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Returning to Caretake a Cheater Late in Life?

Dear Chump Lady,

Yesterday I was speaking with a friend of mine who is now 82 and she mentioned she had moved to the nearby senior citizen home to take care of the person who had abandoned her for another woman. The abandonment took place over 30 years earlier.

I wouldn’t be wondering about it, but this is now the third time I have heard about this from friends/acquaintances.

The first time was someone I see about every 10 years, so I don’t follow her life closely. She told me she had left her husband for beating her and cheating on her, but her kids were now trying to get her to return to him after a 20-year absence. He was now sick and dying and since she was retired … could she find it in her Catholic heart to forgive and move back in to care for him in his dying days.

The second time was a co-worker. We were discussing retirement since we were both over 65. She mentioned she had allowed her cheating ex to move back in with her — again because he was dying and she had forgiven him and felt she had to take care of him til ‘death do us part.’

Do I just have unusual friends/acquaintances or is this more common than I thought?

Emma C

PS: I am now old, but I read your forum because it has given me more understanding of so much in my life.

Dear Emma C,

I can recall one person on this blog who did this, but I hope to God this is a generational thing and the Must Change the Bedpan of the Man Who Beat Me mindfuck goes extinct.

Oh wait, the Senate is trying to ram handmaiden Amy Coney Barrett on to the Supreme Court. So, alas, vicious misogyny is alive and setting court precedents for another generation. (Chump Lady excuses herself to go pour herself a tumbler full of vodka. At 7 a.m. No, not really. CL doesn’t drink. But she is considering it, along with immigration to Canada. Any sponsors out there?)

Back to caretaking cheaters.

Is this a Thing? Yes. Should it be a thing? NO.

Abusers have FIRED YOU from the job of caretaking them. When they cheat, hit, abandon, the contract is BROKEN. You have ZERO obligation to uphold a broken contract with someone who harmed you.

But, but Jesus!

When Moses led the exodus out of Egypt, he didn’t circle back 20 years later so Jews could return to slavery. HE STAYED GONE.

I understand the chump mindfuck completely. Be the Bigger Person. Through the love and care you are showing this shitty person, they will see the light. They will appreciate you and you will be the Saintly Person whose goodness overcame Bad Things. The narrative is rewritten. The Bad Things ended on a devoted note of reconciliation and Above-It-Ness.

How could you fear the shitty person now? They are so fragile. So weak. So vulnerable. There’s nothing to fear! See what a silly goose you were. 

Yo! Caretaking chumps everywhere! THEY DO NOT APPRECIATE YOU. THEY ARE USING YOU.

You were of use as a spouse appliance (until you weren’t) and now you’re of use as a caretaking appliance. When you were vulnerable, how did they treat you?

Do you know how much money is saved by family caregivers? BILLIONS. It’s money the state is not spending on indigent care. Oh, the children encouraged it? Of course they did, that’s time and money THEY are not spending. If you modeled chumpdom to them for decades, well, there’s probably a reason they feel entitled to ask.

This is why the Gain a Life portion of the Leave a Cheater message is so important. And maintaining utter NO CONTACT. You don’t need the validation of this horrible creep to know you are a good and worthy person. You have a LIFE. A precious, rebuilt life. And when you are 60, 70, 80 time is a very precious commodity. There are a BAZILLION better things you could be doing with your time. More worthy causes. (Picketing the Supreme Court comes to mind…) More worthy people to caretake! If you’re trying to earn points with Jesus, choose another sick and dying person to help out and leave the cheater to the NATURAL CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR CHOICES.

Pity the sad sausage. Is there no one to mop your fevered brow and pay your hospital bill?

Oh right. That’s because you chucked your faithful wife and mother of your children for a cheap pussy buffet.

Did Schmoops not hang around for this part? You chose shallow. Examine that with your God as you lay dying.

Back to you, Emma C.

I think your friends are tragic. And if they were my friends, I’d give them a bitchslap. Caretaking abusers does not make them admirable. It makes them objects of pity.

You’re never too old to reject the mindfuck.

Or a needy cheater.

I hope they start today.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Wasn’t there a comment here a while back from an oncology nurse on this topic? I seem to recall she said they see ex-wives bringing ex-husbands for treatment, but NEVER the other way around.

    • So my Mom did this.

      My parents (I’m 40) got together when he was married with 4 kids. She had me a couple of years into it, I’m assuming, from the way she treated me when I was young, to get him away from his wife. Didn’t work as oh, he would have to pay child support if he did that. (???????????? okay). His wife (!) finally divorced him when I was 11 and their youngest turned 18. He married my mother and they made each other and everyone around them miserable.

      Cut to 16ish years later. She divorced him and moved out. He’s done nothing but treat her like shit and she thinks he’s cheated once or twice. Allows him to live in the house he built but only had her name on it. A year later he’s diagnosed with terminal cancer and she moves back in. Cares and manages for him til he dies a few years later.

      Everyone thinks it’s so sweet, a real true love after all. I think it’s two assholes stuck in each other’s orbit. Am I glad? Yes, selfishly. I live two hours away and it took all that off the kids.

      I remember my mom telling somebody “someone asked me why I do this, I know he’d do the same for me.” Uh well Mom, I don’t think for a second he would have. He’d say well you divorced me so die alone.

      • “Took all that off the kids.”

        Exactly my strategy with X. Except I’m not the nursemaid. Let Schmoopie #19 be the nursemaid. She’s dumbish, so it’ll take her some years to figure it out while.
        Play stupid games…

        • My Dad was too old and infirm to screw around at that point, or I have zero doubt my Mon would have seen his true colors. Then again, she never saw anything ten foot high and in front of her face their entire relationship, so maybe not.

          I still have a ton of anger over my childhood obviously. After my heartbreaking experience with my husband chunking me I cannot really not ever see my mother as a stereotypical OW. So selfishly I think she got exactly what she had coming—nursing that narcissist until he died. She wanted him and it was his wife and us kids who suffered. His wife was a sweet lady who adored him, they met in high school. She never remarried and was sad when he died. His kids (my half siblings) are great people.

          • Damn what a story. Sorry your childhood sucked. Hope your adult life is going better at this point!

          • Sorry about your whole experience with 2 narcs, who never cared about anything but their own happiness. Your mother and father were both not very nice people. I hope you can move on from all the toxicity you had to live through.

      • Similar situation here, Dad was having an affair with neighbours wife who had 5 kids. He knocked mom up (an immigrant who barely spoke English) and married her, had three kids (I’m #3). They left all their kids so they could be happy ever after in twu wuv, not a care in the world for the destroyed lives. I stuck by mom and was at her deathbed, and then my brothers (who became an alcoholic). Sister abandoned all of us. Now he’s 94 and the old fogies in his small town think I’m a horrible daughter for not being there for him. He actually told me his wife and her kids would always be number one.

      • Yeah, one of my grandmothers essentially did this. They were never formally divorced but had lived separately for many years — basically my Dad’s entire childhood. She was a GOOD, warmhearted, independent-minded woman who took her (Congregationalist, liberal) faith seriously. (And spackled for the kids’ sake, not knowing how that is harmful.)

        I think it was generational.

        I also knew an older alcoholic co-worker obsessed with younger women, whose wife did the same for him. (Again living separately, long-term; not divorced; and he did support the family with his salary; six kids; Roman Catholic.)

    • Christine, there is a reason ex-wives bring ex-husbands to cancer treatment but NEVER the other way around: systemic sexism.

      John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote a song called “Woman is the Ni***r of the World.”

      Yes she is.

      Unfortunately a lot of women are collaborators.

  • You got fired from the job as spouse, why play “nurse with a purse” now?

    • Exactly. During marriage, “. . . in sickness and in health” should be honored. They broke the contact and stomped all over it, so we should regard it accordingly.

  • Its never mind what they did to you, they say its all in the past. You looking after them means, their kids don’t have to help so much. Bet they didn’t help you paying bills, children looked after. They cheat on you, rob you, ignore the kids, ow abuses you, but that’s in the past isn’t it.
    They try and rely on you to always be the good person.
    If your ill, your not entitled are you or your accused of lying.
    I had heart test, doc said my heart function is 35%. I have pulmonary hypertension, heart failure. There never interested. More tests, consultant phones me on my mobile. Am I entitled to be ill, no. Its always about them.

    • Sorry to hear about your heart issues, Susan. I hope the tests lead to good treatment options for you.

  • Nope! My ex found his “true love” when I was 8 months pregnant. When I had a breast cancer scare just after the divorce, he generously agreed to have the kids over for dinner ONE extra evening on the day of my biopsy. No way in heck would I care for him for even a hang nail.

    • My ex actually told me he could care less if I live or die while I was dealing with the whole biopsy appointments. So, nope, not my job to take care of him anymore. Shrek can do it all.

  • I’d do it if I knew he had less than 2 years to live and everything was written across to me in his will. Would be the worst 2 years of his life – heh heh.

    • Hmmmm– that’s a thought. Wonder if the others in these stories were thinking along the same lines considering the economy.

      • Yep, if you are going to do it, get the money up front. As any caretaker should do. It is a job, get paid. If that is what you want to do.

        • Yes. In my state, at least, caretakers who are being paid to do so must take some classes in caretaking and become licensed. Better to be aboveboard with all that in case things are legally challenged later. Get paid the going rate per hour, pay taxes, be licensed. If they can’t afford to pay the caretaker, often the state (at least here) will pay a licensed caretaker. Important to be totally legit in case family members start nosing around and questioning everything, as relatives of disordered people are often nasty themselves.

    • Yeah, that’s fine, as long as it is categorically and legally signed and sealed. My preference would be to get a generous salary for the duration, you know, to get paid for hard and unrewarding work.

  • This happened with an older couple in our faith community; he left to sample what else was out there, and then they ‘came back together’ in their retirement. That screams Chump Plan B to me, but it seemed to be a Good Thing to the chap who mentioned it to me. Ex also mentioned it, not as an upfront suggestion but as a Good Thing. To me it’s a Bad Thing; why would I spend years healing from abuse only to expose myself to it when we are both supposed to be older and wiser? Speaking biblically, that smacks of a dog returning to its own vomit!

    • Covered in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. I don’t think bronze age marriage laws apply anymore, but here it is:
      “When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house, and if she goes and becomes another man’s wife, and the latter man hates her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife, then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the Lord. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.”

      • Thanks, Doingme, for the laugh out loud moment. I imagine a stampede of ugly, aged former OW *away* from Cheater #1 if asked to help out his saggy old ass.

  • Since I’m not at meh I actually look forward to this day .

    I hope he is old and sick and realised what he threw away as I’m sure his 16 year younger wife will have better things to do than look after him

    I would have looked after him until the day he / or I died

    I do let myself have a little chuckle thinking when he’s 70 his wife will only be 54

    I’d never even look at him now let alone look after him

    • Oh, I’d be shocked if she’s still around when he’s 70 and she’s 54. I once knew somebody whose second wife was much younger. When he hit a milestone birthday, she suddenly realized that she was too young for that mess and left him for a man her own age.

      • As a woman whose husband left her for a college girl 14 years younger, God I hope so. ????????. Or maybe he’ll waste her youth too and she’ll wake up at my age. Maybe he’ll leave her for another college girl then, doubtful though since he has no money, power or matinee good looks. So many possibilities. Maybe she’ll decide she does want kids, after all. He hates children and had a vasectomy at 27….so many possibilities.

        I know he’s probably going to die alone though . Elderly parents, no siblings or cousins his age, won’t maintain a friendship over six months.

