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Debunking “Affairs Are About Opportunity”

opportunityOne tenet of the Reconciliation Industrial Complex is that  “Affairs are about opportunity.” (Also known as the Chris Rock line, “You’re only as faithful as your options.”)

Why on earth is this the accepted “wisdom”? Yeah, affairs are about opportunity, the way bank robberies are about Thursdays.

If affairs are about opportunity, (and not lousy character) all it takes to stop affairs is to prevent people from having the opportunities to commit them.

(Cue the RIC. That will be $399 to affair-proof your marriage, please.)

Chumps must fortify their defenses! Don’t let your partner around Pretty People! Keep him on a tight leash! Is she really visiting her mother this weekend? What are you going to DO ABOUT THAT?

Opportunity might present itself! Quick! To the key loggers! Get me a voice-activated recorder stat! We need to monitor the situation for all signs of Opportunity!

If affairs are about opportunity (and not lousy character), then people are just as faithful as their options. Meaning, you better make yourself a palatable option there, Chump-o. What if there were the opportunity to trade up for someone better? You’d better be better! Dust off the pick me dance shoes.

Of course, as winsome as you strive to be, you can’t be someone different. You lack novelty. So, hey, why don’t you open up your marriage? Or, conversely, resort to option 1 — marriage police.

If affairs are about opportunity (and not lousy character), then affairs are things that Just Happen. Opportunity can smile on anyone. Even you there. Why, you could succumb to an affair as easily as your cheater! Because the only thing that distinguishes us from them is opportunity.

Affairs are about entitlement. When you feel entitled to cheat, you create those “opportunities” and take advantage of them.

Every day we are presented with choices that test our character. Anyone can get laid if they want to (especially if they’re not discriminating). Chumps don’t lack opportunity. We lack douchebaggery.

This one ran previously. 

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  • If the stairs were about opportunity. I would have had numerous Affairs. I had several opportunities throughout my marriage where I could have cheated. I had married men unmarried men ask me out on dates. And when I told him I was married they said what he don’t know won’t hurt him. However, I had the Integrity to tell them to go pound sand. Cheating is nothing more than four character. And doing what you want to do no matter who it hurts. If you truly love someone and truly cared about your marriage cheating would not even answer your mind. It never entered mine. I too felt. lonely throughout my marriage. I too felt like my spouse did not love me. I did not use that an excuse to cheat on my husband.
    My ex used those excuses why he cheated with my cousin. People cheat because they want to.

    • “What he don’t know won’t hurt him”, sounds like predation wrapped up to look ‘opportunity’.

      • As a JAG Corps officer in the 80’s, (I joined because the DOCTOR owed the Army for medical school), I was in a branch that was 90% male.

        I was literally surrounded by men and I was in my 20’s. I was in the best shape of my life.

        And Yes I was hit on (though to be fair to the military, it rarely equated to harassment). Still, most men were very friendly and it was clear they were available for “whatever…”

        I did not cheat.

        When DOCTOR Narkles was at his most irritable and sleep deprived, and gone all the time for his residency – (maybe??)- and was exhausted and grumpy when he finally staggered home–

        – I’m deeply ashamed to admit that the thought of an affair crossed my mind. I pondered it for at least a full day or two.

        There was a very eligible bachelor at work. Hmmm, so why didn’t I cheat?

        Because I did a thing the DOCTOR evidently never did.

        I THOUGHT OUT THE CONSEQUENCES (TO OTHERS!)…and the mere image of hurting him

        or our children, stopped me in my tracks.

        I transferred to a different office & never saw the potential affair guy again.

        That is what one does when one is tempted and “surrounded by oppportunity” but is not a selfish lying narc.

        The End.

        • I had the same experience. And yeah I was attracted to potential AP, whose flirtations I had just thought was being friendly until he was more direct. I too had thought about it; I think I was going through my own mid life crisis wondering ‘is this all there is’? But when it push came to shove, of course I would never go through with it and ended up making sure I was gone from the office when he was scheduled to be there until the department closed to avoid any possible temptation. Because that’s what effing responsible loyal honest dedicated grown ups do when presented with cheating ‘opportunities’. I guess ex thought about it too with whore and decided the risk was worth the reward–loss of ‘best friend’, family, complete loss of kids, etc. for a nasty piece of work who’d fk a married man. And if that’s the case then I guess we weren’t compatible after all, but I don’t regret my decision to stay monogamous.

        • Wondered why do you always put doctor in capitals and reduce your status to “doctor’s wife”? Seems to give him way more weight and you way less value than merited

          • Pretty sure it’s ironic on the part of DOCTOR’s1stWife&3Kids — she is very smart
            — and because her “DOCTOR” was a true textbook type of narc cheater and no doubt thought he was so very important because: doctor. So VIP treatment for the self important DOCTOR so he gets the CAPITAL LETTERS 😂even though she is a lawyer I think. He is a DICK regardless lol

            That’s how I read it anyway! And her posts are always amazing…

        • I had a friend, very eligible bachelor, also a medical doctor, very nice guy, full of morals, who always treated me very nicely. He never made a move on me or hit on me. But the way he treated me always brought comparisons to my Ex in my head. I always thought “this guy makes me feel better than FW. This guy treats me better than FW. This guy’s future GF will be a lucky one”. I reduced my contact with him to nil because I felt an emotional affair forming.
          Now looking back, after being chumped by FW, maybe this was a clear sign that I am with the wrong partner and that I should have just broken up with FW…

  • Interstate affairs not stairs. This autocorrect changes things on me and I don’t notice it till after I post it.

  • I think you’ve summed it up perfectly with that comment about the entitled *creating* opportunities. In that way, Chris is almost right because a good person wouldn’t cultivate other options, no matter how beautiful.

    • 💯 that’s just it. In the early days I tried to explain to Cheater that I get it, you don’t lose your eyes and all your hormones when you say “I do.” You are, however, expected to choose not to act on attraction to people other than your spouse. It’s not that difficult and nobody’s responsibility but your own. Even in college when I was uh… not super discriminating…I had to make choices about whether it was a good idea to sleep with random attractive people. While married, the choice was actually easier. Random attractive grad school classmate is too friendly? Don’t go out when s/he invites you. Hot coworker? Find someone else to have lunch with. Don’t put yourself in the situation and pretend it’s ok. Same as if you were single and decided it was a bad idea to get involved with someone attractive, which I KNOW Cheater has done.

      Cheater makes the schedule for his workplace. He scheduled himself to go on a trip with married howorker from another country and admitted he was “looking forward to seeing her.” He consciously and purposely set up the opportunity – she wasn’t even physically present when he made that choice. He hadn’t seen her in a year.

      So this is what kills me. He was so unhappy in his marriage, sitting here with no OW in sight. So, so unhappy with me but he sat here for months setting up this international opportunity and doing nothing about the marriage that supposedly caused him to need to cheat. Then came back and lied and hid so he could keep said awful marriage.

      When I found out he literally wrote a list of a decade of opportunities he DIDN’T take. Ok, fucker, so clearly you know what the standard is and are capable of upholding it. Clearly I’m not so awful that you’re flailing about desperately seeking human contact.

      He made a conscious choice that he wanted something and set up the opportunity to get it. I fail to see how any of this was my responsibility, or even the remotest reflection on me. It was pure entitlement.

        • They want everything. Entitled! They want what they don’t have, which translates to everything. They have toddler brains with none of the other advantages of actual toddlers.

          I’d rather hump a cacti than deal with these fuckers.

          • “They want fries AND vegetables with their entree.”
            “I’d rather hump a cacti”

            😂 Guys I have to go to mediation soon and I’m going to really have trouble taking him seriously with this in the back of my head…

            Thanks ❤️

      • It’s their criminal way of thinking, that’s what I’ve decided. It pervades everything in their life. So glad to be away from all that!

