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Got Jesus Cheaters?

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Summer is ending and one’s thoughts turn to Jerry Falwell, Jr. Disgraced princeling to Liberty University. Sex scandal Jesus cheater? (Which one? I know… so many.) The guy having the three-way with the pool boy?

Anyway, that didn’t turn out so well. After the bad publicity, he got shit-canned and Liberty filed a $10 million lawsuit against Falwell that’s winding its way through the courts. God works in mysterious ways.

Got me thinking about all the sanctified cheater stories on here. Why not a Friday challenge?

Now, you don’t have to be a Christian to be a Jesus cheater, but it helps. Any faith tradition will do. Have you been harangued to forgive by a guy who fucked his paramour on your kitchen counter? Does the OW go to your temple? Got sinister ministers?

Maybe we should pray their stray away?

Tell me about it.

TGIF!

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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.
    • I will read the article.

      To me forgiveness has always been based on what Jesus said, he said and I am paraphrasing it differs depending on the version. You are forgiven, go and sin no more. He didn’t say you are forgiven, go ahead and party down.

      So yeah, I took the first step to forgive. I quite wishing harm on him, it didn’t happen right away; but eventually I realized I wasn’t imagining him floating face down in the Ohio River anymore.

      This was all back in real time. Now of course it is years later, and I found CL as a result of trying to figure out why the hell he would blow up his relationship with our son. I started googling narcissist’s and CN popped up, along with many other sites. The internet was not available when I went through my betrayal experience.

      I came for the insight, and stayed to enjoy the amazing wit of CL and her many followers. And also in some small way to help new Chumps know they will be ok.

      • I like your definition of forgiveness. Agree totally. Forgiveness means not wasting energy wishing ill on my FW. It does not mean there is no more pain. It is not a free pass to continue treating me like crap.
        My FW is “struggling” with forgiving himself. We were faithful-pun intended- church goers before he “strayed” as he puts it. (I’ve banned that word. It’s more like he ran away like he was in flames! ). Guess who is back to reading the Bible. He keeps having prophetic dreams where Jesus is telling him he’s forgiven. Hmmmmmm. His dreams initially after D-Day were of me and my boys getting into heaven and him sitting outside the fence. Guess a few months of seeing how much he hurt us and feeling even more sorry for himself means he’s forgiven.
        Forgiving and forgetting don’t always go together.

        • Yeah M, Jesus always forgives them so they’re good with themselves, how convenient. To me as soon as they find a way to move past the reality and shame of seeing you hurt by their dumbass selfish behaviour, the entitlement kicks back in as strongly as ever. Once they’ve reconciled it within themselves, it’s on the past and you should’ve over it too.

          • Jesus was a jew. And in Judaism:
            – For sins committed exclusively against God (like enjoying a cheeseburger with bacon): you sincerely repent and God will forgive you.
            – For sins committed against another person (like enjoying foreign p**y): God will not forgive you if first you do not apologise *and offer reparation* to those you have hurt.

            Yom Kippur 101. Sheeeeeesh. Those Jesus cheaters have it very conveniently settled, haven’t they?

        • There are a number of quotes in the New Testament about forgiveness; this one from Luke 17:4 has an important condition: “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and IF THEY REPENT, forgive them.” And there is a lot about how badly god will treat you if you DON’T repent (Luke 13:3; Revelation 2:5, Ezekiel 13:30, etc., etc.

          There are some useful counter-verses out there for jesus cheaters who pull out ‘forgiveness’ verses .

      • Jesus ALSO didn’t say, go and be reconciled with your husband. He didn’t tell the adulteress’ husband, go and forgive your wife and take her back. On the contrary – he explicitly said that adultery was the one acceptable reason to divorce! What he actually did was to protect the adulteress from criminal punishment – the death penalty- for what she did.

        So for your Jesus cheaters, you can absolutely tell them that by kicking them to the curb and going no contact, you’re doing exactly what Jesus said was okay to do.

        • Yep. In my view the bible clearly give the victim of adultery to walk away. It does not absolve the adulterous spouse from their sin.

          I believe they can be absolved, but they have to walk away from the adultery partner. (whether the spouse accepts them back or not) Hence: “go and sin no more”

      • Susie, I laughed at the Cheaters version of what Jesus said about forgiveness, “You are forgiven, go ahead and party down.” It’s probably written somewhere in the Cheater handbook.

        • Would you believe that my Jesus cheater took the story of the woman caught in adultery as an ok to go ahead, he went to the Ash Wednesday service and that was the reading that year. I missed it by hours as the railways were all held up, he had been hoping ow would come. He told me that to try and show it was ok
          He obviously just stopped listening before the exhortation to sin no more

      • Susie Lee, your comment makes me think about redemption and “Crime and Punishment.” Maybe not the appropriate forum, but I’d love to hear what other chumps make of this. Particularly the final chapter and epilogue…

      • I love the comment about Jesus not saying “go ahead & party down!” Made me laugh out loud so thank you for that! So many people (especially cheaters) have such a casual attitude about “forgiveness” and don’t do the work to change the offensive behavior.

        I don’t think I will ever “forgive” my EX, as his deceptions, betrayals, and cruelty caused too much harm and trauma. But it’s not something I worry or think much about these days. I am forgiving myself for taking on so much of the toxic dysfunction he threw off and for blaming myself for things that were never my fault.

  • Former pastor’s wife here! 23 years with Rev. Cheaterpants and his OW Rev. Dogface (also a pastor).

    OW attended our church regularly, sat next to me in church, and took my four daughters out for coffees regularly. She’d stop by our house unannounced and stay way past her welcome if invited for dinner.

    I expressed concerns initially but Rev. Cheaterpants’s DARVO game was strong.

    Though Rev. Cheaterpants lost his job, he got a NEW job with a new congregation and resumed his ties with OW. He has pastor friends who have participated in his new house-blessing, etc. The mental gymnastics that my children must endure when they observe this–it astounds me. I am NO CONTACT.

    Onward to MUCH better things!

    • Ugh I know just the type you’re talking about, I can see them now. All humble about their human frailty, to err is human, forgive divine and you’re just a bitter bunny. Eww

  • Oh sure!
    Poor Jesus is part of the very definition of the word cheater: one who uses religion to feel good about cheating, makes a smokescreen about cheating (preferably with bibles and rosaries on the nightstand), gaslight about cheating, and fucks an equally devout slut who pastes her devotion and charity (never mind the left and right hands…) all over social media.

  • Deacon. Song leader. Youth Pastor. Had better attendance than the lead pastor. Claimed I didn’t have enough faith. Flirted with women in the church because friendship and “they might be able to help you”
    Got kicked out of the church when it came out that he had managed to get a few of the teen girls fighting over which one he was really in love with.
    Meanwhile he was busy managing a couple phones and hiding condoms. He’d come home, clean up and leave almost every night (except Saturdays because he had to study his Sunday School lesson).
    And since there’s no saving that marriage, I didn’t hear from a church that I had given 7 years of my life serving except two texts: one, that he was still faithfully attending though he was no longer allowed to serve there (eventually they stopped that too because they caught him roaming the basement) and two, if I’d confess my faults, God could heal our marriage.

    Whenever I think that he’s happy now I remind myself how sick he is- and I don’t mean medically.

    This stuff is not of God. It’s not of Jesus.

    • No telling what I would have said or thought if someone said or texted me “if you will confess your faults………” Sorry you were treated so shabbily after that long with that church.

      Also Susie: Thanks for reminding everyone it is not just that the person is forgiven, too many forget the “go and sin no more…” part.

  • Not quite on the level of Jesus cheater, I recently had to stop myself from laughing out loud during a session with Dr. Co-Parent where Benedict “OJ” Madoff expressed wanting to spend more time with our daughter (who despises him and lives with me) because he wanted her to have some of HIS “values”.

    I did say, “What values are those?”

    Not like finally being caught cheating had any character-improving effect on him. Next month will be four years since DDay and he has continued doing everything destructive which landed us in Divorceland (lying, secret double life, financial deception and power-tripping, blameshifting, not keeping his word, etc).

    At least he’s consistent.

    When your horse dies, get off.

    • Rev. Cheaterpants wants us to go to “coparenting counseling.” I have been avoiding that like the plague because any interaction with him is a total mindfuck (and our marriage counseling, over 23 years, was a shitshow). But I think it’s your “coparenting counseling” that you’ve described as a tiger trap? How do you manage that?

        • Damn right! Preach!

          I refused coparent counseling and my daughter’s therapist asked why…
          I said I am not interested in participating in another venue for douchebag to put in his nice guy act and for the “expert” to slowly come to the realization this is not a two sided problem.

          I’d already done that w my lawyer and family court.

          Daughter’s therapist was a bit down the path on seeing it as well

          That’s why she had nothing to say in response…..

          Just one more avenue for them to abuse you.

          No thanks.

          • My experience has been the total opposite. He lied lied lied in therapy our entire marriage. I was not interested in co-parenting therapy AT ALL and told our daughter’s therapist exactly why.

            I acquiesced last October. It would not reflect well on me if I refused and I decided to go for my daughter’s sake. It has been nothing but him on the griddle, being roasted over all the crap he tried to avoid dealing with during our marriage (which he did not realize is ALSO what turned his relationship with our daughter into ashes). Moooohahahahaha!

            The trick is getting someone really really good. A year later I regret waiting so long.

          • PastorsWifeChumpNoMore, please listen to the wise words of those above – the parenting software is called Talking Parents. My exFW is a MFT and when I made us go to therapy he was the perfect patient and i looked like a lunatic. He played his role to perfection and the whole experience was such a disaster that led to 5 more years of abuse. The therapist insisted that I had to trust the words he said and not read anything into them. This degraded my ability to trust my own instincts and gave him the tools he needed to gaslight and lie to me. As CL says, “Don’t put your head in that blender!”

            • I had a similar experience with the marriage counselors we went to.
              The first one we went to, ex presented himself as the calm, loving husband. We sit down and couldn’t help but notice that ex sits unusually close to me, then starts rubbing my back (completely out of character). He looks at me and says beautiful, beautiful, then looks at the counselor and says, isn’t she beautiful..? it was so weird, before I could say anything the counselor gives me a stern look and says, your husband loves you, and I need to appreciate having such a loving husband. Ex and I get into the car, and ex bursts out laughing, evidently proud of his performance. They don’t take counseling serious and only use it as another means of manipulation.

      • She is one of the best in our area and busts his bullshit. It’s been almost a year of 100% validation for me at every single session. Has he/will he wise up? Who knows who cares. It’s been entirely worth it to me to let him talk and reveal himself, and having someone else see who he is. It’s been a GREAT antidote to his crazy making and I am sorry I resisted it for so long!

        Get someone GOOD.

