local priest to set them straight. But too much centrality, right?

              • @GermanChump, that’s sick that they are putting your daughter in the middle of everything. I hope she can become strong enough to tell them she wants to stay out of it. Their relationship with you is not your daughters problem. How selfish is it that they put that on her, it’s sick!

            • 😲 OMG Spinach! Sometimes I imagine all these strange occurrences in a Clady sitcom. Like everyone keeps saying, you can’t make this shit up!

          • Alice– How could your ex-MIL be Satan when mine was Satan? How many Satans are there? 😉

            • LOL they must be twins

              She hated that I refused to take any advice from her about marriage. Like, why would I want advice about marriage from someone who has a miserable marriage. I mean her own husband won’t even touch her. The woman has no clue about marriage, just misery.

    • Just trying to find the energy for that get a life part! COVID isn’t helping. I can’t wait to be you!

      • I feel the same way, Hope Springs. I did the LAC part but COVID makes the GAL part challenging.

        My therapist suggests I go on a dating site. I don’t know. Why bother? Plus those sites aren’t for the faint of heart. At almost 60, I think the statistics show that I would probably attract someone in his late 60s/early 70s. Call me selfish, but I just picture that future as grim. In 10 years, he’ll be at or near 80. Now if I were a man of 60, I’d be more sanguine about my dating prospects. Such is our society!

        I think I could be happy never dating (or having sex) again. It just annoys me that I was thrust in this position by the sudden revelation of his infidelity. I said, “You’re dead to me. Took of my ring and walked out the door.” I didn’t get to plan this. I didn’t choose no sex or no partner.

        Meanwhile, he was scheming to make sure he was all set in that department.

        What I want most of all is companionship. I have some great female friends to do stuff with (and maybe travel with post pandemic). And I have my kids and grandchild. I’m starting to think I could be happy never dating again.

        • No dating sites in my future! I just want more to do. Most of my “friends”were the wives of his friends. So that’s more awkward than I’m up for🤣. I’m taking care of me and figuring out what I want going forward. You’re right, companionship would be nice, but no more one sided relationships for me. The single men my age that I see are acting like drunk frat boys. Nope.

        • “Meanwhile, he was scheming to make sure he was all set in that department.”

          That is what shows how evil they are. They will spend years planning it all out, then the day they dump it all on us, it is just “you need to move on”.

          That was why my lawyer suggested up to three years temporary maintenance in our legal separation. I had a steady job, but he made a lot more money than me. That was also why my lawyer wanted me to get him to file, it gave him a little more legal maneuvering room for me. He said, this guy has been planning for this for at least two years, you need some time to plan and get stronger. So he started with six months, and said I can push it to three years if you need more time.

          In hindsight, part of me wishes I would have taken out to three years. I bet his life would have been hell with schmoopie. But, I was sick of it by then. Then my ex starting stalling, and it took a year to get pushed through. On 14 Feb, isn’t that special?

          • Susie, Burns me, you just reminded me of the “you need to move on” statement – as I’m crying and traumatized trying to understand, accept and comprehend the sudden destruction of my life. And I wanted to say nice things to him on our last meeting!!!

        • The dating sites are not really a great idea right now with Covid. I say this because, even if you meet someone on a site they could just be using you to pass the time cuz they are bored. Then drop you once all the covid stuff is done.

          I’d rather date once covid is gone and focus on me right now. If the right person came along before covid ended I’d try to be open minded but still, I don’t want to be dated just cuz someone is bored.

  • My XH married his OW. They’ve defied all odds for affair partners.

    1. He left me for her. If memory serves, only something like 10% of men leave their wives for OW.
    2. He married her. I think I read that of the 10% that leave their wives, only 3% marry the OW.
    3. They just had their 5th wedding anniversary. I recall that 75% of affairages don’t make it to 5 years.
    4. They’ve been together (at least 7 years – he’s been gone for 7, so who knows when they got together – sometime before he left).

    Last year, he had a baby with 10 years younger than me OW (he told me he didn’t want kids while we were married, so we had none).

    Must be true love, right? I doubt it. Classmates.com sent me a message that I had two profile visits in the last 5 months. His profile registered as the visitor in February and then again just before July 4th. My Classmates profile has nothing in it – no photos, no info at all. I’m so totally meh that I snapped a photo of his visit (My XH had filed a restraining order after OW had filed an injunction against harassment against me a few months after he left – so I documented this visit if they ever try to mess me about again with their little court games). I have since called Classmates and asked them to remove my profile as my XH is stalking me.