      • Actually quite common. The older guy looks “mature” and “sophisticated” to someone much younger whose male peers are still having keggers. Fast forward a few years and kegger guys now have better jobs, apartments and potential (as well as abs) and the older guy now just looks…..old.

        • I have several friends who have done this. It’s usually motivated by money , even though no one admits it. Typically she is from an upper middle class family & used to being well cared for. While she’s educated she doesn’t have earning potential to keep her in the life she was raised without husband bucks. Parents have affluent lifestyles but no real cash in the bank. So she marries and old dude. And it’s fine for while. Then she either gets sick of the ex wife & kid drama or he can’t keep up with her, so she moves on.

          • Ex friend did this. The falling out in that friendship started happening a few years before she married the 50-something divorcee. I don’t know if he was divorced when they met because I wasn’t in contact with her anymore and only occasionally heard news through the grapevine.

            At first our group of friends was baffled by the sudden change in this woman. At the ripe old age of 23 (over the hill in babe years I guess), she started suffering from some kind of financial hysteria, terribly afraid that she would never advance in her career enough to have the same lifestyle she grew up with. One minute she was waving signs at protests and quoting feminist tomes and the next minute she was suddenly dragging everyone to seminars on how to meet rich men, making glib remarks about how you can tell a guy’s finances by his shoes, that she would never date anyone who rented, etc. That was bad enough but then she started hanging out with really dangerous people, like the lawyer and fixer of an infamously rapey celebrity. To be around her was to be at risk. She started pimping her friends to rich dangerous coots and paid the price herself more than once. She ended up being blackmailed into staying silent about abuse by one rich old vampire. He reportedly secretly made a sex tape of her (he had a safe full of videos of all his victims) while she was zoned out on GBH. She’d never previously been a druggie. Then she met gramps– the white haired CEO of whatever who hung out with the who’s who of WTF. He proposed within a short time and she met her stated goal of becoming a trophy wife.

            It never looked like fun to me. The last time I saw her was probably right before she married Daddy Warbucks. From about thirty feet away, I saw her getting out of a $100,000 sports car in an LA mall garage with a friend I’d never met and the two of them were holding up what looked like credit cards and whooping like Wilma and Betty in the Flintstones (

            A few years ago the ex-friend was in the press for her involvement in an international adultery scandal. As the story goes, she played beard for another trophy wife who was cheating on her billionaire corrupt old coot with a famous married politician. Soon after, the ex friend separated from her own coot following a bit of buzz about her own extramarital activities.

            I imagine she got quite a settlement but it still doesn’t look like fun. In retrospect there were a few things about her that were off that I didn’t understand when I was really young. She described periods of clinical depression in her teens, then there was her constant fad dieting and reported flares of OCD in which she would become cruel and obsessive and drive other friends to tears. She also never, ever talked about her parents or siblings. You could ask her about her family but she’d skillfully evade. Then she made the hair on the back of my neck go up when she confided about her ongoing flirtation with the live-in boyfriend of a very nice mutual friend. I was only hanging out with her on rare occasions by then and ultimately let the friendship die. Before that, my dad met her once at one of my work events and commented that it was like you “could pass your hand right through her”– no substance. It surprised me because she made noises at the time as if she had character and principles. But he was spot on. There was no “there” there. Dark triad and a gaping hole of want.

    • Geez, when my ex is 70, his wife will be 46! (She was 7 years old when we got married at 31, has anyone ever seen the hilarious SNL skit with Tina Fey and Amy Spielberg about second wives? Hilarious. I digress)

      Assuming he lingers and they stay together, she’ll spend 20 of the best years of her life with an old man (and he wasn’t exactly exciting when he was young)….. why have I never taken pleasure in that thought before? And even if she sticks around, from what I’ve heard of her, it won’t be the loving in-home care I would have given that he’ll be receiving……nothing wrong with a little schadenfreude, if you ask me…..

      • I’m imagining decades-younger shmoops digging frantucally like Jack Russell terriers under dewlaps and colostomy bags in desperate hopes of finding hidden jewels and treasure.

          • Beans– Alas a lot of comedy stems from trauma. Two friends since late teens/early 20’s used to joke about this all the time because of being constantly accosted by rich old FWs in NYC. Some encounters had been funny, some were horrible. To keep from curling up into a furry ball and hiding from the world, there’s always gallows humor. We once created a “dewlap” Christmas tree decorated with painted tin cutouts of classic creepy types like the coercive bald movie producer with a pony tail wearing a Speedo trope, paunchy investment bankers in Bentleys, etc. Male chumps would probably recognize their own cheaters’ APs among the tree ornaments.

            I have to say that when you’ve said “no” to a series of oldster millionaires and aging rock stars in your youth, there’s a kind satisfying certainty about how much side chicks and cheaters fundamentally suck when roles switch around later and it’s your spouse who turns out to be the pervy old FW. You know you would never have done THAT– what either cheaters or side pieces do.

            Integrity pays its own bills, both actually and figuratively. One friend mentioned above also married young and was also eventually cheated on and I think she got to “meh” sooner rather than later partly because she always had a clean record. She looked great. When we hung out with our kids last year, we ended up laughing about everything like we used to.

      • Omg hilarious! Cheater husbands GF is 20 years younger – a few years older than our oldest. AND she acts like she is 14 no joke.

        • Well I guess I’m one of these women. I told husband I was getting divorce and what I wanted after finding out about his long term cheating. I saved money…got my ducks in a row and he had a massive stroke. Brain damage, right side paralysis….married 40 years. Sorry I’m not a cold hearted bitch that can just turn my back on him and let him die in a nursing home. We were a happy family at one time.
          Most of us caretakers know what we
          Are getting into. We’re caring individuals and do this for ourselves not them. It’s hard to turn your back on someone you’ve loved for years. It’s called a caring, conscious, compassionate individual…no matter what they’ve done to you.

          • So you are actually suggesting that someone who exits a marriage, long or short, because they have been cheated on is a ”cold hearted bitch”. You see, now. Here’s the thing. Obviously you did what you wanted to do and that is crucial. You did what felt right to you and in your circumstances.

            It’s interesting that you essentially swear at and call people names who actually got out and wouldn’t consider returning to the person who abused to and lied to them because they feel it’s degrading. Are you saying that because of having boundaries, they lack any compassion or caring for anyone else? But then, you say you did it ”for yourself” (did wiping his butt feel nice to you?), so that’s confusing.

            For what it’s worth, you don’t sound particularly happy with your decision, which is weird.

            • Cold Hearted bitch right here! I can remember reading texts from the OW and she said that she would wipe his ass when he got old, and just laugh about it. I hope she is laughing!

            • Caroline Bowman,
              No where was I calling anyone a cold hearted bitch, i was referring to myself. I wanted a divorce and if he had the stroke after the divorce, no i wouldn’t take care of him. I watched him suffer and nearly die. Now he has no memory. Not once in my comment was I talking about anyone but me. I don’t make nasty comments about other people’s comments especially ones that pertains to what they go through in their life.
              The comment you made about wiping his butt was really not very funny.
              Am I happy with the way things turned out. So you consider me or my actions weird… well that is just fine. Considering i found your comments weird and inappropriate

              • Caroline Bowman
                No my life didn’t Turn out the way i wanted it too. Hopefully you will never be put in a situation where you have to make such a decision. But I posted what is going on in my life certainly not considering someone on this blog would twist my words . Glad you found it so hilarious.

          • “It’s called a caring, conscious, compassionate individual…no matter what they’ve done to you.” It’s also called being a chump.

            • Rumblekitty….I agree I’m a queen of chumps. Sometimes life throws us curves and we just have to do what we feel is the right thing to do. I would love to be divorced and on my own, but him healthy & normal
              Leading his own life. I don’t fault anyone for getting out. You do what feels right for you at the time.

              • Rumblekitty, i thought this was a blog where you could express yourself and whats going on in our lives. But apparently not. martya of the year? LOL!
                Apparently I don’t fit in because I’m not full of hate and anger.

                I’ve enjoyed reading and participating in chump lady but never expected the nasty comments because I chose a different path

                Best of luck to all of you.

              • (((( CrazyLady)))),
                You probably will not see my late post, still I want to send out many hugs to you.
                A Chump understands another Chump’s pain. A Chump should respect that each person deals with things in different ways.
                Each one of us does what we feel we have to do at a particular time. Others would not agree, but that’s fine.
                It’s like how each of us deals with covid19. I made up my mind to respect each person’s beliefs and actions for themself and for their family. I feel good in what path I have chosen, and I respect what others have chosen to follow even though many differ from me.
                That is what life is all about, living each day the best that we can.
                I am so sorry for all your pain and suffering, and as a fellow Chump, I wish you peace in the days ahead.
                Please be kind to yourself.


      • Wow, my ex Peterpan and scumbalina are 29 years apart. You read that right.
        Now they have a kid, 4 years old..
        Never mind my children adult parents.
        This clown suffered Bells palsey , kidneys shit down, both dialysis and TWO MORE stents in heart; 57.
        My daughter, who is a parent and 2 years older than baby momma, Asked me “Ma, if dad needs help, your doing it,?”
        No, I got Fired from my job of caring.”
        Maybe you or your brother might pitch in ! How bout response.

    • I get that. You are in real time of the pain now.

      My ex FW is in real bad health. (emphysema) Son say’s he can only walk about 50 steps at a time. She is in pretty bad health too, but I am not sure what her issue is, I think Son told me but I can’t remember. Honestly, I have been pretty much meh about her from the beginning. She was just the next whore in line evidently.

      Also, she is only five years younger, and looks much older than either him or me, so I am sure that helps. She wasn’t really attractive even at age 35 to his/our 40. The attraction was weird to me, but it was what it was.

      I do now wish my ex the best in his health issues, but as for the rest; whatever, that’s on them.

    • My ex fucktard’s rat faced whore is 20 years younger than him, and he’s 64.

      Will the whore still be around when he’s 70/80? Who knows, all I know is, I won’t be. ????

      I asked him, (when I knew something shady was going on, but before Dday) are you in love with her? He replied, indignantly, “No! I think of her as a daughter!”. So maybe rat faced whore thinks of him as a daddy(sugar). ????????

      Like Karen, I sincerely hope he ends up all alone in a hospice, dribbling and drooling, wetting his adult nappies.

      There is no way I would ever succour that slimy pos.

  • Emma. Please talk to your friend and tell her not to do it. How dare her kids come and ask that of her after the way she was treated. It is has nothing to do with forgiveness. Get her to tell her kids he is not her responsibility any longer and she has her own life. They don’t want to take care of him so they try to push him off on her?

    • Because he’s their father and their relationship is not the same as between ex (ex)-wife and husband. They still love their father or at least feel obligation to take care of him but not enough to do it themselves. I agree with CL that the mother has been most probably modelled chumpdom for decades to them and/ or was children’s appliance so they dare to ask, better say pressure her into doing it. As mist probanly she hasn’t gained life after divorce, she’s going to do it.

      Importantly, taking back an errant spouse is also the ultimate puck me dance. She finally won it. He might have been around but at the end (always) come back to her.

      Yes, it’s immensely important to gain a life.

      • Exactly. My kids find the fact that their father is in ill health very hard to navigate. He wants someone to take care of him. They don’t want to be leaned on. (I understand that). Paid caregivers have not worked out well (he’s a jackass). Their grandparents are also deeply resentful of their own son’s poor decisions and blame me (they resent being stuck with his bills and his presence). All the kids hear is that Dad is in pain and Mom has “abandoned him.” The fact that he was excited about his soul mate and new (entirely imaginary) career as a pastor at the point I “abandoned’ him has been forgotten.

