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Her Menopause Made Him Cheat?

Muffin topI’ve read some blameshifting quackery in my day, but Guardian advice columnist Mariella Frostup takes the blood-soaked tampon. A woman writes in to say her partner cheated, and she wants to contact the Other Woman. And Frostup tells her the real problem is her menopause.

The poor chump’s letter:

The dilemma It’s the usual. He was unhappy, he didn’t feel wanted, blah, blah, blah… We’re in our mid-50s, not married and no children. Together for 16 years and friends for 18.

He left me last year. I then discovered the affair, but he told me it started only three months before he left. After nine weeks apart we reconciled and he ended his relationship. I didn’t understand why he was so upset and eventually discovered it was a three-year affair, not three months, and happened three years ago. Why didn’t he just end it? We’ve got no ties. He said it was because he really loves me and was hoping we would be happy again.

In those three years I was bullied out of a job I loved by a misogynistic culture, was violently assaulted at work, had to take a lower-paid job in a toxic culture until I found another one I was happy in, had breast cancer and was badly affected by the treatment and generally just felt overwhelmed.

His response? Get a bit on the side. He says there’s no contact now, but how can I believe that? I want to contact the other woman as I’m sure she will tell the truth.

Frostup’s response:

You’ve been through a cataclysmic few years, the kind of thing experienced by so many women in midlife – a time when the tangible sense of disappearing from view and being discarded by society collides with the, thankfully transient, biological implosion of menopause.

As any woman in her 50s will tell you, the end of fertility is more of a big bang than a whimper. Those who have not experienced it can be less than sympathetic, but we are culpable, too, in our failure to explain what we’re feeling or to ask for help or support in any clear way.

What the whattity what? Her husband cheated and the first thing you think to comment on, Mariella, is the chump’s loss of fertility?!

She wasn’t “discarded by society” — she was discarded by her PARTNER. He moved out for his Schmoopie. And then came back and now wants her to trust him. That’s not a hormone problem, that’s a fuckwit problem.

Mariella, as a woman of 62, perhaps you just wanted to talk about menopause? And just decided to shoehorn this letter into a lament about withering ovaries? She could’ve been writing to you about Marks & Spencer’s new rice pudding brand and you’d be all WE ARE INVISIBLE! OUR ESTROGEN IS DEPLETED! WOE! That is my most charitable interpretation, because it sure seems like you’re victim-blaming this woman.

Oh hang on,

we are culpable, too, in our failure to explain what we’re feeling or to ask for help or support in any clear way.

I know you tried to sugarcoat it, Mariella, with the “we” — but you just said her partner cheated because she didn’t know how to talk to him about aging. She failed to be vulnerable with Mr. Fucks-Around so that’s why she’s now… vulnerable.

Bite me, Mariella.

Are we going to get to the question she asked you?

No? Shit, the lecture on menopause continues…

That we enter this phase of our lives ill-prepared and under-supported is among my many bugbears about the way women are still discriminated against and overlooked. For far too many women this liminal phase in our lives continues to be the one we dare not mention. Such are the levels of shame attached that we try to negotiate it in woeful ignorance, without the hormonal supplements we need, which should be as easily available as tampons or pills for period pain, but are not.

A HORMONAL SUPPLEMENT WILL NOT PROTECT HER FROM A CHEATING FUCKWIT. Talk to your pharmacist. It may increase her odds of cancer, but it’s got fuck all to do with her partner’s trustworthiness.

You know what should be easily available? Good advice. Sadly, we must navigate infidelity on the woefully ignorant pages of the Guardian newspaper.

Yo, Letter Writer.

You’ve been through a lot this year. You’re wobbly. The last thing you need in your life is a guy who abandoned you during your darkest hour to appear back on your doorstep, with his entitlement fully intact. Trust him? The guy lied to your face for THREE. STRAIGHT. YEARS. You wouldn’t know if he’s truthful now, or the Marquess of Queensbury. He’s a lying liar who lies.

I suggest you not live in a state of hypervigilance as the relationship police. Your fragile health doesn’t need that kind of stress. No one does. Nor do I suggest you trust him. (He conducted a double life for years, you can’t trust him. He’s a skilled, casual liar.) Review your finances and protect yourself.

After nine weeks apart we reconciled and he ended his relationship. I didn’t understand why he was so upset and eventually discovered it was a three-year affair, not three months, and happened three years ago.

That’s some bullshit. He didn’t move out on you for 9 weeks for a relationship he had THREE YEARS ago. Why’s he upset NOW? Oh right, because she threw his ass out and you’re Plan B.

Don’t be Plan B. Not when you’re young and your uterus is all skippity-do-dah, and not when you’re old with chin hairs. Never, ever, EVER accept abuse. Lying, gaslighting, abandoning you when you were ill (probably using you financially, if I were to guess. I make good guesses, I have millions of stories here)… this is appalling behavior.

Should you talk to Schmoopie? No. Read The Futility of Confronting Affair Partners. She’s not your friend and she’s not the deciding vote on this relationship, YOU ARE. The point at which you have to cross-examine your boyfriend’s sidepiece for the veracity of his story is the point at which you must admit this relationship is OVER.

It’s deader than Mariella’s estrogen levels.


Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “In those three years I was bullied out of a job I loved by a misogynistic culture, was violently assaulted at work, had to take a lower-paid job in a toxic culture until I found another one I was happy in, had breast cancer and was badly affected by the treatment and generally just felt overwhelmed.

    His response? Get a bit on the side.”

    He has shown you who he is – believe him. Ditch him. You were ASSAULTED (if you filed a police report I hope the asshole was found, arrested, prosecuted, fired, jailed AND you were awarded damages), you had CANCER and what did he do? Step up? Nope. Ran away to get someone to play with his putz.

    A special slap on the back of the head for Mariella too.

    • No Shit Cupcakes – RESPECT for you using “putz” correctly. Someone knows their Yiddish 🙂

      And I agree with all you wrote. I hope the chump letter writer ignores the idiotic “advice” of Mariella and gets free of the selfish cheater dickhead.

      • I’ve picked up some fun slang along the way. My friend’s mother is a native Yiddish speaker has let fly some interesting language through the decades.

        Little did she know that we made a POINT of deciphering it. Nothing like teenage ears, tuned to swear words.

        “What’s that? Your mom sounded extra-foamy!”


          • LOL!!! Ok, you got me! I love learning yiddish slang words, and eagerly looked up ginictecazoink, here’s what I found:
            ” genechtagazoink:
            Genecktegesoink, a faux, meaningless Yiddish word invented by non-Jew Mike Myers, on the Saturday Night Live sketch “Coffee Talk”, that is now being adopted by Jews.
            “OK now, this show used to be hosted by my friend Paul Baldwin, but he developed shpilkis in his genechtagazoink. So now he’s in Boca Raton, Florida recovering nicely, thank you very much.”

    • And you know what? One could argue that she suffered ill health because of his YEARS of gaslighting and abuse and the way she was treated outside her home was a symptom of the way she was treated by her drip partner. I notice that my health is way WAY better and I am no longer being taken advantage of at work. One year out and I am the best version of myself EVER and I am 49.
      GET RID OF CHEATING LYING DRIPS and your life will improve – I promise. Also – I am looking forward to never having my period again – seems like liberty and freedom to me.

      • As I continued with my relationship that became more and more abusive, the treatment that I was willing to accept at work became worse and more toxic.
        Now 9 months past D-day, I’m beginning to become a better version of my prior to relationship self.
        Spending years in chaos, struggling with cognitive dissonance has a real mental and physical toll.

  • I would also add, don’t be so sure she will tell you the truth. I confronted two OW; one hung up on me, the other straight up lied. Waste of time and emotional energy.

  • I went straight to the comments on the original Guardian article, and they mostly agree with Chump Lady.

    And they also think Mariella is a bit of a wingnut with the menopause advice.

    • A bit? Most thought she’s bonkers and many (both men and women) also pointed out to her that not everybody is obsessed with fertility (and menopause).

  • The thing I notice about advice columnists is they are so gentle in their responses. What the hell? This woman went through her own hell and her ovaries are responsible? I guess Julia Childs should have stopped cooking because she was old.

  • I hope the letter writer finds what cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead called post menopausal zest (pmz) and kicks this man to the curb. Mariella Frosty Bitch can go pound sand.

    • Post Menopausal Zest? That sounds wonderful and (aside from being a nurse in a pandemic) I think I have found some.

  • ” I want to contact the other woman as I’m sure she will tell the truth.”


    I’d love to know *why* she thinks a skank who happily carried on a secret affair for three *years* is likely to tell the truth.

    Entangling the skein is a waste of time and energy. This poor woman needs to write to CL, not that moron. I hope she finds her way here.

  • I love the Dodo. They post videos on Facebook and Instagram about rescuing animals. The most inspiring videos are the ones with the dogs who have been through abusive experiences and are understandably very fearful of humans. Then they are rescued by truly kind humans, and with time and real love they become their sweet playful selves again.

    As a chump, I totally identify with animals like this. I am amazed that the animals can learn to trust again.

    But the key is the SAFE humans. Safe, TRUSTWORTHY humans. Not humans who put out a cookie and bait the animal into further abuse.

    Cheating is the hardest evidence in the
    known universe that your human is neither safe nor trustworthy, the twin pillars of any healthy relationship. Without those elements, you have an entanglement. Whoever their hired hitman or hitwoman doesn’t have it either. But they’re not bright enough to make that distinction. They blame you too, and don’t see the problem as belonging to the spouse or otherwise committed person.

    When I watch videos of the truly kind humans rescuing an animal who has learned to fear humans, I am so grateful for the kind people and also struck by the realization that the VERY LAST HUMAN I should consider going back to is the one who found it very easy to terribly and horribly and cruelly hurt me and our daughter.

    Cheating is CRUEL.

    • I also think that cheating is the perfect crime.

      It’s the most damage you can do to a person just short of actually killing them. The wounds are not visible like bruises or broken bones. The pain and suffering inflicted is off the charts. You don’t have to lay a finger on your victim. You can’t be arrested. You will not go to prison. And you will have a whole lot of company joining you in blaming your victim.

      So if you find out your former partner cheated on the person they left you for, as I did, you can put your mind at ease that justice has been served.