    I want nothing to do with him and really don’t even care about the state of his affairage. I didn’t get pleasure in seeing him pop up as the visitor. It was just disturbing. While I would never go so far as to say I wish him and her well, their relationship no longer impacts my life. I was married to him for nearly 17 years and the last time I saw him was when he had me served with divorce papers, the day before my 43rd birthday. I thought we had a great marriage and was shocked by the events that unfolded so quickly – our divorce took 74 days. Fact is, what is done is done.

    I was a good wife to him and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Schmoopie pales in comparison to me in every possible way. I mean, how amazing can someone be if they eat off of another person’s plate? As for him, I married beneath me and have since made sure to fine tuned my standards so that I don’t end up with another cheater. I’ve done a ton of therapy and have walked away from men that don’t meet my standards early on.

    • The only thing my ex ever said to me was that schmoopie was getting calls from someone, I said I wouldn’t give either of you the satisfaction, and you know it. he just ducked his head and said, yeah I know. In my world at the time all this was going down, I was just surviving, I had no interest in her. Heck I never even called him. He was the one that kept calling me after we were legally separated. Heck he came by and tried to get me to go look at his apartment. (I didn’t) My guess is she made it up to try and cause me trouble. The last time he called and tried to get me to think about trying again, was just a shade less than two months before they flew off to Vegas for their super romantic wedding. I kind of doubt he told schmoopie about that call. What a guy.

      He got his schmoopie, and I got my wish that he marry her. Win/win. All I wanted was for them to look at each other every day for the rest of their lives.

  • “When you marry a man who cheats on his wife, you marry a man who cheats on his wife.”

    I read this once (I think CL might have said it!) and I think it’s the truth. People who cheat don’t change. And I don’t think they are ever happy. That’s why they cheat. Narcissists have such grandiose images of themselves, but at some point in life they get depressed by the realization that they will never be what they dreamed they be. They don’t have the ability to reassess and recover. They find someone new who will NOT know who they really are and will believe the facade, thus extending the false image. But they are who they are.

    And they never trade up! Don’t fall into the trap of judging yourself “less than” the AP. I know it’s hard not to feel devalued and discarded, but the AP is not better than us. The AP may feel chosen, special, better than, and this may do wonders for their self-esteem. But the cheater is choosing them because he has wavering self-esteem, and in some way wants a partner he can feel better than. They leave us because we know the real them, won’t lie to them about who they are, and that’s too painful to accept.

    Note that he/she applies to my comments. Both male and female cheaters are doomed to repeat their actions. That is who they are.

  • My ex married his 29 year old shmoopie last month. He is 58. New wife was, initially, the new hypotenuse in his triangle, as I had discovered that he was fucking his besties wife (and he was in Twu Wuv), and I refused to stick around while he enjoyed cake. New wife knew he was still married when she started seeing him. She also knew he had a married girlfriend when she started seeing him. Besties wife dropped him when she found out about the young “other” girlfriend.

    Long story short- new young wife is an insecure, not very attractive person that has family money and has completely bought into his facade. She’s won the prize. Good luck to her.

  • The only ‘winning bet’ here is likely the person who picks the right date upon which a current schmoopie becomes an ex-schmoopie (you all could have pools on this if you wanted, but actually it’s dismal entertainment)

    Frankly the conclusion of the computer in the movie ‘War Games’ nails this: when discussing the simulation / game ‘Global Thermonuclear Way’ the computer observes that ‘the only way to win this game is not to play’

    Stay out of casinos (had an uncle who was a lifelong gambling addict, where he hung out, what he spent most of his time energy & money doing, how his family was treated, all awful & sad)

    Stay away from speculating on schmoopies or ex-schmoopies as much as you can. That Cheating In a Nutshell by the Williams book pays off way better for anyone involved with a cheater (it’s cheap at like $10 for the Kindle version)

    And if you find out someone is a cheater, get away ASAP.

  • I actually vacationed in Oklahoma TWICE last year! Lol. I went to a sci-fi convention there, and I stayed with good friends there during Thanksgiving. I never thought I’d be hanging out in OK, but it is an annual destination point now.