        He could offer me a million dollars a year, and I would not choose to be his caretaker.

        • When the topic comes up, I’d remind the kids that old Dad has a soul mate somewhere and they should find her and get her to do her job.

      • Ugh God I’ve heard that crap so much, always from the older generation. Well at least he comes back to meeee. She thinks she’s special, I get his paycheck, he might stray but he comes back to meeee in the end. I got advice to move on and forgive him because they always come back to their long-suffering wives! Not in 2020 baby. They’ll leave your ass anyway when you’re no longer of use or get too “angry” these days.

        Sorry for the rant, flashbacks there. Vomit!

      • My child is still young so I don’t have any lived experience in this but I wonder if this (the moment a child asks you to caretake a cheater) is also an opportunity to calmly and kindly tell some home truths about them. Something like, ‘I haven’t shared this with you before because it was important to me that you have right To your own relationship with Dad/ Mum, but…”. Not saying I’d go into much detail but if they’re an adult it might be helpful to know that your inaction comes from a place of self-care and respect. If they love their parent, that’s great- you’ve raised a loving child, but I do see this as a way to role-model healthy boundaries to them. Plus, isn’t it ‘interesting’ that the kids don’t want to do it themselves #notstupid

    • I might be wrong but I think I’d lose my kid’s respect if I cared for the DOCTOR in his illness. He has schmoopie wife for that and if she bails on him, I still think they’d be horrified with ME for helping him now.

      I don’t wish ill on him, per se. But I know he deeply wounded the 4 people who loved him the most.

      IF hes’ truly emerged unscathed by that, then he’s too shallow to mourn, and would never ever appreciate the gift that caring for HIM – would be.

      Hell, he didn’t really value us when we were married, why would he do so just b/c he needs care? The entitlement is boundless.

  • “When Moses led the exodus out of Egypt, he didn’t circle back 20 years later so Jews could return to slavery. HE STAYED GONE.”

    This is pure gold.

  • Chump Lady, I know a Chump who did just this for her military cheater. Seems he missed her as he was diagnosed with terminal stage cancer. She had her lawyer negotiate turning all of his remaining assets to her, she had medical power of attorney, she had a general power of attorney. Then this lovely sixty something lady placed him in the VA home. She called his care team weekly until his death. Be this Chump!

    • Since she had medical power of attorney, did she get to determine when to pull the plug on life support?

  • There is no way I would help him in his old age. He was never there for me when we were married. I also will have nothing to do with his funeral. If he doesn’t have life insurance, then someone else can pay to bury his ass.

    Besides No Contact means No Contact and I signed my No Contact contract for life.

    • Hmm . . . I never considered who would pay for my EX’s funeral. I can imagine it falling to me if it occurs in the next few years (though there is no reason to think it will). I’d have to pick up some costs (cremation and a very basic urn) just so my kids could have closure. I don’t want to cover those kind of costs, but they wouldn’t be the worst expenses I’ve ever incurred due to him.

  • Before the divorce papers were signed, my ex was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The family treated me like shit at the hospital despite being a cancer nurse and being the only one who could give a 30 year health history. OW was officially introduced to everyone. She did not even leave the room when my mother came to visit. (She was hiding in a corner and my mom walked right up to her and introduced herself.) Their behavior was so bad, the neurosurgeon had a talk with me telling me that cheating is never the fault of a spouse. He also told the family he recommended they listen to me as I could help them ( I am a cancer research nurse). As a side note, he was diagnosed after a car accident. Smoopie had let him drive to urgent care after him telling her he was missing periods of time (seizures). What the hell??? She had been ignoring symptoms for a while including him getting lost on the way to her home. When the family found out he would need 24 hour care, they suddenly were kind again. I was going to do it, but my mom, lawyer and BF bitchslapped me. The family went back to treating me like crap.

    In my 25 years as an Oncology nurse, I have seen the ex wife as the caretaker.

  • Powerful Message! Here’s to freedom, precious time and not being used by assholes who threw us away for cheap pussy.

  • Wow. I Thought this site was different. I got political views thrown at me that had nothing to do with the subject over at Betrayed Wives Club, and when I gave my opposing view that was different, I was called a bully and told to shut up because I had never been raped or physically assaulted.

    What this lady is asking has nothing to do with the confirmation hearings of Amy Conen Barrett (which is the right under the constitution of any president – to fill an empty Supreme Court Seat) or your opinions on it. I know it’s your blog – but Jesus Christ – don’t we get enough bullshit everywhere else? Just stick to the Chumplady stuff which is awesome and has helped me immensely. Maybe start another blog – for your political views.

    That being said-my Ex broke his foot a few months ago. He kept trying to get my sympathy-he was alone during COVID, couldn’t work – and lives away from us where he chose to go. I could care less. He deserved it.

    • Misogyny is misogyny is misogyny.

      My site helped you? Good.

      I’m glad a “Leftist” helped you.

      • I really don’t see how appointing a super smart woman to the Supreme Court is Misogynistic…..I guess because she is conservative?? I doesn’t make any sense. We should all celebrate the fact that she is nominated – period. Just because she is not RBG doesn’t make it less amazing.

        • Read the WaPo article. Have you ever seen a male nominee’s children paraded as part of the circus?

          • “It has been two and a half days since Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death set a political tempest in motion. Four years after Senate Republicans declined to take up President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in a presidential election year because they said voters should decide the matter, they’re now casting that standard aside and pressing forward.“

            – Washington Post

            I hate hypocrisy. NO ONE should be deciding this now, according to their very own position.

            • Fuck wapo and all the other biased rags…that means all of them.
              Report the news, report the facts; we can decide for ourselves what we think. The vitriol is disgusting.

              I’ve been smeared by the disordered and worse. That doesn’t make any of it true or right.

          • I hope her husband’s aunt ,who is the one providing live in child care ,has a nice compensation package. Given ACB’s age,aunt-in-law must be elderly. If the Barrett children (five she birthed,two adopted) are being used as props, we get to comment.

            • There are not enough hours in the day to have her career AND raise seven children and run a household.

          • Yeah, I agree Dude-ette. I can even understand some positions against abortion, but the “husbands are head of their wives and the authority of the family” thing? That actually makes my knees wobble. This is one of the seeds of entitlement, the origin of all evil, including cheating. Why would not ALL human beings deserve EQUAL treatment?

            • Please STOP the politics!

              I don’t come HERE for that. It’s a supportive blog for Chumps, and we come in all colors, party affiliations, gender and orientation.

              I was taken aback by Chump Lady’s comments, I admit. But then, it’s her blog and as long as I don’t feel too bludgeoned, I choose not to react.

              Let’s not get angry at each other, please.

              If we wanted endless conflict & haunting self doubt, we could have stayed married.

              • I think it’s chump lady’s site and she gets to include exactly as much politics as she wants. I think you’ve brought up your support for Trump before which I won’t argue with but it’s kind of impossible to avoid all politics.

            • Yeah the Handmaids Tale personified. Amy is a Scalia follower in textualism. So unless the words are specifically written in the Constitution forgetta bout it. Yeah as if the founding fathers could envision everything. To replace an icon like RBG with her is an insult. Amy has lived in an Indiana bubble & should stay there.

          • Only when he’s a demonstrated cheater and they’re parading the wife and lovely children around as Impression Management. “See — I may have fucked hookers but I’m still a family man.” (See “The Good Wife.”)

        • Ditto. After all, CL is just demonstrating the values that make her (and this blog) great- honesty, critical thinking, having a voice that wisely and articulately calls out dangerous human behaviour.
          Don’t change a thing xxxx

      • Tracy,
        Your blog, your rules. Period! It’s hard to straddle the line when that line is clearly drawn in the sand. As a person who agrees with you in political matters, you’ve managed straddle phenomenally. Hats off to you in these politically charged times!

    • ACB is not a reference to a political view, it’s a reference to HYPOCRISY.

      No matter your beliefs, surely you can see through the circus and hypocrisy of ramming ACB through (Lindsey Graham’s claim being the pinnacle of hypocrisy).

      I grew up Catholic. I get the pro life argument more than some. But my moral compass and standards and smarts and ability to see liars and hypocrites for what they are is strong. Chump Lady’s reference is spot on.

    • CL’s political views are very different from mine as well, but I accept that this is her world, and I am just visiting it.

      (For the record, ACB’s judgement record isn’t as scary as people have been led to believe. She’s also clearly got a good marriage where there’s reciprocity and shared child-raising, and she’s regarded as extremely intelligent and well educated by people who would normally be her political opponents. So don’t get out the white bonnets just yet.)

      CL is providing a priceless public service with this blog, and I am proud to support her on Patreon. Infidelity is an equal opportunity employer.

    • “I know it’s your blog – but”

      Stop there. It is her blog. She can post whatever she likes about whomever she wishes.

    • It’s CL’s site, her blog, her words, her mind, her opinion, and her right to express it. It’s called free speech and protected by the constitution, at least for now. If I could get to the Supreme Court to protest, I WOULD. People who defend that handmaiden scare me. Abortions need to be legal, not just because they won’t stop–only more women will die or be maimed by dirty backroom attempts–as my mom told me, who was an RN prior to legal abortions–and because no man or woman or piece of paper is going to dictate what I will do with MY BODY. You do you, but leave your opinion the hell out of my uterus. And if you don’t like what CL has to say, go away. Nobody chastises MY CL.

    • Since we are talking about things we are sick of I have one. I’m really sick of people telling athletes and other famous people that they should “stay in their own lane” and that politics has no place in this that or the other.

      Maybe I’m just in awe of their unflappable hubris thinking they have a right to tell other people what they should and should not be talking about or what views they should or should not be sharing.

      I’m even more in awe of those who come to a website that is maintained by a person who helps thousands and thousands, asking nothing in return and tell her that she should basically stfu on the very blog she maintains. Just wow!! I will just wonder how you lug that big ole head around stuffed with all your self importance and contemplate simultaneously how you All end up on the same side of the aisle.

      Bless your heart!

    • I’m a UK chump, and know very little about American politics. (I have enough to choke on with BJ ????).

      The point is, sunshine, this is *Chump lady’s blog*, and she is entitled to opine whatever the fucking hell she wants. Don’t like it? Go elsewhere. Simples.

      This is a blog for people who have been betrayed by cheaters and liars. If you want to discuss politics, there are thousands of blogs out there, dedicated to just that. Leave our CL alone. ????????

      • Really? You think our CL is at fault for stating her opinions *on her own blog*??!!

        Awa’ and bile yer heid, ya numpty.
        (Scott’s vernacular for American shut the fuck up asshole ????).

        • Very tolerant.
          Thank you for your kind words.
          I’ll take my leave as it seems my kind of chump isn’t welcome here.

  • Here we have a situation that every Catholic school girl gets: do service, forgive, be saintly because that brings you closer to God. Basically, the Catholic church I was raised in (others may have had different experiences) glorified making one’s needs really, really small and taught us to focus on how to serve others. Pride is the worst sin! The meek shall inherit the earth! Lord I am not worthy to receive you! Wives, be submissive to your husbands!

    So, mix those tenets (and others) with loneliness in old age and the basic human need to feel needed and you get chumps who return to play nursemaids to cheaters. It makes sense if you’re indoctrinated in such dogma.I get it. I won’t ever do it. But I get it.

    And I also know a woman who is doing that right now. Her husband not only cheated and was a drunk but also molested one or more of his own daughters. But forgiveness….

