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UBT: “Please Give Me Another Chance”

cakeDear Chump Lady,

I found your blog through my aunt after discovering my husband was having an affair after 19 years of marriage.

We married while XH was in medical school. We then went through his anesthesia residency, we had two biological children and we adopted three older children (at the same time – siblings), I went to dental school and completed my pediatric dental residency, which I finished in June and signed the lease and bank loan to open my own practice in July.

In August, my XH went on a father-son trip with a friend and son. On that trip, the friend’s ex-wife joined 1/2 way through the week with their two younger children… I guess they have reached “friends” level co-parenting. On this trip, the affair started.

Apparently, my XH poured his guts out about how miserable it is to be married to me. She was there to listen. The affair blossomed. He returned home and told me after a 20 minute diatribe about how unhappy he was with me that he wanted a divorce. I asked him if there was another woman. At that time, he said no. Five days later, he admits that there’s another woman and discloses who it is.

I crumbled. I couldn’t believe that he would risk our youngest child seeing him flirting and carrying on with his BFF’s mother while still married to me. I begged and begged for him to think of our children. He emphatically stated that the kids would be “OK” and I wasn’t going to talk him out of happiness with his mistress. According to him, she loves him for who he is and I don’t (after owning each other for 5 days).

Side note: she blew up her marriage with 5-10 affairs as uncovered by her XH in his PI report that my XH knew all about from years ago. All of this to say, I have been crushed. I have endured a lot from him. When I was 8.5 months pregnant he told me that other women flirt with him because he’s a doctor and he’s not sure he wants to be married because there are “other girls who are interested in him since he’s a doctor.” I stayed. I’m not sure why.

He took his mistress to Florida in October for a week on vacation to his father’s beach house. This was the week that we were supposed to go away together. He texted me and told me he didn’t want to vacation with me and he was going with her. I cared for our children while they were together in Florida. We all knew this was the case but he was still trying to deny she was his mistress because “they don’t want their relationship to start as an affair.” What???

Guess the week away wasn’t all that he hoped it would be since he texts me from the beach to let me know he’s sorry and hopes I’ll forgive him.

Dear CinChump

I’ve been a total and complete idiot. I’ve spoken to Schmoopie and broken things off with her. I’m deeply sorry for everything I’ve done and all the hurt I’ve caused everyone. I’m on my way back home. This is not the type of person I am and certainly not the type of person I want to be. I love you and know that I don’t deserve your forgiveness but if you are willing to give me another chance I will try to earn it. I’m broken and I need to get fixed. I want to do that with you and nobody else. Please give me a chance. I want our family to be whole again. I want to be with you.

Followed by a second text immediately after:

“I understand if you’re not ready to respond to the text but would you please just let me know that you’ve read it?”

To which I responded that the window on reconciliation had closed.

His response:

“That makes me extraordinarily sad for all of us if that’s true. I have been an idiot but if everything you said before was true I believe there’s hope for us. Please give me another chance.”

Then, he sent an email.

Dear CinChump,

I have a lot of flaws, CinChump. For starters, I don’t believe I do a very good job of communicating. Maybe it’s emotions, maybe it’s my tendency to snap to judgements and decisions quickly. That’s maybe good in my line of work but not very good for relationships. I know it hasn’t been good for ours. I don’t really feel comfortable in casual conversations which makes me seem disinterested, I get too emotional when the subject matter is controversial which makes me seem abrasive. This is something I need to improve on if I’m going to successful at serious relationships (both romantic and fraternal.) I realize that.

I’m also a very sexual person. I imagine we all are sexual to some degree, but I definitely feel the weight of my sexual desires and these have bubbled to the surface on several occasions during our marriage. Again, it’s a failing of mine and especially problematic in our relationship because we don’t have a similar desire for sex. It may be that your lack of interest has been because of me, but there is definitely a difference between our two sex drives and it has created an issue for me.

There are certainly other things that I don’t do well. I’d like to believe that I’m no more flawed than the next guy but maybe that’s not true. Regardless I am deeply flawed.

But I am also a deeply flawed person who has been committed to you and to our relationship even when things weren’t easy. When times were tough I tried to support you and to love you to the best of my ability. Along the way we’ve both done things that have hurt the other, and early this summer I lost sight of the fact that those hurts weren’t because you and I can’t be a good even great team. The pain was because we are two human beings with our own sets of issues and deficiencies trying to move through life together in spite of our differences. And life has kind of kicked us in the teeth over the last few years.

And I definitely lost sight of that when Schmoopie came into the picture. I said and did things that I am incredibly ashamed of. I’m so ashamed of them that I don’t want to talk about it or think about it. That isn’t because I’m trying to sweep them under the rug or ignore that they happened. Suffice to say that those things that I said to you regarding wanting to move into a relationship with Schmoopie were foolish and not remotely a reflection of my true self or my true desires. It took a couple of months for me to realize it, but I do now realize it. That isn’t the person that I have ever been, that isn’t the person that I want to be.

What I want is to have our family back. What I want is for you to be capable of looking at what I did not as an unforgivable insult but evidence of the fact that I’m a flawed human being who made a million mistakes that can be traced back to the one mistake of believing that what he wanted was to be with someone else.

And that isn’t what I want. What I want is to have a cohesive family and for our relationship to be the kind where we can raise our kids and mutually enjoy our lives together. And even if you take Schmoopie out of the picture, we haven’t had that. That isn’t a justification for what I did. It isn’t an excuse. It isn’t evidence of my not being sorry. It’s just a reflection of the state of our marriage to this point and our own human failings (mine and yours).

So, if it’s possible for you to view this in that way and to move forward in forgiveness and with a desire to improve our relationship I want to do that. But, in truth, I do not want you to say “yes, I’ll do this” unless you are confident that you can move past what I did. If this is going to hound you for the remainder of our marriage and interfere with your being able to trust me or feel secure with me, then we should move on as you’ve said you want. I believe that will be a loss for both of us, but it would be a better solution than saying you want to move on and then holding onto this thing I’ve done and pulling it out every time you are hurt again.

So I’m writing because the truth is that I love you, and you should know that. I love being “your person” and you should know that too. It’s an honor to be “your person”, and if you have genuinely felt that it’s a honor to be “my person” then I think we owe it to ourselves and our family to overcome this. And if not, then I am going to accept that. I just want you to make that decision knowing these things.

I’d love for you to give me your thoughts. Maybe the UBT. We are separated. We have 50/50 custody and it’s miserable. I have four minor children, ages 11 to 16. My head of spinning. Any wisdom or help would be appreciated!

Thank you!

CinChump

Dear CinChump,

This whole thing is a set-up for him not to look the Bad Guy in the divorce. Here’s a completely impossible list of the terms of “reconciliation.” Eat the shit sandwich. Never mention what happened. Can’t do that? Oh hey, guess you missed out. He tried.

middle finger

Yeah. No.

But so it’s not a complete waste, the Universal Bullshit Translator can have a go. It needs to earn its cookies, and this is a lot of bullshit. So without further ado…

I’ve been a total and complete idiot. I’ve spoken to Schmoopie and broken things off with her. I’m deeply sorry for everything I’ve done and all the hurt I’ve caused everyone. I’m on my way back home. This is not the type of person I am and certainly not the type of person I want to be. I love you and know that I don’t deserve your forgiveness but if you are willing to give me another chance I will try to earn it. I’m broken and I need to get fixed. I want to do that with you and nobody else. Please give me a chance. I want our family to be whole again. I want to be with you.

Florida wasn’t nearly as much fun as I thought. Heat, humidity, errant alligators on golf courses. Schmoopie demanding commitment. I’m broke broken.

I have a lot of flaws, CinChump. For starters, I don’t believe I do a very good job of communicating.

I express myself by fucking other women and blaming you for it.

Maybe it’s emotions, maybe it’s my tendency to snap to judgements and decisions quickly. That’s maybe good in my line of work but not very good for relationships. I know it hasn’t been good for ours. I don’t really feel comfortable in casual conversations which makes me seem disinterested, I get too emotional when the subject matter is controversial which makes me seem abrasive. This is something I need to improve on if I’m going to successful at serious relationships (both romantic and fraternal.) I realize that.

Please enjoy this faux admission of a fault that has nothing to do with abandoning one’s family for a Floridian fuckfest.

I’m also a very sexual person.

I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you. I get too emotional when the subject is my throbbing hard-on.

I imagine we all are sexual to some degree, but I definitely feel the weight of my sexual desires and these have bubbled to the surface on several occasions during our marriage. Again, it’s a failing of mine and especially problematic in our relationship because we don’t have a similar desire for sex. It may be that your lack of interest has been because of me, but there is definitely a difference between our two sex drives and it has created an issue for me.

It may be that your lack of interest has been because I implied you’re frigid and threatened cheating during your third trimester. Alas, you could be hornier. Raising 5 children and putting yourself through dental school. I imagine we all are sexual to a degree. Some of us are virile bison roaming the Western plains, while others of us are sad, spent dairy cows living lives of shabby domesticity. We are not similar.

There are certainly other things that I don’t do well. I’d like to believe that I’m no more flawed than the next guy but maybe that’s not true. Regardless I am deeply flawed.

I like sex too much. There! I said it! And casual conversations bore me!

But I am also a deeply flawed person who has been committed to you and to our relationship even when things weren’t easy. When times were tough I tried to support you and to love you to the best of my ability.

Like fucking our child’s BFF’s mother. Or abandoning you all. Even when it wasn’t EASY, I booked that flight to Tampa!

Along the way we’ve both done things that have hurt the other, and early this summer I lost sight of the fact that those hurts weren’t because you and I can’t be a good even great team. The pain was because we are two human beings with our own sets of issues and deficiencies trying to move through life together in spite of our differences. And life has kind of kicked us in the teeth over the last few years.

I calculated child support on five children and your share of the assets. Let’s work through your deficiencies and be a team!

And I definitely lost sight of that when Schmoopie came into the picture. I said and did things that I am incredibly ashamed of. I’m so ashamed of them that I don’t want to talk about it or think about it. That isn’t because I’m trying to sweep them under the rug or ignore that they happened.

That’s exactly what I’m doing.

Suffice to say that those things that I said to you regarding wanting to move into a relationship with Schmoopie were foolish and not remotely a reflection of my true self or my true desires. It took a couple of months for me to realize it, but I do now realize it. That isn’t the person that I have ever been, that isn’t the person that I want to be.

The real me was home doing science reports with children and bathing the dog. I have no idea who that man was who booked a flight to Tampa and fucked around at his father’s retirement condo. But we must not speak of him!

It took a couple months for me to realize I have NEVER been that person, and my identity was stolen and I must cancel all my credit cards.

#OWscaredme #holdmetighter

What I want is to have our family back. What I want is for you to be capable of looking at what I did not as an unforgivable insult but evidence of the fact that I’m a flawed human being who made a million mistakes that can be traced back to the one mistake of believing that what he wanted was to be with someone else.

What I want is for dirigible walruses to make pancakes. To be capable of insults. UNHAND MY MILLION MISTAKES, Winthrop! Flawed tigerlilies demand contract tracing. Nirvana cupcakes hiccup.

(I’m sorry, the UBT is having some sort of breakdown. Administering lebkuchen, stat.)

Sputter. Wheeze.

(The UBT can only go another sentence. The bullshit is too great.)

So, if it’s possible for you to view this in that way and to move forward in forgiveness and with a desire to improve our relationship I want to do that. But, in truth, I do not want you to say “yes, I’ll do this” unless you are confident that you can move past what I did. If this is going to hound you for the remainder of our marriage and interfere with your being able to trust me or feel secure with me, then we should move on as you’ve said you want.

Unless you can confidentially never question me again, fuck me whenever I like, never hound me about my affairs for the remainder of our marriage, and move forward with a great desire to perpetually pick me dance, to always falter and never being found worthy — you may proceed to take me back.

Until such a time as Dad’s condo is free again. Urges. Etc.

We are different people.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • He doesn’t want her to have distrust for him ! He is a LOSER

      Cheaters want all their sins erased and YOU become the bad one if you mention their cheating again.

      It’s a fool’s deal to take them back.

    • OP

      I was married to the DOCTOR (also in anesthesia) and I can see that you have invested so many years of deferred gratification and enormous financial resources into this marriage.

      The letter started out better than most and I can also see why you’d be tempted to take him back.

      But there are a few tip offs that indicate a very high probability he’ll cheat again and you’ll only have invested that much more.

      For example, the part where he says you have to move past this and not remind him of the deep wound HE inflicted when he hurts you again, is a huge tip off.