  • Mine isn’t worried about committing the sin of adultery because he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior and he can’t out sin his grace. 🙄

    • Meaning he won’t do it again or only Jesus needs to forgive him and it’s all ok? 🤔. Jesus didn’t always turn the other cheek. He slapped back sometimes.

      • That He did! This whole forgiveness thing is so high on their lists. I’m a Roman Catholic that married a Baptist (though it was the damnedest kind of Baptist I ever saw). This whole “Jesus forgives me why can’t you” schtick is beyond boring. I told him I wasn’t a priest and so forgiveness was beyond my pay grade. And marrying Schmoopie didn’t make an honest woman out of her it made him a polygamist. We were married in the cathedral with the Bishop there for crying out loud! We may be divorced by man’s law, but not by God’s.

        He’s gonna spend eternity with Satan.

        • Our preacher flat out told him that the only way out of sin was for him to walk away from adultery. He also told him he would never build happiness on the destruction of someone else.

          We weren’t Catholic, (I am now) but the preachers stance was basically that adultery gives me the right to walk away, but does not give him the right to marry his adultery partner. That he would always be living in adultery if that is the route he took.

          This I realize is open to argument depending on your faith. But, my point is my preacher (at the time) did not wuss out. He tried his very best to get the fw to change the course of his life, whether we stayed married or not.

          FW refused to back down. Preacher told him that he could no longer help him, but he would refer him to another counselor. FW had no interest in counseling, he was hell bent on riding right over that cliff.

          I think at the time fw thought he was going to be able to finagle it so he kept his promotion and office job, which we had both worked for. He kept his job, but he got busted, and lost his cushy office job. I imagine things were not great on the job, as he took an early retirement which cut his retirement in about half.

    • Oh being that far in credit with our lord and saviour must be just too tempting, like a naughty child he wants to see just how far Gods grace will go. Oh it’s unlimited and omnipotent? Lucky him. There’s just no helping these fuckwits.

  • The ex at the age of 52 decided he wanted to join another religion. Which was not that unusual, he was always chasing the next new thing.

    He took Bible classes, went to a new church

    A widowed family friend belonged to that religion and that church

    She was president of the ladies church league, and attended 3X a week

    Didn’t stop her from f’g a married man with kids though ! And secretly making honeymoon plans for the two of them.

    My faith in God involves no institutions that man has made now

  • Mr. Sparkles was a wayward Catholic when we met. He joined my protestant church and we were married in it and our son was baptized there. He would join us at church for the major holidays but little else. When he left the family for the OW (who was a devout Catholic), he started taking our son with him and her and her kids to Saturday evening masses… what a hypocrite. As soon as she dumped him for cheating on her (imagine that), he stopped going to church again.

    Luckily, I’ve been consistent in my expression of faith with my son and he knows that some people use religion to manipulate people, but in our house we trust in God – not cheating lying hypocrites.

    Rock on Chump Nation – you’ve got this!

  • True story — many years ago, I lived near two married couples who were all students training to become ministers. Well, two of them left their spouses for each other, and when they announced their engagement, the card quoted scripture: “Behold I make all things new.” Barf!! By the way, the divorce rate for clergy is higher than the national average. Sad, but true.

    • “By the way, the divorce rate for clergy is higher than the national average. Sad, but true.”

      Not surprising in the slightest. People that do evil things actually rationalize it that God WANTS them to do those things. When your man in the sky says it’s “ok,” people will do anything.

      • In a freak “accident” (don’t really know what to call it) a couple months before DDay, my employer at the time assaulted and tried to kill a woman because god told him to. He went on to attack two more women before he was briefly taken into custody.

        Don’t worry, this poor, sick man isn’t in prison. He’s a millionaire and an entitled FW to boot, so he’s back home and doing whatever he pleases. Including murdering his two dogs. Crazier and more dangerous by the day. You can’t make this shit up…

    • I’ve come to believe that all sufficiently complex moral systems have enough ambiguity and contradiction that “motivated” people can locate evidence for any outcome they desire. Certainly thousand-year-old religions (which all have large bodies of interpretation of their foundational texts, themselves already pretty long and inconsistent) have accreted a large-enough range of authoritative interpretation that you can find justification for anything you want to.

      Want to beat your wife? There’s justification for that. Want to sleep with your daughter? That happens in the Bible. Want to enslave your neighbors? Someone has explained why that’s OK. Want to cheat on your husband? There will be some textual evidence, if you consider it from a particular angle, that condones that. If you’re just looking for a loophole to justify what you already wanted to do, you’ll find it somewhere – and perhaps training for ministry just gives you greater access to potential justifications.

      I have an old college friend who’s violently anti-Muslim and quotes legitimately horrible verses from the Koran. I keep thinking “yeah, it’s a thousand-year-old text. It’s going to have stuff like that in it. It doesn’t prove that Islam is inherently violent: it all depends whether you choose to emphasize those parts, or the other parts that contradict them. It’s not like the Bible is so warm and fuzzy. Christians had the Crusades and the Inquisition. And have you read the Old Testament lately?”

      • Well said. The cherry-picking of what is morally correct, and forgiveness of all morally suspect actions is essential for the whole thing to function as a profitable business.

        I have some friends that are very religious, and follow some very inconvenient rules – but I’ve always been perplexed how they know which “rules” to follow.

        Women having to keep completely covered even on a sweltering day? They follow that one, but they don’t slaughter a pigeon every time a menstrating women enters their home. 🤷‍♀️

        Have you read the The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris? It’s a wonderful treatise on how morality can be defined on its own as a social science, without the ambiguity of religion, politics, or philosophy.

        • I hadn’t seen that book. I’ll take a look at it. I’m a hard scientist myself (PhD physics), so it looks relevant to me.

          • IV – that’s it. You have captured the entire religion enterprise (and I use that term in all of its many definitions) pretty handily. It is a field ripe for narcissists and abusers of every stripe.
            Stand in front in front of a trusting crowd? ✅
            Vulnerable people already identified and grist for the mindfuck mill? ✅
            Late hours “tending the flock”? ✅
            I could go on, but why?
            What an abuse of trust! As if being emotionally, physically, and financially abusive just isn’t enough, they throw in spiritually to make the devastation complete.

            Trust that they suck
            Have faith in that they suck

      • I think your point “all sufficiently complex moral systems” extends beyond religion and is inseparable from governance, legal systems and philosophies.

        Look no farther than Texas and the US Supreme Court. Or Benson. Or Marxism. Or…

      • I have to say that just because something is in the Bible doesn’t mean that God endorses it. That guy being raped by his daughters because he refused to give permission for them to get married was just a thing that happened. There was no moral judgement either way. No comment. The Bible has a lot of history written in it without any morals attached to it.

        The Bible does give a lot of moral judgement in other places, but sometimes that gets redacted later (like Jesus saying people can eat the forbidden foods again, etc) or is just plain imprecise due to translation drift. It can get confusing and you can definitely pick and choose which parts to believe. It is written by many different people, after all. Still, there is no interpretation of the Bible that could ever be okay with adultery – it is pretty much the single most consistent crime. Because you’re breaking a specific vow that you agreed to, you can’t use the excuse of different societal norms for it. Some people will do whatever mental gymnastics necessary to justify whatever they want to do.

        • I agree the old testament is history. Good and bad, and God certainly wasn’t pleased with a lot of stuff that went on.

          The New Testament is the new covenant and (in my belief) tells us how to live now. Though the ten commandments are in the old testament they are reiterated in the new testament as good rules.

          I think whether one is a believer or not the ten commandments are good rules to follow, they all pretty much boil down to the golden rule. Lets face it cheater and liar’s of any persuasion (religious or secular) are not big fans of the golden rule.

    • Ali – I can believe that! I watched my marriage implode and two others just within the first couple of years of my separation. There sure is a lot of diddling going on amongst the clergy and members that most people are not aware of.

      I had a front row seat to some of it.

      • Interesting point about divorce rates, LTC. And I don’t have to read to infer that many self-proclaimed spiritual leaders are narcissists.

    • Little wonder, people with a saviour complex instead of a humble moral foundation based in faith in god coming into contact daily with damaged, needy and vulnerable people? Whoop, there it is.

    • ““Behold I make all things new.” ”

      Quite frankly that should have gotten them an immediate expel.

      And yes, Barf.

  • My cheater wasn’t into religion. But the story about Falwell Jr’s pool boy escapades conjured memories of my ex FW accusing me of being unsophisticated.

    She once shouted, “Everyone has affairs! You’re such a Puritan!”

    The reality was that SHE was having affairs with seemingly everyone. That was a nightmare time of discovery after discovery after the initial D-day. Each discovery was an equally devastating gut punch.

    I remember going through the motions each day feeling like a zombie riddled with some form of PTSD. I’m thankful to have survived that slow journey through hell. For those in the midst of it, keep moving every day. Getting out and moving your body is important. Don’t succumb to letting yourself stagnate under a blanket. A long walk makes a huge difference to your psyche. Self-care is very important. Godspeed to newly minted chumps. There’s a better life on the other side. Promise.

    • I keep promising myself that I’m going to start exercising and working on myself. I’ll get motivated and then STBX and I will get in a fight or things will trigger me and then I’m in a slump again. I feel like it’s never going to end. I need and want to just pick up and go but, you know…..money. In the meantime I’m searching for good outlets for my constant frustration-as well as apartments 😉. My teenagers loved it when I told them I’m going to learn to throw knives the other day lol.

      Very glad to hear you got through it and are doing better. I’m looking forward to my own Tuesday.

      • ChumpMeGently,

        It makes sense that any communication is triggering. Is it possible to got NC or GR (gray rock) with your STBX? You have teenagers, so I assume you need to maintain some contact. But others in CN have used parenting apps and the like to minimize contact a much as possible. That’s probably your best route to Tuesday.

        I hear ax throwing is fun, too. 🤣Good luck!

    • Thanks GDD. I’m 3.5+ years out from D-Day but only kicked him out in April. I walk my fur baby twice a day and you’re right, it makes me feel a whole lot better. Also getting out from under that blanket earlier but still too late. Also we are in hard lockdown (Melbourne) so things are really tough. Past the anger mostly but sad he did this after 40+ years but know it’s because he sucks and always has. Feel like I’ll be living like this forever more though, that this is my lot in life now. I know everyone is different but how much longer? And how do you know it’s getting better?

      • The only Jesus connection is that he was brought up a very strict Catholic but these values apparently weren’t instilled in him unfortunately!

      • @OzChump
        From what I’ve learned by my own painful journey, I think you ultimately have the ability and power to provide the answers to both of your questions. I think most chumps (myself included) grew up with a mindset that we are low maintenance and require a lot less “care and feeding” than the average person.