    • I am a Catholic, and I know the difference between what the Church – and God – really asks of us, and the shallow mass-produced cliches that were too often part of cultural Catholicism.

      I spent half of Monday this week at an excellent workshop on pastoral responses to domestic violence in the Catholic community, delivered by the local diocese.

      The narrative is changing, but it’s very slow. Poverty and being second class citizens has played a big part of keeping marriages intact at all costs, and covering up.

    • I was raised Catholic and agree with a lot of what you say. One day at Mass, the priest made the comment that “just because you are Catholic it doesn’t mean you are a sap!”
      This is something that resonated with me and stuck with me and my mother.
      Tell that to your religious friends that think they owe something to a cheater.

      • When I went to see a priest in California about whether to file for divorce from the DOCTOR, who had blocked me from joint accounts while I was hospitalized BUT I had NOT yet discovered Schmoopie –

        I barely knew the priest. My Catholic upbringing (for which I’m MOSTLY grateful, btw) compelled me to seek an alternative to divorce.

        But the priest said ” I don’t see that you have any choice but to file for divorce. God wants you to protect yourself.”


    • You are so correct. I have blamed Catholicism for the fact that I put up with so much abuse for so long. Yes, because I would be rewarded in the after-life!

  • I’ve known people who have done this sort of thing, and I’m aware that I was once one of them.

    I’m not anymore.

    People need to do what they need to do, I guess. When I was in that headspace, of unconditionally giving to a person I had once loved, words likely wouldn’t have talked me out of it. Chumpiness is like that sometimes.

    Today, though, the answer is a clear and unequivocal “no”, and I feel no compulsion to elaborate to the abuser about why that’s the answer. Nor do I feel obliged to help any person who has abused me to feel better about it later so they can feel resolved about it.

    No, I won’t come help you. With anything.

    No, I don’t care that you’re apologizing and I have no resolution to offer you.

    No, I don’t want to talk to you.

    No, I don’t care whether you have grown, or changed, or have something to say to me, or what it is.

    No, I don’t still care about you, or love you, or wish you well.

    No, you don’t matter.


  • My daughters recently let it slip that “the plan” that KK and the Chlorine Special are touting is for them to move to his native Canada as they reach retirement . . . . for the healthcare.

    If you want, CL, I’ll put in a request for sponsorship on your behalf. 😉

    • Nice. Live here until retirement so they can avoid paying 65% in income tax to pay for that healthcare, and then move back when they’re retired. Typical entitlement attitude.

      • Canadians don’t pay 65% income tax. Those two probably are entitled schmucks, but still! Use google!

      • My friend, a retired nurse, moved to the U.S. and became a citizen partway through het career because she couldn’t stand Canadian “health care.” A few years ago her Canadian mentally ill sibling was put on the back burner of waitung lists for his oral cancer because he chose to use tobacco and was mentally ill. He died. I live near the US Canadian border. Some Canaduan women come over here for prenatal care and to give birth because there aren’t enough maternity beds at hopitals in the Canadain city just across the border, and because they feel our medical services are superior to theirs.

        • Canadian, UK and Swedish public health systems all used to be great but then came partial privatization, “liberalization” or so-called public-private partnerships. Quality began to sink.

          Privatization always follows the same pattern worldwide regardless of what it’s being applied to: Defund, Defame, and Privatize.Money is bled out of the systems as corporations get their tentacles hooked in, quality declines, costs go up, the media begins to broadcast the predictable snowballing scandals, then the public model is declared a failure and voila, corporate privatizers rush in to “rescue” the systems like the firemen who set the fire.

        • I have properties near the Quebec border and lots of Montrealers and Ottawans have second homes in the area. Anything medically serious they come to the states.

    • Good news, UXWorld. The joke will be on them. Once they actually investigate the rules, they’ll find out they can’t pull that move.

    • I’m surprised KK and the Chlorine Special don’t try for the UK, free health care for all, regardless of contributions. ????????????

    • Too bad they did not move to Canada 3 years ago so your daughters could attend a fabulous Canadian university for just about free…Side benefit: living at least a long day’s drive away

  • Welcome to Canada, Chump Lady. I would happily sponsor you. Pack your bags.
    I would also happily piss on my cheater’s grave. After 32 years and 3 children, I was fired
    from being his wife. Let skanks #1 and #2 wipe his butt and his barf. My cruise ship leaves
    today at 5 pm. Tootles.

    • You’re awesome, Pat, if no one has told you today! Love your attitude!

  • During the wreck-on-ciliation phase my x, wrote me a letter begging me to stay “together or apart” so he could “explore and enjoy while still young enough”. He claimed it “wasn’t lechery but mercy” and when he was done, we’d grow old together because we had a bond divorce could not break… really, except for the hooker that reappeared the second he pulled out the money. Now 5 weeks post-service, he’s waiting on results of a brain and orbits mri. He’s nervous. Not nervous enough to continue trashing me (who had major surgery 2 weeks ago today) to our two sons, 18 & 20.

  • I know three older ladies who did this. I don’t know if it’s a generational thing or if it’s pity, or if these women are just saints.

    My ex is just the same as he was when we were married and during the divorce. He’s schmoopies problem now. Unfortunately since she is 11 years older than him, it will likely fall on our boys or his sister. But I really don’t care.

    If this is “Meh” , I really like it.

    • I remember in real time, my mother in law said “you would have taken care of him if he got sick” I said, well yes; that is what spouses do.

      I think she was worried that it would fall on her. He didn’t have his major heart attack until after she passed, so she didn’t have to worry about it. But, his care is on schmoopie. And since he/she blew up their relationship with our son and his wife, I doubt there will be much help from there.

      My son would do what he can for his dad, (though he won’t disrespect his own wife’s feelings) but when that is done; schmoopie can rely on her two grown assed loser sons. My daughter in law won’t even speak to them, so yeah; good luck with that schmoopie.

      I do pray for my ex’s health situation, and it is sincere, but no I don’t think even if I was single/and he were single; that I would go back in and help. Seems that would be inflicting pain on myself that is not needed.

  • I seen a Meme not long ago that said

    It’s not that I hate you , but if you were on life support I’d pull out the plug to charge my phone

    This is pretty much how I feel just now

    Can’t wait for meh !

  • This was my parents within the last six years. My dad left when I went to college leaving my mom in a big empty house. He resented her for selling it. She moved into her moms house who was no longer living. The problem with that was my dad built the house for her mom and both of their names were on the deed. He used that entitlement to enter and stay all the time. I think us kids accepted it because it was our norm but my mom was full of resentment. She was abused and had a right to her anger. When he got sick he went to her home and that’s where hospice came and he died there. My brother and I did the majority of caretaking but she was there. She and I was with him when he died and she was touching his arm. I think she was relieved that part of her life was over. She told me lots of things in the following years about her abuse.
    The ex had a second or third life. Who knows? He used that same form of entitlement to come into our home at his pleasure. I asked him to move out and he said he’d never leave this house but would move me and the kids out. I finally left hopefully breaking a link in the family abuse chain and teaching kids their value and that boundaries are good and necessary.

    • Her friends did question and pity her. Her sister who had to leave an abusive marriage thought my dad was the best because she thought he took care of my mom financially and my mom was bad at finances. That’s was how he portrayed her to her sister apparently. My mom wasn’t wealthy but managed perfectly well her entire life. I could blow her perception out of the water but my mom didn’t share with her so I’ll leave it be.
      Their mom kicked their alcoholic dad out and raised 5 girls alone. Three of five ended up in abusive marriages.

      • Last thing. They never divorced. I encouraged her to a bit but in her mind it was to find a new partner and she had no interest in that. My dad left but never filed anything legally. She always thought he moved to be near his real first love. My dad learned she told me that and he came to my home denying all of it. I thought it was so strange because he was so animated and adamant which was out of character for him. When I wrote the obituary, I did nothing to imply he was a loving husband or include the length of the marriage. That was a nod I could give my mom.

  • MISPLACED LOYALTY is what kept me in my MIRAGE (“marriage”) for so long. If I have a part in what happened to me, that is it.

    He way overpaid for Schmoops. High quality people don’t screw screw around with married people. High quality married people don’t screw around. He told me she said she would take care of him when he’s old. She put a picture of Celine Dion and Rene Angelil on the Facebook page, using my last name, to prove it.

    Well, we shall see. My experience is that pledging allegiance to a cheater or an affair accomplice is a bad idea. One that I have no intention of extrapolating into signing up for the geriatric care commitment down the road.

    I would love more than anything to have my divorce be the result of honest difficult conversations followed by truly irreconcilable differences with no infidelity, betrayal, soul murdering and discard of me and our daughter. I would give anything to be able to tell our daughter that he is the Nice Guy he pretended to be, that I love him, that he loves me, but we just feel too differently about very important things that prevent us from being the right partners for each other. That not everyone we love is a good partner for us.

    But I can’t and I refuse to stand in the way of the natural consequences of his choices. I talked to this man in therapy….for years….in good faith…and in response he lied lied lied lied lied. I cannot, for one more second of my life, grant access to my very precious life to someone who clearly and intentionally used a sledgehammer on me to within an inch of my life. But for the grace of God I did not start drinking, using, smoking, jump off the Golden Gate Bridge and leave my daughter without a mother.

    The Craigslist “Sole Mate” signed up for the commitment. Let’s see if she keeps it. I already know how those two regard loyalty and commitment and keeping agreements.

    • ” High quality people don’t screw screw around with married people. High quality married people don’t screw around.”

      I wish that every hurting chump could understand this, as quickly as possible. The adulterers are who they are, they can not escape themselves, that is their “karma” for those who hold to Karma. I just see it as the natural progression of our own decisions.

      I can’t escape who I am, faults and all, but I do try to be a decent person. I have never betrayed my ex, I never would have, so that is a plus for me. But he and schmoopie are who they are, and there was never any visible sign that they tired to be better people. They are both selfish people, and that has played out for them.

    • VH, Amen to all that!!

      Also mine also told me that the much-younger OW will take care of him when he gets old: “She said she will wipe the spittle from the front of my shirt.”

      I calmly responded, “I would have done that.”

      He said, “I know.”

      It was only hours later that I thought, “Wait. What about *my* spittle? Who will clean that? In sickness and in health–we had a deal.”

      As the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, my ex can be counted on to look after his own needs, present and future.

      I will never care for that man (physically or emotionally) again. “Hey schmoops, he’s all yours! Get the spittle cloth ready. I hear cloth diapers work well.”

  • This reminds me of something my daughter recently stated when we were discussing the distribution of my personal items which included items of my mother. She said, “Don’t put that on me.”

    This statement applies to all those out there who use guilt to justify a chump of being of further use.

    No one can use you unless you allow them to do so. Yet many like myself were champions of managing their image to others.

    • As a daughter I recently said the same thing to my 94 year old mother, when we were with her lawyer last month updating her will. There is a provision in it for a power of attorney for health care. All three of her children are listed as able to make decisions about care if she can’t. When it came to the provision on whether she would pre-specify her wishes about continuing life support, she didn’t want to specify, but to leave us to make that decision. I said, Mom, there are three of us, and you know we will not agree (my brother would not vote to discontinue under any circumstances). If you don’t make your wishes clear here, you will force us to do it, and there will be lasting enmity over it. My comment convinced her.

      PSA: if you haven’t updated your own will in the past decade, you should. The laws and possibilities around health care have changed.

      • I think the problem is most people don’t want to think about their own mortality, and their children don’t either. They rather believe they will have a pleasant death in their sleep, and a happy celebration of their life at their funeral. Finances will magically be there when needed.

