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Is ‘Bum-Bum’ a Friend?

butt faceHi Chump Lady.

I just need some decent advice.

I have been with my partner for 20 years next month! We have four gorgeous children.

Back in 2019 I caught him snap chatting with a women he works with, flirting and calling each other nicknames like “Bum-Bum” and “Muscle Bum.” We got through it and it turns out that it was just an ego boost for him. Well, that’s what I think.

A couple of months ago I found a nude from her. I was devastated!! (Which was from the same time as the flirting in 2019.) He said that nothing happened and we have been great since. The thing is they still work together I have asked that he removes her from snap chat and he has. I even confronted her and she was very honest in her answers!!

I don’t believe anything physical has happened and he is always here and with me and our children. I just don’t know what to do or how to feel.

Am I stupid? Am I dumb to stay? He says he can’t live without me and he is always with me and always discusses our future!!

I guess I’m just feeling lost because I have no one to talk about it with.

Thanks for reading.

Cruz

Dear Cruz,

I want you to do a thought experiment — and I’ll ask CN to do the same — look back over your long career and recall every professional colleague you’ve ever called Bum-Bum. Or Sweet Cheeks. Or El Jefe Bootymaster. Can you think of one respected team member? One corporate asset? (sorry)

No?

I know of exactly one. He was a defendant in one of Mr. CL’s sexual harassment lawsuits. The creep sent pimply, ass-selfies to women in his office, and was later shocked to discover (after the legal filings) that they were unwelcome.

All to say, ass-centric nicknames in the workplace — and naked pictures — aren’t normal. They’re lawsuits ready to happen. Or they’re a workplace affair, by which I mean, a lawsuit ready to happen.

The fact that you’re reaching out to me, an anonymous advice columnist, to get a reality check, tells me that you’re being gaslit. Your partner wants you to think this is no big deal (“nothing happened!”). And so, you tried to spackle over it, but the spackle (“it’s just an ego boost!”) isn’t sticking.

He said that nothing happened and we have been great since.

Except for that whole marriage policing thing and the hypervigilance that keeps turning up discoveries. Other than THAT, it’s great, huh?

The thing is they still work together I have asked that he removes her from snap chat and he has.

How about he finds another job? Was that ever on the table? There are other messaging apps, of course.

I even confronted her and she was very honest in her answers!!

Yes, the woman who is sending your husband a naked picture of herself can be relied upon to tell the God’s honest truth about what the fuck she’s up to.

Really, Cruz? Really? Why do you think she’d be honest? She’s not your friend. She has a vested interested in gaslighting you. A) It’s a power high. B) Admitting a workplace affair makes her vulnerable. C) Keeping you off the trail keeps things open with Bum-Bum.

I don’t believe anything physical has happened

Based on? The testimony of two fuckwits?

and he is always here and with me and our children.

Except when he’s at work the majority of the day with her.

Am I stupid? Am I dumb to stay?

You’re mindfucked. The stupid person is your husband.

He says he can’t live without me

That’s funny. He seems to have lined up your replacement. What position is he advertising for that he’s receiving naked pictures?

and he is always with me and always discusses our future!!

The guy has a vested interested in not paying child support for four children. And avoiding consequences on the home and work fronts.

He can “discuss” and promise anything. We’re having unicorns for breakfast tomorrow. The fact is, he saw your devastation and it didn’t stop him from pursuing his “flirtation” or look for a new job. His life is fine. Your life is misery and marriage policing.

Is this relationship acceptable to you? His actions have made it clear that he’s okay hurting you. And doesn’t care if you feel safe. You can either live with that, or you can’t.

I suggest you not live with it.

Better to be in the driver seat. I’d lawyer up, and get a settlement. And if he balks, your lawyer can start the workplace depositions about who knew Bum-Bum and Muscle-Bum.

It’s nice leverage while he still has a job.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • One thing here the struck a nerve was the finding time to cheat. My ex wife use to claim “when exactly would I have the time to cheat”. Well out of the dozens of men she was caught cheating with on a daily basis she found the time by using her work lunch to sneak out and meet men in their cars. Or the going to the store and taking thirty minutes out of that to meet men. Or the going to her friends house with the kids and telling her friend she had to quickly pop out to the store and was picked up by AP’s for a quick 20 minutes. Not to mention the sneaky video calls in the bathroom or the sending sexual videos and photos that were also caught on hidden camera. Cheaters will always always find time to cheat and cover their tracks.

    • Yep.
      Went to a party with ex. She had sex with a guy there, while I was there to. She claimed to have been to the toilet. Chumpy me wanted to believe, even though my spidy senses were tingling. Even when we’re with them, they find a way to cheat.

      • Dear Cruz,

        I’m so sorry you are here, but when there’s a death in the family, you have to plan a funeral.

        You fear your marriage is over so deeply that you don’t want to face what you do, deep down, already know.

        Your marriage is dead. Don’t let him drag you AND your kids down with him.

        Get out now. Do NOT believe that staying with him – even under horrendous betrayal like this—

        will result in either

        him changing (in fact he’ll get worse, not better. He’s not a fine wine that improves with time)

        OR that your marriage will last, legally speaking. The marriage is morally over and HE WILL LEAVE you in time anyway,

        AND OR he will behave so outrageously and openly “in your face” about it, that you’ll be forced to file anyhow. And you’ll have wasted that many more years in a soul sucking unwinnable battle.

        Leave now – on your terms.

        See a lawyer and get a kick ass therapist so his gaslighting & blameshifting won’t work.

        Please learn from us and cut your losses.

      • I once went to a birthday party for Schmoopies daughter. It was our next door neighbor. Yep! Even went to the store and bought the kid a gift! I got introduced to all schmoopies family. Apperantly I was the only one there who didn’t know my now XH was screwing this lady!🤦🏼‍♀️
        Oh! And I bought Schmoopies other daughter her first car!😂. These cheaters have no boundaries! They find ways to cheat

        • I’m so sorry you went through all that. My story is pretty similar without the bday party though. My ex wife’s sparkle dick was one of my fellow youth football coaches (coached one of his sons who was on my sons team), he was her boss, and he was our next door neighbor. Although I was aware of what they were doing as was everyone else, there was nothing I could do. I tried to force her to move in with him but she wouldn’t. As soon as I filed and moved out him and 4 of his kids moved in the same day. They both resigned or got fired from their jobs to avoid paying child support and maintenance. Three years out they both still only work 20-30 hours a week. They are constantly together 24/7 because they are both serial cheaters and do not trust each other. It’s nice not having to play marriage police anymore or wonder where she is after being gone for 3 straight days.

    • CNL,

      You are right; cheaters will always find time (and an excuse) for their cheating.

      For the last 3 years together (we had moved from the NE of the UK to near London) Ex-Mrs LFTT was a very keen member of the local choir. They practised one evening every week and also at a weekend. I would stay at home and watch the kids, as you do.

      I only found out later (much later) from a colleague whose wife was also a member of the choir, that Ex-Mrs LFTT, while she was almost religious in leaving the house on time to attend, she very rarely got to as far as actually attending choir practise. I should have put two and two together much more quickly; she can’t sing for sh*t.

      I’d also ask Cruz how many times her husband has told her “It’s not what it looks like”? In my experience, when someone tells you this, it is exactly what it looks like.

      LFTT

      • Ha ha exactly, I got
        ‘I was just helping out an old friend, it’s not what you think’
        it used to surprise me all how cheaters (men or women) all say the same rubbish, now I just think how boring they all are to say the same crap.

      • for years mine defended himself saying that calling a co-worker “his sexy nurse” was a JOKE.

        Well, who’s laughing???

        I could never wrap my head around why anyone would say something that doesn’t even make sense. Because that’s not a joke. But that fact alone kept my head stuck in the blender. It was pure diversion.

        • These kinds of things are so good at keeping a chump in the circle of madness. Because if she is sexy, then he is advertising his interest. And if she lacks any degree of sexiness then it is a cruel joke. And in either case, inappropriate in the workplace. If you were like me, you explained this kind of thing to your husband 800 times, so that he could finally get it. Until it finally dawns on you that the person who doesn’t get it isn’t him.

          • “ If you were like me, you explained this kind of thing to your husband 800 times, so that he could finally get it. Until it finally dawns on you that the person who doesn’t get it isn’t him.”

            Well, this made me laugh! At myself. Guess I’m in good company here.

            • Oh good nite, the emails and talking until I was blue about the pain, the chaos, the betrayal of it all. He just gave me more lies and kept cheating.

              • Yep, I remember the last Christmas. We were doing some shopping and he wanted to get his direct report a Christmas gift. He wanted me to help him pick out a sweater for her, because she needed a sweater. I said fw, it is not appropriate for you to buy your employee a personal gift. he said “it is what I want to get for her” I said I am not going to help you, as it is inappropriate.

                No he was not thick, I was a dumbass. He was flat out telling me, without actually saying “hey dumbass, I am fucking her; and mid fuck she screamed out, I need a sweater”

          • Oh no, the long discussions, trying to get them to understand! I can laugh at myself now, but at the time, I just kept trying and trying to explain to X how a partner needed to behave. Lordy.
            But he’s so smart, surely he gets it!??
            Husbands can’t take their secretary to dinner, fix her faucet on the weekend, or take the sort of crazy neighbor on motorcycle rides. Ugh, I do not miss him!
            It was such a struggle, and my life now is filled with peace!

          • Reminds me of how klootzak would say he had no idea these OW were flirting with him. He played dumb. “Who, me? No, you are reading it wrong. She is an old friend/co worker/friend of my sister’s/fellow sex addict who I rely on to talk through my addiction stress. We talk when you aren’t around because you are so overly jealous and you try to turn things into what they are not just like you are doing now!” Cue not long after when my marriage police self would find emails or whatever confirming much more going on.

        • Q,

          Ex-Mrs LFTT said that the texts that the kids discovered between her and her AP were just an “in-joke between her and an old Ex” that she didn’t have to discuss with us because they were “private and none of our business.” Sadly for her, their “in-joke” that made it quite clear that they had been meeting up for quite some time and that they were being very careful to be to make sure that their “special thing didn’t become public knowledge.

          Neither the kids nor I were laughing (or indeed buying any of her BS) that day!

          LFTT

          • My ‘husband’ actually said to me one day- My sex life is no one else’s business!
            I was speechless. (married 28 years at that point)

            • I said to my husband—as things came out more and more—“you have been better to people at work than to me! More honest, more decent.”

              He said, “well that’s because the people at work don’t care about my sexual secrets,”

            • Got that too..
              “You cant put my dick in your purse…”
              Disrespectful thing to say to your wife
              LACGAL

    • I’ll chime so we can give Chumps ideas on “how they find the time”.

      I would come home over an hour after he did, sometimes 2, several days a week.

      He also worked some weekends and evening shifts, and his paycheck did reflect that, but in the aftermath, he could easily have swapped his shifts and/or taken vacation days while telling me he had work. He would go to work by car if he had evenings or weekends, so it would have been the perfect cover up to leave for a whole day.

      All I know is the ONE time I offered to join him on his lunch break when he was working a Saturday is he was NOT thrilled AT ALL. He did it, but he was sure to make it super quick and look super unimpressed (probably so I would never ask again, which is exactly how it went down).

      I was so used to accepting feeling rejected/unwelcome by him that it didn’t even register for me at the time.

      His whole work life was his biggest ego booster and it always felt wrong to me, but never knew why until it all blew up.

