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When You Discover Your Boyfriend Has a Married Girlfriend

Dear Chump Lady,

Last week, I left my boyfriend of 11 months. I recently discovered that before meeting with me, he had been in a relationship with a woman who had two kids and a husband for a year and a half. He lied about her for 11 months (the entire length of our relationship, until I discovered some emails).

Within one month of meeting each other, he said he didn’t expect to fall in love with me, but  I was the woman of his life, he wanted to have kids with me and loved me to the moon and back. Except he continued to see the other woman, then moved on to break up with her, then sext her, then keep “a friendly relationship” (where he wanted to sext her, but once she knew I existed was heartbroken and decided to go focus on her husband, who is apparently oblivious).

After I spent a month letting him try to explain himself (he was always really busy and tired), I broke it off. A friend made me realize I would be better off working on myself than on his sorry, not so sorry ass. Reading your book, I realized he has been gaslighting and blameshifting me all along. The next day, we talked about the possibility of him staying with me until the end of our work contract (we live in a remote location and have commitments to the community). I considered the option, but realized I would always ask myself whether he contacted his ex again. I ended up calling his ex myself (yes, I am going crazy), and through her lies, I realized he had been talking to her in the last month (where he said he never wanted to talk to her again), and had contacted her about our breakup the day after it happened.

Me calling his ex was a turning point. He moved out, left the job. Since then, he has called me, really sorry about the whole thing, saying he finally realized all he had lost. He now takes responsibility, realized how much he neglected me, how he didn’t take advantage of all I had to offer. Did I mention in the last month, since we had the best sex because he finally decided to be connected to me? He feels ever so stupid to have missed the opportunity, says he loves me, wants to do all the projects we had planned together, am his best sex ever… (had he not cheated, I did feel he was a little disconnected, but truly believe be was my partner for life, we had so much in common).

I truly feel mindfucked. I feel better when are able to respect each others limit and not talk. But he keeps emailing me, telling me he loves me and wanting to stay in touch. He tells me he understands I need to heal, and wants to give me some space, but believes that it can still work between us. I feel as though the right thing to do is cut him off for a while, but can’t get myself to state this (I have stated this, but can’t resist answering when he comes fishing).

I feel scared I am making a mistake. Scared I might be losing a true opportunity myself. I am so mad at him, we did have cool projects planned, I resent him so much for what he did and what he risked. Part of me is enticed by his new promises, resolutions and blame taking (he is seeing a therapist), but the other part feels raw with pain for what he did… We were a new couple and he didn’t even try to give us a chance from the start.

From Sadness

Dear Sadness,

Let the dream die. What you have here is a classic Trust That They Suck problem. He has presented you with abundant evidence that he is a fuckwit and yet you keep taking his calls.

It’s like saying, I can’t stand the diarrhea but then going another round at the rancid taco buffet.

But they held out such promise for deliciousness! If I don’t eat this next taco, I might miss the best taco of my life!

There are other BETTER tacos. But you have to leave the rancid taco buffet to find them.

I truly feel mindfucked. I feel better when are able to respect each others limit and not talk. But he keeps emailing me, telling me he loves me and wanting to stay in touch.

Make the connection here. You break no contact = You feel mindfucked. You feel better when you don’t talk to him. You feel worse when you talk to him.

I know it’s painful to draw the conclusion that he sucks (really painful! We have an entire blog devoted to getting over this exact kind of pain!), but let’s marshal the suck evidence.

1.) He’s been having (is still having) a long-term affair with a married woman. How’s THAT for a character endorsement? His dick is more important than her two kids and long-suffering chump. Out of all of the available single women in the world, that’s his choice. Which tells you how he feels about commitment — it doesn’t matter to him. I don’t care what he promises you, his actions say he likes the centrality of the pick me dance and shallow dead-end relationships. He doesn’t care who gets hurt in the service of his dick.

2.) When you’re available, he’s disconnected. When you’re unavailable (or threaten it) he’s suddenly available! You want to know why the pick me dance sex is so good? You got an intermittent kibble reward. It’s brain crack. Healthy relationships feel safe. Unhealthy relationships (drama, drama, drama) are this kind of come here/go away cycle of abuse.

3.) He cheated on you, but thought hey, you could be roommates. His reaction to being busted for cheating was to MOVE IN WITH YOU? Staying with you until the end of his work contract? Who does that benefit? Entitlement much?

I could go on, but really, Sadness, we needed to abort mission at “married girlfriend.”

I feel scared I am making a mistake.

He’s the mistake. Don’t invest further in the mistake. You aren’t missing out on anything unless you have a penchant for more mindfuckery.

Scared I might be losing a true opportunity myself.

Rancid. Taco. Buffet.

Charlatans love to exude smarmy sales pitches of this One Time Very Very Special Offer! ACT NOW or you’ll MISS OUT! Suddenly he’s sorry! You better jump on that! It’s goading you into the pick me dance. And if he’s really sorry (he’s not), you can wait several therapy years to see if his character improves. Don’t waste your life on this.

I am so mad at him, we did have cool projects planned, I resent him so much for what he did and what he risked.

You can have cool projects without him.

Part of me is enticed by his new promises, resolutions and blame taking (he is seeing a therapist), but the other part feels raw with pain for what he did…

The pain is real. LISTEN TO IT. His promises are just that — promises. Words. Fakery. The pain is trying to teach you something. Pay attention.

We were a new couple and he didn’t even try to give us a chance from the start.

You’re right. He didn’t.

Grieve and move on. Shut down the mindfuck channel and STOP TAKING HIS CALLS and emails TODAY. No contact. You can do this. Your future happiness thanks you.

P.S. Tell the OW’s chump husband what’s going on. He deserves to know.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I would like to point out that since this guy was in a relationship the entirely of the 11 month relationship then there is also the fact to consider that you only actually know what this guy is like if he’s cheating.

    You think that he could be the one now?

    Because in my mind he’s never been who he really is when in a committed relationship, only a guy high on centrality and able to lie without remorse.

    • Thank you so much Chump Lady for the reply… maybe I do need to read your entire blog… I felt better and empowered after reading your book, but then met with my therapist who asked me whether I would stay with the cheater if I could be sure I could trust him.. she said she did not want me to make a mistake and regret it. I was surprised by her comment, as all my friends I talked to were pretty concerned with his behavior and all agreed he had lost his chance. Nevertheless, I actually opened the door again to the cheater, two days ago… we had exchanged long emails and I had just wrote to him how our values are different, and how I disapproved of him being with the OW in the first place, and then pretending that now they were just friends… (they have been just friends apparently for the last 5 months). I told him friendships are not supposed to make you leave your job, break the person you say you love, deceive kids (we worked with kids), and an entire community…

      He said he felt crushed and mixed up by the my email, saying he didn’t know who is was. He insists that he is not a liar, and a manipulator, and can’t believe I use the word “gaslight” to describe his actions. (I know, I gave him so much cake).

      I realized I did not want to be part of his life as long as the OW was part of his. I told him that if he kept us both, I would probably end up telling her OW’s husband (never met him, don’t know his name, would have to go to his place or something). (Do you really think I should try and find a way of telling him?). He quickly said he would cut her out.

      So I almost gave in. He told me he would cut her off, be transparent, continue therapy, finish his book about cheating (that I recommended)….

      The next day, he texted me (we are living plane distance apart for now) that he was going to hike and climb with a girl (with whom I knew he had slept before). I asked whether it was the girl he had slept with once and he answered yes. I replied with a few angry texts (he was feeling so sad and lost the previous evening, but failed to mention he had plans to drive 2 hours to spent the day with that girl). He ghosted me for the whole day until he was back in his car for the drive back to his home.

      I spent the day imagining he was sleeping with her (which he probably was not, he sent me a screenshot of his GPS watch activites), and feeling terrible. I realized how either cruel or insensitive he was and how getting back with him would be. So I broke up with him again yesterday…

      I received no less than 2 texts, 1 email and 1 call after that from him saying he really wanted me to be his partner and that he would do anything, even cut all his ambiguous friendships. I realize that even if his intentions were good, he is not emotionally mature enough to realize we both need our own space to deal with our things right now.

      I think you are right, and as long as we keep in touch, I will stay in the mindfuck vision tunnel where I start to believe my cheater is special and can become the trustworthy boyfriend I thought I had fallen in love with. Truth is, I really want to heal and work on myself for the next little while..

      Thanks for support, this is truly some o f the hardest thing I have gone through… I trust people and want to believe they are good.

      • Get a new therapist. That’s insane that she’s okay with you “missing out” on this manipulative POS. Guess she drinks deep from the Esther Perel pool of idiocy.

        • Would you eat at the rancid taco buffet if they promised to clean the bathrooms? Just because they were fine with casually poisoning you once for profit doesn’t mean they’ll poison you again.

          Do you see how NUTS this is?

          If you could trust him? You can’t trust him. He obliterated your trust. 11 months worth of it. What he goes on to be next (read the millions of stories on this blog — most likely a fuckwit!) is Not. Your. Problem. He killed THIS relationship. You cannot trust him because he’s a skilled liar. How would you know he’s telling the truth unless you maintain vigilance? That is NO WAY TO LIVE.

          • Not to mention trusting someone and them actually being trustworthy are NOT the same thing.

            You can put your trust in a cheater. That doesn’t magically make them not cheaters. We put our trust in untrustworthy people all the time, and they take advantage of that. Sure, you could give him trust and be with him again, but that does NOT mean that he is a trustworthy person.

            I agree, get a new therapist. It is INSANE that she asked you that question.

          • She suggested we do a session the three of us where we would insist on the value of honesty. She would then help me see if he is truthful in his plea.

            • NOOOOOOO!!!!


              Fire. Her. FiRe. HER.
              Fire her.
              FIRE HER.
              fire HER.

              Do not. DO NOT. Bring him to a therapy session. I can 100%, promise, ensure, guarantee or your money back you it will be nothing but a MINDFUCK on YOU.

              DON’T. DO IT.

            • Therapists are useful, but expecting a known liar to tell the truth just therapist said to is misguided.

              Liars lie. Even if they don’t mean to, it’s often all they know. This is a big character defect.

            • Okay, I’m going to give a longer response to this, but my initial reaction to that therapist’s suggestion was just…utter shock. Okay. Here is why you should absolutely NOT do this.

              1) This man is a KNOWN LIAR. He has been for a long time. The entire time you have known him. He has lied to you. He lies to the OW, he lies to her husband (this man is being duped.) He is likely lying to hiker girl. You have overheard him on the phone lying to others about you being violent.

              He will lie to the therapist. He will. He will lie to make himself look like a victim. He will lie to make you feel bad. He will lie to get you reeled back in. HE WILL LIE. You don’t need someone else to evaluate that. You already know he is not truthful. He has NEVER been truthful. There is nothing that he has been doing for the last year that he will suddenly change in a week.

              2) I actually went to my bookshelf and grabbed my copy of Lundy Bancroft’s “Why Does He Do That?” This book is about how abusers operate, what they do, and how they think. I flipped to the chapter “Abusers and Their Allies,” and turned to the section about Therapists and Evaluators. Here’s a quote:

              “There continues to be social pressure on women to “make the relationship work” and “find a way to hold the family together” regardless of abuse. Since so many people accept the misconception that abuse comes from bad relationship dynamics, they see women as sharing responsibility for “getting things to go better.” Into this context steps the abuser, telling his friends “I still really want to work things out, but she isn’t willing to try. I guess it isn’t worth the effort to her. And she’s refusing to look at her part in what went wrong, she puts it all on me.”