        My dad and my surviving ex husband only valued money when they were young and thought they were invincible. Now they are both old and sick.

        My Dad has always made the choice to be cheap, and “frugal”, living without any comfort to show he could live like his pioneer ancestors. Some cartoon version of Paul Bunyan, in his mind. His ex wife and children were all called “weak” because they did not follow his example. Now he wants the comfort of my mother’s home, and my medically trained brother to provide him free health care while he recovers from his accident. Because he is the patriarch of our family, and entitled.

        My ex married a woman 15 years younger by telling her about his wealth and investments. She thought she would inherit it all. Both have become disillusioned by reality during their marriage. He is jealous that I was able to live my own life successfully and have my own home and retirement. I do not feel any obligation to provide any care for him. If his younger wife does not benefit in the way she expected to, I have no mercy for her, either. Both made their choices, now they can face the consequences. If she leaves him, that is her choice. She chooses to stay, so she still believes she will benefit.

        I am not wealthy, but I do not look to anyone in my family to provide care for me. My goal has always been independence, and so far, I have made it. I think about what to do with whatever is left of my life almost every day. Whatever I decide, it will be my choice and my consequence. I do not depend on either my father or my ex for anything. If my father leaves anything to his children it will be a surprise to me.

        If you don’t look to other people to take care of you, you won’t be disappointed. I think we all have the responsibility to do the best we can with what we have. I believe in charity for those who cannot take care of themselves, but that does not include my ex or my Dad. They could have made reasonable choices, they chose not to. That is their problem.

        You are absolutely correct with your advice to update your legal papers, and make your own final decisions. My mother has dementia now, and her mind wanders in and out of reality. I hope she meant what she said when she was younger, and my siblings will respect her choices from that time. We will see.

  • I love ACB and can’t wait until she confirmed. She’s a highly qualified nominee and will be an excellent addition to the SCOTUS.

    • I agree and I’m not religious, so her being a devout Catholic has no bearing on my opinion. She’s brilliant, charming and I believe she will stick to the constitution and not legislate from the bench.

      • She’s been a judge only 3 years and has no idea what is protected under the 1st amendment (watch the hearings!). This is a sham. It’s an obscenity. A direct affront to the legacy of RBG.

  • Thank you so much for addressing my question and more importantly, for cutting through the crap. In hearing these 3 confidences, I had 3 different responses — I guess based on how well I knew the people. For the friend who had been beaten, I kind of just said, “Fuck that! If your kids feel the need to help, they should do so, but it’s another form of a beating to even have the nerve to ask you.” For the co-worker, I said, “I couldn’t do that with my ex. He was too much of a shit.” For the most recent one, “I hope you have something in writing that gives you his condo when he’s dead.”

    I’d like to add a couple of thoughts about Amy. I became familiar with People of Praise over 30 years ago. We had hired a new junior programmer from Notre Dame and he was a member of the group. It became obvious how much he was involved when he would mention that he was living with a PoP family until he was married. He broke a couple of hearts — eventually coming to take the coaching his PoP family was providing and marrying within the PoP — someone they had found for him. He couldn’t get past the fact that the women available at work weren’t virgins. I lost track of how many kids they had. He was actively proselytizing at the work location and another woman in our department joined and pulled along her husband. Then they approached me (their manager) and asked if I would allow them to lead prayer at things like department meetings/lunches. I nixed that. In 1990, I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, told to put my affairs in order. The PoP did a healing ceremony over me (I’m Catholic … but not the speaking in tongues type of Catholic). I did not join PoP, but I did get more insight. And I continued with my chemo. Women were definitely subordinate 30 years ago. The PoP has formed communities around the US — Notre Dame, Indiana, a place in Florida, and in Washington, DC. Women weren’t forbidden to work, but there was definite hierarchy within the family unit. Families meet weekly for a common meal at different members house. They do give 10% to their local churches or maybe it’s 10% to the local church and the PoP combined. Amy — and the People of Praise — will view it as her obligation to her faith to vote as the PoP would vote. She will not have her own opinion, nor will she have an opinion based on other than what the PoP views as god’s law. She will treat this as a proselytizing opportunity. There is no separation of church and state to them.

    • I find that absolutely ridiculous in light of her previous record as a judge and an appellate judge. Her record speaks for itself.

      It can be asserted that MOST religions have an expectation where women are expected to be subordinate, yet this was never asserted with RBG (Jewish) nor Sonya Sotomayor (also Catholic).

      So bringing this flimsy disqualifier at this juncture is lame at best.

      • Neither RBG nor Sonya Sotomayer have ever demonstrated a desire to be female slaves to men. Most religions are trying to past female slavery. PoP however is explicitly trying to go back to it. Here is a quote from PoP founder:

        “Make it a joy for him to head you. It is important for you to verbalize your commitment to submission. . . . Tell him what you think about things, make your input, but let him make the decisions, and support them once they are made.”

        Given that philosophy, how can ACB be a judge? She is not allowed to make independent decisions or have her own opinion.

        • “Make it a joy for him to head you. It is important for you to verbalize your commitment to submission. .”

          FFS. It’s so depressing to discover there are still women who buy into this crap.

          Presumably she’d feel the same if she discovered he was cheating on her, putting her health and finances at risk? After all, she must” verbalise her commitment to submission”. I’ d love to ask the dumb bint *that* question. ????????????

      • Yes, Barrett’s record does speak for itself. Her record is what alarms those of us who value our reproductive freedom. I recognize your right to support her. I think you are wrong-headed and rude to criticize Chumplady’s choice to voice her opinion on her own blog.

        • Perhaps I should submit to Mr. CL and let him tell me what my opinion should be?

          (Cue loud laughter across the room…)

        • I think it’s fine CL voice her opinion on her blog. If she didn’t want anyone to voice one opposite of hers, then saying so like she did when RBG passed away, would have sufficed and I would not have done so.

          However, Tracey is not such a delicate flower that she can’t manage the idea that not everyone agrees with her opinion. If that’s the case, I’ll peace out.

          • I am just curious what you find to be so amazing about her qualifications?

            There are better qualified women and men who have more commonality with the average american.

            And its simply asinine to argue she will be an open and impartial judge.

            Aside from all that being a textualist isnt even what the framers intended, not that we should care overmuch about what a bunch of white men who thought only the elites would govern wanted in 2020

      • Judge Barrett has herself said that Catholic judges should recuse themselves from death penalty cases because they are”morally precluded from enforcing the death penalty.” Thus, she’s on the record with this concept of religious-based lack of impartiality. And there’s this, Judge Barrett also conveniently left off her PoP affiliation on her Senate questionnaire for her appellate court appointment. So, when people call into question her ability to be an impartial judge given her devotion to PoP and religion in general, they have sufficient cause. She has given sufficient cause to question her abilities in this regard, no matter how you feel about her textualism or originalism. Essentially, she has set her own precedent for the inability to separate church and state.

    • Emma, I’m glad you spoke up to your friends. You’re a true friend.

      Interesting insights on the PoP. Thank you.

  • I’ve run a similar scenario in my head (XW has been doing lots of elective traveling during covid, so it seemed best to be prepared). No way would I help care for her myself, but I decided that I would offer to help facilitate AP-now-husband’s care of her (I would take our kids more and ask AP’s XW if she could take their kids more, to free them up). That’s about the extent of my obligation.

    It helps that I know part of the reason XW traded me away is that I am so old and infirm that she was convinced she’d end up having to care for me in my old age (I’m 6 months older than XW. I just hit 50 and have zero medical issues. No prescriptions. Never been in a hospital before I had my appendix out 4 months ago. I don’t even wear glasses), so she found an AP who’s about 10 years younger. XW has already divorced me in order to escape caring for my entirely hypothetical future ailments, so I know exactly what her position would be. This may seem implausible, but it’s a direct projection of XW’s mother’s miserable life caring for her chronically ill father onto me. As with many things in our marriage, it now just seems like a shame that the kids and I are paying for something that could have been addressed pretty easily in therapy.

    • IG – please don’t bother trying to untangle her skein. You’re fabulous and she sucks bigly. Don’t waste another precious moment of your wonderful life running scenarios involving her thru your mind. Hugs & kind thoughts from your internet friend.

    • IG– Your ex, what a creep.

      Her attempts to make you feel like you were on your last breath sounds like a typical DARVO assault intended to leave you bleeding so she could delude herself you’d never be able to move on and to wallow in the sense of power she imagined she had. It was just sadistic bs from someone with a major personality disorder and she likely knew it was. It’s like Louis XV declaring, “Après moi, le déluge.” Life simply does not have permission to go on without them so narcs aim flame throwers as they go.

      Though the theme of the attack sounds like it originated in childhood trauma, the question is whether these cyborgs retain enough human DNA for that to even matter. I had an acquaintance who ran a company and interviewed a guy I’d known for a long time. The acquaintance got all misty about the story this guy told her of surviving a violent dictatorship. I just chuckled and she asked if I thought he was lying. I said oh no, he really had lived through the dictatorship, but his soul was so charred that even his own traumas became nothing more than bait or an alibi machine depending on whether he wanted something or was screwing you over. Whatever horrors he was up against in the past basically “won.”

        • Oh, CAN-A-DA!!! ????

          I’m not the great CL so won’t get a personal invite. But for the general masses here in CN, if we declare that we are chumps, will you take us in? Asylum for Chumps! ????????

          p.s. I love ice hockey and speak French (kind of). ????

  • That happened to my neighbor. He got cancer and she let him back into the house. She did It because “he was the man I married, so sweet and kind and loving.” Of course he was! He knew how to keep a good thing going!

  • My grandma took care of my cheating grandpa when he was sick with leukemia in the ’70s. They’d never gotten divorced, but she went home to the States when they were stationed in Argentina (he was in the foreign service) because he wanted to live with his mistress, who then didn’t want to care for a terminally ill man. Once he died, she never even dated anyone again, even though she lived for another 25 years. I think she definitely felt like it was her duty to care for him, that if she didn’t, she would be judged, especially since they weren’t divorced and she hadn’t made his affairs public. It’s pretty messed up.

  • I highly expect if my first ex becomes indigent and his wife dies or leaves him, my kids will ask me to nurse their dad. Nope. He wasn’t the cheater, but he was the beater and I have NO desire to take care of him ever. So I want him to die alone? Not my problem. We make our own beds and if he’s alienated the people who could see to it he didn’t die alone, then that’s his problem.

    Second cheater husband. Nope. If he hadn’t cheated on AP he might have a fighting chance. I’d like to say she’s chumpier than me, but she’s a cheater too, so she’s going to look out for number 1 if he’s got nothing for her. Should have thought ahead.

    • I once went to a party with a friend and recognized someone across the room. I told my friend “I must have met that person at last year’s party but I can’t remember her name. I’d better go talk to her so I don’t seem rude”. My friend told me I was looking at Kathy Bates and that I’m an idiot.

  • My wife’s XH affair become public when he had a heart attack and ended up at the hospital she worked at as a critical care nurse for years. Her manager told her he was in the Cath Lab getting ready for a procedure. She goes down to talk to doctors see how he is doing so she can tell their four sons. When she gets to his bedside he reaches out to take her hand and SHE SLAPS IT AWAY!
    My wife is an angel. She took care of her 90 year old father through 9 weeks of hospice, getting up three times a night to medicate and change him. He passed peacefully 1 week ago. But she knows her boundaries.

  • I’m sorry, but Ex-Mrs LFTT chose to cheat.