      • Yep, I won’t lie , I was happy my daughter in law told me that he cheated on the whore a couple times. she caught him I guess and he “straightened up” Lol, sure he did. I may not know as much about my ex as I thought I did, but I do know he loved a challenge. It was likely more fun for him to cheat on her than on me, at least she made it more of a challenge. I trusted him completely, no challenge there.

        My guess is he continued cheating on her until he had his major heart attack and likely didn’t have the stamina anymore. He was barely able to walk but a few yards before having to sit down for the rest of his life.

        The man had given up his self respect for the whore, not to mention his promotion, his big office and his chance at becoming mayor. No way was he going to give up illicit sex.

        He also turned to big time gambling and gambled them into the poor house. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving whore.

        As CL says, they don’t become different people, at least she knew what he was, I didn’t.

        Funny thing is, I am sure the whore thought she would take his arm and walk right into my life seamlessly. I guess she though he got to where he was all on his own. Surprise.

        • Talk about “giving it all up”….just in this morning’s paper a prominent attorney in our area who also happened to be the head of the Pennsylvania Bar Association was charged with patronizing a prostitute. It’s much better than that because he contacted the local DA’s office because the prostitute had video tapped them & was trying to extort him.

          This took place in December 2019 so not sure why it’s just coming to light now. He became the PA Bar president in May 2020 & of course just now resigned.

          As a faithful chump my heart goes out to his wife as they were very active in local philanthropy.

          On a side note years ago I interviewed with him for a paralegal position in his firm. Got the job but turned it down due to less than stellar pay/benefits.

          • Years before our divorce, Ex’s attorney had been President of our state Bar Association. He‘s a massive Cluster B liar and asshole like his client but gets away with a lot of it because of his former position.

            I’m sure his now dead wife suffered greatly. Ex met this lawyer at a local 12-step group for “Sex Addicts”.

          • How did I miss this one? I’m in PA too and my STBX went to the same law school as he did. Ugh. Schwager, 58, with a 25 year old prostitute. The poor woman.

      • This is sooo true!!! I never heard it put this way. It is even better than death for these psychopaths because if they are like mine, watching suffering is their enjoyment. They would get bored quickly after a kill.

    • TYPO…

      “Their hired hitman or hitwoman doesn’t have it either”

    • Velvet
      Excellent post and does my heart good your an animal advocate. Bless you ❤️

  • “comments are now closed” which is the usual Guardianista response when the comments disagree with whatever glop the column is dishing up.

    I was going to recommend LACGAL and ChumpLady, but I’ve written to Frostrup instead.

    • Hi CN6,

      Just a question aside from topic. Are you still getting notifications of new posts, for some reason I can’t get them to work.

      • Hi Susie, I get notifications of new posts by CL, but not follow up comments. Xx

  • The only good thing about this column is that the response comments *really* took Frostrup to task over her crazy menopause obsession, and how she outrageously mashed it in to her response, instead of actually helping the poor letter writer. Ugh.

  • Pretty piss poor answer from Mariella there who I rather rated until I’d read this. That said how she was ever qualified to run a help column I don’t know. I thought she was a pretty non-equivocal feminist which hardly comes across.

    Oh you know what it’s like, you hit menopause and are less desirable and that’s it, curtains for you and your relationship because. you know, you kinda lost your edge with your lack of sex drive, weight gain, endless trips to the supermarket, need to look after children of ageing parents, health issues etc etc (insert one million other real-life scenarios right here). If we’d all just tried a bit harder right.

    This narrative sucks and the awful thing is I think people deep down believe it…… well something must not have been right……

    Thinks that’s up there with, maybe you need to start owning what you did that helped contribute towards the demise of your relationship. While you are reeling and thinking that you are the worst person on the planet anyway and in such awful shock.

    I wish anyone that gives out this advice would have it happen to them but these media types most likely would never be honest (a la Gwyneth Concious Uncoupling) and would craft a sea of bullshit about how they came to terms with their inner selves and have forgiven. Just to make themselves look more worthy.

  • My wife and I are both in menopause. Unlike her, I have ferocious hot flashes. I get hot and sweaty and if we are cuddling I have to stop and cool off.
    I asked her if my hot flashes will drive her to have an affair with a non sweaty, possibly younger woman. She laughed so hard the cat jumped off the bed.

    There is something especially misogynistic about blaming cheating on menopause. It’s part and parcel with such tropes as Eve in the garden of Eden, old ideas that menstruating women can make crops fail, and the general idea that women’s bodies are “icky” and we can’t blame men for their response to our yuckiness.

    • I’m straight but glad that I don’t have to deal with men anymore if I don’t want to. My daughter is 16, and the crap is still the same. There’s very little room to be a real person. No weight gain, no moods, no anger, just smiles and pink hearts allowed. So many men want a barbie doll. All I wanted was a partner, and he couldn’t even manage that!

    • You are so lucky to have found an authentic person to marry, one who loves you in fertility and menopause.

      As for Ms. Frostup her whole column reeks of her own projected fears now that her ovaries have, er, frosted up. As someone who was chumped at the ripe old age of 29 I’d like to give her the ol’ 2×4 if she thinks menopause is to blame for a wandering dick.

    • Oh my goddess if only we COULD make crops fail, “make” anything happen magically…I would have done it by now, right? But no. We just function as nature intended and get punished for it. Because men good? Young the only good? I say if the ‘ol dickie can’t get up, then they are cursed and should cut it off and donate to the dog food.

