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Debunking Marriage Builders, Inc.

shrinkOne piece of advice the Reconciliation Industrial Complex likes to give after D-Day is telling chumps it is their responsibility to make the marriage “a good place to be” after an affair. That way your cake-eating spouse will see what they’re missing. Often this advice is combined with the contradictory advice to be all 180 and WTFever.

Are you home from work? Well, I’ll be busy with soccer practice. Can’t chat. Everything is running smoothly here! Dinner’s cooked! And notice the freshly fluffed pillows and scented candle. Gotta run. Bye!

Try this with a buoyant nonchalance, chumps.

Because that’s exactly what home life is like after D-Day, right? Somebody out there in unicorn land is awaking refreshed and ready for a trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond after D-Day. Me? I had sleepless nights, dry heaves, and calls to domestic abuse hotlines. I flunked nonchalance. I was more hung up on HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!

In fairness, I’d only been married 6 months. I assumed the marriage was a good place to be because he’d just put a ring on it. If I sucked so epically, why marry me? But perhaps I was mistaken. I should’ve improved my game. Maybe it wasn’t enough to move to another state, finance his career move, and buy a fixer upper house in a no-fault divorce state, have a robust sex life, cook his dinners, entertain his family, and do his laundry.

I wasn’t a smorgasbord of pussy. My bad.

Because that’s why affairs happen according to Dr. Harley of Marriage Builders. Emotional needs are not met. (Like the passive voice? I think that’s intentional.) Let’s puzzle this out. Who doesn’t meet those needs? (Put it in the active voice.) Chumps!

Did he have an emotional need for you to be 573 different orifices, and you were just one person? You failed.

According to Harley, infidelity happens when someone (let’s not name names) doesn’t put enough deposits in the “love bank.” If you don’t meet those needs, they will stray. Everyone is capable of infidelity, says Harley. It has nothing to do with character.

 I shouldn’t be trusted by my wife, and I shouldn’t trust her. The fact is that we are all wired for infidelity, and under certain conditions, we’ll all do it. The way to protect your marriage from something that has been common to man (and women) for thousands of years is to recognize the threat, and do something to prevent it from happening.

What can I do to prevent it from happening? Tell me!

Meeting each other’s most important emotional needs, avoiding Love Busters and building an integrated lifestyle, free of secret second lives, are all ways to affair-proof your marriage.

Did you catch that? The way to not have affairs — a secret second life — is TO NOT HAVE SECRET SECOND LIVES!

OMG. Enlightenment.

Curiously, Dr. Harley doesn’t say anything about you fucking other people after D-Day, when your love bank balance sheet looks as fiscally grim as the subprime mortgage crisis. No, chumps, when your love bank is overdrawn, you need to find the strength to make the marriage a nice place to be.

And you have to stop bringing up the affair. Because that’s a real bummer, okay?

My advice to her husband is to never mention her affair again. It’s a good example of one of the enemies of good conversation, dwelling on past mistakes. Whenever you keep bringing up your spouses past mistakes, you not only make your conversations incredibly unpleasant, but it cannot possibly lead to a resolution of a conflict you may be discussing. And as soon as his resentment doesn’t pay him any dividends — no longer helps him get his way — he will find that it hardly ever occurs to him.

This advice contradicts his other advice — the Policy of Radical Honesty — you know, where you’re supposed to share everything that’s on your mind with each other and act like you care. How he makes coffee, how you loathe karaoke, your hopes and dreams about golf. Everything is on the table, but just don’t discuss the affair. That “mistake.” Be radically honest! Just not your feelings about your spouse fucking someone else. Stuff those feelings down and choke on them, then go buy some nice throw pillows for your New Improved Marriage.

Because you can’t trust anyone, say Dr. Harley.

How can a spouse ever trust an unfaithful partner again? My answer is that the spouse should never have been trusted in the first place… Basing a marriage on the Policy of Radical Honesty and the Policy of Joint Agreement goes a long way toward preventing an affair… With these measures in place, we end up trusting our spouses because an affair becomes almost impossible to achieve.

I’m confused. To agree to a policy of joint agreement on things and be radically honest… uh… doesn’t that presuppose TRUST? But to “end up trusting” again, we have to… trust. This is circular logic. Kind of like the way to not have secret lives is to stop having secret lives.

Clearly, I lack the sophistication of an international best-selling author with a PhD in family therapy, who has saved thousands of marriages. The point is, chumps — this is all your fault. Okay? Go fluff some pillows.

This post ran previously. I AM GETTING MY FIRST VACCINE TODAY! I hope everyone gets a vaccine soon (or has gotten one). Let’s win this thing!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “I AM GETTING MY FIRST VACCINE TODAY! I hope everyone gets a vaccine soon (or has gotten one). Let’s win this thing!”


    The first shot tends to be the less uncomfortable. You may feel great today but wake up feeling crummy tomorrow. Pace yourself, please – we need you!

    I suggest a big platter of cookies from Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe to have on hand.

    RIC is simply more abuse. Funny how Steven W. Harley, MS. hasn’t submitted a paper for peer review. Instead he goes straight for the self-help/self-flagellation section of the bookcase. The profitable end. Asshole.

    His old man, Willard F. is the one with the Ph.D. Not that he’s submitted anything to be torn apart by academic either. Generations of assholes.

    • What a moron. Willfully ignorant of biology or completely ignorant – how many fuckwits dance on a condom? Generations of being an asshole – for profit.

      “Pregnancies are very common in affairs. The passion of an affair makes birth control less effective, and it’s often never even used. I know of a couple that faithfully used two forms of birth control whenever they made love, and yet had five unplanned children. It was a testament to how passionate their lovemaking was.”

      • Excuse me, I vomited just a little in my mouth there. I had no idea that passionate love making resulted in more pregnancies! So much to admire in those passionate, fertile cheaters….

        And props to “how many fuckwits dance on the head of a condom”. Gotta love topical literary references laced with profanity!

      • Considering I’m staring down the barrel of a paternity test on my Daughter, I find it very disgusting to read that many children are born from intense ‘passionate lovemaking’. Not very enjoyable for the male chumps who may have to face the reality that the child they adore and love and has raised may not be theirs and then we have the mental destruction that would be delivered onto a child/teenager who finds out that Daddy is not Daddy at all. But sure, as long as two cheaters can have their “passion” why bother with consequences and wrecked lives.

        • Yes. And, from the other side, what if you’re a woman with fertility issues? Are you supposed to now be blamed for not conceiving because you weren’t “passionate” enough?

          So many ways to suck, this RIC fool.

          • From both male and female sides it as all a total mind fu**. I really hope new chumps find CL and not the abusive RIC money making machine that victim blames.

          • Well my stbx and I both had fertility issues. We are very lucky to have our 25 year old daughter who was #7 pregnancy after 6 miscarriages, another miscarriage after her and an in vitro procedure that resulted in a tubal pregnancy and emergency surgery. I was almost 40 by the time I went through that and I told my husband I could not do it again. It was too heartbreaking to lose so many pregnancies and we needed to focus on our one beautiful child. He was not happy with that decision. I back then told him if he was so intent on having more children he could go find another woman. Of course he did not. Fast forward the last several months and it is one of the things he’s been whining about. Good luck to him I guess. The thing is if we did have more children I’m not sure how we would have really supported them given his terrible work record. I’d a been working multiple jobs for sure.

        • To me, Daddy is Daddy after all. The child did nothing wrong and genetically, we’re almost all nearly identical anyway.

          IMO, if it’s not a medical emergency… Why even investigate? If you are the parent in that child’s eyes, why punish them at all?

          I mean, unless they’re too young to understand, or fully adult.

          • My little girl is 9 years old. I need to know for my own sake. If it comes back that she is not mine, maybe I will never tell her. I don’t know if I could hurt her in anyway and that would destroy her. But I need to know for me.

            • Yes, the truth is the truth and it stands alone.

              What you do about the results is your business.

            • If you need to know her DNA, then do it. However, if you have been her only daddy, and you love her regardless, then I recommend that you continue to be her daddy. It’s totally unlikely (if she is not your biological child) that the sperm donor will swoop in and be the best dad possible. If he’s not in the picture now, he won’t ever be. You have only one chance to do right by your children. If you love this little girl, she is your child. She needs a loving, sane parent else she’ll be messed up too. I have an adopted son and he has been my son from the very beginning 35 years ago. He asked me at age 12 who his ‘real mom’ is. I told him that I was his real mom. His real mom is the one that put up with his nonsense, that took care of him when he was sick, that loved him and wanted to see him become a wonderful human being. The woman that gave birth was not his mom. At age 18 he asked me again, so I told him. He didn’t say anything…, until we were sitting in my back yard many years later (he was 30 years old), drinking some adult beverages, laughing. And then he said, “Mom. When you told me who my biological mother was.., I could only go “WHOA!!! I’m SO glad that you adopted me. Thank you, Mom, for being my Mom!!” If you continue to be that little girl’s dad, I guarantee that someday she will be just as grateful to you. She’s going to put you through the wringer at times, but love her in spite of it. Someday she will also grow up and see things through a different lens. It’s my opinion that men have the most influence in their children’s lives. Both moms and dads are very, very important. But it’s my opinion that kids will always know that they can cause their moms to pull their hair out, and mom will still keep loving them. However, kids aren’t always quite so sure with their dads and so they strive extra hard to get their dads’ approval. And if they KNOW that they’re loved by their dad, then they have the self esteem to go out and conquer the world. I’m NOT saying that kids that grow up without a dad don’t have a chance at growing up well adjusted and are able to conquer the world too. I’m just saying that Dads are very, very important in instilling confidence in a child. That’s my opinion. Do with it what you will.

              • If worse comes to worse with results then no the biological father most certainly will not be there. The person we believe and whom I was informed about was an unemployed alcoholic with bipolar who lived with his mother at near 30 years old in a trailer park. A total deadbeat waster. It’s beyond embarrassing to even admit my ex wife was sneaking out in the middle of the night to go to a trailer park for some POS like that. I know far more than she has ever known.

              • However, knowing if an alcoholic with BP is the parent may help guide and inform you as your daughter grows up because you will be mindful of the genetic roll of the die.

                It’s not a foregone conclusion that she will develop either issue, or any issue. But if you think of it as having the wiring in place then you are better prepared than many.

                Regardless, you may want to look into family therapy for yourself and your daughter anyway. Upheaval and big stressors are hard on adults and young people.

                Fingers crossed for you both (not for FW – I AM petty that way, thanks!).

              • I have a certain perspective on parenting non-biological children, since my STBX (we are both women) gave birth to both my kids with the help of sperm donors. I adopted both of them before same-sex marriage was legal in our state of residency, to codify our relationship.

                I get that it’s yet another mindfuck to think that your kids might not be your own biological offspring, if that was your understanding at the time. It’s yet another shift of reality chump dads might have to endure. But biology is very definitely not destiny, and it’s worth thinking about what really matters here. Chump dads are already parents, and doing all the parent things. If knowing the biological “truth” will get you a better settlement, then great. But if it might call into question your parental rights, or even more insidiously, make you feel differently about your own child, then it’s important to prepare yourself for that “truth” with professional help. Don’t expect that you can just power through it alone without any impact on your parenting.

                I have a friend in her late 30’s who recently learned, through a DNA genealogy service like 23 and Me, that her deceased dad was not her biological father. Her mom did not cheat on the dad intentionally – there was an on-and-off period in their relationship before the mom got pregnant and they decided to marry. My friend is glad that her dad was no longer around to deal with the consequences after she found out. She tried to connect with her bio dad (I would call him a donor) after she found out, but he already had dementia and passed away soon after. And then my friend felt she had to tell her mom, who was just totally blindsided. The “truth” involved a lot of painful reckonings without much upside.

                That’s one of the many reasons why I really like the “love makes a family” model advanced by LGBTQ+ people, and not getting hung up on who the biological parent(s) happen to be. And look at all the children’s movies of the last couple of decades that underline how we ultimately choose our own family: How to Train Your Dragon, Trolls, UglyDolls, Kung Fu Panda, Ice Age, Rio, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, every single Pixar film, all the DC and Marvel movies, etc. etc.

                But, I’m not trying to minimize anyone’s pain. All best to all chumps in their journey of discovering the truth in whatever way they see fit, and trying to process it.

              • @LezChump –

                Remember that if SirChump had known his wife was cheating (and their eldest was proof of it), he would have divorced her years earlier and been spared a great deal of pain and humiliation.

