Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

UBT: Affair Proofing Your Marriage

shrink“Affair Proof Your Marriage” articles are so ubiquitous, I hesitate to feed them to the Universal Bullshit Translator. It just rolled its circuits at me. Really? This crap again? Don’t you have some juicy psychobabble from a certified Yoga Imago Sex Therapist I can parse? Are you really going to make me read “keep the home fires stoked” again?  

Sorry UBT. The menace of Affair Proofing must be stopped. Or at least ridiculed a bit.

HuffPo recently ran “9 Steps to Affair Proof Your Marriage” by Beth Cone Kramer. Ostensibly the article is to point out danger zones we weren’t aware of (second cocktails!), but in actuality, is thinly disguised chump blame. We drive them to it, folks!

1. Address problems with your partner. When we don’t talk about what’s bothering us, we tend to want to find someone’s shoulder to cry on. Be careful about discussing your grievances over and over again with someone who isn’t your partner.

Chumps, if you don’t offer your shoulder to a cheater, they will find Another Shoulder. Cheaters, if you don’t unburden your unhappiness on your chump, they can’t dance prettier for you. Actually, you might try both tactics — discuss your misery freely with your chump AND tell the new shoulder she’s the only one who Really Understands You. Problem solved!

2. Be involved in your partner’s life. If a wife (or husband) has frequent dinner or late night meetings with business associates, why not suggest “Let’s all have dinner together?” adds Dr. Saltz. “Keep your partner abreast of what’s going on and let her or him know you’re interested.”

“Let’s all have dinner together because I am highly suspicious of this Bob character in accounting. In fact, if I invite myself to your company happy hour, you’ll back off Bob, won’t you?”

Meals together are such an affair deterrent! Because cheaters NEVER make chumps dine with their affair partners. That just never, EVER happens.

3. Watch out for that second or third cocktail. If you’re on a business trip with the “work spouse,” avoid that extra glass or wine or martini. Drinking can lower inhibitions. If you’re disgruntled with your partner, have had a few drinks and it’s midnight, it’s easy to share you’re miserable when there’s someone there.

The first indication you might be on a slippery slope is having a “work spouse,” but no matter — avoid the Bellinis. Keep the shields up on your “misery”! (Only desperately miserable people cheat, so lock that unhappiness in! Don’t let it escape with one extra beverage!)

4. Be honest with yourself. Dr. Saltz notes, “If you want to look nice when you get together with so-and-so, touch the other person or say things you wouldn’t be saying if your spouse were there, that may be a hint you’re crossing the line.”

… into a sexual harassment lawsuit. Drinking together and touching people you work with probably isn’t a solid career move. If we’re being honest with ourselves!

5. Keep the home fires stoked. Feeling desired may increase a woman’s libido. Engage with your partner to make sure she feels wanted and knows that you’re still attracted to her. Since the brain loves novelty, it’s easy to get sidetracked by the new guy or girl, especially if she (or he) is not getting attention at home.

Since the brain loves novelty, be seven different people! That affair proofs everything! Make multiples of yourself! Okay, if you can’t do that, desire your spouse. That’s why people cheat, because they don’t feel desired. You’re probably sexless, aren’t you?

Cheaters NEVER cheat on people who desire them and have sex with them.

6. Don’t air the dirty laundry. Whether you’re sharing marital complaints with your office mate or with an online friend of the opposite sex, you may be setting the stage for an emotional affair. When you’re sharing more with a friend of the opposite sex than you do with your mate, you’ve crossed that line. Add in some physical attraction and you may even be heading towards a physical affair.

Cheaters, I’m sure you just lack insight that sharing marital complaints is “crossing a line.” I mean, you would never deliberately tell an online friend you were a sad sausage just to get in their pants.

This affair stuff just creeps up on you! It Just Happens! One day you’re chatting innocently about your spouse’s toenail fungus and failure to listen, and the next you’re booking hotel rooms. It could happen to anyone, so be on ALERT!

7. Step away from secrets. One sign of emotional infidelity is secrecy. If you (or your spouse) is keeping a “friendship” secret, the likelihood of an emotional affair increases exponentially. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you need to clean house of all your friends of the opposite sex. But, be upfront about the friendship.

Cheaters, I’m sure you just forgot to tell your spouse about your “friendship.” Thanks to this handy HuffPo reminder, you’ll be full of transparency now.

8. Keep work relationships nine-to-five. If you’re meeting for drinks after work or grabbing dinner, perhaps you should invite your husband or wife along. Transparency is everything and may keep the relationship in the friend zone.

Boy we’re really hung up here on inviting chumps to dinner with the Special Friend, aren’t we? It merits two mentions.

Cheaters, arrange your covert fuck tests during office hours. Many hotels charge hourly. Cars work too! Consider a lunch hour blowjob in the parking lot.

9. Beware of crossing the line. Catching yourself if you’re heading into dangerous flirting territory. Consider if you’d be okay with your spouse sharing that slightly NSFW email or joke.

Cheaters, I’m sure you care deeply about those lines and respect them just like you respect your vows and your intact family and unsullied 401K. So you will careful when you get close to crossing a line. Sirens will go off and your hair will burst into flames if you so much as step a big toe into flirting territory. Keep your jokes to yourself. Unshared memes save marriages. (Ooh, the UBT should make a meme that says that.)

There may be no sure way to affair-proof a marriage like you would child-proof the cabinets, but you can lessen the chances with regular communication and trying to meet each other’s needs, both emotionally and sexually. It’s easy to fall into the pattern of being too exhausted or distracted after work or a day spent chasing after the kids. But, staying attentive to each other is essential to maintaining intimacy.

Bad marriages make people cheat, not bad character. Don’t chase those children! Don’t get exhausted or distracted, or your marriage is DOOMED. So put little safety locks on your cabinets and their genitals just to be safe. Maybe you can fit in a nap or something once you have them properly tethered. Best of luck!

This UBT ran earlier. So It does not get a cookie.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • Damn. All those crossing lines. Like a London Traffic intersection.

      So 6 out of 10 women remain chaste per these stats. Hmmm.
      Que Captain Miller -Saving Private Ryan…”That’s Disconcerting“.

      Modernity. ? I’m very happy Living stuck in the 70’s

      And this why I don’t read Nor follow MSN trade rags.

      • I lean more left than right and I’m disappointed in this chump-blaming tripe from the HuffPost.

        My affair prevention tips:

        1) Do not marry a narc.

        2) Should you find yourself married to a narc divorce the bitch/bastard with extreme prejudice because s/he is not going to change, not for you, not for the OM/OW, not for anyone. They aren’t capable of behavior modification.

