Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Should I Send Her the Tape?

Dear Chump Lady,

First of all thanks very much for your book and blog about which saved my life when I discovered my husband’s affair last year. We had been together for 21 years, married for 15 and for the last 12 years he’d been sleeping with his former howorker.

The affair started two weeks after my second failed fertility treatment and his contraceptive sloppiness likely explains why my Fallopian tubes mysteriously blocked themselves a couple of years later. As a result, I was unable to have kids but the due to a serious (and related) accident the day after I found out, I never got tested so any STI wasn’t identified at the time.

He’d previously invited the howorker over for dinner — she was as dim and cheap as they all are so I never saw her as a threat. She knew we were having fertility treatment.

For the last seven years of the marriage, he was living the full double life, pretending to her we were divorced. She’d never met any of his family or been to his imaginary apartment, and they never spent Christmas together so unless she really is that dim, she must have suspected. He chose to work abroad for many years which made it easier to juggle things, and pretended too that he had erectile dysfunction.

His behaviour post D-day was horrifying — he was mainly in the rage channel with a heavy dose of blameshifting.

I was so scared I started taping his visits to the house. To my amazement after a brutal discard, on his final visit he did a full hoover. He told me he loved me, wanted to get back together and that I was always the “main person” (gee thanks) and he “never saw himself ending up with her”.

I saw through the phoniness — I think it was all about trying to get me to negotiate directly without lawyers — and told him get lost. He then accused me of “unilaterally ending our marriage” (funny I never signed a consent form for the cheating).

However, it seems he has “ended up” with her and they are about to move to new city where he’ll be able to isolate her from anyone who might pick up on his abuse (he is full blown narc with a side dish of psychopathy). And I find myself in possession of a rather spicy tape that might put a dampener on their twu wub.

I am pretty much at meh with both of them — they absolutely deserve each other, she will never be able to trust him and they are safely out of my way. But there is a part of me that just wants to toss that grenade on my way out. Should I just let them take each other out of the dating pool or add a little fire to those trust issues?

Many thanks

Chumpawumba

Dear Chumpawumba,

Leave the pin in your grenade.

She has been a side-dish for TWELVE YEARS. Did I read that right? TWELVE YEARS. Seven of which were full on farce. (aka “I have an apartment, but you can’t see it.”) This woman eats cognitive dissonance for breakfast.

Whatever evidence you present her with — an audio tape, a full confession, a hologram from her future doom — she will continue to believe what she wants to believe.

How do I know? Because she’s been on a steady course of evidence-denying for years. There’s a significant segment of our society who believe in lizard overlords. They’ve got nothing on this woman. Many people take great comfort in their delusions.

I get the impulse to lob truth bombs at Schmoopies, but it rarely works out the way you hope — messing up their twu wuv. This is why sending the tape is a bad idea:

1.) It solidifies their centrality. She won the pick me dance. And she thrills to the “competition” — that’s why she stuck around for 12 years. Did he beg for his marriage? Well, that was just you “winning” that battle of his attention, but SHE won the war! Spackle, spackle, spackle. Their takeaways will be that you CARE. Kibbles! You CARE if they break up. Kibbles! They will cling together tighter against the threat of His Crazy Ex-Wife. Kibbles!

Stepping away from this madness is the biggest fuck you grenade there is.

2.) She knows what he is. She’s not a victim. I’m all for telling unknowing chumps — she’s not a chump. She’s a co-conspirator.

they are about to move to new city where he’ll be able to isolate her from anyone who might pick up on his abuse (he is full blown narc with a side dish of psychopathy)

I understand the impulse to warn the next one, I really do. But she believes her specialness makes her impervious to harm. He’s Only Shitty to Other People. That works for her… until it doesn’t.

3.) If it feels good don’t do it. This is the Mr. CL axiom. He’s a trial lawyer. That’s what he tells his clients. Resist retaliation. Even (especially if) they deserve it. It doesn’t look good in court and you don’t know what the unintended consequences could be. You say this guy is a psychopath? Don’t poke his cage. Get out, stay out.

Chumpawumba, he’s a freak, but he’s her freak now. No tag backs.

After awhile, you won’t care about the evidence, the dating profiles, the bag of receipts or whatever. It will just be part of story you’re glad you’re not part of any longer.

Wishing you peace in the New Year.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I understand this so much. I have had to hold my horses so many times. Whoa seems to be my watchword.

    So this year not only did I file for divorce and a protective order, but I joined Al-anon as well. That’s for people who have alcoholics or addicts in their life. And I have had many.

    One of the big things that I’ve learned is to stay in my own hula hoop. Anything that affects me is in that hula hoop. I’m not to step into anybody else’s hula hoop.

    There are others in this drama. And I am not to step into their hula hoops. Here I am in my own awesomely beautiful life. I’m not going to try to educate anybody else. They wouldn’t listen to me anyway.

    I’m hoping this year brings me even more peace and contentment. As Bob Ross always said, you need the darks to be able to paint the light. The ex and that life those are my darks. This new life is the light.

    I am painting a whole new me and I don’t care what’s there in the dark. That’s my past. and unfortunately it’s some other woman’s future but that’s totally up to them. Forgive me for not caring. But I know that if somebody had warned me, and they did, I still would have married him. There is none so blind as she who refuses to see.

    • Al Anon is a great group! I’m so glad you said them. It’s some of the best therapy out there for only a $1.00 a meeting. To me, it’s not just for friends/family of alcoholics, it’s for people who have co-dependent relationships….this as we all know includes us chumps. You can literally scratch through alcoholic in most of the literature and replace it with narc, cheater, ho-bag (whatever adjective of your choosing) and learn very valuable lessons! This program was part of my healing and it helped me in so many ways reclaim my sanity. It helps you stay in your lane, get off the crazy bus, set boundaries, and find your meh. Good call Muthachumper👍 Also, to Chumpawumba – it’s easy to throw the grenade but don’t! The repercussions aren’t worth it! He sounds like a psychopath and with that fuckedupness comes a whole lot of crazy hate that he will not only use it with friends and family but in court as well. It’s NOT worth dealing with this A-hole years from now in court because of this tape. I speak from experience as I am 8 years out and had to deal with mine for years with our kids. The only thing that stopped him was a psych. evaluation report that pointed out his blatant lies, hate and control issues. I have had to whip that thing out more times than I can count now and it stops him dead in his tracks….every single time! It’s not worth your sanity or your money. Save yourself. Peace be with you and Happy New Year!

      • There are no dues or fees associated with the 12-Step groups, including Al-Anon.

        When the basket is passed for donations for group expenses, a gift is optional. In some groups, if you need a dollar, you may take one out on its way by.

      • I needed the reminder too!! I recently found some old photos on a app from a few years ago and it triggered me a bit. My ex’s OW also sent text messages to harass me until I finally blocked her. Ah. Not my circus anymore

    • I love that phrase about needing the darks to see the light. Really helped me today to read that. STBXW is my dark and boy I need to go towards the light and make the new year a far better one.

    • I love Al-Anon too! I started attending when I was in high school. After Dday, I went back and it is a lifesaver! One of the first steps to having a peaceful life is admitting to myself that I am powerless over others. I forget! But, it’s so true. If I had the power to make my XH stop cheating and commit to me and our children, trust me, I would have. I couldn’t— I tried everything.

      Al-Anon meetings are on Zoom all over the world now. The Pandemic has made it possible to attend meetings all over the world. We are all the same, I find.

      Now I focus on me and building my life. I’m a great investment!

      • Happy New Year MotherChumper & precious Family,
        Your light shines so bright in my little corner of the world.
        Thank you for letting it shine to help new Chumps.
        It is a horrible journey, you make it so much easier by showing them the way.
        I remember your first chapter here. You have come so far!

        You remind me of the song “ This Little Light Of Mine”

        Thank you for letting it shine.
        ❤️

      • I too love alanon and it was when I started recovery that my alcoholic, nasty, now ex-husband imploded.

        Yay alanon. What a godsend. Working on step 3.

        • My favorite step 3 tool is Emmett Fox’s booklet…The Golden Key.

          Google it…also on Amazon.

    • I love this metaphor and will take it moving forward. Makes a ton of sense both for exes and schmoopies but also for friends and colleagues as well. One question I have is what do you do when the other hula hoops are your children’s hoops?

      • There is a saying in the 12-step program to which I am a member: “God doesn’t have grandchildren.” Meaning, my children have their own higher power and it’s not me. I can do what is appropriate for me to do, but I have to let the rest go and let God/HP/the Universe handle the rest.

    • My decades in Al Anon saved my life when DDay hit. The teachings are completely applicable to the trauma of infidelity and it was the one clear immediate thought I had for which I am extremely grateful.

      If I did not have every ounce of recovery I had on DDay, I don’t know what would have happened to me.

      I got into recovery in OCT 1985 and I have been there ever since (Al Anon, ACA, CoDa, AA, CA, outside help). Any Chump here who needs help…I am here for you. You can get my info from Tempest.

    • Yes, a similar group (Celebrate Recovery) saved my life. Truly. They gave me the vocabulary and friends to make sense of it all. My ex had addiction issues along with the rest, so I had a lot to work through.

      A friend of mine who went through something very similar often comments on how he now has a low-drama life. Everyone in his inner circle doesn’t manipulate and owns up to their issues if there’s a problem. That’s the place to be.

    • Thanks, Muthachumper for ALL of this >>>” I’m not going to try to educate anybody else. They wouldn’t listen to me anyway.

      I’m hoping this year brings me even more peace and contentment. As Bob Ross always said, you need the darks to be able to paint the light. The ex and that life those are my darks. This new life is the light.”

      How timely that just last night I stopped on over at Dr. George Simon’s blog after not visiting it in a long time and his current posts have to do with being the light in the world https://www.drgeorgesimon.com/being-the-light-you-want-to-shine/. And to stop concentrating and giving attention to the darkness (our pathological, character disturbed cheating exes and their immoral schmoopies).

      I do believe there should be a time period that we educate ourselves about the “dark side”, so that in the future we don’t make the same mistakes again. That we run and not spackle from people who lie, manipulate, gaslight, etc us! But a time should come that we move away from the darkness and let the light shine that is within us. That light that is in me is what made me Grade A Narc Kibbles or what’s also know as Narcissistic Supply. As Dr. Simon said, “For the ultimate tragedy of our times is that decent, naturally luminous people get snatched from the light within them by disturbed characters and have a hard time finding their way back.” That has been the case for me. I’ve dimmed my light way down, because in the past my light has attracted the wrong people and they’ve used my light against me to hurt and use me. But there is no joy living in the darkness. As CL has taught us, our goal is to get to meh. No longer giving any of our time or energy to the Dark One’s and all their Flying Monkey’s.

