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UBT: “I Made a Mistake”

bitter bunnyI get some weird mail. But perhaps none so weird as this letter sent to my Universal Bullshit Translator by John — a cheater. Yes, probably inadvertently, John has asked me to decode his own bullshit.

Here’s the letter:

Maybe you should focus a little more at actually responding and helping people a little more. My wife comes here and is encouraged to leave me. Listen! Some guys are and will always be assholes! They say they’ll change and everyone knows they give 2 weeks of effort and then it’s back to their old self. Whether it be alcohol, drugs, abuse or whatever. But there are SOME who actually go out, seek counseling, find out why they are acting why they are acting (because they love their wife and kids), find medication, change their lifestyle and change for the better forever. And we would all agree after a few months you know if you’re dealing with the same person or not.

I have multiple kids with my wife and yes I made a terrible mistake. But I went and did everything in my power. And things were going very well!! Until one day, right before we are supposed to move she says, “You’re not coming with us, I can’t get over it.” Meanwhile telling our counselor and our families how great it’s going, BECAUSE IT IS GOING GREAT! but turns out she turns to this site and is encouraged to “run away!!” Sorry ladies but not all of us are the same. Some of us actually love our wives. Some of us actually want to change and do! This website may have done more damage than was already done. Meanwhile I sit in an empty house, no wife, no kids, and change my career to be home more for the family and for my wife so now I don’t have enough capital to even afford my own place.

I did all I could to right the wrong. I truly love my wife. And I will never stop. Maybe someone will one day open her eyes back to the fact that I am the person she married and I lost my way. Thanks again!

Let’s UBT that:

Maybe you should focus a little more at actually responding and helping people a little more. My wife comes here and is encouraged to leave me.

The problem isn’t my cheating, the problem is your advice.

(Dude, the banner says “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life.”)

Listen! Some guys are and will always be assholes! They say they’ll change and everyone knows they give 2 weeks of effort and then it’s back to their old self.

I’m different! I’m not one of those Bad Cheaters! Unlike an asshole, I love my wife!

Why put in two weeks of effort when mindfuckery is so much more effective?

Whether it be alcohol, drugs, abuse or whatever. But there are SOME who actually go out, seek counseling, find out why they are acting why they are acting (because they love their wife and kids), find medication, change their lifestyle and change for the better forever. And we would all agree after a few months you know if you’re dealing with the same person or not.

I made a lifestyle change! Get over it already.

I have multiple kids with my wife and yes I made a terrible mistake.

Mistake. Singular!

But I went and did everything in my power.

Counseling for, like, entire months! Unlike those two-week losers.

And things were going very well!! Until one day, right before we are supposed to move she says, “You’re not coming with us, I can’t get over it.”

Imagine that. Chump has an opinion. Like I’m supposed to respect that? The mindfuckery things were going SO WELL!!

Meanwhile telling our counselor and our families how great it’s going

OMG, you mean she presented one front to the world, but did another thing entirely?! You don’t say. The injustice.

BECAUSE IT IS GOING GREAT! but turns out she turns to this site and is encouraged to “run away!!”

It must be the interwebz that changed her mind, not my behavior. I wonder if I can stop her from reading… #damnUliteracy

Sorry ladies but not all of us are the same. Some of us actually love our wives.

Ladies, I’m sorry your men didn’t love you. Unlike me. I actually love my wife. I send her flowers, write poems, fuck strange. Go to counseling for like, entire months about it. Examined my lifestyle! #allkindsofawesome

Some of us actually want to change and do!

I’m not an entitled fuckwit anymore! I’m just indignant about consequences and indifferent to my wife’s feelings. #allbetter

This website may have done more damage than was already done.

Those bitter bunny cartoons hurt people. Unlike me. I just fuck strange.

Meanwhile I sit in an empty house, no wife, no kids, and change my career to be home more for the family and for my wife so now I don’t have enough capital to even afford my own place.

(Channel flips to the Sad Sausage setting.)

I can’t afford my own place! All my capital is being used to shelter my wife and children! #feelmysorry

I did all I could to right the wrong. I truly love my wife.

In that fuck-other-people-singular-mistake kind of way.

And I will never stop.

… until the next shiny kibble crosses my path.

Maybe someone will one day open her eyes back to the fact that I am the person she married and I lost my way.

I’m WAYWARD! I got befuddled and took a wrong turn. I examined my FOO issues, had a lifestyle change, and read some Healing Library articles. For entire MONTHS! Maybe someone will one day create a website for reconciling wayward people! And she will find it! And her little lady brain will be persuaded!

We can only dream that such places exist. Until then it’s just stupid Chump Lady and her Bitter Bunny Brigade monopolizing all the advice and brainwashing people with this I-have-agency bullshit.

Thanks again!

Gotta find a new chump. Thanks for nothing, Chump Lady!

This one ran before. Wishing John all the best with his lifestyle.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Multiple kids ??? As in he’s not sure how many children he has ??

    Is this Boris Johnston’s alias ?

      • Yeah it’s a pretty telling word choice. And as he lists his alleged efforts, I like the Freudian typo: “find out why they are acting why they are acting”. Presumably he meant “find out why they are acting the way they are acting”, but instead reiterated that he is acting.

    • “Multiple kids” bothered me too! Maybe he means X number of kids with his wife and he’s not sure how many others with his sidefucks. Agreed, wonder if his name is Boris!

    • Yeah, that one got me too. Maybe multiple children with his wife, but other stray children here & there. And it comes across as multiple children that he has no thought for, & probably did nothing for as he was out fucking strange. I hated it when the X called us “the family” as if we weren’t HIS family.

    • Not once does this guy express sympathy or compassion for his wife, nor does he acknowledge how much HE HURT HER or any harm HE did. It’s “a mistake”. I hate euphemisms that rationalize shitty behavior. Very dangerous.

      Nope, his email is all about HIM/HIS losses (= consequences).

      His indignation and outrage are all I need to know to see he’s NOT a unicorn.

      Guess his wife saw thru him.



      • My ex wife said she made multiple “mistakes” also. I told her it wasn’t mistakes, it was choices!

  • I love that this guy says that some guys don’t really change but somehow he’s the unicorn — as if all of us chumps are supposed to know which is which.

    To the poster: Hey dumbass, even if you truly are the mythical unicorn (you’re not)… you still cheated on your wife and kids and blew up your marriage. She no longer trusts you. That’s all you. CL didn’t do anything other than show her that she doesn’t have to stay with a Cheater. Feel free to continue to work on yourself and start over.

    • Hell yeah! And ENTIRE MONTHS of good behaviour. Wow! Here’s a bitch cookie.

      Try eight years of apparent unicornism after a nearly two year affair with my “friend” iny homes, on my property, around the twenty year mark…

      Then he left me for a different AP at thirty years after I pretzeled myself in wreckociliatiom. A thing I swore I’d never do. But hey, “he’d changed,” right???

      Leave a cheater, gain a life.

      Sooner, rather than wasting another ten years of your precious life.

    • CL validates our gut feelings and gives us an alternate path that we absolutely needed. I know plenty of chumps, who when confronted with CL’s tactics, reject them. OK, your personal choice. Those of us who stick around and practice “Leaving a Chump” were already headed in this direction–CL just gave us the words and some group-sourced confidence. And amen to that!

      I guarantee this dude’s wife had been internally spiraling the entire time they were reconciling because her gut was telling her to get out of this relationship.

  • Fuck John… glad his chump wife ditched his sorry ass! If you want to make a difference, pay your support and be a better dad than you were a husband. Someone will right all your wrong and you get to watch haha Hey, I know… you and my cheating ex can become best buds and start your own blog: Ass hurt cheaters

  • “Maybe someone will one day open her eyes back to the fact that I am the person she married and I lost my way.”

    Thing is she opened her own eyes, and she did finally see who the person is she married.

    • “Thing is she opened her own eyes, and she did finally see who the person is she married.”

      This, exactly. My cheater did all the things after he was caught, but it was too late. In the end the cheating was just the line that connected 15 years’ worth of dots. It spelled “MASSIVE ENTITLEMENT.”

      TBH right after DDay, I found CL too harsh; I wanted to believe in unicorns and wasn’t ready to hear the message that I’m not obligated to keep sacrificing for a fuckwit. As my head cleared, I went through therapy, and I figured out enough of who he really is and whether that is acceptable to me, CL was the ONLY place of the many I visited that consistently resonated.

      Sorry, John, your wife was already thinking of leaving. Chump Lady just told her she was going to be OK.

      • I think CL is amazing, but the best thing about her site is that you learn how cheaters are basically all alike.

        the biggest harm I did to myself was in keeping quiet, I was so humiliated. I honestly didn’t want anyone to know how horribly he treated me in the year of discard. Had I even just told my preacher, he could have helped me so much, and I doubt he would even have set up that second meet up. He had conned the preacher too. Though I know the preacher was pretty much on to it all, when I walked out of the meeting.