      He feels entitled to be forgiven and that includes you NEVER bringing it up OR him having to regain your trust.

      Notice – He does not mention what HE would do to earn your trust.

      He just wants it a whole lot. That means he wants to erase what he’s done, notwithstanding his feeble claims to the contrary. It’s exactly what he wants.

      And if you do not comply with the required amnesia, YOU are throwing away a good marriage.

      Notice HIS shame (image management) is discussed far more than YOUR pain.

      I’m so sorry. I know what it’s like to have admired a man so much that you overlook some mediocrity in them, and worse…

      But he will cheat again. Or go “find himself” or whatever. I strongly believe he will leave you again.

      This “mistake” he made and apologizes for is actually a serious and deep character defect. He not very specific about what HE would do to repair that.

      Indeed…not at all.

      • In other words,

        Cut your losses now and run. You have the financial wherewithal to make it without him, albeit at a modified level. You may even meet a man who will actually reciprocate loyalty and love.

        Your doctor WILL pay child support (garnish his wages or hire a PI if he claims to have “retired” etc – believe me, they will lie when cornered).

        And recall the cruelty of his comments to you when he was “making A mistake”. I know it hurts like a mofo, but you need to remember that it is in him to do terribly cruel things. And in front of your son…

        Knowing that you would never do this to anyone, ever, remind yourself that he has a very dark side.

        CUT YOUR LOSSES.

        • Sooo true! The other tip-off? “I was bad but it’s because youuuuu didn’t fuck me with abandon and I was entitled to that.” I wonder how much he took care of the kids, house, cars, bills, laundry, cleaning, his wife, etc. I was married to this. He didn’t. His list of complaints will never be resolved, but you’ll need to dance real pretty if you want that prize back.
          It’s all imagine management, cost avoidance (alimony, child support). You are plan B until he does it again. Problem is, you will be his boobie prize, and you will be stuck with this unshakable feeling that he is a loser.
          Don’t teach your children that his behavior is acceptable or that you are desperate. Neither is true. Move forward. You can do it, happily. It gets sooooo much better.

        • You forgot to mention that he didn’t get his ducks in order before he hooked up with his Schmoopie. He wants to firmly get CinChump back under his thumb so he can get his assets protected from her BEFORE she divorces his ass for good. CinChump, get divorced asap. Let your lawyer handle EVERYTHING. Do not speak to him. If he’s REALLY sorry, he’ll not balk at all at seeing his wife and children taken care of the rest of their lives. He’d be thoroughly repentant whether married or not. But like everyone else here is saying, he’s trying to cover his ass because he forgot to do so prior to the fuckfest haze. After the haze went away, he said, “Oh shit! I’d like to leave CinChump and have lots of fuckfests with all the women throwing themselves at me because I’m a doctor, but if she divorces me now, I’m toast!” He wants to save this marriage but only if you don’t bring up all of his crap and throw it back in his face? Yeah right. In his mind you’re supposed to be grateful and stay quiet. I assure you, once you’re free for good from this fuckwit, you will look back at all his shenanigans and realize that he was full of himself for years — full of entitlement. Ask us how we know.

          • CinChump, I’m so, so sorry that you’re going through this. It’s absolute trauma. Sending (((hugs))) to you and your kiddos. These are hard days; I promise better ones are ahead. They come quicker if you follow the advice on this blog. Ask me how I know.

            My experience confirms Amazon Chump’s assessment and advice. File NOW. Cheaters are disordered humans, and most of them are also afflicted with the co-morbidity of projectile logorrhea. They will literally spew their verbal shit onto every surface of your life. It’ll run into cracks, and under furniture, and deep into textiles. You can’t stop it; you can only remove yourself from the onslaught.

            The content and consistency of the verbal manure will be restricted to one of only three things: charm, self-pity, or rage. As the UBT points out, “casual conversations bore” these people. They are incapable of empathy. Everything will always be about them. They cannot countenance your pain and trauma; it threatens their ego.

            This BS letter could have been written by my FW – it’s like they all have a pact to plagiarize complete paragraphs from Cheating for Dummies.

            “he’s trying to cover his ass because he forgot to do so prior to the fuckfest haze” 😂 Amazon Chump! Obv the little head was doing the thinking for the big head.

          • This is SO ACCURATE. He’s calculated that he only needs to stick around for five more years until no child support. Please don’t invest another second in this person.

            My fuckwit could have written this letter, to the word. Pompous, self-righteous fake-sorry entitled tight-fisted spreadsheet-making definition of a douche. Not a doctor but he’s quite impressed with his own career. He loved me all along, despite my many failings! What a prize. Divorce final this summer 👏

        • “Your doctor WILL pay child support (garnish his wages or hire a PI if he claims to have “retired” etc – believe me, they will lie when cornered).”

          I know two women who went through this with their doctor husbands and both doctors miraculously lost their jobs when it was time to divorce and pay child support. Ooops, sorry, honey, I don’t have a job anymore so no child support or alimony for you!

          This letter to the chump is all sorts of “don’t blame me, and if you want to blame me, then don’t talk to me about blaming me, and if you can’t not blame me and can’t not talk to me about blaming me then just let me know, mkay?”

          If the details of the chumped were a little different (age, number of kids, location), I swear this stupid letter could have been written by my FW father.

          Assholes.

          • Yes doctors lie.

            They’re perfectly willing to perjure themselves and perhaps of all the shitty things the DOCTOR did to me (and our kids), his willingness to fake quit and lie about it was the most shocking. Not the worst thing he did, but the most surprising to me. I thought he’d be more concerned about commiting a crime…

            I had to hire a PI (so gross for me. Felt like a Jerry Springer “contestant”) and his name was ON the building of the practice from which he had “retired.”

            My PI made an appointment with the DOCTOR too. The DOCTOR (I capitalize it to show it’s tremendous wonderfulness) also was shown in advertisements and gave seminars on their procedures in the community…pretty busy for a retiree…

            And the DOCTOR STILL claimed to have retired! “I’m just keeping my skills intact!” (why do that if you retired?)

            Oh, AND it’d be the first and ONLY time he ever worked for free in the 40 years I knew him. He claimed I “wouldn’t allow him to give back to the community”.

            Guess he’s kinder now…not.

            Arguably worse is that his partner was allegedly willing to lie under oath for him.

            Let that^^ sink in…

            I used to admire doctors. I’ve been asked about for dates by 3 physicians and I really cannot seem to say yes to a dinner. Too many triggers.

            CinChump, he’s a poor investment. Look into “sunk costs” theory and it’ll explain part of the reason you feel so bonded. You are afraid to fold but the hand you thought you were dealt is NOT a pair of Aces.

            It’s a losing hand and it’ll only cost you AND your kids more if you don’t walk away.

            The pain of leaving him will be intense AND temporary.

            The pain of staying will not end – and staying will prevent you AND the kids from ever having or seeing a healthy reciprocating relationship. I really believe you’re going to end up single anyhow, so the question is whether you want to be the age you are now, and single, or X years older…

            Your long term happiness requires you to leave b/c UNFORTUNATELY you have nothing to work with here.

            I don’t think I’m projecting. I’m just hoping you learn from my very painfully learned lessons.

            • Ouch. Did you have to direct all that reality in my direction? I could have been single at 37 when he began to reveal his true character. Instead, I have suffered through 18 years more abuses and lies, unkept promises and secrets now I’m 55. Still married. Why? Many reasons but one that may resonate is that I believed he was acting out of character. After all, we had 10 calm years. Turns out, I saw who I wanted to see until reality became too real. He has not reverted to the guy I thought I married. Who he revealed himself to be is who he is. 19 years of believing time would heal yielded me THE SAME MAN. I had 3 small children but a career Bourne out of 6 years of college (Master’s), an on-site daycare, and an up and coming career.

              It doesn’t get better by staying. Don’t make my mistake.

        • I second!

          My FW is not a doctor, but he’s in a profession that similarly attracts (requires?) one to fall on the NPD spectrum.

          The traits that can make them great doctors, pilots, surgeons, lawyers, or CEOs are often in direct inverse proportion to qualities that make one a quality human being.

          • Funny how the very things that made them so attractive (responsible, professional, highly educated, and successful) turns out to be the very things that make them so dangerous.

            Sigh…

            • Yes! It’s almost like everything that is valued in society has a negative correlation with human value…

    • Exactly , word for word , what I said to my XW , 2 weeks after divorce when she came by and said I was the best friend she ever had , all sad faced. This after fucking another guy(s) for a year during our separation.

  • I can physicall feel the entitlement from here. That whole piece literally exudes entitlement with sad sausage mix. Slightly threatening as well. Do what I say or you are the bad person here. Is there one among us who didn’t get our own character flaws dredged up as a ‘reason why they cheated’? How very passe, the narrative has moved on. Be fucking accountable for your actions and grow the fuck up.

    Like you’d ever want to sleep with him again after reading that.

    • Brilliant UBT (thank you CL) but the letter gave me a bad case of the heebie jeebies. I began to short circuit about the same time as the UBT. Good thing so fucking funny! Threatening entitlement (exactly, Dudders) very hard to read after the red pill.

      This blog and the comments are the best antidote to gaslighting and abuse. CinChump, I hope CL’s translation and the chumps’ collective cry of ‘BS!’ helps you stay strong as you face this hard reality. It’s not you, it’s him. It has been all along, and things can (and will) only get worse. Trust us…

  • Why do all cheaters write such flowery long winded protestations?

    If he is sincere he will sign any post nup you ask for. But living with a proven liar sucks, if you decide to go that route. Single parenting is better than living with a back stabber imo.

    Cheating and lying are a form of domestic abuse.

    • Flowery, long-winded protestations indeed! I think that most cheaters like to hear themselves talk (or type). And they totally believe their own hype.

      I agree with LovedAJackass: the important thing to look for is how much the flowery word salad focuses on the cheater (I, I, me, and the very occasional we that is mostly royal) rather than on the pain of the chump and family. This kind of purple prose is often self-flagellating, but not really humble. Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse. I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole, not if you paid me a great sum!

    • I found with my exH that when he wrote long wordy responses/emails, it was 100% lies. It was like he was trying to write the script in his own head to narrate the situation that put him in the best light….and then sent it on to me.

      Move along with the divorce. You are worthy of so much more than this FW.

    • My ex-wife writes these kind of emails because she thinks she’s the smartest person in the room, as all narcissists think.

      • Yes! Just looking at this email reminded me to go back to one of MrWonderful’s emails where he blathered on and on. The whole time he was accusing me of imagining a relationship he was carrying on with OW, he was also writing to OW about how he could meet up with her and just lie and tell me he was gone off on a weekend guys’ trip. And this big, lengthy email he sent me was all going on about accusing me of not knowing what was “real” between us and how dare I threaten to leave after all he has done for me. So full of his own BS. It was teeming with how smart he thought he was. In hindsight, I can see how he was relishing accusing me of not having a grasp on how “real” our relationship was while he was faking out and keeping me in the dark the entire time. He was so much smarter than me. There is a big difference between being dumb and being chumped. Being lied to doesn’t make you stupid but he thought he was brilliant telling lie after lie and getting away with it. Such a disgusting swine.

  • OP please do not go back. I fell for the gaslighting and manipulation and believed my ex that i was at fault for everything and yknow what he did? He cheated on me again and placed the blame on be because i was losing my mind.

  • (I’m sorry, the UBT is having some sort of breakdown. Administering lebkuchen, stat.)

    Sputter. Wheeze.

    (The UBT can only go another sentence. The bullshit is too great.)

    The UBT can only handle so much. This isn’t a letter, it’s a hog lagoon.

    Holy fucking hell, CinChump – you have mad skills and a business, plus being the kick-ass Sane Parent to FIVE children and it sounds as though more than two teenagers at the same time. Gee, why wasn’t he half as tired as you at any point in the past 11 – 14 years (not certain when the older kids were adopted)?

    He used a lot of words to say, “Please don’t make me face consequences!”

    Let your lawyer make it very clear to him that yes, he will face consequences and that you and the kids are going to be better than okay without him under your roof.

    • Nothing says it better than a Judge who says “motion for final award and decree of divorce GRANTED.”

  • Do not take him back. Even if it makes you look like the person who didn’t want to “work” on the relationship. He’s the one that bailed. It is total hell to go through , but when you are going through hell keep going. You didn’t break him, you can’t fix him. He wants to rug sweep the whole thing. And the” see how remorseful I am , what an idiot” means please don’t take my money. Cut the contact, you need peace and to heal. Don’t eat the shit sandwich he wants you too. Your children are old enough to contact him if they need or want to. They need one stable sane parent which is you.