      • “Then came back and lied and hid so he could keep said awful marriage.”

        Yep, we are awful enough to cheat on, but not awful enough to divorce before they start “dating” to find their soul mate.

        I guess we will do as a safety net. Aren’t we lucky?

        • They are weak people who need safety nets. Mine shopped for my replacement for years. Found one then implemented his exit plan which was pretty good actually but he forgot to consult an attorney first and he underestimated me. Oopsie.

        • That right there. Exactly that.

          That thought was the only thing that made me snap out of the “why and I not good enough to keep him, why am I not as good as her?” mindset. Whenever it crept in, I would think about how stupid he looked telling all these chicks about how I was so awful…while NEVER LEAVING. Never divorcing me. If I was so awful why the fuck didn’t he run for his life?!?!

          One schmoopie even told me later “I never could figure out why he said ya’ll were roommates and only together for financial reasons, but he acted so terrified of you finding out.” Because he was a lying pussy, ma’am.

          • Oh, I like this thought. That is a good way to think about it. Mine was the same. He told people I was evil, controlling, abusive but he stayed with me for 20 years.

            It really is pathetic. Thank you for posting this. This is a good reframe. Next time one of those thoughts creep into my head I’m going to think, “Well, congratulations to her for bagging a whiny little piss baby who’s too afraid to be a man.”

            • No problem! Yeah schmoopies aren’t so smart. I guess it takes a ton of “willing suspension of disbelief” to screw a married man who still lives with his wife. 🤷‍♀️

              To add to it, we had ZERO debt other than our mortgage, even our cars were paid off, and no children, together or separately. So why exactly couldn’t he divorce me? Figure that one out lmao.

              • They are such idiots. We also had zero debt and we had lost a house several years before so we were renting, didn’t even have to deal with a house. Our child was an adult but he was still claiming he couldn’t get a divorce.

                It literally took me six weeks to get the divorce done, from start to finish with no help from him. It was incredibly easy. All he had to do was sign a paper. I think mine was only dragging his feet because he wanted half my inheritance and couldn’t figure out a way to get it because our state law is very clear that that is my money. But dragging it out several more years put us over 20 years and opened him up to alimony, his income increased, mine decreased and 20 years is a significant milestone for alimony in our state. So his greed cost him, like the dog who loses his bone trying to steal his reflection’s bone. LOL

            • Beans and KatiePig, thank you both for that! Hilariously well said. These women aren’t that smart, dating married men. And the guys aren’t that smart just manipulative, a dash of gaslighting, a bit of projection, topped off with triangulation and it’s no wonder chumps feel confused!

          • EXACTLY. I have often said, if I hate a restaurant I don’t keep eating there.

            Now I know that he was probably screwing around the whole time we were together. I suspect that the one I found out about at the end told him she would not keep seeing him unless he left. For our 20th wedding anniversary, he told me he wanted to “move out for a while by himself and not get divorced.” WTF does that mean?!

            I immediately asked him if he was involved with someone and he denied denied denied. It didn’t take much looking to find out the truth. So I now believe what he meant was, “I want to test-drive someone I’m fucking around with and come back if it doesn’t work out.”

            Did he pick her? I can’t say that he did because to choose you have to have options, and I was not on the list of options.
            I did initially agree to his insincere proposal to repair the marriage, but when he left a month or so later, I stayed firmly seated on the porch as he stood up, walked away, and drove off.

            He was later discovered by a neighbor spying on me after dark through the front windows of my house. I have never chased after him, spied on him. My feet tell the truth, and they are not walking after him.

            If he’s still with her, she can worry about who he’s screwing around with now. Our daughter caught him on Tinder, so the lucky winner has her work cut out for her.

            • YOur situation sounds similar to how mine played out. He left, then a few weeks after he filed wanted to come back, I let him and well it was a disaster; only lasted a week.

              Then I knew I was done. He circled back about 7 months later when he found out I had gone out on a date. They guy I started dating saw him on at least two occasions driving by his apartment to spy on me. I wasn’t there when he first did it. The second time he did it my date just happened to be standing there looking out the window and saw him drive slowly by. I was sitting in the living room. He could obviously see my car parked there. (I made no attempt to hide it).

              He was in an unmarked car, but it was easily distinguishable once you saw it.

              He came my house a couple days after that to tell me they guy was too old for me. Um no he wasn’t too old at all. Still isn’t.

              He then set up a meeting with our preacher to “talk”. I went, but honestly I knew I was done. I really just was curious as to what he would say, and I wanted to reject him. I got to reject him, but honestly all he was offering was to give me a chance to compete with the whore for him wonderfulness. When he looked at me and said “I can’t make any promises” I knew he was wanting us to fight over him.

              Lol. What a sad loser. Totally over estimated his worth to me.

      • It’s not your responsibility. It wasn’t about your failings or his twu wuv. None of it makes sense to a normal person. I drove myself crazy trying to make sense of bizarrely contradictory patterns and word salad because I wanted to understand so I could fix it all. I thought that if I could get it right, I would end the pain, bring back the man I (thought I) loved, and get my life back. To better than ever, even! (Thanks, Esther.)

        Is there any chance that list of missed “opportunities” was part confession? Pretty classic cheater move if so.

  • No other hurtful act is treated this way. Is domestic violence “about opportunity?” Identity theft? Hate crimes? Assault with a deadly weapon?

    This “opportunity” claim is pushed by the RIC to discount cheater culpability and pressure chumps to reconcile. The truth is that life is about choices. We all have opportunities to be selfish and hurt others in the process. EVERY. DAY. Most of us control our impulse toward immediate gratification and choose actions that are ethical and don’t destroy the lives of our spouses and children. Some folks don’t. Those people are assholes. They might be good at building a business empire (like cheater Jeff Bezos), or telling a joke (like cheater Chris Rock), but they’re still assholes.

    • Great point, it’s exactly like blaming rape victims for wearing short skirts and walking home alone. Complete abdication of personal responsibility to not be a sociopathic asshole.

      • “it’s exactly like blaming rape victims for wearing short skirts and walking home alone”

        Nail, meet hammer. 🔨

        Thank you, from someone who still gets those intrusive thoughts: “maybe I should have… been sexier, nicer, less temperamental, more agreeable” – a Stepford wife, maybe? 🙄

        Fuck that. I was a good wife, and anyone who was paying attention knows it. Of course, he wasn’t paying attention.

    • Yes, someone successfull will have more “opportunities” than others, but character shows in resisting them. Successfull often people tend to believe in their superiority when they are admired long enough. My FW was also a “talent” and I’m pretty sure that this was at the source of his entitlement.

      • Giraffy, I’m fairly successful in terms of education, profession, and finances. More so than almost anyone I grew up with. And yet as I grew more successful, and had more “opportunity,” I never felt more inclined to cheat. In fact possibly the opposite, as I had more to lose.

        In contrast, I believe my cheating ex-wife especially enjoyed cheating because she **wasn’t** as successful in her education or career. Cheating was her way to “get even” with me (and the world) for the praise I received through accomplishment. It made her smarter and more clever in her mind, to think she was gaming the system and knew more than me.

        So, my experience is that the opportunity-causes-cheating claim is horseshit.

        • At first, I was going to comment that hers was a sicko powerplay. I mean, wanting to “get even” through cheating and craving the power seems crazy. But then I realized that a lot of cheaters–including my own ex–were similarly motivated.

          If only we could be sure of someone’s character before we marry. A blood test would be nice.

          • Spinach@35, hahah imagine that!! That would be perfect, and I imagine the FWs would refuse to take it in the first place! My sister actually trusts her dog: if the dog likes him, it should be a good sign ^^

            More seriously, nomar, you’re right – there are no rules or excuses for bad character. One can be good-looking or bad-looking, talented or untalented – bad character is always possible.