        I think that is how we ended up in relationships with people who require a great deal of “care and feeding”. Our nature is to make ourselves and our needs smaller while devoting ourselves to these FWs and trusting them.

        The path to healing and getting past our injuries is to re-program our internal voice and our mindset. It begins with learning self care and self love. Treat yourself as you would treat your best friend. Give yourself the advice that you would give someone you truly loved. I think you reach “Tuesday” or “Meh” once you’ve learned to master the skill of valuing yourself the same way you would want to value a highly desirable significant other.

        But your/our original mindset instantly dismisses such thinking and labels all of it as being conceited or acting like a diva or prima Donna.

        In a way, the prescription for a cure is actually quite pleasant. Eat well, exercise, get sufficient sleep, nurture your mind and pursue the things that you find interesting and rewarding. Try to retain a healthy sense of humor and be forgiving of yourself when you mess up or do something embarrassing. Treat yourself to an ice cream or bubble bath every now and then. Enjoy life on your own terms and things will begin to realign.

        • Your first two paragraphs are spot on. In my FOO we were not nurtured but
          “fed, clothed and educated” FULL STOP. The message was we didn’t “deserve” to be looked after hence the self-sacrificing mindset to put others first. My siblings and I have a sense of humour. If you were sick, you had two options – get better or die! My FW was a spoiled, selfish (surprise), entitled (surprise) man-child and I jumped right in there to take care of him (surprise) which he expected and took full advantage of. I will try to master the skill of valuing myself more and change that mindset of thinking I don’t deserve to be taken care of. I dug out my easel as I used to do oil painting 🎨 and used to play piano 🎹 (badly) but will get lessons once we’re out of lockdown. Thanks again GDD for encouraging me to enjoy life on my own terms. I’d forgotten (or never learned how) and was feeling very stuck. CL’s book and you guys at CN have got me this far.

          • 👍Many of us chumps share similar FOO experiences. A negative is that we learned to survive with very little affection. A positive is that we’re pretty tough and resourceful. We’re also survivors.

            Now as independent adults we have a chance to make conscious decisions to change our life patterns. Best of luck to you and other chumps who need to get themselves unstuck from unhealthy narratives. “Less” is unacceptable. We’re all deserving of more.

          • OzChump,

            You comments above made me reflect on the spin of things given or not given to us as children.

            I have found that any single incident in my life has many different interpretations. As I delve into my own past, I actually find nothing new there; simply a new perspective. Like looking at something from a different angle. Often I exclaim, WOW, I never saw it this way before. The old drops away and there is a new reality as simple as that.

            I too was fed, clothed and educated. I used to feel that that wasn’t enough – that I deserved more until I realized I had way more than many others ever got.

            My mind had a special knack to look at what others had who had more than I did and that made me feel less-than, neglected etc.

            I only began to feel grateful when I began to look in the other direction wherein I immediately discovered the multitude of people who had less that I had been given. My whole outlook changed.

            An example of a spin:

            Thanks to CL and CN I now know my father ‘abandoned’ us – his family that HE WANTED which included his own 5 children and his wife, because our mother didn’t fulfill his self-serving/self-image wants. The neat word ‘divorce’ covered up the underlying lie.

            Simply put, she wasn’t fitting the role he had in mind for wife to fulfill – ie putting him first in all things while he did nothing but work, which made him look good – he was a doctor and they get extra credit in our culture.

            This view is a new one for me. Same circumstances, just a twist with the added word of ‘abandonment’ and the knowledge of what actually were his reasons for leaving us with our disabled mother.

            With this spin I now see she got us all to adulthood with a roof over our head, clothes on our backs and food in our refrigerator always.

            She didn’t have the energy to sit by our sides when we were sick but we all could count on the care we did get . It was consistent. Food, we just had to wait until the others were fed; a clean bed in the room right next to hers so if we did need something in the night, she was there.

            We all survived and it is because of her. And this was in a time when divorce was a disgrace and ALWAYS the woman’s fault.

            So not only did she manage to raise all of us single handedly but she survived the ostracism of the culture while managing to find true and loyal friends in the process who stuck with her through good times and bad.

            My mother’s example taught me that if she could do it so can I and I am a lucky one because I have her as my SHINING example.

            I am ‘old’. My body has had it challenges… One of my children is disabled. She sleeps in the room next to mine.

            I cannot stay up all night with her or else we both suffer.

            She knows I am here. She knows all she has to do is call.

            Am I a perfect mother?

            No.

            But I am full of love for my child.

            I know now my mother was full of love for all of us too although she couldn’t show it in the way I wanted it to be shown.

            She showed me how to survive as a mother even when I can’t do my best.

  • My betrayer was an active member and church leader in his church. I rarely went because organized religion leaves me cold, but I admired him for his faith and how he modeled it. He went to church religiously without me, was a youth leader and the sound guy at his “rock star” church, and then made it a convenient means to f@#k around. His trashy sidekick would meet him there so they could host their illicit trysts afterwards under the guise of “church stuff” where my eyes and suspicion could be averted. Now he parades her into church as if their “relationship” is some kind of holy union, all while the pastor and church leadership look the other way because he’s “such a nice Christian man.” Ha. I am convinced organized religion is a hiding place for the truly wicked.

    • This Chump’s been saved.

      ‘I am convinced organized religion is a hiding place for the truly wicked.’

      YES

      2 words that should terrify anyone:

      Catholic Church

      Though not a church or a religion in some AA circles cheaters walk free because they are ‘sober’ which becomes the bottom line for looking the other way – or as it is called , 13th stepping, when one of their flock strays.

      The first ‘members’ of AA had to guard its founder, Bill W, rigorously whenever there were new young women around as to not tarnish the AA name due to his wandering dick.

      Which, although it is very twisted, ended up being a good thing because AA has saved many, many people over the years and I do not mean to bash AA as a whole.

      Just a cautionary word for those who may think sobriety = monogamy.

      I found this out the hard way. As a good friend says, ‘if the booze doesn’t get ya, the sex will.’

      Sex and a rich young woman got mine – an unquenchible clarion call to pursue his passion was the result.

      He drove off into the sunset to ‘realize’ his dreams after his AA friends helped him strip our home of his stuff and load it into a u-haul so that he could make a ‘clean break’ and start his new life.

      • My ex went sober (from alcohol, at least) cold turkey, that’s exactly how he approached the final discard of our relationship. Instead of seeing me as a human being who’d loved and sacrificed for and supported him for many years, and treating me accordingly – with honesty, respect, gratitude and remorse – I became a harmful substance, something to quit overnight. It was cold and cowardly and dishonest and terrifying, and I couldn’t do a thing to hold him accountable for what he stole and ruined, or the lies he spread. “No Contact” imposed by a manipulative abuser is very different from No Contact from a recovering chump.

    • Youth pastor has become such a cliche, these guys are men children who huger off on being kids first crushes acting like the cool dad or big bro which in more cases than we’d all like turns into a hunting ground for underage victims at worst and dubious boundary violations at best. Partners can’t compete with the buzz these guys get from the adulation and power their positions come with, they get to be the nice guy 24/7 and then come home to the poor partner who can’t will be accused of not supporting gods work when you ask them to pull their weight.

    • “I am convinced organized religion is a hiding place for the truly wicked.”

      While you appear to be doing God’s work, you’re free to cheat and lie.

      I suspect that many (most?) of these Jesus cheaters aren’t aware of the hypocrisy of their actions. I bet many of them genuinely feel that they are in the right, that God has somehow sanctioned their extra-marital affairs.

      • I think you are right in many cases Spinach. I know (now) the whore told my daughrter in law that she thinks God sent her to fw when he needed her. But, whore was/is not a particularly bright person, and honestly I don’t think from what I knew of her before Dday that she was particularly religious. I know she was not a church goer as my sainted fw was.

        Anyway, I think at some point he must have said to her, something like “you were sent to me when I needed you” or some variation of that bullshit.

        I have no doubt my ex tried to twist his adultery as sanctioned. How he did it I don’t know because anyone who knew me knew, I was not a monster and that he was a stubborn controller in every area of his life. (I just didn’t realized he would use my trust and yes meekness against me)

        I do know our preacher didn’t give him the idea that what he did was fine, quite the opposite. In fact he walked away from our church and when he and whore married they found one out in the boonies where I assume they could build the perfect lie. (hint: that one blew apart too, Christians tend to be forgiving; but they are not all stupid)

        I am pretty sure until the day he died he tried and tried to put a positive spin on the shit pile life he had created for himself and the whore. From what little I know, it never worked. It just got worse and worse.

  • This isn’t as bad as some on the Jesus front but ny ex was a regular Methodist church goer and claimed he’d asked God to send him someone before he met me, so he believed God had sent me.

    So how did he repay God? By throwing me under the bus to placate his snotty grown daughter and his ex wife, keeping his trash ex gf on the side our entire relationship, and prioritizing his phony image even if it meant I had to be treated like shit in the process.

    Example: I was supposed to attend every event his snotty daughter put on even though she treated me like shit so he could maintain a phony family image, and I had to appropriately kiss her ass and feign interest otherwise he threw tantrums and accused me of hating her.

    Of course I never got so much as a happy birthday from her.

    And he was very jealous of me because I was younger, a better athlete, and I made more money, so he never missed an opportunity to put me down and make himself feel better.

    My father saw he was a scumbag…i should’ve listened to him.

    I’m sure he’s back I’m church every week with his phony image

    But God knows who and what he is.

  • y’all know my story..husband of over 35 years, given a second change, and then I discover a decade long adult friend finder act., complete with naked shots, a profile stating he is bisexual and lots of undeleted emails of fucking strangers.. right after 2nd D-day, he is crying like a baby, begging for forgiveness, and suddenly finds religion. He is reading the Bible and Focus on the Family, quoting passages on forgiveness!! maybe he can forgive himself, but I never will..what a pile of crap!!!!!

    • A lot of scumbags in prison find Jesus yet they recommit crimes as soon as they’re let out.

      People have used religion to bullshit for as long as it’s been around.

      • “People have used religion to bullshit for as long as it’s been around.”

        ^^^^THIS!!! It’s a get-out-of-jail-free card. Sin? No problem, just confess / pray / ask forgiveness and all is well. Talk about unicorn farts and rainbows. Ugh.

        I’m not saying there isn’t something larger than us, but it’s not the “god” made by men.

  • Raising hand and jumping up and down!!!!

    My story happened a long time ago, while my kids were still pretty young. But a day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about it.

    Husband gets “a calling” and declares that he must leave a decent, well paid position to go back to school. It will take 7 years and the sale of everything we own. My Mom has just died of cancer and my Dad has the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s- but hey, it’s all about him.

    He goes back to school and lives somewhere that the kids and I cannot go. He does not seem to care that his wife and 2 kids are now homeless. I find a horse farm job with accommodation and live 3 hours away.