        If Chumps can do anything to help themselves, I would say find the right folks and talk about what you have experienced. I opened up to my brother just about a year ago. It was instigated by fws treatment of my son and sons wife, just typical fuckwit lying and conning.

        Once I opened up, I couldn’t stop talking. I discovered I had hidden a lot of anger at myself for allowing myself to be a punching bag. If I had opened up and talked, the right person would have been able to help me. It is kind of like opening and draining a wound from poison.

        • Awesome advice, Susie Lee! They have us convinced we should be embarrassed about their own dirty secrets – not so! Sorry for your son, but glad you finally got the chance to speak the truth.

      • Yup yup. ALL THIS, DontFeelLikeDancin. When all this started, I didn’t want to hear what CL said. I really didn’t. I wanted the unicorn so, so badly. Sweet god, so badly, even after I left (ran) the ex. I couldn’t handle the straight talk back then. Weirdly enough? Folks on an _RIC_ forum called all that out. After I’d told them what was going on at the time, the commenters _there_ told me I had nothing to work with. That was the start of bringing me back to sanity (and CN!), lol. And slowly but surely, CL became the only place I visited because it was the only place that kept me focused, kept me centered, and helped me see through all the bullshit.

        • Same here, SkyfullofStars! I found the RIC site helped too, but mostly from reading other people’s stories. I would read what they were going through and want to shout, “WHY are you putting up with this?” It didn’t take much to look at my own situation/fw and think “Oh, wait a minute…” And after that, CL had the only narrative that made sense.

          Glad you found your way by whatever route. If the letter writer’s wife waded through all the RIC BS and landed here, she was already looking for someone to tell her it was ok to cut bait. John’s assertion that CL – someone she never met – turned her against the man she married is total crap. He did that himself.

  • I’d make two comments:

    – If John thinks that all of the contributors to this site are female, he’s clearly a moron who hasn’t actually read any of the posts that are clearly made by male chumps. CN is a broad and diverse church and all the stronger for it.
    – He says “maybe someone will one day open her eyes …..” I think that the issue is that John’s soon to be ex-Wife has already done that … and he really doesn’t like what it means for him.

    For John (should you be reading this). You f*cked up, you got found out and you don’t like the choices that you soon to be ex-Wife is making. Tough sh*t; you broke it and you now own it.


    • I laughed at his assertion that it’s all females on here. Had to stand up and do a helicopter to make sure I’m still a guy.

      Anyhoo, as for the advice on here. Practically every bit of advice from people on CL in relation to my ex wife came true, from all the red flags to what to watch out for next and the advice on here also mirrored that of my lawyers and psychiatrist. From her cheating to parental alienation has all came true. CL’s book saved my life as far as I’m concerned. The support on here saved my life and sanity.

      The OP is dealing with what they call consequences of his actions and simply does not like it.

      • CNL,

        John is a certifiable moron. He seems to think that he’s entitled to reconciliation because he did about 20 minute’s worth of work on himself and how dare CL put ideas in his wife’s head about leaving him and gaining a life?

        In short: F*ck him, f*ck the horse he rode in on and f*ck anyone who has ever met his horse.


        • I use fuck you and the horse you rode in on too, but it was once pointed out to me that I should give the poor horse a break because he or she never made any promises to me ????

          Everything else you said is spot on.

          • Yep it is funny that they never made any promises to us, so we should not hold them accountable for knowingly stealing from us, (time, money etc) in many cases coming into our homes and denigrating our home, lying about us to justify their behavior; but we should give them a break, because they never made any promises to us.

            Like another poster has said, promises are not a requirement for being a decent human being, and staying out of other folks marriages.

            I always say fuck them and the whore they rode in on, so as not to denigrate innocent horses.

            • Sorry Susie, I can’t call schmoopie a whore. All the whores in Warren County Kentucky would lodge a protest. I just refer to her as the round heeled, spraddle legged, stinky pussied, husband f***ing, adulterous slut. None of the other sluts complain.

            • Ooh, I got a mindfuck from some now dumped friends about another friend sleeping with my ex husband behind my back. They told me if I didn’t specifically tell her not to sleep with my husband, then I had no right to be upset or hurt.

              My best friend and I laughed ourselves hysterical coming up with scenarios for that. Like we’re at his company Christmas party chatting with his boss and his wife and I announce to the wife, “Oh, by the way, you do not have permission to sleep with my husband.” Then we realized I’d have to tell his boss too since we found that out about him too and we damn near died laughing so hard.

              These morons I used to think were my friends really tried to push that I should spend my entire life making a disgusting spectacle of myself by telling every single person we ever met not to have sex with my husband. I don’t miss them at all.

              • KatiePig, how do they wind their minds around this crap? WHO tells anyone not to sleep with their ex? It’s a given that you don’t.

              • I agree, most people won’t sleep with their friends’ exes. But this wasn’t even when we were divorced. This was years before d-day, during our marriage, while pretending to be friends with me and hiding it from me.

                But I’m not supposed to be mad because I didn’t specifically tell her not to violate my friendship or lie to my face. I can only laugh at all those people now. They are completely insane. No wonder I struggled so much and was under psychiatric treatment when surrounded by them.

              • Katie Pig – Did those “friends” work that into their wedding vows? “I promise to love, honor and cherish my husband and kick the ass of any fake friend who tries to sleep with him because I DO NOT give permission for you to do so. Uh, until death do us part.”

                What a bunch of freaks.

              • You know, KatiePig, you really should’ve told your husband not to sleep with other women. Then he would’ve known you didn’t want him to deceive you and sleep with multiple friends and strangers behind your back, and none of this would have happened in the first place 😉

          • It was “fuck you and the WHORES you rode in on” when addressing my ex. Lets the poor horse off the hook.

      • LACGAL, CL, and CN saved me too. After D-Day I first discovered the RIC and they were so blame-y. It added to my pain. (Especially because we were still in our honeymoon phase and they couldn’t guilt me into being complicit – there was nothing lacking)

        I kicked him out immediately, before I discovered LACGAL and Tracey. But boy did it make my resolution strong. Confirmation bias? Maybe. Time has shown leaving to be the absolute and only way forward.

        Welcome Chump man, sorry you have to be here. But onwards to a genuine life for you and your kids.

  • Whatever….nobody who thinks their marriage is going great is going to decide to leave based in a fucking website.

    It was going great for him because he still got to keep his family after fucking strange. For her…..not so much.

    She was probably getting her ducks in a row and now poor baby is blindsided.

    The entitlement runs deep with this one….didn’t take much to put his dick over the family yet he’s entitled to be forgiven.

    Hope his wife is enjoying a nice life without him.

  • He’s the speshull unicorn

    And yet this letter is still all about him, his feelings, what he wants, and how he’s mad she didn’t do what he thinks she should…uh huh…

    John, I can smell your entitlement from outer space. You clearly haven’t changed or worked on yourself because this letter smacks of selfishness and it’s all about what you want and how great you think you are.

    That’s how your wife, and everyone on CL, can tell your not the real deal.

  • Nothing says you love your wife like cheating on her then ranting at people who help her recover from the trauma you inflicted. Is like he punched his wife in the face then yelled at the EMTs trying to staunch the flow of blood from her nose. What a jackass. #THINGSAREGOINGVERYWELLDAMMIT

  • John’s “Everything I’ve done and everything that happems as a result of what I’ve done is somebody else’s fault” is showing.

    When I was a small child and I broke a toy, and I wanted a grownup to fix it, and they tried but it was too broken, I felt angry and sad. I wished, deeply, that I had not broken the toy. I grieved, deeply, that I couldn’t have it back. I apologized. I cried a lot. None of that fixed the toy.

    Sometimes broken is broken. Sometimes you can cry and apologize, and it doesn’t fix what you broke. That’s how we learn to stop breaking shit as we grow up.

    So, John, grow up.

    • Great analogy. He said his wife told him she can’t get over it, so it is broken beyond repair. Those are her feelings. He should respect them, but he doesn’t give a shit about her feelings. She must have noticed that, and what a whiny little bitch he is. But somehow it’s CL’s fault? This guy just has to have somebody to blame other than himself. Unicorn he is not. Asshole he is.

      • I’ve noticed this pattern with my XW. Her feelings are valid and must be respected, but mine aren’t. The high point of this was during peak discard (before I knew about the affair, when I was just really confused about why she was bailing on our marriage, as her explanations didn’t make sense). I spent a day hiking alone to try to make sense of it; she asked me how it went; I told her it was terrible; she accused me of “emotional blackmail” for telling her the truth how her actions were affecting me.