                Doesn’t mean he doesn’t love their eldest, but think of the smug factor his XW enjoyed over him for more more than a decade. She didn’t suspect the child wasn’t biologically his – she KNEW she had manipulated someone into raising a child that wasn’t his because it suited her to do so.

                Adoption is different. You have chosen to raise a child to whom you are not directly related.

                Regardless, SirChump has done right by the kid and been the Sane Parent.

              • Hi, all –
                I can no longer reply to individual comments, so I just want to say:
                I realize that my situation is very different from male chumps who are actively deceived about the paternity of their children. My perspective is that we ALL are gaslit by society about the primacy of biology, and I hate to think that any parent might be tortured by the idea that they are not a biological parent. They are still a parent, by their deeds and their choices.

                To reply to No Shit Cupcakes: I totally agree with you that Sirchumpalot and others deserved the truth in their marriages. Deception in a marriage about anything of consequence is a deal-breaker. But the timeline makes a difference here: all the male chumps on this site already know they’ve been chumped. Fortunately, they now have the information they need to end their abusive marriages and move on. I think all of us chumps need to consider how much “pain shopping” we should do after we have already pulled the plug. For many of us, there will be all kinds of lingering questions for many years: were there more affairs or behaviors we didn’t know about? How many other friends/family knew about the affairs? etc. In each case, we have to consider whether it’s really worth going down that road to learn new information, if it isn’t really going to get us a better settlement or change things.

                To me, the best reason to pursue an investigation of paternity *after* divorce, assuming chumps don’t plan to alter their relationships with their children themselves (and I hope that they wouldn’t!!!!) is that there are now all these genealogical services that increase the likelihood that an adult child will eventually discover the truth. Maybe it’s better to head that kind of discovery off at the pass. But maybe not. Also, if a kid has serious medical issues, maybe it would be useful to clarify biological relationships in the family, in case a family member could be a donor. But the need for that kind of information is very rare.

                Again, I hate to think that male chumps are tortured by an abstract possibility – in this case, biological parentage is fairly abstract, in my view – that just has very little bearing on the lived reality of their parenting a child. If I were a male chump in this position, I would think long and hard about which truths I want to pursue, and about what I would do with that information if I had it. Keep in mind that a lot of cheaters might wield paternity information as a weapon – I could see a lot of cheaters somehow insinuating to their kids that their dad isn’t a “real” parent, or trying to get the kids to know their bio dad better, or a number of other shudder-inducing possibilities. Not all truths are created equal, and some information can be weaponized – esp. by a cheater.

                Again, I’m so sorry that this is an added dimension of pain that some male chumps have to deal with, and I wish that society put way more emphasis on the people who show up to do the work, rather than on biological relationships. (Any old guy can be a sperm donor!) And this emphasis on doing the work addresses Maryam’s sad reality: your ex is willfully misunderstanding and weaponizing the “love makes a family” idea in order to justify being a selfish asshole. Once you’re a parent in practice, choosing to walk away is abandonment, not “choosing your family.” But then I’ve seen cheaters willfully misunderstand and weaponize all sorts of concepts that are otherwise good.

              • @LezChump –

                SirChump didn’t get the DNA kits for the family that Christmas with an agenda in mind. His child ASKED for the DNA kit.

                But the results were the final nail in the coffin of the marriage. His ex-wife admitted to a two-year affair and that she knew their eldest child was not his biological child.

                His ex-wife is a special piece of shit. She knew with absolutely certainly when that baby was 3 months old that SirChump was not the father. She deliberately conceived a child with her Schmoopie and when her plan for him to leave his wife to marry her and raise their child together didn’t happen she simply led SirChump on.

                It’s easy to scold male chumps for not feeling or acting in a manner in which you approve when you will never – ever – experience that particular betrayal. The only thing I can imagine that kinda-sorta compares would be if your hypothetical husband insisted that he never ever ever wanted children, insisted that there never be any children conceived within the marriage and only leaves after it is discovered that he did indeed want and have at least one child – with Schmoopie – while married to his wife who was now too old to conceive and as an older single woman not likely to be approved to foster or adopt a child.

                Happily, he and their eldest know the truth and it has freed them all from huffing Hopium regarding that woman. SirChump is a mensch.

            • I’m glad you’re finding out. A friend of mine in her 30s just found out her dad is not her dad. He knew the whole time but they never told her.

              And she’s completely pissed about her family medical history being a lie. I’m glad I know mine so I understand. People will shrug and say it doesn’t matter but it can actually matter a lot, like life threatening level of mattering.

              • “That’s one of the many reasons why I really like the “love makes a family” model advanced by LGBTQ+ people, and not getting hung up on who the biological parent(s) happen to be.”

                My ex uses this model a lot to explain why it’s perfectly fine that he abandoned his pre-teen biological kids to live 3000 miles away with his girlfriends and their kids. He hasn’t seen his bio kids (now ages 10 and 12) in over a year, but that’s fine according to him because they’re not part of his “chosen family”

              • I would have the test and if it were proved I was not the bio father, I would let her know the truth and adopt her. I don’t see why a 9-year old would be hurt more by this, than by learning the truth later when she is older and even more invested in believing I am the sane, honest parent.

              • Maryam,
                I addressed your comment in my comment to No Shit Cupcakes above. I’m so sorry that your ex is weaponizing that concept in order to justify being a selfish asshole. Any parent who abandons their kids for any reason is just that: an abandoner. But then, cheaters always will find excuses for poor choices…and it doesn’t negate the basic concept, when it’s properly applied. Indeed, your ex sort of proves the point, because despite his biological relationship to your kids, he clearly never invested with real love.

            • ChumpyNoLove, of course you need to know.
              You need to know if you’ve been chumped, that’s the info you are looking for.
              Whatever the outcome, your daughter will always be your daughter.
              These alliances are not coincidences, they are choices. Please look into the reading of Edgar Cayce, and you’ll understand that perhaps your daughter has chosen you.
              Good luck!

        • ChumpyNoLove, I’m so sorry that you are in that position. I’d like to say very bad words about your FW but I’m sure you’ve already said them all.

          And this will also be devastating for your daughter to find out as well. She will need your love and strong presence if she is told about this.

          Gosh, it really just sucks.

          • CNL, I totally get you on that.

            My ex fw snuck out for years to go screw a whore in the local trailer park. I am sure there were others, but she was the main fruit broad.

            The only good part of it was she drug his ass into bankruptcy and into a totally messed up family.

            He told my daughter in law after the hell settled that “Susie was very attractive, and sex was never an issue between us, it was just my ego” He told her that all the other police officers were doing it, and he wanted in on the fun. So that begs the question for me, just how does it feed his ego, to spend years screwing a whore; who had screwed one married man (some police officers, some city employees) after the other in hopes of capturing a meal ticket. How does that make them feel special, or feed an ego.

            Something I pondered, but of course will never get, as I am not disordered.

            • Yeah it’s certainly a difficult situation to understand with what he was doing. We were warned from day one in the Army to avoid (I was married at time so no concern to me) women who hang around near military bases and to avoid getting a girl pregnant which happens lots in the Army and then they get suckered into marriage and then having all the benefits. I’m not sure how cheating with some local bike would feed anyone’s ego.

              • Yes, so fucked up. Fucktard’s rat faced whore was, I was told, by a couple of people who knew her, known as “the Hull bicycle everyone’s had a ride!”

                But fucktard was convinced she was a poor little soul. “rat faced whore has had nothing all her life! I’m just trying to show her how the other side lives. Excuse me for being soft!”

                Some of them like to see themselves as the superior God leaning down from on high, lifting up the lowlife whore to another level.

                I would be insulted, but apparently rat faced whore lapped it up. ????????????

        • I went thru it. Way more painful then the cheating. But I would rather live with the painful truth, then a lie.

          • I agree, there was rumor and my son wondered if the whores youngest son belonged to his dad, which wold have meant he had a step brother. Given the years they screwed around, it is a possibility. His dad swore it was not true.

            Anyway, this youngest kid was very troubled, as he had an idiot for a mother; and who knows who his father was, or what the situation was. He died in a motorcycle accident at age 20 (drinking and drugs) So now my son will never know for sure, and since he knows his dad is a liar as is the whore he can’t be sure they were telling the truth when they said he wasn’t.

            The other day my son told me if whore comes to him now and claims he was his brother, then he likely won’t believe her; as he will suspect she is trying to get something out of him.

          • Chumpnomore6

            Beats all.

            I actually stood there just staring at him when he tried to defend her as “innocent” fucked the whore non stop behind my back, she knew full well he was married, he was her dammed boss. she sat her nasty ass on my sofa, sat at the same table as us at the company Christmas party and he dared defend the whore to me. He even fucked her in his office, he told me that.

            But having said all that, evidently that is what he wanted. I have said before as painful as it was to find out all this stuff, she did me a huge favor. Had she not wished him away on her cloud of chaste fucking, I would be the one, living in a trailer in Florida and so deep in debt the only options are never pay it off, or go bankrupts yet again. It would be her third time that I know of. First before they married, then both of them after they married, and now he left her in huge debt for a brand new RV worth over one hundred thousand dollars, that he bought a year ago. So now they want their money.

            He told me once when I caught them at our River property “this is who I am” so I have to believe that is really who he is, and while we were together he was pretending to be normal.

        • Good luck Chumpy, I really hope she’s yours. She’ll be one lucky little girl!

        • And add to that those that would try to shame you for having the audacity to want to know the truth. Same folks would likely say that the child has every right to know, but dad. Ehhhh, nope just shut up and eat that shit sandwich.

        • “Daddy” is the man who loved and raise that child, regardless of biology.

        • It takes 5 minutes to become a father and a lifetime to become a dad. You will always be her dad regardless of who her biological father turns out to be.

        • WTF is wrong with people? Willfully ignorant? Egregiously stupid? Moronically clueless? Or just plain misogynistic assholes?

          I can’t even…..

          • Well, look at what they stand to gain by these comments, and the power dynamics at play. Misogyny is a tool of control, both of women AND men.

      • Shades of blathering conservative politicians claiming that “you can’t get pregnant in a true rape. Everything just shuts down.”

        • He says it like it is some sort of magical, mystery of the female body to just shut everything down. What a moron! This is what happens when you leave science class for religious reasons!

      • My ex wife got pregnant (on purpose) with the OM and then had sex with me a couple days later to have plausible deniability. She had an ovulation test and knew she was ovulating. But he wouldn’t leave his wife for her. My XW did a paternity test when the child was 3 months old and knew it wasn’t mine. 14 years later my daughter wanted to do an AncestryDNA test and she came back not mine. I have read that 5% of all pregnancies are from this. My heart goes out to all men who are duped by their wives into taking care of someone else’s child.

        • I cannot believe how horrible some people are. I am so sorry. What gave her the right to purposefully deceive you? Just who the fuck do these psychopaths think they are?

        • We were having a hard time getting along, but I didn’t know at the time I was being chumped. On my birthday she takes me out to dinner and the night in a fancy hotel downtown. Crazy sex. Like “make up” sex.
          The next morning she tells me she is pregnant. She wants to keep the baby. I am kinda stunned, because she is on birth control (I thought) and well into menopause. “OK, I will be right there with you.” She had lots of emotions.
          A few weeks later she miscarried. A stoney silence in our marriage.
          A year after this event she tells me she wants a divorce and nobody else was involved. After some luck and digging I found out she had been having sex with a co-worker. He is brown eyed olive skinned Hispanic. We are blue eyed pale skinned Northern Europeans. She had to have been worried this oops baby was going to be obviously not mine. I imagine the flood of conflicting emotions and self-loathing for this Jesus cheater would have been powerful. She had a tendency to see events as God’s rewards or punishment. Imagine what that miscarriage felt like to her.

        • Sirchumpalot,
          I’m so sorry to hear that you think of yourself as having taken care of someone else’s child. In my view, you are the true parent, and the other guy was just a sperm donor. Of course, I can’t tell you how to feel about it, but I think that society’s focus on biology as destiny is horribly misguided – please see my longer comment above. I can only imagine how painful it must be to feel that your status as a parent has been somehow undermined by external circumstances that are beyond your control. I hope you have been able to work through this reality with your daughter, perhaps with professional support. All best to you.

          • You put it exactly right. It is no child’s fault that they are born to a FW, much less two of them! I hope she has a chance at a relationship with a sane parent, even if the DNA doesn’t match.

        • HS biology classes used to ask kids to report on their and their parents’ blood types when studying the blood type heredity. They had to stop because so many kids came back with blood types that were inconsistent with their parents. This was way back in the 50s, if I remember correctly.