  • My soon to be XH has announced that he’s going ahead with that relationship with his ‘friend’. They’re planning their wedding now. The weird thing is they met virtually on a game last year, started talking on phone, watching movies online together, gaming together and now are ‘in love’. She cheated on her boyfriend and left him for my husband. My husband divorced me last month. She’s a professor in China and now moving to Australia. Is this actually happening? 13 years of marriage and his family and him went silent on me. 5 page document on my flaws was enough to convince them. And they’re being heartless with my parents, singing her praises. I’m still reeling from a doting supportive husband to an asshole who lied, found a replacement and discarded me. I left him though and I decided to end it. Is this marriage really going to work? He’s a charmer and can love bomb for years.

        • Yeah, thanks for the response Spinach@35 and Ka-chump.
          I’ve gone NC and communicating any formalities through my brothers. It’s been a struggle to let go of the smear campaigns and not respond, following CL’s advice seems to be helpful. And my therapist as well. We have so many common acquaintances and friends…it’s a trigger minefield. But so far so good.

    • Yas, Planning a wedding- never met!?!! 😨😂 They sound ridiculous. It bites to know we waisted yrs with cheating nincompoops.

    • Yikes, a mail order bride?

      Kind of like delivery pizza. His family sound like total morons.

    • Hmmm I think Yas’s soon to be ex-husband is about to fall prey to a green card marriage scam…or possibly she meets him in person, she goes ew! or ‘not rich enough’ or ‘no spark’ or fault finds with him in any way [OMG he’s not The Dream after all!] & it’s over.

      That will 1) be karmically earned 2) suck for STBXH 3) require Yas to double down on No Contact (while trying not to double over with laughter)

      Yas’s STBXH can’t keep up the ‘good person’ dance forever, not one of the cheaters can.

      How I escaped schmoopie-dom online, telephonically & from a distance (we are both in the same country at least, the good old USA) was:

      1) slow stuff way down (he’s thinking of marrying me & saying so aloud on our 2nd phone call?!?! Not a good sign)
      2) set boundaries (he of course tried to test & cross them constantly, how tedious. Red Flag #2)
      3) take my sweet time deciding if I even wanted to be in a relationship (I didn’t then, still don’t now, have other things in my life to attend to before I even go there, he found me via Twitter, not a dating site, so heads up everyone. Oh & this he grudgingly accommodated but I’m quite sure he was holding cattle calls aka mass online auditions for the schmoopie role, none of us are special to cheaters, we’re all fungible / interchangeable objects to them, spouse, schmoopie, kids, grandkids, siblings, parents, friends, co-workers, whatevs. Red Flag #3)
      4) listened to what my body & intuition were trying to tell me, especially when we weren’t in contact. Both kept saying ‘something’s off here’, exactly what that was, I did not know, so I kept asking friends (clueless but at least they knew he was nosing around & if he had tried to isolate or separate me from them, they would have been aware, being actual good friends & decent people, they would have done something about it. Red Flag #4).
      5) learned from online sites (like whoever it was who asked me to keep asking myself if this guy sniffing around made me ‘happier’ is such a sage because, no, Broken Toy never did. Red Flag #5 THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TEST OF ALL)

      We each are responsible for securing some base level of contentment or happiness for ourselves, then with the people we choose to have around us in our adult lives (friends, romantic partners, etc) we need to see whether they raise our happiness. If yes, they can stay & be brought closer, if not, they should be distanced, possibly all the way O-U-T out of our lives (& this guy is now O-U-T out, I think it’s coming up on over a year since I laughed at him out loud & out of my life last year, I’m at such a meh+ place, I no longer keep track of the disastrous Black Letter dates, instead I’m busy enjoying myself)

      All of these steps gave plenty of time & opportunity for the Broken Toy to expose his awfulness. He can’t perform having a good life or being a good person. You have to unfortunately give cheaters some time to show you they have a ‘decent person’ mask on & it’s slipping. That’s what taints all future relationships, that time you have to give them to expose themselves for the Broken Toys they are. When I know how to clear that hurdle, I’ll happily share that knowledge here with you all.

      And unless you’re getting paid as a therapist (or Geppetto) it is not your job to fix Broken Toys (and even plenty of therapists don’t have the training or the patience or the strength to do this work).