    In doing so she started off on a one way road and there is no turning back as far as I am concerned; she didn’t just walk out on me, but our children too. My liabilities in terms of “in sickness and in health” ceased in moral terms when she decided to cheat and in legal terms when she signed the divorce agreement (clean break).

    Unfortunately she is now dropping very heavy hints to our eldest two children (24 and 21) about the need for them to look after her in her old age, which is incredibly manipulative (and disingenuous) given what she did to us all and how she did it.

    The children take the same view I do; this is a “her problem.”

    • These folks are astounding.

      My ex told his schmoopie that his (our) son would take care of her in her old age. He never mentioned it to our son. When he and schmoopie blew up their relationshi9p with our son, schmoopie said “you said you would take care of me in my old age” Son said, I never once said that. Ex said, I told her that. He told son later that he only said it to shut her up. So he lied to his wife (schmoopie) abut that.

      Putting that aside son said, Dad you and schmoopie have lied to us, have called my wife and daughter names, and caused us all sorts of grief, how in the world do you think I would be able to convince my wife to take care of her, when she won’t even speak to you or schmoopie due to your own actions.

      He told Dad, schmoopie has two grown sons, she is their mother, I have my own mother, and I will help you or my mother in any way I can, but schmoopie has her own sons.

      Honestly, putting that aside, I think if I was hoping someone would care for me in my old age, I might have; oh I don’t know, treated them with respect. That is just how selfish and clueless ex and schmoopie are.

      • Susie Lee,

        You are absolutely on the money in your last para. As my father used to say “If you don’t want people to think you are a dick, don’t act like a dick ….. and if you act like a dick towards people, then don’t act surprised when they conclude that you are a dick and act accordingly.”

        Ex-Mrs LFFT’s behaviour towards our children was (and still is) nothing short of disgraceful; a direct quote from her own mother. I have told our children that their relationship with their mother is now theirs to define on terms that they find acceptable …… but should understand that she has no moral authority to demand anything from them.


        • Yep.

          I am remarried, but I would never expect my step children to care for me. They like me and we have had a good long relationship, but if I need assistance I would turn to my son. Also, I and my husband, have to the best of our ability provided for our own care in case it is needed.

          Same as with my husband, he and my son are good firends, but he would turn to his own children if he needed help. I have my son on my medical stuff as the POC equal to my husband, and my husband has his daughter on his medical records.

          That way they can find out anything they need to if they think we need help.

          Another example is when my ex and schmoopie were buying a house in FL, my ex was bitching to my son because the mortgage company was forcing him to buy mortgage insurance. My son said, Dad that is standard. At least if somethng happens to you then schmoopie would have a house paid for that she could sell or live in. She would be protected. Dad said and I quote “what do I care, I will be dead” That is how much he values schmoopie. Yet he expected our son to take care of schmoopie. Honestly, he really didn’t, he only told her that to shut her up. I doubt he cared on way or the other.

          They sold that house and now live in a fixer upper trailer. My guess is, there is no insurance to speak of.

          She knew what he was when she picked him up. That is one advantage she had over me.

          • S-L,

            I’m defiantly single and, if my children want to help me as I get older, that’s great, but there’s no expectation on my part or obligation on theirs. I try my best to model the right behaviours, and they have certainly all seen the support that I have provided to my mother and step father (and my Ex-MIL) over the last 6 months. I am proud that all 3 of them have wanted to play a part in this because it is the right thing to do for people you love.

            But that is very different from someone who has consistently f*cked you over demanding help on the grounds of a historic genetic link.

      • Reciprocity, reciprocity.

        These fuckwits cannot grasp the concept. It’s all entitlement, entitlement. It’s really quite amusing when they’re brought up short with someone who says noway arsehole. Cue sad sausage and violins. ????

  • “Make it a joy for him to head you. It is important for you to verbalize your commitment to submission. Tell him what you think about things, make your input, but let him make the decisions, and support them once they are made.” This quote is from a founder of People of Praise, the organization Amy Coney Barrett belongs to. It straightforward misogyny, regardless of whether anybody is left or right or up or down. I believe CL’s point is that this kind of misogynistic brainwashing helps push women to return to their cheaters and care for them in old age.

  • Does wishing for an opportunity like this to tell him to fuck off make me a bad person? While we were married, I took care of him while he had stage 1 cancer (he was very lucky). He behaved like the biggest victim in the world…told everyone I “wasn’t there for him” during that time (not true) and when I reminded him how I took him to the hospital, stayed with him in the hospital, etc, he told me an uber driver could have done that. I know what a user he is, and so I just know that if his cancer comes back he will reach out to me and expect me to care for him again. If that ever happened, I would take such pleasure in telling him to shove it.

  • And the children (especially female) children are also asked!

    I’ve always told people that even when my father was around, he was never around… for my mother, or anyone in our family. They divorced when I was 9. He really couldn’t be bothered with keeping a relationship with his children. As a matter of fact, when I was 19 I went to visit my father after YEARS of not seeing/talking to him and I was told by my Grandmother and the 2nd wife, that it was MY responsibility to keep a relationship with my father. Pretty much no contact after that. He never even met my son.

    Fast forward 35 some odd years and my father is alone, the 2nd and the stepkids out of his life. Dementia and heart failure coming up fast. Brother taking responsibility. Father dies. I get a phone call, can’t I kick in some $’s to cover the expenses Brother took on out of the goodness of his heart? Boy did the DNA guilt kick in. But I held firm. I’ve been taking care of my mother for years. She even moved in with me and my (now X) husband for several years in a VERY small house before we could get her into her own place. I keep an eye on her, send her $, food, etc. I never once asked any of my siblings for assistance.

    I was very proud of myself when I told my brother, nope. Couldn’t do it. While I respected his choice to take care of a father that had abandoned him, I had no such inclination, or obligation. Brother did not initially take this well, but I think he finally understood my decision, or at least didn’t openly challenge me on it.

  • Oh, HELL no. Let his current wife change his diapers or whatever (she’s 29 years old- he’s nearly 59). Yeah, he has clothing older than her. He’s also treating high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, ED, and heart disease runs in his family. Add his addiction to alcohol to the mix, and she’s in for a real good time…

    If she hangs around that long, I’ll be extremely surprised. She’s not terribly bright, so who knows?

  • Going with biblical analogies I have heard the story of Hosea and Gomer as God taking back the unfaithful Israel. “Forgive 70 times 7” I wouldn’t let my children’s mother go homeless if I was the only one who could prevent it.

    • Yep, same here.

      I would help my son behind the scenes if I could.

      I am remarried though, so my obligation is to my current faithful spouse, and he is married to schmoopie, so I doubt it will be an issue.

    • Huge difference between forgiving and being a doormat for people to wipe their feet on.

    • Oh please stop with Hosea and Homer! It is a metaphor about God and faithless Israel. Not meant to be taken as marriage advice. This gets trotted out by every church counselor. Mine sure did. Hosea totally enabled Homer and made an idiot of himself. It is the opposite of Jewish law and tradition.

  • When someone becomes ill, especially if they are elderly, the cost of care is always an issue. Children still see the elders as parents, and even though the parents are divorced, the idea of being a “family” is hard to deal with. I have 5 siblings, and we all have a different opinion, and tolerance level, for providing care for our elderly, divorced parents.

    We have had to deal with the issue of holidays for years. Neither of my parents remarried, but they live different lives. My mother has felt obliged to invite my father to her home or to dinner when we go to a restaurant, for “family” meals. So if the children want to see each other, we go and make polite conversation, and pretend to be a “family” for an hour or two. It is always awkward, and usually we are all relieved when it is time for my dad to go home.

    My dad is recovering from an accident in a rehab facility now. He is going to need care and out patient rehab after his insurance company decides he no longer needs to be in the rehab facility. My dad wants to come to my mother’s home to recover because her home is more comfortable, and because my brothers live there and help my mother now. She cannot drive, or do yardwork, or go grocery shopping by herself, or pay her bills without some help now. She has dementia, better sometimes than others. If she allows Dad in her home, she will be even more stressed than normal. She may feel she is obliged to do so. It is an expensive and tense and problematic issue no matter what. I don’t believe it is a good solution, but it is not my home and I am not the one who makes this decision. It will be interesting to see what happens.

    I know I am not mentally or physically prepared or able to deal with my dad as a patient. I could not deal with him when we were both much younger, and I don’t intend to add stress to my life by trying to do something I am ill suited for and do not want to do. If my mother allows this, and one of my brother’s agrees to be dad’s caretaker, I can not stop this from happening. It is like watching a slow motion train wreck. There are other alternatives, but they all will be more expensive, and there is an emotional cost which each of us pays in a different manner. It is not a pleasant situation.

    My takeaway is this situation is one I hope to avoid for my sons if and when I reach an advanced age or illness situation. I’ve already drawn my legal documents, but I have to think about my needs as I age, and I hope to make my own arrangements so my children won’t have to. I do not want to be forced to move into either of my children’s adult home and disrupt their families. My father has economic means to make other choices or arrangements, but he does not want to use his money to make anyone’s life any easier, and he has no consideration for my mother’s mental health. For him, this is an economic decision. For the rest of the family, it is an emotional decision.

    I don’ know if cheating ever entered into my parents marriage. There were accusations of it, but that was not the reason for the divorce. My father has always been a paranoid control freak, and this trait grew worse as he aged. He caused constant disruptions in our family life, and frankly all the children were relieved when my parents finally divorced after 40years of an unpleasant marriage. The children all left home as soon as they physically were able to. We may be biologically linked, and we did have some family moments that were not terrible, but our biological link never brought joy to anyone. For all these reasons, I think it would be best for my father to make other arrangements for his physical care. My mother should not be put in this position, and I don’t see how it can help her in any way.

    There are more considerations in these decisions than mercy or obligation, or forgiveness. Practical and logical considerations should also be considered, in my opinion. My mother doesn’t need rehab, and she doesn’t need additional stress. What are her “rights” in the family?

    • As usual, Portia, a considered, thoughtful, and humane response. Thanks for posting.

    • If your mother has some dementia, you or one of your brothers might consider using the services of an attorney specializing in elder law, who can assist with legal gaurdianship. If you were made gaurdian of your mother, you could then legally make decisions in her better interest.

    • One ex has railroad retirement and resources, the other is a military retiree.

      None of my kids will be obligated to take either on should either need extended care in the future.

  • This is a twist on the martyr thing, and every martyr secretly wants recognition. “Look what a great woman I am, even though you shit on me all those years ago. Maybe now you will finally see what you lost, grab my hand and with your dying gasp whisper what a huge mistake it was letting me go, as I am your one true love.” He doesn’t care about that, he be all “where you been, bitch, now get to cleaning up my shit!” (literally). I’m old, too, but people take this forgiveness thing way too far. We’re supposed to advance spiritually and progress in each life. Not eat shit in EVERY SINGLE ONE. Forgiveness does not include allowing others to use and abuse you. We are precious sentient beings who came here for a reason, not to be degraded. Let someone else change his dirty diapers and clean up the shit he’s lying in. You already did that.

  • I think it is partly to protect the kids. After all, who else is there? Sad, but true.
    At least people go in this with open eyes (I hope….although I suppose there is a bit of pick me dancing here).

  • I’m safe. My cheater would have to beg me and grovel. Something he will never do. But pretty much I’d just wish him well and tell him not to linger. I’m pretty certain my kids would never ask me.

  • I’ll happily sponsor you CL! Google Kenora, Ontario. It’s beautiful here and not the colour of dead grass. Since I found your blog, read your book and kicked out my cheater, I have lots of extra room!