              “I’ve had couples counselors say to me, for example: ‘He just isn’t the type to be abusive, he’s so pleasant and insightful. And she’s so ANGRY.” Women speak with shocked voices of betrayal as they tell me how their couples therapist, or their abuser’s individual therapist, or a therapist for their children, has become a vocal advocate for him, and a harsh and superior critic of HER.”

              This is what is happening to you, and what it will lead to. Your therapist and your ex are putting pressure on you to MAKE IT WORK despite his terrible treatment of you. The therapist is ignoring his demonstrable history of lying and deception and manipulation of multiple women, and pushing you to put more energy into a caught-red-handed liar. She is suggesting you bring him into a space that is supposed to be therapeutic to you. She is looking passed the reality of the actual hurt he caused with his betrayal and the cheating he hasn’t actually stopped doing.

              He’s also still pressuring you despite you telling him to leave you alone. He still texts, he still calls, he still emails. He’s pushing you to make it work as well, and he switches between the “Woe is Me,” “Why can’t you forgive?” And “How dare you!” Channels.

              What will happen if you bring him into that therapist’s office, is you will then have two people ganging up on you to pressure you back into a relationship with him. He will play the sad broken-hearted victim to the therapist, promise he’s changed, really, maybe even cry about how much he loves you. The therapist will say “See? He’s so sorry, can’t you find it in your heart to give him another chance?” And you will be put on the spot and backed into a corner to say yes. Because if you say no, if you say you don’t believe him, you say you don’t want to ever be with him again, then it will be all about how cold, angry, and unforgiving you are, and shaming you for bringing him there if you were just going to crush his heart again how could you?!

              Bringing him in will not change him. It will not make him see the light. It will not turn a liar into an honest man.

              You need to fire that therapist.

              • I love this. I also think it’s important that therapists (regardless of their qualifications) can be chumps too. They also drink from the kool aid and project their gooey chumpy values onto narcissistic vampires. You are vulnerable and hurting, please be vigilant about whose advice you imbibe right now. Go 8 months NC and then see how you feel about it all. Xxx
                PS- guaranteed you’ll be glad you didn’t invest in a sinking ship

            • Kerching for her…. That’s all. Total total waste of time. Read the back pages. Fortunately I had a cheater that didn’t look back but they go all out in therapy with the lies and some of them are very very convincing. He does sound like all out narc here (his behaviour is beyond appalling) so he maybe get therapist believing everything he says. More sessions with her, more money. Less money for you when you keep buying him books for him to read to help him with his remorse.

              His ACTIONS have already shown you what he’s capable of. Blimey you were giving another change and he went on a a girl (not you) he travelled 2 hours to see.

              One day you will look back and this and think why was I even picking up the ‘phone. Let’s hope that day is before Xmas day.

              We do understand that it’s painful and also, if you aren’t built that way, at first it’s incomprehensible but we are all testament to what these people are capable of. Read and believe our good words!

            • I am going to scream again.

              This is an eleven month old relationship with the Employee of the Month at the Red Flag Factory.

              I move to launch the therapist and the cheater.

              All in favor say “aye”

              • My daughter (13) is yelling for you to get away from him and fire the therapist….

              • AYE!

                He already had a second chance and blew it and then went on a DATE/HIKE with a woman he’d slept with before but “forgot” to tell you about.

                He’s NOT the kind of man you can trust with ANY distance (can’t be alone) and you want to believe —what??

                Here’s some tough love advice–

                You have no kids with him, you did not put him thru medical school, internship, residency, fellowship or move 11 times FOR HIS career….or whatever else the other long time chumps like me have done —

                Yes you loved who you thought he was. WE GET IT.

                But your sunk costs are so minute compared to what they will be if you take him back.

                You’ll fast forward thru his endlessly changing demands, secretive behaviors, “ambiguous” relationships with other women

                and you will become the marriage police for DECADES and THEN HE WILL LEAVE ANYWAY

                or you’ll finally reach your limit. CUT YOUR LOSSES, LEARN THE LESSONS AND RUN….and don’t look back.

                Learn from us. His “mistake” was NOT a one time thing or a drunken mishap. It’s a PATTERN.

                And I can’t even address the therapist suggestion EVEN NOW(!!) – but girl, you need a therapist

                JUST FOR YOU.

                OMG – KNOW YOUR WORTH!

            • How would the therapist KNOW how truthful he is or how he’ll behave in the future? Does she have a crystal ball? Workplace hiring teams have a saying- “the best indicator of future performance is past performance.”

              This therapist doesn’t want to see the money train dry up. She knows if you don’t buy this crap and you walk away so will your guy. Her behavior during your vulnerable time is disgusting and dangerous to your emotional well being.

            • Yeah. Never enter couples therapy with an abuser. He will triangulate you against the therapist and switch the therapy against you. You’re already prone to taking responsibility for shit that isn’t yours. In the therapeutic setting, you’ll be screwed.

              Don’t do it, get your own therapist and move on.

            • Don’t buy her garbage. I think she is milking you. She has to know nothing good will come out of this. Don’t fall for it.

              • My ex went to a family therapist (divorce specialist) a few weeks after D-Day when it dawned on him that his kids wanted NOTHING to do with him. Turns out he’d deceived himself into believing a false reality, that his affair was “just between your mom and me” and that the kids would lovingly accept him and the AP into his life. How clueless! Talk about a gross miscalculation!

                Anyway, the therapist said that she could meet with all of us: him, me, and the kids. She probably had in mind including the OW, too.

                OMG! No. Just no.

                I think my ex knew it was a nonstarter when I informed him that another family member sees that same therapist. I’d recommended that therapist to this family member, and if my ex had ever paid attention to ANYTHING I said, he would have known this. His unsurprising response was to get really pissed at me. In full narc rage he hissed, “Fine. Now that I know that, I can’t see her.” My fault again. What an ass!

            • You cannot trust the words of a liar. You look at the liar’s behavior.

              The all-day hike with a former lover? “All the ambiguous relationships” he has? On top of lying to you and cheating the whole time you were together? If this were a movie, what would you tell the lovely female protagonist about her “boyfriend”?

            • I experienced the exact same thing last week and felt really irritated the whole day afterwards. That was a red flag about the counsellor…too mediative. I am finding a new one for my next visit.
              I said that I was feeling angry, very angry, and she said that he was probably feeling the same way about me (that should have been where I got up and left but no, I stayed for more BS). Then she asked me if my long term cheater wanted to reconcile with me. I wondered if she’d heard my story at all, and when I told her in no uncertain terms that my door was permanently closed, locked and no key to it available. She has a third go at me when I said that my cheater did silent treatment (and was completely evasuve about everything), whichnhad also been a factor with my own mother. So it’s a trigger for me, said the consellor. No mention of it being a rampant manipulation tactic that psychologically mindfucks a victim. Anyway…To Sadness, once you get past the doubt you will realise that you dodged a bullet by going NC and rejecting that fuckwit. Don’t wait any longer. You’ll end up entangled with him and it’s 50x harder to get out.

              • The thing with “triggers” is that many times they are themselves abuses. What’s special about them, the “triggery” part, is that the abuse resonates with similar experiences of abuse from the past. Those abuses can be experiences with the person from the present or it may go back to very early childhood–or anywhere in between.

                So the therapist saying it’s a “trigger” without helping you figure out the LAYERS–what the abuse or trauma in the present is, what the abuses or traumas from the past were is useless.

                Being “triggered” is not just seeing someone wearing a jacket like your X’s; in trauma cases, it’s a symptom that the present abuse is layered over the past abuse. If this therapist didn’t try to unpack that, she’s the wrong therapist.

            • Get rid of that therapist.

              Putting aside him for a second (for a lifetime, let’s hope), your therapist’s actual JOB is to help you trust your own instincts, listen to yourself, and negotiate relationships accordingly. What if you had issues with your boss? Would she suggest the boss come in? No! It’s not up to her to run interference with every single person. How would that help you outside of her office?

              And no one has to tell a full-grown ADULT that honesty is a worthwhile value. He knows. He doesn’t care.

          • “[The therapist] said she did not want me to make a mistake and regret it.”

            Contrast this with what my therapist told me: “You can never go back. You can never take him back.”

          • It’s crazy that you can do this to a woman and she will keep the relationship while you can treat a woman like a queen, and get left. What is wrong with people?

        • I SECOND THIS!

          Sweet smoking Jesus. WTeverlovingcracksmokingbrainsscramblingobfuscatingfuck is she thinking?!!!

          The first thing I learned as a psychology major is just because you have a degree doesn’t mean YOU are healthy….

          I have to go outside and scream now.

          Be right back.

        • Yes! CL is right, run, don’t walk away from this therapist! Aren’t they supposed to avoid being prescriptive? Whatever the case, this therapist is the opposite of what you need right now. Your friends sound solid, though.

      • There are good people out there, but a very important, and difficult, pill to swallow is that there are, in fact, people out there who live by a different, very selfish and entitled set of values, and believe they are justified in doing whatever they want to get what they feel they deserve. Lying, manipulation, yes, gaslighting (he did gaslight you. His angry reaction at the suggestion is not out of the ordinary for manipulators. They act shocked at the suggestion they did anything wrong.) To them, if they feel they are entitled to have something, any means is justified to their ends.

        That’s this guy. He doesn’t truly care about you OR the other woman. If he really cared about her, he’d respect the fact that she is married and would not even consider her as a partner. If he cared about you, he would not have been cheating for literally your ENTIRE relationship. There was not one second of your relationship when he was not cheating and lying. That’s not love. That’s centrality. And now with your update, apparently there’s a third girl. I’m willing to bet money there’s more you and the OW don’t even know about.

        If he contacts you again, which be probably will, don’t tell him you want space to “work on things for a while” you tell him you do not ever want to be with him again. Period. Full stop. Then you BLOCK him. Do not come back to this man ever. Under any circumstances. They do not change or get better. They manipulate therapists just as much as they manipulate you.

        When I got divorced and had trouble wondering if I had made the right choice, remembering the good times and the “love,” I wrote out the “It’s NOT Okay” list. It was all the dealbreakers and things I was not okay with in the marriage. Things like, “It’s not okay that my husband wants to have an open marriage when we had an understanding of monogamy.” Or “It’s not okay my husband got fired from work for sexual harassment.” Big things that a few good times cannot outweigh.

        Yours should have things on it like:

        -It’s not okay that he was cheating through your whole relationship.
        -It’s not okay that he was sleeping with a married woman.
        -It’s not okay that he only says he cares after he got caught.
        -It’s not okay that he lied about still being in contact with the OW

        These are all really big things. Take a moment to sit down and write out the major things that are really unacceptable and it puts the situation into real perspective.

      • I SECOND THIS!

        Sweet smoking Jesus. WTeverlovingcracksmokingbrainsscramblingobfuscatingfuck is she thinking?!!!

        The first thing I learned as a psychology major is just because you have a degree doesn’t mean YOU are healthy….

        I have to go outside and scream now.

        Be right back.


        He/she is probably a cheater. Fuck that noise.

        Look, there’s no Olympics of pain… but there are thousands here who innocently invested DECADES with this type of monster— we married, had kids, bought homes, started businesses, gave our youth… we can’t get that back. You spent 11 months dating… you have the opportunity to learn a very valuable life lesson here. Do it. You get to. We don’t. He will never be a good partner, you’ll never trust him, and if you do, you’re fooling yourself.

        Get away from him and stay away. If you go back then the future misery you’ll suffer is 100% on you.

        • Ok, my medical professional is coming out. STD testing! He was with you, her and God knows who else.

          If you have to have testing during the relationship, you need to seriously evaluate your life.

        • Meh, I’m fine with the pain olympics here because I had the exact same thought. If you have the chance to extricate yourself from a cheater before you’re splitting kids, property, finances…do it. The pain of the above is way worse than the pain of ending a less than year long relationship.