    Fast forward to us all living under the same roof again in the University town. He has a school “friend” that is way too close for comfort. Snd some other women that leave me feeling uncomfortable. Friend is having “marriage problems” and my husband is her “mentor”. I am pick me dancing like crazy and trying to hold things together financially and with the children as well as a very ill Father.

    6 weeks after he receives his collar and a job in a city far far away, we move. Uproot kids. Dad goes missing. I can’t find a job. Husband is yelling and freaking out at home, being Super Pastor at two nee churches and I am stressed. BD happens during 14 year old’s slumber party in the Rectory.

    Girlfriend starts coming to our house from over 4 hours away and inserting herself into my life. By the way – she is a Minister now too, with husband and 3 kids still at home. No one thinks this is odd. I am living in the twilight zone.

    Summary. I basically get kicked out of rectory to go find some sort of shelter through women’s shelter. Husband is making a good salary and is now openly with Miss Piggy and no one cares. Kids are a hot mess and I am trying to hold it together for their sake.

    Update – my X husband and Miss Piggy marry. After 8 years she comes into some money and he puts a ring on her real quick. They live what looks to be a pretty fabulous life with very few consequences. But that is for God to sort out.

    I cannot go into a church without having extreme anxiety.

    • Sounds like the story of a friend of mine. Her ex met a woman with a troubled marriage in seminary. The seminary is several hours away from their family home, and he begins “staying with a friend” after evening classes. My friend has a good job and is able to support the family, but she begins feeling very uneasy.

      Her husband and the woman graduate from seminary and each get a parish in the area, and continue to see each other to discuss “spiritual things.” They go to meetings together out of town and stay in hotels, and my friend suspects that they share a room but can’t prove it.

      She confronts her husband, and he says, “Deal with it. I love her and don’t love you anymore.” She tries to continue to be all smiles on Sunday and considers suicide. Meanwhile, her therapist is advising divorce before it destroys her. Finally she tells him to move out. He does and paints it with his church superiors that she threw him out. The church superiors revoke her church membership.

      She divorces him and picks a different denomination. By now his love interest’s husband has divorced her, but she comes out clean in terms of the church as well. They marry to all kinds of fanfare at both churches. They move into her house and pastor two different churches.

      Now here’s the irony. He dies, and hadn’t changed any of his beneficiaries including the beneficiary on his government pension. All the divorce said was that my friend wasn’t claiming anything on the pension he was receiving when they divorced. There was no mention of the survivor benefits. The ex-wife takes my friend to court, and my friend ends up with the pension benefit and more.

      Oh, well…and their two adult kids refuse to have anything with the church and their father’s second wife.

    • “Friend is having “marriage problems” and my husband is her “mentor”.”

      I still remember vividly my then H coming home early in the am and telling me he was counseling one of the guys who was having marriage problems.

      By the time that started I was pretty much just running on fumes, and in shock. While I was literally getting through the day and working, I was figuratively in the fetal position. I hate4 that I did not go to my preacher and spill.

      My preacher was a good preacher, and he likely could have helped me out of that situation quicker, but I was barely able to function let alone think.

      Then after this fw retired he decided to go to school to be a preacher. When my son told me I laughed out loud. Of course that didn’t last either. I do think though that he was desperately trying to find a way to like himself, and gain respect back; but it never happened.

      • “Friend is having “marriage problems” and my husband is her “mentor”.”

        Tale as old as time; tune as old as song.

        My H kept making young female friends who needed him. He was their hero. They had a rough life. He was the only one keeping them together. And what a horrible person I was, said he, for trying to take his mentorship, friendship, and herodom away from these poor girls.

        Even before I knew I what I didn’t want to know, I knew he wasn’t mentoring them.

    • Dear Lucky, I’m so sorry you are having to see/hear about their seemingly “fabulous” life. My cheater and the OW also live in luxury, they have well-paid and fascinating jobs, etc, and it is hard for me to live with that knowledge, especially when I am struggling. I keep reminding myself that they are both abusive creeps, and how much money and status would ever be enough for me to willingly live with an abusive creep?
      Lucky, we both deserve better!
      My cheater meditated daily, pretended to be gentle and caring and spiritual. He even told me that he was going on a meditation retreat at a monastery–but he was actually going on a trip with the OW. The fancy job and the fancy apartments they live in now, the conferences they attend with all the breathless news coverage–it’s all just the sparkle on the turds. The stench of creepiness has to be inescapable to them, because they know who the other person really is.

  • Yes, I could write volumes.

    After he left, everyone but him saw the hypocrisy and deceit. His family enabled. Legalism said we had to reconcile no matter what, but wisdom and logic said that he had gone off the rails. I hadn’t always been the perfect wife (of course), but he destroyed the marriage with broad strokes. Making me responsible was is a childish way of not taking responsibility for the chaos he created. You don’t run from your problems and act like your wife and children don’t exist.You can’t be anything like the “head of the home” if you act as he did and take off to do whatever with whoever.

    Both attorneys were older, church-going men and had quite a few choice words. His of course applied Google and dug up my ex’s background and family and noted that in his remarks to mine at times.

    Believe it or not, I still attend the same church where he once preached at times, but everything is vibrant and real now. I realized not long ago that his God was very different than mine. His was punitive and angry, and he applied that viewpoint to us and the separation/divorce. Just not so.

  • Like a beacon in the night, The Colonel and his daughter-aged Army Captain found each other through *** DIVINE INTERVENTION.***

    (^^^ Said to me with all the awe and wonder of a wide-eyed child on Christmas morning).

    It was meant to be! Can’t argue with a God thing.

    If I hadn’t been so completely dumbfounded with the reason of the non-church-going Judas, I would have fired back with, “And how does the 6th Commandment fit into your fairy tale?”

    • What a load.

      My daughter in law told me just recently that years ago whore told her that she was sent to fw right when he needed her. I rolled laughing. Daughter in law told whore that God does not send a woman to steal another woman’s husband.

      I laughed and told daughter in law that maybe we misread the 6th commandment, maybe it said “thou shalt not commit adultery, unless you really need it” I need to go back and review that.

    • C Ex C, this fairy tale reminds me of another princess. The Jesus OW reeled my ex FW back in, years (and OWs) after their initial brief affair, by writing, in a mortifying “love letter” and “poem”: “We’ve been covering God’s true love for years. Let’s start a fire. Let’s burn down the house.” Speaking of narcissists…

  • My father was music director of a large baptist church and I attended the church school PreK – 8 and of course went with dad on Sunday’s so spent a lot of time around the Pastor. I was in Jr. high when it came out the pastor had been having an affair with the church secretary for years. Huge scandal. He was let go and had to leave the church (no forgiving of sins in this baptist church lol). I was there the Sunday he gave his last “sermon”, which was basically begging forgiveness of his “flock”, wife, etc…he ended up taking off with the secretary anyway. I was emotionally abused by many others in this church, but looking back can say that incident rocked me hard and made me question “god” and the whole structure of organized religion.

    • Hell yes, that was one of the biggest damages I sustained when it came out that my father, a Sunday school teacher had got the other Sunday school teacher pregnant, it makes you question the reality of everything when you feel like your life and particularly the way you were taught to live a good life, feels like one big gaslighting exercise. It made me doubt the veracity of everything, if I never saw this coming what else is a big bss as lol of bs. I still have trust issues with pretty much everyone but animals. My poor mother she was never the same after that very public implosion of our ‘perfect’ family life.

  • I’m certainly not dissing religion or religious persons but the dysfunctional (narcissists, cheaters, scam artists, pedophiles, etc) are drawn to religion for protection. Most religions are welcoming and supportive of their members/congregation. Best yet, they are forgiving. The dysfunctional love to be the star of the show so rarely do they sit on the sidelines. They volunteer, lead groups and minister. The “pure of heart” are easy pickings for these predators so when they cheat or steal, they are still protected and forgiven. All a big con but I admit I do find these “God fearing” people that make excuses for these defects annoying and unsympathetic.

    • R’amen! Religious people are browbeaten and almost brainwashed into forgiving (and forgetting) from the start. So they are less likely to do background checks, are more willing to ‘explain away’ inconsistencies and lies and generally less likely to pursue legal means when wronged.

      I’ve also taken on so many scam charities and animal rescues through the years. I’m at the point where I don’t donate to any of them unless they have permitted me to sit down and scan their financials as well as having a VERY wide open door policy (within reason) so I can see how they operate. I take none of them at face value.

      One of the worst is in South Dakota – despite having over 800 horses removed, the person still has a valid 501c3 and yet – no one is permitted to know where the 30+ horses she was permitted to keep are residing nor is anything known about their condition. It’s appalling.

  • I can’t find the original site where a religious person discussed how too frequently those who are abused by someone are further abused by their religious leaders by being commanded to forgive their abuser. That it was doubling down on those who had been abused.

    But I’m copying this from another site (minus the long-winded religious explanations and slant).

    1. Forgiveness does not require staying in an abusive situation.
    2. Forgiveness does not require accepting empty apologies or trusting the bully/ abuser.
    2a While neither an apology nor repentance is required for forgiveness, an apology alone is not enough to rebuild trust.
    2b Forgiveness isn’t earned, but trust is. You can forgive a person without trusting him.
    3. Grace does not require remaining silent about bullying and abuse.
    4. Forgiveness and grace do not preclude justice or demand superficial reconciliation

    This was posted in 2016 from yet another site that is more secular and specializes in trauma therapy:

    “This is what I tell them: You don’t have to forgive in order to move on.

    Understand that if a person comes in and finds that the word “forgiveness” resonates, I do not discourage it. We roll with it. But often people struggle with this word, and rightfully so. They do not want to imply what happened to them was in any way OK. They don’t want to excuse the perpetrator’s behavior. They feel the perpetrator is not deserving of forgiveness. The worst thing I can do as a therapist is to talk people out of the way they feel.”

    • Good points. I think forgiveness is overrated especially when people think if someone did not reconcile it was because he or she did not forgive. BS. You can only go so long on apologies that many times turn out to only be words spoken because the cheater/betrayer/deceiver, etc. thinks they will feel better if they utter a few words of apology.

      • When an abuser asks for forgiveness, the abused does not have to accept the apology until the abuser has shown they have done the work to change. Even then the abused still does not have to forgive the abuser .

    • Sounds a lot like cheaters, themselves.They command you forgive them; if you decline, you’re excommunicated (discarded).

  • Religious institutions will always be important to people whose focus is on image magament to protect secret sexual lives. They are a small minority of attendees, but have their usual disproportionate negative impact on others. I like the motto you used to see posted at small town stores and gas stations: “We Trust in God; all others pay cash.”