      • ????
        Instead of millions of research dollars to keep it hard well past its expiration date.

  • “I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.”

    – Frances Willard

    (A fancy way of saying “leave a cheater, gain a life”).

    Cheaters are an energy suck. Like leeches, they should be picked off. Their cohorts aren’t bright enough to realize that. Survival of the fittest is a real thing and not just physical but emotional and psychological and mental too. Also, I don’t want to survive; I want to thrive, and I can’t do that partnered with someone draining my life force out of me.

    A good visual is pulling the Alien off my face and watching it scurry away and attach to his hit woman’s face.

  • I dont know about Frostup but the day I stopped having periods was the best day of my life.

    What a load of crap – yup – blame the victim (always)

    • ” I dont know about Frostup but the day I stopped having periods was the best day of my life.”

      Yep, me too! ????????

      • For 25% of my time, for nearly 50 years, there was fluid retention, miserable cramps, heavy bleeding, interrupted sleep, nausea, and hormone-fueled emotions. There was having to go to work feeling horrible. There was the expense and the mess. There was the frustration that in 50 years, modern medicine hasn’t figured out how to make this natural process less burdensome and painful. I once saw a woman on a TV talk show say that her doctor told her that she would know when to go to the hospital for the birth of her child because the contractions would be worse than menstrual cramps. She had the baby at home because the contractions were never worse than her cramps.

        Menopause rocks.

          • I’m in envy. Mid-50’s and still having horrible cycles. I’m looking forward to menopause!

        • Am so sorry to hear that others have had so many issues with menses over the years. I have learned firsthand how little modern medicine seems to know about how hormones work, because I went into “total ovarian failure” after cancer treatments in my early 20’s. (I had hot flashes at the age of 23!) The doctors prescribed hormone replacement therapy for the first decade afterward but then stopped it after research showed other health impacts caused by long-term HRT. So I have had virtually no hormonal regulation for 15 years now, and nobody seems to be able to suggest any options.

          For a long time, I thought my waning libido was due to hormonal issues. Now, I think it’s just because I was married to a fuckwit for so long. :/

          Best wishes to all pre- and post- and non-menopausal chumps!

          • I also got menopause and hot flashes in my early 20’s! (Mine was from autoimmune disease).

            There are bio-identical hormones available for women that don’t have the same side effects (cancer risks) as hormones derived from horse urine (most birth control pills), they also don’t have the same profit margin and therefore aren’t advertised.

            Dr. Vliet: “Screaming to be heard”
            It’s an older book now (but I doubt women’s bodies have changed that much in the last 20 years). Every woman with hormonal problems should read this book before you go see your doctor. Look up your test result numbers and cross reference with your symptoms.

            Working with my doctor, this is how I got myself out of super early menopause (15 years ago).

            Now (this year) I’m facing a total hysterectomy due to Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis. When I get the hysterectomy I’ll be going over my blood tests with my doctor all over again, taking bio identical hormones at the right levels. I refuse to let my endocrine health be ignored and sidelined anymore than it already has. I refuse to lose my sex drive, energy level, hair, etc, because my doctor doesn’t want to bother with the repeated tests and the balancing of hormones for my specific situation.

            Finding a doctor who understands this stuff or is willing to work with you is the hardest part. The rest is just numbers and science- complicated, but certainly not an unsolvable mystery!

        • If her childbirth was less painful than her period cramps, it’s a good possibility she had endometriosis.

    • 11 months and counting! Still feel like the complete woman I was last year. Do I miss it? Aww hell no!

  • “It’s the most damage you can do to a person just short of actually killing them. The wounds are not visible like bruises or broken bones. The pain and suffering inflicted is off the charts. You don’t have to lay a finger on your victim. You can’t be arrested. You will not go to prison. And you will have a whole lot of company joining you in blaming your victim.”

    VH’s comment is especially relevant for older chumps. It would be far easier to lose a long time partner to death. Marriage conveys many financial obligations. Maybe it’s time to put protections into the standard contract.

    • “It would be far easier to lose a long time partner to death.”

      So true. I’m now 69, DDay was 4 years ago. If he had died, it would be so much easier to move on, grieving, yes, but being able to think of him with respect, and cherish the good memories.

      Instead, I’m left with the realisation I wasted 24 years of my life on someone who wasn’t worthy, and all memories are suspect. Yes, I wish he’d died.

      On the other hand, there is a poster here, who discovered massive infidelity and lies *after* the fucker died (shout out to unicornnomore ????) – I really don’t know which is worse.

      • “all memories are suspect” is one of the most heartbreaking truths of all. I’m sorry.

        I discovered the cheating only after 4-1/2 years with him (both of us divorced and in our 50s). I only have a short time of memories to disregard.

    • So true in fact at the time it all hit, my mother in law said “it would have been easier for you if he had died” Now I know she didn’t want him dead, nor did I; but I understand what she meant. Her abuser died at age 48, she lived the rest of her life peacefully alone.

      Then her own son became the abuser. That must have been hard for her to bear. And she had to live with him and the slut for the last ten years or so of her life.

      • Yes, death. All financials + life insurance were set up for his death should it come prematurely. He was adamant that I should not have to worry about $. He made 5× more than I did as me working part-time was advantageous to our lifestyle.