      • oh also, I would sleep in on weekends and he would go take care of the grocery shopping so we’d be free to do other things together. Except then he started using that time to “go to the gym”. He was always in his gym clothes for this, but he never came home sweaty and unsurprisingly the gym had no cell phone service.

      • That is heartbreaking to read, Quetzal. It’s sad to look back on our past selves, isn’t it? The triangulation and gaslighting was just so… mean and confusing. For years, we were being discarded and resented and compared and played; we felt it, but our feelings were denied or used to undermine us – even though the truth was SO MUCH worse than we could have imagined. Yuck. Glad he can’t hurt my feelings anymore!

        Re: “time,” I heard the opposite excuse from my ex whenever it came to therapy, working on himself, following through on promises: He didn’t have the time. You know what he did have time for? Anything that he wanted. Including sneaking around with APs. Emailing nasty and untrue things about me and our relationship while I was taking care of his mom, or cooking for him, or in bed sleeping. That excuse has always irked me, coming from anyone. Also makes me think of the “time and space” excuse. Fuckwits!

        • Truth— they only make time for their selfish interests. Or do therapy 1X. The empty promises are ridiculous. The gaslighting is devastating. The lies are infinity, lies about where, who, what, and lies to cover those lies, and lies to cover those…….

      • “I was so used to accepting feeling rejected/unwelcome by him that it didn’t even register for me at the time.”

        Funny. I had the same experience, but it entailed a visit to his mom, or at least he told me he was heading to his mom’s when I asked to come along. At the time I wondered a) why she seemed so surprised and unprepared to see us, and b) why the visit was so short.

        And I never knew until after the fact and it came out.

      • Quetzal, same. The cheating I know about went on during a 3-week work trip, when he had such a demanding schedule he couldn’t Skype with the kids. No time!

        He lived away during the week. I’ve never seen his office, and I was not welcome when I offered to bring the kids to visit when he had to stay there over the weekend.

        And I never realized how many days off he gets until right now, when he’s competing for custody. Where did they all go? I’m thinking there’s at least a week unaccounted for in each of the last 5 years.

        The things we don’t think to question, even if they felt a little off at the time, until we know for a fact that the fuckwit him/herself is questionable. And to think one of fuckwit’s post-Dday complaints is that I question his character. Fucker, you have no idea how many things I didn’t question, but clearly should have.

    • Yeah, FW and OW took vacation days (of which they had many because work was so generous) to hook up. There were probably also long lunches in there. How romantic!

    • My ex-FW thought that cheating while I was working my 2nd part-time occasional job or while I was chaperoning school band events was ok because he wasn’t taking time away from our time together.

      He asked “Did you ever feel unloved by me? Did you ever lack in attention from me?”

      The mental gymnastics they do to justify their actions is true mind-fuckery.

    • I have to comment to this because it’s very familiar. And yes there was a raging affair. But he was always home after work and on the weekends. But he wasn’t alway at work he was with his girlfriend who worked with him while I thought he was hates at work. And she, while she was screwing my husband, would talk to me like a friend. Lying liars lie. That is the biggest lesson. I was gaslit for years and feel like I was so traumatized by the repeated abuse of infidelity I was a shell of myself. I think we chumps, after being lied to and gaslit, become conditioned to things. When I think of, say a friend’s husband who has strong values, or my dad or other relative who has the same, making excuses for some girl’s nickname for them or a nude photo – no way in hell would a woman even dare send them something or call them something because they have a wall, it’s laughable to even imagine it. They have always been honorable, professional, good. A strong wall of decency and honor. Your husband doesn’t have that. Mine doesn’t either. And even with all of my gorgeous kids and 27 years of investment, and as absolutely crushing, terrifying and sad it is, I don’t want to be married to such an immature corny fool who would participate in anything at all that would dishonor me, my kids or even themselves. We do not need to nor should we lower our moral standards. I’ve heard it written on CL- what would you tell your daughter about this quandary? Or a friend? It’s such an important question because we have been led to believe we somehow deserve less and that’s not true.

    • Mine went further and took a few days off randomly each month to cheat. A whole day allowed for him to drive anywhere and meet up with his whores. I got the ‘but I’m home every night and don’t even go to pubs or football getting drunk like other husbands’ which was pure lies and gaslighting. The true extent of it was revealed after he died when I checked several years worth of toll road statements where he was driving in all directions, the timing was first he’d drop the children at school, then take a toll road to drive wherever, then pay toll again at the end of the day to make it home too late to help with bathtime or dinner. And those were the times he used toll roads. Chumpy me thought he was at work just like I was and I was the one who had to take time off when the children were sick because he ‘had too many important meetings he couldn’t cancel’. They find a way. Born liars.

    • Ah yes, the old “when would I have the time to cheat?” excuse.

      CheaterX was in IT management, and IT is not exactly a 9-5 job. However, he was historically a lousy delegator and extremely non-confrontational with respect to his staff. He’d let them scoot off, leaving half-completed tasks that he’d have to stay late to finish. Then there was the day that he’d set aside to run the automatic updates and backup the data (this was in pre-cloud days). Oh, and going into work on weekends because there was some sort of work emergency or something similar. He was at work all the time.

      I doubt he was cheating every time he was at work, but after discovering his affair with Schmoopie, I realized that it took hardly any time at all to cheat.

      One day, I had an out-of-town relative come in for a few days. I knew by then that CheaterX was cheating but was keeping quiet until my ducks were all lined up. At any rate, we were supposed to meet at a local restaurant for dinner. About 5 minutes before we were supposed to leave, CheaterX called to say he’d be about 5 minutes late, so we should go ahead to meet at the restaurant.

      Sure enough, he was about 5 minutes late to the restaurant. We had our meal. Fine. When we went back into the house and CheaterX went into the bathroom to shower and take dick pics for Schmoopie, I went through his wallet. Sure enough, he had a receipt for a coffee shop, showing that they’d had coffee and pastries, and the time stamp showed that he was calling me from the coffee shop.

      He could have spent the same amount of time banging her in the computer room at work after everyone had left.

    • My ex would meet schmoopsie during lunch because she worked one block away. He would often take 30-40 minutes to get home when in the morning, he would give himself 15 minutes to get to work. I learned that whenever I went out for coffee or to the gym, he would be either chatting on the phone with her or spending the evening texting. When I would go out for the day with the kids or visit a friend with them out of town, he would get together with her. Then, it escalated to him telling me he was going out with a friend (often on a weeknight) and would lie about who it was. I learned that he sometimes claimed extra baseball games with his league when there weren’t any.

      For the most part, my ex was almost always home for dinner. Rarely ever went out until after the kids went to bed – upon discovery he actually defended himself that nothing he did hurt the kids because he always made sure that what he did wasn’t taking away from the kids.

      It doesn’t take much to carry on an affair when you have a willing accomplice with low standards. When I discovered the secret email account, there was even mention about the euphoria he experienced in their sneaking around and how exciting it was to play Bonnie and Clyde.

  • About 6 years ago I bought my STBX a new cell phone. She gave me her old phone to use as an iPod; but didn’t log herself out of Facebook. I’d just finished talking to her about how she seems to be getting chummy with that co-worker. She denies everything. I go sit at my computer. The phone is beside me; she’d just finished giving it to me. Up pops a message from buddy saying “I’m home now baby, I miss U” etc. STBX tells me it’s just a little game they play at work. Ya, right. Then I notice her leaving for work at 7AM for a job that starts at 8:30. It’s a 15-minute drive. “There’s construction…gotta leave early” she says.

    They were meeting up at a parking lot near work and groping each other in the car. Glad they kept it classy.

    • ah yes the leaving early. Then I found a message on LinkedIn, nonetheless, about a co-worker from out of town apologizing she’d missed him at lunchtime, but “she was kept by co-workers”. If other people were her co-workers, who was he to her? He could never sell me this one.

    • It’s funny in retrospect hearing freshly-busted FWs trying lamely to defend the characters of APs… who hump married creeps in parking lots.

      Then put it on your professional resumés, folks, under “soft skills.”

    • Stay classy indeed. I had to sit and tell my legal team and show the evidence of how my ex wife was fucking men in the street behind bushes in broad day light. Some hidden part of a car park etc. Then she would come home to the kids and I and act like nothing happened.

      • They’ll always find time and a way to cheat. Five minutes is enough.
        I actually wasted time reading “sex addiction” literature. First hand accounts of depraved behavior i.e. a man taking advantage of glory holes in the loo whilst on a road trip, his wife and kids waiting in the car.

      • My ex wife would bang her sparkle dick in an abandoned bars parking lot, about 100 yards from her facility where she was the Director of Nursing and he was the Assistant DON.

    • Klootzak would meet women at lunchtime at a park just outside the gates of the base. He was military at the time. Other times he would take time off work, claiming to be taking me (when pregnant) or our infant to an appointment but he would meet women at cheap hotels. He took the maximum paternity leave from work but was only home for part of it. When he was home, he didn’t help at all. So he said he was going back to work but, in truth, he was still off on paternity leave. Out banging OW. I only figured it out after when I found emails from that timeframe.

    • This was after DDay and ex pledging to work on our marriage.

      Ex had gone to the store (5 min round trip drive) to get a few things. He’d been gone an hour and wasn’t picking up his phone, so I drove down there myself to go get what I needed/find him and see if he needed help.

      Found him and her getting out of the back of her car and heading into the gas station. Confronted him while she used the restroom. “So much for ‘working on our marriage’, huh? Looks like you’re putting more into her.” Then walked out and went home.

      Where there’s a will, there’s a way and they’ll find it.

  • Hoo boy.

    My husband of 20 years came home from work every night at 5:30. He was rarely away on any kind of trip. When he was, he called me numerous times a day, every day. We were together every weekend playing as a family (except those times he would leave the house without telling us. He was “at the hardware store”, “getting the truck washed”. He had the cleanest truck in town and I later realized the only tool he was using was his dick, and he likely bought the truck so he’d have a nice roomy hookup location without those pesky hotel bills.

    I also found out he was leaving work every day.

    He later told me the only problem with the cheating accomplice situation was that he was “always having to leave.” Not that he was lying and fucking a pussy posse and married with a young child, but always having to leave her and come “home”.

    I also found out he was in the front yard at night talking with her after I had fallen asleep.

    And, and, and….

    Unless you are inside his head and lashed to his body, you have no idea what he thinks or does or feels. But you did get the most important indicators of all that he is up to no good, and if you believe either of them I have beachfront property in Arizona to sell you.

    I don’t think anyone shows up here by accident.

    Everyone here could have written a similar version of your letter.

    My deepest condolences.

    • TYPO…

      I also found out he was in the front yard at night talking ON THE PHONE with the one I found out about (and others) after I had fallen asleep.

      Oh, and all of a sudden he started riding his bike to work every day. Gotta leave early to get there on time! Funny how he didn’t lose an ounce riding daily over 20 miles each way….

      I live near San Quentin prison. Inside is a room where they keep confiscated weapons made out of ordinary everyday objects. The creativity and ingenuity would astound you.

      Cheaters have those same skills and use them expertly, assisted by our denial and fear and desire to avoid agonizing pain.

      • “I also found out he was in the front yard at night talking ON THE PHONE …”

        It’s getting better now, but it was this sliding doors shit that really I did me in the months after DDay and after I left. I had a hard time accepting much of what you mention… texting on the couch beside me, fake errands, late night conversations, etc. I found out my ex was leaving the house on errands in the evening – to fuck an AP in his truck. This girl would get in her car and drive hours to show up and surprise him. Of course, he told me after that she was a stalker and freaked him out when she’d show up in our town at night, unannounced. He even said she practically raped him, and that he tried to get out of the mess with her as quickly as possible and wanted nothing to do with her.