        The End

    • The standard advice given all over the internet is such bs and really is toxic. It says we should forgive, save our marriage. It’s no wonder there are so many of us chumps around. Thank you for the sound advise. There is no reconciliation with these fuckwits, only more lost time, and self degrading behaviors.
      My husband loved to have me around his affair partners, he got some twisted enjoyment. And alcohol doesn’t make them cheat, we don’t make them cheat, they choose to cheat. My one hope is that with all these chumps around that there are some people out there that don’t cheat.

  • The only way to affair proof your marriage is to not get married. Oh my, was that a little too bitter bunny? Let me try again. The only way to affair proof your marriage is to not marry a person who would cheat. Who of us married someone thinking they would cheat? Perhaps the only way to affair proof your marriage is to divorce a spouse who cheats.

    I advocate for the divorce a cheating spouse option.

    • True, but you can pay attention to red flags and not spackle.

      I know with my ex there were red flags all over the place, I just chose to ignore them. I suspect many others have done this as well.

      I should have acknowledged these red flags and not married him.

      • There weren’t any cheating red flags for me. This dude didn’t even look at other women and had a squeaky clean dating history (confirmed, not based on his word). Everybody who knew him considered him the last person who would ever do such a thing, including his friends. He was well known to be shy and family oriented.

        It’s scary, but there really is no surefire way to tell who will cheat and who won’t other than a history of cheating. My cheater happened to attract the attention of a narc who blatantly and aggressively went after him, so he didn’t have to overcome his shyness in order to cheat. If that hadn’t happened I’d never have known who he really is inside.
        I suspect he didn’t even know he had it in him until he’d done it. The self delusion is that strong. I say is rather than was because he insists he’d never do it again, that it was a one-off. Yeah, bullshit. A long term double life affair is morally equivalent to serial cheating and is founded on the same pathology.

        So I’m avoiding relationships, period. It just isn’t worth the risk.

        • Sadly, I agree with what you wrote.
          No red flags that I should have/could have noticed.
          Last person anyone would have thought of as a cheater.
          Little dating history as I was his “first”. He was 16.


          However, I really don’t want to avoid relationships. I’m older so there isn’t a huge amount of hope. I just don’t want to die without a chance to be in a real, loving relationship with a good person. That would hurt me as much as being cheated on does.

          • My feeling exactly. By faking love, he robbed me of my chance to find real love, and that hurts most of all. He caused me to waste almost my entire adult life on a mirage.

            However, my age combined with certain liabilities I have means it’s incredibly unlikely I’ll find real love. So I figure I just have to eat the shit sandwich of never knowing what it’s like.
            I hope you find it.

          • I agree. Why should we close up shut down and turn everything off because of an evil idiot who didn’t appreciate what he had at that very moment?!? Why the hell should that be OUR problem?
            Love is all we have and it’s needed and important and maybe I’m a dreamer but I know I have a lot to give. Just VERY CAREFULLY if ever again. And I am confident everyone here is both worthy and capable of loving. Again.

        • You are describing my husband to a T which is why he doesn’t believe that he is like other cheaters. He still considers himself to be “one of the good guys.” He is not a flirt, had never shown himself to have poor boundaries in the past, and was also kind of shy. It’s actually why I knew right away that the AP had to have been a coworker before I was able to confirm it. There was no way he would put himself out there to be snagged as he was not particularly outgoing enough. Most revolting to me is that he takes this all as a sign that their love is authentic.

          I do still plan on making myself vulnerable again as I would like to date again.

          • Yep, mine was a “nice guy” cheater too. Covert narcs tend to be shy. They fake humility, yet inside they believe they are special and entitled and are angry that nobody recognizes how exceptional they are. So as soon as some twit coos praise at them, whether faked or real, they will cheat.
            My cheater’s OW literally told him he was perfect and of course he believed it, which no non-disordered person would. It’s laughable how stupid and vain they are.
            Yours sounds cut from the same cloth.
            Here’s hoping you find a normal one.

            • I had one of the nice guys also. When it all came out the family was in shock along with me! Our friends were even shocked. But he didn’t have to work on putting energy into a relationship since they were hookers, then he fell for one that lasted 3 years! I saw signs but how does one prove an affair when the FW is home every night and on weekends. Who would think he had a 10am appointment every week??

            • I had never heard of covert narcissism before the affair. A friend suggested he might be one and he does check a lot of the boxes.

              It is of course laughable that anyone would find “you’re perfect” as a compliment and not disordered. One of FW’s big reasons for the affair was that he didn’t feel appreciated for all he did for me. He literally wanted to be thanked for just the day to day responsibilities that he took care of without ever thinking of demonstrating that to me. AP was of course super appreciative of him. I tried explaining that she was coming of a base of having zero expectations of him because he had zero responsibility to her but that was a total waste of my time and breath. Should have just been screaming at him to pack his shit up instead.

              • “he didn’t feel appreciated for all he did for me”.

                I hope that you recognise this statement for the blameshifting bulls&* that it is.

                Covert Narcs play the self-pity game, and they know exactly how to blameshift, and which buttons to push. Typical Narc. They clearly are perfect and don’t have any faults of their own. *eyeroll*

                George Simon’s books (Wolf in sheep clothing etc.) really help to spot the undercurrent of this type of behaviour. His books are genuinely helpful and demonstrate (with examples) the manner in which this type of covert abuse presents.

                Want proof? The complete lack of empathy (and in my case intentional emotional abuse) when they abandon decade plus relationships.

              • Yep. My ex-h was mr. nice guy who loved to be the life of the party. Wasn’t until he discarded me for his married howorker, that I began to learn about covert narcs. His complete lack of empathy and blamed me for marital problems that in his mind justified his cheating. During the last years of our marriage, I had commented to him about how some people seem to hero worship and hang on his jokes. No that was just his need for constant supply, always had to planning social events, concerts, football games, always needed attention.

      • Yes. Exactly that! Red flags like a car sales yard.

        Cheaters make no effort to please anyone but themselves. It’s all take, no give. Being in a relationship like that is exhausting. The mind fucks are the worst, trying to constantly destabilise you.

        I was packing up my photo albums yesterday into a box…ready to move out. We looked happy back then. But I also have a diary. It tells a different story of the mind fuckery going on straight after the wedding, and then a stream of love and withdrawl thereafter. I’ll never forget that he told me early on to let him know if I had found someone else as he didn’t want to be played like a fool – a rule just for me, and not for him. And the letters we wrote each other while dating long distance (pre internet and email capability)…I was trying so hard to catch him. Like he was some great catch. Oh my! I was way too naive about romance (thanks Hallmark!).