    • Not really religious but my cheater ex, who spent some time in the Navy but was medically discharged when she refused to go through their alcohol treatment program, likes to identify herself as a Navy vet and claim the Navy’s core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. What a joke! In addition, she is a school principal for a school that highlights the Value Education model which includes Trust, Honesty, and Respect. The irony that she oversees school assemblies where she proclaims such values is ridiculous. It gets worse…she lied, cheated, and betrayed with another school principle in her same district that was fired on a morals charge! Of course the district keeps this all very quiet. If the parents only knew the garbage person overseeing their children’s education. Makes me sick just thinking about it.

      • Ex was an Air Force pilot and wears clothing with the Air Force emblem when he goes out in public, hoping someone will stop and ask him if he had been in the military. Occasionally they would ask, and his voice would change into serious, military mode, “Air Force Pilot, Officer in the Air Force.” It probably wouldn’t have bothered me if he wasn’t such a jerk. in He portrayed himself as moralistic and used the military as a cover, he wanted people to believe he was more sophisticated and lived by a higher set of standards than everyone else. Couldn’t have been further from the truth..

  • I have never affiliated with a particular denomination, although I have worked for three denomination supported colleges, I was not required to join a particular church. My Ex’s were not church attenders, although the father of my sons did choose to attend for awhile because he had attended a business seminar that told him he would make good contacts and gain business cred by attending church. I did not find any higher level of behavior or morality in church related colleges than I did in public institutions.

    During college and working for affiliated colleges I have attended many church services. I found two where I liked the point of view of the preacher at the time, and enjoyed the sermon, and the peaceful nature of the time spent there. I studied religion while in college, but I have always been disturbed at the disconnect between what they say they believe, and how they actually act. I had enough dysfunction at home to recognize it at church. I really do understand “we are all sinners” and do not expect perfection. I do expect sincere effort to reconcile beliefs with actions, however. When someone professes to be religious, I expect them to act that way. I also do not believe you should be forced to forgive. There is a difference in thoughtful consideration of someone who has wronged you, and evaluating their capacity to actually be able to express remorse, and make amends for their wrongful actions. If it is all smokescreen, and there is no true remorse, or change in actions, in my opinion you are not required to forgive. They have broken the contract, again, and all you need to do is accept they will never change, and you are better off avoiding any contact with someone who is unrepentant.

    I believe there is a thread of truth that goes though the core beliefs expressed by all religions and denominations. It is to treat others as you would like to be treated. If you find you are not being treated with respect, you are not obliged to stay and be abused over and over. You can choose to walk away. It is not your job to try to save them. They understand what is required, they choose not to follow the belief with action. That is on them. You are not required to endure, or be a victim, or martyr.

    Accept that you cannot control the beliefs and actions of other people, and concentrate on reconciling your own life with your beliefs. We all have faults, and many of our sins may reflect human nature, but that does not mean we cannot make an effort to do better. If you offer a sincere apology to someone for something you did to offend them in some way, an error in judgement you made, unintentionally, but now realize the error of your choice, you should feel better. If they accept your sincerity, they should feel better. That is forgiveness. If you do not believe you made an error, and have no intention of trying to avoid the same mistake in the future, then any “apology” you make is hollow.

    I once received a statement from Ex-Dad — “I am sorry for anything I have done which offends you, or has hurt you.” I asked him for some examples of what he believed was offensive or hurtful. He would not name specifics. He wanted me to accept a blanket, “I’m sorry” without recognizing any of his wrongdoing. I declined to accept, because it was not sincere. He wanted a “clean slate.” He had no intention of changing his behavior, just an opportunity to continue eating cake as if he had done no wrong. I chose not to provide any more cake, moved the party, and no longer invited him to share my life. That was acceptance, not forgiveness, because he had no remorse, or desire to do better.

    You are not required to forgive and forget. No one is entitled to a zillion chances with you. If they want to be forgiven by God, consider the path laid out — confession of the sins, true remorse, and the desire to sin no more. The end result will be determined by the sincerity of the sinner. I don’t believe there is any room for trying to blame someone else for actions you choose to take. I could be wrong, of course, but it is not up to me to decide. If you want to be forgiven, appeal to a higher court. I am not in charge of judging you.

    • I am sorry for anything I have done which offends you, or has hurt you.” I asked him for some examples of what he believed was offensive or hurtful. He would not name specifics. He wanted me to accept a blanket, “I’m sorry” without recognizing any of his wrongdoing. I declined to accept, because it was not sincere. He wanted a “clean slate.” He had no intention of changing his behavior, just an opportunity to continue eating cake as if he had done no wrong. I chose not to provide any more cake, moved the party, and no longer invited him to share my life. That was acceptance, not forgiveness, because he had no remorse, or desire to do better.
      You wrote exactly what I was trying to say. Everyone always forgets what Jesus said to adulteress “You are forgiven, but go and sin no more………” that is where the disconnect comes in. The abusers don’t change

  • Mine was an atheist cheater. No doubt part of his rationalization was that fidelity is considered a sin by religious people, so he was justifiably rebelling against his oppressive fundamentalist Christian upbringing.
    He didn’t dare to voice that as one of his excuses, but I know the way his alleged mind works. Days after being caught cheating he become a born again agnostic to suck up to me. He even started attending a progressive, non-denominational church. I suppose that was to convince me he was a changed man. He went all of three times. I failed to be impressed by it so he gave up. Effort is not his strong suit. 🤡

    Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist or whatever, as long as you claim to believe cheating and lying are wrong, you’re certainly a hypocrite and a fraud if you make cheating and lying your lifestyle.

  • My XW would lecture me that I should attend church with her and the kids. “They need moral teaching and for you to set and example for them.” No thanks, I had enough of that growing up in a Baptist family.
    Flash forward and she has a fuckfest in a cheap motel with a co-worker who reads the Bible to her and takes her to his church in the morning.

  • My stbxh is not religious, maybe agnostic. I’m religious and made sure we were married in a church. OW is a big time Jesus cheater. She is very active in her church.

    A few weeks after D-day I find a new bible, I ask if this was a birthday gift from OW, he swears he bought it himself. He was wanting to find religion…Sure, and like my brother says, how do you get in the pants of a religious chick? You pretend to be into religion.

    Shortly after he moved in with her I hear he is attending her church every week. Once I was forced to move back home after selling our condo, I get a welcome box from OW’s church. It was addressed to my husband and had been forwarded to my parents address. Idiot hadn’t forwarded his mail because he was staying with her.

    OW trying to bring him to God while having an affair didn’t sit well with me. I contacted the pastor, explained the situation, and asked if they could reach out to my husband for individual counseling. If he wanted to find religion that’s great, but this is not how you do it.

    The day the pastor reached out to him I received 20 missed calls from my stbxh and 2 nasty voicemails. He sounded so weird in them, voice practically gone and not making a ton of sense. He claimed I had ruined the only good thing he had going in his life. Said he could never show his face there again. He obviously doesn’t understand how Christianity and humility before God work. But more accurately, he was just pissed I had blown up OW’s spot at her church. She was very involved, helping with their video service dept. I hope if she keeps attending she is seen as the Jesus cheater homewrecker she is.

    They’re still together, about 4 months after D-Day, but maybe now if they get married it won’t be in that church…

  • I struggled with forgiveness for a long time. I did not want to forgive his actions because some way it made me feel that I was absolving him of what he did. I’ve reached the point where I “forgive“ him because I don’t want to feel this anger and resentment anymore. I want to just let those emotions go and let that person go to. It gives me peace. Hugs

    • Yeah, Thrive, that’s pretty much all forgiveness is to me, too. I don’t want to worry about someone else’s sins or poor character anymore. I’m tired of being sad and stressed and fucking furious (though I try to accept these feelings as a natural and normal response to what happened when they do arise). I hope to let go, purely for myself and who/what I care about, because I don’t want to carry the burden anymore. I want to give my frazzled nerves, haywire heart and ruminating brain a break. Nothing to do with any kind of spirituality or moral imperative. After years of guilt and people pleasing, that kind of “goodness” leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  • My cheater always made a big display of his Catholic faith. He chose convenient times to attend church — like he HAD to attend mass on the Christmases when we were visiting my non-observant family right at the exact time my family had a traditional brunch. (But it’s it’s funny we did not attend mass on the Christmases when we stayed in the city we lived in, near his family. Hmm.) He often shamed me for not being a good enough Catholic — I am not at all religious and have never gone to church on my own volition in my life but I was ok with doing the baptisms and other sacraments if he felt it was important.

    He ended up having an affair with a young colleague who was engaged to and then married her high school sweetheart in a big religious ceremony DURING THE AFFAIR. I guess commandments don’t apply to Very Important People in Love.

    Since he blew up our marriage for her (four months after her wedding), he became a bit obsessive about taking the children to sacrament prep classes and attending church with her and the children every week. They even watched church live streamed on Sundays during the pandemic. The best part was when he sued me to force my son to attend Ex-H’s old Catholic high school contrary to son’s wishes. A big part of his argument was that I had vindictively abandoned my deeply held Catholic faith and was alienating the children from Catholicism out of rage at the “dissolution” of our marriage, so son had to go to the Catholic school or would be lost to God forever. Son is attending his school of choice, but what madness. And what a waste of money.

  • Neither FW or I are very religious but I did grow up getting hauled to church and I wanted a church wedding and to be married under the eyes of God because that felt like a real and valid ritual to me. Heck, I was even “saving myself for marriage” which, after falling in love with FW, turned into “saving myself for my future husband.” I wasn’t super religious but I had enough religion in my background that it impacted my life in a meaningful way.

    Years after the OWs, and the D Days, and the trauma, and the slow climb out of the dark hole I was in, I found out–via gossip from my mother–that the clergyman who married us had, years ago, left his wife and kids to later very quickly and mysteriously end up Facebook-official with a new soulmate.

    I was shocked and disappointed. I felt a great sense of empathy and pain for his wife (not unlike this whole John Mulaney/Olivia Munn debacle–the poor wife!) and, because I baldly admit to being a touch superstitious, I considered it fitting… like a bad omen. The man who left me for an affair partner(s) was wed to me under the eyes of God by another man who left his wife for an affair partner.

    I have so very little interest in ever letting myself get sucked into a relationship again.

    • Olivia Munn always struck me as an attention seeking narcissist of the first order. Plus John just got of rehab. Guess Olivia is his new drug. Feel sorry for their child.

  • Regarding the forgiveness discussion: My idea of forgiveness of the unrepentant is simple.

    Two years ago, someone asked to “borrow” $200 from me to pay rent to avoid eviction (this was pre-COVID). The person could pay me back on the upcoming Friday. Of course, I’ve never received any money. So this person owes me $200.