          • No – that came to an end in the 1980’s or 1990’s and it was due to fears about HIV/AIDS. We were still testing our blood in 8th grade science classes in the early 80’s.

        • She was trying to trap the guy with a pregnancy, but hedged her bets by having sex with you in case she couldn’t get him?
          She is all kinds of despicable and whacked out.

      • Yikes! That’s the same logic as that awful politician years back who declared that “legitimate” rape did not result in pregnancies because somehow a woman’s body will just shut the whole thing down…. What an asshole.

      • What absolute *rubbish*.

        When you think of women who’ve been *raped*, and ended up pregnant – that’s ‘passion’?

        Akin to the idiocy of “you won’t get pregnant if you do it standing up”.

        Sperm meets egg; if you’re fertile, that equals pregnancy, ‘passion’ has nothing to do with it.

        What a maroon as Bugs Bunny would say. ????????

        • Bugs was smarter than the average bunny.

          The bottom line is the reason people in affairs have a high pregnancy rate is, they don’t use protection. It is part of the risk/thrill of fucking around.

          • “I think that society’s focus on biology as destiny is horribly misguided…”

            I don’t really think that’s the point. The point is *truth* I’m trying to imagine how I’d feel if I were a man, and the paternity of my child/children came into question. I think, regardless of my love for the child, I would want to know the *truth*. It’s not something a woman would have to deal with.


            Isn’t that fundamental to our experiences with lying fucktard’s?

            We want to know the truth, but the fucktard tries to prevent that from happening. So we are in a fog of the fucktard’s devising, dancing to their tune.

            I totally agree with Lez chumps points, but I think there is a visceral ‘need to know’ she doesn’t cover. One can love one’s child, but in a heterosexual relationship, (without the agreed anonimity of lesbian insemination by an anonymous donor) there is always the need to know, “is this child mine?”

            So I totally understand the ‘drive to know’ .

            Who is he? What is he? It’s not at all the same as AIS, this was not some practical interchange of Sperm and egg. This was a a fubdamentable betrayal of the deepest feelings any couple should have and feel.

            Apropos of that and I’m conscious this may be totally irrelevant to male Chumps concerned about paternity (I wonder if this is a totally 21st century concern) – in the UK, the number of high ranking peers who had no idea their parents were not actually their biological parents is quite high.

            Also, the number of soldiers who came back from WW2 to find their wives “had a bun in the oven” is also quite high.

            What it comes down to is, yes, my fuckbitch whore cheated on me, and my child may not be my biological child,, but I love her/him and always will.
            End of.

            • Absolutely, everyone is entitled to the truth. Of course the Childs truth must be timed at the appropriate age, but eventually if they don’t know, the chances are very high they will find out by some other means.

              I would want to know for sure if a child were mine, if I were a man. Doesn’t mean they will abandon them for a couple of reasons, one most folks once they bond to a child won’t and also in most states they couldn’t legally abandon them.

            • Damn. I’m really tired of all this Evo Psych BS that monogamy is unnatural and that women are lying if they don’t admit that she is cheating/cuckholding in order to “shop for the best genes” for her offspring. Of course cheaters love that kind of theory. This link describes it some, and disputes it, but not enough imho:

            • Hi there, Chumpnomore. It sounds like you were kind of responding to me.
              I had a longer reply to No Shit Cupcakes above, but I’ll just recap here:
              Yes, I understand the drive to know the truth, especially right after discovery, but it’s frankly unhelpful to pursue a lot of “truths” after the marriage has ended. For example, part of me might appreciate knowing once and for all whether my STBX had any other active affairs that I don’t already know about (though two was plenty!), or whether other people knew about her behavior without telling me. But I’m unlikely ever to get to the “truths” of those things, and since more information about those items wouldn’t alter our divorce settlement, I think it’s time to move on.

              I too understand the drive to know certain things. But not all drives are healthy to pursue – that’s why CL and CN warn against pain shopping. In this case, I think we’re ALL gaslit by society’s emphasis on biology, and biological parentage. My situation certainly is different from male chumps, because of course I have known all along that I am not biologically related to my kids. BUT, I have still had to deal with bullshit questions like “who’s the real mom?” And even more incongruously, people want to know who the kids’ donors are. Who cares, if the donors aren’t in the picture?

              So, that’s why I’m pushing back against the “biology is destiny” narrative here. That societal gaslighting creates a drive to know a “truth” that might not be helpful, after divorce is finalized. But as I noted above, there might be a couple of other concrete reasons to pursue that truth – but post-divorce male chumps would have to do that work with great caution and be prepared, with professional help, to work through what that truth means for them and for their kids.

    • I know it’s a pastry shop, but I miss their liverwurst sandwiches. What a treat.

      And yes, I listened to Harley’s advice for years, too, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Turns out the main thing I did wrong was marry him in the first place.


    Good. Got mine back end of Feb, not had the second yet.

    Speaking of “making the marriage a good place to be”, I remember googling something like that, whilst fucktard was behaving inappropriately with the rat faced whore, before I discovered it was a full blown sexual affair(I know, took me a while to catch on????).

    One of the sites that came up was that odious creep Mort Fertel. Send me $399 and I’ll teach you how to ‘make the marriage a good place to be’. Vomit. ????

    Luckily I read LACGAL, and got myself on your site. That creep kept sending me emails and invitations to join his ‘boot camp’, along with all the snake oil rhetoric, “last chance! Final offer!” etc, until I figured out how to block it.

    Whew. Thank God for you! ????????????

    • I did preachy Mertel. It worked for a while, until inevitably he fell into his mistress, genitaks again. Oh, wait! The truth is he never ended the affair, he kept at it enjoying two pick me dancers, while I danced sedated and brain washed into believing that the program worked. It didn’t. And that it’s why I am the Queen of chumps folks.

      • Well you tried, and now you know. If you hadn’t tried, and seen the double lies and been part of the double dipping (again) you might have always wondered what might have happened if you tried.

        On down the road now! You’re not the Queen of Chumps. We’ve all been chumped. And Chump Lady says ANYone can be chumped.

        And here’s why… we naturally trust people. Trust is a gift that we hand over to our loved one, for free. That person doesn’t have to prove it to get it. It’s theirs until they destroy it! So none of us are expecting to be lied to, cheated on or made a fool of. And when it happens, if it does, there is nothing to be ashamed of. We aren’t supposed to JUST KNOW. We aren’t supposed to DISCERN ALL THE SECRETS. We do trust. (I disagree with the author too.) It’s good and right to trust.

        I’ve done a lot of pondering about how to pick someone who won’t cheat on me. Are their people who would cheat, and people who would not cheat? Or would everyone cheat, if presented with the right circumstances.

        I mean, if you were on a desert island with a handsome man for five years, because you were shipwrecked on your way home to your family, and there was no ship in sight, and no planes going over, would you have sex with that man, the only other person on the island?

        Maybe you would get a “special dispensation” of some kind if you did that, because of cruel and unusual circumstances.

        I said in another post that I’ve come to trust less over the years, and realize that we’re all fallible humans, and I do believe that.

        But I think that when we meet like-minded people, who have similar values, and we trust them to tell us the truth, be up-front and honest, and not sneak around in secret, it’s reasonable to assume that they won’t cheat on us.

        I’d be curious about what others of you think?

        If you’re single and dating, do you think it’d be possible to find a guy who would never cheat on you?

        • I am single and dating. And ‘yes’, I do believe it’s possible to find a guy who would never cheat on me. I figure that if I’m the kind of person that wouldn’t do that to my significant other, then there are men out there that wouldn’t do that to their significant others. So ‘yes’, it’s possible. I’m currently in a relationship with a man that I am very, very hopeful is the kind that would never cheat on me. I’m into it now almost 2 years. The hardest part for me was to learn to trust again. I couldn’t help but see every hiccup as a red flag. I finally had to just force myself to ‘trust’ else I knew my relationship would be doomed from the get go. I figured that if I put myself out there by trusting, and I find out later that he was not trustworthy, then I really didn’t lose too terribly much. I would have gotten out of my shell, enjoyed some good times, and then carried back on with my life. However, if I didn’t force myself to trust, then if he did turn out to be a wonderful man, I would have lost the opportunity to have a wonderful loving and lasting relationship. Time will tell, but I’ve not noticed the red flags that existed with my ex. I was just too naive to recognize them back then. I’m not so naive anymore. I took the time (4 years) to heal before getting into a new relationship. I now know my value. There may be new and different red flags that I’m not familiar with, but I know that I’m being treated much, much better now than I ever was by the dick-ex.

          • I have been married to my sweet H for 26 years now. We took a long time to really know each other. Yes, I am certain he not only has been faithful to me, he was faithful to his first wife. Not just faithful in sex, but in finances and every other area.

            As another poster said, I know I was honest/faithful, as I am in my current marriage, and I am not special; so yes men can be too.

          • Wonderful and hopeful! I hope to find someone like that some day! The last three guys have been such flirts. And I don’t care if they would never actually cheat; I don’t want to worry about the possibility. When they flirt with other women, they ride the line of my comfort zone. I want someone who stays way inside those boundaries!

        • I found a guy who would never cheat on me. After divorcing ex-FW I actually did not want to date for at least a year and never get married again. Well, shucks. Mr. B&L and I were sort of set up by a mutual friend and we had a few more mutual friends in common. Before I was divorced (but after I was legally separated and ex-FW moved in with schmoopie) I was dating Mr. B&L.

          I truly believe he would never cheat on me. For one, we both work from home and are always together. For two, I have told him in no uncertain terms that there are two things I would leave because of: cheating and drug abuse (he is not an addict, but my FW father’s history with addiction makes that a no-deal for me).

          Mr. B&L and I are so thankful for each other. Really, he is my greatest blessing and I truly feel we deeply love each other and value our relationship and neither of us are of the character to cheat (he was chumped in his first marriage).

          So I think it is possible, yes.

        • I feel that it is fine to have sex with whomever you want, but you shouldn’t do it while you are married or while you have a dedicated partner who does not know you are involved with someone else. I believe in monogamy only for as long as both people want monogamy. If you’re in a bonded relationship, you need to get out completely before bonking someone else or getting romantically involved with someone else. I do not believe in lifelong marriage anymore.
          The real problem is the USING of a giving person without giving them freedom and agency to find someone else. Cheaters hold people hostage and steal valuable years by making them believe that they are in a loving relationship when they are not. You can’t do that to someone. I can’t think of a worse thing to do to someone. If you are cheater, do your thing. But first, FREE your spouse to go find someone else first!

          • I totally agree that is the way it should be.

            However unfortunately they can do it to someone, and most do. It is the nature of a cheater to use up any value from a spouse before discarding them. Also, a cheater needs a chump to cheat on, otherwise it just isn’t much fun for them.

            They are awful human beings, and there are so many of them.

        • Cl’s example of “swinging a dead cat” runs through my mind when I think of this. I feel confident now, because of her words. My ex FW proved to be 100% capable of cheating on me. I would have told you he was the most honest and loyal man I had ever known….right up until the day he called to tell me bout schmoopie and that he was moving in with her.
          Nearly anyone else I run into in my life from now on is a better risk than he was. The odds are in my favor.

          Thanks chumplady! I don’t know yet if my picker is fixed. But, I’m brave enough to start out into the world again with what I have learned.

  • I am so happy you are getting your first vaccine!!! That is truly good news.

    I think the RIC owes me something. Their advice kept me in an abusive marriage desperate and blaming myself. How about they pick up some of my legal fees? Pay my therapist? Buy me another copy of LACGAL to give away? The only thing the RIC did for me was develop my bullshit detector. I guess we are even.

    I was the only family member to stand with the victim of my nephew’s adultery. Karma showed up three years later, he has moved out of his house and back in with his Mommy and Daddy. Turns out the OW really is a whore and a homewrecker. My sister tried to shame me into “Get to know her, you will like her. She is a nice girl.” My sister hasn’t spoken to me since I replied that OW was a whore and a homewrecker. Strange. Not one of my family who abandoned me in favor of that whore have been in contact to apologize or admit I was right.

    Now I wait for my own divorce to be finalized. It has been 23 months of hell divorcing that cheater. Thanks for nothing RIC, I could have been free years ago but for bad advice and victim shaming/blaming.

    • Ugh. Your own sister and the rest of your family have embraced the OW???!!! That’s not right. I’m sorry.