        May us chumps find peace this holiday season. We deserve it. Self-care the crap out of ourselves, and own our space in the world.

        • He “didn’t feel appreciated for all he did” line. That was a top 5 line I heard. Right along with “you have such a good life anyone would love your life” blah blah. The twisted crap he says.
          I think that’s part of the covert narc, passive aggressive, victim game. They hide their narcyness so well.

  • Omgoodness! This is just what I needed to read! I remember when I first found out about the affair. He blamed me for everything. I believed him. It was my adult son that made me see things how they really were. I am glad I can laugh about it now.

    Chump Lady, you are the absolute best!

    Happy Holidays!

    • The last year or two of my first marriage my then wife was making all these “suggestions” about my appearance. She wanted me to wear a certain type of pleated trousers and trim my beard short and in a particular way. All of this came up again post DD as my non-compliance was grounds for cheating. Flash forward 20 years and remarried. I am mid 60’s now, grey bearded and looking more like a biblical patriarch. Until covid, when I need to wear a trim beard to make a mask fit effectively. When I say to my wife I need to trim my beard once more she expresses, “Oh no, I wish it was long and bushy again!”
      It ain’t you, it’s them.

    • Adult sons are the best.

      I remember when I told my adult son that his dad and I were going to “try again”. Son said, “mom be careful, I love dad; but he is messed up” I should have listened the “try again” was a disaster and lasted a week, before I kicked the sadistic bastard to the curb.

      • Right? My older adult son, who was 17 when I left my ex (not his father) used to run interference for me. He’d hang out with me so ex couldn’t pester and hoover until we could move out.

        I have 2 sons (now 17 and 20) and they’re the best things I ever did.

      • Agree! My son was livid, yelling at cheater dad that he “made mom feel bad about herself.” God love that kid. He also pointed out that cheater continued to lie even when cornered (and, by the way, it was my son who cornered him).

        I joke that my son and daughter “gave Dobby a sock,” but it’s really no joke. Not their responsibility, and it’s an indication of what a messed up person the ex really is, but those two kiddos absolutely freed me.

      • My oldest son when he was 16 wrote a letter to his mom outlining how she was ongoing in her abuse towards me. She showed it to me and wanted me to punish HIM for disrespect. I said no, it was all true and he only knew the half of it. Neither did I as she was actively cheating then, but it would not be revealed for another year.
        He has grown up and become a psychiatric nurse.

        • In the immediate aftermath of D-day, my son (30) did the following:

          1. was the first to tell me to go NC with his dad.
          2. tossed some much needed cold water on me by saying, “Dad doesn’t love you.” It sounds harsh, but I need that. And he was right.
          3. was the first to say, “You were abused.”
          4. told me to make a list of all the shitty things that were done and said so that I can refer back to it if his dad ever comes crawling back.

          Wise beyond his years.

        • Thank God for the kids! They see everything. My XH was gaslighting me about what a bad mother I was. He kept telling me that I never took the kids to their sports activities. He said it so much that I started to second guess myself. So I asked my son about it. His answer: “Mom,” are you serious? You’re the one who takes us to all our games! The last time Dad even went to one of our games was, like, 2 years ago. Don’t listen to him. He’s making shit up to make himself feel better.”

          • This little thread warms my heart and reminds me how wonderful chumps are, that they raise such awesome kids.

          • I feel sad that it’s the kids who see it! My daughter said “mum, if dad wanted to be involved in my school he’d make an effort. You don’t have to keep trying to make him do it anymore.” Why are cheaters such shorty parents on top of it all??

              • My ex attended only the kids’ activities that HE liked. So he’d go to hockey games but not concerts; soccer games but not swimming meets.

                He derived a lot of kibbles from their excellence at sports. He was SO hard on them to perform better and better. I used to hate to stand next to him during hockey games because he would constantly mutter cricitisms. My pointing that out to him (dude, it’s unpleasant to sit next to you) did nothing. My handing him the video camera helped because he knew enough not to talk while filming.

                After games, he excoriated the kids. What a jerk! I tried to shield them by taking a separate car so they could go home with me. I still can’t believe it.

                When they won scholar-athlete awards or some such, he credited himself. Total narc!

            • This is awful, but my daughter who had trouble in school and ended up an with a graduate degree in engineering said (He didn’t care if I sank or swam.
              Her my heart but was the first truth I have heard about him.

      • Wow- our babies know best isn’t that something? I was relieved when daughter could “see”. Good for you????

    • You and me both everything was deflected onto me, sorry i know my self worth and I won’t tolerate infedelity. If there is a problem be an adult qnd open up to you’re spouse! Narcissists don’t discuss issues they have with you because cheating is all part of the game!????

      • Yes, they don’t discuss ANYTHING because they never know where they might slip up and tell the truth about matter which they have already lied about. While they blabber on about nothing they are anxious and inhibited about talking or sharing anything of substance. Why …because they say….YOU are always so critical. You get wrapped up in this endless skein of being lied to and blamed for the absence of truth.
        I’m late to figuring this out, (decades) but now that I see it I can t be blind to it.

      • Yes, they don’t discuss ANYTHING because they never know where they might slip up and tell the truth about a matter which they have already lied about. While they blabber on about nothing they are anxious and inhibited about talking or sharing anything of substance. Why …because, they say….YOU are always so critical. You get wrapped up in this endless web of being lied to and blamed for the absence of truth.
        I’m late to figuring this out, (decades) but now that I see it I can t be blind to it.

  • Actually, I do think people need to make sure they are not starting down a slippery slope with friends or co-workers with whom inappropriate relationships or feelings could get started. I think normal married people would already know the red flags and avoid these behaviors, but keeping an entitled, self-centered, glassy-eyed, soul-less f***wit from engaging in inappropriate behavior is impossible.

    Temptation is out there. I always stuck to my own rules or avoiding old boyfriends on social media, not going out for drinks alone with co-workers while on business trips, etc., just for my own benefit.

    My X was hell bent on reaching out to old GFs on facebook, screwing any chick he happened to work with with or befriend because that was the kind of crazy he was. Didn’t matter if we had a great sex life or the amazing vacations I planned or dinners I cooked or how many kids I had (and raised on my own) or years we were married or hours of church we attended, or even how many counselors we saw who guaranteed they could fix our broken marriage. Player gonna’ play.

    • Temptation isn’t the problem. The decision tree begins with (always) looking, never being satisfied, entitlement, lies, justification, creating a false narrative and NPD.