        So curious. They stayed in touch for six years after that. Learning this was the final straw – even though he still tried to make it seem like it was all her and was very shady and evasive about any details. Now, guess who the wonderful, magical, sweet young “special lady friend” who finally makes him happy is? Yep, the stalker rapist. They really do deserve each other.

        “ And, and, and….

        I don’t think anyone shows up here by accident.

        Everyone here could have written a similar version of your letter.”

        Condolences to you, too, VH. Hope you’re finding ways to manage these difficult and often unexpected memories and realizations. I didn’t believe it possible, but the staggering pain has lessened thanks to NC, time, busyness and trusting he sucks. New chumps, hang in there!

        • Mine gave me the “I couldn’t get it up” so that of course was NOT a big deal since he didn’t really have sex with her. The minimizing they do is unbelievable. The mindfuckery blender ran overtime with my STBXH

      • The weapons and skills to make them—yes. And these are mental and emotional and psychological weapons.

        VH: I would add to your list about how “cheaters use them expertly, assisted by our denial and fear and desire to avoid agonizing pain.” I would add they are also assisted by our decency and goodness. So much, my husband would tap into my compassion or my honesty or my kindness to manipulate me. It makes me sick.

    • Oh, and how about sexting God knows who while sitting on the couch with me and our daughter watching Disney movies as a family?

      Technology has exponentially increased the opportunities and thrills for a crime as old as time. I have no desire to monitor anyone nor do I want to be tethered to someone I’d have to monitor nor could I even monitor them. Can you say “burner phones.”?

      I realized they all live in the phones and there was no way I could ever know or trust him ever again. That was before I realized I did not know who he was, that the person I thought he was existed only in my mind, and I didn’t want to be married to someone who had crossed that line.

      Some people enjoy hurting others. Some people are cool with being skanky and skeevy and sordid. It’s better if they stick together and stay the hell away from me.

      • One last reply to your comment: I also had no interest in monitoring my ex’s phone or social media or whereabouts. I don’t even have social media for myself, so why would I want to waste my time on someone else’s?! This logic helped me realize it was time to go, whether there was anything nefarious going on (there was) or not: ‘What do I WANT? Not this!’

        A new favorite song that reframes this for chumps:
        “It’s Not You, It’s Me,” by The Little Willies
        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NHK_HttgkmU

        • I LOVE the Little Willies! A propos de bottes, this is my favorite song that has nothing to do with cheating or heartbreak, but still touches me for some reason

          • Also, here are the lyrics to “It’s Not You It’s Me” at the link posted by bread&roses above:

            I just can’t keep going along
            Making believe nothing’s wrong
            It’s wrong and it’s always gonna be
            Nothing you did in any way
            Nothing you said or didn’t say
            It’s not you, baby it’s me
            So keep on being long and tall
            Keep on talkin’ with the same ol’ drawl
            Keep on baby don’t you trip and fall over me
            The petals of the daisy drop
            You love me then, you love me not
            You love me not, it’s plain to see
            Who keeps the fire burning bright
            The one who’s losing sleep at night
            It ain’t you, baby it’s me
            So keep the rose you never brought
            Keep that ring that you never bought
            It’s all my fault, it’s all my fantasy
            Oh, but I can’t give you no more of myself
            Cause I’m lookin’ out for somebody else
            It ain’t you, baby it’s me
            Oh, but I can’t give you no more of myself
            Cause I’m lookin’ out for somebody else
            It ain’t you, baby it’s me

            Source: LyricFind
            Songwriters: Julian / Monroe
            It’s Not You It’s Me lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, ME Gusta Music

            (I like having lyrics because I’m a little hard of hearing which is either the cause or effect of playing music too loudly most of my life.)

      • “Some people enjoy hurting others.”

        That’s the thing about cheating – it’s not just the sex, it’s the fact that they get off on deceiving us. That’s part of the thrill. Especially as he was getting the best sex of his life from me. the only thing she had over me was the pleasure he got from going behind my back. The fact that hurting me was part of his pleasure is what cuts me deepest.

        • ^^^ THE VERY SAME^^^^

          When I would ask for hugs, and then just hug him when he wouldn’t give me one, when I would fall all over myself trying to give him great sex ALL the time, every day of the week.

          As I look back I can see now that he got his thrill and a high from purposely hurting me, all the while blameshifting to me for being the difficult one.

          • Refusing to have sex but then masturbating in the shower. With the door open so my friend saw him.

      • About a week before I caught FW (the first time), we had taken the kids to a museum. The exhibit we were at was in the basement of an old building with absolutely no cell service. At one point we got separated and couldn’t find him for the longest time. The kids and I finish the exhibit, sit at the end for like 15 minutes, circle back through looking for him. Eventually we find him back near the beginning of the thing.

        The next week he left his phone at home and I unlock it planning to call one of his classmates (he’d been gone long enough he should have been at class) to say I can meet FW halfway so he doesn’t miss to much of the program. Except the first thing I see when I open the phone are his messages with AP. Long story, slightly less long, when we couldn’t find him that day, he had left the hall to find cell coverage and was texting with AP. He was sending her sweet nothings while sitting next to me on the couch or when he was supposed to be playing with the kids or in the middle of the night, etc. He had like 3000 texts that month.

    • You just described my marriage.

      He grilled—almost every night. All that time in the backyard, alone, making sure supper didn’t burn. Showers that lasted nearly an hour, locking me out of the bathroom we shared. A quick trip to the shops that took longer than it should.

      Now, every action, every relationship with another woman is suspect. I can’t even begin to guess how many there may have been. Emotional. Physical. I don’t care. It’s all cheating to me.

      • Yes to all of that. I’d like to add, hanging out in the garage at night talking on the phone. Shady late night trips to his vehicle… which I later learned was to use his burner phone in the garage.
        Those trips to the store even for a few minutes I began to believe were to escape to talk to howorker.
        They find the time. They lie and make time they are unreachable on purpose. It becomes so clear the mind fuck of it all, but that takes time.

        • Yeeessssss!! ALWAYS finding a reason to go in and out of the garage. Leaving something in the auto. Loading up for the next day. Blah-blah-blah. Yet I was always the one putting garbage in the bins, checking the dogs, shuttering down for the night.

          • Ex, who came home every night after work for dinner or t-ball games, was supposed to be fixing up his mother’s condo for her return from stroke rehabilitation. In 3 weeks of being gone for a couple of hours almost every week night and a day on the weekends, all he managed to do was replace one bathroom faucet. D Day came when I found a gym bag in the trunk of his car. Along with condoms (that he didn’t need to use with me) and lunch-hour hotel receipts was a soiled full-size fitted bedsheet. His mother’s bed was full-size.

            Cheaters will always find a way.

      • “Now, every action, every relationship with another woman is suspect.”

        Yeah, the ex hs girlfriend married with children who was giddy at the 35th reunion wanting to sit next to him and be all flirty. He wasn’t fukking her, right?

        The very competitive bitch of a wife of a friend of ours who I went to visit with while x and her husband went to a rock concert, a few miles down the road. She left me with the 6 month old and the two year old kids while she ran to the store to get milk and came back 3 1/2 hours later and the husband said x disappeared during the rock concert and he didn’t see him until the end.

        The screwed up emotionally labile crazy bitch across the street with the 23 cats who would smile at me with the cat who ate the canary look…

        It didn’t make sense when I was believing and trusting that x was a man with honor decency and integrity.

        However makes perfect sense now.

        Where did he find the time? Hoo boy.

        Glad to be out.

        • Yep. I know that feeling. It was my best friend and roommate, when I was dating fw. I got a weird vibe and didn’t know what it was. I got a weird vibe with a coworker about 25 years ago and with the sister of his brother’s wife about 12 years ago.
          It didn’t occur to me until after Dday that he might have had sex with them. Fw said no, but fw lies, so I’ll never know.
          None of us will ever know for certain unless the fw confesses. It sucks not being sure of what happened in your own life.

          I sure can’t beat the nut job with 23 cats for a creepy fw conquest. The suspicious seeming coworker was weird, but not that weird. Your fw must be one of those will fuck anything types.

          • “Weird vibe”- exactly. So many suspect episodes looking back. One “tell” I picked up on from (STBX) Mr. Chumperson, is that he calls women in the discard phase “crazy assed bitches”. He’s used these exact words to describe 3 of his 4 (admitted) APs. Maybe just garden variety misogyny… but… now I remember him describing the au pair, our “prostitute” neighbor, his best friend’s sister, several women at work, moms at our kid’s school… I listened patiently, taking his side, the whole good wife playbook. Kinda obvious what was probably going on, but it never occurred to me at the time.

            I wish I had stood up for the other women now, but there was usually a consequence for disagreeing with him.

      • Ahh the showers. My ex wife started taking her phone everywhere. Videos I found on her phone were her taking sexual videos in the shower and sending the same video to nearly 20 men on a daily basis. That’s just the men I found during the first discovery. I filed for divorce that very same week.

    • “Unless you are inside his head and lashed to his body…”

      Shriek, nooooooooo. Icky, icky, icky, bleach, please. 🤣

      • My ex actually told me he’d be willing to chain himself to me if I’d take him back, after I caught him hiding in a closet talking to his massage girl, sex-worker OW during our short-lived wreck-conciliation. 🙄 I declined his offer and showed him the door. Then I called my lawyer and told him the divorce I’d put on hold was back on. I was Fuckwit free six months later.

        • I misread “I declined his offer and showed him the door” as “I declined his offer and showered.” Either way, good choice.

  • Dear Cruz,

    I have never had a nickname like Muscle-Bum for anyone I have ever worked with ever. Not only because it’s completely cringeworthy.

    This is absolutely not normal. He’s cheating on you in all likelihood. It’s an emotional affair at the very least. He spends all day with this woman at work. Who knows what they get up to on their lunch breaks if they’re sending each other nudes in their spare time. If he hasn’t been physical, then its only a matter of time. He also made you a promise the first time he was caught which he didn’t keep. How many chances will this man get from you before you start to realise that he is taking the absolute piss? Like CL says, he doesn’t want to lose you because with you comes the perfect home life. Wife, children, a family. But he doesn’t seem to care about those things enough to let that stop him sending coworkers a picture of his hairy anus and wedding vegetables. Nor does it stop him looking at his coworkers saggy tits.

    You’re being too soft. I imagine because you think that by challenging him that the marriage will be ruined and it will all be your fault. I would have been the same in the past. But it isn’t your fault. Don’t blame yourself. His behaviour stinks. Really stinks! That’s the problem here, not your response to it. He’s likely only admitting to what you’ve discovered and know to be true already anyway.

    He has already proven himself to be untrustworthy. BELIEVE that you can’t trust him. You know what you need to do after that. You deserve better than this, particularly from a husband of 20 years with whom you have four children.

    Dr Chumphead

    • Oh, for crying out loud. If someone called me Muscle Bum at work he’d get a whole can of whoop ass from me AND a trip to HR. I’m no feminist by any stretch of the imagination, but talking about body parts at one’s place of employment is just NOT done. Ever!
      He’s a prick. Dump his ass. Lawyer up before he loses his job;

  • Mr. Bum Bum and Ms. Booty Bum whatever is grossly inappropriate. If not, do you have a work or any other male friend that you call Mr. Golden Dick or Mr. Silver Balls? I’ve got a number of very good friends but I’ve never sent anybody nudes. Or called them anything close to Mr. Bum Bum.