          • And I’m not negating the mind fuckery. It’s abuse, plain and simple. But you will be setting yourself for more misery if you stay with this man. There is nothing to work with here.

      • He contacts you and tells you he’s going hiking with a girl? That he’s slept with before? He was looking for kibbles and got them. That is what you would be signing up with forever, a guy who has no desire to make you feel remotely secure. Ask me how I know.

        This guy loves himself and can’t stand that you had the audacity to walk away. Keep on walking.

        • Right! It’s like a child who wants attention and even negative attention is something. He wanted you angry and jealous.

          • Thanks you all… it does feel like a need for attention seeking.

            “A guy who has no desire to make you feel remotely secure”

            Exactly how I felt..

            • you will never, ever feel safe and secure with him. And if you have his child with the DELUSION that he’ll become a

              more selfless, honest man, you are high on a fentanyl laced form of HOPIUM>

              Put the pipe down.

              FYI I do believe in 2nd chances under certain circumstances (like MAYBE for a drunken one night stand at a crazy ass party that mortifies him)

              but his PATTERN OF DECEIT WAS/IS LONG TERM (not to mention with a married woman–UGH)

              He was NEVER honest with you from day 1.

              Let that^^^ sink in.

              OMG please for the love of God and in this Christmas season LET US GIVE YOU THE GIFT OF WISDOM!

              RUN & DON’T LOOK BACK. HE IS BAD NEWS.

              If I’d known then what I know now, I’d have cut my ex out of my life at least a decade ago.

              So much wasted time from my ONE precious life…

              You have nothing to work with here. NOTHING.

      • He told you he was going hiking with that girl as an invitation to do the pick me polka. He wanted to make you insecure and jealous enough to panic about losing him to her so you would take him back. His behavior is disgusting. Just because his GPS shows where he was doesn’t mean they didn’t go off trail, lay down a blanket and go at it. They probably did.

        He is irrefutably a liar and a manipulator and he knows it. So do you. You also know he won’t change. Your heart just needs to catch up to your head and for that you need absolutely no contact with this loser.
        Dump the numbnuts therapist, too.

        • Back in the day, when I went to Club Med, I met two women who divorced their closeted gay husbands.
          One, a child psychologist, was planning on getting plastic surgery and veneers, to recapture her youth. The other went on hikes with a married man, and sunbathed in the buff.

        • Whether he slept with her or not, that he would threaten Sadness with the prospect of yet another woman just smacks of “creep”.

          Please, I implore you, don’t do what we’ve all done and go back for seconds, thirds, fourths, and tenths. Trust that he’s not worthy.

      • This guy is screwing with you and you’re allowing it. Something else to think about…who else is he screwing with? I’m betting there is at least one other unsuspecting person he is messing with right now. Sociopaths love to text, e-mail and call. It’s how they keep themselves amused during their off time. They love to go to therapy as the attention is focused on all on them and they delight in thinking they are pulling the wool over the therapist’s eyes and keeping you on the line. This is one disturbed guy and you need to sever ties completely. Wishing you all the best.

      • Just came here to say fire that therapist. Therapist thinks you might be “missing out” on an abuser? Oh hell no. I had some terrible therapists too. Two of them sided with cheater and one tried to tell me I should just let cheater cheat and look the other way. I fired them both so hard and found a real therapist who actually helped me and supported me as I left. These quack therapists are probably cheaters and narcissists themselves.

      • Sadness,

        This guy has lied to you for THE ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP.

        There is NOTHING here worth saving. Don’t trust the “good” memories – that’s just sex hormones and more shiny impression management from the liar.

        Even his compliments are galling. He says you can’t leave because you’re “the best sex of his life”??

        That’s not a compliment, that’s a slap across the face, another insult. He’s saying you’re his favorite toy. That’s it. Are you supposed to be flattered?

        Sadness, I know it doesn’t feel good right now, but you’re actually fortunate in that you took minimal damage here. You dated less than a year, you didn’t marry, you don’t share kids or a mortgage (I assume). You’re escaping early.

        Sure, you took some damage. But aren’t you lucky you got out before 20 years passed, before he stole years from you, stole your 401k, gave you an STD. My god, this could’ve been so much worse. Do not ever go back to him. If you do, it will get much worse and you’ll look back decades from now and want to kick yourself.

        Your therapist is an idiot. Fire her and block your ex everywhere. DO NOT LOOK TO HIM FOR CLOSURE. He’s lied to you the entire relationship. He’s lying to you now. He will continue to lie and mindfuck you to lure you back. He’s poison. No amount of contact with poison is safe for you. It’s like handling mercury with your hands.

      • P.S.

        Sorry, I have to add this:

        I am LIVID on your behalf.

        I don’t even know you, and I’m aghast at this fucking asshole’s audacity. Nobody deserves this. This man is appalling. He’s disgusting.

        I hear a lot of sadness in your replies. It’s time to get ANGRY. Get indignant. My god, this fucking asshole. He’s a liar and a cheat and he’s STILL mind fucking you and giving you silent treatments. If he had a shred of human decency, he’d fuck off to a sewer and never bother you again. That’s what true remorse looks like: shame, embarrassment, recognizing you fucked up and need to leave the people you’ve wronged in peace.

        Nope. He’s still here, whining and wasting your time and demanding you give him a chance. What a fucking liar.

        Get angry. You deserve better than this fucking horseshit.

    • Also, the fact he told her she’s “the best sex of his life.”

      Is that supposed to be a compliment??

      He’s literally saying, “You’re my favorite toy.” That’s it.

  • It’s gonna feel like shit because grieving feels like shit. But you need to let go. Don’t waste even a single more month, not a single DAY. Cry it out- it sucked, but i promise you there is better. Being cheated on is terrible and thats already one of the worst scenarios you can be in. Also my cheater lied to the therapist and i talked to her privately and between her and i we pieced all the lies together- even when cheaters go to therapy its not a promise of improvement. No contact, so social media stalking. Girl, run!!!

    • Actually, when we were living together I heard some of his conversations on the phone, and felt as though he was spending more time talking about my anger and my “violent” reaction to all of this rather than his actions and what led him to be with the OW… so I guess you are right..

      • You didn’t have a violent reaction, you had a normal reaction.

        But it benefits a liar and a cheating manipulator to paint you as the crazy one and make himself a victim.

        This, too, never changes.

      • Sadness, I want to hug you. I’ve been there. You’re stuck in what I call the, “shoulda, woulda, coulda” zone. The “I don’t know what or who to believe” phase.

        Here is the best advice I can give you: stop falling in love with potential.

        He is NEVER going to change. Full stop.

        He will continue to repeat the same sneaky behavior for years upon years and waste your life until you finally come to your senses 5 years from now.

        You have to realize the man you fell in love with doesn’t actually exist. Sadly, you fell in love with an act. This doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means uppe sweet and good natured. He doesn’t exist, he never did and never will exist. Let go of the dream (illusion).

        I know that’s a tough pill to swallow. Your heart is hurting and you yearn for that imaginary man. I get it, more than you know. Like an addict, you must put down the crack pipe.

        The right path and the hard path are usually the same path. I know you are addicted to communicating with him, but your only path to healing is to cut it off all forms of communication, cold turkey. I know it feels good to have him seek you out, but he seeks you out to use and abuse you, not because he loves you. It’s all about power and control over you. You are waiting on him to change and come to his senses, right? Honey, he’s not who you think he is. There will never be a genuine “coming to the senses” moment –
        This. Is. Who. He. Is. – A lying manipulator. This is the truth, as heartbreaking as it is to accept for you.

        His failure to appreciate you has zero bearing on your worthiness to be adored. He will never love anybody, he is not capable of such depth. This man will forever bring you pain and sadness.

        Cut off all channels that he can communicate with you, and let your friends know you don’t want to hear through him 3rd party either.

        It will hurt like crazy, you will cry, it will seem like you’ll never get over him, that there will never be another connection like this… then one day…you will “the one”.

        One day, you will find a man that gives you even more passion, respect and real love. A man who shares your morals. A man who will cherish you, truly. Yes, he’s out there!! Someone you don’t have to play relationship police with. Someone who worships you.

        You will look back at this mess and THANK GOD you had the strength to get off the crazy train. You’ll probably laugh, and think, wtf was I thinking??

        I left a FW, went through the agony of heartbreak, thought I’d never find that again… but to my surprise.. I did. My husband is so amazing, it feels phenomenal to be with someone who is emotionally, ethically on your level and is capable of deep profound commitment. He was a former chump, too.

        If you want to take your life back, stay strong, block all communication channels with this man and heal. Make new plans and dreams for your future which don’t include this con man. Life is beautiful and short, don’t waste it on chasing an abuser, dear.

        • Thank you for sharing The Chump Struggle is Real, it really means a lot to read your words. You describe it perfectly. It is hard to believe I am in the situation…

          “Stop falling in love with potential”
          You are right.
          I really hope I do and don’t repeat the same mistakes.

          • What everyone has said is so true and so important!

            This isn’t just about your heart and feelings. Protect your body like a motherfucker.

            You can’t trust condoms with a sociopath. Look up coercive pregnancy. This guy is not just an asshole HE’S DANGEROUS.

            Please protect yourself from this BIOLOGICAL BIOHAZARD of std’s .

          • You’re very welcome. I know how heartsick you’re feeling right now.

            Just take No Contact one tough day at a time. Test your willpower. Set a 30 day window of no communication, no stalking his/her/their social media. The first few weeks will be agony. Make plans with friends to get dressed up and go out on the town no matter how sad you feel. Watch fun movies. Keep yourself busy with fun things to do even if you don’t feel like it. Smile.

            Then something magical starts to happen when you truly commit to 30 days, you start to focus on your new life. Get angry. As he fades further and further into the rearview mirror, you become stronger and more mighty. 30 days turns into 60, then into 90, then you slowly stop caring.

            If you want to take your power back, you need to cut your heart off from your brain. You will love the feeling of being free from this shitshow.

            “Sometimes you just gotta be your own hero and save your own little heart. Because sometimes the people you can’t imagine living without can live without you.”

            Keep your head up, Queen. You got this.

          • Remember that they will tell you what you want to hear. Your dreams and plans will miraculously also be their dreams and plans! They will say anything to reel you in. They LOVE to play games. They feel so smart when they fool you.
            And this is very vety hard to understand if you are a normal feeling person.
            It took me years to get this. Because their nice guy side can seem so good. And no one else has ever said they have the same dreams and plans as you.
            Get away from this guy and find what makes you feel good.
            This is not a solid guy. He is a manipulator and he likes it.

          • Sadness, you sound aware enough that I think that you won’t have to repeat the same mistakes. You might make other, smaller ones along the road to healing, in other parts of your life- falling in love with the potential of a job or a project or a person that/who is also not quite what you imagine them to be. But you can make better mistakes that help you keep growing towards your *own* potential.

            And that’s really what’s valuable here- and real. Whatever you sensed in him or he sold you? The only real substance in that was reflected from *you.* *You’re* the one here with character, energy, and potential- and the further you get away from this FW, the more that can become clear.

            No contact really is magical, and as awful as all this feels now, there really will come a day where you’re just so freaking happy that this person is out of your life and this all is behind you.

      • You see what he did there ? It’s not his behavior that’s problematic, it’s your healthy response/reaction. Manipulation. Tracy addresses this in her book.
        You know what is good “How to Have Healthy Relationships by Setting Boundaries” reading? Her blog. Not Esther Putrid’s writings. Just go to the archives and start reading. You don’t have to read the comments but I found them very helpful. You know why ? Because I realized my story wasn’t unique and the abuse wasn’t my fault.
        I don’t how old you are but “starting over” after eleven months is very doable. Much easier than 20/30/40/50 years. And there are people in CN who tolerated emotional abuse for years, knew something was amiss and discovered records of infidelity after the cheater died.