    Now, I knew I was never going to be repaid once Friday came and went with no communication, let alone money changing hands. I wrote off the debt. This person fished for more money a year later and I blocked her. Last month, I ran into her on campus. She was very glad to see me. I said hello and kept on walking.

    I forgive the debt. I’m not going to ask for the money back. But she conned me and that shuts the door on further contact. This is how I understand forgiveness. Someone can do me wrong but I can choose to let go of what they did–but only if that is truly the end of the relationship. In a sense, they do pay a price for what they did: I’m no longer willing to be hoovered back into their chaos.

    If someone hurts me and truly tries to make amends, in the AA sense, I can forgive them but they’ve lost my trust and that may or may not be recoverable, depending on the circumstances. If this person has a long history of being loving, kind and reciprocal, I may just let it go. Or I may decide to be a little less vulnerable with that person until I can see it was a one-off. What I look for is changed behavior. I can stop feeling actively angry if someone makes amends, but it would take time–and observation from a distance–for me to let them back into range to hurt me again.

    This is where the cheater forgiveness requests fall way short, to my mind. The injured party needs time and distance to gauge whether a cheater has changed. And I don’t mean “took me out to dinner once and loaded the dishwasher and didn’t come home drunk on Friday.” I mean the long-term effort to address character issues.

    In my own life, my FOO issues impacted my character. I was a serial monogamist, hopping from relationship to relationship that looked more like the narcissist cycle than I like to contemplate (although my therapist says I stay too long, meaning I don’t end bad relationships early enough). Anyway. I’ve spent most of my adult life working to CHANGE, to be a kinder, better, smarter person in my relationships toward others. I’ve done 30 years of therapy and still find things to work on. I’ve learned how to manage emotions and live by myself and not “need” (use) other people to fix my feelings. So change is possible, but it’s a long project and as CL says, most cheaters are too lazy and selfish to do that work.

    It’s not just the Jesus cheaters who play the forgiveness card. Cheaters in general love a free pass.

    • Great post. “I can forgive them but they’ve lost my trust…….” etc. I think a lot of us make the mistake of keeping on thinking the person is going to pay us back or the cheater is going to change or has changed when there was no price for he or she to pay, they usually do not change.

    • I believe an attempt must be made at amends, too. My son has a friend who stole some money from our home when they were teenagers. I found out years later, when my son finally told me who did it.

      Later, as an adult, he has caused damage or expense at my home. He has admitted it, but never offered to pay for the repair or damage. He has a good job, but I consider him to have poor character. If you break something or damage something that belongs to another, you should apologize AND offer to pay for the item. As an adult I can be gracious, or not, refuse to accept payment, or not, but a sheepish admission of guilt is not an apology. No offer of restitution does not seem like remorse to me. Asking for a gift/donation is different than asking for a loan. You can forgive the debt, but since there was no honor or trust, there was never a friendship to lose. You were considered a good mark by a con artist.

      I have also heard the excuse — but you/he/she have a lot of money, and I have none, so you/he/she can afford the loss! That doesn’t fly either.

  • My ex calls himself a Buddhist because he meditates and reads Pema Chodron (who got her start with the Boulder Buddhist and serial abuse of his female followers Chogyam Trungpa–see “Buddhist Project Sunshine”). My ex is also an image manager extraordinaire who once in a public lecture accepting a prize (for which I nominated him–face palm) began and ended his talk with the Buddhist precept “May All Beings Be Happy; May All Beings Be Free.” People ate it up, of course, and I was the only one in the audience who knew that his Loving Kindness extended no farther than to himself.

    • My Ex says he doesn’t need religion and has no use for church. He knows he’s a good person.
      Just ask him..

      Although if we went to a wedding or funeral service in a Catholic Church he’d act like the most Catholic person there. Sign of the cross at every opportunity, his sign of the cross seemed more deliberate and exaggerated, (a look at me opportunity, I’m a good person, I know how to take communion and do the sign of the cross).

  • Adelante,

    …and, least it be forgotten, Pema catapulted into her Buddhist studies after finding out her husband had cheated on her which is recounted in her book, ‘When Things Fall Apart’.

    Very interesting that she was then drawn into the fold of the notorious Chogyam Trungpa.

    I wonder if she knows about CL yet…..

    • Very interesting since her journey into Buddhism was launched by the very sudden end to her marriage because of her husband’s cheating.

      For fuck’s sake. It’s endless.

      • B&R

        Oh, but he makes ‘it’ all sound so respectable. That voice of his is hypnotic…..and the lyrics to his songs…

        Now that I know what I know, he is one I have come to suspect too….yet, as you say, many place him on a pedestal making it all okay because he was so gifted…..

        A TFC type reeling women in with that disarming charm that was his hallmark. Covert, passive, aggressive narcissist.

        And he did spell it all out and still they lined up. Didn’t they?

        YUCKO

      • It is indeed everywhere and sadly is responded to just like the article you linked stated…

        Lets just look the other way and let bygones be bygones.

        Makes me sooooo mad!

  • I had a Jesus Cheater, but in a different way. My exFW used to share my faith, but when he decided to leave me for OW he conveniently “lost his faith.” Seems more like his faith was a convenience to pick up and drop off whenever it suited him…

  • Shortly after Dday, when it dawned on my then-husband that the adult kids and I wanted no contact with him, he wrote to me that God would punish him for his infidelity but would punish me and the kids more shunning him.

    He wasn’t a religious man, so trotting out God’s wrath at this moment seemed more than odd.

  • 🙋🏼‍♀️ Former choir director and minister’s wife.

    The OW was in the choir. She and her husband kept our kids.

    The affair blew up FW’s career and he resigned his ministerial fellowship. A letter went out to all the members of the church saying he had ‘broken covenant’. For the sake of our kids, the letter didn’t mention the affair.

    They are still together, even though she is married.
    🙄

  • I grew up Catholic and so did XH. After 3 children, he was agreeable to following the church teaching on natural family planning, he even enrolled us in the course. We both attended talks on raising kids and on marriage. When DDay1 happened. I was in complete shock. I was so stunned because it seemed so out of character and he seemed remorseful. I easily forgave him. We had both been in the habit of going to confession and I noticed he picked up his frequency of going.
    Not long after, our church did some kind of fund raising for capital improvements and without consulting me, he pledged an exorbitant amount which we paid over 5 years.
    I suspect that at one point, about 25 years ago, he may have felt guilt and some remorse. I suspect that a priest suggested financial restitution. At that time I still believed my husband was a good man who had made one bad mistake on a business trip.
    Now I know that much, much more “outside of marriage sexual activity” had happened, using hundreds of dollars each month, from our family money. He never told me outright, I found out via bank statements and credit card statements many years later.
    I put this in the category of Jesus cheater, because he future faked me and tricked me about his values being the same as mine. He apparently was forgiven by the priest and made restitution to the church while at the same time committing many sins of omission with me. And then he went on to go way down under with his activity on business trips, and was so good at it that I thought I had a unicorn. During this time he came down hard on the kids to go to Mass weekly and appeared to be an interested, faithful Catholic. Years later I found out that his business trip stuff never ended, and actually escalated. The hypocrisy kills me.
    None of our kids want anything to do with religion.

  • The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.– Shakespeare.

    My ex-MIL sends me bible verses about forgiveness.
    🙄

    Never any mention of the Ten Commandments.

  • This whole topic is like debriding a third degree burn. Betrayal is painful enough without it causing the collateral damage of blowing up one’s faith too. The Rock of Ages disintegrates like a house of sand.

    Is anyone else watching Genius: Aretha on Hulu? Aretha’s father, the Rev CL Franklin, appears to have been a disordered FW of the highest order. Through the lens of everything I’ve learned from CL, CN, and my therapist, it’s chilling to observe how the family system and the community of faith dynamics perpetuated his abuse. I only wish Aretha’s mother could have had support like we all receive from this blog.

    Thank you, Chump Lady. I’m imagining this sung by the Queen of Soul:

    What a Friend we have in Tracy,
    All our wins and griefs you share,
    What a privilege to know you
    As we reel from the affair.

    Oh what peace we often forfeit
    Oh what needless pain we bear
    All because we do not listen
    Tracy’s got the truth, I swear!

    Have we trials and temptations?
    Are there f*ckwits everywhere?
    We can often feel discouraged
    Trauma bonding is a snare!
    Can we find a friend so faithful
    Who will all our burdens share?
    Tracy knows our every weakness
    With wit and wisdom, she’ll repair!

  • It may not be fair to organized religion, but my EX’s hypocrisy has contributed to my disinterest in religious affiliation over the last decade (even though I benefited from warm church congregations for many years). Here’s a version of the story:

    FIRST 12 YEARS OF MARRIAGE:

    Me–life long member of a mainstream Protestant denomination–baptized, confirmed, etc. Requested we be married in the church. Had our kids baptized. Insisted we find a church of some denomination to attend every time we moved. Taught Sunday school, edited the monthly church newsletter, contributed annual pledge, etc.

    Him–Whatever.

    LAST TWO YEARS OF MARRIAGE

    Him–We should go to a new church that I pick that is more “traditional.”

    Me–I won’t join you at a church that disallows women from aspects of participation.

    Him–You are not a real Christian since you do not follow my leadership as the Bible commands you to do. My soul mate understands me, and she is a deeply spiritual woman (as well as a very, very young woman). I am going to become a minister in my new denomination.

    Me–Please read the documents from my lawyer.

    Him–God, has told me you will burn in hell for breaking your vow to remain married to me until death. (Not surprisingly, “soul mate” had already abandoned him following her graduation from college.)

    ONE YEAR POST DIVORCE

    Seminary informs him that following an evaluation of his work in their first course for seekers, he is not an acceptable candidate for their theological program. He then explains to anyone who will listen that they are not a very discerning denomination and are failing to understand the interpretations and knowledge that God has blessed him with. In fact, everyone who fails to agree with him is a sinner without ears to hear. By this point, however, I have been elevated from my earlier status as “not a real Christian” to a “devil and not even genuinely human.” I retain that status to this day. I am hoping my demonic powers manifest soon, but it has been a decade, so I’m feeling a bit cheated.

    • “I have been elevated from my earlier status as “not a real Christian” to a “devil and not even genuinely human.” I retain that status to this day. I am hoping my demonic powers manifest soon, but it has been a decade, so I’m feeling a bit cheated”
      Eilonwy, this is brilliant! Wickedly funny!!

    • ” (Not surprisingly, “soul mate” had already abandoned him following her graduation from college.)”

      Lol, likely she didn’t need his money anymore.