      After years of all of the above he bragged it was always about the thrill of the chase. Cutting the cord worked. There’s much joy in where I dropped him off.

      • Thank you!

        “never being satisfied, entitlement, lies, justification, creating a false narrative and NPD”

        Spot on. I just need to keep remembering this. It’s especially hard when you’re the opposite kind of person. I loved our life and family and felt like we had made our dreams come true. I still get stuck on why he would destroy such a precious gift.

      • Yeah, I’m somewhere in between “at least it was a list for the potential cheater and not the chump” and “but it seems only certain personality types are out there having affairs.” I dunno, I think the people who are self absorbed and entitled enough to cheat aren’t reading self-help material.

    • Yeah, I’m ok with this one – at least it puts the responsibility on the cheater to not cheat.

    • I agree. Temptation is always out there. As are people looking to you to be an affair partner!

      I had a opposite sex boss who started to tell me ‘how unhappy’ he was…. I caught the red flag and said , “I’m so sorry. You and your wife should get help. My relationship with my husband has a my most cherished asset.’ I quit that job about a year later. Insufferable harassment in a bad economy.

      I do think married life can get ho hum. And it’s both responsibility to keep in interesting and to have fun. A family that plays together, stays together.

      But some people are mentally unstable and toxic. No matter what the situation, they aren’t happy and look for kibbles. You can’t change them any more than you can change hair shedding from a husky dog living in Southern California in July.

  • My STBXW managed to cheat during her work hours. Asking four guys that I caught on her Snapchat if they be in the area any daythat week to hook up. Sexting from the toilets during breaks. Went to work as normal and returned same time everyday as normal. I’d never have caught it if not for getting access to her phone.

    I’d love to write to CL and have my story featured as I feel I really need input to help me get through this.

    • ChumpyNLYLT,
      Just write. You can post questions to this comment section and will get some input. there is also the forums, which I don’t know about but someone here can help.
      You don’t have to share the whole thing at once – and whatever you do, don’t try to make sense of whole thing. It takes a long time to sort it all out and to sit in your own head. Please, keep reaching out in big ways and in small ways, there is a lot of wisdom here.

      • ChumpyNLYLT and Fern

        Agreed – you cannot sort it all out probably EVER.

        I honestly don’t know if it’s a giant waste of time trying to, but I lean that way. We cannot untangle their skein of fuckedupness.

        My wasband has not seen our kids since DDay (>4 years).

        I would have sworn on my life that he’d never abandon us all.

        But I was wrong. And I was wrong for a really long time.

        Best to stay focussed on US and OUR FUTURE and not keep going over the past. It just causes pain and hinders forward movement.

        Later, when you’ve healed some, work on the picker and watching out for red flags.

        For now, trust that HER CHOICES ARE NOT ABOUT YOU.

        I know it sure feels that way and I know it hurts! Hard not to “take it personally”, I know. (Trust me, I KNOW).

        But step back for a minute – assume another person told you that their spouse asked for hookups – from several sources – on snapchat…from the bathroom…during breaks at work…

        (Yeah, that’s “love”…)

        That was NOT about YOU.

        But your future is all up to you.

        Step into it. Just try for 90 day increments, NOT to look back or untangle.

        Eventually enough time will have passed and you’ll get to a place of MEH.

        • I’ve managed to go no contact with her beyond the kids. Anytime I’ve had contact she keeps saying how much she loves me and how she ruined everything and how she wishes more than anything to have us back and wishes things had never happened. Even had the nerve to state she hopes someday we could maybe start dating each other again. Over my dead body. When I see her, she tries to touch me, she does the tears, she lingers about looking all heartbroken. I know I will never know the true extent of her cheating and will certainly never get any level of truth from her. I get good days and I get awful days. It just comes in waves. 15 years together.

          • That’s rough. Just remember that she won’t change. She fucked up, yes, but you are mighty! You had the self respect to say NO MORE! I was 25 years and my husband openly said he wanted me and his girlfriend. He then told me about all the years of cheating he’d done and expected me to actually be happy for him that he’d come clean and that he had a steady girlfriend rather than having to go to sex clubs and prostitutes. Oddly, just not cheating was not an option for him! Cheaters like your ex and mine are disordered. Stay away from her as much as possible. Don’t let her see you or touch you. You will heal up better if you aren’t subjected to that shit. She’s doing it to keep herself central. Put yourself in the center and kick her out! It’s about you and your healing now, not about her. Find your rage! Hugs ????

            • “Find your rage.” Good advice, succinctly put. I remember hearing the phrase “anger points the way” when I was in the middle of the years-long shitstorm. It helped.
              I think the combination of the two of them is excellent advice for all chumps.

              • Oh I’ve never lost that rage at all. When the bad days are here and I’m feeling worthless and depressed, I simply remind myself of what I found, the things she was telling other men, the gaslighting, the lies, the sneaking around and I snap out of it. It was that rage that got me my own bank account, got me into lawyer office day after discovery to file for divorce and got me set up for moving to my new home. I doubt the rage will ever go away.

            • Well said, FKA!

              ” Don’t let her see you or touch you. You will heal up better if you aren’t subjected to that shit.” Yes. Even if you think seeing her once won’t hurt anything, etc…

              I had to spend significant time with Wasband when our daughter had major surgery. I didn’t think it would be terrible. We didn’t fight. He pretended we were a happy family again.

              In order to take care of her after surgery, I had to agree to let him visit whenever he wanted. I agreed because it would have killed me to put her back into the hands of her abuser, especially in such a fragile state.

              The surgery came and went, no fights, no drama. The week of visits came and went. When it was all said and done, I had a nervous breakdown. It all turned out OK, Yet I could not figure out why I was losing my mind and crying so hard.

              My friend said, of course! He has been in your space all week. Scenes from my old life came alive again, except they were in my new apartment, my safe space.

              His presence alone was enough to re-traumatize me.

              • I fully understand that. When she is around me, it just pulls up all the emotions and anger and hatred I have for her. When she is away as she is living elsewhere and I go days and days without talking to her I start to feel far better then all back to square one when I have to deal with her. It’s so mentally exhausting.

              • Chumpy LYNLT,

                Yes. It takes tremendous energy to keep those emotions in.
                If you let even a tiny hint of anger slip out, they look at you like “What’s your problem? Why are you angry about nothing? That shows YOU have been the problem all along, just as I said.’

                CL has a post about this, but I can’t remember the title.