          • This is a huge opportunity for you to address what made this man attractive to you. Lovebombing doesn’t usually work on people who are happy in their own lives and have a “picker” based on the other person’s character. Early 30s is a hard time for women who want marriage and children. It’s easy to fall for the first guy who sees that longing and knows what to say.

            Trust me on this: Always go slow. Don’t listen to what people say. Instead, observe their character. Are they honest? Reliable? Are they showoffs or people who love to be center stage? Are they in a hurry? Do their words and deeds line up? Do you feel safe in speaking your mind? Are you able to go your own way if what you plan to do conflicts with what the other person has in mind for a day or a week? People who are ready to commit to someone not only don’t cheat; they don’t have old lovers hanging around as a kibble course. They don’t have “ambiguous relationships.” They don’t have a social life that excludes you.

            • They don’t post “It’s Complicated” for their relationship status on Fakebook. A man in his fifties did this ????

      • Sadness, he is showing you exactly who he is, believe him! Do not take him on as an improvement project. You will regret every minute of it. God forbid if you breed with this monster…. the children will suffer beyond anything you’re experiencing now. Cruelty of these types has no bounds. Ask me how I know ????????????

      • That’s called projection.
        Casting His Anger- at you for not fulfilling some aspect of his immediate gratification wants- upon someone inside your/his circle. Other than you.

        Which is image management. Maybe his #Fuckschedule got fouled up or a deceit was close to being exposed.

        The real pisser is the forethought and planning that goes into it all. One lie to cover another and they all need to intermesh logically to fit a narrative.

        No contact is a bitch to master. You’ve gotta do it in your head- constantly. Ask me how I know.

        It calls for an ABSOLUTE separation consisting of more than blocking all communication methods. Anger is your pal for that part.

        Pheromones. Get rid of everything he had at your place. Don’t allow yourself to be within 20 feet of him. Your brain recognizes his pheromones and triggers all kinds of physiological shit. In You!! It’s science.

        Look at the bright side The silver lining is you didn’t get knocked up,..Then LEFT COLD by this pitiful representation of a real man.

      • Ah the infamous ‘it’s not what I do but it’s your reaction to it that’s the problem’…….

        You will end up a sad mess if you let this person’s opinion and thoughts of you have any bearing on your self worth. He is a coward and a disgrace. End of.

  • Tell the husband as an emotional launching pad for your confused heart. Blow that shit up and then block the lot of them out of your life.

    We’ve got but one life, one go around (depending on your beliefs). Some would say, “lie, cheat, play” through it.

    I would say to live a life worth reviewing with pride. And there’s nothing here for that. And as a proud card caring member of the chump nation, I say go get that better life!

    • I am seconding the motion to tell the husband.

      Silence is colluding with violence.

      Cheating is abuse. I wish someone had told me.

      • I wish someone told me. He probably suspects and like me, became anxious, hyper vigilant and unable to focus. He needs closure.

        • I agree he needs to know, for the reasons you mention. The gaslighting is such a mind-fuck.

          HOWEVER, Sadness, don’t do it until you can do it out of compassion and not for revenge. You don’t ever want to have to second guess yourself for delivering such devastating news.

      • Tell the husband ! With a little research, you can find his name and contact him.
        He has a right to know that his marriage is a sham, a fraud. He is being conned. And don’t be concerned with if and how he responds. He may stay with her or take time to act. Not your problem.
        And your therapist sounds emotionally toxic. Dump that person as well.

      • Agree 1000%. I sure wish someone had told me. I could have been spared years of wondering, second-guessing myself, undercover sleuthing, etc.

      • Yes!!!! Tell him! It’s abuse—-

        Give him irrefutable proof if you have it because you know his whore-wife will lie and gaslight.

        I’m so grateful to AP#10,001 for telling me and giving me proof. It made it crystal clear that despite what XH said, it wasn’t me!

        Watch the rage channel when you impose these consequences.

    • You are correct. The husband should know what is going on. I had set up a 10 minute email account to send the OW’s husband all the evidence he needed. He left OW and appears to have gone on to a happier life free of his FW. It felt like a great launching pad for me. He went NC and moved on, so can I. Chumps gotta stick together. I wish someone had told me sooner.

  • What starts shitty never gets better.

    Order a few cases of Post It Notes, write that on every one, and make your next cool project to wallpaper your house.

    When done with that, make your next cool project writing it on your arm with a Sharpie. Read it out loud every time you look at your arm.

    Mixed messages is a powerful brainwashing tool. You need a more powerful reality checking tool. Like staying here and reading through the blog from the beginning.

    You dodged a bullet. Please don’t sign up for more target practice for the firing squad. You could end up like me, 24 years and one child later, in an emotional nuclear winter, half my life spent with my own illusion of who I thought he was after I ignored the 2 x 4 of truth three years in, similar to the one you just got between the eyes.

    • His words? He realized he NEGLECTED you….didn’t TAKE ADVANTAGE….missed the OPPORTUNITY….

      That’s some scary language there, sister.

      He’s showing you exactly who he is (liar, cheater, thief, con artist, crappy communicator, blameshifter, etc) I also submit to you that you can have better sex with someone who is not emotionally immature, morally bankrupt, and spiritually sick like Mr Eleven Months of Mindfuck.

      Why do you not want to believe him?
      (Magic power question!)

      How bad would it have to be before you dropped him like the poisonous viper he is?
      (Magic power question 2!)

      The power is looking at what’s going on with you that keeps you mired in this…..


      For the first day of Mindfuck
      My Twu Wuv gave to me
      Some lies and an STD……????????????

      • “His words? He realized he NEGLECTED you….didn’t TAKE ADVANTAGE….missed the OPPORTUNITY….

        That’s some scary language there, sister.”

      • Yes to all of the above! And as many of us here have experienced, *the good sex does not last.* I repeat, *it does not last.* It is part of the con. Hell, a certain kind of “amazing sex” is maybe- no, definitely- a red flag. And it’s probably different flavors with different types of personality disorders, but whenever a sociopathic one pops up on here I recognize *the exact same language* I was using for the years we were actually having sex.

        And in hindsight, all that “amazing” sex with someone who turned out to have been taking a sick pleasure in clandestinely working to destroy me and my family (even to his own detriment- I guess he just couldn’t help himself)….feels a lot more like it belongs in a horror movie than a romance.

    • PS…

      After hanging out here and reading….

      Head over to Instagram and watch TRENT SHELTON until you feel better! It’s one of my favorite tips and tricks for responding to infidelity.


    • Yeah, I think that was my initial reaction… we never got a chance to start clean… read the whole “State of Affairs” book and realized that he just never let us a chance of building something real and strong. We would need to start new… from something that started so fake..

    • PPS…

      Serial killer Ted Bundy had a long term girlfriend with a daughter…while he was killing women.

      Eva Braun thought Hitler was really cool and married him.

      Chris Watts and Scott Peterson, incarcerated cheaters who killed their pregnant wives and children, get fan mail, love letters, and marriage proposals from women.

      I need to look beyond my experience with someone and very closely at how they treat others when making a decision about any kind of relationship. If someone is hurting others and being nice as pie to me, that is a big giant neon waving flapping red flag.

      Affair accomplices use this kind of compartmentalization to rationalize and justify the illicit relationship. Don’t take a page from their stinking thinking playbook.

        • Sadness

          You DID have a chance to start fresh and clean. BUT HE LIED the WHOLE TIME and then lied some more, and then went “hiking”.

          After you are free of this abusive relationship (and this IS abusive) you will get the chance to Start Fresh & Clean with a man who sees your worth and SHOWS YOU.

          I’m sorry you are in pain, especially this time of year. You are not alone. It’s rough!

          But you know in your head what you must do.

          Where the head goes, the heart will follow.

          Good luck and keep us posted. AND PLEASE GO NO CONTACT.

          then get a therapist all for YOU

          • “Where the head goes, the heart will follow…”

            You’re on fire DOCTOR’S1stWife&3Kids!
            I am loving your posts… chock full of hard earned wisdom. Thank you ❤️

  • I agree, tell OW’s husband BUT be aware that that’s probably when he’ll circle back to you hoovering if the OW dumps him!

  • Yes, please tell the husband. So many people knew about my husband’s affairs and yet they all decided to keep quiet. My FIL even told me “i thought you were okay with it.” Yeah, no.

    • @SwissChump

      If I had a dime for every time I heard “Cheater told us you knew and didn’t care” from someone in our friend circle, I could buy Amazon from Jeff Bezos — for cash. Biggest load of bullshit ever. No one is ever OK with it. Even if you are polyamorous.

      • Exactly. If I was okay with it, why wouldn’t they talk about it with me? I mean, a “hey, I didn’t think you’d be the type to have an open marriage,” would have come up in conversation.

      • Or “We have an open marriage/relationship and a ‘don’t ask /don’t tell’ agreement”

  • I have read nearly all CL posts. She is very clear that liars and cheaters are liars and cheaters. Some come here hoping that their special person will get the equivalent of a brain transplant and stop cheating and lying. They think if they give up and he/she finds some morals then sticking it out might have gotten them they glorious life he/she is living now. The what ifs. They drive people crazy hoping to see a change. Here’s a what if. What if you step on a nail and get tetanus? That’s how cloudy the future is. The best things you can do is vaccinate yourself against tetanus and idiots. And liars and cheaters.

  • You believe you have a lot in common, and it may be true for superficial things, but for the profound and fundamental things, shared values in a shared life, you occupy different universes. Your galactic address is light years away from his, and there is no way to reconcile a creature from the Rancid Tacosphere and a beautiful, normal earthling.

    It is painful and horrible to leave a relationship in which you felt great love, no matter how long it lasts, but I see no evidence of him having a healthy and honest love for you. He lied to you, over and over again, consciously and intentionally. That is who he is. That is not what love looks like. This is not the man for you.

    We are looking forward with you to your new, better life.

    • Thank you PrincipledLife,
      I think you are right… I was holding on to all the things we had in commons, which were mostly projets… but in the end, our values are different.. I remember him saying he wanted to have my values and that he would change.

      • Also it’s possible you don’t actually have the more superficial things in common. I was sad about losing that with my ex, but then I saw how he changed with the other women he left me for. He’s like a chameleon and adapts to whoever he is with at the moment.

        I agree with the others: (1) get away from this guy, and (2) find a new therapist who better aligns with your values. And it will get better! With time it’s easier to see their character for what it was and the feeling you’re left with is just thankfulness for being out of that relationship.

      • People do not change. THEY DO NOT CHANGE. They can grow, but they don’t change. Growth takes time and work. See CL’s post on Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse.

        • “People do not change. THEY DO NOT CHANGE”

          Amen to that…very true they do not change. It may appear that they have changed for the other person but the fake “I’m a much better person with so and so” doesn’t last very long. The disordered will always go back to being their authentic self. How long does the new relationship last? Depends. Some people will sever the relationship after a short period of the disordered being “their authentic selves, some will hang on for a bit and hope they go back to being their fake self and some will hang on for years, pretending everything is great to the world but behind closed doors, just pure misery. They pretty much hang on till the disordered dumps their ass.

  • Sadness,

    The person that he is projecting to you is not the person that he is. He is not worthy of your investment in him and he’s only sorry about being caught (rather than being sorry for the hurt that he has caused you) and his promises are worthless.

    You will do much better without him.


  • Oh Sadness. You need to work on you.

    Figure out why you feel you should settle for this. Why you don’t think you deserve better.

    Figure out why you feel you need him, and only him, to fulfil all those neat plans that got made. You don’t!