  • I can’t stay down here! I don’t want a headline that says, “Florida Man……”. Really, it was nothing. A little glitch in the overall sanctity of our marriage. Really. Those five kids. Pshaw! They won’t remember a thing after a while. And the other woman put out. So think about it but mums the word.

  • So familiar! My X spouted much the same after his first affair (right down to the “you didn’t make me feel special”s and the “this reconciliation will only work if you promise never to mention my affairs and make me feel bad”s) and I took him back. A year later he started up a new affair and left again. That time I wasn’t blindsided like before but dang it if I wasn’t still absolutely devastated all over again.

    Don’t fall for it. I did. Being a single mom is a million percent better than living like that.

    • We also had a brief separation where I thought he was showing true remorse and he asked that the affair never be used as a hammer against him. Which, sure, I don’t think it should be weaponized if you actually want to improve the marriage, but what most cheaters mean is that it should just be stricken from the record and never ever brought up when certain behaviors start pinging your radar.

      • Me too and also I wasn’t allowed to breath a word about it to anyone even though most of the people at his work knew and gossiped about it. No one. He was mad that I went to a therapist. I took him back after a similar conversation and he cheated again and again. It took me two and a half years and six times of hearing that same “apology” before I realized I was caught in the cycle of abuse and filed.

  • Wow, CinChump,

    My very own virile bison roaming the Western plains did almost the same shit to me and to our son. Sparkledick took flatterfuck on a F&S trip, BTW, son having mental health issues. And BTW, all this while I was away on a work trip and oblivious that I was such a bad wife.

    And after D day he wrote the same unimaginative appeal for the same reasons, that is, the wrong reasons. Except that he was a little bit more explicit about what the wrong reasons were because he thought the math of a divorce would convince me…. hahaha.

    But I know you can’t teach an old dog new tricks: how to save and not get into debt over stupid, futile things to show off. After three years he is still in debt and I hear he has a new girlfriend every other month.

    As CL says: they are only sorry about the con$equence$ and other consequences.

    All I ever got from sparkledick was “I made a mistake but you, Clearwaters, are this and that….”
    Go roam the Western plains….

    • Sparkledick and flatterfuck…. Hahahaha ha. Clearwaters you gave me a much needed laugh this morning.

  • Lordy, lordy. Share the written (!) communication with the best lawyer in town. See CL archives for what to do right away.

    Consider requesting very best settlement agreement possible and – if YOU are so inclined – offer it as a post nup. I think you are in the fleeting “two business card” opportunity – if YOU want. All communication goes through lawyers and therapists. No couples counseling.

    Evaluate your marriage from the stronger position of minimal contact. There’s no downside, because it offers some emotional protection for you and demands your children’s father demonstrate his commitment with actions.

    And, be prepared for the most likely outcome.

  • What hits me hardest here (because I’ve lived it), and I’m paraphrasing:

    “I have faults but you do too — really you’re no better or worse than me, and I’m no better or worse than you. If you can accept your role in this, we can move forward, as long as you don’t hold this transgression over my head for the rest of my life.”

    There’s a shit-ton to unpack here — it’s like a greatest hits album of every manipulation trick in the cheater playbook.

    • YES! I saw that, too. After all of his horrible actions, Mr. BadDaddy CheaterPants put an awful lot of the blame on CinChump. There is absolutely nothing to work with here.

      And, frankly, I suspect this fake remorse was because his mistress dumped him for being too “emotional” and “abrasive.” My ex and his mistress broke up and made up half a dozen times during our divorce. He thought I would take him back, too. Idiot.

      • I was thinking it was because it turned out the affair partner wasn’t into the kinky sex he was hoping for. Hence the dwelling on his sexual frustration.

  • Mine was a “deeply flawed human” too. And his million mistakes from that one mistake? Um guess he never thought I’d find out about the prostitutes…. Run. I know it’s scary. I’m almost 3 years out from d-day and over 2 years from kicking him out. (Yesterday was my 30th anniversary of our first date).I’m in such a better place. I have three friends who stayed. All of them still don’t 100% trust their husbands (over 10 years later) and still have anger issues about it. One looks miserable but won’t admit it. Yours sounds like mine. Get out. Hugs to you and your 5 children. You’ll be ok.

    • Mine was also “deeply flawed,” and bragged about other women hitting on him (from experience, I think that means he has cheated before). There is no going back from betrayal like this. And a better life ahead, even though it does not feel like it right now.

      • I, too, get the sense that this affair might be one in a long line. Based on what this man did to your family, what he said when you were pregnant, the deep character flaws exposed in the letter and UBT – I would be surprised if he’s not hiding years and layers of secrets. It’s not what he did, it’s who he is. Even if you can forgive the past (or at least the version he’s feeding you), can you accept him for who he is? What matters most to you in a human, and does he have it? Sounds miserable in the present, and it’s a pretty safe bet he’ll only get worse. It WILL happen again. And again. “Push/pull” isn’t this innocuous, treatable relationship dynamic; it’s a manipulative tactic employed by abusers. The more trauma you stay through, the harder it will be to recover.

        That letter struck too close to home. (Pore over the CL archives! It really is such a sad and scary cliche. Don’t buy it.) I was blindsided by my ex’s double life. He made it seem like a meaningless little affair that was a big mistake, but after two years of torture after that first “confession,” I learned it was at least seven years of cheating abuse. All of it was hell, but the cycles I went through after learning of the affair really did push me to the edge. Post-nup is better than nothing and will insure against some financial harm, but it won’t protect you or your family from the emotional/psychological damage you’ll incur if you stay. Does it matter if a cheater says, or even believes in the moment, he is committed to something? Isn’t marriage commitment? He breaks promises. He acts on selfish flights of fancy. He’s not trustworthy or reliable.

    • I agree. I’m one of those who stayed, and I wish every day that I had left my cheater when I was still young. You will never get over the betrayal, and eventually you will wish that you had never “won” him back. (And my cheater never left me and never claimed to love or want the OW at all. He never vacationed with her or respected her.) I still lost all respect for him, forever. I’m now trapped and miserable.

      • Right. Maybe you bought the reconciliation Kool Aid or whatever but it ends up feeling like day in, day out misery and disappointment. You are aware he is a FW, can’t be trusted, and somehow you are to blame. You walk on pins and needles, waiting for the other shoe to drop… again. It doesn’t get better because he never took responsibility for your pain to begin with. His marriage was “troubled” (by an erection for anyone who bothered to shower that day) and you won’t magically erase the whole incident or incidents from your mind. As though he had only forgotten to take out the garbage. There is ZERO recognition of the pain cause when they jump in bed with others. There is only blame shifting.

        It’s never too late to get out. Doing so is triumph. Be mighty. Get a life.

        • I read a book that talked about Trauma. It says that there are three types of trauma: 1) from a natural disaster (tornado, earthquake etc), 2) from something man-made but not intentional (car accident, act of war, etc), 3) from something man-made yet intentional. For the first two, after the trauma the victim is brought to a safe-haven – red cross, hospital, whatever to recover from the trauma. To have time to heal and accept what had happened. For the the third, especially if the trauma comes from a love one by betrayal and the victim stays, there is no safe haven. There is no opportunity to be distant from the trauma, to heal, to accept and to move on. In a since, the victim continues to be in the trauma.

          • Wow. This is something for all of us to think about.

            And in the case of people who were traumatized as children by their parents, it would be horribly familiar to just stay.

            • You are so right. My parents’ marriage was abusive and my father also terrorized all of us kids. It’s uncanny and sad how often we end up marrying spouses who – at first – seem like the opposite of our cruel parents, but eventually show their true colors. It hits us out of nowhere. We become numb to getting the rug pulled out from under us (eventually). It’s a sad way to live.

              The reconciliation books tout this myth: “many victims of affairs make their marriage work through hard work. Many affair-tainted marriages survive”.

              I hate the word “survive”. Yes technically I am still married to the person who destroyed me. I am technically alive. Is that what we are supposed to celebrate? That the Giver in a marriage will show a supernatural ability to Give all of their lives while the Taker will be allowed to take and take with no consequences? To me, marriage is now a vile word. But the reconciliation industry would claim my marriage is a success just because we didn’t divorce.

              • Yes. People are considered as equal, as for the outside it’s not visible who is the taker and who is the giver. The people that judge divorces have either been lucky enough to never live this kind of abuse themselves, or they are part of the entitled population I gues…

                Psychology/emotional intelligence should be part of our school curriculum, but like you I feel like childhood trauma is always coming back to me. I try to look for an attentive, caring partner and just when I think I’m “safe”, the bad surprise comes up.

        • The problem isn’t the cheating, it’s the coldness and total disregard that allows them to do it. Bravo, well said.

          • Yes indeed. Cheating is obviously horrible, but even without cheating there can be abuse. Living with a narcissistic partner is already traumatizing enough.

  • It all comes down to- good Chumps are hard to find!
    He realized that CinChump is putting up with more of his shit than the average, so oops!! he’d better reel her back in. Also, that divorce settlement, as the UBT said!
    How I love to see these self-absorbed cheaters get their consequences! Please give this guy what he has earned, a divorce, and some therapy for you, and all the kids!

  • Dear CinChump:

    I hope you do not take him back. The message he sent wasn’t an apology. He didn’t own one single bit of his actions. He’s not sorry for cheating on you. He’s not sorry for saying those things he said. And worse, he’s trying to offload the blame for HIS actions onto you.

    It’s not that he cheated. It’s that he’s sexually frustrated. You don’t like sex. What’s a man going to do?

    Of course, a lot of the Chump dads would step in here right now and say that a man would spend more time watching the children, carving out time for his wife to have downtime between raising children and working on her pediatric dentistry specialization (and go you! It’s so important to have dentists who are set up for children’s mouths and trained in children’s needs). There’s nothing so damaging to one’s sex drive as being exhausted. He needed to up his game, especially since you have 5 children!

    When he talks about his sexual needs, what he’s really telling you is that he wants to fuck anything with the right chromosome arrangement. When he says, “ I definitely feel the weight of my sexual desires and these have bubbled to the surface on several occasions during our marriage, ” he is telling you that he’s cheated before. The difference is that this time, you knew about it.

    Dollars to doughnuts he did the math and discovered just how much it would cost him to divorce you and take up with Schmoopie. He didn’t like the numbers. The only recourse is to do a faux reconciliation with you.

    Get a kick-ass lawyer with experience dealing with narcs and contentious divorces. Show him that there are consequences and that you and the children are not Plan B.

    You are right. Something happened during that Floridian week of sexual blis

    • So right. Shout it from the rooftops:

      “When he says, “ I definitely feel the weight of my sexual desires and these have bubbled to the surface on several occasions during our marriage, ” he is telling you that he’s cheated before.”

      It’s not just this affair, there have been “several.” With the detached way he phrases “sexual desires” I would stake real money that this guy has seen sex workers.

    • I reread the email and he never once wrote out the words “I’m sorry.”

      He wrote excuses, he wrote what he wants, he wrote his “terms and conditions” for keeping the marriage together, but the word “sorry” does not appear in any part of this column.

      This is not an apology because he isn’t sorry, he just realized that he bet on the wrong partner and doesn’t want to pay for his gamble.

      Get out of there.

      • Amen Missy! He wrote excuses and about what he wants. My FW wrote similar texts all in an effort to get me hooked into his BS again. After spending a lot of time here with CN and reading up on covert narcissism, I was able to see these types of communication for what they are – narcissistic manipulation.
        I have 5 kids too, similar ages. It’s really hard going it alone, but in order to begin to heal from the trauma of the abuse involved in infidelity, I have to be no contact as much as possible. The more he is not in my life the more my body and soul heal. If I give him an inch he takes a mile and the manipulation similar to your letter begins again. CUT HIM OFF. It’s the BEST thing I’ve done to promote my healing.

      • My FW father has said “I know I was a bad husband and father” and all sorts of similar workarounds for an actual apology. But he has yet to apologize. Like an actual, real, remorseful atonement and apology and request for forgiveness. He just can’t do it. He is absolutely incapable of taking that step. I have given him a number of chances. He just dances around it…

        • “Nothing says ‘I’m sorry’ like money”
          from Boardwalk Empire
          A check with lots of zeros

    • Yup, that “bubbled to the surface” line absolutely says he has been cheating on you for years. Is OW’s ex also a doctor? Wanna bet OP and her ex know who at least some of the affair partners are?