        With some years’ distance, now, I don’t really blame her, actually. She doesn’t really do empathy – in particular, she doesn’t really understand that another person could have a different reaction to a situation that she does. Her life really is all about her, so it was natural for her to interpret my emotions as being an attack on her (rather than, you know, mine). This is, of course, closely related to cheating – XW literally did not comprehend why I didn’t see her leaving her family as an “opportunity” for me: it was an opportunity for her and she couldn’t understand why, a full three weeks after I found out my marriage was over, I hadn’t already moved on. The original LW has this same mindset: the world is all about him, and he cannot comprehend that his wife would logically, rationally, correctly make a choice for herself and her kids that isn’t the choice that he wants her to make.

        • Hi, IG,
          So good to bump into you here. Your experience still resonates with me. I hope you are doing better and better and enjoying your summer. Peace, friend.

        • Wow, she must be extremely disordered. She appears to not even have a baseline of cognitive empathy. I wonder how in the hell you even get through life without that. It’s like she’s not even human, so surely lots of people can’t stand her. I’m sorry you had to experience being chumped by a creature like her. It must have been horrific.

          My fw does have cognitive empathy, so he understood my feelings about his cheating. But he lacks emotional empathy, so my feelings didn’t mean anything him. He admitted to knowing he was making me unhappy, but not caring. There’s nothing to work with if they can’t understand or care about other people’s feelings.

          • “The thing that drives a narcissist crazy is the lack of control and the lack of a fight. The less you fight back, the less power you can give them over you, the better.” And because they never think they’re wrong, they never apologize. About anything.

          • Oh my god, OHFFS. I don’t think I ever heard that before (cognitive empathy versus emotional empathy). Holy shit. That really helps me put a frame around what I witnessed with my ex. THANK YOU. My ex could feign empathy, cry, seem to comprehend a mistake and all that, but… nothing changed. It’s like my ex could process the concept of caring and, if needed, display seemingly appropriate behaviors, but those behaviors and supposed understandings had zero impact on anything at all that followed. Sob over hurting me? Sure! Actually stop? Of course not.

            There was no real emotional impetus to change. Just cognitive comprehension, at absolute best.

    • Awww – I would have loved to hear his chump’s side of the story! If only we could suss out the assholes and detect the poor wayward sausages who really “love their wives”? HOW could we ever tell? Surely not by their behavior?
      UBT, lebkuchen

    • Amiisfree –

      I still love you, your attitude, your recovery from the shitshow, and your dynamic use of language! Want a new BF? Lol!
      Thanks for your brain-piquing brilliance!
      Laughing and grateful for CL, the UBT, & CN!

      • Thank you, Friend! I feel the same way about CL and UBT and CN – this blog has been as much or more effective therapy in many ways than much of my actual therapy. Wouldn’t be who I am without it. We are so blessed for sure!

  • It’s not my fault. It’s not my wife’s fault (cuz I want her back and she’s not responding to that particular mindfuckery). It must be Chump Lady’s fault!

    I think this guy just won the gold medal for Olympic blame-shifting. No wonder the wife isn’t wreckonciling. I can only imagine the other stupid shit he said and did.

  • John – you’re lucky she even gave you a second chance… but I don’t hear an ounce of gratitude in your letter… all I hear is “look at me… look at how I’m changing… look at my sacrifice”. You obviously still haven’t hit upon the magic switch from entitlement thinking to empathetic thinking… and she likely realizes that fact.

    A friend of mine was like your wife… she stayed, he said he “changed”… 12 months later he just walked out on her for an OW… the likelihood YOUR wife had a unicorn is very slight. If you really have changed, go be a great Dad to your multiple kids and give your wife a fair divorce. That will show your “changed” character.

  • Dear John,

    Your wife was one of the lucky ones who found Tracy’s blog sooner rather than later after YOU destroyed your marriage. You’re not the only one allowed to have agency. The end. Sucks to be you.

  • I want to note this letter also doesn’t tell us his level of cheating. It could have been a one night stand (bad) or it could have been an affair spanning several years (worse) or it could have been multiple (damn that unspecific number!) affair partners over several years, or their whole marriage…

    John couldn’t be bothered to tell us that detail…just don’t worry about it.. it’s not important…STOP ASKING THINGS ARE GOING WELL!!!

    • Yeah, his list of “Whether it be alcohol, drugs, abuse or whatever…” let’s just not talk about “whatever” because it doesn’t matter. Well, not to cheaterguy. Wife has an opinion? A thought? A feeling? What was her name again?

      • Yup, bet he only calls it a mistake because he got caught and because there are consequences.
        This is triggering uncomfortable memories of my confusion post DDay 1 when I truly thought X was sorry & would change. I know now that DDay 1 was the tip of the iceberg.
        He went deeper into his double life & hid it more successfully. The confusing, subtle blame shifting started: “Nothing I do makes you happy!”and “I can never please you!” All the while hiding illicit activity & the hundreds of dollars spent on each business trip. BARF

      • “Yeah, his list of ‘Whether it be alcohol, drugs, abuse or whatever…’ let’s just not talk about ‘whatever’ because it doesn’t matter.”

        ^^^This “whatever” is so revealing. So many actual nouns he could use…betrayal, infidelity, lack of respect….

    • One of the most painful things we chumps have to accept is that cheating is never a “one time” mistake. If the OW was a co-worker, neighbor or best friend, there were many decisions made to get involved. If the OW was a sex worker or bar stool introduction, this guy opened his wallet first.

      But, John, if you’re reading this tell us more about the consequences. Wait – let me pour another cup of tea, first.

      • Yes! They say “mistake” when it’s really “selfish decisions”. And many of them. Even for a one night thing – 1) flirted with not-spouse 2) drove to location of cheating 3) getting physical – at any of these times they could have made different decisions. They didn’t, and they weren’t mistakes. The only thought they had of their partner was “how do I hide this”. Multiply that for each time they thought of the OW/OM.

        That’s the deception that kills a relationship. Not “just” a mistake.

        • Exactly! And my ex embraces this one-mistake idea. “I’m a great guy but made ONE mistake and told ONE lie about ONE thing. And I *had* to lie to protect the OW.”

          Let’s examine these two statements:
          1. The one-lie argument is total BS. He later told me he lied EVERY DAY for almost three years.
          2. Protecting the OW is yet another lie. He was protecting his own ass, but he would argue that he had to lie because I would have reacted badly. My bad!! Also, it hurts that he wanted to protect her while he had no trouble exposing me to possible STDs, robbing me of any agency in my life, and allowing me to imagine a future that he knew wouldn’t exist. Fraud!

          Also, like John here, my ex has the sadz. The consequences are SO unfair. “Spinach is sitting pretty.” That’s what he says. He doesn’t say that Spinach must be suffering terribly from my abuse and for that I take full responsibility. Nope. She’s sitting pretty. Oh, and he would add the Spinach wasn’t “so perfect” and that “it takes two.” ????

          • My ex wife said she only ever lied to me about the cheating but nothing else in our marriage. ????????????

          • Oy Spinach, thank you for the reminder… my cheater also flung at me angrily:
            “You’re sitting pretty!” in one of our endless round robins of nonsense during those post-(multiple!) DDays days.
            I was dumbfounded but understood he had just figured out that he would not necessarily win against me in a divorce. So it was MY fault for sitting pretty and coming out on top and not his fault for betraying / abandoning me and the life in which he formerly had been sitting very prettily indeed. With me. His WIFE.

            Definitely a head-in-blender moment.

    • Details, Kara, details. We’ve all learned that lesson, when something seems off address it at once and get those details. Liars don’t deal well with details. We learned what happens when you choose to ignore, or give him the benefit of the doubt. Turns out dealing with reality is MUCH harder when it is left unexamined for any length of time. IMO we have two entirely different types of marriage in the first place, there is legal marriage (go to court house, justice of the peace) and say the words ” I wish to be married to this person ” or have a religious ceremony in which I promise to pledge myself only onto you. Then keep that promise. John, when you give a person a lesson in trust don’t be surprised if they learn their lesson.

  • Awww – I would have loved to hear his chump’s side of the story! If only we could suss out the assholes and detect the poor wayward sausages who really “love their wives”? HOW could we ever tell? Surely not by their behavior?

    You just know this narc was so SURE his wife would recognize him as the one lone non-asshole in a sea of cookie-cutter cheaters, here on the site that gave her the keys to the highway, and come running back.
    UBT, lebkuchen is on me. You got this cheater’s number. Zero is an easy count.

  • John, if your wife made love to another man and lied to you before, during, and after, you would not want to stay with her. You would try again and again. You would do your best in counseling, you would try to brainwash yourself that nothing bad happened, but despite your best efforts, you would be devastated to realize that nothing you ever did made you whole again. Her actions would destroy you. Destroy you. Try thinking of another man’s semen running down your wife’s legs. Think of the details, and think of more details, at 4am, at noon, at 1am, feel the gut punch again and again. Feel it 3 months after d day and feel it harder 4 years after d day. I am telling you to try to understand something you are incapable of grasping.

    • He can’t get to that level of awareness. He can only think of how the consequences hurt him. None of them can. Selfish and entitled.

    • Poignant words Mia. I much appreciate your honesty. You have my respect as well as my best wishes for your future.