    Figure out how to better identify players and the bulletin they brew. All those “deep” conversations were not authentic on his part. Players are very good at picking up what you project onto them and becoming what you think they are. They do it because they love how you make them feel and they want to hang on to that. They also hate to be alone, which is why they hang on to people as back up. Chances are the OW is shutting him down, which makes him more desperate to reel you back in.

    Figure out how better what is acceptable behavior around how you should be treated by a man and stick to those higher standards. Often, that is enough to scare the duckies away. They’ll soon detect that you are not so gullible and move on to easier prey. Right now, he sees you are the easier prey. Prove him wrong.

    It’s time to get mad and channel it into creating heavy duty boundaries. Start getting offended. Create that list of all his shitiness. CL has already helped you start it. But I’ll add a few for you to consider.

    1) He is a parasite that has clearly stated that you will benefit him to meet his needs, housing, sex, diversion.
    2) He is lazy in claiming that he has suddenly changed when he has done none of the hard work that real change requires. It takes lots of time alone, professional help, humility and self-reflection.
    3) He’s annoying Holy crap. What makes him think it’s acceptable to keep bombarding you with messages at a time like this? It’s creepy. Does he really think this is romantic? Which leads to the next point.
    4) He is immature. Seriously question what the heck his notion of love actually is. Funding a married woman? Overlapping his romantic entanglements? Making “plans” with one woman while he calls up another?

    Alright, Sadness, get your list going and tack that up on the wall alongside Velvet Hammer’s post-its. Then, I hope that it feeds you courage to type one final message to this idiot before you completely block him from your life and any further contact:

    “Please do not ever contact me again. Upon review of what you have done, I do not wish to have any connection to you whatsoever. You will be blocked from here on. Any attempt to reach out to me will be perceived by me as unwelcome and uninvited harassment.”

    You deserve better.

    • Thank you OptionNoMore,
      I think you are right on point with everything you say. I do like the idea of setting higher standards for myself. It is scary to start over and try to find somebody to share these projects… but in the end, why would I settle for somebody who has treated me this way?

      • Sadness, I’m pretty sure you can find a way to do those projects on your own, or with a work colleague or friend who shares your enthusiasm. It doesn’t need to be a life partner, does it?… idk?.
        Just remember that many cheaters exhibit the “chameleon like adaptability” to mirror back to you what you’re excited about, but in many cases, this is ‘future faking’, and it goes right along with love-bombing. It’s part of the mask they wear. In my case I spent decades waiting for when ‘my’ interests (that I thought we shared) were going to get some air time. Silly me, instead, after 3 decades of marriage and 2 children, he just moved on with someone else and shared/mirrored her interests. They’re over now, he’s at loose ends and not getting any attention, so now he’s bugging my adult daughter… they just gotta be central! Don’t be me! Make sure your ‘someone’ isn’t a diy improvement project. You want a fully formed mature adult for a partner. No lying, no shadiness, no disrespect, keep your standards high…wait, no higher!! It’ll filter out the riffraff quicker.
        Leave this guy in the dust where he belongs. You’re going to be better than alright! Listen to the many wise folks here. It’s the truth. Chalk him up to a bad 2020, it’s been rough! He was just a bad decision, but, whatever, you’re learning from it. Then make your own plans for 2021!

      • Oh, Sadness
        I think in this day and age and culture (not sure where you are,but in these days, in much of the English-speaking/writing world), we are kind of afraid or out of touch of anything that smacks of right and wrong, imho it’s because we think right and wrong has religious overtones?, maybe?, and we want to be respectful – not push our ideas of right and wrong on another person.

        But IMHO, and it may be worth less than you are paying me for it, I *think* that trying to connect on a basis of shared values first (what’s fundamentally right & wrong) is overall more likely to succeed than placing a lot of stock in shared interests and activities. Even then one must be careful, but you are in your 30s so you may be starting from a position of greater human insight than i did in my early 20s.

        And that’s not absolute either – but when a man and woman really respect each other, one consequence of that can be that they try out each other’s favorite things, and are thus broadened in experience.

        You’ve discovered that dishonesty bothers you. Good, now you know to drop the next guy the first time he does anything dishonest, trust me, don’t waste your time, for all the reasons given here.

        So, instead of connecting around projects, or around a job or activities or things, or sex or geography, it might be worth considering trying to connect instead first around truth telling, unselfish care for other people, and other-centeredness, maybe without sex? Now, even those can be red flags but if the relationship can wait long enough to establish that he’s a decent guy, then it can be so much safer. You can still go motorcycling together with this hypothetical new guy, or on a hike (no blanket), or whatever, stuff that gives him a chance to show his true colors, and maybe hold back a little on the stuff that REALLY feels good until you are sure that the values he enacts outside of the bedroom are compatible with the ones you want to live with …..
        unlike this jerk.

        get out asap and you are going to have to fight to maintain a boundary. Trust me you don’t want to be in a relationship where you are constantly defending your boundaries!!


      • Sadness, glad to hear you’re not willing to take this crap. kimsoverit is right- there will be great people out there to partner with on all kinds of projects in life and life projects.

        I think you said somewhere above that you’re in your early 30’s, so you’re a little bit younger than me. I know it’s a scary time/age to have what you hoped was your future fall apart, but I hope that once you get past this phase where you Get The Fucker Out Of Your Life, you are able to give yourself the time and space you need to heal in all areas of your life. And that will make you much, much more able to realize your dreams/goals/see those awesome projects to completion. [Read Twyla Tharp (The Creative Process) when you’re ready- she’s like ChumpLady’s crotchety but creative aunt.]

        I’m about 2 1/2 years from my own D-Day (and 2 from No Contact), and going to be 36 and have No Career and No Kids and have to remember to take a deep breath and “make haste slowly.” The shortcuts I tried right after (oh look! someone/something to save me!)- I do not recommend. I did get some life-saving advice that kept me from getting killed or trafficked, and that was good. (I very much hope your situation is less dangerous/disordered than mine). But the “promise” of certain people and certain projects….well.

        What did work for me was working in stages- first I went no contact with the most dangerous people- Grey Rock is excellent. Use this on all these types. I hadn’t found CL yet so this was mostly instinctual, (backed up by the advice of those :/ friends who weren’t bad people but weren’t as selfless as I needed them to be). Then I weaned myself off of the hope/possibility of opportunities dangled by others that somehow never fully materialized (never maliciously, sometimes selfishly, sometimes naively- and sometimes people just died). I also took a break from dating/any romantic involvement and that was also really important for me, given what I had been through.

        Now I’m not at all where I’d want to be in life, overall, but I’m more and more clear about where I am. And I can see that a solid foundation for my self and for the things I want to do *is* possible. And that collaboration will be much more possible and more fruitful if I’m more grounded and clear. I’m already more capable on my own, and more able to tell if a partnership (personal or professional) is healthy. I’m taking baby steps with networking, and processing trauma through getting clear on my narrative of what happened and, finally, what I’ve done. Which is the road back to actually doing things again and being myself.

        I have faith that you will be able to do the same. A whole lot of people here have, and I know we’ll all be cheering for you as you move past this speed bump of a FW and into a new, difficult, challenging, rewarding, wonderful life of your own creation.

  • I’ll echo everything everyone is saying. You need to tell the OWs husband and do not be afraid of how he will react or what he says. He needs to know.
    My very STBXW, her sparkle dick left his GF and 5 year old son behind for my wife. He has 5 kids with 3 women and we all live in a small town so I’ve had to deal with his exes because of the awesome family dynamics. We have 4 kids so imagine 9 kids in the house at once. His ex GF told me about a year after I tossed my wife’s ass out what she knew. He had his iPhone connected to her iPad so she could see what was happening live.
    She said he had 6 women that he was involved with and my wife just happened to be the one he settled for at the moment. I asked why she didn’t tell me and she said she was scared of what I’d do. So please tell him and don’t be afraid, he deserves to know.

  • Love bombing….it’s what abusers do.

    When you pull away/dump them they all of a sudden “get it” and basically harass you until you give in.. When you’re roped back in they treat you like shit.

    That’s because they don’t actually value you….they value the security of having you around while they fuck others.

    My ex love bombed too.

    At this point you know who he is so you’re now a willing participant.

    • They need that chump to keep the excitement going with the whores. If they can’t keep the original chump on the line, they will have to find another one; and really that is such a pain.

      • Love Bombing is a term for the way manipulators grab your attention and hook you in at the beginning of a relationship. It is literally how they get you to initially trust them. They tell you things like you really understand them, you’re special, they’ve never met anyone like you, they think you may be the one! They sometimes shower you with gifts, fancy dates, etc. They like everything you like (notice all the things you had in common with him?) You like super hero movies? Well they’ve seen all the Marvel films three times! You like the beach? Well hey, it’s their favorite place too! You like Indian fusion food? Let’s cook some together? You like underwater basket weaving? Check out his new snorkel.

        Okay that last one was an exaggeration, but it’s to illustrate the point. They take cues from what you say are your interests and mirror them to make you feel like you have a special connection like no other.

        But that shit isn’t love and it does not last. They want you to think that initial love-bombing stage is their real personality, so when shit starts going downhill later, which it inevitably ALWAYS will, they can blame you. You made them angry, you made them depressed, you made them change. So then it becomes about you “fixing” things, trying to get them to go back to being that perfect, super invested, loving man they were when you met. They need you to have that image of them to cling to as leverage to blame you for everything that goes wrong.

        But the truth is, that loving person they were when you met was NOT. REAL. It was a hook. Their real selves are the narcissistic, selfish, lying, users they turn into. The love-bomb mask comes off. You didn’t change them and make them angry or depressed or disinterested. That’s who they always were. And you can’t fix that. You cannot get them to go back to that first lovey phase because it was never who they were.

        They need that first love-bombing phase to get you pulled in, and stuck believing you are responsible for everything. It’s leverage. That’s all it is.

          • A few signs to look out for to tell if you’re being loved bombed:

            1) Speed. They want to get serious really fast. Like, less than a few months fast.
            2) They make grand proclamations of love after knowing you only a short time. You can’t know if somebody is The One after a few short weeks. Even after a few months. Hell you might not decide that after even a year. Deciding if someone is meant to be with you for the rest of your life takes time. Love Bombers cannot wait.
            3) If they somehow manage to share all the same interests as you, but don’t actually know much about those things at all. Someone who actually does share the same interests and hobbies will know about those topics already and have their own perspectives to share.
            A few years back, I met a guy who seemed to have a lot of the same interests as me and things in common. We would talk for hours. But then he started getting a little weird…like he would get kinda bent out of shape when I wouldn’t answer his texts or went and did things with my friends. I looked back at our text conversations and thought about our in-person interactions, and I noticed something: He claimed to like all the same things as me, but he never actually TALKED about them. He spent the whole time asking me about topics he supposedly already loved. The whole thing was completely one-sided and he had no actual opinions or perspectives of his own. I said I liked tattoos. He said he liked them too, he loves them, the history of tattooing is so interesting. But he would never elaborate on his supposed knowledge or opinions of tattoos or the history of them. Every conversation about tattoos was just him asking me a bunch of questions about it.
            I had met him once or twice in person through a mutual friend. But we had only gone on one actual date. We decided that we should just be friends, only friends and nothing else, and that was that. Or to me it was. When he found out I got into a relationship with someone else, he absolutely lost his shit and went OFF on me for several hours, sending me text after text about how I was betraying him. It carried into the next morning and he started texting me first thing in the AM when I was on my way to work. It was a nightmare.
            The “shared interests” we had were not shared at all. He was listening to gather information on me and tried to argue we had a “connection” and “no other girl was like me.” Nope.