      For quite awhile I felt I had to educate everyone about narcissism, sociopathy and psychopathy. Well, I’ve learned that the majority of people don’t care, because they’ve never had their life blown-up by one of these dark souls. Besides CN, I only have two other people in my life that I can have active conversations about the topic and that’s because narcissism has affected their lives too.

      Tomorrow we start a new year. What can I/we/you do to start to moving towards the light and farther away from the dark that was our past with a pathological lying cheater?

      Happy New year, CL and CN! And to all the newly chumped that are reading today; it does get better every single day. One day the pain will stop. One day you will not care about your X and the OM/OW. One day you will realize you are free from a life with a fxckwit. You will realize you were given the gift of freedom. It’s up to you what to do with your new life. I don’t say any of this casually as I’m over six years out from D Day and it has been a long road out from suicidal ideation and having to 100% start my life over from scratch, including going back to school so that I could find a career to support myself. My XH just swapped out wife appliances and went on his way with his life. Besides financial consequences, there was no other loses in his life. He’s still a fxckwit and he’s had no emotional or character growth. Me on the other hand has been forged in the fire of pain and suffering. I’m not the same person I was six years ago and that’s a GREAT thing! I’m not a fxckwit and that’s something to celebrate! I’m no longer enslaved to a serial cheater and that’s something to celebrate! Happy New Year and (((HUGS))) to all of the chumps out there that are still grieving and in pain.

    • What great mental pictures!
      A) stay in your own hula hoop
      B) you need the darks to paint the lights

      Thanks for sharing these. I’m going to carry them into the coming year.

  • This is the same thing I’ve considered doing to my ex’s affair partner on again/off again boyfriend. He has no idea how many times she tried to come back to me, the times she was telling both of us that she loved us, he has no idea about her staying on dating sites or talking to other men, he has no idea she screen shot his text messages of cursing her out and sent them to me nor that she said she thinks he’s gay, he’s abusive and targets families.

    I’d love to let him know he’s not special. But the smart part of my brain says the biggest “EFF YOU” is letting him be made a fool, something he certainly didn’t mind to do to me when he was sneaking around with my wife and on his girlfriend.

    BTW, when you remove the chump from the equation, they’re just two dysfunctional lying disasters. They need you as the cartoon bad guy for their fantasy.

    • These types of home wreckers and I’d love nothing more to destroy him and the dozens of others my wife cheated with, but him in particular will get karma. Thing is, give the home wrecker zero info and let the disordered STBXW/ex wife destroy him too. Give these people enough rope and they hang themselves. What sort of a “man” knowingly seeks an affair with a married woman who has young kids and a husband? They are cowards, they are lower than the dog crap in the street, they are wasters, they will never ever have what genuine people in a genuine loving relationship will ever have. Let them hang is what I think.

      • Mills and Chumpynomore: I too wanted revenge. Over the past 6 years I’ve seen proof that their lives are a living hell because of who they are— no intervention by me was needed:
        1) a friend saw XH’s dating profile full of lies on Bumble (he’s still living with AP and they don’t have an open relationship);
        2) another friend heard through the grapevine that XH briefly dated a women she knows – the woman ripped him a new one when she found out about the live-in AP/Gf and now tells everyone what a douche he is;
        3) a former colleague called and told me XH dated his ex-wife (they are on friendly terms) for months until she found out about AP/Gf and she is furious;
        4) a female co-worker made a complaint about XH and he’s on short review at his job;
        5) XH and AP/Gf scream at each other 24/7 according to the kids and AP has outright admitted to plotting his murder;
        6) XH has aged 20 years in 6 years- he’s 80 lbs heavier, list his hair, his eyes and teeth and skin are horrible (AP doesn’t cook and they eat takeout daily, smoke weed and drink 24/7, no exercise, play video games late into the morning so bad sleep— he’s 52 but looks like mid 60s;
        7) grown kids hate AP and refuse to visit XH— he finally started screaming at AP to leave but she refuses. . . .
        I could go on and on….. but you get the point. These types get the consequences of their choices.

        Me? I’m doing great! Improved career, great relationships with kids, amazing health, loving five-year relationship with a wonderful loyal man who cherishes me and hinted that an engagement ring may be presented soon❤️❤️❤️

        Hang in there! Meh is truly wonderful!

        • My friends father who is retired police seen I was going down a dark path in relation to AP and he pulled me aside and said that I’d simply end up in prison and my STBXW would carry on her life sleeping around and being a low life and she would simply spin it all to her advantage to say oh he was abusive look why he is in prison. Reality is, she is not worth one second in prison. My best revenge on her was walking into that lawyers office and filing for divorce and getting my new home. My best revenge is living the rest of my life without her and for me to go after my goals. My best revenge is me being happy. I hope so much that 2021 starts to provide the stable ground for me to build my structure.

          I’m spending New Year’s Eve on my own and I thought, yes it’s a bit depressing but it’s better than knowing there is a cheater in the house lying to me and sexting other men. I’m free from her but it still hurts so much to have lost my kids.

          • Yep. Most days are good, some are bad. I do wish the worst on the APs and for a time, really struggled like you letting my mind imagine things that would likely result in jail time. Not worth it on a whore.

            But man, the freedom from these toxic pieces of shit on a daily basis is better than being invested in your identity and happiness being tied to a cheating ho.

            Brother, who knows how many times my ex was doing shady stuff while I was with her but one I know about based off phone records and pics, is she was texting her AP at the restaurant table during our wedding anniversary. A couple of weeks later, she let me throw her a big birthday bash and then left me and the kids to go be with that same AP.

            That takes a real low piece of shit to do that. Godspeed, friend!

            • That’s rough that she did all that to you. I had similar where I thought we were on a romantic day out walking by the sea so forth and she was messaging her main AP whilst we were there. I’ve no idea his surname or where he lives and I’m probably lucky for that as no doubt I’d be in prison now. I think that’s my saving grace. As you say, a whore simply isn’t worth it. My STBXW’s AP was just one shit stain in a long list of shit stains and these cheaters are not worth it. What is killing my STBXW the most is seeing me move on and she hates when she sees I’m happy and doing well without her. I make that my revenge on her.

      • CNL,

        I’m with you on this.

        Ex-Mrs LFTT’s AP knew exactly what he was doing; he’s been divorced twice and was cheating on his then girlfriend with then Mrs LFTT, knowing that she was married and had 3 kids.

        I have no words to describe my disgust for him ……. but I do know that Ex-Mrs LFTT will – at some point – put him through what she put me and our kids through. I pity him because I know what he has coming, even if he doesn’t.

        LFTT

        • Fully agree with your words. She will do to them what she did to others. These cheaters don’t suddenly grow dignity overnight. One major aspect that stands out to me now is my STBXW’s sheer level of lies. She lies about everything and that includes minor everyday issues. She is a pathological liar and her words never match her actions. I can’t believe I even fell for her and I accept I’m now an abuse survivor. Even if she ends up with a serious relationship, she will still be a pathological liar and she will still be a disordered person. She would swear blind she is not a liar but deep down she knows she is and well, all the evidence I have shows she is. She even lied about smoking recently. Could smell it on her and on her breath but swore blond she had not been smoking. I said just cut the crap for once, you’re 37 years old, we’re you smoking and then she admitted she had. It reminded me of being a child and my sister coming home smelling of smoke and lying about it. I have so much self hatred at the moment that I have kids with her. I feel deeply hurt for the kids that she is their mother. I really messed up.

          I watched a therapist video about getting away from a narcissist and she asked, think of the quality traits you actually miss about you ex. I was stumped and I still can’t even answer it. 15 years together and I can’t even think of one thing I miss about her.

          • That is a deep thought I had recently; is there anything to miss? I thought about FW and realized all the characteristics I believed were there were an act. He was not truly kind, generous, empathetic, etc. So the person I loved never really existed. I think I figured out that the only thing I miss is his ability to pack a suitcase because he was good at organizing things to fit. lol But FW as a person? Pure, self-centered evil. I stopped wanting revenge on the many OW when I realized I was happy for him to be with anyone but me. I was grateful if he wanted to go on and be disordered with someone… ANYONE else. I don’t miss that FW at all after 20 years together.

            • Yep definitely something to ponder.

              I know the person I loved was mostly a figment in my mind. It was horrifying to finally admit it. I knew he always had a selfish streak, as did his sister. Amazingly I never saw it in their mother.

              Why I thought he would never turn against me for selfish reasons I don’t know, but I guess I thought my love for him made a difference, it didn’t.

              Like you, I was amazed (at myself) how quickly once he was truly out of my sight that I started to improve and six month after we were legally separated; I knew I was done. For a 21 year marriage, and given he was my first real love (married at 18) I think that is amazingly fast. There has to be a reason for that.

              I did let him come back home right after we were legally separated, and that only lasted a week. He was horrible to me. Maybe that helped too. It was like the full mask fell off that week, and I realized I no longer felt a bond to him. It scared me and yet was a freeing feeling.

            • They can be damn good actors when they have something to gain; money, sex, image, devotion. None of which they deserve.

    • Hi, Mills – Hell of a Chump addressed this question of removing the chump from the situation in an interesting comment yesterday (12/30/20). The idea is that fuckwits (both cheaters and schmoopies) need hypotenuses to form a triangle for emotional supply and cake. The cheater can just keep going back and forth between sources of supply, or better yet (for them), actively play the other sides of the triangle against one another. As you rightly say, it’s best just to remove ourselves from the triangle as soon as we realize what’s going on! Chumpawumba, sharing anything with either your ex or AP would be re-entering the triangle. You can enjoy in privacy and safety the knowledge that you are right – and free!

      • Cake eating. My STBXW when I asked how exactly she thought she could just go out and cheat on me with a multitude of men and come home and act like nothing happened stated “I just wanted to have cake and eat it”. She openly admitted she wanted to eat her cake. Well the cake I baked for her was called a divorce.

  • Chumpawumba,

    Any revenge that you might be able to exact will pale into insignificance when compared to what they will inevitably do to each other. It really is just a matter of time; from what you say, he is clearly disordered and she is a long way short of being the sharpest crayon in the colouring box …. just leave them to it and keep yourself on the moral high ground.

    I’ve said this before, but Napoleon was right when he said ” Never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake.”

    LFTT

    • “Any revenge that you might be able to exact will pale into insignificance when compared to what they will inevitably do to each other. ”

      Yep, many of us will know of some of the shit they do to each other; especially if we have children. But, even if we don’t see it with very rare exceptions; they will do their own damage. To paraphrase CL, unless they (he) got or is creating a new character, it is inevitable.

      My ex fw started taking classes to be come a preacher, found a church that let him preach. Yup, LET.HIM.PREACH. My daughter in law told me, even the schmoops was embarrassed by it. Of course within a couple years they had a blow up with the preacher and left that church.

      Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in the change faith can bring in a person. But, there is the sicker; you have to be able to see the change. Part of that change would have been to come to me and humbly apologize for his treatment of me. The other part would have been to confess his past to the preacher who let him in the pulpit. He did neither. Oh and his preaching style was fire and brimstone.

      And quite frankly he had been a confessing Christian; and involved in church for many years while we were together. I believed he was sincere, and all the while…

      Anyway last I heard he had gone through several churches and he finally gave up the preaching. Guess he ran out of folks who would buy his BS.

  • The worst thing you can do to a dog is withdraw your attention.

    The best thing you can do for yourself is withdraw attention from the cheaters.

    When my daughter was two, she asked me for lollipops for breakfast. There was a jar of Trader Joe’s Organic (?!) lollipops on the kitchen counter. I handed her the jar and went about my housework.

    Later I saw that she had chomped down three, unwrapped and licked six, and the rest of them were still in the jar. That jar sat untouched, within reach, where she could see it, for so long (months) that I eventually threw them out.

    We all start out in life needing to find out for ourselves. It’s the wise person who starts learning from another’s experience without having to experiment, and we all know cheaters are4 wise.

    The response to cheaters is the same. Trust that a low-quality dysfunctional relationship (an affair) stays that way. What starts out shitty does not get better
    .
    You are being freed up for better, whether its being on your own enjoying or someday sharing your life with someone emotionally mature and psychologically healthy who has a working moral compass.

    Let them have their lollipops.

    • I need ideas to hang on to when the urge for revenge hits. Here a few I use:

      1) Anything vengeful I do will validate whatever smack he talked about me and enable him to justify what he did.

      2) It’s way better if their relationship meets an end without my interference (see Napoleon quote in the comments below, which I also love). I do not want to enable them to cast any blame in my direction, and they are wont to do. The train wreck happens faster if I get off the tracks.

      3) I have lots of life experiences where the natural consequences were so far better than anything I could have imagined or executed. I believe the same in this situation too. It’s usually not on my preferred timeline, but it has ALWAYS ended up being worth the wait. It was 20 years in the case of a past cheating live-in boyfriend. In the meantime, I had gotten to Meh about him and he had been off my radar for 19 years when the “typhoon” hit him. Moohahaha.
      And I also stayed completely in neutral when the typhoon hit. I had obviously been living rent-free in his head for 19 years…..

      3) I do not want them to be able to say ONE SINGLE NEGATIVE THING about me that is true. Do NOT hand them ammo.

      4) They will enjoy having gotten under your skin. Kibble, as Chump Lady says.

      5) Take a page from their playbook and enjoy knowing things you know they don’t know. Enjoy the feeling of aces up your sleeve, knowing she won a forgery and she spent millions and thinks she has the original.

      And so forth….

      • 5) Conspiring to spoil things is an indicator that she won a valuable prize. She didn’t. It takes time to internalize this as a chump. But as we say around here, she won a sparkly turd. Nothing says “good luck with the sparkly turd” like withdrawing letting events play out.

        The only thing I have ever said to the Craigslist Sole Mate…which I left on one of her FB pages where she uses my last name?

        “You are welcome to him. Stay at least 50 miles away from me and my daughter.”

        She now lives 50 miles away. Good enough.

      • Velvet – what keeps me in check is the idea that my integrity is worth more…

        More than the emotional charge I would get, more bc I am the only person who has to live with me, more bc I was recruited for a great job at the right time this year bc of my knowlegde and the values I demonstrate on the job, more because I want to be quality people so that I can be with quality people.

        In very dark moments, I’ve had to go so far as to remind myself “if I do that, I will go to jail and they aren’t worth it”.

        This is a timely topic. Divorce was final about 3 weeks ago and I am feeling some relapse in replaying everything in my mind…I wish I had said this, or done that, or thrown him out and gone no contact immediately, or confronted her and beat her ass, or not confronted him and moved a bunch of money first, or smashed his windshield, or not been so trusting, or not hve put up with his bullshit for past 14 years… it goes on and on.

        Last few days I’ve been contemplating sending fuckbuddy my ExH recent ‘goodbye text’ to me “I’m so disgusted with myself, I’m unhappy without you…you are the best person I know…I will always love and care for you”. I’ve come to understand that this is massive bs impression management on his part, but I like to imagine that she would feel at least some of the pain I felt and that he would then be scrambling to smooth.

        Yes – I needed the reminder that is is best to ghost his ass, stay no contact and focus on moving forward with my one precious life. Stay in my hula hoop 😉

    • Let them have their lollipops!

      I see a t-shirt/mug opportunity for CL.

      Other ideas:
      “Meh”
      “Tuesday”
      “TTHS” (trust that he sucks) or TTSS”

  • It has always been interesting to me that when I share my story of abuse and cheating with people I know only casually — my hair stylist, my gynecologist, my sister — they always, without fail, tell me two things. First, I shouldn’t be angry with the other woman because she made no vows to me. It’s not her fault; it’s all on the cheater. The other woman doesn’t owe me anything. (Strangely, I felt differently about it, especially in the case of my sister.) And then, when the abuse is mentioned, they immediately take me to task for not “warning her what she’s getting into.” After assuring me that the other woman shares no blame in chumping me, and that she owes me nothing, they immediately jump to “you owe it to another woman to warn her.”

    So a woman who gleefully participated in blowing up my marriage and my life owes me nothing, but somehow I owe it to her to “warn her” what she’s getting into? That little bit of unfairness has always incensed me!

    Yes, it would feel good to send the other woman a tape of Cheater begging to me allowed back into the house. But I don’t owe it to her to open her eyes to the duplicity of a cheater — she’d know he was duplicitous just because he was having an affair with her while married to me. And I doubt she’d even believe me if I shared a tape of the rage channel — she would conclude that I was as awful as he always said I was, and that I brought it upon myself. He would *never* treat *her* that way because she’s special. Even with a full on tantrum recorded in Dolby SurroundSound, they will never believe that he would ever treat them that way. Sending the tape, as Chump Lady advised, will just make you look bad in court, and in the court of public opinion. Don’t do it!

    • Amen! My views are the same. The AP thinks they’re the shit. They have to be, right? Your spouse nuked their family for the AP. Problem with that thought, clowns, is that you’re an AP because that’s all you can be–just some shadowy AP. You’re the backup QB who lives off of “potential” who criticizes the starter- the person who is having to carry the team on his back.

      That’s a good analogy of an AP and the betrayed spouse. The AP isn’t the one carrying the family responsibilities. They’re the “fun one’ until…they’re not.

      But regarding the popular theme of not being mad at the AP, I say eff that noise. Yeah, they didn’t make a vow to me nor could they have weaseled their way into the picture without the aide of my wife. But they still didn’t give a shit about your family, your kids, or you. They conspired to taint and alter the lives of you and their kid. So I hope the worst happens to him and yeah, the cheater is the one who is most at fault but the AP is just as guilty- two conspiring POS.

      • Yep, the person who drives the get away car in the heist is just as guilty.

        Yes I know there is that rare unicorn who didn’t know they were driving the get away car, but who are we kidding…

        • My ex was such a good liar that the “AP” didn’t know she was an AP until a few weeks in. She caught him in a lie and began to wonder what else he had lied to her about so she went online and did some digging – she was really pissed off when she discovered that he was still married.

          He was on a business trip so she decided revenge would be sweeter if she told me and didn’t let on that she knew so that I could be the one to let him have it when he got back in town. (She never saw him again but did place a phone call to him in front of me, on speaker, partly to help me grasp the truth – she could tell I was in shock, as I was completely blindsided.)

          I will be forever grateful to her! She even brought me a box of chocolates when she came to the house to deliver the news of his cheating. (A totally surreal experience!)

          I believe my situation is not rare because MANY married men (and some married women) lie about their marital status when they’re on the prowl. The AP you know about is often not a cheater’s first extramarital sex….

          • Oh I disagree, I think it is rare for the AP to not know, even if they don’t know at first they know soon. Unless they are underage or cognitively impaired. For those rare that didn’t know and dump them as soon as they find out, then of course they are not guilty.

            At any rate mine certainly did. She was his employee and she had been to my house, plus she had humped several other married men, but they didn’t marry her.

            Fuck them all, and the cheaters they rode in on.

    • Soooooo….

      If I walk into a bank and the teller asks me to go into the open vault and help myself, I am off the hook?

      If someone encourages and entices me to do something wrong I am blameless? How on earth would my child turn out if I taught her that?!

      Nope.

      Only someone totally in the dark like a chump is innocent.

      If I do wrong I am responsible and need to be accountable.

      We are all responsible for our actions. I cannot claim innocence if I knowingly violate the boundary of another person’s marriage and family by participating in an illicit relationship (it’s called COLLUSION in domestic violence parlance, which regards affairs as a category of sexual and emotional abuse).

      If Tracy had stood down to that horseshit, this blog would not be here saving lives. This blog is here as a resounding daily “WRONG!” to that crap.

      The least I can do is follow her lead and speak up whenever I encounter that bullshit idiocy and help change the conventional stupidity about affairs.

    • He may have been the bank robber but she drove the getaway car in full knowledge of what was happening. Not sure if the sentencing would be the same in a court of law but they would both be going to jail for their crimes. She’s not innocent by any means!!

    • TEMSP–

      Hah– don’t blame but do protect the proxy abuser? What a gymnastic expectation. Are OWs on the endangered species list or sonething these days?

      My inner anthropologist is super interested in the underlying psychology of this broken record refrain (even from feminists) that we cannot harbor even a micron of blame for “the other woman.” Betrayed wives hear this even if we quite obviously aim most of our ire at the cheater, go NC and file for divorce; even if the AP walks away with our kids’ college funds and we find the texts where the AP wished us dead, etc. It raises some questions:

      –Is it a projection from bystanders who fear that they themselves would turn Clockwork Orange violent on an interloper in their own personal relationships?

      –Are the bystanders who spout thus stuff all secret mate poachers with married skeletons in their closets?

      –Is this idea that betrayed wives “always” or “mostly” blame the OW being fed to us in the media in an age when the porn industry (with its ties to international prostitution and trafficked women and children) is bigger than all other media combined and an estimated 15% of college students, especially in top universities, are “sugaring” to pay off school and student loan debt? In other words, has “anti-slut-shaming” become more about protecting recruitment and profits for a monstrously misogynist global industry than about discouraging a form of misogyny?

      –Is chastising betrayed wives not to blame OWs (before the betrayed wife even makes a peep in some cases) just an oblique way to victim blame now that all other traditional manners of victim blaming have become less PC? Isn’t the notion that all women are catty and hate other women just more misogyny, a bit like the mantra that African Americans are their “own worst enemy” in the midst of an epidemic of excessive force deaths and racially motivated hate crimes?