            • Yes she clearly wants to be central to my life. She even stated she can’t close the door on the hopes that we will get back together someday. I simply told her that it’s not her choice to decide as she closed that door the moment she cheated. Says she only wants us, I told her that well you had us and destroyed it. Now I’ve stepped out of her web and I look at her actions and such, the lies are unbelievable. She is a pathological liar. Her favourites are “I never said that” or “you only hear what you want to hear”. Even though I have screenshots of the exact words she said. Her stories constantly change. I’m so angry at myself for having met this person and now stuck with kids. I feel humiliated that I was with her.

              • Yes! “I never said that” and “you hear what you want to hear”.
                What would it be like to live in a world entirely of your own making, where you can change facts at will, and genuinely believe it to be reality? Sounds kind of nice, to be honest.

          • I’m not sure if you are aware but your user name could be construed as racist. It is referencing a line from Full Metal Jacket in which a desperate Vietnamese women is prostituting herself to American soldiers in broken English. Not exactly in keeping with the spirit of this site…

    • So sorry! She’s got a serious problem. Healthy women (and men) don’t behave that way. (((hugs)))

      • That’s only tip of the iceberg with her. We found her tinder profile where she stated she had a boyfriend who wanted to watch her with other men. She claimed it was a malicious profile and not hers. I said so we should phone the police to report it and total silence. 20 minutes after it was discovered the profile was deleted. Even that is the tip of the iceberg.

        • Yep, for an entire year I kept finding more evidence of my husband’s cheating. You may find that too. They are lying liars who lie. It hurts like a motherfucker when you realise what they’ve done. It’s not you, it’s her. She’s sick and needs help but that’s not your problem now. You are the sane, mighty one. It gets better but you do need a way to stay clear of her. Do not engage her. You can be creative in how you do this with kids. We all believe you! Fuck her.

          • I think I’m sort of lucky that I’ve moved an hour away from her, we share no common friends and I blocked her on all social media and every other avenue of contacting me. Divorce will be completed soon and I’m trying to rebuild my life.

            • Dude. When she walks into your breathing range your brain recognizes her specific pheromones. Mapped into your brain forever. CS gas.

              My radar would switch to DEFCON 4 Hyper-palpable tension whenever I got a whiff of the x-beast.

              Wet dog smells better.

              • One huge thing I’ve noticed is that I don’t find her attractive at all anymore. I find her repulsive to look at. If I met her now days I’d never date her or find her attractive. Thankfully I’m still in my 30’s and have had a lot of interest from other girls who want to date me. I’m nowhere near ready for dating but it does boost my confidence to know I could if I wanted. Life goal at moment is simply decorating my new house and getting settled and focus on career goals and the kids.

          • Among other subtle evidence of emotional abuse, lies, lack of empathy, and shockingly subtle death threats, wasband intentionally left evidence of all the teenagers he was fucking. Printed all their confessions of love, including how he was buying them gifts and pedicures etc.

            He planted the evidence of the new wedding ring, restaurant slips, the garden flat he rented for sex, poetry about how terrible I was and how I was causing his pain. Every last girl and woman he was simultaneously playing and f&*(*ing.

            When all the evidence was diarised, it became obvious that there was intent to hurt me and the evidence was intentionally left for me to find.
            The psychologist who made me write the diaries, and read what I wrote, had only one word for me. Psychopath.

  • I love my cat. I see lots of cute cats. I love kittens. I see lots of gorgeous cats. I sometimes feel sad that I can never live long enough to be the guardian of all the cats I would like to have. I love Bengals. I love Norwegian Forest Cats. I love every single cat. There is no such thing as an unwanted animal because I want them all.
    But when I make a commitment to a cat I forsake adopting all others. (Yes, of course you can have more than one cat and I have been a multiple animal household but indulge my metaphor here please…)

    When I adopted my cat, I made a commitment to love and care for her for the rest of her life.

    It would never even cross my mind to break that commitment, to abandon her, to ditch her and get another cat.

    Let alone my husband and daughter.

  • PS…

    Sneaking a Leckerlee mini lebkuchen to the UBT….a chocolate covered one….

  • This writer evidently never read Dr. George Simon. Her advice is really for those whose behavior is already over the line. People who value their marriages don’t have “work spouses” they travel with or “online friends” they tell secrets to or flirt with.

    As Dr. Simon would say, “It’s not that they don’t see. It’s that they don’t disagree.”

    • You can sort of reverse engineer this article into a list of red flags for chumps.

  • Good boundaries and tending to your marriage are always important, but if you’re doing it to try to keep your spouse from cheating you’ve got a spouse of poor character who will probably cheat anyway.

    This is what you do to support a happy marriage, not to try to force a cheater to not cheat.

    If that’s what you’ve got just get rid of them.

    I did… decision ever.

  • Here’s the article I’m working on: “How to Take Back Your Life After A Cheating Fuckwit”:

    1. Realize it isn’t your fault. You may have many super powers like packing lunches for kids, doing laundry, working full-time, etc. But, you do not have the super power of stopping or changing another person’s actions. You just don’t. Really.

    2. Cheating is a lie and a betrayal. That is a statement of fact. It takes a million lies to cheat on someone so the first character defect you’re looking at is LYING. Is this acceptable to you? Learn to listen actively and fact check. When the actions don’t match the words, it is time to draw a boundary.

    3. Kids are resilient. Sweet Jesus, how I hated this comment. But, sadly, it is true. So don’t stay for the kids… they’ll still love you (maybe even more) if you show them what courage, respect, and self-worth look like. Kids grow up in to adults – make good ones.

    4. Not all lawyers are the same. Interview more than a few lawyers and find the one who hears you and will be your advocate (note: not your therapist). Get clear on what you need to get to a cheater free life and go get it.

    5. You will not keep all your friends. Look back on your life – friends come and go. This is especially true when a “couple” breaks up within a couple group. Guess what – it’s ok. Find the friends who honor you and what you are doing and let go of those who don’t. You’re not going where they’re going. It’s ok.

    6. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Leaving a cheater and changing what your intact family looks like is scary as F*CK… yet millions, yes millions, of us have done it. It sucked, but you get through it. You keep your eye on the prize: a cheater free life. And you come to learn you are much stronger than you know.

    I’ll keep working on this but these are the kind of articles I’d like to start seeing in O and Elle and InStyle and whatever… let’s change the narrative together!

    • I think it’s vital the kids know there are consequences to actions. My kids know my STBXW cheated. They cry everyday at it, they have asked her why she ruined our family, they are helping me decorate and make my new home into our own home where they know they will be safe and loved. It tore them apart to know I had to leave the family home. They are all under 11 years old but they are smart and I spoke with them and told them that what mommy did is simply unforgivable and that we can’t let people treat us certain ways in life. I hope that I stills a sense of worth in them, I hope they see that daddy stood up for himself against the abuse that is cheating and rebuilt a better life. It’s very difficult at the moment.