            Fast forward to now. I’ve been seeing someone for a while. We met on a dating site. Before we met in person, we discussed topics of shared interest. The difference here is he actually had his own experiences, perspectives, and opinions on these topics. He didn’t spend the whole time asking me to tell him about these topics because he wasn’t scanning for information. We both like anime. I know that’s a genuine shared interest because he will ask me “Have you seen -anime title-?” if I haven’t, he’ll tell me what it’s about. If I have, he will ask me what I thought of a character or plot point, then tell me what he thought. (When he comes to see me, we try to find an anime to watch that neither of us has seen. …that’s…a challenge lol.)

            Point is, if you really do have shared interests, that person will have their own experiences with them. They won’t need to learn all about it from you.

            4) Notice how they talk about their exes. If they never have anything good to say about their past relationships, or never mention any faults, they’re always the victim, be suspicious. If all of his past girlfriends were “crazy,”or they all “just didn’t understand him like you do,” or they ALL broke his heart, but he never mentions anything good about them, or never brings up any mistakes he made (and no, saying “I wasn’t perfect” doesn’t count. If he never actually names anything he did that could have ended a relationship.) If he paints all of his exes as terrible people, he sets you up in a position to try to show him you’re the Best Girl and Better Than All of The Others. It creates a You vs Them setup that feeds into the leverage later, when Things Go Wrong. Because after all, you don’t want to be like all the other horrible exes right? Don’t fall for it.

            Not every relationship that starts out really fun and happy is a love bomb, but there are some signs you can watch for. The difference between the fun puppy love phases at the beginning is someone who actually likes you and wants to be with you will be happy, treat you well, but they will want to take things at a healthy pace, they won’t make big grand promises and proclamations of love before they’re ready. They may share interests and hobbies with you, but will also have their own lives and goals outside of the time they spend with you.

            Been through the love bomb ringer one too many times myself.

            • Karak, this is an excellent description of the difference between someone who shares your interests and someone who is, essentially, a sociopath mirroring other people as a manipulation tactic.

              • Lol it’s me Kara. I typo’d. Oops.

                But thanks. Thank goodness I didn’t actually get involved with him. But I pay attention to the conversation dynamics when someone claims to share multiple interests with me. Or when they are getting to know me but all the conversations are that one-sided.

                People like that make me uncomfortable.

          • Sorry to bombard you with comments, but your story really resonated. I just wanted to share a blog that really helped me, whose author used to post here. It’s been completed, but I found that reading it in order from the beginning to the end- seeing her completed journey- made it easier to make sense of mine. And she did research on and broke down some of the terms like “love bombing” that show up all too often in these stories:


  • YOU have been given the tremendous opportunity to ruuuuuuun! You are only 11 months in. If you keep letting him sink his hooks into you, more mindfuck time will trap you even worse. This FW has no morals. He is seeing a therapist? Oh, I bet! He is probably lying to the therapist or lying on the couch talking about what about you is so lacking that he can’t commit. Because boo hoo, poor him. His ego can’t handle that you might not want to play his Pick Me Dance. Actions have consequences. He has lied to you the entire time and gotten the cake he wanted. He will only lie better in the future. It doesn’t end with these types.

    I spent 20 years feeling inadequate. First I was supposed to lose weight and expected to share in all his hobbies. Then I couldn’t talk to friends or even my own mother on the phone unless he was right there listening in. Then it became that I was forgetful and stupid. Meanwhile, every sparklytwat that came along was glorious! I had an advanced degree and earned great money, entertained when he wanted to throw parties for his friends or coworkers, planned trips and to do things he wanted to do, but meanwhile he was shtupping a woman who answered phones at her dad’s construction company. She is “sexy” and “fascinating” and such a “kind soul” that she was knowingly banging a married man who has a child. She wasn’t the only one. There were many more I found out about. And the longer you stay, the more of this abuse you will endure.

    Take the chance I wish I had been given. Looking back, if I only had 11 months invested in this FW, I would be so much better off. You are lucky to have found out now. Don’t waste it. Get a new phone number. Don’t look back. Do you own projects for 2 years. Mark this date on your calendar as your independence day. Walk away from the rancid taco!

    • Thank you BetterLife… this day would actually have marked one year together… I guess renaming it independence day is a good way to empower myself.

      • Sadness, today is also my one year anniversary of D-Day (the day I discovered my husband was cheating). I filed for divorce over the summer, have had no contact with Nitwit for 4 months now, and am now in a much better place emotionally than when I was with him. I don’t know you but I can tell you you’re better off without him. We all are. Once you go no contact you are no longer under his spell and will see him for what he is. As others have suggested, write down everything he did that is not okay with you. Refer to that list whenever you’re tempted to get back together with him. I was married to my cheater for only 3 years, together for 5, and I filled an entire journal page with bullet points. Not longhand accounts, bullet points.

        You don’t want to get to that point. Cut your losses and RUN far away from this man, figuratively speaking.

  • “truly believe he was my partner for life, we had so much in common”

    It likely wasn’t real. Read up on narcissists/ sociopaths and love bombing. They research you and pretend to love everything you love in order to create a fast, intense attachment.

    To a normal person, this seems crazy. But to the disordered, it is just part of their playbook. They just change like a chameleon depending on who they are with.

    • Thank With2littles,
      I think you are right. We is a good listener and sometimes felt he took on things because I had mentioned they were important, and he said he enjoyed it, but did not really feel like he did.

      • Con artists are the best listeners on the planet. It’s how they learn how to win your confidence. Trust your gut sensing a lack of sincerity!

      • That’s really good that you can see it now that other people are defining things. I”ve been learning just under a year and the more I learn the more I can see the patterns. Mine actually belongs to a group of 7 siblings from 2 parents and among the 9 I think there are 4 complete narcissists. every one of them has one or two very prominint narc or sociopathic traits, so that if you get them all on one project, it’s the equivalent of about 4 different toxic people that are all the same! My heart goes out to you, Igot a lot of references from this site to educate me about the things they are telling you about here, love bombing, gaslighting, blame shifting, mirrioring, and so much more.

  • I like how he tells you he was a fool not to take advantage of all YOU had to offer. Like he realized you were a feast he only nibbled because he’d already eaten elsewhere. In other words you would have been the perfect host for this parasite to live off of. This guy is a taker in the first degree. Run. Change your number. Tell the ow husband. He’s just an actor in his own low budget movie. Don’t pay for that ticket.

    • Right? That phrasing, “Not taking advantage of all you had to offer.” Like she’s a fucking vacation package or a Geico insurance plan.

      “I just saved a bunch of money on rent and utilities by taking advantage of a woman I duped! Come see what cheating and manipulation has to offer when you sign up for Sad Sausage Insurance!”

      • Key words “take advantage”.
        A user of the first order.
        Time for a definitive dumping and blocking.

    • Yes! “take advantage of all you had to offer” sent a chill through my bones. Are you a person or a vacation destination?
      Either way, this guy is bad news.

    • Sadness, Seeing clearly is very difficult in the heartbreaking confusion of the early stages,you are still believing that his words have real feeling,meaning,just for you.And that you want the same things, that love means the same things to you both.Maybe it would help if you read up on disordered personalities,Sam Vakin has some interesting things to say about the needs/methods of people with these leanings.I found him helpful as is C.Nation-supreme in insight!No contact is also difficult in the early days,before self protection kicks in.Goodluck with getting rid of your fuckwit.xx

  • I discovered that my husband was having an affair with a married woman from our first date. It took a few years for him to give up on her. Through financial hardship, a failed pregnancy, moving countries together, he still held out hope he could dump me and start with her.

    How do I know? Well, 19 years later, after he announced he had impregnated the HR Director and got fired for doing so, I engaged in the pick me dance. I thought we could use this tragedy to make our relationship stronger (thanks Esther Perel). Literally, after feeling we turned a corner, I kissed him good by as he flew off on a business trip, went upstairs and found 20 years worth of emails to other women chronicling his infidelity, my life and his utter betrayal. Do not waste 20 years of your life. You have learned who he is after only 11 months. Consider it a blessing.

    • Thanks Roxane,
      I read Esther Perel’s book too!! And felt discouraged after 600 pages of reading how infidelity is bound to happen and why put so much hope on monogamous relationships (ok, that’s a bad summary, but still). I thought about trying to recover from this and getting out of it stronger… a dear friend told me I could probably spend lots of time trying to fix the relationship, but could also invest that time in myself instead… thank you for sharing your experience ❤️

      • If you stick around with CL and Chump Nation, you will find we are not too fond of Esther Perel over here.

        There are some posts about her in the archives. I’d take a look at them if I were you.

      • Sadness, I’ve had similar experiences with cheating boyfriends.

        At the time, it was devastating. Now? I am utterly relieved that I got out BEFORE marriage, children, joined finances.

        Thanks to the grapevine, I can tell you my exes still suck. They went on to marry unsuspecting women they treat like shit. They still refuse to get jobs.

        The people who come after us haven’t won a prize. They’re still dealing with a turd.

        I tell you this because it’s important to understand you’re not missing out on a potentially great future. You’re jumping from a sinking ship. You’re escaping before this man takes you down to the ocean bottom.

        I also want to tell you this: I tended to cling to cheating exes because on some level, I wasn’t happy with my own life.

        But I implore you, take this time to pour your energy into yourself. Make a great life. Focus on your hobbies, your relationships, your career. When you love yourself and spoil yourself, and you build your self-esteem, you won’t care what some betraying idiot is up to.

  • Dear Sadness:

    1. He’s a cheater. He’s not only cheating on you; he’s the guy cheating his AP’s husband. He’s the guy putting AP’s kids at risk.
    2. He’s a liar. He lies by omission (not telling you he was involved with someone else). He lies by commission (he’s in contact with the AP). He lies to give himself advantage (he moves in with you but you find out later he doesn’t feel “connected” to you. He lies to manipulate you (he is not “taking blame” because you caught him. He’s taking blame because you caught him, because the AP isn’t leaving her spouse; because living with you is an advantage to him. If he lied to you from the beginning, you have a lot of evidence that lying is his default, how he gets what he wants in the world. You have no evidence that he is honest or trustworthy.
    3. He doesn’t respect your boundaries. He’s having sex with someone else at the same time he’s having it with you. He calls or emails when you tell him you want no contact. He doesn’t respect you.
    4. The word “love” means nothing to him. He “loved you to the moon and back” but was having an affair with someone else. That says he doesn’t “love” anybody. He loves the power and the thrill of being in a set of interlocked triangles. He’s not even satisfied just to CHEAT. He needs to be cheating on his unwitting chump partner. He enjoys duping the AP’s spouse as well. None of this is love. All of it is a giant wallow in a pool of kibbles.
    5. Gaslighting and blame shifting are TOOLS used by manipulative people to manipulate others. Go to Dr. George Simon’s blog about “Manipulative People.” Read and learn. Then ask yourself why you would choose such a person.

    Let’s do a mind experience. Let’s go back to 10 days before you met this lying, cheating, manipulative loser. What was on your wish list for a potential partner? Liar? Cheater? Manipulator? A guy who doesn’t respect your health and your boundaries? Someone who shifts the blame to you? Someone who uses the sociopathic tool of gaslighting? Would you pick this guy knowing what he is ahead of time? Are you willing to risk not just your heart but your health? And your finances? Because what you haven’t explained is why he wanted to move in with you and is desperate to get you back. There’s something in it for him that isn’t about loving you. Love is an action as well as description of certain transitory emotions. His actions don’t point to love. So is it financially advantageous for him to stay with you?