            In my case I felt it was an excuse for my FW to feel superior, but then “unsuccesfull” people can find other excuses to feel entitled. What matters is the entitlement in their head and not the actual reality.

            • “What matters is the entitlement in their head and not the actual reality.”

              I agree, at some point they decide they are entitled to a faithful SO, but the SO isn’t. It can be before marriage/commitment, or 10 or twenty years in, but at some point that is the decision they make.

            • My dog demonstrates her unwavering dislike for my ex whenever he picks up or drops off the kids. She’s a much better judge of character. It took me 22 years to see who he really is. She knew the first moment she met him.

            • I used my dog also. She hates mean people. She liked my girlfriend, now wife.

              I have read over and over how much dogs AND kids loved Hitler and the SS who worked in Concentration Camps. People were shocked that these (but not all, of course) were psychopaths were so nice and kind.

        • I have a very similar situation Nomar so this one hit home for me. I remember my ex-wife actually accusing me of an affair (while she was actively having one) simply because I worked with a female co-worker who was attractive. My response was that I had WAY too much to lose to actually have an affair. And that included her, our kids, and my job.

          If any “opportunity” ever presented itself, I would immediately have the image of my kids and my wife in my mind. How devastated they would be by my actions. How responsible I was to them.

          Turns out thats not a universal thought for people….

          “Opportunity” can present itself each and every day. Doesnt take much to ignore, miss, or leave those situations when you value something more than your own ego/libido.

    • Some of these crimes *are* treated, to a certain extent, as being caused by opportunity. We’re told not to spread personal information around the internet (identity theft), not to leave doors unlocked (burglary) and to avoid sketchy neighborhoods at night (assault). I’ve told my daughter not to accept drinks from strangers (sexual assault). Not that the criminal isn’t the actual person responsible, but it’s prudent to take reasonable actions to decrease the likelihood that you’ll be victimized.

      We all know that there are a certain number of people out there with criminal tendencies, and it makes sense to be wary of them. The big difference (and the place where this analogy fails) is that the “reduce the opportunity for your spouse to cheat” advice is telling us to treat our spouses – whom we’re supposed to love and trust completely – like some low-life rando who will snatch the bike out of your garage if you leave the door open. Who would want to be in a marriage where you have to treat your spouse as a potential criminal? You’re not married to some random guy sitting next to you on the subway (who might well pick your pocket if given the opportunity) – you’re married to a particular person whom you’re supposed to know and trust. Recommending a defensive posture towards a general, faceless, statistical bad guy is very different from recommending distrust of a particular person whom you supposedly know very well.

      The one exception, to be fair, is if you’re married to someone who has an established record of adultery. In that case, the “reduce opportunity” strategy is a smart play. I think everyone here knows a bunch of people who’ve (voluntarily! knowingly!) put themselves in that position, poor dears.

      • I love this. Yes, we have to take safeguards against random criminals but we are supposed to be in relationships with people who we trust NOT to hurt us. We thought we were marrying people with more character than criminals. Spot on.

          • I often wonder when cheaters remarry & their vows include “to forsake all others” what is going through their minds? Oh, ok this is tru-wuv so they won’t cheat this time around.

            • I thought of that too.
              My ex called me just before he and whore were set to jet off to Vegas and get married. He told me and I said, “why are you telling me this?” He said, “I didn’t want you to hear it from somewhere else. How considerate, he didn’t give a crap where I heard who he was fucking when he left, he refused to tell me.

              Anyway, I just said “ok” and hung up.

            • My older brother and I didn’t attend our father Harlow’s third wedding. A judge married them and I don’t think there is a “forsaking all others” passage in a non religious ceremony. Wife 3.0’s first marriage ended in divorce and her second husband died of cancer, mirroring my father’s marital record. None of us, including Dad the philandering philatelist, knows who her first husband was. I 👃 cheating.

      • IG: I love this! I once had a counselor suggest that maybe I was “codependent” because I didn’t see what was going on – denial and all.

        I hope she took my response as an “opportunity” to learn something.

        First, I asked her if I wasn’t supposed to trust my husband. Then I asked her if she trusted her husband, and if so, was she codependent? Or would she only be codependent if her husband cheated on her? If not, then what was the difference between a wife who trusts her husband and one who is codependent? Then I suggested that the difference might not be the trusting wife but rather the cheating husband.

        Finally I told her that, as a feminist, I take issue with the concept of codependency. Because it’s generally women who get the label. And only after a lifetime of being told that we need to be quiet, never angry, undemanding, always smiling, and to always trust our husbands.

        First we’re trained to be proper women, then we’re pathologized for doing what we’ve been trained to do. So I suggested that perhaps she pathologize my cheating husband and our sexist society instead of me.

        I suspect she noted my “hostility.”

        • MAGNIFICENT reply!!!

          Any *one” of those points!

          But all of them together like that, building unrelenting momentum to an irrefutable crescendo… !!!!!

          I wish I had that for a poster on my wall !!!

          The best I can do, is save it as a screen snap, to admire, and pass on.

          Thank you so much for taking the time to compose and post that !!!

        • Longtime lurker first time commenter. Your analysis is spot on! It’s the unhealthy relationship that creates the co-dependency, specifically the actions of the cheater. Even if you don’t know that he’s cheating, shady behavior like being too close to female coworkers, or having his phone perpetually attached to his hand will keep you off-kilter. Sure, you can have a naturally anxious attachment style, but someone who is secure will act in such a way that will allow your anxiety to lessen over time.

          I love what you said here about women first being trained to be “proper women,” and then women being pathologized for doing what we’re trained to do.

    • Nomar,

      Great analogy about “opportunity” and domestic violence and other bad acts.

      Infidelity is a terrible thing to do and yet it’s a wrong that people use euphemisms for or downplay ALL the time.

      Why is that? Seriously. WHY?

      What societal factors lead to this minimization of harm and refusal to “judge others”?

      We judge murder & and burglary and a 1000 other “crimes” as being morally wrong. But adultery has a million terms for it that try to minimize the harm it causes.

      I know the RIC plays a part in this. Hollywood sort of mocks marriage when it praised couples who celebrate their 6 month anniversary with “romance that keeps the spark alive” as if they’ve proved something about marriage. Write about marriages that have endured TIME and maybe even hardship which is what life time commitments require.

      I have a visceral feeling that there’s more to this minimization that I cannot quite articulate.

      Why do we minimize the effects of adultery? As far as I know, every major religion condemns it.

      And yet…

      • Doctor’s First Wife,. Yes, you are right that there seems to be special rules for excusing infidelity. That expression “the heart wants what it wants,” makes my stomach hurt. This disconnect that you mention is the reason why I don’t believe that long term passion between a man and a woman is possible. I don’t believe in long-term romantic love. I believe that the most important relationship we should have is with a platonic friend and/or our kids. All the hetero marriages I have seen have been drudgery at best, abuse at worst. Deep down this is why I suspect people excuse affairs: we all subconsciously sense that the fairy tales were a sham all along. Sleeping Beauty was sold to us when we were babies and we somehow still cling to it, despite logic. If course maybe I’m wrong. Who knows.

    • “This “opportunity” claim is pushed by the RIC to discount cheater culpability and pressure chumps to reconcile.”

      It is all about the RIC keeping up their bottom line at the expense of Chumps. I suspect many of them are cheaters themselves.

      • Yep, then they can show their spread sheets of how many marriages they saved. No mention of the stack of shit sandwiches that the Chumps are forced to keep eating.