  • John’s letter:

    Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me Poor me

    No wonder betrayed wife took their multiple children and left. Good for her. And fuck you, John.

  • I’m so glad Johns wife found ChumpLady before it was to late. Without Chumplady she may have caved to Johns bs love bombing and crappy reconciliation counseling. This one site saved me. I just wish I would have found it a year earlier. I would have saved myself a lot of pain, confusion, heartache and healing time.

    • Yep, Chump Lady was just a kid when I was going through mine. If I had her then, or someone like her, it would have helped me get strong much sooner. And I likely would not have let him come back the one time to batter me emotionally again. That is my main regret that I gave him another shot at me. I even knew it was a bad idea, but I was so desperate to save a ruined marriage.

      • I know exactly how you feel. After 21 years of marriage I was willing to do anything to save it. At the time I couldn’t imagine my life without him. Now I know it was mostly fear of the unknown.

        • Agreed, I think also a small part of it is the rejection, you want to be the one he chose, not the whore. (as if it is some great victory to be chosen by a piece of shit)

          It takes a while to realize you dodged a bullet, by him “choosing” her. Then in short time, you begin to be thankful that she took the turd off your hands.

  • “Bitter Bunny Brigade”. How did I miss that phrase the last time this ran. Hysterical.

  • I got a good laugh out of this one (again). It never ceases to amaze me how “Cheater’s” roll entitlement, mindfuckery and victimization right off their tongues to anyone they can find. Good for John’s wife! I hope she and the kids are doing well.

    • This is the ex of this letter writer. Thanks for the kind wishes! We are coming up on 5 years since our divorce was final and I’m happy as can be. The multiple (3) kids are doing well. We made it through COVID while working full time from home and managing remote learning, they’re all excited for the upcoming school year, I’m dating a WONDERFUL man who actually fully reciprocates for the first time in my life (also a former chump), and I just re-enrolled in college to chip away at a second bachelor’s and eventual master’s so I can work toward a more fulfilling career. The first couple of years through the divorce process were ROUGH – as is typical of these ridiculous narc cheaters, he made my life hell for quite some time. Constant texts and emails about how my choice to “quit on the family” was selfish and would ruin the kids’ lives, the character assassination on social media, the lashing out to my family and friends to try to convince them this was *all my fault*. It feels like a long time ago now, and while I still have a LOT of years of co-parenting to get through and it isn’t always easy, I am grateful to CL and CN every day and regularly recommend this site to any of my friends who have found themselves chumped. (And yes, for the record, it was most certainly NOT a singular mistake. There were at least 3 women I knew about, and also countless others I suspected along with all the other fun that comes with that behavior….gaslighting, emotional abuse, marriage police, constant lying, etc etc). I can absolutely say that I made the right choice and life is so much better on the other side of this!

      • How wonderful to hear from you! So pleased all is going so well for you and your family – thank you for the update, and best wishes for mighty you! X

      • ❤️❤️❤️

        I’m so happy for you! You’re a rockstar. That COVID home schooling was not for the faint-hearted, and I only have multiple (2) kids!

        Fuck John and his ridiculous judgements. Clearly you are a great mom and never “quit on your family.”

        Thank you so much for your post. It made my day! All the best to you and your lovely Chump partner.

      • Oh, this is *wonderful* news, so glad for you.

        I love it when people come back to tell us how they got away from cheating fucktards and their attempted mindfuckery.

        I especially like how you didn’t allow his shitty manipulative emails and all the rest of that shit to deflect you, you are mighty! ????♥️

      • Good to hear from you.

        Did you know your ex wrote this back when I first ran it?

        What a thing to discover…

        • I did…. aside from the circumstances he described in the letter that matched our situation, I recognized his annoying word choices (multiple kids, capital, etc.) and figured it out pretty quickly. I think you had waited a few months to post it and by then I had already filed for divorce and developed a loathing for him that took away any sadness I had felt while I was still struggling with the decision. My friends and I were CRYING laughing so hard when we read it a few years ago. I was happy to see it again, and the comments are just as great this time around. The “negative self-awareness levels” comment really made me laugh. Thanks for re-posting! 🙂

  • After D-day I was in full reconciliation mode. I desperately wanted to save my marriage. I ran across Chump Lady but I didn’t linger because I wasn’t ready for the message yet. Eventually I realized that limbo was in was killing me. Ex was the one resisting reconciliation but also wasn’t filing for divorce. I knew that divorce was inevitable eventually, so I finally made the choice to move it forward and give myself a chance to heal. That is when I started following Chump Lady in earnest to give me the strength to follow through on the choices I had already made. Chump Lady is not going to change the mind of anyone who isn’t already open to her message. The wife of this letter writer already knew what she had to do before following Chump Lady. This site just gave her the strength to do it.

    On another note, my ex may have treated me like dirt in the marriage and didn’t have the guts to file for divorce himself, but he also didn’t resist it and he did give me a good settlement. This indicates that he may at least have had some feelings for me as he didn’t want to keep me trapped in a marriage to someone who was incapable of respecting and loving me and he didn’t feel the need to leave me penniless either. If the letter writer wanted to show how much he loved his wife, he should have shown it by granting her a respectful divorce.

    • “On another note, my ex may have treated me like dirt in the marriage and didn’t have the guts to file for divorce himself, but he also didn’t resist it and he did give me a good settlement. This indicates that he may at least have had some feelings for me …”

      Maybe read this sentence again, out loud this time.

      He treated you like dirt in the marriage. But when he didn’t screw you completely in the divorce, you award him a Bitch Cookie.

      We could consider the alternative: He didn’t care enough about you to screw you over.

      The Chump Brain – always thinking the best of our abuser – takes a lot of re-wiring, and it can take years. Decades, in fact.

      Chumpinrecovery, you did an amazing thing. Well done.

      We all know it’s hard, and that we have wobbly days and we start making excuses for our abuser.

      This site is invaluable as a brisk cold shower when that happens.

  • Cheating as “mistake” has got to go. It’s an intentional targeted missile strike. It’s burning down your house while your partner and children are inside fast asleep. It’s sharing the nuclear launch codes with an outsider and the target is your family.

    A mistake to me is doing something I think is right, and it’s not. No malice aforethought. Lying, a skill at which every cheater is journeyman level, puts this out of the realm of “mistake.”

    CRIME (“an evil act not necessarily punishable by law”) is a better term. I also hate the breezy, benign ring that the word “affair” has.

    I recently got the “we both made mistakes” BS email from the traitor who intentionally destroyed our marriage and family. I laughed when I read it. He BREAKS IT ON PURPOSE and then wants to split the responsibility? Crazy thinking right there. He didn’t value or want our marriage/family, he threw it in the garbage can, and now it’s the garbage man’s fault for taking it away?!

    He/she who does not change their thinking is doomed to recycle their experiences. Our writer’s very own email proves he has not as he thinks he has.

    • Yep, my son (who is 52 now) recently told me when he talked to his dad after this all went down, his dad said “it takes two”. He said to hid dad, no dad you did wrong, it takes to to build a marriage, it only takes one to destroy it.

      It was the only time he ever talked to his dad about it, until many years later when his dad blew up his life.

      The only other thing he said was to me. I had called him and said that his dad wanted to come home and try again. He said to me “Mom, be careful dad is messed up” He was twenty and in the AF when all my fws shit hit the fan.

      I wish I had listened to my son. I should have told my ex, go to IC and when our preacher thinks it is safe, we can talk about reconciliation. He would have never gone to counseling, and I would have been saved another humiliating heartbreak.

      • Susie Lee,
        I feel you, friend. My story is similar. Your son sounds like a good one!

        If ChumpLady had been around 30 years ago, I might have bailed to hit the restart button then, after the “first” flurry of fucking around, and been free sooner. I was broken before it & moreso after, but I picked up a wreckonciliation flag and started running. I had my own issues to work on & that I did. Picking f*wit & then staying were part of the lessons I had to learn. My choice. I am grateful for my children, who are my closest (& have told me they think their dad is an ass), but I can’t help but wonder how my life might have been different IF….

        Fortunately, the windshield is much wider than the rear-view and side-view mirrors: I need the mirrors to keep myself safe and be grateful that so much pain is truly behind me. But that windshield, baby: she is my future and is wide and bright. If I heed the road signs (red flags) and avoid human potholes, the rest of my trip will be breezy in comparison.

        Thanks for the safe-driving lessons, CL & CN! If I don’t find a true love to eventually share my life, I have found it fir myself and no one can take that away from me. I know I’m worth more & deserve much better

        • “Picking f*wit & then staying were part of the lessons I had to learn.”

          I appreciate this perspective, and thank you for it. I still occasionally berate myself for falling for my ex’s sad sausage appeal and spending an additional three years in that marriage. Thinking of that experience as having taught me something I can put to good use now is a much more positive way to see things.

      • Your son sounds wonderful. My son had the same approach–he told me that my partner wasn’t going to change and that I would never be able to trust her again. He was right. After a brief reconciliation (thankfully brief) I left her and started a new life. A lot of heartbreak but a lot of healing too. Don’t be tough on yourself. They say that the average number of times women will leave their abuser before finally not going back is seven times. And infidelity, especially on the scale that so many have shared on this site, is just one more form of abuse.

        • Yep, I am glad it was only once. But, it sure pissed me off in real time. It only lasted a week before I kicked him out.

          I am not sure why he came back, but I think I know and it is a heinous reason. Why in real time, I thought that was a good idea, I will ever know. I am guessing the whore was in on it, and that is the kind of woman she was, that she would accept a man that would do that to his wife for her own benefit.

      • I’ve seen this before and saved it. THANK YOU for the reminder!!


      • Thanks, Cashmere. Hysterical!! It’s also refreshing to hear a guy complain about his wife’s cheating. #counterstereotype

    • Velvet hammer, that is what I said when ex called his affair a “mistake”. That word makes absolutely no sense in that context.

  • One of the very best things about escaping is not being subjected to cheater speak anymore.

    Good to be reminded of that blessing.

    Related items on the “free from mindfuckery” list include—

    -No more car rides with the cheater. Being trapped in a car with one of these people (especially if they are driving) is the absolute worst.

    -No more randomly rage-fueled texts about nothing. Ex would seriously return from some long “business” (haha—no) trip with the affair partner, and within seconds of entering the house, find something to attack me about. Once, I was serving as announcer at a kiddo’s sporting event when the “I am deeply appalled and disgusted by the disrespect you’ve shown me by leaving a light on” text came flying in on poison pixels. Was getting near the end by then, so even though my tummy tightened, my only response was that a more normal response to such things as lights left on might be to shut them off and get over it. Sheesh.

    —Indeed, no more “what will the cheater who deigns you grace us with his presence act enraged about within seconds of stepping through the door this time” scenarios at all. A ridiculous range of things qualified as triggers for him. I hadn’t parked to his liking. The was a weed in the mulch. We weren’t celebratory enough about his arrival. Someone had moved or used something of his. His tee shirts weren’t folded to his liking. He disapproved of the things on the pantry. There was candy in the candy dish. Dude really had to reach to find those flaws he so needed.

    —No more phone calls, voicemails, emails, or text messages at all. I believe all of those were either orders or complaints.

    —No more casual lies about business trips, golf outings, baseball games, professional conferences etc.

    Good to remind myself of all of this, because I think I can sometimes slide back into that “braced for the next storm” posture without realizing it. Yup. Years since getting him gone, and I’m still figuring out the extent of the abuse, and working on detox.

    • “We weren’t celebratory enough about his arrival.” OMG THIS! I suffered this barb all the time! Anyone else?

      • Got this too! From X who was a business trip cheater. Mad at me for not teaching the kids how to miss him & be overjoyed at his arriving back home many times a month, and in regard to me not wanting to hop into bed with him. More BARF! My body knew to reject him before my mind could understand why.

      • Yes. X once groused about the kids because they didn’t come to greet him when he got back from work (all 3 on a video game together). I suggested that he go to them, sit down and relax after work, enjoy and chat to them about the game. But no – if THEY ignored him, HE was going to ignore them. Off he went into his mancave, probably to jump on FB and complain to the AP about it.

    • Thanks for this, Cashmere, especially the part about “a ridiculous range of things” that “qualified as triggers.”

      My experience exactly.

      Looking back, I wonder if he engineered these arbitrary tantrums when he was pissed at himself for screwing up at work…or (let’s face it) screwing in general. He had to unload his shitty feelings about himself onto me. That made him feel better. I was his emotional toilet bowl. Wonder if the OW has that role now.

      • “He had to unload his shitty feelings about himself onto me. ”

        That is the one thing I accept with certainty. My ex would come in and rage at me for the stupidest reasons. That started a few months into the year of discard. He had always had a selfish streak, and he was always kind of a me first kind of person, but he didn’t go into scream fests until the last few months.

        I now know why. He had to transfer his anger/shame that he felt against himself to me.

        Sorry there can be no other explanation as to why a spouse would get a long rant about how idiotic it is to run out of salt, no one who has half a brain runs out of salt, go buy ten boxes of salt right now. That is just one example of the stupid rants I got.

        • The sad thing is that I was so caught up in the abuse and mindfuckery that a part of me believed that I was a worthless piece of shit who deserved to die because I bought the wrong ratio of caf to decaf coffee.

          It’s two bags of decaf to one bag of caf, you idiot? Where’s the cyanide?

          • Right? Hell I went right out to Marsh and bought ten boxes of salt. Because obviously that was all I needed to do to get the marriage back on track.

            I left 9 boxes in the marital house when I finally escaped. I kept one box in my curio cabinet for years to remind me to never let a worthless asshole mistreat me again.

            Wonder if he ever told whore about that. I also wonder what his mom thought when she saw 9 nine boxes of salt in the cabinet. It was never mentioned to me. Maybe they all had a big laugh over it.

    • I do wish I’d know all that anger and verbal barrage of insults hurled at me over the years had to do with his cheating and issues.
      Laundry tossed on top of the dryer got “you are so lazy, how can you leave it this way.” Me working my ass off with little kids, career and his biggest complaint was laundry on the dryer.
      It is so good to remember because there is no going back to that. It is a miserable life.

      • “Laundry tossed on top of the dryer got “you are so lazy, how can you leave it this way.” Me working my ass off with little kids, career and his biggest complaint was laundry on the dryer.”

        Right, OMG there is laundry on the dryer, have to go fuck a whore to make it all better.

        The only complaint my fw could lodge against me was I wasn’t a good enough housekeeper. Mind you I wasn’t horrible, his clothes were always clean and yes ironed. Bathrooms and kitchen always clean and no piles of crap around. But, I didn’t dust often enough, and sometimes, though not often I would leave something out.

        So instead of hiring a house cleaner to help, because I worked a full time job, did volunteer community and political work to boost his career; he had to find a whore to ease his tension.

        But to be fair if we had hired a house cleaner, he wouldn’t have had as much money to spend on whores. Even if the whore is not a street walker, she has to have gifts and money coming in to keep the pussy flowing.

        And his lazy ass never did any repair work, I did it if I could, or if I couldn’t he would get a friend to Geri rig a fix. His lazy ass let our house get eaten up by terminus with my son and I telling him for years we have termites, but he refused to respond. By the time he finally admitted it, they had eaten the entire laundry and about a fourth of a support beam.

        Asshole was forced to fix it. I think he was thinking he would leave me and leave me with the mess to deal with.

        And is all those years, not once did I go fuck someone else.

        • Exactly! They aren’t exactly offering to pitch in and help or even addressing issues like termites!! Just angry that things aren’t perfect to justify their cheating.

          All the lack of love and emotional support that we’d hoped to get in a marriage and we tried and gave more, while they cheated.

          • In a 20 year marriage, I can count on one hand the times he rememberd my birthday. He even prided him self on it. Would joke and say, oh you know how I am. Bet he didn’t forget whores birthday.

            Christmas I got hem a table saw replete with attachments. I got a flannel robe, and on a good year a small box of candy. Never once in all those years aside from the year he was in Vietnam (our first year of marriage) bought me a piece of jewelry. The last year, just a couple weeks before he dumped me, he gave me two necklaces. I am betting the whore chose them, or even pulled them out of her jewelry box. I guess those were my consolation prizes she got the turd, and I got her discarded necklaces. Likely necklaces her other married boyfriends got her. A Gold choker necklace (hmmmm) and a silver beaded necklace. It was weird. I mean I already knew by then, he was cheating, though he had not admitted it yet. So what what that shit about.

            I gave the necklaces to my ex daughter in law, who went on to cheat on my son and dump him. I wanted to pitch them in the river; but they were real gold and silver, and she liked them.

    • “One of the very best things about escaping is not being subjected to cheater speak anymore.”


    • There must be a chapter in the cheater’s handbook about the bizarre notion that leaving a light on disrespects them. WTF??

      He was spending thousands of 401k dollars (without discussing these big expenditures with me) on multiple remote control helicopters, multiple bicycles, multiple motorcycles, etc. AND he had already been caught cheating on me (this was after D-Day #1 of 2) but I “knew” it bothered him when I left a light on in a room therefore I was disrespecting HIM. Can’t believe I felt hurt when he chastised me about a damn light being left on. I remember feeling angry but not angry enough!

      • My ex had the lights thing! I was careful and rarely “slipped up, and he left lights on far more than I did. Still, there was no productive way to respond, to this or anything. Hypocrisy and projection. Yup, so glad to be free of that!

        • ☑️ Yells at kids about leaving lights on after leaving a room yet spends THOUSANDS on his nerdy hobby. Oh and the money on the sidepiece(s).

    • I could have written this. Truly amazing how these FWs are all alike.

      I remember going out to a great little breakfast place and buying special biscuits and things for the family to enjoy. Returned home, distributed the food, and just as I was raising a biscuit to my mouth to take a bite, klootzak storms in and demands that I move the car because I was parked too far forward in the garage. He was such an ass about it, he had those little parking mats down on the garage floor so you would park the tire after you had rolled over the first bump. My tire was on the mat but it was 1” too far forward of the rear bump. I took pictures and posted them to Facebook before I moved the car. He demanded that I start it and put it in neutral so it could scoot back 1” and be perfectly centered on the mat. Meanwhile, my biscuit is in the kitchen getting cold and my young son is eating our fun Saturday breakfast all alone.

      Stuff like that I give up fighting. Quietly document the crazy and then publicize it when given the chance. I am always sure to let people know. FWs live to be central and expect us to keep mum about the abusive things they do. I refuse to be quiet.

  • John Boy- your marriage was a frosty cold keg of beer on a hot day. You can see the beads of condensation on the side, it is delicious and wonderful and free for you to fill your cup from as much as you want. What a gift, what a pleasure, how wonderful to have your own Cold Tasty on tap, faithfully.

    Then you pissed in it.

    It was a mistake! You didn’t mean to, you know you did a terrible thing, you have talked to a counselor about what happened and you promise to never do anything like it again, and golly, if no one knew about it they would still be drinking. Just a little piss after all! You can’t even see it and there is still good beer in there if we don’t think about it too much!

    The problem is that unless you can remove the piss from the beer you can’t ever expect her to drink it.

    It is ruined. You did it. Now you have to live with it.

    Accepting the consequences of your “mistake” is what being an adult means. The fact you blame a blog indicates exactly who you are. “Maybe you should focus on … growing the fuck up … a little more.”

  • Did the UBT accidentally miss chopping up a big fat log of dookie right in the middle? Passing on the grammar…he actually says for abuse, alcohol, or whatever…the ‘why’ is “because they love their wife and kids”

    As in…..I hit you because I love you. I degraded you behind your back and endangered your health because I love you.

    ???? wtf?

  • Poor John John — Personally I appreciated the report that his wife and kids escaped. IMHO he did way more than make a “mistake” that is loud and clear. We don’t need the details, we’ve all lived the minduckery that is attached to the spineless cheater creatures. Another point I gathered is does he expect a Go Fund Me now because he is sitting in an empty house working from home. Sounds like a bully and a sore loser to game he cheated and LOST.

    • Another one of my college classmates died last year, from neuro endocrine cancer that started as a tumor on one of his tonsils. Hpv.
      I learned all of this from my internet search when I saw his death notice in the last issue of the alumni magazine.
      No mention of the cause of death, or his wife, just a cursory summary of his career and his survivors (two older brothers and two daughters in their early twenties). I googled his name and found two GoFund pages he created to raise funds for himself. He depleted all his assets a couple of years before the diagnosis and had to move from Florida to Colorado to access Medicaid. His career had taken a nosedive as well. He managed to raise $18,000 dollars for food, his phone and RSO oil treatment (cannabis) and had two free places to stay during his two year illness. I recognized a lot of the donors’ names (he was a member of the rich boys fraternity at college). His ex wife and ex m.i.l. even contributed a little. His ex wife and two daughters live in a NJ suburb in her bf’s or second husband’s (not sure) house east of Philadelphia, where he grew up in privilege. She dropped Mr. HPV’s name after the divorce and became a marital counselor.
      It reads like he died all alone, far away from any family.
      One of his male cousins also was diagnosed with head and neck cancer but had much better health care and treatment. He’s divorced as well (cheating ?). Underwent 30 radiation treatments and eight weeks of chemo. When his cancer came back, he had a mandibulectomy and fibular free flap surgery to replace his jaw that had disintegrated from the intensity of the radiation. Look at those stomach churning images and videos, if you dare. I smell a cheater. He’s Mr. Giving Back now, raising funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The disgraced, cheating athlete/sociopath who altered the trajectory of fellow cyclists’ careers with his bullying.

      • Another male classmate agrees with my theory and wrote “Sounds like he stepped out on his wife, ate too much strange pussy and DIED from it ! Sheesh.”

  • I couldn’t forgive either–tried to, but just couldn’t ever trust again. I know I made the right decision to leave my cheating same gender partner (of 20 years), even though she promised to change. (She was still seeing the affair partner even during our brief reconciliation). Now I have found a new life, a new partner, and have grown a lot in the process. The wife in this situation was right!

    • That recon while seeing the ow/man is weird. I can’t wrap my head around why they do it.

      I had mentioned my fw circled back after I had already given him once chance and he crapped all over me again.

      When he circled back again, I know without a doubt that he fully intended to keep his side piece while we went to counseling. The only thing that makes sense is, he wanted to finagle two women into fighting over him, or he just simply wanted to destabilize me, just in case he could use me later.

      He fooled me a second time, and that was on me. I didn’t give him a shot at me the third time. I showed up to meet with the preacher, simply because I wanted a chance to reject him in front of the preacher. He also said a couple things that horrified the preacher. The preacher called me later and said: “he didn’t say the things I thought he would say” I said: “really? he said exactly what I expected him to say”.

      The preacher was a wonderful guy and he was trying to help us, but I am confident he knew I was not going to go for a third round.

      • “That recon while seeing the ow/man is weird. I can’t wrap my head around why they do it.”

        In a word, cake. ????

        There are other reasons, like duper’s delight, hubris thinking, (she/he’s too stupid/trusting to suss me), thinking they can avoid consequences, but it’s all basically cake.

  • “And we would all agree after a few months you know if you’re dealing with the same person or not.”

    Oh no we would all fucking NOT agree that a few months is sufficient time. Many of us here would agree that a few months is time WASTED on a cheater – unless the Chump is quietly and effectively working behind the scenes to get the hell out with little to no further damage.


    • Yes, and you know within a few minutes, not months. If fw isn’t demonstrating an appropriate level of remorse and accountability immediately (and none of them do), he’s most likely not going to change his ways. It certainly is not going to help the chump to wait around a few months and be manipulated some more.

      Methinks John’s wife saw that in fact he was not going to change. His entitled and self centered attitude is obvious in just one short letter, so I can well imagine the number he tried to pull on his wife.

      • “Yes, and you know within a few minutes, not months.”

        Yep, honestly I think unless true remorse happens almost immediately, it is very dangerous to take back a cheater (ask me how I know). If they have to think about who they love, it isn’t the betrayed spouse.

        If they have remorse down the line and want to straighten their life out, fine but they will never be a safe spouse for the betrayed, too much pain and rejection to ever feel good about them again.

  • I can almost grantee John would not get over cheating so easily if it were the other way around. He’s an entitled nut that hates the consequences of his behavior.

  • The day I stumbled across this site was one of the best days of my life! IMO and experiences (I think a lot of us can attest to this) there is a deep-seated value/character issue that permits cheaters to cheat in the first place. You can’t push someone down a flight of stairs (the equivalent of what it feels like to be cheated on) and expect someone to just get over it or pretend it never happened. Sorry John, you made your bed and you are entitled to NOTHING from your ex wife…now you get to lay in it the way you “laid” in someone else’s. SUCKS FOR YOU – and your poor babies who now have to be collateral damage because of your entitled choices. Your ex wife deserves so much better than you and she will find it. And we’re supposed to feel sorry for you????? There is a silver lining here for you John…learn from your mistakes and treat the next person better, that way…they don’t have to stumble across this site for the shitty behavior of the person who was supposed to TRULY love them. PEACE!

  • Oh, he haz a sadz !

    Hurry, Chump Nation, feel the sorry for the cheater and not the actual person who has to live with the mental gymnastics required to overcome trauma betrayal at the hands of the one who vowed to forsake all others.

    Made a mistake? Wash the stain off with a couple of months of counseling and medication.
    Counseling is magical and takes care of EVERYTHING!
    Because consequences are for people with a MEMORY, and how dare she??

    We might sympathize with this outcome if he weren’t bitching and whining about the power he lost through his own doing.

  • I was already divorced when I found this site through a friend of mine that is a therapist. Closeout was going badly, and I was feeling the crazy creeping back in. How could he be such a jerk when he got the divorce he initiated? Why was he throwing yet more money and time at something that was over?

    My answer of course was BECAUSE he could. Even post-divorce, I was taking hopium again, thinking he’d be reasonable when he hadn’t been reasonable in the divorce. His poor attorney told mine that my ex was the worst client ever.

    During separation my ex complained too that I was listening to the wrong people when he had completely changed. Look at all the books he had read! Look at how calm and wonderful he had become. Except when he ran, he went many states away. His counsellors were his family. I truly did not have a single, reliable datapoint that he had changed.

    Then he presented truly crazy terms for reconciliation. No rational human being would do it that way. He hadn’t changed. When he called to say that he wanted a divorce, the only admission I got was “I botched up.” I had to agree. Botched beyond repair.

    He promised “quick and easy.” I knew it was a lie. Over two years later and having paid tens of thousands that I really couldn’t afford, I finally closed my file with my attorney a few months ago. He figured that my ex probably paid 2-3x what I did because of the attorney he picked and how that attorney billed.

    No, no lasting change.

  • The biggest tell that he’s an asshole is that he’s blaming Chump Lady. Gee, his letter could have said:

    Dear Chump Lady

    I cheated and I tried to change but my wife left. What can I do? I want her back and I want to be a good father. Please help.

    But… hell no! Instead he’s blaming someone he doesn’t know for the consequences of his behaviour? Gotta love the blame shifting. No wonder she left. I, of course, caused the marital split according to my husband. He was really mad that I wouldn’t allow him to fuck strange and keep a side dish whore for his entertainment. He blames me. The blame shifting is soooooo exhausting.

  • The writer of the letter missed the point. His wife has a choice. Just because ‘he’s sorry and has done all the right things’ doesn’t mean she has to forgive and forget.

    That alone shows he’s the normal everyday cheater. He’s nothing special.

    I wish his wife and kids the very best.

  • This letter truly gave me a chill up my spine. We all know that a large part of the thrill for cheaters is control and power. To me, this letter is John being outraged at Chump Lady because he sees her as competition. To him, his wife and children are like a toy that two toddlers are fighting over. John is angry because Chump Lady has ‘won’ and is seen as ‘better’ than him. In his mind the situation is equivalent to two huge vicious dogs pulling apart a helpless newborn kitten. His family isn’t important, they’re not even the prize, it’s the fact that HE lost, he’s a loser. That’s why he’s angry at Chump Lady. It’s really chilling.

  • It is amazing to me that a cheater would believe any one thing caused his spouse to leave, any more than any one thing caused him to cheat. We are complex creatures, and most of us learn in stages, with an occasional “light bulb” moment if we are lucky. I believe we learn a lot about behavior from observing our FOO, and we internalize our culture — a kind of monkey see, monkey do process. Thank God we have evolved enough to provide education to the masses, instead of a lucky elite few.

    I went through the process CL describes before CL started writing. I had to read many sources, and examine many points of view before I was able to become the person I am today. When I read CL the first time, her words rang true to me, because of ALL my prior experience.

    Chump Nation comments on CL examples is a type of mass medication, as well as education. You learn you are not alone, cheaters have many qualities in common, and as bad as your experience was, there are probably many survivors in Chump Nation who survived worse! You continue to read, and you pay your survival strategies forward, because therapy is not something you do for a few weeks, months, or even years, and then you are done. Therapy is work, and investment in yourself, and you continue to learn as you continue to breathe.

    I believe most of us have discovered that there were many things wrong in our relationships, and the cheating was an eye opening event which caused us to looks at our lives, and decide we deserved better. The cheating gave us an excellent reason to leave, and the process we went thru caused us to gain the life we designed instead of the role we inherited from our cultural expectations.

    Cheaters think they should do whatever they want to without consequences. It is entitlement. CL just points out that their attitude sucks, and the RIC advice also sucks. She doesn’t control what her readers do, she just points out the obvious contradictions and gaslighting lies we are told in a very humorous way. We just respond to her because we hear the truth, and it sets us free. She doesn’t buy us a bus ticket out of town, she just makes sure we know where the station is.

    • I like this Portia. I think what CL does is make sure the RIC and cheater apologists (Ester) do not control the narrative. Much like my cheater husband tried to control the narrative that I was a controlling, bad communicator and thus we split up. Um, no, you were a cheating, liar with a double life. CL plays a very important role in this narrative.

  • Today, finally, I walked out the door. It’s been almost a year since 2nd D-day, and I listened to my fuckwit cry and beg for another chance because it would never happen again…pretty sure I heard that 12 years ago and was stupid enough to stay. 65 years old, 37 year marriage, and I wasted 12 more years! It really is unbelievable, the things they come up with. During the past year of wreckonciliation, in one of our many discussions, I tearfully said, “you tell me, how do you get over finding out your husband has been lying and cheating for over a decade.” I swear to god, he said, “well, I think it would help if you quit reading that chump lady stuff.” nope, pretty sure CL and CN are the only reason I am still sane and you are not dead where you are standing. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for giving me the strength to finally leave.

    • I’m so sorry you’ve endured this shit show for so long. You did not deserve it. I’m awed by your strength to leave now – we all know how hard it is, especially those of us in long marriages with less of life left to make up for what we gave by staying so long. May you seize the day and may he pay the price.

    • Sending you a prayer for strength for the divorce journey—and making a new, better, cheater-free life beyond. I lost 25 years to a serial cheating wife, and the breakup was painful for me and my sons; however, every day without a cheater has been better than any day with a cheater.

    • (((Kathy)))

      Please protect yourself with the best legal help you can get.

      You can do this! Cheers!

    • Thinking of you today Kathy – you are mighty. Big hugs and hope you reach Meh soon – you know you did the right and the brave thing. Best wishes for you negotiating your new life xxx

    • Dear Kathy, I was in almost the same position as you; 23 years married, 65 years old.

      It was scary as hell, but I *knew* the cheating was a deal breaker. I could never trust him again, and that was it.

      That was 4 years ago, and I’ll be 70 in December (how the hell did that happen????????) but I don’t regret for one second leaving that lying, abusive piece of shit. Whatever years I’ve got left will be on *my* terms, not his.

      You’ll be *OK*. ((hugs)). ????❤️

      • Chumpnomore and Kathy, you are an inspiration. However long the investment, our lives are far too valuable and precious to spend a moment longer with someone who’s able to disrespect them the way cheaters do. Thank you for your mighty examples.

    • Congratulations on that first big step. I’m 47 and while I regret wasting 20 years of my life with a FW, cautionary tales like yours keep me laser focused on never wasting another minute of this precious life on a FW. I hope your divorce goes smoothly and you enjoy many wonderful decades to come!

  • Sad “this website did more damage”. Oh I’m so sorry. She wouldn’t even be on this website if not for you’re inability to keep it in you’re pants. Or oh how bout this, maybe love her like you want to be loved? Oh I made a mistake. No you didn’t. You made a choice. A choice to run to the arms of another instead of being a man and talking to the person you supposedly love. Now you don’t want to deal with it. Guess what? Other people get to make choices too. So blame a website. I felt really pathetic as a chump, but that might be the best one I’ve heard. Thanks for that.

  • Im going to be the outlier here.

    Yea I know what the site title says, lose the cheater, but there are guys AND WOMEN that want to change their screwed up ways because they realize they made a terrible mistake. If the jilted spouse is willing to work with the estranged partner, and there is actual progress made with a professional counselor, then yea they deserve the chance.

    The problem with this group is its all about leaving. If you are on the reconciliation route, this isn’t the place to be. The amount of bias against those that are trying to reconcile is destructive to any possible chance they might have. Yea, I know this group doesn’t want to here this but….

    ……. sometimes they actually reconcile and make it…..

    A much better place for people trying to reconcile would be a site like the Gottmans as it contains 35 years of marriage study, counselors, courses, and sessions focusing on fixing the marriage.

    Then, if that fails, hey you can always come back here…..

    Just say’in

    • You have every right to say it, JD. But CL’s site is one of the vanishingly few sites which offers an alternative to RIC and we need alternate views, whether we reject or accept them in the end. I tried reconciliation for 18 months. It didn’t work for me and Chump Nation is the lifeline that’s supported me ever since. Most chumps here have tried reconciliation, if their cheater even gave them the chance.

      • ????

        I believe every betrayed spouse whether they are trying to reconcile or not, need to know and absorb the fact that they should not under any circumstances absorb any blame for what their cheater did. If they don’t know that up front and before RIC get ahold of them, they will simply be abused even more than they already do.

        And conversely the cheater needs to know up front that they have abused their partner and have no right to blame the partner for any of their lying, cheating, stealing of time and resources.

    • JD, there is so much that is wrong with your post, I question whether you actually *read* CL’s UBT of the execrable ‘John’, and CN’s comments.

      First, your description of cheating as “… they made a terrible mistake”. As CL, and the rest of us have pointed out, cheating is not a ‘mistake’, it is a *choice*. A choice that is made up of many decisions, to lie, to gaslight, in order to get the cheater what he/she wants. Those decisions are not a mistake, they are a selfish, cruel *choice*. So stop with the self-serving bullshit that defines betrayal and lies as a ‘mistake’.

      ” If the jilted spouse is willing to work with the estranged partner, and there is actual progress made with a professional counselor, then yea they deserve the chance”

      What utter crap. Yet again, you put the onus on the chump, and describe someone who is reeling with the devastation and hurt of betrayal as “the jilted spouse”, a nauseating euphemism for what has been *done* to them by someone they trusted and believed in. “willing to work with”??!! Why the fuck should a chump who has been betrayed be ‘willing to work with’ the bastard who did the damage? Woul *you* be ‘willing to work with’ someone who kicked you down the stairs, slapped you in the face, and then told you, “hey, sorry, it was a terrible mistake, work with me to correct it”.??!!!