    Finally, you’ve known him 11 months. It takes longer than that to really know a person. The biggest, and somewhat hidden sign that this guy is playing from the narcissistic playbook of relationship is how fast he moved in. “Within one month of meeting each other” he was lovebombing you–and even as he was doing that, he was devaluing you, although you didn’t know it. (He calls that not being “connected” to you). He wasn’t ready to discard you yet–and my suspicion is that you were still of use to him (in your own words “he didn’t take advantage of all [you] had to offer.” That’s not a description of a loving relationship. That is what a user says.

    He’s a predator. Read about how narcissistic people conduct relationships. You don’t need a diagnosis for him; his behavior is what you are looking at. And then take a long look at why you were vulnerable to a predator. As CL would say, you need to fix your picker. The good news is you aren’t married to this guy so you won’t end up losing a house or half your pension or paying alimony.

    Dating is for finding out about someone’s character and how they want to live. Your job is asking yourself if what that person is offering is what you want, for the rest of your life. What this guy offers is WORDS. And the words are LIES.

    Go no contact for real. And call the husband. He’s got a lot to lose.

    • Thank you for your comments LovedaJackass,
      I will look that blog up thank you. It is pretty relevant for you to ask, had I known what I was signing up for, would I have gone out with him? No, definitely not. I do think you are right, and that he definition of live needs refining. Lastly, I guess he is not super good with boundaries.

      • If you know you wouldn’t date him, knowing what you know, that means he’s not good enough for you.

        That’s the bottom line.

  • Shortly and further to what’s been already said:

    – At the beginning of your relationship you should be at your happiest, not looking for and finding a married OPartner, or looking for excuses for your cheating shit.
    – It takes a special type of disordered who finds himself a new squeeze in a month and continues to lie,deceive and plan crap for next year +. Don’t be naive,you can’t fix such serious disorder. We’re not talking about a guy who got drunk and had a one night stand (even that’s serious crap).
    – You’re spending far too much time and anguish on this guy. Is 11 months really worth so much of your heartbreak, time and energy? (This is just a rhetorical question).
    – Learn how to block emails and phone numbers, and delete spam from unknown addresses because this is what his emails are, spamming. He probably sends very similar emails to other person and quite probably persons (plural). Don’t take calls from unknown numbers. If you do, put down the phone. You don’t owe politeness to liars, cheaters and time wasters.
    – Please, spend your kind and gentle heart on people who’ll deeply appreciate it. Your heart is a gift, not a toy. Love yourself.

    • I put “DO NOT TEXT, CALL. or ANSWER” as Jackass’s name in my phone. I didn’t want to delete his number. I just blocked him.

    • Hi Persephone,
      Thank you for sharing. I think you are right on point with everything you say. I agree, the beginning of a relationship should be happy, somewhat simple and loving.

  • “I feel better when are able to respect each others limit and not talk. But he keeps emailing me …. ”


    Reread that sentence you wrote. Take note of his sense of entitlement. You’ve set a boundary (no communication, no contact) but he doesn’t acknowledge your boundary. Instead he tramples it, presumably knowing that it is upsetting (destabilizing) for you. Why? Because he thinks he’s entitled to anything he wants, even if it’s hurtful to someone else. Don’t be that someone.

    His actions are the only thing you need to listen to and they are loud and clear: he doesn’t care about you, only himself.

    You’ll get through this. It will get exponentially easier when you go no contact. Block his ass!

  • You deserve to be cherished and loved. This dirtbag’s incapable of that. And anything short of that is robbing yourself of one of the greater things life offers.

    I once dated a dirtbag cheater who I kept breaking up with but then taking back because he cried and begged and promised me a lovely future. And I had hope. Guess how that turned out? I now have a dirtbag ex husband who I let burn years of my life with the same bullshit.

    Walk away. Deal with the pain of ending this thing and start anew, with a new therapist and a new sense of self worth.

    Best of luck

    PS and do email your ex therapist to tell her what shitty advice she gives. Any therapist who recommends that someone consider staying with a cheater, after an 11 month relationship with zero real entanglements, is in the wrong job.

    • Thank you for sharing NotANiceChump,
      I thought she was the good therapist!!
      It means a lot that you share this with me, thank you.

  • Hi Sadness:

    One more thing I forgot to mention: what Rancid Taco is doing to you is such a common ploy of the disordered that there is a name for it: future faking.

    This is when they get you to focus on what a wonderful future you could have…instead of the crappy present their actions have produced. Look at the shiny future! Our shared goals, our committment to the community, how much we have in common, the amazing love and great sex we share! And please ignore the shitty present in which you had to call the other woman to find out his latest lies. Ignore your legs up in stirrups tearfully explaining to your gynecologist why you need to be tested for STDs. Ignore having to call an innocent man and explain that the life and wife he thought he had were illusions. Because shiny stuff! In the future! All for you!

    • Yeah, I think you are right.. he definitely spends a lot of time focussing on the future and “us” rather than his past actions. That was my greatest fear in the last month, that all of this might be a chance for him to do future faking.

      • Exactly; beware of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). A salesman’s classic trap for the undecided, and not only in relationships.

      • It’s super impressive that you’re here with us.

        You COULD have ignored the facts and doubled down on his mind fuck.

        Instead, you’re bravely sharing your story and acknowledging that something is wrong and you need help.

        That’s huge. It’s really impressive.

  • 1. Get tested for STIs
    2. BLOCK HIM
    3. Contact the husband and tell him
    4. BLOCK the married girlfriend
    5. FIRE your therapist
    6. Read the forum & join the online support group

  • Oh yes, we forgot ‘future faking’, yet another share tool of liars, cheaters and time wasters. Ah, I remember one of my ex Wastes of Time and Space, how many times he took me around the capitals of Europe! In his mind, of course, in reality he didn’t even take me to pat a donkey in nearby Blackpool.

    Future faking is one of the MAJOR red flags, thank you for reminding us, PL.

  • You should only be having sex and living with a man who has earned that privilege through proving himself to be a loving and trustworthy partner.

    Instead, you’re rewarding a man who has betrayed you.

  • Going to be a bit of 2×4 post so be warned.

    He was in a relationship when he met you and continued that relationship. That effectively makes you The OW. There has literally been nothing genuine or authentic about your relationship with this man. Nothing but lies from day one. Your entire 11 month long affair….yup…affair….has been nothing but a giant lie. Granted, you were the unwitting OW, but still, call it what it is because maybe that will help you to wake up from the nightmare.

    He love bombed you initially and hooked you right in. Please please fix your picker and figure out why on earth you aren’t creeped out by that because you should be. He is love bombing you again – same garbage, same sleazy, creepy promises and you can’t bring yourself to block him. Why? Critical you figure it out and that means being brutally honest with yourself – it’s stroking your ego that you are so amazing he’ll choose you. For some, the idea that you won the pick me dance, that you are thaaaat special is like crack….except you aren’t. He is already “hiking” with someone else.

    So why is he love bombing you if he doesn’t think you are soooo special? Because it’s a fun game. He already knows he can fool you. He did it for 11 months. He already knows you are an easy target, vulnerable, willing to drink the bs. He says he respects your need for time and space and proceeds to bombard you with emails showing you exactly how he doesn’t respect you at all…..but you don’t seem to connect those dots……so I’m connecting them for you. If he actually respected you, he’d shut up and go away.

    The game he is playing is a simple one and it’s all about him and his warped sense of power. IF he can fool you despite you now knowing that he is nothing but a cheating pos….that’s power. In his mind that makes him super human, king manipulator. He controls you to the nth degree and that’s the ultimate high. His goal is to reel you back in and break you, aka lie, mindfuck, manipulate, lie, lie, lie, cheat, and cheat some more. He already got away it and IS getting away with it and you are still speaking to him and still opening his e-mails….Please put down the crack pipe Sadness.

    • Thanks for sharing FoolishChump,
      I have viewed it this way.. he said he broke up with her after the first month, which would make me his rebound in a way, which is pretty sad. Thanks for your honest words.

          • It’s one thing to line up another job or apartment before giving notice or moving. Somebody who can’t be single for two beats gives me pause.

          • Oh sadness,
            I’ve learned there is a TON of vocabulary to learn, I was writing my own paper trying not to use specialized vocabulary, but i did include a list of said vocabulary at the end and there were at LEAST 50 words on my list.

            I need those words, to conceptualize what is going on.
            i’d encourage you to learn them, you can start with CL’s glossary i think she has one on this site, and there are so many more, but knowing what the words mean is soooooo helpful to understanding!!

            spelling bee anyone? lol

          • Yes and the terms are the begining of your awakening Sadness! Monkey branching is talked about a lot on the Red Pill sites. It’s a tactic that the misogynists on those (and it must be said, other sites too) love to brag about. Monkey branching is a hallmark of the disordered. It’s keeping supply hooked while they secure a new supply and dropping the old supply once they have branched onto the new (ie executed the discard).

            Learning about the cycle of narcissistic abuse will be very helpful for you. That’s where many of these terms like love bombing, mirror-ing, future faking, devaluing, etc all come from.

            • Also, sorry, I forgot to add: intermittent reinforcement and trauma bonding

              These concepts are key to keeping the victim stuck and unable to break free of the narcissist. Your cheater is trying to further trauma bond you and keep you exactly where he wants you: trapped as a secondary or tertiary supply of kibbles. Dangerous for you. Get out! Sending hugs x

      • Please keep in mind, he has different brain wiring than you. These defects are wired differently and this will never change. Right now his love bombing is at the stage where he love bombs one minute, gives you hope and then rips the carpet from under you the next minute. Keeping you off balance is very important to defects. This doesn’t exclusively apply to romantic relationships. You’ll find crazy co-workers, bosses, frenemies and family members engage the same tactics.
        “I have viewed it this way.. he said he broke up with her after the first month, which would make me his rebound in a way, which is pretty sad.”
        First, don’t ever believe a word he says and second, these types do not have rebound relationships. They move from opportunity to opportunity.

        • They also often keep multiple people on the line (the “ambiguous” relationships your refer to. Look how fast he found a “hiking partner”–at the same time he’s trying to get you to take him back.

      • That’s called spackling. Nope and nope. Just don’t.

        This is a creep who was helping a married woman with kids have an affair. He had no qualms about it and was happy to be involved in a full on affair with her. While he was helping her cheat, he also was cheating on her with you…and who knows how many others.

        When it comes to cheaters, remember this – whatever you know or find out is invariably just the tip of the iceberg of sleaze and for your own sanity, you probably don’t want to dig too deep. What you know is enough. He has no morals, he has no values – at least none that you can understand or relate to.

        At the end of the day, if he will cheat with you, he will also cheat on you. Stick that to your fridge or maybe save it as your screen on the phone so every time you get the urge to read some more of his bs, you will be reminded how that story ends.

        As for those projects – just do them, solo. It’s a great way for you to gain confidence and realize that you can achieve what you want fuckwit free. You don’t need a wandering dick to realize your goals or complete your projects!

  • Number one on my Ta Da! list today is


    Number two is


    Number three is


    Anyone who gets in the way of these objectives CANNOT COME IN TO MY LIFE.

    No liars, cheaters, thieves, traitors, abusers allowed.

    (And BE one!)

  • OK,
    1. You definitely leave.
    2. Set boundaries and don’t let him bust them (i.e., o contact means just that. If he can’t respect that, it’s entitlement and doesn’t bode well for his growth).
    3. If he is sincere and just fucked up then give it 6 months before you try again. At that time you will know if he is indeed serious and has done the work he needs to on himself.

    Also, congrats for you having such strength of character to kick him to the curb. Well done. You will be fine.

    • Nope. Never go back. He has already shown you who he is.
      There are billions of other men out there who aren’t liars and cheats.

      Otherwise one day you will wake up with 2 kids, a mortgage and find out he’s sleeping with your neighbour. It is much messier then. Don’t go back.