  • Ah, the reek of fuckwit entitlement. I can smell it from here. And that letter ….taken directly from the Cheater’s Handbook. In other words …….don’t believe my actions, believe what I tell you because I have so little respect for you that I just know that you are going to swallow my bullshit hook, line and sinker. Also it suddenly dawned on me that I am not going to get off scott free in all of this and I really don’t like that idea.

    Girlfriend, go get yourself the best pitbull lawyer you can find, after interviewing all the best lawyers in town so he can’t hire them. Let the lawyers do the talking.

    He isn’t even remotely sorry for anything, he just wants to avoid the consequences of his betrayal of you and his children. You have nothing to work with there. Sending you great big hugs.

  • I best he’s been pushing you around for years. Using his fast jump to conclusions to over talk you for years. All that I’ve got strong desires talk sounds like code for ‘I never got emotionally involved with my occasional fucks at work before and now I remember why’. And beyond that, his father is willing to let him use the beach house for his follies.. Anyway, he requires a lot of heavy lifting and aren’t you just tired of that extra child you need to corral all the time? You’ve got brains, youth, looks and a fab career that will take you and the children happily into the future. Go be free of doctor toxicity. Hugs. Get every dime, too.

    • He has been using his words on me for years. I started to walk away because I couldn’t handle them over the last couple of years. Then, he changed his phrasing and said that I didn’t want to hear his side. But, what he really meant was you aren’t agreeing with me and if you would just be as smart as me, you would understand. So, I’m going to make you listen to me until I’m done educating you out of your ignorance. It felt like abuse because I couldn’t get away from it. Asking him to stop didn’t work. Walking away didn’t work. Nothing worked except for me to just agree with him. He is VERY convinced of his own intelligence.

  • I am reading this and the whole time I am thinking “Bulls**t!” He did not blow up his family just because of a five day vacation. This affair has been going on for awhile.

    He’s an anesthesiologist; I have worked in several hospital systems large and small and they all have 1 thing in common: the OR is it’s own Peyton Place. The schoompie now was likely not the first. Anesthesiologists notoriously live “on the edge” lifestyles and have the highest rate of drug and alcohol abuse among all medical professionals.

    She is sooo much better off without him. Enjoy your kids and your lucrative (I hope)dental practice.

  • I’d like to make several observations, based on my hard-earned eye for these situations.

    First, the timing. You just finished your education and opened your practice. He’s been considering this for ages, but didn’t want to pay as much support as he would have to before you were independently earning nice income.

    Second, he didn’t just meet and fall for this woman on this trip. He is apparently good enough friends with her ex-husband to go on trips with him, and she’s the mother of your youngest’s best friend, so he’s known her for some time. Who knows what kind of embroilment they’ve had, and for how long.

    Third, there was no motivation for him to avoid this woman because she’s the mother of your child’s best friend. If anything, that was part of the attraction, that one of his children already approved of her, and would welcome being stepbrother to his friend. He goes into this situation with one of his children on his side.

    Fourth, he’s been ambivalent about being married to you since AT LEAST your pregnancy. You didn’t say if it was your first or your second, and I’m not sure about the ages of your adopted children, but that means he hasn’t been “all-in” on your marriage for over a decade, at the very least. He just didn’t do anything about it.

    Fifth, that means he’s the type of man who monkey-branches. He won’t leave your marriage until he has another relationship lined up and ready to receive him.

    Sixth, that means he was ready to leave your marriage for this woman, except that it seems like he misunderstood her readiness to catch him. On this trip with her, he claims to have come to his senses and dumped her, but it’s far more likely that she told him she didn’t want anything serious.

    Seventh, his long email is just trying to overwhelm you into capitulation. He’s throwing all the remorseful-sounding things he can think of at you in the hopes that one of them will resonate with you and stick. Some of it may very well be true, because the best lies have an element of truth, but he doesn’t internalize them.

    Eighth, his long email is a cunning way of making you share the blame for his actions. Yes, you were both in the same flawed marriage. But he’s the one that tried to get out of it with cheating. That’s all him. That’s who he is. Someone who solves problems by ignoring them until an opportunity to escape them comes along.

    Ninth, he’s guilting you by bringing the kids into it. Oh, the kids need to be in an intact family. If you don’t take him back, it will be YOUR fault they aren’t! And if you do take him back and it doesn’t go well, it’s YOUR fault for not being able to trust him! See how it’s your fault no matter what you do?

    Tenth, he’s doing his best to give the appearance of being the man you thought you married. But now that you know the truth, he can’t pull the curtain over it again. You know that he’s been a pod person all along. He expects you to go back to believing he’s the good twin, not the evil twin. He doesn’t have your back, and never did. But the truth is that he isn’t the man you thought you married, and never was. He just looks like him.

    And eleventh, not an observation on his specific letter but on your situation. Yes, you are miserable! It’s normal to be reeling when your world has fallen apart, and your children have been taken away from you half the time. Your head is spinning because you have taken a terrible blow to your personality and life.

    Cheating destroys many things. It destroys the future you thought you would have. It destroys the present because you are enduring hell. It destroys the past because you look back on everything and wonder what it really meant, what the truth was, what you could have had if you had chosen better. And worst of all, it destroys your sense of self, because how could you not have seen? You doubt your judgment, doubt your ability to understand people, doubt your ability to sense people’s character, doubt your lovability, doubt your worth, all those things.

    The future is okay – you will build a new and better one, because it won’t have this jerk in it anymore. You will model resilience to your children and teach them not to take any shit from assholes. I suspect you will end up with better, stronger bonds to them than their father, because you are the type to bond and he isn’t.

    The present is hell, yes, but it is temporary and you will make it through. Take things one step at a time, one day, one hour. Look after your needs, eat, sleep, etc, and seek support from people who do have your back.

    The past is retroactively different yes. You will always look back, and see old events in a new light. But YOU were always caring throughout it.

    Your sense of self will be fine. All your wonderful qualities are exactly what let your ex get away with being who he was. YOU were a loyal, trusting, dedicated person. It was just wasted on someone who couldn’t appreciate it, who probably picked you in the first place because he found you useful to him. And you will come out of this with greater understanding of yourself, and of people like your ex, so you can avoid them in future.

    • Yes, everything this person wrote above is 💯 percent true. Please find a good lawyer and leave him. Document everything, including his letter. Notice that in this letter, he never even bothers trying to flatter you by calling you beautiful or the best mother in the world. Even the worst snakes at least try to seduce you with compliments after they are caught. He’s not even trying. He actually wants to divorce you but he wants YOU to bear the blame for leaving him. He is malicious and ruthless.

    • Excellent analysis and advice, HopefulCynic! So many smart points!

      If we sum up what you have here it is merely an admission that: he has been cheating, he blames your lower sex drive (his analysis, probably not an accurate one) for his cheating, and he’ll give you the “benefit” of his continued presence only if you promise never to bring up cheating again (so, he’ll be able to keep cheating).

  • What a setup. If you take him back, he’s got it all in writing to justify his next affair: “I tOld yOu I waS a vErY SeXuaL pErSon” and if you don’t take him back, he’s the one who “tried to make it work” but you weren’t willing.

    When you get some distance you’ll probably realize he’s been mouse-trapping you like this in every argument you’ve had for years. The only way to get free is to go no contact. He fired you as “his person” when he cheated on you, abandoned you, and publicly humiliated you. You owe him less than nothing.

  • I understand that men and woman have biological differences, and these differences are probably linked to our primitive genetic urges to propagate the species, and do what’s needed for the species to survive. That stuff is primal, and all the creatures of the world have their own program to follow. But, I get so tired of listening to men drone on about their insatiable desire for sex. I know all men don’t talk or think this way, but it is such a standard drone in our cultural reality, that I have to say, as a woman, I get tired of hearing it.

    If the playing field was ever equal, which it isn’t, my feeling is that both men and woman have a sex drive that varies with whatever else is going on in their lives. I think men get tired from work, too, and have stress, and discover at some point after puberty that all problems are not solved by a quick wank. Women have extra concerns since they get pregnant, and still do the majority of child care and household duties in our culture. We still get paid less than men, so we have to carry on without as much money if we are single mothers. Men can use their extra money and limited responsibility to be Fun Dad. All these factors have an effect on sexual desire.

    I enjoyed sex and the courting ritual. It was fun. When I married, things changed. Life wasn’t nearly as much fun, because I worked every day toward OUR goals as a couple, and still did the second job of housekeeper/cook when I got home. Once we had children, my work increased to add nanny jobs to my day. His life changed very little. He could still drink, and play tennis, and go on business trips, and I could “handle things” because I was so “good at it”. He could even “help out” every now and then.

    I am sorry if men do not understand that exhaustion and resentment lower women’s sexual desire for them. It was also his life, his wife, his children, his commitment. In addition, there was no “fun”, no courting, no thinking abut my needs. All that stuff was for “kids”. I just needed to take care of his needs, even when he developed ED, I should just provide him comfort. Very romantic. I should have no needs, myself. I am just very useful.

    If men want women to feel more sexual about them, especially after marriage and children , then make women feel more like a partner and less like a servant. Share the workload. Talk to us, romance us, be considerate of our needs. See things that need to be done, and do them. Don’t stand around waiting for praise because you took out the trash. Make us feel loved, and you will be loved. Let us go to bed when we still have some energy, not at the point of total exhaustion.

    Even when you are young and single, and unencumbered you don’t just look at a potential partner and use the NIKE “Just Do It” approach. Show a little empathy, a little consideration, a little communication, a little tenderness. You would be amazed how sexy that is to a woman.

    If you think all of this is too much work, and it is easier to find a new woman to use as a sex outlet, don’t expect the wife to just ignore that. You need to be divorced. You need to face consequences for your decision. Everything has a cost. If you are not willing to do your part, then don’t marry, don’t have children, don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep. Stop lying to everyone, including yourself. That look is not very sexy, but at least it’s honest. Your choice.

    • PREACH!!!!!!!!

      My ex-husband was a man-child who didn’t do anything. Take out the garbage? Nope. Clean up after the dogs? Nope. Build that dog-run you promised when you wanted to get a second dog? Nope. Walk the dogs? Nope. Cook? Nope. Grocery-shop? Nope. Clean the house? Nope. Fold laundry? Nope.

      Here’s what he did do: play golf, go kayaking, play video games, go out drinking with his friends, come home and expect me to have sex with him, molest me in the middle of the night, probably have affairs, buy shit without telling me, don’t pay taxes like you said you did, and on and on and on.

      As I type this, current AMAZING husband is vacuuming the floor after making a grocery list.

      Fuck these man-boy-children. Fuckers.

      Oh, booo hoooo, “wifey doesn’t want to have sex with me” (or do what I want like a threesome or anal or whatever). Do you know why wifey doesn’t want to have sex with you? Because you are like a child and what grown woman wants to have sex with an irresponsible fuckwit? Plus she’s exhausted from holding everything together while you go off and play like the spoiled brat that you are!

      • Portia / B&L – Thank You for putting that shit in words. I went through the same crap and actually started thinking there was something wrong with my libido. Turns out there’s nothing wrong here. I like sex too. I just don’t like it when I’m exhausted and aching and dirty and barely able to make it up the stairs. Because I cooked dinner and cleaned the house and bathed the kids and put them to bed while you were watching TV. And spreading my legs so that you can hop on and get off in, like, 15 minutes is just another chore on my long list of things to do. Sometimes I really hate men. Talk about entitlement.

    • As Cloud and Townsend wrote in their book “Boundaries with Teens” adulting is comprised of several responsibilities. Work and career, household maintenance, parenting and managing finances. Doing all of these things without whining.

    • Thanks for writing this, Portia. I’m saving it. Your chump-centric framing is a welcome change from all the narratives that revolve around the cheater (which I am still, far too often, guilty of perpetuating). And in the cases of female chump/male cheater, the patriarchy is the elephant in the room.

      Have you ever heard of Emily Nagoski? Wrote “Come As You Are” and “Burnout.” She doesn’t generalize or stereotype sex drive by gender; rather, she studies the effects of environmental and internal brakes and accelerators on sex drive and intimacy. Sex/gender do factor into this. It’s an interesting perspective that ties in to some of what you shared. (Disclaimer: I haven’t reread any of her work since leaving cheater/gaining CL, so could be off…)

    • Thanks for writing this, Portia. I’m saving it. Your chump-centric framing is a welcome change from all the narratives that revolve around the cheater (which I am still, far too often, guilty of perpetuating). And in the cases of female chump/male cheater, the patriarchy is the elephant in the room.