  • Right after my ex moved out, but before the divorce was final, he told me he had been diagnosed with wet macular degeneration. I knew that eventually caused blindness and I believe that if he had told me that before I filed for divorce I might have stayed with him.

    Thanks God I didn’t! In the five years since the divorce I have learned so much about narcissism and realize he would have been even worse to me if he had been dependent on my care.

    I’m at risk of being asked to step in if anything happens because I’m an RN. But there is no way I will ever take care of him. I realize that the burden will be on our daughters but they will figure it out. And maybe by then they will have figured him out.

  • This is a very well timed post!

    I found out about my husband’s affairs while he was in the ICU this summer. I filed for divorce in September. He is due to be released soon, and the hospital wants to release him home.

    While he is (sadly, and for a limited time) legally allowed to reside in our home, I do not have to provide care for him. Luckily I have some other reasons why I can’t provide care, besides the impending divorce.

    He broke our contract (our wedding vows). I’m under no obligation to continue to uphold a contract that is void.

    • “While he is (sadly, and for a limited time) legally allowed to reside in our home, I do not have to provide care for him. Luckily I have some other reasons why I can’t provide care, besides the impending divorce.”

      Hun, you don’t need *any* other reasons.

      He’s a cheating lying fuckwit, and you have *zero* obligation to him. xx

  • There was a chump on this blog a few years ago, nearer the beginning, whose husband left her for his skank when she was battling cancer. She came through it thankfully but he and his skank were incredibly cruel to her. She was smart enough, however, to get the financials nailed down while he was still in skank heaven and got pretty much everything if I remember correctly. Not so long afterwards (but after the divorce) HE was diagnosed with terminal cancer and his skank couldn’t push him back off to the chump fast enough, even though she had no obligation to do anything for him. She was an incredible lady though and took over all the logistics of having him taken care of (though not in her home), and made all the decisions regarding his medical care and finances until he died. She did this for her own conscience, not for his benefit, and I have to take my hat off to her for the way she comported herself. I don’t think I could do the same but she was a very classy lady and did what she felt was right!

  • I absolutely would NOT lift a finger to help that a#%hole for anything. I am so sorry that any chump feels obligated to do so. “Let the dead past bury its dead.” Longfellow.

  • My sister married a man 24 years older, she was the other woman. Cheated on him within a year of marriage. They stayed married till his death, she wasn’t about to lose the money and assets. I stayed a year after I wanted a divorce, strictly to keep the assets. Just before I decided to leave, I discovered he had spent $400,000 , all our retirement money. Thanks to CL, CN I was grey rock that entire year. Without the wake up call from CL, I would have thought I should be kind to him, no matter what. Nope, just wish I knew all this years ago.

  • Cheaters feel entitled so this is not a big surprise.

    I know a woman who divorced her husband at age 60, after realizing that he’d secretly spent the majority of their retirement savings on booze and drugs. Within a few years following the divorce, the ex-husband had blown through the rest of his savings and was forced to move out of the country to somewhere he could live on his meager social security. He had the audacity to ask his ex-wife to move with him. She told him, “No, we are divorced”.

  • He is already dead to me ………

    NO – NO – NO way in hell would I ever do that. I too know of women who in an older generation that have taken care of the cheater that robbed her of everything. One even paid for his funeral. Some do it out of religious beliefs and a few others it as a duty and a mission for the good. A few of the XH aunts did this and I was simply stunned. Til death do us part !!!!

    My xh did such a royal number on me for the 3 decades I was committed, that I don’t have anything left in me that gives a shit. My 3 kids have continued in a relationship with him after our divorce (5 yrs now) so I figure he will reach out to them first when he starts falling apart. No my problem anymore.

    I remind myself of the times while we were marred when he was cheating on me while I was sick had surgeries, helping ailing parents, children who were sick, Just Life and he was only concerned with his penis activities. His priorites were not mine and there is no more liability on my part….. Bye

    • Fireball…..”….he was only concerned with his penis activities.” Right there! It’s a *hard* no for me.
      (pun intended)

  • Since both my cheater exes are six feet under, for me it is a moot point. Cheater ex#1 was a cheater and a beater, so if he were still around, the answer would be no, absolutely not, ever. Cheater ex #2, would be a hell no, and enjoy your karma fuckwit. (Indulging my inner bitch here.)

  • I just did this for my ex who cheated on me and left me for another. She didn’t make it to his dying bedside but old faithful (chump, me) did. I did it for my grown kids. Only one person allowed in the room during covid19. He did say something kind to me right before he passed. Would I recommend anyone else do this? NO!

  • Just got out the popcorn after seeing coverage on the most recent May-December (or maybe August-November) celebrity cheating scandal on my phone feed last night. It seems 50 y.o. married British actor and father of 5 Dominic West (who? Oh that guy), minus wedding ring, was drunkenly snogging with 31 year old Lily James in Rome.

    The first thing that came to mind was a puffy, middle aged James changing the bedpan of a crumbling elderly West– though, of course, both might still have enough money by then to outsource the crap jobs.

    But suddenly he’s back with wife in the UK spackling like mad with a staged marital kiss. It looks like his cheater intuition was on full blast and he ran back before his wife’s shellshock wore off.

    Apparently their youngest is 7– old enough to understand the schoolyard bullying over what dad did but too young to have any psychological defenses against it. Tragic.

    It’s going to be interesting to see what happens to the careers of West and James now. I predict they’ll both get a sudden rash of job offers but that, in the end, the public won’t bite.

    See, I’ve figured something out about the current spin defending cheaters (a la Perel and junk evolutionary theory) and defending side pieces with this misplaced proto-feminist anti-slut-shaming rhetoric: It’s all corporate-driven backlash against #MeToo.

    Susan Faludi’s 1990’s book, “Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women” documented the demented lengths that the corporate media goes to every decade or so in order to undercut progress and drive advocates for change to despair. Faludi (who followed up with a book on how men are also screwed by the same toxic system) was very clever in substantiating the case. The author surgically took apart the junk science used by the media to support both blatant and subtle media campaigns demeaning women and arguing against equal rights, and how even the bottom line and profits come second to maintaining the gender status quo.

    After the Roger Ailes’ scandal at Fox and the Weinstein take-down, it’s pretty clear that a lot of this regression is subjectively driven. The pervs in power can’t outright romanticize rape these days but it’s doable to minimize the impact of adultery (Perel’s first book languished and didn’t start getting real media attention until #MeToo fired up) and defend side pieces (Monica Lewinsky suddenly in every other headline and awkwardly and improbably tied with #MeToo )– lest a generation of student loan debt-encumbered and still underpaid young women begin to feel less enthused about taking up with rich old fuckwits.

    In other words, I think the recent explosion of defenses of adultery are a coordinated, astroturf, oblique attack on anti- sexual assault campaigns in the traditional muddy-the-waters and scramble-the-discourse style.

    It’s not like corporate media boards consciously plan these things or that they sat through power point presentations of the study showing a relationship between “rape myth acceptance” and “infidelity tolerance” and decided to promote the latter in order to soften up public views of the former. Instead it’s just collective, knee-jerk DARVO on a corporate scale– an instinct about what kinds of social messaging might make the plebs uppity or quell them.

    And I think the reason this is happening is that, despite James’ fans wailing that she’s not a homewrecker and Perel’s viral minimizations, public views of adultery are as harsh as they’ve ever been but, in the modern era, they’re as harsh towards male adulterers as they have traditionally been towards female adulterers. As the study on rape myth acceptance shows, when attitudes towards adultery turn sour, so do attitudes towards rape and then the Epsteins and Aileses go down.

    Just food for thought.

    • Thank you, Hell of a Chump. This is very enlightening. I read the rape myth study (was it you who provided the link here?). I hope there will be more research to change the narrative.

      • GC– I did post the rape myth acceptance/infidelity tolerence study link but may not have been the only commenter who did.

        In any case, it always smacks of “backlash” campaigns– a la Faludi’s research– when media spin runs directly counter to public polls. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, most of the public in the US thinks adultery is worse than human cloning and suicide. The NY Times– the go-to faux-liberal “manufacturer of consent” for a range of iniquities from drone strikes on wedding parties to rape of children (seriously– Google Susan Dominus) — imediately published an op-ed claiming this was a conservative view (because bonobos!) and ignoring the other finding in the same poll– that acceptance of gay marriage was up 20%.

        Spin and social engineering. Apparently opinion leader readers of the Times don’t lije this public intolerence of infidelity. It might make prospective side chicks hesitate and then where would faux lib fuckwits get action?

  • Quote Beth Dutton (Yellowstone) ” I wouldn’t let the cocksucker pay for my funeral “

  • This is very interesting & the first time I have seen it discussed on CL. I have seen it in real life, back when I was in college. A friend’s mother separated, lived apart in the same town, and helped him when he was ill. I admired everything I saw her do back then, starting with separating from him. My friend still loved her dad & saw him often. As an idealistic Christian in my 20’s, I admired the mother for being able to do that. Now, as a realistic 60 year old who’s been chumped, I am not so sure.
    To me, the phrase “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” has been important, and that is also what made me a chump, assuming that my husband lived that philosophy also. I still have not divorced yet, and since I am older, it is scary. I don’t live around my own family. I made few close friends in the 20 years I have been in this town. I never had trouble making friends in the towns I lived in prior, so I think my ability to trust others & to let them know me was deeply affected by being emotionally abused. Half of our children are now grown & out of town. I have one disabled son who lives with me, and another son starting off on his own who lives about an hour away. Recently, I have had 2 instances of needing someone to take me to the hospital. Luckily, I could do all my own self care once I got home. My husband did the hospital runs & the physical therapy until I could drive again. I think he does it for 3 reasons: 1. his default is to be agreeable and to “help” even if he has to bow out later. 2. it would be shameful in the sight of others if he did not, and 3. it gives him kibbles from others to show up & pretend to be concerned.
    If/when we divorce, I wouldn’t want to depend on him, but a worry that keeps me stuck is, who do I ask to help? Not only for my rare needs, but also those of my disabled son. There is no answer right now & I would have to trust that someone would help me if I asked. It feels like jumping off a cliff. I know I always try to help my friends & neighbors, and even enjoy being asked to help, while at the same time I try not to be the one who always asks favors.
    I have noticed that few men maintain social niceties & rely heavily on their wives. I bet after divorce that gets worse. My husband is so isolated in his own world, that he would take the easiest path of asking, or assuming, that a family member would take care of him. I could see myself being divorced & falling into the trap of him getting sick, asking me for assistance, & I would say to myself, “well, I would want him to do the same for me.” (A long term marriage of 36 years makes hard to break habits!)
    I work with older people in health care & I see the parent/child relationships evolve. I often imagine that I will have a son or daughter that lives near me that can help if I really need it. In fact, I almost assume this will happen gradually over the years, as I have reciprocal, loving relationships with them. But my husband has become an emotional stranger to all of us. That would make the decision of what to do, how much to do, and how to be involved much more difficult. Almost to the point of, would I rather deal with it than let my children struggle? I know that is more chumpiness, or codependency, or whatever unhealthy behavior is called. It’s just so hard to clean up the messes these cheaters make of their life & everyone else’s!!