    As to not having time to cheat. There’s a poster here whose husband also literally didn’t have time to cheat. Except on the parking lot for 15 min on the way home.

    And that future plans? It’s called ‘future faking’.

    Sorry to burst your bubble but they’re cheating on you and laughing at you behind your back. Hire a PI and find yourself a lawyer. Don’t be naive at your age.

    • Mine “didn’t have time to cheat,” either. We worked at the same large inner city east coast teaching hospial. I worked in one of the 12 ICUs, he worked in critical care transport. He was always staying late at work because he “had to wrap up a transport” or “needed to pick up a patient 4 hours away.” Some of that was legitimate — I know because sometimes they brought the patient to me. So I assumed that it was all real. Because he would NEVER cheat on me.

      One night, the security guards and several of my colleagues were watching a video on a workplace computer and laughing their assess off. When I wandered over to see what was so funny, it got shut down, pronto. The seurity guards claimed they had to go see to a situation on one of the floors. My colleagues told me, “oh, it was just a couple of dim-wits having sex on the helicopter pad.”

      Years later, it turns out that it was my then-husband having sex on the helicopter pad . . . As a transport nurse, he had the keys to the roof. After I divorced him, I heard lots of stories. In fact, he was so famous for such antics everyone thought I must surely know. I didn’t even suspect. I thought he was too honorable to cheat.

      Anyone who says their spouse doesn’t have time to cheat is almost surely as deluded as I was.

      • Security cameras – why do the idiots never consider that they have a 24/7 audience? The security crew at my hospital called schmoopie “Ronda the Honda” because they saw literally every married doctor she encountered putting his junk in her trunk. She had a fan club.

        • I’m prett;y sure he did know there were security cameras; he either just didn’t care or got a thrill out of it. Every time he took ME up to the helipad to see the view he warned me about the security cameras!

        • Ronda the Honda– haha. Sometimes you’ve gotta love the bystander peanut gallery. FW’s AP was “Monica Goo-insky” according to coworkers.

          Wait, that’s really disgusting. Pre-chump me would have objected.

      • I believed my upstanding husband didn’t have time to cheat. He was rarely ever late home. Later found out that for the last 3 years he was only working 3.5 days a week!. Thursdays and Fridays he left the house suited up, and spent the whole day, both days with Schmoopie! Also turned out all those after hours phone calls, emails and text messages were just from one high maintenance staff member, and it was very rare for any if the other 100+ staff to contact him after hours. He also managed to talk to her on the phone for over an hour each day during work time, whilst driving to / from work and to meetings in other offices. And he also fitted in a second concurrent affair with another subordinate as well!! A lot of it was the clock during work. Cheating was almost a full-time job for him, and I (and his employer) was oblivious.
        Guarranteed that a cheating willy will always find or make time to cheat. Trust they suck.

      • Aren’t you disgusted that all these people knew and no one told you? That was my STBX’s workplace also- watch “the drama” and a family with a wife fighting cancer with six kids being destroyed, and don’t do a damn thing about it or give her a heads up. It’s a whole other betrayal of humankind.

  • Hi Cruz:

    When your FW was programmed in the robot factory, they installed a program for getting caught cheating, which has the first go-to response of “It was only _______ .” Which by extraordinary coincidence, is always the thing you caught them doing. And if you caught them having sex, it was always the only time of the one and only affair.

    When your husband explained to you the extent of his relationship with The Ass, he somehow neglected to mention that she was sending nude pictures. So he’s lied to you about the extent of the relationship…for years. What are the chances that there were nude pictures and no sex? Pretty much zero, based on what everyone here has experienced. These people lie. Talk to a lawyer and if you are in a fault state, get some spyware on your husbands electronics. I’m so sorry that he is not the man he pretended to be.

      • This is key! I’ve been thinking this a lot lately. He pulls the “sadz” and all I can think of is all the shit he did and wasn’t sad about. He had a great time lying to me about pretty much everything for the last decade. Only sad because of consequences.

  • I read my stbx phone, asking how his soulmate was, told him I’d seen the message, he denied sending it, someone else must have got hold of his phone!!! then he said it’s the name of his bowling team..!!!
    Sadly & stupidly I hung around another 10 years while the kids grew up, he was sending messages to someone else but dumbly sent one to me…. I got the silent treatment, no explanation, gaslighting, all the usual cheaters playbook!!
    Finally, I’m divorcing the fuckwit….he has made it very difficult & long winded but I’m getting there.
    I’m just a bit sad that I didn’t do it years ago when I caught him lying the first time.
    The kids, adults, saw through him way before me, called him a man child,
    Needless to say as they have called him out on his shitty behaviour, he hasn’t spoken to them in 3 years!!!!

  • Most newly minted chumps make the mistake of believing that exposing the affair ends the behavior. But to the cheater it’s merely an inconvenient complication.

    Cheating is a behavior that brings the cheater an incredibly pleasurable endorphin high. They will say and do anything to access that high. In the end they just learn to adapt and work around the chump’s vigilance.

    The same infidelity that causes an agonizing nightmare for the chump becomes a delicious game of cat and mouse for the cheater, which only serves to accentuate the high. It’s also a sociopath’s way of retaining control of the chump.

    The tragedy is that the only sure way to free yourself from the ongoing agony is divorce, which carries its own discomfort. Ultimately each chump must decide for themselves.

    CL constantly reminds us to ask “Is this behavior acceptable to you?”. When you finally determine that it’s unacceptable, the only solution is to detach yourself from the person inflicting the agony. Do not seek comfort in the source of your pain.

    • “It’s not what you think.” When I figured out who XW was fucking, she told me I was nuts, nuts I tell ya. After all, he was “basically her step brother”! (Her dad was banging his mom when XW was a teenager and they lived together during that time). They “reconnected” on FB. Eeeeewwwwww!!!

      • Klootzak gets off on sex stories about siblings. One of his OW he decided to share with her a page of stories he found especially exciting and wanted her to read. Her email back to him was pure gold. It was clear she could tell this was not sent to her by mistake as she tells him he must have “mistakenly” sent her a page about incest because ewwww. I laughed to myself that a schmoopie told him he is gross.

        He has always put his sister on a pedestal and she worships the ground he walks on. Klootzak’s sister has always acted like I was competition and he triangulated us and enjoyed being central. I never found evidence of anything but wondered….

        These FWs are indeed pretty gross. Just learning his bro-sis fetish turned me off him for good.

    • “Do not seek comfort in the source of your pain” = TRUTH

      What finally hit me: “You can not heal in the environment that made you sick”!!

    • This is the exactly what I needed to hear right after DDay. And it’s the opposite of most of the “support” that’s available (Perel, RIC, Gorman, marriage counseling, etc.) and the opposite of what we want.

        • Thank you! Best wishes to all who visit here for a full recovery from having the rug pulled out and for being fuckwit-free. Treat your wounds, shake off the trauma the best you can, and get on with living your best life!

  • You don’t trust him. You can’t trust him.

    I will never again live a single day with someone I can’t trust.

  • The biggest problem that most chumps have, in my opinion, is that they do not understand the way cheaters think. Chumps don’t see a “reason” to cheat. We have internalized the blame game, culturally. “If I am a great partner, and we have sex, and I keep the house clean, and the children cared for, and do all of my part of the work of the marriage, and most of his, and I am smart, and sexy, and I have great work skills, and, and, and, …my marriage is affair proof!” Wrong. Sorry, but dead wrong.

    Cheaters cheat because there are never enough kibbles for them. They cheat because they love being devious and thinking up ways to step out, around the system. They have secret phones, and hidden applications, and accomplices who cover for them, and a million things chumps never think of. When I was young I thought boys looked at magazines and porn to find out about women’s bodies in a safe way. I had no idea that porn is a rabbit hole of dysfunction which causes unbelievable problems, both mentally and physically, down the road for those who fall into the rabbit hole.

    Cheaters cheat because they can, and for some reason feel they must cheat. They think of it as winning. It is a sick form of competition, a “gotcha”, an obsession. They are never satisfied. Even if they achieve life goals they had when they were young, ” I’ve got a great wife and kids, a nice house, a fancy car, a great job, a swimming pool, a yard man and a pool man, I travel first class, people call me Sir . . .” You see? There is never enough to stop the roving eye from roving. (Sorry male chumps, I know there is a female version of this, but this is my experience. I know it has nothing to do with being a male!)

    We do not understand. Do not waste your precious time trying to. You cannot save anyone but yourself. Don’t accept a lifetime role on the marriage police. Don’t spackle and say, “Now, we are great!” Face the facts, make your own plan to escape a lifetime of always trying, but never being enough. Dysfunctional personalities can destroy you if you let them. They won’t feel remorse.

    • Perfectly said. The fault, the darkness, the dysfunction lies in them.

      Think of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. Jennifer Garner – who the hell would cheat on her? Yet she’s a chump.

      JLo can have Affleck, at least until she discards him.

      • I know Chris Judd’s mother. He is a J Lo ex-husband. Mom did not leave a good Yelp review about J Lo as a wife. Not hard to believe when looking at her known romantic inventory. And look who’s back together. What’s the definition of insanity again?

        • Well, she’s a Narc. They make terrible partners 🙄
          It’s actually pathetic, the way she was about to get married, then it was off, then presto-chango, she’s with Ben. Somebody can’t be alone with herself…..

          • Yes!! That’s what I keep thinking every time there is something about JLo and Ben!!! Um, wasn’t she just going MARRY someone else a few short weeks ago??? Also, Ben is the absolute LAST thing she needs right now. He is an alcoholic who continuously falls off the wagon and Jennifer Garner cleans up his mess because they have kids together. I would like to see Jennifer Garner just drop the rope on him, but because she’s a Chump she looks out for him because of their children. Just a big mess all the way around.

          • “Can’t be alone with herself”. That describes my ex-FW. After he paid for counseling with one of the RIC places, within 2 months he moved into the home of his next victim, a “good Christian woman” like his ex-wife, “not like me at all”. hahahaha good luck honey, he cheated on his ex-wife way more than he cheated on me.

            He is too afraid of himself to be alone. He was alone a little while when I kicked him out and didn’t like what he saw. Now he thinks a good Christian woman will save him.

  • Maybe this one is just an emotional affair and nothing physical has happened but he is tempted and now he is thinking about and he isn’t shutting it down. It is just a matter of time before he either gets physical with this woman or the next one. It will be that little itch that he just has to scratch.

    My ex’s first affair was just an emotional affair. Eight years later he went physical with another woman and said he regretted not having gone physical with the first. I guess after twenty + years I wasn’t fawning over him as effectively as other women. Clearly a fault in me.

  • As my 32 yr marriage was ending, cheater pants told me “he had ALOT of opportunity”. Uh OK, so do I but I didn’t take advantage of that. X was in LE and the excuses of follow up on investigation, overtime, have to go to another city to follow a lead. Yes there was ample opportunity including f’g people he met on calls or even arrested. UGH

    Remember “WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY”, and the thrill that cheaters get by sneaking a getting away with their crime. I wasted a lot of years believing those late night calls (supposedly work related). UNTIL I DIDN’T.

    BTW my X was involved with the kids sports, church, friends, family and hid behind me like prop in his movie. There is no such thing as cute little nicknames or nudes for co-workers. WTH

    • Exactly right Frieball. Chumps are but a smokescreen to the FW behaviour. Without us to make them appear as upstanding citizens, the world would catch on to what douchebags these freaks truly are.