      In any case, I don’t hear male chumps getting the same chastisement not to blame the OM despite the fact that men are statistically far more likely to assault or kill a romantic rival. Since the idea that betrayed women “mostly” or “only” blame OWs or even that society “mostly” or “always” blames the OW doesn’t seem to bear out in reality, the message seems culturally skewed.

      On more than one occasion, people have “commended”me for not blaming the OW when I was literally one sentence into describing my chump saga, like they were trying to head me off at the pass before I “went there.” Went where? The censure is familiar. When I was stalked by a psycho coworker years ago, the equivalent oblique blame took different forms (“Try not to hate all men now,” “Have you thought about the signals you might be putting out to men?” “You do wear short skirts to work,” “You are kind of confrontational”…) before I’d even described events and my attitude towards events.

      Very weird.

      • I think it is just another way to blame the betrayed wife. Unfortunately, lots of married women who use this tactic, and other tactics, against a betrayed wife are scared to death it is going to happen to them, (or that it already has and they just don’t know it) so they desperately need to believe that the wife somehow caused this.

        I don’t think men say it much, but the few that do are likely trying to “defend” their own ow.

        • Back when I bothered, a psycho recon therapist (is there any other kind?)– male, past retirement age, “former” serial cheater– went into attack therapy mode when I mentioned the AP. I had calmly explained that I had a right to determine if someone like this had bunny boiler tendencies, that’s it. The therapist was near hysteria. To his credit, even fw threatened to walk out and get a refund which shocked the old coot.

          My gut feeling was that some see all women as their potential harem. The don’t want upstarts getting into the seraglio and giving the profession a bad name or hampering recruitment.

      • I think it speaks to our low expectations of men and the cultural pressure for women to secure a mate because marriage privilege is very real and single women are suspect. They are either found to be damaged, not performing femininity adequately or ???

        It also speaks to how our cultural infantilizes women as easily duped. So, some folks believe a nefarious, calculating male can charm a naive woman into an affair quite easily by playing on her gullibility and desperate desire for love and marriage – and as we’ve experience, this is often true.

        At the end of the day – theories aside – we are right to expect AP behave ethically in the world, no matter how insecure and desperate they are and how conniving and charming the cheater is.

        • “Low expectations of men.” Ha! That’s a good one. There’s enormous expectations on men and if we don’t fulfill everything it becomes justification to cheat. So many men are expected to be everything while a female simply offers the privilege of her company. That’s the mindset among so many young women today.

          This site is mostly women but there’s so many male chumps out there and in my life, it’s been men who have been cheated and screwed over by wives and fiancés who seem to love to have absurd expectations for men and yet, seek out a new supply of male attention.

        • This is such an absurd and outrageous “victimhood” statement. This is a completely imagined oppression you have written. No one says women or minorities aren’t allowed to have basic human emotion but don’t let me get in the way of your bashing of (apparently white) men.

    • OW/OM owes you nothing because they are not the ones who took a vow? I didn’t realize we had to take vows to other people on this earth in order to expect them not to harm us or participate in harming us. A driver hit you while you were in a crosswalk? Oh! They took no vow to you. You’re hurt? They owe you nothing! WTH!?! When someone commits a crime, those who help them do it are regularly charged with aiding and abetting or being an accomplice. The same concept of right and wrong doesn’t apply to extramarital sex? You help someone murder, you go to jail but if you help them cheat on their spouse, hey… you are innocent. Am I missing something here? It makes no sense how people let the OW/OM off the hook.

      Having said that, my revenge on the OW is my ardent prayer that FW stays with her for a very long time. Because even if by some miracle he wouldn’t hook up with the next sparklytwat on her watch, a) she will spend the rest of her nights with one eye open or b) she gets to keep FW but I know firsthand that life with FW is a living hell, even without the chasing around. Once he is bored with her, she will also be treated like she is a dumb, fat cow who is lucky to share his living space. And the harder she hangs on, the more he will accuse her of staying out of “convenience.” Everyone gets what they have coming to them. I don’t even need to be aware of when the karma bus hits. It will. I sleep comfortably in the knowledge.

  • I agree with CL, though the evidence of his abuse may be handy as a bargaining chip in the divorce, so keep the tapes in case you can use them to get everything you want out of him.
    Other than for that use, they may provide some enlightenment for any Switzerland friends and family.

    But the bottom line is she’s a turd who won a turd. Leave them to their turdiness.

    • “But the bottom line is she’s a turd who won a turd. Leave them to their turdiness.”

      And that stench is never going away, no matter how many times they toss those shoes in the washer.

      Oh they many soften it in the beginning, but as time goes on that stench will begin to get stronger. It is in the cracks and crevices of of their very being.

  • I think the skank was attracted to my ex because of his pay cheque and I think he was attracted to her because she could drink a litre of whiskey in one sitting. I did NOT tell her anything about his violence, his spending, his rages. Three years later he couldn’t make it on his very decent salary so I guess the nice trips were wearing off because I had withdrawn my salary (rounds of drinks at the ho bar are expensive after all). I blocked him from all access to my salary and in doing so I guess I blocked her from living the nice life she had become accustomed to on his (our) salaries. Three years later she left him and told a friend of mine that she “had to leave him because she was afraid he would kill her”. That much I could have told her but …

    • I know that is what his skank was after. He was not her first married man rodeo, but as even a skank can do; she honed her hunting skills, and with my fw she nailed her boss. Once she fucked him she owned him. Oh I am not saying he didn’t enjoy the ride(s) but the fat little toad owned him. I know it, he knows it; everyone knew it.

      I did however still wonder at how he could have been so stupid. I mean I could see it if she had been a hottie, who was smart and interesting. But, she was a little round toad, who according to the folks who saw her going to his office every day, spent most of her time crying about her lot in life. She had been married twice, her kids had two different dads, and they had divorced her and just taken everything from her. She couldn’t have been at fault I am sure.

      Yes it hurt of course that I was worth no more than that to him, but I get it now. Then I didn’t.

      So they married, and he was busted, he retired early at a lowering of his pension, they gambled themselves into financial disaster. Today they are living the dream in a run down trailer park in F, and though my son still tires to maintain a connection with his dad, my son’s wife has not spoken to them in over two years. Living the dream.

      As someone said earlier “What starts out shitty does not get better” After the sparkle starts to seep into the shit, well there they are, they just can’t escape themselves, or the stench of their own turdness.

    • Oh and isn’t it sad when we with draw our assets, and they have to live on just his salary. I bet the whore missed the Chumps paycheck after a short while. But at least she didn’t have to share her paycheck with a whore, because she didn’t have a paycheck when they married.

      So he had to finance his own whores, which he did. He had his priorities after all.

      • Absolutely. I earned more than him but he still had a decent salary. Trouble was he spent BOTH our salaries even before the whore and would constantly get us into debt. I think the ho thought she had hit the jackpot – until I opened a separate bank account. The ex didn’t know what had hit him!

        • I didn’t earn a lot, but I had gone from part time in the school system to a secure job at DoD, so the earing potential was there. However, since I was earning more, it was easier for him to spend more on her without me noticing, because the money I would have normally taken from our joint account for expenses etc, I just used my own money.

          Plus, I wasn’t a big spender, so all the more for Schmoopie. I think that was one of the sorest points, while I was scrimping so we could afford that damn river property he wanted; he was wining and dining the whore. She was living better than I was, on my dime.

          Of course after we were divorced they waltzed hand in hand into marriage and then bankruptcy because of their gambling debts, so silver lining and all. Only took them about five years to crash and burn financially.

          Meanwhile this little ant, continued to save and scrimp and act like a grown assed adult; and I did ok.

  • I am on team “do not give anyone the tape”. The best thing you can be to either of those people right now is as invisible as possible, says me. The timing is perfect in this moment for them to become distracted on to other issues. I say, let them. (He’s a cheater — they’ll have plenty of added drama soon enough because that’s how he rolls.)

    My second vote, though, is that you find some place to store that thing and hold on to it for a while. Maybe a lockbox somewhere. Laws vary, but even if a thing isn’t “admissible”, it’s still informative, and if you ever need to be able to… Demonstrate how he is, you’ll have it.

    The cowardly liar took almost $30k out of our account right before leaving. He was ordered to pay me back half over 18 months. He started an online journal with many insanely inaccurate things about me in it back when only techies did online journaling. He had no idea I knew.

    I saved copies, for years, because part of what he did regularly was to write me emails about how he was struggling financially then same day write online about all the cool expensive stuff he just bought. I didn’t tip my hand, I just told him no, he needed to pay as ordered, and held on to the copies in case he tried to take me to court. Insurance. Had I ever needed it, it would have been all too easy.

    Your mileage may vary on keeping it, but in any case, rage fantasies are fine, but don’t tease the banshees. If they aren’t looking your direction, that is always to your advantage, says me.

    • ” If they aren’t looking your direction, that is always to your advantage, says me.”

      So true, I didn’t even realize it in real time; but I did use his focus on his schmoopie and trying to save himself from the shit pile he had created at work to my own advantage. I did it with quietly retaining a lawyers that knew how to kick ass against an entitled, arrogant, controlling police officer. I had to go to a different city to find the lawyer; but find him I did. I knew after our consultation he was the one. (his firm had been quietly referred to me by a friend). I never told the FW who referred the firm to me.

      By the time I convinced FW to file (he wanted me to) I had already retained the lawyer. He tried to get me to “trust him” and use his lawyer to save us both money. Lol. thanks I will pass on that kind offer. He was still assuming that the situation would go his way, after all I wasn’t arguing with him; and he was used to getting his way. All I said was well get it filed and it will be between our lawyers. He I guess was assuming that my lawyer was just as big of an idiot as his trailer park lawyer was, and of course in his arrogance and sense of control he could manipulate the law.

      • I swoon at your mighty-ness and celebrate your strong choices! Way to go!

        We are always in better space without the poison monsters than we ever were with them, even when we don’t yet realize it. Always.

        • Yep. It is why CL is so helpful. It gives Baby Chumps a real advantage. More information is good.

          It doesn’t ease the pain of course, but hopefully helps more of them to land on their feet quicker.

          • Yes – CL and CN are SO HELPFUL. I landed on my feet quickly and gracefully thanks to all of you. After I got out, I was able to crumple and cry in the privacy of my own private space. Forever grateful.
            Now, I spread the message to other victims and help them identify the blame shifting, victim blaming, and gaslighting, while also pointing out thier kindness and vulnerability.
            As for the OW – I blame her plenty and am having many thoughts of ways to get my revenge. After reading today, I will take Ami’s comment to heart:
            ” If they aren’t looking your direction, that is always to your advantage, says me.”
            They are awful people and I am not.