      You all deserve more than a Broken Toy, heck even more than an intact toy, but a functioning willing decent adult human being as a partner (& as a fellow parent if you have kids).

      When you believe in this & insist upon it, you will get better & so will your life. But it takes time to get here.

      Anyone who gets into the role of schmoopie is also settling for less, get clear on this whether you are a chump, a schmoopie or heaven forbid, the child of a cheater.

      The biggest lies the cheater tell are to themselves but again, Not Your Job to straighten them out.

      Your job instead is to be the best version of you possible & if you have kids, you do this as their most important & beloved role model.

      When I found out most of what the Broken Toy was up to (they lie big time when auditioning schmoopies & landing them too, take whatever comfort you can from that), decided I didn’t want to play That Horrid Person (it’s likely a lifetime role even if you wake up & stop being the schmoopie or get discarded).

      I literally laughed out loud when Broken Toy tried to say in his self-serving defense that he was ‘honorable’ or had ‘honor’ (this remark came in the middle of my downgrading, it was his ‘let’s just be friends’ talk) Forgive me, I could not help it, I was shrieking with peals of laughter, bad schmoopie me!

      Of course it sucked to go through this, but what would have sucked more was accepting the schmoopie role.

      I now know what Broken Toy saw in me was my ‘freedom’. How do I know this?

      Horrid person him told me that he married his wife to escape his awful (or so he tells it) controlling mother. And that he considers his relationship to his own son to be more like ‘uncle/nephew’ than father/son (WTF does that mean, it cannot be good or healthy…). Or plenty of other horrid ‘confessional’ stuff I did not want & by rights should not be privy to (& who knows if it’s even true?).

      Yup Broken Toy confessed to me that used his wife as an escape valve until somehow in his sick mind / world view, she (& I guess their children also?) evolved into some kind of ‘cage’ he needed to escape & so he will go through other schmoopies (female & apparently also male, found that out in my discarding process, whoo-boy!) to try & fix his brokenness.

      I don’t think a penis is meant to be used as a key to break a guy out of his own mental/emotional prison but that’s what he’s doing over & over again & expecting something will somehow change. Somebody can go dig up Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity & put it on a T shirt for Broken Toy to wear already. Not. My. Job. Thanks.

      Children inside & outside Broken Toy’s marriage have been created over the decades & they are stuck with a Broken Toy for a father. I couldn’t possibly count how many people he’s betrayed in his lifetime (he’ll be 70 in September) & frankly knowing this, I was not about to knowingly or willingly add my name to this list.

      I’ve learned I’m a great Broken Toy target because besides aspiring to be a decent person, I’m single.

      I’ve never been married, never had kids (confident enough to know I did not need nor want to be a parent, though I’d be fine being an auntie or a grandparent, those roles I could do fine with). My parents passed on as youngish senior citizens from chronic illnesses (the oldest was my father who died from front-temporal dementia at just 75, Mom died a decade earlier). In fact a big part of my life I was busy personally seeing to their care rather than dating, mating or marrying because I was their only child, it was me or a ‘facility’ & they raised me right, so why not me, why not try & repay them for the good life they gave me?

      I earned my ‘freedom’, no idea whether Broken Toy did but I doubt it (I bet either his wife, his brother or his sister in law did any family caregiving if any at all got done, at least his parents have passed on & can’t be shamed by how he lives now, who knows what if any role they played in his brokenness?).

      I am now happily in menopause & as an only child I don’t have siblings to look out for me, but plenty of only children learn very young how to be contented alone & I am fortunately in that happy group.

      Of course a partner would be a nice plus in my life, but only if he ADDS to my happiness.

      Broken Toy by definition can do nothing but drain me of happiness, time, resources, my very life energy, so thank goodness I saw this, got away, then went for some of the same help betrayed spouses / chumps (& their children) should go for.

      PTSD is a thing post betrayal, childhood traumas you may not even be aware of set you up to be susceptible to catering to Broken Toys, wanting to fix them, hoping they’ll miraculously get better & become good decent people.

      I wasn’t sure it was possible to be happier, but when Broken Toy confused my righteous anger at him with me ‘needing anger management’ well I called his bluff, started talking to the right therapists (they focus more on helping individuals than saving relationships) & that put me on the path to not just ditching Broken Toy, or healing from the damage he tried to do to me, but healing old stuff that makes us all vulnerable to Broken Toys in the first place.