  • I encountered my first “Jesus Cheater” about the same time my breasts started developing. My parents worked on weekends, and thus I spent nearly every weekend with my maternal grandparents. Grandma was very involved with her local church, a congregation with a very evangelical bent, complete with shouting and literally banging the Bible on the lectern, and a minister who was extremely “touchy-feely,” especially around my newly sprouting breasts. I’m sure every woman on here has experienced it at least once — the male in a power position who puts his arm around your shoulders and “accidentally” brushes your breasts. Sometimes, with some males, it happens often. It happened so often that I didn’t want to go to Grandma’s church anymore. I wasn’t given a choice. It was the 1960s, I was told I was “over-reacting,” “too sensitive,” “making mountains out of molehills,” and “lacked sufficient commitment to Jesus.” “He didn’t mean anything,” he “is a man of God,” and I should “just get over it.” I might have just gotten over it if the women in my family hadn’t gone out of their way to discount my feelings and make it all my fault. Even with my fucked up family of origin, I somehow knew this wasn’t right.

    My first Jesus Cheater was a good Catholic from a good Catholic family. I believed that the Catholic Church was somehow a safer place than evangelical churches, that the practice of religion was more peaceful, more dignified. (OK, you can all laugh now. I get it.) Greg (I’ll call him that because that was his name) was an accomplished and talented musician, played keyboards in a very successful local band, and was the organist for the local Catholic Church. Yup — he was the organist in more ways than one. Under the guise of “practicing the music for Sunday,” he got together with the choir director, a married woman, whom he fucked. He also managed to fuck at least two sopranos. And when called to be music director, he spent a lot of time with Sister Margaret (also her real name, because why protect the guilty?) planning music for the service. He fucked her, too, explaining later that he was “just trying to help her see if she had a real vocation.” She was the nun who led our pre-Cana classes. Despite the consternation of my father, who claimed that cheating was no big deal, every one does it and I needed to just get over it and my mother who insisted that I had made my bed by marrying “one of THOSE people” (Catholics), I divorced the cheater.

    My second cheater was also Catholic, a former Benedictine monk. My parents loved him, despite his religious practices. Even after they witnessed him swinging a canoe paddle at me, they encouraged me to go through with the wedding, which I was going to cancel. “He’s Latin,” my father said. “They blow up and then they get over it as if it never happened.” Yeah, Thomas was really good at pretending it never happened. I didn’t catch on to the cheating until I was already planning to leave him because of the abuse. But then, I was looking for women, not men. Especially not men of the cloth. Father Steve, when we met him for drinks one weekend, expounded on how relations between men was not a sin because it wasn’t actually sex. “There is no possibility for procreation,” he said. “So it’s not sex. And because it isn’t sex, it isn’t adultery, and therefore it isn’t a sin.” It sure LOOKED like sex when I caught him with Thomas.

    I don’t go to church anymore. The last time I tried, I got a very creepy vibe from the minister who was a little too handsy in “welcoming me to the church.” He was very shiny, sparkly even. I’ve come to suspect sparkles. Too often, they’re covering a turd.

    • I developed early, too. I experienced “inappropriate affection”, hugs and pats from grown men who seized any chance or opportunity they had to get a secret grope. I really believe there are many more perverts and pedophiles in the general population than is generally believed.

      Children may not know a lot about sex, but they know inappropriate touch. Brothers, sisters, family members, and playmates all might take an opportunity to get a secret pinch or punch in, but there is something creepy about telling a child to sit on your lap, or right beside you on a couch, or those lovely “accidental” breast pats.

      I didn’t like my father early on, I never felt safe from his irrational temper, but I never wanted to sit on his lap or kiss him, either. My mother always supervised bathing, brushing teeth, and getting ready for bed. She tucked us in and kissed us good night, on the cheek. She patched boo-boos, and hugged away tears. My Dad just told us to “dry it up” or he would give us a reason to cry.

      When I worked for church related colleges, I noticed the attractive young females were sought for internships, and special activity work for events. Many doddering deacons found it necessary to hug them often, too. I always wondered about how many special pats and squeezes these girls endured. Some of the big donors and honored alumni developed a reputation with the female staff of the college. We compared notes about the secret touch techniques of these old goats. We learned to dress defensively, wearing bulky sweaters, and standing at angles , keeping our elbows at our sides when we were approached by these men of God who wanted to share “fellowship” with us. We noticed they didn’t seek fellowship with male members nearly as much.

      I was told when I was very young that God sees everything you do. I don’t know if that is true, but I have often wondered why these freaks attempt this behavior at a church, or religious event? Do they even believe in God? Maybe they only believe in opportunity, and plausible deniability?

      • 2021 and this shit still happens! Ugh! I hate it.

        My ex-MIL’s second husband was a greeter at their church. He called himself “the chief hugger.” Basically, he was squeezing breasts against his chest.

        Gross!

        I know he copped a feel when he hugged women because he did it to me and my daughters. I immediately shut that shit down, telling him that we are not comfortable with any hugging.

  • My fw brought his whore to church a couple weeks before he left me.

    Our preacher of course welcomed her, he was not aware of the adulter. Nor was I at that point. I did suspect something was going on, but I didn’t suspect her. For one thing she was not an appealing woman, and I guess I thought if he was going to screw around it would be a bombshell. For another it never occured to me he would bring his whore to church.

    Anyway, when it hit the fan, the preacher was beyond angry at being deceived. He and my ex had a semi close relationship, as the preacher was the Police Chaplain, and he thought my ex was an upstanding married man, and a role model for other officers, since that is the role he was portraying.

    • The audacity of your ex–it’s beyond words.

      Applause for the preacher who got angry on your behalf. We need more people like that.

      • It really was Spinach. When that service was over whore walked up to us, looking directly at fw to talk ab out some problem at work (someone had gotten on to her about something) I just can’t remember what. She seemed stressed. I had met her a couple times before, so I touched her arm and said, it will be ok. She never looked at me, she kept looking at fw.

        I remember it clearly, but I didn’t think of it until after I found out. After the fact it gave me chills, they flew right under my radar. Even though by then I knew something was not right, I did not suspect her.

        Talk about feeling like an idiot.

        There was another incident a few months earlier, where he had brought her to our house to introduce me to her. I remember I was telling her about the mini trip we had taken and fw had booked the Honeymoon suite as a surprise for me. She turned and looked at me, but yet didn’t really look at me, her face was pointing to me, but her eyes did not appear to be focused on me. I remember then thinking she looks weird, but I blew it off.

        First, I imagine he caught hell after her hearing that honeymoon suite story, (I am sure he had told her we were in a sexless marriage, don’t they all) second something wasn’t right with that woman.

  • Portia “Do they even believe in God? Maybe they only believe in opportunity, and plausible deniability?”

    Good question. A priest I knew a few years ago turned out to be a sexual predator of adult women and a lying liar who lies.

    He’s the only one I have ever met who was actually a sociopath.

    I’ve known lots of priests in my lifetime, and the overwhelming majority were exactly what they purported to be – men who loved God and who genuinely wanted to do the right thing by Him and by everyone else.

    But I have also sunk deep into the literature on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, most of which is around gay predation. I know that celibacy isn’t the cause of it – opportunity and sociopathy are.

    The McCarrick case is textbook grooming and predation, coming out of a huge sense of entitlement and the sure knowledge that the covert gay network in the Church would protect him.

    The next layer of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church that should be exposed and addressed is clergy adult boundary violations with men and women. These may be even more common than gay predation.

    There are parts of the Church across the world – usually smaller dioceses – where these problems are being taken seriously. Seminary formation has been overhauled, candidates chosen much more carefully, and people being sacked or dismissed for their dangerous behaviour.

    But there’s still a long way to go, especially in the big, rich, comfortable city dioceses and Archdiocese. The corrupt and enabling networks have deep roots and deep pockets.

    I’m a churchgoing Catholic, and I hope I always will be. There’s a lot of good people there, and a lot of goodwill. There’s lots of us working actively to clean up our institutional act.

    • I think you mean pedophilic predation, not gay predation. Somebody having sex with minors is a pedophile regardless of the gender of the victims. A gay man’s sexual orientation is towards other adult males (or other adolescents if he is an adolescent), not with children.

      • No, I meant what I said.

        I’ve been around the gay community for over 30 years, and have also read enough case histories and enormous data-filled reports and sociological and psychological studies of clergy abuse to know two things with absolute certainty:

        1) the majority of male victims of clergy abuse were aged 12 and over; males aged 15+ were the most common victims in many studies.

        2) the patterns of grooming and seduction employed by older male clerics when they targeted young males are indistinguishable from the patterns of many (not all) gay coming-of-age narratives.

        I also know that this is a messy, sensitive, politicised, and controversial area for many gay writers and social commenters – the fact that for many young gay men, their first sexual experiences involved them being under the age of consent, or barely legal, exploited by older men, and not always willing.

        We don’t have a clear consensus on this stuff; it’s unfolding. There’s no last word. But I am sorry if I gave offence.

        • I do think there is confusion about pedophilia. A person who goes after a post pubescents is not a ped. Peds are after pre pubescents.

          It is like that dirty old goat in GA who dated 16 and 17 year old girls when he was thirty. He wasn’t a ped, he was just a dirty old goat. And back then there was no law against it. Didn’t make it morally right, but he wasn’t a ped. He just liked them young.

        • No worries. You did not give offence. I just don’t quite agree with your conclusion and I wanted to discuss it.

          The fact that they targeted minors usually means they are either pedophiles (since 12 years olds boys are not post pubescent) or pederasts/hebophiles (having a sexual preference for post-pubescent teens). It’s about the age more than the gender. I would agree that there are gay men who target post-pubescents in addition to having sex with men.
          But the thing is, nobody calls men who abuse young girls straight predators. They just call them sexual predators. So why make that distinction with those who target boys? Indeed, many predators will abuse either gender. The clergy just have more opportunity to abuse boys. So that reality may well paint a deceiving picture.

          I don’t know what you mean by the patterns of a gay coming of age narrative or why it’s relevant to sexual abuse, but I’m not up to pursuing it. I just got my second Covid shot yesterday and even holding my phone hurts my arm. Have a good Sunday Lola.

          • I’m glad OHFFS, Susie Lee, and. Sucker Punch said something. LGBTQ already get a lot of unfair criticism and stereotyping. We can help a lot by careful speech. And I agree that entitled ephebephilia attracted to vulnerabilityharm is the danger, rather than gay.

        • Funny that I ran across something that supports Lola’s position. I just read Lundy Bancroft’s latest book, “In Custody”, a novel about a fictional high profile domestic abuse case. But being Lundy, he uses examples from real research. Lundy had one of the experts mentioned that pedophiles tend to target little boys, and incest perpetrators tend to target little girls. Perhaps pedophiles and predators are common enough that maybe they’ve colored the experience and narratives gays tell themselves about themselves. Gays weren’t safe to be open until the last few decades, which was great for predators operating in secret too.