            • I agree with you about the OW. The way I see it is she was just the available hose when he wanted one, and she likely wasn’t the first one. As dumb as she seems to be, she was evidently smarter than he was. She was him direct report, and as the comedian says; once you fuck her she owns you.

              In real time, I honestly never focused on her much, for a lot of reasons: shock, hurt etc, I really only point out things she did now to others because I too believe their adultery buddies are just as guilty as the betrayers are. Not in all cases of course, there is that unicorn OW who doesn’t know.

              But for the most part these poachers get their target in their sights and know exactly what they are doing, and they enjoy hurting the spouse as much as the betrayer does. It is part of their high too. The only thing they have over us, is when they win the prize they know exactly what they are getting, we didn’t.

  • One thing that always stands out to me is that near all the stores posted and vast majority of comments is that the men either have or fake erectile dysfunction. Do all these men have heart disease or low testosterone to cause it? Or is it just an easy excuse like I’m on my period?

    • I believe my ex faked it. It started so suddenly and it seemed odd to me. One day he came home and told me he had seen his doctor and got a prescription for Viagra. He said he would get six a month and then his doctor would give him ten if there were no side effects.

      Like the idiot I was at the time, I blurted out but why would you need more than six as we only have sex three times a month (which was at my request, BTW). He was taken aback and mumbled something about how it was nice to have extras.

      Over a year later I was cleaning his bathroom and realized the Viagra wasn’t there. Although I searched the whole house twice I couldn’t find them. When he came home I asked him where they were and he went ballistic, telling me it was none of my effing business what he did with his Viagra. I strenuously disagreed.

      This was the jolt I needed to finally come to terms with his verbal/emotional abuse and confront my own cognitive dissonance. We were divorced less than a year later. But it turns out it was much worse that I thought, as I discovered he was actually having sex with men and had been all along. I think he got the Viagra because he wanted to keep up with the younger men. I also think he was either sharing it with others or selling it. I’ll never know, but one day a neighbor boy came to the house with my ex’s empty Viagra mailing envelope and all the paperwork inside. He had found it at the local park which was used for hookups.

    • Bear in mind that an epidemic of ED among men 18 to 30 reportedly began the year that streaming porn services like Porn Hub were launched. The rate of ED in men under 40 in 2003 was 2-3%. Now it’s up to 35%.
      https://amp.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/mar/11/young-men-porn-induced-erectile-dysfunction

      Porn compulsion has also been identified as a gateway to affairs along with other forms of compulsive sexual risk taking, including sexually abusive behavior. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/dec/15/how-extreme-porn-has-become-a-gateway-drug-into-child-abuse So it might not be so unusual for ED to appear at roughly the same time FWs begin screwing around.

      It’s encouraging to see the launch of activism to counter the trend, like the “No Fap” men’s mobilization which discusses the human costs of porn like trafficking, the fact that supposedly simulated rapes in porn are often genuine rapes and the danger of progressive desensitization to rape among users. But I recently read a post by a young woman on her experience of dealing with porn-addled men in her generation. It broke my heart and made me really scared for my kids. Her post got endless comments discussing how dangerous it’s become to date because of streaming porn zombies.

      • You are superbly educated on this topic and said all the things I would have said. It’s sad that we both know these things, but good that we’ve learned them, in the end.

        Thanks for the advocacy.

      • I will admit I had a porn addiction when younger. In my early 20’s in 2004/5 when single I was watching far too much porn, nothing extreme just regular porn. My parents had just got our first computer and the internet and well I found porn. I was watching it before work first thing in morning and when getting home. Maybe 5 times a day and I had a few girls I was having fun with and I could not perform. No matter how much we were making out I kept losing it but I was able to go home and watch porn and function perfectly fine. I stopped viewing it and my body reacted the normal way with girls in person after a while. It is a drug no doubt and I truly worry about my kids too. I’m 37 but I’ve heard young guys about 17 years old talking who honestly believe that real life sex is just like porn and all girls want it that way. I worry about my kids growing up and thinking that’s how it’s supposed to be. Plus we now live in a hookup tinder culture.

        • CNL– Thanks for the insights. Porn hubs HATE the men’s groups that are rebelling against the program. Since learning about the stats, my kids are getting a full education about the issue. My sons, particularly middle kid, are into social justice so they ask a lot of good questions about how to solve the trafficking horror, protect children, legislative issues, free speech, the economics of it, etc. I’ve noticed that talking about these things hasn’t dented their healthy interest in sex. Not talking about it is too risky these days.

  • Chumpawumba:

    The right advice is to take the high road.

    But if you decide to take the low road, save the video for a wedding present. It won’t be enough to stop them from marrying, but it will be enough to wreck her enjoyment of it, and she will make him pay dearly for that (a buy one, get one free kind of deal.)

    In the meantime, focus on advancing your own life and happiness. Most likely, you will chose not to use the video, because you will be in a different zip code with a fabulous new life, and won’t ever be thinking of these losers. But it is still in your back pocket if you need it. (**Chuckles, and pats pocket.**) And you will be able to weigh the risks and benefits with a much clearer and calmer mind.

    • Hahaha

      “But if you decide to take the low road, save the video for a wedding present.”

      Probably not the wisest choice, but that would be absolutely hysterical.

  • On the subject of tangible evidence….

    Prior to DDay, I bought him a vanity plate for our truck which spells out the name of our business. He still has it on the truck and to be honest, it still ticks me off when I see it and the mind movie of illicit cohorts getting into the truck (the Dodge Ram Hookup) starts playing.

    What to do, what to do……..?

    I changed that channel by ordering a vanity plate that spells out CHEATER. I am picking them up at the DMV tomorrow.

    So now, whenever I see the truck, I imagine swapping plates at 3 am and seeing how long he drives around with them before he figures it out. A replacement mind movie!

    For my OWN amusement…no, I will not make myself vulnerable to law enforcement and actually put them on.

    It makes me laugh thinking about it.

    • The most important player in the cheating game is the CHUMP.

      Without the chump in the dark, there is no illicit, no thrill. The dynamics of an affair, which make it attractive to the cheaters, are completely changed when YOU, the chump, who makes it what was so desirable a situation, WITHDRAWS.

      Withdrawing from the game is the chump superpower, IMHO. It feels totally contrary to that, and it takes time and practice, but think of it like a helping hand out of the quicksand, the tar pit, the rip tide. No matter what they say or believe, what they have is NOT healthy.

      The quality of the results are in the quality of the ingredients, the quality of the tools and the skill in using them…..

      • Amen to all that!!!

        One of my final texts to my then STBX was, “I don’t care what you two (he and the OW) do or where you go.” I was surprised at how pissed this seemed to make him; it was as if I’d punctured his affair balloon.

        VH is right! Withdrawing is the chump superpower!

        • Yep, I think that really takes the air out of their balloon.

          My ex came by and said schmoopie was getting some phone calls. I just looked at him and said if you are accusing me, you can just stop right now. I have not called her, and you know it, I rarely even call you; I have no interest in your life with her, and I wouldn’t give you the satisfaction. I don’t know if she even got any calls, if she was lying or if he was lying to try to goad me. Either way, I never called the whore. It didn’t strike me until later that it very well could have been his mother calling her, if anyone did. He wasn’t telling his mother where he lived, and she was going bat shit crazy so who knows.

          He had told me where his apartment was, he said he didn’t want his mother to know. Honestly I didn’t care one way or the other after he moved out, where he was. He even came by and asked me if I wanted to come by and see his apartment, I said nope, I have no interest in seeing your apartment. Why on Gods green earth would he think I wanted to see his apartment? It was like more of that hormonal teenager shit coming out. Hey mom come see my apt where I fuck all my girl friends.

          Anyway his sister was talking to me, and she said her mother was grieving over him not speaking to her, and she didn’t know where he was, so I told her I didn’t know his apt number, but where his complex was. So his mother found him over there.

          I still feel sorry for his mom, because she had to eat shit sandwiches for the rest of her life. I at least could walk away. I know his mother resented me walking away, she hoped I would keep fighting for him. I just couldn’t. It was done.

          • This: “Yep, I think that really takes the air out of their balloon.” It makes me so sick I was a part of the triangulation. They both lashed out at me after I exposed the affair. I was so hurt, but recently realized that they were punishing me for ruining the fun.
            That is some sick and twisted fun they are having.
            He did so many hurtful things in those months I was in his home after D day and it is only right now that I see he was trying to get my attention. I was grey rock for most of the time and now I know that bothered him greatly.
            Time for me to go real No Contact and evict them both from my thoughts.

            • Hang in there Peregrine,

              Honestly after all these years the only part that bothers me is how horrid he treated me in the year leading up to Dday. And as we have discussed, their apologies after the fact have no meaning. They knew they were hurting us and they chose to do it for whatever sick reason. The reason it bothers me still, is because I let him treat me that way. Yes I know it wasn’t my fault; but I was walking around handwringing trying to fix, trying to smoothe over, trying to give him “space”, while he was in the process of emotionally and financially destroying me.

              He and your FW took themselves with them when they left, so at least there is that. They can not escape themselves.

              It was only after some time had gone by that I began to really get to know myself again. I hadn’t realized how much of me was wrapped up in doing what he wanted. I began to realize, he I am an ok gal. I kind of like me.

              My FW got most of the property and most of the earning power in the settlement. I got some payback up front during the maintenance period, and I got a small property that was mortgage free, but still he did well and we both knew it. I could have forced the sale of all the property, but it wouldn’t have helped me any.

              I am not ashamed to say that several years later when I learned they had to file bankruptcy after running up huge gambling debts, that it put a smile on my face. Fuckers had everything they wanted and they pissed it away. (wonder if they blamed me). Last I heard they are struggling to this day financially, and fighting a lot. Living the dream I guess.

      • Walking away really takes the wind out of their sails. The sneaking around the excitement in their eyes is all gone and they end up just being seen for what they are,,, cheaters and liars. The sheer amount of pathological lying I’ve witnessed from my STBXW has been staggering. The mask has well and truly fell off. Me filing for divorce and dumping her was a superpower and it felt great handing her the divorce papers.

        • You are right about the loss of excitement for them. I remember in the early stages of my discard, while my ex was distancing himself, yet he was still trying to hang on to the marriage for some reason, he was just so jovial, and grinning all the time.

          I remember once in particular before Dday (about three months prior (late summer) I walked out the back door to greet him coming home from work. He grabbed me off the step, swung me around and said “I love you” Now he obviously didn’t, but he must have been high on nookey and sneaking. His actions on that day, did not jive with him dumping me three short months later. I am not even saying he analyzed this, just that I could tell he looked so giddy. And yes there was sex later on that day. Now at the time, I just remember thinking, finally he is getting back to normal… Guess again.