      Have you ever heard of Emily Nagoski? Wrote “Come As You Are” and “Burnout.” She studies the effects of environmental and internal brakes and accelerators on sex drive and intimacy. It’s an interesting perspective that ties in to some of what you shared. (Disclaimer: I haven’t reread any of her work since leaving cheater/gaining CL, so could be off…)

    • Thank you. I had six children youngest and oldest 18 years apart, and 8 miscarriages. I was so exhausted during some of those years because I did the bulk of all the household work and raising the kids. He liked to play with the kids but didn’t like the not fun things. I wasn’t very sexual during many years and especially during peri-menopause and also I found out I was growing cancer in my body. And that’s when he went and found a married woman 20 years younger who’d meet him in hotel rooms and couldn’t get enough sex. 27 years of marriage and six kids and I had no heads up about how unhappy he was or even a request to go to marriage counseling.

  • Oh fuck this guy and his explanations. He can fuck right off. CinChump, you are smart, capable and your life will be so much better without this hobag fucker. He sucks so much. Do not subject yourself or those kids to this fuckery anymore.

    Get a Super Lawyer. Get an STI panel. Make a plan and ditch this fucker. I hate him for you and hate his pretentious letter. I suggest you print that out and then burn it to relieve your pain.

    I know you are hurting. Pain is temporary and getting this fuck gone is the first step to relieving that pain. He is the rot in your life, extract him.

    • He is the rot in your life

      That is an accurate statement.
      I spackled over the rot for years.

      Why did I do it? Because I did not want to accept what it meant because what it meant was change that I didn’t know to handle.

      And I was so busy making excuses for why he behaved like an adult toddler that I could not see that it was because he was an adult toddler and therefore unwilling to make the sacrifices needed for a successful marriage and family.

      Nothing to work with. Except rot. And what do you do when you’re working with right? You cut it out.

    • Hear, hear!

      I hate him for her as well!
      What a joker… As I always say when they realise the cleaning doesn’t do itself, child care, play dates etc cooking, practice for the kids etc doesn’t do itself… Then they hurry up to get it back..

      So, if you want to get back to runing project family while he fucks other women.. Why not!

  • A compendium of all the tricks in the book and a revelation of every character flaw a cheater possesses.

    One, they didn’t start that affair on that trip. He never would have been on that trip if they hadn’t already been fucking.

    Two, I know single parenting is hard, and it looks from the end of your letter that you’re considering his “offer” because it is so hard. But while single parenting is hard, and 50/50 custody makes you eat the shit sandwich of not seeing your kids half the time, parenting with this fuckwit, especially one who could write this entitled drivel (“Wah! You aren’t responding to what I want! So now I have to write a letter that makes it look as if I admit flaws.) and make such outrageous demands (“Never bring up my cheating!”) while insulting you (“You just aren’t as sexual as I am.”) would only increase your stress. I bet if you think back, you’ll see that you were essentially a single mother anyway, because you carried it all, and took it all upon yourself, starting with putting his degree and residency before your own career.

    You are a mighty badass. You didn’t crumble when at 8 1/2 months pregnant he hit you with the “maybe I want a divorce to go play the field.” You got your DDS not as a fancy free single and childless 20-something but as a mature student parenting five children and taking on more than 50% of the domestic burden, and have made moves to start your own practice. Don’t crumble under this assault of false remorse and coded insults and demands. He will only drag you down and make your life miserable.

  • CinChump,
    The MIGHTY is strong in you. Stay the course of your freedom from this entitled wank. He is such a tired cliché. You are a superhero. Go as No Contact as you can to give yourself strong boundaries around your psychic space.
    And, as CN is so wise to advise, be sure to get tested for ALL the STIs. Dr Doom has been at it for a long, long time.

  • Same BS different cheater. Just puts the blame right back on us as the ones not willing to forgive and move on like no big deal. Triggered me a bit as it is literally same message different words after I tossed cheater ex out on DDay 1. Paraphrasing a similarly long email email worthy of the UBT “ please forgive me, but you aren’t perfect either, and if we do make it it will be because if your strength, if we don’t make it will be because my mistake”. Entitlement galore – he “just wanted to feel loved”. 9 years out and Cheater ex now divorced from third wife due to cheating, prostitutes, same ol same ol and onto next victim who is currently live in girlfriend. Kids want nothing to do with him for the most part, but of course this must be my fault somehow rather than 4 kids, ages 16-23 just realizing with time and their own experiences who he really is. Run away the first time – so glad I did!

  • What happened in Florida is that he awoke sweating and anxious from a dream. His dream was mixed with stories of his MD compatriots who got divorced. Ones who had all their dirty little secrets exposed in courtrooms- cheating with vengeful co-workers, financial shenanigans in their practice and phoney tax filings. “Oh why did I go public with this piece of ass when I kept it out of the spotlight before?”
    The smart move would have been to unconditionally thrown himself on his sword and taken the blame until the heat was off and only then find another plaything. But his fuckwit ego got in his way.

  • One thing I thought reading Hopeful Cynic’s post is that right now he’s got 50% custody of 4 (maybe 5) children and I’d bet dollars to doughnuts he doesn’t like that workload. Why don’t you just let him back so you can do all the hard work with the kids, he won’t have to split his assets and pay child support and he can go on fucking around behind your back just like before. Please dump him. You’re in a much better position than so many because you have a good job. Hugs to you honey!

    • Excellent point. I have a friend with 4 kids who divorced her doctor husband in a similar situation. She never rarely got as much as a weekend off because her EX only took all 4 kids for a week in the summer (when he took them to his parent’s home). He couldn’t manage to get several kids to sports events or pick up one from a slumber party and get another to a school event, etc. He took the kids who weren’t busy on the weekends and left her to manage the ones who needed a chauffeur, chaperone, or support. It sucked. But her kids (last one enters college next fall), all have no doubts about who their only parent is.

      Divorce him, but don’t expect 50/50 custody to last. So, get a very good lawyer and ask them to write your support agreement to reflect what actually transpires not what he wants to imagine will transpire.

  • I call BS.
    I can smell the insincerity from here.
    He has a character flaw, evidenced not only by his fling but also by this letter, which is filled with blameshifting and GINR.

    I don’t even have to climb out on a limb to predict that he’ll drop you as soon as another woman comes along. And he’ll do it not because there’s something wrong with you (don’t let him put that shit on you) but because there’s something wrong with him, namely a HUGE sense of entitlement and a wandering dick.

    Sorry you’re going through this. It sucks. He sucks. CN supports you! Good luck.

  • “I imagine you are sexual to a degree.”

    What the hell kind of a thing is that to say to your WIFE?

    “I’m a very sexual person, I imagine you are sexual to a degree.” Is the most bullshit, backhanded insult, load of word-salad snobbery in this email.

    It’s not even 10 am where I am and this…just…good god…

    • Kara,
      “I’m a very sexual person, I imagine you are sexual to a degree.” Is the most bullshit, backhanded insult, load of word-salad snobbery in this email.

      Agree! God, it’s so cruel!

  • Congratulations!
    You have separated! You did the hard thing already! Great job.

    A new life isn’t easy. If it was, it wouldn’t be worth it.
    Get your lawyer working on that divorce. Make sure you get you fair share of EVERYTHING.
    Stop taking to your ex. He is no longer your friend. He is someone who abused and injured you for his own selfish interests. Never forget that.

    Pause and think about how to make this new life better for yourself. Do you need help at home? Hire a cleaner or a nanny. Get a good therapist. Cry on your friends shoulders. Find other divorced women and have coffee. They make the very best friends. They understand the pain and grief that comes with losing what you thought was a happy family and long term plans. But they also know that there is freedom and joy.

    Embrace your new job. Find some hobbies. Indulge in painting classes, etc. Take up yoga.

    Don’t look back.

    I assume you have had sti tests. If not,do it. It is vital for your own health, and it is a very shitty experience that will remind you your ex risked your health and well-being for is own pleasure.

    He is not a good person.

  • Leave. You have a career. He bubbling sex drive shows he had affairs, or at the meat emotional affairs in the past. My ex, a dr, did some similar things. Internship year he asked out a nurse—who also worked as a stripper—that was dating a mutual friend/intern. On our 4th anniversary he decided to come clean, telling me why we no longer hung out with the other couple and how he just wanted to get to know her. I pick me danced, to the point of breast augmentation, and became a master at spackler Last year if his residency, he spent a mystery night somewhere. I still have no clue where he was or what he did. He asked for a divorce. I begged (I was almost 30 and desperately wanted children). He agreed to stay. I was so naive, stupid. Fast forward 21 years, and he cheated with a hooker—that he continues to see, even at his medical office. I filed after he write a letter to me and our kids that was almost exactly like the one above—don’t speak of the transgression, we are all human and sexual beings, don’t question his whereabouts (working late? No questions!). I filed six months ago. He has seen our children less than an hour in that time, is trying his hardest to leave me destitute, and has out the blame solely on me. He’s dead inside—I see that now. A husk of a human, believing he’s entitled to whatever he wants—even telling our young adult children that they will have a great relationship (hey bro, let’s go out drinking and to strip clubs… I’m the cool dad who has all of the money. Who cares if I betrayed your mother, I’m trying to force her into homelessness.)

    • OMG! What a terrible man! That you filed for divorce is great. I hope you can channel your anger to get a good settlement and that you have a pitbull for a lawyer. Screw the bastard. He shouldn’t be able to impoverish you.

      Oh, and I suspect that your kids can see that their dad is skeevy.

      Good luck! ((hugs))

  • 6 years out from Dday, 4 from divorce and my perspective is that divorced life as a professional woman lawyer (and mother of 4) is fantastic. 10 million times better than the life I had where I was the marriage police, spent my days and nights pick me dancing, had to have routine STI checks, was forced to listen to lies, blameshifting, and be subjected to other DARVO abuse in my 25 year marriage. Leave a cheater and gain a life!

    Push your divorce lawyer to get it done as quickly as possible. Stay no contact. You won’t believe you ever thought about willingly subjecting yourself to another round of abuse.

  • CinChump,

    I’d bet my retirement pay that this is NOT his first affair. It’s just the first one you know about. What else could this possibly mean: “…I definitely feel the weight of my sexual desires and these have bubbled to the surface on several occasions during our marriage”? Take this statement along with your own observation that when you were nearly ready to deliver a baby, he told you that “other women flirt with him because he’s a doctor and he’s not sure he wants to be married because there are ‘other girls who are interested in him since he’s a doctor.'” What kind of man says this to his wife who is about to have his baby? A man who lacks empathy. A man who doesn’t have your best interest in mind. A man who can casually break your heart as you are about to do the most physically difficult thing any human can do. This is the same kind of man who can go on a camping trip with his son and the son’s BF and the have an affair with the mother of the BF. This is truly fucked up. He calls his sex drive a “failing.” Please pay attention to that as he is really telling you that his character is so weak that he can’t control himself sexually.

    I also don’t think the timing here is accidental. He waited until you had finished your dental residency and set up a practice. He could tell himself that you had sufficient education and potential income so that he could leave you, perhaps with thoughts that child support would be lower as a result. Or maybe he figured on Schmoopie’s income and child support picking up the slack. The other possibility is that his fragile ego can’t stand having another high-level medical professional in the family. It might also be that both of these things are true.

    My final response to his communication is that it’s full of I, I, I, I, I, I. He never asks you what YOU want or asks how his actions have hurt you. He never mentions the kids in any meaningful way. He mentions Schmoopie 3 times in the long email but all he says about the kids is “we can raise the kids and mutually enjoy our lives.” The text is full of “what I want” and “what I don’t want.” This man is monstrously selfish.

    You’ve only been dealing with this affair for 6 months, at a time when you are starting a dentistry practice and in the middle of a pandemic. So of course this situation, including the 50/50 custody, is miserable. I think you’ve already said the right thing to this jackass. How could you ever trust him again if he can’t take a kiddo on a camping trip without starting up an affair? How can you trust him if he breaks his plans to go away with you to leave the kids with you and take Schmoopie to the beach? Really, there is no way to unknow what he is and what he’s capable of.

    Here’s what I would say to him, via email: You say you are “deeply flawed” and you’re “broken and you need to be fixed.” That should be your focus for now, as well as learning to be a good single parent.