        So here I am worrying sbout $$ all the time. I will be ok in retirement but that is about 10yrs away. I am most angry about how he is probably still enjoying the “good” life with his 24 yr younger wife (not the OWhore). Thank god I never lost my job during the pandemic.

        • Also with death there is knowing you were loved. With a cheater you are told right to your face that you are no longer loved & poof goes your marriage & the house of cards he put it on.

    • My children actually said it would have been easier to have lost their dad to death. At least then they could have remembered him as a decent guy, instead he made them have to deal with who he really is, he did not just tarnish my memories, but theirs as well.

      It is easy to excuse bad behavior or look the other way when it is your “difficult person” and the normal that you always dealt with – it is something completely different when that person chooses very deliberately to nuke your family and then explain why they were entitled to do so and that you should be happy for them and that the parent that bent over backwards to keep the family together was actually the problem…..

      • This really sticks with me. Thank you. My adult children have shunned me because I couldn’t just skip along and pretend like “mistakes were made.” My FW married his schmoopie a couple of weeks ago – 60 days after our divorce. I believe he had to wait to get his property settlement check from me so he could buy schmoopie a divorce so that’s why they needed 60 days instead of 30.

        We had been married 41 years. Now, my adult children are surely becoming immersed in his family nuking as they see his master plan developing each day. He was busy smearing me for a couple years, preparing for his big move and they were believing his victim story hook, line and sinker. Surely, in time, they will come to realize that they were little more than collateral damage as he performed “scorched earth” to get easy, new sex.

        My heart is broken over them. Not FW. I hope they begin to see FW’s actions and cruelty for what it really was as he continues with his happy new life.

        • tallgrass, I can relate

          My ex’s open wallet has influenced our adult children. And his playing the victim. He uses every device to poison them against me. Like The Terminator it never stops.

          People used to say ‘they will see through him one day’. Well I’ve given up on that.

          These people are truly evil and they contaminate those around them.

          I plan to enjoy my life regardless of this shit.

          • I don’t mean to be discouraging, maybe the children will finally see through these jokers.

            I only meant that life is short, and we have to make the best of it for US

          • Tallgrass and Mitz, same story here.
            2 out of 3 adult children have dollar signs in their eyes on their promises to “ take care
            of dear dad “ in his old age because schmoopie may fly the coop.
            Cheater is from a long line of dysfunctional families and I wasn’t playing “ happy
            family “ or “ best friends “ for an adulterer, a liar and a thief.
            Nothing says Good Riddance like Silence so I avoid them all.
            Join me in wishing cheaters and their adulterous partners all the happiness they deserve. Zero, zip, nothing, zilch, nada.

            • Wait until those 2 out of 3 children actually have to do that caretaking. Unless he’s in an assisted living facility in which everything can be done in house (and can afford it!), they will pay for their venality.

              • Yes Adelante, they think of the jackpot $$$, not that cher papa may linger for years.

                They may have to earn every penny!

    • Way past time to put protections into the standard marriage contract Almost Monday, I agree totally. Once again laws made by men for men. I know, women also cheat but not nearly at the same rate. I would be open to hearing any ideas Chumps have for accomplishing this change.

      • An amazing amount of infidelity is not denied. It’s publicly available information, particularly on social media. There should be legal exposure/financial penalties for parties engaged in the destruction of a marriage. For the spouse, there should be a forfeiture of claim to retirement savings or pension. For the schmoopie, there should be financial costs to cover damages, including attaching wages. For the marriages that are “open” or have “simply grown apart”, a written waiver can be required.

  • This menopause theory of cheating seems as dumb and cruel as an ED theory of cockoldry. Physical factors can affect intimacy, and perhaps even render some people incompatible as spouses, but no one’s biology makes them unloveable, or complicit in betrayal.

    That column is retro-sexism and victim shaming masquerading as biological frankness and psychological insight.

    • Yes not to mention ableist as hell. What’s next, your imperfect body (cancer, auto immune disease, heart disease, injuries) caused you spouse to cheat?

      • Well yes, actually. My husband stopped having sex with me because after my cancer treatment, in his words, “your gut sticks out farther than your tits” and he couldn’t “get any satisfaction” because of those physical flaws. And then he cheated because “we stopped having sex.” WE stopped having sex? I kept asking him why he moved out of the bedroom and trying initiate sex. HE stopped having sex, because of my cancer. And then he cheated.

        I should have expected it, I guess, after all the comments he made over the years about our sex life being over when I hit menopause.

        • The Ex

          I hope u know that it had nothing to do with you- cancer or not.
          I married my h at the age of 25- smart, funny, attractive blonde with a great figure.
          Nope- that was not enough.
          He was dating snd hooking up, using hookers even before we got married.
          I know now- it was him100%

  • Hormonal supplements don’t protect you against fuckwits? Wait, what? I want my $$ back!

    Oh, CL what a hoot of a sentence!

  • Oh, the menapause excuse. I went tbrough early menapause. It kicked my ass. I went through depression and weight gain. My ex said he cheated with Skankella. Because he felt unloved and he thought I was using menapause as an excuse to be depressed. He told me he asked her if she thought I was overreacting. She told him that I probably was. That menapause is easy for women.
    As for contacting the OW. Not a good idea. She will lie and then llay the victim. That is what my cousin did. She denied the affair. Than immediately texted a screen shot to my ex. You do not need anymore stress.