    • Same here. He was a police officer in a midsized city. Of course he had opportunity, as did I, for the last three years we were together I worked for DoD, and I was far from unattractive, yet I am certain the asshole figured HE was the only one who had opportunities. I don’t even think it was that, I think he just knew my values would not allow it. He was right.

      Everyone who wants to screwed around can easily find a willing partner. Yet these screwballs think they are so special.

  • I am so sorry for what you’re going through Cruz. Many of us could unfortunately tell you that’s what being gaslit feels like.

    It’s of course completely inappropriate. If you are doing so great, and he is such a great guy, has he ever apologized for hurting you? Are you great or is he telling you that you are? Why does he still have a nude picture of this person? Why is he still working with her? 2019 is a long time ago.

    He is always with you and the kids, except when he is at work. Or messaging. Or on the phone. Or on his way to work, getting groceries, “washing his truck”… the point is that you’re on high alert and you’re here. There’s a reason. Listen to your gut.

    I knew something was up, not exactly what because I was afraid to admit it, with 2 little kids. The discard phase was very very painful to live through and in the end I still had to be the one to file for divorce after he walked out. I should have listened to my gut and left years before with my head high.

    • This is a very confusing time and you will get a lot of very good practical advice here. You think you might be overreacting, probably because it’s been hinted at by parties who have a vested interest in the situation.

      I doesn’t hurt to get more information. Read LACGAL, talk to a lawyer, get therapy. Do NOT stay isolated in your bubble. 4 kids can be a lot of work. Take time to think it over and get pertinent advice. Information is power. Things get less scary when you have the tools to deal with a situation. You’re not alone.

      • Oh, and you’re allowed to be mad. You have all reasons to be. Get angry, use it, it’s your fuel.

        • Excellent advice FuckThatShit. The pain from the discard of a cheating FW is excruciating. Ask me how I know. If there’s one page I would like to re-write it’s that I filed when I discovered he was searching up prostitutes and Craigslist hookups. Instead I believed his BS he was “only looking at pics”. Our marriage counsellor (Gottman method) knew full well what a douche he was yet still entertained our 6 sessions. It’s a money making farce industry. We filled out private 250 question online questionnaire with pointed questions re: are you having affair? Are you planning to leave your partner? Counselling KNEW and I DID NOT. so FW chose to walk out 4 days before I buried my Dad. After 21 years together. FWs GET OFF on inflicting pain. Get out ahead of that cruelty is my best piece of advice. Wish I’d taken it from the first lawyer I consulted. Gawd.

  • Hi Cruz,

    I think you are so gaslit that you don’t know what to do. You aren’t really asking for advice… you’re asking for permission because you don’t think there is enough evidence here to choose to leave. Your FW has you so confused that you feel like he’s not doing enough “bad” to warrant a divorce. You feel like you’re maybe over-reacting. If you’ve talked to friends… they don’t understand and probably tell you to work it out with him. Am I warm?

    CL and all of us here unfortunately DO get it. This shit you’re discovering isn’t an accident. It’s not harmless flirting. Your husband IS cheating. And he’s playing you for a fool. A woman at work is sending him NUDES. Seriously? WTF? They have sexual pet names for each other! Those aren’t red flags — these are a full on, no doubt it about, black and white wake up call that your husband is cheating on you.

    Please talk to an attorney. Please hire the PI (if you need more evidence in your state). Please don’t say a word to your husband. See what’s really happening. You need to protect yourself and your children. Please follow CL’s advice and read her book. I’m sorry. None of us want this. But you are slowly going to lose your mind if you keep trying to trust him and the discoveries keep revealing themselves. (please get a therapist too)

    • This !!!!!! Where were you when i was feeling this way years ago??? I’m out and so far from it now—but dang, this was EXACTLY how i felt, and why i stayed and wasted my 30s and some of my 40s. Cruz, listen to MichelleShocked. She is spot on.

      • Sorry Cruz but MichelleShocked is spot on. “It’s not harmless flirting. Your husband IS cheating. And he’s playing you for a fool.”

        He’s lying – it’s what cheaters do, and they’re extremely good at it. I fell for my ex’s lies. Now I know he deserves an Academy Award for being so convincing!

    • Cruz – Hopefully, advice like this will be enough to give you the strength and conviction you need to get out. All of us here relate to your story – and your uncertainty about what to do/believe – all too well.

      Notice that the chumps on RIC sites have the same horror stories? And are in agony? Just like the chumps here. The cheaters are the same everywhere. You obviously don’t want or deserve what’s happened to you, but what can you do? What do you want for your kids and yourself? Your husband matches the cheater profile. He’s not a unicorn. And because he’s the kind of person who would do what he’s done to his wonderful wife, the mother of his four kids – it’s safe to assume he’s probably already done far worse than what you know. And he will continue, and continue to lie about it, and probably only get worse. And so will you. It’s his character, as so many other chumps have pointed out. Even if he isn’t still involved with the ass, there were/are probably others, in all likelihood. She’s not special. Affairs aren’t about love and unbridled passion. They are about cowardice and entitlement. What your husband did and is still doing is humiliating and in appropriate, at best. Do not let yourself be convinced otherwise, and remember that it does not reflect on you.

      Glad you found CL. We’re rooting for you.

  • I’m sorry Cruz! My XH had an “emotional affair” with a workplace “friend” two years ago. I never had clear evidence that they did the deed, but the mind-fuck was enough to sting severely.

    You have learned from all of this that he is not trustworthy. He went behind your back to send flirty texts and saved her naked pics on his phone. He didn’t delete them when he recieved them. HE KEPT THEM!

    Save the texts and pics to a secret drive. Share with a trusted friend, if it will help. Keep all the painful evidence to use as leverage in the divorce. If he and Bum-Bum want to keep their jobs, you can use all the threat of exposing the evidence to HR in order to get a smooth and quick divorce.

  • This one is very triggering to me, because it’s the closest situation to mine that I’ve read on here.

    I, too, “only” had evidence of flirty texts with co-workers. Initially the same co-worker he “didn’t know if” he had a crush on. Months after he’d resolved he didn’t have a crush on her and I commended him for telling me about his predicament (we were early 20’s).

    Fast forward to he repeated this game with who even knows how many co-worker. I got wind of 3 in total. Spoke to one of them, actually. I, too, believed she was telling the truth when she said “they didn’t even kiss!” and that he spun a sad story about being single. I honestly don’t have reason to believe she lied, but I also don’t know, and MOSTLY, at that point I didn’t even care.

    It had progressed from “flirty texts” to “being shady on social media” to “he actually went out on a date with someone”. Not a very romantic date (he took her shopping with him), but still. That was crossing a line in my books.

    So after 2 years of gaslighting (and 4 years since the original incident), hypervigilance, all kinds of anxiety issues that I even saw a psychiatrist about, a wedding proposal (dress and venue booked), I called it QUITS.

    No one can live like that. I gave him a second chance. The mistake was giving him a third, a fourth and so on. They are who they are. I’ll never know what truly happened, but I was happy to pass the point where I cared. Snooping became my life but after I knew enough to make me leave, I immediately lost interest after that.

  • The cheaters high… makes him feel alive. My FW was charmed by a much younger woman. She needed a sugar daddy, he need an ego fix. I “made” him feel like a man-child. Whatever…4yrs out, I am glad to not be with him. He was a man child-he got that right. A big fat bald headed toddler whining about well everything really. Blaming the “Man”, the system, me for his failure to succeed at 4 businesses while I kept chugging along, spackling away, working my ass off to build a life for our sons. I so wish I’d gotten out years earlier when it was clear he is a loser of the highest order. The affair was just the final straw. Hugs! I can’t say my life is happier. I’ve traded FW for aloneness. But I can say it is if my chosing. Now I’m working on finding joy in an unplanned life. This is hard for me cuz yes I am a planner and a fixer. Fixing myself..trying to learn to lose the resentment and gain a life.

    • So often, these cheater marry people who are smart, competent, hard-working and committed to having a comfortable home and a good family. Then they feel one-down because the adults they married expect them to behavior like ADULTS.

      • It seems they initially “marry up” then end up resenting their hard working, have their shit together spouse and end up with low life train wrecks. They finally feel superior and it’s fun blowing off morals and responsibility. Of course down the road they then resent the downgrade. Vicious cycle.

  • Dear Cruz,
    Adults don’t send nude pics to one another unless they have gotten physical, or very soon plan to (but are separated by circumstances like distance or Covid). You tell me: were Bum-Bum and Muscle Bum separated by any such circumstances in 2019?

    I have heard it said (wisely) that the instant you start Googling – or writing advice columnists – to see if something is off in your relationship, you already have your answer. This is clearly not acceptable to you, and it’s okay to own it without knowing the whole truth of what your husband did/does.

    • Exactly this. I would recommend not trying to find out any more either. You already know enough and the relationship isn’t equal, you are the only one keeping your promises. I found out too much, now will have to wait years to get to meh because of having more to sift through and forget all sorts of things.

  • Cruz,
    If is smells like an affair it is. Not probably, not likely, it is. You know it is, if your honest with yourself. I discovered a ho-worker affair which then made me evaluate his prior co-worker friendships. I then went into major denial to “save our family”, I had a 6 baby at the time. Sometime later my rose colored glasses fell off and I realized it was an affair and he’d always been doing it. It’s heartbreaking because it’s the realization and mourning of what never was and never will be.

    The evidence you have is only what you know, if they send pictures like that and have pet names there is more to it. Trust your instincts.

    • Cruz, I was married almost 21 years to my now XH. He finally decided the grass was greener at the neighbors house. I think maybe your heart hasn’t caught up to what your head already knows. How many times have you said to yourself “But what if I’m wrong? What if there really isn’t anything going on?” Cruz, nobody has cutsie nicknames and naked pictures of coworkers unless there is something going on. I think maybe your just afraid. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of being alone. Afraid of an uncertain and totally new future. It’s scary, I know that first hand.
      But its not going to get any better staying. You are always going to have that little cloud hanging over your shoulder. Your going to waste valuable time checking car consoles, cell phones and sniffing for dirty clothes for signs of another woman. Please, save yourself. Get an attorney and let the 2 cutsies continue on with their crap without you. Its going to take time but you will see its for the best

  • Cruz, you’re probably picking up that most of us believe your husband is/was/will have an affair. My ex found time to cheat on our family vacation. These people can work in cheating during the smallest pockets of time. And even if all he did was exchange naked selfies with a coworker…is that really who you want to spend the rest of your life with? Maybe it is (personal choice) but it sounds disgusting to me. I couldn’t respect a man like that anymore to stay married.

    In any event, I find it so odd (and immature?) that your husband even has Snapchat to begin with (isn’t that the premier app for cheaters and ne’er do wells…and teens?!) and even odder that his response to being caught cheating via Snapchat was to reduce his friend list, yet not eliminate the app entirely. I suggest you revisit your personal boundaries.

    • Snapchat, found that on my fw’s phone. What self respecting middle age man has that? None, absolutely none, and I just can’t be convinced otherwise.
      We’ve all found ourselves floating in a sea of red flags. It doesn’t take walking in on your partner or 100% confirmation to know what is going on. I wasted a lot of time trying to find more proof. I never got what I was looking for, but I did finally realize I found enough. I also knew things I could never prove but that was enough too.

      • “Snapchat, found that on my fw’s phone. What self respecting middle age man has that? None, absolutely none” Precisely.