  • My cheater too gave me a hard time, he left me in 2014 to be free to travel to Siberia and date Russian woman. Totally obsessed by Russia. But it did not work well. He still lives alone. He got a heart attack last summer. He is not allowed to go to a cold place, can’t drink alcohol and can’t have sex for a long time.
    Does it make me laugh ? No. I admit that I would be annoyed if he had managed to build that perfect exotic life while I remained stuck in our former home. But I never wished him any harm. He spent many years in my company, at the end it must have felt like a rut, and I guess he deperately needed fresh air and adventure. I had much of that in my youth, he did not.
    When I broke my ankle in 2017, he came twice a week and offered to buy groceries. He keeps the dog when I go on holiday. Every 4 months or so, we meet for a hike or a bicycle ride.
    I have a boyfriend, an old university friend. But I am older now, and it’s not as important. I love to be on my own too.
    I don’t want the people I have loved at some point to suffer, and if they are sick and lonely, I will help if I can. I will just make sure that it is not detrimental to me in any way.

    • I think attitudes towards exes depend on how douchey, manipulative, gaslighting and abusive they were during the relationship and whether the person they pretended to be had any bearing on who they really were underneath.

      • Yep, there is definately no one size fits all.

        For instance, I see a lot of folks bragging about being friends with their ex’s. That is fine. But, no way would I be friends with my ex or schmoopie. Unless you define “friends” as being civil to each other at family events where both attend. Yes we can do that.

        But hanging out friends, no. Same with my H. Neither he or his ex cheated, but she hurt him, and he of course would be civil at shared events, but not paling around.

        He did go to her funeral, as did I. I gave him and his kids time alone before the funeral to pay their respects to her. But, she never remarried. My H also offered to help with funeral expenses, but his son insisted on doing it himself. She had nothing, as she had run through all the money in their settlement, and she was really bad with finances. His son created a nice service with reasonable costs. (she was cremated, as that was her wish)

        I would not attend my ex’s services, nor would he mine I assume. My H and I did send flowers when schmoopies 20 year old son died in a motorcycle accident. That was tragic. He had been drinking. It was also in part for my son, who had tried to help him straighten up, unfortunately to no avail. I know it hurt my son when it happened.

        So “friends” is dependent on the situation and the definition.

        • I’ve maintained good relations with a few exes for a long time but learned something about one that made me decide to nix that affiliation. The latter never did anything harmful to me but it’s a deal breaker to learn he harmed someone else.

          I’m sort of tough that way. One guy I’d known since childhood made caustic remarks about a friend of mine behind her back at her birthday party. I think he had a thing for her and expressed it in a juvenile way. I never spoke to him again. Apparently he’s totally baffled about why I went NC. It wasn’t just the attack on her but how he seemed to want to compromise my friendship with her by trying to make me a party to it. Triangulation = personality disorder. G’bye.

  • It’s not only women, though. My mother cheated with the neighbour when I was 5 which I remember. I have 2 younger sisters. She left our dad and married the OM, my step-dad. They have been married for over 35 years now. My mother had a stroke a few years back and is now permanently disabled and suffers memory loss. My step-dad is her full time carer now and has to put up with her now childish mental behaviour, and constant medical care.

  • Kamala doesn’t get a pass and I have always voted Democrat. She sucked Slick Willie Brown’s willy to launch her political career. He was a mayor of San Francisco and is still married but with gf Sonya now.

    Lots of narcissists work in politics

  • Never. Ever. I would sooner live under a bridge than care for dim in his decrepitude (spoiler: he’s already there).

    Canadian Chumplady! A unimaginable loss for the USA, a happy day for Canada. If you need a sponsor – you have simply to ask.

  • I have only seen women do this to get the deed on their ex’s property. Though I have seen a few chumps pine away years waiting for their ex to come to his senses and come back the them.

  • XW decided to have laser facial peel done on her Christmas vacation from the school where she taught 1st grade. It went poorly and she was in agony and oozing all over her face. I comforted her and cared for all her needs. Then I cooked Christmas dinner for her ingrate family. She was in bed for almost two weeks and barely made it back to work. Two months later she wants a divorce and I discover she has a younger boyfriend. That bitch had me care for her while plotting against me with schmoopie! I even got stuck with the bill in divorce.
    Would I care for her as an invalid?

    • Were you the letter writer with the cheating wife who was a first grade teacher who wrote in to CL maybe last month? “Grown ups use their words, not their genitals” was gold and will always stick with me.

      • She did, but I could not cheer when she got breast cancer. Her mom died from it and the reconstruction surgery went bad and had to be redone. I am very proud of our sons who stuck by her.

  • If necessary, I can certainly see helping your adult child navigate getting end-of-life care for their other parent (give advice, help them organize papers, etc.). This I would do, only to alleviate my kid’s burden and considering it was my union with their other parent that, in some way, contributed to their burden. But, in no way would I ever step into the role of personal caretaker to someone who betrayed and abused me. Hard pass.

  • The short version: We were married almost 35 years. He started cheating as far as I know now after his mother died and a significant job loss around year 25. When he lost the job, they offered us a portable disability policy they had for all their VPs. He asked me to handle this, and so based on knowing he had family members diagnosed young with cancer, I chose to continue paying for the disability policy “just in case.” I was worried about putting kids through college.

    Over the next 10 years he worked at 8 different companies, all out of state, and had numerous affairs, 2 of them long-term and overlapping. He fought the divorce even after he moved in with one AP. Finally, 10 years later and shortly before the divorce was finalized, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Only then, living with one AP and visiting another secret AP for weekend rendezvous, did he begin to suggest he’d come home so I could take care of him. He played the Catholic card & reminded me of the “in sickness and in health” vow. I was torn. I found a great Catholic therapist to help me figure out what I wanted to do.

    I realized that I had done all I could or should do and I knew that I could live with myself if I let go of my need to take care of him. (Thank you Chump lady too!) Fortunately, the disability policy I’d kept paying for kicked in and he received monthly payments of tax free income, totaling a lot of money over the next 9-10 years. Everyone kept telling him that I was a saint and he should be kissing the ground I walked on. Hahaha. He didn’t! Sadly, he used this windfall to take more dates on cruises and to fine restaurants, propping up the grandiose image. The policy recently stopped when he reached age 65. I feel sorry for anyone who takes care of a cheating spouse. I know people who have done it, friends of my parents’ generation. I’m busy getting a life.

  • In 1988, my then-husband strangled me and dumped my unconscious body on the highway with the clothes on my back and my dog. (This was after the two marriage counselors we were seeing told me he had learned his lessons, was cured of being abusive and was safe for me to live with again. Why did we have two marriage counselors? Because the first one noted that he didn’t respect women and wouldn’t take advice from one. She brought in her male colleague to work jointly with us.)

    After my husband attempted to murder me and very nearly succeeded, he found a lump in his testicles. Reading between the lines, Father Steve found the lump while they were cavorting between the sheets. (The same Father Steve who said it wasn’t cheating because if there’s no possibility of procreation, it isn’t actually sex.) The then-husband, who I will call Tom (because that is his damned name) was admitted to the hospital for a cancer work-up. He called me at my work (because I had only returned to our home once, to load up a U-Haul while he was at work, so he didn’t know where I lived) to beg me to come to his hospital bed to see him. I said no.

    The next day, a Dr. Jones (or whatever his actual name was) called me at work in the intensive care unit to tell me I *had* to come visit Tom in the hospital, because he has cancer and arrangements will need to be made for him to move in with me so I could care for him. Oh, HELL no. I gave Dr. Jones my mother-in-law’s phone number and suggested he call her. He called me back the next day and said that my mother-in-law is not prepared to care for Tom, and I needed to come to the hospital to see him and get some education on the care required.

    As it turns out, Tom didn’t actually have cancer (or if he did, it wasn’t the fatal kind, since a friend of mine located him on Facebook), but I did show up at the hospital the day after my third phone call from Dr. Jones and perhaps the umpteenth from Tom. I told both Tom and his doctor that since Tom had nearly succeeded in murdering me, I would not be caring for him in any way, shape or form and did not wish to be contacted by either of t hem again until Tom’s signature was required on the divorce documents. If he didn’t want his mother to care for him, either, I could certainly understand that, but it was his problem and not mine.

    More recently, Mr. Sparkly Pants called about six months after I left him to complain that he was having a neurological work-up for some troubling symptoms, and would I come back and take care of him? We were still married at that point, and I considered it my duty. I actually considered taking it all the way to my therapists office. After an hour with her, it was a hard no. Obviously, I got the GOOD therapist finally, after all of these years!

  • My practiced response to sicko ex: “You’re not dead yet? Try harder.”
    I wouldn’t give him a glass of water if he was on fire. A glass of gasoline, yes.

  • No way I’d do this. I did take care of him for almost two years while married and that was already miserable, and he began blameshifting and picking fights right after he got better. No way I’m taking care for him after divorce. Sure, if he was dying in front of me I’d still call an ambulance, but that’s about it. I am not even sure I ever want to do that again for anyone else, nor do I expect anyone else to actually want to do it for me. I now know about several stories like mine – lovely partners before injury/illness, blameshifting cheaters the minute they are back to being independent.

    One of these people I know had widespread cancer and he miraculously survived. His partner took care of him. Now all she asks of him is that he eats with her, as she’s doing all the cooking, but he just won’t come home on time. One day he was complaining to me about it, and his words were “I almost died, so now I do what I want.” I didn’t know what to answer, as this happened while I was still in shock (he didn’t know what had happened to me).

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Schmoopie’s mother has done this: she’s now taking care of the husband that left her for his other, second family. He still loves his other family more, even though they won’t care for him. I can’t wrap my head around any of this family’s reasoning, nor could I when we were still “friends”, but it did make me understand why Schmoopie keeps forgiving abusive partners, since most likely all of them are still better than her dad (all of this info is coming from before I went NC).

  • My ex was infamous for his lack of sympathy for any “misfortune” our family suffered. All he ever did was point to someone else who had it worse. It was constant “pain Olympics” with that fucker and someone else was always taking all the medals. When our teenage daughter was diagnosed with Epilepsy we weren’t allowed to feel bad that she had a chronic, life threatening illness because “other children have cancer.” When my beloved Dad died of complications of early onset dementia I was not allowed to grieve because “he was no longer suffering and I should be glad for him.” Those are just a few of many, many examples. If he is ever dumb enough to come to me and expect sympathy, much less caregiving, I will tell him that there is someone in worse straits somewhere in the world and my sympathy and care will be reserved for them.

  • Call me a bitch, but if my ex was engulfed in flames, I wouldn’t even stop to piss on him.

  • I love this post!

    X once said (after all the cheating mindfuck, before I found CL), that even though he doesn’t know what will happen in the future, all he knows is that if he is on his deathbed, that I would be the last person he would like to see before he dies. He’s one to utter stupid meaningless, grandiose nonsense, which was a bright red flag in and of itself.


  • Story of one close friend:
    Parents moved from South America to US, mid 70’s, for his “job”. He then starts traveling to their country of origin and one day he travels and for 6 months comes up with excuse after excuse to not come back home. This is the 70’s so not easy to get plane tickets or know much about what’s going on. Around a year after her dad is in their Country, her mom gets on a plane leaving her here with friends and when she arrives at her in-laws, her husband is married to another woman with one child on the way. They treat her mom like she is a pariah and she comes back to the US, almost become homeless, gets a job as a maid, meets this great guy to whom she is married to this day and raises my friend as his own daughter. Two years ago, her real dad has a stroke, the woman to whom he was still married imediately leaves him, my friend’s mom wants to bring him to the US to live with them. My friend tells her mom:’
    “you do that and I swear I never speak to you again”. He’s my dad (they had some contact over the years) and I will pay for a nurse there to take care of him. The man now is living in a shitty place, wears diapers, and her mom is doing super well. The end.

  • My X has a scorching case of Cowardly Lying Assholery.

    It is a pre-existing condition that makes him ineligible for my care.

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