  • I remember reading one ( or more) creepy RIC article about “how to make your marriage more like an affair”. It was like the cheating was the relationship to want and the marriage was just a sad substitute. Really disgusting. Yes, I wanted to get married just to act like I’m an adultering whore

  • I think you are under-estimating how many people have bad character. I completely believe most men are as faithful as their options. How many men do you know have turned down no-strings extra-marital sex that’s offered to them? I’d say it would be far less than the amount that have jumped at the chance. Chumps are not the ones with bad character. There’s plenty of cheats-in-waiting out there who just haven’t had the opportunity.

    • We don’t make gender stereotypes here. There are plenty of chumped, faithful men out there.

      Also, straight men are cheating with other women. So, what’s that say about their character?

      This is a human problem.

    • I am a woman who worked for 30 years for DoD, literally crawling with men. Many of whom are attractive eligible men who have shown their interest in me. Not once did I ever consider cheating on my ex.

      In fact I met my second husband at DoD, but we were both free to date and we did. He was the first and only man I ever dated from my work place. I know without a shadow of a doubt that my now H never cheated on his wife either. It is just not in his character to treat himself or another human being that way. And we were/are both attractive folks, but attractiveness has nothing to do with the opportunity to cheat.

      There is a lid for every chamber pot, and that is exactly what cheaters are.

      It is insane to think that people who don’t cheat don’t have the opportunity. Getting someone with no morals to bed you is not difficult.

      Thinking that way reminds me of high school, I remember some guys would brag about drinking, like they just pulled off a really tricky stunt. I remember to this day sitting there and inwardly rolling my eyes and thinking: really? can’t literally anyone drink if they want to.

      Same thing.

      • “A lid for every chamber pot!” Great line!

        One thing about chumps, you’ve got to admit that what we lack in marital success we certainly make for with wit.

    • When I was younger I was flat out asked by female co workers to have sex with them. Although they were beautiful and I was flattered especially dealing with abuse from from narcissist/BPD wife at the time. I never could do it because of paining God, my wife, and going against my own moral code. I have never cheated in any relationship. It’s about character not opportunities.

      • I get that but when I hear people saying those kinds of reasons, without giving “I didn’t because I didn’t want to” as their first reason, then they actually *did* want to cheat and had a desire to, just didn’t act on it.

  • The traitor uses the word “opportunity” a LOT and I now think it’s because that’s how he is operating in the world. Because he is fundamentally dishonest and very likely constitutionally incapable of being honest, he is always on the lookout for “opportunities” to get what he wants by whatever means he can, fuck the rules and other people’s feelings, and that’s why this word is part of his vocabulary.

    Maybe it’s a word I rarely use because I’m I make an effort to practice rigorous honesty every day. My self esteem depends on it. His “feel good” is based on “getting away with it”.

    The farther away I get from DDay, the gladder I am to have nothing to do with him. What I wanted I DIDN’T have and COULD NOT have with him.

    That’s why it ended IMHO.

  • We both had the same internet service. I used it to go to school, learn new skills, and market a small business. He used it to crawl so far into porn that he became incapable of relating to a live human being and could no longer identify his own orientation or gender.

    That wasn’t about opportunity.

  • This is why I don’t believe in lifelong, romantic, marriage. I believe that people are not nice. Most people would would rob a bank if they could get away with it. Most if us have childhood trauma that made us troubled adults. Good people are rare. That’s why Chris Rock is funny to most of us. Solution? Scrap traditional marriage entirely. If you have to get married, do it at the age of 45 or older. Sorry I can’t be more positive.

    • If people tell or show you who they are, believe them. If they lie and hide the truth, that causes more problems. I used to like Chris Rock, but insightful as he is, he seems confused by marriage/faithfulness. (Rock admitted to infidelity in the marriage, as well as struggling with a pornography addiction.) At least to his credit, it doesn’t seem like he wants to marry again. I believe there are people who want marriage, and those who just want the perks. Admit to yourself what you want, and go after it!! Don’t lie to or dupe innocent people! But of course if you have no character, you’ll just do what you want. Check and verify!

      • Right?

        And marriage does not cause cheating, cheaters cause cheating.

        We could outlaw marriage tomorrow, but most folks will gravitate to a couple situation with expectations of fidelity; the resultant pain and destruction will be the same; betrayed and hurting SOs and children.

        I don’t regret giving all my love and trust to my ex, I just wish he had not thrown it in my face and used it against me.

        • Susie Lee, that’s where you are I are different. I deeply regret wasting my time and love on my cheater. I wish with all my heart I never met him. I wish I was ad bad as him do that I could tell myself I didn’t waste my brief life being a doormat. But that’s just me. I’m as disordered as anyone. I am not capable of lying and betraying my husband, but after learning about what he did, I despise him. It’s not a happy place to be in.

          • I hope it gets better for you, and that you get the life you want and deserve. I know it takes time; that is for sure.

            I absolutely hated my ex after he treated me so horribly. He was a snake.

            But I did love him, and it was real committed love, it started out as high school girl love and deepened into real love of a person whose flaws were obvious; (as I am sure mine were) but I did think he loved me (he didn’t, or at least not enough). I have a son from that marriage; I did have good friends/memories and as for my memories; I just kind of dimmed him into the background in those memories. It worked for me.

            I have now been married for 26 years to my new H, and I am amazed at the difference in how he treats me every day compared to my former life. For some reason it seems to come easy to us. We were together several years before marrying, so maybe that helped.

            I honestly thought when I D’d, that was it; I couldn’t imagine trusting someone else; but so far so good. Honestly I think if we had not been in work situations where we had to move, I think it is possible we would have been one of those couples that just stayed engaged for 10 or 15 years before marrying. I was really enjoying being engaged.

            But we were faced with some practical matters, so we took the leap, and I am glad now that we did.

    • Yeeeeowch! “Troubled” does NOT equal “cheater,” thank you. 🙁

      Srsly, though, that comment sounds like maybe a possible product of depression, btw. (Been there. If so, help IS out there, though sometimes necessary to fight for it.) I hope the view improves.

      • Right? my ex did indeed have a troubled child hood, as did his sister. (3 years apart)

        Troubled ex = Cheated, at least half the marriage if not the whole marriage. Divorced at age 40, and blamed everyone else for his screw ups.

        Troubled sister = Went to therapy in the early years of her marriage, worked on her issues and didn’t cheat. Still married after 56 years.

        • I agree with Dr. Ramani (informative videos on YouTube about narcissism and other personality disorders) that we all have weak spots and could use a little tune up in therapy in our early twenties, before dating seriously and getting married.

      • Elena, you say “bitter”, I hear “informed”, “cautious”, and “wise”. Reframe that bitter into Elena is an informed, cautious, wise woman who has seen some shit. I’ll bet you aren’t out there throat punching strangers and writing vitriolic poetry to be delivered to your ex. If you want to be bitter, that is your right and privilege. There is another way to view that bitterness. I see my bitterness as knowledge and power. I’m reframing bitter, perhaps I’m reclaiming my bitterness.

    • I think the majority of people do suck. They don’t do the right thing unless it’s convenient for them. They’re not necessarily as bad as our cheaters, but shitty nonetheless. We discovered the shittiness is more widespread than we knew when our own friends and family became Swiss in response to seeing us abused.

      Getting rid of marriage, however, is not the solution. You can suck as a boy/girlfriend or platonic friend just as much as you can as a spouse. True, if you don’t get in relationships of any kind, you can avoid that particular type of heartache. But what about the heartache of chronic loneliness?
      There is no way of avoiding emotional pain other than being a stone cold psychopath. To be human is to hurt, but it also means you can experience joy. You can’t have one without the other. We’re conspicuously human here and that’s what makes this place great.

  • Saying that affairs are about opportunity is like saying that street robbery is about opportunity. Anyone who argued that the leading cause of mugging was that too many people carrying cash or debit cards/debit cards in their wallets and thus presenting an “opportunity” to a criminal would get shot down in an instant.