      Good luck with the divorce! May you be surrounded by friends who are on Team Thirtythreeyearsachump!

    • I am so sorry. It’s betrayal after betrayal after betrayal. I know too well the hurt felt when a former relative calls the whore NICE!

      • My mother, who is now divorced from my father after 54 years, said “I’m sure FW father will find a nice woman to be with.” At the time we were talking about all of his APs and the possibility that he would end up with one of them after the divorce. I said, “Mom! Nice women don’t fuck other people’s husbands!” She was like, “well, yeah, I guess so.”

        And also, nice men don’t cheat on their wives. FWF gets what he deserves, which is nothing but trying to scroll through his address book and find someone – ANYONE – to be with him because he can’t be alone. I hope he is lonely and sad that he fucked over his family and his wife left him and his kids are loyal to their mother and will be around to always take care of her and he has to pay people because he has no redeeming qualities that make a *good* person want to be with him. Fucker.

      • ????????????

        This is the bottom line. Isn’t it?

        I’ll add:
        Nice people don’t lie.
        Nice people don’t blame others for their actions (which includes making the two-sides-to-every-story argument).
        Nice people don’t make vows, break them, and then justify their shitty behavior.
        Nice people don’t devalue and discard other people, especially those to whom they made vows.
        Nice people don’t act like entitled fuckwits.

  • 1) Yay for your shot! I got Moderna #2 on Saturday and fatigue set in 4 hours later followed by 2 days of joint and muscle aches. So happy to be done.
    2) I shamefully admit I bought that idiot’s book. FW didn’t bother to read it. Makes sense because only the Chump needs to flog him or herself into pick me dancing harder.
    3) I attended a small social gathering where I was discreetly asked if I knew of good divorce attorneys. Had a friend with 5 kids who has been chumped. Anyway, I was pleased to pass along my hearty recommendation that she read LACGAL as well. Wish I had an extra copy on hand I was so eager to pass along. I so desperately wanted to get the chump to avoid RIC. It’s crap like the stuff this dude spits out that damages people. There ought to be a class action suit….

    • I’ve happily turned about 4 or 5 people onto chump nation. Never thought I’d become the “voice of divorce” in my community, but life has its own ideas. I must be doing something right in the after years, or friends wouldn’t send me their friends for advice about how to survive cheating and build a new life!

      Always happy to bring folks into this fold and protect them from the awful RIC, that happily takes your money, your pride, and your sanity, leaving you with a bunch of shit sandwiches and a marriage based on (could not find a word for what a marriage built entirely by one person denying all of their own needs, oh yes, martyrdom) and lies.

  • Well I guess that Ex-Mrs LFTT would agree with the statement that everything was my fault and that she was blameless.

    After all, I clearly wasn’t meeting her emotional needs; notwithstanding that she was the master of passive aggressive (she always preferred a grievance over a solution) and would never actually go as far as telling me what she wanted … I am obviously at fault for not being a mind reader.

    Similarly, I clearly failed to make our marriage a safe place; not withstanding the fact that she was the one who went out of her way to sabotage it and had been doing so for years …. my bad I guess.

    And as for “Radical Honesty” …. well that doesn’t work so well when one of you is a habitual liar.

    Fundamentally I think that the problem (to use Dr Harley’s phrase against him) was that Ex-Mrs LFTT though it was OK to have someone else make deposits in her “love bank.”


    • “(She always preferred a grievance over a solution)”
      We had the same wife.
      She would want to “talk” at 11:30 PM when I had to get up at 5 AM, invariably about an issue that had a solution that she wasn’t interested in entertaining. It took me years post divorce to realize these “talks” and non-solutions were set ups to justify her cheating. I just wasn’t filling her “love bank”. When we did couples counseling she would end them after 2-3 sessions because she could not control the narrative or direction of the inquisition.

      • OMG, my ex-FW used to try to have “talks” late at night when I was trying to sleep. It was a control and mindfuck maneuver, I finally realized. Why TF did you not try to talk to me during the hours between 6 and 10 when we were both home after work and awake and available for conversation? Don’t ambush me in the middle of the night when I am trying to sleep, asshole!

        This is the same FW who would fondle me in the middle of the night while I was asleep and obviously had no ability to say no.


      • Bruno,

        If your ex-wife was anything like Ex-Mrs LFTT then you have my sympathies.

        Thankfully I was never subject to the late-night “talks” because Ex-Mrs LFTT’s preferred modus operandi was to make unilateral decisions about things that affected the kids and I and then let us work it out for ourselves. She routinely withheld communication as a means of punishing us all, and would then use the fact that we hadn’t done what she wanted (because she hadn’t told us what she wanted) as justification for yet more of her toxic BS and withholding of communication, touch, love, affection, respect …. you name it, she withheld it.

        She is not missed by the kids and I one bit. We actually feel sorry for her AP now, as we know that she’ll be doing to him what she used to do to the kids and I.

        • ” she’ll be doing to him what she used to do to the kids and I.”

          Yes, the disordered never, ever change. They can only fake being a normal human being for just so long before they are back to toxic chaos. Rather amusing that the AP’s always think it will be different with them because they are so special. Then bam! It’s usually far worse.

          • KB22,

            “Then bam! It’s usually far worse.”

            Well one can hope …. can’t one?


  • Agree 33. After only being married 13 months to my second husband, I filed within weeks of finding out about all the lies and women, including prostitutes, to protect myself and my assets. But after 4 months of my head in the RIC Sex Addiction blender, I dropped my suit. The RICSA model captures all abusive behaviors – any sex act, every deception, even verbal and “light” physical violence and I not only thought my marriage could be saved but could be better than ever. I stayed even when he fractured my finger because it was deemed “accidental.” Months later, in overwhelming despair, I suddenly broke the RICSA mandated silence with a priest and an old friend. Their message was firm and clear. I filed again and went total no contact.

  • In recognition of my finalized divorce, I bought three copies of LACGAL to put in my community’s “Little Libraries”. Probably will continue with proceeds from sale of rings. It is the best defense against the RIC, no-fault laws, inept therapist and Switzerland friends.

    • I bought three copies to celebrate and cement NC a couple of months ago. Have given one away already, and have shared the blog with a few folks, too. It helps to be able to do SOMETHING to help other chumps and to chip away at shifting the narrative, even though it’s too late to rewrite my own story. Too late to even hold onto a scrap of dignity, in my case 🙁

  • The entire premise that I would mix my household, all my assets, my family life, my friendships, my valuable keepsakes, my traditions, and my emotional safe zone up with a person who I can’t trust to be honest and care about my well being at the most basic level is patently absurd.

    If the RIC point of view WAS correct, I would be forced to conclude that I should never marry or even be in a long term relationship because there is zero reason to take that kind of risk with another human being. Therefore I would be more motivated to divorce the said spouse, not less.

    Just the way my mind works.

    In fact, I’ve remarried, and there are times I regret that on principle. If anything happens to change it, I feel sure I won’t marry again. That doesn’t mean I won’t love or extend trust, but the more I think about it, the worse an idea it seems to be to perma-mix my whole life via a contract I can’t exit easily or without the consent of the other contractual party, one that forces me to share all my assets with no guarantee of protection. I wouldn’t sign an agreement that restrictive in another scenario, so why for marriage?

    Again, I’m not trying to say people who aren’t me shouldn’t get married, it’s just a thought experiment to further stretch the total BS that is the RIC. Their arguments are all terribly, terribly flawed, and staying married to a person you acknowledge you cannot trust sits right on the peak of the pile.

    • Amiisfree, I completely agree with what you wrote. That is exactly how I feel. I think good lifelong marriages are so rare that I am very anti-marriage now. I think there are lots of people who are not the type to be married but they get pressured into it too fast or too young or something. We need to talk about infidelity more honestly: maybe teach young people how to leave a disfunctional relationship in an ethical and honest way and stop selling the happily-ever-after myth to kids in order to prevent all of this pain. If divorce was less stigmatized, then people could split up before destroying each other.

      • Absolutely. In fact, the truth is, when I married the Cowardly Liar, it was totally because of expectations. And when I married this time, it was because I didn’t see a clear concrete reason not to, not because I wanted to. Emotionally, I wanted to. I just didn’t want to legally. But, I did, and that has pros, as long as nothing happens that causes us to decide to divorce. I am keenly aware all the time, though, that if we ever need to divorce, it will be a huge pain in the curlies as old as we are. ????

        Plus side, I am also old enough that I don’t care about divorce stigma. That really tore me up when I lived it as a younger person, though, for sure.

      • I agree it would be great to teach folks to leave a marriage ethically. But, honestly most folks who cheat know how to leave a marriage ethically, they don’t want to. For various reasons, I think mostly being; they aren’t sure so they want to try out a new person, and also there is absolutely a thrill to cheating, it is what the draw of affairs is.

        If they left a person ethically, they couldn’t get that same thrill.

        My ex knew what he was doing was wrong, and he simply didn’t care enough about me or himself to act decently. He chased the thrill for years until he got caught by the short hairs. Eventually he admitted it.

  • Seriously, is this guy for real – Surely, he’s being facetious?! A marriage needs to be based on radical honesty and joint agreement…um, yeah, I always thought so, I guess I thought our marriage vows covered that.
    Reminds me of the really crap book I was given to read when my XH abandonded us by James Dobson “Love must be tough”. Apparently, I needed to give my X an letter written ultimatum and then rebuild his respect for me by making the marriage a great place to be. By working on myself, so he WANTS to be with me.
    I spent my whole marriage pick me dancing, (I just didn’t realise it) and did my X respect me for it, Hahahahahehe, snort.

    • “I spent my whole marriage pick me dancing, (I just didn’t realize it) and did my X respect me for it, Hahahahahehe, snort.”

      Ugh. That’s it! You hit a chord with me. I never did the post-Dday pick me dance because he said he wanted to marry her, and I responded “You’re dead to me; then I left.”

      But twenty years ago I went to a therapist and told her that “I think my husband will leave me if I age.” WTF? And this was before any kind of Dday or suspicion of affairs. He talked about other women though. A physician, he once asked if I would wear scrubs. The message? I’m turned on by the women I see in scrubs. Over the years, I also heard, “Why can’t you dress like x? Why can’t you do your hair like y?” Fuck him!

      I wish I’d said, “Why can’t you be a decent husband and not say insulting and hurtful things to your wife?”

      So, I was pick-me dancing the entire damn time. I wish that therapist had delved deeper into why the hell I felt that way. Instead, she recommended that I read a book entitled, “The Dance of Intimacy.” I don’t remember it helping. And the word “dance” implies that it takes two to tango.

      I needed to tap dance faster.

      • ““I spent my whole marriage pick me dancing, (I just didn’t realize it) and did my X respect me for it, Hahahahahehe, snort.””

        Same here Spinach. I think on some level I knew I was trying to “keep him” He would say nice things, but also criticize me. I remember once no long after he had returned from Vietnam, a HS friend of mine and her husband visited us. she was wearing a cute outfit. (little vest and matching pants that were the style then) He said to me after she left, why don’t you wear stuff like that? Well because I don’t have any money for cute stuff like that and I was still wearing HS clothes, because we didn’t have money for clothes for me and stuff for our son.

        I do remember saying just that to him, but he just shrugged it off.

        Reality was he was jones for her most likely.

        I am also pretty sure in hindsight that he was screwing a forty years old unmarried WAC that worked in his office. She took him under her wing, and she let him borrow her car etc. He even brought her by to meet me. He said you don’t have to worry abut her she is old. And since I was on 20, as was he; I bought it. I will never know for sure, but yeah I do know for sure.

        He was getting strange, and she was getting a young stud. Stupid Susie had no clue.

    • In fact, I think FW here list all respect for me when I became a sheep that remained silent amidst his continued affair and smiled bigger at the fact that he came home late again smelling like her. Here honey, here is your dinner, I made your favorite! Here are your slippers…

      I became such a loser thanks to RIC. At least before I called him out on his bullshit snd he respected me for it.

    • I’ve always been able to spot couples where the relationship is unbalanced. One has the upper hand although it may not be too obvious and the other one can’t do enough to please the one with the upper hand. The one that can’t do enough to please or engages in the perpetual pick me dance never wins. Funny though I still got involved in a couple of personal relationships where I was the giver, couldn’t do enough, wanted to keep them happy at all cost and never quite recognized my own unbalanced relationship issues.

      • Same and same – and I can’t stand it when I see it happening to others. I was living at odds with what I believed in, and it didn’t feel right. Ever. I just managed to normalize and rationalize the inequality in my own relationship, undervaluing my worth and accepting responsibility for problems that weren’t mine. Deeply damaging as the years piled up.