      • CNLYLT – you’ve nailed it. Your relationship with your kids is yours to build and it sounds like you’re doing great. I kept my focus on age appropriate information (daddy’s don’t get girlfriends while we’re on family vacations), but I didn’t go beyond that and it is/was hard to not editorialize (e.g. Dad is a fuckwit)… I found my son was most interested in understanding how it will impact him (visitation, holidays, etc.) and I just went and built my new life. We (my son and I) take awesome vacations, we talk openly and honestly, we have our relationship. And, he has a relationship with his Dad (it’s not great) and he’s ok with it and knows who and what his Dad is (even in the current relationship, all the kids know Dad is cheating on the GF). End of the day… You do you! Merry Xmas.

        • Any advice on how to talk to kids when you don’t have 100% proof that he cheated and the ways he abused you were always under the cloak of plausible deniability?

          Mine are also under 10. I’ve only said “when you get married to someone, you make promises. When one person breaks that promise, you don’t stay married anymore”. That’s inadequate.

          • BL… what you have told your kids so far is enough. Simple is better for their little minds. Mostly kids want to know things like “where will I sleep”… “where will I go to school”… “does M or D still love me?”… “is it my fault”.

            Sadly, the simple explanation they need is like to be different from the “this mother f*cker cheated and blew up my family” that you want to exclaim from the rooftops… righteous anger is powerful that way. The simple answers they need may make you feel like you have minimized what your cheater did… but it doesn’t… and as they get older and their mind develops, they’ll start to understand more and more. Trust me… my son was in 3rd grade when his world imploded, he’s a high school freshman now. He sees it all.

            You are doing enough.

            • ICSTMC,

              “You are doing enough” is profound. It’s what every mother longs to hear every day. Thank you.

      • I approached my kids similarly. I gave XH several chances to explain what was going on (he left on Christmas 2016, after 19 years together). He refused, so I told him that I was going to tell them the truth, and I did. Turns out, they knew a lot more than I did. I still can’t believe I had children with such a horrible character! I thought he was a nice guy. Anyhow, I think it’s important that kids are taught about character, and how damaging and hurtful having a bad character can be. So, kudos to you!

      • I get it. But their mother is half them. And they will have to somehow reconcile what she did at some point in the future.

        • I make a point to never bad mouth their mother to them. I doubt I will ever tell them the extent of the cheating. I just want to move on from all this and forget about her.

          • Speaking as someone who shares children with a FW……you will never be able to forget about her. Because every birthday, holiday, graduation, grandchild…..she is still part of the picture. Even if she is physically not in their lives, she is part of the picture. She very much lives on in her kids minds.

            I find it easier to think of the ex as having a mental disorder, rather than hating him actively.

          • CNLYLT, I’ve read your other posts recently and you are doing great in your communication with the kids. Absolutely agree to keep it simple. Especially since the kids may have the RIC and Ester propaganda rolling at them when they reach out to friends, teachers or ex in-laws.
            This may happen when they are trying to stand up for you in their inevitable loyalty conflict.
            The problem is you won’t be there in those situations and they may be facing adults with adult cheater word salad.

            In society here it is perceived as an absolute given that a chump will not badmouth the cheater. So the threshold for actually calling statements badmouthing is very low.

            Stand your ground on this. You don’t have to be your ex’s spinmaster.

            I learnt about the importance of validating children’s feelings from the child psychologist. A good question to statements that could take you on a slippery slope to bring perceived as bad mouthing or woul require you to lie, is ‘how does/did this make you feel?’ A good answer can be ‘I very well understand you/your feelings on this’. You could add an example where you felt that way as a child which is not related to the cheating parent or romantic relationships.

            Crickets is of course a great answer. However, if you are facing an overly investigating mind it may not work.

            I’ve been able to end long-winded factual questioning by my then 5yo with this validation and it seemed to rest her mind.

            You wouldn’t believe how happy I was when after a long time,she approached me in tears and the reason turned out to be that she was in love with a boy from the other class and he would run away from her.

            Have a wonderful Christmas, that’s to all of CN!

  • No one was more disappointed or hurt or resentful than me when I figured out what was going on. But did I consider fucking someone else? Nope. My character, my commitment, my understanding of my marital vows compelled me to work on my marriage. Just as I always had.

    But it takes two (not one and not three) people to work on a marriage. Now I’m working on me.

    By the way, my STBX would ask me what I meant by “working on our marriage”. The word “intimate” also baffled him.

    • Good for you, Almost Monday!

      My exH was perplexed with the word “compromise.” ????

      • For mine the strange unfamiliar word was “consequences”. He has now become acquainted with the concept.

  • Velvet Hammer, my FW not only abandoned me, he abandoned our two cats, and get this – when I was still in crisis mode, I asked him how he was and his response was “I don’t have allergies anymore!”. I still loathe him for that self-centered comment. I don’t misunderstand it anymore, like I did at that time, though. Time is a MFing blessing. And I’ll take my cats over his disordered ass any day now.

  • I tried to fix my marriage through multiple affairs. From 2002 until 2015. He didn’t try and fix it really anything. He went to counseling many times with me. This last time he offered to go with my pastor. I refused. I knew that if my pastor to give him another chance I would be in for another round of years and years of waiting for it to occur again.

    I’m honestly happier being single. I have huge trust issues now. But I can trust myself. Somewhat.

  • Oh crap! I got a new computer and listed my name. Oh well, my now-husband (of 25 years) knows I’m addicted to this site, (which helped me so much years ago), though I almost never post these days.

  • Geez, it didn’t even include that post. So anyway, I looked her up and the last things she’s written are about Divorcing a Bully, Getting Your Finances in Order, and divorcing a narcissist. Seems she now wants women to learn from her mistakes.

    Go figure.

  • Maybe one way to affair proof a marriage is a good postnup. One that stipulates what happens if one of the spouses cheat. Like who ever cheats only gets 25% of the marital assests. Has to pay legal fees etc. If there where consequences to cheating I think people would think twice before cheating. Also, I think a spouse should be able to press charges if they contract an STI.

    • Sadly, nope.

      I have a prenup with a cheating clause. My FIL cheated twice, and stbx swore that he would never do the same. The prenup was meant to be a deterrent…

      Still didn’t keep him from cheating while I was pregnant.