      No contact is liberation. Try it. You will see.

  • What’s your ex boyfriend is doing to you is what I call “the emotional tango“. You get closer so he steps back, and then you go OK he’s not available, so you step back. And then he steps forward. So then you say oh he is interested so you step forward, and then he steps back. On and on and on.
    Chumplady probably has a more concise way of saying this, but this guy is never going to change. It’s about the chase and the game, not about the relationship. He doesn’t want you, he just wants to win.
    You need to ask yourself if you enjoy this kind of drama and you enjoy the game/angst. Don’t worry about missing out on him being emotionally available because he’s never going to be. He had 11 months.

    If we as a planet have learned anything this year, it’s that life is short. Please move on. For your own sake.

  • Block him and get STD/STI tested. NC will restore your sanity and make you realize that he sucks. You’ll gain perspective that sometimes can’t be obtained when you’re in the thick of a relationship. From the rearview mirror, you’ll see things more clearly.

    Oh, and I agree with the others to tell the OW’s husband. Think Golden Rule.

    And one last thing: know your worth! You deserve better than a low-character cheater (redundant, I know).

    Good luck!

  • Sadness….. this post almost sounds made up. However, you probably are a real and very confused gal. Seriously start respecting YOURSelf, and move on from this chaos. Cheaters are NOT good people! NOT.GOOD.PEOPLE.

    You already know what the right thing to do is, now DO IT!. Block him and don’t look back…ever ~~~

  • Do you know what’s bullshit? A cheater “understanding” the need to heal. Heal?
    She needs to cut all ties and never connect with this loser again. That is healing. Yes, it’s hard. But it gets easier every day and in the end she will be proud of herself for not taking crumbs from a serial liar.

    There is no recovering the’s broken. Done. People do not realize their mistake, they just don’t like the consequences. That is their problem.

    I hope she lives a beautiful life and never interacts with this guy again.

  • Here’s a thought (and you seem to be reaching the point of going no contact so good job on that)..If you take him back, the next time you might not get the choice to leave because he could leave you.

    People often talk about how they left their cheaters (which is extremely mighty by the way) however there is a also a group that is cheated on and is completely abandoned. I was fully invested in my amazing husband only to be dropped like I was nothing when I discovered who he really was. I would have left him anyways but the sting of being abandoned by these douche bags definitely hurts. There was no pick me dancing, I was just brought to the highest of highs back down to the lowest of lows. It’s just another power move of a disordered person and I wouldn’t rule this out of being in your ex’s playbook. If I could go back, I would have saved myself and our child so much pain and misery by ending things myself at the first red flag, knowing my value and standing firm in who I want to be with in life. The me back then was desperate, don’t be me.

    Good luck Sadness

  • A turd is still a turd even when you spray it with perfume!! Believe it’s a turd and quit covering that up!! Run!!!

  • “…(had he not cheated, I did feel he was a little disconnected, but truly believe be was my partner for life, we had so much in common).”

    This line struck me in particular. Shared interests are much much MUCH different and less important than shared value systems. I can imagine that you aren’t a cheater, manipulator, blame shifter, marriage destroyer, liar. So no, you do not have so much in common. And you should feel absolute relief of this.

    You deserve SO much better and it exists out there. You can surely find someone with shared interests AND values. Or just admire these things about yourself and be comfortable and happy with you. There are better things ahead once you remove this dead weight.

  • It has been my experience that relationships are most enjoyable in the beginning, before you have time or evidence to disappoint you. If your relationship is this bad now . . .

    People who claim best sex ever are often confused by the hormones released. Every sexual experience you have with a different person has some good points, and at least a few that can be improved with time and experience. Some are just awful, and need not be repeated. How do you know it is the best ever? You don’t. You just like the drama and the hormone release. Stop believing cultural mythology.

    Please take time and do a self study, read the CN experiences and books recommended on this site. Fix your picker. You don’t need to ever talk to this clown again. You are missing the opportunity to hurt yourself. You can have a much better life when you are in a better place mentally and physically. My second ex told me once, “Love me now, or lose me forever!” Fortunately, I chose option #2. My life is peaceful now that I do not live with a lying, cheating FW. You will have time to find someone better suited to you, and time to explore what being in a reciprocal relationship is like. It is sooo much better!

  • This guys was involved in a dishonest relationship when he met you, which if he had told you about it, you probably would have never gotten involved with him. He then went through the courting process with you, probably realised that you were a good bet for accomodation etc in the away from home circumstances that you were in, decided to throw his lot in with you, but still kept in touch with the OW and sexted her (which is not what ‘friends’ do) then when found out chucked his toys, perhaps to show you that ‘look at all the damage you are doing to me, making me accept consequences’ to guilt you into feeling like the bad guy. The most (probably) unintentionally honest thing he told you was that ‘He hadn’t taken full advantage of the opportunity that you offered’. I’d say his wording is very revealing, and you should take heed of the self-interest in that statement. He meant it as a compliment about how much you have to offer, but really it is pretty exploitative. You didn’t even have a chance for this to be a ‘love story’ dude built the foundations of your relationship on lies from the get-go. This guy is emotionally immature and is on the lookout for what suits him, not you. Run and don’t look back. Block everything so you don’t get to read his mealy-mouthed words and feel conflicted. Trust that he sucks, because he does.

  • I hadn’t heard the term “monkey-branching” either. Here it is:

    I’ve been on my own since DDay (Oct 2017) and I am glad glad glad. I have enough on my plate with me and my daughter, whom he also abandoned.

    My plan these days is to heal and to do whatever the hell I want for as long as I want. Anyone who is OK hurting me gets their membership in my life permanently revoked.

  • 1. You only knew the guy for 11 months so didn’t really know him at all.
    2. You only were with him for 11 months. By the time you’re my age (67) you will know that is not a huge investment of your time.
    3. Your therapist has a God complex.
    4. Stop second-guessing your intuition which is screaming to be heard.
    5. Just know, in your heart of hearts that you are going to be okay.
    6. Don’t answer, text, acknowledge him anymore. Be done with the game he is playing with you. That’s how you win. A few years from now you will thank the person you are today for hanging on to your dignity.

    • Every word of this. I’m 69 and I spend 60 years figuring out what Linder is telling you hear. You have your whole life ahead of you. All you need to do is look for CHARACTER in the people you associate with. That’s far more important than having projects in common.

      Healthy relationships do no move at warp speed.

  • Sadness, find a therapist who can help you figure out why you’d want to stay with such a lowlife.
    Would you really want to breed with him?

    As most of us have found out, there are a lot of useless therapists /and certainly most are not trained in trauma betrayal and can actually do damage.
    Google trauma Betrayal.
    If you don’t find a therapist who supports you, do your own reading etc at home.
    I wouldn’t recommend this guy to anybody even if he was only 1/10 as icky as you’ve made him sound.

    • Exactly.

      Funny “lowlife” is how my ex FW of 21 years described himself in his “apology” letter. He said I don’t know why I acted like such a lowlife. He acted like a lowlife because he was one. Trust the actions not the words.

      Yes he went on to repeatedly cheat on schmoopie after they married. He didn’t get a character transplant for her, he remained a fuckwit, and she deserved what she got. At least she got truth in advertising. I didn’t have that luxury.

  • Sad,
    He’s awful and it sounds like you already know you don’t want him. Why would you? He’s shown himself to be without morals and values in every regard. He didn’t even find a way to stick around and honor the commitment he made to working with kids. There’s nothing to this guy. It sounds like you know this and are having a hard time letting go of the idea of potential and possibility.

    You mention you were really looking forward to the projects you had planned together. Straight talk: you will never accomplish those things together even if you stay together. Especially if you stay together. BUT you can accomplish them on your own!

    Instead of wasting time finding that magical books that will help him see the light, or forever tracking his digital movements put that same energy into yourself and your projects. The two of you planned to buy and rehab an old house? Start watching This Old House tutorials and sourcing tools. You were going to sail the Great Loop? Scour craigslist for a sunfish on which to learn and join a message board of others doing the same. You dreamed of creating a non-profit for kids? Take a grant writing class and start identifying how and with whom you want to structure the BoD. Fantasized about launching a line of vegan dog treats at the farmer’s market? Get going on pinning down packaging, pricing, and promotion details. Surround yourself with folks actually doing the things you want to do even if it’s only online for now. Time is valuable so don’t waste another minute on someone who will only tear you down. Block him and throw yourself into those projects. Oh, and keep coming here with updates so we can support and encourage you along the way!

  • Aye -freakin-AYE!

    …This is from a therapist (me)
    A chumped therapist
    Who drank the RIC KoolAid after Ddays #1 & 2…(before becoming a therapist) .

    Still had to clock another 25 years and 1 more (known) Dday before I pulled my own head outta the netherworld.

    I see what others have said:
    Your “therapist” is not for YOU. Best case, misguided newbie. Worst case, planning to make yacht payments while you dance 4 the fuckwit.

    Run AWAY!!

  • Gosh Sadness,
    I’ve heard some of the stuff your ex told you, word-for-word. Amazing. There must be something in the universe that cheaters pull from.

    I was casually dating someone and without even looking found a spreadsheet he had printed with at least 20 names on it. (His apartment was extremely messy; the paper laying on the floor. I picked it up.) Column 1 was the woman’s name. Further columns delineated how they had met, personal details (names of kids etc), how far along the sexual path they had gone, and next steps. It was pretty stark seeing a next step to do oral sex to prove he cared.

    That was the start of stepping back because I did not care to be involved in such an odd situation. I did not confront; I just didn’t want to be part of the situation.

    The stepping back got noticed and caused him to sort of ask me to marry him, to sort of say I was the best, to sort of say how much he loved me. I forced myself to listen with an outsider’s ear and realized that he was saying these things in such a way he could plausibly deny he meant what he was hinting at. He was going to allow me to go quietly into the night.

    I pulled the plug and went no contact until a girlfriend talked me into meeting him one last time because it wasn’t fair to him to just walk away without talking. Oh yes, that was a mistake. He put on a really big act of love and concern and when I didn’t respond he tried to force himself on me.

    I did not understand the dynamics of this until ChumpLady. Why did he want me above all the others? Why single me out as a soul mate? Why did he think I wanted to be in the turgid drama? Why? Only by reading ChumpLady did I begin to understand what a sick-o he is.

  • Sadness:

    It’s okay to be sad when you’ve been soul-raped.

    This man is an abuser; you aren’t safe with him and you need to cut all contact.

    Cutting contact will hurt at first, but very quickly your head will get clearer.

    Fire the therapist and look for another, and/or just spend time reading the archives here.

    Once your head is clearer, you can look at why you put up with – and welcomed – such poor treatment. There’s family of origin issues here.

    Boundaries are really important. Right now, you don’t seem to have any, so you need to learn what good boundaries are, and how to put them in place.

    I know you say you have some great projects planned – but I think the greatest project ahead of you is YOU.

    You sound as if you’ve consistently put yourself last for your entire life.

    Some of this self-discovery is going to hurt like hell and be confronting.

    But it’s a million times LESS painful than being soul-raped by an abusive man.

    It will also give you greater strength, and better radar, and make it possible for you to have a really happy future, either by yourself or with someone good.

  • No no no! Run! Professing undying love in the first month is a red flag! Comments like soulmate are also a red flag. I know. I fell for it and it led to a 7 year nightmare.

    Get out now.

  • Sadness
    My ex husband cheated through our 35 year marriage.
    You have a chance because your still young to find a honest man. The pain you feel now is nothing compared to loving unconditionally someone who never loved you.
    Read the posts here on CN and think about the advice your given. We’ve all been there in one way or another.
    Stay strong ????????

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