  • I was told this after every episode of cheating. It became one of the things that was a “reason” for more cheating.

    Now he’s free to do whatever he wants and that set me free. I was so done with being held accountable for another’s horrible behavior and lack of honestly.

  • Thank you for dismantling his nonsense word salad. Your mind is strong and clear, and you are saving so many lives by setting the facts straight. Thank you for doing this extremely important work.
    My heart breaks for the brand new chumps who stumble on his harmful propaganda when they are still bleeding from a D Day they never saw coming.
    Good people are not capable of deceiving their spouses. The Chump’s only sane reaction to this kind of brutal abuse is to get far away from the abuser. No one would tell you to stay with someone who punched you, much less advise you to fix your own marriage while you are still black and blue and in physical pain. No one would tell you that YOU must now take steps to ensure that the person who punched you will not want to do it again and that punching people is primal and that anyone would punch their soulmate under the right circumstances.

    No one would advise you to make the marriage a place where the abuser feels happier so that you both can BENEFIT from the fact that he punched you. That his beating of you actually can make your marriage stronger.

    Anyone who has been chumped by someone they loved will tell you an actual punch would have been a cake walk compared to finding out your heart and soul slept with someone else behind your back. That they stared into each other’s eyes and kissed all afternoon. You’re supposed to not ask about this? The contradictions are staggering: the chump is supposed to just accept that the intimacy the cheater had with their affair partner meant nothing, and at the same time have that same exact intimacy with him as a way of injecting meaning into the marriage? Wait. Is physical intimacy meaningless or meaningful? It can’t be both.

    Good people are so desperate to make everyone happy that they are susceptible to lies from the RIC. I feel the RIC is criminal.
    I mourn for my own Chump self when she got the shock of her life more than a decade ago. It was the most traumatic thing imaginable. Never in a million years would I have thought it could happen. My own father told me to start wearing more dresses to fix the marriage. The abuse and self loathing has deep deep roots. Marriage is for chumps. It’s all a huge lie.

    • Mia, all of this. Yes.
      Here I’ve been sitting on the fence for over two years, nearly two and a half now, with a cheater who says he won’t leave our family…but also won’t leave “her”. Enjoying his yummy cake while watching us both dance for him. And I’m over here obsessing over all of the things I can read on this page and in the Facebook group. Trying to figure out how in the world I can get strong enough to finally just tell him to get the F out with his cheating self. …but also, at the same exact time, trying to somehow figure out how to win the infuriating “pick me” dance – because surely the fact remains that I’m the bad guy who made him cheat on me, right?
      And here, this morning, I read your words above and something has suddenly shifted inside me. Just wow. I’m black and blue and still clinging to the man who beat me up, and continues to beat on me? Ridiculous.

      • Then maybe today, this morning, is for you to finally start realizing your value and it’s time to start the process. Go find a good lawyer today. Start on the path to freedom. I assure you, life is so, so much better without a fuckwit in it. There’s no doubt in my mind that someday you’ll wonder, “Why didn’t I do that sooner?!” Life is too short. Don’t let the fuckwit take anymore of your soul.

        • AmazonChump,
          Yes. I actually think this to myself ALL the time, “Someday I’m going to look back on this time and kick myself for not leaving sooner!!” There are definitely two completely opposing beings inside of me. So frustrating!
          Thank you. ❤️

          • ((((TheChumpiestOfAll)))) That shift that you felt is real – your consciousness is truly shifting.
            Listen to that, hold on to it… you need to go at your own pace, but just let your mind wander a bit to the possibilities. We have found peace on the other side. It’s a beautiful empowering place without the pain that you are experiencing now. Come join us!!!❤️

            • Kathleen, you literally made me cry. I have hope for the first time again in a very long time. This road is so massively painful. I just don’t want to do it anymore.

      • This is what your husband is going to do when you tell him of your decision to leave him: he is going to blame you for throwing away your marriage, for hurting the kids, for breaking extended family ties and friendships. He is going to tell everyone that the divorce was YOUR decision. You need to say over and over and over to yourself and to everyone else that it was ???? percent his decision to have a girlfriend, not yours.
        If he says to you: ‘Don’t do this. Give me time. Think of the family.” I want you to say this: “I love the father of my children too much to keep him trapped in a marriage that doesn’t make him happy. I love you so much that I am going to spare you from a wife who can’t function and who is always sad. You don’t deserve a wife who will always be wanting to check your phone and badger you about where you are and who you’re talking to.” That way he will think that you left him out of love. The real reason you left him is because he was killing you, but do not give him the ammunition of your anger. He will use any anger you show as a weapon against you. Gray rock. You cannot reason with a narcissist. Your husband would have NOT given you a second chance if you cheated on him. Tell him that.

      • You must be exhausted. Please leave your creep of a husband before you become ill. It happens and do you think for a second he’ll have an epiphany and take care of you if you do become ill? No. He’ll resent you even more than he does at the moment. He’s at home because he fears the financial repercussions (please check your financial situation) and I’m betting you are making his life very easy living at home. Kick the son of a bitch out and start to live again.

        • Oh man. KB22 I AM exhausted. So exhausted. To the bone.
          Mia, I have said those exact words to him. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to him: “Leave if you want to leave. I’m not trapping you here. You are free to go and free to find your happiness elsewhere. There’s the door.” But he won’t…LEAVE. Because he says he loves us, loves me, loves our little family and would be “devastated” to leave our home.

          • I am so sorry you are living in this hell that he made for you. It’s unacceptable. No one deserves to live in limbo like this. I know how hard it is to leave. It is the hardest thing to do if the cheater won’t leave. I wish I could help you. Do you have any family who could help you physically leave or physically usher him out of your home? Do you feel like he would hurt you? Please be careful.

            • Mia,
              I don’t feel that he would physically hurt me. I’m safe in that way. My family (and even his) is incredibly supportive and they have told me over and over again that if I leave, they’re ready to swoop in and help me and our boys. My husband makes a very good living (I’ve mostly been a stay at home mom for the last decade), so I know I’d be okay financially as well as a lot of his money would go to me (and he says willingly so – that he’s still want to take care of me that way).

              It’s just so hard to actually, finally take that step. And dammit, there’s still love there. (I know, I know…)

              Another hard part is that he makes me feel like if I “reject” what he’s doing then I am rejecting him at his core because this is him and this is who he has always been inside all along, he was just repressing it all these years up until now when he can finally be his true, authentic self. So, if I leave or reject him in this state…then I’m rejecting him at his core. ????

              • Isn’t he rejecting you at your very core by having a girlfriend that he loves? You are worth more than this. Love your husband as a friend if you have to love him. Leave now and find a man who loves you and wants you and only you. Do it now before it’s too late. What would he gave done if you had a boyfriend that you loved and had the audacity to ask your husband to wait for you while you figure out who you love more? This is monstrous.

              • Omg, I could be writing this. My husband’s father rejected him and his mom and brother when he was 10 years old. He has spent his entire life struggling with it, although he swears he’s over it. Mine won’t leave because he still loves me – or rather, he loves his life, his house, his occupation and of course, his CAKE (which he says is just sex, not love – and they are downstairs right now in our home gym, working out together as I am writing this).

                I will have to leave him, as he says he will never leave me. But not only am I struggling with destroying his occupation, the church, by leaving, I am also concerned with rejecting him at his core – because of the rejection he has been dealing with his whole life. ????

              • Replying to ChumpiestChumpOfAll and Pastor’s Wife (looks like the thread got too long to reply to Pastor’s Wife directly).

                PW wrote: “I will have to leave him, as he says he will never leave me. But not only am I struggling with destroying his occupation, the church, by leaving, I am also concerned with rejecting him at his core – because of the rejection he has been dealing with his whole life. ????”

                I can sense your cognitive dissonance because I feel it for my FW father (FWF), also. I know FWF suffered really badly when he was a child because of his own father’s mental illness and subsequent institutionalization for seven years. Yes, that is sad. Yes, I have compassion for his suffering.

                BUT. We are all responsible for our own actions. Being compassionate for FWF does not mean that I have to allow him to abuse me (or for my mother to allow him to abuse her). He shouldn’t get a “free pass” for bad behavior because of the suffering of his child-self. We all suffer. We don’t all end up assholes. And part of growing up is learning to deal with your shit in appropriate ways. Cheating on your spouse and family does not qualify as an “appropriate way” of dealing with your shit.

                My husband came from an abusive FOO. He did MANY years of work in therapy because he was going down a road he didn’t like. It took a lot of chutzpah for him to recognize his behavior and recognize that he wanted to be a better person, so he “did the work” and is an amazing person.

                Your FWs are manipulating your feelings to have this undeserved sympathy for them because of their unresolved suffering issues. THAT IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM TO FIX!!!!!! You are not Christ. You were not put on this earth to suffer for another human being.

                You are being manipulated into thinking that if you leave – and take control of your life for yourself and free yourself from your pain and finally have your FWs experience the consequences of their actions – then it will be your fault that your FW suffers and that YOU are rejecting them at their core and that makes you the bad guy.

                NO!!!!! You are not the bad guy in this scenario. Fuck these fuckers who are manipulating you into bearing their cross for them.

                You are rejecting their behavior. You are not responsible for their behavior and you are not responsible for making sure they don’t feel “rejected at their core.” THEY are solely responsible for their lives, their actions, and the consequences of such.

                Whether you stay or go is up to you, but do not take on this burden. It is not your cross to bear. Their fuck-up-ed-ness is not your fault and you can’t make it better for them. They are using and abusing you and are manipulating YOU to the core.

                I hope that whatever you do, you focus on getting healing for yourself and your heart. These fuckers don’t deserve your goodness. You do not deserve their badness.

          • Who cares what he says anymore. He’s lying. People who love others do not beat the shit out of them. You are being abused by someone who doesn’t give a shit about you. It’s not that you’re not worth it, it’s because he feels entitled to do what he wants without caring who he hurts in the process. He likes to dip his dick in another woman. He likes to stick his tongue in her orifices. I’m sorry for being blunt, but you have to stop talking to him. Go No Contact or Gray Rock… whatever they call it. But as long as you let him talk to you, he’s spinning your head. You need to stop smoking that hopium pipe. We all smoked it! Some longer than others (me…), but when we finally forced ourselves to put it down, when we finally forced ourselves to go through with a divorce even though it was the most painful, awful feeling in the whole wide world, we were finally on our way to freedom. We get it. It hurts horrifically. But the pain will not stop until you decide to force it to stop. Don’t let him steal anymore of your sanity. Start calling lawyers today. Get your finances figured out. Follow all of the advice written elsewhere of what you need to do before letting him know that you already contacted a lawyer and filed for divorce. Do not let him know ahead of time. You know what happens from straddling a fence? You get a sore crotch. Stop straddling it.

          • It doesn’t get better and they don’t change.
            5 kids and 19 years mean nothing.
            8 years of cheating (that I know of) here. Years of pick me dancing, and image maintenance (for him).
            I wish I’d left after the first one I found out about, (which was actually the 4th, although there were probably more I don’t know about).
            Now there have been dozens of other women. And I stayed, with barely an apology, major blame shifting and arrogance, he wasn’t sorry he was killing me. I don’t even know why I stay. I wanted to prove I had value to him. I don’t. I wasted years of my life being disrespected and devalued when I could have been loving myself.
            And I’m still here. And he’s irritated that I’m devasted. And he’ll do it again and again and again.

          • TheChumpiestChumpOfAll, my FW father (FWF) said the same thing to my mother at some point over the years. She gave him “permission” to go…. like you, “leave if you want” or “why don’t you just leave” or something like that. He didn’t want to because cake. He wanted his cake and to eat it, too. He wanted the “image” of a happy family that was still intact after decades. And he wanted to whore around on the side with all sorts of different people – people he met on the plane; people he picked up at the bar; people who he met on vacation; people who were friends of the family; people he worked with; people he was introduced to by business acquaintances. You get the drift.

            It is not uncommon for these assholes to refuse to be the ones who do the leaving. It is inconvenient for them. It costs them money. It hurts their reputation. It means they can’t take care of themselves. It is just another way of being disrespectful and abusive.

            Fuck him! You take control of YOUR life. You get your ducks in a row without telling him what is going on. Open a new bank account in your name. Get a storage space and start moving stuff out slowly so he won’t notice. Get an apartment if you think you’ll need it. Scan or copy or download all bank statements for the past few years, tax returns, credit card statements; make sure you get your passport, birth certificate, marriage license, and all other relevant papers. Interview attorneys and pick one that has experience in high-conflict divorces. Make a plan.