      A word of warning – you’ll need balls of steel to enforce a prenup cheating clause. Cheaters don’t like their affair to be made public, and they really don’t like having to pay money for it. Expect RAGE. So much rage. Cornered animal rage. Lots of draining marital assets and perjury to hide what they did. Prepare for a nasty, expensive divorce (my cheating clause didn’t include paying all the legal fees, whoops)

      • A repeat of a comment I posted before.
        My father is married to wife 3.0, a paralegal working in estates and trusts. They both wanted a prenup when they married 1991. She has a son my age and he was going to inherit a lot of money when his parents finally died in their late nineties (96 and almost 100 !)
        She said to me “A prenup isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. It can always be challenged.”
        Buyer beware.

  • “Meals together are such an affair deterrent! Because cheaters NEVER make chumps dine with their affair partners. That just never, EVER happens.”

    Hahaha! This is my favorite line! Cheaters just LOVE putting their spouse and their side-fuck together. They get a thrill from it. I know the EX just LOVED things like that. He used to hide evidence of his infidelity on the top shelf of cabinets in our house. He told me later that he thought it was hilarious watching me walk around underneath it, not knowing it was there because I’m short.

    • The double cruelty of first doing that (putting the evidence where you would not know and he would) and then telling you he did it says it all.

    • “Cheaters just LOVE putting their spouse and their side-fuck together. ”

      Absolutely. I was gobsmacked when I found out who the whore was. He put her and her best friend at our table at his Police Dept Christmas party. Fucking sadistic bastard. I ask him why be did that, he just hung his head. Her best friend went on and on to me about how cute a couple fw and I were, and how the whole town would be so shocked if we divorced. I said to him after I found out, that is why whores best friend said that. He said, and get this; she didn’t know what was going on. Bull shit. He was sitting there sweating like a hooker in the front pew, while she was saying that. In hind sight I honestly think, she (the whore) demanded to be put at our table that night and she and the friend planned to put the pressure on. She was putting the squeeze on him.

      I suspected by then he was catting around, but I honestly didn’t think it was either of the whores at the table. They were just both so unappealing and ignorant. Guess I gave him more credit than he deserved.

      However, he also before that brought her over to our house a couple times, she was his direct report; so that was the guise.

    • What an ass! When I suspected mine was cheating with a client. I kept trying to invite myself to one of their dinners/after work drinks. So one time he said I could join them and then they weren’t at the pub he told me to meet them at. Later he tried to gaslight me by saying that I got the location wrong!

    • That’s nothing short of evil. He is super disordered.

      Mine wanted to get me looking at the credit card bills in the guise of having me take all responsibility for the finances. His dates were on them, which he pointed out, but he said they were group work lunches and nights out with the boys. How he must have laughed about shoving the proof right in my innocent, trusting face.
      These people belong in prison for stealing our lives.

  • When people try to excuse my ex’s cheating (“sometimes people no longer click”) I point out that cheating isn’t about leaving your spouse. It’s about keeping your spouse while acquiring additional “spouses” and lying to everybody, not to mention causing tremendous emotional, health and financial harm.

    • Right they are using the emotions, trust, finances etc of another human being to sneak around and get themselves what they want before bothering to inform the betrayed spouse. Sometimes they never intended the spouse to know, other times they are getting another nest in place; either way they are using and abusing another person for their own gain.

  • I love hearing some women say “if you have a lot of sex at home your husband won’t be tempted to stray and get it somewhere else” There is a well known radio talk show host who always says that. He will still stray and get it someone else and then when he is getting it somewhere else he doesn’t want it from you and then will blame you saying he had an affair because he wasn’t getting sex at home. Cheaters have character issues, no matter how great of a marriage they have they will still cheat.

    • Total bullshit! I had great sex with my husband and I did lots of things he wanted to do. Eventually he stopped having sex with me very often even though I was chasing him around for it! No one thinks about that side of it. If you’re married to an entitled prick then no amount of sex at home will stop them. Just more victim blaming.

      • Yep, I can tell you almost to the day, when my ex started pushing me away. I am sure he used my subsequent withdrawal due to his rejection as his excuse. They are master manipulators. You can’t beat them.

        • As things declined towards DDay, I asked my husband all the time, why don’t you want to have sex with me? Or, are you getting it somewhere else? Then came the DARVO. He would say, “well, are YOU getting it somewhere else?” And I’d just blankly say, “no, of course not.” I didn’t know about DARVO then. God, they really do use every trick in the book. Eventually, my husband confessed that I was just too “vanilla” for him so there was nothing I could have done anyway.

    • They don’t want more sex. They want illicit sex with new partners, which their long term partner cannot possibly provide.
      It isn’t even primarily about the sex itself, it’s the sneaking around and deceit that really gets them off.
      That kind of advice is designed to convince women to become Stepford wives.

      • Yep. And also they need the Chump to sneak around on, or it isn’t illicit sex and the high is not the same.

        I met another man who I dated for four years and was engaged to for two years. It was new and yes it was fun and all the initial excitement of a new romance, but it was not illicit, there was no sneaking around or deception, so it was not the same as what a cheater is doing, and why he/she is doing it.

    • Ummmm- it’s not sex he wants, it’s novelty, variety, sneakery, intrigue, and tons of adoration from parts unknown. You will always be you, so as they are saying, you can’t keep a cheater from cheating. Sex is better for them if it comes with lies and destruction.

  • My XW had, in her own words, “work spouses. She also got off on inviting her AP’s to have lunch with us when I would meet up with her at her job. We would also be invited over to their houses for parties and dinners. Even went to a couple of Denver Bronco games with one of them. It still BLOWS my mind years later.

      • CQ it is enough to induce one to give them a kick in the crotch.

        I bought the materials for him to make her a state shaped clock, and I went shopping with him for her Christmas gift. (she was his employee) he wanted to get her a sweater, I said that is inappropriate, you should give her a gift card or something like that.

        He said nope. We didn’t get anything that trip, I am betting he decided on Victoria Secret or something like that, and didn’t think he could pull off getting me to do it. Though, as stupid as I was, he might have been able to.

      • What a fuckwit. Seriously? Okay, so mine was fucking a young client of our firm. He actually asked me at one point if we should hire her to join our company. I said, “No way! Are you seriously asking me this? She is an immature, strange person with no personal boundaries and she is also smart enough to join our firm.” Little did I know he was banging her. I was so shocked that he would consider hiring someone who was so dumb. Now I know why! He would have gotten MAJOR kibbles seeing her come to work every day and sitting next to me. Assholes!

    • That is absolutely disgusting, sick and perverted.