      I am happier than I was when Broken Toy tried to audition me as His Next Schmoopie, so in a weird way, I’m grateful for that impetus to go fix myself already.

      When I’m much happier (doing more work to see if or how this is possible), I might officially dip a toe in the dating pool, but in the meantime, it’s all about me in the healthiest possible way it can be.

      It sucks to hear of the Reconciliation Industrial Complex being foisted upon betrayed spouses, but thankfully they seem to leave alone people who were not married or living together when a Broken Toy strikes out & we are more likely to have a therapist who only cares about us & puts us as individuals first. I wish the same for everyone here.

      In my life, I have done most of what I wanted to do as long as it didn’t hurt others (here I mean academic studies & degrees, career changes, hobbies, where/how I lived, friends chosen, etc). It meant making some choices that were socially unpopular or hard to understand by people who followed the more conventional life paths (school, work, dating, marriage, children, grandchildren, etc) but they were mine & I 100% honestly paid for them.

      The ‘freedom’ Broken Toy thought I had wasn’t ‘free’ & I wasn’t about to let him steal it from me. If I am ‘free’ (a debatable point), he can’t take it from me, he can only earn his own freedom (& at this point not without further hurting others, his kids I feel the most for),

      But because Broken Toy is more committed to Team Cheater, he’ll never be free or happy. That’s his choice & his Karma. The world has done him wrong, that’s his script & he’s stuck to it with KrazyGlue.

      I’m sure the Broken Toy was hoping for drama when trying to devalue & discard me, but he truly sucks at acting, which is even funnier, because it’s his day job. If he put 1/10th the effort he puts into juggling the not so secret compartments of his life into his career, he’d be as good as Streep, Pacino & DeNiro. Then all y’all would know his name & face well plus definitely give him the attention he craves so desperately.

      Did I mention Broken Toys are empty inside & they’ll do anything to try & fill it? They’d love to suck the soul & good character out of you, but IT NEVER WORKS THAT WAY. The time, energy, money, etc he gives to ‘performing’ the compartments of his life never show up on the screen (poor frustrated thespian / thwarted star him!).

      Cheaters really do say the stupidest shit, it’s funny if & when you can detach yourself from it. Forcing him to hang up on me because I LAUGHED OUT LOUD AT HIM (& the whole situation). ‘Honor’ or ‘honorable’ indeed! Who knew Karma was such a comedienne? I thank her for having him say just the thing to get me giggling & breaking the hold of The [False] Dream. (as it was, I had tuned out most of his speech, I could not recall the rest of it if my life depended upon it & thankfully it doesn’t)

      This beginning for Yas’s STBXH & the International Professorial Schmoopie of Mystery is 180 degrees from auspicious, so take what comfort you can in that Yas, then gradually build upon that. It’s a process. Stick with it.

      In the long run Yas, you will be stronger for this. One Tuesday in the future you will reach at least meh if not the full on giggling fit I got.

      If I knew where you lived Yas, I’d be shipping you some really delicious locally grown popcorn. 😉

      • Thanks for sharing. My friend recently got into a similar situation as yours. Was not able to convince her to go NC.

  • My XH married his affair partner 2 months after our divorce decree was signed. Best part? They met in Vegas and then decided to get married in Vegas. Nothing like going back to the scene of the crime to declare one’s vows!

    More than a year and a half later, he is utterly miserable in his third marriage.

  • Google says that was an Ann Landers quote. So true. My fuckwit was a widower. When we went to Hawaii to meet his brother and sister-in-law who live on Mauii, his sister-in-law said, “So you’ve known Terry before Joyce died, right?” I was aghast. OMG. Why would she think that of me? It was not me, it was him. Once a cheater always a cheater.

  • I’ll one-up you. My cheater remarried, after I hit “minimum time” for a divorce as allowed in our state. She had to agree to a clause preventing her from moving our child in (or any contact) with the AP for a few months. That didn’t stop her from getting married.
    Never fear though, she did the right thing. She wanted to be married before taking our son over to the AP’s to live. She felt like she she was putting the cart before the horse if she moved in without being married. So being the ever-mindful role model, she got married first so she could set a moral example. So our child got to meet her husband for the first time, after their wedding.. And then she moved him in…
    I can’t follow the logic. I do appreciate the timeline as I’m 100% certain that our child will figure it out when he’s old enough.

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