            You can do it!!!!!!

            My mother was where you are for years. She and FWF were married for 54 years and just got divorced. It is never too late to change your life and get away from an abuser.

            You have ChumpNation here to guide you and support you through this. We’ve all been there and know what you are going through and will make sure you kick his ass!!!!!

            • Okay you guys. I will. Thank you for kicking my butt into gear a little better.
              PS: Bullshit and Lies, I think I love you.

              • Also, he’s literally spending time with her right this very moment (I suppose making lots of large deposits into her “bank” ????????‍♀️ ????) so I guess this is as good of a time as any to get started.

              • You go girl! Dear Chumpiest when the going gets tough, the chumped get going. I did all the stuff laid out so well by b.s. and lies. But i did not have chumplady. You have a nation behind you and you can do this. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE. If you can afford it get therapy. Keep very quiet about the steps you need to take. Take time to be thorough. We have your back and you can be free of lies and manipulation. Give all the support and energy you naturally give to him- to yourself. HUGS and strength and grace to you. I did it at 55. Also made a new career. Did terribly hard things. Will be 65 this year, and never better!

          • TheChumpiestChumpOfAll,
            Can you get away from him for a weekend? Something like that can help you feel stronger and get the ball rolling. It sounds like you know what you have to do and you’re building strength for it. Supportive friends are great for that. So is coming here.

    • Suspension of disbelief. I now recognize that I had a visceral and uncomfortable reaction to the gaslighting, even pre-ddays. It was going on all of the time and of course, every time, I just KNEW something was wrong. The best way I can describe the feeling is that it was like my mind was clenching and tensing – flinching away from the truth in order to somehow accept and assimilate BS and thereby avoid even more unpleasant consequences (we all know the channels and routines, and we all had a lot to lose). I’ve always been a fairly skeptical and critical thinker, but yikes – not where it mattered most, evidently.

  • The first paragraph kills me. That was actually ME before I realized that he was sneaking around with my friend. I just knew something was “off.” So I cooked the dinners, I lit the candles and I swiffered the floors ALL THE TIME because THAT will fix the strain in out marriage, right? *eyeroll*

    Also, congrats on your vaccine! I’m fully vaccinated as of early Feb 🙂

  • If you’re not familiar with the tune:


    (music by the Sylvers, lyrics by Dr. William Harley)

    Love bank, love bank
    Stashing in the love bank
    So he’ll stay, so he’ll stay
    Love bank, love bank
    Stashing in the love bank,
    In the love bank

    You’re stashing in the love bank so he’ll stay
    Baby, cuz you fear he’ll stray
    If you think he thrilled her
    Don’t bewilder
    Read Marriage Builders
    Baby, whoo-ooo
    Girl, don’t ever trust your mate
    It’s not wired in our DNA
    Don’t dwell on his ‘mistake’
    You don’t want to know that he’s a fake

    You’ll never stop all the looks
    ‘Til you buy my book
    Twelve nintey ni-i-ine,
    You’ll feed the R-I-C,
    Make a pitch for me, and boost my bottom line
    Oh, baby, baby . . .


    • Hahahaha It’s perfect????????????????????

      I look forward to this each and every time!!! Never disappoints????????????

    • Can’t you just see Dr. Harley and his RIC minions joyfully hopping around like in the video?

    • Uxworld I hope you will someday cut an album of all your songs. Or find a way to get them on a youtube channel. Or get a grant for public service. You are brilliant and funny every dang time! Thankyou

      • 🙂 I’m a Bernie Taupin. I need an Elton John to take things any further than this website. But I appreciate the compliment.

  • The whole RIC philosophy flows from the assumption that everyone is capable of leading a double life if needs are not met. I truly believe this assumption is false. Like many on here, there were plenty of times when I wasn’t happy, but I didn’t join married dating sites, meet randos in hotel rooms or conduct a three year long affair. Not only did I not do it, but it didn’t ever occur to me to do it. Sadly, I think some people are just wired differently. The other thing is that the whole thing is so irrational – we really did have a great life, wonderful kids, nice house, good jobs, vacations, the whole works. How nuts would you need to be to risk it all? Apparently she needed more excitement and now is so sorry she made a ‘mistake’. Go figure….

    • “Not only did I not do it, but it didn’t ever occur to me to do it.”

      Same here, it is like saying anyone will commit murder, no not anyone just disordered people with murder in their heart.

      How dare the RIC, blame the innocent spouse for abuse heaped upon them. I hope all the counselors rot in hell.

    • I remember once after the first D-day, I was on my computer reading some news. I had FB open and up popped an instant message from a friend. He and his wife used to go do social things with FW and me. His wife chumped him and he was mid-divorce. We hadn’t seen him in a few months. He was just chatting about what he has been up to, asking what I had been doing lately. FW was in the room with me at his computer, positioned so I couldn’t see his screen (as always). There was a point where I recognized that this friend of ours was flirting with me. Since D-day, I had felt pretty low and for a few moments after realizing I was beinf flirted with, I really enjoyed the attention. Instead of shutting him down, I let him go on. He wasn’t trying to meet me or anything but just saying flattering things. There was an edge to it, though. And within minutes, I felt ill to my stomach. Even though I knew FW was a FW and was likely still cheating on me, I couldn’t allow this guy to carry on flirting. I was married and that was that. As beaten down and unhappy as I was, I honored the vows I took. I couldn’t imagine being any other way. But if ever there was an opportunity to get revenge, there it was.

      In the time after that happened, I asked myself how that guy could have done that, having been chumped himself. And then it occurred to me; he knew about FW’s affairs. They had worked together. Somehow he knew and he had zero respect for FW. Even so, I couldn’t even flirt back. I shut down the conversation and I think he was embarrassed at what he had done. He never said another word to me and after we moved away, I unfriended him because I felt odd even having him as a FB friend.

      He is still friends with FW on FB and I have peeked and saw what happened with his life. After his flirt with me, he met a woman who looks incredibly a lot like me and is even in the same profession. He remarried to my doppelgänger and they had children. He appears to have been happily married for the last 12 years and his page is filled with family photos and sweet words for his new wife who seems amazing. She is nothing like his FW first wife. And I suspect that he later was ashamed to have flirted with a married woman all those years ago which is why he never said another word to me. He was a chump, not a FW.

      I think there are a lot of good honest people who get chumped. And then there are FWs. The good honest people don’t cross lines. Even when they hurt. Even when they are love starved. They honor their promises. I am thrilled for chumps who go on and find good people to share a new life with. What I am undertaking in walking away from FW is going to be the most awful financial upending that will disrupt all my life goals for when I could retire and start the second part of my life. I put so much financially in this marriage basket which is going to be carved up, I will never risk having a permanent, legal tie to another adult again. I also won’t risk the loss of control over simple things. I will never trust my picker again. I will never again have someone signing in on my bank accounts and moving money and chasing me down when I take the dog outside to pee to stare me down and make sure I’m not talking to anyone on the phone. I won’t go through being kept isolated. I won’t risk it. I’m a super faithful person. I’m monogamous in my soul. But no way in hell will I put myself back on the market.

      • MrWonferfulsEx, I understand your point about not being able to deceive. I also cannot tell a lie to someone I love. We are made of different stuff. I get that. But if I was in your shoes I would have welcomed any boost to my self esteem. I felt utterly worthless after D Day. I felt unlovable. I wanted to die. I wish someone would have said anything nice about me at that time. I would have encouraged it.

      • “As beaten down and unhappy as I was, I honored the vows I took.”

        Same here. during the last yearish, I was so beaten down, I was being screamed at, insulted, left alone most of the time, etc and I never once thought of looking outside my marriage. And just for full disclosure, I was still attractive, in good shape, and worked for DoD, there were plenty of opportunities. He never once worried about me doing anything, he knew I wouldn’t. I am not sure why he didn’t try to turn it around on me, as it is aq common tactic. I was shy by nature so maybe he thought I wouldn’t because of that, or maybe he was just so full of himself he couldn’t even entertain it, or maybe he was just so darn busy having a ball, he didn’t care one way or the other.

        Sadly I also thought he wouldn’t, I bought his story of work stress; and we will get through it etc. Total mindfuck.

        I did go on to remarry, and my husband has been so great to me, and of course I have been to him. We both were chumped for different situations, but we were lucky to find each other. My ex was gobsmacked when I started dating again, it was when he circled back to try to destabilize me again. What an ass.

        Having said that, even if I hadn’t remarried and I had gone on alone, I know I would have been happy. Because at heart I know I am a good person and my love would have just gone to family, friends and pets. All fulfilling, and much better than a lying cheating partner.

  • Did any of you do Marriage Helper w Dr. Joe Beam? He is a self-professed ex-cheater who divorced then remarried his chump. Anyways I spent THOUSANDS on their products including coaching (also spent a mint on Divorce Busters). Ah, hopium!

  • Well, Dr. Harley, explain this.

    Once again, just yesterday, I saw some friends who I have not seen since before DDay just over three years ago who had not heard what happened. Once again, I saw shock and disbelief because he had said to them about me and our daughter “I
    have the two most beautiful girls in the world.” This is what makes me feel really crazy and it’s happened a number of times with a number of people who knew us.

    And so he is cheating, telling us and other people how lucky he is and how much he loves us etc., and I guess I was supposed to disregard that and determine He Is Really Unhappy and Has Been Unhappy For Years?

    These people are sick, lying, traitorous, dangerous, treacherous, hazardous, poisonous, evil, two-faced, deceitful mindfuckers, and nothing but.

    PS….the friends I saw yesterday are NOT Switzerland friends. They are Shitzerland friends, as in, he is majorly on their shit list.

    • Ooops. Made accidental double post only makes sense in response to Velvet Hammer’s Animal House reference.

      • Another typo. I’m having a tough day. So, a correction on top of a correction. It should read: “MY accidental double post” (not Made accidental post)????????‍♀️.

  • The Marriage Builder ‘wanna be expert’ does not know that some people have personality disorders and get off on lying and deceiving.

    You could cook them gourmet meals and be their sex robot, and they would still get their jollies f’g the neigbour and the bank teller.

  • Hmm. Let’s consider–“To agree to a policy of joint agreement on things and be radically honest.” Isn’t that what most people promise to do when they get married? To have a “policy of joint agreement on things” and be honest with each other? (And wtf is “radical” honesty anyway.) And haven’t cheaters just broken every other agreement made in that marriage ceremony? They aren’t even capable of basic honesty.

    These “marriage builders” make money by preying on chumps desperate to keep a marriage together. In order to do that, these con artists have to promote a solution that the chump controls. There’s no controlling cheaters! They are wayward! They are timid forest creatures that must be lured into the light, back onto the path. And we know that “you aren’t the boss of me” is their motto. So the only thing the con artists of the RIC can sell is what the chump can do to win the pick me dance.

    The result, of course, is to make the marriage even more asymmetrical. The chump works harder on the marriage while the cheater either continues the cheating or lays low until the chump fully commits to staying in the marriage. And just as picking up the phone on the 72nd ring tells as stalker to keep calling until the phone rings 72 times, letting the cheater off the hook teaches the cheater that there is no behavior so bad that the chump won’t tolerate. In fact, in the face of abuse, the chump will try harder to please the abuser.

    That’s what’s going on here.

    PS. Tracy, very glad you are getting your 1st shot today! I’m due for the second one on Friday and I’ve never been so excited to get a shot in my life.

  • “Everyone is capable of infidelity, says Harley. It has nothing to do with character.”

    When I was in high school oh so many years ago I had an almost-cheating experience whereby I broke up with my boyfriend and then kissed another boy the next day. I felt so sick and horrible that I never did anything like that again. My *character* bore out that I am not the cheating type. Even though I technically didn’t cheat on my ex-boyfriend, I felt horrible and like I betrayed him. I was young, stupid, confused, etc…. all the things that *children* are.

    I had plenty of opportunities to cheat while married to ex-FW. Plenty. Plenty. Cheating would have been oh-so-easy if I were that type of person. But I’m not. I wasn’t when I was younger and I doubly-wasn’t as I grew up.

    Looking back on it, ex-FW accused me of cheating multiple times. I guess it was his own guilty conscience speaking out for him and projecting on to me what he was probably doing. Nope, buddy. I could have in the blink of an eye if I wanted to. But that’s not me.