    Affairs are about choices: Ex-Mrs LFTT chose to contact an ex-boyfriend of hers via FaceBook; ex-Mrs LFTT chose to meet up with him; ex-Mrs LFTT chose to start a relationship with him whilst married to me (and without my knowledge) and; when busted, ex-Mrs LFTT chose to lie about it whilst trying the old “I want an open marriage after the fact” gambit.

    I chose to divorce her.

    And you can probably guess what I think that this all says about her character.

    LFTT

  • and cheaters leave these opportunity costs behind for their marriage partners. what’s the cost of their time/effort spent in a marriage that blows up? what’s the cost of their dignity?

    gah.

  • Cheating happens in the context of a committed relationship, whether or not the parties are legally married.

    For it to qualify as cheating, the offender has to be in a committed relationship of some kind, but this doesn’t mean cheating is caused by the committed relationship. And it isn’t, which I think is Chump Lady’s point today.

    I can’t control what anyone else does but me, so the only viable solution, as I see it, is to keep my agreements and end my association with a partner who doesn’t.

    ❤️

  • If crime didn’t pay, no one would ever do it.

    But lost on those being dishonest is that integrity feels amazing and the payoffs are light years better, authentic, indefinitely, in ways that lying and cheating and stealing can’t even touch.

    At the end of the day, what I see is that he shot himself in both feet, cut his nose off, and has denied himself the far better gig and is learning that now, too late. My self esteem depends entirely on my conduct toward myself and others, and it’s the only real thing I have that no one can ever take away from me. I can throw it away with both hands if I choose and this concept is completely over the heads of people who get involved in illicit relationships. I’m grateful that it’s not lost on me.

    My daughter trusts me because I practice being trustworthy. She does not trust him, she SHOULDN’T. This is the razor-edged boomerang he did not see coming and this is what is causing him agonizing pain now.

    When the devil comes to call, he doesn’t
    come looking like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. He comes in a very attractive, enticing form. The big print on the contract says the cost is your spouse or partner, which some gladly pay. The fine print, which some are too excited to go over, are the hidden costs which the wise one sees and then walks away.

    • ….and the wisest one of all, which I aspire to be and want to associate with, is the one who sees the devil coming and crosses the street…..

    • “When the devil comes to call, he doesn’t
      come looking like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. He comes in a very attractive, enticing form. The big print on the contract says the cost is your spouse or partner, which some gladly pay. The fine print, which some are too excited to go over, are the hidden costs which the wise one sees and then walks away.”

      This is what I was taught in Sunday School as a young person. It stuck.

      • I’m not even religious and it stuck with me too! I think it’s true and wise independent of any religious teachings.

        • It was. They didn’t use the Linda Blair analogy because I was in SS way before that.

          They taught that the temptations put forth by Satan will come in fun, shiny, packages; and he of course will convince us that it is a good thing to do, it won’t hurt us etc.

          They were not talking about cheaters of course, but if one is a believer same thing applies whether it is stealing a candy bar or adultery.

          Even if one is not a believer, I think it applies.

    • Yes!! 1000 times yes!!

      Love this line: “This is the razor-edged boomerang he did not see coming and this is what is causing him agonizing pain now.”

      My daughter had a baby this morning, her second!! My ex is not in her life. I don’t even know if she’ll tell her dad about the birth. He hasn’t seen the older one since Dday when she was 6-months-old. Now she’s 2 and change.

      The man thinks he was a great dad. He never saw that boomerang. Turns out that emotional abuse—FOR YEARS– sharpens its edges.

    • I used to preach hidden costs to my FW about many of his choices and he just couldn’t get the concept. He chases shiny things oblivious to the long term price. He got what he wanted but he’s not happy because he lost a lot more than he bargained for. I wonder now if the still hidden OW was worth it.

      • Elena,

        Out of curiosity, how do you know he’s not happy? Totally understand if you’d rather not answer.

        I guess I’m asking because I do wonder about my own ex. I assume he’s not happy but don’t really know. Ok, the truth is that my not-at-meh self hopes he’s miserable.

        –Spinach

  • Opportunity is there 24/7/365.

    The opportunity to steal, maim, and murder is there all the time, too.

    The deciding factor for all shitty behavior is character.

    (Can mental health impact character? Sure. Can treatment sometimes/often change that impact going forward? Yes. Does that change the reality that character determines whether we do shitty things to others? Nope. I have loads of compassion for my own mental health stuff and those others struggle with, but none of that requires me to allow myself to mistreat others or others to mistreat me, full stop.)

    • Opportunity is there 24/7/365.

      I have had many years to reflect back on this.
      My ex worked very long hours and for many years closely with a single associate. They were professional equals in the company.

      Years of late night (really), all -nighters (also true) and business trips over 15 years. They were an assigned team together. Another person to work with was not an option.

      I believe the affair started after working together side by side for 9 years. They are still working together and it’s been another 11 years since DDay.

      I totally agree that my ex’s character sucks and he is lying, cheating ass for having an affair, lying to his family, funneling money and allowing us to believe she was really a family friend. BUT I often wonder if opportunity was part of the start.

      I will never know but it has crossed my mind.

      • I don’t think it is that the opportunity isn’t needed to cheat, of course you can’t cheat unless the opportunity (a willing partner) is available. It is just that pretty much everyone has those opportunities, some folks don’t even recognize those opportunities they are so busy with life. Some recognize them and head it off at the pass, and build a reputation of not being a whore/whoremonger, others seek out and are always on the look out for opportunities.

  • I was in a small bookstore in rural NY and bought a book by a local man. It was about cheating, and his premise was that he was providing tools that women should follow to ensure their husbands didn’t cheat. In other words, if a man cheats he has no responsibility; it is only because the wife didn’t do what was necessary to affair-proof the marriage. I had a morbid fascination in reading it. Unbelievable.

  • What about marriage is about opportunity for a change? The opportunity to build up something bigger than the self, filled with more joy and love?
    Cheaters can’t see that because they lack this je ne sais quoi, that special sense that allows you too see it: feelings, empathy?

    I gave my cheater plenty of opportunities over the years, through my hard work. He enjoyed his wife appliance and the kids I birthed for him until he secured the next, newer shinier source of supply.

    In the final year of discard he bought me a Marie Kondo book, I was the only one cleaning around the house and apparently I wasn’t doing good enough a job. I took one look at it and I Marie Kondoed his ass!

  • My friend, let’s call her Macy, has swallowed this lie. Her husband cheated on her then left for the OW and shacked up with her 10 minutes from where he and macy had been living. Macy was crushed. She pick me danced and refused to give a divorce telling him that she was still his wife no matter what.

    After about 8 months he left the OW and Macy let him back but insisted on not letting him have any more opportunities to cheat. She monitors his phone, his web browsing and insists on tagging along if he has work trips or meetings. All her social media profile pictures show them together because this she believes will show potential Ows that he’s taken.

    It sounds exhausting to me and at the end of the day this douche is still a cheater and he can easily get a burner phone and she can’t be by his side 24/7. She quit her job and got a part time gig so they can be together more however. And yet I’ve seen signs that he’s at it again under the guise of “mentoring” a young woman.

    It’s like she’s his parole officer and he’s out on tag. Is that a happy marriage? I mean I don’t know.

    • Your friend has signed up to play marriage police. I couldn’t be happy doing that. Once the trust is gone, there is nothing left to work with.

    • I did some of that after D-day #1. Once that D-day hits, it destroys everything. It’s effing miserable. And you work your butt off waiting for a reward that doesn’t come. Even if he never strays again, you get to warden an asshole the rest of your life. I thought it was what I was supposed to do. Because I hadn’t stopped loving him. Until I realized that even without an OW, he treats me like crap. Once the love died, I didn’t care to monitor he who would stray and get better at it.