  • My ex could not use a computer, except for searching Craiglist (?!) to shop for vehicles. His lack of e-mail ability meant I had to use phone texting or pay my lawyer to communicate with him after we separated.

    BUT, he knew how to use/disable airplane mode so his employer couldn’t track his work truck. And he immediately deleted texts and photos from AP.

    I found a deleted photo in the trash of his phone while we were having a wreckoncilliation. One of the few physical bits of evidence, but it was what I needed to get my ducks in a row.

    The alternative to leaving was allowing him to DARVO me everytime I learned a small truth.

  • I’d like to point out the incongruity with the statement that nothing happened and the presence of a nude picture.

    In order for that nude to have been sent, a few things DID have to happen 1) He requested it, or the “flirting” escalated to the level where sexual photos were exchanged. 2) She sent it because she felt the situation was comfortable enough to do so.
    Or 3) She sent it unsolicited and he accepted it without protest…and kept it.

    Either way, one of these things occurred, and he still kept the photo because you FOUND IT from two years ago.

    It doesn’t matter if they didn’t have sex (lol yes they did) THAT happened. That IS something happening.

    If another woman sent my boyfriend a nude photo I’d fill her glove box with parasitic butthole worms (those exist) I wouldn’t be sitting by “discussing a future” and believing naked pics are nothing.

    Btw would he be ok with you sending nudes to another man? My guess is no.

    • So funny! 🤣 Good thing I’d never heard of those, or crazy neighbor AP would be scratching right now!

      • Proctologist: “So…what happened here?”
        AP: “Well it all started when this woman found out I sent a nude pic to her boyfriend…”

  • Use a PI recommended by an atty. It will be worth the money. You will know one way or the other. In the meantime you don’t have to play marriage police.

    • I don’t know why more married chumps don’t do this. Not only do you know one way or the other, but you have evidence for the divorce. Many APs do not want to be deposed in a divorce action.
      Moreover, there’s the question of financial infidelity or fraud. Best to know exactly what’s going on.

      • Yep. Even though I live in a no-fault state, I could have used the threat of deposition to have him cover legal fees, etc.

      • Yep, my fw stole a lot of money from me to spend on the whore. I had credit card proof of a lot of it, he paid all the bills so I never looked at the CCs. That is until he moved out and I called the CC company ordered a three year history, and cancelled the card.

        Whoopsie, oh well a year of him paying full freight to me took care of a lot of it. I could have gotten three years but settled for one. I regret that. I should have gone for the full three years.

        Actually I think he would have been ok with it, as I think he was trying to delay his remarriage. He was the one that delayed the last few months.

  • Dear Cruz,

    I think you know the answer. Most (all?) of us tried to deny what was evident. We went along with the gaslighting because the alternative is too painful. We tell ourselves that it’s perfectly harmless to call coworkers “bum, bum” or whatever. We do some sort of self-protecting, mental gymnastics to make sharing nude pictures okey-dokey. We believe our spouse when he says that someone must have hacked his phone when he mistakenly sent a text meant for the OW to our daughter. 🙋🏻‍♀️We call Apple to resolve the issue. (Yep. I did this.)

    We buy the argument that the cheater couldn’t cheat because he’s home all the time, but deep down we know that he is not home ALL the time. (In my case, my ex started to go to work at 5 am and return at 9 pm. He’s a physician and explained that he was super busy–so many sick patients–and had difficulty with electronic medical records (EMR). Because he’s a technophobe, I bought this. They met at hotels, the cargo area of his Jeep, and their own marital beds (if the chumpy spouses were out of the house). I actually believed he was working. Cheating never occurred to me. That said, sometimes I wonder if my subconscious knew something was amiss, but I didn’t allow myself to acknowledge it because I knew that it would be too painful. 🤷🏻‍♀️

    As someone who has finally arrived at the other side of divorce and the hellscape that was my life for over a year (the year after Dday), I’m here to tell you that it’s better on the other side. Life is better without a cheater. Life is better when you are no longer policing that shit. Life is better when you surround yourself with people you can trust and people who respect you. Life is better when someone who sucks is no longer using you as a kibble source. Life is better…

    I agree with CL. Lawyer up. And please remember that his cheating is not your fault. He will blame and gaslight you. Ignore that. For strength, read and re-read CL’s book. That’s what got me through. Oh, and find friends who will support you.

    Good luck,

    Spinach

    • Right? My fw (police officer) would to out at night to ride around with the guy, because with his new promotion to Captain, he wanted to make sure to not loose touch with the guys. Fucking liar. He would even come home with tales of guys he talked to who were having marriage problems.

      He wasn’t talking he was ball deep in a whore likely screaming oh god, oh god.

      He got his though, and for that I am thankful.

  • There is nothing innocent or nonsexual about sending your husband a naked picture. You are being gaslit. How would your husband react if another man sent you a naked picture? I am sure he would not think it was innocent at all. My ex too, told me that he was just friends. That they just hung out and played pool. Funny of it was so innocent why did he lie and tell me he was going out with Bill? Why did he lie and tell me that he was going to stay at Bill’s cabin?? Even after I found out about Skankella. He still denied that they had sex. He would not do that to me. Hmm, what was he doing on those overnight trips??? He forgot to sign out of his old facebook account and I found pictures of my cousin on a toilet that she sent him via FB message. Real classy.
    I would consult a lawyer. Please get for STIs. Most likely your husband is still seeing her. He just got better than hiding it.

  • XW told me she was helping her BFF deal with her mother’s cancer and death. Many lunches, dinners, and long nights consoling her bereaved friend. She even had to sleep over a few times because her friend was so despondent. Here I thought she was being such a great and loyal friend. Until the BFF called one night and told me she hadn’t seen my XW in months! Oops. Light dawns on Marblehead.

    • Very similar to my ex wife’s first cheating in 2009 when she went to stay overnight at her female friend who was going through surgery. I went there several times and ex wife’s car was not there. Went and listened through door and no sound of her. Phoned her from car park and asked where she was and how things were and was lie after lie. I as an immigrant in her country could not get the red hot evidence. I was so stuck. Time passed and I stupidly stayed with her and thankfully moved back to my country and she cheated and cheated and cheated and I simply divorced her.

  • Listen, the premise is that we’re all chumps here. If you’ve already accepted that fact, the rest follows…

    It’s ok, chumps are good people, you’re good, you’re in good company.

    ((Hugs))

  • I think that what we discover is only the tip of the iceberg

    A good friend divorced her husband and found out in divorce court that he was paying child support for a 2 years old son. They were married 18 years.

  • As a general rule, this whole shit show is the reason I won’t let any person, for any reason, make any commentary whatsoever that implies that I am any sort of “work wife” or say that I “keep them in line”. The fastest way to get me to pointedly say “I’m not your wife or your mommy, and I don’t care whether you’re joking, I’m your colleague, and we are both responsible for ourselves, end of discussion” is to make one of those “jokes” (not a joke).

  • Towards the end when “we” had “decided” to separate, I went to my routine OBGYN check. On an impulse I let my (female) doctor know about it and she asked me if I wanted an STD screening. I was in shock and I said no 🙄. One week later I made another appointment to get the full screening. So yeah, denial is not only a river in Egypt.

  • Dear Cruz,

    Why is it that you have no one to talk with about your husband’s infidelity, whether emotional or physical? You should confide in a relative or a friend because clearly you need someone in your life to remind you that nude pictures are not normal workplace correspondence. I work with men al the time and none of them send me dick pics or nude pics or have a pet name for me. What kind of woman sends nude photos to a co-worker? If you are keeping your husband’s behavior a secret from those who truly love you, that’s a sign that you KNOW something is wrong.

    So tell your BFF what’s going on. And then find a therapist who will keep your confidences and help you stop spackling for this guy. You do not want to continue with your head in the sand because that’s what yo are modeling for your kids. And don’t wait until the kids are grown and he can just walk out on you and leave you with nothing.

    • Right on LovedAJackass. CL is the first and only expert in the field of infidelity that says, “it’s not ok to gaslight your children.” When they are teen / tween / adults they KNOW something is “off” in the parental relationship. Spackling FW highly inappropriate behaviour is like an assist to shot in net goal. The truth is painful and society assists FW by keeping cheating on the down low. This unfortunately is the world we live in. Even more reason to educate the kids with the truth if one good thing comes out of FW blowing up our family and annihilating our marriage, I hope that it is my teen daughters learn from it and not settle for a cheater freak like I did. Abuse is NOT OK! Infidelity is ABUSE!

  • Excuse my posts, I am having email issues.

    Can some one please respond to me so I can verify my emails.

    Appreciate it.

  • Dear Cruz, you, my dear, are in a good position. I know it doesn’t feel like it right now, because he’s wearing you down emotionally, but you are. You have evidence he’s cheating. He IS cheating. He won’t know that you’re wise to him. He has a job.
    Take all this, and go check out a few lawyers, don’t wait, and don’t let him get a clue what you’re doing. It’s time to protect yourself, and all your kids! That ‘future’ he likes to fake-talk about? You need to secure it! Don’t waste your dynamic energy arguing and fighting with Mr Selfcentered Bum Bum, about how to save your family, just talk to the lawyer about saving it for you and the kids. I’m sorry, I know it’s so hard, to let go of the dream, but you’ll have a better one without him! Good luck (and he’s already cheating!!!!)

  • A nude pic from a few yrs ago still not deleted.
    Receiving a nude pic and doing nothing about it… Not confiding in your wife is cheating.
    I am not a purist or anything, just more educated now.
    If they haven’t already it’s just a matter of time. Regardless, there’s definitely been an affair of some sort already- the proof is in the pic and the nicknames.
    It’s terrible that you’ve had to go through this and that now you have to think about destroying the family because he’s destroyed it.
    He’s a cheater, coworker is loving it😩

  • Dear Cruz,
    I an so sorry this has happened to you. My H also had a work friend that he would message all the time. They had nicknames, they sent each other photos of themselves in their underwear, they both told me I had nothing to worry about and was an awful person to “even suspect him of doing such a thing,” etc etc etc…

    You know how this story ends. Your mind knows but your heart doesn’t want to know. I was in that exact same spot. I hung on and believed him because I wanted desperately to believe him (despite a pattern of his previous behaviour that said otherwise). He, of course, satisfied when the coast was clear, slowly moved all his stuff out of our family home and into her house. He’s since married her because.. y’know.. soulmates.

    I’d go see a lawyer now while he feels comfortable that you believe everything he says. Get some options on your table; line those ducks up in a row. And, most importantly, don’t tell him that you are consulting a lawyer.

    And get yourself to a doctor to check for STDs. Take it from someone who’s husband assured her that “nothing is going on.” My blood tests said otherwise.

    Again, I’m so sorry. Find yourself an ally: a parent, a sibling, a friend.

  • Thank you. I’m defintely going to lawyer up and PI up. I’m so lost within myself that I don’t know if I’m coming or going!! Reading all these comments has just proven what I already know!!

    Thank you all for writing and expressing your opinions

    • Good for you. There will be times during the coming tumult that you will feel very vulnerable and isolated. We’ve all been there.

      Practice self care. Learn to treat yourself as if you’re helping your best friend get through this.

      The good news is there’s a serene life on the other side. That’s the life you deserve. Godspeed!

    • You got this. Good old Bum-Bum’s entire lifestyle depends on you being confused. Let him think he’s outsmarting you. Get your ducks in a row. You and your kids will be ok.