    I hope you have a really good lawyer. I hope your custody, although 50/50, has some favorable elements for you and your kids. And I hope you can start focusing on your own life because you can do a lot better than this guy, who makes your marriage sound miserable, who assumes you share his assessment of that, even though you had 2 kids together and adopted 3 more. Who was that guy? A body double? Focus on your new practice. Focus on getting a good settlement. If you have ANY temptation to go back to him, do two things: 1) HIRE A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR FIRST. 2) Go through the family financials to see if there are indications this isn’t the first affair. Do you know where all the money goes?

    You’ve done the hard part, which is separating. Forge on, as one of our beloved community always says. Get your own life in order. Figure out who you are without a whiny, uncommunicative, abrasive (I hear “abusive” at that point), dissatisfied and unfaithful man being the center of your attention.

    He says: “I don’t deserve your forgiveness but if you are willing to give me another chance I will try to earn it.” So he wants FORGIVENESS FIRST and he will TRY to earn it later. That’s exactly backwards: he should earn the chance first. And that would take major change in him, changes in character and his sense of entitlement and his values. That would take YEARS. And maybe then he would become a person worth partnering with.

  • He cheats on you and leaves you for his shiny new AP and then has the gall to text “But I am also a deeply flawed person who has been committed to you and to our relationship even when things weren’t easy.”

    Clearly he lacks the ability to understand the meaning of “committed to you and to our relationship”.

  • Holy fuckballs, Batman. This is so exasperating, I cannot even verbalize what I am feeling, other than to say Dr. Cheaterpants went from zero to one hundred, ending with pre-blaming CinChump for the unforgivable transgression of holding a grudge in the future for his egregious behavior. “I’ll let you have me back as long as you never make me feel bad about this” is not how you gain someone’s trust. My ex’s famous line “I’ll be an advocate for you if you’d just let me” comes to mind. Run, don’t walk.

    • Yeah, cheater basically gave her an ultimatum. Never speak about my cheating and being a total cruel asshole again or reconciliation is off the table. Cinchump should not trust this cheater’s motives for wanting to get back together. Maybe the week in FLA with Miss Floozie didn’t work out but I’m thinking the doctor had a conversation with his lawyer and that scared the bejesus out of him.

  • Mine took off and then was vague about why he went so far. He wanted to patch things up after, all. Eventually he said I had to move there without knowing much at all about how he had spent his time in the last year. He never did go to therapy like he promised, and his family dug deep into every area of our relationship and found me at fault. His family talked with him on the phone, saw him a few times a year, and really didn’t talk to me much at all after he left. They were the experts though. I never did see much from them at all about holding him accountable for our last years together and the mess he left behind either. It was all about me living with him again, period.

    So he kicked off the divorce. My attorney kept saying “I smell another woman!” I refused to pay my hard earned money to find out and just wanted out. Late in the divorce process, I was so very fed up with all of the games and manipulation he tried. So that’s what I would have gotten if we had reconciled. More games and manipulation. Count me out, please.

    Mine are older, but being a single parent isn’t easy of course. But my life is low-drama now…

  • On a “father/son” trip.
    Uh huh. Right.
    Where he happens to meet the ex wife of the friend.
    I call bullsh*t.

    Here’s my letter back.
    Dear Dr. Florida,
    Thanks for verifying your extreme selfishness and the pain you caused me and our children
    .
    It’s obvious to me that you are not the man, husband or father you presented yourself to be.

    Your dismissal of your egregious behavior and self absorption by refusing to be accountable and demanding that I also forget about how you callously discarded me and our children is breathtaking. This does not bode well for a successful attempt to recover our marriage.

    I agree that your actions interfere with my being able to trust you or feel secure with you. Your actions.

    If, as you state, you are truly sorry for the harm you have caused, you will no doubt show it by your handling of the divorce in a forthright and decent manner with your deference to me and the children being the uppermost consideration in your mind and in your actions.

    CinChump

  • CinChump,

    My cheater said and did and said nearly *exactly* all the same things yours did except he didn’t try to come back home. So, I am pretty confident in saying: your cheater is discarding you–he’s just doing it in the way he figures will cause him the least pain (and you the most pain, but he has already demonstrated exactly how much of a shit he gives about your feelings). My educated guess is that he is going to come home and use the cover of therapy and pick-me dancing on your part to squirrel away money while continuing to fuck this woman or some other woman on the side for seven more years until you have no more minor children to support. Then, he’ll bounce.

    Stay strong, CinChump, and don’t take him back. That letter is a smoking gun for a murdered marriage, and you don’t want to live with a zombie in your house.

    Big ((hugs))

    Okupin

    • BTW my cheater used to tell me I was “his person,” too. I thought it was endearing until I started to see it in the larger pattern of his narcissism. And then I realized I was just a possession to him, an appliance. And it’s easy to trade in one appliance for another.

      • Yep cheater said I was “his rock” …aka blockhead to take so long to cotton on to his activities perhaps. happily no longer ‘his’.

  • “and these (sexual desires) have bubbled to the surface on several occasions during our marriage.”

    He is obliquely admitting to being a serial cheater. He was also obliquely admitting it when he talked about women “flirting” with him and made an implied threat to leave you for one of them some day.
    This guy has most likely cheated through most of your marriage, and he expects you to never talk about it again, fuck him as often as he wants, implying that will keep him faithful. It won’t. Cheaters don’t cheat because of their sex drive. With mismatched sex drives, he can
    masturbate to meet desires you aren’t able to fulfill, and that’s what he would do if he wasn’t such an entitled jerk. He cheats because he gets off on affair ego kibbles. He likes it so much he was even bragging about it to you when you were pregnant.
    This kind of person will never be faithful. He thought the latest schmoopie was his twu wuv, but she turned out to be a walking nightmare, so he wants to use you and your kids as a placeholder until he finds a better one. All his wordy drivel is a bunch of manipulative lies to keep you in that place. He sounds like a standard issue narcissistic dick.

    I remember getting similar verbose, pompous sounding letters from my cheater, full of false promises. I gave him a few weeks just to see if he would deliver on them, and as I predicted, he failed spectacularly. He continued to lie and be casually cruel, and I found out that like your cheater, he only ended it with schmoopie because he knew there was no future with her. He expected me to be plan B, until a better A was located, naturally. Yeah, fuck that. I’m nobody’s plan B, and neither are you and your kids.

    Go NC on this turd. Block the texts and emails he uses to try to weaken your resolve and use scheduling software for child visitation. Your silence is all the answer he deserves. Get the best and meanest lawyer you can find to kick his ass if he balks at anything you want in the divorce. If you can, have him served at work. Since he’s alluded to fucking people from there, it’s probably common knowledge, so his co-workers will know exactly why you’re divorcing him and laugh at him behind his back. He gutted and humiliated you, so he deserves to be humiliated right back. The misery won’t end until he’s out of your life. It will be a tough slog, but it will get better. You can do this.

    • Their verbose letters: it is shocking how similar these narcissists are. They make all of the exact same moves and say almost exactly the same thing. It never ceases to amaze me.

  • What stands out to me is the 50/50 shared custody. I’m guessing CinChump was the more hands on parent in this family. Cheater has to be hands on every other week, he more than likely has a problem with being a responsible parent and not being able to have someone else to chauffer, make dinner, help with homework, etc. Mistresses and girlfriends are not helpful in these matters.
    Cheater’s so called apology was a joke on so many levels. He got a load of the real schmoopie when they were down in FLA and figured there was no future with this whacko serial cheater. So back to wifey we go.
    He was so cruel and dismissive during his affair. We all need someone that has our back, that we can count on…cheater is not this someone and his level of comfort in treating CinChump in such a manner is disturbing. CinChump, please move forward with the divorce, you deserve so much better than this scumbag.

  • What a steaming pile of bullshit his letter is. Made me furious. He blames you for his cheating, then has the balls to dictate to you the terms under which he will return to the marriage that he fucked up: you can’t be mad. Fuck you dude! That’s what I yelled at my phone when I read that sentence, that YOU have to be CONFIDENT that you won’t keep bringing it up. Do you not see how he does not give a fuck about your pain? How dare he hurt you like this and then tell you you can’t be mad? This is not remorse!!! It is pure narcissistic entitlement. I’m sorry you married and had children with a piece of shit. I’m sorry you did that, and I’m sorry I did that, but from five years down the road let me tell you something: the only thing you will regret about divorce is that you didn’t do it sooner

  • The Evolution of a Cheater Physician:

    1. Soon after birth, the parents recognize that the kiddo is smart. They praise him excessively.

    2. He excels in school. The praise continues. Not much time to date because he has to get As to get into a top college so that he can get into medical school.

    3. #2 continues in college. Needs As in all classes, including organic chemistry. Work work work. Sacrifice sacrifice sacrifice.

    4. Medical school training makes this always-praised kid feel inadequate at first. Total emotional roller coaster. They knock you down to build you up.

    5. Now he’s a doc. And the money and praise and admiration from WOMEN go to his head (and throbbing penis).

    These guys see opportunity and they feel that they sacrificed so much of their lives (their 20s, basically) and are convinced that they deserve a side dish.

    The entire process is a setup for truly shitty, entitled behavior.

    That’s my theory. I know not all physicians fall into this trap. I suppose they need to be narcissists from the start and/or have other character flaws.

    But, man, the process is one big petri dish for cheater behavior.

  • Female, retired MD here. Here’s a painful fact: women do hit on doctors. I have been standing in an OR across from a newly divorced surgeon who was assisting me, and it got so thick in that room that I was embarrassed for my colleague and very uncomfortable. It happens constantly. I heard a newly widowed physician refer to the flocks of women dropping by his home as “the casserole ladies”. The perception of high income really sucks young women into the orbit of those men. And nearly all of the doctors will take advantage of that. It is so EASY to cheat when you are a working doctor; there are call rooms and quiet rooms and empty patient rooms and even empty exam rooms in your own office after hours. And when that beeper goes off late at night – how are you going to know if it is an emergency or a booty call? You won’t, unless you hire a private investigator. Even me, as a female physician, had patients who behaved seductively. All I can say is, “If you don’t marry a doctor, they can’t cheat on you and if you do, they almost certainly will.”

    • It’s depressing for the state of humanity that so many of those who are supposed to heal the sick are such flaming assholes whose hippocratic oath is really a hypocritic oath.
      As a patient, I’ve been subjected to the disgusting perversion of a doctor and had my medical problems dismissed in that all too familar sexism of “It’s all in your head.” I’ve even been accused of faking symptoms because the doctor was too lazy and/or incompetent to figure out what was wrong with me. I definitely wouldn’t date a doctor, let alone marry one.

  • THANK YOU!! I check this site daily as it’s been the biggest help to me to decipher truth from lies as I’m walking this chump road. I can’t express fully how much your comments have meant to me today. Wow, you all are the best! Thank you for taking the time to read this and then to give such thoughtful comments.

    I have an attorney, we are almost done with the paperwork for court, and we have the settlement completed. He’s moved out and now I see his manipulative ways and words with our children coming out strongly. The kids tell me stuff and it’s very concerning. I can’t protect them from his words and manipulations. He talks to them about his happiness, his insecurity and his hurt feelings. It’s the most pathetic thing.

    I have tried to Grey rock as much as humanly possible through this.

    Any pointers on co-parenting and helping my kids would be appreciated!

    Again, THANK YOU! I received a gift today in you all and I am so grateful.

    • “Any pointers on co-parenting and helping my kids would be appreciated!”

      Some sort of family calendar software and a hardbound notebook. Keep track of when he picks them up and when he drops them off. If he blows them off, simply note it “Dr. Entitlement did not see the children today as scheduled”.

      NO emotions. Just the facts.

      Don’t get dragged into side-topic conversations with him. If it’s about a child, he can deliver the message but it’s best if he does it via email, text or leaves a message. Have a special ringtone for him so you know to take a quick look (if he has one or more kids at the time) and to ignore him otherwise. He can leave a message.

      When the kids do come home don’t even say, “I hope you had a nice time” to the children. What you DO say is, “I’m glad you’re home!”

      Continue to be a boring grey rock. He may never get the message but it doesn’t matter because he doesn’t matter.

      YOU are the Sane Parent.

      And keep this bookmarked:

      https://www.chumplady.com/2016/04/cool-bummer-wow/

      You are going to be amazed at how much less work it is to not have him around, dragging you down with named and nameless worries.

      It sucks more to have another adult in the household who you expect to do chores, raise children with you as a team, etc. and they don’t. When they are gone, you aren’t disappointed. You may be frustrated and annoyed with the kids but the expectations are different.

      You got this!

    • Congratulations! Good for you.