    • Yes, I have a friend doing that too and claiming that their marriage is better than ever. To an outsider, it seems like she’s treating her husband like a preteen who has seriously breached trust. Maybe there’s a unicorn out there who is so committed that he’s OK with that, but I don’t think most adults would put up with that for long at all.

      At the very least she needs a post-nup with consequences, but knowing what I know now? Stop the games and move on.

    • I did it for a month….monitored calls…would ask him a thousand questions about where he had been..who he had seen etc. Would jump every time his phone rang wondering who it was.

      It was a horrible time and I hated the person I had turned into.

      He left anyway…and of course not for the other woman but because ‘he wanted some time alone and our relationship was not working’

      Well….healthy relationships usually don’t work when you can’t keep it in your pants. Its not rocket science.

      And yeah…I had opportunities…who hasn’t but my core values wouldn’t let me go there and if having integrity makes me boring or uptight…well I wear that badge with honour.

    • Mattie, that sounds like hell on earth. When I read stories like this I am even more convinced that marriage is not meant for human adults. I mean what the actual fuck convinced this woman that she should hoard this turd as if he is gold? What force convinced her that she is worth so little? When are say that Marriage itself is the problem, this is the kind of story I’m thinking of. Without the idea of long-term monogamy, this sad woman would have given herself permission to free herself from this unholy babysitting/jail warden gig.

  • It’s funny, there was a lot of shame in divorce for a time. Now people are consciously uncoupling. But there’s no shame in cheating. Not enough anyhow – it is blamed away. And people say the most insensitive and ignorant things about it – even talk show hosts ‘don’t be attached…..be Buddhist about it etc’ And the way it is used for comedy on 80% ? of tv shows.
    The word ‘cheater’ just doesn’t convey the story – it’s too generic. It would be more accurate to say ‘he/she was an abuser.’ But that sounds off even to me.
    It’s just accepted- doesn’t hurt politicians or actors …..that says a lot. No big deal.People are human they say.

    • Actually the permissive media tone regarding cheating is clearly the tail wagging the dog.

      I suspect it’s a monetized campaign having something to do with backlash to #MeToo, which increased scrutiny of unfair labor and pay practices, lack of female leadership or rampant harassment in many companies, all of which threatened boycotts and takedowns affecting multiple industries’ bottom lines. Also there’s the fact that porn industry profits dwarf all other media combined and there are bundled profits and corporate investments involved. For instance, the Murdoch media empire that controls both right and left-wing news sources is heavily invested in porn and online dating.

      In any case, 2014 Gallup poll reported that, at least in the US, prohibitions against cheating are harsher than ever. This may have to do with the ease of divorce. As divorce becomes more acceptable, there appears to be less excuse to cheat. I think increased modern awareness of the devastating effects of relationship abuse plays a role, too.

      Since the same poll found that North Americans are more accepting than ever of gay marriage, the attitude towards cheating seems to be secular, not evangelical. People saw it as ethically equivalent to human cloning.

      But that threatens profit projections for industries that sell via sex. It also threatens powerful media and corporate figures being targeted for takedowns over their conduct. So I think the dog is being heavily wagged again to soften up American sexual ethics. The same thing happens to pave the war for unpopular wars for oil or disastrous policies like Citizens United. The puppet media will tell us what to think until we forget what we used to think or until a mob of loud crazies come out in support of some heinous policy or trajectory and scares everyone else into silence.

    • And monogamy is looked at as old fashioned and prudish. Fine, I’ll accept the prude label.

      I’m just a lobster looking for another lobster. If you want the seafood buffet, just keep moving along and leave me be.

      • “I’m just a lobster looking for another lobster….”

        Love this!

        Also, to those who believe that monogamy is prudish, I say, “Don’t get married (or get involved in a committed relationship). Just admit that you want the smorgasbord.”

  • With every opportunity there is a choice. You take it or leave it. If you make the choice to cheat on your spouse you don’t fear losing him/her enough. I doubt if you love them enough. You certainly don’t fear the impact on your kids. They are an afterthought. Ive heard it said people cheat on their marriage not the kids. Rubbish – you didn’ consider them when you made the choice to cheat.

    • Agreed… cheaters never even considered the impact on the kids, it’s not on their radar. Mine said “they’ll be fine”! They were 5 and 8 at the time and their world got shattered to pieces…

      Whoever comes up with all these sayings anyway?

      • Mine trotted out this line: “This is between your mom and me.”

        What a load of crap! The kids didn’t buy it. His jaw is still on the floor.

        • Infuriating. The only way it could be between “mom and me” is if mom was included in the decision for him to cheat.

          I am pretty sure if he asked you if he could cheat, you would have said no.

          • It also reveals a complete lack of understanding of “family.”

            There’s an interconnectedness that he never understood.

            In his distorted mind, I was in the wife/appliance/sex/do-the-taxes department. The kids’ department is on a different floor.

            And I once marveled at his intelligence. 🙄Turns out he’s a high-IQ (basement EQ) moron!

            • His explanation of “divorce” to our young kids: “mommy and daddy won’t file taxes together any more, that’s all”. They don’t even know what taxes are. That’s the depth of his emotional intelligence

              • Omg! That’s funny (and sad).

                I hope your kids are doing ok. Good thing they have one sane parent!

      • Same.

        I’m reeling on day and scream “what about or son?!”
        Cheater says, “what about him? This doesn’t have anything to do with him.”

      • Who comes up with these sayings ? Cheaters and affair partners usually and the reconciliation enthusiasts

    • All FIDIOT FUCKWITS say the same stupid shit based on their limited capacity to grasp empathy and truly feel love.

      Xhole told me, “Kids adjust.” “Kids adapt.” He took these notes from Schmoopie Whores teachings since she annihilated her intact family just a couple steps of x doing same to mine. I said, “of course they adapt if it’s crammed down their throats.” No cheater anywhere ever takes into account the ripple affect of their nasty actions.

  • Erm, I had “opportunities.”

    I think most would say my “options” were a lot more appealing than FW’s option — at least in a shallow sense, like if you ignore the inherent skeazy factor of anyone who’d troll married targets, but you’re just noting looks, charm, basic physical health and CV.

    But the thing is, even if I hadn’t been chumpily loyal, I wouldn’t be able to ignore the skeazy factor. I’d be the first gulag prisoner to starve to death if someone hinted there were maggots in the gruel. Weak stomach.

  • Most of the “opportunities” that were presented to me when I was single, married, and divorced, were unwelcome. It is like the “once in a lifetime” opportunity to buy a bag of shit and I don’t mean fertilizer. Also it happened too many times to be “once in a lifetime.” I never saw the “appeal” of these opportunities.

    Unfortunately, and unknowingly, I married 2 of them. The approach was different, but I still got a bag of shit I did not want or need. Fixing my picker was the only way I could correct my perception. Once that was done, I have had few “opportunities” presented, because I start running whenever I smell shit. For me, it has been a life saving and life changing opportunity to live in peace!

    • “It is like the “once in a lifetime” opportunity to buy a bag of shit ”

      Perfect, I didn’t even think of it that way, but that is what it was.

      That these low life’s think they are something special is, well just crazy.

  • I had an old flame contact me via Facebook “to catch up”. After a while his messages started to get flowery and just felt inappropriate, too personal. I told him he wasn’t being respectful to his marriage or mine and broke contact. Because that’s what you DO.

    • The first person I ever blocked on Facebook was an ex who was now married. And for exactly the same reasons.

  • If I weren’t NC with my ex, and if I didn’t abide by Mr. CL’s advice that if it feels good, don’t do it, I would send my ex this nugget: “Affairs are about entitlement. When you feel entitled to cheat, you create those ‘opportunities’ and take advantage of them.”

    Amen, sister!!

    My physician ex justified his cheating by saying this opportunity (much younger nurse) not only presented itself but hiked up its skirt and basically humped him.