      “The estranged partner”??!! Nice little euphemism again there, not a lying cheating piece of shit who deliberately made the choice to fuck over their partner/wife/husband, but the ‘estranged partner’. What a fucking pile of steaming bullshit. ????????

      “They deserve the chance”. ?? No, they fucking *don’t*, cheaters ‘deserve’ nothing. Nice pile of entitlement you’ve got going there JD, sounds like typical cheater speak.

      “The amount of bias against those that are trying to reconcile is destructive to any possible chance they might have.”

      No ‘bias’. CL and CN point out the huge shit sandwich that is ‘reconciliation’, the pitfalls, the mindfuckery perpetrated by the cheater and the RIC. That’s not ‘bias’, that is pointing out *facts*. More cheaterspeak from you.

      ” Sometimes they actually reconcile and make it”. Yes, sometimes they do, and at what price to the Chump? Many people here have told their stories about ‘reconciliation’, and how they were chumped *again*, after wasting more of their precious life trying to save something that was irredeemably broken.

      I don’t know if you’re a cheater, but you certainly sound like one, with all of the entitlement and crap coming out of you.

      Maybe you’re not a cheater, just a smug arsehole blaming the Chump, CL, and CN because we don’t fall for the ‘reconciliation’ crapola.

      Either way, what are you doing here, if not to push your flawed and nauseating agenda? CL is totally upfront about what this site is all about, it’s not hidden, so take your weaselly ‘reconciliation’ bullshit that cheaters ‘deserve’ elsewhere.

      Just ‘sayin…

      • ????

        I should have read this before posting. You laid it all out perfectly.

    • Out of curiosity, I headed over to Gottman to see what kind of stuff they peddle. What follows is a sample. For those who don’t feel like reading this drivel, here’s a summary: laugh at his jokes; compliment her shoes; pick-me dance better!! Chumps are responsible. Gottman makes me appreciate CL even more!

      From Gottman (Zach Brittle):

      “I think it’s important to suspend for now the notion that one of you is the betrayer and the other is the betrayed. You are both responsible. You have to learn to get to ‘yes.’

      The way to ‘yes’ is through a Bonus B Word that is right in the heart of Gottman’s body of research: bids.

      A bid is simply your expression of a need for connection. You are responsible to make bids toward your partner, rather than the pretty lady at the gym. You are also responsible to turn toward your partners bids, rather than bury your nose in your phone.

      Bids aren’t complicated. Just pay attention. Be present. Show him that you are trustworthy by listening to what he says, answering his question, laughing at his joke… even the one you heard before. Show her that you trust her by asking her advice, playing with her, complimenting her shoes.

      The key is to make a big pile of ‘yes.’ Concentrate first on ‘Yes, I am trustworthy.’ And lean into ‘Yes, I trust you.’ ‘Yes’ is at the heart of every thriving relationship. Trust me.”


      • Oh boy, Spinach, what a pile of sanctimonious blameshifting vomit inducing *shite*. Kudos to you for wading through it, make sure you change your boots! ????????????

        I am actually now convinced ‘JD’ is a cheater, just the sort of nauseating claptrap arseholes like that love. Reminds me of that creep Mort Fertel, “make the marriage a good place to be”.

        As you say, pick me dance better. ????????????

      • Oh my word, what a pile of garbage.

        So you need to prove to your cheater that THEY can trust YOU. If you do that, and remain a perfect partner in every way, then they won’t run to the pretty lady at the gym and hump her.

        “That’s when alternative outcomes avail themselves. ” Sounds so much better than fucking the fat little dog catcher in the backseat of your police car.

        I’m sorry where was I?

        • Lol where in my marriage vows was that “alternative outcomes” clause? Damn, should have read the fine print.

      • Suspend the notion that he fucked your best friend. Fake laugh at his jokes! Whee! This is your life, forever! Enjoy!

        Hashtag stepfordwife

        • ???????? Spot on.

          Absolutely. Ignore that you have been abused and move on, rubbing his feet and giggling at his jokes that aren’t funny. Dancer harder.

          If you want to spend the rest of your life victimized by a FW, enjoy. Best of luck. But yes, the title of this blog is “Leave a Cheater,” so why is it surprising that those here either have or are in the process of leaving a cheater? It’s like going to an AA meeting and being surprised to find it populated with alcoholics.

          I went through the mindfuck of wreckonciliation. I wasted a good many years and my sanity and now have a child impacted by the madness that is the FW. One of my best friends had a cheating husband. He got caught and it ended and, to her knowledge, has never been repeated. They went the RIC route, also. She is very religious and believes her husband to be a unicorn. But in truth? While she rubs his feet and laughs at his jokes, he has never made efforts to be a better husband. He isn’t rubbing her feet and telling her she’s beautiful. She feels like she is in prison. Her 3 kids have all left the nest and she feels alone and unfulfilled.She doesn’t want to hear about CL or any serious consideration of leaving. She says she made a promise that meant for life and G-d and she intends to see it through. Happiness be damned. And that’s her choice. She respects mine, too. But if she is going to read batshit crazy counselors telling her to dance harder, she doesn’t belong on here. It will not support her any more than I as a Christian would benefit from reading books about converting to another religion if I don’t ever intend to do it. You have to wear the shoe that fits.

          Big props to Spinach for muddling through that garbage. I wanted to puke just reading the crib note version.

    • Cheating is abuse.

      Lots of people walking this planet don’t see it that way. Lots of people to whom it has happened are desperately in agonizing pain from it and are willing to do anything to alleviate it, including continuing to be in the relationship with the abuser (aka cheater).

      This site is about NOT being one of them.

      PS….there are still lots of people walking this planet that think it’s “discipline” to beat the shit out of children and animals too. Just because lots of people are cool with it (and living in the dark in the Stone Age) doesn’t mean they are right.

      • A lot of people trot out “Spare the rod, spoil the child” nonsense. John Bradshaw calls it poisonous pedagogy. And I think the etymology of discipline is “to teach”, not spank, slap, pinch, grab, wash a mouth out with soap, etc. It’s the 21st century people.

    • The hopium is strong with this one, or the narcissism. Yes, you are correct, that some do work it out, it’s not impossible, just improbable. This website exists to give you the tools to figure that out. As with anything, take what you like and leave the rest. Most of the chumps DID fight for the improbable. This site exists for us to tell our stories and learn from one another. The one thing I know about cheating is that it takes a lot of trust breaking. You can read anywhere you wanna read and even the charlatans have to admit that the trust is the foundation. When trust is broken, especially to this extent, it’s not a patch job like, Oh I dropped a plate, I’ll clean it up. No, it’s you just trampled my existence. At that point you launched nuclear weapons, you don’t get to point fingers anymore except for at yourself.

    • Yeah some “make it” and some even say they are happy. I do wish those Chumps all the best and hope they can somehow find peace with their choice.

      But when a cheater breaks the marriage contract they don’t “deserve” anything. They didn’t uphold their end of the bargain, in just about the most blatant, unequivocal way possible. Nobody owes them anything. There’s no three strikes rule in marriage, buddy.

      And even if a cheater was trying to better him or herself, why would they EVER expect the person they betrayed and lied to would believe it? Honestly, this entire premise boggles the mind. A cheater stood up in front of God and everybody to make a promise, then broke it. Oh, but NOW he/she is serious (seriously trying to save his/her own ass) so NOW we should believe. Mm-kay.

      Good luck JD (or JD’s spouse if my assumption is incorrect) if you ever do get a second chance. You don’t “deserve” it – your Chump gave you a gift. You should treasure it, not continue to be a fucking entitled asshole like Kathy’s husband above, and many other cheating spouses ’round here.

      Me, I’ll be getting a life and worrying about what *I* deserve, not the person who intentionally stabbed me in the back.
      Can I use hashtags here?

  • Dear John,
    There’s so much I could say in response to your letter, but in summary here goes:
    You’re working on yourself, that’s great, yay! But from what I read you still have a LOT of work to do. Your wife decided she didn’t that much time to wait around. You may think it’s crazy but she has her own life to live.

    Good luck on the apartment search.

  • Just the idea that this guy feels he has the right to look up your website and basically tell you how to do your job-is mind blowing!

    But I see the same behavior from my ex: rather than improve as a person and take responsibility, it’s everyone else’s fault and he runs around trying to do damage control and basically control what others think of him.

    What a waste of time and energy.

    As the great Kathy Griffin once said to Anderson Cooper when he was trying to tell her how to do her job:

    ” I don’t go to your job and knock the dicks out of your mouth.”

  • Nothing pisses an abuser off more than a spouse who says ” I have had enough and I am done”

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