    • BS&L,

      I don’t buy this “everyone is capable of cheating” line either; it really is all about character.

      Oddly (maybe not so oddly when you think about it) about 12 months before D-Day, Mrs LFTT told me (out of nowhere) that she knew that I would never cheat on her. At the time I had absolutely no idea as to how she got onto the subject. She said that I was too honest, too transparent and incapable of lying to her.

      I guess that she left the fact the she clearly saw herself as an accomplished liar who was capable of cheating on me, covering it up and never letting on unsaid ….. unfortunately for her, she didn’t realise that all of the lies in the world won’t cover up for her having her iPhone synched to her iPad and the kids seeing a load of texts between her and her AP.

      Thankfully eldest daughter had the wit to take pictures of the texts and inform me … which is how Mrs LFTT ended up becoming Ex-Mrs LFTT.


  • I know that Ayn Rand isn’t a popular figure and she was probably a narc herself, but so much of the amorphous, contradictory, “appease my feelings because they’re mine” type of rhetoric that’s the norm these days remind me of the antagonists in her novels. The ones who peddled contradictions and those who believed just because it was popular.

    It makes me appreciate direct communication even more in a world where wishy washy, undefined behaviors and language are becoming more popular and accepted.

    • And no, not everyone is capable of infidelity and it has everything to do with character. When you lie and cheat, you’re demonstrated that you know good from bad, but chose to be bad anyway.

      • “When you lie and cheat, you’ve demonstrated that you know good from bad, but chose to be bad anyway.”

        True, in general.

        But, by my FW’s logic, he HAD to lie not because he felt what he did was necessarily bad (twu luv can’t be bad) but that he knew *I* would think it was bad and wouldn’t forgive him.

        It was my inability to forgive that ended our marriage. And, as I mentioned here before, he said that since he knew I wouldn’t forgive a two-week affair, he basically said, “What the hell! I’ll have a multiyear affair?”

        FUCK HIM! #notatmeh #gettingthere

        • TPYO: I meant, he HAD to lie because he felt that what he did was NOT necessarily bad (twu luv can’t be ad) but that he knew *I* would think it was bad and wouldn’t be able to forgive him.

  • Well that’s funny. He wasn’t meeting my emotional needs yet it wasn’t me that cheated and lied for 15 years, through two kids one wedding and a house purchase! Go figure!

    I used to even say, when I was frustrated with his constant pressuring me for sex (“you mustn’t love me then or you’d want to have sex with me”) “if you could talk with me emotionally, deeply, if we could just connect emotionally I might be more into it”. And nada, just years upon years of emotional abuse, emotional manipulation for sex, coercion and marital rape basically.

    And still he was getting it elsewhere. In his lunch break, when he was reportedly working, reportedly carting our kids around, reportedly doing everything a normal dude would do, he was holding not one, not two, not even three but four 5+ year concurrent affairs!

    I’d even say his emotional needs were being met in droves.

    • Isn’t is special how they can claim their needs were not met? But only after the discovery.
      They have a great way of turning into the victim. I’d say it my FW’s superpower. The art of projection is really a head spinner too.

      • Chumps are givers. We live to meet our partners’ needs, to our detriment. Cheaters hit where it hurts. They know how to get to our deepest fears and insecurities in order to manipulate us into serving them cake. It’s an absolute lack of reciprocity and integrity.

  • After the 1st DDay, I fell for it all…let’s start over, forgive and forget, it will never happen again….hell, it never stopped. I’ll never understand how I could have been so stupid. I thought we had a great life..home, place @ the beach, adult much fun to be with, 1st grandchild and ready to retire when I discovered his adult friend finder account and countless emails of fucking me over! What the hell is wrong with these people and where do they find the energy it must take to lead a double life and gaslight!?!

    • I know Kathy. I always say to my friends, “wouldn’t it just have been easier to love me and put the time and energy into making our relationship great?” And they laugh because I sound like such a Pollyanna! Yes, of course it would, they say to me, but he didn’t want what you are, what you want, he wanted something else and that is: ENTITLEMENT AND POWER. My husband always seemed exhausted and stressed and I’ve always assumed it was because of leading the double life, but now I’m not so sure. I think that may have been energizing for him. I think he was exhausted by being with me because that’s not what he wanted – his energy was directed towards fucking other women, and particularly, finding the ones who would get tied up and beaten. So, I just don’t think we can compare how we would feel because they really have their own game going on. The RIC has so much to answer for with their victim blaming shit. It perpetuates abuse.

    • You’d think the Trumpers would shut up now that he’s gone, but no. Well, if they refuse to get the shot it’s gonna get pretty Darwinian for them out there.

      • I will never be for murdering innocent babies before and after birth. It is murder and it is evil and if you was to see a picture of an aborted baby’s hand like I have with cuts all over it’s hand from trying to defend itself you would probably think different

        • I would not, and you are misrepresenting what a first trimester fetus even looks like. You have no clue what you’re talking about. I see you do not want to be educated on the subject. You have been lied to by the religious right and apprently you like it that way. Now scram.

        • Oh, and cuts on the hand? ????They don’t do abortions with knives. What do you think this is, the 17th century?

    • I hope you don’t contract COVID, land in the hospital, in a medically induced coma, on a respirator, develop sepsis that requires an amputation and then die.

      Jiminy Christmas. At least wear a mask for the next few years. And stay far away from other people.

      • Let me correct myself. Any time you leave the house for the remainder of your life, ????. And don’t go into any hospital to seek care of any kind, spreading your vaccination free ????
        What’s the death tally in the US ? Rapidly approaching 600,000 people ?!

        • These ignorant, irresponsible Trumpanzees don’t believe in masks. Their fuhrer told them not to bother with them, so they mindlessly obey.

          • Trumpanzees ? That’s one I hadn’t heard ????????????

  • One of my biggest regrets in my marriage was how much I made it a “soft place to land”. My husband always seemed to stressed, so tired, so out of sorts, so disorganized, so in need that I took great care of him. He needed to blow off steam so he had to always be on his iPad playing games so I put up with him ignoring me. He needed to blow off steam so he often went out on Friday nights with the boys. He needed to build client relationships to he needed to have midweek drinks and come home late. He was tired from working so he had to sleep in. I dutifully ran around organizing things, keeping the house tidy, making food, keeping up the social life, taking care of our daughter. Like the RIC fuckwit said, I was always trying for radical honesty – I tried talking to him, I told him everything. When he was distant I was prodding him to talk. He always said he was just stressed.

    Fast forward to DDAy, and from his point of view, he was stressed because I was a bad communicator, because I didn’t give him enough sex, because I’m needy, I’m too sensitive, and, ultimately, it was because he was into S&M and he’d been out doing it for years to get his “needs” met. Yes, it was me who fell short – I just was the shitty wife who didn’t know how to dress up in leather and get beaten. Mind you, my husband never talked about this, so how’s a girl to know? Radical honesty??

    After DDay, when I said he needed to leave, he was happy at first, and then began to treat me with pure hatred, contempt and said the most horrific things to me. My therapist said it’s death by 1,000 cuts. He was cruel, heartless. He didn’t want to hear one thing from me about how much pain I was in, how heart broken I was, how deeply and utterly traumatized I felt that I had to learn of how not only my husband had been carrying on for years with hookers and others that he was now “in love’ with someone who would give him the kind of abusive sex he’d so utterly needed for years and I just couldn’t compete. He threw it in my face like he was proud, like “see! I have a new woman who’s better than you. She’s younger, sexier, and does exactly what I want. Fuck you!” He almost said it just like that…and that was with me sitting around meekly just accepting the situation and being in shock.

    There was one dinner we had together because it was my daughter’s mini-graduation from a course she did at school. We sat there together and I prattled on like normal, trying to pretend we were still a family. And he sat across from me looking gray, stressed and like he wanted to be with his girlfriend. He was on the phone all through dinner. After all I just heard I guess I should have been at home baking cookies, doing the taxes, mowing the lawn and continuing to make that “soft place to land” so it was easier for my husband to go fuck his whorey new woman. That would have saved my marriage for sure! And also if I were a better communicator, if I was less needy and if I would just do exactly what he wanted sexually all the time I would still be married. Oh, and if I don’t mind being cheated on.

    • We run ourselves ragged to make home a happy place for them to land. Its never enough, but that’s not because we are flawed. It is because they have a dark vault of a soul that will never be filled.

      • Honestly I do feel sympathy for my ex fw in some ways. I know he spent his life searching for something to make him happy. If I could pick out just maybe one era where he had some happiness, I would say it was in the early years of us raising our son. He did seem to enjoy the dad thing. He did the jr. baseball etc.

        As for us, he kept wanting a bigger boat, a place on the water, better skis etc. The last big dream he had was about two years before he split, and that was he wanted when he retired at age 52 to sell everything buy a huge ass boat and live on the river. We did buy a river property, he left me six months after we signed the deal. Schmoopie got to enjoy that, not me; but he needed my signature on the loan.

        I said no. I am not selling everything and living on the river on a boat. First of all, I don’t want to be a river rat, second of all; I wanted to work until at least full retirement age, and I couldn’t do that and live on a boat. I did say, we could get a small apartment, and he could get a little bigger boat, and he could take trips after he retired. I could come on vacations etc.

        I think if we had been a cartoon that would have been when the ominous Dat Da Da DAAA would have appeared in that scene. It was the beginning of the end for me.

        He never did get his big ass boat and live on the river, but after losing everything to bankruptcy he did finally work his way up to a big ass RV, was able to use it for a year before he passed. I do hope he got some enjoyment out of it, but I suspect he was already searching for something more. In fact I know he was, he was trying to buy a trailer in Arizona and that fell through.

        Schmoopie now owes 80 thousand dollars on a RV she can’t even drive. she has no money, no savings and my son found out their trailer and two cars are not insured. On the two cars they are only insured for liability, and they are fairly new cars.

        As I have said before, she wanted my future she got it.

        • I am glad she got your bleak future and you found happiness away from your ex.

        • It is kind of sad, in that we can identify what is missing that would bring them the happiness they are searching for, yet they can’t, because they are incapable. They want to fill the hole with other women, bigger boats, better toys, and yet it never is enough. I feel sorry for mine sometimes. I saw glimmers of happiness in him, and I want to think it was genuine. But at the times I saw glimmers of happiness his other life was still playing in the background.

          It shows your character, wishing him some enjoyment in the end. And the OW sure got a legacy to hold onto.

          • “But at the times I saw glimmers of happiness his other life was still playing in the background.”

            Yep, I think the happiest schmoops made him was when they were sneaking around. I know for a fact he was walking on a cloud for quite a while. With me and schmoops both in his orbit. And who knows who else. In hindsight I could almost name the day he started the discard. It took about a year, and then the crash.

            • That is my memory of his happiest too; when he and OW were in a new affair, and I was unaware of all that was going on. Sad that the cheating makes them so happy.

    • Your cheater sounds positively gloomy. Send him back to the dungeon he crawled out of. It’s so sad that he can’t feel even a moment of joy while celebrating his daughter’s achievements. Next time cut him from the guest list.

  • They are fetal cells, not baby cells. They are not from born children or even late term fetuses, nor were any of the fetuses aborted just to get the cells. Please educate yourself.

    By not getting the shot you are endangering the lives of others. That is certainly not a pro-life position, so kindly spare us the hypocrisy. Advocating that others not get it is even worse, quite despicable actually.
    The only valid excuse to not get the vaccinated for a disease that has killed millions of people is a medical exemption. For example, I’m not allowed to get it because of a wonky immune system which makes vaccinations both ineffective and potentially harmful. But you can be sure I’ll continue to take maximum precautions to avoid posing a risk to others. Your excuses are just selfish. You place feeling good about yourself above the lives of others.
    I think you need to do
    some serious self examination.

  • The priests of RIC never seem to explain this one baffling anomaly to their per theory of what motivates cheaters: If cheaters are only reacting to deficits in a marriage and it’s not about one-sided abuse, power and control, why do so many embezzle and play games with marital assets? Why don’t cheaters ever seem to encourage chumps AND PROVIDE CHUMPS THE FINANCIAL MEANS to move on? Like here’s some of the assets I’ve been hiding and absconding with so you can get a new wardrobe and spa treatments to prepare for your fab future dating life. Or I’m going back to work and clipping coupons to free up funds so you can take new people out for lavish dinners and join that new country club where the creme de la creme of singles cluster. And by the way, have I mentioned how you turn heads wherever you go?