    Carpe de nurse. YOLO!

    It was fun while he had CAKE, but then he got sloppy and ended up confessing to a multi-year affair.

    At that point, he groped for excuses that would stick to the fridge. One was a faux-philosophical line about listening to his voice of defiance so as not to despair.

    One thing I want to say about that: he had a funny way of showing his despair. If I were desperate in a relationship, I would end it. He didn’t. He LOVED cake. He also told me that he wasn’t sure he wanted to leave me until the day before he confessed, which is probably a lie or a weird truth from a truly disordered thinker. I just don’t think a desperate person would be a fence sitter. It makes no sense to me.

    It’s been 20 months since the shit hit the fan. I’m glad I had the opportunity to divorce that cheating, entitled, low-character, sad-sausage, unpleasant, covert narc. And I’m glad I now have the opportunity to see the relationship through a non-distorted lens (it wasn’t what I thought, by a long shot) and GAIN A LIFE!!!

    I don’t know anything about his current life. I don’t want to know. But here’s what I do know: I got the luggage set, which includes my good character (I value honesty) and my kids and grandchildren (plural as of today!).

    • Eh. I think it’s pretty clear you can’t trust any of his explanations. I got a number of explanations (for the divorce – not the affair, which XW still hasn’t admitted occurred) but once I realized that many of them were mutually contradictory I kind of stopped keeping track too closely.

      Even if one of his statements is true, that fact that it’s mixed in with a lot of lies means that it’s worthless. If you have to figure out which one is the truth, then you’re doing all the work / untangling anyway and it’s as if he never told you anything.

  • Does anyone have reliable statistics on rates of marriage-ending fidelity?

    The RIC and current state laws are enabling mind boggling abuse. What if victims of other crimes (financial and otherwise) were expected to accept what happened to them at the same rates?

    Chumps need a “Me, too” movement.

    • I don’t have the stats, but I do love the “me, too” idea.

      Would “Chumped, too” work/trend?

    • #cheatingisabuse

      Says it all, as far as I’m concerned. Takes control
      of the narrative and emphasizes the fundamental injustice of cheating. It’s not consensual, it harms victims’ mental and physical health, it’s about power and control, and it robs victims of agency and humanity.

      This is where the conversation begins.

    • I sure do wish divorce laws across the board would explicitly state that, in the event of an affair, the loyal spouse is entitled to be paid back half of all assets used to conduct the affair, with a caveat that if the cheating spouse is unable to determine the cost of the affair with certainty then the non-cheating spouse is entitled to a specified amount as general compensation (something like, at least $20k). This keeps with the idea that all marital assets are co-owned 50/50, as it should be (considering the way our society views marriage). I realize that, in some states, you can go to court to get “paid back,” but it would be a nice symbolic gesture to have laws that state as much, and it would make it much easier for the chump to collect.

  • Opportunity my ass! Opportunity sounds like the opposite of pre-meditation. Here’s what my ex did. He looked at porn, he researched S&M clubs then went to them, he hid money from me then used it for hookers, he bought vibrators and other sex toys from the money he stole from us, he hid the sex toys in a bag in our house for over 10 years, he hand made weapons for his S&M hook ups, then he started dating someone and he spent $1000s on her, he siphoned cash and bought pre-paid credit cards, he had a burner phone, he had a hidden PO Box. Chumps, does that sound like “opportunity”?

  • God, I had so much opportunity. Literally so much. And not just for sex. I could have dumped my husband for a millionaire more than once. I had the offers from legit millionaires.

    Still never did it. Never even considered it. I’d laugh it off and say, “No thank you, I’m married.” I remember one man asked me “Happily?” and I said, “Yes, happily but even if I wasn’t I still wouldn’t do that.”

    My ex goes around telling people how I should be grateful because he did me a favor by marrying me and working during our marriage. (That was a big sacrifice for him, he apparently thinks if he hadn’t married he could have been unemployed and having a fantastic life all those years, somehow.) Um, if all I cared about was money I could have easily had a husband who would pay for everything for me and send my son to expensive private schools and I wouldn’t have had to work and cut coupons and scrounge to keep us all fed and clothed.

    Makes me really fucking angry now because I thought all the struggle and hard times were worth it because we were in love. But no, he was never in love with me, he was just doing me a favor. And it’s like oh, motherfucker, if I was interested in a loveless marriage, I could do a lot better than you! What a joke.

    And as for him having opportunity, he searches really hard for it. The amount of time he was spending searching for someone to cheat with is disgusting, he was even doing it at work. So the opportunity didn’t just present itself, he had to go find it. Fuck the RIC.

    • “But no, he was never in love with me, he was just doing me a favor. And it’s like oh, motherfucker, if I was interested in a loveless marriage, I could do a lot better than you! What a joke.”

      It is a joke, KP, and it sounds like you’d have a hard time doing much worse than your ex. CL is right. He’s ugly to the core.

      For me, this burden that sensitive fuckwits seem to imagine carrying on our behalf is hinted at with the “I didn’t want to hurt you” line. Such a favor to trick me into building my life with a cheating con artist. Thanks, dirtbag. So much better than the alternative – having agency, building an authentic life that won’t be snatched from under me (and maybe relationship), and being free of you! You hurt me by being you and doing all of that abusive, manipulative, deceptive shit to me for years. You ruined and stole the life I worked toward, and now I get to start over from zero and it’s really hard. Do everyone a favor, fuckwit, and get over yourself.

      Also, I call BS on this purported favor, KP. Suited some narrative, at some point, way after the fact. Definitely not the sort of thing a fuckwit would do. Sacrifice his happiness on your behalf? Word salad and manipulation. Though true he was never in love with you – not the way we understand love. Funny how it used to destroy me to even consider “he” might not love me. Now it just makes me sick to think about how much time I wasted with a barbed wire monkey incapable of loving anyone.

  • My divorce attorney (40+ years in the field) once quipped that virtually any human who wants to commit adultery is going to commit adultery eventually. He was a very positive person when I interacted with him, but he was very cynical on that issue and echoed much of what Chump Lady says. In my state adultery is still illegal and can be used to file for-cause in a divorce, and he told me in the initial interview that he doesn’t represent people who have committed adultery and that I’d better not be lying to him about that then or at any point in the process because he didn’t like complexities and surprises. He strongly recommended against dating, or at the very least telling him and keeping it very public.

    After that many years, he certainly could pick-and-choose his clients. He told me late in the process that he only took about 10% of those who wanted him. He certainly was worth every penny I paid.

  • After D Day my ex said, perplexingly, “Facebook is responsible for a lot of marriage breakups” or something like that.

    Still don’t understand it.

    I am a high social media user and have about 600 “friends” I don’t know and about 100 or so random “followers”. I thought maybe he meant my social media use meant he felt entitled to cheat because not paying him attention?

    (My friendships, some of which have become real life BFF friendships) we’re always a source of rage for him so this one could be true. That said, I had plenty of hits on me amongst those “friends” to which I would usually just say “sorry I’m married”.)

    It could be that that medium was how he was able to crack on to women and message them without my knowledge. This definitely happened at least 5 times that I found out about.

    But let me repeat that. My social life is largely on Facebook meeting strangers yet not once did I cheat.

    His social life was largely in real life yet still he felt entitled to cheat with women through Facebook at least 5 times (definitely more but I never knew about them).

    The crazy making is real. The entitlement is blinding.

    • My douchbag ex used FB to PM his whore, but he also had her call him at work so I couldn’t see the call.

      And he used LinkedIn.

      Scumbags find a way.

      After I’d told him I was divorcing him and was making plans to move out he had the balls to ask if I was cheating on him. He said he was afraid I’d replace him quickly.

      As it turned out I didn’t replace him…I upgraded….fairly quickly. It wasn’t very hard and didn’t require FB.