          • My STBXW showed no jovial aspects during all her cheating. She turned into an absolute cold hearted monster towards me. Critical of everything, shouting and screaming at me, accusing me of having a girlfriend, attacked me several time and once held a knife to me saying if I even dared touch another girl, kept starting fights and poking at me, had me arrested, social services etc. Ie, her mask fell off and I seem the demon for what it really is.

            • Goodness the knife incident is frightening.

              The jovialness I am speaking of was in the first part of the discard process, by the last three ish months before discard day, he was nasty beyond belief. Not violent, but verbally abusive, and he was clearly pushing me away, and I knew something was horribly wrong. I finally admitted to myself about two months prior that he was likely committing adultery, but I still kept quiet living in hopium. (though I didn’t have that term for it then).

              Honestly I am not sure when he was in that jovial stage of cheating; that he was even planning on discarding me. Either he was and was just still enjoying the thrills, or he didn’t plan on the discard; then she clamped down on his balls. I will never know; and it doesn’t matter now, but still weird.

        • CNL– Haha, yes. Losing the hypotenuse is the biggest buzz kill.

          On an even more buzz-killy note, what does it say about people that sex isn’t as fun if there’s no victim?

  • Oh, the tape would be fodder for them. They would spin that shit to make YOU look bad. That’s what they do.

    When my then-STBX retired, his coworkers threw him a party and gave him a journal that included kind one-page entries from each. Very sweet.

    After D-Day, which was only a few months after that party, I flipped through the journal to see if the OW (a co-worker) had written anything. When I discovered that she hadn’t (nor was she at the party, btw), I saw an opportunity. I could write something in there, pretending it was the OW. My addled, post-D-Day brain thought this was brilliant! I figured my ex would discover it months (years!) later when he wanted some narc kibbles.

    What I wrote was something along these lines: “Dear Dr. X, I really enjoy fucking you and sneaking around on your wife.” It was more snarky than that. I dotted my i’s with hearts, I spent an insane amount of time making it perfectly snarky and cloying. Fortunately, my sister nixed the idea, but at least she gave me the satisfaction of reading it and laughing.

    Thank God for sane family members and friends who keep us from doing stupid feel-good-in-the-moment shit.

    I like Mr. CL’s axiom: if it feels good don’t do it.

    • Thanks Chump Lady and everyone. You all confirmed what the smart part of my brain was thinking – just let them disappear into exile and shittiness and focus on me.

      This is a man who, when I found out, gave me her number and let me call her to tell her he was still married. He pretended to me to be suicidal and needed some time alone so he could spend new year with her. Plus he has w long history of porn addiction and sex cams.

      Her previous boyfriend was married so she’s got form, and she’s spent the last 12 years being taken to all the places we’d already been to on holiday. After 18 months together, he still never mentions her to his family, who have all taken my side.

      His reputation is ruined and his mother calls her ‘the trollop’. I think they will suffer enough.

  • I would love to hear from fellow chumps in the following situation: if your ex moved on with someone else, NOT an affair partner, after your divorce, did the new partner ever ask to speak with you about your ex?

    I imagine I might be in that situation soon, since STBX can’t be alone for any length of time and started dating 3 weeks after I moved out. I told her that it would be very unfair to the kids and me if she tried to get back with her most recent AP, and she appeared to agree – I think even STBX now realizes how screwed-up that AP was. But we are both women, and any future partner of STBX is likely to be a woman, so there’s going to be this fiction about everyone being all open and process-ey, the way lesbians often are.

    I doubt I would agree to meet with any new partner – if they overlook STBX’s history of cheating and other serious boundary violations, that’s on them. But I fantasize about it, all the same, and would be interested to hear whether anyone else has ever had a candid conversation with their ex’s new (non-AP) partner.

    • I had broken up with someone I was sort of dating and he got quite angry and I went no contact which infuriated him even more. His 90 yo mother wrote me a note begging me to talk with him. Mother-to-mother, she knew I understood.

      One day at work, I got a call on my desk phone from someone who said she wanted to ask about him. I asked how she got my name and work number. She said she had gone through his computer. I said, “Run” and was hanging up. But she went on about him and how he promised to marry her and then 2 days later, married someone else. And 3 months later, she accompanied him to the hospital for a hernia repair while the wife never visited.

      It seemed like someone who genuinely wanted my advice. I repeated that she should run and not be under the delusion that she and the wife were the only ones. I knew of at least 12 other women.

      She may have been genuinely upset enough to call me, but I was wary enough to send her an email asking she not repeat what I had told her, that I was still a bit scared of him. She replied saying she apologized but it was too late. She hadn’t been able to control herself and in anger, called him. Immediately.

      My advice? Stay no contact. And that includes other victims. You never really know what stage of dis-entangling and delusion they’re living in.

        • I swapped stories about an ex with another of his exes.

          I was threatened by an older guy I dated while in college. With the support of my parents, I reported him to police. The DA took the case and the POS had to plead Nolo.

          He had considerable status in the field I was starting to work in and the threats of violence this genius left on my voicemail were mixed with the usual “you’ll never work in this town again.” That made the young female ADA’s head explode and she wrote a mile long list of charges which were read aloud in court.

          This creep’s ex girlfriend, a Stanford grad, and a woman he’d gone to school with and worked closely with for years both contacted me after hearing (from the creep) that he’d been arrested and the three of us got together. The two women both apologized for not warning me and for having even maintained civil ties with the guy since this alone created the false appearance that he was “safe to women.” Then the school mate of the creep apologized to the ex girlfriend about not initially believing the ex girlfriend’s account of being abused by the guy. The ex girlfriend admitted that not being believed even by her friends made her doubt her own perceptions which was partly why she stayed “friends” with the asshole. She thanked me for taking action against him and for validating her experience. Then we laughed a bit over how nuts the guy had gone over the coup d’etat and losing control of the narrative.

          Both women wrote statements for the DA in support of me knowing full well Mr. Abuse-of-Power would know they had done so. None of us ever spoke to that creep again. That was clear before we even got together and is why we trusted each other. We were red pill takers, no longer in the Matrix. We didn’t include in our war council another of creep’s exes whom he’d apparently abused but who, likely for political and career reasons, remained in his harem of ex things and women friends. Unfortunately blue pill takers are not safe to “save.”

          • That’s quite a story! Thanks for sharing. I worked for an “old guard” male academic between undergrad and grad school who never would have hit on me (he knew I had girlfriends) but did drunkenly hit on another young colleague of mine. We all kind of closed ranks after that, and I quit working for him soon after in order to go to grad school. He’s so full of himself that I don’t think he ever realized that we had his number, and quietly passed the word to the next crop. SMH…

            • Having a posse in the wake of this stuff makes all the difference. Passing the word is part of healing, gives meaning to an otherwise existentially meaningless experience. But that’s always the tricky part. Abusers of power know how to wield it to silence anyone who might “tell.” Fishing around for that first ally is risky and terrifying. How great that you were the right person to turn to.

  • I like the TV movie/series “V“. Some of the characters believed the Lizard Overlord’s even with the evidence given them. Don’t waste your breath. My XW’s AP’s wife I told about their affair but I never confronted him about it.

    • I loved that series too. I read all the books at the time, at least about the core characters. The most fervent V-serving humans definitely would not have believed anything they saw, even with their own eyes – there was too much vested interest in championing the aliens over their own people. I think you’re right that it’s a great comparison with affair partners and also new partners of our ex-fuckwits, who likely think they’ve hit the jackpot, and nothing we say will dissuade them – because as CL says, they think they’re special. Magical thinking, all the way – ad our band of plucky rebel realists should just conserve our energy. Some delusional humans can’t be saved.

      • It was a great series. Remember how they would eat mice by dangling them above their mouth by their little tails and kind of unhooking their jaws so they could swallow them whole? Once you’d seen that you could never go back…it was the earthling Dday.

  • Unbeknownst to It, I had already had divorce papers drawn up. As part of “reconciling”, I made him write her a letter that he never wanted to see her again, she was a huge mistake, and that he had chosen me. I personally mailed it then served him a couple days later. I figured the least I could do was make things difficult for them on my way out 😄

  • “ He’d previously invited the howorker over for dinner — she was as dim and cheap as they all are so I never saw her as a threat. She knew we were having fertility treatment.”

    What a wonderful partnership it makes when dim and cheap are stuck in a relationship and you’ve freed yourself from that chaos. Oh yes, leave the pin in the grenade I’m big on saving the evidence just in case they miss the deliciousness of duping and centrality. Why rock a sinking ship?

    What a scum bag you lost. She’s his equal.

  • I regret doing something that I don’t even remember doing and it cost over $5000 by the time the court crapola over it settled.
    Apparently when going through FLICKR I edited a photo from an event by putting on groucho glasses on the ex and titling it something like “It’s great to have a wife who can not only organize a great event, but also pay for it. I only get off the couch these days for the great outings.” Yes, I can see the date of the modification and it was post-divorce. I must have been giddily celebrating. Yes, I forgot about it and Yes, he had been blocked from the account via one of his email addresses. I totally forgot about it until the legal papers arriving suing me for defamation of character.

    • This is a really excellent point about using social media of any kind to disparage an ex, even in a mild form. Once something is on social media, most courts consider it “published” and therefore subject to libel and defamation laws, should someone choose to enforce them. And, even if you win the case, you’ll spend a small fortune on legal fees getting there.

      Much better to not.

    • hahaha! Perhaps this was worth the $5000! How is it defamation of character? Isn’t it AFFIRMATION of character???
      Good warning, though, to be on guard.

  • I love the “leave the pin in the grenade” line… gonna have to use that one!

    And this… This woman eats cognitive dissonance for breakfast.

    We, as Chumps, want to believe that if only the OW or OM “knew the truth” they would dump the cheater. 99% of the time – it is not so. Why? Because just like the Chump, they have sunk costs too. And you end up pick me dancing, giving the cheater centrality, and guess what… while you two are doing that, he/she is getting another side piece at the gym/at work/insert locale here.

    I know from experience. I pulled the pin TWICE. I sent the OW #72 copies of his online profiles and she dumped him (#winning, #nocelebration) and then the new appliance, we’ll call her #73… well, she was already in therapy from leaving an abusive marriage when Mr. Sparkles lovebombed her… and she was not having any of the truth I tried to share.

    And, I realized that as long as I was acting like the relationship police for these new future Chumps, I was not going to get to Meh myself. So, I stopped looking for evidence and stopped trying to “protect” these people. Not everyone wants to be saved… the cognitive dissonance is strong with this one, and her meds probably help keep her rosy-eyed.

    As someone very wisely stated somewhere above – when you step out of the equation, you just have two dysfunctional people in a relationship… not your monkeys, not your circus.