  • On Confronting Affair Partners….

    I call police to handle situations. Better them than me when applicable.

    I call property owners to address issues with tenants. Not tenants.

    I discreetly ask to speak with business owners, store managers if I have issues in their places of business.

    I bring my issue to the person with the most power. Don’t make that hired hitman or hitwoman into a big cheese by spending a single precious breath on them.

    Confronting cheating cohorts is catnip to the cheating parties. Eff that noise. Spend your attention and words and breath on your lawyer.

    Please don’t feed the monsters and elevate their status. The worst thing you can do to a dog, and the best thing you can do with cheaters, is WITHDRAW ATTENTION.

    This takes daily practice and time, and is worth the effort.

    • Pluuuuus….

      If a garbage man takes away a container of radioactive toxic poisonous waste that I just learned did not contain valuables, I’m not going to run after the garbage man to give him a piece of my mind (as if I could afford to do so).

      The last thing I want to do is imply that the cheating cohort has found someone wonderful.

      Wonderful people don’t screw around with married people. Wonderful married/committed people don’t screw around.

      Next time you’re tempted to confront the cheating cohort, remember they took the trash to the dump for free.

    • Mostly because there’s no one in the world that cares about you less than APs. To them, you’re whatever your spouse told them you are (probably all lies anyway), and that opinion won’t move an inch because if it did they’d have to confront the pain they inflicted to another human being. It’s much easier for them to believe you are this horrible harpy who had it coming, and leave it at that

  • Well, thank you this morning for giving me a new anacronym – PMZ. I had no idea that my libido at this time of my life had a name. Too bad I can’t find a decent available man to help me explore it!

    Now that the worse of the hot flashes have passed by, I’m enjoying the freedom of not having to watch a calendar and carry tampons around. I’m coming to terms with keeping myself fairly fit, without starving or breaking myself to do it, and learning to love my little muffin top, ’cause I sure as shit ain’t giving up bread and stuff just to attempt to keep a 20 year old flat stomach!

    Guys my age that are passing me by to chase the 20 year younger ladies sure don’t know what they are missing with me. So much potential fun with so much less potential drama and no worries about getting preggers or wanting to set up a nest…..fools.

    • Treat yourself to a Balmuda toaster oven.

      They are so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.


  • Question: is this the kind of partner you want?

    Answer: no

    Action Steps: step 1) F that guy, drop him
    step 2) forget contacting his bitch side piece too, it would be a mindfuck
    step 3) live an amazing life going forward

  • I started puberty early. I had awful PMS. I had an awful 10 year duration thru various stages of menopause. When it was finally complete, I have been happier and healthier and more content than any time in my life. Of course, I am also FW free.

    I believe if men had periods, had to carry and deliver children, and nurse them and care for them as infants, and then went thru menopause at its horrendous worst due to symptoms, that the world would be a very different place, and medicine would make terrific advances in all these areas. But alas, we are mere women, and controlled by our “hysteria”. Sure.

    None of his has any relation to cheating. Cheaters have a mental/character deficiency. Regardless of their partner’s health.

    Men who do not understand that women do not intend to “inconvenience” them by having a natural cycle are not worthy of having a female partner.

  • I read the whole response. Ugh. “You may forgive your partner or you may decide to move on, but digging around in the dirt you have uncovered for proof of further betrayal is definitely the least constructive action to take. He’s made clear that you are his priority. I’d suggest you sit back and work out whether he is yours.”

    1) This asshole has not made it clear that you are his priority. I’ve watched several loved ones go through breast cancer: the mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation. I want to punch that husband in the face thinking about him cheating while his poor wife was going through hell. That his 9 week trial run of the making the secondary relationship his primary one didn’t pan out doesn’t mean he loves his wife or truly cares about her.

    2) If she is truly considering reconciliation then trying to figure out the scope of betrayal or if it’s still ongoing is not “digging around in the dirt.” But playing marriage police will drive someone crazy, which is why it’s usually just best to leave and just not care if you have the whole truth or not. Accepting that you do have the truth and staying is the stupidest thing to do.

  • F*** all of their lame excuses. They would NEVER admit it but they are SHITTY people. PERIOD!!!

    I should know, 3 decades of lies. Not bragging but I looked great the entire time (genes) and I barely went through menopause. Honestly HIS ED was the problem if there was one and that started early, most likely due to his porn addiction. Serial cheating worked out though!

    Glad I took out the trash ….. 5 years ago LACGAL

  • Columnist’s never ever get cheating right.
    Every newspaper should factor out questions on cheating to CL.
    It’s infuriating reading all the insensitive misinformation and advice.
    This columnist’s response was batwing crazy though.

    It’s just so sad that cheating is so accepted in society. I just watched another show “Younger” on prime, where cheating was used as a source of comedy in the storyline. A betrayed wife was made to look like an idiot, and the young OW had ZERO remorse or shame. And the friends of the OW had no problems with the fact that she was fucking a married man ( didn’t approve of her fucking one of her clients but the fact that he was married was irrelevant).

    If there was a different narrative around cheating as there is with other kinds of abuse, we would not want to connect with our cheater or their cheating partner.

  • From the Chicago tribune. Made me think about I’m selfish T-shirts’ for cheaters.

    ‘So instead of providing vaccine passports to people who get the Pfizer or Moderna or Johnson & Johnson shots, let’s just issue mandatory “I’M SELFISH!” T-shirts to those who refuse.
    The unvaccinated can (well, technically “must”) wear the T-shirts anytime they’re in public, allowing the rest of us to avoid them like the plague and making it easier for restaurant hosts and security officers at stores and companies to show them the door.
    The vaccinated can feel secure and the unvaccinated get a free T-shirt and another thing to feel aggrieved about. It’s a true win-win.’

  • I feel bad for women who are completely devastated by aging but I wish they could stop acting like we all are and demanding that we admit we’re devastated and invisible and cast out by society to make them feel better about their own issues. And loss of fertility? I don’t give a flying fuck about that, I was done making babies 20 years ago and I still haven’t hit menopause. My fertility has only been a burden on me since then.

    She completely ignored this woman asking for help and just vomited her own issues all over her. What a crappy advice columnist.

    • ‘we’re devastated and invisible and cast out by society’
      I agree, I wish women would stop spreading that narrative.
      I also wish people would stop talking about all the evils of ageing where women are concerned. Things that just used to be a part of life that no one even thought about- have now become things to feel ashamed of and worried about.
      I don’t hear things about men’s balls hanging to the floor or things like that… It’s always things affecting women.
      I think in a roundabout way, a big part of that thinking has to do with Internet porn and the age of the very young woman getting the views. ….and of course Hollywood’s love of matching men with women 15 to 30 years younger.

      • It is so ridiculous. I’ve been being told for years that I’m over the hill and men won’t want me anymore. When will that glorious thing happen?! I go to the grocery store in sweats with no makeup and my hair a mess and they STILL bother me! I get hit on and asked out by young men my son’s age even! It’s weird and it grosses me out but since they’re polite about it I just say no thank you.

        There are all these men and women even saying no one wants older women and I’m just not experiencing that. I have a nice partnership with a man I’m happy with who genuinely cares about me and do not want anything else. I don’t flirt, I don’t dress sexy, I do not want male attention at all, I’d like to be invisible to them and it’s just not happening. And so many women I know say the same thing.

        It’s just a myth to try to make us hate ourselves for being human. And it’s bad enough when men do it but when women do it to other women?! I was kind before and said I felt bad for women like that advice columnist but honestly, I hate them for pushing this narrative. It’s so damaging to women. She should be ashamed of herself.

      • For laughs watch “Nut Bra” on YouTube which addresses male aging. Somebody needs to do a remake

      • The other thing to remember about Mariella, besides her obsession with the menopause (she did a TV show about it) is that she first shot to fame in the UK as an other woman. In the early 90s she alleged cheated with the husband of a very popular TV star who had very young children at the time. So no wonder she’s in the “no judgement about cheating” camp.

      • The other thing to remember about Mariella, besides her preoccupation with the menopause (she did a TV show about it) is that she first shot to fame in the UK as an other woman. In the early 90s she alleged cheated with the husband of a very popular TV star who had very young children at the time. So no wonder she’s in the “no judgement about cheating” camp.

    • I agree, except for that getting sick and dying thing, age does not bother me. Obviously if I could live with my health until I am 100 or more, that would be great.

      As for the losing fertility, I had that taken care of at age 26. I don’t know where they get all this crap. I get that it is an issue for some and I respect that, but we are not all the same. It is just another way of telling a woman she can’t think for herself.

      I wish I had insisted the ex get fixed, who know how many kids he has littered about.

  • What next? As in the days of ” Mad Men ” advertising if the wife appliance serves the wrong brand of coffee, doesn’t have his supper on the table at the proper time, she gained weight, hasn’t pumped up his ” ego” enough all of these things can justify cheating. Look at Hollywood, Jennifer Aniston has been cheated on, ” come on man.” Cheaters don’t need a reason they do it because they can. We don’t have to put on the demeaning Cardi-B WAP act or wear a knit vagina on our head and march around to prove anything. We can get the legal marriage contract changed if we decide it’s worth it.

  • Maybe someone has already made this point, but I just want to add that I hate that men’s aging never seems to enter the equation.

    Society deems older women as past their prime, menopausal, or whatever-the-hell dismissive phrase they want to use. Men in the same damn demographic, however, are so often considered attractive and fully entitled to belly up to the young-pussy buffet. Society sanctions it!!! Movies and tv shows romanticize it. Men get away with it.

    Fucking double standards. I’m mad as hell! #misogyny

    • They can belly up to the “young-pussy buffet” all they like. This pussy ain’t biting. My XH stopped having sex with me before he even turned 30. Now most of that was a desire to shame and humiliate me, but I’m still not taking my chances with faulty equipment or premature not-so-happy endings. Once fully vaccinated I’m hitting the dating sites and my age range will be capped at 35.

    • I totally agree Spinach.
      My stbx told me that he considered leaving me when I went through menopause. I was cranky, having multiple hot flashes and all the rest. I had to go on medication. Instead of supporting me or having any empathy at all he was going to just leave. Well I wish he would have left then. I was in my 50s. I’m now 62. I would have been done with his ass and on to a better life already. And very likely retired!

      By the way, when I was pregnant with our daughter and was tired most of the time he whined and complained to his mom that I should not be so tired just because I was pregnant. She told him to back off and quit complaining. So instead he had lots of stomach problems while I was pregnant. I think he wanted to get all of the attention. ????

      • Of course he pretended to have a tummy ache when you were pregnant!! Classic attention-seeking behavior. These FWs are emotionally stunted, kibble-needy bottom feeders.

        In a journal I kept when I was pregnant with my second (at 28), I wrote that my husband was “disgusted with my body.” I was 8 months pregnant!! WTF!!! Young, emotionally abused Spinach didn’t recoil at the absurdity of that. Instead, she just wrote something lame like, “Well, I could lose weight, but I don’t think that wouldn’t be good for the baby, so I won’t.” Oh for God’s sake! Cringeworthy!!!! I wish she had written, “My husband is a selfish prick.” *sigh*

  • Re-posting here at end of thread.

    An amazing amount of infidelity is not denied. It’s publicly available information, particularly on social media. There should be legal exposure/financial penalties for parties engaged in the destruction of a marriage. For the spouse, there should be a forfeiture of claim to (the faithful spouse’s) retirement savings or pension. For the schmoopie, there should be financial costs to cover damages, including attaching wages. For the marriages that are “open” or have “simply grown apart”, a written waiver can be required.

    • In my state, if you’re willing to go to trial, there can be penalties in the division of assets if adultery is proven. The older judges tend to go harder on that than the younger ones.

      I just wanted it settled. I was fine with 50/50, and my ex was retired, so they’d take that into account anyway. I didn’t get a P.I. and settled out of court as soon as the agreement met my bottom line.

      On the day I signed the agreement, my attorney had been in a settlement conference with a wealthy, middle-aged male client before a judge in the morning. The client had sworn up and down that there was no adultery with my attorney and then before the judge, but then it came out in the trial that had several ladies on the side and had been entertaining them with gifts and trips. In the settlement conference, the judge cited the adultery and proportionally give the wife more.

      The client turned to my attorney and asked why he didn’t get a good settlement like my attorney said he would. My attorney asked why he lied about the adultery. Then he said that he would be closing the file as soon as possible because he doesn’t represent liars. Then he smiled and said, “I leave the liars for other attorneys.”

  • “He’s a lying liar who lies.”
    What the holy heck??? I am starting menopause and I finally feel like I am coming into my own. No shame here and my menopause had nothing to do with my chumpiness and had everything to do with the LYING LIAR WHO LIES – and is addicted to porn, and sneaking, and methamphetamine and, oh yeah – he is A LYING LIAR WHO LIES. Plenty of fish in the sea who don’t lie – or not – I’m really pretty happy with myself and my bed to myself and no complaining in my home and… MY GOD my house is peaceful! This bitch is like projecting her own feelings of inadequacy on a CANCER SURVIVING CHUMP – forget that bitch, for real.

  • Yes, it would have been easier if he had died, but I wasn’t given that hand. In my long-term circles there’s all kinds of sympathy for the widows, and little for the gray divorcees like myself. It’s assumed that because it went bad, you’re over it. Yes, I’m better, but I’m still very much healing too.

    There are plenty of men out there that stick with older women and love them as they are. The idea that men aren’t made for fidelity is bunk.

    I had the worst time getting employment after raising the kids and being the manager of the house, but I got it figured out. Yes, ageism is alive and well. I didn’t give up though and ultimately ended up with work I love and good income. I can’t live on what I got from the divorce, so I had to figure it out.

    I had some health problems that took a crisis to figure out, but I’m on the mend and feel better than ever.

    Live is a big struggle and HARD, but we’re better for the fight.

  • “Funny” that you posted this today.

    Just last night I went out to have dinner with some friends of mine. There were three couples there, and I was of course by myself.

    Menopause is just starting to hit me now. I sat there having the hottest heat flash in the world. I was uncomfortable and eventually just left. Of course, it’s another thing I despise my ex-husband for. He enjoyed my body for 20 years, but now I’ve got to go through this shit alone.

    • Yeah it’s bummer. Worst than anything a woman has to go through. Try a low dose pull. Works wonders. You will get through it cos you’re strong. Hang in there

  • The mind boggles. This brave hard working woman was chumped during breast cancer. Just an inconvenient truth for the columnist it appears, who is herself “less than sympathetic” – not to mention the callous cheating FW. Small wonder she was overwhelmed. Anyone would be, menopausal or not!
    The columnist should be ashamed for ‘phoning it in’ and doubling down on the abuse. This is the definition of adding insult to injury. This is the truth about the “lying liar who lies” and not get fuzzy with the red herring of hormones. Time for this chump to stay frosty and start lining up ducks.

    • This is a great opportunity for CN to flood the Guardian with info on LACGAL and ChumpLady. Cheating is *abuse* and we have to tell them – change the narrative!

  • The columnists last name is “Frostup”?

    Don’t think that one is capable of a “warm and empathic” response.

    Tracy, you need to take over The Guardian advice column, and Ms. Frostup can be relegated to discussing the intersection of liminality of Marks and Spencer’s Rice Pudding.

    Whose with me? ????????????????

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