    Nope. I’m sure once in awhile an unhappily married person has encouraged and boosted their spouse to move on by building them up and helping them to be independent. But cheaters tend to put a dagger through their victim’s shoes in some way or other. They destroy the victim’s self esteem and confidence in being able to love again with putdowns, blame reversal and gaslighting. They financially bilk and hobble victims. They strike when the victim is ill, preocupied, pregnant or saddled with small kids, unable to work or weighed down with work stress, etc.

    Doesn’t add up. If cheaters only want space to explore ways to fill their overdrawn love accounts by dabbling outside of marriage, why do they so often seem to try to paralyze chumps? It’s more like here, you stay right there in a bleeding, confused, financially immobilized heap while I go fuck strange and lie.

    • Exactly, the it is all about power and control of the cheater. Retaining financial control is another tool in the cheater tool kit.

      “It’s more like here, you stay right there in a bleeding, confused, financially immobilized heap while I go fuck strange and lie.” – This sums it up perfectly!

      I’m trying to escape and each step towards freedom, he puts down another obstacle to overcome. Making this leave a cheater harder than I imagined.

      • I compared it to feeling like one of those old Bobo dolls. The bottom of it is weighted so it bounces back up in place to be punched again. Without weights, it would fly out of reach when you punch it. No fun.

        Cheating is just low-effort battering, plain and simple.

    • Hell of a Chump, you get to the heart of what made it so difficult for me to cut contact…

      ‘No, you aren’t the victim. You’ve been financially, emotionally and physically abusive for years while leading a double life, and now you’ve left me with nothing. No, you’re not special for cheating – I CHOSE not to cheat even though you were mistreating and neglecting me while plenty of other men showed interest and I didn’t even consider it (although I did consider how nice it would be to have attention and affection and feel desired). Yes, you do owe me something. Everything. Remorse and amends, compensation for damages and sunk costs, and, even that will never repay me for what you’ve stolen. And no, I’m not saying this because I still love you or want you back (idiot). I’m saying it because you’ve fucked up my life indescribably and this isn’t ok. And I can’t do anything about it.’

      So, I’m not at meh?

      • Good point. Also add complete misrepresentation of who you are and how you behaved as a partner. OHFFS describes it (below) as the “fantasy world of Opposite Land”; NoMoreMsNiceChump’s post (also below) is a perfect example.

  • Way to turn the burden on us chumps, yet again! They cheat and we are expected to take all accountability and make them want to be here, by upping my pick me dance moves? How about they don’t cheat, and maybe they should show us they want to be with us? There is some illusion by society that the partner being cheated on is unattractive, lazy, “let them selves go”, or are in some way really flawed. The flawed partner is the cheater, they are lying, misusing family funds and time on AP’s. And can we just take appearances out of this all together, it has nothing to do with it. It’s all about who can feed their ego, and that person may be attractive or may not. Cheating is abuse. We don’t tell people to make our spouses want to be here if they hit us? This is putting the burden on the victim not the abuser where it belongs. Well cheating should be no different, society should quit putting the burden on the chump.

    • Right?
      “telling chumps it is their responsibility to make the marriage “a good place to be” after an affair. ”

      Yes, that is one way it could go, or and I am leaning toward this as the best route for Chumps, start to work on building our own life so that it is a good palace for US to be, and tell the cheater to go to hell.

      Cheater gets to fuck strange all they want, and we get to be free of them. Win/win.

      • exactly what I told my STBX! After years of complaining about me to complete strangers…”she hasn’t been anywhere in awhile, sorry she came home early, I was so looking forward to tonight; I, too, enjoy man to man sex, and have to be discreet.”

        No longer need to be discreet, go ass fuck whatever you’d like and @ 65 years of age I am going to figure out a new life without you because the one we had was a sham. Of course, now he doesn’t want that, just wants me…sure you do you POS

  • What a steaming pile of gas-lighting, with a side of word salad. Just pretend it never happened, but if it did, it’s all on you. And basically be the marriage police, make it so hard for them to hide anything, that it’s impossible for them to have an affair. So easy, right? It sounds exhausting. Yay for the vaccine, ChumpLady!

  • I’m glad none of you can see my face after reading the excerpt from Marriage Builders that No Shit Cupcakes posted above. That the “passion” of affairs caused a higher number of pregnancies than old, boring marital sex? Nope. The irresponsibility of not using birth control because you are too entitled, too risk-loving causing pregnancy? Yup. That I’d believe. (Especially if one party wants to use a baby to entrap the other. Because who doesn’t want to use the miracle of new life to manipulate?)

    Thanks for sharing that, NSC. It shows at a glance how hollow and toxic Marriage Builders is.

    His citations, the studies from which this strange non-factoid is found? Bwa-ha-ha. You don’t need any of that if you are just willing to make shit up and sell it to the desperate.

    Chumps, when are we going to sue these loathsome Jabba the Huts of Marital Advice? They get rich, fat and entitled sucking the marrow from the bones of traumatized and impoverished women (mostly) and children. They are worse than cheaters, and no different from hucksters who sell cancer “cures” to the desperate, knowing they are useless.

    • “The irresponsibility of not using birth control because you are too entitled, too risk-loving causing pregnancy? Yup. That I’d believe. ”

      Quite frankly a lot of these “RIC folks” should be in prison for the damage they do to innocent human beings.

  • So how is one supposed to know what they really want in the first place if they refuse to even speak to you?
    I think I’ve been expected to read his mind. All he told me is that I don’t communicate and he’s been miserable all these years. Well when I do try to communicate all he says is I don’t understand what you said! Or he says ,”see everything is all about you, never about me!” What a whiny baby!
    For the life of me I’ve not been able to figure it out. Oh wait a minute—since I’m such a controlling person, and I don’t communicate well enough, he gets ito go after young girls. There you go! And I should be OK with that! Cuz it is my fault of course.

    • He lied like they all do. Cheaters live in the fantasy world of Opposite Land, meaning you can interpret what he said to mean you did communicate and he wasn’t miserable. They take their weaknesses and claim they are yours. They pretend you are the opposite of who you really are, and so are they. He’s an entitled douchecanoe who thinks being expected to be honest and fair is oppressive. They all do.

    • >>All he told me is that I don’t communicate

      He probably cribbed that from something you said. He probably didn’t communicate to you, and you noticed & were frustrated. So it seems like a complaint you might buy. We all know that they lie, but sometime it is freeing to know how they craft their lies.

  • Marriage builders traumatized me. I was asked to be on his radio show, which I gladly agreed because after all, I was going to get a free book and HELP from them. He and his wife humiliated me on the air, and treated me like I was stupid for not seeing the signs. My husband and I were separated for a time because he lost his job, and it was in the middle of the school year, and I had to sell the house. I stayed back to finish things up while he moved to a different city. My first “mistake” was allowing us to be separated for more than one night from each other. It was horrifying, and there were other things said that just made me feel worse, rather than encouraged. I got their book and threw it in the trash, and I never heard from them again.

    When you are at the beginning of D-Day, you will do almost anything to save a marriage. I was in it for 25 years, at home, mom.

    It has been a nightmare for me. But now I am divorced. Live life on life’s terms, not asshat’s terms anymore, and will graduate next year with an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and then on to Ph.D. Oh, and I am older, in my 50’s and I have a 3.9 GPA!! I will work to spare any other woman the nightmare I endured. Not only by my spouse but the RIC thing really threw me for a loop and damaged me further.

    I am still not at Tuesday, or “meh” yet. But there are definitely days I have them…..Run from these reconciliation clowns, they did me a lot of damage. And I had already been through so much…

    • The way they treated you is abominable. Those RIC freaks are straight up con artists and nasty, manipulative slime of the lowest order.
      But look at you, riding above all that pain and gaining an amazing life. You rule!

  • Chumps don’t need Dr. Harley to tell us how to do any of this. We were born knowing. In fact, this is what got us into trouble with these cheaters in the first place.

    When the Love Bank defaults, is it insured by the RIC?

  • I changed jobs and homes so that Nitwit could be in a place where he “felt comfortable”, listened attentively to all his sad sausage tales about how mean his parents were to him, took care of the bills and the housework, all while keeping myself in terrific shape. He sat around playing video games and screwing his community college student(s). Yet I am the one who needs to contribute more to the “love bank”????

    I don’t generally use this kind of language but f*ck this guy and the horse he rode in on.

    • I’ve just been learning about this from the women’s refuge where I get support. The roots of abuse are ownership, entitlement and power. Abusers like to convince people their bad behavior is a result of their childhoods, stress, mental well-being being compromised, needing a good job, a particular place to live, blah blah blah. Our response to making a nice place for them is the exact thing they want. Not only is that a great benefit, but it keeps us busy and distracted. Fuck anyone who would ever blame a chump for letting their husband go away for a night. After all, mine went away for work and always called me, brought home gifts and had lots of details to tell me about what he did while away. I hung on every word and told him how much I missed him. Good god RIC!! We should all gang up on the authors of this stuff and tell them how it really feels to be abused.

      • “Fuck anyone who would ever blame a chump for letting their husband go away for a night.”

        Right? Mine did whatever the hell he wanted to do, like I could stop him.

        • Exactly! Mine did whatever the hell he wanted and got mad at me if I protested, or even if I just said “I miss you, you’ve been out so much lately”. He’s be annoyed or tell me I was needy. It’s a no win situation

          • Yep, the last couple months he had let the mask drop, and treated me as if I was an “annoyance”, that is the perfect word for it.

            I quit trying at that point. Our marriage was dead and he killed it long before I caught on. It may have only existed in my mind.

            I am one that got to see and know that his life turned to shit; but you know what it didn’t help; he still stole a large portion of my life and used it to his benefit; then dumped me. Though I have through the years been blessed with love, laughter, family and friends; that scar never fully went away.

  • Hi. I just found your blog. I got cheated on in 2019 and I’m currently rebuilding my life without him. Just found out last weekend they ended up having a kid; I’ve been feeling a little depressed about it again and actually cried all day yesterday but happened to find this a few minutes ago. Your sense of humor already made me laugh out loud a few times. Thank you for doing this. You have a gift and I’m glad you’re out here using it. I’m gonna buy your book soon. I think it might be a little more useful than Derrick’s book but that’s just a hunch…..

  • My first post here, I’m a double chump, once for learning about my wife’s fling and sexual betrayal, and chump again because I want to reconcile. After 21 years of marriage, a life together, financially entwined, it is hard to just “leave the motherfucker” although somewhere deep down I do wonder if I should. Reconciling is so very, very hard but you feel stuck; I’m early 50’s, 6’2″, in-shape, silver fox and I feel OK about dating again and finding someone, but it is so hard to start over financially at my age and social position.

    This “don’t talk about the affair” and “his resentment will leave him when he realizes he isn’t getting any benefit” is unbelievable. I need to hear more on the context because that is just horrible. This guy is a FW enabler, and deserves a special place in hell.

    • Hi double chump, it’s okay. Many of us here wanted to reconcile for the same reasons but usually you find you have nothing to work with, you’ll get chumped again with your spouse or they will dump you when they’re ready. Or you’ll be living with someone you can’t trust. Take care and big hugs

  • In the terrible throes of the pick-me-dance, desperate to lure my wife back from “the fog” (having an affair), I followed this guy’s advice. The problem was that the marriage was already a good place to be. How did I know that? She told me so—all the time, for ten years. I’ve got the documentation to prove it! And the night before D-Day she TOLD me again how lucky she was, what a wonderful husband and father I was…

    I was stumped. What more “good” could I muster up? So I repainted our bedroom a color I knew she liked.

    Stunningly it didn’t work! She admired it—and then left to fuck the OM some more.

    Should I have gone with a lighter color? What did I do wrong, Dr. Harley?

  • I’m not ‘wired to cheat’ and never will be. The thought of sex with someone I’m not in a strong and monogamous relationship with makes me throw up. Maybe Dr Harvey is projecting himself…

  • I tuned out Mr PhD after “we are not supposed to trust our spouse… or anyone.”

    Yes. Yes we are. In fact trust is part of love. As is respect. Without all these components there is no real love.

    Blame the Victim! is a sick part of our society. As is someone who bombs their own family by tossing a grenade then running fast abs far away pretending to be the victim themselves.

    Fluffing pillows while denying abuse is rampant in a marriage is the result of trauma bonding. Do NOT blame yourselves for being a POW in a war zone Chumps.

    Cheaters LIE and LIARS Cheat. Perhaps Mr PhD was absent during Psych 101 classes.

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