    Happy new year, Chump Nation – you all rock!

  • Not mentioned in CL’s advise (and I apologize if I missed it in the comments) but if the ex was unaware he was being recorded and you live in a two party consent state, that could spell trouble if you share this.

    I definitely get the desire to do so. I have texts from STBX on second guessing the divorce, saying he’s not with her, wanting to reconcile. I sooo badly want to pass those off at times but if I take a beat to think about it, I truly believe she would just take it as evidence that I want him back and that would just make him all the more desirable. CL is right. She has shackled for so much, what’s a few texts that she could tell herself were taken out of context.

  • When cognitive dissonance drives you to join the marriage police, the “evidence” you find about your partner and schmoopie is for you. You have to convince yourself that the person you thought you married is not the person you married. No one else really cares to know, it does not devastate their life. If you have children you may offer them some age appropriate sanitized version of the reasons the marriage ended, but it serves no point to force feed them explicit details. If your children are intelligent, as they grow up and observe the behaviors of their parents, they will come to their own conclusions.

    If you have evidence of financial fraud and stealing, give it to your lawyer. That may help you in court. You do not need to share evidence of your spouses deviance, or schmoopies deviance. It is probably pornographic and disgusting, but NOW YOU KNOW, and showing others does not make you look better. People who think this type of activity makes them cool and sophisticated have not thought about how ridiculous they may appear if others, like their children or employers, or professional friends see them involved in this activity. But if you make a point to show this, you will not look good, either. You are not responsible for what other people think.

    I wish I had not seen some of what I found when I was in investigator mode. It was tough to realize how little I had actually known about men I thought I loved enough to marry. It made me feel foolish. It also made me angry, and that anger fueled my ability to wake up and take care of my own business. When I made the same mistake the second time, I was angry enough to evaluate my own chumpy state, and fix the weaknesses I had to accept the behaviors these men exhibited while we were married. There were red flags I ignored. I did not have strong boundaries. I corrected my vision and established new boundaries.

    They may be concerned about their false image, and you may have damaging information that will make tongues wag. But what will it really accomplish for you? It just stirs the pot, and keeps you connected to the whole mess. It is much healthier to move away from it and toward your new life.
    It only takes a few blinks of your eyes to find a decade has gone by. Some days I remember how I was before my children were born, and they are in their 30’s now. I seems like yesterday to me. Choose your use of time and energy wisely. Try to make good memories. Causing more destructive drama will only keep you attached to the bad memories.

    • Thanks for this, Portia. My investigations allowed me to see many things I wish I never saw and also allowed me to alleviate my cognitive dissonance. I feel foolish, too. I agree that engaging in drama will only keep me connected to them both. I am struggling with many thoughts of revenge with the evidence I have. It is almost too easy, like shooting fish in a barrel. However, I do not want to be looking down the barrel of a gun. I will let it rest.

  • Being right in the middle of the ‘trying to get out’ phase, I can relate very well to wanting to get revenge. To me, it feels like I have let this all happen and my life is out of control. Revenge does feel good in the moment getting that little high of feeling empowered and being in control. The cheater/narc has been relentlessly working at chipping away all sources of power from us Chumps. Revenge sounds oh so sweet. But on the flip side, those acts are kibbles and are empowering for the cheater (I should know, I’ve been stuck in this mode). It just moves more into combat mode and further retaliations. That never ends…

    • “it feels like I have let this all happen and my life is out of control.”

      Interesting, I remember feeling that way. Like, I should have seen what is so clear to me now. Why didn’t I, if I did; I could have stopped this run away train etc. I know of course I couldn’t have, and you can only know what you know when you know it but still, it is a hard thought to overcome.

      • Yes Susie Lee, it is a hard thought to overcome that annoyance at oneself for doing so much spackling. I appreciate the solidarity and imagine that is some post-cheater wisdom.

        I’m still in the house with the cheater as he won’t move out (despite a 5 year on going affair and #2 D-Day almost a month ago). I’m feeling a bit desperate to get control of this situation. Chastising myself for not ending it on #1 D-Day four years ago. As such, the want for revenge is much stronger this time. I’m holding out for the post-cheater clarity.

        • Definitely post cheater wisdom.

          I have had many great years since then, but discovered CL when the long ex blew up his relationship with our son (also Covid and quarantines set in). I was just curious to understand what I had long ago determined was narcissism at it’s best/worse? (back then there was no internet for research. Anyway, up popped Tracy and I am here to help, and to enjoy the company of smart women who are and have worked their way through it. And you will.

          Forget that revenge when/if you can; and keep it only in your dreams. I used to envision my FW floating face down in the Ohio River (long story). There is a way out and you will find it.

          Oh and as for spackling, I didn’t know the term, but I was one of the best, and had been for a long time before Dday. My FW had it so easy, I bet he missed that once I was gone.

          Also, my FW and his schmoopie have continued to shit all over themselves and anyone else they can, so I admit that knowing that helped me move on a lot faster.

          • Yes, I am on the way out. No more spackles, no more tolerance for anything the cheater comes up with. We have the house to sell and then there will be no way he can stay in my life.

            I don’t get why they cling on…so annoying. I’m almost at the point of contacting the OW to beg her to put some ultimatums down to get him to move out! Oh the insanity. My cheater is the covert narc. He wants to stay living in the house, but everything he does is “none of my business”. Yesterday, I pretty much had to force him out the door by demanding that he show me some document that he was very reluctant for me to see…and thus at the end of his protesting and not willing to do that, I asked him to spend New Year’s somewhere else. He then said to me, “So, just to be clear, there’s going to be no turning around in this relationship.” Total fantasy land! He definitely setup #2 D-Day (the OW called me) to get me doing the pick-me dance. I told him that he is a lunatic. I’m not competing for a FW.

            The post-cheater world ahead is looking pretty good. Thanks for your insights!

            • Good grief, it is like you have dog shit stuck to your shoe.

              I love the “Ok, you don’t get me back” threat. They really do love them some self don’t they?

              Mine called our preacher after he found out I went on a date, and the preacher called and asked if I wanted to hear him out. I said ok, honestly I was just curious.

              Basically, it started out with here is what is wrong with Susie. The preacher stared at him in horror. (so funny) Anyway, it was clear he was offering me a chance to win him back from the whore. I looked at the preacher and said, thank you for your time, but we are done here. Preacher called me later and said, he didn’t say the things I thought he was going to say (I am sorry, I was wrong etc) I said really he said exactly what I expected him to say.

              Mind you he was still screwing schmoops, he was just offering me a chance to compete. While I could have easily won the swim suit part of the competition, I passed on the offer.

              • >Good grief, it is like you have dog shit stuck to your shoe.

                lol. Yep!

                The chance to compete in the Mrs FW pageantry sounds like such an opportunity! Oh darn you missed it.

            • Mine won’t leave either!!! It’s the strangest thing. He never wanted to be here before and had been a serial cheater. I know it’s just some ploy and his attorney has likely advised him not to leave, but it still really sucks! I even suspect he’s set up “house” elsewhere. Of course he says I’m totally crazy and am so creative I should become a fiction writer.

              My stbx also has weird privacy expectations. As in he locks all his shit up… yet he’s not secretive.

              • What would really be cool is if you actually did become a fiction writer and did a series based on a character with a name that rhymes with his, and got rich.

                I would love to see that.

                I can’t remember, are you legally separated? In my case once we were legally separated, I had legal residency of the house and he couldn’t have access to it; without my permission. Once we were legally separated, I never let him come back in my house. I was never alone with him anywhere. He came several times when I was out in the yard and would try to talk to me, I would just give short answers.

                However it is, I hope you get rid of him soon. You are going to feel so much better, well you already know that.

              • @ Susie Lee,
                Wouldn’t that be hilarious?! Maybe I could use one of his names he’s booked hotels under?

                I’m about to throw my legal grenade with divorce of bed and board due to his cheating. Since he’s been unwilling to negotiate. I’m hoping that will be the step needed to get him out and bring peace.

        • My cheater also refused to move out. After all, that would be inconvenient and “every one has affairs.” Also the cake tastes much better when you’re living in the same house with your spouse. My lawyer took care of that.

  • The karma bus may not arrive quickly but disordered people usually manage to screw up some aspect of their lives. Let it unfold. All in good time.

    Disconnecting (with no contact as much as possible) is a chump’s main task. Focus on you, focus on moving forward, focus on “gain a life.”

    • LT chump, do what you need to do to end his fun times. Let him live with his choices. It is the best revenge ever.

      Hang in there.

  • What amazes me is how many of us contact (or get contacted by) the next chump in line and we tell them the truth but are not believed. As the saying goes, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

    Also, when I first got together with the sparkly turd he insisted I listen in while he called an ex. He spoke so nicely, sounded so kind, while she just cried. What was that about? Years later I found out, when he tried the same shit on me.

    Chumpawumba, the best revenge is living well. Move on.

  • Chumpawumba-
    Just focus on yourself and move on. Let the cheater & ho-worker have each other. Your time is too valuable to gain a life than deal with those two. Cheater and Ho-worker are already a special kind of crazy & there is no rationalizing with that.

    Years ago before cheater ex-husband, I had a cheater ex-fiance who became violent and I had to get a restraining order-Yup, I had a bad picker. During my one of many visits from the police, I told them that they had to warn the other woman that ex was violent and she needs to be careful because he could hurt her too. The police officer at the time told me that they did speak to the other woman and she lied and told them I was stalking her!!! (You seriously can’t make this stuff up) The policeman also told me that the other woman knew what she was dealing with and that some people thrive on the drama and that type of behavior-they are sick. The policeman then told me my best bet was to move away where they couldn’t find me and hopefully he will become obsessed with someone else. I took his advise, actually moved twice and put those two lunatics in my rear view mirror. The thing that struck me was that the policeman was right-those two were sick and needed the drama and violence. Just like all the others cheaters and ho-workers. They might not all need the violence but they all desperately need the drama!

  • My friend was Wife No. 2 of a Very World Famous Rock Star.

    My sister was friends with No. 1.

    I have a friend who was friends with No. 4.

    He is currently on Wife No. 5. With whom he cheated while he was married to No. 2. And the rest of his record as a cheater is public knowledge.

    There is no point in trying to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. There is an endless supply of the disordered who will sign up thinking the problem is you and it’s not about them or the cheater (especially for celebrities, to whom we often assign positive qualities).

    If people who get into illicit relationships cared about anything you had to say, they wouldn’t be in an illicit relationship in the first place.

    • That group’s music makes me gag. Some 70’s hits can be retooled and might sound groovy with different arrangements but not that souless drivel.