      His pathetic ego needed constant boosting and he was going to find a way to get it. FB was just one tool.

      • “Scumbags find a way.”

        Yep, they cast their net and dredge it over the bottom of the water, and they come up with other scumbags.

        I upgraded too Kim, and you are right it wasn’t that hard at all. I got a better deal than the whore did, because I had better bait, and I am not just talking looks.

  • If it’s any kind of analogy that helps illustrate Chump Lady’s point today, it’s the same for me as my relationship with alcohol.

    I am an alcoholic and have been in recovery, clean and sober, since August 15, 1986.

    Alcohol is EVERYWHERE. It is also a very very romanticized, socially acceptable ass kicking drug. I am free to choose recovery or getting loaded 24/7/365. No one is monitoring me, handcuffing me, wiring my jaw shut. I live 20 minutes from downtown Sonoma, the heart of world-renowned wine country.

    I don’t drink. Cheating being caused by opportunity feels the same to me as drinking caused by opportunity. I choose recovery and sobriety the same as I chose not breaking my commitment to my former husband. Opportunity has nothing to do with how I choose to respond in any situation. I am responsible (response-able) for how I respond in any situation. How I respond is about me and no one but me or any circumstances I am in.

    Just my opinion.

  • I just don’t get it. If you want opportunities to have sex with different people, then don’t get married. I read somewhere that the key to happiness isn’t having what you want; it’s wanting what you have. Only stupid people think novelty is an opportunity for happiness. As if happiness is “out there” somewhere and there are opportunities to get it that shouldn’t be missed.

    When I was married, I was considered one of the most beautiful women in my community. Every time my ex and I went anywhere, I turned heads. I got all kinds of compliments all the time, and men were always trying to flirt with me.

    I would say I had a damn smorgasbord of opportunities. But I simply was not interested. I was married. I had a family. I didn’t *want* the opportunities. I wanted what I had.

    I wasn’t happy all the time, but I wasn’t stupid enough to think that happiness comes from other people. Some other guy wasn’t going to make me any happier or unhappier than I already was.

    Unfortunately, my husband wasn’t quite as smart. He wasn’t happy, he said. That was my fault and he had to leave, he said. He had an opportunity for happiness, he believed. So he left and, unbeknownst to him, took his unhappiness with him. Stupid man.

    • “Only stupid people think novelty is an opportunity for happiness. As if happiness is “out there” somewhere and there are opportunities to get it that shouldn’t be missed.”

      There’s your answer; stupidity. These people are severely, pathologically lacking in both emotional intelligence and maturity. Hence the belief that happiness can be found in whatever is beyond their current reach rather than created from within oneself. They are unable to understand the concept of creating your own happiness or that respect, including self respect, must be earned.

  • My work requires that I travel a considerable amount and yet I never found myself in a hotel bar wondering if I should pick up someone because “who would know”? Mr. Sparkles, however, goes on ONE business trip and gets up to the woman-from-the-bar’s room… has a supposed change of conscience and leaves her after a brief makeout session (he wanted an atta-boy in our therapy session for that rationalization).

    Bottomline: opportunity exists everywhere… to lie, to cheat, to rob, to steal… to love, to be honest, to live honorably… Cheaters are just entitled thinkers and doers.

    • “Bottomline: opportunity exists everywhere… to lie, to cheat, to rob, to steal… to love, to be honest, to live honorably… Cheaters are just entitled thinkers and doers.”

      Well said.
      If cheating was just about opportunity, it would be a hundred times more common in women than in men. We get hit on at least that much more often.
      I was hit on constantly and never succumbed. The jerk was always afraid I would, probably because he projected his own desires onto me. Truth be told I wasn’t really tempted to. When I commit, it’s so off the table that I don’t even consider it. For cheaters, it’s never off the table, no matter what they tell you. I don’t believe they ever change, either.

      Anyone who says you’re only as faithful as your options is a cheater projecting his/her weak, shitty character onto everyone else in order to feel better about being a scumbag. The classic; “Hey, everybody is either doing it or would do it if they could.” defense. Rank horseshit from the mouths of idiots.

  • Nice cartoon. But as a former Jehovah’s Witness, I’m here to set you straight, and I assure you we won’t knock twice. We hope you aren’t home!!! It is an obligation of the cult. 🙁

    • Really? Is that true? That you don’t want us to be home? So it is kinder to everyone just to hide and not answer the door when the Witnesses call?

  • After DDay 1, I felt worse about myself than I ever have. I was so mean to myself that it is almost laughable now. The shock and discovery destroyed my confidence and sense of self, and I felt humiliated, ashamed, unlovable and undesirable. As I read everything I could to try and understand infidelity, I repeatedly came across this idea that men cheat when they have the opportunity to trade up. They settle for a chump, and then someone better comes along. In my vulnerable and insecure state, I believed this had happened to me. And then I saw the phony emails between my ex and his OW. It changed everything. And then I saw more emails, with another young, flirty and fawning OW, and I saw a pathetic pattern. Was it Lola Granola who wrote the guest post about cheaters always trading down? So true, without question! It’s all about character. Thanks for corroborating, CL/CN.

    I know we all passed up opportunities for love, homes, careers, children, self-growth, and more. Chumps don’t look at the world with cheaters’ opportunism and entitlement, so we didn’t even realize it. I didn’t see it as a sacrifice then – though it was, and not one I made willingly.

  • OHFFS: “When I commit, it’s so off the table that I don’t even consider it. For cheaters, it’s never off the table.”

    Yep. That’s it. I think there are 2 types of people in relationships: those who cheat and those who don’t. Those who don’t cheat don’t even think about opportunities. Those who do seek them out and make them happen.

    • Good point, and…

      Chumps seek out opportunities, too. Very different opportunities from cheaters, thanks to our dramatically different values and wiring. Our choices, and our perceptions of the opportunities we pursue, are also influenced by gaslighting and the distorted reality our cheating partners present.

  • Oh goodness.
    This is hilarious!!!
    I loved it SOOO MUCH I had to read it again.

    And I read this same thing, or heard it, somewhere, and BOUGHT IT, and then I had all those sneaky little thoughts… “Hmmmm… how to prevent opportunity?” And ohhhhh… “If this is true then we can’t go ANYwhere because there are pretty women EVERYwhere and one of them might become an OPPORTUNITY!” And then, “Hmmmm, if we stay home, WHAT IF it comes knocking AT THE DOOR?”

    Thank you, CL.

    For a ray of sun when it’s raining down buckets.

    I’m still laughing at:

    The lawn chairs thrown into the pool and the sleeping bag sledding down the stairs.

    -and-

    “He’s hopping trains and living the hobo life with his dick.”

    Oh, I wish, in the millisecond that I got mad enough to speak my mind, I’d said, “OK! See ya later! I’ll be tending the home fires while you’re hopping trains and living the hobo life with your dick!”

    WOW!!! That would have been enough to change him into the kind, true blue, amazing man I thought he was, he’d have been so stunned.

    Or he might have just keeled over, dead.

    Either way would have been okay… on that day… 🙂

  • Truth. I could have cheated many times over during my marriage…plenty of opportunity as I traveled for work and worked mostly with men. Hit on regularly, wooed, courted, etc. You name it. Not once did I consider it. I would never have disrespected my husband that way. I was proud to be his wife…until, he showed me why I shouldn’t be.

  • Entitlement is they key word in all of this. My wayward wife was raised to be daddy’s little girl who could do no wrong. Our marriage was okay until one day, and then she was entitled to destroy it because I was rude. Never once was there a thought from her that she was an equal partner in our demise and that she had any part of what was transpiring. I struggle every July, even 4 years post trauma, with what she did. I’m the chump who stayed, and still question why almost every day. She’s entitled, I’m too stubborn/loyal for my own good

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