      Make sure your kids know that you’ll support them in therapy (attend with them) or get them their own sessions if they want them. Let them know that you know this is hard on them. Let them know that you know they’ll be mad at you sometimes. Let them know that they are entitled to their own relationship with their dad, but so are you. You don’t expect them to feel all the same ways about their dad as you do, and they should not expect you to share their feelings all the time either.

      I hope you have local friends to talk to about all of this as well as us. If you need a therapist for yourself, please get one. I worried about a lot of things and blamed myself for a lot of things after I divorced, and my therapist helped me take a better approach. I went to weekly sessions for most of the first year. Four years later, I went back when teen + divorced dad issues became very difficult in my household (EX let kid smoke pot, drink illegally, do anything–and I was the bad cop). It helped the first time and even more the second time. At the time we divorced, I would never have expected my EX to behave the way has has with the kids, but as he failed to use his custody and grew more distant from them over the years, being permissive became a tool for winning their interest. Plus, he is apparently enough of a Jackass to like getting high with a teenager since he doesn’t have friends any longer.

    • You can’t protect them by you can inoculate them by how you talk to them and treat them. One thing I would recommend is to turn any of their concerns back to their feelings.

      For example, CheaterDoc tells kids he’s unhappy. And the kids tell you. You respond: How does it make you feel to hear that? Then listen to the answer and take what they say as your cue to help them unpack their feelings. And at the end, once you’ve heard what they need to say, your final point: “I’m sorry you have to go through this. I know it’s hard for you to deal with an adult’s emotions. I’ll try hard not to do that with you and your siblings.”

    • Cinchump, I am glad to see you are going to divorce. That was going to be my suggestion. This guy is full of it. He blamed you for it and had the nerve to tell you don’t ever bring it up and never be held accountable. I forgot about the you just trust him going forward yet he had nothing offered in the way of effort from him. Divorce the POS and go on with your life. I agree with everyone else. I think the OW ended it with him and you were Option B. He would dump you when he finds someone else.

    • Best thing you can do is what NSCupcakes suggests — document EVERYTHING you can down to the smallest detail, in prep for passing it on to your attorney.

      One big thing that worked in my favor in the early days after the big blow up — KK said off-handedly “I get the feeling that you’re writing down every little thing” and, because she figured I’d do what I’d always done and just go along to get along, dismissed the notion. I WAS indeed writing down every little thing. I knew the rage was going to increase and I knew I’d need a record of everything to protect myself.

      She of course kept her own “every little thing” list, but when the comparison of ‘egregious actions’ was made in court, it was laughable:

      KK: “He refused to share pictures of his Father’s Day out with our daughters with me.”
      UX: “She routinely spent 1-2 nights per week away from the family home, including these specific Fridays and Saturdays in which she stayed out all night and returned the next morning.”

    • Sooner or later the dysfunctional will lose the mask with their kids. Let your kids know that dr dad is dysfunctional and it has nothing to do with them, you’re sorry they got dealt a crappy hand in the father department but this happens. Deliver this message without emotion, very matter of fact. They may not like to hear this about their father but it will save a lot of future therapy bills. Luckily they have you.

    • I would ask your lawyer if him bemoaning how you are hurting poor sad sausage him to the kids constitutes parental alienation. He shouldn’t be allowed to use them to pass his whiny little bitch messages to you. Maybe you should request that a social worker assess the situation because what he is doing could be damaging to their mental health.
      Congrats on your wise decision to divorce this fool.

    • My best advice – don’t continue to parent for him. Don’t put school events/appointments/conferences in a shared calendar and then remind him to attend. He can read the school emails and schedule his own life.

      When I stopped doing this he stopped showing up, and that says it all. Doesn’t care enough to check his email, put a reminder in his calendar, and show up.

    • Better off without you. Great song.

      I thought my world was crumbling
      When I woke up and you weren’t in my bed
      And I was left here wondering how
      You could walk away and never turn back
      Tried to right all your wrongs
      I never thought that I’d be lost
      But I found the truth
      I was searching for me in you
      Now I’m better off without you
      And it’s finally clear to see
      That the person I was missing
      It’s not you, it’s me
      Now I’m better off without you
      And I’ve never felt so free
      ‘Cause the person I was missing
      It’s not you, it’s me

    • Keep reading here every day!

      We were asked to go to co-parenting therapy by our daughter’s therapist, and I did not want to go, but I finally relented after engaging the best one I could find in our area. If nothing else, it has been very validating and given me a safe place to bring those grievances instead of getting into the ring with him on my own and getting mired.

      For me there is an extra layer of fucked up when someone abandons adopted children, who often already have the wound of being given up by their birth parents. The friends I have who are adopted are well into adulthood and this is for both of them still a source of pain. 😪

      I am coming down off of contact rage after watching Allen v Farrow. At the end of the day, this man’s conduct destroyed this family, many of whom were adopted children. The very last thing any child needs, especially children who needed healing, not further harm.

      Just this morning I was thinking that someone who creates a marriage and family and then bails on those commitments for an illicit relationship is just among the lowest of the low and I want nothing to do with someone who can do that. Fucking gross.

    • I wish I could be more like you. Your strength is inspiring to me. I’m so happy for you that you are winning in this. You are taking back your own life.

  • I died at these sentences🤣🤣🤣 Some of us are virile bison roaming the Western plains, while others of us are sad, spent dairy cows living lives of shabby domesticity. We are not similar. Damn brilliant and why I do so enjoy your writing.

  • I have been personally cast as the villain for about ten years before the divorce. Not a great way to live, even though I embraced it – picking out a cool name and all.

    You got what many chumps never get. You got the trifecta: a front seat on the karma bus, shallow apology and pleading to come home. Many of us wish (at some point or another) to have at least a few of those things. I never even got one. BUT I digress.

    Those things are smoke and mirrors. May have been a good smoke, but disappears about just as quickly as the reality of the situation sets in.

    He will never apologize or miss you in any way that is of importance or value.

  • NotAnymore, I never heard the phrase “mouse-trapping.” Very descriptive.
    FW told me he had calculated how much hurt he would cause child and me by having an affair, and determined that his happiness was worth our pain.

    • Well, here’s a cheater who said the quiet part out loud. They ALL make that calculation. Few admit to it

    • I made it up on the fly, but CN has a way with language and coining new terms that has always inspired me!

  • Entitlement! Blame shifting! Masks of good guy & victim used to work so well.
    He’s been exposed, so he’ll be trying damage control. Won’t play pretend? Beware the covert punishment. He is Image Management & winning are his goals. He’s beyond selfish, Sadistic. Mate poacher is shameless & ruthless too
    Watch him love bomb the kids now.
    I smell parental alienation. He’s evil.

        • Yes. No contact and grey rock is the only way to get through this. The idealize/devalue/discard has the same effect as being on heroin. You are in the beginning of going through withdrawal from a very powerful addition. Anything to feel that idealization again. Do you have a therapist who specializes in narcissistic relationships? It’s hard to get through but you can. 19 years is a long time. I was 27. My doctor diagnosed me with chronic emotional pain and depression that came from his psychological and emotional abuse.Was put on an antidepressant. I’m over two years out now and closer to meh. It gets soooo much better. Oh and he WANTS you to engage he needs it. NC and grey rock is infuriating to him.

  • My cheating ex-wife is a doctor, and I have a good friend whose cheating ex-husband was a doctor. I’m convinced that many (not all) doctors have narcissistic tendencies and become intoxicated by the command they have over hospital staff, the praise they receive from grateful patients, and the prestige associated with their careers. It’s a narcissist’s nirvana! Coming home from the hospital is a letdown for them — bills to pay, picking up kids from school and dropping them off for activities, dog poop in the yard, a house to clean, cooking, chores, homework with the kids…you know, all that non-sexy domestic stuff, which I’m sure is a drag for a “very sexual person”!

    My ex-wife also told me that we couldn’t reconcile “if I couldn’t get over it”, making the demise of our marriage my fault. Guess what? I couldn’t (and shouldn’t) get over it.

    I’m dating a school teacher now. She’s a breath of fresh air.

    • Mackenzie Scott, cheater Jeff Bezos’ ex, just got married to a teacher. And she’s planning on giving away most of her divorce settlement money (billions) to worthy causes.
      Go girl !

  • First and maybe only post but I think CinChump needs to protect her children too. This comment stands out as a red flag.

    “The kids tell me stuff and it’s very concerning. I can’t protect them from his words and manipulations. He talks to them about his happiness, his insecurity and his hurt feelings. It’s the most pathetic thing.”

    I got my son into a family therapist once he was told to hide my now XH’s affairs. The therapist pulled me aside and said that our son had been emotionally parentified.

    You need to get your kids into therapy as soon as possible. This is emotional abuse. Get it documented. This, among other things, allowed me to get full custody of my son. There weren’t many family lawyers that were willing to represent my XH after what he did. I got everything I asked for in the divorce.

    My heart aches for you and your kids. I’m nine months out of the divorce but still trying to divide assets. Be ready for the fight of your life. Wishing everyone here the best.

    • ITA. What he’s doing is selfish and sick. Those kids are too young to play therapist to a fuckwit, and shouldn’t have to at any age. I think he does it as a way of getting them to pass on messages to her about how he has the sadz, hoping she will feel bad and relent. Disgusting man.

      • Parental alienation is the best & easiest way to punish a partner who’s a devoted parent who wants to protect the children. CinChump can’t tell the kiddos that he repeatedly said he does not care about them. She begged him to care about them, not about her or the marriage. I think he enjoyed her begging in a sick S&M way. He knows her most vulnerable spot, so he’s targets it.
        But because he figures she told attorney, therapist, family & friends, he will try to prove her wrong by love-bombing the kids & of course blaming her for not taking his offer . It’s all a game to this entitled abuser.
        Goals: image management & winning & punishing.
        Heartless. Ruthless. Shameless. Vengeful Abuser.

    • THIS!!! This is what I was wondering about, too. This is happening with my kids right now. Getting them into therapy…on it. And, they have been told to “keep secrets” and “what happens at my (FW’s) house stays at my (FW’s) house”. They were told they were being spies by telling my mother (their grandmother) that they saw his AP’s vibrator at his house. What do I do?

      • Document everything. This is abuse. Therapy is a must. Tell your children that you love them. That what is happening is hard and that they need to be true to themselves. To feel all the feels. Let them know that you will never lie to them. Let them know that you are their safe haven. Explain that secrets hurt and they can decide what they want to share and what to keep. If they feel like it doesn’t feel right it’s ok to tell you. That you won’t be angry with them. I’m so sorry. My STBX is doing this as well. Telling my ASD kid to hide things from me. If he accidentally says something I can see how he feels disloyal to his dad. It makes me sooooo angry. We are working on it with his therapist. Try to stay strong mama bear. Hugs to you.

  • CinChump,
    Please stay the course to divorce and know that he’s a real piece of work. You have no reason at all to reconcile… and it doesn’t take a fortune teller to predict that he would continue to cheat on you and abuse you if you did. Stay strong. Minimal contact (communicate for custodial purposes only) and trust that you are doing the right thing. CL and the UBT are spot on (as always)!

  • I am so glad to hear that cinChump is doing the thing that many of us wish we had done earlier!! Yay, for you.

    I’ve had too many of those letters, and got suckered back. My poor ex had a hard life and a Dad that beat him sometimes. Didn’t indoctrinate him with empathy though, and he went straight down the covert narcisisst track. Emotionally incompetent, he needed to re-victimise someone else. Anything said in those slurpy come backs are not worth the paper it’s written on. The themes are all the same, poor me, I’m entitled to sex and happiness, I’m human (and between the lines, your pain doesn’t matter nor does the raising of emotionally healthy childen). He was a serial cheater, my pain was never ending, and our kids got a VERY BAD deal for a Dad.

    Your self-esteem is his enemy. Look at you, a dentist with your own business. That must be a hard wad to swallow for Mr Doctor. He thinks he’s eating shit-sandwiches because he’s gotta keep up with someone who has got their shit together. He needs to get one-up, and he can go where you won’t…the dirty deeds of triangulation. This is similar to what my ex did. The telling of the story came out very quickly from his own planning to get the OW to call me, like a surprise attack. Then your Doctor even goes on holiday with the OW and mentions it to you…triangles and entitlement for a home run. Then oh dear, please take me back…(when you didn’t crumble).