      The whole concept of work spouses is disrespectful to real spouses anyway. This is how low we have sunk as a society that this work spouse thing is commonplace and accepted as normal.
      My idiot tried to use the work spouse crap as an excuse for his cheating and claimed “everybody” at work had one. I asked him if everybody also fucks their work spouse and claims to love their work spouses. No answer.

      Luckily I never wanted to socialize with people from his work (they sounded like assholes) so he was unable to bring his whore into my life. They tried numerous times. They must have been pissed that I wouldn’t play. My policy about people at work is to keep them at arm’s length, not just to avoid inappropriate feelings, but in case you fall out with them later. Even if the person was just a friend, that can make for a toxic work environment. Any married person with a so-called work spouse is suspicious as hell in my book. At the very least it’s highly inappropriate.

      • And all of this smacks so royally of just old fashioned sexist crap. I’m a director of my firm, and I don’t have an office husband. And if I had a male assistant, I wouldn’t be fucking him. This whole office spouse things brings to mind male bosses who have a young secretary at work who follows them around all day and then they get to fuck them. Honestly? Are we still there as a society? Depressing! It’s just power and control. Yuck.

  • I hate these articles because they presume a childish view of monogamous relationships where everyone else is candy you have to resist eating.
    Do I find other people attractive even though I am married? Sure. But because I am an adult I just find that feeling of attraction not worth paying much attention to, other than noting that it’s there. My attention is on the things that matter, like my marriage and family.
    Cheaters don’t have that adult perspective on attraction and sexuality. They are still kids in a candy store, rather than adults who understand that sexuality and attraction are satisfied within a context of commitments and responsibility, whether you are single, married, monogamous or not.

  • It’s been a long time since Dday and 5 years from divorce, so I can laugh more at how insipid these “affair proof” articles really are.

    First, for those of you who are newly chumped, still reeling from the discovery, and wondering What You Can Do to Fix This, stop and read “The Humiliating Dance of `Pick Me'” as well as “Untangling the Skeins of Fuckedupness.”

    Now repeat after me: “I control only me. Cheating is a choice. My spouse chose to cheat. I didn’t make my spouse choose to cheat.”

    Okay, now that this exercise is finished, on to my comments.

    I love the assumption that somehow the magic act of inviting the work friend over for dinner will nip the nascent affairs in their bud. Uh, no. Clearly the writer of the HuffPo (and similar articles) fail to understand the “Unified Theory of Cake.” Cheaters get off on having the affair partner/work spouse meet the Chump. It’s next-level deception!

    In my case, CheaterX invited Schmoopie over for dinner shortly after he hired her. I didn’t think this was a big deal. One of the very few social activities that CheaterX enjoyed was having people over for dinner–he liked playing the host–and routinely invited people new to the company over. She was hired in fall.

    By winter, he decided to have a Super Bowl party, so he told me he invited his team over to watch the Super Bowl. Notice that he announced this to me; he didn’t check to see if I were okay with it and he gave me hardly any notice. I quickly whipped up snacks and got soft drinks and beer. I didn’t want people going home drunk, so I was careful with the alcohol. Well, Schmoopie was the only one on the team who showed up. CheaterX maintained he had a bunch of last minute cancellations. At the time, I thought that probably he’d done the same thing to his team as he did to me: announce the party at the last minute and then had told them that if they felt like showing up, they could. He did that sort of thing regularly and then wondered why people didn’t come.

    In retrospect, I suspect that Schmoopie was the only one invited.

    It was a really awkward event, and if I’d been a bit less trusting, I’d have seen not just the red flags but heard the trumpets.

    Trust me that cheaters LOVE to invite affair partners to mingle with their spouses.

  • I was on Instagram the other day and a post came
    up titled •rape prevention tips•. I thought I would read the normal things but instead it was brilliant. Things like “If a woman is in an elevator alone do not rape her.” “Do not put drugs in woman’s drinks and rape them.” “Use the buddy system, if you are going out and think you might be tempted to rape someone, take a buddy along so he might stop you.” “Do not break a window or a door down and go into a woman’s house or jump out from between parked cars and rape her.” It just went on and on.
    And I thought wow, DUH!!! Accountability!
    It just reminded me so much of all the awful infidelity prevention advice I read in books – after the fact of course while I was in full-on blame pick me dance mode, if I had only done this or that (more praise, more sex, more fun!). Those things I read still stay with me sometimes and make me
    lose perspective. If I had been the perfect wife, dished up every day the perfect amount of whatever, this would have never happened. I still get so mad at myself when I think like that.

    And then when I saw that post it made more sense-

    Affair Prevention Tips-
    If you are married, don’t flirt with the woman at work who is giving you eyes. Don’t get in her car when you are attracted to her and go on sales car and sit in parking lots for hours after talking when you should both be working anyways. Don’t hold her hand and try to kiss her. Don’t meet in a hotel room “just to talk” and instead take off each other’s clothes and have sex. Don’t go on unnecessary and optional work trips and get a hotel room next to hers. If you took a vow of fidelity, don’t have sex, text all day, and plan your future with another woman. Don’t complain about your marriage to this woman and then work later and later and spend all weekends on your phone while your spouse is raising the kids, doing your laundry, cooking your food, and showing up.
    How long could this list be?
    Just like the rape prevention tips let’s concentrate on the perpetrators instead of the victims when it comes to infidelity. They are the ones that need the tips not us. I hate to what those awful books and sites did to my brain during trauma mode.

      • I love this!! Accountability should be right where it belongs. Squarely on the cheater. Enough said.

    • Exactly. It is all about the locus of control.

      Many chumps have cognitive distortions around the locus of control. We have been brainwashed into thinking we have (or should have) control over our wayward spouses, and then taking the blame for their infidelity, their betrayal, their lies.

  • I think there is nothing wrong with trying to improve or maximize a relationship, as in The Five Love Languages and that sort of thing, if it appeals to you. Some people really do have lousy relationship skills, and could benefit by some common sense guidance.

    But doing it to affair proof a marriage is goofy. An affair isn’t the result of being somewhat insensitive or preoccupied. It is the result of an ability to deceive and feel good about it.

  • I love that one of the points is basically ‘don’t forget their needs when you’re exhausted looking after the kids/ trying to work’.
    Maybe we’d be less exhausted if we didn’t feel like we had to pick me dance (knowingly or unknowingly) for a shred of positive attention? Or if they put some of the energy they’re investing in their AP into the marriage or, y’know, their children?!
    CL is right. Cheating is abuse. These narratives are dangerous and disappointing. How about warning people that if someone’s pattern is to consistently disregard/ dismiss/ minimise you and the kids- see that as a giant red flag to get the f*ck away.

  • >
    %d bloggers like this: