Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

UBT: Gina Frangello, Blow Your House Down

Blow your house downI’m a feminist and I find Other Women “feminists” so tiresome. Fucking around on your partner doesn’t make you a feminist, it makes you a jerk.

Before I throw Gina Frangello into the jaws of the Universal Bullshit Translator, let me just rattle off a few ways being a mistress (per AP Style: lov-ah, companion, fuck-puppet) is the most retrograde, sexist thing imaginable.

1.) Pick me dancing to “win” a cheater is abasing yourself. Powerful women don’t make competing for a fuckboy the center of their existence. You’re not turning the tables on the patriarchy — you’re sucking its dick. You’re a side show contestant hoping to be found worthy. Alice Paul didn’t starve herself so you could take selfies with your married boyfriend, okay?

2.) You are colluding in abuse. You can’t cheat without chumping someone. You are risking another woman’s health, mental well-being, her family life. She didn’t consent. The secrecy and deception that gives your “relationship” the frisson of danger that you enjoy, you enjoy at HER expense. That isn’t Universal Sisterhood, it’s Vichy, France.

3.) Swapping out one set of entitlements and abuse for another doesn’t make you liberated, it makes you the oppressor. Just because men have been able to fuck around with impunity for centuries doesn’t make it right, or something to aspire to. Yes, women are fully human, with all the flaws and vices therein. And they get called names men don’t get called. And that has NOTHING to do with abusing others. You enjoy furtive orgasms and feelings of unearned superiority? Don’t call it liberation. Or self-actualization. Call it what it is — pathetic. You’re sticking it to a chump, that makes YOU the bad guy.

Now to the UBT. This might take an extra helping of lebkuchen…

Who is Gina Frangello? She’s wrote a recent memoir “Blow Your House Down — A Story of Family, Feminism and Treason” about her long-term affair.

She eventually marries this dream boat, and wrote a breathy piece about her pandemic Zoom wedding for Psychology Today (WTF Psychology Today? We’re doing Vow sections now?)

By then, we were a year deep into a passionate and clandestine extramarital affair.

We had both been married forever—two decades, give or take a few years, apiece. Although our marital relationships were radically different from one another’s, neither of us had ever cheated on our spouses prior to our affair. We spent some three years “ending it” with one another but repeatedly falling back together before finally, reconciled at last to our inability to cleave, we each confessed to our spouses. Though we of course expected devastating fallouts, in retrospect we had little idea how wide-ranging and brutal the fallouts would truly be.

Rob lived in LA. His literary, music, and recovery communities were all in Southern California, as well as an almost constant sunshine that helped the depression that was a frequent byproduct of his ultradian bipolar disorder. I lived in Chicago with my three kids and the two elderly parents I’d been caretaking for nearly a decade.

Yes, he’s a bipolar addict musician who lives thousands of miles away. You know this is going to end well.

Now that those introductions are out of the way… the blurb.

Blow Your House Down is a powerful testimony about the ways our culture seeks to cage women in traditional narratives of self-sacrifice and erasure. Frangello uses her personal story to examine the place of women in contemporary society: the violence they experience, the rage they suppress, the ways their bodies often reveal what they cannot say aloud, and finally, what it means to transgress “being good” in order to reclaim your own life.

Nothing like being a side piece for years, the person you can’t introduce to anyone, to combat that erasure and self-sacrifice narrative.

Yes, the only way to reclaim one’s life is to transgress. Consider therapeutic school shootings. Hey, I had suppressed rage!

“Underlying this generous and intimate personal history is a censure of the broad cultural suppression (and demonization) of women’s rage, passion, and autonomy; and the gleeful eagerness to punish women who have transgressed. Frangello presents rationalizations for her actions, but she isn’t asking to be excused: This isn’t so much about seeking absolution—though she knows she’s being judged—as much as it’s about reclaiming a story that is too easily appropriated and rewritten by outsiders, often through a lens of misogyny. It’s a powerful, electric testimony.” —Arianna Rebolini, BuzzFeed

Judging is misogyny. Fucking your husband, not so much.

The New York Times excerpts:

A is for Adulteress

But you knew that. There is virtually no history of literature without the Adulteress. Anna Karenina, Emma Bovary, Edna Pontellier, Hester Prynne, Daisy Buchanan, Molly Bloom. The adulteress throws herself in front of a train, runs over her husband’s lover with a car, walks into the ocean intent on dying without a care for her children. A is for Adulteress, Agent of Ruin. Woman.

A is for Average.

But you knew that. There is virtually no history without the dumb side piece. The conspiratorial mean girl who would screw her friend’s boyfriend. The thirsty Adult Friend Finder ad placer, whose no-strings-attached-sex offerings make her special. The aging cheerleader with the 80s blowout who has more self-regard than sense. A is for average, agent of suburbia, banal.

A is for Ancient

Various recent studies using extensive data from online dating sites have revealed that women’s perceived attractiveness by men hits its highest point at the age of eighteen and declines steadily thereafter (Elizabeth Burch), and that the peak age of women’s attractiveness is somewhere around twenty-two or twenty-three (Christian Rudder). According to Rudder, co-founder of OkCupid, “Younger is better and youngest is best of all.” For men, by contrast, attractiveness seems to increase steadily with age, peaking somewhere between forty-six and fifty.

Given these “facts,” one might wonder what irrational force could possibly have prompted A to believe that she still matters enough for all this fuss to begin with—for all this inconveniencing of other, upstanding people who had expectations of and plans involving her? Just look at the way she’s carrying on, as though she honestly doesn’t realize she is statistically Unfuckable anyway.

I’m not a narcissist, I’m a warrior against agism. You said I don’t matter? Watch me matter as I fuck around on my husband for years. Which inconveniences him. The way chopping off your arm inconveniences your tennis game.

Don’t mind the fuss. I had to prove I was fuckable. Apparently your devotion and sex, Husband, was not enough validity.


The UBT is tired. Read the Psychology Today piece if you want to learn about Gina’s breast cancer and Rob’s wife’s breast cancer and how he shuttled between them both because he CARES!

It’s interesting that Rob’s wife is just an illustration of how Super Awesome Rob is. Who got erased here?

Not Gina.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “Fucking around on your partner doesn’t make you a feminist, it makes you a jerk.”

    Why oh why do these whores and whore mongers think it takes something special to find some trash that will bed them?

    • Right Susie?

      I think what they mean by “unfuckable” is “having less value purely as an object for pleasing the opposite sex.”

      I’m ok with that label actually. I’m not a top shelf fuck-object.

      Poor Gina, the feminist in her compelled her to double down on proving her value as a fuck-object. Methinks it might have been a tad more empowering to work on recognizing that one’s value doesn’t depend on outside validation from a dysfunctional member of the opposite sex. Maybe she could have written a book with a coherent narrative, rather than this self-contradicting pile of manure (is it me, or do even the blurbs/reviews not make sense?)

      But what do I know, she’s the authority on feminism, apparently.

    • It’s mind boggling how she connected feminism to screwing her family over. Anything to justify their shitty selves

      • OMG – a small step up from “the people of Walmart”!

        He isn’t even facing the camera, and he looks like somebody I would publicly avoid ( the ick factor is strong ). She looks like a smug little twat.

        I think karma will have fun with these two????

        • Hot holy hell…… black bra ? Ill fitting pj’s as formal wear …. the gum smile- the obviously mentally fragile groom in a fake silk robe and ??? Kilt…. and they dare share the monstrosity on social media……smh…….. hahahahaha yet she is a journalist … Rome burns yet she got her trew luv…….ffs

      • Amy is the only one “watching” with any sense. She isn’t seen.

        I didn’t see any of the Walthour clan listed. Imagine that. Cheat on your husband for 3 years and they don’t like you very much.

      • I really, really hate criticizing people about their appearance but WOW!

        That is not what I expected either of them to look like, especially her with all that I-am-superior-to-all-other-women attitude.

        Again, I won’t stoop low enough to rip their appearance, the setting and the general ick factor apart…BUT HIS PANTS?!?!

        Oh Lord. If either of these clowns is what it takes to rip apart 2 families I just give up.


      • I’m from a redneck state. All that’s missing is the Confederate & Gadsden flags on the wall, some moldy bong water spills on the floor, and scattered cat shit.

  • I work every day to not express my emotions in violence. But if I ever wanted to throat punch a bitch it would be over this utter bullshit. The lengths cheaters go to excuse their abuse and the resulting trauma is a provocation. Where is the book written by Rob’s wife? Oh right, she is trying to survive cancer and live through betrayal, simultaneously getting divorced from a serial cheater. Good thing I keep bail money.

  • “You’re not turning the tables on the patriarchy – you’re sucking it’s dick.”

    CL has distilled so many important concepts into to explosive nitroglycerin, but this is my new favorite.

  • “For the nine months after I told my ex-husband about the affair—even when he began dating, found a serious relationship and got engaged—Rob had still never spent a night with me in my family home.”

    Well, that deserves a big old Bitch Cookie – right? SO much self-control and honor in action.

      • Double-chocolate macadamia bitch cookie for Gina and Rob!

        Whatshisname – the one who was faithful and raised kids, cared for in-laws? Well, he can lick the eggshells.

        I hope Rob’s ex-wife is living a life of stellar happiness without him.

        I’m not terribly impressed with her college-age children either.


    I want Rob’s ex-wife to be supremely happy and healthy without him now that she’s not the main source of income in their marriage. May the smell of shit be long gone from her life.

    Breast cancer is no picnic, as I know firsthand. His showing up was just window dressing. No different from what he was doing and saying to Gayle while cheating on her for years.


    It appears that Rob’s father is also a FW. He left his wife in Florida (where she continued to pay on their house) and a few years later, got an ex parte divorce. Three months later, he filed for bankruptcy and forced her to hand him wads of cash. He didn’t care how it happened.

    • The first sentence on Rob’s wiki page is a run-on sentence. (He is a professional writer.) His band is named The Urinals. He is 54.

      • Charming.

        Well, his ex-wife is a college professor (English). I bet she is supremely relieved to never again have to listen to band practice or read whatever he wrote and have to play the role of supportive wife.

        May she be rolling in wads of cash now that she doesn’t have the leech and is no longer funding his journeys to get strange.

        • I think it’s hysterically funny that his memoir is called “Liar.” Nobody with any sense at all would marry him. I hope his ex-wife is fully recovered/in remission and is now living her best life without the bi-polar liar.

        • I read a few of the reviews and I copied snippets from one that appears to have nailed his character pretty darn well.

          “As for repetition, I believe one-quarter of the book could have been omitted as he droned on about stealing pills from his wife and throwing up all over the place, and contemplating suicide.”

          Gayle you are well shot of this fool!

          “Then we have the long list of women with whom he becomes involved: Ann, Gina, Mary to name a few. According to the author he is a non-stop sex machine, appealing to hordes of women who want to take care of him. There must be a special place on earth where these people hang out and I am grateful that I have never found it. According to Roberge all his women are smart and beautiful. They cannot be too smart if they tolerated his behavior any time of the night or day over a period of many years, without insisting he get professional help which they could not offer.”

          I’m not going to bash his wife for being a chump.

          “All of his friends must be saints, (or in just as bad shape as he is) otherwise, I cannot imagine why they would put up with his behavior and dependency. He lives like a parasite and seems determined to shock people. Apparently, he is a reasonably successful musician (from what he says), part of a band called “Urinals” – isn’t that a little juvenile? He does manage a marriage and a decent period of staying ‘clean’, but it doesn’t last.”

          Another snippet from a different reviewer:

          “For others, it will be only a two star because You will feel that you are being mentally manipulated by the author’s sensationalistic style and his frequent real-life details about disgusting behavior to rouse emotions on the part of you, the reader.”

          Yeah. They nailed him.

      • He’s in a band?! Oh this just gets better. Also, any shit bum can label themselves a “writer”.

        My hope is his ex-wife heals and I think she will now that this asswipe is out of her life.

        • Oh and guys in bands NEVER cheat. They are in it for the music.

          My first cheater was in a touring band. I found out when he came home from tour and I found a box of 100 condoms in his bag, basically empty.

          Well, at least we know the karma bus is revving it’s engines and will hit Gina like a ton of bricks

      • His band. The Urinals. What is it with these fuckwits and their dreams of being rockstars???

        I dated a guy ( huge mistake ) who dropped so much money on guitars and equipment that he could have bought a very decent car.

        Apparently he was smarter than the instructor and quit ( you’re not the boss of me ), and never learned to play. But part of his house was set up as a studio and he was sure that one day he would be a household name.

        I believe he’s still singing karaoke at a handful of Legions in the area.


  • Blow your house down….with your spouse and kids inside it….
    Because you need “happiness” those people still in the house..not sure what they need, don’t really care.

    • I should explain to my kids all all ages 11 and under that mommy needed over 20 other men inside her to feel happiness and sure what’s a completely destroyed little family and 15 years of relationship got anyway. When we found her on tinder saying she had a boyfriend who wants to watch her fuck other men, I should have been supportive and allowed her to go find joy and bliss whilst me and the kids stay home. My new name of calling her hovid-19 would be lost on her.

  • UBT:

    You see I married again at 52, and with a husband that sticks with me, through cancer and all, not like you poor things that get discarded like nothing. And I got the health insurance.
    That stupid wife, yes, particularly thanks to no-fault divorce, she is no longer comfortable financially. Maybe impoverished now. And with no health insurance. All those years for my financial benefit. I won. My life strategy has payed off.

    • Straight up, Flower! This is the reality that these scumbags don’t bring up in their fairy tale unicorn magic princess bullshit stories.

    • Do they want a bitch cookie for being supposed 1st time cheaters?
      Who cares! It doesn’t make the damage any less.

      • ????

        Of course the damage to the spouse and family was never important to them anyway. As long as they can somehow twist it to feel good about themselves… well nothing else matters.

    • “Neither of us had ever murdered someone before…”

      “Neither of us had ever stolen a car before…”

      No priors = justification and rationalization.

      “I never did it before so it’s OK and We’re Not Real Cheaters Like Those Other People”

      More idiocy.

      • Imagine Ted Buddy had used that line of defence in court, well your honor I had never raped and killed before.

        • Yeah, but once you get those “first time” jitters out of the way the next one’s pretty easy. Ol’ Gina should’ve thought of that. Rob’s well practiced at cheating now.

  • The Psychology Today piece is strangely reminiscent of that horrid HuffPo story about that gross couple that fell in love while making french fries. So much false self-reassurance that this is “twoo wuv” and that everything was worth it. Can’t wait for the five year update. ????

    • I’ll never read ‘psychology today’ again. One thing that I always find astounding ….. not that I think these people know what the definition of love is… But let’s say this was true love.
      It’s one thing to decimate a family for your own needs. It’s one thing to take the zillion steps required to have this romance come into fruition. It’s one thing to deceive, destroy, be narcissistic and entitled on an ongoing basis- and to finally realize what your entitled self thinks it deserves.
      But it’s next level scum to brag about it in any way shape or form on social media… and to write a book ????
      These fuckwits are entitled to the max. Zero empathy.

      • Oh, it’s “true love” until the sparkle wears off. However, both cheaters can revel in the knowledge they married a cheater.

        The mental gymnastics these people preform to convince themselves they are decent is Olympic level.

        Sorry, cheater. You are a liar and an abuser.

  • The hubris! HUBRIS to not only DO this but to SELL the story. It’s just astonishing. CL should hand out an entitlement trophy. Poor kids. Really.

  • Ugh. I don’t understand the world anymore, I really don’t.

    Glamorizing adultery and normalizing cheating as if it is something to be proud of makes me sick. Am I alone believing in monogamy and family values? I refuse to believe that this is the reality of the world and that I’m the weird that that must adapt and resign myself that to be a modern woman I have to send nudes to strangers, suck my boss’ cock and never expect monogamy as part of being in a relationship, that is just to keep up with the latest standards.

    • Nope you’re not alone, there is tons of men like me out there who are dying to meet a woman who wants monogamy and a loyal loving partner.

      • If only there was a Chump dating site. But, alas, it cannot happen because all the character disordered screw-ups would use it as a prey ground.

      • ChumpyNoLove,

        I pray that you are right.

        All I ask is that I don’t die before I can know what it feels like to be loved and cherished. And not by a creature with 4 legs or someone I gave birth to.

    • No, I am a Millennial and I have never done any of those things. I don’t think it’s a generational thing so much as a disordered vs normal people thing.

    • It’s not just the nudes and “friends with benefits” with people not trying to be a friend. I was shocked when I entered the dating scene and people thought they could strangle me (calling it choking or breath play) or go for my butt without asking after a short amount of time. No thanks! See Chumped but Good run away and hug my dog instead of dating.

  • The resource of my favorite lebkuchen sent me an email announcing a special off-season bake and a corresponding sale price.

    They must be psychic.

    I make a motion to place a whopping order for Tracy and the UBT.

    The book of hers I really want to read is what happens when she finds out Rob is fucking someone behind her back. I’ll stay tuned.

    The stunning irony is that the cheaters, whose conduct is proof positive that they lack the skills necessary for a healthy relationship, are the ones in a relationship while many of the loyal partners they put in the burn unit have difficulty imagining being in a relationship ever again.

    If only the cheaters would stay in their own lanes with each other and stay away from loyals.

    But then the game wouldn’t work……

    • She got the animal on the cover of her book right.

      Her Insta is private. I wonder why?

      Her website?

      WTF? I wonder if Gina would like to talk with some of our chumped children. I wonder if she’s read When Parents Cheat?

      Maybe she’d like to pal around with the North American Man Boy Love Association, who argue that there’s nothing wrong with being a pedophile.

      There’s a lot of people in the world who don’t care who gets hurt as long as they get what they want.

      They’re called sociopaths, Psychology Today. And by the way, fuck you, Psychology Today. My #metoo qualifier creep psych professor who was fucking a different female student once a week is probably an editor there now.

      • Not at my fav bookstore in Andersonville!!! This book is not about empowerment nor puts Women and Children FIRST.

        This is tripe is 50Shades of Grey for people seeking dysfunctional validation thru randos.


      • That’s a bookstore in Andersonville in Chicago. It’s been there for a while. Does she own the store?

    • ‘The stunning irony is that the cheaters, whose conduct is proof positive that they lack the skills necessary for a healthy relationship, are the ones in a relationship while many of the loyal partners they put in the burn unit have difficulty imagining being in a relationship ever again’
      So true, the destruction they cause others doesn’t seem to stop them in their tracks at all. They just blame everyone else anyhow, so they keep going, and generally are supported by society. Shallow people.
      Chumps on the other hand….. oh the scars run deep. The degree to which we take this abuse personally, go over it with a fine tooth comb, ruminate, try to find help and solid support, obsess and become filled with fear and inertia is so sad. Healing seems to become the time consuming project we never wanted. But the OW is happy to write a book about her success.

      • Exactly. How easily Gina moves on with her boyfriend, patting herself on the back all the way, crafting a tale with a happy ending for herself.

        Meanwhile their ex-spouses and children are wading through her wake of destruction.

        Ug. That point in the psychology today article where she says she was trying to “normalize my children’s lives amidst an increasingly contentious divorce.”

        Gee, why was that divorce contentious? And I wonder, why were your children is desperate need of stability?

        It takes a special type of asshole to paint herself as her kids savior when she was the one who burnt their life down in the first place.

        • ‘It takes a special type of asshole to paint herself as her kids savior when she was the one who burnt their life down in the first place’ and this is what they do. Especially the covert narcissist. It’s like driving the rape victim home – because you’re a nice guy.

      • Yes, I am officially fucked up due to being cheated on. My fantasy is to remarry as I know I was a good wife, BUT I know I can never, ever trust again to be remarried. I got the marital home in the divorce which I jokingly call the “Musuem of my Former Life.” (Filled with antiques & world wide travel souvenirs – a single income stream put a hard stop on that life). I know I can never trust to have a partner move in nor can I trust to sell my home to buy another with a partner. It’s all about trust who you know & the know will always & only be me. Writing this makes me sad – cheating fallout that fuckers will never understand.

        • Selling the marital home and most of the contents really helped me to move on – I actually got stuck with it – he had drained every penny of equity. I am in a new place that my kids and I decorated for our new life. It has made such a difference for all of us. The walls really do sing! Living in the museum was just too painful.
          Hurt1, I hope you can maybe consider doing the same. Even if you cannot afford to move a major cosmetic makeover of your home might help.

          • Thanks for this. I’m slowly moving into a rental that is nice but it just isn’t ‘home’. I love my house but I have to sell it and I’m struggling with the idea that I might not be able to buy again. I’ve been stuck for awhile now. I’m hoping I have the same feeling you do in your new place. Congrats on your walls singing. =-)

        • I know that sadness. I am an independent contractor who goes to many different work sites. Yesterday my drive to work happened to take me past the apartment where I used to live when Nitwit and I were dating. I got an overwhelming wave of sadness and nostalgia even though I know that my happiness at that time was an illusion. I was working long hours at a job I hated to afford that apartment and Nitwit’s mask would drop as soon as the ring was on his finger (the devaluation began on our honeymoon).

          I wish I could trade places with my younger self. 31 year old me has a better job skills than 26 year old me and would know better than to get engaged to Nitwit. But that would create a time travel paradox, so I guess it’s for the best.

        • Dear Hurt1,
          Cyber-hug!!!! Having a person you trusted so deeply and loved so much, betray you, would make almost anyone question their own ability to recognize another cheater if one came their way, or to know for sure who is really decent and good. I have been struggling with trusting my perceptions of people too, years after experiencing massive deception from my cheater. It is a real handicap in my profession, too–I ended up taking a few years off from it, and working in a side-line, til my confidence started to return. I hope that you will find true and good companionship soon.

        • I feel you on that. I was a damn good wife but I will never remarry. It’s a little sad.

          I moved and it’s been helpful. Same city but I now have a nice little apartment with everything I could want within walking distance. I always wanted to live like this but never could in the past so I’m doing it now. I do think it helped me to get out of the environment I shared with him.

    • It reminds me of that nut what’s her face that wrote a book about being free spirited and finding herself and being an addicte and getting pregnant and marrying her husband and being a crappy housekeeper? Gayle Doyle or something like that?something? The book had some tolerable parts, but I skimmed through her crap and though there were some parts of value. I thought, hmm you are fkd up but whatever Then her second book is about her dumping her husband and discovering being a lesbian! Because she does whatever she wants! I wonder what her third book would be about. Entitlement?????

  • Thank you for writing this C Lady. The OW’s BS is since they didn’t make promises to the betrayed wife – they didn’t do anything wrong.
    “ You are colluding in abuse. You can’t cheat without chumping someone. You are risking another woman’s health, mental well-being, her family life. She didn’t consent.”

    • Man that “they didn’t make vows to the betrayed partner” BS makes my blood boil.

      The watchword is not VOWS. It’s BOUNDARIES. Both the cheater and their accomplice are massively violating the boundaries of the chump. A committed relationship is an entity which is violated by both parties of an illicit entanglement.

      • That dirt common bit of side piece logic doesn’t quite work if written as, “It’s not like *I* made a vow to FW’s children not to scar their childhoods (and give their mom a debilitating STD via their FW dad, and booze it up on their college funds, and leave them under a tombstone of debt, etc., etc.)…”

        • ‘It’s not like *I* made a vow to FW’s children not to scar their childhoods’
          You had me at scarring children. Not their problem I guess.
          The accomplisses convince themselves they had nothing to do with any of it. I wonder if they also have the ability to eat chips all day long and convince their bodies that there’s no calories in it?

          • It’s not like I made a vow to not steal from the BS, and party it up and get my bills paid on money she provided, that she didn’t agree to. All while she sat at home, because it was just no fun for the cheating partner to party with his wife. Where is the excitement in that.

            The ow/om have the strange available at the end of the date, long term spouses can’t provide that so both the cheater and his/her whore made the decision together that the BS’s pain and right to make informed decisions, was not near as important as their orgasms from strange.

            Oh yes I know they were in wuv, but the first event was all about the strange, that is when the BS’s value to the cheater was determined. And he/she needed a partner in adultery to carry it out.

          • It’s funny when people who seem to be all about rebelliously spitting on the institution of marriage, suddenly rely on its structure for their moral relativism. Yes, not conspiring to damage other people is all about the legal vow. You’re only robbing a bank if you work for the bank. It’s only child abuse if the children are yours. FW logic.

        • Excusing the cheating accomplice with the “they didn’t make vows to ME” is actually the logic used by the accomplice to rationalize their conduct.

          • This is so abusive and it’s fucking bullshit. In my case STBX told me that his “new partner” feels really bad that she broke up our marriage. Really? Oh poor thing. He was actually telling me how concerned he was about her. Not once, not ONCE did he show any concern for how devastated I was. He was so deluded he just made a decision to leave me and I was suppose to be happy for him and concerned about how the new woman felt. The selfishness is so hard for me to wrap my head around. Not only did they decide it was okay to do what they did, they were very concerned with how it all impacted on their new relationship and what people thought of them. My daughter and I were simply collateral damage. To make matters worse-early on after DDay, they colluded to try and tell me I was mentally unstable and his girlfriend suggested I go into a mental health unit to get some help. She was just sooooo worried I was going to commit suicide that she convinced my husband to try and have me put away. You can’t make this shit up.

  • My facebook friends are all fawning over this book. My one friend who is a writer and editor said she legit cried at a recent Gina Frangello reading, and another said she LOVED the psychology today article. ????

    I desperately want to quote CL to them but I know it won’t make any difference in their opinion

      • They have all been buying Dan Savage’s bullshit for ages, so it’s likely hopeless to engage with them on topics like this. I think I even bought, it up to a point, when I was young. It’s a message young people wish were true – “fuck around all you want, you deserve to be HAPPY,” with no mention of the consequences

        I am bit “ahead of the game” as it were – most of my friends just got married and started having kids, whereas my kid is in high school and I’m at the end of a long marriage. I’ll give it five to ten years and then dole out copies of LACGAL as needed.

        • You are very tolerant. I’d be trading those friends on Craigslist for something useful like slightly used rug pads and blackout shades.

        • Ohhh I hear you on the “we all deserve to be HAPPY” anthem NotAnyMore.

          X-holes big bro (Serial Cheater to countless unsuspecting women) doled out his BS advice to both his sister (who dumped her solid family man hubby of 20 years for loser she met in a pub) and my X-hole hubby, that they all need to be “happy”.
          Evidently, “HAPPINESS” comes from bombing ones own family and scarring ones own children for life in this toxic dynamic clan I am divorcing. GOOD RIDDANCE!

    • Part of developing our pickers includes a fresh new friend circle. Even family needs to go if they do not see and understand the pain that has been inflicted upon you. If they don’t “get it” and believe that cheating is “no big deal” or think he simply “moved on”, then their ignorance has no place in your healing journey. Find QUALITY EMPATHETIC PEOPLE. Without the support of authentic people, we will continue to cycle around in the abuse of infidelity.

    • You should ask them if it would be acceptable if you started a sexual relationship with their husbands.

      • This is me at this point in my life. I’m the person who replies “oh cool, I’ll let everyone know your husband is available for fucking since you think this is great. Oh hi, Cheryl’s husband is available as fuck meat and she’s cool with it, did you need some dick? Oh wait, what’s that Cheryl? It’s not actually great?! When did you change your mind?!”

        People either hate me and call me bitter or they absolutely love me. I’m thoroughly enjoying this process of weeding out who I want to be friends with. Should’ve done it decades ago. LOL

  • On the subject of Psychology Today, not just the animal but the title of the book is a major Freudian tell IMHO. I’m wondering on earth the thinking is behind that choice?

    No kidding Gina. You are the wolf in the story of the Three Little Pigs. And your new husband too.

  • Honestly, I don’t have outrage, just tremendous hurt. I hurt when I think of those kids, one of whom is still in elementary school.

    She seriously says the wife’s breast cancer diagnosis was “horrifically timed,” because she herself needed more treatment. And then she says that the wife didn’t have as good of a support system as she does (!!!) — to kick her when she’s down, I guess?! I’m just gobsmacked.

  • Apparently, her mind is easily changed by money. Confirmation that her character is vanishingly thin.

    “The following guidelines are for divorcing couples, and are not about how to save your marriage (a list that would certainly include “do not cheat on your spouse” as item No. 2, right under “do not hit your spouse or kids”).”

    • “My divorce was precipitated by years of volatile fighting, emotional withdrawing and growing apart, but was ultimately pushed over the edge by an affair I held as a toxic secret for three years.”

      Note the passive language. “Was pushed over the edge.” SHE didn’t push it over the edge. It “was pushed”. Mistakes were made.

      Dr. frank Pittman to cheaters?

      “YOU are what is wrong with your marriage.”

      (I love him.)

    • I think some of the five-year sequel is in her divorce guideline explanations. She admits that she already misses her ex-husband, for one thing.
      And a very distasteful detail–apparently her teenage daughters found out about her affair first, by using her computer, and she told them it was over. Then three years later, she tells them she is leaving their father for the man she was having the affair with! Bleah.
      I think the whole Blow the House Down book is just an attempt to forestall criticism of her betrayal–“see, I’m not really a bad person, I even take care of elderly parents! And look how I suffered from cancer and hip pain, so please don’t judge me for cheating in my marriage”… My cheater was also very into presenting himself as some one who cared deeply about family, worrying aloud about his elderly mother’s memory problems and talking proudly about how important it was to him to support his kids financially; but it was his brother who did all the heavy lifting with the elderly parents because he lived next to them, and again, it was his brother who was the actual day-to-day father figure for the kids, for the same reason. It was all impression management.

    • I wish I could come up with a witty nickname for Nitwit but so far all I’ve come up with is GG for Glorified Gigolo. Or Dollar Whore because that is all anyone would pay for a night with him if they knew what a hot mess he is.

    • Gross ????

      I call serial cheater OW “thigh gap” because her Pinterest has like a dozen thigh gap workouts on it. I never knew that was a thing, but then I never needed to fit that many people in there…????

      • Well maybe she would be better spending her time focusing on the air gap she has between her ears. Maybe she does need the thigh gap to fit everyone in lol.

  • OMG.

    “In my case, my teenage daughters discovered my affair when snooping on my phone, as kids that age are likely to do, especially if you’re acting freaky because you are doing something shady like having a clandestine affair. Upon being caught, I proceeded to make the matter far worse by telling my daughters the affair was over and then never speaking of it again until I left their father nearly three years later for that same man, (with whom I’d been on-again/off-again the whole time), proving that I’d lied not just to my ex but to them.”


    “Bonus: Don’t lie. About anything. Nope, not about that either. Just do not lie. Full stop. Take it from me, as someone who knows the consequences, both intentional and unintentional. If you must fail, if you must hurt anyone, if you must do something you are afraid to do, at least do so honestly. Start now. In the end, our truth is all we have.”

  • I decided I was a feminist when it still wasn’t cool. I realized that a generation of women a little older than I was had gone through a monumental struggle to try to address some horrible wrongs that existed in our society. I realized the United States was a young country, but it was founded on a principle that all men were created equal.

    When I was in elementary school I was taught that “man” didn’t mean male exclusively, but could be used as a description for all mankind. I don’t know why there isn’t a term that doesn’t appear to be gender specific, and I sometimes struggle to write with awkward terms like he/she. You don’t have a social order without both male and female, at least not for more than one generation, because to propagate the species you have to have children. If my understanding of biology is correct, that requires a male and a female. At any rate I don’t believe being a feminist means you have to hate men, or be a lesbian, or a communist, or any of the other ridiculous notions associated with the term feminist by people who are threatened by it.

    I have heard both men and women speak against feminism for many reasons, and I have heard ridiculous arguments to defend bad behavior in the name of feminism. It is like religion, in a way. If you say you are a Christian, that does not mean you think the Inquisition was alright. If you say you are Jewish, you don’t conduct services with a cross, looking around for an impertinent young Jewish man to crucify. It is just a label that should represent some core ideology that is against repressing the interests of females , or considering them to be in some way inferior. Just like people of all colors need to coincide peacefully to have a productive society, people of both genders, and many sexual preferences need to coincide peacefully to have a productive society. Don’t mix up labels with thinking about fairness and equality.

    When women pretend to represent the interest of all women by saying “See Me! I can act like men have acted for centuries! It is my right. Down with the patriarchy!” it is a crime against all other women. I do not believe being a cheater represents either sex well. It takes two to do this Tango of Selfish Desire. The partners who honor the marriage are being cheated. They are being denied the promised love, time, honor, and financial honesty they were promised. In my mind, this is criminal behavior, but the laws of our young country and states have not caught up with this inequity. Yet.

    Part of my feminist philosophy is that I believe SOME DAY all the inequities will be addressed. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next year. But if we, as a people, do not seek “justice for all” we have failed. I try to live a life of responsible behavior. I try to take care of my own mess. I raised my children to clean up after themselves, and own their own mess. I cannot control other people’s hatred, or stupidity, but I can resist it. We all have the right to EXPECT to be treated equally under the law. The truth of the matter is we are not there yet.

    Articles which promote bad behavior sell. We cannot stop them, but we can use them as a point to start a discussion. Maybe that is the unintended purpose of this obsession with trying to represent bad as good. It really cannot be justified when examined logically. It stimulates conversation about good vs. evil. Maybe this drivel is actually a wake up call?

    Keep your labels straight Chump Nation! Keep trying to change the narrative!

    • Your line “When women pretend to represent the interest of all women by saying “See Me! I can act like men have acted for centuries! It is my right. Down with the patriarchy!” it is a crime against all other women” is a perfect description of XW. I could cite specific examples from my life (I played the traditional role of “supportive wife” in our marriage – raising our children and subordinating my career to hers until she dumped me for a married subordinate), but the more obvious example is how her actions affected the AP’s wife: a first-generation immigrant, first to go to college, sending money home to Latin America to support her parents, who now has to scrape up lawyers’ fees fighting her XH’s attempts to take their kids to go live 1000 miles away with my XW. I don’t care how many diversity and inclusion committees my ex-wife sits on, it won’t make up for the way she deliberately destroyed the life of an actual, real POC.

      In a way, the saddest part is that my XW saw firsthand the horrible way her father treated her mother (I can say, unreservedly, that they had the worst marriage I’ve ever witnessed firsthand) but she still patterned her life after his.

      • Oh, this is so sad. I hate your ex for such selfishness.

        “Together, we rise,” says feminism.
        “On your back, I rise,” says patriarchy.

        • For other old feminists out there, remember the (formerly?) core feminist belief that “sisterhood is powerful?” What the fuck does wrecking another woman’s marriage have to do with feminism?

          I find it sickening that she thinks she can call herself a feminist.

          • Yeah, I have my own issues with feminism because my STBX was a women’s studies major at university when I met him. I thought it was so cool – some women at the time (1990s) thought he was a poser, but I defended him, of course. Fast forward to DDay, it turns out he was leaving me to pursue his passion of BDSM. However, it’s not mutual – he confided some of the things he was into, such as beating and degrading women. He was not at all into a woman having any control in sex – at all. Honestly, we had a weird sex life, and I always thought it was a low libido on his part. I even wondered if he was gay. He wouldn’t let me give him a bj when we first met – it took me a long time to work on that one! And now I realize it was because that was something he couldn’t control. So, feminists – how is it that a man to claim to be one and studied “women’s studies” was out there secretly degrading and beating up women? He spent lots of $$ on prostitutes because he had to pay a lot to abuse them. Moral of the story, I take a lot time to warm up when someone bandies the word “feminists” around. I’ve been torched by it!

            • My ex considered himself a “male feminist.” He gets a lot of ally points at work for that. He got them from me, too. I am a feminist. I am even a former Director of a Women’s Studies program. When I married my now-ex I thought he was, as I was, a person who was uncomfortable with the gender role and expectations for his sex. He said he wanted an equal partnership. That was a large part of his appeal to me.

              Imagine my surprise when over the years he pushed more and more of the domestic responsibilities and the burdens of life onto me. Then capped this off, after 32 years of marriage, by announcing he was “a woman in a man’s body” and his idea of woman was a BDSM porn and feminist nightmare. “Women are passive,” he declared. And “Women should dress for their man.” And “I want you to hurt me, because to be dominated, will-less, and enjoy it defines Woman.”

              Yes, there’s nothing like finding out your “feminist” husband is really an Ur- misogynist. And has been carrying on while “exploring” his “inner woman” with an ex-student who was a Women’s Studies major.

              • OMG, I didn’t know this was a shared thing. My STBX was very into French feminists and other philosophers and was a defender of things like, “man-boy love”. I remember early discussions in our relationship about the Marquis de Sade. My take – he was a deluded asshole that wrote about his fantasies while in prison, his idea was that he was some kind of dark genius that understood sexuality. Why did I not take this as red flags galore? I thought we had a really deep intellectual connection (which we actually did).

                Now, in my case, all the BDSM stuff was kept from me. I do believe we had a bit of a madonna/whore thing happening. He kept me from his degrading sexual activities, but, at the same time, wanted me to have them. He essentially had rape fantasies, but he really and truly was out there hurting women. I feel it’s too dark to talk about here, but let’s say I found razor blades and blood. There was no role swapping in what he was doing – it was all one way power, control and abuse. It sickens me to think I shared a bed with him. I also feel that he was exploring women’s studies for his own pleasure and to get high on being around women and trying to understand their vulnerabilities. He did make jokes back then about being around a lot of “pussy” – he thought that was a funny thing to say. He loved thinking of himself as some superior intellectual that had some deep sexual insight. Gross, gross and gross.

                I really take exception to the fact that he thinks I’m a frigid prude. He never even bothered to explore with me what I was about sexually. He just decided what he was, and then carried on with his sex life behind my back. He was lame in bed, for the record.

            • That’s actually a “thing”– violent abusers who have a particular alacrity for books and material about or from women’s perspectives. Read Donald Dutton’s “The Batterer”– the whole thing is pretty clearly outlined in the decades of studies Dutton did on thousands of incarcerated abusers and spouse-killers.

              • It’s a technique that has long been recognized as highly effective: the wolf who dresses in sheep’s clothing.

  • I’m very disappointed that the magazine that published Dr. Frank Pittman’s articles on infidelity would grant ink and paper to the bullshit of Gina Frangello. And I told them so.

    “Kaja Perina is the Editor in Chief of Psychology Today. Prior to joining Psychology Today, she worked at magazines large and small; defunct and very much still alive (RIP Brill’s Content; not going anywhere soon: Vogue). Before that, she worked briefly in wire services and even more briefly in television news. Her own writing is anthologized in The Best American Science Writing series and she has served as co-author on studies that are published in peer-reviewed journals. She holds degrees from Vassar College and Columbia University.”

    Write the editor.

    • Thank you, VH.
      My submission;

      “Why are you publishing self congratulatory clickbait trash from the likes of Gina Frangello on how life enhancing it is to lie, cheat and break up two families in her disgustingly selfish, cliche-ridden “pursuit of happiness”?
      Of what relevance is this to psychology? Perhaps you wanted to display a classic case of narcissistic personality disorder as a case study? Yeah, somehow I don’t think so. The fact that it gets more clicks and you people have a cash register where your souls should be is likely the right answer.
      I’m happy to never buy your magazine or read any of your online drivel again.”

  • Here’s some wisdom from Gina, after she and Rob nuked their families and blew down their houses, after it was too late:

    “If you are still thinking of saving your marriage, I encourage you to dedicate a period of time to trying, single-mindedly and at the exclusion of any outsiders besides a trained therapist, to do so.”

    If you don’t know beforehand cheating is a dumbass move that indicates that marriage is out of your skillset, please spare us your 20/20 hindsight. I can tell the difference between the front and back of a horse without your advice.

    • Apparently David’s best wasn’t good enough for Gina. Their marriage wobbled with the stresses and strains of children, parents in poor health, thousands of ways to disagree and he didn’t dance hard enough for her. But rather than go to therapy and end it, like an adult, she hides behind the “we grew apart”. Did you see that she was caught by their daughters too?

      “g out positive sides of our personalities and encourage us in different ways. My ex was incredibly generous to my elderly parents and unflaggingly supportive of my literary aspirations; likewise, I often served as a conduit to our social world of family and friends and kept him connected to other people instead of lost inside his work and head.

      Without there being ways we enhanced each other, we would surely never have lasted as long as we did. But we also fought too often, each struggling to be “right” rather than prioritizing happiness, and his temper frightened me and left me walking on eggshells (which I later used as a big fat excuse—to myself and him—for my dishonesty in our final years). On a more basic level, we shared fewer and fewer interests as we aged, so we often experienced the other as rejecting, and our increasingly rigid gender roles caused each of us to atrophy in certain life skills. I still don’t see this as meaning that we “chose the wrong person” when we married, but rather that the things we each most needed in a partner at 22 became vastly different by the time we were 45. Our marriage thrived when it was only the two of us, but as we added in three children, sick and dying parents and friends, and increasingly demanding careers, we stopped nurturing one another emotionally.”

      • “We grew apart” is the red flag screening phrase I use in vetting anyone new. What an utter empty throw away line. Ambiguous enough to masquerade as an answer.

        • Right?!

          Do any of these people understand what “for better or for worse, forsaking all others” even means?

          They’re so vomitously self-involved that they can’t seem to fathom the concept of matrimonial union as the foundation of a community that contributes to everyone’s well-being. Marriage is NOT about living “happily ever after.” It’s about forging a strong partnership that upholds family and community. The happiness that comes from maintaining a solid marriage is not romantic; it’s the satisfaction and contentment that comes from being a loyal partner who helped build something more significant than personal happiness and, in doing so, reaps the benefits of lasting friendships, family growth, honor, and a better community for everyone. IMHO ????????

        • Yep, and I believe that the growing apart starts when the BS starts to be pushed away, so he/she withdraws to give the space that the cheater is demanding either in words or in the action of pushing us away.

          I know I started to withdraw when he was complaining of work stress, and needing space etc. What he needed was space and time to fully engage with the whore.

          My guess is she was done with the NSA phase of the sex and was starting to talk about marriage. So he had to start the final phase of the discard. I don’t think he was quite ready, but he had the promotion, he had the cushy office etc; she wanted to come out of the shadows. Also, I am pretty sure someone dropped a dime on them.

          Oh it all blew to hell and back and he lost his promotion and the cushy office. Guess he overvalued his use to the mayor. Oh well she got a steady meal ticket out of it. Which was convenient as she worked for a few weeks after they married, quit because of “back problems” and never worked again.

          He really did get everything he deserved, but of course it didn’t help me feel better at the time.

        • “We grew apart….after I was discovered fucking around and they discovered I was a liar and a cheater and an untrustworthy abusive AH.”

          They just leave off part of the sentence.

        • Unless accompanied by, “We worked really hard to stitch it back together but we realized it wasn’t working for either of us and we were both miserable and taking it out on one another. So we got a divorce. Which was still sad but things are better now.”

          I do not believe in staying in a crappy relationship for the sake of appearances, children, friends or neighbors. But I do expect people to end it without cheating.

      • I believe page 9 of the Cheater Handbook lists “we grew apart” along with “we had nothing in common”, “we weren’t going in the same direction”, “we consciously uncoupled”, “it just wasn’t working”, “our marriage was over/had died” etc. under Excuses For the Breakup.
        My cheater utilized most of them at one time or another. I was pompously told to my face that we “grew apart”. My answer was; “Sure, but the growing apart was a direct result of her legs spreading apart.” Dumbass didn’t have a comeback for that. He knew it was true.

      • Huh, sounds like she had a normal life to me, and she fucked it up by being a cheating asshole!

  • The agenda. Making money is the agenda. He is in a band no one has heard of. She writes piddling stuff. Oh, woe. How to make some money. Ah, write a book. Make it controversial so it will get talked about. Done. I don’t plan on adding to her income.

    • Bingo! The subject matter and title of her book is a powder keg of provocation designed to get attention and generate mucho dinero.

      This bitch has no real skills or talent other than to strap someone else’s marital mattress onto her back. Gina thinks she’s special and that makes her as pathetic as every other cheater on the planet.

    • I can’t imagine why a band named the Urinals isn’t a roaring success, or why her piffle-screed of a book isn’t an international best seller. ????

      • “Va-Gina blows Urinals’ member” — This title probably has more actual facts in it than her confection of a memoir.

  • “Yes, he’s a bipolar addict musician who lives thousands of miles away. You know this is going to end well.”

  • I love it when real life cheaters brag about themselves because you do indeed see how incredibly “average” they are. I looked up Gina and Rob’s wedding photo and they are both incredibly ” not attractive”. I don’t usually comment on appearances but its the stock in trade for adulterers so why not return the favor for a change.

    • well…. cheating is a Character problem, not a looks-thing. Doesn’t matter if you are Hot or Not, simply if you are willing and lack a moral compass.

    • Thought the same thing. I’m not knocking looks or being mean because they don’t have movie star features. It’s the manner in which these cheater writers portray themselves…the reader is lead to believe these oh so special cheaters are way above average and could easily be on the cover of magazines. Then when we see what they really look like (dumpy, frumpy, below average) it’s a bit of a shock.

      • We were thinking the same. The underlying implication is that cheaters are extra sexed up and somehow irresistable.

        The issue of atractiveness is only relevant to those who make it relevant or central. I’m appalled when public figures who in no way present themselves as sex objects nor weigh others on that scale are weighed as such by the peanut gallery. It’s a violation. But the minute someone opens their mouth to “weigh” or sexually mythologize themselves, it’s natural for onlookers to notice the disconnect. Live by the bootie, die by the bootie.

    • And that’s how they look in their wedding photos! Imagine how meh and blah they are on an average day.

      I don’t diss most people on looks but I have noticed that people who brag about cheating and seem to need lots of other people’s genitals and validation are never attractive. Average is as good as they get. My ex husband is a dumpy average looking 40 year old man and he’s seen as a gorgeous rockstar in these degenerate circles. It’s bizarre. I wonder if it’s just narcissistic people hating being ugly and needing to prove something by using and harming others.

      Because when good people are average looking or unattractive, they’re still good people and don’t do this stuff. But ugly narcissists just rampage destruction. I guess it’s hard to convince themselves how superior they are to everyone else when mirrors exist. LOL

      • Even very, very sober and rarified literary and political analysts will mention that Jean-Paul Sartre was a hideous, unhygienic toad of a man because he made this relevant by erecting (lol) himself as a legendary seducer. Live by objectification, die by it.

  • Decades ago I used to switch banks as a solution for my inability to balance a checkbook. Then a bookkeeper friend did it for me. Then she showed me how. Then I did it myself. Surprise surprise; no more checkbook problems.

    I think cheaters lack relationship skills which they deal with by fishing for other partners. Cheating is a symptom of serious and deep problems and doing the inner work is difficult. Nowadays you can easily find new people to hook up with and fuck over. The supply is endless. My friend was wife No. 2 of a world famous local rock star. My sister knew wife No. 1. Another friend knows wife No. 3. He is now on wide No. 5 (six?). I lost count. Thanks to his fame social position, he has an endless supply of potential wives. He most likely will never encounter the idea that maybe the problem is him.

    The easier softer way is what they seek out. Instead what they create is a colossal toxic SuperFund site out of the lives of those they made a commitment to. Ironically very crystal clear proof that they have no idea what love is. If those are your standards, best of luck to you. At the end of the day, it’s good that I know who he really is so I can extricate myself. I do not want to be in any kind of entanglement with someone who pulls the wings off of a butterfly.

    • I really like that analogy with the checkbook, VH. So true. Instead of fixing whatever’s going on inside that interferes with the ability to maintain a stable healthy relationship, they just get a new partner when the current relationship seems too challenging. And in this disordered world (where expecting monogamy is often seen as selfish), there’s an endless supply of new, willing partners. Clueless, but willing. ????

  • I have another comment — an aside to labels.

    I know that wolves have been portrayed as “bad” in literature and art and by farmers and ranchers. But they are really interesting creatures, who serve a purpose in the natural order. Actually all predatory animals do, in nature. It is human predators you have to be wary of.

    A long, long time ago I read a book called Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat. He actually lived with wolves and observed them in a scientific way. They have many admirable qualities. I read another book, Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Estes that was very interesting. It was awhile ago, but I remember she was interested in the female archetype in literature and oral history, and how the wildness of the wolf represented a wildness that was socialized out of women. She believed we needed to regain some of these qualities to be free.

    I love reading, especially reading that challenges the status quo. I believe I have to change and adapt to survive. I am trying to say that the image of the wolf is not always an accurate portrayal of the wolf, just as the term feminist is not always interpreted accurately. We have to challenge presumptions. The wolf is not always stalking little Red Riding Hood, but the story represents a good message. We need to be wary of those who represent themselves as something they are not. One of my names for Ex#1 was “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”. It was due to a story. But I know the whole story of Odysseus, who escaped an evil Cyclops he had blinded by riding under the belly of a ram. He was clever in his use of “sheep’s clothing”.

    Just as chumps need to be smart and get financial information, and make a plan to be free of the cheater, we all sometimes have to wear the protective wool to survive. It does not necessarily mean we have to be the “Big Bad Wolf”. We do need to be bold and fearless at times.

    Ok, so I am a literature freak. Guilty as charged.

    • I love wolves and remember Never Cry Wolf. There is a wolf that comes out every morning in the field where I walk. He’s on his trail while I am on mine.

      I guess it’s about perspective. I probably wouldn’t enjoy his company if I were the prey….

      I thought in my mirage that we were both lambs…..surprise surprise…..


      • I think you would enjoy the other book, too. Just remember, the time when she published.

        Do you ever watch documentaries? I watched an interesting one, I think on PBS, about Rewilding Europe. It was about a region in Iberia, Portugal, that was in decline until they started reintroducing some animals into the environment. They had a fascinating section on using DNA from the bones of an ancient “ox” to alter DNA of some genetic descendants, and reintroduce a version of the ox into the environment. Also some eye opening information about the role of the predator as essential to the natural environment.

        It was one of the rare nights I couldn’t sleep, and I found it by fortunate accident. Whether or not you can sleep, this documentary was a wonderful find. It got me excited, which eventually led me to exhaustion, and a wonderful sleep where I could dream peacefully. It also gave me some useful insights I sometimes use in my commentary posts.

        I love sources of excitement, like Chump Lady. Maybe I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie?
        But the strange things which exist in my mind from reading about the struggle to be free and live an authentic life resonate with many situations I read about on this site. Sometimes I think you have to get out of the problem to see it from another direction. I believe many write to CL knowing what they should do, but needing validation. Many times my thoughts might be off the wall, but they are somehow linked to the problem at hand by what I have learned on my journey.

        I think you use this same ability to share your experience to pay it forward. Well done!

        • I saw that one too. Also when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone many other species that were declining turned it around.

          The worst thing to happen is to lose apex predators. Prey animals can eat it to dust. Eastern woodlands are in bad shape because of the deer population. You shouldn’t have clear lines of sight – they should be tangles of underbrush, young trees, etc. We truly need

          • They tried to reintroduce wolves near my home, close to the Smoky Mtn. National Park. The experiment didn’t work well here. We may be too “civilized”, and the wolves could travel an incredible distance to seek prey. I cannot remember all the details, but I know they have tried to introduce several species. The park is beautiful, but we get so many tourists on our roads we have a problem containing them. The huge fires also put animals in distress, the black bears have become quite bold. Yes, we have too many deer. They are beautiful, but overpopulated. They have become a driving hazard..
            We also have a National Forrest with posted hunting seasons, and lots of hunters come from other states and even Canada. Evidently, it is not enough to control the populations. I know they stock fish in some of our streams and rivers for the many fishermen.

            Evidently Paradise takes a lot of work and money to maintain, and humans have difficulty being good caretakers!

      • Wolves are creatures like any of us. They have been maligned by our interpretation of them through myth and media stereotypes. They just are.

      • That is no surprise to me LAJ. If we lived closer, I think we could be great friends, we have many things in common. I just have to admire you from afar!

  • Wow!… this 2 legged sperm bank makes Robin Rinaldi ( Wild Oats Project) sound credible ! NOT! both are sickening.

  • Anna Karenina? The NY Times really irritates me with this kind of thing. This woman is writing in 21st century NYC, not czarist Russia. She has options. She needs to pull her head out of her butt.

    I had to wait till I was with my wife for 19 years till it was legal for us to marry. Is the institution of marriage without flaws? Of course not. But it was obviously good enough for a lot of people to spend years and millions of dollars fighting to get access to it. If this author wanted out she had plenty of opportunities to do so with integrity. This isn’t 1950 FFS. It’s the love of cake that made her cheat, not some need for liberation. If she had too many domestic responsibilities she could have talked to her husband, contacted elder care services, the list goes on.

    • Yep.

      There was in the room our entire relationship. One from onset of being exclusive (I thought) until she left town and another since 2006. She’s my therapist today. She fired him for conflict of interest after we separated
      (He was continuing to lie). I was never so glad to have spent that money as when he tries to rewrite history. He says “there are two sides to the story” and I say, “No, there are actually four and the other two agree with me.”

      What did he do in 27 years of therapy with me? I thought we were learning to avoid the shit show long term dysfunctional dumpster fire marriages our parents had. I found out after DDay he was lying, cheating, eating cake, hiding money, shopping for a new branch to swing to.

      Wise Therapist said:

      “All relationships have problems. You want a partner you can work through problems with.”

      (I thought I had that)

      “Leaving a relationship (barring abuse and other harmful situations) is not the answer. You take your unresolved issues with you to subsequent relationships.”

      (This was my main reason for trying to reconcile).

      Cheaters are not problem solvers or willing to look at themselves. Their solution is a relationship geographic.
      They total the car with their lack of driving skills and want a new car without examining the black box.

      I am actually the winner, having learned my spouse does not have the skills I want. And I am willing to look at my lack of skills and blind spots that led me to get involved with him….

      • TYPO….

        “There was A THERAPIST in the room our entire relationship”

        Cheating is not about marriage problems. The problem partners without skills who CREATE problems.

      • Me to VH. I stayed with fuckwit waaaaayyy too long because I thought if you worked on problems you would get better – and that includes sexual ones. However, I now realise it was me doing all the work. I sometimes wonder about that relationship advice because I WAS being abused, gaslighted, lied to, manipulated with every, single trick in the book. My world was controlled and constructed by him, but I scarcely noticed. I was too busy trying and giving him major latitude because of his “stress”. That worked a treat for him – my dedication, my love, my persistence meant I was fodder for abuse. And then discarded. It’s hard to know when to stop trying sometimes.

    • I also think she missed the point of Madame Bovary. Um… she’s not a feminist hero… she dies with black liquid pouring out her mouth… a symbol of her internal, moral rot.

  • Gina, I have a title suggestion for your inevitable, follow-up series of books.


    If Gina ever does look outside of her own, selfish, disordered, impulsive needs (doubtful), she may learn that Rob is the “prize” deserv-ed to lying, calculating, manipulative, evil snakes. Oh, but in her mind he is her “soulmate” and it’s “twu wuv.”
    Keep on fantasizing and crafting your delusional BS existence, Gina. It is truly ALL YOU HAVE NOW that you trash-canned your own family.

  • CL hit it out of the park.

    These loser traitors are now sentenced to trying to convince themselves and everyone around them that it was worth it, and they are happy crappy together.

    Be careful of what you think you want in life. You might just get it.

    Apparently values like fidelity and honesty are outdated and oppressive. But only to selfish LOSERS.

    • Yup, Gotta make good on bad.

      If the marriage dissolves because you were a loser and a total cheat, that is not a good story, but if you convince the masses that your cheating was a “good cause,” well, then you get a pass card or a bitch cookie.

      These people are so gross.

  • Portraying yourself as a wolf on the book cover, Gina, makes you seem wild, noble, and strong. In fact, you are more of a jackal, vulture, or dung beetle—skulking, grotesque, and drawn to the putrid.

  • Looking at pix of Frangello– lol, yikes.

    Every time a side piece/cheater does a corny, bodice-busting tell-all rhapsodie of illicit “wuv,” there’s the same comic turnaround: When reading it, you’re expecting the author to be, I don’t know, Meryl Streep in The French Lieutenant’s Woman–wanly tragic, helplessly pursued and reeking of sex. But then you see the author’s soft-focus, trying-their-best-to-have-a-chin profile pic and it’s always the same middle-aged potato with musty-looking hair. And it occurs to me that cheating is all about a kill-or-be-killed world view of former victims who internalized the worst of whatever ickiness was done to them as children. These are people who likely sense they’re at high risk of being re-victimized and whose worst nightmare is probably of being a chump so they strike first.

    Frangella actually looks just like the chump character of Mabel Nesbitt from Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, which might be touching and unconventionally beautiful if Frangella had any actual “character” to speak of. Show of character is Mabel’s main arc. Mabel, the sweet, cruelly-exploited, battered chump who finally rises up against her abusive, wormy, cheating class-climber husband, shows some spine that goes glowingly with her general kindness. She is lovely in her small rebellion– one of my favorite characters.

    But without that arc and without the abiding kindness, the character would just be a dog with a running start to out-dog the prettier, nastier, class-abusing female characters in the film who are ultimately revealed as hideous.

    • Sadly not all cheaters are physically unattractive. Ask me how I know. Unless he has magically transformed in the 8 months since I moved out Nitwit is still a better looking man than I am a woman. One day it may all catch up with him but I will be in the land of Meh by then.

      On the other hand my brother is a sweet, helpful man who works full time, takes care of our ill mother, and volunteers to help the elderly on weekends. He is also a rather plain looking fellow who has never had a girlfriend. I wish we lived in a world where the external matches the internal, but we don’t.

      • NMMNC– I was just picking on the FW/cheater/poacher memoirists, the ones humble-bragging about their irresistability. Woof.

        Otherwise the devil doesn’t wear horns. There’s no one safe category of people who can be verified on sight. Though I have noticed that serial cheaters get a filmy aura. It’s harder to see if you’ve been boiled like a frog next to them for years but the cheesy residue builds up.

      • Most cheaters tend to be narcissistic and narcs usually take extra care of themselves. Working out, facials, cosmetic procedures, etc. However, I’ve noticed when narcs age they don’t age gracefully. In fact I’ve seen aging narcs looking quite bizarre, sort of freakish. Especially the men for some reason. Of course I do know women narcs that have gone overboard with the botox, lip injections and just are a sight.

    • “yikes”


      “it’s always the same middle-aged potato with musty-looking hair”

      Ok that made me laugh.

  • A is for Asshole.

    That’s about it.

    And adding, wishing these assholes all the happiness that they deserve.

  • The whole alphabet non-fiction soup technique is bromidic and contrived. There are more sophisticated literary techniques to develop banal stories about poor choices that harm others.

  • If the chump wrote the book they’d be sued for defamation. Cheater writes the tale and it’s labeled brave and honest. What utter shite.

  • This drivel makes me want to write my own memoir. Or at least an article describing the virtual hell my children and I were forced to walk through, all because Captain Fuckwit wasn’t happy. It never occurred to him that cheating fosters discontent. These people are truly intellectually and emotionally challenged.

  • “I don’t care about any of that,” he reassured me, smiling at me while the world collapsed around us. “I’m marrying you. I’m the luckiest man in the world.”

    Really? Now this guy believes in marriage? Now nothing else matters? Now he is the luckiest man? They are finally in the same city. Reality is setting in. It isn’t clandestine or exciting anymore sneaking around. I would love an update from them in 20 more years to see if either one of them is still around.

    It is absolutely ridiculous how she is romanticizing infidelity and minimizing their two previous 20+ year marriages.

    • Frangello has to rewrite the narrative, lest she admit it’s all a delusion. Like Blanche Dubois, cheaters don’t want realism, they want magic.

      “I colluded in the emotional abuse of two families and then Rob’s shit sandwich was on my plate,” doesn’t sell so books as well.

  • Ugh. Libfems. This kind of bullshit is why radfems split off into a different camp. Libfems are just handmaidens in hooker heels. They’re the type who insist they aren’t being abused, it was actually THEIR idea to be choked during sex, and they’re okay with their boyfriends watching violent porn, because they don’t kink shame.
    Their philosophy (if one could even call it that) is whatever an individual woman wants, it’s a feminist act if she goes after it, even if it’s your husband she wants, even if it’s a gang bang with the Russian olympic weightlifting team. It’s all feminist to these twits. It sure is a convenient POV for selfish people.
    Sucking patriarchy’s dick is exactly what they do, but oh, they do it for THEIR enjoyment, so they’re more feminist than we are. Vomit.

  • The author, Dani Shapiro, has a pretty scathing review of this one in the NYTimes from April 6th. She doesn’t address the infidelity much in her review, but picks apart other elements that make the book problematic.

    Of interest for all of us here on CL, Dani pulls out that there’s tons of rage in the book. Which I think we’ve all seen from our Cheaters, in one form or another.

    Again, all the same playbook.

    • Dani Shapiro hosts/produces a podcast called ‘Family Secrets,’ about – family secrets. New season out this month.

  • Gina F says in the Psychology Today article that she now realizes that you can’t throw your spouse away like yesterday’s trash.

    So many adulterers have found this out.

    Sadly we are not conveniently disposable.

  • Yes, just sickening. How is bringing chaos into other people’s lives noble? My ex would say that I brought chaos into his life, but it was he who fled the long-term marriage by going many states away. Then the long-term spouse who let go of her career and had stuck by him through ongoing medical and mental health crises and raising their two kids from diapers to resumes suddenly had to figure it all out on her own. All while he was doing who-knows-what-with-who-knows-who on the coast.

    Everything from then on was sparked by that decision. That is NOT commitment. No wonder my divorce attorney started calling him “the boy” partway through. Mature 60-somethings don’t do that sort of thing, mental health issues or not.

    My divorce attorney closed the file last month. My work and business took off with the pandemic, and I’m having a ball with old and new friends as things open up again. I’m loving my causes and my volunteer work. Today I’m looking at patio furniture so I can have friends over to enjoy my screened porch. THAT is life and fulfillment.

    Pursue a married man? I don’t do chaos. I don’t give men with known mental health issues the time of day either. Sorry, been there already. Like I said, I don’t do chaos.

    • I like “traitor”. I also like “batterer” for both parties in an illicit entanglement.

      • Yes, my divorce attorney used that word too. He called my ex “the traitor” and “the boy” when I was in the office or on the phone with him. He stopped using my ex’s name some months in. Of course that was deliberate.

        After awhile he knew he could get a laugh out of me every time he did that.

  • Today’s piece made my blood boil – thank God for your clarity and capacity to cut through such bullshit. Please don’t ever give up on this blog we need your voice out there.

  • Once again CL hits it out of the ballpark! There is nothing feminist about fighting over a man or devaluing another woman behind her back. If a man is too stupid or immature to decide which woman he wants in his life then the “prize” is simply not worth the fight. Having been chumped myself I could never do that to another woman, even if it was someone I openly disliked.

    It’s not like dick is a rare commodity available only to a select few women. I am 31, reasonably fit but nothing special in the face, and yet if I started a Tinder account I would likely get more hits than my model-gorgeous XH. Finding a man willing to have sex with you is not exactly an accomplishment, unless you are deformed beyond belief. Finding a man who is good relationship material or cares enough to please you as well as himself in bed may be, but the fact that he is a cheater automatically disqualifies him from being good relationship material. As for how good male cheaters are in bed that too is doubtful given how narcissistic they are.

    The Dollar Whore cut me off sex even before the affair began. This is the equivalent of BubbleYum refusing to sell me their gum, then making a show of how willing they are to sell to other people. I may love BubbleYum. It may come in an attractive package and may have the best advertising team marketing it. But in the end bubble gum is bubble gum, cheap and ubiquitous. So I am not going to write BubbleYum a letter begging them to take me back as a customer and why I am a better customer than the people they are selling their product. I am just going to buy a pack of Orbitz. Now because I am an honorable woman I waited until my divorce was finalized before even thinking about seeing other guys and because I am a responsible woman with vulnerable family members I will wait some more until the pandemic is over. Still doesn’t change the fact that Mr. BubbleYum grossly overestimated his value and acted like his gum was worth as much as a Maserati.

  • I’d love to see someone mock up the back panel of the jacket for this book…

    Advance Praise for Gina Frangello’s Bitch Cookie Award-winning memoir, “Blow Your House Down”:

    “[Frangello’s] not turning the tables on the patriarchy – [she’s] sucking it’s dick.”
    -Chump Lady

    “A is for fuck you.”

    A classic cheater’s retelling of the Three Little Pigs: “Blow your house down….with your spouse and kids inside it…”

    “fairy tale unicorn magic princess bullshit”

    “50 Shades of Grey for people seeking dysfunctional validation thru randos.”

    “This bitch has no real skills or talent other than to strap someone else’s marital mattress onto her back.”

    “A heartbreaking work of staggering hypocrisy.

    “A must-read for any cheater/narcissist/sociopath looking to justify abuse and manage her image.”

    “Two fingers up!”
    -All of Chump Nation

    Stay tuned for the sequel, “DELUSIONAL!”, “where Gina finds out Rob is fucking someone behind her back.”
    -Velvet Hammer & Chumpadellic

  • Thank the Heavens for the UBT: “their bodies often reveal what they cannot say aloud” could cause a world war.

  • “Alice Paul didn’t starve herself so you could take selfies with your married boyfriend, okay?”

    Literary masterpiece.

  • I gotta chime in here.

    Disgusting….I saw the photos of them…WTF????

    People who want to justify their slimy behavior buy these books to assuage their conscience. Period.

    I am a grad student. I am divorced from an evil FW. A guy in my class supposedly devoted to his lovely wife asked me if I would like to screw him. Yes, 10 years younger than me, and I was completely grossed out even though he is attractive. What is wrong with people? And why in the hell he thought I would do that is beyond me……so insulting.

    I have no more faith. If someone has a success story, please share it.

  • Allow me to introduce Australia’s only female prime minister, Julia Gillard.

    Gillard was a career OW with an impressive list of married scalps, who had the gall in 2020 to lecture the faithfully-married male Leader of the Opposition on misogyny.

    Fuck that shit. The biggest misogynist in the room was the one giving the speech.

    • Correction – 2012 was the misogyny lecture.

      She’s been dining out on it ever since for Sticking it to the Man.

      No one seems to want to talk about how she Stuck it Into Various Men’s Wives.

  • Dude wrote a memoir called “Liar” and plays in a band called The Urinals? What is he, 14? Does he write his favorite emo song lyrics on his forearm in ball point pen as well? I think bailing on his family is the closest thing a middle aged man can get to cutting class and smoking cigarettes under the bleachers. These cheaters are just pathetic.

  • One aspect of my normal life that stayed intact during the pandemic was my decade+ strong book club. Zoom calls allowed us to easily and safely continue sharing our love for the transformative power of books. And then…..came THIS book, “Blow Your House Down.” I’m currently finding myself listening in horror to several women — who are intimately aware of the horror I experienced after discovering my ex’s double life — uniformly praise Frangello for her “raw, brutal honesty.” These are women who know just how broken and bruised my divorce left me. Even worse? Several other members have also experienced the unique pain that comes with chumpdom. Oh, and side note: What a surprise to find everyone’s favorite “Affairs are Transformative!” cheerleader, Esther Perel, making a guest appearance in the book — the author uses Perel’s research to to rationalize her actions and make a plea for treating emotional terrorists like herself with more compassion.

    So, of course I’ve been wondering, am I wrong to not see that “this” story is different? Are the circumstances of Ms. Frangello’s life that led her to her affair that special? Do they excuse or explain it?  Am I too intractable? Too unforgiving? Am I heartless for not seeing how Ms. Frangello’s experience is transformative or beautiful? Is it just that I haven’t reached the “meh” stage? (I mean IS there actually stage where I will ever understand or believe that sometimes affairs can be a cool, empowering feminist act?) Will I ever see that scorching the earth or blowing up your house — along with bystanders like your spouse and children — is actually a completely healthy, understandable and acceptable way to deal with your personal demons?

    I cringed every single time she took shots at her ex husband’s supposed anger management issue. Leading up to D-day, during my ex’s “final” affair that blew up our marriage, (after, it turns out, years of prostitutes and craigslist hook-ups), he would pick, pick, pick away at me and relentlessly bait me into ridiculous arguments. Unable to understand what was happening to my marriage — why my formerly loving and attentive husband had become so cold, so judgmental and disapproving of my every action — yes, I sometimes lost it. Yes, on more than one occasion, I pushed back and yelled things like, “Why? Why do you hate me? Why are you doing this to us?” And he’d tell me it was all me: If only I wasn’t so agitated and defensive all the time! He’d tell me I needed to get my “irrational” anger and defensiveness under control. “I think you should consider professional help to understand why you’re so angry and on edge all the time!” he’d tell me as he’d duck into the bathroom or slammed the door shut to his office (to text his shmoopie for an hour).

    Yet, according to a glowing LA Times book review I read, Ms. Frangello smugly assures us that she gave her children and current husband, Rob Roberge, the chance to veto certain sections: “None of them took me up on that.” Gosh, I wonder if she asked her ex (or her affair partner’s ex) if they’d like to veto certain sections? I’m guessing not. Like me, he must still be feeling chumped, scorched, blown away and, obviously, still bitter.

    So, thank you Chump Lady and the UBT for this. I really needed it.

    • That sucks, SeaChump. A waste to share any CL with a cheater, but maybe you could share this review and the Dani Shapiro review with the book club? I don’t know, still muddling through these fresh new dilemmas myself as I navigate post-cheater life during the apocalypse: “The Chump Road.” The fallout is far reaching and I’ve reluctantly decided to cut ties with many people, places and hobbies I really do still care about. I hope you don’t have to let this one go.

      Wish we could have a chump book club. Not necessarily about cheating, etc. Would be refreshing and affirming to read and discuss with folks with some shared perspectives (CL) and life experiences, but from otherwise diverse backgrounds. My best friend, a chump herself, was recently singing Perel’s praises. I want to connect and talk – about more than just infidelity and my ex – with people who get it.

    • I bet she did exactly that to her former husband (David Walthour – who appears to be happily remarried). Picked and complained and sulked and ignored and generally made everyone miserable until he finally yelled at her.

      Which she interprets as being an innocent victim of circumstance.

  • >