  • My stbx loved to bring the ow around me and even our children. It’s another level of twisted to enjoy seeing the wife and ap together. To have her while dealing with infertility must be so hurtful, and for 12 years. I have realized (while I don’t have great proof) that my husband likely cheated on me for almost the entirety of our 17 year relationship, I’ve eaten cognitive dissonance for breakfast, lunch and dinner;) Mostly due to that I wanted my children to have a nuclear family, that I never had. I finally woke up and realized their family already was beyond broken, and have been working my way out for a year… and he won’t leave!!! I tell him to please go and enjoy his latest ap, I don’t want him. He turns it in me that I don’t want our family together, it’s all my fault, it’s how I was raised, I displayed behaviors indicating divorce was inevitable prior to marriage. I realize it’s gaslighting and blame shifting.

    They are awful people and I’ve also wondered if his slutty, trashy af would care that he’s said awful things about her. But I realized he’s likely said awful things about me to her and why should I deny her the opportunity to discover what a jerk he is all on her own.

    • What is it with these low life’s bringing their slut around the wife and family. I thought at the time it was just my cheater. (this was in the pre internet days) After I found out who she was (he wouldn’t tell me, I found out from others) I was amazed at the times he had her at our house, and managed to get us in the same space when we were out somewhere. It is sick beyond belief.

      If there was any subject I would like to see studied it would be, why do these fuckers do that? there has to be a pay off for them.

      I am not a cheater, so I can’t imagine the pay off. I think if I were trying to live a double life; that would be the last thing I would do; but they almost all do it. It is a mystery.

      • Oh, it just adds to the excitement of it all!! You are completely in the dark. The cheater has the power and knowledge. It’s exhilarating! They get off on that!

        And s/he and the AP can exchange knowing glances. That’s straight out of a rom-com! They might even text each other without the spouse knowing. Fun, fun!! They might later make fun of how the ex behaved or looked or whatever. *ugh*

        It’s a strange bonding event for the two cheaters. All about POWER and knowledge. Heady stuff!

        It’s sick. And when they are alone together and the spouse is out of the picture, all that “fun” at the chump’s expense is gone.

        • That is the only thing it could be, as no other explanation fits. Yet, my mind reels that anyone can be so vicious. Yet, it is so common among cheaters.

        • Yes I recall them texting and smiling at dinner. As if I didn’t notice. That’s when I got up from the table and said I’m sick and leaving.
          More evidence that they suck! Normal people don’t get off on stuff like that.

      • You would think they would keep the af far away from the spouse. Do all cheaters do this or is it just those that have some extra psycho pathology?

        • I don’t know about all cheaters, but I read and hear about so many that do. It is definitely a thing among cheaters.

          When my husband and I were younger (ex husband, not current husband) he used to love to have sex in “risky” places. Beach, car, in the bathroom while we were visiting others. In other words being sneaky. I never thought anything of it; I just thought that was the way guys were and in certain circumstances it seemed romantic; especially the beach thing.

          So maybe it is just certain personalities who happen to be risk takers, and not as common as it seems. I just don’t know.

  • Note to all: This was started as a reply to the 12/29/20 post. Apologies in advance!

    Yeah. On D-day, I got, “I know I did a bad, bad thing.” Really?! Exit-affairing me w/your 15 years older, rich, formerly politically powerful boss for the sake of “twu wuv” and the belief he would mentor and push you in YOUR political career was a bad, bad thing? Blowing apart our relationship of 27 years, marriage of almost 25 years, our three kid’s lives and a lot of love on my part for you in the process, was a bad, bad thing? Oh, and I almost forgot. Admitting that it wasn’t just me, but that she couldn’t take the kids always needing her. For fuck’s sake, what a tremendous fuckwit.

    I’m sorry. I did a bad, bad thing just doesn’t cover that type of abuse and cowardice, and a cold-blooded willingness to blow apart our family and our children’s lives for her selfishness. Never mind what she did to me and my life. I don’t believe she’s remorseful, so I don’t feel there is any real motivation for me to forgive her. I’m simply moving on, trying to forget what I thought I had in her and in our “marriage and love.” I no longer believe she ever truly loved me, because I don’t think she’s capable of it.

    Sorry, I started writing this on 12/29/20, but my new job at FedEx Express has long hours and I don’t have as much energy left at the end of my days anymore (don’t get me wrong; I’m very much enjoying the job). I have a three day weekend, and got a pretty good night’s sleep, so I’m picking up where I left off, and adding something new. It is a new year, after all, so I figure I should bring something new to the table. Happy New Year, btw, to all of CN, and thanks to Tracy and Mr. CL and their family for allowing us to get continued wisdom from Tracy. May we all have a MUCH brighter New Year.

    The post on 12/31/20 reminded me of how I’ve been wanting to share a recent story of interaction w/the FW XW. It may well come under the category of 12/31/20’s post listing of #3: If it feels good don’t do it. But it happened the Friday before this last Christmas, and I was worn out from working 10 hour shifts (at least) daily and in the middle of an 11 day stretch of uninterrupted days of work. Ok enough excuses, here’s what happened.

    I came home from a long day, very tired, got my dinner heated up, and sat down to enjoy a quality TV program. I went to access my Amazon Prime video option, and what pops up on the screen but a set of icons for Amazon Prime. This was new to me. Then I looked at the labels for those icons. There were “Kids,” then next my oldest daughter’s name, and the last one was…my FW XW’s AP name (first) & FW XW’s name, together, for the last icon.

    My tired brain can’t figure it out. Why, for fuck’s sake, am I looking at their names on MY television screen?!! And why, if it’s my FW XW’s account, does she label her AP partner’s name first and then hers (his first letter capitalized, hers all in lowercase)? I immediately found it odd that she had no problem putting him first, while simultaneously projecting herself to be an powerfully independent woman, beholden to no one (eventually I just had to laugh at that. I very much appreciate strong, independent women. But that didn’t strike me as an example of that).

    As I sit there, stunned by this turn of events, I get more and more angry at this unwanted intrusion of their shitty life into mine. I’m so tired I can’t figure out why this happened, or why the fuck I deserve this shit. But as happened early on after she exit-affaired me w/her asshole AP (same one), I react w/out much thought about the consequences. I decide to see if I can edit the names for the icons, and lo and behold, I can! Maybe you can see the writing on the wall. I erase their names for their icon, and replace it w/Fuckwits (turns out you can only capitalize the first letter of the first word. I tried to just put FW’s, but got frustrated when I couldn’t make it look like that. So I ended up just writing it out).

    I figured I’d leave it like that for an hour, and if nobody noticed, I’d just erase it (I sure as hell wasn’t going to write their names for them). However, w/in 15 minutes, I got a text from the XW that said the following:

    I am not sure how you are managing to get into my Prime account but get out NOW and STOP changing my account name.

    CN, I can’t tell you how many giggle fits I had (and continue to have) over this. I went to bed (no further contact w/FW XW), and when I woke up the next morning, my brain had figured out what had probably happened. My 15 yo son probably had a problem w/the Prime account (or had been booted out somehow), and probably logged us back in via his mother’s account, since he has to deal w/both of our accounts. It was probably just an honest mistake on his part.

    I had to leave early for work that Saturday, but I realized I had to let my son know what had happened as soon as I could in case his mother figured out what had happened and got pissed at him (a possibility). When I got home that evening, I told him immediately. He informed me his mother had already told him what I had done. I told him I was sorry, that it was a weak moment for me, and that I was just pissed off at having to see his mother and her partner’s name up on my TV screen. He seemed to understand, and even seemed amused by it. Maybe I dodged a bullet. I still consider it an early Xmas gift to myself.

    To end, I’m wishing everyone at CN a very happy, healthy New Year. God knows we all could use a better year. And to you new chumps, hang tight. As I just told my possibly slightly suicidal middle child and younger daughter, who’s going thru a tough time mentally, emotionally and physically right now, but is leaning heavily on her mother for assistance (yeah, I just found this out last night about the somewhat suicidal part):

    THINGS WILL GET BETTER

    You just have to hang in there. Don’t give up, recognize that you are important enough to continue to live, and that your life has a major impact on others. Work towards what you want (good things), and know that things can and most likely will change for the better if you do that. We don’t usually remember how lucky we are to be alive. Appreciate the little things in life. Change your perspective to focus on any positive you can make of your situation. I can’t express how much good that has made in my life. Like CL says, remember you can’t change anyone else. Only you. Focus on loving yourself, so you can provide love for others. It’s easy to say, but it takes work. It’s SO worth it, though. And remember, you’ve started the process of getting a fuckwit out of your life. That’s no small act! It will pay many dividends, down the road.

    Ok, enough soapboxing. Love to you all, and peace and meh. Be safe.

    • Your candor is wonderful. I hope you are not using your real name for your handle here. There are too many spies online …

      • Accident on my part. I hadn’t posted in awhile, and forgot about the new setup. Thank you for caring about my secret identity, though.😊

    • Hahahaha! This is great -thanks for the chuckle. It makes me warm and fuzzy to know you got a good laugh at her expense. I’m sorry your son was put in the middle, but he will get used to this and find his own… sanity with it. Just keep being the sane parent and he will do just fine. In fact, he has an opportunity to develop in ways unimaginable to us Chumps.
      BTW – Mitz is right – no real names on here. 🙂

      • Peregrine, I had a great reply for you, then I lost the damn reply w/clumsy fingers. Basically, look at my reply to Mitz above, and I’m not perfect, but I’m trying my best to be the same parent. Unfortunately, the FW XW is a master of projecting that everything is great and better for and w/her, and the kids buy it. Occasionally the kids tell me of them noticing some of her behavior (that I can classify as narcissistic), which they spackle over. Ah, they ARE my kids! Also, thank you for caring about my secret identity, too. Best wishes in the new year for you and Mitz. Lots of love and meh to you both!

  • I really like CL’s husband’s rule that “if it feels too good” then you probably shouldn’t do it. Ultimately though, there’s a difference between releasing a tape to hurt someone and not releasing a tape because you’re still hiding someone’s secrets. Us chumps become very good at spackling and hiding the secrets of our cheaters, in the beginning out of a desire to keep our marriage together, and then in the end largely out of shame.

    All this to say that if you feel compelled to release this tape just to cause them pain…well, don’t. But, if keeping this tape unreleased is the same as keeping a secret for him…well, maybe release it. But, I wouldn’t go to the effort to release it to them, specifically. If releasing it is important for other reasons, then release it in that direction. For example, the tape shows he’s embezzling money from his company, and you release it to the company to stop this crime. The tape shows him abusing a minor, well release it to the police to prevent future abuse. I might even go so far as to sanction the release of a tape that could spare an innocent third party more heartache…like sending it to an unaware chump spouse of an affair partner. To me, these are noble causes.

    But, releasing a tape to a 12-year long affair partner that might expose your cheater ex as a double-time cheater? Nope.

  • >