    My ex used to tell me that I thought that I was better than him…a big clue there. He was insecure of my career. Then I ended up giving it up because of health reasons (and depression, anxiety, burnout, kids getting raw deal with dysfunction and disaster Dad)…and he berated me for not contributing. He didn’t want me to outshine his supreme being. He needed to have all the kibbles and no effort. Big sex drive, big ego, weak character.

    • Oh, and I think the use of the word “Confident” is a huge sign that your self-esteem is the enemy here…

      >But, in truth, I do not want you to say “yes, I’ll do this” unless you are confident that you can move past what I did.

      Translate: You being confident needs to apply to being chumped…because it’s coming again…and again…and then one day your self-esteem might be in tatters because you believed in me.

    • You ARE better than him and he knew it, so he projected that belief onto you rather than face his flaws. This was so he could resent and blame you rather than admit he sucked and try to be better. Mine was the same. He was a covert narc too. They’re all straight out of Central Casting and have the same script.

      • Gosh, I wish I knew this back then…the emotional blackmail worked a treat for him. Oh well! Moving on 🙂

        I had to fix my picker anyway…I’m a rescuer. And yes, the resentment was so over the top. I found messages that he sent to a female friend (she was his enabler, not an OW but a work colleague who lent her ear to all the juicy details about his escapades looking for women) which was full of hatred for me. I couldn’t believe how delusional he was about his poor sob story life.

        I still have the messages…They don’t need to go through the UBT either because they weren’t meant for me. It was transparently obvious that he was a complete deadbeat husband and father (he even said he needed to ditch the kids to go for a night out). Somehow, I still fell for the love bombing that came afterwards. Now I look back and read those messages to his enabler friend sometimes…so I will never fall for it again!

  • Nothing anybody says or you read is going to be able to make the decision for you to stay or go. But, My X-husband did the same damn thing, over and and over and I kept taking him back, don’t be me, get out now and don’t waste any more time with the idiot! You can save so many years of unhappiness. Stay strong

    • I know, I did that with H#1 because I really believed that underneath all the fuckedupness and ‘brokenness’ we had solid love, and the kids…..
      But if someone -regardless of the reason – feels OK with actively abandoning you, saying really hurtful things to you, blaming you and trashing your life- that says an awful lot about their level of love and commitment to you.
      I wish I had only heard that from him once, and not the many times that happened over and over again.

  • The problem with someone who behaves differently to avoid consequences is that they are constantly recalculating that equation as conditions change. This guy has made no bones about browsing for other options and blaming you for it and he absolutely will do it again. Women are throwing themselves at him after all, he made sure you knew that when you were most vulnerable carrying his child so you better just watch your Ps and Qs. He has Options, and you are at least Option B (if not lower).

    In his hoover letter he has conveniently included the pre-made list of reasons why he will cheat again. Please note how he is already setting you up to fail: One day he will say he didn’t get enough and the right variety of sex, that he never felt that you really owned your part in making him cheat, and he always had that sense that you didn’t adequately get over his affair even if you never say another word. You can’t defend yourself from any of it because only he decides if you have been a good enough girl and pick me danced well or not, and he is constantly recalculating your score as new women throw themselves at him. A better tramp would easily make him see how truly awful you have remained despite his noble attempts to work it out, and only since she came along could he see it all so clearly.

    It’s a set up; it’s Lucy and the football.

    Glad you are following through with the divorce.

    • “The problem with someone who behaves differently to avoid consequences is that they are constantly recalculating that equation as conditions change.” Beautifully and succinctly written.

      You entire analysis was spot on. 🏆 Could not have been said any better.

    • Great analysis I.C.! I never thought to look at the letter in that way. You’re so correct. He included all of the reasons that he will cheat again. (Those are the ones that he thought of while writing his letter. I’m sure he’ll come up with even more that he ‘mentioned’…., but she just didn’t remember him saying them.)

  • So many honest, gut wrenching, truthful, generous, answers. I hope you all feel the kindness here. I thank you all. One of the most moving times in the series ” Better Things” comes when the chumped women friends all got together to release their exes by writing then burning their good-bye’s. Here’s my favorite ” In choosing you I was not only saying you were my man, I was saying “ this is me .” I trust myself enough to know what is right for me, what I need, what I say yes to in life. Marrying you was the greatest validation of the trust I had in myself. Which is why this is so painful, I question myself, I don’t trust myself anymore. I’ve lost my compass. It’s going to take a long time before I’ll be able to forgive myself. “

  • I would like to know where this “I’m broken” term comes from? The first time I heard it was when my EXH said it to me as a reason for his betrayal, and I felt so badly for him because it seemed like such a vulnerable thing for him to say.
    Since then, I’ve read on this site that so many cheaters say they are broken.
    When did this term become so popular?
    And it’s not something I would want to admit to somebody… yet they seem to throw it out so freely.

    • Interesting observation. I can’t speak to the genesis of the term, but no doubt they trot it out to garner sympathy. “You wouldn’t subject a broken person to consequences. Would you?”

    • It’s a classic, the pity play. “I’m broken ! Feel sorry for me, listen to me, take care of me. And forget about taking care of yourself by running in the other direction and never looking back. It’s all about MOI, like Miss Piggy”

    • They know they are not fixable.
      They are predators that cannot stop their predating whether it is people who raised them, people who love them, or their children.
      Always “me.”
      Me or move aside while I line up the next mark.
      When they drop their mask is the opportunity for you to see what it is you are dealing with. His actions dropped the mask.
      That letter is an attempt to hoover on his terms.

  • The old virile sex beast trope 🤦‍♀️ What that says to me is “I am needy and need sex to feel good about myself, I don’t care who it’s with, so long as I’m getting attention and a hole to shove my dick into, that’s all you are, another hole to shove my dick into at whim”.

    Honestly, this shit stinks.

  • CinChump- RUN.

    This “give me another chance” email is a load of bullsh*t. There is so much entitlement and blame shifting. He doesn’t ever want to talk about what he did? Nope. It seems this man would very likely cheat again. Reading this made me feel nauseous.

    I’m so sorry for your pain. It is temporary. Continuing being married to an entitled cheater is lifelong pain. Love yourself and leave the a**hole.

  • CinChump,

    Stay strong. You don’t need to take the bait. You might be miserable now, but you’ll be more miserable if you invite him back into your life and he continues to blame you for his unhappiness. Trust us. We’ve all taken the bait many times. You always end up back in the same place where you started.

  • Why am I now thinking of J.D. Salinger’s last wife, Colleen O’Neill?

    She and her husband (Paul Zakrzeski) adopted a little boy (born in 1981). She cheated on her husband and abandoned her son. Her ex-husband had to chase her down for child support. Their divorce was final in 1987.

    Her ex-husband appears to have been a mess – but she chose to leave her son with him anyway.

    Salinger had a thing not only for younger women, but younger women with family that had power or connections. Colleen O’Neill’s father was a lawyer who was mayor of Bel Air, MD in the early 1970’s.

    The weirdest things pop into my head in the evenings.

  • OMG all that bullshit was too painful to read! He waffled on waaaaaaaay too much. And the last part where he says “move forward with me only if you know you will get over my affair” (words to that effect) will immediately turn me off. Looks to me like he wants to be taken back without any consequences whatsoever. Get the fuck outta here!

  • “My fuckwit could have written this letter to the word. Pompous, self-righteous fake-sorry entitled tight-fisted spreadsheet-making definition of a douche. Not a doctor but he’s quite impressed with his own career.”

    The are all so much alike! I’ve been reading this column since 2013 and rarely comment – mostly because I’ve been afraid my ex will ID me and find a way to use it against me. Still wrapped up in the court system 8 yrs. later.

    My biggest regret is not throwing my ex to the curb the moment I found out about his affair. Life will be more peaceful, but likely not easier, especially with pre-teen and teenage children. Mine were pre-teen and teen when my fuckwit walked out without warning to be with the gold-digging, married mother OW. You will have your self respect – priceless – and will model boundaries for your children. I promise both are worth every moment of exhaustion.

    Best to you.

  • Dude is creepy as fuck. Dealing with a shark pure and simple. Cheater told me, for all your fault, Stig, I do love you, as though being upset about his behaviour was just me being super judgy and inflexible.

  • Hmm, he:
    1) admits he is usually abrasive during conversations with depth/deep emotion/intensity,
    2) yet he is also tuned out/patronizing during what should be pleasant, daily-type chats, AND
    3) terrible listener, snaps to judgements arrogantly assuming he knows it already…
    3) all of which makes me think he’s perhaps also not too great at seduction/sexual sensitivity/reading your cues/pulling his weight at home, maybe because of all of the above? resulting in his constantly panting after more sex than he’s getting, which he is now trying to make into your problem rather than his?
    4) he also is proud that he jumps to conclusions/stereotypes his patients rather than really listening to them (hello future malpractice suits)
    5) he’s a repeat cheater, who ignored your reasonable and heartfelt pleas and pain, and who even tried to get you to pick-me dance when you were 8 months pregnant…
    6) he’s trying to gaslight you now by setting two crazy-making conditions– that you aren’t allowed to show feelings about or talk about his cheating if you want to take him back.

    I think you have already shown the patience of a saint to put up with him even before you knew about the cheating, and it might be a good idea to get your child support and alimony amounts set BEFORE that tendency of his to be brusque and tune patients out and to make snap decisions regarding patients, which he thinks is such an advantage, leads to malpractice suits. If you decide to stay, you can still get the amounts set in a post-nup.
    But be aware he is also likely tuning out your kids and being abrasive with them in emotional situations too on a daily basis, and he is teaching them by example that this is an ok way to treat others. Maybe you want something better for them? The boys in particular will learn to treat you and their sisters and daughters and wives like this, if that is what they continue to learn from the only male role model in their life.

    This is a horribly difficult decision for you to have to make, I am so sorry you are going through this painful morass. You are a successful person with a solid professional base now, you certainly don’t need him for financial security. In fact, I can’t help wondering if the “kick in the teeth” (sic!) he is referring to as having suffered in the last few years, is your progress toward your newly-earned professional equality as a dentist–now he’s not the only doctor in the family that might attract sexual groupies! Dude may be feeling just a tad insecure or competitive now? If so, that will likely increase rather than decrease…
    Anyway, I believe there is a better life out there for you where you and your kids are esteemed and truly listened to and treasured, where there is real and appreciative daily companionship and emotional conversations that bring people closer instead of causing “abrasiveness”. Unfortunately, based on the cheating and the stated attitudes and habits in his letter, he doesn’t seem to be able to consistently offer you that quality of attuned, loving companionship, yet I think he will continue blame you for the effects of it’s absence. It sounds like it must have already felt very lonely in that marriage for you even before his cheating was discovered. Wishing you strength and good luck, whatever you decide.

    • Fw said to me: “It’s not that I dont want to do those things, it’s that I don’t want to do it with you”.

      Ouch

      That was do painful to hear, and it destroyed me.

      I read the same in the letter posted “I want to go on vacation, just not with you”. I have some relief knowing it’s not just me. Thank you OP and CL. The cruel things I’ve had to hear…

      • Beyond selfish, are the SADISTIC abusers. So very sorry for all the deep wounding & damage these evil people cause. Hell to come.

  • Well, as apology letters go, this is a pretty good one. Then again, as turds go, this turd is particularly nice, … but it’s still a turd.

    He’s entitled. You’re deeply injured. He doesn’t say how to fix either of those, just ‘take me back and don’t use the affair to get back at me’.

    You’re a dentist, with a huge passel of kids to manage. Refigure your finances, find a way to get some paid help with the kids, like an au pair, nanny, or something. Spend a year like that, healing yourself, and you’ll be far happier than if you knuckle under and take him back. After that year, you’ll be ready to find someone who won’t decide over a weekend that years of marriage are suddenly making him miserable, or if they are, he’ll talk to you before he does anything stupid. You deserve respect, and you deserve a partner who gives it to you, no questions asked, because he knows you deserve it. You’ll never have that with your hopefully soon to be ex husband.

  • I can’t even count the number of “I” references in this letter and it takes until paragraph 9 before he stops talking about himself and says he loves her? (His earlier mention of love is in reference to himself)

    His self-assessment really lays it all out. Who would want to go back to THAT?

  • my husband had a way of playing the the victim with whenever i suspected him of having an affair, i was
    not sure about anything any more that i fell into depression , but i could not shake the feeling that i was right then i read chump’s article and talked with my sister who introduced me to Marsd.h on instagram ,(+1 978822 2169 ) whatsapp. they got me all the proof of his affairs . i know this was extreme but i was in doubt about everything and my mentals was a mess , but now we split ways and i have been in a good place ,living my best life

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