  • My ex continued some friendships with people in our church after he left – people who didn’t realise the circumstances and bought into his narrative that we just wanted different things. Eventually they worked out out, because he left for a married woman also from her church who left her husband for him. People work these things out because they’re not stupid lol.
    Anyway, when he realised people were withdrawing from him, he wrote a letter to one of them saying he was surprised that Christians could be so judgemental. 😂😂😂 Really.
    When she told me this I said “well I had no idea Christians could be so adulterous but here we are”.

  • Buddhism for cheaters:

    If you feel painful or uncomfortable thoughts, let them go. (Forget about accountability remorse.)

    Don’t sweat your mistakes. You’ll be reincarnated!

    Attachment is suffering.

    Practice acceptance [of abuse]. (To be preached to chumps, but not to be internalized.)

    Live in the present. Forget about the past.

    *Note to chumps (when a cheater admonishes you to live in the present, not past): the present of living with a cheater who has and continues to deceive, devalue cheat on and abuse you is… exactly that!

  • There’s also I believe amongst some Christians that once saved they can do whatever they want without fear of consequence.

    • I don’t know. I know some Baptists who have stated that, but I think it is a twisting of a tenant. ( went to a Baptist church for years as a kid, and never heard that.)

      My dad told me that he believes and was taught (Baptist) that once saved always saved, but what that meant was that if you were truly saved you would not turn away, and if you did start to turn away God would convict you and you would straighten up. So if you do turn away and do not respond to the conviction of God, then the question then becomes, were you really saved.

      I don’t know maybe there are some Christian churches who teach that, but I think not many. Some times folks twist what they want to to meet their own needs, many times it is just that folks don’t know what they are talking about, they are just passing on what they heard. I have been guilty of that myself.

      I know some folks think that Catholics believe that if they go to confession, they can do whatever they want. I know when I was going through RCIA, that was definitely not what I was taught.

  • He had periodic “conversion experiences” where he claimed he had suddenly seen the light and given up all the sick stuff he was doing. It took the place of actually doing the work of recovery. His behavior would improve for awhile. Then when he relapsed into online acting-out and alcohol he’d say he didn’t know why he did it.

    This was a professional who did high-level analysis of complex human creations for a living. His inner life, however, was Schrodinger’s cat: a mystery in a box. Pandora’s box, apparently.

  • David Brooks sect of Jesus Cheater (quotes from the editorial in CL’s most recent Brooks UBT):

    “heroism is demanded of the one being left behind […]

    “The person being left has to grant the leaver the dignity of her own mind, has to respect her ability to make her own choices about how to live and whom to be close to (except in the most highly unusual circumstances). The person being left has to suppress vindictive flashes of resentment and be motivated by a steady wish for the other person’s ultimate good. Without accepting the idea that she deserved to be left, the person being left has to act in a way worthy of her best nature, to continue the sacrificial love that the leaver may not deserve and may never learn about. […]

    “Maybe that will mean the permanent end to what once was, in which case at least the one left behind has lost with grace. But maybe it will mean rebirth. […]

    “sometimes healthy relationships require self-restraint and self-quieting, deference and respect […] So today a new kind of heroism is required. Feelings are hurt and angry words are at the ready. But they are held back. You can’t know the future, but at least you can walk into it as your best and highest self.”

    Chumps, model grace! Be reborn as humble doormats.

  • Born and raised with hardcore catholic parents, catholic schools…..nuns. The whole nine yards. Agnostic for a long time now. Went through treatment for abusing pretty much every drug known to man when I was twenty and sober 29 years now. The halfway house I went to when I was 20 had a well known poem on the wall and it always hit me like a hammer. Footprints.

    One night I dreamed a dream.
    As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
    Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
    For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
    One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

    After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
    I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
    I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
    especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
    there was only one set of footprints.

    This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
    “Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
    You’d walk with me all the way.
    But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
    there was only one set of footprints.
    I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

    He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
    Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
    When you saw only one set of footprints,
    It was then that I carried you.”

    No, I don’t believe some almighty power exists out there, but I do believe in the goodness of men and women.

    2 weeks out from D day, I’m a complete mess. Kids are gone, house is gone, STBXW of 12 years is gone. I’m in a shitty hotel room 30 pounds lighter and practically no sleep, with an unopened bottle of Tequila and 20 years of sobriety about to go down the shitter. Cell phone shut off for 3 days. My best friend shows up out of nowhere, immediately assesses the situation and proceeds to throw me across the room”he’s about two of me”. Picks me up by my shirt with one hand and the bottle and smashes it on the floor. Then proceeds to give me the biggest hug you can imagine. That and watching a 300 pound man cry, was my turning point. The lines from that religious poem stuck out to me at that very moment. “It was then that I carried you.” Jesus, didn’t save me, people did and later chump nation and some therapy and a good lawyer finished the job.

    • I am so pleased and relieved that you had a true friend when you needed him. I’m not a believer in God but I do believe in the power of real people to help undo the damage caused by the fakes and liars. We have to keep believing in the real people and be real ourselves.

  • My ex cheater pants Catholic husband to this day admonishes me that he’s the better Catholic. When I was pick me dancing between D-Days, I remember finding a text conversation between him and the OW about going to Mass (she was Catholic too) and how each of them would think of each other and pray for eachother while going to Mass. My Ex goes to Mass every Sunday now. I have all but left the Catholic Church, after going to the Priest that married us, emotionally asking for his help to speak to my husband and he declined. Our Catholic marriage counselor RIC’d the hell out of our sessions as my ex lied to our faces each week about not seeing the OW.

  • Mine wasn’t a Jesus cheater. But he sure as hell was disordered.
    He converted to Catholicism before we married. At one stage he reckoned he wanted to be a priest (wife and 4 kids notwithstanding) and was so shocked and hurt when I said even if the Church ever allowed it, I had no interest in being a priest’s wife. Yet another way I prevented him realising his potential, apparently.

    He was convinced he would have single-handedly revived the Church with his charisma, excellent preaching, brilliant singing and fabulous liturgies.

    15 years, another child, and one divorce later, he’s a fabulously gay apostate misogynist. Go figure.

  • Agree.

    Also, it is dangerous to believe that this issue is just a Catholic Church thing. The two insurance companies that are carriers for churches did a report some time ago that showed sexual abuse was reported in higher numbers in public schools than in any of the churches.

    The reality is where there are children in venerable positions there will be predators. It isn’t that church leaders or scout leaders or teachers become abusers of children after joining that group, it is that abusers become church leaders, scout leaders, teacher etc to get access to their prey.

    Still most scout leaders, teachers, church leaders are honest folks doing the best they can.

    • Susie Lee I don’t blame the Church – I’m still a believing practising Catholic! I got a lot of support and practical advice from priests during my marriage break-up. They were really great. GXH is the one who blames me, the Church, and anyone else but himself for his misadventures.

      • I am glad you got the support you needed.

        I got a lot of support from my preacher and his wife. Our preacher made right and wrong very clear to him.

        I can only remember once comment from a church member that bothered me, but I always say there is one in every group.

        We were all standing around and there was another woman there going through a D, and this pious snip said to me; “I always told myself that I would never divorce” I said yeah that is what I told myself too, but I didn’t get a choice. The preachers wife was right there and said “yes sometimes in life you just deal with what is handed to you, you don’t get a choice”. I never went near her again.

        The other woman getting a D, just gave her a nasty stare. That poor woman was about 70, and her life time husband just up and left her. She kept praying for him to come back. As far as she knew there was not another woman.

        I kind of believed her that there was not other woman. I was only 40 and at the time I figured 70 would be too old for womanizing. Ha, little did I know. Also this was pre Viagra era.

        I have often thought of her and wondered if he ever returned. There was also another woman a little younger than me who just got divorced and she was still sleeping with her ex on a regular basis. She said he wasn’t involved with anyone, just didn’t want to be married.

        She was a nice lady, but that kind of grossed me out. Of course my situation was different in that my fw was actively involved with his whore.

  • I believe that cheaters lie about their faith in the same way that they lie about everything else. They are liars. Faith helps to manage their image but it’s basically the usual chocolate bunny: shiny outside, mediocre chocolate and an empty middle.

  • I’m convinced the ex is an atheist although he has told me that he’s a committed Christian. He even got baptized and announced to the church that he had excepted Jesus at his Lord and Savior.

    Anyway. I find out about his secret life and everything that he wrote about me and I realized I had been conned so badly. I had reconciled with him for Times over 23 years. And this last time he told me that he was even willing to go to counseling with my pastor. I think he thought that if he went to counseling with my pastor that I would be pressured into giving him another chance.

    I told him no way. I was done with counseling. And then I talk to my pastor and told him what had been said. At this point the ex was living with somebody else. My pastor told me that he was essentially dead to me. That I could move on and Scripturally divorce him. I’ve had so much support through my Baptist church, which frankly astonishes me. God is good. The X is dog dirt.

  • I do think sometimes it just takes a while. Those of us in direct line of attack have to react and have to deal immediately. But, sometimes those on the sidelines take a while to react.

    Some just glom on to the cheaters because it is to their advantage, but I think most folks will get it right with a bit of time.

    I do know that when I was with fw we hung around with his best friend from high school and his wife. They were great folks, and I considered them my friends too. Anyway, in the beginning, first of all his friend cautioned him that he would regret breaking apart his marriage. FW of course didn’t listen.

    From what I gather from my son and daughter in law, that friendship gradually fell apart. They tried at first, but I am sure it just didn’t feel right to them and they gradually pulled away. Cheating and lying affects everyone, not just the two in the marriage. It just blows the hell out of everything.

  • He was the senior pastor in a Presbyterian church. He hid his secret cell phone behind a brass plaque in one of the stained glass windows in the sanctuary. She masturbated with his pens, mailed them to him, and those were the pens in the church office. People used them. They used church money to travel to church conferences and sleep together. I could go on. There’s so much more.

    He is currently still a pastor. Thank God I’m out of that nightmare.

  • Jesus cheaters truly believe “Jesus” brought the other person (aka) their one True Love, into their lives.

    It appears to me that Jesus cheaters either cannot read or have selective hearing.

    It’s pretty clear that “thou shalt not commit adultery” means that God does not send “a soulmate” into a married person’s life because that would mean God is breaking his own laws.

    👌

    • ABsolutely.

      I have respect for anyone’s belief system, but as a Christian there is no ambiguity on this matter. It is clearly written. It is so important that is is one the the main ten commandments of the Christian religion. No only in the old testament which is history, but written several times in the new testament which is the new covenant of Jesus and his followers.

  • The other woman was Christian, when I had suspicions, I called her trying to get some answers and she threw in how she was Christian and talked to her pastor once a week and how she and my husband were not having an affair. (they were having an affair) she lied to me and hid behind her religion and I believed her.

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