    • When your world has been nuked it’s normal to be shell-shocked and stumbling through the rubble wondering which end is up. For a loooong time. Coming here and reading is the powerful medicine I desperately need and is really the best infidelity anti-venom on the planet. I’m sorry you have to be here but so glad you are. This is the lifeboat and there are a whole bunch of us ready to help you aboard.

      He hasn’t done or said anything original and how you are feeling is how probably all of us can relate to.
      And you can tell him and his ho-worker I said so.

      Get The Script by Elizabeth Landers. It’s a quick and informative play by play book that spells out what cheaters do. The traitor I was married to did every single thing in it and I was totally fascinated.

      Cheating In A Nutshell, and Private Lies by Dr. Frank Pittman are also eye-opening and reassuring and sanity-saving reads.

      • ^^^ Cheating in a Nutshell!!^^ and LACGAL I’ve read both 3 or 4 times every time I start to feel down or like he’s not really that bad.
        I read LACGAL and still had to go through 6 months wreckconciliation before I got myself together enough to be able to tell him to leave. Even though I knew deep down the the emotional and sexting I had seen I just didn’t believe he would do more. I regret every day not getting a PI for the first time. It would of saved me 15 years of hell and chaos, and losing myself. He finally disclosed the sexual including his stepsister. That finally was what got my head out of the mindfuckery blender.
        Trust they suck.
        I’m so sorry you are here.

        • Yes – LACGAL and Cheating in a Nutshell are the best books. They will bring clarity and validation to your feelings. They have helped me immensely.

          DAST Disgust Anger Suspicion Trauma

          We are all changed people because of the trauma.

          (ha we are both chump no more!)

    • Hugs! Thank you for responding. Just know we are here. This will be a difficult couple years for you and your family. It is best not to delay and get on with it. Stealth at this time is your friend while you get your ducks lined up. Get a good therapist who believes betrayal is abuse. There is a FB group where you can vent also.

  • Lol. I remember that conversation with the OW (actually there were a few, OWs AND conversations. I remember hearing how flattered they were that I thought they were so desirable my husband was screwing them (red flag, I did think that sounded like something the ex would say but didn’t prove further because it was so….confusing); I remember the muttering of innocence; I remember the confusion; I remember the whole gaslighting thing.

    I also made the ex block them on social media. Lol I blocked them too. Rookie move, unable to gather any more evidence of their going’s on (goings on I discovered nearly a year later after I unblocked them).

    My advice:

    Confusion is the first sign of abuse
    Learn to trust your intuition.

    • Confusion is the first sign of abuse. Thank you for that! Years of gaslighting and mindfuckery and becoming a shell of myself, (I wasn’t even brushing my teeth near the end) are all designed to keep you off balance. Telltale signs The grande finale discard is near.

  • Hire a PI. Then you’ll know without having to guess. Cheaters find time. Like everyone here I was baffled by that too. I also had trouble figuring out how he got the money for hookers but liars are very good at their craft. I’d make him quit his job too.

    • On another note…how classy are cheaters? Bum-bum? Seriously? Are they two years old? My cheater talked about his OW (a client) and told me how cool it was that she was so depressed. Like “cool” in the “I’m a teenage goth and it’s cool to be depressed” kind of thing. He was 50 years old.
      #youcan’tmakethisshitup

  • Once again someone is asking, “Should I stay?” but what is forgotten every time is that the letter writer is not the one in charge here. Good ol’ Bum-Bum may just up and abandon you with 4 little ones to pursue his twu wuv schmoopie, it has happened countless times. Do not ascribe ethics to him that do not exist. He is a liar. It is traumatic to find this out.

    Line up your ducks. Do everything to protect yourself- there are pages and pages of what to do on that, from gathering and storing offsite all financial info and passwords and baby pictures and hoarding some gift cards so you can buy groceries if he cuts off financial access. Speak with an attorney. Get ready for bad, bad things, but keep your cool. It is tough but hopefully this forward motion will help you gain some strength.

    100% of the time when busted at this level the cheater simply takes the affair deeper underground.

    If you are looking for proof and since you are in the marriage police force now you might consider putting a voice activated recorder under his car seat and putting a toothpick in the door jamb of his passenger side to see if it is opened (it will fall out and you will know). Run a credit report to find the credit card he just opened that you don’t know about– the one he puts the hotels on. I bet if you run a lint lifter on the passenger side of his car it picks up hairs that you know are not yours, and there is a good chance you will find pubic hair on some seat in there, front or back. Sometimes that is what it takes to get us chumps moving, we understand. So much at stake.

    When this blows up he will tell you it is your fault. Brace for impact.

    ((hugs, we will be here for you))

  • It is interesting. I am 3 years out of this shit, mostly don’t give a damn anymore.

    But reading the text above just makes me nauseated. It makes me vomit.
    My ex had the “just a friend”work colleague, who she met
    “because he is someone who understands me like a brother ”
    “I always had male friends”
    “you were so busy , I didn’t want to disturb you ”
    “you never listen to me”

    The cheeky messages after the xmas party to which I wasn’t invited were just “harmless fun”.
    “You should operate on me with your big instrument”
    (She is a theater nurse , he is a company rep for surgical equipment)
    That’s just harmless fun between colleagues, isn’t it.

    Neither his wife ,who he pretended to be divorced from or I thought they were just harmless fun.

    Fuck the both of them.
    Get the fuck out of our lives with your compulsive lying, your gaslighting , your narcissism.

    • Yep. It’s why I’ll never get over it. I can function but I won’t forgive that type of stuff from my ex wife. If you’re going to be a cheating POS, you don’t get to use people to get them to pay bills, watch kids while you screw around and wait for the right time to drop them and have them not hate your guts.

      Wasting people’s time, emotion, and resource and then psychologically abusing them by gaslighting them is just unforgivable to me.

    • My fw claimed he had to vent and discuss work things with the ho-workers because I told him he couldn’t vent to me.
      That was so typical, he would yell and vent to me, about all of his “stressful” jobs. One day I asked him to stop because I didn’t have the bandwidth for it that day and he threw that in my face for years. I never said he couldn’t vent ever, I’d just heard enough that day. So of course it was my fault when he had to vent to ho-workers. The logic and half truths are such a mind fuck.

  • “Time to cheat” is rich. This poor woman doesn’t know what’s happening. Everyone can relate.

    Oh, they make time. They have time to send naked selfies via Snapchat and working together, you better believe something happened at lunch or when he “stayed late for work.”

    Your brain will put together so much stuff once you’ve become hip to their cheating. Still to this day, I’ll get an epiphany about my ex wife and a lie she told and how now it makes sense.

    I never thought my wife had time but turns out work things, girls nights, having her mom watch them while I was at work- gave her time. You feel like an idiot for trusting these people and even a tad bit embarrassed for the liar that they’re so pathetic that they lie about everything like some teenager.

    I hate seeing assholes rewarded by keeping a spouse who can’t break away from the naivety and mental abuse.

  • When I caught my now ex, he and schmoopie started using WhatsApp. Just because she isn’t on his Snapchat doesn’t mean their communication ended.

    • My ex wife started hiding apps on her phone she used to sext and arrange meeting other men. Oh and she started new Snapchat account in a different name. All they do is go further underground but sadly for her I went underground and never told her I had filed for divorce.

      • I had my wife’s pass code and thought we were open. But one day, I remember seeing the Snapchat ghost app icon buried in a separate folder. Thought nothing of it at the time.

        But oh boy, did it make sense pretty soon after when the world came crashing down.

        • The Snapchat logo and even hearing about that app is a major trigger for me. That was her main source for cheating. She was even buying lingerie and sexting them all wearing it and she hid the lingerie away from me. She is a truly disgusting tramp and I’m beyond glad I got rid off her. She is just a broken and disordered individual and I’m beyond sad and hurt that my kids have that for a “mother”.

  • If there is anything I learned from my ordeal with cheater Ex-Wife, it is that you have absolutely no idea who they are as a person when they are away from you. And then once you find out your view of the world is never the same ever again.

    • Yep. I thought my wife hung the moon. Thought I was the lesser person. I’m not exaggerating when I say this but I thought my wife had never lied to me.

      Had no freaking clue that she had a double life. She always seemed like such an honorable person.

      I couldn’t have been more wrong about everything- who she was, what she was capable of.

      • I felt the same way, Mills. I thought my H was “the better one of us”: good looking, talented, loyal, kind, clever, etc etc. In contrast, I thought I was “just okay” and honestly thought that he was the “better half.” I’ve always had self-esteem problems.

        Finding out that the man I thought the world of wasn’t someone who was worthy of that respect was… devastating.

        I still struggle with those self-esteem problems but, after his adultery came to public light, whenever anyone said “you were always too good for him,” I agreed.

  • Hoo boy Cruz, to quote the old cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn ” I say, I say, I resemble that remark.” Don’t be me, for 26 years I suffered through the anxiety of hypervigilance. I had the lightning strike of intuition, that’s all I had. I had not one single piece of proof, nothing. So I watched and waited. Every time there was a notable public cheating scandal I watched his reaction and I knew. In my heart I knew but I could talk to no one because I thought what if he really was telling the truth. When I first had this flash of intuition I asked my now exspouse if he was having an affair and he vehemently denied it. For all those wasted years I waited because I felt I had to be positive. Finally two weeks before our 50th wedding anniversary he so delicately admitted ” I fucked one person once ” which turned into at the end of much interrogation a 15 year double life. Trust? Gone forever with everyone and everything.

  • Oh how I remember wanting to believe, just like this lady! The naïveté of really trusting someone. It takes my breath away as our dear Chump Lady would say. Get out now. Yes the next year will suck, but slowly you will reclaim your life. He’s probably already miles ahead on you about the finances of the divorce, so just quietly get what you can together and file. Try to keep the costs down. Please take care

  • Excellent insight as always. No one calls a professional colleague bum bum and sends nudes. Red flags everywhere. Cruz, I hope you follow your intuition and make the decision that is best for you. My gut knew something weird was going on with my ex and his secretary when she was coming over to our house more and more often and her husband always happened to not be able to make it. I just believed my ex when he explained things away. ‘She thinks we’re friends, and we have to have a good working relationship, so I can’t say no when she wants to come over’ etc. They were together from the second I ended our marriage and have been together ever since (3 years). Of course, their relationship went official 6 months after our marriage ended as she supported him through his devastating marriage breakup and they realised they had feelings for each other. Though I have the bank statements that show the hotel rooms and thousands in lingerie that started right after we separated and the thousands that had been spent on lunches and dinners from our bank account 10 months before we separated. Listen to Chump Lady’s advice and your gut instinct and check your bank accounts.

    • Oh Naive Chump. Isn’t it so ironic these Ho-Workers all seem to be a shoulder to cry on just seconds after Chumps catch on, there’s a formal separation and POOF – the magic number of SIX MONTHS goes by and they are officially an “item”?!!!! Why, who couldn’t be happier for them than their fellow co-workers and the masses since they both so “deserved” of “twu wuv.”
      The problem with society is 1/2 the population buys this BS and the other 1/2 gives zero fucks. It’s all just a reality show to most.

  • My X denied having an affair, then having a relationship and living with known OW ( they met through work) after separation. Until 2 years into separation my kids found her bra in the laundry they were folding at his place. Then it was “of course we’re together, but you knew it”. They just mold reality to whatever works for them at the moment. Don’t worry about the impact it has on the kids of course. And that was after a few more years of gaslighting nightmare for me prior to all that.

  • Never one single time, ever, have I read a letter sent in by a chump to Chump Lady and thought the cheater or the cheating accomplices were any kind of catch.

    Not one time have I ever read a letter or a post here and thought the cheater or the marriage//relationship was fixable. No. I read this site like I watch a horror movie where I know the monster is in the room and I am yelling, “Run away! Don’t go in there!” I read this site and wish there was some kind of identifying tattoo, like the cluster of 6’s hidden in the scalp of Damien in The Omen. I have never one single time thought after reading a letter thought the writer should stay and the cheater was a good person who just made a mistake and hey, everyone makes mistakes and hey, this is a fixable thing. This is about as fixable as a bullet to the brain. And many days I feel like a bullet to my brain would have been more honest and humane.

    Why I would not have the same initial visceral reaction about the cheater I was married to is a testament to the power of denial and the brainwashing and mindfucking I underwent. I have to remind myself that the mirage I was living in was the same mirage of every one of us here. That the person I was married to belongs to the same class as the partners of every person here. It’s curious to me that I didn’t automatically and more quickly feel the same disgust and contempt and revulsion for my fake husband that I feel for every one of the cheaters I read about here.

    • We’re all in denial until we truly can’t. It takes a huge toll. But it’s because we have invested so much in the marriage/relationship, children , house, business, because WE CARE! We mean it. It’s very easy for them on the other hand because they haven’t invested anything, they left all the heavy lifting to us and they get out of the marriage as easily as dropping their pants down. Not even counting that they get a huge kick out of it.

      • This is it in a nutshell. They leave the marriage without so much as a glance over their shoulder because they NEVER FULLY INVEST. At least not with their heart and emotions. When they are gearing up for the final discard, they’ve been detaching so much more by use of an AP or several AP’s. This makes the leap frog from Mother Ship to side fling dingy a very smooth transition for them. Meanwhile the ship they abandoned has countless holes shot through the floorboards and will rapidly sink to the bottom of the ocean unless the Chump pulls out their own life raft pronto.

  • How about he delete SNAPCHAT from his phone. Amazing how I’ve managed all these years without it. But, hopefully, very soon, whatever sneaky shit he’s doing on whatever app, will no longer be your concern or problem! Time to take out the trash. Keep quiet, (fake it like he is), line up your ducks and get the hard goods on him before you (let your lawyer) tip him off. Just saw your comment…glad to see you’re wising up to this liar, and getting a lawyer and PI. Don’t believe a word he says now…he will be aggressively trying to avoid asset splitting and 4xchild support, as well as keeping the cake he’s been enjoying. I hope you keep us updated. I’d love to hear what the PI comes back with.

  • Cruz, all such great advice from this amazing tribe. Yes, I would definitely silently lawyer up. If you don’t already know about your finances, learn quickly and quietly. Understand your options. So glad I listened to my lawyer.

    Cheaters build their lies upon other lies. I hate to say it, but there probably is so much more that you’ve yet to discover. I know you probably want to believe that the person with whom you have children has integrity, but based on his actions, I’d have to agree with the rest of CN. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this. But yes, it’s true. He sucks. I’m sorry.

    I’m a little ways from true MEH, but this site saves me every time I start to spiral. Read CL’s book. It will help you wrap your head around this. Return to CN. You’ll see glimpses of your story within the stories of others. It will make you feel less alone, and will help you navigate the process. Sending hugs.

  • My STBX is a timid forest creature, a bumbling nerd, a stutterer, a well-loved doctor, bald, quiet. He seemed so harmless. He travels a lot for work. There were many red flags but I was a master spackler. His recurring line was “I have travelled so much to this specific town that the hotel lets me leave my suitcase there. So I don’t need to pack every time I go there.” It didn’t make sense at first but I thought ok, maybe that’s how they do it in small rural towns. How nice of them!

    3 years later, stumbled upon a folder of nude photos and sex videos on his phone. It was a nurse from work. Kicked him out that same minute. Apparently, he lives with this woman and her kids 1-2 weeks a month. That’s why he didn’t need a suitcase. HE LIVES IN ANOTHER HOUSE. It is literally a trailer home. Had birthday parties, drove her teens to prom, went on vacations. He is a con man. I was married to him for 23 years and I had no clue.

    We’ve been separated for 14 months now. He is throwing every obstacle on the divorce process. Even with what I know, I know it is just the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Trust your gut. Don’t wait for all the facts to come in. They never will. They will never ever ever admit to anything. Sexting is all the info you need. Get out.

    Yesterday, my son was sobbing after spending a weekend with dad. I asked him why. He said he saw a black bra in the backseat of dad’s car. This man has lost everything and will not and cannot change. He will never be anything but a repulsive POS.

    • I hope you get a massive settlement! He sounds like a real sociopath, leading his crazy double life, treating people like pawns in a game. Like my X.
      They are SO SURPRISED that we are smarter than they are!

      • Agree 💯 Free Woman. Chumpupthejams FW is sociopath for sure. As are all other freaks who lead hidden double lives. That takes so seriously fucked up planning. X had (has still I’m sure) his own double life. My kids and I were his smokescreen so he’d appear like the family man. Now I know he is anything but. The second they walk out that door – look out! The real Wolf comes out. Every dirty trick in the book is what he’s been capable. Post-separation abuse is RAMPANT with these freaks! Protect yourself and lawyer up and don’t get caught.

  • I had a good friend who’s husband hired a beautiful secretary when their five beautiful kids were junior high and high school ages. He “had to” take her on a business trip where he rented a private plane and piloted it himself. Oh goodness, there was a snowstorm where they “had to land,” and they “had to stay the night in some small town…” She met him at the airport with divorce papers and refused to talk to him ever again.

    He was shocked! He said he didn’t do anything! At the time, I was shocked, too. I thought maybe she jumped to too many conclusions, or moved too fast, or something. But I’m older now; more experienced. I’m divorced twice and I’ve had three boyfriends since. Something is wrong with my picker. The last four guys were not to be trusted… that’s what I”m doing here…

    I understand now about the “marriage police,” and the “hypervigilance,” and the never knowing the truth, and the always being on the alert. It’s a terrible way to live, especially when “everything is great.” When everything is great, and you’re looking over your shoulder, or you don’t want to go out because of all the pretty waitresses EVERYWHERE, the joy is just gone. If you can’t trust your man, everything is not great. And D-Day is a day like no other. It’s a day where your life just stops.

    I’m sad that you’re in this position! Thoughts and prayers for you. ♥

  • Cruz, I’m sorry you are going through this. I was married for 23 years. My now ex husband left the house for the first time two years ago stating that we were just not getting along and said he needed time to himself. I had had some suspicion of him cheating but nothing concrete. He rented a studio. However, two weeks later he was asking to come back and I happily took him back. I did not want to separate or let alone divorce. The day after he came back I discovered back and forth texting between him and a woman. He claimed it was nothing and that he was just playing with her head. He said he got a kick out of doing this and that she was very naive. I was livid. I could not believe he would ever do something like this to me after everything we had been through. Well I kicked him out of the house again. Again, not even a month later he was begging to come back and insisted that nothing was going on with this woman. He said they only texted and it was not physical at all. I let him come back but I was now constantly policing him. Fast forward to six months later and I caught him texting with someone again. It was a different number than before and he said it was someone else and not the same woman. We fought and argued over this and he ended up leaving the house again. He said I was crazy and seeing things and that nothing was going on. One month later, same story, he begged to come back, and me wanting to keep our family together, I let him. Four months later I caught him walking out of a woman’s house at six in the morning. At around three in the morning he got up and “went for a drive”. He thought I was asleep. Once he left I got up and I was driving around town looking for him. I turned on the family tracker from our cell phone company and was able to find his location. When he walked out of her house I pulled up next to him and he kept on telling me we would talk at our house. He tried to tell me he was helping her move furniture. I knocked on her door and the coward did not open. She just threatened she was going to call the police. We left her house and half way on my way home she called me and told me everything that was going on. (She had my number from previous times I had called her number trying to figure out what was going on.) She tried to claim that she didn’t know he was married. She said he had told her he was going through a divorce. She said they had been dating for a year and five months. She said he had even asked her to marry him. She sent me a bunch of pictures of them and screen shots of text and emails that he sent her. I was destroyed. I felt my life came crumbling down when I finally had a confirmation for something I already knew was true. He moved out again two months later. This time he was gone for six months. I went through some really rough months. He started trying to come around again after four months out of the six months he was out of the house and I kept either ignoring him or telling him no. His begging lasted for about two months and he finally convinced me about being sorry for what he did. He made so many promises and even talked to our boys (23 and 20 year old) telling them he would never do this again. Well low and behold a month into him coming back I catch him calling her again. He had connected his phone to my Bluetooth speaker. When I turned on my speaker to listen to music, it picked up his phone and I heard her voice. I was done right then and there. I kicked him out for the last time. I filed for divorce in May 2021 and the decree was signed this month by the judge (I filled out and filed divorce papers myself. We signed divorce at a public notary since we were in mutual agreement that I was keeping house). I kept the house with me and boys living in it, my car, and my retirement. This is not all that I caught over the two years but it is just so much to include here.

    Just like you, I was fed those same lines of “nothing is going on” or “I can’t live without you” or “when would I have the time to cheat if I’m always home.” Their communication and cheating happened over different apps so that I wouldn’t catch him on the phone bills (yup, I was checking those too). They met secretly God knows how. I did not want to believe he would ever do this to me. I had him on a pedestal and pegged as a great dad and husband. I mean like why would he ruin our family? I will never get an answer to my question but believe me if he has been texting and nudes are being sent, this has gotten physical. And even if it hasn’t, in what world would it be okay calling a coworker those kinds of names and sending those types of pictures. You can save yourself some time and pain by getting out of a relationship where he has absolutely no respect for you. Or, honestly, you are the only one that knows how much disrespect you can take before you say you have had enough.

  • Your letter reminded me of me 4 years ago, fast forward 3 years, he cheated on me with a DIFFERENT co-worker. If he hasn’t yet, he will cheat eventually.

  • Cruz,
    If you have a unicorn he would have confessed the nude pic during discovery. Beware mindfucking yourself in order to abide his treachery. You had a low bar. He did not meet it. This is the bare truth despite all of the word salad. I am sorry you are experiencing this.

    You may not be ready right now to take decisive action. That’s okay. Work on preserving your health – mental, emotional, physical.

    Check out Omar Minwalla’s podcasts. Understand the whole picture. Whether anything physical occurred or not distracts from the reality of your environment and the structure of your relationship.

    I sympathize with your isolation and I admire you reaching out to CN. Change your focus from him to yourself and how you are impacted. Pay attention to your gut instincts. Accept that you cannot change him, but you can change yourself so as not to believe what he says, only what he does.

    If you can find a GOOD therapist, do so ASAP. If not, continue reading here daily. Do not attempt marriage counseling! Of all the mistakes I made, that was the worst. Avoid temptation to bury your head in the sand and lie to yourself about yourself.

    May all go well for you, Cruz.

    • Caveat:
      Minewlla’s podcasts are presented in the realm of sex “addiction” and reconciliation: temptation to hopium. Still, there is valuable information descriptive of chump’s false reality and the impact. The podcasts help allay self-doubt and bring clarity to level of mindfuck perpetrated.

      Helps me reject MC’s finger pointing to my lack of Christian forgiveness as the reason I was not healed and unable to bow to the Timid Forest Creature’s god of shame which apparently is his dick.

      I am so ashamed because I mentally and emotionally submitted to such bullshit. Minwalla helps me.

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